12 thoughts on “What Ethan Bronner Won’t Tell You About Israeli Support for the Gaza War – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Bronner also displays a common flaw in discussions of Israeli public opinion, where the consensus of the Jewish population is treated as the national consensus (although he’s not as bad as some who simply ignore Israel’s non-Jewish population).

    1. Actually, Jews San Frontieres has a different take on this report that is equally damning. The blog writer found an earlier version of Bronner’s story on the IHT site which didn’t mention Israeli Arabs at all. The JSF writer complained in writing to the Times, which told him a later version would include this material. They did, but the material pretty much dismisses Israeli Arab sentiment as insignificant. More condescension.

  2. This Israeli argument fails the logic test:

    ” even if Mr. Rayyan purposely hid among his family to protect himself, as it appears he did. ”

    Why would any Palestinian leader think his family could be a human shield ‘to protect himself’? Nobody Arab imagines that Israel would refrain from bombing the family to kill the leader. Israel has been bombing civilians since at least 1974. Israel famously killed that Hamas leader in the summer of 2002 along with his family, including an infant. Everybody in Palestine knows that hiding among your family is no way to fend off Israeli missiles. So if Rayyan or any other Hamas leader is with his family, he’s not there to hide or because he imagines (laughable thought) that the Israelis might hold their fire because they know he is surrounded by children.

    Israelis like to believe that their army is so humane that of course Arabs would take advantage of their humanity by doing diabolical things like hiding amongst children. Arabs don’t credit this view of Israeli military behavior and have not for at least two generations.

    Perhaps the Hamas leaders are among their family because they want to be? They have no where else to go? They would rather die together than apart? I really don’t know. But the idea that they are hiding out with the women and children because they think Israel won’t wipe out a whole family – hilarious. They think Israel WANTS to exterminate their whole people. You may argue that Israel does not want to, and that is your right. But the people of Gaza don’t believe that, and are not choosing where to hide (where can they hide) based on a theory of the IDF’s greatly moral conduct of war. (Pardon me while I laugh bitterly)

    1. I have read that Rayyan was a very proud man (not to mention harshly anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic, but that’s besides the point). He started the tactic of getting civilians to go on the rooftops of buildings they knew were targeted by Israeli missiles & standing there daring the pilots to attack. I am certain that Rayyan was a brave man who said to himself and his family: “If I’m to die let it be with my family.” Saying he hid is yet another stupidity of this report. No one who knew Rayyan would say he was the type to hide or that he was a coward.

  3. Why would Ethan Bronner interview a business paper’s editor on that topic? And why would he omit to mention Haaretz newspaper? Simple: Bronner is a personal friend of Yoel Estheron, and both can’t forgive Amos Schocken who preferred David Landau to Estheron for the top job of Haaretz editor in chief. Thus Estheron left Haaretz for Calcalist, and Bronner left out Haaretz from his article…

    1. Isis_Mor: Thanks so much for the inside dope & nuance of that story. I had no idea of those personal connections & of course it explains a lot. That’s something I sometimes miss not being in Israel.

  4. Disappointed by Yeshoshua here; expected better from someone of his calibre (enjoyed his novel The Lover). Apart from the moral dubiousness of his arguement; he completely ignores the fact that Hamas adhered to the ceasefire put in place last year and fired no rockets against Israel; this ceasefire was broken by Israeli forces in November after which they resumed. A simple statistic is that the number of Israelis killed during the ceasefire was 0 and the number since then has been at least 7. By its own logic of protecting its citizens, Israel’s current actions aren’t working.

  5. I did not read the Yehoshua comment that way. To explain as best I can, I thought he was using the device of inhabiting a mindset (not necessarily his own). In other words- how dare they lob rockets on us and our grand boulevards, how dare they disturb our lives. How dare those barbarians disturb our civilized lives!

    Listening and reading others who feel just this way may have colored my reading.

    So I thought that is how Bronner took it as well and that he deliberately ended his article to make that subtle point. It is very difficult to be a reporter (esp for the NYT) that is a truth teller unless you are on the editorial/opinion page.

    Did you read the NYT public editor this Sunday on this subject?

    For more on Yehoshua’s feelings about this Gaza war ( earlier on) which again I read differently than others more harshly critical here and elsewhere. On 12/30, he seemed to have had enough. ( I can find nothing online of what he has said since then).

    Also, Bronner said 90% were for this war. That is either right or wrong. If it is 90% that is a pretty high number and it justifies the report spending all that time on it.

    I tend to look for the anti-war writing in Haaretz and elsewhere. So my view is distorted/supported in that way. It is disturbing shocking shameful to me that so many in Israel have become so numb to the suffering so close by that they themselves have imposed yet seem to be able to justify or blame enough to go on living on their “grand boulevards” with clear consciences as military/ firepower takes care of the problem.

    I thought Etgar Keret’s piece on proportionality in the LATimes was excellent:
    Mid East ‘proportionality’

  6. I know nothing of Rayyan besides what Silverstein just wrote above. I know not that much about Gaza because I cannot bear to read in detail the reports. However I just looked at a Gaza blog in which they spoke of the early morning/darkness before dawn prayers the mosques have added during this onslaught. It’s a special prayer hour for tough times. Everybody prays.

    I have been turning to God and prayer and forgiveness myself to get through this. I don’t profess a particular faith although my own background is Christian. Right now I’m taking spiritual advice from a person whose background is Jewish but the advice is non-denominational.

    I imagine the families of Gaza praying together in fear, in the dark of the night, and finding some comfort. I do. I am facing advanced cancer along with everything else, and praying with others brings me peace.

    It is possible that Rayyan, as a strong believer, found comfort in being amongst his family at this crisis time. Perhaps they all prayed together. Certainly they all died together, and I believe that they are all with their Maker who is mine as well – together. I don’t believe in hell. Human beings make hell on earth.

    The only solution at this point is to pray, and pray a lot. And this is the only thing that will bring any of us together.

  7. I may be dense but for all the times we have heard that civilians have been killed in an apartment building, school or house because a so-called terrorist was hiding among them, I always think, what is he suppose to do…walk in the middle of the street with a bulls eye on his back and a sign saying “shoot me, I’m here”

    They may hide sometimes, but I doubt they intentionally hide every single time!

    Without saying, you don’t kill a whole bunch of people or demolish a building with innocent people in it, just because you think there might be a terrorist hiding in there. There’s got to be a better way.

    It is an excuse, used way too often. It’s pathetic.

  8. That’s ridiculous explanation of why Ethan Bronner would leave out Haaretz in that article if I may say so– c’mon now. I know I sound like a relative of Ethan Bronner’s but believe me I am not.

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