≡ Menu

Gaza War, Day 24: 61 IDF Soldiers Killed, 1,458 Palestinians Killed, 9,000 Homes Destroyed, Bibi Lied About West Bank Kidnapping

UPDATE: The ceasefire seems to be collapsing.  Heavy Israeli artillery fire is reported by Yediot in Rafah with eight Palestinians dead.  Looks like Bibi put a nail in the coffin of Kerry’s ceasefire.

Today, brings a small respite from mass murder.  Both Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour truce brokered by the UN and U.S. and announced simultaneously by them.  Apparaently, the daily massacres of children at UN schools over the past few days have taken a toll.  As did the uncontrollable weeping of UNWRA Gaza director, Chris Gunness as he tried to speak up, during a TV interview, for the children under his care who’d been murdered by the IDF.

I was heartened by the chastened statement John Kerry released:

“This is not a time for congratulations and joy, or anything except a serious determination, a focus, by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead,” Kerry said shortly after the deal was struck. “This is a respite. It’s a moment of opportunity, not an end; it’s not a solution. It’s the opportunity to find the solution.”

Though it didn’t hint at any concrete future results, it clearly alluded to the fact that Gazans (and Israelis) need and expect far more than a mere cessation of hostilities.  Gaza has a legitimate right to demand the end of the Israeli-Egyptian siege.  While Israelis and Gazans have a right to expect that the border between them be demilitarized (not just disarmed on one side as Israel has demanded).

The statement also seems to put Israel on notice that Kerry will not accept the media defenestration to which he was subjected by the Bibi-press when he had the temerity to suggest that Gaza had legitimate concerns and interests that must be met.

There is no guarantee that Kerry’s and Obama’s resolve will remain strong in the face of Israel’s dogged determination to return to the status quo after the dust and bodies clear.  But the sounds we’re hearing now seem to be the right ones.

There is one bit of fakery in the ceasefire:

Under the terms of the truce, both sides agreed to end all offensive operations and conduct only defensive operations. For Israel, this means that troops on the ground in Gaza can continue to destroy tunnels used by Palestinian militants in operations against the Jewish state.

Destroying Gaza tunnels is not a “defensive operation” as all the media have portrayed it.  These tunnels are a means of defense of Gaza from foreign invaders.  Israel’s pursuit of the tunnels is an offensive operation.  I’d be willing to accept Israel’s search for tunnel exits to and on, its own territory alone.  But not pursuit of tunnels inside Gaza.  Israel’s insistence on this point only illustrates its bad faith in this matter and virtually every other matter related to Gaza.

Though 85% of Israeli Jews approved of the Gaza war.  50% are prepared to see it end now.  This is a sure sign giving Bibi protective cover to seek a “graceful” exit from his military imbroglio.  Yet, what has Israel gained?  It’s lost 61 soldiers to Hamas’ 300.  It has discovered a massive tunnel network under Gaza which it hadn’t known existed (to the extent it did).  It dismantled some of them, but by no means all.  It has not defeated Hamas, not has it defeated the Gazans.  It has not even chastened Hamas.

In this blog, I’ve consistently reported that with every major Israeli military incursion into Lebanon or Gaza, that the enemy becomes shrewder, tougher, even more resilient.  The victories won by Hamas on the battlefield (as opposed to its retreat into the shadows during Cast Lead) have emboldened it.  It will not back down nor be subdued.  Next time (and there will be one, for sure), Hamas will perform even better.  It will undoubtedly have new surprises up its sleeve.  That’s because when you are a guerilla movement you have the element of surprise on your side.  While you may not know precisely what or how the enemy is planning to strike you, because that enemy is a conventional, hierarchical force, you have the advantage of flexibility and innovation.  You change, but the enemy remains inert.

Make no mistake, I am not championing Hamas, which I do not support.  But I support Israeli military adventurism even less.  And an expansionist Israel seeking to impose its will militarily on the region is an increasingly bankrupt proposition.  That is the lesson I wish to convey.

Today, the leaders of several Latin American countries announced they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Israel.  Evo Morales even called Israel a “terrorist state” yesterday.  While that might be expected, El Salvador isn’t known for its support of such a viewpoint yet it joined the other countries in pulling its ambassador.

In one of the more bizarre developments in this war, the U.S. Senate derailed $225-million in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.  When Israel can’t get money from Congress for weapons you know something’s wrong.  Actually, it’s a bit more complicated: the Democrats knew Republicans wanted to defeat Obama’s $3-billion border control appropriation, so they loaded it with Mom and Apple Pie goodies like relief aid for fire victims and Iron Dome funding, daring the Republicans to defeat it.  They did.  This may be the only time I ever agree with a Congressional vote by Republicans.  And they did it for all the wrong reasons!

In a related matter, MIT’s Prof. Ted Postol appeared on Democracy Now yesterday advancing his thesis that Iron Dome is a sham (Part One and Part Two).

The guest host of Christiane Amanpour’s CNN interview program queried whether Israel could face war crimes charges.  While these sorts of statements are de rigeur from the political left, it’s rare to hear them on mainstream media in this fashion:

Could Israel face war crimes charges?

“It certainly could,” Geoffrey Nice, one of the world’s most renowned war crimes prosecutors, told CNN’s Jim Clancy, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Thursday.  Nice was the lead prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader.

“It’s always been open for Palestine to bring them, if it was prepared to sign up as a states party of the International Criminal Court.  If it does that, two things follow: It will be able to refer this matter to the prosecutor of the Court for her to consider; but it will expose itself to an investigation as well.”

Another tell-tale sign of the shifting of political winds among American Jews is that David Remnick’s The New Yorker, a bastion of liberal Zionism in its approach to Israel, published a piece by Rashid Khalidi on Gaza as an act of collective punishment.  Khalidi has to be one of the last people Remnick would want to publish under normal circumstances.

The level of brainwashing of Israeli youth into the culture of ultra-nationalism is astonishing.  It begins at a very early age.  During the Lebanon War there were pictures of little girls writing messages of hate on Israeli artillery shells wishing them success in killing Hassan Nasrallah.

Today, there is an Israeli tank festooned with colorful drawings and messages from Israeli school children wishing the boys well and Godspeed in their hunt for the enemy.  Hearts and sunshine abound in these drawings which wish the tankers well in rooting out Israel’s enemies.

David Sheen has, if possible, compiled an even more disturbing account of Israeli girls who tweet their genocidal hatred of Palestinians alongside revealing sexualized personal profile photos.  It makes you wonder whether there might be two victims: the Palestinians on whom they wish death and the girls themselves who have embraced a misogynist culture that promises power and success only through sexualization.

I’ve consistently reported here that the kidnapping of three Israeli youth in the West Bank, which began the death spiral leading to the current tragedy, was not planned, authorized or carried out by Hamas.  “Hamas did it” is the uber-narrative exploited by Netanyahu when he sent 10,000 IDF troops into the West Bank purportedly to search for the victims and the perpetrators (whom Israel still has not found).  Israelis conducted a massive pogrom with seven Palestinians shot dead, 500 arrested (most of whom had nothing to do with the kidnapping) and the wholesale ransacking of thousands of homes.

It was this massive act of collective punishment which spurred Hamas to begin firing rockets at Israel.  This in turn offered Netanyahu his opportunity for turning Gaza into a punching bag, as he does every year or so, pursuing an updated version of the dictum of Michael Ledeen:

Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business…

But Israeli and foreign journalists almost immediately began poking holes in the “Hamas did it” claim.  I’ve reported and linked to many of them.  More recently, Israeli police spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld himself denied Hamas had any role in the crime.

But now Yisrael Ha-Yom, Bibiton, Bibi’s personal political shmatteh, inadvertently confirms that its patron lied (Hebrew).  If you peel away the hasbara and posturing in the first sentence, it leaves you with the unavoidable conclusion, “Bibi lied:”

Hamas had planned a summer campaign that it expected would extract it from the strategic-political-economic predicament in which it had become trapped.  In unplanned fashion, it ultimately happened in the form of the kidnapping of young boys, about which it had no prior knowledge.

When the Wall Street Journal tells you Obama lied, it’s one thing.  But when the NY Times tells you, that’s another entirely. This passage is like the latter statement.

Bufferfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail
youtubeyoutube
{ 61 comments… add one }
  • yiljap abraham August 1, 2014, 2:54 AM

    Israel and Palestine will never be short of mutual hate – as long as there are new births, improved technologies, war sponsors and a will to be “free of terror” (each side defines Reality. Restraint and Response). And no one outside the two has the capacity to break this “shortage” better than the two entities.

    As a resident of #Jos #Plateau State in #NIGERIA, I have personally seen and experienced what mutual hate does to a people. Once the side that feels it has the “armament, supporters, economy, numbers and viciousness” attacks, the other “weaker” party learns quickly to survive, supply and stand – it simply keeps getting stronger and more adaptable. At the end, war claims the unintended victims, desecrates the land with the blood of the innocent – and stokes up more hatred. It’s a monstrous circle.

    But we had to say: NO! A “ceasefire” wasn’t an end in itself – but holding back even when there was provocation. Vengeance is a Ring. And there were those who benefitted from our mutual adversity – and worked harder at keeping the fight. Meantime, the fight brought absolutely no tangible benefits to our squeezed lives. We lived in an atmosphere of heightened and perpetual fear and suspicion. Our individual economies were crumbling. Those we believed were our “traditional loyalists” were quick at mocking us. Meantime, the world just kept moving. We were fast losing our humanity. Death meant nothing. Children celebrated death – and called for “revenge”.

    Not anymore! We are talking to each other. We have agreed on how to verify claims of unprovoked “attacks”. We are trading. We are attending each others’ weddings and funerals and birthdays. We are rebuilding our lives again. We are earning the respect of our mockers. We are determined to give each other the space to co-exist.

    It’s a high price, but never anything near the cost of weapons and lives. This way, we are getting our humanity back, serving God better – and prospering in the land.

    This is my ardent wish and prayer for Israel and Palestine. IT IS POSSIBLE. Some day. Maybe Sooner.

  • __ \ | August 1, 2014, 3:31 AM

    “The Pentagon confirmed the Israeli military had requested additional ammunition to restock its dwindling supplies on July 20, with the US Defense Department approving the sale just three days later.

    “The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

    “This defense sale is consistent with those objectives.”

    Two of the requested munitions came from a little-known stockpile of ammunition stored by the US military on the ground in Israel for emergency use. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel is estimated to be worth $1 billion.” – Ma’an News

    • Oui August 1, 2014, 7:06 PM

      U.S. Participates In Israeli Criminal Acts Gaza, Replenishes Ordnance

      I find this a chilling message as Israel coward attack on Gaza continued today hitting a U.N. shelter and a public market killing scores of children. The White House and the State Department refuse to come forward and put blame on Israel. I find this cold and heartless, this is not my America. This is a My Lai slaughter of defenseless people all over again. Obama, Biden. Kerry and Rice, I have lost all respect. Your R2P policy is just a bunch of crap, you heartless and mindless souls. This is not showing leadership, this is inhumane.

      The only nations who can put pressure on Hamas’ military command are Turkey and Qatar. Vice-President Biden took time-off to meet a Defense Minister from Qatar for a $11 bn deal. SHAME USA!

      I heard this news story on CNN from Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr first.

      US resupplies Israel with munitions as Gaza op continues

      (Ynet News) – The United States has allowed Israel to tap a local US arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds, a US defense official said on Thursday.

      The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a program managed by the US military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.

      • Oui August 1, 2014, 7:11 PM

        Army Surplus of Mortars and Grenades good enough for Gaza before expiration date – fancy price for Israel’s Defense Forces – thank you Uncle Sam.

        Stockpiling of Defense Articles for Foreign Countries

        TRANSFER OF CERTAIN OBSOLETE OR SURPLUS DEFENSE ARTICLES IN THE WAR RESERVE STOCKPILES FOR ALLIES TO ISRAEL.

        TRANSFERS TO ISRAEL.—
        (1) AUTHORITY.—Notwithstanding section 514 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321h), the President is authorized to transfer to Israel, in return for concessions to be negotiated by the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, any or all of the items described in paragraph (2).
        (2) ITEMS COVERED.—The items referred to in paragraph (1) are munitions, equipment, and material such as armor, artillery, automatic weapons ammunition, and missiles that—
        (A) are obsolete or surplus items;
        (B) are in the inventory of the Department of Defense;
        (C) are intended for use as reserve stocks for Israel; and
        (D) as of the date of the enactment of this Act, are located in a stockpile in Israel.

        U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel – The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act (H.R. 938, S. 462) [pdf]

  • Stretch August 1, 2014, 4:27 AM

    I have zero expectation of anything that remotely resembles resolve for change on the part of the US.

  • ben August 1, 2014, 5:22 AM

    So 90 min after the ceasefire starts hamas decides to attack and kill two soldiers and capture the third and you say Israel broke the truce. I must have missed that line in the treaty that stipulated its ok for this.

    • Aaron August 1, 2014, 7:36 PM

      If you believe anything IDF says, I have a bridge to sell you.

      • Slevdi August 1, 2014, 11:29 PM

        That’s why this whole thing is a mess and people continue dying. This is the Age of Extremes where my side is always right and your side is always wrong, whichever side you support. The truth is the same whichever side says it. The problem is working out what is true and what is false when all sides have an axe to grind and cannot be be trusted to tell the truth 100% of the time.

        As far as your comment goes, which bits are lies? The kidnap, the timing, the killings, who broke the truce first? Personally, I have no idea who is telling the truth. Probably none of them.

        • Megat Merican August 4, 2014, 1:26 AM

          Slevdi,

          On the question of “truths” and “lies”, perhaps the following cannot be refuted:

          1. the state of Israel was created through the mass forced expulsion of the Palestinians;

          2. over 66 years since that creation, the Palestinians are still living under occupation without any closure in sight due primarily to the unquestionable support by the United States and the shameful apathy from the supposedly “Muslim” governments;

          3. Palestinians who “left” Palestine during the Nakba do not have the right of return (save for a token few) but persons of Jewish ancestry regardless that they are not even born in the state of Israel are provided with citizenship;
          http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/palestinians-mark-nakba-day-amid-violence-2014515123517302113.html
          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Politics/Other_Law_Law_of_Return.html

          4. If a non Israeli Jew were to join the Israeli military (say e.g. from the United States), he/she is viewed as performing a noble duty though the same cannot be said of any Muslim showing support whether militarily or otherwise to the Palestinians – we are always terrorists unless we become the Muslims that you want us to be.
          http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/23/world/meast/israeli-military-americans/

          If I am wrong regarding the above, please correct me.

          • Slevdi August 4, 2014, 2:53 AM

            Hi Megat Merican – I would say your first point is contentious. Many people point to evidence that shows Arab countries encouraging leaving Israel in the months before the war. This encouragement was allegedly supported by bussing. Whether that is true or not, I can’t say as I wasn’t around at the time. So your statement would need to be supported by evidence showing the Arabs countries did not instigate and support a flight from Israel. Of course, both things could be true.

            Your second point on occupation is a matter of law. The territories are actually referred to as ‘Disputed Territorities’ in many documents, based on the lack of a Palestinian state prior to 1947. Certainly, Israel has been seen as an occupier by most other states in the world for most of that time, although the unilateral pullout from Gaza muddies the claim somewhat from a legal perspective. Gaza has been blockaded, not occupied, by Israel and Egypt for 8 years since Hamas started firing rockets into Israel.

            Point three on right of return is an interesting one and should always be considered along with the right of return of Jews forcibly expelled from Arab countries at roughly the same time as the Nakba. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

            Your last point is an emotional one as you are complaining about the view people take on non Israeli Jews fighting in the IDF compared to, say, Muslims from Europe fighting against Assad in Syria. I only know that legally in Britain , my country of birth, one cannot fight for a foreign power. It is treason. My assumption therefore is that British Jews fighting in the IDF have emigrated to Israel and taken Israeli nationality, but I am prepared to proven wrong wrong on this as I haven’t investigated it at all. I will, as you make a good point if true.

            So, I am not trying to prove you or anyone else wrong. I think the reason I read and post on this blog is to try and get views and opinions that are the opposite of mine so I can try and understand the differing frame of reference that people view the Arab-Israeli conflict. I have no axe to grind in that I have no ties to either side, politically, religiously or emotionally. I accept that I am sometimes a bit more controversial in my posts than I should be, but Richard is a good policeman in that respect:-)

          • Richard Silverstein August 4, 2014, 2:23 PM

            @Slevdi: I did not delete this comment even though it was off-topic. Do NOT stray from the topic of the post when you comment.

  • Ahhiyawa August 1, 2014, 5:40 AM

    Treaty??? What treaty!!! This was a temporary ceasefire arrangement your boys violated by continuing offensive operations and wound up getting their asses handed to them in the prospect. True to form, the IDF’s only response is to bombard and slaughter civilians.

  • Frank August 1, 2014, 6:06 AM

    Richard says, : ” These tunnels are a means of defense of Gaza from foreign invaders.”

    The Vietnamese tunnels at Cu Chi were a defense against foreign invaders. Many of these Hamas tunnels lead into sovereign Israel and therefore are offensive.

    • Richard Silverstein August 2, 2014, 2:53 AM

      @ Frank:

      Many of these Hamas tunnels lead into sovereign Israel

      Not true. A few of the tunnels lead to Israel but the vast majority are defensive & located inside Gaza. If Israel is “sovereign” not to be invaded by Hamas, then the same holds true for Gaza. Israel has no right to invade Gaza.

  • Shmuel August 1, 2014, 6:13 AM

    Are Hamas really too thick to grasp that now hundreds of Palestinians will die while the IDF searches for the kidnapped officer who was captured after a suicide bomber exploded.
    And all this after the ‘agreed ceasefire’.
    Hamas seem to have a death wish will now be fulfilled.
    As Abba Eben said, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
    Now they will pay dearly for their elected leaders’ errors of judgement.

    • Slevdi August 1, 2014, 9:50 AM

      Not thick at all. They are very bright. They know exactly what they want the outcome to be.

      As Richard points out in his quote in the above article, neither Gaza nor the West Bank are signed up to the ICC so they can’t be investigated for war crimes like Israel can and will be. They are also not signed up to the Geneva Convention, which, among other things, states specifically that kidnap of opposing soldiers in war is a war crime.

      • ben August 1, 2014, 12:50 PM

        Not toyally true if the unsc asks for the icc to investigate then Palestine could be on the hook. Now that would be terribly hypocritical if this happened since the has not ratified the rome stature and both china and Russia never even signed the document in the first place.

      • fiddler August 1, 2014, 3:26 PM

        Slevdi, could you please cite chapter and verse of the GC where capture (not “kidnap”) of enemy soldiers is made a war crime? (Both Israel and Palestine have signed the Third Geneva Convention, relevant for POWs, btw.)

        • Slevdi August 3, 2014, 7:18 AM

          Look it up yourself.

          Anyway, it is a moot point now that the kidnappers and kidnapped soldier have been killed by Israeli forces. In any trial, the burden of proof would be on the prosecution to prove intent to take a hostage rather than a pow. Was Gilad Shalit a pow or a hostage?

      • You aren't serious, are you? August 1, 2014, 3:56 PM

        “They are also not signed up to the Geneva Convention, which, among other things, states specifically that kidnap of opposing soldiers in war is a war crime.”

        !!!!!!!!

        So you attack a squad of enemy soldiers during a war, killing all but one. According to you the Geneva Conventions make it a war crime for your forces to capture that lone surviving soldier.

        Okayyyyyyy. So what are they supposed to do with him? Shake his hand, turn him around, point him towards his own lines and say “That’s the way home, boy, mind your step”?

        Really?

        I think you will find that the Good Gentlemen of Geneva has an entire Convention related to the treatment of enemy soldiers who fall into your possession: “Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War”.

        This is an armed conflict between Hamas and the IDF. Hamas are perfectly entitled to capture IDF soldiers.

        • Slevdi August 4, 2014, 12:25 AM

          It is important to know the circumstances. Your scenario leaves out the motive for the attack and what they intended to do with the soldier afterwards. Hamas have stated their motive was kidnap with the intention of striking a bargain for his release. That is a clear violation of GC and cannot be interpreted in any Hamas-friendly way.

      • Richard Silverstein August 2, 2014, 2:50 AM

        @ Slevdi: I’m sure that Palestine would sign the ICC & Geneva Conventions as soon as the world allows it to call itself an independent state. The primary reason that hans’t happened is opposition from Israel & the U.S. If there is an ICC case for war crimes Israelis will be far more vulnerable than Palestinians given the disproportion between the results of war on both sides.

    • Oui August 1, 2014, 7:13 PM

      Bertus Hendriks, an oustanding Middle East analyst, said the cease-fires agreement between Hamas and Israel was ambiguous. The IDF expeditionary forces inside Gaza were allowed to stay in place and by some weird interpretation were even allowed to continue their search for and destruction of the tunnels. The cease-fire agreement didn’t address the Hamas demand for an unconditional release of the illegal capture of its members on the West Bank in June. Egypt can’t be an honest broker for Hamas, as General Sisi is at war with the Muslim Brotherhood, an alliance with the Hamas militants in Gaza and Islamists roaming the Sinai desert.

      Cease-fire breaks down: Israeli shelling kills 50 after reported capture of soldier

    • Richard Silverstein August 2, 2014, 2:51 AM

      @ Shmuel: IDF has NO RIGHT to carry out any military operations inside Gaza during a ceasefire. None.

  • Arie Brand August 1, 2014, 7:17 AM

    For the time being it is unclear who broke the truce. What is clear is that Israel continued with its action against the tunnels, allegedly behind its own defensive lines but who says they didn’t venture further? And then, lo and behold, some Palestinian militants emerged. What is also clear is that Israel in breaking the truce has managed to make scores of victims again.

    Shmuel couldn’t you do any better than coming up with this trite saying about missed opportunities.? When it comes to that, Israel has never missed an opportunity to restrict and withhold opportunities for a decent life for the people it has robbed and then persecuted for being the victims – a form of collective sadism.

    • Shmuel August 1, 2014, 8:35 AM

      Unclear to YOU Arie who broke the ceasefire but not to the Israelis who 4 minutes after the supposed beginning had a shower of rockets on them and an hour and a half later a Hamas suicide bomber ceased his fire by blowing himself up.
      Every Israeli has a soldier ‘contact’ at the front and knows the truth unlike in Australian lala land.
      And if you want something less trite – then try ‘the sh*t has hit the fan’

      • Slevdi August 1, 2014, 9:51 AM

        Personally, I believe Hamas has probably jumped the shark with this kidnapping.

        • Donald August 1, 2014, 4:46 PM

          A former Israeli intelligence official (I forgot his name) said in the NYT that there might have been a breakdown in communication between Hamas and its troops (or whatever one calls them–I refuse to use “terrorist”) out in the field. These guys could have been carrying out a pre-planned mission and not have known there was a ceasefire. Hamas itself seemed confused in its statements about what had happened. Of course, one mistake like this on either side and all hell breaks loose. That could also apply to rocket fire. Even during the ceasefire before this latest war, Hamas used to try to suppress Islamic Jihad rocket fire, but didn’t stop them all. It’s generally accepted that they were trying.

          I’d also add what someone else said–Israel might have been destroying tunnels where these guys were located–it’s really easy to imagine where that could go wrong.

          • Donald August 1, 2014, 4:52 PM

            Oh, and one more point. If someone did make a mistake, I really wouldn’t expect these guys to admit it. And by “these guys”, I mean both sides. Israel claims it makes mistakes when it uses indiscriminate firepower, but they’re going for the lesser admission to deny a bigger sin. I suspect that whether a Palestinian or Israeli actually broke the ceasefire, both sides would automatically insist it was the other side that did it deliberately, even if it was an accident or breakdown in communication.

        • Megat Merican August 2, 2014, 6:58 PM

          Slevdi, why do you insist on terming the capture of an Israeli soldier in this tragic one-sided conflict as “kidnapping”?

          You appear to give blind legitimacy to what Israel is doing in Occupied Palestine and simply dehumanizing the plight of all Palestinians by repeating so.

      • Fran August 1, 2014, 10:22 AM

        Israel has been lying about this war all along. Why should this be any different?

  • Daniel de França August 1, 2014, 10:29 AM

    Do you know what’s wrong about kidnapping soldiers in a war? A soldier cannot be kidnapped, but captured and made be made a prisoner of war. Well, dishonest use of words apart, I cannot see what’s wrong with capturing a soldier. It’s fair, he won’t be harmed or killed. So, it’s alright.

    I hope Hamas can kidnaps much more soldiers, it is fairer than afflicting them with horrible wounds or disabilities. It will also be a good thing to negotiate the 500 Palestinians kidnapped by IDF.

  • Piotr Berman August 1, 2014, 11:25 AM

    I am not sure if Yisrael Ha-Yom is to Netanyahu what NYT is to Obama. I thought that this is a personal vehicle of political influence of Sheldon Adelson, who has his pet hawkish causes and displays his influence, his very own Prime Minister, as the tchotchke of all tchotchkes, making him a subject of admiration and envy among his peer, the most rich Jews (not all of them share that taste but many do). If that is so, then the implicit critique of Netanyahu government from “war for lies” angle would be a hidden rebellion. Or simply a slip.

    Or perhaps it is not a slip and not a critique, perhaps the writer theorized what Hamas and the Government did based on his/her assumptions on what they should do. And the Government SHOULD lie and attack Hamas, but it should do better: since the war with Hezbollah, this is constant carping on Israeli right. But perhaps most Ha-Yomchiks will conclude that the war was just perfect.

  • Daniel de França August 1, 2014, 12:49 PM

    Now, it seems that this war already, or almost, killed 1% Gaza’s population population. That’s about the proportion of Israelis killed in 1947-1948 during the Nakba.

    • Piotr Berman August 1, 2014, 1:05 PM

      You are off by one zero. It is still under 1 per thousand, much to the chagrin of Bennet, Lieberman etc.

      • Daniel de França August 1, 2014, 1:13 PM

        Oh, true! I am tired today, heh. I indeed took 1%= 1/1000. But if more hospitals and shelters are destroyed, that number will be achieved soon.

        • Slevdi August 1, 2014, 1:21 PM

          Achieved? I hope you aren’t a native English speaker as that word makes it sound like you want those deaths!

          • Fran August 1, 2014, 1:25 PM

            At the rate Israel is acting, it seems this will be “acheived” soon

    • Frank August 1, 2014, 1:10 PM

      Your math, Daniel. Your math.

  • Yossi August 1, 2014, 2:18 PM

    I understand that after the soldier was captured the area was covered with heavy artillery fire and probably bombed according to the Hanibaal procedure. Hamas retracting his early claim of taking him a prisoner may mean the procedure has succeeded. Since the death is not confirmed Israel uses it, like in the case of the three boys, as a blanket permit to arrest and kill anyone considered a suspect.

    The 72-hours ceasefire was actually one-sided. There is little doubt Israel interpreted the clause allowing it to continue destroying tunnels as a blanket permit to break into buildings and use explosives. In a case of resistance it could invoke the defensive operations clause and shoot everyone in the area.

    This is not a European style war but more like a colonial army suppressing a revolt using gun boats against bows and arrows of the natives.

  • nessim dayan August 1, 2014, 3:55 PM

    what is the point of all this when in huffingtonpost you see this
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/01/times-of-israel-genocide-article-post-deleted_n_5641971.html
    times of israel prints on oped saying “genocide is OK” – then they say “sorry we didn’t mean it” jews chastize the world over for anyone even look the shoah in a cross fashion and yet WE JEWS ISRAELIS CONDONE AND “DEMAND” A GENOCIDE AND STILL FIND IT “ACCEPTABLE” – how far low have we gotten for the sake of a few square miles of sand. i am a fair man, i am not pro arab in any way or fashion, i grew up in egypt in the turmoil of revolutions of the 50’s but i must rend my cloth and shower with ashes when i see this. IF IT IS PRINTED BY ONE IS BECAUSE IT IS THOUGHT BY A MULTITUDE. THE FACT IS = THIS = i don’t know what to call it WAS ACCEPTED PRINTED AND DISSEMINATED IS PROOF
    i feel sick to my stomach to see this let alone read it.

    • Ari Greenfield August 1, 2014, 4:20 PM

      That “op-ed” was posted to a blog affiliated w/ the Times of Israel by a lone individual & it represented his own personal views- it is not something with which you can indict an entire group of people. Evidently he finally realized the error of his ways and has issued an apology.

      • nessim dayan August 1, 2014, 4:59 PM

        you cannot unrung a bell, you cannot unsee what you saw
        it was a “mere single person opinion” (let’s wash it) BUT WHERE WERE THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF ALLOWING SUCH MONSTROSITY TO BE BORN. i can blog whatever i wish but if it goes in someone’s paper it’s because it was ACCEPTED BY MORE THAN ONE .
        No i cannot accept , “isolated case” it would be if it would have died of loneliness where it was born. once it goes in print it more than “just some”one”” anyomore there’s more than just someone.
        The mere fact that it’s thought of IN PRINT causes it to snowball for the real supporters will refuse for it to die lonely.
        No it is not a “lonely bored blogger” Israel has turned racist to the HILT in the last 4 decades
        There is no democracy in religion Iin ALL religions) Israel has been screaming at the 4 winds that it is a JEWISH STATE.it says it all WE ARE RUNNING A HIDDEN MILITARY/POLICE DICTATORSHIP RUN BY BLOOD MONEY . Should that notion be farfetched then. i don’t think so –
        how can it be. when apart from the lonely 4 arab knesset members AT LEAST 90% OF THE REMAINING CAN BE CONSIDERED RACIST TO NO EXCEPTION. farfetched you say. look at the legislation passed in this session, how many racist laws were they. it is merely a 1mm hop from there to this “lonely crazed blogger”
        i feel knots in my stomach, i am 70 and cant believe that i lived to see jews DEMANDING A GENOCIDE.

        • Ari Greenfield August 1, 2014, 5:29 PM

          You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but I will no longer engage in this discussion.

        • Slevdi August 1, 2014, 11:37 PM

          I know what you mean. I feel the same way about Palestinians since I saw them celebrating in the streets after 9/11. (Actually not, as I don’t tar them all with the same brush like you are doing with your post).

      • Richard Silverstein August 2, 2014, 2:45 AM

        @ Ari Greenfield: YOu haven’t been reading my blog if you make such excuses for that shmatteh, TOI. They publish outright lies, garbage & propaganda. They have no standards. They were founded & funded by a Likudist Wall St hedge fund vulture capitalist. There’s another blog post published there which calls Palestinians Amalekites, which is a more polite call for genocide. That post is still up in all its glory. Don’t defend TOI here. It makes my stomach turn.

        Gordon only apologized because TOI read him the riot act & he wanted to save his reputation, what little of it was left. No one who advocates genocide openly gets to apologize. You can’t unring that bell, I’m afraid.

    • Adriana August 3, 2014, 4:42 PM

      Dear sir,
      I do not know if you are going to read this, anyway, I just want to say that regardless origin, culture, or religious beliefs, there are a lot of people around the world that thinks the same about this article like you. I am bad in express my feelings ,I let this person tell it instead of me:

      I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
      Mahatma Gandhi

  • Deïr Yassin August 1, 2014, 4:26 PM

    Just a curiosity concerning El Salvador (and Evo Morales): the former president from 2004-2009, conservative Tony Saca, is of Palestinian descent (the Saca is a well-known family around Bethlehem). In fact, during the presidential elections in 2004, he ran against another candidate also of Palestinian descent, left-wing Shafik Handal, founder of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. Handal died in January 2006 by a heart attack in the airport just back after having attended Evo Morales inauguration ceremony. There is a small but very influential Palestinian community in El Salvador just as in Honduras (also a former president of Palestinian descent) and Guatemala. Not to mention Chile which has the biggest Palestinian community outside the Middle East (more than 400.000 Chileans have Palestinian origins).

  • poirefrais August 1, 2014, 6:22 PM

    There is a petition with about 223,000 signatures.
    I don’t know what effect a petition, like this, might have, but it shows the degree of outrage that exists . It’s one way to expose and spread this insanity.
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/President_of_International_Criminal_Court_Song_SangHyun_Charge_Israel_for_War_Crimes_against_Humanity/?clQAebb
    Thank you Richard for keeping us informed.

  • Daniel de França August 1, 2014, 6:52 PM

    It seems the missing soldier was killed with the group that captured him, that is, the no capture rule of IDF was used.

  • Oui August 1, 2014, 6:55 PM

    Israel’s Media Blackout

    Why aren’t Israeli journalists questioning their military’s devastation in Gaza?

    (Slate) – In times of war, many, if not most, Israeli journalists—with some admirable exceptions—hunker down with the rest of the country and are afraid to ask tough questions, especially in the early days of a military campaign. Instead, they tend to parrot the country’s political and military leaders. (The Hebrew phrase critics have for journalists in these times is—meguyasim—the drafted, or recruited.) Israelis are barred from entering Gaza. And with that access cut off, few Israeli journalists have cultivated Palestinian sources because there is amazingly little interest among the Israeli public in understanding Palestinian affairs.

    It helps explain why Israel and the world see the war in Gaza so differently. With their country under fire by rockets and with soldiers fighting and now dying on the battlefield, the Israeli journalists’ role transforms from dogged inquirer to purveyor of piecemeal information provided by the military. Patriotism suddenly trumps any duty to report impartially. That leaves Israelis—many of whom even in this global media age turn exclusively to Hebrew-language news sources—an incomplete and skewed picture of what is happening. Public support for the war is bolstered. And the narrative put forth by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Gaza and Hamas simply becomes the consensus.

    As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

  • Arie Brand August 1, 2014, 7:06 PM

    Israel is probably one of the most racist societies that call themselves democratic. Here is a link:

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9990

    The remarkable thing is that Israelis complain about the hatred taught in Palestinian schools (an absolute nonsense because Arab children don’t need any teaching on this point – israeli actions speak for themselves) whereas their own public discourse is full of contempt and hatred for Arabs.

    This is not new. The Dutch poet and legal scholar Jacob Israel de Haan (who was murdered in 1924 on the orders of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, not only because he wanted an understanding with Arab leaders but also because because he threatened to reveal dishonest Zionist dealings related to the purchase of land) mentions it several times in his letters for the Algemeen Handelsblad.

    It is not just a product of the colonial occupation that followed the Six Day War, though this occupation has aggravated the problem. Tony Judt, who was an ardent Zionist in his youth because he only knew kibbutz Israel, came to see a quite different Israel when he was employed as an auxiliary during and after the Six Day War. He was used for translation services and came to know quite a few junior officers who did not come from the kibbutzim but from the cities. Judt says:

    …”I realized that I did not live and had never lived in the real Israel. Instead, I had been indoctrinated into an anachronism, had lived an anachronism, and I now saw the depth of my delusion. For the first time I met Israelis who were chauvinistic in every meaning of the word: anti-Arab in a sense bordering upon racism; quite undisturbed by the prospect of killing Arabs wherever possible; frequently regretting that they had not been allowed to fight their way through to Damasacus and beat down the Arabs for good and all; full of scorn for what they called the “heirs of the Holocaust”, Jews who lived outside of Israel and who did not understand or appreciate the new Jews, the native-born Israelis.

    This was not the fantasy world of socialist Israel that so many Europeans loved (and love) to imagine – a wishful projection of all the positive qualities of Jewish Central Europe with none of the drawbacks. This was a Middle Eastern Country that despised its neighbours and was about to open a catastrophic, generation-long rift with them by seizing and occupying their land.” (Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder, Thinking the Twentieth Century, New York 2012, p.117)

  • Nicole August 1, 2014, 9:34 PM

    Just a note – the original rocket fire that “started” all of this did not come from Hamas, but from another splinter group. Times of Israel confirmed that Hamas first fired back in response to Israeli airstrikes: http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-fired-rockets-for-first-time-since-2012-israeli-officials-say/

  • Mary Hughes Thompson August 1, 2014, 9:40 PM

    This whole Israel vs Hamas thing infuriates me. This war is between Israel and Palestine, if it can even be called a war. It is accepted practice in fighting a war, especially against a weaker adversary, to dehumanize the enemy. In its zeal to dehumanize the people it intends to kill, Israel always claims its adversary is Khamas!!!

    First of all this is not true. Palestine Defense Force is made up of people from different political groups, including some who voted for Hamas. To me there is little difference between Jewish Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto and Palestinian Resistance in the Gaza Ghetto. In both cases courageous patriots defended themselves and their people against an overwhelmingly superior military force. In both cases, tunnels were used to smuggle in weapons, food and people. The Palestinians have every right to demand freedom from occupation and oppression, from being invaded every couple of years to “put them in their place.” The blockade is primarily a way to exercise control over 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, to demoralize them, to make them grovel for basic necessities, especially medical equipment and supplies of which there is now a dire shortage.

    By claiming it is fighting Hamas, Israel conveniently evades any responsibility for the deaths of now more than 1600 people, mostly civilians, many of them women and children, injury to 6000, and the total destruction of thousands of homes,hospitals, mosques, churches and other buildings.

    I don’t like Hamas for the way it has turned Gaza into a place where religious extremism prevails. But they were elected democratically by the people. The U.S. & Israel wanted the election; they just didn’t like the results. I admire the Resistance in Gaza, as I admired the Resistance in Warsaw and in France and in many other European countries during World War Two. I don’t consider Hamas to be terrorists. And I refuse to let Israel write my scripts. If I consider any faction to be terrorist it is the IDF.

    I say God Bless Palestine. Vive la Resistance!

  • poirefrais August 1, 2014, 10:23 PM

    Daniel de Franca,
    Could you please elaborate on your comment? Thank you.
    “It seems the missing soldier was killed with the group that captured him, that is, the no capture rule of IDF was used.”

  • Greta Berlin, Free Gaza movement August 1, 2014, 11:24 PM

    Good and thorough article, Richard, but you and the people responding here continue to leave out one of the most important reasons for Israel’s constant attacks against the people of Gaza, and that reason has nothing to do with Hamas, which is a legitimate resistance group. And they are not the only resistance group in Gaza. They are to be admired for trying to protect their turf against the 4th largest military in the world who is busy attacking their people. When writers talk about, “They are fighting over a piece of sand,” or “Why does Israel care about this small piece of property?” They miss the entire reason for Israel’s genocidal behavior.

    And that is that Israel is busy stealing the 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under the waters of Gaza, discovered in 1999. Like stealing the water from the aquafers of the occupied West Bank, Israel covers their intentions by bleating “we have the right to defend ourselves” But the real reason has always been to steal whatever natural resources Palestinians have and take them for their own use. http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-natural-gas-the-israeli-invasion-and-gaza-s-offshore-gas-fields/11680

  • shachar August 22, 2014, 5:08 AM

    Considering Hamas’s recent public acknowledgement tha tthe kidnapping of the 3 Israeli settlers was planned and executed by them, shouldn’t the las post (and several previous others published here) contradicting this be retracted?

    • Richard Silverstein August 22, 2014, 10:51 AM

      @ Shachar: Just because your media play you for a chump, don’t be one. “Hamas” never made any such acknowledgement. You’re better off reading the Guardian than Yisrael HaYom on this. The Guardian, a reputable newspaper made clear that one Hamas official living in exile in Turkey may have made a claim (the YouTube video is so poor you can’t be sure of what he’s saying on it) that Hamas was responsible. Whether he had any involvement in the plot or even knows anything about it is unclear. But from this you can make a feast right? If you have the proper prejudices & level of ignorance–which you appear to have in spades.

      I asked my source about this story & his impression was that al-Aruri is angry about the toll of Israel’s invasion & trying to stir up a hornet’s nest by taking credit for something about which he knows very little.

      BTW, in that same video he retracts his original claim that Hamas was involved after first saying it. You left that out too, didn’t you?

  • Slevdi August 22, 2014, 12:40 PM

    [comment deleted: Islamophobia & other false claims about Palestinians are unacceptable]

Leave a Comment