31 thoughts on “Israel Invades Gaza: Going for the Hamas Kill? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Excellent analysis, your comparison to the Iraqi army forces is an interesting point of view. However, remember this is not a war, Hamas had no way of engaging with the F16s, Naval forces or artillery.

    Do you think the ground invasion is going to accomplish anything? We all know it’s a suicide mission for allot of the troops, but will the deaths just be used an excuse to kill more people? Or will Livni just use those names of the fallen during her campaign?

    Also, did anyone else find her (Livni) smiling and prancing with Sarkozy disgusting? This campaign was supposed to be a defensive one, I would hope she would show some respect for the people she is supposed to be defending.

  2. Hello Mr Silverstein

    I am very impressed of your blog. You have listed a long list of probelamtic issues about the current Gaza war.

    In an earlier post you say: “…There is only one sane, reasonable resolution of this conflict: Israel must lift the 18 month siege of Gaza and allow the return to normal life. Hamas must end the rocket barrages against Israeli civilians. It is simple, yet at the same time impossible because neither side appears willing to concede…”

    So you offer an impossible solution to the conflict i.e. no solution at all. Do you think you can formulate some more practical solution or you feel that this is beyond your abilities. Myself I would be very happy to hear any of your new refreshing ideas.

    Truly Yours

  3. “The likelier result of a destruction of the Hamas infrastructure, then, would be chaos ”

    Would that stop all those missiles hurled at Israeli civilians? Will it stop the tunnels? Because right now, I’m tired of hearing about all those missiles and tunnels.. If chaos in Gaza stops the missiles and tunnels, that is acceptable. It’s a shame it had to come to this, but those missiles and tunnels must be stopped. Actions have consequences.

  4. This is the corner that Israel/US/Britain has backed itself into when they declared their “war on terror”: the ideology of not speaking to anyone deemed “terrorist” or their affiliates has made their options limited when dealing with the reality of insurgency and deep-rooted resistance to occupations and colonisations. It’s either negotiation which equates to being “soft” or scorched-earth policy which only inflames more hatred against themselves.

  5. This is election campaigning Israeli style.
    Killing Arabs mean increase in approval ratings.
    Watching CNN,BBC nothing is said about the Israeli election next month.

  6. In the last paragraph you quoted, Bronner hints at another fact those obsessed by their “Hamas = terrorists” myopia can’t see: much of the targeted so-called “Hamas (or “terrorist”) infrastructure” – ministry buildings, police stations and so on – is in fact the infrastructure of the civilian administration, which happens to be headed by Hamas atm. Nobody would call the White House a piece of “GOP infrastructure”, would they? I agree that the likely outcome will be either another Lebanon-style defeat for Israel or complete anarchy in Gaza, in which no militant of any faction would have any reason to hold back, including, needless to say, from firing missiles into Israel. If Israel wants to place its bets on interfactional violence (with the possibility of it spilling over to the West Bank), like it did with the preempted Fatah coup of 2006, or the attempt to rout Hamas by Mohammed Dahlan’s merry gang of goons, or indeed the fostering of Hamas itself, well, go ahead. That has worked like a charm in the past, didn’t it? Disuniting the Palestinians has indeed worked to infinitely delay a solution of this conflict and in the meantime to enable Israel to rule supreme; it will never bring Israel the peace it ostentatiously wants.

  7. the gaza actions may or may not be election related. msnbc and cnn certainly do discuss the impact of the actions on the elections and vice versa. i dunno what you guys want – should israel respond in kind with random rocket attacks on civilian targets in gaza? i’m quite certain the current israeli objective is to remove the rockets and those who launch them. is that so hard for you guys to understand? the gazans can repent at any time and cease the wanton rocket attacks.

  8. Tzvee,

    Speaking for myself, I would like a negotiated arrangement which includes an end to the rocket fire and a removal to the blockade of Gaza. Israel’s failure to lift the blockade is what led to the non-renewal of the ceasefire in the first place.

  9. @Tzvee:

    What would you want the Palestinian people to do? Besides roll over and play dead that is.
    -Occupation for 40 years.
    -Apartheid inside Israel for Arab Israeli’s.

    Honestly what would any group of human beings do, living under such conditions.
    Do you know why Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison?
    He wanted to plant bombs, the apartheid regime here in South Africa said he was a terrorist.Mandela’s name was only recently taken out of US terror list.
    To us Mandela was a freedom fighter, fighting the injustice of apartheid.
    I am not saying Hamas is correct.Firing rockets at woman and children cannot be justified by any reasonable human being.Contrast the Merkava and F-16’s killing innocent people whilst I am typing this reply.Does the Palestinian people not mourn.Are they not human beings to.
    Dov dying in he’s bed and Dawood dying in he’s bed should enrage the world equally.

  10. I recommend that those interested in this latest Israeli barbarism, so justified and even extolled by many, read Gideon Levy’s latest piece in today’s HAARETZ. His succinct essay, “And There Lie the Bodies”, cuts to the quick: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052348.html. Its firsr paragraph read as follows: “The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape’s topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe’s diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.”

    Seems to me that those excusing and encouraging Israel’s latest destruction-and-killing spree should consider offering their services to various purveyors of hard liquor, for certainly they could pull in a lot of money, demonstrating that they are salesman ubër alles, whose moral compass is so dysfunctional as to allow them to freely ply the driver of a powerful automobile, known to be alcoholic, with all the liquor at their disposal even as he enters his car and turns the ignition key. My very own NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is flying off to Israel on his white horse – Pegasus, perhaps – to lend aid and comfort to the drunken killer. Might help him with the next election even as Israel’s tough politicos strive to make themselves look tougher still. One sure thing is that we shouldn’t exactly hail the departure of our warrior prezdent Bush and Svengali Cheney since the equivalent and possibly worse seem to be alive and well and functioning in that stalwart little democracy east of us.

  11. I agree with everything you say here. I wonder tho, does Hamas also have a responsibility to stop the rocket fire? Given that it does nothing but harden resolve of the invaders and inflame the situation?

    It seems Hamas has a choice – to be a political body whose central message – that Israel does not have a right to exist – is carried with the same peace, patience and dignity that led Gandhi and Mandella to success in India and South Africa.

    Or to be a violent organisation, forever chased and attacked by the far more wealthy and powerful state it claims to seek to destroy, as all states in the world do when faced with their possible violent destruction. But in this case, is it really fair for Hamas to also rule over the people of Gaza when Hamas’s presence there will inevitably endanger the 1.5 million civilians living there?

  12. @rich: “Honestly what would any group of human beings do, living under such conditions.” honestly? there are dozens of more productive paths

  13. I agree that Israel seems to be taking a shotgun to a knife fight, as it were, but does anyone really think that Hamas, or Hezbollah (if we’re bringing Lebanon into the discussion), would actually stop attacking Israel if Israel did everything that they wanted?

    Look, the fact is, Hamas wants Israel gone, and I suggest nothing would change this, no matter what Israel did. No negotiating period. It’s just a fact.

    I hate that Israel has done this, if I must be honest, but the fact is, I hate what Hamas has done too.

  14. “there are dozens of more productive paths”

    How unproductive will this latest incursion prove to be? 40 years and the best Israel has come up with has led to another military assault on refugees.

    There are more productive paths; sadly, Israel chooses not to engage in it until the cost proves too high. How many more lives must perish until Israel realises that killing won’t stop the nationalism?

  15. @Dan:

    Hamas wants Israel gone, and I suggest nothing would change this, no matter what Israel did.

    While you seem to be trying to keep an open mind about the severity of Israel’s assault on Gaza, you do not know very much about what Hamas has said or believes on this subject. Hamas has accepted the notion of a virtually permanent ceasefire if Israel withdraws to 1967 borders. This is a far cry from “wanting Israel gone.” Israel, in fact, seems to want Hamas gone more than the other way around.

  16. @Tony Sehic:

    If chaos in Gaza stops the missiles and tunnels, that is acceptable.

    How little you understand the Middle East. You remember the chaos of Afghanistan after the Russians left? What resulted fr. the chaos? The Taliban and Al Qaeda. Chaos in Gaza would result in far worse than Hamas. Believe me. That’s why, despite my strong reservations about Hamas, they are far better rulers of Gaza than Fatah since they actually run the place & control what happens there. They are not corrupt, nor are they as ruthless, cruel or torture prone as Fatah was when it ran Gaza.

  17. @Dan:

    So you offer an impossible solution to the conflict i.e. no solution at all. Do you think you can formulate some more practical solution or you feel that this is beyond your abilities.

    Why would you bother to begin yr comment w. praise of my blog if all you really meant to do was insult me.

    My solution is not only simple & practical, I predict it is what will end up happening in the not too distant future. Israel WILL ends its siege. It cannot go on forever. It is simply too immoral, too stupid, too ineffective to continue much longer.

  18. Dear Richard:

    Thank you for what you do on this blog, and thank you for caring so very much.

    Your opponents here in comments don’t seem to notice that you come at this with love for those on both sides of this conflict. I hear your anger but underneath it I hear that your love of humanity makes you frustrated. You want people to be better than this. You want YOUR people to be better than this.

    Take it easy and be well, and thank you again.

  19. @Tzvee:

    Paths like Oslo? What did Oslo bring the people living under occupation.
    Did it end the occupation?, did it decrease settlements.
    Statements coming out of US says “Israel is a UN member fighting a terrorist organisation”.
    Israel must be the only UN member who cannot clearly define their borders.Labour,Kadima and Likud all would give you different borders of the state of Israel.

  20. Hamas is indeed willing to accept an Israeli withdrawal to pre 1967 borders but in my conversations with Hamas members of Parliament they all made it clear that this is meant as an interim step to their ultimate goal. And we need not fool ourselves about what this ultimate goal is. I hate the violence that is currently taking place in Gaza but I really believe that Hamas has painted itself into a corner and that the end result – endless conflict – is well in keeping with the goals of Hamas’ paymasters – the Shiite regime of Iran. Does anyone really think that Israel is going to reward Hamas by withdrawing to pre-1967 borders? Of course not. Like I said – endless conflict and instability that perpetuates the victimization of Palestinian civilians, but more importantly, creates wide scale regional instability that threatens existing regimes and benefits only the Iranians and their Syrian allies.

  21. Funny how Hamas was supported by the state of Israel to counter the PLO and now Israel’s want to destroy Hamas.
    Mia what existing regimes are threatened by the Gaza war.
    The Egyptian regime? A regime that is unjust, hated by the population.When was a free election held in Egypt?

    You do not peace with your friends , you make peace with your enemies.

  22. The popularity of Hamas is a function of the brutality of the occupation. If Israel does weaken Hamas, then some other more radical, more violent, less controllable organization will take its place.

  23. Richard,
    In an earlier post you said that acc to a poll 86% of Israelis supported the assault. This morning I heard on Pacifica radio that a Ha’aretz poll indicates only 46% of Israelis supported the air offensive, and that opposition to the ground war is growing. I can only hope that the latter poll is correct.


  24. I suspect that the initial intentions were not as stated but actually to destroy Hamas. I think they had to be careful about stating the goals b/c success or failure would/will be judged accordingly.

    If that is not the case then perhaps the body chemistries of the PM, Defense minister, generals, are changing as they go for the gold.

    Of course it is a “grand delusion”– great phrase.

  25. Forgot to say that Ethan Bronner’s reporting has been quite good and thank you for conceding that here.

    Also Gideon Levy’s piece on the blood pipline test ( And There Lie the Bodies” is moving- someone mentioned this above and gave the link.

  26. Suzanne:

    Moving piece by Levy indeed.If more Israeli’s felt like Mr Levy then think the whole situation would have been much better.

  27. @ellen: Sorry, but that simply can’t possibly be right. Even if you included Israeli Arabs in the poll (who would be less supportive), there’s no possible way the response would only be 46%. But I’d be happy to see a link & review that further.

    Now, if more Israeli soldiers die then support could rapidly decline–in fact it would decline. But that remains to be seen.

  28. · do you know which country in the world allows itself to break all the international law and treaty

    · do you know which country allows itself to kill children, elderly, woman without being blamed.

    and the world give it excuse because of the holocaust!, we all know that the holocaust is a big things but it does not mean that the Israeli can kill, destroy home and occupy land not belong to them. They can do that at any time.

    Till when we keep give them excuse.

    Most of the Israeli live in occupied land!

    We all know about Hamas Missiles toward the “innocent Israeli”, have you ever asked where this missiles lunched to , these missiles are launched toward on occupied land “stolen land from the Palestinian”.

    Most people in Gaza are living in camps. Their original home are occupied and stolen by the Israeli

    The Israeli can kill any person in Gaza for no excuse, a lot of incidence happened where the Israeli soldiers killed children for just having fun.

    The only way the Palestinian can defend themselves are these locally made missiles, comparing with the most advanced missiles the Israeli are using to kill or horrify people in Gaza

    Israeli prevent Petrol, Hospital supply, even the basic food supply on 1.5 million in Gaza, have you ever thing that is it really these missiles is the reason or there is more big reason behind that!!

    If you look back on the history of the Israeli, if they want to occupy land they do massacres so the people can flee and leave the lands for them, “Dir Yassin, Bea’r Sabah and etc..”.
    Till when we keep giving them excuse!

  29. “can the rockets really be stopped for any length of time while Hamas remains in power in Gaza?”

    There was a 5 month ceasefire between Hamas and Israel before the invasion. In the 3 months before, there wasn’t a single casualty on either side. Israel failed to ease the economic sanctions promised if Hamas stopped the rockets. And who broke the ceasefire? Israel, on Nov 4, 2008, the same day the rest of the world was distracted with the US elections.

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