Palestinian rockets: The conversation no one is having

Israel/Palestine
on 83 Comments
Palestinians collect their belongings from damaged houses in Gaza City. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty Images)

Palestinians collect their belongings from damaged houses in Gaza City. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty Images)

As I write this, Israel continues to escalate its air attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 100 Palestinians, of whom at least half were civilians; injuring more than 600; and displacing about 2,000 people from their homes. (The numbers vary widely by source and change by the minute.) The Israeli military has reportedly mobilized 40,000 reservists so that it can ramp up still further if it so decides. The justification for “Operation Protective Edge” is retaliation for rockets shot toward southern Israel, with some landing in Gazan fields, others intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system and a few making it in. (A full accounting is elusive, with varying reports in the media, often short on verifiable facts and long on emotional rhetoric.) To date, some Israeli property has been damaged, but no casualties and two injuries are reported.

It’s those Palestinian rockets that that are dominating the headlines, and that cause even normally sympathetic progressives to waffle in their condemnations of Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of the 1.7 million people corralled in Gaza. Yet there is very little direct, probing discussion of the topic. Is the line between provocation and retaliation really that clear? Is the use of violence to fight violence by some Palestinians somehow abnormal or unique? And what proportion of the population in Gaza is actually involved in the rocket attacks or supports the practice?

It’s time the peace community engages in this discussion, not just among ourselves but with those for whom the fight for liberation is real rather than academic: the Palestinians of Gaza.

Provocation vs. retaliation

Israel charges, and the media dutifully reports, that the provocateurs are Hamas and other groups in Gaza, typically labeled “militants” or “Islamists” (both code words for “terrorists”), unlike the more noble-sounding “rebels” or “resistance fighters” of Syria (which the U.S. government supports). But the question of “who started it” is not a simple one.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israel’s control in some fashion for 47 years, but with suffocating intensity since 2007. Israel strictly limits travel in and out; controls the supplies that come in, including a ban on most construction materials; and prohibits virtually all exports, thus crippling the economy and triggering one of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the Arab world. One could call such long-term, repressive conditions a continual provocation. I am reminded of an observation made by Michelle Alexander in her seminal book on mass incarceration of American blacks, The New Jim Crow:

“The easy answer (to “criminal acts”) is to wag a finger at those who are behaving badly…But the more difficult answer – the more courageous one – is to say yes, yes we should be concerned about the behavior of men trapped in ghetto communities, but the deep failure of morality is our own…Are we willing to demonize a population, declare a war against them, and then stand back and heap shame and contempt upon them for failing to behave like model citizens while under attack?”

In the shorter term, the question of “who started it first” depends greatly on when you start the clock. Take any rocket attack from Gaza, and go back in time a few weeks or months. You’ll quickly find an Israeli act of aggression –raids, shootings or abductions. An example: The current rocket fire flared following the mass arrests and nine deaths of Palestinians in the West Bank, committed by Israeli forces in retaliation for the abduction of three Israeli settler youth. In the two weeks before that tragedy, however, Israeli forces abducted 17 teenage Palestinian boys in the occupied West Bank. The youngest was 13. Some were dragged at gunpoint from their homes and family under cover of dark; others were seized from the streets in broad daylight.

It’s a game of tit for tat, except one side is the world’s sixth largest arms exporter (11th in terms of “global firepower”) and the other an imprisoned slum with a poverty rate of 70 percent.

Palestinian violence in perspective

I respect those in the peace camp who are unilaterally opposed, on principle, to the use of violence, particularly when non-combatants are targeted or treated as “collateral damage.” I share their belief that fighting violence with violence only perpetuates and exacerbates a dehumanizing spiral. But history has shown that when there is oppression, some individuals will choose that route; it’s the norm, not the exception.

Our own American Revolution was certainly far from a non-violent reaction to repression, although the famous pacifist Howard Zinn argued that alternative approaches were not adequately tried. And although the movements for Indian independence and civil rights for South African and U.S. blacks had Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., each of those leaders and their followers had counterparts that chose more war-like tactics.

But perhaps the most ironic parallel is the tactics chosen by Jews living in British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s-40s, as they struggled to carve out their own country.  The Jewish leadership created the Haganah to guard Jewish farms and kibbutzim. Later, the role of the Haganah (rather like the Palestinian Fatah party) changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization, encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. However, many Haganah fighters objected to the official policy of havlagah (restraint) that Jewish political leaders had imposed on the militia. This policy appeared defeatist to many, who believed that the best defense is a good offense. In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun–a group widely labeled a terrorist organization and responsible for the murder of many civilian Palestinians as well as British soldiers. Perhaps their most famous attack was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which served as headquarters for the British administration. Ninety-one were killed and 46 were injured. One of the Irgun leaders was Menachim Begin, who later became the sixth prime minister of the new state of Israel.

The point: Palestinians should not be held to any higher standard than the rest of the human race. Contrary to popular perception, most Palestinians do not engage in violence. But there always will be some who believe there is no other way.

The people and the rockets

Israel says its massive air strikes and impending ground incursion are meant to eliminate Hamas.  But even if you think it is feasible and morally permissible to assassinate an entire party (one which is made up of different factions, including members who are quite moderate and open to discussion), there are 1.7 million people who live in the Gaza Strip. And most are not militant Hamas acolytes. An April 2013 poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center found that more than 80 percent of Palestinians (including those in Gaza) supported nonviolent means of resistance against Israeli occupation.  Moreover, support for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel stood at just 38 percent, with the popularity of Hamas at only 20 percent.

Those results fluctuate over time, however, in response to “facts on the ground.” For instance, polls in December 2012 found support for both Hamas and rocket resistance on the rise.  If presidential elections had been held then, pitting Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas against Hamas’ Ismail Haniya, the latter would have won, claiming 48 percent of the vote.What had occurred at that time to influence public opinion? Gaza had just emerged from the “eight-day war,” in which Israel pounded the Strip with air attacks. I visited Gaza immediately after the hostilities ended, and support for Hamas was indeed surging, despite the litany of grievances I had heard previously (and that was quick to return). The reason was simple: A people who had lost all sense of “personal agency” after more than seven years of blockadeand international failures to enforce laws such as the Fourth Geneva Convention (which bans collective punishment) had re-gained a modicum of dignity by fighting back. The same dynamic is repeating now.

Here are just a few of the voices of the young people (under the age of 25), who make up 65 percent of the population of Gaza and are being shaped by the years of oppression:

“If history can prove anything, it proves that civil, political and human rights are demanded by those who are deprived, and not granted by those who hold the keys,” says Mohammed Alhammami, a young man from Gaza now studying at Franklin & Marshall College in Cincinnati, OH. “The U.S. colonies turned to war to force their British overlords to recognize their independence. The Palestinian case is no different. The only way to stop this cycle is to grant the deprived their civil, political and human rights — justice and equality. Nothing more, and nothing less.”

Sarah Ali, a teaching assistant at the Islamic University of Gaza and a contributor to the short-story collection, “Gaza Writes Back,” agrees: “Most of us are just filled with anger. Rockets help us keep the little dignity we have, and they show Israel that bombing civilians has consequences. Peace negotiations with Israel have proved futile over and over again. Israel has only expanded its illegal settlements across the West Bank. BDS (the movement for boycotts, divestments and sanctions) is excellent, but whether people admit it or not, it’s mostly violence that works with Israel. For instance, the 2012 attack on Gaza stopped, and we got some concessions (such as an easing of restrictions on fishing and farming) because Israel asked Egypt to negotiate with Hamas to stop the rockets.”

Saeed El Housieni, a boy who attends Gaza City’s American International School, adds, “I personally do not support the idea of facing violence with violence. I don’t support the rockets coming out from Gaza, especially when they’re launched toward highly populated areas,” says. “I think that that the best solution would be a truce followed by a recognition of the existence of one another, opening the borders and co-existing together. Yet, we have to do something to change this unlivable situation — which leaves us with the other remaining solution, which is sadly violence.”

Some Israelis themselves have come to recognize that the true source of their insecurity is not Palestinian rockets, but the occupation. And therein lies a ray of hope:

“The deterioration is first and foremost a result of the illusion that…the Palestinians will accept everything that’s done to them and won’t respond, despite the rage and frustration and the worsening economic situation,” writes Yuval Diskin, the chief of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, from 2005 to 2011, in a Facebook post.

Gideon Levy, a columnist with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, puts it even more bluntly: “What exactly are 1.5 million people supposed to live on? Is there anyone who can explain why the blockade, even if partial, of Gaza continues? Can anyone explain why its future is never discussed? Did we think that all this would continue and Gaza would accept it submissively? Anyone who thought so was a victim of dangerous delusions, and now we are all paying the price.”

 

About Pam Bailey

Pam Bailey is a freelance writer and activist who has travels frequently to Gaza and is co-founder of a new nonprofit called New Generations for Palestinian Youth & Children.

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83 Responses

  1. seafoid
    July 11, 2014, 12:33 pm

    “The point: Palestinians should not be held to any higher standard than the rest of the human race”

    They should firstly be seen as members of the human race

    “For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    Sons of their fathers dream the same dream
    The sound of forbidden words becomes a scream
    Voices in anger, victims of history
    Plundered and set aside, grown fat on swallowed pride

    With promises of paradise and gifts of beads and knives
    Missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise
    Saviours and conquerors they make us wait
    The fishers of men they wave their truth like bait
    With the touch of a stranger’s hand innocence turns to shame
    The spirit that dwelt within now sleeps out in the rain

    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    The scars of the past are slow to disappear
    The cries of the dead are always in our ears
    Only the very safe can talk about wrong and right
    Of those who are forced to choose, some will choose to fight”

  2. MahaneYehude1
    July 11, 2014, 12:39 pm

    @Pam Bailey:

    Although I don’t agree with several of your points and analogies and agree with other points, I do thank you that you raised the subject. In my opinion, there is one point that you ignore in your article and I think readers should know: The fact that the Hamas storing ammunition inside neighborhoods, houses, mosques etc. I will be glad to hear your opinion about this fact.

    • Pam Bailey
      July 11, 2014, 1:33 pm

      Mahane – It is not correct that Hamas hides ammunition, etc. in civilian homes and mosques. That many happen in some instances, but I do not believe it is at all common. I lived there as a reporter for the better part of three years, and conducted many interviews on this and related subjects. I have never heard of or found evidence to that effect — although Western and Israeli media keep repeating it. Military factions work primarily undergound.

      • Kay24
        July 11, 2014, 1:59 pm

        Thank you for giving us your experienced opinion Pam Bailey.

        It show how much facts are twisted, or exaggerated.

      • Shingo
        July 11, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Thank you Pam,

        Just like the lies about the use of human shields, there’s never any evidence but it just gets repeated often enough the propagandists like MY1 thinks it is now a fact.

      • MHughes976
        July 11, 2014, 4:11 pm

        I hope that we will hear much more from you, Pam. People with direct experience are invaluable.

      • Pat Nguyen
        July 12, 2014, 12:21 am

        I read about human shields in Time Magazine

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 2:52 am

        I read about human shields in Time Magazine

        And the source in Time Magazine is what? The Israeli government.

    • Tzombo
      July 11, 2014, 1:33 pm

      Fact? Lol.

      Being Israeli means never having to prove even the most ridiculous claim.

    • Giles
      July 11, 2014, 1:51 pm

      What stores of ammunition? Not a single Israeli has gotten so much as a scratch yet — other then running in fear and tripping. Now Israel, Israel is the most heavily weaponized state in history. They have lots of weapons in residential areas

    • talknic
      July 11, 2014, 8:42 pm

      MahaneYehude1 “The fact that the Hamas storing ammunition inside neighborhoods, houses, mosques etc. I will be glad to hear your opinion about this fact.”

      “fact” “fact” What fact? Do you actually believe the propaganda of a state that LIES to its citizens about having no borders? A state that ILLEGALLY acquires territory by war, illegally annexes territory, illegally sells it to illegal settlers? You must be a propagandists or be completely stupid! Your choice pal!

  3. MahaneYehude1
    July 11, 2014, 12:47 pm

    @Saeed El Housieni:

    Saeed El Housieni adds, “I personally do not support the idea of facing violence with violence. I don’t support the rockets coming out from Gaza, especially when they’re launched toward highly populated areas,” says. “I think that that the best solution would be a truce followed by a recognition of the existence of one another, opening the borders and co-existing together. Yet, we have to do something to change this unlivable situation — which leaves us with the other remaining solution, which is sadly violence.”

    I agree with you and, like you, think that a recognition of the existence of one another is the best solution and the first step toward peace and reconciliation. I think that violence is not needed from both sides. I, and many other Israelis, support recognition and independent Palestinian state. I hope that many in your side think like you and support recognition in the state of Israel and support peace and reconciliation.

    • oldgeezer
      July 11, 2014, 3:02 pm

      Unfortunately the Israeli government does not have any desire to recognize a Palestinian state. In a recent speech netanyahu described such a state as being without a military, without control of it’s airspace or borders, would not be allowed to control who may enter it’s territory (pretty sure he specified exit as well but not sure) and one which must accept the physical presence of the idf terrorists, etc, etc.

      The current regime in Israel seeks to legitimize a bantustan arrangement and not a second state.

  4. Sumud
    July 11, 2014, 12:50 pm

    Let’s recall Jen Psaki at the State Department a few days ago quietly hyperventilating (and failing) to come up with an answer as to whether Palestinians in Gaza have a right to self defence.

    They can’t say what they want (NO THEY DON’T) but they can’t come up with an adequate explanation as to why not, because there is none.

    So yeah, let’s keep talking about Palestinian rockets.

    Likewise when the hasbara robots deploy their “what would the citizens of [Country X] do if they were being attacked by thousands if rockets?”

    A: Fight back, like Hamas!

    • Kay24
      July 11, 2014, 1:29 pm

      Sumud, I have been asked that silly hasbarat question many times, and I always respond saying that, If WE occupied Mexico/Canada, blockaded them, controlled their water, stole their lands, stole their trees, destroyed their orchards, and kept them in open prisons for decades, we deserve MORE than rockets.
      If the situation was reversed and the American people were under occupation, I somehow cannot image them taking it so easily, and NOT retaliating like Hamas.

    • crone
      July 11, 2014, 11:04 pm

      Juan Cole has an excellent article today on this very trope, as he calls it…

      link to juancole.com

  5. Pam Bailey
    July 11, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Yes, Sumud, that was a classic dodge by Psaki. I’d love to know who that reporter was. At least there are some who get it!

    • Sumud
      July 11, 2014, 1:10 pm

      Not sure of his last name or network but his first name is Said.

      Matt Lee of the AP is another great State Dept reporter who asks the hard questions now and then.

  6. yonah fredman
    July 11, 2014, 1:08 pm

    Is there any series of concession that Israel can make vis a vis the Gaza Strip (and the Gaza strip only, that did not change the situation on the West Bank) under which Gaza would be required to stop firing rockets at Israel.

    • Sumud
      July 11, 2014, 1:11 pm

      Who are you asking?

      Isn’t that a question for Hamas? Or Netanyahu – who just indicated in a press briefing the attack on Gaza would continue…

    • Pam Bailey
      July 11, 2014, 1:14 pm

      Yonah…How about if Israel lifts the blockade? I think that is what is needed.

    • ritzl
      July 11, 2014, 2:47 pm

      @Yonah- How about stop killing Gazans (or any Palestinians) for a week and see what happens. Tough habit to break though. Actually, more addiction than habit.

      Withdrawal from that addiction would mean governments would fall and mobs would rule the streets, but maybe over time the sickness would pass.

      How about recognizing what Israel does in the WB is completely and inextricably linked to what comes out of Gaza? Announce it as policy and enforce it. Just as a trial gesture of good-faith.

      There was ABSOLUTELY ZERO need for Israel to do what it did to Palestinians these past few (8?) weeks. ZERO. It’s been a spat of totally-engineered, instigating, political violence on Israel’s part (i.e. terrorism).

      Shorter version: Stop killing people as if they were bugs. Start there. Simple humanity. Easy peasy.

      Heh. #notgoingtohappen Too easy to keep killing. Sickness.

    • talknic
      July 11, 2014, 8:37 pm

      @ yonah fredman “Is there any series of concession that Israel can make vis a vis the Gaza Strip (and the Gaza strip only, that did not change the situation on the West Bank) under which Gaza would be required to stop firing rockets at Israel”

      Uh? Stupid zionutter question. They’re both Palestinian territories. Would you have Utah or any other US territory separated from the USA.

      Why do you need to ask, are you completely stupid? It’s common sense. Get out of ALL non-Israeli territories, adhere to the UN Charter, International Law and relevant conventions for once, never been tried by Israel.

    • Shingo
      July 11, 2014, 10:20 pm

      Is there any series of concession that Israel can make vis a vis the Gaza Strip (and the Gaza strip only, that did not change the situation on the West Bank) under which Gaza would be required to stop firing rockets at Israel.

      Yes, starting with Israel agreeing not to bomb Gaza first and sticking to ceasefires.

      Even J.J. Goldberg of The Jewish Daily Forward magazine points out that Hamas had not fired rockets in the 13 months prior to the attack by Israel.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 11, 2014, 10:24 pm

      yonah, hamas political bureau chief khaled meshaal gave a speech in doha the other day and listed 5 demands, one was releasing the 100’s of ex prisoners exchanged in the gilad shalit deal that israel just rounded up in the WB over the last few weeks.

      i can’t remember all the others. but if you do a google search you can probably find a copy of the speech.

      • yonah fredman
        July 12, 2014, 7:38 pm

        I googled and this is what I found: Israel must end all action in Jerusalem and the West Bank, end the bombardment and siege of Gaza, release all the prisoners re-arrested in the Israeli operation launched on 12 June after the disappearance of three Isreali settlers and stopping “meddling” in the Palestinian Unity government, the group said. – See more at: link to middleeasteye.net

  7. Kay24
    July 11, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Right now on CNN the Wolfman interviewing the mayor of Jerusalem. He is trying to show how much better they are than “Khamas” and even mentioned that when Khamas kills a Jews, the Arabs celebrate it, and that when they kill civilians, they feel sorry (I guess he did not see that ugly video of zionist youth chanting “death to Arabs, before their IDF started the ongoing massacre).
    I had to wipe my tears of sadness, hearing how remorseful these zionists are, after all that must have been many moments of remorse, considering they have killed 100 Palestinians “accidentally”, and injured hundreds more. He goes on to mention how much the Palestinians lie too.( That is why maybe Abbas was called a liar by Sarkozy, no wait….that was Bibi). Strange, because they never lie. He too has that extraordinary talent of looking sorrowful, when he mentions how bad they are having it, and how much they suffer because of the occupied Palestinian.

    • Tzombo
      July 11, 2014, 1:43 pm

      I weep for you, the Walrus said
      I deeply sympathise
      With sobs and tears he sorted out
      those of the largest size
      Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      before his streaming eyes

    • Mndwss
      July 11, 2014, 2:09 pm

      I almost puke when i hear Zionists say Hamas. It is always Krhamassss.

      They can speak perfect English, but when they say Hamas they do not want to say it like other people say it in English.

      Has that something to do with comparing Hamas to the Germans? When you say Hamas you must make them sound like how Nazis spoke?

      The monster of a zionist that was on CrossTalk yesterday is a good example.

      link to rt.com

      The monster of a zionist that was on Democracy Now! today was his clone.

  8. Kay24
    July 11, 2014, 2:27 pm

    Israel previous lying diplomat, Oren, is on CNN. Aw, so sad to hear that thousands of Israelis in Tel Aviv are “traumatized” by those rockets, that still have not killed anyone.
    If THEY are traumatized, imagine the poor Palestinians being traumatized for years, by Israel’s brutality. I must mention Don Lemon did not allow him to spew the propaganda and sob story much, but tried to get him on point. Good for him.

    Oren did mention that they will be condemned for the loss of 100 Palestinians,which indicates they may be realizing that the lies are not working, because the world sees the brutal actions, that don’t jive with the words. Israel is going to be even more disliked around the world, oye vey!

  9. rationalist
    July 11, 2014, 2:30 pm

    Unfortunately, most people in the West either believe that this conflict is an ancient rivalry between indigenous peoples, or they don’t grasp the level to which Palestinians have been subjugated and deprived. Either misconception leads to the apathetic retort, “Why can’t they just get along?” and the belief that Westerners have nothing to do with this conflict.

    The fact that Palestinians have been displaced from their homes and increasingly deprived their basic human rights must be reiterated frequently and constantly.

  10. NoMoreIsrael
    July 11, 2014, 2:37 pm

    I’d raise a different issue–the fact that innocent Israelis are thousands of times more likely to die at the hands of their psychotic countrymen, who make up over 97% of the Israeli population, than they are to die in a Hamas missile attack. Gideon Levy is threatened every day and Ilan Pappe had to flee the country following Israeli threats to murder his children.

  11. RobertB
    July 11, 2014, 2:51 pm

    Murder In Gaza

    Israeli Bombs Kill 103 Palestinians, Including 20 Children

    Video

    “International calls are mounting for restraint, and a stop to the shelling.”

    Posted July 11, 2014

    link to informationclearinghouse.info

  12. DaBakr
    July 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I’ve never read a more twisted piece of garbage propaganda as this idiotic peace. A missile is a missile. it is not a peace overture.

    Also-latest reports are that at least a few dozen rockets fired from Gaza never made it over the border and fell in Gaza and nobody that O know is keeping an account of how many deaths are caused by Hamas’s own failed rockets.

    • Shingo
      July 11, 2014, 10:34 pm

      I’ve never read a more twisted piece of garbage propaganda as this idiotic peace. A missile is a missile. it is not a peace overture.

      Actualy you are wrong. We were fed a a far more twisted piece of garbage propaganda from the Israeli government when they bombed Gaza under the absurd and bizarre pretext that doing so would lead to the release of the captured teenagers – especially seeing as Hamas had NOTHING to do with the kidnapping or even knew about it.

      nobody that O know is keeping an account of how many deaths are caused by Hamas’s own failed rockets.

      Nobody knows how much of the damage in Israel has been caused by Iron Dome missiles that failed to hit their target and fell back to earth either.

    • Qualtrough
      July 12, 2014, 9:51 am

      Why would a dozen missiles falling short in Gaza cause any deaths when literally hundreds are falling in Israel without KILLING OR HURTING anyone? In any case, why the reticence to own up to what your countrymen are doing? You are doing an excellent job of killing Palestinians of all stripes.

  13. RobertB
    July 11, 2014, 3:09 pm

    “ifamericansknew

    What every American needs to know about Israel/Palestine”

    The Missing Headlines from Israel-Palestine

    link to ifamericansknew.org

  14. Don
    July 11, 2014, 3:38 pm

    “Reigniting Violence. How Do Ceasefires End?”
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    • Sumud
      July 12, 2014, 3:27 am

      An excellent study I’d like to see a more current version done.

      • Talkback
        July 12, 2014, 5:09 am

        Sumud, here’s one from May 2014:

        Israel/Gaza Cease-Fire Dynamics Breakdown
        link to blog.thejerusalemfund.org

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2014, 10:28 am

        Thanks Talkback! I see nothing has changed, Israel still consistently breaks cease fires.

  15. seafoid
    July 11, 2014, 5:12 pm

    link to theguardian.com

    Across the road from the mosque, Mohamed’s father and uncle sat in the shade outside the family home waiting out the final hours of fasting before Ramadan. The house, which was inundated by journalists and protesters a week earlier, was now circled by only a handful of reporters with cameras. “I believe they went into Gaza to distract from the death of my son,” said Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohamed’s father.

  16. Daniel Rich
    July 11, 2014, 5:17 pm

    “We want all Hamas members to wear striped uniforms, perhaps with color-coded RGB circles on their backs, so we won’t kill any innocent bystanders. Hamas should move out into the desert to avoid the unfortunate death of women and children in urban areas. We hate killing, but we won’t sit on our hands when someone fights back.” – Special Services Spokesman, Benjamin Gelatowitz, from the ‘Black Hens against White Eggs’ Division.

    • Sumud
      July 12, 2014, 3:29 am

      Perhaps they can wear hats with QR codes on the top.

      “We hate killing”

      Yeah right, that’s why you’re perpetrating a massacre in Gaza as we speak.

  17. Daniel Rich
    July 11, 2014, 5:25 pm

    Dearest Pam,

    In an insane world, where words have become vessels in which meaningless phrases are transported around the globe, your message shines like a beacon of hope and understanding.

    I think we should learn from elephants and let women run the show [not you Rotham!]. We men have shown [for over thousands of years] that we’re very good at killing one another. We even spent vast amounts of money to drop bombs down a chimney, where as every child expected Santa “Coca Cola Sponsored” Claus to pop up. I firmly believe in leading by example and you prove me right.

    :[]: = big hug

    • Pat Nguyen
      July 12, 2014, 12:32 am

      That is one creepy comment

      • Taxi
        July 12, 2014, 1:12 am

        STFU Pat Nguyen! What’s “creepy” is your inability to comprehend the sanctity of non-jewish life! What’s darkly “creepy” is your senseless love of war crimes against the Palestinians!!!

  18. Ken
    July 11, 2014, 5:58 pm

    A couple of things. First of all, Hamas is firing hundreds of these rockets, each and every day, into Israel. That’s not a secret, and the claim isn’t propaganda on Israel’s part. Hamas takes pride in their rockets, and they promise that they’ll continue to fire them regardless of whatever Israel throws at them. While it’s true that they have yet to kill anyone, that’s only due to a primitive targeting system and Israel’s missile defense system. Hamas’ objective seems clear…to kill as many Israeli’s as possible, and they’re using a weapon that doesn’t discriminate between civilian and military, man woman or child.

    Second, the only reason that Israel has closed its borders with Palestine is the fact that, if the border is open, Palestinians will don explosive vests, cross the border, stroll into a crowded market and detonate themselves along with the maximum number of women and children possible. Only 11 years ago, a suicide bomber climbed aboard a school bus, killed 17 children, and wounded 53 more. In total, Hamas has claimed credit for over 150 suicide attacks that have taken more than 800 lives. In addition to that, hundreds more have been shot and killed.

    To me, it’s simple. If Governor Christie of New Jersey were to start launching missiles into Manhattan, it wouldn’t take long for the Governor of New York to launch an invasion across the Hudson.

    • Shingo
      July 11, 2014, 10:30 pm

      First of all, Hamas is firing hundreds of these rockets, each and every day, into Israel. That’s not a secret, and the claim isn’t propaganda on Israel’s part.

      Except that you left you the part where Hamas had fired no rockets the previous 13 months before Israel bombed Gaza under the false pretext that this was somehow supposed to rescue the 3 kidnapped terrnagers, even though they were already dead.

      This attack by Israel was not a response to rocket attacks.

      Hamas takes pride in their rockets, and they promise that they’ll continue to fire them regardless of whatever Israel throws at them.

      Of course, and why wouldn’t they? Israel has rejected any ceasefire, so they have clearly stated their intent to continue bombing Gaza even if the rockets stop. So what reason do Hamas or anyone else in Gaza have to stop?

      Hamas’ objective seems clear…to kill as many Israeli’s as possible, and they’re using a weapon that doesn’t discriminate between civilian and military, man woman or child.

      Israel’s objective is made clear by the statistics…to kill as many Palesitnians as possible, and they’re using a weapon that doesn’t discriminate between civilian and military, man woman or child.

      No bomb or missile in existence discriminates between civilian and military, man woman or child.

      Second, the only reason that Israel has closed its borders with Palestine is the fact that, if the border is open, Palestinians will don explosive vests, cross the border, stroll into a crowded market and detonate themselves along with the maximum number of women and children possible.

      Absolute rubbish. First of all, the apartheid wall does not follow ISrael’s borders, it penetrates 10 miles into Palestinian territory and simply annexes stolen land.

      Secondly, the apartheid wall is a a grossly ineffective system for preventing suicide attacks. 1,500 Palesitnians are able to climb over, under and around it every week to get into Israel and bypass chekc points. That means that 1,5000 suicide bombers a week could get into Israel if they so desired. There have been no suicide attacks since 2005, so your hasbara talking point is bunk.

      Only 11 years ago, a suicide bomber climbed aboard a school bus, killed 17 children, and wounded 53 more.

      There is no evidence it was a suicide bomber.

      In total, Hamas has claimed credit for over 150 suicide attacks that have taken more than 800 lives. In addition to that, hundreds more have been shot and killed.

      Whereas Israel has killed 3,000 Palestinians in the last decade alone, close to half of them children.

      To me, it’s simple. If Governor Christie of New Jersey were to blockade Manhattan, impose a siege and then begin shelling and bombing it, it wouldn’t take long for the Governor of New York to launch missiles and rockets across the Hudson.

      You’re obviously of the racist mindset that only Jews have the right to defend themselves and that Jews are by definition, always the victim.

      Hasbara fail dude. Tell your hasbara mother ship to give you new material.

    • talknic
      July 11, 2014, 11:44 pm

      @ Ken ” First of all, Hamas is firing hundreds of these rockets, each and every day, into Israel”

      The Occupied have a right to armed resistance against an Occupying Power. ( “the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state” link to unispal.un.org )

      “Hamas’ objective seems clear…to kill as many Israeli’s as possible..”

      Were that true, they could just target Israelis who’re illegally settled in non-Israeli territory very close to the Armistice Demarcation Lines

      ” … they’re using a weapon that doesn’t discriminate between civilian and military, man woman or child”

      Correction: they’re using a weapon incapable of targeting anything with any accuracy and which for the most part is incapable of exploding even if it did reach an intended target.

      Meanwhile: any weapon that does explode, like Israeli weapons do, doesn’t discriminate between civilian and military, man woman or child

      “Second, the only reason that Israel has closed its borders with Palestine is the fact that, if the border is open, Palestinians will don explosive vests, cross the border, stroll into a crowded market and detonate themselves along with the maximum number of women and children possible.”

      Strange, THOUSANDS of Palestinian illegally cross the Armistice Demarcation Lines from the West Bank every week to work in Israel, Israel should be by your account obliterated. It ain’t.

      “Only 11 years ago” when the separation barrier thousands Palestinians now slip through un-detected, didn’t exist …

      “To me, it’s simple. If Governor Christie of New Jersey were to start launching missiles into Manhattan, it wouldn’t take long for the Governor of New York to launch an invasion across the Hudson”

      Uh huh. Perhaps you meant you are simple. There’s no reason for Governor Christie of New Jersey to retaliate to non-existent New York intransigence …. the Governor of New York hasn’t been illegally acquiring New Jersey, dispossessing the rightful civilian population, razing their homes, farms, villages! Hasn’t been illegally annexing New Jersey or illegally settling there.

      Say Pajero, other than making a fool of yourself, did you have a reason for dumping a whole mess of straw on the thread?

    • Qualtrough
      July 12, 2014, 9:54 am

      @Ken. Yes, what primitive, irrational people those Palestinians. Why oh why would they be angry at Israel? What has Israel ever done to hurt them? It just doesn’t make any sense does it? Must be a defective culture or something, right?

  19. Taxi
    July 11, 2014, 11:33 pm

    Great article, Pam.

    But it’s not the ‘rockets’ that is really pissing off the zionist munchkins, its the MISSILES made in SYRIA and IRAN that are falling on tel aviv, jerusalem and illegal settlements across the holy land.

    The filthy racist warmongers are outraged that the Palestinians now have a few MISSILES to defend themselves with!

    Not just rockets, but MISSILES baby MISSILES!

    • Annie Robbins
      July 12, 2014, 1:04 am

      speaking of missiles taxi, i read something else earlier today which just so happens to be the first reference in the western press to hamas possessing anti aircraft (that i’ve read/encountered).

      (my bold. )

      The IDF announced this week that an M-302 missile, manufactured in Syria, had landed near Hadara, 70 miles north of Gaza. Such a missile has a range that allows it to strike anywhere in Israel, though its accuracy is limited and its use appears to be rare so far (for a map showing the ranges of Hamas’ missiles, click here). Hamas is also believed to possess surface-to-air missiles that could be used against Israeli military aircraft.

      surprise!

      link to m.washingtonpost.com

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 1:21 am

        speaking of missiles taxi, i read something else earlier today which just happens to be the first reference in the western press to hamas possessing anti aircraft.

        Note that these are purely defensive weapons, but we can expect outrage from Israel that they pose a threat to Israel’d very existence were an F16 or Apache to be hit.

        Of course, if Hamas do have them, do we know if they’ve been used?

  20. Taxi
    July 12, 2014, 1:30 am

    LOL CAMERA are freaking out!

    Their EVERYONE HATES US song&dance:
    link to camera.org

    • Shingo
      July 12, 2014, 2:51 am

      LOL CAMERA are freaking out!

      Music to my ears. I look forward to the day that propaganda web site closes down due to lack of business.

  21. wes
    July 12, 2014, 1:45 am

    Pam bailey thank you for the well written article.

    seeing that this conflict is driven by relegion and has been for many centuries,thousands of years in fact,i find it curious that you have failed to mention this in your article.

    • Shingo
      July 12, 2014, 2:53 am

      seeing that this conflict is driven by relegion and has been for many centuries,thousands of years in fact,i find it curious that you have failed to mention this in your article

      Seeing as that claim is absolute BS and has only been invented by Zionists to try and portray the conflict as something other that territorial and human rights, there was no need to insert that false argument into an excellent and factual piece.

      • wes
        July 12, 2014, 3:11 am

        Shingo says

        “Invented by zionists”

        So if it is not driven by relegion then tell me why are jews in israel,is there some other reason i am not aware of.

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2014, 3:31 am

        To steal Palestinian land and resources, duh.

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 4:38 am

        So if it is not driven by relegion then tell me why are jews in israel,is there some other reason i am not aware of.

        Ethnic supremacist settlers who drove out the indigenous population. Just like the white settlers did to native Indians in the US and Australia.

  22. wes
    July 12, 2014, 3:03 am

    Lately the israeli news talks of a question,………starting a war is one thing but how do you end it.
    The escalation this time around must end differently.
    Enter gaza and destroy the resistance,seize the iniative and rebuild from the ground up.
    or hand the land over to the arab and live in a country much like south africa.
    there will never be peace and any political settlement will ultimately end with an arab majority
    the jewish people must choose now,in 2014,do we fight on for a jewish homeland or do we scatter once again amongst the nations.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 12, 2014, 3:09 am

      destroying the resistance would amount to genocide. virtually all palestinians have a right to resist, and in their own way do unless they are collaborators or something.

    • Sumud
      July 12, 2014, 3:41 am

      the jewish people must choose now,in 2014,do we fight on for a jewish homeland or do we scatter once again amongst the nations.

      It needn’t be a zero sum game.

      I have noticed zionists (zionists, not “the jewish people”, you’re conflating the two) are less visionary than most other people. They often seem to lack ‘better angels’.

      How about getting down on your knees and asking your God and Palestinians for forgiveness for 66 years of Nakba and all the sadistic misery that has involved?

      How about committing to full equality for all people between the river and the sea, and facilitating the return of Palestinian refugees?

      How about returning stolen property and land to Palestinians where possible, and paying compensation where it isn’t? Likewise for the small number of zionist jews that lost property in the West Bank in 1947/8/9.

      How about a national reconciliation project perhaps modelled on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

      Underpinning it all – how about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you??? It’s that easy.

      • wes
        July 12, 2014, 6:36 am

        Shingo says

        “eutopia”

        that pretty much sums you up.

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 9:38 am

        that pretty much sums you up.

        Racist, fascist, supremacist sums you up.

      • wes
        July 12, 2014, 6:49 am

        Sumud

        Gaza must be demilitarized.the infrastructure cannot support the inhabitants,tons of raw sewerage is flowing into the ocean,there is no economy,the system is broken.market forces want change and it will come sooner than you think

      • Walid
        July 12, 2014, 7:33 am

        All these failures have been caused by Israel. Israel deserves the raw sewage that the currents are bringing its way.

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 7:39 am

        Gaza must be demilitarized.

        Sure, as soon as Israel is demilitarized. So long as Israel remains militarized, Gaza should remain militarized. In fact, Gaza should have much more powerful missiles, fighter planes, 500 – 2000 lb bombs with lazer guidance systems to hit Israel back just as hard.

        the infrastructure cannot support the inhabitants

        It could if it was not under blockade and siege, but Israel refuses to allow Gaza to be a vilable entity.

        tons of raw sewerage is flowing into the ocean

        Yes, from Israel into Gaza, into the sea. Why do you Israelis now build a sewage treatment plant rather than dump your excrement into Gaza?

        There is no no economy because Israel has strangled it and does not want it to have one. The system is broken because Israel broke it. You are such a sick psychopath and yet have no idea how evil and twisted you sound.

        With citizens like yourself, is it any wonder Israel is so universally despised?

      • Sumud
        July 12, 2014, 7:44 am

        wes you haven’t addressed anything I said about it not being a zero sum game.

        – – – – –

        You are harbouring a fantasy that Palestinian resistance can be overcome, it cannot. Sixty six years (or 100+ depending on how you view the situation) so far, how long until the message sinks in?

        Zionism has created a concentration camp in Gaza that would make any nazi green with envy, and Palestinians are still resisting. The next step is mass murder. Do you think that would work?

        If there is no economy – thanks to Israel strangling it – then how will market forces create change? What market forces, specifically?

        – – – – – –

        You’re just talking to yourself and all you really have to say is that murdering more Palestinians will solve everything. Big idea!

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 8:02 am

        You’re just talking to yourself and all you really have to say is that murdering more Palestinians will solve everything.

        Isn’t it astounding how tone deaf, clueless, unhinged and anti-intellectual these new generations of bots are? Between this Forrest Gump wannabe, Pat and MY1, Israel is seriously beginning to look like the land of Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.

      • wes
        July 12, 2014, 9:53 am

        Sumud

        “gaza is a concentration”

        I agree and thats why i believe it needs to be demilitarized and rebuilt to improve the living standards of those people who live there.the gas fields would provide the neccesary capital to fund the reconstruction of gaza.a light rail link to jerusalem and ramallah will give the west bank access to a port.
        a win win situation for all

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 8:04 pm

        I agree and thats why i believe it needs to be demilitarized and rebuilt to improve the living standards of those people who live there.

        We could rebuilt to improve the living standards of those people who live there much more effectively if we demilitarize both sides. After all, all the destruction to infrastructure – which is Israel’s policy – would cease.

        As for the the gas fields, one of the reasons for this attack is to maintain Israeli control of them.

        You really do not have a clue do you Wes?

    • Shingo
      July 12, 2014, 4:43 am

      Lately the israeli news talks of a question,………starting a war is one thing but how do you end it.
      The escalation this time around must end differently.

      Blah blah blah, Israel said that in 2008 and 2012. Broken record.

      Enter gaza and destroy the resistance,seize the iniative and rebuild from the ground up.

      Sounds like what the Nazis spoke about in the 1940s. Destroy and rebuild. Creative destruction. War is peace. Slavery is freedom.

      You peopel are fuc%ing psycopaths.

      there will never be peace and any political settlement will ultimately end with an arab majority

      There isn’t peace with a Jewish majority either.

      ,do we fight on for a jewish homeland or do we scatter once again amongst the nations.

      More than half the world’s Jews are pretty happy to be scattered among nations and seem so content that they refuse to life in your fascist, racist, ethnocentric eutopia.

      What is this obsession with ethnic purity anyway? Apart from the obvious comparisons with Nazis Germany, have you ever considered the dangers of inbreeding?

  23. wes
    July 12, 2014, 6:33 am

    Annie says

    “amount to genocide”

    Why pretend that the people of gaza are unarmed.no army in the world would gladly enter gaza.genocide is commited against unarmed civilians
    hamas is well armed and entrenched
    Change will not come through negioations,if the idf is not prepared to enter gaza and disarm the resistance then they must accept defeat and pullback to 1967 lines.there is no middle ground,you fight for your position and accept what is possible.

    • Shingo
      July 12, 2014, 9:42 am

      Why pretend that the people of gaza are unarmed.

      Why do you pretend those arms are comparable in any way to the arms the US supplies you at taxpayer expense?

      no army in the world would gladly enter gaza.genocide is commited against unarmed civilians

      Israel has always targeted unarmed civilians

      hamas is well armed and entrenched

      Well armed compared to who?

      Change will not come through negioations

      You are right. It will come through sanctions, boycott and isolation of Israel. Israel has never been honest about negotiating.

      if the idf is not prepared to enter gaza and disarm the resistance then they must accept defeat and pullback to 1967 lines.

      That’s what they are supposed to do under international law, so that would be fabulous.

      Get out of Palestine squatter.

      • Taxi
        July 12, 2014, 9:55 am

        Shingo,

        It doesn’t look like the Palestinians are fighting alone after all:
        link to dailystar.com.lb

        And I hope it puts the heebeejeebeez in the hearts of warmongering israelis to learn that this time round, they’ve not just been fighting pitiful little lonely hamas, but they’ve actually been been fighting both hamas AND hizbollah in Gaza.

    • Taxi
      July 12, 2014, 9:49 am

      Wes,

      Has it occurred to you that Iran, Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas have laid israel a fine trap and actually want the idf to go into Gaza?

      How would you like it if the idf goes into Gaza and hisbollah and Syria start two other fronts, simultaneously, to free the Shebaa Farms in Lebanon and the Golan in Syria?

      How would you like to see the idf busying up on all three fronts? Three simultaneous liberation operations, all legitimate under international law. Mindful here that this Tri Arab Axis of Resistance will not run out of weapons or money any time soon, not with Iran in full support of this Axis of Resistance, and not with China in full support of Iran.

      You think israel can sew sectarianism and chaos in neighboring countries, causing the loss of life of millions over several decades, without these countries eventually turning the ‘magic against the magician?

      Not even the ‘chosen’ are invincible, my dear. The unspeakable horrors of the holocaust have taught us this.

      So yeah, go ahead and tell yourselves you have no choice but but mass-murder civilians by air then move your markavas into Gaza to ‘finish off hamas’. Go for it! Oh please go for it! I for one indeed look forward to the arrogant butchers in the idf to force their way into Gaza. I advise them wholeheartedly to advance real deep, deep into the Strip.

      • tokyobk
        July 12, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Lovely. You want the IDF to invade because then we can have a real blood bath and see just how nasty those Israelis are and then World Peace.

        It never fails to amaze me how people, from the comfort of their keyboard of course, are willing to ascribe death to thousands, especially when there is a chance for Israeli humiliation.

        And of course if someone calls out this kind of nakba incitement, well then they are the nasty ‘Zionist.’

      • Shingo
        July 12, 2014, 8:02 pm

        You want the IDF to invade because then we can have a real blood bath and see just how nasty those Israelis are and then World Peace.

        Whereas you apparently don’t want the IDF to invade because then we can have a blood bath anyway without breaking a Jewish fingernail.

        Earth to tokyobk. There is a bloodbath already, but it’s not the blood that counts so it doesn’t count right?

      • a blah chick
        July 12, 2014, 8:04 pm

        Hey, how about saving some of that outrage for the people who are doing the actual killing, you know, sweet little Israel.

      • Taxi
        July 12, 2014, 11:53 pm

        tokyobk,

        “It never fails to amaze me how people” like YOU support the gestapo idf in the middle of their slaughter of children and their mothers, the wholesale slaughter of the handicapped and the massacring of pious men while in the middle of their prayer.

        Are you a f*cking wacho?! There’s already a slaughter going on and you would just prefer it that Gazans just sit on their asses waiting for the idf to snuff them out? You want the Gazans to act like German jews did and just line up in a single file at train stations?!

        Well it ain’t gonna happen buster! They’re gonna resist, resist, RESIST!!!

        What other choice has your vile Apartheid isreal left them? NONE!!!

  24. Pam Bailey
    July 12, 2014, 9:02 am

    Did you all see the Democracy Now segment with Noura Erakat and Joshua Hantman? link to democracynow.org. Personally, if I was Noura, I would have told Hantman that Palestinians that while most would strongly prefer not to use violence, they also are sick of being treated like doormats and WANT Hamas to fight back. International law failed them. If they turn to violence to stick up for themselves, it’s because the world has failed them.

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