Support for Israel hemorrhaging


The latest assault by Israel on Gaza has furthered the process in which Israel is losing support worldwide and also among Jews in the US, especially among the young, who do not buy in to the idea that Israel faces some existential threat that requires massive and disproportionate attacks on Palestinians. Instead what they see is a reactionary government backed by the US that is using its massive military power to oppress people that they have displaced from their homes.

Movements like Jewish Voice for Peace and Open Hillel are breaking away from the idea that they must be silent when Israel does things that violate international norms. They argue that the only way that there will be peace in the Middle East is if Palestinians are granted the rights and dignity due to them and Israel is required to conform to the same standards as any other nation.

Lawrence Wechsler describes the toll that is taking on Jews in the US, for so long a major progressive force in US politics and who have been at the forefront of social justice movements, to now be called upon to support a state that acts counter to the very ideals that they have long held dear.

I know, I know, and I am bone tired of being told it, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is plenty of blame to go around, but by this point after coming on almost 50 years of Israeli stemwinding and procrastinatory obfuscation, I’d put the proportionate distribution of blame at about the same level as the mortality figures—which is, where are we today (what with Wednesday morning’s four children killed while out playing on a Gaza beach)? What, 280 to 2?

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.

He points out something that is often overlooked. We marvel at the absurdity of bloody conflicts between groups split by razor-thin differences. But the Palestinian-Israeli divide is barely less ridiculous.

And I’m tired, finally, of hearing people marveling at the insane sectarian rifts between Shiites and Sunnis, or Serbs and Bosnians, or Tutsis and Hutus, as if they themselves could never fall into such primordial, atavistic blood feuds. For what else is the Palestinian/Israeli divide at this point, these two Semitic Peoples of the Book, than just one more inchoate, incomprehensible, sectarian vendetta?

As a further indication of how Israel is losing support, look at this interview of a British Channel 4 newsperson interviewing an Israeli spokesperson. No major US media figure would even press an Israeli spokesperson like this because they would be yanked off the air immediately. The UK as a nation is also extremely sympathetic to Israel but this interview shows how increasingly isolated its disproportionate attacks towards Palestinians are making it.

In the US, unconditional support for Israel is now found mainly in Congress and the mainstream media and Rapture-focused evangelical Christians. But even congresspersons are being challenged on the support for Israel by ordinary citizen, such as Connecticut senator Chris Murphy who at a picnic was grilled by his constituents about his co-sponsorship of the recent resolution supporting Israel.

Expect to see more like that, with other PEP senators (Progressive Except for Palestine) like Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Bernie Sanders being questioned as to when they will stop groveling to the Israel lobby and do what is right.

Comments

  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Support for Hamas killing innocent people and starting wars is unchanged and high as ever – at least on Mano Singham’s blog.

    Plus a lot of the usual FTB pro-Islamist lobby.

    Dafucks is wrong with the usual suspects here?

    Hamas. Flippin’ Hamas. They would be the bad guys here. They are the one’s who have responsibility for what is going on now and all – yes *all* the consequences of it.

    (Not Israel. Not me and any brave and rare others who would point the stark and rather obvious reality out.)

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ Beatrice from Pharnygula where you are allowed to spout fecal vomit (personal abuse that is utterly wrong and without any factual basis) and I’m not allowed to speak sense and argue logic anymore :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/07/17/thunderdome-52/comment-page-1/#comment-822425

    I’m despicable?

    You are the one is supporting Hamas – do you even have the faintest understanding of who they are, what they want and what they’ve done?

    I very much doubt it – and, of course, you are not facing Hamas rockets nor are your family and friends and country.

    Oh and the fact that you talk about me in places where I cannot defend myself, gee how very gutless and unfair of you. Your lack of logical rebuttal arguments and resort to mere personal abuse based solely on your own anti-Semitic opinion has been noted and condemns you with your won words.

    Those who think I’m wrong – ask yourself this – Hamas could have prevented this and can stop it at any time by stopping firing their rockets at Israel. Why do y’all think that is okay and why don’t they do that?

    Hamas hate Israel more than they love their own children.
    That is why they are wrong and why they deserve no sympathy at all.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    StevoR… – Martin Luther King, Jr, could also have prevented all the violence in Selma, Alabama, by just staying home and shutting up.

  4. AndrewD says

    StevoR, what do your comments remind me of,

    aaah yes “This dog is dangerous, it bites when attacked”

  5. says

    “All civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can … it’s gruesome,” Netanyahu said. “They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead the better.”

    Now look, what you made us do to ourselves because, when history gives us a chance to look like monsters, we simply cannot not take it.

  6. says

    you are not facing Hamas rockets nor are your family and friends and country.

    And you don’t live in Gaza, in case that fact eluded your insightful analysis.

  7. says

    Hamas could have prevented this and can stop it at any time by stopping firing their rockets at Israel.

    Wheeee!!! Let’s play a round of “stupid hypotheticals”!!!! It’s a fun game. Since you’ve already taken your turn, here’s mine:
    Israel could have prevented this by not displacing palestinians from their homes and land, then walling them off under military occupation, and occasionally killing them.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR, I’m sure if you were a moderate Palestinian living in Gaza, and your family had just been wiped out by an Israeli strike, you’d know who to blame, right? Israel is Hamas’ best recruiting tool.

    Israel in effect created Hamas, because they considered secular Palestinians their main enemies, and tolerated the Islamicists who attacked them. The enemy of my enemy, and all that. Rarely ends well.

  9. says

    Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN that Israel is justified in taking action to protect itself from attacks launched from Gaza, though he acknowledged that the civilian impact of the conflict is unsettling.

    “Nobody, no human being can be comfortable with children being killed, but we’re not comfortable with Israeli soldiers being killed either,” he said Sunday.

    I liked Kerry better when he was complaining about how the US was shooting Vietnamese civilians in the free fire zones, and threw his medals away but later didn’t because it was politically expedient. What a disgusting hypocrite. I wonder if he was so horrible when he was younger, or whether all those years of wealth and power finally took their toll?

  10. says

    How unsurprising that the advocate of genocide by nuclear weapons shows up to advocate genocide against an unarmed civilian population.

    It doesn’t matter whether the civilian population of Gaza is willingly or unwillingly acting as “human shields”. What matters is that punishing Danish civilians for the acts of the Danish Resistance was deemed a war crime at Nuremberg in 1945, and it remains a war crime now as Israel does the exact same things, punishing unarmed civilians for the actions of Hamas.

  11. doublereed says

    I do think it’s rather strange to be comparing civilian deaths as some sort of tally. Isn’t that just a completely bizarre way to talk about military action in general? It’s not like it’s supposed to be Israeli civilians vs Palestinian civilians. What, is it more justified if the Palestinians actually managed to kill more Israelis?

  12. Dunc says

    Hamas could have prevented this and can stop it at any time by stopping firing their rockets at Israel.

    Even when the rocket attacks have ceased in the past, the blockade of Gaza has remained in place, the demolitions of Palestinian houses have continued, the expansion of illegal settlements has continued, and Israeli border guards have continued to fire on unarmed Palestinians, including children.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR @1:

    Not me and any brave and rare others who would point the stark and rather obvious reality out.

    Yeah, the 81st Chairborne deserve medals all around. Anonymous internet commenters risk being banned from some sites; the world weeps. News at 11.

  14. Armored Scrum Object says

    @Marcus Ranum #9: Did Kerry seriously just equate the killing of professional military members with the killing of unarmed children? What. The. Fuck. I mean, sure, from a humanist perspective one can say that nobody deserves to die and we’re all diminished when anyone dies. But that doesn’t make all deaths equally outrageous and saddening.

    @ Rob Grigjanis #8:

    Israel in effect created Hamas, because they considered secular Palestinians their main enemies, and tolerated the Islamicists who attacked them. The enemy of my enemy, and all that. Rarely ends well.

    I’m surely not the first to say something like this, but this also looks like a dynamic I’ve seen before. Extremists on both sides of a conflict sometimes develop a sort of twisted alliance because extremism in general loses its credibility and eventually its overall mindshare if the fires of fear and rage aren’t regularly stoked. It becomes politically expedient for both sides to escalate the conflict — at least temporarily — because then you’re “taking action” and “confronting the threat” and can deride the opposition as insufficiently patriotic cowards who sympathize with The Enemy and don’t care enough about the welfare of Our People.

  15. kraut says

    http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html
    “THE LACK of an Israeli political aim is the outcome of muddled thinking. The Israeli leadership, both political and military, does not really know how to deal with Hamas.

    It may already have been forgotten that Hamas is largely an Israeli creation. During the first years of the occupation, when any political activity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was brutally suppressed, the only place where Palestinians could meet and organize was the mosque.”

  16. says

    Did Kerry seriously just equate the killing of professional military members with the killing of unarmed children? What. The. Fuck

    I did not edit his comments, what I posted was “as reported”

    we’re all diminished when anyone dies

    I agree. We must judge people’s violence on their ability to be violent In other words, we should not blame Mike Tyson if he punches a toddler, in the same way as if the toddler punches Mike Tyson. Why is this? For the simple reason that if we grant Tyson agency, we should assume that he knows his punch will be more effective and damaging against a toddler, than the toddler’s against him. It is for this reason that we consider it more tragic when a soldier kills an unarmed civilian – for the soldier to do so is easier, more likely to work out in the soldier’s favor, thus disproportionately unfair.

    This recent episode of Philosophy Bites ( http://philosophybites.com/2014/07/sparing-civilians-in-war.html ) has some thought-provoking explanations of the problem of assigning blame (and degree of responsibility) for civilian deaths in war. I highly recommend it. One aspect of the problem I had not considered is that it’s possible to have scenarios in which a uniformed member of the military is less blameful in civilian deaths than a civilian; I really hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s a good argument – highly recommended investment of 30 minutes of your time.

  17. Mobius says

    Apparently, for Chris Murphy being civil means not asking questions he doesn’t want to answer.

    Decades ago, in my youth, I supported Israel. But I finally came to realize that Israel was not just defending itself, but was persecuting the Palestinians as well Its policies with respect to Gaza and the West Bank have been horribly discriminatory.

    The Israeli government has been nothing but reactionary in this conflict. It has just continued the tit-for-tat that has been going on for decades. There is no effort on the part of Israel to resolve the issues involved. Without the political will to reach a resolution, things will just continue to spiral out of control with civilians on both sides paying the price. The news caster has it right. The Israeli government does not have the courage to seek a permanent solution.

  18. says

    As an addendum to the previous – one thing we often hear is that insurgents are “cowardly” in how they fight. This is a lie. In fact, the situation is exactly the opposite; it’s telling that the lie is usually told by the powerful, who are unhappy that the less powerful are refusing to play to their strong suit.

    As the man said in The Battle of Algiers, when confronted by the Frenchman who said that he was a coward for putting bombs in baby carriages: “Give me some of your supersonic ‘Mystere’ fighter jets and I won’t need the baby carriages, anymore.”

    I’ve heard similar things voiced by some people I know (I won’t call serving military my friends) who felt the insurgents in Afghanistan were cowardly. I asked him what, exactly, was so brave about dropping JDAMs on people from B-52s, or shooting them in the dark while wearing night vision goggles, or taking advantage of the superior maneuverability of a modern, mechanized army? Personally, I can think of nothing more cowardly than a drone pilot, safe in an air-conditioned chair in California, pushing buttons to decide who lives and dies halfway across the globe — the biggest threat to the drone pilot is highway traffic congestion…

    I fault Hamas for using rockets in an attempt to kill or injure Israeli citizens. That’s not appropriate. It’s just as inappropriate as the Israelis using their massively superior weapons against Gazan Palestinians. I understand why theists want to imagine there’s a vengeful god who will punish such cowardice.

    Military bravery only applies when you’re fighting a close-run battle on a level playing field – which, as Sun Tzu will tell you is exactly the kind of battle no commander should ever want to fight.

  19. says

    Re: John Kerry, hypocrite-in-charge at the state dept. How can he be wagging his finger at Russia for losing control of advanced missile defense systems used to bring down civilian aircraft while US-made M-109 (aptly named “Paladin”) self-propelled guns are being used to lob 155mm HE rounds into a suburb in Gaza?

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

    [OT]
    StevoR,

    I appologize for mentioning you where you can’t defend yourself.
    ———-

    However, I stand by my words there. You have proven yourself once againg.
    You are completely oblivious to human suffering in your cruelty and hatred towards muslims. Palestinian country has been invaded, they are being held, confined in a small territory, at the mercy of their captors and their own radicals alike.
    Israel is the one murdering hundreds. Have you looked at the death toll recently?

    About a hundred Palestinians for one Israeli. Is that enough for you? Would anything short of wiping them out be enough for you?

  21. tiko says

    @21 Beatrice

    About a hundred Palestinians for one Israeli. Is that enough for you?

    Unfortunately not.

    Would anything short of wiping them out be enough for you?

    You know what,I’m not sure but going by his previous comments I doubt it.

  22. thewhollynone says

    at #18: just what sort of permanent solution would you suggest? Canaan is an area of too little land and water for too many people. Some of them are going to have to emigrate, or die off, or control their birth rate, or all three. The rest of the Middle East is Islamist; they will never tolerate non-Muslims as full fledged citizens, and they will forever see Israel as a heretical thorn in their sides which must be plucked out and thrown into the sea. Please suggest a permanent solution which accounts for all those problems.

  23. thewhollynone says

    I am aged 77 and have been watching this Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East for a long time. I have also been watching the development of Jewish-American angst over this conflict. I suggested years ago that the USA give Nevada to the Jews if they would agree to live under the US Constitution; unfortunately the Israeli Jews don’t want Nevada; they want Jerusalem; and they don’t want to live under the separation of church and state which the US Constitution implies (or used to imply). Frankly I don’t see any permanent solution for the population of Canaan except continual bloodshed; not that I approve of that, you understand, but one cannot ignore reality. Now if the Islamist and Israeli worlds would suddenly (within a generation or two) modernize, well, then things might look different. I should live so long!

  24. Anton Mates says

    doublereed,

    I do think it’s rather strange to be comparing civilian deaths as some sort of tally. Isn’t that just a completely bizarre way to talk about military action in general?

    Er…why? All other things being equal, killing people is bad, yes? Generally speaking, we’d like to minimize the number of civilian deaths, yes? Seems fairly straightforward to me.

    Israel has more military might, more money, and more political autonomy than Palestine. Therefore, it has more power to control the terms of the conflict and more responsibility for the outcome. Despite this increased responsibility, Israel causes far more civilian deaths than Hamas & company. We condemn the Israeli government because we expect it to do better, and instead it does far worse.

    It’s not like it’s supposed to be Israeli civilians vs Palestinian civilians.

    It’s not Israeli civilians vs. Palestinian civilians. It’s that when you add up Israeli civilians and Palestinian civilians, and value them both equally, you conclude that Israel is killing a shitload more of that combined group of people than the Palestinian militants are.

    What, is it more justified if the Palestinians actually managed to kill more Israelis?

    It would certainly be more justified if the Israelis managed to kill fewer Palestinians. Dream big!

  25. John Morales says

    thewhollynone @24,

    Now if the Islamist and Israeli worlds would suddenly (within a generation or two) modernize, well, then things might look different.

    If by modernize you mean secularise, yeah. But it’s not gonna happen that soon.

    (It is the Holy Land!)

  26. Silentbob says

    @ 1 StevoR

    Support for Hamas killing innocent people and starting wars is unchanged and high as ever — at least on Mano Singham’s blog.

    Plus a lot of the usual FTB pro-Islamist lobby.

    Dafucks is wrong with the usual suspects here?

    Presumably, you include Taslima Nasreen as one of those notorious FTB pro-Islamists?

  27. readysf says

    Israel is in a war zone and in some ways I don’t blame them for going too far. I do blame the so-called “pro Israel” establishment here. They terrorize critics, buy off Congress, and brainwash people.

    Israel’s war crimes are their head. Last time Goldstone was terrorized into changing his views, it won’t work again. Israel is engaging in wanton murder of civilians that they have trapped. They are starting to believe their own spin.

    Israel has no interest in peace, their competitive edge is with war.

    Hamas sent no rockets for 2 years. Then Kerry said the US would accept a unity government (Hamas with Fatah) and Israel panicked. They don’t want real negotiation, and never have.

  28. says

    Oh Lawdy! Another post infested by the narrow minded brainfarts of our local salonfascist, StevoR.

    There was a time, StevoR, when you hated the Jews with a passion. Then the little switch inside your brain flipped over and your allegiances shifted to the warmongers in Israel. How does that work? You found their narrative more compelling? You like to side with the winning team against the underdogs?

    I am amazed at Mano‘s patience with you. Especially when you get onto your condescending high horse and lecture him about these issues. He, like others posting here, has lived through this dichotomy of hate before. What you regard as entertainment, spewing your sectarian odium, is the environment many of us have grown up in. There is actually sweet fuckall you can teach us about such.

    So fuck you StevoR.

    Scream your mock outrage into your lonely pillow every night, but keep it out of the public discourse.

  29. Silentbob says

    @ 31 theophontes

    Pure speculation on my part, but I don’t think he’s so much pro-Israel as anti-Muslim. He graduated from hating Jews to hating Muslims even more, so – the enemy of my enemy being my friend – suddenly Jews became the good guys in a sea of evil.

    Same bigotry, different target.

  30. says

    @ thewhollyone

    Canaan is an area of too little land and water for too many people.

    You are perhaps being a little hyperbolic here, yet you do raise a valid point. Both land and water are important aspects of the iniquity that Israel visits upon the Palestinians.

    On the question of land, let me just say, that I live in Hong Kong, where we are packed in at the rate of 6544 people per square kilometer. It feels a little crowded at times, but people are generally friendly and considerate, so that one does not experience this as a necessarily bad thing. Now compare this to Israel, at 387 people per square kilometer, they really have a long way to go. They would have to grow by 1700 percent to reach the same densities.

    On the question of water: This has long been a “hidden war” waged against the Palestinians. The Israelis systematically and invidiously try and deprive the Palestinians of water. From minor little arsehole moves, such as shooting their water tanks, to a policy of drilling bore-holes along the border to create a draw-down of the aquifer supplying Gaza with water. One is staggered at the extent of their mean-spiritedness.

    But back to your point concerning viable population sizes. On the back of a napkin: There are about 6 million Palestinians and 8 million Israelis in the area we are discussing. If everyone used water as carefully as the Palestinians (are forced to do), then a combined population, all things being the same, of the order of 40 million people is viable. If everyone uses water at Israeli rates, then the current capacity would be around 10 million people. If the Palestinians were not water deprived, they would already be in deficit! The Israelis’ lifestyles, not the Palestinians’, are the environmental disaster that is waiting to happen.

  31. says

    @ Silentbob

    He actually raised the issue of his own, previous, anti-Semitic worldview some time ago on PZ‘s blog (before getting smacked by the ban-hammer). IIRC, StevoR renounced his anti-Semitic attitudes to focus full-time on his new hate-hobby. I doubt the target of his warmongering and hatred is of much consequence for him. The Palestinians just happen to be the current flavour.

    It is probably best to wait and hear straight from the horse’s mouth whether he has given up hating Jewish people completely. I am sure we shall find out (verbosely) soon enough.

  32. Silentbob says

    @ 34 theophontes

    Oh, I know! He raised it here as well in a rare moment of introspection. And if you look at that thread you’ll see that both Mano and I tried to encourage him.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the mask slipped and the bigotry began to shine through once more.

    And with that, I will stop derailing (sorry).

  33. says

    @ Silentbob

    StevoR:

    I was madly far left wing once, eventually realised how wrong (& anti-Semitic) I’d been. I probably overcompensated for a while. My views have indeed evolved over time and I’m willing to admit that I’m wrong if and when I am.

    Hate-filled warmonger “evolved” into RWA hate-filled warmonger.

  34. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @3.Pierce R. Butler :

    StevoR… – Martin Luther King, Jr, could also have prevented all the violence in Selma, Alabama, by just staying home and shutting up.

    Martin Luther King Jr chose non-violence and never supported firing rockets at innocent people.

    If the same was true of Hamas and the Palestinians you would have a case – and if only that were so.

    But it isn’t the case and as a result your analogy there just doesn’t follow – indeed it is an utterly ludicrous one.

    @4. AndrewD :

    StevoR, what do your comments remind me of,
    aaah yes “This dog is dangerous, it bites when attacked”

    Okay, and this applies how and to whom and is significant why?

    Yes, some dogs are aggressive and will bite and if you see signs and know there is such a dog around you leave it alone. If it breaks out and attacks you or others, you have to defend yourself against it.

    Equally if you know a country, say Israel, will defend itself from attack aggressively then you don';t provoke it and if you have a loose dog running around and attacking others, like say Hamas, you have to stop it with perhaps extreme and tragic measures.

    @5, 6, 7. Marcus Ranum :

    Now look, what you made us do to ourselves because, when history gives us a chance to look like monsters, we simply cannot not take it.

    I guess you think Israel should instead take endless rocketfire from a terrorist Jihadist group unwilling to ever make peace and constantly out to destroy it instead? I don’t think that’s fair or logical or right.

    .. you don’t live in Gaza, in case that fact eluded your insightful analysis.

    I’m well aware of that fact and very grateful for it. If I were in Gaza I imagine I’d do everything I could to leave Gaza – and I think the Palestinian civilians should be evacuated and resettled elsewhere ASAP. (Yes, I know about and oppose my Aussie govts treatment of refugees fleeing persecution btw.)

    “Hamas could have prevented this and can stop it at any time by stopping firing their rockets at Israel.” -StevoR (Emphasis added.)

    Wheeee!!! Let’s play a round of “stupid hypotheticals”!!!! It’s a fun game. Since you’ve already taken your turn, here’s mine:
    Israel could have prevented this by not displacing palestinians from their homes and land, then walling them off under military occupation, and occasionally killing them.

    Under military occupation? Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza back in 2006 and offered peace as well as greenhouses and buildings it forcibly removed its former Gazan settlers from. The result? The Palestinians burnt down and destroyed the Jewish gifts of greenhouses, elected Hamas and started firing rockets into Israel aimed at killing its people.

    Your “hypothetical” idea thus has been given a go in reality and horribly tragically failed.

    Also what’s past is past – it cannot be changed today. Yes, the Palestinians – largely due to their own choices* – have had a pretty raw deal over their history. But Hamas are firing rockets right now. That, they could stop doing right this second. They could renounce violence, accept Israel existence and end their campaign of terrorism – and this war would end immediately. If they did that, I would then support them getting their own state assuming they actually did it seriously.

    * Like them famously turning down every last peace offer and partition offer ever made from the Arab’s rejection of the 1948 partition through to Arafat walking away from Ehud Barak’s early 2000’s offer of pretty much everything they demanded under Clinton’s diplomatic utmost pressure. If the Palestinians had really genuinely wanted a state of their own and been willing to compromise to get it they’d have had it long ago.

  35. John Morales says

    Casualties and losses

    Thus far 508 Palestinians have been killed.[4] According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 72% of those killed were civilians (as of its report on 20 July, at which time it said 375 civilians were killed. 83 of those killed were children and 36 women). Many fatalities which could not be verified were not included in the OCHA report. Over 3,008 have been wounded as of 20 July 2014 according to Gazan medical officials. Over 100,000 people have been displaced, including 84,000 who have taken refugee in UNRWA schools. 85 schools and 18 medical facilities were damaged.[6] In addition, over 3,000 homes have been partially destroyed by the air strikes.[234]

    According to the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center, as of 15 July 2014, 72 terrorist operatives, 80 civilians, and 41 unidentified Palestinians have been killed in Gaza.[235]

    […]

    Rocket and missile attacks from Gaza have caused damage to Israeli civilian infrastructure, including factories, gas stations, and homes.[240] There has been one Israeli civilian death, occurring at the Erez border crossing with Gaza: a Chabad rabbi who was delivering food and drinks on the frontline[241] and was hit by mortar fire.[174] According to Magen David Adom there have been injuries to 123 people: 1 seriously, 21 moderately to lightly and 101 from shock.[117] An elderly woman in Wadi Nisnas collapsed and died of heart failure[242] during an air-raid siren.[243] The second Israeli civilian killed was a 32 year old Bedouin Ouda Lafi al-Waj, who was hit by a rocket in the Negev Desert.[244]

    StevoR:

    But Hamas are firing rockets right now. That, they could stop doing right this second. They could renounce violence, accept Israel existence and end their campaign of terrorism – and this war would end immediately.

    Perhaps Hamas feels they could hardly be worse off than they already are. Perhaps they even feel they’re exposing Israel’s true nature to the world.

    Meanwhile, the ground offensive continues, because it is not meet that Israel renounce violence.

    (Regarding being terrorised: how do you imagine residents of Gaza feel?)

  36. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @8. Rob Grigjanis :

    StevoR, I’m sure if you were a moderate Palestinian living in Gaza, and your family had just been wiped out by an Israeli strike, you’d know who to blame, right?

    Yes- Hamas because their rocketfire is causing this whole war!

    Israel is Hamas’ best recruiting tool.

    Not the enormous daily extremist indoctrination of hatred and brain-washing that it puts all its children through? Not its mosque’s hate preachers and propagandists and those pulling the strings from Damascus or /and elsewhere? I think your extraordinary claim there is a very debatable and hard to prove one.

    But even *if* true, does that then mean Israel cannot or shoudl not defend itself from rocket and terrorist attacks? I don’t think so.

    Israel in effect created Hamas, because they considered secular Palestinians their main enemies, and tolerated the Islamicists who attacked them. The enemy of my enemy, and all that. Rarely ends well.

    Yes, blowback is hell. The USA shouldn’t have trained the Afghanistani mujahideen incl. Osama bin Laden in hindsight either. Too late to take that back now.

    @10. left0ver1under :

    How unsurprising that the advocate of genocide by nuclear weapons shows up to advocate genocide against an unarmed civilian population.

    That is an offensive lie with absolutely no basis in fact at all. As I’ve stated many times I do NOT advocate genocide of any kind.

    Unlike for example Hamas and those on FTB who have questioned whether Israel should exist.

    You owe me an apology for that lie.

    Also what Israel is doing is NOT genocide it is a defensive war. These are very different things. Israel is NOT attempting to exterminate the Palestinian people – only stop them being terrorists and attacking it. Israel is trying hard to avoid civilian casualties – it’s Hamas enemy OTOH is doing the exact reverse of that.

    It doesn’t matter whether the civilian population of Gaza is willingly or unwillingly acting as “human shields”. What matters is that punishing Danish civilians for the acts of the Danish Resistance was deemed a war crime at Nuremberg in 1945, and it remains a war crime now as Israel does the exact same things, punishing unarmed civilians for the actions of Hamas.

    You are asserting there something that simply isn’t true. Israel isn’t “punishing” the civilians, it is punishing or rather protecting itself from Hamas. Read :

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2014/07/gaza_civilian_casualties_while_hamas_targets_innocent_people_israel_tries.html

    For some facts you obviously are ignorant of & which totally refute your vile israel-bashing lies.

    @12. Dunc

    “Hamas could have prevented this and can stop it at any time by stopping firing their rockets at Israel.” – StevoR

    Even when the rocket attacks have ceased in the past, the blockade of Gaza has remained in place, the demolitions of Palestinian houses have continued, the expansion of illegal settlements has continued, and Israeli border guards have continued to fire on unarmed Palestinians, including children.

    Really? Citations needed.

    The demolition of homes is a harsh measure to attempt to deter homicide suicide bombers – a tough, complex issue given the problem Israel faces and offset by the fact that other Arab nations and groups reward the families financially for their relatives “marytrdom” crimes. The legal status of the Israeli settlements is dubious and contested. The “blockade” of Gaza has been a protective measure to prevent Hamas and other Jihadist groups aqquiring rockets and other weaponry. I don’t think Israeli border guards would open fire on anyone without at least believing they have some good reason to do so.

    Do you think these things give Hamas a right to fire rockets at Israeli cities or in any way justify its terrorism? I don’t.

    @Rob Grigjanis

    StevoR @1: “Not me and any brave and rare others who would point the stark and rather obvious reality out.”
    Yeah, the 81st Chairborne deserve medals all around. Anonymous internet commenters risk being banned from some sites; the world weeps. News at 11.

    Guess you’ve missed all the appalling attacks on me and my character here fro my standing up for and presenting the other side of this issue? I’m not a military person although I have friends who are. Nor do I consider myself all that brave or anything like facing the same as soldiers and many others do. But that doesn’t make what I noted there untrue either.

    Yes, I’m “just” arguing on the net – and yes, I’m getting attacked savagely if not physically for doing so. I’m not asking people to weep although I would ask that they recognise my humanity and treat me as I treat them – i.e. laying off the personal abuse and lies. (Exhibit A #10 left0ver1under.)

  37. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. Also please remember that someone disagreeing with you and taking the other side of the issue to yours does NOT make them a bad person. I’m not despite what some here wrongly think and say about me.

    I am only human – and I admit I have messed up from time to time like everyone else. I’m not and never have claimed to be perfect.

    I’m also only one person with limited time available to me so I can’t immediately answer every comment here (or from other older threads I haven’t yet caught up on fully) but I’ll do my best to do so when I can as best I can.

  38. readysf says

    It seems to me that there is a battle between Zionism and Judaism. Israel claims to be a Jewish state, but Jewish values of justice elude its leaders, and its people.

    Rather than “all men are created equal” they are morally self-destructing. In the process, Zionism is corrupting Judaism, since most Jews prefer to look the other way rather than protest Israel’s obviously bad behavior.

    If you are “Pro Israel”, it seems to me you would want to save it from its leaders, and the only way is to self it a strong message that the massacres of innocents going on right now must stop. It is profoundly evil to bomb civilians from the air. There is no excuse. It is shameful.

    If you are “anti Israel” you would want to be super-permissive…support the Israel government in whatever it wants to do, until its behavior is impossible to hide, and it slowly self destructs.

  39. Dunc says

    Citations needed.

    For which bit, exactly? You seem to be accepting all of the claims, by immediately providing excuses for them.

    The demolition of homes is a harsh measure to attempt to deter homicide suicide bombers

    Collective punishment is illegal under international law, and constitutes a war crime.

    The legal status of the Israeli settlements is dubious and contested.

    They have been ruled illegal by both the Israeli Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice.

    I don’t think Israeli border guards would open fire on anyone without at least believing they have some good reason to do so.

    And you base this belief on what, exactly? Of course, they always claim to have believed to have had a good reason, but eventually, such claims become unbelievable.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/28/palestinian-deaths-israel-army-live-fire

    Do you think these things give Hamas a right to fire rockets at Israeli cities or in any way justify its terrorism? I don’t.

    My point is not that Hamas’ actions are justified, but rather that your assertion that Hamas could end Israel’s oppression of the people of Gaza and the West Bank by giving up their rocket attacks is nonsense.

    Once again, you seem to be falling victim to very simplistic, black-or-white thinking, in which either one side or the other must be “good”, and where anybody who opposes any of the actions of one side must somehow endorse all of the actions of the other. That’s completely absurd. One does not have to believe that Hamas’ actions are justified to believe that Israel’s actions are unjustified.

  40. Mano Singham says

    @Dunc,

    I think I’ve closed it for you in the correct place. Let me know if it should be elsewhere.

  41. says

    Every time Israel attacks its neighbors in response to some violent act of theirs, it just shows how counterproductive all of Israel’s previous such attacks have been. Seriously, if Israel’s military policy since 1967 was enhancing their security, why do they have to keep on doing MORE of it, on ever larger scales, including demands for immediate airstrikes on Iran?

    I agree that Israel can’t negotiate with the Palestinians because of the total lack of self-discipline on the Palestinian side. But that’s a situation that Israel itself mostly created, by its refusal to choose between treating them as part of Israel and treating them as enemies.

    As it is now, the Palestinians are under Israeli rule, which means that no one else is responsible for their condition; and that means other countries and terrorist/insurgent groups can use them as cannon-fodder with little or no consequences for any other regime. And Israel can do the same, because while they’ve occupied Palestinian territories, they continue to treat the Palestinians themselves as outsiders, to choke what little economic activity they try to engage in just to meet their own basic needs, and to give them practically zero opportunity to take control of their own conditions, and zero chance for anyone else to do anything for them either.

    It might make sense for Jordan to retake the West Bank, and for Egypt to retake the Gaza Strip. That way both of those territories could be integrated into larger national economies; and they’d be under the control of governments that Israel could hold responsible for any subsequent violent acts launched from their turf.

  42. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    I highly recommend folks watch this :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc8EjQEpZ3s

    The Truth on Israel Palestine Conflict excellent, informative doco on youtube.

    Setting other stuff aside for a minute, (or longer) these would be the key points.

    Are any of these facts in dispute? I don’t think so. Correct me if I’m wrong please – not that I need to ask for that here!

    1. Hamas started the current war by firing rockets at Israel and the current round in the endless conflict by kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers.

    2. Hamas have refused ceasefires and refused to accept Israel even has a right to exist.

    3. Hamas could end this current war overnight if they stopped firing rockets and surrendered.

    4. No nation on Earth would put up with constant rocket fire aimed at its civilians.
    Why should Israel be any different? Why should Israel accept a constant murderous assault on its people and not fight back? Israel has a right to exist and a right to defend itself from enemy attack.

    5. Hamas firing rockets at it is not acceptable and has to be stopped. Somehow.

    You know what, I hope they do it voluntarily. I hate war, Idon’t to see it or see more human suffering in a world that’s already too full of agony and torment especially where its is least deserved.

    I want to see peace and an end to this bloodshed. But I’m also realistic.

  43. says

    I’m also only one person with limited time available to me so I can’t immediately answer every comment here (or from other older threads I haven’t yet caught up on fully) but I’ll do my best to do so when I can as best I can.

    If your time is so limited, maybe you should shut up and stop making indefensible false accusations that you then have to spend more time explaining, defending, rewording, waffling, etc.

    Ever notice how rageaholic haters like Stevie spend shitloads of time spewing multiple comments full of pure hateful bullshit, then whine about how little time they have left to deal with the responses they get?

  44. says

    Hamas could end this current war overnight if they stopped firing rockets and surrendered.

    This is how bullies always blame their victims: “There wouldn’t be any fighting if this little twerp wold just stop fighting back!”

    Did you ever think that ISRAEL could end the fighting if they pulled all their people back into Israel proper? That border fence they built seems to have made Israelis in Israel itself more secure, and that Iron Dome thingie seems to have helped too. Why shouldn’t we expect Israel to do more of what actually works — build big fences and retreat behind them?

  45. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @21. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    [OT] StevoR, I appologize for mentioning you where you can’t defend yourself.

    Thankyou. Apology accepted.

    However, I stand by my words there. You have proven yourself once againg.
    You are completely oblivious to human suffering in your cruelty and hatred towards muslims.

    Wrong. I am well aware of the human suffering and I hate it. But emotion doesn’t overrule logic or facts and I think we need to apply reason here and ask why things are happening that are so horrible. We need to look at both sides not just one.

    I don’t actually hate Muslims – I really don’t. I’ve known a few of them and the one’s I knew were pretty nice people. But I do hate Islam as an ideology and Jihadist terrorists because, well, do I really have to explain that one? People like Osama bin Laden, groups like Hamas, JI, Al Quaida, the Taliban are evil, their goals and actions are just the most evil thing in the world today. If tehIslamists win, everyone els eontheplanet loses and suffers a living nightmare.

    Palestinian country has been invaded,

    Because Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel aimed at killing innocent people.

    ..they are being held, confined in a small territory, at the mercy of their captors and their own radicals alike.

    Yes and that’s awful but its also a lot more complex and there are reasons why that is the case. Thefault lies more with tehpalestinians and tehchocies their leaders made than with anyone else.

    Israel is the one murdering hundreds. Have you looked at the death toll recently?

    Its war not murder. These are different things. Murder is a crime, war is,sadly, part of humanity and its history and nature of inhumanity to itself.

    Again, the reason there is war is Hamas is firing rockets at innocent Israelis.

    About a hundred Palestinians for one Israeli. Is that enough for you?

    I’d rather see no casualties on either side. I’d rather see peace and Hamas behaving in a way that is the opposite of how they do behave and think. But I’m not the one who gets to determine that.

    Would anything short of wiping them out be enough for you?

    Of course, what do you think I am? Oh yeah, you’ve already incorrectly answered that haven’t you – and its not true or who I am. I’ve said and I meant it that I don’t want genocide – I want peace.

    I don’t want Palestinians killed or suffering or wiped out. I want them to stop killing, causing suffering to and trying to wipe out Israel.

    That’s all. Why is this so much to ask – that Hamas stops the war and the terrorism and makes peace with Israel rather than trying to exterminate it?

  46. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @49. Raging bee :

    Did you ever think that ISRAEL could end the fighting if they pulled all their people back into Israel proper?

    You’ve really failed to realise that they tried this already? You don’t know why hamas is incontrolof gaza currently Hint :Israel already withdrew into israel proper -and Hama sthanked them with a volley of rocketfire which they’re stilldoing now.

    PS. Funny that someone with your nym should be lecturing others about “rageaholic haters.” Which I’m not.

  47. says

    Why is this so much to ask – that Hamas stops the war and the terrorism and makes peace with Israel rather than trying to exterminate it?

    Why is this so much to ask — that Israel stop the war by retreating to within its original borders and giving up its military control of people whom it can’t or won’t incorporate into its own state as equals anyway?

  48. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Also on the time thing, I’m the one person putting a dissenting case here against a whole lot of others dogpiling on against me.

    As for making “indefensible false accusations” – I haven’t. I have steered well clear of personal abuse, a very occassional wry observation aside. Those opposed to me OTOH, yeesh.

  49. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @Raging bee : On the 1967 boundaries and why they aren’t defensible watch :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2hZ6SlSqq0

    ‘Outstanding Explanation: Why Israel can’t withdraw to its pre ’67 borders line’ by שחר שמר.

    Israel is a tiny nation really, it has precious little land area to give away and is the world’s only Jewish country the Arabs and Muslims already have numerous very large nations. Jordan was already specifically created from the old Mandate to be the Arab Palestinians state.

  50. Dunc says

    I highly recommend folks watch this :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc8EjQEpZ3s

    The Truth on Israel Palestine Conflict excellent, informative doco on youtube.

    I don’t have the time to watch and debunk YouTube videos. Either make your points in writing here, or with links to written sources please. I absolutely hate, hate, hate this lazy “just watch this video” approach to argumentation.

    i notice that you haven’t actually attempted to engage with my last post at all, preferring instead to resort to “just watch this video”.

    I live in the UK, and I’m old enough to remember when the IRA was launching mortars at 10 Downing Street, so I absolutely do not accept the contention that the only possible response to terrorist attacks is widespread military action against the general civilian population.

  51. says

    You’ve really failed to realise that they tried this already?

    And now they’re getting ready to re-invade the place they gave up, which will further increase the killing you claim to abhor, on both sides. Is that something Israel really has to do, in response to, what, less then ten Israeli deaths?

    How many Americans have been killed in Mexico in the last ten years? Have we bombed or invaded Mexico in response to any of that?

  52. says

    Also, if Israel reserves the right to bomb or invade the Gaza Strip whenever they want, that’s not really much of a retreat, is it?

  53. says

    I have steered well clear of personal abuse…

    No, your abuse isn’t “personal” at all — it’s generalized, indiscriminate, and totally unrelated to any particular thing said by anyone, starting with your FIRST SENTENCE on this thread:

    Support for Hamas killing innocent people and starting wars is unchanged and high as ever – at least on Mano Singham’s blog.

    Nope, nothing more “personal” here than in any other standard bigoted temper-tantrum.

  54. says

    Israel is a tiny nation really, it has precious little land area to give away and is the world’s only Jewish country the Arabs and Muslims already have numerous very large nations.

    So Israel can’t be secure unless it gets MUCH MORE territory than it currently has? I think we can take that as an admission that Israel isn’t really a viable state, and consider giving up on it altogether.

    Also, do you really think that conquering more land, from countries and people who don’t want to give it up, would make Israel MORE secure? It’s still the same relatively tiny number of Jews defending a Jewish state against EVEN MORE non-Jewish non-consenting subject-people. That expansion isn’t working for Israel now (notice how they had to give up South Lebanon and the Sinai Peninsula?); so what makes you think more of the same will work?

    Also, Israelis themselves have been bragging about how much more secure their border fence has made them; so that pretty well blows the ‘indefensible borders” excuse to hell.

  55. says

    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.” [my emphasis]

    Growing up in the 1980’s in South Africa, we where bombarded by our leaders with talk of the Total Onslaught ™ against the Afrikaner national home in South Africa. The warmongers spoke exactly like StevoR and Netanyahu.

    If one were to take StevoR’s bullshit, translate into Afrikaans, replace the words “Hamas” with “Swart Gevaar”, “missiles” with “bomme”, “Gaza City” with “Soweto”, etc, then you will likely find old newspaper articles with exactly the same rhetoric. The Apartheid Israeli state in 2014 in like the Apartheid South African state was in 1984.

    StevoR, do you sometimes feel that you were born 30 years too late to be an apologist for Apartheid, and are now trying to compensate by latching on to the “next best” thing?

  56. Silentbob says

    @ 55 Dunc

    I watched StevoR’s “excellent, informative doco”. I sat through all 86 minutes of it.

    You’ll be astonished, I’m sure, to learn that it was one of the most blatantly one-sided exercises in propaganda since Leni Riefenstahl.

    All the talking heads in the documentary are either Israeli (including an IDF soldier) or pro-Israeli Americans, with one token pro-Israeli Arab woman. The only time the “other side” is depicted, it’s either old clips of Arafat giving jingoistic speeches, clips of extreme Muslim clerics calling Jews “dogs” etc., or footage of Muslim children being indoctrinated into aspiring to be martyrs. From start to finish the Israelis are depicted as noble, reasonable and courageous; and the Palestinians as hate-filled monsters.

    But really all you need to know to gauge how worthwhile the documentary is likely to be is to have a look at the type of videos on the YouTube channel StevoR got it from. Seriously, have a look. That is apparently StevoR’s idea of a credible source.

  57. md says

    SteveO,

    You are banging your head against a Wailing Wall. Your words will not change anyones mind. You are dealing with emotions by regaling facts. Won’t work.

    You have to understand egalitarianism. No one can be more powerful than anyone else. No one can have more money than anyone else. No one can have a stronger military than anyone else. No one can have a nicer homeland than anyone else. No one can be judged on their behavior or their culture because all behavior is just a response to material conditions.

    If someone is weaker/poorer/in a bad neighborhood, it is the stronger parties fault. Always. All behavior is therefore permitted by the weaker party because the above has been violated. The weak may be excused for slitting the throats of a child in Itamar because oppression. The Strong must restrain itself in response because overdog. That Hamas is a democratically elected political body is no cause for self-reflection on Gazans or those who support Gazans (or spreading democracy uber alles, for that matter)

    Israel was the darling of the left when it was the underdog. That is all you need to know.

  58. says

    If tehIslamists win, everyone els eontheplanet loses and suffers a living nightmare.

    So if we don’t kill literally-untold numbers of civilians in Gaza, we’ll have to fight them in San Francisco? Sounds like Stevie is having another meltdown.

  59. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Raging Bee : Not what I said and I don’t support killing civilians.

    @md : Maybe. Still.

    @62. Silentbob

    @ 55 Dunc : I watched StevoR’s “excellent, informative doco”. I sat through all 86 minutes of it ..

    Huh? It runs for 1 hour, 26 minutes 54 seconds.

    You’ll be astonished, I’m sure, to learn that it was one of the most blatantly one-sided exercises in propaganda since Leni Riefenstahl.

    Well you are entitled to your erroneous opinion I guess. You saying so, doesn’t make it true.

    All the talking heads in the documentary are either Israeli (including an IDF soldier) or pro-Israeli Americans, with one token pro-Israeli Arab woman. The only time the “other side” is depicted, it’s either old clips of Arafat giving jingoistic speeches, clips of extreme Muslim clerics calling Jews “dogs” etc., or footage of Muslim children being indoctrinated into aspiring to be martyrs.

    So are you saying those clips of Arafat, extreme Clerics and hamas indoctrination weren’t real? That they were faked or something? That would be an extraordinary claim. Got any extraordinary evidence to say that what they showed was wrong?

    The clips are real and explain the past and present situation of the conflict. That the facts do not favour the Hamas or Arab sides of this conflict is how reality is.

    But really all you need to know to gauge how worthwhile the documentary is likely to be is to have a look at the type of videos on the YouTube channel StevoR got it from. Seriously, have a look. That is apparently StevoR’s idea of a credible source.

    Just because some – okay even a lot – of the other clips on this particular youtube channel were ridiculous doesn’t make this wrong too. That would be the fallacy of tarring by association. This particular clip was excellent and accurate, the other’s, well, I haven’t seen any others on that channel but your link makes them look bad. But then you could take some cherry-picked selections of some posts on FTB and say equally that they make this site look awful but yet FTB does post some individually excellent threads as well.

    The source and what matters is the actual clip Ilinked – The Truth on Israel Palestine Conflict -which happens to be spot on regardless of their other seemingly very different ones.

  60. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @60. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) :

    StevoR, do you sometimes feel that you were born 30 years too late to be an apologist for Apartheid, and are now trying to compensate by latching on to the “next best” thing?

    No.

    As I think I’ve pointed out now the slander that modern democratic Israelis anything like Apartheid era South Africa is ludicrous as well as offensive and disproven by the fact that Israeli Arabs are very well treated, have the vote and have representatives in the Knesset.

    I’m not sure what you think the bit of Netanyahu’s quote in bold shows – it is an accurate observation of the Arab-Israeli war situation.

    @59., 57. & 58. Raging Bee :

    So Israel can’t be secure unless it gets MUCH MORE territory than it currently has? I think we can take that as an admission that Israel isn’t really a viable state, and consider giving up on it altogether.

    Oh you’d just love that wouldn’t you! You don’t want Israel to exist and have already made that quite clear but thanks for again damning yourself with your own anti-Semitic words.

    Also no, I didn’t say Israel need as to get much more territory than it already holds.

    Also, do you really think that conquering more land, from countries and people who don’t want to give it up, would make Israel MORE secure? It’s still the same relatively tiny number of Jews defending a Jewish state against EVEN MORE non-Jewish non-consenting subject-people. That expansion isn’t working for Israel now (notice how they had to give up South Lebanon and the Sinai Peninsula?); so what makes you think more of the same will work?

    Don’t put words in my mouth. That’s a very bad habit of yours and will come back to bite you! Israel is definitely small but has enough land already. Indeed I would be happy and think the Israelis are happy to if Gaza goes back to Egypt again.

    Also, Israelis themselves have been bragging about how much more secure their border fence has made them; so that pretty well blows the ‘indefensible borders” excuse to hell.

    The security fence has made Israel secure from homicide-suicide bombers – NOT Hamas rockets.

    Israel’s current action in Gaza is designed to make it safe from those rockets.

    Why do you keep slamming and condemning the things that make Israel safe? Hmm .. looks like you answered that in the first part there!

    Also, if Israel reserves the right to bomb or invade the Gaza Strip whenever they want, that’s not really much of a retreat, is it?

    The initial retreat was done and was indeed a retreat. Sadly, Hamas have made the following events necessary by their evil actions.

    “Support for Hamas killing innocent people and starting wars is unchanged and high as ever – at least on Mano Singham’s blog.” – StevoR

    Nope, nothing more “personal” here than in any other standard bigoted temper-tantrum.

    A factual observation however which your continual anti-Semitic Israel bashing “arguments” confirm along with those of many others. Again, your own words prove me correct.

    @ 55. Dunc :

    I don’t have the time to watch and debunk YouTube videos. Either make your points in writing here, or with links to written sources please. I absolutely hate, hate, hate this lazy “just watch this video” approach to argumentation.

    Your personal preference is noted. I have elsewhere made points in writing and linked to written sources. Not sure why audio-visual sources linked are meant to be inferior to written ones.

    i notice that you haven’t actually attempted to engage with my last post at all, preferring instead to resort to “just watch this video”.

    Saying watch this clip was engaging with your point and rebutting it when I didn’t have more time available. Since you don’t seem to have to time to view my reply, I’m not sure why you are complaining.

    Anyhow in your #42 you said :

    My point is not that Hamas’ actions are justified, but rather that your assertion that Hamas could end Israel’s oppression of the people of Gaza and the West Bank by giving up their rocket attacks is nonsense.

    It is? That would be an unsupported assertion on your part. I see no factual or logical basis for your extraordinary claim there whatsoever.

    If Hamas stopped their rocket attacks there would be no reason for this war and thus the consequent carnage to continue.

    Gaza isn’t being oppressed by Israel – its being oppressed by Hamas who govern it and have constantly used it as a terrorist base to attack their jewish neighbour. With other reasonable governors it like much better freer and better off.

    Happy with that shorter written refutation of your point now Dunc?

    I live in the UK, and I’m old enough to remember when the IRA was launching mortars at 10 Downing Street, so I absolutely do not accept the contention that the only possible response to terrorist attacks is widespread military action against the general civilian population.

    Israel isn’t acting against the “general civilian” population – it is acting against the Hamas Jihadi terrorist group.

    Hamas, OTOH, are using exploiting and terrorising their own and the Israeli general civilian populations.

    This isn’t rocket surgery – how is this seemingly so hard for some people here to grok?

  61. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought & #22. tiko :

    I’ve already answered you in comment #50 among others here. But you know there are a lot of people more extreme than I am -and more extreme than Netanyahu too

    Read :

    http://theweek.com/article/index/265043/israel-has-only-two-choices-eliminate-the-palestinians-or-make-peace

    If you dare. Some of what they advocate I think is definitely going too far.

  62. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Correction from #67. :

    Gaza isn’t being oppressed by Israel – its being oppressed by Hamas who govern it and have constantly used it as a terrorist base to attack their jewish neighbour. With other more reasonable governors instead Gazans would likely be freer and much better off.

    Note that the women, atheists and non-Muslims in Gaza particularly would have been much better off under the more secular and relatively moderate Fatah faction which Hamas overthrew and the Israel administration before them.

    In fact, it is hard to think of anybody who do a worse job of governing anywhere than Islamofascists like Hamas and their like-minded “Islamic State” mob in Syria-Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan; all sharing the brutal Islamist extremism mindset.

    @38. John Morales :

    StevoR: “But Hamas are firing rockets right now. That, they could stop doing right this second. They could renounce violence, accept Israel existence and end their campaign of terrorism – and this war would end immediately.”

    Perhaps Hamas feels they could hardly be worse off than they already are. Perhaps they even feel they’re exposing Israel’s true nature to the world.

    Could be so. If it is, I think they’re about to find that they are wrong.They can be worse off – destroyed completely lets hope & they don’t understand Israel’s “true nature” at all.

    Meanwhile, the ground offensive continues, because it is not meet that Israel renounce violence.

    Huh? The ground offensive continues because Hamas has refused ceasefires which Israel has accepted and Hamas is still committing war crimes by attacking innocent Israeli civilians and using their own people as human shields as well as much more like hiding rockets in schools and mosques..

    (Regarding being terrorised: how do you imagine residents of Gaza feel?)

    Bloody awful no doubt. Residents of Gaza are in a horrific position – put there by Hamas. if I lived there I would do all I could to get out and /or try to overthrow Hamas. If I were Gazan (very glad indeed that I’m not!) I would welcome liberation even by the despised Israelis from the torment, misery and oppression that is Hamas rule.

    @34. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) :

    @ Silentbob, He actually raised the issue of his own, previous, anti-Semitic worldview some time ago on PZ‘s blog (before getting smacked by the ban-hammer).

    We all grow up Theophontes – there was a time where, like you, I fell for the Palestinians and Arabs lies partly due to the university culture I was involved in.

    I now realise I got things very badly wrong and after looking at the evidence and the case for the other Israeli side changed my mind. I’m not alone in doing this, I gather there’s quite a famous saying by someone whose name I’ve forgotten that goes something like “.. if a young person isn’t a communist they’ve’ got no heart and if an old person isn’t a conservative they’ve got no head.” Experience in life and from family, friends and others teach us many things we once thought were right are not.

    Is it possible I’m wrong here? Of course. I’m always open to being convinced by the evidence and merits of the case. Are you?

    IIRC, StevoR renounced his anti-Semitic attitudes to focus full-time on his new hate-hobby. I doubt the target of his warmongering and hatred is of much consequence for him. The Palestinians just happen to be the current flavour. It is probably best to wait and hear straight from the horse’s mouth whether he has given up hating Jewish people completely. I am sure we shall find out (verbosely) soon enough.

    Bout this time then?

    Yes, I don’t hate Jews or Israelis anymore and your strawmonster caricature of me & my views is as offensive as it is silly – which is very in both categories.

  63. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. @34. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) : “on PZ‘s blog (before getting smacked by the ban-hammer).

    Very wrongly and unjustly as I explained here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/05/05/the-impossible-goal-of-a-risk-free-society/#comment-2052302

    Comment 19 “The impossible goal of a risk-free society”, May 9, 2014 at 5:55 am.

    Note the italics are the words PZ Myers quoted in banning me (#600 T-dome-31, 2013 August 29th ) which rhetorically implies that torture is worse than a quick, relatively clean and painless death whilst the bold is what I directly stated about the ethics of torture. Notably that I don’t like or support it, think its horrible and indeed think that its worse than a clean death by UAV strike.

    So whilst PZ Myers said I was defending torture, I actually wasn’t.

    Seems to me that my “sin” there was simply saying I had no sympathy for terrorists – and also I think because I argued strongly in support of Israel and its right to defend itself and exist in peace.

    Also I guess because I unknowingly commented after PZ asked me not to do because I didn’t refresh in time and missed seeing PZ Myers comment #595 which, okay, mea culpa I should’ve refreshed first.

    And, yes, I feel upset and wronged by that and think it was unjust.

    Because it was.

  64. Dunc says

    My point is not that Hamas’ actions are justified, but rather that your assertion that Hamas could end Israel’s oppression of the people of Gaza and the West Bank by giving up their rocket attacks is nonsense.

    It is? That would be an unsupported assertion on your part. I see no factual or logical basis for your extraordinary claim there whatsoever.

    It’s supported by the historical facts I noted, and which you blithely ignored – namely, that even during periods of no action from Hamas (or other militant groups), Israel has maintained its blockade, continued destroying Palestinian homes, continued building illegal settlements, and and continued killing civilians on the flimsiest of pretexts. I’ve been watching this conflict for nearly 30 years now, and the pattern is quite clear.

    Israel isn’t acting against the “general civilian” population – it is acting against the Hamas Jihadi terrorist group.

    They are firing heavy artillery into one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, whilst preventing anybody from leaving. That’s an attack on the civilian population in my book.

  65. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’ve been watching this mess for a decade, and I have no clue what to do.

    For Israel, it’s my understanding that over decades they have just been doing land-grab after land-grab, via the wall, the settlements, etc.

    Is it true that Hamas’ official position is that Israel has no right to exist? What does that mean? That all Jews should be driven from current Israel?

    What’s a “fair” solution? Two fully independent states, free movement between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel loses all of its recent settlements, and Jerusalem is put under U.N. control as a neutral independent city-state?

    The better question is would Hamas in practice accept this seemingly fair solution, or some other fair solution?

    As far as I can tell, neither side can resolve the problem unilaterally. Both sides are actively fighting against peace. (Ok, maybe not Fatah. Unfortunately Hamas is being difficult.) To that extent, I blame both sides. It’s hard for me to blame one more when both are completely obstructing the process.

    Do I have this all right?

  66. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Err, hit submit too early. I wanted to ask – what should we in the U.S. do now? (Or “we” in other parts of the world?) Part of me wants to take an isolationist approach in this matter, and foreswear it all. Stop any aid to both sides (except basic humanitarian aid to prevent starvation). As long as both sides want to kill each other, let them at it. Then, maybe if one side shapes up, and we get some international consensus, then maybe we could do something, like use pressure to force a fair solution, and use U.N. peacekeepers to enforce it. is that position reasonable? Is there some better position?

  67. Silentbob says

    @ 66 StevoR

    @62. Silentbob

    @ 55 Dunc : I watched StevoR’s “excellent, informative doco”. I sat through all 86 minutes of it ..

    Huh? It runs for 1 hour, 26 minutes 54 seconds.

    Lol :-)

    So are you complaining I rounded off the seconds, or do you honestly not know how many minutes are in an hour?

    (If it’s the latter, 1h:26m:54s is precisely 86.9 minutes. You can trust me on this.)

  68. says

    @ md

    You have to understand egalitarianism.

    Which you most clearly do not. Egalitarianism concerns rights and opportunities. It strives to create a level playing field, not dole up a fake score.

    You are either being wilfully obtuse, or lying.

    Israel was the darling of the left when it was the underdog.

    And this contradicts a true (as oposed to your fake) understanding of egalitariasm in what manner?

    As I think I’ve pointed out now the slander that modern democratic Israelis anything like Apartheid era South Africa is ludicrous as well as offensive and disproven by the fact that Israeli Arabs are very well treated, have the vote and have representatives in the Knesset.

    Oh you ingenuous bullshitter you! There were many non-whites given the vote. Othering is not a straightforward matter, and Apartheid was not purely a matter of black and white. Apartheid can be applied in many different ways. It is merely a state of (enforced) apartness. “Good fences make good neighbours.” The policy even sounds innocuous, until it is applied, and its liabilities start to blight.

    The Palestinians are genetically the same as the Jews, they share exactly the same “thousands of years” of history … up until their conversion to Islam. Such rank discrimination is surreal. All because some cousins happen to still have stars upon thars.

    Yes, I don’t hate Jews or Israelis anymore…

    As I was at pains to point out. Why do you always have to pick sides? Why always so much hate for the Other?

    And who here hates Jews or Israelis? I think the Jewish state is not just doing something abhorrent right now, but also that they are doing themselves a terrible thing too, by adopting an Apartheid era mindset. They cannot win, as they are fighting figments of their own creation. They have to drop their RWA attitudes and start real communication.

    What you are doing is only adding to, and prolonging, their problems.

  69. says

    Gaza isn’t being oppressed by Israel – its being oppressed by Hamas…

    The information in this later post proves you’re full of shit:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/07/22/what-life-and-death-is-like-in-gaza/#comments

    If you don’t want to call Israel’s forced impoverishment of Gazans “oppression,” there’s other words to choose from. How about “ghettoization?” That’s what they called it when the Nazis did it to them.

    Why do you keep slamming and condemning the things that make Israel safe?

    Because they’re NOT making Israel safe. If Israel’s actions were making them safe, why do they suddenly feel so endangered that they have to bomb the shit out of people who were already firmly under their control (again)?

  70. says

    …your continual anti-Semitic Israel bashing “arguments”…

    Calling me “anti-Semitic” because I criticize Israel’s actions? That’s the standard Israel-lobby way of admitting they’ve lost the argument.

  71. says

    I’ve been watching this mess for a decade, and I have no clue what to do.

    Here’s a few ideas for starters: First, call out and debunk ALL of Israel’s most irrational supporters — tribalists, Christian end-times loons, religious and other exceptionalists, etc. — wherever and whenever they arise, and do everything we can to remove such irrationality from all policy discussions. People who want to support or advocate for Israel need to stay grounded in reality, reason, and legitimate material interests, and brushed aside the second they diverge from reason.

    Second, progressives need to make it crystal-clear that Israel’s actions are NOT good for Jews. In fact, as a recent NPR piece noted, hatred of Jews is becoming more pronounced and less disguised, because Israel’s actions are validating such hatred. Seriously, the Israel-lobby’s actions are starting to add up to a real-life international Jewish conspiracy to terrorize and oppress other people and cover it up. That’s how we’re supposed to fight Jew-haters and their imagined conspiracies?

    And third, we need to expose the Israel lobby’s control of US corporate media, and their use of that control to hide the reality of what Israel is doing, and its consequences; and the reality of what a totally dysfunctional warmongering mess that formerly-secular country has become. Ever notice how the evening news only tells us how many Israelis have died in the latest shootout?

  72. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ever notice how the evening news only tells us how many Israelis have died in the latest shootout?

    No. I don’t use American news outlets except The Daily Show and NPR. I also use other non-American sources, such as the BBC.

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