Gaza: Why a ‘Cease-Fire’ is Not enough

By Juan Cole

When ordinary countries fight wars they have war aims. In World War II, the US wanted to defeat Germany militarily, but then to help it return to democracy and to economic health. By 1947 the US would actually be spending a lot of money on Germany’s well-being via the Marshall Plan.

Israel has no strategic war aims in Gaza because it has no large scale, long term strategy concerning the Strip. Its war is all about tactics and minutiae. How many tunnels and rockets can it destroy? How much damage can it inflict on the Hamas leadership? But tunnels and rockets can be rebuilt and the dead leaders’ cousins will take over after them.

It is frankly stupid to think the Israelis can, in Mitt Romney’s words, kick the can down the road forever on making peace with the Palestinians. It hasn’t tried because Israel wants Palestinian land and resources and won’t give them up.

The United Nations has raised the specter that because of the Israeli blockade and the consequent inability of Palestinians in Gaza to build their infrastructure, it may well not be habitable by 2020. Its only native source of water, an aquifer, is 90% polluted. If Gaza fails, where will its by-then 2 million people go? Will Israel just let them thirst to death? Renal failure typically sets in in about 3 days if people don’t have water. That is genocide. Israel gives no evidence of doing any planning to avert that outcome in a territory for which it is responsible in international law.

The one strategy Israel has is to use collective punishment and a blockade on children and other non-combatants in an attempt to weaken Hamas. But even if they could succeed (so far they haven’t), the Israelis don’t seem to realize that the hellhole that is Gaza will always throw up radical groups intent on breaking the 1.7 million Palestinians there out of their large open-air jail, in which Israel is keeping them.

That is, Israel’s only real strategy is causing war, not ending war.

Gaza is not a country, that Israel can be at war with it. It is a tiny strip of land surrounded by Israel from land, sea and air, which is kept from exporting its made goods for the most part, faces severe restrictions on imports, and therefore has had imposed on it a 40% or so unemployment rate. Some 56% of Palestinians in Gaza are food insecure. Gaza is recognized by the international community as an occupied territory, with Israel being the occupying power. If being occupied by Israel were so great, by the way, why is Gaza so badly off?

Hamas keeps rejecting any ceasefire that does not include a provision for the lifting of the siege of the civilian population.

I heard the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, speaking after the meeting of diplomats in Paris, and he spoke about a settlement that allowed for the social and economic development of the Palestinians.

What a joke! France is has done nothing practical to end the blockade or allow Palestinians to develop.

So a cease-fire that does not include an end to the blockade on Gaza by Israel is not a cease-fire, it is a pause in the war.


Related video:

The Telegraph: “Gaza residents return to scenes of total destruction”

40 Responses

  1. At what point does the asymmetry and forced framing of the parties, so-called, reach a mandatory recognition that what’s happening here cannot be honestly described as “war”? Maybe a better term is decimation, or maybe slaughter? But then in the Israelites’ self-proclaimed history of the Taking of the Promised Land, guile and slaughter were the main elements of the game play. Often followed by Babylonian Captivities and subjugation to other tribes. See the Pentateuch, the Holy of Holies. Where are the Prophets to call Israel back to a righter relationship to G_D? Or is this it? And Yhoo is that Jeremiad Prophet?

  2. The current “cease-fire,” such as it is, is on the face of it just another in a long series of cynical tactics. As I understand it, Israel will continue operations on the ground, only suspending shelling of civilians for however many hours to allow them to safely flee (to where is unclear). I suspect they even have a handy loophole in there that allows for shelling to support IDF operations that are being resisted.

    So, Hamas might well agree to that, because it at least gives civilians the promise of a break. Hamas also has to play the game of taking a first step toward finding reasonable conditions for disengagement. But, they are backed into doing so.

    At whatever point Israel feels they have turned back the international tide against their actions, or events like MH17 distract the world sufficiently, they can go back to plan A, surely as they began it all due to those “original Hamas provocations”.

    At some point there will be another cease-fire, along the lines of the one that was holding in the months leading up to current events. But I see no evidence or thinking to suggest what we are seeing is anything other than a repeat of the last lawn mowing. Hence, we’d do better to look at the metrics for what Israel found acceptable then: in terms of time and money expended, and casualties (last time it was about 14:1400; that the ratio is more equitable this time around may not have so much of a bearing), we have about reached that point.

  3. I have seen no indication that there are any Israelis with any intelligence to think beyond the next second.

    Quite simply, what Israelis are doing is just flat out dumb, Over the long term (decades), Israel can NOT “win” in any sense of the word. Contrary to the Israelis myths, Israel can and will eventually suffer humiliating defeat. When that happens, the Israelis that hadn’t already fled, will either have to live under Arab subjugation or flee to other parts of the globe.

    BUT the problem is ,by that time, Israeli actions might have so poisoned the world there will be no place they can run to where they will be tolerated, let alone welcomed. The terrible thing is, many innocent non-Israeli Jews may also pay a high price for Israeli’s actions.

    I just can not understand why no Israelis understand that every one of their assumptions about the world is invalid and that if they want to survive, they will have to change their world view and completely change their actions.

    Can anyone explain WHY the Israeli think they can continue to treat Arabs inhumanly and not suffer massive retribution eventually? On a global perspective, Israel is actually a pretty powerless nation in that it does not have the resources to fight an all out long term war. Sure, it has nukes, but the second it uses one, it has sealed its fate. Not even the US could get away with nuking anyone these days.

    Are their egos really that overinflated, their paranoia that extreme, and their delusions really that strong that they can’t see where this is going?

    • ”Are their egos really that overinflated, their paranoia that extreme, and their delusions really that strong that they can’t see where this is going?”

      In a word: Yes. Most Israelis appear to be paranoid, racist and profoundly indoctrinated. Sure, there are exceptions, there always are, but they are few in number and politically insignificant. Israelis have been raised from birth to see all Arabs as Jew-hating primitives whose lives are disposable. That is why Israeli society can happily tolerate massacres of the type being seen in Gaza – and committed by Israel many times before, in Palestine and Lebanon – without batting an eyelid. If they do feel any human sympathy, it doesn’t cause them to question their own policies, but rather to blame it on Hamas, or whoever this year’s bete noire is.

      As to your other point, I agree that the complete demise of Israel is a matter of when and how, not if. Israel is hated by just about every single of the hundreds of millions of people that surround it. Any ‘support’ it has among corrupt dictators and sheikhs is extremely shallow, and no Arab leader would dare to be openly supportive of Israel. So I would say the entity is surely doomed – the only question is to whether the timespan can be counted in years or decades. Israelis cannot face up to it because reality is just too difficult to bear: As I’ve said, if you’ve been raised from birth to hate and fear Arabs, the thought that you will eventually have to live alongside them must be horrifying. Too horrifying to think about. So they continue to hide behind the shield of overwhelming military superiority, not pausing to think that almost certainly, the tides will turn and the doctrine of ‘might is right’ will one day very likely see them on the receiving end.

      No wonder Israeli society is so insane and ugly.

      • Christina,

        … there is one theme in your post, you reiterate several times, which is wrong … that I must respond to. In your post you proclaim with the highest certainty, that Israeli (disclosure – myself among them), are raised from birth to see the Arabs as primitive, Jews-hating, which their lives are disposable. I would not know were to start to refute this so preposterous and ridiculous claim, but I will try.

        1. When in high school, for the final exams in history and literature, all students learn that in the 10th-14th centuries while Europe was deep into the dark ages, with European Jews suffering from Church-based provocative antisemitic feeling, the Jews in the Arab/Muslim region (from Spain to (today) Iraq) enjoyed from “Golden decades”, The “Rambam”, the poets of spains, and more. – No teaching to hate Arabs here !

        2. Every school has the opportunity to select several ex-curriculum programs – such as recycling, enhanced science and more. One of the popular (which my kid’s school had selected) was to visit neighboring school from Tira – mostly Muslim-Arab village and engage with confident building activities.

        3. I can go on and on about how in the state (Federal) level programs and actions are made to enhance relationship between Jews and Arabs. But I fear your mind is so set, I will probably could not budge you from your position.

        • Alon, I’ve no idea when you were in school, but here’s a selection of articles about current issues relating to racism & Israel’s approach to educating children… read ’em & weep:

          Biased new study skirts around racism in Israeli school books
          link to

          Israeli-Palestinian Textbook Study Overlooks Core Issue
          link to

          Jewish girls, beware of the ‘evil’ Arab doctor
          link to

          ‘San Jose Mercury News’ runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns
          link to
          When Israelis Teach Their Kids To Hate
          link to

          Parental love, Israeli-style
          link to

          Tel Aviv high school principal facing dismissal for writing leftist op-ed in Haaretz
          link to

          Knesset rejects bill promoting education against racism in Israeli schools
          link to

        • Alon, I don’t know when you were in school in Israel or what you were taught, but here’s a selection of recent articles speaking to the issue… read ’em & weep:

          Biased new study skirts around racism in Israeli school books
          link to

          Jewish girls, beware of the ‘evil’ Arab doctor
          link to

          ‘San Jose Mercury News’ runs many pictures of Israeli children caressing guns
          link to

          When Israelis Teach Their Kids To Hate
          link to

          Parental love, Israeli-style
          link to

          Tel Aviv high school principal facing dismissal for writing leftist op-ed in Haaretz
          link to

          Knesset rejects bill promoting education against racism in Israeli schools
          link to

        • Marshalldoc,
          My answer will be short since I at work right now…
          I have cited several references, let me go through them and show you that they are all irrelevant:
          1. The study was conducted by a well respected universities (Yale , TAU) and in her criticism Nurit Peled (a radical left wing) tries to bend reality the facts into her polictical position. It is the same as giving Noam Homsky to analysi Carl Rob text – You know what will be the outcome.
          2. The debat is about the narrative – again no evidence of racism .

    • You guys are kidding yourselves and engaging in wishful thinking. That country is not inevitably doomed, ie. a return of pre-48 Palestine or any other such fantasies. Israel is sitting on 200 nuclear weapons and enjoys the total support of the US government. They will happily carry out an ethnic cleansing or “transfer” or even nuke the whole region to hell before Israel “falls”. World will be outraged…but what will it do? US will protect them like always and nothing will happen.

      • if Israel uses even one of its nukes, it will be committing suicide. Not only will every Israeli die, but the survivors of the nuclear exchanges will very probably take their revenge out on any non-Israeli Jew they can find. It would be the end of the Jewish culture, but possibly not the end of mankind. In the real world, nukes are only good for one thing, committing suicide and very few Israelis are interested in committing suicide for their country. In fact when the war gets too hot, as much as half the Israelis will do the same thing all humans do during a hot war, flee.

        As for the US protecting Israel forever, that is a very invalid assumption. Over the last 200 years, the US has broken almost every “treaty” and agreement it has ever had. If Israel causes Americans any personal pain whatsoever, Israel will be thrown overboard in a heartbeat.

        Right now, Israel is deeply endangering the future of the US and as things deteriorate, the US will do what is best for the US, even if that means the complete destruction of Israel.

        I can guarantee the US will NOT protect Israel forever, especially to the detriment of the US. And once the US throws Israel overboard, it is toast becuas no other nation on earth will come to its rescue, ZERO.

        Americans are just as self-centered as all other humans and will happily sacrifice Israelis to protect Americans, count on it.

        • Yeah man, they will be committing suicide…but they’ll be fine with it. They’ll do it just outta spite to deny the Palestinians their prize of pre-1948 Palestine…and ethnic cleansing is even more likely as Lieberman and Bennett often like to bark. That is the mindset among the Israeli extremists and right-wingers. They might not keep it, but they won’t let the Arabs have it again either. Some of the saner Israeli’s might flee, but right wingers will stay till the end. You think the Israeli religious nuts are any less suicidal than the Muslim ones?

          As for US, abandonment will not come until money is taken out of US politics…Good luck with that. In so far as US interests or population being in danger…They have been…for decades now. Has the US changed course? Nope. Money talks my friend and the US political class is awash in it.

          Pre-1948 Palestine is a dream. Give it up. It’s gone.
          Palestinians are not helped by this fantasy. All it does it put ammo in hands of Netanyahu and his buddies to say Palestinians “don’t really want peace”.

          What “hot” war are you talking about any way? The entire world supports the Palestinians up to and only including a two state settlement, West Bank and Gaza. As both Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein have pointed out repeatedly…going beyond that to isolate or destroy Israel-proper will leave the Palestinians just as alone as the Israelis are now. It’s not gonna happen.

  4. “Will Israel just let them thirst to death? Renal failure typically sets in in about 3 days if people don’t have water.”
    This is the most horrifying thing anybody have ever image.
    If it do happen the rest of humanity would be guilty of genocide.
    Israel, please stop it..

    All articles in the mainstream media addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict should begin with the following six points:
    1. Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land;
    2. Occupied people have the legal right to resist occupation;
    3. Palestinians are the only occupied people to suffer international sanctions;
    4. There are other states that commit worse abuses than Israel, however, those other states are normally sanctioned while Israel enjoys significant economic, military and diplomatic support from powerful states;
    5. Hamas won fair elections in 2006; and,
    6. Israel knows how to stop rocket attacks from Gaza: enter good faith talks with Hamas. However, it is precisely Hamas’s potential as a serious and independent negotiating partner that threatens “Greater Israel.” Israeli policymakers know that upon proper negotiations, Israel will have to give up land and resources.
    link to

    • 1. Not according to UNSCR 242, which links Israeli withdrawal from any territory to a negotiated peace agreement with the relevant party.
      2. No one has the right to attempt to terrorize civilian populations by murdering men, womnen and children in their own homes (like the Fogel family; why did a 9-month old baby girl have to be decapitated by a murderer in the name of “resistance”?).Resistance means attacking the occupying coun try’s military, not murdering civilians on a public bus or at a shopping mall. Resistance is not firing thousands of unguided missiles randomly at civilian targets.
      3. Palestinian “militants” regularly violate the Rules of War and the Geneve Conventions, yet no one seems to give a damn.
      4. There are many other states that have far worse human rights records than Israel- and they sit on the UN Human Rights Council, regularly condemning Israel while they continue their own violations.
      5. Hamas won elections in 2006– granting them a four-year democratically elected term of office. Hamas is now in the in the middle of the NINTH year of a FOUR year elected term of office. If that’s “democracy” in your opinion, then I have to disagree. How would you have felt if President Bush had just postponed elections because of the war on terror and remained in office until today? I wager you wouldn’t support that for a moment.
      6. Si Hamas has adamantly refused to negotiate in any way, shape or form with Israel, I have no idea how you expect Israel to have “good faith” or any other kind of negotiations with Hamas.

      Have any of the commenters here ever even read the Hamas Covenant? How about the Palestinian National Charter or Israel’s Declaration of Statehood?

      Anyone who has not read all the documents above has no way to form an objective opinion. I’ll make it easy for those of you who are willing to make the effort:

      Palestinian National Charter (1964): link to

      Palestinian National Charter (1968): link to

      See if you can fogure out what the changes made in 1968 were, and what was the reason for the changes.

      Hamas Covenant: link to

      Israel Declaration of Statehood: link to

      Now digest them and figure out what each party stands for–then decide who you feel deserves your support.

      • Lots of words, there, Mike. Lots of words in the US Constitution, too, and in the IDF’s statements of its great purity-of-arms ethical standards. Lots of words in other supposedly aspirational documents.

        Deeds and actions and visible “policies” trump words, Michael, now don’t they? It’s silly to even fiddle with an attempt to try to prove that the various power players even try to stick to their BS aspirational statements. This blog and even the NYTimes and Israeli news sources are replete with crushing counter-examples of how things really work. Israeli reactionaries point for authority for dispossession rights against Palestinians to the Talmud. Which if you want to read something for its supposed truth, paints a pretty clear picture of how the Israelites claim their G_D told and tells them to act — guile and violence.

        One wonders how idiot humanity can ever get beyond tribal murderous “Protective Edge of the Sword” violence and BS rationalizations. Short of species suicide. I mean, it’s not too far fetched to imagine Yahoo and his buddies have already smuggled nuclear weapons into cities all over the planet, now is it? Awaiting the Samson Option trigger. The Putz that Roared…

      • Mike: “Not according to UNSCR 242, which links Israeli withdrawal from any territory to a negotiated peace agreement with the relevant party.”

        No, quite untrue.

        UNSCR242 linked two “principles” to the overarching aim of the Security Council, which is “peace”.

        As in: there will be no prospect for “peace” until
        a) Israel withdraws from occupied territory
        b) everyone acknowledges and respects everyone else’s “boundaries”.

        So it is simply untrue that the resolution “linked” an IDF withdrawal to anything i.e. a withdrawal is merely one of the two pre-requisites of “peace”, not sufficient in itself, sure, but nonetheless indispensable.

        Indeed, according to the plain text of UNSCR242 there is no necessity of any “negotiated agreement” whatsoever i.e. it would be sufficient for every state to make a unilateral declaration that their border is **here** and they have no right to interfere with anyone who is outside those borders.

        Such a declaratory statement is perfectly compatible with the language of UNSCR242.

        You HAVE actually read the resolution, right, Mike?

      • Granting the truth of #1, which I’m not sure of , the colonization is still a violation of Geneva convention. How about collective punishment?! You Israeli apologists are laughable!

      • Michael, much of what you have written is plainly wrong. Your ideas reflect limited reading. For example:
        1. Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories have made the occupation illegal. This is not disputed.
        2. Occupied Palestinians can legally resist occupation. This is not disputed. No one but you tried to interpret this to mean that terrorism is legal resistance, it isn’t.

        Please provide a scholarly source that justifies Israel’s settlements.

        Have you read “Scars of War, Wounds of Peace” by Shlomo Ben Ami or “Lords of the Land” by Zertal and Eldar or “Knowing Too Much” by Norman Finkelstein? It’s time to read serious history.

        Don’t just read the Jerusalem Post and Dershowitz.

  6. Excellent analysis. I dont understand why Palastenians have got two disjointed pieces of land and why the two (west Bank & Gaza) are not connected through a land corridor..
    I would like to hear your thoughts on why AIPAC has such hold of US congress that not even one congressman speaks out against Israeli occupation and gross misuse of power.

    • “why AIPAC has such hold of US congress that not even one congressman speaks out against Israeli occupation and gross misuse of power”


    • Most importantly, Mearsheimer & Walt did the most thorough and careful description of Israeli influence (lobby influence? the distinctions become tedious) on US politics, best distilled in this article, although they later did a thick book on the subject. link to

  7. From where did the concrete (used to line the terrorist tunnels) come? Israel, of course. Israel let it be imported into Gaza to be used for something constructive, like buildings, road, etc. Hama chose to use it for tunnels.

    • I would say that tunnels which allow an occupied people to break through a sadistic siege, and give them leverage against their occupier/prison guards, are very ‘constructive’. And given the wanton destruction Israel has visted on Gaza over the past 3 weeks, I don’t think they’re that interested in promoting ‘construction’ in Gaza. Au contraire.

      Oh, and wasn’t it kind of Israel to ‘let’ Palestinians have cement in their own country? But given the amounts involved, and the fact that Israel places severe restrictions on the amount of cement which can be imported into Gaza, it’s likely that most of the materials used to build the tunnels was smuggled. I have heard that this was done by the oldest method of them all – bribing the guards at the Rafah crossing. Given these guys earn so little, getting them to turn a blind eye to the odd truck laden with contraband probably isn’t too difficult.

      All of which goes to show that however cruelly you seek to cage a population, human ingenuity will find a way.

  8. Aren’t their strategic goals pretty much the same as their 19th and 20th century role models, and pretty much the same as they’ve always been? To rid a territory of its inhabitants. Each attack makes further strides toward rendering Gaza nonsustainable — the pretext doesn’t matter (“Hamas”, “tunnels”, whatever). As for those who live there now, every depredation visited upon them is their own fault, no? — so morality dictates that it’s their own responsibility to save themselves if they can.

  9. Leslie G.

    h/t A cease-fire that does not include an end to the blockade on Gaza by Israel is not a cease-fire, it is a pause in the war.

    • Well, to be fair: a ceasefire is merely that i.e. an agreement to stop shooting at each other.

      But having said that, yeah, the beginning of a ceasefire necessitates the ending of any blockade.

      After all, “blockade” is governed by international humanitarian law i.e. a “blockade” is only legal during an “armed conflict”, precisely because that “armed conflict” is what triggers the applicability of international humanitarian law.

      So the ceasefire should contain an explicit acknowledgement that signing the document ends the current “armed conflict” between Hamas and the IDF and, having so ended, all blockade by the IDF must cease.

      After all, that’s exactly what happened when UNSCR 1701 ended the 2006 Lebanon War with Hezbollah.

      • The Gaza blockade isn’t even legal during “armed conflict” because Gaza is an occupied territory of Israel, not a sovereign state, and the blockade is directed at Palestinian non-combatants who are Israel’s legal responsibility.

        • Oh, sure, agreed: the very notion of a occupying power “going to war” against the people that it holds under a belligerent occupation is a nonsense, and a gross violation of international humanitarian law.

          But even if Israel shouts “Is Not! Is Not! Is Not!” whenever anyone says that the IDF is still the occupying power, that fig leaf still doesn’t grant Israel any right to blockade anyone ONCE A CEASEFIRE IS IN EFFECT.

          I’m merely pointing out that Catch-22 i.e.
          a) The IDF is still the occupying power, in which case “blockading” that occupied territory is a war crime,
          b) The IDF is no longer the occupying power, in which case “blockading” that territory absent an armed conflict is a war crime.

          It is damned either way, no matter how much it plays pretendies with its fellow travellers and apologists.

          “Blockade” is legal only during an “armed conflict”.

          But an “armed conflict” and a “belligerent occupation” are mutually-exclusive terms.

          Equally, an “armed conflict” and a “ceasefire” are mutually-exclusive terms.

          Pick either (and Israel seems to want to cherry-pick both depending upon its mood) and what you end up with is this: the blockade is illegal.

  10. The pie has to be made bigger and all involved parties have to be invited to the table, including the US, relevant Arab/Islamic countries, Iran, Israel and Palestine. There should be some deal struck based on the recognition that this kind of periodic bloodletting and misery is not acceptable. Then the tactics will cede to strategy.

  11. John Ballard

    >> Israel’s only real strategy is causing war, not ending war. <<
    It's not really a war. It's more of an insurrection. That's the proper term when there is a slave revolt or when an oppressed population tries to "dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another." If we are witnessing a war, it is a war of independence waged by Hamas, against overwhelming odds, And Israel — the occupying force, holding all the reins of power — is not waging war. She is one more time ruthlessly putting down an insurrection.

  12. Juan, I think the discussion is predicated on an erroneous supposition; i.e.; “the Israelis really want peace with their Palestinian neighbors”. Wrong!! The Zionist project is, and always has been ‘Greater Israel’ and to hell with the Palestinians (including Christian Palestinians). Where they go, and under what circumstances are as Alan Greenspan would say ‘externalities’ as regards the goal and one knows about means & ends. So, don’t expect any ‘rational’ (by our standards) behavior from Israel until you begin dealing with what their expectations are in reality. Once understood, then one can begin to ‘negotiate’ from knowledge. Until then, it’ll be MOS with the same outcome (and one knows how to define an action repeated in the expectation of a different outcome).

  13. Hamas has, per the British newspaper, the Telegraph, indicated that North Korea and Hamas have reached a deal for the purchase of missiles to replenish its stock.

    North Korean technology was reportedly behind the construction of the vast tunnel system beneath Gaza.

    This was reported today by an Israeli news source:

    link to

    • Just on the face of it this all sounds transparently like disinformation, to de-legimize Hamas by association.

      The engineering skills to build a tunnel are common and construction in the developing world is often done intuitively. I cannot imagine anyone going to North Korea for anything state-of-the-art. Any ladder of sophistication they’ve climbed could have been acquired at any good engineering library.

  14. In my opinion, the comparison with the Marshall Plan doesn’t stand. The primary political aim of the Marshall Plan was to prevent Europe from falling in the Soviet sphere of influence. Communist parties were very strong, particularly in southern Europe. Thus the US did what it does best, buy people off with loads of cash. The political aim of Israel in Gaza is the colonization of the Palestinian territories and the expulsion and/or submission and/or cleansing of the Palestinian population, whichever may turn to be feasible with the support of the “international community” (the US and its allies). So far, everything is proceeding according to plan.

  15. This looks like the varsity football team beating up on a bunch of 3rd graders. It is difficult to watch. It is cringe inducing.

  16. succinctly put, mr cole.
    naturally, peace is an important outcome, and the peaceful attitudes and behavior of the population being marginalized is the big problem being less successfully the fig leaf for ‘israel’.

    one hopes (a hope that exists only with faith now) that the (especially current) israeli administration is only actively contributing to the repeated beating of a hornet’s nest in a knee jerk reaction mirroring former behavior.
    as a (now retired) curial cardinal points out, it is WORSE than an open air concentration camp.. and the only thing that is stopping peace now is israel…. with the help of the u.s. policy. if the u.s. were to tell israel to make peace, it would make peace.

    sadly, what one sees in this sandstorm is the practice and honing of dehumanizing tactics meant to desensitize the israeli and international viewers (inoculating us to future outrages in ‘israel’ and abroad) and distract from any future escalation.. keep the ratings up and the populace ambivalent to apathetic.

  17. As I understand it, please correct me if I am wrong, the long term Zionist agenda is the creation of a ‘Greater Israel’, to be achieved via the total destruction/subjugation of Palestine/Palestinians. As far as Zionist Israel is concerned, the Palestinians/Arabs already have Jordan as a nearby Muslim State in which to potentially live, among twenty or so other Muslim Sates, but the Zionists/Jews only have one State of their own: Israel, which happens to have been carved out of Palestine, and contains many millions of Palestinians who have lived on the same land for generations. The Israeli claim to Palestinian land, a mythic ‘right to return’ (only extended to them) goes back thousands of years, when Jews where forced out of the area by Ottoman Turks. To reclaim and expand the same territory thousands of years later, in the creation of a ‘Greater Israel’, means identifying Palestinians as interlopers on historic Israeli territory, the destruction of Palestine, the displacement of Palestinians, or their total subjugation under Israeli law. Zionist Israelis are achieving their aims by stealth, via the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank – which divide and diminish Palestinian communities, by imposing punitive restrictions on the rights of Palestinians who are not afforded equal rights to Israelis, and by waging intermittent and devastating wars on Gaza, which Israel also subjugates and contains within an illegal land/sea blockade. What triggered the current ‘operation’ by Israel in Gaza is the treaty between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. Such a treaty might have legitimated Palestinian claims to territory across the region, giving realistic grounds for peaceful negotiations, but these might have stalled and even reversed ‘Greater Israeli’ expansion. By identifying Hamas as a singular terrorist entity however, Israel can claim the right to defend itself against their rocket attacks (which are frequently launched at Israel in resistance to their punitive/illegal blockade, and IDF attacks on Hamas leaders in Gaza) Because of these rocket attacks, which are nearly all intercepted by the ‘Iron Dome’ defence system, Israel claims the right to bombard Gaza at will. Being the most densely populated place on Earth, the results of such bombardment is that most of those killed/maimed are Palestinian civilians and children. Israel claims that Hamas is using civilians as ‘human shields’, and that because they give warnings via text messages to Palestinians to flee, they can therefore bomb homes, hospitals, schools, media outlets, UN buildings… with impunity. America funds and supports this because of powerful/insanely rich Zionist lobbyists, and so that they have a military superpower as an ally in the Middle East.

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