44 thoughts on “Gaza: ‘The Horror’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Shmit undz in ayzerne keytn,
    Vi blutike khayes undz rayst
    Ir kent undzer kerper nor teytn
    Nor keyn mol undzer heylikn gayst.

    It seems Haniyeh knows his Edelstadt, the quote you cite being almost a direct translation of this verse.

  2. “While this morning’s air strikes by Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza can be understood and even justified in the wake of recent rocket attacks,…”

    This from the J street statement, which I went to from your blog.

    I think this is a totally disingenuous statement. It seeks to strike the “balance” sought for by liberals.
    To say that this unprecedented violence which your blog brings to us in such stunning graphic truthfulness can be “justified” is bull.
    It is like saying if some person from my neighborhood kills a cop, and the police force then swoops in and arrests and beats every man over 18 [and since I live in an African-American neighborhood, this is not totally unrealistic], such an action is “justified”. Or, in a better analogy, they carpet-bomb the neighborhood.

    I often wonder how long people can deal with contradiction thru delusion and denial. It is strange Richard how you seem to have such feeling of outrage for the actions of Israel, and yet by praising the statement of J Street, you adhere to the idea that this is “tit-for-tat”.

    This is not two guys in a bar having a brawl. This is the 4th largest military power in the world, backed by the 1st strongest military power in the world, wiping out a people.
    Face it.

    You can’t face it. Why? Because they’re Jews, and Jews don’t do this?
    You mean to tell me if everything was exactly the same for the last 40 years, except that it wasn’t Jews, it was someone else, that you would feel the same way?
    I don’t think so.

  3. This is a truly terrible situation. Let’s hope that in the future, Hamas will stop attacking Israel so Gaza doesn’t need to be routinely blown up. Those people deserve better lives than that.

    Perhaps there is a silver lining though. If all of the aggressive Hamas members get blown up, perhaps there is a real possibility for peace in that area. At least until the next wave of palestinians indoctrinated on hatred grow up.

  4. @Richard:
    “Khaled Meshal has called from Damascus for a third Intifada.”
    Hasn’t that already started,-or the 2nd never ended? Israel is reacting to their provocation. You mention that only briefly by saying that Israel’s haven’t been killed lately.

    “there IS Jewish opposition to the Gaza massacre.”
    When Israel defends itself-it is a massacre? If Jews in the US went through what Jews here went through, wouldn’t all the Jewish organizations over there rush to protect your interests? Why should Israel be punished for having a military?

    “Because they’re Jews, and Jews don’t do this?”
    Again, Jews aren’t allowed to defend themselves? This goes back to the idea that Jews in the gallut (exile) have that a Jew was born to be stepped on. A Jew is supposed to be yelled at by his overbearing mother and then become an accountant. There is a conflict here between the always-defensive liberal Jew and the “new Jew” (Zionist). Why can YOU face it ellen? If you are progressive, then you must believe that Jews have been emancipated!

  5. Some good insights here, Richard.

    My blogging is more about recontexualizing than generating a lot of original content. Important observations I’ve had are on Obama’s lack of leadership in this crisis, and that the latest ceasefire was first broken by Israel on November 4th with a raid that killed six Palestinians. Thereafter, the rockets started up again.

    I think if Israel wanted peace it could have had it awhile ago, because Hamas is willing to talk truce. See Chris Hedges:

  6. I keep finding hard to stomach that such a gifted people like the Israelis have this ruthless, unreasonable, ugly side. Thank goodness, as you have shown us, there are better ambassadors for the Jewish people.

  7. These commentators who were reporting on toilet seats while Israel was bombed daily instead of telling any body who care that this game can not go on do have some blood on their hands. While Hamas was having a public show mocking the shalit family every body was silent. As for leaders in five stars hotels calling for intifada, well the Iranian will fight Israel till the last Hizb. drop of blood and the Hizb. will fight Israel till the last Pal. drop of blood. Right now Egypt is telling it clear and stright that the Hamas does not let injured Pal. to leave Gaza and empty Ambulances are atanding on the border. The Hamas declared iternal war on Israel and this is war. It is high time for the Pal. to realy accept Israel. Also the settlers should be kicked out of Hebron, with bullets if need be.

  8. I’ve been blogging about it since yesterday, but I doubt you’ll link to me.

    I’m a liberal on social issues, but a hawk on Israel.

    Hamas does not want to negotiate with Israel. They state quite clearly in their charter that “Palestine is an Islamic waqf” and will be so to the end of days.

    How does one negotiate with that?

    If Hamas wants a truce so badly, why did they use the last six months to upgrade their weapons capacity? The only reason they want one is to rearm and regroup, and live to attack another day.

    I know, I know, I’m horrifying you.

    J Street doesn’t speak for me.

  9. What Israel is it that Palestinians should “really accept” barni? The Israel of the 1948 armistice lines? Of the 1967 borders? Facts have to be faced here. Israel is not an “occupying power.” It has carried out a policy of defacto annexation of all of historical Palestine. So Israel has some choices to make, which the U.S. keeps protecting Israel from facing. It can either become a normal state and withdraw to the 1967 borders and take the boot of the neck of the Palestinian population which has lived under its rule (the P.A. is a gendarme not a sovereign government–it’s only “there” to carry water for Israel, the Palestinian leadership who signed Oslo is not just corrupt, they are incredibly incompetent to think that open ended talks in which Israel never said it would grant Palestinians their national rights would somehow deliver Palestinians from the injustices that they have suffered) for over forty years. Or Israel can absorb the Palestinians into the state of Israel. What it cannot do is to expect peace and security while it keeps dispossessing Palestinians. The war of 1948 is over. Israel exists. The only question today is exists as what kind of state? One in which Israeli Jews are fast becoming a minority ruling over a Palestinian Arab majority in the West Bank and Gaza, over Palestinians in East Jerusalem and denying Palestinian citizens of Israel basic rights, like the right to marry a Palestinian from the West Bank and live in Israel? or one that is democratic with a national minority whose rights to be Palestinian rather than Jewish must be respected?

    This is Israel’s decision, and it had better make it soon, or it will face a Palestinian leadership that is neither Fatah nor Hamas that begins to demand equality rather than freedom. And as Ehud Olmert has warned, that will be a far cleaner struggle.

  10. ‘It is an Israeli Shock and Awe (and you remember how that turned out).’ Yup, sure do. With one of the most comprehensive victories in the annals of warfare, at the cost of the fewest lives. I assume thats what you meant.

  11. ‘It can either become a normal state and withdraw to the 1967 borders and take the boot of the neck of the Palestinian population which has lived under its rule ‘ Why should Israel retire to borders which the Palestinians don’t recognise as valid? In 1947, the Arabs tried to destroy the two-state solution devised by the UN because they didn’t accept ANY borders other than a Palestine ruled by themselves. There are no valid borders now other than the ones achieved via the hazards of military action. Which of course has mostly gone Israels way. Boo hoo for you.

  12. People are dying and I am responding by replying to a blog post.I feel helpless.Obama is not saying much also.

    Cape Town,South Africa

  13. @Alex Stein: Thank you. I will include you in e mails if I get any links fr. authors. I’ll check out yr own post in a bit.

    When I replied to yr comment I was trying to absorb the horror of what’s going on in Gaza. I’m reading the most vile racism sent to me as “presents” from right wing pro Israel Jews. I allowed it to get to me I guess. My apology if I overreacted to yr comment.

  14. The only ‘horror’ is that arabs have been launching attacks on non-combatents since day one. If the arabs want peace they have but to stop the attacks, lay down the weapons and join the civilized world. It is their choice. If they choose leaders who condemn them to live in misery to fulfill the leader’s political goals, well, people get the government they deserve (I say this as a non-Obama American). As long as the arabs put the destruction of Israel before the well-being of their children, they will consistently fail.

  15. Richard,

    My friend. Please listen to me. I admire you. Your blog. But….

    “This is the 4th largest military power in the world, backed by the 1st strongest military power in the world,”

    Right, so why do something stupid like shell the 4th largest military power, KNOWING that the 4th largest military power has a predictable penchant for massive retaliation?

    May I suggest a reason? The Palestinian leadership knows that the Israelis are gonna come in with their non-surgical strikes that kill civilians and make Israel look terrible. They are willing to do this. They shove their broken bodies and bloodied children in the face of the world to manipulate. They have absolutely no plans to create a modern state, no means to do so. They are just basically welfare custodians who are great at blackmailing soft-hearted fools.

    “wiping out a people. Face it.”

    No, I won’t, because that’s not what’s happening. 300 people have been killed. This is a horror and a tragedy, but there are 1.5 million people in Gaza. The Israelis aren’t wiping anything out. Stop exaggerating.

    The only way this insanity is going to stop is if the US puts pressure on both sides equally and the rest of the international community follows suit. This means the US must cut off all aid to Israel, suspend diplomatic relations and support condemnatory resolutions in the UN. It also means we have to force Hamas to come to reason and stop doing things like shell Israel. The chances of this happening are nil. But that’s what I think must happen.

  16. @Meryl Yourish:

    Hamas does not want to negotiate with Israel

    You’ve clearly got it wrong Meryl. I’m perfectly OK with you being a hawk. But even hawks have to get their facts right & yours aren’t. Hamas has clearly & repetitively agreed to negotiations with Israel. It is ISRAEL which has refused to talk to Hamas. You may argue that Israel shouldn’t negotiate with Hamas. But saying that Hamas doesn’t want to negotiate w. Israel is just plain wrong.

    If you read Haaretz, btw you’ll find that Ehud Barak used the past 6 months to upgrade the IDF in preparation for this invasion. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, don’t you think?

    Believe me, you’re not horrifying me. People who horrify me (in terms of making me aware of how depraved Jews can be) are the ones who call me “vile filth” as one did today. You’d have to go a lot farther than what you’ve done to horrify me.

  17. @jsilverheels: THere is much that I agree with toward the end of yr comment & much that I strongly disagree with earlier in it. But you should be more careful in your reading. You’re criticizing statements made not by me, but by another reader.

  18. @barni: You and Aussie Dave are truly pathetic. Are you complaining about FOXNews which published a story about toilet seats which I merely commented on? I didn’t think so. Really, you’re so transparent it’s ridiculous.

    How did Hamas mock the Shalit family? I must’ve missed that. We all agree that Shalit should be free. But do pls. inform us about the privileged info you have that hasn’t been shared by anyone else on this subject.

    As for fighting to the last drop of blood, you seem quite willing to fight to the last drop of Israeli blood. Are other Israelis quite as willing to do so? Especially if there are serious casualties in the coming ground assault?

    Israel declared war on Hamas, buddy. Hamas fired rockets at Israel that hardly injured anyone in the past few months & certainly never killed anyone. That’s what you call war?

  19. This is absolutely disgusting.

    These rockets have killed 15 Israelis in 8 years. The Gazan mortar fire has killed 8 Israelis in 8 years.

    The reporting on this massacre suggests it’s Hamas fault. Yea, Hamas continued to fire rockets AFTER ISRAEL broke the truce and AFTER ISRAEL starved the Gazans.

    This is a joke. The only reason this is tolerated is because of US support. There is no good or evil. There is only interests.

    And Richard praises J Street as if they’re any different from OUR Left-wing.

    They are just a faction of 1 party. The left harps on about the rocket fire as well.

    So Israel kills almost 300 people IN ONE DAY as opposed to 15 people in 8 years. Israel injures 1000 people in ONE DAY. Many of these 1000 people will die because before the massacre Israel wouldn’t allow medicine and food into Gaza. With further fighting how will these people get medical attention?

    This is disgusting. Israel should be dismantled. It is a STAIN on humanity and a cause for ALL the conflict in that region.

  20. “Have we been willing to be cowed by the Greeks, Romans, European Crusaders, Spanish Inquisitors, Czars, Nazis, British or any Arab state through our own history? Then why should we expect things will be different with the Palestinians?”


  21. It occurred to me that this is like one of Dick Cheney’s “canned” hunts. In fact, this may be one of Dick Cheney’s “canned” hunts! No, on second thought, this is more likely to be Elliott Abrams’ handiwork.

  22. When I saw Pelosi’s comments on Israel’s “Ynet News”, I immediately went to the Democratic Party website. I used their ‘contact us’ to paste in her insipid remarks and inform them that I was leaving the Democratic Party for the Green Party. I’m beginning to regret having made several thousand dollars in contributions to the Democrats (party & candidates) this past election cycle.


    Pelosi: US must stand strongly with Israel

    Published: 12.28.08, 03:13 / Israel News

    Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi issued a statement concerning the Israeli operation in Gaza in which she wrote that “When Israel is attacked, the United States must continue to stand strongly with its friend and democratic ally.”

    According to Pelosi, “Peace between Israelis and Palestinians cannot result from daily barrages of rocket and mortar fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Hamas and its supporters must understand that Gaza cannot and will not be allowed to be a sanctuary for attacks on Israel.” (Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington)

  23. @Marc: Your comment is full of hopelessly out of date ideas about what constitutes a Diaspora Jew & what constitutes a Zionist. In fact, if things go on for Israel as they have lately, it will be the Diaspora that will survive while Israel self-destructs.

  24. “Hamas does not want to negotiate with Israel.”


    Hamas has no more interest in peace than Israel does.

    Both sides bide their time, carry out acts of aggression, then everything goes quiet again.

    It just so happens one side is militarily more sophisticated and has the ability to cause utter destruction, while the other does not.

  25. “wiping out a people. Face it.”
    jsilverheels said:
    “No, I won’t, because that’s not what’s happening. 300 people have been killed. This is a horror and a tragedy, but there are 1.5 million people in Gaza. The Israelis aren’t wiping anything out. Stop exaggerating.”

    I’m not exaggerating. 1.5 million people in Gaza are dying slowly lack of food, lack of water lack of medicine lack of medical care. This is wiping out a people.

    History will judge Israel to be the only 1st world nation to commit genocide in modern times. Someday there will be no Israel. That is obvious. It is only a question will there be any Palestinian people left.

  26. ” You’re criticizing statements made not by me, but by another reader.”


    You are a smart guy. I realize that the statements were made by others. But you’ve expressed the same sentiments here many times. The entire post is indicative of that sentiment. No criticism of Hamas even from a purely TACTICAL point of view.

    So I ask you again: what in the name of all that is decent is accomplished by Hamas shelling Israel? It is neither morally right, nor is it militarily effective. Yeah, sure, they sucker-punch Israel into a brutal retaliation that “the world” condemns. So what? You know as well as I do that even if the Israelis won’t “win” – and they won’t, neither will the Palestinians. All the Palestinians will “win” is a bunch of dead kids to wave in front of the cameras.

    Please Richard, deal with that. As long as that truth is not faced we will continue down the road to hell.


    1.5 million people in Gaza have it rough but it’s nowhere near what, say, Zimbabwe is. They survive, if barely. The tunnel system brings them weapons and food. There are even Gazans who are making money off the tunnel system, according to NPR. If they were really as bad off as you say their birthrate, one of the highest in the world, would drop. My stony heart is unmoved.

  27. @jsilverheels: I find your comment completely unacceptable. If you wish to criticize me DO NOT confuse me with other commenters & DO NOT lump me in with them. My views are quite different than Ellen’s. DO NOT claim that my views are the same as others without specifically addressing my own specific views.

    I have spoken against the missile barrage many times before & also during the current crisis. However, the enormity of the devastation wrought by Israel is entirely disproportionate to whatever damage or danger caused by the missiles. Besides, Israel has violated ceasefire provisions IT ITSELF agreed to by not lifting the siege. So the blame if more on Israel’s side than Hamas’.

  28. Look Richard,

    Don’t take that tone of voice with me. Cut it out. You are not convincing anyone of anything. You are howling in the wind. You’ll be doing this 10 years from now to no end.

    I’m not goddamn criticizing you. I’m only pointing out that Hamas should have known what it was getting into when it shelled Israel.

    As far as “enormity of devastation” since when are 300 dead people a huge number? 4,500 people are dying per month on Congo, I don’t see you getting your kosher panties in a twist over that. The only reason you care about this is because it makes you look bad.

    You probably won’t print this. Fine. Keep screaming about nothing, you stinking loser.

  29. jsilverheels, what the hell is the problem with you? This is between you and RS, but, c’mon, first you say “I’m not goddamn criticizing you” and then “Keep screaming about nothing, you stinking loser” for a totally reasonable demand by RS not to attribute to him what somebody else said? You’re off you medication or something?

  30. @jsilverheels: I’ll take any tone of voice I choose to you or any other commenter here who trespasses the comment rules as you did.

    I’m not goddamn criticizing you

    You did indeed criticize me. And I have no problem with that. My problem is that you quoted someone else & attributed my views to her. That’s wrong.

    kosher panties

    I find that phrase offensive even as a feeble attempt at wit.

    you stinking loser.

    You have been banned for violating the comment rules.

  31. Some of these statements are the height of ignorance and stupidity.

    Sure Hamas has offered to negotiate with Israel, but let’s be honest about their offer. It is always for a ceasefire, including one that called for ten years of “peace.”

    The problem is that their charter calls for the destruction of Israel. That makes negotiating useless. All Israel would do is give them time to arm themselves and prepare for the war that would come.

    It is also wrong and patently false to claim that Israel is committing genocide. It simply isn’t true.

    Beyond that let’s go back to the truly ridiculous argument that the rockets really haven’t hurt that many people.

    How many people would allow their neighbor to attack them daily. Think about it, would you live peacefully next to someone who always threw stones at you.

    Eventually one is going to hit and someone is going to be hurt.

    It is a moronic argument to say that the rockets really aren’t dangerous so Israel should just stand by.

  32. This is the first major Israeli offensive against the daily barrage of missiles since the Palestinians started firing them at civilians.

    The low death toll is down to Israelis living in the bomb shelters provided to keep them safe.

    This of course contrasts vividly with Hamas who deliberately imperil their civilians because they know how these stories play with gullible liberals. They know that the closest thing liberals have to their native self-blame is to blame the westernised Israelis (rather than the misogynist, homophobic Islamic supremacist cult group who are causing this situation).

    Israel has no apologies to make. The high death toll is down to Hamas’s strategy. The whole situation is down to Hamas’s strategy.

    This war will stop the moment Hamas stop the rockets.

    It’s that easy folks. HAMAS HOLD THE “OFF SWITCH”.

    Don’t blame Israel for trying to stop the rocketing. Blame the fascist cult group for not stopping this war.

  33. @feh: I’m so unbelievably tired of this insufferably smug self-justification that Israelis and their apologists for the Gaza assault have adopted. Their brains are on autopilot and their moral compass is gyrating uncontrollably.

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And sad.

  34. @Andrew Lale:

    Why should Israel retire to borders which the Palestinians don’t recognise as valid?

    You are either ignorant or a liar. Which is it? THe Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League proposes Arab recognition of Israel and end to all hostilities against it in return for a return to 67 borders. Have you forgotten that little inconvenient fact?

  35. @Andrew Lale:

    With one of the most comprehensive victories in the annals of warfare, at the cost of the fewest lives.

    Do you even know what “Shock and Awe” was? That’s how you describe the U.S. invasion of Iraq in which 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed, not to mention the hugely larger number of Iraqi dead?

  36. @Barry Williams: Must be the hasbara crowd. This guy “loves to read” my blog like he’d like fire ants crawling up his leg.

    Thanks for the bellicosity & jingoism so all my readers can understand the primitive thinking that welcomes Israel’s assault on Gaza.

  37. Well, there is a lot of peace in the grave. Maybe it’s just that Israeli death wish that makes them imagine that killing people is the best way to guarantee their safety.
    Get ready for the Israeli refugees. I can hear the sob stories already. Those bad bad people took my house and watered their goats in my swimming pool!
    Truly, the only sin is to be poor.

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