Israeli academics call for massive attack on Gaza to ‘mow the lawn’ — before November election ends the ‘opportunity’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Max Singer Hudson Institute
 Max Singer, at the neoconservative Hudson Institute

I missed this crazy argument out of Israel, but Paul Pillar has pointed it out in a great op-ed at the National Interest– a piece from two Israelis at the Bar-Ilan University calling for a largescale attack on Gaza to “mow the lawn” again before the end of the U.S.  presidential campaign forecloses the possibility.

The Efraim Inbar-Max Singer piece reminds us that Israel’s chief and favored response to political problems is: massive violence. The attack would be bigger than Cast Lead of ’08-09! Demonstrating the role of impunity– Goldstone was squelched, these guys think that Israel can just squelch the next Goldstone. 

Pillar denounces the thinking eloquently: 

Their piece is titled “The Opportunity in Gaza”—it’s interesting how a violent, destructive clash is viewed as a “opportunity.” They argue for a full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip now—one even bigger and more damaging than Cast Lead, with the objective of destroying as much of Hamas as possible. They blatantly recommend exploiting the U.S. electoral calendar, arguing that “until November, the U.S. is likely to restrain rather than promote international action against Israel in response to an action in Gaza.” They say “deterrence created by Cast Lead” is “wearing thin,” and “military action now could restore deterrence.” Someone should point out to Inbar and Singer than when you repeatedly have to go to war that means deterrence is not working. But they don’t seem to care, fully accepting the prospect that in the future “Israel will probably have to ‘mow the grass’ again.” There is not a single word in their paper about the lives and livelihoods of the residents of the Gaza Strip, or the effect what they are recommending would have on those lives.

From Inbar and Singer at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan:

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz stated several times that a large-scale operation in Gaza is inevitable. If he is right, this is the time…

Gaza is small enough so that Israel can find and destroy most of the Hamas military leadership and the leadership of Islamic Jihad and other groups that have been firing missiles at Israel. It is likely that doing so would reduce the amount of missile fire on Israel from Gaza for much longer than Operation Cast Lead did…

In addition, a serious blow to Hamas and other Islamist organizations in Gaza is a signal of Israeli determination to battle the rising Islamist forces in the region, which will buttress Israel’s standing among those powers in the region – as well as elsewhere – that fear the Islamist wave…

By taking the current opportunity to act in Gaza, Israel will greatly reduce the missile retaliation it would face if it attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities..

Finally, because of the election campaign in the US, it will likely be safer for Israel to act against missile attacks from Gaza now rather than eight months from now. Until November, the US is likely to restrain rather than promote international action against Israel in response to an action in Gaza…

Although an Israeli action in Gaza can achieve a significant increase in the protection of Israel from enemy fire for some time, and other security advantages, Israel cannot attain an everlasting victory. There is a good chance that Hamas would be able to restore itself in a year or so. In any event, Gazans and their outside supporters will create new organizations to fight Israel. Even though Israel can destroy a large share of the military equipment that has been smuggled into Gaza in the last several years – which will be an important benefit for the next year or two – we must assume that sooner or later other weapons will be smuggled in to replace those captured and destroyed by Israel. Israel will probably have to “mow the grass” again.

The tragedy of this piece is manifold. It is war to achieve political aims: to show the Islamic world that we know how to take on Islamists, to cripple Hamas (which is not directly responsible for the rocket attacks), to attack during the U.S. presidential campaign. And the military aims are disgraceful: to preempt attacks that might follow the preemptive attack on Iran, and worse, to “mow the lawn” in a way that Israel will have to mow it again in another year or so. 

Also, Max Singer’s son Alex died in combat in Lebanon. You’d think Max Singer might be more thoughtful about the Palestinians who will die when Israel mows the lawn?

No Responses Yet

  1. seafoid
    March 20, 2012, 10:23 am

    Zionism is programmed differently. Zionist leaders dogwhistle to their people and the inferences are very clear.

    Gazans are somehow not fully human, deserving of human rights.

    Catherine Ashton, EU foreign minister supremo said very innocently :

    “And the days when we remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances – the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world – we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”

    Kadima chairperson and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni said that Ashton’s comparison “between the murder of children in Toulouse and the massacre [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is leading in Syria, and the situation in Gaza is reprehensible, infuriating, and wrong. A hate crime or a leader murdering his people is not like a country fighting terror, even if civilians are hurt,” Livni said, adding that Ashton’s comment “represents the misconception in the world concerning the State of Israel and the current leadership’s inability to create the appropriate moral distinction.”

    Israeli FM Mad Dog Lieberman said

    “Israel is the most moral country in the world, despite having to fight terrorists operating from within a civilian population. The IDF is doing everything it can to not hurt that population even though it is defending terrorists,” Lieberman said.
    The FM added that the “children Ashton needs to focus on are the children of south Israel, who live in constant fear of Gaza rocket attacks.”

    My favourite settler said

    She’s a blood thinner in not differentiating between the acts of an anti-Semitic murderer who, as video surveillance footage showed, shot one child at close range in the head**, and those in Gaza, victims of their neighborhood terrorists who were firing at Israeli schoolchildren and killed incidentally in acts of legitimate self-defense.

    • Abierno
      March 20, 2012, 10:42 am

      News reports from France, as well as Sarkozy’s comments would indicate that
      the same assassin of the rabbi and his children, also in an earlier, similar action,
      murdered French Muslim paratroopers. Perhaps this is the rationale for Mme.
      Ashton’s appropriately inclusive remarks.

      • piotr
        March 20, 2012, 11:25 am

        Classic anti-Semites hated all Semites. “Beduin” was an anti-Jewish taunt.

    • Eva Smagacz
      March 20, 2012, 7:59 pm

      Ashton was talking to a group of Palestinian children. She could hardly not mention Gaza.

      Having said that, she appears to be fully conversant with Palestinian viewpoint of I/P conflict. In this, she is a worthy colleague of Mary Robinson.

    • Hostage
      March 20, 2012, 11:06 pm

      She’s a blood thinner in not differentiating between the acts of an anti-Semitic murderer who, as video surveillance footage showed, shot one child at close range in the head**, and those in Gaza, victims of their neighborhood terrorists who were firing at Israeli schoolchildren and killed incidentally in acts of legitimate self-defense.

      The IDF wasn’t killing three year-olds in self-defense. The IDF tracked down and prosecuted a soldier who stole a credit card, but it can’t manage to utilize its own sophisticated command and control system to determine which of its main battle tanks was stationed across from the Khalid Abd Rabbo house on 7 January 2009 at 1250hrs or which of the crew members murdered 3 year-old Amal and his grandmother in cold blood. See Testimony from a Gazan and the Goldstone report, A/HRC/12/48, page 174, paragraph 773-779:
      * link to fora.tv
      * link to unispal.un.org

  2. Woody Tanaka
    March 20, 2012, 10:53 am

    I used to wonder how German academics in the 1930s could support the Nazi program, as many did and chalked it up to some peculiarity among German academics at the time. I no longer do. Inbar and Singer demonstrate that being an academic is no shield from being evil and twisted.

    They should be seized and tried at the Hague for inciting offensive war and for promoting crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    • Dan Crowther
      March 20, 2012, 11:28 am

      Not for nothin Woody — but I remember you defending the dude from Atlanta’s “speech” regarding killing Obama, what’s the difference? Not trying to be a dick either, just wonderin’

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 20, 2012, 1:28 pm

        Dan,

        First, I wasn’t defending his speech, as I noted on a number of occassions during that episode. I was merely noting that his speech wasn’t criminal, based on the nature of the speech.

        Second, I think this speech is a call for an attack against a minority population. The international community has found such incitement can be criminal, (see, e.g., the conviction of Julius Streicher) even if such an act would not be criminal under the US Constitution.

        I would prefer that no speech be criminalized, but if that is not going to be the case, then the law should be applied here.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 20, 2012, 1:56 pm

        Oh no doubt – i knew you werent “defending” him – poor choice of words on my part.

        good point on streicher. well done. carry on! haha

      • Hostage
        March 20, 2012, 11:34 pm

        I was merely noting that his speech wasn’t criminal, based on the nature of the speech.

        Woody I pointed out that the Congress has never amended or rescinded the original statute that criminalized the speech in question. It has subsequently adopted the Patriot Act and other legislation that is not covered by the Court’s earlier decisions.

        We’ve subsequently seen the spectacle of the Congress and President signing indefinite detention without trial into law and our Attorney General justifying extrajudicial killings of citizens based upon the rationale that the phrase “due process of law” in the Constitution doesn’t mean a judicial process.

        So it would be inadvisable for anyone to rely on the principle of stare decisis, because neither the President nor the Congress are paying much attention to it or the guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 21, 2012, 11:30 am

        Hostage, I am not going to go round and round with you about why you are wrong. I tried. You appear to be impervious to the argument.

      • Hostage
        March 21, 2012, 9:34 pm

        You appear to be impervious to the argument.

        Actually you appear to be impervious to facts. I simply said that there was sufficient evidence for a Prosecutor to take Andrew Adler to trial, and David Samel agreed.

        I supplied you with information on the true threats doctrine and a line of subsequent cases that ended up in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, despite the argument that a lower court Judge would never allow such cases to go to trial in the first place.

        Apparently you’re not very familiar with the standard practice of deciding disputes regarding the material facts of a case after the evidence has been presented at trial. The Justice Department has an established practice of obtaining indictments from Federal Grand Juries and appealing the application of stare decisis whenever it feels there are justicable differences between cases.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 23, 2012, 9:31 am

        Okay. I will try one last time (why, I don’t know.)

        Legal analysis is not about saying “In some other case, this broad principle applied, therefore, since I can shoe-horn the broad principle into the present case, therefore I WIN!!!” It’s not. It’s about making fine distinctions.

        And you still don’t get it. You stated that you supplied cases on the true-threat doctrine from courts of appeal and supreme court “despite” you said, “the argument that a lower court Judge would never allow such cases to go to trial in the first place” But that was not the argument. The argument wasn’t that the court would never allow “such cases” to go trial, the argument is that they would never allow this case on these facts to go to trial.

        You need to examine the detailed principles which those cases establish regarding those doctrines and when they can be validly applied, and apply those detailed principles to these facts.

        “Apparently you’re not very familiar with the standard practice of deciding disputes regarding the material facts of a case after the evidence has been presented at trial.”

        And clearly you have no clue what a prosecutor actually does and what prosecutorial discretion is about and how they actually look at cases.

      • Citizen
        March 23, 2012, 11:44 am

        Woody, slight supplement to what you say: Legal analysis meets legal advocacy in American courts at least, when advocates on one side do sometimes try to shoehorn legal principles from cases precedent into a particular case when they don’t really fit under the present facts of the present case. It’s up to the other side to show those legal principles claimed to be applicable by the opponent side are not applicable because the facts are too different. A motion for summary judgment early on, if won, declares that the facts alleged have not been put at issue by either side, and, based on those facts, either one side or the other prevails without further judicial process. if the facts are significantly ambiguous to the Judge , then the trial will proceed further.

        Nearly total contrast to judicial process is provided by claims and counterclaims by media employees & opinion pundits, and by government spokespeople & their detractors. A local tiny example: the Martin v Zimmerman media case. The media is filled now with voices generalizing for their political agenda. The facts are only slowly coming out, e.g., Zimmerman is Latino as much as he is black; Martin at death was not the little kid shown by media photos; Zimmerman suffered physical harm; the FLA “stand your ground” law is not a defense if Zimmerman pursued Martin, did not merely refuse to run away from an imminent fear of gross bodily harm or death, etc. Facts are cheap, often ignored in the media. Nothing illustrates this more than US media’s shallow and biased coverage of I-P conflict for decades.

      • Hostage
        March 23, 2012, 3:36 pm

        A motion for summary judgment early on, if won, declares that the facts alleged have not been put at issue by either side, and, based on those facts, either one side or the other prevails without further judicial process. if the facts are significantly ambiguous to the Judge , then the trial will proceed further.

        The true threats doctrine makes obtaining a pre-trial summary judgment difficult, since it’s based upon the perceptions of the intended victim. You’d have to show that a reasonable man wouldn’t feel threatened; have a sense of dread; or feel the need to take extra precautions that result in disruptions. In this particular case, there is a statute, the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000, that requires the Secret Service to take extra precautions on the basis of reported threats against the life of the President; the Sedition and Patriot Acts, & etc. The practice in the District Courts is divided. Some have ruled that pure speech threats against the life of the President are not illegal, but the Supreme Court has not taken up that particular issue or the constitutionality of the latest statutes.

      • Hostage
        March 23, 2012, 5:09 pm

        “In some other case, this broad principle applied, therefore, since I can shoe-horn the broad principle into the present case, therefore I WIN!!!” It’s not.

        I’ve never said that. I only said that Prosecutors could take this case to Court if they had a mind to do that.

        The Supreme Court hasn’t taken up a case in which its true threats doctrine from Virgina v Black has been tested with respect to a host of new statutes dealing with pure speech threats, like nuisance bomb threats, or threats against the life of government officials and candidates, including the President. The Congress has always said that the state has the right to prohibit threats that cause disruptions in the routine of the victims and of the operation of the government itself due to extra precautions.

        This administration has gone to Court and to the Congress to defended its right to go so far as to kill American citizens outside the context of an armed conflict for pure speech attempts to influence others to murder US government officials through disseminating propaganda. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block the US from carrying out the targeted killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki ana said the matter was a “political question”. I’ve discussed that and other cases here at MW in the past, and now the Attorney General Holder has signaled the Offices of the United States Attorneys that due process doesn’t mean judicial process. Here is another example:

        in February 2010, then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, in response to a question by a member of Congress about the targeted killing of U.S. citizens, stated that the United States takes “direct action” against suspected terrorists and that “if we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission [from the Executive] to do that.” — Alaulaqi v Obama

        *http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/1207/Judge-dismisses-bid-to-remove-Anwar-al-Awlaki-from-US-kill-list

        So you need to stop telling me that no Judge would allow these abuses to happen, because that’s just bullshit.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 26, 2012, 4:01 pm

        “The Supreme Court hasn’t taken up a case in which its true threats doctrine from Virgina v Black has been tested with respect to a host of new statutes dealing with pure speech threats, like nuisance bomb threats, or threats against the life of government officials and candidates, including the President. ”

        Who cares? It’s irrelevant because, again, for the fiftieth time, the guy did nothing which could constitute a true threat. On the actual facts of this case — not some other case regarding nuisance bomb threats or threats against the life of a government official — there is no possible action which could be actionable given constitutional free speech rights. That is the point that you don’t get: this isn’t a case of a guy making a threat against the president; this is a case of a guy discussing whether Mossad should go after the president and whether or not someone should support Mossad. Stupid? Yes. Actionable? No.

        “So you need to stop telling me that no Judge would allow these abuses to happen, because that’s just bullshit.”

        What “these abuses”?? If you seriously believe that there is any connection to be made between the Atlanta publisher incident and al-Awlaki, you are nuts. This is just one of the thousands upon thousands of incidents which the Secret Service investigates during every presidency which does not result in charges because it is within the rights of every citizen of the US to discuss whether a foreign government might want to go after the president and whether one should support that action or not.

      • Hostage
        March 26, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Who cares? It’s irrelevant because, again, for the fiftieth time, the guy did nothing which could constitute a true threat.

        And for the last time you can’t prejudge that issue, because the Supreme Court’s definition of a true threat includes the burden imposed on the victim of having to take extra-precautions, like those statutory ones the Secret Service is required to take automatically. The Court has already ruled that the state can prohibit pure speech in those cases, and that’s why the Congress and lawmakers keep on adopting statutes that make threats on candidates and officials or things like bomb threats or calling-in false alarms illegal.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 27, 2012, 10:16 am

        Being able to Google a couple of cases doesn’t give you an idea how the law actually works.

        “And for the last time you can’t prejudge that issue”

        Yes, you can. It’s done every single day by every single lawyer and judge in every jurisdiction in the US. One of the ways it is done is called “summary judgment.” It’s one of a number of preliminary techniques to elminate cases prior to a determination on the merit.

        You give the state (in a criminal case) the benefit of all reasonable inferences and view the facts in the light most favorable to it and you say, given that set of facts, does that constitute a “true threat” as defined by the case law. And it clearly does not, because there was no serious expression of an intent to commit any act. It was discussed in terms of what the Mossad might do and whether one might support that. There is nothing here, even viewing it in the light most favorable to the prosecution that amounts to a true threat. The fact that the Secret Service is directed to investigate it is wholly irrelevant to the discussion. The Secret Service is directed to act in cases other than true threats, so it’s reaction is irrelevant.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Being able to Google a couple of cases doesn’t give you an idea how the law actually works. . . . One of the ways it is done is called “summary judgment.” It’s one of a number of preliminary techniques to elminate cases prior to a determination on the merit.

        Summary judgments are not appropriate if there are disputes over a “material” fact requiring a trial to resolve. The results of the Secret Service investigation of Mr. Adler and any special precautions that were required as a result would be an example of admissible evidence in a true threats case that you can’t prejudge as “undisputed”.

        All I said was that a Prosecutor could take Mr. Adler to Court on such a basis, and David Samel agreed. Mr Adler would have made an appearance in Court long before the preliminary motions practice that you keep mentioning.

      • Hostage
        March 27, 2012, 6:20 pm

        P.S. Sami Al-Arian, the Holy Land 5, and Irvine 11 can attest to the fact that Prosecutors can be more than a little dickish in developing bizarre theories and strategies to pursue a case.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 28, 2012, 8:09 am

        “Summary judgments are not appropriate if there are disputes over a “material” fact requiring a trial to resolve. ”

        Which only means that if summary judgment requires that the evidence be viewed in the light most favorable to the party seeking judgment, it can’t be entered. However, the mere existence of a dispute will not prevent the entry of summary judgment if law still requires judgment for the party seeking it, even if the evidence is considered in the light favorable to the other side. In other words, the court will presume that every genuine issue of material fact is resolved in favor of the party opposing summary judgment and say, on that set of facts, does the law mandate summary judgment?

        “The results of the Secret Service investigation of Mr. Adler and any special precautions that were required as a result would be an example of admissible evidence in a true threats case that you can’t prejudge as ‘undisputed’.”

        And that evidence, themselves, don’t establish a true threat. So the court would accept that evidence as true, along with the rest of the evidence. But since there is nothing in Adler’s actions which would constitute a serious expression of an intent to commit any act, regardless of how the Secret Service responded, the judge would be forced to grant summary judgment.

        Again, being able read a case or two is not enough to actually know how the process works.

        “All I said was that a Prosecutor could take Mr. Adler to Court on such a basis, and David Samel agreed. Mr Adler would have made an appearance in Court long before the preliminary motions practice that you keep mentioning.”

        Then David Samel is wrong. I’m not talking about only motion practices. This is the kind of thinking that prosecutors do before deciding whether to bring a prosecution in the first place. And, indeed, they’re mandated to do so and to no bring such prosecutions when they can see it will be bounced on summary judgment. (Now this is an oft-violated mandate, but still….)

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 28, 2012, 8:10 am

        “P.S. Sami Al-Arian, the Holy Land 5, and Irvine 11 can attest to the fact that Prosecutors can be more than a little dickish in developing bizarre theories and strategies to pursue a case.”

        And the facts of each of those cases were different from the facts of this case. As I keep saying, it is the facts of this case which lead to the conclusion that there was no violation and that no prosecutor who wasn’t completely insane would bring charges.

      • Citizen
        March 28, 2012, 12:19 pm

        There’s a recent judicial ruling on a white militia group that the feds have been hounding at Obama’s AG direction; the judge decided before trial by jury that the accused were not guilty as charged because the prosecution had not presented, as it said it would, a single instance of action to go along with defendants’ loud proclamations that they would kill various lawmen and politicians to put a stop to what the defendants did not like about government policies. The piece I read made it appear that no summary judgement motion was even presented; at least no mention it, if it was. The judge said all the defendants did was blow of frustrated steam.

      • Hostage
        March 28, 2012, 3:23 pm

        There’s a recent judicial ruling on a white militia group that the feds have been hounding at Obama’s AG direction;

        That’s yet another example of a case that went to Court. There is another case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving a man who made idle comments about shooting Obama with a 50 caliber bullet in an internet chat room. The Secret Service subsequently searched his home and found a 50 caliber rifle. His conviction in the lower court was overturned. The Appeals Court decision explained that its ruling in Planned Parenthood case was still sound.

        My point is that the practice in the federal circuits is split, that there are new statutes that have not been struck down, and that the Prosecutors took all of these cases to Court – including many that involved innocent parties or innocent remarks. In several of these cases, including Watts, the innocent parties were forced to appeal an initial conviction in a lower court.

        And the facts of each of those cases were different from the facts of this case.

        And when the parties have disputes over the existence of a threat, they can end up needing a lawyer to present their arguments in Court.

      • Hostage
        March 28, 2012, 4:34 pm

        Again, being able read a case or two is not enough to actually know how the process works.

        Frankly being able to read the cases that I cited proves that the process doesn’t work the way you keep insisting that it does. I’ve cited plenty of cases involving innocent people who’ve ended up in Court. I’ve pointed-out all along that it would have been wise to counsel Adler against publishing an article that would invite a Secret Service investigation and the possibility of legal action.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 28, 2012, 5:16 pm

        “That’s yet another example of a case that went to Court. There is another case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ”

        And what do those two cases have that the Adler affair does not? Some basis to find a serious expression of an intent to commit an act (or at least present a genuine issue on that point.) In one case, the gun, in the other, the government proffer of evidence that the defendant took an action.

        In the Adler case, by contrast, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to prosecution that it could present something to meet that burden. None. Zilch. Zip. Nothing. Nada. What does that mean, boys and girls? That no prosecutor who wasn’t insane or incorrigible corrupt would bring charges.

        “My point is that the practice in the federal circuits is split, that there are new statutes that have not been struck down, and that the Prosecutors took all of these cases to Court…”

        It’s not about striking down laws, it’s about applying the law. I’m not saying that anything needs to be struck down. I’m saying that taking the law as it is and viewing Adler’s case in the light most favorable to prosecution, you simply don’t have claim that a violation of the law under our Constitution exists.

        “In several of these cases, including Watts, the innocent parties were forced to appeal an initial conviction in a lower court.”

        I get that when you get a law degree from Looking-Up-Stuff-On-The-Internet University, that it makes some sense to say “well, these innocent people had to go to court, therefore, maybe someone would prosecute Adler” without looking at the details of the case. But that’s non-reasoning, and it’s not how it works in the real world. The law, as clearly established, would not support any prosecution of Adler by an prosecutor who is not clinically insane.

        “And when the parties have disputes over the existence of a threat,”

        But what I’ve been telling you over and over and over and over and over and over and over again is that there is no dispute over the (non-)existence of a threat in this case. AGAIN, THE FACTS OF THIS CASE DO NOT CONSTITUTE A TRUE THREAT.

  3. pabelmont
    March 20, 2012, 11:04 am

    In ancient times, doctors believed, taught, and practiced that blood-letting was good for the health of the patient.

    Israel has gone one better: blood-letting of your victim/enemy (that is, of the unfortunate people you haver chosen to dispossess and oppress) is good for your own health.

    World reaction to Goldstone Report (among human beings) suggests this view is wrong, but world reaction (among governments) shows that it was not necessarily wrong.

  4. Winnica
    March 20, 2012, 11:05 am

    The story of Max Singer’s fallen soldier son can be read in two diamtrically opposed ways. There’s the standard Mondoweiss way, typified by Seifoid’s response, which essentially sees the Israelis as monsters, who shrug off the deaths of their own sons and are totally impervious to any consideration of anyone else’s lives.

    Then there’s the opposite explanation, whereby Israelis, familiar with death and violence from close up, are continually seeking ways to control it and to limit it. They know that it can’t be made to disappear, but they are determined to reduce it to a bare minimum on all sides of the conflict.

    There is endless documentation to prove this second explanation. But I doubt the denizens of Mondoweiss are open to seeing it. Still, Phil Weiss does have an inkling: he’s puzzled by Max Singer.

    • seafoid
      March 20, 2012, 11:37 am

      Winnica

      Do you believe there is a moral distinction between Israel’s killing of Gazan kids and the killing of Jewish kids in France ?

      It’s not about painting Israelis as monsters. I’d like to understand why Zippy finds what Ashton said to be offensive. Can you explain ?

      • Winnica
        March 20, 2012, 11:53 am

        Seafoid -

        I’m not going to get into the full discussion, because too often my comments get deleted for no reason I can discern; I certainly stay away from any form of foul-mouthed language which indeed could be plausibly censored. So the full discussion can take place only at a website beyond the MW moderators.

        To your first question, however, the response is simple, and is written in the law books of any civilized society. It is the distinction between murder and manslaughter, which itself is based on intention. The Jewish children in Toulouse were intentionally killed. The children killed by any army which is engaged in war while taking reasonable precautions not to kill them are tragic victims of violence, but they weren’t murdered.

        There is a large body of literature – legal, philosophical, literary, psychological and more – which deals with this. None of it was invented by Zionists, though Israelis participate in the discussion. But the discssion goes back many centuries.

        Ah, just to be clear: There have been cases where Israelis have murdered Palestinians, of course. They aren’t as widespread as the discourse at MW suggests, but Israelis who intentionally take the lives of innocent people are as guilty of murder as anyone else. Just as Palestinians who do so are murderers, and Americans, and Chinese, and Iranians, and indeed anyone who commits the act of murder, irrespective of nationality or ethnicity.

      • Cliff
        March 20, 2012, 12:16 pm

        Actually Israelis who murder Palestinians get off easily and get out of jail fast.

        link to peacenow.org

      • Bumblebye
        March 20, 2012, 12:38 pm

        “The children killed by any army which is engaged in war…”
        The recent assault on Gaza was not a war.
        It was Bibi lashing out and kicking the (under)dog after having his Iran war dreams thwarted by Obama in Washington.

      • seafoid
        March 20, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Winnica honey

        Israel kills Palestinians as part of its ongoing military occupation. There is no war.

        Here’s another one for you

        “At times I ask myself how such a civilized nation, with such a rich history, has allowed such a radical, blind and hate-filled group to dishonor its historic legacy.

        Incredible that Peres would describe Israel thus.
        Actually this was Peres talking about Iran. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black

      • chet
        March 20, 2012, 12:55 pm

        “The children killed by any army which is engaged in war while taking reasonable precautions not to kill them are tragic victims of violence, but they weren’t murdered.”

        What kind of Israel-can-do-no-wrong fantasy world do you live in? Out of 1400 Gazan deaths, there were 350 defenceless women and children killed!

        To engage in some legal nit-picking – a homicide occurring during the commission of a felony, in this case the ultimate crime – a war of aggression, is deemed to be a murder.

      • eljay
        March 20, 2012, 12:57 pm

        >> … Israelis, familiar with death and violence from close up, are continually seeking ways to control it and to limit it.

        And yet the Jewish state remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. Funny how this way of controlling and limiting death and violence have escaped its notice.

        >> The children killed by any army which is engaged in war while taking reasonable precautions not to kill them are tragic victims of violence, but they weren’t murdered.

        The Jewish state’s ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder is a poor indication of how the Jewish state takes “reasonable precautions not to kill” Palestinians.

      • seafoid
        March 20, 2012, 1:01 pm

        Winnica

        Does Israel kill Palestinian kids accidentally in self defence ?
        Which word renders the killing more moral than gunning down Jewish kids in France ?

      • eljay
        March 20, 2012, 1:11 pm

        >> Funny how this way of controlling and limiting death and violence have escaped its notice.

        Minor edit to address a small error and the omission of a sentence:
        >> … It has the power to halt this campaign immediately and completely…but it chooses not to. Funny how this way of controlling and limiting death and violence continues to escape its notice.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2012, 1:43 pm

        “The children killed by any army which is engaged in war while taking reasonable precautions not to kill them are tragic victims of violence, but they weren’t murdered.”

        Oy Gevalt Are you trying to tell me, Uri, that this is a real gun which shoots bullets? I thought it was an automated long-distance halal Pez dispenser! Oh no, I think I’m going to cry!

      • Citizen
        March 21, 2012, 7:53 am

        Winnica, so you’re arguing that no murderous intent was shown when Israelis directed their highly-guided projectiles at any clump of Palestinians that included children on the assumption the adults were using their children as shields?

      • dahoit
        March 21, 2012, 10:02 am

        Well,as WAPO says give our mass murderer(s?)some slack,should we give the Toulouse shooter some?
        The sh*t is getting thicker and thicker.

      • dahoit
        March 21, 2012, 9:59 am

        How about a photograph instead of painting,as a painter interprets his subject,but a photo captures reality better,and shows ones true colors,even a black and white one.
        As in the Israeli partisans paint a very very pretty picture,but a photo of their handiwork reveals reality as much darker and ugly.

    • marc b.
      March 20, 2012, 11:46 am

      There is endless documentation to prove this second explanation. But I doubt the denizens of Mondoweiss are open to seeing it. Still, Phil Weiss does have an inkling: he’s puzzled by Max Singer.

      1. actually, there’s a 3rd explanation, which is that some israelis, not all, have determined that israel’s survival as a ‘jewish’ state is dependent on perpetual existential threat, hence its repeated interruptions of relative calm, unilateral breaking of ceasefires, etc. as dickerson repeatedly points out, this is a variation on the futurist/nihilist philosophy of constant motion, action for action’s sake.

      2. i’m not certain what you think phil finds ‘puzzling’ about singer. the war mongering of parents who have lost children in combat is hardly a novelty.

    • piotr
      March 20, 2012, 12:33 pm

      At the very least, Max Singer should give some thoughts to they young Israeli who will die in “mowing the lawn” operations. From purely operational point of view, he should understand the dilemma of Ehud Barak during Cast Lead. Hamas went into hiding, not being suicidal. Leadership, best troops and presumably most of the weapons were in hiding places which probably were some tunnel network. With copious intelligence IDF has about Gaza Barak had to have good ideas where they are.

      The hiding places most probably had a number of traps and would form killing fields. Perhaps not very effective, but he would loose, say, 100 soldiers. Because the whole operation was a “war of choice”, the tolerance of the public for losses was low. Also, the gains fleeting at best, as Singer described. So Barak decided to minimize IDF personel losses, declare a lot of “targets” etc. In that type of war it is much safer to be a militant than a civilian.

      So simply from Israeli-centric point of view, Singer wants to have more “lasting” effect by having hundreds of Israeli soldiers, like his son, killed. All to achieve a decrease in rocket fire that kills almost no one, and which could be eliminated totally by diplomatic means. Also, to “send a message”. It reminds me words of a song “why they are writing letters with our blood?”

      From outside perspective the total negation of the humanity of the other side is even more depressing. The description he posted about the death of his brave son is telling. It was during long and dirty war with Hezbollah. His son was in a troop that was supposed to set an ambush on the Hezbollah fighters, instead, they have fallen into an ambush. The fighters on the other side are “terrorists”, even though they have ALL hallmarks of soldiers/fighters: fighting on their own territory in organized units with TROOPS of the opponents.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 20, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Israelis, familiar with death and violence from close up, are continually seeking ways to control it and to limit it. They know that it can’t be made to disappear, but they are determined to reduce it to a bare minimum on all sides of the conflict.

      seriously winnica, is there no end wrt these fantasy hasbara narratives? obviously this is just not true. the dahiya doctrine made it abundantly clear minimizing their enemies civilian death is not on the agenda.

      • Winnica
        March 20, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Annie -

        Doctrines are large things. When they exist, they create large amounts of diverse types of traces (also called documents). There’s the documentation created as the doctrine is formulated. There’s the documentation created as it’s implemented, adapted, revised, re-examined, and of course there’s the documentation of how it’s funded. There are the speeches, the analysis, the learned tomes. And much more.

        No-one has every produced any of this pertaining to the doctrine you seem to be referring to. If memory serves, the entire thesis was based on a handful of media interviews which may or may not have been fair representations of what the interviewees said.

        Then there’s Karl Popper’s rule. Popper, an important philosopher as you know, asked himself how historians (or economists, or pundits) might go about proving anything, when they after all cannot create laboratories to test their hypotheses. His answer was that they can’t, but they do have a second, weaker option: once they’ve collected all the evidence they can find to bolster their interpretation of events, they must then set out to seek contradictory evidence. The longer they try to find evidence which disproves their thesis without finding it, the more plausible their thesis becomes, even if it can never be regarded as scientifically proven.

        This is not the Mondoweiss method, of course, where damning evidence against Israel is avidly collected,but contrary evidence is written off as hasbara lies. Yet a careful attempt to prove or disprove Israeli efforts not to harm civilians would have to look at the army’s orders; it’s training efforts; it’s internal deliberations; it’s battlefield recordings; the photographic evidence in its entirety; the forensic evidence; the types of ordinance used according to circumstances; the chain of command required to use such ordinance, and so on and on and on.

        I don’t think you’ve done that, nor do I think you know anyone who has. So I stand by my original statement; I also dare you to produce credible evidence that that doctrine ever even existed, and if it ever did that it still does.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 20, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Heh, you want evidence for a doctrine that you don’t like, while failing to provide any for your own preferred vacuous interpretations. Please go back to philosophy first grade if you want to invoke Popper and others in your obfuscatory rambling. Your disingenuous, and ludicrous, attempts to give yourself some credibility by hijacking Popper in defence of Israeli violence and apartheid is a diversion, since you are apparently unable to conform to the standards you invent for others. Denial and diversion, two popular pastimes of Israel, while its academics calmly propose delusional and psychotic plans. Only someone truly wrapped in a complete fantasy world can propose that by killing defenceless people who are kept under lock and key Israel’s ‘standing will be buttressed in the region’. They actually think that they will be respected for such gruesome, barbaric, medieval pogroms. The only comparable perverse thinking is promoted by Al Qaida. Meanwhile you demand absurd levels of ‘proof’ of the reality witnessed everyday, and documented here copiously, whilst exempting yourself from any such demands. Philosophy – fail. Hubris – pass.

  5. marc b.
    March 20, 2012, 11:24 am

    Inbar and Singer demonstrate that being an academic is no shield from being evil and twisted.

    i dont’t mean to be critical, woody, i get your point. but most of these institutions have what i call ‘inverse bacterial filters’ which allow fecal matter to pass through, and gain tenure, while blocking innovative thinkers whose ideologies don’t suit the purpose of the institutions. like martin kramer and his aptly named blog ‘sand box’, certainly a freudian reference to his subconscious wish to be buried like feline droppings. (if you go to his home page you’ll find martin’s larger-than-life portait projected onto an egyptian pyramid. no delusional pathologies there.)

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 20, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Good points, marc. Food for thought.

      • tree
        March 20, 2012, 9:31 pm

        Food for thought.

        Only if you are into coprophagy.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    March 20, 2012, 1:13 pm

    RE: “Someone should point out to Inbar and Singer than when you repeatedly have to go to war that means deterrence is not working. But they don’t seem to care…” ~ Paul Pillar

    FROM TED RALL, 07/22/10: …Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay Eternal Fascism describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
    SOURCE – link to commondreams.org

    P.S. It appears to me that Israel/Zionism has come to resemble what Umberto Eco referred to as “fascist regimes and movements”, and consequently Zionism ascribes to the “cult of action for its own sake” (e.g. Israel’s settlement project in the West Bank, Israel’s determination to bomb Iran, etc).

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 20, 2012, 1:29 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO SEE: Creating a Warrior State: The Enigma of Israel ~ by Gabriel Kolko, Counterpunch, 3/16/12

      (excerpt) Zionism was supposed to make Jewish existence “normal;” very different than in a Diaspora peopled by goyim, but there is nothing ”normal” in the life and culture of Israel today —which has not lived in peace with its neighbors, much less let the Palestinians have elementary human rights in the lands in which they have lived for thousands of years. If war is the criteria of “normal” existence, then Zionism has become a failed nightmare. It was, when first conceptualized, not supposed to be this way.
      Instead of the original dream of A. D. Gordon, Nachman Syrkin, Dov Ber Borochov, and those influenced by the anti-industrial scouting “wanderfogel” concept (which also played a role in Nazi ideology) or Tolstoy (who influenced some Zionist theorists), it turned out very differently. Israel today, the realization of the Zionist theory, bears little relationship to the original concept, which was much more attune to the fact that Palestine was peopled by Arabs and they were also human beings who deserved to have rights. In its own way, the original Zionist formulations, ignoring the fact there was also a contradiction in wanting to set up a homeland in an area the Jews had not lived for thousands of years and was scarcely Western—as they were themselves now—was much more realistic and fair about the rights of Arabs who were native to that country.
      Instead, Israel today has become a danger to the region and to itself, so much so that it cannot exist much longer with its own contradictions…
      . . . Netanyahu opposes all Palestinian Arab claims for a state of their own and favors measures to restrict the rights of Arabs, whether within Israel or the West Bank. Jabotinsky was very close to Mussolini’s brand of fascism, and the Revisionist youth movement, Betar, maintained a naval academy in Italy from 1934 to 1938. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

      P.P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Ze’ev Jabotinsky):

      (excerpt)…In 1930, while [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky was visiting South Africa, he was informed by the British Colonial Office that he would not be allowed to return to Palestine…
      …During his time in exile, Jabotinsky started regarding Benito Mussolini as a potential ally against the British, and contacts were made with Italy. In 1934 Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Zionist movement set up the Betar Naval Academy in Mussolini’s Italy, which operated until 1938…

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      P.P.P.P.S.

      “…The same biographer, Joseph Schechtman, who was a close personal friend to Jabotinsky, also writes that Jabotinsky was powerfully influenced by Mussolini’s impatient and muscular militarism.” ~ teta mother me, 3/18/12

      SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 20, 2012, 1:44 pm

      P.P.P.P.P.S. LASTLY SEE: The Dilemmas of Israeli Power, by Roger Cohen, New York Times Op-Ed, 2/13/12

      (excerpt). . . Some of the most fascinating pages of “The Crisis of Zionism” [by Peter Beinart] trace the ideological backdrop to the bitter clash between Obama and Netanyahu. Beinart demonstrates the strong liberal Zionist influence of Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf on Obama during his Chicago years. Wolf hated the idea of “an Israel besieged by anti-Semites;” his teaching was “interfaith” and “integrationist.” It cleaved to the liberal roots of American Zionism and the ethical teachings of the prophets who, as expressed in Exodus, commanded Jews not to oppress strangers “having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.”
      The contrast with Netanyahu — raised in the Jabotinsky strain of Zionism by a father who viewed Arabs as “semi-barbaric”* and rejected an “emasculating moralism” [e.g. universal human rights] in favor of a new warrior breed of Jew — could scarcely be greater. . .

      ENTIRE OP-ED – link to nytimes.com
      * SEE – Netanyahu Family’s Racist History: Like Father, Like Son, by Richard Silverstein – link to richardsilverstein.com

    • Charon
      March 20, 2012, 8:15 pm

      Israel has started or instigated all of it’s wars preemptively. Declaring independence in a land that’s not yours is an act of war by the way. Only the 1973 war was not preemptive. The reason why it was not expected was because Israel are terrible mind readers. They always assume and they’re usually wrong. They don’t respond to any credible intelligence, they just terrorize their neighbors so that they never have a chance to surprise them.

      If Israel truly only defended itself, even if it was still a fortress, they wouldn’t have this problem. They’re uncivilized, there is just not other way to describe this rouge behavior. Such barbarians have no right to have sovereignty or their own state.

  7. Mndwss
    March 20, 2012, 1:43 pm

    It’s a dirty job, but the nice zio-gardener has to ‘mow the lawn’.

    Evil irritating plants that had their land confiscated by the nice zio-gardener, who reserved the land for the chosen grass, has to die.

    The evil-muslim-weed threatenes to come back and grow in the beautiful Jewish-lawn, now reserved for the grass with the chosen pedigree…

    The zio-gardener even has to mow the neighbors lawn. There is just so much weed growing there…

    It may infect the chosen lawn…

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 21, 2012, 1:43 pm

      RE: “It’s a dirty job, but the nice zio-gardener has to ‘mow the lawn’.” ~ Mndwss

      AN EARLY SPRING EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, brought to you courtesy of the makers of new Ziocaine Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to knock you on your butt!

      “…We care a lot about you people.
      We care alot about your guns.
      We care a lot about the wars we’re fighting. Gee that looks like fun!
      ~
      We care a lot about the garbage pail kids, they never lie.
      We care a lot about transformers because theres more than meets the eye.
      We care a lot about the little things, the bigger things we top.
      We care a lot about you people, yeah you bet we care a lot.
      Yeah!
      ~
      Said its a dirty job but someones gotta do it.
      Well its a dirty job but someones gotta do it. . .”

      We Care A Lot, by Faith No More (VIDEO, 04:05) – link to youtube.com

      P.S.
      • It’s a dirty job but somone’s got to do it (VIDEO, 00:47) – link to youtube.com
      • Bonnie Tyler, Loving you’s a dirty job But somebody’s gotta do it (VIDEO, 05:47) – link to youtube.com

  8. Blake
    March 20, 2012, 3:37 pm

    These are academics? Just as repulsive as the hasbara rats who infest the net. There is no hope for “Israel”.

    • seafoid
      March 20, 2012, 4:51 pm

      Bar Ilan is a hotbed of right wing nutcases

      • DICKERSON3870
        March 21, 2012, 2:00 pm

        FROM WIKIPEDIA:

        (excerpts) Bar-Ilan University (BIU; Hebrew: אוניברסיטת בר-אילן‎ Universitat Bar-Ilan) is a university in Ramat Gan of the Tel Aviv District, Israel…
        …The founders of the university hoped to produce alumni committed to Jewish tradition, Zionist ideology and science. In 1965, the professors and lecturers were all religious Jews, as were the majority of students. Yosef Burg, one of the prominent leaders of the religious Zionist movement warned that admission of too many non-religious into the university could undermine its character: “If you spill too much water into a wine bottle, you will have no wine.” . . .

        SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Charon
      March 20, 2012, 8:09 pm

      These ‘academics’ are what opened up my mind in general about academics. Not all of them obviously, but many of them. Folks who put years and thousands into receiving a piece of paper and making the right friends to give them an aura of credibility. We’re conditioned to believe they’re experts yet I’ve noticed that a lot of experts are just like the Israeli experts. They’re fools. They get their ‘respected academic’ friends to smear their critics or new ideas that jeopardize their credibility. I know it sounds crazy, but I could build a good case for it.

      These folks are expert professional liars and have mastered the art of sophistry and rhetorical. That doesn’t make them smarter than anybody, just makes people bigger fools for following fools. I saw a round table with Finkelstein up against a couple of these guys and they refuse to accept truth. I guess in Israel, even the highly educated believe the lies.

      There is definitely no hope for Israel. None what-so-ever. I am against military intervention, but Israel is the exception. There is no other way. The US has blood on their hands and has supported Israel since inception. The UN gave birth to it. The British had no right to make it into a Jewish homeland. When the Zionists say to stay out of their business, they have no business. It’s the Wests business. If the west stayed out of its affairs, this would’ve ended 60 years ago.

  9. lysias
    March 20, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Remember, Israel took advantage of the U.S. interregnum between the 2008 election and Obama’s inauguration to conduct Cast Lead.

  10. lysias
    March 20, 2012, 4:58 pm

    The Hudson Institute was founded by “Thinking About the Unthinkable” Herman Kahn.

  11. Sherri Munnerlyn
    March 21, 2012, 9:51 am

    What are the academics doing here? They are calling for another genocidal military campaign in Gaza, that as they always do, primarily deliberately target and kill innocent civilians.

    And Genocide, by Israel or any other nation embracing it, is never morally right or morally justified. And Genocide is genocide, there is no way to cloake it with righteousness.

    I can never understand how anyone calling themselves human can defend these slaughters of the innocent that primaily characterize Israel’s military operations in Gaza, like Cast Lead.

    I cannot see defending war crimes as having any redeeming value in it. If a nation’s existence depends on slaughtering all civilians and childen not of your own tribe, that nation needs to cease existing.

    And of course, the slaughter of nonJewish children in Gaza is just like the slaughter of Jewish children in France. Both are motivated by the very same hate and prejudice and racism. There is no difference at all between these child killings.

    • eljay
      March 21, 2012, 10:54 am

      >> I cannot see defending war crimes as having any redeeming value in it.

      Some folks actually refer to war crimes that benefit them or members of their tribe as “necessary”, and they “primarily celebrate” the benefits of those crimes.

  12. seafoid
    March 21, 2012, 3:03 pm

    There is only one Massive Attack that works

    link to youtube.com

    And did Israel ever produce anything to match it ?
    I don’t think so.

  13. LanceThruster
    March 27, 2012, 11:47 am

    So let me get this clear.

    They have to destroy the village…to save it?

    Seems like deja vu all over again.

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