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The light doesn’t get much greener than this: Obama admin gives Israel the go ahead to escalate in Gaza

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The Wall Street Journal reports the result of a press conference held on Air Force One by Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who works as one of Obama’s main (foreign policy) speechwriters who helped the President draft his spring 2012 AIPAC address. Rhodes expressed hope that mediation efforts by the Egyptians — who had been brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel the day before Operation Pillar of Cloud began — will succeed, but the meat of his remarks comes in the form of a very clear public declaration the US will have Israel’s back no matter what the government decides.

>Pressed as to whether a ground invasion would escalate tensions, Mr. Rhodes said, “We believe Israel has a right to defend itself, and they’ll make their own decisions about the tactics that they use in that regard.”

>He said that the precipitating factor for the conflict was the rocket fire coming out of Gaza, dismissing those who blame an Israeli airstrike that killed a top Hamas military commander.

>“Just to be clear on the precipitating factor: These rockets had been fired into Israeli civilian areas and territory for some time now. So Israelis have endured far too much of a threat from these rocket for far too long, and that is what led the Israelis to take the action that they did in Gaza.”

>He declined to comment on Israel’s targeting of government buildings, including the prime minister’s headquarters. “We wouldn’t comment on specific targeting choices by the Israelis other than to say that we of course always underscore the importance of avoiding civilian casualties. But the Israelis again will make judgments about their military operations.”

Rhodes’s words offered a much stronger declaration of support for the Israeli effort than those earlier delivered by White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday:

>We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately in order to allow the situation to de-escalate.

>In … conversations [with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi], the president reiterated the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense. President Obama also urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

With reports by Newsweek and USA Today that Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have been speaking directing to the the President — currently in transit to Asia along with most of his top foreign policy staffers (including Rhodes) — to communicate that “[t]he Israeli leadership at this point is leaning against a ground invasion.” Though Haaretz reports that there was a concerted Israeli effort to “lull” Hamas into a false sense of security before restarting assassinations of its leadership, it is very likely that this whole effort was not intended to “escalate.” Though it was of course expected, planned for and deemed acceptable to risk more civilian casualties in Israel and Gaza when the IAF began the operation — the toll as it stands now is at least 56 Palestinians and 3 Israelis killed, with more wounded on both sides, especially in Gaza where casualties are already in the hundreds — it is not likely that a protracted operation was or is desired by any of those who have rallied round Netanyahu’s flag.

But, now that Hamas has hit the suburbs of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the stakes for Israel backing down have risen tremendously — the kitchen cabinet of PM Netanyahu has reportedly met several times today alone, unable to reach a consensus on accepting a ceasefire or going all in into Gaza as a result of the longer-range fire. The call up of 75,000 reservists — a number greater than those summoned for the 2006 and 2008 wars — and multiple reports of massed Israeli armor on the northern borders of Gaza loom large in people’s calculations. Israeli officials, keeping everyone guessing, may be bluffing on the incursion: the divisions are meant only as a message to Hamas, or Hezbollah, or even Egypt, or to Syria and Iran. Or perhaps cover for Iran in the near future.

As Phil Weiss and David Sheen report from on the ground, the mood is very much one of “finishing the fight.” Many Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza are, according to the Huffington Post, also expressing strong support for the rulers’ actions – though the rhetorical denunciations of Hamas officials (and by the Israeli government) belie the actual mediated efforts to end this operation before it turns into a political liability for either side due to rising civilian casualties.

Indeed, but only the most zealous nationalists in Israel today are for re-establishing direct Israeli control over Gaza. And a ground incursion is being blasted as unworkable in the news, from The Atlantic and The New York Times to Haaretz and even the Jerusalem Post. More common is the view that this operation, with or without an incursion, has been a long-time coming, a necessary action to ensure “deterrence” is maintained in the hopes — to paraphrase the words of a tsarist general — that the harder Israel hits them, the longer they will stay quiet afterwards. The Interior Minister said that all of Gaza’s infrastructure should be “destroyed” by the IDF “in order to realize calm for a long period.” Israeli officers hinted at conducting a Gazan “incursion” in the summer of 2011 when terrorists from the Sinai killed several Israelis that incorporated most of the language used today to argue for Operation Pillar of Cloud, including a report issued by a right-wing Jerusalem think tank that argued for a crippling assault on Hamas and the Gaza Strip’s infrastructure under the title “The Opportunity in Gaza,” views which Truthout notes have entrenched counterparts in the Beltway think tank-verse.

Lamentably, Pillar of Cloud was only a matter of time after Cast Lead concluded in 2009. The dynamics in Israel and Gaza that led to it, dissected here by Juan Cole, have not changed since then: no hudna or Arab Spring or Obama second term will alter this in the near term. And the next one, whatever name is applied to it, won’t be many years off either.

And in all such instances, past, present and future, I think we can expect the US to offer the same sort of green lighting the White House has delivered this day. Obama was still in transition in 2008 when Cast Lead took place, and “only” received intelligence briefings and Israeli missives on Cast Lead. This week, he has made his views clearer still.

Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter is a contributor to Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Arabist.

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37 Responses

  1. flyod on November 18, 2012, 9:23 am

    I’ve been waiting for the Obama post. No surprise here. Maybe this will finally wake up those on Mondo that thought his second term would be any different. It’s all really hopeless and as Danaa stated on another thread the money and numbers here in the US are on the wrong side of the equation. History just keeps repeating.

    • Keith on November 18, 2012, 2:22 pm

      FLYOD- “Maybe this will finally wake up those on Mondo that thought his second term would be any different.”

      Sorry, Flyod, but you are only half correct. Only those who though Obama’s second term would be better than his first need to wake up. As someone who predicted that Obama’s second term would be far worse than his first, I see no reason to change my opinion. I think that Jeffrey St. Clair sums things up pretty well when he says:

      “Where does Obama go now?….Clinton will be his template: the Clinton who pushed for the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act, the gutting of welfare and the war on Serbia. Obama will pursue bi-partisanship with a vengeance. Obama has always been a committed neoliberal, a closeted agent of austerity. Now he no longer needs to even play-act for his political base. He can openly betray their interests.”

    • seafoid on November 18, 2012, 3:58 pm

      The money and the numbers are all on the wrong side but the equation has to balance. I bet Judaism will explode.

      Countries have gone postal in the past but not as the representatives of an entire religion, I believe.

  2. Dan Crowther on November 18, 2012, 10:17 am

    Just glad I didnt vote for the guy.

  3. bobsmith on November 18, 2012, 10:34 am

    This is one reason I didn’t vote for either of the two “respectable” parties.

  4. talknic on November 18, 2012, 10:46 am

    There seems to be no rational way of reconciling precedents in International Law set by the US before Israel was declared, how Israel was recognized by the US and the current US stance on Israel, other than …. the tail is wagging the dog.

    I’ll put my money on Bibi threatening to escalate to an all out regional war including Iran, forcing the US to become involved, if Israel doesn’t get its way on Palestine and the Golan.

    • Abierno on November 18, 2012, 4:53 pm

      I would agree. Netanyahu has already indicated a preference for using nuclear weapons on Iranian reactor sites. In my opinion, Obama has an unimaginable challenge in dealing with the Netanyahu/Barack/Lieberman triumvirate. Any overt confrontation or lack of support can be expected to provoke untrammeled
      carpet bombing of Gaza, an act for which there is strong Israeli electorate support.
      It is also the case that Netanyahu “suckered” Aljabari and Hamas by agreeing to
      a broad, long term cease fire and then hours later politically assassinating him,
      thereby removing a strong moderate figure while at the same time destabiling
      Hamas. My prediction is that there is considerable back channel pressure mounting and that there is considerable, quiet support for finding some solution which enables Netanyahu to climb down while still projecting his image (and that of Israeal) as the owners, strong men prevailing over Gaza. That said, Meschaal is fully aware of his extensive backing of numerous Arab countries, particularly since he has refused to climb on Iran’s bandwagon. His demands in the now failed peace negotiations
      indicate that Hamas is not standing down from a cessation of the economic strangulation of Gaza: No more political assassinations, no more F16’s and drones over Gaza, a free trade zone at Rafah and lifting the seige of Gaza (so as to enable
      a deep water port.) This of course underscores Israel’s real fear: Not rockets which do little damage, but a fully assimilated and independent Palestine becoming the trade powerhouse of the Middle East. Not unexpected since Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza have the highest level of education in the middle east.

    • Antidote on November 18, 2012, 9:42 pm

      “There seems to be no rational way of reconciling precedents in International Law set by the US before Israel was declared, how Israel was recognized by the US and the current US stance on Israel, other than …. the tail is wagging the dog.”

      It is strictly beyond me how people can draw such conclusions based on the US record wrt International Law before and after 48. Could you name one or more examples that would demonstrate that the US did not violate their own set precedents before 48?

      • talknic on November 19, 2012, 1:02 am

        Antidote “It is strictly beyond me how people can draw such conclusions based on the US record wrt International Law before and after 48.”

        Before ’45: The US annexed parts of Mexico by a referendum of the legal MEXICAN citizens of the territory to be annexed (sans US citizens in the territory). After the Mexican citizens agreement to be annexed, a referendum was then held of US citizens, deciding to annex Mexican territories into the US. Same Hawaii, same Alaska. In adopting this process of self determination by referendum, the US was instrumental in the process being passed into Customary International Law and it being reflected in various conventions, the UN Charter and UNSC resolutions.

        UNSC res 252 and some eight reminders condemn Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem because no such referendum was held. Whereas the bilateral (legal) Jordanian annexation of what was officially renamed the West Bank, at the request of a Palestinian delegation, could not be condemned by the UNSC.

        ’48 : The US officially recognized Israel May 15th 1948 as requested. As “an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”. Confirmed also by the Israeli Govt May 22nd 1948. Only Armistice Demarcation lines and Cease Fire lines have changed, internationally recognized borders have not.

        “Could you name one or more examples that would demonstrate that the US did not violate their own set precedents before 48?”

        Pointless exercise. The above US precedents are at odds with the US stance re Israel NOW, which puts the US between a rock and a hard place NOW. It cannot legally veto a Chapt VI resolution requiring the laws already in place be upheld. It can only abstain as all law is binding and UNSC members cannot veto existing law.

        The only thing protecting Israel from the rightful consequences of not adhering to the law in respect to non-self-governing territory it controls beyond its recognized borders and the illegal annexation of those territories, acquired by war, is the US veto vote on actions to enforce the law.

        While Israel has the protection of the precious US veto vote, Israel has two options. 1) Keep breaking the law or; 2) it MUST negotiate a deal with the Palestinians (self determination) in order to circumvent the consequences of its illegal actions. Faced with the consequences of the law and UN Charter, which all fall in favour of the Palestinians, Israel would be sent bankrupt for decades as it attempted to compensate the Palestinians for 64 years of dispossession, territorial theft, destruction of property. It would be required to relocate hundreds of thousands of Israelis now living in territory Israel acquired by war by 1949 and in ’67 and never legally annexed to Israel. (or they could become Palestinian citizens)

        If civil war broke out between the State of Israel and Israeli citizens in occupied territories outside of Israel, the Regional Powers would have the right and DUTY under the UN Charter Chapt XI and Chapt VII to intervene as they did in “Palestine” in 1948 after having tabled their intentions to the UNSC.

        Palestinian leadership is well aware of the volatility of the legal situation for Israel, thus the bid for acceptance into UN institutions giving them access to legal process. Furthermore, Abbas has twice now in front of the world at the UN generously and humanely offered to forgo the territories slated for the Arab State which were illegally acquired by Israel by 1949. (2011) and again 2012.

  5. lohdennis on November 18, 2012, 10:48 am

    With or without Obama’s support, Israel will try to maximize damage and try to minimize negative public media reaction. But when all is said and done in the next few days, few weeks, or few months, the reaction to Israeli attack will turn uniformly negative worldwide except for the Western governments.
    What does Israel gain? Domestic political benefits and a sense of “pride and honor”. Otherwise as far as world opinion is concerned, I think it’s still another negative for Israel. The tragedy, of course, are the Gazan sufferings (with minimal Israeli suffering). But that too unfortunately will help in building further negative image of Israel outside of US and a few Western governments.
    After this incident, there will be continuous slew of foreign dignitaries visiting and inspecting Gaza’s damage. Hamas’ position will be strengthened and Fatah ever weaker. While in the short run, Obama’s support is necessary but in the long run, his support is irrelevant. Perhaps in the long run, it’s a preferred result.

  6. Kathleen on November 18, 2012, 11:04 am

    Obama totally rolled over. Not a mention of Israel attacking first, ongoing theft of Palestinian land which is at the root of the issue, nothing about Israel’s disproportionate attacks. Obama kissing Israel’s ass…

    • Denis on November 18, 2012, 1:54 pm

      @Kathleen: Obama kissing Israel’s ass…

      I think, for the most part, that has not been a characteristic of this administration, witness all the Jewish money and Bibi backing Romney as Exhibit “A”. What, precisely, is it that we expect the man to do here??? Make a public statement: “We’re with Hamas on this one to kick some Jewish butt.” If any of you believe that Obama or any American president is ever going to take a public stand with Hamas on any issue at any time, you need to get your heads scanned for dead brain tissue.

      OTH, it is a gross, gross mistake to interpret what Carney and, certainly, Rhodes say publicly as indicative of what’s being said over the secure line between Obama and Bibi. I will absolutely guarantee you that Obama and Clinton are both trying very hard at the moment to wipe the foam off the mouths of both sides and get them back into their respective cages.

      It’s funny, there are two absolutely diametrically opposed views on Mondoweiss about who controls whom. View 1 is that Bibi controls all the levers of the US government; View 2 is that Obama controls all the levers of the Israeli government. Somehow, I doubt that either one is anywhere close to the truth.

      As for the public face of the administration on the current Operation Pillar of Cast Lead, which is just a pre-planned extension of 2008/9, I don’t know where else Obama goes with this other than a clean break with Israel, and, second term or not, that ain’t a gonna’ happen over Gaza, not without Bibi dropping a nuke on it or an all out massacre with 10,000 dead. Ditto the West Bank — just ain’t gonna’ happen. We can dream, but it ain’t gonna’ happen.

      • Kathleen on November 22, 2012, 5:32 pm

        Denis maybe I missed it but have never read anyone here at Mondoweiss write that they think Obama “controls all the levers of the Israeli government” In fact just the opposite. Well aware that Obama/Biden tried to stand up to Bibi and team a bit and had their cajones solidly kicked. What I a referring to now is how during Obama’s recent verbal responses to what is going on now he does not even simply talk about the Palestinians deaths, Israel’s disproportionate attack or what is at the root cause of this conflict. Not a whisper

  7. chinese box on November 18, 2012, 1:01 pm

    Now that the election’s over, what’s his excuse for doing this now? To help Florida dems in 2014?

    I don’t think anyone on this forum was under any illusions about Obama.

    • W.Jones on November 18, 2012, 2:03 pm

      Could Obama be keeping a promise?

      • W.Jones on November 18, 2012, 2:26 pm

        It seems like Obama’s allowing this onslaught may be part of why Israelis supporters “allowed” him to get elected even if they thought he was not as good for them as Romney.

      • Kathleen on November 22, 2012, 5:32 pm

        That is what I have been thinking

  8. jackrackus on November 18, 2012, 2:02 pm

    “I don’t think anyone on this forum was under any illusions about Obama.”
    yes there were, and people will get sucked in again, four years again.

    • W.Jones on November 18, 2012, 2:31 pm

      First it starts as Anybody but Bush and ends up as disillusionment.
      In between there is a stage of Obamas is a Messiah, which someone expressed to me. But Nebachudchezzar was referred to in the Old Testament as a messiah as well, so the title needn’t be incorrect.

  9. W.Jones on November 18, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Obama entered his first presidential term with a massive attack on Gaza, and apparently his second term has begun with another.

    • seafoid on November 18, 2012, 4:03 pm

      He started off with a massive attack but then there was the cairo speech however he seems to have left the sympathy behind now.


      Like a soul without a mind
      In a body without a heart

    • Denis on November 18, 2012, 4:46 pm

      @WJ: Could Obama be keeping a promise?
      @WJ: Obama entered his first presidential term with a massive attack on Gaza

      Huh???? “with a massive attack” WTF? Are you saying Obama attacked Gaza?

      Check your dates, dude, before launching into a conspiracy theory. It’s as obvious as the KKK tattoo on your forehead that Obama taking office is what ended OCL.

      Obama took office Jan20.2009. OCL ended Jan19.2009. Do you think that’s a coincidence?

      Go on and file your petition for secession, dude. We know you’re disappointed in the election outcome. Glad to see you and your kind go; it’ll make it that much easier next time.

      • maggielorraine on November 18, 2012, 8:30 pm

        Denis, no one is implying Obama himself attacked Gaza. What the hell are you talking about? Obama was the president-elect during Cast Lead, and did not condemn the massacre though he commented on plenty of other issues during this time. Israel planned Cast Lead to end when Obama was first inaugurated for political reasons. Here he gave the go-ahead to the Israelis, and leveled primary responsibility on Palestinians.

        WJ postulating that perhaps Obama’s staunch support for Israel was a favor to someone (to me this implies Pro-Israel donors, of which there are many with deep pockets, or to the Israeli public who was so against him, or that it was a bone to all of those other neo-cons who attacked him for being “too tough” on our ally) is not a conspiracy. It’s a logical question. I disagree with him though, in that I don’t think Obama’s policy is a favor to anyone, rather it’s just what he really thinks and we’re seeing it now clearer than ever.

        I don’t understand why saying any of this makes WJ a racist, or even a right-winger who wants to “secede.” Why are you so intolerant to criticism of Obama’s foreign policy positions? And why do you think any one who disagrees with you/him is automatically a right-wing racist? I voted for Jill Stein. I think a lot of people here did too. Even if we didn’t, logical criticism grounded in facts or the rational exercise of one’s brain =/= racism. Grow up.

      • Denis on November 19, 2012, 10:15 am

        @maggie: Denis, no one is implying Obama himself attacked Gaza. What the hell are you talking about?

        Reply (re-tweeting WJ): @WJ: Obama entered his first presidential term with a massive attack on Gaza

        WJ’s alleging that Obama is personally responsible for OCL. How else ya’ gonna’ read that? I don’t see your problem in grasping what the hell I’m talking about; I’m merely quoting WJ verbatim and then vomiting.

        That is an absolutely outrageous allegation, and it looks like you are making the same allegation.

        @maggie: Israel planned Cast Lead to end when Obama was first inaugurated for political reasons. Here he gave the go-ahead to the Israelis, and leveled primary responsibility on Palestinians.

        By “Here” do you mean OCL, or the current Operation Pillar of Cast Lead, which is merely Act II of OCL? Are you, too, blaming the president-elect for the Israeli murder of Palestinians in 2008, or are you blaming the president for OPCL? Sounds like both.

        @maggie: Obama was the president-elect during Cast Lead, and did not condemn the massacre though he commented on plenty of other issues during this time.

        This is as outrageous as WJ’s vile allegations. I cannot believe that anyone but a racist, R-wingnut would be motivated to lay OCL and 1500 dead Palestinians at the feet of Obama for no reason other than that he had just been elected president. (And ditto for those, like you, making knee-jerk accusations that Obama is responsible for OPCL.) That is like blaming the Civil War on Lincoln merely because he was elected at the time the whole thing blew up.

        A person who has been newly elected to the WH has no presidential power, least of all power in foreign affairs. President-elects usurping foreign policy by fiat before taking office, as you demand Obama should have done in 2008/09, would cripple the country for 3 months every 4 years and put the whole country in jeopardy. Nobody in the whole country is more constrained as to their criticisms of the government than a president-elect. Perhaps the political historians would set me straight if I’m wrong, but I do not know of any instance in the history of the country where a person elected to the presidency but not yet sworn in publicly attacked, or even criticized, an ally or the outgoing administration’s handling of an ally.

        Nor would I be so quick to start blaming sitting presidents for every war crime Bibi and his band of barbarians commit. As much as I detested Bush, I would not blame him for OCL unless I had reliable reports that he and Bibi talked the whole thing over before hand and conspired to carry out the attack. Ditto for Obama and OPCL. If you and WJ have evidence of Obama conspiring with Bibi prior to these attacks, please give it to us and I’ll eat crow and then shut up. Until then take your place in the long line of conspiracy theorists and partisan hucksters selling garbage to discredit people they voted against.

        Just to get my politics out of the way: this is not a post-election campaign ad for Obama. I did not vote for him. I am as disillusioned and disappointed in him as anyone. This diatribe is about loose cannons who unfairly and without evidence allege that any president or president-elect is responsible for massacres committed by other countries, merely by virtue of being president or president-elect.

        Being a president or being elected president is not evidence of conspiracy or complicity in the war crimes of other countries. Obviously you and WJ see things differently, which is your prerogative, and I respect that even while finding your position irrational and disturbing.

      • W.Jones on November 19, 2012, 10:21 am


        Saying that I started out my day with nice weather does not mean I caused the weaher. I notice that its a big coincidence: not long after Obama was elected in 2008 there was a massive attack on Gaza and now that he is elected for his second term there is a second major attack. What kind of coincidence is that?

        You said: “Obama took office Jan20.2009. OCL ended Jan19.2009. Do you think that’s a coincidence?”
        One explanation could be that Obama was tough and stopped the attack in 2009 as soon as he had a chance, but for some reason now doesn’t have the power to do anything about it.

        But then again, maybe Net. didn’t want to make “pro-peace” Obama look weak or militaristic in 2009 and also didn’t want to conflict with Obama so Net. chose to stop it that day. Likewise, this time Net. could have chosen to wait until after Obama’s election to make the attack because it would have made Obama look bad or weak around election time in the eyes of human rights activists, since Obama portrayed himself as pro-peace. In return for waiting until after the election, Obama could have agreed to allow the onslaught.

        Either way, one is stuck with the coincidence and stuck with guessing what Obama had to do with the coincidence.

      • Denis on November 19, 2012, 6:32 pm

        WJ – OK, dude, now we’re talkin’. You want coincidences?? I’ll give you coincidences, and they don’t include American politicians. How about these timelines.

        Timeline #1: Oct26.2008 — Feb10.2009
        Oct26.2008 — Kadima party leader Livni calls for Knesset elections, triggering an election timetable.

        Dec27.2008 — Right wingers in control of GoI open up on Gaza – Operation Cast Lead. (It required 2 months planning from Oct26, but they wanted to do it right.)

        Jan18.2009 — Cast Lead ends w/ 1500 dead Gazans, not a single Israeli voter among them.

        Feb10.2009 — Knesset elections held. Right wingers – who also beat the piss out of Gaza – win hands down, but that’s just a coincidence.

        Fast forward to 2012.

        Timeline #2: Oct09.2012 — Jan22.2013
        Oct09.12 — Bibi trips the elections wire again, moving the planned October 2013 elections up to January 2013. Every Gazan’s blood pressure goes up 20 points, and not because of problems registering.

        Nov14.12 — Oi vey, the right wingers in control of GoI again open up on Gaza – Operation Pillar of Cast Lead; Operation Cast Lead-Act II; Operation Back to Middle Ages; Operation Scion of Sharon Ditto Brain Dead . . . call it what you want. (Notice that it only takes IDF/IAF/INF a month to get their act together this time. Practice makes perfect. )

        Jan01.2013 (my guess, but fill in your own best guess) — Knesset right wingers again drive Gazans to their knees in an amazing display of strength, bravery, and patriotism for all voters to see.

        Jan22.13 – Bingo! You guessed it!! Election day!! And guess who’s gonna’ win it hands down!!! It ain’t the Gazans.

        Next time we all start bitching about how painful the run-up to the American elections is, we should pause and give thanks we don’t live in Gaza City in an Israeli election year.

        Now how anybody can include Obama as a part of this gaggle of power-happy war criminals is just mind boggling.

        Nothing more the Zionists would like for Christmas is to have Americans blaming this freakin’ deadly dog and pony show — Operation Whateverthehellyouwanttocallit — on Obama.

        Play right into their hasbra hands, go ahead, spread the blame for this thing around until the blame is too thin to pin on anyone. Look at all those creepy Serbs and Africans who are avoiding prosecution for their war crimes because of the finger-pointing, spin, and propaganda going every which way.

        PS. I know there’s no KKK on your forehead, dude. That was just a hyperbolic faux-flame for effect. Besides, it’s that IDF logo inked on your bum that really worries us. . . No offense taken, I hope.

      • W.Jones on November 20, 2012, 8:42 am


        If a highschool allowed its student government body to pick the time to hold elections and beat people up, you could easily expect that the two dates chosen would be connected to eachother. And if you notice that they keep doing these things at the end of the school year so they don’t get in as much trouble, you could notice a pattern.

        As you showed, Israeli election dates are chosen, as are attacks on Gaza. You also showed the timing of attacks on Gaza are connected with the Israeli elections.

        However, the US elections are set every four years, while the Israeli elections and attacks on Gaza were chosen to be conducted at the time of Obama’s first and second election and inauguration. So we are back where we started: there is a coincidence between the timing of Israeli actions and Obama’s elections.

        And if as you suggest, Obama’s inauguration was so good and powerful that it stopped the 2009 attacks, why can’t he stop it even easier now when he doesn’t have to worry about reelection?

      • Denis on November 20, 2012, 12:26 pm

        @WJ: why can’t he stop it even easier now when he doesn’t have to worry about reelection?

        I was being facetious when I suggested Obama was the reason OCL ended. You and maggie were arguing that Obama was responsible for OCL and I was trying to highlight how ridiculous that is by saying no, he was the reason it ended. Not to worry, my attempts at humor usually come across about as funny as a Rush Limbaugh speech at a Democratic Convention, or a Clint Eastwood speech at a Republican Convention.

        But I think your question above is still a very good one. You are not the only one with your knickers in a twist about Obama’s seeming lack of action here. Here is a vid of reporter Matthew Lee, who has always been a loose cannon, taking a pound of flesh out of State Dept. spokeslady Vicky Nuland b/c Obama has not gone public on Gaza.

        But as I said before, Obama and Clinton are surely working furiously to get this resolved. Hamas and Israel don’t sit down together ever — I mean EVER — without the US forcing them to the table. They’ve been talking on and off in Cairo since this mess started b/c and only b/c of Obama. This is the way Obama works; it’s the way he’s worked for the last 4 years. Clinton going to Cairo today could be what ends this mess. If they stop it w/ less than 200 dead, that would be a huge accomplishment compared to the Bush WH and OCL #1. So I think the complaints about Obama stiffing the Palestinians are premature — and I’m not being facetious.

        The other game-changer is that Hamas stopped a van with six alleged Israeli spies in Gaza City, pulled them out, and executed them all on the spot. Too bad someone didn’t do the same thing with that van of cheering Israelis across the river from the WTC on Sep11.2001.

        It has been suspected for years that Shin Bet has so deeply penetrated Hamas that Hamas is really and agency of Israel. If Israel loses its eyes on the ground inside Gaza, it can’t target all of those Hamas leaders and their children. Game over.

  10. seafoid on November 18, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Obama is a real disappointing hologram.

  11. Philip Munger on November 18, 2012, 4:58 pm

    There’s some food for thought in your comment @ 1:54, Denis. Thanks.

    As neo-liberal as Obama is, I can’t imagine he has forgotten all the slights, minor or major, delivered to him and his administration by Natanyahu over the past years. They began with the highly embarrassing treatment of VP Biden when Biden visited Israel in March 2009, and Netanyahu’s administration announced a huge expansion of settlements right before their scheduled meeting, and went on constantly, right down to Netanyahu’s appearance in pro-Romney campaign ads last month. Obama has been kicked in the nuts by Netanyahu so many times and so hard over the past three years, I’m surprised his voice hasn’t gone up an octave. Can’t imagine this sits well with the president. At all.

    Obama is going to be very busy, though, setting up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, selling out so-called entitlements, pushing to get the US to surpass Saudi energy production on his watch, and – if he can garner the support – find a way to scam marketization of carbon taxes and carbon sequestration programs into the next big Wall Street bubble. To do this, he will need help from a lot of ardent Zionists in powerful places.

    • Antidote on November 18, 2012, 9:47 pm

      “I can’t imagine he has forgotten all the slights, minor or major, delivered to him and his administration by Natanyahu over the past years.”

      So the only likely motive for change and hope for the Palestinians is that Obama got his feelings hurt and summons the strength to exact some personal revenge on Netanyahu? Cool. There’s hope for humanity then.

  12. seafoid on November 18, 2012, 5:13 pm

    “No country* would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens”.

    *Except obviously Afghanistan, Palestine and Pakistan.

    • Stone on November 18, 2012, 5:52 pm

      Also Yemen and recently Sudan. Also not recently as well.

  13. eGuard on November 18, 2012, 6:24 pm

    Those who didn’t make the check:
    #1: Barack Obama.

  14. eGuard on November 18, 2012, 7:39 pm

    Obama will be the first person to receive a second Nobel peace price.

  15. eGuard on November 18, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Obama inauguration speech proposal: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what we can do for Israel [appluase and jeers].

  16. kalithea on November 19, 2012, 1:31 am

    Obama in Asia translates into OBAMA IN TOTAL DENIAL. He’s running from the moral dilemma. He’s trying to block the slaughter of Palestinian children from his mind with distant distractions. The man’s moral compass has completely broken down. He’s hopelessly lost. Osama was a cakewalk, but the dragon lobby has him on a leash.

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