Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 19, 2012

Gaza: Ceasefire Conditions And Interests

According to the BBC's Paul Danahar the Israeli conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza are:
  1. No hostile fire of any kind to come from Gaza into Israel including smalls arms fire at Israeli troops near the border
  2. Hamas fighters must be stopped from traveling to the Sinai to carry out attacks against Israel at the Sinai/Israel border
  3. Hamas must not be able to rearm - International and regional actors needed for this
  4. A ceasefire must not simple be a "time-out" for Hamas, it must be an extended period of quiet for Southern Israel

Israel wants Egypt to play a "key role" in this, guaranteeing the points 2 and 3. That is just another of many attempt of dumping its Gaza problem onto Egypt. Morsi would be crazy to agree to that. There will thereby be no guarantees.

According to an U.S. official Israel also wants the Hamas official "in charge of guns" in Gaza to guarantee the ceasefire. That is a great idea but Israel killed the most able guy, Ahmed al-Jaabari, capable of not only controlling Hamas but also the other fighting groups, right at the beginning of its new war on Gaza. That has significantly reduced the chances for a long term ceasefire. There will be promises from other groups to hold fire but there can again be no guarantees.

Hamas has, of course, also demands. It wants guarantees that:

  1. Israel stops its bombardments,
  2. promises not to enter Gaza,
  3. ends targeted assassinations and
  4. lifts its economic blockade of the Gaza strip.

Whatever the outcome no one, not even the U.S, could guarantee Israel's promises and Hamas certainly knows that Israeli promises are usually not worth the paper they are written on.

But these are now the opening position to what looks likely to become protracted negotiations.

Netanyahoo wants to win the demanded concessions solely by continuing the air war, bombing this or that house of some Hamas functionary or another police station into rubble. In principle Israel could continue to do so for weeks. But after more than 1,400 strikes on Gaza all obvious targets on its list have already been hit. What is it going to bomb next if not civil infrastructure and the civil population?

Netanyahoo, as well his allies in Washington and London, fears a ground war in Gaza. His troops would likely get bogged down in urban guerrilla fighting and would take losses from the new arms Hamas acquired from Libya and elsewhere. Public opinion in Israel would turn against Netanyahoo should any invasion of Gaza end up with high casualty rates on the Israeli side.

But if Israel continues the bombing the pressure from the outside to end the war will increase. There are this time many more journalists in Gaza than there were in 2008. Detailed news and pictures of each and every civilian killed is getting out and with each of them Israel's position in the court of world opinion will sink further.

The bombing campaign has a time limit and a ground war is too dangerous. Those are the weaknesses of Netanyahoo's position.

Hamas knows those weaknesses. As longer it holds off a ceasefire while continuing to fire some rockets into Israel the better its negotiation position will become. It will probably try to goad Netanyahoo into a ground war. One rocket hit with a high Israeli causality rate might be sufficient to achieve that. After such a hit public pressure, especially from the right, to go "all in" would increase. At some point Netanyahoo might have no other way to end the stalemate but by committing more forces. Hamas is likely well prepared for that moment.

As long as Hamas keeps its fighting spirit and does not give in to appeasement pressure from Qatar and other U.S. clients it has a good chance of - in the end - coming away stronger while seeing Netanyahoo weakened.

Posted by b on November 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

Comments

Perhaps Benji has banked on the assault on the Sudanese weapons dumps, the destruction of tunnels connecting Gaza to the outside world and now the aerial bombardment of Gaza as having severely hampered the ability of Hamas to sustain its rocket fire.

As a side note, why has there been a scramble for peace talks over Gaza, but a mad rush for regime change in Syria? Why wasn't peace given a chance in Syria? I wonder..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 19, 2012 12:49:37 PM | 1

Getting red of Netanyahu wont solve the Palestinian's problem. That problem is Israel. In fact, Israel, and its network of support, has become the major problem of the world. The political fall of Netanyahu will only be a change of faces smirking to the public.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 19, 2012 12:55:51 PM | 2

It is remarkable how successful Israel was in 2008-9 in stopping journalists getting into Gaza. All we got was views from outside - from the Israeli side of the border.

It wasn't likely to happen again, though I don't suppose Israel thought of that.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 19, 2012 1:14:45 PM | 3

With Italian Fund, Qatar Again Aids Europe
The fund is Qatar's most recent foray into helping the struggling European economy. As the global market turmoil deepened in 2008
Qatar invests €1bn in Italian food, fashion and luxury goods firms

Posted by: nikon | Nov 19, 2012 1:26:44 PM | 4

This will never fly..

Posted by: Zico | Nov 19, 2012 1:40:55 PM | 5

no 4, thanks that explains it
Italy recognizes Syria opposition bloc

Posted by: somebody | Nov 19, 2012 1:45:17 PM | 6

@2, no such thing as a "Jewish" state, anymore than a Left-handers state, a gay state or a Mohican state.

Posted by: yes_but | Nov 19, 2012 1:59:19 PM | 7

I think the only way this conflict will end is the Palestinians also adopting a policy or targeted assassination of Israeli leaders/officials. From lowest to the highest ranking official.

This is far cheaper and very effective than what a thousand kassams can achieve.

At the moment, Israeli leaders feel emboldened to wage wars because they can get away with it..But once they begin to fall one by one, things will change.

Posted by: Zico | Nov 19, 2012 2:01:03 PM | 8

The bombing campaign has a time limit and a ground war is too dangerous.

Exactly that has always been Israels weakness. The Palestinians have nothing so they have nothing to lose. Israel has got plenty to lose. For starters the longer air raid sirens are going off in Tel Aviv, the worse the economic impact. Using 50,000 dollar missiles to knock out a few hundred dollar rockets is a good way to go broke fast.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 19, 2012 2:29:25 PM | 9

Maybe Qatar will close the Israeli Trade Bureau?

"The Amir of Qatar, His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has underlined the importance of having an influential Arab stance internationally to stop bloodshed of the Palestinians and to prevent any new Israeli aggression, particularly on the Gaza Strip. He stressed that it’s time that Israelis should lift the siege on the Gaza Strip."

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/November/middleeast_November291.xml&section=middleeast&col=

Posted by: dh | Nov 19, 2012 2:53:04 PM | 10

10 from your link

He added that the issue of Syria is quite different and that in Syria, there is a peaceful demand for dignity.

In respect of the proposal of Arab and UN peacekeepers in Syria to stop the bloodshed, and the extent to which this proposal can be implemented now, Shaikh Hamad said that it is a difficult issue.

LOL

Posted by: somebody | Nov 19, 2012 3:05:15 PM | 11

from Justin at antiwar dot com:

"... According to Gershon Baskin, initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the military wing of Hamas, was ready for a peace deal — which was in the works in the days before Jabari was assassinated in a targeted Israeli strike:

“My indirect dealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’s authorization to deal directly with me….

“Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.”

This nails it: it shows why Israel escalated a series of routine border incidents into a major conflict: Hamas was ready to negotiate. Jabari was going to drop a gigantic “peace bomb” on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu and his cabinet launched a preemptive strike to make sure it never hit its target. The last thing they wanted was peace breaking out in spite of their systematic provocations.

Hamas is useful to Netanyahu and his coalition partner, wannabe ethnic cleanser Avigdor Lieberman: or, at least, the version of Hamas they have successfully sold to the West. The hasbara brigade in the American media regularly portrays the Palestinian resistance group as inherently and intransigently opposed to Israel’s very existence, pointing to its charter — which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state — and posits from this the utter impossibility of negotiations or even coexistence.

Yet Jabari’s peace feelers belie this simplistic nonsense and show that Hamas, like every other political entity on earth, is concerned first and foremost with maintaining its own grip on power. In order to do that, Hamas has to actually govern: that is, provide the inmates inhabitants of Gaza with the basic prerequisites of civilized life, i.e., access to food, shelter, and protection from harm. Under the conditions of the Israeli blockade, however, fulfilling these basic needs has been increasingly impossible.

As Melissa Harris Perry pointed out on her show Sunday morning, Hamas faces competing political currents inside Gaza: Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, who are more than ready to take the helm if and when Hamas fails to protect and care for its constituency. Faced with the IDF’s overwhelming military superiority, Jabari and the moderate faction of Hamas entered into back channel negotiations, brokered by the Egyptians, and were about to go public with a peace proposal.

That’s when the Israelis took him out. The timing of this is undeniable, and hardly coincidental. Netanyahu offed Jabari because peace is not in his political interests: he and his party, Likud, thrive on war, and the Israeli Prime Minister’s electoral prospects are almost entirely dependent on the continuation of the state of emergency that exists in Israel during wartime. Jabari was about to pull the rug out from under Netanyahu, and therefore he had to go."

full article http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/11/18/why-gaza/

Posted by: crone | Nov 19, 2012 3:07:37 PM | 12

This comment taken from another thread is interesting.

"Counter-measures against this system should be easy to cook up. Launch a few dummy rockets that spread chaff and paint your real rockets with radar-absorbing charcoal and watch the multi-million dollar defense system fail. In fact, for Hamas this works out great. Instead of getting hit with a ground invasion right away they can test their new missiles for longer periods of time to figure out possible counter measures. Iron dome can't last forever, it's too expensive." --IanBortner

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 3:35:40 PM | 13

According to the BBC's Paul Danahar the Israeli conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza are:
1.No hostile fire of any kind to come from Gaza into Israel including smalls arms fire at Israeli troops near the border
2.Hamas fighters must be stopped from traveling to the Sinai to carry out attacks against Israel at the Sinai/Israel border
3.Hamas must not be able to rearm - International and regional actors needed for this
4.A ceasefire must not simple be a "time-out" for Hamas, it must be an extended period of quiet for Southern Israel
=================================

so lets see what palestinian conditions for a cease fire should be:

1.No hostile fire of any kind to come from Israel into Gaza including large jets carrying big bombs to drop on the concentration camps(even the nazis didnt bomb concentration camps
2. Israeli forces must given up any attempt to retake sinai and close off the lifeline to Gaza. Gate to Egypt must be kept open.
3.Israel must not be able to rearm - International and regional actors needed for this ..inspections of Nuclear sites must be carried out by international group but not the UN
4.A ceasefire must not simple be a "time-out" for Israel, it must be an extended period of quiet for Gaza

Posted by: brian | Nov 19, 2012 3:37:48 PM | 14

With Italian Fund, Qatar Again Aids Europe
The fund is Qatar's most recent foray into helping the struggling European economy. As the global market turmoil deepened in 2008
Qatar invests €1bn in Italian food, fashion and luxury goods firms

Posted by: nikon | Nov 19, 2012 1:26:44 PM | 4

i believe its called bribery....the rich qatari dictator demands EU do its bidding on syria in exchange for a little capital..In return the italian dictator along with franes and britains agrees t recongise the puppet regime to be foisted on syria...no word what the european peoples want

Posted by: brian | Nov 19, 2012 3:46:08 PM | 15

A sign of desperation -- "Danny Ayalon" has written an article for a dependable propaganda source The Guardian: "Hamas leaves Israel no choice"

"Hamas built an open-air prison for the million and a half inhabitants who fell into its grasp. . .Israel has been left with little choice but to root out this nest of hate and destruction. No nation on earth would allow a third of its population to live in constant fear of incessant fire emanating from a neighbouring territory. . . Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas's terrorist infrastructure."

The Guardian article nowhere identifies "Danny Ayalon"'s position. Daniel "Danny" Ayalon is an Israeli diplomat and politician who currently serves as Deputy Foreign Minister and as a member of the Knesset for Yisrael Beiteinu. Formerly he served as Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 2002 until 2006.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 3:51:42 PM | 16

re #10 I should have done more research. Seems Qatar closed the Israeli office after Cast Lead in 2009...

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=282992

Posted by: dh | Nov 19, 2012 4:16:50 PM | 17

b: As long as Hamas keeps its fighting spirit and does not give in to appeasement pressure from Qatar and other U.S. clients it has a good chance of in the end coming away stronger while seeing Netanyahoo weakened.

But at what a price? I certainly do not have the stomach to advocate such a policy where in exchange for "stronger" political position I would pay with the lives of my civilian population.

Of course, many successful anti-colonial struggles in African did engage in that calculus -- eg Kenya, Algeria, and Angola. It is part of the oppressors tool kit to force the resistance into making such decisions.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 19, 2012 4:47:12 PM | 18

It's universal -- Live Free Or Die.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 5:42:21 PM | 19

#18 "many successful anti-colonial struggles" including the Vietnamese war of liberation. How easy it is to forget how the US bombed the living daylights out of those poor rice farmers and yet in the end they prevailed.

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 19, 2012 5:59:22 PM | 20

Q: This nails it: it shows why Israel escalated a series of routine border incidents into a major conflict: Hamas was ready to negotiate. Jabari was going to drop a gigantic “peace bomb” on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu and his cabinet launched a preemptive strike to make sure it never hit its target. The last thing they wanted was peace breaking out in spite of their systematic provocations.

R: There's this elephant and a gorilla in the room and everyone [read 'most of the world community'] is staring out of the window into a cave. On one of the walls it reads 'ERETZ ISRAEL.' Does that explain something about what's going on @ the moment?

Again: F*** Israel and all it stands for.

Let me also use this opportunity to introduce a new word: I am no longer a self-hating individual, today I am a self-shaming Jew.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 19, 2012 6:04:53 PM | 21

Just wonder what discussions might be taking place in the Syrian regime-change factions, and many of their foreign backers. I suspect that quite a few would identify Israel as a more dangerous long-time foe than Assad.

Posted by: JohnE | Nov 19, 2012 6:10:55 PM | 22

Any member state of the 'international community' about to set up a dire needed 'Friends Of Palestine' comity based in Antarctica [where cool heads prevail]?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 19, 2012 6:22:13 PM | 23

Colm O' Toole @9
Your bringing up of the cost of Iron Dome missiles got me thinking and digging. Seems the missiles cost between $90,000-100,000 each. Israel is claiming 300 successful intercepts so far. That comes to $27 million. Now add to that the cost for the unsuccessful intercepts (20-30%) and the price tag is probably closer to $35 million. Doesn't seem like a bargain. Sounds more like a financial Pyrrhic victory to me.

Posted by: Forgetful | Nov 19, 2012 6:26:04 PM | 24

@ 21, unless you are out there dropping bombs on people I don't see any reason for shame. A German can be proud of being German while hating Naziism. An Englishman can be proud of being English while condemning colonialism. Muslims can be proud of being Muslim while hating Wahabism, etc. No reason why Jews can't be proud of Judaism while despising Zionism.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 19, 2012 6:28:50 PM | 25

25, just that it is really stupid to be proud of being born ... :-))

Posted by: somebody | Nov 19, 2012 6:41:21 PM | 27

@ Lysander,

I am ashamed to have to witness all this, year after year after year, again and again, with a world [again] watching in silence and without lifting a finger to help those living in that horrendous open concentration camp, aka Gaza. That Ma'am/Sir makes me feel ashamed, helpless and at times desperate.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 19, 2012 6:42:51 PM | 28

@ Somebody: touche but then it would be equally stupid to be ashamed of being born.
@ Daniel: In that case all of us can be self shaming people since we are watching just as helpless as you are.

Anyway, here is a good point regarding Iron Dome."

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region
Iron Dome is Not a Game Changer: Two Reasons related to the teleology of technology

The main trend that is now apparent is that Hamas, EXACTLY like hizbullah early on, has dramatically improved its ability to continue to fire rockets on israel – exactly like hizbullah was able to in the 1990s and beyond. The critical thing is NOT the kill/casualty rate of Israelis in this type of warfare, but the ability to continue to disrupt and threaten Israel. That has ALWAYS been the key in the “balance of terror” for katyushas/rockets. Thus, even if intercepted (and some rockets are evidently killing and wounding even with the very very expensive, few iron dome sytstems in place) the “damage” is done – and i sufficient. In one sense, it is even preferred because being able to kill large number of Israeli civilians has a number of strategic disadvantages. In other words, hamas and Hizbullah are now fairly happy with the low kill rates, I believe, since the backlash from too high a rate is minimized but the “good” effects still obtain tactically and strategically.

Second – although there are some pretty wild claims now of 90% success rate for iron dome – which is not that critical because the kill rate is not the key but rather the maintenance of threat – the core idea is that hamas’s capabilities are vastly below hizbullah and certainly iran+syria. There are only a few iron domes available now and into the future: when the expected swarm tactics are used on multiple fronts you can say bye bye to the confidence over the current iron dome system and its capabilities.

Indeed – hizbullah knows and the IDF knows that the continued pressure on the few systems in place will be quickly broken should the northern front with hizbullah open up – indeed, imagine if hamas keeps it up a la hizbullah in 1992, 1993, 1996, 2006 for WEEKS…. One wonders at the need to re supply, the vast costs and the wear and tear on the system.

Bottom line – proclaiming the “game changing” nature of iron dome is not only premature – IT MISSES THE POINT.t

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 19, 2012 7:28:10 PM | 29

The important point to stress is that *if* there is a ceasefire *then* Israel must lift the blockade of the strip.

After all, it is indisputable that a blockade is itself a belligerent act i.e. a blockade is only legal during an "armed conflict", and so once an "armed conflict" ends then the blockade must also end.

After all, that's *exactly* what the IDF did during the 2nd Lebanon War against Hezbollah.

After all, that's *exactly* why the document so beloved by Mark Regev is actually entitled:
"The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea".

Armed conflict = blockades are applicable.
Cease fire = blockades are not applicable.

Hamas needs to stick to its guns - literally - on that point, otherwise they'll end up with Israel
a) squeezing the Gaza Strip for a coupla' years, then
b) beating the snot outta' it for a month or so, then
c) repeating (a) and (b) as necessary.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 19, 2012 7:30:47 PM | 30

@13 Don, there is actually a much easier way to foil the Iron Dome system.

Think about it: Iron Dome is only cost effective because the radar determines which rocket will hit open ground (= ignored) and which will hit a populated areas (= intercepted).

It can do that because these are just straight up'n'down unguided rockets, so the way to foil Iron Dome is to introduce some randomness into the trajectory e.g. by spring-loading the rocket's stabilizing fins.

Therefore those rockets won't follow a straight path, ergo, Iron Dome won't be able to plot their point of impact.

It therefore can't decide which ones to ignore, and so it'll have to take 'em all on.

And the IDF simply doesn't have enough interceptors for that.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 19, 2012 7:41:50 PM | 31

Ooof! How could I forget this possible input into the factors guiding Israel? Gazan gas reserves in the Mediterranean.

Discussed here. Via commenter jp6pac at Kevin Gosztola's post on US complicity in Israel's attacks.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 19, 2012 9:29:41 PM | 32

@Johnboy 31

Yup, in 13 -- they can test their new missiles for longer periods of time to figure out possible counter measures -- fluttering fins, whatever. The Hamas missiles are basically terror weapons. They don't have to actually be so effective, as long as they can terrorize Israel they serve a purpose. Keep 'em puckered.

High tech is losing to low tech. The U.S. is spending literally billions to defeat fertilizer IED's in Afghanistan. The trillion-dollar (program cost) F-35 aircraft has a million lines of code susceptible to EMT/cyber attack. Ten billion dollar aircraft carriers with 5,000 people on board can be sunk with cheap ballistic missiles.

Game, set and match to the Po' Boys. It's our turn.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 9:48:24 PM | 33

Gaza Marine gas field is located 30km off the coast of the Gaza Strip, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It lies at a water depth of 603m. The development of the Gaza field has been on hold for several years due to disputes between Israel and the Palestinians.

British Gas (BG) holds a 90% interest in the field. BG's stake will reduce to 60% if the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) decide to exercise their options. PIF and CCC would subsequently hold 30% and 10% interests respectively.

The major hurdle for the development of the Gaza field has been the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over Palestinian territorial waters. Under international law, the area containing the gas field belongs to the Palestinians.

When the concession was awarded to BG in 1999, the pre-condition was that surplus gas would be supplied to Israel. The country, however, was reluctant to pay market price for the gas. This created a deadlock between Israel and the developers, which hampered the development of the field. In 2007, BG ended discussions with Israel over the sale of gas that will be produced from the field.
http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/gaza-marine-gas-field/

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 10:00:42 PM | 34

@ Don Bacon #16

Never forget about the traces and trails left behind. The IDF has hit back within 90 secs of certain attacks [and once hit a UN compound killing over 100 individuals sheltering there. Of course, 'hideous Islamist Terrorist' were to blame for that one, according to the perp].

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 19, 2012 10:07:36 PM | 35

The pathetic FoxNews is reduced to quoting Dennis Ross and Elliott Abrams as "experts."
"Experts suggest Hamas overestimated Arab world support for strikes on Israel"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 10:12:07 PM | 36

"Experts suggest Hamas overestimated Arab world support for strikes on Israel" may have had something to do with those pretty speeches that Ross's boss Obama made encouraging the Arab Spring perhaps? Arab support, even if "overestimated," is substantial. Israel is going down.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 10:27:47 PM | 37

Isn't it about time the Muslim/Arab global community issue an ultimatim to the bloodthirsty bigoted fucks steering the Israeli Ship of State??? It amazes me that Israel's neighbors continue to allow Israel to oppress and murder Palestinians, to say nothing about the continuing theft of Palestinian land.

I'd love to see these fucking cowardly sacks of shit in Israel get a taste of their own medicine. I wish they'd bomb the shit out of Israel, and give them a taste of their own medicine. Only then will Israel begin to treat Palestinians as something other than vermin.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 19, 2012 11:22:23 PM | 38

When the concession was awarded to BG in 1999, the pre-condition was that surplus gas would be supplied to Israel. The country, however, was reluctant to pay market price for the gas.

talk about stereotypes!!

Posted by: Tron | Nov 19, 2012 11:31:15 PM | 39

For those with a strong stomach.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 20, 2012 12:04:12 AM | 40

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has urged that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) ask Israel to put an end to its aggression against the Tel Aviv-besieged Gaza Strip.

Unasur (Union of South American Nations) is obligated to act in defense of human life and our intentions must be credible, removed from geopolitical and economic interests," Fernandez stated, addressing the intergovernmental union. “Other countries have lost that credibility over the years as a consequence of their actions."

Argentina is having a battle with some Hedge funds recently, the hedge funds are predominately run by Ashkenazi's Jews. There is currently a battle with Ghana regarding the impounding of Argentinian ship to pay off some hedge funds to the tune of 10's of million. Watch Moody suddenly slap some down grade soon on Argentina soon.

Posted by: hans | Nov 20, 2012 2:26:51 AM | 41

re 16

The Guardian article nowhere identifies "Danny Ayalon"'s position.

You have to click on his name at the head of the article, to get his (rather brief) bio.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 20, 2012 2:54:04 AM | 42

it is getting political fun now

Russia proposes a UN security council resolution the US should not be able to veto - will they still veto?

Hassan Nasrallah is taunting Arab states on sending weapons to the Syrian opposition but not to Hamas

In other news the so called FSA is fighting Kurds at the Turkish border and vice versa - there goes the "Safe Zone"

Posted by: somebody | Nov 20, 2012 3:38:42 AM | 43

BBC News - "Israel has put plans for a ground operation in Gaza "on hold" to give talks to secure a truce with Hamas militants a chance, officials say."


How very noble. You see, all Israel wants is peace...

I find these talks suspicious, premeditated even.


It's all about Iran, isn't it?

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 20, 2012 4:38:12 AM | 44

Pat Bateman, to clarify, it is all about Israel trying to create facts on the ground in order to determine the borders of any future internationally legalized Israeli state.
Obviously they do not want to invade. They would prefer Egypt to take the responsibility for Gaza.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 20, 2012 5:26:04 AM | 45

Running out of targets but continuing to terrorize:

@ahauslohner - Washington Post Cairo Bureau Chief.

#Israel air strike just now next to the ambulance station where we are, shattering the glass. @erinmcunningham and I fell to floor. #Gaza
-
Strike appears to have hit empty field next to this red crescent station. 2nd time today. Other medics injured last night during rescue
-
F-16 just flew directly over us, everyone hit the ground. Then another blast very close by. #Gaza

@erinmcunningham - GlobalPost Senior Correspondent for the Middle East
Massce strike just blew out the windows at the Jabaliya ambulance station. I am here, glass broke all over us but we are safe. #Gaza
-
Sorry massive strike. Medics say it was just an open area and it was extremely powerful. #gaza
-
This is be 2nd time the area near the ambulance station was targeted today. It's an empty area, & no rockets were fired from here #Gaza
-
Another big strike rocks the ambulance station in Jabaliya. #Gaza
-
Medics taking strikes with stride. I'm obviously much more shaken. They are giving us juice boxes & candy to calm us down #Gaza
-
.@ahauslohner and I are hunkered down at Jabaliya Red Crescent where 2 strikes in 5mins have shattered windows #Gaza pic.twitter.com/kKkB2msi

Netanyahoo wants "guarantees"
Netanyahu rejects French-Qatari cease-fire plan
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned down a French-Qatari proposal for a cease-fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday that Israel was not interested in French or Qatari involvement because he did not want to derail Egypt's mediation efforts.

A Western diplomat and an Israeli official who were briefed about Netanyahu's meeting with Fabius both said the French official surprised Netanyahu by rather awkwardly handing the prime minister a one-page document he said was a joint French-Qatari cease-fire proposal.

The document consisted of two clauses. The first stipulated that Israel and Hamas would stop firing at a time agreed by both sides. The second clause said Hamas would act "as best it can" to restrain and to prevent fire by other organizations in the Gaza Strip, the sources said.

Netanyahu read the paper quickly and rejected it out of hand, criticizing what he saw as a proposal full of holes, they said. He said politely but firmly that the proposal does not provide a real answer to the situation in Gaza. He said it does not guarantee that the other militant organizations in Gaza, apart from Hamas, will stop firing rockets at Israel or attacking Israeli forces on the border, they said.

Posted by: b | Nov 20, 2012 5:27:35 AM | 46

Anyone want a slice of hypocrisy for lunch, Mike Riggs has a great quote from Obama:

"No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Says Man Who Regularly Bombs Pakistan and Yemen

Ahh the classic bullshit sandwich.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 20, 2012 8:57:42 AM | 47

And it was a missile from Israel against Jaabari, Gaza's defense minister, that kicked it off.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20, 2012 9:56:26 AM | 48

toivo #18

But at what a price? I certainly do not have the stomach to advocate such a policy where in exchange for "stronger" political position I would pay with the lives of my civilian population.

perhaps hamas has a clearer understanding of what the will of the people are than someone who is not palestinian. after decades of this they are not interested in surrender. on my twitter feed in the last hr i read this:

1h Rana ‏@RanaGaza Ceasefire when the refugees are allowed to return.

rana is not an extremist and lots of people have retweeted this. they (the people) are serious. so when you ask 'what price', you should be asking it about the price that will be extracted over the next decade on gazans. they know this price better than you or me.

Posted by: annie | Nov 20, 2012 10:02:05 AM | 49

i meant, you should be asking it about the price that will be extracted over the next decades on gazans if they kowtow to demands not reciprocated.

read johnboy on 30 and brian on 14

Posted by: annie | Nov 20, 2012 10:06:58 AM | 50

'missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders'

Israel’s ‘borders’ are one of the fundamental problems. The government continues to be evasive in defining them, and the charter of the Likud Party claims the West Bank and Gaza as part of Israel.

Posted by: Watson | Nov 20, 2012 10:29:02 AM | 51

Don Bacon @ 34 --

Israel contests the boundaries of the Gazan gas fields, as defined by internationl law.

Well, of course. Neither the US nor Israelis believe international laws apply to them. Another of the ties that bind.

(Thanks for the link.)

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 20, 2012 10:56:36 AM | 52

Sounds like both sides are now announcing possible truce starting at 10:00 pm tonight.

over a hundred Gazans and 4 Israelis dead. with this cease fire, we're back to square one. Both sides will declare victory but nothing will change. The Arabs and Turkey will go home all puffed up that they accomplished something and celebrate their victory too. A week from now, it will start all over again. Who are they kidding?

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 20, 2012 11:39:24 AM | 53

annie: they know this price better than you or me.

I do not criticize Palestinians when they decide to sacrifice their lives for justice. My point that it is not up to us to advocate that they do so.

I never criticized the Palestinians during the second intifada when they were martyring themselves by the dozens in order to kill Israelis except to point out that it was politically damaging to the Palestinian cause. Believe it or not, it worked to consolidate support for Israel within Europe and the US. The Israelis, in those two media markets, successfully sold the story line that Jews were the victims. Those militarily ineffective rockets have the same impact.

I do wish that the Palestinian non-violence movement was given a chance to work. The Israelis are suppressing non-violence with lethal force, but no one cares while there is a war going on. If Palestinians want to die by the dozens let it be during Gandhian pacific resistance.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 20, 2012 3:35:50 PM | 54

from Haaretz

Tel Aviv Municipality has placed security guards in shelters south of the city to prevent the entry of immigrants

Who are homeless and immigrants from Africa wanted to stay in shelters, started last Friday. The municipality responded guards were not only in the South, we monitor all shelters (google translation of Hebrew)

http://translate.google.com/translate?twu=1?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A//www.haaretz.co.il/news/politics/1.1867808

Posted by: crone | Nov 20, 2012 3:38:29 PM | 55

why gaza?

According to Gershon Baskin, initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the military wing of Hamas, was ready for a peace deal — which was in the works in the days before Jabari was assassinated in a targeted Israeli strike:
“My indirect dealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’s authorization to deal directly with me….
“Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.”
This nails it: it shows why Israel escalated a series of routine border incidents into a major conflict: Hamas was ready to negotiate. Jabari was going to drop a gigantic “peace bomb” on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu and his cabinet launched a preemptive strike to make sure it never hit its target. The last thing they wanted was peace breaking out in spite of their systematic provocations.


http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/11/18/why-gaza/

Posted by: brian | Nov 20, 2012 3:42:43 PM | 56

Colm 46:

Its rare to see a US politician let alone a sitting president speaking the oblique truth…..we can extend it also in this way: 'No country on Earth would tolerate terrorists raining down on its citizens from outside its borders"

Posted by: brian | Nov 20, 2012 3:48:06 PM | 57

ToivoS, fatalities 2000-2012 statistics by B'teselem

Data , 29.9.2000-30.9.2012
Occupied Territories
Israel
Gaza Strip West Bank Total Israel
Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces
4660 1840 6500 69
Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians
4 46 50 3
Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians
39 215 254 500
Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians
106 147 253 90

Israeli deaths by Palestinian assaults are far below the US assault death rate
Palestinians live safer than black US citizens.

So in fact Palestinians are following Gandhi and Israelis are restrained when you look at the numbers (or compare to what the US did in Iraq or Afghanistan)

Media narratives do not follow reality and human fear is not rational.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 20, 2012 4:12:21 PM | 58

As of the time of writing, I think Israel is about to fold. There's nothing more to be achieved. I would think they've destroyed the rockets they know about.

Clinton has arrived to tell them that Israeli actions are a problem for the US in Syria.

Go further, I don't see it.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 20, 2012 4:16:54 PM | 59

Yeah, there seems to be a problem suddenly. I do not know how long Hillary Clinton intends to stay. Everybody now depends on Hamas running out of missiles.

Mursi has called "the israeli agression a farce".

From Wikipedia

In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humor of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases, culminating in an ending which often involves an elaborate chase scene. Farces are often highly incomprehensible plot-wise (due to the large number of plot twists and random events that often occur), but viewers are encouraged not to try to follow the plot in order to avoid becoming confused and overwhelmed. Farce is also characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 20, 2012 5:16:17 PM | 60

re 59

Everybody now depends on Hamas running out of missiles.

It's important for Hamas to be able to continue to fire missiles until the cease-fire, so they will do so. They have enough hidden, even if their stocks are damaged.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 20, 2012 5:40:30 PM | 61

Mursi's response to Israel's actions and the Brotherhood's critical complicity with Israel's criminal blockade of Gaza is where the farce lies here.
Israel and Turkey simply cannot wait to get back to the work they really enjoy: assisting the imperialists in their terrorist campaigns against the people of Syria. Both Mursi and Erdogan regard Israel's attack as an interruption to their cynical and mercenary enterprise. They must wonder why Israel doesn't wait until Damascus and Tehran are in flames before amusing themselves and entertaining the electorate by bombing defenceless Gaza.
As to Hamas, with friends like these...

Posted by: bevin | Nov 20, 2012 5:42:36 PM | 62

@ ToivoS,

Q: The Israelis, in those two media markets, successfully sold the story line that Jews were the victims.

R: That is new to me. So, Israel now is defending itself against attacks from Hamas and the Palestinians? Israel never attacks, right, it only defends itself, right? No land-theft, no demolishing of homes, no uprooting of olive trees, no dumping of sewage onto Palestinian land, no apartheid wall, no Jews only roads, no barriers, no restriction to fly in and out, drive in and out, free travel between Gaza and the West bank, equal rights under one law, one constitution, etc., etc., etc.? It that's the case you must have been wide asleep over the last 6 decades.

Posted by: Danel Rich | Nov 20, 2012 6:22:37 PM | 63

Danel you have a comprehension problem. Selling story line in the mass media does not even imply that the line is true or that I believe it to be true. The first casualty of war is the truth. That is the nature of war propaganda.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 20, 2012 6:46:17 PM | 64

@ ToivoS,

As per usual, you do not address what's the real problem here: Israel. I will have to get used to it. To that and clichés.

The time has come for Hasbara to introduce BCC [Body Count Confusion], to [again] distract from Israel's war crimes and its crimes against humanity. It's SDT [Spin Doctor Time]!

Posted by: Danel Rich | Nov 20, 2012 7:14:05 PM | 65

israelis are greedy dealers, always looking for the best deal and, if any possible, kill multiple birds with one stone.

Gaza isn't a problem per se for them; actually the Palestinians are just a pool of hostages beeing used to blackmail concessions for israel. They have lots of experience in lots of ways to handle, trigger, suppress, calm down and, most of all, use (or more correctly, abuse) a.s.o. Gaza.

The real problem is Gaza *after an attack on Iran* because then Gaza is not only an emboldend source of trouble for israel but, far worse, a "bridge head" for Iran. So weakening them front-up must seem logical to israel.

The second point of israels interest is to a) test and b) prove to their people that iron dome really works.
Because if israel attacks Iran, rockets will rain down on them and they *need* iron dome working and their population believing in it as well.
Theorie and manufacturer tests are nice but before you start a war with Iran that may well have the potential to cripple or paralyze you, you really want real-world tests of that iron dome system. Testing it on Gaza seems 80% real-world, not seriously dangerous and relatively cheap for israel.

I also tend to think twice of obamas seemingly pro-israel statement. Yes, on the surface it looks pro-israel. But then, in diplomatic terms, it's so to say "on the fly", almost as a sidenote, during a visit to another step. And there was something important missing: a clear comittment to be on israels side and to help them. All together it was a rather weak satement, almost coming down to "uh, yeah, right, israel is in trouble. well, they have the right to defend themselves".
Furthermore, the usa is sending 3 war ships but only to pick up their own citizens in Gaza. That might quite well be interpreted as "We care about *our* citizens (not israel)" or, even worse, "there might be a serious war around the corner and we want american citizens (and america?) out of the way".
Don't forget, if a country has no citizens in a war zone, it has one important reason less to get themselves involved ...

I may be wrong. But if I read the clouds correctly this is not just another israel vs. Gaza war. It's the prelude inkl. final tests to another and by far more serious war, a war against Iran. And israel might quite well find themselves going this alone ...

Even the timing is "right". Obama is reelected and quite certainly seriously pissed off by netanjahu, so israel is considering the other factor, which comes down to israel thinking "the earlier the better" (to strike Iran. On top of that, Syria, and implicitly Lebanon, is focussed on their own problems and handicapped as another bridge head against israel. So the timing might seem almost seductive to israel.

But then one must not care how this world is getting rid of the israeli pest. Them comitting suicide is not less pleasant a way than others.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 20, 2012 7:51:46 PM | 66

"...the usa is sending 3 war ships but only to pick up their own citizens in Gaza."

I was wondering about that. There must be a lot of American citizens in Gaza.

Posted by: dh | Nov 20, 2012 8:25:44 PM | 67

@ 65.
Anyone who thinks "Israel" and/or the US is going to attack Iran any time before the Twelfth Of Never is having a wet dream - or just 'self-stimulating'.

What would happen if Israel bombed Iran's nuclear plants?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2012/nov/04/israel-bombed-iran-nuclear-plants

The attack on Gaza is fulfilling at least three purposes useful to the US.
1. It's drawing attention from the Libya debacle.
2. It's drawing attention from the failed attempt to oust Assad.
3. It's drawing unwelcome attention from the terminal clusterfuck in AfPak. It's easy to forget that the Afghan Resistance (whoever they happen to be at any given moment) took a holiday while the Yankees surged themselves into 700+ bases and bunkers in Afghanistan.
Getting out, in one piece, will be impossible.

"Israel" is a creation of the US & UK and the "Israelis" are still US & UK's useful idiots.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 20, 2012 9:24:37 PM | 68

I'll go with the whisperer.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20, 2012 9:43:21 PM | 69

That last sentence should read...

The moral and intellectual sewer known as "Israel" is a creation of the US & UK and the "Israelis" are still US & UK's useful idiots.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 20, 2012 9:52:36 PM | 70

@67 and 68

I disagree, at least in major parts.

"1. It's drawing attention from the Libya debacle."

Possibly that was envisioned but it's not working. Partly because the usa is excessively egocentric and anything, how miniscule ever, regarding the usa is unproportionally important to the americans.

"2. It's drawing attention from the failed attempt to oust Assad."

Sorry, no. Actually that attempt is alive and active - and in the daily headlines all over the world.

3. It's drawing unwelcome attention from the terminal clusterfuck in AfPak.

Possibly. Although I solidly trust in the americans to continue clusterfuckfailing.


Most importantly, however, I disagree with

""Israel" is a creation of the US & UK and the "Israelis" are still US & UK's useful idiots."

Yes, the brits played a major role in the creation of the pestilence. The us, however, is very obviously the dumbo servant of its master israel. So much so that it can be said that not washington but rather tel aviv is the capital of the usa. Just look up, how many of the us congressmen are "double citizens" and rather overtly bought to power by aipac & Co.

Just google for "us liberty". The israelis attacked that us ship and killed a considerable number of us navy men. And the us government intervened prohibited help for their men not to embarass the israelis!

In short, the israelis pissed again an again right in the face of the usa and the americans hardly managed to refrain from saying "thank you, israel".

Btw, I perceived that (linked) guardian article as biased. On top of that they left the russians out of the game. A stupid ignorance. While the americans brag about their high-tech toys, the russian actually have working and reliable mil. tech. blasting those us airplanes that don't fall down by themselves (like F35) out of the sky. If they sent some S400 (or even just S300) to Iran, the israelis will neither arrive in Iran nor ever return home.
Add some current versions of the russian anti-ship missiles (FAR superior to their us "pendants") and the us will need to finde their carriers on the ground of the ocean.

But well, that matter (mil. tech.) is yet another matter, so I#ll stop it here.

The weak point of my view, seems to me, is my reading of the real israel reasons for their current gambling. Maybe I'm dead wrong but that's what I make out of what I know.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 20, 2012 11:27:32 PM | 71

@ 70.
In the context of 'debate' all your objections are valid contributions.
However, referring only to the Liberty affair, I invite you to consider whether it's possible that the Yankees asked the Brits to swallow their pride on the King David Hotel Affair, and the Brits reminded the Yankees it was their turn to make a 'sacrifice' (of silence) after the Liberty Affair.

Giving the "Israelis" enough rope to hang themselves is usually a pretty good investment. If it ever becomes necessary, or convenient, to toss "Israel" under the bus, the US and the UK can draw an these (and many other incidents) to polarise public Anti-Israel opinion at a moment's notice.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 21, 2012 2:14:07 AM | 72

Egyptian Muslim brotherhood increasing pressure on Jordanian King.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=290619

Posted by: nikon | Nov 21, 2012 2:18:35 AM | 73

#64 (danel) is as usual totally incoherent. He does not understand anything I say. He has some idea of what I am saying based on some misconceived ideas that entered his head some time in the past. It is a symptom of some really stupid people who get an "idea" and are unable to let it go. Danel, your initial impressions were wrong but lacking any mental flexibility I suppose you are incapable of recognizing that fact.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 21, 2012 2:33:25 AM | 74

So that's it. Israel cannot afford a cease fire now and cannot afford to invade Gaza.

Truce a distant possibility after Rishon Lezion strike Rocket marks first successful rocket hit on Tel Aviv area.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 21, 2012 5:13:23 AM | 75

@70

With parents like the US and UK, it's no wonder Israel has grown up with behavioural problems.

As for Russian involvement in any attack/defence of Iran, I think you're mistaken. Russia doesn't have any friends (save Belarus), only interests. Certainly, Medvedev would have thrown Iran under a bus if it meant receiving a reach-around from Obama.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 21, 2012 5:32:44 AM | 76

It looks like my prediction holds up.

The Palestinians managed to aim a smart missile onto a bus 200 meters away from the Israeli defense ministry. The right in Israel are calling fro an invasion of Gaza. Will Netanyahoo fall into the trap?

Posted by: b | Nov 21, 2012 8:02:26 AM | 77

In other news: Some crowd burned the AlJazeerah office in Cairo and the official security chief in Benghazi was gunned down. I wonder if those events are connected.

Posted by: b | Nov 21, 2012 8:05:27 AM | 78

Can't see them not do it, if the US does not save them. Do not see how the US can save them though. They lose if they do and they lose if they don't. It is "checkmate".

Ernesto Londoño ‏@londonoe

Senior IDF official: Gaza militants had acquired drones with warheads with help from Iran. #gaza

Much more on the IDF military assessment in Ernesto Londoño's tweet.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 21, 2012 8:42:25 AM | 79

Re: b @ 76.

Will Netanyahoo fall into the trap?

That depends...
If Bibi thinks there are no RPGs in Gaza then he might send in some armoured vehicles full of IOF cry-babies to wreck some stuff and blast some Pal women and children with artillery at point-blank range.

BUT the number of "Israeli" foot soldiers will be heavily dependent upon, and directly proportional to, the number of Pal human shields his 'strategists' assume will be available.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 21, 2012 8:51:33 AM | 80

@75

I respect your view and know that it's actually quite common.

Things are, however, considerably more complex, I'm afraid.

Some factors you might consider are:

For the us the near east is "far away". For Russia, however, it's the "near abroad" and, maybe pragmatically more importantly, it's a major factor for for their south.

Russia's declared - and necessary and vital - enemy is the usa. Not because they don't like the american people but because the usa *needs* a unipolar world ruled by "dominance projection" while Russia rather is strangled by that. The good news is that Russia neither wants nor needs a war against the usa; it's more about breaking more and more parts of the world free from the bruta und egomaniac american grip.

Medwedjew was and is something like an intelligent puppet. Actually, some Russians in the know question his position as prime minister. Considering the fact that whatever Medjedjew undertook on his own (ather than on Putins command) went miserably wrong and was pro-western, those rumours about his coming political end might prove true.

If the american unipolar system were broken (and it will be), it needs to be asked, what power constellation would follow. The Russians answer is a "the Chinese and Europe with Russian leadership", albeit somewhat reluctantly. Reluctant because actually the Russians, contrary to what many think, are a rather peaceful giant, i.e. while they will react aggressively and swiftly if disturbed or challengend within their own sphere, they are not interested in military aggressions or world domination.

Iran, or Syria for that matter, are very important to Russia. Not because of resources but for strategic reasons (and in the case if Iran as a market). Iran shares a border with Russia (through the caspian see) and, together with Russia, can build a strong grip around the often volatile neighbouring regions. And Iran could offer a direct, short and cheap access to the indian ocean region.
Furthermore, Iran is a strong and peaceful powerhouse in the near east.

Possibly most important, Russia would de facto sign a submission to the us, if they allowd the usa to attack Iran. If that happenend Russia would politically bleed out and fall back to a position of insignificance.
Sure, Russia will engage strongly and make many compromises to avoid war in Iran. But if such a war were to come, Russia were forced to either basically submit or fight. Putin will fight.

Btw, Iran is by far stronger a military opponent that one might think reading the western press. As well as the us are by far weaker as one might think. Chances are, that Iran would inflict very painful and major pain on the us.

There is a reason why the usa makes a lot of noise about Iran (and, through its proxies in Syria) but tries hard to avoid actual war.

---


Concerning Gaza I agree with those who think that actually the Palestinians do not even want a serious cease fire. They know the weakness of iron dome (don't err in overinterpreting the iron dome hits against self made "hobby" rockets. The Iranians and possibly Hezbaollah have by far better material), the increasing weakness of israel in the world, a.s.o. Actually the Palestinians can - and probably want to - considerably weaken both israels feeling of being secure and their military and, so to say, slowly bleed out israel.
The current bomb attack is another example of this tactics. It's a strong hit in a psychological warfare.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 21, 2012 9:00:54 AM | 81

@80: Fair points, well made.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 21, 2012 9:57:34 AM | 82

Looks like Libyan salafis smuggling arms (and fighters?) into Gaza - how long before the Syrian salamis join in? Blowback:

"1439: Egyptian authorities confiscated trucks carrying explosive warheads and a variety of small-arms ammunition smuggled from Libya, Egyptian security officials told the Associated Press. Smuggled weapons from Libya have often fallen into the hands of Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, or pass via underground tunnels to Gaza, the agency reports. The officials said authorities seized pick-up trucks carrying 108 warheads for Soviet-designed Grad rockets near Marsa Matrouh, 430km (270 miles) northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast. Suspected smugglers had fled the scene."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20422755

Posted by: johnf | Nov 21, 2012 10:02:26 AM | 83

new israeli wish list - unconfirmed


1. A lull for a period of more than 15 years.
2. An immediate cessation of arms smuggling and the transfer of weapons to Gaza.
3. Cessation of rocket fire on the part of all armed Palestinian factions and an end to attacks on soldiers near the Gaza border.
4. Israel has the right to hunt down terrorists in the event of an attack or if it obtains information on an imminent attack.
5. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will remain open, but the crossings on the Gaza-Israel border will remain closed.
6. Egypt's politicians, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, will be the guarantors of any ceasefire agreement. Meaning, the agreement will be backed by Egypt's political echelon rather than by its security establishment.

Netanyahu will have to invade.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 21, 2012 10:48:23 AM | 84

One indication of Iran's diplomatic flexibility is its strong support of Hamas despite recent bad blood between the two. Last year when Hamas withdrew from Damascus and supported Assad's Sunni opposition, Iran cut aid to Hamas by (USD) $300 million. Then Hamas declared that it would not provide military support for the Islamic Republic in any Israeli-Iranian war.

But now Iran is one of Hamas's strongest supporters, certainly in a material sense.

Tehran Times

TEHRAN – Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has said that Iran takes pride in providing military assistance to the people of Gaza. Larijani made the remarks in an address to MPs during a symbolic demonstration on the campus of the parliament’s building held to express solidarity with the Palestinians, who are under attack from Israel.

Iran is proud of defending the Palestinian people including Hamas and will continue to help Palestine at difficult times, Larijani said, adding, “We are proud that our assistance was material and military in nature.”

Addressing the Arab countries that are worried about the situation that the Palestinians are experiencing, the Iranian Majlis speaker stated, “The Palestinian people do not need speeches and meetings, rather they are in need of a serious support. If countries want to be proud, they should provide military assistance to the Palestinian people."

Iran is ready to stand by the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist regime, Larijani stated. He also noted that Israel’s decision to attack Gaza was a strategic mistake.

Will Iran continue to support Hamas. or would it switch its support to Hamas's rivals? is a question that might be asked. But for now, Iran is standing by Hamas in its struggle against Iran's arch-enemy Israel.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21, 2012 12:08:41 PM | 85

Tehran Times

TEHRAN – The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has said that Iran did not supply Gaza with a Fajr-5 missile but transferred the technology to manufacture it to the Palestinians,

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari made the remarks in an interview with reporters in Tehran on Wednesday when asked if Iran had given Hamas Fajr-5 missiles, which were recently launched from Gaza into Israel.

“We did not directly send these missiles to Gaza, but its technology was transferred from Iran to the resistance, and a large number of these missiles are being manufactured,” he added.

Asked if Iran sends weaponry to Gaza, Jafari stated, “Iran provides technological assistance to help the world’s Muslims and the oppressed so that they can stand up to tyrants and the hegemonistic system, and what we did in Gaza was based on the same approach.”


map of Hamas missile ranges

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21, 2012 12:19:19 PM | 86

Unless you are a complete idiot, it is very clear who controls the mass news media here in the states....enough said....

Posted by: camis1 | Nov 21, 2012 12:52:56 PM | 87

Ceasefire now in effect

Understanding Regarding Ceasefire in Gaza Strip
1. (untitled)
a. Israel shall stop all hostilities on the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
b. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks, and attacks along the border.
c. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents, free movement, and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
d. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

2. Implementation Mechanism
a. Setting up of the zero hour for the Ceasefire Understanding to enter into effect.
b. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
c. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach the understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt - as the sponsor of this understanding - shall be informed to follow up.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 21, 2012 2:50:23 PM | 88

Posted by: johnf | Nov 21, 2012 10:02:26 AM | 83

egypt serves israel...theyd not do anything to stop arms flowing into Syria

Posted by: brian | Nov 21, 2012 3:59:50 PM | 89

As for Russian involvement in any attack/defence of Iran, I think you're mistaken. Russia doesn't have any friends (save Belarus), only interests. Certainly, Medvedev would have thrown Iran under a bus if it meant receiving a reach-around from Obama.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 21, 2012 5:32:44 AM | 76

you seem to be thinking of the US...no friends only interests....Russias friends include most of latin america, iran syria, cuba, wherever US has no servants

Posted by: brian | Nov 21, 2012 4:11:19 PM | 90

@ 21 Daniel the "Self Shaming Jew" - brilliant . . . a change of word and a complete changing of focus. I see Self Hating associated with the negative feelings of rage, pictures of fighting and violence, of cementing in the everyday view of Palestinian behaviour - that of terrorists, and seeing situation normal.

But "self shaming" . . . now that is something TOTALY different. . ."what's that about????" is asked . . "ashamed about what ???" not forgetting that we have probably forgotten more than your average American/western citizen knows about the Palestinian "question" that description kicks a big wedge into the door of anyone that questions what a self-shama is. It's all about waking people up.

I was once pro Israel What else could I be ??!!? I grew up in a white middle home in the 60's went to a wasp private boys school in Pakuranga, Auckland, New Zealand . . . . full cream milk, beef and lamb, "rugby, racing and beer" was the male anthem and Kibbutz's were the hot place to go on the O.E. When it came to Israel and what we knew, we never stood a chance. But an inquiring young mind will wander, and here I am, at MoA while compiling articles and links to send to friends and family, to people in the news media, to national politicians, to anyone who might be awoken and will be appalled Public opinion will prevail. The usa, heading for the big belly flop and isolation too I believe, will be unable to project the amount of crap that will be believed and once the mask slips it will be quickly ripped away. The sooner that day arrives the sooner the poor and downtrodden will be able to rise from the corporate maiasma they are currently trapped in.

Chris In ChCH

Posted by: DontNnSUName | Nov 21, 2012 10:24:43 PM | 91

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