Why the mainstream media is still ignoring Max Blumenthal’s excellent book on Gaza

US Politics
on 44 Comments

Once you finish Max Blumenthal’s gripping, indispensable, first-hand account of last year’s Israeli attack on Gaza, you can better understand why the mainstream U.S. media is afraid to review it. The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza repudiates the conventional history so decisively that readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major outlets would be stunned into asking some pointed questions about the myths they are being fed.

Blumenthal was brave enough to actually travel inside Gaza during part of the ferocious Israeli air and land assault, (accompanied by Dan Cohen, one of this site’s colleagues), and his eyewitness testimony and chilling, wrenching interviews with Palestinians will form a valuable part of the historical record.

Even those of us who followed Israel’s attack as it happened will still learn plenty from this rushed but still well-crafted account — which is carefully footnoted and is strengthened by Cohen’s photographs.

Blumenthal starts by devastating the mainstream myth about why Israel invaded in the first place. The Israeli rationale, with de facto endorsement by New York Times reporters, is that on June 12, 2014 “Hamas” kidnapped and murdered 3 Jewish teens in the West Bank and then launched thousands of rockets from Gaza as part of an effort to “kill Jews” and “destroy Israel.” Israel was forced to invade to protect itself. As Blumenthal writes, “The violence in Gaza has become a ritual that has confounded many outsiders, leading to the rise of simplistic explanations for the bloodshed as the product of religious extremism, endemic anti-Semitism and intractable conflict.”

Author Max Blumenthal.

Author Max Blumenthal.

Instead, Blumenthal calmly provides an accurate timeline with facts. The West Bank kidnappers were a rogue mini-faction with no real connection to Hamas; the Hamas rockets did not start until Israel arrested hundreds of its members and an airstrike killed seven of them. Most revealing, before the Israeli land invasion, Hamas pleaded for a cease-fire, offered a ten-year truce, and issued a list of modest humanitarian demands aimed simply at lifting the suffocating siege.

But Israel wanted war. And here is where Blumenthal convincingly exposes another mainstream myth: the Hamas Terror Tunnels, supposedly aimed at Israeli kibbutzes and kindergartens. There were tunnels, all right, but nearly all of them were inside Gaza itself, and trained Palestinian resistance fighters used them to give the Israeli invaders a stinging surprise. In reporting that you did not see in the mainstream, Blumenthal describes how one team of Al-Qassam fighters “lured an [Israeli] M113 armored personnel carrier into a field laced with improvised explosive devices,” and then “the vehicle went up in a ball of flames, killing six soldiers inside. . .”

He also writes about another Gazan attack, in which 9 guerrillas videotaped their infiltration through a tunnel into Israel to assault a nearby army base. He quotes Haaretz correspondents who pointed out, “It’s also clear that the militants had planned to storm the position from the start and were not en route to the nearby kibbutz to massacre civilians.”

After these setbacks, Israel halted its ground forces, but continued to destroy Gaza with artillery, air strikes and naval shells. Blumenthal was in Gaza City for part of the air assault. During the 51 days, he explains, “By the army’s own count, it had fired around 3 million bullets — almost two bullets for every one of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents.”

Blumenthal, Cohen, and their interpreter, a remarkable young Palestinian woman named Ebaa Rezeq, gathered painful Gazan accounts of the killing and destruction. Most sickening are Palestinian descriptions of Israeli soldiers summarily executing civilians. Such testimony must understandably be treated with caution, but Blumenthal’s book should at least prompt further impartial inquiry.

Extensive Israeli war crimes become even more plausible once Blumenthal introduces Col. Ofer Winter, a fanatically religious senior Israeli commander. Here is a motivational letter Winter distributed to his troops before the invasion: “History has chosen us to be the sharp edge of the bayonet fighting the terrorist enemy ‘from Gaza’ which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s battles.” Later, Winter says his soldiers were saved by God’s direct intervention: “We were protected by clouds, clouds of divine honor. We — all the warriors — were suddenly covered by a heavy fog, which came with us throughout the attack.”

A truthful profile of Col. Winter and his popularity would reveal a great deal about Israel in 2015, but the U.S. mainstream reporters are careful to keep him hidden.

Blumenthal is clear that Gaza can expect little help from within Israel. He repeats the hard truths of his previous book (Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel), in which he proved that the country continues to move to the far right. “The invasion of Gaza,” he explains, “served as a bonanza for right-wing political mobilization, catalyzing an ultra-nationalist march through the institutions of the Jewish state.”

Max Blumenthal ends his book by leaving a Gaza that is half destroyed but still defiant. On August 26, the day the final cease-fire took effect, tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Gaza City and pledged to continue the resistance. Blumenthal writes, “Among the crowds, a stout middle-aged woman summoned my colleague Dan Cohen to the van where she sat surrounded with children waving the green Hamas banners. ‘I’ll die and I’ll give [up] all my sons if that’s what we have to do to liberate Palestine,’ she declared vehemently.”

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44 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    August 31, 2015, 10:21 pm

    James great piece. Clear and concrete. Max is an incredible researcher, writer/journalist, brave man filled with integrity and a thirst for justice. Deep respect. Know less about Cohen however anyone willing to go into the thick of a violent massacre is clearly a brave and honorable individual.

    Going to call the Boulder Book Store tomorrow to order. Have read Max’s other books and excited (well not exactly excited facts about massacres are depressing) to read this one.

    When I think about who in the MSM who might be brave enough and committed to truth and justice is Melissa Harris Perry on MSNBC. Maybe if we start working on her at her fb site or email her etc. She might take the bait and do the right thing. She is one brave main stream lady.

    • James North
      August 31, 2015, 10:39 pm

      Thank you, Kathleen. And thank you for your commitment and enthusiasm.

      • Citizen
        September 1, 2015, 12:44 am

        Thank you for the article, James North.

  2. mjordan
    August 31, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Great review & report James. And here’s Max Blumenthal on C-Span at Politics & Prose in DC.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?327610-1/max-blumenthal-51-day-war

  3. Rooster
    August 31, 2015, 10:51 pm

    So what can we do to pressure Terry Gross to finally have Mr. Blumenthal on her program?

    • echinococcus
      September 1, 2015, 2:59 am

      What did young Blumenthal do to deserve that?
      And how many people still listen to that hack?

    • CigarGod
      September 1, 2015, 3:49 am

      Pay her.

    • Kathleen
      September 1, 2015, 6:56 pm

      Hey all you can do is try to contact make your argument and challenge her on having interviewed Max on his first book which dissected Republicans…which of course Terry like. Challenge her about never criticizing anything Israel does. That her bias is so clear and many are aware of it.

      You just never know. I for one will be working on Melissa Harris Perry having him on. She is one of the bravest MSM host going.

  4. Boomer
    September 1, 2015, 6:18 am

    Mr. North, I’m pleased that you wrote this, and pleased to have read it. I mean no criticism when I observe that you don’t really explain why the mainstream media in the United States don’t give the book, and its author, more publicity. I suppose, if asked, the people who make those editorial decisions might say that the book, and its author, are anti-semitic. That answer has been sufficient for most purposes for many years. Most people who read this site would not agree, or accept that answer. They would seek other reasons. I’m not asking you to provide such an answer: it would probably require a book that would itself likely be ignored and condemned as anti-semtic, as has been the case with some that have been attempted.

  5. ckg
    September 1, 2015, 6:24 am

    Last night’s Clinton email dump reveals Sidney Blumenthal was sending articles to her to read that were penned by Max. Israel Firsters are seething. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/clintons-unofficial-adviser-sent-anti-israel-articles-regularly/article/2571176

    • Kay24
      September 1, 2015, 6:57 am

      Ckg that is very, very interesting. It also shows that Clinton (maybe like other politicians) know what Israel is up to, yet keeps supporting and protecting it. It makes me wonder why despite all this information, they keep pretending it is the victim in this situation, and keeps handing it more weapons. It also is unbelievable that they don’t have a conscience that makes them keep awake at night, blaming themselves for the suffering of helpless civilians who face the brutality of zionists. Our politicians must be hard hearted and indifferent to suffering.

    • ckg
      September 1, 2015, 8:14 am

      PJMedia notes also that Sidney advised her on the Mavi Marmara incident.

      A number of the latest emails from 2010 center on the Gaza flotilla raid. Israeli commandos boarded the “Freedom Flotilla” to force the ships to port for inspection. A few dozen of the hundreds on board fought the commandos; 10 activists were killed and 10 of the Israeli commandos were wounded.

      In an email to Clinton that day — May 31, 2010 — Blumenthal called the incident “Bibi’s Entebbe in reverse.”

      “The father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up,” Blumenthal wrote. “Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel. Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.”

      “The raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe, except that there are no hostages, no guns, it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe. (Then, there’s Ehud Barak reliving his youth as a raider killing Palestinians in Lebanon, a feat memorialized in Spielberg’s film, Munich. Ultimately, it didn’t work out well that time either. The film captures the moral quandaries, which appear to have escaped the participants.)”

      Blumenthal goes on to write, “The international press will inquire whether the Obama administration gave a wink or nod as the Bush administration did for the Lebanon and Gaza incursions. Be prepared.”

      “Further: Of course, the consequences for US foreign policy and national security are negative across the board: from the analogy of the North Korean ship sinking and the Chinese posture to support for Iranian sanctions, etc., etc. Did the Israelis not hear Petraeus’s testimony?”

      Blumenthal added that “of course, whatever the outcome of such a raid, one of the inevitable ones would be the death of the peace process, such as it is, on the very eve of Bibi’s scheduled visit to Obama, which would have been, under any circumstance, in light of the raid, profoundly humiliating for the president. Or are the Israelis bone stupid? I don’t think so.”

      Hillary forwarded the email 35 minutes later to Jake Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and director of policy planning. He is believed to be Clinton’s pick for national security advisor.

      “Fyi and itys,” Clinton tells Sullivan. The latter is Internet slang for “I told you so.”

      “I told you so.”

    • ckg
      September 1, 2015, 9:06 am

      Daily Caller: “Emails show Blumenthal pushed son’s anti-Israel activism on Hillary” http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/01/emails-show-blumenthal-pushed-sons-anti-israel-activism-on-hillary/

    • Amar
      September 1, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Much respect to Sid B. I wonder how much of an influence he was on Maxs world view early on. And how much Maxs views and activism in turn influenced Sid re the IP conflict.

    • ckg
      September 1, 2015, 4:10 pm

      Here is another nugget coming out of the email dump. In 2010 Sidney Blumenthal offered Clinton advice on her upcoming AIPAC speech. Blumenthal argued that she should praise AIPAC but also mention J Street: “AIPAC itself has become an organ of the Israeli right, specifically Likud. By acknowledging J Street you give them legitimacy, credibility and create room within the American Jewish community for debate supportive of the administration’s pursuit of the peace process. Just by mentioning J Street in passing, AIPAC becomes a point on the spectrum, not the controller of the spectrum.”

      It appears that Clinton ignored Blumenthal’s advice. I cannot find any mention of J Street in the transcript of her talk.

      • Boomer
        September 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Good advice, poor recipient.

      • Kathleen
        September 2, 2015, 11:48 am

        Generally respect every article I have read by Sidney Blumenthal especially “The Good Soldiers Revenge” about the John Bolton nomination and the neocons spying on General Powell.

        However I get a deep sense he has a dual agenda in his investigations and reporting. Not as if reporters can not have an agenda of their own that weaves through their work

  6. Kay24
    September 1, 2015, 7:52 am

    OT, but it was cringe worthy to see Tom Cotton criticizing his President and the Iran deal FROM TEL AVIV, ISRAEL. I mean it stinks of disloyalty and questions patriotism. If this was a democratic congressperson, the republicans would have been all over this, criticizing his judgement.

    • ckg
      September 1, 2015, 8:45 am

      I can remember in 2003 when Fox News, Toby Keith and pretty much the entire GOP was ready to crucify Natalie Maines when she said in London that the Dixie Chicks were “ashamed” President Bush “was from Texas”.

      • ckg
        September 1, 2015, 8:52 am
      • Kay24
        September 1, 2015, 10:22 am

        I remember very well. So many Americans were vilified for criticizing Bush/Cheney and their war mongering. Now that we have a black Democrat as President, anything goes, even criticizing his policies from foreign soil. Where are the cries of outrage and disgust at this man who is doing the dirty work for Israel?

    • Kathleen
      September 2, 2015, 11:52 am

      All of these Congressional trips to Israel being paid by obtuse I lobby groups stinks. I thought all of this foreign countries and foreign countries agents paying for Congressional trips was to come to a halt after the hullabaloo over Rep Ney’s paid for trips and gifts.

      He did jail time.

      Thought there was legislation passed to nip this interference in serious U.S. decision making in the bud.

  7. gracie fr
    September 1, 2015, 9:37 am

    Max Blumenthal discusses “The 51 Day War” on CSPAN

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?327610-1/max-blumenthal-51-day-war

    • Kathleen
      September 1, 2015, 6:58 pm

      Have to watch. So glad Cspan did this. They did not cover that second Israel Palestine conference. Someone got to them

  8. shalom
    September 1, 2015, 10:17 am

    I read Max’s writings but have not read the book. As for the assumption made in this article that points to a “rogue mini-faction,” as the source of the kidnapping and ultimately disconnecting responsibility for the 2014 War in Gaza from Hamas, it sounds awfully familiar as the devise used by Yasser Arafat repeatedly to disconnect him and his Palestinian Authority from acts of terror. The devastation while enormous was also not quite the result of the Israelis rejecting a Hamas led initiative for a humanitarian ceasefire. Hamas turned down an Egyptian led ceasefire in deference to one it was far more interested in favoring forwarded by Qatar, (its ally), and supported at least temporarily by Secretary Kerry and the United States.

    • Mooser
      September 1, 2015, 11:38 am

      “it sounds awfully familiar”

      Yes, you do.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 1, 2015, 5:03 pm

      “Hamas turned down an Egyptian led ceasefire”

      It wasn’t an ‘Egyptian led ceasefire” (though only an Israeli would consider anything coming from a coup d’etat junta to have credibility). It was a sham dictated to Sisi by his boss, Tony Blair a well known ‘Friend of Israel”. They KNEW Hamas would turn it down. That was the whole point.

      Maybe you should read Max’s book instead of regurgitating tired hasbara? You might just learn something.

      • tree
        September 1, 2015, 5:32 pm

        Furthermore, Hamas was not invited into negotiations for the “Egyptian” ceasefire, which was pretty much dictated to Egypt by Israel.

        On Monday night the press became aware that a ceasefire proposal was being crafted by the Egyptian government in negotiation with Israel and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The proposal was delivered to the Hamas leadership shortly before the deadline was to take into effect, and did not include the demands the Hamas party put forward already on the second day of the fighting, conditions that would score the group political capital, namely – the release of its rearrested fmembers, jailed in recent weeks by Israel, the lifting of the 8 year-long blockade on the strip, and the end of fire.

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12115

  9. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    September 1, 2015, 4:53 pm

    I had the pleasure of hearing Max speak about his book here in the UK a few weeks ago.

    I was struck by how articulate, brave and – dare I say it! – handsome he is. He made minced meat out of the Zio-agitator troll shouting abuse at him from the front row – and did so without losing his cool for a second. I’ve been fairly busy over the past few weeks so haven’t got round to reading the – signed! – copy of his book yet. I’m also dreading reading it in a way, as it sounds harrowing. But it’s a story which needs to be told, and Max should be given a chance to tell it to a wider audience. But for reasons all too obvious to everyone here, he won’t be given that chance.

    • Susan A
      September 2, 2015, 6:54 am

      Hi MDM: I was also there that night and had the misfortune of sitting next to the zionist shouter! She came in late and sat next to me! “Lies” she murmured when Max had corrected her, but I soon added my own response to her (sad) ignorance. I just finished the book last night and yes, there are things that make you gasp in despair, such as when he juxtaposes the words of some crazy Israeli official, “self-genocide” to the story of a little girl who lost both her arms. But, in his inimitable way, Max can voice wry humour and even exhilaration in one or two places. Ultimately though, the prognosis is not good (no surprise there) and reminds us of how much there is yet to do. We must all redouble our efforts. As ever Max’s book is well worth the read.

      • bintbiba
        September 2, 2015, 8:46 am

        Hi MDM and Susan A
        That makes 3 MWers there .
        I was there as well…
        I sat in front of the woman who called out something like ” and what about Khkhamas…..”
        and we all turned round and said Khkhamas ? can’t you say Hamas….it’s much easier”

        It was a rather infuriatingly trivial and comic moment. When she finally said it , Hamas….
        everybody burst into applause. A very silly yet meaningful moment.

        Max is a very impressive and brave young man !
        Great pity that he has got involved with the Alison Weir bashing group in the US !

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        September 2, 2015, 10:32 am

        The Zio-troll at my event was a ‘he’, so I don’t think we were at the same book signing. I’m sure at least one such agitator is obligatory any time Max speaks – apparently some of them even tried to physically prevent him from entering a venue in Manchester! In any case, the lovely Max dealt with the fool playing the ”I am a Jew” card with aplomb – god knows he’s had enough practice, with these trolls following him around whereever he goes.

      • W.Jones
        September 3, 2015, 1:35 am

        Bint,

        Yes, Max is a very good writer and speaker.

        As for your last statement, Max’s chapter names in Goliath sound far more anti-Semitic than anything Weir has written on her site. Max’s explanation is that they were things that Israelis said. That may be true, but I think that if Weir had done that with chapter names she would not have lasted as long as she did before getting shut down.

  10. PeaceThroughJustice
    September 1, 2015, 5:37 pm

    Off topic: Saw this in an email from If Americans Knew. Big conference Sept. 17-19 in Massachusetts —

    Christians and the Holy Land: What Does the Lord Require?
    http://www.sbsedu.org/L3_events_natconf18.9.15.htm

    Heavy-duty speakers —

    Noam Chomsky
    Stephen Walt
    Ilan Pappe
    Jean Zaru (Friends)
    Mark Braverman (Kairos)
    Sara Roy (Harvard)
    Avner Gvaryahu (Breaking the Silence)
    Rev. Peter J. Miano

    (Conspicuously absent are any of the usual gatekeeper orgs.)

    • John Fearey
      September 2, 2015, 11:42 am

      Thanks for info about conference. I think I’ll go if I can get in.

      Also thank you James for a good book review and for reminding me to read it. It was the horror of Gaza (after so many other horrors perpetrated by Israel) that propelled me to go to West Bank ( Gaza someday maybe) and see for myself. The Palestinians are a brave, noble and tenacious people who endure unbelievable suffering and deprivation at the hands of their jailers.

      Lastly, good thread and interesting about Hillary and Sydney. Hillary rally needs to get right on this issue.

    • b.grand
      September 3, 2015, 12:48 am

      Maybe no orgs., but they have Noam, “soft Zionist in chief” and master of subtle gatekeeping.

      This interview with Pappe is really excellent—

      Pappé on apartheid, ideology, Chomsky, and the contradictions of “liberal Zionism”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/apartheid-ideology-contradictions

  11. bryan
    September 2, 2015, 7:23 am

    A report issued yesterday by UNCTAD (U.N. Conference on Trade and Development) provides further graphic evidence of the humanitarian crisis facing the Occupied Territories (especially Gaza). See http://unctad.org/meetings/en/SessionalDocuments/tdb62d3_en.pdf

    Nothing particularly new here, but an honest analysis strongly implying that the occupation and the gross imbalance in power established at Oslo are the problem. To offer a flavour of the commentary provided:

    “The Palestinian economy is the economy of an occupied territory, and therefore –
    contrary to the claims of some observers – the efficacy of donor support has been
    undermined by occupation, not by the inadequacy of Palestinian National Authority
    policies or poor donor coordination. The fiscal burden of the humanitarian crises and
    the occupation-related fiscal losses have diverted donor aid from development to humanitarian interventions and budget support. No amount of aid would have been sufficient to put any economy on a path of sustainable development under conditions of frequent military strikes and destruction of infrastructure, isolation from global markets, fragmentation of domestic markets and confiscation and denial of access to national
    natural resources.

    … unemployment increased … to 30 per cent; 44 per cent in Gaza (the highest level on record) and 18 per cent in the West Bank. However, the real depth of unemployment and the attendant waste of human resources are greater than that indicated by unemployment rates, due to the prevalence of underemployment and masked unemployment…. in Gaza… nearly 6 in 10 households were food insecure compared to 1 in 5 households in the West Bank.

    Israeli settlements in the West Bank continued to expand, and the number of settlers
    has quadrupled since the Oslo Accords. Today, settlers outnumber Palestinians in Area C (61 per cent of West Bank area), which includes the most valuable Palestinian natural resources. Overall, 341,000 Israeli settlers live in 235 settlements and outposts in Area C, compared to 300,000 Palestinians …. Settlers’ violence against Palestinians and their productive assets continued, with 9,333 productive trees destroyed or vandalized in 2014. The violence escalated in 2015; in January alone, another 5,600 trees across the West Bank were uprooted or vandalized.

    Towards the end of 2014, the movement of Palestinian people and goods in the
    West Bank was hindered by 490 barriers installed by Israel, including checkpoints,
    roadblocks, trenches and the Separation Barrier, which runs into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and unilaterally redefines the borders away from the internationally recognized Green Line. Gaza remained under a blockade that isolates it from
    the world and its traditional markets in the West Bank and Israel, which absorbed some 85 per cent of its exports before the blockade.

    Importing electricity from Israel as required by the Oslo Accords] is another source
    of loss of Palestinian fiscal resources and consumer welfare. When Palestinian electricity distributors (municipalities, village councils and distribution companies) fail to pay the
    Israel Electric Corporation, Israel deducts from the Palestinian National Authority’s clearance revenue and registers any remaining balances as debt owed to the
    Corporation, to be deducted from clearance revenue at later dates. Such deductions also cover sewage fees and water imports, and are referred to as net lending. They are deducted by Israel without the consent of or verification by the Authority, in a unilateral, non-transparent and unpredictable manner.

    The Israel Electric Corporation issues monthly invoices to Palestinian distributors,
    to be paid within 11 days. Any delay in payment leads to 10 per cent annual late fees,
    although Palestinian distributors do not receive invoices in a timely or regular manner and
    lack access to meters located in Area C in the West Bank and in Gaza near the border with Israel. This makes them unable to compile relevant information and does not allow them to
    collect the cost of consumption from end users within the period specified by
    the Corporation. The late payment penalties plus added interest charges unilaterally
    set by Israel are excessive as they exceed market interest rates. Furthermore, the
    Corporation charges Palestinians a price that includes non-applicable components,
    such as the renewable energy component, which should not be borne by Palestinian importers. As indicated above, Israel imposes fines and high interest rates on the Palestinian National Authority even for short-term delays in Palestinian payments
    for electricity, water and sewage bills, yet Israel does not pay interest on money it does not transfer to the Authority when withholding Palestinian clearance revenue, which is in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. Periods of withholding
    extend to months and sometimes years.”

  12. Kathleen
    September 2, 2015, 11:36 pm

    Just read an email message and watched a clip of Allison Weir’s ( from If Americans Knew) response to Max Blumenthal’s verbal undermining of one of Allison’s talk and her work. That is sure disappointing.

    What is up with this division going on? Not that everyone has to be on same page. However seems like a concerted effort going on by some to take Allison and her work down. Not going to happen. She has lots of support and has done amazing work long before some of these newer folks have jumped on this wagon.

    • Mooser
      September 3, 2015, 12:08 am

      Just as a note, Alison Weir get one “l”. Allison Deger gets two.

      • Kathleen
        September 3, 2015, 1:11 pm

        Does that really matter? Wondering why Max is undermining Allison Weir? Know he did his best to take down Gilad Atzmon. I have heard Gilad speak twice and yes he seems like there is a complicated and somewhat twisted agenda. He repeated endless inaccuracies about the Iraq war. I challenged him on many things that he said. However one thing that stuck in my head is how he claimed that there was a concerted effort by new Jewish activist to purge the decades long movement of “non Jews” in leadership positions.

        Allison’s contributions have been and continue to be immeasurable.

  13. kellygrey531
    September 4, 2015, 11:14 pm

    Hi. This is my first post. I am fascinated by what I am reading here and I intend to be respectful even when I may disagree.

    I did notice an apparent discrepancy in excerpts from “The 51 Day War …” One sentence states “There were tunnels, all right, but nearly all of them were inside Gaza itself” — this is hardly in dispute and I don’t get the “but”, the following comment: “He [Blumenthal] also writes about another Gazan attack, in which 9 guerrillas videotaped their infiltration through a tunnel into Israel”. These two comments appear to be contradictory. The first sentence implies the tunnels were only in Gaza and thus not meant to enter Israel; the following comment disabuses that notion.

    I am not an expert but would gladly appreciate if more seasoned posters could explain if/where I have made a mistake in my interpretation of the above.

    Also, personally, I find “Most revealing, before the Israeli land invasion, Hamas pleaded for a cease-fire, offered a ten-year truce, and issued a list of modest humanitarian demands aimed simply at lifting the suffocating siege” somewhat difficult to believe but I would like to. How can this claim be reliably confirmed?

    Respectfully submitted.

    Kelly Grey

    • Annie Robbins
      September 5, 2015, 4:01 am

      hi kelly. the reference to “but” in “nearly all of them [tunnels] were inside Gaza itself” was because at the time of the introduction in the US press (i say that because everyone in the arab world, and press of course, knew why the tunnels freaked out israel at the time) as well as gov officials (including obama “the current military ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels”) the idea of tunnels was primarily framed around them being used to invade israel (think “ah! kindergartens” – which never happened) . whereas that was not the case at all. i suggest reading “israel is in a pickle” an article i wrote on july 19th for a clear understanding of israel’s issue with the tunnels. > http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israel-in-pickle.

      the article ends with:

      Hamas offered 10 conditions for a 10 year truce. Has Israel budged one iota on any of those conditions? What’s in it for Palestine agreeing to a ceasefire if the end result is endless occupation, imprisonment and suffering? UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is arriving in the region today in an attempt to mediate a deal between Israel and Hamas. John Kerry is expected to land in Cairo tonight. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is also showing up. It’s time to set some goals that require an Israeli compromise, something beyond ending their current slaughter. Agreeing to Hamas’ conditions: Has anyone thought of that?

      it also includes a link/embed to hamas’ 10 conditions for a 10 year truce, which we published here (by Ira Glunts) on 7/16 also published in jerusalem post and Ma’ariv (Hebrew) on that day. this was not published in the US mainstram press. this was before the land invasion.

      wrt to your assertion :

      These two comments appear to be contradictory. The first sentence implies the tunnels were only in Gaza and thus not meant to enter Israel; the following comment disabuses that notion.

      the first sentence does not imply tunnels were only in gaza and clearly some were absolutely intended to enter israel, as evidenced by the operation targeting a military post there. it just means the tunnels primary functions were not to invade israel. read my article.

  14. kellygrey531
    September 5, 2015, 8:55 am

    OK, thanks. Food for thought.

    Kelly

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