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‘NYT’ has run nonstop defenses by its columnists of killing protesters in Gaza

US Politics

Yesterday in the New York Times, Bret Stephens characterized the shootings on the Gaza protesters as a “military quagmire.” Just a throwaway line, but the former Jerusalem Post editor turned columnist said Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking to “shore up his popularity in the face of corruption allegations and a military quagmire in the Gaza Strip.”

Stephens’s swipe is merely the latest instance in a near-constant defense of the killings of unarmed protesters by op-ed columnists of the New York Times. Israeli forces have shot more than 4000 Palestinians with live ammunition during the 4-1/2 months of protests on the Gaza border, killing at least 124.

But that violence has been echoed in a barrage of New York Times hasbara columns. Tom Friedman in May blamed Hamas for “the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march.” He said the Palestinian protesters were going about it it all wrong.

What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, ‘Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people–a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments.’

Bret Stephens said three months ago that the Palestinians created the killings, with their culture of violence:

Why is nothing expected of Palestinians, and everything forgiven, while everything is expected of Israelis, and nothing forgiven?… No decent Palestinian society can emerge from the culture of victimhood, violence and fatalism symbolized by these protests.

Shmuel Rosner offered an uncompromising defense of Israeli slaughter– you have to be cruel to be kind.

Guarding the border was more important than avoiding killing, and guarding the border is what Israel did successfully.

Why so many thousands of Gazans decided to approach that fence, even though they were warned that such acts would be lethal, is beyond comprehension…

[S]ometimes there is no better choice than being clear, than being firm, than drawing a line that cannot be crossed by those wanting to harm you.

Matti Friedman also put the blame on Hamas, saying it had ordered up civilian casualties so as to hurt Israel’s image with a simple story about “villains and victims.” Many of the demonstrators are jihadists, he said, and maybe Israel should have responded more aggressively.

Israeli soldiers facing Gaza have no good choices…. Knowledgeable people can debate the best way to deal with this threat. Could a different response have reduced the death toll? Or would a more aggressive response deter further actions of this kind and save lives in the long run? What are the open-fire orders on the India-Pakistan border, for example?

To be sure, the New York Times has run several Palestinian voices during the same period. Novelist Atef Abu Seif wrote a piece right after the May 14 slaughter, more sad than angry, in sharp contrast with the arrogant smug racists on the other side.

This one, “Why I March,” was written by Fadi Abu Shammalah, before the main massacre. Again his is a quiet dignified voice.

And Rawan Yaghi wrote, “Gaza Screams for Life,” days after the protests commenced, with superb observations of the life of the protests.

A group of clowns with white face paint and red noses squeaked noisily in the rising and falling tones of Gaza’s Arabic dialect and hopped around. One of them grabbed a mic in front of a TV camera and started imitating news correspondents, quacking unintelligibly but as determined as if he were saying real words.

So yes, the Times has allowed some Palestinians to speak, and they were quiet and dignified.

And yes, one Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, called the massacre a “massacre” (and quoted Amnesty International condemning the “excessive, illegal” use of force). And surprisingly David Brooks, though biased against Palestinians, did say that the Israelis should have had a nonviolent response ready.

But again, at least four regular or semi-regular columnists in the Times are apologists for the massacre, in characteristically smug and racist and arrogant tones.

The inevitable journalistic questions (and answers) are:

–Would the New York Times print defenses of the shooting of protesters in any other case? (No.)

–The Israeli writer Shmuel Rosner is clearly in the Times entirely to convey hasbara to an elite American audience. Does the New York Times have a regular Palestinian columnist just to keep us updated on Palestinian issues, usually churning out condemnations of Israel? (No.)

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44 Responses

  1. dionissis_mitropoulos
    dionissis_mitropoulos
    August 12, 2018, 8:21 pm

    “Matti Friedman also put the blame on Hamas, saying it had ordered up civilian casualties so as to hurt Israel’s image with a simple story about “villains and victims.”

    This must be the quality journalism of Mr Matti Friedman, a self-confident (brash?) repetition of a standard Israel advocacy talking point, namely that Hamas actively pursues Palestinian civilian deaths so as to badmouth Israel. Except his point is debunked by the very Israeli defense establishment through the voice of an establishment Israeli journalists who is the voice of the defense establishment in the Times of Israel, Avi Issacharoff. Here is Avi Issacharoff making clear that Hamas was trying to avoid a large number of Palestinian deaths, because a large number of Palestinian deaths could lead to war, and Hamas was trying to avoid war, hence it had to avoid a large number of Palestinian deaths (June 2018):

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-lieu-of-dialogue-hamas-is-playing-with-fire/

    “The implication is that Hamas, for the time being [June 2018], seems to be setting aside its own rocket launches and also the semi-grassroots demonstrations at the border fence. Those protests have proven to be an almost too “effective” weapon that could lead to war, considering the large number of Palestinian casualties.That is what has led to the choice of kites as, for now, the main weapon.”

    But maybe Hamas was thinking differently in May, when the return marches reached their climax? No, Hamas at that time too was trying to limit the number of Palestinian civilian casualties so as to avoid being dragged to a war with Israel:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/behind-islamic-jihads-barrage-of-attacks-on-israel-the-hand-of-iran/

    “Yet the fact remains that Hamas’s activities in recent months indicate that it is not particularly interested in an escalation, and Israel recognizes this. Hamas has put the brakes on a potential deterioration into all-out conflict more than once of late, even after its forces were hit. The most obvious recent example of this was on May 14 … when more than 60 Gazans were killed in violent clashes with Israel at the Gaza border. … Yet it [Hamas] ordered the dispersal of the protests at the border that evening, to avoid a potential descent into war.”

    If the Israeli advocacy myths that Mr Matti Friedman propagated were true, namely that Hamas wants Palestinian deaths, Hamas would have been happy both with the high number of fatalities at the return marches and with a potential war that could erupt with Israel, because this war would guarantee even more civilian deaths. And yet Hamas tries consistently to avoid such a war since August 2014, as has been declared by every single Israeli journalist alive today. Either Mr Mattie Friedman missed the news, or the New York Times must become more imaginative in its choice of Israel advocates: it’s embarrassing for the New York Times to be seen as promoting such crude Israel advocacy that is debunked by facts that are accessible in every Israeli newspaper.

    P.S. full disclosure: I once sincerely believed the very same advocacy myths that Mr Matti Friedman is deceptively using (he himself knows better, he doesn’t believe them). My excuse is that I was misinformed. What’s the New York Times’ excuse for allowing Mr Matti Friedman to dupe western audiences?

  2. JWalters
    JWalters
    August 12, 2018, 9:01 pm

    Tom Friedman is Iago, stepped straight from Shakespeare’s play Othello. Iago was a despicably deceptive, treacherous liar, pretending to be an honest man and Othello’s friend.

    Israel is an Iago to America’s Othello. And like Iago, it will perish from its own banal evil.

  3. dionissis_mitropoulos
    dionissis_mitropoulos
    August 12, 2018, 11:42 pm

    “[Bret Stephens said] Why is nothing expected of Palestinians, and everything forgiven, while everything is expected of Israelis, and nothing forgiven?

    [Shmuel Rosner said:] Why so many thousands of Gazans decided to approach that fence, even though they were warned that such acts would be lethal, is beyond comprehension…

    That so many Gazans decided to approach the fence, despite knowing the nonchalance with which the Israelis kill in order to enforce their arbitrary red lines, is not beyond comprehension. Actually it’s pretty obvious once you know about the siege: the people of Gaza are both desperate and extremely angry. Desperate because they have no future as long as the siege is not lifted, and extremely angry because they have very recently endured 3 consecutive mass scale bombings by Israel, not to mention the occupation of their holy places. This explains the Palestinian defiance in the face of death, and it also answers Mr Bret Stephens’ question: the expectations from the Israelis and the Palestinians should be proportional to the degree of their capacity to be in a constructive mood. Do their living conditions (abject poverty, poisoned water, Israeli recurrent bombings) make it any easy on the Palestinians to be in a forgiving mood for what they have endured because of the Israelis? This also answers Mr Tom Friedman’s point: the Palestinians don’t offer olive branches to the Israelis because they are very angry with the Israelis.

    The interesting thing is that these obvious points that I am making have been made very succinctly by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), so one wonders why the three New York Times contributors don’t take a page from the IDF. Here is General Yoav Mordechai (Mondoweiss readers may recognize his face because he was the IDF spokesperson), who is now COGAT chief.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoav_Mordechai

    All his quotations below are from an analysis he wrote for Israel’s leading think tank on security matters, the Institute for National Security Studies:

    http://www.inss.org.il/publication/next-gaza-gaza-strip-dead-end-glimmer-hope/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Strategic%20Assessment%20Vol.%2020%20No.%203

    And here is the analysis, this is the top echelon of the IDF speaking:

    “the Gaza Strip has undergone … the emergence of a new generation that is enraged, frustrated, and stripped of any personal and collective horizon”

    Here is why the Palestinians don’t offer the olive branch that Mr Tom Friedman wants:

    “The new generation in Gaza comprises a relatively young population (ages 15-30) that has no genuine knowledge of Israel, and whose familiarity with “its neighbors, the Jews” is based mainly on the rounds of fighting with the IDF that erupt every few years.”

    The humanitarian catastrophe and poverty is naturally blamed on Israel:

    “[there is] a mindset among the new generation that blames primarily Israel for the
    reality in Gaza, and even more than the past believes that Israel is responsible for the local infrastructure and poor means of subsistence”

    The hate is becoming worse:

    “Moreover, the alienation and hatred continue to fester, mainly because the acquaintance between the parties and the points of interaction are steadily diminishing.”

    By the way, which is the main causal factor leading to poverty and desperation in Gaza? It’s the siege, we are being told by the top echelon of the IDF:

    “the situation of Gaza’s population deteriorated dramatically compared to the period prior to 2007, particularly in light of the restrictions that Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip (in terms of traffic to and from the region, and in terms of economic activity);”

    The youth is frustrated:

    “This is where the new generation comes in…
    This is a frustrated generation. Many of the young people who acquired an education are hard pressed to find suitable employment, improve their standard of living, or identify any personal and collective horizon. This is a generation that is exposed to social networks, is aware of Western lifestyles, and wants to adopt these lifestyles too”

    Why are the Palestinians not offering the olive branch that Mr Tom Friedmnan wants? Why are they defying death, as Mr Rosner wonders? Because they are occupied and occupation tends to produce rage in the occupied people:

    “At the same time, the new generation in the Gaza Strip reflects the Palestinian arena as a whole, marked by the rage of a conquered people;

    Their defiance of death at the return marches, inexplicable as it seems to Mr Rosner, has much to do with their having nothing to lose anymore:

    “As far as the new generation is concerned, the situation cannot get any worse and they have nothing more to lose, and this reality provides fertile ground for a deterministic view that divides the world into “good guys and bad guys” and encourages violent confrontation as the basis for bringing about change. One could argue that this is the way that population groups that adopt a militant approach have always behaved, but in the instance of the new generation, it appears that at issue is the potential for a more violent and dangerous reality than ever existed in Gaza.”

    The top echelon of the IDF explains to Mr Tom Friedman that he should forget about a hypothetical Palestinian initiative to offer an olive branch to the Israelis, and that the IDF sees it in the interests of Israel to ease the suffering of Gaza so as to reduce the risk of wars in the future:

    the Israeli view of the Gaza Strip now focuses on the hardships suffered by two million Palestinians living in that congested strip of land, coupled with the understanding that their economic situation has direct, dramatic ramifications on the security situation in the region.
    Consequently, the more bleak the situation of Gazan residents becomes, the greater the chances of additional rounds of violence in this region in the future.”

    So, according to the top echelons of the IDF, what is the best course of action for the Israelis regarding Gaza?

    “a process should be designed in the form of a “Marshall Plan” for the Gaza Strip.

    …a process must be implemented to turn Gaza into a developing environment, with advanced industrial zones, tourist areas, innovative transportation solutions, and infrastructures that will meet the population’s needs”

    The bottom line is this, according to the top echelon of the IDF: instead of lamenting the absence of miraculous psychological transformations of an occupied people into olive-branch wielders, as Mr Tom Friedman does, instead of blaming the Gazan mindset as Mr Stephens does, instead of expressing our bewilderment at the Palestinian defiance of death while we are nonchalantly executing them, as Mr Rosner does, let’s offer the Gaza people a Marshall Plan. This Marshall Plan will avert a slide to an even more violent mindset than the the one that Mr Stephens was lamenting. The IDF is telling us:

    “without a solution for the current situation, the young generation is liable to join radical Islamic organizations and adopt a more militant approach, even compared to the Hamas government.”

    Lift the siege, that’s the bottom line.

    In conclusion I need to state that I find it very strange that the IDF sounds more moderate than 4 pro-Israel columnists of the most influential liberal western newspaper.

    And I also find it embarrassing for the New York Times that we learn more truth about the Israel/Palestine conflict from the IDF than from the New York Times’ pro-Israel columnists.

    Who knows, maybe it’s in the nature of Israel advocacy to say different things in Israel and different things to the rest of the westerners – now, where have I heard a variant of this before?

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 13, 2018, 11:10 pm

      Great comment.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        August 14, 2018, 4:18 am

        +1

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 1:09 pm

        Donald I am really glad you liked my comment. I appreciate your posts here in Mondoweiss. My first inclination when I read your post about the New York Times (NYT) was to start fact checking the NYT columnists with regard to what happened during the marches up until May 15. I had posted a relevant comment elsewhere, a comment based 99% on pro-Israel sources (so that it would be credible in the eyes of Israel’s advocates), but I feared it would look like i was plugging myself or something, so i did not post it. Besides, here in Mondoweiss prof Norman Filkenstein posted a great link to a post that rebuts the myths of Israel advocacy regarding the marches, so the audience here was definitely informed.

        My second inclination was to post a few links from the Guardian where it is clear that in three separate recent articles its Jerusalem correspondent is deliberately withholding facts that would show IDF culpability for recent conflagrations (the usual technique being not to report that the IDF bombed or shelled Hamas before Hamas fired. In the latest conflagration, the one that the Wikipedia chief used as evidence against Corbyn, the IDF had fired tank shells the day before, mistakenly killing 2 elite militants of Hamas while Hamas was performing a military drill in the presence of international guests . Israel did not even bother to apologize in public for inflicting this humiliation to Hamas — the Israeli public doesn’t want to talk to “terrorists” . If Israel had apologized, no conflagration would have occurred).

        But my third inclination was to speak for what your post is touching upon: Gaza and the suffering of its people, and the NYT inaction. At least two major obstacles that now stand in the way are:

        1 Abba’s intransigence to accept Hamas’ offer to come and rule Gaza. But Abbas wants Hamas to let go of its weapons, and obviously Hamas is refusing (the IDF unofficially considers such a demand totally unrealistic).

        2 The Israeli public’s ultra-hawkishness: they are not willing to see Gaza’s suffering alleviated if Hamas does not give back the body-remains of two IDF soldiers that died in Gaza in Protective Edge – a demand Hamas cannot accommodate without risking its internal cohesion, it needs them so it can trade them for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Besides, the majority of Israelis also wants a war against Hamas in Gaza, rather than a Marshall plan.

        To these 2 independently sufficient obstacles to Gaza relief maybe we can add a number 3: the NYT’s and the Guardian’s inadequate coverage of the Gaza issue. For if they did make the issue salient, with all appropriate context, then there would be much more pressure on Abbas and on the Israeli people to compromise. And I don’t expect Fox News to do it, I expect the liberal media to do it –would this count as double standards in my expectations? That’s a question for Mr Bret Stephens.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 1:32 pm

        Talkback, i +1 your +1, effectively thanking you for your indirectly praising me :)

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 14, 2018, 4:42 pm

        Your comments are more like articles, which is a compliment. You have the energy and willingness to dig up references and make comparisons ( more than I do). Over the years some of the best posts on the website have come in the comment section from people like yourself.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 15, 2018, 1:15 am

        “Over the years some of the best posts on the website have come in the comment section from people like yourself.”

        And without a search engine for the archives, we cannot find the comment that contains the quotation, the argument, the joke, the advice on punctuation, the legal opinion, or the well-turned phrase that we vaguely remember. Those valuable comments are closed off.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 15, 2018, 10:35 am

        “And without a search engine for the archives, we cannot find the comment…”

        Yes, but under the former archive system, none of his comments would have been saved at all!

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 15, 2018, 10:51 am

        ROHA- “And without a search engine for the archives, we cannot find the comment that contains the quotation, the argument, the joke, the advice on punctuation, the legal opinion, or the well-turned phrase that we vaguely remember. Those valuable comments are closed off.”

        I found the old system far superior to the new and can not understand why the change.

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 15, 2018, 11:00 am

        MOOSER- “Yes, but under the former archive system, none of his comments would have been saved at all!”

        It would have been far preferable to prohibit user names with underscores than to screw-up an otherwise fine system.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 15, 2018, 11:43 am

        IIRC, a comment-search engine is on the way.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 15, 2018, 11:49 am

        ,” And without a search engine for the archives, we cannot find the comment that contains thethe argument, the joke, the advice on punctuation, the legal opinion, or the well-turned phrase that we vaguely remember. “

        Search, schmearch, just click this link.

      • annie
        annie
        August 15, 2018, 12:00 pm

        i can’t figure out how to use the archives without a search function, what purpose do they serve if you can’t find anything?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 15, 2018, 6:55 pm

        Keith, the new system is a little bit prettier, and it has a bell. There is probably a whistle somewhere.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 16, 2018, 7:41 am

        And I went to my profile, with the little teaser half-sentences, and pressed the “load more comments” button at the bottom.

        And it didn’t.

        Nothing happened except that the button disappeared.

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 16, 2018, 11:41 am

        ROHA- “Nothing happened except that the button disappeared.”

        Same with me. One step forward, two steps back. Sudden failure of the old system? Is Mondo under hack attack? Apparently your comments have made some folks nervous.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 16, 2018, 5:03 pm

        “Apparently your comments have made some folks nervous.”

        Perhaps it’s the arguments, the jokes, the advice on punctuation, the legal opinions, or the well-turned phrases.

        It doesn’t take much.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 16, 2018, 10:31 pm

        “It doesn’t take much.”

        Commas are anti-Semitic?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 16, 2018, 10:33 pm

        Keith:

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      August 14, 2018, 12:53 am

      dionissis_mitropoulos : So, according to the top echelons of the IDF, what is the best course of action for the Israelis regarding Gaza? “a process should be designed in the form of a “Marshall Plan” for the Gaza Strip……a process must be implemented to turn Gaza into a developing environment, with advanced industrial zones, tourist areas, innovative transportation solutions, and infrastructures that will meet the population’s needs”
      —————————-

      Enter Kushner and the “Deal of the Century”.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 1:18 pm

        Hi Sibiriak. If I am guessing right that behind your sentence there is, among other things, a disapproval of Kushner’s audacity to play the role of King in the Middle East, I share it.

        But Kushner, contrary to the IDF link I posted, expects Hamas to lay down its weapons in exchange for what we here are calling a “Marshall plan” (a nickname for economic and humanitarian relief and development). The link I posted with the IDF analysis made very clear that such a demand for Hamas demilitarization would be a spoiler for any attempt to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip. The stated IDF desideratum regarding Hamas’ weapons is that they not increase, not that Hamas lays them down completely. Here is the key paragraph (emphasis added):

        http://www.inss.org.il/publication/next-gaza-gaza-strip-dead-end-glimmer-hope/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Strategic%20Assessment%20Vol.%2020%20No.%203

        “The [Marshall] plan should include extensive international initiatives and investments that will enable rehabilitation and authentic change in Gaza – in terms of mindset and economics alike – without Hamas being able to oppose or obstruct the plan. Furthermore, such a process should incorporate security and economic arrangements and solutions for additional issues on the agenda, mainly constraining the military growth of the Hamas government and eliminating the stipulation with regard to the return of hostages, MIAs, and casualties of Operation Protective Edge. In other words, it is imperative to create an equation whereby it would not be advantageous for any of the parties involved to oppose the process, and would be expedient for them to welcome it with open arms.

        So at the time the IDF issued this analysis (October 2017) it was clearly understood that Hamas’ needs must be taken into account so that Hamas wouldn’t act as spoiler in a potential Israeli attempt to rehabilitate Gaza. But the Kushner demand for Hamas to demilitarize is a clear spoiler. Therefore the IDF document could not possibly have endorsed the Kushner demand. Actually, it counseled against such maximalism on the grounds that all the players (and, hence, Hamas) must be presented with a Marshall plan that makes it “expedient for them [Israel, Hamas, Abbas, regional players] to welcome it [the Marshall plan] with open arms”.

        That aside, no matter the ulterior ends that Israel might be seeking with a putative Marshall plan that would really rehabilitate Gaza via lifting the siege, the lifting of the siege would be good for the Gaza people. And there is not a chance in a trillion that Kushner can bribe either Hamas or the Gaza people to political concessions. So I saw this IDF analysis as good for Gaza – it does not require political concessions.

        I didn’t post my comment to “praise” the IDF, I posted it in the spirit of “ if even the IDF sees the imperative for Gaza rehabilitation and siege lifting, how come the New York Times and its columnists don’t make this rehabilitation a salient issue”? It was meant as a nudge to the New York Times to see that its pro-Israel implicit bias (while two million Gazans suffer) is becoming embarrassingly clear even to non-experts like me.

        And I also wanted to give a concise answer to Israel advocates, who usually dispute the Israeli contribution to the Gaza economic and humanitarian crisis, dispute that the Gaza people suffer, etc – an answer that comes from sources they would believe.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 14, 2018, 8:58 pm

        Mitropoulos,

        We had understood it correctly the first time, before you used reams of paper to point out differences between Zionist murder army and Kushner “plans” that only can be relevant to the Zionist leadership.

        As always, great minds think alike: Trump, Kushner, Bin Salman, JStreet and Mitropoulos. Spread a coat of honey on the gallows.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 15, 2018, 5:31 am

        Hi echinococcus. Given how misinformed I was in the past and, consequently, how much unintentionally immoral nonsense I have expressed both here and elsewhere with regard to Middle East issues, I guess I deserve the exasperation with me that you expressed.

        But in my first comments in this thread i was not trying to “point out differences between Zionist murder army and Kushner “plans””, as you charge, because I did not even mention Kushner and his plans, let alone compare him with anything. It was only when commenter Sibiriak pointed out a hypothetical connection between Kushner’s plan (whatever that plan might be) and the IDF document I posted that I responded by alluding to a difference between Kushner’s stated objectives and the IDF document. If Sibiriak had not mentioned Kushner I wouldn’t have mentioned Kushner at all.

        The reason I posted this document was that I believed it might help (infinitesimally, but still help) to bring Israel to its senses with regard to the suffering of the people of Gaza.

        My disagreement with you is that this IDF document is not “relevant to the Zionist leadership only”. The document describes the broad outlines of a Marshall plan for Gaza without imposing any political concessions on the Palestinians. Isn’t this good for the people of Gaza? This is more or less the lifting of the siege that the Palestinian resistance factions are asking for. So the document is relevant to the welfare of the people of Gaza too. It would be great if we could hear from people from Gaza in this discussion their thoughts about such a Marshall plan, but Israel (and Israel’s partner Abbas) have confined them to 4 hours of electricity a day, so I guess when the electric current is back for those precious 4 hours they have more urgent things to do than type in their computers. If your exasperation at me stems from vividly imagining what the people of Gaza are going through while I am pontificating on my computer about their lives, your emotion is warranted. I just think you have the wrong guy in your crosshairs.

        A final point: since you likened me with Trump, JStreet and the Saudi Arabia thug bin Salman (who the media market under the cute nickname MBS so as to make him recognizable and likable, because he is very Israel-friendly), let me express a one sentence thought for each:

        Trump: the amount of privilege he had in his life was enormous, and yet his moral standing is as low as it gets. I wouldn’t have imagined a US President would have normalized vulgarity so much. If there is a threat to “western civilization”, as he put it, It’s he who is the threat.

        JStreet: I don’t know them well. But I know they are moderates and they seem to me the sort of people that are amenable to changing their views in light of new information. A JStreet-er would be my preferred audience, if I had to pick just one person to read my post about the Marshall plan.

        For the Saudi thug MBS I would have more things to say, but I’ll just post my short comment at the NYT for him – the link in a separate post, I don’t know what’s the comment policy with such irrelevant links, so I just want to leave it to the moderators to delete it if it’s distracting. I am posting it as evidence that I had taken the time to criticize him:

        dionissis mitropoulos
        AthensNov. 24, 2017

        Mr Tom Friedman said:

        “The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia…Only a fool would predict its success — but only a fool would not root for it”.

        Well, maybe those who don’t root for the putative reformist Arab autocrat are not fools, but just see that not much good good can come from a visibly megalomaniac leader who, additionally, has no problem killing Yemeni children right now.”

        I have said more on him (and worse) on my Facebook page.

        I sincerely hope you won’t be triggered by me in the future, but I understand even if you can’t let go.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 15, 2018, 5:36 am

        echinococcus, here is the NYT link of my comment

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/23/opinion/saudi-prince-mbs-arab-spring.html

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 14, 2018, 12:59 am

      “Why are the Palestinians not offering the olive branch that Mr Tom Friedman wants?”

      Because they know that Israel will not accept it. It was offered in the 2002 Saudi proposal, as well as at other times. No takers in Israel.

      “a process should be designed in the form of a “Marshall Plan” for the Gaza Strip.”

      Looks as though the Trump/Kushner plan has its origins in the IDF.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 1:28 pm

        Roha hi, long time no see! You are right, of course, that the Palestinians know Israel won’t accept the 2002 Arab Peace initiative. And it’s a very important point because when we know that the other party is intransigent, we alter our behavior accordingly.

        What I really meant when I was saying that it should not be expected from the Palestinians to offer olive branches I meant that Tom Friedman’s lamentation that the Gaza public demanded the lift of the siege via unarmed protests and not via a two-state solution proposal was totally out of place and dissonant with the actual psychological situation of a suffering people. People who are desperate and angry should not be chastised for not following etiquette or for not evincing a constructive attitude.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 1:37 pm

        RoHa i forgot to mention that regarding your second point i feel maybe my response to Sibiriak covers you?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 15, 2018, 1:16 am

        I was just suggesting that the TK plan was influenced by the IDF report.

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    August 13, 2018, 10:55 am

    @dionissis_mitropoulos and JWalters

    Well and truly stated. Thank you!!

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      August 13, 2018, 12:19 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Misterioso!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 14, 2018, 4:35 pm

      I’m glad the ‘underscore glitch’ got fixed, (or isn’t present in the new archive programming) and comments are being archived.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 14, 2018, 8:47 pm

        Mooser i’m 99% certain i understood the cryptic nature of your comment (it refers to screen names and past comments) but though at first i thought you were expressing a positive (albeit guardedly) attitude at my reformed mindset , on second thought i’m not so sure. Please reveal your true attitudinal stance towards my reformed self :)
        :)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 15, 2018, 10:41 am

        Under the old archive program, if a poster happened to include an underscore in their user-name, for whatever reason, the comments were not picked up by the archiving system.
        That changed with the new program, and I’m glad your comments are being properly archived.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        August 16, 2018, 5:03 pm

        I didn’t know that the system had a real glitch regarding underscores. My old screen name was the same with this one minus the underscore, but this is a new account with a new email, and given that i didn’t know about this newly-fixed glitch i thought you were speaking metaphorically about how i was speaking when i had the past account (with the screen name without the underscore), and how i speak now with the new account,. I thought you were sort of saying something like “i’m glad you are not an Israel advocate anymore”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 16, 2018, 6:01 pm

        ” i thought you were speaking metaphorically”

        No, there was some kind of glitch which excluded user names with an underscore ( _ ) from the comment archives. So a person like yourself, who puts time and effort into his comments might be distressed and wonder why you had no archive.
        Somebody else with malicious intent could have taken advantage of the glitch, too.

        But it’s all fixed now, and that’s fine.

  5. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    August 13, 2018, 12:01 pm

    RE: “Israeli forces have shot more than 4000 Palestinians with live ammunition during the 4-1/2 months of protests on the Gaza border, killing at least 124. But that violence has been echoed in a barrage of New York Times hasbara columns. . . Shmuel Rosner offered an uncompromising defense of Israeli slaughter– you have to be cruel to be kind.” ~ Weiss & Johnson

    KURT BAKER – Cruel To Be Kind
    “You gotta be, cruel to be kind, in the right measure
    Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign”

  6. Spring Renouncer
    Spring Renouncer
    August 13, 2018, 3:44 pm

    Matti Friedman’s arguments are dumb. The Gaza situation is totally unlike that at the India-Pakistan border. India and Pakistan are both sovereign states with well equipped conventional armies, air-forces and navies comprised of many hundreds of thousands of soldiers each. Each of them also has dozens to hundreds of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Comparing the oppressed, barely-armed and occupied protesting Gazans to the South Asian states is either facetious, idiotic or both.

  7. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 13, 2018, 4:22 pm

    It is as if Judaism did a deal with the devil over Gaza. Imagine Alabama troops killing 124 African American protestors in 5 months.
    Friedman wouldn’t dare justify it
    . Does Stephen’s support police shoot to kill in the US? Of course he doesn’t. Because the cops aren’t Jewish. This is not a bug. It’s a feature.
    Gaza brings out the thug in far too many Jews.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      August 13, 2018, 8:03 pm

      A very apt parallel. David Brooks brushed off Israel’s Gaza killings as the result of mere “bad planning” on Israel’s part.

      The MSM’s customer base must have their blind faith in the MSM shattered. I encourage all MW commenters to pick one MSM website and engage the commenters there to educate them, including links to excellent MW articles such as this one.

  8. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 14, 2018, 5:46 am

    The New York Times is in way over its head. When bourgeois op ed columnists support systematic murder something is really fucked up. Otherwise introduce the policy in Cleveland.

    Judaism is a long way down a dark rabbit hole. The NYT plays Israel drunk or sober but most of its readers do not care about Israel. This tension will eventually break the NYT.
    This is such a long way from Kansas.

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 14, 2018, 5:08 pm

    Guardian long read on BDS by Nathan Thrall

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/14/bds-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-transformed-israeli-palestinian-debate

    Israel deserves to be destroyed.Nothing it does is sustainable.

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