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My friends say I’m being too nice to Hamas

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

 

Larkspur ferry, approaching the dock, from the city

Larkspur ferry, approaching the dock

The following dialogue is woven from email and Facebook communications I have had with friends in response to my last blogpost about Gaza. The setting is fictional, and the conversation is a construct, but entirely composed from the actual record of my friends’ responses. I have edited to streamline and for clarity.

Larkspur Ferry Ride

I walk out of my office on California street and stride towards the Ferry building, well in time for the 6:25 p.m. boat to Larkspur. It’s a breezy sunny afternoon. I settle down on the upper deck, where I manage to save three seats for my friends, and watch the sailboats beating through the whitecaps towards Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Josh: I see you’ve been blogging again.

Me: Hello Josh. I’m not sure I like where this is heading.

Josh: Well I read your blogpost. When you start out, it seems that you are a “neutral,” making the point that so much results from poor choices, implying that better choices would improve everyone’s life. But after you make it clear that all this fighting, likely resulting in no dramatic changes, is pointless and results in so much pain and suffering, you basically give Palestinians a free pass. Many more of them die, you say, Israel is an occupier and they are fighting against that; Israel has the big guns, and those rockets are “ineffectual.”

Me: Uh Hmm.

Josh: Almost all of your blog is about Israel’s sins of omission and commission and you pretty much let Hamas off with a tiny scolding for putting Gazans in harm’s way.

Don: Surely the fact that Israel is stronger is no accident. They have been at war since 1948 against a variety of leaders who have included pan Arabists, Russian supported socialists, secular nationalists and Islamic fundamentalists. Their enemies cannot agree with each other, but they agree that Israel’s presence in the region is intolerable. 
The countries that have formal and informal peace accords with Israel are not subject to horrific scenes of destruction and they have agreed to accept Israel into the Middle East. If and when the Palestinian people (and their leaders) accept that their quest for “meaning” does not mean the destruction of Israel, there will be some form of peace. Until then, the cycle will continue.

Josh: I am gravely disappointed in you. You lacerate Israel, but you say only a little about Hamas. If you were serious about unwise policy choices and you meant by that both Israel and Hamas, then I think you need to say something even a little bit critical of Hamas. But no, you say nary a word about Hamas’ tactic of storing rockets in schools and staying as closely parked to civilians as possible.

Me: Umm…but

Josh: The fact that rockets send people shuffling off to shelters and scare the daylight out of them is simply no big deal to you because they are “ineffectual?” Come on. Are rockets only effective if they kill a lot of people? I will forward to you my friend’s email who has been traveling in Europe and just recently returned to her home in the Upper Galilee. Don’t tell her that the rockets are “ineffectual.” I don’t think any Israeli will understand that word.

Don: Yes, There are many questions and no correct answers. If I were in charge in Israel I would hesitate to believe that Hamas would live in peace with the “Zionist Entity.” After all, it is not uncommon in the Middle East to have simmering tribal warfare last for centuries. Is it wise social policy? No, but it does seem to be the condition of the peoples of the region.

Me: But are you ready to condemn Israel as just another dysfunctional tribal entity? Isn’t Israel supposed to be the enlightened democracy of the region?

Don: Speaking as one of the Jewish people, the threat of annihilation is not as remote as some people believe. It was just six years before I was born that the Nazi death camps were liberated by the Allies. I lived in a community with a high percentage of survivors.
 When a political movement in an adjacent region continually states that their belief is your destruction, when their supporters, in Europe especially, attack Jewish institutions and businesses while chanting anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli slogans, one is hard pressed not to be moved to self-defense.

Josh: Yes, rockets can reach lots of places. Running into shelters and surviving just means it’s your lucky day; not the day you die. If Hamas had better rockets and were better at killing Jews and non-Jews, too, would that make them worse than they are?

Marc: Yes, the fact that Hamas is bad at killing Jews doesn’t in any remote way offer the exculpation you suggest in your blogpost.

Don: The Palestinian quest for “meaning” cannot have the destruction of Israel and killing Jews as a component. As long as it does, there won’t be peace. Jews are very sensitive about being threatened with annihilation you know. Nazism has become trivialized by it being used as a synonym for groups that others oppose. Worse, it is a punch line, soup-Nazi, feminazi, the Producers. It is another “n’; word that should be confined to history books and not reimagined. To a Jew, the existential threat is not a psychiatric condition (although it could be that too), it is a recognition of history.

Me: Guys, I have no idea what Hamas intended when they started firing rockets. But once it was clear that their rockets were not causing damage, it seems incorrect to say that “they are bad at killing Jews.” That’s not the purpose of the rockets. The purpose of the rockets is to be provocative and make a ruckus–and they were effective at doing that.

Josh and Marc together: … but 3,400 rockets! Obviously Israel has to respond to that. No country in the world could stand by and absorb such an assault without response.

Me: Look, the rockets carry only small warheads. About 20 pounds. Their capacity to damage anything is pretty much limited to direct hits. And they cannot be aimed except in a very general direction. Israel has an effective civil defense system to cope with the rockets, which includes a sophisticated warning system, shelters, and the Iron Dome system. The Times of Israel had a report on the latest information handed out by the IDF today. It included this tidbit… and this strikes me as crucial…. of 3,356 rockets fired from Gaza over 29 days only 116 landed in populated areas. 116 rockets. That’s it. It struck me, of course, it makes sense, that’s why there’s no damage.

Marc: Well, I agree that Israel is required to act with as much restraint as possible when stopping them. We can debate the minutiae of Israeli tactics, but from my view – a view where if Israel chose to, they could make Gaza look like Cologne after the Thousand Bomber Night – they have acted with restraint. I’m happy to dicker over whether it’s ‘enough’.

Me: Marc, Marc, Marc …. the fact that Israel could level Gaza (and kill a few hundred thousand?) but isn’t doing so doesn’t illustrate “restraint.” It’s no more “restraint” than not committing mass murder in the mall with a semi-automatic “just because you could.” Or to put it another way, it’s “restraint” only if Israel were a genocidal maniac at heart. I assume we’re in agreement they are not.

Marc: The larger issue is effectiveness; whether Israel makes more terrorists than it kills. But until the international community excoriates Hamas for who they truly are, we’ll just have to deal with that problem.

Josh: Israel falls into the trap, every time, of overdoing it. Do they really try to minimize civilian deaths? I hope so. Can they possibly succeed? Not a chance. The more civilians/innocents die, the better for Hamas. They stand for only one thing- keeping themselves in power and living for the day when they can wipe out Israel. I don’t think a Mandela peace commission could ever succeed against that sort of ideology.

Me: Josh, when you say Hamas “stand for only one thing- keeping themselves in power and living for the day when they can wipe out Israel” I have to ask: how many Hamas guys have you met and talked to? Had dinner with? This is like saying “Israelis stand for one thing– … and fill in the blank.” You know that’s bullshit. Right? Take a look at my piece on Feiglin a few days ago; listen to the settlers at their convention for the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Does it make sense for anyone to say “Likud stands for one thing and one thing only (for ever and ever), and this is it!” You know that’s not right. Well, the same holds true for Hamas.

Josh: Both sides make poor choices each time they come to a crossroads. And all of them pay for it. More dead bodies easily make Gazans the winners in the victim sweepstakes. That’s good fodder for the world to consume. All Israel gets is the short-lived, joyless sense of beating them down for a while (knock out some rocket launchers, destroy some tunnels, kill maybe 200 Hamasniks—not much to brag about, really). I think both sides each knows that they won’t get very far keeping up this stupid dance.

Me: But Josh…

Josh: You call it “this war on children”. That takes a lot of chutzpah, Roland. You really think so? I saw a lot of them, and their mothers, on TV, just like you did. I never saw one single picture of a dead or injured Hamas fighter. It shouldn’t have been difficult to put one of those pictures on TV. Kids are better at winning sympathy, however. But if you are really calling it a “war on children”, then you have gone too far. I cannot believe that you think that is true. If you really believe that, and maybe you do because you wrote it, then your protesting about being seen as anti-Israel isn’t credible. Sorry about that.

Me: “Kids are better at winning sympathy,” you say. This alludes to the photogenic victims sneer that is making the rounds. That’s what it is, this meme, isn’t it, a sneer?

Josh: Am I trying to “justify” Israeli strikes on refuges, schools, and hospitals, of course not. But, if you mean to sound even-handed, then I think you need to be a little tougher on Hamas. You gave them a pass-the fighters against occupation (never mind their ideology). Maybe when Hamas has better rockets that can be aimed better so they can kill better (dead Jews count as much as soldiers), it will be different. But your posting is so one-sided that it amounts to a one-way diatribe against Israel. The Palestinians get plenty of sympathy, as they should, but their despotic, tyrannical rulers get a pass. Why? They are part of the problem, but you really don’t have anything bad to say about them, except for maybe getting a lot of Palestinians killed, and I’m sure they aren’t sorry about even one of them.

Me: Josh, when you say that you think Hamas “isn’t sorry about even one” dead Palestinian, are you listening to yourself? Really listening? Does it sound like you have dehumanized them? It does to me.

Don: Now, now, guys…

Me: We must take into account that Gazans have been refugees since 1948, and Gaza has been an open air prison since 2005. Life for Palestinians has been extremely oppressive. They have been suffering from 20-40% unemployment. No opportunities. Hamas won an election in 2006 but Israel and the Bush administration sabotaged that election, no? Yes, Hamas has controlled the tunnels which have provided a tax base. You hear that they have used this to maintain power and to enrich themselves, and I believe that. I also believe they have provided social services, employed 40,000 civil servants, etc. How can this not be corrupt? Of course it is. But that’s not Hamas so much as human nature in a very difficult environment. Do I know enough to judge the souls of these peoples individually, or collectively. No.

Marc: 

I am baffled that the Western Left is so disinterested in liberating Gazans from the oppression of Hamas.

Don: Israel knows the world cheers for the underdog. But except for rare periods in history, the Jews have been historic underdogs since the destruction of the second temple; but they have not always been the recipient of the underdog bias. The territory right next door to them fires rockets to scare/and or kill citizens of Israel. The Israeli army is in the process of degrading their capability to kill Israelis. Perhaps, this crisis will allow the Arab moderate capitalists to create sanctions against Hamas for using resources to secure offensive weapons. Or as is more likely the case, there will be a cold-blooded calculated truce until one of the many, many red lines is crossed and the war continues.

Me: For what it’s worth: It looks to me like the prospects for Hamas are not looking so good. Their tax revenue source (tunnels) is gone, and Egypt does not appear to be friendly to reopening them; Iran has cut back support because they are a) making nice (sort of) with Kerry, and b) conditioning aid to Hamas on Hamas support for Assad against the Sunni rebels (which Hamas can’t do because of its allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood); Qatar has cut back aid because of Assad and because the Saudi’s and Egyptians are putting pressure on Qatar; and finally, Israel is going to try to put the PA back in business in Gaza. We naïve optimists might say–there’s an opportunity to demilitarize and open up. Realists will say “forget it, Netanyahu won’t open up, and he can’t because if he loosens on Gaza Hamas in the West Bank will say ‘see we were successful–let’s do it here.’”

Marc: Can we get a beer now?

Don: How about those Giants?

Roland Nikles
About Roland Nikles

Roland Nikles is a Bay Area writer and attorney. He blogs here: rolandnikles.blogspot.com. And you can follow him on twitter @RolandNikles

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39 Responses

  1. Donald
    Donald
    August 7, 2014, 1:17 pm

    I’d be curious if your friends could spell out your arguments as well and as fairly as you have presented theirs. In my experience I don’t think very many defenders of Israel could make the case on the other side.

  2. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    August 7, 2014, 1:31 pm

    I see you never think of challenging the claim of your “friends” to be expressing the views and feelings of Jews in general.

    • Interested Bystander
      Interested Bystander
      August 7, 2014, 4:12 pm

      Stephen, these friends don’t come with “quotation marks:” they are exceptional human beings and good friends. Hannah Arendt said about Socrates: “he laid down his life not for a particular belief, but simply for the right to go about examining the ideas of other people, thinking about them, and asking his interlocutors to do the same.” That’s what’s going on in this conversation. And, yes, I believe Josh and Don and Marc are expressing the feelings of American baby-boom generation Jews in general. They are not outliers. Roland Nikles.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 7, 2014, 10:00 pm

        “he laid down his life not for a particular belief, but simply for the right to go about examining the ideas of other people, thinking about them, and asking his interlocutors to do the same.” ”

        A little high-falutin’. Sometimes people have blindspots and use their intellectual abilities to rationalize them. Your friends might be wonderful human beings in other respects and no sarcasm intended, but they’ve got a pretty big blindspot on this subject. Probably we all have blindspots of some sort. This subject is theirs.

        Not that Hamas can’t be criticized–it can, and should be. But your friends are defensive of Israel and seem more upset that Israel is getting bad PR for killing hundreds of children and want the blame all placed on Hamas. Maybe you should just talk to them about other subjects. I have a friend like that–we do politics once in a while. He says nothing one couldn’t pick up from Fox News and nothing I say gets through to him. I suppose we both like to bicker occasionally, but there’s no point to it.

      • Interested Bystander
        Interested Bystander
        August 8, 2014, 12:01 am

        Thanks, Donald. The “maybe we should just not talk to them” about this is an impulse we need to overcome if we’re going to achieve peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. AaronAarons and DaBakr would carry your recommendation further; they counsel one should not associate with people who disagree with us on this issue at all, close our ears when they speak, and certainly not have them as friends.

        I agree with Marc Ellis’ conclusion, in his piece “After Gaza” today: Israel is part of the Jewish question and Jews must chart their own destiny. For peace and justice in Israel-Palestine this will entail a new paradigm for Zionism. It seems to me, the reason for a site like this is to help create such a new paradigm, and to make sure the Feiglin paradigm does not prevail. To do this, it will be essential to bring around the Jewish establishment in the U.S. They are the ones who are giving 60% of the funds to the Democratic party. Guess what…. no Democratic president is going to put serious pressure on Israel contra to the strong feelings of 60% of their funding base. We’re not going to convince the mainstream of the wisdom we think we have on Gaza unless we talk to them in tones they might be receptive to. Are AA and DaBakr up to the task? Not from what I’ve seen here. And that’s what Socrates was about…, talking to Sophists and others he disagreed with.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 8, 2014, 2:54 pm

        IB–I admire your stance, but you’ve got more patience than me, I guess. But you’re probably right.

      • gamal
        gamal
        August 8, 2014, 3:55 pm

        “Not that Hamas can’t be criticized–it can, and should be”

        Yes sure, by their oppressors who vastly more criminal than Hamas itself, but hey why not, that bitch I just raped nurses all manner of reprehensible attitudes.

        you have no grounds to criticize those you, and it is you, whom you are slaughtering. Black people are also often less than liberal, what you gonna do, criticize away you repellent self satisfied jerk.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 9, 2014, 12:15 am

        ” you have no grounds to criticize those you, and it is you, whom you are slaughtering. Black people are also often less than liberal, what you gonna do, criticize away you repellent self satisfied jerk.”

        What a load of bull. I don’t want your approval. Tell lies because of collective guilt. Be a politically correct little lefty who never says anything critical of the resistance because my tax dollars help Israel. Yeah, boy, that’s really what everyone should be striving for.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 8, 2014, 4:25 am

        According to Plato, Socrates refused a chance to escape and laid down his life because he thought it wrong to disobey the laws of the state which had supported him during his life.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 8, 2014, 4:56 am

        Though, before the sentence was passed, in his defence speech (again according to Plato) he says that it is his duty to go around annoying people with his questions.

        (In Xenophon’s version he argues that his conduct has been virtuous, but that death by execution would be preferable to withering old age. His reply to Apollodorus is classic.)

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 7, 2014, 4:22 pm

      “I see you never think of challenging the claim of your “friends” to be expressing the views and feelings of Jews in general.”

      Stephen, Stephen, please excuse me, but if each one of us wasn’t able to to express the views and feelings of Jews in general, how will anybody know what Jews think? Are we to be without a voice? And if we could speak only for ourselves, who would represent ‘the Jews’?

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 7, 2014, 9:47 pm

        “but if each one of us wasn’t able to to express the views and feelings of Jews in general, how will anybody know what Jews think? Are we to be without a voice? And if we could speak only for ourselves, who would represent ‘the Jews’?”

        Damn that’s clever. Funny too.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 7, 2014, 10:34 pm

        “Damn that’s clever. Funny too.”

        Me as Calf: “But Dad, I’m serious!”
        Dad: “You’re serious? Really?”
        Calf: “Dad, I’m really serious about this.”
        Dad: “Okay, you be serious, I’ll be Roebuck, we’ll start a store!” (Chuckles)

        He got me with that every time.

  3. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    August 7, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Probably worth noting that the Israeli’s were perfectly happy to deal with Hamas when they thought they could be used as a bulwark against the PLO. Their charter wasn’t an issue at then….

    Also, if the rockets from Gaza are really so awful and dangerous, why was Bibi pressing the airlines to restart travel to Israel? They told the airlines basically “no big deal” and then go on CNN and talk about running for their lives.

    I’d have also told “Don” that Gaza is not “territory next to Israel” it’s territory occupied and controlled by Israel, which means Israel is responsible for protecting it’s civilians, just like in Israel. So, the question is, what if people fired rockets inside Israel, in say, Tel Aviv – does the GOI level Tel Aviv to “stop the rockets”? Me thinks not. Your friends are whack, man.

    • annie
      annie
      August 7, 2014, 5:05 pm

      I’d have also told “Don” that Gaza is not “territory next to Israel” it’s territory occupied and controlled by Israel,

      i thought the same thing reading it. i also had a big problem w/don’s reasoning in his first comment in this exchange since “
The countries” he refers to that have “formal and informal peace accords with Israel are not subject to horrific scenes of destruction” differ greatly from palestine in one crucial way, israelis not engaged in a ongoing process of taking over all their land under the guise of “security”.

      anyone who does not consider the ongoing theft of palestine as a goal of the those in power in israel, due to the evidence of continual settlement expansion, is in denial.

      another aspect i felt missing is the context of who initiated this latest round of violence. even the government acknowledges hamas did not shoot rockets since the 2012 ceasefire agreement. the government of israel and netanyahu, incensed with the unity gov, used those missing teens to carry out a pogrom against the palestinian people. this went on for weeks and weeks before hamas responded with rockets. where is the blame or acknowledgement of that event from Roland’s friends. why does the israel gov get to blame hamas without a shred of evidence for that kidnapping and use it as an excuse to renege on a previous deal for prisoner release and round up and detain/re-arrest on no charge hundreds of palestinian people. what would jews do if someone had power over them like that? and what purpose is it to enter into any kind of agreement with someone who will renege on it anytime in the future under false pretext.

      so why not ask why israel started this? because to many people it looks like israel just wanted another opportunity to mow the grass. they started it.

      his friends have been brainwashed:

      When a political movement in an adjacent region continually states that their belief is your destruction, when their supporters, in Europe especially, attack Jewish institutions and businesses while chanting anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli slogans, one is hard pressed not to be moved to self-defense.

      israel is colonizing palestine. When a political movement (zionism)comes into your country intending it’s destruction and total annihilation (how many palestinian villages were destroyed?), when their supporters, in Europe and the US especially,support attacking Palestinian institutions and businesses (like say most recently the power plant in gaza and the university) while chanting death to arabs, one is hard pressed not to be moved to self-defense.

      and that’s exactly what hamas is doing, self defense. israel is the aggressor here, not hamas. zionism is the political movement that entered palestine and destroyed it. and it keeps on destroying it bit by bit by bit. your friends don’t like their militias? so what? asked them what they would do after 3 weeks of pogroms murdering scores of palestinians in the west bank? jews in tel aviv, invading and destroying thousands of homes? jews are not the victims here, at all.

  4. eljay
    eljay
    August 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

    >> Josh: Almost all of your blog is about Israel’s sins of omission and commission and you pretty much let Hamas off with a tiny scolding for putting Gazans in harm’s way.

    Like all Zio-supremacists, Josh downplays, ignores and/or defends the fact that Israel:
    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – was born of Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    – remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    It’s the equivalent of saying: “Almost all of your blog is about the rapist’s sins of kidnapping, confinement and months worth of brutal physical and sexual assault, and you pretty much let the victims off with a tiny scolding for their attempts to punch and bite the rapist.”

  5. AaronAarons
    AaronAarons
    August 7, 2014, 2:35 pm

    This crap on a site that bans Jeffrey Blankfort? Why are you so much more tolerant of philo-semitism than of supposed anti-semitism?

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 7, 2014, 3:12 pm

      Did you think Roland holds the views he laid out here?

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      August 7, 2014, 5:03 pm

      I agree with @AA. ‘Josh’, ‘Don’ and ‘Marc’ are all full of crp and I can’t believe they wasted space here with such feeble discourse. As for Rolnd guy? Can’t say much except these guys are his ‘friends’.

  6. Chu
    Chu
    August 7, 2014, 3:22 pm

    Don: “Speaking as one of the Jewish people, the threat of annihilation is not as remote as some people believe. It was just six years before I was born that the Nazi death camps were liberated by the Allies. I lived in a community with a high percentage of survivors.
 When a political movement in an adjacent region continually states that their belief is your destruction, when their supporters, in Europe especially, attack Jewish institutions and businesses while chanting anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli slogans, one is hard pressed not to be moved to self-defense.”

    Seems like what Judge Goldstone would have endured only for longer, in order for him to recant his Caste Lead report in 2009.

    • Chu
      Chu
      August 7, 2014, 3:25 pm

      These converstions almost feel violent, like a threat. They know how to play the strings of guilt.

    • annie
      annie
      August 7, 2014, 5:15 pm

      it’s brainwashing. one of the most powerful military forces in the world massacring scores of defenseless people moaning about the threat of their own annihilation. seriously, only if you’re suck on this crap like mother’s milk your entire life does it not sound ludicrous.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 7, 2014, 10:39 pm

        The Ziocaine Syndrome is a serious behavioral affliction. An effective and reliable treatment has not been found as of yet, although many are looking, may not found for a while yet.

      • Chu
        Chu
        August 8, 2014, 2:14 pm

        The US needs a center for Ziocane detox. Probably a few – on both coasts. I’d suggest ‘cold turkey’ but that is gonna be a tough challenge for some. I’d say they’ll need a padded room with a view of the ocean at least.

  7. lysias
    lysias
    August 7, 2014, 4:42 pm

    When I was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Berlin and the Bader-Meinhof gang was laying bombs in U.S. military facilities in Germany (one exploded at the barracks in Heidelberg and killed an officer, one was found and disarmed, with me viewing the procedure, 200 yards from my barracks in Berlin, and another was found and disarmed outside the American high school in Berlin the night of the senior prom,) I quickly learned to put the danger out of my mind, because there was nothing I could do about it and the risk to me was small.

    Israelis were in about the same amount of danger from Hamas’s rockets. As Norman Finkelstein has pointed out, the ineffectiveness of Hamas’s rockets is shown by how little damage they did to Israeli infrastructure.

    The Israelis should have ignored the small danger. It wasn’t great enough to justify the time spent in going to and from shelters and the time wasted within the shelters.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 7, 2014, 4:49 pm

      They are indeed small rockets. On CNN an US ex military official watched that grainy video of Hamas building/ sending rockets taken near civilian structures, taken by an Indian reporter, said that they were small home made, crude rockets. Something he said that is usually expected under these circumstances. He honestly sounded like it was no big thing.
      However, that does not stop the Israelis from howling with rage about it, and taking advantage of it, to keep the occupation going, and the periodical attacks on the Palestinians, just to mow the lawn.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      August 7, 2014, 5:10 pm

      @Ly
      “The Israelis should have ignored the small danger. It wasn’t great enough to justify the time spent in going to and from shelters and the time wasted within the shelters.”

      I would imagine your orders and lives would have been much different had you been forced to run into bomb shelters every 15 to 20 minutes. And your not mentioning the far bigger, more accurate and powerful Farj missiles that Iran openly admits it smuggles into Gaza of which plenty were shot and at most 30% were taken out before their payloads could hit infrastructure. Comparing a bäder-meinhof bomb and a farj-3 is a little silly though I am sure you felt sufficiently brave ignoring the danger.

      • lysias
        lysias
        August 7, 2014, 5:40 pm

        I was comparing Bader-Meinhof gang bombs and the rockets Hamas actually used. They were both capable of killing, and both did, in small numbers. And neither caused a danger great enough to justify disrupting lives.

        Our superiors didn’t order us to go into shelters, and we didn’t protest when they didn’t, because we weren’t a bunch of scaredy cats.

  8. Shingo
    Shingo
    August 7, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Marc: 

I am baffled that the Western Left is so disinterested in liberating Gazans from the oppression of Hamas.

    Wow, and Marc: 

I am baffled that the Western Right is so disinterested in liberating Gazans from the oppression of Israel.

    Do these morons even listen to themselves?

    And even if you ignore this, why didn’t ‘to you bring up the fact that Netanyahu started this war by attacking Gaza, and lied about Hamas being responsibke for the kidnapping if the 3 boys to justify it?

    That, according to the Nuremberg Principals is the mother of all war crimes .

    • annie
      annie
      August 7, 2014, 5:46 pm

      Do these morons even listen to themselves?

      shingo, i do not think they are morons. i think they do not realize that “Gazans being oppressed by Hamas” is a hasbara talking point constantly repeated by israel meant to be consumed by the israeli public and the international community to sell the hasbara talking pt hamas is responsible for israeli massacres and ‘if’ palestinians were only good and made other choices israel would not oppress them. which is a lie. no palestinian would buy that hogwash. so the friends have internalized it and assume hamas oppresses most of the people, which i imagine would be very low on the palestinian priority list when they are suffering under a brutal blockade by an enemy that bombs you routinely. israel doesn’t like hamas, so it stands to reason palestinians don’t either? that’s just not logical. palestinians have no compelling reason to believe the propaganda of an entity who is responsible for stealing their country. while i agree only a fool would drink the koolaid that hamas is responsible for israel’s massacres of palestinian people, it’s repeated so routinely on all the msms it’s possible some people don’t even realize how ridiculous it is. i doubt that these friends of his are really stupid. they’ve just internalized some of these lies where they take for granted they are truth. but where are the palestinian voices complaining about hamas right now? crickets.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 7, 2014, 6:31 pm

        shingo, i do not think they are morons. i think they do not realize that “Gazans being oppressed by Hamas” is a hasbara talking point constantly repeated by israel meant to be consumed by the israeli public and the international community to sell the hasbara talking pt hamas is responsible for israeli massacres and ‘if’ palestinians were only good and made other choices israel would not oppress them. which is a lie. no palestinian would buy that hogwash. so the friends have internalized it and assume hamas oppresses most of the people, which i imagine would be very low on the palestinian priority list when they are suffering under a brutal blockade by an enemy that bombs you routinely.

        Then Annie, if they are not morons, then they have an ideological agenda. There is no excuse for being so ignorant of the facts on the ground. In this day and age, with information, search engines and countess media source at our fingertips there is no excuse, especially given that this conversation was centred around a blog posting.
        So given that they are clearly educated, they are either ideologically isolated or pushing an agenda.

        israel doesn’t like hamas, so it stands to reason palestinians don’t either? that’s just not logical.

        Yes, imagine that point being made about Likud and the Israeli home party? Look, we all here have seen through the bullshit for the better part of a decade, if not longer.

        It’s not like these guys all work for the state department or a Senator, and therefore have to parrot the party line as part of their job.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      August 7, 2014, 7:03 pm

      @shg

      “Netanyahu started this war by attacking Gaza, and lied about Hamas being responsibke [sic]for the kidnapping if the 3 boys to justify it?”

      so-taking it for granted that you believe the evidence provided yesterday that Hamas was completely responsible for the 3 kidnapped teens (in league with the Qwamseh who was a long-time Hamas leader) is completely wrong. or a ‘ploy’ by Israel. or an out and out ‘lie’. Why is this not surprising either. If everything Israel does and says is a complete lie and that is accepted here as gospel then there really isn’t much to discuss with opposing views and it all gets reduced to who can post the nastiest ‘quip’.

      • piotr
        piotr
        August 8, 2014, 2:54 pm

        A little problem with that evidence is that there is a reasonable suspicion of forced confession, so one has to check if the “evidence” makes sense. It is alleged that the person who confessed specifically bought a plot of land so the victims could be buried there. This makes no sense whatsoever. To me, it looks that the owner was captured and forced to confess.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 8, 2014, 5:34 pm

        so-taking it for granted that you believe the evidence provided yesterday that Hamas was completely responsible for the 3 kidnapped teens (in league with the Qwamseh who was a long-time Hamas leader) is completely wrong.

        There as no evidence provided.

        If everything Israel does and says is a complete lie and that is accepted here as gospel then there really isn’t much to discuss with opposing views and it all gets reduced to who can post the nastiest ‘quip’.

        If there was evidence produced, then we’d have something to debate or discuss.

      • lysias
        lysias
        August 8, 2014, 5:44 pm

        I think the hasbarists’ line is going to continue to be to claim that there is such evidence, confident that a lot of people won’t bother to check and learn how threadbare that alleged evidence is.

  9. paul causton
    paul causton
    August 7, 2014, 5:22 pm

    You people speak of dead children as if they were no more than pawns on a chessboard, let me tell you that not all people see things your way. I lived in London during the IRA campaign (and there was more than one death, let me tell you.) and we have put aside our enmity for them. You cannot defeat Hamas by killing Gazan children, you will only make them more stoic….

  10. michelle
    michelle
    August 8, 2014, 9:12 am

    .
    might be more effective to speak to one friend at a time about this subject
    notice they didn’t speak to you singly but as a mob
    this is a sign that they lack conviction in their views
    plus it seems like you might want to practice presenting your views
    you missed quite a few openings by way of weak talking points
    these are your friends they in some way/form have signs of being
    brainwashed best to rinse with care
    .
    you might try asking them how they would feel if/ deal with;
    their child or sibling had been attacked with bats
    while walking to school or playing in their own yard
    or being cursed at spit upon or having dirt and ‘waste’
    being thrown at them everyday
    would they defend their child and/or call the police
    the police would then arrest your friend might beat
    him charge him fine him and his child would be subject
    to more of the same w/o interruption
    plus now your friend would be counted as a troublemaker
    prob, even as a member of Hamas and the night raids/home
    invasions would begain
    what would your friend do if as he watched his minor son was
    taken from bed in the night by police w/o a word to you his
    parent about why or where he’s being taken
    he’s just gone and for a long time he can’t be found
    better odds in vegas
    .
    the things you will view if you walk in my shoe
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    August 8, 2014, 11:56 am

    What a bunch of hypocrites we Westerners are. We encouraged Gazans to go to the polls and exercise democratic voting rights but…since we didn’t like the outcome of the elections, our preferred candidate didn’t win (whomever he was), we turn nasty. And israel still not running out of excuses as to why not to negotiate with Hamas.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 9, 2014, 12:44 am

      Vera, you encouraged all Palestinians and not just Gaza to have the elections because everyone was assured that Fatah would win and your preferred candidate Abbas did win with a lot of help from Israel that kept tripping up the other candidates in the running like Mustafa Barghouti. But Abbas’ party “Fatah” did not win the parliamentary majority, Hamas did. It was weird on the night of the elections to see Hamas going around in circles wondering what to do next as the winning party because their win was not expected by anyone. By the time they had gotten over the shock of having actually won and started running the government with Gaza’s Haniyeh as Prime Minister, a plot was already hatched to overthrow them in Gaza by Fatah, Israel and the US with the Arab states agreeing to cut off funding.

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