58 thoughts on “Slater: Gaza War in Light of Just War Theory – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
task-attention.png
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
 

  1. Nice to see a proper application of Just War theory after the peversions Michael Walzer put it through to defend every single Israeli war since 1948.

    And – “tikkunish”

    Oh dear God, that is so wrong, on so many different levels!

  2. Lerner is more accurate than you on this one Richard.

    I was editor of a renewable energy advocacy magazine in 1998, in which the issue of utility deregulation was very hot. I presented in contrasting articles the opinions stated by Union of Concerned Scientists (that favored modification to existing regulatory law but nothing resembling deregulation) against a utility trade group (that favored complete deregulation except on technical oversight, but not of rate-setting or allowable business relationships).

    It was EFFECTIVE JOURNALISM, that enabled me to comment.

    You’ve often stated what I consider to be a narcotic denial of the memory of Hamas terror (remember nail-studded belts in multi-cultural Haifa cafe’s) in your math of the current politics between Gaza and Israel.

    Healing is the long-term need. Permanent partisanship pretending to be effective dissent is old and IN THE WAY.

  3. Healing? HEALING???

    While Gaza remains in rubble and while Peace now publishes the master plan to double the number of settlers in the WB?

    What’s “in the way” is Witty’s refusal to even acknowledged that the government of Israel continues to practices Zionism which is both violent and colonial.

    How can healing occur when liberal zionists don’t even acknowledge the reality?

  4. So, nail-studded suicide belts in a civilian cafe is your description of “effective dissent”?

  5. I just read the full Slater article.

    Its true and not true. Critical turning points, for example the events in early and mid-November, 2008 are presented in overly rosy manner, creating a functional apology for Hamas shelling of civilians from December 19th to 27th, before Israel responded militarily.

    It is a CRITICAL omission, at best a negligent ambiguity.

    1. What do you think of the blockade, Richard Witty? That was collective punishment and Israel is still maintaining it It’s an act of war.

      Go ahead and criticize Hamas, because they deserve it, but the actions of the Israeli government have been worse. And Fatah is no prize either.

      1. There are three potential access paths to Gaza.

        1. On the border of Israel. Its up to Israel to determine how it manages that border, whether they let ANY trade or people cross it. For a long period of time (1948 – 67) NO people or trade crossed the border.

        2. On the border of Egypt. Its up to Egypt to determine how it manages that border. Hamas’ associates in the Muslim Brotherhood attempted coups in Egypt, and based on their own logic and in agreement with Israel, does not allow unmitigated traffic across the border.

        3. Via the sea. There are moderate scale port facilities that exist or could be easily constructed. That is the only area that could be considered a “violation of international law”.

        Gaza is NOT sovereign and does not subscribe to the law of the seas. Its ports have been used to transport militarily aggressive materiel to them.

        Israel probably could relax its sea blockade, either limiting access to searched boats, or allowing traffic unhindered. But, then IF aggression against Israeli civilians were instituted from Gaza, Israel would then be clearly within its rights to war.

        The path forward is either unification with the PA, which would require Hamas’ recognizing Israel as Israel, or declaring its independance.

        I personally think that Hamas is the obstacle to Palestinian well-being in Gaza, and if anything is the primary party responsible for the election of Netanyahu.

      2. 1. israel has no obligation to any border anyhow, just like egypt doesn’t open it’s border. Every soverign nation has the right to decide what bordrs to open and which not.

        1. No nation has the right to place another under siege esp. for the inane reason that it doesn’t like the gov’t. running said country. This isn’t an issue merely of opening a border crossing. This is an issue of a full on siege, which is illegal under international law.

          1. A “siege” has components.

            The components are the various border crossings. Gaza has borders with two states, and NO inherent right for them to be open.

            If Hamas rejected supporting the overthrow of Egypt, then they might have a more open Egyptian border. If they rejected supporting the overthrow of Israel, then they might have a more open Israeli border.

          2. You’re confusing the distinction between closing a border crossing so that your citizens may not enter a neighboring country and that country’s citizens may not enter yours; and a siege. No nation is allowed to lay siege to another unless there are active hostilities and a state of war. And even then they may not punish civilians. The siege is a violation of international law. Witty, you are pathetic. But like a masochist I secretly think you enjoy the battering you take here.

  6. Richard Witty, you talk utter tripe. The land is Palestine and the zionists illegally occupy it.

    And yeah, yeah you can carry on about resolution 181 until doomsday but it was still and illegal and not binding vote.

  7. I agree that Egypt is partly responsible for the siege of Gaza. I’m not sure how your admission that the naval blockade is a violation of international law strengthens your case.

    Since Israel uses weapons against innocent people, should there be a blockade against them? We’d only have to persuade the neighbors not to let any goods cross the borders, and then a naval blockade would be, in your words, the only area that could be considered a violation of international law.

    I will be more serious and more consistent than you–imo, there should be, as Amnesty International suggests, an arms embargo directed against both sides of the conflict.

  8. “Since Israel uses weapons against innocent people..” – israel not once used it’s weapon against innocent civilians but returned fire against sources of fire that fired on the them. It is the Hamas hat put them in harms way and shot behind civilians.

    why should israel open a naval blockade if the hamas uses to import missiles which it fires into, with full intent, onto civilian aras.

    1. Do you really believe what you wrote “Israel not once used its weapons against innocent civilians”? Is your interest in the conflict recent, or are you trying to push a line? Israel uses its weapons routinely against innocent civilians as a matter of policy. There is a crushing weight of well documented evidence to support this. If you are trying to push a line by making such fatuous assertions there is little point in doing it here where your audience is too well informed to treat it with anything except the derision it deserves.
      If you are genuinely interested please accept my apologies and try visiting http://www.shovrimshtika.org/testimonies_e.asp?cat=19 and http://usa.mediamonitors.net/Headlines/Why-Was-the-Palestinian-Mother-of-Eleven-Murdered. Also check out B’Tselem, Yesh G’vul, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

    2. israel not once used it’s weapon against innocent civilians

      My friend, you are either truly delusional or you’ve drunk the Koolaid tabs distributed by the Israeli foreign ministry. The media was filled with literally scores, if not hundreds of stories of diff. incidents in which civilians were not only accidentally killed, but deliberately & flagrantly killed. The International Criminal Court, which approaches these matters terribly soberly & cautiously, is seriously considering bringing charges against Israel. But go ahead & keep drinking that Kool Aid.

  9. This is all very academic. Life is much simpler. Israel will try to topple Hamas because Hamas does not accept prior agreements reached with Israel andthe PA and is dedicated to destroying Israel (not to mention all the years of terror and suicide bombings). No brainer. The Hamas and its allies continue to fire rockets into Israeli population centers (you wouldn’t know it reading this blog) and so is responsible for all the suffering that will fall upon the Palestinians in the next round of fighting. Obviously the Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinian civilians very much, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying so hard to reignite the flames of war. There really is an easy solution to this but it requires the Hamas to reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel, something they won’t do because it’s against their religion as they understand it. All the question of international law and the morality of war is not very interesting to anyone other than people in their academic offices at SUNY Buffalo (is that a prestigious university? doesn’t sound like it) or in comfortable their lounge chairs blogging from Seatle. For me war is moral if it protects my countries citizens. The last war obviously did not accomplish that goal and so the next war will be even worse. I say that with great sorrow for both sides (but more for mine).

    1. Israel will try to topple Hamas…

      Until it reconciles to Hamas & negotiates a resolution of their outstanding differences which will happen despite yr marlarkey.

      The Hamas and its allies continue to fire rockets into Israeli population centers (you wouldn’t know it reading this blog)

      Liar.

      Obviously the Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinian civilians very much, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying so hard to reignite the flames of war.

      Actually, Hamas cares as much for Palestinians and their rights as Jewish nationalist militant groups cared for Jews and their rights in pre-State Israel. Both have & had a goal of liberating their nation from the yoke of colonial oppression & both won & will win in their struggle.

      There really is an easy solution to this but it requires the Hamas to reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel

      There really is an easy solution to this but it requires Israel to reconcile itselft to the existence of Hamas.

      All the question of international law and the morality of war is not very interesting to anyone…

      Except all the great moral and political philosophers like Bertrand Russell, St. Augustine, Albert Einstein, etc. who have graced the world. What a know-nothing anti-intellectual bigot you are.

      SUNY Buffalo (is that a prestigious university? doesn’t sound like it)

      Actually, given yr previous comment you’ll have to excuse our not relying on yr evaluation of SUNY Buffalo’s academic excellence.

      For me war is moral if it protects my countries [sic] citizens. The last war obviously did not accomplish that goal and so the next war will be even worse.

      First, you’re confusing “moral” with “effective.” But given that you disdain moral philosophy & just war theory I wouldn’t expect you’d understand the difference. Second, war as waged by yr IDF does not protect your country’s citizens. Therefore, it is neither moral nor effective by your own acknowledgement. Third, the next war will not achieve yr objective & therefore will be just as immoral or ineffective as the previous ones.

      1. My apologies to SUNY Buffalo, and thank you Richard for pointing out my spelling error.

        Why am I a liar?

        1. Your apology should also be directed at Jerome Slater, who is a University Research Professor there. There is more intellectual distinction in his little finger than you possess in yr entire body.

          You are a liar because you repeatedly, monotonously and ad nauseam claim that I do not acknowledge attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants. I do. Hence, you lie.

          1. I must have missed the blog where you discussed the unprovoked attacks on Israeli centers from Gaza since the end of the Gaza war including the one on an Ashkelon school last Saturday bringing the parents organiztion to close the schools in Ashkelon this week.

          2. Now you’re moving the goal posts. You said you’d never know there were rocket attacks on Israel from reading this blog (a lie you’ve written here numerous times before). I pointed out yr lie. Now you claim I’ve never decried unprovoked attacks on Israel. You’re right. No attack whether on Israeli or Palestinian civilians is ‘unprovoked’ because the entire conflict on both sides is one huge provocation. The rockets attacks against southern Israel before Israel invaded Gaza too were not “unprovoked” because Israel decided to break the ceasefire by killing Hamas operatives in a tunnel bombing DURING the last ceasefire. Naturally if Israel breaks the ceasefire it should expect that its enemy would respond. The miracle is that you think Israel has a right to break the ceasefire but that Hamas has no right of reply.

            As long as Israel locks down all of Gaza under complete siege then no attacks on southern Israel are “unprovoked.” If Israel lifts the siege the rockets will stop. That’s the way to end the rockets. If you refuse to do so then you suffer the consequences. If you make Gaza suffer, Gaza will make you suffer. It’s that simple.

    2. “Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinian civilians very much”. Probably not a view shared by those who elected them, and will probably do so again give a free choice. It is said “you do not choose your enemies”. Wrongly, in this case: Israel did its damnedest to destroy Fatah and for practical purposes it has succeeded. Do you really imagine that if it succeeds in destroying Hamas that it’s successor will be more acceptable to you? The real problem here is that Israel (and the US,EU and Quartet) are determined to establish a Vichy regime to give a facade of legitimacy to whatever settlement they decide is acceptable. It just won’t work. It won’t bring a lasting peace.
      “For me war is moral if it protects my countries citizens”. Most Palestinians I’ve met aren’t quite so blinkered. They can see that for a peace to work everyone’s citizens need to feel protected. This statement illustrates exactly Israel’s problem. Myopia.

  10. My case is that Hamas initiated the resumption of armed conflict. (Even the assertions that armed conflict was resumed on November 4 by Israel, IGNORE the restoration of the cease-fire from November 19 – December 18.)

    They chose a strategy.

    They had other options.

    They COMMITTED to warring, rather than committed to quiet.

    1. Per this logic, Israel can initiate any form of violence it can mete out on the Palestinians and if the Palestinians choose not to retaliate in due kind but due so when conditions of the ceasefire WAS UNCHANGED BY ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE, any form of Palestinian aggression is not only initiated by Israel has the right to increase hostility in due kind because Hamas initiated this round of conflict.

      Israel had other options also. THEY COMMITTED TO WARRING, rather than committed to quiet. I don’t recall them observing the ceasefire for another month.

      Why do you always obfuscate reality? Operation Cast Lead was planned before the ceasefire was even observed. You always elude.

    2. My case is that Hamas initiated the resumption of armed conflict.

      What a load of rubbish. Do you really think that by recycling this propaganda that people will start beleiving it?

    3. Witty is absolutely correct on this point. Furthermore the Hamas was responsible for preventing rocket attacks from its territory by ALL groups (not to mention that Islamic Jihad had also agreed to the ceasefire) , so that even the assertion that Israel was the first to break the ceasefire is, in fact, wrong.

      1. Hardly, before you make a fool out of yrself read Slater’s essay which lays out the full chronology of who attacked whom and who violated the ceasefire first. While few here will justify Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, the truth is that Israel violated the ceasefire first. In fact, Huffington Post published a serious academic paper which explored this territory in great detail. This was once again an academic & not partisan political document. It found that in the vast preponderance of cases the breakdown of ceasefires was caused by an Israeli violation. Not just regarding Gaza, but in all cases including the W. Bank & Lebanon.

        1. “Slater’s essay which lays out the full chronology of who attacked whom and who violated the ceasefire first.”

          There lies the tragedy, in your use of the term “full”. Its a nice way to avoid inquiry, the word “full”.

        2. Here are quotes from Slater’s piece and my response in parenthesis: “in early June a new six-month truce went into effect” (actually Israel did not limit the truce to six months but lets move on). “During the next few months there were few if any Hamas rocket attacks” (Slater concedes there may have been Hamas rocket attacks. So much for Israel being the first to break the cease fire)”although there were several Islamic Jihad retaliatory attacks in response to Israeli military actions in Gaza or the West Bank” (Slater ignores the fact that Islamic Jihad was a party to the truce so once again it is them who are breaking the ceasefire first. Slater claims IJ attack were in retaliation to attacks in the West Bank OR Gaza. In fact the WB was not part of the truce and he cannot name a single Israeli attack in Gaza (because there wasn’t an)). Quoting Haaretz “Hamas leaders have spoken out vehemently and unequivocally against the rocket fire and … [have] even threatened those who violate the lull with arrest.” This is actually an admission that the Hamas DID NOT arrest those responsible for violating the ceasefire. Therefore Hamas did not live up to its obligation to prevent the firing of missiles into Israel from Gaza.
          The truth is that Israel did not violate the ceasefire first. The fact that you and other leftist bloggers keep regurgitating the same propaganda and untruths will not make it suddenly true.

          1. Slater concedes there may have been Hamas rocket attacks. So much for Israel being the first to break the cease fire

            Slater actually concedes there may have been Palestinian militant (not specifically Hamas) rocket attacks. THere are several other groups beside Hamas that might have broken the ceasefire. If you & Israel wish Hamas to have the ability to actually govern the place & control what goes on there you might want to re-consider doing yr best to destroy every possible tool that Hamas could use to prevent such attacks (killing police cadets, destroying police stations, preventing entry of equipment Hamas could use to monitor its territory better, etc.). Hamas worked hard to prevent attacks. The fact that you trumpet the few that Hamas failed to prevent, but which nonetheless caused no Israeli injuries or fatalities, shows that you’re merely interested in scoring propaganda pts. rather than a serious argument.

            In fact the WB was not part of the truce

            Actually Israel refused to incluce the WB in the truce while all Palestinian factions demanded that it be included. Therefore, Israel’s continuing targeted assassinations in the WB during the ceasefire was seen by Palestinians AND by Israelis as a provocation by Israel which it either did intentionally to undermine it or which it did because it didn’t give a crapt that it might undermine it.

            This is actually an admission that the Hamas DID NOT arrest those responsible for violating the ceasefire

            This is a perfect example of why you are so insufferable. You quote Haaretz saying Haaretz threatened with arrest those who violated the ceasefire. Then you use this to “prove” it meant that Hamas did NOT arrest anyone for violating it. Can you prove this is the case (that Hamas did not arrest anyone for violating it)? No, you can’t. Because if Hamas didn’t mean business & actually prevent militants from firing rockets then there would have been hundreds or thousands of rockets fired during the ceasefire instead of the much lesser number that were.

            The truth is that Israel did not violate the ceasefire first

            The truth is that Israel’s violations were lethal, while Palestinian militants’ were not. The truth is that Israel hardly gave a crap about the ceasefire while Hamas took it seriously enough to actually try to implement it.

            The Guardian carries a story saying that Gershom Baskin carried messages through Ehud Olmert’s wife or daughter (it didn’t identify which) from Hamas in which the latter practically begged Olmert to negotiate a continuation of the ceasefire that involved an end of rocket fire along with an end of the siege. Guess who shut down the discussion? Not Hamas. Israel.

            Is this “propaganda and untruths?” No, unfortunately for you rightists the truth is with the Baskins of this world. Hamas wanted peace. Olmert wanted war.

  11. I wonder what kind of resistance, if any, is allowed to Hamas. They have options: give them and we shall see if Israel allows (a) aid (b) goods (c) artillery (d) movement (e) access to borders (f) whatever else this life deprives them of?

    Good options huh, Richard? Are you Gazan? You LOVE to make decisions for them.

  12. Thanks for alerting us to this important piece, Richard.
    Apropos the magazine Tikkun – in August 2005, Rabbi Lerner published my article It Takes Two to Tango: From Unilateral to Bilateral Plans which warned that the then-current Unilateral Disengagement Plan will not lead to peace and security; rather, it will create a deepening and widening circle of violence. When everybody was singing the praises of Sharon and his courage to disengage from Gaza, I wrote that this is an illusion that will explode in our faces one day, and I suggested that Gaza be given complete independence, and, as a temporary move to assuage Israeli security concerns, NATO should deploy an international peacekeeping force inside Gaza and on its borders. Well so much for that idea…
    Indeed, Rabbi Lerner’s “dipsy-doodle disclaimer” (that’s a good one, Richard) is a bit strange, to put it mildly. But I think it stems from his sincerely motivated desire to be nice to the Israel-firsters crowd, but hasn’t he learned the old Jewish proverb: “nice guys finish last“?

  13. Richard, I think you are wilfully pretending that Israel does not and does not seek to exercise absolute effective control over Gaza and Gazans. What possible reason could require the personal intervention of a US senator to allow the import of pasta? Hamas has offered a TEN YEAR truce during which Israel must withdraw to the ’67 borders while a permanent peace was negotiated. It has also offered to enter into an agreement with Israel to exclude civilians completely from the conflict; an offer Israel declined to respond to. It could hardly do otherwise given the centrality murdering civilians plays in its policy of oppression.
    What I find hard to believe is that Hamas could have thought there was any chance that Israel would meet the ceasefire condition (and legal requirement) of ending the blockade.
    I am also unaware of any mutually agreed restoration of the ceasefire from 19 Nov thru 18 Dec. The blockade was lifted for a day or so (which I read as a very welcome and hopeful development) immediately prior to the last round of Israeli slaughtering of Gazans. However, as it turns out it was just a ruse, stupid of me to have thought otherwise really.

  14. Witty is not only dishonest, he is a liar. He’s been spewing that garbage on Phil’s blog as well.

    Hamas maintained the cease-fire. The sporadic rocket fire was carried out by groups in defiance of Hamas. The MFA report concedes this much.

    Furthermore, the terms put to Israel were subjective. No one should have expect Israel to meet them. No one has oversight on Israel and if no one has oversight, then Israel gets to dictate whether it met the subjective terms or not.

    EASE the blockade.

    Israeli politicians like Livni insisted that there was no humanitarian crisis. The Red Cross, UN, etc. all said there was and regularly condemned Israel for CAUSING it by the blockade, before/during/after the massacre in Gaza.

    The head of the Shin Bet met with the Israeli cabinet on Dec. 23rd and relayed Hamas’s interest in extending/renewing the truce to the West Bank as well as Gaza.

    Israel did not accept. Obviously. They broke the cease-fire on the 4th of Nov.

    Witty insists that they bombed the Gaza tunnels because they were being built INSIDE Israel and were going to be used for kidnapping more Israeli soldiers.

    Jimmy Carter described the tunnels as ‘defensive’ in the Washington Post and also went on to say that they were being built INSIDE Gaza – not Israel.

    So, Witty should provide us with a substantiated argument that these tunnels were in Israel.

    Now, all this aside. We need to be real here. Put things in context.

    Israel holds 10,000 Palestinians prisoner. 1000 without paperwork. 100s of them are minors.

    Israel legalized hostage taking until 2000. However, it still regularly kidnaps Palestinians and holds them as ‘administrative detainees’. Right out of 1984.

    Israel regularly tortures (B’Tselem). Israel uses human shields (B’Tselem). Israel obviously uses indiscriminate force, killing 10 times the number of children and 5 times the number of civilians in general (B’Tselem).

    Hamas’s charter, such as it is, is not surprising for a militant nationalist organization. The early Zionists used the same rhetoric when they were ‘liberating’ themselves from British rule in Historic Palestine, for the establishment of Israel as a Jewish State.

    Any leader, a student of history, should be able to set aside these trivialities (and they ARE trivial when you apply the proper context, ie. NOT comic book villain archetypes of ‘them’) and make calm/rational decisions.

    I also apply this to Hamas. Their charter is politically stupid. Israel has never had the FACTS on their side. Hamas could easily win the PR campaign by enduring and simply taking the moral high ground.

    By the way, I don’t advocate the moral high ground as dogma, but rather as a strategy or tactics. The hasbara campaign is designed to MAKE Israel look like the victim.

    The Palestinians ARE the victims but Israeli hasbara is designed to MAKE them look like villains.

    Every leader/movement of ‘liberation’ – from George Washington to Che Guevara – has used terror. Every powerful State uses terror casually and without second thought.

    Witty is one of those people who have no issues with the term ‘collateral damage’. This tells you a lot about the sort of person he is.

    I mean, who is that word designed for? And that’s the purpose – a tool/device.

    The victims don’t give a damn about INTENT. They lost their family/friends/livelihood/etc.

    But for Witty, that word is like a shield. You hide behind it and it excuses the crimes of your constituency.

    Hence, why Hamas should stop it’s ‘terrorism’ and fight a noble war against the IDF. Do not target civilians whatsoever. Endure the Zionist’s indiscriminate force and persecution of your people. No matter what, stick to a code/principle where you only fight enemy soldiers.

    All these accusations/etc. that Israel flings at Hamas/the PLO/whoever are crimes they themselves have committed.

    So go down through the list and you’ll see that Israel has done almost all those disgusting things – and in some cases LEGALIZED doing them for a time.

  15. Israel likely does seek to exert a high level of control over Hamas Gaza, as it continually and violently threatens sovereign internationally recognized southern Israel.

    When it experiments with a commitment to extending cease-fire, then the isolation of Gaza will likely gradually relax.

    Egypt will relax its border crossing. Israel will relax its border crossing (amazingly for a country that has been terrorized by Hamas).

    And maybe Gaza will declare itself independant and be accepted as a nation and then potentially sign on to treaties governing international transport and ports.

    It hasn’t done any of those things yet.

    It CHOOSES to aggress.

    You and Slater have been seduced into thinking that Hamas is willing to co-exist with Israel, for which there is no long-term objective evidence yet.

    The November 4th incident is a case in point. You and others insist that “Hamas did not build a tunnel that extended across the Israeli border” on the basis that it has not be “proven”. That leaves it as an unknown, not something that did not occur.

    If it did occur, then it indicates that Hamas was lying to YOU, that it intended in any way to co-exist with Israel even long-term temporarily.

    If it didn’t occur, then your raging about Israel using a falsified excuse to break the cease-fire might be accurate.

    But, you and Slater DO NOT KNOW. I don’t know. The weight of my reading suggests that the tunnel did extend beyond the Israeli border, and that would constitute a violation of the cease-fire in reasonable minds.

    Miles,
    You throw around a lot of exagerated language for an agreement that the two parties never sat in a room together, clarifying their mutual understandings of the cease-fire. The only witness to the whole agreement were the Egyptian negotiators who were highly critical of Hamas’ restoration of shelling of civilians after the formal cease-fire ended.

    Read back issues of Haaretz to determine if the resumption of the cease-fire from November 19 to December 18 occurred or not. Cease-fires only occur by agreement, by definition.

    Hamas CHOSE to resume shelling civilians. Whether stated as deterrent intent or not, in fact it convinced Israel that there was no chance of extended co-existence.

    Please take this in in thinking about Hamas. That is that Hamas undertook gruesome murderous assaults on entirely innocent civilians over a 15 year period, with absolutely no pretension even that they were valid military targets.

    It sours EVERY adolescent assertion that Hamas “desires” to co-exist, to not mutual aggress. The bar to prove the point is greater than that.

    It is provable if sincere. If insincere or so conditional on their implausible demands, it won’t happen.

    1. How insufferable can you get?

      “If it did occur, then it indicates that Hamas was lying to YOU, that it intended in any way to co-exist with Israel even long-term temporarily.

      If it didn’t occur, then your raging about Israel using a falsified excuse to break the cease-fire might be accurate.”

      The language you choose for one side as opposed to the other is quite telling.

      Also this:

      “I don’t know. The weight of my reading suggests that the tunnel did extend beyond the Israeli border, and that would constitute a violation of the cease-fire in reasonable minds.”

      The weight of this suggests that you “don’t know” and you had no evidence and still don’t. But you have already made your conclusion on the basis of your bias.

      “Cease-fires only occur by agreement…”

      Agreement with whom? It seems like every ceasefire declared now is self-imposed. So are they not ceasefires?

      “The bar to prove the point is greater than that.”

      A “bar” that only seems conceivable whenever a group sees no grievance to fight for. Is this “bar” equated with Israel? Nah. I bet their “desire” is well-observed by how they treat Palestinians.

      “Whether stated as deterrent intent or not, in fact it convinced Israel that there was no chance of extended co-existence.

      Please take this in in thinking about Hamas. That is that Hamas undertook gruesome murderous assaults on entirely innocent civilians over a 15 year period, with absolutely no pretension even that they were valid military targets.”

      15 years? How long has this occupation lasted? And has every Palestinian killed had “pretension…that they were valid military targets”. What the fuck are you on about? Do you really think Israel can pass this “bar” you impose on Palestinians?

      Sorry Richard (Silverstein), it seems Witty can have his moments and then he falls back into the abyss.

    2. Whether or not lifting the blockade was part of the cease fire it is indisputably ILLEGAL. In fact it is a specific breach of Article 33 of Geneva IV, WHICH YOU SHOULD READ at http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/380-600038?OpenDocument. If you read it you will see it is a startlingly accurate description of Israel’s modus operandi. While you are there have a look at Arts 146 and 147. These are incorporated into the DOMESTIC law of every country you can name including the United States. When you’ve looked at 147 remember that those committing or commissioning these acts bear PERSONAL responsibility. I strongly recommend those Israelis involved in any of these to do any travelling soon, because at some time, I hope sooner rather than later, they’re not going to be able to travel anywhere except the US, Marshall Islands and Pilau.
      Hamas or any other Palestinian should have had to do NOTHING to get the blockade lifted. It is the responsibility of everyone, including you, to see that it is lifted. I think you have no idea whatsoever of the degree of anger and disgust it causes. That was before the last round of Israeli barbarism. Millions and millions of people died to end tyranny and build a civilised world. What have we done with all the conventions, treaties and laws we put in place to accomplish this? We comprehensively ignore them to accommodate Israel. The whole Western world has acted and continues to act with the most craven hypocrisy. Western hypocrisy is not Israel’s fault, but you should have no illusions about how angry people are at the moral cost of acquiescing to Israel’s barbarity.
      What astounds me is that Hamas were clearly intent on not only scrupulously observing the cease fire, but imposing it on all the other groups in Gaza, even when it was blindingly obvious that Israel had no intention whatsoever of meeting the ceasefire conditions, let alone the more stringent requirements of the law. Please someone tell me how the **** we ended up supporting sanctions on the victims and rewarding their oppressors?
      “Hamas undertook gruesome murderous assaults on entirely innocent civilians over a 15 year period, with absolutely no pretension even that they were valid military targets”. Well, they’ve got another several decades to go to match Israel then! However, you are correct in implying that Israel does attempt to maintain a pretension that it attacks valid military targets.

  16. Wow Witty, you are becoming more and more delusional.

    Witty’s remarks in quotations.

    “Israel likely does seek to exert a high level of control over Hamas Gaza, as it continually and violently threatens sovereign internationally recognized southern Israel.”

    What does ‘sovereign internationally recognized’ have to do with anything Witty. The Palestinians right to self-determination has been internationally recognized as well and yet Israel – with US support – blocked and repeatedly violently attacked any attempt at such a realization.

    Furthermore, you’re throwing those words in to legitimize Israel over Gaza. I don’t understand what else you could possibly mean by that criteria. Is Gaza illegitimate because it’s not part of a Palestinian State? Is Gaza illegitimate because it lacks the ‘official’ recognition of the international community?

    And lastly, you regurgitate the notion that Hamas is threatening Israel. Again, you paint your ‘enemy’ as a comic book character. Your sanctimony and hypocrisy colors all your opinions on the ME and the I-P conflict.

    No one here is saying Hamas was right in firing rockets at civilian structures. It’s deplorable morally/politically/etc.

    However, as the detached rational thinkers that we ought to be, we should put all violence in context. This does not mean we AGREE with the final action, but in understanding the motive we can SOLVE the problem by going to the SOURCE of the antagonism.

    And what was the SOURCE Witty? Blind hatred of Jews? Only you with all your claptrap self-righteousness would assume so.

    The Occupation. The Blockade. Etc.

    Each is it’s own issue. Each voluminous but not difficult to understand. The regularly human rights abuses that the Palestinians endure, the lack of justice/criminal prosecution for those crimes, etc. all build context to the RESISTANCE to Zionism.

    One such dimension to the injustice is the prosecution or lack thereof of Israeli soldiers in the OT.

    Yesh Din has published a study on the frequency of justice as it were in the OT. About 40% of all Palestinian complaints are heard. 6% of that 40% are brought before some sort of hearing. And the highest sentence has been 2 years if I recall correctly. No justice, no peace.

    Then we have the water distribution. How much water do those illegal settles live off of Witty? How much do ALL Palestinians in the OT live off of Witty?

    Oh and how many Palestinian civilians died in 2008 Witty? How many of them were children Witty? I guess they must be terrorist children or collateral damage. Those are the only choices right? You’re either a human shield or an accomplice to terror.

    And we all know what was happening in Gaza. What should the Palestinians do when they have no freedom of movement. What should they do when they don’t have food/water/electric/medicine? Should they just die, Witty? Are you so goddamn holier-than-thou that you insist they all make like Gandhi and willing walk into the fire? Should they just lay down and take it?

    It’s alright for ISRAEL to kill 1300+ Palestinians in 3 weeks (mostly civilian, mostly children) in response to crude home-made rockets that have killed 20 people in 8 years and are, themselves, a response to the devastating blockade/Occupation?

    The Palestinians are the victims. Not the Israelis. Morally bankrupt Zionists (superfluous) like yourself pass off superficial truths like dogma. You are fine so long as no one THINKS critically. Once we actually put all this into context, your shoddy regurgitated hasbara collapses.

    “When it experiments with a commitment to extending cease-fire, then the isolation of Gaza will likely gradually relax.”

    Been there done that Witty. The Israeli MFA report concedes that Hamas was ‘careful’ to maintain the truce. The Israeli MFA report concedes that groups IN DEFIANCE OF Hamas were responsible for the sporadic rocket fire during the 4-5 month lull (12).

    Bottomline: the truce was working, despite the refusal by Israel to sufficiently ease the blockade and alleviate the suffering it had inflicted onto the 1.5 million Palestinians of Gaza. Israeli politicians such as Livni, even DENIED the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

    If Israel was truly serious about peace they would have considered the following:

    They are the regional superpower with the 4th strongest army in the world and an air force stronger than any NATO country.

    They controlled all the borders of Gaza. The land/air/sea. They never ‘withdrew’ from Gaza. This is another superficial truth spun by dishonest Zionists (superfluous) like Witty. Gaza had no autonomy. The Red Cross and the UN have confirmed this by deeming the situation there a humanitarian crisis. Independent observers have also sounded the alarm on the horrid conditions. Many likening it to a giant open-air prison.

    Israel had never intended on keeping the truce. They were simply buying time and then when Hamas responded to their bombing of the Gaza tunnels, Israel had the pretext for the massacre. This was about squashing the resistance to Zionist colonialism/imperialism.

    Israel had been planning this attack since Feb. 08 (The Guardian). The Israeli army had sought out legal consul on whether they could get away with bombing the Gaza police graduation – months in advance (Haaretz). Israel initiated a wide-spread Hasbara campaign online that was designed to spin the massacre into a defensive war (Haaretz).

    Israel is and has always been working towards destroying all Palestinian resistance. This is further evidenced by the Israeli army’s bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Gaza – police stations/hospitals/schools/homes/etc. No different from the 2006 Lebanon War where Israel killed 1000 civilians and wrecked Southern Lebanon.

    “Egypt will relax its border crossing. Israel will relax its border crossing (amazingly for a country that has been terrorized by Hamas).”

    To characterize Hamas’s effect on Israel as ‘terrorizing’ devalues the meaning of the term.

    If what Hamas does to Israel – in this specific scenario, the 20 people dead from rocket attacks across EIGHT YEARS – is ‘terrorizing’ than what is it that Israel has done to the Palestinians of Gaza?

    3 weeks = 1300+ dead. Mostly civilians/mostly children. 5000 injured. Civilian infrastructure devastated. Ongoing humanitarian crisis / ongoing blockade. Etc.

    How should we characterize Israel’s actions in Gaza? Disproportionate? What a cowardly thing to say. Call it what it is, premeditated mass murder.

    But you Witty, with your oh so delicate Zionist sensibilities put the blame on Hamas for ‘terrorizing’ Israel. Poor Israel. The poor eternal victims, the Jews. Those evil Arabs with their jihad and Islamist blah blah blah want to throw the Jews in the sea. Never forget the Holocaust! Hitler! Nazis! Antisemitism!

    “And maybe Gaza will declare itself independant and be accepted as a nation and then potentially sign on to treaties governing international transport and ports.”

    You’re as phony as they come Witty. Maybe if Israel ALLOWS Gaza to be independent by lifting the blockade. Maybe if Israel ALLOWS the Palestinians to LIVE by refraining from using the Arab world as a shooting gallery. Maybe if Israel wants peace, the Palestinians will be free.

    You wreak of lies Witty. Keep at it, you make yourself look more and more foolish. It’s easier to dismiss your comments as trite propaganda.

    “It hasn’t done any of those things yet.”

    It CAN’T. Keyword, “CAN’T”, as in UNABLE to do so. Not “HASN’T” as in CHOOSES NOT TO.

    Learn the difference you coward.

    “It CHOOSES to aggress.”

    Aggression is defined by Merriam-Wesbter’s online dictionary as “[…]the practice of making attacks or encroachments ; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another.”

    Keyword: Unprovoked.

    This was not aggression. That would imply that Israel had not been starving the people of Gaza and had not broke the truce on November 4th. That would imply that Israel doesn’t kill Palestinian civilians at a ratio of 5 to 1. That would imply that Israel doesn’t kill Palestinian children at a ratio of 10 to 1. That would imply that Israel doesn’t steal Palestinian land/fragment Palestinian society by building walls that confine people into Apartheid South Africa bantustan model. That would imply that Israel doesn’t steal Palestinian resources – even WATER. Possibly even the Gas fields on the Gaza coast. That would imply that Israel doesn’t keep 10,000 Palestinians prisoner. 1000 of which without paperwork of any kind. 100s of which are children.

    “You and Slater have been seduced into thinking that Hamas is willing to co-exist with Israel, for which there is no long-term objective evidence yet.”

    I’ve not been ‘seduced’ into thinking any such thing. I’ve researched this conflict on my own out of my own concern/interest for justice/human rights for all peoples.

    You however have deluded yourself into believing that history has begun every time someone attacked Israel. You have no sense of the word ‘blowback’. You ignore all the facts that do not suit your agenda. You indulge yourself in bloated rhetoric because it masks your moral bankruptcy and inadequacy in understanding the sociological/political/moral/etc. ramifications of an ideology that is BUILT on the destruction of one people FOR the salvation of another.

    “The November 4th incident is a case in point. You and others insist that “Hamas did not build a tunnel that extended across the Israeli border” on the basis that it has not be “proven”. That leaves it as an unknown, not something that did not occur.”

    No. Now you are REALLY pushing it Witty. Before you said that Israel targeted tunnels that were being used to kidnap Israel soldiers.

    What’s your source? More importantly, is the source (if it exists) compelling? Does it give a substantiated argument? Does it have EVIDENCE? Is there a rhetorical/common sense argument that could be made to convince someone that Hamas would do this NOW and with the success of the truce until that point (which Israel concedes in the MFA report)?

    No Witty. You provide your source. Israel bombed the damn thing. You’d think they’d publish the evidence EVERYWHERE.

    “If it did occur, then it indicates that Hamas was lying to YOU, that it intended in any way to co-exist with Israel even long-term temporarily.”

    If it didn’t occur, then it indicates what we all have KNOWN by PAYING ATTENTION to what’s been happening in the conflict for decades.

    When Israel is threatened by the prospect of a legitimate prospect for peace, they bomb their way out of the situation.

    Extending the truce with Hamas – at the state they were in before the Gaza massacre – would only legitimize and strengthen Hamas as a movement/symbol of resistance.

    And that is something Israel will not do. If Israel makes peace then the Zionist project collapses. Goodbye Eretz Israel.

    “If it didn’t occur, then your raging about Israel using a falsified excuse to break the cease-fire might be accurate.”

    No shit Sherlock. But I notice how you insert the word “raging” in your hypothetical concession.

    As if the notion of being enraged by premeditated mass murder is so peculiar that it warrants mentioning. Wouldn’t it be SUPERFLUOUS to mention that I’d be (or any rational/sane person) enraged at this injustice? This blatant war crime(s)?

    Why did you have to insert that word in their Witty? Because you’re a goddamn hypocrite.

    For you, it is peculiar for people to be enraged at the most disgusting injustices when they are committed by Israel (and in your mind, JEWS) against Palestinians.

    When it’s the other way around, you do not emphasize the adjectives you attach to your constituency.

    “But, you and Slater DO NOT KNOW. I don’t know. The weight of my reading suggests that the tunnel did extend beyond the Israeli border, and that would constitute a violation of the cease-fire in reasonable minds.”

    Uh, no Witty. YOU and I both made comments about the cease-fire. YOU and I both said it was either Israel or Hamas who broke it.

    So, don’t turn around now and lecture me about not knowing as if I’m imposing my POV on your. I am responding to you.

    Like I said, let’s see some evidence.

    When Jimmy Carter – a former President of great respect as a public intellectual/humanitarian (latest poll by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria) – states that the tunnels were ‘defensive’ and inside Gaza, then I have to see some undeniable proof to the contrary to shake my POV here.

    1. LD, god, I understand you’re upset but do you really think anybody has the patience to read comments of this length, repeating the same things over and over again? Maybe some editing before posting? Just a friendly suggestion.
      Now, regarding those tunnels. I myself here and elsewhere expressed skepticism regarding the Israel claims regarding the tunnel bombed on Nov 4. However, you are conflating the tunnels Jimmy Carter was talking about – these are smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian border – with the tunnel that Israel claims to destroy on Nov 4, which was next to the fence on Israeli side. If this tunnel indeed existed – and I agree that Israel is either lying about it or very stupid not to release verifiable info about it – then its purpose couldn’t be really anything but infiltration. In which case Israel had a moral right to bomb it, even though I’d still see it as a stupid decision, since a much better PR move would have been to ambush it.

  17. Again, I contest that you’ve been sold a bridge relative to Hamas.

    They have a situation that is frustrating. The arithmetic of it is very difficult and requires fundamental compromise with some articulated value to move forward.

    I personally don’t see that Israel will find it possible to negotiate with Hamas for a decade likely, and certainly not without its CONFIDENT renunciation of its intention to remove Israel as Israel from the map.

    I think that Hamas did wonderful things in mostly keeping to the cease-fire, and should be acknowledged.

    I think that Hamas did HORRIBLE things in not extending the cease-fire by INITIATING shelling of Israeli civilians, when Israel had agreed to conditionally extend the cease-fire, IF Hamas did.

    1. Witty, please cut to the chase. You constantly fill up the air with empty rhetoric.

      The facts were simple. After this constant back and forth, you finally acknowledge what the MFA report assessed of the truce. Hamas was ‘careful’ to maintain the cease-fire.

      But then you say:

      “I think that Hamas did HORRIBLE things in not extending the cease-fire by INITIATING shelling of Israeli civilians, when Israel had agreed to conditionally extend the cease-fire, IF Hamas did.”

      1. Um, why did they continue the rockets? Because Israel bombed the tunnels in Gaza and killed 6 Palestinian militants. Israel broke the truce, not Hamas.

        12 rockets fired in 4-5 months by groups in defiance of Hamas does not constitute a break of the cease-fire when you put things in context.

        Both sides were not going to follow this lull perfectly.

        So we need to adjust to this standard. Compare Hamas’s situation to Israel’s situation.

        http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/02/28/israelgaza-donors-should-press-israel-end-blockade

        “According to the United Nations, Gaza needs a minimum of 500 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods every day. Israeli authorities have told humanitarian agencies that they would allow up to 150 truckloads a day. However, the actual number has not exceeded 120, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The average in February has only been between 88 and 104, including grain shipped by conveyor belt at the Karni crossing.”

        1. During 2007, Gaza received an average of 500 trucks of supplies a day. (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/12/gaza.aid.diary/index.html)

          So what changed? Wouldn’t Israel lift the blockade to that extent KEEPING IN MIND the terms of the truce?

          Especially, when it concedes that Hamas was keeping to the truce in the MFA report?

          Furthermore, about the tunnels being ‘defensive’:

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4229042/Israeli-soldiers-shocked-by-tunnel-network.html

          “Israeli soldiers advancing inside the Gaza Strip have been stunned by the huge number of defensive tunnels they have found dug by militants, senior intelligence sources said today.”

          And some context, by looking at another example of ‘defensive tunnels’:

          http://big5.fmprc.gov.cn/gate/big5/www.chinaembassy.org.in/eng/wh/t190527.htm

          “Underground tunnels, which linked every household in the neighborhood and ensured flexible maneuvers for attacks, defense and retreat, played an important role during China’s war of resistance to Japanese invasion between 1937 and 1945. The two best known tunnels are located in Jiaozhuanghu village in the outskirts of Beijing and Ranzhuang village in neighboring Hebei Province.”

          These tunnels were being built inside of Gaza. They were not being built to stage another kidnapping.

          Furthermore, I don’t want to give the impression that I would characterize Shalit’s capture as a ‘kidnapping’. He is a soldier. Israel holds 10,000 Palestinians in their prisons. Blah blah blah, 1000 without paperwork. Blah blah 100s of them minors.

          It’s just funny to watch you be so holier-than-thou and alarmed when Hamas does the same thing that Israel has done – AND EVEN LEGALIZED (for a time).

          The cease-fire broke on the 4th of Nov. On the 23rd, which was 4-5 days after the formal end of the cease-fire, the head of the Shin Bet met w/ the Israeli cabinet and relayed Hamas’s proposal for an extension. No dice.

          So don’t say Hamas just randomly kept firing those rockets.

          You offer no context for their actions. And you ignore their repeated attempts at renewing the truce. You say nothing about Israel’s failure to meet their terms of the truce.

          Who was suffering more? Who had more power and the ability to dictate the terms? Israel.

          But if Israel kept honoring the truce with Hamas at their current level of strength, then eventually Hamas would become legitimized.

          They had to deal a devastating blow to Hamas do once again crush the resistance. THEN they want to talk about another truce.

          1. Again, I get your and their frustration, but they cannot fly over the chasm where there is no bridge. They have to take the road.

            I wish you applied skepticism to the logic of Hamas’ actions. You don’t inquire of the things that you assert.

            For example, you stated that Hamas made a single overture to Israel to extend A cease-fire, but didn’t include in your comments at all the nature and setting of that proposal. It was probably a good thing to start negotiating.

            At the time of the proposal ONLY Gazans were undertaking any violent actions. So, the setting is “I will agree to temporarily stop attempting to murder people, if you agree to abandon your sovereign right to control your borders, even if we demonstrate by our actions that we will use open borders to import lethal weapons for the purpose of further threatening civilians”.

            Its a criminal approach.

          2. All right, LD, I looked at the links you provided. They don’t really help resolve the issue of the Nov 4 tunnel a bit. I doubt Carter has any more information on this than you and I, and if he does he’ll do well to make it public. The defensive tunnels mentioned in another link are, from what I understood, well inside Gaza strip. The tunnel that Israel claimed to destroy on Nov 4 was 250m from the fence. Does it mean it was built for infiltration? Not necessarily. But we don’t really have info to the contrary either. So, stating unequivocally that it was not meant for infiltration has, with info that we possess, about the same credibility is stating that it was.
            I think it is quite reasonable to assume that it was built for infiltration, even though not necessarily immediate, but rather to be used in unspecified point in the future. Israel used the American elections to destroy the tunnel in what looks to me as a provocation. I repeat, this is all speculation.

    2. its intention to remove Israel as Israel from the map.

      Would you care to prove this claim from any current senior Hamas leader? You can’t. And advocating a one-state solution is NOT “removing Israel as Israel from the map.” You’re claiming Hamas wishes to physically destroy the state of Israel. Now prove it. And don’t bring up a 30 yr old Charter that no one in Hamas even knows exists except via the shreying of MEMRI & other anti-Palestinian propagandists.

  18. Witty:
    “I will agree to temporarily stop attempting to murder people, if you agree to abandon your sovereign right to control your borders, even if we demonstrate by our actions that we will use open borders to import lethal weapons for the purpose of further threatening civilians”.

    That’s rich. The same exact statement could be made about Israel and it’s meaning would be far more profound due to the vast logistical advantages Israel has over the Palestinians.

    Palestinians have the right to use force if their internationally recognized right to self-determination is being undermined by force.

    ———————————
    *In relation to the legal right to resistance*
    4. The situations referred to in the preceding paragraph include armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes *in the exercise of their right of self-determination*, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
    ———————————

    Source:http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/470?OpenDocument

    1. *Background information and context*

      Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and independence~

      (http://domino.un.org/__852560d3006f9c53.nsf/0/b5b4720b8192fde3852560de004f3c47!OpenDocument)UN Resolution 3376

      ————————————————
      […]Recognizing that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security,

      1. Reaffirms its resolution 3236 (XXIX) (http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/dcb71e2bf9f2dca585256cef0073ed5d/025974039acfb171852560de00548bbe!OpenDocument);

      2. Expresses its grave concern that no progress has been achieved towards:

      (a) The exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine, including the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty;

      (b) The exercise by Palestinians of [B]their inalienable right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted;

      ————————————————

      Recognition of the Palestinians as a people, ‘with a specific history in an identifiable territory, a distinct culture, and a will and capability to gain self-governance.’

      The right to self-determination was acknowledged by the international community in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947.
      [URL]http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/038/88/IMG/NR003888.pdf?OpenElement[/URL]

      1. “For example, you stated that Hamas made a single overture to Israel to extend A cease-fire, but didn’t include in your comments at all the nature and setting of that proposal. It was probably a good thing to start negotiating.”

        You conveniently begin history when the rockets were launched. Who broke the cease-fire Witty? Israel. Then Hamas launched the rockets.

        This is compounded by the on-going blockade. 500 truckloads of supplies daily were the average estimate needed.

        Yet, Israel only allowed 120ish in.

        Those were the terms. EASE the blockade. Now, I know people will enjoy play games with the rhetoric. But minimal common sense will tell you that the blockade had to be eased SUFFICIENTLY.

        So when the Red Cross/UN/etc. condemn Israel – you get a good sense of how good/bad they met their side of the truce agreements.

        You also have numbers to go by.

        12 rockets fired across 4-5 months by groups in defiance of Hamas.

        These crude homemade rockets, which have killed 20 people in 8 years.

        Meanwhile Israel starved 1.5 million people. Blah blah, open air prison, blah blah blah.

        It was on the vastly more powerful entity to lead the way here. You have said/implied in earlier posts, both here and on Phil’s blog, that the Palestinians have chosen NOT to take responsibility for Gaza and blah blah.

        There is no reason to think you have any moral seriousness when you dismiss the lack of autonomy in Gaza. When you dismiss the logistical asymmetry of the conflict. When you make hypocritical statements and use dishonest language.

        “lethal” weapons
        “genocidal”
        “nail-studded”

        Etc.

        That type of rhetoric is used to convey an exotic image of terrorism that will draw attention away from the huge disparity in casualties between the Israelis and Palestinians.

        You have to apply these adjectives upon Hamas and all forms of Palestinian resistance to compensate for the lack of factual proof that conveys the same dishonest imagery.

        That somehow ISRAEL is the victim here.

        The next dishonest remark you’d make, is to somehow imply that ‘both’ sides have ‘made mistakes’.

        So this conflict is, either equally matched or AGAINST Israel, meaning Israel is the helpless, civilized victim-State terrorized by nihilistic sociopathic blood-thirsty murderous Islamist Jihadist Hamas.

        All that exotic, eye-catching sensationalism. Without it, you’re left with nothing because the facts aren’t on your side.

        1. In closing, of course it is wrong to target civilians.

          But it’s deceptive to use this targeting of Israeli civilians as a crux of your argument against the Palestinians. And that’s who it’s against. Not Hamas.

          Palestinians will always resist. That resistance has taken the form of Hamas.

          The Palestinians have a right to amass weapons if they desire to do so. You want them to be slaves. You want them to quietly die or go away.

          They aren’t allowed food/water/medicine. They aren’t allowed to arm themselves. Etc.

          And you’ll use this notion that Hamas ONLY targets those poor Israeli civilians as a pretext for all your condemnations of the Palestinian right to resist their oppressor. Their colonialist oppressor.

  19. Enough!
    From what little I have read of Slater’s paper it deserves a more elevated debate than we have given it here.

  20. If Hamas was building tunnels under the border of Israel, that would be a violation of the cease-fire.

    You don’t know if that is not true with any certainty. I don’t know.

    It is true that following the skirmishes in early November, the cease-fire norm was restored, which can ONLY be ascribed to mutual consent.

    It is true that on the day prior to the formal cease-fire ending, Hamas allowed other militias to shell Israel. And, it is true that Hamas itself resumed shelling Sderot, Ashkelon, and later Ashdod and Beersheba (to prove that it could), prior to Israeli military response, and with incrementally serious verbal warning that resumption of shelling would be interpreted as INTENTION to return to a state of war.

    And, that Israel would not initiate fire, if Hamas restrained from initiating fire.

    Hamas made a decision, reported to be a heated one, with a great deal of dissension with the elder (thirties and fourties) social service and religious preferring restoring the cease-fire and testing what happens, and the younger and political preferring impatience and “heroic” shelling.

    I personally cannot lie that I regard Israel as evil, or that I regard Hamas’ wing that undertakes unilateral shelling of Israeli civilians as right or accurate.

    Their history of gruesome intentional murders of civilians is not forgettable.

    That you could, without any teshuvah on their part, is extremely upsetting.

    Its why I contest that your use of the term “tikkun olam” is a good standard, a good goal, that you’ve abandoned to anger at a side.

    Have you ever seen the film “The Mission”? A group of Jesuits set up a mission for indigenous tribes in an environ of Spanish and Portuguese slave capture of Indians and territorial fight between colonial Spain, Portugal and the church. The missionaries rationally sympathized with the Indians. The junior missionaries took up arms to protect the Indians. The lead missionary did not.

    The appeal of the junior missionaries’ sentiment (including Robert de Niro’s and Liam Neeson’s) was compelling, but was obviously a capitulation to resentment compared to the witness of Jeremy Irons’ real martyrdom (not the murdering flavor).

    The Indians did not engage in shelling of European settlements.

    Neither the militant, nor the martyring approach succeeded in keeping the land-greedy Spanish and Portuguese from their objective.

    Are you sticking to tikkun, or are you using the term as a brand?

    Reconciliation is delayed by war.

  21. Nobody ever claimed the tunnel was built into Israel. It’s a getaway tunnel for smuggling the kidnapped soldier away before IDF forces can figure out what happened. That’s how they got Shalit. It was built as part of a plan for kidnapping a soldier. What’s a defensive tunnel which leads to the fence seperating Gaza from Israel? Use common sense folks. Hamas has already kidnapped an Israeli soldier and it only makes sense that what was effective once would work again. If the leftist readers of this blog want to bury their head in the sand about the true nature of Hamas and this conflict, it’s their right to do so. Thankfully the majority of Israeli citizens (as shown in the last election) haven’t done so.

    1. We have only the word of the IDF as to what happened, what they attacked & why. They unfortunately don’t have a very good record regarding such claims & in fact lie more often than not if it’s convenient, so I’d prefer not to believe them or Amir until either can present proof of the truth of their statements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d