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Israel has been pummelling Gaza all afternoon, assassinating Hamas's military chief and killing (so far) an estimated nine people, reportedly including at least two children.

In its defence, Israeli spokespeople have claimed that the attack was a response to 'more than 100 rockets being fired in the previous 72 hours' (or some iteration thereof; you'll be hearing versions of this claim incessantly for the next few days). True or not, this aggregate misleads: it doesn't mention Israel's attacks over the same time period, of course, still less Israel's decades long occupation, which can only be sustained with constant low-level and periodic escalations of violence of the kind we're seeing now. But more narrowly: it conceals the fact that, prior to Israel's attack, Hamas and other Palestinian factions had offered, and largely adhered to, an informal truce.

Here, as best as I can gather from news sources, is the accurate chronology, focusing on Palestinian rockets only:

12 Nov: Palestinian militant groups announce that they've agreed to adhere to a truce, should Israel halt its operations. Islamic Jihad: 'The ball is in Israel's court'. There was 'no immediate response' from Israel, although Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak struck a belligerent tone with reporters, declaring: "The matter has definitely not ended". While Hamas took part in some of the missile launches at the weekend, by Monday it had stopped, 'suggesting it was looking to step back from the brink'. But already, Netanyahu had convened foreign ambassadors to prepare the diplomatic ground for an escalation. 

12 Nov: According to the Israeli military, 12 rockets were fired on Nov 12; however Israel apparently later revised this number down to 6 rockets. This was clearly a 'significant drop' from the previous days: given that Al Jazeera reports that 115 rockets had been fired since Nov 10 (The Israeli military's estimate was 119, though this may have been before they revised down the 12 Nov figure). The rockets on 12 Nov were claimed not by Hamas but by smaller groups. 

13 Nov: By 8am GMT, only 1 rocket had reportedly struck Israel. Israel, however, struck 3 targets in Gaza in the early hours of Tuesday (no casualties). [Al Jazeera] Two more rockets were fired into Israel in the afternoon. I couldn't find reference to any others. Israel and Hamas reportedly agreed a tacit truce, mediated by Egypt. Likud MK Benny Begin: "This round of firing appears to have ended".

14 Nov: Four rocket strikes reported.

14 Nov: Israel launches major attack, assassinating Jabari and striking over 20 locations across Gaza. The attack is still continuing. BBC, Reuters, the Jerusalem Post, the Guardian and Ynet all report that Israel's strike broke a lull in the fighting, during which rocket attacked had 'trickled down to a small number' (Jerusalem Post).

So: Israel was offered a truce; didn't respond; then tacitly agreed to a lull, which appeared to be working, until Israel shattered it with a massive escalation; in self-defence.

Past data suggests that Palestinian rocket fire largely follows rather than provokes Israeli violence, and that, once a lull or truce has been agreed, Israel overwhelmingly kills first. This latest escalation, which may expand still further, appears to have followed the same pattern.

Originally posted to Heathlander on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  one small issue (7+ / 0-)

    "which appeared to be working"

    not really, if rockets were still headed toward Israeli civilians (which is what hamas tends to target) it wasn't working. It may have been close to working, but it wasn't working.

    An analogy. We agree not to hit each other, then you slap me a couple times in the nuts. is our agreement working simply because you went from punching and kicking to slapping? I would say no.

    (disclaimer for all I/P diaries - my comments do not dissolve israeli of any or all responsibility for violence on either side. Israel has its faults both politically and tactically. while I do tend to side with israel, I do understand Israel has in the past, and very well could in the future, make decisions I disagree with fully)

    •  I think that the reality is more like you and I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sporks

      agree not to hit each other. Sounds good to both of us but my cousin can't accept it so takes a few swings at you that miss.

      I talk him down, take him out for some coffee and then home where we find that your family has beaten everyone in our family and a few neighbors to a bloody pulp.

      (I do not side with Israel but have to say this is a damn fine analogy.)

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:11:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  First, (11+ / 0-)

      to be clear, the timeline above focused only on Palestinian rockets. Israeli violence continued throughout.

      Second, the point is that a lull had been agreed, the number of rockets had 'trickled' to nearly none, and the trend was downwards. That was the moment Israel decided (as it had done in advance) to launch an all out assault.

      •  The assault should have been weeks ago (6+ / 0-)

        when the rockets started. The US would never tolerate such. Israel should be commended for its patients -- or its stupidity.

      •  so you admit I was right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        that israel did not act first?

        •  No (8+ / 0-)

          the timeline above, as explicitly stated, only mentions Palestinian rocket attacks (i.e. doesn't comprehensively include Israeli violence) and so can't be used to make the kind of point you're making.

          What it does show is that Israel's attack wasn't a necessary response to hundreds of rocket attacks. Rather it came after a tacit truce had reduced rockets to virtually zero. This makes Israel's claim that it had no other option but to launch a massive attack ring rather hollow.

          If you want to identify the trigger for the escalation more generally, the post above can't help you. This timeline can. Though it is difficult, when you have a constant low-level exchange of violence, to put one's finger on one particular incident and declare that this is what started it.

          For a still broader background, it is worth considering that between 8-13 Nov, Israel killed six Palestinian civilians in Gaza including 3 children, and injured 52 others. In 2012 up to November 6, Israel killed 71 Palestinians in Gaza and injured 291, whereas Palestinians killed zero Israelis and injured 19 over the same time period.

          More broadly still, as noted in the diary, periodic intensifications of violence are an inevitable product of a project to militarily rule a hostile population. Israel's refusal to relinquish its occupation, in accordance with international law and the overwhelming body of international opinion, is the backdrop against which this has to be understood.

          •  virtually zero is not zero (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1, leftynyc, Hey338Too

            in a truce or cease fire there is no almost.

            they had a tacit truce, and hamas broke it, and israel responded.

            •  Hamas did not break it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht, stargaze, Rusty Pipes

              There are groups other than Hamas that have rockets.

              If any group committing violence counts as justification for an attack then the ongoing violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians would be justification for constant attack on Israel.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:12:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Good" cops defending bad cops. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Tonedevil

                That's my reaction to all this parsing of where blame should be. When I look at the dead people in my county from interactions of police and civilian that went wrong ... all the deaths are civilians. "Good" cops that won't cross the thin blue line and hold the bad cops accountable are complicit. And I hold the "upstanding" citizens from the good parts of town complicit when they defend the cops (all of them) and victim-blame the dead kids.

                Looking at the gap between levels of power and levels of harm done and levels of strangulation and people slowly dying of malnutrition -- I hold Israel government responsible for the big picture, and I hold defenders of that horrible status quo as complicit.

                The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                by stargaze on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:16:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  to repeat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Friendlystranger
            What it does show is that Israel's attack wasn't a necessary response to hundreds of rocket attacks. Rather it came after a tacit truce had reduced rockets to virtually zero. This makes Israel's claim that it had no other option but to launch a massive attack ring rather hollow.
            I am a USA taxpayer. I don't want my tax money used to help Israel to kill Palestinians and destroy Palestinian homes. Also, don't want dronstrikes in Pakistan, etc., and out of Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the rest

            The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

            by stargaze on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:35:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hamas Needs to Stop the Rockets (13+ / 0-)

    There were 85 rockets fired into Israel on Wednesday, aimed at causing civilian casualities.  That's got to stop.
        If a nation bordering the US fired rockets at our civilians, we would be doing the same thing.  Nations have to protect their civilians from lethal force outside their borders -- full stop.
        Is this a good direction for this to go in? Clearly not.  There need to be much bigger efforts to get a peace settlement in the second Obama administration.
        But no country is going to let a foreign force fire on its civilians without making a serious response.

  •  Good riddance to the Hamas leader (11+ / 0-)

    If the US can assassinate the leader of the group that sent planes into the buildings on 9/11 along with 13 of his deputies, Israel can certainly assassinate the leader of the group that has been firing hundreds of rockets at civilian targets in Israel, including elementary schools.

    Hamas is a bunch of anti-Semitic misogynist homophobic thugs. It is time for them to go. And it may take Israel to put them out of business.

    •  Try over 100,000 rockets . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      absalom2, peregrinus, PavePusher

      . . .  over the past decade, fired indiscriminately into civilian neighborhoods for the purpose of murdering Jews.  

    •  There are plenty of misogynist homophobic thugs (11+ / 0-)

      among right-wing Orthodox Israelis.

      So please keep your irrelevant talking points out of the thread at this painful hour.

      How long will you drink the Bibi Kool-aid?

      Seriously, how many time can the corrupt bankrupt political leadership fool the credulous Diaspora Jewish amen chorus?

      My wife is scheduled to take our six-year-old to Israel next month. Now she might leave him here.

      What a disgusting bloodthirsty ploy to win an election.

      •  Not a pimple on one of Islam's pimples! (0+ / 0-)
      •  Hamas's Homophobia -- A VERY Big Deal (6+ / 0-)

        There is a big difference: the Orthodox do not set Israeli policy on gay rights in Israel. In fact, Israel is one of the most pro-gay nations in the world.  Gay people serve freely in the Israeli army.
            Hamas is the elected leadership in Gaza -- and its leaders have called for putting gay people to death.
             This is a very big deal.  Here on Daily Kos, a community that takes gay rights very seriously, a political party like Hamas that would execute our friends and family members for being gay should be a pariah.

        •  How many gays have been executed . . . (0+ / 0-)

          for being gay in Israel?

        •  What you are doing is called pinkwashing (8+ / 0-)

          Here is Sarah Schulman's take on it:

          The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”

          Pinkwashing not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel’s gay community, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations. Homosexuality has been decriminalized in the West Bank since the 1950s, when anti-sodomy laws imposed under British colonial influence were removed from the Jordanian penal code, which Palestinians follow. More important is the emerging Palestinian gay movement with three major organizations: Aswat, Al Qaws and Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. These groups are clear that the oppression of Palestinians crosses the boundary of sexuality; as Haneen Maikay, the director of Al Qaws, has said, “When you go through a checkpoint it does not matter what the sexuality of the soldier is.”

          Read the whole thing here at the NYT.
          •  Um, No (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JNEREBEL, erush1345, leftynyc

            What you're doing is called whitewashing.  Hamas is committed to killing gay people.  Until they renounce that disgusting worldview they should be a pariah to any progressive community, like this one.
               It's nice that there are some Palestinian groups that oppose this odious view.  But Hamas is the elected government in Gaza, and their views towards gays are morally repugnant.

            •  Um, Yes (7+ / 0-)

              All societies and countries have groups that espouse hatred of one group or another. Efforts by both Israelis and Palestinians to grant equality to gays should be praised and efforts to discriminate against should be opposed. But we should not forget the totality of human rights abuses being perpetrated against Gazans and Palestinians by Israel nor forget that Palestinian gays are subject to the same cruelties as other Palestinians regardless of their sexual orientation.

              •  Um, No (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erush1345, volleyboy1, leftynyc

                In the case of Hamas and Gaza, it is not a "group" that espouses hate.  It is the elected government, which has the power of the state to actually execute gay people in the name of the state.
                   Yes, all states have groups that hate gay people.  In Gaza, they are the government.
                   A government policy of favoring the murder of gay people is pure evil.  Saying that Israel -- or the US -- or anyone else -- does bad things does not make that less so.

        •  Yes and no (4+ / 0-)

          Hamas's homophobia is a big deal, and those that choose to minimize this ugly truth display a very real lack of credibility.

          But  . . . Hamas's homophobia is not relevant to the issue of the Gaza rockets and Israel's response.  And we shouldn't bring it up in that context.

          •  Agreed... I am not sure what discussing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftynyc, livosh1

            Hamas' policy towards the LGBT community has to do with any of this.

            We see that used a lot by Republicans whining about President Obama and his ability to see reality (the need to deal with the Egyptian Government), and them trying to "Pink wash" the election here all while supporting a homophobic candidate in the U.S.

            BUT in this case it has nothing to do with anything. No one (unless they are completely out of their mind) defends Hamas' record on Human Rights.

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:06:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bibi's been way ahead in the polls (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, JNEREBEL, erush1345

        He has no need for any such ploy to win the election.

        Maybe it's not that simple?

    •  Well many people would argue that (13+ / 0-)

      the assassination of political leaders, even if we don't like what they stand for, is a denial of due process. Bring them to trial if they have committed a war crime or crime against humanity, they can stand alongside of the Israeli leaders and IDF for killing civilians. There is no way that rockets can be fired into Gaza without killing civilians. Don't make the absurd argument that they are hiding amongst them, they actually live there.

      You justify the assassination of people, you justify the execution of those that have never stood trial for their crimes (I do not believe in the death penalty, but you are quite comfortable using it against those that have never stood trial or been convicted. I am certain that you spend a lot of time talking about democracy and western liberal values as you undermine the rule of law and due process. Hamas is the legally elected government in Gaza, if members of the government have committed war crimes, let them stand trial in the Hague ... along with the Israeli's government and armed forces.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:07:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a big difference . . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . . between indescriminately firing over 100,000 rockets for over a decade, in to civilian neighborhoods for the express purpose of murdering Jews, and defending yourself against terrorist attacks by shooting the terrorists who, after firing their rockets, hide among women and children who they employ as human sheilds.  

        Sorry, but your characterization of Israeli "leaders" as criminals for defending their country from terrorist attacks by Arab Muslims who seek the extermination of the Jews in Israel, and the annihilation of the Israeli nation, is utterly meritless.  

        •  you have been essentially trolling (15+ / 0-)

          this diary repeating the same garbage to anyone that posts here, you have also posted hate speech to justify what is certainly going to be a crime against humanity. It is illegal under international humanitarian law to fire openly into an area populated by civilians.

          While the Israeli government's on-going bombing and strafing of the civilian population of Gaza, they have been talking about "targeted killings" of Hamas leaders, but they are killing primarily civilians, including children.

          56% of the population of Gaza are children. It's one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Israel claims it perform "surgical strikes", but you can't drop a bomb in the middle of the street and not hit a child.

          You are justifying the killing of civilians, you are justifying the killing of children and you run around claiming to be a liberal, a believer in democracy; what crimes have these children committed, what crimes have these civilians committed. None ... have you no sense of shame, have you no sense of morality?  The Israeli government and military are committing crimes against humanity, they should stand trial for doing this; yet they are never held to account and people like you are willing to justify anything.

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:37:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So by your logic, (9+ / 0-)

      the Palestinians should be able to assassinate Israeli leaders who have funding the destruction of Palestinian homes, lands, lives and livelihoods.

  •  The US supports Israel (7+ / 0-)
    We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

    Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination.

    http://www.state.gov/...
  •  Update: IDF recruits Reservists. Invasion Possible (13+ / 0-)

    Richard Silverstein claims yes. A replay and possibly a one-up over Cast Lead.

    Heathlander, can you post in your diary some action links to contact the White House, State dept., EU, UN, etc.?

    We need to start rolling some pressure, before all the cats are out of the bag.

  •  Decided to get out of this conversation (0+ / 0-)

    and went to check my email This was in it.

    http://www.answercoalition.org/...

    I try to get out and they keep pulling me back in!!! ;-)

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:01:18 PM PST

  •  3K Yrs of Scpgtg Meets Choice Of Control Or Banish (0+ / 0-)

    The gatekeeping of monetary policy, the gatekeeping of prices and risk avoidance in health insurance, the denial of minimum wages but also the denial of status other than U.S. territory, and the like, are all degrees of slavery here.
    Many southern plantations treated the more familiar form with less harm than is experienced by the medically devastated family, for instance.

    What makes the Middle East special is it's where Gilgamesh first provided  humanity's literature, and his resonates perfectly with quantum mechanics.

    It's because we have the incongruity there, wherein Jews have 3,000 years worth of justification for not trusting anything but that the next re-run is
    only around the corner, and this is their last stand.
    A morality founded on freedom and not placing oneself above the  birthright of others, but not being able to trust and thus  feeling compelled to control.  

    All entirely justifiably because that's where history
    leaves them and us.

    It's because the Muslims engaged in scapegoating and now experience bona fide elements of arrogance mixed in with perfectly reasonable
    self defense.    Some of that arrogance comes from the worst causes: bigotry and denial of equality of birthright most likely because of
    the arrogant persons' insecurities.

    Yet, the latter dare not let up on their defenses.   Otherwise,
    not only might they be wiped out, but they would be.
    The Muslims still engage in rank scapegoating.
    Most of it stems from their own tyrants having portrayed
    the Jews as the demons instead of themselves having
    been tyrants.   Some of it, though, exists even apart
    from that.

    So what would ordinarily be control without equality prevails.
    To control a people but not allow them to be equal is
    to colonize them or to enslave them if they're your fellow
    countrymen.   The Israelis don't really want to do that, so what
    they really want is for the Muslims to simply leave.

    All the Western religions shun
    judging, slavery, and selfishness, especially
    wrongfully conducted at the expense of others,

    Division messed that up.
    Division was the reason for colony.
    People who might otherwise kill each other.
    The Jews and Muslims justify colonization today,
    though the Israelis are engaging in it for the sake
    of pushing the Muslims out.
    They have no choice.   They don't lack a choice
    because of their own construct,   They simply do lack it.

    Demonizing, the witch-hunt, allows the tyrant to
    rule by associating foes with the demonized.

    The first demons, and the first basis of division
    was homosexuality.   Not wanting to be burned at
    the stake (or to be stoned, as the case may have
    been,) was to not want to be wrongly ferreted out
    as gay.

    Although medieval doctors had midwives burned at the
    stake when feeling threatened by them, the witch-hunt's
    been about enabling despots to rumble and have
    other people's women.

    The first witch-hunt propagated the hunted.
    Judging is for control is for slavery.

    The controllers were ultimately gay.
    History's greatest controllers:

    Hitler: famously feminine.
    JFK's killers: gay fascists.

    Ordinarily after a few babies it makes sense in terms of numeric
    genetic advantage to have a couple more inclined to work
    out of the ordinary, thus enabling a community to challenge the
    next mountain.   So it has been demonstrated lately that
    homosexuality is ""developmental.""

    It's now confirmed genetic not simply from this:

    http://www.bild.me/...

    but by:

    witch-hunt to control--
    controllers gay.

    Ego defense is a natural defense of judging for control and scapegoating.
    It's also a natural self-assurance after privation of recognition and love
    by parents previously overtaken by their own transference, privation and
    need to pacify.

    The Palestinians were really Syrians pre-Israel.  They face Mecca when
    they pray, even when on the Mount.  But their families lived in Palestine
    for generations, and though many Jews have bought the Tea Party-like
    line that the Mount is not really important to Muslims, that site is where
    these 2 things conceptually happened:

    Mohammed ascended to heaven.

    Isaac was offered in faith.

    We are at the culmination of an experiment intended for our own
    benefit delivered in story-like fashion stretching from Gilgamesh to
    our latest science.  

    The Mount is the final point of ending judging to divide to control.
    Israel cannot control and remain Jewish.   It cannot permit
    scapegoating or it will cease to exist.   That's the incongruity
    that defines why history must turn.

    That Isaac and Ishmael are conceptually half-brothers is a curiosity.

    Ego defense existing in response to judging for control is part of what
    the Arabs feel.   The only thing I can imagine more insulting than
    the gratuitous judge of oneself or the arrogant person's condescending
    also at one's expense, is one of those persons engaging in such
    activity after simply ripping you off and feeling smug about it.

    That's something Americans can today relate to domestically, but

    the demagogues who want you to confuse control with free enterprise

    also want you to look for someone to blame.

    Human history is understandable as a story, a proving, and an exquisite
    psychiatric lesson based on the relation of half-brothers.

    It's a proving in math, history and morality.

    We won't be able to shake our CIA or Mr. Putin until these parties
    understand this.

    One way or another the Dome on the Rock is the Golden Gate.
    I would treat this with baby steps, because it's entirely
    equivalent to a psychiatric case.

    Perhaps orthodoxy from Jews, Muslims and Christians can
    jointly agree to examine the Kabaa cornerstone.

    If sufficiently interesting, then, they should go to the
    Temple Mount and announce they understand
    Christ, Moses and Mohammed represent real living
    information and they belong to one unified religion and
    science.

    http://goo.gl/...

  •  I think I understand now (7+ / 0-)

    They get to shoot at Israel, then say "TRUCE" and Israel can't shoot back. Is that it?

    What a steaming load of horseshit.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:48:24 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary, heathlander! (11+ / 0-)

    IMEU has compiled some timelines that might be useful for the reality-based community: Israel's history of breaking ceasefires and Israel's Latest Escalation in Gaza

    It isn't nice to go to jail ... but if that's freedom's price

    by Rusty Pipes on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:55:55 PM PST

  •  Past data suggests nothing of the sort. Rockets (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JNEREBEL, volleyboy1, erush1345

    are fired all the time no matter what Israelis do or don't do. The graph in your link shows that rocket launches usually precede Israeli attacks (although some Palestinian casualties are not accompanied by rocket launches). Moreover, you link to the organization that doesn't even pretend to be objective and promotes itself as pro-Palestinian.

  •  Offering a truce after multiple attacks against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, erush1345

    civilian targets is kinda like offering a glass of water to a man who just died of thirst.

    •  I think we all know (10+ / 0-)

      that for both sides, a truce is just a holding point before further attacks. What is not in dispute however, is that the Gazans are one of the most oppressed groups in the Middle  East, they are blockaded and under seige in the largest open-air prison in human history, they have their movement  and trade blocked, they are put on a diet by their oppressors and only allowed enough calories to stave off starvation but not malnutrition, they cannot farm land near the fence with Israel or they will be shot by snipers who watch them on CCTV, and many are denied the medical care they so desperately need, never mind educational opportunities outside Gaza, clean water, electricity etc.

      There is no excuse for the mass punishment of a community whose largest demographic consists of children under 18. What is happening to Gaza is a systemic, institutionalized crime and its perpetrators should be facing charges at The Hague.

  •  Lots of stuff happening in the Middle East (7+ / 0-)

    Israeli elections in January
    Palestinian statehood bid later this month
    So far unsuccessful campaign to get the US to attack Iran by Israel
    Events in Syria spilling over into Israel
    Nasrallah crowing of Hezbollah's deterrence of Israel after Ayoud (Job) drone.
    Unrest in by the opposition in Jordan

    As usual, Israeli leaders think they can distract from all this (and bolster chances for re-election maybe?) with yet another attack on Gaza. Not sure if this old thinking will work in a new environment considering that Arab populations have always been sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians and the regime changes that have occurred recently will make it harder for the new Arab regimes to resist pressures to act in line with popular demands.

    But if I was Qatar I'd be pissed. They just pledged $400 million to rebuild Gazan infrastructure and it's gonna be destroyed again.

  •  My problem with this diary (0+ / 0-)

    Is that you have chosen an arbitrary starting point based on your decision that Israel is the agressor.

    This is exactly what both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaders do all the time. They each always have a grievance that justifies their violent choices. Jon Stewart once had a shtick (sometime during second Intifada) that went through this grievance give and take all the way back to the Ottoman Empire. It was great and demonstrated the silliness of this approach.

    What I do know is this - telling either side that what is happening to them is their own fault can make the person delivering the news feel justified, but it is the exact wrong thing to say if the person delivering the news then expects to have a civil conversation about peace with the recipient.

    Blaming Israel won't bring a 7 year old girl back to life.
    Blaming Israel will not take down the blockade
    Blaming Israel certainly won't make them suddenly stop bombing Gaza out of a sense of personal shame

    Blaming Gazans won't make them think of the blockade as a good policy
    Blaming Gazans can't suddenly give back all those hours spent in bomb shelters to Israeli school children
    Blaming Gazans certainly won't suddenly cause them to rise up and kick Hamas out of power

    Worrying about who is to blame for each act of violence is its own spiral of arguments that just fans the flames of the cycle of violence we are in the midst of right now. In the meantime this inexorable game of reverse chicken (who will stop shooting first?) won't do it either. Instead a solution needs to be proposed that has nothing to do with who shot first and does not depend on Israelis and Palestinians taking turns with token gestures.

    If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
    If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
    If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

    by A Gutin Daf on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:36:50 PM PST

  •  In Ha'aretz (7+ / 0-)

    Aluf Benn writes:

    Israel killed its subcontractor in Gaza

    The assassination of Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election.

    This is what researcher Prof. Yagil Levy has called "fanning the conflict as an intra-state control strategy:" The external conflict helps a government strengthen its standing domestically because the public unites behind the army, and social and economic problems are edged off the national agenda.

  •  International Crisis Group's (6+ / 0-)

    Nathan Thrall:

    'this thing started after people were already talking about a ceasefire. The front page of Haaretz this morning was talking about a ceasefire and there was a lull at four in the afternoon when Jabari’s car was hit.'
    •  More precisely: (6+ / 0-)
      'Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip. This, according to Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate between Israel and Hamas in the deal to release Gilad Shalit and has since then maintained a relationship with Hamas leaders...

      Baskin told Haaretz on Thursday that senior officials in Israel knew about his contacts with Hamas and Egyptian intelligence aimed at formulating the permanent truce, but nevertheless approved the assassination.'

      Not sure yet who the 'he' mentioned in the first para is.

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