Lizzy Ratner and Laila El-Haddad discuss The Goldstone Report on GRITtv

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To learn more about The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict visit goldstonereportbook.com.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 31 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Shingo says:

    That was a riveting piece guys, thanks for linking to it.

    Both ladies were outstanding and very easy to listen to. I didn’t want it to end.

  2. annie says:

    i got a message there was an error but i kept clicking, if you’re having a problem here it is

  3. I thought their presentation was convincing as to the experience of Gazans, they did NOT address the contention that Laura Flanders raised of whether it was Hamas or Israel that broke down the distinction between civilian and military targets. (Hamas breaking it down by also intentionally using those in civilian dress and civilian homes for the siting of war materiel and actions.)

    Doubt remains as to the extent of IDF culpability.

    Phil, Adam.
    How do you personally assess the distinction between intentional targeting of civilians, and inadvertent targeting of civilians, in the context of a real war.

    So, for example, it can be plausible that an agricultural field may pose a genuinely military logistic obstacle in a larger military campaign, that the description of “see, it abuses civilian property” is not yet a compelling argument.

    And, at some point, a rational analyst of a military campaign would conclude, “yes, they apparently targeted civilians deliberately” or not.

    In a population of 1.5 million, the accusation of “genocidal” intent, rather than tactical, is NOT supported by the numbers of casualties.

    The political determination of whether to go to war, and to what scale, is certainly questionable (I’m not sure if the choice to not respond at all militarily was a viable one or even legal one for Israel, as they have a legal obligation to protect their civilian citizens from violent assault.)

    • Donald says:

      Shorter Witty– Those Hamas chickens deserved to die.

    • Shingo says:

      they did NOT address the contention that Laura Flanders raised of whether it was Hamas or Israel that broke down the distinction between civilian and military targets

      Laura Flanders did not raise that contention Witty. Why don’t you try watching teh video first before making a fool of yourself again?

      Doubt remains as to the extent of IDF culpability.

      What doubt Witty? You going into denial does not mean there is doubt.

      So, for example, it can be plausible that an agricultural field may pose a genuinely military logistic obstacle in a larger military campaign, that the description of “see, it abuses civilian property” is not yet a compelling argument.

      Does that apply for kindergartens and hospitals Witty? Do such places represent a military logistic obstacle in a larger military campaig just becasue the IDF or Hamas says so?

      • Laila El-Haddad did not address the question raised. She talked skew to the question.

        The question was relative to an article in the book. I don’t have the video in front of me, nor the book.

        The assertion was that the accusations of IDF targeting civilians is at least tempered by the guerilla nature of the Hamas militia, that they DO not wear distinguishing military id’s, that they launch then quickly morph back anonymously into the civilian population, and that they store and shoot military weapons from definitively civilian sites (including hospitals, apartment buildings, etc.)

        Further, the question of what is a valid target is highly contextual. It may be that a field, a farm, an industrial building was considered a logistical obstacle in the rational scope of a medium-scale actual war.

        That would put the question of illegality back at the decision as to the scope of war to pursue, not at condemnation of any.

        Given a choice of scope of war, a mid-level officer’s responsibility is to implement it.

        So, what would justifiably and unjustifiably contribute to that decision. The conditions that would point to it as appropriate scope was the perceived military might of Hamas (which turned out to be highly exagerated), the expressions of confident victory over invading ground troups by Hamas claimed as wiping the streets of Gaza with Israeli blood (instead, Hamas hid).

        Hamas bluster. Words only certainly.

        Again, it is obvious that the civilians were terrified. It is obvious that the civilians had nowhere to retreat to.

        It is obvious to me that BOTH Hamas and Israel made idiotic decisions, one dancing with the other, civilians be damned. Ideology rules.

        • Shingo says:

          Laila El-Haddad did not address the question raised. She talked skew to the question.

          No such question was raised. You didn’t even watch the clip did you Witty? What time stamp appears during that question?

          Do IDF special forces always wear ID’s? I’ve seem them wear plain clothes many times.

          According to the Goldtone report, there is no evidence that Hamas store and shoot military weapons from definitively civilian sites. You’d know that if you’d read it.

          It may be that a field, a farm, an industrial building was considered a logistical obstacle in the rational scope of a medium-scale actual war.

          Then what’s to say a kindergarten in Israel or a school is not?

          The rest of your post just descends into another one of your incoherent and deranged diatribes, so I won’;t waste time on it.

        • The assertion is that war crimes were committed.

          The important point of that investigation is to identify where and how.

          They are either at the non-officer level in individual incidents between soldiers that individually ignore orders, and/or laws of war. Or, they occur at the junior officer level, again either ignoring their orders or opportunistically (for their lives at stake, you know war) ordering maneuvers or specific target selections that violate law.

          Or, they occur at the mid-level officer level, in the translation of policies of engagement to on-the-ground tactics in violation of orders and/or ignoring the rules of war.

          Or, they occur at the top-level officer and policy level that determines the specific rules of engagement, relative to their understanding of the proper scope of engagement based on information that they have.

          “Great suffering occurred”, “war crimes seem to have occurred”, “individual Israeli’s committed war crimes”, and “Israel committed war crimes”, are each different accusations.

          I don’t know if the Goldstone report was specific at to which scale of culpability they asserted.

          Phil/Adam,
          Which of those scopes of culpability did you read?

        • Shingo says:

          I don’t know if the Goldstone report was specific at to which scale of culpability they asserted.

          You woudl kow if you’d bothered to read it.

  4. Citizen says:

    The two ladies were wonderful to see and hear; the truth is always sweet when it gets out. Why can’t we see and hear them in the US MSM/TV news shows, or even on CSPAN’s Washington Journal?

    While they were speaking, Obama is being pressured to free the arch spy Pollard: Strange Bedfellows Try To Spring Jews From Jail – Forward.com / Jewish Daily Forward link to bit.ly

    Next thing you know, the survivors of the attack on the USS Liberty will be called traitors to America because they dare to speak out, even if most Americans choose to remain ignorant.

  5. gazamom says:

    Richard-
    to address your comment, I have a I have a 4 point response to this:

    1. see Richard Silverstein’s excellent blog post about the topic here: link to richardsilverstein.com
    “One of the more troublesome claims is that terrorists even debase their own religion and its holy sites in their fight against Israel. While such a claim may or may not be true, I managed to find a written source which confirmed that Jews did precisely this during the Mandatory period before the State was created. And Amir Terkel has gone one better. He’s found a historical monument that documents the practice.”

    2. The overriding issue is about the illegal occupation, the illegal blockade, and the premeditated and illegal assault against Gaza. Hasbarists attempt to distract from this issue by reducing it to rocket statistics and human shielding, as though this justifies what happened (or makes it easier to condone what happened).

    2. The Goldstone commission attempted and failed to find evidence of human shielding in Gaza in his report: The Goldstone Report states that its authors “found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack.” He did find evidence that Israeli used civilians as human shields. I myself have heard eyewitness testimony to this end.

    3. The lines of civilian and combatant in Gaza is MUCH more blurred than, say, within the Israeli Army, considering Gaza/Palestine does not have an official army, and considering that many men may have dual jobs-they may serve as police officers (include traffic officers) whom Israel considered combatants) but also work construction for example or as shopkeepers and so forth.

    • Shingo says:

      Superb response Gazamom,

      Though Richards stupid comment was hardly worthy of your response.

      • Laila,
        You’ll hear the question raised again and again, partially because you are still talking skew to the question.

        Historically, Hamas (and Hezbollah) have used schools, hospitals, red cross ambulances, certainly baited ambushes, in their defense of Gaza during previous Israeli incursions, and other groups (PFLP, Al Aqsa Martyrs, Islamic Jihad, spinoffs) have used similar civilian settings in overt terror incidents (please don’t suggest that they didn’t occur or even were inconsequential).

        The Israeli military then has the mixed/confusing responsibility to simultaneously completely restrain from targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure (per international and Israeli law), while risking that this time again those means will be used (which Hamas did not renounce).

        Are you suggesting that the Goldstone Report stated that the rockets fired did not occur in or very near civilian communities. (I think that would be a ludicrous statement.) Or, that the construction of the rockets did not occur in civilian apartment buildings, or that the individuals that organized the policy, the recruitment, and the actual launching of the rockets did not conduct their operations from their homes (near the homes of their civilian neighbors, and civilian families)?

        Answering the question about human shields primarily by stating that Goldstone reported no example of a person holding up a child as a human shield, is skew to the question.

        And, that distraction from the original question is easily pointed out.

        As I said, my feeling is that the policy-making, choice of resistance method, choice of whether to fire rockets at civilians at all, was literally stupid, or as Gideon Levy described at the time, “suicidal” (but with others’ lives, not the militias lives themselves).

        And, that the choice by Israel to not acknowledge that Hamas had kept its word for the four months that the cease-fire was in place, and the rate of rocket-fire reduced to near zero, was also stupid.

        Civilians ALWAYS are the ones to get the short end of war.

        Its the same with ANY scale of weapons. The individual that carries a gun is no longer a peer to one that doesn’t. The guerilla group that undertakes raids or rocket firing is no longer a peaceable peer to their neighboring civilians. The army that undertakes theatre-wide operations is no longer a peer to the guerillas that it is seeking to remove.

        One can pick any one of those disproportionalities and claim evil. But, they each usually can claim a rational reason for the scope of their action. The gun-owner can claim the need for self-defense from crime. The guerilla movement can claim the need for self-defense from siege. The army can claim the responsibility to protect civilians from guerilla attack.

        What we need is the articulation of an alternative, acknowledging that the other has rational reasons for their motivations, but that alternative ways of reconciling conflicts are needed.

        I promise you that declaring that Israel has no right to exist (as Hamas does, and won’t speak the name “Israel” in some conspicuous public settings), is NOT the way to create a path to reconcile individual conflicts.

        • I wanted to share one other observation.

          That is of some similarity between the sympathy and psychology of the children of those that are or were experiencing trauma.

          Laila’s family is recently and/or currently experiencing trauma (hopefully not currently). My wife, (named Liila – her yogic name) is the child of a holocaust survivor. She is a few months younger than Phil, so did not experience the holocaust first hand. She was born in Israel and “experienced” the dangers of the 56 war, though she was an infant and couldn’t remember it.

          Her father experienced daily nightmares and periodic irrational responses to things going on around him. (He could not stay in Israel, even as it was the only place immediately after the war that he could live.) He was a leading pharmaceutical chemist and could migrate, and a college professor, so demonstrated that his traumas did overwhelm him. He managed quite well generally.

          My wife heard many stories from her mother mostly, but enough from her father to scare her to the bone, even if she was not told of his experiences until a teenager.

          She always had the background wondering, “why is he yelling in the middle of the night? Does everyone experience similarly? Will I be like that? Is that what human adult life is?”

          And, then when she heard the stories, she heard the most dramatic of them, the great traumas, the great confusions, the great lies to survive (pretending to be someone else).

          There was the shadow of her father’s survivor’s guilt (guilty that “I” survived while all of my family didn’t). There is the shadow of imagination of his experience (projecting from her father’s nightmare onto his life).

          My wife has nightmares, not daily, but every couple weeks. She has the archetypal images of someone unknown chasing her, fear itself.

          She carries an exagerated fear of consequences of doing even incidental personal wrongs. “If I say the wrong thing, will I be imprisoned, shot? (not literally, but in the background)”

          From other children of holocaust survivors, I’ve heard the most vicious anti-Arab racism, the most vehement pro-Zionist rants. They mellow once their emotion is heard, and they don’t then need the ideology.

          The history of shadow of trauma is shared by children of holocaust survivors and children of Gazan traumas (different ones, but the terror experienced is convincing).

          One component that is obviously a different experience, is that the traumas (low-level and overt violence) of Gazans continue. One’s sympathy for their experience is present, not only residual.

        • Shingo says:

          You’ll hear the question raised again and again, partially because you are still talking skew to the question.

          No it is you that is being dihonest Witty (as always).

          As has been establsiedh repeatedly, Israel didn’t need to atatck Gaza at all, seeing as they had the option of sticking to the ceasefire on November 4th, and trurning to the ceasefore when Hamas proposed this optin in mid December.

          If the IDF believed that Hamas were going to be using human shields, they could have easily chosen not to attack Gaza in the first place.

          We’ve established that you refuse to accept these facts, but your argument is baseless because of them.

          If you’d bothered to read the Goldstone report, you woudl know that there is no evidence thatrockets were fired from homes.

          Answering the question about human shields primarily by stating that Goldstone reported no example of a person holding up a child as a human shield, is skew to the question.

          Rubbish. The only answer that can be provided is one based on evidence, and in the absence of evidence, the answer is that there isn’t any.

          As I said, my feeling is that the policy-making, choice of resistance method, choice of whether to fire rockets at civilians at all, was literally stupid, or as Gideon Levy described at the time, “suicidal” (but with others’ lives, not the militias lives themselves).

          You’re feelings are completely irrelvant and as it turns out, very poorly informed, seeing as you have refused to read the Goldstone Report. Frankly, you have no business making any comments on this thread unless you’ve taken time to read it. All you are doing is indulgin in wiold specualtion, none of which is even based on news reports.

          The guerilla group that undertakes raids or rocket firing is no longer a peaceable peer to their neighboring civilians.

          The only group that consuted raids was the IDF on November 4th 2008.

          The army can claim the responsibility to protect civilians from guerilla attack.

          Not when they themselves have initiated it. The Army’s first reposnsibility is to avoid war where necessary, which the IDF neglected to do.

          I promise you that declaring that Israel has no right to exist (as Hamas does, and won’t speak the name “Israel” in some conspicuous public settings), is NOT the way to create a path to reconcile individual conflicts.

          I promise you that this has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

          ou are just kisking up dust with irrelevant and incoherent arguments, as you always do Witty. It’s sickening.

        • eljay says:

          >> One component that is obviously a different experience, is that the traumas (low-level and overt violence) of Gazans continue. One’s sympathy for their experience is present, not only residual.

          Yup, nothing says “sympathy for their experience” like:
          - the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was “necessary” to create “a good in the world”;
          - the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is “currently not necessary”;
          - Israel continues to oppress, steal, colonize, destroy and kill because Israelis are “generation to generation” fear-scarred victims who “Remember the Holocaust!”; and
          - Palestinians need to look to the future, create new narratives, “humanize ‘the Other’” and make “better wheels”.

          You should go to Gaza and offer your “sympathy” in person. I’m sure the Gazans would be happy to smother you. With gratitude, of course.

  6. eljay says:

    >> He did find evidence that Israeli used civilians as human shields.

    Israeli use of human shields was “necessary” to ensure “a good in the world”. Thankfully, however, it is “currently not necessary”.

    (This does not mean that it won’t once again be “necessary” at some point in the future.)

  7. piotr says:

    Witty:

    Given a choice of scope of war, a mid-level officer’s responsibility is to implement it.

    So, what would justifiably and unjustifiably contribute to that decision. The conditions that would point to it as appropriate scope was the perceived military might of Hamas (which turned out to be highly exagerated), the expressions of confident victory over invading ground troups by Hamas claimed as wiping the streets of Gaza with Israeli blood (instead, Hamas hid).

    There you have it. Hamas hid. Under those circumstances, how many killed persons and destroyed buildings are justified?

    So we have our “mid-level” officers with the responsibility of delivering the prescribed number of Hamas scalps, and admonished by military rabbinate not to show mercy to the enemy, and no Hamas in sight.

    The lines of combatants and civilians were not “blurred”. Hamas hid. It was killing civilians and than claiming that there were 1000 Hamas scalps and 100 collateral damage or something like that.

    From a recent interview we know that Olmert “the peacemaker” dreamed up a bloodier operation but Barak stabbed him in the back and slowed down the rate of killings. Who knows? Perhaps if several thousands scalps, Kadima would win the election and hey! we would have peace process.

    Back to those mid-level officers with their difficult decisions. What should they do in the non-presence of the enemy? How you “perceive” the enemy that hid?

    Shortly before Cast Lead, Russians had a little war in Georgia. How many civilians did they kill? How many civilian houses did they destroy? Totally unfair comparison you see, because Russians actually had some ARMED opponents and some ACTUAL military installation to demolish, so they could stick mostly to those.

    “traffic officers whom Israel considered combatant”

    This is a good example of a homicidal top command decision. Because police officers were visible from the air and Israel needed killed enemies, they were “considered combatant”. There was no other evidence of combat. NO OTHER COUNTRY DOES IT. NOBODY.

    • annie says:

      not to nitpic piotr but it is important we set the record straight

      Russians had a little war in Georgia. How many civilians did they kill? How many civilian houses did they destroy? Totally unfair comparison you see, because Russians actually had some ARMED opponents and some ACTUAL military installation to demolish, so they could stick mostly to those.

      this was not initiated by russia, in fact israel trained the georgians. the nyt and state department later acknowledged/admitted georgia started that massacre. but the initial msm reports in the US all claimed it was russia. you can find early facts here. (after multiple edits i am finding i cannot link to my preferred link. at the link provided go to the home page and enter ‘South Ossetia’ in the search function and you will find all the essential links) let me know if you need more. it wasn’t russia’s war.

      Under the Sochi Agreement Russia is a recognized peacekeeping force and mediator in South Ossetia. A yet to be revised U.S. state department page explains:

      The June 24, 1992 Sochi Agreement established a cease-fire between the Georgian and South Ossetian forces and defined both a zone of conflict around the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and a security corridor along the border of South Ossetian territories. The Agreement also created the Joint Control Commission (JCC), and a peacekeeping body, the Joint Peacekeeping Forces group (JPKF). The JPKF is under Russian command and is comprised of peacekeepers from Georgia, Russia, and Russia’s North Ossetian autonomous republic (as the separatist South Ossetian government remained unrecognized).

      bottom line, russia was the legal protector of south ossetia under the Sochi Agreement. georgia attacked. georgia wants to be part of nato but nato is forbidden to allow any country w/disputed territory (south ossetia is not designated as ‘occupied’, it is ‘disputed’, unlike palestine which is ‘occupied’ and not ‘disputed’, totally different status under international law) to be a member of nato.

      when the soviet union broke up we agreed not to form a nato ring around it. long story.

      just thought i would point that out. russia did not ‘have a war’ . that was IS/US supporting the Georgian president (and U.S./IS puppet) georgian Saakashvili having a war.

      ;)

    • Shingo says:

      There you have it. Hamas hid.

      It boggles the mind to consider how twisted Witty’s mind is.

      Witty implies here that Hamas were somehow cowardly because they didn’t stand out in the open with big X’s painted on their chest, as though to imply that the IDF soldiers weer noble and brave and went in fighting armed with nothign but hunting knives and a rifle.

      Consider this. How long did the IDF pummel Gaza from their air with F16 fighters before commiting ground troops? If the IDF are such symbols of manly courage, why didn’t the ground troops go in on day 1?

      Answer: They were hiding in Israel until is was safe for them to step into Gaza kill people, that’s what. The IDF are a bunch of cowards who think it takes bravery to drop bombs from 30,000 feet in the air on an enemy that has no way of shooting back.

      During the 33 day July 2006 War, Israeli forces refused orders to advance against Hezbollah fighters, happily opting for 14 day jail sentences for failure to obey orders.
      Concerning IDF recruitment and AWOL problems, according to IDF Captain Arye Shalicar of the IDF Recruitment Fraud unit, it is US taxpayers who foot the bill for eight companies of private investigators recently hired to track down Israeli draft dodgers. The popular social networking site, Facebook, is being used to track down thousands who lied about being religiously observant and seeking to avoid facing Hezbollah. Israelis not wanting to join the military often post a photograph on Facebook showing them eating at non-kosher restaurants or accepting invitations for fake Friday night (Sabbath) parties sent by the investigators.

      There you have it piotr. Israeli soliders hiding even from their own command.

      Those that did end up on th efront line had to be rotated every 3 days, whereas Hebollah fighters held their positions for 30.

      I think this quote best sums up the gutlessness, imcompetence and cowardice of IDF soldiers:

      Despite Barak’s instructions, the Pentagon’s J-8 Directorate for Force Structure Resources and Assessment, which among other duties conducts analysis, assessments, and evaluates strategies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some special American friends, agrees with Israeli military planners and Hezbollah on at least one subject–The next Hezbollah-Israel war will not see Israel using many ground forces outside of armored personnel carriers once they enter Lebanon. The reason is that all three agree with the Pentagon’s J-8 Directorates’ opinion that based on previous battlefield performance, it will likely require 5 Israeli soldiers to offset one Hezbollah defender’s battlefield acumen.

      • Donald says:

        “There you have it. Hamas hid.
        It boggles the mind to consider how twisted Witty’s mind is.

        Witty implies here that Hamas were somehow cowardly because they didn’t stand out in the open with big X’s painted on their chest,”

        Just adding to that, it’s weird for a self-proclaimed opponent of war to taunt Hamas for not fighting more fiercely. Yeah, they could have fought every step of the way–realistically, that would mean fighting house to house, since houses would probably provide the only realistic cover. Israel would have responded by leveling everything in its path to spare their own soldiers. The result would have a civilian death toll that would have been genocidal in scale. I generally avoid the g word in this conflict, but Witty’s proposal for correct behavior on the part of Hamas would have meant mass slaughter.

  8. gazamom says:

    Shingo-that comment about hunting knives made me laugh out loud-quite literally (and today’s my birthday, so that’s a good thing!). I can’t get the image out of my head now! But you are absolutely true-this is the implication, the moral army, purity of arms…

    Witty: Go check out the Likud Charter. Or the Oslo Accords. Neither mentions a Palestinian state or the intention to recognize a Palestinian state. On the contrary, the Likud Charter flatly rejects its establishment. Israel may be cleverly (or not so cleverly…) disguising its intentions through long-drawn out commitments to “processes” and the bountiful use of rosy conjectures, but make not mistake about it, they do not recognize a Palestinian State. Recent wikileaks revealed their policy (again, no surprises) is to work towards a permanent separation of the WB and Gaza.

    All of this shows why “Hamas human shielding” is an obfuscation from the real matters at hand.

    • Shingo says:

      I’m glad I was able to make you laugh Laila. Frankly I’m sick to my stomach reading the disgusting bile and spin being barfed by Witty.

      Happy birthday by the way Laila. You’re an inspirational human being.

      All of this shows why “Hamas human shielding” is an obfuscation from the real matters at hand.

      it’s worse than that Laila, it’s simply desperation because Witty hasn’t summoned the courage to read the Goldstone Report. He’d rather guess as to what’s in it, and not risk shaterring his illusion of the perfect Israel.

    • “Go check out the Likud Charter. ”

      Which is why I am a dedicated critic of Likud.

      You still didn’t address the question, so the question remains.

      The accusation of war crimes is a serious accusation and deserves to be argued concisely, assessing the specific cases asserted.

      The context is only context for actions. It is the actions themselves that are crimes or not. So what actions, that a person is responsible for, are you asserting were war crimes?

      The Hamas human shielding description is relevant to the accusation of war crimes, and the factors that led to the choice of scope of military invasion.

      The actions and words of Hamas are NOT incidental to the legality of that decision by Israel.

      It is a fact that Hamas actively shelled civilians from mid-December until the end of December before there was an Israeli invasion. It was not a necessity to do so. It was a choice on their part (more accurately described as the inability for their older more responsible leadership to contain the younger and decentral militia groups that were frustrated, angry, feeling betrayed, articulating the thinking that Shingo articulates here.)

      Given that Israeli civilians were being shelled from Gaza, whether their policy actions were right or wrong, it was their RESPONSIBILITY as a state to defend their civilians from harm.

      The only choice on their part was the manner of undertaking that responsibility, whether military or diplomatic (a lost option with Hamas), or what scale of military.

      They too were undisciplined and the more mature that can patiently restrain from disproportionate response, could not hold in the angers that the more reactionary in the IDF insisted on. (And that went high up, as the same sentiment went high up in Hamas.)

      Laila,
      I was hoping that as a spokesperson now, you would distinguish between likud and other Israeli perspectives. I know that things I say make you angry, but to not distinguish is careless on your part, and ignoring opportunities for change among those that are sympathetic with your family’s experience, if not your political conclusions.

      • Shingo says:

        Which is why I am a dedicated critic of Likud.

        It was Kadima that started 2 wars, including Cast Lead.

        So what actions, that a person is responsible for, are you asserting were war crimes?

        Real the Goldstone Report Witty. It’s all spelled out for you.

        The Hamas human shielding description is relevant to the accusation of war crimes, and the factors that led to the choice of scope of military invasion.

        More rubbish you are simply making up. It had nothign to do with scope of military invasion. I dare you to link to a single report that macks up with fluff you’re inventing.

        The actions and words of Hamas are NOT incidental to the legality of that decision by Israel.

        Based on who’s legal authority Witty? Yours?

        How about Hamas’s words when they proopsed a return to the ceasefire in mid December?

        It is a fact that Hamas actively shelled civilians from mid-December until the end of December before there was an Israeli invasion

        Rubbish. Hamas shelled Israel, most of the shlled landing in empty fields.

        It is a fact that Israel had already atatcked Gaza and killed 7 Palestinians, violating a ceasefire in the process. It was not a necessity to do so. It was a choice on their part, in which they illed 7 Palestinians for no apparent reason ither than to incite a war.

        It is also a fact that Hams propsed a return to ceasefire in mid-December, which Israel rejected.

        Given that Israeli civilians were being shelled from Gaza, whether their policy actions were right or wrong, it was their RESPONSIBILITY as a state to defend their civilians from harm.

        Yes, which they should have done by not vioating the ceasefire. If they were concerned at al with defending civlians, they woudl have accepted the offer in deember to return to ceasefire. They rejected it.

        In other words, they did not undertaking that responsibility, seeign as they rejected the diplomatic option.

        They too were undisciplined and the more mature that can patiently restrain from disproportionate response

        Not by your own admission, that had the roled been reversed, Israel would have reponded to teh Novermber 4th raid with swift and brutal militarism. You would have applauded such a response, not described it as undisciplined, immature or impatient.

        You expect maturing and discipline from Palestinians but not Israel. Why is that Witty? Do you think Israelis are incapable of such virtues?

        I was hoping that as a spokesperson now, you would distinguish between likud and other Israeli perspectives.

        How is that Witty? It wasn;t Likud that commanded the massacre of Gaza. After all, Barak was part of that team was he not? What is there to ditinguish Witty and wy are you such an insuffrable and pathoggical liar?

        • Potsherd2 says:

          Witty deletes the links and also seems to delete the information from his brain.

        • Donald says:

          RW has to lie to himself–it’s the only way to avoid the conclusion that every condemnation he makes of Hamas terrorism applies on a larger scale to the Israeli government. He’s very afraid of that conclusion, obviously. He also wants to think of himself as a liberal, so we get his contortions and backflips. We really should catalog and number the obfuscations, as well as the responses. It would save time and subthreads involving Richard would look something like this–

          RW would type– Obfuscations numbering 1, 3, 2, and 7

          Shingo or me or someone else — Refutations 1a and 1b, 3a, 2a and b, 7c

          Or the whole thing could be automated–one push of the button and instant threadjack in a condensed form.

        • Shingo says:

          Witty deletes the links and also seems to delete the information from his brain.

          Witty has no room for links. Hiw brain is too busy creating new timelines, events that never happened, and interpretatinos of what the IDF were thinking.

      • Donald says:

        “The only choice on their part was the manner of undertaking that responsibility, whether military or diplomatic (a lost option with Hamas), ”

        Do you mean that Israel threw away the opportunity? If so, the logical implication is that the Gaza War was an unnecessary act of massive violence largely against civilians.

        If you mean that there was no diplomatic way to avoid the conflict, you’re lying.

        • Shingo stated that Hamas’ and other resistance factions’ historical use of ambulances, schools, hospitals, etc. were of no consequence to the IDF soldiers’ and officers’ decisions and actions.

          Its a false assertion. I’ve not been a soldier. But, I’m CERTAIN that the determination of what an enemy intends and has done on the ground in the past, rationally enters their determination of method and scale of operation. They could not do otherwise, even legally.

          So, IDF soldiers that are ordered into battle, MUST consider that an ambulance might be containing automatic weapons, or that bombs might be being constructed in a school. And, in the heat of battle, it is very plausible that even if Hamas, IJ, PFLP determined that it was immoral or too dangerous to continue using hospitals as weapons dumps, there is a high likelihood of mistakes.

          The accusation that hospitals and schools were targeted intentionally to terrorize civilians, and not in preventative defense is a serious accusation, that cannot just be made.

          Those of you that have read the report, and claim it as authoritative and use it as basis of argument, should be able and willing to summarize its specifics.

          The repetitition of assertion only, “Israel is demon”, does NOT answer the questions.

          The experience of Palestinians is prospectively well documented by Laila El-Haddad. (I haven’t read her work.) Phil spoke of his witness of the destruction that he saw (actually not enough and not absent polemic to be informative).

          But both FAILED to answer the specific questions raised, instead shifted back to the experience, condemning the “legalistic”, er.. legal.

          “Do you mean that Israel threw away the opportunity? If so, the logical implication is that the Gaza War was an unnecessary act of massive violence largely against civilians.”

          I agree with the first statement. I largely agree with the second use of the term “unnecessary”, but with material reservations. Specifically, that in the absence of Palestinian unity, that ackowledges the existence of Israel (Fatah does, Hamas doesn’t), it is difficult to conduct negotiations at all, of any kind beyond a cease-fire.

        • Shingo says:

          Shingo stated that Hamas’ and other resistance factions’ historical use of ambulances, schools, hospitals, etc. were of no consequence to the IDF soldiers’ and officers’ decisions and actions.

          Based on what written accounts Witty? For Christ’s sake, you refuse to read the Goldstone Report, refuse to provide linsk to news reports and yet you make these mazing genralizations and admanet assertions as though you had s direct channel to the IDf comand centre.

          Its a false assertion.

          Then prove it with evidence eather than just bore us to death with your gut feelings and your delusional theories.

          But, I’m CERTAIN that the determination of what an enemy intends and has done on the ground in the past, rationally enters their determination of method and scale of operation.

          What you’re certain of is irrelevant Witty. All that matters is what you can prove and you fail to do wo repeatedly. You have nothing to base your claims on sol all you can do is make shit up and repeat it as though is were a given fact.

          That makes you a propagandist. It’s what necons do.

          So, IDF soldiers that are ordered into battle, MUST consider that an ambulance might be containing automatic weapons, or that bombs might be being constructed in a school. And, in the heat of battle, it is very plausible that even if Hamas, IJ, PFLP determined that it was immoral or too dangerous to continue using hospitals as weapons dumps, there is a high likelihood of mistakes.

          That’s demomstrably false because all fo these tyargets were attacked by the aerial campaign. There was no heat of battle that contributed to these descision, nor was thefre any heat of battle to steak of during the ground campaign, as demomstrated by the fact that Israel only lost 5 soldiers.

          Liek I said, you’re making this up as you go along’

          The accusation that hospitals and schools were targeted intentionally to terrorize civilians, and not in preventative defense is a serious accusation, that cannot just be made.

          Of course they can, and they have been vindicated. Furthermore, Israel has a lolng a sordid track record of doing so as we saw in Lebanon 2006.

          Those of you that have read the report, and claim it as authoritative and use it as basis of argument, should be able and willing to summarize its specifics.

          and you shoudl eb able to read the report and find this out for yourself. Stop being as such lazy and ass, pull yout head out of the sand and do your homework Witty. No one is here for your benefit.

          The repetitition of assertion only, “Israel is demon”, does NOT answer the questions.

          And no one has stated that “Israel is demon”, thoguh that doesn’t stop you inveting such quotes.

          The experience of Palestinians is prospectively well documented by Laila El-Haddad. (I haven’t read her work.)

          Again, how do you know then if you haven’t read it?

          Phil spoke of his witness of the destruction that he saw (actually not enough and not absent polemic to be informative).

          If was very iformative. You just interpreted the infomratipno to be polemic, becasue as you have admitted, you are frightend by the truth. Phi’s account has been vindicated by subsequent reports.

          I agree with the first statement. I largely agree with the second use of the term “unnecessary”, but with material reservations.

          So you admit that Israel tarted an unecessary war without fulfiloing it;’s obligation to protect it’s citizenry by pursuing diplomatic options or sticking to the ceasefire. In other words, you agree that Isrel commited the biggest war crime of all, a war of agression.

          Finally.

          Specifically, that in the absence of Palestinian unity, that ackowledges the existence of Israel (Fatah does, Hamas doesn’t), it is difficult to conduct negotiations at all, of any kind beyond a cease-fire.

          The attack bny Israel had nothgi to do with ackowledging the existence of Israel and given that there had been a 4 moths ceasefire that had been working very well, negotaions were no necessary to maintain that state of calm. isrel unilaterally chose to end that ceasefire and carry out a war that they were itching to have.