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Israel Destroyed Syrian Weapons Depot Containing Advanced Russian Arms

UPDATE: An Israeli journalist reports to me that his media outlet received a directive from the military censor that any story about the Latakia attack must pass through its office before airing or publication.  This unusual demand is a sure indicator that the IDF is attempting to control reporting on the incident.  The only reason for doing so is to ensure Israeli reporters do not report its involvement in the bombing.

This incident has taken on many of the markings of the 2007 Israeli bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor.  At the time, Ehud Olmert forbade any mention of Israeli responsibility for the assault in order to allow Assad to save face and not retaliate.  That tactic worked.  In this situation, Israel is terribly worried how Russia will react, since it destroyed some of that country’s most sophisticated weaponry destined for the Syrian military.  That’s why the IDF has clamped down on reporting about it.  It does not want to create unnecessary confrontation with Russia if it doesn’t have to.

The question is how Putin will react.   He’s not one to take such a hostile act lying down.  The question is what can he do to harm Israel’s interests even if he wanted to?  Undoubtedly, there are ways, but is he willing to pay the price in potentially escalating the Syrian conflict or seriously damaging relations with Israel?

UPDATE I: Media sources have reported Israel’s target at Latakia was a Yakhont missile cache.  This is one of Russia’s advanced anti-ship weapons that would cripple Israel’s navy were Israel to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon as it did in 2006.  During the war, Hezbollah succeeded in almost sinking an Israeli vessel with what was reputed to be Iranian weapons and assistance.  My source corrected his earlier claim that the depot contained SA-300 components and now says the target was the Yakhonts.

UPDATE II (July 13th): CNN’s Pentagon correspondent now confirms through an anonymous U.S. (presumably Pentagon) source that Israel was responsible for the Latakia report.  No credit offered for my prior report which beat ‘em by five days!

UPDATE III (July 20th): It’s important to note that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo made an official visit to Turkey on June 10th in which he met with his Turkish counterpart.  The purpose of this trip must have been to coordinate the Israeli use of the Turkish military bases for this attack.

* *

A massive explosion last Thursday at a major Syrian weapons depot in Latakia, not far from the main port of Tartous, completely destroyed the facility and munitions stored there.  Tartous is Syria’s main port.  It is largely controlled by the Russian military, and the route by which all weapons transported by sea would enter Syria.  As such, any advanced Russian weaponry would enter via Tartous and might be stored in the Latakia depot.

Though the Free Syrian Army took immediate credit for the attack, it was not the responsible party.  A confidential Israeli source informs me that Israeli forces attacked the site.  The target were components of Russia’s SA-300 anti-aircraft missile system which had been shipped by Russia to Tartous and stored in Latakia.  Israel and exerted tremendous pressure on Vladimir Putin to cancel its contract to supply the missile batteries to Syria, since once they were operational they would render Israeli aircraft more vulnerable to attack.  Israel, of course, will countenance no front-line state having even defensive weapons which give it superiority over Israeli weapons systems.  In response to Israeli entreaties, Russia’s leader refused to budge and recommitted to providing the weapons to Assad.  Apparently, he’d begun to follow through on his promise with these first shipments.

latakia arms depot attack

Site of Thursday’s attack

This is Israeli third attack inside Syria since January.  It considerably escalates the conflict there since it is the first known attack by Israeli forces which destroyed Russian armaments.  Though Putin was surely warned by Israel that this would happen if he went forward with the arms deal, actually attacking Russian munitions is an act to which Putin will not take kindly, to say the least.

Assad bragged publicly a month ago that the SA-300 deliveries had arrived.  Turns out he was right.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have shot his mouth off.

Israel’s Channel 10 aired a claim by Syria rebels that Israel attacked and Israel journalists tell their viewers that they know things they’re not allowed to tell.  A clear indication of Israeli involvement.  Haaretz reports that a Syrian army source called the explosion the result of a technical failure, which hardly seems credible.

My source further notes that the FSA coordinated with the IDF and launched a rocket attack on nearby government military installations in order to distract loyalist forces from the real target.  But the rebels played no role in the attack on the munitions cache.  Their claim of responsibility conveniently takes Israel off the hook (until people read this report) and lessens pressure or condemnation on Israel for its third major attack inside Syria since January.

It’s all the stranger that Haaretz’s Amos Harel, in writing about the incident would write this:

Israel wasn’t mentioned in connection with Thursday’s incident in Latakia.  It doesn’t intervene in events in Syria.

Apparently, Israelis believe that “intervention” means invading the country with boots on the ground.  When it sends its jet planes to bomb Syrian targets inside the country, that’s not considered intervention.  This is further evidence of Israeli delusions and self-denial about their level of interference in the affairs of frontline Arab states.  Such refusal to acknowledge Israel’s real role allows Israelis to believe falsely they’re innocent bystanders, sometimes even victims (!) in the affairs in the region.

How does Harel think Israel coordinated the FSA diversionary attack near Latakia?  With smoke signals?  No, Israeli intelligence has created a tacit alliance with the rebels who serve Israel’s interests when Assad acts in ways Israel believes will harm it.  Hezbollah’s role in the Qusayr fight may have caused alarm in the Israeli defense ministry, which may’ve seen this as further evidence of escalation inside Syria.  If Israel could take Hezbollah down a peg or two after its victory taking the Syria town on Assad’s behalf, it would be eager to do so.  In this sense, the Syrian civil war is a proxy battle between Israel and Hezbollah who are itching for their next direct confrontation (the last one being in 2006).

Israel launched a very similar raid several months ago on the Sudanese capital Khartoum, in which it destroyed a major government arms depot.  It’s known that Iran ships its weapons to Hamas and Syria via ports on the Arabian Sea, from where they’re shipped via Sudan to points north.  Again, Israel has sucked countries throughout the region into the vortex of its own conflict with the Palestinians.  If this doesn’t prove that this conflict is a major destabilizing force in the region, nothing will.

The area attacked is in the Alawite heartland of northwestern Syria.  As such, Assad would think of it as one of his most secure bastions.  Violating it as Israel has done would be meant to show Assad that he has no sanctuary from which to hide and serve as a psychological blow.  At least, Israel would hope to convey such a message.

Haaretz’s Hebrew edition reports that Israel may’ve chosen this time to attack because the attention of the international media was focussed on the Egyptian coup, which served as a convenient distraction.

Another factor to keep in mind is that the recent assistance that Hezbollah offered to Assad in sending 4,000 fighters to subdue the strategic town of Qusayr would come with a price.  Hezbollah would not be shy is extracting its share of the bargain, which would certainly involve transshipment of advanced Iranian or Russian weaponry via Syria to Lebanon, where the Lebanese militia would use it against Israel in any future military confrontation.

Another possibility is that Russia, which recently confirmed that it would honor its contract with Assad calling for delivery of the SA-300 anti-aircraft system.  It’s possible Russia had begun shipping components of these missile batteries to Assad.

This site speculates that Israel used cruise missiles launched from its German-built Dolphin submarines to destroy the complex.  If true, it would mean that German built advanced armaments were being used by Israel in a pre-emptive attack violating the territorial sovereignty of another Mideast country.  Though Israel could just as easily have used its own air force to do the job.

Correction: Osnet Daily, a website linked above, accompanied its story about the Latakia explosion with an image that reputed to be of this event.  Two readers have noted it was actually a photo of a 2009 explosion at a Russian or Ukrainian arms depot.  My apologies for the error.  If anyone finds an actual photo of the Latakia event, let me know.

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{ 101 comments… add one }

  • Nimrod July 7, 2013, 1:51 AM

    In previous cases, Syrian civilians posted home-footage of the attacks from the air, so there was no doubt.

    The claim that the site was attacked by cruise missiles sounds absurd. Why launch an expensive missile from a submarine (which is supposed to be the ace in the sleeve, saved for a real conflict), especially when cruise missiles can be easily shot down by Russian vessels in area, when an IAF jet can easily use a cheaper guided bomb, without giving away the submarines abilities and risking a submarine in Russian-Navy infested waters?

    • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2013, 11:43 PM

      I made no claim as to Israel’s weapon of choice for this venture. Osnet was the site which claimed they might’ve used cruise missiles & Dolphin subs. Of course, they could’ve used an F-16 to do this.

      But even if they did use a sub, they would not have needed to be anywhere near Syria to launch a cruise missile. They could’ve done so even from within Israel territorial waters.

      • Fred Plester July 8, 2013, 8:07 AM

        A “Popeye” stand-off bomb, describable as a cruise missile, especially by salesmen, launched from an F15, I would expect, rather than an F16, would seem most likely. The warhead’s basically a MK84 2,000lb bomb, which would fit with the need to initiate secondary detonations of S300 warheads in tough transport/launch containers designed to inhibit any such thing.

  • miri July 7, 2013, 5:59 AM

    Richard, it is time to re-vet your sources. Someone has lied to you. Even the geography between Lattakia and Tartous is wrong.

    It *is* interesting to note, however, that your source is at least admitting Israel’s friendship and collaborators with cannibals, murderers of imams at prayer with their congregants, kidnappers of archibishops, kid killers, dormitory bombers, school bombers, professors’ cars bombers, and rapists, and assorted sociopathic criminals dumped into Syria from virtually every asylum in the world. We all saw the coordination of Israel’s bombing of the chicken farm outside Damascus, with the Free of Syrians Army’s mortar firings, and fabulous video.

    And I for one am so impressed by the humanitarian gestures of bring wounded barbarian monsters from the Golan, into Rambam, for treatment; nu, is this ‘remorse’ for the trashing of the 17 corneas that left 17 Gazans to remain in perpetual darkness?

    • Iskander July 7, 2013, 10:39 AM

      Agreed, I am very suspicious that that Israel would attack PARTS of the russian s300, even with a minimal risk of killing russians.

      No, at this time, with current info (and we don’t know anything about Mr Silverstein’s source), such a scenario seems unlikely, not impossible, but a foolish act by Israel.

    • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2013, 1:55 PM

      @Miri: I don’t know what you’re “on” about. You claim someone has lied to me then offer no proof that my story is a lie. Further, you erroneously claim “the geography between Latakkia & Tartous” is wrong, when it isn’t. THey are 50 miles distant from each other and both are major cities in the Alawite enclave that is Assad’s home base.

      Further, I note no similar outrage for the butchery of Assad, who has helicopters, missiles, tanks & jet bombers at his disposal. What, no outrage at Assad’s far superior level of lethality? You’re nothing more than a hypocrite.

      • Beowulf July 7, 2013, 2:10 PM

        At least they are not flying over Tel-Aviv in an act of war and support people who behead Christians.

        • Shut Up July 8, 2013, 12:05 AM

          Shut the hell up please

          and you think Bashaar al aalassad will spare a Christian who oppose him. just search for priest Paolo who is a famous priest in Syria and support the opposition.

          • Iskander July 8, 2013, 3:50 AM

            Have you lived in Syria?

            I have, all minorities where protected by Assad. Most people, supported hims ( as is supported by a recent study where over 70 % support him, ca 20 do not while only 10 % support the foreign militant terrorist funneled in from abroad).

            You sound very similar to a Takfiri with an internet connection, there are plenty of them on the net.

            Recently the Syrian Army found a Sharia Lair where the foreign militants executed people in Sharia trial manners. 12 bodies where found in dug tunnel graves adjacent to the lair. Also in that lair, there was a Syrian abducted woman, who had been used by all the Takfiri. After they had all done their way with her, for a long time, they finally ended her pain and suffering by executing her Sharia style.

            This is a western invasion masterminded by thy Israel and the US, to fullfill operation “Clean Break” and to finalise the Oded Yinon Plan as laid out in 1982.

      • Say what? July 7, 2013, 5:17 PM

        “What, no outrage at Assad’s far superior level of lethality?”

        Richard, Assad is the legitimate government of the State of Syria.

        As such he is supposed to have a monopoly on the use of arms inside his state.

        It’s one of the things that – literally – goes with the territory, and a situation where the sovereign power holds all the weapons is **supposed** to be one of the things that separates “a state” from “a failed state”.

        So it’s a bit rich to express “outrage at Assad’s far superior level of lethality”, seeing as how he is supposed to have an absolute monopoly on Things That Go Boom Boom.

        • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2013, 11:23 PM

          Who says Assad’s government is “legitimate?” You might try reading the Declaration of Independence which notes the criteria that justify a nation rising up in revolt against its “legitimate” rulers. In other words, rulers derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. When they no longer consent, they no longer have legitimacy. Assad has no legitimacy whatsoever.

          Now we can debate till the cows come home what the alternatives are and how deficient some of them are. I agree in ways I didn’t before, that the rebels are sorely wanting. They may not offer much more hope in terms of earning the legitimate right to govern. My hope is that eventually a more legitimate force will arise from this maelstrom which offers more credibility & legitmacy than the butchers on both sides.

          • SimoHurtta July 8, 2013, 2:36 AM

            My hope …? What “hope” did the overthrow of regimes in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc did bring to the citizens of those countries. Nothing or at the best very little. What normal Americans “hope” is not very relevant especially when the “hope” of US regime is something else some US citizens hope. Nobody does seriously believe that USA honestly wants Syria to be a prosperous secular democracy with a strong economy and army. A weak taleban society divided in religious/ethic cantons is what Saudi Kings and Israel want, because it is the only way to guaranty them (Kings and Israel) some more years. USA regime delivers what it is demanded to do.

            Who says that the rebels inside Syria are “legitimate”? Who even knows who these rebels are? As the Prime Minister of the opposition (National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces) was “elected” a guy (Ghassan Hitto) from Texas. Hitto has lived much longer in Texas as he did in Syria. He was 16 years old when he moved to USA. What make him fit to be a legitimate alternative ruler for Syria? Nothing.

            Without doubt there were large demonstrations in Syria, but was it a real full uprising against the Syrian government? As soon as the demonstrations begun massive amounts of weapons, money and fighters “entered” Syria. Still today most of Syrian Army and much of the country’s population stand behind the Syrian government. And the majority of them are Sunnis.

            How legitimate or honest is the opposition when it is financed and armed by Saudi Arabia, Gulf states, Israel and USA? And many of the rebel fighters come everywhere else except from Syria. How on earth can anybody believe that such forces want a real western style secular democracy in Syria or anywhere else. Surely few Syrians do. When Assad is thrown out the real problems begin, when the bearded men begin their revenge and only a naive optimist believe that the numerous militias will give up their weapons and the power the have achieved. It did not happen in Somalia, Afghanistan or in Iraq. The time of warlords begins, the Saudi royalty, Israel and US are happy, Syrians not.

            For all Iraqis Saddam was much more legitimate than the US led invading army ever was. How legitimate was the mighty ruler of Iraq – Lewis Paul “Jerry” Bremer III (Paul Bremer)? It is rather absurd now after hundreds of thousands dead (=killed), the country’s raw material treasures in US “control”, unseen level of corruption, militias out of control, the political system build in such way that the it makes governing the country almost impossible the only thing the “westerns” can say “Well it is better than Saddam …”. Most of Iraqis miss the order which Saddam could offer. Same situation now in Libya and soon in Syria.

          • Iskander July 8, 2013, 3:58 AM

            What a bunch of malarkey.

            This is a foreign invasion, backed by the Gulf States, UK, France, Israel, US, Turkey, Jordan etc…

            According to german intelligence, 95 % of the terrorists fighting Assad are foreign, from Chechnya, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan…etc.

            You talking about a nation rising up in revolt against its legitimate ruler, and that they derive their legitimacy from the conent of the governed (which governed, the US, UK, France, US, Israel???), pick and choose the invader.

            What a bunch of nonsense Richard, in you giving reference to the Declaration of Independence when the cannibals we are talking about here are 95 % foreign, and you know it, you just leave that fact out as it would render your argument totally useless and dishonest.

          • Say what? July 8, 2013, 10:26 PM

            Richard: “Who says Assad’s government is “legitimate?” ”

            Why, he does, as do all the Syrians who are fighting for him.
            And as do all the countries that continue to recognize him.

            It is not at all clear that the number of Syrians who are fighting for him represent the minority, just as it is not at all clear that the number of countries that have transferred their official recognition to the rebels represent the majority view of the “international community”.

            Richard: “You might try reading the Declaration of Independence which”…. is an American document laying out THEIR view on the righteousness of THEIR rebellion against their rightful sovereign, and therefore is a document of very little concern to anyone inside Syria.

            Richard: ” In other words, rulers derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed.”… according to the US Declaration of Independence, which espoused a principle justifying THEIR rebellion, etc., etc..

            Which is all fine and dandy if Assad were President of the United States of America, but he ain’t.

            Richard: “When they no longer consent, they no longer have legitimacy.”

            Well, no, actually, in that situation what they are facing is a rebellion.

            But even during a rebellion he remains the legitimate leader of the country until/unless the rebels win.

            This is really very simple: here is a state, and it is called “Syria”.

            Now, unless it is a failed state then it has to have a “government”, and therefore it is axiomatic that whomsoever heads it is the leader of “the government of Syria”.

            Recognizing that i.e. recognizing that *him* or *her* or *those guys* legitimately represent that “government of Syria” requires no value judgement on the democratic credentials of those leaders. Never has. Never will.

            Now you and I can debate until the cows come home whether or not Assad **deserves** to be the leader of the government of the state of Syria (versus whether or not he deserves to swing from a lamppost).

            Go ahead, debate away, but I’ll point out here and now that it isn’t at all clear that Assad has lost “the consent of the governed”, since it is not at all clear that the rebels enjoy popular support.

            But until the rebellion wins then he remains what he was when that rebellion started, and that is “the leader of the government of Syria”.

          • Richard Silverstein July 9, 2013, 2:23 AM

            he does, as do all the Syrians who are fighting for him.

            So Assad and his paid domestic mercenaries called “soldiers” determine whether he is objectively legitimate? Silly me. I thought legitimacy was determined by the governed. I didn’t know it was determined by who paid the best or who stole the most from the national treasury.

            I referred to the U.S. Declaration of Independence because it is one of the most widely read documents on the subject of democratic governance & the philosophy of democratic government. Its principles have influenced almost every country that calls itself or would like to be called a democracy. It is also used by many to determine whether governments are legitimate or not & its words apply directly to Assad’s rule & those attempting to overthrow him (at least the ones who aren’t bloodthirsty butchers as Assad is).

            unless it is a failed state

            Syria epitomizes a failed state. Assad doesn’t even control the majority of the territory in the country.

            Whether Assad enjoys the consent of his fellow citizens has little to do with how much support the rebels have. Assad has little support except among his own Alawite sect. That is determined by his own failures, butchery, corruption, etc. Not by whether or not his opponents have support or are ready to govern.

            Sorry, but Assad is not the legitimate leader of Syria. He lost that position when he started killing his own citizens & they rose up against him.

            I’m declaring your participation in this thread over. Move on to other threads. You & I have said enough on the subject.

          • John P. Jones July 11, 2013, 1:22 AM

            Richard, you’re one of my Facebook friends … and until this article, I actually thought you were intelligent. You should not try to make or defend points when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. I don’t have any affections for Assad, but it’s well known to everyone (except you, apparently) that the FSA, “rebels”, “opposition”, etc. are comprised of mostly “foreign” fighters … trained by Israel and backed by Israel, the U.S., France, Turkey, Qatar, the UK, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. If you’re trying to be funny with your “Declaration of Independence”, it’s not working.

        • Shut Up July 8, 2013, 12:11 AM

          also you Shut the hell up

          what do you know about Syria?
          Bashaar AlAssad is not the legitimate president and anyone who say that is a stupid man. he came forcibly on the thrown. and he ruled for almost 10 years relying on intelligent service and Shabiha to make the people scared

          • archangelofjustice July 8, 2013, 10:55 PM

            only you are legitimate; what a nice creature you are…..

      • miri July 14, 2013, 8:33 AM

        My sincere apologies, for my apparent meltdown, Rich, which I did, as you noted, without substantiation. Please allow for the occasional youthful outburst from one who is not a youth. I had imagined the rebuttal story would have been immediate; I finally have it.

        Though I know less about military vehicles than cars, I did find the cover story about grounding all the F15 and 16s because *on* malfunctioned, a tad on the hinky side. It makes a bit more sense to be possibly trying to hide them, in safety.

        Here is what really happened.

        “Syrian president Dr. Bashar Al-Assad promised to retaliate any Israeli aggression and gave orders of immediate response without returning to the SAA higher commands, translated with spontaneous response by the Syrian Navy command, and the greenlight given to target the US shipment of missiles to Israel on the farthest Eilat warehouse, proves the man keeps his words.”

        http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-attack-latakia-5-july-2013/

        • miri July 14, 2013, 8:35 AM

          Please also note that the foto of the explosion in Latakia, was taken by our friends, the barbarians of the Free of Syrians Army.

          • miri July 14, 2013, 8:38 AM

            I’m having some annoying computer problems; what I *should* have said, above, is that the foto of the explosion has been being circulated by the fsa, the fsa that *did* video the Israeli bombing of the chicken farm, near Damascus.

          • Richard Silverstein July 14, 2013, 10:56 PM

            The images are from a totally independent source, unrelated to the FSA. Because the FSA is circulating them does not discredit them in any way.

  • John P. Jones July 7, 2013, 2:06 PM

    The photo is from a story about a western Russian arms depot blast in 2009.
    http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=109960

  • Noam July 7, 2013, 2:24 PM

    @ Richard,
    imagine my surprise when i heard your name on channel 2 evening news. Ehud Ya’ari sayong the syrian government is not holding israel responsible fot the bombings. than mentioned that “tikun olam” ran by you claims otherwise, although your credibility is usually doubtful.

    here’s the link:
    http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/security/Article-b1bda09101abf31004.htm?sCh=31750a2610f26110&pId=237936823

    • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2013, 11:50 PM

      @Noam: Why would you waste your time reading & commenting at a site which had no credibility as you claim about me? I’d say you have some sort of unresolved psychological issues or else being here is your job. Which is it?

      • Noam July 9, 2013, 6:06 AM

        @ Richard, first of all the credibility issue wasn’t mentioned by me but by Ehud Yaari – probably the top ME corresponder in Israel. second, if you must know i started following your facebook page after Amud Anan Op which i was one of the many reserves drafted. there was an article about you in the same site i published here and i found it interesting to see what people from “outside” are thinking. this is when i realized that you depict your alternate version of reality and the way we are living here in Israel. you don’t tell the whole story to your readers, you either downgrade information or don’t even mention it if it hurts your agenda – for instance – Adel Biton, a 3 yrs old child who was traveling to visit her grandma at the WB (her family lives inside the green line). she was critically injured after stones were thrown on her mother’s car causing an head on collision with a truck. one day later you published that IDF arrested kids for throwing stones. this was published by you on your facebook page on march 15 (one day after adel was hit):
        “Isn’t friendship & solidarity shown by IDF soldiers toward Palestinian children remarkable??!” including a link to an article and a picture of IDF soldiers holding a palestinian boy.
        there was another one on March 21.
        another issue is the way you depict israeli democracy and values. you tried your very best to demonize israelis in the Bar Noar Murder, you ill represent the way the IDF is operating. further more, when you do post something you almost never do a follow up (when it has to do with israel) unless it further support your original claim – like the Gideon Saar letter – you accused him of rape (where there is smoke there is fire) calling more women to come forward. recently the police determined it was a fake letter in order to hurt Saar – yet you never mentioned that in your blog (i think there was some cynic post on your facebook page) – leaving the impression he is guilty to someone who isn’t Israeli.

        that’s just a few examples of many 1 sided versions of your tail. the thing is that someone reading this in europe and has no clue what’s going on here would be given the wrong impression – that’s why i’m commentating, to try and give the full picture.

        • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:39 AM

          I could care less what Ehud Yaari says about me. I reported correctly about the Latakia attack & he didn’t. All he could do is snigger on the air about me, while I was doing actual, accurate reporting. If he got off his ass & did what I did he could actually report on important issues. Instead he satisfies himself taking potshots & cheap shots. This is a perfect example of the smug, self-satisfaction of Israelis that will eventually be their downfall.

          ‘Nuff said.

          • Noam July 11, 2013, 9:42 AM

            @ Richard,
            “last week I was ridiculed on air by Israel’s leading TV news anchor, Ehud Yaari. You know you’re doing something right when that happens. ”

            i guess you do care, and of course nicely done avoiding the rest of my comment.

  • Ashley Kennedy July 7, 2013, 8:28 PM

    2009 photo from Russian arms depot.

    http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=109960

    • Richard Silverstein July 7, 2013, 11:25 PM

      @Ashley: Thanks so much for catching that error. That image accompanied an article about the Latakia explosion to which I linked & I assumed the image matched the incident. I will try to find a real image from the Latakia incident if I can.

  • Davey July 8, 2013, 12:23 AM

    Everyone knows that the Israelis are innocent victims. If they bombed another sovereign state, it is only because that state forced theml to bomb it. That’s not “intervention,” it’s self-defense and Israel is entitled to defend itself, is it not? No state in the region should need defensive weapons, after all.

    It is mind boggling that this is really how the Israeli public sees things. One can’t help but wish for blow back from the Russians. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Shmue July 8, 2013, 5:00 AM

    Israel defends itself and by doing so defends people like you who want to side with Assad who has killed 100,000 people. When has any Prime Minister in Israel turned on their own people and slaughtered them? I live in Israel and actually am happy to see the Arabs in Jerusalem or parks or riding the new train. They have freedom, peace and are free citizens just like me. It does not bother me. Assad, Quadaffi, Mubarak, Morsi, list goes on, are simply evil people. So let me get this straight. Putin can send missiles to Syria (we all know what they are for) but Israel can’t defend herself! Best defense is a good offense. No doubt anything I say will not change your mind but a missile in your backyard threatening you and your family would be an eye opener. Me, I would have you over for lunch, open my home to you, even give you my bed to sleep in. You come in the cross-hairs of Assad or Hamas, Hizbullah, Al-Quaeda (list goes on)… you’re a deer looking at headlights! Shalom

    • Richard Silverstein July 8, 2013, 6:54 PM

      @Shmue: Assad has killed 100,000 people? Really. So there aren’t armed insurgents fighting against him who have killed many thousands? Hmm, a nice bit of revisionism making your argument so very convincing.

      Are you arguing that Israel is a fine upstanding country because it hasn’t yet killed 100,000 of its citizens? BTW, there have been numerous times in Jewish history when Israelites have killed tens of thousands of their fellow Israelites. We’ve had a number of civil wars. Not to mention scores of Israeli Jews murdered by their own kind in political assassinations in the last century (20th). Look it up in the Bible & other sources.

      But you wouldn’t be happy to have Israeli Palestinians have rights equal to yours. You wouldn’t be happy to have a Palestinian prime minister (of Israel, that is). You wouldn’t want Palestinians living in your buildings or studying with your children or working in your office. You wouldn’t sell an apt to a Palestinian. You wouldn’t use a Palestinian doctor or lawyer, would you? So stop being such a hypocrite.

      Putin’s missiles are DEFENSIVE. They’re designed to protect Syrian airspace. So yes, it’s fine he sends those missiles. And Israel’s invading Syrian territory is NOT defensive. It is OFFENSIVE. Let’s ask this question: would it be OK for Syria or Turkey or Iran to bomb Iron Dome missile batteries? Those are defensive, right? So if it’s not OK to destroy your missile batteries it isn’t OK to destroy Syria’s. What good for the goose is good for the gander.

      Instead of having me sleep in your bed, why don’t you have your daughter fall in love with a Palestinian & sleep in your home. Let’s see if you’d stand for that.

      • Davey July 8, 2013, 8:21 PM

        @Richard Don’t exhaust yourself. Israel’s warring is always “defensive” by definition. Germany’s assault on Poland was defensive, from a particular point of view. And that’s the point of view here. No choice — except perhaps peace.

    • archangelofjustice July 8, 2013, 10:47 PM

      don’t tell so many lies! there are the rebels who have killing these people, not Assad’s forces. You are disgusting and it seems you like to be such! Lie, lie, lie… sometime people will become accustomed with your lies.

    • Daniel July 9, 2013, 4:42 AM

      @ Shmue: “We all know what [the missiles] are for”?

      Really? Why don’t you spell it out, actually? I’m not sure we’re on the same page.

      I assume you mean that rather than the purpose of defending Syrian airspace from repeated invasion by the IAF, the Syrians intend to use the systems to destroy civilian aircraft over Israel, killing hundreds of Jews and international Western citizens? Is that what you think will happen in actual reality? Or am I reading you wrong?

      “I live in Israel and actually am happy to see the Arabs in Jerusalem or parks or riding the new train. They have freedom, peace and are free citizens just like me. It does not bother me.”

      Yes, they are free behind their walls; they have peace under the Shield of David. They are perfectly free to watch their ancestral land be annexed by a colonial occupier, see their cousins get shot, detained and tortured by the security services, read about the latest massacre of the Gazans, and ride “the new train” around a country which insults, humiliates, degrades and discriminates against them at every turn.

      • Iskander July 9, 2013, 4:56 AM

        What is it that many israeli’s say? “aravi tov (u) aravi met” – “A Good Arab is a Dead Arab”

        In order not to jeopardize the support from the US public of military and financial support, the israelis must speak through both sides of their mouths, or rather, “fill their mouths with water” when it comes to issues that could undermine the support for their apartheid agenda.

        God forbid the arabs aquire defensive weapons to deter the israelis from dropping explosive stuff and tactical nukes on them. That is not acceptable.

        • arik July 12, 2013, 8:17 PM

          I wish you could know how far you are from the truth.
          it’s easy to see it as aparthyde, from all the half truthes out there and many other lies, thinking that arabs is a depressed minority in the rule of the torturing israelis, right?
          first of all, non of the arabs living in israeli teritory have cousins in gaza. the wide communities in jaffa, aco, haifa, lod, and so on, are in great relations with the israelis for years. I have an arab banker in my bank, and I didnt saw him as a potential suicide bomber the last time I checked.

          let me tell you something. when I get back from the university every day to my apartment, half of the drivers are arab people just making a living, as half of the passangers, as half of the students. I can assure you that it doesnt differ to me, or to any of my friends, if your name is mohamad or shimon. it’s easy to think otherwise, I know, because lies are easy to believe- it’s makes all of the israeli-conspiracy-bullshit more comportable, and you have always someone to blame (google for pressTV. those iranians are hillarious). war in syria? israel. clashes between shiaits and sunnis? israel. 9/11? israel. see where it’s leading?
          doesnt it seem to you like too much for a country of 7 million people that can’t find a simple solution to morters shot from gaza? (what massacre are you talking about, btw?)

          “aravi tov hu aravi met”? it’s an extreme expression created by Extremists. as I told you, the syrian media won’t show you the arabs who are taking chemistry and math courses with me. israeli police arresting an innocent teenager is much nicer (who only thrown molotov cocktail at a car with a family of five. not that important to mention) I dont think that “a good arab is a dead arab”. it’s sound barbaric, just like “Itbah el yahud”.
          let’s talk dugry, tenth of the israeli knesset members are arabs! ministers in the israeli government are arabs! shocking, right? it’s suppose to be aparthyde.
          hate is more usefull than sympathy, remember that, esspecially for media who is diverted to the one side of the government.

          you know what, you can have my mail if you want, inviting you to a weekend in israel. you’ll love haifa, I can promise you. and ,I know some great arab restaurants in the area.

          • Richard Silverstein July 12, 2013, 10:25 PM

            @Arik:

            non of the arabs living in israeli teritory have cousins in gaza.

            The level of ignorance of Israeli Jews toward their fellow Israeli Palestinians never ceases to amaze me. You don’t realize that virtually all of Gaza is peopled by Palestinians who were driven out of Israel by the Nakba. So of course Gazans were originally Israeli Palestinians and certainly have cousins remaining in Israel.

            the wide communities in jaffa, aco, haifa, lod, and so on, are in great relations with the israelis for years.

            Certainly they are, which is why Israeli Palestinian MKs are investigated routinely on charges of treason & various other charges. Which is why Israeli Palestinians enjoy such a low standard of living, education, health care, etc. That’s all because things are honky dory between you & them.

            I have an arab banker in my bank

            Holy crap. You actually know an “arab!” Hosanna & hallelujah. You get points for that.

            “aravi tov hu aravi met”? it’s an extreme expression created by Extremists.

            Yes, I know. You’re the “good” Israeli as opposed to those few rotten apples who spoil it for the rest of you. If you could only get rid of those few, what a wonderful paradise you’d have there with your “arab” brothers! The “extremists” are always the tiny few who you don’t know or represent & who have no bearing on anything important going on in Israel.

            let’s talk dugry, tenth of the israeli knesset members are arabs!

            Ah, he even trots out the few words of Arabic slang he knows to prove he’s one of the bruthas! How impressive. But let’s talk tachliss: while 1/10 of MKs are Palestinian (not “arab” btw), fully 1/5 of Israelis are Palestinians. All of the cabinet ministers are Jewish. All the Supreme Court justices are Jewish. The university faculties are overwhelmingly Jewish. Land owned by Keren Kayemet can’t be sold to Palestinian citizens. How’s that for dugry?

            you can have my mail if you want, inviting you to a weekend in israel. you’ll love haifa, I can promise you. and ,I know some great arab restaurants in the area.

            Come back to me when you’re willing to take an NGO tour of Hebron offered by Breaking the Silence. Until then you can take your Happy Jew’s tour of Haifa and put it where the sun don’t shine.

          • arik July 14, 2013, 6:16 AM

            ‘The level of ignorance of Israeli Jews toward their fellow Israeli Palestinians never ceases to amaze me.’
            if you want to talk about ignorance, I must point the fact that it’s not just israeli jews. I think american ones are no less ignorant- you cited Fresh.co.il totaly fictional story, for “ISRAEL WAR PLANS”, haven’t you? pretty smart, Silverstein, pretty smart.
            when I said cousins, I ment cousins. relatives? sure, some ran away from the israeli army, some ran away because they were told to by their leaders, and some ran away thinking they would be back in a week or two. related, but not as you think. if they are so suffering, I can’t see why they are’nt eager to join their “cousins” in gaza or the west bank.

            ‘Which is why Israeli Palestinians enjoy such a low standard of living, education, health care, etc. ‘
            I agree, I’m not living in a bubble as you think. I know their situation and i’ve been there (suprising, right?), in every second village in the west bank. but, that’s not because of persecution of their MKs by my opinion- Hanin Zuabi, for example, is more provocative than most of the israeli MKs, you don’t see her in house-arrest-Mousavi-style. many years of neglection did their thing, and Im happy that the west bank is in a better shape than it was pre-Homat-Magen. unemployment rate is decreasing, the co-operations with israel are growing, and it’s a win win situation for both sides. don’t forget that the majority of israelis support a two state solution, that will also thicken the israeli expense on security in the area and relieve the israeli aconomy.

            ‘You actually know an “arab!”’
            not funny.
            And, as an answer to your other non-helpful comments-
            I know your type, Richard. the self-justifying one, the facts-diverting one, the one who will propably remove this comment and smile smugly. I’ve been to the west bank, and in palestinian villages, never raped/killed/abducted/abused (good for me, right?). I have friends, who were infantrymen like me, who are in “breaking the silence”, I probably know their work as good as you. don’t petronize, silverstein, it’s not a priviliage that’s given to you via the fact that you’re the “smart and peace loving jew from the US”. I know arabic, btw. pretty good, actually. helped me talk with youth from around the arab world. must admit non of them was petronizing as you, even for a journalist.
            I see that non of the people who have opposing opinions are welcomed in here. fine by me.

            best regrards, silverstein, from haifa, israel.

            p.s.
            i’ve been to Hevron. never liked it, neither the palestinian side, nor the israeli.
            if not israel, you are always welcome to come to Hama or Aleppo, they don’t have humanitarian problems like in here, but hey, at least they have great hummus.

  • Moses July 8, 2013, 9:52 AM

    “Israel launched a very similar raid several months ago on the Sudanese capital Khartoum, in which it destroyed a major government arms depot.  It’s known that Iran ships its weapons to Hamas and Syria via ports on the Arabian Sea, from where they’re shipped via Sudan to points north.  Again, Israel has sucked countries throughout the region into the vortex of its own conflict with the Palestinians.  If this doesn’t prove that this conflict is a major destabilizing force in the region, nothing will.”

    This statement makes little sense. It is Iran that is sucking the region into a vortex in this scenario. How can you say it is Israel? You yourself point out Iran as the instigator in your own words here, and then suddenly pivot to Israel for purposes of casting blame?

    • Davey July 8, 2013, 12:07 PM

      You mean these neighbors cannot receive arms, even defensive arms, from abroad? Would you propose that Israel also not be allowed to receive arms, even defensive arms, from abroad? What are you saying? That Israel can intervene in this matters at will anywhere in the world??

    • Richard Silverstein July 8, 2013, 6:38 PM

      Not at all. Israel is the aggressor in Gaza and Hamas is attempting to defend its territory from Israeli siege & offensive action which has killed thousands of civilian residents. Iran may’ve been providing weapons to Hamas (and Hezbollah) using the Sudan route. In any event, it is Israel that refuses to sign a peace agreement with Syria, Lebanon or the Palestinians. THe fault is Israel’s, not Iran’s. Further, if Israel didn’t threaten Iran & settled its disputes with the frontline states, there would be no military actions against it at all.

      You have been moderated. Do not attempt to avoid moderation by using different IP or email addresses. Your comments will not be published unless I approve them. Attempting to bypass moderation will make you more likely to lose your comment privileges in future if you violate the comment rules as you have in the past.

      • Moses July 8, 2013, 7:15 PM

        [Please join me in mourning the passing of former Tikun Olam commenter, Moses Sparkman. He broke the rules and went to hasbara hell where he belongs]

        • Davey July 9, 2013, 11:22 AM

          Sparkman went to that hell his head stuffed full of self-justifying pathological nonsense.

  • Davey July 8, 2013, 12:13 PM

    Oh, I see it: Israel has no choice, Iran is forcing Israel to respond by arming these neighbors. Is that it?

  • Itai July 9, 2013, 7:35 AM

    If indeed there were s-300 missiles in Latakia then I think Israel should have definitely destroyed them and by doing so it did Israelis, Lebanese and Syrian citizens a great favor.
    The only reason we had short wars with a large gap between them is because Israel is far better at war than its enemies.
    If Assad/Nasralla had a defensive weapon that could take out IDF’s air crafts then they would have grown the balls to attack Israel directly and more often and Israel would have had to retaliate causing loss of civilian life on both sides.
    The superiority of Israel in this field, our ability to fly over Lebanon and take pictures as if it was a school day trip, our ability to bomb and destroy any facility anywhere anytime, our ability to listen to the conversations of our enemies, our ability to shoot down incoming missiles – all that is the main reason in my mind why me in (Tel-Aviv) and folks in Beirut are not in our underground shelters right now hoping that the bomb miss.
    That is why I also agree with the Israeli censors (if the story is true) that we should not admit we were the ones doing the bombing, that serves no purpose except maybe placing Assad in a corner where he would have to retaliate against Israel and by doing so accept more incoming Israeli bombs that would put more citizens in harms way.
    Richards, sometimes a story can put citizens in harms way more than smart bombs can.

    • Daniel July 9, 2013, 8:30 AM

      “Israel is far better at war than its enemies.”

      It’s puzzling, then, why Israel was humiliated in front of the entire world by Hezbollah in 2006? The Israeli war effort in Lebanon has been roundly criticized by military and strategic experts around the world, particularly by American institutions, such as the US Air Force, as well as by the domestic Winograd Commission and studies at Bar-Ilan and elsewhere.

      I suppose that is why Israel felt it had to desperately prove its manhood again by indiscriminately slaughtering helpless men, women and children in the Gaza Massacre of 2008. Burning children’s faces off, however, while probably making the IDF feel very masculine, failed to restore Israel’s honour — although it did prove that, while Israel may not actually be “better at war” than others, it is certainly much more efficient at killing innocent civilians.

      • Itai July 9, 2013, 9:01 AM

        Daniel, I like most Israelis did not feel humiliated in 2006 or in any other time in our history and when your are talking about “proving manhood” or “restoring honor” you are using terms that are not relevant to me and should not be relevant to Israel as a sovereign state (but sadly are terms that are very relevant I guess to some of our neighbors).
        But I do understand your point and the answer is simple, being so much more stronger and powerful than our enemies (in war, but not just) it is indeed not acceptable that 121 of our soldiers and 44 of our civilians were killed while only 700 Hizbalah fighters were killed (and sadly also around 300-400 Lebanese civilians) in the 2006 war not to mention the fact that we flattened all of Hizbalahs bases as well as south Beirut, the capital of the the very masculine (and honorable) Hizbalah fighters with their leader (with proven manhood) still hiding in bunkers from that war up to today.

        • Iskander July 9, 2013, 9:25 AM

          Itai,

          Let us not forget the gift you gave Hezbollah, a Merkava graveyard, still on display, as a testimony to the brave kamikazes of the IDF staring a Russian Anti-Tank missile as it approaches to greet the invading chariots of God.

          Too bad the destroyed Hanit couldn’t join the Naval museum, next time perhaps?

          Anyone, who say’s he is not humiliated by sending in a massive army, and then having it sent back with its tail between its legs, by a “ragtag” of underarmed, undermanned Hezbollah fighters, is either a lunatic or a liar.

          Israel can take human casualties, but it can’t absorb fallen soldiers.

          Next Year in Jerusalem.

          Shalom

          • Itai July 9, 2013, 10:07 AM

            Yes we cherish life almost as much as some of you guys cherish death, and every person killed is a whole world that has died with him. That is why we prefer you have a graveyard full of Merkava tanks and not one filled with our soldiers. I hope there would not be a next time, but if it comes every sane person who loves his life would prefer to be on our side of the boarder than on the Lebanese side. Actually – that is the case at times of peace as well…

          • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:31 AM

            @Itai:

            Yes we cherish life almost as much as some of you guys cherish death

            This is a very serious violation of my comment rules, which you must read now. Read them carefully and respect them. I do not allow racist anti-Muslim comments like this here. They’re based on hate & ignorance & I will not permit them. Your comments in future will be carefully reviewed. If you violate the rules again you will be moderated.

          • Itai July 10, 2013, 2:31 AM

            Richard, thanks for the careful review of my comments. I have read your rules, I had no intention of violating them and I don’t think I did.
            It is not a racist comment to claim that some Muslims cherish their death in a Jihad. I know this from hearing their leaders talk about it while sending suicide bombers, from watching mothers of killed sons claiming they are happy that their sons died fighting against Israel and from listening to the preachers and imams in the mosques talk about it.

          • Iskander July 9, 2013, 10:24 AM

            Itai,

            I am sure there are some bones under those Merkava’s, unless the soldiers miraculously, like Eliah, escaped to the heavens, in their less than shiny “chariots”.

            But you see, a politician, or citizen, truly concerned about the future of Israel, would instantly recognise that trying to maintain the current paradigm, without the foresight of what current policies might mean for the future, need to seriously regroup.

            As I suggested to you above, in 2020, it is very like the US will withdraw most of its military bases, and there is a possibility, that Israel might have to try to enforce it’s lunatic apartheid policy, against neighbours, closely allied with Russia, China and Iran. Iraq is practically annexed by Iran, Africa is conquered by China via it’s wallet, not the bayonet. the US is slowly getting ejected from Africa and the Middle East. It has no economic interest there, only slightly more than 10 % of its oil comes from the Gulf States. The objective of a strong presence in the ME, throug the Sunni Cultural Centre that is Egypt, has always been a product of the Israel lobby who wish to partition its arab neighbours, create social destruction from within and weaken the arabs as to neutralise any military threat. There are 1.3-1.6 billion muslims in the world, the notion that 5.5 million jews will try to contain them by waging unjust wars, attacking them with impunity, expanding its illegitimate borders through illegal settlements and continue to expand its borders through illegal occupation (under international law, it is illegal to expand any borders through occupation), is just a hallucination about to end.

            Sadly, many israelis, time and again, fail to see farther than the trajectory of a missile.

            Next time my friend.

        • Daniel July 9, 2013, 10:14 AM

          @ Itai: I’m glad terms like manhood and honour are not relevant to you, and I agree that they should not be relevant to Israel or any other state. It was just an impression I got from your comment, with its discourse on “growing balls” and the awesome capabilities of the IDF to shoot and fly and spy and bomb and destroy things. Which is really cool, by the way.

          I am also glad you don’t feel humiliated by the 2006 fiasco; my point was, however, that the outside world does consider Israel to have been humiliated in that conflict, and there are few governments, let alone groups like Hezbollah, who actually agree with your assertion that “Israel is far better at war than its enemies”.

          It is not the obsolete myth of Israel’s prowess in war or its “strategic deterrence” — which I interpret as the astonishing readiness to commit grotesque war crimes in even the smallest of conflicts — but the political alliance with, financial assistance from and military support of America which allows Israel to throw tantrum after tantrum like a spoilt child.

          You are right in that the operational freedom of the IAF grants Israel a serious advantage over its neighbours. That is why the anti-air systems should be welcomed as a regionally stabilizing factor, as they will force Israel to restrain its aggression.

        • Davey July 9, 2013, 11:33 AM

          No question is immensely stronger than the poorly armed opposition. And this explains why there is no peace: Israel doesn’t want peace as much as it wants land and other peoples rights and property. Obvious.

          Still, Israel failed to achieve its goals in 2006 and Hezbollah emerged stronger and more formidable as a result. Of course Israel will not want to engage the Russians who are decidedly not defenseless and Israel is treading dangerously close to such an engagement.

        • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:43 AM

          @Itai: Once again, I deeply object to the racism seeping from every pore of this comment. I’m going to moderate you. Future comments will be approved as long as you respect (and read) the comment rules.

          • Emma July 11, 2013, 10:22 PM

            Dear Mr Silverstein,

            I understand that you dislike Itai’s stereotyping and prejudice when speaking about Israel’s arab neighbors. But I must point out that the sarcastic tone he uses and his description of “arab character” is very very similar to the tone and lack of moderation you (and many talkbacker here) use when talking about Israelis.

            I should even point out that his comment was a (rather soft) mirror of Daniel’s comment:
            “I suppose that is why Israel felt it had to desperately prove its manhood again by indiscriminately slaughtering helpless men, women and children in the Gaza Massacre of 2008. Burning children’s faces off, however, while probably making the IDF feel very masculine, failed to restore Israel’s honour — although it did prove that, while Israel may not actually be “better at war” than others, it is certainly much more efficient at killing innocent civilians.”

            Why is Itai off-limit and not Daniel?

          • Richard Silverstein July 12, 2013, 1:35 AM

            My disdain is not for Israel in general or all Israelis. It is for those aspects of Israeli politics or society, or those Israeli leaders or generals I feel do great disservice to the country. My criticism is in a long and honored tradition of those who do so seeking reform before it’s too late.

            I routinely rein in commenters whose rhetoric about Israel is too extreme or racist. The passage about “burning children’s faces off” was extreme. But nowhere near as racist & ignorant as Itai’s. You forget that Israel actually did the things Daniel mentioned. Whereas the views of Muslims portrayed by Itai have no bearing on reality or truth.

          • Daniel July 12, 2013, 5:43 AM

            @ Emma: If I used particularly offensive language it was to describe a particularly offensive atrocity, for which there has yet been no justice, accountability or even apology of any kind. I am sure it was very unpleasant to read those words. I am sure it was even more unpleasant to actually have one’s face blanketed in white phosphorus.

            For whatever it’s worth to you, I would not have raised the point except specifically to respond to the vulgar and puerile chauvinism expressed by Itai in the words: “The superiority of Israel in this field, our ability to fly over Lebanon and take pictures as if it was a school day trip, our ability to bomb and destroy any facility anywhere anytime”.

            I felt it appropriate to remind him, and you, and anyone else reading here, what he is actually talking about. Especially because, as I mentioned, the Gaza Massacre — “like burning ants with a magnifying glass”, in the words of one heroic IDF soldier — was what was necessary for Israelis to preserve this comforting view of their own glorious military power, after their embarrassment in Lebanon.

            The slaughter in Gaza happened, and I am sorry if it offends your delicate sensibilities.

          • Emma July 14, 2013, 6:48 AM

            @Daniel
            1) You have no idea what my opinions are regarding Gaza, and as a friendly advice, you should behave less aggressively when discussing with people. Displays of hatred and aggressivity contribute only to render your posts less worthy of attention.
            2) I was pointing to double standards in the moderation.
            Like it or not, insinuating that every Hesbollah member (and by extent any Arab) is a coward with touchy feelings when it comes to its manhood and honor is (by far) no worse than insinuating that every IDF soldier (and by extent any Israeli) gets “enhanced manhood and honor” feelings when killing childrens.
            3) The double standards are not limited to your posts. Many people here post even more offensive things than you and I chose yours because the parallel between the two posts was obvious. I just wonder why nothing is off-limits to Mr Silverstein when it comes to demonizing Israelis, while he is very careful not to let any anti-Arab prejudice go through (which doesn’t mean that I agree with anti-Arab prejudice).

          • Emma July 14, 2013, 6:48 AM

            @Daniel
            1) You have no idea what my opinions are regarding Gaza, and as a friendly advice, you should behave less aggressively when discussing with people. Displays of hatred and aggressivity contribute only to render your posts less worthy of attention.
            2) I was pointing to double standards in the moderation.
            Like it or not, insinuating that every Hesbollah member (and by extent any Arab) is a coward with touchy feelings when it comes to its manhood and honor is (by far) no worse than insinuating that every IDF soldier (and by extent any Israeli) gets “enhanced manhood and honor” feelings when killing childrens.
            3) The double standards are not limited to your posts. Many people here post even more offensive things than you and I chose yours because the parallel between the two posts was obvious. I just wonder why nothing is off-limits to Mr Silverstein when it comes to demonizing Israelis, while he is very careful not to let any anti-Arab prejudice go through (which doesn’t mean that I agree with anti-Arab prejudice).

          • Daniel July 14, 2013, 9:44 AM

            @ Emma:

            1. I don’t know what displays of “hatred” and “aggressivity” you are seeing in my comments. You may be confusing them with sarcasm. I freely admit, however, that I hate the killing of children, and if that shines through in my commentary, so be it.

            2. Don’t compare apples and oranges. Mr. Silverstein cautioned Itai for reiterating the anti-Muslim caricature that they “cherish death” (unlike Israelis who “cherish life”, in his comment). My own remark about the IDF possibly feeling more manly after having slaughtered innocent men, women and children in Gaza in 2008 was not taken out of thin air, but was an ironic and direct response to the tasteless machismo of Itai’s comment about bombing things “anywhere anytime” — typical of testosterone-slathered army fanboys in any country, and in my experience especially those in Israel. But since I’ve already pointed this out to you, I’m starting to wonder if you’re unable to understand irony, or if you simply chose to ignore what I wrote in order to keep campaigning on this point.

            3. You are simply wrong. I’ve seen Mr. Silverstein reproach, moderate and indeed ban commenters on this blog for spouting disruptively hateful, false or exagerrated anti-Israel, anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic rhetoric. And I applaud him for doing so. But you either don’t see or don’t admit that, and your own false equivalence between me and Itai indicates that you have trouble discerning, on a blog that is explicitly critical of the state of Israel, between what’s unacceptable and what is simply uncomfortable. Or do you accuse me, too, of “demonizing Israelis”? Or perhaps “delegitimizing Israel”?

      • Iskander July 9, 2013, 9:32 AM

        Without US financial and military Aid, Israel wouldn’t last a year in the Middle East.

        • Davey July 9, 2013, 11:28 AM

          Of course.

    • Iskander July 9, 2013, 9:30 AM

      For the Russians, Israel is worth just one old Topol. We don’t go around like 7 year olds and brag about it. Actually, there are s400s at sea, ready for you.

      • Itai July 9, 2013, 11:44 AM

        Iskander,

        I am very much concerned about the future of Israel and the world in general and I wish politicians would do more about it. But this discussion we are having is about a specific attack that Israel may have been responsible for against weapons the Russians sold Assad (the butcher of his own people) and as I said that attack is justified in my eyes.
        Regarding 2020, you are very optimistic on the verge of being delusional to think that you would see the end of Israel in your life time and if you are from an enemy state (I have no idea where you are from) I can tell you “my friend” that the only way you would be in Jerusalem next year or any year is when there would be a lasting peace, unless you plan to view Jerusalem from above with some 72 virgins by your side.

        You don’t brag like a 7 year old but “there are s400 at sea ready for you”… if you are Russian then I can remind you that in the last battle between IAF and Russian pilots (without the help of Americans) the Russians did not do so well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rimon_20) what can I say, Russian technology cannot compete with western and Israeli technology, not in the past and certainly not today.

        • Daniel July 9, 2013, 12:14 PM

          If “Russian technology cannot compete with western and Israeli technology, not in the past and certainly not today”, then I suppose Israel can just relax and allow Putin to deliver those systems to Syria or to south Lebanon for that matter.

          • Itai July 9, 2013, 12:56 PM

            why take the chance? sure we can eventually come up with a system that would manage to screw with the s-300 s-400 like we did with all other Russian systems, but its cheaper, faster and more convenient to just blow the missiles all together. BTW, its more likely that what was bombed were Yavhonet missiles than the s-300.

          • Davey July 9, 2013, 4:38 PM

            @Itai Why should any state take the chance that Israel will not use its completely unregulated nuclear weapons to start a world war? Instead, the great powers should simply bomb Dimona and other installations into oblivion because it’s cheaper and easier. Why wait? Presumptive war is the Hitlerian theory that aggression is defensive and therefore justified.

    • Davey July 9, 2013, 11:26 AM

      Sure — Israel does what it wants in the region: This is why there is no peace and explains why that is entirely the choice of Israel. In control, Israel bears the responsibility for continued violence and for the absence of peace. This is obvious. Countervailing force in the region would be stabilizing and Israel clearly does not want stability unless it is Israel’s brand of stability. In the meantime, Israel creates, and reinforces, opposition to the state worldwide.

      • Itai July 9, 2013, 12:09 PM

        So Israel is responsible for the 100,000 killed in Syria, the tens of thousands killed in Iraq from Sunni-Shia wars and maybe also the people killed in Egypt?

        • Davey July 9, 2013, 5:12 PM

          Like the West in general, Israel is responsible for pursuing sectarian politics (war) in the ME by presenting the Jew/Gentile divide as worthy of war and conquest. Until Zionism, and that great divide, there was peace in Palestine between all sects. Zionism introduced both terrorism (unknown in the ME until then) and sectarian racist war. Today — Israel has military control of the region and could easily make peace by compromise, but will not do so, not for nothing. My bet is that it will not pursue peace even after the WB is completely annexed and the “demographic” problem is resolved (one can only imagine the means for this.)

          A balance of power would be provide a cold peace in the region as Israel would hesitate before putting its limited, indeed, relatively diminishing demographic resources at risk in combat. Now, there is little such restraint. The injury of a three year old related to a thrown rock is incommensurate, however, with the phosphorus and bullet deaths of 350 children in Gaza. But, these are numbers Israel has implicitly chosen to live with: Why blame the Palestinians or Syrians or Lebanese? Countervailing force, like a nuclear Iran in the region, would be an impediment to the domination of hundreds of millions in the ME by a handful of Israelis. It’s not mere happenstance that age-old anti-Semitic barbs are given so much plausible life and energy through the pursuits of the Zionist state. Israel wants complete control and will, in fact, use any means to attain this end, including imprisonment, torture, human shields, economic deprivation, war, lies, hypocrisy, bribery, criminal assaults worldwide, criminal activities worldwide, racism etc. This “no choice” paranoid scheming of Zionists gathers right wing energy and momentum as it goes round and round in a circle of self-justifying logic. Zionists are the first to discover that the permanent presence of bloodthirsty others at the gates can create national cohesion of a virulent sort. Nor is it the first state to believe its national identity is far superior to its neighbors.

      • Itai July 9, 2013, 8:32 PM

        Davey,

        Israel has never threatened to destroy any country and deep inside you I’m sure you have the correct notion that Israel would not use its nukes unless someone uses WMD on it and killed thousands, so the nukes are really a deterrent and a stabilizer factor in the region.
        Can you truly say the same thing about the S-300?

        • Davey July 9, 2013, 11:35 PM

          @Itai That’s ridiculous! S-300s or whatever are defensive also, a “deterrent.” One deterrent should be respected and another not, I guess. And this asymmetry is justifying by feelings I presumably have “in my heart.” Rather, this fine distinction of rules which apply to others but not Israel is characteristic of Israel’s practices. The claim to exceptions to international standards includes diplomacy, nuclear regulation, maritime law, human rights law, laws of war etc. The list is long. As the rules don’t apply to Israel, the state is now a true wildcard on the global stage and an embarrassment to its sponsors.

          Forget the heart, as nobody balances power with good will. Besides, looking at history, who would trust Israeli good will? The facts are plain: Israel uses military power to pummel its neighbors without restraint. Nothing can defend against the IAF in the region except missiles or another strong air force or both. The only fighters overhead are Israeli. That’s simply not war anyway. If such a countervailing force emerges, e.g. nuclear Iran, it would lead to peace because “in your heart” you know that no regime is going to commit suicide by using its nukes and that includes Iran. I believe that the Iranians are savvy and rational actors but I have considerable doubt about Israel from what Ive seen in the settler movement, the human rights abuses, the theft of property, the institutions of racism.

          Just as Dulles warned in 1948, Israel has been a de-stabilizing agent in this critical region of the world and is now, bristling with arms provided by American taxpayers, an ongoing relentless threat to world peace. Sooner or later, the US taxpayer will awake to the realities of Israel subvention and demand an end to it.

          Besides, if Israel’s nukes are deterrents, why is Israel fretting about Iran?

          • Noam July 10, 2013, 12:43 AM

            @ Davey,
            i’ve got to say i’m impressed with your rhetoric, but as far as the substance i have a few comments. the main concerns, the way i understand it from what i read and know, isn’t that Assad will have these weapons. israel doesn’t want Hezbuallah to have these weapons! now, reading your posts, one might think that you actually support this terror Org. which is in fact an army inside a sovereign country (Lebanon) which rules his territory with it’s own law. does your feeling of hatres towards israel are as strong that you’d support military rule and armament of that kind? Nassrallah is trying to take over Lebanon by force and given these weapons could also give him a big advantage over the Lebanese army as well. you can’t support one cause that this org. is representing without the other.

            about the ‘cold peace’ – i don’t think you actually know what’s going on in the middle east. history showed us that when ever the Arab-muslim nations around us felt stronger or as strong as israel it attacks it. make no mistake about it it is to destroy israel. what do you think would have happened if we’d actually lost a war? and when i ask this question keep in mind of the way the syrian and egyptian armies are handeling their own and how the arab-muslim nations treated the Palestinians refugees under their rule.

            “Israel has been a de-stabilizing agent in this critical region of the world”
            israel will always be that – no matter what it does. it’s mere presence is de-stabilizing. so then, do you think we don’t have the right to exist because the arab – muslim nations don’t like it? that will continue until two things happen – the israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved and when the arab-muslim nations will stop feeding their children with anti israeli and jewish propaganda.

            according to richard we already had a bomb since before 67. so, in the 73 war we must have had it. that was the only war we were close to losing and i didn’t see any nuke flying around. so it is safe to say that if this weapon will ever be fired it’s when all else fails. Iran ,on the other hand, is trying to get a nuke while calling for the zionist country’s (not daring to call it by its name) destruction. iran is also very involved in the supporting terror org. around the world and in israel – so no i don’t think that them having a nuke is a good idea.

            about the children dying – i hope you saw the gatekeepers (if not you must) – there’s lots of talks about the morality of fighting terror (i wonder if these debates are happening on the other side). i don’t think israel would ever bomb a school on purpose just to kill children. mistake might have been made but to bomb on purpose i really doubt it. just to show you – if hamas wouldn’t have thought that we would have problems bombing schools or civil places he wouldn’t have tried to hide there (firing missiles from schools, heavy populated areas and religious building, hiding in hospitals etc.). in this case the actions of the terrorist actually prove the morality of the IDF. now if you want to talk about attacking children on purpose than i suggest you read about the “Ma’alot massacre” or the rocket launching at a school bus by hamas.

          • Davey July 10, 2013, 1:39 PM

            @Noam
            The IDF is the institutional form of Israeli terrorism, built out of terrorist organizations. How can I be against Hezbollah and not Haganah? A terrorist is a combatant by any name, especially as Israel systematically creates terror as a matter of state policy. How else will Israel solve the demographic problem? Stones and homemade rockets are fair, but incommensurate weapons against F-16′s, tanks, and a trained, well-armed army. I do not begrudge these people their slim, nearly token, ability to push back against the appropriation of their land.

            Israel might have had peace if it could have compromised on land. Israel chose war and annexation over peace, the record on this is clear. Israeli paranoia is either a canard, a cover for Israeli theft of coveted land and water rights or it is a real cultural Israeli sickness requiring diagnosis and treatment. I think the former is most likely. It has served Israel’s Zionist goals to feign fear and pretend to be victims while slaughtering its neighbors and imprisoning Palestinians in their own land.

            There was never an existential threat to Israel and this conceit is now more and more transparent. As for the propaganda “fed” to children: Israel is a master of propaganda, virtually unmatched. The many lies of Zionism pays abundant tribute to this mastery. If children are coached to hate Jews it is because Israelis are interlopers in their land, stealing whatever they want, destroying their culture and rights. Such coaching is not really reprehensible: One should fight for one’s rights and land.

          • Davey July 10, 2013, 1:49 PM

            @Noam BTW, the facile manner in which you denigrate the “other sie” is telling. This other side revels in death, not human commitment to life itself. The other side uses propaganda and terror. The other side is not concerned with the “morality” of terror, etc. etc. Frankly, you expose only the Supremacist side of Zionism by dismissing others in these terms. Such supremacist ideology seems to me just a face or facet of “chosen ness” and this is reprehensible. Israel is not hated because it is Jewish, but because it is Zionist run far off the tracks…

        • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:22 AM

          @Itai:

          Israel has never threatened to destroy any country

          How quickly Israelis forget the disgusting genocidal comments of their own leaders. You don’t recall Dan Halutz’s promise to blow Lebanon back to the Stone Age during the 2006 Lebanon War? Or similar promises concerning Gaza during Cast Lead? Or the countless promises by Israeli generals and political leaders to attack Iran?

          You’re damn straight the SA-300 would be a neutralizer. It would prevent Israeli war planes from laying waste to Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure as it did in the last war.

    • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:41 AM

      @Itai: Typically delusional Israeli thinking. Israeli guns and missiles don’t kill people, my words do. This is really bordering on pathological thinking.

      • Itai July 10, 2013, 2:20 AM

        Richard, I didn’t mean that your article is risking life, it doesn’t. I meant that the Israeli censor not allowing the large Israeli news outlets to make the story public (if this is indeed what happened) is the right decision as a front headline in Haaretz or Yediot claiming the explosion was an Israeli operation might have triggered Assad to respond. With all due respect, I don’t think you have the same influence. Sorry for not making myself clearer the first time.

  • bluto July 9, 2013, 1:27 PM

    Ynet article basically admitting Israel did it:

    Syria naval base blast points to Israeli raid
    Rebels claim attacked munitions cache held advanced Russian missiles; ferocity of attack consistent with military like Israel’s, rebels say

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4402936,00.html

    • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:27 AM

      @bluto: That Ynet story isn’t original. It’s based on the Reuters story. On stories like this, Israeli media can’t afford to do its own reporting. It merely regurgitates foreign reporting so as not to get into hot water with the censor.

  • Luca K July 9, 2013, 1:56 PM

    Your idf “attack” against a Latakia weapons depot, Mr.Silverstein, NEVER HAPPENED. This is just zionist propaganda, like so much of what I’ve been reading in this site about Syria and other stuff.
    For the record, your heroes, the insurgents and terrorists have little support in Syria and that is the main reason they have been losing more and more ground in the war. Syria’s army is a conscript army and more than half of them (and of the militias and NDF) are SUNNI. Few have deserted and joined the “FSA(FREAK SALAFIST ARMY)” and J.A.N terrorists. Your description of the SAA as “paid domestic mercenaries” is as intelectually dishonest as it comes and a total FALSEHOOD. BTW, the SAA main military commander is himself a SUNNI. The government in Syria is largely made up of sunnis too. Claims they are almost all alawites are false. Any well informed person knows fully well why you want the present syrian government destroyed. You fool nobody.
    Luca K

    • Richard Silverstein July 10, 2013, 1:26 AM

      The levers of power in Syria are controlled largely by Alawites. Of course there is a token Sunni here and there. But they are mostly there for show–as window dressing so Assad can trot them out & show how beneficent he is to his Sunni masses.

      The Syrian rebels are not “my heroes.” Many of them are just as bad as Assad. But Assad has much more power & lethal weapons at his disposal and so is far more dangerous.

  • chush sobachya July 10, 2013, 6:08 AM

    There no question how Russia will react. Russia will suck it up. Overrated Russian weapons failed before and will fail again. LOL.

  • Noam July 11, 2013, 12:21 AM

    @ Davey,
    actually you can be against hezbullah and not hahagana, since it doesn’t exist anymore. the IDF is an army of a sovereign state – like it or not. while hezbullah is a militia holding it’s host country hostage trying to control and dictate it’s inner politics with muscle power and intimidation against public opinion. you may not like IDF policies or tactics , but it still operates under the legitimacy of it’s people and leaders.

    “Stones and homemade rockets are fair, but incommensurate weapons against F-16′s, tanks, and a trained, well-armed army.”

    that’s the biggest BS ever. so you are actually saying as long as it’s low-tech and poorly engineered than it’s ok to use for killing civilians? are you listening to yourself??! Israel needs to apologise for having the stronger army? maybe we need to cut off training? this army wasn’t built to deal with these stones. it was built to protect israel from the armies surrounding us. which leeds me to the next subject

    “There was never an existential threat to Israel”
    that’s what i love about you guys – historical facts doesn’t matter to you. the 48 war was what exactly? do you have any idea what you are talking about? you have this false notion that israel was always the stronger one. well, that’s not true. the arab nations attacked israel to hold the entire land to their own. there were 2 major reason why we managed to win this war – one is that we prepared ourselves knowing that someday a war will go down, and the other was that the arab nations weren’t organised amongst themselves.
    again, try to imagine what would have happened if we’d lost that war. you think that any jews would be free here? you think that a palestinian state would have emerged? again, the answers lies with how the arab nations treated the palestinian refugees (i’ll let you do the research it’s quite interesting you can also see when the arab league actually proposed the that the palestinian should have a country) and of course, as i said before, look at how they are treating minorities or political rivalries these days.

    “Israel is not hated because it is Jewish, but because it is Zionist run far off the tracks…”
    i wonder when did it fall off the track for you? bcz judging from the arab nation actions it was when we actually got our state – do you also support that?

    now to the propaganda against israel. you are right – the palestinian have the right to do so, but they also need to take responsibility for that – when the oslo agreements were signed israel went through one of the most horrible suicide bomb period we knew. this was hamas (and other groups) doing – who was against the agreement (and the recognition of israel of course) which eventually derailed the peace process and trust between the two people (the last nail in the coffin was Rabin’s murder). so, if you continue to feed your children with hate even when the opportunity to peace arose it will be impossible to enforce. i’m not saying that israel isn’t free of mistakes and ignorance and it also as a large amount of responsibility for the situation – but you can’t blame it all on israel – it simply isn’t true.

    lastly, just to show an example of the way israel is represented in the arab nations – this is from Egypt, a country you are well aware we have a peace agreement with. this is a prank show on prime time TV – entertainment of the entire family (i think during last year’s Ramadan) – think of what a child thinks when he sees that and how it shapes him (not to mention the way women are treated – a big problem in Egypt right now)
    “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_u6AcJX2B0″

    • Davey July 11, 2013, 1:57 AM

      @Itai
      I am in no hurry to grant the legitimacy of Israel and even if I did, this recognition would not provide license to pillage and kill neighbors, imprison and torture them, take their land and property etc. Like it or not, the IDF/IAF are used for terrorist purposes, to terrorize people in the WB, and Israel is pretty outspoken about its policies and ethnic cleansing programs. This suggests that the norm for Israelis is different from the norm assumed by other states. Indeed, Israelis do not understand how so many nations and peoples are offended by these programs. Their world view is that there is nothing wrong in any of it, not in the heist of property, the targeting of civilians, the bombing of other states as it wishes. The calumny of terrorism, however, adheres just as well to the IDF as to Hezbollah. The IDF, in fact, holds Israel hostage. Hezbollah is the Haganah of a future state. Or, rather, IDF is simply the current name of Haganah. Terrorism is a strategy. If you do certain heinous things to a civilian population with the primary aim of scaring the population, you are a terrorist. Israel has done more of these crimes than any militant group no matter how you total it all up.

      Terrorism directed against Israel aims primarily at the question of legitimacy so you can’t rely on “legitimacy” as a shield as that is exactly the question: Can a state willfully grab land and rights from other people through military means? Can such a state continue in these practices indefinitely? The UN was established to disallow land conquests by military means. Terrorism directed at Israel frankly denies Israel’s touted legitimacy. Hezbollah sees itself as legitimate and Israel as a mere thief in the night.

      Stones are the weapons of people defending their homes and all the laws of war recognize such activity as legitimate, including the Geneva Convention. A combatant defending his property from appropriation is not a terrorist. If Israel would get out of the WB, maybe you would have case. F-16s are the weapons of a state attempting to steal more land and rights and evict yet more Palestinians. The IAF rained lethal little Stars of David on a civilian population in both Lebanon and Gaza (cluster weapons.) Stones may not be particularly effective but they do have symbolic value. Israel will be plagued by such symbolic acts until it decides to make a real peace. Zionists cannot reasonably expect that they can just conquer a land, evict the indigenous, bulldoze or occupy their homes and then sit back and enjoy the fruits of victory. Rockets and stones are reminders that those crimes and the many crimes enacted in the present will not be forgotten. I sense that what really irks Israel is this symbolic reminder, not the actual rare casualties inflicted upon Israelis by these means. Israelis don’t want to be reminded, so they cover up villages, rip down mosques, change street names etc. etc. This is done under the banner of a new state, but they are coverups for past deeds The rockets and stones are genuine symbols that the unseated people still exist, can still speak and can provide a more valid claim to Palestine than the patchwork authority cobbled together by some Ashkenazi Jews.

      Zionism has produced a veritable world of propaganda and dissembling including narratives brimming over with lies and bad faith. However, Israel also provides others with a view of what others might expect from Israel, and how they should view Jews (as Israel claims to be the Jewish State.) When the lies are uncovered, one learns also how Israelis (Jews) view other peoples.

      Likewise, Israeli education skips unpleasant facts in order to unambiguously bring young Israelis into the Army, into the central powerful vortex of the State. More than anything else, this army prepares them for later roles in government and/or the Israeli arms industry, avenues amenable to bribery. The slogan “Death to Arabs” surfaces more and more frequently in Israeli society. At bottom, I think you simply mean to say that Israel and Israelis are superior to the other states in the ‘hood. This superiority is often used as a defense against the charges of land appropriation. In any case, superiority is the heart beat of Zionism and that this condition is the root cause of a Israel’s crimes and its isolation. Israel’s practices and policies reflect this “specialness,” this “exceptionalism” pretty much unconsciously. And so Israelis seem puzzled why anyone would make a stink about a few bulldozed houses, the arrests of children, etc. Rather, Israel goes on presenting itself as a victim (to be saved by the West) while it is almost always the perpetrator. Israel’s claim to innocence and victimhood are easily overturned by looking at historical maps of the region from 1948 up to date.

      • Noam July 11, 2013, 12:41 PM

        @ Davey,
        “I am in no hurry to grant the legitimacy of Israel ”
        well that makes this entire discussion obsolete. we have no common ground to start from and our paths will never meet. and i say that with real sadness. i won’t comment on what you wrote bcz it will only prolong this discussion but i am going to say that i wish you’d read the history of this land in the past 100 years, jews were here before 48 living side by side with the palestinians – sometimes living in peace and sometimes in violence. the UN resolution dividing the land to both jews and palestinians was bcz of that violence spreading and both nationalities identity arising. the decision to divide the land had truly ended badly for the Palestinians – but it doesn’t take our legitimacy of living here.

        all the best to you
        noam

        • Davey July 11, 2013, 1:36 PM

          @Noam It is not as though Diaspora Jews were earnestly striving for a nation state and then finally finally got one. Two thousand years is a very long time for any project. But it wasn’t really an earnest project at all in that time. It wasn’t even an earnest project after 1948 when most American Jews still didn’t think twice about “their” state except to send a check when asked. This all changed in 1967, as you may know.

          Zionists are quick to evoke the Partition Resolution as a source of legitimacy but they are even quicker to disregard all other UN resolutions including sanctions against Israel. This is “scrapping the bottom of the barrel” to find legitimacy and attests to the bad faith built into Zionism and Israel. Zionists promised not to make war for territory when granted membership in the UN and then promptly did just that. Zionism was the reason Jews and Arabs could not continue to live side by side, because Zionism requires the theft of Arab lands. Zionism changed a relatively peaceful co-habitation into civil strife, pitting European Jewish immigrants against the native peoples, something akin to colonial war.

          As for the history: At the time of partition, only 8% of the land was owned by Jews. Yet, over half the land was given to under half the population in the hope that this would satisfy Zionists. But, Zionism always intended to appropriate all the land of mandate Palestine and it was just too bad for the indigenous Arabs. I don’t squabble that Jews didn’t live there or have civil rights, rather that they did not have the right to appropriate all the land through violence and dispossession from others, which is what has happened. This is not a fortuitous result but the central goal of Zionism. In the meantime, Zionists tried to hide their intention from Palestinians and the rest of the world, by garbling it all up in innocent terms like “democracy” and “self-defense,” “holocaust,” wrapping itself up in victimhood even while throttling Palestinians. It might have worked out more decently had Israel any real intention of compromising for peace ever. Yet, any start down that road was hi-jacked and blocked by the more virulent ardent Zionists, co-opted by criminals who think nothing of stealing land and pushing others around and out. So there will be no compromise. In the meantime, Jews everywhere cringe in embarrassment and confusion that this assault on an innocent people continues unabated right before our eyes.

          No matter what, the other side isn’t going away. The reminders will continue to rain on the outposts until Zionists are willing to compromise, that is, whenever hell freezes over.

          And to you.

          • Lark July 11, 2013, 4:37 PM

            Davey I can’t believe that you actually believe what you say. This post is so delusional, it’s incomprehensible, and I don’t have the patience to respond to all the falsehoods you have listed. But there is one pint I can zoom in on that really shows the extent of your delusion: your comparison of the Haganah to Hezbollah. So let’s say the Haganah, in the pre-state period, was a terrorist organization, just like Hezbollah is today.  Fine. And that one day Hezbollah will be legitimated too. Yet there is one gigantic difference that you ignore: Hezbollah is a Shiite, Iranian backed (and originated) organization, which is dedicated to destroying ISRAEL. If the Haganah and Hezbollah are the same the same as you say, then why doesn’t Hezbollah focus on LEBANON??? (It does occupy the southern half of the country and runs a state within a state, with giant billboards of Iranian ayatollahs along the highways…) The Haganah was focused on defending Jews in PALESTINE/ISRAEL, even if was a terrorist organization. Yet Hezbollah is dedicated to leading the “resistance” against ISRAEL.
             
            In other words, by focusing on Hezbollah and the Haganah, you can easily see that it is the Arab and Muslim world which is waging a war against Israel, and that it is ISRAEL which is defending themselves against THEM. The Haganah was INTERNAL to Palestine, dedicated to creating a Jewish State. But Hezbollah is EXTERNAL TO PALESTINE, and is based in and illegally occupies southern Lebanon as a satellite state of Iran.

            Also your comments about the UN are not fair, since Israel is simply outnumbered by the dozens of Arab and Muslim countries that gang up in it, to the point that Israel is the most condemned country in the UN. Does that make sense to you?

          • Davey July 11, 2013, 5:59 PM

            @lark
            Analogies provide perspective. Haganah was a terrorist group intent on capturing Mandate Palestine. It introduced terrorism to the region albeit aimed primarily at the British. Haganah eventually succeeded both in destroying the Mandate, pushing the British out and capturing 78% of their goal. Haganah, in effect, destroyed a country in order to reshape it to its own purposes. Hezbollah is similar in that it is terrorist and aims at unseating a particular government in the region, the Zionist Israeli government, the Israel that force Palestinians out of their land. Hezbollah’s goal is no different than Haganah’s was at an earlier time, possession and administration of the land. Many would even argue that Hezbollah’s claim on the land is far better than the Zionist claim, which is murky at best.

            All I really hear you saying is that you favor Haganah more than Hezbollah. That’s fine — but the analogy remains appropriate and revealing. At bottom, legitimacy is the issue. As long as Israel fails to make comprehensive peace through compromises, it will remain illegitimate to much of the world. Yet, this is the strategy that Zionists have taken. As a consequence, it is natural for combatants on the other side to issue signs of life and continuing resistance even after all this time, signs that say that they are not undone and that they are not going away. If Hezbollah is somehow illegitimate, so then was the Haganah. Both seek to destroy particular regimes. The IDF was successor to Haganah, that’s all. You would like the opposition to go away as claimants to the land but then again they would like you (Zionist Israel) to pack up and go home and return their land to them.

            These are NOT cultural clashes, that is a Zionist canard. Muslim and Jew and Christians lived fine together until Jews decided to takeover the whole enchilada. Any people, whether Muslim, Jew, Catholic or Hindu would fight for their patrimony, so religious labels do NOT characterize the struggle at all. Zionists have tried to peddle this view for years, that the struggle about competing “values” and beliefs and not about the seizure of other people’s property. Zionists want everyone to think that this is a struggle from the dawn of time and will never be resolved for that reason. It is not a struggle of cultures, but a war of recent vintage that could be resolved through negotiations. Israel has danced around any meaningful negotiations right along because Zionism aims at, has always aimed at, the capture of all of mandate Palestine for Jews exclusively. Once one understands this then the whole of the history of ME suddenly becomes transparent and simple.

          • Lark July 11, 2013, 6:54 PM

            The analogy doesn’t work. Hezbollah is a state within a state, and occupies south Lebanon. It is an arm of Iranian Shiite. When you drive south from Beirut, you begin to see billboards along the highways of Iranian ayatollahs. Hezbollah also seeks to control all of Lebanon, as part of a larger imerialist strategy in the middle east. This is why it is opposed to Israel, and why it fights for Assad in Syria, who is a crucial member of this alliance and the pipeline between Iran and Lebanon. None of this squares with the Haganah/IDF, at all. Your refusal to see Hezbullah for what it is, with your simultaneous inflation of the nefarious goals of Zionism, creates more than just a distortion of history: it is a crude caricature.

            Do you really believe what you say about everyone getting along before Israel? Your types crow all day about any kind of discrimination against Arabs in Israel, but quality of life for Arabs in Israel is superior to even Europe. Then you turn around and talk about minorities in Arab/Muslim countries, in pre-modern times no less, through such rose-colored glasses? Is there any greater proof of your bias, and unfairness, toward Israel than this?

  • Davey July 11, 2013, 7:53 PM

    (I apologize for not sticking to the subject, this is my last post that ranges wider.)

    @lark The analogy does fail in places but you haven’t identified these failings. To wit: Hezbollah is a “state within a state”. Likewise Haganah and the Yishuv are often characterized as just that, a state in a state during the mandate. Hezbollah is an “arm of Iranian Shiite.” Haganah was an arm of world Jewry or Zionism. You mention a larger “imperial strategy” in the ME. The only imperialism I see is Israeli and US, not Iranian. I do not see Iranian aggrandizement at all. When and where did Iran last appropriate its neighbor’s land? But, apparently Iran “seeks to control” the region. Well, that is precisely Israel’s goal as we all know well, that this handful of Zionists will control hundreds of millions indigenous people. Nothing could more clear. Zionism then has a clear goal not a “nefarious” one. In reaching that goal, Zionists engaged in all kinds of subterfuge and lies. I’d call this history “nefarious.”

    Yes, and before Zionism asserted its “right” to all of Palestine, there was relative calm between inhabitants. There are legions of oral and written histories testifying to the transition from relative peace to terror and killing at the instigation of Zionists.

    You can sing the praises of Israel all you like but doing so does not relieve Israel of its culpability. Israel can be a great place, but it is still rooted in theft and deceit, not a legitimate claim. Nor do I forget that Israel was, and is, subsidized by the US and world Jewry. The US subsidy is substantial enough to crank up GDP, about $600 to each Israeli per year, courtesy US taxpayers. As for GDP, about 18% of it comes from exogenous contributions. I see nothing “superior” in Israel except its hasbara which is truly accomplished. But, it simply does not matter how successful Israel is, it is still nonetheless accountable for its crimes against others and this can only be made right through legitimate compromise in the name of justice. What Iranians, Hezbollah, and Palestinians want is justice and you are right to fret that, in the on-going absence of accountability, rockets and stones will continue to fly and the trauma meted out to Palestinians will continue to inform succeeding generations.

    Still and all, it is not about “culture” as any people would rise up to defend their homes and their rights against any usurper, as possible. It is not Islam showering Israel with rockets but the dispossessed victims of revisionist Zionism, seeking restitution and reparations, just as the Jews did after WW II.

    • Lark July 11, 2013, 8:11 PM

      “Well, that is precisely Israel’s goal as we all know well, that this handful of Zionists will control hundreds of millions indigenous people.”

      Sheer lunacy. There’s no way you actually believe this. Are you actually pro-Israel person caricaturing an anti-Israel person? I have no other way to describe these fantasies you are describing.

      • Davey July 12, 2013, 12:27 AM

        We are talking geopolitics here: Israel wants hegemony in the region and Iran would challenge that “leadership.” The truth is transparent: Israel will not allow any adversary to arm themselves even if only for defensive purposes. What is the aim of that policy? It is CONTROL over others. This is a transparent exercise in regional policing ala Israel.

        It is possible that you just don’t get it. I cannot account for that because the evidence is available and handy. What Israel says and what it does are often two different. Israel says it is afraid of Hezbollah getting defensive weapons. So, what do they do? Do they seek terms of peace, do they beef up defensive strategies? No, instead they assault a neighboring country further traumatizing the area and demonstrated that Israel is boss in that hood. Actually, it provided an opportunity to further traumatize neighbors. Nobody is left to challenge Israel except Iran and you see them conspiring to destroy Iran like Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan. Iran stands in the way of complete hegemony in the region.

      • Richard Silverstein July 12, 2013, 1:51 AM

        @Lark: It is no more “lunatic” than many of your own ideas. Both of you are exaggerating your arguments. But yours are even less cogent.

    • Daniel July 12, 2013, 5:22 AM

      Several people in this particular comment thread have referred to Hezbollah — presumably we are all talking about its armed wing — as a terrorist group. I don’t know if you yourself, Davey, have done so for the sake of argument or if you actually think that is what they are. But this is far from a universally held position.

      Personally, I reserve such judgment until anyone can make a compelling argument that they are terrorists as opposed to a relatively conventional group of resistance fighters. As you are probably aware, the European Union does not consider them a terrorist organization, in spite of heavy pressure from Israel and the United States; and the US itself actually removed them from their grand list of terrorist organizations in 2001 (before changing their mind later).

      I recognize that any further discussion of Hezbollah would be off topic in the comment field of this particular article, though, so I neither expect nor ask for anyone to argue the matter here and now.

  • doug July 13, 2013, 3:41 PM

    Why would Obama finger and betray staunch ally Israel to Putin and Assad to retaliate???

    Mark Langfan wrote that the only anti-Assad action Obama actually took was to have “three unnamed U.S. officials” (not one, but three officials) specifically name Israel as the guilty party that destroyed the Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles at Latakia last Thursday.

    So, not only does Obama prevaricate to the Saudis, he also exposes the possible covert Israeli anti-Assad military blows. Why is Obama dissembling to and harming America’s only two remaining Middle East allies? Is Obama publicly goading Assad to launch a retaliatory strike at Israel by embarrassing him with Israel’s Latakia strike?

    It’s simple. Obama doesn’t see a Middle East with either Israel or Saudi Arabia. Is this a radical statement? In the most under-reported news story of the Middle East, on Obama’s post-election March 2013 trip to Israel, Obama privately laid out his vision of a Saudi Arabia-less Middle East to Netanyahu’s inner circle. It was reported in the World Tribune that:

    “Diplomatic sources said President Barack Obama has proposed an alliance by [as of then Muslim Brotherhood] Egypt, Iran and Turkey.”

    “Obama was telling [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that these countries would stabilize the region and should be supported,” a source said.

    • Daniel July 14, 2013, 1:18 PM

      This is absolute rubbish. Anyone who believes that “Obama doesn’t see a Middle East with either Israel or Saudi Arabia” or that the US seeks “a Saudi Arabia-less Middle East” needs their head checked.

      The “World Tribune” you cite is a conspiracy-theory trash can. As I’m writing this, it currently features a front page story saying that Obama’s birth certificate is “a 100% forgery, no doubt about it”. It also proudly links to its partners: Drudgereport, Breitbart and WorldNetDaily — a collection of far-right freak shows.

      The only reason I am bothering to comment on such nonsense is to give you the benefit of the doubt — perhaps you simply did not realize your failure to properly control your sources. Either way, please don’t waste everyone’s time with bizarre pseudo-reports.

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