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Which crowded cities can you fire into?

Israel/Palestine
on 90 Comments
Yonatan Shapira

Yonatan Shapira

In recent days, many journalists, including Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Ronan Farrow on MSNBC, have asked when is Israel justified in attacking crowded civilian settings in order to kill militants. Robinson:

So if you’re an Israeli commander and you know that there’s a Hamas military facility next to a medical clinic, but you’re not completely sure the militants are still there, while the clinic is likely packed with injured civilians, do you still pull the trigger?

Over a decade ago, Yonatan Shapira, then an Israeli air force pilot, bravely confronted his top commander, Lt. General Dan Halutz, over what were euphemistically called “targeted assassinations.”  Israeli warplanes regularly fired missiles at Hamas leaders in Gaza, also killing innocent civilians, some of them children.

Shapira asked General Halutz, What if a Hamas leader were located in Tel Aviv?  Would you order our pilots to fire there, risking Israeli bystanders?  Halutz said no.

So you value Israelis over Palestinians, Yonatan responded.  Get someone else to fly your aircraft.

James North
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90 Responses

  1. just
    just
    July 25, 2014, 4:00 pm

    Yonatan has a soul and a moral compass. Thanks for sharing that, James.

    Nice to know that an active duty IAF had the good sense to avoid the hypocrisy endemic to the GoI.

  2. Jon66
    Jon66
    July 25, 2014, 4:02 pm

    That’s an idiotic question to ask. If Hamas leaders were in a known location in Tel Aviv they would go arrest them. Why would they drop bombs?

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

    • annie
      annie
      July 25, 2014, 4:24 pm

      Wouldn’t you want to put it in a field or isolated location?

      an isolated place in one of the most densely populated strip of land on earth? i sure would. with bright lights all around it and a sign that says “bomb here”. that’s almost as smart as placing civilian towns like sderot right on the border of gaza.

      what i can’t figure out is why israel doesn’t demilitarize itself. it just makes sense the whole region would be more safe if nobody had any weapons at all.why do you think they even have a military jon, given how peaceful they are.

      but look on the bright side jon, israel doesn’t need an excuse to bomb a hospital or a school. they bomb who they want when they want. heck, they even shoot wounded people in the head when they are laying half dead on the ground. or didn’t you see that video. like i said, look on the bright side, when you have no morals you don’t have to abide by any.

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        July 25, 2014, 4:31 pm

        Are you saying that given a choice between putting your military at risk and putting your civilian population at risk, you think it wise to place a military target adjacent to a clinic? I understand why you would not want to place your military in defined areas, but do you think it’s fair to your civilians to use them as protection and camouflage for your military?
        Wearing a uniform also makes it easier for your enemies to identify and kill you, but it also makes it easier for them to know who is a civilian. That is why armies wear uniforms.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 4:42 pm
      • Jon66
        Jon66
        July 25, 2014, 5:39 pm

        Those police committed a crime and should be brought to justice. Abuse of those arrested should not be tolerated.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 25, 2014, 5:10 pm

        Are you saying that given a choice between putting your military at risk and putting your civilian population at risk, you think it wise to place a military target adjacent to a clinic? I understand why you would not want to place your military in defined areas, but do you think it’s fair to your civilians to use them as protection and camouflage for your military?

        In which case Jon66, why would anyone who serves in the military ever go home to their families. Do they not place them in danger by doing so?

      • NCINA
        NCINA
        July 25, 2014, 5:37 pm

        Shingo,

        Outside the bubble that is the USA many military personnel are ordered not to wear their uniform when off-duty. Do try and remember the world doesn’t revolve around America.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 5:41 pm

        ” many military personnel are ordered not to wear their uniform when off-duty”

        And without the uniform, nobody knows who they are. It’s a secret!

      • Pat Nguyen
        Pat Nguyen
        July 25, 2014, 9:34 pm

        Shingo. There is a difference between a combatant and a non-combatant. Learn it and going forward, you are less likely to put your foot in your mouth

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 25, 2014, 9:44 pm

        Shingo. There is a difference between a combatant and a non-combatant.

        It’s a bullshit propaganda distinction, much like the difference between terrorist and freedom fighter.

        You are less likely to put your foot in your mouth

        I see you’re still working on it.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 10:46 pm

        Israel is doing a bang- up job of massacring non- combatants. You must be so proud, Pat.

      • Vikram
        Vikram
        July 25, 2014, 5:29 pm

        I believe that most families in Israel have members in the armed forces, does that make their houses legitimate targets ? Israeli forces don’t only wear uniforms. They wear helmets, body armour and are armed to the teeth with all latest hi-tech hardware. In fact, I understand that they have a great business in selling all this “field-tested” gear all around the world.

        If the IOF, which I prefer to the absurd IDF, were in anyway a “moral” army they would leave all their heavy weapons at home and fight Hamas on equal terms. Maybe, then we could believe what a gallant crowd they really are !

      • annie
        annie
        July 25, 2014, 5:58 pm

        jon, are you saying that given a choice between putting your military at risk and putting your civilian population at risk, you think it wise to let soldiers frequent public places? because i saw them walking all around the streets when i was in israel. and on their time off what if they were to go watch a soccer game at some establishment on the beach in tel aviv? wouldn’t that put everyone else in the establishment at risk? why they could be blown to smithereens and everyone around them would be considered legitimate collateral damage,according to the morals of israeli military strategists. why don’t they stay in their barracks when they’re not out slaughtering palestinians, i find it truly baffling.

      • tree
        tree
        July 25, 2014, 6:40 pm

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

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

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 10:14 pm

        Heh, nice response Annie. Good questions.

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 6:48 pm

        well said Annie

      • amigo
        amigo
        July 26, 2014, 6:49 am

        So Jon, what you want is for any and all resistance to Israeli aggression to just get up and go away and leave the old men women and children unprotected so Israel can just waltz back in there and get on with task of disappearing those pesky Palestinians and completing the Jews only greater Israel.

        Go away jon, you are tiresome .

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 5:39 pm

        ” one of the most densely populated strip of land on earth”

        Annie, that just can’t be. If it wasn’t a people-less land and a desert, the Zionists couldn’t have made it bloom!

      • NCINA
        NCINA
        July 25, 2014, 5:50 pm

        Annie

        You need to get out more if you can’t figure out why Israel should not demilitarize. Try actually living in the country for longer than six months, spend your time learning the language (Arabic or English) they are both official languages.

        In reality Arab and Jew aren’t going to join hands and sing Kumbaya. Arabs generally hate Jews. The ‘ifs’ and ‘whys’ become irrelevant. Arabs can’t live in peace with other Arabs as the fracturing of countries in the Middle East indicate.

        As long as Israel has bigger and better bombs, a better military than its enemies and is prepared to use force is enough for me. I couldn’t give a hoot about the world or public opinion. The world are a bunch of hypocrites with double-standards when it comes to Israel. It hold her to a higher standard than other nations.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 6:06 pm

        pffft.

        “It hold her to a higher standard than other nations.”

        I haven’t met anyone that really likes Israeli genocide/massacres/terrorism.

      • annie
        annie
        July 25, 2014, 6:07 pm

        You need to get out more if you can’t figure out why Israel should not demilitarize. Try actually living in the country for longer than six months

        what i find so strange ncina, is that there’s so much more death and destruction in palestine, being perpetrated by the occupying power. i mean palestinians are the hunted prey there, the oppressed and ethnically cleansed by an army and their little fanatical settlers with such a voracious appetite for more land. and everyone keeps advocating the prey demilitarize. wouldn’t it make sense for the party that does the lion share of the killing to demilitarize and the one’s who are most at risk be prepared to use force too? as you say “as Israel has bigger and better bombs, a better military than its enemies and is prepared to use force is enough for me.” well, it’s good enough for me palestinians should be prepared to use deadly force against their enemies if it’s good enough for you.

        Arabs generally hate Jews.

        you mean as opposed to those screaming crowds of jews shouting “death to arabs” ? ah huh, i get your point.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 25, 2014, 6:51 pm

        Arabs generally hate Jews.

        you mean as opposed to those screaming crowds of jews shouting “death to arabs” ? ah huh, i get your point.

        Classic projection.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 7:26 pm

        “Arabs generally hate Jews.”

        Ah, so that’s why the Zionists would accept no place but Palestine for their Jewish State! Makes perfect sense!
        I mean, why go where you might be accepted, when you can go where people “generally hate Jews”. I mean, that’s what every fledgling Jewish State needs doesn’t it, to be surrounded by people who “generally hate” them.

        Why, I’ll bet that’s exactly what the Zionists told all the people they conned into moving there: “Our hold on the area is tenuous, mostly illegal, actually, and the Arabs generally hate us. You’ll love it!”

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 25, 2014, 7:31 pm

        “Our hold on the area is tenuous, mostly illegal, actually, and the Arabs generally hate us. You’ll love it!”

        And most of all, you’ll be completely safe from persecution.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 7:49 pm

        “And most of all, you’ll be completely safe from persecution.”

        Not if you disagree with the Occupation, etc. Then you’ll be treated like any Arab– persecuted to the fullest extent we decide appropriate.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        July 25, 2014, 7:10 pm

        NCINA,

        “I couldn’t give a hoot about the world or public opinion.”

        But the world gives a hoot about the actions of your government whether you think that scrutiny is fair or unfair, increasingly.

        Look at the numbers, especially among the young. I am interested in the numbers among American Jews over the next years. My guess is they will remain higher but skew with the young and non-white (I assume they did not poll non white Jews separately though we exist) which are plummeting.

        Israel cannot last as an island or a fortress for very many decades. Do you think it can?

        And the case “we don’t target civilians” is incoherent given the human landscape in Gaza. That is how most normal people will see it, especially with images not just brought into their living room like TV did in Viet Nam but into their electronic scrapbooks which is where pictures of other humans we know and like go.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 7:55 pm

        Yes really, why can’t Arabs show more love for Jews like the Jews are right now, showing their love to the Palestinian people, killing them as they play, pray, are in hospital, in their homes, in UN schools, and very civilians structure they use as civilians.
        Actions speak louder than words, and Israel’s actions certainly show their love for Arabs.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 25, 2014, 9:22 pm

        You need to get out more if you can’t figure out why Israel should not demilitarize.

        We all know NIAC. Without it’s weapons, Israel would have to end the occupation, stop stealing land, give up settlements, and stop threatening it’s neighbors – and we can’t have that.

        And who’s going to “mow the lawn”.

        Try actually living in the country for longer than six months, spend your time learning the language (Arabic or English) they are both official languages.

        That way you can learn to chant death to Arabs in Hebrew and Arabic.

        Arabs generally hate Jews. The ‘ifs’ and ‘whys’ become irrelevant.

        Jews generally hate Nazis. The ‘ifs’ and ‘whys’ become irrelevant.

        Arabs can’t live in peace with other Arabs as the fracturing of countries in the Middle East indicate.

        I guess WWII demonstrated that Christians can’t live in peace with other Christians too.

        And according to Herzl, a Jewish state was needed because Jews can’t live with Gentiles.

        As long as Israel has bigger and better bombs, a better military than its enemies and is prepared to use force is enough for me.

        Yes, you’re a simple soul. Killing Arabs en mass is enough. You don’t ask for much.

        I couldn’t give a hoot about the world or public opinion.

        So long as the world keeps showing Israel the money, the arms and the vetos at the UN.

        Of course , you’d wail like a banshee if that came to an end.

        The world are a bunch of hypocrites with double-standards when it comes to Israel.

        Could not agree more. What with the US repeating platitudes about Israel having the right to defend itself while refusing to give an answer on the question of Palestine having the same right. Driving Saddam out of Kuwait while allowing Israel to invade and occupy Palestine. Turning a blind eye to Israeli nukes while putting Iran under the thumb, who isn’t even trying to make them.

        The only standard Israel is ever held to is the one the US reserves for itself – getting away with whatever it wants and with impunity.

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:02 pm

        good one..it is BIG brother U.S.A. and their high tech enforcer in the Middle East saying either it is my way or the highway !

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        July 25, 2014, 10:03 pm

        bullshit Israel get held to the standard all republics get held to. that Israel doesn’t get held to a lesser standard like it wants doesn’t mean we are unfairly holding them to a higher standard. they are being held to the standard they asked to be held to as a democracy.

      • michelle
        michelle
        July 25, 2014, 11:20 pm

        .
        what do you give a hoot about
        what do you like
        what makes you happy
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • amigo
        amigo
        July 26, 2014, 6:53 am

        Israel claims to be better than everyone else.

        Most moral army/light unto the nations and all that jazz.

        The world is just holding you to the standards you claim to have.

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:04 pm

        amigo you said it all. israel is the beacon of demon-cracy in the Middle East.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        July 26, 2014, 7:51 am

        “It hold her to a higher standard than other nations.”

        Israeli lives are held in more esteem than others’ lives again and again. The israeli’s are hypocrites with double-standards when it comes to everyone else. You all talk so tough until it looks like you might be losing, then whine and fuss and stamp your feet like so many spoiled brats. Waaaahhhhh

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      July 25, 2014, 4:25 pm

      Remind us where IDF HQ is pls?

    • Eva Smagacz
      Eva Smagacz
      July 25, 2014, 4:43 pm

      All this questions, about Hamas hiding between civilian population, while HaKirya, IDF headquarters are placed right bang in the residential district of Tel Aviv, next to Migdal Shalom tower (“Peace Tower”) and Ichilov General Hospital, which, if I recall correctly, had maternity wards and services next to military buildings up to 1998.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 4:54 pm

        “Israel, meanwhile, does not have an unblemished record in the use of human shields. In 2010, two soldiers were convicted in an IDF military court of using an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield in its 2008-09 operation in Gaza. The pair ordered the child to search bags they suspected of being booby-trapped.

        It was the first conviction of what is known within the IDF as the “neighbour procedure” – forcing civilians to assist troops in military operations. Investigations by news organisations and human rights groups have suggested the IDF has used Palestinians as human shields in operations in both Gaza and the West Bank.

        Meanwhile, in response to Israel’s assertions that Hamas situates its military centres in civilian areas, some have pointed out that the IDF’s headquarters, the Kiriya, is in central Tel Aviv, surrounded by a hospital, blocks of flats, shopping centres and offices.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/gaza-hamas-fighters-military-bases-guerrilla-war-civilians-israel-idf

        And who knows where else the IOF lurks…

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        July 25, 2014, 5:09 pm

        Going by their war crimes and massacre in Gaza they belong in the sewers.

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        July 25, 2014, 10:07 pm

        look at a picture from above it designed that to hit your going to hit civilians. go look at the pentagon. no civilian buildings anywhere near it. one recognizes its a military target the other puts those it should be protecting in harms way

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:10 pm

        nice comparison – U.S.A. with Gaza a coastal strip densely populated with 1.8 mil no where to go !

    • tree
      tree
      July 25, 2014, 5:09 pm

      Jon66,

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

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

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

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

      And meanwhile there is this:

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

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

      http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/israel-used-fabricated-images-justify-bombing-al-wafa-hospital

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

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

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        July 25, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Of course not, and the IDF shouldn’t have targeted an unarmed hospital either. I don’t think you can justify firing at Wafa, whether or not adjacent to a military command. But, I don’t think you can justify putting a military command highly likely to be hit next to a hospital.

      • annie
        annie
        July 25, 2014, 6:11 pm

        where’s your evidence anybody put a military command next to wafa? the renowned lying spokesperson for the iof? pllllease. if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the iof, is they have absolutely no reservations about fabricating excuse after excuse to justify their slaughter. it’s been documented time and again.

        unless you have video proof or something, forget about it!

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:15 pm

        Don’t you know the Mossad motto is deception ! As long as U.S.A. / AIPAC ADL is solidly behind israel nothing happens to their war crimes period.

    • petersz
      petersz
      July 25, 2014, 6:26 pm

      Isn’t the HQ of the IDF in Tel Aviv right next to a hospital? lol

    • talknic
      talknic
      July 25, 2014, 7:37 pm

      @Jon66 does Habara stupid so well!

      IDF have their headquarters in empty isolated fields? WOW!!! I wonder if they know!!

    • samlebon2306
      samlebon2306
      July 25, 2014, 9:11 pm

      I’ll tell Hamas to put their military facility in your backyard, hope you won’t mind.

    • iResistDe4iAm
      iResistDe4iAm
      July 26, 2014, 11:24 pm

      Jon66 says:
      That’s an idiotic question to ask.

      The better question to ask is why is Israel using ~600,000 Jewish settlers as human shields or a “defense bulwark” as Ed Koch referred to them?

      Wouldn’t it be more moral to put military bases in war zones rather than heavily armed families in Jewish settlements?

      “You ask Israel to cease building settlements on the West Bank, which are intended not only to house Israelis, but to provide a defense bulwark when the Islamist armies of the surrounding states, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria – Assad or his opponents – and Iraq, again try militarily to crush Israel” ~ Ed Koch, 2013
      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163827

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    July 25, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Wow. Great question. Maybe even for US political townhall Q&As.

  4. lysias
    lysias
    July 25, 2014, 4:29 pm

    They showed IDF HQ on Democracy Now! yesterday. Downtown Tel Aviv. Right next to a big hospital.

    • Jon66
      Jon66
      July 25, 2014, 4:33 pm

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

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 4:40 pm

        Yep– it has horns, and the aerials are in the shape of pitchforks.

      • tree
        tree
        July 25, 2014, 5:19 pm

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

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

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 5:20 pm

        exactly, tree.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 25, 2014, 5:23 pm

        I could never understand why the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was considered terrorism, when the Pentagon is a military target par excellence. (By the way, I have worked in the Pentagon myself. As a naval officer.)

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        July 25, 2014, 8:51 pm

        I could never understand why the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was considered terrorism, when the Pentagon is a military target par excellence. (By the way, I have worked in the Pentagon myself. As a naval officer.)

        If it was carried out by the Japanese Red Army or Aryan Nations or Eco-terrorists, would you have the same difficulty understanding? That isn’t supposed to be a gotcha point–ponder the question. Part of terrorism is violating what they sometimes call the state monopoly on violence. Also, 9/11 was part of a larger operation that certainly included civilian targets–most assume that the horror of the hijacked passengers was part of the intended effect. The whole operation was based on exploiting laxness in civilian transportation security.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 26, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Yitzgood, you think it was terrorism when the IRA attacked the British Army in Northern Ireland? I don’t.

        What about when Jews attacked the British Army in Palestine in 1946-8? Do you consider that terrorism?

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 25, 2014, 7:54 pm

        @Jon66 … does a double down on stupid

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

        The IDF headquarters address is PUBLICLY AVAILABLE! Only a real f*ckwit is gonna believe IDF headquarters ISN’T a military installation? Is there no iodine in Israeli salt?

        Sheeeeeesh. If Jon66 is an example of Israel’s level of intelligence, no wonder Israel has been able to dupe Israelis into thinking Israel has no borders, has been able to convince Israelis the UN is biased when it has been Israel refusing to adhere to its legal obligations, has been able to convince them to illegally settle in Occupied Territories in breach of a convention adopted to protect them from the highly likely violent consequences and collateral expected when one belligerently occupies another people, has been able to illegally sell them non-Israeli land in occupied territory. Has been able to dig itself into an illegal facts on the ground black hole from which it cannot afford to legally escape without Palestinian generosity ceding more than 50% of their rightful territory to Israel. Has been able to convince Israelis the Palestinians do not want peace when in fact it and their land has been offered time and again http://pages.citebite.com/e9p5s8u2yhcd

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        July 25, 2014, 8:16 pm

        The IDF headquarters address is PUBLICLY AVAILABLE! Only a real f*ckwit is gonna believe IDF headquarters ISN’T a military installation? Is there no iodine in Israeli salt?

        Even the “secret” facilities are no big secret. Israelis are such buffoons that they can’t comprehend that others have intelligence gathering capabilities.

        They were shocked and kinda freaked out in 2006 when Hezbollah managed to strike a “secret” listening/coms facility in Northern Israel.

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:26 pm

        ….and the plus factor for those israeli illegal settler is free idf protection 24/7 and completely ignoring the settler bad behaviour like beating up old Palestinian farmers stealing their produce poison their water and the list goes on to make hell on earth for the Palestinians.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      July 25, 2014, 4:33 pm

      But but but… THAT’s different! Somehow.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      July 25, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Looks like it would be okay by all apologists for any entity at war with Israel, to bomb IDF HQs, wherever it is, after all any Palestinian target, or pretend target, next to schools, hospitals, shelters, home for the disabled, is fine. So in that case, they should not whine if a rockets hits civilian structures too.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 7:32 pm

        Zionist are entirely incapable of believing that anybody would value Palestinian lives. Almost every comment from Zionists is predicated on Palestinian lives being of little value. And when people here won’t accept that they are dumfounded!

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        July 25, 2014, 9:03 pm

        the evolution of that, in the more enlightened Zionist, is to consider that there are Many Good Palestinians. They are the ones who are conciliatory to the idea of a Jewish state.

      • just
        just
        July 25, 2014, 9:11 pm

        Is that post in jest?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 25, 2014, 9:20 pm

        “the evolution of that, in the more enlightened Zionist, is to consider that there are Many Good Palestinians. They are the ones who are conciliatory to the idea of a Jewish state.”

        The Zionists are willing to split the gold mine with the ‘good Palestinians’

      • tree
        tree
        July 26, 2014, 12:19 am

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

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

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

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 26, 2014, 4:35 am

        Thanks, tree, for reminding us again that the ethnic cleansing didn’t begin in 1947/48, but was there from the start. It was built into Zionism, and not just an accidental by product of the war.

      • Walid
        Walid
        July 26, 2014, 6:17 am

        Tree, skeletons aren’t only in Zionist closets; the history of the sale of land to Zionists by absentee land owners, although not substantial in the overall picture, is seldom discussed by Arabs as it’s also a skeleton in the Arabs’ closet. Arab land owners sold at absurdly high prices which the Zionists were happy to pay, took the money and fled the country unless they were already living outside like in Beirut, Cairo and Damascus, and later to cover their tracks on the immoral land sale to the Zionists, claimed that the Zionists had stolen their lands. When the Zionists showed up on their newly legally acquired land and kicked out the peasant tenants that had not been told about the sale, these too innocently claimed their land was stolen from them by the Zionists. But again, these legal transfers of land to the Zionists while minimal in comparison to the total land actually stolen by the Zionists were nonetheless legal. A while back, Azmi Beshara wrote an article “Our Fathers on the Take” in which he described how between 1920 and 1948, 54 prominent Palestinian families while campaigning against sales of land to Zionists actually sold land themselves to the Zionists. Sale of Palestinian lands to Jews started slowly as far back as 1860 but really picked up after 1920 under the British Mandate.

      • tree
        tree
        July 26, 2014, 6:54 am

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

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

      • Walid
        Walid
        July 26, 2014, 7:38 am

        Agreed, tree, the ethnic cleansing is a totally different chapter; now I understand better what you were driving at. The good Palestinians versus the bad ones came from a Zionist perspective but in actuality, this too was prevalent among Palestinians themselves and among Arab leaders that were amenable to having a Jewish state in Palestine as seen with the Faisal-Weizmann aborted deal and the various failed attempts between the Saudis and the Zionists to actually transfer out Upper Galilee Palestinians first to Syria to the arid Iraqi border and on another occasion to Iraq and bring in Iraqi Jews to replace them. Palestine Papers showed a bit of it and the PA’s subservience to Israel is another.

        Sorry I took off on a tangent from what you were conveying, but I felt it opportune to mention that the Arabs too had had a hand in the Zionist effort you described.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 5:00 pm

    US Official: Israel to pause hostilities for 12 hours tomorrow.
    The dead and the bleeding civilians in Gaza are thrown a bone.

    CAIRO, July 25 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel will begin a 12-hour pause in Gaza hostilities starting at 7 am Israeli time (0400 GMT) on Saturday, a U.S. official said on Friday.

    The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, made the comment when asked about Kerry’s earlier statement on a goodwill gesture by Netanyahu at a press conference in Cairo. (Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Susan Fenton) Huffpost

    • michelle
      michelle
      July 26, 2014, 12:18 am

      .
      how much was Israel paid for these so called peaceful hours
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

      • Peace2All
        Peace2All
        July 26, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Prob more advanced fighter jets and chemical weapons beside hard cash

  6. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    July 25, 2014, 5:23 pm

    “They sit in the cockpit and push buttons and joysticks. It’s a war game. They determine life and death, from their lofty place in the sky they see only black dots running around in panic, fleeing for their lives, but also some who wave their hands in terrible fear from the roofs. The black arrow points at the target, and already a mushroom of black smoke rises – poof, a slight tremor in the wing, as the saying goes; a “good” hit, and they’re already embarking on the next sortie.

    They have never seen an enemy plane coming toward them – the last aerial battle of the Israel Air Force took place before most of them were born. They never saw the whites of the eyes and the red blood of their victims from up close. They are heroes who are battling the weakest, most helpless people who have no air force and no aerial defense, barely even a kite.

    Do they really all believe that they are serving the country and its security needs, by means of the 1,000 sorties and the 1,000 tons of bombs that they have already dropped on top of the unfortunate Gaza Strip?

    As far as we know, not one of them has “arisen” as of yet. In 2003, 27 of their colleagues did something far more courageous than completing all their “battle” sorties: They wrote a letter of refusal to carry out operations that might endanger civilians in the territories. But not this time. There isn’t a single person like Yonatan Shapira or Iftach Spector (two of the signatories back then), who will get up and ask: Is this the way? There isn’t a single person who will salvage their honor. Not a single one who will refuse to take part in this death squadron. Not a single one.”

    Gideon Levy
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.605001

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 25, 2014, 9:34 pm

      I can never understand Gideon Levy. Not that I doubt his courage, and commitment to the truth.
      The military purged potential ‘defectors’ from their midst. What did Mr. Levy think they would do? Encourage them to talk to the other troops, pilots, whatever? Sponsor discussion groups on the Occupation?

      That is something which is very hard for me to deal with in many critics of Israel. It’s the fact that they, even if they are critical, are so shocked by Israel’s actions, as if all of this wasn’t entirely predictable, and a foregone conclusion.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      July 26, 2014, 9:09 am

      Levy is perhaps alluding to Genesis 18, where there are not enough ‘just men’ to avert God’s anger.

      • lysias
        lysias
        July 26, 2014, 12:53 pm

        One of the 1944 German conspirators gave that Genesis passage as a reason why they had to go ahead with the plot, whether or not it succeeded.

  7. just
    just
    July 25, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Steinitz: zeelotz, kkkkhamas, isrrrhaelis.

    He hates Qatar too and accuses them of terrrhoism. How come they always cite the UNSC when it suits them and condemns it when it doesn’t?

    M. Barghouti: the truth is coming out…now it is clear that Israel is rejecting the ceasefire– 12 hours is nothing. Palestinians are unified. Not only is the Israeli government extreme, it is also stupid. 210 people were shot during the protests last nite…the intelligence minister (Steinitz) is not intelligent at all speaking about Qatar…Israel is practicing terror. He says all Palestinians agree to 7 day ceasefire.

    Apartheid, Occupation, etc. He says that we are already in the 3rd (nonviolent) intifada……..’enough is enough’.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      July 25, 2014, 6:45 pm

      I watched him rant and rave, and seems like he was sent on a mission to attack everyone else, and try to convince us the Israel is the poor helpless victim.

  8. Mooser
    Mooser
    July 25, 2014, 5:59 pm

    We had to go through all of this during Cast Lead, so let’s save the Hasbaratchniks a lot of trouble and just get the routine straight. Any report of Israel hurting innocent people or comitting atrocities is to be considered in five stages:

    1) It’s a lie, never happened
    2) It happened, sorta, but Hamas did it!
    3) well, it happen, but it was a mistake.
    4) It happened, it was an atrocity, but Hamas made them do it.
    5) Ziocaine Amnesia takes over. It never happened!

    It’s the five stages of greps.

  9. adele
    adele
    July 25, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Mooser – you need to copyright that right away! The Five Stages of Hasbara, so brilliant and so damn(ingly) accurate too.

  10. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    July 25, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Finally a voice that admits that the Occupation exists…..
    Thank you Yonatan Mendel…..!!!!

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/07/25/yonatan-mendel/forced-to/

  11. piotr
    piotr
    July 25, 2014, 7:04 pm

    As we go into military/civilian hypotheticals, here is a fresh example. Ukrainian government is bombing the rebels and rebels are shooting down these planes. (This is what makes them not mere rebels but terrorists.) In one version of the recent events, two Ukrainian fighter places were trailing very close to a civilian airliner and the airliner got shot down.

    Question: how meticulously should you check that you are not shooting at civilians, given that you expect to be bombed.

    Answer 1: order to shoot at receive a decoration for meritorious service.

    Answer 2: crime of the highest order, worth international sanctions.

    Answer 1 is for a non-hypothetical scenario http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

  12. Kris
    Kris
    July 25, 2014, 11:37 pm

    Great essay why Hamas does not and can not use human shields, by Sarah Gillespie at Counterpunch. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/25/gaza-israel-and-human-shields/

    “What does it mean to use human shields? Employed by the Germans and Japanese in the Second World War, the tactic is premised on an underlying trust in your enemy’s humanity. It appeals to the compassion and mercy of the combatant that they not slaughter the innocent in order to avenge their target. The ‘shield’ is not the human bodies surrounding the ‘guilty’ party, the shield is the clemency that mankind instinctively affords the innocent. The shield evaporates only when confronted by an enemy who is not merely a fellow solder locked in a power battle, but a psychopath unconcerned with the pain of others. Such is the case with the Hamas. They are faced with an enemy who is willing to obliterate pregnant women, babies, kids, handicapped people, schools and crowded hospitals in order to smash their target. The Israelis repeatedly demonstrate a pathological disregard for any life that is not a Jewish life, and it is for this reason alone, that the Hamas are utterly incapable of ever using ‘human shields.’

    • michelle
      michelle
      July 26, 2014, 12:45 am

      .
      Israel doesn’t value the life of the Jew
      because Israel doesn’t truely value life
      Israel uses its own like rungs on a ladder
      stolen humanity brain washed to hate
      thankfully not all bought the lies and
      some are waking up to the truth of the day
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

    • Peace2All
      Peace2All
      July 26, 2014, 7:55 pm

      kris thanks for the info. very well said.

  13. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm
    July 26, 2014, 11:43 pm

    Shapira asked General Halutz, What if a Hamas leader were located in Tel Aviv? Would you order our pilots to fire there, risking Israeli bystanders? Halutz said no.

    One standard of morality towards Jewish Israelis, a different standard of morality towards non-Jewish Palestinians = Israeli supremacism

    Selective morality is the epitome of immorality.

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