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It’s amazing watching what people reveal about themselves when tensions in the Middle East explode.  Some otherwise liberal, compassionate souls with big hearts suddenly morph into raging self-appointed authorities.  Others who’ve suffered deeply and have reason not to be kind toward oppressors become surprisingly gentle. Some spew invectives while others weep for dying children.

But nothing rivals what has taken place on social media since the horrific conflict between Israel and the Palestinians began. Having responded to a friend’s pro-Israel Facebook post in which she equated my sympathy for the plight of ordinary Palestinians with being “pro-Hamas,” a slew of opinions started flying and haven’t stopped.

“It’s one thing to be so-called ‘pro-Hamas’ but quite another to simply be against the slaughter of innocents,” I wrote. “No one denies Israel’s right to exist (least of all me, a Jew) or to defend itself, but their slaughter approaches genocide.  I cannot sanction the disproportionate response to the aggression perpetrated by some Palestinians. Most people in Gaza are ordinary, impoverished folks trying to survive in terrible ghetto conditions with absolutely nowhere to go or hide.  Given the Jewish experience with ghettos and extermination who should feel compassion for them more than Jews?  

“When I learned that 25 people perished while eating a meal together during Ramadan (suppose it had been 25 Jews breaking the Yom Kippur fast?), or that hospitals and UN safe-haven schools were being bombed with children killed, maimed, traumatized, there is no way I could sanction Israel’s aggression. While both sides need to regain their sanity and end hostilities in a sensibly negotiated settlement, Gaza has become a killing field.  It makes me sad, and I feel an unwelcome shame (where once I felt pride) that ‘my people’ could behave like this. I ask this simple question:  How does killing more children after the tragedy of lost youth that started this conflagration solve the problem or redeem the tragedy?”

Some readers support my position, some argue against it, and some spew spurious vitriol.   The people who agree with me frame their arguments as I have, with a social justice, human rights lens, while those with opposing points of view respond from a (frequently erroneous) historical and political perspective.  The passion that both sides feel is stunning, and sometimes alarming.

Because of copious dichotomized debates, I want to offer some further thoughts, beginning with a quote from Holocaust survivor, Reuven Moskovitz. His words are credited to IAcknowledgeApartheidExists.org. “It is a sacred duty for me to protest against persecution, the oppression and imprisonment of so many people in Gaza. As a Holocaust survivor I cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences. It’s just immoral.”

Leaving a synagogue because of “our overwhelming silence as Jews” over what was happening in Gaza, writer Naomi Wolf said, “I mourn genocide in Gaza…I mourn all victims… Where is God? God is only where we stand with our neighbor in trouble and against injustice.”

Someone in Gaza wrote this email to my friend, “Israel has targeted houses and residential areas. When people flee their homes the warplanes target them in the streets. They didn’t even allow the Red Cross to pull dead bodies and injured people out. Medical teams and journalists are among the victims.  More than 70 percent are children and women.  We have no power and no water. It’s horrible.”

It is not my purpose here to debate the merits, mistakes or arguments of either side in this terrible conflict.  Nor am I trying to justify my position. I am merely stating it. I think it is urgent to transcend the politically expedient rhetoric of Hamas and others who say their goal is to destroy Israel, wiping Jews off the face of the earth. Consider Israel’s military strength and its American support and you realize that is never going to happen. We also need to acknowledge that a human rights approach to the situation does not make one “pro-Hamas.”  Name-calling serves no purpose other than to inflame.

Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself, but that does not give it ‘carte blanche’ to slaughter innocent people by the thousands.  Nor does Israeli oppression of Palestinians mean Hamas has a right to fire rockets indiscriminately. We must acknowledge that both sides are guilty of hideous violence, broken promises, outrageous lies, blind hatred, and unwillingness to negotiate in the interest of mutual survival. But we also need to recognize that both sides are equally terrified. That’s why the blame-game is useless.  It gets us nowhere in solving the problem. Neither does name calling. Anti-Semitic  accusations (and acts) must not be tolerated; no one should assert that charge against someone because they hold differing views.

In the end, the conflagration will expire when its impact becomes intolerable.  For me, it already is.  That’s why I speak out. Will others find their voices of conscience before another woman, on either side, grieves a dead child who never had a chance at life?  

Originally posted to eclift on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yup (32+ / 0-)
    It is not my purpose here to debate the merits, mistakes or arguments of either side in this terrible conflict.  Nor am I trying to justify my position. I am merely stating it. I think it is urgent to transcend the politically expedient rhetoric of Hamas and others who say their goal is to destroy Israel, wiping Jews off the face of the earth. Consider Israel’s military strength and its American support and you realize that is never going to happen. We also need to acknowledge that a human rights approach to the situation does not make one “pro-Hamas.”  Name-calling serves no purpose other than to inflame.
    I tend to avoid the I/P comment sections because moderate voices are seldom allowed. I have strong opinions about the situation but there is no such thing as a civil discussion about it.

    Instead of it being a discussion about politics it's a discussion about emotions, with motives being assigned to others on a minute-by-minute basis.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:32:21 PM PDT

    •  I don't agree (12+ / 0-)

      i think much of it is civil, and racist stuff isn't tolerated.  In this case, those who want the killing to stop have the best arguments.  There isn't an articulated defense for the shelling that predicts a good outcome.  There is no predicted outcome other than forever occupation/siege and forever force on the Palestinians.  

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you yourself are saying (6+ / 0-)

        That one side has the best arguments and the other just defends killing people. That is precisely part of the problem.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:04:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I took her to mean (6+ / 0-)

          that at this particular point in time, with an active shooting war going on, the P side has the upper hand in the blogs. When things are more peaceful, the I side holds its own pretty well.

          I think she was trying to say that the I side has a really tough sell at this point.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:20:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hamas is unpopular around here (19+ / 0-)

            but the slaughter of hundreds of innocents and the grossly disproportionate bombing of Gaza have made the government of Israel even more unpopular than Hamas.

            Netanyahu is an evil bastard who was very rude to Joe Biden and other high level Americans to ensure that we had no chance of brokering any kind of peace deal. Netanyahu has led Israel into this situation and damn, with the help of a powerful propaganda campaign, if the citizens of Israel aren't cheering as city block after city block is blown up in Gaza.

            They have been convinced that Netanyahu is protecting them form Hamas. The truth is that Hamas and Likud are using this state of violence to strengthen their grip on power in Gaza and Israel, respectively. Peace is the real enemy of extremists.

            “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

            by FishOutofWater on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:35:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Netanyahu has the support of a huge majority (0+ / 0-)

              of Israelis according to the NYT. He has to keep up the drumbeat of war and push the fear and hate in order to stay in power. Meanwhile the world is horrified by Israel's genocide in Gaza. Today in SF there were thousands of people marching in support of Gazans and there were marches and rallies all over the US. I agree that Netanyahu is a thug and an entitled one at that. But I think this is very bad for Israel and for Jews. Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe. Someone told me that the anarchists burned the Israeli flag, today, during the march but I did not see it so I don't know if it's true.  

              48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

              by slouching on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 12:18:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just to clarify (0+ / 0-)

                Burning the Israeli flag is not an example of anti-semitism, at least not to me. It's a statement against the country of Israel and its government. We can argue separately about whether its a wise form of protest.

                That said, I wouldn't doubt that in some parts of the world that anti-semitism is rising as a result of Israel's genocidal behavior. I suppose when your very existence is defined as a Jewish state, it becomes more difficult to make the case to the more bigoted and ignorant people in the world that Israel's actions don't represent the whole of the Jewish people. Sort of like how difficult it is for some here in the US to accept the fact that Al Queda's actions don't represent all of Islam.

              •  Maybe after being PM Netanyahu can come to Detroit (0+ / 0-)

                and use his tried and true solutions on the undeserving and threatening denizens of Detroit to "save" Michigan.
                I think ol' Beni would make a bang-up (literally)  Emergency Manager.
                Certainly the Republican establishment would welcome him.

                "Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free" - Queen Elsa

                by fourthcornerman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:35:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Telling the truth is not part of the problem. (0+ / 0-)
          That one side has the best arguments and the other just defends killing people.
          That's not actually what she said ... but it's darn close to the facts.
    •  I empathize BoiseBlue, and know exactly how you (33+ / 0-)

      feel, however, should we not ask ourselves it the abstention of moderate voices in the debate has in fact contributed to the sad lack of civility in the I/P discussions?

      And also a situation where both Hamas and Israel have launched rockets into civilian area for almost six decades now without more effective international response to prevent this while we socialize about more pleasant topics?

      Is it morally correct to cede the entire topic to extremists because they are so unpleasant?  I've sometimes suspected that, in some part, unpleasantness has been a strategy for preventing moderates and our party from having a stronger, fairer, more just, and effective position on these issues.

      I was asking if some of the folks who may be old enough to remember the early days of the Vietnam antiwar movement might enlighten us if those debate did not have similar period that our party had to work through before one could express antiwar views with less hostility.

      I was old enough to remember reading about how the Kent State shootings, and maybe a few other incidents of excess force shifted the perceived relative legitimacy's of the pro-war and anti-war forces bolstering the perception of anti-war activists from marginal, possibly even "communists" to more of a mainstream movement.  

      But I was in middle school and this was before internet so I'm not sure.

      My feeling now is all who support peace, justice, democracy, oppose war, favor the idea of international rule of law such as the Geneva Conventions, and ICJ need to stand up and add our voices to the discussions.

      I was just going to congratulate eclift for her outstanding and well written post.

      She has a highly refined, professional sounding, and clear writing style I envy and wish I had so I could say things is such a compelling way.

      We need more of the Democratic Party's most talented people to stop avoiding these discussions, looking the other way, and stand up and be counted.

      Our elected leaders have not lead the way, perhaps having to juggle complicated and powerful political forces.

      So unless our next tier of opinion leader with more highly developed moral consciences' step forward and lead, will we not cede the discussion to extremists and our the professional apologists?

      War is terrible, but much of what we are seeing now appears on its surface to go well beyond any reasonable definition and "rule of war" and would appear to be war crimes of the sort that need to be investigated, debated and judged by the responsible authorities such as the International Council of the Red Cross who I understand is the guardian group for the Geneva Conventions, and the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

      We have a "teachable moment" here for the whole world and future generations. If these are not war crimes, the public should be taught why not.

      If we are not going to enforce the Geneva Convention and the other institutions of international law, then we should dissolve them and openly admit the law of the jungle as in "might makes right" is the only law that matters.

      Those of us who have dedicated ourselves to progressive causes must recognize that the rule-of-law, and international rule-of-law are among the most vital pillars of civilization and progressive causes.

      If we do not stand up and raising our voices for the causes of justice, peace, rule-of-law, self-determination, democracy and egalitarianism we should cease any further pretensions about progressive values and admit to ourselves this is just a social club and another hang out place for a few partisan interest groups who are just a different set of special interests group than the Republicans, but morally and ethically little different.

      I do not believe this. I think liberalism and "progressive values" or the opposite of "regressive values" and we are a party committed to values of social justice, human rights, peace, self-determinism, and democracy.

      If we can sit by silently and watch innocent women and children being slaughtered by people who not only then show no remorse what-so-ever, but then have the unmitigated gall and audacity but to appear on TV daily, as the Ambassador from Israel has done, and congratulate the perpetrators for exceptional and higher moral virtue, and blame the victims than something is deeply wrong with our perspectives and values.

      We then have to ask ourselves how can we be discovering ourselves in this situation?

      What has been the nature of our media bias that has allowed ourselves to have evolved into the kinds of people that we have apparently become, that refuse to stand up and declare such atrocities are basically and inherently so obviously morally wrong that anyone who would stand up and smile while congratulating themselves for very well may be a sociopath, or so hopelessly deluded as to have lost their way before their own conception of God.

      Some signal needs to be sent to and from everyone on this planet that this is not right.

      These kinds of atrocities will not be allowed, now, or ever again in the future and anyone who commits will be held accountable for war crimes in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and every other body of international law we have.

      We need to declare that all of the work done by those who developed, signed, and implemented the Geneva Conventions were correct, and we will reiterate our commitment to these laws and treaties and if necessary make them even stronger to prevent atrocities like this from every happening again.

      Perhaps, we could ask moderate voices who have been silent to think about whether these values of peace, justice, international rule of law, peace, democracy, humanitarian compassion for children and their mothers and fathers and other innocent civilians are important enough to you that you will end your silence and add your voices to those of us who say, "never again" should we sit here in silence for so many decades and watch these types of atrocities be committed against civilian population.

      This includes Hamas rockets launched into Israel, and Israeli rockets launched into Gaza as well as the blockade.

      If not now when?

      If not who us?

      Who else will step forward to help these children who are being killed, and maimed daily before our eyes, while few take any actions to help them.

      Shall we pass more popcorn or do what we know is right.

      These are moments where that old expression "be the change you wish to see takes on real meaning.

      Is "the fierce urgency of now" anything more than an opportunistic campaign slogan?

      Will it really mean "the comfortable complacency of political convenience?"

      Or will we all stand up and take whatever actions are necessary to restore peace?  

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:45:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey HoundDog, another (15+ / 0-)

        great comment.  

        Given how much thought you've put into this, along with your recent comment in Lefty Coaster's diary, I was wondering if you've considered writing a diary on this topic?

        If you're so inclined, it would be greatly appreciated!

        "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

        by Calvino Partigiani on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:50:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I second this (12+ / 0-)

          I think it would be a great diary.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:55:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks but like many I try to stay out of the (14+ / 0-)

          controversial topics.

          (self deprecating humor alert. sorry.)

          In my mind Ive made the standards for posting so much insanely higher than comments that I might spend all day trying to clean up this comment, and then it would end up being 10 pages, then I'd spend another day cutting it down, and by that time possibly being on a different topic and posted at 300 am. By the time I add pixs, it would probably end up being a tourist travel brochure.  

          I'm supposed to be working on our move.

          Maybe in a couple of days.

          Plus every time over the last few days i've started looking around at the recent posts planning to write on this someone else has done it better.

          Thanks for your kind encouragement.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

          by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:19:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But..gravitas! (3+ / 0-)

            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

            by Smoh on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:32:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gravitas isn't really my best skill Smoh. You (4+ / 0-)

              know that as well as anyone.

              I can get so close sometimes. Really, you know that too. But, then right at then end I will not be able to resist putting in some silly jokes that ruin the whole thing for the "gravitas oriented" crowds.

              I've asked my psychiatrist if there may not be some medicine he could give me to cure me of these terrible latent tendencies to be a clown.

              I feel sort of sorry for him, as he has like 20 years of advanced training and degrees but seems unable to tell when I'm joking and when I'm being serious. His biggest problem from my perspective is these are not mutually exclusive but often can be used hand and hand, to keep people, and myself engaged in topic too gruesome to confront with some comic relief.

              I just actually wrote a several hour piece trying to respond to this suggestion but it is now too long.

              You are pretty good at gravitas. Maybe I should send it too you and you can publish it as you idea? And then I can come over and make jokes about it until you throw me out and then you can rally everyone to unity based on their agreement you did the right thing?

              Whatever helps create new ways for peace.

              Thanks.  

              Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

              by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:32:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm so hungry after spending several hours (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calvino Partigiani, Smoh

              responding to Calvino Partigiani,and Boise Blues kind suggestions that when I say your comment title I thought it had something to do with gravy, and was so pleased, I said to mysellf, "yes!  When the chips are down Smoh always comes through with a good idea."

              Then I saw you saying gravitas, and still can't figure out what this really means.

              It seems to be humorous, so I have tried to honor it by responding in kind, as I always try to do.

              But, this first try wasn't good enough, so here's my second attempt. Smoh.

              Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

              by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:44:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh darlin'! I certainly didn't deserve all your (0+ / 0-)

                time and thought for my silly little comment. Gravitas eludes me with singular strength and focus. I'm actually perfecting a "gravitas away" spray that appears to be ready for patent. You may be spending too much time me and getting some of the side effects.

                Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

                by Smoh on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:28:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Another example of "..when good men do nothing." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            That seems to be the theme of our times in politics, finance, law, human rights, dignity of women, wars ... it's hard not to compare this shrinking away from the fight by liberals and the RW extremists' ever-bolder encroachments on morality with the process that happened in Germany 1930-1938.
            The sad thing is so many Americans are blinded by the myth "that it can't happen here" they ignore the signs that it is.
            You might as well say climate change isn't happening, either. Well, it isn't, unless you pay attention to reality.

            "Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free" - Queen Elsa

            by fourthcornerman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:46:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're not so shabby yourself (6+ / 0-)
        I was just going to congratulate eclift for her outstanding and well written post.

        She has a highly refined, professional sounding, and clear writing style I envy and wish I had so I could say things is such a compelling way.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:54:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Vietnam was never like this (0+ / 0-)

        The US may have felt seriously threatened by the Soviets, but never by the Vietnamese, the domino theory notwithstanding.  They were a proxy.  So the Vietnam War did not create existential angst on the part of people in the US.  It was more that the protestors (who were entirely peaceful until there was violence from the authorities in perhaps 1966) were felt to be disrespectful to the older generation.  If there was a threat, it was to the value system of more conservative Americans.  So this kept things more in bounds.  There was a lot of shouting but little violence.  The Chicago Dem Convention in 1968 which was basically a police riot was the most notable exception and horrified many people.  Ditto Kent State.  But those were real exceptions.  It was not as violent as the response to civil rights efforts in 1963-1966, for example.

        The IP situation does evoke existential angst on both sides, Israelis because of the past violence against the Jews, especially the Holocaust, and Palestianians because of the seizure of their lands and killings by Israelis.  So both sides see the other as an existential threat and dialog becomes very difficult.  Some US Jews similarly cannot tolerate any criticism of Israel and react very defensively and in some cases shriek at pro-Palestinian protestors and commenters.  Most people are really upset at the violence, and depending on their experiences and temperament are just trying to deal with a horrific situation.  But there are those who are threatened by any criticism of Israel and IMHO that is what makes civility so hard.

        Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

        by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 08:14:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is not an equal conflict (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, JoanMar, KathleenM1, Lepanto, barleystraw
        And also a situation where both Hamas and Israel have launched rockets into civilian area for almost six decades
        You are comparing Qassam rockets that rarely hit a target to guided missiles and tanks raining down shells on civilian areas. This is an underground rebel group vs a super power.

        There will never be an end to this conflict until there are accurate unbiased reports on what is going on there.

  •  I wish the Palestinians every success in the world (8+ / 2-)

    Is it possible they could achieve that success without firing rockets, digging tunnels, storing their weapons in schools and hospitals, stealing the world's aid money and supplies to build tunnels and buy weapons and, more generally, without trying to destroy Israel as a Jewish homeland?

    •  they aren't (8+ / 0-)

      Hamas is.  look at all the success in the West Bank where Hamas is not, and that may give you an idea of why extremists took over (moderates failed).

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot that could be said about your (37+ / 0-)

      comment.  

      But I'll just say that it would be courteous and respectful to address at least some of the diarist's many thoughtful points instead of stating your thoughts about Palestinians without reference to any of those points.  

      I personally find this quote cited by the diarist to be a compassionate one, and worth reflecting on:

      It is a sacred duty for me to protest against persecution, the oppression and imprisonment of so many people in Gaza. As a Holocaust survivor I cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences. It’s just immoral.

      "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

      by Calvino Partigiani on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:55:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How???? (26+ / 0-)

      i'm sorry but how is that success possible if you blockaded, you are not a country, you can't fish on your waters, you can't travel or trade, your land is being taken, your family was expelled, you live in one of the highest concentrations of poor people on Earth. A wall separates you from your family and neighbors, unemployment is 40% or higher....

      I just cant see how you can say, stay like that and don't protest. Don't try to scape, don't try to fight it

    •  That's an excellent question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calvino Partigiani, mightymouse

      There are some who make the calculus that without such attacks to keep the issue in the spotlight, Palestine would simply become another forgotten place, relegated to permanent imprisonment. It is an entirely open question what would happen.

      I would like to think that it would be possible for Israeli society to reject its role as oppressor in its own right, however.  

      •  I don't know the opinions of most Israelis (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer, Proteus7, mattoqp

        However, I think when they left Gaza in 2005, they hoped to leave Gaza in peace to succeed on its own (with lots of aid from multiple foreign governments and the UN), never to come back and "oppress" anyone in Gaza ever again.

        Unfortunately, they couldn't ignore the rockets and tunnels.

        •  there are other ways of not "ignoring (13+ / 0-)

          the rockets and the tunnels" than killing many hundreds of children.

          •  Please, enlighten us then (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeniseDenefyou

            What are these other ways? Israel has certainly done its best to minimize civilian casualties, but its rather difficult when Hamas killed 160 of their kids just digging the tunnels in the first place, places tunnel entrances right next to schools and hospitals, stores rockets in apartment buildings and schools, fires rockets from the above civilian areas....

            If you know of a better way to eliminate the missiles and terror tunnels, please enlighten us. Israel has tried:
            - Ceasefires
            - Unilateral ceasefires
            - Aerial pinpoint bombing
            - small commando raids

            Prior to this, of course, they also tried
            - Leaving Gaza entirely in 2005 - Led to Hamas takeover in a bloody coup in 2007
            - Lifting the blockade temporarily- led to more missiles and building materials for terror tunnels smuggled in

            •  I suppose we might include (4+ / 0-)

              the blockade, the prohibition on use of their waters, the unilateral confiscation of their natural resources among the other things that Israel has tried...

              •  See above (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dcg2, DeniseDenefyou

                As mentioned above, the Blockade wasn't in place until it became apparent Hamas was smuggling weapons in. Fishing restrictions for the same reason.

                No idea what you're talking about on natural resources, Israel withdrew from Gaza and isn't using any. If anything, they're still providing power and natural gas to them.

                And of course, none of this justifies futile, self destructive missile attacks against a superior force, without a chance of victory.

                •  Regarding natural resources (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  expatjourno

                  perhaps you should take a quick look at these links:

                  first

                  second

                  third

                  I think you may be wrong about that.

                  •  Wild conspiracy garbage (0+ / 0-)

                    All the authors are Arabs, posting their usual wild conspiracy trip on heavily pro-pally websites. Do you have any CREDIBLE sources to back this up? Gaza has a very small portion of the coastline, and whatever they have is dwarfed by the Leviathan field.

                    Israel would like nothing more than a VIABLE, PEACEFUL Palestinian state in Gaza. That was the entire purpose of the 2005 withdrawal to begin with. But when Israel KNOWS and has PROOF that Hamas will NOT use any gas revenues for the betterment of the population,  but rather for more sophisticated weapons, tunnels, and terror attack...well, that ain't gonna fly. You'll notice Israel has made no claim on this resource, or made any plans for it. When the Palestinian Arabs renounce terror, recognize Israel and demilitarize, then they can join the rest of the world. Hell, these gas revenues could also be used as a "Marshall plan" under international supervision to rebuild Gaza

                  •  Wow. I wish you would diary this. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PeterHug

                    It's a real insight into the depravity of the Israeli Government and it U.S. sponsor.

                    I should not be surprised, but I am.

                    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                    by expatjourno on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:15:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why? It's a bunch of BS (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TLS66

                      It's not accurate, and the sources are incredibly biased. Not ONE mainstream media outlet has given this any credence. More Pallywood propaganda.

                      •  Mainstream media outlets ignore a lot of things. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PeterHug

                        Including Israel's decades-old ethnic cleansing policy, which dates back to 1947.

                        Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                        by expatjourno on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:40:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "decades old ethnic cleansing policy" ? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TLS66

                          Wow..thats some wild accusation. Got any mainstream, legitimate sources to back it up?

                          You know, considering the population of gaza is 20x higher than in 1948, and over 6x higher than in 1967 (when Israel actually got control of Gaza from Egypt), if Israel is engaging in "ethnic cleansing"  then they're doing a piss-poor job of it.

                          "Ethnic cleansing" is what Muslims did in Darfur, by murdering 700,000. "Ethnic cleansing" is what ISIS is doing right now in Iraq, murdering Shia and Christians wherever they can find them. "Ethnic cleansing" is what Assad is doing right  now in Syria, with over 170,000 dead.

                          Get your facts right.

                          •  Part of the reason that Gaza's (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            expatjourno

                            population went up - as I'm sure you know quite well - is that much of the former population of ISRAEL got swept up into it.

                          •  Nope... (0+ / 0-)

                            Even in 1967, the documented population of Gaza was around 360,000. Where did the 5x-6x increase come from? Certainly NOT initial immigration. There is also a large Egyptian population, as Nasser had tried to Egyptianize Gaza while they occupied it.

                          •  My facts are correct. It started in 1947. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PeterHug

                            Zioinsts leveled Palestinian villages and drove at least 100,000 Palestinians into exile. Today it wants them to agree Israel had the right to do that.

                            Apartheid and ethnic cleansing are Israel's policies right now in the West Bank.

                            Confining Palestinians to a ghetto, depriving them of resources, dehumanizing and then murdering them in large numbers are Israel's polices right now in Gaza.

                            Get YOUR facts right.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 12:10:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You haven't actually responded with facts. (0+ / 0-)

                            I gave you documented facts about REAL "ethnic cleansing". Still waiting for your response on how Israel does it. How many hundreds of thousands Has Israel killed?

                            Gaza shares a border with Egypt. Why is Israel expected to open her border and let the terrorists in? Or open Gazans seaports and let the missiles and munitions in?

                          •  Google is not your friend. Too many facts. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PeterHug

                            But do your own research, anyway. I'm not your librarian. Start with Dar Yassin and keep going.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 09:53:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Deir Yassin...vs Darfur or Syria. U mad? (0+ / 0-)

                            107 (mostly, but not all civilians) were killed in the Deir Yassin massacre. That's not even an airliners worth. Doesn't even compare to the Baghdad or Hebron massacres of Jews around  the same period.

                            You dare to compare that to real ethnic cleansing campaigns where hundreds of thousands, or millions have lost lives? Sorry, it's just not even at the same level!

                          •  You don't get to define ethnic cleansing. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PeterHug

                            It's not a question of absolute numbers. It's a question of forcing a population into exile.

                            And by the way, talking about absolute numbers when your heroes have murdered about a thousand people in their latest attempt at ethnic cleansing in Gaza doesn't help your case.

                            What the fuck is wrong with you people?

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 02:25:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hmm..was looking at your previous posts.. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't see any comments or complaints about the real ethnic cleansing examples I brought up? Could it be that that makes you a total hypocrite? Or perhaps you'd like to single out Israel unfairly, amongst all the other nations guilty of far, far worse than simply defending themselves against terrorist attack? I believe that makes you a bigot, if not worse.

                          •  Ad hominem because it's all you've got. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo

                            You can't defend what Israel has done and is doing, so you try to change the subject to other massacres and examples of ethnic cleansing. When that doesn't work, you try change the subject to me.

                            Well shove your pathetic ad hominem attacks right up your ass.

                            The ethnic cleansing by Israel is real all right. And it's the only one paid for with U.S. tax  dollars. When Israel stops taking U.S. aid, I'll stop paying more attention to what it does than I might spend on other nations guiolty of war crimes and atrocities.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:36:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My issue is with your hypocrisy (0+ / 0-)

                            Which has just been exposed further. So for you, the only definition of "ethnic cleansing" is Jews daring to defend themselves from terrorist attacks with YOUR tax dollars. We've established it's not dead Arabs...since you don't care about 170,000 dead in Syria. It's not dead Christians, since you don't care about  the hundreds of thousands killed in Darfur.

                            For you, "ethnic cleansing" is only about a mere 1000 Palestinians killed by the evil J00z, who dare to stop missile and terror attacks on them, and have the temerity to use a few pennies of YOUR money to do it. Got it.

                          •  Take your ad hominems and shove them up your ass. (0+ / 0-)

                            Your insults do nothing to refute my point.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 09:24:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nothing against you personally (0+ / 0-)

                            Just trying to understand the root of your (and indeed many commentators on dkos) hypocrisy on this issue, while ignoring the true instances of evil and massive scale ethnic cleansing in the world.

                          •  No hypocrisy about it. (0+ / 0-)

                            As an American citizen, I am appalled that my government is subsidizing ethnic cleansing. It makes every American who does not speak out complicit in Israel's ethnic cleansing, war crimes and mass murder of innocent men, women and children.

                            The U.S. is not to my knowledge subsidizing and supporting ethnic cleansing elsewhere. In fact, it has helped to stop it in some cases.

                            If Israel were not a U.S. client state and the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, you'd have a valid point. It would still be irrelevant, though, because my hypocrisy or non-hypocrisy is in no way relevant to whether what Israel is doing is right or wrong. My being a better person wouldn't make Israel more wrong and my being a worse person wouldn't make Israel more right.

                            Israel's actions stand or fall on their own merits, not the merits of its supporters and detractors.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:51:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It should appal you more (0+ / 0-)

                            That by YOUR standards for "ethnic cleansing" your government isn't "subsidizing" it, but actually COMMITING it in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course, our "ethnic cleansing" of Native Americans continues.

                          •  You aren't trying to understand anything, (0+ / 0-)

                            and it isn't possible with your thick ideological filter.

                          •  An example of real ethnic cleansing.. (0+ / 0-)

                            Just for reference. Skip about halfway through for the short version.

                            Actual ethnic cleansing

                          •  What Israel is doing is ethnic cleansing. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, Brecht, JVolvo

                            Since 1947, it has been murdering Palestinians and driving them into exile.

                            The fact that there are cases in which more people are murdered and exiled doesn't change that one iota. It's ethnic cleansing whether it is a village or a metropolis.

                            There are larger and smaller cases of genocide as well. And larger and smaller war crimes.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:55:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Self defense is not murder (0+ / 0-)

                            Israel, even in the current conflict is fighting a limited, defensive war, not an aggressive, all-out offensive war. Please take your hyperbole and exaggeration elsewhere. Using your naïve logic, when a policeman shoots a criminal in south-central LA, or downtown Chicago, that's also "ethnic cleansing" ? I've said it before, and I will continue to say it. Intent matters.

                            Ethnic cleansing requires the INTENT to eliminate those of a difference ethnicity, and to lower their population in an area. Have you LOOKED at the population statistics for Gaza? The problem is not that Palestinian Arabs in Gaza are "caged" and "imprisoned". The problem is that they have NOWEHRE TO GO. The rest of the Arab world has sealed the borders from them, and other than a few limited numbers allowed into the US and Europe, most are not welcome elsewhere. The "blockade" is designed to keep weapons and building materials that can be used for military purposes out, not Palestinian Arabs in. Don't forget, the borders were WIDE open with Egypt while Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were running the show for a year..and not many Gazans left.

                          •  I have no doubt about Israel's intent. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, Brecht, poco, JVolvo

                            And it isn't self-defense.

                            Please take your defense of the slaughterers of children elsewhere.

                            Palestine is the Palestinians' home and Palestinians have been the victims of a U.S.-subsidized land grab.

                            You have only to look at the colonies Israel is building in the West Bank to gauge Israel's true intentions. The Zionist project has always been to make the West Bank and Gaza part of Israel and to never allow the formation of a Palestinian state.

                            And you fucking know it.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 11:59:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They were offered ALL of Gaza, and... (0+ / 0-)

                            Almost the entire West Bank. Israeli settlements can be removed. The Palestinians turned it down. So, it's clear they don't want peace or a two state solution. They want to slaughter the Jews and eliminate Israel. It's right there in the fucking Hamas charter! Do you deny it?

                            Oh, and I'm waiting for you to give your stolen land back to the Native American owners.

                          •  That's a lie. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, Brecht, JVolvo
                            They were offered ALL of Gaza, and almost the entire West Bank.
                            Now you're just making shit up.
                            So, it's clear they don't want peace or a two state solution. They want to slaughter the Jews and eliminate Israel. It's right there in the fucking Hamas charter! Do you deny it?
                            Israeli politicians are no better. Just less honest about their racism. And they are the ones slaughtering children and actually acting on their ethnic cleansing plans. As they have since 1947.

                            Sorry to burst your bubble.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 02:19:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Prot7 is Time Out, future readers save ur HRs (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            expatjourno

                            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

                            by JVolvo on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:16:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  IDF: Racist, murderous scum. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JVolvo

                            Ho, ho. Hey, hey. How many kids did you kill today!

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 03:41:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In 12 months, your heroes destroyed 500 villages.. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PeterHug

                            ...and drove almost a million people into exile.

                            That was 1947-48.

                            https://www.youtube.com/...

                            You can FF to about eight minutes in.

                            And, of course, the Israelis have been lying about it ever since, just like they lied about 1967 and just like they lie about avoiding civilian casualties today.

                            Israel is a state founded on racism, terrorism and ethnic cleansing. It continues those policies today.

                            Decades of Israeli propaganda are no match for the facts. And the rest of us are going to shout them from the rooftops.

                            Educate yourself or be the last to know the truth. I don't care either way. Your grotesque ignorance earns you my contempt, but it's not my problem.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 02:46:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This nonsense again? (0+ / 0-)

                            Debunked quite thoroughly here

                          •  No, it isn't. (0+ / 0-)

                            Nice try, though.

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 10:43:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's painful when your worldview conflicts.. (0+ / 0-)

                            With the truth? Kind of how someone raised religious feels when he finds that Evolution is real, or a GOPer feels about global warming.l.

                          •  Project much? (0+ / 0-)

                            Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

                            by expatjourno on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 09:21:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Lausanne conference? (0+ / 0-)

                            Ah, where the Arab nations refused resettlement of the 700,000 Palestinian Arabs who had been displaced?
                            Yeah, that sucked. I will not deny, they were horribly betrayed by their fellow Arabs, and certainly, after fighting an existential war of survival, Israel had no desire to allow a "fifth column" back into the country.

                            So, since you're all about giving land back to the original owners, lets give the entire fricking USA back to the Native American tribes we stole it from?
                            How about just SoCal, AZ, NM and Texas back to Mexico ("occupied" in 1948). Hell, for that matter lets redraw the borders of Europe.
                            While we're at it, we should also give back Pakistan to India, that occurred around the same time, hey?

                            You cannot undo history. What CAN be done is the standard rehabilitation process, given to losers in recent wars, like Germany and Japan, what the Palestinian Arabs have been offered, time and time again.

                            - Recognition of Israel's right to exist
                            - Rehabilitation and lifting of the occupation
                            - A return to pre 1967 borders, excepting Jerusalem (whose Muslim holy sites remain under Muslim control anyways, through the Waqf).
                            If they stopped rejecting these terms, we would have peace.

                      •  Please stop using "Pally" to refer (0+ / 0-)

                        to Palestinians.  It's insulting and racist, and I will start HRing you if you do it again.

        •  If you don't know the opinions of most Israelis, (14+ / 0-)

          they how can you know what they hoped when the Gaza settlements were evacuated?

          And how could it be left "in peace to succeed on its own" when Israel continued to control Gaza's airspace, coastline and almost all of the land crossings?

          Should the Palestinians in Gaza have ignored that?

          •  Its obvious WHY the blockade was put in place (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattoqp

            The blockade didn't start until 2006. Israel left Gaza in 2005. Lets not rewrite history here. Its also always been a partial blockade. Food, medical supplies, etc still get through.

            Now, during the time when Egypt lifted the blockade (yep, that's  right! Their fellow Arabs are equally "at fault" here for sealing the borders).
            - Hamas managed to smuggle in, or import many hundred of sophisticated Iranian, Syrian and Russian missiles, and anti-tank weapons, along with enough humanitarian "building material" thanks to world pressure to build an entire subway system, or multiple Burj Dubai sized skyscrapers. Instead of course, we've seen what they used the concrete and steel for. Not hospitals, or schools, but terror tunnels going deep into Israeli territory, so that they could attack Israeli civilian towns.

            Hamas has shown it cannot be trusted with open borders, since they'll just use them to import weapons from Israel's enemies to attack Israel.

            •  that's not so accurate either (0+ / 0-)

              plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

              by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:56:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, the person doing the rewriting is you. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, expatjourno

              What I wrote is accurate:

              And how could it be left "in peace to succeed on its own" when Israel continued to control Gaza's airspace, coastline and almost all of the land crossings?
              Note that the word I used was "control"; you're the one who wrote "blockade," not me.  Israel continued to control Gaza's airspace, coastline and almost all of the land crossings in 2005. See, e.g., here
              Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described the withdrawal as an historic and joyful day for his people.

              But he told the BBC that some issues remained to be resolved.

              Mr Abbas said factors include Israel's insistence on determining who can enter or leave Gaza, and its control of Gaza's airspace and the waters off its coast.

              or here:
              The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) will administer Gaza while Israel will continue to control its borders, coastline and airspace.
              As for your point about "fellow Arabs at fault, i.e., Egypt and the Rafah crossing, since I wrote "almost all of the land crossings," once again it seems as if you didn't read what I wrote.  I guess you're just too busy trying to write that narrative of Israeli innocence, as if all the blame is on Hamas and Israel just destroys the peace process and kills Palestinian civilians because it has no choice. Hamas certainly has plenty to be held accountable for, and Israel does too.
        •  They did not (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, anna shane, PeterHug, Lepanto

          There was a great deal of animosity.

          In 2006 Israel and the U.S. insisted on elections in Palestinian territories after the corrupt Fatah had been driven out of Gaza and their marble-lined homes looted.

          Surprise!  Hamas won!

          For this crime Israel held back the funds for daily operations.  The siege began.  All because the voters didn't like corruption (and often weaknesses, but that wasn't the main reason for the results).

          Many forget how the current situation started.

          Every time a poor person dies a Republican gets his horns.

          by Black Mare on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:14:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  After Hamas was elected (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeterHug, expatjourno

          it was completely blockaded. Again, look at the west bank to see what non-volence brings.  

          plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

          by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:55:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  doesn't look good for that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature, Lepanto, expatjourno

        history suggests nope.  Golda Mier denied there were Palestinians.

        plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

        by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:54:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You seem to be conflating the Palestinians, (15+ / 0-)

      the Palestinian Authority, Gazans and Hamas.

      President Abbas is committed to non-violent change and has not fired off any rockets into Israel.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't mean to do that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Justanothernyer

        But I really do wish every success to all of the Palestinians (but not so much to Hamas and the other groups that seek to eliminate Israel).

        •  The politics are so complicated it is very (5+ / 0-)

          difficult to keep all the players distinct. Any label for a group is just a name for the convenience of our thinking.

          They reality is infinitely complicated.

          I've been trying to understand the Middle East for decades and get the sad feeling sometimes that the more I study the less I happen to know.

          Sorry if my comment seemed critical, I was really intending only to add information for learning purposes.

          I understood your intent and should have made that clearer. I'm just tired and supposed to be completing our packing.

          But these terrible deaths has upset me so much it is hard to stay focused on packing boxes.

          Cheers.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

          by HoundDog on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 03:12:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is why collective punishment is (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoundDog, Lepanto, barleystraw, capelza

            forbidden by international law.

            It is always complicated.

            We have murderers amongst us here, in the U.S. Serial killers, bombers, mass shooters.

            Who imagines that we could stop them all? Every individual, from every background and imagined cause? We would concede in an instant that crime will always exist and the aggrieved (whether justifiably or not) will always find a way to do harm.

            And given the state of Palestinian life, the number of justifiably aggrieved and struggling people is very high. And when people feel aggrieved, the get together. The form groups. They factionalize. They fight for their lives.

            Who can control it? So far in human history, no one. No one can wipe out every conspiracy and every bit of aggrieved violence, even in societies with the best of living conditions.

            That's why the Israeli state and Israeli advocates act in bad faith when they suggest that this should be possible in Gaza.

            They know it's not. If they get the world to agree that "all that has to happen" is that violent resistance stops, then they have a license, in perpetuity, to do whatever they want there, because no one—no one—can stop it so long as Gaza is what it is.

            They make simple that which is complicated, pretending not to recognize that the more tough life in Gaza becomes, the more complicated things will get.

            There is no politics in Gaza, right? No differences of opinion on how things are to be run. No groups, no factions, no individuality. They're one big living, breathing unity, in ways that no previous society has ever achieved, despite the best attempts of the most totalitarian societies on earth.

            It's all in bad faith. All of it. "Stop the missiles" indeed. So long as parents are losing their children, the missiles will never stop. That's no a value position (should or shouldn't), it's a statement of what we know about human beings.

            They fight for their families. They form groups. They factionalize. They disagree. They are damned, damned hard to control, particularly when they are up against the wall.

            When a few settlers do it, it's just people at the fringe of Israeli society, committing crimes. Who can control them? It's unreasonable to expect a state to be able to stamp out all crime. And after all, aren't they aggrieved peoples?

            But it should be easy for Palestinians in Gaza to do this. Nevermind that they have a tiny fraction of the resources or day-to-day infrastructure of society and state available to them, or that conditions are infinitely worse, or that parents fear with infinitely more realism for the survival of their children.

            So we'll just kill indiscriminantly when Palestinian society can't impose total order on a desperate population in ways that even comfortable societies can't.

            It's all nonsense. It's all in bad faith. But nobody is willing to say it, for historical reasons.

            -9.63, 0.00
            "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

            by nobody at all on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:52:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is a really excellent point nobody. You (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza

              should post it as is.

              Just to build on what you say what if these missals are being shot of by a bunch of sociopath teenage criminals. and Hamas is taking the blame.

              Then a few sociopaths in Israel see an excuse to play with their military toys.

              Then a new generation of Arabs are radicalized and develop WMDs, with 1.5 billion its onlyi  matter of time before their own Einstein comes along.

              Etc. etc. a reinforcing feedback loop of criminal sociopathic criminals causing hundreds of thousands of casualties and global war.

              Chilling and poignant. Thanks for commenting.

              Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

              by HoundDog on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 01:30:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  but that's where you have to look (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lepanto, barleystraw

          at the West Bank, how that has been getting worse and worse, with marauding settlers, special highways just for settlers, enough water for settlers, Israel collects the taxes and keeps them back, for varied reasons.  Endless waits at checkpoints, beatings of children by Israeli soldiers, the fence that took land and divided farms from homes.  Kids near the fence shot by soldiers.  That's where there is no Hamas and where there is cooperation.    

          plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

          by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:02:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He's also viewed very badly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco

        In both WB and Gaza. He does not represent them.

        Every time a poor person dies a Republican gets his horns.

        by Black Mare on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:16:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They need a better strategy than theyve got. (3+ / 0-)

      Thats pretty obvious.

      •  what would you suggest? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        la urracca, poco, Lepanto

        they're screwed no matter what they do. Israel is going to take more and more of the land and water, leaving Palestinians confined to tiny, crowed, unsustainable enclaves like Gaza.

        and that's if the Palestinians are lucky, and Israel does not follow the advice of Sharon's son and others who just want to kill them all.

        the best option is to leave. but they have no place to go.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:21:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But this is their home. Why should (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, poco, Lepanto

          they be forced out? Why should they leave?

        •  Leaving would be appropriate. But as you said, (5+ / 0-)

          nobody will take them. My suggestion would be nonviolent resistance and demand for a single Israeli state with Israeli citizenship. If that succeds, fantastic. If it fails, it exposes Israel to the world as a bunch of racists, and thats a healthy prelude to divestment and boycott. The idea of a Muslim majority in Israel scares the shit out of Israelis far more than Hamas. Theyll move to give them real sovereignty or theyll face a pretty obviously bad set of circumstances, mainly by watching support collapse in the Democratic Party in America. They have to back Israel into a corner as a racist, republican, apartheid state.

          The key for them is to turn this from a violent, religious conflict into a nonviolent campaign against racism. Thats the best possible weapon they can deploy.

          But first they have to give up the idea they can defeat Israel with weapons and Islam. It just isnt working, obviously.

          •  Israel is already exposed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lepanto

            it's new in the US but nowhere else. The Israeli plan is endless occupation for the west bank, that is official, and total siege for Gaza. That's really it.

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

            by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:04:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's what BDS is all about, IMO. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lepanto

            It's the way forward for the Palestinians.  With luck it will continue to expand as it has been, and it will then force the Israelis to get serious about living only within their actual borders.

            Israel is very scared of BDS, and they should be.  It's much more of an existential threat to their hallucinogenic way of life than Iran is.

    •  But they are not doing any of this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Mare

      except for firing a few rockets after much provocation by Netanyahu to get them to do exactly that
      and digging tunnels because they and all the people of Gaza are all imprisoned by israel and Egypt

      •  If that's the only reason they're digging tunnels, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Proteus7, mattoqp

        why do they need handcuffs and tranquilizers in the tunnels?

        and digging tunnels because they and all the people of Gaza are all imprisoned by israel and Egypt
        •  So, the Hamas plan was... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeniseDenefyou

          Apparently, they were going to put 100-200 fighters in each tunnel (over 40 of them) and break out on Rosh Hashanah into Israeli towns and villages, massacre as many civilians as possible and kidnap a few hundred. This would have been horrific.

          Either that, or, if you're a Pallywood apologist, then you believe Hamas was going to break out, find the nearest mall, and go shopping, dropping teddy bears along the way inside Israeli towns and kibbutzim.

          •  apparently (0+ / 0-)

            that would have been impossible.  The two guys that tried got caught. If the tunnels go to the Israeli side, they can be found on the Israeli side.

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

            by anna shane on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:05:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Surely you're not that ignorant? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DeniseDenefyou

              The tunnels were deep underground, and in many cases, the exists were not finished yet, as they were going for a simultaneous explosive breech. The mere fact that you even attempt to minimize the seriousness of this exposes your true nature.

              •  oh for pity's sake (0+ / 0-)

                of course they are not acceptable, but the one time they tried to use them, ineffective?  It's not very persuasive as an excuse to burn up children in their own homes.   If they come up on the Israeli side, they can be found there.  

                plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                by anna shane on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 12:14:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They can "be found there"? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattoqp

                  After massacring a few hundred israeli civilians, and taking a few hundred more hostage? Ah..yeah. Got it.

                  Because naturally if we knew about 9/11 in advance,  and new where it was coming from, we would try to hi them hard with everything we had. Oh wait, we did go into Afghanistan afterwards and kill 50,000+ civilians, but hey, we're allowed to defend ourselves. Only Israel is required to lay down and die.

                  •  oh as if (0+ / 0-)

                    that was such a lame plan, that failed at it's first try and gave Israel a rare PR victory.  Which stopped working cause it's being over-hyped.  Make up a massacre why don't you.

                    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                    by anna shane on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 08:56:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Make up a massacre? (0+ / 0-)

                      Sure..because the purpose of digging 40 plus tunnels deep into Israel, directly under Israeli towns and villages what...um..what exactly? Those tunnels cost tens of millions each to build, enough cement and concrete to build multiple skyscrapers, and over 160 of their own children's lives.

                      So..what do YOU think the tunnels were for?

    •  Palestinians are concerned with basic survival. (4+ / 0-)

      Hr'ed for accusing a people under attack of "stealing the world's aid money."

      Gaza is, therefore like, a major prison camp. The 1.8 million people who are crammed into 360 sq km are unable to move from Gaza to the West Bank or other areas and are subject to great harassment and abuse. Israel controls its airspace, territorial water and border crossings. Only Gaza's border with Egypt is open.

      There is asymmetrical killing in Gaza too. More Palestinians are killed by Israeli rocket fire than the number killed by Hamas missiles. Thirty or more Israelis have been killed this time round against 800 or more Gazans killed till yesterday.

      Since 2006, Israel has been 'collectively punishing' the people of Gaza for electing a Hamas government...
      Israel has stopped supply of all daily essentials to the Gazans; simple things like coriander, ginger and even daily newspapers are not allowed in.

      Due to this lack of supply of fresh food the children in Gaza are the most malnourished in the world. Together with this, the unemployment rate in Gaza is over 50% of the population...
      Today, 30% of the people of Gaza are below the poverty line.

      http://www.thedailystar.net/...

      Maya Angelou: “There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”

      by JoanMar on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:33:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish Israel would stop grabbing land... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, capelza

      and keeping Palestinians from moving freely - and using a grotesque level of force against a captive mass of people in what is really a big jail.  

      I wonder what we expect people to do when nothing is done as olive groves are bulldozed, new settlements are constantly encroaching on Palestinian lands, and there is no real autonomy allowed a people.  Palestinians live ten years less than the average Israeli, which makes clear what a terrible situation this is.

      How can my fellow Americans praise the founding of our nation and not see that the Founding Fathers would be considered "terrorists" and "militants" by the British?  There was justifiable actions by the new nation against the forces that sought to control and limit their freedom.

      I am Jewish and I can see that Israel has been a bully for many years now.  They really don't ever make solid and meaningful compromises.  They just keep tightening the grip on the Palestinians and build more settlements, further limit freedom of movement and commerce, etc.

      It seems unfathomable that those who were tyrannized with the Pogroms and Holocaust in Europe have decided to become the tyrants against the Palestinians in the Middle East.  

      I wish Israel would just stop already in this constant desire to push their might against the Palestinians.  Just move back to the old borders - and be a bastion of decency and democracy in the region.

      We cannot solve the problems that we have created with the same thinking that created them." - Albert Einstein

      by CarolinW on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:40:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unacceptable HRs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeniseDenefyou

      Where is the violation of DKos rules?

      And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

      by The Lone Apple on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:52:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

    I appreciate your wise perspective here.  

  •  Tipped, recc'd. Appreciated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue, poco

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:42:49 PM PDT

  •  Eloquent, compassionate message. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calvino Partigiani, jbsoul, poco

    Thank you for posting here.

  •  How many deaths and how much destruction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dallasdunlap

    Would be enough to believe Israel earned the right to not exist?

    •  I don't get this comment. (4+ / 0-)

      And I'm highly critical of Israeli policies and actions toward the Palestinians.

    •  Y'know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, asterkitty

      I don't want to turn this very thoughtful diary into another I/P HR fest so I'm refraining from hitting the left circle.

      But this is exactly the problem that I see with these discussions.

      We don't, in general, deny other nations the right to exist, no matter how terrible they are. North Korea, Iran, Iraq (before we broke then bought it), Syria, etc.

      But too many people jump right to the conclusion that either Israel or Palestine must cease to exist, as though all the citizens of either nation agree with what their respective representatives are doing.

      No population is monolithic and we can mostly understand that until it comes to I/P.

      No matter how belligerent other nations become, we don't call into question their very right to exist.

      So with that being said, I'm really tempted to HR this comment.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:23:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are confusing people with government (0+ / 0-)

        Entities. USSR is no longer a nation , it was decided the people would be better off for the USSR to no longer exist. Changes were enacted it was good for some and not so good for others. History is full of nations that no longer exist, many because of decisions made by our own government, Hawaii, Texas, yet we still have Hawaiians and texans. It is possible to eliminate a nation for the betterment of all people living under that nations rule. The flip side is if the nation is stable it can destabilize it making it far worse for the peoples living there. History is also chalk full of nations being destroyed and made far worse for the inhabitants by other nations intervention.

        •  And how to you propose that we eliminate (0+ / 0-)

          Israel as a nation without eliminating Israeli's? You have to realize that eliminating it as a nation would be more destructive than what happened to the USSR/Russia.

          The same applies to Palestine.

          The people of both Palestine and Israel deserve a nation. There can be a two-state solution and it would be much cleaner and simpler than obliterating one of the nations.

          Do you really think that if Israel ceases to exist the problems that the region faces and has faced for decades will cease to exist?

          This is what I mean by people getting hyper-emotional about the issue in a way that clouds judgement. I think Israel is acting belligerently. I think Hamas is aggravating the situation. A pox on both of their houses that is causing a lot of death and destruction.

          But Hamas is more or less neutered when it comes to waging war on Israel. Israel can fight back and then some. That is the issue at hand. How much does one fight back before becoming a bully?

          And how responsible are we willing to hold the citizens of both I and P when it comes to this bloodbath? Me? I think the USA is a belligerent bully quite often (see Iraq, etc). We are indiscriminately killing people all over the world both explicitly (the "war on terror") and implicitly (the "war on drugs").

          It's emotion that drives us to say that one nation should cease to exist. It's not rational and it's not just, but it makes us feel better to say the words.

          There are plenty of people around the globe who wave signs and believe in the sentiment of "Death to America."

          I understand where the emotion comes from. But the sentiment does nothing to solve the problem; indeed, it makes the problem worse.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:05:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Same thinking again- USSR's elimination was not (0+ / 0-)

            The elimination of the people under its control. Elimination of the Israeli govt and nation does not mean the people of Israel have to go without a govt or nation or security. Asking me to propose a solution to the I/P problem is naive.

      •  Israeli language (5+ / 0-)

        Only Israel plays the "right to exist" game.

        Not buying.

        Every time a poor person dies a Republican gets his horns.

        by Black Mare on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:20:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And the U.S. asks (0+ / 0-)

    'Israel, I'm shocked at your militarism and aggression and disproportionate response that kills so many innocents. Where did you learn that?'

    And Israel says, "You, U.S., I learned it from you!"

  •  Short documentary about 10 American Jews (5+ / 0-)

    who have changed their minds.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/...

  •  For this American Jew, the genocide that's being (20+ / 0-)

    called Israel's defense is beyond horrific and unconscionable.  It makes me deeply ashamed of Israel.  I feel the descendants of the Holocaust have become like those who herded Jews into the ovens to "cleanse" their country.  My relatives scream for death to ALL Arabs because they have attacked Israel.  That, in my opinion, is just screaming for wholesale murder, plain and simple.  The situation is beyond all reason and Americans must stand up and demand Israel STOP.  We must pull away our unconditional support for a nation bent on cleansing themselves of The Other.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:03:53 PM PDT

    •  To call what Israel has done genocide is utterly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA, dcg2, Proteus7, mattoqp

      ridiculous.  

      •  The deliberate killing of a large group of people (17+ / 0-)

        based on their ethnicity or religious belief is the definition of genocide.  Nothing ridiculous about it.

        Best. President. Ever.

        by Little Lulu on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:29:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israel has killed people based on their location (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Proteus7, mattoqp

          not their ethnicity or religion.  Even under your definition, therefore, Israel's actions are not genocide.

          Moreover your definition is wrong.  According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such" What is Genocide?

          By your definition any killing of any members of a particular ethnic or racial group based on their race or ethnicity would be genocide; instead of genocide being a term to describe a dozen particularly horrible actions it would be something that has occurred fairly routinely.  

          In practice you seem to be defining it even more broadly. That is if you reject my first statement, then every act of war which kills civilians has been defined by you to be genocide.

          •  No, it's a kind of genocide. (5+ / 0-)

            It's been widely and authoritatively reported that many Israelis, including top government officials, are now openly calling for depopulating Gaza.

            •  To my knowledge one government official (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Proteus7, mattoqp

              Moshe Feiglin, who is a member of the governing coalition but not in the cabinet, has called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

              Fortunately, this evil person is not in a position to determine Israeli policy.  (Though I remember a time not that long ago when someone who held his views would have been expelled from the Knesset instead of being made Deputy Speaker and included as a member of the governing coalition.)

              (Also, I suppose I should note that even ethnic cleansing which is what this asshole seems to be advocating terrible as it is is not genocide.)

          •  legalistic argument (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, poco, CarolinW, capelza
            Israel has killed people based on their location, not their ethnicity or religion.
            and why are these lucky duckies located where they are?

            oh yeah, they're Palestinian Arabs who are not Jewish.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:35:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and just how did those people get to that location (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza

              does anyone really need to be reminded that the 1.8 million people locked up in Gaza are overwhelmingly refugees and descendants of refugees chased out of Mandate Palestine by the Israeli?

              We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

              by Lepanto on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:35:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Definition of genocide passed by the UN General (5+ / 0-)

            Assembly in 1948:
              Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article 2 CPPCG)

            That sounds a lot like what's happening in Gaza.

        •  Correct, "large" being the operative word.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justanothernyer, mattoqp

          Large, as in Syria, with 175,000 dead. or Darfur, with over half a million. Rwanda..Cambodia, etc. Those are genocides.

          Sorry, but a thousand people (over 60% of them combatants) is not a genocide. It barely comes  up to modern warfare "collateral damage" standards. After all, we killed over 4000 in Fallujiah alone.

          Before you go throwing big words around, realize that intent,and scope, matter.

          •  Estimates of the proportion of Palestinian dead (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, vernonbc, Lepanto

            in Gaza who were combatants range from 15-28%.  No credible source has claimed that over 60% or even a majority were combatants.

            •  Some new numbers (0+ / 0-)

              You're right, its not as high as I had heard. This site  appears to have a more reliable breakdown Gaza casualty analysis

              The issue of course when dealing with a terrorist organization is "who is a civilian", since there  is no regular military. Is it every male between the ages of 18 and 40? What of the cases of 13yo kids running towards troops with suicide vests? Women throwing grenades? Innocent military age men who just want to GTFO of there  and protect their families?

              This is the horror of irregular warfare. Regardless though, the original point still stands. The overall numbers are far  lower than other conflicts, and nowhere near the "genocide"  range.

    •  This tweet sums it up: (5+ / 0-)

      "Dear Mr. Netanyahu, There is a word for an 80 percent civilian casualty rate: terrorism.

       Sincerely, A concerned Jew"

      https://twitter.com/...

      Israel is a terrorist state that is committing war crimes. There is no nuance to this issue - either you believe the mass murder of innocent children is wrong or you don't.

      And for the inevitable garbage about "self defense" that is going to come up - when you are ILLEGALLY occupying the land of people and actively oppressing them you don't get to claim "self defense". People have the right to resist their oppressors - it is racist colonial bullshit to claim otherwise.

  •  I would like to add something.... (24+ / 0-)

    to this discussion that I am not certain has been discussed.

    When an American Jew or Jew from anywhere outside of Israel -- like myself -- expresses an opinion that is against what the IDF is perpetrating in Gaza, and is then called names like "Pro Hamas", "Anti Semite", "Self Hating Jew", etc., there is something I like to keep in mind.

    While Israel as a sovereign state has every right to define who is an Israeli citizen, permanent resident, etc., etc..,
    Israel  -- its government and its people -- have neither the right, nor the responsibility, nor the purpose to define either for me or for the rest of the world's Jews, who is a Jew or what kind of Jews we should be.

  •  Well said! I'm a Catholic U.S. citizen, and I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott, la urracca, blueoasis

    agree with all of that.

  •  This diary captures my feelings exactly (10+ / 0-)

    very hard to understand why those who defend Israel can't see what I see. And I'm a Jew.

    And really, I fear that this kind of action is the worst thing Israel can do if it ever wants to live in peace. So tragic. So very sad. For us all.

  •  A different sort of litmus test (6+ / 0-)

    I don't defend Israel's actions in this latest outburst of violence and massacre. I believe it has a right to exist and defend itself, but this ain't that IMO. This is massive and disproportionate overreaction and mis-reaction, that I believe is motivated less by a legitimate desire to defend Israel and Israelis than by a desire to rally support for Likud and against any chance of real peace.

    Bibi is a corrupt, paranoid, dishonest and megalomaniacal shitbag who's actually hurting Israel and Israelis right now, in order to strengthen himself and his party politically, prevent a two-state solution, and create a "Greater Israel" one-state solution in which a minority of Jews dominate a majority of Arabs and Muslims in Apartheid-like fashion (which will catastrophically fail, of course, likely leading to horrible consequences for everyone).

    That said, what I don't understand is why, whenever a similar or even worse massacre occurs elsewhere, either in nearby Syria or Egypt or Iraq, or further away in Africa or Asia, or just recently in eastern Ukraine, there is not even a tiny fraction of similar outrage here and elsewhere. Sure, there's perfunctory "concern" and even some outrage, but it all dies down within days, never to be mentioned again. Why is Israel singled out each time? Its crimes should be condemned. But why are they so disproportionately condemned compared to other such crimes? I will never for the life of me get that.

    And please, don't tell me that it's because the US supports Israel and not these other regimes, or because Israel is such a close ally, or because Israel is rightly held to a higher standard. Why should that be?

    I have theories, but I'll keep them to myself.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 04:58:06 PM PDT

    •  outrage (9+ / 0-)

      I definitely do think it is because of our connection to Israel, not just militarily but in international law, we are always blinded when it comes to Israel while Europe and others hold to the law. Also, their advanced military is highly reminiscent of ours, and their propaganda too. In arguing with an Israeli friend, I heard echoes of "They hate us for our freedoms," which was the refrain that enraged me so much in 2001-2003. No, actually they hate us for our military actions and economic domination. My Israeli friend thinks it's absurd that the blockade, state harassment, water rights, food rationing, or any other kind of injustice have anything to do with this. The situations in other states are much more fluid and difficult to understand. This one is a chess game that allows us more access. It allows clear identification of who has power and who does not. I think all of those situations contribute to the rage and anguish we feel.

      •  I think that there are actually many reasons (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer, edsbrooklyn, mattoqp

        for this. The one that I always come back to in my mind is antisemitism, both the overt kind we normally associate with it, i.e. people who knowingly hate or look down at Jews, and the subconscious and I think far more common kind that has filtered into the collective unconscious of both gentiles and Jews over the centuries, in which people, without fully if at all realizing it, are tougher on Jews than on gentiles.

        It's no different from subconscious bigotry of any kind that used to be more or less mainstream, even acceptable, and only recently became unacceptable and submerged, at least among more liberal-minded people, e.g. homophobia, misogyny, anti-black racism, etc. I think we've got a ways to go before we wipe out such bigotries, however submerged, at least among decent people. They've been around for centuries and they're not going away overnight.

        So, I think that on some, buried level, even "liberal" people--many of them Jews themselves--tend to be harder on Jews than non-Jews, even if they don't realize that they're doing this. It's in our cultural DNA to do this.

        Clearly, though, this is not the only reason. It's one of many. Another is that because Israel is a western country, we are understandably if unjustifiably more horrified when it does such things as when non-western countries do (unjustifiably because this is an inherently racist view that ascribes more moral qualities to western than to non-western cultures, and also because, of course, some of the worst atrocities in history have been committed by western nations, often in the name of western "culture").

        There's the fact that we are closely allied with Israel, that we sell and give it billions of armaments and weapons and other economic aid, that we have close trade and cultural relations with Israel, and that Israel has a bigger political influence in the US than pretty much any other country.

        There's also the revulsion at a former victim become victimizer, in fact clearly and cynically exploiting its former victimization (as a country and people), made worse by the fact that it's a democracy that in most other ways is a very open and free society. While people are sunbathing and drinking cocktails in Tel Aviv beaches, 50 miles away innocent people are getting blown away. That's not the case in Ukraine, Syria or Sierra Leone. The list goes on and on.

        Still, I keep coming back to the first one in my mind, subconscious antisemitism. I think it plays a bigger role than many people are willing to admit.

        Overt, "I hate Jews" and "Jews control the world" antisemitism plays a lesser role in this, I believe, at least in the west, and I reject knee-jerk accusations of it whenever someone criticizes Israel. But I do believe that a more insidious form of it is more at play than we realize, having been conditioned in the west over the centuries to view Jews as lesser, evil, malicious, sneaky, conniving, mean, etc., and as the untrustworthy "other".

        So when a Jewish state does something clearly evil, I think that we're quicker to jump on and condemn it, sort of like how we're often quicker to condemn someone we dislike than someone we like, even if they both committed the same misdeed, not fully understanding why, or that it's not like any other form of natural revulsion. It's one of many subconscious biases we have in the west that we should acknowledge and seek to rid ourselves of, individually and collectively. As a Jew, I'm more attuned to this than gentiles.

        Many will disagree. That's fine. I'm not an authority on any of this. Just thinking out loud, thoughts I've been thinking to myself for years.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:55:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a thought on this. (5+ / 0-)

      The other places that you mention do not have political lobbying arms like AIPAC, who attempt to influence the US Congress, US politics and fund political campaigns of one candidate or another.

    •  we don't pay for those massacres? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, poco, Lepanto, capelza

      our pols don't run around saying "we must support Russia/Rwanda/wherever"?

      just some thoughts to consider.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:36:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I think that we have all been pretty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, la urracca, Lepanto

      outraged about Iraq for a long time. People have also been
      pretty exercised about Syria and Egypt. Anf Ukraine? The Ukrainian situation has knocked Gaza out as lead story.
         But Americans need to be exercised about Israel's actions in Gaza because our country is bankrolling Israel, keeping them armed, and our politicians are issuing statements rubber stamping the policy of massacre.
         We supposedly have some influence in our government, and our government preumably has some influence on the Isreli government. We need to make it loud and clear that we don' like this.

    •  I think a lot of it is simply an anti-military ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      I think a lot of it is simply an anti-military sentiment among some on the left. Particularly after Vietnam, many started thinking of military as evil or bad. Therefore, the fact that Israel has the stronger military makes them the bad guy for so many on the left. The reason why they built that up, the history, the decades-long siege and threats or terrorism pales to those on the left with the evil of having a military and using it.

      This is an unusual conflict in my opinion, because the David in this case (surrounded on all sides by mortal enemies just waiting for the chance to wipe them out) happens to have the stronger military. If they didn't, they wouldn't be here, but that doesn't matter.

      Ultimately I think for some on the left using military might is worse than acts of terrorism. I know that doesn't explain why they don't get as upset at Syria's military or other countries against their own people but I think civil wars are harder to understand or take sides on.

      I don't know, I could be totally wrong. Just a theory I've been thinking about.

      •  That sounds plausible (0+ / 0-)

        as a partial, but only partial, explanation, given that Russia has been providing military aid to Ukrainian separatists and the Syrian government. But it makes sense that the anti-Vietnam movement of the 60's, which largely had nothing to protest once that war ended, went looking for other targets. But there was a 15 or so year gap between the end of the Vietnam War and the start of large-scale Israeli military crackdowns on Palestinians in the first Intifada.

        I think this is overdetermined and there's many likely causes. But, at least in the US, and likely Europe, Israel's military actions do appear to me to be the most condemned of all military and paramilitary actions in the world. And I still believe that a subconscious culturally embedded form of antisemitism that is more inclined to condemn Jews than non-Jews, and expect better behavior from Jews than non-Jews, along with a desire to project our own (the US and west) collective guilt and shame over our past such atrocities against other peoples, onto a more recent victimizer, are major causes of this.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:45:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Know how many UN resolutions on Israel US vetoed? (0+ / 0-)

      And ONLY the US vetoed? And we complained about Russian/Soviet vetoes against resolutions we thought were right.
      I'm really concerned about the stranglehold Israel has on the US government. It's like it rates like 0.1 percenters.

      "Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free" - Queen Elsa

      by fourthcornerman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:14:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The World is Awash in weaponry, and (0+ / 0-)

    for people who see every problem as a nail, and every weapon as a hammer, those weapons will be used against innocents. We are enabling people who have no self control and violent impulses to destroy on a scale unimaginable only a few years ago.

    That is the issue. We have policy choices. We can stand against Arms Proliferation, War Budgets, High Tech developments, and work for peaceful communication between all people.

    It can work, and it will eventually work, because it has to if we want to give civilization a chance. The results of our failure to contain military expenses, glorification of militarism, curtail exports at the cost of jobs and capital, and in other words, Do The Right Thing is now costing Palestine and Israel.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:18:34 PM PDT

  •  Thanks eclift. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca, Lepanto

    A human tragedy, and there's enough blame to go around. We have enabled this. We have bought the propaganda for years about the bad guy/good guy status over there. Now the veil is lifting away, and we see the truth.

    Bibi has to go.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 05:20:22 PM PDT

  •  we need a cease-fire (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dcg2, poco, la urracca, Bethesda 1971, mattoqp


    we need cooler heads to prevail, and we need a peace accord.  I hope that isn't too controversial!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 07:00:59 PM PDT

  •  My concern is that this divides this site (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dcg2, edsbrooklyn, Proteus7, mattoqp

    and progressives generally.  

    This is a great place -- one of the few mass forces for good in this country.  No one shouid be driven away.  I won't be.

    Jews have always been among the vanguard of the left, in the '30s through the '60s.

    But since the '70s, there has hardly been any "left."  One big reason is that Jews become alienated at the virulence of anti-Israel sentiment by others on the left with whom they would otherwise be allied.  And I'm not talking about at times like this, but e.g., during the Iraq war protests, when demonstrations were led by "Answer" and anti-Iraq war protests included a lot of anti-Israel components.

    My parents, born in 1915-16 were very liberal -- one even a "card carrier" in the '30s.  But when I-P controversies erupted in the last 40 years, they had a visceral defensive reaction.  I've inherited that.  Even though I think Netanyahu is an asshole and the West Bank should be cleared of settlements and talks with Iran must continue.

    Sorry -- it's who I am.

    •  A lot of truth to this - NT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bethesda 1971
    •  Yes. The accusations of genocide constantly thr... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bethesda 1971, mattoqp

      Yes. The accusations of genocide constantly thrown around by the element of the left don't help either. If Israel wanted to systematically kill all the Palestinians, they would have done so a long time ago and there would be a lot more than a (way too high) couple thousand casualties in this round of fighting.

      Not only does it make rational discussion impossible and cause those who want Israel to choose peace to get their back up, but it's incredibly disrespectful to victims of actual genocide, including Jews and others whose enemies have literally tried to wipe them all off the earth based on ethnicity and nothing else.

  •  Don't focus on what others say... (0+ / 0-)

    ...about what you think. Just say what you think.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 09:21:20 PM PDT

  •  There were thousands in SF today (0+ / 0-)

    protesting Israel's genocide in Gaza.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 12:06:55 AM PDT

  •  You lost me at "approaching genocide". To parap... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattoqp

    You lost me at "approaching genocide".

    To paraphrase Atrios, people keeping using that word. I do not think they know what that word means.

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