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‘NYT’ publishes hagiographic profile of Israeli ‘philosopher-general’

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Herzl Halevi

Herzl Halevi

The latest report by Jodi Rudoren in The New York Times, “To a Philosopher-General in Israel, Peace Is the Time to Prepare for War,” profiles Herzl Halevi, “a triathlete and father of four who said his university studies in philosophy proved more salient to military leadership than courses in business administration.”

Some quotes–

“I don’t think there is the war or the operation that will solve the problem,” General Halevi explained during a recent tour of the border his troops patrol. “The interesting issue is how you create a longer gap between the wars.”

Sounds like a re-statement of “mowing the lawn”.

Hezbollah is seen as Iran’s proxy and the Palestinians’ enforcer, the boots on the ground in global terrorist attacks and the likeliest to retaliate for Israeli aggression anywhere in the world. Military officials from the chief of staff on down talk ominously in public speeches and tactically in private briefings about the group’s swelling arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets — and about Israel’s meticulous preparation for a quick, intense campaign in Lebanese cities and villages where, as one recently put it, “houses consist of a living room and a missile room.”

Excellent piece of hasbara: it gives a justification for killing over 1000 civilians in the 2006 war. By the way, the civilian death toll goes unmentioned, as does the liberal use of cluster munitions. The only thing (in the entire article) that couldn’t have been typed by an Israeli government hack are the two words “Israeli aggression”.

To the left was Ayta ash Sha’b, home to perhaps 7,000 Lebanese and “hundreds of rockets, missiles, I.E.D.s,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices.
“We cannot shoot toward Ayta ash Sha’b because it is a village,” the general said. “This is a problem we somehow have to solve. The stronger the weapons, the stronger our response will be.”

Again, no mention of what was actually done in the 2006 campaign. (Or to allegations about Halevi’s role in the Gaza war of ’08-’09). This is as far as Rudoren goes:

Israel’s prosecution of that war was widely panned.

It’s amazing that the Times would run this. Along with the piece on pro-Israel graffiti artists the other day– “On a Mission Within Earshot of a War, Armed With Paint”– it’s like they have absolutely nothing to say in defense of Israel, so they’re printing pointless stories about graffiti artists and an embarrassing hagiography about a philosopher general, which doesn’t even pretend to be balanced. 

P.S. The IDF promptly tweeted the piece.

— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) November 16, 2013

And now for something completely different:

Human Rights Watch report on Israel’s killing of civilians in the Lebanon War

Human Rights Watch report on Hezbollah’s killing of civilians in the Lebanon War

And that’s what objective reporting is supposed to look like.

Donald Johnson

Donald Johnson is a regular commenter on this site, as "Donald."

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74 Responses

  1. Donald on November 16, 2013, 6:31 pm

    For an example of fairminded coverage of the Lebanon War, there are two HRW reports, one on Israeli crimes and one on Hezbollah crimes.

    Here’s the one on Hezbollah crimes–


    And here’s the one on Israeli crimes–


    • Taxi on November 17, 2013, 1:11 am

      Funny thing, Donald, if bombs were falling on your doorstep and psycho pumped-up soldiers were breaking into your bedroom to invade you and your wife, you’d probably be the first to scream ‘bomb the effers!’.

      • Donald on November 17, 2013, 8:32 am

        What I would or would not do in that situation is irrelevant. I want newspapers and human rights organizations to tell me what is being done by all sides. Otherwise it’s just partisan propaganda.

      • Taxi on November 17, 2013, 8:41 am

        Oh but it’s very, very, very relevant what you would or would not do, dear Donald. So, do please tell. What would a keen moralist like you do if bombs were falling on your doorstep and psycho pumped-up soldiers were breaking into your bedroom to invade you and your wife?

      • Inanna on November 17, 2013, 4:52 pm

        Donald, not sure you realize this but you are really speaking from a position of privilege. The privilege of being a citizen of a country that is so strong that noone is going to attack or invade you. Others of us don’t have that privilege. I would really like to have the option that you have – of being able to stand on the sidelines and observe and categorize. But I don’t have that luxury.

      • just on November 17, 2013, 4:58 pm

        Inanna– how very true and searing your response is.

        Thank you.

      • Donald on November 17, 2013, 7:58 pm

        You forgot to tell me if these are supposed to be Assad’s men or Syrian rebels or Hezbollah or Israel or the Muslim Brotherhood or the Egyptian military or whatever. Because I’m sure it’d makes all the difference in the world to you–sometimes its okay to shoot civilians and sometimes it isn’t, depending on which side Taxi happens to be on. I wouldn’t want to answer incorrectly.

        Anyway, this is boring. The point is that newspapers and human rights organizations should be in the business of telling us who does what to whom. Human Rights Watch understands this–the NYT does not.

      • American on November 17, 2013, 8:04 pm

        The point is that newspapers and human rights organizations should be in the business of telling us who does what to whom. Human Rights Watch understands this–the NYT does not”……Donald

        Fully agree with you there.

      • Taxi on November 18, 2013, 12:44 am

        Still dancing around the question, Donald.

        I rest my case.

      • Donald on November 20, 2013, 6:48 am

        “I rest my case.”

        I missed this. You don’t have a case. Your point is that if my family were killed and I were tortured I’d respond with hatred. Probably so. That’s why it’s a bad idea to adopt the moral viewpoint of people who’ve suffered in that fashion–they’re likely to be so consumed by rage and grief they can’t think straight.

      • Taxi on November 20, 2013, 7:09 am

        ” Probably so.”

        Right you are mister ‘I’m more moral than anyone else on the planet’. Thank you for FINALLY answering my question – though I do note your insertion of the word “probably”: nice sly door you left yourself open there.

        “That’s why it’s a bad idea to adopt the moral viewpoint of people who’ve suffered in that fashion–they’re likely to be so consumed by rage and grief they can’t think straight.”

        You haven’t got a clue about the human condition – how sometimes anger can be accompanied by utter mental clarity. And you don’t understand anger in the first place, so self-repressed you are regarding half your human emotions. So prissy, Donald, and so holier than thou, you are.

      • American on November 17, 2013, 2:31 pm

        No, Donald would stand there with pencil and paper in hand as Moralist on High tut tuting about how the listing and cataloging of each sides evil deeds is the No 1 priority…..least he would stand there till one side or the other beheaded him or shot him in the head to shut him up.
        Sorry Donald old boy but thats what your moral’ book balancing’ would likely get you.

      • Donald on November 17, 2013, 8:04 pm

        “No, Donald would stand there with pencil and paper in hand as Moralist on High tut tuting about how the listing and cataloging of each sides evil deeds is the No 1 priority…”

        As opposed to listing the evil deeds of just one side, yes, of course it’s a higher priority than doing that. Doing the latter is exactly what the Zionists and the US foreign policy establishment does and what Rudoren was doing in this article. If people want to endorse that viewpoint and just choose a different side, they’re free to do so.

        “Sorry Donald old boy but thats what your moral’ book balancing’ would likely get you.”

        You flatter me. Anyway, if people judged both Israel and its enemies by the same standard, Israel would lose in the court of public opinion even in the US. That’s the main point. The NYT professes to be objective–well, it fails miserably by its own standards. (I like their alleged standard–they just never come close to abiding by it.)

      • American on November 17, 2013, 8:10 pm

        “You flatter me.”…Donald

        No,….. not insulting you either….it’s just that ‘equal evils’ is your thing.
        Same old argument we’ve alway had about having to chose the lesser evil…if you’re gonna chose one.

        But I digressed from your real point about the NYT (& US) press—which was your point and totally agree.

      • Sibiriak on November 17, 2013, 10:43 pm

        It seems some people want moral judgments determining what is reported, rather than objective reporting determining moral judgements.

      • Donald on November 20, 2013, 6:51 am

        “But I digressed from your real point about the NYT (& US) press—which was your point and totally agree.”

        Yeah–if the press ever became truly balanced in the US support for Israel would crumble. Based on the sorts of comments one sees after NYT stories, that’s already happening, at least among the people who read those stories.

    • Inanna on November 17, 2013, 5:06 am

      Could we stop the false equivalence? Israel is the usurper and the invader and we in Lebanon have the right to repel anyone seeking to invade us. After between 18-22 years of occupation in various areas of southern Lebanon and thousands tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared by the Israelis, we have the right to not want them back and use whatever weapons we have to keep them out.

      • seafoid on November 17, 2013, 8:21 am

        Sah. War is the raison d etre of Israel.

      • bintbiba on November 17, 2013, 11:43 am

        Sah u sahtayn, o seafoid!
        Smiles!! ;-)

    • eGuard on November 18, 2013, 12:19 am

      Donald, how is that HRW reporting fairminded? It did not see any Israeli warcrime (while that word made the headline in your other link). And, of course, you “both sides” approach nicely introduces a clean sheet balance from the outset.

      • Donald on November 20, 2013, 7:01 am

        They found that most of the civilian deaths in the Lebanon War were Israel’s fault. As for the “both sides” approach, anyone reading the two reports on the 2006 Lebanon War would see that Israel caused most of the death and destruction with indiscriminate firepower and that its excuse that Hezbollah used civilians as human shields was simply false. If the NYT reported the actions of Israel and its enemies in the same way that HRW does, it would undermine most of the hasbara arguments we commonly see in the US. “Most of the hasbara arguments” rather than “all”, because the human rights groups (both Amnesty and HRW) avoid questions of who started the conflict and who is more responsible in the larger sense. Human rights groups choose to be limited that way with all the conflicts they report on, because they don’t want to be accused of taking sides. So one has to get that piece of the puzzle from other sources. But within their limited scope(reporting on acts of violence against civilians), they’re very good at what they do.

      • Sibiriak on November 20, 2013, 7:33 am


        Israel caused most of the death and destruction with indiscriminate firepower

        The evidence shows, I believe, that Israel deliberately and directly targeted civilians for the express aim of making them pay a heavy price for Hezbollah’s actions (collective punishment) and to try to turn the Lebanese population against Hezbollah.

        So it wasn’t so much a case of “indiscriminate firepower”, but state terrorism. Until Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians is explicitly labeled “terrorism”, as attacks on Israelis are routinely labeled, there can be no question of impartiality in the rhetoric describing these events.

  2. just on November 16, 2013, 6:45 pm

    I hope that someone has mercy on his children, and that they will grow up to disassociate themselves from his thinking and actions. His “philosophy” is blind and doomed.

    “Peace Is the Time to Prepare for War”. So sick and twisted. A true waste of “philosophy” and talent.

    • just on November 16, 2013, 7:20 pm

      Did Sun Tzu say that?

      Well sort of:
      “Sun Tzu

      In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace.”

      (I’ve never seen Israel prepare for peace)

      • Kathleen on November 17, 2013, 4:44 am

        Ruderon ” Israel’s prosecution of that war was widely panned.” Don’t get too riled up Judi. Control yourself. Now if these were Jews who were killed would Ruderon’s reporting be different. Not a doubt

        During Max Blumenthal’s talk in Boulder Colorado he brought up NYT’s Jodi Ruderon’s biased and limited reporting on what is really taking place several times. He slammed her.

      • just on November 17, 2013, 5:57 am

        Good for Max.

      • James North on November 17, 2013, 9:13 am

        Note Rudoren’s grotesque, Orwellian use of language. A “pan” is a hostile critique of a new Broadway musical or a Hollywood film, not an indictment of war crimes. Try this on for size: “The 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland was widely panned.”

      • just on November 17, 2013, 9:26 am

        Thanks for bringing that up. Important, imho.

    • seafoid on November 17, 2013, 2:16 am

      The uniform is olive green. They must have chosen the colour as a link to the land before they developed their pathological hatred of the trees.

    • ziusudra on November 17, 2013, 3:29 am

      Greetings just,
      ….peace is the time……
      Reminds me of a childish ersatz for Klausiwitz.
      Now your :
      ….I’ve ne’er seen Israel prepare for peace……
      that’s something to quip about.
      ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ is something these people have quipped about since 200BC.
      The rebirth of their sentiment is the newest of all such endeavours of Mankind.
      They had the knowledge of what Euros did in the Crusades, US, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Australia & South Africa, yet they did not understand how to change the Agenda for eternal peace & harmony after conquest. Their failure began after 67
      having the military power & back up of the US & Europe, they didn’t go for peaceful negociations after securing their legal borders.
      They will now go on defending their theft until they implode.
      Having the false security of a Canon against the birds & bees in your own garden is nihilistic, solipsistic & narcissitic of Zionism.
      PS Sissyfuss (Mankind) continues rolling the stone uphill, we blew the opportunity but again.

      • just on November 17, 2013, 5:59 am

        Well said, ziusudra.

        (greetings to you!)

  3. LeaNder on November 16, 2013, 8:12 pm

    He will be training them in large part for the next war with Hezbollah, which he imagines could start in one of three ways: a terrorist attack like the bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria that killed six last summer, only “something maybe a little bigger”; a deterioration in the Syrian civil war; or an Israeli strike if Hezbollah managed to smuggle chemical weapons from Syria into Lebanon.

    Déjà vu, intelligence à la White House

    TTG on Syria:

    Things aren’t going too well for the Syrian rebels. Not only that, the Syrian army is evolving into something far more dangerous to its enemies than the conventional 60s era Soviet model army it once was. It is also gaining experience in joint operations with Hizbollah, the Quds Force and Iraqi Shia volunteers. Israel is worrying about the wrong threat.

    • lysias on November 17, 2013, 5:57 pm

      In the decade before he attacked the Crusader States, Saladin conquered inland Syria: Damascus, Hama, Homs, Aleppo.

  4. Blownaway on November 16, 2013, 9:06 pm

    Israel is not like any other country. They can do anything without accountability. They have hypnotized the United States and that provides a curtain behind which all manner of atrocities occur

  5. piotr on November 16, 2013, 11:49 pm

    This is incredibly one sided:

    “about Israel’s meticulous preparation for a quick, intense campaign in Lebanese cities and villages where, as one recently put it, “houses consist of a living room and a missile room.”

    It seems that once again, IDF is prepared to campaign against easy targets, cities and villages, and largely avoid so-called “nature preserves”, military installations of Hezbolah where the missiles are actually fired and which are too well fortified to be attacked without substantial losses (this is the reason for calling them “nature preserves”). Concerning “living room and missile room”, that assessment comes from the same intelligence service that failed to notice widespread use of blue denim jeans in Iran.

    Somewhat puzzling in the article is the portrait of Halevi as a “philosopher” without any quotes, only that he is somehow quoting Plato, Maimonides etc.

    However one-sided, the article is somewhat informative and not that propagandistic, COMPARED to the fascistic hatchet job by Alaa al Aswamy in the same issue of NYT, who described the crushing of the opposition to the coup as “struggle for democracy” and called all opponents of the regime “terrorists”, and added a paragraph of mild criticism of the regime.

    Among other regional news, freedom fighters in Syria pulled out a wounded fighter from a hospital and beheaded him, and now they are issuing apologies because the victim was one of their own.

  6. seafoid on November 17, 2013, 2:13 am

    How you create a longer gap between the wars. He must know that song by billy bragg.

    Theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man”

    Zionism is such a dismal mentality.

  7. kayq on November 17, 2013, 4:28 am

    Sometimes I forget whether Jodi Rudoren is reporting for The Jerusalem Post or the New York Times.

    I don’t think she knows real journalism.

  8. Inanna on November 17, 2013, 5:10 am

    To me, the increasingly sycophantic stance of organs like the NYT towards Israel is indicative of the desperation that comes when you know that the hasbara is failing. Let them get as desperate as they want, soon the fact that they have no clothes on will be evident to all.

    • seafoid on November 17, 2013, 10:52 am

      I think this and the Filipino story are part of Bibi’s new PR offensive.
      But it’s like getting the Dersh to twerk at the MTV awards. Somehow it doesn’t work and I can’t figure it out.

      • just on November 17, 2013, 1:54 pm

        Ok– that just made me spew my coffee out!

        (I’m gonna have to scrub that vision out of my head.)

  9. thankgodimatheist on November 17, 2013, 7:02 am

    Off-topic but a must read:
    “UN adopts new resolutions on Palestine.’
    Guess who votes against. Yes, a new puppet in town, South Sudan!
    “Predictably, Israel voted against all of the resolutions, being joined variously by Cameroon, the United States, Canada, Australia and Panama. Equally predictable abstentions included Micronesia, Palau, Vanuatu and South Sudan (which on some other resolutions voted against with US/Israel). –

    • just on November 17, 2013, 7:56 am

      I am so sick in my heart of my heartless country that chooses to remain blind and stupid and immoral.

      “The resolutions relating to UNRWA were backed consistently by more than 160 UN members states, whereas those committing the UN to look at the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory saw fewer in favour, just under 90 countries, with far more abstentions (70 or more). – See more at:

      We are responsible for what Israel does. We are quislings.

      • Citizen on November 17, 2013, 8:10 am

        USA policy in this matter won’t change until the money is significantly taken out of politics, out of especially political campaign donation process; we have been trending in the opposite direction; the other factor is redistricting tricks.

  10. MHughes976 on November 17, 2013, 7:49 am

    I don’t see much philosophy in the sense of appeal to shared principles or argument from premise to conclusion here. The suggestion that ‘those who desire peace should prepare for war’ has been around since Vegetius’ military handbook of 1600 years ago – Veg adds that ‘no one attacks a force known to be superior’. In this case, the General seems to think that an attack of some kind is inevitable: on Vegetius’ showing, this would mean that he cannot convince the opposition of his superiority – interesting.

    • lysias on November 17, 2013, 6:02 pm

      ‘no one attacks a force known to be superior’

      I have just read two books about the war between India and Pakistan in 1971 that resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. Actual full-scale hostilities were opened by an air attack by Pakistan, even though no one rational thought Pakistan’s forces were superior to those of India. (Pakistani leader Yahya Khan and some other Pakistani generals claimed to believe they had a chance, because — they said — a Muslim was ten times the soldier as a Hindu.)

      In fact, some Pakistani leaders of the time are on record as saying that, if they had to lose East Pakistan, it was better to do so by being defeated in war than by surrendering without a fight.

      A number of the leaders of Austria-Hungary are recorded as making similar statements before they attacked Serbia and provoked World War One in 1914. (The Austrians thought their forces were definitely superior to those of the Serbs, although events were to prove they had badly underestimated the fighting qualities of the Serbs. However, attacking Serbia made it almost certain that the superior power of Russia would attack Austria.)

  11. Citizen on November 17, 2013, 8:15 am

    Some of the Israeli press has been going insane about this NYT profile; they say it’s questionable whether this philosopher general is even a MOT. Myself, I don’t see anything noteworthy about this IDF officer except his utter banality. I guess most officers of his stature have never read or studied the Humanities at all. He’s like a surprise because he can drop a few philosophical names and quotes–unexpected, from what I read in the Israeli press.

    • American on November 17, 2013, 3:09 pm

      ”his utter banality …Citizen

      Yea, thats the word I was searching for.
      I dont think a word has been created yet though to properly describe what these zios do—–they are always making these banal, trite, illogical, convoluted, lifted from somewhere and misapplied to something else statements–and then declaring it’s…..”Brilliant!!!…Isnt that Brillant!!.

  12. just on November 17, 2013, 9:36 am

    Perhaps Jodi and her folks at the NYT could present such a hagiographic tribute to an Afghan, Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian and/ or US soldier.

    Nah– they won’t. It’s the TAT.

    Wunnerful, innit?

    • MHughes976 on November 17, 2013, 12:03 pm

      Thanks, Citizen, ‘banality’ was the word I was looking for. I’d also expected some of that existentialist strutting that you sometimes get, not only from Israeli sources – what we do in order to survive is right and just, but if the other side goes to extremes and uses similar arguments they are invaders from the pits of hell.

  13. American on November 17, 2013, 2:45 pm

    General Halevi just sounds like a very stupid little guy.
    Babble-crap like… ‘the interesting part is how to extend the time bewteen wars”…. is what passes for ‘philosophy’ and the Jewish intellect Zionist tout? …this is some kind of ‘astounding’ insight?
    Well, they are in deep doo doo if this is the best they’ve got.

    • ritzl on November 17, 2013, 3:37 pm

      He’s the PR machine’s “it’s all about defense” Good Cop. If this is the more enlightened side of Israeli military leadership, the dark side must be really something to behold. Agree, their zealous rigidity assures they are in deep doo doo.

      • just on November 17, 2013, 3:41 pm

        Seems that Israel likes being in a state of perpetual war and does a mighty fine job of cultivating and creating enemies.

      • seafoid on November 17, 2013, 4:28 pm

        They built the IDF into the 4th largest army in the world and it needs wars to justify its existence so they end up having to indoctrinate the kids to feed the war machine. After a while it’s logical , if you speak Hebrew. But otherwise it’s nuts.

      • lysias on November 17, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Victor Klemperer’s book LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii is an interesting book about how the German language had to be cleansed after the Nazi period.

      • ritzl on November 18, 2013, 10:31 am

        Yeah, the Israelis seem to have it exactly backwards “philosopher-generally” speaking. Normal people use the ugliness of war to reflect on its absence and how to prolong its absence, not to create space to desire and prepare for its continuance.

        Though I have to say that we have a similar problem here in the US, among leadership, at the moment(?). But the US voters seem to be getting wise to it. One of the differences (non-shared values) between the US and Israel is that our popular center of gravity on war and peace lies mostly(?) on the side of peace, or at least non-continuous use of massive military force and depletion of resources. We do tend to like to be able to fight our own forest fires.

        Cheers. Great comments. Are you sensing change? I do. I only ask because you seem a bit more energized lately.

      • Taxi on November 18, 2013, 10:35 am

        Yeah, seafoid and just have been very prolific and in fantastic form lately.

      • ritzl on November 18, 2013, 12:37 pm

        And you Taxi, and so many others. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems like the comment themes here are gelling, filtering out, and becoming glacially (mostly in the good sense of inevitability) accepted as a prevailing counter-narrative. Pretty soon the “counter-” part may even be able to be dropped.

      • Taxi on November 17, 2013, 3:44 pm

        There are so many dumb effs in the high ranks of the idf that no wonder hizbollah tacticians spun them dizzy on their coccyx, in 2006.

    • marc b. on November 18, 2013, 9:31 am

      sounds like a very stupid little guy.

      American, my experience in the military in part is that the bureaucracy does not promote critical thinking. knowledge of and adherence to protocol, responsiveness and reaction to a range of anticipated stimuli, etc. (hence the love affair with robotized soldiers and soldier robots. saves on PTSD treatments too). but not thinking. which explains Israel in many ways, with its mandated indoctrination, and which explains how ‘pray for peace, prepare for war’ is seen as some profound philosophy. right up there with, ‘buy low, sell high’. in any event, all these profiles are variations on the ‘shoot and cry’ meme. here we have the sensitive philosopher-soldier, who assures us that he’s not some accountant-killer.

      • American on November 18, 2013, 9:52 am

        @ marc b

        Yeah and even worse ……”extending the time between wars”…is just so typical of zio brain farts…..another borrowed and ‘misapplication’ of some guru like Sun Tzu’s philosophy: …”In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace.”
        Which meant ‘be prepared’ not space out your wars. Cause while you are ‘spacing out’ your wars your enemies are also ‘preparing’ for you.
        I’ve never read about a war where the winning stragety was to take time outs and give the enemy a break so they could recoup.

  14. just on November 17, 2013, 2:48 pm

    Looks like Halevi may just get his wish :

    ‘Israel and Saudia Arabia are secretly working together on plans for a possible attack against Iran in case the Geneva talks fail to roll back its nuclear program, British paper The Sunday Times reported.

    The two countries’ shared concern has put them at odds with the United States as the latter continues to seek an agreement with Iran to ease economic sanctions in return for pulling back nuclear development.

    According to the diplomatic source quoted by the Times, Saudia Arabia has agreed to let Israel use its air space, and assist an Israeli attack by cooperating on the use of drones, rescue helicopters and tanker planes.

    Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is reportedly working with Saudi officials to make arrangements following the signing of a nuclear deal in Geneva.

    “Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” the Times quoted the source as saying. ‘

    I want no part of this! Not one American boot on the ground, not one drone, nothing, not one thin dime.

    (I never believed I would ever read such a thing!)

    So, this has zilch to do with magical nukes– it has everything to do with hegemony. All I know is that both Israel and SA are courting disaster from everybody, everywhere. Nobody will forgive them and they might cease to exist in WW3………….

    • ritzl on November 17, 2013, 3:28 pm

      All this suggests that the “Dr. Strangelove” option (it was a serious morality-play book before it was the black-comedy movie) is also something the Israelis/Saudis have to contend with. Namely that, to prevent WWIII or a global economic meltdown, some US LtC or Commander gives the Iranians the locations of any/all Israeli attack craft.

      There is a somewhat analogous real-life precedent during the Cuban Missile Crisis (for doing the opposite of what is perceived as Duty when all outcomes are unimaginable and bad). PBS/Secrets of the Dead, iirc, had a show about the commander of a nuclear missile-armed Soviet sub who was being attacked by US forces and refused to fire his missiles.

      No one can know if such an act of independent courage would happen should Israel actually decide to attack Iran, but the stakes are so huge, known to, and acknowledged by everyone (outside the GoI and US sycophant zealot circles) that it has to be a major uncertainty factor in Israeli planning. Cause enough for them to to attack given the slim chances of “success” even without the possibility of some act of profound individual act of interference.

      But then the GoI could be eyeballs deep into its own BS and unaccountability that this thought never has entered into their group-think/planning.

    • lysias on November 17, 2013, 6:08 pm

      If Israel and SA launch a war, can the U.S. avoid being sucked in?

      • Taxi on November 18, 2013, 5:41 am

        Israel may launch a war, but not with Saudi Arabia directly at its side.

        Unless, of course, SA wanted its oil fields attacked en mass in the first day of war – a warning that Iran made a few years back.

        The thing about SA is: just like all other illegitimate royals, they are real cowards. SA will never do anything that may threaten it’s hold on power, or destroy Saudi oil fields.

        They protect their oil fields by far more than they protect islam.

      • Citizen on November 18, 2013, 8:47 am

        @ Taxi

        Here’s the current crib sheet profiling the economy of Saudi Arabia:

      • American on November 18, 2013, 10:16 am

        @ Taxi

        Looks to me that both Isr and Saudi are between the ‘rock and hard place’.

        For Saudi, Israel striking Iran’s atomic sites without the US heft scares them shitless cause they know it will only stir the beehive and not stop Iran. Saudi cannot be pro-Israeli politically at home but they also cannot accept Iran having a nuclear weapon–so what they gonna do? Throw fits and keep trying to get the US to do it.

        For Israel, this allience with Saudi on Iran aint going to be a long term deal.
        Saudi will throw them to the wolves afterward whether the I-Lobby gets the US to bomb Iran or not.
        Saudi made ‘two” demands on the US—1)get Iran and 2) settle I/P.
        I/P isn’t going go away in their home/regional politics no matter what happens on Iran.

        Not to be indelicate, but I had two chinese pugs once that during their…..’er….’reproduction’ effort got ‘stuck’ and were howling in pain and fustration till we got them seperated. Thats what the present Isr-Saud romance over Iran reminds me of.

      • Taxi on November 18, 2013, 11:30 am

        LOL American. Thanks for the isrl-SA pug image.

        (p.s. I lurrrrrv pugs!)

      • Taxi on November 18, 2013, 11:40 am

        Thanks for the link, Citizen.

        They’re frigging rich! But decades of mismanagement and shortsightedness, ie, not creating the educational and employment opportunities for their youth, for decades now, will surely come back to bite them in the arse. Looking at the figures of youth unemployment in your link, and especially that of Saudi women (@ a whopping 45%), does not spell a healthy and stable economic future. IMHO.

        The ‘youth bulge’ that Saudi is experiencing and evidently unable to deal with, will be one of the major reasons in the future for the downfall of the House of Saud.

  15. just on November 17, 2013, 3:08 pm

    And here is Netanyahu:

    ” Netanyahu: Iran deal would allow it to ‘breakout’ to bomb in 3 weeks
    In a press conference with French President Francois Hollande, Netanyahu reiterates Israel will not be bound by bad agreement with Iran. Hollande: Goal is for Iran to completely give up nuclear weapon ambitions. ”

    3 weeks now……..The warmonger is really desperate.

  16. Rudolph on November 17, 2013, 7:12 pm


    -True or False: Human Rights Watch reported that in the twenty-four cases of Lebanese civilian casualties which it examined in detail, it found no evidence that Hezbollah [during the 2006 war] deliberately used civilians as shields to protect its fighters from retaliatory Israeli attack.

    -Which human rights organization reported the following concerning the 2008-2009 military operation in Gaza ? “[We] found no evidence that Hamas…directed the movement of civilians to shield military objectives from attacks….In all of the cases investigated…of families killed when their homes were bombed…by Israeli forces…none of the houses struck was being used by armed groups for military activities.…[However we did find that Israeli soldiers] used civilians, including children, as ‘human shields’, endangering their lives…”

  17. RudyM on November 17, 2013, 9:27 pm

    I remember this abuse of critical theory/Continental philosophy by the IDF, so apparently they may actually be reading the humanities, just not putting it to very noble use:

  18. Sibiriak on November 18, 2013, 1:58 am

    Human Rights Watch’s pro-Israel bias has been well-noted in the past. Still that bias pales compared to the NYT’s pro-Israel bias.

    In any case, objectivity does not mean arbitrarily “balancing” reports in response to political criticism and pressure.


    “A former insider explains how Human Rights Watch panders to the Israel lobby”

    [HRW] releases on Israel and Palestine are the only ones in the entire organization that are routinely edited by the executive director himself.

    An informal arithmetic dictates that every presser or report criticizing Israel has to be accompanied by another criticizing the Palestine Authority or Hamas


    Following lobbying by UN Watch, a zionist pressure group, HRW removed Prof. Richard Falk from one of it human rights committees.[4] The founders of HRW were staunchly pro-Israel[5], and over time they have intervened to temper critical reports about Israeli actions. Falk, a prominent international jurist and profesor at Princeton, was a vocal critic of Israel.[6]


    In regard to reporting on the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Israel-based journalist Jonathan Cook claimed that by making statements regarding the intentions of Israel and Hezbollah to target or to avoid targeting civilians that were not justified by the available evidence, HRW “[seemed to distort] its findings to placate the Israel lobby”.

    Cook stated, ‘HRW is accusing Hezbollah of committing graver war crimes than Israel, even though it killed far fewer civilians both numerically and proportionally, because its rockets are “less accurate”‘.[70] A representative of HRW responded, defending the organisation’s objectivity.[71] Cook countered that he did not criticise the empirical aspects of HRW’s research, only its interpretation of that research.[72]

    HRW has also been criticised for taking Israel’s side in its claim that the Palestinians had used human shields.[73][74][75] Norman Finkelstein has criticised HRW for “seeking to appease pro-Israel critics after taking the heat for its report documenting Israeli war crimes in Lebanon?”.[76]


    Jonathan Cook, “How Human Rights Watch lost its way in

    To its credit, HRW has risked much opprobrium for taking Israel to task for systematically breaking international law during its assault on Lebanon. That has culminated in a predictable campaign of harassment by pro-Israel organisations in the US — as well as by the usual suspects like Alan Dershowitz — that have accused its researchers of libelling Israel and being anti-Semitic.

    Such attacks reached an obscene pitch after HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, observed in publicity material accompanying a recent report that Israel appeared to have treated south Lebanon as a “free-fire zone” and that its strikes had failed to distinguish between civilians and Hizbullah fighters.

    Roth, a Jew whose father fled Nazi Germany, was accused in typical hyperbolic fashion of engaging in “the de-legitimization of Judaism, the basis of much anti-Semitism” (New York Sun), being “an ally of the barbarians” and “reflexive Israel basher” (David Horowitz), and resorting to a “slur about primitive Jewish bloodlust” (Jonathan Rosenblum).

    I do not underestimate the damage that such criticism risks doing to the reputations of HRW and Roth. But I also know that no concession to such intimidation can be justified, not if we are to search for the truth or hope to defend the principal victims of violations of international law, the civilian populations of poor and weak nations.

    Name-calling, however distasteful, cannot justify HRW distorting its findings to placate the Israel lobby. But that seems to be just what is happening.

    The most egregious example is to be found in a post-war interview between the New York Times and a senior HRW researcher, Peter Bouckaert, about a recent report, “Fatal strikes”, in which the organisation provides evidence that Israel fired indiscriminately on Lebanese civilians during the fighting.

    Rather than concentrating on HRW’s findings of war crimes in Lebanon — the focus of the research — Bouckaert digresses: “I mean, it’s perfectly clear that Hezbollah is directly targeting civilians, and that their aim is to kill Israeli civilians. We don’t accuse the Israeli army of deliberately trying to kill civilians.

    Cook goes on to show that HRW had absolutely no factual basis for asserting that Israel did not intentionally directly target civilians. In fact, there is a mountain of evidence that Israel in fact DID so target civilians.

    • American on November 18, 2013, 9:36 am

      Roth and HRW got ‘Goldstoned”.
      Happens to every org/group that touches on Israel.
      And is even more effective if its a Jew who’s getting the Goldstoning…the guilt of betrayal, the tribal pressure, the ex communicating….few can withstand it.

  19. just on November 18, 2013, 6:16 am

    For more unbelievable “news”:

    “Israel must be included in Western nations’ group on UN human rights council, allies say
    If bid by six of Israel’s Western allies succeeds, it will be more difficult to isolate and condemn Israel, while it could more easily propose diplomatic initiatives of its own.”

    Western? Human rights? Israel???

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