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Total number of comments: 255 (since 2012-12-04 18:20:15)

I am Israeli

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  • ASA statement on Salaita: An 'assault against the Program in American Indian Studies at UIUC '
    • It`s amazing how much energy people devote to fighting Israel, in the region and outside it, regardless of the meager real weight of the Israeli issue in overall Arab affairs and the real high cost paid for it. Outside the region: in Europe they storm stores that keep Israeli products and in doing so come to be seen as a threat to public order. Also showing bigotry vs. Jews does not help the Muslims own problem case in this regard - it in fact undercuts that. In the US we now have this and similar cases before.
      There will come a time when somebody in the Arab world will rise up pose the BIG question: Was it really worth it? Was it that central to our problems that we had to pay so much for that? I am waiting for that moment patiently.

  • Dutch activists disrupt Israeli apartheid whitewashing event in Amsterdam
    • And what about the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra concert that was disrupted in ten Edinburgh music festival? It had no political dimension and was not organized by the government. Those who do that can get away with tings in the UK, as in fact happened in the above case, but don`t realize that this attitude of intolerance, that every act is Kosher when it comes to hurting Israel, first and foremost hurts them. It ruins the image of the Arab communities in the eyes of the local people and the prices for that never fail to come.

  • Reborn from the womb of my destroyed house
    • This is despairing – a Ph.D. holder and still can only see one side of the coin? Academia is mainly about being able to see both sides of an issue but apparently when it comes to Israel even an academic educator, in the Palestinian camp, talks no differently than a propaganda man does.

  • ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state
    • ISIS et al may be only a passing phenomenon whereas the Israel-Palestinian saga is a long term process – so Israel`s continual focus on that latter is justified. It was imperative for Israel to send a clear message to Hamas that a continual belligerent approach of it will be answered by force, to which Hamas cannot have an effective answer given Israel`s massive military superiority, and the “humanitarian shield” that Hamas banked upon, condemnations by the “international community”, cannot and will not stop Israel there.
      ISIS on the other hand is really only an internal Arab problem - just another new player, or a reconfigured old one, in an already turbulent Arab world. In the beginning, as always, you have the bravado phase which lasts until the other players, from the region and outside, formulate a response – and we are at this juncture now -and then it will be all streamlined.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • That`s an unfair comment Mooser. If you want to use a verification test then do that across the board. Didn`t I see a zillion times here people writing that this and that is where the game is “surely” over for Israel – only to see it becoming yet stronger. I think some even said so in regard to the recent Hamas “victory”.

  • Israel's Shock Doctrine
    • The crux of the matter is that at this juncture of history the EU and Germany has no choice anymore. On one hand there are pure existential reasons: the European countries feel threatened in a world that seems to be ganging on it: Putin, the illegal immigrants and Islamic Jihadists returning home and inflaming big local Muslim minorities. They cannot afford anymore alienating the little that is left of the West and Israel has become in different ways even a pillar of it (not least by its technological prowess).
      On the other hand, no matter how people will ridicule the Holocaust it did happen and it puts real limits on how far Europe and Germany in particular would go in seeing Israel at risk.
      The combination of these two always in the end leads to the same result.

  • Front-page 'NYT' piece on foreign influence on D.C. thinktanks leaves out Israel
    • Here is a simple explanation, which apparently eludes many: Israel is not considered anymore in the political US circles as a foreign country – it is family now. After all, how many countries get a unanimous Senate support in times of war as was recently then case (in the Gaza war)? Clearly, you would only do that for your own country – so here you have it. How did that happen? There are all kinds of fascinating explanations but I skip that so as not to make it too painful.

  • The proportion of Gaza's children who were killed should shock conscience of weapons-suppliers
    • Just a statistical comment: the proportion of young people in Gaza, children included, is many times higher that of the West. The median age in Gaza is 18, compared to 40 in Europe, and 43.5% of the population in Gaza is under 14 (data from Index Mundi). This would necessarily get reflected in casualties.

  • Israel seizes 1000 acres from 5 Palestinian villages to build new settlement in response to teens' abduction
    • This is standard Israeli deterrence measure of Israel, since the establishment, in regard to violent acts against its citizens - counter steps that are of strategic value (rather than blatant revenge acts). A main example is the twice takeover of the West-Bank twice”: first after the 1976 war and again after the second Intifada.

  • In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate resistance and credit it with 'victory'
    • I am afraid wishful thinking is not a substitute for reality. I don`t care that Hamas treat it as a victory but how on earth can you compare in the macro picture a mini superpower a Israel has become with newly formed ties to the local key players, as Egypt, Saudi-Arabia and Jordan, and close relationship to the superpower of the world, the US, with an isolated group that fights from tunnels and bank for survival on Israel`s reluctance to hit too many civilians. People here divorced reality in being incapable to see things for what they really are.

  • This war was not a war, it was a massacre
    • Incorrect prediction. This was not yet another round but the final episode. By all likelihood Hamas understood that their “game-changer” try is not so and the costs don`t justify the efforts. There will be for sure close monitoring now of what goes on there and nobody will allow them to redo the military infrastructure. Indeed, they won`t even try - Hamas and Gaza will go the West-bank way and look for modus vivendi with Israel and Egypt (helped by the Ramallah PA guys they so much scorned before). You bet that despite the brave talk the Gazans (some hot-headed youngsters excluded) will not allow another adventure – the report in this article makes it absolutely clear. Importantly, the “humanitarian shield” that Hamas banked upon, namely that Israel will be deterred by some demonstration is Europe, don`t work anymore - as much as Israel wants a clean image that will not come at the expense of its vital security concerns.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • Walid, Israel is endemically insecure – that`s clear as the sunshine and is true from day one of its establishment and will not change. Just look at the map and follow the events in the region that it is in and you can tell that it is intrinsically in a constant precarious state. All what it can do is improve positions and that`s basically what did happen over the years.

    • @Annie
      I have a feeling that you have reached this conclusion already when it all began – so deep is your desire to see it this way. And given that in these types of “warring episodes”, unlike old-times real wars, there is really never a victor, indeed it is even impossible to define what a “victory” here means, it is in the end in the eyes of the beholder. If my memory does not betray me, all previous “rounds” with the Palestinians, or also Hezbollah, have been declared a triumph by the other side – often it was enough to justify tat by saying that they managed to carry on for a while against “the strongest army” in the region.
      In the end it is not “victories” that count in this type of warring episodes but rather the long term macro picture, namely what has developed over decades. Now compare Israel`s position in its birth and now - I think that tells the whole story.

  • Rolling in underground tunnels
  • The day the settlers left: Gaza during the 'Disengagement'
    • That became some kind of a cruel joke - what a holocaust survivor says carry some form of authority even though they are people like all of us. Because of that they are sought for frantically, when they are ready to denounce Israel -especially with Holocaust analogies (which is anyway commonplace now in the anti-Israel camp)

    • That became some kind of a cruel joke - what a holocaust survivor says carry some form of authority even though they are people like all of us. Because of that they are sought for frantically, when they are ready to denounce Israel, especially with Holocaust analogies (which is anyway commonplace now in the anti-Israel camp)

  • Mr. Netanyahu, what is your endgame?
    • @citizen
      I understand the point but everything in this world is relative and so is the definition of normal” here – it is in terms of the context of the region that is Israel physically located in. I can`t see Scandinavian conditions around Israel (where I indeed live) and, granted, compared to many countries around, even the “non-normal” routine situation of it and in it (in non-warring episodes) is pretty benign.

    • @Mooser
      That`s all just a bunch of insults – no arguments. Which is not a bad thing since that`s what people that are endemically hostile to Israel always do when faced with realities they don`t like or ones that fly in the face of their hopes and expectations. I am not surprised by the big demonstrations in Europe – those people understand things and can see that this fight with Hamas is not just another “round” but the culmination of a process, namely, after almost a century, Israel is getting established in the region that it is in. can`t be smooth, will never be problems-free but that`s what history in general is about – yet another “episode” of it is reaching some form of maturity.

    • What`s the endgame? – that`s a good question. Of course sometimes you just struggle to overcome current problems with the hope that in the end things will somehow sort themselves out in ways that are unforeseeable now since circumstances can change and the outcomes of consecutive move scan create new realities. Yet, there is a possible direction. Remember how the West-Bank looked just a decade and a half ago – exactly as Gaza now. And how were the relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel 6 decades ago – hugely explosive. So Gaza is the third leg in a process of normalization – the Palestinians internalizing that trying to undo Israel is too costly and accepting the Jewish entity and finding ways to coexist with it, no matter how non-ideal, is the only reasonable to go. The details can be worked out with time (no need for in-rush futile “peace agreements”) but it is the recognition of facts that matter most. As is already happening with Israel with Arab countries sin the region – Jordan, Egypt and Saudi-Arabia (and Gulf allies) – which informally create forms of cooperation with Israel while those that consistently refused as Syria, Iraq and Libya are falling apart (as Hamas may now be too).

  • What will tomorrow bring for Gaza -- a lasting truce or continuous war?
    • Come on, you know that most of the world could not care less about either Israel or the Palestinians or conflicts between them - they have their own problems to worry about. What happens here is a side show for almost everybody apart from those directly concerned and perhaps also some in the West. That is why it it is necessary to reach local settlements - The “Intl. community” is no more than a phrase.

    • Come on, you know that most of the world could not care less about either Israel or the Palestinians or conflicts between them. This is a side show for almost everybody apart from those directly concerned and perhaps also some in the West. That is why it ii important to reach local settlements, The “Intl. community” is no more than a phrase.

  • A brief respite in Gaza
  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • The Jewish nation survived all these years partly because it always had a “mainstream” that’s poke with one voice. Some sometimes drifted but part of them came back. And this held all over the world. The mainstream Jewish organizations in ALL the Western countries are pro-Israel. Eli Wiesel is just an example of that – a prominent Jew who will not sell Israel under the water to gain applauds in certain quarters on questionable humanitarian grounds (given the OVERALL picture in the Mid-East)

  • The withdrawal that isn't
    • That`s correct - the moral aspect of this war has already been by and large neutralized by now – and Gaza in effect joins Libya, Iraq and Syria as another place in the region with an Islamist key player, which is in a state of continual upheaval (at least until Hamas is in charge there). At some point, despite the customary “brave talk”, something is gotta give – and that`s the next turning point to expect now.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • @ Ira
      Here is the rationale. It is now recognized by Israel that doing away with the tunnels without risking too many soldiers on one hand and killing many civilians there on the other hand is not possible. So like the Intifada, of which this war is a replica by other means, this will go on for some time now. The Intifada took a year and this is likely to be shorter.
      The “siege” will only be removed if Gaza will go “political”, as did the West-Bank at the end of the Intifada, and replace military "grand designs" with a focus on civil developments. Given how Hamas is isolated in the Arab world itself plus that its main backers are “busy” elsewhere (which was not the case in the Intifada times) this scenario is the likely one (despite all the customary “heroic” talk).

    • OK, Annie, I`ll give this away. One of the key parts of the operation is the questioning of Hamas captives. Without that Israel would not be able to discover so many tunnels in just days. And that`s what will be going on later – trying to get the “maps” of the tunnels network. Takes time – but doing away with the Intifada, which this saga repeats by other means, took even longer.

    • OK, Annie, I`ll give this away. One of the key parts of the operation is the questioning of Hamas captives. Without that Israel would not be able to discover so many tunnels in just days. And that`s what will be going later – trying to get the “maps” of the tunnels network. Takes time – but doing away with the Intifada, which this saga repeats by other means, took even longer.

  • Crisis in Rafah: Palestinian civilians trapped trying to escape Israeli onslaught (Updated)
  • The Brits are way hipper about Palestine than Yanks
    • The only problem with this sarcasm is the FACTS:
      1. The tunnels ARE in residential areas.
      2. The shooting IS from densely populated areas.
      3. The tunnels DO go into Israeli territory and ARE used for terror acts.
      4. Missiles ARE shot, almost exclusively, at civilian targets.

    • @ Walid
      Yes, but here is the rub: if so few people have so much money then in this world they need a powerful patron. And, indeed, they have one, which is….the US (and also partly Saudi-Arabia). Well, then, there is so much you can play before, if they get truly angry, they put you on notice! I think Qatar is almost there….

    • Yes, but which side does the British government support in this conflict? (and the French, German,….)
      Indeed, to what extent is Hamas supported in the Arab world itself? (Its past main backer there, Syria, practically neutralized)

  • The experts’ verdict: Every Israeli missile strike is a war crime
    • You can theoretically augment the definition of war crimes to include what Israel does; you can also describe Israel as un-democratic because of its control of the West-Bank; you can also do that to present the situation vs. Palestinians as Apartheid; or, define what Israel does in Gaza as genocide; or, accept Hamas self-definition as “Resistance” freedom-fighters - but then given what really takes place here you run the risk that this propaganda ploy will end up voiding important notions that may still be crucially needed in future REAL relevant contexts.

  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • @ Harry Law. Two main errors:
      Israel doesn`t fight the Arabs anymore – it has an implicit cooperation with some main ones. In regard to Hamas, Egypt loathes them even more than Israel.
      Encouraging the Palestinians to continue fighting because “in the end they will win” ignores the continual price of that. People are innately not warriors for Grand Causes but want normal life and it is only for so long that they do “heroism”. Hamas strategy was in effect an eternal war with Israel, with all resources subjugated to that, and my sense is that this is the last time the Palestinians are going to buy into that approach.

  • The JDL gains influence in Canada as Jewish community moves to the right
    • Yes, of course – there are other people too with the same view (in fact Canada, unlike the US, has a bit of the British mentality, which also means a strong Left there). But still, for a long time the Jews there – and there are many - including many supporters of Israel (and there are many, again) never went to the streets, and now apparently they do.

    • Well, the Israel-Palestinian conflict is going global and in doing so it repeats the Mid-east pattern. Also there initially there were strong socialistic trends with a desire to get to terms with the locals. That has been rebuffed and with time and numerous conflicts Israel, indeed, turned right. I think that is what you observing now in Canada where for a long time the playing field was solely in one direction: Arab demonstrations against Israel and no counteract at all. That has now apparently ended.

  • The threat of sanctions worked against Israel in 1956 -- and it can work again
    • Well, since 1956 a lot of things have changed in this regard. There was no yet a Sep 11 and the consequent Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria wars, which gave Americans an altogether different perspective on Arab politics. Also Israel is not what it was then – a relatively undeveloped country, rather poor, small in population and area and not yet a full pledged US ally. Giving up on missiles and tunnels as the main focus in favor of civil projects is a shorter and surer way to reach calm.

  • More voices describe Gaza slaughter as a 'genocide'
    • “Incremental genocide” as Pappe put is must have as supporting statistical evidence, if the term has nay relevance, a demographic decline. In reality the population there increased 10 folds in the last fifty years.

    • The problem with the use of this term is both quantitative and linguistic. Since if about 1000 killed and scores of thousands fleeing is a genocide then what word would you use in case of hundreds of thousands killed and millions fleeing – as e.g. in the Syria case next door.

  • As night follows the day, deaths of 10 Israeli soldiers lead to deaths of 30 Palestinian civilians
    • @Annie
      Reading this I think you still hasn`t make up your mind if you are happy about how successful and clever Hamas is or how pitiful the Palestinian situation is. Can`t have it both ways.

  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
    • @Mooser
      I don`t see the contradiction, man: Jews in western European countries are under threat form Muslims there AND the Arabs there are in danger of locals` backlash - not due to support of Israel but increased general fear of violent conduct

    • The Gaza war now goes global - as nothing stays local nowadays. Given the already tense relationships between locals and Arab immigrants in many countries this may serve as a trigger for an explosion on that global front – and if so it will dwarf its Gaza origins in extent and importance.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Got to be realistic here. People in the world has been watching almost daily horrific extent of violence coming from countries in the region, mainly Iraq and Syria. That`s, in stark different from the past, is the psychological backdrop today. I think Hamas did not incorporated that well in its calculations, which very much relies has always very much relied on the publicity factor

  • As in Vietnam and South Africa, Gazan masses are willing to pay high price for freedom -- Kasrils
    • Do not ignore the key difference: in S. Africa it was the local population confronting an army that was supported by a local small minority. In Israel the Palestinian nation is confronting another nation that even outnumbers them. It means that behind the army they are fighting there are many millions of people. This makes all the difference and why this missile design or the terror before cannot succeed: you simply cannot defeat a whole nation with these means.

  • 'The unity is stronger than ever': Report from historic march on Qalandia checkpoint in solidarity with Gaza
    • Unity and solidarity are great words but the main point is that the conflict is not with a police/army backed by a small minority of settlers (the usual colonial scene) but another whole nation, which in fact outnumbers them. So a stalemate is assured.
      Given this stalemate Abbas must gain the upper hand because it has powerful allies, the West, while Hamas has powerful enemies, as Egypt and its main past backer, Syria, is now quite “busy”.

    • Here is a dose of reality for the enthusiasts here and also David Hearst, who has consistently misjudged what`s going on because of his obsessed bias against Israel). This is not the end of Abu-Mazen but rather of his opposition, as Barghouti`s party and mainly Hamas supporters in the West-Bank. There is not going to be any new Intifada (as different from demonstrations) for the simple reason that there was already one and the way it ended ensures that it cannot be repeated – the people there had had enough of that and Israel has already in place a whole machinery to block that (which was developed, as in the body immune system, as a consequence and response to the serious events then). Karl Marx said that when history repeats itself the first time is a tragedy and the second is a farce, and that`s what`s happening now there - not a farce but also nothing too serious. In fact this is the West-Bank counterpart of the Gaza operation, namely the removal of Hamas from their hitherto important position in Palestinian politics and transferring the power in both regions to the Abu-Mazen group.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • @ Annie, my answers:
      The alternative to spending all the money on the tunnels and missiles was to spend it on civil projects. The “siege” was a result of the Hamas approach – in the beginning all was open and there were high hopes for cooperative development projects. Hamas killed them all.
      When the “winning formula” comes at the expense of everything else and turns out to be a fantasy then the political outcome is “change of horses”. I predict either Hamas will be abandoned by the Gazans or will become, like the PA in the West-Bank, a political entity.
      Israel didn`t finish Hezbollah because it was forced to accept a ceasefire that Hezbollah desperately demanded. Hamas is not doing that (because it understands what will follow - see below).
      We live in a world where governments matter so what Israel needs is that the governments of Europe will side with it – what the people think anyway nobody knows. Likewise with the Arab governments.
      The tunnels and missiles are not yet fully gone. Some are in the center of Gaza and undoing them cannot be done without a lot of people there killed. So will demand a more cautious and sophisticated approach and therefore also more time.

    • @Can of warms
      I honestly don`t understand the point you are trying to make. Israel doesn`t rely on Arab work and if Arabs will get advanced in the way you say that will be a sure receipt for peace – so a good outcome not something to worry about.

    • I have nothing that you don`t have. It is just my reading of where things are going given what I see happening. In my view this was fantasy on the side of Hamas – trying to play big, to find a winning formula. But they have miscalculated in several ways. Firstly, they are fighting a very modern entity with what is essentially a pre-modern approach. Then they lost Egypt, which is critical to their future moves. Also they erstwhile allies, Iran and Hezbolalh, are busy elsewhere and revised strategies. Then, the continuous bloodshed and refugees on a massive scale in Syria (and now gain in Iraq) cannot but dwarf the Gaza scene. The European governments understood that and they now for the first time stand behind Israel as does the US. So my forecast is all about adding up all that – no confidential information that I have.

    • You have to distinguish between a moral opinion - every person is entitled to that – and a realistic assessment of what goes on in real terms. My feeling is that you want to force reality look the way you want it to come out. Once the tunnels cum missiles saga is over and given the seriously severed relationship of Hamas with Egypt (so cannot redo it all) I cannot see how Hamas` strategy cannot come to an end. Either it follows the PA path and become a political entity in running Gaza or it will be replaced by the PA in that. The Gazans are not going to allow them another fantasy run at their expense – after all they dug these tunnels for decades, with huge costs and efforts, and they now go kaput in days.

  • On ‘Death to Arabs’ in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv
    • You have to realize that more than 6 decades in a conflict takes its toll on people. There is no question that all the many wars and in particular the second Intifada has created a whole new attitude here. I suppose that was also part of the intention of the terror organization: sending Israelis a message that they cannot survive here and retain the traditional liberal attitudes of Judaism. But this “success” is a mixed blessing for the Palestinians because they now need to confront the kind of opponent they have created

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