Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 284 (since 2012-12-04 18:20:15)

I am Israeli

Showing comments 284 - 201

  • 'I know how the brainwashing works'
    • I read the same article as you Annie but rather than deal with the random set of anecdotes in it – a different person may encounter opposite ones - I thought it would be more useful (and fair to both Israel and its Arabs) to provide a context

    • Why be so negative? The people you met in Israel see only mayhem all around and bless their good fortune that they are instead in a Western style country. Rather than immigrate to Europe and live in slams there outside their roots here “The West” came to them - allowing them to continue traditional life style in the place where they were born AND enjoy the benefits that comes with living in a Western-style democracy. Not ideal (what is?) but far better than most of the neighbors and the Arab immigrant-communities in Europe. It`s called realism.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • You are dead wrong Mooser. Such dark interpretations say more about you than me pal.

    • Annie: “you`ve completely lost me with this last comment”
      I understand – to really perceive this point you got to be either a Jew or a German

    • Keith: “Have you given any thought to what is wrong with gentiles… “
      The point is Keith that this is not about gentiles but Europe: whether Left, Right, Church… anything. Note how in the new-world countries, where the bulk of today`s (non-Israel) Jewry is concentrated, as the US, Canada, Australia, this problematic phenomena did not by and large repeat itself. In particular, in the religious segment there is even a coming together of Judaism and Christianity under the Judeo-Christian banner.

    • It is not a conspiracy, Mooser, it is History and it is Europe, or rather the painful, if not tragic, Jewish saga in it - while a minority there over millennia.

    • Citizen: “Why? Nobody seems to have a clear idea why… “
      Well, when it comes to the moment of truth Germany does not have too much of a choice – they know that it is not only Israel`s physical security at stake here but also theirs, even if mainly (but not only) in the psychological sense of it. Playing Realpolitik here, the thing that outsiders easily understand, cannot be part of the equation - no matter how big is the temptation to do that.

    • Excuse me for being blunt but what else is news here. The British press, Left and Right, the Financial Times prominently included, has ever been anti-Israel, or, to use the beloved euphemism there: “critical of Israel policies”. That`s already a given and I would be (pleasantly) shocked to read a sympathetic article to Israel in the FT, The (London) Times, The Guardian or The Economist. To be fair this attitude is also present in other (West) European countries only that Britain has become the leader of that (to be fair it is not less fervent in some Scandinavian countries but they are too small to be considered leaders).
      Peculiarly, this “core role” keeps moving north in Europe. About half a millennium ago it was south west Europe that led it, with all Jews expelled from Spain, then it was south east Europe, with frequent pogroms, from which it moved to France (the Dreyfus affair as a prominent manifestation) and has culminated in an unimaginably horrible manner in (Nazi) Germany. This is an amazing historical phenomenon in its historical consistency all over what is referred to in Jewish folklore as “the cursed continent” constantly changing dressing, whether made on religious, nationalistic (“dual loyalty” accusations), ethical (Jews mix gentile blood in Passover bread), political (“Elders of Zion” protocols), financial-economic (Jews control everything) and recently national (Israel`s “sins”) grounds.

  • Ethnic Cleansing by All Means: The real Israeli ‘peace’ policy
    • So, to sum up, Israel is about: ethnic cleansing, apartheid, genocide, colonialism, Apartheid, land theft, Lebensraum, war crimes, children-killing, opportunism vis-à-vis the West and what not- In short, the amalgamation of all the conceivable vices in this world.
      Poor, Ayatollahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Assads, Erdogan, ISIL, (the late) Saddam and Qaddafi and all the rest in the region who have had the misfortune to have an entity like that in their midst.

  • How Israel relies on Islamophobia
    • Annie: Why are you singling out “Arabs (or Muslim) groups”
      I know Muslims are not the only group in it but they seem to be a very big part of the anti-Israel action in West Europe – e.g. in vandalizing shops that sell Kosher Israeli products, disrupting Israeli lecturers or pro-Israel lectures or cultural activities. Moreover, the extension of that to anti-Jewish acts is exclusively Muslim/Arab originated because since the Holocaust the indigenous European population don`t want to be involved anymore with that for clear reasons.

    • For a long time Israel had nothing to do with anti-Islam attitudes – if anything it opposed it. So did also Jews abroad, given inherent liberal traditions and a special sensitivity for bigotry. However, at some point the Palestinian issue went global (in a general globalized environment) and Arab (or Muslim) groups, sometimes whole communities, in countries where they are of meaningful presence, have adopted fierce anti-Israel attitudes, including active and violent BDS-related acts. With time this has led also to anti-Jewish acts, even violence, due to a perception that Jewish communities are supportive of Israel, and like in the Middle-East (the origins of it all) this has had its consequences.

  • Is ISIS a crisis for the so-called Jewish state?
    • ISIS is the new guy in the neighborhood and nobody can yet figure out what they role in the already permanent mayhem in the region will be. However, if we care to remember every such new guy had an initial dramatic effect, which lasted until the other guys understood what goes on and counteracts developed. Given the infinite power superiority of the US and the obscureness of the game of the “new guy” all this is likely to go the way of all the past “big” and “dramatic” changes and developments. Remember: “Political Islam” and all the hopes it gave rise to, Al Queida emergence, The Arab spring, Iran`s hegemonic aspirations for regional dominance, the more recent Turkey`s Neo-Ottoman ambitions with the abrupt turn against Assad, and all the rest - they all come to naught in no time.

  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • It is of little surprise that Wiesel is deeply supportive of the Zionist project. Some people here have so much accustomed to belittle the Holocaust and even view it as a cynical “bargaining chip“ to advance the interests of Israel, don`t understand how deeply it affects those that went through it (and their descendants) an dhow deeply it affects their thinking and attitudes. By its enormity It has transformed people completely and it is in Israel, as well as in pro-Israel attitudes in the US (and other European Jews destinations), where this finds its clearest and most acute expression. While Zionism began its journey before the Holocaust it was the latter that gave it a new dimension of conviction and the vitality and perseverance, which enabled it to overcome, again and again, apparent insurmountable difficulties.

  • Ofra Yeshua-Lyth and the case for a new Israeli left
    • You are right, Gaza is a separate case (in my comment I referred to the West-Bank). It can be interpreted in two different ways. One is that they are just mush harsher bargainers - using real warring (not the “low-intensity” violence in the West-Bank) in order to try to get what they want, which is a lot more than the West-Bank PA realistically aims at. Alternatively, they are the “Refusniks” of the Palestinian camp (or of the Arab world at large) - ready to fight forever so as to achieve the “grand goal” of undoing the creation of Israel.
      The near-term developments will reveal which of the two is gaining the upper hand within the leadership ranks there. Some might conclude that given the meagre outcome of the recent warring episode versus the much preparatory efforts invested in it and the big hopes attached to the tunnels-cum-missiles strategy as a “game changer (as well as the lost support in the Arab world) they should join the West-Bank PA and switch to a strategy that tries to reach some workable settlement, a non-military modus-vivendi, with Israel. Others may want “to fight to the end” whatever the costs. it`s all hanging on the balance now and time will tell which way it will go.

    • The interesting thing in here is that matters have become so convoluted that the most basic ideas sells as sensational. For starters: the one state situation is already there. It is common wisdom already that the obstacles to the 2 state solution on behalf of the PA is because they simply don`t want it (and rightly so – creating yet another unviable mini-state in the altogether miniature piece of land that is at stake is a joke, not a plan). What they do want, a one-state, is what we already de-facto have except that the exact political framework for it is not there yet. All the threats, the dramas and the low-intensity violence etc. are merely parts of the bargaining process in regard to how this political framework will come out – after all, this is the land of the Bazaars, where bargaining, long, tiring and often “dramatic”, is the norm.
      We live in a world where market economy reigns and from that angle it is easy to verify that just about in all aspects Israel + the West-Bank is already a one-zone unified market. Also the Palestinian leaders/negotiators are not treated anymore as enemies (except in bargaining intended rhetoric) and whereas in the days of the Intifada they were potential targets of assassination they are now welcomed participants in academic conferences in Israel. Then, the forces there are trained by the US and work hand in hand with Israel to block terror and extremism.
      Now if you add it all up (and the above is just part of the picture) – the conclusion is as clear as the sunshine. Granted, there are all kinds of vested interests for keeping the picture obscure and confusing – but why intelligent people, like the writer, falls for that?

  • American airstrikes and the universal 'language of force'
    • Why not resort to a bit of common sense? Try to think of this world with its unimaginably threatening nexus of fanatic and “anti-System” entities and today`s high-power tools (and not just WMD) without anybody strong and competent enough to police it - even just containing the “bad guys”. When that will happen people will be crying for somebody to protect them but to no avail, abandoned to their fate – so let`s hope it won`t.

  • Why must Gaza wait in the dark?
    • If it`s a multiple choice question then I would go primarily for the Hamas option. They played the military option over decades now and history teaches us that this comes with prices. Nobody likes to pay them but as it turns out some will only learn in the hard way. My expectation is that despite the brave talk and the abundant bad intentions in Gaza, enough people there will draw the right conclusions from the recent violent episode, namely if you want normalcy and smooth electricity-supply it is better to avoid too much warring. Abandon the tunnel-vision!

  • Ilan Pappé on Israel’s 'post-Zionist moment' and the triumph of 'neo-Zionism'
    • Like all movements Zionism evolved with time and developments – nothing in history is stuck where it began. The early need for revolutionary zeal – just to be able “to lift” the project (practically from scratch) – has given way to more “normal” attitudes that characterize matured countries. Yet this trend was slowed down by the continual violent episodes throughout Israel`s history and that kept the country together and also kept alive the original drive. This phenomenon repeats itself throughout Jewish history, namely the hostility of others forces a minimal level of societal or community cohesion. So, paradoxically, it is the enemies` role to make sure that the movement is always “on track” - assimilation don`t swallow the nation, even after millennia of being in exile, and moreover Jews end up coming back to their ancient homeland where, once more, they are separated from the broader region and keep its own distinct identity in it.
      In this sense Israel and its Jewish population are perhaps better characterized as “meta-Zionist” – a meta-historical journey underlying it all.

  • Modi and Netanyahu's NY bromance
    • A de-facto Israel-India partnership (under a general US patronage) will give a HUGE boost to both parties and could develop into the next big thing for Israel. Critically for Israel, it would an antidote for possible punitive economic measures from Europe, given the strong disapproval in the EU of Israel`s expansion onto the West-Bank – counterbalancing their impacts. As there are shared ideas about Islamism protests from the Islamic world won`t make much difference and likewise from anti-Israel quarters in Europe.
      It is true that India depend on Arab oil but then, fortunately for Israel, the main oil exporting Arab countries are now (even if informally in cahoots with Israel by their shared attitudes towards threats from Iran, Assad, Hezbollah and even Turkey - so they are unlikely to object too loudly.
      This could potentially be a major, major breakthrough for Israel, politically as much as economically.

  • A catalog of impunity
    • Children affected? That`s the same as in Gaza – the Hamas guys hid underground in deep tunnels shielded by civilians and children above. In the West-Bank the stones are thrown by teenagers (which are, conveniently, are referred to as children) but stones, or Molotov cocktail, thrown at your car by a gang of 17 years old “children” can be pretty life threatening to the driver and his children(!) in the car.

    • The usual problem: the list is One Sided. Thus, in the same period there were MANY incidents of stones throwing on cars and trains and worse (up to opening fire on Jewish neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area.

  • Palestinian problem is central to region but Israelis control U.S. policy -- Brahimi
    • Can anybody sensible say that Israel is at this time a core regional issue given what goes on in the Arab world? That simply does not make sense - perhaps at age 80 you just can`t let go what was a central topic in the times when you were active. Just scan the headlines now and you will have a hard time finding Israel mentioned at all by key politicians, Arabs or others, let alone addressing it as a top-important agenda. That is manifestly different from only few decades ago when the prevalent mantra was that Israel is “the single most important” source of instability in the region. No effort can resuscitate the past centrality of the Palestinian issue – it had its “glory times” and like numerous other “grand” historical sagas when it`s over it`s over. Some people just can`t accept that.

  • 'Blood on their hands': Glasgow activists shut down drone manufacturer
    • The real big drone manufacturing sites are closer to home – they are right next to you in the US. And given how they are protected over there you can bet that nothing of the kind can succeed there. So either it will get protected well in Glasgow too or move elsewhere. So why cheer about a footnote (poor man`s joy?).

  • Russell Tribunal finds evidence of incitement to genocide, crimes against humanity in Gaza
    • @Annie: `In principle`? can you please reference…..
      The point is that if you go to live in a place that has no sovereign then, as the early settlers in the US (when gone to empty areas), you are not stealing anything (as people in this site often refers to that) just join the locals as a new settler. This requires no referencing just plain common logic

    • Amigo, these recommendations that you cite are valid. The West-Bank belongs formally to no sovereign – Jordan, the previous one has officially relinquished claim on it after 1967 and there is no formal Palestinian state – so, therefore, in principle, Jews can immigrate to there as they can to the US and live side by side with the earlier inhabitants there.
      I hope I am living up to your stated standards in clarifying some basic FACTS in this regard

    • This tribunal reminds me of a caricature where the Boss, sitting in his huge armchair, points to a blackboard behind him and says to the frail and trembling Statistician in front of him: These are the conclusions, Substantiate them

  • 'Civility' is for dancing classes, not universities, and is tool of pro-Israel political operatives -- Franke
    • The problem with cheering this approach is that in the next round it will hit home… I can imagine how people here will yearn to some civility in case an opposite type issue will be at stake.
      Reminds me of the brave words when terror was first used against Israel, including suicide bombing. The grand Mufti of Egypt and other Muslim clerics approved it or even embraced it wholeheartedly and the suicide guys came to be considered martyrs. That lasted until it boomeranged heavy so much so that and it is often viewed now in those circles as un-Islamic.
      Got to be able to see a bit ahead guys, a property that is in an acute shortage in the various attitude forms in the Arab camp vis-à-vis Israel. Likewise with tools used against it, which are first hailed enthusiastically as “game changers” only to become later on self-defeating disasters.

  • What Max Blumenthal saw in Gaza
    • @American
      Hey that`s good - I like the philosophy., Also for a change I see no Israel-trashing here (or may be missed something?). Judaism, as its twin sister Christianity, always keeps open the way back path (absolution in the Catholic segment). So let`s see…

  • Homegrown jihadis and the limits of the Israel lobby
    • Just a clarifier: Israel`s lobby would have never succeeded if there was not a receptive attitude for it in the first place based on a compatible general outlook of people.
      Israel has in effect become a model for the fight-agenda of our times: West versus Islamists. It is also at the physical front of that. So what Israel promotes is what the US public anyway believes and therefore seeing Israel being successful in that struggle gives hope to (partly desperate) others. There is probably also a fear that if the converse happens – the threats will soon come to the US (or Canada, Australia) shores by emboldened Jihadists. That must be a big part of the psychology behind the staunch support for Israel. There is of course also the Jewish lobbying, which is natural since Israel after all defines itself as the Jewish State, but it is the coincidence of that with general American (or Canadian, Australian) attitudes is what carries the day for it.

  • US guilty of war crimes in Palestine
    • Yes, curiously there is this new formation of the “New World alliance”. Israel, which is a new country, composed of immigrants from many places, added to the other ones in the West in this position: US, Canada and Australia (NZ is unclear). Ties are very close among them. Western Europe , as typical Old World, is routinely just half way. This political formation may have an upcoming partner in India, with its new PM, Modi, given his ideology and past ties as governor of Gujarat with Israel.

    • If you want to embroil the US in "war crimes" why sweat with the tenuous Israeli case - as the world`s policeman the US has been involved in so many conflicts that it is baby stuff to find a bit of that everywhere. If we are going to measure a police force by the same yardstick that we use for ordinary citizens it will be effectively paralyzed, which comes with the bigger risk of no law and order at all. It is this self-interest that dictates the different approach and criteria.
      Blowing up the US support for Israel into a “war crime” makes good headlines but no much real-world sense.

  • 'This is our land!': West Bank village Wadi Fukin fights largest Israeli land grab in decades
    • Indeed, signs are that the Israel-Palestine conflict is moving to yet another phase – this time in the West-Bank/Jerusalem region. The area has recently become immensely restive, with almost routine stones throwing and worse, and Israelis don`t visit anymore Arab neighborhoods. Until now Israel tried to avoid escalation by highly restrained counteracts but that is not a sustainable approach – it must break at some point The unstable détente that has held since the end of the second Intifada is gradually coming apart - the deep scares of it, which held off aggression until now (for about a decade and a half) are fading. The Gaza war played a role too in galvanized the West-Bank given Hamas` meaningful political influence there.
      Israelis and Palestinians are walking steadily into resumed violence – Intifada style – and in that they join an already turbulent region (which may have had its own impact here) - adding another active conflict flash-point. Time will tell how this round unfolds – but it it can`t be nice.

  • Malta sinking killed hundreds fleeing Gaza
    • “Once Gaza is cleared, which won`t take long”
      There are a million and 800 hundred thousand people there. Suppose 50, 000 leave so what`s the impact?
      The truth is that they don`t need to leave at all – just change orientation and leadership. Hamas was elected democratically (even if don`t act democratically), which means that it was the Gazans free choice. It is their turn now to change course and don`t allow spending their money on military adventures but rather on civil development projects. In that case there will be no siege of course and a meaningful potential for economic development. They would not be the first in History to make this direction change and with that move from disaster to normalcy.
      A second comment: there are also masses of illegal immigrants from other countries in the region trying to enter Europe by sea.

  • 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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