Israel’s war is just beginning and has never ended

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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

Is it time for commentary on Israel’s war that is just beginning and has never ended?


The airwaves are full of pumped up pro-Israel armchair warriors. It’s also full of moral outrage on behalf of Palestinians. A virtual war. Don’t be distracted. The real war isn’t on TV or Facebook. The real war is on the ground. The days and weeks ahead are going to be brutal.

No mercy will be allowed. War is like that.

As per usual, America has Israel’s back. Egypt does too. The United Nations has much more bark than bite. Israel has a free hand.

The hope for change, well, it hasn’t arrived. Not even close.

Some refer to the rockets from Gaza as “resistance missiles.” Nice touch. But Israeli warplanes hitting targets in Gaza and soldiers gathering on Gaza’s borders are the real deal.

Netanyahu wants to finish Hamas off as part of his legacy. Or is it his intention to set Hamas back enough to keep it in place?

As for Secretary of State John Kerry, now you have it – the predictable, logical and official end of your vaunted final, settle all claims peace process.

On the moral outrage and appeal to humanity front, save it. We’ve been through this countless times. The world is even deafer today than it was when outrage was first ramped up during Israel’s various military adventurers in the 1980s. Lebanon and the first intifada are distant memories. The lessons weren’t learned. The openings weren’t taken.

Action alerts and appeals for a cease-fire are important to produce and distribute. Even so, Israel will stop when it’s in Israel’s interest to stop. Not before.

As for the notion that Gaza is Israel’s quagmire, somewhat like America in Vietnam, try a different angle. Gaza is Israel’s military testing ground. Tried and true. Always available.

Depressing for those of us watching Israel’s war machine once again exert its control? Worse for those who are being targeted. Much worse.

The days ahead, blood and more blood. And more blood beyond that.

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Powerful stuff. I will wager that no one writing today has as much knowledge of the reality of warfare as Marc Ellis.

“Gaza is Israel’s military testing ground”

Gaza is the graveyard for all the naïve morality Judaism developed in Galut.
Gaza is real life Jewish power in action. It’s the projection of ghetto thinking in real time with American weaponry. It’s Blut und Eisen , Yahudi style.

And they’ll tell you it’s the only alternative to intermarriage. It’s the war against the shiksas in the US too, in a funny kind of way.

@Marc Ellis: Thank you for your article, even though I could replace the word “Israel” by the word “Hamas”. I have one question to you, Marc: after all the events occurred in the last month, mainly the kidnapping and murder of the three Jewish and the Palestinian teens, the hatred and incitement and the war between Israel and the Hamas, do you still believe in one state solution? If yes, what is your ME model… Read more »

Gaza, like the innocent boy abducted and killed by the righteous, is korban olah.
— A burnt offering.

The polemic against child sacrifice (to YHWH) in Deut. 12:29ff.; Jer 7:31; 19:5, 32:35 indicates that at least from the time of the last kings of Judah it was popularly believed that YHWH accepted, perhaps even commanded, it. [42]

The analysis here is generally correct. Just add that Israel has an insoluble dilemma in how to treat Hamas. On one hand it`s a problem since fire missiles into Israel at will but on the other hand it is indispensable as an authority to run Gaza – for Israel to do that by itself would be a disaster and other groups there, as the Islamic Jihad, are even worse. So the “solution” appears to be… Read more »