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Originally published in Tikkun Daily

Much has been written about the silencing of anti-war dissent in Israel by a populace almost universally supportive of military action in Gaza. Such support – inspired by feelings of vulnerability amidst rocket fire and informed by the country's rightward shift – has made speaking out against the violence not just uncomfortable, but dangerous. Not a single anti-war demonstration in the past month has concluded without participants being attacked and beaten by nationalistic counter-protesters.

And yet, while the silencing of anti-war dissent has been a troubling manifestation of Israelis' support for war, even more troubling has been the societal numbness, the societal disregard for Palestinian suffering which has been manifested in unsettling, and sometimes shocking, ways.

It's not bombastic to say that empathy is dead in Israel right now from a societal standpoint, a metaphorical casualty of the current violence. Evidence of this isn't just being seen in statistical polls, but in a seemingly endless stream of incidents. Consider the following three, representative of a real phenomenon few in Israel deny:

These scenes are just three representing countless such episodes happening online and in everyday life. Of course, they're not scenes taking place within a vacuum. A conflict is ongoing. Israelis have had to run to bomb shelters with each rocket attack. People are being traumatized by the constant threat of war.

However, within this context, many leaders are doing their part to incite the populace and ensure that the unspeakable suffering of Palestinians, not to mention their humanity, remain invisible. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been responsible for this, repeating the refrain that Palestinians in Gaza don't care about life, and reminding everyone that the thousands of dead are not so much victims as desired public relations weapons in Hamas' fight against Israel.

Netanyahu's words have been tame when compared to those of the Knesset's Deputy Speaker, who proposed placing Palestinians in tent encampments in Gaza before shipping them off to other countries. This call was preceded by a prominent chief rabbi who (falsely) declared that genocide with regard to Gaza was permitted by Jewish law to protect Israel.

Some might argue that all of this should be placed within the context of the growing issue of racism in Israel, which 95 percent of Israelis in March agreed is a national problem. However, such racism in many ways is just one more symptom, along with the disappearing empathy for the 'other,' of a decades-old conflict which is tearing at the soul of a country I love.

Decades of occupation and conflict have led to this societal moment in which, after killing nearly 2,000 Palestinians and obliterating parts of Gaza, Israeli society is unwilling to acknowledge what it has done to the other side. As though admitting such would be tantamount to losing in a zero-sum game where only one side can be right, can be just.  

Such an environment prompted Gregg Carlstrom to write an article entitled "The Death of Sympathy," which he opens with the following panoramic paragraph:

Pro-war demonstrators stand behind a police barricade in Tel Aviv, chanting, "Gaza is a graveyard." An elderly woman pushes a cart of groceries down the street in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and asks a reporter, "Jewish or Arab? Because I won't talk to Arabs." A man in Sderot, a town that lies less than a mile from Gaza, looks up as an Israeli plane, en route to the Hamas-ruled territory, drops a blizzard of leaflets over the town. "I hope that's not all we're dropping," he says.
Yes, there are lone voices calling for the recognition of both Palestinian and Israeli suffering. Voices calling for Israelis to acknowledge what it has done to the other side. What it is doing to itself. Unfortunately, such lone voices are being silenced, and sometimes physically attacked.

Just as I mourn for the dead in Israel and Palestine, for the young soldiers killed and innocent civilians lost, I mourn for a society that seems to be slipping into numbness, and what that numbness portends.  


What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon and Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It amazes me how controversial it is (161+ / 0-)

    to mourn the death of civilians on the Palestinian side of the conflict. Even in America it seems like if you're talking about the subject, every breath best be dedicated to blaming it all on Hamas and ignoring what the Israelis do, lest you be labelled anti-Semitic. It doesn't happen all that much on this site (more than it should, still) but in the general public and the media it seems pretty common.

    Regardless, thank you for taking the time to write on the subject. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.

    •  You're right to note that in America, it is a (92+ / 0-)

      difficult subject to broach with full honesty, as evidenced by the discourse had on television in the U.S.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  or perhaps even here at Kos historically (76+ / 0-)

        I would note that many equate opposition to Bibi's policies with anti antisemitism and sympathy for Gazans with being pro-Hamas or at least a dupe of Hamas.

        Some of us are of an age to remember a similar age in the US when any recognition that US policies were causing civilian casualties were met with cries of treason and any recognition that VC/NVA tactics were effective was seen as undermining the troops.

        This binary worldview of us/them seems ubiquitous on this topic so there are no nuances, no gradations, no degrees of fault.

        For example, it is often repeated that Hamas is using Gazans as human shields but at the same time, suggestions that Israel by keeping its borders closed are holding Gazans hostage are dismissed.  Gazans cannot be allowed to escape to WB because Hamas fighters will also escape or the border is Egypt's problem (and Sissi has re- instituted Mubarak's policies of cooperating with Israel on security matters and repression of MB)  

        •  About the human shields. (20+ / 0-)

          Suppose a terrorist shoots a rocket in the middle of a population center. Because his rockets are shitty, or because your defenses are so good, you can estimate even before the rocket is fired that the rocket is only likely to kill at most X number of people, where X is very small. Should you respond with overwhelming force, given that the rocket was fired from a populated area, you can be certain that a large number Y of people will be killed, where the number Y is orders bigger than X.

          The choice in this case is very easy, if you want to prevent the deaths of innocent people, you don't retaliate with mindless force. Y is much bigger than X, if you are interested in saving lives it seems self-defeating to kill Y people in hopes of possibly preventing the loss of X lives. Even in general, the only deaths you can absolutely certain that you will prevent are those you are about to cause. While being saved is a temporary state, being killed is permanent.

          Everyone acts as if this reasoning should not apply, simply because the innocent people making up the number of Y deaths happen to live across some line on a man-made map, or happen to differ in some number of alleles than you in a general sense, or because they happen to refer to a particular condiment by a different name. That is, because it is their dead, who cares if I've "saved" innocent lives by ending a whole bunch of other innocent lives.

          •  hmmm (6+ / 0-)

            "Even in general, the only deaths you can absolutely certain that you will prevent are those you are about to cause."

            I think this proves too much as a general proposition—it means one can never act in self-defense.  If someone comes running at me with a knife and I have the choice to use deadly force, I would never be justified…while I KNOW I would kill him if I acted, I can't know with absolute certainty what is in his head and if he intends to actually kill me.  That is, because I cannot ever fully know his intent, the only death that I can absolutely prevent is his.  

            •  misslegalbeagle - It depends on the deadly (43+ / 0-)

              force you have at you command. With a firearm, you can easily disable him without killing him. (Except that shooters are taught to aim at the center of mass.)
                 In the case of being attacked by ineffective rocketry, you have the possibility of tit for tat retaliation.
                 Israel's actions go far beyond that - in effect, they have the civilian population of Gaza trapped and unable to flee. So, at their convenience the Israelis can slaughter them by the thousands, even though only a small proportion of them have anything to do with Hamas or rockets.
                 What Israel has been doing is conducting a slaughter of civilians in Gaza every couple of years, and each time the killing spree has more to do with politics than with any threat from Gaza.
                 The rockets are a convenient excuse and Israel can provoke rocket fire at any time it chooses by simply staging a couple of incidents...drone strikes, eg.
                 Israel's actions in Gaza make sense only if they are part of a long term strategy of ultimately removing Gaza's population.

              •  hey my neighbor threw a rock at my car (29+ / 0-)

                I just bought a really neat howitzer and I am taking out his house to teach him a lesson so he doesn't do it again.

              •  Slaughtered them by the thousands? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Do you know how many men between the ages of 18-50 were killed in Gaza?  How many of them were Hamas fighters?

                •  Let's not forget Operation Cast Lead, or the Sabra (0+ / 0-)

                  and Shatilla massacres, or IDF using a US vessel, the USS Liberty, that was trying to see what was up in the Six Days' War, or the clearances in 1948 and after, or how about killing Turkish decent people on the high seas who dared to try to relieve the blockade of Palestinian areas, or a whole bunch more stuff? And yes, there are A-rabs who are as rabid as the gangs of "settlers" and the runaway IDF that used to claim they practiced "purity of arms," of which the following is part of the text on the ethicality of the IDF:

                  "Purity of Arms" (Morality in Warfare) - The soldier shall make use of his weaponry and power only for the fulfillment of the mission and solely to the extent required; he will maintain his humanity even in combat. The soldier shall not employ his weaponry and power in order to harm non-combatants or prisoners of war, and shall do all he can to avoid harming their lives, body, honor and property.

                  Of course, hair-splitters and casuastrists have found "interpretations" that preserve some nominal adherence to the hypocriticality of it all by definitional sleight-of-hand...

                  I used to hope that humans could do better. Israelites versus Philistines and all the other tribes, the real Long War that is still going on among the Great Game players in Ukraine and Honduras and Sudan and Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran and all that, my own experiences as a Vietnam vet, what's going on in Syria, the US imperial idiocies in any number of wars of choice and "democratization by deposing elected leaders and installing warlords or friendly dictators" which sets up conditions for a new "Mongol Horde" now sweeping the Mideast using US weapons and under former Batthist officers who "we" kicked out in "toppling Hussein our former buddy and who "we" trained and now by idiocy have armed with REAL heavy weapons, now the apparent imminent decimation of our own apparently suicidal species by either global warming/methane extinction or nuclear boo-boo, leave me, at least, that we tribal violent testosterone-and-"religion"-poisoned humans... All that leaves me forlornly convinced that "we" the human species have just about shot our wad, in both the senses limned here:

                  The original phrase comes from a bore-loaded rifles.

                  You filled the barrel with gunpowder (charge), then packed wadding to cover the charge then you rammed the bullet (actually an iron ball).

                  If the wadding wasn't done correctly and you didn't quite seal the charge, then when you fired the charge, you would blow the wadding out but not necessarily the bullet. Hence, the original term "shoot the wad".

                  It has devolved over time to have both a sexual connotation (male orgasm refered to as 'shooting a wad') and a non-sexual one meaning that you held nothing back while doing/attempting whatever but you didn't succeed and now you have nothing in reserve.


                  "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                  by jm214 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:53:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Your example is not an easy one to answer... (4+ / 0-)

              ...I still struggle to make sense of it.

              I mean, what is so hot about self-defense, particularly in a case when you are not so certain you actually did act in self-defense? Isn't it better to die than to live thinking you may have committed murder? Plenty of people end up not being able to live with themselves after such a situation.

              One thing I do tend to thing: we are never justified in killing an innocent person. Even if it is a mistake, well, it still demands some form of restitution.

              That said, your example is nowhere near what is going on in Israel, or what goes on in warfare in general.

              •  "isn't it better to die"? (0+ / 0-)

                No, but thanks for the very christian-like suggestion of loading the sins of the weapons and oil industries onto the back of a sacrificial scapegoat, because god knows that's worked well in the past.

                •  Who is being asked to sacrifice? (0+ / 0-)

                  Of course, I do think Hamas should reflect on their actions, but my points apply much more to the Israelis. They are the ones whose actions are killing many more innocent people, and for what? They are the ones in much less danger. They ought to ask themselves whether their acts of "self-defense," even if they are as such, are actually worth losing their humanity.

                  Here is my point: your concern seems to be that if people don't act in self-defense, they will be run roughshod by imperialist powers working for the weapons and oil industry. However, it is the imperialist powers who themselves claim they are acting in self-defense, with dubious claims of self-defense. It is they who take morally questionable actions (to be generous) when it isn't at all clear how many lives they are actually saving.

                  In other words, it is the very fact that people don't reflect on whether staying alive is worth living with blood on that hands that the weapons and oil industry are able to make sacrificial lambs of others.

                  "because god knows that's worked well in the past"

                  Clearly, neither has "self-defense" at the expense of one's humanity. It it is about what has worked in the past, humanity is yet to put to work the idea that it is not worth to profit the world at the expense of one's soul.

                  •  Every human has the right of self-defense. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    The international oil industry and weapon industry pouring gasoline on to keep it burning profitably for themselves is not defense, it's lethal exploitation for profit. On that perhaps we agree.

                    However, no one can know what's the extent of an attacker's intentions when the attacker attacks. For years and still to this day, there are self defense classes for women that won't teach the women moves that could possibly kill an attacker because maybe the attacker only wants to rape us or mug us or slice us, so how could we women live with their blood on our hands if our self defense resulted in the attacker's death. Fortunately for me, I found a teacher whose attitude was that no human being can read an attacker's mind and a woman's life is worth every bit as much as man's so if the man chooses to attack, that's his initiative and choice.

                    No armchair commenter discussing the survival of others from a safe several thousands of miles away has any moral right to suggest subordinating the lives of members of one community below the lives of members of another community.  And I really doubt there is ANY OTHER CONFLICT IN THE WORLD in which anyone right IN the situation or anyone armchair discussing it will suggest that one of the communities involved perhaps should embrace death and refrain from even defending her/his own community from death, i.e., making the decision for others who may not be capable of their own defense.

                    I've read that Societies ofFriends and some other belief systems do choose to accept death rather than commit violence in their own defense or the defense of others, and that's a perfectly valid choice if made by the individual "enlisting" intentionally in that philosphy.

                    If you are in fact right in there in the midst of that conflict, then that's not armchair philosophy and you may have to prove with your own body at any moment whether you accept the result of an attack upon you by choosing to not defend yourself.  And whether you accept the result of an attack upon the person next to you without defending that person, or an infant in the cradle, or a teenage or an elder. If you are THERE in a war zone you may have to decide that for yourself.

                     It's certainly true that many generations of draftees and volunteers who survived bloodshed have suffered horrifically afterward for years and decades knowing they inflicted it, and in fact the PTSD rate in Israel is pretty high. And as with PTSD sufferers everywhere, many choose to dedicate themselves to a constructive cause seeking to help others and to end the causes of violence, including the excessive power of monster industries that are the only winners in wars.

                    So, if you want to choose for yourself to not defend yourself when attacked, by all means tell your personal story of that choice and whether you've survived testing that choice in the real world. To suggest that an entire people ought to embrace the possibility of death on the possibility that attackers are only attacking mildly and might themselves die really has nothing to do with this entire world issue, though.  The majority on both sides are noncombatants, and the fact that the oligarchies and individuals controlling the Palestinian communities have been pocketing millions and billions both in bribes to keep the blaze going and from siphoning more from aid coming in than they've allowed to actually BE aid for 66 years now is what is the REAL facilitator and sustainer of this entire conflict, just as many of us recognize that that kind of corruption is the facilitator and sustainer of conflict in so many African and Latin American and Asian countries that have been in intermittant highlevel and fairly constant lowlevel conflict far longer than Israel has existed and far far longer than Palestine has existed (check your history: Jordan & Egypt annexed Palestinian-partitioned territory after claiming to be attacking on behalf of Palestinians in '48, Jordan's invented king named himself King of Palestine too and Palestinians were stood up against the wall and shot to make room for Jordanians while Egypt was dumping homeless Egyptian children into Gaza and Syria into the DP camps in the north to alleviate national food&housing supply problems and courting the Soviet Union as a patron as assiduously as the Soviet Union was courting them after Israel told the Soviet Union "thanks for supplying us with armaments enough to survive the combined force of the Arab League since no one else on the planet would, and as fellow socialists we appreciate the solidarity, but we decline to toe party lines as a satellite or client state of yours" which is PRECISELY the point at which the miffed leftist world including a lot of Jews turned against Israel, just as, ironically, a lot of ultra-orthodox ALSO turned against Israel on grounds of the blasphemy of establishing a secular Jewish state instead of waiting for god to do it. ). If we close our eyes to the actual criminal and industry elements that profit both legally and illegally from keeping these fires burning for generations all over the planet, then we're left with nothing but surface appearances of religious and cultural clash and the swallowing of planted propaganda by exactly the profiteers trying to convince us that their boards of directors and their mafia-like families have nothing to do with it.

                    As a survivor of a war zone and as a survivor of sibling violence since the age of 4 that I stopped by finally finding a martial arts class at the end of highschool that would allow me in (girls in the early '60s were rarely accepted as students), but lived to see another family member die of familial violence in covert form, and as a woman who saved herself from 1 rape attempt and intervened successfuly in 3 attempts on others, I simply don't see any legitimacy in suggesting self-sacrifice for the sake of an attacker. Granted my "philosophical" position may be a bit skewed by real life. Real life does have a way of doing that.

                    If you want to be more specific about actually what/who you are hinting is/are

                    the imperialist powers who themselves claim they are acting in self-defense
                    then maybe that opens up a constructive discussion about what constitutes imperialism as historical cases embody it and whether the resultant criteria are actually met in this particular conflict.  

                    I'll say in advance, though, that most of my study of imperialism is western (i.e., European & US), and those have an almost unbroken record of operating hand in hand with Christianity or claiming their Christianity as innately superior to other transcental philosophies and therefore Christian human lives as more valuable than the lives of Native Americans, First Americans, Africans, Jews, Asians, etc etc.  I'll also mention that to the best of my knowledge, no nation smaller in population than the Netherlands or Portugal in modern history (i.e., late medieval/Crusades approximately onward) has had any imperial or colonial activities worth mentioning and those have all involved at least a hemispherical reach.

                    So I may not be someone you'd want to converse with about that. But it certainly is a topic worth exploring in genuine depth.

                    thanks for the thoughtful reply.

                    •  Sometimes we "get" to survive. (0+ / 0-)

                      "No armchair commenter discussing the survival of others from a safe several thousands of miles away has any moral right to suggest subordinating the lives of members of one community below the lives of members of another community. "

                      Then don't look at me, because that is decidedly what I am not proposing. In fact, that is what everyone else does. This is certainly true of the United States, where many advocate arming and funding the Israelis (if that isn't subordinating one community to another, then what is?). Even in Israel itself, you have plenty of people living safely far away from the conflict, yet they advocate precisely what you are proscribing against.

                      That was my entire point, when it comes to dropping bombs, there is only one community I recognize: the innocent. If only everyone asked "what actions could we take to minimize the loss of innocent lives," then perhaps we'd better be able to discuss the moral limits of self-defense. We are not even close to that. No, we are asked by our governments to let them "save" our lives (not even ours directly, just those that happen to make the same kinds of vocal sounds as ours) by certainly killing lots of innocent people who live on that other part of the map (as if that is supposed to make it ok).

                      "...the fact that the oligarchies and individuals controlling the Palestinian communities have been pocketing millions and billions..."

                      My opinion is that the Palestinians are victims of both Israeli and Palestinian leaders. They are hostages in all of this. However, that is precisely why I ask, then why are we shooting them?

                      "I simply don't see any legitimacy in suggesting self-sacrifice for the sake of an attacker."

                      I didn't propose self-sacrifice for the sake of the attacker. Let me put it this way, sometimes there are fates worse than death, and one of those is having to live with one's self and what one has done. This however is something I am willing to concede: what "should" I do when I am being attacked by another person? When it comes to warfare, in particular warfare by an advanced state against a poor one, what we are really considering is possible self-sacrifice for the sake of innocent people.


                      •  sorry i wasn't back soon enuf to rec yr comment. (0+ / 0-)

                        i'm pretty severely disabled and often "things happen" that don't allow me to respond timely.

                        quick mention: israel is about the size of rhode island so no part of it is any safer in terms of distance from modern weapons —nor anything as ancient and still effective as mining/tunnelling (cf crusades) than any part of even-smaller gaza & westbank.

                        tightly related, your use of the words "advanced state", "poor one" and "hostages" are absolutely central in the question of how ("how come" meaning "how did it/does it happen" as somewhat more concrete a form of question than the broader vaguer "why") that the westbank and gaza remain desperate for a level of economics that supports and advances national life.  obviously, armament alone is not sufficient to support far less create a thriving economy, or israel would be far more similar to its neighbors. Israel, gaza & westbank don't have any oil worth mention, either.

                        the poverty of gaza & westbank is among the most multifaceted of all poor nations in the world, factually Israel is only 1 facet of that and not always a negative facet either, and the keystone piece of evidence about other facets that speak more concretely to the use of the term "hostage" for the economies of the palestinian people is illustrated by the fact that Yassir Arafat, for ONE, became a billionaire without having inherited wealthy or property to parlay into great wealth, no appearance of ever having engaged in investment sufficient to that scope, and no suggestion of having invented any commodity of world desireability that would have made him a billionaire by sales of his intellectual property. His wikipedia page claims to document that he cultivated private wealthy donors for Fatah and national donors for Fatah among nations not immediate neighbors with Israel, such as Qatar (his personal and organization relations with israel's immediate neighbors appears to have been as acrimonious as those with israel itself) and this section of his Wikipedia page together with recent news reports from France that private auditors for his widow assessed his estate as slightly over $2billion (American dollar equivalent) in value appears to testify that one of the causes of Westbank and gaza being poor is that Arafat both pocketed vast amounts of monies supposedly given for the palestinian people's/nations' needs, and distributed to other vast amounts meant for them to instead high-rankers in his oligarchy.

                        The fact that this appears to have been a fairly steady stream must lead us to question if the personal pocketing of vast amounts might have been essentially OK with the donors. If so, for what reasons would vastly enriching small cadres of non-economically productive and rather dictatorial oligarchies be more welcome to donors than advancing the material and economic and educational and health circumstances of the entire palestinian peoples?

                        this from the page about Jordan may be an explanatory example:

                        After the post-World War I division of West Asia by Britain and France, the Emirate of Transjordan was officially recognized by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan and Palestine. The name of the state was changed to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 1 December 1948.[9]

                        Although Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development"[10] by the 2014 Human Development Report, and an emerging market with the third freest economy in West Asia and North Africa (32nd freest worldwide).[11] Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy.[12] Jordan has enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Union since December 2010,[13] and it is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. It is also a founding member of the Arab League[14] and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

                        I've cited additional online sources in other comments on the economic puzzle at other diaries, so I hope you'll forgive if I don't hunt them down yet again. My point obviously is that ongoing armed conflict has served the preferences of nations, industries, and individuals who are not in Israel, WestBank, Gaza, nor Palestinians anywhere else at ground zero.  I would posit that a total of a few more billions are held by other private persons high in the controlling structures of the westbank and gaza, and in collective possession of those structures themselves, and that these are the gains they have received from hugely wealthy payers that profit directly and indirectly from keeping armed conflict going between palestinians and israel. Given that the nearby nations donating are constantly pointing the attention of their own oppressed people at the conflict between israel & palestinians as if that conflict has something to do with how THEIR OWN people come to be so poor and oppressed, and given that the international weapons industry has sustained a remunerative relationship longterm with countries supplying westbank and gaza with weapons (imagine how much food, infrastructure, housing, education, healthcare, manufacturing plants, etc.,  could have been funded with weapons money and with the billions pocketted by Arafat et al - see list of world's largest arms IMporters my contention is that the international oil industry and the international weapons industry are who profits from the ongoing conflict and they have manipulated the people on 400milesx40 miles into being the gladiatorial bloodsport rivetting the attention of the world while the world's pockets are picked as well.

                        When realizing that those same industries also profit from tribal and national and colonialist and drug and trafficking warring of equal and greater longevity elsewhere in the world (e.g., africa, latin american, south asia) which kosaks persistently notice less despite massacres, lynchings, invasions etc of larger scope, the only reason for us to watch israelis and palestinians and talk so much about them is that inflamming their actual conflict and the image of their conflict is far more advantageious to the christian world and its major industries and industrial partners than are any of the equally profitable by less scape-goatable conflicts anywhere else in the world.

                        in sum, whatever any of us may theorize about what we individually can live with having on our hands, i would suggest that all of us in the west are living with both the shit as well as the blood on our hands of centuries upon centuries of western colonialism (authorized by their religion to treat the people of all others as disposable) and its royal etc business partners who are diddling all of us with the blood and circuses THEY designate. And we are all so willing to look at what they designate instead of looking deeper.

                        thanks again, i appreciate the opportunity for in-depth discussion.

                        •  Only slight disagreement. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mettle fatigue

                          I fully agree Palestinian "leadership" acts against (and not just 'indirectly') the Palestinian people. That however is no reason to take advantage of them. In fact, it is every reason to act in their protection as well.

                          "quick mention: israel is about the size of rhode island so no part of it is any safer in terms of distance from modern weapons"

                          Well then, that is 1,000 times true of the West Bank and Gaza especially. Furthermore, the actual number of casualties bears that out.

                          "which kosaks persistently notice less despite massacres, lynchings, invasions etc of larger scope"

                          That is quite simply not true. There wasn't even much on Gaza/Israel until the shit started. In total, there is much more on Dailykos about the War on [Some] Drugs, which is related to a lot of other conflicts to which you allude.

                          That said, how many of those massacres, lynchings, and invasions are being done by governments which our own government often holds special votes to fund by the tunes of billions of dollars a year? How many of those conflicts involve a side with a huge national lobby like AIPAC that influences our national politics, to which our national leaders feel the need to prostrate themselves? I mean, I could go on and on about the human rights abuses by the Iranian government, but what can we do about it? Well, about the only thing we can do is not fund them, which is precisely the opposite that we do with Israel.

                          "And we are all so willing to look at what they designate instead of looking deeper."

                          Even though this post was supposed to be about (slight) disagreements, I want to mention that this I wholeheartedly agree with. In fact, this was my entire argument.

                          •  i see your points, some of them, (0+ / 0-)

                            and I did actually say "even smaller gaze & westbank" meaning vulnerability by proximity.  

                            aipac is an extortion racket for republicans, in my view.

                            that being said, american foreign aid to israel is not comparable to other nations, by and large, for a number of reasons.

                            one is that the moment israel is out of defensive & retaliatory weapons, a dozen surrounding nations will leap to wipe her out.  they've always said they would, and they've tried outright by war several times (3 have also tried to annex palestinian territory: it took that territory being lost in war to israel, in a war Israel did not in fact initiate, for even the beginnings of one or possibly two (at this point i think it's probably a 3 state solution because the oligarchy controlling the west bank and the oligarchy controlling Gaza are to all appearances incompatible, if only because none of the oligarchies want to loose their leadership ranking and the pay-offs that go with it if a genuine combined oligarchy would result) as well as having constantly snipered across the border into israel, infiltrated to mine civilian roads, bomb schoolbusses, etc., in the years before israel had any capacity to do anything but hunker down and just bandage the wounded and bury the dead while the left tried everything ---every expensively--- to build bridges, relationships and improved economic ties which mostly failed not because they didn't work but because they did, which threatened the incomes and powers of dictatorial leaderships.

                            it's fashionable since '67 to regard israel as the cause of all the problems in the middle east, and as a villain who if simply "leashed" would solve most problems there.  (shades of mel gibson).  before then israel was simply vermin to be exterminated, and that's why AIPAC is so supported among older Jews of the generations that grew up with translations of speeches that Syrians or Egyptians or Fatah planned to pave the road to the sea with the skulls of Jewish children.  The accuracy of the translations of constant speeches like that has been well verified. No one has yet to come up with an explanation why any Jew anywhere, or any Israeli should not take such aspirations seriously.  If you have a suggestion why it should not have been taken seriously in the50's, 60's & '70's, I'd been interested to read that.

                            The attitudes and intentions of leaders of surrounding nations have been overtly stated for years. It seems pretty evident that the siphoning of billions into the pockets of the controlling oligarchies and keeping weapons instead of solar equipment flowing into Gaza, for example, has served well to keep Palestinian people poor and desperate and increasingly receptive to extreme reactions for conditions blamed upon israel, which is equally caught in this trap of supurating inflammation.

                            The decades of great hope for institutions like Givat Chaviva (i believe MLK Jr was a co-founder) and building schools, clinics, hospitals, etc in Kenya, Uganda, etc., (which is how Israel knew the layout of the Entebbe airport - Israel built it) and supplying teachers of academic and technical skills —i even have materials around here somewhere of Israel's water conservation project for the 4 corners reservation that includes navajo, hopi, and zuni, in the early 1960s— was forcibly scaled back when the most powerful adversaries laid down the ultimatum that countries of africa and the near east and middle east that accepted aid from  israel would be treated by their powerful coreligionist national neighbors as enemies of those neighbors.

                            Nevertheless, probably thanks to foreign aid from the u.s. by which to do it, Israel has continued developing medical and humanitarian aid technology and routinely GIVING it to people from nearby to thousands of miles away. There's been a continual program of repairing heart defects of kids from Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt, whose parents bring them by a roundabout route and without Israel stamped in their passports.   in be'er sheva is a hospital that provides a hugely disproportionate amount of medical journal articles on the care of mothers with 6,7,and 8 fetuses from fertility treatments in Gaza who seek entrance into israel to give birth & have the infants cared for until normal neonate development allows them to take the babies home, because gaza has fertility clinics.  If you recall the whole "Octomom" thing a few years ago, it looks rather different in the light of how positively that kind of enhanced fertility and pregnancy is regarded in places other than the U.S.

                            Israel's IDF mobile full-service hospitals were the first on the ground giving care in Haiti after the earthquake, up and running for I believe over 2 days before any other nation even delivered any practical aid. They have done the same (often first on site) for natural disasters and other mass casualty situations in Turkey, Armenia, Japan, and many other countries. When the Syrian civil war began, a trickle of wounded anti-government fighters were dragging themselves to the border and if they actually made it, they were treated in Israeli hospitals until able to survive discharge.

                            Most of this stuff i know because i read a fair amount of medical literature. PubMed, of the National Library of Medicine, carries peer-revied medical literature from the entire world, as well as what's published in American journals, and probably most of Israeli medical research and clinical reportage is published in English, French, German, etc., and a lot of work done in concert with medics from other nations, because there simply isn't enough publishing going on in Israel for all of it, and it all has to cut the mustard by the stardards of the journals in the countries where published.

                            During the Kosovo conflict, i saw footage of UN personnel bringing  water purification machinery in self-contained on-wheels systems about the size of a very small Uhaul trailer that 3 or 4 motorcycles would fit in. I don't recall the exact wording on those units, it was in hebrew but the reporters or anchors talking about the UN personnel didn't mention that the units were in fact made and donated by Israel - i got that from sources other than television. What WAS reported was that Israel offered equipment, supplies, aid and personnel, and was solidly rebuffed: it's better to die of toxic water, spoiled food, war wounds, burst appendix, childbirth, what have you, than accept help from Israel. Muslim populations all over the world are under orders that they can't risk violating by accepting help from Israel, including the westbank and Gaza: pretty much everything Israel gave after the '67 war has been destroyed or disguised, and while much damage obviously has resulted in recent years, destruction by ANY source has remained in rubble in all the lowest income areas of the Westbank and Gaza while the higher income and business districts are not only maintained but did not get used as points of construction for tunnels into israel. Poor people are extorted and used by the wealthy of their own, they really are human shields.

                            It has been fashionable to be against Israel since the 1960s when the Soviets demanded Israel function as a satellite'client state in exchange for defense armament by which Israel survived its war of independence: israel said "thanks for the solidarity with our socialism but we'll call our own policy shots, thanks" whereupon the Soviet Union turned to Egypt and against Israel and the entire world left went right along.  My father included.

                            In many past years, when a clan chief in israel turned up dead with every evidence & witness of execution, newspapers were instructed to call it clan rivalry without mentioning the dead man had been encouraging cooperation with Israel because reporting it accurately as the latter would naturally have discouraged cooperation with israel. Nevertheless, the flow of repatriated Palestinians receiving Israeli citizenship has been going on since always, and residents of east Jerusalem who can choose whether they want to be Israelis or Palestinians are heavily choosing Israeli citizenship.

                            Not everything done in the name of Israel or even under Israeli orders has been clean hands, but the revisionist pressures have been unrelenting, and the most fundamental fact no one confronts is "Why is Israel expected to be better/more virtuous than every other nation in the world merely facing hostile others, let alone surrounded by them?"

                            And while I'm asking, What makes the world entitled to set standards for Israel that are not set for any other nation in the world, far less for one's own? Why not set the same standard for all other nations and condemn all equally? I've done tag searchs and diary searches in DK and I regret to say that I/P issues way outpace conflicts elsewhere that have been in process literally nonstop for decades at levels of brutality of which only a few photos are linked in DK.

                            i hope you'll forgive that this is a bit disorganized as comments go - i don't have much time and though i owed a reply while i still could and have put several hours into this. i haven't repeated much you've said that i agree to be true because you've already said it but in DK and most easily accessed publish media i just don't see the rest that is happening but goes ignored.  I suspect it goes ignored because the largest market is the U.S., and most Americans no longer have the educational level that would allow their understanding to encompass what might appear paradoxical. The only Americans who understand that paradoxical appearance is actually the reality and that most people are trying to do the best they can for themselves and for others, because they NEED a better world to live in right where they are living, are people who can't go anyplace else and are too engaged in daily survival to explain to middle class inexperienced mis-educated shallow living comfortable people that the world is not nearly as simple as the latter not only think but insist on thinking.

                            It's extremely difficult for anyone especially who has a reasonably stable life in which most or all needs are met (not mentioning desires, recreations, whims, etc - for people who have that, it's impossible) to grasp how extensively the distant past continues to shape the present without being noticed, and how drastically the influences of ALL empires have sunk into the consciousnesses (or rather, uncnsciousnesses) of their much later descendents. The cutting to the bone of the kind of diplomacy and foreign journalism in which the diplomat and journalist came to know and understand the cultures in which they served to the extent that home was an abrasive, unreal, artifical experience, is long gone. But you must recall how AOL cut everything back when Ted Turner let them buy and found himself shoved out, and how all the other major broadcasters and newspapers worldwide did the same, and were following the U.S. government's curtailment of the education and recruitment of its foreign service workers and demanding that the world understand US and speak in terms WE understand instead of recognizing that the reverse was the only genuinely productive and constructive path for America to take. The consequence is that what minimal sense of otherness Americans some times could experience as a result of immigrant forebears and daily exposure to unedited footage from elsewhere simply disappeared.

                            Americans as individuals and as a culture look at everything we think we see from the perspective of our own extremely limited contexts. We are not well equipped to understand anyone else's. If the news shows only the violence in another country or between neighboring countries, we imagine that's all there is to them without stopping to think that if that was really all there was, they'd have vanished long ago.  Without stopping to realize that the largest cities of the U.S. are, for example, equal in population and sprawl to all of Israel, the westbank and gaza, and across the same span of decades that those nations have been inexistence, the death-by-violence rate among US has consistently been higher, our patronage of the international drug trade has fed the growth of the worst traffking of all kinds that the world has ever seen, our entire hemisphere is hell on earth for a large proportion of our populations on these 2 continents alone, and instead of finding a way to stop being the tool and patsy of the worst that humanity can devise, we are doing exactly what the worst of them want: making them rich and keeping them in power.

                            People from the countries that used to live on quinoa are starving because America wants it and the price has gone up beyond what the locals can pay even if there was anything left to buy. We fill our tanks with gasoline while our garbage dumps and the dumps that asia accepts payment from us to use their land for are spewing methane and methanol without having to drill for it, but we want conventional gas because Dick Cheney et al say it's what's "best" and we'll ruin our own and everyone else's environment to get it and pay the royals who import weapons they turn around and give where it will draw eyes the most, and pour a scrap of their wealth into the pockets of petty dictators to keep the fires burning, because we have to have our petroleum, and those industries and the ones that build the weapons want to stay wealthy & own us.

                            they don't have to write the news the way they want.  all they have to do is pay the right people who are on the spot to set up and maintain the conditions of despair that drive people to violence in whatever direction they can ("safely" can, in a very limited sense - you don't see gaza firing rockets into Egypt despite what egypt is doing to gaza and always has) and drive whomever is attacked to refuse to be destroyed. Neither people accept being destroyed. But the money and manipulation comes from oil and guns.

                            Cui bono?  it all comes down to that.

                            thanks, wish i could be concise the way i used to years ago, but that's gone too.

            •  I'm pretty certain that you are not a nation state (10+ / 0-)

              that you do not have any military capabilities, nor a well-established intelligence apparatus at your disposal.

              I equally certain that you do not have a large group of people imprisoned in your basement, which you go into every now and then to slaughter a few "ringleaders" for trying to escape.

              "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

              by Greyhound on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:59:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Over in Wingertopia, I have noticed calls for (14+ / 0-)

            another Pershing Expedition into Mexico, esp. since an off duty border agent was killed by alleged cartel members.  This is followed by a long list of grievances including US civilians and federal and state employees killed, wounded, terrorized or shot at by cartel members.  In addition there are extensive tunnels which aid in infiltration of the US.  While there are no rockets, it is alleged that the illegal trade in the US does more damage to the US than rockets themselves would.  A portion of those drugs do enter over our border.

            This gives rise to the Bibi Option where RWers are pointing out that Bibi controls adjacent territories through barriers, militarization and a Wall.  The RW advocates a similar militarization with a similar Wall, with guard towers, MG towers, an armed garrison and minefields.

            Lately, following this last death, they are advocating a military incursion into Mexico to wipe out the cartels which operate as de facto governments in many areas and to destroy the tunnels.

            Now, we in the US have rejected such draconian measures in part because we don't think the problem rises to that level.  However given 30 more years of nativist propaganda, who is to say what future generations will think of such an incursion.

            My question is how do the Israelis have more provocation to launch what some argue is a proportionate response than the US has to launch an incursion into Mexico?

          •  arbitrary, immediate retaliation (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, businessdem, godlessmath

            was and is their policy

            "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

            by TheHalfrican on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:09:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What if the "Y people" aren't really people? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            godlessmath, barleystraw

            But something less than human?  I'm afraid this is what it might be coming too.  And I won't mention the last time people from that part of the world were 'dehumanized.'

        •  The human shield myth has been debunked here (28+ / 0-)

          many times. It is the IDF that is known to have used human shields, a practice that the Israeli high court banned but still goes on.

        •  on Kos, "pro-Hamas" = "anti-Semite" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Just in case anyone here hasn't figured out this clumsy little dog whistle. It actually reflects well on this site because anywhere else in the American blogosphere an Israel critic would be called anti-Semitic and much worse.


          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:28:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I haven't seen (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader, quill, DeniseDenefyou, WinSmith

            anyone here come out and say that they are "pro-Hamas". But given that a stated goal of Hamas is to kill all Jews, "pro-Hamas" does equal "anti-Semite".

            •  nobody here is pro-Hamas (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pilsner, aliasalias

              It is a clumsy and obviously false smear against critics of Israel's attacks on the Palestinians. People who use the term here would call such critics anti-Semites in another blog.

              "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

              by quill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  see your point yet (0+ / 0-)

                though I think sometimes to often it is a false smear, I think sometimes it is actually human nature, though maybe incorrect and partially subconscious.

                If someone is condemning not just Israel's actions but Israel the country itself, as often occurs, it is not surprising if Israel's supporters sees they are anti-Israel.

                In talking about Israel/Gaza,  many people say  "Israel is xxx (negative quality)" and the like--I've seen people say "Israel is evil" for example. Not many take care to condemn actions without condemning the country itself.

                In a conflict that is Israel against Hamas, it isn't that surprising that if a person is thought to be anti-Israel must be pro the other side.

                Probably oftentimes some of a complex motivation to call someone pro-Hamas has some "false smear" in it, but my bet is that sometimes it is fueled by the above deduction, even if subconscious.

                The way I figure these things out is to see how'd it be is substitute "America" for Israel in these conversations, thinking how I"d feel if they were talking about my own country that way and how I'd react.

                it doesn't have to be only manipulation.

                •  I protest USA war crimes regularly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Most of the time I see/hear "America wrong" I often agree because there is so much USA does wrong, mostly because of unjust legislation bought by big business or systemic discrimination/abuse in the prison & "justice" system.

                  I am disgusted that there is bipartisan support for USA imperialism in DC.

                  The way I protest Israel govt war crimes is to protest USA govt support for those war crimes, both the political support and the monetary support.

                  If I do not protest, I am complicit in the war crimes since I pay taxes. I wish I was brave enough not to pay taxes, but I don't want to go to jail. So I tell myself it's extortion.

                  I protest because I morally have to.

                  The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                  by stargaze on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:40:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not all Palestinians are part of the political (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quill, gratis4

              Party, Hamas',that Israel claims as its target, and the recognition of Israel was changed in 2006 to affirm Israel's right  to to exist.
              Now Israel needs to affirm Palestinian people's right to exist and that doesn't mean as an occupied Country.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:25:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hamas Prime Minister says they do not affirm (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kane in CA

                that-says they never will.  Maybe you confuse Hamas with the PA.  PA's Abbas accepted Israel's existence, but that wasn't until 2011.


                "In 2013 Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh reiterated that the Palestinian Arabs as a whole will never recognize Israel's right to exist, and certainly not to exist as the Jewish state, by saying: "We had two wars...but Palestinians did not and will not recognize Israel"

                Maybe wikipedia is wrong. I've seen that 2006 claim you make before in comments online, but can't find reference to it. If they made changes it is meaningless to even their Prime Minister.

          •  Says who?? (0+ / 0-)

            No one says this.  You people are living the persecution fantasies of a rabid right winger.  No one is coming to take away your guns.  The U.N. will not herd you into concentration camps.  Stop it.

          •  sad but sometimes true. Sometimes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Trying to avoid superlatives as they are rarely true.

            There is mis-use of the term anti-Semitic far too much and it is worse lately. I've seen it misused on the right especially and not particularly by Jews.

            There also is real anti-Semitism in some I/P conversations. Hardly any on D/K (only one instance I saw). Much more on HP. Seems like most people don't see it...I hardly ever see anyone all it out. No one did here on DK.

            I tell the difference is when someone says "the Jews think..." "The Jews are...' "The Jewish state..." (with special emphasis on Jewish and when that's pointed out they say "well they represent Jews..."). If they say Jews as a group and link it to negative Israeli behavior, or "beingness" it's a red flag for me.

            It exists and also people call things antiSemetic that aren't -sometimes for political reasons, to shut others up

            I think also that some people don't have the ability to be able to distinguish between (just) anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Jewish sentiment/statements.

            For the record I am horrified by what Israel did to Gazans and think they were wrong to go in there as they did no matter what their given reasons.

            •  thanks for the balanced comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I agree with all you have said here. I'd add though that calling someone an anti-Semite (and the various surrogate standins) is a nasty, underhanded, very commonly used and effective tactic to shut down debate. It's effective because Israel critics from the left (including increasing numbers of Jews) are NOT anti-Semetic, and find the label abhorrent.  Hillary used it recently in the Atlantic interview now being discussed on Dkos, and it is constantly used by Dkos users here (see expatgirl's recent diary). When someone uses the "criticism = anti-Semitism" attack, I lose any respect for their opinion on the I/P issue.

              "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

              by quill on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:37:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess you really don't agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Or believe me. I just talked about my experiences with anti-Semitism on the Left, and how I separate out those from legit anti-Israel sentiments (I said when people say "the Jews..." it's a red flag). I also acknowledged that the term is being misused far too much, more and more, to stop dialogue. Probably it is misused now more often than not. But not always is it misused, and not always on purpose.

                Yet you say  that "Israel critics for the left are NOT anti-Semetic". Full Stop. As if none are. Period. And imply that calling someone (on the Left) an anti-Semite is necessarily and only "nasty and underhanded".

                That certainly leaves me in a difficult position when I see real anti-Jewish sentiment, which as I said before I have seen/experienced. If I call it out, I am only being nasty and underhanded and would be dismissed.

                It does exist whether you perceive it or not, whether the Jews on the left you know have happened to perceive it or not (many I know do).

                Of course they find the label abhorrent. If it isn't true, which happens too often, of course it feels unfair at the very least. But do note, if there really is something said that is anti-Semitic, that person would find it "abhorrant" if you point it out too. Just like those on the right are furious when we point out something that is subtly racist that they just cannot possibly see. They think it isn't there and that we who are pointing it out are just being manipulative. (Again nowadays it is often manipulative, I submit it is not always a false claim)

                I challenge you to look a second time at anything someone calls Anti-Semetic to be sure it doesn't have elements of being about JEWS and not just about Israel. Because it bleeds over for sometimes with some people. It did with one person here the other day. No one commented on the irregularity but me. It was all about "the Jews", which I find objectionable.

                I notice that I've combined calling a person anti-Semeitic and calling something that is said "anti-Semetic". Calling people names even if they cross the line doesn't work.

                •  I see your point (0+ / 0-)

                  Nobody can deny that some on the left must be truly anti-Semitic, though I doubt that many are, and certainly far fewer than the general population. Probably far fewer even than among the strident right-wing and evangelical pro-Israel types.

                  And I'm not Jewish, but I do pay attention to the language you refer to in your challenge, as I do with racist, homophobic, etc language cues. There are so many ways it can be revealed if you're listening, and yes I've seen and heard it, though only once or twice on Dkos.

                  However, I'm talking only here about the use of the accusation to shut down dissent by people who are clearly not expressing anti-Semitic language, and I think we're in agreement that that is wrong?

                  "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

                  by quill on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:56:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  And how can Gazans escape exactly to the West Bank (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Look at a map.

          The Gazans freely elected HAMAS with full knowledge of their history of terrorism against Israeli civilians, virulent anti-Jewish libels, and designs to attack Israel whenever and wherever possible.  Elections have consequences.

          •  Thank god (12+ / 0-)

            the rest of the world didn't feel the same way about collective punishment and voting for stupid warmongering chickenhawks in relation to the US.  

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:33:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I kept waiting for the whole world to turn on us, when it became obvious it was a trumped up war and how many civilians were dying.

              America is ultimately responsible for over 100 million innocent Iraqi lives lost by invading their country for no reason. My friends son, 11, was literally up all night when he found this out recently.

              It is shocking there weren't more flat out America is evil condemnations and that our country didn't become a world pariah given the number killed especially and the lack of any legit reason to go in there. I guess we are too powerful so got away with it. Our country gets to therefore not own it and live in denial about what was done in our name by our elected officials.

              •  100 million? Time for a fact check. (0+ / 0-)
              •  Yes, horrible, I protested often. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                People in the occupied territories and their supports have been able to spread news & document the horrible killing and destruction to a greater extent than I saw about Iraq, though I did see some.

                The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                by stargaze on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:44:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  we saw and felt so little about Iraq (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  in comparison to Gaza, particularly if you consider the numbers. People have spread the horror in Gaza to a Much greater extent than with Iraq.

                   People in the US were just not emotionally connected to the Iraqi deaths (some would say murders but you'd not hear that here  for Iraq). They did not care in general nearly as much as they do right now.

                  Supporters of Israel see the disparity of empathy and blame and conclude that people are just more blaming and critical of Israel than of other countries (like the US in Iraq).  I believe that this claim isn't always propaganda, they see a real disparity but I think get the reason backwards. It's more likely just that Americans and very largely the entire world gave the US a pass when they invaded and destroyed Iraq... people over all were easy on the US rather than necessarily being overly hard on Israel now.

          •  The Israelis freely elected (14+ / 0-)

            and support assholes like Netanyahu and Lieberman with full knowledge of their history of terrorism against Palestinian civilians, virulent anti-Palestinian libels, and designs to attack Gaza and other neighbors whenever and wherever possible. Though the IDF appears to have the upper hand, history has shown time and again that tyranny will some day collapse, so one hopes that the Israelis realize as well that elections have consequences, and elect someone of goodwill before its too late.

            Netanyahu and his ilk are much more dangerous to Israeli security than Hamas, and the sooner the Israeli electorate recognizes this, the sooner lives will be spared on both sides and Israel will have a genuine opportunity or long-term stability.

        •  Who are making these "anti-semitism' charges? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          All I ever hear from you people is how everyone's "attempting to silence" you or calling you anti-Semitic.

          I've seen no charges of anti-Semitism here on Daily Kos and, other than one or two of the usual right wing blowhards, no charges of anti-Semitism directed at critics of Israel in mainstream American dialog either.

          People are neither "attempting to silence" you, nor trying to drown out legitimate criticisms by calling you anti-Semitic.  You are victims of a fantasy persecution just like the right wing every time they whine they they can't criticize Obama without being called racist.

          You can make your argument without playing the victim violin all the time.  No one is drowning you out.  They're just disagreeing with you.

      •  I'm increasing stunned to see Jewish outlets su... (12+ / 0-)

        I'm increasing stunned to see Jewish outlets such as a free newspaper I picked up here in Chicago last night insist that pro-Israel forces are unheard and "powerless" in this country and that none of our elected officials truly sympathize with Israel. They remind me of those on the religious right insisting that Christians are persecuted here . One outlet actually said that AIPAC has no influence in D.C. !

      •  IMO, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ☮♥Peace For Israelis And Palestinians♥☮
        Although I am totally appalled, at the uncaring, callousness of the israeli government's, brutal attacks on Gaza/Palestinian civilians.

        I also believe that hamas is as much to blame as the israeli govt.

        hamas has refused to make peace and has been given the opportunity to do so many times, for many years.

        I feel sorry for all the innocent victims.

        It is time for Peace In Israel/Palestine!

        Peace is long overdue!

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:48:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's not quite so controversial (26+ / 0-)

      to mourn their deaths.

      It's controversial to blame Israel for them. Some people insist on blaming Hamas for using them as human shields, firing from residential areas (like they have anywhere else), or doing anything other than accepting their de facto imprisonment in Gaza.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:16:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's as if the American Right Wing has invaded (24+ / 0-)

      Israel.  This growing shift to hatred is a worse danger to Israel than Hamas can ever be, IMHO.

      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 05:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its not just dangerous to Israel. (7+ / 0-)

        One possible scenario here in the U.S.: As Israel continues to escalate their murderous mayhem, anti-Palestinian propaganda escalates in the U.S., leading to retributions against American protestors. Then things get really ugly.

      •  American RW cheer-leaders and subsidizers, (9+ / 0-)

        have enabled Israel.

        Time for our ATM to swallow Israel's card.


        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:15:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  it's exactly the opposite case (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, Hark, gratis4, triplepoint

        Fundamentally, Israeli policy towards the Palestinians and its neighbors has not changed since the founding of the country. OTOH American foreign policy has been heavily influenced by Israel  - particularly ME policy and the NeoCon doctrine, which was developed during the Reagan administration and was executed so eagerly by Bush 2 using 9/11 as a pretext.

        "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

        by quill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:48:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What you say has merit, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stargaze, quill

          there used to be many more voices of tolerance in Israel; now they are afraid to speak.  I don't know if the more liberal, less xenophobic, people there are dwindling, but there is surely an effort to stifle them.

          Official policy is one thing, but the personal views of the people as shown in polling and public discourse are another, and that is what appears to be changing.  The ascendance of the Loudmouth Parties, both here and in Israel, is bad for the world at large.

          I lived in NYC for a decade from '65 on, and while not Jewish, became pretty much a knee-jerk zionist.  But in the early 70's I traveled in the Middle East, and started to get disillusioned with Israeli policy, especially lately with the settlements.  They government almost seems to relish conforming to anti-semitic stereotypes.  Can it even see how much damage it is doing to its own cause?  I kinda love Israel, and lower-case zioism still has some appeal, but I no longer support an exclusively Jewish state.  

          The Palestinians have been equally ill-served by their leaders.  My sympathies are with them at this time of tragedy.

          Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

          by triplepoint on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:15:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I mostly agree with you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triplepoint, stargaze

            I think that what's going on in Israel right now is like a prolonged version of the mob-like bloodthirsty hysteria in the US after 9/11. That was based on an irrational combo of righteous fury that anyone would dare strike at us, and existential fear. The Bush NeoCons were quick to shamelessly capitalize on this sentiment to manipulate the public into supporting the Iraq war.

            The difference in Israel is that this sentiment, and the psychological manipulation of the public, has existed since the founding of the country. By now, all of the factors that lead us to today are deeply baked into the Israeli psyche: the existential fear, entitled nationalistic indignation, the zero sum uncompromising attitude, the implacable hatred of Arabs and inability to view them as anything but enemies, or even as no more that vermin to be exterminated. All of this can be called up any time the Israeli politicians need 100% support for another military operation.

            I do think that the culture has changed in recent years. Jewish and Israeli friends have complained about the younger generations that seem to have become harder, more racist, more arrogant, less understanding.  Maybe those generations are becoming more prominent now.

            "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

            by quill on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:34:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It would be a little easier to have a rational (5+ / 0-)

      Discussion on this site without diaries like "I hate Israel" so widely promoted and recommended.  Or diarists who find a reason to blame Israel for every action that the nihilistic homophobic misocygynistic organization Hamas takes.  There is no recognition that Hamas does store rockets in hospitals mosques and schools, that Hamas is virulently anti-Jweish, that Hamas used cement for schools, hospitals, and roads to build miles upon miles of tunnels to shelter it's rockets and fighters and to attack civilians in Israel.

      It takes two to tango.

      •  This diary isn't entitled (16+ / 0-)

        "I hate Israel", it addresses the very real lack of empathy for Palestinians on the part of Israelis, due to the effects of the war. This idea is clearly demonstrable.

        The meme that Hamas is constantly hiding rockets in schools etc, and is using people as human shields is a cynical propaganda ploy. I know of just two instances in which rockets were found in VACANT schools (UNRWA). This is conflated into a propaganda meme that every school is hiding rockets.

        Israel still can't explain why it bombarded many schools (97 so far) that are filled with refugees. These people were told to evacuate, which they did. They then took refuge in the UN schools, and the IDF was given this information and the coordinates multiple times. The IDF bombs the schools anyway... over and over again.

        If the Israeli propaganda wasn't so divorced from the truth, maybe there would be something to talk about.

        In any case, schools and mosques would make lousy munitions depots anyway. I would imagine that most munitions are stored in the tunnels, which is why the IDF is so determined to destroy all the tunnels, not just those that articulate with Israel.

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:44:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "meme"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kane in CA

          Hamas's operating procedures are not a "meme."  They are a propaganda tactic in which dead Palestinian innocents, including children, are seen by Hamas as helpful to the larger cause by bringing international condemnation down on Israel.

          You can still criticize Israel while also acknowledging this tactic.

    •  I've seen some of that but a bit different (0+ / 0-)

      I've seen what you say more from politicians. trying to manipulate for political purposes. They misuse the word anti-Semitic and that is bad for everyone.

      What I've seen in the media is a bit different, unless you call Fox the media. I haven't seen accusations of Anti-Semitism , only accusations of being anti-Israel.  It is as if any expression of empathy for Gazans is assumed to be a blanket condemnation of all of Israel's actions, motivations, and all her people. It is bizarre, they act like nuances don't exist. Maybe it is to gin up ratings? or support their right wing backers?  It seems political.

      I want it said that there has been over time a real vein of linking and condemning Jews for the behavior of Israel, especially on the left and it spills into blatant, not arguable, anti-Semitism sometimes.  I encountered it in Occupy movement firsthand and I did have one episode here of it n a I/P diary the other day in direct discussion of Israel's behavior. ie "the Jews are" "The Jews think..." More of it is on HP. Since it does exist it probably makes some Jews sometimes be hypersensitive to anti-Semitism when it's not really there.

      However I do believe that what you encounter in the media and by politicians is not usually Jewish hypersensitivity but using cries of Anti-Semitism to hide behind what are a blindly pro-Israel political stance.
      I've not seen Jews do it, but I don't know those right-wing type rich Jews only the more common regular Dem ones mostly who's hearts are bleeding right now for Gazans and who are torn up just as the diarist's is. Myself included.

  •  "The Death of Sympathy" indeed (69+ / 0-)

    Empathy is something people have, generally, for other humans (and some animals). The Palestinians are viewed as being worse than animals; they are referred to as some kind of disease or plague. It is not surprising that there would be an absence of empathy. This is a natural consequence of the dehumanization of the Palestinians. Virulent racism has similar effects regardless of where it is found.

  •  Bizarre. (14+ / 0-)

    It is as if they are talking about ISIS, not the everyday civilians in Gaza.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:59:20 PM PDT

  •  Calling this conflict a war is problematic (12+ / 0-)

    It is not a war in the sense of a conflict between two nations.

    Instead it is a war in the sense

    : an organized effort by a government or other large organization to stop or defeat something that is viewed as dangerous or bad
  •  Self-centered cruelty seems to be more (35+ / 0-)

    and more prevalent, pushed by various right wing proponents. From the Kochs' libertarianism, to self-centered Evangelicals who insist that their religious liberty depends on controlling the behavior of others, selfishness is ever present in the media.

    We'll kill ourselves off if we keep this foolishness up.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:16:20 PM PDT

    •  it's a regression back to "Might Makes Right" (8+ / 0-)

      That's really all this is about. Humans have been committing genocide and subjugating others since we figured out how to pick up rocks. This is not new or special. Callous domination and exploitation is the base state of humanity - the place we naturally go to when the bindings of civilization are weakened and people come to believe their existence is threatened. And, that regression is almost always manufactured.

      Governing powers have always used existential fear to manipulate the public into supporting strategic goals. The US did it with Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to get support for wars that the public would not previously support, and Israel has been using the Arab Other since the beginning to manipulate support among Israelis and the international Jewish community for its military and expansionist goals. The lack of empathy, the dehumanization, the bloodthirsty rage are all part of the psychological state required to enable governments to commit atrocities and take actions that the civilized public would normally find abhorent and not allow.

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  addendum: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady

        I'm not a truther: the US used the events of Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to manipulate the public, but those events were NOT caused by the US gov.

        Though, it could be argued that the US caused 9/11 by supporting Bin Laden in Afghanistan and then willfully ignoring the well documented threat to the US.

        "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

        by quill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:32:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Once again you take Israelis to task because they (8+ / 0-)

    don't have the proper empathy for a people that voted and support the terrorist group, Hamas. Israel is an open society and Israelis are free to express their opinion about the sirens that warn about the 3500 incoming missiles launched from Gaza.

    Sorry, empathy doesn't flow when you are trying to avoid a barrage of rockets that serve no military purpose but could land on your house.  

  •  Here's a video I found (52+ / 0-)

    about life in Hebron. Most Israelis don't see or experience this stuff (most don't want to). Those that do, the settlers, are the absolute LAST people who should be living in that kind of proximity. They present Israel's worst face.

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:20:52 PM PDT

  •  About those tunnels (32+ / 0-)

    I assume their purpose isn't solely military. I assume they're mainly for smuggling in many things not allowed past the blockade. (Cinnamon, really? Cilantro?) It's tough when Israel keeps destroying buildings, whether by bulldozer or by bombing, if no building materials are allowed for rebuilding. After all, power plants, schools and hospitals have been bombed. They need to be rebuilt, not to mention all the housing.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:24:32 PM PDT

    •  I assume the military tunnels open into Israel (12+ / 0-)

      so it seems to be reasonable to expect the tunnels could be destroyed from one end and not require a full scale invasion.

      BTW check out the Cu Chi Tunnels during the VN War to get an idea of how effective conventional means are in interdicting tunnels

      •  This exactly. (10+ / 0-)

        There is NO reason why tunnels leading into Israel couldn't be sealed from the Israeli end. Further, doing it that way would be immensely cheaper than sending in tanks and bombs and machine guns.

        What the IDF is doing with tunnels inside Gaza is destroying any possibility of Gazans moving any supply - even food - without the IDF knowing about it. It is not about self defense, but about exerting absolute control.

        •  on Democracy Now! Norman Finkelstein talked (7+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Lepanto, maregug, poco, a2nite, gratis4, Pilsner

          about this...

          And then there was the domestic issue. Israel had launched a ground invasion ostensibly to stop the so-called rocket attacks, but then it turned into something different: the tunnels. Now, the tunnels had nothing to do with Israel. That’s totally ridiculous. Israel claims there were 12 tunnels that had passed through its border. There were many more tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. The first thing Sisi did when he came into power in Egypt was seal the tunnels. Did he have to destroy all of Gaza to seal the tunnels? Israel couldn’t have done the same thing—seal the tunnels on its side of the border, exactly what Sisi did in Egypt? What did the Hamas have? It had spoons. It had shovels. You’re telling me that Israel didn’t have the earth-moving equipment to build a wall that went deeper than the tunnels? It had nothing to do with the tunnels entering Israel.
          The problem was, the tunnels in Gaza, it turned out, they had created a fairly sophisticated network of tunnels, incidentally—I know we’re not allowed to make these comparisons—not unlike the bunkers that were built in the Warsaw Ghetto—primitive, but effective—and the Hamas fighters were able to come out of the tunnels, and they inflicted a significant number of casualties on Israel. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008, '09, 10 Israeli combatants were killed, of which four were from friendly fire. This time it was about 65. Now, during the Lebanon War in 2006, about 120 Israeli combatants were killed, but that was against the Hezbollah, which is a formidable guerrilla army. So, half and more were killed in Gaza this time. So, Israel's aim was not to destroy the tunnels going into Israel. That’s ridiculous. What they wanted to do was destroy the tunnel system inside Gaza, because now an effective—not very effective, but effective—guerrilla force had been created. And Israel, every few years, has to—or less than few years, has to mow the lawn in Gaza. And so, they wanted to make sure the next time they mow the lawn
          The following is worth a lot of consideration...
          AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, Israel would say it was the thousands of Hamas rockets that were shot into Israel that they now feel that they have succeeded in preventing.

          NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Look, there were no Hamas rockets fired into Israel. There were Hamas primitive projectiles fired into Israel. Anybody with a moment’s common sense knows it was impossible—and it’s already been documented by people like Mark Perry. Everyone with a moment’s common sense knows they couldn’t have been firing, quote-unquote, "rockets" into Israel, for an obvious reason. After July 2013 there was a coup in Egypt. The tunnels were sealed after 2013. On the Israeli side, there was a blockade. What could get into Gaza? No military equipment can get into Gaza. No ammunition can get into Gaza. They were firing—as somebody put it in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, they had a guidance system, what they were firing, said it was the equivalent of upgraded fireworks. Now, OK, you could say upgraded—it had no guidance system, but you could say, well, they had a payload, an explosive payload on the fireworks. Where is the evidence for it? Now, I—

          AMY GOODMAN: In a moment we’re going to talk with physicist Ted Postol about the Iron Dome system and the rockets.

          NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, look, I have a high regard for Theodore Postol. However, I don’t accept part of his analysis, because he says that what protected Israel from the Hamas projectiles was not Iron Dome, but, he says, a sophisticated bunker—a sophisticated shelter system and a warning system. But that doesn’t explain another fact: Then why hasn’t there been significant damage to civilian infrastructure? How many schools were destroyed by these rockets? How many hospitals were destroyed? How many government buildings? That can’t be explained by the civilians

          .(emphasis mine)

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:02:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nope (7+ / 0-)

      not the ones going into Israel.

      As for building materials, they wouldn't be so scarce had they not been used to build tunnels into Israel.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:36:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm going to assume you're speaking from... (7+ / 0-)

      Mere ignorance here. The tunnels into Israel are different from the tunnels into Egypt. The Egyptian tunnels are used for smuggling. The Israeli tunnels are built deeper underground, are hardened. And have one, sole purpose, which is to bypass border defenses and smuggle terrorist teams into the country, to murder and kidnap Israelis. This is why they have bunkers and weapons caches along their routes.

      The Israeli tunnels used enough reinforced concrete to build 7 large skyscrapers, or many schools and hospitals. Instead, they were used to enable terrorist attacks.

      And no, the tunnels don't open into Israel. They are designed to be blown open at the Israeli side at the last minute, before an attack. This is why they're so hard to detect.

    •  I understand that the term "terror tunnels" (6+ / 0-)

      (in Hebrew) is the same as the term "bomb shelter."
         Certainly, tunnels that are miles inside Gaza have some purpose other than smuggling.
         Also, Gaza was famous for its tunnels long before the current situation. Gazans moved around in tunnels even in ancient times.

  •  I am reminded of the white people (62+ / 0-)

    from apartheid South Africa or Rhodesia whom I used to meet on my travels. Otherwise charming and interesting people until someone brought up the situation at home. Faces stiffened. Eyes darkened, went blank.

    It is indeed one sad thing among so many sad things.

    If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. - Thomas Pynchon

    by chuckvw on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:48:48 PM PDT

  •  urged on by wrongheads at home + here in the U.S. (29+ / 0-)

    Israel is using up all its goodwill among many other nations around the world. They look like villains to a lot of people, no matter how slanted the news and views are, here and there..

    for the love of humanity please protect the light in all that may glow and try not to make anyone else's path more cruel than it would be on its own.

    by renzo capetti on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:55:35 PM PDT

  •  I know I'm going to fry in public hell, here, but (5+ / 0-)

    after so many, many millennia of this, isn't it time for the world to suck it up and proclaim, "You're both so full of bloody, murderous shit that you're both disgusting."
    Are you both irretrievably insane?  

    Free Will is the only moral law.//If you have to explain snark, it's because it isn't working on one end or the other.

    by franklyn on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:01:56 PM PDT

  •  Here's another disturbing video (25+ / 0-)

    No graphic content, it's about discrimination and racism:

    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

    by mosesfreeman on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:10:19 PM PDT

  •  My new post on Gaza and the IDF (26+ / 0-)

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:34:07 PM PDT

  •  It is indeed saddening, and frightening. (26+ / 0-)

    Re the protesters who have been attacked - one has died of injuries:

    My crafts are 100% Hobby-Lobby Free! Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:38:07 PM PDT

  •  Another example of lack of empathy - (28+ / 0-)

    (I'd seen this tweet a couple days ago, just found it again - some Gazans who'd returned to their home during ceasefire found them desecrated apparently by Israeli soldiers)

    My crafts are 100% Hobby-Lobby Free! Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:59:41 PM PDT

  •  Does this war make me look fat? A blog on the T... (10+ / 0-)

    Does this war make me look fat?

    A blog on the Times of Israel website which I think has been taken down as I can't find it now. I can only find a reference to it on various blogs. When I read though on the times website I was in complete disbelief.

    That kinda solidified that numbness for me.

  •  False witness. (7+ / 0-)

    No one can claim to know the hearts of an entire nation. No one can truly know any heart but their own.

    To go to the lengths of provocative, inflammatory diary titles only fuels the flames and does no saving of the tragedy you claim to care so much about. With a voice like yours, you could have accomplished valuable reconciliations and brought people together to share strengths for resolution. It just would have been much harder and less publicly rewarding than igniting more conflict. Now it's probably too late - your readers won't let you change your path, and what would you do without them?

    Well, at least this diary gives a saint one al chaet to recite for yom kippur.

    •  I note many IDF apologists cite that (28+ / 0-)

      95% of Israelis support the incursion.  To have 95% of a nation to agree on anything is stunning, to have such a high level of agreement on policies which result in hundreds of deaths would indicate some level of non-caring.

      Empathy would require that, if Gazans are warned to flee from impending IDF attack, they also be provided somewhere to flee to

      •  Yeah, because who in their right mind (9+ / 0-)

        would agree with an effort to stop a continuous stream of rockets aimed at their children?

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:38:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is the 95% verified? If not do they have empathy? (0+ / 0-)

        It appears that although much of the construction materials used for tunnels (including smuggling tunnels, cf National Geographic, 2012, December I think) was imported/bought from Egypt, there is evidence that concrete and rebar used in the invasion tunnels was imported from Israel.

        If so (that if seems at least as reliable as the apologists 95%), it seems unlikely that Israel would permit the transaction for invasion tunnel purposes, therefore the likely expected use was for construction/reconstruction of homes, infrastructure, businesses, schools, etc.  This has been going on a long time. If a locale has the technology for such tunnels, and the materials and workforce to build them, the locale has the technology to build shelters. And rebuild homes and businesses. There's a choice involved, to a certain extent. Granted the extent may not be great. Yassir Arafat died a billionaire twice over, according to a news report this month of a current French re-audit.  Wikipedia sez 2003, a team of American accountants–hired by Arafat's own finance ministry–began examining Arafat's finances; this team reached a different conclusion. The team claimed that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion, with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the US and the Cayman Islands. The head of the investigation stated that "although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And none of these dealings were made public."[116]

        An investigation conducted by the General Accounting Office reported that Arafat and the PLO held over $10 billion in assets even at the time when he was publicly claiming bankruptcy.[117]

        Although Arafat lived a modest lifestyle, Dennis Ross, former Middle East negotiator for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, stated that Arafat's "walking-around money" financed a vast patronage system known as neopatrimonialism. According to Salam Fayyad—a former World Bank official whom Arafat appointed Finance Minister of the PNA in 2002—Arafat's commodity monopolies could accurately be seen as gouging his own people, "especially in Gaza which is poorer, which is something that is totally unacceptable and immoral." Fayyad claims that Arafat used $20 million from public funds to pay the leadership of the PNA security forces (the Preventive Security Service) alone.[116]   emphasis added

        It's within reason, given the mercenary tendencies of international politics, that money from various places in the world public announced as gift to the Palestinian people was always intended to line the pockets of the oligarchies controlling the Westbank and Gaza. Use for the people of misappropriated money would not only have "provided [shelters as] somewhere to flee to" — it would have provided for and alleviated the needs and pressures that were probably popularly believed the money was meant for, the needs all human beings have. But that would de-fuel the drive for war as a solution to despair. In whose best interests is deprivation of the Palestinian people?

        Think well before answering. There's nothing new about payola, not in the near east nor in the Americas nor pretty much anywhere else, not in this era nor in the previous incarnation of neocolonialism nor in world colonialism that set the pattern: buy some puppet dictators and plutocrats in exchange for the payees making sure the locale produces the commodities desired by the payer, including the commodity known as War.  The international weapons industry, in which the US and Russia are both longtime major players dominating the world market, makes a lot of its own walking-around money —and then some— off longterm regional and small-scale wars. The impoverished world's blood is money in their banks everywhere: e.g., a recent Black Kos diary (i hunted, couldn't find it again, maybe someone else would like to) pointed out (paraphrasing as best I recall) that larger-scale, more constant, more recurring massacre, genocide, and war persist in many places in Africa with far less concern in DK compared to apparent pre-occupation with I/P conflict. (If any reference or comparison was made to the Ukraine situation, as another example, in that section of the diary, I'm not recalling it.)

        ArkDem14's July 5, 2013 diary for the "Books go boom" series is one of the most clear-sighted dissections via literature I've ever seen of the pyschic machinery by which violence engenders violence and compulsion for violence, yet even then only 12 kosaks recc'd the diary and apparently only 13 read it. If even a large minority of diarists and commenters on I/P issues were to do that, perhaps some insight might develop about who profits from etching war into the epigenetics of manipulable regions on the planet, regions where the profiteers have figured out that the world gets so easily excitedly satisfied to watch and argue about that even the most educated and well informed forget to ask cui bono and everyone forgets to wonder how so much foreign money rolls in yet only blood and rubble roll out, while surrounding nations' richly hosed and shod rulers —and their foreign business partners— go about the daily exploitation and oppression of their own people with only the occasional woman driver to arrest, street demonstration to disperse by the military, ethnic or religious minorities to erase, children to turn into soldiers or sex slaves.

        Oil and guns own the planet until we look beneath the surface of the blood and circuses that so easily trigger us, and refuse to be bought by —or distracted from exposing— the emperors of the current world.

      •  They were provided somewhere to flee to: (5+ / 0-)

        The UNRWA schools, which were subsequently targeted and shelled.

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:01:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gaza...The Warsaw ghetto... difference? That the (21+ / 2-)

    children and grandchildren of the victims of Holocaust should come to this.

    •  Disgusting comment (8+ / 0-)

      You obviously know nothing about the Holocaust and to try to demean Holocaust victims like you do above is grotesque and evil.

      •  True (15+ / 0-)

        The conditions in Gaza should be an affront to all persons of conscience, regardless of their backgrounds.

      •  slipper - Take an honest look at Israeli attitudes (19+ / 0-)

        toward Palestine, at Israeli treatment of Palestinians, and at the Israeli actions in Gaza and tell us where you think that this is headed.
          The parallels between Gaza and the Warsaw ghetto are chilling.

      •  Disgusting kneejerk talking point. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poleshifter, Lefty Coaster, Lepanto
      •  You do no favors for Isreaal by no refusing to ask (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lepanto, gratis4, stargaze, jqb, poco

        the question.

        At 55, and having known the families of a few survivors
        I suspect I may understand more about both the Holocaust and the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict than you.  And, as someone who has always been a supporter of Israel, in part bc of knowing those families for some

        I deliberately choose the Warsaw ghetto.  Originally, it was not part of the camps or the Holocaust.  It was originally intended to segregate and control Polish Jews, to crowd in and slowly turn the screws until they just gave up.  

        For 7 years, Israel has blockaded and slowly squeezed 1.5 million people in Gaza.  That after almost 50 years of occupation.  They have a 75% unemployment rate.  it has been very hard for many of them to get basic supplies for years.  The 'crime' that 'justified' the blockade was the Gazans voting for Hamas, after Israel made a fool of the PLA by constantly 'settling' Palestinian lands, lands that Israel has previously agreed would belong to a State of Palestine if there ever was peace.

        Now add to that the present situation and the blatantly racist statements of not only an apparently growing part of Israel's population but even 'leadership' members of its parliament.

        Only the willfully blind would not ask the question.  Which is what it was a question.  

        Israel, as claimant of the moral authority of the Survivors, must do far better than this.  The escalating dehumanization of Palestinians during the 50+ years of occupation has squandered the moral inheritance of Zionism.

        Unless Israel gets beyond eye-for-eye and collective punishment mentality, it is doomed.  Simple demographics will overwhelm it.  Without a 2-State peace, at some point it will survive as a Jewish state only by becoming a fascist aparthied state.  And then it will cease to be supportable by its staunchest allies.

        The only party that can prevent this is Israel.  Yes, it is unfair that Israel must shoulder so much and yet also part of the Palestinian's burden.  That is the cost of being a conqueror and occupier for 60 years while claim moral superiority.  You have to constantly earn that claim.

        And after almost 60 years the whipping boy of everyone I the Middle-east, the Palestinians are never going to be able to do it.  

        If Israel is to do so successfully, it will have to constantly ask itself questions such as I ask.  

        That you overreact to a simple - and facially justified - question, only means that you either can not or will not look and that does Israel no favors.

  •  In Malaysia, McDonald's had to run an ad (5+ / 0-)

    to quell rumors it was funding Israel's attack on Gaza.

    In a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper, the fast-food giant says that taking action against it will only hurt its 12,000 Malaysian employees - over 85% of whom are Muslim - the Malay Mail Online reports. McDonald's has recently been facing accusations that it has been helping to fund Israeli attacks on Gaza. The chain is also having to deny rumours it will give away free burgers and drinks on Friday. "

    I think Malaysians got Ronald McDonald mixed up with Uncle Sam.

  •  Well, I can only hope that there will increasingly (6+ / 0-)

    become a difference between Diaspora Jews, and Israeli Jews, as is evidenced by your columns and others. Not to overemphasis the importance of the West, but it as most of the technical and economic power remains in the West, and the Middle East seems to turn people into raving religious fantatics whatever Abrahimic Faith they ascribe to, I can only hope that there is something of the common humanity which seems to be most greatly aspiried to in the American and far Western Eurpean experience that might animate those Jews who were succored here to rise in opposition to that much more common trait of seeing everything as opprotunity to elevate ones' race / culture / ect. violently over anothers

  •  the IDF left literally piles of shit for Gazans (35+ / 0-)
    When Ahmed Owedat returned to his home 18 days after Israeli soldiers took it over in the middle of the night, he was greeted with an overpowering stench.

    He picked through the wreckage of his possessions thrown from upstairs windows to find that the departing troops had left a number of messages. One came from piles of faeces on his tiled floors and in wastepaper baskets, and a plastic bottle filled with urine.

    If that was not clear enough, the words "Fuck Hamas" had been carved into a concrete wall in the staircase. "Burn Gaza down" and "Good Arab = dead Arab" were engraved on a coffee table. The star of David was drawn in blue in a bedroom.

    I simply do not want to hear any more about how the IDF is the most professional army in the world.
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been responsible for this, repeating the refrain that Palestinians in Gaza don't care about life, and reminding everyone that the thousands of dead are not so much victims as desired public relations weapons in Hamas' fight against Israel.
    The irony (maybe) is that his constant refrain means that Palestinian/Arab life has no value.


    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:10:09 AM PDT

  •  While you complain about Israelis not crying (8+ / 0-)

    over the deaths of their opponents in a war (where is your diary about Americans not crying over the deaths of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kosovo?), you of course neglect to mention that Gaza names its streets after terrorists who kill Israelis.

    So you have a problem with Israel because they don't cry enough for the Palestinians, but you don't have a problem with Palestinians who endorse the killing of Israelis by naming streets after their murderers, celebrating the kidnapping of 3 Israeli teenagers, and throwing welcome parties when terrorists get released in a swap for a kidnapped soldier.

    Nice balance.

  •  shoot to cripple policy in occupied West Bank (23+ / 0-)

    from the important journalist Max Blumenthal

    Emerges of Israeli “Shoot To Cripple” Policy In the Occupied West Bank
    Israeli soliders use live fire and expanding bullets to shatter the legs of West Bank protesters.

    then there is Chris Hedges

    The belief that a race or class of people is contaminated is used by ruling elites to justify quarantining the people of that group. But quarantine is only the first step. The despised group can never be redeemed or cured—Hannah Arendt noted that all racists see such contamination as something that can never be eradicated. The fear of the other is stoked by racist leaders such as Netanyahu to create a permanent instability. This instability is exploited by a corrupt power elite that is also seeking the destruction of democratic civil society for all citizens—the goal of the Israeli government (as well as the goal of a U.S. government intent on stripping its own citizens of rights). Max Blumenthal in his book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” does a masterful job of capturing and dissecting this frightening devolution within Israel.
    Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’
  •  Policy problem (10+ / 0-)

    If one accepts the status quo is unsustainable, what policy options are appropriate and available for the United States?   I agree with the diarist that the current inter-group animosity makes a one state solution non feasible.   It might have been 10-15 years ago, but not today, for the reasons the diarist states, Israel is one of the most segregated societies in the world now.
    Moral questions aside, I can't see a voluntary or involuntary transfer of Arab populations from Israeli held areas as possible, or even the more draconian measures proposed by ultra right nationalists.  The Blair/Clinton/Bush/Barak model of economic growth and wealth creation among the Palestinian Arabs in the territories would quiet the demands for territorial sovreignty.  
    For various reasons, the Obama policy of bilateral negotiations has exhausted itself.  Israel is too strong, and the PA is too weak.
    The Palestinians are unlikely to end their resistance to the denial of dignity and self determination.  Netanyahu seems to believe that he can keep the violent resistance to a level acceptable to his constituencies, and even perhaps exploit the existence of an existential adversary for political control, because his coalition demands expansion of the occupation on territories subject to negotiation for a future Palestinian state.

    So what's left?  International support for Israel is crumbling, outside the US.  The IS-Israel relationship is under fire from members of both constituencies.  The region is a tinderbox, Libya, Syria, Iraq.

    What does tomorrow look like?  What should tomorrow look like?  The status quo won't do.

    •  You are right. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, dharmafarmer, RJDixon74135, mkor7

      I am fearful that this tinderbox created by US and Israel may be a recipe for more death, and an existential threat to Israel. Our policies are terrible.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 05:03:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of a column I read recently (9+ / 0-)
      When I enlisted, I still had romantic notions of being part of this giant reversal of Jewish history — from 2,000 years of death and persecutions to the generation of redemption that could fight for survival instead of dying in some Belorussian pogrom and writing Yiden Nekuma (Yiddish for “Jews, Revenge”) in my blood on the wall.

      My grandfather, a Holocaust survivor who never lived in Israel, ruined it for me when, on his first visit after I became a soldier, he recoiled at the sight of my uniform and rifle. There was nothing political about his reaction, but it took me years to understand that he was the “normal” one, that a normal grandparent isn’t thrilled at the sight of his first grandson holding a weapon. Just as it took me years as a journalist, as a father and as a reservist, returning year after year to the West Bank and to Gaza, to fully realize that while the sight of an Israeli soldier in combat gear fills nearly all Israeli Jews with pride and security, for many others it triggers the opposite feelings.

      And now, looking at our sons, we cling to the pride and wallow in the fear in order to assuage the guilt.

      Sending our sons into battle: the failure of another Israeli generation

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 05:20:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pilsner, you can add Lebanon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, gratis4

      Israel desperately wants the Litani River.

      The White House comment line is 202-456-1111. We need a million-person call-in starting now. Tell them to stop the genocide in Gaza.

      by RJDixon74135 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:05:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To paraphrase the great Golda Meyerson (16+ / 0-)

    "This conflict will end when the Israeli's love their children more than they love stealing Palestinian land"

  •  Here in the US, the media (26+ / 0-)

    has "rules" about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. These rules are etched in stone and I've never heard them broken by any reporter. But Noam Chomsky is all over it, he really says it plain.

    Rule 1: Israel is always "defending" itself, always responding to the belligerent attacks by Hamas. Reality: Israel constantly shoots Palestinian civilians, bombs houses, bulldozes farms, builds illegal settlements.

    2: Hamas is above all a terrorist organization, and very dangerous. Reality: No evidence exists to prove that Hamas is anything more than a small poorly funded band of prisoners trying to defend what little they have.

    3: Israel has the right to defend itself, and Palestinians have no right to defend themselves, because that would be seen as an "attack".

    4: Fizzle rockets from Gaza that land in open fields are exactly the same as carpet bombing whole parts of Gaza, killing and maiming, flattening whole neighborhoods and destroying power and water resources.

    5: We must always say Hamas is bad, Hamas is wrong, Israel is always good. This is a stupid "white hat/black hat" scenario that reeks of hypocrisy, a myth created for simple minds to grasp.

    I can't buy a story that's so obviously a lie.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:58:32 AM PDT

    •  Chris Hayes has been the exception, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onionjim, gratis4

      along with Ezra Klein filling in for him some of this last week.  Any of us thinking that MSNBC had a lockdown on honest reporting seems false.  It appears the truth is that Hayes from "The Nation" is the only humanitarian liberal on the nightly crew of MSNBC. (all four on their nightly crew are Roman Catholic, as am I... so Matthews, Maddow, O'Donnell don't have a religious bias excuse either)

    •  I think Chris Hayes has done an admirable (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onionjim, maregug, Teiresias70, gratis4

      job of presenting a fair picture of Gaza and the Palestinians.  I worry about what retribution he might receive for that.  Hope he's really on vacation and not something worse.

    •  A bit of an oversimplification (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank, onionjim, hester, highacidity, gratis4

      Just because the official story is mostly a lie doesn't make it a total lie. For a lie to succeed it helps to base it on some truth. These rockets, while hardly high-tech or super dangerous, aren't as benign as you claim. They have caused lots of damage and casualties in the past, which is bound to happen when thousands are launched. Israel managed to develop an effective shield against them, but that doesn't make their launch acceptable.

      Nor is there anything self-defensive about them, since they've not only not prevented Israel's aggression against Gazans, but they've intensified it. Sure, technically speaking, they are an understandable reaction to decades of oppression--i.e. "prisoners fighting back"--but realistically, they've in no way made Gazans better off, or safer. As self-defense, they're horribly ineffective.

      And so on.

      That said, though, the idea that Israel is always only defending itself against those who would massacre its citizens is a crock of shit. Sure, there is that, but far less so than was the case decades ago when Israel was under actual threat of destruction. Hamas, and other Palestinian factions and their allies, do threaten Israel's citizens and property, but not its existence, and haven't for decades. No, the real motivations behind Israel's policies are one, a land grab, primarily in the West Bank, two, the desire to assure that whatever Palestinian state does eventually emerge is so weak, puny and untenable that it will never pose any kind of threat to Israel, and three, politics, to make the ruling faction look strong and tough and be able to rally Israelis to support them, and avoid looking weak, and risk losing political support (or being assassinated).

      The idea that Israel is 100% right is just as dumb and unhelpful as the idea that it's 100% wrong. Same for Hamas and all the other factions here. They all share some blame, and they all deserve sympathy. Not saying that it's in equal amounts, but it's not either/or in either direction.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:33:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Settler colonialism always (24+ / 0-)

    ...ends empathy.   Extending the frontier requires it.

    And the United States still hasn't recovered from the PTSD and loss of empathy from its frontier wars and slavery.

    We, above all, should understand the moral dangers of what Israel is doing.

    But we still cough up $10 a person for every American each year to provide the armaments to continue it.

    Cut the $3.1 billion military aid to Israel.  It is not moving the Middle East toward peace nor is it finally protecting Israel from disaster, a position which the folly of a large segment of the Israeli public, like the US public in the 19th century, fails to see.

    Only Israel, with more populous neighbors, is in greater danger from its folly.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 05:01:16 AM PDT

    •  A total and sudden cutoff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is probably not only politically impossible, but would likely backfire, by even further radicalizing Israel and sending it into the embracing arms or Russia or China, who'd be more than happy to make up for the lost arms. So not only would it achieve nothing, it would likely make things worse.

      Rather, we need a policy of gradual and targeted "nudges" that compel Israel to alter its policies, by incentivizing better policies and de-incentivizes current ones, that wouldn't be so harsh as to push Israel away and towards even worse policies, yet which it couldn't and wouldn't ignore, and which would give it just enough face-saving room so that it wouldn't look like the punishment it was. This is something that calls for strong, experienced, tough and smart leadership, which unfortunately is sorely lacking in the US these days, where kick the can down the road appears to be the default policy.

      All sides, not just Israel and Hamas but the west, especially the US, and Arab and Muslim world, especially in the region, have failed here. And nothing will change for the better until someone takes the lead, who is in a position to lead, and does so through coordinated action with these players. Israel and Hamas HAVE to be pushed to make peace, or else they'll never do it.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:16:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks again David Your sensible and insight fu... (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks again David

    Your sensible and insight full commentary is the right antidote for the polarization and partisanship the subject engenders.

  •  Is it possible that a majority (5+ / 0-)

    of American Jews will ever condemn Israel for its policies toward Palestine? I do not see this happening at present.

    •  Why would we? (6+ / 0-)

      If the local Indian tribes, or Mexicans across the border were firing rockets aimed at my home, I'd be demanding my government flatten them. It wouldn't matter what the historical reasons were, or the supposed justification for the "resistance". I'd want those endless rocket attacks to be gone, and I'd  applaud my government for doing it.

      Not sure why commentators on this site are too dense to understand this rather simple concept. Nobody wants rockets fired at their house. Nobody wants their day disrupted by constant red alert sirens, and the need to drop everything and run to shelter, and we ourselves would support any government actions to make it stop. This is why over 90% of Israelis support the Gaza operation.

      •  Its awful when one day is disrupted by sirens (11+ / 0-)

        I would certainly urge my government to flatten Mexican power plants, schools, churches, shelters, hospitals.

        It is the only logical and just response.

        •  And shoot children on the beach (5+ / 0-)

          don't forget that.  Because everyone knows that the only justifiable response to some rockets being fired is to shoot future terrorists down while they play.  

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:58:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, you would want your government to stop... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The rockets. No matter WHERE they were being fired from. Or who was being used as human shields.

          The Taliban attacked us, and we invaded their country, flattened their military, and killed a few hundred thousand in the process. Very few Americans shed a tear over that, and we had overwhelming support initially for taking out the Taliban threat.

          •  If you will remember, many millions of Americans (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maregug, poco, jqb, gratis4, Cassandra Waites

            objected strenuously to our government's idiotic and counter-productive responses to the attacks on 9/11. Apparently you did not object, but felt the response to be justified.

            A few hundred thousand killed, what's the problem? As long as Americans are kept safe, that's all that counts. But wait a minute - what's the Taliban doing now? Did we in fact "flatten" the Taliban?

            Israel has certainly flattened a lot of Gaza. It has however not eradicated the hostility that Palestinians feel toward it.

            •  I objected to Iraq (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Quite strenuously. The decision to go in there was moronic, and had nothing to do with us being attacked on 9/11. I was fully supportive of the decision to go into Afghanistan and seriously harm the Taliban. We were not able to wipe them out, but we were able to stop many further terrorist attacks they had planned. And yes, it kept us Americans safe, and yes, that is what matters. Just like it is the job of the Israeli government and the IDF to keep their citizens safe.

              The hostility that Palestinians, and indeed the rest of the Muslim world feels towards the West will never be eradicated! since it's against their fundamental beliefs. As long as Israel even exists, there will always be hostility. It doesn't matter how much land Israel gives up, how many settlements they remove. Any truce, by Hamas's own words, is only temporary, a "hudna" to allow time for new tactics and ways of killing Jews and eliminating Israel to be developed. They've fricking said it on their own TV and radio's no secret.

              •  Are you sure that the "entire Muslim world" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                feels hostility toward the West, and that this hostility will "never be eradicated"? This is a blood thirsty, intolerant,and war-like perspective. It de-humanizes many millions of Muslims, in many different cultures, and declares them all to be enemies of Israel.

                Israel is not "the West", Israel is just Israel.

                Palestinians have good reason to hate Israel. Do you deny this? If you do, you are not seeing the situation for what it is.

                •  No, not "the rest of" Muslim world. I misspoke. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  But many of them. You're correct though, there are plenty of decent Muslims who are above this nonsense, and even Israel has relations with some Muslim nations that, while not friendly, are certainly tolerant.

                  Israel is considered a western nation, with a first world economy, and western values and governance.

                  And objectively the Palestinians have been treated far worse by their fellow Arabs, than by Israel.

              •  So the ten-year occupation of (0+ / 0-)

                Afghanistan has kept us Americans safe? I fear you have swallowed a lot of Kool-Aid, and I suspect you have watched a lot of American TV.

                Of course Hamas wants to kill Jews and eradicate Israel! Given the way Israel has treated Palestinians over the course of decades, and continues to treat them, it would be a wonder if such a radical faction had not evolved.

                And yet, somehow Israel can do no wrong. Any opposition to its murderous policies is loudly deemed to be anti-semitic, and outside the bounds of civil discourse.

          •  Oh you poor dears. (0+ / 0-)

            Hamas shot fire crackers at you and got you all upset.

      •  I'm aware that most Israelis support (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the Gaza "operation". Obviously you do too. I was wondering about American Jewish opinion in general... if there has been any lessening of support.

      •  The commenters aren't too dense to understand. (4+ / 0-)

        The title of this diary is "Empathy is Dead in Israel…"
        It could just as well be titled "Empathy for Israel is Dead."

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:26:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Empathy for Israel..." (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native, aliasalias, maregug

          1 in every 1,000 Palestinians has died under the ongoing Israeli bombardment.

          But Israelis are scared of the sirens.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:51:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You make my point. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JNEREBEL, Lost Left Coaster

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:57:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Comparative body counts are meaningless. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If one pilot drops a bomb that kills a thousand terrorists, it's a good thing. War is about killing as many of your enemies as possible, while minimizing innocent civilians on both sides.
            Per recent figures, Israel was able to keep civilian casualties to just over 50%, which is amazingly low for urban warfare.

            The fact that 2700 Hamas rockets failed to do any real damage is not due to lack of intent, but rather to Iron Dome and Israel's civil defense preparations, learned after the 2006 Lebanon war (when hundreds of Israelis were murdered by Hezbollah rockets).

            If Iron Dome wasn't operational, and a few hundred Israelis were killed, would that make you feel better? Would Israel's actions be more "justified" in your eyes?

            •  Killing as many of your enemies as possible (7+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, aliasalias, maregug, a2nite, poco, Hark, gratis4

              Indeed, that is what war is about. And judging by the current assault against Gaza, Israel considers all Palestinians to be their enemies. That must be why they attack bomb shelters, hospitals, civilian infrastructure like power and water plants, and neighbourhoods that they had previously instructed evacuated residents to return to.

              But if you think your "50% civilian death count ain't bad" line is persuasive, I suggest you tell that to someone whose entire family was wiped out by the Israeli assault. Surely they will be comforted. Of course, you'd have to explain that your "recent figures" are pulled out of thin air, as the United Nations estimates that 72% of deaths were of civilians.

              It is so interesting to me that Israel is supposed to get so much credit for not killing more civilians, while the fact that Hamas has been nearly 100% ineffective at doing so is supposed to be entirely meaningless.

              "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

              by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 12:31:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, that is not at all a real goal of war, (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gratis4, native, Pilsner

                nor is it sanctioned under international law.

              •  Let's stay honest. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gratis4, native
                It is so interesting to me that Israel is supposed to get so much credit for not killing more civilians, while the fact that Hamas has been nearly 100% ineffective at doing so is supposed to be entirely meaningless.
                The credit is for Israel's alleged care and restraint, which would warrant credit if it were true ("mow the lawn" is anything but), whereas Hamas's ineffectiveness is not intentional and does not warrant credit at all.
              •  Nope.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Israel's efforts to reduce civilian casualties have been well documented in this war. And in the NYTimes article that you linked they mention there is a great deal of controversy around those UN figures, from an incredibly biased org. I used the figures from the Israeli group in that same article, which seemed far more rigorous and factual.

                If you listen to Hamas, or the UN, everyone killed was an "in ocent civilian". TV coverage almost never showed rockets, or terrorists, or rocket launches from civilian areas (because the reporters were threatened with death if they did so). Now that reporters are leaving Gaza, the truth is starting to come out.

                And please, don't tell me you're naive enough to believe that Hamas isn't trying to kil Israelis with those rockets? And that the terror tunnels into Israel are for smuggling, rather than terorist attacks? No sane person would believe either.

                •  If you've got a half-blind, crippled (0+ / 0-)

                  beggar yelling at you, saying he wants to kill you, spitting at you and lunging at you, with no chance of ever doing you any serious harm... of course the best thing to do is to kick him hard in the ribs. And maybe stomp on him. Shut him up for good.

                  •  If that blind, crippled beggar is armed (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Even with a knife, and lunges at a police officer, he will be shot and killed.

                    Attacking and provoking a superior force is just stupid. If you pull a weapon on a cop, you deserve to be shot. Just as Hamas deserves to be destroyed for firing thousands of rockets and missiles on Israel. Yes, while Hamas was elected by Palestinians, the children at least are still innocent. It's tragic that the blind, crippled bigger happened to pull his knife out in the middle of a kindergarten classroom, to use your analogy, and the policeman's bullets may accidentally hit a child as well, since he's not firing an accurate gun, and the beggar has a crowd of children around him as hostages.

                  •  Are you comparing an entire people (0+ / 0-)

                    to a half-blind, crippled beggar?  Seriously?

            •  Meaningless, right. (0+ / 0-)

              One Israeli with a broken toe, sixty Palestinians whose bodies are unrecognizable because torn to shreds. They just happened to be in the wrong half of that 50% casualty figure. Too bad for them.

              Still, let's applaud the IDF that the percentage of civilian deaths wasn't even higher.

      •  Nobody wants missiles fired at their house (5+ / 0-)

        Simple concept indeed. Please forward to Netanyahu, he doesnt seem to have received your memo.

    •  It doesn't matter. Its isn't important that (5+ / 0-)

      American Jews condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. What matters is that the American people in general reject what Israel is doing and demand that our government stop supporting it.

    •  that sounds much like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester, native, gratis4

      the RW and gun enthusiasts crying for the African Americans to condemn and address the high gun crime rates and single parenthood in their own communities before supporting any gun control measures.

      The fact is, many American Jews are not happy with the Israeli administration. But there is no advantage in criticizing Israel in public. Nuance is dead. There is no upside, there is no shortage of Israeli detractors, particularly in this community. And criticism, any criticism, looks like support for those who hate Israel. That is not a side with whom most American Jews want to be associated. I certainly don't.  

      •  Hamas unites the left, right, and center (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kane in CA, native

        in Israel and the diaspora.

        BDS does the same.

        That is no easy task, as the divisions among Israelis and Jews in the diaspora are quite significant.

        But hatred of Israel, and hatred of Jews, serves to unite folks that are fundamentally divided on the issues.

      •  Why should nuance be dead? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Are you saying that criticism of Israel is not possible for Jews of the diaspora? Why must Israel's behavior be framed as be "either you're for us or against us"? Is tribalism to trump human decency?

        •  It should not be dead (0+ / 0-)

          but it is. And it was lost on you. Every time I've walked into a room full of Jews there is at least 1 different opinion from every individual on this conflict. The "either you're for us or against us" mentality is outside that room. I don't want to be associated with those that hate Israel, and any criticism of Israel I have, will do that. Not by other Jews (though that may happen too, it's incidental), but by those that hate Israel.

          I am not saying that everyone who criticizes Israel hates Israel. But enough do. If my voice here could change the path of history, I might think differently. It can't. So I will not lend my voice to the side that includes too many people that would not be bothered in the least to see Israel wiped from the face of the earth.

  •  In the long run, this uncontrollable hatred (14+ / 0-)

    will be the end of Israel and there will be a second diaspora as a result.
    Demographic are not on Israel's side unless they kill a lot more Palestinians at a go. 1500 here, 2000 there won't stem the flood.
    And if they do ramp up the genocide, they will return to international pariah status.
    Israel cannot be both a democracy and an exclusively Jewish state without a toll on the Palestinians that will shock the world.
    It's either learn to live in peace or lose the promised land.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 05:32:09 AM PDT

    •  Are you familiar with Masada? (5+ / 0-)

      Every IDF soldier goes to Masada for their indoctrination ceremony, and swears that "Masada shall not fall again". Israel was last conquered by the Romans in 70AD, (600 years before Islam, just FYI) and Masada was the last fortress of Jewish resistance.

      Israel will go nuclear rather than be forced out again. The Arabs will need to learn to live in peace and accept Israel, because there will NEVER be another conquest or diasporah.

      •  Are you familiar with Masada? (5+ / 0-)

        the facts, not the myth.  The Sicarii of Masada have much more in common with Hamas in Gaza than ever before.

        You do make a good point.  If in Gaza, Israel required nearly a full mobilization of its conventional forces to fight a couple of thousand lightly armed religious zealots with little military training to a draw, then one should worry if a bigger conflict erupted.  That nuclear trigger is scaring the crap out the region.

        •  It's the myth that matters now. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pilsner, Lefty Coaster, aliasalias
          •  true, every nation needs its myths (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, mkor7, jqb, maregug, Cassandra Waites

            and legends.   It promotes unity and reinforces critical values.  I don't begrudge any nation their foundation myths.  I have been to those induction ceremonies and CODELs, very theatric.

            but the irony is inescapable.   Hamas=Sicarii.  The defenders of Masada were a sect called Sicarii.  Literally terroristic thugs, who sought at every turn to frustrate Jewish solidarity in opposing the excesses of the Roman occupation.    Absolutely rejectionist of any initiatives to stop the violence.  

            They were cowards, as well, playing very little part in the defense of Jerusalem, choosing to hole up in their tunnel ridden fortress of Masada, refusing to allow their women and children to depart.

            The Romans finally moved against them because they were disturbing the peace, raiding Jewish villages nearby for sustenance and women.

            Historians dispute the myth of the mass suicide as the endgame, but that doesn't matter.   The Sicarrii didn't have nukes.  Israel does.

            One may wonder if 2,000 years from now, the Palestinian Defense Forces will conduct their induction ceremony somewhere in Gaza, as a monument to resistance and perserverance in their mythology.  

        •  Yes, I've been there multiple times... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And not, there is no analogy. The Siccarii were fighting literal genocide and enslavement by a civilization invading what had been their home for a thousand years.

          And yes, the mobilization was needed to provide overwhelming ground superiority for rooting the Hamas rats out of their nests while minimizing civilians. Typical military doctrine for urban combat calls for 5 or even 10-1 advantage needed. Israel could have simply immolated Gaza from the air, using bunker busters along the borders , but that would have caused significant casualties (vs the 0.1% rate seen here). By comparison, even the Israeli casualty rate in 1948 was an entire 1% of their population, 10x higher.

          And no, if the nuclear option was ever used, Israel wouldn't care about public opinion. They would already be dead, but so would the entire Muslim world. Mutual Assured Destruction, remember that? Israel would only resort to nukes in the event of a second Holocaust, which is what would happen if Hamas ever got the upper hand.

        •  Pretty much every power in the 1st century (0+ / 0-)

          had a lot in common with Hamas, so I'm not sure what value that observation is supposed to have.  Hamas is very retrograde.

      •  Don't count on that. (7+ / 0-)
        there will NEVER be another conquest or diasporah.
        If Israel nukes Gaza, 1) it will also be nuking the surrounding country, currently known as Israel and 2) the rest of the world, including the US, will cut Israel off.
        And probably arm the Palestinians (what's left of them).
        Yes, I am familiar with Masada and that story has made for a lot of trouble over the centuries. That chip on the shoulder has not made for a better world.
        Don't be so sure that Israel's might and determination will prevail, that is hubris and bound to make more enemies than friends.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:15:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bringing up the nuclear issue, (9+ / 0-)

        about which I have seen nothing in recent weeks.  Why is it OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons but a crime if any other country tries to develop them?  It's pretty clear that if you're even thought to have nuclear weapons you don't get invaded (Iran and N. Korea).  I think we can say with assurance that the US knew Iraq didn't have nuclear capability.  The IAEA had pretty good evidence of no weapons before shock and awe was launched.

        According to Wikipedia (and it's in other articles as well):

        It [Israel] is one of four nuclear-armed countries not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the others being India, Pakistan and North Korea.
        •  Silly Heart (8+ / 0-)

          You know as well as anyone that Israel, like the United States, is "special."

          The White House comment line is 202-456-1111. We need a million-person call-in starting now. Tell them to stop the genocide in Gaza.

          by RJDixon74135 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:10:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh..that's easy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Because Israel is a moral nation that hasn't sworn the annihilation of her neighbors, and has proven over 40+ years that she can be trusted with a nuclear arsenal. Unlike Iran, who believes that getting the bomb will let them destroy Israel, at the cost of only a few tens of millions Shaheeds.

          •  Compare how many times Iran has invaded (12+ / 0-)

            its neighbors vs. how many times Israel has invaded, and then rethink your 'trusted with nukes' premise.

            Please also refer to your own comment above, in which you suggested that Israel would use its nukes, to illustrate why the IDF having its hands on nukes should be if concern to the whole world.

            Trust Netanyahu or Bennet or Lieberman with the trigger? You kidding?

            •  Israel has fought defensive wars.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              When has Israel invaded without being attacked first? Please.
              And per my comments above, Israel, like us, would use nukes as a last resort, to prevent a second Holocaust if the country was going to be overrun. That's why nations HAVE nukes.

              Now, take Iran, nobody is threatening to invade them and wipe out their population. However, their leaders have sworn to do this to Israel, publicly and repeated. MAD (mutual assured destruction) doesn't work with Iran or other radical Islamist groups, because they believe that using them, and dying, is a GOOD ing, encouraged by their religion. That is why they're so dangerous.


              •  What? Do you read before you hit 'post'? (10+ / 0-)

                "Now, take Iran, nobody is threatening to invade them and wipe out their population."

                Gawd how many quotes do you need about bombing Iran from politicians here in the USA and all the freakin' time by politicians in Israel?
                Pick a number and pick a decade.

                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:35:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Israel's wars have been offensive, not defensive (0+ / 0-)

                And Israel need not threaten to 'wipe out someone's population' in order to be a menace. They have shown their true colors with the Palestinians already, and you'd find them trustworthy? Any interest in buying a bridge?

                If Q.E.D. means that you're Quite good at Evading the main points of the Discussion, then fair enough.

                •  You apparently live in an alternate reality.. (0+ / 0-)

                  One where the Arab and Muslim states surrounding Israel are happy, prosperous and peace loving, and Israel is an evil dictatorship bent on conquest and annihilation of its neighbors. In the real world however,  the opposite is true. Every way Israel has fought has been defensive. Israel was invaded by multiple Arab armies in 1948, was blockaded and attacked repeatedly leading up to 1967, was surprise attacked and almost defeated in 1973. Had to respond to Massive PLO terrorism in Lebanon in 1982. And even in this conflict, had to respond to over 3000 rockets fired on its cities.

                  Israel is simply surviving. They have no designs on expanding and never have.

                  •  Alternate from you, perhaps (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    But quite in line with facts and observations.

                    Your 1st sentence is a distraction and a straw man. Palestine is, by the way, certainly not prosperous and I doubt happy, but it's hard to prosper when you're being bombed, need to pass an occupying army's checkpoints to visit your sister in the next village, and have to put up with settlers throwing stones at your kids on their way to school.

                    Likud does seem to be quite evil, based on standard reference points for this word (violent, murderous, hypocritical, greedy, deceitful, corrupt..)

                    Israel does not yet seem to be a dictatorship for non-Arabs, although policies both towards Arabs and increasingly towards peace activists seem to be leaning further in that direction.

                    I haven't seen many people suggest that Israel is bent on annihilating its neighbors, although when you put a small impoverished strip of humanity under long-term embargo and then bomb the trapped inhabitants, you might have a point when it comes to Gaza at least.

                    Regarding 'no designs on expanding,' you naturally support, then, a return to at least the 1967 borders?

                    •  Return to the 1967 borders (0+ / 0-)

                      Actually, yes, except for Jerusalem of course, and with the appropriate security assurances (after all, Israel was invaded multiple times across those borders). Israel will never give up Jerusalem, it's been their capital, and center of Judaism for 3000 years. Muslim sites are ALREADY under Waqf control.

                      This is pretty much what was offered by Ehud Barak at Taba, and Olmert in 2006 (including removal of almost ALL the settlements, and land swaps to compensate), and turned down repeatedly by the PA.

                      And its funny, none of the other countries surrounding Israel are exactly prosperous either. The irony is that Arab-Israeli's enjoy an average standard of living higher than almost any major middle-eastern country (with the exception of the oil sheikhdoms.).

          •  At first glance I thought this was (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jqb, Lepanto, poco

            pure, unalloyed snark.  Until I saw who wrote it.

            •  Poe's Law says (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.
              Wikipedia explains (emphasis added):
              The core of Poe's law is that a parody of something extreme, by nature, becomes impossible to differentiate from sincere extremism. A corollary of Poe's law is the reverse phenomenon: sincere fundamentalist beliefs can be mistaken for a parody of those beliefs.
        •  It's not (0+ / 0-)

          Israel got her nukes during the safe harbor period of the Cold War.  Now the world seeks to stem the tide of proliferation.  That's how progress works.

      •  At least you openly admit that Israel has nukes nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  But Hamas doesn't care about life (5+ / 0-)

    And certainly not the lives of their civilians.

    They said it themselves!

  •  Well, at least mobs of orthodox arent beating up (11+ / 0-)

    african jews like they were a couple years ago. Thats a positive development. Of a sort. Just hope the Israeli government is no longer forcibly injecting black women with contraceptives to keep them from having children. That also would be progress. Of a sort.

    Wonderful country. Just wonderful. God's country, obviously.

    •  Yeah, because the US has historically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      been soooooooooooo much better at such things...

      Or most other countries at one point or another.

      Not trying to diminish Israel's guilt here, but damn, my god, the projection one hears from citizens of countries that have done as bad or worse, and in many cases still are. Who did you think Israel learned such behavior from, anyway?

      Condemn Israel for what it's doing and call for a cutoff of military and financial aid to it until it stops and makes amends, fine by me. But pretend like it's the worstest country in the world like EVER? Damn, what a crock.

      We need to stop indulging Bibi & Co. while at the same time stop acting like he didn't learn how to do this from us and our allies.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Odd response (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mkor7, aliasalias, jqb, gratis4
        But pretend like it's the worstest country in the world like EVER? Damn, what a crock.
        Not sure where BBB did that. Anyway, being as the vast majority of the criticism of Israel from those of us who are US citizens also includes criticism of the USA's ongoing support for everything that Israel is doing, I'm not sure where the USA is getting off the hook here.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:56:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's less about what BBB said or meant or believes (0+ / 0-)

          as what some others, here and elsewhere, have said, and appear to believe, in singling out Israel as the worst country ever. Its actions, while deplorable, are, unfortunately, but undeniably, not singular, or even the worst of the worst. But why is it always Israel that gets the brunt of the condemnation?

          I believe that it's about projection. Where are the rallies and petitions against Assad? Putin? N Korea? Oh, wait, those are the "other". Israel's one of us, an otherwise decent, civilized, western country, not like those foreign countries that are not like us, so its behavior is a zillion times worst when it does this!

          When we condemn Israel, we're actually condemning ourselves, both historically and in present times. Same thing for most European countries. Belgium, Germany, England--I know what you did last century! (And still do.)

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:04:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why is this suprising? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias, maregug, jqb, gratis4

            Israel has managed the occupied territories as Bantustans, which, while not the worst thing done by a country in the last 50 years, is pretty fucking horrible. Without US financial and military assistance, that would not have been possible. Putin, Assad, the North Koreans are being terrible without our assistance. Why shouldn't we, as Americans, feel a special special sense of revulsion at the actions we are sponsoring?

            •  If it was solely because of US support of Israel (0+ / 0-)

              then I might grant your point, but clearly, it's not. There is a lot more going on here that few seem willing or ready to acknowledge. We also give Egypt billions in aid, but I don't recall hearing about mass outrage over its own policies against its oppressed minorities. And we buy hundreds of billions of dollars of goods from China, which has a long record of massive human rights abuses, which is a form of aid, yet no protests, either.

              Not that Israel doesn't deserve condemnation, but I think it also serves the purpose of convenient international pariah, onto which the west projects and misdirects its suppressed outrage over other, often even worse atrocities, some of them its own. Somehow, Israel is "different". Now why would that be?

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:20:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's simple (6+ / 0-)

            For those of us who are US citizens, our government is supporting what Israel is doing to the tune of billions of dollars per year and all-you-can-eat UN Security Council vetoes. Surely you are aware of that.

            Feel free to organize a rally in New York City or Washington DC against the crimes of the North Korean regime. But it is already US policy to oppose that regime. I'm not sure what a rally is going to do. But I wouldn't be opposed to joining one if you can make the case that a rally against North Korea would make a positive difference. If you were rallying to go to war against North Korea, I would not be on board, though.

            Most the time when people come into a discussion about Israel and start talking about Syria and North Korea, they're trying to focus attention away from the fact that the US is directly supporting what is happening in Gaza with money, weapons, and intelligence. I'm not saying that you're doing that -- I really have no idea what your point is, as if we need to condemn 19th century Belgian imperialism in order to continue with a discussion about what is happening to Gazans today. I am fully in favor of a broader historically informed discussion about imperial violence, both historical and contemporary, but the rather obvious fact is that Gazans are dying today, right now, as we type, as activists mobilize to try and stop the killings that are supported by US money and weapons and intelligence. Gazans are dying today. At this minute. So your push here, to make sure that we always add the appropriate asterisks to our discussion about what Israel is doing, to make sure that while killing 1 in every 1,000 Palestinians is terrible, it is not the most terrible thing going on in the world today, and especially not the most terrible thing in history -- that strikes me as a bit odd.

            "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

            by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:36:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again (0+ / 0-)

              Unless and until someone devotes as much timeand energy to condemning and trying to end all the other atrocities in the world going on right NOW--or at least a few of them, some of them dwarfing this one--I will continue to view this as projection, at least in part. I am no less "misdirecting" by introducing Syria and N Korea into the discussion than is someone by claiming that US material support for Israel makes condemnation of it more appropriate. You either include all externalities, or it's a dishonest discussion.

              I myself find it "odd" that the west repeatedly singles out Israel for its many atrocities--and that is what they are, deserving of condemnation--over pretty much all others. Where were the anti-Russia and separatist rallies protesting the clear massacre of over 300 innocent people in E Ukraine last month? Or against Assad, ISIS or Boko Haram? I'm not asking for fewer condemnations and protests against Israel, just some parity, so I can take the former more seriously, and not as the acts of convenient misdirection and projection that they are, in part to make up for the west's relative non-outrage against these other atrocities, and also in part to help it forget its own similar and often vastly worse ones in the not so distant past.

              How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. --Luke 6:42

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:13:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So it is no exaggeration then (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias, poco, jqb, gratis4

                to say that you think that America's material support of what Israel is doing right now is completely irrelevant.

                Baffling. Your position honestly makes no sense whatsoever. It is like saying that someone who goes and speaks to his city council about a measure that they are considering is being hypocritical if he doesn't also go and speak to the city council in a city in which he doesn't even live.

                "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                by Lost Left Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:43:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In what city council do you live (0+ / 0-)

                  in this bizarre analogy, the Israeli or Palestinian? As far as I know you're not a party to this situation but rather a citizen of a country that supports Israel. Your involvement in this tragedy is indirect. Is that your only reason for feeling obliged to condemn Israel's actions? Or are the actions themselves sufficient, and if so, why are you and others not equally condemning all the other ones? This is what I find truly bizarre and I simply don't buy the explanation that it's because the US supports Israel. Maybe it's because among all the countries committing atrocities in the world, Israel is the most like the US, so we identify with its crimes, having committed our own such crimes in the past.

                  Of course, none of this has anything to do with what might eventually turn things around there. Israelis have shut their ears to global opinion. They are in full victim mode, and calling them murderers, however justified, will accomplish nothing. Only doing something to materially stop their behavior can. We're yelling into the wind here. As we do on just about every other issue.

                  The US left is utterly impotent.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:01:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your position makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

                    As long as you think that billions of dollars in military aid from the USA make no difference to the situation whatsoever. And you think that Americans need to spend as much time condemning the North Korean government as they do the actions of their own government in Washington. Utterly bizarre. What a strange way of conceiving of how people should engage in US politics. It's fine to complain about what your own government does as long as you spend equal time complaining about all the other bad things that governments around the world do. You should write to the Daily Kos front page to make sure that they spend just as much time on elections in Russia and Tajikistan as they do on American elections, since apparently US citizens are bound to engage equally in all of these issues, in order to satisfy you.

                    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                    by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:46:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, Lepanto, gratis4
        Not trying to diminish Israel's guilt here, but damn, my god, the projection one hears from citizens of countries that have done as bad or worse, and in many cases still are. Who did you think Israel learned such behavior from, anyway?

        Condemn Israel for what it's doing and call for a cutoff of military and financial aid to it until it stops and makes amends, fine by me. But pretend like it's the worstest country in the world like EVER? Damn, what a crock.

        We need to stop indulging Bibi & Co. while at the same time stop acting like he didn't learn how to do this from us and our allies.

        Bibi is a grown man, no? Israeli's aren't children under a bad influence. The only people responsible for Israel's current course are Israelis.
        •  So you are as responsible for invading Iraq (0+ / 0-)

          as the average Israeli is for this? Got it.

          Btw you just shot down the only even semi-sensible argument I've heard here for why the disproportionate outrage against Israel vs. all the other global atrocities is justified, if you truly believe that the US has no hand in this.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:22:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maregug, jqb, gratis4
            So you are as responsible for invading Iraq (0+ / 0-)
            as the average Israeli is for this? Got it.
            This is self-evidently ridiculous. No, I'm not as responsible as George Bush, but I do bear some of the collective responsibility that all Americans share when our democracy produces such a catastrophe.
            Btw you just shot down the only even semi-sensible argument I've heard here for why the disproportionate outrage against Israel vs. all the other global atrocities is justified, if you truly believe that the US has no hand in this.
            The US is obviously complicit, but the US didn't "teach" Israelis to do anything as you argue. The US is responsible for its complicity in what's going on right now, but Israelis and Israelis alone are responsible for choosing this course to begin with. Full stop. It's childish to suggest otherwise.

            Such childish abdication of responsibility is the reason the Middle East is such a shit show.

    •  an Ethiopian Jew was Israeli beauty queen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, charliehall2

      Many Ethiopian Jews proudly serve in the IDF that has programs to help them and Ethiopian Jewish community.

      Those who stand with Israel and support it are welcomed in Israel.

    •  Luckily for African refugees (0+ / 0-)

      Israel is building the world's largest prison to house them and keep them safe. Isn't Democracy grand?

      My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

      by gratis4 on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:17:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only when the last Palestinian is ground to dust (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will they, perhaps, reflect on what they became.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:33:18 AM PDT

  •  people support the war effort against their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, charliehall2

    enemies. Wow, what a horrific concept.

  •  I'm guessing that in their hearts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer, jqb

    a lot more Israeli Jews are not quite so sanguine about Israel's attacks on Gaza and its occupation policies in general than are willing to say so publicly, or even admit it to their closest friends and relatives, so effective and ruthless has the Israeli right's propaganda and intimidation machine become (which I will forever believe was at least indirectly and willingly responsible for Rabin's assassination nearly 20 years ago), which I also believe is the true motivation for this massively disproportionate reaction to Hamas' firing of rockets into Israel, to further radicalize Israel's Jewish citizens, push them rightward, and silence dissent. But the climate in Israel right now is one of we're 100% right and don't anyone dare say otherwise. Making silence, however difficult and painful, probably Israel's left's only wise option right now.

    But when this latest explosion of violence and death ends, and it will, and some time has past, there will inevitably be a softening among Israeli Jews, and the time for more thoughtful and empathic evaluation of what happened and was done will come. I'm not saying that it will lead to peace, and chances are that it won't, based on history (at least not if the US and west once again refuse to do what is necessary to make that happen). But now is not the time to look for empathy and reason among Israeli Jews. Not because it's not there, but because displaying it has been deemed effective treason against the state, punishable by ostracism, censure, and even, now, open violence.

    My god, and we're subsidizing this! Shame on us, too.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:57:12 AM PDT

    •  A conundrum, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, aliasalias, smiley7, maregug

      since a retroactive "softening" could arrive too late to save Israel from the increasingly hardening of sentiment against her Jewish citizens, most notably by its neighbors in the region.

      Just as "America’s alliance with Israel fans Middle Eastern outrage" [former Israeli Amb. Michael Oren quote], so it appears that Israel's actions are promoting anti-Semitism.

      So it’s quite clear that MENA is very much the outlier (although, given its proximity to Israel, it’s quite a pertinent one) on the question of to what extent Israeli actions contribute to negative views of Jews in general. But of those respondents who say that Israel’s behavior influences their views of Jews, pretty solid majorities in Western Europe (64%), Eastern Europe (55%), Asia (54%) and Oceania (71%) — and a plurality in the Americas (45%) — assert that their impression of Jews is more negative. It is difficult, therefore, to escape the conclusion of some correlation between Israeli actions and the rise or intensification of anti-Semitism as a result in key regions beyond MENA. ADL, however, as you can see below, rejects this notion.
      In its rejection, ADL fails to see the trending trajectory.
    •  A decent, insightful, and empathic comment. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer, kovie
      •  I'm all about how we get from here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to a better place. Being reality-based and as understanding of all sides as is possible is part of it. This includes both empathy for the good people on each side, and understanding what makes the bad people on each side do what they do. I.e. know your friends AND enemies. What are the motivations, goals, agendas, ideologies, fears, weaknesses, limitations, etc. of all the factions on each side, good, bad and somewhere in-between?

        It's easy and comforting to accuse and get angry--and quite human--but it doesn't get us or them where they need to be. As an Israeli-American I've always tried to understand why Palestinians and other Arabs hate Israel, and what can be done about it. I've never bought the simplistic "They hate Jews and want to kill us all" explanation. Sure, some do, but not all, or even most. At a certain point, Israel's behavior towards them became the main reason why, and to this day most Israelis are in deep denial over it. And we, the US, allow them to indulge in this delusion, making us complicit in it.

        Some sort of "intervention" is clearly called for. Israel, we need to talk...

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That evaluation didn't happen in 2009 or 2012 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      why should we expect it to happen this time?

      "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:43:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Forever War", not unforeseen by Truman (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, smiley7, jqb, gratis4, stargaze
    As president, Truman initially opposed the creation of a Jewish state. Instead, he tried to promote an Arab-Jewish federation or binational state. [ Grady-Morrison Committee of Inquiry ] He finally gave up in 1947 and endorsed the partition of Palestine into separate states, but he continued to express regret in private that he had not achieved his original objective, which he blamed most often on the “unwarranted interference” of American Zionists. After he had recognized the new state, he pressed the Israeli government to negotiate with the Arabs over borders and refugees; and expressed his disgust with “the manner in which the Jews are handling the refugee problem.”

    Of course, there were good reasons why Truman failed to achieve a federated or binational Palestine, and I don’t intend by recounting Truman’s qualms to suggest that he was wrong to recognize Israel. But Truman’s misgivings about a Jewish state and later about the Israeli stance on borders and refugees were not baseless.  Truman was guided by moral precepts and political principles and concerns about America’s role in the Middle East that remain highly relevant today. Understanding his qualms is not just a matter of setting the historical record straight. It’s also about understanding why resolving the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians needs to be high on America’s diplomatic agenda.

    “I never thought God picked any favorites.” -- HST
    The rest here:

    my bold

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:16:30 AM PDT

  •  War does that to people. It's no different from (0+ / 0-)

    other war zones. You start hating the other side.

  •  the Palestinian teenager who was burned alive (5+ / 0-)

    by "Israeli extremists".........

    Mohammed Abu Khedair, a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and killed in Jerusalem this week, died from being burned alive and hit on the head with a blunt object, according to Palestinian General Prosecutor Mohammed al-Auwewy, citing a medical autopsy. Al-Auwewy said the autopsy discovered traces of smoke inside the lungs of the 16-year-old, indicating that it was inhaled while the fire was burning.
    WARNING - Trigger Alert....


    I came across this yesterday (a photo of an Iraqi man burned alive during the Gulf War) and thinking of the horrors of those who would commit such an act is so beyond my comprehension. I don't know the status of the Israeli extremists who committed this same act, but surely Israel will hold them to the highest account.
    The War Photo No One Would Publish

    The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone. In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him. Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.
    “He was fighting to save his life to the very end, till he was completely burned up,”

    _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

    by allenjo on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:42:27 AM PDT

  •  What do you expect from a country (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mosesfreeman, OIL GUY, aliasalias, Lepanto

    That have a sociopath for foreign Minister

  •  Israel is suffering from more than (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maregug, Lepanto, gratis4

    a personality disorder.  What is happening to the oppressor and occupier is predictable.  Israeli's seem completely oblivious to the damage that is being done to their country and prospects for peace.  They cannot win.  Eventually, they will go the way of white south africa.  It may take decades but if the Israeli's think that the Palestinians will just go away, they are delusional.  If they think that Palestinian freedom fighters will lay down their arms, they are delusional.  If they don't realize that Palestinian rockets will have greater and greater range to hit Israeli populations, they are delusional.  There will be no peace for Israel.

    •  They have lost the PR battle - in their arrogance (7+ / 0-)

      they've failed to realize this. But the tide is turning against them.

      That they still have a hold on US lawmakers seems to them to be their license to do whatever they want, damn the consequences.

      Israeli's seem completely oblivious to the damage that is being done to their country and prospects for peace.  They cannot win.

      _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

      by allenjo on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I gotta give a lot of credit to social media for (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, allenjo, Lepanto, gratis4

        giving images that contradicted the stories msm pumps out.

        The pictures of dead children have been all over FB and twitter which is a (universally) powerful image if ever there was one. One too difficult ,in the Public eye, to saddle with guilt for events that are horrific even for adults.


        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:25:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Am I the only person terrified that the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, churchylafemme, jqb

    aggressively warlike current Israeli government is the only player in the region with nuclear weapons?

    After all, what I keep seeing reported is the Gov't of Israel saying, repeatedly, that Israel's existence is being threatened by rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza.

    Only 3 reported deaths on Israel territory in the past few years from those rockets and less than 60 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the past few months, compared to over 2,000 (mostly civilians, women and kids) in Gaza.

    But the rhetoric about Hamas wanting the destruction of Israel and the death of every single Israeli is still front and center.

    The US bombed Hiroshima and then three days later, Nagasaki, with the only nuclear weapons used in international warfare, to date. It's unclear to me why in the world that second bomb was dropped. But the reasoning behind it probably looked a lot like the reasoning behind the saturation bombing of Gaza now by Israel.

    Hence my fears that a nuclear weapon may be On the Table...

    Someone, tell me that I'm crazy. Please.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:10:26 AM PDT

    •  The US would have dropped a third bomb (0+ / 0-)

      had we had one -- and continuing until Japan surrendered. And the Japanese surrender may have prevented a million or more casualties.

      Hamas wanting the destruction of Israel is not rhetoric. Hamas means it. It would agree to the expulsion of every Jew from the region but if the Jews don't agree to go they are to be killed. Israel has every justification to do to Hamas what the US did to Germany and Japan in World War II. Hamas has been committing war crimes with every rocket launch, with the storage of munitions in schools, with the use of a hospital as a military headquarters, and with the use of civilians as human shields. The world would be better off without Hamas and Gazans would be better off, too.

      •  Words matter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stargaze, DeadHead

        But action speak louder than words.

        Hamas may say they desire the destruction of Israel, but in reality they do not have the ability to do so. I've looked at the record and in the past three years, only 3 people in Israel have died due to those bombs you speak of. Whether it is because of the nature of the bombs (badly constructed, badly aimed or whatever) or because of the Iron Dome anti-missile missiles is not relevant. That number 3 is the relevant data. There have been 50 (at last count) Israeli IDF deaths in the recent weeks.

        In Gaza, the last count I saw was just under 2,000 and estimates by reliable international sources say that as much as 70% of those deaths are civilians and many of them children. We can tell this true by the massive amount of images coming out of the conflict.

        So in reality it's Israel causing the destruction of Gaza and the Palestinians held captive there by the actions of Israel.

        I beg of you, consider, you are talking as though blood lust is a good thing.

        War and fighting is NEVER ended by more War and fighting.

        There are only diplomatic solutions to War.

        Unless your end goal is not to end the War by ending the fighting - but by eliminating your enemy entirely.

        Which is merely another way to say genocide.

        Is that truly your wish?

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:59:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, gratis4, churchylafemme

    empathy is mortally wounded in this country, too.  Don't see much of it in evidence nowadays.  

    -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

    by GulfExpat on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 11:56:23 AM PDT

  •  Empathy is indomitable in Israel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeDee001, JayinPortland

  •  What is the racism about? Semitic peoples against (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Semitic peoples? This whole situation is so bizarre and grotesque.

    You are doing a great job - keep bring us your important perspectives.

  •  UN with Israel undermined report for Gaza 2008-9 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    the subject line above was shorter to fit into the required space

    here is the actual subject line

    Wikileaks: Ban Ki-Moon Worked with Israel to Undermine UN Report

    The General Secretary of United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-Moon collaborated in secret with Israel and the United States to weaken the effects of a Board of Inquiry's report accusing Israel of human rights violations in Gaza in Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009.

    the bold is in the original in the article in

  •  You want empathy? (0+ / 0-)

    Stop trying to murder Jews -- or making apologies for them.

    Sorry, but I have no empathy for the terrorists.

    •  All Palestinian in Gaza = "Terrorists" to you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, capelza

      "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:48:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed, you don't. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stargaze, capelza

      Nor do you have empathy for the non-terrorists.

      And that's the problem.

      As with the others who've so readily made the diarist's point for him, this diary is about you, too.

      These last few weeks have really opened my eyes to a lot of things.

      Never would I have guessed that such callous disregard for human life would be so frequently and persistently displayed by people who would likely self-identify as "liberals."

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:04:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Notice the similarities? (0+ / 0-)

    ISRAEL: Not a single anti-war demonstration in the past month has ended without participants being attacked and beaten by nationalistic counter-protesters.

    AMERICA: The Ferguson, Missouri Police Department is inept, and is thus unable and/or unwilling to control the crowds protesting against the fatal shooting by a police officer of yet another unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. After some of the protesters became violent -- committing burglaries, setting fires, trashing cars, looting, general rioting, etc. -- Ferguson has turned into a battle zone, with ensuing drastic measures being taken -- using military tactics, equipment and teargas, violating the people's First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, attacking news reporters and photographers, using excessive force to control the crowd, etc. -- by the city's police department and other outside law enforcement personnel against the protesters.

    And we call this a "DEMOCRACY?"

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