Afternoon headlines

Israel/Palestine
on 188 Comments

Haaretz: Israel, Hamas reach Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, officials say

Israel and Hamas have reached a prisoner exchange deal that will secure the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, officials at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera English: Hamas ‘close’ to prisoner-Shalit swap deal

Hamas is “close” to reaching a deal with the Israeli government on swapping Palestinian prisoners for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip, an official said.

“We are close to a deal,” a Hamas official confirmed to Al Jazeera.

The details are not fully negotiated but Hamas is “close to receiving 100 per cent” of its demands, the official said.

Reports say the swap will be 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit.

ABC News: U.S. Says Iran-Tied Terror Plot in Washington, D.C. Disrupted

FBI and DEA agents have disrupted a plot to commit a “significant terrorist act in the United States” tied to Iran, federal officials told ABC News today.

The officials said the plot included the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, with a bomb and subsequent bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C.

Bombings of the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were also discussed, according to the U.S. officials. . .

The new case, called Operation Red Coalition, began in May when an Iranian-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, according to counter-terrorism officials.

Not everyone seems to be buying it.

Other than that not much going on.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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188 Responses

  1. DBG
    October 11, 2011, 2:44 pm

    LOL, yeah no biggie :) these are pretty huge stories.

  2. Dex
    October 11, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Oh look everyone, so Israel DOES negotiate with Hamas! Gee, what a surprise…

    • lysias
      October 11, 2011, 3:16 pm

      Does this deal by Israel constitute material support of a terrorist organization?

      If so, what are the consequences under U.S. law?

      • pabelmont
        October 11, 2011, 4:29 pm

        Excellent question lysias:

        Hmmm, Israel not a US citizen, not a “person”, not a “corporation”, bizarre as that may sound. Not even a USA state. The material support law may well (for all I know) apply only to USA citizens, to persons, or perhaps also to corporations. Now if they operate outside the USA’s jurisdiction (if there is any such place left, any more), then probably not subject to material-support-of-terrorism law.

  3. BillM
    October 11, 2011, 3:21 pm

    The Shalit deed is huge (and devastating to so many Israeli story lines), but honestly, it’s the smaller story of the two for me.

    In the past, I’ve laughed off talk of either an Israeli attack on Iran or yet another US entangling war there. But now I’m a little concerned.

    • DBG
      October 11, 2011, 3:50 pm

      I think you are right BillM, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the Quds force got themselves into some crap this time. the US will show the evidence to the Saudis and create an even great rift between the GCC nations and Iran.

      • BillM
        October 11, 2011, 5:10 pm

        Can you explain to me why the IRG would go out of its way (in such a clumsy fashion) to commit an act of war simultaneously against the US and Saudi Arabia, in why that is both strategically meaningless and politically unignorable, guaranteeing a regional war that the entire world would blame on Iran?

        • DBG
          October 11, 2011, 5:29 pm

          Sounds like it is payback for the sanctions and Saudi Arabian influence in Bahrain. Perhaps they were planning a false flag operation, blame it on Al-Qaeda so the US would lay of them. There are many different scenarios, maybe the opportunity just presented itself and they went for it.

          Money was transferred, people have been arrested, you can call it a fairytale if you want, but the evidence is there.

        • justicewillprevail
          October 11, 2011, 5:52 pm

          Indeed. It is impossible to see any advantage to Iran in committing such a pointless crime. The opposite in fact. On the other hand, it draws Saudi into the Us/Israel camp, and stokes the regional flames once again. In these kind of incidents, you have to ask who is benefitting. There has been too much of this kind of crap over the years, which makes it impossible to know for sure what is happening, who is manipulating public opinion and to what end, that it only makes sense to be very sceptical about manufactured crises such as these. We have been fooled too many times before. No, it isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s called keeping an open mind, and not trusting those who have a motive to manipulate opinion.

        • Daniel Rich
          October 11, 2011, 5:57 pm

          Hi BillM,

          Perhaps some individuals assume Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ is a painting?

          … 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli ‘prisoner.’ sounds like the right price in he context of overall casualty numbers, doesn’t it?

        • Shingo
          October 11, 2011, 8:07 pm

          Sounds like it is payback for the sanctions and Saudi Arabian influence in Bahrain.

          And you sound like an idiot. If they were concerned about payback, they would be carrying out ni their neck of the woods, not the US.

          Money was transferred, people have been arrested, you can call it a fairytale if you want, but the evidence is there.

          Actually there isn’t. The only thing “there” are accusations by the US government – you know, the same one that convinced you Iraq had WMD?

        • kursato
          October 12, 2011, 5:56 pm

          Iran hasn’t attacked a neighbor for the last 100 years.. can we say the same about the US or Israel?

          For example the border between Turkey and Iran hasn’t changed since 1786..

          Still Iran has been the target of western ”aggression” with CIA and MI6 overthrowing of a democratic elected pm (Mohammed Mossadeq). Then it was attacked by US backed Saddam in the eighties, millions lost their lives in a useless war… Now it is target of daily attacks of israel and the US.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 6:27 pm

          Iran hasn’t attacked a neighbor for the last 100 years.

          Make that 270 years.

      • Shingo
        October 11, 2011, 8:05 pm

        I think you are right BillM, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and the Quds force got themselves into some crap this time.

        BS. The story is recycled from more than 1 year ago. This is for US public consumption. The Saudi are not going to fall for it.

      • POA
        October 11, 2011, 8:40 pm

        “Blablahblah…..the US will show the evidence to the Saudis….blablahblah”

        Yeah, we saw, in the lead up to the Iraq invasion, how you skunks and your neo-con buddies define “evidence”.

    • lysias
      October 11, 2011, 3:57 pm

      Richard Silverstein has written several disturbing pieces in the past few weeks about a possible imminent Israeli attack on Iran.

      • hophmi
        October 11, 2011, 5:04 pm

        Still predicting an attack on Iran?

        You guys have been saying this for years, and it still hasn’t happened. Chicken Little.

        • justicewillprevail
          October 11, 2011, 5:54 pm

          Hasn’t stopped the warmongers and zionists from stoking the flames as hard as their little minds can.

        • Shingo
          October 11, 2011, 8:08 pm

          You guys have been saying that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map for years, and it still hasn’t happened.

          Chicken Little.

  4. biorabbi
    October 11, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Why now on Gilad? The 1000 Palestinians demanded by Hamas as trade as not changed. I don’t believe Hamas changed on their demand, so it looks like Bibi caved. Also, very weird Bibi and Hamas are now both on record in the last hour or two that the exchange is a done deal… to be done in stages. I don’t understand why both sides are making statements in public about what is about to happen. Also, weird in that the “official” German or Swiss mediation team having gone nowhere to find a middle ground had called it quits. Bibi recently said the chances were low and Hamas blasted the entire negotiations. Yet, it looks like the talks were between Israel and Hamas directly. And I would bet the talks were more than a simple negotiation, but rather some sort of truce(long favored by Hamas) or understanding to relax the blockade on Hamas.

    Why would Israel agree?

    1. To undercut Abbas, shove the shiv in his side as payback for seeking UN member status by giving effective representation of Hamas.
    2. Egypt’s border control with Gaza is weakening, encouraging talks between Hamas and Israel.
    3. The siege of Gaza has been a human rights nightmare and PR nightmare for Israel.
    4. Israel, despite what certain hotheads say, needs and wants to agree to strategic(stress strategic)relations with Turkey.
    5. Not only does Israel view the PA as a joke, but it understands the corrupt PA no longer controls the reality on the ground. A peace treaty with the PA is not worth the paper, but a cold truce with Hamas is worth much more.

    Maybe I’ve had too much caffeine and I’m searching!

    • lysias
      October 11, 2011, 4:00 pm

      If there’s a cold truce between Israel and Hamas, does it make any sense for Israel to maintain its blockade of Gaza?

      If there’s a cold truce between Israel and Hamas, does it make any sense for the U.S. to continue to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization?

      • pabelmont
        October 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

        “does it make any sense for the U.S. to continue to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization?” Good point, lysias. However, recall that the USA (bless its merry little heart) dances to AIPAC’s tune exclusively, not to Israel’s unless by some chance they coincide, except that some Congress-mice even try to out-do AIPAC in horror. So one would expect the DoS list of terrorist organizations to continue to list HAMAS (and not any Israeli settlement organizations, for example) until the (red) cows come home.

      • biorabbi
        October 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

        No, but you miss my point. What I’m talking about is entering into a cold truce. Note Hamas is claiming today via in a press conference that

        a. This is a historic agreement with 3000 palestinians to be ultimately included. and
        b. Israel agreed to all of the Palestinian demands via the quality of the prisoners(blood on their hands and so on)… Israel caved, and
        c. The Egyptian intel person was key. I think that could be bogus but it plays a role in Hamas strategy raising the specter of US involvement here, or as a way of denying direct talks with Israel.

        So a cold truce is what could be entered into without Israel saying so and without Hamas admitting to negotiations but the deal could be….

        1. Israel releases the Palestinians stipulated by Hamas as a core demand.
        2. Israel gets Gilad back(after Israel releases the first cluster but before Israel releases the final cluster).
        3. The blockade is lifted(either at once or in stages).
        4. The rocket fire is stopped, or at least Hamas exercises control of Islamic Jihad and other groups.

        Bottom line: Hamas is markedly strengthened here, rightfully claiming victory, but I see something much more than a simple prisoner exchange and Hamas claim that Egypt was key here is ludicrous. I’m sure Israel will also claim Egypt was key so both sides can avoid direct talks ever took place.

        • Potsherd2
          October 11, 2011, 5:09 pm

          This deal will involve the release by Egypt of the Israeli spy, which is I believe the catalyst for the deal. Israel was finally faced with something it actually wanted.

        • Daniel Rich
          October 11, 2011, 6:01 pm

          Hi biorabbi,

          Could it be that the Palestinian bid at the UN has anything to do with it? Both the US and Israel looks like fools in their ‘democratic’ attempt to torpedo it, don’t they?

        • Remax
          October 11, 2011, 8:22 pm

          Potsherd2

          Is the release by Egypt of the Israeli spy verifiable or are you hypothesising?

    • Shingo
      October 11, 2011, 8:10 pm

      If Bibbi is doing this, it is for domestic politcail reasons in Israel, not to spruce up Israel’s image on the international stage.

      It’s well known that Israel has 1000 prisoners who have never been charged with any crime in it’s prisons. This won’t cost them anything.

  5. Charon
    October 11, 2011, 4:28 pm

    Too much Iran in the Zionist-filtered press these past few weeks. That must mean that an attack is unfortunately imminent. Just keep in mind the following:

    The ‘American’ hikers recently released turned out to be Israeli citizens (gee what a surprise). This year there have been at least two lawsuits from Zionists suing Iran for responsibility over 9/11 (LOL!). Zionists love to call Hezbollah and Hamas “Iranian terror proxies” which is false. There was at least one report this year claiming Hezbollah was helping South American drug cartels for Iran. Dennis Ross laughably held a position serving as a ‘special’ envoy of sorts for Iran which given his history they rejected him meaning he could spin this anyway he wanted (or something like that).

    So take this thwarted Iranian ‘terror’ attack with a grain of salt. Eric Holder is a neocon. Neocons should be removed from any of this sort of thing because it is a conflict of interest.

    • LeaNder
      October 11, 2011, 6:07 pm

      There was at least one report this year claiming Hezbollah was helping South American drug cartels for Iran.

      Do you have slightly more details on this? And who were the ” ‘American’ hikers”?

      Sounds like a Bush era narrative.

    • Dex
      October 11, 2011, 6:12 pm

      Hey,

      Where did you hear/read that they are Israeli citizens? I came across this on As’ad Abkhalil’s blog the other day:

      link to angryarab.blogspot.com

      • Charon
        October 11, 2011, 10:36 pm

        Correction, the hiker’s are not Israeli citizens. Joshua Fattal’s father is. I must have had selective reading that day and read “hiker’s” as “hikers”

        Haaretz article on Joshua Fattal’s Israeli father:

        link to haaretz.com

        I guess that makes it a little less suspicious. But only a little

        As for Hezbollah in South America:

        link to 10news.com

        The same story gets regurgitated as news from time to time. Note the factually inaccurate Beirut bombing attributed to them (technically there was no Hezbollah). Peter Beter may have been a partial kook, but he exposed this as a Mossad plan over a year before it happened:

        “Another of the plans I made public in AUDIO LETTER No. 78 last
        month is now underway. THAT PLAN CALLS FOR A NUMBER OF OUR MARINES TO BE KILLED IN LEBANON! It will be done by the Israeli MOSSAD and then blamed on Arab extremists. If it works, it will help shove the world down a new road toward eventual nuclear war”

        link to peterdavidbeter.com

        Nuclear war statement aside, there are no coincidences. That link also talks about Mossad activity in Tripoli. Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent, wrote about Mossad activities in Libya and the barracks bombing (saying that Mossad withheld intelligence and let it happen) in his book “By Way of Deception”

        Nobody believes that anybody but Mossad blew up their own embassy in Argentina. Just Google “Mossad” and “Argentina Israel Embassy Bombing” for more info. Oh and it most definitely was not a Lebanese resistance group created in opposition of the Zionist occupation committing terrorist attacks on the other side of the globe in a country that means nothing to them and a lot to intelligence agencies. It is laughable that the news would report such things

  6. radii
    October 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

    good article by Alison Weir (If Americans Knew) on the formation of israel over at AntiWar:

    antiwar.com alison-weir

  7. eee
    October 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Another terror plot by anti-Zionists. You guys are on a roll. It seems that in principle anti-Zionism could have been peaceful but as a matter of fact it is a terrorist movement.

    • Sumud
      October 11, 2011, 5:08 pm

      Poor desperate tribalist eee.

      Please explain who belongs to the ‘anti-zionism’ movement? Who are the leaders? Where is the movement based? Does it have a website or any books published about it?

      • DBG
        October 11, 2011, 5:30 pm

        I would say the Iranians are pretty anti-Zionist, wouldn’t you Sumud?

        • Dex
          October 11, 2011, 6:13 pm

          I’d say 99% of the world is anti-Zionist. Geez, that’s a no-brainer!

      • Charon
        October 11, 2011, 6:03 pm

        Sumud, they have a need to categorize and label everybody into groups. It provides them with satisfaction. Surely you cannot criticize Israel without being an Anti-Zionist, Palestinian Activist, Leftist, Progressive, Liberal, Democrat, etc.

        Reminds me of a rather humorous Wikipedia arbitration involving the usage of the “Judea and Samaria” where those in favor were Israelis/Jewish who referred to those against as “Palestinian” despite the fact than none were Palestinians (which was pointed out). It’s worth a laugh, ended up against the usage of the term, a warning not to use Wikipedia as a propaganda tool (which they do anyways), and the banning of Hasbara super editor Jayjig.

        • eee
          October 11, 2011, 6:20 pm

          What is the problem? People speak here a lot of the Zionists and their actions. Why is it inappropriate to speak of the Anti-Zionists and their actions? Clearly the Anti-Zionists are pursuing a terrorist campaign. Anti-Zionism is terrorism. The sooner you realize what your camp is up to, the better.

        • annie
          October 11, 2011, 7:04 pm

          Clearly the Anti-Zionists are pursuing a terrorist campaign. Anti-Zionism is terrorism.

          uh huh, clearly. do you have anything else to add?

        • eee
          October 11, 2011, 7:28 pm

          Not at this stage, but anytime some here says “Zionism is racism” I will remind them that Anti-Zionism is terrorism. Just face it, that is what your movement is about.

        • lysias
          October 11, 2011, 7:31 pm

          Clearly the Anti-Zionists are pursuing a terrorist campaign. Anti-Zionism is terrorism.

          Them’s fighting words. Next you’ll be calling for it to be made a crime. First Amendment be damned.

        • Cliff
          October 11, 2011, 7:38 pm

          Anti-Zionism has nothing to do w/ terrorism.

          Zionism is racism AND terrorism AND colonialism.

          You cannot create a Jewish State such as it is, without any of the three.

          Whereas anti-Zionism and terrorism aren’t intertwined.

          You’re free to remain deluded though, eee.

        • Potsherd2
          October 11, 2011, 7:49 pm

          Anti-Zionism is anti-terrorism, opposition to the terrorist Israeli state.

        • Richard Witty
          October 11, 2011, 8:03 pm

          Actually anti-Zionism is racism.

          Criticism of policies and practices is different than declaring that a people don’t have the right to self-govern, where they are a majority.

        • Shingo
          October 11, 2011, 8:13 pm

          I will remind them that Anti-Zionism is terrorism.

          You have it backward eee.

          Israel was founded on terror by terrorists and elected those terrorists to the highest office.

          That woudl suggest that Zionism is terrorism.

        • pjdude
          October 11, 2011, 11:17 pm

          as usual in your attempts to claim the right of self determination for your religion you make the case. so you admit ISrael is not the exercising of self determination as it ignored the wishes of the palestinian majority. jews have no right to self govern because they are a religion.

        • Cliff
          October 13, 2011, 2:41 am

          Dick, you supported the Nakba and the partition of Palestine even though Palestinian Arabs were the majority.

          The Jewish State had 300,000+ Arabs didn’t it? The 48′ War was fought mostly inside the Palestinian side of the partition too.

          You are a hypocrite and a liar with no morals.

          Anti-Zionism is holding Zionism accountable. Anti-Zionism is not racist because Jews are NOT a race and because anti-Zionism is against the ACTIONS of Zionism and not Zionism as an hypothetical benign idea.

          Zionism is defined by its intentions and actions. Not by the most superficial, whitewashed description (‘self-governance’) you come up with.

          Anti-Zionists are anti-colonialists. Zionism is colonialism. Without colonialism, Zionism does NOT exist. Jews flooded into Palestine. They were not originally residents. Today, Zionists still colonize and Israel has still not declared its borders.

          That is why anti-Zionism exists. Get over yourself and stop lying.

        • RoHa
          October 13, 2011, 3:41 am

          “a people don’t have the right to self-govern, where they are a majority.”

          And they don’t. Even if group A is the majority in a territory, they do not have the right to govern the territory for their group alone. The governance has to be for all the people.

      • POA
        October 11, 2011, 8:49 pm

        “Please explain who belongs to the ‘anti-zionism’ movement?”

        ME ME ME!!!!

        Call on me!!!

        I’m “anti-zionist”!!!

        I’m also “anti-neo-nazi”, “anti-feral cats” and “anti-free Viagra for middle schoolers”.

        In fact, I’m “anti-all shitty ideas”.

    • justicewillprevail
      October 11, 2011, 5:09 pm

      yawn

  8. Dr Gonzo
    October 11, 2011, 4:40 pm

    That I’ve been watching the Iran story break. Absolutely made up. What is the US thinking?

    Why would Iran attempt to bomb the Saudi and Iranian embassies in Washington DC knowing that such an attack would give Israel a pretext to attack? What purpose would it serve them? If Iran wanted to hit Israeli and Saudi targets why not just hit them in Middle Eastern capitals where it is easier why send a cell to Washington DC?

    • Charon
      October 11, 2011, 5:51 pm

      They wouldn’t. Iran had nothing to do with this ‘terror’ plot:

      link to news.antiwar.com

      There is a remote connection to a rouge person in the Quds Force. This has nothing to do with the government of Iran. It is similar to the rouge CIA agents selling weapons and drugs to the Los Zetas except in the latter instance I’m sure the roots to originate from the government.

      The ‘terror’ plot in this instance was an FBI fabrication, a sting operation intended to bait the perpetrator(s). What a joke, it’s a freakin circus

      Of course eee and DBG will believe (or pretend to believe) that is it real because they are Zionists

      • POA
        October 11, 2011, 8:52 pm

        “Of course eee and DBG will believe (or pretend to believe) that is it real because they are Zionists”

        What?

        Are you advancing the ridiculous assertion that these two need to “believe” something they claim to be truth?

        • Charon
          October 11, 2011, 10:07 pm

          Sorry ’bout that, DOA. I put ‘pretend to believe’ in parenthesis but on second thought that should be the only emphasis. They are pathological liars who use to rhetorical tricks and double standards to push forward an agenda of hate. Sociopaths or psychopaths are prone to doing this to get by in life. That’s who we are dealing with.

    • RoHa
      October 11, 2011, 8:20 pm

      Mike Rivero has got the right idea about the Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador.

      All his agricultural by-product meters are showing overloads.

      But the shovellers are calling for (what a surprise!) Firm Action against Iran.

      • annie
        October 11, 2011, 11:17 pm

        who’s mike rivero? link?

        • DBG
          October 11, 2011, 11:21 pm

          Mike Rivero? a conspiracy theory? no way. I am sure he’ll blame Israel for it soon enough.

        • RoHa
          October 11, 2011, 11:45 pm

          link to whatreallyhappened.com

          He’s a “conspiracy theorist”, of course. That means he doesn’t believe everything governments tell him. I can’t imagine why not.

  9. Brewer
    October 11, 2011, 4:46 pm

    It would be interesting to hear from Shalit after five years in Palestinian custody. Given his high value status I imagine he has been fairly well treated. He may also have learned a great deal about the Palestinian point of view.
    I have encountered several young Israeli ex-military who have been shocked when confronted with the origins of conflict and the injustice of a mission and mindset they had been all too ready to assume.

    I wonder if the press will have open access to Shalit? Somehow I doubt it.

    • anonymouscomments
      October 11, 2011, 5:05 pm

      i agree, i was hoping they *educated* him, in contrast to his lifetime of *lies*. of course, hamas would likely take their own extreme slant on history preventing gilad from transforming. but it would be very interesting if once free he became an advocate for truth, and put the conflict in perspective. course the zios would dismiss him as brainwashed. he would swiftly go from a national hero to an “arab-lover” “leftist” who should be killed in the twisted minds of many.

    • Charon
      October 11, 2011, 5:55 pm

      I have a feeling that if this prisoner exchange is legit, they’ll be swapping for his corpse. With all the attention paid to the whole Shalit thing, I would’ve expected they would have another video or something by now. He looked pretty skeletal in the last one.

  10. BillM
    October 11, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Another quiet headline:

    Barak apologizes for deaths of Egyptian officers
    link to ynetnews.com

    I’ll let the reader ponder the timing of this announcement.

  11. Taxi
    October 11, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Here’s something I found a while ago I think on the FP site:

    The 13 lines the American Israel lobby want you to believe:

    1. Israel is in danger of being pushed into the sea by Iran
    2. It is co-operati­ng in the establishm­ent of a Palestinia­n state
    3. Its illegal settlement­s are supported by Jews worldwide
    4. Although a secular state, it claims the land to be God given
    5. It does not employ torture on any of its 7000 political prisoners
    6. Its political system is not corrupt & its judiciary is independen­t
    7. Its military and police operate under internatio­nal law
    8. It does not use chemical weapons against civilians
    9. It has no disproport­ionate influence either in congress or senate
    10. There is no secret stockpile of weapons of mass destructio­n
    11. It has signed the nuclear non-prolif­eration treaty
    12. It wants an equitable peace and believes in human rights
    13. Its policy of state-spon­sored assassinat­ion is legitimate

    by colincolindale

  12. biorabbi
    October 11, 2011, 8:28 pm

    In the videos/photos released concerning Gilad. He does not seem to be skeletal at all(his pre-capture pics show a skinny guy). He was obviously well treated by Hamas…. I was struck by his brief video appearance a ways back and how well he looked. I continue to believe the Egyptians really did nothing here except to provide an “office” for Israeli and Hamas to talk. Dr. Zahar of Hamas was said to be in Cairo doing the negotiating for Hamas. The Israeli papers are also pointing out that the PA had no idea what was happening. K Marshal and Bibi are both crowing about the deal tonight. The Israeli cabinet overwhelmingly supported this deal with 3 in opposition. The other interestingly tea leave is the supposed infighting between Marshal in Syria and the Gaza Hamas power structure has been overstated in the Israeli press with Gaza Hamas supposedly softer towards negotiations and the Hamas power structure more hardline. But this did not appear to be the case at all–the power structure of Hamas appears to be united and proud of this deal. My hope, my sincere hope, is an elimination of the Gaza blockage and freeing up of travel restrictions, including the one area that Hamas and Israel already agree on(in medicine). I would much rather have a realistic truce than endless “peace process” with the likes of Abbas and Livni who simply do not represent the actual people they purport to represent. Like them or not, Likud/religious nationalism and Hamas do.

    • DBG
      October 11, 2011, 10:53 pm

      Meshal knows that his days in Damascus are numbered. The Arab Spring has done a number on his support structure within the Arab world. Perhaps this will be a start of something new in Israel/Hamas relations. Ending the siege, ending the Qassams, this could be good folks.

      • Shingo
        October 11, 2011, 11:26 pm

        Meshal knows that his days in Damascus are numbered. The Arab Spring has done a number on his support structure within the Arab world.

        This is more of the same BS you are making up as you go along.

        • DBG
          October 11, 2011, 11:31 pm

          How do you figure Shingo, do you think Assad’s days aren’t numbered? are you pro-Assad? instead of simple ad-hominem attacks Shingo, you should try to explain to me why this isn’t the case?

          btw, did you find those nukes yet?

        • annie
          October 11, 2011, 11:33 pm

          meshaal will go down in history as a revolutionary hero along the lines of che guevara, but i pray he won’t die that way. regardless of the length of his stay in damascus hopefully he will be protected wherever he is. hopefully he will return safe to palestine and be a part of the liberation of his people on his home turf. he’s an amazing admiral man. extremely smart, charismatic and handsome. he’s a leader.

        • annie
          October 11, 2011, 11:42 pm

          The Arab Spring has done a number on his support structure within the Arab world.

          lol, in what world has the arab spring ended support for meshaal? crazy talk.

        • eee
          October 11, 2011, 11:51 pm

          Annie,

          I didn’t realize you consider Mesha’al a hero. That explains many things.
          You guys are really in bed with Hamas.

        • DBG
          October 11, 2011, 11:52 pm

          Annie, Meshal has his offices in Damascus, do you not thing that the current unrest in Syria affects him and Hamas adversely?

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 12:00 am

          How do you figure Shingo, do you think Assad’s days aren’t numbered? are you pro-Assad? instead of simple ad-hominem attacks Shingo, you should try to explain to me why this isn’t the case?

          You should try to source your information rather that spouting BS all over these boards. What evidence is there that Meshal’s days in Damascus are numbered? If the MB succeeds Assad, would that not secure Meshal’s position?

          Secondly, there’s no telling if Assad’s days are numbered. By all accounts, he still enjoys majority support in Syria, and NATO aren’t going to pick a fight with Syria without a UN Resolution.

          Personally, I could care less about Assad BTW.

          btw, did you find those nukes yet?

          What’s the matter DBG? Having no luck looking on your own?

        • biorabbi
          October 12, 2011, 12:23 am

          The other issue is the political leadership of Hamas will probably wish to leave Syria due to the chaos.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 12:38 am

          The other issue is the political leadership of Hamas will probably wish to leave Syria due to the chaos.

          Yeah sure. They’ll head to Gaza for some R&R.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 12:49 am

          You guys are really in bed with Hamas

          By that logic, you are in bed with the relgious nut jobs in Hebron.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 12:49 am

          meshaal has backbone, exactly what you need when your people are targeted for extinction. meshaal does not represent all elements of hamas nor am i in bed with them but he does represent a formidable opponent. you’ve got the superpower w/nukes, massive intelligence resource and funding, huge arms and an occupation. palestinians have guts, the quisling pa, fatah and hamas..and meshaal’s cajons. i’d say it’s an equal match. deal w/it.

        • eee
          October 12, 2011, 10:20 am

          Mesha’al is a formidable opponent? Then why was Cast Lead so one sided? He did nothing during Cast Lead. Plus on the diplomatic front, he isolates Hamas and therefore half the Palestinians.

          Mesha’al also weakened the Palestinians significantly by being one of the architects of the breaking up of Hamas and Fatah.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 11:45 am

          Then why was Cast Lead so one sided?

          cast lead was one sided but i do not look at it in isolation in the context i am referring. cast lead didn’t damage hamas which was israel’s objective. the war very much signaled israel’s further decline, a downhill spiral since the 06 war on lebanon. also, what i think of meshaal is irrelevant and beside the point. i predict he will go down in history as a cult figure like che, that’s just my opinion. perhaps i am wrong. many controversial leaders who are enemies of the US will be remembered quite differently than the way we would like, for example fidel castro. this doesn’t mean castro is a personal hero of mine but he’s an admirable leader especially considering his adversaries.

          Plus on the diplomatic front, he isolates Hamas and therefore half the Palestinians.

          i don’t agree. i think the corrupt quisling PA is responsible for isolating half the palestinians. the occupation and brutality of IS/US is what thrusts opposing leaders into the annals of history as much as anything. merely surviving and not showing weakness in the face of a powerful opponent can have a lasting effect.

        • Brewer
          October 12, 2011, 3:55 pm

          “He did nothing during Cast Lead.”

          He wrote this article:

          link to guardian.co.uk

          ….which was probably more potent than all the Willy Pete dropped by Israel. As thousands of bloggers rushed to fact-check the article and read his back-catalogue including:
          link to guardian.co.uk

          …..the Hasbara imposed Freddy Krueger mask was lifted from Hamas forever.

          By the time those readers had explored “Kill Khalid”:
          link to foreignaffairs.com

          ….some heavyweights, including Sir Jeremy Greenstock (Britain’s former Ambassador to the U.N.), were taking Mish’al seriously.

          link to news.bbc.co.uk

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 4:09 pm

          This river of blood is being shed under lies and false pretexts. For six months we in Hamas observed the ceasefire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start. Israel was required to open crossings to Gaza, and extend the truce to the West Bank. It proceeded to tighten its deadly siege of Gaza, repeatedly cutting electricity and water supplies. The collective punishment did not halt, but accelerated – as did the assassinations and killings. Thirty Gazans were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds of patients died as a direct effect of the siege during the so-called ceasefire. Israel enjoyed a period of calm. Our people did not.

          When this broken truce neared its end, we expressed our readiness for a new comprehensive truce in return for lifting the blockade and opening all Gaza border crossings, including Rafah. Our calls fell on deaf ears. Yet still we would be willing to begin a new truce on these terms following the complete withdrawal of the invading forces from Gaza.

          No rockets have ever been fired from the West Bank. But 50 died and hundreds more were injured there last year at Israel’s hands, while its expansionism proceeded relentlessly. We are meant to be content with shrinking scraps of territory, a handful of cantons at Israel’s mercy, enclosed by it from all sides.The truth is Israel seeks a one-sided ceasefire, observed by my people alone, in return for siege, starvation, bombardment, assassinations, incursions and colonial settlement. What Israel wants is a gratuitous ceasefire.

          thanks brewer, and i have not even finished reading it yet

        • eee
          October 12, 2011, 4:36 pm

          “He wrote an article”
          In other words did nothing after Hamas said before Cast Lead that Gaza would be the graveyard of the IDF. Turned out to be the graveyard of Hamas. What a great leader. He played a game of brinkmanship and let his people fall over the brink.

          link to ynetnews.com

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 6:16 pm

          In other words did nothing after Hamas said before Cast Lead that Gaza would be the graveyard of the IDF.

          False eee. They said that before the ground invasion of Gaza. Cast Lead was well under way by then. Israel had already broken the ceasefire by then and were threateneing to invade Gaza.

          He played a game of brinkmanship and let his people fall over the brink.

          Right eee. Israel only went into Gaza becasue of something Hamas said. As though they would have stayed out fo Gaza if Hamas had not said anything.

        • eee
          October 12, 2011, 6:48 pm

          Shingo,

          You keep lying and lying.
          Cast Lead started December 27, 2008. The Hamas quote is from November 6, 2008.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 7:06 pm

          israel invaded and broke the ceasefire on nov 4. they wanted to get their war on.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 7:09 pm

          let his people fall over the brink.

          give me an f’ing break eee. israel wanted war and you know it. they got their slaughter on one way or another and nothing was going to stop them. one way or another they’ll grind down those demographics. do not fool yourself hamas could have stopped this. we’re not delusional and you can’t change public perception on what happened there, the dye has been cast.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 7:13 pm

          actually i find this kind of amusing. you can’t stand it can you? groveling for position of image maker over an over. the relentless 3e never stops. give it a friggin rest why don’t you, take the afternoon off once in awhile, your handlers won’t mind.

        • eee
          October 12, 2011, 7:22 pm

          Annie,

          Your position is curious. If the die was cast that means Hamas could not deter Israel. However, their quote makes it clear that they were acting to deter Israel and were confident in their ability to do so. So, if you maintain that the die was cast, you are saying that Hamas had ill prepared for war and had misjudged Israel. That is called brinkmanship.

          But in reality the die was not cast. If Hamas would not have reacted to the Israeli attack on the tunnel (a clear aggressive act by Hamas as such a tunnel was used to abduct Shalit and kill Israelis from outside Gaza), then Israel would not have had to start Cast Lead. But in fact Hamas chose to retaliate with tons of rocket (200 rockets). Are you telling me Israel forced them to retaliate so heavily? They retaliated because they thought they could deter Israel. Boy were they wrong.

          The played on the brink, and they and the Palestinians in Gaza paid the price by falling into it.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 7:45 pm

          Then why was Cast Lead so one sided?

          Because of 3 billion a year in military hardware given to Israel.

          Israel didn’t prevail because of formidable leadership. In fact, the attack on Gaza was an act of desperation on Olmert”s part to regain aprpoval among the Israelis pulbic. It almost worked.

          Mesha’al also weakened the Palestinians significantly by being one of the architects of the breaking up of Hamas and Fatah.

          False. There was no breaking up of Hamas and Fatah. Hamas and Fatah are still sorting out the unity agreement.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 7:55 pm

          let his people fall over the brink.

          The Wikileaks cable on Cast Lead revealed that the motice behind Cast LEad was not the rockets, but the fact that the calm from the ceasefire was benefitting Hamas politically. Barak was anxious because:

          1) the ceasefire was giong to expire in December and Israel did not want to renew it. The problem of course was that they could not be seen to be opopsed to a ceasefire (peace) so they needed an excuse not end it and not renew it
          2) Hamas were gaining increased legitimacy by maintaining the ceasefire, and this would lead to Israel havign to negotiate with them, not just Fatah.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 9:17 pm

          Poor eee,

          You’ve really lost your marbles today haven’t you? Shalit was captures in 2006, so there would have been no need to abduct Shalit in 2008.

          If the die was cast that means Hamas could not deter Israel.

          At last he gets it!!

          However, their quote makes it clear that they were acting to deter Israel and were confident in their ability to do so.

          No, the quote doesn’t suggest that at all. Hamas have never been able to face down the IDF, so there is no evidence they believed they were going to do so.

          So, if you maintain that the die was cast, you are saying that Hamas had ill prepared for war and had misjudged Israel. That is called brinkmanship.

          Call it what you will, but the fact is that brinkmanship or no brinkmanship, their actions had no effect on the outcome. As the Wikileaks memo revealed, Israel had decided on this war long before it was unleashed and there is no evidence to suggest anything Hamas did or could have donw would have prevented it.

          If Hamas would not have reacted to the Israeli attack on the tunnel (a clear aggressive act by Hamas as such a tunnel was used to abduct Shalit and kill Israelis from outside Gaza), then Israel would not have had to start Cast Lead.

          As the Wikileaks memo reveals this to be false. If Hamas had not reacted to the Israeli attack on the tunnel (bte. there is no evidence to suggest the tunnel was intended to abduct anyone and kill Israelis from outside Gaza as it was 250 menstres from the border), Israel would simply have utilized the tactics that Dayan described from 1967 – they would have conducted more raids, and killed more and more Palestinians until they got a response.

          Secondly, it was not Hamas that retaliated with rockets, it was the militants not under Hamas’ control. And no, they didn’t retaliated because they thought they could deter Israel, they retaliated because they knew there was no longer any point sticking to the ceasefire.

          When an enemy breaks a ceasefire, why stick to it and not fight back? Surely they too have the right to defend themselves.

          So you see eee, Israel had planned this all along. They would have pushed and pushed until they had their excuse to unleash their pre planned massacre.

        • Brewer
          October 12, 2011, 10:14 pm

          “…graveyard of the IDF”

          Possibly a little unwise of al-Masri to make that statement even though it was said in this context:
          “Despite the threats, al-Masri stressed that Hamas was willing to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel “that would include the lifting of the blockade on Gaza”.

          Unwise but, being a decent man, he probably never dreamed that Israel would contemplate unleashing a massive bombing campaign against a densely populated city containing only foot soldiers. We thought International Law had put paid to barbarity of that magnitude. (It has only been in recent times we have realised that such Laws do not apply to the powerful.)

          No, he envisaged a ground invasion and it is a fair bet that Israel paid heed to his warning.

          “a game of brinkmanship”

          By enforcing a ceasefire and offering to extend it despite Israel’s bad faith? Like “if you don’t attack us and give us this small part of our rights, we won’t fire any rockets” – that kind of brinkmanship?

        • Brewer
          October 12, 2011, 10:22 pm

          Some more for you in case you missed them Annie. Be nice if more people read what Khalid actually says rather than what Israel says he says. I share your admiration:

          link to huffingtonpost.com

          link to huffingtonpost.com

          link to globalresearch.ca

        • Cliff
          October 13, 2011, 2:42 am

          No one is in bed w/ Hamas, but you’re definitely in bed w/ the settlers.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 12:06 am

        DBG,

        You see for the “folks” here, “ending the siege, ending the Qassams” is not a good option because they see it as a win for Israel. After all, what Israel wants is just a quiet border and no rockets and if Israel gets that, obviously that is bad for the Palestinians.

        You are right, things are changing. Mesha’al wants to move the Hamas offices to Cairo. That will have to mean being less belligerent and less Iranian influence. That is certainly good for Israel.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 12:40 am

          what Israel wants is just a quiet border and no rockets

          you are delusional. obviously what israel wants is expansion. hello.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 12:43 am

          annie, if that is the case, why did Israel:
          - exchange the Sinai for peace
          - withdraw from Southern Lebanon
          - disengage from Gaza?

          That is kind of the opposite of expansion no?

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 12:48 am

          Thre’s no need to build straw men eee,

          Ending the siege and ending the Qassams is a win win. After all, Hamas were prepare to end the Qassams in 2008 even when Israel broke the agreement to lift the siege.

          After all, what Israel wants is just a quiet border and no rockets and if Israel gets that, obviously that is bad for the Palestinians.

          Yeah right. Israel wants is just a quiet border with Gaza so that it can strangle Gaza in silence while it refuses to accept any borders to the East.

          Where has Mesha’al suggested moving offices to Cairo?

        • POA
          October 12, 2011, 12:56 am

          “You see for the “folks” here, “ending the siege, ending the Qassams” is not a good option because they see it as a win for Israel”

          Actually, it would be a LOSS for Israel. You know it, and I know it. Its the rationale for Israel’s murderous policies. Thats why Israel keeps breaking the cease fire agreements.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 1:12 am

          The reason Israel:

          - returneded the Sinai, was becasue it nearly faced defeat in 1973, and protecting and holdiing on to the Sinai was gong to be untennable.

          - withdrew from Southern Lebanon becasue it had it’s ass kicked out of there by Hezbollah. If Israel had it’s way, it would still be in Lebanon sucking water from the Litani.

          - disengaged from Gaza because the resources being spent protecting the illegal 8,000 settlers was considered better spent protecting the illegal settlements in the West Bank

          Just becasue Israel wasn’t always successful at expanding, or wasn’t allowed to doesn’t mean it didn’t want to.

        • Chaos4700
          October 12, 2011, 1:13 am

          By “disengage” you mean “bomb them weekly,” then, DBG?

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 1:19 am

          disengaging from gaza while blockading it and massively expanding settlements on the west bank is not the opposite of expansion. they withdrew from southern lebanon after 20 years cuz they couldn’t hold it, iow it wasn’t a charitable retraction.

          stop listening to the hasbara and watch what they do. they are expanding therefor it is logical to assume this is their priority, not peace.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 1:28 am

          By “disengage” you mean “bomb them weekly,” then, DBG?

          Yes seriously DBG. If you expect to be taken seriously, try deprogramming yourself and using the brain God gave you.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 1:55 am

          Shingo, are you saying there are Israelis in the Sinai, Gaza and southern Lebanon?

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 1:55 am

          no Chaos, by disengage I mean ethnically cleansing all Jews from Gaza.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 2:14 am

          sorry, removing new settlements is not ethnically cleansing.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 2:17 am

          Stop being an idiot for at least a few hours DBG.

          Ethnic cleansing is defined as the removal of one population by another.

          “Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.[1]“

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          The illegal settlers in Gaza were moved from their illegal settlements to other illegal settlements in the West Bank.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 2:18 am

          Shingo, are you saying there are Israelis in the Sinai, Gaza and southern Lebanon?

          No DBG, because they would be Israelis if they were there. Jyust as there are no Lebanese in Israel.

          Why are you trying so hard to present such a stupid argument?

        • mig
          October 12, 2011, 9:06 am

          DBG :

          “why did Israel:
          - exchange the Sinai for peace

          ++++ After 1973 war ? Anwar Sadat offered 1971 peace to Israel, if they return Sinai back to Egypt. And Israel responce was two No’s. No peace and and Sinai return. Instead they got -73 war, and after that peace & Sinai was returned to Egypt.

          - withdraw from Southern Lebanon

          ++++ Too many casualties.

          - disengage from Gaza?

          ++++ Stressed to much IDF while protecting settlers.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 9:19 am

          Anwar Sadat offered 1971 peace to Israel, if they return Sinai back to Egypt.

          Actually, he offered peace if they simply pulled back 2 miles.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 9:41 am

          annie, there are no Jews left in Gaza, that is the definition of ethnic cleansing. Probably the only ethnic cleansing in history I’ve ever supported BTW.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 9:42 am

          Shingo, you must have missed this part in the same wikipedia entry:

          In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip as part of a peace plan with Palestinians, during which the Israeli settlements in the territory, with a total population of 8,500 people, were evacuated, and the settlers resettled in Israel or West Bank settlements. Several settlements in the West Bank with about 600 residents were also evacuated. Jews were also forcibly transferred from settlements in the Sinai Peninsula when it was returned to Egypt, for example, from the settlement in Yamit.

        • mig
          October 12, 2011, 10:56 am

          Shingo, that was just one step. From Anwar Sadat archives :

          link to sadat.umd.edu

          link to sadat.umd.edu

        • tree
          October 12, 2011, 4:56 pm

          annie, there are no Jews left in Gaza, that is the definition of ethnic cleansing. Probably the only ethnic cleansing in history I’ve ever supported BTW.

          You are conflating Israelis with Jews again. They aren’t the same. Israel removed its settlers from Gaza. The reason all the Israeli settlers in Gaza were Jewish is because Israel is a religious/ethnic bigoted country and encouraged Jews, and only Jews, to settled illegally in occupied territory in contravention of international law.

          Although you gotta love the hasbara attempts when the only reason it is only Jewish Israelis that were settled and later removed from Gaza is because Israel discriminates against non-Jews. Therefore, since only Israeli Jews were removed (being the only Israelis encouraged and subsidized by the Israeli government to illegally settle there) the idiots here think that means that Jews were “ethnically cleansed”. No, they were ethnically chosen.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 7:43 pm

          Shingo, you must have missed this part in the same wikipedia entry:

          What did I miss WBG?

          Forcible transfer by one’s own government is not ethnic cleansing. The settlements weer illegal and the settlers were there illegally. They were forcibly removed becasue they refused to comply with the law and with a tretaty their elected officials had made.

          Squatters usually have to be forcibly removed from their dwellings. That doesn’t make it ethnic cleansing.

        • Cliff
          October 13, 2011, 2:43 am

          If Israel gets a quiet border, it’s still colonizing the West Bank and E. Jerusalem. It’s still a racist apartheid state.

          This conflict is not isolated to Gaza.

        • DBG
          October 13, 2011, 10:26 am

          Tree, there are no Jews in Gaza.

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 10:35 am

          i doubt that dbg. the international solidarity movement is there.

        • DBG
          October 13, 2011, 11:45 am

          Annie, with that thinking, there wasn’t ethnic cleansing in Israel because Palestinians are still there.

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 11:52 am

          dbg, removing settlements and settlers is not ethnic cleansing. the very term ‘settlers’ describes a foreign entity forging new ground, or new to them anyway.

          anyway, my comment was strictly in response to your allegation there were no jews there, because there are. there were when i traveled there.

        • DBG
          October 13, 2011, 11:57 am

          Chaos, when did Israel last ‘bomb’ Gaza?

        • Woody Tanaka
          October 13, 2011, 12:10 pm

          “annie, there are no Jews left in Gaza, that is the definition of ethnic cleansing.”

          No, it isn’t. The settler pigs were removed because they were thieves and squatters, not because of their religion/ethnicity. Further, they were removed by members of their own religion/ethnicity, so it is not an ethnic cleansing, by defnition, since it requires the party doing the cleansing to be different than the parties who were removed.

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 12:13 pm

          just the other night. they bomb it all the time.

        • DBG
          October 13, 2011, 12:21 pm

          and why did they do that annie?

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 12:34 pm

          sport

        • DBG
          October 13, 2011, 12:37 pm

          we both know why annie and that, hopefully this trade will stop some of the qassam rocket attacks and Israeli retaliation.

        • tree
          October 13, 2011, 2:30 pm

          Tree, there are no Jews in Gaza.

          Not really true. Max Ajls has spent months there, as has Amira Hass. Phil, along with others, visited there. I’m sure there are others. The only Jews who were forcibly removed from Gaza were those illegally put there and subsidized by the Israeli government until the Israeli government decided to remove then because they no longer fit Israel’s strategic planning.

          You are conflating the absence or paucity of Jews with “ethnic cleansing” There are presently no Jews in my neighbors’ apartment across the hall from me ( there used to be, but they moved). I suppose that also means that Jews were “ethnically cleansed” from that apartment, right? And there are numerous towns across the US with no Jews among their population. I’m sure that must also mean that Jews were “ethnically cleansed” from those towns in your view.

          Come on, Zionism is making you dumb. I suspect you’re smarter than that but your Zionist belief system is forcing you to accept idiocies as your talking points.

        • Shingo
          October 13, 2011, 6:03 pm

          Chaos, when did Israel last ‘bomb’ Gaza?

          September.

        • Shingo
          October 13, 2011, 6:05 pm

          and why did they do that annie?

          What do you mean DBG? Why did they do it, or why they claimed they did it?

        • Shingo
          October 13, 2011, 6:07 pm

          we both know why annie and that, hopefully this trade will stop some of the qassam rocket attacks and Israeli retaliation.

          Bullshit DBG. We do both know why and it has nothgi to do with qassam rocket attacks. Qassam rocket attacks wasn;t the reason for the November 4th 2008 raid becasue therere weren’t any at the time.

        • Shingo
          October 13, 2011, 6:08 pm

          Come on, Zionism is making you dumb. I suspect you’re smarter than that but your Zionist belief system is forcing you to accept idiocies as your talking points.

          You hit the nail on the head Tree. I suspect SBG is not a stupid as he would have us believe.

  13. biorabbi
    October 11, 2011, 8:29 pm

    I am very excited about this deal and what it ‘could’ represent.

    • mig
      October 12, 2011, 9:11 am

      biorabbi :

      “I am very excited about this deal and what it ‘could’ represent.”

      ++++ And i’m skeptic. After a few months, same number of palestinians are back in Israel dungeons. Take note after swap, how news increase in arrests field. Has happened every time before…..

  14. RoHa
    October 11, 2011, 8:41 pm

    And here’s another headline that you might have misssed.

    “Israel ‘to legalize outposts on private Palestinian land’”

    link to rawstory.com

    [Edit. No, it wasn't missed. I see it is another thread.]

  15. annie
    October 11, 2011, 10:13 pm

    An Egyptian security source a senior in a special statement, told the German Press “d. B. A”, that the Israeli captive Gilad Shalit arrived in Cairo through the Rafah crossing on Tuesday evening, after the success of the negotiations conducted by the Egyptian authorities with Hamas and Israel in the release him.

    The source added that Gilad arrived in Cairo already waiting for the completion of the transaction and Taslima and travel to Tel Aviv through the Cairo Airport.

    source and google translate

    • DBG
      October 11, 2011, 10:50 pm

      Thanks Annie

      • annie
        October 11, 2011, 11:19 pm

        yer welcome dbg.

        here’s ethan bonner’s nyt coverage.

        In Gaza, night had fallen when the news of a possible exchange began to circulate. Usama Sarhan, 34, a night security guard in a grocery store in Gaza City, expressed guarded optimism as he headed off to catch Mr. Meshal’s address on television. Wary because a deal had been reported to be close previously, he said that if the prisoner trade succeeded, it would be “a victory for Gaza.”

        Later, thousands poured into the streets in Gaza and the West Bank in celebration.

        Ismail Haniya, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, said at a public rally outside the parliament building in Gaza City that Hamas would begin preparations to receive the prisoners, but gave no indication of timing.

        Among those celebrating on the streets was Bahaa al-Madhoun, a Hamas official, whose family was waving a Palestinian flag from their car as he drove past honking motorcycles and trucks blaring music.

        “This is a huge happiness for the Palestinian people, that their prisoners are being released from prisons,” he said. “The Palestinian people have been waiting for that for years. The resistance won, and the Palestinian people won.”

        unfortunately it sounds like barghouti will not be among those released.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 12:49 am

          annie,

          what do you think of bonner’s coverage here, not as a whole, but just regarding this story. To be honest I hear you guys talk about him a lot but I don’t pay much attention to what he says. I am curious if you think it is biased in anyway? I like the way that he brings in other reporters from Arab countries and gives us an idea of the whole picture.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 1:15 pm

          i think the criticisms of his bias are likely having an effect on his reporting. i saw pros and cons in this article and for the most part thought it was fair and decent coverage and especially the opening, ‘balanced’.

          at the same time that balance has it’s limits. for example:

          But both stand to benefit politically and had reasons to distract attention from the efforts of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, as he circles the globe seeking votes for his bid to gain United Nations membership for a state of Palestine.

          meshaal made a speech recently that was favorable to the UN bid. if what he is saying is true about ‘distract attention from the efforts of Mahmoud Abbas’ i think he should elaborate because it stands to reason meshaal would be in favor of abbas’s efforts if he supports going to the UN plus releasing shalit is good for all of palestine not just hamas. otoh, it’s entirely clear why netanyahu would like to distract attention from the UN bid.

          then there’s this: Hamas, which rejects Israel’s existence, is regarded by much of the West as a terrorist organization. It won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and took full control of Gaza in 2007, routing the Palestinian Authority forces loyal to President Abbas of Fatah, Hamas’s rival. Since then, Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza to isolate Hamas, although it has eased many restrictions on imports. .

          this is unnecessary inflammatory rhetoric. Hamas renews offer to end fight if Israel withdraws

          Speaking on the Charlie Rose program on U.S. PBS television, Meshaal directly addressed the issue of armed resistance, which is the basis of its ideology as a national liberation movement.

          “Israel started (the conflict) by the occupation so the resistance is a reaction. The action is the occupation, and the reaction from the Palestinians is that it ends,” Meshaal said, in an interview taped on Thursday, according to a transcript released by PBS.

          “So when the occupation comes to an end, the resistance will end, as simple as that. If Israel would go to the 1967 borders … that will be the end of the Palestinian resistance.”

          Meshaal said if a “Palestinian state with real sovereignty” were established under the conditions he set out, then the nature of any subsequent ties with Israel would be decided democratically by the Palestinians.

          also, it’s not true or fair to frame the isolation of hamas as tied to the civil war set up and supported by US/IS as the economic embargo was placed on palestine directly after hamas won the election. they just lifted it on the WB and pa after they went along w/invading gaza and carrying out the US/IS war to divide palestine.

          so, there are little things like that he didn’t have to add or if he was going to add them he could have been more accurate. also, i don’t think i will ever get used to the key palestinian perspective being shoved to the end of the article but here it is:

          For Palestinians, the plight of thousands of their sons in Israeli prisons has been equally traumatic, and the possibility of their release drew enormous attention.

          he could have mentioned many of israel’s prisoners have never been charged, are held without trial, are picked up on administrative dentention, that 40% of palestinian adult males have spent time in israel’s jails, they are governed by israel military occupation rule..or a little history here. these people are not all terrorists in the least and israel can hold anyone it wants, and does.

          and of course he had to end the piece with israeli quotes about fear of terrorism sans any mention the palestinians have suffered far more deaths than israelis. so it was a primarily israel narrative framing (of course, nyt) that could have been worse.

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 1:26 pm

          cool, thanks annie. I do agree there is a conflict of interest there with Bonner but honestly I don’t read him enough and haven’t been interested enough to look into it myself. so again thank you for this :)

        • Bumblebye
          October 12, 2011, 1:52 pm

          To put it as a simple truth, most of Israel’s Palestinian prisoners/detainees ( the descriptions I keep hearing or reading) should be referred to as “political prisoners”, which in any other country, they would be called.

      • annie
        October 11, 2011, 11:25 pm

        i’m thrilled btw.

        • DBG
          October 11, 2011, 11:29 pm

          me too, hopefully it will lead to an end to the blockade.

        • annie
          October 11, 2011, 11:40 pm

          hopefully it will lead to an end to the blockade.

          and the occupation.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 12:09 am

          And the settlements.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 12:38 am

          and peace for everyone. please i would like nothing more.

        • Chaos4700
          October 12, 2011, 1:15 am

          We already know Israel will never end the blockade. Are you going to stop supporting Israel if they go back on their word yet again, DBG?

        • DBG
          October 12, 2011, 1:30 pm

          Never is a long time Chaos, I said the same about Hamas sending suicide bombers in the 90s, I was wrong. Perhaps Israel will also realize that the blockade isn’t a good move for them politically or from a security aspect.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 6:06 pm

          The blockade is merely an extension of the occupation, which has been going for 44 years. Israel doesn’t care that it hasn’t been good for poiltics or security.

        • Chaos4700
          October 13, 2011, 8:48 am

          You tend to be wrong a lot, DBG. It’s not something I’ve ever had to get used to.

          And the blockade will end, it’s just that Israel will never end it voluntarily.

  16. biorabbi
    October 12, 2011, 12:09 am

    Some good news out of Israel-middle east for a change. Israel should take the initiative.

    1. End the Gaza blockade. It has accomplished nothing IMHO.
    2. Focus on constructive actions(not dialogue)with Hamas. You make peace not with your friends, but with your enemies.
    3. Use the ending of the Gaza blockade to focus on dialogue/relations with Turkey.
    4. Israel must drop the insulting suggestion that the Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish State. This is an insult to Israelis. Begin famously objected to any such language being placed in any official documents regarding Egypt, US, or anybody else. This is a non-starter with the Palestinians and an insult to Israel IMHO.
    5. Reach out to the Egyptians in any manner which is possible.
    6. Focus more on Hamas, less on the PA. I do not believe they represent the Palestinian people any more than Gideon Levy represents Israel.
    7. Make a deal with the West Bank of the Jordan, eliminate new settlements or isolated settlements, engage with ‘viable’ Palestinians who can deliver a feasible truce. Exchange land from inside the green line for any settlements which a final status agreement might detail.
    8. Jerusalem. I would suggest ignoring it since it cannot be divided as far as I understand since certain Churches actually skirt the border. Maybe with an international force within the old city.

    Whatever is the case, Israel should try to take the football all the way here. Try to fashion a solution that meets 99 % of all problems. I say this as a lover of Israel from my heart.

    • Shingo
      October 12, 2011, 12:39 am

      Excellent suggestions Biorabbi,

      I wish all lovers of Israel shared your wisdom.

    • DBG
      October 12, 2011, 12:47 am

      I agree with you biorabbi. I get a lot of flack from hardcore Zionists when I suggest these things, but it has to be done. you basically nailed it, if everything else is addressed we can figure something out with regards to Jerusalem.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 1:02 am

      Whatever is the case, Israel should try to take the football all the way here. Try to fashion a solution that meets 99 % of all problems. I say this as a lover of Israel from my heart.

      i would line up to be a lover of israel if they gave me a reason. really i would. i would like nothing more than peace and a resolution. i can’t think of anything i would like more except perhaps world peace and an end to global warming (if that is not asking too much).

    • RoHa
      October 12, 2011, 1:25 am

      I’m a one-stater*, but this seems like a damn good way of starting a move for a two-state peace.

      (*No personal skin in the game, so I can afford to stand on the highest of principles.)

    • mig
      October 12, 2011, 9:24 am

      biorabbi :

      “7. Make a deal with the West Bank of the Jordan”

      ++++ What is a West Bank of Jordan ?

      “engage with ‘viable’ Palestinians who can deliver a feasible truce”

      ++++ In west bank ? Israel has never offered, or has been taken into consideration proposed ceasefire/truce offers to west bank.

      ” Exchange land from inside the green line for any settlements which a final status agreement might detail.”

      ++++ And how about palestinians who are living in there ? In area between green line and separation wall. Their number is about 250 000. Whats gonna happen to them….

      “8. Jerusalem. I would suggest ignoring it since it cannot be divided as far as I understand since certain Churches actually skirt the border. Maybe with an international force within the old city.”

      ++++ Then you dont have a deal. Take Jerusalem out, and deal is out. End of story. Your other proposals looks good to me. But offer these to palestinians, not to us.

  17. American
    October 12, 2011, 12:15 am

    I am having some serious deja vu with all the prop on Iran lately.
    I have noticed the uptick about Iran in the press, media and among “certain people” for the past month.

  18. biorabbi
    October 12, 2011, 1:23 am

    I forgot to add a US sponsored Marshal Plan to revive the Gaza economy, encourage investment in the West Bank economy, infrastructure, and educational system… also allowing student visas for college for the Palestinian teens if desired(and should be encouraged). Eliminating the boycott of Gaza would have an immediate positive economic impact. Substantial college student visas would not be a high dollar item either. The carrot to Israel for going to the endzone in the West Bank would be Saudi recognition of Israel. Issues such as the arabs recognizing the Jewish nature of Israel should be ignored. Issues such as nutty rabbis and Immans and their proclamations-ignored. Issues such as medical cooperation, cessation of rocket fire, ending the blockade, encouraging the economy should be stressed since all sides gain something. The strategic prize here for Israel would be greater chances for a continued peaceful relationship with Egypt, and peace with Israel’s natural strategic partner on the periphery of the arab world which is Turkey. Strategic relations with Turkey, peaceful existence with Egypt are both direct offshoots of ending the Gaza blockade as soon as the prisoners are exchanged. Turkey’s strong relations with Syria have been damaged beyond redemption(under Assad). From a practical point of view, Israel’s enforcement of a blockade is impossible without a willing Egyptian partner(under Mubarak).

    On the subject of blockades, maybe we should end ours on Cuba as well. Our blockade of Cuba makes is about as effective or makes as much sense as the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 1:34 am

      wow, if this is the new hasbara i’m liking it.

    • Shingo
      October 12, 2011, 1:38 am

      Indeed the blockade of Cuba is among the stupidest US policy one can imagine. I doubt there is a single member of Congress or the Senate who can explain why we still have it.

      As for a US sponsored Marshal Plan, the US government is in no position to pul that off. When the Marshal Plan was introduced, the US had huge savings to lend out. If anything, such a program should be funded by the Arab League.

      • RoHa
        October 12, 2011, 1:54 am

        “If anything, such a program should be funded by the Arab League.”

        As a sneaky way of putting the Israelis, too, under a moral obligation to the Arab states?

    • RoHa
      October 12, 2011, 1:46 am

      I would like to see a move to a public recognition of, and some sort of apology for, the harm the Zionists have done.

      It doesn’t have to be the absolutely first thing that is done, and it might be better if it isn’t, but it shouldn’t be left too long.

      Uri Avnery has called for it. Others have done something similar. It is possible, and definitely desirable, for the reasons AH Vee gave.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      link to mondoweiss.net

      link to mondoweiss.net

      But as annie says, if this is the new hasbara, let’s see more of it.

      • eee
        October 12, 2011, 11:36 am

        All very nice, but ignores the elephant in the room, the demand for the ROR. The diaspora Palestinians would not support any agreement that didn’t include it. That is also why Arafat balked in 2000.

        • annie
          October 12, 2011, 12:27 pm

          ROR is not the elephant in the room, it’s just your elephant. the elephant in the room is israel’s war crimes and constant violations of international law, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. lots of elephants actually.

        • eee
          October 12, 2011, 12:35 pm

          Annie,

          It is a fact that the ROR is the biggest impediment to peace. Any peace plan that does not address this issue has not chance of succeeding.

        • Kathleen
          October 12, 2011, 3:10 pm

          Water rights
          Barak never signed. Then Dennis Ross and Clinton hung Arafat out to dry

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 7:48 pm

          That is also why Arafat balked in 2000.

          Wow, you guys are on a roll with your BS today.

          Arafat balked in 2000 becasue as Shlomo Ben-Ami said, he too woudl have rejected the offer as a Palestinian. In fact, Ben-Ami expained in hsi debate with Fink that Arafat had very little regard for the refugees. What Arafat was most concernd with with contiguous borders and Jerusalem.

        • Shingo
          October 12, 2011, 7:49 pm

          It is a fact that the ROR is the biggest impediment to peace.

          The biggest impediment to peace has been Israel’s rejection of peace becasue it values territory above peace.

        • RoHa
          October 12, 2011, 9:28 pm

          “Any peace plan that does not address this issue [ROR] has not chance of succeeding.”

          And yet it is not an impossible issue to resolve, if Israel were prepared to acknowledge that some sort of compromise deal of return and compensation could be managed.

          There is a lot of space between “no return, no compensation, and no recognition of any obligation at all” (which seems to be the current position of the Israelis) and “any Palestinian and his Welsh brother-in-law can come in and toss rich Jews out of their fancy houses” (which seems to be the current fear of the Israelis).

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 9:42 am

          The biggest impediment to peace has been Israel’s rejection of peace becasue it values territory above peace.

          i agree. here’s our elephant.

  19. annie
    October 12, 2011, 1:50 am

    If anything, such a program should be funded by the Arab League.

    for the most part i agree but on the other hand we owe a huge debt to palestine and whether that debt if framed as reparations or whatever it is a debt that should be paid sans any requirement of the quisling sort. we can afford it. all we would have to do is divert the 3 billion we pay to israel for a few years, like 10. that should give them a leg up.

    • DBG
      October 12, 2011, 1:52 am

      If something like what biorabbi was recommended was pulled off, the money would flow from every direction.

      • annie
        October 12, 2011, 1:55 am

        money is obviously not the issue, and yes it would pour in.

  20. jon s
    October 12, 2011, 2:22 am

    I’m delighted by the news of the Shalit deal, despite the heavy price we’re paying . It’s reaffirmed our basic solidarity, that no boy is left behind. I am concerned about the next few days : in this region a hundred things can go wrong in that time. So no celebrating until we actually see him coming home.

    • annie
      October 12, 2011, 2:33 am

      heavy price? look on your bright side, israel can detain and arrest another 1000 palestinian prisoners and hold them sans any trial by their peers in the near future whereas all those settlers and idf’s who have killed 10 times the amount of palestinians vs whoever suffered on the israeli side will never be held or tried by palestinians because as far as i know there are no jails or courtrooms for them in palestine. palestine holds one, just one whereas israel holds thousands. so ask yourself if that is because palestinians commit more crimes or if it is because of the system. and you claim israel is paying a heavy price? get real.

      a heavy price would be thousands of israeli jews languishing for decades in palestinian jails. your price thus far amounts to nothing in comparison.

    • DBG
      October 12, 2011, 10:48 am

      Amen to that Jon, I am praying for Gilad. Who knows what 5 years of captivity did to him. I do think he was treated as well as possible though, he was their prize possession.

      • Chaos4700
        October 13, 2011, 8:46 am

        Five years of captivity didn’t torture him into confessing to murders he didn’t commit, nor did it burn him or his children to death with white phosphorous. But you go right on praying for Schalit’s Jewish fingernails and ignore a thousand-plus Arab lives, okay?

    • Chaos4700
      October 13, 2011, 8:45 am

      Oh my GOSH, it’s such a chore for Israel, releasing a thousand wrongfully imprisoned people from their military tribunal system.

      • DBG
        October 13, 2011, 4:47 pm

        Chaos, you honestly believe all 1027 are wrongfully imprisoned? in your mind, have the Palestinians ever committed a crime? be honest.

        • annie
          October 13, 2011, 7:24 pm

          i definitely believe of the thousands apon thousands of palestinians imprisoned by israel a minimum of 50% of them are innocent. i also believe there are far more israelis guilty of crimes against palestinians than vice versa. i also know if the cast of characters were reversed you would be singing the same tune as me now.

        • Shingo
          October 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

          That’s the number of prisoners Israel admits it has incarcerated without charge DBG.

  21. kursato
    October 12, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Nice to see some little good that’s coming from the region.

    I am happy for the family of the soldier Shalit. His father looks like a reasonable man, not like those crazy aggressive likud or settler people from the west bank.

    Besides that it shows the dramatic position of the Palestinians. 1 israeli for 1024 Palestinians…
    israel will put those those people back in israeli prisons again in the next months like the other 5000 or more Palestinians waiting to be released…. 250 aged under 16, another 250 without a trail

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