Blitzer and Rudoren pump Israeli tunnel fears (and AIPAC cashes in)

Israel/Palestine
on 70 Comments
Rudoren in tunnel, from her facebook page

Jodi Rudoren in tunnel, from her facebook page

Yesterday the New York Times’s Jodi Rudoren and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer both did long reports on their visit to a tunnel in Israel just outside the border of Gaza. Neither reporter went on through to Gaza. Nope, both reports echoed Israeli fears of the tunnels and the mayhem they could unleash in Israel.

Blitzer’s report on the tunnels was promptly sent around by the Israel lobby group AIPAC, in a fundraising appeal about the “immense danger Israel is facing.” You can read the AIPAC letter below. (By the way, Blitzer once worked for AIPAC.)

Rudoren’s report, “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear,” parroted fears about Israeli kindergartens first circulated by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a week or so back. Here’s what Netanyahu said:

Hamas used funds for kindergartens for Gaza’s children to build tunnels of terror to strike at Israeli kindergartens. pic.twitter.com/oU90yFWFQz

— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 22, 2014

And an Israeli cites that fear in Rudoren’s piece:

“We were feeling pretty safe before,” said Ma’ayan Barkai, 34, director of Kibbutz Be’eri, where one tunnel was found over the weekend. “We knew what to do with the missiles. The tunnels, it’s game-changing. We can’t do anything if the terrorists will come to our kindergarten. The tunnels, it’s very surprising, it can hit you don’t know where.”

Has Hamas struck at an Israeli kindergarten? No. Of course, Gaza forces have targeted Israeli civilians; and militants were apprehended in what Israeli officials said was a planned attack on civilians at a kibbutz called Sufa ten days ago. A graphic accompanying Rudoren’s piece cites that incident, among a half dozen other incidents involving tunnels.

But the Times graphic indicates at most four attacks originating from tunnels– not six, as the article asserts — and none have been actual attacks on civilians.

Rudoren’s Times piece is chiefly a description of the fears in the Israeli “collective psyche” stemming from those six purported attacks.

Far more than the rocket barrages that have sent Israelis scrambling for shelter throughout the bloody 21-day battle, the tunnel attacks — Monday’s was the sixth of the current conflict — have shaken the collective psyche and stiffened resolve to continue or even expand the fight.

Interviewed on a partner public radio show, The Takeaway, Rudoren said Israeli fears are legitimate, they’ve been “borne out” by events:

The [tunnels] that lead into Israeli territory… are … an increasing focus of this war. And those, the Israelis fear, and I think they’ve seen borne out over the last couple of weeks, Palestinian militants can come into Israel and attack either soldiers or civilians. The real fear is they’ll come to some kibbutz and spray the dining hall with machine gun fire. Or in one case, they found some tranquilizers and plastic handcuffs, so the fear is that they tried to kidnap people…

[Israelis] don’t seem to have an answer to the tunnel threat, and it’s totally freaking people out… The threat is really permeating the society.

As if echoing our post on Netanyahu’s tunnel propaganda, Todd Zwillich of the Takeaway asked Rudoren if the Israeli government wasn’t manipulating the tunnel story, to counter the images of civilian deaths in Gaza that everyone is seeing.

Rudoren said it’s true, you never hear an Israeli leader talking without mentioning the tunnels, it’s been their talking point. But she dismissed the manipulation charge, saying that the Israeli leaders’ concern is justified:

I think that they, probably rightly, feel like for all of the horrific images that people around the world are seeing of the devastation and death being wrought on Gaza, that there is a sympathy around the world for the idea that you know your enemy should not be able to tunnel into your territory and attack people. So yeah, they’re certainly pushing it. But I don’t think they’re pushing it in like some way that has nothing to do with something real. It really is what they’re afraid of.

I doubt that people around the world really feel that Gazans shouldn’t be able to attack Israeli soldiers. And do these stories really hold anything like the spiritual weight of what we are seeing in Gaza? Rudoren shows herself to be incapable of stepping outside the Israeli frame of mind. James North writes, “The Israeli irrational fear over the tunnels is actually displaced guilt for the occupation. Rudoren’s piece was important, without her even recognizing it, because she thinks like a guilty Israeli.”

Now here is the AIPAC fundraising letter sent out after Wolf Blitzer’s report.

Dear Friend of Israel:

I want to share with you a video that aired on CNN Monday night. Wolf Blitzer went into one of the Hamas terror tunnels with the IDF to see a 1.7 mile tunnel for himself.

In the tunnel, they discuss how the concrete and electricity used to construct the tunnel over the past two years was provided by Israel to Gaza to build schools, homes and hospitals. Instead, they were used by Hamas for their terror infrastructure.

Please watch this video, and share with friends and family so they can get a better sense of the immense danger Israel is confronting.

More than 30 of these attack tunnels have been found since Operation Protective Edge began, and Hamas fighters have infiltrated Israel through tunnels six times in the past three weeks, some with guns, rocket launchers and equipment to kidnap Israelis.

Israel now has the difficult task of destroying this extensive tunnel network. Some of the tunnels are 80 feet underground, and many intentionally built beneath homes, schools and mosques. To destroy these passages the IDF must first secure them and then carefully destroy them with the help of engineers, in order to avoid harming the infrastructure above ground.

As these and other threats against Israel continue to emerge and evolve, our community must grow stronger to ensure that America stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its ally.

That is why I hope you will join the important work of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee with a gift of $36, $50, $100 or more today.

For 60 years, AIPAC has worked to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that the relationship between America and Israel remains strong.

Your generous gift today will help to ensure we are able to continue working with our leaders in Washington at this critical time for Israel and America.

Thank you for your commitment to the safety and security of the Jewish state, and your generous support of AIPAC.

Sincerely,

Brian Shankman
Director of Regional Affairs and Development

 

70 Responses

  1. Giles
    July 31, 2014, 11:27 am

    A new set of lies every day dutifully sold to the American public by Israeli agents throughout our mainstream media such as Blitzer and all those who write on the topic at the NY Times

  2. Kay24
    July 31, 2014, 11:28 am

    Looks like the narrative and justifications keep changing.

    First it was all about the rockets, now it is about those tunnels, which only started being used by Hamas after the onslaught of Gaza started. No crimes against Israel were committed through those tunnels before.

    As someone said, the tunnels are Israel’s WMD’s to attack Gaza and keep the massacre going.

  3. Brown-Eyed Girl
    July 31, 2014, 11:34 am

    Wolf Blitzer used to be an “official” paid mouth-piece for AIPAC, now at CNN he is an “unofficial” mouthpiece for them. What an embarrassment, Bernard Shaw must be horrified.

  4. just
    July 31, 2014, 11:36 am

    There are lies, and then there are dirty lies.

    better yet, here’s Mark Twain:

    “Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
    – Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review”

    fyi– a little nugget to ponder:

    “The earliest citation that I know of of the current usage of the phrase, that is, “there are three kinds of falsehoods, lies, damned lies and statistics” is from Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, as quoted in the Manchester Guardian, 29th June 1892:

    “Professor [Joseph] Munro reminded him of an old saying which he rather reluctantly proposed, in that company, to repeat. It was to the effect that there were three gradations of inveracity – there were lies, there were d-d lies, and there were statistics.””

    link to phrases.org.uk

  5. piotr
    July 31, 2014, 11:36 am

    Tunnels were invented before Iron Age, and so were countermeasures. In 21 century there are several techniques to detect them and neutralize. Making a tunnel causes vibrations, and cavities of the tunnels can be detected with seismic waves and several other ways. Tunnel construction progresses slowly. Israel should be fully capable to neutralize the tunnels on its side of the border.

    Focus of tunnels gives multiple meanings to the phrase “tunnel vision”.

    • just
      July 31, 2014, 11:39 am

      piotr– a big thank you and BINGO!

    • Jeff Klein
      July 31, 2014, 1:20 pm

      It’s astonishing (but not surprising) that the flood of reporting on the tunnels fails to mention this. At a tiny fraction of the monetary (not to say human) cost of assaulting Gaza, the “startup nation” could easily use existing ground-penetrating radar or magnetometer survey technologies to locate tunnels– or develop it’s own new methods. Not doing this suggests the intention to use the tunnels as an excuse to attack Gaza rather than a real defensive measure.

      • Hostage
        July 31, 2014, 1:41 pm

        At a tiny fraction of the monetary (not to say human) cost of assaulting Gaza, the “startup nation” could easily use existing ground-penetrating radar or magnetometer survey technologies to locate tunnels– or develop it’s own new methods.

        Or it could just ask the US to move one of its satellites to the region and allocate enough time to the task to finish its preliminary survey:

        American satellites have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border, according to senior official; number could actually be higher.

        link to jpost.com

      • Philip Weiss
        July 31, 2014, 9:51 pm

        Wow. I didn’t think about this. Excellent points

      • Jackdaw
        July 31, 2014, 2:37 pm

        @Jeff

        Yeah. The ‘start up nation’ should go back to the drawing board and find a fix; while the country’s civilians are targeted and struck by Hamas rockets and mortars.

      • Mooser
        July 31, 2014, 5:30 pm

        “Yeah. The ‘start up nation’ should go back to the drawing board and find a fix; while the country’s civilians are targeted and struck by Hamas rockets and mortars.”

        Gosh, Jackdaw, I’ve given Israel’s troubles a lot of thought, the constant attacks from their neighbors, the media is against them, all kinds of young people are against Israel, and all the old Zionists are dying off (and oh, how it breaks my heart) But thjere’s only one conclusion for a Jew like me, and it is pretty obvious:

        God is anti-Zionist!!! So you are right everybody is against Israel.

      • Jackdaw
        August 1, 2014, 2:01 am

        @Mooser

        You’re a Jew in every way, except for a sense of humor.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 10:59 am

        “You’re a Jew in every way, except for a sense of humor.”

        What in hell would a Zionist know about being Jewish. Frankly, I think you know a lot more about being Aryan.

      • Mooser
        July 31, 2014, 10:15 pm

        “the country’s civilians are targeted and struck by Hamas rockets”

        Do they pay you extra to put the “targeted” in there? Oooh, “targeted and struck by Hamas rockets”

        Maybe they are just trying to keep Israel back inside its own borders?

      • Hostage
        August 1, 2014, 2:09 pm

        Do they pay you extra to put the “targeted” in there? Oooh, “targeted and struck by Hamas rockets”

        Normally sober and sane people go a little crazy and claim that Hamas uses primitive weapons that can’t be accurately aimed or used to target military objects and that their use is a war crime. That’s sort of odd, because pictures of Hamas mortars and grenade launchers indicate they have the same bells and whistles as the ones many other armies employ. In some cases, its probably a ploy to hurt sales of products obtained from competing arms suppliers.

    • ritzl
      July 31, 2014, 5:11 pm

      Yep, piotr. Thanks. Great comment.

      • Seismometers
      • Steady-state accelerometers (I’ve seen them detect people walking down a hallway from 50′ away during tests)
      • Vibration sensors/accelerometers
      • Ground penetrating radar
      • Metal rods at close intervals, driven down 50m, w/sensors attached
      • Camero (an Israeli company with tech that can “see through solid objects”; which I believe to be a valid claim; a local company has the same tech and I’ve seen it work as well)
      • Acoustic devices like geophones and geophysical “thumper” trucks (used routinely and needless to say, successfully in the oil patch for decades to determine underground structure; Mythbusters once showed that the Chinese used big drums 3000± years ago to detect digging)
      • As Hostage pointed out above, remote-sensing (multi-spectral) satellite imagery (I’ll almost guarantee there’s an observable tunnel signature due to ground settling)

      I’m sure there’s more, if tunnels are the issue.

      I had a twitter exchange with some idiot that dismissed any and all of these with a limp “tried but didn’t work, afaik.” Pure BS. Singly or in combination they’re guaranteed to detect tunnels on the Israeli side without having to kill hundreds of people. They haven’t been tried.

      To me, this is proof that Israel/IDF don’t want to solve the problem. They want to Kill. They WANT to kill.

      • piotr
        August 2, 2014, 12:00 am

        One problem here is that there is a lot of reason to build tunnels, the basic three being:

        smuggling from Egypt, apparently this is the type that IDF attacked around the putative start of the ceasefire (there are different versions if it was before or after)

        ambushes in Israel

        hideouts for fighters and their weapons

        hideouts for civilians (shelters, if you will)

        Carte blanche for traipsing around Gaza in the search for hideouts, and to kill and destroy in them is of not a ceasefire formula that anyone in Gaza would agree with, it is more like a definition of free-fire zone (one of the achievements of the Western Civilization, but not a good formula for ceasefire). Checking the ground under their position is of course IDF prerogative. We do not know what happened, and IDF slapped censorship. Kerry believes IDF version, and the past experience with what he believed is not reassuring.

  6. American
    July 31, 2014, 11:54 am

    Let them pump and hasbara all they want. The truth is coming out more and more.

    ‘The World Stands Disgraced’

    link to theguardian.com

    ”Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said the attack was “outrageous and unjustifiable” and demanded “accountability and justice”. The UN said its officials had repeatedly given details of the school and its refugee population to Israel.”

    Israel had been contacted and given exact information *17 TIMES* by UN and all other internationals and agencies in Gaza on where Gazan civilians were taking refuge—-and Israel bombed those locations even after being told *17 TIMES* there were only civilians there not any Hamas or weapons.

  7. Abierno
    July 31, 2014, 11:56 am

    The tunnels are just another vehicle for Netanyahu incitement. There have been several Hamas infiltrations into Israel – with opportunities in each of them for the killing of civilians. Hamas operatives have not killed, attacked or otherwise wounded Israeli civilians, despite being given easy opportunity. On the other hand Israel, has wantonly killed over 1,000 civilians, striking hospitals, clearly marked refugee centers, UN personnel, children, and shoppers during an Israeli-declared ceasefire. This is an important distinction between Hamas and Israel. Hamas’ poorly-guided rockets pose little threat, and so little terror, that Haaretz yesterday indicated that Israeli citizens were back in the malls, shopping (a huge distinction here between life in Israel under supposed Hamas threat and life in Gaza.)

    However, Algemeiner and other Israeli press present “fictional” stories of Hamas’
    purported attacks on Nahal Oz and other kibbutz. This, of course, allows Netanyahu
    to state that irrespective of any ceasefire, Israel has the right to continue destroying the tunnels. In the BBC yesterday there was a picture of Israeli soldiers pumping a
    gas of some sort into the tunnels. It would be helpful to know a little more about
    this – like what type of gas is being used and its levels of lethality, and whether this action represents yet another war crime.

    • elephantine
      July 31, 2014, 12:52 pm

      “The [tunnels] that lead into Israeli territory… are … an increasing focus of this war. And those, the Israelis fear, and I think they’ve seen borne out over the last couple of weeks, Palestinian militants can come into Israel and attack either soldiers or civilians. The real fear is they’ll come to some kibbutz and spray the dining hall with machine gun fire. Or in one case, they found some tranquilizers and plastic handcuffs, so the fear is that they tried to kidnap people…” (Rudoren)

      Wow, sounds familiar. Hmm.. where have we heard about something like this before? Oh right! That sounds exactly like what Israel does to Palestinians all the time! Only Palestinians don’t just fear about the possibility, they live through it on regular basis.

      Seriously, Israelis are so completely clueless. They are really convinced that it is only their fears, their lives that matter and aren’t even capable of considering the consequences of their own actions. It’s absolutely mind boggling. They’re like a spoiled, self centered child….with one of the most powerful armies. They really do expect Palestinians to lie down, be quiet and let themselves be killed.

      • ritzl
        July 31, 2014, 5:19 pm

        @elephantine- “…spoiled, self-centered child…” with nukes. Don’t forget the nukes.

        That takes a tantrum to a whole new level.

    • peeesss
      August 1, 2014, 4:40 am

      Abierno. So True. I too have wondered about the threat of “terrorist” acts to be committed by Hamas through these “tunnels”‘. Netanyahu has stated that since 2012 quiet has reined in Israel . Obviously until this new aggression by Israel. “Why”?. No violence against Israelis by Hamas. No civilians , killed, no “dining rooms” machine gunned, no “kindergartens ” attacked. The only use of these tunnels that, somehow, threaten this nuclear power appears to be resistance to the IOF in their recent attack on Gaza. Hamas has engaged Israeli troops. They have not gone into Israeli Kibbutz’s or homes unlike the deliberate killing of civilians and the deliberate destruction, once again, of homes , schools, hospitals, mosques, power plants, and all the infrastructure of Gaza. Another exaggerated pretext, if not outright lie, to justify the horror being committed upon the defenseless civilian population in Gaza.

  8. eGuard
    July 31, 2014, 11:57 am

    I like this North sentence: “[Rudoren] thinks like a guilty Israeli”.

    In reality, Israelis are picnicking outdoors to enjoy the bombing of Gaza. That’s how afraid they are.

    • Giles
      July 31, 2014, 3:12 pm

      You can’t feel guilty is you have no empathy whatsoever for those who are not part of your group.

      • ritzl
        July 31, 2014, 5:20 pm

        Sociopaths.

  9. John O
    July 31, 2014, 11:57 am

    The kindergarten soundbite echoes the earlier racist libels about the Palestinians hating Israelis more than they love their own children.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      August 1, 2014, 3:16 am

      The purpose of the kindergarten scenario is to appeal to deep fears, the stuff they make horrormovies of.

  10. anthonybellchambers
    July 31, 2014, 12:00 pm

    International outrage at destruction of schools and killing of civilians: the penalties Israel must now pay:

    1. Costs of reconstruction of homes, schools, hospitals, power and water installations destroyed by the IDF in violation of the Geneva Conventions – failing which, the EU should cut all links with the Israeli state and cancel all research and other European privileges

    2. Compensation to be paid to the families of all civilian non-combatants killed in violation of the internationally accepted Rules of War

    3. Immediate withdrawal of the EU-Association Agreement that currently gives the Israeli state access to bilateral trade with Europe

    4. The ratification of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the submission of Israel’s nuclear WMD to IAEA inspection

    *It should be noted that Israel is conspicuous as the only undeclared nuclear weapons state anywhere in the world

    5. Ratification of the international Chemical & Biological Weapons Conventions (CWC & BWC) and the destruction of illegal weapons

    6. Withdrawal of Israel’s hidden, nuclear-armed, submarine fleet patrolling the Mediterranean and the Gulf that now poses a serious nuclear threat to both mainland Europe and the Middle East

    7. The recognition by the Israeli government of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate alleged war crimes by the IDF in Gaza

    8. A declaration required of the names of all Israel lobbyists active in the Parliaments of the 28 European Union member states

    Until the above conditions are satisfied, Israel needs to be categorised by the international community as an outlaw state with which bilateral trade is to be actively discouraged by way of economic sanctions.

  11. John O
    July 31, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I think the “terror tunnels” could be Netanyahu’s “get out of jail” card. Just blow up a few more, say you’ve neutralized them all, accept a ceasefire or truce, start to withdraw. The problem then is – the tunnels have proved militarily effective, enabling fighters to mount successful ambushes.

  12. RobertB
    July 31, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Video Documents the Killing of Journalist Ramy Ryan by Israeli/US Missiles

    A graphic video showing the killing of journalist Ramy Ryan in Gaza and an attack on an ambulance and rescue workers, by Israeli air strikes has surfaced online.

    Warning: This 6-minute video is very graphic, viewer discretion is advised.

    Posted July 31, 2014

    The video uploaded onto YouTube by Abu Shaar shows two ambulances arriving urgently on the scene where Ramy Ryan is seen covering the situation. About 15 seconds into the video, the first missile strikes the ambulance. Fourteen seconds later, the second missile strikes.

    For several seconds, all we see is smoke with residents yelling for help, “Ya Allah” (Oh God) followed by “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and La Ilaha Illa Allah” both common cries of desperation.

    At 0:40 seconds, the third strike. 0:55, the fourth strike. 1:09, the fifth. The cameraman stands up and we see a dozen men lying on the ground, all seemingly injured and trying to escape towards the walls to take refuge. 1:20, the sixth strike. 1:32, the seventh. 1:47, the eighth. 1:57, the ninth. At 2:00 the cameraman moves again and crawls towards the injured men on his left. 2:07, the tenth strike. 2:20, the cameraman moves toward another injured man who’s yelling “Ya Allah, Ya Mohammad”. At 2:40, he captures another man unconscious or dead. At 2:50, he takes cover with a group of injured men. The old man at 3:00 is saying “I can’t. I can’t.” while limping. A 3:27, we hear another missile.

    At 3:50, we see Ramy Ryan on the floor, lying over a pool of blood. He’s dead. A man is telling us “Look, look. A Journalist. Look.” while showing us Ramy Ryan’s “Press” insignia. The man then tells us angrily, “show the United Nations! Show the world! Show the Red Cross! Show the Arab traitors! They are all traitors!”.

    The missiles have stopped and panic breaks. We hear people mourning their dead. From 4:20 onwards, the cameraman shoots the aftermaths of the Israeli strikes.

    link to informationclearinghouse.info

  13. Tuyzentfloot
    July 31, 2014, 12:36 pm

    You all laugh but what would YOU do when a Hamas has dug a tunnel into the bedroom of your kids and is hiding under the bed? Or when Hamas are hiding in the airconditioning of your apartment block? You can hear them shuffling around at night, when they’re at it again. They’re in the walls and in the ceiling. They make holes in the bottom of the cookie cupboard and sneak through the rooms when you’re sleeping. Deciding when they’re going to steal your children and eat them.

    • RobertB
      July 31, 2014, 1:40 pm

      @flooty

      HeeHee…Wow funny…how did you come up with all that…(sarcasm)?

      Gaza is occupied by your beloved apartheid Israel! The Palestinian people are occupied…they have every right to defend themselves and break Israel’s horrific siege and brutal occupation.

      And how would you like those Israeli 500-2000 pound US made bombs to be dropped on your home, neighborhood, school and your kids…family….?

    • Giles
      July 31, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Tuyz. I assume you are parodying the over the top lies and paranoia of the Israelis. But maybe not. I have read a lot of pro Israel stuff lately that I thought was satire and turned out not to be.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        July 31, 2014, 5:49 pm

        I have read a lot of pro Israel stuff lately that I thought was satire and turned out not to be.

        Well my story was hardly more extreme than the ‘they’re digging tunnels into your kindergarten’ was it? Though I tried. They’re waging war on satire and parody I’m telling ya.

      • tree
        July 31, 2014, 6:08 pm

        Giles and Robert B

        It’s parody on TuyZentfloot’s part. If you ever have any doubt about “satire or insanity” you can always click on the name of the individual commenter here and that will lead you to a listing of all their comments made on the site, and thus give you a good idea of their actual viewpoint.

    • ritzl
      July 31, 2014, 5:27 pm

      Or worse, “spread” Jihad!™ (which we all know is the real threat to the world and peace and cuddly creatures everywhere, which Israel is so bravely resisting for all of us).

      Not an actual tweet. I added “and cuddly creatures everywhere” for sarcastic effect.

  14. American
    July 31, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Since Israel cant break Hamas’s resistance on the ground Israel is deliberately bombing civilians to try to break them.
    That is clear now.

    • Kay24
      July 31, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I guess it is clear now. They will never break Hamas, in fact they have made it stronger especially among the Palestinian people, they cannot break the unity government that Bibi is so sore about, and may be the reason for this massacre. Bibi is mad that he is unable to stop the world from accepting this unity government, and his big ego and arrogance just cannot stand it – therefore he is making Hamas pay by slaughtering their people at least a thousand civilians slaughtered for Bibi’s pride and ego. This is hatred, anger, and brutality, lashed out on powerless civilians.
      Today Israel called for thousands more volunteers, and has asked for more ammunition from their arms supplier, the US. This is a sign that Hamas is giving the vicious IDF a hard time, an unexpected resistance with no signs of giving up, showing Israel, Hamas is not an easy force to get rid of. The tunnels may be destroyed but it will start again.
      END THE OCCUPATION, THE ROCKETS AND TUNNELS WILL STOP TOO.

      • Jon66
        July 31, 2014, 3:36 pm

        I wish it were as simple as ending the occupation. The Israeli experience in Lebanon speaks otherwise. Israel withdrew from the occupation of all Lebanese territory as certified by the UN in 2000. Since that time, there have intermittent cross border attacks and international terrorist incidents aimed at Israelis. Israelis have looked to this experience as an example of what can happen when a country is controlled by a group committed to their destruction.

      • David Jones
        July 31, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Yet you and other Israeliphiles seem completely oblivious to the fact that Israel has been destroying Palestine since 1947! Do you think you might just be a little bit of a Jewish supremacist?

      • Jon66
        July 31, 2014, 5:29 pm

        Perhaps I am naive, but I come to this site not because I agree with most of it, but rather to understand other peoples viewpoints. I believe that well intentioned and intelligent people can differ on opinions and conclusions. My understanding of the Palestinian conditions have certainly been changed.

        Bearing that in mind, I have absolutely no idea how your comment relates either to the original posting or my comment.

        My point was to try to explain the Israeli experience in Lebanon and how it frames current views.

      • Mooser
        July 31, 2014, 5:25 pm

        “Israel withdrew from the occupation of all Lebanese territory as certified by the UN in 2000.”

        And the entire world is anti-semites, too! So I guess it’s Israel against the rest of the world. So it should be an easy win for Israel, huh Jon666?

      • Jon66
        July 31, 2014, 10:04 pm

        I seem to engender non-sequiturs. I don’t know from where the anti-Semitic accusation arises. My point concerns the prior Israeli experience in withdrawal and how it informs the current situation. Am I in error?

      • Hostage
        August 1, 2014, 3:34 pm

        I seem to engender non-sequiturs.

        If you mean “The West did abandon European Jewry. The Holocaust ended because the war ended, not because of Western opposition,” then yes, that’s a non-sequitur.

        The United States and the Allied governments had taken steps after WWI to conclude treaties for the protection of Jewish minorities in Europe. Starting in 1933, the US and the Allies put the Axis Powers on notice, both publicly and privately about their intention to put a stop to persecution of the Jews (by force if necessary) and their intention to hold individuals criminally responsible for massacres and wartime atrocities. See for example:
        *The Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, of a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Luther), [WASHINGTON,] May 3, 1933 starting at the bottom of page 352 and continuing to page 354 of the FRUS. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        * The Statement on Atrocities Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        The Western powers did exactly as they had promised – at the cost of millions of their own citizens lives. The war would not have simply ended without that tremendous sacrifice. The Holocaust only happened because the Nazi leadership ignored those treaty obligations, and the warnings and assurances that they would be brought to justice. They literally preferred to die rather than abandon their persecution and attempted extermination of the Jews – and they would have succeeded if the Western powers hadn’t intervened.

      • Bumblebye
        July 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

        @Jon666
        Whoops, missed a bit (how good are you with a scalpel by the way?)!
        Shebaa Farms, anybody? Lebanese, Israeli occupied!

      • Jon66
        July 31, 2014, 7:25 pm

        I’m not sure if you are aware, or willfully ignorant, of the UN Secretary General’s finding that Israel has withdrawn from all Lebanese territory and the endorsement of the Security Council of this finding. If Lebanon disputes this, they should open negotiations for a peace treaty for the possible return.

        In any case, international consensus is that Israel currently does not occupy Lebanese territory.

        link to un.org

      • Mooser
        July 31, 2014, 10:09 pm

        “In any case, international consensus is that Israel currently does not occupy Lebanese territory.”

        Whoopee!! Patsh zich in tuchis und schrei “hooray”

        Wasn’t that nice of them. I hope they counted the spoons after the IDF pulled out.

      • Walid
        July 31, 2014, 10:40 pm

        About Chebaa Farms that the Zionists enjoy calling Har Dov after one of their terrorist heroes, the UN’s designation that this is Syrian territory being part of the occupied Golan Heights is based on faulty maps produced at one time by the Lebanese army. Original maps dating back to Sykes-Picot clearly show that these 10 square miles or so are part of the Lebanese territory and the UN is standing behind its request to have Syria renounce its ownership and prove it does not own the area, which is an utterly absurd request. It’s located at the foot of Jabal al-Sheikh that the Zionists enjoy calling Mount Hermon and its covered with wall-to-wall water which is the real reason why Israel will not let go of it.

        Another area that is still occupied by Israel that Jon66 doesn’t know about are the Kfarshouba Heights. It’s a tiny piece of land on a very high cliff just above the village of Kfarshouba in Lebanon. Its value is in the strategic clear 25km view into Lebanon on one side and a similar one to the Israeli side. It’s only use is as a look-out but Lebanese territory nonetheless that Israel refuses to give back.

        The third area that Jon 66 doesn’t know about is half the village of Ghajjar, which is in Lebanese territory while the other half is in the Syrian Golan that is in the occupied Golan Heights. UNSC Res 1701 in 2006 ordered Israel to give back the Lebanese half but Israel keeps stalling and the UN is not about to send in the 7th cavalry to enforce its laws so nothing is happening there and Israel continues squatting on it and stealing water from the Wazzani Springs located there.

      • Hostage
        August 1, 2014, 1:52 pm

        If Lebanon disputes this, they should open negotiations for a peace treaty for the possible return.

        Whatever for? That’s not how Israel acquired control of the territory in the first place. It remains bound by the international boundary conventions that preserved the Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian/Transjordanian fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh and Tiberias, and the Jordan river – plus all of the existing grazing and farming rights on both sides of the new mandate era boundaries. If Egypt’s blockade of international shipping lanes that passed through its territorial waters was illegal, then Israel’s closure of those international inland waterways is illegal too. Can you explain why Israeli closure of those internal international waterways wasn’t considered an act of war? See:
        *Exchange Of Notes Constituting An Agreement Between The British And French Governments Respecting The Boundary Line Between Syria And Palestine From The Mediterranean To El Hammé. Paris March 7, 1923, pdf page 7; and
        *Agreement between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910″ link to web.archive.org

        In any case, international consensus is that Israel currently does not occupy Lebanese territory.

        I”ll be sure to tell that to the Shia who were ethnically cleansed from the seven villages region just as soon as Israel either grants them citizenship, right of residency, or the right of transit, navigation and fishing rights, grazing rights, and so forth that I mentioned above.

      • Walid
        August 1, 2014, 3:43 pm

        “I”ll be sure to tell that to the Shia who were ethnically cleansed from the seven villages region just as soon as Israel either grants them citizenship, right of residency, or the right of transit, navigation and fishing rights, grazing rights, and so forth that I mentioned above.”

        The people of the 7 villages (Terbikha, Saliha, Malkiyah, Nabi Yusha, Kades, Hunin, and Ibl Qanih) through some artifices of map drawings and amendments to the Sykes-Picot pie-cutting, found themselves on the Palestinian side of the border in 1924. In 1948, the ethnic cleansing happened and those that survived the massacres by the Zionists fled to live with relatives on the Lebanese side of the border.

        By 1994, the Lebanese government finally gave these people the long overdue citizenship, so an Israeli citizenship to be granted now would be redundant. All these years Lebanon more or less kept quiet about those villages simply because there were also other anomalies with borders screw ups by the French and British colonialists which would favour Israel if this can of worms was to be opened. Lebanon has since more or less relinquished its claim to these 7 villages and these are only occasionally brought up in Hizbullah rally speeches simply to keep the Zionists spooked and off balance, but actually there is no formal claim to them as in the case of Chebaa Farms, the Kfarshouba Heights and half the village of Ghajjar.

        A situation similar to the 7 villages occurred within Syria close to the Lebanese border where today about 40,000 Shia of Lebanese roots live, so it would be absurd to claim that these villages belong to Lebanon. BTW, for the benefit of those that never understood what Hizbullah was doing fighting rebels in Syria last year, it started when the fundy terrorists started roughing up those Syrian Shia of Lebanese roots (with lots of relatives inside Lebanon) and threatened to blow up Shia holy shrines in Syria and the Syrian army was unable to stop them that Hizbullah crossed the border into Syria and took on and chased the terrorists away.

      • Hostage
        August 1, 2014, 8:12 pm

        By 1994, the Lebanese government finally gave these people the long overdue citizenship, so an Israeli citizenship to be granted now would be redundant. All these years Lebanon more or less kept quiet about those villages simply because there were also other anomalies with borders screw ups by the French and British colonialists which would favour Israel if this can of worms was to be opened.

        Walid you are not reading the terms of the international boundary agreements regarding the right of transit, navigation, fishing, and grazing. Those individual rights were preserved on both sides of the new boundaries and the respective states have no standing to interfere with their exercise or any discretion to waive them.

      • Walid
        August 2, 2014, 1:13 am

        “Walid you are not reading the terms of the international boundary agreements regarding the right of transit, navigation, fishing, and grazing.

        I am reading those, Hostage, and not debating their validity. I was just making the point that Lebanon is no longer claiming those 7 villages. At the time of the Sykes-Picot pie cutting of 1916 or 1917 and subsequent amendments and side-agreements relative to it in 1922 and 1924, there was no such thing as a “Lebanon” in those areas that comprised the 7 villages but more simply Sunni villages, Shia villages, Christian villages, Jewish villages and some mixed ones that until Sykes-Picot and the fall of Constantinople had been part of the Ottoman Vilayet (province) of Beirut. Of the 7 villages in question, Ibl Qamh was a actually a combined Shia-Greek Orthodox village.

        If anyone is interested in the nuts and bolts of how the borders were drawn by the French and British acting under Zionist pressures to include as much of Lebanon as possible to be incorporated into a Palestine that they knew would eventually become Jewish, a comprehensive essay with maps on the subject by Nicholas Blanfort:

        link to now.mmedia.me

      • Hostage
        August 2, 2014, 9:50 am

        At the time of the Sykes-Picot pie cutting of 1016 or 1917 and subsequent amendments and side-agreements relative to it in 1922 and 1924, there was no such thing as a “Lebanon” in those areas

        I agree the boundaries were open to alterations after WWI, but there was a Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate there under the Règlement Organique conventions after the 1860s. The draft Treaty of Sevres (1920) and the mandate for Syria and Lebanon submitted in 1922 provided for separate states in Syria and Lebanon on that basis, i.e. Lebanon had been autonomous before the war and couldn’t be seen to be worse off after it was liberated. link to jstor.org

        The Zionist interests in the territory up to the Litani river were ignored at San Remo in 1920. Great Britain’s desire to have its oil pipeline, telegraph, and telephone lines from Mosul to Haifa routed through a British controlled corridor dictated where the future borders would be laid down. The French agreed in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the oil concession.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2014, 8:10 am

        I wish it were as simple as ending the occupation.

        There is but Israel is such a petty, spiteful and mean spirited society that it can’t do it without kicking the dog, crapping on the lawn and throwing a brick through a window on the way out.

        Israel withdrew from the occupation of all Lebanese territory as certified by the UN in 2000. Since that time, there have intermittent cross border attacks and international terrorist incidents aimed at Israelis.

        You left out the part about UNIFIL recording thousands of ceasefire violations by Israel during that time, not to mention frequent raids into Lebnaon, kidnappings and killings of Lebanese civilians. No, when Zionists tell the story, they always start the timeline from the moment they get it back.

        Israelis have looked to this experience as an example of what can happen when a country is controlled by a group committed to their destruction.

        Apparently they have learned nothing from it. Groups committed to Israel destruction are those that ISrael has occupied and who’s communities they have destroyed.

        It seems, Israelis can’t get it through their thick skulls, that there are those who take exception to having their families massacred.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2014, 8:12 am

        Perhaps I am naive, but I come to this site not because I agree with most of it, but rather to understand other peoples viewpoints.

        You’re not naive, you’re a liar.

        My point was to try to explain the Israeli experience in Lebanon and how it frames current views.

        We know all that. Israeli views are based on the assumption that they are the eternal victims and can do no wrong. So even when they carry out massacres, they still think they deserve immunity and impunity.

      • Jon66
        August 1, 2014, 12:41 pm

        I know it can be difficult to believe, but just because I disagree with you, I might not be wrong.

        It may be too much to ask, but can we spare the name calling and discuss facts and opinions without the epithets. If I am factually inaccurate, please let me know. However, your inability to treat others with some common decency does your argument no favors.

  15. michelle
    July 31, 2014, 1:47 pm

    .
    where do the ‘tunnels’ actually come out
    what is meant by Israeli territory
    (is it actually what most consider to be Palestine land
    that has been unlawfully taken over by Israel)
    if the ‘tunnels’ are under Palestine how can we be
    sure what they’re for and how is it our right to know
    what if the ‘tunnels’ enter and exit within the
    legal borders of Palestine
    the info. on the ‘tunnels’ is lacking facts for a reason
    .
    who has crossed the line
    time and time again
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  16. fingrinn
    July 31, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I feel Israel is hyping up the threat of the tunnels as justification. I have no doubt that Hamas was smuggling weapons in, But with a blockade that allowed almost nothing in much needed medical supplies and other goods was the main items smuggled.
    Israel know this very well, as they used exactly the same tactics in the Warsaw Ghetto themselves.

    “The smuggling took place – a) through the walls, b) through the gates, c) through underground tunnels, d) through sewers, and e) through houses on the borders”
    Jewish virtual library.

  17. irmep
    July 31, 2014, 4:19 pm

    The donors who matter to AIPAC, and pay for most of its program, all contribute more than $5k. To make a tax-deductible donation to a lobby (501 c 4) many pay it out of their law firm/corporate checkbook.

    link to original.antiwar.com

    AIPAC’s trajectory is to raise $100 million by 2015.

    Therefore, a more honest AIPAC appeal would be:

    “Wolf Blitzer used to work at the Near East Report, a conduit for laundering Jewish Agency money to AIPAC through founder Isaiah Kenen. So when Blitzer shouts ‘Israel is in Danger’, he MEANS it! Can’t you contribute $5,000, $50,000 or $65,000 today so we can make sure American’s polled desire not to choose sides is never reflected in Congress?”

  18. Mooser
    July 31, 2014, 5:22 pm

    Excuse me, but is Judy Rodoren holding a frealing gun in that picture? Why is that?

    • just
      July 31, 2014, 5:28 pm

      Looks like some kind of battery operated device…

      maybe a flashlight?

  19. libra
    July 31, 2014, 5:33 pm

    They’ll soon be bilking Congress for the Iron Floor.

  20. dbroncos
    July 31, 2014, 7:36 pm

    OMG! Has Rudoren has pushed back from the donut cart and done a story on location? I thought Jerusalem bureau chiefs only took dictation from IDF bulletins in the comfort of their ethnically cleansed NYT compound.

  21. Shingo
    August 1, 2014, 8:46 am

    What’s so incredibly hypocritical about Israel’s reaction to the tunnels is that they reserve the right to violate Gaza’s air space and pepper the territory with bombs. How is that any different to digging under the bonder and violating territory underground?

  22. ahbrooks
    August 1, 2014, 11:34 am

    I’m trying to find out if the tunnels were made into such an issue in previous attacks like “Cast Lead,” but I can’t find any info. Can anyone suggest a link or two about this?

    • Walid
      August 2, 2014, 1:27 am

      Tunnels became an issue only after the siege of Gaza began in 2006. Until then they had existed between Gaza and Egypt for smuggling purposes. They became a big issue because of their great numbers during Cast Lead after which there was an effort to create an underground wall on the Egyptian side to block them from entering Egypt. It’s only now that we are learning about an extensive system of tunnels into Israel, in addition to the continued existence of tunnels into Egypt. Because of the siege/blockade, mostly anything entering Gaza had to come by way of tunnels including animals, appliances , food, and automobiles. Cast Lead had been supposedly about the tunnels into Egypt but with the lying Israel, you’ll never know what was the actual reason. From where I’m sitting, it’s looking like everybody wants to see the end of Hamas that now stand in the way of the PA finalizing a not too halal settlement deal with Israel.

  23. Peace2All
    August 1, 2014, 11:59 pm

    It is call a Spin game !

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