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  • Malala and the Nobel Peace Prize: Why Rachel Corrie would never win
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 30, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Yes, I agree.

      Deservedly or not, Malala is almost this decade's Nelson Mandela. She's a symbol of all that is good, and nobody would dare say a word against her. So now that donating to Gaza has received the Malala Yousefzai seal of approval, it will make it just that little bit harder to demonise Palestinians. But that won't be for the lack of trying...

    • There was a comment thread about this on The Guardian yesterday. Nobody dared to criticise Malala - that would be kind of like criticising Santa Claus, wouldn't it? - but lots of people indulged in some concern trolling. ''The poor naive child is being manipulated by the Khamas'', ''Waste of money because Khamas is against educating girls'', ''The money will only be used to build tunnels'' etc.

      Suffice to say that certain folks are mad as hell about this. Even though it's a fairly tame gesture in the scheme of things - the money is a drop in the ocean, it will all be channelled via UNWRA, and did not come with any demand to end the siege. Just goes to show that the mere act of humanising Palestinians is viewed as an existential threat by so many Israelists.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Malala herself is little more than a child, and therefore does not deserve criticism, especially as she has suffered so much. Her parents, however, definitely do. Why were they encouraging their child to be an 'activist' in a war zone? She wrote a blog about life under the Taliban for the BBC when she was only about 12. Other parents refused to let their daughters do the same, because of the obvious dangers. Yet Malala's politician father agreed to put his daughter at risk, with near fatal results. If Palestinian children made a political figure out of their 12 year old daughter, and that child ended up getting shot by the IDF, we'd hear the usual complaints about how Palestinians don't care for their kids and use them for cynical political ends etc. Yet nobody questions why it was OK for Malala's parents to make her a public figure in a war zone.

      Malala should not have been given the Nobel Prize. She's much too young and has not achieved anything of note, other than simply surviving a bullet. She should be allowed to grow up as normally as is possible in her circumstances, and if she chooses, as an adult, to be an activist, she will be free to do so. Instead, she is being paraded around the world like a trained monkey. I thought her 'thing' was education for girls? Shouldn't she be allowed to complete her own education?

  • As AJC and CAMERA go after Jebreal for writing up Israeli 'hate policies,' 'NYT' backs her up
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Is this the same Matt Seaton who used to be editor of Guardian's Comment is Free, and then became one of their US editors?

      If it is, this is interesting. As CiF editor, he was known for coming below the line to offer his trite Zionist apologia. Readers remarked on how inappropriate it was for the CiF editor, no less, to be taking sides on what the Guardian likes to think is a uniquely 'controversial' subject and he seems to have been told to put a lid on it after that.

  • BDS Victories: Online retailer drops Ahava; Kuwait boycotts companies with settlement ties
    • All of the Gulf states have relations with Israel. Some - notably the UAE - aren't even trying to hide it anymore. I used to live in the region and was shocked by how many Caterpiller bulldozers I saw on the many building sites in Gulf cities. And these are the same countries which organised mass demonstrations against little Denmark because of a few cartoons. The biggest supermarket chain in KSA still refuses to stock Lurkpak butter and other Danish products because of the Mohammed cartoons.

  • Jebreal debunks Netanyahu's 'American values' claim in NYT piece on 'hate policies'
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Exactly. You see the same thing in 'The Guardian', on the rare occasion they dare to open an I/P thread to comments. The first comments are nearly always critical of Israel, then an hour or so later, in come the Hasbara brigade. And when they're in, they're in in force, as are the moderators.

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      If a journalist had a son enlisted in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, or in any Palestinian militant group, I highly doubt they would get any sort of journalistic post at the New York Times at all, let alone one covering the Middle East.

  • Kerry just snubbed a gov't minister who calls for segregated bus lines. And that's a bad thing?
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Rwanda will almost certainly vote 'no', I agree. War criminal Kagame is Israel's man in Africa.

      There is no way there could be anything less than a 'yes' from Jordan though. Sure, they're puppets to the US, but as an Arab country with a 5O% Palestinian population, they would never dare to be seen voting against Palestinian statehood - even if we all know they'll do everything in their power to prevent that on the ground.

      The UK will likely abstain, as will France and probably South Korea too. Abstention is imho a very cowardly tactic. It's essentially saying that there are no moral or legal grounds for a 'no' vote, but we haven't got the courage of our convictions to vote 'yes'.

  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      In my several years of experience discussing the Palestinian cause - in various online forums and in 'real life' - I have found that the 'anti-semitism' accusation is ALWAYS there in some shape or form. Always. Sometimes your anti-Palestinian sparring partner will come out and accuse you directly (though I think this is less frequent than it used to be) but more often than not these days, you will instead be accused of being 'obsessed' with Israel', or of having a 'disproportionate' interest in Israel. This is invariably accompanied by whataboutery, as in, why aren't you so worred about Darfur/IS/the Kurds or whatever the fashionable whataboutery subject happens to be. The obvious implication is that you're so fixated on Israel because you're an 'anti-semite' - not because the Palestinians have been suffering for decades, not because our governments support Israel to the hilt etc. No, it HAS to be because of the ol' A.S.

      The tactic is obviously popular because firstly, it puts you on the defensive, secondly, it distracts from the discussion of Israeli crimes, and thirdly, because it allows Israelis to resume their favouite role - victims. That's why I never engage with these accusations. I always just say ''If you think I'm an anti-semite nothing I can say will change your mind so I won't try. I know I'm not an antisemite and everyone who has read what I have to say knows I am not an anti-semite so frankly, I don't care what you think. Feel free to think of me as an antisemite if it pleases you. Now, what do you have to say about IDF massacres in Gaza?''

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      LOL very true.

      When the proverbial hits the fan and it comes down to a choice between quality of life or ''Jewish identity'', the vast majority of people will choose the former. That will leave only the fanatics and uneducated to make up the population of the Jewish state.

  • How Israel relies on Islamophobia
    • I honestly think that male genital mutilation - aka infant circumcision - would have been outlawed in most Western countries years ago, just like FGM is, if it were only practiced by Muslims. The fact that it's also done by Jews means that nobody wants to be perceived as 'anti-semitic' and so will not raise their voices against it.

    • As the wonderful David Hirst has pointed out, Israel, while touting the propaganda line of the Arab and Muslim world as one indistinguishable seething mass of humanity (assuming they think of Arabs as human at all) acts in precisely the opposite fashion in reality. Israel has always seen it as a priority to exploit the rivalries between different Arab and Muslim groups, and has supported every single secessionist movement in the greater Middle East, from the post-US invasion breakdown of Iraq, to the George Clooney Republic of South Sudan. As so often, Israel clearly does not believe its own propaganda.

  • Deconstructing John Kerry's address to the Gaza Donors Conference
    • ''That is why it was refreshing to hear British Ministers stand up and speak out the truth.''

      The sad thing is, few - if any - British ministers even attended the vote on Palestine. It was a Labour backbench initiative, and most if not all government members made a point of being 'busy' that evening. In other words, they were terrified of the Westminster Friends of Israel.

  • British Parliament votes overwhelmingly to recognize Palestinian state
    • 'The Guardian' has long since ceased to be of any value when it comes to 'coverage' of the Middle East. It was muzzled by 'CiF Watch' several years ago - they all but admitted this in one of their editorials. It should also be pointed out that the Guardian has always been a massive supporter of the Syrian 'rebels', reproducing every one of their lies and fabrications as though they were established fact. The Guardian's 'sister' paper, The Observer, also came out in support of the war in Iraq, as well as the July war on Lebanon.

      I do still appreciate the Guardian when it comes to domestic UK news, but as regards foreign affairs, it's no different from the New York Times these days.

  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      ''Wiesel who devoted his life to holding racist murderers who committed genocide accountable…''

      I'm not sure this is an accurate description of Wiesel's life.

      Seems to me he is, as Finkelstein has been saying for years, the ultimate Holocaust Industry Spokesman. He has made millions from packaging - not always truthfully - his own personal tragedy, touring the world giving highly paid speeches on the 'uniqueness of the holocaust' and, of course, promoting the idea that only Jews can ever be true victims. Wasn't he one of the ones most vehemently opposed to including non Jewish victims in the Washington holocaust memorial museum? Hasn't he also opposed any recognition of the Armenian genocide, though possibly, like many Zionists, he's done an about turn on that since relations with Turkey went sour? Then, of course, there's his enthusiastic support for any war crime, so long as it's committed by Israel.

      He doesn't seem to me like someone who holds racist murderers accountable. In fact, I'd say he's more of a used car salesman, and a racist one at that.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Normal Finkelstein had Irgun Elie's number many years ago.

  • Maher lumps Islam with ISIS, and CNN's Cuomo says Aslan's 'primitive' tone proves Maher's point
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius October 7, 2014 at 10:47 am

      That is CLASSIC! Maher's face is priceless.

      If he had been interviewing a Muslim or Arab, he'd have been all prepared for someone to be 'anti-Israel' and would have had his little soundbites prepared. But because Scheuer is a white, Christian, right-wing conservative, he probably assumed he would be on message. What a shock to find out he was wrong, and for the audience to applaud Scheuer as well. Ouch!

      BTW from what I know, most people within the US military/intelligence establishment are not pro-Israel at all. Just like Scheuer, they believe they should be looking after American interests only, and that Israel is a massive burden, not an asset in that regard. They couldn't give a toss about 'democracy' or ''Israel's right to exist'' - they only care about American interests, which is, after all, their job. Of course, they cannot say so in public - they know what happened to Chuck Hagel.

  • Goldberg tries to police view that Israel's actions fuel anti-Semitism
    • Mooser,

      For some reason I can't cut and paste from your post.

      However, if you're asking me if Jews were at all points in history forbidden from integrating into 'gentile' society, then I would answer with a definite 'No'. Many Jews were quite happy to self-segregate, and had no desire to integrate with their Christian neighbours, whom they looked down upon just as much as Christians looked down upon them.

      Obviously, for long periods of history there was great prejudice against Jews - and Muslims - simply because they were not Christian. But this was not always the case, however much your 'eternal blameless victim' narrative would like to pretend it is.

      Do you think no group has ever done anything to give rise to resentment and prejudice, however disproportionate? Or are only Jews so entirely innocent?

    • So are we to take it that when Goldberg volunteered as a guard in a notorious Israeli prison, his real aim was to advocate for the human rights of Arabs?

      I've heard it all now.

    • “This is for the simple reason that Jews do not cause anti-Semitism. It is a universal and immutable rule that the targets of prejudice are not the cause of prejudice.”

      I thought that was an odd statement too, and the Gypsies came to my mind as well.

      Now, there is no doubt that the Roma received and continue to receive extreme mistreatment in many parts of Europe. But it also has to be said that the way they behave may contribute to - but not excuse - such prejudice. If we take the example of Muslims, who are also on the receiving end of much prejudice in the West today, we can acknowledge that this is not entirely without some sort of foundation - terrorist attacks committed by Muslims, and the behaviour of some Muslims - without in any way saying that all Muslims deserve to be the victims of prejudice or stereotyping. But still, there is some kernel of truth, however distorted, which has led to the prejudice.

      When it comes to Jews, of course, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask if there was perhaps something in the way Jews behaved vis a vis their Gentile neighbours might have had something to do with prejudice against them. Of course to do so would not be to excuse such prejudice, much much less to excuse violence or pogroms against Jews. However, it seems that merely to ask such a question makes one little better than Hitler. Instead, one needs to go down the Daniel Goldhagen route - hatred of Jews is simply engrained in the Gentile DNA, and has absolutely nothing to do with the behaviour of Jews themselves.

  • Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov't list of most popular names
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      ''Jews are likely to choose from a wider range of names (Ari, Whiney, Needy, Sleepy, Dopey, Yossi etc ) ''

      Given that we often deal with such heavy and depressing subject matter here, can I just say I appreciate your ability to make me laugh out loud!

  • Warren, Schama, and Lipstadt address Holocaust echoes in Gaza conflict
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I think your friend needs to read some history.

      Does she think that the Armenians didn't know the Turks were out to get them?

      That the Kulaks had no idea Stalin didn't much like them?

      That Gypsies were unaware the Nazis wanted to exterminate them?

      And so on and so forth...

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Ugh, I of course meant to write 'NOT commemorated'!

      Edit function, MW. Pretty please!

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Wasn't Wiesel instrumental in the decision for unimportant - ie non-Jewish - victims to be commemorated in the Washington holocaust museum?

    • A lot of people on Shama's twitter are reminding him that there were tunnels in the Warsaw Ghetto. Others are asking him just what he is implying - as if it weren't obvious. No response from him thus far.

      Perhaps Shama should think before he tweets, and gives away the game? Ie that behind his 'liberal Zionist' I-too-can-be-critical-of-Israel comments, lurks just another Likudnik in desguise?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      If a public figure had belittled the deaths of hundreds of Jewish children in such a manner - and make no mistake, that is what Schama is doing - it would have led to a big media outrage fest and the BBC would have cut ties with him by now.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      I agree. Wiesel is despicable. Finkelstein had his number, big time. He is living proof that the mere fact of having suffered does not necessarily make you a decent human being, let alone a moral authority. And there's something slightly sick about the doctrine of 'holocaust uniqueness'. As the late Peter Novick put it, it is essentially saying, 'Your suffering, unlike OUR suffering, is ordinary'', or alternatively, - not an exact quote here - the holocaust isn't special because Jews SUFFERED, but because JEWS suffered.

    • As a UK taxpayer, it annoys me no end that public money was given to Shama for his overtly Zionist 'history of the Jews' on BBC.

      ''And this use of the Jewish experience in WW2 as the epitome of human depravity is wrong. Stalin killed far more people, as did Mao. Genghis Khan was no wallflower either. ''

      Ah yes, but these were just ordinary folks whose numbers can go uncounted. They're not special like holocaust victims. Just common and garden victims. Nothing to lose any sleep over.

      Wasn't it the odious Elie Wiesel who said that the 'other' - ie non Jewish - victims of the holocaust aren't so special because 'Jews died differently'?

  • Achieving a hudna and ten years of calm in Israel/Palestine
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      ''a country that produces such numerous, highly talented Nobel Prize winners'

      Not really that numerous, especially if you discount the ridiculous 'peace' prizes given to the likes of Perez. And several 'Israeli' recipients were born outside the country.

  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks. So essentially, it was all about skin colour? So a Jew of European origin would probably be considered 'white', while a Middle Eastern Jew would be lumbered with the 'coloured' label?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for the replies. I'm wondering if 'Jew' was considered a racial category in RSA, or simply a religion? I'd imagine that European Jews would have been considered white, but 'darkies' like your friend might have been regarded as 'coloured' or 'other'.

    • This is a genuine question: Were Jews considered 'white' in Apartheid RSA? Or did that depend on the colour of their skin?

  • Naomi Wolf to debate genocide charge against Israel with Shmuley Boteach
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by this.

      I had the definite impression that Wolf was a Zionist. I remember reading in one of her books, several years ago, a description of her visiting an Orthodox Jewish friend in a 'settlement' and she had not one word of criticism to say about her. I suppose in itself this doesn't prove she was a Zionist, but that was my impression. Maybe she was, and has since seen the light?

  • Israel has three years to end the occupation -- Abbas
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Here's a funny cartoon showing the silliness of Abbas' repeated 'threats' to take Israel to the ICC.

      link to palestinianpundit.blogspot.co.uk

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Abbas is a quisling. That has been known for many years. It now seems clear that Meshaal is little better. As with Arafat, the lure of oil and gas money has proved difficult for him to resist.

    • The Lebanese paper Al Akhbar got hold of the minutes of last month's meeting between Abbas, Meshaal and the Emir of Qatar. Makes for interesting reading - Abbas accuses Meshaal of launching a coup against his puppet rule in the West Bank.

      Abu Mazen: I do not say it is over. I want answers. We agreed on popular resistance and negotiations. They started war in 2012, which had nothing to do with us! How? And why?

      al-Hayya: The problem is that you believe anything. How did we start a war when we were the ones dying? Who told you we started the 2012 war? Wasn’t it them who killed [Hamas military leader Ahmed] Jabari? Now the war had started in the West Bank and then spread to us [in Gaza], correct? You want us not to defend ourselves?

      Abu Mazen: You started it in the West Bank, not Israel.

      Meshaal: Israel started it in the West Bank.

      Abu Mazen: No, it wasn’t Israel. Israel wants to destroy us before you, but I am keen on not giving it a pretext to do so. I have put Israel in a corner politically.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

  • The west is safer for Jews than Israel (duh)
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

      I suppose you could argue that Jews were fairly well integrated in pre-war Germany too. Croats and Serbs were often intermarried in Bosnia. Of course I'm not trying to make a hysterical ''It could happen again'' argument, but integration is not neccessarily a bar to ethnic cleansing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius September 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I wonder. Zionism is doomed - of that there is no doubt - but the question remains how and when it will meet its demise. Will it be along the South African model - whereby the dominant group gradually realised that there is no way their apartheid system could go on, and bowed to the inevitable, allowing a peaceful transition to majority rule? Or will it be along the Algerian model, with huge bloodshed and an almost complete disappearance of the colonists?

      Who knows?

    • When I read this comment, it struck me how so many Jews have chosen to live in the past. Most 'diaspora' Jews live in liberal Western democracies like the US. I'm not saying it could never ever happen, but it's highly unlikely that an entire ethnic group would just be expelled. And if it were to happen, there would be several groups, at least in the US, more likely to be victims than mostly prosperous, well-integrated Jews.

      So quite aside from the fact that the injustice done to Palestinians doesn't figure into this 'argument', the idea that Jews can't feel safe in the 'diaspora' and need a 'spare country' just in case, seems to be the same old eternal victimhood nonsense. And of course, these same people would justify any atrocity committed by Israel on the grounds that it is 'fighting for its very existence. So Israel is a safe haven when that suits, and suffering from an existential threat when that suits.

  • The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Kay,

      Have you seen this Al Jazeera film ''Kill him Silently'' on the failed assassination of Mishal?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 29, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Walid,

      I was shocked when I read that Meshal may have inadvertently fingered Dief by making a cell phone call to him. I would have thought that not using the phone network was fairly elementary stuff for resistance leaders, especially Meshal who has survived numerous assassination attempts. Especially as one of the reasons for Hamas' recent success is their adoptation of a Hizballah style private communications network - see article below.

      Maybe Khaled is losing his touch in his cushy Doha exile?

      BTW yesterday he said Deif was 'fine'. Now, I don't expect to see Deif strolling around Gaza smiling for the cameras, but then there's the old 'never believe anything until it's been officially denied' line. So who really knows? I doubt the Israelis do, despite their bluster.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      This article is two years old but is an excellent account of the horrible situation many Palestinian collaborators find themselves in, and how shoddily they are treated by Israel, despite their crocodile tears.

      Many, maybe most, informers don't actively intend to betray their country. They just get sucked into out of fear and/or desperation. When you depend on Israel for just about everything, maybe including medical care for desperately ill relatives, it might be tempting to offer just a few tidbits of information, and then of course it's impossible to get out. Not that I'm excusing collaboration, but then, I've never been in such a horrible situation.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      I'm reading this book at the moment. A great read.

      Meshal is quite an interesting character. Seems most observers considered him quite a mediocrity and would never have placed him as a leader of Hamas, but that, of course, is what he ended up being.

      link to amazon.co.uk

    • I have heard that there has been quite a rift between the Qassam Brigades fighting the real war in Gaza itself, and the emigre political leaders living in comfort in Doha. One wonders if the latter have done what all Palestinian leaders since Arafat have done, and fallen for the lure of oil and gas lucre?

      BTW last week Richard Silverstein claimed that a usually trustworthy 'source' told him that Mohammed Dief had almost certainly been killed in the attack which killed his wife and child. I wonder if there's anything to it? We haven't seen Dief since then, but he's famously elusive, so that means nothing. And while I could see a case for why Hamas might keep his killing secret to preserve morale, I don't think they have ever denied the killing of any of their leaders before, have they? Also hard to see how Silverstein's source could 'know' something like this, given how poor Israel's intel has been on Gaza.

      I also wonder if the informers killed around the same time - the only Gazans mourned by Israel over the past 5O days - had betrayed the locations of the other Hamas leaders killed in air strikes.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Given that only about 5O people had died from Gaza rockets over the past decade, it's very hard to see where Morris' figure of 'hundreds' came from. Also, I'm not aware of any building being completely destroyed by a rocket, so the 'buildings would have fallen' thing also sounds like tosh.

      But of course, like a good Israeli, Morris has to play up the myth of Israeli ingenuity and concern for its citizens., never mind the facts. In reality, there's no evidence that a single Israeli has been saved by the Iron Sieve.

    • If this is true, it shows how totally and completely brainwashed and divorced from reality Israeli society is. So 5OO dead kids aren't enough for them?

      Israelis just don't get it. Violence is not always the answer. But when that's all you've got, and all you've ever had, it doesn't leave you with too many options, does it?

    • I don't think it's that, exactly.

      Israelis, on the whole - despite what we're told about the sophistication of 'start up nation' - appear to be very brainwashed and simplistic, at least when it comes to Arabs. They seem to have genuinely believed that 'hitting Hamas hard' - ie killing hundreds of kids - would 'stop the rockets'. And when that didn't work, just hit them harder, because that would be SURE to work. Even though there is so much evidence showing that there is no military solution to this mess, and that Israel, despite overwhelming military superiority, hasn't won a war for 4O years.

      So ''Yossi Israeli' was genuinely perplexed when, nearly 2 months on, the rockets kept falling. And the fact that 64 of their precious soldiers were killed had to hurt too. Israelis seem to have swallowed the myth of IDF brilliance, and when the facts show that to be false, they don't reevaulate their preconceptions, but blame whoever is in charge. Not that they don't deserve blame, of course, but the problems are much, much deeper than this or that leader. The problem is Israel itself.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Walid,

      I'd love to share your optimism but I suspect that while Israel will make a big show of 'easing' the blockade, within months or even weeks it will find some pretext - rockets fired at Sderot or whatever - to reimpose a full siege again.

      BTW given that Egypt is almost as crucial a player as Israel in the siege, I often wonder how reliable they are. Surely some Egyptian border guards must be sympathetic to the Palestinians? I know the upper ranks of the military detest Palestinians, but that can't be the case for the average grunts who earn a few hundred quid a month, can it? How difficult would it be to bribe these guys to let the odd shipment of contraband pass through Rafah?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

      @Gene

      How, exactly, can Israel not 'allow' Hamas to rearm? I thought the years old blockade was designed to do just that, but it hasn't gone so well, has it? It's hard to see how Israel can make the blockade any tighter without reoccupying the strip, and we all know they haven't got the courage to do that. So Hamas will re-arm, for sure, and hopefully with better and more accurate weaponry.

      And don't you love when Isralists lecture about 'non-violence'? I take it you must be a big fan of BDS and the other non-violent tactics adopted by the resistance over the years? Or will you, like most Israelists, find a reason to oppose that too?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius August 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Yes, but if all they had wanted was to get back to square one and end the massacres, they could have had that deal weeks, and hundreds of deaths, ago. Hamas and the people of Gaza were holding out for more. It remains to be seen if they've achieved that.

    • It's not working anymore, Jon.

      It really, really isn't working.

      Your weeks of concern trolling have been as big a flop as your overrated army. Admit that nobody in Israel gives a toss about Palestinian deaths, and that they never have. At least that way we can respect your honesty, if nothing else. Decades old reheated hasbara is just another reason to mock you.

    • It's very hard to get an idea of the number of non-fatal casualties in Israel.

      This is because Israel either exaggerates when it suits them - claiming that someone suffering from 'shock' or from a fall in the rush to the bomb shelter is 'injured - or plays them down in an attempt to portray their army as less pathetic than it is. I have read - sorry no source - that five hundred IDF soldiers were injured, many of them seriously. and permanently No way to confirm it though.

    • Yes, it does seem very similar to the lousy 2O12 deal, which is not good. Certainly not the great victory Hamas are touting, though like I've said, the mere fact that they were not wiped out means this is a strategic defeat for Israel.

      I'm not sure Israeli leaders will be too keen on 'mowing the lawn' next summer. This wasn't quite the nice summer Sderot Cinema special they were hoping for.

    • I believe 64 soldiers, and 4 civilians, though one of the 'civilians' was at an army base 'bringing food to the troops' and therefore was a legitimate target, and another was Thai.

      I had heard that a mortar round had killed an Israeli - not clear if civilian or soldier - in Eshkol just before the ceasefire, though this hasn't been mentioned since then.

    • They're celebrating in Gaza - and across Palestine and Jordan - and sulking in Israel.

      That's good, but I'm not sure this is the emphatic victory Hamas are making it out to be. No sea port, no airport, no release of prisoners, no transfer of funds. These are all to be discussed 'later', ie never, in the Oslo style we all know and don't love.

      That said, this is without a doubt a strategic defeat for Bibi and Israel. Hamas was firing rockets into Israel right until the ceasefire. The 'terror tunnels' have almost certainly not all been destroyed, whatever Regev will tell you. Then there's the massive PR disaster this has been for Brand Israel, and the macho doctrine of 'deterrence'. Israel's much hyped army and intelligence services shown, yet again, to be vastly overrated. All things considered, I highly doubt that Bibi would have launched a little World Cup lawn mowing if he had had a clue what Hamas had in store for him.

  • Our new look
    • I remember on the 'old' format that unread comments were flagged in green. This was really helpful, especially on a page with a very long list of comments. It can be confusing and time consuming. to have to wade through a conversation trying to spot comments you haven't read before.

    • I agree. Maybe I'll get used to it, but thus far I find the new format confusing. Like you, I don't find the categories ''Activism'' etc to be very helpful. There might be a need if this was a site with loads of new articles every day, but given that there are usually less than ten or so articles a day, it seems unneccessary. Besides, many articles don't fit neatly into the categories, and there's often overlap - eg, an 'Israel/Palestine' article could also be a 'Middle East' article.

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