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Israeli general mounts challenge to Netanyahu by flaunting Gaza carnage

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With April’s elections looming, Benjamin Netanyahu has good reason to fear Benny Gantz, his former army chief. Gantz has launched a new party, named Israeli Resilience, just as the net of corruption indictments is closing around the prime minister.

Already, at this early stage of campaigning, some 31 percent of the Israeli public prefer Gantz to head the next government over Netanyahu, who is only months away from becoming the longest-serving leader in Israel’s history.

Gantz is being feted as the new hope, a chance to change direction after a series of governments under Netanyahu’s leadership have over the past decade shifted Israel ever further to the right.

Like Israel’s former politician generals, from Yitzhak Rabin to Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, Gantz is being portrayed – and portraying himself – as a battle-hardened warrior, able to make peace from a position of strength.

Before he had issued a single policy statement, polls showed him winning 15 of the 120 parliamentary seats, a welcome sign for those hoping that a centre-left coalition can triumph this time.

But the reality of what Gantz stands for – revealed this week in his first election videos – is far from reassuring.

In 2014, he led Israel into its longest and most savage military operation in living memory: 50 days in which the tiny coastal enclave of Gaza was bombarded relentlessly.

By the end, one of the most densely populated areas on earth – its two million inhabitants already trapped by a lengthy Israeli blockade – lay in ruins. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in the onslaught, a quarter of them children, while tens of thousands were left homeless.

The world watched, appalled. Investigations by human rights groups such as Amnesty International concluded that Israel had committed war crimes.

One might have assumed that during the election campaign Gantz would wish to draw a veil over this troubling period in his military career. Not a bit of it.

One of his campaign videos soars over the rubble of Gaza, proudly declaring that Gantz was responsible for destroying many thousands of buildings. “Parts of Gaza have been returned to the Stone Age,” the video boasts.

This is a reference to the Dahiya doctrine, a strategy devised by the Israeli military command of which Gantz was a core member. The aim is to lay waste to the modern infrastructure of Israel’s neighbours, forcing survivors to eke out a bare existence rather than resist Israel.

The collective punishment inherent in the apocalyptic Dahiya doctrine is an undoubted war crime.

More particularly, the video exults in the destruction of Rafah, a city in Gaza that suffered the most intense bout of bombing after an Israeli soldier was seized by Hamas. In minutes, Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment killed at least 135 Palestinian civilians and wrecked a hospital.

According to investigations, Israel had invoked the Hannibal Procedure, the code name for an order allowing the army to use any means to stop one of its soldiers being taken. That includes killing civilians as “collateral damage” and, more controversially for Israelis, the soldier himself.

Gantz’s video flashes up a grand total of “1,364 terrorists killed”, in return for “three-and-a-half years of quiet”. As Israel’s liberal Haaretz daily observed, the video “celebrates a body count as if this were just some computer game”.

But the casualty figure cited by Gantz exceeds even the Israel army’s self-serving assessment – as well, of course, as dehumanising those “terrorists” fighting for their freedom.

A more impartial observer, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, estimates that the Palestinian fighters killed by Israel amounted to 765. By their reckoning, and that of other bodies such as the United Nations, almost two-thirds of Gazans killed in Israel’s 2014 operation were civilians.

Further, the “quiet” Gantz credits himself with was enjoyed chiefly by Israel.

In Gaza, Palestinians faced regular military attacks, a continuing siege choking off essential supplies and destroying their export industries, and a policy of executions by Israeli snipers firing on unarmed demonstrators at the perimeter fence imprisoning the enclave.

Gantz’s campaign slogans “Only the Strong Wins” and “Israel Before Everything” are telling. Everything, for Gantz, clearly includes human rights.

It is shameful enough that he believes his track record of war crimes will win over voters. But the same approach has been voiced by Israel’s new military chief of staff.

Aviv Kochavi, nicknamed the Philosopher Officer for his university studies, was inaugurated this month as the army’s latest head. In a major speech, he promised to reinvent the fabled “most moral army in the world” into a “deadly, efficient” one.

In Kochavi’s view, the rampaging military once overseen by Gantz needs to step up its game. And he is a proven expert in destruction.

In the early stages of the Palestinian uprising that erupted in 2000, the Israeli army struggled to find a way to crush Palestinian fighters concealed in densely crowded cities under occupation.

Kochavi came up with an ingenious solution in Nablus, where he was brigade commander. The army would invade a Palestinian home, then smash through its walls, moving from house to house, burrowing through the city unseen. Palestinian space was not only usurped, but destroyed inside-out.

Gantz, the former general hoping to lead the government, and Kochavi, the general leading its army, are symptoms of just how complete the militaristic logic that has overtaken Israel really is. An Israel determined to become a modern-day Sparta.

Should he bring about Netanyahu’s downfall, Gantz, like his predecessor politician-generals, will turn out to be a hollow peace-maker. He was trained to understand only strength, zero-sum strategies, conquest and destruction, not compassion or compromise.

More dangerously, Gantz’s glorification of his military past is likely to reinforce in Israelis’ minds the need not for peace but for more of the same: support for an ultranationalist right that bathes itself in an ethnic supremacist philosophy and dismisses any recognition of the Palestinians as human beings with rights.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook
About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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46 Responses

  1. just
    just on January 29, 2019, 10:12 am

    I saw that disgusting “ad” this morning and was certain to find something here. Thanks, Jonathan. Hope that some Israel voters are disgusted too. It would be nice if the ICC, the UN, and the world would pay attention. He’s advertising what the leaders of Israel have been doing forever with impunity, enabling, and coaxing~ war crimes.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 29, 2019, 5:57 pm

      “Hope that some Israel voters are disgusted too. ”

      I’m sure that about one fifth of Israeli voters were disgusted – the Palestinians. There will also be a small minority of Israeli Jews who will be disgusted, but never forget that the war being glorified in that ‘ad’ had near unanimous approval ratings among Israeli Jews. That’s why it’s being used for electioneering purposes – killing Arabs is a vote winner in Israel. It’s mainstream.

    • Elizabeth Block
      Elizabeth Block on January 30, 2019, 1:11 pm

      Zionists brag about Israel being a democracy.
      What that means is: when the leaders commit war crimes, the population is guilty.

      People say to me that Israeli Jews want peace. I say that in that case, why is it that no Israel politician who is ready and willing to do what is necessary to make peace has a ghost of a chance of being elected?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 1:20 pm

        Spot on!

        If Israel is a democracy – which it is for its Jewish citizens – then those citizens have to take a share of the blame for the policies of the politicians they choose. If it were a one off you could dismiss it, but if time and time again Israelis vote for war criminals, and express overwhelming appoval of the crimes they commit, then it’s obvious that this is what they want.

        There’s no point holding out for some ‘moderate’ Israel which just needs to be coaxed out of its shell. It doesn’t exist.

  2. Ozma
    Ozma on January 29, 2019, 12:25 pm

    Is there anyone less bloodthirsty than Netanyahu running?

    • Mayhem
      Mayhem on January 29, 2019, 8:09 pm

      If Netanyahu was so blood-thirsty he could have reduced the whole of Gaza to rubble, but he didn’t. The problem is that he has kept letting Hamas off the hook and Israelis would like a leader who can deliver the killer punch once and for all.

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico on January 30, 2019, 1:56 am

        > Mayhem

        The problem is … Israelis would like a leader who can deliver the killer punch once and for all.

        That’s it Mayhem – The final solution

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 4:33 am

        “If Netanyahu was so blood-thirsty he could have reduced the whole of Gaza to rubble, but he didn’t. The problem is that he has kept letting Hamas off the hook and Israelis would like a leader who can deliver the killer punch once and for all.”

        And this, ladies and gentlemen, is Israel.

        No amount of death and destruction is enough – provided it’s only Arabs dying. And the only answer is more of the same. Could you give details about this ‘killer punch’? Other than lots of Palestinians – men, women and children – being killed, what exactly does it involve? Israel has a very poor recent military record, and its tolerance of its own casualties is inversely proportional to its tolerance of Arab casualties. Reducing an already devastated area to even more rubble might be applauded by the gullible Israeli public, but what strategic benefits does it have, exactly?

      • Marnie
        Marnie on January 30, 2019, 5:57 am

        Be careful what you wish for Mayhum – remember Haman? I can’t believe your post passed moderation but glad it did because the real antisemite just stepped forward and right into it. God forbid your murderous wet dream to happen. Shit like that usually backfires though as Haman must have thought though much too late. Maybe you should apologize to the universe and all of the mysteries for your froward tongue (for starters).

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 30, 2019, 9:56 am

        Mayhem: “If Netanyahu was so blood-thirsty he could have reduced the whole of Gaza to rubble, but he didn’t.”

        Oh, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t blood-thirsty. It only means that he cares about Israel’s image to much to destroy all of Gaza.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 10:53 am

        @Marnie

        I’m also glad the post passed moderation, because it shows how many – probably most – Israelis think.

  3. John O
    John O on January 29, 2019, 12:40 pm

    I’m tempted to say, “Bring it on.” Netanyahu has been able to show off in Washington, Paris and at the UN. The chances of Gantz being able to do the same without being arrested are slimmer. Remember Pinochet.

  4. amigo
    amigo on January 29, 2019, 3:21 pm

    If there is a hell , then Israel has and will continue to provide many candidates.

    For a list of their top criminals just Google “Israeli Prime Ministers”.

    The full list is of course much larger and would include almost every zionist hero who served in the so called “Most Moral Army”.Add in the notorious border guards and those flying aces who so bravely put their lives at risk dropping bombs on civilians from 30,000 feet.
    Oh and let,s not omit the brave zionist sailors who risk their lives fighting 4 year old Palestinian terrorists running riot on Gaza Beaches.

    Then we have the illegal squatters living on stolen land ,burning down olive groves etc, and attacking their neighbours .

    What a country , what a tribe.

    What a mess.

    • Another Dave
      Another Dave on January 29, 2019, 7:09 pm

      I really dislike the idea of Hell. If there is an afterlife, it would be better for those who were harmed in this life to decide on what kind of punishment should be inflicted on those who did them wrong.

      Relying on demons or devils to do the dirty work is a nasty form of outsourcing. IMO.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on January 30, 2019, 1:00 am

        No, the same issue arises as with punishment in this life. The victim may be so worked up as to seek a disproportionate revenge.

        That is why the Jade Emperor appointed judges to the courts of Hell.

        You can read about it here.

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

  5. DaBakr
    DaBakr on January 29, 2019, 4:50 pm

    The Israeli (or former Israel) haters on MW continue to focus on Gaza and its supposed threats to overall security. They also seem to enjoy mocking the efforts to contain any further Iranian expansion by itself or through its proxies, the butcher Assad clan or the Hezbollah in the north.

    While there is much heated opinion on how to deal with the Iranian funded hamas in the south between bibi and the plethora of generals and ex generals it is common knowledge that the expansionist fanatic mullahs from Tehran (which moderator and editor Annie continues to play completly dumb about) are the major threat.

    Is Netanyahu playing his typical political games to win over the nation about the north ? Obviously yes. But is he lying or just circumventing his political enemies strategy? I would say the former. The so-called indictments are just a typucal israeli political distraction. Nasrallah public speech, (public humiliation more likely) spoke volumes more then any intra israeli political fighting could. Netanyahu, as distasteful as a politician as he may be, is brilliant and exactly what Israel needs until the Arabs come around to a different way of thinking about a small jewish nation over their supposed fertile crescent.

    • eljay
      eljay on January 29, 2019, 7:54 pm

      || DaBakr: … Netanyahu, as distasteful as a politician as he may be, is brilliant and exactly what Israel needs until the Arabs come around to a different way of thinking about a small jewish nation over their supposed fertile crescent. ||

      You are so right: Joseph “Jojo” Naughtyahoo is the only man for the job until the bitches chained his basement come around to a different way of thinking about one small rapist over their supposed fertile crescents.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on January 29, 2019, 11:30 pm

        @ej

        If there was somebody even remotely comproble in the Arab world for bibi to negotiate with your women chaired in the dungeon might make sense. But a) there is not and b) until their is the smartest leader is the one that can keep the status quo together regardless of how hard israelis enemies are continuing their quest. I do not think Netanyahu or how many general s take for granted that dispute setbacks-iran with nasrallah and the butcher Assad clan will continue with aide from Hamas to try and destroy Israel but for now Netanyahu is that the man.

      • eljay
        eljay on January 30, 2019, 8:21 am

        || @aak @ January 29, 2019, 11:30 pm ||

        The rapist is willing to “negotiate” but only if one woman comes forward who is strong enough to accept – and to make the other women accept – that he will never liberate them or stop assaulting them.

        The Zionist version of “negotiation” is to find the “Arab” who will accept – and make the other “Arabs” accept – that Israel must:
        – keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
        – remain a religion-supremacist state;
        – be absolved of its obligations under international law; and
        – be absolved of accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 30, 2019, 9:53 am

        DaBakr: “If there was somebody even remotely comproble in the Arab world for bibi to negotiate with …”

        “Bibi”? That’s sooo cute. If “Bibi” would remotly “negotiate” he would definetly not win the upcoming election. Who are you trying to fool?

        The Palestine Papers have clearly shown that Israel doesn’t want peace, but a peace process at most. Who prevents “Bibi” or any other terrorist leader of the Jewish Apartheid Junta to stop colonizing the West Bank and abide by international and human rights law?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 4:37 am

      “. Netanyahu, as distasteful as a politician as he may be, is brilliant and exactly what Israel needs until the Arabs come around to a different way of thinking about a small jewish nation over their supposed fertile crescent”

      Miliekowsky is a vulgar showman – you’re right, exactly what the unsophisticated Israeli public needs.

      And time it not on Israel’s side. It is almost universally loathed. Its foreign policy plans have nearly all backfired. Militarily, it has few options. I’d give it 50 years, tops.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on January 30, 2019, 11:11 pm

        @mx

        Your convinced that “all of Israel’s foreign policy goals…” have backfired. Um-hm. I might find it interesting to start listing but I can see that you take your cues from your mascot PW who’s taken a few weeks to finally get around to painting Israel’s success in engaging with former enemies, populous, (some Muslim and some majority Christian African nations who have no great history of being treated with equality by Muslim rule) African nations formerly aligned against Israel now engaging in trade and low to mid level negotiations as, if not a failure, just a back door in to being friends with the U.S.. Probably the most asinine analysis of pw in a long while. There are many ways to ‘get in’ with the U.S. other then thru Israel. Remember Obama and Iran and Obama’s “red line” with Syria and Russia. Guess you forgot. The other nation in the world created as a national state for Muslims, Pakistan also is mostly a hole of hatred that didnt need Israel to get to the U.S.. Jordan needs Israel more then Israel needs them. The multi billion dollar investments by foreign conglomerates….. All such huge failures. But hey, I won’t be around in fifty years so it’s all a guessing game

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 31, 2019, 11:21 am

        Right…. if you can tell me the strategic benefits of “engaging” with a handful of impoverished, unstable African nations which most Israelis couldn’t point to on a map, I’d be genuinely interested to hear it.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 30, 2019, 9:18 am

      @DaBakr

      A history lesson:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/07/ten-years-first-war-gaza-operation-cast-lead-israel-brute-force

      “Ten years after the first war on Gaza, Israel still plans endless brute force” by Avi Shlaim, The Guardian, January 7/19

      “Operation Cast Lead killed 1,417 people. Chillingly, the generals call their repeated bombardments ‘mowing the lawn.’”

      “This month marks the 10th anniversary of the first major military assault on the 2 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. After its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Israel turned the area into the biggest open-door prison on Earth. The two hallmarks of Israel’s treatment of Gaza since then have been mendacity and the utmost brutality towards civilians.

      “On 27 December 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, pounding the densely populated strip from the air, sea and land for 22 days. It was not a war or even ‘asymmetric warfare’ but a one-sided massacre. Israel had 13 dead; the Gazans had 1,417 dead, including 313 children, and more than 5,500 wounded. According to one estimate 83% of the casualties were civilians. Israel claimed to be acting in self-defence, protecting its civilians against Hamas rocket attacks. The evidence, however, points to a deliberate and punitive war of aggression. Israel had a diplomatic alternative, but it chose to ignore it and to resort to brute military force.

      “In June 2008 Egypt had brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that rules Gaza. The agreement called on both sides to cease hostilities and required Israel to gradually ease the illegal blockade it had imposed on the Gaza Strip in June 2007. This ceasefire worked remarkably well – until Israel violated it by a raid on 4 November in which six Hamas fighters were killed. The monthly average of rockets fired from Gaza on Israel fell from 179 in the first half of 2008 to three between June and October.

      “The story of the missed opportunity to avoid war was told to me by Robert Pastor, a professor of political science at the American University in Washington DC and a senior adviser on conflict resolution in the Middle East at the Carter Center NGO. Here is what Pastor told me over the phone and later confirmed in an email to Dr Mary Elizabeth King, another close associate of President Carter, on 8 December 2013, a month before Pastor’s death.

      “Pastor met Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas politburo chief, in Damascus in December 2008. Mashaal handed him a written proposal on how to restore the ceasefire. In effect, it was a proposal to renew the June 2008 ceasefire agreement on the original terms. Pastor then travelled to Tel Aviv and met Major General (Ret) Amos Gilad, head of the defence ministry’s political affairs bureau. Gilad promised that he would communicate the proposal directly to defence minister Ehud Barak, and expected to have an answer either that evening or the following day. The next day, Pastor phoned Gilad’s office three times and got no response. Shortly afterwards, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead.

      “In the email he dictated to his son on his deathbed, Pastor authorised me to publicise this story and to attribute it to him because ‘it’s an important moment in history that Israel needs to accept because Israel had an alternative to war in December 2008.’ It was indeed a critical moment and it conveyed a clear message: if Israel’s real purpose was to protect its civilians, all it needed to do was to follow Hamas’s example by observing the ceasefire.

      “Israel’s conduct during the first Gaza war was placed under an uncompromising lens by the UN Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, the distinguished South African judge who happened to be both a Jew and a Zionist. Goldstone and his team found that both Hamas and the Israel Defence Forces had committed violations of the laws of war by deliberately harming civilians. The IDF received more severe strictures than Hamas on account of the bigger scale and seriousness of its violations.

      “The Goldstone team investigated 36 incidents involving the IDF. It found 11 incidents in which Israeli soldiers launched direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcomes; seven where civilians were shot leaving their homes waving white flags; a ‘direct and intentional’ attack on a hospital; numerous incidents where ambulances were prevented from attending to the severely injured; and nine attacks on civilian infrastructure with no military significance, such as flour mills, sewage works, and water wells – all part of a campaign to deprive civilians of basic necessities. In the words of the report, much of this extensive damage was ‘not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.’

      “In conclusion, the 575-page report noted that while the Israeli government sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of the right to self-defence, ‘the Mission itself considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.’ Under the circumstances ‘the Mission concludes that what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.’

      “The claim that the operation was designed to ‘terrorise a civilian population’ needs underlining. Terrorism is the use of force against civilians for political purposes. By this definition Operation Cast Lead was an act of state terrorism. The political aim was to force the population to repudiate Hamas, which had won a clear majority in the elections of January 2006.

      “Operation Cast Lead is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Israel’s approach to Gaza. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political conflict to which there is no military solution. Yet Israel persists in shunning diplomacy and relying on brute military force – and not as a last resort but as a first resort. Force is the default setting. And there is a popular Israeli saying that goes with it: ‘If force doesn’t work, use more force!’

      “Operation Cast Lead was just the first in a series of Israeli mini-wars on Gaza. It was followed by Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. The fancy names given to these operations were fraudulent, dressing up offensive attacks on defenceless civilians and civilian infrastructure in the sanctimonious language of self-defence. They are typical examples of Orwellian double-speak. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon called the Israeli attack on 1 August 2014 on Rafah, in which a large number of civilians sheltering in UN schools were killed, ‘a moral outrage and a criminal act.’ This description applies equally to Israel’s entire policy of waging war on the inmates of the Gaza prison.

      “Israeli generals talk about their recurrent military incursions into Gaza as ‘mowing the lawn.’ This operative metaphor implies a task that has to be performed regularly and mechanically and without end. It also alludes to the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and the inflicting of damage on civilian infrastructure that takes several years to repair.

      “’Mowing the lawn’ is a chilling euphemism but it provides a clue as to the deeper purpose behind Israel’s steadfast shunning of diplomacy and repeated resort to brute military force in response to all manifestations of lawful resistance and peaceful protest on its southern border. Under this grim rubric, there can be no lasting political solution: the next war is always just a matter of time.
      _________________________________________________________.
      Avi Shlaim is an emeritus professor of international relations at Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on January 30, 2019, 9:25 am

        @DaBakr

        For your further edification:

        The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

        “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

        To quote Dov Weisglass, PM Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser:
        “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

        Re: Hamas
        On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.” “Israel” ignored the offer.

        http://www.haaretz.com/isra
        “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from “Israel.”

        In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, “Israel” promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

        “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” (By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz.) No response from “Israel.”

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on January 30, 2019, 10:57 pm

        The Gaurdian? That’s what your pulpit is?

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 30, 2019, 11:00 am

      DaBakr: “The Israeli (or former Israel) haters on MW …”

      Can you name a few “haters”? Or do you mean people you hate or whose opinion you hate? The accusation of hate seems to be the usual infantile Zionist opinion fascism.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on January 30, 2019, 10:58 pm

        @tb

        Ok. Your a lover not a hater. great.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on January 31, 2019, 6:12 am

        Don’t be a coward, DaBakr.

        What makes someone an Israel “hater”? The fact that you can’t counter her or his arguments and therefore have to resort to this infantile accusation and projection of your own hate?

        Do you need to discredit criticism against Israel by reframing it as hate?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on January 31, 2019, 3:41 pm

        @tb

        Your doing all the talking so you can keep telling me. I’m listening.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on February 1, 2019, 5:41 am

        Again DaBakr, don’t be a coward.

        It was you who wrote: “The Israeli (or former Israel) haters on MW …”

        And I would like to know what makes someone an Israel “hater” in your opinion.

        So far it seems that it is only your own hate you are projecting unto those whose arguments you cannot counter when they are condemning Israel’s actions or its Apartheid nature.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on February 5, 2019, 8:54 am

        Hey DaBakr. I’m still waiting. You write in your profile: “I expect ALL parties to say what they mean and mean what they say.”

        So, for the fourth and last time in this thread: What do you mean, when you say “Israel hater”. What does someone make an Israel hater?

        Don’t let me haunt you with this question.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on February 24, 2019, 6:56 pm

        @tb

        Jeesus! After week I see this is what your itching to argue about? You want to know what “makes” for an Israel hater? Ok. Somebody with an extreme and volatile dislike of the nation Israel. A good example might be people who dislike Israel so extremely that they are driven politically, personally and socially to engage in obsessive criticism on web sites officially named as hate sites of Israel, its policies, its citizens, army, leaders and supporters in the world as well as trying to have zionism branded as anything other then jewish nationalism & sovereignty for Jews in Israel. The negotiations for a peace treaty not withstanding.

        Hope that chills you out or gives you all the ammo you need to shoot back a treatise on israel hating (a fairly simple term)

      • RoHa
        RoHa on February 24, 2019, 8:36 pm

        “web sites officially named as hate sites of Israel”

        I think it is appropriate to hate evil. But who is the official who does the naming? And when did the Queen bestow the power of naming on him or her?

      • Talkback
        Talkback on February 25, 2019, 8:39 am

        DaBakr: “Somebody with an extreme and volatile dislike of the nation Israel.”

        Well, that’s a bit of a tautology, isn’t it? It’s like saying: An Israeli hater is someone who hates Israel. But let’s look at your example:

        DaBakr: A good example might be people who dislike Israel so extremely that they are driven politically, personally and socially to engage in obsessive criticism …”

        Explain why that constitutes “hate” and define “obsessive criticism”.

        DaBakr: “… on web sites officially named as hate sites of Israel, its policies, its citizens, army, leaders and supporters in the world …”

        Officially named by who? Who has the capacity to “officially” name this sites as “hate sites”? And how do they define “hate”?

        DaBakr: “… as well as trying to have zionism branded as anything other then jewish nationalism & sovereignty for Jews in Israel.”

        Examples? And why does that constitute “hate”?

        DaBakr: “The negotiations for a peace treaty not withstanding.”

        What does that mean? And why does that constitute “hate”.

        DaBakr: “Hope that chills you out or gives you all the ammo you need to shoot back a treatise on israel hating (a fairly simple term)”

        Sorry, it makes no sense to shoot at hot air.

    • Rashers2
      Rashers2 on February 1, 2019, 5:06 am

      @DaBakr, “…it is common knowledge that the expansionist fanatic mullahs from Tehran [ ] are the major threat.” ‘Common knowledge’ to whom, pray? To those who willingly and uncritically accept the received opinions of the Israeli mainstream political class exemplified by Mileikowsky et al., perhaps? Poor, little Israel does so need its ‘existential threats’ to justify and deflect attention – increasingly unsuccessfully – from its utterly egregious disregard for the quality or continuation of Palestinian lives.

      As previously stated here, I‘m no apologist for the brutal and intolerant Islamic régime in Iran. And, yes, Iran of course uses its money to finance regional proxies which seek to influence the balances of power in sectors of the region, including the Gulf Peninsula and Iraq, Kurdistan and the Levant; as do KSA, Israel and other countries. There is zero; repeat, ZERO; evidence that ‘fanatic mullahs’ seek any form of territorial expansion in the region. Unless one counts as a ‘war’ Mohammed Reza Shah’s seizure in 1971 of the centuries-disputed Tunb Islands in the Arabian Gulf from Sharjah, the Iranians haven’t launched a war of expansionist aggression for a long time. There exists, however, powerful body of false mythology about Iran’s intentions, ‘declared’ (as in the infamous misquotation of Ahmadinejad’s call for an end to the illegal occupation of East Al Quds) and undeclared.

      Israel, by contrast, has been fighting aggressive, expansionist ‘wars’ (mostly against civilians) since the Naqba and, more recently, 1967 with the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Golan; and, in 1981, the illegal annexation of the Golan; and continually since 1978 until 2006 in Southern Lebanon. Today, at least temporarily, its territorial expansionism is again directed against civilians through ‘settlement’ (illegal land thefts).
      A far more probable cause of war involving Iran is that Iran will be forced to retaliate against an aggressive war or a series of attacks fomented by Mileikowsky or whomever succeeds him and fronted by Uncle Sam (whom else?) in the person of the cretinous, incumbent Commander-in-Chief, thereby helping to cement the unholy alliance, into which US-Israeli Middle-Eastern foreign policy has driven them, between Russia, Iran and Turkey.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on February 24, 2019, 6:58 pm

        @r

        If you don’t understand that Iran’s mullahs and IRG are ACTUALLY in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain along with all the other nations that have Hezbollah groups insconsed then I’m afraid I can’t help educate you. That kind of density is a life long pursuit to maintain. Good luck.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan on February 24, 2019, 8:17 pm

        Dabkah

        Netanyahu lobbied hard for the Iraq war that Iran war. Permanent war is a Zionist feature but it only works if the enemy is disorganised. Yossi Israeli doesn’t like body bags.

        And the Shia have learnt a lot since 1983. Yàni

      • Rashers2
        Rashers2 on February 24, 2019, 10:46 pm

        @DaBakr Been on holiday for three weeks? Did you go anywhere nice; or stay in Israel? I shan’t dwell too long on my response: I don’t know about Iranian mullahs themselves being present in any of these places; or about IRG feet on the ground in Afghanistan or Bahrain. Bahrain wouldn’t be a great surprise, since many Bahrainis are of Iranian descent and the kingdom has a Shi’a majority; that’s what 2011 was all about – I was in Manama the night the tanks rolled across the causeway from Eastern Province. The numbers in Bahrain must, however, be low if they’re there. You may not know Bahrain but it’s a small place where it’s quite difficult for large-scale infiltration to occur unnoticed if there’s a vigilant security service. In the other countries of course there are IRG physically present; in Iraq, principally since 2003 – I wonder why that is. Could it be the vacuum left after the regime-change war for which Israel lobbied so hard?
        I note you didn’t address, “Israel, by contrast, has been fighting aggressive, expansionist ‘wars’ (mostly against civilians) since the Naqba and, more recently, 1967 with the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Golan; and, in 1981, the illegal annexation of the Golan; and continually since 1978 until 2006 in Southern Lebanon.”
        In case you weren’t around at the relevant dates, I would point out that 1948, 1967 and 1978 all precede the Islamic Republic in Iran.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24 on January 29, 2019, 6:57 pm

    Israelis love murderous, ruthless leaders. They are brainwashed into thinking their Arab neighbors are all out to kill Jews. No one seems to even consider ending the occupation, stopping the land thieving and giving the Palestinians their freedom, might change angry minds.
    Are they so naive? It is a damn shame that these political ads must flaunt just how ruthless they can be. That by itself is the story of Israel’s leadership. The more brutal the better. So nazi like.

  7. Mayhem
    Mayhem on January 29, 2019, 8:05 pm

    Harping on about civilian casualties in Gaza. What does one expect when there is a war?
    in World War 2 civilians deaths totaled 50 to 55 million while military deaths from all causes totaled 21 to 25 million. Civilian casualties are an inevitable consequence of war brought about because of the barrage of rocket attacks that were on-going against Israel.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 30, 2019, 4:40 am

      I think this ‘comment’ is better left without analysis. It aptly shows the brainwashed heartlessness that is Israel.

    • Another Dave
      Another Dave on January 30, 2019, 5:45 am

      Comparing the massacre in Gaza to the slaughter of WWII is delusional.

      The “barrage of rockets” from Gaza killed few people, and did little damage. The “retaliation” for that killed thousands and made thousands more homeless.

      In WWII the Axis and the Allies slaughtered each other in comparable numbers.

      The only comparison that exists between Gaza and WWII is what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto. And you really don’t want to remind people of that when talking about Israel and Gaza. It doesn’t make the Israeli government look very good. Well, I suppose the good thing is that Israel hasn’t launched a true “final solution to the Palestinian problem”, yet anyhow…

    • eljay
      eljay on January 30, 2019, 8:32 am

      || Mayhem: Harping on about civilian casualties in Gaza. What does one expect when there is a war? in World War 2 civilians deaths totaled 50 to 55 million while military deaths from all causes totaled 21 to 25 million. Civilian casualties are an inevitable consequence of war brought about because of the barrage of rocket attacks that were on-going against Israel. ||

      Harping on about rocket attacks. What does one expect when there is a war? in WWII rocket attacks totalled tens if not hundreds of thousands. Rocket attacks are an inevitable consequence of war brought about by decades (and counting) of Zionist military occupation, colonialism and (war) crimes.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on January 30, 2019, 8:45 am

      Mayhem: “What does one expect when there is a war?”

      Because of the atrocities in WW2 we expect everyone to differentiate between civilians on the one hand and combatants or those who take part in hostilities. We also expect no collective punishment and wanton destruction or demolition of civilian buildings. We also expect that occupied territories are not colonized and nobody gets expelled.

      By “we” I mean everybody who hasn’t got a Nazi mindset or belittles, legitimizes or even supports atrocities against mankind. I don’t mean someone like you and your ilk.

      But this is not a “war”. This is settler colonialism, the terror of oppression, dispossession and occupation on the one hand and the struggle for freedom on the other.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on January 30, 2019, 9:39 am

      @Mayem

      “Harping on about civilian casualties in Gaza. What does one expect when there is a war.”

      Further confirmation that you and your ilk are reborn Nazis. Needless to say, the horrible irony is overwhelming. Indeed, your comment is a betrayal of the six million Jews who perished during WWII.

      It’s not a “war.” It’s the slaughter of a defenseless, imprisoned, indigenous, long suffering people by Zionist Jews of foreign origin.

      Check out the article I quoted above by Avi Shlaim. He utterly destroys your “argument.”

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