Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

I noticed a diary by Main Street on MyDD Missing in Action on Gaza. I know that Jonathan will be blogging on the topic once he gets to Israel. Speaking for myself, I'll say it's not easy to find the right words and when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict a misplaced word can set off a minefield even on a progressive blog not to mention this is a subject seemingly beyond my comprehension at this point or at the very least my attention span. Haven't we seen this all before?

Instead of my own nebulous views, I'll offer the words of others who I think make points worth reflecting upon.

Here's Robert Fisk in The Independent:

We've got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don't care any more - providing we don't offend the Israelis. It's not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel's side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs - who, as we all know, only understand force.

Ever since 1948, we've been hearing this balderdash from the Israelis - just as Arab nationalists and then Arab Islamists have been peddling their own lies: that the Zionist "death wagon" will be overthrown, that all Jerusalem will be "liberated". And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise "restraint" - as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery. Hamas's home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course.

The blood-splattering has its own routine. Yes, Hamas provoked Israel's anger, just as Israel provoked Hamas's anger, which was provoked by Israel, which was provoked by Hamas, which ... See what I mean? Hamas fires rockets at Israel, Israel bombs Hamas, Hamas fires more rockets and Israel bombs again and ... Got it? And we demand security for Israel - rightly - but overlook this massive and utterly disproportionate slaughter by Israel. It was Madeleine Albright who once said that Israel was "under siege" - as if Palestinian tanks were in the streets of Tel Aviv.

By last night, the exchange rate stood at 296 Palestinians dead for one dead Israeli. Back in 2006, it was 10 Lebanese dead for one Israeli dead. This weekend was the most inflationary exchange rate in a single day since - the 1973 Middle East War? The 1967 Six Day War? The 1956 Suez War? The 1948 Independence/Nakba War? It's obscene, a gruesome game - which Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, unconsciously admitted when he spoke this weekend to Fox TV. "Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game," Barak said.

Exactly. Only the "rules" of the game don't change. This is a further slippage on the Arab-Israeli exchanges, a percentage slide more awesome than Wall Street's crashing shares, though of not much interest in the US which - let us remember - made the F-18s and the Hellfire missiles which the Bush administration pleads with Israel to use sparingly.

Quite a lot of the dead this weekend appear to have been Hamas members, but what is it supposed to solve? Is Hamas going to say: "Wow, this blitz is awesome - we'd better recognise the state of Israel, fall in line with the Palestinian Authority, lay down our weapons and pray we are taken prisoner and locked up indefinitely and support a new American 'peace process' in the Middle East!" Is that what the Israelis and the Americans and Gordon Brown think Hamas is going to do?

Yes, let's remember Hamas's cynicism, the cynicism of all armed Islamist groups. Their need for Muslim martyrs is as crucial to them as Israel's need to create them. The lesson Israel thinks it is teaching - come to heel or we will crush you - is not the lesson Hamas is learning. Hamas needs violence to emphasise the oppression of the Palestinians - and relies on Israel to provide it. A few rockets into Israel and Israel obliges.

Not a whimper from Tony Blair, the peace envoy to the Middle East who's never been to Gaza in his current incarnation. Not a bloody word.

We hear the usual Israeli line. General Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli army's "research and assessment division" announced that "no country in the world would allow its citizens to be made the target of rocket attacks without taking vigorous steps to defend them". Quite so. But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour. We didn't want to lower ourselves to the IRA's level.

Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it. Not since 1948 have air raids protected Israel. Israel has bombed Lebanon thousands of times since 1975 and not one has eliminated "terrorism". So what was the reaction last night? The Israelis threaten ground attacks. Hamas waits for another battle. Our Western politicians crouch in their funk holes. And somewhere to the east - in a cave? a basement? on a mountainside? - a well-known man in a turban smiles.

Mr. Fisk, I think, captures it brilliantly. And then there is Israeli historian Tom Segev writing in Haaretz, Israel's left-leaning paper.

Israel is striking at the Palestinians to "teach them a lesson." That is a basic assumption that has accompanied the Zionist enterprise since its inception: We are the representatives of progress and enlightenment, sophisticated rationality and morality, while the Arabs are a primitive, violent rabble, ignorant children who must be educated and taught wisdom - via, of course, the carrot-and-stick method, just as the drover does with his donkey.

The bombing of Gaza is also supposed to "liquidate the Hamas regime," in line with another assumption that has accompanied the Zionist movement since its inception: that it is possible to impose a "moderate" leadership on the Palestinians, one that will abandon their national aspirations.

As a corollary, Israel has also always believed that causing suffering to Palestinian civilians would make them rebel against their national leaders. This assumption has proven wrong over and over.

.

Also catching my eye in terms of the more reprehensible fold is this:

Likud chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the Arab protests while calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to dismiss minister Raleb Majadele, the lone Arab serving in the cabinet.

Arab MKs repeatedly accused the government of waging a war for electioneering purposes and the defense minister of intentionally killing children. Russian-Israeli MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) proposed that the Arab lawmakers relocate to Gaza and not return. The Arab MKs retorted by calling him a "Fascist," and insisted that he should return to the country where he came from.

"There are those who are counting bodies and at the same time counting Knesset seats," Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) said. "Bodies for votes - this is done primarily by the Labor Party."

"There are those who are profiting from Palestinian blood in order to get elected," Hadash chairman MK Mohammed Barakeh said. Barakeh and MK Taleb a-Sana were subsequently evicted from the plenum.

The full article is at Haaretz. MK, by the way, stands for Member of the Knesset. And in the same article there's Ehud Barak quoting Barack Obama:

"Obama said that if rockets were being fired at his home while his two daughters were sleeping, he would do everything he could to prevent it."

If I live to be a hundred, I'm sure I will never fully understand this conflict. Your thoughts?

Tags: Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian Conflct (all tags)

Comments

65 Comments

Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

The day that Hamas stops bombing Israel, Israel will no longer attack Hamas. The reverse cannot be said. It's as simple as that.

Peace is in both peoples' interests, except for the hardliners on both sides who crave power. Unfortunately, Israel has voted for and offered peace time and time again only to be rejected by selfish terrorists.

Hopefully, what is happening this week will never happen again. And that depends on the direction Hamas takes.

by psublue 2008-12-29 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

You make Israel sound so innocent.

by mikeinsf 2008-12-29 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Yeah, all Israelis are about the peace. Like Baruch Goldstein made peace with Rabin. Like the folks building new settlements in Gaza. Sure thing.

Face facts. There are Israeli dead-enders like there are Palestinian dead-enders. They don't make up a majority on either side, yet there are enough of them that peace will remain elusive. If peace ever looms on the horizon, somebody will shoot it down and the shots will come from both sides of the fence.

by Spiffarino 2008-12-29 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Oops...Yigal Amir murdered Rabin, not Baruch Goldstein even though Goldstein's just as illustrative of the point.

by Spiffarino 2008-12-29 10:04PM | 0 recs
the US offered a similar peace

to the native peoples of North America in the 1800s.  Worked out very well for them, I understand.

by JJE 2008-12-30 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: the US offered a similar peace

well said. sad that such a simple analogy will certainly be lost on many.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

rather than spout the current excuses of the Israeli ruling government, inform yourself a wee about the facts (and no, it's not just a reprisal for unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks). The world will soon get as tired as the Palestians have of empty peace negotiations. And do you happen to know how much of the Israeli economy and good-life depends on European and US good-will?

by swissffun 2008-12-30 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

If Palestinians stopped fighting would Israel stop annexing land? Extend Palestinians basic human rights?

If Jews lived under Arab oppression as Palestinians live under Israeli oppression, would you be OK with this?

Would you expect the United States to use its clout and power to protect and aid the oppressed Jews?

Would you expect self-respecting Jews to fight back against the oppression?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-12-30 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

What is Israel is doing is like beating a child, a child with a knife, but still a child.

Once again American interests would be better served by ending the near-blanket support for that country but that's as likely as ending the Cuba embargo.

by MNPundit 2008-12-29 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Well, I think we may an opportunity to end the Cuba embargo under Obama. At least, I am hopeful of a new direction on Cuba.

On US-Israeli ties, we are caught between a rock and hard place. It's almost as if the world is held hostage to this conflict.

by Charles Lemos 2008-12-29 08:22PM | 0 recs
Yes, but why on earth are they?

Held hostage, I mean. How long is this tail-wagging-the-dog going to be allowed to continue?  

by Sumo Vita 2008-12-30 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Who is held hostage by whom? And why?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-12-30 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Thanks to the fools that make up Hamas, the PLO, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc., the Muslim world as a whole has been rendered unlovable. Never mind that the vast majority of Muslims are regular folks like you and me; we've been programmed to mistrust about a billion people because of a few serious assholes.

I have to admit, though, that I have a lot of faith in the Israeli people. More and more of them are coming around to the side of peace and reconciliation. God willing, it'll take hold and end the cycle of hate and retribution.

by Spiffarino 2008-12-29 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

unlovable? to whom? speak for yourself about the world blanket not-loving the Muslim world. Oh and by the way 'the Muslim world' extends far beyond the middle east now - it's the 21st century after all and Africa, SE Asia, S Asia do indeed exist.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm in Italy

sounds then like people just need a bit of education rather than purifying all Muslims as to make it ok to like them. i think using Hamas (and lumping the political and terrorist wings) as justification to hate a faith is plainly imbecilic. we've been through that sort of justification far too many times in recent history, and in the end it's never enough to satisfy the haters.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm in Italy

and across Europe I find far an increase in the waning of sympathy for Israel and growing empathy with Palestinians, outside the Jewish community.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

I wasn't speaking about the world. I was speaking of my own nation, the U.S. Our media is decidedly anti-Muslim.

Now take a drink and relax, for fucksake.

by Spiffarino 2009-01-04 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Faith in the Israeli people? What they are becoming is rightist haters. Else why would that madmen Netanyahu be so likely to win the next election? The parties in Israel are rightwing and far rightwing, the leftist parties are vestigial.

by MNPundit 2008-12-30 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Else why would that madmen Netanyahu be so likely to win the next election?

For the same reason we Americans "elected" Bush. If you can successfully frighten and anger enough people, you can get them to vote your way. If Netanyahu becomes PM again, it will likely end up the same way as last time...he'll behave like the asshole he truly is and will be replaced - unless Israel is successfully attacked. If that happens, they may never get rid of him and the ME will go completely to shit.

by Spiffarino 2009-01-04 03:34PM | 0 recs
Ostracize Israel and its supporters here in

America in the next 4 to 8 years and there will be no such thing as a "Great Schlep" big enough to save the democratic party in elections for years to come.  That means that to do so would be to cede I/P policy (not to mention every other aspect of government) to the neocons.  How do you think that would impact the Palestinian people's well being?  How about the wider world, environment, economy, etc.?  We may not all agree on the I/P conflict, but I'm guessing everyone here who is not a right wing troll agrees that the world cannot handle more neocon rule.

Obama will be more aggressive than his predecessor in engaging in the process.  Israel should be held accountable for a great deal and should be made to stop being a bad actor, but to give in to the portion of left (and it is ONLY A PORTION of the left) that is frothing at the mouth to abandon Israel, pin all evil since the dinosaurs on Israel, erase history and rewrite it, and generally spread lopsided false delusions is, in fact, to give control over to the neocons.  The result will be for things to get MUCH worse for the people on whose behalf these few are attempting to advocate.  That extreme view held by some here in the blogosphere is fringe in the wider american society.  I am not asking anyone to like that fact, just think about it's impact if we don't moderate what is not a truthful attitude in the first place.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Ostracize Israel and its supporters here in

I have little desire to strongly support a government that loves to spy on us as much as Israel does. Cut off all aid.

by MNPundit 2008-12-30 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Ostracize Israel and its supporters here in

That just gives us back a government that spies on us in DC in the form of neocons.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 11:08AM | 0 recs
oh please

Domestic Likudniks aren't a crucial voting bloc.

by JJE 2008-12-30 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: oh please

Were you paying ANY attention to the efforts to win Florida?  Would you like to see NY get more competitive?  Wanna see a lot of Hollywood funding go bye bye? You may not like it, but jews vote.  They make up a VERY crucial voting block in a few locations some of which ARE crucial.  Had Gore gotten more of them in Florida, those 27 electoral college votes couldn't have been stolen in 2000 and we would have a different world today.  

Your distaste for reality, doesn't change facts.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 12:13PM | 0 recs
We can lose Florida

and New York is safe, even if we lose the Marty Peretzes of the world.  US foreign policy shouldn't be held hostage because a tiny voting bloc is loyal to a foreign country.

by JJE 2008-12-30 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: We can lose Florida

It's not a tiny voting block.  I disagree with the Likudniks about a whole bunch.  I think that Israel has been a horrifically bad actor under their control.  I don't suffer the delusions that you do about history, but I cannot stand Israel's current palestinian policy.  Still, I cannot get behind cutting off aid to Israel.  Neither can a huge number of jews who don't like what Israel is doing today.  Jews represent a larger % of overall voters than they do of the overall population. (They vote.  Got that?)  Judging from our past conversations, I question whether you have the reasoning skills to grasp it, but I will try to explain in small words.

That voting block that you wish to subjugate is much larger than you think it is and once you have determined how many people we're talking about, you can go ahead and double it.  Each person who usually votes (D) that votes (R) causes a 2 vote swing.  Now, despite your pinheaded assertion that it would only be likudniks, it would actually be like more than half of the jews in this country along with many many premillenial christians who hold it as an article of faith the the children of Israel (that's right, their bible says the land belongs to the jews) must rebuild the temple before the rapture can occur.  So, if the Democratic party becomes one that takes the remarkably stupid extreme position of no support for Israel and the GOP becomes the party that supports it, what you will see is a much bigger swing in votes than that ganglia behind your nasal sinuses originally conceived of.

That COULD make the difference in a country that is pretty close to a 50/50 country to begin with.  That means neocon rule which has been a disaster for the palestinians and a free-for-all for the murderous (yes, I said murderous) likud.  The real chance for any improvement comes from moving US policy in a significantly more pro-palestinian direction without following the rash, short sight, and frankly ill informed advice of the frothing at the mouth Israel hater extremists.  

I understand their outrage, but that way lies disaster.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Aside from the Jews

It really is a fringe view that several here and at a few other progressive blogs seem to think is mainstream.  Try to get them to grasp that in the middle of their hyperventilating though.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 03:18PM | 0 recs
Three percent

Facts are stubborn things.  Hardly crucial, especially taken into account that those who share your Likudnik instincts are only a portion of that amount.

Interesting to see that Democrats need pander not only to Bill Kristol, but Pat Robertson as well.  That's a great set of concerns you're worried about.  Your vague and substance-free rhetoric about a "significantly pro-Palestinian direction" is belied by your knee-jerk whataboutery whenever Israel's record is mentioned and the odious electoral company you would have us keep.

by JJE 2008-12-30 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Three percent

So lose and surrender policy to the neocons.  That'll help.

moron.

by lockewasright 2008-12-31 05:27PM | 0 recs
so am I

and yet he won it by a safe margin.  Losing the votes of people who think Israel's interests trump those of the United States is a risk I'm willing to take.

by JJE 2008-12-30 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

Let's see... Florida and New York... how many EC votes is it that JJE has decided for the rest of us that we can just piss away?

What was the margin in Ohio?  I know a whole bunch of jews in Cleveland and Columbus that usually vote democratic.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: and my point is

I want to see how well BO performs at diplomacy.  It is clear he has every intention of engaging where that asshole before him did not.

This is a country that got attacked by Saudis religious zealots based in Afghanistan and got right behind W when he said: "Fuck it! Let's kill us some Iraqis and bring regime change to their secular government.  One arab's as good as another."

Good luck moving public opinion toward the Palestinians.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 04:20PM | 0 recs
ha ha

Obama won New York by 26 points.  Jews make up 8.4 percent of the population of New York.  If every single Jew switches from D to R he still would win comfortably.

OMG NEW YORK IZ PISSED AWAYS!

Use of the google and some basic arithmetic will help you avoid looking foolish in the future.

by JJE 2008-12-30 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: ha ha

Try reading.  I didn't say just jews.  That's right here.  On this page genius.  Talk about looking foolish.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 05:40PM | 0 recs
oh yes

i forgot about all the premillenial Christians who dominate the New York electorate.  How silly of me.  I apologize and bow before your well-informed analysis.

by JJE 2008-12-30 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: oh yes

Do you doubt that premillenials are a large portion of the electorate all over the entire country?

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: oh yes

or is it just one dude with a whole shit load of cars all over the country with thoese "In case of rapture" bumper stickers?

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: oh yes

or perhaps you think it unlikely that the republicans would ever be able to manipulate christians in order to win an election.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 07:13PM | 0 recs
I thought we were talking about New York

remember?  You said I wanted to write off New York, not Alabama.

How many premillenial Christians do you think voted for Obama that angering them over Israel poses a non-trivial political risk?  What other important Democratic constituencies should have a say in Israel policy?  Mormons perhaps?

by JJE 2008-12-30 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I thought we were talking about New York

We were talking about American supporters of Israel originally.  New York, Florida, Cleveland, and Columbus are specific places that were mentioned on this thread after that.  Just like last night, you go back only as far as it suits you and forget the rest just like your view on I/P history.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 07:25PM | 0 recs
Actually what happens

is I rebut one of your assertions so you change the subject.  I already said fuck Florida, and I did the math to show you that NY would not be endangered.  At some point the burden shifts to you to back up at least one of your unsupported claims instead of constantly making me disprove them, don't you think?  Just like last night, that appears to be a task for which you lack either the inclination or the ability.

by JJE 2008-12-30 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually what happens

Coward.  Participate honestly or admit defeat.  I have changed no subject moron.  You have cherry picked and dropped what you can't justify down the memory whole.  Your math was based on forgetting that I mentioned there were more people for whom to account than the jews that you hate so much.  Therefore, your math was utterly useless as it did not address what you were attempting to rebut.  You don't get to just make up the rules about what I said and then rebut something other than what I said.  If you are going to be either dishonest about the conversation or a mental midget with regard to your comprehension of the language that's your decision, but it makes you the guy who lost the argument.

No run along now and read something. You desperately need to.

by lockewasright 2008-12-31 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually what happens

In any event you clearly aren't prepared to have an honest discussion and it makes no difference if you ever extricate you head from your ass anyway as indications are that my point of view will win out in the area of policy for the next 4 to 8 years anyway.  Thus your mindless ramblings are a masturbatory exercise to begin with.  

Enjoy your delusion and don't forget to wear the helmet that the nice doctor prescribed.

by lockewasright 2008-12-31 04:57AM | 0 recs
happy new year!

may it bring you a bit of desperately-needed sanity and a thicker skin.

by JJE 2009-01-05 05:43AM | 0 recs
I was speaking of New York as a whole

Not just Brooklyn.

by JJE 2008-12-30 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: oh no?

And that was based on a refuted rumor that maybe he was a secret Muslim.  Imagine the reaction to concrete fact that ours was the party that abandoned Israel!

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: oh no?

and you just know that those republican bastards would promise more money than ever and an escalation.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 02:38PM | 0 recs
they'll never stop being a bad actor

as long as people like you continue to pretend that Israel is the 51st state rather than just another foreign country no different than any other.

by JJE 2008-12-30 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: they'll never stop being a bad actor

As long as people like you refuse to extract their head from their rear we will continue to make short sited decision that cause disunity.  People worried like crazy heading into November that the democratic party would find a way to blow it as usual.  People like you are why.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 12:15PM | 0 recs
good to see you admit

that the only thing you care about vis a vis Israel is domestic politics.  Seems a little "short sited" to me.

by JJE 2008-12-30 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: good to see you admit

Is english a new language to you or do you just make a habit of unsubstantiated conclusions?  I didn't say that it's all that I care about.  I indicated that it was a factor.  You really are a habitual distorter. That's damn close to serial liar.  Take a step back.

by lockewasright 2008-12-30 02:25PM | 0 recs
Cry more

I made a reasonable inference based on the fact that is the only aspect of the situation you can be bothered to discuss in any substance.

by JJE 2008-12-30 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Is Singer on the ground yet?

Looking forward to his reports from the front.

by Bush Bites 2008-12-29 09:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Thanks for publishing the Fisk article and the others who were published in Haaretz.

Throughout the years, in order to continue its occupation of the Palestinian territories, half of which is now colonized with Israeli settlers, Israel has trumped up excuse after excuse to avoid making peace, typically blaming the Palestinians. The last words of Ariel Sharon, who created the settler project during the 90s, was for the settlers to grab every hilltop before it was too late. In the meantime, he claimed Israel had no partner, scapegoating Arafat, the usual suspect. After 9/11, peace avoidance shifted to the "terrorism" meme, and after the 2006 election to Hamas, the latest and now current red herring.

And that is all that Hamas stands for, while the occupation and land confiscations in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continue.

by MainStreet 2008-12-30 01:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Israel's foreign policy is a disgrace, bringing to mind Bush and Co's.

Fisk's analysis is typically sober and he'll be in for harsh criticism from militarists who see Arabs and Persians as something less than human.

by MAL Contends 2008-12-30 02:25AM | 0 recs
It's clear to me that

Israel is apprehensive about how much support they can expect from the new administration, and are getting their kicks in while Bush predictably turns a blind eye to the conflict.

by Sumo Vita 2008-12-30 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: It's clear to me that

the tide does indeed seem to be turning. i remember as recently as early 2008 when criticism of Israel sparked flame wars here, and wasn't any such discussion banned at DKos long-ago?

if the debate happening now at MyDD is any reflection, then Israel best pay attention to changing world opinion, and the Israeli electorate would do well to go the path of the US electorate in choosing a Bush-like hardliner in their upcoming elections.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"
I never respond to blogs but some of the comments made I have been recently pondering.I really should not be taking time at the moment for I am busy repairing my home after suffering from two hurricanes of which one flooded my house.But I appreciate some of the comments.
I am a Native American of The Houma Tribe in Southeast Louisiana.I first entered a white school in 1963.My experiences were rich and fulfilling for I was educated from a early age and was very popular in school.But my people did not experience the same opportunities as I had.I was blessed with the weapons needed intellectually and athletically to break down the wall of racism and discrimination.I began at an early age to study philosophy and psychology to try to understand why peoples can so easily hate and discriminate.Throughout my life I have had discussions with phd.'s,some friends who are Rhodes Scholars and anyone who could help me understand.I am not a whinner about history.I understand what history has taught me.
I have been asking myself many times how there are so many loud voices concerning the plight of the Jews yet barely a peep about the American Holocaust perpetrated against the American Indian.
I do not hate the white race.I do not wish for revenge.I do not wish death on the white race.My distant ancestor fought at the Battle of new Orleans grandfather fought in WW1,my uncle in WW2,and if Vietnam would have been a legitimate war I would have fought there.(I was in ROTC in high school but became a radical against the war.)
I don't want America back.I do want more economic and educational opportunities for my people so we can be more self sufficient.We were forced into the swamps of La. and now our dwindling coast has made our hurricanes more destructive and we are being pushed out by mother nature.A little more than ironic I would say.
My heart is gladdened to see some of your comments that do mention the plight of my people.I do not want you to feel guilt,none of you were there during the wars on my people.
As so many of you have written in your posts the Israelis are overacting in my opinion.I am a student of world religions and world history and political science and have some understanding of what is going on.I am sorry but I feel this harking back to the Holocaust is weak.I do not like to condemn or criticize anyone but Being a Native American frees me of the shackles of political correctness.
Well I must get back to work.This is my first time reading MyDD.I will add it to my morning ritual of sites I read with my morning coffee.
                       Forever I remain...Indian,
                                Hawk
by Hawkdd 2008-12-30 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

indeed. very well said and thanks for the input! welcome to MyDD

by swissffun 2008-12-30 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

also in the independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/com mentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-tr ue-story-behind-this-war-is-not-the-one- israel-is-telling-1214981.html

This is very clearly a mess of Israel's making. They don't get to chose who the Palestinian's democratically elect to send to the negotiating table. The truth will come out and it won't be pretty for Israel.

Now if the Israelis buy into this political game and elect the hardliner in upcoming elections -- well there'll be little sympathy around the world for what happens next.

by swissffun 2008-12-30 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

Except, of course, from CNN and FOX.  Seems to be about the only thing they can agree upon.

by the mollusk 2008-12-30 10:03AM | 0 recs
Absurd Irish analogy

But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not.

Excuse me, but the IRA was not the Irish Army.  The Irish government was hunting the IRA, not as effectively as some wanted, but the Irish government was not shooting rockets.  If the Irish government had been shooting rockets into Northern Ireland, surely the British would have acted differently.

And, by the way, the reference to "zap 300 civilians" has nothing to do with what Israel is doing.  It is pure slander.

by BRoss 2008-12-30 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

I just listened to the Israeli Embassy person in San Francisco authorized to talk on my public radio station.

To listen to him, you would think that Israel has been willing to make peace with Fatah all this time and it has been Hamas that has made this impossible.

He also said that Israel completely left the Gaza strip - but Israel didn't.  Anytime you control borders, air space, and egress, you still control an area.

I don't know what is going to happen, but I don't think much will change unless Obama and Clinton want to make (with the threat of the loss of American foreign aid because that is a lot of what is keeping Israel afloat right now) Israel give up expanding the settlements and start treating the Palestinians as human beings.

Both the West Bank and the Gaza strip are under siege and we Americans are paying for it.

by Amaliada 2008-12-30 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

The day that Israel will lose its moral superiority in this sad saga will be the day that all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza make a huge pile of their rockets, AK-47's, suicide belts and walk away.

They will only win their struggle by embracing non-violent peaceful protest.

Non-violent peaceful protest is the only way to break the cycle of violence.  

Unfortunately, it seems that both sides have no shortage of assholes who would try and keep blowing shit up.

Sigh.  Why can't people see this?

by cfkdaddy 2008-12-30 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza - "War to the Bitter End"

But Israel's moral superiority was imposed on the Palestinians by the United Nations.  It wasn't like the US, where explorers discovered the country and decided to move in.  Of course there were Jews who never left Palestine/Israel, but the partition of the country was never agreed to by the Palestinians.

We can say that was stupid on their part, and who knew it would lead to 60 years of bloodshed, but it was their country and had been for hundreds of years.

And for the Israelis to say that any Jew who wants to live in Israel can and any Palestinian who wants to return can't, throws your moral superiority argument on its head.

Israel gets to make all the rules and all the conditions, but never has to live up to its conditions.

Also, has anyone considered who was going to stop the rockets now that the police force has been decimated.  For six months there were few if any rockets fired into Israel (see above) and that happened because Hamas policed itself and the other groups, like Islamic Jihad.  But now the police are dead - called terrorists and thugs.

Before the state of Israel was founded, there were Jewish groups of terrorists that bombed hotels and killed British soldiers and civilians.  But they got rehabilitated when the country came into being.  Maybe the same will be true for Hamas/Fatah.  

The only reason Hamas is in power is because the US said it was okay to have an election, which they won fairly.  Everyone, except Bush and Condi knew they'd win because Fatah was so corrupt.  How else could Arafat have an apartment in Paris where is widow and daughter now live?

We can't tell a people how to think, act, or believe.  As an African American, I know this is true.

by Amaliada 2008-12-30 12:48PM | 0 recs

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