45 thoughts on “Israeli-Arab Ceasefire # 6,432,821 – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, I’m afraid you fail to understand Israeli politics and the Israeli public opinion. I’m quoting you:
    “Here is my (cynical) version of the ceasefire agreement signed by the parties:
    1. Bibi has gotten what he needed–an election boost.
    3. Bibi avoids the worst pitfalls of an escalation–lots of Israeli body bags and a war extending into the election period–each of which would tend to weigh on the minds of the voters in ways that would be unpleasant and unproductive (for Likud).”

    My (and most Israelis, I think) analysis in conjunction to your opinions.
    1. Bibi has gotten the opposite to what he needed. Israelis from the south that feel that they were sold out and are still to Hamas rockets mercy will not vote for him.
    If you watched Israeli TV in the past 24 hours you would have seen enraged people who 24 hours ago called him “Bib king” and became ex-Likud voters in an instant.
    You should have seen the look on Liberman’s face on that press conference – if he had not joined his party to the Likud just a month ago, he would have probably taken most of the Likud voters and may even become the next PM. Now I doubt that the Likud will win the elections at all.

    3. I think you are too optimistic regarding the quantity of IDF’s body bags. In Cast Lead, “only” 10 Israeli soldiers were killed. I’m not neglect human life (being a reservist myself, in the armored corps, giving me a relatively high change to get hurt myself), but in general, 10 Casualties or even 50 is a relatively low price to pay if the goal of removing the missile threat from Gaza is achieved – If that could even be partly accomplished, it would be considered a win.

  2. How, in your opinion, a real deal (peace) can be made with Hamas, when Hamas doesn’t recognize the right of Israel to exist? Hamas believes only in (military) power, both internally and externally..

    Even after ceasefire was established, Hamas kept firing rockets into Israeli cities. I wish that a time will come and we’ll be able to live in peace here, but I doubt it can happen in this generation.. It should begin with education on both sides.

    1. “Even after ceasefire was established, Hamas kept firing rockets into Israeli cities.” Which cities? Up until exactly 9 pm, Israel was shelling both Gaza City and Beit Hanoun, according to my sources. I have NO reports of any rocket fired into Israel after 9 pm.

      You don’t have any idea whatsoever of what Hamas believes. Your imagination must be good company for you, Igor, you certainly rely on it a lot. Whether Hamas believes Israel has the right to exist or not is utterly immaterial, and bringing it up is an old hasbara talking point that has been discussed to death.

        1. As I said, I don’t think innocent should die, but your answer used one source.. I did a little digging and found an article in PNN: http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/3165-pchr-report-on-latest-developments-in-the-last-day-of-q-pillar-of-defenceq

          “At approximately 12:20, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians who were cropping olives in Abu Nasser area in Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis. As a result, Ibrahim Mahmoud Nasser Abu Nasser, 80, and his grandchild Ameera, 14, were killed, and his son Mohammed, 40, was wounded.”

          So I guess it was before 21:00.

          To Mary: I don’t know who you are, but you probably didn’t even try to dig for the facts (I am talking about the rockets from Gaza). It was a total of at least 13 rockets was fired. 12 rockets landed on Israeli territory. Some rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome. I’ve seen two interceptions over Ashdod at about 22:00
          I found a source in English you can read: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/21/us-palestinians-israel-rockets-idUSBRE8AK1B320121121

          1. Excuse me for not finding anything when I searched. “I don’t know who you are, but…” makes no sense within the context of the rest of your statement. Who am I supposed to be?

            I see you like to belabor certain points. So what? As Richard said, it takes a while for soldiers in the field to be notified of ceasefires. Now the ceasefire is in effect and is being observed by all.

          2. Mary… you said “my sources”. That’s why I said “I don’t know who you are, but…”. Maybe more apropriate way was to say “I don’t know what sources are talking about”. Excuse me for my imperfect English, as it’s not my mother tongue.

          3. @ Igor
            Two-year-old Abdul Rahman Naem wasn’t killed at 12:30, but in an air raid on Gaza City at 15:20. It was his own father, a doctor at al-Shifa hospital who had to receive him when he came in.
            Four people were killed in an air raid on Beit Hanoun at 14:30 among them Talal al-Asalay and his two kids, Ayman and Hadeel.
            The killing of 14-years-old Nadir Abu Mughreiseeb was not at 12:20 either but during the evening:
            In fact, he last dead was reported by Ma’an at 9:03 pm., it seems they just couldn’t stop, doesn’t it.

      1. “You don’t have any idea whatsoever of what Hamas believes.” And yet, Richard and commenters here claim to know that Israeli leadership has only the most cynical intentions re ceasefire. In any case, it’s disingenuous to deny the violent anti-semitism coming from Hamas’s and its Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

        1. “In any case, it’s disingenuous to deny the violent anti-semitism coming from Hamas’s and its Muslim Brotherhood supporters.” Oh, I get it. Fighting for the end of siege and occupation is anti-semitism.

          What a leap.

          1. How did you manage to completely misread such a short, concise comment? I said nothing of the siege or occupation. I simply referred to their antisemitic rhetoric.

          2. Richard, you’re willfully blind. Antisemitic canards regularly find their way into Hamas & Muslim Brotherhood literature and public speeches. The Hamas Charter is only the most obvious example. Hamas’s recent public statements usually specify anti-Zionism, rather that outright Jew-hatred, but they slip every now and then and show us what they really think.

            See this NYT article, for instance: http://goo.gl/C3u3X. Even Palestinian leaders recognize this. “Radwan Abu Ayyash, deputy minister of culture in Ramallah, ran the Palestinian Broadcasting Company until 2005. Hamas ‘uses religious language to motivate simple people for political as well as religious goals,’ he said. ‘People don’t distinguish between the two.” He said he found a lot of what Al Aksa broadcast “disgusting and unprofessional.’ Every Palestinian thinks the situation in Gaza is ugly, he said. ‘But what is not fine is to build up children with a culture of hatred, of closed minds, a culture of sickness.’ “

          3. This comment is off-topic. COmments must be directly related to the post on which you’re commenting. Read my comment rules very carefully before writing another comment here.

            The Hamas Charter is off-topic & a prohibited one. It’s been blasted out of the water here countless times. I do not rehash hasbara memes just for your pleasure.

            For every reference to anti Semitism among Palestinians I’ll show you 20 Islamophobic comments from Israeli leaders. What does it all prove? Zero.

            Read and respect the comment rules.

          4. This is the second time you reprimanded me for an “off-topic” comment that directly responded to another comment (yours, in fact). I read your comment rules and confess that I don’t quite understand how to have “a full-throated discussion” if responding to other comments is “off-topic.”

            Re Hamas anti-Semitism, the comments prove exactly what they are: that Hamas is anti-Semitic. As you point out, racism and anti-Islam rhetoric also feature among Israeli leaders. It would be silly to deny that. It would also be silly to deny Hamas anti-Semitism; yet you did just that in your comment directly before mine. Re the Hamas Charter, what exactly has “been blasted out of the water”? The existence of the Charter? It’s embrace of anti-Semitic theme straight of the the Protocols?

            Also, quit with this hasbara nonsense. I have no affiliation to hasbara or any hasbara organization. I don’t care if that makes it harder for you to pigeonhole me.

          5. What people like you don’t realize is that there have been 70,000 comments posted to this blog. Chances are almost any pro-Israel or anti-Palestinian argument you can think of has been made by someone before you. Perhaps by 10 or 20 people before you. One thing I detest more than almost anything is hearing arguments offered 10 or 20 times before, offered once more. While you’re a visitor here, this blog is something central to me at which I spend a good deal of time. If I tell you something is off-topic there’s a good reason for it. You may not like it. But you haven’t read the 30 comments claiming the same thing as you, made over a number of years before you even got here. So please, don’t test my patience.

            You raised the subject of alleged Hamas anti-Semitism, not I–except to tell another commenter the same thing I’m telling you. So do not fib, fudge or lie. This is not, nor ever will be the original subject of any post or comment of mine. Do not raise this subject again. As for hasbara, if you use hoary, boring pro-Israel advocacy talking points then you’ll be called hasbarist. Use fresh, thoughtful ideas and you won’t.

          6. [Comment deleted for comment rule violation. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of the comment threads here–read the comment rules and do not think of the threads as an extension of the hasbara war on Israel’s behalf. Do not post links that show you’re purely a partisan whose only interest is promoting Israeli government policy and its military forces.]

          7. Ugly rhetoric is something both Israelis and Arabs are guilty of. So what? are you now going to demand that everyone should talk nice to each other?

            I’ve been in the middle east for almost 2 years now, and what surprises me is that I hear more anti-Jew rubbish from the mouths of Americans and Europeans from middle eastern Arabs. So I don’t know where you’re coming from with this.

  3. Actually, I have a cautious-optimist take on matters here (even if, likely, not in a perfect manner – there could still be sporadic incidents etc.) . Most Israelis expect it to go the way post Cast Lead went. That is a possibility but every turn in this process is different. Some big changes from the past:
    This was in effect an execution on Hamas part of plans devise in its “Iranian era”. The Egyptian regime, the new mentors, have no interest to orchestrate a bog conflagration with Israel – they don`t have the hate-psycho mindset of this Iran regime and are closer to the US.
    The “heroes-glamor” that fighting with Israel once enjoyed in the Arab world is very much gone. They don`t want to see Palestinians bombed but they also have much less interest in Hamas militant posture, immersed much more into own issues – generally, the window of “the centrality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” in the Arab world has by and large closed in favor of other issues. I think the Hamas people are smart enough to read that new political map.
    In the last decade or so the Arab world witnessed an immense extent of bloodshed in its midst: in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria now, to name the main ones and I think they had had enough of it. They are not looking for more – already saturated by it.
    Iran, the behind-the-scene “producer” of much of the mayhem in the Arab world (hand in Syria and in Lebanon, Bahrain and in Gaza), has come to be seen by main Arab countries for what they really are – a true great threat to them as well as it is to Israel. They let their Arab allies take the brunt of their regional-dominance “vision”.

    1. I think the Arabs are recognizing what the rest of the world sees, that the US’ influence in the region is waning and that the Arab spring has produced a new paradigm – to not accept the hubris of Israel or American aggression.

      Iran is a backdoor mischief maker, and I believe its massive interference (fueled by sectarianism) is contributing significantly to the bloodshed in Syria, just as their meddling produced horrific sectarian violence in Iraq. Iran seems to get much more sympathetic treatment from western left wingers than it gets in the Arab world, most of whom are Sunni Muslim and are horrified at the grotesque public hangings of Sunni dissidents in Iran.

      I absolutely do believe that Iran is a threat to stability, but not because of any nuclear weapons program. But I believe Israel is the greater threat, and Operation Pillar of Cloud is certainly evidence of that.

  4. Richard your cynical version is the correct ONE Nothing will change to improve the life of the folks in Gaza.The status quo will remain.Everything will be forgotten until the next time.

  5. “The ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed was 30 to 1”. Well, I think Hamas got a great deal, considering the ratio they themselves set – 1 Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, traded for 1000 Hamas prisoners…
    But seriously, would you do the head-counting practice to determine who was more morally right in WW2?
    And if a rocket would hit Azrialy towers in Tel-Aviv, killing 300, would you allow the IDF to even it up by killing 150 Palestinians?

    1. Your comnent is a complete non sequitur. Also, after 150 real live (formerly) Palestinians died, speaking in hypotheticals leaves me cold. When the first missle kills 300 Israelis Israel will kill thousands in response & the world will finally be forced as in Sarajevo to intervene & say: dai kfar.

  6. The Palestinians in Gaza need a strong man with the political and military power to keep all the potential rocket launching factions, Hamas and otherwise, under control. He could even serve as a focus for negotiations over a long term truce, giving peace to both sides.

    1. Yonatan, our Zionist of the day, seems to think Palestine needs a dictator to comply by Israel’s demands.

      Mubarak much?

      1. I don’t think Yonatan mean a dictator; I think what is needed is Palestinian political unity, and that will be Morsi’s next project. This may even result in dissolving the PA, something badly needed. However, the US and Israel depend on a divided Palestinian people to keep them disorganized and weak, so we will see how things change in the coming months.

  7. 1A Israel *should* stop…
    B All Palestinian factions *shall* stop…

    So Israel has a get our for its next attack, minor or major, aganst Gaza, while the Palestinians do not.

    1. I saw that too. It did not escape my attention. Probably didn’t escape theirs, either. Bear in mind that this is a “memorandum of understanding,” and nothing was signed.

  8. Why don’t we realize that the real winner from all this is Obama? Under the pretense of supporting Israel, behind the scenes he he forced them to stop the invasion that should never have taken place.

    The other “winners” are the extreme right wingers in Israel. Many disappointed Israelis are transferring their votes to these people. If Leiberman hadn’t joined Bibi, he would be making political capital right now.

    1. Not Obama, but Hillary going out with a bang at the end of the year with a feather in her cap which should not even go to her, but to President Morsi, who began talks with Hamas as soon as the first rocket fell and was tireless in pursuing peace until the last moment when a ceasefire agreement was reached. Both Hillary and Obama spent most of the week in east Asia, phoning in their diplomatic efforts at best. But Hillary now has something to show AIPAC when she begins her 2016 bid for the presidency.

      Of course, the whole invasion was Bibi’s brainchild to help him get votes for re-election.

  9. It matters little whether this or any future ceasefire holds for 6 weeks, months or years. What is of interest and likely greater significance in this latest ‘eye for an eye’ episode is what Israel has willingly or been forced to agree to; however that case may be.

    Until the full scope of the ceasefire is disclosed and its consequences analyzed and made know by reputable sources, a telling point is the joyous celebrations surging throughout Gaza, the W/B and Palestinians everywhere, which stands in stark contrast to the somber mood that saturates Israeli society.

    1. The celebrations in Gaza by Palestinians can say many things.. I remember watching the TV while in New York on 9/11, the celebration of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.. Can you learn something from their celebrations?

      I’m not criticizing you. I also wonder what the hell are they celebrating after their people died?
      If they would celebrate the end of the conflict or at least some real understanding between them and the Israelis, I would join them for the celebrations… for now, I don’t see any reason to celebrate.

      1. Igor says:

        “…Can you learn something from their celebrations…?”

        Victory celebrations among Palestinians may seem inconsequential or downright meaningless to outsiders, but what informs of rapturous celebration by Palestinians is their iron resolve and will to resist, no matter how lopsided the suffering and casualties in killed and wounded.

        This is extremely problematic for Israel as some 60 plus years of superior Israeli firepower, occupation and embargoes; house demolitions, economic, infrastructure and property destruction & seizures; land, air & sea sieges of Gaza have failed at cowing the will of the occupied and oppressed. Palestinians as they see and express it, are not one whit less determined to resist Israeli oppression and usurpation of their historic rights and patrimony.

        One undeniable Palestinian gain in this latest bloodletting is that Israel & the US have negotiated directly with HAMAS. This is also a much needed boost for Egyptian president Morsi who successfully acted as interlocutor and facilitator between HAMAS, the US and Israel. This violates the no dealing with terrorists rule and in effect is a major step in legitimizing HAMAS.

      2. Yes, you certainly can learn something from the Gaza celebrations today. Gazans were under massive assault and 162 of them, most civilians were murdered. They were free for the first time in 8 days to leave their homes. They celebrated. What’s your problem with that.

        BTW, claims that Palestinians celebrated on 9/11 are false. Pictures offered to prove this have been proven to be hoaxes. We can tell where your primarily sources of infomation come from.

        1. Another Jodi Rudoren-esque at amateur anthropology?

          If you were subject to thousands of rocket attacks, and there was finally a ceasefire meaning the threat of imminent death was finally gone, wouldn’t you celebrate?

          Richard is absolutely correct, the 9/11 photos were a hoax. But also ask yourself – millions of people throughout the world harshly condemn US middle east policy. Do you think all of them are wrong? If US policy kept your land under 64 years of brutal occupation, wouldn’t you hate the US? If US drone strikes killed your people, what would you feel? If you saw that the actions don’t match the fancy rhetoric, what would your opinion be?

          If you want people around the world to stop hating you, then you must stop doing hateful things. It is simple. Generally, the millions of people who don’t like the US and Israel are not morons. Maybe it’s useful to look into just which people are the clueless ones.

          1. “If you were subject to thousands of rocket attacks..” – hmm.. weren’t I? I do not celebrate.. Even when 5 people died and also civilians that some of them maybe really want peace also lost their life.. In contradiction of what you might think.. doesn’t make me happy and willing to celebrate..

            About 9/11, these were videos, not photos, as I remember.. I’ll find them and I’ll share..
            Anyway, I don’t think it’s so hard to believe as there are Palestinians (at least Hamas and their friends supporters), that support killing civilians and do celebrate every successful terror attack which targets civilians.

          2. Unless I know the exact provenance of videos (where they were shot, when, and by whom), I do not credit anything on this subject just as I don’t credit videos of Mossad agents dancing for joy on 9/11.

            Again, this is off topic & I have no interest in pursuing this subject.

        2. You somehow succeed in missing the point of what I say.. I hope its not intentional, if it is, then probably a dialogue is not an option here.

          What I mean is that the *other* side should try educating for peace and not for war.. In Israel we have a real choise of what to believe in and what to think..

          By the way I found an article with this quote:
          “A poll carried out in the Palestinian Authority shows 65% support for Al Qaeda terror attacks on the United States and European countries – the biggest donors to the PA.”

          “The poll was conducted by FAFO – a Norwegian-based NGO not known for sympathy toward Israel or antipathy toward the PA. FAFO says it conducted the polling among the Palestinian population “in order to assess political feelings after Israel’s voluntary withdrawal from Gaza in late-summer 2005.” The poll results were reported in the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida last Friday.”

          Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQYXair1Fu8
          That’s what really scares me and makes me think that even in the next generation, peace will not be possible..

          1. Oh, such hateful people those Palestinians are. How dare they be pissed off and hate the people who have aided and abetted the Israelis in their 64 year occupation? What’s wrong with them? They must be stupid, mentally defective or just plain subhuman not to be happy that we’re stealing their land and water and making them live under our guns and war planes. How terrible of them not to be grateful that we bulldoze their homes, throw their kids in jail after breaking their arms for throwing stones, pull up their olive trees, destroy their villages. They’re nothing but a bunch of terrorists. They hate us because we’re Jews, obviously. Yeah, that must be it.

    2. The full scope of the ceasefire was published here. Israel treated it so disdainfully it began murdering Palestinians within hours after signing it. It didn’t like Gazans celebrating so it killed a few to remind them who’s boss.

      1. I cant say what exactly happened there, but according to IDF there were shots in the air as a warning, they didn’t shoot to kill.

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