With each passing day Israel is killing more Gaza civilians than Hamas personnel. The following piece by Anthony Cordesman at CSIS is must reading for anyone who cares about Israel and its ability to pursue a sane national security policy. Cordesman discusses what the Israeli Defense Forces have accomplished over the last two weeks but warns these tactical achievements do little to ensure Israel’s security:

No one should discount these continuing tactical gains, or ignore the fact that Hamas’ rocket and mortar attacks continue to pose a threat. Nearly 600 rounds hit Israeli territory between December 7th and January 9th. It is also clear that there are no good ways to fight an enemy like Hamas that conducts attrition warfare while hiding behind its own women and children. A purely diplomatic response that does not improve Israel’s security position or offer Palestinians hope for the future is equivalent to no response at all.

The fact remains, however, that the growing human tragedy in Gaza is steadily raising more serious questions as to whether the kind of tactical gains that Israel now reports are worth the suffering involved. As of the 14th day of the war, nearly 800 Palestinian have died and over 3,000 have been wounded. Fewer and fewer have been Hamas fighters, while more and more have been civilians.

These direct costs are also only part of the story. Gaza’s economy had already collapsed long before the current fighting began and now has far greater problems. Its infrastructure is crippled in critical areas like power and water. This war has compounded the impact of a struggle that has gone on since 2000. It has reduced living standards in basic ways like food, education, as well as medical supplies and services. It has also left most Gazans without a productive form of employment. The current war has consequences more far-reaching than casualties. It involves a legacy of greatly increased suffering for the 1.5 million people who will survive this current conflict.

It is also far from clear that the tactical gains are worth the political and strategic cost to Israel. At least to date, the reporting from within Gaza indicates that each new Israeli air strike or advance on the ground has increased popular support for Hamas and anger against Israel in Gaza. The same is true in the West Bank and the Islamic world. Iran and Hezbollah are capitalizing on the conflict. Anti-American demonstrations over the fighting have taken place in areas as “remote” as Kabul. Even friends of Israel like Turkey see the war as unjust. The Egyptian government comes under greater pressure with every casualty. The US is seen as having done virtually nothing, focusing only on the threat from Hamas, and the President elect is getting as much blame as the President who still serves.

One strong warning of the level of anger in the region comes from Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Prince Turki has been the Saudi ambassador in both London and Washington. He has always been a leading voice of moderation. For years he has been a supporter of the Saudi peace process and an advocate of Jewish-Christian-Islamic dialog. Few Arab voices deserve more to be taken seriously, and Prince Turki described the conflict as follows in a speech at the opening of the 6th Gulf Forum on January 6th, “The Bush administration has left you (the incoming Obama administration) a disgusting legacy and a reckless position towards the massacres and bloodshed of innocents in Gaza…Enough is enough, today we are all Palestinians and we seek martyrdom for God and for Palestine, following those who died in Gaza.” Neither Israel nor the US can gain from a war that produces this reaction from one of the wisest and most moderate voices in the Arab world.

This raises a question that every Israeli and its supporters now needs to ask. What is the strategic purpose behind the present fighting? After two weeks of combat Olmert, Livni, and Barak have still not said a word that indicates that Israel will gain any grand strategic benefits, or tactical benefits much larger than the gains it made from selectively striking key Hamas facilities early in the war. In fact, their silence raises haunting questions about whether they will repeat the same massive failures made by Israel’s top political leadership during the Israeli-Hezbollah War in 2006. Has Israel somehow blundered into a steadily escalating war without a clear strategic goal or at least one it can credibly achieve? Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s actions seriously damage the US position in the region, any hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process?

To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes. To paraphrase a comment about the British government’s management of the British Army in World War I, lions seem to be led by donkeys. If Israel has a credible ceasefire plan that could really secure Gaza, it is not apparent. If Israel has a plan that could credibly destroy and replace Hamas, it is not apparent. If Israel has any plan to help the Gazans and move them back towards peace, it is not apparent. If Israel has any plan to use US or other friendly influence productively, it is not apparent.

As we have seen all too clearly from US mistakes, any leader can take a tough stand and claim that tactical gains are a meaningful victory. If this is all that Olmert, Livni, and Barak have for an answer, then they have disgraced themselves and damaged their country and their friends. If there is more, it is time to make such goals public and demonstrate how they can be achieved. The question is not whether the IDF learned the tactical lessons of the fighting in 2006. It is whether Israel’s top political leadership has even minimal competence to lead them.

The fact that Hamas continues to fire rockets and is now gaining support across the spectrum in the Middle East–i.e, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia–is consequential and should not be dismissed as meaningless.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
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  • Every time a paroxysm of hideous violence erupts between Israelis and Palestinians, I wonder how much longer people will put up with this. At what point do the supporters of each side say, it’s just not worth it.

    The arrogance and presumption of Israelis and Palestinians is that they don’t comprehend that their supporters eventually will turn away from them. It never dawns on them that the world will get fed up with their act. Through their actions, Israelis and Palestinians show that they don’t care about the rest of the world. Why should the rest of the world care about them?

  • blogforce one

    Anyone here have a problem with Hamas being completely dismantled ? They are toast and so are their proxy backers Iran who supplied all of the long range missiles. Hamas is most likely concealing the extent of their losses as if it was known that they have lost over 600 fighters the morale will collapse as signs are this is happening, nobody likes these guys Hamas. Everyone wants them gone except The Irani Mullocracy and Al -Quaeda . War is ugly and compared to most conflicts to date in human history the civilian casualties are very low, no war is completely just, but Shit happens when 6,000 missiles get launched against civilians indiscriminately, what should Israel have done/ wait until Hamas had nuke warheads for their Missiles from Iran?? I think not.

  • Anna

    there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children

    I am not defending Hamas. There is every reason to believe they are using women and children as a shield, but still

    there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children

    Other ways have to be found for this besides killing children. The children had no vote. It’s a mantra:

    there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children there is no justification for killing children

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    • JulieD

      Anna –

      Children should stop killing other children! Stop the getting virgins in paradise lies now!

  • justsomeone

    Strawberry, you say Gaza has no natural resources. I disagree. They have a beautiful coastline that could be developed for tourism, there’s fish in the Mediterranean & it’s about time they developed a port. Many geologists think there’s enough natural gas off the coast to provide ample fuel for Gaza. They could rebuild the green houses they destroyed & export flowers to Europe &/or grow veggies to fed themselves. There are positive opportunities for them on the land, they could build an airport…live in peace with their neighbors & themselves. But I guess that’s not as thrilling as shooting rockets at Israel, torturing Fatah members, parading around in green headbands & dressin’ up the babies in suicide belts for a family friendly parade…

    • truthtelling007

      They have land that would complete the vision for many zealots who haven’t exactly been secret in their desire to claim it.

    • athy

      justsomeone-
      look at what other natural resource Gaza has- GAS.

      http://www.oilandgasinsight.com/file/67664/bg-resumes-talks-with-israel-on-developing-gaza-gas-field.html

      “BG Resumes Talks With Israel On Developing Gaza Gas Field”

      BG Group ( a British energy firm) is trying to negotiate a $4 billion (£2 billion) deal with ISRAEL to supply PALESTINIAN GAS from a discovery off the Gaza coastline,

      • rayve

        Thank you.

    • Mary

      Isreal CONTROLS Gaza’s air, water, and sea.

      No “tourist” development is allowed.

      Catch up.

  • justsomeone

    Larry, have you read Caroline Glick’s column in today’s Jerusalem Post, “The Netzatim–Tel Aviv Express”? Check it out.

  • Butch Zero

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/washington/11iran.html?_r=1&hp

    Ok, taking the emotion out, tell me what the strategy is?

    And you can’t.

    (Unless it’s Arab genocide, and certainly that is preposterous).

    Israel appears to be following the same plan Cheney and the Rummy wanted, the one the US generals and admirals voted out — everyone from Gates, to Fallon.

    So, if our generals get it, our DoD, and understnad the consequenes, and VETOED IT, why doesn’t Israel?

    The IDF superior to the Pentagon?

    And why should the US support such amateur nonsense?

    This is the recipe for prepetual war, right, the one Rummy tried to sell us?

    And after hamas, then what?

    Lebanon, again?

    Iran?

    And then what?

    Chavez?

    Russia?

    Jeez.

  • After the 9-11 attacks by terrorists Bush’s approval ratings went up to 90% — before 9-11 he had one of the lowest approval ratings for a new Prez.

    Israeli’s have overwhelming support for their leaders — and this is generally what happens during wars.

    Hamas has a growing approval rate — how the hell can any poll be taken when in such a situation??

    Israel has an election coming up — is this the real motive for this planned attack?

    It is a known fact that an attack like the Israelis are directing at Gaza WILL strengthen Hamas. This is what happened in Lebanon — the country’s infrastructure was largely destroyed by Israel and in turn the Hezbolla became stronger. Was this the result of unintended consequences?

    So now the Israelis are facing another election and the War Premiere has the best shot at winning the election.

    It would seem that Hamas will come out of this much stronger — was this the intention? Or is this a message to Obama from Israel?

    Israelis are NOT stupid — they must have calculated that Hamas would become stronger NOT weaker after attacking Gaza. Support the leaders — the military, whenever a tribe or Nation is under attack — this is the predictable reaction of humans.

    At the same time the military in Israel is enjoying overwhelming support of Israelis. Recently the military and leaders of Israel have been undergoing some harsh criticism from the citizens. This criticism has largely stopped as the Nation rallies round the troops. Americans who generally support Israel unconditionally are also more vocal in their support (with the meme “Israel has the right to defend herself”.)

    I’m stepping back — looking at the larger picture — there must be a goal in this conflict — who really gains in the long run? This fighting will stop — and perhaps both sides will claim victory. There will be another election in Israel and the same players will hold their seats. Hamas will still be in control. Not much will have changed, except more graves and a hell of a lot more pissed off Palestinians.

    ————

  • Patrick Henry

    According to My Bible..Old and New testements..The “Bones are being gatherf rom around the World” and the nation of Israel is Being restored so that they can Be Thee to face what is Coming Next..

    The Book of revelations an other Propecys seem pretty accurate to Me…

    Since the Nation of Israel has been restored in thse..(Some Suggest) Last days…Prophecy says the World will Indeed Turn Aginst Israel…and she will be Facing the Abbomination of desolation…(Being Copletely Surrounded by her Enemys and those who despise her…

    I Pray for the Safety of Israel and for PEACE..but That is ALL in God’s Hands…isn’t it…??

    • truthtelling007

      I think you mean “Prophesies”…but no they aren’t very accurate.

      Just because we work our asses off to make them come true as if there was a divination in there, doesn’t create a causal relationship between John’s bad dream of “revelations” and the present or even future.

      First it requires we suspend the knowledge that the “bible” is an arbitrary source of history, philosophy, dogma and opinion. It is not a monolithic piece of work. Most Christians don’t even know about the wide range of Rabbinic Literature. Ask Christians about the Tanakh and they won’t know what in the world you’re talking about.

      Additionally, aside from all the writings you probably haven’t studied, been exposed to, or died off after the Council of Nicea, there are all the other “prophecies” that have nothing to do with the JudeoChristian traditions and it would be utter nonsense to ignore the totality of the world’s knowledge and experience in favor of that which sprang from the now Middle/Near East.

      I’m glad you pray for the safety of Israel and Peace.

      Hal Lindsey’s book and movie “The Late Great Planet Earth” entered my life at about the age of 9 or so. Ever since I’ve been a dedicated reader of these texts, their history, and all sorts of non-JudeoChristian texts. I have consulted with people who can read Hebrew and Greek to help me know what I’m looking at, and learned enough latin to read texts from 1050 to 1750 or so before English became the language of choice for writings.

      One cannot assume that because a known prophecy became materialized by people who knew of the prophecy is validation of the prophecy itself. Thus the term, self-fulfilling prophecy.

      In logical terms the whole thing falls under the Appeal to Authority fallacy. “The end times is near”, “why?”, “because the Bible says so.”

      That is a circular logic issue that cannot be validated without accepting that the Bible is both correct and interpreted properly.

      If we were to assume “prophecies” were true each time someone said it was fulfilled, then there would be more Jewish Christians because after all, the books of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:3-6) and Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27) forcasts the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus was born later..thus voila, he must be the Messiah. Try cramming this down the throat of Jews who don’t accept this. Tell it to the Jains, Sikhs, Shinto, Taoists, and those darn heathens around the world.

      And we can examine time after time when people have proclaimed the “end times” and yet….here we still are.

      I’d worry more that there is no such thing and we’ll abuse ourselves for eternity seeking to figure out God’s secret decoder ring.

      I’ve spent a lot of time with good Jewish scholars who can point out how ignorant many Christian evangelicals are about the “old testament” and how they hand pick what they like and don’t like, and ignore blatant contradictions between the New Testament and the Tanakh.

      Further, most people think the Bible is the book written by God, and forget that not every Christian offspring buys into the Pauline doctrines. And many people assert things about the Bible that are entirely anachronistic and conflations of completely separate events as if they were one.

      Now, I’m not denying some of the great wisdom in these teachings, the historical information contained within, or the perspectives that followers have about the Book. But it is impossible to ignore the inaccuracies and inadequate explanations regarding their interpretations and implementations.

      Even then, the Book of Revelations is more than, “the return of Israel” and the “second coming”. And I refuse to accept that the world revolves around Jews and Christians. Sorry, been to traveled to buy into that notion.

      Pray for peace, but don’t condemn the living to chasing down signs.

      • Patrick Henry

        AH 007..

        Thank you%friendfor such an Interesting Response & for correcting my Poor spelling…I would like to blame it on my Recent stroke…but the fact..I am a bad speller &a Humble high School graduate some College Class’s involving My Caaeer Field..But,,I resect your efforts to gain knowledge and Enlightenment..well articulated I see..

        I too read Hal Lindsey many Years ago,,”Late Great Planet earth.”.and “Satan is Alivend well on Planet earth”infact I watch his Interestng shows on TV and enjoy His Analysis and Comments..

        Current Events and World News….since much of News TODAY.is..Wars, Israel,(Now that it has been restored and reeoccupied by the Jews..(The Prophetic regathering of the Bones Israel in the Last Days)

        so they would be there when Christ returns as thier KING…ALL events in the middle East ..including all the old Common Biblical nations..including Egypt, Babylon (Iraq)..Lebanon, Jordan and PERSIA..( which was the most BRUTAL of All)..now IRAN..ARE Daily MIANSTREAM News..and Directly Involving theUNITED STATES&its ALLIANCE With ISRAEL..

        Wonder WHY…??

        Gods Will…GODS PLAN..Gods Time Table..

        All Which GOD Has INDEED..

        Without that..There is NO HOPE FOR MANKIND..

        The news is Famines, pestilence, disease, Distress among nations,Earthquakes,

        .Lovers of self,, Lovers of Pleasure….Heady…HIGH MINDED..TRAITORS..and that there would be a falling away from belief and Faith in GOD, The FATHER…and Jesus..GODS SON…

        so that the SON of Perdition would be Revealed First..Empowered by Satan..and Indeed Satan in the Flesh..Acting as god….IMITATING JESUS…and Decieving many with his Lies and Works..

        Goinginto the temple and declaring Himself GOD.

        and there will be Anti Christ…and World decay until The One World government stepping in to Control remaining and dwindling resources.since many resources appear to grow more scare in various global Global Disasters..as SEEN.

        which Justifies the ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT FORMING..

        so that no one can buy or SELL without the Mark of the Beast..or his Approval.

        Thenthe End will Come…after everyone Crys “PEACE at Last.Peace at LAST.”

        The Bible says “SUDDEN DESTRUCTION WILL COME..”

        Amazing that Every Year…GlobalDisasters are getting worse..through Weather..Earthquakes etc..and reach More EXTREME and Higher Record Levels Every Year and at a ACCELERATED PACE..fufilling the End of the Prophecies..

        Are we at the End of the Age..The age of the Gentile..Grafted into the VINE..throughthe Grace of GOD…Yes..

        Did Jesus Promise to return..Yes..

        Did HE Give Signs of Return and Talk about the nature Mens Hearts in the Last Days YES..Fufilled..?? YES…With growing Accuracy.

        Does the Bible ..through Prophets and Holy men of God..who had Revelation from the One who Knows the Future..tell of the Story of Gods creation and destiny of Mankind..Yes..

        Does it explain The fall from grace.. and sin nature of Man..(because of the Knowledge of Good and Evil)..that Logically explains Mans behaviour ..and Doble mindedness…YES..

        And mans Conflict within himself..

        Those of Us who Embrace Gods FREE Foriveness of sin through Belief in Jesus Christ..Shed blood…which covers Our Sins..

        Its all about Gods Love..and Jsus Dying for Our sins to free Us..from the penaltys of Sin and the LAW..and Enlightenment from the HOLY SPIRIT.

        The JEWS are still UNDER THE LAW..Old and New teament wrtting said they would be punished over and over..according to the Prophets…and according to JesusChrist..KNG of the Jews..

        Scripture said before it even happened Jerusalem would be destroyed..the Tmple Torn Down, the Jews would be scattered to the Corners of the earth until the LASTDAYS..

        And over 2500 Yars ago It was WRITTEN..The Jews would return to Israel ..all of which Happened..
        and to Be there WHEN JESUS RETURNS..

        The Word of GOD is TRUE…

        Even So…Come SOON…Lord…JESUS..

        And every Eye will see him and every Knee will Bow..

        • Mary

          And yet, Revelations tells us the Antichrist will say all the right things, with full intentions of doing otherwise. He will be a great deceiver.

          One begins to re-consider the prophecy when one watches Israel’s willful manipulation of the facts, doesn’t one?

          • stodgie

            actually seeing you post that type of thinking scares me more than israel’s so called manipulation of the facts.

          • Patrick Henry

            MARY…

            Thanks for Your Response and Comments..YES…The World is desperately aware of the growing CRISIS..(man Made..because 0f the Sins of Greed,Lust, and Self ,…EGO) all Characteristics of SATANS..

            UNHOLY and UNRIGHTEOUS..

            So, with most MANKIND being unaware of Satans Manipulations..or believing it Possible that there are principalitys and POWERS..beyond this Dimension..People will demand a Saviour..and Messiah (Answer Man..Miracle Worker..) to solve and find solutions for the ever growing Global and Regional Crisis..Political..Social…and Economic..

            This empowers Satan and Plays in to his hands…and game Plan..

            One must consider that THE Anti Christ and False Religious Prophet supporting Him..as Described in the Bible..are Tools of Satan..
            That Old Serpent…Liar and Master deciever…(Illusionist) Who
            will Decieve the World..which will be Desperqate and Uninformed..Especially if there is a Major GLOBAL CRISIS..(Manufactured)
            and LIFE THREATENING..for ALL Mankind..

            Anyone can see the Potential for That Scenario Now…even Children aski Me frequently if the World is Coming to and END..

            Just BASED on What they Hear of the Gloom and DOOM ..on the Daily News..which probably is another Propoganda Tool of Satans too..

            He has MANY Tools…but a LIE…(Deception) is the Handle that Fits ALL Satans Tools..
            rather its through false Religions…Lust….Greed..for M..and material…all Contrary to Gods teaching and those of Jesus Christ…The Prince of PEACE..

            And ONLY SON OF GOD…Embraced By The GENTILES…and Powerful Nations of ROME and GREECE..becuase he wqas rejected by Those God sent aHim to First as Messiah and saviour..

            Which Fuffilled ALL Old testament Prophecys about the Coming messiah at that Time..

            One has to remember that Satan Conspired to Find way to DESTROY Jesus and the Christians
            by Bringing Forces Against them.. FALSE RELIGIONS..and FALSE TEACHINGS…

            Satan…In the SHADOWS…Whispering…Conspiring…Manipulating..against GOD ..Gods Plans..Jesus..and Mankind..out of JELOUSY..

            Just as He started from tthe Beginning in the garden…of EDEN….

            An Ongoing battle for mankinds SOUL..One Offering LOVE.GOD….and the Other SIN and SUFFERING..Satan..because MISERY Loves Company..

            One MUST remember that that Spiritual Conflict is Not Yet Over…until..JESUS Returns as KING of kings…and LORD of lords..and establishing his ..Peaceful Kingdom On Earth..

            And Satan..Lucifer..That Old LIAR and SNAKE is Cast Down and BOUND..

            That Time is near…but First..the ANTI Christ and FALSE RELIGION..will DECIEVE..

            DENYING THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD..

            And That SATAN..Himself..will Appear in the flesh, and Proclaim Himself God and Saviour in the TEMPLE..In Order to set Up the One World Government..(Satans) and His “Mark of the BEAST) Understand the Term and Significance of “BEAST.”..Why “BEAST..??”

  • NewHampster

    Meanwhile the left and PUMAs get split over this just as Obama’s friends in Damascus intended. Divide and conquer once again.

  • SAINTIXE56

    Excellent analysis.

    What is new from my western point of view, is now the officialization of political cartoons in standard mainstream newspapers all over the non arab world passing 2009 israeli soldiers as akin to WW2 concentration camp guards.
    What is more , I was flabbergast when discussing the Gaza problem with teenagers whose parents are sympathetic to Israel, whose families never were dupe of PLO our very own kids say that what happened in 33-45 is not to be hold against them as emotionnal blackmail.

    They feel sad/sorry what have you about the Holocaust, but they make it clear that Israel is using the past as an emotionnal scheme and should not be given a free pass. Once my generation is gone, what friends will Israel have?

    we are aware that Israel is fighting for its survival, but methinks more this situation drags on, higher are the odds that not only the partition of the Mid East is going to be costlier to Jerusalem, but I wonder listening to those kids who I repeat are coming from strictly catholic and protestant background if there will be an Israel.

    When 18ys old ask you why a country was given and tell you other people did suffer genocide and did not behave like Israel.
    It felt very cold in my heart tonight….

    • Mr. X

      Once my generation is gone, what friends will Israel have?

      This kind of thought will hurt Israel more than all the bombs in the world.

      • truthtelling007

        A similar concern exists regarding Tibet and the 14th Dalai Lama. He has been a long advocate for peaceful resolution, including autonomy instead of independence. But as he gets older and his health changes, many are concerned the younger generation, now very separated from their Tibetan roots, will not appreciate his view and will engage in violent uprising. We just watched a preview of it this past summer.

        There is no better time than the present to find peaceful means.

        • Andrew P

          You are making a thoughtful parallel. I’ve been involved in the Tibetan struggle since the early 1970s, in India, Nepal, and elsewhere. I think that most of the Diaspora Tibetans under the age of 35 already disapprove of the Dalai Lama’s willingness to settle for autonomy rather than independence. They have never seen their homeland, and ask why HH should have the right to give it away. They respect him as a religious leader, not a secular authority. The Chinese may wish one day that they came to terms with him. The Israelis are sitting on a demographic time bomb themselves. Their Palestinian population increases at a much faster rate than the Jewish majority. They are a democracy. At some point the hardest line they can take will become a lot softer than it is now.

  • rayve

    How can the world sit by and let this war continue? Whatever Israel’s goal, the opposite will be the result. The Palestinians deserve a homeland. Human beings should not be treated like animals. Friends don’t let friends commit crimes against humanity.

  • Texas Playwright

    Hillary will be on board soon and maybe we’ll learn some more about this.

  • NewHampster

    Larry, I think what we are seeing is exactly what we were victimized by in the primary. This is an incredible PR campaign by the Islamists timed for Obama to come in and stop it. Their PR is great and they are winning that part of the war against Israel just as Obama won the PR war against Hillary.

    But since just as then, people have already made up their minds who the bad guys are, Israel will lose.

    Said another way. I cannot fecking believe the “left” fell for His Oliness and once again is falling for false PR.

    • Mr. X

      What you forget is that all other reasons become moot when one side is dying and the other is not.

      • JulieD

        Why do repeat this nonsense?

        • Butch Zero

          I would ask you that question.

          • JulieD

            Butch/Mort –

            Because people are being killed on both sides. Mr. X’s comment is nonsensical. Like you.

            • Mr. X

              The military operation has so far claimed at least 821 lives, leaving more than 3,350 others wounded. According to paramedical sources, there have been 235 children, 90 women and 12 medics among the casualties in Gaza, CNN reported.

              Less that 30 have died on the Israeli side with most of them military officials since 2001. This is all I could find.

              See, I can back up my statements. You can’t.

              • JulieD

                Mr. X –

                As usual, you’re wrong.

                At least 814 Palestinians, roughly half of them civilians, have died since war broke out on Dec. 27, according to Palestinian medical officials. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have been killed.

                http://news.aol.com/article/israel-gaza-conflict/232890

                • Mr. X

                  You’ve quote EXACTLY what I’ve said!

                  • JulieD

                    Mr. X –

                    Are you delusional? If you really can read – try again.

              • NoBamaNoWay

                less than 30 israelis killed by palestinian terrorists since 2001??? not hardly. hell, there were probably almost that many killed in a single attack when the “intifada” was going hot and heavy.

                • WildChild

                  The wall has been very effective. The Irony of the wall however is that it’s very good at keeping Palestinians out of Israel proper. It’s been a total failure at keeping Israelis out of the west bank

      • NewHampster

        If your wife is being raped by a guy with a knife do you drop your gun in order to play fair?

        • Strawberrybitch

          When there’s a drug dealer in your basement do you blow up the entire building with your family inside?

          • truthtelling007

            Thank you.

          • JulieD

            Strawberrybitch –

            That isn’t analagous. There is no bodily harm.

            You folks really aren’t logical.

            Maybe that’s why you’re having such a hard time with this.

            • Strawberrybitch

              Okay, how about this, there’s a Hamas terrorist in your apartment building so we blow up your family inside,and it’s your fault because you didn’t read the flyer we dropped on your house. How’s that…better?

              • JulieD

                Strawberrybitch –

                Better, although they are targeting rocket and mortar stockpiles, not individual terrorists.

                • Strawberrybitch

                  Um no…read some of the accounts in the MSM. Israelis, themselves, are claiming that they are targeting individuals (high value targets)and make note when they take out high value targets. And as you said yourself ad nauseum, Hamas badguys, like to hide among innocent, defensless women and children.

                  • Mary

                    Reports NOW are saying the IDF is taking over homes, telling the Palestinians homeowners to hide on the first floor, while the IDF uses the upper floor (s) for snipers and machine guns.

                    Isn’t that HIDING BEHIND THE CIVILIAN POPULATION?

              • truthtelling007

                ever try to read a flyer while running for your life or hiding? It is like the scene in Hitchhiker’s Guide where the Vogons (sp?) are set to destroy earth and when everyone cries out they say, “Didn’t you get the memo?”

                It was lost behind a filing cabinet.

          • KmX

            If there is a terrorist in my basement with my family and he is about to give the command to nuke the entire village, I will blow up the house to stop him.

            War is never pretty and it is not about win or lose. But HAMAS is as evil as it comes. HAMAS cares nothign about Palestinian nationalsim. All HAMAS wants is to see Israel destroyed. HAMAS is very good at destroying when will they learn to create something of benefit to their people.

            WHile the media is consumed with 800 dead Palestinans, over 5 million have died in the Congo.

            • NoBamaNoWay

              correct. the palestinian “cause” does seem to be something of a leftist fad. they couldn’t care less about a lot of other people dying.

        • truthtelling007

          If you find the rapist lives in a house down the street, do you kill all his neighbors to make sure he’ll never harm another person again?

          • NewHampster

            Not a good one. The arguments we keep hearing are that the bully Israel has over reacted to the rocket strikes. Not that they shouldn’t do something.

            I would make a different analogy.

            Some separatist crazies in Vermont start hurling rockets over the border at Albany, Springfield and Keene. They have lousy aim and only manage to kill 20 or so adults and a few kids at the crochet Mt. center in western NH. Next week they do it again. We ask them nicely to stop. They don’t and they keep moving and shooting from places like Bennington and the top Mt. Snow.

            Would we keep asking them nicely to stop?

            • ces

              All these analogies (including Larry’s) don’t go far enough to make them relevant to the chaos in GZ/Israel now.

              To use your example,
              Vermont Unit (VU) #1 lobs rockets.
              NH Unit (NHU) #1 lobs back at VU #1.
              VU#1 moves.
              VU#1 lobs more rockets.
              Now, NHU#1 lobs rockets at VU#1 (hitting it) AND Vermont Neighborhood A, B and C….as an effort to let VU#1 know they mean business.

              In Larry’s example, it would be as if, after unloading the gravel the first time, he continues to shot the bully everytime Larry saw him…regardless of what the bully was doing. The bully could simply be jumping the fence to get an apple from Larry’s tree, but Larry would still shoot at him…because, well, the guy is a bully and beat Larry up.

              Or like in Iraq where we let the US military take money out of our tax-paying pockets (via loans from China) to get the Iraqi “bullies” to stand down and stop shooting at us.

            • truthtelling007

              I don’t agree with that, because nobody is “asking nicely to stop”?

              This is like the glossing hyperbole of kiss and make up with AlQaida stuff I hear from people when I say I don’t want to have our Government torture. It is an extreme over correction straw man.

            • truthtelling007

              “Not that they shouldn’t do something.”

              I have never argued, and would never argue that Israel do nothing.

              I’m with Malcolm X on this, ‘To ask a man to not defend himself is a crime in itself’.

              • JulieD

                truthtelling007 –

                Big shock – you quoting Malcolm X.

                • NoBamaNoWay

                  ha ha. good point. the palestinophiles would definitely be fans of malcom X, wouldn’t they? i prefer MLK, myself.

      • TeakwoodKite

        Both are dying…just in different ways. This the only outcome of war.

    • Strawberrybitch

      NH, I’ve heard rumblings that Barky will come out in support of Israel. Like I said downthread, this should be interesting.

      • Butch Zero

        It would be a diplomatic earthquake, and unwise, if he were to do otherwise.

        His current silence, despite any forthcoming words, is very telling.

        In addition, he will open a contact with Hamas.

        WAPO is hinting he will not repudiate Bush’s torture policies, necessarily.

        Unwise, as he will be diplomatically frozen out, the US really can’t act unilaterally, in the world.

        Given the need for international cooperation, in regard to the wars and the economy, it’s really too bad he doesn’t see it.

        But I guess that’s why most of us supported Clinton, here.

        • Strawberrybitch

          Of all sad words, of tongue or pen, the worst are these, it might have been. (I don’t know who wrote that).

          • NoTrollZone

            John Greenleaf Whittier.

            • Strawberrybitch

              Thank you.

        • Strawberrybitch

          PS I was wondering about his statement on torture. It seemed a little Bushesque. Say we don’t torture then he turns around and continues the policy. Bush used to do that. Drove me crazy. Front page news conference on children’s early childhood education and how great it is, then the next day buried on page 10 he cuts funding for it.

  • Califlefty

    Larry, If Cordsman has an accurate picture of what is happening on the ground, then his analysis may be right, but does he? On Saturday Amir Mansi, Hamas’ main rocket commander, ordinarily deep in hiding was killed in combat – what does that tell you? Moderate voices like Price Turki are (publicly) becoming more shrill out of desperation; confidence builder? The fact seem to be that the IDF is on the verge of toppling Hamas, or as some might call it, a “strategic blunder”.

    • Strawberrybitch

      You can’t topple a terrorist organization. That’s why they are called terrorist cells. Kill one cell off and others take their place. This is an asymmetrical war.

      • Califlefty

        If you think Hamas is structured or acts like a “terrorist organization” then you are woefully misinformed.

        • Strawberrybitch

          And how exactly does a terroist organization act? Is there a terrorist handbook out there? They adapt to the situation at hand and the enemy they face. That is their strength. Just ask our guys in Iraq. They are constantly having to adjust to new terrorist weapons and tactics. Once they plugged up one hole in the dyke the extremists found another hole and exploited it. Sometimes with shocking speed. Much like our own SF, these guys adapt and overcome as well.

          • TeakwoodKite

            Is there a terrorist handbook out there?

            Yes.

            • Strawberrybitch

              Yup…and apparently Israel didn’t read it.

              • Mary

                Isreal WROTE it. They won their own indendence through what the British called “terrorist tactics” of bombings, assassinations, and slaughter of civilians in their villages. And THEN, of course, they moved into legitimate elected office (just like Hamas).

                Come on, people. You KNOW this.

  • mountainaires

    The Gaza Conundrum

    The Jewish Report:

    Left-wing and centrist thinkers rule out any reoccupation of Gaza as counterproductive. And some, like former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy, propose reaching a long-term legally binding agreement with Hamas, which has benefits for both sides. Halevy argues that although Hamas would like to destroy Israel, and Israel would like to topple the Hamas government in Gaza, neither has the power to do so.

    He also detects among some more pragmatic Hamas leaders a realization that their dream of destroying Israel is unattainable at least for the foreseeable future and a readiness for the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders along the 1967 lines. “On that basis there is room to examine how it might be possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians in which both Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, are partners in the final product,” he says.

    Halevy, now head of the Hebrew University’s Shasha Center for Strategic Studies, says that on the tactical level, Israel will try to limit the damage Hamas can cause it, and will be partly successful. But, despite the pounding it has taken, Hamas won’t disappear and regime change is not likely.

    “Even Tzipi Livni and [Likud leader Benjamin] Bibi Netanyahu, who are calling for regime change, don’t really believe they can pull it off. If they could, they would have done it long ago. I think we have to accept the fact that Hamas is part of the equation,” he tells The Report.

    Halevy dismisses as absurd notions that the mainly Fatah Palestinian police in the West Bank will be able to march into Gaza on the back of the Israeli operation and take over from Hamas. And if, as seems likely, achieving a wider agreement acceptable to both Palestinian factions proves elusive for now, Israel should cut a long-term deal with Hamas that, unlike past ceasefires, clearly spells out the terms and conditions for a modus vivendi in the south.

    “Since Hamas is not about to disappear, we should consider reaching a legally binding document. When you don’t even have a common paper and work on the basis of unwritten understandings, everyone is free to give their own interpretation, and that is not a good formula for an easing of the situation,” he says.

    Where Halevy sees only “conflict management,” left-wingers see in a weakened Hamas a chance for conflict resolution. Gadi Baltianski, director general of the Geneva Initiative, agrees that Israel should first negotiate a truce agreement with Hamas. Then it should go for a final peace deal with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, which would have to be ratified by the Palestinian people as a whole in a referendum or new elections. But there should be no attempt to overthrow Hamas by force.

    “Abu Mazen (Abbas) can’t go into Gaza on the IDF’s bayonets and rule. He would look like a collaborator. Hamas must be weakened and maybe removed from power, but by peaceful means. For example, if you present the Palestinians with an attractive peace package as the alternative to Hamas that is something that can fly, because the people of Gaza will want to be part of the new Palestinian state and not part of a Hamas rump regime,” he declares.

    On the third day of the war Barak addressed the Knesset. The war, he said, would not be easy and there would be complications. And, hinting at an imminent ground operation, he said the fighting would be widened until all its goals were achieved.

    But as bombs and rockets continued to fall on both sides, and pillars of smoke billowed over the rubble in Gaza, it was far from clear how the IDF’s military achievements in Gaza would translate into the government’s stated goal: a normal life, free of terror, for Israeli civilians in the south. •

    Cover story in Issue 20, January 19, 2009 of The Jerusalem Report

    Full article at:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1230733125283&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  • bert

    This is the most insightful piece I have read anywhere since the start of the latest war.

  • mountainaires

    The Ignored Choices in Gaza

    by Gershom Gorenberg

    The siege of Gaza was meant to spark rebellion against Hamas but has accomplished the opposite. The siege should have been loosened earlier. Since Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006, Israel has been trying to reverse the results by force. If it had instead announced it would accept any unity government ready to maintain a ceasefire and negotiate peace, it would have put Hamas under pressure to moderate its positions — or provoked a split in the Islamic movement.

    Now, inside war, the options look even more limited. Hamas wants some accomplishment to show for the conflict. It is desperate enough to consider Egypt as a diplomatic intermediary, though Egypt has no interest in the Islamic movement claiming a victory. When they decided to use force to stop the rocket fire, Israel’s leaders did not seem to have defined a way to end the war. The exit strategy was outside the narrow frame.

    Reconquering the Strip would be a tactical victory and strategic disaster, turning the Israeli army into a daily target for guerrilla warfare. Shattering the Hamas regime would leave Gaza in chaos. According to the annual report of Israel’s Shin Bet security service (Hebrew report here), there’s been an increase in activity in Gaza by groups that identify with al-Qaeda and other forms of world jihad. Israel could find itself nostalgic for Hamas exercising a monopoly on force.

    Reportedly, Israel seeks an international agreement to crack down on arms smuggling to Gaza, with foreign forces deployed on the Egyptian-Gaza border. But will foreign troops really engage in gun battles with Palestinians? The experience with international forces in Lebanon doesn’t lead one to think so. Yet to avoid conquering all of Gaza, Israel may have to accept a ceasefire that contains only the façade of a solution.

    In fact, the dilemma of Gaza can only be resolved by looking at it in panoramic political view. It requires a solution for the future of the West Bank, as well, and reintegrating Hamas into a single Palestinian political framework. International help and mediation is needed but on a far larger scale than policing the Egypt-Gaza border.

    War, to loosely translate the Prussian general Carl Von Clausewitz, is an extension of policy by other means. Perhaps it’s time to amend that adage. Sometimes war is a constriction of policy, a failure of imagination.

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_ignored_choices_in_gaza

    War is a Constriction of Policy By Other Means

    January 7th, 2009
    Gershom Gorenberg
    http://southjerusalem.com/

    “It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear.” Anthony de Mello

    • NoBamaNoWay

      yeah, co-operation and making nice worked real well for the jews in WW2.

      • WildChild

        It didn’t work well for any of the fifty million dead in WWII. And of course the dead of that time, in total or in part, have nothing to do with the current state of Israel.

        • Mary

          Of course it doesn’t.

          Israel has BECOME what it despised.

          Much like the South African apartheid government, which finally figured out they couldn’t win by the means they were using.

          • NoBamaNoWay

            apartheid… is that like the way muslims treat women, non-muslims, gays, unpopular ethnic groups/sects? i wish “progressives” would come up with a new fad; palestinians aren’t the only ones in this world who aren’t being treated fairly.

            • Strawberrybitch

              WOW, thank you for finally admitting that that Palistinians are being treated unfairly. That’s a start. Now where do we go from here? As long as there is hunger, poverty and the feeling of no hope, groups like Hamas will have fertile ground to grow.

  • KmX

    Israel needs to cripple all of HAMAS capabilities until the Palestinian Authority can get back control of the GAZA strip. The People GAZA deserve the same leadership as the West Bank. HAMAS failed miseraly as apolitical leaders but the social work they did before getting e;lected help the Gazans much more. They allowed the fundamentalist to ruin the orginizations.

    WHen Israel is done with HAMAS they will think twice before breeching the cease fire again. JUst look how obedient Hezbollah is now.

    • Mr. X

      Palestinian authority? Are you joking? They’ve never had control of Gaza.

    • Butch Zero

      And then what?

      As we saw in Iraq, and is par for the course in guerilla war, common, routine, now, it’s “pick, pick, pick, ” Israel bogged down, that much closer to being broken, it’s enemies picking it apart until it attacks, again.

      What happens if it loses US support, financially, in the meantime?

      Strategically, the US can’t associtate itself with this Israeli government, it’s policies toward Palestine, as it will boomerang, and harm the US.

      I mean, the Pentagon HAS to see this, right?

  • Patrick Henry

    Larry…

    Interesting and informing Article…Thanks…since Those are the FACTS…from .a growing number of sources that VERIFY that Your Analysuis of what the IDF is doing has been CORRECT from the START..

    All the IDF is doing NOW i playinmg into HAMAS NANDS…since IDF Actions gain little Strategically and Give GAZA and the HAMAS the PR Value they WANT…

    Growing Condemnation of the IDF and Israel and growing sympathy for the Palestenians…since HAMAS is willing to Make Martyrs out of the Palestenian Population..to Inflame Public opinion and the MUSLIM World..

    IMO…Exactly what Hamas wants and why they HIDE behind Women and Kids…

    As I said..the IDF will not go Door to Door like the US Military in Iraq..because they dont want to lose thier Soldiers…which would be Unpopular in Israel..So They Basically use Heavy Bombardments..and Create MASS Casualtys…

    Israel has been given so much of OUR Technology..plus thier Own…WHY arent they SHOOTING down the Hamas Rockets..??? or Even Trying too..??

    Again Larry..you are AHEAD of the CURVE…and Waiting for others to Catch Up..

    YOU get it…

    • Butch Zero

      The difference though, also, is the US army in Iraq is not necessarily hostile.

      Certainly, they’ve made mistakes, behaving like the IDF, but overall, they’ve managed to make in roads, socially, within Iraq, befriending the people, or at least making an effort to reduce hostilities, perhaps attempting to build an infrastructre. .

      This is where the US, and the IDF differ.

      • Patrick Henry

        Exactly…On many Apparent Levels as Colonial Pat lang said in His recent Post here about the Lack of Disclipline among the IDF Forces at the Command and NCO Sgt Levels..

        I was pointing out that the US Military was WILLING To Take Casultys by going DOOR to Door…to try to Avoid Civilian Deaths as much as possible…and overall the US Mlirtary shows Much more BRAVERY and Disclipline than the
        IDF…

        Unlike the USA I really believe the IDF would like to NUKE EM ALL..and are only LOYAL to and Sympathetic to Themselfs…

        Many excellent Comments being posted here by the way…Thanks for all the Additional Input from You all..

      • NoBamaNoWay

        difference: the iraqis reasonably believe that our presence there will be temporary; why not milk us for all we’re worth, then when we leave go back to business as usual? OTOH, the arab world rightly understands that israel will not be leaving until hell freezes over, and they don’t like that prospect.

        i can understand the current action from the israeli point of view; they know what happened to them when they made nice before/during WW2. i suspect that calls to do the same now from western “progressives” are not taken very seriously. if i was an israeli, knowing history and seeing the world (other than the US for the next few days) against us, i’d rather go down fighting if i was going down.

        • Mary

          Actually, the NYTimes and WAPO are reporting this morning that Israel asked Bush for permission to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities last year, using Iraqi air space (we controlled it then).

          Pentagon said absolutely not, given what might happen to our soldiers in Iraq.

          Israel was angry that it was told no.

          Apparently, the reaction or the effect on our soldiers in Iraq didn’t really matter to them.

          Not surprising at all, really.

    • TeakwoodKite

      WHY arent they SHOOTING down the Hamas Rockets.

      Iran would get a clue?
      It provides the justification?

  • Anna
  • JulieD

    HAMAS MUST STOP!

    The Saudis must stop funding terrorists!

    • Mr. X

      And Isreal must end the blockade.

      • JulieD

        Why?

        • Mr. X

          WOW!

          Just WOW!

          • JulieD

            Seriously. As long as Palestinians choose weapons over food and medicine, why would Israel do such a thing?

            Egypt and Jordan won’t help them.

            Please tell me why.

            • Butch Zero

              I think you’re working for Hamas.

              This is kooky.

              • JulieD

                Hamas is your buddy Butch/Mort.

                I’m not the one defending their actions – you are.

                • truthtelling007

                  Where did Butch defend Hamas’ actions.

                  I want you to source that. You make shit up a lot. You have some real perception issues. I’d turn down your hyperbole blinders from their current setting on “death ray”.

                  • JulieD

                    truthtelling007/shitspewer –

                    You spewed:

                    Where did Butch defend Hamas’ actions.

                    I want you to source that.

                    Here you go SHITSPEWER:

                    Comment by HC | 2009-01-10 13:09:41

                    Progressives are reframing Hamas as a the helpless victim of Israeli aggression. I see it daily lately.

                    Obamabots will ignore your pdf and the unthinking, uncritical left will shrug and try to justify it. Anyway Obama is done with Wright, and trying to make any links between them is racism.

                    Also, Mousa Abu Marzook is just a nice guy from Falls Churh, VA. Some of his children were born in the states (hihi Tariq, still partying I hope). Just because Abu Marzook likes bombs a bit too much should not be held against him. Its racist to think ill of him, in addition it is warmongering and culturally insensitive.

                    Reply to this comment
                    Comment by Butch Zero | 2009-01-10 13:16:34

                    This talk of PR is nonsense, without the abilty to recognize the truth, particularly in military circles, one cannot win.

                    Is this really a frame, or is it the truth?

                    And they dont want to know.

                    I think those who depend on PR control only fool themselves, like Cheney and Bush, a sure sign of loss, making decisions based on false premises, one after another.

                    At times like these, I am truly grateful for American’s democracy.

                    • Idiocracy08

                      Not one word of defending Hamas.

                    • JulieD

                      Idiocracy08 –

                      Can you read?

                • Mr. X

                  JulieD, I too believe that you’re working for Hamas. You’re doing everything you can to make Israel supporters looks like crazy extremist lunatics.

                  • Strawberrybitch

                    MrX…This place turned into a screamfest a few nights ago…I made a promise to myself and a mental one to truthteller not to go all Ad Hominum on other posters anymore. Trust me, I know how…when they come at you with anti semite or you’re stupid, or uneducated whatever…pull a zen move on them. The best warriors are ones that never have to go to war. That was what truthteller was trying to tell me the othernight.

                    • TeakwoodKite

                      Me too. Strawberrybitch.

                      Keep your powder dry.

                    • Strawberrybitch

                      I’m trying Teak. But it’s hard. So very, very hard.

                    • Mary

                      Wise choices, ladies.

                      The “other” poster isn’t even worth reading or responding to.

                      Keep on, keeping on.

                      Your facts are spot on.

                  • JulieD

                    Mr. X-

                    That’s the best you can do?

                    How lame!

                    Your comments are inane, but I don’t claim you work for Hamas.

                    Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone hiring you.

                    • Mr. X

                      As long as Palestinians choose weapons over food and medicine, why would Israel do such a thing?

                      These are your words, no? I rest my case. It’s like you’re doing on purpose, especially considering that it’s Israel broke the truce.

                    • JulieD

                      Mr. X –

                      As usual you make no sense.

                      Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to obtain weapons if she can prevent it.

                      It’s self-preservation.

                      It’s tragic that Hamas chooses rockets and mortars over food and medicine for her people.

                  • truthtelling007

                    Don’t forget that there are Israeli extremists too who are also on terror watch lists. Kahane Chai and Kach are just some, but extremism isn’t exclusive to Hamas and Hezbollah.

                    There have been terrorist attacks on Palestinians simply for being Palestinians. To the credit of the Israeli government, some have been captured and imprisoned. And we already know that we lost Itzak Rabin to an Israeli extremist.

                    DO we really think Arafat wouldn’t have faced the same fate if he had accepted the accord agreements in 2000?

                    I’m of the opinion that he passed up the opportunity, but I’m not ignorant of the fact that he was in danger had he accepted the agreement as well. Takes a brave man to make that decision and perhaps he wasn’t the man for the task.

                    Ghandi didn’t hesitate to stand up to Britain, but in the end he too was assassinated for his stance, as was Dr. King. Better to take the step and face the consequence than be luke warm and remain the same.

                    • athy

                      truthtelling 007- I agree with your remark:
                      (“Don’t forget that there are Israeli extremists too who are also on terror watch lists. Kahane Chai and Kach are just some, but extremism isn’t exclusive to Hamas and Hezbollah.”)

                      ***********

                      Many Israelis are having great trouble reconciling with certain aspects of their violent history.

                      Read the following…

                      http://www.thecommentfactory.com/dont-call-me-a-traitor-an-israeli-dissident-speaks-1326

                      “Don’t call me a traitor”: An Israeli dissident speaks
                      By Enbal Gross • January 10, 2009

                      “I’m 26 years old, born and raised in Israel. I’m a left-wing activist. I believe in peace as the only way to live a normal life.”

                      Read the rest of this emotionally charged and historically accurate account of why some Israelis (former soldiers)REFUSE to continue to kill Palestinans

                    • Mary

                      Well said, truth.

                      Some of the rightwing Israeli settlers are as foul-mouthed and irrational as the posters who support them on this blog. They even direct their profanity and “This is my land! God gave it to me!” at CHRISTIANS in Israel.

                      British press reports the settlers who were removed from Gaza by Sharon are camped out on the Israeli side of the border, waiting for the IDF to “destroy” Hamas so they can rush back in and reclaim the same settlement the 2-state solution removed them from .

                      And they openly say they’ll do it by force, if necessary.

                      Peaceful intentions? I don’t think so.

        • Strawberrybitch

          To end the suffering of women and children.So that they can import things like food, medicine, fuel, raw materials to rebuild bombed out homes…you do realize that Gaza doesn’t have any natural resources and has nothing to trade for them? I’d like to take you on one of my colleges listening tours to Israel and Gaza. We go on them every year. They only cost about 1200 bucks and all proceeds go to Catholic Charities helping both sides.

          • JulieD

            I don’t need a tour, but I do appreciate the offer.

            • Strawberrybitch

              I felt the same way you did, until the tours.

              • truthtelling007

                Julie doesn’t need the facts, she already has them all.

                (PS. I sent you some emails, when you get around to it)

                • Mary

                  Her compassion overwhelms me.

                  NOT

          • JulieD

            Why doesn’t Hamas get those things from Jordan and Egypt?

            Why doesn’t Hamas smuggle food and medicine instead of rockets and mortars?

            Why did Hamas destroy green houses?

            Why does Hamas use children as shields?

            • Strawberrybitch

              Because they have no money to buy from Jordan. And they have no way to make money to pay for it. All the jobs are in Israel which has closed the borders. So they can’t make products to sell, can’t buy raw materials to make things to sell, have no fuel to travel anyhow either to get to work in Israel or get product to markets that have been blown to bits. Or to heat their homes because Israel has cut off electricity, not to mention boil the tainted water to kill off harmful critters which are killing their children. The list goes on. And expecting Jordan and egypt to pick up the tab…that’s like relying on Mexico to help take care of Katrina victims.

              • Strawberrybitch

                Gawd, you keep talking Hamas, we keep talking human beings who are forced to turn to a terrorist organization for scraps of food and medicine to stay alive for another day. Soften your heart just a little.

                • JulieD

                  Maybe they should have voted for a kinder government.

                  • Mr. X

                    That is sympathetic to Israel perhaps?

                    • JulieD

                      Mr. X –

                      Sympathy for Israel would be great, but how about Hamas caring for Palestinians?

                      Smuggling food and medicine instead of rockets and mortars?

                      How about stopping rocket launches into the homes of Israelis?

                      How about emphasizing farming and feeding people?

                      How about no longer shielding missiles with children?

                    • Strawberrybitch

                      Good gawd. Let’s face it Julie, your hate is blinding you to the suffering of innocent people. I’ll light a few candles for you. Peace be with you.

                    • JulieD

                      Strawberrybitch –

                      I don’t hate anyone. Quit projecting your screwed-up self onto me.

                      I don’t need any candles lit for me. I’m not dying and I’m not dead.

                      Pray for your friends in Hamas if you want.

                      They’d just as soon kill your Western infidel female self anyway.

                      Good luck on your future tours.

                    • Mary

                      Your posts prove that you do hate someone, Julie.

                      You just can’t see yourself as others see you.

              • JulieD

                How do they afford rockets and mortars?

              • TeakwoodKite

                As an aside, Mexico did send troops to NO. It was the first time in our history Mexican troops had done this.

                Now back to the points Strawberrybitch makes, which really nails it as best as I have seen so far.

                This is Harlem-nomics 101.

                You if don’t have squat, can’t get squat and that squat you need can’t be sustained even if could acquire said squat, what do you do?
                Now multiply that by several million people and you have a kinetic force that WILL express itself and not in a positive way.

                See you on the concourse someday, where a 5 year old child told me “Why would I practice when it is hard enough getting home without getting shot?”
                A child in Gaza or Harlem should not have to know this privation, regardless of cultural or religious affiliation.

                I say this as someone who finds Hamas abhorrent.

                • JulieD

                  Teak –

                  Why did Hamas dial up the violence AFTER they got Gaza?

                  What is Israel to learn from that lesson?

                  If people are poor and hungry, why do they destroy greenhouses and smuggle rockets?

                  5 were recently murdered outside a school in Chicago.

                  Most Chicago schools spend a great deal per pupil. Why such poor results?

                  Are there some cultures that will always be much more violent?

                  The Appalachians don’t have these kinds of statistics, yet they have much greater poverty.

                  • TeakwoodKite

                    I understand your points JulieD.

                    As I said, Hamas is a symptom of a larger question.

                    Why do any humans do things that are destructive?

                    Your questions have less to do with Hamas than it does human nature.

                    Poverty comes in many shapes and sizes when it comes to humans.

                    • Mary

                      One would have to ask Julie how the South African Blacks responded when huddled into their own “concentration camps,” or how the Jews reacted in the Warsaw Ghetto when treated the same.

                      But I doubt if Julie possesses the knowledge of either of those situations, so she’ll just scream and call names instead.

          • Anna

            What’s the name of the tour? What’s the name of the charity? I’ve been to these parts. I know what they look like. I recommend the tour.

            • Strawberrybitch

              They’re listening tours. Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington.

      • NoTrollZone

        God, yes. Israel must stop the blockade.
        The so called strategy seems to have been to choke off the Palestinians and then they would turn on Hamas and drive them out. Forgetting about the fact that Hamas was elected or anything else like that– when has choking off a people from economic and medical avenues, ever resulted in the overthrow of the governing party? Didn’t seem to work in Cuba. Didn’t seem to work in Iraq. What happens is the fat cats stay fat and the civilians suffer misery.
        And Israel doesn’t know this?

        At this point, a little irony might be spinning in the works. It might well be the Israeli people who turn on their governing body, and say
        “enough is enough. Not in our name.” Maybe the Israeli citizens will chuck their leaders out and seek peace through new avenues.

        • Mr. X

          Unfotunately, Hamas popularity is rising with Palestinians. And the Israel offensive has a 90% approval rating with the Israelis.

        • Strawberrybitch

          We’ll see after the elections.

          • NoTrollZone

            Is any Israeli candidate saying they oppose
            the military action, and would immediately stop it and seek diplomatic solutions?
            -just wondering.

            I’ve been reading about anti-war demonstrations in Israel by Israelis. Not huge numbers, but out there.

            • Mary

              No, of course not. Ehud and Livni are trying to compete with Netanyahu (Israel’s Dick Cheney).

              If Netanyahu wins, all hell will break loose, given that he’s supported by the now-disgraced American neocons.

              He’ll do everything he can, to suck America into more of his “adventures,” and he’ll tell the UN to f*ck off.

              He won’t even as cooperative as Sharon, which wasn’t very cooperative.

  • NoTrollZone

    Still waiting for the international community to do something besides make phone calls and have meetings.
    Hello? Hello?

    • Strawberrybitch

      No kidding. I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, I’m REALLY burnt out on the US having to intervene in every bloody conflict on the planet because the international community is just sitting around with their thumbs up their bums. Not to mention we get blamed if something goes wrong. IE Blackhawk Down. Yet on the otherhand…would someone do something already for crying out loud! People are dying, more terrorists are being created which means more American Military folks will have to die in future conflicts.

      • NoTrollZone

        Strawberrybitch, agreed.
        I don’t see the US as being the party to intervene– cause we sure as hay haven’t shown any inclination to do jack****. But get somebody out there, please. UN peacekeepers is a good start. NATO forces, whatever. This has to STOP NOW! Israel doesn’t seem to have an actual goal in this action. Saying it is to “protect Israel’s security” is way beyond believable. It is not going to protect Israel in any way. It is stirring up all manner of political unrest in the surrounding countries. It is giving fuel to those who really do wish Israel serious harm. This is
        foolish, foolish, terrible behavior.
        At what point will Israel stop this on its own?
        When will Israel feel its “goal” is met?
        They said they didn’t want to occupy Gaza. Will they just level the place, turn it into a complete sewer and withdraw– leaving no functioning infrastructure at all? And then what happens? Israel has got to stop. It is destroying itself as it destroys the Palestinians.

        • truthtelling007

          We can’t intervene easily because we have always projected our bias towards one side.

          Unfortunately we’ve eroded our power in the conversation by our own actions and by our unconditional bias for one of the players.

          I went through this in college with a mate who would gamble on pool then return to our table with the person he just swindled coming to our table to confront him. Time and I again I got into fights believing that since he was not only smaller, but less inclined to fight, that it was my duty to handle these situations over and over.

          I had my nose broken, cracked a rib, and worse, hurt other people, all in the name of defending this ‘friend’ of mine. Until one night when I saw the codependent pattern and the enabling I was doing of his actions. Now since he had the knowledge that if someone was going to attack him, he could come to our table, where I was more focused on my group enjoyment, my date, and the good times, and count on me or someone to solve it.

          This time…I did something different. I turned to the big bully he dragged behind him and said, “I’ll be with you in a moment if you still need this.” and turned to my ‘friend’ and screamed in his face, “If you do this one more time it will be YOUR ass that I whip, not his. Got that?!” Then I turned back to the other guy, and said, “so, do we have any business or is this done?” He said it was done.

          I threw the ‘friend’ out of my house (note: he never paid rent and almost never bought food) and tried my best to learn the lesson.

          In that spirit, I believe the US has to have conditions on its support for any nation. And legally we do. We do have a conditions that our weapons are to be used for Defense. But any martial student can tell you that there are those who will justify offensive behavior with the claim of “defense” and so blur the two that they lose the moral high ground.

          I’m sick of hearing that Israel does no wrong and this is all Hamas’ fault. It has both hands involved for different reasons. Hamas is a permanent bad player in this, and Israel is not. But you’d be a fool to ignore the militant actions and behaviors in Israel. And no matter how many times you reduce discussion down to memes, Israel and the world body needs to look at those actions objectively and without bias.

          Moral Equivalency is no excuse for destruction.

          I’m for stopping all the fighting on both sides. And all the anti-Palestinian crap being posted here isn’t going to make me an anti-Israel thinker. Criticism is vital to change. If you want the same old shit, then you hate Israel more than those you point your finger at.

  • Mr. X

    Israel’s PR problem is that they are trying to act like the victim (defending against rockets) while it’s the other side that is dying.

    • Mr. X

      The military operation has so far claimed at least 821 lives, leaving more than 3,350 others wounded. According to paramedical sources, there have been 235 children, 90 women and 12 medics among the casualties in Gaza, CNN reported.

      • Patrick Henry

        Yes… The “kill em all and let god sort em out Plan..”.Amazing what level of darkness the human Mindf can Sink too…or Level of hatred…

        Stand off Wars…Won’t end till they have to eat thier swords into Plowshares..I’m Afraid…and that Time is Fast Approaching…God won’t tolerate much more of Whats being Done in His Name by ALL Partys I think…

        Not Much Praying “THY Will Be Done”

        Now its..’MY Will be Done..”..but I will call My Killing HOLY and Righteous…to Justify what I do…

        as for the Ji Haddist..They WANT Armegeddon to Come…and Not a Prince of PEACE…

        He was Nailed to a Cross Centurys ago because he wasn’t MILITANT Enough for those looking for a SAVIOUR…
        They are ALL Evil…who Murder…They Break the Commandments of GOD…and follow the COMMANDMENTS of Men…

    • Mr. X

      Israel dropped leaflets on Gaza City warning residents that the military was about to “escalate” the offensive and begin a “new phase in the war on terror”.

      • NoTrollZone

        shouldn’t that read “a new phase in the war of terror?”

        Yes.. indeed… a message from your friends in the Israeli government:

        Dear Palestinians,
        Please be advised that from 9Am to 9Am for as long as we feel like it, we will be killing you.
        So please feel free to take shelter in Egypt–oh sorry, that borders closed, or take shelter in your homes–oh, sorry, we might be bombing them cause our intelligence hasn’t been too reliable and BTW we did warn you we might be bombing your homes if they MIGHT have weapons in them (please see earlier phone calls). Anyway, please feel free to take shelter in the hospitals– oh sorry, that’s right
        they are completely over populated and under equipped and some are in ruins anyway– so that’s probably not a good option either.
        Oh well.. We’re sure you’ll think of something.
        –your friends and neighbors in the Israeli gov’t.
        Oh and BTW, we forgote to mention it before… but Happy New Year!

        • Mary

          I suggest America drop leaflets all over Israel advising them that all financial and military aid will be stopped unless they stop killing Palestinian women and children, and allow the UN relief trucks into Gaza.

          Leaflets—that’ll work, right?

      • Strawberrybitch

        Gaza is like miniscule…teeny weeny…where the hell are the women and children supposed to go? And they’re friggin’ poor, no cars no public transportation…(hmmmm reminds me of Katrina, the poor and undefended left to die).

        • JulieD

          If they’re so poor, why the rockets? Why not smuggle food and medicine?

          Why destroy green houses?

          Katrina reminded me of people avoiding warnings.

          All of those buses left to be flooded.

          Living in a fishbowl, yet building and keeping crappy levees.

          Whether you live in Palestine, which elected Hamas, or N.O. with an ineffective government, it’s best to plan for likely disasters.

          Maybe Hamas should also build bomb shelters instead of just tunnels to smuggle rockets?

          Or better yet, stop launching rockets and mortars at Israel’s children!

          • Butch Zero

            I’m beginning to think you work for Hamas.

            You’re making Israel look bad.

            Most people at this point are asking for moderation, on BOTH sides, you, OTOH, seem to justifying genocide.

            • JulieD

              ButchZero/Mort –

              Coming from you that means nothing.

              Still waiting…

              Comment by HC | 2009-01-10 13:33:26

              Why is dialog always good in and of itself?

              Why is dialog with Hamas necessarily a good thing?

              What is the right side of this issue that the US should be on?

              Who exactly are “israeli neocons”?

              Reply to this comment

              Comment by JulieD | 2009-01-10 13:39:57

              Butch Zero/Mort –

              What is your definition of “Israeli neocons’?

              You use that phrase so frequently that I wonder what you mean by it.

              What do you think Israel can say or do that it hasn’t already tried

              (and after so doing continued to be attacked by Palestine)

              that will make a difference?

              Why did Palestine intensify its attacks after Israel left Gaza?

              Does that seem fair to you?

              Is that the RIGHT thing to do?

            • Mary

              Indeed she does.

              NYTimes and WAPO reporting that Israel asked permission from the US last year to strike the Iranian nuclear plant at Natanz by using the Iraqi air space to do so (we controlled it then), but Bush said no.

              Israel couldn’t have cared less how that might have affected the safety of American soldiers in Iraq.

              They were only interested in THEMSELVES.

              That fact surprises NO ONE.

          • Mr. X

            Oh yeah, smuggling food and medical supplies for their entire lives is such a great way to live. Sheesh.

            BTW, it’s the Palestinian children who are dying. Over 200 of them in the past two weeks alone.

            • JulieD

              Mr. X –

              Palestine must stop attacking Israel. Palestine must stop using children as human shields. Palestine must stop storing weapons by children.

              Then, and only then, Egypt, Jordan and Israel may trust them.

              • Idiocracy08

                Isreal must get out of the West Bank. Isreal must stop letting settlers attack the Palestinians. Israel must stop attacking demonstrators.

                • JulieD

                  Idiocracy08 –

                  You write:

                  Isreal must get out of the West Bank. Isreal must stop letting settlers attack the Palestinians. Israel must stop attacking demonstrators.

                  Not sure about leaving West Bank. Leaving Gaza has only hurt them.

                  Agree with Point 2.

                  Probably agree with Point 3, so long as demonstrators not inciting riots.

                  • Mr. X

                    They’ve never really left. Get your facts straight.

                    • JulieD

                      Mr. X –

                      Whatever the voices in your head tell you.

                    • Mary

                      She’s been told that a million times, X, with links to international press and American foreign policy experts who served in the Clinton administration.

                      She lives in her own little world.

              • Mr. X

                Yes, dear oppressor. I will do as you command.

          • bill

            Aren’t there surveys of Gaza residents indicating they voted for Hamas over the PLO for two reasons. One, to end the corruption. Two, to more aggressively fight Israel. There is no solution or end to this war as long as Christians, Jews, animists and others resist the Muslims.

            • Mary

              Actually, it was ISRAEL who initially supported and financed Hamas, to counterract and undermine the PLO under Arafat.

              But yes, Hamas won influence by being democratically elected, an election pushed and supported by George W. Bush.

              But as soon as they actually won, fairly and squarely, America and Israel refused to recognize the election results, and began the blockade/siege to starve the Palestinians into rejected them.

              But it was, indeed, ISRAEL , who first encouraged Hamas to undermine the PLO.

  • if they want to survive,,they must learn to live in peace.
    this fighting has got to stop..

  • Strawberrybitch

    Winning all the battles but losing the war. I fear Israel is slitting her own throat.