Historic UNSC Condemnation of Israel, and of Gaza Blockade;
World Body Demands release of Aid Activists, Ships

In a rare public denunciation of Israel, the United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla and deplored the loss of innocent life that attended it. The world body insisted that Israel immediately release the 480 humanitarians it had taken captive, and demanded that it also let their ships go. The UNSC also instructed Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, calling the siege “not sustainable.” Although the statement was weaker than the text urged by Turkey and the Arab world, it was brutal compared to the anodyne language usually insisted upon by Washington when it comes to Israel.

This development is head-spinning in its implications. The United States almost never allows UNSC resolutions condemning Israel to go forward (though this text was admittedly a presidential statement rather than a full resolution). But here it is clear that President Barack Obama instructed his ambassador to the UN to join in the condemnation of the Israeli “acts.” Since Turkey is currently a non-permanent member of the UNSC and led the charge on the condemnation of Israel, it is possible that the US felt it had to trade horses with Ankara if it has any chance of still getting a UNSC resolution tightening sanctions on Iran (a step that Turkey opposes, as does Brazil, though neither has a veto). It is also possible that Israel’s rash attack has sabotaged the Obama administration’s push for increased UN sanctions on Iran, hardening opposition to an Israel-driven policy toward Tehran.

The UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Argentina’s Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, gave us some idea of the UNSC’s thinking when he called on Israel on Monday to end its “counterproductive” and “unacceptable” blockade of the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that the fiasco around the Israeli commando attack on the civilian aid flotilla would not have occurred had there been no blockade in the first place. The demand that Israel give up the siege of Gaza was repeated by the United Kingdom and by Brazil. (Nick Clegg, the new LibDem deputy prime minister of the UK, has long been a vocal critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza.)

As long as Israel, therefore, continues its blockade of the general Gaza population, it is no less in contravention of the United Nations Security Council instructions than Saddam Hussein was with regard to his weapons programs in the early 1990s.

While gathering the details of how some 16 humanitarian aid activists were killed and dozens were wounded by Israeli soldiers is important, above all for the sake of justice toward the idealistic persons mown down, it is far more important that the episode produce an end to the lockdown of the 1.5 million Gazans, who have been placed by the Israeli government in a sort of open-air penitentiary.

Contrary to the assertions of far-right Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Palestinians of Gaza, stripped of any citizenship and lacking any basic human rights, face continual shortages of medicine, medical equipment, electricity and even of food. They face crushing poverty and unemployment, along with inadequate hospitals. Many are still homeless after the Israelis destroyed their homes in the Gaza War, and they are being denied cement for rebuilding. They are not allowed to have a harbor or an airport. They are cut off from the market for their goods in Egypt, Jordan and the rest of the Arab world. As Uri Avnery points out, Israeli pledged in the Oslo accords 18 years ago to allow a deep water port for Gaza on the Mediterranean. Instead, it is assaulting even small aid vessels attempting to land at the pitiful excuse for a port.

The blockade is shameful. It is a gross violation of the international law governing the treatment of Occupied populations. And now the Security Council has roundly condemned it and insisted that it be lifted.

The Israeli peace organization, Gush Shalom, demonstrated in front of the detention center where the aid activists were being held..

There are no new details of the Israeli assault on the humanitarian aid flotilla early Monday morning, largely because the 480 eyewitnesses had been sequestered by the Israelis. Some, including an 81-year-old former US ambassador, a Turkish woman with a baby, and a former US navy sailor who had been on the USS Liberty when the Israelis attacked it in 1967, are now trickling home. The whereabouts and condition of many others is unconfirmed, including European parliamentarians, Nobelists, and Swedish mystery writer Henning Mankell (whose anti-imperialist novel The Man from Beijing I just read and enjoyed.)

The incident could have implications for the future relationship of Israel to the European Union. Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin hinted that Dublin might go so far as to cut expel the Israeli ambassador, thus cutting off diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. Some 8 Irish citizens are among Israel’s prisoners, and one of these humanitarians, Fiachra O’Luain, is said by his father to have been wounded by Israeli gunplay. Martin thundered, “These citizens did not enter Israel illegally — they were essentially kidnapped from international waters, taken into Israel and are being asked to sign documents saying they entered illegally.”

The other big casualty of the Israeli raid may well be the special relationship between Turkey and Israel, as the BBC says. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the raid as “state terrorism.”

Thousands of demonstrators also gathered to chant against Israel in Baghdad, inspired by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Interior Minister Jawad Bulani, serving in the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said, “We want to send a message to the Palestinians to let them know they are not alone and that the Iraqis are with them . . . What is going on is a vicious crime. The international community must condemn it and take responsible action against them. This is the stand of all Iraqis, officially and publically.”

Historians may look back on the Marmara raid as the moment a new order began emerging in the Middle East, grouping Turkey with Iran, Syria, Iraq and Palestine rather than with Washington and Tel Aviv.

Aljazeera English has video on the world condemnation of the Marmara raid.

The enforced silence of the flotilla activists, in Israeli custody, has allowed Israeli spokesmen to shape the narrative of events for American news media. Former CIA analyst Ray Close blames President Obama for not being tougher with Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu to begin with, arguing that coddling the Likud leader led to this atrocity. As Jonathan Cook points out, the Israeli authorities have still not announced a definitive list of those killed and wounded by their commandos.

In response to Israeli official pronouncements, Amnesty International said, “Israel says its forces acted in self-defence, alleging that they were attacked by protestors, but it begs credibility that the level of lethal force used by Israeli troops could have been justified. It appears to have been out of all proportion to any threat posed.”

Raw video posted to Youtube from the initial phase of the Israeli boarding of the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara demonstrates that as the Israeli commandos approached the ship, they were laying down suppressive fire and at that point killed two individuals aboard the ship. Even after the ship ran up a white flag, the Israelis continued to use live ammunition along with stun grenades and tear gas.

See Stephen C. Webster’s analysis of this video of the boarding:

If the crew and passengers of the Mavi Marmara were coming under fire and had taken casualties in the initial phase of the Israeli approach, that horror would help explain why some actively resisted the boarding and that in turn would explain the contextless snippet of video released by the Israeli army of Israeli commandos being fought as they commandeered the vessel. If the passengers thought the Israeli military had murderous intentions toward them, some would obviously attempt to forestall the boarding. It is also possible that there were no deaths on the other ships because they were boarded later and after the Israeli helicopter gunship crews had learned that suppressive fire during the initial approach was unnecessary and counterproductive, and so they ceased that tactic.

It is unclear why the commandos behaved in this way with regard to the Mavi Marmara in the first place, but it is possible that they believed their own propaganda. The Turkish aid ships were supported by a Muslim fundamentalist charity in Turkey, IHH, that has been accused of being sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas, and in Israeli eyes that orientation would make them terrorists. So perhaps the commandos assumed they were boarding a ship full of Hamas operatives. In reality, it was just idealistic humanitarians. But even they could be provoked to active resistance if they thought they were about to be shot down.

It is a sign of to what depths the pride of the Israeli military has fallen that it is complaining of attempts to “lynch” its soldiers (none of whom was killed, while as many as 16 humanitarian aid workers appear to be dead). This is the Israeli army of the 1967 Six Days War and of Entebbe? They were in danger of being lynched as they boarded a small civilian vessel? Of course, they could have avoided this menace by simply not being uninvited on a ship in international waters. And, it is pretty obvious who is actually being lynched– the people of Gaza and anyone who objects to them being half-starved by the Israeli blockade.

35 Responses

  1. @ Israel’s rash attack

    I do not believe it was rash. It was calculated to once and for all get rid of the “international peace activists”, the message is clear you come to “our” shores and we blow you to smithereens

    It was done during Memorial Day in the U.S. (to ease any issue with/for the U.S. partner) and the attack was conducted against the turkish boat (to minimize “western” deaths and hence condemnations). The turkish reaction is really the wild card in this equation. But probably they calculated on the NATO connection, etc.

    If the “West” was serious about all this it is not condemnation that it will send to “Israel” but… 10, 100, 1000 boats to Gaza

  2. And how will this pan out with Egypt? This flotilla would not have been necessary if the Egyptian-Gaza border were open. Surely, there will be enormous pressure from the Egyptian public and other countries in the region for them to end their complicity in the blockade.

  3. Juan

    The siege of Gaza violates UN Security Council resolution 1860.

    Scott

  4. Thank you for this accurate narrative. Just a small correction of a typing error:
    The novelist’s name is Henning Mankell, not Henkell Manning

  5. Dr. Cole, I believe the UNSC issued a Presidential Statement regarding Israel’s egregious attack on the Gaza flotilla, not an official UNSC Resolution.

  6. It’s clear to me that the Israelis have not been singled out for condemnation, though. They identify “the use of force during the Israeli military operation” as an issue, but don’t say who was using the force, only that it happened during the Israeli operation. And “those acts which resulted in the loss” – - how is that a condemnation of Israel alone?

  7. I am sure the Israeli commandos provoked a response from those on the ship. This was after all a media exercise, with lots of time to plan. It was important to get video of the crew attacking Israeli soldiers, because Israel must always be the victim.

    Curiously, that “victim mentality” seems very prevalent in modern life. Look at the Duchess of York on Oprah, for example. The idea that people are responsible for their own actions seems terribly old-fashioned.

  8. The Israeli military has once again proven that it is a cowardly bunch of thugs. As per the Goldstone report, the Israeli military used civilians as human shields in Gaza. Now it is attacking and murdering civilians. This military has been trained to ignore international law and basic human decency. It has become just another genocidal junta — only, thanks to the America taxpayer, a very well-equipped junta.

  9. Dear Mr. Cole,

    This is not directly related to your splendid piece on the Israeli attack on the Gaza-aid flotilla. The online SundayTimes (not the NYT) reported that Israel is stationing three submarines armed with nuclear cruise missiles off the coast of Iran (www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece). This is truly horrifying if true. I’ve not seen this reported elsewhere and wanted to ask you if the article is verifiable.

    Many thanks.

    Best regards,
    Robert Shore

  10. Prof. Cole – Why is it that a few, well, it’s hard to put a name to them: Fascists? Reactionaries? Elite thugs? Commandos taking commands from the Bibis and bin Ladins and Arafats and Cheneys of the world? can shake and potentially shatter the rest of the human planet? What is it in our broke-down brains that first sets the conditions for something like this, and then causes millions to react along tribal lines, as if these “commandos” were either Our Heroes or Demons from Hell, with the risk that any possible sanity left in the combined human intellect gets rolled off the cliff?

    You spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of stuff, watching and commenting on the lunacy, and of course you have a viewpoint and a “side,” after a fashion. But you also seem to make the effort to see the realities behind the ploys and plays, and call them out. I just wonder if there is any pathway, through the thickets of millions of interest groups and literal tribes both large and small, to reach a level of conflict and violence that is at least maybe “sustainable.” The undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan/Everywheristan show how violence sustains itself up to the point that exhaustion finally sets in (see, e.g., Beirut), where the “mission” becomes nothing but, once again, what armies have always done, the usually futile effort to take and control territory and gain dominance over a population and install Vichy governments and most important to get “vengeance” for Our Troops, the members of the Bands of Brothers whose real motivations and loyalties are not to some excuse of patriotic smarmy sentiment but just to one another – whether Janja or GI or IDF, anywhere on the planet. A plurality heading to a majority of the planet’s wealth gets wasted on militarization every year, but I don’t need to tell you that.

    Seriously now. Do you sense any likelihood that some spiritual awakening or maybe just exhaustion will drain the reservoirs of those ugly pockets in all our limbic systems before we come finally to that point so beautifully limned in a cartoon by Gahan Wilson, first published in Playboy while I was in Vietnam, which unfortunately he has cleared from the Internet as far as I can tell: View of a landscape blasted and burned, dead humans scattered about, buildings all skeletonized, and in the foreground a heavily muscled, heavily armed, dirty soldier with his helmet pushed down around his ears, gripping his rifle, looking around out of mad reddened eyes, with surprise and wonder shading to exultation, saying “I think I won!”

    Why is it that the “scenario plotters” in the “security services” (so fraudulently named) can so easily keep the pot stirred up and create one casus belli after another that really is no significant matter in the greater scheme, but which the rest of us seize on as an excuse for another spasm of violence?

    Is that all there is?

    • You think things are bad now when war is fought by tiny indoctrinated elites. Wait ’til the pendulum swings back to people’s war.

      Medieval era – elite war by knights and fiefs
      The 30 Years’ War – medieval model bloated into mass destruction by continent-wide holy war; 1/3 of Bohemia destroyed; elites sign Treaty of Westphalia to restore limited, non-ideological war
      The Age of Reason – elite war by “professional” armies that go on inconclusively for decades but don’t threaten the system
      The Wars of the French Revolution – suddenly mobs of radical patriots find they can throw away the rules and crush the pros; elites use Congress of Vienna to restore limited, non-ideological war
      World War I – as Churchill put it, “I blame it on technology and democracy.” Elites use Treaty of Versailles to restore limited, non-ideological war but it doesn’t even last 20 years.

      The elites want to wage endless wars of policy, but keep the tools of warfare out of the hands of the masses. The masses get fed up, and suddenly an uprising exposes the military elite as bloated, incompetent and obsolete. Then we have mass war, total war, chess pieces removed from the board and smashed forever.

      All the tools are out there for a new people’s war. Industry has been exiled to the poorest corners of the earth. The richest, most right-wing armies left on Earth, Israel and the US, have failed time and again to win convincingly against hostile societies. The Israeli failures you describe are due to the males of rich nations becoming fat, cowardly couch potatoes who need the unjust global economic system just as much as we Americans do. The elitists have only one saving throw: to turn their couch potatoes into genocidal monsters using Fox News and extremist religion, and terrorize the world into handing over its resources.

      I think it’s already failed, but you know how it is with dying empires. Head cut off, body still stumbling around killing millions.

  11. I wonder how the media in other countrys treat this incident. In Germany a massive campaign has been launched to spin this in favor of Israel. Most media outlets seem to have banned it to page three or ignore it completely.

    The articles that do deal with it portray the activists on the ships as ‘hooligans’, ‘irresponsible freaks’, ‘loonies’, etc….

    One important (conservative) newspaper came up with the story that the turkish aid organisation, who helped organize the convoy, was ‘deeply involved’ with ‘muslim radicals’ and basically just a ‘recruiter for the taliban’.

    It is sickening to read all this. Will Israel get away with this crime? At least the israelsupporters are working over-time to make sure they do…

  12. Reading the text carefully, I think Israel has every reason to be pleased with it. It doesn’t call for an end to the siege of Gaza and it doesn’t clearly condemn Israel’s acts. (“condemns those acts” can be construed as applying to the activists’ acts just as easily as Israel’s; an ambiguity you can be sure was intentional.)

    In order to get a UN statement that the U.S. would agree to, the result is a statement that doesn’t actually state anything at all.

  13. [...] one encouraging thing I heard this morning was from Juan Cole, who writes about the UN Security Council condemnation of the incident. This development is head-spinning in its implications. The United States almost never allows UNSC [...]

  14. “But the Obama administration refused to endorse a statement that singled out Israel, and it proposed a broader condemnation of the violence that would include the assault by passengers of the Israeli commandos as they landed on the deck of the ship.”

    From 6/1/10 NYT article about the UN resolution. There go those symmetrists again. I guess it’s an act of violence to stop an Israeli bullet, get stung by an Israeli taser, or get hit on the head by an Israeli rifle butt.

    My Israel right or wrong, but nevertheless my Israel. This incident says a lot about Obama’s instincts and core values. The instinct is to retreat, and the core value is articulateness, and clever turn of phrase are next to godliness.

    • Can you even imagine Bush or McCain endorsing the UNSC statement? Not in a million years.

      Obama can’t transform our entire relationship with Israel overnight. But he is pursing a long-term strategy to improve our relations with Israel by appealing to moderate forces within their government (think J-Street instead of AIPAC). To simply condemn them at this point (with the whole world against them) could risk the blowback of shutting down lines of diplomacy that must remain open if anyone really cares about a two-state solution or Gaza. The situation with the flotilla is best addressed calmly after the crisis with reasonable objectives that might actually be implemented (like convincing the Israelis to lift the siege or to stop building settlements).

      Having Obama join the world in demonizing Israel might satisfy some people’s need for an emotional response, but speaking more pragmatically, it could be counterproductive and disastrous to the Palestinian people. Obama is smarter than that. He knows what he’s doing.

  15. I applaud the involvement of Irish peace activists, whose whiteness makes them difficult to impeach, whose ethnicity gives them an audience in the USA, and who certainly would not have a country or justice if their forefathers had not turned to terrorism in 1919 against the might of a great empire.

    Make our racists explain the difference between stealing land from an Irishman and a Palestinian.

  16. It is important to mention some things that can be done TO crazy Israel [some of which any of us could do right now]:

    1. Countries can seek to remove their Israeli ambassadors and/ or close Israeli embassies and cut off relations with Israel until their policies toward Gaza change drastically. So those living in countries that are already condemning Israel, should seek this recourse.
    2. Universities and other large organizations with investments funds can divest from all companies that do business with Israel or are based in Israel and individuals can do the same to their investment portfolios. Anyone attending a large university with a big endowment fund can start asking questions about how and where this money is being invested.
    3. Teams of lawyers with expertise in international law can start filing lawsuits [tort actions] including pro bono ones on behalf of every relief worker killed or injured in this tragedy seeking billions of dollars of damages for the injured or their survivors from Israel and making Israel accountable for their actions. This civil lawsuit should also ask for injunctive relief asking the Court to remove the current blockade of aid to Gaza and enjoin Israel from stopping. boarding, attacking, or invading anymore relief ships making their way to Gaza especially ones in International waters.
    4. Lawyers and organizations with standing and countries with citizens victimized in this incident should file criminal suits and/or civil complaints in International courts and tribunals against Israel. Start these lawsuits and let the discovery process lead you to all the evidence you need to win.
    5. Pressure should be put on all of our elected officials and those running in the next election to have to justify any continued support of Israel including the billions we send them every year. No more allowing AIPAC and their ilk to decide who gets elected and who doesn’t in Congress. Any politician who hasn’t condemned this latest Israeli massacre of innocent civilians before the end of this week should be voted out of office asap and /or not reelected. And if Obama won’t do this and/or interferes in any way in our country coming out against this massacre [the same way he suppressed evidence of torture by blocking the release of more torture photos], he needs to be removed from office in 2012 even though I could list many other reasons why he won’t get my support in 2012 again.
    6. Countries can ban together to sanction Israel with loss of trade and/or other privileges. The same as is being threatened against Iran now. And we can ask our politicians to support sanctions against Israel [not that I expect any of them will have the courage to demand this].
    7. We can stop supporting Dem Party organizations and groups that do nothing but business as usual. Instead give your money to groups that actually represent your interests and fight for what you believe in.

    It’s bad enough that Jews in Congress like Weiner from NY have already come out defending Israel’s actions as an act of self defense. This is the kind of crap that needs to stop. If congressman want to put Israel’s interests before our country’s, they can join the Knesset. And that means you too Schumer and Lieberman, et al.

    • If you oppose collective punishment for the Palestinians, then why do you support the collective punishment of Israelis? Do two wrongs make a right?

      Many Israelis and American Jews support a more peaceful engagement with the Palestinians (see J-Street) . Why do you seek to lump them all together with the actions of the Israeli far-right? It would be like boycotting all of America for the actions of Bush, while ignoring the significance of people like Obama or Kucinich or the entire anti-war movement.

      If you need evidence of the diversity of opinions in Israel go read today’s edition of Haaretz. If anything Americans should view this as an opportunity to forge a stronger bond with more moderate forces in Israeli society.

    • .
      Item #2 is a non-starter for most universities. There are US laws that prohibit any entity that does business with the federal government from participating in any boycott of Israel. Any university that divests as you propose would quickly lose all of its federal grants and contracts.
      That is the will of the US Congress.
      .

  17. “It is unclear why the commandos behaved in this way with regard to the Mavi Marmara in the first place, but it is possible that they believed their own propaganda.”

    There is a parallel with the British Army’s shooting dead 14 civilians in 1972 in Derry’s “Bloody Sunday”. The soldiers on that day were the Parachute Regiment. At least the British government learned from their mistake – never use elite fighting troops against civilian demonstrators. The elite troops will shoot to kill. It’s what they’re trained to do in combat.

  18. This may sound callous to say after these brutal murders in international waters, but I do think it’s possible that we are looking at a reconfiguration in process like Cole mentions–Turkey, Iran, Syria, Palestine, possibly also Qatar. I found it interesting that Egypt opened the border, and a sign that the military in that country was unhappy enough with the situation as well as opportunistic enough to see an opening for Egypt to try and play a role that it, along with the “important” Arab state regimes has lost. I don’t see it though. I see D.C.’s Arab clients as more ineffective and stagnant than at any time in recent history. All over the streets of Ramallah, people held signs saying “thank you Turkey” and carried the Turkish flag. This says a lot about where public opinion is headed. It won’t be good for the U.S. and its dictators, including Abbas.

  19. Count my word. Just like Obama, in a few days the best Congress money can buy would pass a near unanimous AIPAC-pushed resolution declaring the United States “unwavering commitment to the welfare of Israel,” as a Jewish (i.e., Apartheid) State, and together with MSM, Congress would be vomiting AIPAC’s claptrap that tell us that Apartheid terrorist state of Israel is the victim, and if you don’t think so, you are an anti-semite. General Petraeus’ warning (speaking for the Pentagon) that Israel’s occupation policies endanger US troops, does not matter. Elections are around the corner, US interests and American lives be damned. “They hate us for our freedom,” we are told. Oh, Yeah…

  20. After listening to Turkish Prime Minister Erdegun lay it on the Israelis, it would seem that Israel is out to lose more than it bargained. Hilary apparently received a good dose from the wonderful Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu also. Turkey, a prime ally of Israel for years, is moving into the Arab-world camp. Thanks to Israel, the USA is seeing another ally fade into the distance. And Israel has lost a valued ally — Israel must realize it needs Turkey much more than Turkey needs Israel. On a second thought, what sane country would want Israel as an ally?

  21. Phillipe and others above are correct. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council has not issued a specific condemnation of Israel for the raid. Nor does it cite the violation of international and maritime law by Israel in attacking a Turkish flagged ship on the high seas.

    Crucially, the Obama administration has blocked calls for an independent international inquiry into the raid, which is what Turkey has demanded. This means that, at most, we will have Israel investigating itself. The result is certain to lack international credibility.

    Once again, the US gov’t is shielding Israel from international scrutiny. It’s a self-defeating policy as the Obama administration is compounding the difficulty of realizing its diplomatic goal of securing additional sanctions against Iran.

  22. “as the Israeli commandos approached the ship, they were laying down suppressive fire …”
    Suppressive fire is used when armed resistance is expected–not knives and sticks, but guns. If the Israelis in fact laid down suppressive fire before boarding, it was a huge blunder and whoever is responsible should be held accountable. There was no reason to open fire of any kind until and unless weapons were used against them.

  23. Underthinking it, unusually.

    Turkey isn’t moving into the “Iran-Syria-Iraq-Palestine” camp. They’re moving the Britain-France-Greece-EU and the Brazil/South America/India/”non-aligned” camp to them. The “Iran-Syria-Iraq-Palestine” camp is just coming along for the ride.

  24. Solomon was right long ago when he wrote: “The cruel man troubles his own flesh.” In this as in so much else Israel shows how far it is from being a Jewish state, the way apartheid South Africa and Vichy France were Christian states.

    The Obama-Bush administration, with its kidnappings, disappearances, tortures, invasions, bombings, and, not least, its longstanding and firm support for starving and bombing the people of Gaza, could stand to lay these words to heart as well.

    It really amazes me that people can call themselves Christians and give any sanction at all to these abominable regimes, but so it’s been for the past 1800 years or so. It gets pretty ugly when people calling themselves disciples of Jesus spread their legs for the world.

  25. .
    Within weeks we will see videos from Taliban proclaiming solidarity with the activists aboard Mavi Marmara, and attributing spectacular bombings to US refusal to permit the world community to hold Israel accountable.

    We need us a pro-American Presidential Administration capable of assessing threats and opportunities, and taking action to secure the US.
    Dot #1: Under the current government, Israel is an outlaw nation, perpetrating crimes against humanity, and the victims appear to be selected based on them being being Muslim or Arab.
    Dot #2: The US prevents the UN or any other body or nation from holding Israel in check, or to account.
    Dot #3: It is far easier to take revenge on American targets than Israeli targets, since the US military positions targets throughout the Muslim world.
    I hope the next DNI can connect and interpret these.

    A chastened Israel would be a good neighbor and partner in peace.
    .

  26. [...] result of the latter meeting was an unprecedented condemnation of Israel that Juan Cole called “head-spinning in its implications.”  With the exception of the knee-jerk, pro-Likud usual suspects here in America, no one is [...]

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