Until yesterday night, I thought I knew or understood most of the facts of the Eilat terror attack. That changed with Anshel Pfeffer’s article in Haaretz (Hebrew) which reveals a huge fissure developing between Shabak and the IDF over the terror incident. Israel’s intelligence service claims that it offered a very specific warning which named the date and place of the expected attack. Pfeffer’s article, apparently based mostly on Shabak sources, says that the IDF upgraded its security presence on the southern border. But that in significant ways it downplayed the warning and specifically refused to believe the terrorists would mount a daylight attack, and do so near an Egyptian military post on the Israel-Egypt border.
It never ceases to amaze me that in situations like this security forces which have failed miserably in preventing a terror attack have the chutzpah to make a claim like this:
A military source denied Shabak’s claims that the warning had great specificity. He said that forces were increased in the area to the appropriate level considering the nature of the warning. The IDF says that while Shabak does “excellent work” the level and quantity of threats emanating from the south in the aftermath of the fall of Hosni Mubarak has vastly increased.
Translation: we did the best we could and the fact that there was an attack wasn’t our fault. If not their fault then whose? The plain fact is that if the IDF had taken the warning more seriously and flooded the area with personnel there may not have been an attack.
But another important issue needs to be considered. If Shabak did warn the IDF and the army did expect an attack, then that would explain why a special ops veteran/junkie like Ehud Barak raced to the scene of the attack with Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. In fact, the photo that accompanies this post shows Barak laughing along with the police special forces sniper who died during the second phase of the attack only 30 minutes after the picture was taken (thanks to an Israeli reader for supplying it from the Israeli police Facebook account). Isn’t it odd that they are laughing after five or six Israelis have been murdered by terrorists?
So the question becomes: did the Israeli army behave with great hubris expecting they knew everything about the terror attack and precisely how to sabotage it and liquidate the terrorists? And did something go very wrong with the IDF’s prescription? Certainly the IDF made a grave error bringing Barak and Gantz to the site of the attack before they knew all the terrorists had been removed. Because the army was surprised when a second attack began shortly after the big cheeses arrived. This too indicates a major IDF f(#k-up.
Further, it is unprecedented in Israeli counter-terror operations that over one-half the attacking force would actually escape and evaporate into the landscape. Of course, there were issues involving the Egyptian border and Israel’s unwillingness to violate Egyptian sovereignty. But the fact that Israel could not prevent so many getting away by sealing the border indicates yet another failure.
Two questions remain: some pro-Palestinian readers here have made the offensive claim that the attack was an Israeli “black op.” This reminds me of the 9/11 conspiracy theories, which I find wacky and beyond the Pale. Of course, there is no argument with the fact that the tragedy is a godsend for Netanyahu. It all but destroys the viability of the J14 social justice movement, which had become a threat to his government. It diverts attention from Israel’s refusal to offer Hamas what it wants to release Gilad Shalit. And it deflects from Israel’s refusal to apologize for the Mavi Marmara assault. It also deflates the PA bid for Palestinian statehood via the UN in September. Any one of these could be a serious threat to Netanyahu. But with a distraction of this magnitude, he’s sittin’ pretty. But that is a far cry from Israel actually collaborating in some way or deliberately allowing its own citizens to be killed.
That being said, what may be possible is that the IDF knew the attack would take place and wanted it to take place, but believed it could find and destroy the operation before it took place. This obviously turned out to be a horrible miscalculation.
Another strange disjunction I reported last night is that while Bibi Netanyahu almost immediately claimed that the Popular Resistance Committee orchestrated the assault and used this claim to justify killing the group’s top leadership in an Israeli counter-terror attack; Avital Leibowitz, the IDF’s foreign media spokesperson told Lia Tarachansky that the army was NOT claiming the PRC was responsible. She would only claim that the attack emanated from Gaza.
All of which means that Netanyahu used the Eilat attack as a pretext to gun down the PRC commanders. In fact, it seems unlikely to me they were responsible because, as I posted a few days ago, if your terror organization is about to mount a major terror operation the one thing you do NOT do is gather your top commanders in the same place at the same time. It only makes you a sitting duck for a revenge attack. So I don’t believe these militants were responsible.
The NY Times is reporting that Israel made the “unprecedented” (this language emanates from the Ethan Bronner School of Pro-Israel reporting though the words were penned by Isabel Kershner, who works under his supervision) concession of expressing “regret” to Egypt for Israel’s killing of three (Haaretz reports, five) Egyptian policemen during the Israel operation in pursuit of the Eilat terrorists. Egypt has replied that the Israeli admission is insufficient. So that puts Israel in the same position regarding Egypt it is in regarding Turkey, where it is refusing to apologize for the murder of nine Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara.
But what is especially interesting is this passage from the Times report:
By removing Mr. Mubarak’s…dependably loyal government, the revolution has stripped away a bulwark of Israel’s position in the region, unleashing the Egyptian public’s pent-up anger at Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians at a time when a transitional government is scrambling to maintain its own legitimacy in the streets.
Mohamed Bassiouni, a former Egyptian ambassador to Israel, called the episode a lesson to Israel about the new politics of a more democratic Egypt, where the ruling military council and aspiring political candidates are eager to stay in step.
“It is very important, because you see public opinion in Egypt,” Mr. Bassiouni said.
He added: “The Egyptians do not accept what has happened, and it means that Israel should take care. If they continue their behavior toward the Palestinians and the peace process, it means that the situation will escalate more.”
What this means is that Israel now faces a formidable foe to its north, Turkey, and a potentially formidable foe to its south. The days of Israeli impunity, when it could act as it wished in putting down threats to its power or hegemony are rapidly coming to an end. This doesn’t mean that Israel will end the Occupation any time soon. But it does mean that Israel’s field of operations is now more restricted than it has been for many years. There is a populous Muslim democracy to the north whose government and citizens are demanding that Israel respect its interests, especially when they involve murdering their citizens. And there is a nascent Muslim democracy to the south whose citizens are deeply connected to the fate of the Palestinians especially those of Gaza which it borders. The times they are a changin’.
Peace treaty with Israel should be renegotiated after Israeli killings: Egyptian presidential hopeful, Bastawisi
Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Aug 2011
After Israel attacked and killed five Egyptian soldiers in Sinai, presidential hopeful Hisham El-Bastawisi makes statements on the Israel peace treaty and Egypt’s move towards democracy
Presidential hopeful Hisham El-Bastawisi released a statement on Saturday condemning the Israeli attack, which killed five Egyptian soldiers, and urging the Egyptian government to take firm action.
In his statement he said that the incident demonstrates that political figures and groups are right in their long-standing demands for the peace treaty with Israel to be renegotiated: Egypt needs to regain full authority over the Sinai.
He added that fair and permanent peace cannot be forced on nations, but can only be accomplished by the agreement of nations that are on equal terms.
El-Bastawisi urged all Egyptian political groups to maintain unity and put all differences aside, emphasising that this can only be accomplished by a quick handover of power to a civil, democratically-elected government. In Egypt’s case, the military can release its rule over the country and return to its original military responsibilities, backed by a free and democratic government, he added.
Egypt Live Blog
21 hours 10 min ago – Egypt
Israel’s former ambassador to Egypt, Shalom Cohen, has landed in Cairo to help smooth frayed relations between the two countries after a Thursday cross-border shooting incident left five Egyptian security personnel dead. Egypt has summoned the current Israeli ambassador in Cairo and has reportedly withdrawn its ambassador from Israel as it awaits Israel’s investigation into the deaths.
22 hours 39 min ago – Egypt
There’s been some confusion about whether Egypt has in fact withdrawn its ambassador to Israel – a rare event in the 32-year history of peace between the two countries, which occurred most recently during the 2000 Palestinian intifada.
State media sources are reporting that Egypt has withdrawn the ambassador in protest while Israel conducts an investigation into the shooting incident that left five Egyptian security personnel injured. But al-Ahram and other outlets, citing unnamed sources, say the original release announcing the ambassador’s recall was a mistake.
Deïr Yassin says
Well, I have to get this out.
“Some pro-Palestinian readers here have made the offensive claim that the attack was an Israeli “black op””
You headlined your first article on this attack “Palestinian attack on Eilat”, and when Gene Schulman mentioned that you were speculating as much as anybody else, you called his remark ‘offensive nonsense’.
Richard Silverstein says
Let’s all take a deep breath & wait to see how things develop. If they get as hinky as you seem to believe they will, then there will be plenty of opportunity for me to say I was wrong. But I’m not prepared to do that yet.
I AM waiting to see whether the attackers may’ve actually been Egyptian. That would be quite interesting & would mean that I was wrong in attaching responsibility to Palestinians.
the attackers were israeli. this has been done many times before to achieve goals.
Richard Silverstein says
If u write this garbage again you’ll be moderated. Arguments require FACTS. If u have none don’t waste our time.
The bus driver said that the attackers were wearing Egyptian Army fatigues.
A disturbing development.
Attackers were wearing Egyptian Army fatigues. So its EITHER an Egyptian attack (which no-one is yet saying)
OR a BLACK-FLAG (BLACK-OP) attack by someone else. WHO? And who hired, financed, motivated, instructed the attackers?
THESE WERE THE 9/11 QUESTIONS, TOO.
So, why did Israel attack Gaza? Mere bloody-mindedness? A need to retaliate instantaneously EVEN if knowledge is missing? Perhaps in a whipping-boy move to punish the known-to-be-wrong people as a warning to the right people, not daring to attack Egypt (any more than already done, of course, with 5 dead Egyptian police).
Why is it not assumed that this was an Egyptian job? But, of course, it was a BLACK OP. Israeli knee-jerk assumption: Gazans pretending to be Egyptians!
[So, Deir Yassin, Israel itself labelled it a black op!]
So, admitting it was a BLACK FLAG deal, ask the next question:
The WHO is the big question. “who dun it” and, more important, who hired, financed, motivated, instructed the attackers?
And that could have been Egyptians, Gazans, Israelis, CIA, anyone. Anyone at all.
May seem like a small point, but applying the word “foe” equally to Turkey and Egypt is inaccurate. If Turkey is now a “foe” of Israel, it is an “Israeli self-made foe” because until Israel’s military gunned down Turkish citizens on the high seas, the countries were getting along with each other. In contrast, Egypt has been an historical “foe” in that the countries were once at war.
This is important because certain Israel-adorers get huge mileage out of the fiction that animosity toward Israel is universally anti-semitic ….. nothing could be further from the truth. Turkey’s animosity toward Israel is recent and turns on active Israeli (mis)behavior toward Turkish people, not Jewish identity.
Richard Silverstein says
I agree completely.
Gene Schulman says
Thank you dear Deir Yassin. It should come as no surprise that I completely agree with you.
I might call your attention to my reply to Leonid on the Aug. 19 post: IDF Kills 14 in Gaza. I have attached a couple of links to false flag operations.
Deïr Yassin says
@ Dear Gene, mon ami
Yes, I did read the links. And though I’m not into “conspiracy theories” no matter what (too often used to blame others: I’m thinking about the situation of Christians in the Muslim world, for example, where some tend to see the Mossad and the CIA behind every Church-bombing) I think the question ‘à qui profite le crime’ [who’s benefitting from the crime] is one that should not be dismissed.
The other possibility, of course, is that the attack was known about, but a stop was put on preventing it. That would suited Netanyahu just as well.
Richard, why are you so quick to dismiss the “False Flag” speculations (and that’s all it is, speculations)? There are numerous indications that something doesn’t add up with this whole operation, both by the insurgents (whom I am not ready to label “terrorists” since they seemed to aim primarily at military targets) as by Israel. You pointed out some of the oddities, but you are reluctant to connect the dots. Is that because you can’t believe Israeli military/intelligence elements would deliberately put people (soldiers AND civilians) in harm’s way? not even if very convenient?
Deir yassin’s and Gene’s comments do add up because, not despite of – israel’s willingness in the past to mount false flag operations, even where there was cost to jerwish lives. I think you may be projecting your own good intentions and Jewish sense of morality on the israeli militar/intelligence collective, that even after you’ve indefatiguably labored to expose their numerous misdeeds. Sometimes, we may have to accept the natural conclusions of what Israel has become – a Sparta-like garrison for all its citizens – which means that the are the military and political eschelons are guided primarily by tactical and strategic calculations rather than any moral ones (the latter being quite incidental, if it exists at all). Need I remind you of the Dubai operation and the false passports appropriating the names of actual israeli citizens? do you think anyone lost sleep for one second over potential ramifications to citizens caught in the “operation”?
A much closer way to think of israeli responses and operations is to invoke mafia think. Since it’s all about ‘survival” then anything goes in the interest of however survival is defines.
For myself, I tend to believe in the “Let it just happen” scenario. I pointed out elsewhere that the call from Jordan warning about the operation was strange as Jordan is where Arrigone’s salafist assassination squad leader has originated from as well. In certain circles it is suspected – and for good reason – that israeli intelligence may be providing part of the financing and other material support for salafist cells both in the Sinai and in Gaza (just as they did before in Lebanon). the great military minds of israel will absolutely do so in the interest of building up opposition to hamas, which has been known to battle the salafi challenges in their midst. Just as they once propped up hamas. If you accept this part, it’s only a very small jump to accept the scenario where somebody somewhere gave the go-ahead sign at just the right time. That someone(s) may be a bit irate that control of the operation was lost at some point (cf smiling barak) but it most certainly not because more people died. By now they probably view that as a bonus, the only negative being the death of the Egyptian border policemen.
If this scenario is true – which is highly likely – that’d explain not only the laughing Barak – maybe they were joking about an operation well-done (not realizing that what they’ve unleashed is still out there, ready to move it up a notch), but the instantaneous pinning of the operation on gazans (ie, no need to even check it out), the tepid response to early warnings, and the little tiffy between IDF and shabak you mention in this post. The laughing Brings to mind them famous dancing israelis – almost impossible not to make the connection.
As an aside, the tid-bit about Egyptian uniforms possibly worn by the insurgent attackers adds another dot – a big one, if true. Actually more like an arrow.
“…since they seemed to aim primarily at military targets”
How can someone be so morally depraved? Most of those who were killed were civilians.
Care to elaborate on those military targets?
Richard Silverstein says
All the civilians killed were in one car hit by an anti tank shell. Two Israel military personnel were also killed. And btw, Palestinians don’t have a monopoly on “moral depravity.” I’d say killing 2 yr old boys is quite morally depraved.
The attack involved shooting at a bus which ended with 7 people injured, shooting an anti tank missile at a car injuring 7 people, shooting an anti tank missile at another car killing 4 civilians, and a suicide bomber blowing himself near a bus killing the bus driver.
The Palestinians have patented the phrase “moral depravity” when they introduced us and the world with suicide bombing and shooting rockets Indiscriminately at cities in Israel in order to kill as many Jews as possible and if that wasn’t enough they do this next to civilian populations without any concern for the loss of life incase Israel will decide to retaliate. When Israel does retaliate and kills civilians the “blood pornography” kicks in when the mutilated bodies are being displayed all over the world to show how inhumane the bloodthirsty Israelis are.
As for the 2yr, no one was targeting him or any other civilian in the Israeli attack so don’t try to compare between this incident and Palestinian shooting at civilians for the sole purpose of killing civilians.
Zionists introduced the car bomb to the conflict, back in the 30’s.
Anyway, both sides are guilty of depraved atrocities. You can avoid this fact only by careful cherrypicking of facts and outright denial.
Deïr Yassin says
“in order to kill as many Jews as possible”
Well, I live in the city in Europe with the biggest Jewish population, and I live in the neighbourhood with the biggest Jewish population too. Half of my neighbours are Jews, on a Saturday my street is like Jerusalem, as there are many synagogues in the area, there’re also Jewish schools, a Jewish kindergarten and various Yeshivot.
If Palestinians wanted to ‘kill as many Jews as possible’ they would do so here.
So please, stop the crap about Jews. This is a political problem, and has NOTHING to do with Jews per se.
PS. Maybe RA is Itay-Thing. He was also obsessed about “Jews”.
“both sides are guilty of depraved atrocities…”
You’re right about that.
“If Palestinians wanted to ‘kill as many Jews as possible’ they would do so here.”
Are you serious? Are the Palestinians just waiting for the right moment?
Anyhoo have you read the Hamas charter by any chance?
Read it or just the parts where Jews are mentioned and you’ll see I’m not craping at all. Care to tell me why rockets are being fired Indiscriminately at civilian populations in Israel if not to kill Jews?
No offence but you live in europe, so you pretty much don’t know what goes on in this region. Try to live in a major city in Israel that is being targeted by rockets and maybe you’ll get some perspective. Where do you get your information anyway, Al-Jazeera or perhaps Press tv?
Richard Silverstein says
Red herring. Off topic, Serious comment rule violation. If you don’t read the rules & respect them you’re done here. Do you understand?
Offense intended…this is a dumb ass thing to say. I live even farther than she does from Israel & likely know more about yr own intelligence services than you do. So cut the crap.
Actually, she goes you one better. She has close contacts who tell her directly what it’s like to watch children die before yr eyes in Gaza. Gaza’s suffering beggars Israel’s. YOu just don’t know what the hell you’re talking about & it offends me, deeply.
Deïr Yassin says
Cut the crap, RA.
All your former colleagues have written the same thing. This is NOT a matter of Jews but of Israelis, and you know that very well. It doesn’t work, so drop it. After 4 or 5 comments you’ve already shown that you’re just a ridiculous propagandist parroting from the daily list delivred by Minitrue.
RA, now you have me confused. I had you pegged based on previous comments as someone who thought that only Palestinians (or other Arabs) committed atrocities, but you agreed with me that both sides do it.
If that’s your opinion, you’d probably make more headway around here if you made that clear from the beginning. I blame the Israelis much more for the conflict and maybe you disagree, but obviously there have been terrible things done to civilians (either deliberately or through depraved indifference) by both sides for generations now. It helps to establish some common ground in these discussions if there is any to be found.
Mary Hughes-Thompson says
“…..since they seemed to aim primarily at military targets”
So you say this statement is morally depraved? How would you characterize the fact that most of those killed in Cast Lead and the latest attack by IDF on Gaza were civilians? Israel has no problem dropping a half-ton bomb on an apartment building filled with a couple of dozen women and children, justified by the claim they are aiming at one “terrorist,” and so the others were merely collateral damage. I could say the same about the unfortunate israeli civilians in the Eilat attack by persons unknown.
You should get your facts checked Mary:
Most of those killed in the latest attack by the IDF on Gaza were terrorists. Here are their names and their “occupations”:
1- Kamal ‘Awadh Mohammed al-Nairab (Abu ‘Awadh), 43, PRC Secretary General.
2- ‘Emad ‘Abdul Karim ‘Abdul Khaliq Hammad, 40, the leader of Nasser Saladin Brigades.
3- ‘Emad al-Din Na’im Sayed Nasser, 46, a member of Nasser Saladin Brigades.
4- Khaled Ibrahim Salman al-Masri, 26, a member of Nasser Saladin Brigades.
5- Khaled Hamad Sha’at, 32, the leader of manufacturing unit of Nasser Saladin Brigades.
6- Mohammed Fayez Mahmoud ‘Enaya, 22, from the PRC, on a motorcycle.
7- Samed ‘Abdul Mo’ti ‘Aabed, 25, “activist of the Palestinian resistance” on a motorcycle.
8- Anwar Hassan Saleem, 23 and
9- ‘Emad Fareed Abu ‘Aabda, 23, “activists of the Palestinian resistance” both on a motorcycle.
10- Mo’taz Bassem Quraiqe’, 29, a leader of al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad).
As for Cast Lead, we’re talking about fighting that took place in an area with one of the highest population densities in the world. Do you think for one second that it will end without any civilian casualties? Do you think that maybe there were some cases of mistaken identity by the IDF, and civilians were killed as a result? FYI, even IDF soldiers were killed by IDF soldiers in Cast Lead. Accusing the IDF for dropping a bomb intentionally on an apartment building is a poor example of a complete lack of knowledge of the IDF’s conduct during this conflict. The IDF made approximately 165,000 phone calls and spread approximately 2.5 million flyers from the air in order to warn civilians before attacking the area where they live or even their homes so if a person chooses to turn his home into a weapons storage or unfortunately being used as a human shield by terrorists, The IDF is the last one who should be blamed for his death.
You seem to care so much about the civilians who were killed in Gaza but not so much about the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were killed (and still are) in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the western invasion to 2 countries that never threatened or attacked the west to begin with (I wonder if you even know why Israel initiated Cast Lead in the first place). How about the civilians who are being murdered in Syria these days? It looks like you hate Israel more than you care about the Palestinians. In fact you are so anti Israel that your entire argument is not just morally depraved, it’s the mother of all moral depravities.
Deïr Yassin says
Wow, the new (or a recycled) Hasbara drone has landed from Ben Gourion.
Well, that’s interesting information. Did you get that list from your superiors ? Tell them there’s a mistake among the PRC-members killed on the first day, but anyhow.
Number 6 that you call “from the PRC” and number 7, 8 & 9 that you call “activists from the Palestinian resistance” – I guess that means “born as a Palestinian” – are not mentioned as such in the Maan reports that I’ve looked through.
So until serious links, I think we can skip the ‘activists of-blahblah’.
And you conveniently forgot Doctor Munther Quraiqe, killed together with his brother and his 5 years old nephew Islam Quraiqe while rushing to the hospital in a civilian car with another wounded child. And you forgot 2 years old Malek Shaath and 13 years old Mahmoud Abu-Samra.
None of these people were killed during regular fight, and are thus ALL, even the PRC members, considered non-combattants.
I’m amazed how Israel is not capable of preventing a major attack inside its borders, but once it has happened they just know who was responsible. If they knew who did it why didn’t they prevent it ? What are you saying ? The attack in Eilat was just an excuse to strike on Gaza….
Those last sentences of yours on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc are reproduced directly from the Hasbara Manuel, the new edition august 2011 (including Syria).
We’ve heard it 1OO of times before. Of course nobody here gives a damn about Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. We’re only criticizing Israel because we’re antisemites to the bone. I for one have a big picture of Hitler on the wall, and though I’m a woman I’ve grown a moustache , and refuse to speak anything else but German!!
Your crap is so predictable, I wonder if you attended the same course as Boaz further down the thread.
Bob Mann says
This comment is in response to the comment left by the poster Deïr Yassin who replied to RA’s post above.
The term “activists from the Palestinian resistance” was used in a press release put out by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights which detailed the circumstances around the deaths of each of the aforementioned persons.
For example, here is a brief excerpt:
At approximately 20:45, an Israeli warplane fired two missiles at two activists of the Palestinian resistance who were traveling on a motorcycle on the road linking between al-Boreij and al-Maghazi refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip. The two activists were instantly killed. They were identified as: Anwar Hassan Saleem, 23; and ‘Emad Fareed Abu ‘Aabda, 23, both from al-Boreij refugee camp.
The two persons noted in that excerpt, who appear to be numbers 8 and 9 on the list posted by RA are referred to as “two activists of the Palestinian resistance” by PCHR (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights).
Richard Silverstein says
What is “an activist of the Palestinian resistance?” Some of Israel’s most foremost leaders were once “activists of the Israel resistance.” Did they deserve a missile up their asses too? Pls. tell me yr answer is yes, because if it isn’t yr a hypocrite.
Okay, that’s disappointing, RA. If the IDF cared so much about civilian lives they wouldn’t have used white phosphorus in urban areas, just for starters. And you seem way too quick to assume that when civilians died it was because they were storing weapons or used as human shields.
Richard Silverstein says
You’ve offered no proof for yr claims, hence they are specious. If you could offer proof it would come directly from the IDF or Shabak, another entirely unreliable source. Now, if you could actually do what Goldstone did & ask sources in Gaza to confirm what you’re claiming, then we’d have something we can talk about. As it is, you’ve given us garbage. You’ve also conveniently omitted the names of the 2 & 10 yr old children killed. Even by yr count, fully one-third of those killed were civilians. Is a 33% civilian kill ratio for every Israeli anti terror operation acceptable to you?
Don’t blather on about Cast Lead. Israel chose to fight in Gaza therefore it was bound by international law which it flouted w. a vengeance. We’ve been over & over Cast Lead & reopening that is yet another hasbarist red herring. Stay on topic & follow the comment rules. I will not allow you t o become an apologist for the war crimes of Cast Lead. If you want to do that do it elsewhere.
Read Haaretz for God’s sake which documents the heinous crimes of the IDF during Cast Lead. Don’t believe us if you choose not to. But believe Haaretz. If not, you’re little better than a ravening beast to quote Yeats.
IDF soldiers were killed during Cast Lead? Wow. All three I think (in hostilities). That’s a ratio of 3 to 1,400 or 3 to 300 if you choose to count only militants killed on each side. SOund like a fair fight?
You’re so abysnmally ignorant that you don’t even realize that the bomb on the apt building was the murder of Salah Shehadeh & his family & everyone living in his Gaza apt building. There was no warning in that case contrary to yr claim.
As for making 165,000 phone calls, bulls(&t. Where can someone go in Gaza when they leave their home and are murdered by the IDF despite carrying white flags?? You disgust me. When you can tell me you understand a single thing about what it’s like to live through a war as a civilian, then you can talk. When you can tell me you understand a single thing about what it’s like to be a Palestinian, then you can talk. Till then, stop wasting yr breath & our time.
Raising Iraq et al is another off topic red herring & a serious comment rule violation. If you don’t read the rules now & follow them in future, you risk losing yr comment privileges. We don’t like hasbarists around here.
A very serious comment rule violation. Such unproven insulting attacks on other commenters is unacceptable. Future comments will be moderated.
Deïr Yassin says
@ Bob Mann
Okay, so that’s a description by the PCHR. I’ll look it up myself.
And since when has “activist of the Palestinian resistance” become an equivalent of the “terrorist” that RA used to describe these people on the list ?
Resistance against occupation is legitimate and an “activist” is not automatically a “terrorist” ? The people in Bilin and Nabi Saleh are also “activist of the Palestinian resistance”.
Not to forget that non of these people were killed while in combat, and were thus non-combattants.
Mary Hughes-Thompson says
I don’t mind if you want to call me an activist for the Palestinian resistance.
Richard, Your numbers about Hamas operatives who died during cast lead are wrong. Hamas admits to 600 – 700 back in 2010
IDF numbers were a bit higher – if i recall correctly 900 (all named)
I still think that the user Deir Yassin, is being rude to others. and it lowers the credibility of your blog.
the first step in solving the I/P conflict is having a civilized debate, she’s nothing but.
Richard Silverstein says
You’re including the 250 police cadets killed in the first attack by the IDF. I don’t include unarmed police cadets graduating from the police academy as militants. Every legitimate NGO account including the Goldstone Report says 300 killed were Hamas militants.
Stop complaining about other commenters. If I have anything to say to anyone about their behavior I will do so myself.
Regarding “military targets”: the bus targeted was on a line usually carrying Israeli soldiers from a base to Eilat. Most of the injured were active soldiers, not necessarily in uniform. By israeli rules of engagement which justify killing people on account of being “militant” (ie, mafia style “targeted assassination” where anyone getting caught in the line of fire is “collateral damage”) the soldiers on the bus were a legitimate military target, and other passengers were …uhm…unfortunate collateral victims. It is also likely the attackers considered the civilian car to be a military target as well – perhaps their intelligence was faulty. May be kind of likethe Israelis which sent a missile to kill a doctor, his brother and a 2 year old. Why? because the brother might – or might not have been – a “militant. And Israel does not have the excuse of poor intelligence, as they could pinpoint the motorcycle occupants quite well. They just didn’t care. Of course, we don’t know what the militants cared about since they cannot produce a spokesperson who will point the finger at at least one occupant of the israeli car, describing him as a “known belligerent”. So the best we can say is that they are at a disadvantage compared with IDF’s confused spokespeople who seem ever so sure that 1. PRC was involved 2. since they were evidently not involved, they must have planned the operation, then when that doesn’t seem likely, just say 3. they would if they could so might as well “liquidate” them now before they become too capable.
Point is, Israel should expect that the mentality animating the IDF’s and mossad’s mafia style hit operations (where they are judge, jury, executioner and court stenographer) will be as effectively used for counter operations. Israel – and its minions in the west – can call them terrorists all they want – we know the drone hit teams employ good consiglieri and specialize in rapid dispatch of “clean up crews”, but the world is increasingly seeing them through the lens applied to mafiosi deployed by both sides.
The parallel are the battles between mexican drug lords over control of smuggling routes rather than some comparison to police forces legitimately employing self-defense. Since israeli retaliation has the look and feel of a drug lord revenge, that’s how the conflict will be viewed. Except that in this case it looks like hamas is not even the one perpetrating the original hit.
The moral depravity is reserved to those who built a state that increasingly resorts to the rules of the jungle. palestinians are basically reacting, but it is israel that commands the garrison state, relegating the natives to the ranks of “barbarians”. It should not come as a surprise to those who read about empires and kingdoms of the past that “barbarians’ may eventually find their own visigoths allies (eg, Sinai bedouin clans that have their own ax to grind). Israelis are only angry because palestinians were not as willing to be erased from the pages of history as the mayas were in the face of their conquistador conquerers.
Richard Silverstein says
As I wrote in a comment yesterday, while I’m inclined to disbelieve these sorts of theories, one thing you learn when dealing with Mossad & Shabak is that just about anything can happen & does. I agree w. what you said about these intelligence services plumbing the depth of cynicism & perhaps I am disbelieving out of a horror that an Israeli could do such a thing as lay their own on the sacrificial altar (though I note that Ben Gurion seemed keenly aware of the benefit of the Holocaust to the Zionist project in Palestine, & not terribly distraught about those slaughtered). So, again as I wrote, if someone brings plausible arguments or proof I’m willing to entertain them. But I await stronger evidence than I’ve seen thus far.
As Glenn Greenwald has noted, that’s a remarkably revealing admission. So, according to the “pro-Israel” brigade, potentates in the region are downright supposed to be loyal not to their own people or countries, but to Israel, on whose behalf the US props them up. Never has the prospect of democracy been so scary.
From the very beginning this has been a mess. Bibi comes out and says it’s the PRC as Gaza is being bombarded. He announces some PRC members have been killed then the IDF is asked about who is responsible for the attacks and they say they never said the PRC was responsible, irrespective of what Netanyahu said. Haaretz seemed content to mindlessly repeat every Israeli govt talking point without question as more and more questions emerged about who was actually responsible. I’m glad to see they are finally acknowledging that it might not be so clear cut.
Of course it begs the question, who the hell is Israel retaliating against if they don’t know who perpetuated the attacks? I guess any Palestinian will do.
Dana, it doesn’t even have to have been authorised by Netanyahu, it could be rogue elements within one of the security services taking it upon themselves to do “what needs to be done”.
Or it could be that the PRC are really behind it, but the reason that raises doubts is because they themselves deny it. Why would they denyif they did it? They do it to claim credit, not to deny.
There is another possiblity..if it’s not an Israeli right wing false flag operation, (probably by religous extremists who have no qualms about killing Jews if they deem fit, since their religous beliefs allow it)
Could it be the attackers were not PRC or any other Palestinian group, but from Egypt? Maybe they’re Egyptians, and they’re trying to cover it up. Didn’t your foreign minister land in Cairo this morning?
eeni meeni myni mo … abracadabra … babaloo … why doesn’t someone entertain the very real possibility that the Martians might have done it?
the Proof: the Martians never leave traces.
By the way, Dana are you Joseph Dana? Great work 🙂 I love
Alas, I am not Joseph (whose work I admire a well). Thanks for the compliment though.
Hamas armed wing denies ending Israel truce
20 Aug 2011
Spokesman for the Qassam brigades denies earlier radio announcement that de facto ceasefire with Israel was being ended.
Arab League blasts Israel for Egyptian deaths
21 Aug 2011
Cairo meeting condemns Israel for killing five Egyptian policemen, saying expression of regret for deaths is not enough.
Egypt is saying they’ve identified three of the Eilat attackers. Apparently one of them owns an arms and munitions factory and is a fugitive, and the other is a leader of some terrorist groups in the Sinai
Richard Silverstein says
A link PLEASE. Are the suspects Egyptian or Gazan?
Al Masry Al Youm.
It doesn’t mention if they’re Egyptian or not,
Egypt identifies three men responsible for Eilat terrorist attack
The news media seem more interested in Gaddafi’s fall, who by the way is Jewish halachically. I’m surprised Israel didn’t offer him amnesty on the sly, surely he qualifies for aliyah 🙂
Not directly on topic.
RS writes –
“There is a populous Muslim democracy to the north whose government and citizens are demanding that Israel respect its interests, especially when they involve murdering their citizens. And there is a nascent Muslim democracy to the south whose citizens are deeply connected to the fate of the Palestinians especially those of Gaza which it borders. The times they are a changin’.”
If such a deep sympathy for the plight of Palestinians exists on the part of the Egyptians, why hasn’t the border crossing at Rafah been completely opened to food, medicine, building supplies and, most importantly, the free movement of Palestinians for medical treatment, attending foreign schools, etc., etc.?
I realize that the US could threaten the aid that Egypt receives, but would it be willing to withstand the outcry if that threat was carried out and made public?
i’m new to this blog, have been here a few times and i agree with much that’s raised in your posts.
after reading this post Richard, you come off more anti-israeli than pro-peace. out of all the possible angles to cover on this piece, it looks like all you’re doing is (desperately) looking for possible points to criticize the IDF and shabak. that seems like the whole point of this post.
all the conspiracy comments just make it look like more of a farce.
it’s hard to take you seriously, and i wanted to.
Richard Silverstein says
They must write this for ’em in Hasbara Central. At least 10 commenters have begun their “career” here in almost the same words. Can you point out a single thing I’ve written with which you’ve agreed? The fact that yu would call me “anti Israeli” indicates you’re arguing in bad faith. No one calling me that would agree with anything I believe or write.
You also didn’t bother to do any due diligence before opening your mouth. If you had, you’d realize that reporting on the IDF & Israeli intelligence is pretty much the major theme of this blog.
As for taking me seriously, I’m afraid some of us here have a bit of a problem taking you at face value, which means we’re not exactly taking you seriously either. Somehow I’ll survive the tragedy of you not taking me seriously & go on w. my life. It will be hard, but I’ll manage somehow.
Deïr Yassin says
That’s what I thought too after the first line. ‘Oh, the stardard introduction from Yuri Edelstein’s basement’.
You just know there will come a major ‘BUT’ afterwards.
At least 10 commenters have begun their “career” here in almost the same words. Can you point out a single thing I’ve written with which you’ve agreed?
But you cut short their career’s before they are even promoted 🙂
Richard Silverstein says
Actually, one of them, who really got under my skin because she was so good…I offered to write a ltr of commendation to her superiors in an attempt to get her a promotion (hoping it would get her a supervisory job so she wouldn’t be in my hair so much!).
@richarrd – by your own rules, your response would get your comment banned. calling someone you don’t know (and don’t agree with) an agent (hasbara, whatever) is slander, and you’re probably doing it’s because it’s easier than digesting my point of view.
i’m a real person, reading your blog on my own time, and responding because you and some of your apparently regular cast of commentors annoy me to no end.
i’ve added a link to my FB profile.
i expect an apology from you and the peanuts in your gallery.
i first came here a few months ago when you leaked the name of some rapist here. i saw this as a nice site for staying informed on local events from a source that is not censored by the isaeli government.
i’m not a zionist, vote way left, want us to end the occupation, would be fine with a sane/secular 1 or 2 state solution, and so forth. but my motivation is probably different than yours – my problem is more with the “modern democratic state”, as such, not just israel.
i used to be more aligned with your apparent approach, but i was younger, and less self aware. i have friends running the spectrum of israeli/usa politics, and i agree with some of what is thought across that shitty specrum.
one personal epiphany came last summer when i went hiking with my uncle and a female “far left” european activist. she was intelligent, educated, here for a year volunteering in east jerusalem, and not bad looking. i should have hit it off great with her. but what happened is that she just pissed me off with her basic attitude – she saw herself as a “neutral” peace activist, but she came off as more anti-israeli than pro-peace (first time i formulated the thought i later had about you) to me. her opinions were like a mirror image of the gung-ho right wing settles that so often emigrate here from the usa, france and the former ussr. the basic approach is a one-sidedness they believe is objective/liberal/pragmatic (fill in the blanks depending on present company) – oh, a big shout-out to a friend of mine (lee diamond) for the liberal slot.
if you want peace, or anything else, you need to get your facts in line with the presumed reality, then create a viable plan, and then try to execute at least 80% of it, or whatever. but in our case, that means that as soon as you become to committed to a political ideology, you have problems aligning your facts with presumed reality, since both sides both fall short AND have valid points, all at the same time.
there is no 1 side that is objective with a god’s eye view of the situation, and educated folks on the left/right are quick to forget this. you have a whole host of other related issues that are inherent to any ideology, as such – there is no lack of literature about ideology, mostly from the post-moderns.
to be effective the dialogue should probably be based more on complementarity (see george bataille, arkady plotnitsky – for theoretical work; or read some of the short stories by j. l. borges, issac babel, guy de maupassant or maybe even ka-tzetnik 135633 – they do it better), not on a binary (true/false, yes/no, etc) model.
as an aside, you’re kinda rude in a whiny way, a bit bitch-like. but maybe it comes with your turf.
anyways, your blog would only improve by examining your biases and actively trying to filter them out. not everything the idf/shabak does is bad, not everything hamas/fattah do is good, and vice versa, etc… you can throw a bone to the other side when relevant, it’s good for you; it also builds confidence in your readers that you head is not stuck too high up inside your own backside.
if you ever read some of the classic attic plays, you may be struck that when the athenians got their infotainment, not everything they heard about their opponents (spartans, persians, etc) was trash talk. and much of the ridicule also pointed inward.
this was 2.4k years ago, when the world was much smaller, and this approach probably much harder – i’d love to read a political/current events blog written in that spirit. you’d think it would be easier today to get opposing points of view and weed out morality/opinion from appearance.
boaz, I’ll interject before Richard does. Since you claim to be new I’ll give you a heads-up: Richard never claimed “everything that hamas/fatah does is good”. I’ve been reading him a long time and never saw anything of the sort. If anything, he has been a heck of a lot harder on palestinians than I am, and his purpose is most certainly not to whitewash hamas or take them off the hook for their mistakes.
Even more to your other point – I never saw a claim that “everything” idf/shabak does is bad. just that sometimes they act badly, and even more times, incompetently. Exposing the incompetence of israel’s military agencies – be it shabak, mossad or IDF has been a theme of this blog. Just like many blogs in Israel.
If you perceive an ‘anti-Israel” thsis here, that may be your own narrow view of what “pro-Israel” is. That’s why you were tarred with the hasbara brush. Because you used their points. It is of course, quite possible that you came up with them points independently, but it is not surprising that over the years we have all grown a bit cynical, seeing the same old tired excuses offered to justify the unjustifyable.
My advise to you is originality pays. See what new whitewash you can come with that we haven’t seen yet. At the very least you’ll be taken more seriously.
Richard Silverstein says
It would help if you could quote whatever offends you as there are 50 or more comments a day published here & I read every one. I usually call people of a certain ideological persuasion & rhetorical style “hasbarists.” I hardly ever use the term “agent” as I generally use it when I mean it literally (do you understand the difference bet. satire & straight-forward analysis?).
You’re “not a Zionist” and “vote way left,” and yet would use the term “far left” in describing yr hiking partner as a term of opprobrium. Puh-leeze? You’re way left and yet confuse being anti-Israeli with being opposed to Israeli policy. You also confuse someone who is critical of Israeli policy with someone who hates Israel more than they love peace. I find this offensive.
BTW, did it ever occur to you that the fact that you found the woman attractive and whatever other thoughts accompanied this in yr mind may’ve colored yr view of the entire interaction? Otherwise, why would you have added the marginally sexist statement she was “not bad looking?”
I have never said everything Israel or its government does is bad and certainly have never said everything Hamas or Palestinians do is good. Though you & many other pro-Israel types have tried to make that false charge. I don’t weigh out my blogging in tablespoons of “good Israel” and “bad Israel.” I write what moves me. If you’d read more of this blog you might’ve read posts that would’ve made you happier perhaps. But Israel’s gov’t is in very very deep disarray. I don’t find happy talk to be very useful in such a situation. Nor do I feel I have to write to establish my bona fides w. a crowd that needs to know that I really, really love Israel. My love for Israel is not something I advertise or boast about here. It’s inherent to those who read me. And it even pisses off a good number of my readers. So be it.
First off, I don’t believe any theory that Israel itself did this or that the US (or Mossad) did 9/11. It’s highly unlikely. It’s not that there might not be sociopaths willing to do such things in the US or Israeli government, it’s just that I don’t think it could be pulled off. There would be too many people who aren’t sociopaths who make planning such a thing impossible or incredibly difficult to pull off without detection.
That said, “they allowed it to happen” isn’t as implausible, IMO, simply because I think it would be difficult to distinguish between “allowed it to happen” and “being incompetent”. One thing I don’t quite get–no one doubts that there are really sick twisted people in, say, the Syrian government. Why is it so difficult to imagine there might be some psychopaths in power in the democracies? Is there something about our form of government that is guaranteed to prevent sociopaths from ever obtaining power? What makes conspiracy theories about black flag operations difficult to believe is what I said above, that someone with a conscience might find out, which should make them hard to pull off, but if it is just a matter of not taking the proper course of action that particular argument is weakened.
I would still bet on plain old incompetence, because there is so much of that in the world.
Mary Hughes-Thompson says
Important editorial in Haaretz of all places.
Yest another Hasbara lie.
This is not an editorial, but an opinion column.
Israel Har’el is one of the founders of the religious-settler movement and its major scribe.
Richard Silverstein says
A zoch in vay. He calls Harel’s junk a Haaretz editorial?? Harel is the paper’s resident settler columnist.
RE: “But that is a far cry from Israel actually collaborating in some way or deliberately allowing its own citizens to be killed.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: Yes, aside from the fact that Netanyahu might have coincidentally benefited from the attack, there is nothing to suggest that this was a ‘black flag’ attack perpetrated by Israel.
Having said that, it is not beyond the realm of possibility (based upon what we know at this point) that some group from Egypt (as opposed to Gaza) carried out the attack. The Salfists might be a possibility (albeit remote).
Having said that, Uri Avnery seems convinced the attack was carried out by a “small extremist Islamist group in the Gaza Strip”, so I would tend to assume that is the case.
URI AVNERY ARTICLE – http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2011/08/21/the-return-of-the-generals/
P.S. ALSO SEE: Israeli ‘retaliation’, By Max Ajl, 08/21/11
ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.maxajl.com/israeli-retaliation/
Deïr Yassin says
Yossi Gurvitz has just published an article on 972mag:
“Evidence undermines government’s claim that terrorists were Gazans”.
He also mentions the identity of the three men captured by the Egyptians.
I can’t link to the article, I don’t know why, so here the link to the blog;
Gurvitz’ article is crossposted at Mondoweiss and available here:
Yesterday evening the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that Egyptian security forces have identified three of the dead attackers. Egypt has a strong interest to claim the attackers were Gazans, since this would lessen its responsibility for the attacks; nevertheless, they say at least two of the attackers were known terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. As far as I could find out, the rest of the bodies are in the hands of the IDF – which, again, does not reveal their identity.
He sources the Egyptian report here:
It might be time to admit you were wrong about the nationality of the attackers, Richard.
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t know what happened. I wrote my own post about the Al Masry article nearly 24 hrs ago & then forgot to publish it. I’ve just done so. Ugh! This is what happens when you blog very late at night.
Thanks for alerting me, indirectly, to my error.
That’s an excellent +972 article. At least Richard, Mondoweiss and +972 are asking questions while the rest of the media seems content to accept the Israeli government’s official line, even though they clearly conflict.
I don’t know what is more disturbing, that many, including the media, don’t seem to think it matters who is responsible for the attack or the fact that the Israeli government seems to have possibly lied outright.
Mondoweiss and 972 are publicizing this–the rest of the press are Israel’s stenographers, to use Richard’s phrase.
Mary Hughes-Thompson says
Once again IDF troops killed by their own: