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Gaza War, Day 15: 28 IDF Dead, Nearly 600 Palestinian Dead, Bibi Derides Hamas’ “Telegenic Dead”

gaza war deadThe Gaza War, which began in blood, has turned into a gothic horror story.  Faced with a Hamas defense that is far more dynamic and lethal than during Cast Lead, the IDF has lost 28 soldiers, almost three times as many as were killed during the entire 2009 invasion.  The Palestinian fighters have spent the past three years honeycombing Gaza and the border area with Israel with tunnels.  This is the same strategy Hezbollah used to surprise the IDF, when it killed nearly 130 Israeli soldiers.  The new strategy has allowed Hamas fighters to appear out of nowhere to engage Israeli troops directly.  It allows them to move almost at will underground from place to place depending on where they deem an attack to be likely of success.

Besides the high death count, Hamas appears to have captured IDF soldier, Shaul Oron, or at least have his body.  Oron was among the soldiers in the outdated 50 year old APC that was struck and destroyed by an anti-tank shell.  Seven were killed in this single incident.  Though the IDF initially denied a soldier had been kidnapped, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told the Guardian today:

…The IDF could not rule out the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas, despite denials late on Sunday by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor.

My Israeli source tells me the IDF now believes that Hamas has Oron’s body, but that he is not alive.  There was one survivor of the attack on the APC.  He claims to have seen the bodies of everyone else in the vehicle and no others were alive. Maariv reports that six bodies have been positively identified, but not a seventh.

Though I give my source and these media accounts the strong benefit of the doubt, Lerner’s deliberate phrasing at least allows for the remote possibility that Oron is alive.  If he is, this changes the picture entirely for Israel, which finds the idea of leaving a soldier behind in enemy hands to be abhorrent.  It gives Hamas a powerful weapon in any ceasefire negotiation.  Even if Oron is dead, his body remains a bargaining chip.  For those readers who find this language to be cynical, I remind them that there are 600 Palestinian bodies, none of which are bargaining chips for anything.

Dead Palestinian children

Hamas’ “telegenic dead.” (AP/Khalil Hamra)

In response to Hamas’ new robust strategy and Israeli losses, the IDF has engaged in the carpet-bombing of the Shejaia neighborhood, with hundreds of dead.

The merciless, almost genocidal nature of the assault can be seen in a heartbreaking video, which I didn’t have the heart to display here, of a Gaza civilian leading three medics to his home to try to retrieve a relative.  While the man lies in the rubble of his home, an IDF sharpshooter fires into his body repeatedly till he is dead.  The medics are forced to stand by helplessly throughout the murder.

Not to be outdone, Bibi Netanyahu today, uttered one of the more heinous, disgusting statements in the history of Israeli premiers.  He complained about the media coverage of Palestinian deaths:

“These people are the worst terrorists — genocidal terrorists,” he said. “They call for the destruction of Israel and they call for the killing of every Jew, wherever they can find them.”

“They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can,” Netanyahu added. “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”

In that single italicized phrase above, he turned Israel from a sympathetic figure in at least some portions of the world (i.e. the Congress and White House, at least) into outright ghouls.  Natasha Lennard, in one of the most outraged and eloquent of all articles I’ve read during this invasion, tore him to shreds, and rightfully so:

From the vantage point of New York, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is narrativized through a ghastly visual field of corpses. We saw the mangled, limp frames of four Palestinian children killed on a beach by Israeli missiles.

Then, today, a video emerged from the devastated neighborhood of Shujaiyeh that will knock the air from your lungs. The footage apparently depicts a young man, searching for his family, who is repeatedly shot by a sniper until dead. Like the volunteer who captured the execution on his cellphone, all we can do is watch as the man flails and falls still…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…in a monstrous comment to CNN, he condemned Hamas for displaying “telegenically dead” Palestinians to garner international sympathy. His words bear picking apart.

Telegenic, of course, means that something is specifically suited to the medium of TV. Young children are arguably more telegenic than most other members of our species. So Bibi is not wrong: Dead children are more suited for TV coverage than most. This is terrible, this is true; this is true because it is terrible. If news media barters in horror and bathos, innocent dead bodies are prime currency.

Bibi says the “telegenically dead” are a Hamas PR tool, and in so doing he admits that Israeli fire is producing the sort of dead bodies that make news…

Bibi says that Hamas wants the Palestinian dead to visibly pile up. His words, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out, were hauntingly reminiscent of a comment made by Joseph Goebbels about Jews “send[ing] out the pitiable” to gain sympathy. His words are also of no consequence compared to the fact that the dead bodies, horrifyingly suited to media consumption, continue to pile up in Gaza.

So long as “telegenic” has been an available concept, history has offered only one conclusion when presented with dead children’s bodies. We often learn of the darkest points in modern history through visceral images of innocent dead. Images coming from Gaza now of Palestine’s telegenic dead should confine this Israeli government to a reviled place in history. 

The final act in this carnival of horrors is an interview with Bar Ilan University professor, Mordechai Kedar.  He is one of Israel’s best known Arabic language instructors, though his views of Arabs are distinctly racist.  But he’s outdone himself in this Israeli radio interview (audio here for Hebrew speakers) in which he said:

“You have to understand the culture in which we live,” said Kedar…Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.”

When Hadar said, “We can’t take such steps, of course,” Kedar continued: “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

Let’s put Bar Ilan in some perspective.  It’s the same institution which offered Jewish terror-assassin, Yigal Amir his college degree.  It also offers an academic home and imprimatur to “Dr.” Gerald Steinberg, whose NGO Monitor I’ve profiled here.  In the guise of an Orthodox religious institution of higher learning, Bar Ilan caters to some of the most rabid, racist Islamophobic views in Israeli academia.

The school released a joint statement with Kedar, undoubtedly written for him, which only makes matters worse, because it insults one’s intelligence and says that what the professor clearly said, he didn’t say:

…He “did not call, and is not calling to fight terror except by legal and moral means.” It also said Kedar “wanted to illustrate that there is no means of deterring suicide bombers, and using hyperbole, he gave the rape of women as an example. In order to remove all doubt: Dr. Kedar’s words do not, God forbid, contain a recommendation to commit such despicable acts. The intention was to describe the culture of death of the terror organizations. Dr. Kedar was describing the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and liberal law-abiding country to fight against the terror of suicide bombers.”

In taking its audience to be fools and in trying to pull the wool over its eyes with this fraudulent statement, Bar Ilan only makes a fool of itself.  Of course, if Israel was a democracy which honored the rule of law, Kedar would be arrested by the police and charged not just with incitement, but with incitement to commit sex crimes.  This is more than just an assault against “Arabs,” as Kedar would call them, but an assault on women.  No one harboring such abhorrent, aberrant views should be permitted inside the academy.  I used the word “aberrant,” but of course the problem is that they’re not aberrant at all in Israel.  And the fact that Kedar is a respected academic figure in Israel points to the deformity at the heart of Israeli society.

Finally, you’ll find it no surprise that one of Kedar’s major academic missions is to teach future IDF, Mossad and Shabak intelligence officers to speak Arabic so they can infiltrate the Israeli Palestinian community and ferret out nationalist firebrands who must be silenced in order to maintain Jewish predominance inside the country.  Kedar is a backbone of Israel’s anti-terror apparatus.  He’s probably even more valuable to Israeli intelligence than he is to Bar Ilan as a faculty member.

In fact, an Israeli source tells me that before beginning his academic career, he was a Lt. Col. in Aman, the IDF’s intelligence corps.  The source would not say what his responsibilities were, but he deemed them “sensitive.”  No doubt part of the Arab-killing apparatus.  Perhaps a bit of rape was involved as well?  Anything for the Jewish ‘fatherland.’

One of Israel’s leading Orthodox rabbis, Dov Lior, delivered a halachic ruling that it is permitted under Jewish law to kill Palestinian civilians and to ‘destroy’ Gaza.  He added that in wartime it is permissible for a nation attacked to “punish” the enemy population [civilians].  Lior is a leading settler rabbi and a key figure in Israel’s far-right political scene.  The rabbi sent his rabbinic legal ruling to the defense minister, no doubt, in order to bolster the confidence of the ‘good Jewish boys in the IDF’ who are facing severe resistance from Hamas fighters.  Need I mention that this statement endorses not just ethnic cleansing, but genocide?  Should we ‘proud’ that the Nazis have earned a posthumous victory?  They’re turned Jews into genocidal monsters.

Further, Lior doesn’t just speak for his Orthodox followers in the extremist enclave of Hebron, he speaks for the entire nation because he’s employed and paid by the State.

H/t to Ariel Shatil.

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{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Blue Moon July 22, 2014, 2:06 AM

    Israel ordered Gaza civilians to evacuate the area of operations. Hamas instructed the civilians to remain in their homes.

    • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2014, 8:15 PM

      @ Blue Moon: Right, & why should victims listen to an invader who has no right to invade them?

      • walter benjamin July 22, 2014, 11:59 PM

        because any intelligent human being would leave with his family to save his/their live.
        your reply is absurd.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2014, 1:20 AM

          @ walter benjamin: “Leave with their family?” Really. Leave to where? To what country may they flee? There are already 100,000 internal refugees crowding UN facilities in Gaza. So genius, where should they go? Underground? In the air? Perhaps disappear entirely?

          I find your comments stupid, insulting, & heartless. I have a very limited patience for you given the horrors going on. Either make your comments more intelligent, get some empathy, or you may be not long for this blog.

          • walter benjamin July 23, 2014, 2:56 AM

            is it not the fact that the ‘world community’ {and specifically the Arab}would like the Israelis to go back to their lands of origin? like Iraq, Iran and the various European countries?
            you don’t like my comments because you know what i write to be true and thus it does not appeal to your readers nor your stance{?} as a diluted American Jew.

          • Blue Moon July 23, 2014, 7:49 AM

            @Walter

            I may be wrong, but I think you mean, ‘deluded Jew’.

  • Stretch July 22, 2014, 2:14 AM

    On commercial TV news here in Melbourne, Australia, tonight (Tuesday) (Channel 9) they mentioned 8 killed in one family and 26 in another. They also showed footage which, I imagine, is the man being murdered by the IDF sniper. Hopefully this is registering somewhere in the TV viewing public’s mind/minds …

    • Arie Brand July 22, 2014, 4:21 AM

      Stretch, I think these things have registered with a large part of the Australian public for quite a while now. A few years ago a global attitude survey found that about two thirds of the the Australian public had a mainly negative view of Israel. This is likely to have increased with these latest events – but unfortunately these feelings are not reflected in the words and deeds of the political “elite”, the lackeys of the Murdoch press and many of the shock jocks. This disjunction still amazes me.

      Bibi is complaining:
      “These people are the worst terrorists — genocidal terrorists,” he said. “They call for the destruction of Israel and they call for the killing of every Jew, wherever they can find them.”
      One of the most absurd things in Israel’s larmoyant litany about these terrible Palestinians is the complaint that in their schools they are taught to hate the Israelis. As if they have to be taught. Even if they were regaled three times a day on a recitation of the biblical Sermon on the Mount they would still hate and fear Israelis. They have heard about the humiliation, mistreatment and murder of people in their environment since they were toddlers. Does their teacher have to add anything to that?
      One soldier in the “Breaking the Silence “group told an instructive tale. At one of the check points a mate of his who knew some Arabic wanted to start an innocuous conversation with a young boy, merely asking him about his lessons etc. But the little fellow pooed in his pants from the sheer shock of being addressed by an Israeli soldier.

  • Michael July 22, 2014, 2:53 AM

    The movie of the wounded Palestinian is of course very hard to watch. However, there’s something I don’t quite understand – where’s the blood? where are the actual injuries? accept for some possible blood on his left hand (not preventing him from apparently using his cell phone in the beginning), nothing is seen. Which is strange, because sniper rifles make a BIG hole.

    • Elisabeth July 22, 2014, 3:13 AM

      I paste here an excellent comment to such nonsense from another website
      http://972mag.com/nstt_feeditem/video-sniper-shoots-and-kills-a-man-as-he-searches-the-rubble-of-his-home-for-relatives/

      Where does one begin with folks who claim that scenes like these are staged? Do they think that after hundreds of Gazans have been murdered and thousands more horribly injured, often on camera, that there’s any need to fabricate additional, shocking video footage? Do they think that bullet wounds immediately spurt blood, like in the movies? Sorry guys, M16 rounds are small-caliber, they make very small entry wounds but are designed to tumble around afterwards and rip you apart inside. Alternatively, do they think that Gazans are clever enough to stage fake IDF murders but too stupid to smear a little ketchup on the victim’s shirt? I know we’re not supposed to compare Israelis to Nazis, but this phenomenon of crying “Pallywood!” inevitably recalls Holocaust denial.

      • Michael July 22, 2014, 6:21 AM

        OK. Lethal hits (in chest, head or stomach) produce no blood. No stains on the cloth, even after several seconds. Nothing. Right.
        As for the Ketchup, well, seems a bit difficult to reliably put Ketchup while somebody photographs you. And it seems unneeded, as you prove by your attitude.

        • Arie Brand July 22, 2014, 7:10 AM

          From the Website “Holistic Survival”
          Emergency survival _Gunshot wounds (2)

          “If you read Part 1 of the Holistic Survival Gun Shot Survival Guide, you remember our initial suggestions for emergency survival are 1 get the victim away from continued live fire 2) stabilize 3) get them medical attention ASAP. This next issue we thought needed an entire post of it’s own, which is bleeding and how to control it. The odd thing is that some gunshot wounds barely bleed at all, with small entry and exit wounds, and most of the damage being internal.”

          I have been told that the new hasbara technique being taught over there is to go in softly and then to smuggle in your critical points. A bit like Mark Anthony’s speech at the burial of Caesar. Must he hard for Israelis who are not exactly known for diplomatic finesse. But Michael was at least trying.”The movie of the wounded Palestinian is of course very hard to watch.” he said. Not bad for a beginner Michael. But you were too impatient. You tried to get your critical point in too soon. A bit more syrup next time might do the job.

          • Michael July 22, 2014, 7:26 AM

            1. I suggest you google “gunshot wounds” (that is, if you have a strong stomach) and compare the pictures to this video (with, again, NO blood at all from SEVERAL shots). Also, every Israeli soldier carries a personal bandage capable of absorbing 0.5 liters of blood and an artery blocker, just for these non-bleeding wounds.
            2. Being soft is generally a good idea. But if I compared you to a holocaust denier, Arie, wouldn’t it upset you a bit?
            3. The movie is hard to watch no matter it’s authenticity.

          • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2014, 11:59 AM

            @Arie Brand: I agree. They’re getting more subtle since Frank Luntz wrote the hasbara handbook a few yrs ago.

        • donald July 22, 2014, 9:39 AM

          Michael, I’m not an expert on gunshot wounds, but what would follow if it turned out that this incident were faked? I would imagine that in most wars there’s some fakery or false propaganda on both sides. There have even been fake Holocaust memoirs, but nobody except Holocaust deniers think that proves anything except that people are endlessly perverse.

          Would you then move on and try and argue that all or most reports of Israel brutality in this war was fake? Or is it only about this particular incident?

      • David July 22, 2014, 8:51 PM

        Were staging the photos the issue, we could all slough it off with giggles. But Bibi is one troubled puppy: If Hamas wants to pile up the dead for the cameras, they first need to have dead people. Why then is the IDF obliging such a devilish plan? Why don’t they just go back to Israel and REFUSE to pile up the dead for the cameras? Instead, they dutifully produce dead bodies which means, of course, that is their mission, yet creating the bodies is NOT an issue for Bibi. For sure — Bibi spares nothing to distinguish US from THEM. Palestinians are devils even when they are dead.

        Bibi is sick because this twisted scenario escapes him, because he believes that the crafty Palestinians are not just dying like they are suppose to do, but in so doing they are cleverly indicting him as well. He apparently believes that his victims are capable of such postmortem craft. Palestinians are evil and vile even when they are dead. Apparently, it isn’t enough just to kill them. Bibi is sick because the fact that HE is killing these people, creating these telegenic corpses, appears to elude him. The bodies of his victims accuse him now through a public medium. He is the killer and now everyone knows it or will know it. These telegenic bodies are his handiwork. Doesn’t he sound mostly bewildered as though he doesn’t know how all these bodies came about, or looked so telegenic at that? It’s like he’s admitting “Ok, yes we killed them, but you don’t have to make a big deal out of it!”

        • David July 22, 2014, 9:11 PM

          I think now it’s simpler than I expected: His complaint is about the display of dead bodies and how that is being used against him, but he is unconcerned about having produced these bodies in the first place. That’s the nuttiness.

    • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2014, 11:52 AM

      @ Michael: When you complete your degree in forensic pathology get back in touch. No one here cares if you think the video is fake. Nor are we here to prove it isn’t. Believe whatever perversity you wish. But this only proves yr heartlessness and cruelty. Imagine it’s your son or brother dying out there & some idiot like you comes along & tells you he’s not dead because the video is faked. You’d want to slug him or worse and rightfully so. Spare us. You make me nauseous.

  • Blue Moon July 22, 2014, 3:52 AM

    Why does Hamas use it limited supply of building materials to build terror tunnels instead of bomb shelters for it’s people?

    Fair question?

    • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2014, 8:14 PM

      @ Blue Moon: No, not a fair question till you answer why Israel uses 20% of its budget for the military when it has millions of children and adults who are poor. Answer that then we can talk about Hamas.

      • Blue Moon July 22, 2014, 11:00 PM

        @Richard

        “.. why should victims listen to an invader who has no right to invade them’

        Because the invaders want to spare the victims lives, whereas Hamas is indifferent to the fate of Gazans.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2014, 1:27 AM

          @ Blue Moon: Israel is far more indifferent and callous toward the lives of Palestinians than Hamas ever could be. That’s why we’re climbing toward 700 Palestinian dead, 140 of them children. Israel wants to spare victims lives but somehow doesn’t manage to do it. I wonder why?

      • Blue Moon July 22, 2014, 11:12 PM

        Even the poor in Israel have bomb shelters, whereas in Gaza, only the wealthy Hamas rulers have bomb shelters.

        Poverty in Israel is the result, 1, lack of education, 2, failure to emancipate women, 3, excessive birthrates.

        Tackle these three problems and poverty will shrink.
        Unemployment is not a severe problem in Israel. Note the influx of foreign laborers, many of whom are currently at work.

        Now please explain why Hamas builds terror tunnels instead of bomb shelters for most of the people living in Gaza.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2014, 1:26 AM

          @ Blue Moon:

          wealthy Hamas rulers

          Wealthy? Really. Where do they get all this fabulous wealth? Your comment is not only false & stupid, it’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Warning: I have a very short patience level. Don’t tread on me, bud.

          Poverty in Israel is the result, 1, lack of education, 2, failure to emancipate women, 3, excessive birthrates.

          Wrong again. Poverty is the result of racism and social inequity. Lack of education is the direct result of the inadequacy of funding of education for Haredim & Israeli Palestinians. Blaming Israeli Palestinians for their own poverty is deeply racist and wrong. Tackle the problem of racism & economic oligarchy and poverty will shrink.

          Unemployment isn’t a severe problem in Israel? Tell it to the 25% of Israelis living beneath the poverty line.

          Now please explain why Hamas builds terror tunnels instead of bomb shelters for most of the people living in Gaza.

          Now I’m going to explain why I’m moderating you. Because you used the hasbara term of art “terror tunnels” indicating you’re a student of the Hasbara Institute. Second, Hamas made a decision to actively resist Israel rather than sit back and wait for death in bomb shelters. Third, I can’t stand your smugness and tacit cruelty and meanness. So there.

      • walter benjamin July 23, 2014, 12:11 AM

        it is a fair question in as much as Israel is surrounded by 400,000,000 hostile Arabs.
        consider the US’s military{defense} budget for 2014 according to what i have read is circa 20% of its budget but has no adjacent enemies.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2014, 1:17 AM

          @ walter benjamin: Really 400-million hostile Arabs? And every one has nothing better to do that sit and nurse their hatred toward Israel? They don’t have to earn a living, raise a family or a million other things that normal people do? And you think that tops on their list is plotting how to destroy Israel? Really.

          The U.S. has no adjacent enemies? Got news for you. When you have nukes you don’t have to be adjacent to anyone to blow them to kingdom come. The U.S. has enemies & competitors around the globe plus a population 50 times Israel’s, not to mention a far more complex military arsenal. Yet our expenditure is on a par with Israel’s proportionally. Meaning Israel is a perpetual war garrison state.

  • Oui July 22, 2014, 4:13 AM

    I’m quite disgusted with Obama and his Amazon cabal, he surpasses his predecessor with an ugly and dumb foreign policy. I have written for over a year, the Obama administration has fulfilled all of the PNAC ‘talking points’ on the Middle East.

    I’ve never before witnessed a U.S. president and Secretary of State speaking out of both sides of their mouths. “Israel has a right to defend itself.” At the same time, Obama shows displeasure with the high toll of civilian deaths! Kerry pledged $47m to Palestinians suffering in Gaza. The Minister of Defense from Qatar was entertained in the Pentagon and the White House for signing a $11bn deal for Apache helicopters and Patriot installaties.

  • Adriana July 22, 2014, 6:48 AM

    Weel, since Vietnam, US army and gvt knows that information is a key point to win hearts and minds and war.

    If you loose control of that, for exemple, all this video horrors leaking from gaza is an exemple of these, you lost the war.
    I think during second Irak war, US army was very cautious to let journalists go to the front war.
    I think most of the information released passed before in US-army prop. machine.
    I wondering how Bibi is controlling or not all these informations? If there is a blocade, why he is not doing a internet blocade also? visibly he is loosing information war.
    I am figuring, how happens to us to have all these informations?

  • Arie Brand July 22, 2014, 8:07 AM

    “I suggest you google “gunshot wounds” “. That’s exactly what I did with the above result. The piece concerned goes on to say that some of these wounds bleed profusely. It all depends. No, comparing me to a holocaust denier wouldn’t do at all. But that’s not in the new manual is it? Softly, softly, is the word.

  • PersianAdvocate July 22, 2014, 9:31 AM

    A hell of a pinpoint operation. Focusing on the Palestinians in this fashion is breeding nothing but enmity from the world. It also wantonly places America’s strategic assets, interests and security in jeopardy.

    Therefore, it has been recommended through official channels that Israel, our stalwart ally, with all of its terrorist hunting operational capabilities and prowess, and ability to safeguard from collateral damage as evidenced here, be sent to Iraq to deal with ISIS, a dire threat to American interests, the region at large, and more dangerous/proximate to the Israel than any other faction in the world. Ignoring them is the equivalent of not buying fire-fighting equipment. We remember what that did in the Mount Carmel scenario, don’t we?

    After all, while Israel’s leadership is myopically considered with Palestine, they’ve forgotten about the far greater and real existential threat looming over their shoulders. CNN’s experts made that clear.

    It will also be a prime opportunity for Israel to finally donate a single troop to the “War on Terror”, thereby cementing their role as the front line of terrorism. I, for one, am excited at the thought. :)

  • RD Sultan July 22, 2014, 12:22 PM

    Richard: according to a report by Al Jazeera, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan had met with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman and proposed financing the Israeli war in Gaza on the condition that Israel eliminates Hamas.

    This may also have something to do with Lieberman’s anti Jazeera outburst yesterday.

  • Oui July 22, 2014, 12:52 PM

    Netanyahu Compares Hamas to ISIS – AQ – Boko Haram

    Netanyahu was the arrogance himself, after he managed to ditch Obama and Kerry on the wayside, he was clearly bored by UNSG Ban Ki-moon. As in his best days, Netanyahu came with his ferocious war rhetoric without any visible goal.

    UN’s Ban arrives, says no country would allow rockets to rain down on its cities

    (Ynet News) – Ban praised the Israeli people, saying that “even in the darkest hour the people of this country have such a tremendous capacity for generosity and good.” He then urged Israelis not to despair of the peace process, saying “there is no viable alternative to a two-state solution. No closure, no barrier will separate Israelis and Palestinians from a fundamental truth: you share one future.”

    Netanyahu directly responded to ban regarding the two-state solution option, saying that Hamas is just another manifestation of violent, Islamic extremist organizations like ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah or Boko Haram.

    Hamas’s grievance, he said, “is that we exist. They don’t want a two state solution. They don’t want any solution.”

  • Strelnikov July 22, 2014, 2:31 PM

    Netanyahu might be going for broke this time, because nobody will stop him. He could lose an entire infantry division trying to “get rid of the problem”, murdering 4000 Palestinian civilians to get 800 Hamas fighters. He won’t be re-elected, but that doesn’t matter because he finally got the bloodbath he wanted.

  • Arie Brand July 22, 2014, 3:36 PM

    I saw Sir Gerald Kaufman being interviewed on Aljazeera last night. He turned 84 a few days ago but he is still fighting the good fight. He called Cameron’s speech in the House of Commons a disgrace, and rightly so. Cameron spent most of his time on talking about that plane – a terrible event, no doubt, but it has happened and nobody can do anything about it now. Meanwhile there is an ongoing bloodbath in Gaza but his comment on that focused first on the rockets as if these were the main thing. Cameron compared Gaza to an open air prison not long ago and one suspects that privately he might entertain other thoughts about Israel’s onslaught. But all these fellows seem to feel compelled to slavishly follow the American line. And then of course the Murdoch press has a big finger in the pie in Britain as well. Murdoch’s demise would be a sanitary event of the first order but his mum lived to the good ripe age of 102, I think, and he might have her genes God forbid. His son and heir seems to have quite different feelings about Israel but he has to follow Daddy’s orders.

    In the PEW survey Britain came out as the Western country with the highest percentage of people feeling mainly negative about Israel but once again one doesn’t see that reflected in its official stance.

    Sir Gerald also said that Israel had created its own enemies. An obvious point but lost on Netanyahu.

  • walter benjamin July 24, 2014, 12:08 AM

    Blue Moon:
    i meant ‘diluted’ but ‘deluded’ is additionally appropriate.

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