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Israel is in a pickle

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Jodi Rudoren’s latest New York Times article, “A Push Into Gaza, but the Ground Has Shifted,” is chock full of claims that Benjamin Netanyahu is being tempered in his ground invasion into Gaza. The piece seems designed to lead the reader to believe there’s reluctance and caution going forward from the Israeli side. She even quotes Einat Wilf, a former center-left member of Israel’s Parliament saying that Netanyahu’s actions are “prudent”. As if the Israeli political discourse is logical.

Israel is likely in a pickle. Its stated goal for this invasion is to stop the missile fire (and dismantle Hamas’s control of the strip). To do that it must locate Hamas’ weapons arsenal and thus far, it appears it is clueless as to where they are. Israel doesn’t know the extent of weaponry Hamas has amassed, either in quality or quantity. All the blowing up of civilian infrastructure, including homes and hospitals, won’t end the rocket fire because it’s extremely unlikely any central stash of weaponry is stored in homes, schools, hospitals or mosques. The weapons are probably underground which is why it requires a ground invasion to find them. This is what “deal with the tunnels” means when Obama says  “the current military ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels”.

Rudoren claimed Netanyahu “won plaudits from Israeli leftists this week for embracing an Egyptian cease-fire proposal”. Win plaudits from media pundits he did, but this was not an Egyptian proposal, it was a proposal cobbled together by Tony Blair after Obama had previously spoken with Netanyahu and offered to help broker a truce (without any input from Hamas). A ceasefire catering to Israel represents nothing more than a surrender for Palestine, a surrender worse than retreating to the status quo of endless occupation because hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who were freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap in 2011, were rearrested from the West Bank during a pogrom hyped as a response to the claim Hamas kidnapped the 3 Israeli youths, a claim that has never been backed by even a shred of evidence.

Prior to the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinians were protesting Israel’s inhumane policy of imprisoning scores of Palestinians. Rocket fire from Hamas didn’t commence over nothing, it commenced over that weeks’ long pogrom in the West Bank and Israel’s targeting of civilians. So why would it end without some compromise by Israel regarding Palestinian prisoners? What does Israel relinquish in the current ceasefire agreement? Nothing.  Reneging on negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit is not ‘compromise’. Why make agreements with an entity who steals back what was bargained away the last time. It represents a win win for Israel gaining more ground and tightening the noose around Palestine.

Israel is in a pickle, doing all it knows how to do in a bind, kill while mouthing lies of its professed proficiency at avoiding civilian deaths even as the world watches the savagery.  So while Rudoren claims the ground invasion is “Setting the bar relatively low” providing Israel’s military with “achievable goals” to “build international legitimacy”, what’s likely is that Israeli intel does not know either the quantity, quality or location of Hamas’ weapons stash which means until they find them, they cannot guarantee the rocket fire will end.

And, they don’t know where to look, they are on a fishing expedition in part because Hamas had endeavored to eliminate collaborators since Israel’s 2012 offensive. What’s probable is Israel knows it is operating in the dark which is why it jumped at the opportunity for a ceasefire. Because, like their ’06 failure in Lebanon, massacring thousands of civilians does not a ‘victory’ make. One must accomplish one’s goals. In 2006, Israel’s goal was to dismantle Hezbollah and they couldn’t do that.

Israel would gladly settle for breaking the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas, which has been Netanyahu’s intended goal from the get go. But thus far there’s no indication a division is in the cards. As reported by Nathan Thrall in the New York Times on Thursday,  How the West Chose War in Gaza, “the reconciliation government could have served Israel’s interests”. Hamas had relinquished quite a bit of government control, “pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel” and was “formed without a single Hamas member”. But as Thrall points out:

Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat. Israel’s security establishment objects to the strengthening of West Bank-Gaza ties, lest Hamas raise its head in the West Bank. And Israelis who oppose a two-state solution understand that a unified Palestinian leadership is a prerequisite for any lasting peace.

That’s the last thing Israel wants, legitimacy for Hamas as Palestine pushes forward in their international quest for justice in the global arena which they cannot do as a divided people.

Rudoren ends with:

“This operation is very limited geographically,” Mr. Amidror said. “Most of the operation will not take place in crowded areas with a lot of population, but areas used for agriculture. The land operation, it’s very easy to see where it will be finished. If nothing bad will happen, we will identify the locations of the tunnels, we will blow them up, and we will retreat.”

But he added, “How to finish the whole operation in terms of stopping the rockets and the missiles, this is much more complicated.””

Yes, stopping the rockets and the missiles is more complicated. Because Israel can blow up homes, hospitals, mosques and agricultural fields til the cows come home but they can’t stop the rockets until they either find them, or Hamas’ supply becomes exhausted which could take a long long time. Israel is in a pickle, and slaughtering civilians won’t bring any sort of victory whatsoever.

 Nathan Thrall:

The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.

Hamas offered 10 conditions for a 10 year truce. Has Israel budged one iota on any of those conditions? What’s in it for Palestine agreeing to a ceasefire if the end result is endless occupation, imprisonment and suffering? UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is arriving in the region today in an attempt to mediate a deal between Israel and Hamas.  John Kerry is expected to land in Cairo tonight. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is also showing up.  It’s time to set some goals that require an Israeli compromise, something beyond ending their current slaughter. Agreeing to Hamas’ conditions: Has anyone thought of that?

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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138 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 11:53 am

    Annie, I agree.

    While obviously it’s the people of Gaza who are suffering horribly, Bibi has got himself into a bit of a bind. I suspect he and the rest of Israel’s elite thought this would be a nice episode of ‘mowing the lawn, reassuring the Israeli public about how tough they are, killing a few hundred Gazans, gaining a great marketing opportunity for the ‘Iron Dome’ and maybe getting to test out some new lethal weaponry as well. Then, after a week or so, they would draft some ridiculous ‘ceasefire’ agreement which Hamas would be desperate enough to sign, Israel would have shown the world its ‘deterrence’ and plans could be put in place for the next Gaza massacre 2 or so years down the road. And, of course, the chance to exploit the media distraction of the World Cup was too much to resist.

    However, it hasn’t quite turned out that way. The suffering in Gaza has of course been horrendous, but, while Hamas are no Hizballah, they have shown more resilience and ingenuity than Israel bargained for. And while the US, UK et al have predictably and cravenly stood by Israel 100%, the carnage is so one-sided that not even a pliant media can cover it up. So it’s hard to see what Israel’s end-game is. For all the macho talk of a ‘ground invasion’, the mammas’ boys of the IDF aren’t nearly so great at fighting man to man as they are at killing children. So what’s next? Just wanton destruction for the sake of it? I’d like to think the world wouldn’t allow it, but of course they would, and do.

    BTW a Qatari newspaper has printed details of a Turkish-mediated ceasefire plan. You can read Hamas’ conditions here. They sound eminently reasonable, which of course is why there’s not a chance in hell that Israel will accept them. But at least they can’t use the pretext of ”Hamas refusing a ceasefire” to justify the bombing.

    • Henry Norr on July 19, 2014, 12:27 pm

      Thanks, MDM, for the pointer to Al Jazeera post containing Hamas’ conditions. I agree that they’re eminently reasonable – in fact, it’s hard to see how any reasonable person could say they’re not. Just to save folks the trouble of clicking on your link:

      Qatari newspaper al-Arabi al-Jadeed revealed the proposed Qatar,Turkey-backed truce deal

      Hamas’ terms

      1. An immediate ceasefire of both sides.

      2. The halt to military and security attacks of all kinds from both sides.

      3. Israel will commit itself to completely lift the land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip:
      Israel will open all border crossing, as well as the Gaza Port, in order to allow the entrance of all goods, electricity, gas and any other Palestinian necessities.

      12 miles will be added to the Gaza fishing zone.
      Palestinians will be allowed to move freely in the Gaza border area and there will be no buffer zone.

      4. A plan to rehabilitate Gaza will be put into motion.

      5. Undoing Operation Brother’s Keeper:
      Israel will complete its obligations from the Shalit deal, including the release of Palestinian prisoners who were freed as a part of the deal and re-arrested during the West Bank operation.
      Israel will end all collective punishments and actions against the Palestinians in the West Bank that were put in place since the kidnapping and murder of the three Israel teenagers.
      Israel will release all of the suspects arrested during the operation, among them the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Duwaik.
      Israel will allow Hamas institutes in the West Bank that were shut down during the operation to reopen.
      Israel will return all public property it confiscated during the operation.

      6. Israel will stop its administrative detentions policy and end punishments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

      The ceasefire will be put into effect in the following manner:

      A time will be set for the understandings to come into effect.

      The United States will act as guarantor to ensure the agreement is implemented according to a defined timetable, to safeguard the truce and to ensure there are no failures in the implementation of the agreement. If either side has reservations, it will turn to the United States.

      Both sides will halt fire within six hours from the time the agreement is accepted.

      Here is a link to the paper’s website in Arabic

      • Ira Glunts on July 19, 2014, 4:26 pm

        The Israeli daily Ha’aretz on July 17 reported these five main points as the conditions Hamas wants included in any ceasefire. I have also seen them mentioned in a Palestinian source. The paper said that these conditions would be presented to all interested parties in the meetings that took place in Cairo on that same day.

        If these in fact reflect Hamas’ conditions, I think no. 2 is the key. Unfortunately, Israel and Egypt appear to be strongly opposed to this condition.

        1. Opening all the Gaza border crossings.

        2. Opening the Rafah Crossing with Egypt for 24 hours a day with international guarantees that it will remain open.

        3. Establishing a sea passageway to Gaza.

        4. Giving permits to Gaza residents to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

        5. Freeing prisoners that were part of the Shalit deal, and improving conditions for those who remain in prison.

    • chinese box on July 19, 2014, 12:31 pm


      I’d like to believe that this will change attitudes, but I think the coverage of the plane crash is beginning to siphon away attention from Gaza, at least in the US media. Plus people in this country don’t seem have much of an attention span or willingness to see things in context when reality conflicts with their received opinions.

  2. American on July 19, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Israel isnt in a pickle as long the zionist can control or influence the major governments.
    Israel is not afraid of “talk” or condemnation. The zionist response to that is always to do ‘more and worse.’
    Every realist understands what is going to have be done about Zionism and Israel in the end.

    Psychopaths, and they are the leadership of the cult, would rather destroy themselves in the process of destroying others than save themselves by quitting.

    Deal with this reality.

    • annie on July 19, 2014, 12:17 pm

      Israel isnt in a pickle as long the zionist can control or influence the major governments.

      hmm, i beg to differ. unlike other wars israel went into this one blind. they think they are so high and mighty but they got their collective asses kicked and looked like fools when they couldn’t bring down hezbollah. this isn’t 08-09 anymore. israelis are going to expect the rockets to stop, they are going to expect israel to win this war. and they are unprepared to start loosing soldiers trapped and blown up underground. i don’t think israel knows how to operate here.

      i think they have underestimated hamas. i’d say, that’s a pickle. remember, they have to satisfy the home front. israelis are used to being in control. digging around underground looking for missiles is not the same ballpark as bombing palestinian homes with no israeli casualties.

      Deal with this reality.

      • jd65 on July 19, 2014, 12:50 pm

        Hey Annie and American. I agree w/ both of you to an extent. I agree w/ Annie that this ground invasion feels a bit different than other Israeli military aggressions; a bit more “blind,” desperate, craven and self-aggrandising than others. But, of course, that’s not saying much. The Zionist Israel project has always been all of those things. But I also agree w/ American when he/she says that as long as Israel can broadly influence world governments (The U.S. particularly) to support their actions (ie: slaughters…), there will be no major “pickle.” Annie: your mentioning Hezbollah, combined w/ the issue of Israel being horrified of any legitimate peace initiatives being proffered by a unified Palestinian coalition government (Fatah/Hamas), reminded me of the PLO and 1982. And this goes to American’s point – Our U.S. government bends over backwards to make it look like we would do anything to keep defenseless Israel safe from all the scary Arab World countries into which it decided to insert itself over a century ago. In reality, if the U.S. ever truly withdrew unconditional diplomatic support and military funding, Israel would be more isolated than ever and would lose much of its military edge, forcing it to deal diplomatically with Palestine on the world stage. This is something in which Israel has consistently shown no interest, as evinced by Israeli military analyst Avner Yaniv’s classic description of the PLO’s willingness to engage in diplomacy toward a two-state solution as a “peace offensive” which needed to be neutralized through the brutal invasion of Lebanon in 1982. U.S. protection allows Israel to put off true diplomacy indefinitely. This is exactly what is happening this moment. Israel, the U.S., and Britain are fighting against the “peace offensive” that was (is?) the Palestinian Unity Government. They’re scared. Are they in a pickle? I don’t know…

      • amigo on July 19, 2014, 2:43 pm

        Excuse me for butting in but,

        Israel had a choice,attack Gaza or put up with Palestinian unity.

        Maybe nietanyahu can convince his constituents that the former is less of a threat.Personally , I think either of those two choices lead to the the end of the zionist entity.The only question is which one will usher in that outcome first.

      • American on July 19, 2014, 12:57 pm

        Differ all you want.
        You can look for signs of Israeli failure and embrassments and you can point out all their weakness and continue to do so till the bitter end.

        BUT… is ‘not Israeli blood’ running the streets of Gaza, it is Palestine blood.
        That is the reality.
        Has been the reality.
        Will continue to be the reality unless some power aids Hamas or Gaza or intervenes in behalf of Gaza/Palestine.

        I am not as interested in praising the resilience of Gazans in the face of all their dead or pointing out Israeli embrassments—-as I am in stopping Israel from killing them.

        Israel will do this again and again until it is crushed.

      • annie on July 19, 2014, 1:06 pm

        I am not as interested in praising the resilience of Gazans in the face of all their dead or pointing out Israeli embrassments

        then why bring it up? wars are fought to secure objectives. they are not won by killing civilians. if israel can’t stop the rocket fire they are in a pickle, that’s my point. you can have the last word.

      • American on July 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

        ” if israel can’t stop the rocket fire they are in a pickle, that’s my point. you can have the last word.’….annie

        o.k. my last word.
        If Israel cant stop the rocket fire they will keep on assaulting Gaza with that as their justification.
        The US has accepted their ‘justifications’ every time.
        That the US and others may be scrambling to cobble together some cease fire is the equivalent of sticking your finger in one hole of a dike.
        What Israel has gained so far as of last week is another senate vote for another US 600 million for their Iron dome.

        Israel will do this again and again and again. They have No Reasons not to.

        Sticks and stones will break their bones but’ words’ will never hurt them.

      • Citizen on July 19, 2014, 1:44 pm

        I think the US senate and WH have had the last word. You and I, Annie, are paying for Israel’s project. We will be paying more. It’s the nature of the US political campaign finance system, with no sign of change. Zionist dollars kills native kids in Palestine on the beach playing soccer, and native geezers in Palestine hospitals on life support. US main media blesses this.

      • Walid on July 19, 2014, 4:45 pm

        “Israel will do this again and again and again. They have No Reasons not to.”

        Maybe not, American, at least if it can still hang on in spite of pressure being put on it to quit by Abbas, Egypt and the other rogues that are scrambling to convince Hamas to stop its missiles to get Israel’s ass out of the fire.

        What’s not being told to Israelis is that while its IDF is bogged down 300 meters inside Gaza going around in circles digging up the ground as its air force goes on massacring children, 7 Hamas commandos crossed into Israel this morning, got behind IDF lines and reached 3 km deep inside Israel and stayed there for an hour before being discovered, taking out an APC with a rocket and injuring or killing 6 soldiers and losing one of their own before getting back into Gaza.

        Israel isn’t only in a pickle, it’s in deep shit. Netanyahu is desperate for any small victory at this point as so far, Israel’s campaign is a failure except in the massacre of civilians.

      • Walid on July 19, 2014, 5:15 pm

        The Kassam commando brigade claimed today that it has killed 15 IDF soldiers and officers. The commandos reached Eshkol bypassing the IDF forces via a 2km long tunnel into Israel.

        Firefight currently in progress on Gaza’s eastern border between Hamas fighters and the IDF. IDF trying to score points but getting nowhere. Desperate IDF is shelling indiscriminately all over Gaza now.

      • Bumblebye on July 19, 2014, 8:20 pm

        Interesting Walid. Israel will be unable to claim ‘terroreeesm’ if these Hamas forces haven’t made for civilian homes and massacred them, will they! If Hamas victims are military, they turn out to be the more ‘moral’ fighters. Israel, the IDF, with its multitudinous civilian casualties, including so many children, will again look even worse.

      • Sibiriak on July 19, 2014, 8:43 pm


        ” if israel can’t stop the rocket fire they are in a pickle, that’s my point. you can have the last word.’….annie

        o.k. my last word.
        If Israel cant stop the rocket fire they will keep on assaulting Gaza with that as their justification.

        I agree. Assaulting Gaza. Rejecting any genuine peace process. Occupying the West Bank. Warehousing Palestinians. Annexing territory. Labeling Palestinians “terrorists”. Suppressing domestic dissent ( however little there is). Bolstering a militaristic fortress state-society. ETC. Low-damage rocket fire is in Zionist/militarist interests.

      • Sibiriak on July 19, 2014, 8:50 pm


        Interesting Walid. Israel will be unable to claim ‘terroreeesm’ if these Hamas forces haven’t made for civilian homes and massacred them, will they! If Hamas victims are military,…

        Attacks on military targets by various groups are routinely labeled “terrorism” by state propagandists. The U.S. has consistently done this–the 1983 barracks bombing in Lebanon is a classic example, but only one of many. The Kiev regime is labeling attacks on Ukrainian military forces as “terrorist attacks”. ETC.

      • Sycamores on July 19, 2014, 2:01 pm

        as of now there is no major power intervening on behalf of the Palestinians in Gaza.
        Palestinians death will continue to rise until Israel stops the butchering. so it’s reasonable to ask what is Israel end game?

        annex Gaza? highly unlikely it will mess up the demographic balance in Israel proper.

        destroy Hamas completely? again highly unlikely better the devil you know then to allow another probably more extreme group to take control.

        so what is Israel end game? destroy tunnels and then what?

        here’s another reality.

        if Israeli soldiers get bogged down in Gaza and the number of their deaths start to rise we will see a change in the Israelis support for this carnage as in Lebonan 2006.

        i’m sure Netanyahu is aware of this possible outcome and will sooner or later have no other option but to pull back troops with none of their objectives secured. it looks like Israel doesn’t have an end game besides satisfying their blood lust.

      • just on July 19, 2014, 2:12 pm

        I heard Steven Cook say that perhaps the idea was to turn Gaza over to Egypt… but then again I read this:

        “Steven A. Cook, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said he was not surprised that Egypt’s proposal this week was more reflective of the country’s recent history.

        “I don’t think its interests are in being a mediator,” he said. “I think Egypt’s interests align with Israel. They’ve been aligned on this for quite some time.

        “For the last year, Egyptians have been told that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas … have been seeking to undermine” Egyptian society, Cook said. So while Egyptians remain broadly in support of the Palestinian cause, he said he did not “see Egyptian society mobilized at the moment for Hamas.”

        (I do apologize if this has been seen before…..I can’t seem to keep up right now)

      • traintosiberia on July 19, 2014, 2:46 pm

        The end game? It is impossible to say what the end game is. Here is the difference between Zionist and people who are motivated by a goal . But the process of reaching some kind of goal could be the goal itself for it allows distraction,it extorts concession,it lessens the demands made on Israel,it increases the power of the talking points of Israel ,it empowers Israel to challenge US,UK,France,Germany ( France had banned any pro Palestine demo ) ,it petrifies any fair solution seeking discussion, it also numbs people to wider ,excessive barbarians ,and prolonged violences , it feeds to the general narrative against an enemy that covers Algeria to Phillipine and from Xinjiang to Ethiopia. ( how many times have we heard from partially informed citizen from India ,Nigeria,UK ,USA the charges that Muslims anywhere in the world are always seeking unrest,violence,and anti national activities?. Recent talking down of Obama and the demonization of Islam/ Arab by Israeli ambassador could only spring to life in this degenerate moral swamp. The benefit is enormous . It emboldens Mynamar Buddhist , Sri Lankan militia, supplies more energy to BJP- RSS disciples ,and encourages the neocons not to scrutinize what they say or what Pamella or Gelder does . The public becomes used to racism ,taunting,and to random violence against Muslim in Europe or Canada or US)

        There is no constructive solution on the Israeli plate . There is none on Obama’s or Holland ‘s or Cameron’s or of Blair. It can be in a pickle but it is not suffering either morally or physically. The moral suffering of Zionism is best understood only by the psychopath.

      • Daniel Rich on July 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

        @ American,

        Q: Israel will do this again and again until it is crushed.

        R: I fully agree with you. Yes, at the moment things might not go exactly the Apartheid State’s way, it might be in a ‘pickle,’ but pickles are made out of something, and, in this case, the carcasses of lots and lots of dead Palestinians.

        How many more Operations ‘This or That and Tit for Tat’ do I have to watch over the next 2 decades? Because, no matter the outcome of this one, there will be another one and another one and another one. It will not stop. The Apartheid State does not want a 2SS, it does not want peace, it wants Eretz Yisrael.

        I’ve had it with this monster and will obstruct and fight it and its illegal squatters, every turn of the way.

        It’s open season now and, sorry, I don’t take prisoners either…

      • Abierno on July 19, 2014, 1:34 pm

        Israel grossly underestimated the resistance of the Gazan people – who have been quoted that they feel they are living death every day. Consider the following: In six years, nearly 2,000 Gazan Palestinians have been killed in three Israeli actions – Cast Lead, Pillar of Fire and now the ongoing Mighty Cliff. The deaths have included large numbers of children – 37% Cast Lead, 26% Pillar of Fire. But these are not the only deaths. Israeli attacks during so-called “peace” time average six per week. Many of these are fatal, random and suggestive of nationalistic motivation.

        These are the data of death, but what about the living? Overall, not surprisingly, the quality of life among the Gazans is lower than that of virtually all other countries. Health facilities were severely compromised by the siege and now are even more so with Israeli F-16’s destroying the health infrastructure of the country. Birth defects and infant mortality have been increasing. Israeli missiles have also destroyed water and sewage infrastructures which were badly damaged in earlier incursions. The majority of the population, including children, are food insecure, with considerable fertile land in no-go border areas. Virtually all of the young children, born since 2006, have PTSD, having experienced not just one episode of carnage, but many. Gazans live with high levels of fear – for personal safety, threats to family safety.

        All of these issues are exacerbated by not only the deafening silence from the official governments of the world and the all-controlling UN Security Council. In Israeli, European and, particularly, US media, Gazans are demonized as “terrorists” while the US provides ever more military hardware and munitions to Israel for further predations. The international mantra is “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Palestine – not so much, if at all. Given all of this, is it any wonder than in social media we are seeing posts, that Gazans are choosing actual as opposed to virtual death by a thousand cuts. That some sequester themselves, each family, in one room in their damaged houses, waiting for the slaughter, so no one, particularly a child, is left alive and alone. That others, against impossible odds, fight back with all their meager resources, standing up to the fourth largest and best equipped military in the world.

      • can of worms on July 19, 2014, 4:23 pm

        One thing – it puts the PA cooperation in a pickle; the neoliberal occupation contractors will come out of this in a jam. This was not according to plan.

      • SQ Debris on July 20, 2014, 2:38 pm

        “The international mantra is “Israel has a right to defend itself.”
        Israel could have defended itself thoroughly if it had used twenty years of “Peace Process” to make peace. Instead of peace Israel opted for more dirt with more illegal settlements. So much for self-defense. The Israeli electorate put one government after another into power that eschewed meaningful negotiations. Those sirens they are listening to now are the sound of their own idiocy.

    • ahhiyawa on July 19, 2014, 3:55 pm

      The Israelis are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

      Except for far more limited objectives, this current invasion of Gaza is not much different from the 22 day ‘parade’ through Gaza the IDF made in 2008/9, a war of terror against civilians. The so called vaunted Israeli war machine is steering clear of HAMAS redoubts.

      Post Cast Lead after-action reports detailed the surprise IDF commanders had at the tactical competence and disciple HAMAS fighters displayed on the few occasions of actual combat. It became clear that the day’s when several hundred HAMAS fighters would rally, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” charging insanely into walls of steel and lead were over.

      To take HAMAS out means literally taking the fight into the densest populated areas of Gaza, where HAMAS is dug in deep and prepared to fight a last stand to the death. This will be a battle like Fallujah, where heavy ordnance and fires are only useful in suppressing enemy fires, allowing maneuver elements to close the distance to where the real and decisive fighting begins, muzzle to muzzle. Urban environments make combat worse. Rubbelized urban environments are exponentially worse.

      This of course means many thousands of civilian casualties, far more than the cost free, discriminate terror killings of children and non-combatants the Israelis are addicted to. Even should the Israelis allow civilian evacuation as the US did before commencing operations in Fallujah, most civilians likely can’t because they have no safe place to go with the IDF rampaging and blasting its way throughout the rest of Gaza.

      I believe there will be no decisive combat in Gaza simply because such combat is always casualty intensive. The Israeli public and its government have no stomach for what it will take in IDF dead and wounded to crush HAMAS and settle the issue. This failure of nerve means HAMAS will continue to survive, fighting asymmetrically, exploiting Israeli weaknesses and long term getting stronger. That I believe is the “pickle” Israel is in.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 5:18 pm

        Yes, I agree.

        The Israelis have no stomach for casualties – their own casualties, not those of Palestinians who are of no value – and the IDF really isn’t much of an army, despite all the hype built on victories which took place before most of today’s IDF grunts, and even some of their fathers, were born. This generation of IDF goons were raised to think that ‘military service’ involves harassing pregnant women or kids at checkpoints, and consider having a stone thrown at them to be a war crime. When faced with a real enemy in Hizballah, they ran away. Literally ran away.

        Now, Hamas may not be as slick as Hizballah -and in fairness they operate in a much more difficult environment – but as you say, they are not the fanatical clowns they were only a few years ago. They have learned, in the harshest of circumstances. The suffocating siege means they have very little to live for, so they will fight with a determination not usually seen amongst the mammas’ boys of the IDF, who really want to get back to their Ipads and espresso machines. So it seems Hamas are going for broke. Sadly, whatever happens, the people of Gaza will continue to suffer tremendously. But they seem to have figured that if they’re not killed today, they will be in 2 years or whenever the next ‘lawn mowing’ takes place. So why continue to endure?

        BTW on a slightly different note, seems the IDF is ‘warning’ journalists that ‘they can’t be responsible for their safety’. Sounds more like a threat than a warning to me. The Israelis are in a huff, big time.

      • ahhiyawa on July 19, 2014, 7:34 pm

        The fact that AIPAC and other Israeli front groups could not prevent a reversal of NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin’s return to Gaza has likely prompted these threats. Whether they act on them and willfully slaughter journalists would be a very unwise move.

      • annie on July 20, 2014, 2:45 am

        The Israeli public and its government have no stomach for what it will take in IDF dead and wounded to crush HAMAS and settle the issue. This failure of nerve means HAMAS will continue to survive, fighting asymmetrically, exploiting Israeli weaknesses and long term getting stronger. That I believe is the “pickle” Israel is in.

        ahhiyawa, exactly.

  3. Henry Norr on July 19, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Tony Blair (or more likely someone who works for him) may have written the text of the ridiculous “Egyptian” ceasefire proposal, but I’ll bet the idea came straight from Tel Aviv.

    • just on July 19, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Yep. He’s now stooge to both el- Sisi and Netanyahu… and he’s always been Bibi’s pooch.

    • annie on July 19, 2014, 1:01 pm

      I’ll bet the idea came straight from Tel Aviv.

      henry, that was the subtext of blair ‘cobbling’ it together after obama spoke with netanyahu.

      • amigo on July 19, 2014, 2:28 pm

        Annie, we had more than double the number of protesters today in Dublin–some 5000.Very impressive.

        The main theme , apart from Israel,s brutality was the importance of BDS.

        Were there world wide protests and is someone compiling them.I will forward images if you wish.

      • annie on July 19, 2014, 4:02 pm

        i’m going to have to start another post for them amigo. it takes me so long to download the other one with so many photos on it now. yes, please do send and i have already saved one really good one i found of dublin today. fantastic.

      • amigo on July 19, 2014, 5:19 pm

        Not pushing Annie, I just wanted to be sure Ireland was in the mix.

        I will e.mail you some.

      • annie on July 19, 2014, 6:16 pm

        yes, send me some. i have one from last week and just added another. so 2 of dublin thus far.

      • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 7:45 pm

        A new post would be good huge turnout in London and gay Paris looked like a scene from the occupied West Bank today with rubble all over the streets and the police choking the crown with tear gas. I’ll tweet you some.

      • annie on July 20, 2014, 2:48 am

        thanks sumud, yes we need new thread. in the mean time i hope everyone checks out the additions to the old thread. london yesterday, incredible. others too.

  4. chuckcarlos on July 19, 2014, 12:40 pm

    all of custer’s crow scouts survived

  5. a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 12:48 pm

    I’m no military strategist but even I know that you don’t try to invade a place where you have no reliable intel and fight someone on their own turf. I’m sure the IDF bozos are telling Mr. Sara that. But if the missiles keep coming what can he do?

    I see this playing out in two ways:
    1. Full scale invasion-and when the body bags start coming home and the home front freaks out Mr. Sara will dial up Obama and get him to broker a “truce” that he will say was forced upon him by the duplicitous Americans. The status quo is maintained, without Gazan participation, until the next missile falls.

    2. No further invasion-and when the inevitable showcase atrocity happens and Israel’s standing tanks even further Mr. Sara will dial up Obama and get him to broker a “truce” that he will say was forced upon him by the duplicitous Americans. The status quo is maintained, without Gazan participation, until the next missile falls.

    • Citizen on July 19, 2014, 1:47 pm

      The 1% (owning nearly 40%) of America includes lots of Jews, and they will have their way thru singular focus and bribery. So what’s new?

  6. Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 1:05 pm

    IDF have announced the deaths of 2 of their soldiers who were killed ‘fighting terrorists’.

    Of course, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the 3OO and more Palestinian deaths, but Israelis lack the resilience of Palestinians, and will not tolerate a daily drip drip of Israeli casualties. Like I said, the IDF are world beaters at killing children from a safe distance, but when it comes to fighting the enemy face to face, they’re really not all that.

    Of course, spite and wounded macho pride -both Zionist characteristics – might well lead Bibi to double up on the air strikes and murder many more innocents, just to prove how tough he is. But it does seem that the ground invasion won’t be the lovely little war this has been for the IDF thus far, which presumably is why they delayed it as long as possible.

  7. Whizdom on July 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

    The real pickle is that Israel is running out of Tamir missiles. Or will run out in a a couple of weeks at this current rate of firing. So they had to go in and take out the threat the old fashioned way, or take the risk that they will deplete the Iron Dome reloads used against Qassams and be vulnerable to the longer range missiles Hamas is holding in reserve, or worse, to the 10,000 or more missiles Hezbollah has.

    The original operational concept for Iron Dome was that it would protect military formations and installations in a full on war. Netanyahu just squandered that military resource for essentially political aims.

    Heckuva job.

  8. American on July 19, 2014, 1:43 pm

    The amount of hysterica about terrorist Hamas the zio’s and neo’s on Fox and others are trying to whip up is higher than I have ever seen it before.
    Fox pundits sounded like crazed call to war…they were literally *screaming* in some parts, not even trying to talk in normal octaves.
    Reminded me of clips of Hiter’s shouting speeches to incite his crowds.
    And they were winding Hamas, Russia (the Ukraine) and Obama all into one ball.
    Their masters want WWIII.

    • Taxi on July 19, 2014, 5:38 pm

      They’re freaking out, American, cuz israel’s “in a pickle” indeed. Of course the only answer israel has to all its ‘pickles’ is the use of devastating violence. BUT, this will NOT stop the rockets. Big bastard zio governments for all their power and influence CANNOT stop the rockets. Western media and their racist smears CANNOT stop the rockets either. Not even the god of Moses can stop the rockets. Only hamas can stop the rockets and hamas has conditions that are screaming: There is no going back to the old status quo: THERE IS ONLY DEATH OR THERE’S GOING FORWARD. That’s where they’re at. And 70 years later, that’s EXACTLY where they should be at. This battle is historic because it will finally show the hollowness of isreali power: isreal, mighty israel, 4th strongest army blahblah bs CANNOT STOP ROCKETS FALLING ON ITS CITIES. So what can they do to stop the rockets? Isrealis want to go disco dancing and are demanding their government make the rockets stop! What can the zionist fuhrer do to stop the rockets? Negotiate with Hamas? NEVER IN A MILLION UGLY YEARS! So then escalation of violence is isreal’s only choice, hence the banshees of war you’re hearing on Fox. Here, let’s stop and think for a moment: when you only have one choice to pick from, well, that’s not exactly having a choice now, is it? So really the israelis are suddenly not the masters of their own destiny, marching (tepidly, the cowards!) into war. And that, my dear American, is why israel is “in a pickle”.

      Okay, So israel will use more violence against civilians cuz it has no intelligence on military targets – it can get carried away – yes, we know this – that’s why isreal will have to be physically stopped – and I think they can be physically stopped when I hear that hizbollah has stated: “It is forbidden for Gaza to fall”. It is “forbidden” for Gaza to fall – that’s exactly what they’re saying. Think: if israel cannot stop little hamas rockets falling on their scum settlements and on tel aviv clubsters, what the heck is it going to do when hisbollah joins in and opens a northern front, simultaneously for sure, with Bashar’s Golan? What the heck are they gonna do when thousands of hizbollah drones are released over land and over sea? What to do when Hizbollah missiles start striking the faraway southern tips of isreal? Even if the isrealis throw a hard punch back, how many israeli civilians will pack their bags in a hurry and get the f*ck outta isreal? How many will ever come back with the full knowledge that they are no longer invincible in the Levant; that the “villa in the jungle” days are gone forever; that the villa was nothing more than a house of cards after all?

      The Axis of Resistance WILL fight for Palestine. Because the Axis of Resistance cannot afford to lose Gaza, to lose a foothold in Palestine. The Axis of Resistance will do EVERYTHING it can to ensure that Gaza does not fall.

      The liberation of Palestine could very well be upon us. Unbearably, it will be bloody: blood always being the highest price of freedom. That’s the tragedy of victory.

      And how is hamas doing? Not too shabby, it would seem. They’ve held steady and they’re ready psychologically and logistically to keep pushing back at the israelis. They’re doing their job as freedom fighters on the battlefield better than ever and they’re re-defining their own destiny.

      I’d say isreal’s in a pickle because it knows the rockets, missiles and drones will never stop now till Palestine is free.

      • just on July 19, 2014, 5:52 pm

        Heck yeah Taxi! Superlative post!

        Exactly what I think and sort of said much less effectively than you on another thread.

        I’ll just say that Israel is losing, and will be lost. Palestine and the Palestinians will never, ever give up. Never.

        (How do you say pickle in Hebrew?)

      • Daniel Rich on July 19, 2014, 6:40 pm

        @ just,

        Q: (How do you say pickle in Hebrew?)

        R: Net-An-Ya-Hoo

      • a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 8:36 pm

        “(How do you say pickle in Hebrew?)”


      • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 8:01 pm

        Agreed Taxi! Seems like Hamas are determined this time that this isn’t over until the siege is over. Interesting times!

        Waiting to see how many casualties they inflicted on Israel today, in addition to the two reported by the IDF so far, Hamas also claim an additional 6 from an ambush carried out in Israel.

        Al Qassam Brigade’s arabic twitter account was suspended by obedient Twitter within the last 12 hours right after they published a photo of the 4wd after the ambush – you’ve probably seen it.

        Up a bit Walid says they are claiming 15 killed IDF today, a huge number if it’s true.

        I guess with unemployment at 35-40% they had to do something in a Gaza for the past 5 years: tunnel to Egypt for supplies and build a network into Israel and if I were them all over the rest of Gaza too. If that has been done and they had adequate weapons urban warfare in Gaza city could become a nightmare for the IDF.

  9. Boomer on July 19, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Annie, you may be right about the pickle, but it isn’t clear to me that is the case. At least not in the short run. As Mitchell Plitnick observes:

    “[Israel] has no reason to sacrifice its impunity, because it has might — militarily, economically and politically — on its side. And as long as that is true, it simply has no good reason to moderate its position. In this regard, it acts like any other country. And the ineffectual Hamas rockets, terrifying though they may be to so many in Israel, are not coming anywhere near giving Israel any incentive to change.”


    Personally, I would say that Israel has no “compelling” reason instead of no “good” reason for moderation. From the standpoint of morality, ethics, and justice, there are good reasons. But they are not part of realpolitik, at least in the short run. The long run may be different. With the long run in mind, I am struck by O’Hehir’s concluding observation at Salon:

    “Of course there’s more to the history of the modern State of Israel than its fraught relationship with the United States. Israel’s roots extend back to 19th-century European Zionism, and before that deep into the peripatetic story of the Jewish people. But in the decades since Israel was born out of the global guilt and shame of the Holocaust, America has become its adoptive parent, banker and principal benefactor. From the American perspective Israel looks something like Frankenstein’s monster, a morally dubious and arguably unnatural creation that was stitched together with the noblest of intentions but not much foresight, and that produced a painful litany of unintended consequences. In that analogy we are Victor Frankenstein, who can never unmake his wayward creature, control it or untether himself from it. If I remember the story correctly, they destroy each other in the end.”

    • American on July 19, 2014, 10:08 pm

      @ Boomer

      “From the American perspective Israel looks something like Frankenstein’s monster, a morally dubious and arguably unnatural creation that was stitched together with the noblest of intentions but not much foresight, and that produced a painful litany of unintended consequences. In that analogy we are Victor Frankenstein, who can never unmake his wayward creature, control it or untether himself from it. If I remember the story correctly, they destroy each other in the end.”

      That quote is so right.

      • RoHa on July 20, 2014, 12:10 am

        Almost right. I don’t agree with the phrase “morally dubious”. I have no doubts at all about the moral status of Israel.

      • Daniel Rich on July 20, 2014, 12:28 am

        @ American,

        Q: but not much foresight…

        R: That is absolutely not true. I’ve read papers written almost over a century ago that spell out, in minute detail, the chaos that will ensue once the Apartheid State is established. The reason being that the [non-existing] local populace would be, well, not happy with the theft of their land.

    • annie on July 20, 2014, 9:39 am

      boomer, the paragraph prior to your quote, and the preceding sentence from Mitchell Plitnick arethis:

      It can only come from an international delegation, either under the auspices of the UN or in the form of a committee from a variety of countries. There would need to be international guarantees and sanctions applied to both sides (and, crucially, actually enforced) for violations of any agreement.

      That, of course, is not something Israel would ever accept.

      can you explain to me what difference it would make whether israel accepted international sanctions against it? what is the point of an international delegation from either the UN or a variety of countries threatening actually enforcing sanctions if this required an acceptance from israel? can you give me another example of a country accepting sanctions against it, or sanctions being canceled because the country being sanctioned didn’t agree to them. i’m not familiar with those kinds of sanctions.

      • Boomer on July 21, 2014, 8:55 am

        I agree with you Annie, that Israel’s acceptance should not be the deciding factor. In practice, what we have seen (and what you know) is that if Israel won’t accept it, the U.S. will veto it, thus precluding action through the Security Council. In theory, other nations could organize BDS type actions without the U.S., but whether that will ever happen to an effective extent in the face of U.S. opposition seems doubtful. At least not unless and until the U.S. role in the world is reduced by the rise of other powers. That seems to be inevitable, but probably not soon enough to help Gaza.

        I see that last night the Security Council declined to endorse Jordan’s draft resolution for a cease fire. Jordan’s draft evidently included provision for Israel to withdraw forces from Gaza and relax the restrictions on import of food and other items. The news accounts I’ve seen did not explain why Jordan’s effort failed, but I infer that it was not acceptable to the U.S.

  10. Palikari on July 19, 2014, 2:46 pm

    The anti-Israel video is deeply insulting and inaccurate. The American press is anti-Israel.

    • amigo on July 19, 2014, 4:42 pm

      “The American press is anti-Israel.”palikari

      Well that,s it then.The whole world is against you poor downtrodden misunderstood peasants.

      Apologies to peasants.

      • Palikari on July 19, 2014, 5:18 pm

        That the American press is anti-Israel is a fact. Why don’t they report that Hamas uses civilians as human shields? WHy don’t they interview Israelis from the south?

        The American press is biased against Israel.

    • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 8:06 pm

      Oh my you are a precious flower if you think that Palikari.

    • RoHa on July 19, 2014, 9:17 pm

      “The American press is anti-Israel.”

      Would that it were!

      The fact that you can write that sentence shows how totally detached from reality you are.

  11. Walid on July 19, 2014, 3:05 pm

    Speaking of destruction, Israel’s pals in Mosul today burned down a Syrian Catholic church that’s 1836 years old. A clear message to Christian of Iraq.

    • MahaneYehude1 on July 19, 2014, 4:06 pm


      Speaking of destruction, Israel’s pals in Mosul today burned down a Syrian Catholic church that’s 1836 years old. A clear message to Christian of Iraq.

      Speaking of destruction, Palestine’s pals in Mosul today burned down a Syrian Catholic church that’s 1836 years old. A clear message to Christian of Iraq.

      I wonder how all of you would react if I write the same comment but replace “Israel” with “Palestine”. I imagine that after several replies indicating I am a liar, you would ask for “sources”. But not in this case, since it is clear to all MW readers that those Iraqi Muslims are “Israel’s pals”.

      • Walid on July 19, 2014, 5:13 pm

        Mahane, ISIS is the one that declared that it will not go anywhere near Israel, so it means there’s something between them. That oil that reached Israel from Ceyhan last week was thanks to ISIS letting it through.

        Isis’ only pals are the Israelis.

      • American on July 19, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Walid says:

        July 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        Isis’ only pals are the Israelis

        Heh…for how long?

      • Daniel Rich on July 20, 2014, 12:35 am

        @ American,

        The man in black stoned a woman to death the other day for adultery. You can’t expect them to hop in their shiny Toyota pickup trucks and start kicking apartheid state soldiers’ assesssss now, can you?

        Also, keep an eye on Massoud Barzani and his clan [Kurdistan]. The US/Apartheid State will have a new springboard into the ME any day soon now.

      • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 8:12 pm

        What else do you know about that Walid?

        A Bahraini paper published an article claiming from Snowden-leaked documents there was proof ISIS were created by US/Israel/UK…

        I’ve found it odd how quiet Israel has been about Syria over the past 2-3 years.

      • MahaneYehude1 on July 19, 2014, 10:50 pm


        Thanks Walid. Nice to know that ISIS members are our friend. I hope they are reading MW too.

      • Mooser on July 20, 2014, 2:13 pm

        “Thanks Walid. Nice to know that ISIS members are our friend. I hope they are reading MW too.”

        Mehane, everybody reads Mondoweiss. Everybody knows that.

  12. crone on July 19, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Annie, thanks for this article… I agree Bibi is in a pickle. I hear and share American’s concern. And I think your premise fits right into that concern. As Richard Silverstein said a few days ago, and many others have expressed the same belief ~ Bibi has no exit strategy. Having no exit strategy means he will go on and on killing Palestinians… until he finds one, their blood will continue flowing their the streets.

    G-d help us all.

    On another topic. I have a question for the knowledgeable here at Mondo. This youTube was linked at another blog. I watched it, knowing nothing about the interviewee, except that he is purported to be an anti-zionist Israeli Jew. Does anyone here know anything about him, and about his subject matter. His name is
    Yossi Gurvitz – I hesitate to post the youTube link because if his charges are bogus, I will be spreading disinformation. Thanks ~

    • a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

      Gurvitz posts from time to time at 972mag, which is a group of mainly Jewish and Arab bloggers. They regularly have interesting articles on Israeli society and the I/P issue. If memories serves Gurvitz was raised in an Orthodox family but is not now religious. He has documented IDF abuses among other things. He’s definitely a
      Lefty and therefore not part of the Israeli mainstream, but that’s a good thing. I have found his articles interesting and informative. I am not aware that anyone has had a problem with his accuracy, except Zionists.

    • Taxi on July 19, 2014, 6:01 pm

      “Bibi has no exit strategy.”

      He doesn’t even have an entrance strategy.

    • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 8:17 pm

      Crone TBH I don’t know much about him but doing a quick search Phil has interviewed him before and published an article about it:

      Post the video, let’s see what he has to say!

    • annie on July 20, 2014, 9:46 am

      crone, i can’t see the video you’ve linked to but i can say yossi gurvitz is someone i respect very very much. so much so i implored phil to interview him the next time he visited israel and he did, w/video:

      if you google “mondoweiss Yossi Gurvitz” you can find his work as contributor to mondoweiss as we’ve picked up his articles before. yossi also works for yesh din and we’ve featured articles he’s written from there. quite a few actually. the last i recall citing him was pogrom in qursa.

      another i am having trouble opening is gurvitz’s/mondoweiss “Israel’s not-so-stellar record on treatment of Christians”

  13. hophmi on July 19, 2014, 3:20 pm

    Do you think that if you repeat nonsense enough it will become true?

    Can you tell me why Hamas should have any role in negotiating a ceasefire if it is the overwhelmingly defeated party? The victorious party dictates the terms of the ceasefire, not the other way around.

    You can bray on about how Israel is massacring civilians, but if that’s true, they’re doing a terrible job. Countries massacring civilians do not have a ratio of 1 person dead for every 8 targets. Guernica is a good example of what massacring civilians is, where 1600 people were killed in one day, and where bombs were purposely dropped on a day when people were outside. That is not what is happening here.

    Like Arab dictators, autocrats, and terrorists, you claim victories that are not there and do the people you purport to advocate for a grave disservice by helping to empower the despots who rule them.

    I pray that Hamas plays no role in crafting any ceasefire agreement. The Palestinians would be greatly served if they were totally defeated.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 3:39 pm

      ”The victorious party dictates the terms of the ceasefire, not the other way around. ”

      LOL! Hophmi – who has had nothing whatsoever to say on Israel’s slaughter in Gaza as he’s too busy sniffing out ‘anti-semitism’ lurking in dark corners – thinks this is a real war. How many dead Palestinian children constitutes a ‘victory’, Hophmi?

      ”You can bray on about how Israel is massacring civilians, but if that’s true, they’re doing a terrible job.”

      No. If Israel is ‘trying to protect civilians’ it’s doing a terrible job. By all accounts, the vast majority of Palestinians murdered by Israel – 33O at last count – have been civilians, and a quarter of the total are children. What military objective is gained by murdering entire families watching TV? If these people were not disposable Arabs, but sacred Israeli Jews, do you seriously think you would not be calling this a massacre? Your convoluted ‘maths’, probably suggested to you by some hasbarasite, is nonsense.

      ”Like Arab dictators, autocrats, and terrorists, you claim victories that are not there”

      Or like the Israelis, who are still rather hilariously claiming that they defeated da kheezbalakh in their last World Cup special. And nobody is claiming a ‘victory’. Just that this little episode of ‘lawn mowing’ hasn’t turned out to be quite as much fun for the IDF as they might have hoped, even if the Sderot Cinema brigade are lapping it up.

      ”The Palestinians would be greatly served if they were totally defeated.”

      Rule 34654 of Hasbara: Always, even in the same post where you shrug off hundreds of dead Palestinians, claim that you care – you really really care – about Palestinians.

      Fools noone, hophmi. Hasbara is dead as a do-do.

      • Mooser on July 20, 2014, 2:19 pm

        Yeah, I kept on asking Hophmi when Israel declared war, and on who.
        So Hophmi wants Israel to have none of the responsibilities or risk of war, but garner all the benefits of victory.

      • Kris on July 20, 2014, 3:19 pm

        @Mooser, maybe BDS should include boycotting hasbarists on blogs like this.

    • Penfold on July 19, 2014, 3:48 pm

      “Do you think that if you repeat nonsense enough it will become true?”

      Isn’t that the Israeli mantra or do I mean foreign policy?

    • just on July 19, 2014, 3:59 pm

      “I pray that Hamas plays no role in crafting any ceasefire agreement. The Palestinians would be greatly served if they were totally defeated.”

      Goodness, hophmi. You’re parroting the line of Israel. Didn’t anybody teach you that you negotiate with your enemies, not with your friends?

    • chet on July 19, 2014, 4:15 pm

      Thank you ZioBot for referencing Guernica in connection with the the Israeli Gaza massacre – you have helpfully provided a visual image as well as a conceptual reference point for the Israeli barbarism.

    • Abierno on July 19, 2014, 5:12 pm

      First, Hopmi, the Hamas demands that would bring about a ceasefire from their side represent the collective goals of the Palestinian unity government. Please remember that Hamas is a political party foremost and at the current time, represents the democratically elected government of Gaza. A political party which has long recognized the state of Israel, albeit not the state of Israel as solely for the Jewish people. Israel is not only fighting the military wing but splinter groups such as the PFLP, etc. The demands on the table from Hamas represent a fair and just attempt at stabilizing the situation in a manner which will address issues crucial to the health, welfare and political freedom of all Palestinians represented by the unity government.

      Second, Hopmi. I would refresh you memory regarding the occupations of Germany and Japan at the end of World War II. The allied nations realized these political and civic virtues were necessary for effective rebuilding of the belligerent counties:

      “Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well articulated objectives, a clear chain of command, tolerance and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively… free from partisan politics (John Dower, 2011)”

      As we all know, the allied countries through the Marshall Plan contributed significantly to the restoration of Germany. In neither country did the allies seek revenge or vengeance although the two wars (Pacific/Atlantic) contributed to a grievous numbers of deaths and unprecedented war crimes. It was the emphasis on economic rebuilding, political respect for the conquered, and assistance in reconstituting those countries as working democracies that reduced to a bare minimum insurgencies such as those which plague Israel.

      I would suggest that you consider the parallels between the occupations of Germany and Japan, which lasted a bare 10 years, and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and de facto occupation of Gaza. What would have been the outcome if Israel had well defined and articulated objectives to move the occupied territories to an economically stable, politically viable democracy? Particularly, in the context of Israel being given unprecedented levels of financial, military (munitions, hardware and training) and political support? The Palestinian treaty goals are fair, just and seek the same end as in the earlier occupations which were so successful.

      • just on July 19, 2014, 6:11 pm

        Fantastic post, and absolutely correct, Abierno.

      • RoHa on July 19, 2014, 7:50 pm

        Well said, Abierno.

    • annie on July 20, 2014, 10:06 am

      Can you tell me why Hamas should have any role in negotiating a ceasefire

      because israel wants the rockets to stop and hamas controls them?

      Hamas… it is the overwhelmingly defeated party?

      really? they are not acting defeated. if they are “overwhelming[ly]”defeated how is it they are still killing israeli soldiers? and how come israel is beginning a ground invasion if hamas is already defeated? something seems a little skewered in your logic.

      • MHughes976 on July 20, 2014, 11:11 am

        A ceasefire is a term for an agreement between two sides, whether or not one is overwhelmingly victorious or whether or not they are equally balanced. If one side is, or indeed if both sides are, totally annihilated then hostilities stop but you wouldn’t call it a ceasefire.

    • oldgeezer on July 20, 2014, 10:44 pm

      What no inclusion of the wounded and injured in your mathematics? With the weapons that the cowardly idf are using the difference between dead or wounded is one of luck and has nothing to do with that terrorist organization aka idf taking care to not kill civilians.
      Field artillery against civilians?

      It would be a lot harder to find an ounce of morality in the GoI and it’s supporters than to find a tunnel built by Hamas.

  14. crone on July 19, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Thanks hophmi,

    you just verified that Yossi Gurvitz is correct.

    “… a grave disservice” some choice of words there.

    “a ratio of 1 person dead for every 8 targets.” First it’s laughable that there are 2400 military targets in Gaza. (hyperbole is thy middle name?)

    and second, I guess wounded people don’t count as targets… they need to be DOA? And old people in rehab, trapped in their infirmity and their environment? They don’t count either? If I could reach through this screen, I would throw ice cold water on you head, in an effort to wake that brain of yours, that apparently doesn’t have two neurons left to synapse.

  15. HarryLaw on July 19, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Six Palestinian prisoners released as part of the Shalit swap have been rearrested in the sweep in the West Bank and have been told by Israeli judges they will have to serve the rest of their life sentences, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Prisoner affairs Zayad Abu-Ein said “This represents a disregard to the world and to the international and humanitarian values,” he added, accusing Israel of not honoring any agreements or understandings concluded with any party, whether regionally or internationally.
    “This makes Israel a state above the law and a state of gangs that has no political credibility.”

    • oldgeezer on July 20, 2014, 10:46 pm

      “Israel of not honoring any agreements or understandings concluded with any party,”

      How could anyone ever expect otherwise. I wouldn’t trust them if they offered to pay for my supper let alone anything else.

  16. Helena Cobban on July 19, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Nice piece, Annie!

  17. wondering jew on July 19, 2014, 5:22 pm

    Annie robbins- This is not the first time that you referred to the crackdown on Hamas on the west bank in the aftermath of the kidnapping as a pogrom. Before entering the politics, you are misusing the word “pogrom”. Pogroms are primarily civilians against civilians, in the most insidious examples these civilian riots are incited by the police (ruling authorities with weapons). What occurred on the west bank was an army action.

    It seems that you are using the word because you feel that the army action arresting Hamas was egregious and therefore must be painted with a word that expresses your disapproval. But pogrom is not the word that describes what happened.

    An optimist might imagine that Hamas and the government of Bibi might reach some kind of agreement that would last a bit. I cannot stretch that far. So what we have is that Fatah and Hamas are/were trying to reconcile and Bibi was not pleased. The status quo since he entered office (the second time in 2009) was being disturbed by this reconciliation and he decided to crack down on Hamas. I think it was a destabilizing move and we are witnessing instability. An optimist would imagine that instability will lead to greater stability through shared interests between Israel and Hamas. I cannot stretch that far.

    • Citizen on July 20, 2014, 8:44 am

      If Bibi keeps going with his move from Iron Dome to Iron Fist, and assuming all the foreign journalists don’t get scared out of Gaza, or called away by Zionist sympathizers in the upper story of US main media in the name/guise of their own security, which was already tried but arrested by Glen Greenwald and JVP interalia, then Dick and Jane might actually awaken to the plausible reality that there tax payer dollars are funding war crimes by proxy Israel and that Israel is painting targets on their backs with its conduct, breeding more terrorists far into the future. Some may already be streaming among the South Americans crossing the US Southern border. Don’t see what Obama can do about it in light of the 100% Senate vote supporting Israel’s latest OP Protective Edge (in English) aka Rock Solid in Hebrew (something like that).

    • annie on July 20, 2014, 11:17 pm

      Pogroms are primarily civilians against civilians

      the definition of a word is not limited to how it is primarily used.

      What occurred on the west bank was an army action.

      primarily (settlers participated you know), yes i am aware of that. however, there’s nothing in the definition describing the perpetrators of the crime, just the victims: many helpless people usually because of their race or religion.

      that sounds about right to me.

      • W.Jones on July 21, 2014, 1:34 am

        “Pogroms are primarily civilians against civilians”.

        OK, so I suppose that the imperial Cossack guards’ actions would not qualify as pogroms?

  18. ivri on July 19, 2014, 6:39 pm

    It`s true that Israel is confronting a very tough situation, there is no denial of that. The right parallel is not the war with Hezbollah but the second Intifada. There too it seemed hopeless from Israel`s point of view: the waves of suicide bombers from everywhere right near the heartland of Israel, lack of support for Israel by the Europeans, total support of the Intifada by Arab countries and a much better political standing of Arafat following the Oslo agreement. That was a real bind and it indeed took many casualties in Israel until, against all odds, a way to deal with it was found.
    This is the second big try of Hamas – and in my view the last one. Hamas is now in a small area further away from the centre of Israel and it operates in an altogether different global political climate, particularly a severed relationship with Egypt, which controls its lifelines. There is a limit to how long they can hold out in such conditions.

  19. Boomer on July 19, 2014, 7:27 pm


    I didn’t mean, in my earlier comment, to disagree in anyway with your conclusion. Israel should reach an agreement with Hamas. The Hamas proposal is reasonable; actually quite modest. Whether Israel will see things that way, absent pressure from the U.S. (which obviously does not seem likely), is another matter. In this regard, I find it helpful to review a chronology of recent events:

  20. a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 9:47 pm

    Offered without comment, from the IDF spokesman himself: “Revealed for publication: The Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israel this morning and killed 2 IDF soldiers were wearing IDF uniforms.”

    • talknic on July 20, 2014, 5:39 am

      The IDF are legitimate targets so it ain’t terrorism. However wearing IDF uniforms is a no no. Likewise Israeli undercover ops and assassins not having visible arms and a recognizable insignia, like the ugly gutless naziesque thugs who beat Tariq Abu Khdeir.

  21. wes on July 20, 2014, 1:05 am

    Once troops are on the ground and dug in and using the same tunnels,air strikes will destroy much of what is left standing in the north.

  22. irishmoses on July 20, 2014, 2:31 am

    Stratfor had an interesting piece a few days ago about why the Israeli military didn’t want a ground invasion. It feared it would put Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a use it or lose it position re the remaining rockets and that all might be fired at once which could well result in some serious Israeli casualties as Iron Dome would be overwhelmed and the odds of lucky hits would be increased by the sheer numbers being fired.

    It’s second concern was about Hamas having hi-tech antitank weapons from the looted Libyan arsenals which would be deadly for Israeli armor.

    My guess is that this “invasion” may be more of a sop to the Israeli ultra-right while taking little risks. I think they are probably also leading with infantry to smoke out any anti-tank ambush sites. This puts the infantry at risk.

    I’m surprised there has been no mass firing of rockets. Hamas must feel they’re not at risk yet. It may also be waiting for Israel to get deeper into Gaza before heavily engaging with their own infantry.

    Hamas and Hezbollah remind me of the NVA. Very cagey fighters who were quick to figure out weaknesses in high tech, heavy weapons tactics and then come up with effective workarounds. I think the IDF may be in for some surprises in the next few days unless the Israeli invasion is more sham than substance.

    Israeli political intransigence coupled with its maximum oppression of Gaza and even the West Bank has created a dangerous fatalism in the Palestinians. As someone else said, Hamas has no reason for a cease fire (without significant Israeli concessions) as it would just return them to their normal state of deprivation and desperation. Total failure of peace talks must leave WB Palestinians feeling the same way.

    • Sumud on July 20, 2014, 10:44 am

      Rumours around that Iron Done – in addition to being not that effective after all – is running low on ammo and Hamas have as-yet-unused larger missiles still in reserve. At the same time IDF claim Hamas have depleted over 50% of their arsenal.

  23. Walid on July 20, 2014, 3:31 am

    Israel on Sunday morning admitted to having had 5 of its soldiers killed. It always reports late “some” of its deaths. The Kassam brigade claimed another 6 deaths of IDF soldiers from last night that included a senior Golani officer.

    A Palestinian journalist was deliberately targeted and killed. When a doctor and 2 Red Cross medics went out to retrieve him, they too were targeted and killed, 40 bodies of Palestinians were taken to Shifa Hospital as well as 400 injured. More bodies still under the rubble but they can’t be reached because of the non-stop shelling.

    Egypt still refusing to open Rafah or allow in any help.

  24. just on July 20, 2014, 3:40 am

    Murderers. 40+ dead Palestinians. 400+ wounded. Sounds genocidal to me.

    Another journalist targeted and murdered- a doctor and two medics murdered. War crimes.

    What will Jen say? “I’ll get back to you after we do a thorough

    Thanks Walid. ;(

    • Walid on July 20, 2014, 3:46 am

      Hamas suicide bomber just destroyed a tank. Israel is still at the 300 meter mark and doesn’t dare advance. Cowards.

      3 hospitals in Israel are treating about 60 DF injured.

      • Walid on July 20, 2014, 3:50 am

        On Jazeera, doctor confirming the hospital received 40 dead and 400 injured from the Shajaaa Street in east Gaza being shelled since early this morning. He is saying this is the biggest single massacre in Gaza’s history. 25,000 refugees fled the Shajaa street shelling and are walking around with nowhere to go.

      • Speedy on July 20, 2014, 1:12 pm

        Cowards? How about the war crime of Hamas wearing IDF uniforms?

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 3:51 pm


        How dare the Palestinian Resistance use a basic war tactic?! How dare they use hebrew cloth against the idf?!

        I hope every single idf butcher bastard in Gaza suffers the horrendous grip of paranoia right in the thick of battle – suffers eternal nightmares in a mental institute thereafter – if he survives Gaza, that is.

  25. Walid on July 20, 2014, 4:06 am

    Bodies being shown all over the Shajaia street. These weren’t counted in the 40 that were taken to the hospital. What is Israel is doing is nothing new and it’s part of its mentality but Egypt should be ashamed of itself.

    Israel just admitted to having 51 soldiers injured.

  26. dbroncos on July 20, 2014, 5:12 am

    One way or another Zionism has to be abolished. The Jewish State has to go. Equal rights under the law for Palestinians and Jews alike. Let this be the pickle Israel finds itself in after their killing festival in Gaza.

    • Walid on July 20, 2014, 5:31 am

      Ambulances being prevented by Israel from entering Shoujaia, Touffah and Zeitoun streets to look for survivors. Hamas missiles still falling on Beersheba, Eshkol and TA. The Golani senior officer that’s seriously injured was hit inside Israel by the Kassam Brigade and not in Gaza. The Kassam people are saying that was their 3rd or 4th operation inside Israel.

      Number of dead from this morning’s massacre on Shoujaia street up to 50 with more under the rubble.

      • Walid on July 20, 2014, 6:06 am

        The jar of pickles is getting bigger; director of Israel’s Soroko Hospital in the Negev said that the hospital has treated 150 Israeli soldiers since 3 days.

      • Walid on July 20, 2014, 6:15 am

        Shifa hospital now treating patients on the floor because of lack of beds.

        Kassam Brigade captured a live soldier. Dr Mads Gilbert is saying that Israel is using munitions that cut the bodies to pieces and others that cause death within 2 weeks.

      • Walid on July 20, 2014, 6:52 am

        Israel changed its mind and will allow the Red Cross a 2-hour lull to pull out the dead and injured from Shoujaia street. That should raise the number of confirmed dead to 50 with about 20 others in the streets that were photographed by journalists and other ones under the rubble.

        Abbas, has announced a 3-day mourning period for Gaza victims.

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 10:20 am

        Israel is punishing civilians cuz it’s losing on the battlefields of Gaza.

    • Sumud on July 20, 2014, 10:50 am

      Agreed dbroncos.

      The goal is the complete destruction of zionism in Israel.

      Zionists, no, of course not – zionism, yes. Either reduced to the status of the KKK or if Israel is permitted by the US to go far enough then we have, in zionism, the 21st centuries’ equivalent of nazism.

      This will actually occur with limited input from Palestinians or people who support Palestine. It’s just the internal logic of zionism playing itself out.

  27. Nevada Ned on July 20, 2014, 7:03 am

    For the most part, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen.
    But let me make two confident predictions:

    (1) J Street will be a casualty. They joined AIPAC, the ADL, and others in endorsing Israel’s orgy of death and destruction. How can they possibly have any credibility, having sided with Netanyahu, the Israeli far right, and Israel’s massacre of children. Bye bye, J Street, and good riddance.

    (2) The BDS movement will get a big boost from these tragic events. The debate that raged in the Presbyterian Church about divestment will occur in other mainstream churches, but this time the advocates of BDS will have a stronger hand.

    • Speedy on July 20, 2014, 8:34 am

      @NN, I predict that both your predictions will not come to,fruition. All that will happen so that the Palestinians will get another lesson on why it is wrong to hate

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 9:36 am

        F*ck predicting: here’s what’s gonna happen:
        1- isreal will end up in smoke and rubble.
        2- The despicable zionist jews, zionist moslems and zionist christians alike will either be dragged off to the Hague or they’re gonna f*ck off to wherever the heck they came from (not Palestine that’s for damn sure!)
        3- The zionists will be stuck in their racism and goy-hate for the rest of their miserable lives, passing it from one generation to the next.

        I definitely see Palestine free of zionism, israel and evil.

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 10:06 am

        Oh wait, I do actually have a prediction:

        Instead of jews being known as victims of the German holocaust, they’re gonna be known as child killers (well that’s kinda started already). The cause of this dark turn: zionism!

        My, my – the bathos, the bathos, the bathos….. from victim to child killer. How low and long the fall will be.

      • Mooser on July 20, 2014, 2:27 pm

        “My, my – the bathos, the bathos, the bathos….. from victim to child killer. How low and long the fall will be.”

        I get the unshakable feeling that Israelis are convinced the world, the West, whatever will thank them for eliminating the Palestinians, or some large portion of them. They think it will redound to the credit of the Jews?
        That’s the only possible explanation I can find for their attitude.
        I don’t think they are right.

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 3:34 pm

        I’m sorry I depressed you, Mooser.

        It would seem to be the case that in the eyes of zionist jews, every Palestinian man, woman and child wears an un-shave-able Hitler mustache.

        It’s a sickness, Mooser, it’s a sickness that I don’t think an eye doctor can fix, but a humiliating military defeat sure can.

    • wondering jew on July 20, 2014, 11:31 am

      Nevada Ned- J Street is not meant to have credibility with anti Zionists or even with the general public. It is designed to serve as a support system for a US president in case that president journeys in the direction of confrontation with Aipac in searching for Israel Palestinian peace. J Street wants credibility with middle of the road American Jews who support Israel. Your attitude towards them does not matter one whit to their raison d’etre.

      • Mooser on July 20, 2014, 2:30 pm

        “It is designed to serve as a support system for a US president in case that president journeys in the direction of confrontation with Aipac in searching for Israel Palestinian peace. “

        I totally see a great martial arts movie! “Obama and the J-Street gang, vs. AIPAC!”

  28. a blah chick on July 20, 2014, 7:18 am

    “Abbas, has announced a 3-day mourning period for Gaza victims.”

    That’ll help.

  29. Walid on July 20, 2014, 8:01 am

    The lull is only for the Shoujaia street only. Ambulances just brought in 5 corpses of which 3 are children.

    Doctors saying morgue’s refrigerator doesn’t have any more capacity and bodies in plastic bags are being left on the floor. The sick Israelis stopped shelling Shoujaia street itself but are still shelling the road between it and the hospital. Another 5 corpses were brought to Shifa.

    Number of dead since this morning 60.

    Contrary to what Abbas is selling, Mustafa Barghouti is asking the West Bank to rise in an intifada for what is happening to Gaza. Jazeera is broadcasting live from Shoujaia street showing the neighbourhood attacked by F16s as if hit by an earthquake. 2 ambulances were hit by missiles. Barghouti is saying that those Arabs that are remaining quiet in all of this are actually working with Israel and that the Zionist regime has reached the end of its road.

  30. RoHa on July 20, 2014, 8:21 am

    I’m sure you are working on a thread to update the protests. Just a quick bit of googling got me these. You probably have them already.

    I see protests in Tunisia and Yemen as well as the major cities of Australia, the South American countries, the Far East, and of course Europe. Many big cities of Britain.

    Even protests in the US and Canada.

    And I also found this.

    I stopped reading after the first few sentences. I’m too old for it. Apoplexy is not how I want to go.

  31. just on July 20, 2014, 9:18 am

    Ok. Kerry just said the SOS wrt Israel. Security, nobody could stand having bombs coming in, they have tunnels and handcuffs and tranquilizers and want to capture Israeli civilians, and we don’t to see and Israeli soldiers hurt, and while the President was on the phone and siren went off and the PM had to go a shelter, blah blah blah………

    When Candy asked him about the death in Gaza- blah blah blah: Israel has promised to try and reduce civilian casualties including children. End of story.

    I can’t bear to watch Netanyahu. “Imagine what Israel is going thru”

    (yesterday we heard about donkeys with explosives, today handcuffs and tranquilizers)

    • a blah chick on July 20, 2014, 9:38 am

      There’s a rumor that they’ve already captured an Israeli soldier. Can anyone confirm?

      • Speedy on July 20, 2014, 1:07 pm

        Would this make you happy Blah Chick? I get the feeling that you spend your day waiting to read any bad news about Israelis

      • Taxi on July 20, 2014, 3:11 pm


        Any feeling person would jump for joy at the injury or death of an army of child killers. It’s the human condition to rejoice when evil gets its comeuppance. And this, it seems, irks you to no end.

        Why don’t you cut the crap and tell us all what’s on your mind? Why don’t you go right ahead and tell us what you REALLY think? Just spit it out and call us all antisemites, why don’t you? Say it out loud or just buzz off already.

        I think it would cheer the world up good and sweet if the whole idf army was kidnapped!

        You don’t like it? THEN STOP THE FREAKING INFANTICIDE!


    • just on July 20, 2014, 9:42 am

      Pardon my mistakes– should read: we don’t want to see any Israeli soldiers hurt

  32. just on July 20, 2014, 9:24 am

    Netanyahu: Israel uses its missiles to protect our people, Hamas uses people to protect their missiles.

    Just so you know. On CNN.

    • a blah chick on July 20, 2014, 9:35 am

      Has anyone found that missile launcher the kids were playing on?

      • Bumblebye on July 20, 2014, 11:42 am

        Oh yeah! Can’t link at the moment, but Desertpeace has the hasbara version followed by the genuine article – in Syria!

  33. eljay on July 20, 2014, 9:43 am

    >> Netanyahu on CNN: Israel uses its missiles to protect our people, Hamas uses people to protect their missiles.

    Netanyahu not on CNN: Israel has been stealing, occupying and colonizing land for over 60 years as part of its goal to create a “greater” supremacist state. Hamas hasn’t.

    And while it’s true that Hamas hasn’t, well, y’know, Hamas!! If that’s not enough, let me add Iran, anti-Semitism, wipe off the map (and push into the sea) and – best for last – Holocaust!

  34. Taxi on July 20, 2014, 10:29 am

    Who can forget that adorable little nazi, the jewish rabbi Manis Friedman, who said the following in 2009:
    “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children.”

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