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Total number of comments: 4138 (since 2009-07-30 20:36:23)


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  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • Direct quote from your B'Tselem link, jon:

      The figures B’Tselem collected regarding the number of Palestinians killed in the course of the fighting in the Gaza Strip are very preliminary and incomplete, and are still being cross-referenced and checked. In addition, we have not included certain incidents in these figures because neither the precise number of people killed nor their identity is yet known to B’Tselem. This situation is partly because not all bodies have been extricated from the rubble and identified. In the months ahead, B’Tselem plans to further investigate the incidents, including confirming the identity of the individuals killed and whether or not they took part in the hostilities. According to the spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 1,939 Palestinians have been killed from the launching of the Israeli offensive through 10 August 2014.

      And Donald's correct, BTselem uses the words "at least 1767". Funny how you can't even properly read your own link.

  • Revenge devoid of purpose: Punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes
    • Is his house not destroyed because it’s a rental?

      No, that doesn't stop Israel from demolishing homes of Palestinians. His home isn't demolished because he is Jewish.

  • Witnessing Gaza
    • JeffB.

      me:The Jewish National Fund discriminated against non-Jews from its very inception in 1901.

      you: That’s partially correct. We are talking about the government of Israel.

      No, we were talking about Zionism, which you insisted did not involve a belief in discrimination in favor of Jews, yet now you admit it did.

      Well yes, but at that point it was a trivial amount of land it was setting up for Jewish redemption through labor. I don’t suffer from housing discrimination because I can’t go live in a monastery. There is a difference between 90% being inaccessible and .09% being inaccessible. By the mid 1920s the position reversed due to the citrus explosion. If Zionism were as blanketly as committed to discrimination as your side claims that wouldn’t have happened.

      If you are thrown off the land you have legally lived on and cultivated because you are of the "wrong" ethnicity or religion, then that is discrimination. Its obvious. We aren't talking about you moving into a monastery, as much as you may want to make false analogies to obscure the issue. I'm not sure whether you are just ignorant and willing to make up what you believe is plausible shit, or whether you are purposefully lying (maybe a little of both?) but the Zionist policy of "conquest of the land" and "conquest of labor", both of which entailed the dispossession of non-Jews in Palestine, continued from the turn of the twentieth century up through the 1940's and was embraced by the State of Israel with its founding in 1948. Zionism was and is, to use your term, "blanketly" discriminatory.

      From Matzpen:

      The Zionist colonization proceeded under three basic slogans. The first of these is Kibush Hakarka (Conquest of the Land). This means that the holy soil of Palestine is to be made the patrimony of the Jewish people. Jews must work the land, and Jews alone are entitled to do so. During the mandate period, this slogan justified the Zionist land purchases and the forcible removal of the Palestinian peasants; since the formation of the state, it continues to justify the violent expropriation of Palestinians without any pretence of contractual agreement

      The second slogan is Kibush Ha’avoda (Conquest of Labor). In practice, this means that, as far as possible, Jewish enterprises must hire only Jewish workers. It meant that the Histadrut, which virtually excluded Arabs from membership until the mid-196os, had as its main function before the establishment of the state in 1948 the enforcement of an Arab labor boycott

      The third of these slogans is Tozteret Ha’aretz (Produce of the Land). In practice, this slogan meant the maintenance of a strict boycott of Arab-produced goods. Jews were to buy only from Jewish-run farms and stores.

      Today, either from tactical considerations or from stirrings of guilty consciences, Zionist spokesmen try to cover up this past – and present To demonstrate that these slogans in fact represented day-to-day practice of the Zionist colonization, it suffices to quote David Hacohen, a leader of the Mapai Labor Party, which ruled and still rules in Israel Hacohen was a member of the Knesset for many years and chairman of its most important committee, Defense and Foreign Affairs. In a speech to the secretariat of the Mapai in November 1969, Hacohen stated:

      "I remember being one of the first of our comrades to go to London after the First World War … There I became a socialist … When I joined the socialist students – English, Irish, Jewish, Chinese, Indian, African – we found that we were all under English domination or rule. And even here, in these intimate surroundings, I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism, to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my trade union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there. … To pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash the Arab eggs they had bought; to praise to the skies the Kereen Kayemet [Jewish Fund] that sent Hanlon to Beirut to buy land from absentee effendi [landlords] and to throw the fellahin[peasants] off the land – to buy dozens of dunams 12 from an Arab is permitted, but to sell, God forbid, one Jewish dunam to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild, the incarnation of capitalism, as a socialist and to name him the “benefactor” – to do all that was not easy. And despite the fact that we did it – maybe we had no choice – I wasn’t happy about it "13.

      Hacohen’s revelation of his feelings is surely sufficient evidence that these slogans constituted day-to-day practice and that Zionism was in fact a colonization of displacement.

      link to

      These boycotts and pickets against hiring Palestinian Arab workers continued through all the of pre-state period. As Simha Flapan pointed out in Zionism and the Palestinians:

      The issue of Jewish labour became thus part of the larger problem of the scale and pace of Jewish immigration. This would explain the strange fact that the campaign for '100 percent Jewish labour' reached its climax precisely in the years of prosperity and large-scale Jewish immigration in 1933-35. The paradox of the situation was in the fact that Arab labour in the Jewish colonies increased not in the wake of competition between Jewish and Arab workers and not due to the employers' search for higher profits, but due to the shortage of Jewish labor, in the rural sector in particular. The economic boom in towns, the higher wages in construction drew thousands of Jewish workers away from agriculture and no moral appeal to Zionist ideals and national interest could persuade the workers in the colonies and the new immigrants to renounce a higher standard of living and lucrative employment offered by the economic boom in the cities.

      ...The shortage of Jewish labour and the economic boom threatened to wreck the [Zionist] policy of economic and social segregation; Arab workers were drawn in increasing numbers into construction sites in the cities and to the new colonies in the Sharon in which, up till now. the principle of 100 per cent of Jewish labour was preserved. To oppose this drift the labour leadership (now well entrenched in the Jewish Agency with Ben-Gurion and Sharett heading its Jerusalem section) took recourse to drastic measures which had far-reaching consequences on the relations between Jews and Arabs. In 1933 the Histadruth launched, for the first time, a campaign to remove Arab workers from the cities. Specially formed mobile units moved from place to place to identify and evict by force, if necessary, Arab workers from construction sites and other Jewish enterprises. This campaign in the cities, especially in Haifa and Jerusalem, which had a mixed population, assumed dramatic dimensions and had a devastating effect on public opinion. Every single case of removal of Arab workers - and in many case the operation took the form of ugly scenes of violence - was reported in the Jewish press and reverberated in the Arab media, creating an atmosphere of unprecedented tension.

      Flapan goes on to note that this campaign to forcibly remove Arab workers was a significant factor in the outbreak of the Palestinian Uprising in 1936.

      Did you notice the conditional part of the clause? “minorities willing to be integrated”. The Palestinians in the 1930-40s were not willing to be integrated ...

      Yes, I noted it as weasel words meant to excuse the actions of the Israeli government in discriminating against Palestinian non-Jews. Blaming the victim, in other words. You do that quite a bit. The Palestinians in the 1930s-40 were not the ones fighting integration into society. It was clearly the Zionists who immigrated and then refused to integrate into the existing society, and sought by all means to prevent the integration of Palestinians into the discriminatory state they created in 1948.

      me: Neither does the confiscation of land from non-Jews in order to benefit Jews only.

      you:I’m not sure which you mean here. Generally when people on Mondowweiss talk about confiscation they are talking about Israel taking territory in the West Bank. That’s liberating land from enemy control.

      Again, I'm not sure whether you are ignorant or simply lying. Israel confiscated land from its own Palestinian citizens ( and from the absentee owners who were ethnically cleansed from Israel/Palestine) long before 1967. Taking land from non-Jewish citizens of Israel and giving it to Jews is discrimination, plain and simple. And "liberating land from enemy control" is exactly what Nazi Germany did to Poland in WWII. I don't think that is something you should speak of positively unless you wish to be seen as a fascist. (But then, maybe you do so wish.)

      me:There is a basic institutional discrimination against non-Jews in favor of Jews and that is how the government and the majority of Jewish Israelis believe it should be.

      you:I agree with you. But that’s intrinsic to Zionism.

      My point exactly. So why did you insist otherwise above? So now we agree that Zionism is intrinsically discriminatory.

      Similarly Jews and Catholics in America were able to convince Americans that Protestantism was not intrinsic to being American.

      No, the founding fathers were mostly Deists, believed in freedom of religion, and never believed that Protestantism was intrinsic to being American, nor did they set up a State of the Protestant People. I find it amazing that you will even distort American history to try to excuse what Zionism is. Well, maybe not amazing. You often struggle to make arguments that have no relationship to reality, and this is just one of them. As is your last argument that somehow BDS is just like Al-Queda. Because treating everyone in Israel as equal before the law, regardless of ethnicity or religion is just like getting attacked on 9-11. Right. Its just another one of your false analogies.

    • As to the huge number of civilian casualties, including the children – their blood is on Hamas’ hands.

      Kind of like how the blood of the murdered of Lidice were on the hands of the Czech resistance, right?

      Why can't Israel take responsibility for its own actions? No one makes you kill children. You make a choice.

    • Donald,

      Sacks also clearly misrepresented what happened in 2002 in the siege of the Church of the Nativity. Here is his whitewashed version:

      In Israel a group of Palestinian terrorists had taken refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Israeli army, not wishing to enter a house of worship, stationed soldiers outside to wait until the terrorists emerged. It took several weeks.

      In fact, the siege took place during the bloodiest part of Israel's offensive against the second Intifada, Operation Defensive Shield, when the IDF laid siege to most Palestinian cities and during which over 250 Palestinians were killed over the course of one month. The IDF did not simply "wait outside" the Church, after 200 people, the majority of them NOT fighters, nor "wanted men" as the IDF referred to them, sought sanctuary inside the Church. IDF snipers killed 8 inside the Church, including the church bellringer, cut off electricity and water, prevented food and water from being brought in, and damaged portions of the Church exterior, all while international negotiations were under way to arrange exile to Gaza or Europe for the few wanted men that the IDF was after.

      After the siege had ended, the only credible reports of damage inside the Church came from a fire cause by Israel fire from outside the Church, and trash and the strong smell of urine. Any Palestinian refuge seeker who attempted to go to the Church courtyard to relieve himself was shot by Israel snipers.

      Here's a timeline of the siege, and a listing of Israeli distortions:

      link to

    • The Jewish National Fund discriminated against non-Jews from its very inception in 1901. It set up covenants on the land it bought denying any tenant farmer who was not Jewish from farming on the land, even though such tenant farming was legal under Ottoman Empire law. It also prohibited any non-Jews from either working on the land, or from ever buying the land. This was discrimination from the very git-go. Jews who owned land in Palestine prior to the JNF were boycotted and threatened by Zionist Jews during the second Aliyah if they hired non-Jewish workers. The Zionists also lobbied the British Mandate Government to hire Jews in preference to non-Jews and to pay Jews more than they paid non-Jews for doing the same work. They also discriminated against Arab Jews from the very beginning by not allowing them to become equal members of the kibbutzim. The JNF, which by its very charter is an organization meant solely to benefit Jews, is a quasi-governmental organization in Israel and is a constituent member of the Israel Land Authority.

      Today it is the belief that Israel is for Israelis the same way France is for the French and China for the Chinese.

      No, Israel does not recognize "Israeli" as a nationality. It claims it is a Jewish State, and even demands that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish State, rather than an Israeli State.

      There is no belief about discrimination and in fact Israel has a pretty good track record of integrating minorities willing to be integrated.

      Ethnically cleansing anywhere from 750,000 to 800,000 people does not in any way shape or form constitute a "good track record". Neither does the confiscation of land from non-Jews in order to benefit Jews only. There is a asic institutional discrimination against non-Jews in favor of Jews and that is how the government and the majority of Jewish Israelis believe it should be. You are in complete denial about what Israel is and what they believe in. I suspect that you know better but cannot admit as much because you know that admitting that Israel was founded on oppressive discrimination would lead to calls for its reform and you like the privileges it accords to Jews. You're a hypocrite.

    • However, being anti-Zionist surely is as it exclusively denies Jews the right given to any other people

      Zionism is the belief that Jews should have preferential rights in the State of Israel. It includes the "right" of ethnic cleansing, discrimination, injustice towards minorities, and "rights" of confiscation and use of land based on ethnicity. NO ONE should have those "rights", and no one legally does in the United States but Jews have that privilege in Israel. To oppose those bigoted privileges is not anti-Jewish, any more than to oppose apartheid in South Africa, or legal discrimination against blacks in the United States is anti-white. Why this concept is so hard to grasp for Zionists is hard to understand.

  • Hillary Clinton's 11th-hour diplomacy
    • Oh, please, can we stop with the trotting out of female stereotypes, and I mean to include Mooser's comment above as well as Citizen's comment in this request. Females aren't anymore likely to act out based on emotion than men are, and the idea that "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" pales beside the number of emotionally driven men who decide to murder their wives, girlfriends, ex-wives, etc. because they were scorned in some way.

      If you want to criticize Clinton on her positions, fine, but don't stoop to female bashing to do it, please.

      Her accomplishments are few, and her talents are overrated.

      One could legitimately say the same thing about all the major candidates in the last few elections. Including Obama.

    • I beg to differ. Obama has shown no inclination to criticize Israel on any of its violence and in fact has condoned it. He supports and condones targeted assassinations and drone warfare for both the US and Israel. He may hate Netanyahu (as do the Clintons) but he has done nothing about it.

      I've voted Green Party for President since 2008, have you? That doesn't mean that they have a realistic chance of winning the Presidency, sad to say, but it won't stop me from voting for them until and unless a decent candidate with a chance to win is nominated from one of the major parties.

    • Elizabeth Warren will be the same, as will Biden or any other Democratic candidate. Clinton is no worse than Obama, who was no better than Bush on the subject. Welcome to the extreme lack of choice of candidates on this issue. There's always the Green Party, which is the only party with a rational position on this, but they have zero chance of winning.

  • 'Bombing the Dead' -- Max Blumenthal in Gaza
    • t took me a moment to realize he was talking about collecting sea shells, as "shells" and "Gaza" usually refers to artillery shells.

  • Israel correctly fears its 'delegitimizers,' says leftwing member of Irish parliament
    • Lehava spokesman and former lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari denounced Jews intermarrying with non-Jews of any denomination as “worse than what Hitler did”

      To riff off the old anti-communist slogan, Ben-Ari is saying, "Better dead than wed."

      Ah, the Zionist Jew's underwhelming concern for his fellow Jews, on display once again. Its just like the white supremacist, whose concern for his fellow whites ceases the moment he detects they are "race traitors."

  • Video: Gaza forces young Jew to overcome 'giant hostile ferocious backlash' of her community
    • and the second one, "BDS: Apartheid in Danger"

    • Two new videos out by Apartheid

      The first one "Gaza:The IDF Explains Itself":

    • ...I could not fathom that the Jewish people… could do anything bad, and if they did they must have had a justification for it.

      This is the crux of the problem for many American Jews (and even for some American gentiles). There is this bigoted assumption that Jews are morally superior to every other group of human beings in that they alone are incapable of doing anything bad unless there is a very compelling justification for such behavior. Carey was able to finally overcome that biased assumption, but many American Jews still cling to that sense of moral superiority and think of it as the essence of their identity. If you attempt to take that away from them by confronting them with the truth, they react irrationally and with hostility because their sense of identity is all wrapped up with the idea that being Jewish imparts some higher moral sense, and to negate that is perceived as negating their core identity.

  • Rabbi slams 'militarization' in St. Louis but when it comes to Gaza-- the press 'loves underdog and suffering'
    • Thus, the claim that humanitarian aid is being misused to build tunnels might be a way to cast a bad light on humanitarian aid.

      I think that is the intent. Claim that humanitarian aid is being misused, so therefore push to end humanitarian aid. And I doubt that any humanitarian aid went into building the tunnels. Its mainly the work of human labor, mostly likely being paid for out of tax revenues collected by Hamas on the import of goods through the export/import tunnels. Humanitarian aid is controlled by the aid agencies and NGOs, not by Hamas.

  • Hundreds of scholars say they won't engage with University of Illinois unless decision to block Salaita is reversed
    • That’s a fine slogan, but I don’t see much evidence that Salaita has the slightest notion of what it means to engage with someone who doesn’t already share his deeply held biases.

      And you figured this all out from reading 4 or 5 tweets and nothing else he's produced, and having never attended his classes, nor listened to him in person. How deep of you. I've deduced from your one comment here that there is little evidence that you are either qualified to do your job, whatever it is, or comment on any one else, as this comment of yours shows you are guilty of "deep complacency about reducing complex human affairs to cartoons; embracing a single narrative whole-hog; hipsterish, sanctimonious showboating." It would only be fair and well considered of me to demand that you be fired.

      And yes, that's sarcasm, but I'm pointing out that in your comment here you are doing the exact same thing that you are accusing Salaita of doing. But I'm sure you think that its A-OK when you do it.

  • The Walzer Problem
    • Jon, you didn't provide ANY source, so why are you asking for a "better" one? Please provide a better source for exactly when you stopped beating your wife.

    • Having majority control of the territory is not the same as controlling the actions of every militant group.

      As Israel well knows. The 3 Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered in Area C, which is under full Israeli control, and yet the IDF and Israeli government could not prevent the murder. As Shingo pointed out, its a double standard to extend responsibility to Hamas for not preventing other militant groups from firing, and yet not extending the same responsibility to Israel for both the murder of the 3 Israeli teens in the West Bank AND the horrendous murder of Abu Khdeir in East Jerusalem, both occurring in areas under complete Israeli control.

  • US branch of the Jewish 'family' owes the homeland 'unconditional love' -- Rosner
    • Ah, more blaming the victims from Jeff. Quelle surprise!

      The European Zionists came to Palestine with a sense of superiority, considered the Palestinian natives as savages, set up covenants on the land they bought that prevented non-Jews from working on it, evicted the Palestinian tenant farmers who had rights to live and work the land under the law at the time. They set up kibbutzim that non-Jews, and Arab Jews alike, were barred from joining. They preached a version of ethnic superiority that ranked European Jews above Arab Jews, then Palestinian Arabs, then Bedouins as a physical, spiritual and intellectual hierarchy. They also preached a "conquest of labor" which involved boycotts, sometimes forced, of non-Jewish goods and services, refused to agree to a Palestinian legislative council unless Jews got at least half of the representatives within it, even though Jews were less than a fourth of the population, and in general refused to learn the local language and customs, and talked among themselves of desire to transfer out the native non-Jewish population. And all of this was began BEFORE the 1920's. The JNF and its covenants were founded in 1901. The second aliyah (1904-1914) is identified with both the "conquest of land" (i.e., removing indigenous tenant farmers) and "conquest of labor" (boycotting Jewish landowners or business owners who hired non-Jewish employees, and boycotting non-Jewish goods). Arthur Ruppin, a eugenicist and sociologist who believed in the superiority of European Jews over Arabs, both Jewish and non-Jewish, became the chief Zionist land agent and the "father of the settlements' during that period.

      BUT, of course, its all the Palestinians fault for being "rejectionist" by not acquiescing to their own dislocation and failing to welcome their newly arrived self-professed alien overlords.

    • Hilarious, Elliot. But I was under the impression that Marnie was Jewish and had lived, or was living, in Israel. Am I wrong on that account? Perhaps there are the chosen and then there are the more chosen who get to choose what the mildly chosen choose to say?

  • Is the firing of Steven Salaita the beginning of a new Blacklist?
  • A Palestinian defends violent resistance to occupation
    • As far as the “2006″ economic “sanctions”, countries have a right to cut off donations for any reason they choose. And since Hamas didn’t accept the Olso accords, Israel had a right to withhold tax revenues.

      As I suspected you don't have a clue what you are talking about. The tax revenues that Israel has withheld on numerous occasions are not Israeli tax revenues, nor are they Israeli "donations". They are the import fees and taxes levied on Palestinians that are collected by Israel since it continues to control entry and exit for all goods going into Gaza and the West Bank from the crossings. Under the Oslo agreement Israel is required to turn that money over to the Palestinian Authority. This is part of Israel's effective control of the West Bank and Gaza, as I enumerated above- control over Palestinian tax revenues. Israel DOES NOT have a right to withhold money it collects from Palestinians that rightfully belongs to the PA, but it has done so repeatedly. Here's one example from 2011;

      link to

      That you think the tax revenues are something paid by Israelis just shows how ignorant you are about the subject you are discussing. As does your big whopper about the 7700 155mm shells fired into Gaza, which you first assured us MUST have happened over 40 years time, and then, oops, you actually looked something up and found out it wasn't 40 years, it was 10 months time in 2006. Of course, then you just as adamantly insist that Israel "would have never fired shells if the Palestinians hadn't attacked first" which you know for a fact having personally pulled that information out of your *ss.

      Here's is a report from the IDMC (International Displacement Monitoring Centre) 'Under Fire: Israel's enforcement of Access Restricted Areas in the Gaza Strip' which shows that the IDF has created a "no-go" zone where it shoots any Palestinian who enters these areas within Gaza. It doesn't wait for anyone to attack, simply walking in the area is sufficient for Israel to kill him or her, adult or child.

      link to

      And here's a chart that explains the "Context Behind Projectile Fire" from both Gaza and Israel in 2012. As often as not, Israeli fire is the precipitating ceasefire violation, and Gaza fire is the response, despite your unsupported assertion to the contrary.

      link to

      Come back when you have something other than regurgitated propaganda.

    • It is also counter-productive as it makes you lose the moral high ground.

      Human rights are rights, not privileges, and do not depend on capturing "the moral high ground". Otherwise, Israelis would not be entitled to human rights, which they are. They are not entitled, however, to deny those same rights to others, to engage in ethnic cleansing, or land theft, or discrimination and oppression, regardless of whether they think they have the "moral high ground" or not.

    • And this just proves that you will believe anything you're told without questioning it:

      ...and spend ~$100 million just on the 32 tunnels that went in to Israel and were destroyed, and it’s estimated that Hamas used 1.6 billion pounds of concrete to build their military infrastructure of tunnels in Gaza.

      1.6 billion pounds of concrete, at an average of 140 pounds per cubic foot would equal 11,428,571 cubic feet of concrete. To line a shaft 6 feet high on two sides by 4 feet wide by 4 inches thick would equal less than 6 cubic feet of concrete per lineal foot. That would mean that, even if the tunnels were completely lined with concrete along their entire length , which they are not, in total they would be 1,904,761 feet long, or 360 miles long. That's a length of over 10 miles for each of 32 tunnels. Gaza is only about 5 miles across from ocean to Israeli border, and about 25 miles long from north to south, and the IDF has claimed that the LONGEST tunnel was under 2 miles long. That would mean a minimum of 180 tunnels, if they were all full lined and all 2 miles long, which they clearly are not. If we make rational and limited assumptions, such as the tunnels only being lined over half of their length, and tunnels being an average of 1 mile long (both of which may still be overstatements), we get to the ridiculous number of 720 tunnels from your figure on pounds of concrete used. The concrete number you give is demonstrably overstated, as is the cost of building them. You're simply a parrot.

    • Ian,

      Feel free to peruse the archives here. Your hasbara has been refuted time and time again every time some newbie comes to the site and thinks that his tired old talking points are something new that we have never heard before. Besides the issue of moderation sometimes taking forever here, frankly a lot of us are tired of having to refute the same old lies over and over again. It would be great if we could just say "Hasbara bullshit #47" and link to old posts and links that refute the lies without having to start all over again just because some neophyte thinks he's just invented the Zionist wheel. But so far that capability has not been built into the system.

      However, in short, from the Goldstone Report to explain why Gaza is still considered occupied by Israel according to International consensus:

      276. Israel has without doubt at all times relevant to the mandate of the Mission exercised effective control over the Gaza Strip. The Mission is of the view that the circumstances of this control establish that the Gaza Strip remains occupied by Israel. The provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention therefore apply at all relevant times with regard to the obligations of Israel towards the population of the Gaza Strip.

      277. Despite Israel’s declared intention to relinquish its position as an occupying Power by evacuating troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip during its 2005 “disengagement”,162 the international community continues to regard it as the occupying Power.163

      278. Given the specific geopolitical configuration of the Gaza Strip, the powers that Israel exercises from the borders enable it to determine the conditions of life within the Gaza Strip. Israel controls the border crossings (including to a significant degree the Rafah crossing to Egypt, under the terms of the Agreement on Movement and Access164) and decides what and who gets in or out of the Gaza Strip. It also controls the territorial sea adjacent to the Gaza Strip and has declared a virtual blockade and limits to the fishing zone, thereby regulating economic activity in that zone. It also keeps complete control of the airspace of the Gaza Strip, inter alia, through continuous surveillance by aircraft and unmanned aviation vehicles (UAVs) or drones. It makes military incursions and from time to time hit targets within the Gaza Strip. No-go areas are declared within the Gaza Strip near the border where Israeli settlements used to be and enforced by the Israeli armed forces. Furthermore, Israel regulates the local monetary market based on the Israeli currency (the new sheqel) and controls taxes and custom duties.

      279. The ultimate authority over the Occupied Palestinian Territory still lies with Israel. Under the law and practice of occupation, the establishment by the occupying Power of a temporary administration over an occupied territory is not an essential requirement for occupation, although it could be one element among others that indicates the existence of such occupation.165 In fact, as shown in the case of Denmark during the Second World War, the occupier can leave in place an existing local administration or allow a new one to be installed for as long as it preserves for itself the ultimate authority. Although Israel has transferred to the Palestinian Authority a series of functions within designated zones, it has done so by agreement, through the Oslo Accords and related understandings, keeping for itself “powers and responsibilities not so transferred”.166

      When Israel unilaterally evacuated troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip, it left in place a Palestinian local administration. There is no local governing body to which full authority has been transferred. In this regard, the Mission recalls that the International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, regards the transfer of powers and responsibilities by Israel under various agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as having “done nothing” to alter the character of Israel as an occupying Power.167

      link to

      Gisha, which is an Israeli NGO that reports on Gaza states the case for why Israel, which is in "effective control" of Gaza on many levels, is still, under international law, considered the occupying power in Gaza.

      Israel's withdrawal of settlements and its permanent military ground installations from the Gaza Strip did not end Israeli control of Gaza but rather changed the way in which such control is effectuated. The forms of control have contributed to an unprecedented deterioration in the economic and social welfare of Gaza residents.

      Israel continues to control Gaza through:

      *Substantial control of Gaza's land crossings;
      *Control on the ground through incursions and sporadic ground troop presence ("no -go-zone")
      *Complete control of Gaza's airspace
      *Complete control of Gaza's territorial waters:
      *Control of the Palestinian population rregistry (including who is a "resident" of Gaza)
      *Control of tax policy and transfer of tax revenues;
      *Control of the ability of the Palestinian Authority to exercise governmental functions'
      *Control of the West Bank, which together with Gaza, constitute a single territorial unit.

      More details and explanations here:

      link to

      The excessive closure of border crossings into Israel occurred prior to the attempted coup by Fatah in Gaza which Hamas quelled, and prior to the capture of Shalit, so the closures can not be the result of actions that happened after the policy took place. See the current article entitled "The Greenhouse propaganda—How Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanize Palestinians" for details on the closures that caused grievous economic harm to the Gaza economy.

      link to

      As for this:

      The government of Israel is far from perfect, but any government has an obligation to defend it’s citizens from infiltration by tunnels and rockets that could have killed thousands of people if it weren’t for the Iron Dome system.

      Iron Dome is relatively new, and there is considerable controversy whether it actually provides any protection or not. The rockets from Gaza, sent in response to much larger firepower directed by Israel towards Gaza, only killed 22 people from 2004 until today, and the greatest number of casualties from rockets in the past happened during Israeli incursions into Gaza which were supposedly intended to stop rocket fire. See the report here:

      link to

      So your insistence that the tunnels and rockets could have killed thousands is specious, but it does highlight the fact that while only 2 civilians have been killed by rockets, Hamas has managed to killed over 50 Israeli soldiers, which is part of its right to defend itself against military attack. Hamas has had tunnels since it captured Shalit in June of 2006. In the past 8 years it has attacked zero civilians in Israel and has only attacked legitimate military targets from the tunnels during the time that it has been under devastating bombardment and ground attack from "Protective Edge". Israel, on the other hand has killed nearly 2000 Palestinians in Gaza, as well as a few dozen in the West Bank, 80% of them civilians.

    • well, a little knowledge can be dangerous, and your predictable response proves that.

      Projection on your part, Ezra. Either you are being dishonest in failing to mention Israel's attack on Jordan in November, 1966, and its provocation and attack on Syrian airspace in April 1967, or your knowledge is so limited that you aren't even aware of these factors which led to the Egypt's declaration closing the Straits of Tiran. You seem like the typical gullible hasbarist who simply regurgitates what you hear without question, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are merely ignorant rather than a deliberate liar.

      Ever heard of Es Samu? It was a village in the West Bank, then a part of Jordan, that was attacked by an Israeli force of 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers, backed up by tanks and aircraft, destroying houses, schools, clinics and a mosque, and killing 18, 15 of them Jordanian soldiers fighting on Jordanian soil. This happened in November 1966 and is considered by all an important step in the lead up to the 1967 war. Jordan did not retaliate, and the only punishment for Israel was UN condemnation. In April 1967, according to Moshe Dayan, the Israelis purposefully provoked a confrontation in the DMZ between it and Syria by advancing military bulldozers into the DMZ until Syria responded by firing on the Israelis who were at that moment in breach of the armistice agreement. Israel fired back then brought in fighter jets who engaged Syria jets over Syria airspace, and shot one Syria fighter jet down over Damascus, over 50 miles from the border with Israel. Syria did not retaliate, but tensions mounted and Syria legitimately feared an invasion, and was threatened with one by Israel.

      This is the background to Egypt's closing of the Straits, which at the time it considered its own territorial waters ( the Straits are only 7 miles wide). It had agreed to adjudicating its right to close the Straits in the International Court and abiding by the Court decision, but Israel refused to do the same. The US and Egypt were engaged, in Washington, DC, in resolving the dispute diplomatically at the very time that Israel decided to attack Egypt. (Israel was aware of the negotiations.)

      So obviously, the country that chose the war, and that was threatening its neighbors, as well as attacking their sovereign space, was Israel, not the other way around. Israeli government officials have admitted as such since as early as the 1970s.

      Mattiyahu Peled, IDF General and member of the General Staff during the 1967, said "To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to Zahal (Israeli military)."

      Menachem Begin, who was in the Knesset at the time, said, "In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

      Yitzhak Rabin, also on the General Staff at the time, said:

      “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.”

      Here's Miko Peled, talking a little bit about his father, Mattiyahu, and the 1967 war:

      And here's an article in Foreign Policy Journal which makes clear that the intent to attack was strictly an Israeli one, and not an Egyptian intent, and also makes clear that Israeli and American intelligence knew that Egypt was NOT about to attack Israel in 1967.

      link to

      And of course, if Israel truly believed that it was instigating a "preemptive attack" then its UN Ambassador would not have immediately and brazenly lied that Israel had been attacked when it was the one who attacked the Egyptian air force on the ground in Egypt.

  • How many Israeli civilians have been attacked from the Gaza tunnels? Any?
    • If Hamas wanted to use the tunnels to attack civilians, wouldn’t the best moment to do this be near the beginning, when the Israelis weren’t aware of how extensive the tunnel network was ?

      I made this point on another thread, but I'll repeat it here. IF Hamas really wanted to use the tunnels to attack and kidnap Israelis, then they would have used them BEFORE and INSTEAD of the kidnapping of the 3 Jewish teens near Hebron. We were told that Hamas was behind that kidnapping in the West Bank, which, in order to move the teens into an area not under direct Israeli control, would have required a journey of 20 to 30 miles not just through the West Bank under IDF control but across the green line and into Israel. It would have been far, far easier to emerge from a tunnel, travel less than a mile, kidnap and return to the tunnels under Gaza. But they didn't do that, because the Israeli hasbara about the tunnels and kidnapping is bullshit!

      It's like the Israeli government wailing and moaning about rocket fire until foreign airlines stopped flying into Ben Gurion for a few days. All of a sudden the rocket fire wasn't that big of a deal, but oh those "terror tunnels"!!

  • Even Wieseltier is upset by 'indifference in Jewish world' to Gaza slaughter and wholehearted Israeli support for it
    • I wonder if we’re seeing that stage with Israel in Gaza? As with Vietnam, people have come to the realization very slowly. At the NYT editorial board they still aren’t there.

      I understand that you feel that bringing up Vietnam provides some relevancy to what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, and other Arabs, since 1948, but to compare the "slowness" of realization of the evils of the US war in Vietnam with the glacial, or damn near non-existent, realization of the evils of Israel's war against the Palestinians is inapt at best.

      At its broadest scope the US involvement in the Vietnam war lasted for 18 years, from 1955, when Eisenhower pledged military support for Diem, to 1973 when the US withdrew unilaterally. A build up to 9000 US combat troops didn't happen until 1962, with the beginnings of a massive buildup in 1965 and within six years the US abandoned the war completely, due in good part to disgust against the war among significant elements of the US population. Slow, yes, but downright supersonic compared to realizations in regards to Israel.

      You are comparing a US combat troop presence that lasted less than a decade to Israeli presence in occupied Palestinian territory that has lasted nearly 50 years, and ethnic cleansing and oppression of Palestinians for 66 years( and Zionist terrorism against them for years prior to 1948). The comparison, especially in regards to "slowness" in realization of the evils committed, whitewashes the continual racism and cruelty of Israeli actions.

  • 'NYT' is furiously rewriting history of Gaza conflict
    • The timing is all wrong for Hamas to be behind the kidnapping outside of Hebron, as is the use of a small cadre known for an independent streak.

      And on top of all that, since Hamas had all those "terror tunnels" it could have easily kidnapped soldiers or civilians from the tunnels. It didn't need two guys in a car in the middle of the occupied West Bank to do it. The Israeli government hypes the tunnels as prime kidnapping venues for Hamas and then wants you to believe that Hamas preferred to use a car in the West Bank that is under military control by Israel and would then have to travel 30-40 miles through Israel itself to get to Gaza. Pull the other one.

  • Steven Salaita-- unremitting in criticism of Zionism and Gaza slaughter-- loses a job at University of Illinois
    • Uh-huh – and which part of this is different from what I said?

      Wow, are you just playing dumb or are you really that dense? You said, of the 39, "All of the ones who signed were tenured.". I pointed out that you were wrong, only 27 of them were tenured, and 12 were not. And you can't tell the difference between "all" and 27 out of 39? I even quoted your false statement at the top of my post, before clarifying who was tenured and who was not. You can't really be that dumb, can you?

      I’m not exactly sure what you think you’re accomplishing by posting these couple of anecdotes

      You posted anecdotes. Mine were posted in opposition to the ones you posted. Do you think you have some kind of monopoly on posting anecdotes? Or do you think yours are just so much more righteous than anyone else's? They aren't.

      Your characterization of Jane Eisner’s piece is not even close.

      Actually, its spot on. Do you honestly think Eisner quoted Lipstadt because she disagreed with her? Here's Eisner's first two paragraphs.

      Last Shabbat, as my husband and I were walking home from a long, lovely lunch with friends, I noticed scribbling on the sidewalk. Since the letters were written in white chalk and were upside down from where I stood, it took a moment to decipher their meaning, and another moment to get over the shock.

      This was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the epicenter of the liberal American shtetl, a place so ubiquitously Jewish that even the smallest grocery store posts Friday night candle-lighting times each week. So to see even this mildly anti-Israel graffiti was a surprise. For the first time since we moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago, we felt uncomfortable, targeted, as people who care about Israel and as Jews.

      She feels personally "targeted" because someone wrote "Stop Funding Israel"in chalk on the sidewalk. Its deep insane paranoia, triggered by a mild political statement on the sidewalk, that could have as easily been placed there by one of her Jewish neighbors as anyone else. She can't understand how a country that has targeted hospitals and schools, killed thousands of civilians, totally destroyed ten thousand homes and a vast array of vital civilian infrastructure can be an object of anger and derision? She can't understand why a country where the Deputy Knesset Speaker has called for concentration camps, extermination and totally destruction of Gaza has been compared to Nazi Germany? Serious denial on her part. That may be her "feeling" but its not a rational one. That is the point I am making in posting these anecdotes.

      You make no case that Salaita is being punished for his views. It’s the way he expresses himself that’s the problem. Your citing of a tweet where he mentioned Israel does not make your case. He said supporters of Israel were awful people. Well, guess what, chief; lots of Americans are supporters of Israel, and not all supporters of Israel are supporters of the Gaza War or the Netanyahu government.

      If you are going to call me "chief", as if that is some kind of meaningful name for me, at least get my gender right and call me "chieftess". And again, you seem to have failed to grasp the simple point I was making. Cary Nelson claimed the problem was the tone, not the view, and yet he unequivocally stated that he would not oppose the hiring of someone who tweeted that anyone who defended Hamas was an "awful human being", but he opposed the hiring of Salaita because Salaita tweeted that anyone defending Israel during the Gaza massacre was an "awful human being". So calling someone with a different viewpoint than one's own an "awful human being" was clearly not the problem for Nelson. What was the problem for Nelson was who is being called such a name, i.e. the problem was Salaita's viewpoint, not his language. You obviously can't understand that point because its firmly in your interest to be deliberately obtuse when it suits your argument.

      And this is rich:

      And I’m not bringing someone to my campus who is incapable of holding a political view without personalizing it and judging those who disagree with him to be awful people.

      From the guy who called "just" a "dirty animal" for daring to question one of your pronouncements for which you have yet to provide proof. So much more genteel and collegial to call someone a "dirty animal" than an "awful human being". Your cluelessness about your own hypocrisy is amusing.

      I think the ability to disagree about politics and to recognize the common humanity with your political opponent is a measure of a person’s character. Of course, when your worldview is that everyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi or a fascist, then that’s hard to do.

      Your second sentence there describes your own failings. If your own character really bothers you why not work on it? Luckily for you , you won't lose your job just because you can't be civil in an online discussion, but if you really believe your first sentence, then you must be worried about your own character.

    • And as for Schreier, hophmi, I read your "rate my professor" link. 3 negative out of 25 reviews over 7 years. The majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and 2 specifically disagreed with one of the negative comments made in 2009 that you cited. Even in the 3 negative reviews only one of them gave him a "poor" rating, with another giving him an "average' rating despite the negative comment, and another gave him a "good" rating even with one of the negative comment you cited. Not a very strong case to be made for how "close-minded" you claim he is.

      Other reviews:

      "Everyone, just ignore him.[the negative reviewer] If you have already decided you know everything about the Middle East and, thus, are in no need of a critical relation to your set perspective, do NOT take this class. However, if you want an engaging class that forces you too see evidence and THINK about it, take it."


      "I disagree with the comment made on 2/23/09. [same negative review] I am in the Middle East class as well, and from what I see in class and at his office hours, Schreier is completely open minded and welcomes all opinions. He only presents the material in an intense way, which may intimidate you at first, but overall I think it shows he's really into what he teaches."

      "Really, really energetic lecturer, its easy to pay attention. He does have very strong opinions, but he warns you of them at the start and will allow you to voice dissenting opinion... and then he'll (politely) explain why he disagrees. I love him and I found him really engaging but be warned there is a decent amount of reading and research paper."

      "Schreier is easily one of the best history professors at Vassar. His classes are challenging, his lectures engaging, and he is a very nice guy. He doesn't go easy on you for your ideology - if you believe something, you have to prove WHY you should believe it, and will call you out on your nonsensical views. But isn't that why we all go to college?"

      BTW, come to find out Vassar doesn't have a "Middle Eastern Studies" Department. Schreier is in the Jewish Studies department, which is where Israel/Palestine is covered at Vassar.

    • Hophmi, as usual you are being dishonest about this on many levels.

      All of the ones who signed were tenured.

      That is incorrect. Of the 39 signatures, out of somewhere around 300 faculty members at Vassar (I've seen a 290 number, but also saw a number of 331 Vassar faculty members), 12 of them were full professors and 15 were associate professors (tenured), 9 were assistant professors (tenured-track but not yet tenured), one was an adjunct associate professor (untenured), one was a lecturer(untenured) and one was a postdoctorate fellow. It is less than 15 percent of the faculty members there, even if you take the lower number of 290 faculty members at Vassar.

      Not a single professor submitted anything in defense of Israel to the paper.

      This is intellectually dishonest on your part. The open letter from the 39 faculty members printed in the college student newspaper, titled "A statement from members of the Vassar College faculty in response to condemnation of the American Studies Association resolution of December 4, 2013" was a dissent in response to the written condemnation by the Vassar College President and Vassar Dean of Faculty of the ASA call for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions. Since the Dean of Faculty had already issued a written statement condemning the boycott, no other Vassar professor had any pressing need to comment unless, like the 39 signatories, he/she disagreed with the Dean of Faculty's statement, so to imply that pro-Israel professors were cowed into silence by a small minority of faculty members beggars belief, especially since the Dean of Faculty is in a superior position to all faculty members, where as the 39 signatories are not. Silence in this case merely means acquiescence in the statement co-issued by the College President and Dean of Faculty.

      I know for a fact that there are professors at Vassar who are not supportive of the BDS movement who are afraid to speak out in favor of Israel.

      There are a lot of things that you claim to "know for a fact". There's good reason to doubt if you even know what a fact is.

      You claimed its a fact that there are more "pro-Palestinian" professors in academia than there are "pro-Israel", and have yet to provide any proof of this, you have claimed that all the signers of the Vassar open letter are tenured when they aren't. You claimed that Cary Nelson's beef with Salaita has nothing to do with Salaita's viewpoint, when Nelson himself insisted that a similar tweet about Hamas would not have been grounds for refusing to hire someone, but the same words used to describe Israel, when done by Salaita, ARE grounds for refusing to hire. This is a crystal clear admission that Nelson is not bothered by the language used, but by the viewpoint expressed.

      Pro-Israel advocacy groups have made it a point to urge those opposed to BDS or any criticism of Israel to claim that they feel intimidated and fearful rather than to argue the issue on its merits. Most of this is pure tactic and not a legitimate grievance. Many of us here are aware of that dishonest tactic.

    • Hophmi, you claimed that there are more pro-Palestinian professors in academia( not just in Middle Eastern Studies, but in all academia) than there are pro-Israeli ones. Citing 6 or 7 names of professors over and over again does not in any way shape or form prove your point, unless you are under some grand illusion that all of academia consists of 12 to 13 professors nationwide. You made an unsupported allegation and then had the audacity to demand other people prove you wrong rather than admit you have no proof of your point.

      39 professors at Vassar signed a pro-Palestinian letter

      There are 290 faculty members at Vassar. 39 out of 290. Do the math. Again, this doesn't even prove your point as regards to Vassar.

      As to complaints from pro-Israeli students, while their feelings may be accurate expressions, the fact of actual intimidation is not proven. As many of us here know, there are examples of students who simply get their feelings hurt because someone disagrees with them.

      Jane Eisner saw graffiti on a sidewalk that said "Stop Funding Israel" and compared it to being in Nazi Germany in 1934.

      A woman on a Jetblue plane repeatedly berated a fellow passenger and when she got bumped off the plane she thought it was because she was Jewish.

      A supposed attack on a synagogue in Paris was actually a street fight instigated by the JDL.

      My own first experience with dealing with someone who thought she was being threatened because she was Jewish was online 15 years ago, when I corrected a misunderstanding she had about why Israel wasn't identified on a Verizon world map. On the Verizon map of countries that enabled their text messaging system at the time, Israel wasn't labeled by name because they only labeled those countries that had Verizon text messaging ability and Israel didn't. When I corrected her and pointed out all the other countries that were likewise unlabeled because of lack of text message capability, suddenly I was making a horrible and hateful anti-semitic remark that left her feeling threatened, even though I made no mention of her ethnicity or religion, and was at the time under the wrong impression that she was a Christian Zionist, rather than Jewish. Feelings are not proof of actual intimidation, and one comment from a ratemyprofessors site does not prove anything. Being confronted with viewpoints other than your own is a basic premise of higher education.

      From your earlier comment:

      So the notion that it’s Salaita’s views that are the problems, rather than his incivility and nastiness, is nonsense.

      No, as I showed above, it is exactly Salaita's views that are the problem for Cary Nelson, by his own admission. To repeat the salient part:

      Another example Nelson gave was an 8 July tweet by Salaita, at the beginning of Israel’s current massacre in Gaza, stating, “If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.”

      Nelson used that tweet as one reason to oppose Salaita's hiring. However:

      When asked if he would oppose the hiring of a person who said that “someone who defends Hamas firing rockets towards Tel Aviv is an awful person,” Nelson answered: “No.”

      Its not the form of the tweets Nelson objects to, its Salaita's views he finds objectionable.

    • Nelson is a self-professed Zionist. Hard to reconcile Zionism with ethics and conscience.

    • Electronic Intifada has more on the Cary Nelson angle to this story:

      Nelson acknowledged, however, that he has been closely monitoring Salaita’s Twitter account for months. “There are scores of tweets. I have screen captures,” he said. “The total effect seems to me to cross a line.”

      Salaita has “always tweeted in a very volatile and aggressive way,” Nelson asserted, but “recently he’s begun to be much more aggressive.”

      Another example Nelson gave was an 8 July tweet by Salaita, at the beginning of Israel’s current massacre in Gaza, stating, “If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.”

      Nelson claimed that this might mean that students in one of Salaita’s classes who “defended Israel” could face a hostile environment.

      But Nelson acknowledged that he knew of no complaints about Salaita’s teaching and that Salaita was not even scheduled to teach classes on Palestine and the Israelis.

      When asked if he would oppose the hiring of a person who said that “someone who defends Hamas firing rockets towards Tel Aviv is an awful person,” Nelson answered: “No.”

      link to

    • Please indicate your evidence that in the field of Middle East Studies, that there are more pro-Israel professors than there are pro-Palestinian ones, with tenure.

      Everyone please note how hophmi operates because this is a classic example. He makes a blanket statement:

      The academy is full of tenured pro-Palestinian professors who have no trouble expressing pro-Palestinian viewpoints and getting tenure; in fact, there are far more of them than there are tenured pro-Israel faculty in academia.

      unsupported, of course, and refers to ALL of academia. When someone challenges him on this he brazenly moves the goal post and demands that someone else prove that in Middle East Studies there are more pro-Israeli professors than otherwise. Not only is he trying to put the burden on someone else to disprove his unsupported statement, but he has the gall to subtly change the subject to one small subset of academia, Middle Eastern Studies, hoping no one will notice his subterfuge.

      (And of course he also posted unsupported and hateful allegations against pro-Palestinian professors and students at Vassar.)

      Cary Nelson, BTW, whom Phil and hophmi quote in opposition to Salaita, is NOT a Middle Eastern Studies professor. He is a professor of English. Salaita isn't a Middle Eastern Studies professor either. He was an associate professor of English an and then at Illinois was to be an associate professor in American Indian studies.

  • What I said to the couple holding a banner with a swastika on it
    • Oops, double post deleted.

    • Page: 41
    • Jordan,

      Did the banner have anything else on it besides a swastika? YOu seem to imply that it did have other writing besides the swastika with this statement,

      The couple, and others on the march who emblazoned swastikas across their posters, told me they were using it to point out the irony of a once persecuted people, committing similar brutalities to another set of human beings.

      but you only mention the swastika on the banners, and a swastika alone would have different connotations from one that is used to compare an atrocity to a similar Nazi atrocity. A swastika by itself in a demonstration against US foreign policy would have a different connotation than a swastika used to compare US actions to Nazi actions.

      I understand that you consider the swastika inappropriate to use no matter the context, but in this case I think it would be much more forthright if you would make clear whether the swastika you saw was used alone, which would imply endorsement of Nazi actions or beliefs, or used comparatively, which would imply condemnation of Nazi actions.Please, for the sake of clarity, elaborate on exactly what was on the banner you saw. Thanks.

  • The selected writings of Samantha Power
    • But those of these gentle creatures that did not make roadkill make their judiciary.

      Piotr, I always enjoy your unique sense of humor.

  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
    • Then Westerners should think about what it would be like if 80% of their civilians were constantly under threat of rocket fire.

      Gotta love how hopmi's arguments can turn on a dime. 2000 deaths? Why are you making a big deal about such a small number? Are you anti-semitic or something?
      ...followed in rapid succession by an appeal to the threat of rockets that have killed just 2 civilians in Israel, despite the fact that Israel has over 4 times Gaza's population.

      Shorter hophmi: Two civilians killed in Israel? Oh, the humanity! A thousand times that killed in Gaza? What's the anti-semitic fuss about?

  • 'I can't be silent. It is genocide' -- Anoushka Shankar
    • I agree with your viewpoint, oldgeezer. I think this is the relevant part that Phil was referring to, and I don't see her "blaming Hamas" in this paragraph of hers, either:

      I'm not an expert and don't claim to be. But some people have voiced concern that I was biased by not condemning Hamas. Let's be clear that I am opposed to the killing of innocents, whether by rogue terrorist organizations or by elected governments, and I don't differentiate between the values of human lives whether they were killed by terrorist bombs, Obama's drones, the armies OR militants stationed in Kashmir, or misogynist fundamentalist regimes. To my mind, the argument that a country 'has the right to defend itself' begets questioning when Palestinians in contrast to the State of Israel don't have the same right . Again, I don't condone one or the other side in their killing of people, and it's important to remember that this issue goes back so far and long with 'blame' easy to throw in both/all directions. I don't know if it matters to me, really, who "started a fight," the same way it doesn't matter to me when it involves my three-year-old son and another child. What matters is resolving conflict in the here and now. It's unfair to say the Palestinians aren't 'choosing' peace when that peace, as offered by Israel, is under the conditions of unequal rights, ever-decreasing land and subjugation.

      Yes, both are beautiful posts.

  • What Jim Fallows and I saw
    • If you follow MJay's tweets, "Protective Edge" and the pictures of the death and destruction coming from it, have pushed Rosenberg to complete denunciation of Israel's actions. You can sense how visibly and viscerally upset he is about it.

      link to

      Here's a sampling of recent tweets of his:

      No, Jerusalem Post rightwingers. I am not a SELF hater. I hate YOU and your ilk. Likud, settlers, rightwing Jewish organizations, neocons

      That self-hating thing is such BS. I love myself. It's YOU fascist bastards I hate.

      I wouldn't exactly call Israel an ally of the US. More like frenemy, AT BEST.

      Elie Wiesel revises position: only opposes mass murder if victims are Jews in year 1939-1945. Otherwise NEVER AGAIN becomes just AGAIN.

      Sad to say, when I go out with Jewish friends, I'm tense. Worried what they will say. Exact opposite with Muslim friends. I can relax.

      The friends I lose because of my opposition to Israeli policies are friends I should never have made in first place.

      I have visited Israel 30 plus times. Never again. Done.

      Israel provided me with my life's most complete brainwashing.

      Why do I HATE Israel's ugly war. My grand-twins, 6. How can u have kids or grandkids and tolerate these Israeli atrocities and war crimes?

    • Off anti-semite hunting again, TBK? You know every time you do this (and you do this an awful lot more than you comment on conditions in I/P, except when Mooser is busting your buns.) I immediately think about the fact that you co-founded the Eliezer society with Shmully Hecht, who thinks that the Goldstone Report was the equivalent of the Elders of Zion and the Dreyfus case. Who thinks that the Jews bought 'Eretz Israel' fair and square and that today's conflict is some ancient feud resurfacing rather than an extreme case of racism and inequality. Whose racism you simply consider, by your own words, his "schtick".

      link to

      And that's why you are such a hypocrite. Your hunt for "anti-semitism" in the comment section here has more to do with your own un-examined bigotry than it does with any desire on your part to eliminate racism and bigotry. You excuse racism by Jews towards non-Jews as "schtick", even though the result of that "schtick" has been tremendous violence and oppression against Palestinians, but a comment about the need to work against the evils of Zionism, even one that particularly states, " And the movement against zionism and zionist must be ethnic-less without Jews as the targets," is attacked as anti-semitic, because you can just smell these things, right, and you know what non-Jews are really thinking, and you're here to say, it ain't good. You don't even have enough self-realization to understand that you are doing the exact same stereotyping of non-Jews who criticize Zionism that you accuse anti-semites of engaging in. Oh, those gentiles...its all in their secret codes, and one can't really believe what they say in polite company, can one? Why not start checking into your own racism and bigotry? It appears to be a ripe field for contemplation.

  • Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence
    • That means 53% were innocent men, women and children.

      No, it means that Israel is admitting that at least 53% of the Gaza casualties were innocent civilians. No doubt the IDF considers any Palestinian male in Gaza over the age of 12 as a combatant simply because of his age and gender. At age 12 the IDF officially allows its soldiers to fire upon them. Unofficially of course, as the T-shirt says, "One shot, two kills" and "The smaller they are, the harder to hit".

      link to

  • Inhuman shield: How 'The New York Times' protects US elites from Gaza's brutal reality
    • That’s numerically over 5 times as much from Israel, not even considering killing/destructive power.

      I agree and I see the comparison of Palestinian rockets to Israeli weaponry to be one of the weak points of this article. It is comparing the warhead explosive weight of the Israeli weapons with the overall weight of the Palestinian rocket, rather than the warhead explosive weight. This overstates the lethality of the rockets (explosive weight always being much smaller than total rocket weight) and thus makes the 5:1 ratio a significant understatement.

    • Max Blumenthal has a piece up on Electronic Intifada about Rudoren's Zionist bubble in West Jerusalem, and her private chat with Foxman.

      link to

      In a March 2014 interview in Hadassah Magazine, the official publication of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, conducted by Charley Levine, a settler and Israeli army spokesperson who operates a pro-Israel public relations firm, Jodi Rudoren explained that her motivation to apply for the Times job in Jerusalem stemmed from her first trip to Israel.

      “I came to Israel as a teen with United Synagogue Youth and the memory of that, particularly of Jerusalem … and the layered history that you see in the Old City and elsewhere, were things that as a journalist I found incredibly compelling,” she told Levine. “I wanted to come here to cover this fascinating beat. Being Jewish certainly is central to that. I know a decent amount about Judaism, I speak Hebrew pretty well. I come knowledgeable about the Jewish American or Jewish Israeli side of this beat.”

      Since Rudoren entered her position in Jerusalem, criticism of her work has accumulated, prompting her to complain, “Bloggers make all kinds of suppositions about my background, my personal life, my friends and associates, how I spend my free time, without any basis in fact.”

      Rudoren added, “Some pro-Palestinians attack me based on the idea that I am kind of entrenched in the Israeli-Zionist-Jewish-American perspective. They complain that I live in West Jerusalem [and] spend quite a bit of time in my office there. I wish I spent much more time in the West Bank than I do, both reporting and living, because that impacts how you develop your sensibility about things.”

      Eventually, Rudoren conceded, “I have an American world view … [which] takes Israel’s existence as a given. There are some places in the world that do not. The argument that Israel is an amoral, ahistorical experiment that will fall like apartheid and the Soviet Union is outside the American mainstream way of seeing things. America and the United Nations have embraced Israel as a modern state and I operate from this same assumption.”

      The video produced by Gary Rudoren provides clear confirmation of the Israeli-centric outlook that colors Jodi Rudoren’s coverage. More importantly, it offers a sense of the insular, ethnocentric environment the Rudorens have embedded themselves in, presenting an almost absurd portrait of a couple of Jewish-American Brooklynites basking in the exclusively Jewish culture of West Jerusalem while casually shielding out the presence of Palestinians.

      Indeed, the only time any Palestinian speaks in the nearly hour-long video is when Gary Rudoren sends his dirty clothes to a local laundromat.

      “There are some very nice Arab guys that do a very good job with the cleaning,” he informs his viewers before handing a pile of laundry to an unidentified Palestinian man whom he greets in English.

      Reminiscent of other racist colonial mentalities...

      More at link.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • History also shows that up until the advent of Zionism, Jews were also more tolerant of Islam than of Christianity. This can be easily explained by the inherent conflict between the religious tenets of Judaism and Christianity. In Christian belief, a repudiation of Jesus Christ is a repudiation of God. In Judaic belief, an acceptance of Jesus as God, is a worship of idols and false gods, and a repudiation of the true God. This is the original basis of the conflict between Christianity and Judaism. It is not only the basis of the original antagonism of Christianity towards Judaism, but also the basis of the original antagonism of Judaism towards Christianity. This Jewish antagonism was glossed over in the past because of the historic imbalance between the greater political power of Christians and the lesser political power of Jews. However, due to the increased political power of Jews, both in Israel and in the US, the original Judaic antagonism towards Christianity should not be glossed over. It is one important element of Israeli attitudes towards non-Jews.

      Islam and Judaism were less antagonistic towards each other due to the fact that Islam accepts Jewish prophets as their own and does not elevate either Jesus or Mohammed to God status. Islam also teaches respect for the People of the Book, whether Jews or Christians, while at the same time elevating its own belief system as the most correct and noble. Of course this elevation of one's own belief system is no different from the tenets of Christianity or Judaism, which do likewise with their own belief system.

      Zionism changed the dynamic between Jew and Christians and Muslims with its Eurocentric orientation, as well as its core anti-semitism in rejecting Arab culture which was overwhelmingly Muslim in belief. Zionism also needed the power of European and American Christianity in order to prevail in Palestine, so its antagonism towards Christianity was blunted and redirected into encouraging Christian guilt and promoting Christian antagonism towards Islam.

      Zionism will eventually be seen by the vast majority of Jews, Christians and Muslims as a colossal moral mistake, but unfortunately not before it has perpetrated even more violence and atrocity.

  • Reading Amos Oz on Gaza
    • Justified, but excessive?

      Well, to explain Oz, let me do a Zionist riff off a speech by Barry Goldwater, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty Zionism is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice Palestinians is no virtue!"

      In other words, Zionists are "justified" in being excessive. Everyone else in the world "owes" it to them.

      Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld in 2003:

      We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: 'Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.' I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.

      Israel is a nation that doesn't have a clue how to deal with its own power. It has its vaunted "Jewish self-determination" but can't admit or acknowledge its own agency, or get past its own Jewish navel-gazing to understand how the rest of the world perceives it.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • And here's a report from Middle East Monitor about a Maariv interview with Caspit on this past Thursday.

      link to

      Interesting tidbit there:

      To reinforce his opinion, Caspit asked how could an Al-Qassam cell infiltrate the Israeli military watch point of Nahal Oz and kill the Israeli soldiers there even though the tunnel had been previously discovered and destroyed?

    • And here's a gem from the same op-ed:

      Israel has been pushed to its limits. Half of the summer vacation was eaten away, the factories and businesses in the south are on the verge of collapse—as is the case in Tel Aviv and the north. The occupancy rates are low in most places, tourism is at a standstill and Western, sophisticated, pampered Israeli society can’t take that much longer. Netanyahu realized that.

      Time for the world's tiniest violin to make its appearance. Or maybe time for Weird Al's "First World Problems".

    • Tom Rayner, a reporter for SkyNews, has an English translation of an op-Ed in Maariv from their military analyst, Ben Caspit:

      The decision to cut our losses, to disengage and to declare victory was made by the security cabinet for lack of another choice. In the current grim state of affairs, it was the only logical decision to make. Today, nearly a month after it began, with mover than 60 dead soldiers, with problematic international credit and with a looming humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, it was clear that it was too late now to change direction and to do what should have been done from the first moment. That is why Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to face the nation and somehow to announce that we had won. Or that we would win, at some point. I highly doubt whether even he believes the words he said.

      After the six cease-fires that were not honored by Hamas, after the five offensive tunnels that produced painful IDF casualties, after the thousands of rockets that were fired out of Gaza on Israel and after the thousands of tons of explosives that were rained down on the Gaza Strip, the security cabinet decided to put a stop to the series of humiliations that Israel has suffered in these past few weeks, and to finish. Yes, Netanyahu and Yaalon said last night that “the operation hasn’t ended,” but that was merely for the record. The IDF, as we reported on Thursday, is going to complete addressing the issue of the tunnels (without us being confident that it truly has been completed) and will return to the border area. We might continue to have troops on both sides of the fence so as to allow for freedom of movement, and we might not.

      The operation in Rafah will continue, in an effort to find Sec. Lt. Goldin, but it won’t be able to last forever either. Binyamin Netanyahu, Moshe Yaalon and Benny Gantz have essentially admitted that they have no solution, they have no answer. With all of Israel’s might, it has been unable to defeat Hamas, it has been unable to impress Hamas, it has been unable to force Hamas to accept a cease-fire. That is the truth, and there is no other.

      Rest of op-ed is at the link:

      link to

      Of course, no Israeli op-ed can omit the obligatory "Hamas sanctifies death, we sanctify life" bullshit, or the total blame of Hamas for every Palestinian that Israel killed, but its also a strong indictment of Netanyahu, not for barbarism, but for lack of creativity, intelligence and intellect.

  • The Brits are way hipper about Palestine than Yanks
    • I've just found the 7 point corollary to Gabriel Ash's 4 steps to defending Israel. This is from a letter to the Wales Western Mail by Adam Johannes, Cardiff Secretary, Stop the War Coalition:

      A quick guide to Israel's PR methods:

      1. We haven't heard reports of deaths, will check into it;

      2. The people were killed, but by faulty Palestinian rocket/bomb;

      3.OK we killed them, but they were terrorists;

      4. OK they were civilians, but they were being used as human shields;

      5. OK there were no fighters in the area, so it was our mistake. But we kill civilians by accident, they do it on purpose;

      6. OK we kill far more civilians than they do, but look at how terrible other countries are!

      7. Why are you still talking about Israel? Are you some kind of anti-semite?

      Test this against the next interview you hear or watch.

      Tweeted here with the addendum to add "8. When Genocide is Permissable..."

      link to

  • Blitzer and Rudoren pump Israeli tunnel fears (and AIPAC cashes in)
    • Giles and Robert B

      It's parody on TuyZentfloot's part. If you ever have any doubt about "satire or insanity" you can always click on the name of the individual commenter here and that will lead you to a listing of all their comments made on the site, and thus give you a good idea of their actual viewpoint.

  • Peter Beinart demolishes Gaza hasbara
    • Thanks, David. I saw ckg's link above and read the article there. But Hostage's suggestion is usable for any article from Haaretz as well as this one.

      And this may be my fault for adding too many different elements to my short comment, but the main point I was trying to convey was that your link to Haaretz in the your piece above was broken, so you might want to correct it.

      As I've said many times before, I always appreciate your contributions here.

    • David,

      The link to Haaretz in your piece is broken and goes to a 404 error page at Haaretz for me. I think there is some error at the end of your link.

      If I erase the last 4 characters ( ,%20 ) then I get the Haaretz paywall for the article. However, if I follow Hostage's suggestion, and paste the corrected link into Google search and use the down arrow to access the cache version then I can see the PB piece on Haaretz. Thanks, Hostage.

  • More voices describe Gaza slaughter as a 'genocide'
  • Video: Celebrities, artists and activists call for Palestinian freedom in #GazaNames project
    • I just discovered the only sane way to watch Sean Hannity. With play by play from Russell Brand. You gotta watch. Brand is great:

    • In Great Britain, 21,000 sign a call for an arms embargo against Israel:

      The rock star Peter Gabriel and film-maker Ken Loach are among 21,000 people who have signed an open letter to David Cameron, the British prime minister, demanding an immediate halt to the arms trade between the UK and Israel.

      The letter was delivered today, directly to Cameron’s residence at 10 Downing Street in London by Loach and three members of parliament — Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Jim Fitzpatrick.

      Prominent signatories included fashion designer Bella Freud, journalist and activist Jemima Khan, musicians Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, Brian Eno and Bryan Adams, the writers Will Self, Hanif Kureishi, Ahdaf Soueif, Esther Freud, Laura Bailey and William Dalrymple, and the actors David Morrissey, Maxine Peake and Alexei Sayle.

      Academics Karma Nabulsi (a PSC patron), Ghada Karmi and Steven Rose and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman also signed the letter.

      The letter was posted on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s website earlier this week and gathered 21,000 signatures in just two days.

      link to

  • Attacks on demonstrators in Rome
    • According to a tweet by CNN International anchor and correspondent Michael Holmes , IDF Spokesman Lt.Col Peter Lerner just upped the ante on Israeli lies:

      DF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that Hamas militants could have brought bodies to UN #Gaza school in order to blame Israel

      link to

  • Claim that Hamas killed 3 teens is turning out to be the WMD of Gaza onslaught
    • Silverstein has a post up in which he says that there is an unwritten policy in the IDF not to leave men behind to be taken, and that, if necessary, kill them.

      The Israeli policy is called the Hannibal procedure:

      From Haaretz in 2003:

      For years, the army denied the existence of this directive, and the military censors did all they could to prevent it from becoming public knowledge. There were occasional media attempts to ignore the censors and make the order public, but the veil of secrecy made any serious public discussion impossible. But then, two weeks ago, Dr. Avner Shiftan, a doctor at Poriya Hospital in Tiberias, told Haaretz Magazine ("Better dead than abducted," May 9) that he had encountered the order in the course of his military service in southern Lebanon and had tried to get it annulled. This time Military Censorship didn't blue-pencil the report. In the wake of the Haaretz article, a lively debate developed on Israel Radio current events programs and on Channel One's "New Evening" program, which in turn elicited passionate responses from soldiers presently serving as well as former soldiers. Dozens of them contacted the three media outlets, described their encounter with the order and expressed their objections to it. Some of them said that its spirit still prevailed among field commanders.

      The testimonies indicate that the so-called Hannibal procedure was fully activated when three soldiers - Sergeant Benny Avraham and Staff Sergeants Omar Sawid and Adi Avitan - were abducted in the Har Dov region along the Lebanon border on October 7, 2000. At 12:50 P.M. that day, a Hezbollah squad attacked the Israeli soldiers' security vehicle with rockets and automatic fire, snatched the three soldiers and took them into Lebanese territory. The abandoned vehicle was found half an hour later and the Hannibal procedure was invoked. Attack helicopters were sent into action and opened fire at cars in which the army thought the abducted soldiers were being held.

      "It was only after some time that I understood exactly what happened there," says Haim Avraham, Benny's father. Avraham heard about the Hannibal procedure two weeks before his son was abducted.

      "I visited him in the army and he told me about the procedure. He told me that the order was that if a group of soldiers was abducted, the vehicle had to be stopped at any price, even if this cost the soldiers' lives. I was appalled. I asked him if he would be willing to shoot at his buddies. He said it was an order. After the abduction, one of the officers told me that in order to stop it, they intercepted 26 vehicles in the area. I remember the number clearly. At that moment, I didn't grasp the meaning of what he was saying, but after some time I connected what the officer said with what Benny told me and I realized that the implication of the procedure is that if my son was in one of those vehicles, they would kill him straightaway."

      Avraham is unwilling to accept the logic that underlies the order. "It's shocking to think that a soldier will execute his pal," he says. "True, an abduction presents a serious dilemma in terms of the price the state will pay, but hard as that is, I prefer a captive son to a dead son. That way I still have hope. The reason for the existence of the order is that the army doesn't have the necessary determination to rescue soldiers from captivity. Something is wrong with our code of ethics."

      more at link:

      link to

      Officially the procedure is no longer operative, but who knows if its still used unofficially.

    • If the source for the condition of the bodies was a medical examiner then the speculation would indeed have merit, but I don't think that a rabbi seeking to create 3 sainted martyrs out of the boys is a reliable source.

      "According to the doctors ...there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon," is clearly a false statement by the rabbi since there is a very clear scientific explanation for such a condition and any forensic scientist would know it. One would think that a rabbi for a forensic unit would know that as well. I would lay greater odds on the idea that the rabbi was simply myth creating.

  • Oren's charge that networks showcase Palestinian dead at behest of Hamas is 'obscene' -- Penhaul
    • More pictures of tunnels here(I googled "photo Hamas tunnel" under Google Images):

      link to

      They are mostly quite small, with only one person at a time able to walk through them, and some of them require stooping or even crawling. Some of them are reinforced with thin concrete slabs and some of them have no concrete or have only intermittent concrete, which is what I would have expected.

      There was one tunnel image that looked a bit more sophisticated, and had square sides. It turns out that one was a "training tunnel" for the US Army.

      Again, I think that the Israeli government is using the tunnels as another propaganda weapon, falsely claiming that Hamas used all the cement to make tunnels, and thus justifying blockading building materials that Gaza needs to rebuild all the civilian infrastructure that Israel has destroyed.

    • Thanks, Sumud. Have you seen any photos of the inside of a tunnel?Reinforcement at an entrance is always going to have to be greater than reinforcement along the length. At about 6 inches of concrete and an 8 foot diameter hole that would put it at about half a cubic yard of concrete per foot of length, at most. (Actually less than that since the floor would not need reinforcement.) 312,000 cubic yards would equal 624,000 lineal feet of concrete casing, or nearly 120 miles of tunnels, in an area of 139 square miles. Yup, Israeli concrete figures are bullshit.

      And its hard to tell from the photo but that "concrete" may well be a soil cement mixture.

    • 600,000 tons sounds pretty ridiculous, doing a quick back of the envelope calculation. That's 600,000 times 2000(lbs in a ton) divided by 3850 (the average weight in pounds of a cubic yard of concrete) which equals approximately 312,000 cubic yards of concrete. The Holland Tunnel, with 4 lanes of traffic, 2 tubes each 1.6 miles long, 29-1/2 feet wide and 12-1/2 feet tall used 130,000 cubic yards of concrete to line the tunnel, according to the internet sources I found.

      So 600,000 tons of concrete could build the equivalent of two and a half 4 lane Holland Tunnels. Highly unlikely that man-made tunnels, in a strip 5 miles wide by 25 miles long, could use anywhere near that amount, even if there were 60 of them. And of course whatever concrete lining there is, if any, would be nowhere as thick as the lining on the Holland Tunnels. If you want to actually do the calcs on the estimates of amount of concrete needed, Donald, that would be great but I think you'll find the Israeli figure is a gross exaggeration.

      It just sounds like Israeli talking points meant to strongly imply that Hamas used all the building materials allowed in to build tunnels, so therefore the Israeli blockade of building materials is justified. The usual Israeli bullshit.

    • ...they should not have been wasting whatever concrete they could smuggle in on tunnels.


      It seems to me that a lot of, for lack of a better term, "first-world thinking" went into the idea that the tunnels require a lot of cement. I don't think they do. Soil cement (which uses somewhere around an 8:1 soil to cement mixture) could be used for a few inches to reinforce the opening, and rammed earth, requiring no cement, could also be used for stabilization. We aren't talking about a project commissioned by the US Corp of Army Engineers here. There are other ways to build tunnels that don't require vast amounts of cement and rebar.

      As for Israel being surprised at the number of tunnels, I'm not sure whether one should believe it. It seems to me that "terror tunnels" have become the new scare word in Israel, so Israeli officials claiming there are a lot more tunnels than anticipated is gauged to up the Israeli public fear factor, as well as excuse both the continuing killing and destruction, and the failures of the IDF in attaining their stated missions.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • BTW, Shingo. I’m under direct rocket attack here in Israel, where’s your stake in this conflict?

      Jackdaw, you have a greater chance of drowning in a bathtub accident than you have of being killed or injured by a rocket from Gaza. Maybe you should be worried about those "terror tubs" instead.

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
    • I'm aware of that Walid, but the primary problem wasn't the sale of land. The problem was the covenants the Zionist put on the land to prevent tenant farmers from cultivating the land, which the tenants had a legal right to do under Ottoman law. The covenants were the precursors to the wholesale ethnic cleansing that came later. So the Zionists chased the tenant farmers away and then lured Yemenite Jews to come and work on the land as petty laborers, so they could have their cheap Arab labor and the Jewish "conquest of labor" at the same time. Of course, the European Zionists assumed that the Yemenite Jews would be able to replace the indigenous farmers but most Yemenite Jews were not farmers, but rather silversmiths. The Yemenites who came during that era had very hard lives, a high mortality rate, and were treated as a lesser race by the European Zionists. Land sales prior to the establishment of the JNF in 1901 did not have these restrictions, and so the Palestinian tenant farmers remained on the land and worked for the new European Jewish landowners, most of whom were financially supported by Rothschild. There was an element of exploitation of course, but not the overt attempt to dispossess the Palestinians that occurred during the second Aliyah and beyond.

      My point to Phil was that even back then, at the turn of the 20th century, the "good Palestinians" were those who were, as Phil said, "concilliatory to the idea of a Jewish state", and didn't object to their dispossession.

    • Phil, have you read Ilan Pappe's "The Idea of Israel"? He discusses the Zionist mentality of the Second Aliyah (1904-1914, when the "Conquest of the Land" and "conquest of Labor" originated).

      Although the appropriation of local habits in order to get rid of the locals was regarded as an indispensable but temporary evil, sometimes that evil was prolonged to assist with the Zionist project. Such was the idea conceived by someone named Arthur Ruppin ("Father of the Jewish Settlements in Palestine"), who proposed that they build a madafa, the traditional guest tent or hall, for settling with local notables the final transition of land from absentee landlords to Zionist hands. The notables represented the tenants of the land, and had to be convinced to expel the tenants so as to allow actual Zionist settlement of the land that had been purchased. [My note: Tenant farmers had usufructuary rights to land they had cultivated under Ottoman law.] Cleansing the land of its farmers and tenants was done at first through meeting in the Zionist madafa and then by force of eviction in Mandatory times. The 'good' Palestinians were those who came to the madafa and allowed themselves to be evicted. Those who refused were branded robbers and murderers. Even Palestinians with whom the settlers sometimes shared ownership of horses or long hours of guard duty were transformed into villains once they refused eviction. Later on whenever Israelis would control the lives of Palestinians, such a refusal to collaborate would be the ultimate proof for Palestinian choice of the terrorist option as a way of life.

      The biggest sin of the Palestinians in early Zionist thought was that they (the Palestinians) refused to auto-ethnic cleanse themselves. I don't think it ever changed.

    • jon, are you saying that given a choice between putting your military at risk and putting your civilian population at risk, you think it wise to let soldiers frequent public places?

      One of the stated reasons over a decade ago for targeting Egged buses with suicide bombers was the fact that IDF soldiers would use the public buses to get to their bases. I think jon is saying that the buses then become legitimate targets.

    • Is it identified so that you know it’s a military installation?

      Yes, so what is your point? You can't possibly think that because its identified as a military installation that somehow makes it less of a legitimate target, can you? Are you seriously saying that a "possible" but unconfirmed location of a military installation and the civilian area around it is a more legitimate target than a confirmed military location? That's just f*cked up thinking.

    • Jon66,

      The better question to ask is why you locate a military facility next to a civilian clinic. Wouldn’t you want to put it in a field or isolated location?

      Matcal Tower, which houses the IDF General Staff, is located on a military base in Tel Aviv and is within 350 meters of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, which is the main hospital in Tel Aviv and the 3rd largest hospital in Israel.

      The CIA and the Department of Defense had offices in the Twin Towers in NYC.

      There are many other examples of military facilities in both the US and Israel, and most other countries as well, that are located quite nearby or even adjacent to civilian infrastructure. There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary about this.

      And meanwhile there is this:

      On the 21 July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as “Al-Wafa” hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which an M75 rocket was launched.

      The building in the picture marked “Al-Wafa” hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

      link to

      The IDF purposely targeted Al-Wafa, NOT because it was being used as a military base or military storage facility, but because Israel claimed that rockets had been fired from "nearby". If the IDF wanted to specifically target the area where the rockets were coming from, it would not have targeted the hospital itself. And then, after destorying the hospital the IDF lied in a tweet about the location of the alleged rocket fire. This crap about Hamas locating military operations near to hospitals and schools is merely the usual Israeli lying to cover up the fact that they are targeting schools and hospitals as well as other civilian infrastructure and homes.

      Would you find it excuseable if some country with advanced weaponry specifically targeted the Tel Aviv hospital because it was nearby to the IDF headquarters? No.

  • Israel's actions 'unjustified' in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy's, and those under 50 -- Gallup
    • Yes, I noted that as well. It seems like a purposeful fudging of the question between 2002 and 2014. You can't really compare the two poll results of those two years because Gallup changed the question. I suspect that the numbers would have been even higher for Israel "unjustified" if Gallup had used "Palestinians" instead of "Hamas" in the 2014 survey as they did in 2002.

  • How Israel militarized social media
    • Here's shocking news! (Not.) The IDF lied on Twitter.

      On the 21 July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as “Al-Wafa” hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which an M75 rocket was launched.

      The building in the picture marked “Al-Wafa” hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

      link to

  • Gaza massacre is generating ideological crisis in American Zionists
    • Here's a long piece on "Brandeis: Zionist Leader" from the Brandeis University Review published in 1992.

      link to

    • Peter Beinart described it a few days ago:

      ...What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community is that it has no independent standard at all. Whatever the Israeli government does is, by definition, moral. Whatever the Palestinians do is, by definition, immoral. It's an utter abdication of one's own faculties--and completely contrary to the way American Jewish leaders act toward their own government. When Avigdor Lieberman, a man who wants to exile many Palestinian citizens of Israel from the country, became foreign minister, they shrugged. When Bibi renounced the two state solution, they said nothing. The more ghastly the photos from Gaza become, the more adamantly they insist that Israel bears no responsibility for them. Can anyone say, with confidence, that there is any action the Israeli government could take that American Jewish leaders would not seek to justify? I can't, and that terrifies me.

  • 9 Reasons why Israel is under rocket attack 
    • For Ezra,

      Here's a spreadsheet on the Israel and Palestinian violations of the ceasefire brokered and agreed to by both sides after the Israeli Pillar of Clouds military strike on Gaza of November 2012 until the start of Israel's Protective Edge military action of July 8, 2014. BTW, the ceasefire also called for an easing of Israel's blockade of Gaza, an element of the agreed ceasefire that Israel never observed during this time period.

      link to

      Primary sources for the violation reports are given in the tables.

      And here is the same information in a simpler infographic.

      link to

    • I believe you are being deliberately dishonest in your answer, because you appear to be a relatively intelligent and sane person otherwise. Israel absorbed 3 days of rocket fire without responding.

      Thanks for the compliment but I'm not being deliberately dishonest. You have been lied to, but it isn't me doing the lying, its the government of Israel, its spokespeople and professional hasbarists who are lying to you. From Shingo's link to the Times of Israel:

      Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.

      At least 16 rockets were fired at Israel Monday morning, most of them hitting open areas in the Eshkol region, the army said.

      The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.

      A member of Hamas’s militant wing was killed in the attack, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.

      While Israel has maintained it holds Hamas responsible for all rocket attacks, officials have said that smaller groups, such as Islamic Jihad, are usually behind the rocket attacks, while Hamas squads generally attempt to thwart the rocket fire.

      Hamas hasn’t fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012, and has yet to take responsibility for this latest barrage.

      Even the Times of Israel makes clear that the first launch of rockets from Hamas came in response to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. But Israeli did not only engage in airstrikes prior to Hamas launching rockets in the end of June. Israel also killed numerous Palestinians, injured many more and arrested without charge many Palestinian in the West Bank under the excuse that it was searching for the 3 kidnapped Israeli youths. And even prior to the kidnapping the IDF killed 2 unarmed Palestinian youths in early June. If you think that the Israeli government has the right to respond to attacks against its people, I would hope that you are sane and logical enough to realize that Hamas, as a governing body, as the same right to respond to attacks against its people. Your timeline is incorrect as to who was responding to whom.

      Now it is true, Israel could have just sat back and absorbed the rocket fire.

      Israel had other options besides killing masses of Palestinian civilians, particularly because the rocket fire has never been a significant threat to Israeli lives. Israel could have stopped killing and arresting hundreds of Palestinians with no charge, it could have lifted the crippling siege it has imposed on Gaza, it could have negotiated in good faith with the unity government that Hamas was joining to end the occupation, but instead Israel decided to go ballistic again because it doesn't want to negotiate. It wants all of Palestine without the Palestinians, and it is willing to engage in incremental genocide in order to get what it wants.

      They could have encouraged their citizens to put big bulls eyes on themselves, lie prostrate on the ground, and scream “shoot me.” That was an option that I suppose you would have supported.

      I would have pegged you as a bit more intelligent than someone who would resort to such silly hyperbole. Even if every Israeli followed your inane proposal, there'd still be more people in Israel dying in bathtub accidents than would have died from rocket fire from Gaza. And no, your proposal is not what I would have wished, but I will note that the Israeli government, which prevents Israeli Bedouins in their villages from constructing bomb shelters, recommends that the Bedouins "lie on the ground" during an attack. One set of rules for Jews and a harsher one for non-Jews, and this is among Israeli citizens, not just in the OPT.

      But if Israel means one thing, it means that Jews will not allow themselves to be slaughtered lying down again.

      NO, Israel stands for the idea that Jews have more rights than non-Jews. There is nothing noble about that, and there is a huge difference between "allowing yourself to be slaughtered lying down" and oppressing another people. For some reason an awful lot of Israeli Jews seem to think that slaughtering defenseless people is A-OK as long as its Palestinians who are being slaughtered.

      I've mentioned this many times before, but since you are new here I will mention it again. My Jewish sister lives in Israel. Yes, I know the rockets can be scary and can potentially cause some deaths. But my sister doesn't live under a brutal occupation that has been ongoing for decades, she doesn't have to wait at checkpoints for hours just to visit her friends, she doesn't have to worry about being put under curfew, or siege, or having her house demolished, or her children arrested in the middle of the night. Nor does she have to find a way to survive an aerial assault that decimates whole neighborhoods. Overall, she's doing fine. She doesn't need the IDF to slaughter Palestinians in order to have a decent life in Israel, and neither does she need to be treated as special or "more equal" because of her Jewish status. The sooner Israel learns that lesson the sooner there will be peace and justice for all. But Israel is a morally backward country and a slow learner.

      On more addendum: Obviously, Israel has now learned that Hamas has numerous tunnels, and apparently some of them lead into Israel. If Hamas' only interest was in "killing Jews" then it could have done so at any time and killed many more Jews in Israel in one day than have been killed by rocket fire over the last decade. They didn't because killing Jews is not their motive. Their motive is seeking rights for Palestinians that match the rights that Israel accords its Jewish citizens. Only in Israel can you steal some one's land, destroy their homes, oppress them and then claim that you are the victim. Its beyond ridiculous.

    • Ezra,

      The simple answer is NO. And yes I'm being completely honest and I read the article above which you apparently did not. For further explanation, see here:

      After nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip over the past week, there is finally increased discussion of attaining a cease-fire. The truth is, everyone knew it would have to end with a cease-fire, the only questions were how many more Palestinians would be killed, when would it happen and on what terms. Much of the discourse on this issue to tragically misinformed about the dynamics or fire between Israel and Gaza both during and outside of cease-fire agreements. Using data that ranges nearly ten years and with a closer focus on a subsection that was the 2012 cease-fire period, we explain below how these dynamics work in an effort to inform a way forward.

      This first chart below depicts the number of launches from Gaza of projectiles from September of 2004 through this May. That is nearly a decade. It starts at September because that's how far back our data set goes on this issue, but this significant span of time gives you a very clear picture of the ebbs and flows. Launches can involve one projectile (which is often the case) or more. I've highlighted some key events.

      Two things become very clear when looking at this chart. The single most effective way to bring projectile fire from Gaza to a halt is through a cease-fire agreement. Military campaigns have only had the effect of increasing the number of projectiles fired. The June 2008 agreement brought projectile fire from Gaza to near zero until the Israelis broke the truce on Nov. 4th, 2008 sparking the escalation that culminated in the massive attack that was "Operation Cast Lead". What's clear from this is that the military operation generated far more rockets than the absence of it. Keep in mind the context which this is taking place, prior to "Operation Cast Lead", according to B'Tselem's statistics, over 392 Palestinians were killed on average in each year from 2004-2008 in Gaza alone. That's more than one a day for 4 years.

      Link to this article and chart is here:

      link to

      It goes on to make the same point about 2012 and today. Rocket fire is a response to Israeli military attacks. Rocket fire increases during or after IDF operations and decreases significantly or ends all together during ceasefires as long as Israeli also observes the ceasefire.

  • 'Heartbreaking' is U.S. government's talking point for Gaza massacre
    • The US abstains….what a shame.

      Correction. The US didn't just abstained. It was the lone "No" vote. Incredibly shameful for our country.

    • FAA extends ban………!

      I admit to a bit of schadenfreude for the Israeli government spokes. They insist that Israel is "under siege" and "fighting for its very existence" and then when the FAA bans all US flights to Tel Aviv they change their tune to "what's the problem? Everything is fine here." It can't be easy to change your tune on a dime like that. The
      g-forces must be tremendous!

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • Henry Seigman (former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress) has a piece up on Politico:

      Israel Provoked This War
      It’s up to President Obama to stop it.
      By HENRY SIEGMAN July 22, 2014

      There seems to be near-universal agreement in the United States with President Barack Obama’s observation that Israel, like every other country, has the right and obligation to defend its citizens from threats directed at them from beyond its borders.

      But this anodyne statement does not begin to address the political and moral issues raised by Israel’s bombings and land invasion of Gaza: who violated the cease-fire agreement that was in place since November 2012 and whether Israel’s civilian population could have been protected by nonviolent means that would not have placed Gaza’s civilian population at risk. As of this writing, the number killed by the Israel Defense Forces has surpassed 600, the overwhelming majority of whom are noncombatants.

      Israel’s assault on Gaza, as pointed out by analyst Nathan Thrall in the New York Times, was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.

      The notion that it was Israel, not Hamas, that violated a cease-fire agreement will undoubtedly offend a wide swath of Israel supporters. To point out that it is not the first time Israel has done so will offend them even more deeply. But it was Shmuel Zakai, a retired brigadier general and former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division, and not “leftist” critics, who said about the Israel Gaza war of 2009 that during the six-month period of a truce then in place, Israel made a central error “by failing to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians in the [Gaza] Strip. … You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they are in and expect Hamas just to sit around and do nothing.”

      This is true of the latest cease-fire as well. According to Thrall, Hamas is now seeking through violence what it should have obtained through a peaceful handover of responsibilities. “Israel is pursuing a return to the status quo ante, when Gaza had electricity for barely eight hours a day, water was undrinkable, sewage was dumped in the sea, fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to shut down and waste sometimes floated in the streets.” It is not only Hamas supporters, but many Gazans, perhaps a majority, who believe it is worth paying a heavy price to change a disastrous status quo.

      more at link:

      link to

    • Bumblebye,

      Unfortunately, DeBakr was correct. UNRWA did release a press statement today about a second vacant school that was found to have rockets stored in it, after they conducted a routine inspection there.

      link to

      However, this does not excuse the IAF bombing schools which are serving as emergency refugee centers (which have no rockets in them). As it has done in Maghazi School.

      link to

  • Watch: 9 Jewish activists arrested after occupying Friends of the Israel Defense Forces office
    • ...I doubt they wanted any attention drawn to their headquarters, I mean, offices.

      A quick perusal of a map indicates that there might be a hospital within 100 meters or so of the FIDF office. According to Hophmi, that means that the hospital is a legitimate target for aerial bombardment. Same for any nearby school, or any other civilian infrastructure, like libraries or parks, etc.

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • I don't particularly like those kind of numbers exercises either, but just in case the random "What about Syria?" diversion comes up there's this: There was a headline the other day that the largest 2 day death toll in Syria just happened-700 Syrians killed in 2 days, assuming the figures are accurate. Doing the math with 22 million Syrians and 1.8 million Gazans, that would be equivalent to 58 Gazans dying in 2 days. Has there ever been 2 day period in Gaza since the start of the Israeli assault that didn't exceed that number?

    • More great PR for Israel. From David Sheen:

      Israeli city council hangs banner: “Israeli soldiers, we are with you! F*ck their mom & come home safely to your mom”

      link to

      This isn't some idiot on the internet mouthing this crap. This is the city council of Or Yehuda, in the Tel Aviv district of Israel, on a banner for all to see, no less! Or Yehuda is 100% Jewish, of course.

    • Note that the question was about Palestinians right to defend themselves, and the answer diverted to "Hamas" with a lot of holy indignation. Couldn't answer the simple question.

  • US Jews occupy Israeli army support office in NY in civil disobedience action
    • Elmer Berger also, very early on, and there were many who followed and got shoved down the rabbit hole into herem. The problem preventing more objections to Israeli actions on the part of Jews and non-Jews alike is the censorship and blacklisting of those who opposed, as well as the overwhelmingly biased Zionist narrative that downright lied about nearly everything.

      Back in 1948, the Palestinians were "evil" because they fled when the sweet and humane Haganah begged them to stay, now they are "evil" because the sweet and humane IDF begs them to leave and instead they stay. Its such f*cking shameless and hideous propaganda. They aren't content with just killing Palestinians, they have to blame them for being human and for dying. Anyone who does that is a complete moral midget.

  • Renouncing my Israeli citizenship
    • But facts are not facts until they are presented with some real link and some real survey and not a hint of a symptom of a smell of a link.

      No, facts are facts whether there is a "link" or not, otherwise there would have been no facts in the history of mankind before the internet. A link may prove or disprove something to be a fact, but the existence or lack of a link is not dispositive in itself.

      At this point, the existence of the survey and what it said are simply inadequately confirmed as far as you are concerned, even though there are multiple reliable reports of the existence of such a survey and a reporting of what it said, which is exactly what I said it was, and slightly different than what Nevada Ned said it was, as I noted.

      My error was in thinking that you actually cared about facts in this instance, thus I did a search for you. You don't really care about facts, as usual. From your response its clear that you were simply fulfilling your self-appointed role as the argumentative website malcontent.

    • A picture of Susan Nathan from sometime prior to the Summer of 2009. I'd guess she's in her mid to late 60's in the pic, which would make her in her fifties, at the youngest, in 1999.

      link to

    • Yonah,

      I didn't find the survey itself, but I have seen multiple references to it. The description of it is not quite accurate, but in the ballpark, as they say. The percentage in the survey refers to those Israelis who either have approached a foreign embassy in Israel, or intend to, in order to obtain a second passport.

      I'll use this quote from a 2012 op-ed in Arutz Sheva, since I assume that you won't view it as some "unreliable" anti-Zionist source:

      A 2008 survey by the Jerusalem-based Menachem Begin Heritage Center found that 59 percent of Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport. Today it is estimated that the figure is approaching 70 percent.

      link to

      I don't know where they get the 2012 estimate from, but I've seen reports that the 2008 trend was continuing, which would make the 2014 70-80% figure realistic. There may in fact be a later survey which directly supports the figure but I found the 2008 one in a quick Google search.

      Feel free to peruse the Menachem Begin Heritage Center site if you want a link to the actual survey. Perhaps its easier to find the survey in Hebrew. In English the site is hard to navigate and the search function is useless, giving an error message on any word search, so its not worth wasting any more of my time there.

      link to

    • how old was susan nathan in 1999? a youngster, i’ll betcha.

      You lose your bet by a wide margin. She moved to Israel when her children were all grown, which means she was around retirement time, or close to it. She was not a youngster. You're grasping at straws in your nastiness, yonah.

    • Susan Nathan moved to Israel in 1999, as a Zionist, then came face to face with the racism and inequality there, and ended up moving to the all Arab Israeli town of Tamra in the Galilee in 2002, and then wrote a book explaining her evolution, so the idea that 4 years is too short a time to see the true face of Israel has no real merit except as sour grapes. I assume that Lenny was a retired teacher when he moved to Israel. He was probably looking for a place to retire and was encouraged to move there with tales of how great it was.

      Some people are more perceptive in seeing what's really going on around them, and some continue to have an attachment to their blinders, or they have no problem with racism when its directed at someone other than them. And some people resent others for seeing more clearly than they do, and feel the need to cast aspersions.

  • Netanyahu's latest 'cartoon evidence': racist image identifying Muslims with terror
    • Speaking of cartoons, here's one from the Guardian, although its source is an Australian political cartoon, First Dog on the Moon:

      "How does one respond to a message stating that your house will be destroyed in 10 minutes? asks First Dog on the Moon"

      link to

    • Yousef Munayyer:

      Israel claims to know whats in a civilian building its bombing from the air, yet has killed 3 of its own soldiers by friendly fire.

      James Fallows:

      When strategic message becomes ‘They’re forcing us to kill children,’ strategy is in trouble. As US learned.

      link to

    • That is a blow to their big egos.

      Exactly. I saw a tweet yesterday that said: "There's nothing quite as shocking and infuriating as those you consider and treat as inferiors making you look bad."

      link to

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • Sumud, I know what "Cupid Stunt" means and I know its a play on words with the first letters of the name reversed. And no its not in the "best possible taste". I don't see the humor in referring to someone by uttering a hateful slur used to refer to a female body part.

    • Seafoid. Please don't use gross misogynistic slurs.

  • This Jew can't support Israel
    • Meanwhile, Ali Abunimah linked to Peter Beinart on Facebook: (with the comment, "Peter Beinart looks into the abyss and sees a yellowed photograph of himself looking back..."

      What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community at times like this is not that our leaders are hawks. A genuine, self-reflective hawk would have a higher threshold for Israeli military action than me, but would have some independent criteria for when the moral and strategic cost of continuing the war grew too high. The Shin Bet leaders interviewed in the Gatekeepers are hawks of this sort. They were willing to take very tough actions to protect Israel but also capable of recognizing when such actions became self-defeating. What frightens me about the organized American Jewish community is that it has no independent standard at all. Whatever the Israeli government does is, by definition, moral. Whatever the Palestinians do is, by definition, immoral. It's an utter abdication of one's own faculties--and completely contrary to the way American Jewish leaders act toward their own government. When Avigdor Lieberman, a man who wants to exile many Palestinian citizens of Israel from the country, became foreign minister, they shrugged. When Bibi renounced the two state solution, they said nothing. The more ghastly the photos from Gaza become, the more adamantly they insist that Israel bears no responsibility for them. Can anyone say, with confidence, that there is any action the Israeli government could take that American Jewish leaders would not seek to justify? I can't, and that terrifies me.

      link to

  • Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
    • History of Al-Shifa hospital:

      Al-Shifa, which means "healing" in Arabic, was originally a British Army barracks, but was transformed into a center to provide treatment for quarantine and febrile diseases by the government of the British Mandate of Palestine. Prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, al-Shifa was the only hospital in Gaza. When the Egyptians administered the Gaza Strip after the war, the quarantine and febrile diseases department was relocated to another area in the city and al-Shifa developed into the central hospital of Gaza. Initially, a department for internal medicine was established, followed by a new wing for surgery, and subsequently new buildings for pediatrics and ophthalmology were added to the hospital.[3]

      After a brief occupation by Israel during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the returning Egyptian administration, under directives by president Gamal Abdel Nasser, paid more attention to the health and social situation of Gaza, and al-Shifa was expanded to include departments for obstetrics and gynecology. They established a new health administration for the Gaza region, later building several clinics throughout the city that were attended by doctors from the hospital.[4] The largest department in al-Shifa was internal medicine (100 beds), then pediatrics (70 beds), surgery (50 beds), ophthalmology (20 beds) and gynecology (10 beds).[5]

      Israeli occupation and Palestinian contro

      When Israel reoccupied Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War, the entire Egyptian administration and staff in the hospital were taken prisoner.[6] By 1969, the internal medicines department grew to contain several sub-departments.[7] The hospital underwent a major Israeli renovation in the 1980s as part of a showcase project to improve the living conditions of Gaza residents.[8]

      link to

      According to Haaretz, as part of the 1980's renovation, Israel built Building 2 at Al-Shifa, which included a large basement for laundry and administrative services. This basement is where Israel alleges Hamas leadership is hiding, but given the existence of numerous tunnels, which appear to be far safer than a hospital that the IDF has repeatedly attacked, it seems rather unlikely.

      link to

      Of course, Wikipedia insists that Ahmed Jabari (second in command of Hamas military wing, since killed in an assassination by Israel in 2012) hid there in 2008. However its sources for the allegation merely state that the Shin Bet believed that (unnamed) Hamas leadership was hiding there, not that it was proven or admitted.

    • Exactly, Mooser. It is, as Ilan Pappe has called it, an incremental genocide.

      In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide.

      Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context.

      This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.

      The context

      The Zionist strategy of branding its brutal policies as an ad hoc response to this or that Palestinian action is as old as the Zionist presence in Palestine itself. It was used repeatedly as a justification for implementing the Zionist vision of a future Palestine that has in it very few, if any, native Palestinians.

      The means for achieving this goal changed with the years, but the formula has remained the same: whatever the Zionist vision of a Jewish State might be, it can only materialize without any significant number of Palestinians in it. And nowadays the vision is of an Israel stretching over almost the whole of historic Palestine where millions of Palestinians still live.

      link to

    • The law with civilian hospitals is that if they are being used for military purposes, they forfeit their protected status.

      And the IDF specifically stated that El Wafa was NOT being used for military purposes, and yet they bombed it anyway, in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. You can studiously avoid that fact all you want, but it doesn't change the fact. It simply reveals your argument as specious.

    • One thing I can say with some confidence – the framers of Article 19 did not anticipate those situations where militants were firing from highly urbanized areas, right next to hospital buildings.

      First off, 100 meters is the entire length of a football field and wider than a typical city block. so even according to the IDF the alleged rocket fire was not "right next to hospital buildings" by any stretch of the imagination. Number two, the idea that the framers of the 1949 Geneva Convention did not "anticipate" fighting in urbanized areas is idiotic in the extreme. Much of WWII was fought in urbanized areas, so there was no need to "anticipate" what had already occurred 5 years before.

      Obviously, Israel came to believe it was a legitimate target, and its behavior was consistent with Article 19 requirements to warn the hospital in advance so that it could be evacuated, which Allison admits in her article they did, communicating at length with the hospital director. Allison’s point that there was no weapons cache in the hospital is certainly something to be considered, assuming it is accurate, but it is not dispositive.

      No, its behavior was NOT consistent with Article 19. Here's Article 19 verbatim:( I've bolded the relevant sentences)

      The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

      The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.

      link to

      The IDF has admitted that the hospital DID NOT commit acts "harmful to the enemy". The IDF's only claim is that the hospital was near to where "harm" was done, not that the hospital itself committed harmful acts. This alone precludes specifically targeting the hospital itself, which the IDF has admitted it did.

      As for your tortured "interpretation" of the second sentence, any rational human being who wasn't frantically trying to excuse the inexcusable as you are would recognize that the "warning" that Article 19 requires prior to a hospital being targeted, is not a warning that the hospital will be targeted even though it has not violated the policy stated in the first sentence. The warning required is clearly a warning issued to stop "acts harmful to the enemy", otherwise the caveat about the warning going "unheeded" makes no sense whatsoever.

      In other words, Article 19 spells out exactly when an opposing army can ignore the protection given to hospitals. It is only allowed to do so when the hospital is committing acts "harmful to the enemy", and even then the opposing army is only allowed to consider the protection null and void IF it has given the hospital a warning to cease its harmful activities, given it a reasonable amount of time to do so, and the hospital does not heed the warning by ceasing its harmful activity. As much as it may give you warm fuzzies to think that the IDF warned the hospital that it was going to attack it, that means nothing in international law. The first provision of Article 19 was not met, nor was the second, since the hospital was not itself harming the IDF.

      Allison’s point that there was no weapons cache in the hospital is certainly something to be considered, assuming it is accurate, but it is not dispositive.

      Wow, you're on one hell of a Ziocaine high. The IDF admitted that it was not targeting the hospital because of anything the hospital did itself. It claims it targeted the hospital because it was within 100 meters of rocket firing. You can't even read straight, even if it comes from the lips of the IDF.

      Question for you, hophmi: How far away is a hospital supposed to be from a "legitimate target" to avoid being specifically targeted itself? And if a hospital can be a legitimate target because its near to another "legitimate targe"t, can't that line of thinking be used to make every building in Gaza a so-called legitimate target? Or have I stumbled upon the IDF's military strategy here?

  • Israel warns media they are at risk of 'injury or death' because Hamas ‘exploits journalists as human shields’
  • On the defensive, Barney Frank accuses Clemons and Kornacki of ganging up on him, and Israel
    • Thanks for that quote from Greenwald, American. John Cusack just recently posted on his twitter feed a link to a portion of a 2012 interview of reporter Chris Hedges which says essentially the same thing.

  • NBC reverses; Mohyeldin to return to Gaza to cover 'Palestinian side of story'
    • The actor John Cusack also has some good tweets on Gaza recently. And Kerry Washington tweeted about the killing of the 4 soccer kids.

  • Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing 'massive self-genocide'
    • It occurs to me that despite all the Zionist talk about the "need" for a "Jewish State" in order to give Jews "self-determination" there are still Israeli officials who clearly believe that Jews in Israel lack self-determination entirely. They have no agency and are never responsible for their own actions. Someone else has "made them do it", and they are completely unable to prevent others from "making" them do despicable things, thus in their eyes their very own actions are all the fault of the other and never their own fault or responsibility. Maybe its time to rethink the need for a Jewish State. Its definitely not working even by their own standards.

  • How can Human Rights Watch conclude an Israeli didn't want to kill 4 boys on the beach?
    • More on the genocidal T-shirts here:

      link to

    • More to help HRW's "imagination":

      Photo of a T-shirt printed for members of an IDF elite unit who had completed sniper training, reads "The smaller they are - The harder it is!".

      link to

      Quote cited from the same source:

      Sniper: “They forbid us to shoot at children”.
      Journalist: “How do they say this?”
      Sniper: “You don’t shoot a child who is 12 or younger”.
      Journalist: “That is, a child of 12 or older is allowed?”
      Sniper: “Twelve and up is allowed. He’s not a child anymore, he’s already after his bar mitzvah. Something like that”.
      Journalist: “Thirteen is bar mitzvah age”.
      Sniper: “Twelve and up, you’re allowed to shoot. That’s what they tell us”.
      Journalist: “Under international law, a child is defined as someone up to the age of 18.”
      Sniper: “Up until 18 is a child?”
      Journalist: “So, according to the IDF, it is 12?”
      Sniper: “According to what the IDF says to its soldiers. I don’t know if this is what the IDF says to the media.”

      -- Amira Hass' interview with an IDF sniper, explaining why so many Palestinian children were killed in the first weeks of the intifada, when the IDF was largely confronted by stonethrowers. Published in Ha'aretz, Don’t shoot till you can see they’re over the age of 12, 20 November 2000.


      ...According to Rafi, an officer in the Shaldag, an elite unit connected to the air force, the whole mission was about revenge. "The commanders said kill as many people as possible," he said.

      He and his men were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared to be touching the ground, as if they might be placing a roadside bomb, or anyone seen on a roof or a balcony, as if they might be observing Israeli forces for military reasons, regardless of whether they were armed.

      Asma Moghayyer, 16, and her brother Ahmed, 13, were shot as they went to collect clothes from a rooftop washing line. The Israeli army insisted the children had been blown up by a roadside bomb. However, journalists visiting the morgue saw only single bullet wounds to the head.

      The truth, said Rafi, was that they were shot by an Israeli soldier following clear orders to shoot anyone on a roof regardless of their role in the conflict.

      Rafi says that his overriding impression of the operation was "chaos" and the "indiscriminate use of force". "Gaza was considered a playground for sharpshooters."

      -- Israeli Soldiers Tell of Indiscriminate Killings by Army and a Culture of Impunity by Conal Urquhart; 6 Sept 2005.

      I could go on an on with examples of the deliberate killing of children by the IDF. HRW clearly lacks "imagination".

  • And now a word from our Democratic Party standard bearer
    • That already happened for me before the last Presidential election. I'm voting Green Party from now on until and unless I see a change in the Democratic Party.

      Issued July 16th, 2014:

      WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States is calling for an immediate ceasefire in the current exchange of missiles between Israeli and Palestinian forces, negotiation for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict, an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian Territories and human rights violations, repeal of apartheid policies in Israel, and establishment of one democratic state for all in Israel-Palestine.

      The Green Party opposes and condemns all violence against unarmed civilians and deplores the murder of young people on both sides that ignited the current face-off. Greens said that Israel must be held accountable for mounting Palestinian casualties in the assault on Gaza, with over 200 deaths, mostly civilians, caused by airstrikes in densely populated areas (link to Hamas must be held accountable for indiscriminate rocket attacks, which have killed one Israeli during the escalating crisis.

      "We are appalled that the Obama Administration endorsed Operation Protective Edge. The White House must lead the rest of the world in bringing international pressure for a ceasefire, aid for civilian populations in the line of fire, observance of international law, and a just peace in the region with an end to Israel's illegal occupation and apartheid policies within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel," said Dr. Justine McCabe, Connecticut Green and member of the Green Party's International Committee (link to

      Greens are urging support for U.S., Israeli, and Palestinian peace groups that are protesting the air assault and possible ground invasion and demanding a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement and an end to the occupation and seven-year blockade of Gaza.

      "Assertions about Israel's right to defend itself must be placed in the context of Israel's high-tech military arsenal; the occupation of Palestinian Territories; mass displacement of Palestinians, including home demolitions and settlements; detentions and brutality by the IDF, often directed at children; denial of access to resources; and continuing denial of basic human rights and equality. There is no 'right' to occupy, violate human rights, or inflict collective punishment on civilians. Safety is only possible for Israelis and Palestinians when Israel ends these injustices and when both sides lay down arms and sit down to negotiate a solution," said Muhammed Malik, former Co-Chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party and member of the International Committee.


      n an effort to bring about real peace, justice, and security for all Israelis and Palestinians, the Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Palestinian Civil Society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel as nonviolent measures to be maintained until Israel ends the occupation and colonization of Arab lands and dismantles the separation wall, recognizes the fundamental rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. Resolution 194.


      The Green Party supports suspension of U.S. military and foreign aid to Israel and a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and River Jordan as the national home of both peoples with Jerusalem as its capital. The party encourages a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.


      link to

  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • And the Hamas command post is not, in fact, located in El-Shifa Hospital, and yet you have insisted that the fact that a Hamas representative spoke outside the hospital proved that the hospital was a command post. If your level of proof for the existence of a command post in the hospital is the fact that an official speaks directly outside the hospital then by YOUR OWN LOGIC applied to the Israeli government would mean that Yad Vashem is an IDF command post and thus a "legitimate target" in your mind. Except of course that you believe in the "two-rule" solution. One vet harsh rule for Palestinians and another, much more lenient one for Israel.

      Other than that you are simply parroting the hasbara of Israeli government sources used to excuse their targeting of civilian infrastructure.

    • OK, jon. Then does Netanyahu speaking at Yad Vashem mean that the IDF has put its military headquarters there? Cuz that's the equivalent of your cracked logic.

  • What would you do?
    • I found a similar image to the damage photo Sumud posted. Here it is from Haaretz, so the photo is legit, and I stand corrected. The photo does show significant damage and the woman was very lucky. Not as much damage as the Israeli missiles cause in Gaza but significant damage to this poor woman's home.

      link to

    • Sumud,

      You mention that you saw other photos of this scene. Could you link to them? The damage doesn't look like rocket damage to me and with a Google search I haven't been able to find any other use of this photo or mention of this in any news source recently, nor have I found it with Tin Eye, which is an internet photo search engine. The only source that I can find is the one you posted, which is ElderofZion.

      On edit I see Citizen's post about the Israeli official's twitter photo. Any other news source for this besides a twitter photo?

    • Here's video of another one. Significantly less damage than the one that Sumud posted.

      link to

  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • Twitter from reporter Peter Stevanovic: Media told by @IDF to leave all beachfront hotels in Gaza, which we are in. Have nowhere else to go. Could be a long night.

      link to

      I heard that the IDF at least gave them 30 minutes to evacuate, where the Palestinians get 57 seconds. Same problem though. Where do you go?

      This is why the IDF banned all reporters from Gaza during Cast Lead. Some of them might actually report what is happening there.

    • DaBkr,

      I don't see our MSM couching the Syrian conflict as a case of poor Assad being perpetually victimized by violent rebels, or the BokoHarum being excused while US officials insists there is "no light" between the US and the BokoHarum. That's the difference between what Israel is doing and what is happening in other countries, and that is why the hasbara is failing and that was seafoid's point.

  • The trojan horse of liberal Zionism
    • But Annie, as I said, you already believe that the IDF is evil, so no matter what, you’re going to accept whatever explanation seems most evil.

      No, Annie is aware that the IDF lies consistently so she is not likely to believe an organization that lies on a routine basis. If you want an example of blatant lying by the IDF, I would remind you of another incident in Gaza in 2003 when an Israeli tank fired on children playing soccer and killed a Palestinian boy.

      11-year-old Khalil al-Mughrabi was shot dead in Rafah by the Israeli army two years ago as he played football with a group of friends near the security fence. One of Israel’s most respected human rights organisations, B’Tselem, wrote to the judge advocate general’s office, responsible for prosecuting soldiers, demanding an inquiry. Months later, the office wrote back saying that Khalil was shot by soldiers who acted with “restraint and control” to disperse a riot in the area. However, the judge advocate general’s office made the mistake of attaching a copy of its own, supposedly secret, investigation which came to a quite different conclusion – that the riot had been much earlier in the day and the soldiers who shot the child should not have opened fire. The report says a “serious deviation from obligatory norms of behaviour” took place. In the report, the chief military prosecutor, Colonel Einat Ron, then spelled out alternative false scenarios that should be offered to B’Tselem. B’Tselem said the internal report confirmed that the army has a policy of covering up its crimes. “The message that the judge advocate general’s office transmits to soldiers is clear: soldiers who violate the ‘Open Fire Regulations’, even if their breach results in death, will not be investigated and will not be prosecuted.”

      Of course the Chief Military Prosecutor was not punished in any way for her falsity and after leaving the IDF she was appointed as an Isreali judge.

      link to

      This is not just an allegation that the IDF lied. Through an error in sending an internal memo to BTselem, it is a direct proof from the IDF itself that the IDF knew the truth and purposely lied about a child's death and did nothing to pursue either justice or the possibility of this type of thing happening again and again.

  • Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)
    • Alienkh added another piece of the puzzle for me with the Voltaire Metro. For a large part of the longer video you can see parts of the intersection at Rue Poppincourt and Rue de la Roquette. There seems to be a number of JDL guys taunting and reacting to something down the street on Rue Poppincourt, and a few pro-P people who seem to be coming down Rue P and tuning left on Rue R, away from the JDL peeps (and away from the synagogue, a block further away). At one point, you can even see a guy with a kefiyyeh and another guy standing in the intersection (at 0:47) looking at the JDL guys as if acting as a protective force while other people turn the corner towards the Voltaire Metro station. The camera pans away so you can't see what happens immediately after that.

      Looking at the Google map of where the incident was video'd, it looks like the shortest, most direct route from the Bastille, where the pro-P protest happened, to the Voltaire Metro station is straight down Rue de la Roquette, where the synagogue and the JDL demonstration was. If the pro-P protesters leaving the demo were skirting around the synagogue by taking side streets until they got to Poppincourt and then heading back to Rue de la Roquette to hook up again with the shortest route to the Voltaire Metro, that would explain some of what we see there.

      As far as the 5:50 video goes, my biggest question would be what is happening at the very beginning of the video (or right before the video starts) when you see people running away from the direction of the synagogue and then a group of JDL thugs yelling and ripping up cafe furniture to make weapons. There is the slight possibility that this was after some type of attack of a few pro-P demonstrators on the JDL guys, however there is too much distance between the people we see running and the JDL peeps we see at the start of the video for me to seriously believe that there was a physical confrontation between the two groups at that point. When we see some Pro-P guys counterattack the JDL guys starting at 3:06, with the JDL guys running behind the police line there is much less distance between the two groups than there is at the very start so I compared that to the opening scene of the video and don't think they are showing similar events (i.e., the aftermath of a direct confrontation.)

      (Honestly, I must admit that I laughed when the brave JDL "defenders" with their chairs and sticks and iron bars all cut and ran behind the police line when the going got tough. However, it looks like some poor guy got a bad beating from a pro-P person or two, which is terrible.)

      One additional point: When you see a glimpse of the people in front of the synagogue at 4:19, you can see a group of policeman a half a block away at the nearest intersection. You can't see much beyond the synagogue but all activity seems to be in the direction away from the Bastille side of the synagogue. I don't see any indication that the synagogue was "surrounded" by attacking pro-P people, or even peaceful pro-P people for that matter. Unless another video shows up with some new perspective this looks like a case of a street fight between some JDL hooligans and a few pro-P people, instigated by the JDL (and apparently Beitar France as well). I see no attack on the synagogue.

    • Annie, Did you notice down thread that Sumud and Sycamores figured out that the cell phone video supposedly taken from inside the synagogue was actually taken from a different location over a block away?

    • Good detective work, Sycamores and Sumud. But the gated parking area at 98-100 is on the wrong side of the Restaurant La Cappadoce. I think the location of the video that was claimed to be the synagogue is actually at 102-104, on the left side of the restaurant as you look at it (camera left, not stage left). Its got the same kind of gate as the parking gate, enclosing an outdoor courtyard of a apartment complex as far as I can tell. Definitely not the synagogue, which is over a block away.

      link to

      And if you stop the 5:50 video at 4:19 you can just see for an instant the synagogue's gated courtyard in the upper middle of the screen. It's past the tree and the group of mopeds and motorbikes and just past the shop with the orange lettering on the glass window. It appears that the synagogue gate which is blue in the Google Street view from 2012 is now painted white. Lots of people milling about but no ruckus there and you can see some people walking out of the synagogue.

      Here's the synagogue on Google Street View:

      link to

      Here's another view of some of the confrontations from a camera directly opposite the one that was incorrectly identified as the synagogue. You can see the gated apartment courtyard clearly from this one. (Note: When it first loads it will tell you that you can't access it from your geographic location-unless you are in France- but just wait a couple of seconds and the screen will change. Then after making you watch a promo for The Transformers movie, the 2:06 video will start.) Its start correlates to about 3:15 into the longer 5:50 video, and about 10 seconds into the :25 second non-synagogue "synagogue" video.

      link to

    • In fact I can't spot one person within the whole video who is even looking at the synagogue. Whatever is going on outside - and it looks like possible hooliganism from both sides -it has nothing to do with the synagogue, and is in no way an attack on it.

    • No, they clearly stated in their tweet the night before that they were planning a demonstration in support of Israel's bombing of Gaza right outside of the synagogue. Great way to "protect" your synagogue by insinuating that they endorse your violent extremism. Talk about using human shields, this is a good example of it.

      Besides if you look at the short video shot from the synagogue there is no one attacking the synagogue itself. People are running back and forth in front of it, but no one is attacking it.

  • Understanding Hamas
    • And tree, too. Great.

      So you're saying that Sumud's rational comments didn't make you testy? Pretty easy to tell that you are upset from you nasty responses to him.

      I only added the point of you being testy on edit in my comment to Sumud after noticing your nasty reply to his comment about Dubai. You obviously have a blind spot for your own nastiness.

    • Sumud at 3:13pm

      Great and reasoned comment but now you've made yonah testy again.

      And I think your comparison to Latin America a few decades ago is quite apt.

    • How many homes were bulldozed in Kiryat Arba?

      Zero of course. Not only do homes NOT get destroyed, but the Jewish murderers in the OPT get released early and given copious funds from the government for living on someone else's land.

      Menachem Livni is an example. He killed 3 and wounded many more in a machine gun attack on the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983. He got a life sentence, which, in Israel, really means 30 years, and was pardoned after 5 years. He made the news last year:

      An Israeli settler who was released early from a life sentence for killing 3 Palestinians in 1983 has received compensation of 1.3 million NIS (around $250,000) from the Israeli Tax Authority for alleged damage to land that he has cultivated in the Hebron area – land that he illegally confiscated from its Palestinian owners.

      Menachem Livni is a settler in the ultra-right wing settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the Palestinian city of Hebron, and says that he is entitled to the payments, and will continue to sue the Israeli government for more money.

      Livni was convicted of the murder of three Palestinian students, and the wounding of 33 others, when he and two other right-wing settlers with the so-called ‘Israeli Underground’ threw hand grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983.

      He was sentenced to life in prison along with the other perpetrators of the attack, Shaul Nir and Uzi Sharbav, but he received an early release when he was pardoned by Israeli President Chaim Herzog in 1990.

      He immediately moved to the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba, which soon became known for violent attacks against Palestinians and illegal seizure of Palestinian land.

      Livni himself took over a large swath of Palestinian farmland and began growing fruit. He was provided with his own contingent of Israeli military troops to protect his stolen swath of land from the Palestinian owners, who repeatedly attempted to reclaim it.

      link to

      If you can get passed the paywall you can also read about it here:

      link to

      This is typical. No Jew has ever had his house demolished for punitive reasons, regardless of whether he lives in the OPT or in Israel.

      And then of course there is the example of the destruction of 15 houses in the Palestinian village of Beita in 1988. A group of young Jewish hikers from Elon Moreh escorted by two armed guards trespassed on Beita village land, shot and killed a 19 year old Palestinian in his fields and then entered the town, shot another Palestinian and got into a confrontation with other villagers. A 15 year old Jewish girl was killed in the conflict. Israel went ballistic, destroyed several houses in the village and deported six Palestinians. It would have been worse, but it came out after a few days that the girl had actually been killed by an errant shot from the Jewish guard's rifle, and the IDF knew that before they destroyed the village houses. Settler groups were extremely agitated against the IDF for releasing the fact that she had been killed by the guard and not by any villager, and for releasing the fact that the young hikers had been initially coached to lie about what happened.

      A semi-accurate account of it is here, enough to get the flavor of what happened:

      link to

      Of course, none of the Jews were prosecuted, and no house in Elon Moreh was demolished.

  • Federal official fires gun at pro-Palestine demonstrators following scuffle in LA
    • Annie, I noticed it immediately after posting this. Sorry for the redundancy.

    • A different report on the incident in Paris, including a video showing LDJ (French JDL) vigilantes attacking demonstrators. Apparently the altercation was not one-sided, even though hophmi would like to present it that way.

      Jewish vigilantes brandishing iron bars and cans of pepper spray took to the streets of Paris to attack pro-Palestinian demonstrators, it emerged today. (Tuesday)

      Shocking images shot in the French capital at the weekend show around 150 mainly young men chanting racist slogans as they went on the rampage.
      It came as President Francois Hollande warned that he did not want to see 'the Israeli-Palestinian conflict imported into France.'

      French Jewish groups have complained about an increase in anti-Semitism in recent months, with many accusing Muslim youths of targeting them.
      But a video shot close to the Place de la Bastille on Sunday, and verified by police before being posted on YouTube, suggests that the pro-Israel groups are in fact taking the law into their own hands.

      It will cause concern in moderate Jewish communities around Europe, especially in Britain, where the Israeli bombardments of Palestinians in Gaza have come in for huge criticism.

      While security guards are regularly used to defend synagogues and other Jewish sites in cities like London, vigilante groups would be banned.
      In Paris, CRS riot police do not make a single arrest among the Jewish gang, thought to be linked to the extremist Jewish Defence League (LDJ), despite them openly fighting in broad daylight.

      Members can be heard chanting '****-you Palestine' as they smash up chairs and metal tables to be used as missiles.
      Gas canisters, pepper spray, metal bars and wooden sticks are used by the vigilantes, some of whom are wearing crash helmets.

      They run through the streets towards pro-Palestinian demonstrators, and skirmishes break out while the police stand by.
      When the gang runs back towards police lines, there is no attempt to arrest any of them.

      In contrast, pro-Palestinian demonstrators were later accused of trying to break into synagogues, and six of them were arrested.

      Alexis Bachelay, a Paris MP for the ruling Socialist party, said: 'There has evidently been a media manipulation about who really got assaulted.
      'These are extremely serious facts that need to be investigated thoroughly by the police. It is not the first time that young French people of Muslim origin are stigmatised by the media.

      'French people of Muslim origin should be protected by the law when demonstrating. They should not be attacked by radical groups like the LDJ'.
      In turn, local Jewish community leader Joel Mergei, accused anti-Israel protestors of reaching a 'new low'.

      An LDJ source insisted that the gang members pictured were 'defending' the Jewish community in Paris.

      link to

    • Here's another version of events from the LA Times:

      Fight at pro-Israel rally started over stomping of Palestinian flag

      A pro-Israel demonstration outside a federal building Sunday in Westwood turned physical after protesters ripped a Palestinian flag away from a passing vehicle and began stomping on it, according to media reports.

      People in the vehicle got out and tried to retrieve the flag at about 5:45 p.m. and that's when the confrontation turned physical, KNBC-TV Channel 4 reported.

      The demonstration outside a federal building in the 11000 block of Wilshire Boulevard was being held to back Israel in its bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire sent from Gaza by Hamas, authorities said.

      The protest was nearing its conclusion when “a verbal and physical altercation ensued between the occupants of two vehicles leaving the area,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

      A federal officer trying to break up the fight fired a single gunshot, according to the Sheriff’s Department. No one was injured.

      No sheriff’s deputies were involved but the department is investigating, officials said.

      Four people were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, KNBC reported. The weapons were reportedly wooden poles used to hold protest signs

      link to

  • Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent
    • Phil and Adam and Scott are making a huge mistake, which I have told Phil about without expecting him to believe me or of course to change his mind.

      I totally understand that, and that is the point that I am criticizing. I think it is you and others like you are making a huge mistake. I see the primary problem as bigotry directed at Palestinians and Arabs (and Muslims). Its a big problem within the organized Jewish community and within the greater US community as well. To a very great extent this kind of bigotry is the deadly kind, excusing and even calling for death and destruction based on ethnicity, as well as supporting (monetarily and politically) a militarily strong country that is committing grievous acts against human beings simply because of their ethnicity . Focusing instead on the smaller problem of spoken stereotypes, which is the majority of what is claimed to be some form of Jew hatred when it is not, is a diversion that allows the majority of the organized Jewish community(MOJC) to ignore the log in its own eye, so to speak.

      Its gatekeeping, and its a co-dependent type of relationship to Israel, insisting that the abuser will get better on its own if everyone would stop criticizing it and stop criticizing the co-dependent, which in this instance is the majority of the American organized Jewish community. Yes, some of the criticism is unfair and based on stereotypes, but its a stereotype that the MOJC encourages and indulges in itself. Phil and Adam and the rest are doing something brave and right in their reporting and in hosting this website. For decades the response of the MOJC to the Israeli abuse of Palestinians has been to shun and silence any critic within their ranks and to seek to present a united front in complete support of the abuser, and this only further ingrained and encouraged the abuse. Part of this stems from a profound bigotry on the part of the MOJC that firmly believes that "Jews don't do that" (assumed Jewish moral superiority), and part of it stems from a similar bigotry that thinks that if anyone within their ranks criticizes Israel, that the greater non-Jewish community will blame all Jews for the actions of Israel (assumed non-Jewish moral inferiority). And so they deny the truth, even when they know it is the truth, but rather than saving the Jewish community they put it in more danger by actually making the community complicit in the actions of Israel, rather than a community that is standing up for justice and equality.

      The MOJC needs more introspection about its own activities and the violent and abusive consequences of its activities in support of Israel, not a hunt to find some spoken stereotype on a website to rationalize their own bigotry. Its a diversion, proven by the fact that they define anti-semitism so broadly as to make it meaningless in their need to justify the unjustifiable.

      I'm sure your feelings on the plight of the Palestinians are sincere, but I think that some of your activities in this regard are counterproductive and not where your energies could best be used to stop the "incremental genocide", as Ilan Pappe put it recently. I understand that you disagree but want you to know how I view what you are doing here. I'm probably not explaining this to the best of my abilities at the moment because of my anger and frustration that we are focusing on someone on a website making a stereotypical generalization about a real problem within the US while hundreds of people are being slaughtered and having their homes destroyed, yet again. This seems sadly typical of approved discourse in the US. and that is not what is going to stop this ongoing horror.

    • I have said such things many times. Nothing I have ever said should make you infer I think otherwise.

      The majority of your posts indicate that your primary concern here is sniffing out perceived anti-semitism. Just as your first question to Phil when you invited him to your club was about the possibility of anti-semites latching onto the truth that Phil courageously posted about Israel. Yes, you have issues that are important and interesting to you and its obvious from your comments exactly what they are, and what gets boilerplate instead.

      PS No comment in a comment section is really much of an effort towards anything, you realise that right?

      I understand that but then why the "sniff" crusade on your part? Especially when you say nothing when other commenters post vile stereotypes about Palestinians, or when you yourself imply some sort of conspiratorial "code" among non-Jewish commenters. Isn't that exactly the same sort of negative trope you are flourishing yourself?

      And then there are the ZIonist commenters here who insist that Zionism is the only natural and acceptable ideology for a "true" Jew. I've never seen you dispute their use of stereotypes. Why is that?

      Part of the problem with our Congressional Representatives is a monetary one, but the other part of the problem is that too many in the organized Jewish community are too willing to call "anti-semite" for an elected leader who would defend or help a Palestinian American boy against an Israeli Jewish system of justice that frankly stinks to high-heaven of ugly bigotry. And such an accusation is very difficult to defend against given the current state of the average American's knowledge of what really goes on there. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many American Jews are overly concerned about what is said about Israel or their support for it and utterly unconcerned with what Israel really stands for.

      The commenter didn't know the difference between the majority of the organized Jewish community and "the Jews" which implies all Jews and is wrong, even though several in that same organized Jewish community try to imply that in fact what they say speaks for all Jews, or all who count and aren't "self-hating". Its not a case of knowing "the code", its of understanding the reality and not the stereotype, which sadly, many in that same organized Jewish community make easy to fall into.

    • Ah, our hero tokyobk strikes again. Six paragraphs about the horror of a new commenter engaging in a stereotype, followed by a short rote recitation tacked on at the end claiming to be horrified at the problem the commenter has spoken about, albeit in less than enlightened terms. Because the real critical problem is not what horrible things are happening to Palestinians in reality, but what might happen in some alternate reality if TBK doesn't quash every possible "scent" of anti-semitism.

      Next time, TBK, instead of adding your meaningless little "yes, its terrible" coda to the vast majority of your posts that worry solely about how people here vent their frustration why not just shorten it to "Your mileage may vary (YMMV)" or "Member FDIC". It will mean just as much, especially since you clearly consider commenting on the actual subject of the article to be "OT".

      Or on the other hand, you could actually try commenting on the subject of some of these reports, instead of just searching for possible anti-semitic comments, and show that your concern is real and not just a protective afterthought.

  • Jewish activists light children's dolls on fire at Yad Vashem to protest Gaza attack
  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • Thanks for this piece, Ali. The world needs more voices like yours.

    • I agree with you there about the US political class. Israel has done the same thing. Hitting a "militant" with a missile and then firing another one with flechette weapons to keep anyone from approaching the wreckage. Israel's twist is to then accuse the Palestinians of faking injuries and death if Israel gets caught in the act. The US usually just pretends it was a dreadful mistake and passes money around.

  • 'American Jewish voices are most critical in the world' (to end idea that Jewish lives matter more)
    • I would not read eran efrati’s post in order to get my finger on the pulse of Israel’s Jews.

      I think that the fact that Efrati was appealing to American Jews because he recognized that Israeli Jews would not turn away from racism on their own indicates he has a good sense of the pulse of the vast majority of Israel's Jews.

      However, that was not my point. My point was that he is an Israeli and is hoping to enlist American Jews in standing up for justice and equality, with a life experience as relevant as yours, or more so, since he's been in the IDF and later joined Breaking the Silence and so has a much closer experience with the occupation and also with Palestinians than you have had. He isn't asking you to figure out what Israeli Jews are thinking in order to join them lockstep, which seem more like what you are copping to.

      Thanks for the links but I can't access Shalev's article from either link without a paywall popping up. I may be able to read it later. I have read other Shalev pieces and consider him reasonable. It doesn't change the reality though.

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