‘New Yorker’ says ‘two-state solution’ was not the answer (during U.S. Civil War)

Israel/Palestine
on 65 Comments

From a friend: This line in Rick Hertzberg’s review in The New Yorker of a book about British perspectives on the American Civil War (Aug 1 issue, page 64), really struck me because he actually used the term “two-state solution”:

Anyway, from the point of view of Britain as a dominating world power, a two-state solution had its attractions: wouldn’t a pair of smaller and mutually mistrustful American republics be less troublesome than a single great big one? Consideration like these might prompt musings that it would be nice if America would just go ahead and divide itself in two without fuss.

Of course, that was the British perspective. In the South, the attraction of a “two-state solution” was the preservation of a system that subjugated a huge chunk of the population into sub-human status. No h/t please.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

65 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    August 3, 2011, 11:17 am

    Have you read this one?
    The Palestinians’ Treacherous Path to the UN
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    • Hostage
      August 3, 2011, 3:38 pm

      Have you read this one?
      The Palestinians’ Treacherous Path to the UN

      The author is incorrect in asserting that the “U.S., however, would have to explain its recommendation for or against membership when the UNSC presents to the UNGA in light of the conditions on which a potential state can be rejected from membership.

      Members of the United Nations do not have to reveal the reason(s) for their negative votes on membership applications. See Judge Broms essay on UN practice in that regard in the UNESCO-series International law: achievements and prospects page 47 link to books.google.com

  2. Dex
    August 3, 2011, 11:55 am

    The only viable, just solution to this conflict for both sides — yes, both sides — is one state. This is where we are headed; the sooner people accept this, the better…

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 3, 2011, 3:29 pm

      There has, de facto, been a one-state solution since 1967. The problem is that the Israeli Jews annexed the West Bank and Gaza and have since taken sham legal actions pretending that that annexation never occurred solely for the reason that they did not have to provide the equality, human and political rights to the non-Jews living in those areas.

  3. hophmi
    August 3, 2011, 1:17 pm

    What exactly does the I-P conflict have to do with the Civil War? The two-state solution was the answer for Czechs and Slovaks. It was the answer for Indonesians and East Timorese. It was the answer for Indians and Pakistanis. It was the answer for Sudanese and South Sudanese. It was the answer for Serbians, Croatians, Bosnians, Slovenians, and Montenegrans.

    • Dex
      August 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

      But it is clearly not the answer for Palestine. History proves that particular strip of land cannot be partitioned for many reasons, one of which is its signifance to the world’s three monotheistic religions. So why do both sides purport to support the two state partition? Well, they have not really been given any other choice.

      With that said, the reality is that Palestinians were willing to make the ultimate sacrafice and formally part with 78 percent of their historical homeland. But Israelis on the otherhand have never shown a willingness to part with the remaining 22 pecent (other than the few token gestures granted under Oslo). The consequence is that the one-state solution will be a result of Israel’s own doing, but in the long-run, this will be a good thing. For Palestinians, it will finally reunite a fragmented population and allow the refugees to exercise their moral and legal rights, and for Israelis it will, ironically, fulfill one of the major tenets of Zionism by legitimizing Jewish patrimony over all the land from the Med. Sea to the Jordan River. Thus, Israel will not be “the” homeland of the Jewish people, an illegitimate racist notion considering the millions of “others” that live there, but will become “a” homeland for Jewish people.

      • hophmi
        August 3, 2011, 3:55 pm

        “With that said, the reality is that Palestinians were willing to make the ultimate sacrafice and formally part with 78 percent of their historical homeland.”

        This is a talking point, not reality. There’s little proof that the Palestinians have ever actually been willing to make this deal.

        “For Palestinians, it will finally reunite a fragmented population and allow the refugees to exercise their moral and legal rights, and for Israelis it will, ironically, fulfill one of the major tenets of Zionism by legitimizing Jewish patrimony over all the land from the Med. Sea to the Jordan River. ”

        As long as the Palestinians are OK with that. Which they will not be.

        “Thus, Israel will not be “the” homeland of the Jewish people, an illegitimate racist notion considering the millions of “others” that live there, but will become “a” homeland for Jewish people.”

        Thank you Judah Magnes. I don’t think any realistic person will see it that way. Hamas certainly won’t.

        • Mooser
          August 3, 2011, 5:17 pm

          “Hamas certainly won’t.”

          I congratulate Hamas on it’s complete political and economic ascendancy over Israel. Damn, it was a hard slog, a long way to go, but according to Hophmi, they made it.

        • Dex
          August 3, 2011, 5:48 pm

          I’m new to the comment section of this site, but, with all due respect, you seem to have a pretty poor grasp of the conflict.

          Point 1: Of course Palestinians were willing to accept the 78/22 two-state arrangment. What on earth do you think the Oslo Agreement was? The PLO, on behalf of the Palestinian people, formally recognized Israel w/in the Green Line under Oslo. Israel, however, only recognized the PLO as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinians, not their right to a state. This is the dirty little secret of Oslo no one wants to talk about. This is partly what allowed Israel to continue its expanionism in the post-Oslo years.

          Point 2: Right now Palestinians have two choices: 1) status quo or 2) one democratic state for all those living on the land. When the reality sets in to the rest of the world that, b/c of Israel’s aggressive, expansionist policies, this is what we are left with, the one state option will become inevitable. The biggest obstacle will not be Palestinians, but Israel’s desire to be a “Jewish state,” which, again, is a racist notion. Israelis must also overcome their fear of the “other” in order to end this conflict.

        • straightline
          August 3, 2011, 7:07 pm

          Welcome Dex. Just to put you in the picture Hophmi is one of the 4 or 5 hasbarists assigned to this site. You will tell him these facts but next time you can be sure he’ll be back spouting the same lies.

        • Dex
          August 4, 2011, 4:03 am

          Ah, thanks for the info. Straight. The Huffington Post is the same way; there are about 7-8 Hasbarists assigned to comment on threads related to Palestine-Israel. They are trained to provide misinformation/disinformation, only to provide links to non-academic (e.g. Wikipedia!) or biased sources, revise history, and deflect issues.

          I often wonder how much money they make? It seems to be a full-job for these people.

        • annie
          August 4, 2011, 4:26 am

          I often wonder how much money they make?

          you could apply and find out. The Israel Project is hiring via GovJob.co.il (Israeli government site)

          iv. Press kits, etc.
          3. New Media – develops TIP’s presence on the Internet through existing and future avenues including social media sites and blogs. To liaise with Multimedia and Web Associate – Israel. To liaise with DC new media staff, particularly Web Advocacy Specialist; and Internet,

        • Mooser
          August 5, 2011, 11:45 am

          “I often wonder how much money they make? “

          Oh, the pay is puny, but the benefits in free ziocaine are unlimited.

    • annie
      August 4, 2011, 12:05 am

      What exactly does the I-P conflict have to do with the Civil War?

      did you open the link?

      Trollope’s mother wrote of Americans, “…you will see them with one hand hoisting the cap of liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves.”

    • eGuard
      August 5, 2011, 7:01 pm

      Czechs and Slovaks: they (actually, the Russians) kicked out the occupier first.
      Indonesians and East Timorese. They kicked out the European colonialist occupier, the Dutch, first .
      Indians and Pakistanis. They kicked out the occupier first (it was the English)
      Sudanese and South Sudanese No occupier afaik. They did not “transfer” ethnically. Just a border
      Serbians, Croatians, Bosnians, Slovenians, and Montenegrans
      No “transfers” either. They kicked out the occupier first.

      And, btw, why didn’t you mention a “two state solution did it” re Iraq, Jordan, Palestine pre-1948, Taiwan, and eh US-pre 186x.

      You are selective before reasoning.

  4. Cliff
    August 3, 2011, 5:48 pm

    It’s astounding how willfully ignorant you are hophmi. The Palestine papers have illustrated how deceptive Israel is in this ‘piece’ process.

    • PissedOffAmerican
      August 3, 2011, 7:10 pm

      “The Palestine papers have illustrated how deceptive Israel is in this ‘piece’ process”

      You must not be paying attention. Israel is totally upfront about its piece process;

      A piece here, a piece there, here a piece, there a piece…..

      Hey!!! That’d make a nice jingle!

    • Robert Werdine
      August 5, 2011, 10:26 am

      I am most curious Cliff, what was this deception? I would like to know.

      • Mooser
        August 5, 2011, 11:47 am

        “I am most curious Cliff, what was this deception? I would like to know.”

        Sure you would.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 5, 2011, 3:19 pm

          Huh? Why don’t you tell me then, Mooser?

        • Hostage
          August 5, 2011, 10:40 pm

          Huh? Why don’t you tell me then, Mooser?

          More like Duh! It’s Robert again!

          “I was the minister of justice. I am a lawyer … But I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general.” –Tzipi Livni

          So the government minister with primary responsibility for the administration of Israel’s law courts was also tasked with conducting its foreign affairs and negotiating a final settlement in accordance with the law. But she was actually against the law all along.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 6, 2011, 1:07 pm

          Ah, so the master of misattribution strikes again!

          “I was the minister of justice. I am a lawyer … But I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general.” –Tzipi Livni

          “So the government minister with primary responsibility for the administration of Israel’s law courts was also tasked with conducting its foreign affairs and negotiating a final settlement in accordance with the law. But she was actually against the law all along.”

          The quote you are citing is from a memo of a November 2007 meeting between Ahmed Qurei and Tzipi Livni where they were discussing what issues should be included in a joint statement both sides would be presenting at the Annapolis summit (and these are, btw, the Palestinian record of the minutes of the meeting):

          Livni opens the meeting: I would like to suggest that we will continue according to what I tried to at the beginning of the session yesterday, but unfortunately while doing so we ended up in some sort of a discussion. At the end of today’s meeting the minimum that is required is some sense of the six or seven points that you stated that need to be in the document. Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.

          Ahmed Qurei: We can finish tonight the subjects – the preamble. What are the components. Not the language or the nice words etc. We should focus on three things in the preamble. One is the terms of reference [“TOR”]. The three core elements in addition to the [nice] language. One is the TOR. Second is the 2 state solution. Third is the Roadmap [“RM”]. Is there anything to be added to the preamble?

          Livni: No – it’s ok. And what we called before some good words. The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.

          So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to [UN Rsolutions] 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.

          [more discussion of what should be included in the Terms of Reference and Preamble for the document]

          Qurei: International law?

          Livni: NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.

          If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.”

          The entire meeting between Qurei and Livni merely concerned what would and what would not be included in the ceremonial joint statement they were going to announce. Both sides had reservations about what they wanted included, and when Livni said “I am against law” she was saying that she was against referencing any legal issues or international law in the Preamble and the Terms of Reference in the joint statement, just as the Palestinians were against any reference of the Quartets three conditions. So when Livni said she was “against law” she was talking about the specific terms of reference in the joint statement about to be issued, not that she was against the law in general.

          Does your fevered penchant for misattribution, misquotation, and dishonesty never sleep?

        • Hostage
          August 6, 2011, 5:32 pm

          Does your fevered penchant for misattribution, misquotation, and dishonesty never sleep?

          Robert if you are hoping that no one will notice that Livni was speaking about generalities during her digression about her service as the Justice Minister and the claim “I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general”, you can forget it. No one here is going to be deceived by your dissembling analysis.

          I quoted the Palestine Papers verbatim. As usual, you are being dishonest when you attempt to label negotiations over “the terms of reference” (TOR) as merely impacting a “ceremonial joint statement” and when you say that the use of verbatim quotes is somehow “misattribution, misquotation, and dishonesty”. Livni wasn’t saying she wanted to make a ceremonial joint statement smaller, she was discussing “the agreement” and claimed the introduction of “international law, 1515, 1397, and 194″ was “the problem”.

          In fact the Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council on resolution 242 both stipulate that international law is one of the components of the terms of reference that will govern any final agreement. So the inclusion of international law in the TOR is not just ceremonial or empty “language or the nice words etc.” as you suggested. Israel has always refused to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Conventions and the customary prohibitions against colonialism and acquisition of territory by war. The talk about realities on the ground and agreed swaps is just a smokescreen to obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law – and no – my bullshit detector never sleeps.

        • hophmi
          August 6, 2011, 6:44 pm

          “Robert if you are hoping that no one will notice that Livni was speaking about generalities during her digression about her service as the Justice Minister and the claim “I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general”, you can forget it. No one here is going to be deceived by your dissembling analysis.”

          As usual, Hostage evades the question.

          Honestly, is there any quote in the pro-Palestinian lexicon that is not some fabrication or misquote?

        • Hostage
          August 6, 2011, 10:41 pm

          As usual, Hostage evades the question.

          Honestly, is there any quote in the pro-Palestinian lexicon that is not some fabrication or misquote?

          No I answered the question. Once again, I quoted the Palestine papers verbatim and they say Livni was talking about the issues, or terms of reference, that had to be formally addressed in the negotiations. Livni has responded to the coverage by AJ and the Guardian and she never complained that their analysis of this meeting was incorrect.

          Neither you nor Robert have a reputation for quoting published sources or for being terribly honest. In fact, you both spend an inordinate amount of energy engaging in petty insults. The Guardian, Haaretz, YNet, Al Jazeera and the majority of published sources reported that Livni was discussing the framework of the negotiations and her aversion to the law in general. e.g. link to english.aljazeera.net

          If Robert is citing analysis from a reliable published source, he failed to mention it or to provide a link.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 7, 2011, 3:29 pm

          Hostage,

          Said you: “Robert if you are hoping that no one will notice that Livni was speaking about generalities during her digression about her service as the Justice Minister and the claim “I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general”, you can forget it. No one here is going to be deceived by your dissembling analysis.”

          Your attempts to deny the obvious are pitiful and embarrassing to witness. Everyone can see what you quoted, what you said about the quote, and, in light of the transcript I cited, how completely you ripped the quote out of the context in which it occurred.

          “I quoted the Palestine Papers verbatim. As usual, you are being dishonest when you attempt to label negotiations over “the terms of reference” (TOR) as merely impacting a “ceremonial joint statement” and when you say that the use of verbatim quotes is somehow “misattribution, misquotation, and dishonesty”. Livni wasn’t saying she wanted to make a ceremonial joint statement smaller, she was discussing “the agreement” and claimed the introduction of “international law, 1515, 1397, and 194″ was “the problem.”

          If you were really being honest you wouldn’t have isolated the quote out of the context of the discussion in which it was occurring. This you did not do. Here is the full, untruncated excerpt from the exchange from the “Minutes from 8th Negotiation Team Meeting (In Preparation for Annapolis) Tuesday, 13th November 2007, 5:00pm, Mount Zion Hotel, West Jerusalem” before they change the subject to talk of a two-state solution:

          Livni opens the meeting: I would like to suggest that we will continue according to what I tried to at the beginning of the session yesterday, but unfortunately while doing so we ended up in some sort of a discussion. At the end of today’s meeting the minimum that is required is some sense of the six or seven points that you stated that need to be in the document. Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.

          Ahmed Qurei: [Suggests an I and P paper]

          Tzipi Livni: Ok I think that this is a very good idea about all of the issues. I think that when this comes to the core issues [however] this is problematic. Let’s start with all the other issues then go from there. Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.

          [Discussion continues on this a bit more.]

          Tzipi Livni: I think that [putting down all of this for the non-core issues] is important because this part is more about process. When it comes to the core issues, putting the basic positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians will not help. Therefore let’s start
          with the others.

          Ahmed Qurei: We can finish tonight the subjects – the preamble. What are the components. Not the language or the nice words etc. We should focus on three things in the preamble. One is the terms of reference [“TOR”]. The three core elements in addition to the [nice] language. One is the TOR. Second is the 2 state solution. Third is the Roadmap [“RM”]. Is there anything to be added to the preamble?

          Livni: No – it’s ok. And what we called before some good words. The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.

          So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to [UN Rsolutions] 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.

          Saeb Erekat: Do you have differences on 1515 and 1397?

          Tzipi Livni: Yes.

          Ahmed Qurei: Basically you want 242 and 338?

          TL: Yes… basically we can refer to the RM as it is. The RM and previous agreements as adopted by both sides. President Bush’s vision — I forgot it before. The 3 principles of the Quartet. [AA asking clarification questions throughout.] Do you agree these?

          Akram Haniyeh: The three principles… we cannot include it as it is.
          [It was agreed by both sides that we can find another place/way to include the three Quartet principles. TL suggested the same for the API. She reiterated the point that including the API is like including the Israeli declaration of independence – both are similarly one sided in their view of a resolution to the conflict.]

          TL: Ok. I would suggest we find a place for the API, not as part of the TOR but in another place.

          AQ: I think that this is a mistake for Israel. It is the only real compromise from the Arab world.

          TL: We can find another place for it… it is not part of the TOR.

          AQ: This is a main principle. Part of the TOR. This is what will make the Arab states
          come.

          [Recap the points.]

          Qurei: International law?

          Livni: NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.
          If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.”

          [TL made the point that Palestinians don’t really need international law. Palestinians protest this assertion. AQ raises examples of where it is important, such as water, and that it is key for the parties to agree what the permanent status agreements will be based on. Abr (DG Abromovich) says that the agreement will be whatever is agreed at the table. At one point during this discussion, SE raises a problem with the “as adopted” language with respect to the Roadmap and previous agreements, noting that this would encompass the Israeli reservations which is not acceptable to the Palestinian side.]

          Now, listen to Livni:

          “Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.

          “Ok I think that this is a very good idea about all of the issues. I think that when this comes to the core issues [however] this is problematic. Let’s start with all the other issues then go from there. Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.”

          “I think that [putting down all of this for the non-core issues] is important because this part is more about process. When it comes to the core issues, putting the basic positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians will not help. Therefore let’s start with the others.”

          “The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.”

          All of these statements reflect Livni’s obvious attempts to keep the contents of the Joint Declaration as vague and non-specific as possible, and to broadly emphasize the shared goals of the subsequent peace negotiations, and not to tie down either side with specific references and conflicting demands and interpretations that each would make upon the other. What in the world would be the point in doing all that in the Joint Declaration? It is only sensible for both sides not to limit themselves here to specific demands, and to keep the contents of the future negotiations flexible. This seems axiomatic. The specifics would all be addressed in the subsequent negotiations, not in the joint statement. There is nothing in this discussion that would or could preclude any future discussion about law, international law, the API, the Road Map, or the myriad of disputed UN resolutions between the two parties. Everything would be on the table. Again, she is merely emphasizing that all of that can be addressed later, not in the JD. As DG Abromovich said, “the agreement will be whatever is agreed at the table.”

          Here is Livni again:

          “So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to [UN Rsolutions] 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.

          Livni is again referencing points of contention between the two parties whose inclusion in the JD would ill serve the course of subsequent negotiations. Again, they are merely discussing what should and should not be included in the JD, not the subsequent negotiations.

          Said you: “In fact the Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council on resolution 242 both stipulate that international law is one of the components of the terms of reference that will govern any final agreement. So the inclusion of international law in the TOR is not just ceremonial or empty “language or the nice words etc.” as you suggested. Israel has always refused to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Conventions and the customary prohibitions against colonialism and acquisition of territory by war. The talk about realities on the ground and agreed swaps is just a smokescreen to obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law – and no – my bullshit detector never sleeps.”

          Neither does your bullshit. You are here demonstrating your signature method of obfuscation: make a spurious assertion, advance a specious argument on it, and then make an utterly irrelevant citation (or a flurry of citations) supposedly in support of the specious argument. You are again speaking as if these were the negotiations for the final agreement itself; they were not. They are merely discussing what to include in the JD. That is all. You are making it look like Israel was rejecting any reference to law or international law at all in the future negotiations. Are you really silly enough to believe something that ridiculous? When did anyone on the Israeli negotiating team openly declare that there would be absolutely no discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations, or that they were “against all law?” Who would say something so brazenly stupid and nonsensical? To what end?

          It is my hope that the ludicrousness of the argument that you have been positing here is beginning to dawn upon you, and that you will cease this silly slander of Livni, and trying to make her be seen saying something which she is in fact not saying at all. You quoted her out of context, just the Guardian and AJ did, and you were just as dishonest as they were in doing so. Just face it, repent, and sin no more.

        • annie
          August 7, 2011, 3:46 pm

          You are making it look like Israel was rejecting any reference to law or international law at all in the future negotiations. Are you really silly enough to believe something that ridiculous? When did anyone on the Israeli negotiating team openly declare that there would be absolutely no discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations, or that they were “against all law?” Who would say something so brazenly stupid and nonsensical? To what end?

          no one need declare that there would be absolutely no discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations. livni pretty much summed it up in her simple statement. tell you what, if you want to make your point , weren’t the palestine papers covering several years? just find a time israel initiated those discussions. that’s the best way to prove hostage wrong. you can’t prove him wrong by an absence of a ‘declaration’ or admission of guilt. israel has always flouted international law as a matter of course. they always seek to push everything down the road, not cover it and claim it’s the palestinians fault. all the parties were there, there was no need to gloss over core issues and push them down the road. israel was just trying to get palestinian concessions out front early while putting no cards on the table themselves. that’s what they do time and again. complete noncommittal, that’s their schtick.

        • Donald
          August 7, 2011, 3:51 pm

          “It is only sensible for both sides not to limit themselves here to specific demands, and to keep the contents of the future negotiations flexible. This seems axiomatic. The specifics would all be addressed in the subsequent negotiations, not in the joint statement.”

          I can see why the side which has control of most of the land and which has been busy establishing “facts on the ground” and which wields all of the power and has the US on its side would want to keep things flexible rather than acknowledging that the Palestinians might have international law to back them up on many of the specifics.

        • annie
          August 7, 2011, 3:59 pm

          robert, could you try arguing like an adult. if you have a point to make try making it sans the hyperbolic insults. they don’t convince anyone around here. what’s this repent and sin no more talk. seriously, argue like a responsible adult if you want to be taken seriously. and don’t speak in such generalities. if you have a particular point of hosage’s you are addressing copy paste it.

          what seems clear to me from the text is Qurei is trying to get to the meat of the matter and livni is having none of it. she just wants to play with nice words that accomplish nothing. that’s how it reads.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 7, 2011, 7:27 pm

          Annie, I think you and Donald are both missing the point.

          Said you: “don’t speak in generalities. if you have a particular point of hostage’s you are addressing copy paste it.”

          A look at my August 6, 1:07pm post will show that I did just that, and very specifically. Hostage cited a quote of Tzipi Livni from the Palestine Papers:

          “I was the minister of justice. I am a lawyer … But I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general.”

          Then, attempting to show that this quote infers some supposed contempt for law, Hostage characterized the quote as follows:

          “So the government minister with primary responsibility for the administration of Israel’s law courts was also tasked with conducting its foreign affairs and negotiating a final settlement in accordance with the law. But she was actually against the law all along.”

          After reading the entire exchange and the context in which the discussion from which the quote was cited, I took issue with hostage’s misleading attempt to impute some spurious sentiment to Livni (i.e., that she was “against the law all along”), when, in fact, she was discussing something totally different. I quoted excerpts from the discussion, something Hostage signally failed to do for obvious reasons, and pointed out the proper context of Livni’s remarks, which merely concerned the contents of the Joint Declaration to be read by President Bush at the upcoming Annapolis Summit, and not issues that would be discussed in the subsequent negotiations, which Livni stressed should and would be discussed later. In fact, Livni did not even discuss what would or would not be discussed in the subsequent discussions. It was not the topic under discussion.

          Also, Livni was not “negotiating a final settlement” here as Hostage suggested. She was discussing with Qurei and the others the contents of the Joint Declaration, that was to be a mere statement of shared principles and basic goals, and a prelude to subsequent negotiations, where the details would be discussed.

          Again, as I said before, both sides had reservations about what they wanted included in the JD, and when Livni said “I am against law” she was saying that she was against referencing any legal issues or international law in the Preamble and the Terms of Reference in the joint statement, just as the Palestinians were against any reference of the Quartets three conditions, as the transcript makes perfectly clear. So when Livni said she was “against law” she was talking about the specific terms of reference in the joint statement about to be issued, not that she was “against all law” in general. Was the Palestinians desire not to mention the Quartets’ main conditions in the JD evidence that they were “against” the Road Map or of their refusal to discuss them in the subsequent negotiations? I hardly think so. As Livni said:

          “Let’s start with all the other issues then go from there. Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.”

          This is, in fact, what both sides eventually agreed to do, and which is reflected in the text of the Joint Declaration itself. Here is a link to the Joint Declaration read by President Bush on November 27, 2007 at the Annapolis Conference:

          http://en.wikisource.org wiki/Joint_Understanding_Read_by_President_Bush_at_Annapolis_Conference

          Annie, said you:

          “No one need declare that there would be absolutely no discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations. livni pretty much summed it up in her simple statement. tell you what, if you want to make your point , weren’t the palestine papers covering several years? just find a time israel initiated those discussions. that’s the best way to prove hostage wrong. you can’t prove him wrong by an absence of a ‘declaration’ or admission of guilt.”

          This argument will not wash. I was not taking issue with whether or not Israel “initiated” discussion on the API, or Resolutions 1515, 1397, or 194 in the course of the subsequent negotiations. Suffice it to say the Palestinians and the Israelis have, and have had, considerably different interpretations over a wide array of applicable international law, Resolution 194 in particular. But that, again, is not what is being discussed here. What is being discussed in the exchange between Livni and Qurei and the others is merely what is going to be referenced in the Joint Declaration, not what would be discussed subsequently. Hostage is thus attributing an intent to Livni’s remark that is belied by the full transcript of the discussion and what that discussion concerned.

          Said you:

          “what seems clear to me from the text is Qurei is trying to get to the meat of the matter and livni is having none of it. she just wants to play with nice words that accomplish nothing. that’s how it reads.”

          Well, this might be a plausible interpretation if these were a transcript of discussions on the core issues in the course of the negotiations. But they are not. Again, they are merely discussing what the JD should say, not what would be discussed in the negotiations later on, and they were not “push[ing] everything down the road” as you suggested.

          Why should either side have inventoried every conflicting demand and grievance in the JD at that stage? What good would it have done for both sides to state at this stage what they would and would not discuss, or agree to? Why should they limit themselves? What possible purpose would that serve? Issues that were in dispute were not going to be resolved in the JD, but in the subsequent negotiations where they could be discussed between the two parties. That was the place to do it, and the agenda should be flexible, with everything on the table. That is only sensible. That is all Livni was suggesting, and which Qurei and the others eventually agreed to.

          I think the real context of Livni’s remark are apparent to anyone who reads the entire exchange honestly and with an open mind. These sorry attempts to impute something sinister to her remarks are just not going anywhere.

        • Hostage
          August 8, 2011, 6:13 am

          Your attempts to deny the obvious are pitiful and embarrassing to witness.

          No your attempt to counter published analysis from mainstream sources, including Al Jazeera, the Guardian, and Haaretz, with fringe views you’ve copied from Elder of Ziyon and ad hominem is pathetic and par for the course coming from you. Do you have any mainstream Israeli or other reliable media sources that support this particular “analysis” or not? It ought to be rather simple to cite one, like I did, if its so “obvious”.

          It is my hope that the ludicrousness of the argument that you have been positing here is beginning to dawn upon you, and that you will cease this silly slander of Livni

          The truth is always part of an affirmative defense against slander or libel. I guess that’s one of the many reasons that Livni never mentioned this particular Palestine Paper in her published responses to the Al Jazeera and Guardian reports – even though it reflects rather badly on her professional ethics.

        • Hostage
          August 8, 2011, 6:59 am

          I quoted excerpts from the discussion, something Hostage signally failed to do for obvious reasons

          Robert, I repeatedly pointed out that I was quoting the Palestine Papers verbatim. Those were indicated by the quotation mark thingies in my comment, e.g. “the terms of reference” “the agreement” “the problem” was “international law, 1515, 1397, and 194″, & etc.

          I gave you a link in which Al Jazeera said the meeting was about the framework of the negotiations at the upcoming Annapolis summit.
          link to english.aljazeera.net

          You introduced the idea that the terms of reference for the agreement on the framework was just a “ceremonial” joint statement. The Elder of Ziyon used that same bait and switch propaganda technique, but there was no mention by either side that this was just a “ceremonial” statement.

          In fact, Al Jazeera and the Guardian both published analysis on the Obama administration’s shift on the agreed upon terms of reference that had been accepted by the Bush administration and the Quartet, e.g. link to english.aljazeera.net.

          Mondoweiss had an article about that too. No one suggested that it was merely ceremonial in those meetings either. link to mondoweiss.net

          Once again Robert, I don’t think you’ve managed to fool any of the readers here.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 8, 2011, 8:41 pm

          Hostage,

          Said you: “No your attempt to counter published analysis from mainstream sources, including Al Jazeera, the Guardian, and Haaretz, with fringe views you’ve copied from Elder of Ziyon and ad hominem is pathetic and par for the course coming from you. Do you have any mainstream Israeli or other reliable media sources that support this particular “analysis” or not? It ought to be rather simple to cite one, like I did, if its so “obvious”.

          I did indeed visit the Elder of Ziyon site, among others, but the transcript of the minutes from the 8th Negotiation Team Meeting came from Al Jazeera, where I saw EOZ’s comment on the Al-Jazeera article that you linked. I did not cite any “analysis” because there was no need to; the transcript itself is self explanatory. I cited the transcript in it’s entirety on the subject under discussion so that the context of Livni’s remarks could gauged, and the manner in which you were misrepresenting her remarks would be apparent. The manner in which Livni’s remarks were reported in Al-Jazeera and the Guardian news stories were both misleading and out of context, as was your own.

          “The truth is always part of an affirmative defense against slander or libel. I guess that’s one of the many reasons that Livni never mentioned this particular Palestine Paper in her published responses to the Al Jazeera and Guardian reports – even though it reflects rather badly on her professional ethics.”

          So what is this supposed to prove? That she is admitting that she was “against law — international law in particular. Law in general?” Who but a lunatic would make such a ludicrous statement? Just what is she supposed to be saying here? That she is a nihilist or anarchist, or that she is pro-crime and disorder? Has she made similarly unhinged and nihilistic “against law” statements elsewhere? This slander of yours just gets sillier and sillier.

          “Robert, I repeatedly pointed out that I was quoting the Palestine Papers verbatim. Those were indicated by the quotation mark thingies in my comment, e.g. “the terms of reference” “the agreement” “the problem” was “international law, 1515, 1397, and 194″, & etc.”

          The quote was verbatim. So what? Your characterization of the quote was also totally out of context as the transcript shows. You did not cite anything but the quote and the quote alone along with your characterization of it in your initial post.

          “You introduced the idea that the terms of reference for the agreement on the framework was just a “ceremonial” joint statement. The Elder of Ziyon used that same bait and switch propaganda technique, but there was no mention by either side that this was just a “ceremonial” statement.”

          How long are you going to keep beating this? What was being discussed in the exchange between Livni and Qurei and the others is merely what is going to be referenced in the Joint Declaration, not what would be discussed subsequently.

          This fact is underscored in another excerpt of an exchange between Qurei and Livni:

          AQ: [Refers to 242] and that no party has the right to acquire territory by force. Egypt you’ve withdrawn from every meter. Syria they are ready and have [basically agreed the borders]. Why are you trying to make the Palestinians pay the price for all of this? Putting the API in this context does that.

          TL: Of course we will have our future discussions on all these points.

          “[W]e will have our future discussions on all these points.” As I said before, the issues that were in dispute were not going to be resolved in the JD, but in the subsequent negotiations where they could be discussed between the two parties at length. That was the place to do it, and the agenda should be flexible, with everything on the table. That is what “future discussions on all these points” means. That is only sensible. That is all Livni was suggesting, and which Qurei and the others eventually agreed to, and which is reflected in the Joint Declaration read by President Bush at Annapolis on Nov. 27:

          “We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

          “All outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.” Got that? That includes discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever in the JD that would preclude any discussion of anything, including the aforementioned.

          The Annapolis conference was indeed a largely ceremonial endeavor to kick off the new round of peace negotiations between Olmert and Abbas, and the JD properly marked that occasion. Nobody expected anything conclusive to come from the conference itself, and this is underscored in a statement made by President Bush following his reading of the JD in the same speech:

          “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it’s to launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort and to give them the support they need to succeed.”

          Bush also stressed the open framework of the subsequent negotiations emphasized in the JD:

          “As Prime Minister Olmert recently put it, we will avoid none of the historic questions. We will not run from discussing any of them. As President Abbas has said, I believe that there is an opportunity not only for us, but for the Israelis, too. We have an historic and important opportunity that we must benefit from. It is in that spirit that we concluded — that they concluded this statement I just read.”

          Bush also praised the Arab Peace Initiative:

          “Arab states also have a vital role to play. Relaunching the Arab League initiative and the Arab League support for today’s conference are positive steps. All Arab states should show their strong support for the government of President Abbas and provide needed assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”

          Hostage, at some point I think you are going to have to admit that all the rhetorical and argumentative contortions in the world are not going to make Livni say what what you are having her say, for the simple reason that she did not say it. The transcript and the subject under discussion all make that rather clear. They were discussing what to include in the JD that would be read at the upcoming Annapolis Conference, not the substance of the negotiations that would follow the conference, which, as the text of the agreed-upon JD makes clear, would include discussion on “all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

        • Hostage
          August 9, 2011, 2:29 am

          Robert Werdine, long story short you copied some totally fabricated bullshit about a “ceremonial joint statement” from Elder of Ziyon that appears nowhere in the Palestine Papers and deployed your normal ad hominem tactics.

          I cited and quoted the published sources and the analysis advanced by both the Guardian and Al Jazeera. You are the one going through all of the argumentative contortions. Once again you’ve failed to cite a single reliable published source that agrees with your conclusions or analysis. It is also very telling that neither you nor the Elder of Ziyon are quoting one of the many published responses of Ms Livni to the publication of the Palestine Papers, e.g. link to jpost.com

          Why are you protesting so loudly here at Mondo when Livni herself never said a word about these press accounts?

        • Robert Werdine
          August 9, 2011, 2:02 pm

          Hostage,

          Said you:

          “Robert Werdine, long story short you copied some totally fabricated bullshit about a “ceremonial joint statement” from Elder of Ziyon that appears nowhere in the Palestine Papers and deployed your normal ad hominem tactics.”

          “Fabricated bullshit?”

          Oh, please. So this is now your argument? That because they don’t use the words “ceremonial joint statement” in their discussions that they are therefore discussing something other than the JD? Like what, for example?

          The Palestinian papers, in fact, label this meeting “Minutes from 8th Negotiating Team Meeting (In Preparation For Annapolis)” and Al-Jazeera, in fact, summarizes the session as follows:

          “Summary: Minutes of the 8th meeting in a series of meetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit. The parties discuss finishing changes to the preamble, and debate the inclusion of principles from: President Bush’s vision, the Road Map, the Arab Peace Initiative, UN resolutions and International law.”

          “In preparation for Annapolis”

          “[M]eetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit.”

          Begin to get the picture? That the Annapolis conference was perceived as a “ceremonial” event is hardly a novelty. As Ami Isserhoff wrote the day after in a critical “analysis” of the JD:

          “The joint statement doesn’t look like an honest attempt to tackle the issues. There are no principles or framework for the agreement that is to be negotiated. There are no criteria to judge roadmap performance. The speeches sound like ceremonial after-dinner addresses or Oscar awards acceptance speeches. We heard them all before. Perhaps it is all like the fictitious speeches inserted by ancient historians in their tales.” (“Annapolis Summit : History or Bluff?,” November 28, 2007, Mid East Web)

          Got that? The JD was a ceremonial joint statement, and nothing but, just as the Annapolis conference was a mere ceremonial event to kick off the new round of peace negotiations between Olmert and Abbas. The JD properly (and ceremonially) marked that occasion, and it broadly framed the shared goals of both parties for the subsequent negotiations. That nobody expected anything substantive or conclusive to come from the conference itself is, again(!), underscored in the statement made by President Bush following his reading of the JD in the same speech:

          “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it’s to launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort and to give them the support they need to succeed.”

          Was Bush wrong? Was he lying? How many ways can this possibly be made clear to you?! Livni and Qurei and company were merely discussing the contents of the JD for the upcoming conference, not engaging in substantive discussions on the core issues. This is evidenced not only in the text of the transcript itself and in Bush’s remarks at Annapolis, but in the designation of the minutes within the Palestine papers themselves (“In preparation for Annapolis”) and Al-Jazeera’s own summary of the minutes (“meetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit”).

          How long are you going to keep denying the undeniable? If you have evidence to refute or disprove any of this, that Livni and Qurei were discussing something else than the JD for the upcoming conference, or that there is some corroborating evidence that Livni is “against law — international law in particular. Law in general,” please present such evidence forthwith.

          Your whole argument is a colossal, transparent deception: that Livni was saying she was “against law — international law in particular. Law in general” as a way of saying that she was “against the law all along,” i.e., that she was expressing some kind of contempt for law and justice in general, when, as a full reading of the transcript of the discussion from which the quote was seized makes clear, she was merely discussing with Qurei and the others the terms of reference for the Joint Declaration to be read at the upcoming Annapolis Conference, and that she was attempting to avoid mention of the issues of contention (e.g., references to international law, where both sides have conflicting interpretations) between the two parties in the JD, and save discussion for the core issues—all of them—in the subsequent negotiations. This, btw, is borne out in the text of the agreed-upon JD read by President Bush at Annapolis, which stipulates that the subsequent discussions would include “all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

          Those are the facts, and that is my “analysis,” and I don’t need to consult the scurrilously skewed “analysis” of the Guardian or Al-Jazeera, to posit that analysis because it is self-evident to anyone who simply reads the discussion from which Livni’s quote is taken. Here now (again!) is the evidence in support of my “analysis” in the form of statements made by Livni in the course of the discussion:

          “Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.

          “Ok I think that this is a very good idea about all of the issues. I think that when this comes to the core issues [however] this is problematic. Let’s start with all the other issues then go from there. Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.”

          “I think that [putting down all of this for the non-core issues] is important because this part is more about process. When it comes to the core issues, putting the basic positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians will not help. Therefore let’s start with the others.”

          “The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.”

          “Of course we will have our future discussions on all these points.”

          As I said before, all of these statements reflect Livni’s obvious attempts to keep the contents of the Joint Declaration as vague and non-specific as possible, and to broadly emphasize the shared goals of the subsequent peace negotiations, and not to tie down either side with specific references and conflicting demands and interpretations that each would make upon the other. This is evident to anyone who reads the transcript and who understands the subject under discussion—the contents of the JD for the upcoming summit. why do you have such a problem with this?

          “I cited and quoted the published sources and the analysis advanced by both the Guardian and Al Jazeera. You are the one going through all of the argumentative contortions. Once again you’ve failed to cite a single reliable published source that agrees with your conclusions or analysis. It is also very telling that neither you nor the Elder of Ziyon are quoting one of the many published responses of Ms Livni to the publication of the Palestine Papers, e.g. link to jpost.com”

          What is this thing you have for “analysis?” Can’t you read the transcript and make up your own mind? It’s all rather self-explanatory. The Guardian and Al-Jazeera did not do “analysis.” They simply quoted Livni out of context in their news stories in one of their usual attempts brand Israel as a criminal, lawless nation, which is one of their favorite hobby horses—and yours. It is hardly surprising that the Guardian and Al-Jazeera, two of the most virulently anti-Israel news organizations in existence, would quote Livni out of context in the way that they did, just as you did. Their “analysis” is as skewed as it is dishonest.

          Hostage you’re going to a lot of bother here to deny that you took Livni’s remarks out of the context in which they were expressed. You did. Deal with it, and move on.

        • annie
          August 9, 2011, 2:28 pm

          robert you are wasting our time. “Elder of Ziyon” is not a source in itself, it is a blog. hostage has every right to question your source. put up or …

          also wtf is this: “[M]eetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit.”
          Begin to get the picture? That the Annapolis conference was perceived as a “ceremonial”

          ueah, we get the picture, your blathering nothings. do you know the meaning of proposed joint agreement? however the annapolis conference was allegedly ‘perceived’ by you, officially it was not “ceremonial”

          The objectives of the conference were in an attempt to produce a substantive document on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of President George W. Bush’s Roadmap For Peace, with the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

          Abbas stated that a clear agenda was necessary for the conference,[12] and affirmed in early October that only a Palestinian state comprising the West Bank and Gaza Strip in their entirety would be acceptable, with any permanent Israeli control of land beyond its 1967 borders subject to discussion on a one-to-one basis.[13] He further demanded that all six central issues be debated at the conference: Jerusalem, refugees and right of return, borders, settlements, water and security.[14]

          In October 2007, Prime Minister Olmert indicated that he would be willing to give parts of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a broader peace settlement at Annapolis,[18] drawing considerable criticism from right-wing Israeli and foreign Jewish organizations and Christian Zionists.[19][20][21]

          On November 27, 2007, Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, announced that his party would leave the government coalition, thereby ending the coalition’s majority in the Knesset, if Ehud Olmert agreed to divide Jerusalem.

          ‘clearly’ vs ‘indicated’ enough said. it’s not even worth reading the rest of your schpeel

        • Robert Werdine
          August 9, 2011, 6:31 pm

          “robert you are wasting our time. “Elder of Ziyon” is not a source in itself, it is a blog. hostage has every right to question your source. put up or …”

          I agree. He can question whatever he wants. My analysis is based on the transcript, even though I totally agree with EOZ’s take on it as well:

          “When Livni says “I am against law” she is saying she does not want any reference to legal issues, or international law, in the joint statement. Just like the Arab side did not want the three principles of the Quartet.

          That’s it. She is not saying she is against international law, the notes are just a shorthand for her saying she doesn’t want it mentioned in this largely ceremonial statement.

          Al Jazeera is, once again, lying. And they assume that their readers are too stupid to look at the actual paper.”

          Now, one can agree or disagree with what EOZ has to say here (and, for the record, I agree), but what cannot be denied is what is in the transcript itself, of which any common sense reading will indicate the true context of what Livni is saying, what is being discussed between her and Qurei, and what they subsequently agreed to, which is reflected in the text of the JD. The transcript is the true source. It is self-evident and unimpeachable.

          I’m simply not going to quibble over the term “ceremonial.” Use whatever term you want. Formal, say. The point is that nothing of substance was agreed to at the Annapolis conference, and the proceedings were largely ceremonial in nature: setting the agenda for the subsequent talks, getting the parties together, making fine speeches about living in peace, and so forth. That is what happens at “ceremonies.”

          It is not clear what your quotes from wikipedia are supposed to prove.

          “The objectives of the conference were in an attempt to produce a substantive document on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of President George W. Bush’s Roadmap For Peace, with the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.”

          However, if you’d have quoted the paragraph in full:

          “The objectives of the conference were in an attempt to produce a substantive document on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the lines of President George W. Bush’s Roadmap For Peace, with the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state. A draft document was leaked by Haaretz on November 17, 2007, with the final and forthcoming Annapolis Joint Declaration expected to outline the scope of what will eventually be final peace talks.”

          See? That “subtantive document” was the Joint Declaration, and that is what was being discussed between Livni and Qurei.

          Abbas might have wanted to discuss these issues, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have, but everyone, including him, was well aware that the heavy lifting on core issues would take place in the subsequent negotiations, as evidenced by what he told “The People’s Daily” in a Sept. 30, 2007 story (“Abbas, Olmert likely to meet Tuesday: Erekat”):

          “Abbas plans to strike a deal with Israel on the final-status issues, such as the West Bank settlements, Jerusalem, the border of the future Palestinian statehood and the Palestinian refugees. On Friday, Abbas said a final agreement with Israel could be possible in six months after the U.S.-sponsored peace summit is held.”

          “[A]fter the U.S.-sponsored peace summit is held.” This is also underscored by the text of the JD itself, which refers specifically to subsequent negotiations:

          “We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations, and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. For this purpose, a steering committee, led jointly by the head of the delegation of each party, will meet continuously, as agreed. The steering committee will develop a joint work plan and establish and oversee the work of negotiations teams to address all issues, to be headed by one lead representative from each party. The first session of the steering committee will be held on 12 December 2007.

          President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis to follow up the negotiations in order to offer all necessary assistance for their advancement.”

          And is further evidenced by Bush’s statement:

          “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it’s to launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort and to give them the support they need to succeed.”

          Annie, I’m not really sure how much further you and hostage can take this. The facts are what they are, and they are incontrovertable. You can put aside EOZ’s cursory comment; the proof is not there but in the transcript, what is being discussed there, Abbas’ statement to “The People’s Daily” that “a final agreement with Israel could be possible in six months after the U.S.-sponsored peace summit is held” what was eventually agreed to in the JD about the subsequent negotiations, and President Bush’s remark that “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement.”

          All of this makes clear that what was being discussed in the minutes of the meeting (which, btw, is further supported by the Al-Jazeera summary of the minutes: “Summary: Minutes of the 8th meeting in a series of meetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit”). They were not engaging in substantive discussions of the core issues, but what to include in the JD. Livni’s remarks about “law” and “international law” were thus made in the context of those discussions, and not in some bizarre, inexplicable attempt to emphasize that she was “against the law all along,” whatever that means. Neither of you has come even close to disproving or discrediting any of this. The quote of hers was taken out of context, and deliberately so, all to further the usual Israel-as-lawless-criminal thesis so beloved here, at whatever expense to the truth. All the bending, twisting, and prevariacating, and carefully clipped quotes in the world are not going to make her be seen as saying something that she was not saying.

        • Hostage
          August 9, 2011, 8:41 pm

          Hostage you’re going to a lot of bother here to deny that you took Livni’s remarks out of the context in which they were expressed. You did. Deal with it, and move on.

          Robert you are now 3 for 3 and have been noticeably unable to provide a link to Ms. Livni’s denial/response or a published analysis from a reliable news source.

          It’s absurd for you to go on suggesting that a joint statement on the terms of reference for the negotiations are, or were, merely ceremonial. You’re only succeeding in making yourself look uninformed or completely biased – keep up the good work.

          The US recently attempted to get the other members of the Middle East Quartet to endorse some points from Obama’s AIPAC speech in a joint statement about the terms of reference for a fresh round of negotiations. The other members rejected the US proposal because the terms of reference govern the negotiations and are NOT ceremonial. Here’s a summary of the Haaretz reports which say that Netanyahu was trying to obtain recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a precondition to negotiations and that Russia had refused.
          link to middleeastmonitor.org.uk

          Despite the fact that I’m citing the commentary from the accompanying Al Jazeera article, you continue to insist that I’ve somehow taken Livni’s words out of context. I’ve supplied you with a link to a JPost article in which Livni responded to the publication of the Palestine Papers. But she has always remained completely silent about this particular subject. So, its very odd that you are protesting so much, when Ms. Livni never bothered to do that.

        • Hostage
          August 9, 2011, 8:58 pm

          Al Jazeera is, once again, lying.

          No Robert. Al Jazeera was quoting Livni verbatim and you are the one who is doing all of the doubtful analysis. Netanyahu and the Israelis use the agreements on the terms of reference to impose preconditions on any negotiations. Everyone knows that. If you are hoping the readers here aren’t aware of that practice, you are in for a lot of disappointment. Drop the stick and back away from the dead horse.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 10, 2011, 3:10 pm

          Hostage, there is nothing, absolutely nothing in the Joint Declaration agreed to at Annapolis that imposes any preconditions on, or precludes discussion of, anything whatsoever, and you know it.

          Rarely have I seen so much effort poured into so much mendacity.

        • Hostage
          August 10, 2011, 8:56 pm

          Robert your comments, as usual, are content-free bullshit. You can’t cite a mainstream source that agrees with what you’ve said. You’re wasting your time trying to dream-up a defense for a remark that Tzipi Livni would, quite obviously, rather forget.

          Thanks for drawing attention to your biases over and over again. Like I said before, if you were hoping fool someone here, no one was deceived.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 13, 2011, 3:46 pm

          You know, Hostage, the irony of all of this is that I really carry no particular brief for Livni and never did. I have always thought her to be a rather typical, average pol, clever, ambitious, opportunistic, and not terribly appealing. But that is not the issue here. The question here is whether she is really saying what you (and Al-Jazeera and the Guardian) are attributing to her.

          This all began, you’ll recall, when you cited a quote of Tzipi Livni from the Palestine Papers:

          “I was the minister of justice. I am a lawyer … But I am against law – international law in particular. Law in general.”

          Then, attempting to show that this quote infers some supposed contempt for law itself, you then characterized the quote as follows:

          “So the government minister with primary responsibility for the administration of Israel’s law courts was also tasked with conducting its foreign affairs and negotiating a final settlement in accordance with the law. But she was actually against the law all along.”

          After reading the entire exchange and the context in which the discussion from which the quote was cited, I took issue with your misleading attempt to impute some spurious sentiment to Livni (i.e., that she was “against the law all along”), when, in fact, she was discussing something totally different. I quoted excerpts from the discussion, something you failed to do for obvious reasons, and pointed out the proper context of Livni’s remarks, which merely concerned the contents of the Joint Declaration to be read by President Bush at the upcoming Annapolis Summit, and not issues that would be discussed in the subsequent negotiations, which, as Livni stressed, should and would be discussed later. It is also clear that she was attempting to avoid mention of the issues of contention (e.g., references to international law, where both sides have conflicting interpretations) between the two parties in the JD, and save discussion for the core issues—all of them—in the subsequent negotiations. This, btw, is borne out in the text of the agreed-upon JD read by President Bush at Annapolis, which stipulates that the subsequent discussions would include “all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

          In sum, it is clear to anyone who can read that you were attributing an intent to Livni’s remark that is belied by the full transcript of the discussion and what that discussion concerned.

          Now, instead of simply admitting that you were either mistaken, or took Livni’s remark out of context, as any common-sense reading of the transcript makes clear, you decided to double down on your previous charge. You argued that Livni had, in fact, been arguing that she was “against law” in general, that “Livni wasn’t saying she wanted to make a ceremonial joint statement smaller, she was discussing “the agreement” and claimed the introduction of “international law, 1515, 1397, and 194″ was ‘the problem.’”

          And also you added:

          “In fact the Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council on resolution 242 both stipulate that international law is one of the components of the terms of reference that will govern any final agreement. So the inclusion of international law in the TOR is not just ceremonial or empty “language or the nice words etc.” as you suggested.”

          Your argument could thus hardly be clearer: That Livni’s “against law” remark was made in the context of negotiations for a final agreement, that they inferred contempt for all law in general, and were nothing less than an attempt to exclude any mention or inclusion of international law in the negotiations for a final settlement or in one, and that this reflected efforts by Israel to “obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law.”

          This is a brazen, demonstrable falsehood, and is contradicted on three counts: first, that the discussions between Livni, Qurei and co. were not final status negotiations, and merely concerned the contents of the JD, and not the substance of the subsequent negotiations on the core issues, which was to follow the conference, second, that the Annapolis conference (and the JD, where it was read) merely marked the launching of a new set of negotiations, and was not intended to have concluded a final agreement, third, that there is nothing in the agreed-upon JD that imposes any preconditions on, or precludes discussion of, anything whatsoever, and therefore does not reflect efforts by Israel to “obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law.”

          And what is the evidence in support of the first count? It is underscored in several statements made by Livni in the course of the discussions:

          –“Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.

          –“Ok I think that this is a very good idea about all of the issues. I think that when this comes to the core issues [however] this is problematic.

          –Let’s start with all the other issues then go from there. Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.”

          –“I think that [putting down all of this for the non-core issues] is important because this part is more about process. When it comes to the core issues, putting the basic positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians will not help. Therefore let’s start with the others.”

          –“The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.”

          The fact that they were discussing the contents of the JD, and that the core issues would be discussed subsequently is underscored in another excerpt of an exchange between Qurei and Livni:

          AQ: “[Refers to 242] and that no party has the right to acquire territory by force. Egypt you’ve withdrawn from every meter. Syria they are ready and have [basically agreed the borders]. Why are you trying to make the Palestinians pay the price for all of this? Putting the API in this context does that.”

          TL: “Of course we will have our future discussions on all these points”.

          Livni was thus not “negotiating a final settlement” here as you suggested. She was discussing with Qurei and the others the contents of the Joint Declaration, which was to be a mere statement of shared principles and basic goals (“The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this”), and a prelude to subsequent negotiations, where the details would be discussed (“Of course we will have our future discussions on all these points”).

          All of these statements reflect Livni’s obvious attempts to keep the contents of the Joint Declaration as vague and non-specific as possible, and to broadly emphasize the shared goals of the subsequent peace negotiations, and not to tie down either side with specific references and conflicting demands and interpretations that each would make upon the other. The specifics would all be addressed in the subsequent negotiations, not in the JD read at Annapolis. There is nothing in these discussions (nor in the text of the agreed-upon JD which resulted from the discussions) that would or could preclude any future discussion about law, international law, the API, the Road Map, or the myriad of disputed UN resolutions between the two parties. Everything would be on the table. Again, Livni is merely emphasizing that all of that can be addressed later, not in the JD. As DG Abromovich said, “the agreement will be whatever is agreed at the table.”

          You can agree or disagree with the approach they took here, but you cannot deny that is what is being discussed here.

          Here is Livni again:

          “So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to [UN Rsolutions] 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.

          “The problem” that Livni is referencing here are some of the core points of contention between the two parties whose inclusion in the JD, she is arguing, would ill serve the course of subsequent negotiations. Again, they are merely discussing what should and should not be included in the JD, not in the subsequent negotiations following the conference, where “we will have our future discussions on all these points.”

          –“Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.” (“This agreement” is the JD. –R.W.)

          –“Because when we get to the core issues you will start with yours I will start with ours [i.e. positions]. This is our duty to do so, but it will not help us to do so now.”

          –“I think that [putting down all of this for the non-core issues] is important because this part is more about process. When it comes to the core issues, putting the basic positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians will not help.” (“This part” is the JD-R.W.)

          –“Of course we will have our future discussions on all these points”.

          As I said before, the transcript of conversation between the principles here speaks for itself: the issues that were in dispute were not going to be resolved in the JD, but in the subsequent negotiations where they could be discussed between the two parties at length. That this was understood by both parties is reflected in the text of the agreed-upon JD.

          Finally, The Palestinian Papers, in fact, label this meeting “Minutes from 8th Negotiating Team Meeting (In Preparation For Annapolis)” and Al-Jazeera, in fact, summarizes the session as follows:

          “Summary: Minutes of the 8th meeting in a series of meetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit. The parties discuss finishing changes to the preamble, and debate the inclusion of principles from: President Bush’s vision, the Road Map, the Arab Peace Initiative, UN resolutions and International law.”

          “In preparation for Annapolis”

          “[M]eetings about the proposed joint agreement for the Annapolis Summit.”

          Did Al-Jazeera mislabel the contents of this meeting in their summary?

          Hostage, the evidence here supporting the fact that Livni, Qurei and co. were merely discussing the contents of the JD for the upcoming Annapolis conference, and not substantively negotiating a final settlement on the core issues is overwhelming. The facts are there for all to see. They are fixed for posterity. Fixed for accounting. They are unchangeable, immovable, immutable, and incontrovertible. They are what they are. They are the truth.

          Secondly, what is the evidence that the Annapolis conference (for which the JD was prepared) was meant to mark the launching of a new set of negotiations, and not intended to have concluded a final agreement?

          Abbas might have wanted to discuss the core issues at the conference, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have, but everyone, including him, was well aware that the heavy lifting on core issues would take place in the subsequent negotiations, as evidenced by what he told “The People’s Daily” in a Sept. 30, 2007 story (“Abbas, Olmert likely to meet Tuesday: Erekat”):

          “Abbas plans to strike a deal with Israel on the final-status issues, such as the West Bank settlements, Jerusalem, the border of the future Palestinian statehood and the Palestinian refugees. On Friday, Abbas said a final agreement with Israel could be possible in six months after the U.S.-sponsored peace summit is held.”

          “[A]fter the U.S.-sponsored peace summit is held.” But put that aside.
          More than anything else, however, this is also underscored by the text of the agreed-upon JD itself, which refers specifically to subsequent negotiations:

          “We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations, and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. For this purpose, a steering committee, led jointly by the head of the delegation of each party, will meet continuously, as agreed. The steering committee will develop a joint work plan and establish and oversee the work of negotiations teams to address all issues, to be headed by one lead representative from each party. The first session of the steering committee will be held on 12 December 2007.

          President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis to follow up the negotiations in order to offer all necessary assistance for their advancement.”

          And this is further evidenced, finally, by Bush’s clear, unambiguous statement:

          “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement. Rather, it’s to launch negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For the rest of us, our job is to encourage the parties in this effort and to give them the support they need to succeed.”

          Hostage, all of this proves conclusively that the Annapolis conference (for which the JD was prepared) was meant merely to mark the launching of a new set of negotiations, and was not intended to have concluded a final agreement.

          Third, what is the evidence proving that there is nothing in the agreed-upon JD that imposes any preconditions on, or precludes discussion of, anything whatsoever, and does not reflect efforts by Israel to “obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law?”

          This is reflected in nothing less than the agreed-upon Joint Declaration itself, read by President Bush at Annapolis on Nov. 27:

          “We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

          “All outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.” That includes discussion of the API or UN resolutions 1515, 1397, 194, or any discussion of law or international law in the negotiations. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever in the JD that would preclude any discussion of anything, including the aforementioned.

          After reading the JD, Bush also stressed again here the open framework of the subsequent negotiations emphasized in the text:

          “As Prime Minister Olmert recently put it, we will avoid none of the historic questions. We will not run from discussing any of them. As President Abbas has said, I believe that there is an opportunity not only for us, but for the Israelis, too. We have an historic and important opportunity that we must benefit from. It is in that spirit that we concluded — that they concluded this statement I just read.”

          Bush also praised the Arab Peace Initiative:

          “Arab states also have a vital role to play. Relaunching the Arab League initiative and the Arab League support for today’s conference are positive steps. All Arab states should show their strong support for the government of President Abbas and provide needed assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”

          Well, Hostage, that is the evidence indicating that a) the discussions between Livni, Qurei and co. merely concerned the contents of the JD, and not the substance of the subsequent negotiations, b) that the Annapolis conference and the JD, where it was read, marked the launching of a new set of negotiations, and was not intended to have concluded a final agreement, c) that there is nothing in the agreed-upon JD that imposes any preconditions on, or precludes discussion of, anything whatsoever (including the API, and any UN Resolutions) and that this is underscored in the text of the agreed-upon JD read by President Bush at Annapolis, which stipulates that the subsequent discussions would include “all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements” and Bush’s statement that “we will avoid none of the historic questions. We will not run from discussing any of them.”

          So that’s that. The discussions between Livni, Qurei and co. were not final status discussions for a final agreement, but were merely concerned the contents of the JD, and not the substance of the subsequent negotiations.

          The Annapolis conference (and the JD itself, where it was read) merely marked the launching of a new set of negotiations, and was not intended to have concluded a final agreement.

          There is nothing in the agreed-upon JD that imposes any preconditions on, or precludes discussion of, anything whatsoever in the subsequent negotiations between the two parties and therefore does not reflect any effort by Israel to “obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law.”

          That means, in turn, that there is not a shred of evidence to prove that Livni’s “against law” remark was made in the context of negotiations for a final agreement, or that it inferred any contempt for law in general, no evidence that it was an attempt to exclude any mention or inclusion of international law in the negotiations for a final settlement or in one, and that there is no evidence that this reflected any efforts by Israel here to “obfuscate attempts to resolve the conflict in favor of Israel outside the framework of the law.”

          To date, you have not come even close to disproving or discrediting any of this. It is time for you to put up or shut up. If you have evidence to refute or disprove any of this, including whether there is some corroborating evidence that Livni is “against law — international law in particular. Law in general,” please present such evidence forthwith.

          You have also argued that your interpretation is validated by commentary from the Guardian and Al-Jazeera, by the fact that you (and they) quoted Livni verbatim, and that my thrice failure to cite any “commentary” or “analysis” is proof positive of the correctness of your interpretation, and that this is further evidenced by the fact that Livni herself has not addressed the “against law” matter. In fact, this has constituted the substance of your defense of your argument.

          On some level, even you must know how absurdly thin this is. In the first place, to state the obvious, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera are two of the most virulently anti-Israel news organizations, ever, with a long history of bias and hostility, and are thus hardly neutral observers here. But let’s put that aside. Let us say, for instance, that my sole defense of my argument was commentary or analysis on the subject by, say, Jennifer Rubin, and/or Jonathan Tobin, or Alan Derzhowitz. Would you then be forced to concede the correctness of my argument? Would that, in and of itself, validate my argument, and disprove yours? No, it would not, and you know it. You would dismiss any commentary I cited by them out of hand.

          Commentary from either side of the issue thus does not decide the issue, because commentary only reflects the bias of the commentator. I should think that would be obvious. You will notice that I did not cite the EOZ as source in the way that you did the Guardian and Al-Jazeera. Why? Because the proof disputing the misleading quote cited by you is not in his cursory comment (correct though it is), but there in the transcript on Al-Jazeera, what is being discussed there, what was eventually agreed to in the JD about the subsequent negotiations, and President Bush’s remark that “Our purpose here in Annapolis is not to conclude an agreement” among other things. The proof, in short, is not in anyone’s “commentary” but in the statements by the principles themselves in the negotiating session and at the conference, and, of course, in the JD itself.

          Secondly the fact that you quoted Livni “verbatim” is true but irrelevant. You can quote someone verbatim and still quote them out of the context in which they were properly speaking. Don’t you know that?

          Btw, do you happen to know of any “commentary” by Qurei or Erekat that validate your interpretation of Livni’s remarks made that day? Now, that would be some commentary that could decide the issue, but, seeing as both of them denounce and dismiss the Palestine Papers as “lies” and “fabrications,” that might be a futile search.

          As for Livni not addressing the matter herself, since when do prominent politicians have to chase down every silly slander thrown at them? Who would deign to address such an absurdity? Do you really believe that the burden of proof is somehow on Livni to prove that she is not “against law—all law?”

          In conclusion, it is abundantly clear that what was being discussed in the minutes of the meeting: They were not engaging in substantive discussions of the core issues, but what to include in the JD. Livni’s remarks about “law” and “international law” were thus made in the context of those discussions, and not in some bizarre, inexplicable attempt to emphasize that she was “against the law all along,” whatever that means. The quote of hers was taken out of context by you and the others, and deliberately so, all to further the usual Israel-as-lawless-criminal thesis so beloved here, at whatever expense to the truth. All the bending, twisting, evading, prevariacating, and carefully clipped quotes in the world are not going to make her be seen as saying something that she was not saying. It’s just that simple.

        • Hostage
          August 14, 2011, 10:53 am

          Robert Werdine as usual you suffer from a diarrhea of words and a severe constipation of thought.

          Israel has been trying to negotiate a settlement that violates the norms of international law regarding conquest, territorial aggrandizement, population transfer, & etc. longer than some of us have been alive. That fact is reflected in Livni’s words and deeds.

          When I said “Please drop the stick and back away from the dead horse”, I really meant that I was no longer interested in responding to your idiotic unsourced and unsupported ramblings. TTFN!

        • Robert Werdine
          August 15, 2011, 7:17 am

          Thank you for your response.

          While I am disappointed that you did not, after nine posts full of evasion, misattribution, misdirection, and just plain dishonesty, finally make a cogent, coherent argument defending your slander of Livni, I am hardly surprised, as even you are well aware that you never had any such argument to make in the first place. Your “I was no longer interested in responding to your idiotic unsourced and unsupported ramblings” is a sad admission of this fact, just as your oft-repeated demands for “commentary” and “analysis” betray your dishonest refusal to simply consult the primary source itself: the statements by the principles themselves in the negotiating session and at the conference, and, of course, the JD itself. This isn’t surprising since you know as well as I do how completely they disprove your assertions.

          Instead, you took refuge in the “commentary” of the Guardian and Al-Jazeera, as if their scandalously biased reporting were somehow authoritive on the matter. You should have known better.

          You should have known that the Palestine Papers were one big con, and much to do about nothing. Not the documents themselves, which are authentic, but the selective and misleading manner in which they were reported by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian. The whole exclusive simply reeks of the anti-Israel bias, hostility, and dishonesty that has long pervaded both news organizations. Their misrepresentation of Livni’s quote, among the myriad of others, was in their best tradition.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 8:04 am

          Al-Jazeera and the Guardian are respected. No news outlet is going to be perfect.

          Provide some systematic evidence to support your ad hominem.

          It’s not surprising that a sock-puppet racist, pretending to be Native American/Arab-American would spew as much nonsense without citation to filibuster the discussion.

          Hostage’s sources are mainstream and accountable.

          You cite a blog called ‘Elders of Ziyon’.

          And the Palestine Papers were reported on by more mainstream sources other than Al-Jazeera and there happens to be a general consensus about what they revealed – contrary to the popular theme and memes of this conflict espoused by Israel, it is the Palestinians who have no partner for peace.

          At the end of this long exchange, you’ve only been able to slander the mainstream sources (without proof, just your typical Zionist folksy conjecture bullshit) Hostage has provided.

          Looks like Robert the fake Arab/fake Muslim, should maybe try another phony identity with ethnic cred?

          Maybe try a new biography, but don’t attempt to regale us with how you went from Chomsky to a moron like Efraim Karsh. That’s just a bit too unrealistic.

        • Hostage
          August 15, 2011, 11:02 am

          You should have known that the Palestine Papers were one big con

          Robert everyone here knows that your comments and persona are one big con. No one reads your analysis of primary sources, because you’re such an obvious Zionist crackpot. The folks over at Elder of Ziyon might be interested in hearing you run this crap through their echo chamber, but I grew-up around professional Zionist propagandists and don’t need a refresher course on fringe theory 101. As the old saying goes, don’t let your mind wander. It’s way to small to be outside by itself!

        • annie
          August 15, 2011, 11:34 am

          with only so much time in my day i scroll past roberts screeds. who would bother reading all that ad hominem no nothing hasbara crap. if he condensed it into one little paragraph maybe but who would even bother reading all those spamming threadjacking bandwidth stealing posts? he’s lucky phil and adam haven’t banned him. the lengths they go thru providing space for the ‘other side of the argument’ is impressive. too bad team hasbara chooses to waste the graciousness of phil and adam on this bloviating blow hard.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 15, 2011, 6:05 pm

          Well it is certainly not everyday that I find that I am a “sock-puppet racist, pretending to be Native American/Arab-American” and a “bloviating blow hard” who spews “ad hominem no nothing hasbara crap” and “spamming threadjacking bandwidth stealing posts,” whatever that means.

          This must be what Annie refers to as “arguing like an adult.”

          These semi-literate, choking-with-rage tantrums from Hostage’s fan club are a sad, sorry, substitute for their matinee idol’s unsubstantiated slander and disingenuousness.

          BTW Cliff, my last attempt to give a “systematic” 63-paragraph reply to your gallant defense of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists’ human shielding habits in the previous blog post:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          was banned.

        • annie
          August 15, 2011, 6:42 pm

          63-paragraph reply? lol

        • Robert Werdine
          August 15, 2011, 7:55 pm

          “63-paragraph reply? lol”

          Not to worry, Annie, I posted my reply in the comment section of the Foreign Policy article “Seeing Red Along the Blue Line,” by Bilal Y. Saab and Nicholas Blanford, where a similar discussion was taking place.

          link to foreignpolicy.com

          LOL

        • Hostage
          August 15, 2011, 9:19 pm

          These semi-literate, choking-with-rage tantrums from Hostage’s fan club are a sad, sorry, substitute for their matinee idol’s unsubstantiated slander and disingenuousness.

          Hey, you are the semi-literate one here. You keep trying to redefine verbatim quotations from published sources as misattribution, slander, libel, etc. After giving you ten or more opportunities to cite a reliable published source that agrees with your lame reinterpretation of Livni’s remarks, everyone’s long-since lost patience with your overbearing long winded line of B.S. Unlike you Robert, I always cite and quote reliable published sources. That’s a practice you have redefined as disingenuousness. But I can still assure you that no one here has been deceived.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 10:15 pm

          Sigh, I’ve posted my reply like 3 times and the blog keeps screwing it up.

          Link to report cited by LeFavour/Werdine:
          link to terrorism-info.org.il

          [1]the study and its translation were carried out at the Center for Special Studies by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center ‘s staff of experts, headed by Dr. Reuven Erlich. The study was supported by Military Intelligence, the Operations Division of the IDF General Staff, the IDF Spokesperson and the legal experts of the IDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

          From the reports introduction:

          This study analyzes two central concepts of Hezbollah’s warfare, demonstrated during the second Lebanon war (July-August 2006). The first is the broad use of the Lebanese civilian population as a living shield; the second, viewing the Israeli civilian population as the primary target for the enormous rocket arsenal Hezbollah built up over a period of years. Both acts are considered war crimes under international law. They express the basic asymmetry between Israel , committed to moral conduct and international law, and a terrorist organization operating in direct contravention of those laws. That asymmetry is characteristic of the warfare waged against the State of Israel (and the entire international community) by Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations and as such is, by and large, a most recent case study of a situation prevailing in other conflict zones in this twenty first century.

          [...]This study is designed to provide all interested persons with reliable information about Hezbollah’s conduct. Through its reports, and by using its Website to disseminate information, the Center for Special Studies performs a public service for global audiences, including the Arab and Muslim world. We in the Center for Special Studies are dedicated not only to commemorating the fallen of the Israeli intelligence community and to preserving its heritage but no less to harnessing the accumulated capabilities of our veterans to serve the current needs of truth- seeking audiences. Thus, as we look to the past, we make an effort to disseminate information contributing to the current war on terrorism. I sincerely hope that the reader will find the material of interest and be attentive to the wider context within which this unique study should be considered.

          With every good wish,

          Efraim Halevy

          Center for Special Studies – Chairman

          (Former Head of the Israeli Mossad 1998- 2002)

          What kind of a report would describe one of the parties to the hostilities as being committed to moral conduct and international law? And Israel at that? That’s got to be a joke. A sick joke.

          This study was not conducted to discover the truth about the 2006 Lebanon War. It sought to find evidence that would support it’s obviously, predetermined ideological conclusions.

          It is not an valid source. It is a piece of military advocacy.

          Nevertheless, I’ll post commentary by Amnesty International from a November 21st, 2006 report.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 10:30 pm

          Source: link to amnesty.org

          Page 62:

          Israel accuses Hizbullah of storing Katyushas and other missiles and their launchers in civilian areas, specifically homes but also schools and mosques. An Israeli infantry officer told Amnesty International that his platoon found 15 Katyushas – without their launchers – in the lower floor of a two-storey house in the village of ‘Ait al-Sha’b’ in August. Photographic evidence produced by the IDF shows what appears to be a damaged Katyusha-type rocket in the courtyard of a mosque in Marwahin, next to the van with anti-tank missiles referred to earlier. Hizbullah told Amnesty International that it does not store Katyushas in towns and villages, but in woods or other natural areas providing cover.

          Israel published or provided Amnesty International with a few samples of air surveillance footage showing the firing of Katyusha-type rockets and short-range anti-tank missiles from near civilians’ houses. One such incident was recorded on 7 August; the footage showing rockets taking off from between two houses in the village of Sidiqin. However, in most of the other footage, crucial co-ordinates, such as date, time and location, are not provided and the few incidents that are dated, such as the one above, took place long after much of the civilian population had left some of the villages, Other footage shows what appear to be trucks with mounted Katyusha launchers taking refuge inside buildings.

          The Israeli senior commander who briefed Amnesty International in September also said that Hizbullah forces fired rockets from places only 30-40 metres from UNIFEL bases, seeking to avoid Israeli counter-fire and that on occasion Hizbullah fighters had sought refuge in UNIFIL bases.

          UNIFIL reported more than 20 instances of rockets being fired by Hizbullah “from the vicinity” (up to 500m) of UN positions in south Lebanon, as well as a number of cases of Hizbullah small arms and mortar fire from “close to” (up to 100m) UNIFIL positions and several cases of UN positions and vehicles being hit by Hizbullah mortars, small arms fire or rockets. UNIFIL maintains that Hizbullah fighters were never allowed into any of its bases.

          Hizbullah denies using civilian areas to launch Katyushas, stating that such attacks were launched from woods, plantations, riverbeds and other places outside villages, far from populated areas.

          In ‘Ein Ebel and Rmesih, villagers told Amnesty International that on some occasions, mostly at the beginning of the war, Hizbullah fighters did fire rockets from villages, though not from inside or near their homes. They did not know whether the attacks were aimed at Israeli troops near the villages or at Israeli territory. They said that after villagers complained to Hizbullah, such practices generally stopped. In ‘Ein Ebel, a resident who remained in the village throughout the war told Amnesty International that Israeli forces bombarded the village, including the church, at times when there was no Hizbullah presence or activity anywhere in the village.

          It is not clear from the handful of examples made available by the Israeli authorities whether any civilians were present in buildings from which, or close to which, rockets were launched. If civilians were not present, Hizbullah fighters launching rockets in those circumstances would not have violated the prohibition of using “human shields.” However, buildings used as launching bases close to launching areas would have been exposed to possible incidental damage. Again, Israeli forces would still have needed to apply the principles of distinction and proportionality and take the precautions required by international humanitarian law.

          In conclusion, had Hizbullah fighters stored Katyushas or launched them from close proximity to civilians in the hope of deterring Israeli attacks, this would have amounted to the crime of using civilians as “human shields.” The available evidence suggests that in at least some cases Katyushas were stored within villages and fired from civilian areas, but it is not apparent that civilians were present and used as “human shields.” With almost 4,000 rockets fired on Israel and very little undisputed information about where they were actually stored and fired from, the extent of such conduct and its qualification in terms of international humanitarian law remains unclear.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 10:32 pm

          Page 63, bottom:

          Preventing civilians from fleeing?

          Israeli officials alleged that Hizbullah prevented civilians from leaving certain areas
          by blocking roads or even firing over their heads, in order that the civilians would
          shield the fighters. However, the Israeli authorities provided no evidence of this,
          beyond suggesting that Amnesty International investigate one such alleged incident in
          Marwahin. Amnesty International did so and found no evidence to substantiate the
          allegations. Villagers in Marwahin – including those known for political affiliations
          rival to Hizbullah – denied that any such event happened. Indeed, many of the
          villagers fled at the beginning of the hostilities, only for their convoy to be attacked
          by Israeli forces (see Chapter 3).

          None of the people interviewed by Amnesty International in towns and
          villages in south Lebanon and elsewhere in the country alleged that Hizbullah
          prevented or tried to prevent them from leaving their town or village, or reported
          cases where others had been so impeded. Some stated that Hizbullah had warned
          residents of the likelihood of Israeli attacks in their areas. In some cases, notably
          during the 48-hour suspension of air strikes by Israel on 31 July and 1 August,
          Hizbullah activists in certain areas are said to have encouraged or assisted people who
          had been unable to leave their villages in south Lebanon to do so. Civilians resident in
          the Beirut neighbourhood of Dhahiyeh, where Hizbullah had its headquarters as well
          as other offices relating to its media, social, medical and educational activities, were
          also evacuated before Israeli attacks began. Hizbullah reportedly led the evacuation
          efforts.
          In conclusion, the evidence available to Amnesty International does not
          substantiate the allegations that Hizbullah prevented civilians from fleeing, and in
          several cases points to the contrary.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 10:38 pm

          Page 59:

          he protection of civilians on either side of a conflict is a shared responsibility of the
          parties at war. All parties to a conflict are obliged to take precautions to ensure that
          civilians under their control are not harmed by the dangers of military operations.
          They also have an obligation not to use the civilian population as a cover for their
          military activities – a war crime often referred to as using “human shields”.
          The Israeli authorities argue that Hizbullah must be held responsible
          for the harm caused to civilians by Israeli attacks, accusing Hizbullah fighters of
          intentionally using the civilian population as a cover for their military activities by
          having bases in tunnels and other facilities within towns and villages; storing
          Katyusha rockets, their launchers and other weapons in populated areas; firing
          Katyusha rockets from close proximity to civilian houses and often seeking cover in
          such houses after firing; and preventing civilians from fleeing their villages.
          Hizbullah denies any policy of endangering civilians. Hizbullah officials openly
          acknowledge that their fighters and military facilities are present in towns and villages
          in south Lebanon and elsewhere, but argue that the role of their fighters is to defend
          their communities against Israeli attacks. However, it denies that its fighters stored
          Katyusha rockets in populated areas or that they fired them from such areas.
          Hizbullah also denies that it prevented civilians from fleeing.

        • Cliff
          August 15, 2011, 10:41 pm

          Sorry for the crappy format. I had to open the doc. from clipboard. It came out all funky looking.

          This last one is on page 60. I found it most interesting since it flip the tables on the sockpuppets bloviating.

          ‘Military facilities in civilian areas’

          As a political party, a social organization and an armed group, Hizbullah is based
          among the Shi’a Muslim population in Lebanon, particularly in the south. Hizbullah
          does not dispute that it built a network of tunnels and other military hide-outs in the
          vicinity of and inside towns and villages in south Lebanon, and used them to ambush
          Israeli troops once they entered Lebanon.112 Hizbullah points out that Israeli forces
          invaded Lebanese territory, moving with tanks and troops into villages in south
          Lebanon, occupying civilian homes and launching attacks from these homes. It
          maintains that the armed confrontations that took place in or near certain villages were
          aimed at resisting Israeli ground attacks, and that its fighters were themselves from
          these villages.
          In the course of its field research, Amnesty International found remains of
          short-range weapons, such as PK-type machine guns and anti-tank missiles, in the
          rubble of two buildings that had been destroyed by Israeli forces, in an uninhabited
          house on the edge of Marwahin and in a building on the outskirts of Bint Jbeil known
          to local residents as belonging to Hizbullah. In Marwahin, villagers confirmed to
          Amnesty International that a van parked next to a mosque – and seen in footage
          provided by the Israeli army to contain anti-tank missiles – had been used by
          Hizbullah during the conflict. In the village of Rmeish, Amnesty International
          delegates were shown two seemingly unused launchers for anti-tank missiles, which
          villagers said had been left by Hizbullah fighters near an unfinished building on a hill
          on the outskirts of the village.
          As confirmed by Israeli infantry soldiers interviewed by Amnesty
          International, both Israeli troops and Hizbullah combatants fought each other with
          similar tactics, often in house-to-house fighting in villages that were largely
          abandoned by civilians. Amnesty International found evidence of the presence of
          Israeli troops in homes in several villages, including ‘Aitaroun, ‘Ait al-Sha’b, ‘Ainata
          and Mheibib. Food wrappers and other items with Hebrew writing, as well as large
          numbers of spent cartridges and used rocket launchers with Hebrew markings, littered
          such houses. Israeli soldiers had also vandalized these houses, including with insulting
          graffiti.
          The close proximity of the military to civilian areas is also not unusual in
          Israel. According to reports, military installations are located in Kiryat Shimona and
          Metulla, and military border posts are near or within a number of other northern
          Israeli towns and villages. During the war there were more Israeli military positions
          and activities close to and within civilian areas in north Israel than usual._The Israeli
          army is reported to have installed bases near Arab towns and villages, including
          Fassuta, ‘Arab al-‘Aramshe and Tarshiha – in this last village three residents were killed by a Hizbullah rocket attack. The Israeli army also reportedly carried out
          training exercises inside Israeli Arab villages because their landscape resembled that
          of villages in south Lebanon.113
          Following the killing of 12 Israeli soldiers “outside the entrance” to the
          kibbutz of Kfar Giladi, where their battalion had been stationed for a week, it was
          reported that “during the war hundreds of soldiers were on the kibbutz, including a
          medical company, special units and artillery troops”.114 A number of other northern
          towns and villages with large Arab populations reportedly have munitions factories
          near to them.115 Finally, while Hizbullah’s headquarters are indeed in an area of Beirut
          that was heavily bombed by Israeli forces, Israel’s Ministry of Defense is itself
          located in the heart of Tel Aviv.
          While the presence of Hizbullah’s fighters and short-range weapons within
          civilian areas is not contested, this in itself is not conclusive evidence of intent to use
          civilians as “human shields”, any more than the presence of Israeli soldiers in a
          kibbutz is in itself evidence of the same war crime. Such conduct may, however,
          amount to a violation of the obligation of each party to the conflict to take the
          necessary precautions to protect civilians under its control from the dangers of
          military operations “to the maximum extent feasible”, and in particular “avoiding
          locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.
          In any case, by placing combatants and a variety of weapons within towns and
          villages, Hizbullah and Israel remain responsible for rendering such locations lawful
          targets and therefore exposing civilians who may have been present to risk. Israeli
          forces and Hizbullah fighters, however, were obliged at all times to apply the
          principle of distinction and proportionality, and take the precautions required by
          international humanitarian law, when launching attacks.

        • Robert Werdine
          August 20, 2011, 4:07 pm

          Cliff,

          My apologies for the delay in my response.

          Said you:

          “This study was not conducted to discover the truth about the 2006 Lebanon War. It sought to find evidence that would support it’s obviously, predetermined ideological conclusions. It is not a valid source. It is a piece of military advocacy.”

          That’s not gonna fly, Cliff. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Report was written specifically to counter the findings of HRW and Amnesty International, which exonerated Hezbollah of human shielding. The report is factual, not polemical, and is replete with video, aerial and close-up ground photographs buttressed by declassified IDF intelligence and after action reports and corroborated by Hezbollah prisoner testimony. The Report sources its evidence according to the following:

          a. Footage photographed by the Israeli Air Force during the war.

          b. Footage and still shots photographed by the IDF Spokesman and IDF ground forces.

          c. Television footage of public statements made by Hassan Nasrallah as well as Hezbollah announcements.

          d. Testimonies of interrogated Hezbollah detainees.

          e. Locating Hezbollah headquarters, bases, offices, weapons and installations in aerial photographs.

          f. Hezbollah documents captured by the IDF during the war.

          g. The IDF radar location of the sources of Hezbollah rocket fire from south Lebanon .

          h. Data from the IDF Operational Division, the Israeli Ministry for Environmental Protection, the Israeli Police Department and the National Insurance Institution for losses and damages in Israel caused by rocket fire.

          i. Preliminary investigations of IDF forces relating to the war.

          If you are going to discredit the findings of the ITIC Report, you’re going to have to do better than it being “not a valid source” and “a piece of military advocacy” with its “predetermined ideological conclusions.” You’re going to have to refute or disprove the authenticity of their evidence, not lazily impugn their motives.

          Amnesty International has stated that “[i]n the overwhelming majority of destroyed or damaged buildings it examined, Amnesty International found no evidence to indicate that the buildings were being used by Hezbollah fighters as hide-outs or to store weapons” and “[T]he extent of [Hezbollah’s use of human shields] and its qualification in terms of international humanitarian law remains unclear.”

          The ITIC Report produces an array of evidence that belie those claims.

          AI alleges that the victims of Israeli “bombardment were predominantly civilians.”

          According to the IDF sourced report:

          “The villages where the fighting took place and in which Hezbollah’s infrastructures were attacked were almost deserted. As a result, the number of civilian casualties in south Lebanon was relatively low. The number of Hezbollah operatives killed during the war is estimated by the IDF Military Intelligence at some 650; in addition, over 800 operatives were injured. Four hundred and fifty of the killed operatives can be identified with certainty. The Military Intelligence has partial information about an additional 100 fatalities. Over 80% of the fatalities belonged to the Nasr unit (deployed south of the Litani River), most of them residents of Shi’ite villages in south Lebanon.

          According to information issued by the Lebanese government and media, 1084 civilians and 40 members of the military and the gendarmerie were killed in the war, and at least 3700 people were injured. The Lebanese announcements of the number of killed made no distinction between civilians and Hezbollah operatives. Therefore, a significant number of the civilian deaths and injuries as they appear in Lebanese government reports and media are Hezbollah operatives rather than innocent civilians. Hezbollah, true to its policy, played down the number of its casualties so as not to damage the morale of its operatives.”

          (In a footnote: “Ahmed Mali, a member of Hezbollah’s Political Bureau, noted (August 17) that no more than 100 of the organization’s operatives were killed. However, the Hezbollah’s Shahid Institution stated (September 16) that there were 200 fatalities in the organization. The actual numbers, as previously mentioned, are much higher.”)

          Given the intensity of the ground fighting south of the Litani, the notion that there was only 40-200 military fatalities was preposterous on its face. Given the mass evacuation of citizenry from the area, it is much more plausible that about 650 of the 1084 were military operatives.

          Now take, for example, the fighting in Bint J’Bail. AI said that “The centre of the city, where there had been a market and busy commercial streets leading from it, was devastated. . . The Israeli army seemed to have used every type of munition in its arsenal” and that “Israeli artillery bombardments in Bint Jbeil are considered “indiscriminate.”

          By reading the AI report, you would think the IDF was attacking a defenseless Disneyland at midsummer. Bint J’Bail was the chief site of Hezbollah rocket launching and artillery, and the site of one of the bitterest exchanges of the war. The IDF found a week’s worth of arms ammo, and equipment stored in the city’s civilian residential buildings, about 60 regular operatives in the village, including about 15 logistics operatives responsible for the town’s storehouses. Said the Report: “The actual number of operatives who fought in the Bint Jbeil-Einata region during the second Lebanon war is between 100-150, including about 40 Special Force operatives.”

          The Report further said:

          “It should be noted that Hezbollah waged fierce fighting from inside civilian houses, where the organization’s operative units were placed. The organization’s operatives used gunfire and anti-tank fire against IDF soldiers from inside civilian houses. On more than one occasion they gained an operative advantage against IDF forces that found themselves inside a “killing zone” (while moving between Hezbollah controlled houses or while remaining in buildings identified and charges explosive placed had Hezbollah organization). There were booby traps in civilian houses where it assumed the IDF would operate. Dozens of Hezbollah operatives were killed during the fighting—a relatively high number considering the limited space.”

          There was thus a battle between two militaries within a major military target, not an indiscriminate slaughter and bombardment of a defenseless civilian village. Now, what is the evidence supporting this version of events?

          –IDF radar imaging evidence which found that 87 rockets were fired from within village houses, 109 from within a 200 meter radius of the village, and 136 within a 500 meter radius of the village.

          –Arial photography identifying 20 bases and 5 weapons storehouses inside the village, as well as photography showing Hezbollah operatives in Bint Jbeil escaping to a mosque after an encounter with an IDF force (fire was opened from the mosque roof towards the IDF force) and anti-tank fire from a civilian house.

          –Within Bint J’Bail, the IDF found and photographed small arms, magazines, guns, binoculars, vests, Russian-made Konkurs antitank missiles found in the storehouse of one of the town’s houses, a camera for intelligence collection, RPG-7 launchers, US-made TOW missiles in original container, a camera for intelligence collection, and communications devices, including a radio frequency scanner.

          This is corroborated by a news report from Sonia Verma”s 08/06/2006 Canadian National Post article , “Hezbollah’s Deadly Hold on the Heartland”:

          “We’ve been preparing ourselves for this fight for the last five years. We can fight this for much longer,” said Abu Ismail, a local Hezbollah leader near the village of Bint Jbeil who uses a nom de guerre, like most of his fellow fighters. Residents of the cluster of villages closest to the Israeli border, where Hezbollah’s most loyal supporters helped stow the weapons away.

          But as the conflict continues, there is an undercurrent of anger among some residents.

          “Hezbollah are using [us] as human shields,” said Rima Khouri, gesturing overhead as Israeli warplanes sliced through the sky.

          During a pitched battle in his village of Bint Jbeil last Thursday, the 48-year-old dentist watched from his kitchen window as Hezbollah fighters dragged a rocket launcher across the torn street in front of his house.

          A few minutes later, he heard four successive blasts. Kareem barely managed to cover his four-year-old son’s ears before the rockets were fired. His own ears are still ringing.

          “Five minutes after they fired the rockets, the Israelis started bombing,” he recalled from the safety of a shelter in Beirut.

          “They are making us magnets for the Israelis,” he said.

          In converting Bint J’Bail, a village of some 30,000 civilian inhabitants, into a military stronghold, Hezbollah left no tenet of the humanitarian legal principle of distinction unviolated. All of this merely highlights AI’s cynical and disingenuous whitewashing of Hezbollah’s blatant, documented, and thoroughly corroborated war crimes. It makes clear that Hezbollah was using the village of Bint J’Bail as a major concentration of military bases, arms, ammo, and equipment within its civilian infrastructure, and as its most prominent staging area for launching rockets against Israeli civilians, not surprising considering its proximity to the Israeli border. The IDF did not call Bint J’Bail Hezbollah’s “terror capital” for nothing.

          And keep in mind Cliff, this is just Bint J’Bail. In captured documents from Hezbollah, the IDF found evidence of Hezbollah storehouses of explosives in the villages of Kafr Kila and Dibbin in the eastern sector of south Lebanon, a Hezbollah battle plan for the town of Deir Mimess in the eastern sector of south Lebanon, two apartments and two stores rented in the village of Majdal Silm by an operative belonging to the Hezbollah logistics unit, a purchase of services from businesses in south Lebanon by the Hezbollah logistics unit, and range cards for a number of upgraded Grad rocket ( 122 mm ) positions containing a list of targets and ranges in Israel , most of them civilian towns and cities. (See Part Four: Appendix 1, in the ITIC Report)

          In the visual appendices of Appendix 2 (Part Four), the Report listed examples of footage photographed by the IDF and by television channels documenting Hezbollah fire and operational activities carried out from within population centers, testimonies of three Hezbollah detainees regarding the organization’s activity within population centers, a selection of public statements made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and announcements appearing in the Hezbollah-controlled media concerning rocket fire targeting population centers in Israel, examples of locating rocket launchers near residential buildings found by interpreting aerial photographs, and missile launching sites within villages and in village outskirts south of the Litani River according to IDF radar tracking.

          Among the other findings were Hezbollah weapons storage rooms on the ground floor of a building with civilian shops in Sultaniyeh village, a rocket launcher about 20 feet from a home in the village of Abassi, a van filled with missiles parked next to a mosque, an anti-aircraft unit next to private homes, and close-up of the mobile anti-aircraft unit, a Kornet missile launcher in a courtyard, Hezbollah infrastructure incorporated into the village of Maroun A-Ras, a bunker used by Hezbollah terrorists below a home, a Hezbollah structure built in the midst of a populated area and up against a mosque and cemetery, a weapons cache found next to a private home, an arms warehouse in Qana built up against a mosque, missiles found in a Hezbollah weapons cache, anti-tank missiles in a storage room attached to a private home, anti-tank missiles found in a car in Marwahin, a Katyusha missile launched from a residential high-rise building, a survey of the ranges of the various missiles remaining in Hezbollah’s possession, a map noting the number of missiles fired from each location in Lebanon, translated target-sheets with trajectories targeting Israeli cities and communities found at launch-sites, shrapnel from missiles fired at northern Israeli towns and cities, a high-powered camera and other surveillance equipment found in use inside a Lebanese living room, a listening station located in a living room of a private home, an extensive observation center in a residential building, and a Hezbollah frequency scanner found in a home used as a base for surveillance of IDF forces.

          Photos that were smuggled out of Lebanon on July 17, 2006 by a Melbourne journalist published in a story in the Sunday Herald Sun on July 30, 2006 show Hezbollah terrorists having taken up a position in the Christian neighborhood of Wadi Shahrour, east of Beirut, on a truck mounted with a Russian ZSU-23X2 anti-aircraft cannon. The militants/terrorists were dressed in civilian clothing so they could quickly disappear among the local population.

          There are other photos showing Hezbollah operatives having stationed a truck carrying ten long-range Iranian Zelzal missiles in Wadi Shahrour in order to launch missiles from there against Israeli cities. The truck carrying the missiles was targeted by the Israeli Air Force before they could be launched. Until the Hezbollah terrorists arrived with the missiles, this residential area of Beirut had not been touched by the IAF.

          According to a July 25, 2006 AP report, quoting UN Humanitarian chief Jan Egeland (who is, BTW, hardly an admirer of Israel)

          “Consistently, from the Hizbullah heartland, my message was that Hizbullah must stop this cowardly blending … among women and children,” he said. “I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don’t think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men.”

          According to a Nov 30, 2010-CBS/AP report drawn from the Wikileaks cache:

          “Iranian Red Crescent ambulances were used to smuggle weapons to Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group during its 2006 war with Israel, according to newly leaked U.S. diplomatic memos. The memos say the “IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments.” According to one of the documents, a person whose name was not published “had seen missiles in the planes destined for Lebanon when delivering medical supplies to the plane.” The plane was allegedly “half full” prior to the arrival of any medical supplies, according to the memo.”

          AI’s whitewashing aside, there is thus abundant evidence, testimony, and extensive video and photographic evidence attesting to Hezbollah’s positioning of rocket launchers and firing rockets from residential areas both inside and outside of the ground combat zone, and of Hezbollah’s positioning of military infrastructure in homes, cellars, mosques, and heavily populated residential areas, thus rendering them vulnerable to air assault—and thus violating one of the principal tenets of distinction, in direct contravention of international humanitarian law (“The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: …(b) Avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” — Geneva Convention (Protocol 1), Article 58)

        • Cliff
          August 22, 2011, 9:18 am

          You literally just repeated yourself without addressing AI’s conclusions.

          So I’ll do the same:

          As a political party, a social organization and an armed group, Hizbullah is based
          among the Shi’a Muslim population in Lebanon, particularly in the south. Hizbullah
          does not dispute that it built a network of tunnels and other military hide-outs in the
          vicinity of and inside towns and villages in south Lebanon, and used them to ambush
          Israeli troops once they entered Lebanon.112 Hizbullah points out that Israeli forces
          invaded Lebanese territory, moving with tanks and troops into villages in south
          Lebanon, occupying civilian homes and launching attacks from these homes. It
          maintains that the armed confrontations that took place in or near certain villages were
          aimed at resisting Israeli ground attacks, and that its fighters were themselves from
          these villages.
          In the course of its field research, Amnesty International found remains of
          short-range weapons, such as PK-type machine guns and anti-tank missiles, in the
          rubble of two buildings that had been destroyed by Israeli forces, in an uninhabited
          house on the edge of Marwahin and in a building on the outskirts of Bint Jbeil known
          to local residents as belonging to Hizbullah. In Marwahin, villagers confirmed to
          Amnesty International that a van parked next to a mosque – and seen in footage
          provided by the Israeli army to contain anti-tank missiles – had been used by
          Hizbullah during the conflict. In the village of Rmeish, Amnesty International
          delegates were shown two seemingly unused launchers for anti-tank missiles, which
          villagers said had been left by Hizbullah fighters near an unfinished building on a hill
          on the outskirts of the village.
          As confirmed by Israeli infantry soldiers interviewed by Amnesty
          International, both Israeli troops and Hizbullah combatants fought each other with
          similar tactics, often in house-to-house fighting in villages that were largely
          abandoned by civilians. Amnesty International found evidence of the presence of
          Israeli troops in homes in several villages, including ‘Aitaroun, ‘Ait al-Sha’b, ‘Ainata
          and Mheibib. Food wrappers and other items with Hebrew writing, as well as large
          numbers of spent cartridges and used rocket launchers with Hebrew markings, littered
          such houses. Israeli soldiers had also vandalized these houses, including with insulting
          graffiti.
          The close proximity of the military to civilian areas is also not unusual in
          Israel. According to reports, military installations are located in Kiryat Shimona and
          Metulla, and military border posts are near or within a number of other northern
          Israeli towns and villages. During the war there were more Israeli military positions
          and activities close to and within civilian areas in north Israel than usual._The Israeli
          army is reported to have installed bases near Arab towns and villages, including
          Fassuta, ‘Arab al-‘Aramshe and Tarshiha – in this last village three residents were killed by a Hizbullah rocket attack. The Israeli army also reportedly carried out
          training exercises inside Israeli Arab villages because their landscape resembled that
          of villages in south Lebanon.113
          Following the killing of 12 Israeli soldiers “outside the entrance” to the
          kibbutz of Kfar Giladi, where their battalion had been stationed for a week, it was
          reported that “during the war hundreds of soldiers were on the kibbutz, including a
          medical company, special units and artillery troops”.114 A number of other northern
          towns and villages with large Arab populations reportedly have munitions factories
          near to them.115 Finally, while Hizbullah’s headquarters are indeed in an area of Beirut
          that was heavily bombed by Israeli forces, Israel’s Ministry of Defense is itself
          located in the heart of Tel Aviv.
          While the presence of Hizbullah’s fighters and short-range weapons within
          civilian areas is not contested, this in itself is not conclusive evidence of intent to use
          civilians as “human shields”, any more than the presence of Israeli soldiers in a
          kibbutz is in itself evidence of the same war crime. Such conduct may, however,
          amount to a violation of the obligation of each party to the conflict to take the
          necessary precautions to protect civilians under its control from the dangers of
          military operations “to the maximum extent feasible”, and in particular “avoiding
          locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.
          In any case, by placing combatants and a variety of weapons within towns and
          villages, Hizbullah and Israel remain responsible for rendering such locations lawful
          targets and therefore exposing civilians who may have been present to risk. Israeli
          forces and Hizbullah fighters, however, were obliged at all times to apply the
          principle of distinction and proportionality, and take the precautions required by
          international humanitarian law, when launching attacks.

          Preventing civilians from fleeing?

          Israeli officials alleged that Hizbullah prevented civilians from leaving certain areas
          by blocking roads or even firing over their heads, in order that the civilians would
          shield the fighters. However, the Israeli authorities provided no evidence of this,
          beyond suggesting that Amnesty International investigate one such alleged incident in
          Marwahin. Amnesty International did so and found no evidence to substantiate the
          allegations. Villagers in Marwahin – including those known for political affiliations
          rival to Hizbullah – denied that any such event happened. Indeed, many of the
          villagers fled at the beginning of the hostilities, only for their convoy to be attacked
          by Israeli forces (see Chapter 3).

          None of the people interviewed by Amnesty International in towns and
          villages in south Lebanon and elsewhere in the country alleged that Hizbullah
          prevented or tried to prevent them from leaving their town or village, or reported
          cases where others had been so impeded. Some stated that Hizbullah had warned
          residents of the likelihood of Israeli attacks in their areas. In some cases, notably
          during the 48-hour suspension of air strikes by Israel on 31 July and 1 August,
          Hizbullah activists in certain areas are said to have encouraged or assisted people who
          had been unable to leave their villages in south Lebanon to do so. Civilians resident in
          the Beirut neighbourhood of Dhahiyeh, where Hizbullah had its headquarters as well
          as other offices relating to its media, social, medical and educational activities, were
          also evacuated before Israeli attacks began. Hizbullah reportedly led the evacuation
          efforts.
          In conclusion, the evidence available to Amnesty International does not
          substantiate the allegations that Hizbullah prevented civilians from fleeing, and in
          several cases points to the contrary.

  5. thetumta
    August 3, 2011, 11:08 pm

    Home run, maybe a grand slam! Even my favorite KKK friends from my youth will get this one. They have all grown up and moved on.
    Hej!

  6. Cliff
    August 22, 2011, 9:22 am

    Israel accuses Hizbullah of storing Katyushas and other missiles and their launchers in civilian areas, specifically homes but also schools and mosques. An Israeli infantry officer told Amnesty International that his platoon found 15 Katyushas – without their launchers – in the lower floor of a two-storey house in the village of ‘Ait al-Sha’b’ in August. Photographic evidence produced by the IDF shows what appears to be a damaged Katyusha-type rocket in the courtyard of a mosque in Marwahin, next to the van with anti-tank missiles referred to earlier. Hizbullah told Amnesty International that it does not store Katyushas in towns and villages, but in woods or other natural areas providing cover.

    Israel published or provided Amnesty International with a few samples of air surveillance footage showing the firing of Katyusha-type rockets and short-range anti-tank missiles from near civilians’ houses. One such incident was recorded on 7 August; the footage showing rockets taking off from between two houses in the village of Sidiqin. However, in most of the other footage, crucial co-ordinates, such as date, time and location, are not provided and the few incidents that are dated, such as the one above, took place long after much of the civilian population had left some of the villages. Other footage shows what appear to be trucks with mounted Katyusha launchers taking refuge inside buildings.

    The Israeli senior commander who briefed Amnesty International in September also said that Hizbullah forces fired rockets from places only 30-40 metres from UNIFEL bases, seeking to avoid Israeli counter-fire and that on occasion Hizbullah fighters had sought refuge in UNIFIL bases.

    UNIFIL reported more than 20 instances of rockets being fired by Hizbullah “from the vicinity” (up to 500m) of UN positions in south Lebanon, as well as a number of cases of Hizbullah small arms and mortar fire from “close to” (up to 100m) UNIFIL positions and several cases of UN positions and vehicles being hit by Hizbullah mortars, small arms fire or rockets. UNIFIL maintains that Hizbullah fighters were never allowed into any of its bases.

    Hizbullah denies using civilian areas to launch Katyushas, stating that such attacks were launched from woods, plantations, riverbeds and other places outside villages, far from populated areas.

    In ‘Ein Ebel and Rmesih, villagers told Amnesty International that on some occasions, mostly at the beginning of the war, Hizbullah fighters did fire rockets from villages, though not from inside or near their homes. They did not know whether the attacks were aimed at Israeli troops near the villages or at Israeli territory. They said that after villagers complained to Hizbullah, such practices generally stopped. In ‘Ein Ebel, a resident who remained in the village throughout the war told Amnesty International that Israeli forces bombarded the village, including the church, at times when there was no Hizbullah presence or activity anywhere in the village.

    It is not clear from the handful of examples made available by the Israeli authorities whether any civilians were present in buildings from which, or close to which, rockets were launched. If civilians were not present, Hizbullah fighters launching rockets in those circumstances would not have violated the prohibition of using “human shields.” However, buildings used as launching bases close to launching areas would have been exposed to possible incidental damage. Again, Israeli forces would still have needed to apply the principles of distinction and proportionality and take the precautions required by international humanitarian law.

    In conclusion, had Hizbullah fighters stored Katyushas or launched them from close proximity to civilians in the hope of deterring Israeli attacks, this would have amounted to the crime of using civilians as “human shields.” The available evidence suggests that in at least some cases Katyushas were stored within villages and fired from civilian areas, but it is not apparent that civilians were present and used as “human shields.” With almost 4,000 rockets fired on Israel and very little undisputed information about where they were actually stored and fired from, the extent of such conduct and its qualification in terms of international humanitarian law remains unclear.

    • Chaos4700
      August 22, 2011, 9:31 am

      On the news of parallel history, wasn’t that the rationale for Nazis invading, occupying and stripping synagogues wherever they set foot?

    • Cliff
      August 22, 2011, 9:33 am

      From The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy, by Stephen Biddle and Jefferey A. Friedman, Strategic Studies Institute, Funded by the US Army War College External Research Associates Program.

      Intro of sorts – Use of concealment; Conventional armies versus Guerrilla forces:

      A distinguishing feature of post-1914 conventional warfare has been the “empty battlefield” that resulted from the widespread adoption of cover and concealment in modern high intensity combat; soldiers in such wars commonly develop an instinctive suspicion of conditions that “seem too quiet” precisely because conventional defenders are commonly invisible to attackers much of the time. Of course, there are differences in the way conventional armies and guerrilla forces obtain the needed concealment—although both use the natural complexity of the terrain to conceal themselves (indeed guerrillas classically exploit mountains, jungles, or other unusually complex terrain for this purpose), guerrillas also typically try to conceal themselves via intermingling with an indistinguishable civilian population.

      Classical guerrilla tactics assume either that the government will be loathe to harm apparently innocent civilians, or that the government will suffer politically from doing so. Hence many guerrillas wear civilian clothing and live, train, and fight among civilian populations as a means of rendering themselves as difficult as possible to distinguish from those civilians.

      Conventional armies, by contrast, wear distinguishing uniforms, occupy distinct bases, and often fight in rural areas away from civilian population centers. But even here, the difference is often less clear than it seems. Urban warfare has long been a major feature of even conventional warfare (Stalingrad, Berlin, Caen, and Aachen were among the many cities destroyed by ground combat in World War II); villages and other built-up areas are traditionally exploited as favorable defensive ground in conventional warfare precisely because of the superior concealment and cover they offer; civilians are often killed in greater number than uniformed soldiers in conventional combat because even the use of uniforms does not always enable combatants to distinguish or discriminate from a distance or in the heat of battle; and all of this is becoming increasingly characteristic of conventional warfare as cities grow and economies urbanize around the world.

      Hezbollah is often described as having used civilians as shields in 2006, and, in fact, they made extensive use of civilian homes as direct fire combat positions and to conceal launchers for rocket fire into Israel. Yet the villages Hezbollah used to anchor its defensive system in southern Lebanon were largely evacuated by the time Israeli ground forces crossed the border on July 18. As a result, the key battlefields in the land campaign south of the Litani River were mostly devoid of civilians, and IDF participants consistently report little or no meaningful intermingling of Hezbollah fighters and noncombatants. Nor is there any systematic reporting of Hezbollah using civilians in the combat zone as shields.

      The fighting in southern Lebanon was chiefly urban, in the built-up areas of the small to medium-size villages and towns typical of the region. But it was not significantly intermingled with a civilian population that had fled by the time the ground fighting began.

      Hezbollah made very effective use of local cover and concealment (see below), but this was obtained almost entirely from the terrain—both natural and man-made.

      From We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War, by Matt M. Mathews – The US Army Combined Arms Center; Combat Studies Institute Press.

      Although the IDF defeated the PLO, it still faced a large Lebanese population who were not at all happy with the Israeli occupation. Many who had initially greeted the IDF as liberators now turned against their Israeli occupiers. Of all Israel’s enemies, none proved more problematic than the Shiite faction Hezbollah. Created in response to Israel’s continued occupation of Lebanon, this militia force was trained, armed, and equipped by Iran and Syria.

      [...]The next major clash between Hezbollah and Israel came in 1996. When Hezbollah rockets wounded 38 civilians in northern Israel, the IDF unleashed Operation GRAPES OF WRATH. Once again, the IDF generally resorted to standoff-based precision firepower or what Amir Kulick called a “fire-intense effort.” The new IDF campaign targeted not only Hezbollah but also civilian infrastructure targets and civilian population centers in southern Lebanon. Israel expected to cause a mass exodus of civilians from southern Lebanon, forcing the Lebanese and Syrian governments to take action against Hezbollah. Clearly, the operation was designed to force the hand of the Lebanese and Syrian governments and not to destroy Hezbollah’s military capabilities. Not surprisingly, Operation GRAPES OF WRATH failed miserably and served only to further alienate scores of Lebanese people and produce widespread international scorn.

      Werdine/LeFavour the fake Arab-Muslim cites an IDF report, that apparently ignores the ‘consistent’ refutation of the ‘human shield’ lie, by IDF soldiers themselves!

      I’ll trust the US Army War College report over the IDF report, meant to absolve Israel.

      • Robert Werdine
        August 25, 2011, 4:15 pm

        Cliff,

        You have simply dismissed the IDF report as biased. Big deal. You have not refuted its evidence. And neither does Amnesty International.

        The US Army WC study is largely study of tactics and ground operations, mostly concerning the ground combat south of the Litani river. The type of human shielding referenced in the study only addresses the practice of deliberately coercing civilians to remain in combat areas, which even the IDF alleged only occurred in two instances, and which the WC study notes the exception of Bint J’Bail in footnote # 91. What is unaddressed by the study (excellent though it is), is the abundant evidence of Hezbollah’s positioning of military infrastructure outside the ground combat zone in homes, cellars, mosques, and heavily populated residential areas, thus rendering them vulnerable to air assault. All of this constitutes human shielding, and violates the principle of distinction. Nothing in the WC study disputes any of this, or contests the ITIC findings on Bint J’Bail.

        Questions of proportionality, whether the use of force in an engagement was excessive or not, and whether civilian deaths and damage to infrastructure was avoidable or not, hinge critically on matters of context. Data and testimony from soldiers and commanders involved in the engagement, and how and why certain battlefield decisions and actions were taken, are crucial to the rendering of judgment on matters of the use of excessive force and negligence, not to mention the questions of intentionality needed to determine a war crime.

        You will look in vain through the AI report to find any mention, discussion or analysis of Hezbollah combat positions, its methods of logistics and communication, and defensive concealment. AI, like the Goldstone mission, simply combines notice of physical destruction and oral testimony of Lebanese civilians, who, under the watchful eye of Hezbollah, attested to Israel’s brutality and Hezbollah’s innocence, and who could count on a definite response from Hezbollah for saying differently. Then comes AI’s conclusion: the Hezbollah-suborned testimony and the destruction speak for themselves, and therefore Israel has used disproportionate force and violated the principle of distinction, QED.

        What possible basis has this approach in the laws of war? None whatsoever. Since when does physical destruction from a war zone constitute evidence of intent? The ICRC commentary informs us that if combat between armed forces occurs in a town which is defended house by house, it is “inevitable that every house will become a legitimate military target.”

        When AI accused Israel of violating the principles of proportionality and distinction in Bint J’Bail, it overlooked the fact that when combatants hide in civilian houses, the house becomes a legitimate target, and if there are civilians in or near the house, the combatant knowingly positioning himself there bears moral and legal culpability for endangering the civilians. The same is true for combatants who store and position military hardware such as rocket launchers, AA guns, mortars, and other assorted armaments in residential areas. All violate the principle of distinction, and Hezbollah, not Israel, is the guilty party here.

        Here, again, is the unrefuted evidence on Hezbollah’s conversion of Bint J’Bail into a military stronghold:

        –IDF radar imaging evidence which found that 87 rockets were fired from within village houses, 109 from within a 200 meter radius of the village, and 136 within a 500 meter radius of the village.

        –Arial photography identifying 20 bases and 5 weapons storehouses inside the village, as well as photography showing Hezbollah operatives in Bint Jbeil escaping to a mosque after an encounter with an IDF force (fire was opened from the mosque roof towards the IDF force) and anti-tank fire from a civilian house.

        –Within Bint J’Bail, the IDF found and photographed small arms, magazines, guns, binoculars, vests, Russian-made Konkurs antitank missiles found in the storehouse of one of the town’s houses, a camera for intelligence collection, RPG-7 launchers, US-made TOW missiles in original container, a camera for intelligence collection, and communications devices, including a radio frequency scanner.

        The evidence in the form of press reports (Canada Post) and from documented evidence replete with video, aerial and close-up ground photographs buttressed by declassified IDF intelligence and after action reports and corroborated by Hezbollah prisoner testimony all makes clear that Hezbollah was using the village of Bint J’Bail as a major concentration of military bases, arms, ammo, and equipment within its civilian infrastructure, and as its most prominent staging area for launching rockets against Israeli civilians long before the ground fighting began. You have not come even close to proving the IDF’s overwhelming documented evidence as faked or inauthentic, for the simple reason that it is not.

        Hezbollah is a terrorist group, Cliff, and nothing but. Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin, who issued Hezbollah’s manifesto in 1985, there emphasized the group’s violent rejection of Israel and its hostile, aggressive, intentions:

        “Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace
        agreements, whether separate or consolidated. We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine.”

        All Hezbollah rocket and mortar attacks on Israel before, during and after the 2006 War were and are indiscriminate acts of terrorism and murder against innocent Israeli civilians in the service of their openly and oft stated objectives. The terrorist acts committed by Hezbollah and the justification of any and all lawful Israeli countermeasures are all so defined according to the following:

        –The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which make it a crime to bomb public places with intent to kill civilians and in which Hezbollah attacks and those culpable for them are considered international terrorists, thus giving Israel criminal jurisdiction over them. All other signatories to the convention (US, Russia, Turkey, France) are all obliged to assist Israel in this capacity.

        –The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Financing, Articles 2 (4)-(5) which extends criminal liability to those who “attempt to commit; participate as accomplices; direct or organize terrorist attacks; contribute to acts by terrorist groups with knowledge of the group’s intent to commit terrorist acts or with the aim of furthering their goals.”

        –The International Convention against the Taking of Hostages.

        –United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701 which call upon Hezbollah to disarm and which emphasize the inviolability of Lebanese sovereignty.

        –United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 which require all states to “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.”

        –UNSC Resolution 1566 which similarly requires all states to deny support or safe haven to “any person(s) who supports, facilitates, participates, or attempts to participate in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts or provides safe havens.”

        Both UNSC Resolutions 1373 and 1566 are both filed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, thus giving them the status of binding, international law.

        Like Hamas, the entire Hezbollah regime are thus criminal terrorists whose regime exists, and whose terrorist actions occur, in total defiance of any and every conceivable application of all international law, and there is simply no serious dispute about any of this.

        • Cliff
          September 2, 2011, 5:06 pm

          I don’t understand what the purpose is of your continued windbaggery as if it adds anything new to the discussion.

          Amnesty International:

          Israel published or provided Amnesty International with a few samples of air surveillance footage showing the firing of Katyusha-type rockets and short-range anti-tank missiles from near civilians’ houses. One such incident was recorded on 7 August; the footage showing rockets taking off from between two houses in the village of Sidiqin. However, in most of the other footage, crucial co-ordinates, such as date, time and location, are not provided and the few incidents that are dated, such as the one above, took place long after much of the civilian population had left some of the villages. Other footage shows what appear to be trucks with mounted Katyusha launchers taking refuge inside buildings.

          The Israeli senior commander who briefed Amnesty International in September also said that Hizbullah forces fired rockets from places only 30-40 metres from UNIFEL bases, seeking to avoid Israeli counter-fire and that on occasion Hizbullah fighters had sought refuge in UNIFIL bases.

          UNIFIL reported more than 20 instances of rockets being fired by Hizbullah “from the vicinity” (up to 500m) of UN positions in south Lebanon, as well as a number of cases of Hizbullah small arms and mortar fire from “close to” (up to 100m) UNIFIL positions and several cases of UN positions and vehicles being hit by Hizbullah mortars, small arms fire or rockets. UNIFIL maintains that Hizbullah fighters were never allowed into any of its bases.

          The US Army War College report corroborates the rebuttal of the AI report:

          Hezbollah is often described as having used civilians as shields in 2006, and, in fact, they made extensive use of civilian homes as direct fire combat positions and to conceal launchers for rocket fire into Israel. Yet the villages Hezbollah used to anchor its defensive system in southern Lebanon were largely evacuated by the time Israeli ground forces crossed the border on July 18. As a result, the key battlefields in the land campaign south of the Litani River were mostly devoid of civilians, and IDF participants consistently report little or no meaningful intermingling of Hezbollah fighters and noncombatants. Nor is there any systematic reporting of Hezbollah using civilians in the combat zone as shields.

          The fighting in southern Lebanon was chiefly urban, in the built-up areas of the small to medium-size villages and towns typical of the region. But it was not significantly intermingled with a civilian population that had fled by the time the ground fighting began.

          Hezbollah made very effective use of local cover and concealment (see below), but this was obtained almost entirely from the terrain—both natural and man-made.

          All that worthless verbiage you spewed only proves how dishonest you are.

          “But it was not significantly intermingled with a civilian population that had fled by the time the ground fighting began.”

          Specific cases:

          “UNIFIL reported more than 20 instances of rockets being fired by Hizbullah “from the vicinity” (up to 500m) of UN positions in south Lebanon, as well as a number of cases of Hizbullah small arms and mortar fire from “close to” (up to 100m) UNIFIL positions and several cases of UN positions and vehicles being hit by Hizbullah mortars, small arms fire or rockets. UNIFIL maintains that Hizbullah fighters were never allowed into any of its bases.”

          Contrary to the testimony of an IDF person from your biased report.

          Gee, how surprising!

          The report you cited speaks for itself. I would suggest again that people read the Foreward to Robert the fake Arab’s report.

          The ‘evidence’ is loaded. The entire report is ideological. It has zero credibility.

Leave a Reply