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No more US support for Israel

They no longer hold the moral high ground, if ever they did. The massacre in Shejaiya is an obscenity.

Two small bodies lie on the metal table inside the morgue at Gaza’s Shifa hospital. Omama is nine years old. Her right forearm is mangled and charred and the top half of her skull has been smashed in. Beside her lies her seven year-old brother. His name is not certain. It might be Hamza or it might be Khalil. Relatives are having trouble identifying him because his head has been shorn off. Their parents will not mourn them—because they are dead too.

All of them were killed in Shejaiya, one of Gaza’s poorest and most crowded neighborhoods, which came under a brutal and sustained assault by the Israeli military today.

90 dead. The Israeli military was firing artillery shells into a residential neighborhood. It’s unconscionable, indiscriminate murder.

"Those of us who worked in Shifa can say that last night was the worst night of our lives," says Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor at Shifa. He has come to Gaza many times to provide medical assistance, including during the previous two Israeli assaults in 2008/2009 and 2012.

"Israeli impunity is a huge medical problem," Gilbert says. "Every single dead child and adult, and all the injuries, all the amputations, are one hundred percent preventable. This is a man-made disaster. Cynically planned and brutally executed by the government of Israel."

I’ve had people try to tell me that it is justifiable — that Hamas is firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods. I freely grant that trying to kill random citizens with rockets is also unconscionable, whether it’s done by Palestinians, Israelis, or Americans. But how can anyone condemn one and not the other?

We should not be propping up the vile and bloody government of Israel anymore. Maybe if they’re deprived of the teat of unquestioning US aid, they’ll realize that they can’t afford to solve their problems with attempted genocide.

Although why a Jewish state would need any kind of compulsion to recognize that is surprising.

Comments

  1. shoeguy says

    If I were a young man held prisoner in the earth’s biggest open air extermination camp I probably would be putting together whatever weapons I could. The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto did just this when the nazis came to exterminate them. I used to defend Israel but the current government is enforcing a huge land grab because….bible. He’ll yes stop supporting their military and boycott their products. Jews aren’t responsible for the monster the zionists have created, but the unflinching support of Israel enables the genocide.

  2. Meeker Morgan says

    Israel is after survival.

    Not “moral high ground”, i.e. the applause of left wing suicide cultists.

  3. says

    You’ll love what that toad of a prime minister said in an official address following the tragedy: http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-israel-engaged-in-historic-battle-for-its-home/

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed acute pain at the loss of 13 Israeli soldiers in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City on Sunday and said that the battle was yet another phase in the ongoing onslaught against the Jewish national home in Israel.”

    That’s right. Those 13 Israeli soldiers, part of an invading military force, which was sent into a foreign nation, were killed- and that’s just such a tragedy it hurts. And the battle, which took place in the Gaza Strip and claimed 70 Palestinian lives or more, including civilians, was a phase in the onslaught against Israel.

    Propaganda is lovely, isn’t it?

  4. says

    90 dead. The Israeli military was firing artillery shells into a residential neighborhood. It’s unconscionable, indiscriminate murder.*

    I’ve seen Mark Regev on two interviews now (here and on Chris Hayes). On both occasions, he tried to make the argument that the abyss separating “us” from “them” was that “they” were allegedly willing to use civilians as human shields.

    But the Israeli government is killing hundreds of civilians. The whole point of human shields** is the expectation that the other side wouldn’t be so despicable as to just mow them down, and that if they did they would be vilified. You lose the moral high ground, Regev, if you do mow them down.

    I’ve had people try to tell me that it is justifiable — that Hamas is firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods.

    But they have an antimissile defense system which is stopping them. So there aren’t rockets “raining down” on Israeli neighborhoods. Intent is magic in this conflict, evidently.

    * By the way, Sharif Abdel Kouddous is Democracy Now!’s correspondent for the region. There’s virtually no one left in the US corporate media who can or will report honestly.

    ** (accepting the claim purely for the sake of argument)

  5. laurentweppe says

    We should not be propping up the vile and bloody government of Israel anymore. Maybe if they’re deprived of the teat of unquestioning US aid, they’ll realize that they can’t afford to solve their problems with attempted genocide.

    I’m afraid that if the foreign aid stopped, the liknudnik government would just take more money away from the social services to keep funding it’s settlement bound captive electorate and the security apparatus built around it.

    ***

    I used to defend Israel but the current government is enforcing a huge land grab because….bible.

    No, the current government is enforcing a huge land grab because it allows it to gives the plunder to underclass mostly-mizrahi people in order to foster their submissiveness toward the ashkenazi bourgeoisie. Forget the Bible: this is old-school divide-and-rule-the-plebs politics.

  6. Onamission5 says

    @#2 Meeker Morgan:

    I was not aware that survival required the majority to isolate the minority into ghettos, disallow any significant amount of supplies from going in or workers from going out, then bomb houses with families inside. Interesting definition of survival you’re working with. Is it from the How To Nationalism Dictionary?

  7. Holms says

    Israel is a monument to the concept of not learning from history.

    Israel is after survival.

    Not “moral high ground”, i.e. the applause of left wing suicide cultists.

    They already have guaranteed survival, by virtue of the fact that they have the strongest military in the region, an influx of foreign aid in both money and equipment, and fucking NUKES. They are fighting against a downtrodden people that have already been bludgeoned into international irrelevance, as threatening as a mouse might be against a cat.

    Suicide cultists? Hahaha what a fucking moron.

  8. thewhollynone says

    The reality of US politics aside, I suppose we could kick the problem back to the Brits who brought this all on with the Balfour Declaration (solved their Jewish problem, didn’t they?) almost a hundred years ago, and to the Germans who created Jewish martyrdom in spades, and to the French whose legendary antisemitism to this day is causing emigration from France to Israel, and to the Russians and the Poles whose crimes against Jews are too many to catalog; and let’s not forget the Spaniards nor the North Africans who are driving Sephardic Jews to Israel in droves; and we won’t even mention all the Islamists in the Middle East who are cleansing their countries of Jews. All those Jews want land and water in Canaan, the land which they believe that their god promised to them, and they are going to get it, any way they can. The Palestinians in Canaan are going the way of the Apaches in the southwest USA and of the natives of the Columbia River valley and of the natives of Minnesota. I’m not saying what’s happening there is right, PZ, but who are we to say it’s wrong? What it is is brutal! And it’s painful for us to watch. I have been watching it for 70 years, and it only gets worse as time goes on.

    If you want to help, sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA. Help those people to get the hell out of there; there’s no future for them there. I taught a couple of immigrant Palestinian boys 25 years ago; taught them English and Social Studies, and helped them learn what they had to know to pass the test to graduate from high school in Louisiana; and I learned a whole lot from them, too.

  9. Al Dente says

    Meeker Morgan @2

    Not “moral high ground”, i.e. the applause of left wing suicide cultists.

    Damn straight Israel isn’t after the moral high ground. They forfeited that decades ago.

    Lawrence Weschler describes the situation quite well:

    For the single overriding fact defining the Israeli-Palestinian impasse at this point is that if the Palestinians are quiescent and not engaged in any overt rebellion, the Israelis (and here I am speaking of the vast majority of the population who somehow go along with the antics of their leaders, year after year) manage to tell themselves that things are fine and there’s no urgent need to address the situation; and if, as a result, the endlessly put-upon Palestinians do finally rise up in any sort of armed resistance (rocks to rockets), the same Israelis exasperate, “How are we supposed to negotiate with monsters like this?” A wonderfully convenient formula, since it allows the Israelis to go blithely on, systematically stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank, and continuing to confine 1.8 million Gazans within what might well be described as a concentration camp.

    Israel created Hamas. The Israelis put almost two million Palestinians into a camp, blockaded them, kept stealing their land (after promising not to do so), and occasionally killed some at random because “survival of Israel”. Most terrorists commit terrorism because there’s no other way for them to strike at their enemies. Israel has fighter-bombers, attack helicopters and tanks. Hamas has unguided rockets. As a result, the death toll is: Palestinians over 300, many of them children; Israelis less than 20, most of them soldiers.

  10. anteprepro says

    To admit that Israel doesn’t have the moral high ground is to also admit that America doesn’t have the moral high ground. I mean, ninety dead innocent civilians? The United States laughs at such paltry numbers, and calls Israel a pansy for not using enhanced interrogation on a few of survivors in the aftermath.

    The moral high ground from an American perspective is completely arbitrary. Because we have become the bad guys. What we see as good or evil is more or less a completely worthless and untrustworthy opinion. And this will remain true until we actually take the moral high ground back, instead of pretending we never lost it.

  11. anteprepro says

    Wow, that tweet from Rudy Grant.

    Didn’t realize that those 90 civilians all died because they were trying to protect Weapons. Didn’t seem like there were many vital Weapons in that neighborhood. Most have pulled a Weapons of Mass Destruction and just vanished into Iran as soon as the Good Guys entered town. It’s like Shrodinger’s Nuke, Quantum Weapon. It is both there and not there and it jumps to one state once you finally observe it. Except for some strange reason, every time you open one of those boxes, it always seems to be not there. Just a streak of bad luck, I’m sure.

  12. anteprepro says

    PZ, the post at 11 wasn’t a criticism of you, it was just an explanation for why your view will never gain traction in our toxic, flag-waving, bomb-humping political realm.

  13. says

    The Israeli military was firing artillery shells into a residential neighborhood

    Those big self-propelled guns you often see pictured? Those are American-made M-109 “Paladin” – our tax dollars at work. Just in case you aren’t already disgusted enough.

  14. says

    Well-said, PZ. I love the Jews, I always have; I went through much of a course for conversion to Judaism to please a partner lo these many years ago, and it was only breaking up that stopped me. Doubt I’d have believed, but I’d have happily been part of the traditions and so on.

    But what Israel is doing is wrong. It’s a wildly disproportionate response to what they’re facing, and their posturing about how careful and lovely and gentle they’re being about blowing children apart is grotesque. Gaza is no more an existential threat to Israel than Al Qaeda was to the US (until GWB decided to implode everything good about the US in frothing response to an attack that killed a tenth of the US victims of its own gun policy each year, thus handing Al Qaeda massively disproportionate results for their small investment).

  15. says

    The “Israel uses missiles to defend its citizens, Hamas uses its citizens to defend its missiles” it a pithy, but toxic, piece of propaganda. It is meant to, and is being used to, excuse the killing of Palestinian citizens.

    Try the following equivalence on for a spell: If it is legal to target Palestinian homes since they may hold weapons, is it not equally legal to target Israeli homes since most Israeli citizens serve in the IDF?

  16. thewhollynone says

    anteprepro, your irony is clever, but the reality is that rockets are being fired into southern Israel from Gaza, and not for the first time by a long shot. Did the Gazans make those rockets, or were they supplied from elsewhere, or were the parts supplied from elsewhere? I guess we could blame the people who supply the Gazans with rockets for the deaths of all those civilians, couldn’t we? Goodness knows, there’s enough blame to go around in this situation.

    I repeat my suggestion. Let’s each one of us sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA. Of course, they would have to give up their bombs and agree to live in a secular society, but I bet we’d have plenty of takers.

  17. nutella says

    @thewhollynone

    “give up their bombs”

    You mean the IDF ones that are falling on their heads?

  18. laurentweppe says

    Apparently, dead Palestinian children are the fault of the Palestinians.

    Lincoln summarized this logic over 150 years ago:

    A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

  19. Rasmus says

    Israel is after survival.

    So they say, but if that is the case then why is Israel stepping up its land theft and militarization “settlement” pace in the West bank after the West bank has been walled off, securing Israel from attacks from that area? Why is Israel stepping up its violence against Gaza after the rocket threat has been greatly reduced by the Iron dome system, securing Israel from attacks from that area?

    If Israel merely wanted survival I think we ought to expect reduced settlement pace and reduced violence against Gaza as Israel gains ever more security from attacks from those areas. What is happening is the exact opposite: ever more security leads to ever bolder Israeli oppression against the Palestinians.

  20. Pteryxx says

    on Rawstory tonight:

    Looting and tear gas in Paris as protestors riot over Israeli offensive in Gaza

    The deadly bombing of Gaza has brought to light deep divides within French society — a Jewish community increasingly concerned over anti-Semitism, a growing radical Islamic fringe, and far-left activists whose opposition to Israeli policies sometimes verges on anti-Semitism.

    The violence in Sarcelles closely mirrored that of a rally Saturday in a northern district of Paris, when a protest that began peacefully spiralled out of control, leading to clashes with riot police and dozens of arrests.

    Both rallies had been banned out of fear of unrest and amid concern that the Jewish community would be targeted after protesters last weekend tried to storm two synagogues in the French capital.

    Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza

    On Saturday, a group of men huddle around a shisha pipe. Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke.

    Despite reports that millions of Israelis are living in terror of Hamas rockets, they don’t deter these hilltop war watchers whose proximity to Gaza puts them within range of the most rudimentary missiles. Some bring their children.

    In the border town of Sderot, which has been struck by countless missiles from the Gaza Strip in recent years, one family gathers on a top-floor balcony, draped with an Israeli flag and banner of the army’s legendary Golani brigade. A house with a war view might even command a premium price these days.

  21. microraptor says

    Those big self-propelled guns you often see pictured? Those are American-made M-109 “Paladin” – our tax dollars at work. Just in case you aren’t already disgusted enough.

    See, that’s how our defense spending is keeping ‘Merica safe: we’re building heavy artillery and air-to-ground attack jets and selling them to other countries, which are using them to kill children. We have determined that this makes us safer because those kids didn’t look like us!

  22. anteprepro says

    thewhollynone:

    I repeat my suggestion. Let’s each one of us sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA. Of course, they would have to give up their bombs and agree to live in a secular society, but I bet we’d have plenty of takers.

    1. That is an intentionally stupid plan.
    2. Go fuck yourself.

  23. Sili says

    19
    thewhollynone

    I repeat my suggestion. Let’s each one of us sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA. Of course, they would have to give up their bombs and agree to live in a secular society, but I bet we’d have plenty of takers.

    That’s a peculiar suggestion since the Palaestinians were there first. Secondly the Israëli have far more friends in the US, so they’d be more welcome.

    Why not make a Jewish homeland in Utah or Wyoming, perhaps? A land with no people for a people with no land.

  24. says

    @thewhollynone

    I guess we could blame the people who supply the Gazans with rockets for the deaths of all those civilians, couldn’t we?

    Shall we just blame the people firing them? That’s what we usually do. You know, the individuals, not the People of Palestine.

    Anyway, how many civilians have died from those rocket attacks, would you say? Accuracy of these numbers are always suspect, but let’s use only Israeli sources:
    http://www.btselem.org/topic/israeli_civilians
    44 people from mid 2004 to the end of 2012.
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/rockets2011.html
    No casualties since the end of 2012, until 1 casualty on July 15.

    So 45 over 10 years, each of them a tragedy all on its own. But Israel beat that in a single day.

    Let’s each one of us sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA. Of course, they would have to give up their bombs and agree to live in a secular society, but I bet we’d have plenty of takers.

    Yeah, it would be so much easier if all the Palestinians would just pick up and leave, wouldn’t it. That way the fighting would stop, and Israel can just take all the land they want without hurting anyone!

    Oh wait, that’s already happened, except it was called forced relocation then, and it was done at gunpoint. Palestine has been shrinking over the last 80 years, to the point where all Palestinians live in either disputed territories or foreign countries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_people
    Of the 11 million Palestinians, only 4.4 million live in Palestine any more.

    But I’m sure the Palestinians had it coming because they’re just so violent, don’t you know.

  25. laurentweppe says

    Both rallies had been banned out of fear of unrest and amid concern that the Jewish community would be targeted after protesters last weekend tried to storm two synagogues in the French capital.

    Oh fuck, here we go again:
    No protester tried to storm two synagogues in Paris last weekend:

    An small but well prepared antisemite group shadowed the protest and attacked the Tournelles street’s synagogue injuring eight people including six among the policemen who rushed to rescue the people assaulted.

    The other synagogue, situated approximately 600 meters away was a trap led by the genocidal (and recognized as a terrorist organization by both the US and the state of Israel) “Jewish Defense League” whose members taunted the protesters on twitter before the rally began, leading some of the younger and more hotheaded protesters to run straight into an ambush where several ended up trashed by well-armed far-right extremists. In that case, it wasn’t the synagogue but the far-right militants who had assembled nearby which were targeted by foolish youths who learned the hard way that fascist bullies never fight fair.

  26. Sili says

    10.
    PZ Myers

    Apparently, dead Palestinian children are the fault of the Palestinians.

    Of course. Everything happens for a reason, so the dead have to be somebody’s fault.

    It obviously can’t be the nice USA or their Israëli allies, so who’s left? The EU? No, it has to be those nasty Muslims.

  27. thewhollynone says

    at #26: Extend your map about 1000 kilometers to the southwest, to the east, to the north, and color all the Arabs and Muslims green; and then maybe you will see why the Israelis say that they are just trying to survive. So maybe they are paranoid?

    At #21 and #28: Cursing out old ladies is a sure sign that you are losing the thread of the argument.

  28. Charlie E. says

    Daz, your map is a lie. Debunked here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=720807857931037&set=a.720806884597801.1073741831.602703939741430&type=3&l=4bf2915cad&theater
    In 1947, Jews owned 8% of the land, Arabs 22% (only 4% by Arabs who lived in region, the other 18% by Arab absentee owners). The rest was state land.
    The reality is that it was governed by Britain, which means that the land isn’t Arab land by default.
    Come 1948, a Partition was passed by the UN (it really was a suggestion that made sense but didn’t fly because Arabs rejected it and started a war they lost) Jews accepted the partition that included a Jewish governed state where a Jewish majority now existed, and an Arab State where the Arabs held the majority of population. The land was never sovereign until 1948. Again, it was never Palestinian land, never Palestinian governed.
    That is real history. Of course, demographics can change in Dearborn, but it isn’t allowed to change in the middle east. Complete hypocrisy, but whatever.

  29. chrisdevries says

    Israel’s not after survival. Israel believes, or pretends to believe it is after survival because then it can rationalise its obscene behavior. Take for instance the doctrine of “collective punishment”, a sterile name for the atrocity currently under discussion. Because Hamas “controls” Gaza and occasionally fires virtually un-aimable missiles into Israel (most of which are either intercepted or land in the middle of nowhere), its entire populace are deemed complicit and therefore deserving of punishment. Another example of this is in “peacetime” when Israel occasionally bulldozes houses in which a family of three or four generations live, all because a relative (who may or may not actually reside in the house) has ties to militant organisations. Sin of the one, punishment of the many. And then when people who have done no wrong and still faced the severest of consequences (barring death) from an Israel that believes morality is for other nations, take up the proverbial sword to defend the land upon which their family and people have lived for millennia, they are “terrorists” whose presence in a neighbourhood is used to justify further shelling.

    I truly believe that the main political decision-makers in Israel either don’t want an end to hostilities that gives Palestinians control over their own nation (two-state solution), or have given up on such a dream. Regardless, these individuals seem to be under the impression that the conflict will end only when there are no more Muslims in the Palestinian territories. So they slowly expand the boundaries of Israel into land that’s not theirs (“settlement”), concentrating the Palestinians into a smaller and smaller area which leads to increased suffering from poverty. This makes skirmishes and suicide bombings more common while also making surgical strikes on the militants responsible completely impossible. IDF can then claim that they tried as hard as they could to limit casualties in impossible circumstances, while wiping a few dozen more Muslims out, justified by “collective punishment”. Rinse and repeat.

    If this was about survival, it would have been resolved decades ago. Turns out when you stop oppressing people, they stop firing missiles at you.

  30. laurentweppe says

    Regardless, these individuals seem to be under the impression that the conflict will end only when there are no more Muslims in the Palestinian territories

    And should a successful ethnic cleansing, one may ask: without the palestinian boogeyman, what will stop decades of not-so-well hidden resentment between the working-class and the upper-class, between the Mizrahi and Ashkenazi, between the secularists and the religious to reach the boiling point and lead all these folks to drop altogether the pretense of national unity and start fighting each others?

  31. thewhollynone says

    at #29: If you go back a few centuries, you will see that the Palestinians were actually not in Canaan first. Of course, neither were the Jews! If you go back a few millenia, that is. Just how far back do you want to go? I vote for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and we dump this whole problem back in the lap of the Brits and the Rothchilds.

    As far as Utah or Wyoming — not good plans. The Mormons already have Utah and they are not good at sharing. Wyoming is full of native Americans, and don’t you think that they have already shared enough? Years ago I suggested Nevada, but the Jews didn’t want that, as they want Jerusalem, citing some nonsense about their ancient history and their culture and traditions, et cetera, etc. So why don’t we offer Nevada to the Palestinians?

  32. says

    Actually, here’s a bipartisan solution: pull everyone out of both Israel and Palestine, citing the inability of the Israelis to leave their neighbors alone or, indeed, get along with anyone who they can possibly bully, the Israeli need to warmonger (as, for example, claiming every year since 1995 that Iran was about to get nukes and had to be invaded by the U.S. immediately to protect Israel), and the fact that Israelis will continue to agitate if moved out of “their” land if anyone else is permitted to live there. Bring them all to the U.S. and give them citizenship and pensions (not very generous ones, but enough that they won’t starve; the Israelis deserve a comedown and it would be a step up for the Palestinians) — in the long run, this will be cheaper than continuing to support a proxy state of murderous thugs who pick fights with all their neighbors. Any of them who stirs up any more trouble on the subject? Life in prison without parole.

    Then use the land as a toxic waste dump so nobody ever wants to settle there again. That will shut up both parties and the fundagelicals who think the Jews have to conquer the middle east so that Jesus will come again.

  33. F.O. says

    @thewhollynone #8
    Which land of Canaan? The one that was inhabited by the Canaanites? Remind me, what was of them exactly?

  34. says

    thewhollynone #33

    Extend your map about 1000 kilometers to the southwest, to the east, to the north, and color all the Arabs and Muslims green; and then maybe you will see why the Israelis say that they are just trying to survive. So maybe they are paranoid?

    So, the Israelis should be forgiven bombing Palestinians because of the policies, intentions, or general character and religion of some neighbouring countries?

    Charlie E. #34

    In 1947, Jews owned 8% of the land, Arabs 22% (only 4% by Arabs who lived in region, the other 18% by Arab absentee owners). The rest was state land.

    Someone was living on that land, farming it, etc, yes? Just because it was “state land” does not mean it was empty. Where are they and their descendants, now?

    The reality is that it was governed by Britain, which means that the land isn’t Arab land by default.

    Bullshit. The British had no right to rule there, and neither they nor the UN had the moral right to open it up to mass immigration on a scale which would displace those already living there, and whether those people were owners or tenants is immaterial. (And if it matters, I say that as a Brit.)

  35. Charlie E. says

    Daz, in a British report dated 1931, they deemed two thirds of Israel uninhabitable and useless for farming. Tel Aviv was built on sand dunes in the early 1900’s by Jews. Close to 90% of Canada is state land btw.
    Yes, most of Israel was empty and not Arab land by default.

    As for the Brits ruling there, someone had to rule the land. It changed a lot over time. No right? That is pretty subjective. Bottom line, it wasn’t governed by Arabs and it was not Arab land or Jewish land. It was not sovereign until 1948.

    Dearborn Michigan had zero Arabs/Muslims 125 years ago, now it is majority Muslim. Does that mean it is Muslim land? Of course not. Because the US is a sovereign state. Israel was not until 48. And again, there was a Jewish majority in the land that was to be the Jewish state in the partition.

  36. richcon says

    Given Hamas’s past use of human shielding, I just can’t immediately assign blame to Israel for those deaths. If Israel intentionally open fired on a crowded building filled with civilians just because they thought some Hamas people might be hiding inside, then Israel’s army performed a condemnable act. But if they were fired upon *from* that building by heavily armed Hamas fighters who had surrounded themselves with civilians and then Israel fired back, killing those civilians in the process, then it’s the Hamas fighters that own the blame.

    Hamas is playing a propaganda war here. They know that if they fire at Israel, Israel will fire back. And they know that if they fire at Israel from a crowded building, innocents will be killed when Israel fires back. And then people will condemn Israel and forget that Hamas started this current phase of the conflict in the first place. People die. Hamas wins.

  37. says

    Charlie E. #44

    Daz, in a British report dated 1931, they deemed two thirds of Israel uninhabitable and useless for farming.

    Arab farmers were turfed off, too often at gun-point, to make room for immigrant Jewish farmers. Are you willing to state that such tactics would be used in order to secure land deemed useless for farming? And if you are, could you explain what you think the Arab farmers were doing there in the first place?

    Again, I am not talking about whether the land was marked on a political map as sovereign. I am talking about land which was occupied by people who were driven off by invaders. An invasion which, though nominally peaceful and gentrified as “settling,” is still happening, even if equally nominally “illegal.”

  38. thewhollynone says

    at #40: Actually a great deal of that land was empty, just like Nevada, because water sources there were not yet developed in the 1940’s. It was a virtual desert, and I remember when the Israelis started making the desert bloom. It was a miracle remarked on by the world.

    at #34: Thank you for reminding everyone of the real history! That’s the way I remember it, too, but then what do I know? I was born in the 1930’s, and of course, I learned all my history of Israel from Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas, not from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you understand. I mean who wants to read 20 some odd pages of small print in volume 17. Really!

    and at #40 again: So you say that you British had no right to rule there in Palestine, but the fact is that you did rule there. Might as well say that the Romans had no right to rule there, and to disperse the Jewish population, but the fact is that they did. How about the Ottoman Turks? Did they have a right to rule there? How about the Persians? How about the Crusaders? Who was that Frenchman anyway who thought he was King of Jerusalem?

    History is history, but we have to deal with a situation as it exists today, or not deal with it. So the Brits copped out and left us Americans to deal with the repercussions from the remnants of their empire, and the rest of the Europeans have not been a really big help in solving “the Jewish problem,” have they? No, they have been perfectly happy for the Jews to migrate to Israel or to the Americas, asap, because after all Jews are nothing but “trouble.” I guess I’m allowed to say that, even though I’m not Jewish (if it matters).

  39. Anton Mates says

    SC @4,

    On both occasions, he tried to make the argument that the abyss separating “us” from “them” was that “they” were allegedly willing to use civilians as human shields.

    Which is false. (I know you were only accepting it for the sake of argument.) I don’t know of a more recent investigation than this, but when Amnesty International investigated this issue in 2009, they found that Hamas was not using human shields but the Israeli military was.

    Hamas does lots of bad shit, which Amnesty International also calls it out on, but by and large, it’s not compelling civilians to remain in the line of fire. Civilians are choosing to stay there, as an act of civil resistance–partly because evacuation is not easy, partly because they don’t appreciate being forcibly displaced by Israel for the 20th time, partly because there’s not really anywhere else to go.

    And yes, there are all sorts of problematic aspects to this behavior, including the issue of how truly informed the civilians are, and whether they’re entitled to involve their children in their acts of resistance (though you’d think Israel would not have much room to complain about the latter, given how it glorifies the defense of Masada.) But when the IDF says “abandon your homes or we’ll kill you” and Palestinian civilians say “no” and then the IDF kills them, attempting to blame all this on Hamas is absurd.

  40. sundoga says

    When does the victim become the oppressor? When does the attacker take on the mantle of the refugee?
    The Israelis have been more or less continuously attacked for about half a century. Thousands of Israelis have been murdered in suicide bombings, artillery strikes, cross-border raids.They have a legitimate reason to feel they are the victims here.
    The Palestinians have been under siege for half a century. They have had land stolen from them, taken by military fiat after losing three wars, and simply confiscated. Thousands have died from Artillery strikes, cross-border raids and from participating in three losing wars. They have a legitimate reason to feel they are the victims here.
    Are the Israelis severely overreacting? Yes, I’d say so. Are they 100% responsible for this fucked up situation? Hardly.
    At this point I think the best thing we can do is get the hell out of the situation. It’s not going to resolve quickly, and it’s not going to resolve without a bloody body count. We don’t want to be part of this, on either side.

  41. thewhollynone says

    at #47: Puhleez! You want ME to list the number of times that Israel has had to defend itself from its Muslim neighbors, including Palestinians? Look it up yourself. Let’s just say that it reminds one of the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and its relations with its Native American neighbors. Funny that, how human history seems to repeat itself in different contexts.

  42. lpetrich says

    The Arabs have had a long history of not being satisfied with anything less than driving the Zionists into the sea. Their lack of success in doing so has only enabled Israel to get bigger and bigger at their expense. When Britain ruled the area, British officials tried to make both sides happy, but they made neither side happy. They tried to restrict Jewish immigration, but the Jewish settlers didn’t like it, and the Arabs didn’t think that it went far enough.

    During WWII, the Jewish settlers had a temporary truce with Britain, while the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was good friends with Adolf Hitler. In the last years of British rule, Zionist militias made British officials cower in a compound that got nicknamed “Bevingrad”.

    The United Nations’ partition plan was a Solomonic solution, with Jerusalem an international city, an expanded West Bank that surrounded it, an expanded Gaza Strip, and a chunk of northern Israel that the Arabs would also get. The Zionist leaders accepted it, though they hoped that they would later get more land. Arab leaders didn’t, and when Israel became independent, its Arab neighbors declared war on it. They failed miserably in driving the Zionists into the sea — or worse.

    They tried again in 1967, and they miserably failed yet again.

    When Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel, someone assassinated him for that. Some of his assassin’s defenders compared his peace deal with Israel to FDR settling WWII by letting Japan have Canada.

    I can’t say that Israel is that great, however.

    “A land without a people for a people without a land”? Except that there were already plenty of people in Palestine when some Jews decided that that would be a good place to settle in.

    Back in 1957, Israel conquered the Suez Canal with the help of Britain and France, but US President Dwight Eisenhower was boiling mad, and he forced Israel to give it back.

    About the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982, PM Menachem Begin said about it “Goyim kill goyim, and they come to hang the Jews.” Except that it seemed that the Phalangist militiamen who did the killing were doing what seemed like a Final Solution of the Palestinian Question, almost like they were doing some dirty work for Israel. Why weren’t Menachem Begin and his colleagues mad at the Phalangists for embarrassing them?

  43. says

    when Israel became independent, its Arab neighbors declared war on it.

    Um isn’t that the typical reaction when a chunk of territory suddenly is no longer part of the country it once was?

  44. says

    thewhollynone #47

    Let’s just say that it reminds one of the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and its relations with its Native American neighbors. Funny that, how human history seems to repeat itself in different contexts.

    Of course, many American Indian people might refer you to the concept of “Manifest Destiny.” The idea that you have the right to claim land already occupied by other people. Funny how history repeats, ain’t it.

    By the way, I have a name. Please use it.

  45. thewhollynone says

    at #49: “We don’t want to be part of this”??? What do you mean “we, white man,” as the old Tonto joke goes? If you mean citizens of the USA, I doubt that the present political situation in the US will allow us that solution. The Brits have flipped us a hot potato, and they aren’t going to take it back; jeez, they are having enough trouble dealing with the Scots and the Irish. The only reasonable course that I can see at present is for us to help the Palestinians adjust to the situation of being relocated.

    Now if that causes Israel to disintegrate into class warfare, as someone (I forget who) suggested above, then the Muslims will invade it and take over, and that will be a new ball game. Right now we have to play the game we are in.

  46. M can help you with that. says

    So when can we just say “fuck it” and give Hamas, Likud, and their respective allies a nice little island somewhere to fight over while the decent humans work out a peace plan that doesn’t feature deliberate poison pills for both sides? I can think of any number of big-name cultural Zionists who would be down for that, and I know their Palestinian equivalents are on board. Would it help if the US stopped our policy of “only militarist ethnic-nationalist movements get political support”?

  47. says

    Israel is not a Jewish state it is a terrorist state. Like most terrorists they misuse religion to justify their crimes. How anyone can say we have to exterminate a people because Nazis tried to exterminate us beggars belief. It effectively trashes the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and casts Israel in the same mold as its perpetrators.

  48. Terska says

    PZ you’re in trouble now. This is a topic that is basically untouchable in the USA. There have been some cracks in the Israeli teflon the last few years but I remember not that long ago Diane Rhem hanging up on people that had Palestinian sympathies. Now they are able to talk without being accused of being terrorists. Netanyahu has no intention of a two state solution. He has no intention of stopping the illegal settlements. The USA needs to quit pretending there is a peace process. The last Israeli PM that support the peace process was assassinated for it and his assassin is celebrated as a hero.

  49. thewhollynone says

    I suppose somewhere there’s a kernel of truth in that, maybe 1%, but mostly it’s a false analysis. Six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis with the complicity of most Europeans; Jews have been seriously discriminated against and persecuted for centuries in both Europe and North America; those are historical facts. How can we then blame the Jews for desiring the security of their own homeland, particularly when it was promised to them in 1917? Yes, I feel sympathy for the Palestinians; like the Apaches they were in the wrong place at the wrong time; and just like the Apaches, they had moved into there from some place else. Real life is not always fair, is it?

  50. microraptor says

    Why is the Jewish claim to the land (remember, most of the post-WW2 Jewish people who emigrated to Israel are ethnic Europeans) greater than the Palestinian one?

  51. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    thewhollynone,

    Yes, I feel sympathy for the Palestinians; like the Apaches they were in the wrong place at the wrong time; and just like the Apaches, they had moved into there from some place else. Real life is not always fair, is it?

    Real life isn’t fair, huh? Jesus fucking Christ, you are cold-hearted.

    No one gets to promise anyone else that they’ll gift them with third party’s land. As Ing says, that’s kind of a thing that usually starts justifiable defense wars.

    Seriously, invading someone’s country and keeping them in camps for years is, for you, solved with “Yeah, well, life’s not fair. Move along. Nothing to see here”?

    Could you just go away?

  52. sundoga says

    Whollynone@54: No, no we don’t. We didn’t need to get involved in Rwanda, and we didn’t.We’re not involved in the Congo, thank goodness. The US’s national interests are NOT involved in Israel. In fact, we drop Israel, and we drop a lot of Arab Nationalist anger being directed our way (note I am NOT speaking of Islamic extremists). We do NOT need to get involved in every fight around the world. Let Israel and the Palestinians work out their own damnation.

  53. thewhollynone says

    Latest mtDNA tests? Check it out. I just happen to know because although I’m not Jewish, I share a very ancient mtDNA group with the Ashkenazim. Most of them are descended from four females who lived in the Middle East about 5,000 years ago; after the Roman diaspora descendants moved to northern Italy, then later over the Alps to the valley of the Rhine from which all Ashkenazim were dispersed to other parts of Europe. It’s an interesting history.

  54. Maureen Brian says

    What do you mean, thewhollynone, when you say “the Palestinians were in the the wrong place.”

    Au contraire, mon ami, the Palestinians were AT HOME – where they had been since biblical times with the Hebrews sometimes there and sometimes not, sometimes in charge and sometimes not!

    That’s the trouble with history – once you start using it to justify blowing the heads off toddlers, you have to be prepared to use all of it.

  55. thewhollynone says

    at #59: Could I just go away? Sure, I could, but the problem won’t go away, and the Jews are not going away either, although that’s apparently what many people would like.

    And you are wrong, too, about my being cold-hearted, but weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth is not going to help the Palestinians in Gaza. So why not suggest a reasonable course of action to help them?

  56. thewhollynone says

    Sorry, that’s Beatrice I was replying to in #64. I’m getting tired so it’s time for this old lady to hit the hay.

  57. Holms says

    #19
    I repeat my suggestion. Let’s each one of us sponsor a Palestinian family from Gaza to immigrate to the USA.

    A better idea: let the Palestinians keep the homes they already have, in housing they already own, amongst their families and under their own sovereignty.

    Of course, they would have to give up their bombs and agree to live in a secular society, but I bet we’d have plenty of takers.

    HAHAHAHAHA LOL! Those bombers and their wacky bombing ways amirite! I said amirite! Hey!

    Your ignorance would be cute, if not for the utter inhumanity packaged with it.

    #33
    at #26: Extend your map about 1000 kilometers to the southwest, to the east, to the north, and color all the Arabs and Muslims green; and then maybe you will see why the Israelis say that they are just trying to survive. So maybe they are paranoid?

    Why don’t we look at the Six Day War to see how much threat those Arab nations truly pose to Israel. From that page, we see the belligerents:
    ….
    Israel
    – deployed ~100,000 troops
    – lost less than 1,000 troops, 400 tanks, and 46 aircraft.
    vs
    Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq (Supported by: Algeria Kuwait Libya Morocco Pakistan PLO Saudi Arabia Sudan Tunisia).
    – deployed ~240,000 troops combined
    – lost 18,510-23,510 troops, ‘hundreds’ of tanks, 452+ aircraft.

    Result: decisive Israeli victory.
    Israel captures the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
    ….
    So, Israel took on the arab world, solo, and won. In six days. So yes, maybe they are paranoid. (Or perhaps more likely: they aren’t paranoid at all, and know quite well that they aren’t in any threat but find that to be a convenient fiction).

    At #21 and #28: Cursing out old ladies is a sure sign that you are losing the thread of the argument.

    “They swore therefore they are wrong” yeah nice try. You might have had a point if they simply swore at you in lieu of making an argument, but that was not the case. They pointed out why you were wrong, then they swore at you.

    #34
    Daz, your map is a lie. Debunked here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=720807857931037&set=a.720806884597801.1073741831.602703939741430&type=3&l=4bf2915cad&theater
    In 1947, Jews owned 8% of the land, Arabs 22% (only 4% by Arabs who lived in region, the other 18% by Arab absentee owners). The rest was state land.
    The reality is that it was governed by Britain, which means that the land isn’t Arab land by default. …

    It is trivially easy to see the stupidity in this ‘debunking’ of that map. The claim that those lands were British is true only if we completely ignore the fact that Britain was just another foreign overlord to the local people, annexed from the ailing Ottoman nation and carved up by treaty conducted by …no one native to the land.

    Oh, the Jews accepted a partition that gave them lands for free? Amazing! So magnanimous of them. The Arabs ‘started a war’ because the land they lived on was being divvied up by foreign powers, denying them any sovereignty.

    (You want to know which lands are truly British? here you go.)

    #42
    Given Hamas’s past use of human shielding, I just can’t immediately assign blame to Israel for those deaths.

    But if they were fired upon *from* that building by heavily armed Hamas fighters who had surrounded themselves with civilians and then Israel fired back, killing those civilians in the process, then it’s the Hamas fighters that own the blame.

    And what about, say, a bunch of kids playing soccer on a beach? A truly amazing Hamas disguise I suppose?

    #49
    When does the victim become the oppressor? When does the attacker take on the mantle of the refugee?
    The Israelis have been more or less continuously attacked for about half a century. Thousands of Israelis have been murdered in suicide bombings, artillery strikes, cross-border raids.They have a legitimate reason to feel they are the victims here.

    Except, as noted above re. the Six Day War, Israel has been by far the dominant power in the region since its inception. Again, the idea that they are locked in an existential war is just a convenient fiction.

    Are the Israelis severely overreacting? Yes, I’d say so. Are they 100% responsible for this fucked up situation? Hardly.

    You’re right about the turmoil of the region in a broad sense – the Israelis are not the only contributor to the strife in the middle east. But this post is not about the general state of the middle east at all; it is about the current offensive being undertaken by the Israeli military at the expense of the largely shat-upon Palestinians, as a continuation of their casual theft of land.

    And yes, I am confortable in saying that Israel is 100% responsible for their current bout of shitting on Palestine.

    #54
    The Brits have flipped us a hot potato, and they aren’t going to take it back; jeez, they are having enough trouble dealing with the Scots and the Irish. The only reasonable course that I can see at present is for us to help the Palestinians adjust to the situation of being relocated.

    Uhhhhhhhhh and why is it an American problem at all? Britain didn’t lob a hot potato at America; America voluntarily involved itself in the situation by backing Israel to the hilt. The solution (as far as America’s involvement is concerned) is easy: stop backing Israel. Condemn (rather than condone) shitty behaviour, and get the fuck out of there.

    As for The relocation of Palestinians, I already suggested a better solution above: don’t relocate them, condemn Israel’s theft of their land, let them have their sovereingty. The fact that your ‘solution’ took it as granted that Israel is simply going to continue taking Palestinian land strikes me as something of a ‘boys will be boys’ dodge of responsibility. You may as well tell people to simply get a good therapist and just put up with bullying, rather than trying to stop the bullying.

    #58
    Six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis with the complicity of most Europeans; Jews have been seriously discriminated against and persecuted for centuries in both Europe and North America; those are historical facts.

    Fucking disgusting. “With the complicity of most Europeans”? Get the fuck out of here, this is simply a blatant – and offensive – untruth. There was certainly plenty of antisemitism, but it remains that a single government was responsible for this atrocity, and the majority of Europe united against him.

    How can we then blame the Jews for desiring the security of their own homeland, particularly when it was promised to them in 1917?

    Past mistreatment does not validate their desire to continually invade and annex land, get the fuck out of here again.

    Yes, I feel sympathy for the Palestinians; like the Apaches they were in the wrong place at the wrong time; and just like the Apaches, they had moved into there from some place else.

    “The wrong place at the wrong time”? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU. Place: their own homes. Time: irrelevant. THEY ARE BEING INVADED AND HAVING THEIR LANDS TAKEN FROM THEM AND ALL YOU CAN GIVE IS A PLATITUDE.

  58. says

    To Charlie E #34
    Thank you for your made up Israeli history, but no thanks. The world is getting educated about this conflict and its beginnings. I’m enormously heartened by the comments here. Americans are usually propagandised to the teeth about this topic. Good to see we have some independent thinkers here.

    If you want a history lesson, try this guy. Miko Peled was born in Jersusalem into a famous and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time. It’s a long video (over an hour) but essential listening to anyone who seeks to understand the history of this conflict.

    Titled: An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel

  59. brasidas says

    Marcus Ranum #18. The Serbs weren’t doing what the Israelis are doing – in that case most of the violence up to the start of the West’s intervention was by separatists. The West threatened to bomb Serbia unless Serbia accepted NATO occupation of their country (http://www.serendipity.li/nato/app_b.htm). When Serbia refused, the bombing started.

    It was all a long campaign in the West to remove Serbian dominance of former Yugoslavia. When Croatia, Bosnia etc wanted to break up Yugoslavia, the West opposed the Serbs attempts to keep the unity of the country. When the Serbs wanted independence from Bosnia, the West bombed them, to preserve the unity of Bosnia. When the Kosovo wanted independence from Serbia, the West bombed Serbia, to help break up what was left of Yugoslavia. The West took contrary positions depending what the Serbs wanted, whether it was unity or independence.
    .

  60. says

    PZ, several times over the past couple of years I have searched your blog to try and find if you had written about Israel. I assumed that the reason that you had not was because you – like me – think the situation is nuanced and complicated.

    I respect your opinion and genuinely do not have an answer to this question: I often think the Israeli government does need to stop its campaign considering the loss of life, but that would leave options that seem unacceptable. What people could accept a reality of rockets being fired daily, even ones that have a (relatively) small death toll, and not responding? Or removing the blockade altogether (which is a Hamas requirement) that would leave the import of weapons unchecked? There is no reason to think the opportunity would not be seized upon.

    You seem to feel that you understand this situation, so please help me feel less unsure.

  61. diego says

    A friend of mine was talking with her Israeli father this past weekend. He was concerned about the current conflict in terms of safety of his relatives. Now admittedly this is the same guy who once told me that bocci was easy for him because it was like rolling grenades into Arab trenches, and yet he was still able to shock his daughter when he suggested in the same conversation about Israel that Muslims in Europe are just the first wave of an invasion. He thought that it was therefore in the best interests of the powers of Europe to wipe out the Muslims. This is an older Jewish man seriously pushing for genocide. I think he must be suffering from a near terminal irony deficiency.

  62. Charlie E. says

    66. The partition did not deny Arabs sovereignty, in fact it offered the Arabs of that region sovereignty for the first time. A Jewish state where Jews were now the majority and an Arab state where Arabs were now the majority.
    Just as many Jews came over to Palestine in the early to mid 20th Century, close to just as many Arabs came there from surrounding Arab nations.

    67. Great, find one Jew who subjectively cherry picks history ignoring the other side and he becomes a great Jews. Pathetic.

    Here is just one site that debunks Miko (true, it is probably as biased for Israel as Miko is biased against Israel):http://www.cuwi.ca/uploads/2/3/4/9/23493612/mikos_myths.pdf

    And I’m not denying the reality that there was an element in 1948 that wanted to drive Arabs out and took advantage of the situation that Arabs refused the partition and declared war. But if the Arabs never declared war, there would have been no expulsions.

    And one more point, Pakistan declared independence around the time that Israel did. But i guess that was OK because it was a Muslim state, despite the fact that 5 million people were immediately displaced when that happened. I guess Pakistan has no right to sovereignty too?

  63. samihawkins says

    and I remember when the Israelis started making the desert bloom. It was a miracle remarked on by the world.

    And I remember a conversation I once had with an old man who spent the entire cold war in places like East Germany, Southeast Asia, Iran, and various other hotspots doing some type of work that he refuses to ever go into any detail about. He never says what he was doing in those places, but he will give the occasional vague comment about the situation there. For example when discussing Afghanistan he said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘People there have more ties to their tribe and family than their country. Place hasn’t changed since I was there in 64.”

    The one time I’ve heard him talk about Israel was to remark that he was a witness to it’s founding, that the whole ‘making the desert bloom’ was bullshit propaganda, and that the Jews were actually given all the best agricultural land.

    I trusty him far more than I trust you.

  64. Charlie E. says

    72. The saying about Jews making the desert bloom refers to before 1948. So what land were the Jews “given” prior to that?
    Fact is a Jewish settlement built Tel Aviv on sand dunes in the early 1900’s
    http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~dhershkowitz/pic116-m.jpg

    More actual pictures of Palestine circa 1800’s-early 1900’s
    http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~dhershkowitz/index2.html

    Meanwhile, clip from Bill Maher show. He and his guests seem to understand the situation a lot more than reality deniers on this thread:

  65. says

    “If in the past year you didn’t CRY OUT when thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya, when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran, women and children in Afghanistan were bombed, whole communities were massacred in South Sudan, 1800 Palestinians were starved and murdered by Assad in Syria, hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks, 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists, villagers were slaughtered in Nigeria, but you ONLYcry out for GAZA, then you are not pro HUMAN RIGHTS, you are onlyANTI-ISRAEL.”
    — Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, July 15, 2014

  66. says

    To samihawkins (#72):
    ‘making the desert bloom’ was bullshit propaganda
    This is incorrect. Everyone can observe greenhouses in Negev desert where neither natural fertile soil nor rains, streams or other natural water exist. But they produce a lot of vegetables, fruits and even flowers, considerable part of which is exported.

    To PZ Myers, with all the respect (I enjoy many of your posts):
    I’ve had people try to tell me that it is justifiable — that Hamas is firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods. I freely grant that trying to kill random citizens with rockets is also unconscionable, whether it’s done by Palestinians, Israelis, or Americans. But how can anyone condemn one and not the other?

    We should not be propping up the vile and bloody government of Israel anymore. Maybe if they’re deprived of the teat of unquestioning US aid, they’ll realize that they can’t afford to solve their problems with attempted genocide.

    1. So, what do you suggest? Hamas fires rockets. Should we just suffer it? I suppose that Israel has a right to defend itself. If a defense cannot be done without collateral damage, so be it. After all, majority of Gaza citizens had elected Hamas government and bears responsibility for their choice.

    2. Actually, Israel does not need US money. Most of it comes on condition that money will be spent on purchase of US weapons; this condition suffocates local production. Several years ago Netaniyahu wanted to decline US grants, but for some reason it didn’t work.

    3. Please be careful with words like ‘genocide’. Israel never did anything even close to it. US, however, did, but that is your business…

  67. anteprepro says

    Digi Dov:

    I suppose that Israel has a right to defend itself. If a defense cannot be done without collateral damage, so be it.

    Don’t pretend you are moral when say shit like this. No, bombing civilians is not defending yourself. Yes, if “defending” yourself involves hurting civilians, you should not do it. And if you do, you are on the border of fucking war crimes.

  68. Doug Hudson says

    In all the endless arguing about Israel-Palestine, I’ve never seen anyone propose an actual workable solution. Because, frankly, there isn’t a solution that doesn’t involve ethnic cleansing.

    Gaza is unsustainable. Even without Israeli attacks, the Gaza strip will become uninhabitable within a few decades (I believe 15 years, without major infrastructure overhaul). At that point either the other Arab countries will allow the Palestinians to emigrate, or a large number of them will die.

    But if Israel allows Palestinians to move from Gaza to Israel, then Arabs will quickly outnumber Jews. And then the Jews will have to flee, because the Arabs aren’t going to forgive the last 50+ years.

    There is too little land and too many people, one group or the other must give up its claims. But which one? And where do they go?

    Easy enough to say, “the US must stop supporting Israel.” Fine. Will we then give the Jews asylum when Israel is overrun? Or will we allow the Palestinians to immigrate from Gaza, to ease the overcrowding?

    If anyone has a solution that doesn’t require one group or the other to abandon Palestine, I’d love to hear it. (And no, “go back to 1967 borders” doesn’t work, because 1) Israel wouldn’t do it 2) the arabs were unhappy before 1967).

  69. colnago80 says

    For those who haven’t been paying attention, there are actually 3 wars currently going on in the Middle East. There is the subject of this blog post by Prof.Myers which is between the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip vs Israel. There is the ongoing disaster in Syria between several rebel factions, supported by Saudi Arabia and the Assad government supported by Iran, which thus far has toted up some 175,000 people killed and 4 million refugees driven from their homes. There is the ongoing war in Iraq between the ISIS terrorists and the central Iraq government, the toll of which is unknown as we sit here today but I would be willing to bet that it substantially exceeds the toll in the Israel/Hamas war. I would also point out that there are apparently thousands of Christians who have lived in Mosul who are fleeing for their lives in fear of the ISIS terrorists.

    All in all, it would appear that the casualties in Gaza and Israel pale almost into insignificance compared with Syria and Iraq. So the question is, why are the commenters here so bent out of shape about the former war? The answer is simple, its the invasion of the Israel bashers who fill up comment sections on Internet sites every time they see the word Israel show up. Of course, Prof. Myers is a little late to this party as his blog colleague Manos Singham and his sycophants regularly bash Israel on a weekly basis.

    The only positive thing about the activities in the Gaza Strip is they will probably peter out by the end of the month due to pressure from Gaza’s other neighbor, Egypt and the US who are pushing for a cease fire. The folks in Syria and Iraq are shit out of luck.

  70. colnago80 says

    Re Doug Hudson @ #77

    It’s worse then that. According to the latest figures on sea level rise due to global warming, the entire Gaza Strip will be under water by the end of the century.

  71. anteprepro says

    colnago sez

    All in all, it would appear that the casualties in Gaza and Israel pale almost into insignificance compared with Syria and Iraq. So the question is, why are the commenters here so bent out of shape about the former war?

    Because Israel is supposedly our ally? Because the United States goes out of its way to support it? Because it is taboo in U.S. politics to ever take note of the things Israel actually does?

    he answer is simple, its the invasion of the Israel bashers who fill up comment sections on Internet sites every time they see the word Israel show up.

    Yeah, it is just because we all hate Israel. Go fuck yourself.

  72. Rasmus says

    Digi Dov: The children who were playing on the beach when the Israeli warship opened fire on them were clearly not collateral damage, as the sequence of pictures show them on a beach nowhere near any rocket launchers, nor did they vote for Hamas, or any other party for that sake since children don’t vote.

    Let’s not pretend that killing children will enhance Israel’s security. For every child that the IDF kills you convert X number of people to radical anti-semitism among their relatives and friends, which makes peace through negotiations ever more unlikely.

    What should Israel do? Well, that’s your problem! One solution might be to agree to Hamas’ demands, minus the abolition of the Jewish state. There have been many negotiations over the years, but a constant stumbling block that is rarely spoken about is that Israel has so far demanded that a future Palestinian state must have no armed force. That means that the state wouldn’t be a state, because a Palestinian state would need a strong armed force in order to protect its own integrity and population from the IDF.

  73. laurentweppe says

    But if Israel allows Palestinians to move from Gaza to Israel, then Arabs will quickly outnumber Jews. And then the Jews will have to flee, because the Arabs aren’t going to forgive the last 50+ years.

    Similar excuses were used to justify slavery, Jim Crow and the South African Apartheid: “ If we give freedom to blacks, the first thing they’ll want is doing to us what we did to them!“.
    The thing is, the likelihood of bloody retaliation increases when oppression is allowed to endure: this kind of logic could easily be summarized by “I don’t care if my grandchildren end up being slaughtered by the grandchildren of my victims, so long as it happens after I die so I don’t have to witness it

  74. colnago80 says

    Re anteprepro @ #80

    Yeah, it is just because we all hate Israel. Go fuck yourself.

    Ignoring the suggestion, which is an example of a juvenile mind, of course you don’t hate Israel, anymore than Frankenberger hated Jews.

  75. colnago80 says

    Re Rasmus @ #81

    What should Israel do? Well, that’s your problem! One solution might be to agree to Hamas’ demands, minus the abolition of the Jewish state
    .

    The problem is that abolition of the State of Israel is a non-negotiable Hamas demand.

  76. Charlie E. says

    76. Dov asked what is Israel to do. Your answer: not kill civilians. Genius! So you got nothing, just cherry picked his post. Great debate.

    77. Caroline Glick suggests ethnic bomb is not a reality. She thinks a one state solution would work, but I believe it includes Egypt taking back Gaza and taking the Gazans. I don’t think that is realistic. Probably a three state solution is the best solution, but it isn’t even on the table.

    80. Sure, I believe you, it is all about America giving support to Israel, that is why the barrage of anti-Israel squad comes out any chance they get. Problem is that many of the squad are Canadians and Europeans, from countries that don’t give aid to Israel. You are disingenuous at best.

    81. “That’s your problem” but if it defends itself in the way it is right now, that becomes your issue? Your solution is to appease terrorists and the only concession made is to get Hamas to drop their charter, which is something they are not willing to do no matter what.

    83. There are quite a few juvenile minds on this thread, but I think you found the number one such mind in Ante P.

  77. says

    Professor Myers,

    I am not sure where you are getting your information, but the data you base your conclusion it seems to be… incomplete. Perhaps it is biased.

    The article you have quoted, for instance, is heavy in small bodies, machine gun fire, destroyed buildings and makeshift UN hospitals . It show a complete absence of HAMAS staging a battle with heavy weapons in the area, including mined buildings and underground bunkers, HAMAS using the civilians as human shields, the Israeli field hospital treating Gazan civilians and the UN ambulances used as transport for HAMAS militants. You might want to consider a change of your news sources, or at least a more balanced selection.

    To provide some perspective on the issue: Israel had responded to heavy rocket fire from Gaza by precision airstrikes on HAMAS infrastructure and later on, by sending in ground forces. There were over 1500 destroyed targets to date, and the highest civilian casualty count I had encountered was below 500. Does this sound like “genocide” to you? One victim per 3 bombs in a dense residential area, with human shields in use?

    The problem with civilian casualties of war in Gaza is that HAMAS knows very well that their strongest weapon against Israel is PR (as your post shows, it is highly effective.) They also know that Israel is highly reluctant to cause civilian casualties, because they always work in HAMAS favor.

    To their end, Israel: 1) issues leaflet and broadcast warnings for civilians to leave the area before strike, 2) issues SMS and voicecall warnings to the residents of the target building and immediate vicinity to leave shortly before the strike, 3) fires a petard on the roof to give a last warning and make the civilians leave, and only then the target is struck. The strike is called off if there are civilians still seen near the target. This of course reduces the offensive efficiency, because it also warns HAMAS well beforehand, but it minimizes civilian casualties. For their own civilians, there are bomb shelters, warning sirens, and the anti-missiles. Still, it is a miracle that the Israeli casualties had been low: there were over 1600 rockets launched at Israeli cities in the past days, with 70% of Israelis within range – and the areas within 50 km from Gaza have as little as 15 seconds to take cover before a rocket falls.

    To their end, HAMAS: 1) puts their munitions and rocket launchers in residences, mosques, schools and hospitals, 2) coerce or make the civilians stay after strike warnings, and gather on the roof, 3) keep children close to rocket launchers to thwart Israeli strikes, 4) label the dead militants as civilian casualties to maximize body count. They forbid the civilians the use of bomb shelters (which they have, only reserved for HAMAS militants.) They fire unguided rockets at Israeli cities without warning – including big cities like Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheba, Jerusalem and Haifa. (That, incidentally, exhausts the lists of major cities in Israel.)

    Despite that, civilian casualties in Gaza had been very, very low. Even after the ground troops came in, they stayed low despite multiple underground structures being discovered and destroyed. The structures were two types: local bunkers and tunnels, and tunnels dug deep into Israeli territory for sending in terror groups and taking hostages. Some 3000 rockets were captured, which means that with the expended ones HAMAS is down to a half of its rocket arsenal. (Well, minus the ones which UN aid organization found in a school basement there, and helpfully gave back to HAMAS the rightful owner, despite the Israeli request to deliver them to Israel. Israeli citizens send heartfelt thanks to UN for these rockets which will inevitably be falling on their heads.)

    It was not until HAMAS surprised Israeli forces in Shejaiya that there was large-scale combat there – and of course, it turns out, HAMAS kept a human shield there. There finally was a large batch of casualties at once, half of them legitimate civilians (non-militants), to give your news sources something to paint HAMAS as a victim. Bingo.

    This is war. War is not about who kills the most civilians on the other side; if a terrorist starts to threaten you, you do what you can to remove his capability to threaten – and that is what Israel is doing now. Yes, war is ugly. You had seen a little piece of weapon-grade propaganda, and it had been highly effective.

    It would be good if you had checked the background behind your news more thoroughly, if you are going to comment on a complicated geopolitical issues like war. Some commenters here, likewise; I cannot begin to fathom some of you guys’ knowledge, because just in this thread I can see likening of Gaza to a concentration camp, blaming Jews for too few Jewish dead, claiming there is wanton bombing of civilians, and most of all, lots of projecting American colonial guilt on Israel.

    I do not think I can sway anyone’s entrenched ignorance (even on a blog like this one, because people can be very skeptical in one area and surprisingly prejudiced in another). But I can ask you to actually do some research. Or at least think how you guys actually sound.

    You claim that firing artillery rockets with fragmentation charges at cities is OK as long as there are anti-missiles? Nice. You say there are too few Jewish casualties? How many would satisfy you – and do you realize how ghoulish you sound? You say Gaza is a concentration camp? Google some seaside view that does not focus on rubble, to observe the high-rises and nice seaside villas. You say that the Jews are colonists oppressing the indigenous population? Get a fact check on Syrian Arab demographics in the area. You call it “genocide”? Check population growth figures. You accuse Israel of indiscriminate attacks on civilians while pretending HAMAS does nothing wrong? Check yourself for double moral standards.

    Do a search on Pharyngula on “Syria”. You will find nothing in the headlines in the past year on the 170,000 victims of the civil war there. Yet here we are, all but calling for destruction of Israel over 90 civilian deaths which Israel did everything in their power to avoid.

    Look into yourself and ask: do I have full information? Could my sources be biased? Could I be prejudiced? Could I be too hasty to cast stones? Could I have been duped by propaganda? And think. Instead of knee-jerk reactions, just think. And do some research before posting.

  78. says

    anteprepro (#76)


    Don’t pretend you are moral when say shit like this. No, bombing civilians is not defending yourself. Yes, if “defending” yourself involves hurting civilians, you should not do it. And if you do, you are on the border of fucking war crimes.

    Then what should I do? Hamas firing rockets with an intent to kill me. I technically cannot retaliate without hurting civilians. What Israel should do in this situation?
    Being an atheist, I’m not in favor of turning the other cheek. If it is impossible to restrain Hamas without damage to civilians, Israel have to do it with such damage.

    By the way: “war crimes” is pure politics. Try to explain to yourself why nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or bombing of Dresden did not constitute war crimes, but deeds of Saddam or Serbian gov-t (with much less civilian causalities) did.

  79. says

    Wow, slc/colnago strikes again! For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s referring to Hitler when he mentions Frankenberger So he’s implying anteprepro is a violent anti-Semite.

  80. Doug Hudson says

    laurentweppe @82,

    I’m not defending Israel, I think the creation of Israel in Palestine was a horrible mistake.

    But if the Palestinians are granted the right of return, they will drive out the Jewish population–many Jews will flee voluntarily, and others will leave under threat of property seizure or violence. This is simply reality–the Palestinians are not just going to “forgive and forget”.

    A two state solution doesn’t solve the Gaza problem unless it is linked via territory to the West Bank, and the Israelis aren’t going to permit that.

    The optimal (and possibly only solution) is to do ethnic cleansing ala Greece and Turkey in the 1920s or Western Europe in 1945-1950, move all the Israelis or Palestinians somewhere else–problem is, there isn’t “anywhere else.”

    [on a related note, I strongly recommend "Savage Continent: Europe after WWII" for an eye opening look at how the Western Europeans solved their ethnic problems. Yikes.]

  81. anteprepro says

    Digi Dov:

    Then what should I do? Hamas firing rockets with an intent to kill me. I technically cannot retaliate without hurting civilians. What Israel should do in this situation?

    I am going to need something other than your word and your incredulity to believe that NOTHING can be done that doesn’t involve killing innocent civilians. Sorry. Skepticism.

    Try to explain to yourself why nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or bombing of Dresden did not constitute war crimes, but deeds of Saddam or Serbian gov-t (with much less civilian causalities) did.

    If you think I am going to defend Hiroshima, you are barking up the wrong tree.

  82. colnago80 says

    Re #86

    The Nation magazine has a long history of being, shall we charitably say, less then friendly towards Israel. However, there are worse sources of information, such as Counterpunch, Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, and Phillip Weiss, regularly cited by Prof. Mano Singham on FTB. These are the left wing equivalent of Don Black of Stormfront and David Duke.

  83. anteprepro says

    Really? Are they really that bad, colnago? Really that blindly bigoted? If so, maybe you could illustrate that?

    Put up or shut up.

  84. says

    Rasmus,

    The children who were playing on the beach when the Israeli warship opened fire on them were clearly not collateral damage, as the sequence of pictures show them on a beach
    I’ve seen sources that claim that there was rocket launcher nearby. But it also could be a mistake. A la guerre comme a la guerre.


    For every child that the IDF kills you convert X number of people to radical anti-semitism among their relatives and friends, which makes peace through negotiations ever more unlikely.

    You are right. After this clash there will be another in couple of years and so on… Possible solution – let Hamas accept Israel as Jewish country and stop attacks against it. But they will never do such thing.


    There have been many negotiations over the years, but a constant stumbling block that is rarely spoken about is that Israel has so far demanded that a future Palestinian state must have no armed force. That means that the state wouldn’t be a state, because a Palestinian state would need a strong armed force in order to protect its own integrity and population from the IDF.

    AFAIK this is incorrect. Hamas rejects the idea of accepting Israel. West bank accepts, but Israel wants to control borders of Palestinian state (in fear of smuggling weapons). Armed forces is not a major issue (palestinians anyway do not have neither money nor industry to maintain it).
    Moreover, IDF is not that aggressive. If somebody would guarantee that new Palestinian state would not condone terror, I’d be first to agree to such state. But today terrorists come form Palestine-controlled places.

    Also, there are many independent states that have no armed forces. I can name a at least a dozen.

  85. says

    @ Pieter Droogendijk

    From your link (quoted #3 above, my emphasis):

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed acute pain at the loss of 13 Israeli soldiers in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City on Sunday and said that the battle was yet another phase in the ongoing onslaught against the Jewish national home in Israel.”

    Holy Cow. That jaded Apartheid era propaganda… The Eighty’s where the time of The Total Onslaught ™ in South Africa. Now the Israeli Apartheid state uses the selfsame rhetoric. A mere thirty years later.

  86. says

    Holy Cow. That jaded Apartheid era propaganda… The Eighty’s where the time of The Total Onslaught ™ in South Africa. Now the Israeli Apartheid state uses the selfsame rhetoric. A mere thirty years later.

    Thanks. I didn’t know about that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid#Total_onslaught

    The Israeli connection is even more solid than that, allegedly they were willing to sell nukes to apartheid south africa:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-documents

    I’ll have to read more about it.

  87. Forbidden Snowflake says

    You say there are too few Jewish casualties? How many would satisfy you – and do you realize how ghoulish you sound?

    Stop. Think. Listen to yourself.
    Nobody said that. It’s actually possible to point out that antimissile systems enable Israel to wage war with very low cost to itself, without “calling for more dead Jews” or anything of the sort. Even unquestionably good things can have complicated moral effects.
    Also, stop conflating “Israeli” with “Jewish”, plz.

  88. Doug Hudson says

    One other thing, when discussing US support of Israel, it’s useful to note that it’s not just (one group of) American Jews who push for it.

    Christianists support Israel because they need it to exist for their apocalyptic fantasies to come true.

    The military industrial complex supports Israel because it buys expensive weapons and allows for weapons testing under “real” conditions.

    Taken together, that’s a lot of wealth and influence backing Israel, and, with the possible exception of the Jews, none of them care about the Palestinians (they aren’t Christian and they don’t buy expensive weapon systems.)

  89. busterggi says

    Israel is the best example of how successful terrorism can be. W/o terrorism there would be no Israel.

    As far as Hamas storing weapons in schools, mosques, homes, etc, well they aren’t allowed to build storage facilities ofr weapons because Israeel refuses to allow them weapons. Gaza can’t be a country if it isn’t allowed to have the potential to protect itself, all it can be is what it is – a glorified concentration camp.

    As long as today’s reality is being determined by bronze-age mythology and its later permutations there can be no peaceful solution in the middle-east.

  90. Rasmus says

    Charlie E: It’s not my job to propose a solution for the conflict since I don’t live in Israel or in the occupied territories or in any of the neighboring countries. The two things that I can do is condemn crimes against humanity and oppose the export of weapons from my country (and the EU if possible) to the warring parties until there is a long-term peace agreement.

    I think the act of firing rockets at Israel is indefensible even if most of the rockets don’t hit anything and I do think Israel has the right to shoot at any soldiers that manage to cross the border. It’s just that Hamas is so incredibly far behind the IDF capablility-wise that one rarely gets an opportunity to condemn them.

  91. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Rasmus:

    It’s just that Hamas is so incredibly far behind the IDF capablility-wise that one rarely gets an opportunity to condemn them.

    Oh, bullshit.

    You could condemn every single rocket firing individually. The fact that most don’t result in murder doesn’t mean that on those common occasions when no murder occurs at the end of the parabolic flight, the ethical choices of the rocket firers do not provide an opportunity for condemnation.

    I’m horrified at the behavior of Israel’s government and IDF far too often. I feel that horror the same way regardless of how sophisticated the software/hardware interaction in a Hellfire or a Mini-Spike. Using a risk-taking religious minority funded by the donations of US citizens, frequently eschatological Christians, to take land through hammers and nails, seeds and hoes, is horribly destabilizing despite the potential to accomplish it with 1920s technology.

    When I point out that palestinian children were throwing rocks at armored IDF troops, I do not use it to claim that throwing rocks is fun or noble. I use it to evaluate the claims of self-defense on the part of the IDF.

    I have long been upset with Israeli tactics **even when I was convinced that the two sides were not at all equal in moral culpability and that Arab actions were both more murderous and more responsible for prolonging conflict**. I need make no equivalence, and I am not asserting one here. But to say that technology rather than (un)ethical choices provide the basis for ethical condemnation is just silly.

  92. Charlie E. says

    100. Harmless? 60 dead Israelis from bombs coming from Gaza, and you call that harmless. Each with the intent to kill a lot more. Yet you side with terrorist thugs who bomb a sovereign nation and expect them to whistle it away. Jeez. How would you like to live in a town that had bombs flying over your head, that are sent with the intent of killing civilians? Do you think any Western nation would take it?

  93. Forbidden Snowflake says

    100. Harmless? 60 dead Israelis from bombs coming from Gaza, and you call that harmless.

    What is the source for the 60 figure? (not disputing, just asking)

  94. Nick Gotts says

    Try to explain to yourself why nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or bombing of Dresden did not constitute war crimes – Digi Dov@87

    They did. Fuck off with your war crimes apologetics.

    Counterpunch, Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, and Phillip Weiss, regularly cited by Prof. Mano Singham on FTB. These are the left wing equivalent of Don Black of Stormfront and David Duke. – colnago80@91

    Really? Are they really that bad, colnago? Really that blindly bigoted? If so, maybe you could illustrate that?

    Put up or shut up.
    – anteprepro@92

    It’s actually colnago80 who is the moral equivalent of Stormfront or Duke. Not long ago, he was advocating using six 15Mt bombs on Iran. On a recent thread at Ed Brayton’s, he was – not for the first time – advocating that Israel treat Gaza as Hafez Assad treated the city of Hama – i.e., killing as many civilians as possible.

  95. Rasmus says

    Digi Dov:

    The Geneva accords (http://www.geneva-accord.org/mainmenu/summary) call for a completely demilitarized Palestinian state. There is a lot of cheap second hand defense equipment for sale that the Palestinians could afford, so I don’t think that would be a problem. The most urgent need would be for a force that would deter the IDF and other foreign forces like for instance ISIS from trying to enter into the territory of the state.

    There are many demilitarized areas in the world, but they tend to either be in a relatively quiet region of the world, or protected by an agreement with a foreign ally. I don’t think that will work for the Palestinians. Even if we pretend that the IDF is at heart a just and peaceful organization and that Israel would never send it into a Palestinian state against the will of the Palestinian authority, the Palestinians would still need a military force to guard themselves against non-state actors like ISIS and other future radical Islamist groups. A state that does not control its own borders is not a state in any meaningful way, which is something that the Palestinians in the West bank know all too well by now.

    I hope the Palestinians won’t have to see the IDF when it is aggressive by your standards.

  96. esmith4102 says

    Here’s an idea that may or may not work. Instead of bemoaning the deaths of civilian Palestinians while doing nothing, spend your energy on getting Hamas to stop their rocket attacks on Israeli territory. Then, and only then will the onus be on Israel to stop combat operations and if they do not, then criticize away.

    Israel has a right to defend its territory from attacks and Hamas has no right hiding, like cowards, among their fellow citizens whom they know will suffer from retaliatory strikes.

  97. Rasmus says

    You could condemn every single rocket firing individually. The fact that most don’t result in murder doesn’t mean that on those common occasions when no murder occurs at the end of the parabolic flight, the ethical choices of the rocket firers do not provide an opportunity for condemnation.

    The amount of suffering that a perpetrator of an evil act can expect to cause by that act is worth taking into consideration when you judge that person or the organization behind them.

    I think that a rocket launch by the Palestinians was a more evil act when Israel didn’t have a missile shield that could shoot down most of the rockets, because back then the missile could be expected to do much more damage on average than it can be expected to do now. It is no longer meaningful to report each launch as a significant event in the war (I think there is a Twitter bot that does that now), it is only meaningful to talk about the Hamas’s rocket campaign as a whole. I suppose one could make a twitter bot that condemns each rocket launch and reminds people that it’s not nice to attempt murder however futile the attempt is.

  98. colnago80 says

    Re Nick Gotts @ #106

    Ah, ole Gotts the appeaser. Had he been around in the 1930s and 1940s, he would have been front and center with the folks that thought that appeasement of Schicklgruber was the right approach. Chamberlain tried that and it didn’t work out very well.

  99. monad says

    @108 esmith4102:
    Rocket attacks almost stopped during the 2008 Israel-Hamas ceasefire. There were still a few, but nothing close to comparable to before or after. I think Hamas disavowed responsibility for them, which is unusual for them, and it might have reflected a lack of control on their part.

    During this time the blockade of Palestine was maintained and I believe settlements continued to expand. At any rate, the truce ended when Israel made an incursion looking for a tunnel, killing six fighters, and the conflict resumed as before.

    I think this is good evidence that it will take more than not firing rockets. Meanwhile, Israel certainly has a right to defend its terrtory from attacks; I understand that’s what the missile shield is about.

  100. colnago80 says

    Re Digi Dov, Nick Gotts, and Anteprepro

    To the surprise of no one, I am perfectly prepared to defend the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. IMHO, they ended up saving lives on both side because they obviated the necessity of an invasion that would have resulted in a far greater number of casualties on both sides. The bombs were dropped and 2 days after Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. Everything else is counterfactual history.

  101. addicted44 says

    I’m convinced the end goal is indeed genocide.

    Sri Lanka basically wiped out the minority Tamil population, but the world at large ignored it because they were just happy to be done with the conflict.

    Maybe Netanyahu learned from that.

  102. laurentweppe says

    Wow, slc/colnago strikes again! For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s referring to Hitler when he mentions Frankenberger

    He also repeatedly claimed on Ed’s blog that the best way to deal with the iranian Mullahs was to “drop 15 megaton bombs” on iranian cities: the guy got genocidal fantasies mixed with a nuke fetish so cartoonish that I sometimes wonder if he’s not an elaborate poe.

    ***

    But if the Palestinians are granted the right of return, they will drive out the Jewish population–many Jews will flee voluntarily, and others will leave under threat of property seizure or violence

    Many Jews are already fleeing Israel, except it’s the mad right-wing and its unsustainable pro-upper-class policies they are fleeing. People tend to forget that Israel is already on a road to self-destruction: the Tel-Aviv high-tech bubble which so far as supported the country’s economy won’t last very long when half the intellectuals already left the country, the other half long to follow them, and the sabotage of public education by the Likud and its allies make replenishing the brainy ranks impossible. This is just another symptom that the very oppression of the palestinian people and the conflict which stems from it are making Israel’s downfall an inevitability.

    ***

    Christianists support Israel because they need it to exist for their apocalyptic fantasies to come true.

    And behind the christian right, you have all the racist nebula which perceives the ongoing conflict as white people (Israeli) slaughtering brown people (Palestinians), making it a proxy for their own fantasies about dealing with immigrants and minorities back home.

  103. Doug Hudson says

    laurentweppe @ 114,

    Excellent points. On a tangent, the racism does show how flexible white racists are about the definition of “white”–Jews aren’t “white” unless they are killing “brown people”*, in which case, hey presto! They’re white. Same thing as the Zimmerman case, Latinos aren’t usually considered “white” by the white racists, unless they kill black people.

    *In this case, “brown” largely being defined by cultural and religious markers rather than skin color.

  104. colnago80 says

    Re lauenteweppe @ #114

    Actually, it’s the other way around. Jews are fleeing France for Israel because of the growing threat of antisemitism there. Better get out while the getting is good weppe. The Jews of Great Britain and Germany will shortly follow.

  105. fernando says

    It is horrible all the losses in this stupid and criminal war.

    Palestinians or israeli lifes, it saddens me to watch the news and realize that so many lifes, so many families are being destroyed.

    And, how much ignorant about History and lacking in inteligence must be the israeli leadership? Making your country (Israel) hated by your neighbours it isn’t a good policy. Sure, it could work while you have the economic and military upper and the help of a very powerful ally (USA), but for how much more time.

    It is time to build bridges between israelis and their neighbours – for the sake of the future of Israel.

  106. colnago80 says

    Re fernando @ #117

    It’s a little hard to make friends with people who want you dead.

  107. omnicrom says

    Laurent @114

    I hear inklings of stories like that here and there. What it brings to the front is that religious extremism is really quite bad in Israel, it’s just that people are focusing so much on brown person violent religionists that they pay less mind to white person violent religionists.

  108. xavierninnis4191 says

    @78. colnago80 … its the invasion of the Israel bashers who fill up comment sections on Internet sites every time they see the word Israel show up.
    Utter bullshit. I’m an habitual lurker here and virtually every non-regular showing up to respond to this particular post has been one of you Hasbara fucks.

  109. laurentweppe says

    What it brings to the front is that religious extremism is really quite bad in Israel

    It’s not simply religious extremism: the israeli far-right contains a large secular wing which is as disgraceful as their religious counterparts.

  110. says

    If the concern that there are terrorists hiding in a residential neighborhood is such a concern that an artillery barrage is on the table- hell, on the same continent as the table- what is their justification for choosing that way to deal with it, and not, say, cordoning off the area and sending in troops to do a house by house search? Other options exist if they needed to deal with a threat or potential threat from that neighborhood. Either they are incompetent or there is more going on here. My money is on the latter.

    For the occupied territories in general, Israel needs to shit or get off the pot. If Israel feels they are justified in possessing Gaza and/or the West Bank indefinitely, they need to just go ahead and annex them already, and deal with the fallout that comes. This hasn’t been an occupation for a very long time, if it ever was. This is an annexation. They should show at least a tiny bit of integrity and actually use the word.

    If Israel really doesn’t think annexation is justified, then they need to just get the hell out of there already.

    I’d prefer Israel getting out of land that is not theirs, of course, but at least if they formalized the annexation all the cards would be on the table, and there might be a snowballs chance in hell of resolving things(though there would be a lot of blood this way)

  111. Pteryxx says

    The Guardian’s editorial on a pointless little war: (Link)

    The tunnels have not justified the huge cost in labour and building materials which Hamas has invested in them. From a rational Israeli point of view, it would be better to let Hamas go on wasting its time with tunnels while perfecting ways of spotting the raiders than to crash into Gaza in full strength to destroy the underground network physically. But this is unfortunately not a rational argument. Israeli doctrine, as it has come to operate, lays down that any threat to the populace, however small, must be met by overwhelming force. Israeli politics punishes leaders who ignore this principle. Hamas, similarly, had no military reason for going to war. But it was slipping politically, having lost its Egyptian patron and its other allies. It had been forced into a government of national unity with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, with a promise of financial help and the prospect of a lifting of Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on trade.

    Israel could have seen the new government, a potentially useful consequence of the failure of secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts to broker a peace settlement, as an opportunity to contain Hamas politically. Having the PLO back in Gaza would have been a much better way of stopping the rockets and the tunnels than a military campaign. Instead, Israel opposed the reconciliation government, and then used the abduction and murder of three yeshiva students as a pretext for a roundup of Hamas people in the West Bank. Hamas saw itself cornered with no way out except to fight.

  112. hyphenman says

    Good evening PZ,

    Meanwhile, these two bits of news hit my inbox this afternoon from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

    First:

    Donations to the Israel Emergency Assistance Fund provide care for homebound elderly and disabled adults during this time of terror; respite for tens of thousands of children fleeing rocket attacks; and, crisis counseling for Israelis who are overwhelmed by anxiety and in need of relief.

    The trauma does not go away when the missiles stop, The effects are long-lasting. Thank you for your support for the people of Israel. We are stronger together

    .

    Second (also from the Federation):

    Show your support for the people of Israel during a Solidarity Rally this Tuesday, July 22!

    We are against terror. We are for Israel.
    We are a people united.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    7 p.m.
    Mandel JCC, Safran Park
    26001 S. Woodland Road, Beachwood

    Join the Facebook event

    Parking is available at the Mandel JCC and The Temple-Tifereth Israel.
    Please bring your own chairs and blankets.
    No backpacks or large purses.

    For more information contact [email protected] or call 216.593.2900, ext. 227.

    Jeff Hess

  113. Rasmus says

    I agree with that article minus the conclusion that another war is inevitable. If South Africa could work out a peaceful solution then there is no society on Earth that couldn’t also find a solution, if given the right pressure from outside, in particular from the US. (I’m not in any way implying that that solution ought to be modeled after the South African one.)

    Since I have apparently been bashing Israel in this thread I thought I should let a mainstream Israeli perspective be heard. An op-ed by the Knesset deputy chairman Moshe Feiglin who outlines his solution (trigger warning: calls for murder and ethnic cleansing): http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.U82pLnWSyb9

  114. says

    Colnago80 writes:
    IMHO, they ended up saving lives on both side because they obviated the necessity of an invasion that would have resulted in a far greater number of casualties on both sides.

    Yeah, you’re a complete ignart about WWII, also, apparently. There was a huge military target, namely the Japanese corps that was preparing to defend the Kanto Plain by Tokyo. They expected that would be the practical path of a US invasion and had most of their remaining ground troops positioned there. 2 nuclear weapons, against that critical military target would have vaporised Japan’s ability to fight.

  115. dravid says

    Charlie E, I couldn’t have said it better than Bill Maher. I would only add the following: “If Palestine were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel” – Benjamin Netanyahu.

  116. says

    Manos Singham and his sycophants regularly bash Israel on a weekly basis.

    We wouldn’t, if Israel didn’t do bad shit on a weekly basis.

  117. says

    @ Rasmus

    If South Africa could work out a peaceful solution then there is no society on Earth that couldn’t also find a solution,

    South Africa used to have a lot in common with their (erstwhile) buddies in Israel. Politics used to be driven by a strong YHWH-endorses-us, nationalistic, backs-against-the-wall, onslaught of The Other, go-it-alone, mean spiritedness, pioneering, technology-will-save-us, if-only-the enemy-would-put-down-their-weapons-first, patriarchal, bullying, self-righteous, hierarchical, humourless, hyperbolic, conservative world view.

    The big change came with a substitution of the “verkrampte” (see description above) with the “verligte” (“enlightened”) Nationalists. FW de Klerk led a veritable “coup” against his finger wagging boss, opening the way to dialogue with the ANC. Dialogue, as opposed to armed conflict (bar a short-lived right wing backlash), resolved the issues. ¹

    You might find the change, as in South Africa, will have to come from the centre of power, ie: from within the Israeli Apartheid regime first, before they are even in a position to begin to resolve the issues. They cannot keep going on like they do. The longer it is held off, the harder will be the transition to a “verligte” Israeli state and a negotiated solution.

    if given the right pressure from outside, in particular from the US.

    The US continued to support the Apartheid state for quite a while. Nevertheless, general worldwide condemnation, particularly underlined by boycotts, helped in a very real way to bring about the realisation that change, leading to negotiation, would be the only viable option.

    (I’m not in any way implying that that solution ought to be modeled after the South African one.)

    A lot of it can. Condemn, boycott, challenge, cajole, … keep up the pressure to change attitudes from without and within. Undermine the position of that conservative, warmongering clique that currently holds the power. Israel is capitulating right now. It is capitulating to fear. South Africa used to do the same. That is what fed people like PW Botha and his regime. Removing him from power transformed all of that.


    ¹ Political issues. Many problems remain: crime, bigotry, government corruption and incompetence … for the poor the practical, bread-and-butter (as opposed to moral/political) changes have been a particular disappointment.

  118. says

    @ dravid

    “If Palestine were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel” – Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Meh… I can do better:

    If the Umkhonto (ANC armed wing) would only lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no more war. If the Boere were to lay down theirs, there would be no Volkstaat. – PW Botha (my parody of)

    What would actually have happened: Apartheid would still be as alive and well – as it is in Israel.

    (Where is the “gumby quote” when you need it?)

  119. gakxz1 says

    Ironically, Hamas would do far more for Palestinian sovereignty if it completly disarmed itself and put every bit of its effort into a really strong, peaceful, resistance movement, joining with Fatah. If they did that, the world is currently receptive and in a position to implement economic sanctions. Instead, they just stupidly fire off another rocket.

    Not that Israel is much better, between its settlers, its blockade of Gaza, its abandonment of a two state solution for a military occupation that it’s convinced itself to be necessary.

    Things are likely to drag on. Though I (who am I? some internet asshole?) think (/hope) it’s just possible there might be a breakthrough in an area that’s difficult for any of us to predict beforehand (perhaps a new Israeli government permanently haults settlment construction, causing Gazans to eventually overthrow unpopular Hamas, eventually forming a strong peaceful resistance movement, etc…).

  120. William Webb says

    Ever since Israel began it has been taking the Palestinians’ land, water, homes, olive groves, and lives. The Palestinians have every right to fight back.

  121. says

    Theophontes @ 129, 130

    Your comparison of Israelis to South African Boers is at best inept, abusive and ignorant of history. The Boers had not been living in South Africa for thousands of years, they were never a distinct ethnic group with their own religion and language, their immigration to South Africa was never due to being forced out of other countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, discriminated against, murdered, the subject of progroms or the holocaust. There was never a South African Dreyfus or Herzl.

    No, the Arab-Isaeli conflicts are not just a latter-day colonial struggle. What your comparison does is erases all of Jewish history. You are simply erasing the Jews. Making them into European colonial settlers. That’s a very useful analogy for all the forces that want simply to erase the Jews physically.

  122. Holms says

    #78
    The answer is simple, its the invasion of the Israel bashers who fill up comment sections on Internet sites every time they see the word Israel show up. Of course, Prof. Myers is a little late to this party as his blog colleague Manos Singham and his sycophants regularly bash Israel on a weekly basis.

    I like the way you neglect to mention the fact that you and StevoR have a strong habit of being the first to arrive in such comment sections, defending the honour of Israel before any other commenter has said a word against it. Oh and there is also your habit of derailing almost anything even tangentially linked to the middle east to become all about precious precious Israel, even if it had not been mentioned in the post.

    But yes, keep projecting if it comforts you.

    #112
    To the surprise of no one, I am perfectly prepared to defend the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. IMHO, they ended up saving lives on both side because they obviated the necessity of an invasion that would have resulted in a far greater number of casualties on both sides. The bombs were dropped and 2 days after Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. Everything else is counterfactual history.

    At least this time you have the minor courtesy to acknowledge that this statement is just an opinion, unlike your usual habit of presenting opinion as historical fact.

    However, you are still wrong: choosing a military target for those nukes would have made the same demonstration of superior military technology, and would have had the added benefit of not being a war crime.

    #118
    It’s a little hard to make friends with people who want you dead.

    And yet, this is precisely the demand Israel makes to the Palestinians. “Lay down your weapons, you can trust us to stop beating the shit out of you” is a bit rich if you are actively beating the shit out of someone. Oh, and stealing their land, and actively depriving them of basic necessities such as water and even foreign aid.

  123. says

    Holms @ 66 wrote about the holocaust:

    Get the fuck out of here, this is simply a blatant – and offensive – untruth. There was certainly plenty of antisemitism, but it remains that a single government was responsible for this atrocity, and the majority of Europe united against him.

    Wow. Are you ever ignorant of European history. No, it was not all a single government’s fault (Germany, a bad apple among nations, huh?). Collaboration was widespread and in many instances, most notably in France and Poland, the local occupied populations exceeded the demands of the Nazi occupier in rounding up the Jews for elimination.

  124. Doug Hudson says

    ’round and ’round the argument goes…

    I wish people would stop blathering about who is to blame and who is committing worse atrocities and start discussing actual, feasible solutions. (And no, saying that Israel should just disarm and make friends is not feasible, if for no other reason than the Israelis are understandably paranoid.)

    I think this doesn’t happen because people know, at least on some level, that there is no solution. Or at least no solution that doesn’t involve one or the other (or both) parties being forcibly moved. And so the finger pointing and the breast beating continues while Israel slowly strangles Gaza to death.

    Again, I don’t disagree with PZ, I see no reason for the US to continue supporting Israel. Though I do disagree with his suggestion that the Jews should know better than to engage in ethnic cleansing. On the contrary, I think it’s not surprising that the lesson they learned from the Holocaust was “do it to them before they do it to us.”

  125. hyphenman says

    @chimera (previously Bicarbonate) No. 133

    Glenn Greenwald wrote:Rather than lard up the point with numerous defensive caveats about what is and is not being said here (which, in any event, never impede willful media distorters in their tactics), I’ll simply note [that] to compare aspects of A and B is not to posit that A and B are identical (e.g., to observe that Bermuda and Bosnia are both countries beginning with the letter “B” is not to depict them as the same, just as observing that both the U.S. in 2003 and Germany in 1938 launched aggressive wars in direct violation of what were to become the Nuremberg Principles is not to equate the two countries).

  126. says

    Hyphenman

    Yes but humans do not only reason in logical form. Analogical and metaphorical thinking are used constantly. Everyone knows that Romeo’s Juliet was not the star at the center of our solar system but when Romeo says “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon…” we all also know what he means. And we all also know that Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters. But none of that untruth can stop us from understanding the scene and attributing characteristics to the situation and to Romeo and Juliet: if Juliet is the sun then she is … beautiful, blinding, a source of warmth, life, light and so on. And if Romeo thinks Juliet is the sun then he is hopelessly besotted. It matters little that Juliet and the sun are not identical, that a metaphor is a gross violation of identity and logical form or that none of this ever happened anyway, we can automatically draw if/then consequences from “Juliet is the sun”.

    Comparing the situation in Palestine to South Africa is a common trope. It frames the conflict, generates the attribution of characteristics and motivations to the players, and provides a scenario for resolution to the conflict for activists in the West: If we just boycott and impose enough sanctions on Israel then we will get a one-state solution, a rainbow republic and we can all feel good about it. It also, overwhelmingly, attributes the source of the conflict to racism, a kind of racism likened to the racism of whites against blacks, that resounds very deeply in the conscious of Americans in particular. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict does not have to be identical or even very much like what happened in South Africa for the trope to work, particularly in the minds of people who don’t know too much about the history of the conflict. The trope is a hefty political tool.

  127. hyphenman says

    @chimera (previously Bicarbonate)

    Yes. That is true, you are absolutely right.

    Many, if not most, are likely to make that leap. That does not, however, suggest that the leap is a correct one (as our mothers’ warned us about friends jumping off bridges).

    If asked 30 years ago when I was first involved in the apartheid fight I would not have thought
    President Nelson Mandela and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could have been possible. History and courage beyond my understanding proved me wrong.

    I do think there are lessons to be learned from the South African experience that can, and should be applied to the present abominable situation in Israel and Occupied Palestine.

    Jeff

  128. says

    @ chimera

    Your comparison of Israelis to South African Boers is at best inept, abusive and ignorant of history.

    We are not talking about history. We are talking about Palestinian civilians being killed right now, as we argue. We are talking about inept Israeli politicians, and an abusive IDF as they are behaving right now. Real time… as in switch on your fucking TV! Stop being ignorant of what is going down at this very moment.

    As for the South African aspect: You can speak to South Africans right now. Those that lived through all that KAK a mere thirty years ago, and are telling you not to go down that same road.

    The Boers had not been living in South Africa for thousands of years, they were never a distinct ethnic group with their own religion and language, their immigration to South Africa was never due to being forced out of other countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, discriminated against, murdered, the subject of progroms or the holocaust.

    Dafuk? The boers were the first to suffer full blown fucking concentration camps. They experienced all the same shit that Israel metes out to the Palestinians. Wives and children herded into concentration camps as punishment for the Boer freedom fighters actions. And then, years later, after suffering so much for freedom and independence… my GOD they should have known better … they treated black South Africans in much the same abusive manner.

    If you know Jewish history, as you claim, then you would also be attacking this same type of hypocrisy in the Jewish state.

    There was never a South African Dreyfus or Herzl.

    There was never an Israeli Mandela, nor a Hani. More is the pity, as I would then not have to spell it all out for you.

    No, the Arab-Isaeli conflicts are not just a latter-day colonial struggle.

    Afrikaner domination of South African politics cannot be simplified down to a matter of “a latter-day colonial struggle”. The forces at work were not in any way less potent, nor profoundly (in)human than what is going on in Gaza today. You are not a special little snowflake. What we all witness today is not less iniquity than what happened in the darkest days of Apartheid.

    What your comparison does is erases all of Jewish history.

    A statement like that is supposed to negate mine own history? Fuck YHWH but you are being arrogant.

    Jewish history should teach that iniquity should always be resisted, ridiculed, and removed.

    You are simply erasing the Jews. Making them into European colonial settlers. That’s a very useful analogy for all the forces that want simply to erase the Jews physically.

    Your neotribal jingoism is just as relevant if we substitute “Boere” for “Jews”. I am not erasing anyone. Apartheid (both historical and contemporary) is steeped in a colonial (or at least a subjugating) attitude. No-one here wants to erase the Jews, or the Afrikaner, physically. I would just like to see a little change in attitude, and a lot less warmongering and violence.

  129. colnago80 says

    Re Holms @ #134

    Looking back over this thread, I notice that I didn’t show up until comment 78 and StevoR has yet to make an appearance. The Israel bashers like you were out in force before that.

    Re Marcus Ranum @ #126

    So ole Marcus criticizes the US government for bombing the wrong target. I wonder how many people in Tokyo would have been killed if Truman and the Joint Chiefs had followed his advice.

    By the way, the charge is made that if the demand that the Emperor be dethroned had been dropped earlier, Japan would have surrendered and there would have been no necessity for dropping the bombs. Aside from that being Monday morning quarterbacking and 20 20 hindsight, it should be pointed out that, even as the Enola Gay was winging its way towards Hiroshima, the high command of the Japanese Army was in the final stages of a plot to overthrow the Emperor because he was in favor of capitulation. They were perfectly prepared to fight to the last man. In fact, it is likely that the demand for dethroning the Emperor was dropped after the bombs were dropped because US intelligence discovered that the Emperor was part of the peace party in Japan.

  130. colnago80 says

    Re theophontes @ #140

    The IDF is being handcuffed by the politicians in Jerusalem, who seem more concerned with minimizing Palestinian casualties then with minimizing IDF casualties. They’re doing the best that they can under the onerous restrictions on rules of engagement. If this were any other armed force in Middle East engaging the Hamas terrorists, the death toll in the Gaza Strip would be 10 times or more then what the IDF has inflicted so far. Don’t believe it, I refer you to the events in the City of Hama in 1982 when 25,000 people were killed during a 2 week bombardment carried out by several hundred artillery pieces that surrounded the town. We might also refer to the current events in Iraq and Syria. So far, the death toll in Syria is more then 300 times greater then the death toll in Gaza. In fact, more Palestinians were killed in an attack by the Syrian Army/Hizbollah in a refugee camp north of Damascus then have been killed so far in Gaza.

  131. Nick Gotts says

    It also, overwhelmingly, attributes the source of the conflict to racism – chimera@138

    And indeed, such racism is a major source of the conflict. There is appalling prejudice from many on both sides, but since racism is prejudice plus power, it is Palestinians (and Israeli Arabs) who are the victims of racism in the current situation.

    If you dispute the existence of widespread anti-Arab prejudice among Israeli Jews, you are flying in the face of abundant evidence:

    According to a 2006 poll conducted by Geocartographia for the Centre for the Struggle Against Racism, 41% of Israelis support Arab-Israeli segregation, 40% believed “the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens”, and 63% believed Arabs to be a “security and demographic threat” to Israel. The poll found that more than two thirds would not want to live in the same building as an Arab, 36% believed Arab culture to be inferior, and 18% felt hatred when they heard Arabic spoken.

    In 2007, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel reported that anti-Arab views had doubled, and anti-Arab racist incidents had increased by 26%. The report quoted polls that suggested 50% of Jewish Israelis do not believe Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights, 50% said they wanted the government to encourage Arab emigration from Israel, and 75% of Jewish youths said Arabs were less intelligent and less clean than Jews.

  132. says

    Nick Gotts

    Yeah well that’s undeniably true. And also, I believe, common knowledge. Note, however, that the statistics you quote are not stable

    In 2007, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel reported that anti-Arab views had doubled.

    This raises the question of whether this racism is a source of the conflict or a contributing factor to it or a consequence and if any, some or all of those choices to what degree.

  133. says

    Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, and Phillip Weiss, regularly cited by Prof. Mano Singham on FTB. These are the left wing equivalent of Don Black of Stormfront and David Duke.

    Really? Are they really that bad, colnago? Really that blindly bigoted?

    Aren’t they Jewish?

  134. says

    @ colnago80

    The IDF is being handcuffed by the politicians in Jerusalem, who seem more concerned with minimizing Palestinian casualties then with minimizing IDF casualties.

    They would otherwise do what? You are being ingenuous here.

    They’re doing the best that they can under the onerous restrictions on rules of engagement.

    The moral weight of third parties presses down so on the opressor, no wonder they feel oppressed!

    If this were any other armed force in Middle East engaging the Hamas terrorists, the death toll in the Gaza Strip would be 10 times or more then what the IDF has inflicted so far.

    I was told the Russians ate their children! I yet still refused to go to Angola.

    Your point is what exactly? SANDF killed less than the SS therefore what? They where the good guys? The IDF kills less than ISIS, therefore they’re currently the good guys?

    I would love Israel to succeed. But not with what they are doing in Gaza. I would they succeed … in a humane, equitous fashion to be as much as they can be. I wish they could see they are headed down a wasteful, dead-end in which everyone loses. I merely present a case study of how bad it can get. Yet also how a tiny change in attitude can lead to dialogue, can lead to a way forward.


    PS: Why the fuck are you always defending the abominable StevoR? He has no skin in the game and hates for the sake of hating.

  135. says

    @ SC

    Aren’t they Jewish?


    Othering
    is so much easier to explain in black & white terms:

    You see, you had “honorary whites” for non-whites that (at least superficially) didn’t rock the boat. As opposed to people of the same skin colour who DID rock the boat… kaffirboeties and such.

  136. colnago80 says

    Re Salty Current @ #146

    Mano Singham is certainly not Jewish. The others are self hating Jews.

    Re theophontes @ #147

    The IDF should take a page from the Hafaz Assad playbook and apply Hama Rules on the Gaza Strip. No need for an invasion.

    Why the fuck are you always defending the abominable StevoR

    Most people think I am more abominable then StevoR.

  137. says

    @ colnago80

    The IDF should take a page from the Hafaz Assad playbook and apply Hama Rules on the Gaza Strip. No need for an invasion.

    I am not saying that Hamas, Assad, ANC did not do some horrible things too. That does not excuse the Israelis though. They are not the special snowflakes they claim to be.

    The civilised notion is to stop blaming (even though the Israelis are guilty of a lot of bad things) and talk to each other. Iron out differences and move forward. The longer things fester, the more harm they cause. Palestinians are merely Jews who lost the faith (in an imaginary being, may I remind you), the Jews are merely Jews who mingled some “holy” DNA. How different is that really?

    Most people think I am more abominable then StevoR.

    OK then: Why the fuck is abominable StevoR supporting more abominable you?

    (“You are less of an idiot and thereby do more damage.” Is that the right answer?)

  138. says

    Mano Singham is certainly not Jewish.

    Nor was I suggesting that, obviously. But thank you for reminding me of this post concerning his own relevant background.

    The others are self hating Jews.

    (You left out Amy Goodman, though I guess Singham doesn’t cite DN! very often.) I suppose it does simplify things if you can characterize even your Jewish opponents as vicious anti-Semites.

  139. colnago80 says

    Re theophontes @ #150

    Hey, I am all in favor of negotiations. The problem is that the Hamas folks have as a non-negotiable demand that the Government of Israel agree to go out of business.

  140. says

    @ colnago80

    Hey, I am all in favor of negotiations. The problem is that the Hamas ANC folks have as a non-negotiable demand that the Government of Israel South Africa agree to go out of business.

    WTF! This is exactly what I was proposing with the fucking real life case study I presented. YES!!! Get rid of the fucking obnoxious fucking shit-for-brains government and negotiate a NEW GOVERNMENT.

    The King is dead, long live the King!

    Nothing new. Not that fucking difficult. Even the fucking (inferior by chimera‘s fucking lights) South Africans could get that right, even in their fucking inferiority to the Israelis. (Who can’t sort out a problem of their own creation.)

    I am going blue in the face. What the everloving fuck is so incredibly hard to understand? Stop shooting, start talking damnit. People are dying.

    What do you want? Must I organise an All South African Jewish Delegation to fly all the way to Israel to explain the facts of life to their brethren? What is it that you need to stop the hurt?

  141. laurentweppe says

    Hey, I am all in favor of negotiations. The problem is that the Hamas folks have as a non-negotiable demand that the Government of Israel agree to go out of business.

    The thing is, the Genocide fetichist #1 is here involuntarily confessing something important: like a great many self-proclaimed “pro-israelis”, he identifies and take the side of the israeli upper-class, whose interests differ a lot from the israeli hoi polloi.

    Case in point: it is vital for israeli plebeians that the colonization cease if their country is to have a shot at long term survival, since they can’t afford a “Get back to the Western hemisphere pronto while preserving a comfortable upper-class lifestyle” exit strategy. On the other hand, the collapse of the hebrew state wouldn’t be as much a tragedy for the local patricians, while ending the colonization would also dismantle the large captive voting block right-wing parties rely upon and jeopardize the ayn-randification of the Israeli state achieved by the Likud and its accomplices.

  142. colnago80 says

    Re theophontes @ #153

    By the Government of Israel agree to go out of business, I mean that the Government of Israel agree that the State of Israel agree to go out of business.

    Re laurentweppe @ #156

    Better leave France while the leaving is good. The German Jews waited too long to attempt to leave Germany after the takeover by Schicklgruber and were shit out of luck.

  143. colnago80 says

    Re Salty Current @ #

    Greenwald on his new site has two posts on the subject of the Gaza operation. Both of them reek of Israel hatred and are borderline antisemitic. However, his commenters are even worse, as bad as anything on Stormfront and David Duke’s site. The attached link is to the first one. When I commented that if Greenwald was so foolish as to enter the Gaza Strip, as an out of the closet gay man he would be fortunate to exit other then feet first. His response was to state that he had no obligation to march in lock step with other gay men. I then challenged him to enter the Gaza Strip and interview Hams strongman Ishmael Haniyeh, as reporter Jeffrey Goldberg has done. Apparently, Greenwald considers discretion to be the better part of valor and has not responded.

    I didn’t see anyone claiming that Netanyahu = Frankenberger but I did see Netanyahu = Goebbels.

    http://goo.gl/zQ3f0e

  144. Holms says

    #131
    Ironically, Hamas would do far more for Palestinian sovereignty if it completly disarmed itself and put every bit of its effort into a really strong, peaceful, resistance movement, joining with Fatah. If they did that, the world is currently receptive and in a position to implement economic sanctions. Instead, they just stupidly fire off another rocket.

    This is a great example of a double standard that continues to baffle me, and it always crops up in any Israel / Palestine conversation. Essentially, Israel’s violence is excused because they are under attack and self-defense is their only option (never mind the fact that they are currently the aggressor…); meanwhile, Palestine’s violence is not given the same free pass despite the logic being wqually applicable. Instead, they are scolded that the best way to end the (completely unjust) violence against them is to lay down their arms and refrain from self defense.

    Magnanimous Israel is of course totes trustworthy – they’ll immediately end the aggression (no mention of stopping the land theft though) and everything will be rainbows and lollipops.

    #135
    No, it was not all a single government’s fault (Germany, a bad apple among nations, huh?). Collaboration was widespread and in many instances, most notably in France and Poland, the local occupied populations exceeded the demands of the Nazi occupier in rounding up the Jews for elimination.

    Conquered peoples capitulated to the demands of the conqueror? No way! Not that there was no anti-semitism elsewhere – hostility towards the jewish, gay, Roma etc. was abundant – but it remains that only one government had an explicit policy of extirmination.

    #141
    Looking back over this thread, I notice that I didn’t show up until comment 78 and StevoR has yet to make an appearance. The Israel bashers like you were out in force before that.

    …And? Perhaps my statement that you and StevoR have a ‘strong habit of of being the first to arrive’ was misleadingly worded, giving you the impression that I was explicitly stating that the two of you arrive first every single time. That was not what I was trying to convery. To reword for clarity: you and StevoR have a strong tendency of arriving early in such comment sections.

    I note that you have no reply to the other points I made:
    – even if we accept the use of nukes, it remains that they should have been aimed at a military target rather than civilian.
    – you are applying your ‘stop being aggressive’ lecture to one side only, and worse yet, to the side that is currently being invaded, as opposed to the nation doing the invading and the bulk of the killing.

    #143
    The IDF is being handcuffed by the politicians in Jerusalem, who seem more concerned with minimizing Palestinian casualties then with minimizing IDF casualties. They’re doing the best that they can under the onerous restrictions on rules of engagement.

    You’re saying that the situation would actually be worse if not for those meddling kids orders from their own government to ease up on the butchery? Not exactly a shining endorsement of the IDF.

    Also, since when is ‘slaughter less civilians’ (or perhaps ‘do less warcrimes’) ever fucking onerous? This is why people get the idea that you are a hideous warmonger btw.

    #149
    Mano Singham is certainly not Jewish. The others are self hating Jews.

    The self hating jew, one of the most patronising concepts ever. No mention of the fact that these particular jewish people have their own agency and can consider and come to the own conclusions, nope, jews that disagree with Israel’s aggression are dismissed as ‘self hating’. Fuck that noise.

    The IDF should take a page from the Hafaz Assad playbook and apply Hama Rules on the Gaza Strip. No need for an invasion.

    Oh right, no need to invade… just obliterate them. Disgusting. Maybe next you can complete your lack-of-learning-from-history tour de force by saying that this policy is justified because jews were previously on the recieving end of that same policy.

    #152
    Hey, I am all in favor of negotiations. The problem is that the Hamas folks have as a non-negotiable demand that the Government of Israel agree to go out of business.

    No. The demand is actually that Israel stop attacking and retreat to their original borders, but that is only ‘non-negotiable’ because Israel does not want to stop stealing, nor return what they have stolen.

  145. Holms says

    @160
    I saw no anti-semitism there, but rather an astute observation. Goebbels minimised the plight of the jews by saying that they were just making themselves look oppressed so as to garner sympathy, in an effort to dismiss their claims of oppression. Netenyahu is minimising the plight of the Palestinians by saying that they are just making themselves look oppressed so as to garner sympathy, in an effort to dismiss their claims of oppression.

    Pretty apt.

  146. laurentweppe says

    You’re saying that the situation would actually be worse if not for those meddling kids orders from their own government to ease up on the butchery? Not exactly a shining endorsement of the IDF.

    It almost sounds like an endorsement for a military coup or for the purge of every non-far-rightist members from the government.
    One may have mistakenly thought that Strangelove’s fanboy insistence that Israel wasn’t as bad as the Assad dynasty was an attempt to set the bar as low as possible to make lavish praises of the israeli regime look somewhat pertinent.
    In fact, these comparisons were expression of dissatisfaction: Fanboy wants the state of Israel to become a murderous ethnicist dictatorship, and these pesky elected officials are getting in the way. Once again, I seriously wonder if he’s not an antisemite who decided to spread his hatred by masquerading as the most ridiculously cartoonish “pro-israeli” armchair general.

  147. colnago80 says

    Re Holms @ #161

    No. The demand is actually that Israel stop attacking and retreat to their original borders, but that is only ‘non-negotiable’ because Israel does not want to stop stealing, nor return what they have stolen.

    Ole Holms has joined the 100% wrong club. The Hamas charter specifically says that they will never recognize Israel and that all of Palestine belongs to the Arabs.

  148. anteprepro says

    Re Salty Current @ #146

    Mano Singham is certainly not Jewish. The others are self hating Jews.

    So now they are self-hating Jews. When before they were akin to the leader of the KKK. Riiiight. We totally believe you.

    (“Self-hating Jew” is itself an anti-semitic stereotype. Somehow I bet if we put colnago and Mark “JEWISH BANKERS OMFG” in a cage together, colnago wouldn’t put up a peep about anti-semitism. Because he seems to only care about Jews insofar as they are useful in his debates in favor of Israel)

  149. gakxz1 says

    @Holms 161

    No double standard, after the bit about Hamas, I proceeded to say condemn Israel. I’d say this for Hamas: there aren’t any Israeli settelers in Gaza these days, so it’s not to say they haven’t a purpose. But where does tunnel building and indiscriminately launched rockets factor in as self defence? Point is, don’t hold up every party that resists Israel, because some are liable to be horrible. They were rightly not popular in Gaza before this most recent skirmish. I repeat: it’s better Gazans show them the door, and then whoever stands in their place can get back to the business of independence.

  150. Holms says

    #164
    Here’s another self hating Jew who could become the next prime minister of Great Britain. What a putz.

    Did you miss the bit where I pointed out how stupid that term is? Obviously not, since you are replying to it. I can only conclude then that you are simply refusing to engage because you have realised you are unable to refute the points made.

    Oh well, at least progress is being made. I’ll take your tacit admission that you are wrong (or at least, can’t refute me) over your usual dishonest waffle.

    The Hamas charter specifically says that they will never recognize Israel and that all of Palestine belongs to the Arabs.

    Which they retracted in 2009, stating a willingness to recognise a two state solution… right up until Israel demonstrated that they wanted no such solution by invading Palestine yet again. How strange.

  151. Holms says

    @169
    Then why are you putting the onus entirely on Gazans to remove their violent leader, but not on the Israelis to remove theirs? Especially in light of the fact that the harm inflicted skews heavily against said Gazans.

    As you point out, Hamas was not popular there, but that changed when they were invaded again. It seems likely to me that that reversal was largely due to the fruitlessness in trying to avoid invasion and oppression through peaceful means. The hatred of Israel felt by Palestinians was heavily (though not entirely) fuelled by Israeli treatment of Palestine.

  152. dravid says

    Reading the comments from the Anti-Israel brigade only hardens my view that Israel’s stance is correct. Hamas will not rest until Israel is wiped of the map. This conflict goes back to 1948 and earlier however the UN resolution and subsequent establishment of Israel led to war. The Arabs lost in 1948, 1967, and 1973 and will continue to lose because Israelis have no where else to go. The only option is “Might is right” or destruction. In any case Israel is a democracy and the only one in the region and I read some of the comments above with disgust because of the outright lies and obvious bias and use of false equivalence. There are nearly 50 Muslim countries in the world for 1.6 Billion people and only ONE small country for 8 Million people who Hamas has sworn to murder. I am happy to declare my bias, my Jewish forebears left Europe from the 1840s to the 1920s: Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine for England, Australia and the USA. Many of the relatives stayed in Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine to be Murdered by the Germans and their own (christian) countrymen, particularly in Latvia. I know many of their names and how they died as do the Israelis of their families. Someone used the word Paranoia, that’s the wrong word. “If you forget history”…….. never again. So if you don’t like it, too fucking bad.

  153. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    The Hamas charter specifically says that they will never recognize Israel and that all of Palestine belongs to the Arabs.

    My neighbor in the US specifically said trannies should be raped to death and that neither he nor the world will ever accept trans* folk as actual human beings.

    That’s why when I invaded his house and killed his children the cops said, “Good show!”

  154. anteprepro says

    Anti-Israel Brigade, huh, dravid? Fuck off.

    This is why we can’t we actually discuss this shit in this country. Blatant fucking right-wing projection. Dismissal of the actual arguments and dogmatists pretending that Teh Other Side are the real dogmatists. I mean, for fuck’s fucking sake, I guarantee that virtually every allegedly “Anti-Israel” commenter here would be equally considered “Anti-Palestine” from an Equal and Opposite Reactionary’s point of view. I know that I am Anti and Pro both of them, because their conflict is a fucking mess. But the point is that the Pro-Israel gets more clout politically and they CONSISTENTLY ignore the fact that Israel isn’t as saintly as they like to pretend. And then people like colnago and dravid, like clockwork, come in to bleat about “Anti-Israel” bias, and say “self-defense” and compare people even mildly criticizing Israel to Nazis. It is all such a fucking farce.

  155. gakxz1 says

    @171

    Both Israel and Gaza should remove their leaders. I’d imagine yes, if Hamas went away, there would of course still be millitant groups in Gaza, and Israel would still, every 5ish years, convince itself that it was time to come in and sweap the border, at least under this government.

    Israel*does* have legitimate security concerns, and I can’t think of another nation that would not react when getting bombarded. Of course, a) a great deal of those security concerns were brought about by their blockade of Gaza, and b) those concerns don’t justify thousands of civilian casualties every 5 years.

    I think both Hamas and Israel are products of this long war, and at this point it’s easier to go with the usual carnage than to risk something novel, because danger might lerk behind novelty (and why risk that when both have well oiled military machines that’ll produce about the same, familiar, deadly, results)

  156. colnago80 says

    Re Holms @ #170

    Which they retracted in 2009, stating a willingness to recognise a two state solution… right up until Israel demonstrated that they wanted no such solution by invading Palestine yet again

    Citation needed. It is my understanding that the Hamas Government offered a 10 year truce but at no time agreed to recognize the State of Israel.

    Incidentally, from articles in the Israeli press, it appears that Bibi and Co. are reluctant to remove the Hamas Government from power because they think there are worse terrorists lurking in the shadows, particularly ISIL followers. In their view, the Hamas guys are at least semi-sane, the ISIL guys are totally nuts.

    Re 173

    If your neighbor fired shots at your house, the cops would arrest him and cart him away.

  157. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @colnago, #176

    If your neighbor fired shots at your house, the cops would arrest him and cart him away.

    Well heavens to betsy, are you advocating that when violence is directed toward me, that I leave it to a neutral party? Are you saying that the law applies to me even when I face a terrible threat?

    Be careful. You’ve come dangerously close to saying I’m not a self-hating Jew.

  158. Holms says

    Next he’ll accidentally admit that not only are you not allowed to simply pre-emptively murder people that threaten you with violence, but also that their violent feelings towards you are the result of you continually breaking into their house, beating them up, and stealing their stuff.

    “Which they retracted in 2009, stating a willingness to recognise a two state solution… right up until Israel demonstrated that they wanted no such solution by invading Palestine yet again”

    Citation needed. It is my understanding that the Hamas Government offered a 10 year truce but at no time agreed to recognize the State of Israel.

    We are both partially correct. Hamas wanted the ceasefire and 1967 borders as I said, but would only engage in talks via America rather than Israel. So, the article was less strong than I remembered… you finally have a partial point! Pity you were forced to drop all those other points, though.

  159. colnago80 says

    Re #177

    Unfortunately in the case of Israel, there is no police force to arrest the Hamas terrorists so they are forced to do the job themselves. I assume that Crip Dyke lives somewhere where there is such a police force.

  160. Holms says

    @179
    You are avoiding the obvious fact that even if Israel is forced to do the police work, they must still keep their actions legal.

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