Gaza and Israel V for vendetta

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thorin_bane
Gaza and Israel V for vendetta

Continued from the last thread.

Dirft Michelle I was also shocked at Peter Kent.

[Edited by Michelle to remove reference that might out someone.]

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

From an article entitled, Top 5 Lies About Israel’s Assault on Gaza,

Quote:

Lie #2) Hamas violated the cease-fire. The Israeli
bombardment is a response to Palestinian rocket fire and is designed to
end such rocket attacks.

Israel never observed the cease-fire to begin with. From the
beginning, it announced a “special security zone” within the Gaza Strip
and announced that Palestinians who enter this zone will be fired upon.
In other words, Israel announced its intention that Israeli soldiers
would shoot at farmers and other individuals attempting to reach their
own land in direct violation of not only the cease-fire but
international law.

Despite shooting incidents, including ones resulting in Palestinians
getting injured, Hamas still held to the cease-fire from the time it
went into effect on June 19 until Israel effectively ended the truce on
November 4 by launching an airstrike into Gaza that killed five and
injured several others.

Israel’s violation of the cease-fire predictably resulted in
retaliation from militants in Gaza who fired rockets into Israel in
response. The increased barrage of rocket fire at the end of December
is being used as justification for the continued Israeli bombardment,
but is a direct response by militants to the Israeli attacks.

Israel’s actions, including its violation of the cease-fire,
predictably resulted in an escalation of rocket attacks against its own
population.

Lie #3) Hamas is using human shields, a war crime.

There has been no evidence that Hamas has used human shields. The
fact is, as previously noted, Gaza is a small piece of property that is
densely populated. Israel engages in indiscriminate warfare such as the
assassination of Nizar Rayan, in which members of his family were also
murdered. It is victims like his dead children that Israel defines as
“human shields” in its propaganda. There is no legitimacy for this
interpretation under international law. In circumstances such as these,
Hamas is not using human shields, Israel is committing war crimes in
violation of the Geneva Conventions and other applicable international
law.

I highlighted the two that we are hearing repeated most frequently by our politicians, media and some fellow babblers.

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2009/01/top-5-lies-about-israel%E2%80%99s-...

Here is a link to a partial list of Jewish voices of dissent (there are many more not listed):

http://filasteen.wordpress.com/about/anti-zionism/dissent/

The quote at the top of the page summarizes what many babblers have been trying to point out in the past many days:

“The easy assumption that all Jews support Israel and its ill-treatment of Palestinians is an insidious form of racism. - Sir Geoffrey Bindman

More about Sir Bindman and the group Independent Jewish Voices that included the late Harold Pinter:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/british-jews-break-awa...

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine 

Unionist

laine lowe wrote:

"The easy assumption that all Jews support Israel and its ill-treatment of Palestinians is an insidious form of racism. - Sir Geoffrey Bindman

Thank you for finding that, laine. That is exactly what I and others have been trying to say. Connecting Jews with Israel is anti-Semitism - and you don't have to be non-Jewish to be anti-Semitic!

Wilf Day

I decided to learn a little Israel geography, starting with Google Earth.

During the six-month cease-fire with Hamas, gunmen fired 360 rockets and mortars, the vast majority in the agreement's waning weeks, the military said. Since Nov. 4 Palestinian fighters have fired dozens of rockets injuring several Israelis. In the year before the cease-fire took hold, more than 4,300 projectiles were fired, it added.

But during the truce it seems most of these were amateur efforts with a range of no more than 10 kilometres, capable of only hitting small Israeli towns near the border with Gaza. Well, I should say the 1949 armistice line. Like the border lines in Kashmir, after all this time it is still only an armistice line.

The little Negev town of Sderot was the largest. (The Negev was given to Israel in the UN partition, not captured from the Arabs.) Sderot was founded in 1951. Most of its first residents were Kurdish and Persian refugees who lived in tents and shacks before building permanent structures almost four years later in 1954. At the end of 2006 the city had a total population of 19,300. Sderot, less than a mile from Gaza, has borne the brunt of Palestinian rocket attacks since 2001. In March 2008, the mayor said the population had declined by 10%-15% as families left the city in desperation (aid organizations say the figure is closer to 25%). Many of the families that remain cannot afford to move out or are unable to sell their homes.

Netivot, 11 km from the "border," has 25,000 people. By May 2008 approximately 60 Sderot families had relocated to Netivot during the past seven years of rocket fire The first grad Katyusha struck Netivot back in October 2007. Dando, Netivot's first pub, opened two years ago and has quickly become one of the most successful bars in the Negev. In September the city's second pub, Troya, opened. A third pub opened in October, Space.

The cease-fire expired Dec. 19, after the Islamic movement said Israel must end what it called a blockade of Gaza’s border crossings and launched a barrage of rockets at southern Israeli towns a day before the truce ended.

Israel declared a state of emergency in Israeli communities within a 20-kilometer range of Gaza.

New missiles with a range of 40 km would soon be in the possession of Hamas, according to Israeli intelligence.

On Sunday, December 21, one rocket exploded in Ashkelon, a city of about 120,000 on the Mediterranean coast 10 miles north of Gaza.

The city of Ashkelon is a very different place than the Negev towns. With 109,000 people, it is at the southern end of the main coast rail line, with regular train service to Tel Aviv one hour away, about every 20 minutes at rush hour, hourly during the day, just like the GTA's Go Trains. Picture rockets landing in Oshawa.

By the time of the 1948 Arab-Isreali War, the Arab town of al-Majdal was a substantial town of about 11,000 residents. Soon after the declaration of the state of Israel, the Egyptian army occupied a large part of the area around Gaza including Majdal. During the next few months, the town was subject to repeated Israeli attacks. All but about 1,000-2,000 of the town's residents had fled by the time it was captured by Israeli forces on 4 November 1948. It became Ashkelon. Egypt never annexed the Gaza Strip, but instead treated it as a controlled territory and administered it through a military governor. The refugees were never offered Egyptian citizenship. The grandchildren of Ashkelon's previous residents are mostly still penned up in Gaza, with few hopes except dreams of return. Wikipedia says most Gaza households have a radio and a TV (70%+), but only about 20% have a personal computer.

Isreal's top security official warned that Gaza militants can hit more Israeli cities with longer-range rockets, on a day when rockets exploded in border towns and a coastal city after an Israeli-Hamas truce expired. The head of the Shin Bet security service warned Israel's cabinet that Gaza's Hamas rulers now have rockets that can reach the larger city of Ashdod. Farther north on the Mediterranean coast, it is only 47 minutes by rail from Tel Aviv.

On Monday Dec. 29, a missile crashed into a bus stop in Ashdod, a city of 200,000 that is 23 miles (37 kilometers) from Gaza and only 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Israel's Tel Aviv heartland. On Tuesday Dec. 30 Hamas continued its barrage by firing two rockets, one hitting the city of Beersheba, 28 miles deep into Israel, for the first time.

On January 2 Palestinian militants fired at least 31 rockets into southern Israel throughout the day, seven striking the coastal city of Ashkelon.

Papal Bull

Awesome post, Wilf.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

The city of Ashkelon is a very different place than the Negev towns. With 109,000 people, it is at the southern end of the main coast rail line, with regular train service to Tel Aviv one hour away, about every 20 minutes at rush hour, hourly during the day, just like the GTA's Go Trains. Picture rockets landing in Oshawa. 

Picture the RAF blowing up schools, universities, Catholic Churches and killing 500 people in Dublin because some IRA guys snuck across the border and killed a few people in London and Belfast.  

Yes, it's all about those rockets Wilf.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, I'm having difficulty finding the relevance of Wilf's post. I have to say that how long the train ride is to Tel Aviv does little either to justify the Israeli military response or add extra gravity to the attacks of Hamas--unless we are to infer that bombing Oshawa is worse than bombing Kandahar because one isn't 'used' to be being bombed.

Thank you for that article, laine lowe. It should be distributed to our prime minister and his lackeys.

Unionist

Wilf's article is as about relevant as an account of how hard it is on bereaved Canadians when their family member is killed in Afghanistan. It's sad, but the problem lies elsewhere.

Unionist

Good one, Cueball!

Michelle

I love how Wilf doesn't bother to mention that the Palestinians are being starved by the Israelis in an open air prison - they were being cut off from medical supplies and food through that whole ceasefire and before.

But depriving an entire population of basic necessities like food, water, and medical help doesn't rate a mention.  Ethnic cleansing and apartheid are no big deal.  The only thing that really matters is the few pathetic rockets that this imprisoned, demoralized, starved, beaten, subjugated population have used to weakly fight back against their barbaric and racist oppressors who have nuclear firepower and are supported by world superpowers both financially and militarily.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Best part of Wilf's post is when he describes Hamas contining its "barrage" by firing "two" rockets. I know Wilf is a lawyer trained in creating carefully composed defenses of the indefensible, and not a military expert, but you would think he knew that a "barrage" is defined as:

Quote:
bar·rage 2  (b-räzh)

n.

1.

a. A heavy curtain of artillery fire directed in front of friendly troops to screen and protect them.

b. A rapid, concentrated discharge of missiles, as from small arms.

2. An overwhelming, concentrated outpouring, as of words: a barrage of criticism.

tr.v. bar·raged, bar·rag·ing, bar·rag·es

To direct a barrage at.

Operative here are things such as a "overwhelming, concentrated outpouring", or a "heavy curtain" of artillery fire, a rapid "concentrated discharge".

No where do I see the "random pot-shots" of "two" missiles as being associated with the term "barrage".

josh

"The International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel of failing in its international obligations after its staff were met with "shocking" scenes.

One medical team found 12 bodies in a shelled house, and alongside them four very young children, too weak to stand, waiting by their dead mothers, the ICRC said.

Aid workers had been denied access to the site for days, it added.

"This is a shocking incident," Pierre Wettach, ICRC head for Israel and the Palestinian territories said in a statement.

"The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded." "

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7817926.stm

Tom Vouloumanos

Wilf, I have a question for you? Do you support freedom for Palestine:

Palestine is the country shown on this map:

http://67.com.au/dispal/MAPS4.jpg

It's the smaller country. It's in two parts.  One larger part is between Israel and Jordan (West Bank), the other smaller part of it is on the mediteranean (Gaza).  It's capital is east Jerusalem (its part of the West Bank).  The western part of the city is the capital of the State of Israel, shown in white. 

Palestine has a population of about 4 million Palestinians.  1.5 milion in Gaza and 2.5 million on the West Bank.

I didn't make this up.  The whole world recognizes this since 1967 and passes yearly resolutions on it. Oh, there is an exception, the US and Israel and occasionaly a few tiny south pacific Islands don't recognize this.  But every other government on the whole planet, Arab or European, Muslim or Christian. democracy or dictatorship, Western or Eastern does.  Everybody. It is the law. It is the consensus. There's no debate here.

Unfortunately, this country Palestine and its 4 million inhabitants are under occupation in the West Bank by Israel and under military blockade (with no access to air or sea) in Gaza again by Israel.

The destiny of these 4 million people and their country Palestine is under the control of another country Israel via military force.  This has been so for 40 years.

The only issue is to free this country and its people so they can be free of foreign domination.  See, simple. 

You know why they throw rockets (Hamas is the elected government of Gaza's Palestinians) so they can retaliate against what I said above.

So do you support that 4 million Palestinians and their country should be allowed to go free by Israel or do you think Israel should continue to occupy this country and what ground? Your post was unclear.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Our myopic view of Gaza conflict

excerpt:

There's amnesia about the brutal 40-year-old occupation.

There's nary a mention that in Israeli military operations in 2008, 420 Palestinians had been killed prior to Dec. 28 vs. five Israelis, according to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights body,

And Israel's crippling economic blockade had prompted the UN special rapporteur Richard Falk to say on Dec. 9 that Israel's collective punishments amounted to "a crime against humanity," and that the International Criminal Court ought to investigate whether Israeli leaders and military commanders should be indicted.

Jingles

Quote:
They said that after the Israeli army first took the town on Saturday night
soldiers had ordered about 100 members of the clan to gather in a single
house owned by Wael Samouni around dawn on [url=Sunday.[/url]">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4162193/Gaza...

At 6.35am on Monday the house was repeatedly shelled with appalling loss of
civilian life.

A handful of survivors, some wounded, others carrying dead or dying infants,
made it on foot to Gaza's main north-south road before they were given lifts
to hospital. Three small children were buried in Gaza City that afternoon.

According to the survivors between 60 and 70 family members had been killed by
shrapnel and falling masonry.

Sorry, we were talking about the horror of the rockets, right?

saga saga's picture

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/illuswarprayergaza.html

THE ILLUSTRATED WAR PRAYER (The Gaza Version)

Words by Mark Twain  Illustrations by Israel

 

 

 

Papal Bull

I'd say that Wilf's post was fairly impressive in that it was totally lacking in the rhetorical attacks and flourishes that, well, flourish at this board, where the merest disagreement over a god damned syllable will unleash a torrent of personal attacks. I barely post here compared to the 'good ol' days' because of this attack dog mentality.

 

His post, oh wisest of the Left Wing Lords, was basically just a chronology of the rocket attacks. Note the lack of words like terror, terrorism, an indepth discussion of why Hamas is super-dee-duper evil, etc.? Probably not. As far as it goes, it is just as important from a historical point of view to catalogue such instances of the Hamas attacks. In fact, it is very difficult to find an unbiased account of what Hamas is doing without referring to firefights and other deliberate terms being used by the media. I haven't really found a decent discussion of what Hamas rocket attacks mean, in strategic or technological terms, until I came across Wilf's post. His post doesn't need the context of starving Palestinians or any of the other atrocities that are on going at this moment, namely because there are now volumes of that being constantly mentioned on this board, and beyond a handful of posts otherwise, such information will continue to be proffered to babblers. Why should he include all of that information? It doesn't make sense. If you're talking about the strategy of bombing in WW2 you don't need to talk about the atrocities being perpetuated on the ground. Just the techological death from the sky.

Tom Vouloumanos

Papa Bull though you must understand that Israeli propaganda has used the rocket attacks as the pre-text for this latest all-out assault on Gaza.  This pre-text is a lie.  In fact it was planned a long while ago as has been discussed in Haaretz.

Yes, rockets were thrown and people killed. But to discuss this out of context is absurd. It serves no purpose other than to legitimize this new assault on Gaza.

The only context that this can be discussed in is the fact that the country Palestine and its 4 million inhabitants is under the military rule of Israel for 40 years now.  Any discussion without dealing with this fact is an absurdity. In fact it is changing the subject.  

 Everything else, the rockets, the suicide bombs, the new assaults on the people of Gaza stem from this simple, elementaty truth that Palestine and its 4 million people are enslaved.  That is the single issue. The other issues are either peripheral or a result of this enslavement.

Don't you think that ignoring the mlitary enslavement of Palestine and its 4 million inhabitants when discussing these issues merely serves the propaganda of the Master.

How can sane, logical, sober people discuss anything outside the context of the simple fact that there is a Master: Israel and there is a Slave: Palestine. And peace can only be brought about by the Master releasing the Slave. 

Your thoughts on this are sincerely and eagerly welcome

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not at all. It was a very subtle attempt to direct attention away from the masacre that is going on by making us appreciate the view of the "other side." As such it is just a reshaping of Israeli propoganda in less histrionic tones, and what we are fed in the mainstream press on a daily basis. Never mind this board. This is one place where the so called "balanced view", one where random pot-shots with rockets are pared off against guided missiles and 500 lb bombs, as if the two can be comparied as similar, is being exposed for what it is: Bunko. 

Certainly it had some interesting information in it, and was well worded. But the intent came through when Wilf appealed directly to "picture rockets in Oshawa", a direct attempt to elicit our personal sympathies, through comparison to our daily lives. 

Imagine if it was "us", he asks, feeding nicely into the standard Rosie Diamano schtick, which asserts that "no country would stand by and let this happen to them": Picture Oshawa under barrage, he says.

Of course, the concept of "barrage" may have been elicited simply because Wilf knows nothing about such things, but he is smarter than that, and you know it. Free of rhetorical flourishes it was not. Barrage is an extreme exageration and heavily loaded.

What do we know about Wilf's intentions here? Nothing really. What we do know is that after more than a week of attrocity Wilf's first post on the subject is one focussed entirely on the trials and tribulations cause by the "barrage" of toy rockets. 

That is what we know.

About the rockets. Know this: most are created in the back yards of by Palestinian amateurs. The few military grade rockets they have launched are basically a generation removed from the ordinance used in WW II during the siege of Stalingrad.

remind remind's picture

Exactly Cue, and IMV, wilf has completely rendered himself non-credible in any respect with a post like that. In fact I believed his words regarding Port Hope and the nuclear pollution there, I no longer do.

PB, take the mote out of your own eye, as I have been the target of many of your personal attacks!

___________________________________________________________

"watching the tide roll away"

laine lowe laine lowe's picture


"....an eye for an eyelash..."

That about sums it up. Found at the Galloping Beaver.

More from Alison's excellent post:

Quote:

Vatican cardinal : Gaza "a big concentration camp"

Reuters :
"Pope Benedict's point man for justice and peace issues on Wednesday
issued the Vatican's toughest criticism of Israel since the latest
Mideast crisis began, calling Gaza a "big concentration camp".

NYTimes
: "The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it had
discovered “shocking” scenes — including small children next to their
mothers’ corpses — when its representatives gained access for the first
time to parts of Gaza battered by Israeli shelling.

The
statement said a team of four Palestine Red Crescent ambulances
accompanied by Red Cross representatives made its way to Zeitoun
Wednesday where it "found four small children next to their dead
mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their
own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all, there
were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses...

Shlaim writes that Gaza is "an open air prison".
This morning "Israel
warned thousands of people in the Rafah zone on the Egyptian border to
leave their houses ahead of planned air raids on Thursday."You have
until 8am [06:00 GMT]," said leaflets which were dropped by the Israeli
military."

Where are they to go for safety? Certainly not UN buildings or schools.

So
which description do you personally prefer, Mr. Cherniak :
"concentration camp" from the Vatican or "open air prison" from the
Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford?

http://thegallopingbeaver.blogspot.com/2009/01/vatican-cardinal-gaza-big...

 

 

Michelle

Well, Pope Nazinger would know all about concentration camps, after all.

martin dufresne

Gawd! Are y'all still at the stage of fine-tuning Palestinian-bashing or defending Jews' good reputation?

Interview with John Ging:

Gaza people "stripped of their dignity"
Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 25 November 2008

The Electronic Intifada's correspondent in Gaza, Rami Almeghari, sat down with UNRWA Chief of Operations in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, to discuss how the siege, and the latest closures are affecting UNRWA and the civilian population in Gaza. UNRWA is the UN agency responsible for providing aid to millions of Palestinian refugees. On 4 November, Israel sent tanks into the Gaza Strip and carried out attacks which killed six Palestinians, breaking a ceasefire that had generally held since June. Palestinian militias retaliated by firing rockets at Israel. Since then Israel has tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Electronic Intifada: Mr. Ging, How do you describe the situation in the Gaza Strip under strict Israeli closure for more than two weeks now?

John Ging: The situation is very desperate at the humanitarian level, I mean people have been stripped of their dignity here, it is a struggle to survive for every body. 750,000 of the people here in Gaza are children of the one and half million population.

Today we have good news: the crossings have opened to allow in vital humanitarian aid an fuel, so we now look at this as the first step in a positive direction, we hope.

EI: Have they actually been reopened today?

JG: Yes, yes, yes this morning the fuel has come in for the power plant, our trucks are coming in with food aid, and wheat is coming in for the mills.

It's a small, very small quantity that is coming in, but it's the first resupply in over a week, and the situation, as I say, had become very desperate, and we hope, now, that it's, as I say, the first step back to a positive situation here.

EI: You as UNRWA, which provides services to more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, how do you deal with the frequent humanitarian crisis with Israel closing the border crossings from time to time?

JG: We are finding it increasingly difficult. It was unprecedented that we ran out of food, which we did over 10 days ago. The closures are becoming more and more restrictive, the situation here is getting worse and worse. Sadly, it's not new news from Gaza, bad news from Gaza does not get headlines any more, that's part of the problem. But there are a million and half people living here; all the time the situation is becoming more and more difficult for them.

They are paying a very heavy humanitarian price for the actions of extremists, firing these rockets into Israel, which we condemn outright. But, there was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food.(...)


Breaking News- January 8, 20:39 Gaza time

UN halts Gaza aid after convoy hit

Al-Jazeera

Homes, mosques and government buildings have
been hit in the Israeli bombardment [AFP]

The United Nations aid agency has suspended its operations in the Gaza Strip in the wake of a series of Israeli attacks on its personnel and buildings.

"UNRWA decided to suspend all its operations in the Gaza Strip because of the increasing hostile actions against its premises and personnel," Adnan Abu Hasna, a Gaza-based spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, said on Thursday.

The move came after Israeli tanks shelled a UN convoy earlier in the day, killing a Palestinian UN worker and injuring two others, as lorries were travelling to the Erez crossing to pick up humanitarian supplies meant to have been allowed in during a three-hour suspension of fire.

At least three UN-run schools have also been hit by Israeli fire, killing scores of civilians, during the 13 days of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip.

 

 

Tom Vouloumanos

Here's a clearer picture of the sequence of events, it was Israel that broke the ceasefire which resulted in Hamas firing rockets.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Mr. Indyk is correct that Hamas had adhered to the ceasefire from June 17th until November 4th. On November 4th, here Mr. Indyk, I think, goes awry. The record is clear: Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one, as Mr. Indyk I think correctly points out, to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.

See full debate between Finkelstein and Martin Indyk, Ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton administration here: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/8/former_amb_martin_indyk_vs_author

 

Wilf Day

Papal Bull wrote:

I'd say that Wilf's post was fairly impressive in that it was totally lacking in the rhetorical attacks and flourishes that, well, flourish at this board, where the merest disagreement over a god damned syllable will unleash a torrent of personal attacks. I barely post here compared to the 'good ol' days' because of this attack dog mentality.

His post, oh wisest of the Left Wing Lords, was basically just a chronology of the rocket attacks.

Actually it was basically a geographic description. As I said, "I decided to learn a little Israel geography."  This is because I was having trouble following the newscasts, not really knowing my Sderot from my Ashdod. If one simply wants to condemn tit-for-tat ordnance, perhaps it doesn't matter, but I thought others might be interested. I drew no conclusions. And I mentioned a few dates only in passing, as references to the dates some towns and cities were hit. A complete chronology of the rocket attacks would be far lengthier, and for balance would have to include the provocations, and would perhaps have to go back to 1935. 

 

saga saga's picture

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12899483&fsrc=nwlehfree

And so to Gaza

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, has been saying all week
that, although Israel’s immediate aim is to stop the rocket fire and
not to topple Hamas, there can be no peace, and no free Palestine,
while Hamas remains in control. She is right that with Hamas in power
in Gaza the Islamists can continue to wreck any agreement Israel
negotiates with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Fatah-dominated
Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. Mr Abbas, along with Egypt’s
President Hosni Mubarak, may quietly relish Hamas being taken down a
peg. Egypt is furious at Hamas’s recent refusal to renew talks with
Fatah about restoring a Palestinian unity government.

There is a limit, however. Taking Hamas down a peg is one thing. But
even in the event of Israel “winning” in Gaza, a hundred years of war
suggest that the Palestinians cannot be silenced by brute force. Hamas
will survive, and with it that strain in Arab thinking which says that
a Jewish state does not belong in the Middle East. To counter that
view, Israel must show not only that it is too strong to be swept away
but also that it is willing to give up the land—the West Bank, not just
Gaza—where the promised Palestinian state must stand. Unless it starts
doing that convincingly, at a minimum by freezing new settlement, it is
Palestine’s zealots who will flourish and its peacemakers who will fall
back into silence. All of Israel’s friends, including Barack Obama,
should be telling it this.

Signs of intelligence in the Economist? 

 

Tom Vouloumanos

Hi Wilf Day, just to get back to the initial point, what is your position, so I can have an idea where you are coming from.

Please see my post above for the details.

Do you support freedom of Palestine from Israeli occupation (West Bank) and israeli domination (Gaza strip) along the inernationally accepted border of 1967?

Thanks for answering

Wilf Day

I have no position on how to solve the Middle East conflict, not being skilled in miracle-making.

Of course I support freedom of Palestine and Palestinian Arabs from Israeli occupation and domination. As to whether the 1967 armistice line is internationally accepted or just, I have no opinion. Those who advocate the right of return might think it should not be accepted unless accompanied by the right of return. I would expect many of the residents of al-Majdal and their heirs might be among that group. Same for Isdud, now Ashdod. I failed to mention that the UN partition plan, originally accepted by the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Organization and the institutions of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael, had set the coastal border to the north of Isdud (Ashdod). Wikipedia says "Egyptian forces retreated on October 28, 1948 with the majority of the town's Palestinian Arab residents; some several hundred who remained were soon expelled southwards by the Israel Defense Forces."

Tom Vouloumanos

Wilf, the middle-east conflict as the occupation of Palestine is euphemistically called is one the easiest, most non-controversial crisis to solve.  Israel has to release Palestine.

Wilf, you must look through the UN record, it is unambiguously clear. Every country excpet Israel and the US (and some other occasional exceptions have voted for UN 242). Every single year. It's not a matter of opinion. It is a simple, unambiguous fact.

So in the last vote we had it was 164-to-7 for UN 242 which recognizes the 1967 border between Israel and Palestine.  The 164 countries that voted in favour included the whole Arab League as well as the Palestinian Authority lead by Hamas.  Hamas accepted the 67 border. How can you not have an opinion as to whether international law should be respected?  The 7 who voted against were the US and Israel as always with Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Australia.  Earlier votes from 1989 were 153-2.

The International Court of Justice has ruled on this several times.  International law is clear on this.  Palestians accept it. The US and Israel are outside international law on this.

As for the right of return. Again you are wrong.

Let me quote from the Finkelstein-Indyk debate above:

The law is very clear. July 2004, the highest judicial body in the world, the International Court of Justice, ruled Israel has no title to any of the West Bank and any of Gaza. They have no title to Jerusalem. Arab East Jerusalem, according to the highest judicial body in the world, is occupied Palestinian territory. The International Court of Justice ruled all the settlements, all the settlements in the West Bank, are illegal under international law.

Now, the important point is, on all those questions, the Palestinians were willing to make concessions. They were willing to allow Israel to keep 60 percent of the settlements, 80 percent of the settlers. They were willing to compromise on Jerusalem. They were willing to give up basically on the right of return.

So that is both the political and legal record.  Palestine is the land within the 1967 border. Palestinians have already conceded on the contentious matters. They will concede again. They just want to be free from Israeli military rule. If you support this, then of course you must support the overwhelming legal and international consensus. How can one not have an opinion on this? It is strange.

There are only 2 positions here. 

(A) Those who accept international law and the international consensus and support freedom for Palestine.

(B) Those who reject international law and the international consensus and support Israeli dominance over Palestine and its 4 million inhabitants.

That's where the real debate is in the real world. Just look through the unambiguous record.  How can one not have an opinion on this? Why do you bring up other issues? This is black and white simplicity.  There is nothing controversial. No miracle-making.  It is one of the simplest legal and polictical questions in the world. Other than (A) and (B) the other "solutions" are academic and theoretical. They serve no purpose. They are useless.  

How can one not have an opinion? I personally find that strange. 

Unionist

Wilf stated his opinion all too clearly when he made his not-so-enigmatic reference to 1935. Good luck getting him to agree with your logical and justified stand.

Tarkovsky

Hi A newbie here

 

PLease be nice

 Tom regarding your comment to Wilf

You make it seem very clear and I appreciate your polite and informative style of debate.  I have to admit I haven't commented to this point for fear of the bullies that often dominate most discussion on this board.

I think what can explain many reasonable people's hesitance to think the solution is as easy as you say it is.  If Israel did as you said and dismantled all the settlements and made the official borders of Israel the same as 1967.  Are you positive that Hama's wouldn't declare this a victory for them and just continue fighting.  It seems Hamas often makes contradictory statements regarding just what it is they want.  I won't  bother quoting their charter but you know what I mean.  For the record I think that the massacre going on is indefensible, what I'm referring to is a habit in history of revolutionary fighters winning and then being unable to give up fighting and focusing on governing.  I think there is a genuine concern by many less informed people than yourself that Hamas is not capable of negotiating a real peace becasue they don't just want a return to the 67 borders.

Unionist

Fuck off, Tarkovsky. I have a gang of bullies here who are going to teach you (and all your pseudonyms) a lesson. Go back to lurking, or our pea-shooters will be unleashed at you.

By the way, this used to be a progressive board, where we didn't welcome supporters of mass murderers. Be warned that my gang of bullies will restore the old status quo.
Now get lost.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Geez - I was just going to say that we'll be nice when Tarkovsky stops being a passive-aggressive weasel. But Unionist is less of a diplomat, I guess.

Scary thought, no? 

Tarkovsky

Thanks for the kind welcome Unionist

 I've never posted as anyone else but I won't let your paranoia get in the way of a good discussion.  You may have missed the line where I said the ongoing massacre by the Israel army was indefensible.  My comment was referring to Tom's post about the ease of ending the fighting if certain conditions were met.

 I thought this was a progressive board as well which is why I read it.  I'm simply trying to use different points to get an informed answer from someone who knows more than I about the political and geographic solutions to ending the occupation.

Unionist

My abusive welcome, Ms/Mr Tarkovsky, was directed at only one thing - that in your very first post here ever, you described some of the regulars here as "bullies". Is that how you walk into someone's home, and expect to be welcomed?

Tom Vouloumanos

Tarkovsky:

 

I don't know what Hamas will do.  You must admit that is besides the point. Because the real issue is that Israel occupies Palestine.  Palestine does not occupy Israel.  Hamas is new.  Israel's occupation of Palestine precedes it. Hamas is not the issue. The occupation has nothing to do with Hamas.  Hamas is a decoy to changing the subject.

Let's forget about what Hamas says. Let us see what it does. It supported UN res 242. It supports a 30 year truce after a Palestinian state is declared. 

I said this in another post and I paste it here:

 You don't need to say Hamas.  Every Palestinian in their heart carries the whole land of historical Palestine. But so what? Every Armenian believes that they have a right to Arrarat now in Turkey.  Every Greek Orthodox believes that Constantinople (now Istanbul) is the eternal seat of the Church.  Everry Kurd carries in their heart a Kurdistan that inlcudes lands in Turkey, in Syria, in Iraq and in Iran. Mexicans still call Texas and California occupied Mexico.  Russians see Kiev as the birthplance of the Russian nation....and we can go on and on and on around the world and you'll find thousands of similar examples and aspirations.  The fact of the matter is that every country, every Arab speaking country, every Muslim country has accepted the 67 border. In essence the Palestinians aren't dumb, they know they won't get more than that.  This is the will of the international community. But so what if Hamas says all what you say, Palestine still has the right to be free. 

So all this about what Hamas says is irrelevant. The legal record is clear. The international consensus is clear.

Palestine will never be able to take over the State of Israel. This is an absurd fantasy not based anywhere in reality.

Only one issue here: Israel releasing Palestine from enslavement and letting the land and the people free to go about their business.

After that. Israel can build wall around all its territory and within the 67 borders and place guards on both sides and on top.  If it wishes to. That's Israel's business, no on else's. 

Palestine can then get on with its own collective life.

There is nothing contraversial here. There are 2 simple positions. We are either for international law and as such support the right of Palestine with its 67 borders to be a free independend country or we are against Internaitonal law and support the idea of Palestine being under Israeli military enslavement.

There's nothing else to this story.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Israel has had several borders, one in 48, one in 56, one in 67. Each one making the country bigger. Do you think this is because Israelis just can't stop fighting, and expanding instead of "focusing on governing"? Do you think the Israelis can be trusted to just stop at the Green Line... well sorry, now the partition wall... do you see what I mean>

Tarkovsky

Thanks Tom

I see your point and it you explained it very well.  Israel should do what is correct and withdraw to the 67 borders, after that what becomes of Palestine is up to the Palestians.  Does anyone else disagree?  What are the main things blocking Israel from doing this , is it simply about holding on to this land at all cost?

 No worries Unionist

I've read here for awhile and that's what I saw from my perspective.

KenS

Tarkovsky wrote:

 

I think what can explain many reasonable people's hesitance to think the solution is as easy as you say it is.  If Israel did as you said and dismantled all the settlements and made the official borders of Israel the same as 1967.  Are you positive that Hama's wouldn't declare this a victory for them and just continue fighting.  It seems Hamas often makes contradictory statements regarding just what it is they want.  I won't  bother quoting their charter but you know what I mean. 

And Israel doesn't make contradictiry statements? Such as right now: the "incursions" are not about regime change, but the Foreign Minister says that there can be no peace with Hamas in control.

Its a reality of ALL combatants that they do not drop demands until there is a real chance for quid pro quo. There used to even be Hamas leaders that would even SAY explicitly that everything is negotiable. But as has been pointed out, Israel assasinated them. I just can't figure out why they would kill the most moderate leaders of Hamas. Not to mention that any time they kill ANY above ground political leader of Hamas, control cumulatively develoves to the much more intractable military structure of Hamas. Can't figure out why Israel would want to do that either.

Notwithstanding that Israel undermines and assasinates moderate voices, when Israel is ready to recognize a real Palestian rather than some puppet bantustans they choose to recognize, even Hamas will recognize Israel.

And to answer your question about dismantling all the settlements- even that is negotiable in the sense of a timeline. Once there is an Israeli aggreement to recognize the international recognition of Palestine, there will be a negotiated transition. How long the transition takes place will be for the two nations to negotiate.

But since Israel makes it clear that it intends to never have those kind of negotiations, it is not in the interests of any Palestinians to explicitly acknowledge that the settlements during a transition period might be able to have some kind of dual status.

If virtually all Israeli politicians were not intent on holding on to most of what they have in practice annexed they would see a great deal of flexibility.

 

Tarkovsky

I wrote a long thought comment in response to your statement Cue but I lost my connection before I could hit post and am to depressed to rewrite it.  Later

saga saga's picture

Interesting, in a sickening way, to read a 'dispassionate' account of the progress of Israel's premeditated, unprovoked genocide:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231424896038&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Jan 9, 2009 0:23 | Updated Jan 9, 2009 0:51

Analysis: Time running out for an escalation Israel's leaders don't really want
By DAVID HOROVITZ

Very few key players in the Israeli security establishment believed that Hamas would be "broken" during the first week of Operation Cast Lead, which was characterized overwhelmingly by air strikes on Hamas offices, bases, missile launchers, smuggling tunnels, weapons stores and military commanders' homes.

In 2006, there was a misplaced reliance on
the use of air power to overwhelm Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. That
was not the case this time against Hamas.

There was a slightly greater expectation, but still no overwhelming belief, that the second week would have the desired effect. Hamas was far from certain that Israel would use ground forces at all, yet those forces have fought very effectively; Hamas
has been badly damaged in terms of its rocket-firing and production
capability, and many of the Philadelphi Corridor tunnels have been
destroyed.

But the ground operation to date has been relatively constrained.

...

"relatively constrained" ???

...

As Israel's political leadership agonizes over green-lighting this escalated offensive, there is every indication that Hamas is braced for it.

 


...

This pause cannot last long. The IDF is most
vulnerable when it is static. Having meticulously planned a day-by-day
timetable of operations
, the IDF needs to hear from its political
masters - and hear soon - whether it is moving forward or pulling back.

 

There is no pretense here that this action is a response to 'rocket fire'.

It's purely a pre-planned military aggression operation.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well that is too bad.

saga saga's picture

oops ... wrong thread

Red T-shirt

I've only had time to read page 5 of this discussion so far, but I'd like to thank all who posted so far. What a great source of information and critical thought. Cueball, you made me lol for a couple of minutes when you replied to Tarkovsky, thanks. I find this situation very upsetting and it was great to have that bit of comic relief.

For those keeping score, I totally support the right of Palestine to exist without enslavement by Israel (or anyone else). Israel is way over the line here and are just shooting fish in a barrel. The international community must bring sufficient pressure to bare to make Israel stop, immediately!

Tom Vouloumanos

Tarakovsky: What are the main things blocking Israel from doing this , is it simply about holding on to this land at all cost?

There are two things blocking this. Israel's state ideology backed by the US' power.

The Israeli political establishment's ideology is founded on the principle of colonization, ethnic cleansing and expansion. It is very difficult to break out of that ideological paradigm that stems from centre-left to right. In essence, it wants the West Bank with the exception of a few dosconnected bantustans (basically enclaves or reserves) where the Palestinians would live and the lucky ones would emigrate. The reason it is attacking now is that Hamas has accepted the 67 border and Israel doesn't want peace. Peace will bring about an end to the expansion project.

Israel wouldn't be able to  get away with this on its own. It is supported by the US, if not it would withdraw. The US is essentially blocking the withdrawal. 

The US doesn't really care if there is a Palestine or not or about the 67 border.  Its real interests are elsewhere,  the oil reserves of the middle east. In fact, the US empire wants to avoid several things and this is not an exhaustive list: 1- it doesn't want anyone else to have power over the largest oil reserves in the world; 2- it doesn't want any regional power to challenge its supremacy; 3- it doesn't want China to get access to oil without the US' ok; 4- it doesn't want a sort of Arab Union simmilar to the EU that can challenge its power etc.

Israel is useful here.   Israel can be the local cop on the beat, as Nixon used to say. The Palestinian problem is also useful to the corrupt Arab dictators who can distract their populations away from their own internal problems and blame Israel for everything. The corrupt Arab dictators are useful to the US, since they are compliant to its supremacy and block any form of democracy which would bring Arab sovereignty to the region. Finally, the Israel lobby, which is not any more or less powerful than the Armenian lobby, the Italian lobby or the Turkish lobby etc. is basically ideologically obsessed with the occupation.  For one simple reason. The Israel Lobby is mouthpiece of the Israeli government. Nothing more.  Now I hope this doesn't turn into a lobby debate. The Israel lobby doesn't influence anything when it comes to US policy in the middle east.  The US has had loooong standing interests in the region. It so happens that US empirial intersts and Israel's interests -in being the regional superpower-converge. Once there is some sort of divergence, trust me the US would drop Israel like a hot potato. Israeli state planners know this very well and discuss it openly.  The only real influence of the lobby (...i so hope we won't get a bunch of trolls now for bringing this up...) is when it comes to the occupation. Anyway, these are assessments nothing more. I base myself heavily on Chomsky, Finkelstein, Shlaim, Pappe, Avnery. But again, the debate isn't here. We just need to assess the general power play in order to act accordingly.

What to do?

Expose the illegality, the simplicity of the situation. One country occupies another. This has to stop and campaign on this issue alone without any focus to peripherals which only serve to change the subject. For example the debate isn't about a few personalities or a given political party etc. its about a country that the world recognize with the usual exceptions being under military domination by another country.

We need a united Israel-Palestine lobby or similar lobby that pulls all the various organizations opposing the occupation together. Pominent Jewish voices, prominent Palestians voices which stick to the theme of ending the Master-Slave relationship between Israel-Palestine.

  There seems to be only two ways for Israel to withdraw: a) political pressure from the US (if there is an organized movement to put pressure on the US government on this) b) Israel suffers a major military defeat and is forced to acquiesce.  

There is also c) which seems to be the most likely outcome if we don't act,  that Palestinian society will be destroyed, that we will have watched whole nation die before us.  The position on this simple elementary issue of any slightly democratic and slightly progressive person is obvious, it would seem.

al-Qa'bong

Wilf Day wrote:

I decided to learn a little Israel geography, starting with Google Earth.

 

 

The little Negev town of Sderot was the largest. (The Negev was given to Israel in the UN partition, not captured from the Arabs.) Sderot was founded in 1951. Most of its first residents were Kurdish and Persian refugees who lived in tents and shacks before building permanent structures almost four years later in 1954. 

 

Gee, how did that happen?

 

Welcome To Najd
District of Gaza

نجد
Ethnically cleansed 22,098 days ago

KenS

Two consecucutive articles currently on the National Newswatch site:

 "Israel must be allowed to defend itself, says Ignatieff"

and

Obama camp 'prepared to talk to Hamas'

 http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/

 

``Ultimately this thing has to end with an Israel that is recognized, is safe and secure . . . and living side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian state,'' Ignatieff said.

That would of course be the non and never existing Palestinian state Israel wants to live with, on its terms. While Israel gets recognized as it sees itself of course, while occupying as much of Palestine as it chooses.

Self determination for Israel, guaranteeing Israel's idea of its nationhood for Palestinians.

 Heads Israel wins, tails Palestinians lose.

saga saga's picture

KenS wrote:

Two consecucutive articles currently on the National Newswatch site:

"Israel must be allowed to defend itself, says Ignatieff"

and

Obama camp 'prepared to talk to Hamas'

http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/

 

``Ultimately this thing has to end with an Israel that is recognized, is safe and secure . . . and living side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian state,'' Ignatieff said.

That would of course be the non and never existing Palestinian state Israel wants to live with, on its terms. While Israel gets recognized as it sees itself of course, while occupying as much of Palestine as it chooses.

Self determination for Israel, guaranteeing Israel's idea of its nationhood for Palestinians.

Heads Israel wins, tails Palestinians lose.

Thanks for that link, Ken. I can't bear to read what Ignatieff says, but Obama's approach is more hopeful ...

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George
Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the
Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The
move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the
US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the
Bush ­presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has
designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed
a law banning US financial aid to the group.

...

(Obama) is expected to demonstrate that commitment to charting a new
foreign policy within days when he is expected to name a roster of
envoys to take charge of key foreign policy areas: Iran, the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
, India-Pakistan, and North Korea.

Salsa

Hey Tom Vouloumanous and Ken S

 

Thanks for the informative insights. See I'm one of the "confused" who's been raised to have sympathy for the Israelis based on past atrocities and the relationship between Israel and the people of Palestine is "somewhat new" to me.

 

I'd been trying to get a handle on the babble perspective since the inception of these threads and found the fist pounding rhetoric and propaganda speak to be most unhelpful.

Cheers.

KenS

I'd like to underline and emphasise the importance of a couple of points Tom makes.

Tom Vouloumanos wrote:

Tarakovsky: What are the main things blocking Israel from doing this , is it simply about holding on to this land at all cost?

The Israeli political establishment's ideology is founded on the principle of colonization, ethnic cleansing and expansion. It is very difficult to break out of that ideological paradigm that stems from centre-left to right. In essence, it wants the West Bank with the exception of a few dosconnected bantustans (basically enclaves or reserves) where the Palestinians would live and the lucky ones would emigrate. 

It is imperative to never loose sight of this.

Many who pose "what about the rockets" type questions are just out and out apologists. Others are just average confused folks, and at least on the face of it these are reasonable questions. "What would I do if rockets were coming?" # 1, those rockets didn't just start coming out of the blue. The problem with "think of rockets in Oshawa" is what it plays into. Oshawa is not the jailer, keeper and provoker of a many generations running urban prison.

"The Israeli political establishment's ideology is founded on the principle of colonization, ethnic cleansing and expansion." is not only a moral point. If you look at it only as a moral point its way too easy to get lost in a dualistic "what Israeli is doing and has done is wrong, but what about the rockets."

Israel being rooted on continuing expansionism and colonialism has enormous practical concequences beyond the moral questions. Unless you address that, you cannot in any way practically deal with the phenomena of the rockets. Period.

 

Tom Vouloumanos wrote:

Israel wouldn't be able to  get away with this on its own. It is supported by the US, if not it would withdraw. The US is essentially blocking the withdrawal. 

The US doesn't really care if there is a Palestine or not or about the 67 border.  Its real interests are elsewhere,  the oil reserves of the middle east.

 Again, this is a hugely important practical reality. Obviously, we cannot suddenly stop the unconditional US support of Israel. But if you forget about the centrality of it, your brain turns to mush. Literally.

And degrees of US support do make a material difference. That hopeful signal from Obama that recognizes Hamas as a legitimate political entity with whom the US needs to negotiate.... that certainly isn't enough to lose Israel of its arrogant and racist confidence that it is free to do what it wants with Palestinians.

BUT, it does matter. Coming when it did, that message is a signal to the Israeli butchers. So is Bush's follow-up by abstaining on yesterdays UN resolution rather than voting it down.

A jerk on the leash means Israel knows it has a shorter time frame for wrapping up the hammering of Gaza... regardless of the fact it obviously has no end game strategy for this and left to its own devices would now start fumbling around for one.

[This is going to be much more like Lebanon and Hezbollah than Israelis realize. A pattern- even with the much more vulnerable and captive Gaza and the far less powerful Hamas, Israel can hammer as often as it wants, but doesn't get even the ugly and murderous results it was looking for, let alone the bullshit rationales it gives the world. Thats getting into a tangent. But it illustrates how even though we wont get a start to peace unless the US shows a willingness to really pull the rug out from Israel's we-do-as-we-see-fit, lessening the degree  of US support does have material benefits.]

 

Those are the main points I would highlight that people should keep in mind. But here's another to keep in your thoughts:

Tom Vouloumanos wrote:

In essence, [Israel] wants the West Bank with the exception of a few dosconnected bantustans (basically enclaves or reserves) where the Palestinians would live and the lucky ones would emigrate. The reason it is attacking now is that Hamas has accepted the 67 border and Israel doesn't want peace. Peace will bring about an end to the expansion project.

You don't have to agree that this is the precise raison d'etre for Israel now attacking Hamas. The point is that for all the public justifications, the reality is that Israel for a long time now has wanted nothing less then the practical destruction of Hamas. Again, this is not just immoral. It has practical consequences, and if you lose sight of it anything you have to say is mush out of context.

There is a similar thing about questioning what Tom or anyone else says about why the US provides essentially unconditional support of Israel. Unlike Tom, I think the "Israel Lobby" and the fears US and Canadian politicians of the massive support Israel has among its citizens that is not at all limited to Jews, does have a lot to do with it. But as Tom pointed out, when it comes down to it, that doesn't really matter. What matters is the fact of the unconditional material support Israel gets and without which it would have to permanently back off.

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