You Dropped A Bomb On Me

Noah Pollak at Commentary:

Yesterday, the IDF did something innovative: it opened a channel on YouTube and posted videos to it that help explain why Israel is fighting Hamas. The site hosted about a dozen videos showing things like Israeli humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza and airstrikes that prevented terrorists from firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

This was apparently too much for YouTube, which moments ago removed several videos from the IDF’s channel, including the most-watched video, which showed a group of Hamas goons being blown up in an air strike as they loaded Katyusha missiles onto a truck. The point of such footage, as if it needed to be said, is not to revel in violence — it is to show the legitimacy of Israeli self-defense.

I have no idea why youtube would have removed the videos, and were I in charge of things at youtube, I would have done otherwise. Having said that, the IDF channel says that youtube has since restored many of the videos:

We were saddened earlier today that YouTube took down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip. Fortunately, due to blogger and viewer support, YouTube has returned some of the footage they removed.

On to my point- I can’t tell what the purpose of the IDF channel is other than to provide war pr0n. Here is a sample video:

Here is another:

And there is video after video like that. I just don’t get what they are trying to prove. Absent any other documentation, it just looks like the standard cockpit video from any bombing mission. Yes, some of the buildings are marked “rocket launching” and “tunnels,” but to an untrained eye, it could be anything. Here is another one:

Just kidding. That is actually a British tornado dropping a bomb in Iraq.

Do you see my point? You can’t really tell what is going on in the videos from the IDF other than explosions of buildings. The IDF videos may be something that experts can watch and understand, but for a PR move, it would seem to fall flat, because to most people it probably looks just like buildings blowing up. I am not sure what the persuasive message is in that, because pretty much everyone agrees that the IDF is in fact blowing up buildings in Gaza.

Again, maybe this is something for the experts, but I can’t see how this proves anything to laymen like me. Those videos could be of anything blowing up in the last twenty years of laser guided missiles videos, and I would not know any difference.

And before there are any truthers out there claiming I am accusing the IDF of lying, I am not. I simply don’t understand how this is an effective PR out reach. Maybe I am just misunderstanding, and this is not intended to persuade the masses, but instead directed at those who do know what to look for in bombing run footage. Regardless, the IDF channel says the point is to get their message out to the world, but I just can’t tell what that is. Am I missing something?






186 replies
  1. 1
    El Cid says:

    They left out the arrows and the labels saying "Evel Bad Guyz".

  2. 2
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I am not sure what the persuasive message is in that.

    The persuasive message is that Israel’s neocons are as dumb as ours.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    Doesn’t matter, you win by default when your opposition has no media representation in the US.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    This will give CNN something to replay endlessly while talking heads nod sagely or shake sternly as Serious People(tm) explain how Israel is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons.

    It’s just your standard fair propaganda. "Look, everyone! Aluminum tubes. Rolling weapons labs. Clear evidence of malfeasance."

    I suspect that, within a week or two, we should be seeing contradictory footage released by Palestinian locals claiming the bomb blast videos are orphanages and hospitals.

    Frankly, this is progress in my mind. The Israels are attempting legitimize themselves. Now journalists – of one breed or another – get to step in and investigate whether they’re telling the truth. If the IDF is full of shit, we’ll find out now sooner than if they’d just stayed quiet.

  5. 5

    More fodder for the blogs, I think, so that rabid commentors can point to them and scream "see, did you see any civilians get killed!?!?ONE1111!!"

  6. 6
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Thanks for sharing the War pr0n!

  7. 7
    Steve S. says:

    You’re assuming that the Israeli government conceives of PR in the same way that, say, Coca-Cola does. The message is that Israel can blow up whatever they want whenever they want. It’s essentially the same message the 9/11 bombers tried to pass along.

  8. 8
    Crusty Dem says:

    Good title, John. Not quite tboggian (that would be setting the bar unreasonably high), but good… Needs a "baby!!" at the end..

  9. 9
    Brucie says:

    John, I agree that without more context, the videos may not prove effective as PR. However, I think that when most people hear that Israel is bombing Gaza, the mind conjures up images of indiscriminate carpet bombing. If anything, the videos counter such a perception, and show the precision with which the IAF is conducting these attacks.

  10. 10
    demimondian says:

    The major value of such videos is to allow drooling goons like the nuts at Commentary to make stupid claims about when the videos demonstrate. To a lesser extent, it shows that Israeli bombing isn’t always indiscriminate — although it certainly doesn’t show that all bombs dropped hit their targets. In so doing, however, it sends a message to any third parties who would be tempted to intervene: "Remember what the US and the UK did in Iraq? Yeah, that. We can do it to you, too."

  11. 11
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Yes, some of the buildings are marked “rocket launching” and “tunnels,” but to an untrained eye, it could be anything.

    That sounds much, much better than "Four year old girl and her three teenaged sisters," or "Old man and his nephews trying to fix a ’68 Datsun." Once they’re dead they’re all terrorists.

  12. 12
    mattg says:

    Reminds me of Arrested Development (sorry the clip is in two parts)
    part 1 and part 2

  13. 13
    Reverend Dennis says:

    …and show the precision with which the IAF is conducting these attacks.

    Precision:
    Family Mourns 5 Daughters as Civilian Death Toll Mounts

    Once you start delivering ordnance on heavily populated areas the word "precision" has no meaning what so ever.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    That sounds much, much better than "Four year old girl and her three teenaged sisters," or "Old man and his nephews trying to fix a ‘68 Datsun."

    Yeah, the Datsun was kinda an ugly car anyway.

  15. 15
    Brucie says:

    Reverend Dennis:

    Not to play tit-for-tat, no one wins that game, but if Hamas has decided to position their rockets in "heavily populated areas" it is Hamas, not the IAF, that bears the moral responsibility for such tragic and horrible civilian deaths. Under your framework, Hamas should be permitted to launch missile attacks from "heavily populated area" without fear of reprisal for such conduct.

  16. 16
    binzinerator says:

    Maybe it’s to show they aren’t carpet bombing entire neighborhoods. Perhaps the purpose is to make it look like they are carefully aiming these bombs at discrete targets, at particular buildings and tunnels, and that they are hitting what they are aiming at, not the buildings the next block over.

    You’re not supposed to notice that the buildings and tunnels could be anything from anyplace in the Mideast in the last 20 years, or point out that, well aimed bombs or not, the targets could be full of civilians.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    @mattg: There was actually an episode of Newhart when a guy comes on Vermont Today with a picture that he says shows aliens, but you can’t tell what the hell is in the picture, and it may very well be one of the funniest sitcom episodes to ever air.

    Wish I could remember the name of that episode.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    Jewtube?

  19. 19
    demimondian says:

    @binzinerator: Yup. And…jeebus, what is in the "rocket launching" sites? No clue.

    Now, there *are* two clear military targets among the ones John showed: the government building and the arms storage depot. The second one, in particular, is pretty obvious one the secondary explosions start going off.

  20. 20
    Comrade Dread says:

    I don’t know. Maybe they’ve been listening too much to our idiot neocons and have bought the whiny propaganda from them that the rest of us Americans and the world think that Hamas are winged angels going about feeding the poor, healing the sick, and walking on water.

    When a lot of us think of Hamas as a bunch of violent jackasses some of whom would deserve a bomb up the cornhole were they not in the middle of a bunch of civilians, while the rest of them probably do have a legitimate point in mentioning that walling off a bunch of their countrymen in hovels and maintaining subsistence rations isn’t humanitarian or likely to inspire the masses to give peace a chance.

  21. 21
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    …and show the precision with which the IAF is conducting these attacks.

    Only Imperial Stormtroopers are capable of such precision.

  22. 22
    Josh E. says:

    What Steve S. said. Or, as estimable goon Marty Peretz said, the message is "Do not fuck with the Jews." Because bombing has been such an effective way to send that message the past 50 years.

  23. 23
    sparky says:

    purposes:
    a. war pr0n, just as you said.
    b. "we’re only taking out enemy emplacements", aka "see, we’re SO not dropping bombs on a densely populated area knowing that we’re killing everyone good bad and indifferent"

    comment: this is a rather tin-eared PR effort by the IDF. in the court of public opinion they are trying to shore up the argument that they are fighting a war and being "careful" rather than bombing a captive urban population. in trying to do so, they remind me of nothing so much as Bush saying everything in New Orleans is just fine. leaving aside the ethics of it, it’s dumb because by now everyone (i hope) knows there’s no surgical way to kill people despite what the movies would have us believe and because it inadvertently makes the IDF look be even more heartless than we might otherwise think. ("lookie! we only killed THIS many! (pointing to pile of bodies)")

  24. 24
    binzinerator says:

    Under your framework, Hamas should be permitted to launch missile attacks from "heavily populated area" without fear of reprisal for such conduct.

    He laid out no such framework. He pointed out the obvious: There is no such thing as precision bombing in heavily populated areas, and I think the propaganda purpose of these videos is to try to make people believe there is.

  25. 25
    Xanthippas says:

    Not to play tit-for-tat, no one wins that game, but if Hamas has decided to position their rockets in "heavily populated areas" it is Hamas, not the IAF, that bears the moral responsibility for such tragic and horrible civilian deaths.

    Ok, but the IDF has also bombed police stations and the Islamic University, which are decidedly less military in nature.

  26. 26
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Under your framework, Hamas should be permitted to launch missile attacks from "heavily populated area" without fear of reprisal for such conduct.

    Where, exactly, did I write that? Under your framework, it would be okay to carpet bomb South Central Los Angeles because the people there have criminals living among them.
    The problem with your suggestion for Hamas’ rocketeers is that there isn’t a part of Gaza that isn’t heavily populated. I’m reasonably certain that most residents of Gaza would prefer that there wasn’t a rocket launcher in their neighborhood. I’m also reasonably certain that suggesting that the launcher be moved is a good way to get your head blown off.

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    while the rest of them probably do have a legitimate point in mentioning that walling off a bunch of their countrymen in hovels and maintaining subsistence rations isn’t humanitarian or likely to inspire the masses to give peace a chance.

    As I recall, they weren’t any more willing before the blockade.

    So yeah.

    Just a mess.

  28. 28
    mattg says:

    @John, that newhart episode is described here

  29. 29
    binzinerator says:

    Jewtube?

    FTW

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    it would be okay to carpet bomb South Central Los Angeles because the people there have criminals living among them.

    Lovely False Analogy.

    It would be okay to launch targeted strikes in South LA from Mexico if the US government was firing rockets from city suburbs at them.

    Better.

    I’m also reasonably certain that suggesting that the launcher be moved is a good way to get your head blown off.

    Indeed.

    Like I said before, fucked.

  31. 31
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Reverend Dennis:

    !.5 million souls live in Gaza and most of those are clustered in area not much bigger than a dog closet. Even if Israel hits it’s intended target with the JDAMS for the smallest 500 pound bomb, the lethality radius is going to kill a lot of families and their kids. These videos are likely the ones most spread apart, IOWs. Propaganda.

  32. 32
    Comrade Dread says:

    As I recall, they weren’t any more willing before the blockade.

    So yeah.

    Just a mess.

    Agreed, and the only possible way out of this I can see would be if the United States had the will and the desire to step back, be a neutral mediator, and used what leverage it has on the Israeli government to force them back to the negotiating table.

    If they told us to pound sand, we could just as easily stop the foreign aid and make them buy weapons elsewhere.

    Much as I am friendly toward Israel, this situation has endured for my entire lifetime and it has to be dealt with before the world gets dragged into a third world war (now new and improved with nuclear weapons!)

  33. 33
    Glenn says:

    Fuck Hamas if they can’t take a joke. If these bastards were raining missiles down on say San Diego I wonder what the response s in here would sound like? Israel shouldn’t make any excuses for defending it’s citizens against these missiles. Sharon @ the urging of the Int’l community moved all Jews out of Gaza and was told that this would end the violence by removing the settlers. One problem Hamas considers all of Palestine / Israel it’s own and all Jews there settlers. It appears many here agree so it’s ok for them to just fire away. The Jews on the other hand should just take the hint and move back to Queens, right? LOL!

  34. 34
    demimondian says:

    @Xanthippas: Police stations are also stations for Hamas’ military folks, so they’re military targets. The University seems out of bounds to me; yes, it was a major propaganda target, but unless there was some military value to it (such as being used as an ammunition dump), bombing it is a war crime.

  35. 35
    Brucie says:

    Under your framework, it would be okay to carpet bomb South Central Los Angeles because the people there have criminals living among them.

    Rev. John, you are, comparing apples to Leprachauns. First, comparing the crime issues of an urban American city to a low-level war between international actors, whether intentional or not, is obtuse.

    Second, it is not a matter of "criminals" simply living among the Palestinian civilians. Hamas fighters are intentionally launching missiles across an international border from civilian areas. (Hizballah employed a similar tactic during the 2006 conflict with Israel). The goal is to use the civilians as human shields and, if the IAF retaliates in the process, thereby wounding or killing civilians, use such casualties as propaganda.

    Finally, having been in Gaza, I can assure you there are plenty of open areas from which Hamas or Islamic Jihad can launch missiles. The Gaza Strip is no Manhattan.

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    and used what leverage it has on the Israeli government to force them back to the negotiating table.

    That’s only half the battle. Both sides love to point to backsliding on the other side as an excuse to avoid doing their part.

    But the international community has no stomach for actually doing enforcement.

    It would require using UN peacekeepers to evict all of the settlements and then stationing them as human shields in every Israeli and Palestinian town to keep the peace.

  37. 37
    JL says:

    @demimondian: According to Israel, some Hamas members went to the University.. In other words the university trained the terrorists. Next Israel will explain they bombed the hospital because they were harboring terrorists.

  38. 38
    Darkrose says:

    @demimondian:

    Police stations are also stations for Hamas’ military folks, so they’re military targets.

    And it also creates a nice catch-22: bomb the police stations, and then demand to know why they other guys aren’t doing the necessary police work to keep order.

  39. 39
    Comrade Dread says:

    I

    f these bastards were raining missiles down on say San Diego I wonder what the response s in here would sound like?

    Conversely, if someone had occupied your country and kept you in ghettos as second class citizens, while more of your land was encroached upon every year, and a blockade was put up which caused more misery, I wonder how Americans would react.

    I suspect more than a few of them would take up arms and fight back.

    There are no easy answers in this situation. It stinks from top to bottom.

  40. 40
    demimondian says:

    @Darkrose: There’s a significant difference between not doing police work and keeping your own supporters from engaging in active warfare — but you know that.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    And it also creates a nice catch-22: bomb the police stations, and then demand to know why they other guys aren’t doing the necessary police work to keep order.

    Given how the work wasn’t done anyway, they probably felt the police didn’t need the buildings.

  42. 42
    demimondian says:

    @JL: Yes, I read that, and it made no sense to me. I understand hitting the symbols of an enemy regime, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if there were a significant concentration of Hamas cadre at the University — as you know as well as I do — but unless there was actual materiel, I don’t think that Israel meets the basic requirements for minimizing civilian injuries as things stand now.

  43. 43
    The Other Steve says:

    I believe what they are showing here is that the IDF is targeting military targets. This is basically to counter criticism that they are randomly bombing Gaza.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t think that Israel meets the basic requirements for minimizing civilian injuries as things stand now.

    I know, and it drives me crazy.

    Not only is that counterproductive, its simply a bad thing to do.

    They were a better about this before, but I think they may not give a shit anymore. Especially considering who are calling the shots there now.

  45. 45
    4tehlulz says:

    I don’t think that Israel meets the basic requirements for minimizing civilian injuries as things stand now.

    O RLY?

  46. 46
    demimondian says:

    @4tehlulz: Srsly.

    Very white of me, isn’t it?

  47. 47
    Darkrose says:

    @demimondian:

    Of course. I’m just pointing out that it’s a win-win for the Israeli government: take out the actual terrorists as well as the people who are supposedly responsible for dealing with them; you don’t get bombed and you throw the other side into chaos, thus proving that you can’t possibly negotiate with them. If you assume, as I do, that neither the current Israeli government nor Hamas is honestly interested in a peaceful, equitable solution, then it makes perfect sense.

  48. 48

    @Glenn:

    If the drug cartels started launching missiles aimed in San Diego that were landing in the middle of Borrego springs, I wouldn’t advocate tacnuking TJ.

    And regarding international enforcement — I don’t need the international community to start enforcing. What I’d like to see is stop giving Israel bazillions for weapons to kill Palestinians, and work with the elected government to stop the freaking missiles — to the point they have the police powers to actually hold a truce, cuz at this point, and even before that, they weren’t strong enough.

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    I suspect more than a few of them would take up arms and fight back.

    And if they chose to deliberately target civilians, they’d deserve every asskicking they’d get.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Duke of Earl says:

    Since the I/P conflict is once again the topic I’m going to say that I’m really wondering why there is so little interest in discussing the demographic problem that Israel is going to face in the foreseeable future.

    What are Jewish Israelis planning on doing when they become a minority in Israel?

    Does anyone think the actions of the GOI at the moment are endearing Jewish Israelis to the Arabs/Muslims who will eventually control the vote in Israel?

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    and work with the elected government to stop the freaking missiles—to the point they have the police powers to actually hold a truce, cuz at this point, and even before that, they weren’t strong enough.

    Israel is never going to give the Palestinians the power they held before 2000. Not after seeing what happened last time.

    They got burned badly, watching all of those shiny new weapons they’d bought for the PLO being turned on them and the nudge nudge wink wink of the revolving jail doors for the various militant groups.

    It’ll be third party or nothing.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    if someone had occupied your country and kept you in ghettos as second class citizens, while more of your land was encroached upon every year, and a blockade was put up which caused more misery, I wonder how Americans would react.

    Well the natives tried uprisings until they were broken and driven onto reservations where to this day they are treated and regarded as second class.

    Oh wait, did you mean the guys who came after the Americans?

  54. 54
    Darkrose says:

    @Duke of Earl:

    Since the I/P conflict is once again the topic I’m going to say that I’m really wondering why there is so little interest in discussing the demographic problem that Israel is going to face in the foreseeable future.

    It’s the elephant in the room. No one wants to discuss it because it brings up all sorts of uncomfortable questions, like, "Is the goal of having a nation that’s based on the idea of everyone having the same religion inherent incompatible with the modern ideal of a democratic, multicultural state? And if it is incompatible…what do you do?"

  55. 55
    Darkrose says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Well the natives tried uprisings until they were broken and driven onto reservations where to this day they are treated and regarded as second class.

    Yeah, see, and this would be the problem.

  56. 56
    Delia says:

    I wonder what Marty Peretz and the Commentary goons think of these young Israelis.

    (Actually, my daughter sent me this link.)

  57. 57
    Comrade Dread says:

    Well the natives tried uprisings until they were broken and driven onto reservations where to this day they are treated and regarded as second class.

    Oh wait, did you mean the guys who came after the Americans?

    Maybe we can suggest that the Palestinians stop shooting rockets and instead open a crapload of casinos catering to the Jews and use that money to enrich themselves and rebuild their communities.

  58. 58
    Xanthippas says:

    Well the natives tried uprisings until they were broken and driven onto reservations where to this day they are treated and regarded as second class.

    As near as I can tell, you are citing to the example of Native Americans to explain why the Palestinians are wrong to engage in violent acts against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

    For a more coherent take on this conflict and what can be done about it, try historian Mark LeVine.

    If anyone is capable of the dramatic break with our past foreign policy towards Israel it’s Obama, but D.C. is chock full of those who are allies of or sympathetic to nationalistic Zionism.

  59. 59

    And if they chose to deliberately target civilians, they’d deserve every asskicking they’d get.

    The problem with this argument is that the Israeli settlers, particularly those around Hebron, also target civilians. Every argument you make that Hamas rocket attacks justify Israel’s bombing of civilian areas of Gaza is applicable in exactly the same way in reverse: the Israeli inability to keep its citizens from attacking Arab civilians justifies Hamas lobbing rockets at civilian areas of Israel.

    Aside from the inconsistent morality, it’s an approach that gets everyone exactly nowhere, except the extremists on both sides that get to consolidate power.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    As near as I can tell, you are citing to the example of Native Americans to explain why the Palestinians are wrong to engage in violent acts against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

    No, I was citing the example in response to a claim as to how ‘Americans’ would react to a similiar situation.

    As I pointed out, they did. It ended badly for them.

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    Every argument you make that Hamas rocket attacks justify Israel’s bombing of civilian areas of Gaza is applicable in exactly the same way in reverse: the Israeli inability to keep its citizens from attacking Arab civilians justifies Hamas lobbing rockets at civilian areas of Israel.

    Wrong. Here’s the flaw in your argument.

    The settlers are not in the cities being shot at while shooting at the Palistinians.

    If Israeli settlers are shooting at Palistinians, either the Israeli army/police has a duty to stop it or the Palistinians under fire have a right to return fire.

    This is not carte blanche to shoot every Israeli in sight.

    Next.

  62. 62
    The Moar You Know says:

    Wilfred of Qatar must be asleep, dreaming of new and innvoative ways to stuff women into head-to-toe burlap sacks.

    The video is a bad idea. I remeber some pictures presented to the UN Security Council that didn’t go down in history real well, I have a feeling these videos will be viewed the same way, and are not going to make the Israelis look real good.

  63. 63
    Xanthippas says:

    If Israeli settlers are shooting at Palistinians, either the Israeli army/police has a duty to stop it or the Palistinians under fire have a right to return fire.

    In other words, as long as all hostilities are carefully calibrated to be aimed at the precise person who did the shooting at you, it’s all good.

    This is appealing in an ideal world, but in reality what happens is this: settlers move into the West Bank and burn a few olive groves. Palestinians reply by shooting at settlers. Settlers reply by shooting at Palestinians. Hamas replies by lobbing rockets into Gaza. Israel replies by bombing Gaza.

    And so on, and so on. People who claim a religious justification for living where they do are none to kind to those who disagree, even if those in disagreement happen to still be living on that land.

    There are essentially two options here, at least for us. We force the Palestinians and Israelis to the table and dictate terms to them which they follow or we tell them to rot off, or we just tell them to go rot off and have their fun without our military and economic aid or political acquiescence or approval. I’m inclined to the former route myself, but we should be under no illusion that solving this conflict will come about merely as a result of more action on our part.

  64. 64
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Darkrose:

    It’s the elephant in the room. No one wants to discuss it because it brings up all sorts of uncomfortable questions,

    I find "uncomfortable" questions to often be both the most interesting and the most illuminating.

    Up to a certain, somewhat variable age children can drive adults to distraction by constantly asking "why".. At some point most people seem to lose that urge to know but for some of us it is a lifelong obsession.

    I found this piece by Nir Rosen very interesting.

    A Zionist Israel is not a viable long-term project and Israeli settlements, land expropriation and separation barriers have long since made a two state solution impossible. There can be only one state in historic Palestine. In coming decades, Israelis will be confronted with two options. Will they peacefully transition towards an equal society, where Palestinians are given the same rights, à la post-apartheid South Africa? Or will they continue to view democracy as a threat? If so, one of the peoples will be forced to leave. Colonialism has only worked when most of the natives have been exterminated. But often, as in occupied Algeria, it is the settlers who flee. Eventually, the Palestinians will not be willing to compromise and seek one state for both people. Does the world want to further radicalise them?

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    Hamas replies by lobbing rockets into Gaza. Israel replies by bombing Gaza.

    Hamas lobs themselves?

    And so on, and so on.

    So Hamas shoots outside the battlezones and Israel doesn’t and this is tit for tat expansion?

    This is appealing in an ideal world

    Hamas is deliberately targeting civilians not involved in the battle.

    Big no-no. Bad juju.

  66. 66
    TenguPhule says:

    We force the Palestinians and Israelis to the table and dictate terms to them which they follow or we tell them to rot off, or we just tell them to go rot off and have their fun without our military and economic aid or political acquiescence or approval.

    Find me majorities in the house and senate willing to commit political suicide and we can get it done.

  67. 67
    Delia says:

    If Israeli settlers are shooting at Palistinians, either the Israeli army/police has a duty to stop it or the Palistinians under fire have a right to return fire.

    More often than not the army/police do nothing, and Palestinian farmers or families are not armed. Here are two particularly egregious examples I culled from dozens on teh google.

    one

    two

    I read several accounts of this second story around the beginning of December, when it happened. The family’s lives were saved only by the intervention of Israeli journalists who have been trying to document the atrocities of the settlers. The soldiers would not intervene or were extremely lax in responding.

    And whether the settlers are there in the cities or not is irrelevant. The rising attacks by the settlers over this past year on Palestinian properties and the refusal of the Israeli government to do much of anything about it contributes to the generalized feelings among Palestinians that they’re pretty much on their own and the Israeli government and armed forces are not going to defend their rights under any circumstances. It contributes to the general polarization of the situation and the hopelessness that the Palestinians feel. If the Israelis want to get things under control they need to do something about these fanatical settlers.

  68. 68
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Although Bush’s forced election has been widely regarded as a disaster for most concerned, he may have unwittingly opened up another possiblity to a solution.

    I’m not all that sure there really isn’t two Palestinian potential states right now. Fatah got treated rather brutally in their little spat with Hamas in Gaza not long ago,, and many Fatah were expelled to the WB. Since Hamas can never be negotiated with imo, maybe Obama should make a big effort to buck up Abbas in a serious way, and just treat his followers as a separate entity to make peace with. And If Hamas continues with intractibility, just ignore them and let them stew in their own shit. It’s an idea fraught with all kinds of possible fail, but so are all the others.

  69. 69
    kilo says:

    What happens once the Palestinians start posting gory videos of civilian casualties as "video responses" to the IDF?

    I don’t think this will turn out well as a PR move.

  70. 70

    Wrong. Here’s the flaw in your argument.

    The settlers are not in the cities being shot at while shooting at the Palistinians.

    If Israeli settlers are shooting at Palistinians, either the Israeli army/police has a duty to stop it or the Palistinians under fire have a right to return fire.

    This is not carte blanche to shoot every Israeli in sight.

    as soon as the Israeli authorities fail to do anything to stop it, we do have an identical situation. It’s called warfare.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    It contributes to the general polarization of the situation and the hopelessness that the Palestinians feel.

    And still doesn’t justify the rocket attacks one iota.

    If the Israelis want to get things under control they need to do something about these fanatical settlers.

    The number of Israeli settlers was somewhere around 484,000 I believe. So yeah, third party peacekeepers is the only way to go.

    Not quite as easy as getting people to stop shooting, now is it?

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    as soon as the Israeli authorities fail to do anything to stop it, we do have an identical situation. It’s called warfare.

    Wrong. Deliberately targeting civilian targets is not warfare.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    And whether the settlers are there in the cities or not is irrelevant.

    It’s very relevant.

    If you fire on civilian targets instead of the people actually shooting at you, your ass needs to be kicked.

  74. 74
    Xanthippas says:

    Find me majorities in the house and senate willing to commit political suicide and we can get it done.

    Well see, the thing is it’s not exactly political suicide when most Americans would probably support a more even-handed approach towards Israel.

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    Well see, the thing is it’s not exactly political suicide when most Americans would probably support a more even-handed approach towards Israel.

    Yes, but when it comes to actual voters, politicos of every stripe cringe in fear of being accused of being "Anti-Israel".

    Right now it still is political suicide, but if you can find me these Senators and House Members, it can be done.

  76. 76

    Wrong. Deliberately targeting civilian targets is not warfare.

    So, how do you propose that the Palestinians fight? Your argument is exactly the same as the people who say that the Israelis should just sit there and take it.

  77. 77
    The Other Steve says:

    So, how do you propose that the Palestinians fight? Your argument is exactly the same as the people who say that the Israelis should just sit there and take it.

    Uhh… target military units?

    You know, as per the Geneva Conventions.

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    So, how do you propose that the Palestinians fight?

    Just off the top of my head.

    1. Israeli Courts

    2. Film Israeli Settlers in action. Broadcast.

    3. Non-violent protests.

    4. Try targeting the blockade.

  79. 79
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    So, how do you propose that the Palestinians fight?

    Maybe they shouldn’t fight, at least with guns and hand made rockets and take a few chapters from say a Ghandi or a MLK. That is if they really want some kind of reasonable and honorable peace for themselves. The problem is that Hamas wants only one thing, dead Israel and preferably dead Israeli’s. When some people can get that thru their thick skulls, then we can have an honest debate about Settlements and the like. until then it’s just hamsters in a cage.

  80. 80
    demimondian says:

    @The Other Steve: That isn’t warfare, it’s suicide.

  81. 81
    Duke of Earl says:

    @The Other Steve:

    You know, as per the Geneva Conventions.

    How quaint..

  82. 82
    Duke of Earl says:

    From the point of view of most of us in the West there have been two great evil ideologies, fascism and communism. What we fail to recognize is that for much of the rest of the world there have been three great evil ideologies, the two I already mentioned and in addition colonialism. Arguably colonialism has caused as much suffering and death as the other two great evil ideologies, it’s just that the suffering and death took place mostly among dark skinned people so we in the West don’t count it.

    Israel is seen, rightly or wrongly (and I think rightly), as just another European colony by most dark skinned people, certainly it is seen that way by most Arabs.

    Since in large measure perception is reality then there is no real solution to this great problem in the ME that does not involve one side or the other getting a major haircut.

  83. 83
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Duke of Earl:

    Oh, I think they are very aware that they are Jews, an ancient enemy, and where they came from matters less IMO.

  84. 84
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I dunno, I don’t want people who see any criticism of Israel as being pro-Holocaust frothing at the mouth and shouting at me, but this sort of thing has the opposite effect on me.

    All I can think is … geez, this technologically advanced country can bomb people who don’t have running water. How … brave *cough*.

    I think we should remove all support from Israel and see how brave they are then. Just a bunch of punks with guns given to them by someone else.

  85. 85
    Delia says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And still doesn’t justify the rocket attacks one iota.

    I’m not talking about "justification," whatever that means. I’m talking about what creates the conditions of the present situation. Neither side is justified. Neither side in this conflict is likely to produce a Gandhi. Both Arafat and Sharon were mean, treacherous old bastards who did more to prolong warfare than anyone else in their generation. But I don’t see how this latest round of bombings is going to solve anything or make Israel any safer than it was before. Things will just end up worse.

  86. 86
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    It’s my understanding that Jews and Arabs lived side by side in *relative* peace before extremist Zionists began their campaign to take over in that part of the world. Keep in mind that the Muslim fundamentalist movement was fairly small until not all that long ago.

    A few uncomfortable questions..

    What percentage of Israel was Jewish on the day that nation declared itself to be independent?

    What percentage of those Jews in Israel at that time were of native ME birth?

    Was there significant illegal immigration by European Jews into the British Mandate before Israel declared independence?

  87. 87
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Duke of Earl:

    I was speaking of the long term, where many times, one or the other has displaced one or the other. The past 50 years are like a grain of sand on the beach to the folks in that region. And your questions are not really relevant for the present, IMO. Israel is there now and there to stay for some time, and they both will either find a way to cohabitat in relative peace, or not. The "or not" has the upper hand at the moment.

  88. 88
    The Moar You Know says:

    @John Cole: Way to go with the Gap Band reference, by the way.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m talking about what creates the conditions of the present situation.

    I admit, I do not understand how point A)Palestinians are suffering leads to point B)Kill Israeli Civilians.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    I think we should remove all support from Israel and see how brave they are then.

    Oh the empty sneers of idiots. Lady save us from them.

    Just a bunch of punks with guns given to them by someone else.

    Funny, many describe Hamas and the PLO the same way.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    That isn’t warfare, it’s suicide.

    I dunno, the Iraqis and Afghanis seem to be doing a good job of it.

  92. 92
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    And your questions are not really relevant for the present, IMO

    Just making the point that Arab hostility to Israel is not entirely mindless bigotry, no matter how much many Zionists would like us to think otherwise. Most Americans would be pretty hostile to immigrants given the same set of circumstances.

    Israel is there now and there to stay for some time, and they both will either find a way to cohabitat in relative peace, or not. The "or not" has the upper hand at the moment.

    And Israel will not always have a Jewish majority unless something dramatic happens.

    The Jewish Israelis had best make plans for that eventuality and I don’t think deliberately pissing off their future overlords is really the best plan.

  93. 93
    Duke of Earl says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I admit, I do not understand how point A)Palestinians are suffering leads to point B)Kill Israeli Civilians.

    Human nature, misery loves company.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    The Jewish Israelis had best make plans for that eventuality and I don’t think deliberately pissing off their future overlords is really the best plan.

    I think the farthest right in Israel has made plans and Hamas is slowly persuading the general Israeli public to go along with it.

    And it won’t be overlords.

  95. 95

    Maybe they shouldn’t fight, at least with guns and hand made rockets and take a few chapters from say a Ghandi or a MLK. That is if they really want some kind of reasonable and honorable peace for themselves. The problem is that Hamas wants only one thing, dead Israel and preferably dead Israeli’s. When some people can get that thru their thick skulls, then we can have an honest debate about Settlements and the like. until then it’s just hamsters in a cage.

    You are asking that the Palestinians be more rational than the Israelis. Why aren’t you complaining that the Israelis need to deal with the settlers who apparently want only one thing: dead Arabs?

    The Israelis are allowing their own people to get away with killing civilians. It violates everything we know of about human nature to expect that the Palestinians won’t do the same. If the Israelis want to claim any sort of moral high ground, they must deal with their own extremists. As is, they don’t even enforce their own laws.

  96. 96

    I dunno, the Iraqis and Afghanis seem to be doing a good job of it.

    You certainly love using analogies between things that aren’t at all comparable. To start with, look atthe ratio of Iraqis to American troops, and compare to Gaza. Then, take a look at the effectiveness of the Israeli blockade relative to American control of Iraq’s borders. Then, when you are done noting the rather extreme differences, try again.

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    You are asking that the Palestinians be more rational than the Israelis.

    Is this so much to ask? Or are you saying the Palestinans are more irrational then the Israelis? In which case, why bother?

    Why aren’t you complaining that the Israelis need to deal with the settlers who apparently want only one thing: dead Arabs?

    Because its a bit more complicated then that. The settlers number almost half a million people, all of them prior or currently military trained and they enjoy the patronage of the hawks who came into power way back in 2000 and have stayed there ever since thanks to Hamas and Jihad.

    Israel has made efforts to remove settlements, it never goes well for them. Their soldiers take a lot of grief and most of the time the people simply come back and set up again.

    For a time there was internal pressure to change this and be more forceful in removing settlers…then a long series of suicide bombings changed the Israeli man on the street’s thinking to "Make those people stop killing us even if you have to level them to dust".

    And now with elections coming up, the Israeli doves who’d give Palestinians a chance look even further discredited and look to become an even weaker minority.

    So yeah, the Palestinians are fucked.

  98. 98
    Duke of Earl says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I think the farthest right in Israel has made plans and Hamas is slowly persuading the general Israeli public to go along with it.

    And it won’t be overlords.

    So it will come full circle.. Thanks for admitting that Israel may well be on the way to becoming that which they most hate and fear.

    You are aware no doubt that there are a great many people who will not blame just the government of Israel for such an event but rather all Jews everywhere?

    What is that line about staring long enough into the abyss?

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    You certainly love using analogies between things that aren’t at all comparative.

    Pot, Kettle. And you can stop spiking the well with arsenic.

  100. 100
    Duke of Earl says:

    @TenguPhule:

    So yeah, the Palestinians are fucked.

    And if your ultimate scenario plays out, so are the Jews.

  101. 101
    LanceThruster says:

    "MURDER as COVER for THEFT is NOT *self-defense*!" ~ LT

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    .. Thanks for admitting that Israel may well be on the way to becoming that which they most hate and fear.

    You’re a bit late on that. For many Israelis that point has come and gone.

    A lot of people on this thread made noise about "its only to be expected when people are oppressed all the time".

    Well the current climate of terror in Israel has been going on almost 10 years now. And their hammers are a lot bigger.

    So yeah. At this rate its going to be very ugly.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    You are aware no doubt that there are a great many people who will not blame just the government of Israel for such an event but rather all Jews everywhere?

    These people would blame Jews for the common cold. So?

    Humans are bastards.

  104. 104
    Duke of Earl says:

    @TenguPhule:

    These people would blame Jews for the common cold. So?

    Not all of them, and what you outline is going to be a touch worse than a cold, it will horrify the world.

    The right wing in Israel has deliberately set the nation up as representative of all Jews everywhere and the Likudniks pound that meme like a pile driver 24/7.

    Never again, eh?

  105. 105
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Duke of Earl:

    The Jewish Israelis had best make plans for that eventuality and I don’t think deliberately pissing off their future overlords is really the best plan.

    So your equating Israeli-Palestinians with the those who are not. That’s a hard comparison to make, but I’m sure they will think of something and I doubt it will be to allow rockets falling on jewish neighborhoods. You do like to project the future, me not so much.

  106. 106
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    You are asking that the Palestinians be more rational than the Israelis. Why aren’t you complaining that the Israelis need to deal with the settlers who apparently want only one thing: dead Arabs?

    yea, that’s right. Jewish settlers are out gunning down innocent Arab’s in large numbers who are just out minding their own business. There are isolated incidents of this, but if you have evidence it is in any way a big problem or systematic, then I would be interested in links for it.

  107. 107
    The Other Steve says:

    The right wing in Israel has deliberately set the nation up as representative of all Jews everywhere and the Likudniks pound that meme like a pile driver 24/7.

    Never again, eh?

    And all Arabs are terrorists.

    What’s your point?

  108. 108
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    You do like to project the future, me not so much.

    It’s called extrapolation, any human of near normal intelligence does it constantly, the ability to foresee future consequences of present events is the main difference between humans and other animals.

    The better and more accurate your extrapolations the more successful you are likely to be, all else being equal.

    Would that some people in our government were better at extrapolation.

  109. 109
    Duke of Earl says:

    @The Other Steve:

    And all Arabs are terrorists.

    What’s your point?

    If and when the events Tengu is kinda sorta predicting happen there is going to be a huge backlash against Jewry worldwide, it won’t be right but it will happen.

    And the Likudniks are doing their utmost to see it happens that way.

  110. 110
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Duke of Earl:

    The better and more accurate your extrapolations the more successful you are likely to be, all else being equal.

    Well then, I will learn me some extrapolation. :-)

  111. 111
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    The Jews are desperate to anchor the United States to their actions in Palestine. Without the backing of the United States they would die, hence their comic desperation to justify what common sense tells all Americans is unfair, unjst and immoral.

    They don’t want Americans to think for themselves – they want to hector and lecture like they do here.

    Go to Palestine – see with your own eyes what the Jews do with your money. If it’s acceptable to you, then join hands with Israel and don’t complain if you are held responsible for their actions.

    Think for yourselves. Read, watch and listen to other sources of informatiom,instead of the ones you routinely criticize when they talk about other things.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    wilfred the shoe thrower: Kill the Jews!

    Condensed.

  113. 113
    Duke of Earl says:

    @wilfred the shoe thrower:

    The Jews are desperate to anchor the United States to their actions in Palestine.

    I know you know better than what you are saying, Jews are hardly monolithic in their opinions and a great many of them disagree extremely strongly with what is being done by the government of Israel.

    You do yourself no favors by painting all Jews with the same brush and you allow people who otherwise might listen to some of your valid points to ignore everything you have to say.

    I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your point of view and in some ways I find it a valid one.. Drop the broad brush smears and focus your anger and rhetoric on those who truly deserve it. The reason a laser can be so powerful with only light is because it can focus down smaller than a pinpoint to burn steel, spread the same beam out and it won’t even warm your face.

  114. 114
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    Oh, should I say Israelis, or Zionists, the usual metaphors – is that appropriate? Does that mitigate behavior? No one is offended by the central assumption at work on the part of the Jewish apologists that over 400 deaths in Gaza are somehow warranted because – why? They are all terrorists, Hamas, etc. This is never challenged, naturally.

    This is false sensitivity. Israel is the self-proclaimed Jewish State – its actions of its leaders are made in the full consciousness of being Jews. Don’t obfuscate identiy in the name of political correctness. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

    You have to pity the poor Phule – relentelssy defending what most of thee world rigthly sees as scumbaggery. When the US was leveling Fallujah he declaimed against it, as did most of the apologist present on this site. Excess, criminal Bush, war crimes, the horror.

    But when it’s them, and the victims are the right kind of nigger – the Palestinian kind – then it’s all ok.

  115. 115
    Crusty Dem says:

    shorter Tenguphule the dalek:

    "exterminate, exterminate!"

    It’s amazing that the extremists on either side of this issue are capable of showing great compassion for their own side and none for the other. Whether it’s Marty Peretz stroking himself to the rising death toll in Gaza or the "death to Israel" crowd (although they’re pretty absent in the US). I can’t understand why anyone with half a brain is looking to assign blame when both sides are so fucknuts retarded.

    1) The only reason Hamas fires missiles into Israel is to induce reprisals. Don’t get me wrong, they’d love to wipe out the jews, but that’s not their goal, these attacks have no effect on Israel infrastructure, military, etc., it’s ostensibly a cry for attention during this insane blockade.

    2) The secondary (or more realistically, primary) goal is to strengthen Hamas in the region. They can’t peaceably improve the situation (and probably wouldn’t even if they could), but they can strengthen their standing by being aggressive. Anyone who attacks Israel in any way, no matter the repraisals, is elevated in the community. Shaking hands with Israel=death/failure, so why do it? The fact that none of their actions will improve the situation is moot, since most Palestinians don’t believe anything will improve their situation…

    3) Israel’s predictable response draws more attention to the situation worldwide (as Hamas desires), but solidifies the political right in Israel. Less security/more war=stronger conservatives, not just in Israel, the same trick worked well here.

    So we have two sides that love power and can solidify control of their respective lands by killing the enemy and whatever civilians are around. The point is, the death of civilians in Gaza is not a flaw in the Hamas plans, it’s the goal. Israel plays right into Hamas hand by retaliating with so much force. This will not harm Hamas at all and will have no effect on the situation (locally). The Palestinians still have no way of harming Israel. Israel is not going to exterminate Palestine. Hamas and Likud/Kadima will reign for the foreseeable future, etc, etc, etc.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    Shorter Crusty Dem: I haven’t paid attention to a word that’s been said here.

    So yeah, start at the top of the thread and work your way back down here.

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    The point is, the death of civilians in Gaza is not a flaw in the Hamas plans, it’s the goal. Israel plays right into Hamas hand by retaliating with so much force.

    Correct. Problem is, it’s a no-win situation.

    Can’t win, Can’t break even, can’t even get out of the game.

    But there is a limit here.

    Population growth. And that is going to be what tips the scales into something very very ugly in the near future.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    No one is offended by the central assumption at work on the part of the Jewish apologists that over 400 deaths in Gaza are somehow warranted because – why?

    Wilfred, you operate under the assumption that all attacks on Israeli cities targeting civilians is justified.

    So yeah, you are the *LAST* person who can talk about other people’s assumptions here.

    400 deaths in Gaza, 4 deaths in Israel. All of it fucking stupid.

    So what? There’s enough blame for both and it isn’t going to change a thing.

    Both sides currently have leaders that are fucking morons only intent on trying to keep control. The Israeli doves are a fucking minority now and the Palestinian ones seem to have become as extinct as the dodo.

    Nobody in the international community wants to cough up for the peacekeepers to patrol both sides.

    So yeah.

  119. 119
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    Wilfred, you operate under the assumption that all attacks on Israeli cities targeting civilians is justified

    Show where I said that.

    You’re a liar. You have done nothing but justify this attack the same way you defended the Israeli destruction of Lebanon’s civilian infra-structure 2 years ago.

    You’re an apologist for mureder, who accuses of other people of your own crimes. that’s the Zionist way.

    let Americans think for themselves – what are you afraid of?

  120. 120
    Comrade Glocksman says:

    Was it Golda Meir who said that the war won’t stop until ‘the Palestinians love their children more than they hate us’?

    That observation applies to both sides in the conflict.

    If I were a Palestinian whose family was ‘collateral damage’ in an Israeli airstrike, I’d want to pick up an AK and kill as many of the bastards as I could before I died myself.

    Similarly, if I were a resident of Siderot and lost my family to a Hamas rocket, I’d do the same.

    I’m no geopolitical genius, but there is a need for an ‘honest broker’ who is trusted by both sides.

    Up until now, the US’s open support of Israel precluded us from being that broker.

    Will moderate Palestinians and Israelis trust the incoming President to be an honest broker?

    Who knows?

    As an aside, this somewhat reminds me of the story I once heard about a US diplomat during the late 1940’s who was trying to convince the Saudi king to back the formation of Israel by citing the Holocaust and its aftermath.

    Supposedly the King said ‘That is horrible and they deserve a home. Give them Bavaria’. :)

    IOW, both sides see themselves as victims

  121. 121

    As per usual, the point becomes who is at fault. Sides are picked and the byte bombing commences. On an American Blog. I wonder why they can’t sort it out.

    If you take just 60 years of history there is plenty of crap to go all around, add on another thousand or so and what? So the US is supposed to pick sides because? Israel is not our friend, they’re an ally. Israel has its own agenda and the US has its. We don’t OWE Israel the sweat off our balls, they have not bailed us out ever and neither has anyone else, excepting France in the Revolution and then for their own ends.

    The existance of Israel is one of the tiredest arguments made, in the last 10 years at least. Israel is a fucking nuclear state, not to mention armed to the fucking teeth, or had anybody noticed. Fault is not the fucking question, the question is how to deal with the matter as it stands. Unless this is somehow satisfying.

    If the US is supposed to somehow get involved in this mess, then how is it supposed to work if the US is not an honest broker? Or any other state? If Israel is our pet then how are we supposed to talk to the Palestinians? Or conversely how is, say, Iran supposed to talk to Israel? Since we’re talking about trust with lives and futures, the people being talked to might have rather high threasholds.

    This same bullshit blame game isn’t restricted to blogs. Here you are, 115 comments and less than a couple that aren’t, "your side stinks."

    Today’s Hamas rockets are pip squeaks, but a generational jump over 10 years ago in range and lethality, what does the next couple years bring? Smart bombs are actually pretty cheap to build, all it takes is some explosives and a willing human. An AK47 is a piece of junk, other than getting a bunch of bullets out there and not clogging up with abuse, good reach out and touch somebody bolt actions aren’t that hard to get or expensive and there is some pretty good US stuff getting lost in Iraq. Think about it, I can take a pretty standard grade hunting rifle and reach out and touch you at 1000yds, 3/5 mile, you’re down and bleeding and I’m moving away before the sound reaches you. Sure, the Palestinians are fucked, but then so is Israel. This will only get much worse.

    But hell, blame is ever so much more fun.

  122. 122
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    A shame Hitler did not have access to YouTube.

    Somewhere buried in my 62 years of accumulated books and collectibles I have an edition of a popular German magazine issued the week after Germany invaded Poland setting off WWII.

    It has a heroic portrait of Hitler on the cover, and inside, in sepia tinted black and white photos, a carefully written article documenting in detail, with photographic proof, of why the Germans had to undertake their "counter attack" (the exact word used) against the viscious Polacks, who had just gosh darn it committed one final border violation too many for the Reich to stand for.

    Thus the launching of the Third World War.

    It is an absolute classic piece of propaganda and lies. I plan to donate it to the Lily Library in my will, I doubt if many copies still exist.

  123. 123
    Observer says:

    Gazans elected a party devoted to endless war with a people they refuse to recognize, that is devoted to refusal to negotiate any agreement. The party is delivering on their election promises.

    This is the democratic process in action. It’s mystifying to me why an entire people would decide to do this but they did.

    When Gaza looks like Dresden Feb 1945 then the pearl clutching becomes legitimate. When Hamas lets in the medical supplies and doctors waiting at Egyptian gates they have some moral position.

    Arguing "proportionality" is insane. Hamas has had months to negotiate peace – simply recognizing Israel as a nation and disinviting Hizbollah from building war emplacements in Gaza would go a long way towards neutralizing the Israeli settler-fanatics.

    Instead Hamas chose to provoke a war to boost their falling support among common Palestinians.

    Democracy in action. It’s not smart or survivable – but it is the will of the people.

  124. 124
    The Other Steve says:

    Aipac speak: "The bitch was just begging for it, your honor".

    Fucking moron. This is the pathetic stupidity Americans are subjected to on a daily basis: Paw widdly wisrael only wants peace.

    Naw, it just proves Ghandi was right.

    The Palestinians actions of terror don’t provoke much sympathy from rational people. Sure there are some nutters out there who feel bad for them, but that’s just because they’re ignorant and unaware of what is happening over there.

  125. 125
    GSD says:

    The whole "heavily populated areas" mantra is sort of a lark when one considers that Gaza is a heavily populated area.

    Isralies bombed police stations. In my town the police station sits in a small neighborhood. So if it were bombed it would likely kill civilians.

    Want kind of evil ogres are the local NH police for jeopardizing civilians by placing themselves right in their midst?

    -GSD

  126. 126
    The Moar You Know says:

    Aipac speak: "The bitch was just begging for it, your honor".

    @wilfred the shoe thrower: That’s Muslim speak, too, when they’re calmly explaining to the world just why it is that they had to slit a high-school girl’s throat for showing off some ankle, amirite?

  127. 127
    Comrade Stuck says:

    And before there are any truthers out there claiming I am accusing the IDF of lying

    These are not the type of Truthers that frequent this blog.

  128. 128
    gryph says:

    It says something about our news media and the media strategy of Hamas that when Israel takes fire, we get a talking head reading to us about a rocket attack, but when Israel fires a return salvo, we get live audio of mothers in mourning. You can have small incidents forever as long as you kill slowly, but do it all at once and now you have a human interest story.

    ALL casualties are terrible. Why are these casualties any different, that we should be drug along by the heartstrings about these casualties in particular?

    If you’re trying to defend against an enemy that ONLY attacks from dense civilian cover, you either take losses forever or, eventually, you fire back. At some point, no matter the terrible news reports of dead children and crying mothers, Israel needs to be allowed to fire back.

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It says something about our news media and the media strategy of Hamas that when Israel takes fire, we get a talking head reading to us about a rocket attack, but when Israel fires a return salvo, we get live audio of mothers in mourning.

    This is because the Hamas rocket attacks are largely ineffectual, causing something on the order of twenty casualties in the last seven years. OTOH, Israeli attacks usually kill many people.

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    Show where I said that.

    You’ve said it and variations of on just about every past thread you’ve trolled here involving Israel.

    You also lie shamelessly.

  131. 131
    The Other Steve says:

    This is because the Hamas rocket attacks are largely ineffectual, causing something on the order of twenty casualties in the last seven years. OTOH, Israeli attacks usually kill many people.

    Hitler’s rocket attacks on London were ineffective too.

    That didn’t make them right or justified.

  132. 132
    Crusty Dem says:

    The Other Steve commits hari kari by ultra-mega-super-Godwin.

    Arguing on the internet turns everyone into an asshole. Arguing about Israel/Palestine turns everyone into retarded assholes. Nothing in the last 50 comments is worth reading, including my own post.

    Or even this one.

  133. 133
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @The Other Steve: TOS, I’m not making a case for right or wrong. I’m simply explaining why Hamas rocket attacks don’t elicit worldwide coverage of crying Israeli mothers. Try to follow along.

  134. 134

    yea, that’s right. Jewish settlers are out gunning down innocent Arab’s in large numbers who are just out minding their own business. There are isolated incidents of this, but if you have evidence it is in any way a big problem or systematic, then I would be interested in links for it.

    They’ve killed more Arab civilians than Hamas rockets have killed Israeli civilians. If you want to use the latter as a justification for bombing civilian areas, there is no logical reason why the former doesn’t as well. Instead, you go with the argument that minimal casualties on one side are more worthy of response than minimal casualties on the other.

    Maybe, just maybe, no one should be bombing civilian areas.

  135. 135

    Hitler’s rocket attacks on London were ineffective too.

    That didn’t make them right or justified.

    Great. I even agree with this. However, you can’t haul this argument out while justifying rocket attacks going the other way, and maintain any sort of moral consistency. If you want to justify Israeli attacks, you end up justifying Palestinian ones as well, even if you can’t grasp that.

  136. 136
    The Other Steve says:

    TOS, I’m not making a case for right or wrong. I’m simply explaining why Hamas rocket attacks don’t elicit worldwide coverage of crying Israeli mothers. Try to follow along.

    Well in that case, you’re wrong. The fact is the Palestinians simply have better publicists.

    My favorite was sometime back in 2002 when they were all shooting at each other, there was a video released that showed a parade of Palestinians carrying a coffin moaning and wailing… Whoa is me! until the guys dropped the coffin and the body jumped up and ran away.

    Everyone wants in on the action! Sympathy is a growth industry!

    Someone earlier in the thread got it right… The only reason Hamas launches these rockets is so they get some bombs tossed back at them. Then they make sure all the news agencies get the videos of how all the poor suffering palestinians are surviving the evil Israeli bombs.

    And the nutters just lap it up, because they want to believe in a cause.

  137. 137
    The Other Steve says:

    Great. I even agree with this. However, you can’t haul this argument out while justifying rocket attacks going the other way, and maintain any sort of moral consistency. If you want to justify Israeli attacks, you end up justifying Palestinian ones as well, even if you can’t grasp that.

    I don’t care if anybody is justified. Fact is, they’re both angry and they’re going to continue to kill each other until one side surrenders. So I say just let them fight and stop yelling "Stop stop!". Let them get the fight out of them, it’d be far better than another 60 years of this bullshit.

    I’m just sick and tired of all the fucking nutters who get all sympathetic for the Palestinians.

  138. 138
    The Other Steve says:

    Maybe, just maybe, no one should be bombing civilian areas.

    Actually if you read the Geneva Conventions, it’s pretty clear that if you use civilian areas as launch points for military actions, they are now classified as military areas.

    The fact that Palestinian militants prevent civilians from fleeing the area is a war crime.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    . However, you can’t haul this argument out while justifying rocket attacks going the other way, and maintain any sort of moral consistency.

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    There is a world of difference between firing back at people shooting out of civilian neighborhoods and bombarding civilian areas intentionally to kill civilians.

  140. 140

    There is a world of difference between firing back at people shooting out of civilian neighborhoods and bombarding civilian areas intentionally to kill civilians.

    There would be, if the Israelis were preventing their own extremists from killing Arab civilians. Since that isn’t happening, the Israelis have demonstrated every bit the amount of immoral targeting as the Palestinians have. If they are not willing (or able) to deal with the criminals on their side, they have no standing to complain about the criminals on the other side.

    Israel has an absolute moral obligation to behave differently than the Palestinians if they want to claim that there is a difference. So long as they refuse to enforce their own laws, they are not fulfilling this obligation.

    So far, you refuse to deal with this problem. Talking about who is intentionally targeting civilians while avoiding comment on some of those who are doing so is obtuse.

  141. 141
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @The Other Steve:

    The fact is the Palestinians simply have better publicists.

    What an incredibly stupid thing to say.

  142. 142
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Shorter TP: Why does my beautiful pig keep smearing her lipstick?

  143. 143
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Maybe, just maybe, no one should be bombing civilian areas.

    If this is what your talking about, then I agree. But you where claiming and comparing actual settlers were gunning down average Palestinian civilians who were NOT attacking them, say like a suicide bomber blowing themselves up on a bus or in a Pizzaria. And like I’ve stated a zillion times that doesn’t sink in to folks like you, Hamas would be doing what it does, with or without settlers. And it is not comparable, albeit still wrong to compare Israel targeting Hamas terrorists hiding behind women and children, Hamas is now the instigators of the cycle of killing and they alone can stop the IDF bombs. This blog is becoming more like Kos everyday.

  144. 144
    fenris says:

    @The Other Steve:
    If you read the geneva conventions, you wouldn’t be suggesting that on general terms, which is what Israel is doing. And getting away with, successfully, thanks to illiterate people around the world who just "know" things.

    Btw – the premise in the main post: that somehow the blurry videos of superior warfare waged on legitimate targets from a distance.. has no point… …Will you people ever fucking grow up? You’re getting another barrage of this crap daily, and you haven’t learned what sort of narcissistic superiority complex it’s trying to appeal to.

    Instead – it’s: "oh, clever people are too smart to fall for something like this, and boy, now we need to strike a victorious blow for freedom of speech! Yay to the internet for private users being used to run government propaganda! It’s only fair and fucking balanced!".

    Seriously.. go to hell. There’s nothing here that isn’t an iteration of the numerous attacks during the last ten- fifteen years. And just like in Lebanon, these attacks are directly sponsored by American money, and blessed by American politicians. That’s the reality – and until you accept that, and consider it a worthwhile argument to analyse how this money is indeed used – and how it is appropriated. And further, what role the US should possibly play in this conflict, if not a silent guardian and enabler of human rights violations on either side – by actively fronting views like "let’s give them the opportunity to duke it out, because they just don’t want peace" – until then, Cole, why the fuck are you even talking?

    But Youtube! Pfah.

  145. 145

    And like I’ve stated a zillion times that doesn’t sink in to folks like you, Hamas would be doing what it does, with or without settlers.

    I have never claimed otherwise, except, apparently, in your imagination. Yes, Hamas would still be attacking the Israelis. I have two points:

    1) The Israelis have no moral standing to say that they are justified in bombing in Gaza so long as they do nothing about the settlers. Hamas may not care about that, but I do. I am not interested in their arguments until they are prepared to be consistent.

    2) Until the Israelis deal with the settlers, there is zero prospect of Hamas losing their position as the official representatives of the Palestinians. There can’t be any progress towards peace until they do. They Palestinians don’t have anything that they can offer the Israelis except peace, and they won’t offer it until the Israelis deliver it themselves. (The Israelis, on the other hand, have a lot of other things that they could deliver as part of an agreement, so a crackdown on the settlers doesn’t eliminate their negotiating position.)

    It’s going to take a lot more than that, but if Israel can’t even deliver that much, the whole peace process is a non-starter.

    My other problem is that, with power comes responsibility. The Israelis have all the power in this relationship. This means that they have an obligation to act rationally that the Palestinians don’t. It’s not necessarily a moral obligation, but it is a practical one. Part of this stems from the fact that the average Palestinian doesn’t really have much to lose. The default conditions in Gaza are so bad that I find the argument that the Israelis can make them miserable enough by bombing to produce desirable behavioral changes to be non-sensical. It’s so obviously ridiculous that I have a hard time believing that it’s made in good faith.

  146. 146
    Comrade Stuck says:

    1) The Israelis have no moral standing to say that they are justified in bombing in Gaza so long as they do nothing about the settlers. Hamas may not care about that, but I do. I am not interested in their arguments until they are prepared to be consistent.

    That would be true if you equated placing settlements on Palestinian Land (always to be qualified as captured land in a defensive war) that should be returned for peace, with blowing up teenagers at a Pizzaria. I don’t and never will.

    And yes, Israel has all the military power and the control that provides. But Hamas holds the match to light the fire, and that, in the end, holds as much, or maybe even more Psychological control.

    And I am not so sure that now, with what has happened with conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah and the PA in the WB and the animosity that exists, that a separate peace cannot be made with the WB Arabs. Otherwise, with Hamas being part of a peace agreement for Palestinians as a whole, you are asking Israel to accept an agreement that includes a large group that has sworn to fight and destroy it unto their dying day. That is the monkey wrench in process that cannot be reconciled in the equation as it currently exists imho. And I don’t blame Israel for shunning it and keeping the settlements as a bargaining chip. I think what Israeli’s as a country wants above all else is security and if a reliable peace agreement can be made with the WB, then the country will as a whole demand removal of the settlements there, and let Hamas and Gaza wither in isolation, or be killed if they don’t quit fighting. Which they won’t.

  147. 147

    That would be true if you equated placing settlements on Palestinian Land (always to be qualified as captured land in a defensive war) that should be returned for peace, with blowing up teenagers at a Pizzaria. I don’t and never will.

    This is my problem with your whole argument: you dishonestly minimize Israeli actions. They have done more than just set up settlements on captured land. They have displaced Arab civilians with no due process. They have ignored their own laws and flat out stolen land owned by Arabs. They have done nothing about Israeli citizens who have engaged in terrorism and murder of Arabs; I’m not sure how else you could characterize last month’s events in Hebron.

    Until you are prepared to acknowledge what the Israelis have actually done, there’s no way to have a dialogue.

  148. 148

    And I am not so sure that now, with what has happened with conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah and the PA in the WB and the animosity that exists, that a separate peace cannot be made with the WB Arabs. Otherwise, with Hamas being part of a peace agreement for Palestinians as a whole, you are asking Israel to accept an agreement that includes a large group that has sworn to fight and destroy it unto their dying day. That is the monkey wrench in process that cannot be reconciled in the equation as it currently exists imho. And I don’t blame Israel for shunning it and keeping the settlements as a bargaining chip. I think what Israeli’s as a country wants above all else is security and if a reliable peace agreement can be made with the WB, then the country will as a whole demand removal of the settlements there, and let Hamas and Gaza wither in isolation, or be killed if they don’t quit fighting. Which they won’t.

    They will never have peace so long as they shun the elected representatives of the Palestinian people. At this point, a separate peace with the Palestinians on the West Bank isn’t possible, because Fatah has no legitimacy. Further, as I said, the settlements are not the only bargaining chips that the Israelis have; they could give them up, and still have plenty of negotiating leverage. A cessation of attacks is the only thing the Palestinians have to offer. If they unilaterally stop them, they have no way to pressure the Israelis.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    If they are not willing (or able) to deal with the criminals on their side, they have no standing to complain about the criminals on the other side.

    Maybe you need to reread your own words.

    There would be, if the Israelis were preventing their own extremists from killing Arab civilians.

    I’m sorry, when was the last incident of settler attacks? Just for clarification, I don’t seem to recall seeing any for at least a few years.

  150. 150
    Comrade Stuck says:

    And also, you would be asking Israel to placate the process by removing settlements, under pressure from a group (Hamas) that won’t cease their attacks even if the settlements are removed. nonstarter.

  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    A cessation of attacks is the only thing the Palestinians have to offer.

    Oddly enough, this is normally defined as terrorism.

    If they unilaterally stop them, they have no way to pressure the Israelis.

    If they stopped, EVERYONE ELSE could pressure Israel.

  152. 152
    TenguPhule says:

    Just Some Fuckhead: Nom! Nom! Nom!

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    They will never have peace so long as they shun the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

    The elected representives have the motto: "Drive Israel into the sea".

    There will never be peace until there is a point where negotiations can start.

    So yeah.

    Lather, rinse repeat.

  154. 154
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    What is dishonest about your argument is that you start out discussing one thing, Settlers, and making suggestions they are randomly killing innocent Palestinian bystanders, while providing no proof of your claim as I requested. Then you jump from the settlements existence issue into other peripheral injustices by Israeli’s that I would have agreed with you on, if provided the opportunity. And then climb up on your left wing soap box to exalt my dishonesty . Just bullshit is all I can say to people who think and debate this way. Get your shit together and pick an argument and defend it, or not.

    yawn and take it away TP. I’m done with these jackasses.

  155. 155

    I’m sorry, when was the last incident of settler attacks? Just for clarification, I don’t seem to recall seeing any for at least a few years.

    Then all I can say is that you haven’t been paying attention.

  156. 156

    If they stopped, EVERYONE ELSE could pressure Israel.

    How? Your argument appears to be that the Palestinians should base their entire strategy on getting help from people who have never helped them before, even when they had a chance.

  157. 157

    What is dishonest about your argument is that you start out discussing one thing, Settlers, and making suggestions they are randomly killing innocent Palestinian bystanders, while providing no proof of your claim as I requested. Then you jump from the settlements existence issue into other peripheral injustices by Israeli’s that I would have agreed with you on, if provided the opportunity. And then climb up on your left wing soap box to exalt my dishonesty . Just bullshit is all I can say to people who think and debate this way. Get your shit together and pick an argument and defend it, or not.

    I have repeatedly pointed you to the attacks in Hebron earlier this month.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    Your argument appears to be that the Palestinians should base their entire strategy on getting help from people who have never helped them before, even when they had a chance.

    Odd, I seem to recall several outside parties working on a peace process.

    I also seem to recall these same countries as well as Israel providing funding and services to the Palestinians.

    And finally, standards of living for the Palestinians rose when they weren’t suicide bombing and rocketing. It only crashed landed in the last 8 or so years after blockades were put up in response to the rising violence.

  159. 159
    Joseph J. says:

    this latest attack on Gaza has been an eye opener for me.

    Democrats and liberals who revile against the many unjust things they felt Bush has done to Iraqi’s over the last 5 years–but with Israel again doing wholesale butchery against many who have nothing more than stones and rocks to fight back with–well that’s ok and understandable somehow.

    I believe I will in the future support a truly progressive party that at least attempts to practice what they preach.

    The Green party.

    "WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States calls for an immediate end to Israel’s bombing attacks on Gaza, which in the past four days has already caused at least 364 deaths, including Palestinian women and children, with hundreds more wounded.

    “It’s clear that President Bush gave a green light for Israel’s massive and disproportionate display of force. The Green Party demands that the US seek a bilateral ceasefire, with immediate pressure on Israel to stop the bombardment and end the occupation,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for Vice President of the United States."

    Now that is what I call a real commitment to humanity.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    The United Nations as well as Palestinian and Israeli officials have condemned violence by settlers since tensions rose on Thursday in the occupied territory after Israel’s eviction of settler families from a disputed Hebron building.

    Wait, what’s this? I thought J. Michael Neal
    was just telling me that Israel wasn’t doing anything about the settlers?

    A spokesman for Palestinian police, Ramadan Awad, blamed the arson on Jewish settlers he said were spotted fleeing the scene as flames engulfed the building.

    So in fact, the settlers are accused, but only by the word of a Palestinian police officer. Yeah, that’s definitely enough to declare guilt without any more evidence!

    Israel sent in club-wielding troops to remove a dozen settler families from the building on Thursday, after days of stone-throwing protests there between Palestinians and settlers.

    Bu-but-but J. Michael Neal said that Israel refuses to do anything about the settlers!

  161. 161
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    How? Your argument appears to be that the Palestinians should base their entire strategy on getting help from people who have never helped them before, even when they had a chance.

    And why is that? Could it be the acts of blowing up children on buses, or teenagers in the Pizzaria. It’s a chicken/egg argument that really began the era we’ve had with the 67 war. And despite some truthers trying to paint that as Israeli aggression, it wasn’t, nor was the 73 war. Why should Israeli’s try to be reasonable with people who want to destroy them and push them into the sea. And why would the Palestinians reject an offer in 2000 by Israel to give them 96 % of what they were demanding? And what does that say about who wants peace. You believe the Chicken is Israel, and I think it’s not. What else can be said?@J. Michael

    Neal: @J. Michael Neal:

    Then all I can say is that you haven’t been paying attention.

    I said there were isolated instances of Israeli nuts toward Palestinians, but you were comparing that with Hamas acts of terror– rockets, suicide bombers etc.. And when the Israeli terrorists, and there are some, are caught, they are punished. Unlike with the PA.

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the assault "a sinful act by a bloodthirsty terrorist." "This terror incident is a deliberate attempt to harm the relations between the citizens of Israel," Sharon’s office said in a statement.

    This guy and the others caught doing these acts are rotting in Israeli jails.
    Your comparison is false.

  162. 162

    was just telling me that Israel wasn’t doing anything about the settlers?

    If you’re hanging your hat on the fact that, after 21 months, Israeli police evicted settlers who stole someone’s house, and then watched as the settlers rioted and attempted to kill a family of Arabs by burning down their house while they were in it, I guess there’s no convincing you. In my book, that’s terrorism, and should be treated as such.

    And why is that? Could it be the acts of blowing up children on buses, or teenagers in the Pizzaria. It’s a chicken/egg argument that really began the era we’ve had with the 67 war.

    I agree with this. And, as a chicken/egg problem, neither side is any more justified in bombing civilian areas than the other.

    I said there were isolated instances of Israeli nuts toward Palestinians, but you were comparing that with Hamas acts of terror—rockets, suicide bombers etc.. And when the Israeli terrorists, and there are some, are caught, they are punished. Unlike with the PA.

    Show me reports of the arrests of the arsonists that tried to kill an Arab family. This is no more isolated than the Hamas rockets.

  163. 163
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    f you’re hanging your hat on the fact that, after 21 months, Israeli police evicted settlers who stole someone’s house, and then watched as the settlers rioted and attempted to kill a family of Arabs by burning down their house while they were in it, I guess there’s no convincing you. In my book, that’s terrorism, and should be treated as such.

    Jaysus, You are are a one man Strawman with a Red Herring stuck in it’s mouth. I said there were acts of Israeli terrorism that have been much worse than those you cited. And even Sharon admits that, per the quote I provided. And they have been condemned by Israel Government, and time and again the perpetrators have been jailed for long sentences. From the article you cite, the Israeli authorities claim to have not received any report of it. And given their past aggressive prosecutions of Israeli on Arab violence I tend to believe them, until there is eveidence to the contrary..

    And I call bullshit on comparing isolated acts of@J. Michael Neal: Israeli terrorism with that of the systematic kind of Hamas IJ or AAMB. The last two not active at present, I don’t believe.

    "I agree with this. And, as a chicken/egg problem, neither side is any more justified in bombing civilian areas than the other.’

    Nice try at convoluting my statement. It is a war crime to target and only target civilian vis vi suicide bombs. It is also a war crime for combatants to hide behind civilians for protection against counter attack by the people they attacked. it is not a war crime for Israel to fire at those Hamas militants who sent rockets into Israel hiding amongst women and children. IMO, though, it is wrong morally and stupid, and Israel should NOT do it. But it is not a war crime if they do.

  164. 164
    TenguPhule says:

    and then watched as the settlers rioted and attempted to kill a family of Arabs by burning down their house while they were in it,

    Proof, where’s the fucking proof? We have apparently only the word of a Palestinian Police officer alleging they were running away from the area. Do you buy bridges from Brooklyn in bulk lots? Verify it with something more solid then "he said".

    And, yes Israeli courts worked and were enforced. But somehow this is a bad thing according to you.

    Nobody said justice would be fast.

    neither side is any more justified in bombing civilian areas than the other.

    Nice try, Red herring. Hamas intentionally targets civilian areas, which is a war crime. They also attack from civilian areas, another war crime. By attacking from those areas, they turn it into a military battlefield, and the blame for that is falls on the party who is shooting from behind the civilians.

    Show me reports of the arrests of the arsonists that tried to kill an Arab family. This is no more isolated than the Hamas rockets.

    Show me the evidence of who the arsonists are first. This is not "round up X number of random Israelis" and blame them for the fire.

    Where as Hamas rockets are organized official military fire, so quit trying to bullshit the two as the same thing.

  165. 165
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    That’s Muslim speak, too,

    Thank you. I said Aipac speak – a political organization – you said Muslim. No need for bigotry against all Muslims, is there?

    I suppose I can use the expression Jew Speak, now; fair play being a jewel and all. Here’s some:

    Earlier Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was in an "all-out war against Hamas and its kind."

    But UN aid workers say they are deeply worried about the risks to civilians as the air strikes continue.

    The United Nations says 320 people have been killed in Gaza, including 62 women and children, and around 1,400 injured.

    "[The 62 figure] does not include civilian casualties who are men, even though we know that there have been some civilian men killed as well," UN humanitarian affairs co-ordinator John Holmes said.

    ‘And its kind.’ 62 women and children – the number doesn’t include men because to the Jews, there are no Palestinian civilian men.

    That’s what America is paying for – the Jews get to play Warsaw Ghetto with Palestinian children.

    Pay up, America, and pull up a chair.

  166. 166
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    Look, everyone! Aluminum tubes. Rolling weapons labs. Clear evidence of malfeasance."

    Funny that.

    An Israeli human rights group said yesterday it was investigating claims that an apparent surgical strike on a Hamas missile truck in Gaza, which is being publicised by Israel’s armed forces on its website, is a case of mistaken targeting that has left eight civilians dead.

    Monochrome images of the attack have been repeatedly shown by media around the world after being released by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to demonstrate both the accuracy of their attacks and that Hamas was trying to move and hide rockets. The footage was also posted on the Israeli military’s YouTube site.

    However, the Israeli-Palestinian B’Tselem group in Gaza has testimony from the owner of the truck, as well as photographs taken at the scene, which appear to suggest that the vehicle was being used to transport gas welding canisters from a metalworking shop.

    I imagine this group includes self-loathing Jews who hate Israel, but I defer to their compatriots to make the final decision. At any rate:

    Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for B’Tselem, said that while her organisation had not been able to verify Imad-Sanur’s claims that he was not involved with militants in Gaza, his story that he was moving welding equipment seemed believable. "What this emphasises is that this incident needs to be investigated by the IDF, lessons learned and if necessary people retrained. It is impossible to avoid civilian casualties, but in this case it is clear that an investigation is required."

    Guilty until proven innocent – he has to prove he was not involved with militants first. Anyway, such an investigation would need a neutral arbiter – someone like, say, Rahm Emanuel or Paul Wolfowitz, i.e. someone who understands modern war, etc.

  167. 167
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    More Jew Speak:

    Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was not fighting the people of Gaza but was in "a war to the bitter end" with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.

    Now I understand. It’s like saying we are not at war with the Jews but only with Zionism, which has oppressed us for 60 years.

    I like Barak – he is a blessing for the Palestinians.

  168. 168
    wilfred the shoe thrower says:

    One of my students just asked me a question that is beyond my ability to answer. She wants to know why the Zionists (her word) bombed the Islamic University in Gaza, well actually she knows why they did, but desires to know if all universities are now legitimate targets.

    I think that’s a fair question. I mean, let’s say it’s an American university with one department that is anti-Israel – fair play to bomb it? Or a Yeshiva that teaches that Zionist expansionism is God directed? Fair play?

    Also, does an attack on an Islamic insititution constitute an attack on Islam?

    Get those Talmudic brains to work and give us a response, for the sake of your famous committment to education, if nothing else.

  169. 169
    Badtux says:

    Some points:

    1) Gaza and the West Bank are part of Israel. They were ceded to Israel by Egypt and Jordan as part of their respective peace treaties with Israel. A corrupt self-appointed Fatah thug signing an agreement setting up a bogus Bantustan-style "Palestinian Authority" that does not even control its own borders doesn’t change that. In other words, this is an internal Israeli matter, not a conflict between sovereign states. I am baffled by those who insist that the "Palestinian Authority" has any more authority than the governor of Alabama or the Navajo tribal council. Indeed, the Navajo "nation" is a good example of the reality of the "Palestinian Authority". Nobody seriously represents that the Navajo reservation is a "real" nation, despite the fact that they have many of the organs of a "real" nation such as their own police force and their own laws. They do not control their own borders, their autonomy is limited, and if they do something violent against the USA they’d get squashed just like it was 1898 again.

    2) The correct way to deal with criminals within your own borders is to send in armed force to disarm the major fighting units, then send in police units and intelligence agencies to determine who the bad guys are, then arrest them and sentence them to death in a proper fashion. More people have been killed by drive-by shootings in Los Angeles over the past ten years than were killed by Hamas rockets in Israel over the past ten years, but I don’t see anybody suggesting that we bomb East L.A. Instead, we send in SWAT teams to take out the thugs one by one.

    3) Yes, I am stating that the only humane thing for Israel to do would be to re-occupy the Gaza Strip and take out the criminals who have fired rockets at them — *NOT* university professors, school teachers, firemen, and traffic cops, along with assorted women and children who happen to be within the blast radius. But this would result in dead Israeli soldiers, which is something that the ruling party does *not* want to see six weeks before an election. But they can’t be seen as doing *nothing*, thus this useless and futile bombing campaign. Nobody ever defeated a guerilla movement by bombing it. That takes boots on the ground. All that this bombing campaign is doing is killing people for no good reason. It’s just wanton slaughter that accomplishes nothing, that’s all.

  170. 170
    fenris says:

    In other words – like several other people have argued directly over you own post – you are concerned about the methods used, but are nevertheless going to ignore it since you believe Israel is ultimately following a morally justifiable goal. End of Discussion.

    Tell me something – how can you argue like this with a straight face? You’re justifying killing because the ones who does it are good.

    The usual variant of that argument goes like this: "Yeah, I pulled her hair a little too hard, mom, and I said some really bad things – BUT I DIDN’T MEAN IT". And through bad child- rearing, I guess, this has now evolved into: "yeah, I see her crying, and she’s got some bad bruises from when she fell – but I really had the best intentions in mind, you know, officer".

    But no – there’s an excuse here somewhere to be used. So we don’t have to start discussing difficult issues like what the rules on the ground should perhaps be, and how the conflict is financed – and indeed what sort of mindset can continue to justify the continuation of this process. Why, for example, are there no universal condemnations of killing, rather than shallow attempts to justify an internal narrative about foreign treats – and how to remove them? Oh – so difficult! Let’s discuss the moral upper hand of people who murder with presumed good intentions instead! That way we don’t have to take responsibility for what is being done, too! Really good.

  171. 171
    TenguPhule says:

    Instead, we send in SWAT teams to take out the thugs one by one.

    Yeah, I’m sure if 14,000 gangbangers in one gang armed with automatic weapons and military class explosives and fighting on their home turf after being given years to prepare are going to be stopped by SWAT.

    the label of "Thugs" seriously underestimates their capabilities.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    Why, for example, are there no universal condemnations of killing

    Because too many people miss the basic point.

    Condemn all you want, it’s just words.

    Who’s willing to commit to enforcement, that’s the kicker.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    the number doesn’t include men because to the Jews, there are no Palestinian civilian men.

    Whereas Palestinians don’t include anyone at all because to them, there are no Israeli Civilians. /golfclap

  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    However, the Israeli-Palestinian B’Tselem group in Gaza has testimony from the owner of the truck, as well as photographs taken at the scene, which appear to suggest that the vehicle was being used to transport gas welding canisters from a metalworking shop.

    Source?

    And yes, wilfred is so quick to declare guilty until proven innocent…provided its an Israeli.

  175. 175

    The past 60 years have provided a progression of events that led to today. The airplanes and rockets of today didn’t happen in a 10 month vacume. You can play the blame game until doomsday, you can play the "even if, they won’t" game until doomsday. The amount of honest dealing on either side in the last 60 years is miniscule and that is the biggest problem.

    An honest broker with enforcement tools is called for, real serious enforcement. But that won’t happen and the two commenters above are exactly the kinds of assholes who’ll make sure it doesn’t all the while blaming the other. Both are so busy being outraged that they can’t see that their points of view will escalate this.

  176. 176
    LanceThruster says:

    In the words of Fredy Perlman:

    "The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science — this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

    Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts."
    From: ANTI-SEMITISM & THE BEIRUT POGROM

  177. 177
    LanceThruster says:

    In the words of Fredy Perlman:

    "The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science — this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

    Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts."

    From: ANTI-SEMITISM & THE BEIRUT POGROM

    ~

  178. 178
    fenris says:

    @TenguPhule:
    True, condemnation won’t work. In ye olde days, a condemnation was considered the first step in a diplomatic front – where resources and so on would be held back, and ambassadors would face a more difficult challenge getting their foot inside the door. But yes, today condemnation is pretty ridiculous, I agree. My mistake.

    But then – who are willing to argue how this war is financed? No one here. Certainly no one in Congress – although I would of course have some trouble pointing out any kind of correlation between those two, electorate and Congress, I mean – again with the living in the past, I guess. My mistake.

    So inevitably we’re left with the military option, aren’t we? And the fix- all provided by your average american asshole president? And /this time/ it’s going to WORK!

    Damnit, I’m so fucking tired of this. So Livni and Olmert go out and say – echoing the US president, the Secretary of State, and any other weaklings down the line – that they’re justified in killing civillians to protect themselves. It’s all right, because X is so much more atrocious on TV than Y. And you eat it all up.

    Over here, we try to establish some sort of dialogue in order to craft an edible proposal that does not include either 1. War, or 2. The eradication of Israel. And that does not work, because enough people are invested in maintaining this ridiculous relationship with Israel. And it’s not the war- industry either – it’s political SUICIDE for politicians in certain countries to even listen to people who are not treating this conflict as a fight between icky bugs destroying a beautifully ornamented greenhouse.

    And that’s supported by not by people who have economical interests in the area. Certainly not – it’s for example your tax- money, and it’s going straight down the drain. Instead, it’s supported by people who want to believe somehow in the exceptionalism of one people over another. It mirrors their own preconceptions about themselves – and this situation provides a good feeling of confirmation.

    Rove and Bush knew this when they made the War a centerpiece for their campaign. That fighting shit over there is something every president has to do in order to become a "real president".

    So you’ve chosen this – and I don’t see all that many people accepting that actual policies are formed through adolescent gang- behaviour – and then fantastically put into action.

    Let’s for example take a look at the torture- problem. It makes your balls feel bigger, apparently, to be seen as bullying people around. So if politicians /say/ that this particular bullying around does not cause insanity or false confessions for propaganda- purposes – but rather brilliant intel that protects the great bullying nation. Then the argument is dead.

    And do you know WHY that argument is dead at that point? Why no one can manage to state with conviction that "torture is wrong", and more importantly, "and this is why it is wrong…"? I’ll tell you why – It’s because the vast majority of Americans don’t want to get past their own sense of superiority and exceptionalism, as a nation, and as a people. You even make yourselves the stars of your own tragedies – "here we are, finally forcing our leaders to do.. dick.. and it’s the /restoration of our democracy/!".

    And that’s a political size, do you understand! It’s impossible for any candidate to win an election if they do not play to that political mass. It’s not merely a good option for the unscrupulous – like it is in certain european countries with the right- wing extremists. No, it’s a necessity for an american politician to fear or embrace that political size. You cannot make a mark without it. It’s physically impossible. The appeal of stupidity and unlimited power is just too great.

    But you can’t bloody well see that, now can you? Instead, it’s "let’s start to discuss the latest aggressive venture of foreign policy folly into the middle east, but in less militaristic terms this time – ooh, smell the intellectualism, as I proclaim that the basis for our policy is hoping for wings to sprout from our asses and carry us to heaven – and then reluctantly forgoing this brilliant strategy for a militaristic solution again!".

    Of course, in the meantime we have to deal with the situation as it goes by – including dealing with arrogant diplomats with a license for creating war from their respective states. And unfortunately once again – that is a completely valid and proper view to have. The opposite – now that is a difficult one indeed. Restraint, and proper politics – no, won’t sell any votes, you see. Won’t give you any TV time, either.

  179. 179
    Badtux says:

    TenguPhule, did you overlook the word "military units to disarm major fighting units"?

    The only thing that ever wins wars or puts down violence is boots on the ground. Israel is not going to win anything by dropping bombs. That’s bullshit being done for internal Israeli political purposes, and nothing to do with taking out the bad guys who are firing rockets at Israel.

    And BTW, calling Hamas "united" is like calling the Democratic Party "united". It’s a big organization, the majority of which has nothing to do with armed force against Israel, with a lot of competing viewpoints within it. Hamas absorbed most of the Fatah personnel and infrastructure when Fatah self-destructed into a morass of corruption and incompetence, and the majority of Hamas employees and personnel are the same ones who were working for Fatah five years ago (with the exception of the Fatah secret policemen, who mostly got necklaced when Hamas took over). There probably isn’t more than a few hundred people total inside Hamas who have any interest in violence against Israel. So the notion of "14,000 armed gangbangers" is ridiculous.

  180. 180
    fenris says:

    @Badtux:
    In other words: lacking any sort of civillian option in this situation, such as talking or using political pressure(which we, by navel- gazing into the US system for the last couple of years tells us such a thing is useless and counter- productive) – the only alternative you can come up with to pacify a nation with less than four million people in it, is a militaristic solution.

    Who really cares about the implications in the rest of the region over in the States, apart from the neoconservatives, anyway?

    It’s a sad day, isn’t it, when the argument that Iran needs to be destroyed (along with Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and so on) in order to save Israel – actually is more logical than any other /politically edible/ suggestion in the US.

  181. 181
    TenguPhule says:

    TenguPhule, did you overlook the word "military units to disarm major fighting units"?

    No, I saw it. Now show me where the men are going to come from. Who’s contributing? Who’s willing to risk casualties by being human shields between both sides?

  182. 182
    fenris says:

    rofl. So who’s going to question the way the conflct is being sponsored?

  183. 183

    […] like Noah Pollack protested (via Dion Nissenbaum in Checkpoint Jerusalem). Several observers, like John Cole, have also questioned the effectiveness of these videos in proving anything beyond the banal fact […]

  184. 184
    fenris says:

    In other words – no one. You’d actually rather agonize over the utterly false and blindingly ignorant assertion that – quote: "no one will place boots on the ground".

    Thank god someone at least can put some dollars to good use, then, or this would’ve been really bad, eh?

  185. 185
    bbm says:

    The BBC highlighted just how wrong these videos can be here.

  186. 186

    […] commentators question whether Israel’s efforts at propaganda were effective (John Cole and the BBC, again linked by Mishra). The BBC story covers a clear stuff-up; yet I’d love to […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] commentators question whether Israel’s efforts at propaganda were effective (John Cole and the BBC, again linked by Mishra). The BBC story covers a clear stuff-up; yet I’d love to […]

  2. […] like Noah Pollack protested (via Dion Nissenbaum in Checkpoint Jerusalem). Several observers, like John Cole, have also questioned the effectiveness of these videos in proving anything beyond the banal fact […]

Comments are closed.