Israel

Gaza and the Horrors of Governments

Governments war, people die

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before wars
via UnitedJeruslam.org

Last week the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a piece about a "317,000,000-State Solution" for the Middle East, a riff based on the "two state solution" for Israel and Palestine. Given the long history of abuse perpetrated by their warring governments, it's hardly a bad idea. The proposal for co-existing, independent states of Israel and Palestine in the territory currently comprising the state of Israel, its occupied territories, and the land in Gaza and the West Bank administered by Palestinian authorities has been around for decades and in fact was part of a proposed United Nations plan for the partition of Palestine when it was a British mandate. Despite heavy involvement by the United States and its presidents in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for decades, the two-state solution wasn't endorsed by the any U.S. president until George W. Bush did so in a speech in the Rose Garden in the summer of 2002.

In 2005, after the death of long-time Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in France, Palestinians elected Mahmoud Abbas of the ruling Fatah party president of the Palestinian Authority. In 2006, legislative elections saw the militant group Hamas winning 76 out of 132 seats. Although the group omitted for the first time a call for the destruction of Israel in its manifesto ahead of the elections, it offered only a 10-year-truce with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, territory that came under Israeli control after the Six Days' War between Israel and its Arab neighbors in 1967.

Prior to that war, launched by Israel in response to massive military buildups by each of its three neighbors, Egypt (then known as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank had become occupied (the latter eventually annexed) by Egypt and Jordan, respectively, after the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli war. That war followed Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, itself a response to Arab governments' refusal to accept the U.N.'s 1947 two-state solution. Palestinians call Israel's declaration of independence, the wars preceding and following it, and the consequent exodus of refugees the nakba, or disaster. Palestinian claims to the right of return trace back to that time period, as does hostility to a Jewish state. The passage of the U.N.'s 1947 two-state partition of Palestine was celebrated by Jews in the region and protested by Arabs. There were an estimated 700,000 refugees after the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli war. There are about five million Palestinian refugees today, primarily descendants of the original refugees. Only about 30 to 50 thousand of the 1948 refugees remain. These millions of refugees are located in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Only in Jordan have most been given full citizenship.

This month, Israel launched its first land offensive into Gaza since 2009 in response to hundreds of rockets being lobbed into southern Israel by Hamas militants over the last years. What happened after the 2006 election was that Fatah—the corrupt ruling party repudiated in the election—and Hamas refused to cooperate on sharing power and governing. In the summer of 2007, Hamas used its military fighters to take control of Gaza and expel Fatah. Israeli forces and settlers were withdrawn from the Gaza strip in 2005, based on then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal. Gaza's border with Israel was tightly guarded, as was Gaza's border with Egypt (the Sinai peninsula). The population of Gaza moved from Egyptian occupation to Israeli occupation to Hamas occupation. The 2006 election was the last held in Gaza. Subsequent elections were postponed as the fight between Hamas and Fatah verged on civil war. As the latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks between the governments of Israel and Palestine were breaking down, Fatah and Hamas finally agreed on a unity government earlier this year. The indiscriminate lobbing of rockets by Hamas into southern Israel continued and even escalated. Israel's current offensive in Gaza was sparked in part by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers last month—the Israeli government may have known the children were murdered soon after the kidnapping occurred although it placed a gag order on the media and announced only that the children were missing. Eventually, Israeli security forces arrested more than 400 Palestinians including senior Hamas officials and 12 legislators.

The kidnapping and the drawn out search for the missing children helped inflame public opinion in Israel, permitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pivot toward a military response against Hamas. Although the deployment of the Iron Dome in 2011 has made Hamas' haphazard lobbing of rockets even less effective at causing death and damage than it already was, Hamas' campaign of terror is successful in inspiring fear among Israelis. At The Atlantic, James Farrows ran a note from an anonymous American rabbi in Jerusalem who gave thanks for the Iron Dome for providing relief from terror, noting that "if you save one life, it is as if you have saved an entire world" and expressing his gratitude "for the Israeli 'know how' that created it, the effective AIPAC lobbying that ensured its funding, and the Congressional and Presidential support that made it available to the citizens of Israel."

Fallow received a response from Hillel Ben Sasson of the Israeli think tank Molad critical of the rabbi's portrayal of Hamas rocket fire and the Iron Dome as something from a World War II submarine movie. "By generalizing his personal sense of fear and acting as a spokesman for those who actually carry the burden of living in Israel, the rabbi grossly exaggerated the impact of Hamas terror on Jerusalem and portrayed it with unduly epic dimensions," he wrote. "In so doing, he distorts the actual power imbalance in this tragic situation, in addition to victimizing me and my fellow Israeli citizens."

Sasson qualified that his comments didn't mean he was "disregarding the fear and anxiety felt by many Israelis who are in the line of fire day after day" but he did point out that "while the Gazans are rained with high-precision ton-heavy bombs falling with no sirens or alert system, we in Jerusalem have heard three sirens in the past nine days, and witnessed no rocket falling."

In the meantime in Gaza, where Hamas has built an infrastructure for its terror campaign that includes vast costly tunnels but no infrastructure to protect its "citizens," instead using them as human shields, residents often see no other choice, believing that the attention paid to a continued, bloody, conflict could also bring attention to their grievances, as The Economist explained. Although the Israeli military says it tries to limit civilian casualties by dropping warning bombs first and calling homes it is about to bomb, there is no place for Gazans seeking to escape the conflict to go. Their borders with Israel and Egypt are effectively closed. Hamas insists on continuing a military struggle against Israel even as, or perhaps because, it further isolates Gazans economically and politically.

In the U.S., every time an incidence of "gun violence" makes the national news, certain political groups call for an immediate widespread curtailment of Second Amendment rights to combat the threat. Feelings of terror, however they are generated, can be powerful motivators for reactionary politics. The effort to curtail gun rights often fails in the U.S. because the intended victims of the rights-deprivation are a part of the political process and enjoy broad support despite a vocal, almost hysterical, opposition. The Gazans have no say in Israeli politics—their opinion on being bombed is irrelevant. And they have little say in Palestinian politics, either, when their leaders can't agree on elections, stake their survival in escalating conflict with Israel, all while propagandized their population with the same anti-Israeli hatred that animates their politics.

The people of Israel and Palestine, then, are stuck in a cycle of politically-expedient violence, fueled by historical grievances and inter-generational distrust and sanitized by religious zealotry. When President Obama went to the leaders in the Middle East to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, they were more interested in talking about containing Iran—a goal shared by Israel. Hostility toward Israel is a useful rhetorical tool to draw attention away from failed government policies and maintain power, but Arab governments might find their interests more aligned with Israel's than they think. And peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors would do more for the lives of Palestinians than using them as geopolitical pawns. "Do not force your children to behave like you," wrote the fourth caliph, Ali, in a famous hadith, "for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time."

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  1. “… as does hostility to a Jewish state.”

    Their hostility to a Jewish state originates in their religious dogma, and it will not be subsided by any means but the unnatural transformation by external causes of their religious beliefs, as was the case with Christianity.

    The only aspect of this you can attribute to political expediency is the Muslim nations’ “choice” to refrain from attempting to cleanse the Earth of Israel and its inhabitants, entirely because they know that if they try, Asia’d be colored red with Arab blood. Even barbarians want to live.

    1. Normally I just let this anti-Islam shit slide, but today it just pisses me off. The Palestinians are NOT pissed off because of the Israeli’s Judaism. Islam declares people of the book (Jews, Christians, and Sabeans i.e. all other Abrahamic faiths) as acceptable neighbors and trading partners. And historically Muslim lands were a safe haven for Jews fleeing medieval Christian pograms. Until the West started seriously fucking with the area (I’m looking at you France and Britain), Jewish communities thrived in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine. The religiously intolerant group in this little hate party is the orthodox Jews.

      1. And yet, from Article 7 of the Hamas Charter

        Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

        “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

        1. You mean the section that Hamas rescinded in 2006?

          1. Link to the whole charter here:

            http://classicalvalues.com/201…..s-charter/

            Its is not any better than the rescinded section.

      2. And historically Muslim lands were a safe haven for Jews fleeing medieval Christian pograms.

        Times change.

          1. Nice selective quoting there, HM. Next paragraph:

            The treatment of Jews under Almohad rule was a drastic change from the more tolerant attitudes towards Jews in earlier times. During the Caliphate of Cordova Jewish culture experienced a Golden Age. Mar?a Rosa Menocal, a specialist in Iberian literature at Yale University, has argued that “Tolerance was an inherent aspect of Andalusian society”.[23] Menocal’s 2003 book, The Ornament of the World, argues that the Jewish dhimmis living under the Caliphate, while allowed fewer rights than Muslims, were still better off than in other parts of Christian Europe. Jews from other parts of Europe made their way to al-Andalus, where in parallel to Christian sects regarded as heretical by Catholic Europe, they were not just tolerated, but where opportunities to practise faith and trade were open without restriction save for the prohibitions on proselytism. However tolerance dropped under Almohad rule and many Jews were killed, forced to convert or forced to flee. Those who converted were forced to wear identifying clothing since they weren’t trusted as true adherents of their new religion.[24] Near the end of Almohad rule Jews returned to openly practising their religion. Native Christianity in North Africa did not survive the persecution by the Almohads, however.[25]

            1. You mean to tell me that treatment of jews has historicly been subject to the whim of the rulers of the States in which they reside?! It’s almost like they should not rely on the whims of others and just have thier own state or something.

            2. BuSab, in truth (and contrary to the perception), Christian Iberia was very welcoming to the Jews until the unification of Spain and the Spanish inquisition. For example, some minor baronies and knighthoods were granted to Jewish families — something which did not happen in any other part of Western Europe (and which would not reoccur until Enlightenment times), or in the supposedly enlightened Cordoban Caliphate. Jews were well-integrated into the Spanish kingdoms, and there exist many dialogues between Jews and Christians in the kingdom. Famously, one of these dialogues involves a Spanish Jewish knight who converted to Christianity and attempts to convince a Frankish convert to Judaism to come back to the faith.

              Iberia was simply, for various reasons, an exceptionally enlightened area in that subject.

      3. Cool story bro.

      4. “The religiously intolerant group in this little hate party is the orthodox Jews.”

        What a dumbass you are! Thanks for the laugh. I needed one.

      5. That’s really not accurate. Jews and Christians have been persecuted and marginalized by Muslims since the empire expanded to include large groups of both. Granted, it was the Middle Ages: just about everyone did that shit to each other. However, under the Muslims it was both a formal part of their system (punctuated by occassional lawless attacks on “people of the book”), and then became the types of attacks and hatred you see today after the Mongol invasion.

        The Greek revolution and general ill-will in the Balkans towards the Ottomans didn’t come from nowhere; nor did one of the largest Christian churches in the world shrink to insignificance simply because the Muslims were so nice to them. That is not to justify any measures depriving Muslims of their liberty, but it is simply inaccurate to date Muslim chauvinism to recent imperialism by Euro powers when the indigenous communities have not had an easy time of Muslim dominance.

      6. “Islam declares people of the book (Jews, Christians, and Sabeans i.e. all other Abrahamic faiths) as acceptable neighbors and trading partners.”

        I take it you’ve never read the Koran. People of the Book are Dhimmis; second-class citizens, who must either pay a jizyah tax, or be enslaved, or both.

    2. Religion is certainly a big factor in the conflict but it’s far from the whole story. Rfk’s assassin was a Palestinian Christian upset by us support for Israel, for example.

      1. Back then (1968) though, the PLO was more of a secular, Soviet backed communist insurgency. The governments of Egypt, Syria and Iraq were likewise secular, Soviet backed and communist.

        While it had been around forever, the newest cycle of Islamic religious fundamentalism didn’t really get going until the 1970s.

        1. Hard to believe now but in the past the biggest political force in the region was not Islam but rather Arab nationalism

          1. Beyond Arab nationalism you had Soviet influence.

            America’s first interest in Israel was as a player in the Cold War. Before that America was largely indifferent or hostile to Israel’s interests (eg Suez).

        2. The overarching point to my example and comment is that the history of this particular conflict, and the dispute over the land itself, makes it a conflict that is more than just religious in nature, even though the two different groups are to a large extent defined by their religion. Egypt and Jordan are also Muslim but Israel was able to make peace with them. The land dispute is the major hurdle separating this conflict from those ones. Even if Hamas and other similar groups swore off terrorism and Jew-hating forever, there would still major roadblocks to a stable, lasting political solution.

          1. Bingo!

        3. It’s also worth noting that the underpinning of this new fundamantalism (with the added featured of an invigorated antisemitism*) was the occupation of lands with Muslims had hitherto believed were Muslim lands by Jews and other infidels.

          *something which had ebbed and flowed throughout history. Whether Christians or Muslims have been more antisemitic historically may be a toss-up but in general it looks like the edge goes to Christians.

          1. edit: “with Muslims” should read “which Muslims”.

    3. “Their hostility to a Jewish state originates in their religious dogma”

      This is not true. The origins of the Palestinian movement lie in the leftish national liberation movement that also propelled the Vietnamese resistance. Key leadership positions in the early days included Christians like George Habash.

      Hardline Islamists like the Saudi leadership were much closer to the US in mutual anticommunism.

      Your view of history is blinkered.

    4. “The people of Israel and Palestine, then, are stuck in a cycle of politically-expedient violence, fueled by historical grievances and inter-generational distrust and sanitized by religious zealotry.” ?
      “?sanitized by religious zealotry.” ? I say again! And in the USA, all of our fighting is justified by DEMOBRACACY, the religiously fanatical worship of “one pseudo-sentient, human-DNA-bearing organism of legal age, no matter how STOOOOPID, one vote”. Give me moah FREE SHIT, ’cause I gots me a VOTE, an’ ah ain’t afraid to USE it!” The cops will use their guns, billy-clubs, and jails to give full-throated voice to my vote, on my greedy and lazy behalf, and the VOTE makes all of that violence pristine CLEAN! Middle easterner goat-fuckers are NOT the only barbaric worshippers of self-righteous violence around heah?

  2. The people of Israel and Palestine, then, are stuck in a cycle of politically-expedient violence, fueled by historical grievances and inter-generational distrust and sanitized by religious zealotry.

    This kind of moral equivalence kind of grinds my gears. The Israelis are perfectly willing to not kill Palis, and even to trade with them, etc. The Palis (yeah, I know, not every single one of them), by contrast, seem to place a much higher priority on killing Jews.

    Sure, it sucks to be stuck in a permanent refugees camp. But I don’t hang that on the Israelis. That permanent camp is there because the Arabs and the UN want it there. I’m quite sure the Israelis don’t want it there, but since the only they can do to make it go away is kill themselves, I don’t think it is their problem to solve.

    The root of the Pali’s problem is that they (yeah, I know, not every single one of them) opted at the outset for the path of driving the Jews into the sea, rather than trying to settle in and build a decent, functional society rather than their current cesspit, which is so toxic even the surrounding Arab states don’t want.

    Sure, if the Jews had just stayed out (and, for many of them, that would mean moved out) of the ME, then all would be sunshine and roses. The question for the Palis is, what do you want for your children? Some kind of functional co-existence, or another generation in the cesspit?

    1. Exactly. They want those filthy Jews dead and buried. And that’s it.

      Israel built a thriving, Westernized civilization in less than a century on land that only had camel shit and mellenia-old crusader architecture to boast. There’s a reason for that.

      Now, show me an Arab country you’d be okay visiting without arming yourself like an Expendables cast member.

      1. But why should libertarians make a distinction between a religious, violent, uncivilized hell hole and a (mostly) secular, capitalist democracy that allows for free speech and individual rights?

        Oh, wait. I forgot. We’re supposed to believe in that shit.

        1. One is a prison and the other isn’t. Surely that fact hasn’t escaped your attention.

          Libertarians are weird on this issue. In response to government banning of protest and police attacking a crowd, commenters here side with the government and police.

          In the case of Gaza it’s the jailers whom the commentariat are backing. The fact that the stateless Gazans are held prisoner indefinitely without any charges is glossed over as nothing.

          Scratch the surface with a little state unsanctioned violence, as the Gazans have done, and Libertarians here running screaming behind the state’s most brutal and repressive institutions.

          Sorry if that sounds harsh. Perhaps undeserved. But take it from me, discussion here is narrow and uninformed and full of propagandistic tirades.

          1. Libertarians are weird on this issue. In response to government banning of protest and police attacking a crowd, commenters here side with the government and police.

            Lies.

            Sorry if that sounds harsh. Perhaps undeserved. But take it from me, discussion here is narrow and uninformed and full of propagandistic tirades.

            Says the guy who has not once in his commenting ever posted a cite for anything he claims, and abjectly refuses to read or respond to posted information because “(he) can’t be bothered.”

            1. I’ll respond even though I see nothing worth responding to.

              1. Nice playground taunt. Was “I know what you are, but what am I” already taken?

              2. Because I’m correct, you’re a liar and when pressed to respond to cites or back up any of your claims you try to change the subject. You’ve done it to me, you’ve done it to Brian, you’ve done it to Heroic Mulatto.

                You can only exist for so long arguing in bad faith before people recognize you for being a wanton liar.

                1. If you want a cite, you can ask me politely and I may do as you bid. You do otherwise and I will treat you with the derision you deserve. What more could you expect of me?

                  1. If you want a cite, you can ask me politely and I may do as you bid. You do otherwise and I will treat you with the derision you deserve. What more could you expect of me?

                    Bullshit.

                    Even when you were treated as arguing in good faith you refused to provide evidence or respond to evidence.

                    1. “Even when you were treated as arguing in good faith you refused to provide evidence or respond to evidence.”

                      Sometimes I can’t be bothered.

                      You really are more interested in my personal failings than discussing Gaza?

                    2. You really are more interested in my personal failings than discussing Gaza?

                      No, simply pointing out that you are a liar who has a long history of arguing in bad faith so that those who might read this not knowing you for the mendacious prevaricator won’t take your bleatings about unfairness and narrowness in discussion at face value.

                    3. “I know what you are, but what am I”

                      Someone who styles himself The Immaculate Trouser said this earlier. Smartest thing I’ve seen him write yet.

          2. Compared to most here I’ve been relatively pro-Palestinian (though that’s just due to the mostly solid pro-Israeli slant here. I’ve been mostly pro-Israeli on reddit which is much less friendly to Israel) but that characterization of the situation is unfair to Israel and ignores the fact that internally, Hamas runs gaza. Until Hamas shows they’re willing to commit to peace I don’t see how Israel can be blamed for the blockade or for at least having some sort of response to rocket attacks (criticism over specific actions is fair game imo). Israel deserves blame in some ways (I’ve criticized their policy in the West Bank here before) but the situation in gaza is primarily hamas’s making.

            1. The blockade didn’t begin until after the Hamas takeover. From 2005 until then, nada.

              And of course, Egypt has the same blockade. But hey, they’re not Joooos, so we kind of try to forget to mention them.

            2. In the West Bank it’s clear that, Israeli dickery and all, the Palestinians there are slowly on their way to having their own indigenous government charged with sovereignty over their internal affairs. I doubt they will ever have complete sovereignty over their foreign affairs for obvious reasons, but that is far less important than domestic policy.

              I would still rather live in Israel than the West Bank.

              1. I’m skeptical as to how a Palestinian state is supposed to function with Israeli settlements scattered around the place. My hope is that someday they’ll reach an agreement where Israel abandons the settlements in exchange for the Palestinians conceding to no right of return, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

                1. There’s no settlements in Gaza. Israel removed them in 2005 as part of their handover.

                  1. My comment was a reply to Immaculate Trouser, and was in reference to the West Bank.

              2. “I would still rather live in Israel than the West Bank.”

                That’s as profound as saying I’d rather live in Sacramento than San Quentin. The entire argument is that the West Bank is undesirable because of the Occupation.

            3. ” Until Hamas shows they’re willing to commit to peace”

              You mean surrender? Why would they stop fighting while they are being blockaded if not to surrender? Their stated intention is to break the blockade, instituted by Israel some years back with the express purpose of stopping rocket attacks from Gaza. Clearly that goal has never been achieved and Israelis contiune to use the mostly symbolic rocket attacks as a casus belli for just about everything. In some way, the rocket attacks must serve both sides and are accepted as part of the scene. I guess any war that goes on for decades falls into patterns like this.

              Does Gaza have the right to attack Israel? To the extent that they are under foreign occupation or blockaded, they do.

              1. They could end the blockade by stopping the attacks. And they have no right to intentionally target civilians via terrorism.

                1. “intentionally target civilians”

                  How can you say this? The Gazan rocketeers often make their own rockets with scraps and leftovers. They are too crude to be said to be targeted, let alone at civilians. They are pointed. This intentionally targeting civilians stuff you are repeating here is mindless propaganda aimed at demonizing the rocket lauchers. Demonizing is good to raise the blood of the crowd you needn’t try it with me.

                  I repeat, the rocketing is mostly symbolic and when it does have a positive effect, it does not involve terrorism. FAA canceling flights to Tel Aviv is a big embarrassment to Israel, and that was done by rockets.

                  1. This intentionally targeting civilians stuff you are repeating here is mindless propaganda

                    Except for the bombings, when it isn’t propaganda.

                2. “They could end the blockade by stopping the attacks. And they have no right to intentionally target civilians via terrorism.”

                  I agree with the second unequivocally, but I think the blockade was put in not for Hamas firing rockets but because Hamas won the election in Gaza and drove out Fatah.

                  1. That’s because Hamas is and has been a terrorist group. That doesn’t change the accuracy of what I said

              2. Does Gaza have the right to attack Israel? To the extent that they are under foreign occupation or blockaded, they do.

                Sooooo they create the conditions of the blockade by lobbing rockets at Israel and conducting suicide bombings, and the resultant blockade and occasional raids to stop these activities give them excuse the right to continue lobbing rockets at Israel and conducting suicide bombings.

                Well isn’t that just fucking convenient.

                1. “Sooooo they create the conditions of the blockade by lobbing rockets at Israel and conducting suicide bombings”

                  It’s called war. Not quite the picnic you been raised to believe it was, apparently.

                  1. It’s called war. Not quite the picnic you been raised to believe it was, apparently.

                    So by that metric you are arguing that Israel has the right to respond.

                    1. What on earth gave the idea that I’d argue otherwise?

                    2. Your previous lack of anything resembling intellectual consistency.

                    3. “Your previous lack of anything resembling intellectual consistency.”

                      I don’t make it a point to go for intellectual consistency, nor should anyone else who prioritizes interesting ideas and independence. Consistency is all about toeing somebody’s line. Not my bag, my friend.

                    4. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 8:36PM|#
                      “I don’t make it a point to go for intellectual consistency, nor should anyone else who prioritizes interesting ideas and independence. Consistency is all about toeing somebody’s line. Not my bag, my friend.”

                      This is the dipshit who brags about being a hypocrite.
                      Just so you know, expecting anything like an honest argument is a total waste of time.

                    5. This is the dipshit who brags about being a hypocrite.
                      Just so you know, expecting anything like an honest argument is a total waste of time.

                      Yeah, I know. Read above.

                    6. I have my failings and I’m not afraid to admit them. Surprisingly trivial, but you let it overwhelm whatever modest ability you have to contribute with something interesting to say.

                    7. Surprisingly trivial

                      Being a liar is hardly trivial in a good faith, honest debate.

                    8. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 9:01PM|#
                      I have my failings and I’m not afraid to admit them. Surprisingly trivial”

                      No, being a hypocrite is not trivial, and bragging about it is less so. It’s the admission that you are incapable of principles.
                      And that is not a “modest” contribution; it’s pointing out that you cannot be engaged in adult conversation.

              3. There’s no such thing as a “mostly symbolic rocket attack”. Rockets are random death. They are very inaccurate, and the only reason to use them is to cause random death. One minute you’re standing in your yard watering your tomato plants, and the next minute you’re wondering where the fuck your legs went, and why there’s a garden-hose stream of blood squirting out of the stumps.

                1. Anon E. Mouse|7.22.14 @ 11:58PM|#
                  “There’s no such thing as a “mostly symbolic rocket attack”.”

                  mtrueman needs a “symbolic” rocket to land in his bathroom as he’s taking a crap.
                  It might actually enlighten him, but there’s certainly room for doubt, since he’s so proud of being a liar.

                2. “Rockets are random death.”

                  Sure, sometimes. But if it’s random, how can it be intentional at the same time?

                  When I say mostly symbolic I mean the attack has a larger political significance ie “We can still fire rockets at you anytime we want and nothing you’ve done till now has chnaged this” than the random deaths that occur from time to time, tragic though they are. I figure that even if the Palestinians knew with certainty that their rockets would fail to kill, they’d still launch them, if only to prove they haven’t lost their fighting spirit and willingness to confront.

                  1. mtrueman|7.23.14 @ 12:20AM|#
                    “Sure, sometimes. But if it’s random, how can it be intentional at the same time?”

                    Truly idiotic, but then look at the source.
                    Hint, idjit, there is nothing preventing an intentional activity to be ‘random’. Is that truly beyond your comprehension? Are you really that stupid?
                    ——————————-
                    “When I say mostly symbolic I mean the attack has a larger political significance ie “We can still fire rockets at you anytime we want and nothing you’ve done till now has chnaged this” than the random deaths that occur from time to time, tragic though they are. I figure that even if the Palestinians knew with certainty that their rockets would fail to kill, they’d still launch them, if only to prove they haven’t lost their fighting spirit and willingness to confront.”

                    So you support random targeting of populated areas because it proves someone’s ‘fighting spirit’? Random deaths of innocents are OK since fucking assholes like you get a woody for ‘fighting spirit’?
                    What a pathetic piece of shit.

                    1. “Random deaths of innocents are OK since fucking assholes like you get a woody for ‘fighting spirit’?”

                      War brings out the worst in people. You can’t expect to win a war without doing stuff like that and much worse. Can you name a war going on today that meets with your approval?

                    2. mtrueman|7.23.14 @ 1:04AM|#
                      “War brings out the worst in people. You can’t expect to win a war without doing stuff like that and much worse. Can you name a war going on today that meets with your approval?”

                      So that’s your excuse for supporting murderers? You cheer ‘fighting spirit’ and and aggression and then trivialize it like that?
                      What a pathetic piece of shit…

                    3. I don’t have to furnish an excuse. And I wasn’t attempting to excuse murderous actions. Fact remains that if the Palestinians are to win this war, they have to engage in aggression. Terrorism has brought them far and given them international recognition. Had the US and Israel not chosen the path of appeasing terror, things might be different. But Palestinians choose terror because it works. Simple.

                    4. “And I wasn’t attempting to excuse murderous actions.”

                      Well yes, that is exactly what you were trying to do.

                    5. If you think that the Palestinians can fight and win a war without killing any civilians, I’d be interested in hearing about it. Until you come forward with your ideas, you must admit that terrorism is their best option. Israel and especially the US fall over themselves in appeasing Palestinian terror.

                  2. “larger political significance”? Dude, you’re a fucking idiot. Stop and think. What if this were the government of Mexico launching rockets into El Paso from across the border? What would you expect these rockets to hit, and what would you expect our reaction to be?

                    Setting up a rocket launcher next to a hospital, knowing the counter-battery fire will cause civilian casualties isn’t a display of “fighting spirit and willingness to confront”; it’s fucking cowardice, and an invitation to get your ass stomped in person.

                    As far as I’m concerned, the Israeli response has been fairly restrained. I’d have killed every Palestinian over the age of 16 the first time they launched rockets at my country, and been done with this shit. Fuck Palestine, fuck the Palestinians, and fuck their culture of self-inflicted victim-hood.

                    1. “”larger political significance”? Dude, you’re a fucking idiot. ”

                      They are trying to lift an Israeli blockade. They’ve said as much in their statements. If the Mexicans blockaded America from the rest of the world, I assume America would respond aggressively. That is the nature of war. Why should Palestinians be any different here?

                      You are a highly moral person and courageous too, refusing to launch rockets from near hospitals.

    2. I had a bad feeling as I was reading this article that the “cycle of violence” nonsense was coming, and sure enough…

      1. Iron Dome or not, the cliches are raining down thick and fast here. Might even have to get the FAA to do something about it.

        1. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 7:19PM|#
          “Iron Dome or not, the cliches are raining down thick and fast here. Might even have to get the FAA to do something about it.”

          Not nearly as thick as the lies of muderer’s apologists.

          1. “Not nearly as thick as the lies of muderer’s apologists.”

            Just the person to thicken up this thread with a boring farrago of bluster and insults. Oy vey!

            1. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 9:05PM|#
              “Just the person to thicken up this thread with a boring farrago of bluster and insults. Oy vey!”

              Was that too consistent for you? I’m sorry, I no longer know how to argue with adolescents.

    3. One of my bright young researchers is a child of Palestinian immigrants. He came into work on Monday morning shaking his head. “You’d have ended up in a fight at my family dinner last night”

      “Really, why? Your dad and mom seem like good people.”

      “It was my uncle. He went on a rant about ‘fucking Zionists’ and ‘evil Jews’ and ‘genocide of our people.'”

      “Wow. I suppose the rant was in Arabic?”

      “Yeah. So after a couple of hours of this, everyone else around the table told him to shut the fuck up, the Hamas idiots were the ones who were responsible for the killing. The rest of the family is in Israel, they all like the Jews they work with, they’re doing well, they’re happy staying far, far away from any of that political shit. Now eat your dinner.”

      1. Indeed. This is Hamas’s baby. Fatah isn’t tossing rockets over from the West Bank, and thus you don’t see tanks rolling into Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus.

        1. Wasn’t there a fair amount of the IDF going into West Bank towns tossing homes and arresting/imprisoning hundreds in the aftermath of the 3 Israeli teens disappearing?

          1. For someone who wants to be a lawyer, you sure have a hard time parsing statements…

            He said it isn’t Fatah launching rockets from the West Bank, not that the rockets weren’t coming from the West Bank, hence there are no tanks heading into the areas of the West Bank that Fatah presumably controls, but rather into the areas of the West Bank controlled by Hamas.

        2. “This is Hamas’s baby.”

          It wasn’t all that long ago that Hamas didn’t even exist. Laying the fault entirely on them is a pro-Israeli propaganda line that comes up all the time. Think a little and you’re sure to have come across this blaming Hamas line before.

          It ignores the fact that Hamas was popularly elected by the people of Palestine, overwhelming in Gaza, and whatever Hamas is up to, the Gazans are responsible. Hamas made no secret of their differences with Fatah before the election.

          1. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 8:57PM|#
            “It wasn’t all that long ago that Hamas didn’t even exist.”

            Since you lie and brag about it, how about a cite for that claim?

            1. You believe Fatah isn’t rocketing Israel from Gaza?

    4. The Israelis are perfectly willing to not kill Palis, and even to trade with them, etc. The Palis (yeah, I know, not every single one of them), by contrast, seem to place a much higher priority on killing Jews.

      Considering how many Palestinian civilians are being killed compared to the Israelis, this makes absolutely no sense.

      The question for the Palis is, what do you want for your children? Some kind of functional co-existence, or another generation in the cesspit?

      So it’s the Palestinians’ fault that Israel is blowing up and burning alive hundreds of innocent men, women, and children? If only they’d stop making Israel do that!

      1. Considering how many Palestinian civilians are being killed compared to the Israelis, this makes absolutely no sense.

        Considering how many Palestinians aren’t being killed in the West Bank because Fatah hasn’t been lobbing rockets at Israel it, umm, does.

        So it’s the Palestinians’ fault that Israel is blowing up and burning alive hundreds of innocent men, women, and children? If only they’d stop making Israel do that!

        Yup, nothing precipitated the Israeli incursion into Gaza. Everything was hunky-dory and then the Israelis suddenly up and said, “You know, we haven’t killed any Palis lately, we need to get some kill on!”

    5. “This kind of moral equivalence kind of grinds my gears. The Israelis are perfectly willing to not kill Palis, and even to trade with them, etc. The Palis (yeah, I know, not every single one of them), by contrast, seem to place a much higher priority on killing Jews.”

      Well, Hamas. It’s more accurate to say that about Hamas, and a lot harder for apologists to whine about.

  3. What a fucking shit sandwich. Fucked up though the US can be, I do reflect on the good fortune of birth that I don’t live in Gaza, sub-Saharan Africa…..England. Anyplace but here, pretty much, where we’re so far up fucking Maslow’s silly pyramid that we can worry about “trigger warnings”.

    I long ago tired of all the “reasons” for the bullshit in the Mideast. Just glad it ain’t me.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better, Almanian. The United States, thanks to the idiots in the Republican and Democratic parties, is as fucked up as polio. Nevertheless, I’ve been to some real shit holes in my 60+ years, and believe (are you listening proggies?) America is Disneyland compared to the rest of the world.

    2. Yeah, I agree. I just want the US to stay the hell out of that shit sandwich.

  4. Last week the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a piece about a “317,000,000-State Solution” for the Middle East,

    If only…

  5. Israel needs super intelligent drones that can distinguish between civilians and Hamas. Then the problem is solved.

    Drones can solve anything.

  6. Fred Reed on Israel.

    The Jews had long wanted a country of their own and, after Germany, understandably really wanted one. The problem was that all the countries were already taken except maybe Antarctica, so they conquered parts of Palestine by force of arms.

    There was nothing Jewish about this. Most of history consists of groups conquering each other’s territory. When you do this, the conquered people hate you, and begin to resist. To control them you resort to the rifle butt, the torture chamber, the air strike, and the secret police. This makes them hate you more, world without end. Consider the occupation of Jewish Palestine by the Romans, the Jewish resistance, and Rome’s murderous responses.

    ……

    All in all, it seems to me that Israel has gotten itself into a horrible situation, hated within, hated without, and hanging by a lobby. What can the Israelis do? Emigrate to New York? Undertake an absolutely horrific ethnic cleansing? Exercise the Antarctica Option? Spend all eternity ducking rockets and bombing neighbors? Live as herdsmen of unwanted Moslems that they have to avoid assimilating?

    I don’t see a happy ending. Or any ending.

    1. I suggest that everyone read the whole thing.

      1. I did. Can I have that 10 minutes of my life back?

    2. “I don’t see a happy ending. Or any ending.”

      Did you get that headline with Kerry saying that the FAA ban was for safety sake? Israelis will clearly understand that Kerry is lying. This is not about safety, but a show of power. “We can blockade easily, without firing a shot.”

      In times of crisis like these, I think it’s safe to say the US sides with Palestine. This seems quite a dramatic step if recent history tells us anything.

      1. mtrueman lies and brags about it. If there is any true statement in the above, it is by accident.

  7. The following question is off, way off, subject. However, I would like to throw it out there anyway.
    If Karl Marx was alive today, would he convert to Islam?
    (…and yes, the scotch is doing its duty on me.)

  8. The cartoon at the bottom of this page explains it all:

    Hamas Charter

    1. best not to let yourself get too caught up in anti-Hamas hysteria. This conflict has always been between the Jewish Zionists/state and Palestinians, or the ‘local Arabs’ if the word offends you. If Hamas were wiped off the earth tomorrow, Palestinian resistance would probably continue.

      1. mtrueman|7.22.14 @ 10:47PM|#
        “best not to let yourself get too caught up in anti-Hamas hysteria. This conflict has always been between the Jewish Zionists/state and Palestinians, or the ‘local Arabs’ if the word offends you. If Hamas were wiped off the earth tomorrow, Palestinian resistance would probably continue.”

        Says someone who lies and brags about it.
        Sorry, m; you’ve proven yourself to be a liar, a hypocrite and someone who can’t be bothered to back up his claims.
        Gee, can we presume sophomoric by any chance?

        1. God, but you blather.

          1. mtrueman|7.23.14 @ 12:53AM|#
            “God, but you blather.”

            From an admitted liar, I guess that might mean something to a sophomore.

  9. The so-called Palestinians are a fraud. They were invented by Gamel Nasser with the help of ad agencies to create an underdog so as to paint Jews as the aggressors. Any appeasement of this anti people or Muslims in general will only result in more violence and terrorism by the denizens of the religion of peace.

    There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.

    1. I was wondering when you’d make an appearance in these threads. We need to get an equally batshit crazy Palestinian nationalist on these boards so you two can fight to the death to decide who’s more nuts.

  10. Fuck Palestine, fuck the Palestinians, and fuck their culture of self-inflicted victim-hood.

  11. Been reading through the thread.

    Wish I had the answer – but I can share the most cogent summary analysis of the Middle East that I have ever heard:

    “Them Ayrabs is all et up with the dumb-ass.”

    If you can fix THAT problem, then you can fix the rest.

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