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In the usual process, the U.S. government,  media here -- and most liberal bloggers --  are silent or playing down questions about whether Israel overreacted in its massive air strikes on Gaza, while the foreign press,  and even Haaretz in Israel,  carries more balanced accounts.  

Anyone who cares should consult the respected Haaretz site often, if for no other reason than to learn that criticism of Israeli military actions are usually more heated inside that country than in the USA.   You may recall the lockstep support (in the U.S.) for Israeli's invasion of southern Lebanon, which included the use of U.S.-made cluster bombs.  That invasion turned out to be a genuine fiasco.

If the response during the invasion is any guide, top liberal bloggers will, by and large, respond to the current assault by saying, "Not my issue...don't know enough to comment."

One analysis at Haaretz: "A million and a half human beings, most of them downcast and desperate refugees, live in the conditions of a giant jail, fertile ground for another round of bloodletting. The fact that Hamas may have gone too far with its rockets is not the justification of the Israeli policy for the past few decades, for which it justly merits an Iraqi shoe to the face."  

Another opinion piece in Haaretz -- titled, "Neighborhood Bully Strikes Again"  -- by Gideon Levy: "Israel embarked yesterday on yet another unnecessary, ill-fated war. On July 16, 2006, four days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, I wrote: 'Every neighborhood has one, a loud-mouthed bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger... Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction!' Two and a half years later, these words repeat themselves, to our horror, with chilling precision. Within the span of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, the IDF sowed death and destruction on a scale that the Qassam rockets never approached in all their years, and Operation 'Cast Lead' is only in its infancy."

Also from Haaretz, Zvi Barel writes:  "Six months ago Israel asked and received a cease-fire from Hamas. It unilaterally violated it when it blew up a tunnel, while still asking Egypt to get the Islamic group to hold its fire."   Yet the U.S. media refers that only Hamas violated the ceasefire.

Another columnist there, Yossi Sarid, writes: "I can only hope that this time, for a change, we will know when to stop.  This war must be described from the get-go as a war 'to be on the safe side,' rather than of necessity, and it is still unclear whether the last missile fired will be fired by us or by them."

Amira Hass, the paper's correspondent in Gaza, reports: "There are many corpses and wounded, every moment another casualty is added to the list of the dead, and there is no more room in the morgue.  Relatives search among the bodies and the wounded in order to bring the dead quickly to burial. A mother whose three school-age children were killed, and are piled one on top of the other in the morgue, screams and then cries, screams again and then is silent."

From the lead Haaretz editorial:  "[T]he inherent desire for retribution does not necessarily have to blind us to the view from the day after....Israel's violation of the lull in November expedited the deterioration that gave birth to the war of yesterday. But even if this continues for many days and even weeks, it will end in an agreement, or at least an understanding similar to that reached last June."

The Independent, a major daily in London has an eyewitness account, ending with:  "These bombs were launched by Israel, as we had known they would be. The world watched the situation simmer then boil over, but did nothing. There are some who believe that hell is divided into different classes. The ordinary people of Gaza have long been caught in the tormenting underworld. Now, if the world does not heed what has happened here, our situation will worsen. We will be trapped in the first class of hell."

UPDATE:

UPDATE: A McClatchy dispatch quotes Daniel Levy, a political analyst in Israel who once served as an adviser to Ehud Barak, who is leading the military campaign against Hamas: "I don't see how this ends well, even if, in two weeks time, it looks like it ends well."

Haaretz has just posted this from another columnist, Tom Segev:  "[T]he assault on Gaza does not first and foremost demand moral condemnation - it demands a few historical reminders. Both the justification given for it and the chosen targets are a replay of the same basic assumptions that have proven wrong time after time. Yet Israel still pulls them out of its hat again and again, in one war after another."

And this from another columnist, Akiva Eldar:  "The tremendous population density in the Gaza Strip does not allow a "surgical operation" over an extended period that would minimize damage to civilian populations. The difficult images from the Strip will soon replace those of the damage inflicted by Qassam rockets in the western Negev.  The scale of losses, which works in 'favor' of the Palestinians, will return Israel to the role of Goliath."


Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher.  His latest book, on Iraq and the media, is "So Wrong for So Long."

Originally posted to GregMitch on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:28 AM PST.

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  •  Gideon Levy (154+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Davinci, cdreid, exsimo2, Phoenix Woman, MadRuth, kate mckinnon, acquittal, rhfactor, Geenius at Wrok, abarefootboy, kellogg, mattman, PeterHug, Hummingbird, formernadervoter, Midwest Meg, Mnemosyne, devtob, object16, expatjourno, conchita, litho, gladkov, understandinglife, twcollier, chuckvw, Minerva, gabie, kanuk, aruac, bustacap, UniC, KathleenM1, Nemagaiq, weasel, rmx2630, historys mysteries, CTPatriot, corvo, Silentspring, Valtin, EJP in Maine, Gary Norton, Michael Alton Gottlieb, EdlinUser, smkngman, Churchill, blue jersey mom, shiobhan, Rogneid, bookwoman, ohcanada, Audio Guy, ksingh, elliott, danmac, tarheelblue, Polticalrecluse, martyc35, veus, mango, carolita, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, 4Freedom, Bob Sackamento, NC Dem, Dauphin, boatsie, ER Doc, doingbusinessas, sarayakat, Cassiodorus, frostbite, zorthron, ryaninnj, expatyank, Nulwee, bigchin, sephius1, timewarp, dotsright, godislove, Queen of Swords, ramsfan, LillithMc, Duccio, david mizner, Inventor, heathlander, Anorish, newpioneer, Rex Manning, Aunt Martha, Moderation, Badabing, Terra Mystica, Empower Ink, FightForJustice, royce, daddy4mak, Jeff Y, rubine, Liberal Of Limeyland, kyril, luckylizard, CIndyCasella, bluegrass50, divitius, snackdoodle, gdwtch52, RandomActsOfReason, weltshmertz, ScientistSteve, drizek, Jenai, rini6, JesseCW, unspeakable, ancblu, SteveP, pnn23, drlevant, notquitedelilah, realwischeese, SpringFever, edtastic, astral66, etara, Ella H, Neglected Duty, angry liberaltarian, Sam James, Obamican08, Sand in Florida, egyinny, eXtina, MarkMarvin, UTvoter, First Light, citizen31, Ronald Singleterry, HartfordTycoon, addisnana, Johnny Q, Floande, NellaSelim, bicycle Hussein paladin, Gracian, Berkeley Moon, thinkmoss, tbutt, FlCarat, Fire bad tree pretty

    is a courageous reporter. I've followed his writing for years, and heard him speak. If only there were more voices like his...

    •  Thanks, Greg, for using your forum (163+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Davinci, tgs1952, Phoenix Woman, benr, kate mckinnon, Dounia, gogol, Christin, barnowl, rhfactor, yerioy, abarefootboy, PeterHug, Hummingbird, maracucho, formernadervoter, lysias, Midwest Meg, Mnemosyne, devtob, treehugger, lzachary, expatjourno, opinionated, conchita, gladkov, rktect, understandinglife, SecondComing, peace voter, stevej, chuckvw, Minerva, AndyT, gabie, kanuk, Zain, UniC, KathleenM1, weary hobo, Nemagaiq, antoinette from NYC, weasel, brown american, slapshoe, historys mysteries, Bluesee, LarisaW, mjd in florida, corvo, Valtin, bleeding blue, EdlinUser, shiobhan, jilikins, Rogneid, ohcanada, dancewater, Jim P, martini, ksingh, elliott, gwilson, martyc35, veus, mango, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, global citizen, Iranaqamuk, NC Dem, Pager, Dauphin, Preston S, boatsie, ER Doc, Cassiodorus, frostbite, kurious, Picot verde, bigchin, sephius1, pgm 01, timewarp, out of left field, John Clavis, godislove, crankyinNYC, drbloodaxe, FishOutofWater, Duccio, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Anorish, newpioneer, ProbStat, Rex Manning, Aunt Martha, Moderation, Wreck Smurfy, Badabing, Terra Mystica, Empower Ink, kafkananda, loudoun, ShadowSD, FightForJustice, royce, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, Liberal Of Limeyland, kyril, RubyGal, luckylizard, Virginia mom, In her own Voice, dmhlt 66, sydneyluv, CIndyCasella, ibinreno, bluegrass50, jedley, Celtic Merlin, divitius, eroded47095, weltshmertz, DrFaustus, drizek, JesseCW, mississippi boatrat, unspeakable, ancblu, pnn23, drlevant, notquitedelilah, SpringFever, Muzikal203, astral66, etara, fraggle1, Neglected Duty, grassrootsnm, Sam James, Obamican08, eXtina, weebo, amk for obama, MarkMarvin, First Light, Ronald Singleterry, duufus, JoanMar, Johnny Q, Floande, NellaSelim, bicycle Hussein paladin, ChiTownBlue2000, Gracian, Berkeley Moon, thinkmoss, Alanna Trebond, tbutt, FlCarat, cf20mx07

      to talk about this.

      For months and months, American liberals stayed silent as Israel laid waste to Gaza with its blockade, and not they're staying silent as Israel attacks.

      Many big progressive bloggers have already stated that they don't write about this issue, using some bullshit rationalization or another.

      It's maddening.

        •  Well said. Yesterday when I learned of the (30+ / 0-)

          attack I immediately thought of the Israeli election that is about to take place and how those who condoned and approved this attack have decided to start a war to win an election. The problem is that they will not and should not be voted into office, but they will have the honor of being recognized and hated just like Bush!

        •  it's the leaderlessness (12+ / 0-)

          When there's bad leadership, then the harshest voice gets heard.

          In Israel there are too many political parties and so forming a government means making alliances with fringe groups. Now no one is in charge, so the harshest voices get their way.  

          With Bush we have a bad leader. In Israel there are only compromised leaders, who shuffle and bend to keep their titles.  

          A two-party system at least gives sanity a chance.  

        •  it's the exact counterpart (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, Jeff Y, LaFajita

          to the pre-election US strike on Iran that we were all pretty sure would happen to up the fear factor and ensure victory for the rethugs. InTrade had it at 60% at one point.

          scumbag motherfuckers

          'I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.' - John Cage

          by jedley on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:59:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, those scumbag motherfuckers (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TLS66, Emet, Shane Hensinger, LaFajita

            actually seeking to defend their citizenry from constant rocket attacks.

            How dare they?!

            "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

            by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:00:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's not what we're talking about (21+ / 0-)

              we're talking about timing the "retaliation" so that the hawks can keep the hostilities alive and win the election.
              so yeah, scumbag motherfuckers.

              'I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.' - John Cage

              by jedley on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:04:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  And that "defense" worked oh so well (20+ / 0-)

              in Lebanon, didn't it?  I doubt that most here would say that Israel doesn't have a right to defend itself--although one must also then say that the Palestinians, be they Fatah or Hamas or others, have a right to defend themselves as well--but that the disproportionate nature of the Israeli attack does not constitute a defense.  Rather, it's an escalation that will quite likely, as in Lebanon, only strengthen the very group (there Hezbollah, here Hamas) that it seeks to weaken.

              •  My thoughts exactly. (6+ / 0-)

                I really sympathize with Israel, and I'm sure if my family was under constant rocket attacks I'd be shouting for my government to hit hard at those who are firing them.  But the disproportionate response will just strengthen the Hamas bastards while wreaking havoc on the civilian population in Gaza.  Just like Lebanon two years ago, it's a brutal, unthinking reaction to  very real provocations.    

              •  If Israel were in fact defending itself... (9+ / 0-)

                but Israeli actions extend well beyond any internationally recognized norms of self defense.  Building settlements and the reckless (in the technical sense) use of heavily disproportionate force and collective punishment are not self defense, but are aggression.  Suicide bombing is also not self defense, but barbaric war crimes.  

                When are these two peoples going to drag themselves out of the stone age already, for pete's sake?

                Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:09:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You neglect the "X" factor, (9+ / 0-)

                  which is our involvement.  The U.S. gives more foreign aid to Israel than we give to all other countries combined.  A large portion of those billions goes-directly or indirectly-to supporting the Israeli war machine.  Our tax dollars help in the oppression of the West Bank and Gaza.

                  We are helping to keep the Israelis and Palestinians "in the stone age".  We could have some influence on changing that if we wished.  Obviously, our elites do not wish such change.  This is a problem we should discuss, seriously and at length.

            •  That is not the whole truth. (0+ / 0-)

              That is rationalization of a policy which is driving a wedge between Israel and the civilized world.

              Make that change.

              by barnowl on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:36:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Is it a proportional response? I DK (0+ / 0-)

              80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

              by Churchill on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:43:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Or (0+ / 0-)

              how dare they seek to defend their populace from the constant raids, closures and indiscrimnate bombing by launching ineffectual counter attacks.

              Both sides here are engaged in wanton attacks on civilian populations in a brutal cycle of violence.  Frankly, I don't think there's anyone involved in deserves any pity here except those minorities on both sides that have genuinely worked for peace.  

              From the outside world's perspective, I just wish the rest of us could be spared from the Israelis' and Palestinians' incessantly infantile behavior.  I'm a Mercutioist here:  A plague on both your houses.

              Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

              by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:07:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Mercutioist. (0+ / 0-)

                I like that. Pretty much sums up my POV. There won't be peace because there isn't a critical mass on either side that wants peace. At least on the leadership level. So now in the post-Fatah era, we have to wait another generation until Hamas is as discredited as Fatah became. On the Israeli side, until Bibi and the like die off. Sad.

                BTW, I think a lot of this has to do with cementing in a situation before Obama can stop it or exert pressure. While it was Israel's decision to attack, by omission and sleeping at the wheel, this is just one more gift to Obama by Bush. And we still have three weeks to go.

                •  Looking at Obama today... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhfactor

                  I suspect he won't try to do much.  Unfortunately, he "understands" Israel's position.  We'll see, but I am doubtfyl.

                  Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                  by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:44:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  A "defense" against "rocket attacks" (4+ / 0-)

              that are so ineffective they don't actually kill anyone, by using state of the art missiles and bombs that kill hundreds is not acceptable.

              Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

              by Asak on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:37:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  this from Juan Cole (8+ / 0-)

                Israel blames Hamas for primitive homemade rocket attacks on the nearby Israeli city of Sederot. In 2001-2008, these rockets killed about 15 Israelis and injured 433, and they have damaged property. In the same period, Gazan mortar attacks on Israel have killed 8 Israelis.

                Since the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Israelis have killed nearly 5000 Palestinians, nearly a thousand of them minors. Since fall of 2007, Israel has kept the 1.5 million Gazans under a blockade, interdicting food, fuel and medical supplies to one degree or another. Wreaking collective punishment on civilian populations such as hospital patients denied needed electricity is a crime of war.

                The Israelis on Saturday killed 5% of all the Palestinians they have killed since the beginning of 2001! 230 people were slaughtered in a day, over 70 of them innocent civilians. In contrast, from the ceasefire Hamas announced in June, 2008 until Saturday, no Israelis had been killed by Hamas. The infliction of this sort of death toll is known in the law of war as a disproportionate response, and it is a war crime.

                this is just on top of the ongoing blockade on 1.5 million people in Gaza, which is a war crime by almost any standards, and would certainly be treated as a war crime if carried out anywhere else in the world (just as waterboarding is always torture if anyone but the US does it). Like most of us I don't have much good to say about Hamas, but I don't see how killing as many Palestinian police officers as possible is "striking at Hamas" or an acceptable response to rocket attacks. Most of them are, well, just street cops. You know, guys who show up if there's a burglary or something.  I don't even like cops very much but taking out the police force in a society where everyone has already been reduced to desperate poverty doesn't strike me as a way of preventing rocket attacks, it strikes me as a way of intentionally trying to create violent social chaos, of basically trying to destroy all law and order so as to try to destroy a society.

                Anyway my impression was Hamas has made it plenty clear they'd have been happy to negotiate a permanent cease-fire if the Israeli government let them. If I remember the Israeli government responded by rounding up and arresting scores of their elected officials. We have no way of knowing how they'd be acting if the Israelis had seriously tried to engage with them instead of pulling stuff like that. Just as we'd have no way of knowing how Arafat and others would have acted if, after pledging to work towards dismantling the settlements at Oslo, the Israeli government hadn't instead immediately moved to double those settlements - let alone if they actually had started dismantling them. I mean, how would you have felt if you just signed a peace agreement and the other side started acting like that? Would you have trusted the other side to go through with their commitments without some form of pressure to wield against them? There's a lot of guilt and generally murderous and stupid behavior on all sides, but I really do wonder what would have happened had the Israelis acted like they really wanted peace.
                     DG

                •  Which raises another question with me... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MadRuth, RichterScale

                  If the people who live in Gaza were able to mount a military response exactly as strong and deadly as Israel's attacks, would Israel be so quick to bomb the shit out of Gaza over a bunch of rocket attacks which killed nobody?

                  I'm guessing not.

                  The AP reported that the Sunday attacks included bombing runs on a Mosque (how respectful), a medical-supply warehouse (humanitarianism at its finest), and a greenhouse - where a 15-year-old boy was killed.

                  A greenhouse???  Are you shitting me???
                  This is getting way outta hand now.

                  Celtic Merlin
                  Carlinist

                  Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                  by Celtic Merlin on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:39:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  aw shut up you convenient distractor from reality (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MadRuth, RichterScale, Terra Mystica

              seeking to defend their citizenry from constant rocket attacks.

              Firecrackers & missile are the same thing, everyone knows that.

              1 death & 250 deaths + 500 wounded, everyone knows it's the same thing.

              The only good news here is that just as we have known all too well that America's horrific acts of condemnation are actually the acts of disgusting unconscionable people in power -- vs the acts of American citizens, so too the acts of Israel are not acts planned out & carried out by the rank & file citizens of Israel, but rather by their politically-selfishly-motivated people in power.

              For you to equate the two in one case, and not in the other is utter lying to yourself and to everyone who reads this site.

              There is no moral highground here, so dethrone from your high horse, you clever clown and stfu.

              Just like our irresponsible American media, you edit out that which is inconvenient to your masters' narrative, and inflate slivers of truth into some grandiose alleged unanimous version of facts.

              What a sad pathetic "must be right at all costs" approach to life.

              Oh, and everyone knows that all Palestinians follow Hamass, and favored the dumbass firing of firecrackers across the border. Everyone knows Palestinians are all violent savages seeking to assault citizens that live across the border -- because by nature they are all hateful, spiteful, angry people.

              you gross caricaturer of human beings.

              --
              -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

              by rhfactor on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:00:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              There are two terrorist states in the world right now:

              1. United States
              1. Israel

              Those rocket attacks are from freedom fighters.

              -9.63, 0.00
              Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from idiotic American minds.

              by nobody at all on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:55:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TLS66, Emet

          Whatever you think of Israel's response (I happen to be unapologetic and support it, while sympathizing for civilians who were caught in the middle), you can't compare with George Bush's attitude.  Israel did not go and invade a country that (or a part of its government or a government backed entity) had never attacked it.

          •  No disrespect, (4+ / 0-)

            but your sympathy is pointless. You can't sympathize with someone while at the same time support the nation that is causing them misery by blockading and attacking them.

            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

            by unspeakable on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:04:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Missing the point (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Emet, laurnj

              I'm not someone that cares much about what someone else thinks of my sympathies.  But I think you're missing the point.  The point is that civilian deaths are an ugly, regrettable, horrible fact of war.  But those alone do not make a war unjust.  And nor does sympathy with those deaths preclude one from support of the use of force where necessary.

              As for the blockade, an oft-ignored fact: Israel had agreed to lift the blockade temporarily on Wednesday to allow a limited amount of food, medicine and fuel into Gaza on Wednesday, but it's the morters and rockets being fired by Hamas into Israel that prevented Israel from doing that.

              •  Collateral or Inevitabal Damage (8+ / 0-)

                You say,

                The point is that civilian deaths are an ugly, regrettable, horrible fact of war.  But those alone do not make a war unjust.  And nor does sympathy with those deaths preclude one from support of the use of force where necessary.

                Civilian casualties are a fact of war, we're agreed so far.

                Knowing that.  Knowing that using modern weapons in a place where 10,655 people per square mile live will kill civilians.

                Knowing that since 1900 the percentage of civilians killed has risen from 5% to 95% of all war casualties.

                Knowing that not in 60 years, nor for 100 more will bombing stop the rockets.

                How is it still justified?  Doing something that you know will not work, whose only effect will be to kill and maim mostly innocent people.  Wouldn't that be immoral?

                I could find my way to grudgingly approving of bombings as a solution were I convinced that bombs could end this.  But that's not the case.

                Let's step outside Israel.  I think we can both agree that George Bush is an unmitigated disaster, and his war has unleashed untold suffering on the people of Iraq.  Would an Iraqi be justified in blowing up the White House with the intent of killing Bush?  Despite wiping out the WH Press Corps, all manner of cooks, staff, probably a tour group, all manner of civilians?

                "While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free" -Eugene V Debs

                by RevolutionRock on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 03:46:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  crickets (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MadRuth, rhfactor, shiobhan, Terra Mystica

                  Don't expect a response. The purpose of these attacks isn't to "stop the rockets." Its to keep them coming and to maintain a permanent, and for some a highly lucrative, state of war.

                  •  You also forget (0+ / 0-)

                    that if the Palestinian peoples are reduced enough in number there isn't a problem of them voting the bastards out when reunification occurs.

                    Best Wishes, Demena Economic Left/Right: -8.38
 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                    by Demena on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:34:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  By Israeli standards, yes it would... (0+ / 0-)

                  If you family dies in a terrorist attack to get at some military target, then that'd be ok., I guess.  

                  Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                  by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:45:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, and yes. Now let me explain (0+ / 0-)

                  First of all, there isn't much other way for Israel to respond.  If they go in and start arresting Hamas militants and leaders - oh wait, they did that, and Hamas claims that's what made them fire the rockets into Israel - it's not like that will make people happy and people won't scream bloody murder about that.  The bombings may actually be the most effective way to reduce the rocket attacks - if Israel can hit weapon stashes of Hamas.  In real terms, it would reduce the number of rockets available to Hamas, thereby reducing the opportunity of launching them.

                  It is not Israel's fault that Hamas decides to put their military centers inside densely populated areas.  This is in fact Hamas using those areas as human shields.  If you condemn Israeli actions of taking out those targets and civilians dying in the process fine.  But where is your criticism of Hamas using the civilians of Gaza as human shields?  Isn't that a human rights issue?

                  Let's step outside Israel.  I think we can both agree that George Bush is an unmitigated disaster, and his war has unleashed untold suffering on the people of Iraq.  Would an Iraqi be justified in blowing up the White House with the intent of killing Bush?  Despite wiping out the WH Press Corps, all manner of cooks, staff, probably a tour group, all manner of civilians?

                  You want this to be a trick question - and you want to frame an affirmative answer to say that an American is supporting an attack on American soil - the definition of treason.  I'm not going to do that.  But let me explain it this way.  Yes, the centers of governmental power ARE in fact legitimate military targets in war.  That is why the White House and the Pentagon and the Congress and buildings of government are so secured - because those are in fact targets, and in a war situation, considered legitimate targets by the enemy.  The British burned down the US Capitol, you may remember, in 1814.  Sure, the British were waging a war of aggression against the United States, but the Capitol was a far more legitimate target in war than say a school. Did they harm civilians that worked in the Capitol?  Yes.  But it was not targeted because of the civilians, it was targeted because it was the seat of government.  And that intent does matter.  There IS a difference between civilian casualties when the target is military or governmental in nature and targeting specifically civilian installations - i.e. malls, schools, places of worship, etc.

                  •  Policing (0+ / 0-)

                    Intelligence, surgical efforts, not mass bombing campaigns.

                    Those are options they have, and they are options which produce fewer civilian casualties.

                    And I wasn't trying to get you to commit treason.  I've just found that people think of the conflict in terms of 'other' I've found putting it into terms closer to home breaks that barrier.

                    "While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free" -Eugene V Debs

                    by RevolutionRock on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:24:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This strike has been more targeted (0+ / 0-)

                      and more surgically successful than any that most countries are able to do in wartime, including our own.  As of the latest reports, the UN has claimed that of the 364 dead in Gaza, 62 are confirmed civilians who are not part of Hamas.  That's a collateral damage of less than 18%, and that means that the success rate in hitting legitimate targets (i.e. Hamas) is aroung 80%.  I know these calculations look cut and dry, and insensitive of the civilians who did lose their lives, but they are meant to put things into context, and to provide proof that Israel is in fact doing what it says it's doing: targeting Hamas and trying to avoid civilian casualties.

              •  Mortars and rockets fired into Israel (5+ / 0-)

                do not require Israel to maintain the blockade.

                There is absolutely nothing about allowing a Red Crescent ship, inspected 20 miles off shore and observed all the way in, which compromises Israels security even when Hamas is actively launching rockets.

                •  Collective Punishment (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MadRuth, rhfactor, Terra Mystica

                  Israel always rationalizes these atatcks as intended to target actual combatants. But they know full well that most of the casualties will be civilians and that is absolutely fine with them. Because this is not about fighting a war, its about punishing a people for daring to resist conquest and colonization and driving them from the lands they still have by making life unendurable. It won't work, but thats the logic at work here.

                •  If people from Canada fired rockets into the US (0+ / 0-)

                  don't you think WE would seal our borders with them?  Duh!

                  •  This is not about sealed borders (0+ / 0-)

                    It's about a naval blockade which is entirely illegal under the laws of war.

                    •  Ahh, naval blockade (0+ / 0-)

                      It's illegal under laws of war?  Which laws of war?  I hope you can link me to something from the UN that describes this International law(s).

                      Naval blockades are not only legal, but have been used in war after war.  Hell, the American Patriots enlisted the help of the French who put up an umm... naval blockade ... so the British (specifically Cornwallis) could not escape to the sea during our own war of independence.  Hamas has, by its platform, vowed the destruction of Israel - not peace with Israel - as its goal.  In that situation, it is entirely responsible for Israel, in wartime, to put up a naval blockade to make sure weapons and other war supplies for Hamas isn't coming in via sea, or via air, for that matter.  When Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist and expresses interest in coexistence with Israel, then I'll criticize Israel's naval blockade.

                      •  International Law has, not suprisngly, evolved (0+ / 0-)

                        since then.

                        Blockades which deprive a civilian population of humanitarian aid are illegal.

                        It matters not a bit what Hamas's intentions are, or how much you hate them.  The law doesn't change because "this particular enemy is extra nasty".

                        The Blockade is a War Crime.

                        Article 33 of the Fouth Geneva Convention, for starters.

                        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

                          You saying so does not make it so, unless you happen to be a judge at the Hague.  Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva conventions does not even mention the word blockade.  It is about collective punishment.  And by collective punishment,

                          By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World Wars I and II

                          It doesn't even apply in this case.  Even if you were able to make the case that by the naval blockade, Israel is cutting off supplies to Palestinian civilians - which is a stretch - it would be negated by the fact that in relative calm, Israel has allowed humanitarian supplies to go through the blockade.  But that's a moot point, since blockades are a form of economic sanctions, and even the United Nations itself practices economic sanctions on certain countries.  Economic sanctions are NOT "collective punishment."  Specifically targeting an unrelated group to be actively killed off would be collective punishment and thus a war crime, not economic sanctions that may affect civilians.

                          •  Intentional starvation and denial (0+ / 0-)

                            of medical care is collective punishment, and what "the drafters had in mind" is Scalia "Logic".

                            What they had in mind was making it flatly illegal to intentionally punish civilains en masse for the actions of partisans/criminals/terrorists.

                          •  No it's not (0+ / 0-)

                            first of all, there is no intentional starvation and denial of medical care.  You can't prove that Israel intends to starve Palestinians to death and that's why they have the blockade up.  So that's a moot point.  And even if it were so intended, it wouldn't be collective punishment.  Collective Punishment is NOT, no matter how much you want it to be, civilians suffering from economic sanction on the government.

                            And I'm going to take wikipedia's word on what the writers had in mind over yours.

              •  civilian deaths (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                crankyinNYC

                are and have become the main part of any war these days. Gone are the days when wars were fought on a battle field.
                Even in the WWII, unlike a the pearl harbor attack , Dunkirk or battle of the bulge, the bombings of London,Fire Bombings of germany,and of course the
                mother of all bombings,the twin atomic bombs in japan caused far more grusome deaths of the so called inocent civilians,
                More recently,
                the vietnam war caused death of 2 million vietnamese most of them collateral damage and a large number died in the napam fire bombings.
                The Gulf war , the decade of low grade war by Bush and clinton and the Irqi war and the occupation (200k to 1 million) have caused predominent civilian death.
                Million have died in Rawanda and Kosavo, again poor civilains.
                The kashmir scene has caused deaths close to 50K.

                In spite of the smart weapons that are paraded with much fanfare, the warth of the military war machine, be it the shock and awe or the white phosphor, has  rained death from the skies on the poor civilians.

                The military engagements have become slaughter of the civilians more than the fight between two armed groups.
                The only exception might be the death of close to 100k Iraqi soldiers who were running away back to Iraq from Kuwait.

                The Middle east conflict in the last sixty years have killed many more inocents than not and will never attain peace through military action

                Your statement that you are an unapologetic supporter  of Isrel's bombing  says it all.
                In my eyes that makes you no different from  what people have been painting the Iran's president to be.
                Civilian death is not the regrettable event. It is the war that is regrettable
                If you think one war is a just war, every war is justifyable war in the eyes of the perp.

                Wars are never a long term solution.

                The only way to decrease the violance, misery and death caused by wars is to have no wars at all.

                Start looking for equatable sharing of world's wealth, resorces,land and food. Burn down the barriers of hate, greed, xenophobia and put down not fan the flames of religious, racial , ethenic and class hatred and fear.
                Peace

                American dream is a myth!

                by brown american on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:23:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  But Israel has no right to "allow" or "disallow" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Terra Mystica

                anything WRT the Palestinians.

                Seriously, the Palestinians are supposed to be happy that Israel magnanimously deigns to temporarily subjugate them slightly less harshly?

                It's precisely that attitude that ensures that the rocket attacks will continue.

                "Great warrior!?" (laughs) "Wars not make one great." -Yoda

                by VictorLaszlo on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:03:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Israel never invaded? (0+ / 0-)

            interesting take on history, friend.

            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

            by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:10:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually it doesn't apply to George Bush either. (0+ / 0-)

            An assassination attempt against an American president should qualify as an attack.

        •  Good point. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, Lepanto, shiobhan

          It's always seemed to me that neocon foreign policy has been based on the premise. "Let's do things like the Israelis, because it's worked so great for them."

          Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

          by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:39:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd put that the other way around (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth

          Israel's government depends on the United States for strong support even when it can't get it from Israelis let alone Palestinians.

          They say you have to be carefully taught to hate. In this particular case that teaching has been perfected over millenia, going back before there were Palestinians, Crusaders, Persians, Sea People or for that matter Jews.

          I can understand the conflicts in the north with Lebanon and Syria where water rights provide something tangible to fight over, but what is there in the desert of the Gaza strip thats worth people dying over?

          Ha'mas is fighting for control of its airspace, territorial water, maritime access and borders so they can have enough stability to engage in commerce and have a life.

          Israel is fighting to prevent Ha'mas from existing because they see them as enemies on their border.

          I expect that if the Zionists in Israel should think back on their own history and remember a time when they were the ones fighting the British with acts of terror trying to gain their independence and right to exist they would understand Ha'mas better.

          Maybe the solution would be to fall back on the premise that you do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Impeach, Incarcerate

          by rktect on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 05:56:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Philip Weiss, to his honor, has been blogging (8+ / 0-)

        about this for a long time on Mondoweiss.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:44:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's because (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TLS66, Karmafish, Emet, charliehall

        they (american liberals) disagree with you on this issue, that's because American liberals agree with Israel on these issue, that's because the views on the I/P conflict promoted by you and quite a number of others on this forum are considered fringe and extremist not only by the american public, not only by the republicans, not only by AIPAC members but even by the majority of american liberals. Oh and lest I forget virtually all democratic elected officials also disagree with you on this issue.

      •  We are (9+ / 0-)

        undergoing our own horror. We have an even worse beast to fight david.. Bush and the gop have taken this nation as close to being a new Third Reich as possible without the final step. We are winning that war but it is hard to focus on other noble fights when you are fighting to save everything you believe in.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever TJ

        by cdreid on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:55:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe people are sick of this bullshit, hence do (16+ / 0-)

        not write about it?

        I went from middle school to high school in 1975 - I/P debates were ALWAYS part of our government classes ...

        along with peace in Northern Ireland ...

        and the Congo ...

        how about this --

        on each side of all these and any issue there are the 90%+++ who just want to live,

        and then there is some murderous bunch of fucking scum who get to be in charge while everyone is fighting THERFORE the fighting continues,

        so unless your plan figures out how to permanently jail the fucking murderous scum

        what the hell is going to change?

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:19:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Christopher Day, crankyinNYC

          If you don't like the icky parts of grass roots movements, what the hell are you doing here?

          These things take time.  It took 100 years from the end of the Civil War until the Voting Rights Act was passed.

          Gandhi was working for 20 or 30 years.

          Calling it bullshit and stomping away never changed a thing.  Going back into the fire and the hard fight again and again, even when it seems impossible and futile.

          That changes the world.

          -Rev

          "While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free" -Eugene V Debs

          by RevolutionRock on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 04:10:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  WHERE is my Tofu Hair Shirt! WOW! How About (0+ / 0-)

            Grassroots is HUGE waste of fucking time cuz the first 3 to 6 hours of ANY month of participation is waste of time in fucking meetings!

            http://www.liemail.com/...

            NOW - ANOTHER REASON so much time is wasted - personnel turnover!

            why do people turn over so much? lots of reasons, 3 key reasons:

            1. they have to waste so much time to do so little,
            1. they got holier than thou hair shirt fucks LIKE YOU chastizing them cuz they're sick of wasting their goddam time!
            1. they got a REAL job which sucks the life outta them,

            and if they don't do the real job they're living under the bridge,

            (shh! don't tell that to the hairshirt fucks, most of whom are trustafarians)

            so there is the THIRD kick on the crotch on saving the world.

            go piss up a rope hair shirt pain in the ass.

            rmm.

            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 04:39:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What exactly is a hair shirt? (3+ / 0-)

              Grassroots works.

              Or did Paul Wellstone never win a Senate seat.  Did  the people of Montgomery never come together to desegregate the buses.  Cesar Chavez was in Washington alone.

              When it doesn't work there's a number of reasons.  Time get's wasted in meetings because people don't plan for them enough or set up a hierarchy in the meeting.  That's not to say that meetings are useless.  Discussion needs to happen within any democratic movement, it justs needs to be more efficient.

              People don't stay on.  That's true.  The reason comes down to this, people aren't engaged.  Volunteering is made into work.  No one wants to work more.  It can be made rewarding, it can be made 'not-work' it's just not something that happens all the time.

              It's hardly perfect, but it's the way that's worked for almost two centuries now, so pardon me while I refine and make what works work better, even if it takes a while.

              -Rev

              "While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free" -Eugene V Debs

              by RevolutionRock on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:10:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  surreal. (8+ / 0-)

        Many big progressive bloggers have already stated that they don't write about this issue, using some bullshit rationalization or another.

        To this day - that "rationalization" is absurd. More than ever.  

        Those same progressive bloggers have no problem shredding apart their own government, the United States of America.  
        Ripping a new hole into the head of the Neocons who make our policies.
        Fine with me. It's what we do .
        Not buying into the black and white crap.
        The we're right, you're wrong.
        You kill. Bad. We kill. Good.
        Crap that it's doled out.

        We spend a lot of time in the progressive blogosphere doing just that.

        But when it comes to I/P issues - they offer some cowardly explanation on why they have to keep silent?

        And even that we are afraid to address.
        Their explanations.  
        Seriously - why, why, why?

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:35:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because if they say anything even (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LABobsterofAnaheim, Just Bob

          remotely good about Israel they'll get screamed at by anti-Zionists calling them "right-wing Zionist thugs," or whatever.

          "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

          by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:52:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But if you say anything against Israel, (7+ / 0-)

            the ADL starts screaming "Anti-Semitism" (except in the case of Noam Chomsky, who is described as self-loathing).

            •  The problem is not "criticism" of Israel. (0+ / 0-)

              The problem is a small number of highly vocal anti-Zionist do nothing but vilify and demonize.

              That's not criticism and it's not hard to see how, after awhile, it comes to look like something other than criticism.

              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

              by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:14:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kind of like our "open borders" crowd (2+ / 0-)

                They throw donuts at anyone whose opinion they do not like.

                Describing the relationship between Israel and the United States as that of a parasite and a host is clinically accurate, but political arsenic.

                Sadly, our inability to detach ourselves from Israel keeps us from being an honest power-broker and agent for positive change.

                •  the long-term solution from our POV? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Johnny Q

                  Replace oil with biofuels and electric vehicles so we no longer have strategic interests in that part of the world.

                  Offer $1B or so in bribe money, relocation, and new passports to the top leadership of Pakistan in exchange for their nukes and bomb-making equipment. If al Queda wants Afghanistan, let them have it. Not that they'll be able to do much with it.

                  Get our military the hell out of the Middle East. Cut off military aid to everybody in that part of the world.

                  It isn't for us to create and impose solutions for that part of the world, it belongs to the people who live there, not us.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:23:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is no US strategic intrest (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    brown american, Bouldergeist

                    in the survival or not of Israel as a Jewish or Democratic state or both.

                    Alliance with Saudi because of Oil is understandable,
                    Alliance with Bahrain or Qatar for base rights is understandable.
                    Alliance with egypt for access to the canal and ability to use Egyptian troops elsewhere in the Arab world i.e Gulf War 1 is understandable.

                    But Israel is all domestic politics.

                    •  Not to open a can of worms but (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      brown american, drag0n, dansmith17

                      (as non-Jewish American) I've always understood that our "special relationship" with Israel stems from having a huge number of our American Jewish citizens having dual citizenship. There's a part of me that thinks that's cool and neat and there's another part of me that says that sort of thing can lead to trouble down the road, such as when the former mutual interests of the country diverge. Then someone has to start asking "Which country do you support?" How does an American Jew with a dual passport answer that question?

                      If I was a citizen of Israel AND a citizen of the U.S., my perception and judgement of what is going on over there right now might be quite different than someone who is not only not Jewish but has allegiance to only one country.

                      Er, sorry, guess I did open a can of worms.

                      •  That is the can of worms. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nobody at all, Terra Mystica

                        there are a lot of Domestic votes in support of Israel be they Jewish voters some of whom in Israeli terms are to the right of Likud or to the left of Labor, or Christian Zionists who believe in the end times, or simply middle of the road Americans who after years of one sided coverage of English speaking people like us being blown up by brown skinned foreign sounding people are instinctively sympathetic to the side they recognise most.

                        The dual nationality thing is a potential problem at some point.

                        Nations should have permanent interests not permanent allies.

                        If it becomes in the US interest to abandon Israel who would the dual citizens support Israel or the US

                      •  A huge number? (0+ / 0-)

                        Oh, please.

                        •  I don't have statistics but all the Jews I know (0+ / 0-)

                          in St. Louis either have dual citizenship or have plans to get to get it (depending on age.)

                          I have searched for the number but can't find one...which is really strange.

                          •  Really strange (0+ / 0-)

                            It must be because the Jew-controlled media  suppresses the truth.  

                            Right?

                            Perhaps, you can find no data to support your conspiracy theory because -- and I am just going out on a limb here -- there is none.

                          •  Yes, and here's another limb (0+ / 0-)

                            Prominent Americans who hold dual-citizen with Israel:

                            Michael Mukasey, US Attorney General
                            Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security.
                            Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board
                            Paul Wolfowitz, Former Deputy Defense Secretary
                            Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense and Policy Advisor at the Pentagon
                            Edward Luttwak, Member of the National Security Study Group of the Department of Defence at the Pentagon
                            Henry Kissinger
                            Kenneth Adelman, Pentagon advisor and also sits on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board
                            I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's ex-Chief of Staff
                            Robert Satloff, U.S. National Security Council Advisor
                            Elliott Abrams, National Security Council Advisor
                            Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources at the Department of State.
                            Richard Haass, Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and Ambassador at large. He is also Director of National Security Programs and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
                            Robert Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative
                            Ari Fleischer, Ex- White House Spokesman for the Bush (Jr) Administration
                            James Schlesinger, Pentagon advisors, sits on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board
                            David Frum, White House speechwriter
                            Joshua Bolten, White House Deputy Chief of Staff
                            John Bolton, Former UN Representative and Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Bolton is also a Senior Advisor to President Bush.
                            David Wurmser, Special Assistant to John Bolton (above), the under-secretary for arms control and international security.
                            Eliot Cohen, Member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board under Perle
                            Mel Sembler, President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
                            Steve Goldsmithf, Senior Advisor to the President
                            Adam Goldman, White House's Special Liaison to the Jewish Community.
                            Christopher Gersten, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families at HHS.
                            Mark Weinberger, Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs.
                            Samuel Bodman, Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
                            Bonnie Cohen, Under Secretary of State for Management.
                            Ruth Davis, Director of Foreign Service Institute, who reports to the Office of Under Secretary for Management.
                            Daniel Kurtzer, Ambassador to Israel.
                            Cliff Sobel, Ambassador to the Netherlands.
                            Stuart Bernstein, Ambassador to Denmark.
                            Nancy Brinker, Ambassador to Hungary
                            Frank Lavin, Ambassador to Singapore.
                            Ron Weiser, Ambassador to Slovakia.
                            Mel Sembler, Ambassador to Italy.
                            Martin Silverstein, Ambassador to Uruguay.
                            Lincoln Bloomfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.
                            Jay Lefkowitz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
                            Ken Melman, White House Political Director.
                            Brad Blakeman, White House Director of Scheduling.

                            This doesn't give me warm fuzzies. I'd be just as alarmed if this was instead a list of people with both American and Mexican citizenships.

                    •  no, (0+ / 0-)

                      for the USA, Israel is a reliabile ally (of necessity) and a secure base from which we can oversee our current interests in the Middle East and in which the chances of a regime change to a government unfriendly to the US are effectively zero.

                      However, what we need in the Middle East is to render it irrelevant to us, except for trade.

                      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                      by alizard on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:04:55 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  there are no US bases. (0+ / 0-)

                        There is no formal Military alliance.

                        We fought the Cold War for 45 years while treating Israel as an embarrassment through most of it, joint training was rare, port visits of US Navy were rare, though are more common now.

                        We fought the Gulf War again treating Israel as an embarrassment and asking them to keep out.

                        We are fighting now in Iraq and Afghanistan, active Israeli participation would be an embarrassment.

                        If there is an alliance it is one way, US provides Military aid, economic aid, (though not much now) diplomatic support particularly at the UN, and promises Military support if there is ever a total military catastrophe.

              •  It works both ways, and you know it. (9+ / 0-)

                There's a small number of highly vocal folks who I don't even know how to label who see criticism of Israel as an attack on it and who try their very best to vilify and demonize anyone criticizing it.

              •  Bullshit (5+ / 0-)

                The people here who turn into NeoCons the moment the name Israel is mentioned must know these views should be repugnat to the values most people here share, but they blather on anyway.

                (¯`*(¯`*-INAUGURATE-*'¯)*'¯)

                by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:11:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  let them call me names... (3+ / 0-)

              I will simply answer that a decent human being does not do what is being done here.  Period.  I"ll stand by that to the end.  If that makes me anti-Israeli or anti-semitic, let me ask whether there's something about being israeli or semitic that requires engaging in barbaric violence.  I know perfectly well there isn't, but that a substantial group of people love war and they continue this senselessness.  I'd say standing up to those people and with those Israelis and Jews and Palestinians and Arabs who just want to raise their children in peace is both Pro-Semitic and Pro-Palestinian.  

              There are two sides here:  Those who love peace, and those who love war.  Not Israeli and Palestinian.  Hamas and Likud are merely brothers.

              Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

              by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:16:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  goes both ways. (12+ / 0-)

            and that's why this is ridiculous.

            Because if they say anything even (0+ / 0-)
            remotely good about Israel they'll get screamed at by anti-Zionists calling them "right-wing Zionist thugs," or whatever.

            The amount of people who get called anti-semite on here is just as deplorable.
            And that for expressing sympathy and/or compassion for the innocents caught in the crossfire.

            My point is - it should NOT matter.
            Every topic is open for discussion, debate, arguments etc.
            Except for this one.

            "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

            by Christin on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:23:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's amazing how this debate.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            crankyinNYC, mattwb, ancblu

            Seems to drain humans of the ability to think...on both freaking sides. Really.

            Apparently almost everywhere but Israel, the country is either a devil or an angel and there is no point of view between Noam "we've done some bad things so we have forever sacrificed the right to defend ourselves" Chomsky and complete blithering idiots/sociopaths like Mark Steyn and brainless fools like Abe Foxman of the ADL. Israel has a lot to answer for, but so do their enemies. Israel doesn't deliberately kill civilians...yet it has killed thousands of them in the process of targetting their enemies, so it's tragically easy to make the case that they don't particularly mind killing civilians. Obviously, Israeli leaders's mileage is varying. On the other hand, Hamas and similar groups deliberately target civilians, though the actual body count may be lower, people like Mizner always tend to downplay these crimes, perhaps out of a sense that they get played up everywhere else, but it still comes across as double-think.

            Makes me want to make a donation right now to J Street. There is a sensible, progressive course on these matters between AIPAC and the Chomsky crowd. It's never going to be an easy one, of course, but life sucks that way.

            Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

            by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:55:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Israel has delibrately killed civilians (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calidrissp, Terra Mystica

              But so has the U.S. - and on a far grander scale.

              Claiming to be interested in destroying the German ball-bearing plant in WWII, rather than killing the workers, doesn't change the fact that bombing the ball bearing plant was intentionally killing the workers.

              It's much the same when Israel decides to launch rockets into the home of some wanted Hamas bomb maker, knowing his wife and children are there, or blowing a Lebanese bridge knowing its chock full of fleeing civilians.

              Whether or not killing civilians is the objective has nothing to do with whether or not is intentional.  Think of it in terms of a Criminal Trial.

              Did McVeigh intentional kill the kids in the day care center?  I'd say yes.

              That's equally true when Hamas detonates someone on a Bus who is sitting next to a couple of Israeli soldiers on the way home - the intent may be to kill the soldiers, but the killing of the surrounding civilians is certainly intentional.

              •  under international law, that's close... (0+ / 0-)

                There is a right to self defense, but it doesn't give rise to a right to use massively disproportionate force.  Israeli policy has for a long long time gone WAY past any standard of self-defense.  And as you point out, Hamas use of rockets and car bombs goes way past any Palestinian right to self defense.  

                Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:19:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I do agree with part of the argument (0+ / 0-)

              except the differentiation between death of militray personnel and civilians.
              The argument killing military men/women is ok no matter what, is to the advantage to the nations that have power and great military.
              .
              It has always been used through the time but it does not make it right or moral. It is just a myth propagated to serve the purpose of keeping our little wars clean, aseptic and morally right for human race.

              but to the weak, that do not have sophesticated weapons, they use gorilla warefare methods including wiping out the line between the militray personel (who are dehumanized, demonaised (though he or she might be a young 19 year old brother, son, sister of you who happened to be a foot soldier)so killing them become acceptable) and the civilians who they claim are all enemies if you are citizens of an enemey country or belong to the enemy race, religion, ethnic group.So in their eyes killing civilians (soft and easy targets)is no different from killing militray. (EG. People who lived for generations as loving neighbors killed each other overnight at the time of partition in The british India because they were muslims or Hindus)

              The irony is that both sides try very hard to justify, equally grusome killing of another human being.

              We (both sides)have created for the gratification of our moralistic souls that some killings are worse than others. "My killing is moralistic while yours is barberic"

              You could use a drone to take out a wedding party or a nest of terrorists or drop a daisy cutter from heavens or you could behead people on TV or hang them beheaded from the bridge. You could walk into a railway station and kill everyone in site.or tie a bomb to your body and kill a busload of schoolchildern.

              The act of killing remains the same. taking the precious life of another human being.
              The only way around is to shun war, killing and violance at all costs.
              Peace

              American dream is a myth!

              by brown american on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:06:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Bahahaha (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think it's the 10-20% of left-leaning Americans who are critical of Israel that worries them. It's the other 80%, or it's an issue they themselves are afraid to think about because it seems so divisive and complicated.

      •  And while liberals stay silent (7+ / 0-)

        Here's whatMarty Peretz says, coughing up his usual bile, managing not to mention that Israel has blockaded Gaza for months and months.

        So at 11:30 on Saturday morning, according to both the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz, as well as the New York Times, 50 fighter jets and attack helicopters demolished some 40 to 50 sites in just about three minutes, maybe five. Message: do not fuck with the Jews. At roughly noon, another 60 air-attack vehicles went after other Hamas strategic positions. Israeli intelligence reported 225 people dead, mostly Hamas military leaders with some functionaries, besides, and perhaps 400 wounded.  The Palestinians announced 300 dead, probably as a reflex in order to begin their whining about disproportionate Israeli acts of war. And 600 wounded.

        Frankly, I am up to my gullet with this reflex criticism of Israel as going beyond proportionality in its responses to war waged against its population with the undisguised intention of putting an end to the political expression of the Jewish nation....

        If there is a pause and if I were giving advice to the Israelis, this is what I would say to Hamas and to the people of Gaza: "If a rocket or missile is launched against us, if you take captive one of our soldiers (as you have held one for two and a half years), if you raise a new Intifada against us, there will be an immediate response. And it will be very disproportionate. Proportion does not work."

        •  Way to go Marty. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster

          I don't think it could be put any better than that.

          •  War criminal. Pure simple. (3+ / 0-)

            This man is disgusting.

            Frankly, if the policy is to engage in such brutality, then you lose my sympathy in a hurry.

            Why not just use your nuclear arsenal or start building gas chambers.  That'd work too and send the message not to "fuck with the jews" too.  Where do you stop?

            No, such callous disregard for human life is despicable and deserves absolutely every ounce of condemnation humanity has to heap upon it.

            Or perhaps we should talk about Israeli's reflexive whining?  THere's plenty of that.

            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

            by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:22:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  American "progressives" (0+ / 0-)

        I think the criticism of Israel is seen as a radical/far-far-left/anti-semitic position in the US, so many "progressives" avoid thinking about the subject, or find ways to take the non-radical position (excusing Israel's actions in some way).

        Also, many Democrats (not "progressives," but most on sites like this) would fall centrist in European countries. It's not that Americans are inherently righter leaning, it's just America has for long been lead with right-leaning policies (from both Republicans and Democrats). If I identify as Democrat, and my party leaders say support for Israel is unwavering, and they find reasons to excuse Israel's actions, I will likely follow. Again, going back to the first point, if I start to stray, I'll see myself as falling out of the American mainstream and I don't want to have to support an unpopular "radical" position of being critical of Israel.

      •  Eventually it ceases to be news (0+ / 0-)

        You can trace this conflict back to before there were Palestinians, Crusaders, Persians, Sea People or for that matter Jews.

        Moses dragged the sons of Israel through there on their way from Elat north to the kings highway leading to Moab during the Exodus:

        Stations 14-21 follow the border of Edom heading North adjacent to the desert of Sn and then turn east back to Moab and Medeba which is a plateaus of cattle ranges in Jordan.

        The 14th-19th lead North up to Gaza following the western bound of Edom

        1. Hazeroth Nu. 11:35, 12:16, 33:17-18 Between Elat and Kadesh Barnea - -
        1. Rithmah Nu. 33:18-19 Near Kadesh Barnea - -
        1. Rimmon-Perez Nu. 33:19-20 Kadesh Barnea the Brook of Egypt - -
        1. Libnah Nu. 33:20-21 The White land in the West, Libyan Frankincense emporia
        1. Rissah Nu. 33:21-22 a fortified well on the Kings highway
        1. Kehelathah Nu. 33:22-23 The place of gathering antimony on the Kings highway

        The 20th-21st lead East back to Moab following the northern bound of Edom

        1. Mount Shapher Nu. 33:23-24 from Arabic safarya, journey, from safar, departure
        1. Haradah Nu. 33:24-25 the place of departure a place of fear between Mount Shapher and Makhelot near Moab

        That was in a time when Egypt fortified its border with a chain of fortified wells running through Gaza well up into Palestine trying to keep out the rootless vagabonds of the Ha'piru, SA GAZ, and Amurru.

        The landless refugees are still sitting there as the Ha'maz waiting for someone to allow them control of their airspace, territorial water, maritime access and borders.

        Why all the fighting over what is basically a resourceless desert? There is no oil there, no water, no diamonds or precious metals or sacred holy places. Most times there isn't even any food.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Impeach, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 05:30:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  warning: don't critic israel or jews- it will not (0+ / 0-)

      tolerated. did'nt you know that- you will surely be called anti-semetic or worse.

    •  Eye witness account (7+ / 0-)

      The blog Isreality contains this terrifying and tragic account by a woman on the ground in Gaza.

      Safa, a young woman friend in Gaza City, shares her first impressions of this morning's airstrikes which killed more than 229 people and wounded at least 700 more. The "lull" is well and truly over. This is the most carnage in a single day of conflict for decades, according to local reports.

         Gaza Today

         I've never seen anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I'm in the middle of it and a few hours have already passed.

      I think 15 locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza City. [some Israelis sources said 150 targets were struck] The images are probably not broadcast in US media.

      There are piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you look at them you can see that a few of the young men are still alive, someone lifts a hand here, and another raise his head there. They probably died within moments because their bodies are burned, most have lost limbs, some have their guts hanging out and they're all lying in pools of blood.

      Outside my home, (which is close to the universities) a bomb fell on a large group of young men, university students, they'd been warned not to stand in groups, it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. This was about 3 hours ago 7 were killed, 4 students and 3 of our neighbors kids, teenagers who were from the same family (Rayes) and were best friends.

      As I'm writing this I heard a funeral procession go by outside, I looked out the window and it was the 3 Rayes boys, They spent all their time together when they were alive, and now their sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14 year old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn't spoken a word since.
         A little further down the street about an hour earlier 3 girls happened to be passing by one of the locations when a bomb fell. The girls bodies were torn into pieces and covered the street from one side to the other.

         These are just a couple of images that i've witnessed. In all the locations people are going through the dead terrified of recognizing a family member among them. The city is in a state of alarm, panic and confusion, cell phones aren't working, hospitals and morgues are backed up and some of the dead are still lying in the streets with their families gathered around them, kissing their faces, holding on to them. Outside the destroyed buildings old men are kneeling on the floor weeping. Their slim hopes of finding their sons still alive vanished after taking one look at what had become of their office buildings.

         At least 160 people dead in today's air raid. That means 160 funeral processions, a few today, most of them tomorrow probably. To think that yesterday these families were worried about food and heat and electricity. At this point I think they actually all of us would gladly have Hamas sign off every last basic right we've been calling for the last few months forever if it could have stopped this from ever having happened.

         The bombing was very close to my home. Most of my extended family live in the area. My family is ok, but 2 of my uncles' homes were damaged, another relative was injured.
         I don't know why I'm sending this. It doesn't even begin to tell the story on any level. Just flashes of thing that happened today that are going through my head.

      •  And on another thread... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, qi motuoche, Johnny Q

        An Israel apologist who will go unnamed considers this to be just collateral damage.

        It's like listening to the neo-cons on other boards trying to justify the deaths of so many thousands of Iraqi women and children.

        How quickly the soul disappears when blind nationalism rears its ugly head.  

    •  Gideon Levy may have good intentions, but he (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calidrissp

      often ends up spreading misinformation.

      For example, in his piece, Talk With Hamas, posted in Haaretz on 12/21/08, he states the following:

      But Israel and the world don't like Hamas. They want to overthrow it, but their diabolical scheme isn't working out. The two-year siege and boycott that included starvation, blackouts and bombardments have produced no sign that Hamas is weaker. On the contrary: The ceasefire was violated first by Israel with its unnecessary operation of blowing up a tunnel.

      In fact, Israel did not violate the ceasefire first. Israel blew up the tunnel in early November. Whereas, the ceasefire was actually broken on 6/24/08 by the Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, when the group fired three rockets into southern Israel. Israel refrained from military retaliation but did decide to "shut the crossings cutting off basic supplies that had been increased as part of the truce deal."

      Hamas promised to rein in the Islamic Jihad, which is funded by Iran and Syria. However, by 8/28/08, at least 40 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel.

      The point of my response to your comment, sortalikenathan is that there is far  more going on between Gaza and Israel than meets the eye.  Whilst Levy and some of the others quoted by Mitchell in his blog have some good points, none of them are presenting all of the facts. Levy in particular often presents information that is either outright wrong, or is misleading. Interesting commentary hereabout Levy.

  •  One of the most absurd aspects... (101+ / 0-)

    ...of US attitudes about Israel and the hysteria here that greets criticism of its policies is that, within Israel, critical views are routinely expressed in the mainstream that would be labelled 'anti-Israeli,' 'anti-Semitic' or worse were they expressed here.

    -7.75, -7.64 www.politicalcompass.org "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:39:31 AM PST

    •  do you feel this is because (8+ / 0-)

      America does not want to be perceived as in any way prejudiced?

      My family is a religious hybrid (Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Jews and Pagans run amok) and all have various opinions...

      To me it seems clear this is just the latest exchange in what has been an undeclared war for many years. It almost doesn't matter who's first, since you can just go back to six months, a year, two, ten...

      The point is not who started it, but how we're going to finish it.

    •  It's an argument of strawmen on both sides (69+ / 0-)

      If you're shocked by Israel's actions and believe that their military strikes are not at all reciprocal, you're an anti-Semite Hamas-coddler.

      If you point out how bad Hamas is, you're either a damned dirty Zionist or you've been reading a media completely in the tank for Israel and Zionism

      I believe there's another way, and I'm glad to see, in the past two days, that there are others that agree with me: the problem is a failure of leadership among both Hamas and Israel, and their allies (the United States, in particular).

    •  Criticism is one thing (9+ / 0-)

      But lately a lot of what has been posted here is far more than basic criticism. Diaries calling Israel a terrorist state are not criticism. Diaries calling this a Palestinian genocide are not criticism.

      In each of these diaries people bitch about being attacked for their criticism. Yet no one here is saying the death of civilians is a good thing. Most people here do agree that Israel's responses are often overreactions.

      Yet it is anti-semitic and anti-israel to suggest that Israelis are brutal, bloodthirsty murderers who hate all arabs and get some sick pleasure out of killing innocent civilians.

      And it is anti-semitic and anti-israel to suggest that terrorism is acceptable when its perpetrated against Israelis and Jews.

      And that is happening a lot here.

      •  Whoa. (16+ / 0-)

        And it is anti-semitic and anti-israel to suggest that terrorism is acceptable when its perpetrated against Israelis and Jews.

        And that is happening a lot here.

        I want links.  Cause if you don't got 'em you just went way over the line.  

        Second-  Is it possible that any person whether Israeli or Palistinian who kills, bombs, blows up another person is NOT a bloodthirsty murderer?  

        The future will be better tomorrow. -D.Quayle

        by word player on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:43:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  legitimizing hamas is doing just that (0+ / 0-)

          other than a few crazy comments that would take me hours to find, few of them would say it explicitly (though there were a few that did).

          but suggesting that hamas is legitimate and is just as bad as the IDF is just that mean. by my comment, i didn't mean that many people here think killing other people is acceptable, i meant that they see terrorism as a legitimate form of fighting and equate it to military action.

          and no, i dont think that anyone who kills is a bloodthirsty murderer. I know people in the IDF who have killed people, and I don't believe they are bloodthirsty nor do i considered them murderers.

          I'm sure their are soldiers who get a sick pleasure from hunting palestinians, but that isn't widespread, unlike among palestinian terrorists.

          •  There's a fundamental contradition (20+ / 0-)

            I mean, you're throwing your hands up in the air and decrying anti-Semetism, and then, in the very same breath, while rebutting anti-Semetic claims, you say something blatantly anti-Arab

            I'm sure their are soldiers who get a sick pleasure from hunting palestinians, but that isn't widespread, unlike among palestinian terrorists.

            And your argument that there is a difference between terrorist attacks and military attacks is specious at best. Just because one has laser-precision and one doesn't does NOT legitimize one or the other, as you seem to suggest.

            That's the problem with blindly supporting a group rather than a principle. Hypocrisy ensues.

            •  Anti-Arab? Huh? (0+ / 0-)

              Are you suggesting that Palestinian terrorists represent Arabs?

              I am certainly very against Palestinian terrorists. I think they get a sick pleasure from killing innocent Jews. If that makes me anti-arab then so be it.

              The anti-semitism is in the classification of palestinian terrorism as somehow different than other terrorism. The only difference is that it is directed against israelis. If you somehow believe that palestinian terrorism is bad yet better or more justified than other terrorism, I think that's anti-semitism.

              And this argument that keeps getting made that the only difference between military attacks and terrorist attacks are "laser-precision" is ridiculous.

              Terrorists craft their weapons to deliberately kill and injure as many people as possible as possible. They not only target civilians, but they use their own children as weapons.

              The IDF does not point their weapons at children sitting in a pizza parlor. They do not throw grenades into crowded malls. They don't get on a bush, pull out a pistol, and systemically assassinate anyone on the bus.

              This isn't a matter of precision, its a matter of intension.

              Military action is based on strategic tactics intend to protect others. Potential terrorists are targeted. Weapons are destroyed. Training is disrupted.

              Along the way, there are unnecessary deaths. Targets are mistaken. Soldiers can get sloppy. Its not excusable and the military has a moral obligation to fix their practices.

              But they are not terrorists. The IDF is not a terrorist organization. They do not deliberately target civilians, they do not hand weapons to their children to fight or use them as human shields.

          •  Links please. Who's legitimizing Hamas, how? (4+ / 0-)
            •  Hamas is a complex organization (4+ / 0-)

              with a strong socio-political component in addition to its para-military arm.

              Much of its popular support in Gaza stems from its contributions to the social welfare -- food, education and health care services. Hamas, as a political entity, has parleyed such support into electoral gains that confers legitimacy ... although brilliant American diplomats such as Condeleeza Rice have later opined that no-one could have predicted that.

              Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

              by ancblu on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:08:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh wah. (0+ / 0-)

            It's too hard too find facts to back up my specious argument.  Wouldn't you feel more at home at Redstate?

            The future will be better tomorrow. -D.Quayle

            by word player on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:09:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you really need me to find this for you? (0+ / 0-)

              You can read the same thousands of posts yourself and find what your looking for.

              Or, since we're both lazy, we could look up just to another response to my comment.

              jackbauer has nicely provided us with this:

              And your argument that there is a difference between terrorist attacks and military attacks is specious at best.

              really? there isn't a clear difference between terrorism and military action. to me, that seems an awful lot like legitimizing terrorism.

              and that comment got 20 recommendations.

              There are clearly a lot of people here that either don't take terrorism very seriously or else believe that all military action is unjustified (but only seem to make much of a fuss about it when israel engages in it)

              •  no, just *reckless* military action. (0+ / 0-)

                Here's the deal.  well justified and proportionate military action may be acceptible.  When a few rockets launched across a border provokes a devastating whole scale bombing campgain that does billions of dollars of damage and kills thousands of innocents, or a potential invasion of forty years ago is repeatedly used as justification for lobbing artillery shells into heavily populated areas knowing damn well (and apparently not caring) that a lot of civilians are going to be killed, particularly when the stated policies are determined to show to the populace not to oppose Israel, or to punish them for voting for Hamas, or to break their spirit, then yes, there's next to no difference between that kind of military action which clearly targets a civilian populace out of frustration or bigotry or whatever and terrorism.  

                So, no one is legitimizing terrorism, we are delegitimizing Israel's brutal military policies in the ongoing occupation of the West Bank and standing firm on the notion that the targetting of civilians is criminal and despicable, regardless of whether Hamas or the IDF does it.  

                I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  both sides are beneath contempt here because of their disgusting conduct.  Go ahead, call me anti-semitic.  I don't give a shit.  I'll call you a callous inhuman heartless bastard.  fair?

                Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:01:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What is proportionate military action? (0+ / 0-)

                  Ironically, you sound like your talking about revenge. An eye for an eye, right?

                  That doesn't make any sense. If a country is under attack, they shouldn't just respond to each individual attack, thats just stupid.

                  Can you imagine if the US was attacked from a country on its border? Would you say, hey, lets just do the same thing back to them, and then wait for another attack, and repeat? no.

                  Defending a country means eliminating a threat. If Israel is being attacked by suicide bombers and rocket attacks, it has ever right to do more than just respond to each individual attack. It can and should locate and destroy weapons, and kill terrorists.

                  Unfortunately, terrorists put innocent civilians in harms way. They put their weapons in hospitals. They make it impossible for the IDF to destroy the weapons and the terrorists without killing civilians.

          •  so is legitimizing Israel, then. (0+ / 0-)

            IDF has been involved in a lot of random murders and a long enough pattern of "pleasure from hunting palestinians" for it not be called widespread.  

            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

            by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:28:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

              You believe that bullshit?

              •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

                There's adequate evidence that this has been going on for quite a while.  Whether it's policy or merely tolerated seems to vary from report to report, but too many have come from former IDF soldiers to ignore.  Ironically, I don't think I've heard much from Palestinian source, presumably because they're not really in a position to know, not being on the inside.  You can choose to ignore it if it makes you sleep better at night, but those of us on the outside see merely a brutal war conducted by two reprehensible parties.

                Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:53:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Policy, are you kidding me? (0+ / 0-)

                  It is not the policy of the IDF to target civilians. You're welcome to believe that there's some sort of conspiracy going on, and that the IDF really just wants to kill  all the Palestinians, but its just stupid.

                  I'm sure there are the reports you speak of. People have opinions, people have different accounts of events. You will always find people who believe that some else is going on.

                  But the fact of the matter is, it just doesn't make sense. Go to Israel, speak with Israelis, most of whom have served in the IDF. You don't have to be such an outsider. See this for yourself. Most of these people are genuine people who want peace. There are nuts, of course, but Israelis want this to be over as much as you do.

                  I can't speak for Palestinians, but I believe a whole of of them feel the same way.  But I don't think the suicide bombers feel that way. Suicide bombing is not a military action. Terrorism is not a war tactic to defend Palestine. Terrorism targets civilians and has no military goal. The IDF's goals are strategic and are meant to stop terrorism. They will end when peace is achieved. I can't say the same thing about terrorism.

              •  and you seem to believe Israel's conduct (0+ / 0-)

                is in any way justifiable.  shocking.

                Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:01:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  sorry your shocked, but i do. (0+ / 0-)

                  I think Israel's conduct is very justifiable. I won't defend every action, nor withhold criticism of tactics that I find overly aggressive or sloppy, but I certainly believe that defending the state of Israel is a justifiable.

                  •  defending the state is one thing... (0+ / 0-)

                    rapacious brutality to largely defenseless people under Israeli control or within its power (see Lebanon) is not defending the state of Israel.  Israel frequently goes far far beyond self defense into an attempt to be punitive or take revenge.  That's not self-defense, its vengeful aggression and is indefensible.

                    Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                    by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:25:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, they don't. (0+ / 0-)

                      The IDF does go to far, but it is not for revenge. When the IDF responds to an attack, they don't just retaliate. That would be revenge. They push further in order to help protect against future attacks.

                      Honestly, what is the alternative, respond to each individual attack and basically accept further casualties on its side. Thats a piss poor way to protect a country.

                      •  The massive destruction of Lebanon (0+ / 0-)

                        was utterly unrelated to the lobbing of rockets into Northern Israel.  up to 2,000 dead, a million displaced, and a billion dollars of damage spread clear to the farthest northern end of the country.   Those targets had nothing to do with Hezbollah.  Under Israeli theories, I would be justified in bulldozing your house if a burglar fleeing police happened to go through it.  That's crazy, and sure does not credibly relate to "self-defense," leaving retaliation and lashing out as the only plausible explanations.  I mean, what's next, using nuclear weapons against Beirut because htere might be a handful of fighters there?

                        I think a country that kills thousands to try to protect against one casualty to be incredibly barbaric.  Yes, there is a war that results, in part, from the unwillingness of Israel to pursue peace in any meaningful way. (of which the cessation of settlement activity is an absolute minimum under any international standard).  The actions are so extraordinarily disporportionate and the justifications so feeble.

                        Yes, either accept those casualties.  War involves casualties.  So, either accept them as part of Israel's ongoing war effort and stop inflicting suffering on innocents,  or make a real effort to make peace.  IN the end, what I and others think makes almost no difference, only what Israelis and Palestinians do matters, and I see almost nothing laudable from any corner there.  The moral path is clear, but fat chance that Israel will ever follow it.  (nor would the Palestinians or the Americans, no matter how much campaigning we do as citizens.  The forces of war-lovers are far too strong.)

                        Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                        by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:46:37 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Apparently harboring terrorists is ok? (0+ / 0-)

                          Lebanon harbored terrorists. To suggest that Israel was not acting in its best interest by eliminating threats in Lebanon is just plain false. You can say it was disproportionate, fine. That's completely based on perspective. But it is not unrelated. The IDF wasn't just having some shooting practice.

                          •  blah, blah, blah... (0+ / 0-)

                            oh, you have a terrorist, therefore we'll raze your whole country.  On that logic, I can't see that any attacks against Israel (or the US) wouldn't be justified as well.

                            Frankly, I really just don't care anymore.  Mostly, I just wish the world would stop bothering, since it's an utterly pointless thing to worry about.  Folks there like killing each other.  what else is new? big damn deal.

                            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                            by Guinho on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:04:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  what a crock of shit. (0+ / 0-)

                            one terrorist? are you kidding me? is that what you really think this is about? Hamas is a terrorist organization, so is Hezbollah. They are networks of terrorists intent on destroying the state of israel. its easy enough for you to say they should be ignored.

                            if you want someone to blame in this mess, you can blame the terrorists. The willingness or unwillingness of the palestinian leadership or israeli leadership to proceed with peace talks is irrelevant.

                            Peace cannot be achieved with widespread terrorism as a constant threat.

                            Go ahead and joke about terrorism, pretend it is just a little annoyance. I for one hope that Israel wipes out Hamas, because only then will there be any chance at peace.

                          •  so is IDF... (0+ / 0-)

                            I do blame the terrorists, both the Hamas ones and the Likud one.  Neither cares a rats ass about innocent bystanders.  Brutality will not end this ever, and five hundred years from now we'll all still be having to deal with this shit.  

                            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

                            by Guinho on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:48:30 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Likud terrorists? (0+ / 0-)

                            If Likud was sending suicide bombers into gaza I certainly would blame them as well. But they arn't, and the IDF has not participated in terrorism.

        •  Well, if all people who kill others in war (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karmafish, dancewater, charliehall

          are bloodthirsty murderers, than I guess that would hold true for American soldiers as well, wouldn't it?

        •  yes (0+ / 0-)

          Is it possible that any person whether Israeli or Palistinian who kills, bombs, blows up another person is NOT a bloodthirsty murderer?

          Yes. I know plenty of IDF veterans.

          I've never met a Hamas terrorist, though. If I had, I probably would not be sitting here; I'd be six feet under.

          •  Your point is unprovable (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            unless you are dead.  I get what you are trying to say though.  You are unbiased and all Israelis are good people defending their homes and all Palestinians are blood thirsty terrorists.  

            The future will be better tomorrow. -D.Quayle

            by word player on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:07:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Israelis are good people defending their country (0+ / 0-)

              Just as U.S. troops are good people fighting for their country, as a general idea (of course not all of either group are good people).

              No one has argued here that all Palestinians are bad people. But I do believe that nearly all Palestinian TERRORISTS are bad people. I think it takes an awfully bad person to strap a bomb to themselves and walk into a crowded area fully of civilians, not soldiers, and blow all these people up.

              Palestinians are suicide bombing because they lack the technology israel has. If they were, they would be bombing military outposts, not malls and restaurants.

          •  then why are the death tolls (0+ / 0-)

            in this conflict, going back decades, so lop-sided? (hint, way more Palestinians dead)

            It was only a couple of flipper babies!

            by itsbenj on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:31:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  read down the thread (0+ / 0-)

          you'll find them here and all over this blog

      •  Some Israelis are (0+ / 0-)

        and some Palestinians are the inverse.

        If you have the same objections to the rhetoric of "Bloodthirsty Palestinians", fair enough.

      •  and it is a terrorist act... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MindRayge

        to inflict random death on civilians with the objective to bring about a political solution to your liking.  That description fits Hamas' suicide bombings and the random Israelis bombs equally.  I suppose Israelis are just a lot better at it, but the spirit is identical.  

        The fact that Hamas act with intent, while Israel with knowingly recklessness does not impress me whatsoever.

        Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

        by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:27:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You don't find such opposition views in Gaza (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66, Karmafish

      because Hamas would shoot whoever expressed them.

      The two countries are not equivalent.

      •  views (6+ / 0-)

        I have heard that in Israel, you can walk by a cofee shop and hear heated discussions on the relative benefts of land for peace vs. turning Arabia and Persia into glass parking lots. That kind of vigorous debate can't take place in Gaza or here in the USA. Perhaps KOS is becoming an exeption, but for the most part, insults come out fast to anyone that suggests that there may be another way for Israel than bombs.

        Please encourage all to vote by absentee ballot

        by Killer on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:05:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Stop trolling charliehall (11+ / 0-)

        War is profitable on both sides. Hamas get to stay in power, and those in Israeli gov't. who want war stay in power. Has not the Bush Adm. shown how fear can be used to arrest the will of an nation. The 60-70% of Israelis in the middle (according to their own polls) want a 2 state solution. So do most palestinians. But we only hear from the fringe elements in MSM. It is the fringe elements in both gov'ts that don't want peace.

        And please don't prop up Netanyahu. He is Israel's version of a neocon -- in fact all of the Likud party is neoconic.

        Some people are like Slinkies . . . Not really good for anything . . . . . But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

        by sephius1 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:21:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  seconded (0+ / 0-)

          trolls get out of here, you don't help your own cause with this drivel.

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:32:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Netanyahu is no neocon (4+ / 0-)

          I don't know that there is an equivalent neoconservative movement in Israel, but if there is, Bibi isn't one of them. He's a dyed in the wool Greater Israel supporter whose "economic peace" plan for the Palestinians is a continuation of the occupation as described and implemented by Moshe Dayan after the Six Day War. If anything he is a true Israeli paleoconservative, and there is no equivalent neoconservative movement in Israeli politics.

          Likud and Netanyahu are hardly reflective of the Israeli population's opinion about settlement and occupation. However, the Eretz Israel crowd counts on a deep vein of support from the settlers and their children in the IDF. The confluence of the military and the settlement enterprise has made for a largely extralegal Israeli citizenry in the population of the settlements, and the children of the first and second generation of settlers are fuelled by the messianic dreams of their forebears. This is why a very, very small portion of the Israeli citizenry - the settlers - wield such disproportionate power within the State itself.

          Israel's character and soul cannot survive much more of the settlement enterprise. It certainly cannot continue to call itself a democratic Jewish state so long as it is ruling the Arabs of the Territories with a military government and settling their lands.

          Calling Fatah "collaborators" and "an American-Israeli client state" is a cruel and combative way of papering over an important truth: Fatah recognizes the right of Israel to exist, and has made hard choices and hard compromises to match. So did Labor, and so did Kadima. When Ariel Sharon evacuates settlements wholesale and refers to the Israeli presence in the Territories as an Occupation, we learn that even the most ardent Eretz Israel supporter can eventually see the necessity of leaving the Territories and ending the Occupation.

          Hamas on the other hand is either actively or ignorantly giving Likud and their supporters more and more ammunition to continue the Occupation indefinitely. The Israeli right can and will continue to talk about how "evacuating Gush Katif did not stop the attacks on Sderot" and other appeals to fright and terror. It's quite similar to the rhetoric of "fighting them over there instead of over here" that was popular with the American right after 9/11: it doesn't make much sense to the reasoned mind, but to the frightened centrist, appeals of strength and easily repeated platitudes can do things like get George W. Bush re-elected, or resurrect Bibi's political career.

          Likud and Hamas are made for each other. The Land of Israel is under the control of an Arab strongman organization bent on the destruction of the State of Israel, and a religious-military enterprise bent on ruling what they feel is the Land God gave to them. A centrist majority on both sides of the conflict finds itself oppressed, occupied, and imprisoned on the one hand, and terrified and manipulated on the other.

          The hard facts are that the State of Israel is not going away, and that the Palestinian Arabs cannot kill all the Jews in the Land or drive them out. Conversely, the State of Israel cannot perpetually occupy a people under Apartheid conditions and still call itself a democratic Jewish state. It cannot absorb them and maintain its Jewish character, and it cannot kill them all or drive them out.

          One day perhaps there can be One State. I would love to see one state in the Land of Israel with Arabs and Jews living and working together. But until there are two (or three) states at peace, neither people will be able to look at the other with anything but hate. There must be an end to the Occupation, and there must be an end to the Resistance, before any real peace can ever be achieved. And on both sides are powerful people whose power and influence are dependent on the continuation of this pain and suffering.

          I suppose I should turn this into a diary.

    •  Well, there are a # of posters here (0+ / 0-)

      Who's style of argumentation and sometimes even stated positions are that Israel has no right to exist.

      That's not one you find very often in Israel, except amongst the ultra-religious fundies.

      And it taints any other viewpoint that they'd have, I often find myself saying "I'd agree with you if you weren't such an asshole".

      •  I think there's a famous pol arguing that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob

        in Israel.  He's not a pol anymore, though.

        He has a new book out (in English) and here's a profile from the NY Times:

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        Vote for yourself at www.ni4d.us

        by rossl on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:34:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's in France now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Captain C, rossl, laurnj

          Where lots of people who don't believe Israel should exist reside.

          He's also a rarity..  most anti-zionist israelis are religious nuts who think it's sacrilege to create the state for some reason or other.  I don't know the theology.

          By and large, the left and center in Israel are behind a 2-state settlement with peace and a continued existence for their country.  There's where most of the so-called "pro israeli zionist oppressors" on dkos stand, which strikes me as a reasonable position.

          •  I don't think I know enough (4+ / 0-)

            to really have an opinion on a solution, but to me it seems like the best steps forward are the groups that do peaceful outreach to Palestinians with Israelis.  That is, they get groups of Israelis to Palestine or vice versa and they just learn about each other or they do a project in the community or something like that.  They teach both sides that the other side is just comprised of people and not enemies.

            Vote for yourself at www.ni4d.us

            by rossl on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:43:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah, that's helpful, but (0+ / 0-)

              the situation is dictated by those with guns or the ability to enflame the situation somehow, whether it's hamas militants or crazy settlers.

              I think a political solution needs to be imposed and give it a generation or two to get some distance, along with your outreach programs.  Otherwise the craziest 20% on both sides can always screw it up

      •  Lets see some examples (0+ / 0-)

        (¯`*(¯`*-INAUGURATE-*'¯)*'¯)

        by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:13:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, you know, really want me to name names? (0+ / 0-)

          litho for one said he's against a state of israel existing (although he's fine if you subsume it into arab territory so that they're the majority of the citizens, and assume they'll vote to continue to call it israel)

          heathlander i'm not sure if he ever went on the record as saying so but he consistently demonizes israel to the point where it makes any justifiable position he holds a coincidence

          and then there's a bunch of people who were banned at some point or other and come back saying ridiculous stuff every so often

      •  Count me in. (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't have a right to exist.

        -9.63, 0.00
        Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from idiotic American minds.

        by nobody at all on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:04:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  people have been banned here (0+ / 0-)

      for nothing more than quoting from Israeli newspapers . . .

  •  hamas thrives on misery. (22+ / 0-)

    RAFAH, Egypt (AFP) — Egypt on Sunday blamed Hamas for not letting hundreds of Palestinians wounded by Israeli air strikes leave the Gaza Strip for treatment, with dozens of empty ambulances waiting on the border.

    More than 270 Palestinians have been killed and 600 wounded since Israel began hammering the Gaza Strip with air strikes on Saturday, but no wounded have yet left via Rafah, the Hamas-ruled territory's only Arab border crossing.

    "No one has come in, we don't know why they're closed on the other side," a senior border security official told AFP. Several plane- and truck-loads of aid are also waiting to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, a security official said.

    •  I read that article also bugscuffle... (4+ / 0-)

      I don't understand Hamas' actions regarding that situation.

      Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

      by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:44:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As bugscuffle said (17+ / 0-)

        "hamas thrives on misery". The logic behind not letting people leave to be treated is the same logic that is used to encourage placing military targets like rocketlaunchers in the middle of residential neighborhoods. Hamas benefits from the kind of suffering that is seen here. They want to be able to point to civilian casualties and suffering as evidence of how evil Israel is (and of course, Israel still plays right into this and attacks anyway).

        Personally I don't know exactly what the right solution is. I'm personally one of those people (and an American Jew) who believes that Israel certainly has a right to defend itself, but actions like this don't seem to accomplish anything and take the moral high ground away. It seems like if you know that the main point of the rocket attacks is to draw a response, and you know that they place military targets in residential areas in the hopes that you will kill civilians, that you are only feeding into what they want by attacking anyway. Again though, perhaps it's easier for me to say that as an American pretty far away from the day to day issues. I don't know if the option is to simply ignore it either, but I have to assume there is some more productive response that is possible.

        •  well Israel has warned Gazan civilians to stay (6+ / 0-)

          away from military targets and infrastructure. The overwhelming majority of casualties have been Hamas military and security forces.

          Israeli warplanes rained more than 100 tons of bombs on security sites in Hamas-ruled Gaza Saturday and early Sunday, killing at least 230 people in one of the Mideast conflict's bloodiest assaults in decades. The government said the open-ended campaign was aimed at stopping rocket attacks that have traumatized southern Israel.

          Most of the casualties were security forces, but Palestinian officials said at least 15 civilians were among the dead

          http://www.google.com/...

          only about 15 civilians killed. that's pretty amazing

          Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

          by Keith Moon on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:26:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  actually (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfounded, MrJayTee, charliehall

          I don't know if the option is to simply ignore it either, but I have to assume there is some more productive response that is possible.
          Nope, there is not any. You either ignore these attacks in which case they escalate and the population looks at Hamas as heros and liberators. Or you respond and launch a military campaign which is what Israel did.

          Some people believe (or pretend to believe) that there is a third option - giving in to Hamas demands. They claim that it will stop rocket attacks, they claim that it will not embolden Hamas to actually escalate them. I always wonder what planet these people are from.

        •  The moral high ground didn't stop (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karmafish

          the rocket attacks.

          Israel knows that nobody will do anything for it. It has to take action on its own.

          •  What do you think... (0+ / 0-)

            Israel knows that nobody will do anything for it. It has to take action on its own.

            ...Iraq was all about and the billions and arms we have sent Israel over the years?

            The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

            by Bobjack23 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:13:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, so the Iraq war was about Israel? (0+ / 0-)

              Is that what it was about?

              Lessee, AIPAC controls the government and the Iraq war was a war for Israel.

              Got it.

              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

              by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:19:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course you "got it." (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RichterScale

                It sure as hell wasn't about 9/11. It was to some degree about Oil even though we only get about 10% of our oil from all the Middle East. But it was mostly about Israel’s fear of a big tank army and what their agents working in our government could do about it.

                Ask Douglas Feith, his boss Paul Wolfowitz and His deputy Franklin about it. Feith, Wolfowitz and Richard Perle have in pastbeen considered by government investigators of being agents of the Israle government. Other pentagon officials under investigation besides the above named by the FBI, before Franklin was indicted for passing documents to AIPAC were Michael Ledeen, Stephen Bryen and Harold Rhode.

                They all wanted Saddam toppled at the time off the Gulf war (for Israel’s benefit) and agitated for just that ever since Bush41 wisely refused to open that can of worms. They set up a phony Intelligence agency (Office of Special Plans) in the Pentagon run by Feith and used IDF and Mossad sources who they allow to come and go with out signing in as is required (see Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski'sarticles about her work there and what she saw)

                These men got a war started and it was not related to Bin laden who was a blood enemy of Saddam or 9/11 it was related to what the government of Israle and its friends in our government wanted. I have a long, log list of reputable links to back my assertions here. I have posted them before and will again if necessary. That is probably what I should have done instead of commenting.

                IMO Wolfowitz and Feith should be tried for treason.

                The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                by Bobjack23 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:17:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Moral high ground? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChuyHChrist

            since when has Israel ever had the moral high ground?

            The moral high ground is utterly unoccupied by anyone.

            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

            by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:34:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  solution? (21+ / 0-)

          Stop the settlements, "God" did not give that land to anyone.  When are claims of ownership made on 'supernatural' (and I would say mythological) grounds?  What are my chances if I go into a court of law and claim that I actually own my neighbor's land.  "But, your honor, I have this document written by my forefathers that says 'God' meant for me to have this."  It's preposterous.
          Also stop the blockade of Gaza.  The leadership of Isreal is simply punishing Gazans because they elected Hamas, in free and fair elections, despite the wishes of Isreal and the US 'foriegn aid' masters.

          Live by the agreements that were made.

          •  Creation of a state founded by virtue of religion (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lepanto, Neglected Duty, Gracian

            was a horribly bad idea to begn with.

            Imagine this.  Some world body says that "we will carve out a new nation for members of this religion.  Current residents will be removed and relocated in similar environs"

            Now, substitute the new nation of Isreal for say, New Jersey, and lets make the religion Islam.  Would that have happened?
            What if the UN said that we had to return New Jersey to the native Americans that have legitimate claim?

            But the Palestinians agree.  But the new residents of Isreal aren't satisfied and grab more siting defensive priorities, or "religious" justifications.  All the while denying Palestinian claims, denying medical treatment to the sick, cutting basic services.

            We'd all be up in arms if we were treated this way.

            •  Israel was not founded as a religious state. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              condorcet

              Zionism was mainly not a religious movement.

              The main thrust of Zionism was socialist labor Zionism.

              Secular.

              It's a common misconception.

              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

              by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:20:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Being founded "by virtue of religion" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, ancblu

                is different than being founded "as a religious state."  Israel was founded as a homeland for the Jews, hence it was founded by virtue of religion.

              •  karmafish -- you and I have debated this point (0+ / 0-)

                in the past, and I respectfully though very firmly disagree again.

                Eretz Israel is unquestionably a biblically grounded concept and it was a central and defining element of the Basel Program as formulated in the First Zionist Congress held in 1897.  This principal later animated the initial British acceptance of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine as enunciated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.  

                What you assert as a misconception is actually a continuing mistaken view on your part that ignores the clear historical record of religiously infused  political Zionism from its very beginnings.

                Whatever many offshoots Zionism has engendered, including that which emphasizes socialist labor, the political program at birth was entirely alloyed with religious views and continues to this day.

                Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

                by ancblu on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:15:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  bzzz (0+ / 0-)

                  Eretz Israel is not Medinat Israel. If it were, you wouldn't have the settlement issue. Calling it a religious issue is incorrect.

                  Palin: I can see Russia from my house! Obama: I can see Lafayette Park from mine.

                  by Attorney at Arms on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:11:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no confusion between the two, (0+ / 0-)

                    however some here almost purposefully disregard the historical fact that biblical concept of Eretz Israel infused the very political beginnings of Medinat Israel in the first instance.

                    I am always surprised how many zealous "pro-Israel" (as they have defined themselves) contributers here seem to disavow the early history of Zionism as a religiously underpinned political agenda and its essential role in the formation of the State of Israel -- and often with a persistent recalcitrance entirely at odds with well-founded supporting evidence such as I have offered.

                    Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

                    by ancblu on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:28:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I might add that (0+ / 0-)

                the Zionist Council -- executive arm of the World Zionist Organization headquartered in Jerusalem -- rearticulated in 2004 that:

                Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, brought about the establishment of the State of Israel, and views a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel to be the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future. The foundations of Zionism are:

                - The unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital, in the life of the nation; - Aliyah to Israel from all countries and the effective integration of all immigrants into Israeli Society.

                - Strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character, marked by mutual respect for the multi-faceted Jewish people, rooted in the vision of the prophets, striving for peace and contributing to the betterment of the world.

                - Ensuring the future and the distinctiveness of the Jewish people by furthering Jewish, Hebrew and Zionist education, fostering spiritual and cultural values and teaching Hebrew as the national language; - Nurturing mutual Jewish responsibility, defending the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation, representing the national Zionist interests of the Jewish people, and struggling against all manifestations of anti-Semitism;

                - Settling the country as an expression of practical Zionism.

                Here, it is perfectly clear that the main thrust of Zionism is the political association of Israel as a state with Judaism and the religious concept of Eretz Israel -- and categorically not socialist labor as you argue.

                Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

                by ancblu on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:29:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  that argument is over (0+ / 0-)

              why persist with it -- its been 60 years, and Israel is not going away

              And Israel has made it clear that its going to level anyone whose goal is to end the state of Israel.  I have to say, I kinda admire that, and I'm not a jew.  

          •  Hitler was elected (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karmafish, aggregatescience

            Does that mean whatever the Nazis did was covered by the sanctity of democracy?

      •  Easy Answer (11+ / 0-)

        Hamas is strictly, and only, a terrorist group seeking to kill Israelis.  It has no interest in the welfare of any Palestinians.

        •  Right (0+ / 0-)

          so it, and other groups, commit actions encouraging both nations to fire on each other, thus achieving their own objections while minimizing casualties to their own group.

          Very clever.

          •  they dont care about casualties (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joseph rainmound, charliehall

            to their own group. they send their own children out as suicide bombers, what makes you think they care about casualties.

            They arn't a clever group, they don't think rationally. That's terrorism for ya.

            •  I didn't use the word care. (0+ / 0-)

              I said they wanted to minimize casualties. And they do. They don't have a large number of terrorists and children take time to produce.

              My point is they're using both sides to fight against each other in order to save people. It's very clever. They send out one suicide bomber, but Israel sends out many missles - against Palestine. Then Palestine has no choice but to respond in kind, thus achieving more dead Israelis, which is the goal of the group in question. Since Israel is responding to TERRORISTS, and not to Palestinians, international opinion supports Palestine and goes against Israel, thus undermining their action and making it harder for them to get support. In the end Israel will wind up being viewed as the terrorist. In this case terrorist actions, considering their goals, are eminiently logical, if not humane or civilized. And everyone says "Well, it's part of the long-standing conflict between the two countries," minimizing the part of the terrorists in the conflict.

              Or do you disagree with that assessment?

              •  Yes, in general, your right. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joseph rainmound

                I think a lot of people here would do well to understand this point.

                And in that respect, Israel has almost given up. When your people are getting killed its hard to care more about public opinion than protecting them.

                Is there really anything Israel can do at this point to change its image amongst the anti-israel forces of the world? I mean, that still allows them to protect their citizens? I doubt it.

                Honestly, I just think a lot of progressives just like defending the group that seems worse off. Somehow, that's taken on a life of its own, to the point where suddenly terrorism becomes the same as military action.

                I personally  think will remain sympathetic to the Israeli cause. I think that the goals of Israel are legitimate, and I sincerely believe that most Israelis just want to live peacefully in a state that they know they can be safe in. I believe that a lot of palestinians feel the same way, but a lot of them just want to see Israel and the Jewish people wiped off the map.

                And I still will never understand how the Arab world can rally with the Palestinians in their quest to destroy Israel, but can't bring themselves to directly help the Palestinian people. Jews around the world support Israel, not just monetarily but through actions as well. If Israelis had to flee Israel, they would be welcomed with open arms into the Jewish communities across the globe.

                Yet I have not seen how the 24 nations of the Arab world have done the same for their palestinian brothers. If the Arab nations would provide food, shelter, and medical care to the palestinian people rather than financing and arming terrorists, they would be much better off, and we would be on the road to peace.

            •  Dehumanising (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joseph rainmound, Anne was here

              people will do that.  Irrational of course, wouldn't you be. I become irrational if I have to spend more than a couple of hours in an airport.

              I wonder how many mentally ill people there are in Gaza, or Iraq, or Afghanistan. Generations in refugee camps. What do they have to lose, many must have lost their humanity by now..We are talking generations without hope and who know little but violence. The Balfour declaration was 1917.

              No electricity, no medicine, no sewage treatment, no sanaitary napkins, no chemo drugs, no hope.. and if you do not have hope..you don't have much at all.

              Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

              by ohcanada on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:29:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Honestly, I would directly my anger elsewhere (0+ / 0-)

                I would not make it my goal to kill innocent people because of what they did to mean, though I would be angry.

                Though I would also be angry at those who could help me, but refuse.

                If American kicked out all the Jews, I'd no there are many place around the world where I would be welcome and aided by the Jewish community.

                Yet of all the Arab nations, only Jordan has taken in and granted citizenships to many Palestinian refugees.

                Other nations have taken some in without granting citizenship, though could do much more.

                If the Arab world wanted to, it could go a long way to helping the Palestinians and re-humanizing them, if you will.

                That would begin to undermine the terrorism, and eventually peace may be possible.

                •  That is because you are civilized (0+ / 0-)

                  in war, people become uncivilized, because they lose the home, and the family. it doesn't matter what the family's structure is: but you must have one. without that, we get uncivilized children, then uncivilized adults, and then it is "Lord of the Flies" and the burning buildings and the dead blind babies in the streets.

                  Sorry, I think the diary is depressing me.

            •  Not quite human are they? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              out of left field

              That's the slippery slope argument of a lot of racists, I don’t think I’d go there.

              The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

              by Bobjack23 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:33:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  why not? (0+ / 0-)

                why the hell should I be afraid of offending terrorists.

                not quite human? you're damn right.

                I have sympathy for palestinians who want peace. I have no sympathy for terrorists.

                •  I got the sense that your concern... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...or sympathy for terrorism and terrorists depended on whose ends it/they served. But I could be mistaken.

                  I know this much a lot of governments would be out of business without terrorists to defend their citizens from and justify their imperialistic policies. Also some rather grasping greedy people have used terrorism as an excuse for their excesses. It has worked out so well for them that one wonders if they didn't have a hand in sponsoring and or inflaming terrorist organizations. There a lot of money being to be made from the existence of terrorists, seem to be a growth industry. But then again, that’s all probably another wild flight of fancy I seem to be prone to.

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:18:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely. You'd better hope... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, Scientician, montecristo

          ...they don't join forces with an army of Vampires, who would then proceed to lay waste to all of us.

          You'll pay me the 8s I won of you a-betting?

          by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:30:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gracian

          easy answers are rarely the correct ones. and in your case, sock-puppet recs aside, you've provided a great example. its really easy for Americans to sit back and declare voyeuristically that Hamas has no function other than 'terrorism', but of course this isn't correct and I'm pretty sure you all know it as well.

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:36:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh, yeah... (0+ / 0-)

          that's why it runs charities where no one else does and fights the Israelis.  Yep.

          One could say that the Israeli government just likes brutalizing and killing Palestinians to get their jollies and has no concern for citizens.

          Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

          by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:51:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So, of course the social welfare programs (0+ / 0-)

          of Hamas for Palestinians in Gaza were all a ruse, that they used to get support for killing Israelis.  All those schools and clinics and so on--how clever!  They are so diabolical those terrorists....   /snark

    •  Did that actually happen? I would check the (0+ / 0-)

      source on that, it sounds like one of those manufactured stories, sort of like Don Rumsfeld saying al-Jazeera broadcasts tapes of beheadings.

      Not saying we should assume it's wrong, just that it sounds fishy, I wouldn't assume it's accurate either.

    •  "They enjoy suffering" is where this is going, (9+ / 0-)

      you realize this is not rational speech anymore, this is repetition of pernicious, bigoted lies intended to dehumanize? I understand there could be a critique of Hamas saying that sometimes they benefit from damage inflicted by the Israeli military, but you are crossing over the border into "they just want to suffer" with this comment.

    •  LIkud and Kadima thrive on FEAR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      (¯`*(¯`*-INAUGURATE-*'¯)*'¯)

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:14:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Silence is complicity (20+ / 0-)

    Silence is complicity. Demonstrate Tuesday against this outrageous act of terrorism (violence aimed at pressuring a civilian population to force a political result as in, for example, the U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia - terrorism).

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News

    by elishastephens on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:40:32 AM PST

    •  So far, pundits not saying much either. (5+ / 0-)

      Good thing there's an internet. More news here.

    •  Here we go again (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, res, MrJayTee

      Serbia tries to commit crimes against humanity in Kosovo; NATO tries to do something and gets blasted.

      You'd probably blast the US if it took action against the murderous Sudan regime over Darfur.

      •  You got that right (4+ / 0-)

        Deaths in Kosovo magnified enormously after NATO intervention. And don't get me started on Iraq or Afghanistan, where again many times as many people have died as compared to the original alleged causus belli. "Humanitarian intervention" is a myth, and of course the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is of Israel's making.

        Eli Stephens
        Left I on the News

        by elishastephens on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:14:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong! how does this crap get rec'd (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, res

          there was a god damn genocide going on, and secular muslisms were being killed in an organized fashion by the thousands.

          people, please don't believe these lies and revisions!

          It was only a couple of flipper babies!

          by itsbenj on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:38:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why we would we take action against (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dancewater, JesseCW

        a regime that has been our source for intel in Iraq?

        Unfortunately for Milosevich, he was a Communist AND an imperialist with nothing to offer us.

        Not that I don't think there should have been action in the Balkans, I do, but let's not pat ourselves on the back for humanitarian motivations.

        Everyone in Europe had an interest in a revamped Balkans. If we actually gave a shit, Mugabe would have been gone a long time ago, and if we cared even just a little, we'd be in Zimbabwe right now.

        The fact is Israel is our ally, and we back them whether they are right or wrong, and there has been decent mix of both. This alliance is our anchor in Southwest Asia, and it is not ever going to be questioned publicly by US government officials.

        ... the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

        by Tirge Caps on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:18:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't demonstrate. I pray. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      And I invite others to do the same.

      Hamas should not have launched rockets.  They were terrorists.

      Israel should not have launched airstrikes.  They were terrorists.

      Israel should not have oppressed the Palestinians.  They are oppressors.

      Iran should not oppress or threaten Israel.  They are oppressors.

      Where does this end?

      I'll tell you where the end begins - it starts when we stop pointing fingers and begin with self-examination.

      I'll close with a little Jeremiah Wright link.  Turns out JWright is right and has been for a long time.

      Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

      by Benintn on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:16:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It had to happen before Bush left (17+ / 0-)

      There is too much uncertainty about how Obama would handle another major war in the Mideast, especially one between Israel and Iran, say?

      Iran is the wild card in this situation. Bush-US has wanted to attack them for years. Now it looks like Israel will have to be the cats-paw, in effect. Simply launching strikes against Iran's nuclear development sites is conceivably too destabilizing, even for Olmert. But goading a nation like Iran into involvement, and then moving ahead with the plans to bomb Iran as a result, will be argued as simple escalation.

      What is interesting is that the Freepers are certain that this is the Israeli plan, and they are cheering it on. But then, they are also expressing regret that "only" 200 "Palis" have been killed. In the great Final Conflict, they are waiting for every "Islamofascist" (read: Muslim) to be eliminated.

      Oh well, just my opinion anyway.

    •  Ya, that set off a bell (4+ / 0-)

      Olmert said "Don't worry, we are more prepared now than we were when we invaded Lebanon."

      But... wasn't this a retaliation against the Hamas rocket firings? How can you possibly be prepared for it, unless you were planning on doing it all along?

      •  So the fact that the U.S. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj

        army has a "plan" in case it needs to launch a nuclear attack against, say, Russia or China means the U.S. "wants" to do it?  

        Or is this just the way the military works - plans for every contingency.

        In the meantime, in the history of I/P, neither side has been satisfied with any cease fire long enough not to fuck it up royally one way or the other.  Too many splinter groups on the Palestinian side (can't control everyone in a cease fire so they get breached over and over), too much overreaction on the Israeli side.

        So both sides need to be prepared for the inevitable resumption of fighting.

        And also, there were internal investigations into the Israeli reaction in Lebanon, and the results weren't good.  They screwed up, overreacted, and pissed off a lot of Israelis.  So they had to make sure that in the future they were prepared to react differently than they did with Lebanon.

        No sense assuming a government having a plan for a pretty likely contingency is some sort of conspiracy.

        "Balance" does not mean giving the same weight to a lie as you do to the truth.

        by delphine on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:54:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I still wonder (11+ / 0-)

    when this important issue will be discussed on the front page of Daily Kos.

    LithiumCola, you reading?  Or have they told you not to touch it?

  •  Israel is a leading terrorist state (30+ / 3-)

    And U.S. support of its terrorism is Exhibit A in a perfectly valid claim that human rights is not a top priority of Bush OR Obama.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:53:07 AM PST

    •  We must be the other...n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevej, sydneyluv
    •  Terrorism is a strategy that's presumably (5+ / 0-)

      employed by non-state actors and a "terrorist state" is presumed to be a state that harbors or encourages such people.  While I would personally classify anyone or group that aims to terrorize people, or even make them fearful, I don't think we can redefine terrorism at this time.

      The public relations people seem to have a lock on it.

      Israel is a state that has chosen to organize itself on the basis of segregation, victimhood and shared antagonisms towards its neighbors.  There is nothing that any of its neighbors can do to affect the consequent behavior, except try to contain it.  It's very difficult to reason with irrational people. But, you also can't let them have their way, because their unreason will continue.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:31:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can influence them. (0+ / 0-)

        We (the United States) support the Israeli military machine to the tune of billions of dollars.  If we decided to re-evaluate that support in light of their actions in Gaza, that might get their attention.  And since our tax dollars are supporting what is going on---we, the people of the U.S., share responsibility.  

        It is time to start discussing if this is what we want our tax dollars to be supporting.

  •  video (5+ / 0-)

    Real News Daily http://www.antiwar.com - !

    by egyinny on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:17:11 AM PST

  •  Palestinian Public Opinion (20+ / 0-)

    In a survey of Palestinian public opinion earlier this month, 74% supported the continuation of the ceasefire and only 23% opposed it. (Israelis also favored continuation of the ceasefire by a smaller margin.)

    When the ceasefire expired, the people who initiated the intensified rocket attacks from Gaza were acting in clear disregard of the overwhelming weight of Palestinian sentiment. Everyone knew how Israel would respond.

    The political authorities (I hesitate to say leadership) in both the Palestinian and Israeli communities have been insufficiently responsive to the sentiment in favor of forbearance.

    Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

    by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:17:51 AM PST

    •  Your knowledge is incomplete (14+ / 0-)

      It was Israel who broke the ceasefire by blowing up a tunnel. Then of course they went about blockading the supply of fuel and medicines which is just killing by different means.

      •  Yup. (6+ / 0-)

        They blew up a tunnel to be used as a route for terrorists to enter Israel.

        How dare they seek to defend themselves!

        It's an outrage, I say!

        "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

        by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:25:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The tunnel was used for arms smuggling! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        carllaw

        n/t

        •  And here is a terrorist caught in the act! (0+ / 0-)
          •  Two different kinds of tunnels (0+ / 0-)

            There are many tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. A beehive of tunnels is used to convey consumer goods as well as military supplies into Gaza, about $40 million worth each month. Hamas collects a fee of $2750 for each one.

            However, IIRC the tunnel that Israel attacked in November was a tunnel from Gaza into Israel. It could not have been for the purpose of conveying supplies, but only designed for use in an attack on Israel.

            Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

            by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:45:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They needed to dig a tunnel (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Not Adlai Stevenson

              because Israel has erected a big wall between Gaza and Israel.  Israel did that so as to stop terrorist attacks.  The terrorist attacks were occurring because...

              You see, there is this problem.  Israelis have been taking Palestinian land in the West Bank ever since the 1967 war, when they occupied the West Bank and Gaza.  The Palestinians don't like that.  They don't have an army to fight back with, so they resort to small bands of men or even solitary individuals committing acts of violence against Israelis.  Nasty, but occupied, oppressed people have a tendency to react that way.  

              The Israelis decided to end the occupation of Gaza (the occupation was very costly and inconvenient) and turn Gaza into a large prison with the construction of a wall along the border and an ocean blockade.  They also got some cooperation from Egypt (which does not want to go to war with Israel again) in controlling the Gaza/Egypt border.  Israel controls all movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza.  It is a continuation of the occupation by other, more efficient means.  

              The Gazan's have been firing their little, unguided rockets at Israel to protest this state of affairs.  While not a threat from a military point of view, those rockets do make life in the area inconvenient and occasionally hurt an Israeli or two.  Israel decided to use the Palestinian rocket protests as a pretext for bombing raids intended to take out the leadership and fighting cadres of Hamas.  That this could not be done in such a densely populated area without massive civilian casualties was, apparently, not a concern.  We are now seeing the results.

              •  Faulty Chronology (0+ / 0-)

                The Israelis decided to end the occupation of Gaza (the occupation was very costly and inconvenient) and turn Gaza into a large prison with the construction of a wall along the border and an ocean blockade.

                When the Israelis withdrew from Gaza they did not close the borders or impose an ocean blockade. Do you have any evidence it was their original plan? The situation changed when Hamas took over Gaza and refused to continue the border control system that Israel and the PLO government had established, and which allowed the flow of commerce.

                We can speculate about intentions and reach different conclusions. What I think is beyond dispute is that firing rockets from Gaza is counter-productive to the interests of civilians in Gaza, because nobody can reasonbly expect Israel to let it continue indefinitely.

                You refer to "rocket protests". This is disingenuous. There are valid ways to protest, but rockets are not one of them. Rockets are a weapon of terror, designed to instill fear and disrupt life in Israel. (If you never knew when a rocket would hit your neighborhood, would you simply think that was "inconvenient" or something worse?)

                I agree with you that Israel's bombing is "intended to take out the leadership and fighting cadres of Hamas". This is a legitimate goal in war, but the consequences to civilians are difficult to stomach.

                If you think it is understandable for occupied and oppressed Palestinians to resort to random acts of violence against Israelis, it must also be understandable for Israel to eventually respond with military force. Imagine two kids in middle school, a little kid who keeps on poking a bigger kid with his pencil day after day, until the bigger kid finally flattens the little one.

                As long as both parties act like children, and either one is offered our understanding for doing so, we are not helping them find a mature solution to the situation. Ultimately, both parties have to find mature leaders whose intentions are to achieve a difficult peace. Let's not make excuses for those who make peace more difficult.

                Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

                by word is bond on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 09:14:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  So can Hamas attack arms factories in Israel? (5+ / 0-)

          ...and that's not a violation of the ceasefire? The point of a ceasefire is you don't attack, that includes not attacking military targets. Not attacking civilian targets is a rule of war that applies even without a ceasefire.

          •  duh. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bicycle Hussein paladin

            [bockquote] Not attacking civilian targets is a rule of war that applies even without a ceasefire. [/blockquote]

            Bingo.  

            and as a side note for the media:  attacking military targets in a war is not "terrorism"

            Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

            by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:39:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The Imbalance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stiela, Cedwyn

          in weaponry between Israel and Palestine is very clear. The budget for arms for Israel could almost lift the Palestinians out of poverty.

          The power of the military establishment and the arms merchants remains in both the US and Israel and it doesn't look like anything is likely to change it anytime soon.

          Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

          by ohcanada on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:02:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Given this imbalance ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            laurnj

            ... how does it benefit the Palestinians for Hamas to fire rockets into Israel when a military response is certain?

            Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

            by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:22:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Despair, frustration, dehumanisation, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              a long list..because there is no hope. When people kill themselves we always say how could they..but they do anyway.

              Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

              by ohcanada on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:28:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  An emotional release, but not a benefit (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ohcanada, JesseCW

                The emotional response is understandable, but 74% of Palestinians had a wiser reaction than the Gaza authorities.

                I think there is hope. The vast majority of Palestinians and Israelis want to live their lives in peace, dignity and security. They understand that compromises will be necessary. Both groups suffer from the ongoing conflict. What they need is to find leaders, at the same moment in time, who are prepared to make the necessary and painful compromises. For years they have too often been engaged in making every compromise seem too painful to make, but I think Obama seems prepared to ease them over that hurdle.

                You make an important point about the funds needed to lift the Palestinians out of poverty. An international effort to build the Palestinian economy should be one of the first steps towards establishing a viable peace in the region.

                Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

                by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 03:47:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They bombed a university today (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, Muzikal203

                  personally I don't see Israel's point.

                  That is about as despicable as it gets..those who wanted another way are hurt the most. How much to build the Bush library..how much for a place of learning that will benefit and train Palestinians. The whole thing has me sickened.

                  Thanks for your thoughtful response.

                  Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

                  by ohcanada on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 04:21:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  is there any benefit to NOT doing that? (0+ / 0-)

              after all, the Israelis aren't going to treat the Palestinians like human beings regardless unless something really changes.  And of course the Hamas types aren't going to treat Israelis like humans either.

              Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

              by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:40:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can't agree (0+ / 0-)

                I think both Israelis and Palestinians are quite capable of treating each other as human beings, although there are violent factions in both communities (including the Hamas types you mentioned). Most of the people in both communities have families or want to have families, they want to make a living and raise children, they want to live in peace, security and dignity. These are more powerful motivators than the desire to inflict injury on each other and, when these fundamental human goals become achievable, there will be very few individuals left who want to perpetuate a process of mutual victimization.

                Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

                by word is bond on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 12:52:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Pay attention to the timeline (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj

        The survey of Palestinian public opinion, supporting continuation of the ceasefire, was taken during the period November 26 - December 5.

        The Israeli attack on the tunnel occurred in early November, well before the survey, and the ceasefire continued with only low-scale violations for at least a month afterwards.

        Evidently, a large majority of Palestinians wanted to continue the ceasefire even after the tunnel and other incidents, and despite the increased Israeli restrictions on the movement of supplies into Gaza.

        Hamas officially announced that it would no longer observe the ceasefire (which it seems had no formal expiration date) on December 19, more than a month after the tunnel incident and exactly three days after the survey results were announced by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

        It's not surprising that the great majority of Palestinians wanted to maintain a period of calm, even under desperate conditions, rather than endure the massive attacks that would inevitably follow an end to the ceasefire.

        Continued calm could have strengthened the peace camp in Israel and facilitated an even-handed peacemaking effort by the incoming Obama administration. The end of the ceasefire - which despite your comment was declared by Hamas and followed by a major escalation by Hamas - occurred in the run-up to the Israeli elections and was clearly understood as a provocation that Israel's political authorities would not ignore.

        Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

        by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:18:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  who gives a shit who "broke" it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Muzikal203

        These idiots are back to fighting and bombing and killing again, and a lot of children are growing up in fear and deprivation and horror in both countries.

        Take the leadership of both, put them in a prison camp together where they can fight if they want without harming anyone else and let the normal people get back to the business of living a decent human life.

        Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

        by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:37:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Public opinion is irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

      in totalitarian states. Like Gaza under Hamas.

    •  Did you read the diary? Israel broke the cease- (5+ / 0-)

      fire first.

      •  Click on my username below to read it (0+ / 0-)

        (¯`*(¯`*-INAUGURATE-*'¯)*'¯)

        by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:21:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nations should not behave like children (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laurnj

        "He hit me first" and "Tit for Tat" are not sensible grounds for making national policy. Even with children, we tell them that when they get hit they should not necessarily hit back. This criticism applies to the authorities in both Gaza and Israel.

        I did read the diary, which cites an article in the Guardian that says the attack on the tunnel jeopardizes the ceasefire. However, the attack on the tunnel was not the first breach of the ceasefire. There were frequent rocket attacks on Israel before the attack on the tunnel, and Israel never reopened the border crossings in accordance with Hamas' expectations under the ceasefire.

        As for the tunnel episode: which was a breach of the ceasefire, Israel's attack on the tunnel, or Hamas' construction of a tunnel into Israel in the first place?

        We need to think like adults if we want to shed light on the situation. Two opponents yelling "he hit me first" leads nowhere. When the parties can exercise some forbearance and gradually ratchet down the level of violence, they will begin to give the civilian populations for whom they are responsible some hope of an eventual peace.

        Democrats: Members of the Democratic Party working to advance democracy; Republicons: Members of the Republicanist Party working to advance Republicanism

        by word is bond on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 03:09:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  who cares? (0+ / 0-)
        end of story, innocent people are dying again, because a lot of politicians like waving their penis' around.

        damn.

        Like communism and fascism before it, fundamentlism will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or the entire world is under its yoke.

        by Guinho on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:41:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for your comment (5+ / 0-)

      "74% supported the continuation of the ceasefire"

      And one might say over 200 people were killed yesterday as a human sacrifice for the 23% who were against the ceasefire. And it's not over. Israel is preparing ground troops.

      There was a situation in the US in 2006 where 75% of its people opposed the continued occupation of Iraq and yet...

      These are massive failures of representational leadership.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:59:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  US support (21+ / 0-)

    That Israel slaughters civilians does not surprise me.  What bothers me is that our government and media continue to support it.

    Maybe this will open our eyes.  Without unquestioned US support, Israel would me much more likely to make peace.

    Let us all remember who broke the truce.

    •  Make peacer with who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karmafish, laurnj

      Hamas who wants to destroy Israel.  It is easy to sit here and criticize.  Rockets from Gaza are not raining down on your house.  I do not know if Israel's response is in its best interest.  I guess history will decide that question.

      In the meantime I have yet to here criticism about Egypt sealing its borders with Gaza.  Why is the concern only directed at Israel?

      •  Apparently it's because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weltshmertz, charliehall

        Egypt is controlled by the US and thus holds no responsibility for anything.

        The US, of course, is controlled by AIPAC which would mean that AIPAC controls Egypt, as well.

        See how it works?

        {Sickening.}

        "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

        by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:35:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hamas offered a truce (26+ / 0-)

        in exchange for lifting the blockade. Israel said no, and chose to attack.

        As for Hamas's rockets, all attacks on civilians are immoral, but they've killed some 17 people in 7 years. Israel is killing that many people in minutes.

      •  It doesn't matter what Hamas wants. (16+ / 0-)

        It can't destroy Israel.

        I'll ask the questions again: which side has intentionally killed more children?Because when you call in an air strike on a city you are deciding to kill innocent people just as much as any suicide bomber does when he straps on the explosives and gets onto a bus. Only the size of the bombs and the number of dead is different.

        What would Israel have to do to earn your condemnation? How many innocent people does it have to intentionally kill with its airstrikes before you say "Enough!"?

        The death toll from this massacre is nearing 300. If Israel had killed 1,000 people for these rockets, would your stomach finally turn? 3,000? 10,000? One Israeli was killed by the rocket attacks. So I guess you think that an Israeli life is worth 300 times more than a Palestinian life.

        But come on. Give me a number. When would you finally tell the Israelis to go to hell? Give me a number.

        Air strikes on cities intentionally kill innocent people just like a suicide bomber in a café does. The only difference is the size of the bombs.

        by expatjourno on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:45:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US has never (7+ / 0-)

          supported a UN resolution, however mild, asking Israel to behave in a responsible manner re international treaties/conventions etc.

          In almost all cases all other members of the security council has voted for said resolutions.

          In other words, such disparate players as the UK, China, Russia have all been in agreement. Only the US consistently, over decades, has uncondidtionally supported Israel.

          This is a hugely complex issue with no cut and dried answers but objective facts do need to be stated as context. This is not a dispute that flared up in the last 6 months and the US has a long history of being anything but a non partisan player.

          •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

            1948-70 US was while often pre Israel also often critical and did support votes at the UN against the views of Israel.

            gradually 70-80 the support became more and more uncritical.

            1980 onwards US policy at the UN could have been written in Tel Aviv and sometimes probably was.

        •  74% supported the continuation of the ceasefire (4+ / 0-)

          a survey of the people of Gaza reveals that the majority support a ceasefire.

          This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

          by Agathena on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:06:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Israel broke the truce (9+ / 0-)

        Make peace with who indeed.  Hamas obeyed the truce.  Israel broke it, I suspect in order to provoke a few more Qassem rockets, in order to have this war two months before the election.

        In an Israeli jail is Marwan Bargouti, who will probably someday become the Nelson Mandela of Palestine.  If Israel wanted to make peace, it could.  Palestinians are exhausted.  All they want is a normal life.

        We all know what the peace will look like: dismantle the settlements, return to '67 borders, a real and viable Palestinian state, some sort of shared soverienty over Jerusalem.

        This peace is acceptable to Hamas, to Fatah.  The Saudis in 2002 said if a just peace acceptable to the Palestinians emerged, all the Arab countries would normalize relations with Israel.  Israel (and the US) ignored this proposal.

        Palestinians have shown they are ready and eager for peace.  The question: make peace with who? Since the killing of Rabin, no Israeli leader seems a willing partner for peace.

        •  It's true, as you say: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aggregatescience, laurnj

          Palestinians have shown they are ready and eager for peace.

          Yes, those peace rockets that they were shooting at Sderot is clear evidence of what you say.

          "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

          by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:48:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Over 250 Palestinians killed in one day (9+ / 0-)

            And the starvation of Gaza and the slaughter yesterday shows how peace loving the Israelis are?

            •  No. The Israelis are vicious. (2+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              mattwb, carllaw
              Hidden by:
              Guinho

              When Hamas came into power calling for the murder of Jewish people in their charter and shooting rockets at Sderot, the vicious, blood-thirsty Israelis blockaded the Gaza.

              As I say, Jews (in particular) and Israel, more specifically, have no rights to self-defense.

              They the neighborhood bully.

              "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

              by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:55:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We do have to realize (3+ / 2-)
                Recommended by:
                Karmafish, Jeffrey Kohan, mattwb
                Hidden by:
                Cedwyn, condorcet

                that everyone in the world has the right to self-defense....

                except Israeli Jews.

                Hamas wants to finish Hitler's work. And the dailykos commenters will be perfectly happy to let them.

              •  One of Dylan's worst songs (5+ / 0-)

                I love Bob, but this is a terrible song.  Even from the beginning: "his enemies say / he's on their land."  

                Well, he is on their land.  It's called the Occupied Territories.  And Gaza is the biggest internment camp in the world.

                •  So, when Israel was occupying Gaza (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  laurnj

                  it was occupying Gaza.

                  And when Israel left Gaza, they were still occupying Gaza.

                  Is that it?

                  And when Hamas came into power calling for the murder of Jewish people and trying to make good on that promise by shooting rockets into Israel, Israel should have done what, exactly?

                  "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

                  by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:56:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  When Israel "left" Gaza, (7+ / 0-)

                    it still controlled movement, ports, airports, etc., etc.  

                    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      carllaw, laurnj

                      And you're suggesting that Israel should have done nothing to prevent Hamas from gaining additional rockets and mortars and weaponry?

                      The reason that Israel controlled the ports was because Hamas vowed death to Jews and the destruction of Israel.

                      So just what should Israel have done?

                      "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

                      by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:04:34 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hamas has no ability to destroy Israel (5+ / 0-)

                        Also recall that before Hamas was elected, Israel effectively destroyed Fatah's security infrastructure in Gaza, which helped Hamas to power.  They helped creat the vacuum that Hamas filled.  

                        •  But it still doesn't answer the question (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          carllaw

                          concerning what should have been Israel's approach to Gaza after Hamas came to power?

                          And while it's true that Hamas cannot destroy Israel, they can certainly kill plenty of Israelis which is what they vowed to do.

                          So, if you're the PM at the time, what policy would you put forth?

                          "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

                          by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:11:57 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I would have undermined Hamas (6+ / 0-)

                            by working proactively with others, such as the signatories to the Geneva agreement.  I would have worked with the Arab League, which expressed serious interest in recognizing Israel collectively along the lines of Geneva.  I would have dismantled those parts of the Wall that were beyond the internationally recognized (1967) boundary of Israel.  I would have cracked down on the brutal fanatical settlers and dismantled every new settlement the moment it came up.  And of course, I would not have attacked Lebanon on a thin pretext in 2006.  

                          •  Some of those are very good suggestions. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kellogg, Captain C, laurnj

                            I agree on the Arab League and on the wall.

                            However, cracking down on the settlers could mean civil war and nothing that you've suggested shows how you would have protected Israelis from those, like Hamas, who vowed to kill them.

                            Nonetheless, I think that you're on the right track.

                            I certainly do not have all the answers, either.

                            "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

                            by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:50:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The civil war will come (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dansmith17

                            and it will only be worse the longer it's put off.

                  •  Israel should have acknowledged that Hamas (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    stiela, Johnny Q

                    was elected.  They called for democratic elections and then said the results were unacceptable.  

                    •  Hamas refused to recognize Israel. (0+ / 0-)

                      Hamas vowed blood.

                      "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

                      by Karmafish on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:05:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kellogg, Fire bad tree pretty

                        Hamas would not accept preconditions that would have made negotiations pointless. It was, in effect, told "if you completely surrender all of your aspirations, we will talk to you"

                        Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

                        by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:38:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Just out of curiosity... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JesseCW

                          ... if recognition of the right to exist of the state you're negotiating with is an unacceptable precondition:

                          a) how does Hamas justify negotiating with a body whom they don't even recognize; and theoretically, doesn't this give them pretext to ignore any agreement if they so desire, on the grounds that the agreement is by definition illegitimate?

                          b) if Hamas' "aspiration" is the destruction of the body with whom they're negotiating, why should that body give them the time of day?

                          This is actually not unlike why U.S. chances to come to an accomodation with Iran failed in '01 and '03; the U.S. (in the role of Hamas in this analogy) refused any agreement which  did not include regime change.  While the theocracy in Iran is certainly not high on anyone's list of decent governments to live under; such a demand (which, in the context of this analogy, while Hamas is not making explicity in the context of negotiations, can be inferred from their charter which still does not recognize Israel's right to exist) was rightly seen as an instant deal-killer.

                          •  Recognition is acceptance of Isaels position... (0+ / 0-)

                            in advance.

                            Ireland did not recognise the right of Britain to be in Northern Ireland from 1922 till 1998, it did not stop Britain and Ireland coming to all sorts of accomadations on trade etc including both joining the EU.

                            Britain and Spain do not agree on the position of Gibralter, they are both members of the EU and NATO and both talk regularly,

                            Britain and Argentina still do not recognise each others claims to Falklands / Malvinas, they still talk.

                            Arguing that IN ADVANCE Hamas must accept the position that Israel wants, is not a reasonable position for talks.

                          •  I don't think that... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...acceptance of Israel's basic right to exist is an unreasonable position to insist on for anyone negotiating with them.

                            Especially when that someone has explicitly stated that their goal is Israel's destruction, and that any truce would just be a "hudna" for the purposes of strengthening that someone's ability to do harm to Israel.

                            There's a difference between, say, the IRA and/or Ireland not recognizing Britain's position in Northern Ireland, and if the IRA and/or Ireland didn't recognize Britain's right to exist at all, and were explicitly calling for their destruction (and had a history of using historical lies, say, the Protocols of the Elders of England or suchlike to justify said destruction).

                            Likewise, Britain and Spain are not calling for the destruction of the other over Gibralter, nor are Britain and Argentina over the Falklands/Malvinas; nor questioning each other's basic right to exist.

                            Arguing in advance that Hamas must accept any and all Israeli positions (e.g. settlements X and Y must stay, Palestine will have Z control over its borders, and Israel will have W access to West Bank water) would be utterly unreasonable.  Insisting that Hamas recognize the right of Israel to exist and drop its goal of Israel's destruction before Israel comes to the table; that seems eminently reasonable.

                          •  If you lived in Ulster (0+ / 0-)

                            The IRA position was the total destruction of your state.

                            The wider extremists on both sides spouted hateful genocidal rhetoric, Republicans promised to push all the Protestants into the sea and Ulster was proudly announced as a Protestant state for a Protestant people, there was an elected Councillor who demanded the local Belfast Council pay for ovens to kill the evil Catholics in.

                            Two religious peoples, both claiming 100% title to the land both claims go back 100's of years.

                            You see no similarity?

                            Both claiming "democratic" mandates just of overlapping but different geographical areas.

                            Peace comes when both sides put aside their "official" position and talk. Israel demands HAMAS gives up one of it's major "official" positions first. If I was them I would as the idea of a single multi-ethnic state is a non-starter but why should they have to if you genuinely want peace.

                          •  This analogy doesn't quite fly. (0+ / 0-)

                            Ulster, in this case, is more analagous to settlements on the West Bank or Gaza.  AFAIK, the IRA never held the position of pushing all the English into the sea (or back to Denmark or Normandy, or whatever).

                            There may be a little similarity, but not enough to make it a good analogy.

                            And certainly, if the IRA had held, and insisted on holding the position of the annihilation of the UK, I doubt they would have gotten anywhere in negotiations, and probably wouldn't have gotten to the negotiating table as long as they held that position.

                            Also, despite the fact that they were apparently elected somewhat fairly, I don't think you can really call Hamas a democratic organization.  Given their many statements about making a truce for the purpose of building strength to fight the Israelis later, I'm not even sure they could be honest partners for peace (at least, not until they credibly repudiate such statements).

                            Do you really want to sort through all the claims for the past couple millennia?  And if we do this here, why not everywhere else?  Why not do this with Turkey and the Kurds, Morocco and the Polisario, Germans and the Sudetenland, the many subnations that make up Russia, the various First Nations of America, and a thousand other places?  We already have the basic outlines of an acceptable (if not optimal) solution in the  Geneva Initiative; the only way this works is if everyone gives up some of what they want.  But giving up one's right to exist, or survive, seems kind of nonnegotiable for all parties (this being Israel and Palestine, not Hamas, for Hamas is not, in this case, an equivalent party to Israel; though if you want to claim that Hamas is the Palestinian state and people, you're welcome to, but remember then that you're attributing all the Hamas hatred, anti-semitism, religious fundamentalism, and suchlike to the Palestinians as a whole, which doesn't help their cause).

                            You talk of "official" positions like they're all morally equivalent.  But when one side's official position is the effective annihilation of the other; that's not a bargaining chip, that's a threat that must be removed from the table (preferably voluntarily, by the one making it) before any conciliation can occur.

                            Or, to look at it another way, why should the Israelis negotiate with someone as long as that someone's position is that Israel has no right to exist and should be destroyed?  What incentive do they have to give power and credibility to those whose avowed goal is to do them harm, without that someone first disavowing that goal?  Please note that I'm not saying that Israel shouldn't negotiate with the PA, or with representatives of the Palestinians who legitimately want peaceful co-existence.  Hamas, given their stated goals and their history, is not at this moment in time a credible partner for peace (and if you want some balance to make you happy, neither is Likud).

                            Or if you want to look at it still another way--this is part of the negotiations.  Hamas has stated their position is the destruction of Israel, and Israel has replied that Hamas is welcome to go hang themselves until they lose that position, at which point Israel will be happy to talk.

        •  Hamas does not accept the 1967 borders (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karmafish

          In fact, Hamas does not accept any borders for a Jewish state, or any Jews living in that part of the world. They haven't been very good to Christians, either.

    •  And you support Hamas' attempts to slaughter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karmafish

      civilians -- those of Israel and of its own?

      Hamas has been firing hundreds of rockets, even before the "ceasefire" was officially over. And they've been terrorizing their own people for years.

      •  Typically (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Celtic Merlin, JesseCW, Johnny Q

        attempted murder is given a far lighter punishment than murder.

        Were both Palestine and Israel to have the deaths they have caused totted up in a cosmic ledger, it sure looks like Israel would have caused far more than Palestine and Lebanon combined.  

        Of the three sets of terrorists, the hardliners of Israel are by far the most efficient killers.

        Hi. If I quit replying to your comments, I've either A) left the thread, B) felt it didn't require a reply, or C) decided you're an idiot. You choose.

        by drbloodaxe on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:40:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This attack is occurring (10+ / 0-)

    in the waning days of the Bush administration, possibly the most criminal administration in American history along with bailout theft, crooked pardons and embedded rules favoring cronies and big corporations.

  •  Abbas, Egypt Oppose Hamas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish, charliehall

    To all you silly Hamas apologists, who think that those terrorists have any real interest in the welfare of ordinary Palestinians, I give you the current opinion of both Abbas and Egypt, who totally blame Hamas for this outbreak of violence.

    Here's a link

  •  also from ha'aretz (24+ / 0-)

    Desmond Tutu: Israel actions against Gaza bears `hallmarks of war crimes` (DPA)

    and this, Israel violating the airspace of Lebanon once more:

    http://haaretz.com/...

  •  I always read Haaretz first (18+ / 0-)

    Thanks for pointing out that Israeli papers and comments are often more critical of Israeli military and political policy than Americans. I have several Israeli and Palestinian friends who are very willing to discuss I/P issues more objectively.

  •  I've always read Haaretz (16+ / 0-)

    And I thank you for this diary Mr. Mitchell for noting the obvious: that even Israeli papers see how cruel and downright stupid the actions of the government and military can be.

    The pushback against any airing of Palestinians' plight has always been appalling to me. There's a disconnect that prevents many in the progressive world to treat Palestinians as human beings. The loud rebuttals of "Hamas, Hamas, Hamas" shoved in our faces remind me of "Terrorists, terrorists, terrorists" the Bush administration has used on us for the past 8 years to justify many of its crimes against humanity.

  •  Who watched the sycophant John Batcheler (ph.) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Rogneid

    on Faux Noise just now, declaring this a joyous and glorious day for Israel and the US (he meant Washington). It was weird.

  •  I really object, and reject, the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, lockewasright

    proportionality argument. It's silly to argue that because the Gaza rockets never wreaked death and destruction like this latest assault, is like being in favor of killing the millions that the US killed in the past 8 years to avenge 9/11.

    •  In that case (13+ / 0-)

      you are rejecting international law.

      The matter of proportionality was what turned rest of the world opinion against Israel in Lebanon.

      Even if Israel were justified in attacking police stations and then claiming that Hamas located "security buildings" in the middle of civilian areas, the timing was significant. It was precisely in the middle of a rush hour in Gaza when people were going to work and the school children were changing shifts. The days for them are divided so half go in the morning and half later.

      Israel violates the Geneva Conventions on a daily basis in Gaza because of the blockade. It's called collective punishment and it is specifically forbidden. The Israelis use weasel words to claim that because they have withdrawn  their occupation forces, they are not the "occupying power" and therefore immune. This is what all the crap about "Israel left Gaza" is all about. It is a defense against War Crimes. Virtually all independent international jurist reject the assertion that laying siege is not acting as an occupying power.

      Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:04:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry about the lack of grammar (0+ / 0-)

    I mean to say that:

    "It's silly to condemn Israel because the Gaza rockets never wreaked death and destruction on the scale of Israel's latest assault, is like being in favor of killing the millions that the US killed in the past 8 years to avenge 9/11

  •  i dont need any other source to (9+ / 0-)

    know israel has committed a war crime.

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:49:42 AM PST

  •  Hamas is a creation of Mossad (4+ / 0-)

    Reminds me of our support for the Taliban against Russia...thought it was a good idea.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

    The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords. In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State. And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length.

  •  Israel always over-reacts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TNThorpe, Sam James

    They have to. They have to continually show the force of their military might even when its not required in order to deter the rest of the Middle East from wiping them out. Why do you think they have nukes? As long as they can crush their neighbors like ants under a boot they feel safe in the belief that countries like Iran won't fuck with them. America really has nothing to do with the equation except as the source of that military might. But at least we get to field test our hardware.

  •  If we accept for a moment ... (10+ / 0-)

    that Israel doesn't really see herself as being in as precarious a position as she claims to be (There are three levels here: the truth, which is that, in the grand scheme of things, the rocket attacks from Gaza don't warrant this kind of response; Israel's perception, which may or may not be in agreement with the truth; and Israel's portrayal, which is in stark contrast to the truth. It is only the second matter which I think carries any doubt.), then the question arises, what is the real point of the attacks?

    What seems to be a salient point in the matter is that the US President-Elect (And I'll take this moment to remind everyone that the US provides Israel with around $3 billion in direct military aid every year, along with a billion or so in other goodies, and that most of their military hardware is American-made; probably our aid to Israel is about 2.5% of their GDP, down from about 5% when their GDP was smaller. A comparable part of US GDP would be $350 billion a year, or almost half the size of the "TARP" program, each and every year. You can imagine the significance to the Israeli economy.) is someone who, while he has done the requisite Israel-ass kissing that is seemingly required of national-level politicians, he has also in the past made comments that gave recognition to Palestinian suffering and Palestinian rights.

    So, it may be that the Gaza attacks are a bit of a shot-across-the-bow for the Obama Administration, forcing an early display of either being in lock-step with Israel or feeling compelled to criticize, presumably with the suggestion that if it is the latter, the Israel Lobby will work against Obama's success at every reasonable opportunity.

    I don't know, obviously, if this is really what is going on, or even if my initial premise has merit. But I do think that a lot of attention will be paid to Obama's reaction, and that Israel and its more fanatical supporters will not be unhappy about getting an early read on him.

  •  Like the old saying... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, sephius1, Johnny Q, laurnj

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    Hamas attacks Israel, Israel attacks Hamas. Repeat.

    When will these men sit down in the interest of peace and justice for all?

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:00:30 AM PST

  •  Israel had to make a difficult choice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UniC, charliehall

    in attacking the terrorist base of Hamas whose security apparatus is camouflaged among the residential neighborhoods of Gaza. In the end though, there won't be any absolute military winners in this violent conflagration that will continue ad-infinitum. The resemblance of I/P conflict to that of the Algerian war of independence is striking. Tragic that none of the parties have learned the lessons that history offers.

    Also it is not anti-Semitic to discuss the disproportionate power that the Israeli lobby holds over the direction of American foreign policy. Just because the canard of Jewish plans for world domination in the past was hurled doesn't mean that any objective discussion of the way American foreign is held hostage by Israeli interests is anti-Semitic.

    •  There will a winner in the end of this (0+ / 0-)

      it won't be Israel. Look at Israel, where it's located, study population demography. Factor in the economic collapse of the US, Israel's enabler. One could imagine how Israel won't be around for much longer, on a historical time scale, that is.

    •  The difference is... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Algeria was no threat to attack and terrorize France if the French left.

      Now that Israeli civilians have been barred and expelled from Gaza since 2005, the analogy falls apart very quickly.

      I think the history that Israelis have learned is, even when you give all the land back, it just means that the Palestinians are that much closer and that much more violent.

      As for discussions of "the lobby," they generally are antisemitic, as they have little basis in fact.

      •  Israel didn't "give" any land back; (7+ / 0-)

        it abandoned Gaza in order to consolidate control over the West Bank.

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        baudelairien, laurnj

        My comparison with the Algerian war of independence was about the fact that the FLN launched terrorist attacks from within residential neighborhoods and France at that time was faced with a dilemma in terms of going after the terrorist bases but risking tremendous civilian casualties.

        Palestinians are ill-served by Hamas and PLO in their goal for self-determination and until a "Gandhi" like figure with great moral stature emerges from within their community, an independent and Palestinian state is a pipe-dream. Israelis to some degree believe that Palestinians are savages and the only thing they understand is brute force. Christian fundamentalists and their collaboration with the ilks of AIPAC are only stoking the fire. Unless Israel and the US can unshackle themselves from this unholy alliance peace will never be achieved.

        anti-Semitism -- when hurled as an epithet against decent and well-meaning individuals like that of Jimmy Carter only plays into the hands of real anti-semites.

    •  You realize what they attacked is police stations (6+ / 0-)

      they are not a "terrorist base" anymore than Israeli military installations are part of a base for invasion of Arab countries.

    •  "Terrorist bases" (11+ / 0-)

      Were police stations and a police academy where  a graduation ceremony was taking place. They were built by the PA when it was controlled by Fatah. Where else do you place a police station but in the middle of the area they police?

      One target was a mosque next door to a hospital. Both are protected places under the Geneva Conventions. In this case I am listening to a doctor from the hospital tell how relatives of those injured and care givers were using the mosque as a rest center as the hospital was overflowing. Very specific rules apply to attacking protected places and it looks very much like these were not met.

      Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so our children could soar

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:13:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The cynic in me (3+ / 0-)

    sees the upcoming February 2009 Israeli elections, and sees a connection. I'm not 100% familiar with public opinion in Israel, but doesn't it seem odd to anyone else that this is happening so close to election time? I guess you'd call it a December surprise...

  •  Nobody Involved Wants Peace (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, AndyT, Rogneid

    I wonder sometimes if we should be disturbed by the spectacle of self-destructive people getting exactly what they want.

    You can call me "Lord Bink Forester de Rothschild."

    by bink on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:10:56 AM PST

  •  "Neighborhood Bully Strikes Again" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stiela, Rogneid

    whether it be Hamas, Abbas the Israeli government has treated the at large Palestinian poplulation with contempt.

    Now, if the world does not heed what has happened here, our situation will worsen. We will be trapped in the first class of hell."

    They have been trapped in hell with Israel defining the their plight. Hamas may fire their rockets, but the subjegation of the Palestinians by Israel does far more harm. If Israel aided, assisted in building a functioning society winning hearts and minds? Showing Hamas as hey party not concerned with the plight of the people?

    Bullies always lose in the long term. To date 60 years long. The bully strategy has been a failure. It's sure to continue as the US, the Far East have no courage in leadership.

    "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave." - Thucydides

    by JasperJohns on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:11:10 AM PST

    •  Russia is slowly closing US air corridors (0+ / 0-)

      in the region with s-300 air defense systems. The key to stoping US/Israeli terrorism is to take retake control of Air space in the region. As for the ground war. Russian Metis-m type anti-tanj munitions are very effective against merkavas, just ask Hezbollah. Israel can be defeated.

  •  The saddest thing about this (15+ / 0-)

    is that the Israeli media is quite willing to question their own country where our media is to afraid of being called anti-Israel to tell the truth.

    Israel has trapped the Palestinians in a cruel catch 22 of blood shed.

    -G

  •  Honestly, I have not seen the Middle East in (5+ / 0-)

    such a critical state before.  As the US and its allies are tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Pakistan on the brink of chaos.  Pakistan has troops lined up on the India border, and they have terrorist groups freely moving around the country and getting stronger with the support of other Middle Eastern countries.

    In otherwords, this situation can not spark a war, or this will be Armaggedon as we know it.  With Bush clinging to his last couple weeks in office, would this be the way of the Islamic world sticking their middle finger to Bush.

  •  The political class the world over (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, Rogneid, JesseCW, Johnny Q

    are gangsters and enemies of humanity. You might find one or three nations in the world where this isn't true, but for the most part humanity is stuck with murderous, thieving scum calling the shots.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 09:47:10 AM PST

  •  Obama, Clinton and Carter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, WI Dem, Johnny Q, laurnj

    If there's a ray of hope right now, it's that Democratic presidents have a better track record since Jimmy Carter brokered a peace between Israel and an enemy sworn to destroy it.  30 years later that peace still stands.  The Clinton Administration also witnessed agreement between Rabin and Arafat and a peace deal between Israel and Jordan.  And though Clinton failed to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace, the final compromise parameters he drew up  before leaving office are still regarded as what a final vision of peace will resemble.

    As Clinton has high credibility in Israel and Carter with the Palestinians, I wonder if Obama should use them each as an envoy to pressure the side they're most trusted by to do what's needed to stabilize the region and move peace forward.  

    We need to return to the ceasefire that was in place.  We need to see some kind of unity Palestinian government who can and will enforce whatever agreements get negotiated.  If Hamas blocks any such step, maybe Israel should consider a separate peace with the West Bank so Gazans will see the difference.

    •  Carter alone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, Bluesman48, Johnny Q

      Do not put Obama and Clinton in the same sentence, please.

      Carter is a real intelligent man with regards to foreign policy.

      Obama and Clinton are simply good at repeating talking points so "they are not accused of being anti-semites/anti Israel."

    •  it is possible that the split between Fatah and (0+ / 0-)

      Hamas will in essence necessitate three separate states, of mind if not in fact.

      There are several thoughtful pieces in the media intimating that the divide between the Palestinian fations is almost as dangerous and dreadly to the Palestinian people as the Israeli position.

      There is no point in linking anything because basically people here are either rabidly pro or anti whichever faction they support. The complexities of alliances in the region are massive and cannot be fitted into an easy shoe of right or wrong, let alone left or right in America.

      What is appearing a most likely outcome to this current outbreak is a Likud govenment in February's election with the rabid Netanyahu as leader, if that occurs i would think any chance of any peace outcome is very remote, and as far as i can see would be a win for the neo cons in America.  That would create serious problems for any Obama initiative toward a peace agreement.

  •  Egypt/Fatah on Israel's side (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arielle, lockewasright

    http://www.ynetnews.com/...

    http://uk.reuters.com/...

    Meanwhile, many DKos posters are on Hamas's side.

    Go figure.

    Strange times....

    Wars not make one great. - Yoda

    by Volvo Liberal on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:29:59 AM PST

  •  THANK YOU!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, Lepanto, Rogneid, carolita, WI Dem

    The sooner we expose the insane bias of the US media the sooner we can arrive at a point where we can come together and actually RESOLVE this conflict once and for all. I wrote about this here, linking to this post:

    http://www.thepersonalispolitical.co...

  •  Time for US to cut Israel loose. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    It's a failed state economically in that it can't survive without billion$ in US tax dollars.

    It has created millions of displaced Palestinians and never created a solution for their situation, a situation that has lead to the radical Islamic extremism that threatens Middle East and the rest of the world...and one that is a human rights disaster.

    It responds to the world it has created with increasing levels of violence and cruelty that worsen its own economic instability and further hurt stability in the Middle East.

    Israel has had 60 years and has failed to establish itself as viable, self supporting state.

    US and Europe should offer the Israeli's citizenship and end the failed experiment.  Perhaps get the Middle oil states to purchase the "improvements" Israel made to Palestine to provide a "grub stake" for Israeli emigrants.

    •  Back to reality now (3+ / 0-)

      As long as the US exists, Israel will exist.

      Drop the sci-fi books.

      •  Reality is Israel is a failed state. (0+ / 0-)

        "As long as the US exists, Israel will exist."

        As you note, Israel cannot exist without the US, economically or militarily.  After 60 years it is time to pull the plug on the experiment. It has lead to the decades of violence. It is a human rights disaster that approaches the German genocide of WWII that created the political sympathy that lead to the creation of the Israeli state.

        •  You will not get any traction saying that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrchumchum

          It is the time to force our newly elected leaders to say and do the right thing.

          •  Fact is Israel is not viable state. (4+ / 0-)

            Israel cannot exist economically without billion$ from US.

            Israel is a luxury US can no longer afford.

            On top of that, Israel has been a human rights disaster. If Israel were an Arab state, attacking surrounding Jewish states, US would be threatening military action against Israel.

            •  Israel has been reacting to a human rights (0+ / 0-)

              disaster since the first homicide bomb went off in a pizzeria.

              Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

              by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:32:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  History begins before your "pizzeria". (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musicalhair, PDM, eigenlambda

                Palestinian population was displaced to make room for Israelis.

                That human rights violation has not only never been rectified, Israel has compounded the problem.

                For some reason, Israelis felt that human rights violations against them by Germany in WWII justified Israel's human rights violations against Palestinians.

                Israel never came up with a viable economy or a way to become integrate itself into the Middle East.

                After 60 years, it is time to pull the plug.

                It is unacceptable for another 60 years with the same violence as the last 60 years.

                Israel has cost the US $2T and its moral standing over the last 60 years.

                •  Distortion (0+ / 0-)

                  Palestinian population was displaced to make room for Israelis.

                  Palestinians left after being invited to stay by the Israelis.  They rejected peaceful coexistence in favor of the 6 day war.  That's not Israel's fault.

                  Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                  by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:45:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where you warning us that you intended to write (5+ / 0-)

                    a distortion?

                    Rabin himself stated that he personally oversaw the forced removal of some 50,000 Palestinians.

                    •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lockewasright

                      And the entire Muslim world dumped their Jews on Israel too. So, do they get to go back from where they were displaced?

                      Palin: I can see Russia from my house! Obama: I can see Lafayette Park from mine.

                      by Attorney at Arms on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:24:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do they want too? (0+ / 0-)

                        If you're arguing that Egypt, Syria (not Lebanon, BTW), Iraq, Yemen ect. owe restitution to those they ethnically cleansed, I agree with you.

                        I don't confuse the Right of Return or Restitution with a "Right of Return"...but then, neither of those was the topic of discussion.

                    •  What is it with Israel haters and idiotic half (0+ / 0-)

                      truths?!  They were removed AFTER the most of the Palestinian population had chosen to reject Israel and let their allies "push the jews into the ocean".

                      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                      by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:29:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wait...you just said they "left"..... (0+ / 0-)

                        You now admit that a substantial portion of them were removed?

                        •  Yes, let lose track of the point by focusing on (0+ / 0-)

                          the exceptions.  That's honest and productive.

                          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                          by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 06:19:53 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Exceptions? (0+ / 0-)

                            Rabins admission alone covers one in fourteen.  

                            Shall we ignore those who fled as a result of Igrun terror?

                            Make a choice, and stick with it.  Either there was no forced removal, or it was justified.  

                            Hoping back and forth while flailing about and screaming "Israel Haters" isn't making for a very strong argument.

                          •  Um 1 in 14 is an exception. It's called math. (0+ / 0-)

                            Are we now denying that the palestinians (with some exceptions) chose the 6 day war instead of peaceful coexistence as it was offered in the hopes that their allies would push the jews into the sea?

                            Be honest or bug someone else.  I have no time or patience for blame all of it on one side horse shit.

                            I never asked you for your assessment of my factual argument.

                            BTW, pointing out exceptions as a way to avoid a general truth is truly a weak argument.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 06:41:38 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Do you actually think that there is ANY chance (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mrchumchum

                  that we will pull the plug?

                  Let's stick with solutions that don't involve either unicorns or and end to American funding for Israel.

                  While we're doing away with fantasies with no basis in reality, let's not pretend that Israel is unjustified in defending itself.

                  For some reason, Israelis felt that human rights violations against them by Germany in WWII justified Israel's human rights violations against Palestinians.

                  Have you anything based in reality to say?

                  Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                  by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:50:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Any chance Israel will be viable? No. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    eigenlambda

                    That is the question and answer.

                    Israel needs to come up with plan for economic and political viability in the Middle East.

                    It has failed to do that for 60 years and there is no indication it has any plan to do that in the future.

                    •  The viability question is (0+ / 0-)

                      a non-issue as long as the U.S. will make up the difference.  The U.S. will NEVER stop doing that, so it makes no difference whether they ever become independently viable.

                      Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                      by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 02:26:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Israel is not an independent country (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PDM

                        "as long as the U.S. will make up the difference"

                        Then Israel is not viable.

                        •  It makes no difference if Israel is viable. (0+ / 0-)

                          Whether it is viable or not changes absolutely no realities in this world because the U.S. makes sure that it doesn't matter.

                          Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                          by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 04:25:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No state can survive without being independent. (0+ / 0-)

                            Israel is a US dependent. It cannot exist independently.

                            US has been slowly but surely moving to a more equitable position in the Middle East and as it does Israel's survival, as a US dependency, is threatened.

                            Israel is a luxury item for the US and it may find that it is a luxury US voters can live without in hard economic times.

                            If US stops paying Israel the $6B in grants and aid it can also cut loose the $3B in aid to Egypt.

                            That's $100B over the next eight years that voters may want spent on unemployment benefits, health care, housing and jobs.

                            US has poured billion$ into two countries that have gotten more violent (Israel) and more undemocratic (Egypt) which hurts the push for human rights and democracy and helps Islamic extremism, the opposite of what US aid is supposed to do.

                          •  Obama will be more pro Israel than Bush... watch. (0+ / 0-)

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:40:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not likely as Israel makes out of Iraq harder. (0+ / 0-)

                            Israel's behavior directly threatens US national security by strengthening al-Quaeda and the Islamic extremists in the Middle East who support terrorism against the US.

                            Obama has to purse a pro-American policy, not a pro-Israel policy and those two policies are increasingly divergent.

                          •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dansmith17

                            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                            And do you think that Rahm Israel Emanuel gave up his spot in the senate without sitting his orthodox son of a man who help to create the Israel we see today ass down and talking to his perspective boss about Israel policy first?

                            Not. gonna. happen.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:34:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also, (0+ / 0-)

                            http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.c...

                            There is some encouraging stuff in there for people who hold your point of view (and mine as well), but Israel will be protected and funded probably more under the Obama administration than any other recent one.  One can believe that Israel must be held to a higher standard without ignoring history and blaming the victim for the whole thing.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:44:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All of the GOP and a huge portion of the (0+ / 0-)

                            democratic party is strongly pro Israel.  Don't bet on your drift away from Israel to materialize any time soon.  

                            Get out away from Dkos more.  The anti-Israel delusion that so many here suffer is fringe.  The huge majority of this country disagrees.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:43:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, and the stupid redneck hatred of everything (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dansmith17

                            Arab since 9/11 only further solidifies support for Israel on the redneck right.  I am not proud of it.  It's convenient I guess since I am pro Israel, but their reasons don't please me.  Still, it is a reality in the situation.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 05:48:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ever hear of anti-semetism? Right wing hates Jews (0+ / 0-)

                            GOP, especially the religious right wing of the GOP is heavily anti-semetic as it is anti-black, anti-gay, anti-women.  Jews and Arabs (both semetic people) killing each other every day suits them just fine.

                            Liberal Democrats are for equal rights but that doesn't equate to pro-Israel when Israel is a bad actor.

                            Israel has been losing support in US, or more correctly, US is less and less inclined to support Israel's anti-human rights behavior.

                          •  They're evangelical and "the lord" gave the land (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dansmith17

                            to the Jews.  They're not nearly as anti jew as they are both pro bible and anti arab.

                            As for Israel being the bad actor here:

                            Israel may have been bombed frequently, but it was dressed provocatively, and had been drinking, and had a reputation... I get it.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:03:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Christians are most anti-Jewish group in history. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Not gonna argue a whole lot there. Christians (0+ / 0-)

                            are the most anti(fill in noun here) group in history.

                            Jesus would be so proud! /snark

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:12:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Need the Jews in Israel to rebuild the temple (0+ / 0-)

                            so that the end times can come.  These moonbats are pro Israel to fulfill prophecy.  I am under no delusion that they love Jews or even like them.

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:18:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually, polls show (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sydneyluv, dansmith17

                            that a large majority (over 70 percent) of Americans do not want our government to be "pro-Israel".  Most Americans want the U.S. to treat the two sides equally in the I/P conflict.  However, our political elites are another matter--yes the leadership of the GOP and of the Democrats are overwhelmingly pro-Israel.  This is a problem for our democracy, when such definite public opinion can be disregarded by the ruling elite.

                          •  Link? (0+ / 0-)

                            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                            by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:31:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's the link: (0+ / 0-)

                            Go to  [http://www.salon.com/...]

                            Glenn Greenwald discussed this issue in his Salon column on July 20th, 2008.  The link should take you to the archive of that column.

                    •  Nonsese (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      arielle, lockewasright

                      US provided no Government military or economic aid for the first 20 years of Israel's existence, though plenty of private groups with money in the US did.

                      If US government cut off all aid tomorrow Israel would go through some hard times but it would not go away.

                      Ask Cuba how important US aid has been!

                •  Right, before that was the invitation for (0+ / 0-)

                  Palestinians to be a peaceful part of Israel, followed by them rejecting peace and instead hoping that, through use of disproportionate force (which seems to be something folks object to only now that the shoe is on the other foot), push the Jews into the see.  Then Israel won the conflict.

                  It was only THEN that the murderous cowardly bombing of civilians in pizzerias started.  Well, that makes me feel better.  If only those damn jews weren't so evil as to defend themselves...

                  Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                  by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:40:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  WTF is a "homicide bomb"? (0+ / 0-)

                All bombs that kill people are homicide bombs, regardless of how badly they "need killin'"

                "What if everybody thought like you?" "Then I'd be a damn fool to think otherwise."-- Catch 22

                by Johnny Q on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:01:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Tired of the martyrdom lie that goes with the (0+ / 0-)

                  term suicide bomb.

                  Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                  by lockewasright on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:33:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Homicide bomb" is vocabulary mutilation (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q

                    "Suicide bomber" has meaning.  It distinguishes this type of bombing from the more common type in which the bomber intends to kill others but not him/herself.

                    Also, killing others is considered despicable; killing oneself is considered insane.

                    As for that martyrdom crap, mangling your vocabulary is never going to stop religious maniacs from saying or believing idiotic things.

        •  ... that approaches the German genocide ...? (0+ / 0-)

          of course, what else could be said... Try thinking before speaking.

  •  This conflict is so emotionally charged... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, sydneyluv

    That IMHO, many "liberal bloggers" might choose to try to avoid commenting because no matter what they say, some readers will likely get angry.  Sadly, this issue is one of the few issues in the lefty blogs where objectivity is one of the first casualties.  Even more sadly, if it can’t even be discussed in progressive blogs without name-calling and angry accusations, how can there ever be hope of resolution between the two sides involved in the hostilities?  

    IMHO, neither side is totally blameless in the ongoing conflict, and until they can all do some serious and objective self-examination, and be willing to make some major shifts in the status quo, the cycle of violence won’t ever be broken.

    •  There are no "liberal/lefty" bloggers on the move (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musicalhair, Skid, JesseCW, Johnny Q

      Look, there is nothing emotionally charged about this. The "lefty bloggers" are far from the mainstream (Europe, rest of the world) on the subject.

      Hamas are terrorists, who were financed by the Israeli Mossad decades ago.

      Israeli politicians and army officers are ready, eager, willing and able to kill civilians because let's rmember, they took a beating in Lebanon, thanks to Hizbullah's real trained fighters.

      This was done because Bush is leaving and elections in Israel are coming.

      For many here 1 Jewish life is worth 250 Palestinian lives.

      Simple facts.

      •  Many Likudniks were also terrorists (6+ / 0-)

        at one time. They formed a party and won many elections.  That is to say, they evolved to a certain extent.

        In the current situation, for Israel - as opposed to rightwing Israelis - victory will be indistinguishable from defeat.  Time is running out for a political solution.

        Soon it will be the blind, ineluctable force of demographics that will decide the issue.  Many will suffer and die.

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:22:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  what you say, sadly, is very true (4+ / 0-)

      but if we in America, cannot debate, discuss, try to understand the complexities that exist in a situation that has three enemies at each other's throats, Israel, Fatah and Hamas, in an extremely volatile region of the world, ready to blow at a myriad of flashpoints, how on earth can we expect to ever solve through peaceful means these conflicts that are rooted in at times centuries old conflicts.

      The people's of the planet have to try and learn to seek solutions without mindless killing resulting in these dreadful humanitarian crises to which there are no simple solutions.

      We have to learn to try and discuss without getting so angry.  Anything else is abdicating any pretense we have at constructive approaches instead of destructive rage.  

      •  I did not mean that to land under raulVB's post, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurious

        with which i vehemently disagree, it is too onesided and simplistic in my opinion anyway. I meant it as a response to kurious's lament.

        •  Explain the complexity (0+ / 0-)

          Or your point is the old and tired "Israel has the right to defend itself..."

          •  absolutely not, explain what I view as (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurious

            complexities, because it is obvious from this and other comments that nothing i might say would result in any replies other than the confrontational and mind made up response you made.

            Your reply in fact is a terrific example of what i did say, that we have yet to learn to debate and discuss without preconceived cast in concrete positions.

            I'm sorry my dear, you will have to find someone else to challenge.

        •  Actually that particular comment... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soccergrandmom

          is an example of what I discussed in my comment.  

          Which is why these are the first and last comments I'll make in these types of diaries. Sadly, IMHO, the wounds are too deep, painful and longstanding and the anger is too hot to allow for constructive discussion at this time.  Meanwhile, people on both sides will continue to die because of all that anger, and that's the real tragedy.

  •  For me ... (14+ / 0-)

    ... I don't usually get involved in I/P discussions on the blogs, though I have in the past.

    My concern is for the humanitarian crisis.

    I asked several prominent pro-P diarists if there was any leadership at all in the region, from any country, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc., any leadership at all that was arising, someone that could speak to this humanitarian crisis.

    The answer was "no."

    We've had eight years of BushCo allowing and encouraging Israel to use their power in ways most of us find wrong.  There has been no "honest broker" in the region for far too long.

    I am no fan of Hamas, but they were legitimately elected and all we heard from Condi Rice was "who could have expected this?"

    And in the meantime terrible things are happening to human beings.  And no one is stepping up.  Instead I read mostly personal fights among bloggers calling each other names.

    I think there has been a bit of a shift with recent diaries on this subject.  I think the inhibition on writing about this is not because we don't care or don't feel we should address this topic -- it is the avoidance of the giant egos on both sides which make it about them rather than about those who are suffering.

    This is a humanitarian crisis.  Whether it be in Gaza or Darfur or Burma, we have a long ways to go in learning how to deal with these crises.

    •  But we have to become mainstream (3+ / 0-)

      Look, I see your point, but the silence is criminal.

      Everybody is fair when criticizing the ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AND HAMAS FOR THEIR CRIMES. That is what the European media and the media in the rest of the world are doing.

      American "foreign  policy" standard-bearers and the politicians here are not the ones who can solve the problem, because they are part of it.

  •  Sent Haarez quote to change.gov (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting the foreign press comments. I emailed some to my congressman, 2 senators,& the transition team. "Diplomacy not bombs" is the change I  worked for

  •  The US should have reporters like Israel's (0+ / 0-)

    And the US should withdraw all assistance from I and P until there is a two-state solution.

    For National Security.

    "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08] Oh, and fuck Rick Warren

    by eroded47095 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:06:24 AM PST

  •  Oh, dear God! This is why I am against war. (12+ / 0-)

    A mother whose three school-age children were killed, and are piled one on top of the other in the morgue, screams and then cries, screams again and then is silent.

    Massive bombing: Viet Nam, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Darfur, WWII England....

    When will humans learn to stop killing innocent people for this or that rationalization?

    What did those children do to deserve it?  The mother?  How can anyone, who has suffered unfairness, inflict such abject horror on others?

    They will say it was the fault of the rocket launchers, but they are deluding no one that it warranted the death of those children and the grief of their mother.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~ T.J.

    by CIndyCasella on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:07:02 AM PST

    •  But then they are Palestinian children and it (4+ / 0-)

      seems as if their lives are not important. They will be called "collateral damage." Israeli children? Now that deserves condemnation and retaliation. Obama, you had better not let me down on this one. I want a statement which, at the very least,  gives some comfort to that suffering Palestinian mother. Enough already!

      It's a beautiful day!

      by JoanMar on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:58:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Search of the Truth (17+ / 0-)

    Israel has a free press.
    To judge the tone of Israelis by opinions in Haaretz is like judging the pulse of the US by Fox News or even the New York Times by the commentary of William Kristol.
    The fact is that (like Americans) Israelis are divided on most issues.

    As a foreign observer and one of those "Liberals" who look at two sides of an issue, I refuse to rush to any judgment because we really don't have enough information.

    We get far more information on CNN and other US "News" outlets about the latest wife murderer than we do about World (or National) affairs.

    It's hard enough to get the American press to concentrate on critical National issues, yet alone Foreign intrigues.

    And European media outlets, while more directed at World affairs, are notoriously slanted.  The British press has long been a bastion of rampant Anti-Semitism.  Many of the decision makers in the British media share their Foreign Minister's public pronouncement that Israel is just a "dirty little country."
    When I read the moderated comments on Belgian National Radio describing Israel as a "Tumor in the midst of Judaism,"  I got a cold chill down my spine. The reference to Israel is almost a direct quote about Jews in general made by Hitler's mouthpiece.
    The unfortunate fact remains that Europeans have deliberately murdered many times more Jews AND Arabs (and other minorities) then have died as a result of local violence between Israelis and Arabs.
    So much for European morality lessons.

    The Israelis garnered much more support when they were pathetically overmatched by Arab enemies. Some of the more favorable and balanced World opinion has drifted away from them because they can now stand up on their own.  This fact should have no weight when it comes to right and wrong and therefore creates an unfair view of the conflict. The fact is that Israel is still surrounded by much larger and hostile neighbors in possession of much deadlier weapons than ever before - and controlled by leaders who call for Israel's annihilation. No matter their leanings in past, current or future conflict, I doubt that the majority of Israelis would ever want to return to that weak upstart of a State - not in this climate. Overreaction has kept them alive - now, it also threatens to isolate them - rightly or wrongly.

    War is never surgical, and indiscriminate bombing is downright criminal.  How many children died in Hiroshima and Hamburg from Indiscriminate American bombs? How many died even from so-called "surgical" strikes in Iraq? Of course, the deliberate targeting of Israeli children at a Bar Mitzvah is in a class of inhumanity previously exclusive to Hitler.

    The jury is still out on this latest rash of violence.
    Certainly, as Ehud Barak said yesterday, Americans would expect their government to act if terrorists in Tijuana were lobbing rockets into San Diego - but what if we bombed Tijuana and the rockets kept coming? What then?
    The question remains - out of 270 or more dead, what has Israel gained in safety for its people?  Israelis want to know that they're somehow more secure as a result. That answer has not always been forthcoming. After 7 years of war, what has the US gained in security?

    As sympathetic as I have been to the plight of Israel, I'm certainly not ready to cheer them on without some serious and unfiltered answers from all concerned - particularly the National and World media. Unfortunately, the Media is probably not going to oblige.  Other than Nicholas Kristoff, not a single American reporter has had anything to say (or say accurately) about genocide in Africa.  Can we expect much more from the media in reporting this latest crisis? Most of the media outlets in this country no longer have their own reporters on the scene - or even nearby.

    So for now, I see no heroes on either side - only victims and destruction.  But isn't that always the case, and when will the World community find a better way to deal with these disputes and the blind hatred they perpetuate?

  •  well, at least we know *you* aren't biased (0+ / 0-)

    You mention Haaretz and The Independent without mentioning that these are 100% liberal newspapers in their respective countries. These two newspapers do not represent the "balanced" view...they represent the liberal view. Their respective counterparts are The Jerusalem Post and The Guardian.

    You make it sound as if Israel begged for the ceasefire when, in fact, both sides equally wanted it.

    You say that Israel violated the ceasefire by bombing the tunnel near their border. Why was Hamas building a tunnel near the border? And what of Hamas' response? Launching hundred of rockets at Isreali civilians is clearly an act of terror.

    This diary lacks any sense of balance. At least we know you are not biased.

    •  The Guardian is in the UK considered (5+ / 0-)

      a liberal broadsheet, along with its Sunday counterpart The Observor.  For the conservative pov you should read the Times (owned by Murdoch now) and the Telegraph.  I don't read either of them and i imagine they are pretty anti-Israel.

      When I am in America i tend to rely more on the BBC World Service, on both satellite radio and satellite television.  They are as 'balanced' as is possible and present many different sides to the complexities of the Fatah, Hamas and Israeli points of view.

      I also try and watch CSPAN's Prime Minister Quetion Time for the official government and opposition pov's.

      That is my opinion anyway.  As a Brit I could be biased of course.  At the least they give me a foundation upon which to base any preference i may be inclined toward, although i do try to see all sides perspectives, agendas and reasons for these specific outbreaks of violence.

    •  No matter what your view (8+ / 0-)

      We need to acknowledge the breadth of opinion in Israeli and Jewish communities or else we risk perpetuating a lot of negative stereotypes.  I salute the diary for doing this and encouraging Americans to think more deeply about the issue than a simple "Terrorists are Evil!" neo-con view.  

      "If you can't lower heaven, raise hell!" - Mother Jones

      by al ajnabee on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:44:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As we have quickly learned during the last (0+ / 0-)

      eight years, there is a large difference between useful "balance" in facts and analysis and useless political "balance" of ideologies that seeks only to pretend that all sides are on equal fundamental footing in a given disagreement.

      In this case, Ha'aretz is right. Asking for "balance" is just like asking someone to "balance" out their BBC viewing by also watching Fox News, or to "balance" their political positions by reading Mein Kampf in addition to Barack Obama's book.

      -9.63, 0.00
      Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from idiotic American minds.

      by nobody at all on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:12:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, another pro-Palestinian recced diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Antacid
    Wow, the visibility for Palestinian issues is skyrocketing on this site. Watershed moment, anyone? All this debate--even the trollish shit on both sides--is absolutely wonderful, even more so for the virtual absence of these debates in the mass media. Well done, Kossacks!

    "Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah."

    by timmyk on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:48:26 AM PST

  •  Deafening silence from our cowardly wimpy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, Skid, al ajnabee

    media. No coverage. Voluntary censorship. Sickening!

    It's a beautiful day!

    by JoanMar on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:55:24 AM PST

  •  A crime against humanity pure and simple (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skid, Tanya, TNThorpe, Johnny Q, al ajnabee

    Bombing, starving, and denying medical treatment, education, employment and freedom of movement to a civilian population of nearly 1.5 million are by any reasonable standard crimes.

    Rightwing Israel, including many religious fanatics from the US living on stolen land, have a lot to answer for.  Unfortunately, it will be ordinary Israelis and Palestians who want only peace who will have to suffer.

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:02:43 PM PST

  •  When checking the news about Israel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    I always consult Haaretz before even thinking of the JPost.

    Thanks for the diary GM.

  •  Yes, because Israel is a democracy its press (2+ / 0-)

    plays the part a good press should play. I don't see why this is at all surprising to anyone.

  •  I did not know Israel decided to break the (0+ / 0-)

    cease fire.

    "Clearly, many inside this Nation's Government anticipated it. It was Mr. bush and his gang who chose to ignore them." [KO 12/18/08] Oh, and fuck Rick Warren

    by eroded47095 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 01:27:17 PM PST

  •  We always wonder... (4+ / 0-)

    "Why do they hate us?"

    Then you look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The unwillingness of the more powerful, "Western" side to actually take a stand for the average person.

    Denying any human beings clean food, water, shelter and self-determination leads to conflict and hateful ideology. Anytime, anywhere. Radicalism is bred by the very same policies that the Israeli government continues to enact.

    Gaza is a prime example of how to breed Islamic terrorism. Look at what happened in Iraq after basic services broke down. Terrorism.

    I guarantee you that if you take away the reasons for the hate, the hate will disappear. Not overnight because lingering doubts will remain, but they will disappear.

    People cannot be treated like this and expected to accept the status-quo. It will not happen.

    Blockade New York and carry out the same actions that Israel has and see how long it takes before New Yorkers decide to fight back. Won't take long.

    John McCain picked someone who not only appeals to "Wal-Mart Moms" but is one herself, shopping for the family in a local branch.-BBC

    by FinchJ on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 03:18:52 PM PST

    •  Without US tax $$$ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      out of left field

      there would be no Israel.

      From an Arab's viewpoint the US has chosen sides and funds the violence. From that viewpoint most individuals would, and do, hate the US.

      There is no Israel apart from what we continue to create. It could not exist without our finance as it is economically unviable, and it has made no effort to integrate into the middle east.

      It is in contradiction of so many UN mandates, has all it's secret nuclear programs and is the cause of enormous world instability.

      Will the US support it forever, even if the price of doing so skyrockets due to conflict? Even during a depression?

      •  You're an idiot,PDM (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arielle, Marcus Junius Brutus

        In 1948 not one dime of U.S. Government money went to help Israel defend itself against thousands of Arab soldiers who attacked it the day Israel came into existence as an independent state. In fact, it was illegal for U.S. citizens to send war materiel to Israel which is why Bush last week posthumously pardoned an American who went to jail for helping Israel obtain military equipment in 1948.

        It was not until 1962 that the U.S. SOLD--not GAVE, SOLD--military aircraft to Israel, and it was not until after 1967 that U.S. economic and military aid was given to Israel.

        Anti-Bush and Pro-Israel just like Obama and Biden

        by Emet on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:08:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: You're an idiot, PDM (0+ / 0-)

          It was true that in 1948 U.S. citizens could not directly send war material to Israel.  But a great deal of non-military material assistance WAS given privately by U.S. citizens, which helped greatly in establishing Israel.  

          1967 was over 40 years ago.  Since then, U.S. aid to Israel has risen to levels that dwarf our contributions to any other country.  The large military establishment that Israel has today is in part a product of our tax dollars.  Like it or not, we have a big stake in what Israel does with its military.

          •  As threat has decreased aid has increased. (0+ / 0-)

            When it was possible Israel would not survive both during the initial 47-49 struggle and from 47-67 the US was either neutral or openly hostile as in when Eisenhower forced Israel to withdraw from Sinai and Gaza in 57.

            Aid started in 67 in response to soviet Aid to Egypt after their defeat in 67.

            Soviets left Egypt in 75 and it made peace with Israel and in effect became a US client state.

            Israel has been safe ever since as no Arab coalition can win without Egypt.

            Military Aid  has increased ever since.

      •  Israel is a high-income economy with (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arielle, PDM, mrchumchum, dansmith17

        lots of viable industries and services. It's quite technologically advanced. In the last few years, GDP growth has been about 5% per year. GDP per capita is about $26,000 per year (CIA Factbook). The size of its GDP is $185 billion in 2007.

        A decrease in direct aid from the US and the private transfers from all over the world would not mean that Israel could not exist. What is would mean is that if the government did not cut expenditures, particularly military expenditures, there would be a higher deficit, higher interest rates and higher national debt in the longer-term. The government would probably have to implement tax increases to replace the lost overseas aid. All of this would negatively impact its economy. If we assume that US aid is around 5 billion a year (both in cash and in kind through military equipment donations) that would only amount to a 2.7 percent of GDP contraction to the economy in the first year. A big hit, but not anything that would cause the country to cease to exist or threaten its economic viability.

        I am sympathetic to you other points - I do abhor that US money supports violence. It does make us a target for those disenchanted with the fruits of our labors.

  •  "most liberal bloggers" (2+ / 0-)

    That's ridiculous.  Not only is it wrong - I would say that every liberal blogger who writes about FP has had something to say about the situation - but it unfairly lumps "liberal bloggers" together regardless of their area of specialization.  I wouldn't WANT to know Nate Silver's opinion on Gaza - not because he doesn't have one, but because he probably knows better than to wade into things where he would be little more than an echo.

    Lame.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 04:48:14 PM PST

  •  The 'Jewish Voice for Peace' (7+ / 0-)

    ...is saying

    Please allow me to share with you our statement below about the headlines seen in papers across the world yesterday and today.

    In sadness on this terrible day,

    Cecilie Surasky
    Jewish Voice for Peace

    ------------------------------------------------

    December 28, 2008  

    Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.

    Israel's slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.

    In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.

    Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.

    Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.

    This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.

    The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.

    The original is here.

  •  What's up with the rumors of Palestine's natural (0+ / 0-)

    gas and iraq's oil going to israel?

    Carolyn Maloney for U.S. Senate N.Y. - advocate for the citizen

    by JerichoJ8 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:00:15 PM PST

    •  BS (0+ / 0-)

      Palestine has no natural Gas

      Iraqi oil to Israel was a neocon pipedream in the days after the fall of Baghdad, the Iraqi's would greet us as liberators throw flowers at our feet, sign a peace treaty and free trade agreement with Israel and re-open the Kirkurk to Haifa oil pipeline blocked since 1948.

      They were shocked, shocked I tell you when they realised in the Lebanon war that their new Iraqi friends were supporting Hezbullah and Israel or any mention of it was poison.

  •  Barack Obama gets it. Why can't you? (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    DFutureIsNow
    Hidden by:
    freespeech

    "When President-elect Barack Obama visited Israel in July — to the very town, in fact, whose repeated shelling culminated in this weekend’s new fighting in Gaza — he all but endorsed the punishing Israeli attacks now unfolding.

    'If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to everything in my power to stop that,' he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been attacked repeatedly by rocket fire. 'And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.'

    * * *

    "One option would be for an Obama administration to respond much more harshly to Israel’s policies, from settlements to strikes like those this weekend, as many in the Arab world and beyond have long urged. On Sunday, though, Mr. Axelrod said the president-elect stood by the remarks he made in the summer and, when asked, noted the 'special relationship' between the United States and Israel."

    New York Times 12/27/09 8:39 P.M. EST

    Barack Obama gets it. Too bad, you idiots don't. Israel is doing what President Obama would do if a bunch of thugs took over Ontario and from Windsor lobbed 300 rockets into Detroit, Grosse Point, Bloomfield Hills and Southfield Michigan.

    Am Yisroel Chai!

    Anti-Bush and Pro-Israel just like Obama and Biden

    by Emet on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:01:02 PM PST

    •  I think Obama's formulation was purposefully (0+ / 0-)

      a very unpolitical one. Comparing the rocket attacks from the Gaza side to bombarding the bedroom of his daughters I thought was a so-called "smart" formulation to avoid to give a real answer, but was also extremely weak.

      If he "got it", he sure doesn't say "what he got".

      I think Obama and Hillary will go under and be crushed by an extended and enlarged war in ME. The Israeli attack was so clearly timed in the transition time from Bush to Obama, that I can't imagine it wasn't on purpose. Who had the interest to "solve" the ME situation with Iran under their watch without taking responsibility for it? The Bush-Cheney US.

      The situation will destroy Obama's presidency, I believe. It was an evil, calculated move.

  •  Ok. I'll confess I'm wearing my tinfoil hat here. (0+ / 0-)

    We all know that Israel would not have done this without the Bush Administration's blessing--a promise to wink and nod at this attack on Gaza. Perhaps they all felt the push to do this now out of fear that once Obama gets inaugurated, this sort of naked aggression won't receive such easy sanction. After all, Obama's paternal grandfather was Muslim. Perhaps, a scintilla of that blood remains in Obama helping him to be able to see both sides of this travesty. Maybe this is a foolish notion since Obama has vowed to expand the US presence in Afghanistan.

    My ultimate fear--that Bush will use this situation as an excuse to start bombing Iran. I imagine that in his mind that would constitute going out with a bang. After all, he prides himself on being a wartime president. If this happens all bets are off. We will have WWIII, my friends.

    Can someone please talk me down here?!

    "World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."--Albert Einstein

    by Aurora Borealis on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:24:00 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary, GregMitch... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Junius Brutus

    You are bringing to our attention a lot of things most Americans do not want to face.

    "World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."--Albert Einstein

    by Aurora Borealis on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 06:28:28 PM PST

  •  I just might remind you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Junius Brutus

    ...that the Israeli press' condemnation of the Hezbollah/Lebanon war was based on the government not allowing the military to attack with sufficiently powerful force to completely destroy Hezbollah.  The press was not against the operation in general.

    Akiva Eldar is making a similar argument not against the operation in general but specifically against this sort of operation and the PR fallout that will likely follow it.

  •  Political madness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Junius Brutus, marsanges

    I took your advice to consult the Haaretz website and while I agree with your general premise that the newspaper has some criticism of Israel I think the progressive/liberal blogger response is muted for several reasons.

    In the US, the political situation in regard to Israel is complicated.  Republicans support Israel because they view Israeli military actions as self defense.  Progressive/liberal bloggers are tempered in response because the Jewish vote is 75% or higher in favor of Democrat candidates.

    Ok, that's relatively simplistic, so going to the Haaretz site I see that the political situation is anything but simplistic.

    According to this article, the Egyptians and Saudis are looking to the Israeli military action as a favorable move to weaken Hamas.  They view Hamas as furthering Iranian aims to extend its influence in the region.  Another articlealso indicates that not only has Egypt closed its border with Gaza, but is firing on people as they try to cross that border while Israel strikes about 40 smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.

    Another article says Hamas is not only threatening to assassinate top Israeli leaders Livni and Barak, but are also threatening Palestinian Authority and Arab leaders they feel have let them down.

    So the political madness just continues on both sides.

    Israel blows up a tunnel, Hamas retaliates with Rocket attacks against Israel. Israel retaliates to Hamas rocket attacks with attacks against Hamas leadership targets, arms smuggling tunnels, and the rocket sites but inflicts a very high civilian death toll in the heavily populated Gaza.

    Hamas threatens Israeli leaders as well as PA and other Arab leaders.  Egypt looks at the Israeli attacks as a way of weakening Hamas and fires on Palestinians trying to escape the Israeli bombings.

    Israel can't seem to learn how to respond with any kind of moderation when provoked, especially after providing the initial provocation while in a cease fire.  The Palestinians can't seem to figure out how to find political leadership that ultimately helps the people solve their dire problems.  They seem to somehow think that turning to terrorist organizations like Hamas will somehow help, while tending to only make things worse.

    Just a very difficult situation for both sides, with neither side working to ultimately solve the issues.

  •  A couple of comments (0+ / 0-)
    1) The timing is very provocative, coming this late in the lame duck presidency/transition period. Bush can hardly do a thing and Obama certainly cannot. Even if he wanted to deplore Israel's actions, (doubtful), it would be pretty diplomatically inappropriate for Obama to take a hardline public stance with out the seal of office. He is no longer senator and not yet president.

    2) How much of the timing here is related to Iran? Would goading Iran into making some move now that would result in an Israeli 'retaliation', be part of the plan?

    An Israel-Iran war at the onset of Obama's presidency would be a shitty way to start his first term, with the economy in the toilet, Iraq still a quagmire, Afghanistan a mess, Pakistan and India taking brinkmanship a few steps to far and a dozen or so other bad international situations on every continent.

    If Israel wanted to take on Iran once and for all, they would want to do it when Obama is perceived to be weak at the onset, without a full cabinet yet confirmed.

    "One of the reasons we were all thrilled Tuesday night is it was pretty obvious this was a collectively intelligent decision." - Al Gore

    by Marcus Junius Brutus on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 07:40:31 PM PST

    •  Sic Semper... (0+ / 0-)

      Brutus: Israel is an independent country, not a U.S. state. Our transition is a factor to be sure, but it's more interesting that this comes during their own transition.

      Palin: I can see Russia from my house! Obama: I can see Lafayette Park from mine.

      by Attorney at Arms on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:29:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have a firm grasp of the obvious (0+ / 0-)

        But I am convinced that our transition weighs heavily, otherwise this could have waited 3-4 weeks and still been relevant for the Israeli elections.

        "One of the reasons we were all thrilled Tuesday night is it was pretty obvious this was a collectively intelligent decision." - Al Gore

        by Marcus Junius Brutus on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:57:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe this time Israel has finally gone too far (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celtic Merlin, mrchumchum

    at a moment when the world is interested in peace, not bullies.

    I am happy to have my tax dollars protect Israel, as long as they protect the Palestinians too, and restore to them basic human rights and decent living conditions.

    These attacks, like the ones on Lebanon, were indefensible.

    President Barack Obama!

    by kate mckinnon on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 08:14:13 PM PST

    •  Israel can never go too far (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xjac

      for American evanglicals or conservatives who have the same desires:

      1. Genocide against all brown people of earth
      1. Genocide against all non-Christians
      1. Genocide against/exploitation of all non-capitalists

      Israel and America are arm in arm until the very end: liquidation/enslavement of the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America to turn natural and labor resources into compliant, subjugated forces to sustain extravagant consumerist living.

      -9.63, 0.00
      Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from idiotic American minds.

      by nobody at all on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:15:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there are hard-liners, sure. (0+ / 0-)

        But there are a lot of people with soft (yet unquestioning) support for Israel, because of gauzier notions, like "Israel must be protected at all costs with no justification because of the Holocaust."

        Many Americans over 60 have that feeling; they remember well the events of WW2, and the world's move to protect the Jewish people.

        They might not have been paying as close attention as Israel took land that was not theirs, and ruthlessly isolated the Palestinians from anything resembling normal life.  They might not really know that most Palestinians live in conditions that are unimaginable, seeing them as nothing more than "terrorists."

        But in America right now there is a national mood of peace, and an aversion, thanks to Bush, of the rubberstamping of the dehumanization of brown people in the name of Homeland Security. People are taking a closer look.

        Maybe this time, at this moment, Israel has gone too far, and will be noticed by the people who have been rubberstamping their privilege without examining their practice.

        I admit that I am secretly hoping that Barack feels for the Palestinian people and will be the one American President who can leverage Israel to meet their end of the original deal, or work out another one that they will promise to respect.

        President Barack Obama!

        by kate mckinnon on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 06:53:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Americans. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xjac, The Red Pen, marsanges

    Americans, who are responsible for perhaps a million deaths in Iraq, have a lot of balls to talk a word about this.

    Having said that, I have no idea what the hell Israel is doing here. There had to be an easier way to stop the attacks on Sderot.

    Palin: I can see Russia from my house! Obama: I can see Lafayette Park from mine.

    by Attorney at Arms on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:05:44 PM PST

  •  some videos from Gaza (0+ / 0-)

    "The very scenario that the Americans feared the most came to pass because of their intervention to prevent it."

    by dancewater on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:27:11 PM PST

  •  thank you for posting this (0+ / 0-)

    If I had tried to say any of the things in that story I would have been skewered here.

  •  What The Israelis Don't Understand (0+ / 0-)

    Is that by launching this assault in the week between Christmas and New Year's, they have violated the sacred time of the entire Christian world in a way that is as grievous an assault on cultural expectations as the actions taken by Syrian and Egyptian forces on Yom Kippur in 1973.

    The obvious result -- an exponential rise in the level of Western outrage -- is now on display.

    The Israeli government has finally found one of the West's red lines, and it has crossed it gleefully.

    May their god have mercy on their souls.

  •  What is different between Mumbai and Israel? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dansmith17, citizen31

    I want to pose a logical conundrum:

    1.  In Mumbai some 200 were killed and 270(?) injured.

    The US and the rest of the world urged India to show restraint and not start a border conflict with Pakistan, though it was clear the attackers were from Pakistan.  Why?  Because it was clear that to do so would REWARD the attackers, whose goal was to goad India into an overreaction, to foment regional chaos and give power to extremists.

    1.  On the Gaza-Israel border extremists fired volleys of home-made rockets that killed 2 and injured 30.  2 children were also killed in Gaza by a rocket that misfired.

    Israel attacks Gaza, killing over 300 and injuring uncounted numbers.  By and large no one in the world speaks of "restraint" and the value of Israel not overreacting.

    Why?  Yes the rocket attacks are terrifying, but does anyone imagine they are MORE terrifying than what happened in Mumbai?  To seek an "eye for an eye" in these situations is to permit terrorists to set the agenda for nation states.  By spending no more than tens of thousands of dollars they get a reaction that leaves Israel looking like it cares nothing about the lives of Palestinians.  Why on earth is the laudable restraint shown by India not seen as equally laudable if and when Israel does it?

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