This is Not a Positive Development

Israel really needs to show some restraint:

As Israel’s air war against Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters in Gaza entered its sixth day on Saturday, a pair of bombings threw the difficulties of the campaign into painful relief: Israel bombed a mosque, which its aerial photos indicated was harboring a weapons cache, and a center for the handicapped, killing two handicapped patients and wounding three, as well as a caretaker.

The bombing of the center, the Mabaret Palestine Society here in northern Gaza, occurred just before dawn, when a missile crashed through the roof and exploded. Because it was the weekend, only five of the 19 severely handicapped residents were in residence, while the rest were with their families, said Jamila Elaiwa, who founded the center 20 years ago.

I know the need to respond, but really, bombing mosques, even if you suspect they have weapons, is a really bad idea, particularly during Ramadan.

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165 replies
  1. 1
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s not like they care, you know. They reckon the Palestinians are trespassers in their country. And what is their minion America for, if not to do its duty and shield them from any international repercussions?

  2. 2
    Gator90 says:

    As a Jew and an American taxpayer, I am heartsick and gutsick. Israel is just killing people, because it can.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    So three teenagers are murdered and the correct, proportional response is to murder hundreds of people in retaliation?

    If other countries do that, we call that a war crime. But since it’s Israel, we just call it Tuesday.

  4. 4

    @Amir Khalid: This is a tremendously stupid action even with regards to Israel’s own self interest. Ask Indira Gandhi and General Vaidya how well sending troops to the Golden Temple turned out for them.

    ETA: Not to speak of the hundreds of innocents who lost their lives in the almost decade long unrest that followed.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gator90:

    I am heartsick and gutsick.

    Me too. I just hate seeing this endless cycle of abuse played out every few years. And I hate feeling so helpless in its face.

  6. 6

    I don’t understand Israel’s endgame here. Okay, they can bomb the handicapped. That’s not that hard, to be honest.

    But at some point they’re going to decide that dropping ordinance is no longer desirable (I would say necessary, but I think we started at that point). Then what? It seems to me that Israel’s next move will then be to build more settlements. And this will repeat, because that’s what has happened intermittently through the last two decades. The end goal seems to be incremental annexation and genocide. If it’s not, then they’re sending the wrong message. I was never one to deny Israel the right to protect itself, but there’s nothing here that can be defended.

  7. 7
    Waynski says:

    Likud and other hardliners in Israel never seem to understand that violence begets more violence, or that the violence they commit against the Palestinians could somehow be unjust. They always justify it, because of terrorism. So, then they get more terrorist attacks in retaliation and the beat goes on. Unfortunately, the right in this country adopts the same approach.It’s hard to see how this negative feedback loop ever, ever ends.

  8. 8
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Israel routinely violates the international laws of war and blames the enemy for making them do it. Whether it is a mosque, a hospital, etc. it is always because it was housing weapons or terrorists.

  9. 9
    seabe says:

    What need to respond? Israel started this.

  10. 10
    Mike Toreno says:

    Martin, Israel’s endgame is that they need living space and an ethnically pure state.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    Cole’s an anti-Semite.

    /MSM

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    Netanyahu has to prove that he’s a manly man.
    I just wish he’d stick to riding horseback shirtless like the other manly man.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    Since Congress already weighed in unanimously supporting this (and I don’t think Israel even asked), I’m assuming that we aren’t anywhere near a watershed. We won’t be until the US can be hurt by it.

  14. 14
    Heliopause says:

    Israel really needs to show some restraint:

    They have no incentive to.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Suffern ACE: haha.. Do you understand that that twenty-seven percent of the folks in this country think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? It will never be Israel’s fault to a larger percentage of the population. The Middle East could blow up because of this and Israel will suffer no consequences.

  16. 16

    @JPL: Can’t really fault him, though. There are no bears in Israel to ride.

  17. 17
    dedc79 says:

    Storing weapons in a mosque, if that’s what actually was done, is pretty messed up too.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @⚽️ Martin: How about a camel and he could inspect the damage in Gaza.

  19. 19

    @dedc79: Why? There’s not a white Baptist church south of Mason-Dixon that isn’t harboring its own armed militia on any given Sunday.

  20. 20
    dedc79 says:

    @⚽️ Martin: yeah, that’s pretty messed up too.

  21. 21
    Stillwater says:

    Israel is inoculated against the disease known as “proportionality response”. Excessive force is the norm. What’s the established equation in situations like this? One Israeli death = 50 Palestinians?

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    As long as Netanyahu is in power, nothing will change for the better.

  23. 23

    @JPL: Real men like Major Kong ride their own ordinance.

  24. 24
    seabe says:

    @Mike in NC: because Labor is so much better? In Israel, when it comes to FP, there is no difference between Likud, Labor, or other parties. It only gets worse. The only parties that are different are Arab and leftist and secular.

  25. 25

    @Mike in NC: Well, once the Bush Doctrine went unpunished, everyone got a free pass to implement it for themselves.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    “Mr. Abu Shoodq said, and Ms. Elaiwa confirmed, that there had first been a warning rocket, “a knock on the roof,” a few minutes before the missile hit.”

    The idea of a polite courtesy rocket coming in advance…

  27. 27
    Cervantes says:

    @seabe:

    In Israel, when it comes to FP, there is no difference between Likud, Labor, or other parties. It only gets worse. The only parties that are different are Arab and leftist and secular.

    I agree.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @dedc79:

    Storing weapons in a mosque, if that’s what actually was done, is pretty messed up too.

    No way to tell at this point, but you’d think they’d have riper targets than mosques and disabled housing, even if each were in fact a stash house.

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @Waynski: What you’re describing is a positive feedback loop, not a negative one. “Positive” here does not imply “good” or “right” — it just refers to a dynamic that is not self-correcting.

  30. 30
    dedc79 says:

    @Stillwater: what’s your model for a proportional response and what armies/nations have ever used it?

  31. 31
    dedc79 says:

    @Corner Stone: yeah that’s why I put “too” at the end of my comment

  32. 32
    Stillwater says:

    @dedc79: what’s your model for a proportional response and what armies/nations have ever used it?

    I don’t even know how to respond to this, dedc79. If you think a criticism of the 50 of theirs for one of ours is outside the bounds of common sense conceptions of proportionality, I don’t know what to tell you.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    OT Cole:

    A Netflix suggestion for you:

    The Real Husbands of Hollywood

  34. 34
    Debbie says:

    @Gator90:

    Israel is also killing itself, I’m afraid.

  35. 35
    Eric U. says:

    it seems that at one point the Israeli public would get tired of all the violence caused by the Likud and elect a Labor government. And then the violence would continue until people were convinced that Likud would handle it. But violence and unrest always seems to favor the Likud party.

  36. 36
    pentatonix says:

    General Cole is going to explain to us how to conduct an air war in a place he has never been and doesn’t have the faintest clue about. Like everything else he talks about.

    Please continue.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    Well, yesterday our Congress passed a unanimous resolution in support of Israel’s actions. And then some Americans wonder why people in other parts of the world think we’re biased in favor of Israel. I can’t imagine how anyone could think such a thing.

  38. 38
    Aimai says:

    @Waynski: they prefer it. War is not as big a threat to them as peace.

  39. 39
    dedc79 says:

    @Stillwater: I just don’t know that there’s ever been a conflict where the stronger side used the kind of proportionality you are talking about. At least not any that have had success in doing so.

    The US certainly doesn’t fight with proportionality.

  40. 40
    Gator90 says:

    @Debbie: For most of my life, I would have considered that a pretty big loss. Right now, meh.

  41. 41
    Stillwater says:

    @dedc79: What you’re talking about is a permanent war culture. Which is fine. But it means Israel is no longer just a “passive victim” of Arab aggression. They’re purveyors of it as well.

    Of course, I realize this isn’t the type of logic a Zionist would accept. Indeed. That’s why I mention it.

  42. 42
    NobodySpecial says:

    @pentatonix: It can be safely assumed given Cole’s bio that he has A) More military experience than you, and B) More time in the Middle East then you. So, pull up a chair! You might learn something.*

    *- not likely, but there’s no educating the willfully ignorant with a surfeit of butthurt.

  43. 43
    LanceThruster says:

    I saw a heartbreaking interview (sound bite really) with two middle aged Palestinian males (probably husbands and fathers), who plaintively asked in broken English, “Where we go? WHERE we go??”

    They have no freedom of movement except within their open-air prison. Israelis in the past have compared Palestinians to ‘cockroaches in a bottle’ so if they asked me I’d say try to find an indescript corner of the bottle and look inconspicuous (but I really don’t think that would be of much help).

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    I just don’t know that there’s ever been a conflict where the stronger side used the kind of proportionality you are talking about. At least not any that have had success in doing so.

    I think I’m starting to see what you mean, but it’s not as though a disproportionate response is a better tactic. See also Vietnam and the recent Iraq and Afghanistan misadventures. When people are fighting for their homes, a disproportionate response is often counterproductive.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    I hate that my money goes to support this stuff.

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    @Stillwater: The cult of victimhood often leads to the cruelty of atrocities. For example, Slobodan Milosevic was able to whip up the Serbs into a genocidal frenzy by emphasizing their victimization at the hands of Croats and others during WWII. From what I’ve read, a not-insignificant percentage of the Israeli public would support a Balkan-style “ethnic cleansing” campaign in the occupied territories as well. Sadly, even if these people got their wish it would still not be enough to end US support of Israel,

  47. 47
    El Caganer says:

    @beltane: Unanimous. That’s truly amazing. Not a single one of these pathetic creatures that are allegedly entrusted with operating our government did anything other than roll over and beg for a belly rub from Bibi. Not much left to say.

  48. 48
    Stillwater says:

    @Violet: I hate that my money goes to support this stuff.

    Yo tambien.

  49. 49
    dedc79 says:

    @Stillwater: I don’t see such a clear victim/aggressor divide to begin with. I’m not absolving either side of blame. There’s plenty to go around.

    I am plenty critical of the Netanyahu government and the choices it’s made and continues to make.

    I’m objecting to a particular point you made – which I see popping up in coverage of the conflict again and again – and it’s the idea that there’s some established standard of “proportionality” that Israel has violated. I think it’s a myth. The only times we tend to see proportionality is when it can’t be helped because sides are evenly matched – and what it often means in practice is an absolute bloodbath .

  50. 50
    Tommy says:

    My best client is Jewish. Worked with him for 3 years and didn’t even know he was a Jew. Not that I would care, but didn’t know. I only know he is Jewish because of his vacation place last year. For almost the entire time I’ve worked with the guy we just did work. We didn’t chit chat. But we do now and I am stunned. Same thing I hear from the other Jewish people I know, they HATE what is being done to the Palestinian.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    The only times we tend to see proportionality is when it can’t be helped because sides are evenly matched – and what it often means in practice is an absolute bloodbath .

    And this way there’s only a one-sided bloodbath, while the stronger side only gets a few nicks?

    I really don’t think you want to be defending this use of force here. It’s coming across as, Oh, sure, some crippled Palestinian kids were killed, but that’s better than any Israelis being killed!

    ETA: Or, to put it another way, it’s putting you in a position of defending the bully who’s beating up a smaller kid — is it really a good thing that the bully isn’t getting hurt as badly as the smaller kid?

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Caganer:

    A lot of people don’t realize that the heaviest Democratic donors are also heavily pro-Israel, so it truly is a bipartisan problem.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: Me too. Read something the other day about how the Israeli government demolished the homes of the suspects in the teenagers’ murders. Of course, they didn’t destroy the homes of the Israeli men who confessed to the retaliatory murder of the Palestinian boy.

    I used the have some sympathy for Israel. It is true they are surrounded by unstable regimes and religious fanatics. But they’ve become what they despised and have established an apartheid state. It makes me sick that my country’s global influence and tax dollars help support that.

  54. 54
    dedc79 says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s a very fair point. I think it tends to come down not to a question of proportionality as much as a question of how the force gets applied. It should be as targeted as possible, so as to avoid harm to civilians. When it isn’t, you tend to just create a whole new generation of enemies.

  55. 55
    LT says:

    Israeli leadership has for years made the very bad mistake of making bloodthirsty bravado “okay.” That was a decision, kind of a Bush “bring it on” stance, but taken more seriously. I think that midset, as much as anything else, has allowed things to get as bad as they are.

  56. 56
    mtiffany says:

    I seem to recall a war in the mid-twentieth century in which one side accepted the killing of handicapped people in the name of national preservation — anyone care to guess what they were called?

  57. 57
    El Caganer says:

    @Mnemosyne: You mean……BOTH SIDES DO IT! Unpossible!

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    The idea that there is a country that can essentially do whatever they want and it’ll never be seen as wrong by the US government is appalling. If Israel dropped nuclear weapons on Gaza would the US Congress pass a resolution supporting the action? What if Israel publicly tortured and executed Palestinians in a cruel and unusual manner–say, the rack or burning at the stake? Would that meet with US approval? How about a murder spectacle–like throwing Palestinians to the lions for the entertainment of Israelis? Would that get any kind of condemnation from the US?

    Is there anything Israel could do that would mean US condemnation and even more importantly, the cutting off of the money spigot? At this point I can’t imagine what that would be.

  59. 59
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Mike Toreno: Sounds suspiciously like lebensraum…

    I HATE having to point that out, but it does.

  60. 60
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: After a while, the response of most normal people is to root for the smaller kid.

  61. 61
    El Caganer says:

    @dedc79: True, but if you’ve got the world’s most powerful military in your pocket, it’s pretty easy to ignore.

  62. 62
    Stillwater says:

    @dedc79:

    The only times we tend to see proportionality is when it can’t be helped because sides are evenly matched

    Well, that’s one conception of proportionality – the equality of military force. Here’s another, tho, which aligns along moral dimensions. You might give those a bit of attention since they’re absent from your comments so far.

    and what it often means in practice is an absolute bloodbath .

    No, the examples you’re thinking of aren’t an example of a proportional response, their an example of a desire for complete annihilation of political/cultural opponents. Given the ration you’ve defended here (50:1) I’m inclined to ask if annihilation of Arabs is on the table for you.

  63. 63
    Mr. Twister says:

    @Violet: Incorporate and sue for a religious exemption.

  64. 64
    El Caganer says:

    @Violet: I think under some circumstances a talking head at the State Department might mumble that “we deplore the Israeli over-reaction, and demand that the violence stop on both sides.” Followed immediately by a formal State Department announcement disclaiming the prior statement. Is that the sort of forceful, even-handed gesture you had in mind?

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @Stillwater: I don’t like this shit anymore than you do but you know what else is absent in this post save the beginning quote? hamas

  66. 66
    mtiffany says:

    If Israel dropped nuclear weapons on Gaza would the US Congress pass a resolution supporting the action?

    Of course Congress would — after all, we’re the ones the Israelis ‘stole’ that tech from.

    “See how well our murderous friends wield our murder machines?”

  67. 67
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think we can still have sympathy for Israel regarding very real threats. That doesn’t mean we cant’trecognize that Israeli leadership, and I guess the people, but to a lesser degree, hake horrible mistakes, and worse than mistakes – atrocities – at times. It’s just unneccessary. The settlements alone are a deep ugliness. then this… Unnecessary, cournter-productive fuckery.

  68. 68
    dedc79 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Let me be clear. Every single casualty in this conflict is a tragedy, no matter what side they’re fighting on.

    But I don’t think it’s entered “bloodbath” territory though, and I suspect it won’t get there. Iraq is a bloodbath. Syria is a bloodbath. Afghanistan is a bloodbath.

    This is awful but the casualties don’t approach what’s going on there. There are around 120 palestinians dead, the last time I checked, and a number of them were targeted because they were firing rockets. The Palestinians will run out of rockets soon enough, and we’ll enter another hiatus a they rearm over time. And the conflict will continue on again off again until the Israelis and Palestinians elect governments that actually want to reach a peace agreement.

  69. 69
    brantl says:

    The response needed is to stop keeping the Gaazans like caged dogs.. Period.

  70. 70
    Tommy says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think this is over the death of three teens. Rockets were not being sent until this happened. The Palestinian were mad and this. Not saying it is right, but the cause. Makes me thing they want any reason to pound the Palestinian into the ground.

  71. 71
    Cervantes says:

    @El Caganer:

    Unanimous.

    That’s what people are saying but it was a voice vote, and it was not binding.

    Here’s Rep. Keith Ellison’s statement on the subject (July 10):

    “The current escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians won’t get either side closer to security. It empowers bad actors and puts innocent people on both sides in harm’s way. Therefore I call on Hamas to immediately stop launching rockets, and for Israel to cease air strikes and not send in ground troops. I support strong diplomatic intervention by the United States and regional partners to help establish an immediate ceasefire agreement.

    “Young people are disproportionately being harmed in the current round of violence. Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Frenkel were teenagers. Muhammad Abu Khdeir was a teenager too. His cousin Tariq must be allowed to reunite with his family in Florida.

    “Israeli and Palestinian mothers and fathers want the same thing: the security of knowing their children are safe. But only weeks after negotiations on a final status framework collapsed, war has broken out again. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed since July, including fifteen women and twenty-two children, while thousands of Israelis are forced to seek shelter from damaging rockets fired from Gaza.

    “A ceasefire must be followed by intense diplomatic outreach to restart negotiations on a peaceful settlement between the two parties. Until an agreement can be reached, both Israelis and Palestinians must not give in to vengeance. We are united by far more than divides us.”

  72. 72
    dedc79 says:

    @Stillwater: I’m not defending it as moral (nor am i in a position to call it immoral) and I can’t even say whether it will be effective in the long run (the past few decades of I-P history suggests it is not). I’m just saying it’s no different than how any other country would respond.

  73. 73
    Stillwater says:

    @raven: but you know what else is absent in this post save the beginning quote? hamas

    No, Violet, it’s not absent. It’s included in the concept of “proportional response”. “Response.

    All this apologetics make my mind bend into uncomfortable angles. I don’t know how you all get thru your days this way – all bentup’nall (trademark!).

  74. 74
    Cervantes says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: Exactly, that was the point.

  75. 75
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LT: I have tons of sympathy for the good people who live there and oppose this madness. For the government, I have nothing but contempt.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @Stillwater: bullshit

  77. 77
    Stillwater says:

    @dedc79: I’m just saying it’s no different than how any other country would respond.

    That’s the definitional example of an apologist, ded. It divorces current actions from the context they’re embedded in and imposes a moral judgement despite those “details”.

    You’re just reducing this issue to power and power politics irregardless of the moral dimensions in play. As I said upthread, that’s fine if you want to go with a war-time culture analysis of this stuff. Bit doing so eliminates moral dimensions as a matter of logic. It’s all about power, no?

  78. 78
    El Caganer says:

    @Tommy: The Israelis actually have at least one very good reason (by their lights) for escalating violence, and that’s to try to break up the agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

  79. 79
    LanceThruster says:

    Imagine if countries/factions had to apply for use of violence against others much in the same way as a business requests a loan.

    We [insert nation state/group/faction here] seek authorization to _murder/kill/maim/torture/imprison/oppress/harass/subjugate/rob/cheat/abuse_ (circle all that apply and/or add your own – no limit on justifications, validity need not be established) because [insert bullshit/lying/self-serving reason(s) here – indicate whether you intend to allow the other side to use this same “reasoning”]

    Fill in amount that you wish to be bankrolled by powerful and potentially evil entities (or leave blank if you wish funding to be open ended).

    Indicate whether your are “friend” of said entity [Y/N] – not that it matters (wink, wink).

    BE AWARE – Beginning with your endeavor without pre-approval MAY result in a stern warning and/or sternly worded letter.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Stillwater says:

    @raven: bullshit

    Violet, I wish you’d have come out with this argument earlier n the debate. If you did, I wouldn’t have wasted my time -and yours – arguing with you.

  82. 82
    Violet says:

    @Stillwater: How did I get into your comment? I didn’t say what you were quoting.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    @Stillwater: Huh? I don’t think we’ve interacted in this thread. What are you talking about?

  84. 84
    beltane says:

    @El Caganer: That’s really what this is all about. It’s not the threat of random bombs that keeps the Israeli government up at night, but the prospect of a Palestinian government that could make and enforce a peace agreement. It’s far easier to steal your neighbor’s land when that neighbor is disorganized, faction-ridden and weak than when the neighbor is at peace with itself. I really do not expect better from the Israelis-it’s the behavior of my country, the United States, that I find disturbing.

  85. 85
    beltane says:

    @Violet: It looks like the dispute is between Stillwater and Raven. I have no idea why your name keeps coming up.

  86. 86
    dedc79 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Or, to put it another way, it’s putting you in a position of defending the bully who’s beating up a smaller kid — is it really a good thing that the bully isn’t getting hurt as badly as the smaller kid?

    Spoken like a true American.

    There’s being stronger, and there’s being a bully. They overlap, but they’re not the same thing.

  87. 87
    Violet says:

    @beltane: I know. Stillwater links to raven and then uses my name. I have no idea what’s going on with that. I don’t even know what their line of discussion is.

  88. 88
    raven says:

    @beltane: I don’t have a dispute. Dude is obviously unhinged.

  89. 89
    raven says:

    @Violet: I have one point. Hamas is getting exactly what they want, the more dead the better. I think Israel’s policy is totally fucked but that doesn’t mean Hamas isn’t playing it. If that is being an apologist well that’s tough.

  90. 90
    Keith P says:

    I know the need to respond, but really, bombing mosques, even if you suspect they have weapons, is a really bad idea, particularly during Ramadan

    What, you want them bombing baby formula factories instead? Picky, picky.

  91. 91
    El Caganer says:

    @Keith P: You go with the targets you have, not the targets you wish you had.

  92. 92
    Violet says:

    @raven: Yeah, every player in this conflict has their own goals. Hamas is one of those players. Of course they’re looking at the situation and thinking about what they can use to further their goals. That’s how things work.

  93. 93
    raven says:

    @Violet: And the people in the middle are fucked as usual.

  94. 94
    LanceThruster says:

    @raven:

    International law allows the use of force to repel invaders. Murder as cover for theft is NOT self-defense.

  95. 95
    seabe says:

    @Violet: no. Nothing. They attacked our own fucking ship and we do nothing.

  96. 96
    beltane says:

    There are reports that an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza will begin within the next few hours: http://www.richardsilverstein......ing-hours/

  97. 97
    seabe says:

    For those saying it’s the government and not the Israeli citizens, just read the polls. The Youth aren’t much better.

    Plus, who elects the government?

  98. 98
    LanceThruster says:

    from: http://recollectionbooks.com/b.....mitism.htm

    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.

    The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized.

    It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.

    ~ Fredy Perlman

  99. 99
    Stillwater says:

    Wow. Don’t I feel like an asshole. Violet – all the apologies in the world. Raven -you were the person I was responding to. I meant no offense and that certainly wasn’t intentional. My excuse – lame as it is – is that I was watching the Dutch in the world cup and was (strangely) distracted.

    I’m so sorry Violet, for confusing you with another commenter.

    And Raven too.

    Wow, what a blunder. Sorry!!!

  100. 100
    Gator90 says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity: Oh piss off with the Nazi bullshit. What a stupid, ignorant way to taunt Jews. Why don’t you compare Israel to America? The latter has bombed the shit out of innocent Arabs and Muslims a lot more recently than any Nazis have done anything. You are aptly named if nothing else.

  101. 101
    LanceThruster says:

    @seabe:

    Plus, who elects the government?

    Diebold?

  102. 102
    Gator90 says:

    @raven: If Israel and Hamas agree on anything, it’s that Palestinian life is cheap.

  103. 103
    LanceThruster says:

    The Palestinians need to keep this outcome in mind.

    http://www.tshirthell.com/shir.....if?v042414

  104. 104
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90: Turn on the light.

  105. 105
    beltane says:

    @seabe: It’s actually the pro-Israel emails that are occasionally forwarded to me by relatives that caused me to drastically revise my opinion of the country and its people. It’s not the “Arabs” who convinced me that Israel’s long-term goal is land-theft and population replacement, but nice, American “friends of Israel”. Whatever it is that these people are selling, I’m not enough of a racist to be buying.

  106. 106
    dedc79 says:

    @LanceThruster: If you’re referring to Gaza, to the extent it was ever “stolen”, I believe it’s been returned.

    If you’re referring to Israel as a whole, then is the rule then that they have no right to self defense at all? Or do they just have to hold onto it long enough (like as long as we’ve held onto Native American land) and then they magically get the right to self defense at some point in the future?

  107. 107
    Cervantes says:

    @LanceThruster:

    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.

    For those who want to read it, the reference is to “Containing the Metaphysics of Indian-Hating, According to the Views of One Evidently Not So Prepossessed as Rousseau,” which is Chapter 26 of The Confidence Man.

  108. 108
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gator90:

    But it IS lebensraum, with a buffer zone that keeps expanding to become more lebensraum, and then requires its own buffer zone.

    The Palestinian disproportional response is that they actually object to the theft and do what they can to resist the invaders. If they keep that up, there won’t be anyone left…and that would be [choose one] – problem solved!/genocide.

  109. 109
    seabe says:

    @beltane: I’m not sure when I flipped. I was never pro-Israel, I was just anti-conflict and “can’t we just have a two state solution already?”

    But something happened along the line. Maybe it was Operation Cast Lead. Maybe beijg exposed to Republicans and knowing a liar when I see one. Maybe a recognition that a state with its laws and founding inherent in ethnic superiority. Not sure. But whatever it was, all I know is that Israel is not my ally.

  110. 110
    Cervantes says:

    @dedc79: The reference is to the Occupied Territories, continued occupation of which is illegal.

  111. 111
    LanceThruster says:

    “As the Arabs see the Jews”

    Summary

    This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

  112. 112
    LanceThruster says:

    @Cervantes:

    THANK YOU! In all my years of quoting Fredy Perlman, I’d never read that in its entirety.

    Stunningly powerful.

  113. 113
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @El Caganer:

    Unanimous. That’s truly amazing.

    It’s amazing and discouraging. I am especially struck by the fact that the two Muslim members, two Buddhist members, and one Quaker in the House (all Dems) all apparently voted in favor of the resolution. Now for all I know, it was a simple voice vote and these five all just possibly kept their mouths tightly shut, but that doesn’t help. Seems to me they’re either warmongers, hypocrites, or cowards. None of which gives me a lot of confidence.

  114. 114
    Cervantes says:

    @LanceThruster: At your service.

    PS: I forgot to mention that it was written in 1857.

  115. 115
    Gator90 says:

    @LanceThruster: As long as the Palestinian population keeps increasing (which I believe it will continue to do in 2014), I’m going to think that people who compare Israel to Nazi Germany are assholes. They also make it easier to dismiss criticism of Israel as anti-semitic.

  116. 116
    LanceThruster says:

    @dedc79:

    It is truly a bizarro world when the NAI genocide is seen as an argument for a particular action.

    from: http://www.palestineremembered.....ry680.html

    Looting, Looting, and More Looting

    As quoted from “1949, The First Israelis” (p. 68-91)

    By the Israeli historian-journalist Tom Segev.

  117. 117
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Cervantes:
    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Thanks, Cervantes. Obviously I wrote my comment before scrolling far enough to see yours.

  118. 118
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gator90:

    They also make it easier to dismiss criticism of Israel as anti-semitic.

    Yet they do it even when impossible to dismiss.

    So as long as there is a Palestinian diaspora, there is no concern for genocide (acknowledging that UN considers running a people off their land a form of genocide)?

  119. 119
    debbie says:

    @Gator90:

    Use the N-word or not, it doesn’t hide the fact that many of the tactics are the same. Such as when Israel promised/threatened “punitive actions” if the U.N. voted to recognize the state of Palestine. What else can you call this?

  120. 120
    El Caganer says:

    @Gator90: There’s no such thing as an exact historical analogy. Personally I find the European war on Native Americans to be somewhat closer than the Nazi thing; in the New World/Middle East situation, the destruction of the native populations was/is a tool to seizing resources, not an end in itself. Still a poor comparison.

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90: Dismissing criticism of official Israeli actions as anti-semitic is transparent nonsense. No one should be intimidated by it.

  122. 122
    dedc79 says:

    @LanceThruster: If your position is that a country whose land was once controlled by another people has no right to self-defense, then I don’t see how virtually any modern country would have a right to self-defense.

    Who other than Israel are you holding to this standard?

    And if you don’t think Israel should exist at all, I would think you could understand why they might not want to take advice from you.

  123. 123
    Jose Arcadia Buendia says:

    If they say, don’t bomb mosques, every building in Gaza will become a mosque.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    If you’re referring to Gaza, to the extent it was ever “stolen”, I believe it’s been returned.

    You mean like the South African government created “homelands” for the people whose land they’d stolen?

    Gaza and the West Bank are Bantustans by any definition of the word. If you have to get the permission of another country to leave the borders of your “homeland,” you’re living in a Bantustan.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    If your position is that a country whose land was once controlled by another people has no right to self-defense, then I don’t see how virtually any modern country would have a right to self-defense.

    Gaza and the West Bank are controlled by Israel. Do they have any right of self-defense against Israel, or is that right reserved to Israel?

    Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority officially controls a geographically non-contiguous territory comprising approx. 11% of the West Bank (known as Area A) which remains subject to Israeli incursions. Area B (approx. 28%) is subject to both Israeli military and Palestinian civil control. Area C (approx. 61%) is under full Israeli control.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dedc79:

    Gaza:

    On September 12, 2005, the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip. However, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs continue to consider Israel to be the occupying power of the Gaza Strip as Israel controls Gaza Strip’s airspace, territorial waters and controls the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza by air or sea.[18][19][20] (emphasis mine)

    Sorry, but trying to claim that the Palestinians are independent from Israel in any meaningful way is laughable.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    I call it apartheid, myself. The parallels are just too numerous to avoid.

  128. 128
    Gator90 says:

    @debbie: Lots of countries and groups do lots of things that might be similar in some ways to something Nazis did. For example, in 2003 the USA aggressively invaded another country under false pretenses. Yet even the Iraq War’s most vehement opponents seldom if ever compared America to Nazi Germany. But when it’s Israel, it’s Nazi this and Nazi that. I wonder why.

  129. 129
    Gator90 says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not sure about the apartheid analogy, but it is logically defensible. The Nazi stuff is just sneering, jeering trash.

  130. 130
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gator90:

    The Warsaw Ghetto comes to mind.

    Or Guernica – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....ainting%29

  131. 131
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gator90:

    There are also parallels in collective punishment and other acts regarded as war crimes.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gator90:

    But when it’s Israel, it’s Nazi this and Nazi that. I wonder why.

    Because Israel was set up specifically in reaction to the Holocaust and the cries of “Never Again.” I can’t really blame people for pointing out that apparently Israel is exempt from “Never Again” as long as they’re oppressing non-Jews.

  133. 133
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gator90:

    However, Saddam was “worse than Hitler.”

  134. 134
    moderateindy says:

    @rikyrah:

    OT Cole:

    A Netflix suggestion for you:

    The Real Husbands of Hollywood

    Also, the series “Derek” with Ricky Gervais. It’s difficult to describe. It’s not particularly funny, more like humorous. But it has a ton of heart. Even though it contains one of the more vile & pathetic characters on TV (Derek’s friend Kev) the lead character Derek, who is unconventional to say the least, makes you feel better about humanity as a whole.

  135. 135
    Debbie says:

    @Gator90:

    I can’t be the only one to see a similarity between the walling in of The Palestinians and the Warsaw Ghetto, can I?

  136. 136
    magurakurin says:

    @Debbie:

    you aren’t. To me, Gaza is setting up to be top contender for cruel irony of the 21st century…the similarity is stunning to me.

  137. 137
    My Truth Hurts says:

    …bombing mosques, even if you suspect they have weapons, is a really bad idea, particularly during Ramadan.

    They don’t give a shit.

  138. 138
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Gator90: Who the fark is taunting Jews?

    If you can’t see or accept that the way the Israelis are treating Palestinians is similar, I can’t help you with that…

    And what’s up w/ the childish ad hominen? Have no real point to make?

  139. 139
    Doug says:

    John says: “I know they need to respond . . . ”

    Any supporter of the state of Israel should watch this and ask yourself, “How can I support that?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOaxAckFCuQ

  140. 140
    Cain says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Yaeh, it didnt work out, but the Khalistan movement was truly a clusterfuck. Those guys were going into random villages and shooting up the place trying to force people to support separation. It was Sikh vs Sikh. It was insane. They killed their own people more than anybody else.

    I supported them going into the Golden Temple. Although it should have been an all Sikh military force. The shame of killing your own kind while hiding out in the most holy of your religion’s place. Absolutely disgusting. No Sikh should have tolerated the insult. You could argue that it was for your own home land, but the killing of other Sikhs and then hiding out there? Bullshit.

  141. 141
    Rococo says:

    Israel is what America would be if 75% of the country were white Republicans and they were a growing demographic.

  142. 142
    Gator90 says:

    @Debbie: The population of Gaza increases every year… Just like the Warsaw Ghetto!

  143. 143
    Gator90 says:

    @Mnemosyne: “Never Again” refers, of course, to the Holocaust, which (for all the horror of the present situation) is not re-occurring. But apparently, the Jews’ historical burden from the Holocaust must include having it thrown in their faces any time Jews act badly.

  144. 144
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90: Your first comment in this thread was this:

    As a Jew and an American taxpayer, I am heartsick and gutsick. Israel is just killing people, because it can.

    This is plenty of common ground with your disputants; and we can all acknowledge this.

    As to similarities and differences between what’s happening now in Palestine and what happened seventy years ago in Europe, let’s just note that such comparisons are not new nor are they uniquely drawn by the American left. Meir Kahane’s group in Israel, responsible for various massacres of Palestinians, was compared to the Nazis by the Israeli Supreme Court. Prominent Israeli dissident academic Yeshayahu Leibovitz, an Orthodox Jew, criticized what he called “Judeo-Nazism.” (Have you heard of the IDF’s “Mengele squad”?) And once years ago, after Palestinian mayors had been crippled by the bombs of Jewish terrorists, I was on the campus of a major Israeli university and saw a group of these terrorists roasting cats and then offering the meat to the audience as “shish kebab from the legs of the Arab mayors.”

    You are free to eschew comparisons to the Nazis — but other people see the similarities.

  145. 145
    Elie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I used the have some sympathy for Israel. It is true they are surrounded by unstable regimes and religious fanatics. But they’ve become what they despised and have established an apartheid state. It makes me sick that my country’s global influence and tax dollars help support that

    Me too. I ask those of us who care, to ask Israel what their plan is. As said upstring, this is not a proportional response. They are following another plan — genocide and appropriation of land. That said, while appropriating land may be somewhat successful, they will not be able to wipe out all the Palestinians. What legacy do they want to hand their children, even as they decry the past wrongs done against them by Germany and others? What are they going to tell their children and when are those Israeli’s who know better, going to say “stop” — enough of this forever war to destroy another people.. enough! There can be no honor or self respect — no moral ideals set on the foundation that they are sustaining. Deep down they know this.

  146. 146
    Elie says:

    @Gator90:

    I’m sorry — their behavior will make it very difficult to sustain moral outrage about the horror of the past when juxtaposed to the horror they are implementing now. There is no right way for them to do this wrong and there is no mitigation that can be justly applied to whatever past injustices to justify this. Isn’t that what they are asking us to accept? That the what the Nazis did to them justifies the extreme and amoral actions that they are taking? That they have to steal land, implement apartheid and torture and kill others to somehow protect themselves? Is this the lesson of the Nazis?

  147. 147
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I used [to] have some sympathy for Israel. It is true they are surrounded by unstable regimes and religious fanatics.

    There are plenty of religious fanatics inside Israel, most of them Jewish, many of them in government. (They are a big part of the problem.)

    And if Arab governments are less stable than Israel’s (a debatable proposition, I agree), could it be partly or largely a result of someone’s “global influence and tax dollars”?

    But they’ve become what they despised and have established an apartheid state.

    Israel’s policy towards Arabs and Palestinians has not changed much since Ben-Gurion’s time.

    It makes me sick that my country’s global influence and tax dollars help support that.

    (Yes, and see above.)

  148. 148
    BobS says:

    @Gator90: You’re right, of course. It’s only appropriate to use the Holocaust as an excuse for Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

  149. 149
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: Obviously Israel has done some awful things. So have lots of other nation-states. People see the “similarities” they choose to see, based on their own biases and for their own rhetorical purposes.

    As to comparisons made by Jews… Back in college I had a black friend whose black friends called him n—r. I did not. I saw no unfairness in this.

  150. 150
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90: You did not answer my question about the IDF’s “Mengele squad”? Whose “rhetorical purposes” did it serve, pray tell.

    “People see the [differences] they choose to see, based on their own biases and for their own rhetorical purposes.”

    Yes, so what’s your point?

  151. 151
    Gator90 says:

    @BobS: I don’t believe I have suggested that the Holocaust justifies Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. If someone comes here and says it does, I will disagree with them.

  152. 152
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: You asked if I was familiar with the so-called “Mengele squad.” I confess I was not. It appears to have been the black humor of young soldiers doing awful things. I’m not sure what else you want me to say about it, but it’s different from lefty American gentile internet clowns screeching about Nazis every time the subject of Israel comes up. (I’m not talking about you, btw.)

  153. 153
    Gator90 says:

    @Elie:

    Isn’t that what they are asking us to accept? That the what the Nazis did to them justifies the extreme and amoral actions that they are taking?

    No one has asked me to accept that, and I would not accept it if so requested.

  154. 154
    Ramalama says:

    @LanceThruster: My partner’s family is Jewish and from North Africa (since the 1200s). No problem with the Holocaust. She doesn’t know any family who went though it. Only until the Berber population got sick of being treated badly by the French in the 1950s did they all have to leave. But that was not a Jewish thing.

    Before then, her father had Arab friends — who basically alerted him about the growing unrest getting bigger and badder.

  155. 155
    BobS says:

    @Gator90: No you didn’t. You only made the equally ludicrous assertion that “apparently, the Jews’ historical burden from the Holocaust must include having it thrown in their faces any time Jews act badly”.

  156. 156
    Ramalama says:

    Wasn’t there some sort of agreement by major Arab players (Saudi Arabia to name one) that said they’d support or lay off Israel if the borders went back to the 1965 accord? This was in the news within 1-2 presidents, though I can’t be sure who was president when I heard it on the radio. I’d google this but I don’t know enough about it and I’m sure I’d get swamped with too much information generally, and not that bit specifically.

    Anyone recall this? Why didn’t it happen?

  157. 157
    dmbeaster says:

    Israel has never sought peace with Arabs. It is a religious state founded in a territory in which jews are a minority. The ’48 UN boudaries barely created a territory with more than 50% jewish population, which was not acceptable to Israel’s founders. They used the ’48 war to ethnically cleanse 500,000 palestinians and establish what we call the ’67 boundaries, but Israel has never accepted those lines.

    Israel tried to use the ’56 war to expand its boundaries. It did so in the ’67 war and has thereafter used that conquest to annex more palestinian lands. Remember Reagan in the 80s trying to dissuade Israel from doing this? Look at maps currently published in Israel as to what they think is theirs.

    Clearly the Arabs staunchly fought the creation of Israel for decades and have lost that fight. Most have accepted the creation of Israel. What hasn’t changed is ongoing annexation of palestinian land for Israel. Israel just doesn”t know how to change its founding spirit. Is it hardly surprising that the greatest resistance to Israel continues to be those it is still opprrssing in the name of expanding Israel? Remember how insane Israeli factions were about even withdrawal from Gaza, which never made any sense to try and occupy?

  158. 158
    dmbeaster says:

    Israel has never sought peace with Arabs. It is a religious state founded in a territory in which jews are a minority. The ’48 UN boudaries barely created a territory with more than 50% jewish population, which was not acceptable to Israel’s founders. They used the ’48 war to ethnically cleanse 500,000 palestinians and establish what we call the ’67 boundaries, but Israel has never accepted those lines.

    Israel tried to use the ’56 war to expand its boundaries. It did so in the ’67 war and has thereafter used that conquest to annex more palestinian lands. Remember Reagan in the 80s trying to dissuade Israel from doing this? Look at maps currently published in Israel as to what they think is theirs.

    Clearly the Arabs staunchly fought the creation of Israel for decades and have lost that fight. Most have accepted the creation of Israel. What hasn’t changed is ongoing annexation of palestinian land for Israel. Israel just doesn”t know how to change its founding spirit. Is it hardly surprising that the greatest resistance to Israel continues to be those it is still oppressing in the name of expanding Israel? Remember how insane Israeli factions were about even withdrawal from Gaza, which never made any sense to try and occupy?

  159. 159
    dmbeaster says:

    I recommend reading some Benny Morris, an ardent Zionist but a true historian and quite frank about Israel’s founding. So much of the official Israeli story is a deliberate myth.

  160. 160
    dmbeaster says:

    I recommend reading some Benny Morris, an ardent Zionist but an Israeli historian and quite frank about Israel’s founding. So much of the official Israeli story is a deliberate myth.

  161. 161
    dmbeaster says:

    I recommend reading some Benny Morris, an ardent Zionist but an Israeli historian and quite frank about Israel’s founding. So much of the official Israeli story is a deliberate myth. Will post a quote in a sec.

  162. 162
    dmbeaster says:

    Israel’s policy towards Arabs and Palestinians has not changed much since Ben-Gurion’s time.

    This. Read some Benny Morris, the Israeli historian and Zionist, on this. Will post a quote in a sec.

  163. 163
    dmbeaster says:

    crap – so much for posting from my cell phone, which was telling me the comment did not publish, hence multiple submissions that in fact published.

    Here are the Morris quotes from a 2004 interview.

    You do not condemn them [Israel’s founder’s] morally?

    “No.”

    They perpetrated ethnic cleansing.

    “There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide – the annihilation of your people – I prefer ethnic cleansing.”

    And that was the situation in 1948?

    “That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”

    Morris now says that Ben Gurion did not go far enough, and it would have been better to have expelled all Arabs in 1948. That belief seems rampant in Israel these days.

  164. 164
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Gator90: Apartheid state, on the other hand, fits like a glove.

  165. 165
    Pococurante says:

    @dedc79: The world has tried to give away Gaza for well over a century. Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, even Iraq and Iran – no one wants them. Gazans have an unfortunate reputation in the Arab world. Why this is I don’t know.

    It’s more than unfortunate that Hamas terrorizes its people, keeps them mis-educated, enforces gangsterism and cronyism with violence, etc. Believe it or not they are probably the best we can hope for since Hamas keeps the truly insane extremists at bay.

    But Hamas is also the party that runs arms tunnels underneath the main streets, that uses mosques / schools / etc as weapon stores, diverts laborers to making weapons instead of infrastructure etc. Comparing this to American religious/separatist nuts is nonsense. We don’t see residents of Boise or Laredo jumping up several times daily with 30-45 seconds to get to the bomb shelter. Or a better more current example: residents of Dallas or Atlanta.

    And the illegal settlements, yes illegal and wrong on every level. But irrelevant to Gaza. Gaza is not the West Bank. The last illegal settlements in Gaza were turned over when Israel left, and Hamas responded by destroying the infrastructure Palestinians could have used to help their economy and fresh food supply.

    Hamas is well aware of the misproportionality of the attacks it provokes or promotes. That’s the point, and how Hamas maintains a stranglehold on the people. We Americans once caused equal outrage among our stout loyalists because we refused to stand in straight lines to get mown down.

    Israel is stupid to overreact so consistently. But BJ conversations never seem to note that, while Israel is the source of their ultimate misery, it is Hamas that is the daily source of horrors for the average Arab Palestinian.

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