I have one question about Israel and Gaza. (by Emily L. Hauser)

[A must-read post from Emily L. Hauser. Her latest at The Daily Beast is a must-read, also. -ABL]

*********

I am beside myself over the upsurge in violence between Israel and Gaza.

Israel says its strikes have been surgical and that it’s targeting terrorists — which is to say: Legitimate military targets, not civilians.

Given that the Kirya, one of Israel’s largest military bases, is located in the heart of Tel Aviv — literally downtown, surrounded by offices and businesses and schools and parks and vital roadways and apartment buildings and cultural institutions and falafel stands and kiosks and kids on bikes — I have one question:

If a Palestinian whose family has been killed in an Israeli airstrike bombs the Kirya — we’ll be cool with that, right?

Because, I mean, after all, what is Israel doing, hiding all those grunt soldiers and high ranking commanders and intelligence gathering infrastructure and so on among a civilian population? Why is Israel using Israeli civilians as a human shield?

Ok, my one question is really this: What happens if we switch the nouns around today?

What if this showed a “surgical strike” on an Israeli target?

What if this were on a street in Tel Aviv?

What if the place names were reversed in this snippet from the New York Times?

Health officials in Gaza quoted by news agencies said the Israeli attacks had killed at least nine people and wounded at least 40.

What if the toddler pictured here [graphic] were Israeli?

What if the shoe were on the other foot?

If Palestinians had somehow managed to get past one of the world’s mightiest military institutions and set off this kind of mayhem in Israel, killing (among, it should be noted, other children) an 11 month old — the world would be up in arms. Israel and America’s Jews would be rending their clothes. Fury and heartbreak and statements of support would be flooding the airwaves — and rightfully so.

But no. It’s just the Palestinians. Just the Palestinians in Gaza, no less. So the targeted assassination of (yes) a pretty awful person in the heart of a residential neighborhood, the deaths of civilians, the deaths of children, the relentless and endless pounding by air and sea of 1.7 million people who literally cannot even flee because Israel has them physically penned in on all sides (save for one small crossing into Egypt) — we’re really not terribly fussed about that. Because some of 1.7 million people have fired rockets into civilians areas of Israel.

Those rockets are horrifying, and living with that sort of fear (something I remember from the first Iraq War and from years of suicide bombings) is genuinely terrible. I ache for the people hiding in shelters now, told by their government that there will be no school or work in the days to come, because their government knows perfectly well what the consequences of bombing the hell out of Gaza will be.

But as Larry Derfner wrote yesterday (before it had gotten this hellish, back when it was merely really bad) in a piece entitled “The lesson Israel refuses to learn on Gaza”:

There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev [Israel’s south] – a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. But nobody of influence in this country will suggest taking that road for fear of being derided as a pacifist, if not an anti-Semite, by the public, politicians and media. Most Israelis, especially in the government and army, are talking very hawkishly. They seem to think they’re keeping faith with the residents of the south who are under fire. In fact, by closing ranks on this continual march of folly, they are dooming the residents of the south, and not just them.

If you want to know more about what’s going on, I would recommend either the Palestinian Maan News Agency or the Israeli HaAretz. Both will be flawed, as all human endeavors are, but both do a pretty good job of reporting the facts from within a particular society.

Crossposted from Emily L. Hauser – In My Head.






140 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Thank you!

  2. 2
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Israel says its strikes have been surgical and that it’s targeting terrorists–which is to say: Legitimate military targets, not civilians.

    Of course, it has to be said, all defenses of US drone strikes start from that same premise.

  3. 3
    Ben Franklin says:

    thank you ABL, for noticing something outside our little bubble.

    There is a live feed from a young man Harry (Fear) who is onsite and in constant danger of being targeted. Here is the link…http://www.ustream.tv/channel/.....r-of-cloud

    Israel often uses Biblical tags to legitimize their incursions.

  4. 4
    Ben Franklin says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....s-abbas-un

    Punitive measures for seeking statehood throught UN. Obama asked them to wait until November 29th (why?) and Abbas rejected. This over reaction (as always) is the result.

  5. 5
    Ben Franklin says:

    Casualties are normally 100 to 1……..This link has some import.

    http://www.imemc.org/index.php

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    One of the better quotes from Firefly (one of the comic book spin-offs) –

    “You and I know it don’t become terrorism until one side wins.”

  7. 7
    redshirt says:

    Am I bad for not caring about Israel and Palestine and Jordan and All That, at all? I’m not religious, don’t care about Holy Lands, and there’s no strategic resources in that region – other than the pines of Lebanon, which are the best for making Longships. I mean, I empathize mightly with the Palestinian situation, but it seems unlikely to improve as long as Bibi is in power, so, basically, call me when he gets voted out. Cuz otherwise nothing will change.

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Oh no you dint girl! Oh no you dint!

  9. 9
    Steve says:

    Yeah, actually if the Palestinians were to attack military targets, or at least try, instead of indiscriminately launching rockets into civilian areas, it would be a whole lot better of them. Glad someone asked that question.

  10. 10
    Greyjoy says:

    I have Israel and Palestine fatigue. Quit bombing each other and find a solution already. It’s been going on for my entire life and I’m almost 40 years old. Why am I supposed to care yet again about more people being bombed and, in turn, targeting the other side for more bombs too? Palestine, you’re not going to get Gaza back. Israel, sacrifice some land already, or better yet, work with the UN to carve out a second state somewhere. Quit bombing each other and find a solution already. Or just nuke each other to glass and be done with it. Otherwise, if you want your lives to be nothing but constant terror and warfare, then I guess you get what you get. There’s obviously enough money flowing in on either side to pay for the materiel to kill each other, which could be used to BUY land if it came to it, and if that isn’t as important than killing each other, then good luck with that, I guess.

  11. 11
    ABL says:

    I didn’t do nuffink!

  12. 12
    beltane says:

    Thank you for posting this here. I had seen a picture of the baby in happier times and he looked just like my youngest son at that age so I cannot click the link.

    The official response of the US has been disappointing to say the least. After the way Netanyahu tried to throw our election I’m not sure why Obama should feel obligated to him for anything.

  13. 13
    Jon says:

    Really? We’re asking “shoe on the other foot” questions about this? Are you so history handicapped that you don’t remember stuff like this happening in Israel all the time?

    How many rockets would we let fall on the US before doing something?

  14. 14
    Francis says:

    What’s the endgame? Is there any possible path to a future in which the residents of Gaza lead a reasonably prosperous life?

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    We can keep this sweet and simple by just posting a number:

    1. Fuck the Zionists!
    2. Fuck the Palestinians!
    3. Fuck ’em all!

    I’m going to start us off with a 1.

  16. 16
    Svensker says:

    According to Haaretz, Jabari was in the midst of negotiating a truce deal with Israel when he was offed.

  17. 17
    JoyfulA says:

    I just read on Twitter that a church in Gaza had been hit and destroyed. Apparently not a surgical strike.

  18. 18
    Jon says:

    @JoyfulA: More accurate than a Grad.

  19. 19
    Greyjoy says:

    My edit seems to have evaporated so I’ll try to recreate it. Now that I’ve read the Guardian article, some of what I just said doesn’t apply, since the UN *is* involved and the US is blocking their effort, which is bullshit. But yeah, what’s the endgame? Why does a Palestinian state have to be RIGHT next to Israel? Can’t we just take a few hundred million or billion dollars and buy up some land in Indonesia or Africa? Surely somebody would be willing to take that deal, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than war. But as long as they’re duking it out over the same plot of land, then I guess we’ll never see an end to the violence, in which case I repeat that it’s been going on for my entire life and I just don’t care anymore. Declare a winner and find a solution to the loser and shut up about it already. Even Germany and France managed to settle their hash after WWII. France and England swapped territory for about a thousand years but they managed to sort it out. China and Taiwan aren’t bombing the shit out of each other every 5 minutes. Just knock it off or don’t be surprised when people just don’t give a shit anymore.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    If you’re American (I don’t recall), it should concern you for the simple reason that we’ve been Israel’s enabler-in-chief for the last several decades. This isn’t Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea or some other hermit kingdom over which we have no control. Nor is it Saudi Arabia, whose place in the world economy makes them difficult-to-impossible to pressure. We could bring enough pressure to bear on Israel to start a real peace process today, if we as a country gave a damn for anything other than the religious right’s hard-on for the Book of Revelations.

    We arm Israel. We fund Israel. We cover for them at the UN and before every attempt by the international community to do hold them accountable. We are neck deep in this shit, just as much as we were in the atrocities of Central America in the eighties.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    @JoyfulA:

    guess it depends on how good your surgeon is.

  22. 22
    the Conster says:

    I’m going to be first to say both sides do it? Really?

  23. 23
    Mike in NC says:

    Bibi needed to get his war on, with or without Preznit Rmoney.

  24. 24
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Jon: Okay. How many civilians is it all right to kill if your justification for military action is the deaths of civilians? I have no doubt that the US would (and in fact, has) responded in ways that are similarly out of proportion with the the ways that the Israelis have responded, but there have been *far* more Palestinian civilians killed by the IDF than there have been Israeli civilians killed by Hamas. At some point, doesn’t that delegitimate Israeli attacks? Are they truly allowed to kill as many Palestinians as they think necessary in order to protect one Israeli?

    This is before getting into the fact that the Israeli siege of Gaza is an exercise in collective punishment directed at the civilian population. They have no moral high ground to stand on when it comes to the targeting of civilians.

    @Steve: Do you really think that the Israelis would dismiss any civilians killed in an attack on IDF headquarters as the legitimate casualties of military action? If you do, I think you’re dreaming.

  25. 25
    the Conster says:

    I’m going to go look at the cat eating the cheeseburger again. That’s something that makes sense to me.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    thank you ABL, for noticing something outside our little bubble.

    And thank you, AWS, for nipping at the heels of the front-pagers until they devoted a thread to Israel-Gaza. I have really missed Emily Hauser (aka EllaEsther) around these parts and have never been sure why she no longer posts here (not that it’s any of my business) — but I subscribe to her blog by email and try to follow her doings and her amazing mind and compassionate heart as much as I can.

  27. 27
    Greyjoy says:

    “We” are not the enablers of Israel any more than “we” were the enablers of AIG and Merrill Lynch. All I can do is vote for the people who I think will enact the policies I want. If the people I vote into office (assuming they win, which they usually don’t) take that mandate and decide to spend it on giving Israel money to blow shit up, what am I supposed to do about that? Call my congressman? My representative is Michele Bachmann. I’m fairly certain she’s well into the “let Israel blow shit up” camp and my efforts as a voter to dislodge her have failed for a third term.

    It’s outta my hands and I’m not going to waste emotional energy on it.

  28. 28
    JoyfulA says:

    @Jon: What’s a Grad?

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Greyjoy:
    You may be able to buy land anywhere, but you can’t replace people’s desire to be in their ancestral home. And you certainly can’t create another Jerusalem, which is a holy site to both Jews and Muslims. And why is it the Palestinians who should be moved somewhere rather than the Israelis? The Palestinians were there first, and the Israelis are a bunch of Johnny-come-latelies.

  30. 30
    JoyfulA says:

    @Greyjoy: I have been saying for decades that in 1946, Bavaria should have been designated as Israel.

  31. 31
    burnspbesq says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Apparently not a surgical strike.

    Of course not. Does anyone really think that the Israelis take reasonable precautions to avoid or minimize civilian casualties?

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @Greyjoy:

    Then what do you waste emotional energy on, just out of curiosity? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the “it’s out of my hands, fuck this shit” outlook when it comes to political issues. But it applies to everything, not just Israel, which makes me somewhat curious why you’re even on a political blog in the first place if that’s your take on life.

    @Roger Moore:

    This.

    “Why do they HAVE to have a country right next to Israel?”

    Christ. Tell me you’re either joking, trolling or completely high. I’d like not to believe there’s not someone on Balloon Juice who ACTUALLY takes the Mike Huckabee solution seriously.

  33. 33
    Mjaum says:

    Also, I think someone seriously underestimates the kind of effort and money required to move even just the 1.4 million inhabitants of Gaza (and their infrastructure…) to anywhere else at all, much less somewhere halfaway across the globe.

    Can’t be done, even if people were willing to go and the US was willing to pay for the move. (I’d laugh, but.)

  34. 34
    Little Boots says:

    Israel’s a pain in the ass. but sometimes, I get it.

  35. 35
    Ben Franklin says:

    It’s nice to see BJ gives a shit. Next topic………

  36. 36
    Little Boots says:

    come on, john, I know you don’t love me, to put it mildly, but I miss you.

    I still love you. I reall do, you’re awesome. and I miss you.

  37. 37
    liberal says:

    @Chris:

    We arm Israel. We fund Israel. We cover for them at the UN and before every attempt by the international community to do hold them accountable. We are neck deep in this shit, just as much as we were in the atrocities of Central America in the eighties.

    Thanks for making the effort to point out what should be obvious.

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Seems a shame that when many nations of the world were so dead set on giving away someone’s land for a Jewish homeland they passed up the chance to give them Utah.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Greyjoy:

    Why does a Palestinian state have to be RIGHT next to Israel?

    You mean other than the fact that those pesky Palestinians have been living there centuries longer than the Israelis, the vast majority of whom immigrated from Europe after World War 2?

    I’m guessing you also have no problem with the Trail of Tears and other forced resettlements in the US — after all, why did those Native Americans have to live RIGHT next to the European settlers who wanted their land?

  40. 40
    Greyjoy says:

    I’m not trolling. I know perfectly well *why* Palestine wants their state there, and it’s for the same reason Israel does. The fact of the matter is the place isn’t big enough for the both of them, so do they want a state or do they want to live where they live, war and all? Pick one because you’re only getting one.

    Considering that we live in a nation where the persecuted religious group of several hundred years ago DID leave their home country and founded a new state elsewhere, then perhaps it should be expected that I see that as an acceptable solution for other countries.

    @Chris: I care about politics greatly. I just don’t really give a shit about Israel and Palestine. Why do YOU waste emotional energy on this issue, when it’s been going on literally since the time of Abraham and will continue to go on long after we’re all dead? Surely there are better uses for our energy and brainpower than wasting it on an ongoing religious battle that literally only Armageddon will solve.

    And why shouldn’t 1.4 million inhabitants of Gaza be able to move? Roughly that many Jews moved to New York, and then roughly that many Jews moved *to* Israel from all over the worl when the state was established in 1948. So why the fuck can’t the Palestinians move? They certainly have all the incentive in the world to do so, starting with saving their lives. I live in Minneapolis and we have the highest Hmong population in the country, as well as a large number of Somali residents. I went to high school with a girl whose family were boat people. Are the residents of Gaza just too special to move that no price could possibly pay for it, and no reason be good enough to do it?

  41. 41
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Svensker:

    According to Haaretz, Jabari was in the midst of negotiating a truce deal with Israel when he was offed.

    Well, quite. But Bibi has an election to fight in January, and there’s smiting to be done.

    The fundamental question for the US is at what point it accepts that Labor Zionism is gone, and that Israel’s governance belongs, at least in the short term, to an uneasy alliance of pork-eating Russian emigres, ultra-orthodox woman-beaters, batshit survivalist settlers and CNN-friendly bullshitters like Bibi. That’s a state slouching towards apartheid.

  42. 42
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Greyjoy:

    And why shouldn’t 1.4 million inhabitants of Gaza be able to move?

    And where would they move to? Are offering them your 1.4 million spare bedrooms?

  43. 43
    Greyjoy says:

    You mean other than the fact that those pesky Palestinians have been living there centuries longer than the Israelis, the vast majority of whom immigrated from Europe after World War 2?

    I’m guessing you also have no problem with the Trail of Tears and other forced resettlements in the US —after all, why did those Native Americans have to live RIGHT next to the European settlers who wanted their land?

    It doesn’t matter how long they lived there. They don’t live there now, and possession is 9/10ths of the law. One could just as easily argue that the Israelites have a greater claim to the land because they were there before the Palestinians at one point, but that’s fruitless. Just like it’s pointless to tear down the Dome of the Rock because Israel had Solomon’s Temple there first. It doesn’t matter what or who was there first, it matters what’s there NOW. The Trail of Tears and whatever else doesn’t apply either, because I’m not advocating conquering another sovereign land to establish a Palestinian state.

    I’m suggesting you address the reality of the situation, and not get emotionally involved about what’s “supposed” to happen. What’s “supposed” to happen isn’t happening, has never happened and never will happen. Time to think outside the box.

  44. 44
    Jrod says:

    @Greyjoy: Yes, why don’t those silly Palestinians just find another fresh new continent to move to like the pilgrims did? It’s probably because their inferior untermenchen brains can’t think that good.

    For a guy who claims not to care you sure do seem to despise the Palestinians.

    One could just as easily argue that the Israelites have a greater claim to the land because they were there before the Palestinians at one point

    By that logic, I claim ownership of Africa because I had ancestors who lived there 40 thousand years ago.

    Look, if you want to ignore the plain fact that the Palestinians were driven out of their homes at the barrel of a gun and are presently being kept in the world’s largest concentration camps, be my guest. Just understand that you sound like a piece of shit.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @Greyjoy:

    They don’t live there now

    If by “they don’t live there now” you mean “they’re being slowly and forcibly moved out,” then you’re correct. The crime’s ongoing. It’s not ancient history.

    And as long as it’s being done by people supported by our politicians and supported by our tax dollars, don’t fucking tell me it’s not our problem.

  46. 46
    JC says:

    Hundreds of missiles launched into Israel. Just don’t want anyone to excuse that.

    Not to excuse Israel’s creating new “facts on the ground”, and treating Palestinians as 2nd class citizens, if not subhuman.

    There is very little hope here.

  47. 47
    liberal says:

    @Greyjoy:

    I’m guessing you also have no problem with the Trail of Tears and other forced resettlements in the US —after all, why did those Native Americans have to live RIGHT next to the European settlers who wanted their land?

    Yes, another idiot named “eemon” brought this up.

    Say, you wouldn’t happen to understand the difference between “past crimes” and “ongoing crimes,” would you?

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    As for the “ohhhh, they think they’re so SPECIAL they shouldn’t be forcibly relocated to the other side of the world! Such divas!” all I can say is I’m really sorry for you that Mitt Romney’s campaign’s over. You coulda made a fucking fortune writing his speeches.

  49. 49
    Kent says:

    Yeah, I have Israel-Palestine fatigue too. At this point I tend to think that by the time these folks finally sort out their mutual animosity the land they are fighting over will be uninhabitable due to climate change anyway. It’s already a desert fed by inadequate water sources. In 100 years no one will WANT to live there.

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    The creation of Israel was a massive Charlie Foxtrot from the get go. I sometimes think the British did that intentionally. What will resolve it? Compromise. Something the Israelis have shown no interest in. And the Palestinians aren’t helping by keeping extremist positions on Israel.

  51. 51
    Ash Can says:

    The US needs to stop handling Israel with kid gloves. Period. This is bullshit. And looking at the longer term, the US needs to look at what (if anything) it can do to persuade both sides to get serious about peace. As it is, neither side wants to let go of its precious and glorious belligerence. The only solution is to somehow get leaders installed who are willing to deal with each other using something other than force and dehumanization.

  52. 52
    MattMinus says:

    Wow, we got a lot more apartheid state apologists up in here than I’d expect to see on a nominally “progressive” blog.

  53. 53
    Greyjoy says:

    I wasn’t able to edit my comment to correctly place the blockquote, sorry.

    Continuing:

    They can move wherever the fuck they want if the price is right, and surely if the US can spare $20B or whatever for Israel’s military, then they can cough up a few bill to buy 50 square miles of land somewhere. Or else Saudi Arabia and all the other terrorism-funders can chip in. Then they can do whatever the hell they want. Look at Dubai. If you can carve that out of the desert, then a Palestinian state should be no problem.

    I don’t understand why you think hand-wringing and pointing out the historical significance of Israel and Palestine is, in itself, an answer to the question. It isn’t. It’s just an explanation of the hostilities. It doesn’t actually mean anything in the long run, except that both sides will continue to bomb the shit out of each other. If everyone’s cool with that, then so am I, which is what I said in the first place.

    But here’s what’s actually going to happen.

    1. The United States will continue to elect leaders who have varying sympathies toward Israel and Palestine, depending on which of our parties wins. Some will be for a Palestinian state and want to work out hostilities and others won’t.

    2. Israel and Palestine will continue to elect leaders who wax and wane on coming to an agreement. Some will be willing to negotiate and others will be hard-liners bent on wiping out the other side in order to ‘win’.

    3. If the negotiators look like they’re close to hammering out an actual solution, somebody will assassinate them because compromise is unthinkable, and the needle will shift back to hard-liners. Our leaders will respond according to their own level of affection toward Israel.

    Rinse, repeat. That’s what has happened for the last 9 or 10 presidents and that’s what’ll happen for the next 9 or 10. Which brings me back once more to my original thought, which is that I just don’t care anymore.

  54. 54
    Jrod says:

    @Kent: Naw, that’s no problem. Gawd will simply rain manna from heaven and spew water from a rock like in the old days.

    It’s funny how all the “holy lands” in the world are inhospitable shit-holes. Yeah, Mecca, there’s an awesome place to be.

    I’ll stick with the unholy lands of the lush Pacific Northwest, thankyew.

  55. 55
    Rex Everything says:

    Thanks, ABL, for posting this.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    Listen people. Would you rather they put boots on the ground there? Or airstrikes?
    I, for one, have no issue with the whole killing military aged males that have been deemed terrorists. This campaign had to be done to procure the peace.

    Oh, and DRRROOOOONNNNEEEZZZ

    {party giggles}

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    I wonder if this is Bibi’s, “Sorry about the ‘up yours.'” post-election gift to Obama? Gaza can scrape Benghazi right off the front pages.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattMinus: Ha! If there was a Google bot that objectively ranked websites I think this one would fall squarely on the “authoritarian” side.
    Just skim other threads and see how often people couch their comments by prefacing it with the whole “I’m 100% ok with drones” bit of PR.

  59. 59
    Monkey Business says:

    Israel is the product of centuries of Western and Arab fuckups.

    Israel exists because centuries of European anti-Semitism finally boiled over in the late 30s into a full-blown Holocaust, and shamed the victorious nations into dealing with the Jews. Their solution: plunk a Jewish state right on top of one of the most disputed areas in the history of mankind. This, rightfully so, served to piss off a couple million Palestinians who already lived there as well as all the surrounding Arab nations, who had no interest in taking in a bunch of refugees.

    The Arab world isn’t blameless either. They view Palestinians like we view rednecks, and Israel is a really convenient scapegoat and distraction from their own failed governments.

    The Palestinians have aided and abetted terrorists for decades, going so far as to make Hamas, which rejects Israel’s right to exist, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip.

    The Israelis don’t give a damn how high the Palestinian body count is. There are factions that would just as soon wipe them out as come to a peace agreement.

    And the United States had stood back and covered for Israel every time they went too far.

    Until Israel agrees to give up their illegal settlements, until the Palestinians agree to renounce terrorism, until the Arab nations stop insisting on repatriation of millions of Palestinian refugees, and until the United States finally says “Enough!”, this conflict will never end, and frankly I don’t see any of those things happening in my lifetime.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @liberal:

    What you quoted was actually from Mnemosyne; Greyjoy left it out of his blockquote.

  61. 61
    Greyjoy says:

    Greyjoy left it out of her blockquote.

    Quite frankly, I’m a lot more worried that *this* nation is going to start taking up religious fanaticism-inspired violence and civil war as a national pastime. The guys who’ve been doing it since the walls of Jericho fell? Not so much.

  62. 62
    A moocher says:

    @Monkey Business: since by “terrorism” you mean “any resistence to Israeli power”, I fail to see on what grounds the Palestinians should renounce it. Perhaps they could reconsider when Israel renounces Zionist territorial expansion.

  63. 63
    some guy says:

    hopefully we will see the Egyptians help get more and better missiles into the hands of the resistance.

    best wishes to the people of Gaza, stay strong and keep up the good fight.

  64. 64
    Joey Giraud says:

    For once I’m completely onboard with ABL’s rage, this is evil.

    And it’s so obviously unfair and evil that I notice an absence of the usual accusations of anti-Semitism.

  65. 65
    Unsympathetic says:

    I have Palestinian fatigue.

    They need to propose a realistic plan [Israel’s not giving up the Golan Heights, people: read your history, they did once and got invaded from it again] that they accept 100% that leads to actual peace. Look it up: They never have. Not once. Never.

    I’m tired of the whining of a people who complain when they continue to lose the war they won’t stop fighting.

    If Hamas or PLO actually cared one rip about their people, they’d get that peace treaty tomorrow rather than take delivery of more missiles from Iran. Hamas and PLO leadership are themselves responsible for their failure to deliver peace. They cynically whine and complain — preying on the concern of people who don’t peek behind the curtain to realize that Hamas and PLO are more interested in seeming peaceful rather than actual peace.

  66. 66
    Unsympathetic says:

    I have Palestinian fatigue.

    They need to propose a realistic plan [Israel’s not giving up the Golan Heights, people: read your history, they did once and got invaded from it again] that they accept 100% that leads to actual peace. Look it up: They never have. Not once. Never.

    I’m tired of the whining of a people who complain when they continue to lose the war they won’t stop fighting.

    If Hamas or PLO actually cared one rip about their people, they’d get that peace treaty tomorrow rather than take delivery of more missiles from Iran. Hamas and PLO leadership are themselves responsible for their failure to deliver peace. They cynically whine and complain — preying on the concern of people who don’t peek behind the curtain to realize that Hamas and PLO are more interested in seeming peaceful rather than actual peace.

  67. 67
    proterozoic says:

    No, no no no.

    I resent Netanyahu’s recent actions as much as anyone, and I think the expansion of settlements in the West Bank is immoral and will end up screwing Israel itself in coming years.

    But this is different, I’m sorry. 750 rockets shot from Gaza into Israel, this year alone! 12,000 since the Israeli withdrawal in 2005. If someone was tossing spitballs at your head, how many would you take until you got up and slapped the shit out of them?

    Fuck Hamas. This is on them 100%. Ahmed Jabari got blown away? Good. Let’s hope the rest of their ratfucking leadership will follow soon.

  68. 68
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Chris:

    Some people have such a hard time dealing with their feelings that they pretend to not care.

    And to help with the pretending, they go online and proclaim loudly how apathetic they are.

    The volume of the denial is the tell.

  69. 69
    MattMinus says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    Not sure if trolling or very, very stupid.

  70. 70
    Joey Giraud says:

    @JC:

    Those “hundreds of missiles” are closer to bottle rockets. A nuisance, a political statement.

    The Israelis are using high munitions.

    The kill ratio says it all.

  71. 71
    Greyjoy says:

    Trust me, I’m not pretending not to care.

    I think, however, that by the volume of your faux outrage, you may very well be pretending to care. But I think it’s safe to say that the minute you browse off this page, you will cease to give a tin shit about anything going on in the Gaza strip, at least until the next time it comes up.

    I mean, hey–we’ve got some comments about arming the Israelis and others about arming the Palestinians. In order to be seen as caring, do I just have to pick a side? Fine, let me find a coin and I’ll flip it. Israel gets heads and Palestine gets tails. That should establish my liberal cred for the duration of this thread. At least until it gets bumped to the second page, when nobody will be posting about it anymore.

  72. 72
    Unsympathetic says:

    @MattMinus:

    Already dishing out personal insults, little boy? Let’s see that proof of yours.

  73. 73
    Joey Giraud says:

    @MattMinus:

    Not trolling, don’t know about stupid.

    Definitely emotionally stunted, exhausted by negative feelings, unable to deal.

    Apathy is the logical place to go. Just wish these types would be quieter about how much they don’t care.

  74. 74
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Greyjoy:

    You are bundle of joy, aren’t you?

    You’re right. This isn’t my obsession. I’m not going to throw away my life to “do something about it.”

    This is a blog. People express opinions here, and feelings too.

    You’re welcome to contribute. “I don’t care” is damn weak tea.

    “Picking a side” is a childish attitude. Wanting to see some revenge is too.

    No need to act like the most childish commenters here.

  75. 75
    jurassicpork says:

    “Why is Israel using Israeli civilians as a human shield?” Because they’re terrorists, so does it surprise you they use terrorist tactics?

    This is the difference between Hamas and the IDF: The IDF has uniforms, paychecks, pensions and American right wing support. That, plus we fund their terrorist activities to the tune of 3 billion a year.

    When Muslims kill babies, it’s terrorism. When Jews kill babies, it’s “ensuring their survival.”

  76. 76
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    It’s amazing how so many Americans are such experts on what it’s really like over there, what the PLO and Hamas really think.

    All your notions about Palestinian positions in negotiations are Israeli and MSM propaganda, pure bullshit. Go ahead and cite mainstream reporting, it’s lies and bullshit.

    The numbers of dead are real. That’s the only story we need.

  77. 77
    JustAnotherBob says:

    These two tiny pieces of real estate have been playing Hatfield and McCoy with each other for over half century. I’m tired of their crap.

    Let’s build a wall around them and check back in a decade or two to see if they are ready to join the civilized world.

    Either the reasonable people on both sides will take charge and shake hands or they will speed up their war and get it over with.

    Enough.

  78. 78
    some guy says:

    at least the Zionist supporters preface their remarks with “I don’t really care” or “both sides do it” or “I have always been opposed to apartheid, but…” so there’s that progress.

  79. 79
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I thought we didn’t care if rockets come out of nowhere and blast innocent people all to shit…

    Oh wait, that’s only if PBO does the blasting.

    Given her “whatevah” attitude toward PBO’s drone murders, the level of unself-awareness required on ABL’s part to make this post is either hilarious or really scary.

  80. 80
    some guy says:

    Let’s build a wall around them and check back in a decade or two to see if they are ready to join the civilized world.

    how about instead we stop giving the aggressors 4 billion a year, and stop providing financial support to the illegal colonists, and stop giving the aggressors advanced weapon systems, and stop letting the aggressors hide behind our skirts at the UN.

    we stop doing that first, then we wash our hands of it. otherwise, a “both sides do it” argument elides our direct complicity in, and support of, a violent apartheid regime that is not just a rogue terrorist state, but a nuclear-armed rogue terrorist state

  81. 81
    some guy says:

    Let’s build a wall around them and check back in a decade or two to see if they are ready to join the civilized world.

    how about instead we stop giving the aggressors 4 billion a year, and stop providing financial support to the illegal colonists, and stop giving the aggressors advanced weapon systems, and stop letting the aggressors hide behind our skirts at the UN.

    we stop doing that first, then we wash our hands of it. otherwise, a “both sides do it” argument elides our direct complicity in, and support of, a violent apartheid regime that is not just a rogue terrorist state, but a nuclear-armed rogue terrorist state

  82. 82
    MPAVictoria says:

    “how about instead we stop giving the aggressors 4 billion a year”

    Aggressors… I don’t think that word means what you thing it means…

  83. 83
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    They need to propose a realistic plan [Israel’s not giving up the Golan Heights, people: read your history, they did once and got invaded from it again] that they accept 100% that leads to actual peace.

    That’s patent sophistical bullshit. There is no realistic plan, and very definitely no realistic plan — in the sense of ending up with a viable Palestinian state — that Israel’s government is going to accept. Control of the aquifers? Control of borders? Control of the airspace? This is a three-dimensional map on a very small territory.

    Israel is on a path towards de facto annexation under apartheid rule, because its government is too fucking spineless to contemplate any alternatives, and so will continue to kick the can down the road in the hope that the next generation of leaders will be the ones who deal with it, and they’ll be blamed from the relative comfort of the grave.

  84. 84
    MPAVictoria says:

    “Those “hundreds of missiles” are closer to bottle rockets. A nuisance, a political statement.
    The Israelis are using high munitions.
    The kill ratio says it all.”

    Yeah fuck those Jews for being able to fight back.

  85. 85
    some guy says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    you have identified the classic Hasbara argument, Until “these people” propose a plan for their own future subjugation they are responsible for their continuing subjgation.

  86. 86
    The Crafty Trilobite says:

    A few points:
    @OP and others: Your point seems to be that Israel is worse because it’s more successful at delivering explosions. Um, why? Or put it another way – exactly what will you accept, as the proportionate response to missile attacks on a civilian population? Last I heard, even destroying houses with bulldozers — virtually no casualties (who didn’t stand in front of the ‘dozer like an idiot)– was deemed barbaric. You say targeted strikes on leadership is bad b/c mortars & missiles are not bullets, so there’s collateral damage. I’m guessing invading with bullets would be bad too. Would paintballs be ok with you?

    @70 Words fail me. Tell you what, you go fire a few of those trivial protest statements at your kids, ‘k? Let me know how that works out for you.

    @59 There was also a certain rough justice in “plunking down” a Jewish state in a (sparsely settled) Arab region, because the local Arab governments sided with the Axis; the Zionist settlers fought along with the British. The 1948 partition was just one of many map-redraws and forced re-settlements at the end of WWII, to shove warring ethnicities on opposite sides of borders. Nobody liked it, but it did by and large quiet hostilities. The difference here was that the Palestinians refused to cope, and were indulged in their overreaction by anti-semitic neighbors and anti-American Europeans.

    @44 Actually, quite a lot of the Palestinians either lived in the West Bank originally (it was, after all, the most arable part of the province before Israel was carved out of the other half of it), or were dumped there later from Jordan after their coup failed. Most of the others could have stayed in Israel if they had been willing to live in a secular, but majority Jewish, state, instead of threatening to “drive the Jews into the sea.” Yes, there were also neutrals, quiet farmers, driven out of Israel. Yes, that was a terrible thing. Maybe it’s because I’m Jewish that I find that crime a forgivable overreaction in the middle of a literal war for survival. Or maybe it’s long past time for the Palestinians to move on.

    @31 Yes. Israel does try to keep civilian casualties down. More than any occupying force in history. Orders of magnitude better than us in Iraq. They use rubber bullets at the border. They went house-to-house at Jenin, when bombing would have saved their own troops’ lives, precisely so as not to kill civilians indiscriminately — and were rewarded with worldwide news stories about a “massacre” that turned out to have no basis in fact. They have had nuclear weapons and vastly superior conventional weaponry for decades, yet an anti-Israeli website obsessively listing its “massacres” http://www.soundofegypt.com/pa.....sacres.htm finds only scattered instances of small-scale killings – horrible, but obviously not organized policy. Far from perfect, but much better than the norm.

  87. 87
    Keith G says:

    Israel’s actions are outrageous and Bibi’s government is a nasty piece of work.

    And the Palestinians could eviscerate any moral ground held by Israel if they would just stop launching their stupid rockets and move on to nonviolent action.

    Israel is a corrupt state and Palestinians have the power to win much of what they need, but they refuse to open their eyes to what is possible through peace. They are being very unwise as they squander opportunity after opportunity. That baby did not have to die an empty death, but such was certainly predictable due to the actions of Hamas.

  88. 88
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I was really troubled by the social media aspect of this whole thing. The cavalier smack-talk on Twitter and stuff, just like it was a big playoff football game or something.

  89. 89
    some guy says:

    well, they might be somewhat more sophisticated than bottle rockets, but according to Reuters at least 100 made it through today, including a few hitting the suburbs of Tel Aviv

    as I said above, hopefully the Egyptians can help the Resistance get more, and better, munitions.

  90. 90
    some guy says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:

    Hasbara says what?

  91. 91
    Roy G. says:

    Why is this happening? Clues:

    The Palestinians are about to go to the UN and ask for membership, which the Zionists are against because then they would be liable for the crimes they have been committing against the Palestinians and specifically the Gazans. It is a fact that the Zionists have kept Gazans close to starvation, and violently, and illegally, kept them captive. Remember the Mavi Mamara? Did you know an American was killed during the raid?

    The Palestinians are about to exhume the body of Yassir Arafat to test if he was in fact poisoned by the Zionists – one of his close associates was recently confirmed to have met the same fate. This is the Arafat who the hasbaristas claimed wasn’t a ‘true partner for peace,’ yet the Palestine Papers revealed that he was in fact ready to sign an agreement with the Israeli govt, who were the ones who pulled back.

    Iran is a smokescreen – the goal is the annexation of Eretz Israel, or as much land as the State of Israel can steal from its neighbors. Did you know that no formal treaties exist between Israel and the US, in part because Israel has no legally fixed borders?

    It’s a mistake to think Israel = the Jews (no, David Gregory, Netenyahoo is no the Leader of the Jews). I make the distinction of Zionists because those are the people who are using religion as a cover for nationalist racist eliminationism, under the guise of religion.

    Netenyahoo is a devil, but Avigdor LIeberman is the Beast Slouching towards Jerusalem.

  92. 92
    Joey Giraud says:

    @MPAVictoria:

    Yeah, you slap me with a glove.

    I pull out a .45 and blow your fucking head off.

    Both sides do it.

  93. 93
    some guy says:

    the always excellent Ali Abunimah has a timeline of how the IDF scuttled the latest truce.

    http://electronicintifada.net/.....y-timeline

  94. 94
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Keith G:

    And the Palestinians could eviscerate any moral ground held by Israel if they would just stop launching their stupid rockets and move on to nonviolent action.

    Uh, no. Have you read the accounts of nonviolent protest in the West Bank and how the IDF deals with them?

    Didn’t think so.

  95. 95
    Joey Giraud says:

    @some guy:

    hopefully the Egyptians can help the Resistance get more, and better, munitions

    I don’t. Even though the battle is unfair, actually killing Israelis won’t help matters.

    Both sides shouldn’t do it. Killing civilians, that is.

  96. 96
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:

    There was also a certain rough justice in “plunking down” a Jewish state in a (sparsely settled) Arab region, because the local Arab governments sided with the Axis; the Zionist settlers fought along with the British.

    And yet the Irgun put out feelers to Berlin, plus there was the whole King David Hotel thing in 1946. But that was a long time ago.

    Again, my point is that the Israel of 2012 is not the Israel of 1992 or even the Israel of 2002. Political power rests in blocs that have no connection to Labor Zionism — and, by extension, to the majority of American Judaism — and those blocs are not necessarily fixated on democracy.

  97. 97
    some guy says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Bullies only understand and respond to resistance, not compliance.

  98. 98
    MPAVictoria says:

    “Yeah, you slap me with a glove.
    I pull out a .45 and blow your fucking head off.
    Both sides do it.”

    I know right? Those Jews, always fighting back. They should just let Hamas exterminate them.

    From the Hamas founding charter:
    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

    Sounds like a great idea right guys? I mean if anyone deserves are help and sympathy it is these people.

  99. 99
    MPAVictoria says:

    bah read our for are.

  100. 100
    MPAVictoria says:

    In 2008 Imam Yousif al-Zahar of Hamas said in his sermon at the Katib Wilayat mosque in Gaza that “Jews are a people who cannot be trusted. They have been traitors to all agreements. Go back to history. Their fate is their vanishing.”

    We should totally be on this guy’s side right?

  101. 101
    Keith G says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: I know what you mean. Just like how the tough line used by the British Crown wore down Gandhi til he broke and gave up.

    Hint: Look up Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

  102. 102
    some guy says:

    @MPAVictoria:

    Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: “Ye shall blot them out to the last man.” But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier. We are particularly far from this sort of hesitation in regard to an enemy whose moral perversion is admitted by all.

    I assume all the Hasbara among us are familiar with the Yitzahk Shamir quote above.

  103. 103
    some guy says:

    Sounds like a great idea right guys? I mean if anyone deserves are help and sympathy it is these people

    Yes, any and all assistance to the Palestinian Resistance is always welcome.

  104. 104
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:

    There was also a certain rough justice in “plunking down” a Jewish state in a (sparsely settled) Arab region, because the local Arab governments sided with the Axis; the Zionist settlers fought along with the British.

    I assume you don’t mean to include certain Zionist organisations who fought, killed and murdered British soldiers before, during and after the war.

    What the Israelis of 1948 and earlier taught the Palestinians was that terrorism works. What the Palestinians didn’t learn is that you also need a powerful friend. The Palestinians have no friends.

    By the way, has nobody noticed that this fight is not over Gaza? Nobody wants Gaza. Not the Israelis, not the Egyptians, probably not even the Gazans. It’s over the West Bank.

    Also, it’s about the upcoming Israeli elections. Bibi, as always, is playing the Gazan extremists like an angler playing a trout. At the moment he is reeling in a fish dinner.

  105. 105
    MPAVictoria says:

    You are so correct some guy! These Hamas people are great!
    I mean check out this fine individual:

    Another Hamas legislator and imam, Sheik Yunus al-Astal, discussed a Koranic verse suggesting that “suffering by fire is the Jews’ destiny in this world and the next”. He concluded “Therefore we are sure that the Holocaust is still to come upon the Jews”

    And this one:
    In an interview with Al-Aqsa TV in September 12, 2012, Marwan Abu Ras, a Hamas MP, who is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, stated:
    “The Jews are behind each and every catastrophe on the face of the Earth. This is not open to debate. This is not a temporal thing, but goes back to days of yore. They concocted so many conspiracies and betrayed rulers and nations so many times that the people harbor hatred towards them…Throughout history – from Nebuchadnezzar until modern times… They slayed the prophets, and so on…Any catastrophe on the face of this Earth – the Jews must be behind it.”

    How can we not side with them?

  106. 106
    MattW says:

    Wait wait wait…I thought all the cool kids at BJ were totally down with mocking the unnecessary deaths of innocent muslims. So with that in mind…

    Oh noes! IZZZZZRAAELIIIIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!

    Ahhh shit, does anyone know what Glenn Greenwald’s stance on this situation is? I don’t want to jump the gun without taking the opposite stance out of spite.

  107. 107
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    ITT, Israeli and Palestinian apologists copypasta from their talking points. Seriously, this is why we can’t have nice things. I’d be sorry I brought it up, but fuck that. Better to get this out in the open.

  108. 108
    some guy says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    how very impolite, to mention the terrorism of the Irgun and Lehi and their terrorism in the founding of the State. Just because they were assassins and ethnic cleansers and bombed innocent civilians is no reason to be so impolite.

  109. 109
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @MattW: You’re late, firebagger. Corner Stone and Tedd and Helen beat you to it. Now fuck off back to Greenwald’s joint.

  110. 110
    some guy says:

    @MPAVictoria:

    Hasbara ssays what?

  111. 111
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:

    @59 There was also a certain rough justice in “plunking down” a Jewish state in a (sparsely settled) Arab region, because the local Arab governments sided with the Axis; the Zionist settlers fought along with the British. The 1948 partition was just one of many map-redraws and forced re-settlements at the end of WWII, to shove warring ethnicities on opposite sides of borders. Nobody liked it, but it did by and large quiet hostilities. The difference here was that the Palestinians refused to cope, and were indulged in their overreaction by anti-semitic neighbors and anti-American Europeans.

    This is not justice of any kind, rough or otherwise, unless you are fine with fucking up millions of people’s lives merely to punish their governments.

    Maybe it’s because I’m Jewish that I find that crime a forgivable overreaction in the middle of a literal war for survival. Or maybe it’s long past time for the Palestinians to move on.

    This reads like an admission of partisan hypocrisy. I guess it’s admirable, in a way.

    The bottom line for me is, the modern Israel is a nation in the wrong place. The victims of the Holocaust were European. They should have been compensated by Europe, and in particular Germany. If they wanted a homeland of their own, they should have been given one in Europe; not in the Middle East on land that already belonged to someone else.

    Engineering nations by colonial fiat is not and never was a recipe for long-term peace. You might quiet down some current fights, but you’ll just as surely build up some new ones. As it is, I think Israel is a 21st century Crusader kingdom, as doomed in the long run as its medieval predecessors. Right now it’s throwing away its claim to moral legitimacy by what it’s doing o Palestine.

  112. 112
    MPAVictoria says:

    some guy you are obviously a great judge of moral character. Have you heard of this thing called the protocols of the elder zion?

  113. 113
    some guy says:

    the giveaway line by the Hasbara was his line about the peacefulness of the 1948 partition and how “it did by and large quiet hostilities. telll it to the now-deceased residents of Deir Yassin

  114. 114
    some guy says:

    wow, it only took 112 comments before a Hasbara imputed anti-semitism to his opponent. the Zionists are getting slow.

  115. 115
    Joey Maloney says:

    I’m posting late on this because of the time difference. It’s only morning where I am.

    First: I live in Israel, in South Tel Aviv. I heard the rocket in Holon land last night. That was the popping of my “incoming” cherry.

    Second: The current attacks into Gaza are, as far as I can see, useless. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been shooting rockets at Israel for going on twelve years now. Israel has been shooting back for the whole time, and nothing has changed. If I had to guess, this is entirely politically motivated, what with Bibi calling elections for January. It might be that the military leadership gave him this in the hopes it would be the shiny object that would distract him from his completely disastrous hard-on for Iran.

    All that said, this:

    There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev [Israel’s south] – a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them.

    is idiotic, and not least because it’s been tried with varying degrees of good faith over the past decade, with the IDF withdrawing except for border control and arms interdiction. Game it out. What happens if Israel entirely leaves Gaza? First of all, no one in the Arab world wants them. None of the Arab states want to absorb a million people, even if most of them are just ordinary schmucks who want to build a decent life. Egypt currently maintains an even stricter control regime on their border with Gaza than Israel does on theirs. Jordan, which was originally gerrymandered to be the Palestinian state (and don’t even get me started on that), the last time a shitload of Palestinians started agitating there for full rights, massacred a bunch of them and kicked the rest out.

    Yes, conditions in Gaza are horrible and Israel is largely to blame for that. But there are bad people who continue to use it for a staging ground for – no way around it, I’m going to use the t-word – terrorist attacks, and they won’t stop even if Israel withdraws entirely, because their goal is well beyond self-government, it’s the destruction of the Israeli state. And there is no group with both the desire and the power to bring those rejectionists to heel.

    What to do? Fuck if I know. It’s like old Tom Jefferson said about slavery and the Great Compromise: “We have taken the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him nor let him go.” It’s possible that a US government less cowed by AIPAC could pressure an Israeli government less bent on ethnic cleansing to allow the space for Arab states to see how it’s in their own self-interests to cut off arms and logistical support to the rejectionists and instead foster civil institutions, and given a couple decades of hard work, some kind of settlement might be reached. But not one single link in that chain currently exists, nor can I see how to forge them starting from where we are now.

    So yeah, the current situation is fucked. Every dead Palestinian civilian is a moral stain on the State of Israel and all of us citizens in whose names it’s done. The occcupation is corrupting our army and our national spirit and ruining whatever moral standing we once might have had in the world. But the state still has the right and the obligation to protect its own citizens. The way we’re going about it is terrible and wasteful and counterproductive. Show me a better one that doesn’t require unicorns.

  116. 116
    MPAVictoria says:

    So you agree some guy that Hamas, given that they routinely cite the protocols of the elder zion, is anti semitic? We are getting somewhere.

  117. 117
    some guy says:

    Show me a better one that doesn’t require unicorns.

    when you and your fellow Israelis tell the colonists to leave their colonies and return to Israel the rest of the world will stop thinking of you as an apartheid state.

    or you could stop being an apartheid state and allow one man, one vote.

  118. 118
    some guy says:

    @MPAVictoria:

    Hasbara says what?

  119. 119
    some guy says:

    First: I live in Israel, in South Tel Aviv. I heard the rocket in Holon land last night. That was the popping of my “incoming” cherry. Second: The current attacks into Gaza are, as far as I can see, useless. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been shooting rockets at Israel for going on twelve years now. Israel has been shooting back for the whole time, and nothing has changed.

    sounds to me like the Resistance has changed your world last night, at least in a small way

  120. 120
    Joey Maloney says:

    @some guy:

    when you and your fellow Israelis tell the colonists to leave their colonies and return to Israel the rest of the world will stop thinking of you as an apartheid state.

    You’re not paying attention. That might be necessary, but it’s far from sufficient.

    Israel can do that. Israel should do that. But it won’t solve the problem. At least some of the people firing rockets don’t care about democratic rights. In some cases they actively oppose them, because it would result in their neighbors tearing them limb from fucking limb. Some of them want to destroy Israel because it’s an insult to their faith. Some want revenge. Some are just so crazed by grief and anger that they just want to see the whole world burn. And all of them are supported by state actors who want to keep pressure on Israel for their own internal and external political goals which have exactly fuck-all to do with justice or Palestinian liberation. (It goes without saying that the Bibi’s government is the exact mirror image of that callous and craven realpolitik.)

    sounds to me like the Resistance has changed your world last night, at least in a small way

    If you’re making some kind of rhetorical point here, it escapes me. If you actually believe that, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  121. 121
    gorram says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Some of them want to destroy Israel because it’s an insult to their faith.

    Ah yes, please tell me more about what those people think, want, and believe. I’m sure their bitter, bitter hatred of Israel has everything to with abstract notions of religious purity and the current rain of bombs has nothing to do with it.

    Well, had nothing to do with it for the couple that didn’t survive it.

  122. 122
    The Crafty Trilobite says:

    @ some guy – look, if you don’t want to be called an anti-semite, stop calling everyone who disagrees with you “Hasbara.” Which, by the way, is not actually a kind of person, in Hebrew, in case you prefer at least linguistic accuracy in your epithets.
    By the way, your witty repartee @113 would seem even more clever if you actually, you know, read what I wrote. I said that by and large, post-WWII readjustment of national borders in Europe, including some resettlement, quieted down ethnic strife. I did not say it worked in Israel, in fact, I said it didn’t. My point was simply that some Palestinians getting uprooted to the other side of the border was not an unique horror that nobody could ever get over, it was actually a pretty run of the mill problem at the time, and in many cases better than the available alternatives.
    And yes, Deir Yassin was a Bad Thing. Happy now?

    To paraphrase Joey Maloney, yes, it sucks, we all know it sucks, now show me a way out that does not require unicorns. And if you can’t, kindly stop blaming the whole thing on the mean, horrid Israelis.

    @Amir Khalid – no,it’s not hypocrisy, because I’m an equal opportunity forgiver. I even want Israel to make real efforts to make peace with Hamas, despite Hamas’s atrocities. Israel needs to get past that too. But I don’t think Israel will get anywhere with that, until the Palestinian people stop arguing that Israel is “in the wrong place,” and instead start with the acknowledgement that it has a right to exist. Then we can start much more productive arguments about water rights, roads, and demilitarized zones.

    What won’t work, sorry OP, is unilateral withdrawal before there’s any kind of peace agreement in place. Why would it?

  123. 123
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:
    It’s wonderful that you’re sn equal-opportunity forgiver, but I wouldn’t say that the transgressions have been equal on both sides. This has been a horribly unequal fight. By building illegal settlements Israel aims to crowd Palestinians out of their own remaining land. Israel has spent the past generation, and more, systematically cutting off every avenue for Palestine’s viability — political, economic, social. The Palestinians’ puny weapons do far less damage to Israel and cause fewer casualties, than Israel does to them. Israel, on the other hand, is in no real existential danger from Palestine. The Palestinian Authority is willing to recognise the pre-1967 borders. It’s Israel that is refusing to deal.

  124. 124
    Thlayli says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Well, if you know someone is carrying a .45, maybe you should think twice about slapping them.

  125. 125
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    Steve says:

    There’s no way to find common ground with people who have already settled on a narrative, much less people who say pepper spray is basically a food product, like the absurd comment @70 that nobody seemed to have a problem with. There has never been an IP thread at this site that wasn’t a complete trainwreck. Moving on.

  127. 127
    Paul says:

    @Jon:

    Really? We’re asking “shoe on the other foot” questions about this? Are you so history handicapped that you don’t remember stuff like this happening in Israel all the time? How many rockets would we let fall on the US before doing something?

    Do you really want to go there? We attacked Iraq…

  128. 128
    El Cid says:

    There’s no countervailing force externally or as yet internally to cause any outcome other than the continued militarist & settler expansion of the Israeli state / settler complex to all of Jerusalem, every desired resource and bit of land in the West Bank, and the isolation and undevelopment of as much of the areas of Gaza and West Bank left to house the Palestinians with no possibility of an effectively sovereign state. Palestinians will do their best to continue surviving under a mix of systematically and corruptly ineffective leadership and an overlapping network of idiot armed militias. At which point Israeli leadership will likely choose to accept a ‘peace’ settlement and all sides (except the Palestinian people themselves) can congratulate themselves.

    The least stable variable is what goes on with the current battle to push Israeli Arab citizens out of the rights of democratic citizenship, and whether or not what happens with that situation affects the occupation and expansion.

    Many of the most prominent (and cynically self-interested) Israeli former leaders now no longer see the possibility of the 2-state solution that the current Israeli leadership of the past two decades have escalated their war against.

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    bjacques says:

    I’m just glad the Middle East is no longer a Cold War flashpoint for WWIII. If it all goes to shit, the rest of us will survive.

    Hamas might be taken more seriously if they invested in countermeasures for drones instead of lobbing bombs at Tel Aviv. But who am I kidding? Hamas are thugs, never mind their dream of pushing Israel into the sea (keep f*cking that chicken!).

    They suppressed demonstrations against the Syrian regime, wo we know what side they’re really on. Whether or not Israel created or cultivated them in 1987, if Israel weren’t screwing over Palestinians, Hamas wouldn’t have any reason to exist. Bottled up in Gaza with no real prospect of a face-to-face battle against the IDF, Hamas throw their weight around locally instead.

    It’s always going to be up to Israel to make the first, second and maybe even third move towards peace. The side with more power always has more options than deadly force and collective punishment. Stop illegal settlements and tear down existing ones. Let the Palestinians defend their land, by force if necessary, and stop defending would-be settlers who try to get cute. Stop besieging Gaza to punish Hamas, and the Palestinians there will tire of them soon enough.

    If Israel doesn’t purge the fools, killers and clowns from its government, it’ll all go to shit and it will be a damn shame, but that’s all it will be. Add “we had a Promised Land but we pissed it away” to the holy narrative.

    There’s a dynamic here that reminds me of Washington DC under Mayor Marion Barry, post “bitch set me up.” DC doesn’t have control over its own budget, which is managed by (IIRC) the Senate Finance Committee. The Chairman in later years (1996-1998) was Lauch Faircloth (R-NC). Every time Barry invented some new form of graft, the committee reduced the scope of Barry’s powers as mayor. The people kept re-electing him because he knew how to play the victim, which Senate Republicans were happy to do (and there’s still a medical marijuana initiative whose votes have yet to be counted, due to funds being cut off specifically for that). It was a middle finger stuck in the eye of the Republicans. Meanwhile, the city continued to decay.

    It finally ended with a deal to buy Barry off with a sinecure professorship at American University, with Williams the City Controller stepping into his place. Otherwise, Barry could have won another term or two easily.

    Get your shit together, Israel, and sooner or later, Palestine will get theirs together too.

    ETA: El Cid just now made one of my points more elegantly than I did.

  130. 130
    Interrobang says:

    @Joey Maloney: Yeah, what you said. How many people do you know who’ve lost someone over the past dozen years? I bet it’s at least one; everyone knows someone. I’m connected enough that I know someone, and I don’t even live there — a coworker lost a son.

    Americans don’t seem get how the immense interconnections between Israelis (and I’m willing to bet Palestinians, too) colour the whole thing. I live in a Canadian city of 350 000 and everyone knows everyone here, so I have some idea. (Don’t ask me how that works in a city this size, but it does.) I was lying awake last night thinking about the situation — I’m heartbroken as I have so many colleagues and friends on the Israeli side, and the pictures coming out of Gaza are horrible (my heart broke for the BBC correspondent) — and realised that part of it is how personal it all is to everyone involved. I’m imagining my city having a hot war with a mirror image of my city (the Spock’s beard version), and that just gets miserable fast.

    Yeah, yeah, some one of you is going to say something along the lines of “How nice of you to tell us all what people you don’t know think.” Shut up now, because I’ve actually been there, and I probably know half of Israel by extension at this point, and I’m educated enough to see the same signifiers on the other side. It’s not just fear; it’s not just existential ideology, it’s also “those $EXPLETIVEs are shooting at my…”

    And until the YARGLE BARGLE REVENGE contingent on both sides either sits down and shuts up or gets relegated to the sidelines (or my personal preference, an otherwise-uninhabited island in the Med somewhere, where they can play Last Idiot Standing to their hearts’ content), I don’t see any workable solution.

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    Lojasmo says:

    @Jon:

    Are you fucking kidding with this? Palestinian deaths outnumber Israeli deaths 100:1

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    LanceThruster says:

    The solution to Israel’s outrage over sporadic rocket attacks that put civilians at potential risk, however slight, is to ensure that Hamas gets better weaponry so that they can direct their firepower on military targets exclusively. Instead, the IDF seems content in hiding behind their civilian humans shields (though, with the exception of the Orthodox, the entirety of Israel’s population is pretty much in the IDF reserve so it’s not like it’s that easy to hit an exclusively civilian target either).

  133. 133
    Ben Franklin says:

    @LanceThruster:

    There are 2000 Stinger still missing in Libya. One anti-tank weapon has been used in Gaza, but most ordinance is Katyusha, 3rd generation bottle-rockets.

  134. 134
    LanceThruster says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    The painful lesson of the IDF in Lebanon is that their imagined superiority dissapates rather quickly against against a prepared enemy fighting back.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Keith G: Some Israeli said they wouldn’t have to deal with the Palestinians until ‘they turned into Finns’ (saying they couldn’t be nonviolent).

    I say call his bluff, try the Ghandi approach, cause militarily you will never defeat Israel.

  136. 136
    Paul in KY says:

    @MPAVictoria: You do agree that Mr. Shamir said that quote, right?

  137. 137
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I agree that they should have been placed in East Prussia, but the Israelis most definitely wanted to be where they are now.

  138. 138
    Paul in KY says:

    @MPAVictoria: Of course they are anti-semetic. Why the fuck would they be pro-semetic?!

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    Paul in KY says:

    @bjacques: I just don’t think Israel is going anywhere, despite the stupidity/callousness of its leaders.

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    Donald says:

    Someone mentioned Israel’s saintly behavior at Jenin some years ago. Human Rights Watch investigated and found there were 20 something civilian deaths, many of them likely war crimes. As for the “massacre”, part of the reason for the original rumor was that an Israeli general claimed hundreds had died, when it turned out the death toll was about 50.

    Israel is a run-of-the-mill settler colonial state–it just got into that business when it was starting to go out of fashion. They’re there now, and somehow the two peoples have to learn to get along. It won’t happen so long as fanatics on the Palestinian side use terrorism, and “civilized” folk on the Israeli side make excuses for their own barbarism.

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