17 thoughts on “Gaza Ceasefire Consensus Developing – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Palestinian death toll: 111 killed (…) The Palestine Committee for Human Rights has determined 60 of those killed were women, children or men over 50 (hence not participating in armed struggle). Well, over half of the dead whose identity is known were civilian”
    Probably much more once we know all the facts. The father of the al-Dalou family had a grocery store, two other adults were killed passing in the street when a man driving by on a motocycle was ‘only’ wounded, accordig to eyewitnesses HE was the target, one was a police officer etc.
    And once the distinction between ‘militant’ and ‘combattant’ is made, the % of combattants is probably lower than during Cast Lead.

  2. Richard,

    “To be clear, if this is Obama’s strategy I’m not endorsing it.”

    The way you spell it out, you may very well be right about the political strategy/nuclear diplomacy of President Obama. And i also feel quite ambivalent about it. These next few months will be instructive for students and scholars alike.

  3. Aside from the tragic loss of life the consequences of this latest round of violence will make HAMAS stronger, fuel Palestinian resistance and harden their resolve. Barrages of Quassams into Israel underlie the total failure of operation ‘Cast Lead’ in ending that threat, besides highlighting the IDF’s tactical incompetence in finishing off HAMAS. Those are the lessons learned then and dictate today’s ineffectual policies of long distant bombardment and showboating demonstrations of force on the borders.

    1. rfjk, I don`t think you can understand how this summary of yours is wrong. During the Second Intifada they said the very same thing namely, that Israeli counteracts in eliminating gradually (it indeed took a long time) the bases, the military material and the operators and their commanders, will only make things worse in making the Palestinians even more committed to fighting – it turned out to be evidently not so. The ceasefire agreement in Cast Lead was indeed broken by Hams and other organizations there: they continued to fire missiles and smuggled in more arms (under the stewardship of Jabari) and so we are back at it again. However, there was no incompetence of IDF in “finishing off Hamas”. Firstly, they hide in densely populated areas and hitting them would mean a huge increase in the number of civilian casualties and secondly, doing away with Hamas is not Israel`s goal (as different from hitting military operatives and selected chiefs of it) – Israel is not interested in a power vacuum there. This struggle is a “long story”, a trial and error process with constant learning, development of new tools, as Iron Dome now, improved intelligence gathering approaches and so on, a process, rather than an one-stroke finish – it resembles the second Intifada in that. Once more, as there, it will end not with truce agreements, which will be violated as before, but rather when war-fatigue descends on people – at some point they lose the fervor and the willingness to continue paying for it in endlessly disrupted normal life and continual casualties – patience and perseverance (in short, the story of the entire “Israel project”).

      1. When will Israel ever learn that it cannot solve its problems militarily, that trying to smash the resistance to its occupation of Palestine is futile, and that the only way towards peace is to go back behind the pre-1967 borders and give the stolen land back to the Palestinians? What is so damned hard to understand?

      1. If you choose to claim that Israeli doesn’t summarily execute wanted Palestinians then you’d be a liar. I’m not sure what the difference is–Israel’s practices are barbaric as are Hamas’. Which is worse?

        If you were a Gazan whose family may’ve been killed due to intelligence offered by a collaborator I daresay you wouldn’t be preening as you are with this hasbara.

      2. “Hamas leader condems killing of accused collaborators”
        The suspected collaborators were brought to Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood for the execution, just close to where the Al-Dalou house stood, which was supposed to be that of some big Hamas or Islamic Jihad-leader, according to the IDF. I read a very laconic interview with some IDF-spokesman saying “they’ll look into it (i.e. killing of 11 innocent people, I guess).
        I don’t know but maybe there’s a link between all this: collaborators, wrong house, being executed next to where the house used to be. I’m not justifying anything; this is simply disgusting, particularly to drag a dead body through the street. Nearly as disgusting as killing a baby in an air raid.

        1. It has also turned out that although Hamas members are responsible for this, Hamas officials have condemned the act.

          Be aware that this type of incident is tragic but nevertheless shouldn’t be used to paint with a broad brush. Of course, it was turned into hasbara by the Israelis who insist on portraying Hamas as brutes. Yes, this was a heinous, disgusting act, but let’s not allow it to deflect from the heinousness of an invasion that is producing more dead bodies, and despair, than this single incident. Humans are subject to rash acts under extreme stress, and this is not much different than what happened in Fallujah involving the incident resulting in the murder of four US contractors whose bodies were burned and hung from a bridge.

  4. I think you are wise to point out that the horrors of a Israeli attack on Iran (possibly with nuclear warheads since they have
    determined that even bunkerbusting bombs won’t touch some of the embedded enrichment sites) would far out distance the horrors of the current Gaza situation. I would also agree with your portrayal of Obama’s direction on Iran. He’s in a challenging position being hemmed in by his own congress and Israel, and then having to deal with the blood lust of the current Israeli government, particularly Netanyahu. Perhaps in some eon, an Israeli government will emerge with the will and skills to use diplomacy in lieu of a foreign policy which is exclusively devoted to violence, death and destruction.

  5. I don’t understand why you accused me of “spreading rumors” when I presented information about the forthcoming cease fire two days ago. It was based on the same solid reporting that your piece is based on. I just don’t get it.

    1. You did not say on what your claim was based. Laster, I saw a Haaretz article which seemed a bit vague. I assume that’s where your statement came from. Since then, which is several days ago now, there have been firmer reports. THere still is no ceasefire. So I thought your comment then was more the realm of speculation than established fact.

  6. I am both inspired and humbled by the story of Izzeldin Abuelaish ,a Gazan doctor (who worked in an Israeli hospital).
    Dr.Izzeldin Abuelaish’s three daughters – Aya, Bessan and Mayar were killed by Israeli tank shell that hit his home three years ago.
    Twelve weeks earlier, Nadia, his wife of 21 years, had died suddenly of Leukaemia.

    From this…. “I saw everything,” he says. ” My children in parts. A decapitated head. And Shatha in front of me, with her eye on her cheek.”


    To this….”The energy you want to waste in anger, convert it to strength and determination,”


    1. To the memory of his daughters:
      I guess you’re aware that he went live (sound) on Channel 10 just after his daugters were killed:
      There’s another footage, after he came to an Israeli hospital with the bodies of his girls, he was verbally agressed by a couple of Israelis who more or less told him that he got what he deserved, I’m hardly exagerating.
      In his book “I Shall Not Hate”, you learn that what now is the ranch of Ariel Sharon used to be the land of his family…. Abuelaish is a political ‘moderate’ but insists on the Right of Return.
      Richard has written posts about him: he went to hear him some while back in Seattle.

  7. OT

    US and Iran finally agree on something — the death penalty.

    U.S. sides with Iran in UN vote over death penalty
    Political Desk

    On Line: 20 November 2012 17:30
    In Print: Wednesday 21 November 2012

    Font Size
    TEHRAN – The United States on Monday sided with Iran in a vote at a UN General Assembly’s rights committee on a resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

    According to AFP, 110 countries backed the resolution, which is voted every two years.

    The vote tears apart traditional alliances at the United Nations. The United States, Japan, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Syria, and Zimbabwe were among 39 countries to oppose the non-binding resolution in the assembly’s rights committee. Thirty-six countries abstained.

    Israel voted against its strong U.S.-ally to join European Union nations, Australia, Brazil, and South Africa among major countries backing the motion.

    At the last vote in 2010, 107 countries backed the resolution.

    France’s new Socialist government has launched a campaign with other abolitionist states to get the full General Assembly to pass a resolution in December calling for a death penalty moratorium. However, such a resolution would be non-binding.

    According to the United Nations, about 150 countries have either abolished capital punishment or have instituted a moratorium.

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