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Israel calls Obama’s tune

Israel/Palestine
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Netanyahu lecturing Obama in 2011

Netanyahu lecturing Obama in 2011

This is tragic and embarrassing. Israel is calling the tune for the Obama administration on Gaza. In the last 24 hours since the alleged capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants, the Obama administration is now laying all blame on Hamas for Israel’s slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza. What other nations are calling a massacre and genocide– our government is calling the Palestinians’ own fault.

At the President’s press conference, Obama emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, no matter what. He only touched on the civilian killings issue a couple times, and said it was Hamas’s fault.

I’m in constant consultation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. …[I]t is heartbreaking to see what’s happening there, and I think many of us recognize the dilemma we have.  On the one hand, Israel has a right to defend itself and it’s got to be able to get at those rockets and those tunnel networks.  On the other hand, because of the incredibly irresponsible actions on the part of Hamas to oftentimes house these rocket launchers right in the middle of civilian neighborhoods, we end up seeing people who had nothing to do with these rockets ending up being hurt.

Not a word of blame on Israel. Though the president adopted the word that four others in his administration have used to describe massacre: “heartbreaking.”

Obama couldn’t stop emphasizing that “Israel has a right to defend itself,” and he said all those innocent civilians were just caught in the crossfire:

Now, at the same time, we’ve also been clear that innocent civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience and we have to do more to protect them.  A cease-fire was one way in which we could stop the killing, to step back and to try to resolve some of the underlying issues that have been building up over quite some time.

Pablum. Diana Buttu says it best:

By adopting, wholeheartedly, Israel’s position, President Obama has made it clear that he is unable or unwilling to stop Israel – the country that receives more U.S. aid than any country in the world – from targeting Palestinian civilians, at least 800 of whom have been killed by the U.S.-supplied Israeli military since July 7. President Obama has once again given cover to those who carry out war crimes by blaming Palestinian civilian deaths on Palestinians themselves – blaming the victims – despite overwhelming evidence that Israel systematically uses disproportionate deadly force in densely populated areas.  (Source: Institute for Middle East Understanding)

Matt Lee at Associated Press reports that Netanyahu has laid down the law during those “constant” communications with the Obama administration:

Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter. The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be “trusted” on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks…

In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call…

Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call.

Kerry has duly reflected the new theme, tweeting about the soldier’s apparent abduction in Gaza:

Condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s attack in – an outrageous violation of ceasefire negotiated over past several days.

Obama’s press secretary called the capture of the soldier “barbaric.” What does that make the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, civilized?

Kerry then issued a statement that is one-sided. Hamas is to blame for everything. It brought the missiles down on schools. Excerpt:

After the horrific loss of life in this attack [on the Israeli soldiers] and its aftermath, it would be a tragedy if this outrageous attack leads to more suffering and loss of life on both sides of this conflict. I have been in close touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry and with other regional partners. The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life.

Yousef Munayyer points out that the U.S. has the ability to rein in Israel and it is doing nothing but talking about heartbreaking images of civilian slaughter:

“This week, as the United States was condemning the Israeli shelling of a UN school where 17 Palestinian civilians were killed, President Obama simultaneously announced the United States would open its arms caches to Israel and provide artillery that would help Israeli tanks reload and fire again on civilians. President Obama says he is heartbroken over the scenes in Gaza. If that is true, it is disappointing because that means the President is well aware of the horrors in Gaza, which he personally can do something to stop, and yet he still fails to do so.” (Source: Institute for Middle East Understanding)

The only good thing about all this is the American exposure. The world is amazed at our insensitivity to atrocities. Latin America is up in arms. And the U.S. is hogtied. We need a two state solution (as Terry Weber says) — Israel and the U.S. becoming separate countries.

Update: To grasp the cynicism of the Obama administration on this question (and surely the cynicism of every American administration) consider this report from Barbara Starr of CNN two days ago.

The point is, They know as well as we do what a massacre has taken place. And they can’t call it as they see it. Just: heartbreaking.

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About Philip Weiss

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130 Responses

  1. ohiojoes
    ohiojoes
    August 2, 2014, 10:07 am

    You say the world is outraged, Latin America is up in arms, etc. Nonsense. Muslims is Europe are angry (as always), and a couple countries elsewhere are using it for pro-Arab/anti-American purposes. Beyond that, no one cares about Palestinians.

    • can of worms
      can of worms
      August 2, 2014, 11:15 am

      @ohiojoes,

    • annie
      annie
      August 2, 2014, 11:15 am

      You say the world is outraged, Latin America is up in arms, etc. Nonsense.

      hmm, there were many large protests there and the president of bolivia called israel a terrorist state and broke down in tears (heavily tweeted) ended diplomatic ties. did you open the link?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 12:48 am

        US Congress is 100% supporting the massacre in Gaza. Obama too. He could halt Israel’s massacre of the Palestinians in one day, by laying out to the US public over the head of Congress and the Press, he’s cutting off all financial and diplomatic aid to Israel until Israel acts like a civilized state.
        He won’t do it, and Kerry will not bolt from his side. Obama’s looking to his post-POTUS speaking and writing career wallet, and Kerry? He doesn’t need money, so he’s just basically got no moral balls.

  2. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    August 2, 2014, 10:19 am

    I cant watch those statements nor read them, I cant stand the sickening attitude towards this genocide.
    Obama but also west in general use the israeli propaganda statements. Thats so tragic and so obviously wrong taking in regard how much we all know about israeli obvious war crimes.
    I dont understand how obama cant stand himself these days.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 2, 2014, 12:38 pm

      “This week, as the United States was condemning the Israeli shelling of a UN school where 17 Palestinian civilians were killed, President Obama simultaneously announced the United States would open its arms caches to Israel and provide artillery that would help Israeli tanks reload and fire again on civilians. President Obama says he is heartbroken over the scenes in Gaza. If that is true, it is disappointing because that means the President is well aware of the horrors in Gaza, which he personally can do something to stop, and yet he still fails to do so.” (Source: Institute for Middle East Understanding)
      Sure! The US is going to trust that, given all the weapons that welfare can buy, the israelis will continue to use “restraint”, “caution”, “surgical precision” in their US/UN given right to defend themselves “by any means necessary” from the guys with the bottle rockets. And then get all over the TV talking about how “tragic” it all is. You have no idea.

    • In2u
      In2u
      August 3, 2014, 12:02 am

      “I dont understand how obama cant stand himself these days.”

      Sarkozy tells Obama Netanyahu is a “liar”

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/08/us-mideast-netanyahu-sarkozy-idUSTRE7A720120111108

      Remember this?

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 3, 2014, 9:49 am

      I don’t know how Obama a father, can stand himself these days.

      No parent can watch this carnage (if he is watching at all) and not feel utter sympathy for how these kids are killed and horribly injured.

      What kind of human being can ignore this, and keep supporting the criminals, and arming them?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 9:58 am

        What kind of human being can ignore this, and keep supporting the criminals, and arming them?

        I think we have to acknowledge that to make it to the White House, with all the dirty politics, the sleazy deals, the ruthless antics and the selling of one’s soul for campaign donations, it goes without saying that these people are sociopaths if not psychopaths.

        A friend did some research for a book once on human behaviour and interviewed highly successful CEO and CFO types. Her findings showed that many were sociopaths or psychopaths. One even boasted to her that he’s had sex with a dozen women against their will.

        Another friend of mine in Montreal, and psychologist, interviewed inmates from a high security prison. She also told me the same thing -that once you win their confidence, they end up boasting about their heinous murders.

        And if these candidates are not sociopaths if not psychopaths before they run for office, they will be when they are done.

  3. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    August 2, 2014, 10:20 am

    Since the Rafah incident yesterday, the radio reports are that another 200 Palestinians have died, so the figure must be over 1600 by now.
    “Someone”, “somewhere” must have read the (financial/funding) riot act to Obama and Kerry re the elections later this year to force them to toe the Israeli line. Since the truth is out there wrt how and when the incident unfolded.

    • just
      just
      August 2, 2014, 10:24 am

      Now the GoI is telling the Palestinians who live in the northern parts of Gaza that they can ‘go home’…..to what?

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 2, 2014, 10:34 am

        To rubble and ruin. They are a sickening lot and show these sadistic tendencies that are disgraceful.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      August 2, 2014, 7:41 pm

      Latest figure is 1712 killed, meaning since Israel “disengaged” from Gaza in 2005 they’ve killed 5400 Palestinians in Gaza alone.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 12:51 am

        God told them to kill, old US cult movie.

  4. just
    just
    August 2, 2014, 10:22 am

    I posted this elsewhere on MW a bit ago, but it fits here:

    “9:50 A.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed frustration with U.S. efforts to forge a truce in Gaza in the aftermath of the humanitarian cease-fire’s collapse, the Associated Press reports.

    Netanyahu said in a phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro that the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to people familiar with the conversation.

    Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name. (AP and Barak Ravid) ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.608426

    These are the words of a madman– a madman armed with nukes and all forms of WMD and the willingness to use them. He’s committing genocide, and DEMANDS the world’s support for it. It’s past time for the US to cut off all support for him and his murderous agenda.”

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 2, 2014, 10:38 am

      This man has boasted that he can “move” America. Some other zionist tyrant before him also bragged that they “control” America. So who is world’s greatest superpower here?

      Right now Eliot Engel (NY) super supporter of Israel is singing the same song about how much the victim Israel is, no mention of occupation, blockade, and the 1600 plus civilians killed, not a world. He talks like HE knows for sure what happened to that missing soldier…..I wonder if AIPAC sends them the talking points, because they say the same thing, even the President of the US.

      • just
        just
        August 2, 2014, 11:18 am

        Saw Engel– ugh.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 2, 2014, 12:52 pm

        Triple ugh. :))

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 2, 2014, 11:39 am

        @Kay24

        “This man has boasted that he can “move” America.

        Indeed.

        In fact, here he is, chatting away on home video, saying just that.

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkN1KMLZH4o?rel=0&w=640&h=480%5D

        (Click “Show More,” below the video frame to read the English transcript)

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 2, 2014, 12:53 pm

        Thanks I have never seen the translation of this despicable video.

    • can of worms
      can of worms
      August 2, 2014, 10:46 am

      –Why?

      (1) a U.S. corporatocracy (we have “to face the humiliation that we Americans have neither a democracy nor a republic, but are in fact ruled by a partnership of too-big-to-fail corporations, the extremely wealthy elite, and corporate-collaborator government officials.”) [ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-e-levine/the-myth-of-us-democracy-corporatocracy_b_836573.html%5D
      (2) major offshore Gaza gas fields that the US wants for Israel (definitely not Palestine and definitely not for Hamas)
      (3) pure racism (Muslim life is simply expendable)
      (4) bribery (Aipac’s un-depletable resources)
      (5) blackmail (Israel has the largest spy network in the US)
      (6) more blackmail (threat of market manipulation, threat of influencing stock values, wielding the power of financial institutions)
      (7) dual citizenship in the DoD/ Pentagon / Homeland Security
      (8) interlinked interests of zionists and neocons (the infamous PNAC)
      (9) shared post-cold war ‘values’ (Balkans: Wesley Clark ordered the destruction of hospitals and schools… Iraq: US used depleted uranium in Fallujah, causing rare cancers … etc. etc.)
      (10) partners in crime / partners in false flags / shared blueprints

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 2, 2014, 12:50 pm

      He’s taken the US hostage and looks to get all the other countries in line too. How can he be stopped (hmmmmmm)

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 3, 2014, 9:52 am

        He has the gall to ask the world to support Israel, after the world has seen the carnage and destruction caused by him. Some nerve.

        This butchers have played victim for too long, and their sense of entitlement is unbelievable.

  5. Bob_Salad
    Bob_Salad
    August 2, 2014, 10:35 am

    Reading this reminded me of the Vader death grip:

    http://www.starwarz.com/tbone/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1200.jpg

  6. Pippilin
    Pippilin
    August 2, 2014, 10:40 am

    The US has reached the point of no return in its Mephistopholean deal with Israel.

  7. ckg
    ckg
    August 2, 2014, 11:08 am

    Even the Canadian Green Party’s Paul Estrin bashes (or here) the resident of Gaza, although he had to retract under pressure.

  8. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    August 2, 2014, 11:13 am

    This is from an article in the J Post:

    ”The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.”

    ”No, periodically mowing the lawn is not a policy that can endure for long – it simply will not cut it. The grass needs to be uprooted – once and for all.”

    ”The problem can only be solved by entirely abandoning the concept that Gaza should be governed by Palestinian Arabs. Any effective solution must follow this new line of reasoning.”

    This is not extreme, fringe thinking. The JPost is a mainstream publication.

    This is your vibrant, liberal, free-thinking Jewish democracy.

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Into-the-fray-Why-Gaza-must-go-368862

    • can of worms
      can of worms
      August 2, 2014, 12:09 pm

      Well and why not? They’ve been given a blank cheque over and over and are emboldened to realize their wildest fantasies. Grab all the land and mow the inhabitants. Even just writing those words in the mainstream press rather than in Arutz Sheva and Israel Today must give them exhilaration. Just look at ohiojoes’ comment above: nobody cares (so he says): go for the whole hog.

      However, this has raised political consciousness among ordinary working people across the world. It has mobilized the grassroots. Israel’s cards have been exposed. The tactic of collaboration has been rejected. Hamas came out brave. The images of Gaza will remain to haunt the global collective memory like the images of Abu Ghraib. New unions have formed. The dollar keeps floating, and the sharks keep circling. There is no return to the “status quo ante”.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 2, 2014, 12:47 pm

        Exactly. Surely it’s no coincidence that Israel has elected its most extreme and far-right governments at a time of unprecedented ‘peace’ for Israelis? A cost-free occupation hasn’t made Israelis do a bit of soul searching, but instead has encouraged them to consider making their wildest dreams – mass expulsion – into a reality.

        But while not wanting to be over-optimistic, I agree that this war really has affected the public in a way no other Israeli war has done. When I’ve been out on the streets demonstrating for Gaza, I’ve encountered nothing but sympathy among the public. In conversations at work, even with people who aren’t at all political and couldn’t place Gaza on a map, the reaction to Israel’s massacres has been nothing but revulsion and disgust.

        The question however remains: What, if any, effect will this have on the people in power? Thus far, very little. The Western political elites have been even more shamelessly behind Israel. Perhaps the effects will only be seen at a later time. Let’s hope they are seen at all.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:11 am

        I’m old. Nothing will change in my lifetime. I think they will in my son’s. Jewish history will eventually contain a new episode, as usual devoid of total world history context. The old bible stories will go on, new Hitlers will come. “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” Maybe not. What’s changed is the Jews now have their own very powerful state, supported by the only superpower state no matter what Israel does. In a way, Israel is now ancient Egypt, and the Palestinians exodus. The test of virtue is power.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      August 3, 2014, 6:57 am

      Thanks for the link to JPost. I found the entire article enlightening, in a dark way. The language, the compassion, the logic: it is quite a piece of work, offering insight into a world view that is so inverted (not to say perverted) that it seems very much a “looking glass” world. The reference to Hoover’s humanitarianism was nice. The critique of “flaccid” leadership is something critics of Obama (on the left as well as the right) might echo, if they dared be so phallic, in a post- Weiner America.

      There was one omission, however, unless I overlooked it: where are these relocated “Arabs” to be sent? America, perhaps? That’s the answer for all of Israel’s problems, isn’t it? Perhaps Long Island? A new land without a people, for a new people without a land? Who wouldn’t want a trade: our Zionists go to Israel, their “Arabs” come to join us?

      In truth, putting sarcasm aside, I do think we owe the Gaza residents new homes here: we enabled Israel’s theft and destruction of the homes they once had. It isn’t the only crime against humanity we have committed in this young century, it isn’t the only one for which we owe reparations, but it is significant and ongoing. I’ve read that Mr. Obama is sending federal employees to central America to interview children, to determine who is eligible for refugee status here. That may well be a good idea. But since we armed and financed Israel’s actions, and defended them at the U.N., surely we have at least as much reason to do the same for the residents of Gaza.

  9. mhuizenga
    mhuizenga
    August 2, 2014, 11:24 am

    Yes. Thank you for this. What is “heartbreaking” to me is that I was finally able to make some headway with my family and friends over this issue which they know little about because the MSM was actually covering it for once. After the president came on tv to wash his hands of it basically in the middle of a friday afternoon, well, now it’s back to business as usual-nothing to see here, move along, terrorism, etc. The article is spot on that this is “embarrassing and tragic.” The US had a chance to make a difference just by bringing this issue to light to the public here, and we blew it…again.

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 3, 2014, 1:00 am

      “The US had a chance to make a difference just by bringing this issue to light to the public here, and we blew it…again.”

      I suspect that Obama is of two minds–on the one hand, privately seething at being lectured by this arrogant idiot. Not that Obama has that much concern for Palestinians–it’s just that resentment would be any normal human being’s reaction to Netanyahu. On the other hand, I’m sure the Administration felt excruciatingly uncomfortable saying anything even slightly critical of the Israelis, knowing that virtually no one in their own party would have their backs. Now they can return to their comfort zone and grovel.

  10. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 2, 2014, 11:29 am

    “At the President’s press conference, Obama emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, no matter what.” That is not true, Gaza is Occupied Palestinian Territory [the UN regard Gaza as occupied since Israel controls land sea and air movements] that being the case Israel has one duty only, that is to end the illegal occupation, every man, woman and child in Gaza is a protected person [Geneva Convention Article 4] Attacking them from land, sea and air is a war crime. The besieged Palestinians have every right to defend themselves using any weapons they can get hold of. I gave up on the US political class a long time ago, Netanyahu owns them and everyone knows it. Bill Clinton asked the Question some time ago.
    “Who the fuck does he think he is? Who’s the fucking superpower here?”
    US President Bill Clinton in 1996, after being lectured by Netanyahu on the Middle East.http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Netanyahu

  11. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    August 2, 2014, 11:32 am

    The growing consensus reported inside Israel today according to their press is to proceed with destroying the last three tunnels into Israel and then proceeding with a unilateral withdraw. Then it’s up to Hamas to stop firing rockets(or not). No cease fire, no negotiations with Hamas. Calm for calm–or not. The growing consensus within Israel is entering into a ceasefire with Hamas is meaningless since it cannot deliver.

    I think it is a good move on Israel’s part. How is Hamas going to replenish it’s rocket arsenal after Egypt destroyed the Sinai–Gaza tunnel network? Will the arab league support Hamas? Will Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia help Hamas? Protestors in Europe or Boston will not replenish long range rockets Hamas needs. Nor will the UN.

    A defanged Hamas, derived of support, without their goal of a cease fire with the free flow of goods into Gaza, may not last long.

    • annie
      annie
      August 2, 2014, 11:36 am

      Israel today according to their press is to proceed with destroying the last three tunnels into Israel

      how do they know it’s the last 3 tunnels?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 2, 2014, 11:47 am

        They don’t. They want us to believe that they had no clue of the existence of the Tunnels of Doom until 3 weeks ago, yet now they know where every single one is? LOL.

        I think it’s fairly obvious that ‘the tunnels’ are being used firstly to ‘sex up’ this war – that whole rockets thing was a bit last decade, and anyway they’re trying to flog ”Iron Dome” so can’t dwell on the danger of rockets too much – and secondly, in announcing that they have ‘destroyed all the tunnels’ they give themselves a face-saving way out of the mess Bibi created. There’s no way in hell they anticipated still being stuck in Gaza, with more than 6O dead soldiers, at this point. So they will declare all the ‘tunnels destroyed’, announce Mission Accomplished, and head out leaving the carnage and devastation behind them.

        The Israelis are already talking of a ‘unilateral’ end to the war which will get them out of the humiliation of having to deal with khkhamaaas. The good thing is, this probably means the carnage will end fairly soon. The bad thing is, it will mean the Palestinians have lost what will probably end up being 2OOO or more lives, all to go back to the status quo ante.

      • Abierno
        Abierno
        August 2, 2014, 12:44 pm

        One would suspect that there is considerable pressure on Israel that is not overtly being discussed. Obama has been known to give his full support to Israel in sound bites, while at the same time authorizing actions that move in the opposite direction. He has certainly had enough experience with Netanyahu to know that pushing him into a corner can be expected to result in his doing exactly the opposite. So Obama gives support and, surprise,
        Netanyahu suddenly discovers he has closed all the tunnels.

        This war is being spoken of in Israel as far worse than the Lebanon war in its execution. Given this perspective, in concert with his extreme rightwing government, Netanyahu cannot afford to come to any negotiating table – he’s already lost in the eyes of the Israelis. Also, the unity government continues to stand. Abbas has filed complaints with the ICC and requested that Geneva explore convening a conference of its signatories on Israel’s war crimes. Then, Navi Pillay and the UN Human Rights commission have launched an investigation of both Israeli and Hamas war crimes. Only the US voted against this measure. Given the disproportionate death ratio, it is no secret whose war crimes are greater. Finally, Netanyahu’s insistence on continuing the siege, makes Israel legally the occupier, with that issue bringing into play even further leverage to the war crimes charges against Israel. All of this moves the demands of Palestinians, in the West Bank and in Gaza from a war negotiated truce to international consideration. This is an arena wherein Netanyahu and the US have been thoroughly discredited by their insouciance to the brutal and devastating carnage of this war.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:18 am

        Not to mention over 6,000 Gaza homes are rubble, and all those social and utility buildings. Gaza is now a wasteland. Will there be a Berlin airlift, a US airman dropping chocolate bars to the Gaza kids left over? Whatever, John Q Public here in USA will be paying for whatever, there in Gaza, and for lots more Israeli weapons, ammo, offensive and defense systems. That’s the realistic probability.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 2, 2014, 12:54 pm

        Just false pretense to show they have achieved their goals.

        Tunnels are easy to build, and there will be more as long as the occupation keeps going. You keep a people in prison, they will want to dig their way out, or use to resist.

      • Schatterjee
        Schatterjee
        August 2, 2014, 1:35 pm

        Since Israel asserts that tunnels from Gaza pose a strategic threat, why has it done so little in the past to prevent these tunnels from being constructed, made such feeble attempts to locate those that exist, and left in place tunnels it already identified? Israelis frequently assert “we have no choice” when justifying the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people. In reality, Israel rarely lacks the opportunity to make choices; what it lacks is sound judgement.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:24 am

        What Israel does have is sound Zionist judgement. What makes it sound? AIPAC dollars, with no end in sight for them here in US. How many US GOP POTUS wannabes went out to LV to kiss Adelson’s ring? All but Huckabee who had already just genuflected in Zionists circles, and Rand Paul, who has since then come out demonizing Palestinians and asking for more support for Israel by resolution. When it comes to Israel it’s bipartisan support for sucking Barnie Frank’s you know what. (Eeww!)

      • ivri
        ivri
        August 2, 2014, 6:21 pm

        OK, Annie, I`ll give this away. One of the key parts of the operation is the questioning of Hamas captives. Without that Israel would not be able to discover so many tunnels in just days. And that`s what will be going later – trying to get the “maps” of the tunnels network. Takes time – but doing away with the Intifada, which this saga repeats by other means, took even longer.

      • ivri
        ivri
        August 2, 2014, 6:23 pm

        OK, Annie, I`ll give this away. One of the key parts of the operation is the questioning of Hamas captives. Without that Israel would not be able to discover so many tunnels in just days. And that`s what will be going on later – trying to get the “maps” of the tunnels network. Takes time – but doing away with the Intifada, which this saga repeats by other means, took even longer.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 2, 2014, 6:59 pm

        ”Questioning?” Is that hasbarist for ‘torturing’ these days?

        And how utterly unquestioning you are. So Isarel has discovered ‘so many tunnels’ has it? And you know that… how?

        Of course you dont’ know it. You’re just parotting IDF propaganda uncritically. We’re supposed to believe that Israel hadn’t a clue about ”the tunnels’ until 3 weeks ago, or at least didn’t consider them a threat, yet now, it’s all about the tunnels. Which of course, will ALL have been destroyed so Israel can made a face-saving exit.

        You Zionists are such an incredibly gullible lot. A used car salesman dream, I should think.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 2, 2014, 7:23 pm

        Without that Israel would not be able to discover so many tunnels in just days.

        That’s not how Israel discover the existence of the tunnels. They discovered them when Hamas came out of them and killed IDF terrorists.

        I fact, it’s highly unlikely the Hamas theyarrestedd in the West Bank knew about the tunnels. If Hezbollah imparted any wisdom to Hamas, they would have instructed them to ensure no one knows everything there is to know about infrastructure. That way of anyone is captured, there is no way of extracting information from them.

        There wont be any maps of the tunnels network. And by the time they think they’ve destroyed the last one, there will be another dozen to replace them. Hamas know they have the Israelis freaked out and are going to torment them so long as siege remains.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        August 2, 2014, 7:46 pm

        US intelligence estimates there are twice as many tunnels in Gaza as have been found by the IDF.

        I read elsewhere that the deepest tunnel found so far is 10 stories underground.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:54 am

        The deepest tunnel I’ve discovered is the Zionist tunnels under Congressional halls and offices. The trick is lots of fiat cash.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 3, 2014, 7:52 am

        They don’t need tunnels but rather enter on a red carpet through the front door.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 11:01 am

        @ Walid
        Yeah, you’re right. The magi carpet is printed in fiat money by the US government.

        What i meant by the tunnels is very few Americans have either a clue as to AIPAC, nor a clue as to what’s wrong with our fiat currency.

      • biorabbi
        biorabbi
        August 2, 2014, 9:55 pm

        These tunnels weren’t built in a day. Try more like one to two years of carefully planning, with cement, with foreign know-how, with a free flowing tunnel system to and fro Egypt and Sinai. Yes, they will rebuild, but a 2 KM long tunnel will take years. Assuming they can get help/supplies/cement/smuggling.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 10:08 pm

        , they will rebuild, but a 2 KM long tunnel will take years. Assuming they can get help/supplies/cement/smuggling.

        Seeing as Israel had no idea these tunnels even existed and missed them completely , it’s safe to say that Hamas have devised means and abilities you are unaware of, or that there are more tunnels than you will manage to find.

      • just
        just
        August 3, 2014, 10:40 pm

        biorabble– the tunnels were Israels’ “set-up” for the next genocidal rampage. You’re only laughing into your sleeves and trying to fool the world with your overdone and strenuous explanations.

        As the ‘great state’ that is populated by bestest and the brightest, can you even say with a straight face that Israel did not know of the tunnels while they Occupied the Palestinian people in a prison for these long years?

        LOL & bs. Israel is exposed and scrambling.

      • tree
        tree
        August 3, 2014, 3:17 am

        Tom Rayner, a reporter for SkyNews, has an English translation of an op-Ed in Maariv from their military analyst, Ben Caspit:

        The decision to cut our losses, to disengage and to declare victory was made by the security cabinet for lack of another choice. In the current grim state of affairs, it was the only logical decision to make. Today, nearly a month after it began, with mover than 60 dead soldiers, with problematic international credit and with a looming humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, it was clear that it was too late now to change direction and to do what should have been done from the first moment. That is why Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to face the nation and somehow to announce that we had won. Or that we would win, at some point. I highly doubt whether even he believes the words he said.

        After the six cease-fires that were not honored by Hamas, after the five offensive tunnels that produced painful IDF casualties, after the thousands of rockets that were fired out of Gaza on Israel and after the thousands of tons of explosives that were rained down on the Gaza Strip, the security cabinet decided to put a stop to the series of humiliations that Israel has suffered in these past few weeks, and to finish. Yes, Netanyahu and Yaalon said last night that “the operation hasn’t ended,” but that was merely for the record. The IDF, as we reported on Thursday, is going to complete addressing the issue of the tunnels (without us being confident that it truly has been completed) and will return to the border area. We might continue to have troops on both sides of the fence so as to allow for freedom of movement, and we might not.

        The operation in Rafah will continue, in an effort to find Sec. Lt. Goldin, but it won’t be able to last forever either. Binyamin Netanyahu, Moshe Yaalon and Benny Gantz have essentially admitted that they have no solution, they have no answer. With all of Israel’s might, it has been unable to defeat Hamas, it has been unable to impress Hamas, it has been unable to force Hamas to accept a cease-fire. That is the truth, and there is no other.

        Rest of op-ed is at the link:

        http://twishort.com/8AXfc

        Of course, no Israeli op-ed can omit the obligatory “Hamas sanctifies death, we sanctify life” bullshit, or the total blame of Hamas for every Palestinian that Israel killed, but its also a strong indictment of Netanyahu, not for barbarism, but for lack of creativity, intelligence and intellect.

      • tree
        tree
        August 3, 2014, 3:18 am

        And here’s a gem from the same op-ed:

        Israel has been pushed to its limits. Half of the summer vacation was eaten away, the factories and businesses in the south are on the verge of collapse—as is the case in Tel Aviv and the north. The occupancy rates are low in most places, tourism is at a standstill and Western, sophisticated, pampered Israeli society can’t take that much longer. Netanyahu realized that.

        Time for the world’s tiniest violin to make its appearance. Or maybe time for Weird Al’s “First World Problems”.

      • tree
        tree
        August 3, 2014, 3:26 am

        And here’s a report from Middle East Monitor about a Maariv interview with Caspit on this past Thursday.

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13153-israeli-analyst-hamas-won-this-round-in-current-war

        Interesting tidbit there:

        To reinforce his opinion, Caspit asked how could an Al-Qassam cell infiltrate the Israeli military watch point of Nahal Oz and kill the Israeli soldiers there even though the tunnel had been previously discovered and destroyed?

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      August 2, 2014, 11:43 am

      Bio, it is not about the rockets or tunnels. And the attacks on Palestinians before this round of rocket firing started was not about finding the kidnapped Israelis. Those are simply justifications for terror and murder.

      This is about cleansing a region of a people Israelis have been educated to hate.

      I fear Israel will be successful in its mission to destroy a people. And all Zionists — Jewish and Christian — will have to live with their legacy of this historical crime.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 2, 2014, 11:47 am

      .
      Israel may close all the tunnels.

      Yet, in doing so, it has opened all the world’s eyes.

      • just
        just
        August 2, 2014, 11:56 am

        You’re right Pixel.

        As for this from ‘biorabbi’:

        “A defanged Hamas, derived of support, without their goal of a cease fire with the free flow of goods into Gaza, may not last long.”

        Israel has shattered the lives of Palestinians– all Palestinians everywhere– in their genocidal mania. Israel has done the work of the devil– pure, unadulterated evil. And you have the audacity to speak of ‘fangs’ in regard to the resistance. What kind of ‘rabbi’ are you?????

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 2, 2014, 12:55 pm

        Certainly not representing good but evil.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 2, 2014, 5:45 pm

      The growing consensus reported inside Israel today according to their press is to proceed with destroying the last three tunnels into Israel and then proceeding with a unilateral withdraw.

      In other words, Israel is admitting that it has not achieved any of it’s stated aims. It has not been able to stop rockets, it has not been able to destroy Hamas, it has not destroyed the unity agreement, and it won’t destroy all the tunnels. Even if they did, Hamas could rebuild them within months.

      And worst of all for Israel, the IDF have been exposed as incompetent and gutless on the ground. Hezbollah must be licking their lips.

      How is Hamas going to replenish it’s rocket arsenal after Egypt destroyed the Sinai–Gaza tunnel network?

      Easily. Most of the rockets are home made.

      A defanged Hamas, derived of support, without their goal of a cease fire with the free flow of goods into Gaza, may not last long.

      With the most disgust against Israel, BDS will have increased momentum and the ICC will be forced to issue indictments on Israeli leaders.

  12. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    August 2, 2014, 11:35 am

    To sum up my last post… Israel position may be no case fire, withdraw, quiet for quiet or a war of attrition without a case fire.

    • just
      just
      August 2, 2014, 11:57 am

      So sayeth the rabbi. You spout the words of a genocider.

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 3, 2014, 1:05 am

      Biorabbi, do you support that position or are you just saying that’s what you think Israel’s position will be? Because it’s a cruel one–back to the blockade.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:32 am

        That’s why he calls himself “biorabbi.” He’s from the nation of priests, the people of the book. Check out how one becomes a rabbi, especially as to which Jewish denomination. Better yet, just look at “America’s rabbi.” It’s instructive. Then check out Hagee’s life and credentials. Add in how one becomes a US congress critter. Or POTUS. How much can you digest with puking? You can also read the classic Greek philosophers and historians. You know, in between your work days at McDonald’s on grill number three?

  13. Ira Glunts
    Ira Glunts
    August 2, 2014, 11:37 am

    Israeli papers reported today that the security cabinet has decided on a unilateral approach to Gaza and has rejected any negotiated ceasefire. In other words, no to all demands to lift or ease the siege.

    If true, I wonder how this will go over with Obama/Kerry who have been behind the Egyptian initiative. Maybe this is the first test of the new “don’t ever second guess me” Israeli policy toward the US.

    There are no details on how this new policy would work, but it is supposedly based on “deterrence.” It does not sound good. But who knows, maybe they will be declaring something completely different tomorrow.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      August 2, 2014, 11:59 am

      I said above that ‘the tunnels’ are being used as a face-saving way for Israel to extricate itself from Gaza with a) a ‘victory’ they can sell to their gullible public, and b)without any need to come to a negotiated settlement.

      Obviously this is not good as it means 2K lives, and an obscene amount of destruction, will have been lost for nothing. Nearly half of Gaza is now a ‘buffer zone’ and a quarter of the population may be displaced. The infrastructure lies in ruins. with no prospect of the lifting of even ‘easing’ of the siege, nothing can be repaired. So Palestinians will live in horrific circumstances, while the world’s attention moves on, only to feign outrage when the next assault occurs 2 or so years down the line.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 2, 2014, 1:00 pm

      They will not end the occupation nor remove the blockade. How can they keep stealing more land and water otherwise. The US is complicit in the biggest real estate scam in the world, and for the brutal massacre by Israel to keep it going.

      I am sure this war will result in more suicide bombers, and more Hamas recruits
      These young men have seen their families and children being horrible blown up and they have had to bury the pieces. When there is an increase of suicide bombers, we should all remember this carnage by Israel, and the simple fact that Israel is asking for it, in tenfolds. What goes around will come around in ways it will hurt.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 3, 2014, 7:13 am

        What other options do they have? To return to the status quo is unthinkable and not an option. Diplomacy has been an abject failure. If netanyahu would have accepted the unity government, gaza wouldn’t be in shreds and there would be 2000 more Palestinians. None of this had to happen and anyone with a conscience knows this. As long as western powers, the UN, etc., allow netanyahu & co call the tune, the beast is among us and only getting stronger.

    • ivri
      ivri
      August 2, 2014, 6:37 pm

      @ Ira
      Here is the rationale. It is now recognized by Israel that doing away with the tunnels without risking too many soldiers on one hand and killing many civilians there on the other hand is not possible. So like the Intifada, of which this war is a replica by other means, this will go on for some time now. The Intifada took a year and this is likely to be shorter.
      The “siege” will only be removed if Gaza will go “political”, as did the West-Bank at the end of the Intifada, and replace military “grand designs” with a focus on civil developments. Given how Hamas is isolated in the Arab world itself plus that its main backers are “busy” elsewhere (which was not the case in the Intifada times) this scenario is the likely one (despite all the customary “heroic” talk).

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 10:21 pm

        The “siege” will only be removed if Gaza will go “political”, as did the West-Bank at the end of the Intifada, and replace military “grand designs” with a focus on civil developments.

        Rubbish. Even before the siege, Israel were singularly commuted to destroying Hamas’ economy. The agenda has been to sabotage any attempt by Hamas to gain political legitimacy. Israel’s wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure proves they are similarly opposed to any on civil developments.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 3, 2014, 10:33 pm

        While the Gazan/Hamas economy has received especially draconian attention I think it would be more fair to say Israel has been against any Palestinian economy. It’s not like the west bank enjoys free trade.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 3, 2014, 10:43 pm

        I have to echo Shingo’s comments.

        Hamas maintained the 2012 ceasefire, and even arrested members of other liberation groups for firing rockets (sources if you need them). It endured dozens of Israeli violations of that ceasefire agreement without responding (again if you need them) and it gained them nothing but continued oppression.

        I am so tired of this “All the Palestinians/Hamas need to do is…” crap as they have done it and all they have received in return is more occupation, oppression and denial of human rights that Israelis and the vast majority of the world enjoys.

        Israel has continually worked hard to avoid any peace or the necessity to treat Palestinians as humans. Not special. Not even lesser. Just humans.

  14. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 2, 2014, 12:40 pm

    From Max Blumenthal on twitter:
    I’ve spoken w/some journos emerging from Gaza. Scenes they described veered on apocalyptic. Even those who’d been to Aleppo were despondent.
    Body parts in trees, fingers littering the ground, burnt flesh on ambulance windshields. These are the scenes they’ve described to me.
    If the ICC refuse an investigation into these war crimes, the ICC building should be burnt to the ground.

    • just
      just
      August 2, 2014, 12:46 pm

      thanks for the info Harry and many thanks to Max, too.

      this massacre & genocide wrought by Israel is going to leave many survivors and witnesses traumatized forever.

      (I’m watching Erekat on MSNBC and the call to prayer is audible in the background– that is solemn and ‘heartbreaking’. He blames Israel for failing to recognize the state of Palestine and it’s right to live in peace and security w/ the 1967 borders. Alex Witt is witless, btw.)

      • can of worms
        can of worms
        August 2, 2014, 1:34 pm

        Spare me Erekat. I read that Kerry spoke to Abbas on the phone today, can be no good. I heard they were purposely ‘proceeding with caution’ and slowing down the ICC process into which they were pressured at last. Spare me Erekat’s blame of Israel– for ‘failing’ to recognize the right of Palestine in the 67 borders. The blame is for crimes against humanity! And, next, the blame is for a dirty war and lies (btw, not only Obama but also Ban Ki-moon gave a free ride to Israel’s shoddy narrative, accused Hamas of violating the ceasefire, and called for the allegedly captured soldier’s immediate release). Israel now plans to declare a “victory” in this “war”. They informed Beit Lahiya residents that they could return to their homes, but warned them against what it said were “explosives spread across the area by Hamas'” — the insult has no end. The talk of 67 borders, Oslo agreements and road maps is also insulting, afaik the discourse has moved on in the land of Isratine.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 3, 2014, 4:00 am

        Israel can claim victory all it wants. Bush too declared “mission accomplished” on the deck of the carrier and it didn’t make it so. With Israel’s shifting objectives for attacking Gaza going from unadulterated retribution for the 3 teens, morphing into stopping the missiles and lately to destroying the tunnels, it stopped short of bringing out of the closet its true motive, which was to overthrow Hamas to have it replaced by a compliant Fatah regime that would readily sign away Palestinian rights to the Zionist ghouls. Hamas’ and its friends’ endurance and tenacity, same as Hizbullah’s in 2006, kiboshed Israel’s, the Wests’ and the Gulf’s plans.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      August 2, 2014, 2:15 pm

      I am worried that this war will soon be over and soon forgotten as usual.
      Abbas has not chosen to become a ICC member yet, apparently israel and u.s is more important for him.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

        I have the same feeling.

        It now seems clear that Israel is winding down the operation and will unilaterally end the war with a ‘declaration’ that the tunnels have been destroyed – ya sure.

        If this happens – and it seems increasingly likely that it will – where does that leave Gaza? Getting on for 2K dead, and many times that number injured, in some cases horrifically. A quarter of the populated displaced. Absolute devastation of infrastructure, with hospitals, homes, schools, and even the power plant destroyed. But with a unilateral ceasefire, there will be no prospect of the siege being lifted, or even ‘eased’. So the people of Gaza will have endured great suffering, with little to show for it, and no way of having the immense damaged repaired. The thousands of injured will not even be able to find adequate medical care.

        Yes, I know that this conflict has turned your average Joe and Jane against Israel as never before. Also, the resistance has put on an impressive show, and Israel might think twice before ‘mowing the lawn’ so rashly again. In – pardon the pun – concrete terms, however, Gaza is a much worse place than it was 4 weeks ago, and it was bad enough then. As well as all the above mentioned devastation, the new ‘buffer zone’ will made it more difficult for the resistance to attack the enemy, and while I highly doubt the IDF claim that ‘all’ the tunnels have been destroyed, no doubt very many have. It’s all very depressing.

      • can of worms
        can of worms
        August 2, 2014, 3:51 pm

        +1. The new buffer zone is the most depressing. And then the unemployability. And the spread of disease.

        Also depressing is thinking of seeing Israelis looking chipper as birds, in a new dawn.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 2, 2014, 5:46 pm

        I think deep down the Israelis will not be happy about the way this ‘war’ has gone, and that there’ll be some serious recriminations behind closed doors. But on the surface at least, they can claim a ‘victory’ of sorts. This is not the clear humiliation the July war on Lebanon was – though of course even there they tried to claim victory -but it’s hardly going to go down in the annals of Zionist glory either.

        And the sad thing is, the news cycle will move on, the cameramen will pack up, and the people of Gaza will be left living in an apocalyptic landscape.

  15. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 2, 2014, 1:41 pm

    One of the attacking troops of an occupying army, responsible for the deaths and injuries of many thousands of innocent civilians and war crimes on a grand scale, is captured and Obama, Kerry and other US officials call it barbaric and call for his immediate release.
    These politicians are not members of the human race, I have no religion, and am reluctant to use this word with its religious connotations, but these people are pure evil, they know what they are doing and defending, the only good that will come out of it is their policies will ultimately fail, if not the human race is in for a hard time.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      August 2, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Are you sure about this? IMO it seems they are as brainwashed as israel itself on this and look down on arab, muslims like the israeli regime.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 3, 2014, 1:40 am

        Naw, they are like Truman, who said he had no Arab constituency. There’s more Arab Americans these days, but they have no power at all, and are under constant pressure from Homeland Security and your local police station (trained by Israelis). Once the bill for visa waiver for Israelis goes through with more weasel words, Arab Americans will basically have very limited civil rights. The whole thing will blow right passed Dick and Jane without them noticing.

  16. just
    just
    August 2, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Big Gaza support protest at the WH (on CNN)– apparently they’ll march to Caterpillar, then Wapo, then back to WH.

  17. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    August 2, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Israeli’s blame Hamas for Israel’s killing of civilians. Israel has been blaming the victims for decades.

  18. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    August 2, 2014, 3:19 pm

    According to Israeli TV, Egypt has announced any Palestinian who tries to cross into Egypt will be shot.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 2, 2014, 6:05 pm

      According to Israeli TV, Egypt has announced any Palestinian who tries to cross into Egypt will be shot.

      I am not surprised . Egypt has become an abomination and a pox on the human race. Israel’s greatest ally.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 3, 2014, 1:06 am

        A very sad end to that part of the Arab spring.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 1:24 am

        A very sad end to that part of the Arab spring.

        Tragic. And sad that there are those some like Mona Eltahawy, who are still trying to convince us (and themselves I suspect) that the revolution is not dead.
        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-05/talking-egypt-with-mona-eltahawy/5369308

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 3, 2014, 2:37 am

        Shingo, that wasn’t a revolution in Egypt but a planned overthrow of Mubarak intent on ramming his son Gamal down everybody’s throat using innocent kids and religious fanatics duped with a promise to bring them in from the cold. The same thing happened in all those other places that supposedly had Arab springs. There was only one country where the spring was authentic and without any instigating, funding or coaching from the outside and that was Bahrain where the Shia majority rose against despotic Sunni regime, not to overthrow it but simply to get their rights and in the tradition of an authentic spring, it was quashed. The term ‘Arab Spring” is a Western gimmick.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 2:53 am

        Shingo, that wasn’t a revolution in Egypt but a planned overthrow of Mubarak intent on ramming his son Gamal down everybody’s throat using innocent kids and religious fanatics duped with a promise to bring them in from the cold.

        I agree there was no revolution in Egypt. It actually started out as a bread riot which snowballed and became a move to ouster Mubarak.

        But the counter revolution wound it back to where it began and now Egyptians feel (and are) worse off than they did during Mubarak.

  19. amigo
    amigo
    August 2, 2014, 3:32 pm

    Why doesn,t Obama just stand up and give his seat to nuttyahoo.Then he can go home and live in some dignity and at least not further soil that “Nobel ” Peace prize he so easily came by.

    All Americans should be on the streets demanding back their democracy and dignity.

    Hey-zruss chritus.

    Is there no where sacred/safe from zionist tentacles.

  20. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    August 2, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Bibi now saying that ‘the war will go on as long as neccessary’.

    My guess is that they will withdraw the ground troops – they had never intended them to be there in the first place, as the IDF is too chicken to fight man to man, but the tenacity of Hamas forced them to be sent in. However, they will continue to indulge indefinitely in their favourite pastime of bombing Gaza from a distance on a regular basis, under the transparent pretext of ‘finding the missing soldier’.

    Speaking of which, it’s becoming increasingly obvious, imho, that the soldier is dead, killed during the skirmish between the IDF and Hamas. The only real question is which of the above two parties killed him. It was quite telling how the IDF announced the ‘kidnapping’ almost immediately, yet no Palestinian faction has claimed any knowledge of it. Seems they want to keep in reserve an excuse not that t hey need it – to continue bombing Gaza, and also to keep their public fearful and resentful.

    • crone
      crone
      August 2, 2014, 6:02 pm

      very fine post over at FDL in this regard:

      “Two more takes on who broke the ceasefire and what happened to the ‘captured’ soldier…

      From +972… Hamas: Missing soldier likely killed in Israeli air strike

      Hamas’ armed wing stated Saturday that missing soldier Hadar Goldin may have been killed in Israeli air strikes following the incident in which he was captured and two other soldiers killed Friday. The group claims it has lost contact with the cell that carried out the attack on troops in Rafah. U.S. President Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both condemned the capture and called for the soldier’s immediate release.

      While Hamas claims the incident occurred at about 7 a.m. Friday morning, Israel asserts that it took place at 9:30 a.m. – nearly two hours into what was supposed to be a 72-hour ceasefire. Goldin’s capture may signal a significant escalation in Israel’s military operation in Gaza, which has entered its 26th day.

      Following the capture, the Israeli army carried out heavy shelling and air strikes throughout Gaza, particularly in and around Rafah. Palestinian medical sources say more than 70 people were killed in these attacks. Palestinians told Channel 2 that the army is working to completely isolate Rafah in an attempt to locate Goldin. Roads were reportedly blocked north of Rafah in the direction of Khan Younis, and passage to the Sinai region on the border with Egypt was barred.

      From Tikun Olam…Hamas Says IDF Killed Israeli Soldier After He Was Captured

      Today brings news explaining the reason the ceasefire broke down. A Palestinian militant cell ambushed an IDF patrol of Givati brigade soldiers. One of the militants had a suicide vest and blew himself up, killing Maj. Benaya Sarel and Sgt. Liel Gidoni. Three other Israelis were seriously wounded. One of them, Second Lt. Hadar Goldin was dragged away by the fighters. But the Israelis who were unscathed in the attack invoked Hannibal (Directive) and returned fire, shooting both Goldin and the militant who was dragging him away. It was a clear attempt not just to frustrate the Hamas operation and the capture, but to actually kill the Israeli soldier.

      Once news of the attack arrived at the IDF High Command, they began massive shelling of Rafah, attempting to kill him. Israel’s Channel 10 news reported:

      “The IDF is bombing every vehicle approaching Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah.”

      My Israeli source goes farther and says that the massive Israeli air and artillery assault on Rafah was in revenge for the attack. 60 Palestinians were killed in the barrage.

      According to Hamas’ military wing, which conducted the attack, the members of the unit which ambushed the IDF were killed afterward along with Goldin:

      “We lost contact with the group of fighters that were stationed at that location and we believe that all members of the unit were martyred and the soldier the enemy says went missing was killed in the Zionist shelling, assuming that the fighters did capture him during the confrontation.

      We in Qassam have no knowledge up to this moment about the missing soldier, nor his whereabouts nor the circumstances of his disappearance.”

      In other words, the IDF killed its own soldier.”

      http://my.firedoglake.com/fairleft/2014/08/02/1662-palestinians-66-israelis-dead-as-obama-un-media-make-own-gaza-reality/#comment-9

  21. just
    just
    August 2, 2014, 4:25 pm

    and how does that make you feel, biorabbi? could you provide a link?

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi
      August 2, 2014, 9:51 pm

      Hamas real target was Egypt. Egypt hasn’t budged. Sisi has had his fill of Islamists and want’s no part of Hamas/MB in the Sinai. He, Sisi, has sentenced 1000 plus Islamists to death. I cannot see him coming to Hamas rescue. Personally, I also think he hates Hamas for their support of Morsi(but that’s my own hunch).

      Egypt’s offer of a case fire only returns things to the status quo full ie. Egyptian blockade.

      What I hope for is for Hamas to move to Quatar, and have the international community massively invest in Gaza.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 8:57 pm

        Hamas real target was Egypt.

        Where did you read that? On the back of a Hebrew cereal box? Hamas have their hands full dealing with Gaza, so there is no way in the world they would target Egypt.

        Egypt hasn’t budged because it’s become Saudi Arabia’s bitch and because the junta in Cairo has a hatred and fear of all things related to the MB.

        The sentencing hundreds of MB members to death is a perfect example of the irrationality. Another kangaroo court that took all of 10 minutes to reach a verdict.

        Egypt’s offer of a case fire only returns things to the status quo full ie. Egyptian blockade.

        Of course, like I said, Egypt has become Ryad’s bitch, and doses only what they are told.

        What I hope for is for Hamas to move to Quatar, and have the international community massively invest in Gaza.

        What I hope for is Egypt to hand control of the Sinai to Hamas. They’d do a much Bette job of running the place than the half wits in Cairo.

  22. Nite_Owl
    Nite_Owl
    August 2, 2014, 5:13 pm

    So let me get this straight. If Netanyahu is playing the Hitler part who is Rabbi Obama playing? I don’t think it’s Hirohito. He’s more the clown prince Mussolini taking orders from the Führer.

  23. just
    just
    August 2, 2014, 5:31 pm

    Interesting article re: ICC by Geoffrey Robertson:

    “Gaza: how international law could work to punish war crimes
    The security council will be vetoed, but now that Palestine is a state there’s another route to justice”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/01/gaza-international-law-war-crimes-security-council

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      August 2, 2014, 7:44 pm

      The SC can be vetoed but there is always the ‘Uniting For Peace’ option that let’s the GA circumvent a SC veto.

  24. American
    American
    August 2, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Sickening. I feel sick to the core is all I can say.
    I dont know if Palestines still have a chance, I hope so but dont know what it could be.
    I want the US government torn down to rubble, I dont care how and I dont care what it cost the citizens.
    I dont know what else to call for.
    Should we start aiming our protest, calls, outrage at the world, the UN , begging them to stop the US, letting other governments of the world see how opposed we are to our own corrupt government?

  25. American
    American
    August 2, 2014, 6:19 pm

    This is the only contact info I could find for the Saudi Embassy

    http://www.saudiembassy.net/contact/

    They are claiming they are sending all kinds of ‘relief’ to Palestine.

    I sent message saying they are not doing enough to stop this and for Palestine.
    AND….not to count on the US regime always being ruled by the Zionist so whatever their royal goals and alliance with Israel they could also find themselves in the wind when the public swings the US pendulum 180 degrees.

    Useless, I know.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      August 2, 2014, 7:05 pm

      If the Saudis want to help Gaza, all the King needs to do is pick up the phone and order his pet thug Al Sisi to open the Rafah crossing tout de suite.

      Anything less is just window dressing.

      The Saudi king made a statement yesterday condemning the attack on Gaza. It only took him 3 weeks and 15OO dead to realise something wasn’t quite yet. Reminds me of the July war on Lebanon – the Saudis and other Gulfies stopped just short of offering an explicit endorsement to Israel, but had to furiously backpeddle a few weeks later, when the scale of the carnage and the skill of the resistance made their position untenable.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 3, 2014, 3:25 am

      American, Israel just announced it will open one of its gates to Gaza to allow in 200 trucks with supplies. Probably because it doesn’t want the Gazans to die of starvation before it could bomb them. Sick sick sick mentality.

      As to the relief supposedly sent in by Saudia, think back to Cast Lead when hundreds of tons of supplies were left in parked trucks outside the gates at Rafah along with a hundred volunteer doctors and medics because Egypt wouldn’t open the Rafah gate to them. A fully-equipped Qatari mobile surgical hospital was left parked on a Cairo apron because Egypt wouldn’t allow any help into Gaza. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 5:14 am

        Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

        Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose ou pire en pire

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 3, 2014, 7:58 am

        Shingo, I hope this time for the reconstruction, donors wouldn’t have to bring everything from or via Israel to allow it to make money on the destruction it has caused.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 8:09 am

        I can’t even imagine how this is going to take place. The Egyptian scum bags aren’t going to suddenly open the Rafah crossing and Israel won’t allow any sea access.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 3, 2014, 8:27 am

        Unless Gaza wins its freedom by the lifting of the siege. They have already started turning on Qatar for backing Hamas.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 3, 2014, 8:45 am

        Even if Qatar were to blow off the Saudis, how do they get aid and construction materials into Gaza?

  26. geofgray
    geofgray
    August 2, 2014, 7:21 pm

    obama and kerry have become so unhinged i wonder if there is not something else at work, namely the fact that Israel gets raw intel from NSA. in other words, they have something on every congressman, every decision maker in the US government. how do you get 100 to 0 votes? even the egyptian guy sisi only got 96%.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 3, 2014, 1:50 am

      @ geofgray
      Good point of query. My explanation is AIPAC. Tunnel vision with lots of $. Follow the jewish establishment donor $. U have Soros and Adelson, and then you have Joe Blow’s $25-35,000 annual income. And capital gains tax is much less than ordinary income tax. Bingo.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      August 3, 2014, 7:24 am

      I’ve wondered who was responsible for that decision to give raw NSA info on Americans to Israel. Who thought that was a good idea? Who had the power to order it? When did it happen? All reasonable questions, but I’ve seen no answers.

  27. michelle
    michelle
    August 2, 2014, 7:24 pm

    .
    bad people lie when they know they are wrong
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  28. michelle
    michelle
    August 2, 2014, 7:36 pm

    .
    i heard that Israel has 400 atomic bombs
    are they all pointed at the United States
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  29. lirr99
    lirr99
    August 2, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Even the most obsequious of America presidents (yes, that would be Barack Obama, the one the Great Neck, NY teenagers were calling a “nigger” on video in Israel some time back) fails to win approval from Netanyahu and the Israeli population. Kerry and Obama have fallen all over themselves blaming “Hamas” for every death in Gaza. It is one of the most cowardly and disgusting displays I’ve seen by a President and a Secretary of State in a long time. The unbelievable arrogance of the Israeli government, and most Israelis, judging by the polls, is sickening. There has never once been a gesture of friendship by Israel to toward the US-unless you call money-laundering funds that went to the Nicaraguan Contras a gesture of friendship. It was not; it was an act of right wing extremism. Apparently, there isn’t one American politician with the courage to call Israel the fascist, racist, criminal state it is. It’s time to get Israel’s hand out of American wallets. Cut off the money and Israel will have to make peace instead of slaughtering innocent civilians. I am sick of hearing about “Israel’s right to defend itself.” “Defending” your country by massive over-kill of civilians is a war crime.

  30. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    August 2, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Israel and it’s bots call the tune for many. I understand if the mods here don’t let this through.
    For the first time in 7 years I have just been informed that I am now on pre mod at the guardian site.

    During that time I have not only argued against antisemitic slurs, while holding Israels feet to the fire, wrt to international law and morality. I have posted against nazi comparisons, I have reported antisemitic posts and clearly genocidal posts for deletion.

    I don’t doubt I’ve crossed the line at times but would think it’s no more than others may do in the heat of the moment.

    I didn’t pick a different id here to hide who I am but at the guardian I’m wyldewolfe. A little surprised but hardly shocked. The hasbot community doesn’t like to have their narrative challenged.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      August 2, 2014, 9:54 pm

      My email to cif at the guardian
      I would like some specific feedback, if possible, with respect to why I have been placed on pre moderation […………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….long schpeel………………….]

      • annie
        annie
        August 3, 2014, 4:24 pm

        old geezer, as a general rule, we don’t hold discussions about comment mod policy on threads. this is partly due to years of reading daily kos where miles of bandwidth is devoted to it. we refer people to the comment policy thread.

        and, we have enough of our own problems with it to be posting letters about complaints to other sites. so please, this is not the place, ever.

        thanks

  31. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    August 2, 2014, 9:03 pm

    RE: “This is tragic and embarrassing. Israel is calling the tune for the Obama administration on Gaza. In the last 24 hours since the alleged capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants, the Obama administration is now laying all blame on Hamas for Israel’s slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Get real, Phil. You’ve got to look at ‘The Big Picture’. The Democrats are in the midst of prime time for raising money for the 2014 elections?!?! This is money the Democrats desperately need in order run enough TV ads so as to have a chance of holding on to the U.S. Senate!?!? If in order to raise that kind of money, Obama has to blame Hamas for Israel’s slaughter of over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza, then “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do . . .”

    HENRY SIEGMAN, 7/22/14:

    . . . I’m sure the president’s political advisers are telling him that a congressional election year is not the time to take on the Israel lobby. They are wrong, not only because it is always election time in the United States, but because successive polls have established that American Jews vote constantly and overwhelmingly Democratic for a wide variety of domestic and international reasons, but support for Netanyahu’s policies is not one of them.

    And if the president wishes to convince Israelis and Palestinians that Israeli-Palestinian peace is a cause worth taking risks for, should he not be willing to take some domestic political risks as well?

    SOURCE – http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/07/israel-provoked-this-war-109229.html#.U92JzPldV8E

  32. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast
    August 2, 2014, 10:43 pm

    I was watching one of the CNN videos on the “conflict” and they offered a timeline of events. But they failed to mention that Netanyahu bombed Gaza for the kidnappings, killing at least five Palestinians, before Hamas fired rockets. They left that little detail out in between saying that Netanyahu arrested over 200 Palestinians for the kidnapping and that Hamas retaliated with rockets. How can we expect Americans to care with so much media distortion that only benefits Israel?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 3, 2014, 6:37 pm

      They left that little detail out in between saying that Netanyahu arrested over 200 Palestinians for the kidnapping and that Hamas retaliated with rockets

      Far more depressing than that us that even Mondoweiss made that omission and I haven’t seen it corrected even after I pointed out the error.

      So it seems even some pro Palestinians get get it right.

  33. Qualtrough
    Qualtrough
    August 3, 2014, 12:07 am

    Obama is handsome, articulate, and gives off the vibe of a friendly, caring family man, making it difficult to realize that under that mask he is as ugly as any monster depicted in comic books or Japanese sci-fi movies. This is a man who knows exactly what is going on in Gaza and not only does nothing, but abets it. Like George Bush he has actually joked about the killings he has signed off on, “The Jonas Brothers are here; they’re out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But boys, don’t get any ideas. I have two words for you, ‘predator drones.’ You will never see it coming.” Think about it. He actually signs off on predator hits to kill people and then makes a joke about it. Truman, bad as he was, at least didn’t make jokes about what he unleashed in Japan as far as I know. To think that many of us here once pinned our hopes that he would be the one to undo much of the damage done by GW!

  34. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    August 3, 2014, 6:37 am

    Who can deny that some Arab countries gave Israel the green light to Israel to destroy Hamas. “Most Arab states are actively supporting Israel against the Palestinians — and not even shy about it or doing it discreetly.”
    It’s a “joint Arab-Israeli war consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia against other Arabs — the Palestinians as represented by Hamas,” http://www.manartv.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=163678&cid=31&fromval=1&frid=31&seccatid=91&s1=1

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 3, 2014, 6:52 am

      It’s a “joint Arab-Israeli war consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia against other Arabs

      Introducing the new axis of evil.

      Could they sink any lower?

      I expect that within a decade or two, all three of the cesspits will cease to exist anyway, and good bloody riddance.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 3, 2014, 7:48 am

      Harry, it’s all the Gulf, that includes Kuwait, Oman and the UAE and with exception to Qatar that is with the MB that’s currently backing Hamas and hosting its leader, Khaled Meshaal.

  35. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 3, 2014, 7:40 am

    Israel may call the tune, but it is his choice whether to sing and dance to it . . . and he does. As I read the headlines on BBC’s site this morning, and listen to its coverage from Gaza, I wonder again whether he is a coward or a sociopath. Perhaps there are other explanations, but increasingly I tend to believe that he is one or the other . . . or both. Of course, what I believe doesn’t matter.

    As you say, it is tragic and embarrassing. Other words apply as well, many of which have been used in this thread. Words like depressing and infuriating. But not “disappointing.” We can no longer be disappointed by Mr. Obama.

    To me, the strongest motivations for the U.S. to behave differently involve notions and feeling of morality, empathy, justice. But even on a pragmatic level, surely it can’t be good policy to alienate a billion people. Even if they seem powerless today, mostly controlled by despotic governments or living in poverty-stricken chaos, have we not observed in recent history that some of them can and will find ways to strike back, if driven to rage and despair?

  36. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    August 3, 2014, 9:23 am

    Second guessing what Obama would do if he only had a spine is ridiculous. The peace prize winner’s truest feelings are reflected in what he does. In the end he has no concern for people outside his class of imperial elites.

  37. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    August 3, 2014, 10:07 am

    One more puppet dangling from the Zionist string. These people have no self-respect, no integrity but…a LOT OF CHUTZPAH!

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