The Unique and Horrifying Evil of Israel’s Actions: Part II

44% of Gaza From Which Palestinians are Evicted
44% of Gaza From Which Palestinians are Evicted

It is not only that it is terrorizing the Palestinians of Gaza. I suggest Israel has engaged in a uniquely evil enterprise. This is because it has provided no exit for the Palestinian women and children.

This is unheard of in the history of warfare. It is a war in which there are no refugees. Think of that, not one refugee. No one has been allowed to flee to safety. The Palestinians of Gaza are all confined is such a way that every explosion will resonate in their bodies so that they will never forget the fury of Israel.

Perhaps it is because when my wife was a child she and her family fled her home in an open cart being drawn by a donkey in the middle of a bitterly cold winter evening from the oncoming Red Army; or perhaps it was a moving book I recently read about a woman who fled the Nazi blitzkrieg coming down on Paris that made me think about this. Or was it the thought of the innocents being slaughtered in Gaza which I wrote about yesterday which seemed unique to warfare.

Consider what has happened in other conflicts. You don’t have to look far. Look at Ukraine, or even at Syria. Examine all other conflicts that have taken place from the Middle Ages up through our World Wars. You must have seen pictures of Allied forces moving up toward the battle front and people streaming in the opposite direction. Where did many of the women and children go during the Battle of Britain?

You know what I am a referring to: women and children, the old and the infirm, have always had the opportunity to remove themselves from the battlegrounds. In Ukraine today many flee to other parts of Ukraine and Russia; in Syria over the past years millions, yes millions, have fled into neighboring countries. Remember our war with Iraq? Do you recall the stories of the thousands upon thousands who fled into Syria and Jordan to escape the battle.

All civilized nations have allowed the non combatants a way to safety. Only the Nazis sent planes to strafe the fleeing civilians. Israel has gone beyond this. It has refused to allow those not involved in the combat to flee.

Not that it couldn’t. It could easily have let the Palestinian women and children, the old and lame, the feeble and mentally impaired, flee from Gaza. Camps could have been set up on the Sinai or in Israel or even on the West Bank. A small portion of the billions we give Israel could have been diverted to save lives of those who can’t defend themselves. Then the battle could have taken place among combatants and not hostages.

Why then did this not happen? Why did all those in this country who cheer for Israel’s inane assault on a civilian population and justify its attack not demand such a minimal right for the women, kids and others? How do you explain this? How do you justify the confinement of women and children to a battleground?

Israel says Hamas hides among the women and kids and that’s why it had to kill so many of them. If it let them get out of Gaza, Hamas would have no way to hide. Why didn’t it deprive Hamas of its human shelters?

No one seems to want to talk about this. American officials have not even suggested a humanitarian escape. What is normal in war was not allowed in the case of the Palestinians in Gaza.

What then are we to assume. Israel knew it would have to murder women and children because it kept them imprisoned. Must we assume the murderous onslaught of them is a necessary part of Israel’s plan.

Is Israel is looking for the “final solution” to its problem with Gaza. It’s goal seem to be to commit this ultimate evil of murdering and terrorizing thousands of innocent women and children so that they will cower into animal-like submission to the Israeli people.

We are compelled to ask the question – why is it Israel didn’t let the innocent escape from the slaughter?

 

25 thoughts on “The Unique and Horrifying Evil of Israel’s Actions: Part II

  1. Peace will come when all sides begin respecting individual human life: when military forces will not fire upon an enemy unless there is a greater than 100 to 1 chance that no civilian will be injured. “Stop hurting people”. Stop killing, maiming and injuring innocent men, women and children. The era and errors of mass murder, carpet bombing, fire-bombing and Guernica are over. No more excuses!!! Stop killing civilians.

    1. William:

      Unfortunately that era is far from over; it is just beginning. ISIS has been set loose and the only lives it respects are those who kill most of the infidels.

  2. Matt, Jon and NC, I learned a lot from reading your varied insightful comments about the Israeli-Palestinian problems.

  3. Matt,

    I just cannot accede to your argument that the shelling is a myopic evil campaign to cower the Palestinians into second-class submission. I am willing to criticize breakdowns in communication between the UN and Israel’s Communications and Liaison Committee, or communication through the ranks of the IDF, or carelessness on the part of IDF commanders in launching particular strikes. But the final solution is an unfortunate analogy. There are no refugees because no one wants them. Borders are closed to them. There is no passing into Egypt or Jordan.

    We can have reasonable discussions about right-wing ideology, settlements, etc. But the real tragedy is the complex geopolitical games of states reasserting themselves after the Arab Spring, Hamas’s suicidal resistance with Iran’s help, and the innocent civilians who must pay for the complete incompetence and disregard of their leadership. As well as the fog of war and breakdowns in communications and errant shells and all the other things that may explain these horrific attacks on civilian infrastructure.

    1. Jon:

      The idea of refugess was never raised or considered. The idea that you could invade a place like the Gaza and end up killing upwards of a thousand women and children had to have been considered. It would seem to me that prior to doing that all options would be on the table. What would have been so hard to refrain from the barbarity involved in such a slaughter and look for another way to accomplish the same goal. No one is talking a permanent refugee situation; it would only be temporary while Israel took on Hamas, destroyed its fighters, its missiles and its tunnels. It could have been done much more easily had it taken the better road. There is no doubt had the refugees been housed on Israeli land the U.S. would have picked up the bill.
      Israel looks upon the Palestinian lives as different than its own. It has to otherwise it could not bear to stand the idea that it killed so many women and children. It justifies their killing by shifting the responsibility to others. They made us kill their sons; they were shields that we put in front of us. When you refuse to recognize the evil you are doing there is nothing to stop you from continuing it.
      The people of Palestine are trapped. They are captive people. The barbarian Hamas has taken over their lives. They care less for these women and children being killed. I agree with that. But then we are left with a situation where no one cares whether they live or die. That is the situation that should be avoided at all costs. Someone must care.

    2. Jon:

      A terrorist after throwing an explosive at a bus runs into a house. He surrounds himself with women and children who he holds hostage. Is it all right if we kill them all to get the terrorist since he is using them as shields? Would you accept the explanation that he forced us to kill them?

      1. Matt:

        The problem I have with your analogy is that the hypothetical assumes we consciously and intentionally decide to “kill them all to get the terrorist”. It is not exactly the same situation in Israel. Of course Israel knows the probability of casualties is high, but it takes the steps that it can to avoid them. It as coordination committees to communicate with UN sites so that UN sites can be mapped and avoided in strikes. Its intent is to carry out precision strikes. It distributes leaflets telling civilians to leave areas.

        That is not to say that breakdowns occur and tragedies result. There was a NYT story about how soldiers may not have abided by strike guidelines in lobbing artillery shells that are inherently imprecise. There is the fog of war. There are mistakes. It may even be conceded that Israel is concerned with its own citizens more than Palestinians, as it would seem any country in any war would do.

        It is not as if Israel has a policy of killing Gazan civilians indiscriminately.

        1. The right analogy would be that we made our best effort to save the hostages but failed to do so. Maybe our incompetence, maybe the savviness of the terrorist, maybe just the fact that things go wrong in such situations. But malice would not be to blame.

          1. And if we decide not to try to kill the terrorist, maybe pay a ransom or cater to whatever else are his demands, then maybe we have a situation like we now have with Al Qaeda affiliates getting a big chunk of their funds from ransoms because European governments will cave and terrorists understand this and thus continue with their kidnapping (as recounted in a recent NYT piece)?

            1. Jon:

              We also paid ransom to get Sgt.Bowe Berghdahl from the Taliban and Israel has paid ransom to get back its soldier from Hamas. Perhaps we could have paid him a ransom and let him go hoping to get him another day.

              Ransom is not an easy subject. The idea you don’t pay ransom because you encourage terrorism or piracy sounds good but when you introduce the personal element into it the decisions become much harder. One can always be tough when someone else is being held; but if it is someone you know then the story is different.

              When the Somalia pirates operated ransom was routinely paid to get the ships back.Now the Somali pirates seem to have disappeared. In that situation the paying of ransom had no ill effect. I wonder why.

              Prosecutors in the U.S. deal with handing out ransom everyday when they deal with giving deals in exchange for testimony. No one objects because that will encourage others to come forward to rat out someone else.

              Giving ransom to terrorists seems to be a minor problem – rather have them getting money and becoming part of the economic system than killing people. We have yet to really decide how to deal with terrorists. Did you hear what Obama said yesterday about them: something to the effect you don’t want to act against them in such a way that you will give them a propaganda victory and more recruits. It’s as if that if finally being realized here at home.

              Despite all you might know about the ceasing of violence in Northern Ireland, there is really only one thing that brought it about. The people of Ireland lost interest and the IRA was no longer able to recruit men to join it. The reason was with the rise of the Celtic Tiger and the multitude of jobs that became available in Ireland people had jobs. They no longer cared much about whether Ireland was united. They could buy bangles and beads.

              It seems to me that we’d destroy these terrorist groups if we gave them other opportunities to survive. Maybe giving them the ranson money will turn them into capitalists.

          2. Jon:

            True. Unfortunately the hostages would be dead. And can you imagine the second guessing along with the law suits that would follow. As I said my analogy was simple, the situation in Israel is much more complex. As for malice, my only suggestion would be that if we ever suggested the hostages were to blame for their deaths or that the terrorist forced us to kill the hostages, I’m sure the answer would not be well received.

        2. Jon:

          I don’t believe Israel has a policy to kill Gazan children indiscriminately. I agree my analogy was quite simple and do not fit the facts of the ongoing war. Your term the “fog of war” brings back memories of Defense Secretary McNamara and Vietnam who hid behind that excuse to cover-up his crimes in misleading the American people about what was occurring and fighting a war that he had no desire to win. I have to watch the DVD by that name again tonight to get myself worked up again.

          I understand Israel is in a tough situation. But a lot of it is of its own making. I’d only ask it to get off its high horse and look at the situation not from the position of power which it has but from the eyes of the people it has kept hostage these many years. Right now it seems to want to continue as it has been for years without making any serious accommodations. Pursuing that course means another Gaza invasion in a year or two.

          The Israelis with their history of suffering are wiser people than they have shown themselves to be. Lord Acton reminded up that power corrupts and total power corrupts absolutely. The bottom line really is that with Gaza Israel can do pretty much whatever it wants to do. If peace can come to Northern Ireland the Israel is capable of making peace in its land.

            1. Jon:

              Our circumstances are different. We really haven’t been pushed too hard in the area. I read the article you refer to and I am not impressed with its conclusions or statistics. It is all over the place telling us stories about 2003 and 2004 but presents this as something ongoing with statistics from the last five years.

              The article really doesn’t hang together that well. It spells out the number of people who have been released and the amounts paid. The article argues against itself. It says that the business is “booming” and suggests the payment of ransom encourages the taking of other hostages. It then proves that is not the case.

              It notes 43 persons taken captive over the last 5 years of whom 28 have been ransomed,; 9 escaped, were killed or died, which would leave 6 in captivity. How do you square that? If it were a booming business there’d have a lot more than 6 in their inventory.

              America’s policy on not paying ransom has not been tested. Let’s hope it never is. But the statistics seem to argue that hostages will be taken whether ransom is paid or not.

  4. Another point is that all the worldwide condemnation of Israel, to the extent that it is real and is not a media creation, actually emboldens Hamas to continue the resistance that puts their citizens in harm’s way. And that’s the real tragedy when you consider that there’s this sense that Arabs and Europeans and Americans are obsessed with Palestine when they’re really not. They’re consumed with their own lives. Social media condemnations are written from bedrooms and couches and cafes. Not on the ground. It is easy to condemn Israel when all one hears about are the disparity in casualties. And that’s not to be dismissive of the tragedy of such casualties. But to ask: are people really thinking critically about these issues? Or letting media images rile them up to express outrage before going back to their own daily lives? If it is the latter, and the result is that Hamas takes this as legitimizing the continuation of its suicidal resistance, then are we to bear some of the responsibility for what is going on in Gaza because we give Hamas the propaganda victory it needs to legitimize its continued resistance?

    1. Jon:

      I would think that after all these years Hamas and the other Palestinian leadership would understand, as you suggest, that one has much concern for them or their perceived plight. Your post reminded me of the time when in the media there was much concern about people in a certain country and I happened to see its delegation in Washington, DC. They were living high and so out proportion with the suffering that their people were going through that I found it almost hard to believe. So what you suggest is not unique to Hamas or the other Palestinian leaders.

      I’m not sure what Hamas’s goal is. It probably isn’t. Perhaps it has none. Perhaps it knows after these long years nothing will ever change and it is just thrashing about wildly. Not all of Hamas is safely ensconced out of the country, there are many in leadership positions who are living and dying in Gaza. You can’t wash Israel’s hands of this as it want to do when it refuses to accept responsibility for any of its killings. Those three kids killed on the beach near Gaza City were not being used as shields; nor were many others. But Israel feels no responsibility for their deaths. It acts as if it can do anything it wants as long as Hamas remains intransigent.
      What then is the choice of the Palestinians in Gaza? To live peacefully while having their lives controlled by Israel? What if they find the restrictions to be highly onerous, where can they turn?
      As for worldwide condemnation, that means little to Israel. It uses it a a crying blanket upon which to secure more support in America. The true fact is, as you noted earlier, no one really cares about the plight of the Palestinians. I suspect even Hamas knows that. But I don’t take my lead from what Hamas may or may not think so I do not bear any responsibility for speaking out about how I feel, which I know is unpopular in the US and that is where I live.
      I then ask myself why should I care and express my feelings. My answer is that it is forced upon me to come up with some thoughts about the situation since it is in my face on the news all the time.
      Israel is both a military and and economic power house. I believe it has it in its power to come up with some just manner to resolve the grievances it has with the Palestinians. It doesn’t because it has no need to do this. It’s ongoing problems with the Palestinians had never had an impact on it.
      The Palestinians have no power. They have more enemies than Israel. They are a people without a land; those living in Israel are second class citizens because they are not Jews. Critical thinking: what is to be done with them. A two state solution is pretty much off the board. Over a year ago Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett scoffed at the idea of an independent Palestine. In May he said:”a Palestinian state will bring down the Israeli economy.” http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.591407

      The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/17/why-i-like-naftali-bennett.html had an article about him. It said he takes the mask of the Netanyahu government. The article notes: If the Palestinian government became like Canada it would not matter. There will be no Palestinian state. There is no peace process, and the fault does not lie solely with Palestinian behavior. Why? Because, as Mr. Bennett says openly, “The land is ours.”
      As for the Palestinian the article notes: “A one-state solution where Palestinians will have limited regional autonomy in a Jewish state. They will not become citizens. They will not vote in national elections. They will be constantly monitored by the Israeli security forces.”

      You see, it is really not about Hamas. They are finished since they will be hunted down and murdered along with their shields. You blame them for what they have done but what choice did they really have when their future is to live as indentured slaves in a land where they are not welcome.

  5. Matt,

    First let me say that I am glad you posted. This is the only place on the Internet I feel comfortable posting a defense of Israel because it is the only place where I have come to expect reasonable discussion even with the backdrop of such a high-pitched emotionally-charged issue.

    No reasonable person can help being severely dismayed by the civilian casualties in Gaza and maybe Israeli leaders have some answering to do. But here’s the thing. There is no doubt Hamas embeds rockets, weapons depots, etc in civilian infrastructure. And many of the tunnels begin from civilian homes. And part of Hamas’s strategy is to use its civilians as human shields. These points are basically indisputable.

    But it may be argued that Israel could refrain from air strikes and shelling civilian infrastructure and instead send in ground troops for a methodical 1 to 2-year campaign of weeding out the rockets, weapons depots, etc. while allowing innocent civilians to seek refuge out of this so-called “open air prison”. But no other country will take 2 million refugees, and moreover Israel would find itself condemned internationally and in the Mideast and by the “resistance” as an occupier. And we all know how that ends.

    So maybe Israel should just sit back and let Iron Dome do its work against missile attacks. But then what about the tunnels (which btw tells us quite a bit about what Hamas does with imports of concrete that are supposed to be used to build homes and schools and hospitals)? The tunnels allow militants to slip into Israel and kidnap, bomb, shoot, etc. There really is nothing Israel can do but dismantle the tunnel system.

    In all, it seems Israel is doing what it must do, and Arab regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Jordan are happy to sit back and see innocent civilians suffer in order to let Israel defeat Hamas, given their desire for stability after the Arab spring. They will not take any refugees and thus Gazan civilians are stuck in Gaza. Meanwhile, Hamas has lost much of its support after Morsi’s fall, after it sided with the rebels against Assad in Syria, etc. Although it retains the support of Turkey and Qatar.

    And Hamas does not give a shit about civilian casualties except for its propaganda value. As noted in a Der Spiegel article:

    “The women from Shejaiya who have fled to this church with their children yearn for a ceasefire. Both sides must stop the killing, says Noura al-Asasma. “We’re not a buffer zone, we’re people.” She has nothing but contempt for Hamas. “If Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashal lived like us, they would think twice about continuing this war.” Instead, she says, the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leader Mashal live safely in exile in wealthy Qatar.”

    See: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/suffering-in-gaza-strip-increases-as-war-drags-on-a-983260.html

    I would also urge this Der Spiegel interview of Yuval Diskin, former director of Shin Bet, for a view of the Israeli perspective which is not optimistic:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-former-israeli-security-chief-yuval-diskin-a-982094.html

    As he notes at one point:

    “Israel is now an instrument in the hands of Hamas, not the opposite. Hamas doesn’t care if its population suffers under the attacks or not, because the population is suffering anyway. Hamas doesn’t really care about their own casualties either. They want to achieve something that will change the situation in Gaza. This is a really complicated situation for Israel. It would take one to two years to take over the Gaza Strip and get rid of the tunnels, the weapons depots and the ammunition stashes step-by-step. It would take time, but from the military point of view, it is possible. But then we would have 2 million people, most of them refugees, under our control and would be faced with criticism from the international community.”

    In principle, this conflict could end if Hamas simply demilitarizes and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Then it is up to Israel to address the generational refugee issue, the social and economic development of Gaza, and putting restraints on new settlements.

    Of course, this sounds like a pipe dream because it is. For now, it is a tragedy defined by intransigence on both sides. But I do believe Israel is in a catch-22, a position it did not want to be in but finds itself nonetheless. And it will defend its citizens. In short, innocent civilians in Gaza are the victims of extremist, intransigence Hamas leadership and the geopolitical games of conservative Arab regimes.

    1. Jon:
      Thanks for giving your perspective. I appreciate it. As you can tell I’m bothered by the great suffering the women and children, especially the latter, of Gaza are undergoing. I hold no brief for Hamas. I feel Israel is fully justified in stopping the rockets and the situation under which its people live with the sirens blasting away. I just think the way they are approaching the problem is in a less than proper manner which indicates to me that the Israelis don’t believe the Palestinians suffer as much with the loss of their children as the Israelis would do.
      I agree Hamas is using the women and children as human shields. That is why I suggest Israel is obliged to deprive them of this opportunity by letting them move to positions of safety. If the police come upon a desperate murderer who has taken a house full of hostages as shields they can’t justify blowing up the house by saying the criminal was hiding behind them. It’s just too easy, too easy to avoid responsibility by calling women and children shields and turning them into other than what they are, that is we are killing shields, as often we use the term collateral damage.
      Israel has not had one woman or child killed in all of the missile launches against it nor since it started the attack on Gaza. It knew it would have to kill many women and children because it knew Hamas was using them as shields. Why then didn’t it come up with another approach?
      You say no nation would house the women and children. How do we know? Israel could have made space available for them. We give Israel billions. We are going to hand 250 million to Israel for its Iron Dome to save Israeli lives; why wouldn’t it have been willing to spend that much to save Palestinian lives by setting up a camp for those who want out of the fight.
      We give Egypt billions, surely it would have little concern if we set up areas in the mostly empty Sinai desert as refugee camps. If Israel were concerned with the plight of the women and children it could have done that or ask the U.S. or some other nations to do it. Then Israel’s fight would have been much cleaner: soldier against soldier. Then Israel would have deprived Hamas its shields.
      You suggest because Hamas uses the concrete to make tunnels all the people of Gaza should be deprived of that material and Israel’s blockade of those building materials is justifiable. Should all Americans be deprived of guns because some use them wrongfully?
      What seems to be missing is the idea that not only are these people of Palestine imprisoned by Israel but they are also imprisoned by the gangster, goons and thugs of Hamas. It is collective punishment of those people who want to live in peace when you deprive them of the means of doing so. Israel has had them under a blockade for 7 years which they can’t get lifted because the gangsters control their lives.
      I totally agree with you that the other Arab states have no concern for Hamas or for the people living in Palestine. I agree with you that the leaders of Hamas are living safely and in comfort other places. It’s a similar situation to the leaders of al Qaeda and ISIS who send others off with the suicide bombs and not themselves. But that doesn’t lessen the horror of children being murdered.

      I don’t quite understand the thinking that because Hamas doesn’t care about the women and children of Palestine it means they can be murdered. Yuval Diskin who you referred to makes some of the points you have made. When he talks about innocent civilians being the victims of Hamas he talking in the same manner as Golda Meier who said “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children [which of course is untrue as witness the reaction to the murder of the three teenage Israelis]. But we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”
      I disagree that the killing of women and children is something someone has to do. But in Israel’s case it is worse than this, it doesn’t believe it is killing them. That’s the real problem in a nut shell. No matter who is killed it is not Israel’s problem. If a nation can wash its hands of its acts in killing others by suggesting the others made them do it they have given themselves a right to indiscriminately kill the others. That after all is what is happening in Gaza today.

      1. Matt,

        Will think more about your reply over the next few days. But a few quick thoughts:

        1. “Why then didn’t it come up with another approach?” That is the question I keep asking myself, but I keep saying: what is this other approach? As I said, it seems Israel has three general options. Air strikes, ground troops, or simply sit back on Iron Dome. Air strikes will inevitably lead to civilian casualties because of all we’ve discussed (human shield, etc), so then maybe Israel should restrict itself to a ground operation that methodically seeks to weed out the weapons and rockets while simultaneously providing camps for refugees in the Sinai or in Jordan or in Israel or in Gaza itself. But then Israel has 2 million people on its hands while it rummages through Gaza and the world condemns it as an occupier. So then must it simply sit back and rely entirely on Iron Dome? Iron Dome doesn’t stop every rocket.

        So what should Israel do? I don’t have the answer.

        2. I am not privy to the thinking of Israeli leaders. I am not in the war rooms, the decision-making rooms, the conferences, etc. Do I think they care more about a few Jews being killed than hundreds of Palestinians? I would not be surprised if this is in fact the case. How I judge any particular leader on this assessment I have yet to determine. But do I think they are so dumb as to not understand the geopolitical implications of killing civilians? No I do not. I do not think Israeli leaders deliberately want to kill civilians because they enjoy killing them. I distinguish between a Hitler who intentionally kills Jews, and a military campaign that puts less weight on concern for civilian casualties than they should. I would not be surprised if they in fact care a lot more about Jewish citizens running from rockets than Palestinian neighborhoods being bombarded and destroyed. But I do not think they want this. I mean, you don’t see them shelling the West Bank or southern Lebanon. Only Gaza.

        I am also inclined to agree that the right-wing in Israel is quite strong and vocal these days and those guys want to build more settlements and don’t care about the Palestinians. Israeli leaders are accountable to those who elect them, but I sure do wish the the right were not so rigidly ideological and opposed to compromise.

        3. Israel could do some things differently perhaps, but let us fully account for all the constraints and circumstances. Setting up refugee camps in the Sinai? Not so simple. Egypt has closed the Rafah border crossing which was really the only viable economy Hamas and Gaza had going for it until the closing. Why? In part because Hamas was allegedly behind the killing of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai last year. In part because Egypt now has no interest in fostering support for Muslim Brotherhood affiliates such as Hamas. In part for other reasons I’m sure. Israel cannot tell Egypt what to do. The Arab states right now want to see the Arab Spring crushed. They do not want the instability that comes with refugees. And yet they do not want to take any responsibility for the consequences, so they sit back and let Israel crush Hamas and take all the brunt or civilian casualties. It is cruel Machiavellian politics.

        4. The blockade issue is not so simple as the gun analogy. The details of what goes in and out of Gaza on a daily basis in accord with the terms of the blockade are a complex economy in and of itself. There are many restrictions on various items that go in and out. All I was pointing out is that all the concrete that could have been used to build homes, schools, hospitals, was in fact used to build tunnels. That’s not only a threat to Israel, but also an example of Hamas expropriating the needs of its people to fund its “resistance”.

        5. I also wouldn’t necessarily underestimate the on-the-ground grittiness of AQ leaders. They do not just sit back in political bureaus and tell others what to do. Guys like the master bomb maker Ibrahim al Asiri in Yemen teach the next generation of bomb makers because they’ve obviously been building bombs and planning operations for years themselves. And they are constantly under the threat of drone attacks. And they have built their reputations in the jihad world because they in fact have also participated in the Soviet jihad, the war in Iraq, and the fight against Arab regimes. Remember Zawahiri was seriously radicalized after being tortured by the Egyptian regime in the early 1980s.

        Anyway, just a bunch of random thoughts. I’ll think more about this in the coming days.

        And btw, here’s an interesting piece on how Hamas’s closing of the banks in Gaza precipitated this crisis:

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118828/israel-palestine-war-army-knew-beforehand-gaza-was-crisis

  6. Why does BHO permit this? The U S has given 100 billion dollars in aid to both Israel and Egypt. Both countries have closed their borders to refugees. Aren’t they both culpable in this slaughter? Isn’t the U S just as blameworthy for permitting this? Killing of women and children is acceptable to America if it is done by an ally but is a war crime by a non ally? In 1956 when Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal Ike ordered the attack stopped. He said we are not going to have different standards for our friends and foes. How can the U S condemn the Soviet invasion of Hungary and not denounce the aggression against Egypt. BHO seems to accept the double standard that Ike refused to. 2. How were the Nazis able to kill millions of Jews, Slavs and Gypsies? They ran a vilification campaign against those groups. They portrayed them as sub human. It makes it easier to destroy sub humans than real ones. Are the people in Gaza sub humans or do they have the same rights as everyone else? Fox news doesn’t think so. 3. Israel claims it is not intentionally targeting civilians but it seems they are indifferent to their suffering. Israel has a right to self defense but do the Palestinians? Eight years ago Hezbollah and Israel had a fight. Israel lost 200 soldiers and the result was a stalemate. Hezbollah had 20 thousand rockets then . Today they have 100 thousand rockets. Israel had the capability of destroying Hezbollah but the cost would have been thousands of casualties. This was politically unacceptable and a truce ensued. Could that experience account for the tactics being used in today’s fight. Too many Israeli casualties would topple their government so they fight in a way to minimize their own and maximize the Gazans. This is supposed to bring pressure for a cease fire on Hamas. How many civilians killed is too many? Contrast the way this war is being fought with the way the Marines fought in Fallugha. The civilians were allowed to vacate the city. The U S attacked. They lost 100 but killed 1500 insurgents and took the city. All non combatants should have been permitted to seek refuge in Egypt. If Egypt refused the U S should have used force to make it happen. The Turks would be able to do the job. Long lasting genuine peace requires a two state solution, the 67 borders, a demilitarized Palestinian State and Jerusalem as capitol of both countries. A military solution is unattainable.

    1. NC:

      1. Jose accused me of having a one-sided view of this and pointed to some of the acts of the Palestinians to justify Israel’s actions as if the parties were evenly situated. What are the Palestinians in Gaza supposed to do after being imprisoned for over 7 years.
      You ask why does Obama allow this. It is because Israel’s support in Congress and throughout the United States is as much as if we were Israel itself. Obama has no leverage in the deal; look at Kerry’s proposal for a cease fire that was demonized by the Israelis. It has been clear that when it comes to Israel that the U.S has a double standard.

      2. Fox News agrees with all Israel does; CNN has Wolf Blitzer reporting the Israeli view from Jerusalem on a nightly basis. Netanyahu has called Hamas human animals. Others in power in Israel have likewise made them into other than human beings. Like the trick of the Nazis they are making them into some sort of other-humans who are OK to confine and kill like one would do on a safari.

      3.Yes, the innocent should have been allowed to flee. That’s what makes this killing field so difficult to accept. As you point out in Fallugha we let the civilians flee. But Israel does not want that. It is indifferent to the civilians it murders excusing it by saying the Hamas fighters hid themselves among the civilians so the civilians have to die. That’s why I suggest Israel is not so much interested in putting Hamas out of business but is intent on making all the people of Gaza into little more than slaves. You’ll notice they have taken over 40% of the Gaza as a buffer zone. This is cruel and unusual and it is being done with the United States help and money.

      Israel is trying to destroy Hamas which is more than an army but it is an idea. Israel anticipates that every two to four years it will have to do this cleansing. It has clearly lost a generation of Palestinians who will hate it for what it has done to them. Some suggest this is good for Israel because it can then justify its ongoing tactics of occupying Gaza and seizing more land in the West Bank.

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