Israel has already lost this war

Israel/Palestine
on 92 Comments

Israel has already lost this war. It has lost it because it is alienating influence leaders in U.S. mainstream opinion, the very supporters who have been so important in years gone by in insuring Israel’s freedom to do whatever it wants whenever it wants.

These opinion leaders are saying, Enough already; we went through this four years ago and stuffed the Goldstone Report for you! So Israel’s assault ultimately could represent a watershed in US policymaking. 

What follows is a review of the conventional wisdom in the American discourse; it contains a surprising amount of anger toward Israel.

–James Fallows was on NPR’s All Things Considered Saturday, saying that Israel’s leaders have no vision:

most people inside Israel and around it know that sooner or later, the Palestinian issue has to be resolved and addressed. But day by day, week by week, year by year, the steps that Israel feels necessary to take for its own security make that all the more difficult…

–Here is a slideshow at today’s New York Times from the conflict. The first seven images are from Gaza and are horrifying. They include a devastating image of a dead child. By contrast, the Israel images include little palpable suffering and one image of Israelis as spectators of the conflict. As my friend Ed Moloney observes, the Times probably would not have run such a justifiably-lopsided portfolio during Cast Lead four years ago. 

–Yesterday J Street, the liberal Israel lobby group, issued a statement that criticized Israel for promoting a “cycle” of violence and lamented the fact that Israelis have given up on peace. The implicit message is, We held the bag for you during the horrors of Cast Lead four years ago, and now you are doing this all over again? J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami writes:

Even more sadly, there is apparently little audience in Israel for such a message [a political resolution is necessary]. We are told the Israeli people have given up on peace, that we shouldn’t talk of peace, that it’s a dirty word today.

Our message to Israel’s government, and to our friends and family must be clear: we love you, we care about you, and the volcano on whose edge you sit is on the verge of erupting. We back your right to respond to unconscionable rocket fire, but we do not accept complacency or the argument that there is nothing to be done to resolve the conflict…

The statement is also important because American Jewish organizations have traditionally deferred to Israelis with the idea that they have to live with fierce Arabs, we don’t, so who are we to judge. But Ben-Ami is standing up for American Jewish independence, in a way that suggests a divorce between American Jews and Israelis is underway.

–The New York Times’s Ethan Bronner is widely believed to be a liberal Zionist. Even he has had enough, writing on the New York Times front page Saturday about Israel’s lack of vision:

Many analysts and diplomats outside Israel say the country today needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances and shifting alliances.

 

–Then there was Gershon Baskin’s op-ed in the New York Times three days ago, which squarely placed responsibility for this conflict on failed leadership in Israel:

I believe that Israel made a grave and irresponsible strategic error by deciding to kill Mr. Jabari….

Instead [of negotiations], Mr. Jabari is dead — and with him died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised the ability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fire and placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk.

This was not inevitable, and cooler heads could have prevailed. Mr. Jabari’s assassination removes one of the more practical actors on the Hamas side.

I think all these statements reflect the crisis of the Israel lobby. The speakers have awakened to the fact that Israel is out of control; and that the U.S. has enabled this behavior by issuing the country a blank check.

Finally, I’d point out that Fallows, Ben-Ami and Bronner all issued implicit critiques of Zionism itself.

Fallows was most explicit. On NPR, he raised a fundamental issue, Does Zionism work?

People often discuss the other contradiction that Israel faces, of whether, in the long term, it can be a democratic state, including all the people, including non-Jews living in its territory or the kind of Jewish state that it was originally founded to be. These tensions would be a challenging in any circumstances.

Bronner also addressed the question of the sustainability of Zionism, quoting Rami Khouri on the Times front page:

“As long as the crime of dispossession and refugeehood that was committed against the Palestinian people in 1947-48 is not redressed through a peaceful and just negotiation that satisfies the legitimate rights of both sides, we will continue to see enhancements in both the determination and the capabilities of Palestinian fighters — as has been the case since the 1930s, in fact,” Rami G. Khouri, a professor at the American University of Beirut, wrote in an online column. “Only stupid or ideologically maniacal Zionists fail to come to terms with this fact.”

While Ben-Ami is quietly grappling with the end of the Zionist dream:

Without a serious effort promoted by the President to achieve two states now, we may well witness the end of our dream for Israel to exist as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.

Of course the President is doing nothing now about those two states.

Three years ago Matthew Ygelsias said at J Street that while he was committed to a Jewish state, he was more committed to human rights, and he would not become a “Jewish fascist” in the name of supporting Israeli actions. The Israeli government’s blind and brutal assault on Gaza will force him and many other liberal Americans to choose; I believe they will come down on the right side.

92 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 19, 2012, 9:43 am

    The Palestinian side have a far better handle on what is happening in Israel this time around vs Cast Lead

    “IDF must learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy,” says prominent Israeli rabbi

    link to electronicintifada.net

    Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister and notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon, has called for the Israeli army to “flatten” Gaza as the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

    link to electronicintifada.net

    Dancing Israeli students chant “Death to the Arabs” at rally backing Gaza slaughter

    link to electronicintifada.net

    And Israel has moved even further to the right in the meantime

    90% (absolute minimum) of Israel Jews support “war”

    link to haaretz.com

    • FreddyV
      November 19, 2012, 11:31 am

      ‘90% (absolute minimum) of Israel Jews support “war”’

      This is where the one state solution falls flat on it’s arse. Who the hell would want to spend the next 20 years living with a bunch of racists who want you dead, in the hope they’ll finally come around to the idea of treating you like a human being?

      Two state solution, let them build a wall around themselves and the world can forget them.

      • kalithea
        November 19, 2012, 2:33 pm

        There is NO TWO-STATE SOLUTION. Why do you thing Israelis are delusionally cherishing the final solution? They can see the inevitable reality coming at them at warp speed. It’s people who are pushing the delusional two-state solution that are a menace to all sides for prolonging the agony.

      • FreddyV
        November 20, 2012, 3:09 am

        @Kalithea:

        I’m sorry, there is a two state solution. The problem with it is that it’s being managed by the Israelis, a corrupt P.A. and dishonestly brokered by the US.

        International law is on the side of Palestine. Most of the world are behind Palestine. Abbas is going to the UN on the 29th. When they get observer status they can go to the ICC.

        It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s a damned sight more realistic than expecting a bunch of bloodthirsty religious loonies to suddenly grow a sense of humanity.

        Everyone would support a one state solution if it were based in reality rather than idealism. Michael Jackson’s Earth Song video springs to mind.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 3:17 pm

        “Who the hell would want to spend the next 20 years living with a bunch of racists who want you dead, in the hope they’ll finally come around to the idea of treating you like a human being?”

        I do believe those seriously proposing a “one-state” solution do take this into account, and have proposals to deal with it. And I would feel a lot better if I knew what they are. I know they must be there, “one-state” is a serious proposal.

      • FreddyV
        November 20, 2012, 3:24 am

        ‘ And I would feel a lot better if I knew what they are. I know they must be there, “one-state” is a serious proposal.’

        Ha!

        This is the problem. Should a one state solution be met and all the activists and media are satisfied that the Palestinians have finally got justice, they’ll all go away and start campaigning about Tibet or some other place and the racism will still be there, and Palestinians will still be holding on to the shitty end of the stick.

        A one state solution could be easily met simply by annexing the West Bank and giving Palestinians Israeli citizenship and unequal rights. That would take enough heat off of Israel internationally. No one really stands up for Arab Israeli rights and all Israel would have to say is that they’re ‘trying to come up with an equitable solution, but it’ll take time’. Like another 50 years.

        Like was said to the Israelis this week ‘you can’t bomb people in liking you’. By the same measure you can’t boycott people into liking you either.

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:25 pm

        “and the racism”

        Screw the racism! I’m sure Palestinians are as tough as anybody else, and can stand a little racism (not that people should have to, it goes without saying).
        No, it’s the completely developed, well armed, and always ready to exist Zionist underground, mostly made, I would guess of former IDF officers between war crime indictments, and generously funded by Zionist organisations which will like Israel even better as a violent failed state.

        Any process, as far as I can see, which will lead to a peaceful, democratic one-state will look very much like the Allied occupation and deNazification of Germany after WW2.

      • sardelapasti
        November 20, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “This is the problem. Should a one state solution be met … Palestinians will still be holding on to the shitty end of the stick.”

        Not necessarily. Mooser was asking for the different proposals.
        One proposal aiming at strict compensation for the crime would be that of returning all land to its genuine owners, making the citizenship of the locally-born illegal immigrants dependent on their own acceptance of terms, and expelling all others (pending an act of clemency by the owners of the land). Plus reparations for every red cent of material and moral damage since the pre-partition aggression. Enforced with the enthusiastic support of the next Martian and Mercurian administrations, it would have no shitty end for the owners of the land (the 6% of pre-Zionist Jews belonging to them would be well advised to prepare their claims, too).

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 20, 2012, 7:32 pm

        How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born? Presumably you are referring to descendants of immigrants. What good does it do to talk about depriving Israeli Jews of citizenship or expelling them? The PLO gave up this approach decades ago. The main problem is that such talk confirms the deepest fears of Israeli Jews that they will have done to them what they did to the Palestinians. If they are so bellicose, it is not only because they are racist (etc.) but also because of these fears.

        Of course the problem of land ownership will have to be tackled — in a balanced way that will ensure a stable livelihood for all the inhabitants of Palestine, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

      • sardelapasti
        November 21, 2012, 11:25 am

        “How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born?”
        Simply by adopting one of the possible interpretations of “immigrant” (see all the countries where place of birth does not automatically confer citizenship; the extreme case of this interpretation is of course the “Israeli” citizenship understanding, where being born in Kamchatka to a “Jewish woman” confers first-class citizenship, while being indigenous to the country and owning it while not racially “Jewish” designates you for spoliation, expulsion and assassination, and in the best of cases having second-class citizenship in a state officially labeled as Not Yours.)

        “What good does it do to talk about depriving Israeli Jews of citizenship or expelling them?”
        It just confirms the fact, as was made clear to the Nazi government in its time, that conquest and armed invasion does not confer any rights at all. As a result, only concessions or acts of clemency by the owners of the land may make exceptions.

        “The PLO gave up this approach decades ago.”
        Everybody knows that the PLO has made some concessions for illusory peace, but has not ceded any of its rights. The PLO or some other body may or not have the right to make concessions about some of the Palestinian people’s essential rights. No one has the right to renounce those rights, as opposed to making concessions.

        “The main problem is that such talk confirms the deepest fears of Israeli Jews that they will have done to them what they did to the Palestinians”
        Wow. That, now, is another artistic illustration of the untranslatable, oh-so-American word “chutspa”: “Your Honor, I am fully justified in stealing and pillaging further, because I have a justified fear of the revenge that I have fully earned by massacring and pillaging in the first place!” Do you really think this bunch of (>90% according to all polls) criminals needed yet one more excuse?

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2012, 12:07 pm

        “How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born?”
        Simply by adopting one of the possible interpretations of “immigrant” (see all the countries where place of birth does not automatically confer citizenship;

        The aims of the BDS movement are equal rights for everyone in line with:
        * The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
        link to un.org
        * The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
        link to www2.ohchr.org
        * The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
        link to www2.ohchr.org

      • sardelapasti
        November 23, 2012, 1:29 pm

        “The aims of the BDS movement are…”
        Who the hell was talking about “the BDS movement”? One more irrelevant side issue.

        That “BDS movement” is a sometimes helpful sideshow, which at times seems to do a lot more harm than good by working as a diversion, directed by crypto-Zionists, to push the idea that the 1948 aggression and occupation have some legality, and that only post-1967 occupation is to be boycotted! It is good of course to have people boycott even a part of the Zionist fiction of “legitimacy” (at the price of pro-Zionist propaganda, I don’t think so)… but what the hell has that got to do with the many valid definitions of “immigration”, the need to serve the Zionists some of their own medicine, the total absence of “legitimacy” of illegal squatters since before 1948 and their offspring, and the conditions to be imposed on mortal enemies intending to reside on one’s own soil? Algeria, anyone?

      • Hostage
        November 23, 2012, 2:24 pm

        “The aims of the BDS movement are…”
        Who the hell was talking about “the BDS movement”? One more irrelevant side issue.

        The aims of the BDS Movement are equal rights of citizenship for all of the inhabitants. That is not an irrelevant side issue when you are trying to disingenuously justify the denial of those rights to the indigenous Jews by labeling them as so-called “immigrants”, i.e., in response to the question “How can an immigrant (legal or not) be locally born?” you replied Simply by adopting one of the possible interpretations of “immigrant” (see all the countries where place of birth does not automatically confer citizenship;

        You aren’t really very good at dissimulation. So why don’t you just drop the subject and stop embarrassing yourself?

      • sardelapasti
        November 24, 2012, 12:38 pm

        “The aims of the BDS Movement are equal rights of citizenship for all of the inhabitants. ”

        Wrong. It is to provide some way of non-violent action to both those who oppose the existence of the Zionist entity and to those who support it within its pre-1967 “armistice line”. Period. The latter has zilch to do with equal rights, it represents its contrary.

        “disingenuously justify the denial of those rights to the indigenous Jews by labeling them as so-called “immigrants”

        Nothing disingenuous. They are illegal immigrants. Came themselves or were brought there by illegally exercised parental authority. The citizenship interpretation (non-French-style) that does not automatically consider people born somewhere to be automatically citizens is perfectly legitimate. And the Palestinians can of course grant citizenship but on their own terms, without some kind of inexistant “right” being created by the Zionist aggressor.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2012, 3:41 pm

        Hostage: “The aims of the BDS Movement are equal rights of citizenship for all of the inhabitants. ”

        Sardelapasti: Wrong

        According to “Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights”, 9 July 2005:

        These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

        1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
        2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
        3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

        link to bdsmovement.net

        Resolution 194 applied to “Palestine refugees”, including the Jewish inhabitants of the proposed Arab state and East Jerusalem, e.g. the Etzion Block. More than 17,000 Jewish refugees were registered with the UNRWA and their descendants would be entitled to reclaim any property shown in the UN PCC registry or claim compensation.

        Resolution 181(II) had required both states to adopt constitutional guarantees of minority human rights and required the governments of both states to supply declarations acknowledging that undertaking. So, it came as no surprise when the 1988 Declaration of the PLO stated that resolution 181(II) would continue to be the basis of the State of Palestine’s international legitimacy and that they would adopt a

        “parliamentary system based on freedom of opinion and the freedom to form parties, on the heed of the majority for minority rights and the respect of minorities for majority decisions, on social justice and equality, and on non-discrimination in civil rights on grounds of race, religion or colour or as between men and women, under a Constitution ensuring the rule of law and an independent judiciary and on the basis of true fidelity to the age-old spiritual and cultural heritage of Palestine with respect to mutual tolerance, coexistence and magnanimity among religions.”


        link to unispal.un.org
        The General Assembly acknowledged that the Declaration was “in line with resolution 181(II).”

        Of course the BDS Movement has not endorsed the two state solution, but its adoption of “International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights” dictate equal rights for everyone in the event that the parties adopt a one state solution.

    • Krauss
      November 19, 2012, 3:34 pm

      Phil, what you are noticing is that liberal American opinion, at an élite level is shifting. Four years ago a lot of people were not very sympathetic to Israel within these circles but it was still moderated. The scars of the second intifada and the last minute push by Bush and Rice to some sort of agreement covered a lot of stuff that Israel did.

      Now, however, the shift is much more open and broad. It isn’t muddled.

      But that still leaves the neocons. Murdoch is thinking about buying LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. He’s a fanatical Zionist.

      And then you got the Washington Post. You got Comcast, who’s senior management is riddled with right-wing loonies, including David Cohen(who hosted a fundraising effort for the president, no less) and who also went out of his way during the UPenn BDS conference to force the university’s leadership to denounce it.

      Wake me up when these shifts are seen in the coverage of über conventional wisdom news networks like ABC or CBS.

      A short story on NPR or a more anguish on the Op-Ed space of the NYT is not enough, not nearly enough.

  2. pabelmont
    November 19, 2012, 9:50 am

    Phil, not the beginning of the end, but possibly the beginning of the ending. (Who said that?) There is a tremendous momentum in politics. changing the direction of Israel (or of USA) is like turning an oil-tanker in less than 20 miles. We must continue to push (with education and moral suasion) for EU and UN action, or even for mere statements from those folks.

    Is Obama a dreadful disappointment? Of course. A surprise? Nope.

    As FDR is reputed to have said once to a lobbyist, “OK, you’ve persuaded me. Now pressure me.”

    • seafoid
      November 19, 2012, 11:54 am

      The comparison with Cast lead is interesting

      US Gov- no change
      US public opinion- only 60% pro Israel now – decrease
      Isr Gov – Likud, not Kadima – no change
      Media coverage- better
      Israeli public opinion- more extremist
      Hasbara – struggling

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 3:20 pm

      “I believe they will come down on the right side.”

      Gee, that sentence sort of covers you both ways. But seriously, I think you are correct, the more the Palestinians, the Gazans are reduced, the less trouble they will make for Zionism, and the more, Zionists will be sympathetic to them. And if they can be entirely eliminated as a political force, as a people, oh, the sackcloth and ashes, the rending of garments you will see from Zionists! It’ll be safe to be completely on their side only once they are gone.

      • JamieT
        November 19, 2012, 4:52 pm

        Well I don’t know if I’m the best exponent of the 1-state solution but here goes:

        My thinking is that once the refugees return and the borders broken down, the lunatic racist fringe will proclaim the destruction of Israel and emigrate, leaving behind a more reasonable/malleable/juicy middle.

        Even then, though, the process required is ‘cultural change’. Statistics like 90% support for war can be disheartening, but they’re not impossible to overcome. And once the hasbara and the lobby groups are dismantled, messaging is going to get easier.

        I think even as sketchy and fraught as this is, the problems facing a 1-state solution are piddling compared to the prospect of a 2-state solution.

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:29 pm

        “My thinking is that once the refugees return and the borders broken down, the lunatic racist fringe will proclaim the destruction of Israel and emigrate, leaving behind a more reasonable/malleable/juicy middle.”

        Oh, I see. So is it the “lunatic racist fringe” which is attacking Gaza?
        And what is going to make them leave? That they aren’t in style anymore? Yesterday God gave them the land, in defiance of the whole world, but they’re going to say “Oh well, let’s just forget it?

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:31 pm

        “And once the hasbara and the lobby groups are dismantled, messaging is going to get easier.”

        Excuse me, but how do you intend to “dismantle” perfgectly legal orgaisations, private organisations, which have done nothing illegal?
        Tell them everybody thinks they are poopyheads?

      • RudyM
        November 20, 2012, 6:52 pm

        Actually, if laws were enforced in the U.S., it would eliminate some of the problem. AIPAC espionage? Sound familiar?

  3. Dan Crowther
    November 19, 2012, 9:56 am

    And we know you’ll be there to congratulate them IF they do. We’ll probably be in year 55 of occupation, and year 5 of outright fascism in both Israel and the US. So, let me be the first to say, Thanks. Pfft.

  4. Citizen
    November 19, 2012, 10:00 am

    I see, Phil–what you say must be why Rupert Murdoch tweeted that America’s Jewish-owned media is a jew-hater, unlike his media, e.g., Fox channel (& he, hopes, soon the Chicago Tribune). You can read all about it on the Daily Beast-don’t forget the comments.

    • MRW
      November 19, 2012, 10:29 am

      They’ve scrapped the better comments, Citizen. All that remains is pablum.

  5. ritzl
    November 19, 2012, 10:04 am

    Is this the same Ben Ami that came out a few days ago with a statement touting Israel’s right to defend itself?

    I agree with the premise of this piece, there WILL have to be a shift eventually because Israel’s killing of Palestinians has become entirely too self-pleasuring for normal people to stomach (i.e. sicko), but I won’t believe there’s any significance in these particular statements until there’s some tangible signs that the co-dependency has ended.

    BTW, Great coverage of this latest round of gratuitous violence.

  6. Citizen
    November 19, 2012, 10:05 am

    Nothing like Murdoch repeating Jews Own/Control the Media, and therefore, they should act according to self-serving tribal instinct, when informing the Gentile 98% of America, an America that enables, funds, diplomatically covers at the UN, Israel’s everyday atrocities.

    Axelrod is on the case, as he was re the attack on the US embassy.

    I look forward to the bleeding of US-Israeli enmeshment. Who knows, maybe an average American may one day get a break from his betters?

  7. radii
    November 19, 2012, 10:15 am

    If this divorce does indeed happen, then division of the assets is where it will count – US Jews have to push for a cutoff of all funding to the awful israeli government and for releasing our Congress from the stranglehold of the israeli lobby … living as an old married couple that just doesn’t talk to each other won’t cut it

    • MRW
      November 19, 2012, 10:27 am

      The Christian churches are going to do that for them, I think.

      • Betsy
        November 19, 2012, 11:17 am

        @MRW — speaking from the bowels of said Christian church — I’m not sure what we’ll be able to accomplish. I profoundly hope you’re right, tho’! [PARDON MY NAVEL-GAZING BELOW– WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT IS SO LESS URGENT THAN WHAT’S HAPPENING IN GAZA RIGHT NOW — but it’s related in the sense that it’s about mobilizing one part of the global movement FOR Palestine over the next several years]

        It’s amazing how the ‘mainline’ Christian churches have been sidelined from the ‘public square’ in US since the rise of the so-called ‘Christian’ Right. Various metaphors are used to deflect attention from us. The main metaphor is that we’re boring — so we get patted on the head & dismissed. Even when we attempt civil disobedience, it doesn’t get media attention. And, politicians don’t seem to care when we lobby (which we do constantly) — despite the many millions of votes we represent.

        I’m hoping that our current soul searching & prayer will lead to some new forms of ‘speaking Truth to Power’ in next several years. One argument I am making is that we could increase our punch & get more people ‘in the streets’ if we start some major civil disobedience that brings many issues together. E.g., the “Nuns on the Bus” had an impact because they focused on the ‘Ryan budget’ but connected it with many other justice issues. In my church (Presbyterian) — the thing that brings together many of the long historic concerns of the church is the military/industrial complex & neoliberal globalization & increasing inequality trends. This might sound far from I/P — but actually from our point of view — it’s deeply connected. We tend to be concerned about the material grounds of power. The crony capitalist arms industries, tied in with other forms of “shock capitalism”, also is structurally deeply linked to fossil fuels (I speak from the belly of Big Coal economy) & climate change. The most clarity & energy I feel in my church is to go after Congress on military aid to Israel (and elsewhere) as part of a broad anti-austerity, social justice, post-fossil fuel ‘green new deal’. As you can see, I’m flailing to get the right language here. But, if we could get some simple labels to summarize all this (Naomi Klein’s current writing on neoliberal globalization & climate change comes closest) — AND if we can innovate forms of direct action (to pull in the righteous prophetic anger of pew sitters, while not pushing our regrettably bourgeois sensibilities) I really think we might be able to get surprising numbers doing some surprisingly radical things….

        The connection for me between what I just said & I/P is that I feel like Israel is in many ways a victim of American military/industrial complex (just as is Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). The billions of military & other US aid is a major corrupter of politics in other countries and AMERICANS SHOULD SHOULDER THEIR TERRIBLE HISTORIC GUILT FOR THIS — and now force a change in our own govt. We Protestants always get most mobilized when we can blame ourselves at the same time as we blame others – so I think that a major focus on US govt’s despicable role (and our own complicity in this) will fire people up more than BDS (I personally favor BDS & I think PCUSA likely will vote that way in 2 years) — but I think a major movement against US military aid might be more likely to really awaken some sleeping giants with real fire in their belly.

      • Ellen
        November 19, 2012, 11:49 am

        Betsy, thank you for your comments, but we still have Sunday TV programs on major outlets such as CNBC preaching for return of all Jewish people to Biblical Israel (whatever that metaphor is) and end of times.

        We still have most all Congressmen (this includes women) furiously tweeting their loyal support for “Israel to defend itself.”

        Phil Weiss is a hopeful person and makes an interesting argument. But our US institutions — media, government and religious — overwhelmingly are on the wrong side of this horrible conflict.

        It is an industry fueled by propaganda, emotions and money.

      • MRW
        November 19, 2012, 11:55 am

        @Betsy,

        I understand what you mean about the guilt thing but you won’t budge a politician an inch with it. And politicians won’t pay an ounce of attention to you unless you threaten their votes. There are only two things they react to: money and votes. So while the donors may get their attention (Adelson, anyone?), what good does money do them if people wont vote for them?

        I was thinking about this last week. The 15 Church leaders should have made originally signed letters (yup, all 438 or whatever it is) available to the churches in every district who would then send the letter to their congressman. The local pastors’ names should have been added with a request that the local churches want a meeting to discuss the issue before the congressman comes up for reelection. Then followup, establish a date, and advertise the issue to get the attendance out. A little more work, but at least the congressman would have to buy some Charmin.

        And don’t forget to include the Latinos.

      • Ellen
        November 19, 2012, 12:38 pm

        MRW and Betsy….exactly. Only fear of loosing their jobs will get them to act.

        You could start by highlighting the calls inside Israel, including parts of the government, for a genocidal solution — a final solution.

        Publicly challenge your Congress how far their support for “Israel to defend itself” goes? Where does defense stop and revenge and carnage and genocide begin?

        Get your church members by the thousands to call your representatives and make sure they know that their job depends on votes and votes depend on them answering to their voters and not to their paymasters.

        Betsy, we have a slow moving genocide going on now. It will soon accelerate. Most of the Israeli public is behind that. Americans are being prepared and our government is going along with it.

        When you meet with your Congress, remind them that their support of the genocide will be made public.

        Ask them about Son of Sharon’s call to finish Gaza off in “self defense.” This has lots of support in Israel.

        “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”

        link to jpost.com

      • Keith
        November 19, 2012, 1:01 pm

        BETSY- “…the thing that brings together many of the long historic concerns of the church is the military/industrial complex & neoliberal globalization & increasing inequality trends. This might sound far from I/P — but actually from our point of view — it’s deeply connected.”

        Absolutely, positively. In the long run, unless the system is changed, history will just keep repeating itself. In capitalism, the key instrument of social control is the financial system. As part of your inquiries, you may wish to visit a website by a guy named Damon Vrabel which discusses this in about 10-12 brief videos (Renaissance 2.0) which do a remarkably good job in presenting this essential information.
        link to csper.org

      • David Doppler
        November 19, 2012, 2:04 pm

        Betsy,

        Thank you for this post! I think Netanyahu [like how many other right wing leaders in history?] has overplayed his hand repeatedly, yet the US has enabled him, and he will keep going further until either someone bloodies the bully’s nose, or he brings down catastrophe on millions. Sure Israeli hasbara and the Israel Lobby have played a role, but the keepers of core US values, including the mainstream protestant churches, have allowed it to happen. Time to stop allowing it to happen.

        The way to bloody the bully’s nose, as opposed to allowing him to bring on a bigger catastrophe, is for the US to use its resources to bring about a defeat for Likud-Beiteinu in the January elections, with a strong message that Anti-Arab bias, permanent occupation, disenfranchisement of Palestinians, “mowing the grass,” are unacceptable under American values. That includes churches writing letters to Congresspersons, and Christians engaging with their progressive Jewish friends on how to bring about change. President Obama and/or Congress could make clear that the current administration and direction are unacceptable, but they need sufficient cover from large groups of activists, including progressive Jews, to have the daylight to do so.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 2:37 pm

        “The way to bloody the bully’s nose, as opposed to allowing him to bring on a bigger catastrophe, is for the US to use its resources to bring about a defeat for Likud-Beiteinu in the January elections”

        So you want the US to interfere in another countries elections, subvert their democratic process? You don’t see a few legal problems there?

        And it’s very telling, you want the US to somehow fix it for Israel, without the Israelis facing the truth, and being made accountable. And to do that, you would plunge the US into international political corruption.
        These not-a-Zionists drive me nuts.
        Oh, and let me also congratulate you on the practicality and likelihood of your plans. When there’s a crisis, it’s always comforting to retreat into pilpul and fantasy. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!

      • john h
        November 19, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Yay, Mooser to the rescue with some reality. Thanks.

      • Betsy
        November 19, 2012, 3:49 pm

        @David Doppler — mainline Christians will run from the idea of interfering in another country’s elections (after having labored against American intervensionism in Cent’l America, South America, etc. — you can see how succesful we were at that!).

        But, this horrific genocidal language that is appearing now in public from Israelis towards Palestinians — might really galvanize the churches.

      • JennieS
        November 19, 2012, 6:20 pm

        The op-ed is an abomination but scroll down to the comments. I expected to find many comments suporting Gilad Sharon (it is the J’Post after all) but surprisingly many comment expressed horror at his ideas and those were the comments most likely to get a “like”.

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2012, 6:06 am

        @ MRW
        I tend to agree with you, but I don’t any chance during Obama’s second term that those dots will be connected and together, driven to sufficient width of the Democratic home base–obviously, the immediate chance for this lies in the “fiscal cliff” battle due by end of year to avoid triggering the slab cuts, which cuts themselves include actual cuts in military spending v safety net spending.

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:35 pm

        “Yay, Mooser to the rescue with some reality. Thanks.”

        Don’t congratulate me yet. There seems to be an awful lot of people commenting (David very prominent among them) who think that magic (and ROTFL, “just war morality”) is the only solution. Me, I’m afraid of magic, but other people might be more adept with it.

  8. MRW
    November 19, 2012, 10:26 am

    Where does Bronner live these days? I forgot.

    • lohdennis
      November 19, 2012, 11:29 am

      Bonner is back in the US doing work that is generally not related to the Middle East. He flew to Israel to start coverage while Judi Rudoren (current Jerusalem Bureau chief) is in Gaza City.

    • kalithea
      November 19, 2012, 3:13 pm

      In a Palestinian refugee’s house no doubt!

  9. doug
    November 19, 2012, 10:36 am

    More than anything it represents the divergence between American Jews and Israeli Jews as the latter has drifted further into the abyss.

    It’s similar to the border state families torn asunder in the Civil War.

    • seafoid
      November 19, 2012, 11:15 am

      A very significant fork to divide the common road of the US and Israel . This actually makes me physically sick.
      Gilad Sharon outlines the sort of thinking that led to the razing of the Warsaw Ghetto.

      link to jpost.com

      A decisive conclusion is necessary
      By GILAD SHARON
      11/18/2012 22:43

      There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.

      Anyone who thinks Hamas is going to beg for a cease-fire, that Operation Pillar of Defense will draw to a close and quiet will reign in the South because we hit targets in the Gaza Strip, needs to think again.

      With the elimination of a murderous terrorist and the destruction of Hamas’s long-range missile stockpile, the operation was off to an auspicious start, but what now? This must not be allowed to end as did Operation Cast Lead: We bomb them, they fire missiles at us, and then a cease-fire, followed by “showers” – namely sporadic missile fire and isolated incidents along the fence. Life under such a rain of death is no life at all, and we cannot allow ourselves to become resigned to it.

      A strong opening isn’t enough, you also have to know how to finish – and finish decisively. If it isn’t clear whether the ball crossed the goal-line or not, the goal isn’t decisive. The ball needs to hit the net, visible to all. What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was defeated.

      To accomplish this, you need to achieve what the other side can’t bear, can’t live with, and our initial bombing campaign isn’t it.

      THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

      The Gaza Strip functions as a state – it has a government and conducts foreign relations, there are schools, medical facilities, there are armed forces and all the other trappings of statehood. We have no territorial conflict with “Gaza State,” and it is not under Israeli siege – it shares a border with Egypt. Despite this, it fires on our citizens without restraint.

      Why do our citizens have to live with rocket fire from Gaza while we fight with our hands tied? Why are the citizens of Gaza immune? If the Syrians were to open fire on our towns, would we not attack Damascus? If the Cubans were to fire at Miami, wouldn’t Havana suffer the consequences? That’s what’s called “deterrence” – if you shoot at me, I’ll shoot at you. There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

      There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.

      Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant – but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.

      IF THE government isn’t prepared to go all the way on this, it will mean reoccupying the entire Gaza Strip. Not a few neighborhoods in the suburbs, as with Cast Lead, but the entire Strip, like in Defensive Shield, so that rockets can no longer be fired.

      There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip. Otherwise there will be no decisive victory. And we’re running out of time – we must achieve victory quickly. The Netanyahu government is on a short international leash. Soon the pressure will start – and a million civilians can’t live under fire for long. This needs to end quickly – with a bang, not a whimper.

      The views expressed in this op-ed do not reflect the editorial line of The Jerusalem Post

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 2:43 pm

        But seafoid, what if we gave the Israelis (and David seems to suggest this should be under the official auspices and payed for by the US government):”a strong message that Anti-Arab bias, permanent occupation, disenfranchisement of Palestinians, “mowing the grass,” are unacceptable under American values.”? Why, they’d plotz, and say ‘No more nachos for us until we fix it’!

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 3:53 pm

        I wrote “payed for”? Oh well, there it is. I’m a looser.

      • just
        November 19, 2012, 9:33 pm

        That is very definitely puke- worthy, seafoid.

        Sharon’s son is quite an awful person, imho.

      • American
        November 20, 2012, 1:20 am

        seafoid says:
        November 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

        This actually makes me physically sick.”

        My normally very cool and collected wife finally lost it tonight…she wants Israel blasted into extinction or otherwise disappeared…immediately. Maybe she’s been listening to me too long and it’s affecting her. But it’s the dead children..again…that sent her over the edge. And then the Israeli ”monster’ as she described him coming on right after with his” guttural accent and slimy whine’ about Israel being the victim. She fired off a fax to Senator Hagen suggesting that the senate and house all need to be executed for making the US complict in Israeli war crimes. I’ll probably get a call from the FBI tomorrow. I hope they don’t send an agent to question her, she’d probably kill him with her tennis racket.

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:38 pm

        “Maybe she’s been listening to me too long and it’s affecting her.”

        Funny, my wife told me the exact same thing yesterday. And she wanted somebody “blasted into extinction or otherwise disappeared…” but I don’t think it was Israel, although she did have some rather crisp things to say about one particular Jew.

      • Sibiriak
        November 20, 2012, 10:12 pm

        And when Israel doesn’t “flatten all Gaza,” it can be concluded that the Israeli government is more moderate and reasonable than extremists like Gilad Sharon.

    • kalithea
      November 19, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Divergence baloney! At most, lip service.

  10. lohdennis
    November 19, 2012, 11:27 am

    Phil, I tend to agree with your assessment. However, I think some of these outlets are backpedaling a bit. While the WaPo had the photo of the Palestinian BBC journalist holding his dead child the first day on the front page, that sort of coverage has disappeared. The horrendous murder of ten members of one family while mentioned is still buried among the reports of Hamas rockets.
    I listened in on Oren Marmostein’s (of Israeli Embassy in Washington) conference call on Friday. He was bemoaning the “biased” coverage of American media vociferously. I am sure that the Israeli Embassy is pushing very hard at the publishers and editors as we speak and hence the slightly changed tone of coverage despite worsening situation in Gaza.

  11. Ellen
    November 19, 2012, 11:53 am

    As our Congress and government asserts support of these ongoing crimes, Son of Sharon writes today:

    “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”

    link to jpost.com

    This is the extension of the “Well the US did it to Indians argument.”

    I sure would like to hear our Congress address calls for Genocide of a people. Will they tweet their support?

  12. gamal
    November 19, 2012, 12:30 pm

    ““We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”

    where is G.H.Stanton when you need him well the good prof is concerned about white genocide in SA, here is an abstract from what i think is an American racists site.

    “Why are Afrikaner farmers being murdered in South Africa?

    by Leon Parkin & Gregory H. Stanton, President – Genocide Watch

    14 August 2012

    The following report is the result of an intensive personal inquiry in South Africa conducted July 23 -27, 2012.

    Deliberate inaction of the South African Government has weakened rural security structures, facilitating Afrikaner farm murders, in order to terrorize white farmers into vacating their farms, advancing the ANC/S. A. Communist Party’s New Democratic Revolution (NDR.)

    The South African Government for the last 18 years has adopted a policy of deliberate government abolition and disarmament of rural Commandos run by farmers themselves for their own self-defense. The policy has resulted in a four-fold increase in the murder rate of Afrikaner commercial farmers. This policy is aimed at forced displacement through terror. It advances the goals of the South African Communist Party’s New Democratic Revolution (NPR), which aims at nationalization of all private farmland, mines, and industry in South Africa. Disarmament, coupled with Government removal of security structures to protect the White victim group, follows public dehumanization of the victims, and facilitates their forced displacement and gradual genocide.”

    link to dir.groups.yahoo.com

    • Mooser
      November 19, 2012, 3:33 pm

      “The following report is the result of an intensive personal inquiry in South Africa conducted July 23 -27, 2012.”

      Ah, doesn’t anthropology teach us that’s the most objective and disinterested kind?

  13. gamal
    November 19, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Israels edge is slipping disastrously they have now entered a period of confusion reminiscent of the last Lebanon attack.

    HOW HEZBOLLAH DEFEATED ISRAEL
    PART 2: Winning the ground war
    By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

    (For Part 1 in this three-part series, Winning the intelligence war, click here.)

    Israel’s decision to launch a ground war to accomplish what its air force had failed to do was made hesitantly and haphazardly. While Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) units had been making forays into southern Lebanon during the second week of the conflict, the Israeli military leadership remained undecided over when and

    where – even whether – to deploy their ground units.

    In part, the army’s indecisiveness over when, where and whether
    to deploy its major ground units was a function of the air force’s claims to victory. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) kept claiming that it would succeed from the air – in just one more day,

    link to atimes.com

  14. Betsy
    November 19, 2012, 12:56 pm

    EITHER WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO — OR THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS SURVEY FROM CNN/ORC…

    it is noticeable that 19% don’t have an opinion tho’. Maybe they are in flux. If you add the ‘no opinion’ to the 25% who don’t think Israel is justified, you get 44% who aren’t behind the Israeli move, vs. 57% for.

    here’s the WashPo article
    link to washingtonpost.com

    Fifty-seven percent of Americans said Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza is justified, while a quarter said it isn’t, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

    Seventy-four percent of Republicans said the action is justified, compared with 59 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats. Overall, nearly one-in-five (19 percent) Americans said they had no opinion.

    Nearly six-in-10 Americans polled (59 percent) said their sympathies were more with the Israelis in the situation in the Middle East, while 13 percent said they were more sympathetic to the Palestinians. Eleven percent said they were not more sympathetic to either side, while 13 percent said they had no opinion. The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday.

    Read the full polling memo here.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 19, 2012, 1:22 pm

      personally, during these highly contentious times, i especially don’t trust these polls.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 2:52 pm

        “personally, during these highly contentious times, i especially don’t trust these polls.”

        Yes, one must ask whether the poll is skewed, or “un-skewed”. The election taught us that. Well, it should have taught Romney…. oh, never mind, “taught” and “Romney” in the same phrase? A tautology, for sure.

    • kalithea
      November 19, 2012, 2:28 pm

      The apathy in Israel is even more widespread.

      • Mooser
        November 19, 2012, 3:34 pm

        “The apathy in Israel is even more widespread”

        Who cares?

      • Mooser
        November 20, 2012, 12:40 pm

        Sorry, I can’t resist an apathy joke. Sorry.

    • Citizen
      November 20, 2012, 6:29 am

      @ Betsy
      Some Israeli official (using the usual very glib cutting edge PC code) Israeli was pushing that poll result on Fox to counter a PLO POV (blinking in the sudden American sunlight they’ve been given) on cable TV news, as if to say, “No matter how bad you Palestinians really have it, Americans agree with us Israelis!”

  15. seafoid
    November 19, 2012, 1:03 pm

    2 Irish Americans I know via another forum, in the past very voiciferous supporters of Israel, have given up on the country today, with all those kids dead.

  16. Les
    November 19, 2012, 1:35 pm

    “the Israeli people have given up on peace” does not mean that they have given up on getting an ever greater piece.

  17. crone
    November 19, 2012, 3:04 pm

    excerpt from antiwar dot com:

    “… According to Gershon Baskin, initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the military wing of Hamas, was ready for a peace deal — which was in the works in the days before Jabari was assassinated in a targeted Israeli strike:

    “My indirect dealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’s authorization to deal directly with me….

    “Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.”

    This nails it: it shows why Israel escalated a series of routine border incidents into a major conflict: Hamas was ready to negotiate. Jabari was going to drop a gigantic “peace bomb” on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu and his cabinet launched a preemptive strike to make sure it never hit its target. The last thing they wanted was peace breaking out in spite of their systematic provocations.

    Hamas is useful to Netanyahu and his coalition partner, wannabe ethnic cleanser Avigdor Lieberman: or, at least, the version of Hamas they have successfully sold to the West. The hasbara brigade in the American media regularly portrays the Palestinian resistance group as inherently and intransigently opposed to Israel’s very existence, pointing to its charter — which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state — and posits from this the utter impossibility of negotiations or even coexistence.

    Yet Jabari’s peace feelers belie this simplistic nonsense and show that Hamas, like every other political entity on earth, is concerned first and foremost with maintaining its own grip on power. In order to do that, Hamas has to actually govern: that is, provide the inmates inhabitants of Gaza with the basic prerequisites of civilized life, i.e., access to food, shelter, and protection from harm. Under the conditions of the Israeli blockade, however, fulfilling these basic needs has been increasingly impossible.

    As Melissa Harris Perry pointed out on her show Sunday morning, Hamas faces competing political currents inside Gaza: Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, who are more than ready to take the helm if and when Hamas fails to protect and care for its constituency. Faced with the IDF’s overwhelming military superiority, Jabari and the moderate faction of Hamas entered into back channel negotiations, brokered by the Egyptians, and were about to go public with a peace proposal.

    That’s when the Israelis took him out. The timing of this is undeniable, and hardly coincidental. Netanyahu offed Jabari because peace is not in his political interests: he and his party, Likud, thrive on war, and the Israeli Prime Minister’s electoral prospects are almost entirely dependent on the continuation of the state of emergency that exists in Israel during wartime. Jabari was about to pull the rug out from under Netanyahu, and therefore he had to go.”

    full article here: link to original.antiwar.com

  18. jon s
    November 19, 2012, 4:07 pm

    I think it’s a bit premature to decide ” who won? ” at this point.
    We’ll probaly know by tomorrow whether we’re moving towards a ceasefire or escalating into a ground operation inside Gaza. I’m praying for the former.

    Here in Beer Sheva we’ve had seven rocket attacks so far today (including two when my wife and I had ventured out to the supermarket… ) Most of the rockets endangering the civilian poulation are intercepted by Iron Dome. So one of the first assessments that can be made is that Iron Dome is a winner, and a game-changer.

    • Cliff
      November 20, 2012, 3:32 am

      Iron Dome versus crude, inaccurate rockets is a game changer?

      Israel fired 15,000 artillery shells at Palestinians in Gaza from Sept. 2005 to May 2007 alone.

      In the same time period, Gazan militants fired 2,700.

      Naturally, Israel killed far more, injured far more, destroyed civilian structures wantonly, etc.

      How is the past few weeks unique? You haven’t suffered a remarkable amount of casualties or destruction to civilian infrastructure.

      The emphasis of this spat of violence is on the destruction in Gaza and the assassination of a Hamas leader who brokered the Shalit release among other things.

      It solves nothing because Palestinian civilians (your government’s target) will never accept Zionism or your legitimacy (because you have none, colonist).

    • seafoid
      November 20, 2012, 3:51 am

      “Iron Dome is a winner, and a game-changer.”

      The visits of the Egyptian and Tunisian PMs are game changers. Iron Dome just facilitates Zionist nihilism. That way lies the end of Zionism.

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2012, 6:41 am

        @ seafoid
        Iron Dome was paid for by American taxes; I notice that Iron Dome has been mentioned a lot on cable TV news in the last week, but only once did a talking head host mumble we paid for it. It remains to be seen if this new Egyptian regime will remain a US taxpayer purchase (via 34 years of foreign aid chunk, #2, right behind Israel @ #1), also in behalf of Israel.

        Everything comes down to US foreign aid to Israel (direct & indirect), US diplomatic cover for Israel at UN, and American mainstream media complicity with hasbara. Not a sign of a US stick for Israel, only more carrots, no matter how bad US economy gets, no matter how much debt US takes on, no matter how badly US good reputation in the world dissolves.

      • seafoid
        November 20, 2012, 10:06 am

        Iron Dome is a fraud. It tells Israel there is a military solution to the Palestinian problem so they don’t have to do anything.

        This is like something out of mythology. Maybe the mythology that it will all work out.

      • Theo
        November 21, 2012, 8:17 am

        Yes, its.
        Did the Hamas and Hisbollah simultaniously fire hundreds of rockets, then Tel Aviv would be in ashes today.
        It is easy to stop a missile or two, but not hundreds.

    • Shlomo
      November 20, 2012, 5:33 am

      > “Most of the rockets endangering the civilian poulation are intercepted by Iron Dome. So one of the first assessments that can be made is that Iron Dome is a winner, and a game-changer.”

      Really?

      Hamas is probably assessing the Dome’s effectiveness and operations with an eye to over-riding, overwhelming, or bypassing it.

      The anti-rocket rockets are limited. All you have to do is send lighter, unpayloaded missiles (both cheaper and with a longer range) to deplete the “dome” of its stock. Then, interceptors gone, you fire heavier, deadlier rockets.

      Hamas has 10,000 rockets. How many interceptors does Israel have? Where does it place them?

      The trouble with being an offensive state like Israel is folks fight back. All Hamas has to do is find ONE new counter-move to negate IDF defenses.

      Israel always underestimates Arabs. Ergo, it fails to see that any moves it makes are monitored with an eye to neutralizing them. Hamas, Syria, Turkey, Hizbollah, Iran, etc. all watch the “pure” state.

      If Israel invades, I hope Anonymous declares cyberwar. It’d be interesting to see tanks, planes, etc. the run on computers/electronics running amok.

      Also, Sharon’s spawn should remember that Nazis decided to “flatten” the Jewish culture. Was that a GOOD thing? He should also recall that post-WWII Germans paid a huge price….from Holocaust reimbursements to Morgenthau’s starvation plan. Israel, on the other hand, has yet to pay ANY price. It’s been treated like the boss’ daughter since its creation.

      Time for it to suffer.

      Finally, when Jews start fleeing Israel they may not find themselves welcomed in many countries… having let things fester in the Mideast. They might be shunned and deemed toxic to the extent they acted like “Good Jews” when Ashkenazis spread terror. That will be the unintended antisemitism churned by the dishonorable leaders of the Promised Land.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 20, 2012, 9:00 am

      “Most of the rockets endangering the civilian poulation ”

      LMAO. Even without the Iron Dome system you parasitic moochers got from the US taxpayers, these rockets were not much of a threat to anyone. You faced more of a threat to you life in driving to and from the supermarket than you did from these firecrackers.

      “Iron Dome is a winner, and a game-changer.”

      Typical fascist thinking. Iron Dome will do nothing but change the tactics.

      • Citizen
        November 20, 2012, 10:16 am

        @ Woody
        Imagine if it was Hamas to whom the US gave Iron Dome to at expense of USA taxpayers. Or how about that $3B + in annual foreign aid to Israel, no strings attached. It’s not just “tactics” that would change in very substantive way. When the USA piles all its marbles on one side of the conflict, now, that’s THE game changer. Or, rather, it’s the whole game, as it has been for many, many decades. Add the UN SC veto in Israel’s pocket. Game? Oh yeah.

    • eljay
      November 20, 2012, 11:47 am

      >> So one of the first assessments that can be made is that Iron Dome is a winner, and a game-changer.

      How so? Is it bringing to an end the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State’s” occupation and colonization of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians? Or is it merely reducing the risk faced by citizens of that supremacist state as it continues with its occupation and colonization of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians?

      I suspect the latter. Yup, a real “winner”.

  19. seafoid
    November 19, 2012, 4:42 pm

    I have been watching Mark Regev videos this evening

    He reminds me of PW Botha’s spokesman in the late 80s defending apartheid


    link to youtube.com

    He deserves his own youtube channel, the slimy mendacious turd

    Note how he never answers why Israel “targets” and “surgically” kills kids.

    And he talks about peace. FFS.

    But I feel sorry for him when he mentions that Israel has a democracy and Israel has a free press because soon it will have neither.

    “We want peace” .

  20. Les
    November 19, 2012, 5:43 pm

    “Israel has already lost this war.”

    Nicholas Kristof

    Obama comments on #Gaza strike me as pathetic. US cld show a bit of concern for Gazans & strongly oppose ground invasion

    link to twitter.com

    • Philip Weiss
      November 19, 2012, 10:32 pm

      Thanks for that Les. Also Piers Morgan on CNN tonight was very sympathetic to Palestinians under assault.

  21. DICKERSON3870
    November 19, 2012, 7:33 pm

    RE: “Of course the President is doing nothing now about those two states [pursuing the two-state solution].” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Phil! ! !
    During the next four years, the Israeli-Arab conflict will be Obama’s “Chinatown”. Expect to see a heavily camouflaged policy of “benign neglect”.

    ● FROM THE 1974 FILM CHINATOWN:

    Evelyn Mulwray: “Tell me, Mr. Gittes: Does this often happen to you?”
    Jake Gittes: “Actually, this hasn’t happened to me for a long time.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “When was the last time?”
    Jake Gittes: “Why?”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “It’s an innocent question.”
    Jake Gittes: “In Chinatown.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “What were you doing there?”
    Jake Gittes: “Working for the District Attorney.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “Doing what?”
    Jake Gittes: “As little as possible.”
    Evelyn Mulwray: “The District Attorney gives his men advice like that?”
    Jake Gittes: “They do in Chinatown.”

    SOURCE – link to imdb.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      November 19, 2012, 7:37 pm

      P.S. ALSO RE: “Of course the President is doing nothing now about those two states [pursuing the two-state solution].” ~ Weiss

      MY COMMENT: Elliott Abrams convinced me several years ago* to give up on the “two-state solution”.

      * FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

      [EXCERPT] . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

      SOURCE – link to washingtonpost.com

      P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me [by the sheer power of his (il)logic and his very impressive math skills] to wholeheartedly support the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank.
      As I understand it, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River). Fiat justitia! ( “Let Justice Be Done!” )

  22. RoHa
    November 19, 2012, 8:06 pm

    I looked at the NYT slide show, and was struck by slide 11, captioned “The Iron Dome system has repelled 245 rockets since Wednesday.”

    This is, I assume, a photograph of worried people in Israel. And I notice that a lot of those worried people look to be – um – heavily shaded in. Three of the people have the faces and headgear that I associate with South Africa. The partly-obscured woman on the extreme left would not look out of place in Southern India.

    Where are the worried white Ashkenazis?

    • jon s
      November 20, 2012, 3:38 am

      RoHa
      The terrorist’s rockets don’t make racist distinctions, as you do .

      • RoHa
        November 20, 2012, 7:47 pm

        I’m not making racist distinctions. I am wondering why, in a country with so many white people, there seem to be so few in the picture.

        Could it be that the white people are safely tucked away in “whites only” shelters? Surely not!

        Could it be that this picture is actually from some other occassion? Perhaps it shows people worrying about whether they are going to be expelled .
        link to mondoweiss.net
        But that would mean that Israel was misrepresenting pictures, and we know Israel would never do that!

  23. jon s
    November 20, 2012, 2:16 am

    Ari Shavit has it about right:
    link to haaretz.com

  24. Shlomo
    November 20, 2012, 5:54 am

    Shavit should shove it. At least based on what I read in the unpaid intro to his piece:

    >”The first day of Operation Pillar of Defense was quite successful. The Hamas military chief was assassinated…””

    So killing someone with his guard down, doing so when he was ready to offer peace, is a good thing? How would the writer feel if Israel’s leaders start being assassinated?

    > “Hamas’ long-range rocket capability was impaired, sending the radical Palestinian group into shock.”

    Really? I suspect they’re mostly angry, committed to getting bigger and better rockets. And firing even more of them.

    >”The second day went pretty well too: Iron Dome proved its worth…”

    Only because both Hamas and Hizbollah refrained from firing many missiles. If they both did in coordinated salvos, Irael’s cities would be toast.

    > “Israeli civilians proved their steadfastness…”

    Please. Sumud for what? They’re unchallenged wimps pooping in their pants in shelters while texting on iPhones. They’re like first-class passengers on flights complaining about their lobster napkins not being steamed enough.

    Also, no mention of the murdered babies and children. Because they were Arab. The author seems to agree with Goebbels’ that those deemed inferior can be killed with impunity, if not glee.

    > “and Israel showed that it still enjoys a fair amount of international legitimacy”

    Nope. I think Israel lost even more of its luster as the world saw (yet again!) the savagery beneath its bluster. Israel is a boil on the world’s body politic. An artificially propped-up racist, brutal, arrogant entity.

    Apartheid South Africa…gone.

    USSR…gone.

    Mubarak…gone.

    Israel…going.

    Buh-bye, Bibi.

    • jon s
      November 21, 2012, 7:05 am

      Here’s Shavit’s complete piece:

      End the war while you’re ahead Nov.19 2012

      Ari Shavit

      The first day of Operation Pillar of Defense was quite successful. The Hamas military chief was assassinated and Hamas’ long-range rocket capability was impaired, sending the radical Palestinian group into shock. The second day went pretty well too: Iron Dome proved its worth, Israeli civilians proved their steadfastness and Israel showed that it still enjoys a fair amount of international legitimacy and domestic cohesion.
      Israeli unity, American support, European understanding, Turkish silence and Egyptian cooperation: All put Israel in quite a good strategic position on Friday. The first 48 hours of the operation were conducted better than the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. The lessons of the Winograd and Goldstone reports were learned and internalized. Israel restored its deterrent capability without causing mass Palestinian casualties or destabilizing the region.
      If the operation had ended four days ago, the message that would have been received in Gaza, Beirut, Damascus and Tehran would have been clear and sharp: Israel has excellent intelligence, decisive aerial capabilities, resolute leaders, brave citizens and surprising international support. It’s not worth messing with Israel. You’d be better off letting it live its life without provoking the country or awakening it again from its slumber.
      But just as in 2006 and again in 2008, Israel did not stop in time. Israel did not quit while it was ahead. And so, over the past three days, the impressive achievements of Operation Pillar of Defense have faded away while the operation’s negative consequences have become more clear-cut. Israel’s ability to strike at Hamas militants from the air was significantly reduced, while the harm it caused to innocent civilians significantly increased.
      After recovering from its initial shock, Hamas has come to realize that it is not critically injured and that it has time on its side. Sooner or later there will be another unintentional massacre in Gaza. Sooner or later the diplomatic support Israel has received, the international-relations version of the Iron Dome missile defense system, will wane. Sooner or later Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be up to their ears in quicksand.
      Israel must now decide which of two bad options is better: a tough cease-fire or a bad ground war. There will be no clear victory in the Gaza Strip. It is better to reach an imperfect agreement concerning the southern border than to get embroiled in a bloody ground offensive whose outcome no one can predict.
      There are some demands to which Israel must not accede. For instance, the calm on the Israeli side of the Gaza border must be total; Hamas must not be allowed to rebuild its rocket supply, and the Hamas government in Gaza must rein in radical Islamic groups and pledge that the fence will not become a staging ground for provocations. But Israel must offer something in exchange, like reopening the Rafah border terminal between Gaza and Egypt, easing the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, recognizing the de facto sovereignty and legitimacy of the Hamas government in Gaza as long as Hamas does not use its political position to attack Israel.
      It will not be easy to sell the Israeli public on a cease-fire that incorporates significant achievements for Hamas. But expanding the operation, known in Hebrew as Pillar of Cloud, entails great political, regional and moral risk.
      Netanyahu and Barak, along with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, must remember what happened to their predecessors after they missed the moments of grace that would have allowed them to end other wars earlier. The government must not go all the way, even if many Israelis criticize it for failing to do so. Nothing good is waiting for us at the end of such a path. It’s enough. The time has come to get off the cloud and put our feet back down on the ground of reality.

  25. talknic
    November 20, 2012, 9:00 am

    A cross section of opinions here

    link to smh.com.au

    link to smh.com.au

    …peppered with the usual Hasbara nonsense

  26. jon s
    November 20, 2012, 11:13 am

    Hopefully , a ceasefire may be imminent.
    Meanwhile Hamas is executing alleged collaborators in the street:
    link to news.sky.com

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