Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 14, 2012

Another War On Gaza

It is election season in the worlds most militarized state and Netanyahoo therefore does what his voters like him to do - killing Palestinians:
Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip Wednesday, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war.

The attack came despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants after a five day surge of violence which saw more than 100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli strikes on the enclave.

Additionally to the military commander a police station and other targets have been bombed. A second wave of strikes is ongoing as I write. The Izzis have given the operation a name, "Cloud Pillar" or something like that, which means that this will be longer operation and another war on Gaza.

If Egypt were still under Mubarak I would expect that the slaughter would end after about thousand death and nothing would have changed. Unless Israel fully occupies the Gaza strip there would be no lasting strategic effect.

But Egypt now has a government that is has to, at least somewhat, answer to its voters. There will soon be new parliamentary elections in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood is in a political competion with forces on the left and on the right. Seeing their brokering of a truce sabotaged by Israel and under internal political pressure the Morsi government will have to do more than to just stand by and watch.

The situation is also different with regard to other players. Hamas has support from Turkey and Qatar. Jordan is very weak as is the Abbas regime in the West Bank. Both could fall.

This war on Gaza could thereby have strategic effects which would likely be of the kind that Netanyahoo voters will not like.

Posted by b on November 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

Comments

Let Qatar come to their rescue.

Having recently watched Palestinian refugees blow themselves up in Syria in order to kill as many Syrian soldiers as they could, I have little time for Hamas and their foot soldiers.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 14, 2012 11:50:16 AM | 1

Oh, and it's clearly an attempt to derail Palestinian efforts to obtain recognition at the UN by goading Hamas into a response.

The most sensible reaction is no reaction.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 14, 2012 11:57:11 AM | 2

Having recently watched Palestinian refugees blow themselves up in Syria in order to kill as many Syrian soldiers as they could

To be fair. Most of the Palestinians in Syria are with Assad as is their main fighting force there.

Posted by: b | Nov 14, 2012 12:09:57 PM | 3

Al Aklhbar just announced that Israel has called up its reserves. This is obviously not a quick hit.
I was expecting something since Yahou is facing Election and needs to bolster his image after his loss to Obama. The question here is how will the new Egyptian Govt react. This is key to Israel and the whole region. With Qatar now losing face after its Emir went to Gaza to show his influence, Turkey is on the line after Erdogan announced he will visit Gaza and Abbas threatening to get UN vote on observer status, I think the region is about to see a major realignment and likely a rethink of what is happening in Syria.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 12:18:52 PM | 4

From what I've heard, the Hamas military wing was pro Iran and opposed the political wing cutting ties. (I need to verify this, but I think it's true)

So it may be the izzies want to kill off the real resistance so that the fake resistance can be assendant.

Still, an all out attack would put US puppets in a very awkward (hopefully fatal) position.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 14, 2012 12:21:03 PM | 5

Hamas declares "open the gates of hell ". Yeah, right, heard that in 2008 when they were hiding in their bunkers. Its hard to open the gates of hell while hiding in your bunker. This time at least if Hamas wants to fight a war, let them stand up and protect their civilians, not like the last time. God help the poor Gazans, it looks like they will face the gates of hell on their own, again, with the world watching, and the "arabs" hiding.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 12:35:02 PM | 6

Let Qatar deal with this..Iran must let this pass. If Qatar has enough freedom fighter to fight in Syria, surely they must have men to dabble in Gaza..

Mursi will also be exposed in this latest war..He sold out the Egyptian revolution for a few Qatari, US dollars..

Back to square one!!!

Posted by: Zico | Nov 14, 2012 12:35:46 PM | 7

"the izzies"

Wouldn't hurt my feelings if that nomenclature stuck.

Posted by: Mooser | Nov 14, 2012 12:36:37 PM | 8

"Egyptian army retreats from border with Gaza (al-Akhbar) | 18:40 "

About what I expected. The "arabs" will sit and watch.....

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 12:50:59 PM | 9

ana souri @ 9

The entire Arab world's been cursed - no disrespect to our Arab commentator here but this must be said..They're good at killing their own kind than an enemy..

Their armies are more than willing to defect to the enemy's camp than stand and fight..No wonder the West's been able to dominate them since oil was found..

Posted by: Zico | Nov 14, 2012 12:59:08 PM | 10

@ana souri: To be expected as they have just been approved for a 5bn-euro ($6.4bn) financial support package from The European Union ... my guess is they wont rock the boat.

Posted by: Rod Brown | Nov 14, 2012 1:06:56 PM | 11

From what I've heard, the Hamas military wing was pro Iran

I was watching Sky News earlier and the correspondent mentioned that Ahmed al Jaabari was the point man for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard within Hamas. This seems likely since Al Jaabari's biggest accomplished was introducing the Qassem Missiles into their arsenal around 2007-2009, would have required working a lot with the Iranians. Also the Al Qassem Brigades send men every year to Iran for training.

The Guardian have a good backgrounder on the Al Jaabari:

Ahmed al-Jaabari, the operational commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, kept largely out of the limelight. Known as "the general" in Gaza, he has long been a high-profile target for Israel. A 2004 air strike aimed at assassinating him killed his son and several other family members.

Also remember this wasn't the only air strike in Gaza today. No less than 20 airstrikes have been recorded. Israeli TV is reporting that Army Units are moving towards the Strip in anticipation of a "ground invasion". Also Al Akhbar is reporting the Gaza Prime Minister, Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh survived an airstrike in Sawt al-Aqsa.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 14, 2012 1:41:27 PM | 12

A Gaza resident uploaded this Youtube video of the Gaza skyline this evening, gives a sense of what the situation is like. Certainly looks like 5-6 areas were hit and are burning.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 14, 2012 1:48:26 PM | 13

I think we can safely assume that all the reporters who so carefully covered the Arab Spring and the violent repression by governments will now flock to Gaza to cover the violent repression there. Right?

Posted by: Bill | Nov 14, 2012 2:02:45 PM | 14

The 'new' egyptian government won't do anything but arrange new 'truces'. They are on the same side as the medieval monarch from the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 14, 2012 2:28:01 PM | 15

ironically, the palestinians thanks to Aljazeera and maybe their sunni nature are supporting the israeli backed terrorist attacks on syria

Posted by: brian | Nov 14, 2012 3:28:51 PM | 16

Was the Hamas leader murdered by the Israelis one those left who had not sided with Israel against Syria. Or was he one of the Israeli puppets who sided with Israel in supporting the terrorist contras attacking Syria?

One of the standard Israeli methods of dominating others is to assassinate those leaders opposed to Israeli dominance in order to move the zionist owned traitors up the leadership chain to replace them.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 4:02:31 PM | 17

#5,12
Different Fractions within Hamas definitely makes a plausible background for the current situation.
I remember Hamas announcing to "fight Assad" and there was major news coverage for a week or so, maybe one year ago (along the lines of: Assad loses an ally).
So maybe there was a fraction that came out with this announcement (and in its convenience got western media attention) while other parts of hamas kept their traditional anti-Israel/pro-Iran stance.
Today, german major online newspaper "der Spiegel" had an article which told us about iranian middle-range rockets that were found in hamas' arsenals.
All taken together, I'd think that any public quarrels between qatar, egypt and israel are more or less staged and the actual military operations are long-term directed against Iran. So I expect Israel to carry on with their operations, while the likes of Qatar and Egypt will publically protest and do nothing.
But b was right on the egyptian gov't having to react for their supporters sake: Mursi has recalled the egyptian ambassador from Israel. I guess that will be it and maybe in one or two months time he'll return and everything o.k. again.

Posted by: peter radiator | Nov 14, 2012 4:07:29 PM | 18

I should of read the comments first before asking. It was already asnswered in #5 and #12. Looks like Israel is trying to behead the Hamas factions they don't control. And that they are going to invade again.

The Betrayus media scandal might be being hyped to cover these new Israeli war crimes and that might explain why zionist government and media assets in the USA are so intent on sacrificing some of their own neo-con assets.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 4:12:09 PM | 19

Here goes the "Arabs" and their typical response. They call for a meeting of the Arab league, oooooohhhhh Israel must be shaking now. The only Arab country that did anything of meaning during the last invasion was syria, and for that Hamas stabs them in the back. Well, lets see if the Egyptians, qataris, Saudis and turkey have anything to say to save gaza.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 4:26:37 PM | 20

Gaza under Israeli attack: LIVE UPDATES

http://rt.com/news/gaza-israel-hamas-attack-687/

Coverage of the war as info becomes available.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 4:55:06 PM | 21

"The entire Arab world's been cursed - no disrespect to our Arab commentator here but this must be said..They're good at killing their own kind than an enemy..."
Let us not descend into this sort of racism: the Arab nation has been wriggling under the boot of imperialism for a couple of centuries. Almost every government is a franchise of the empire and every country is riven with civil strife organised and financed from outside, as well as dominated by ruthless dictators installed by the imperial powers.
If the matter were left to the Arabs the situation in Palestine would be rectified quickly and compassionately, but, just as the unarmed, famished and terrorised people of the Gaza strip cannot fight off the imperial army based in Israel, so public opinion in Arabia cannot cope with the callous indifference with which the people of the "west" view Israel's employment of the billions, and arms, put at their disposal by the taxpayers of Germany, Britain, the United States and elsewhere.
The government in Israel is overtly fascist, as is much of the "opposition", and, willy nilly, we underwrite its evil deeds and furnish the bombs with which it kills children. We pretend not to notice the depraved relish with which Israel and its partisans applaud the massacres and assassinations. Let us leave the racism to them and the cowards and bullies who control our media and politics: they need the figleaves of islamophobia and contempt for Arabs.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 14, 2012 5:21:26 PM | 22

What do you do when you are the undisputed numero uno, militarized nation in the world?

You do a ‘pinpoint assassination by missile’ and tell the world that ‘Israel bombed stockpiles of long-range rockets including the advanced Iranian Fajr-5 with a range of over 25 miles used to devastating effect by Hezbollah in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.’

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK15Ak02.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/massed-israeli-troops-poised-for-gaza-invasion-following-death-of-senior-hamas-commander-ahmed-aljabari-8316615.html

So, bye, bye, Independent for making me puke this early in the morning by printing verbatim hasbara propaganda BS.

It will be interesting to watch the dual shills come out of the woodwork to iron out 'our' usual flaws of singling out the 'only democracy in the ME.'

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 5:25:03 PM | 23

@ ana souri,

How do you want anyone to fight against the IDF from within the confinement of the largest open-air concentration camp in the world? Give the Palestinians equal means to defend themselves and watch a fair[er] fight. I, for one, have had it with this ff-ing maddening bully. Pull the plug and lets have it over with.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 5:31:52 PM | 24

@ Bill #14,

Make sure you do this and the rest will surely hesitate @ http://www.youtube.com/watch%3fv=ZM08g0RKd68

RIP James Miller.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 5:38:48 PM | 25

@ bevi #22,

Thank you [and a couple of others] for bringing some sense into this debate

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 5:42:20 PM | 26

Looks like rockets are now heading to tel aviv..This is a first..Bibi will be gone soon..

If I were Hama, I'll add dimona to my list..Just s aying.. ;)

Posted by: Zico | Nov 14, 2012 5:49:02 PM | 27

#22, #24

Hamas fell into the trap just like it did in 2008. If you can't fight the fight, quit looking for it. The Arabs have been able to rally half the world to blockade and torture syria, they spent millions recruiting terrorists and sending them to fight in syria, they bought turkey, and most Western Europe to do their bidding, they had the un general assembly censure syria, the human rights to censure syria and got the icc to threaten and promise to put Assad on trial. How did they do it, money, and they have lots of it.
The Arabs have always claimed Israel is their biggest enemy, really? The Arabs worst enemy is themselves.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 5:50:04 PM | 28

As an Arab (Egyptian,) I have to say Ana Souri has a point. Yes, we have been manipulated. Yes, we have a lot of excuses. But the result is the same. If they are too frightened to confront Israel over Gaza, then at the very least shut the fuck up about Syria. If you are to frightened to joint the resistance, at least don't rat them out to the enemy. Defeat after fighting your best is no shame. Collaboration is.

Entirely off topic, but very interesting. I was reading up a bit on the Pacific war and read the wiki on Hiro Onoda. Can anyone imagine that today?

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 14, 2012 6:06:43 PM | 29

@ Bok Tak

It would make sense that the Hamas military wings would be reluctant to sever ties with Iran/Hezbollah/Syria. After all Iran has a great indigenous weapons program and a high degree of training. They wouldn't want to give that up to join Qatar, which only buys NATO toys and would never sell them to the Resistance.

The Political wing probably got seduced by offers of foreign investment and patronage and diplomatic cover from Egypt and Qatar. But the military guys know that Iran has the real missiles/drones/intelligance that they need to be a good resistance movement.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 14, 2012 6:56:09 PM | 30

Alqassam Brigades tweeting they have hit a power station in tel aviv

Alqassam Brigades ‏@AlqassamBrigade

Breaking: #Israeli media sources confirmed that Qassam projectile has hit a power station in "Tel Aviv" Tel El Rabee city #Gaza #Hamas

Posted by: annie | Nov 14, 2012 6:58:14 PM | 31

@ all

I Hear on the RT Liveblog that Israel is calling up its reserves. They must be planning to go in. Wonder how this will effect the regional players. My speculation:

- Jordan has had widespread riots the last two days and already looks on the verge of Revolution, with 2 Million long term Palestinian refugees (in a country of only 6 Million) another Gaza war could put alot of people on the streets marching especially if the man-child King messes up in his response.

- Syria a few aspects here. (A Bit Wishful thinking but) Would the FSA be tempted get involved against Israel in order to shore up there legitimacy? They need a popularity boost amoung Syrians and fighting Israel would be a sure-fire way to increase there support after the scandals of war crimes. On the opposite side, Assad can say that the FSA is more concerned about fighting Muslims than fighting Israel could be a PR boost for him. Other than that if a war starts in Gaza it will take alot of media coverage and attention away from Syria giving the military time to work on its countryside campaigns.

- Egypt may take a harder line than expected. There are parlimentary elections next year and the Muslim Brotherhood's popularity has been sinking since they got to power. There main threat is from Salafist parties. That may force the MB to take a harder line than normal. That and the fact that Hamas politically is allied with the MB should make there response interesting. Also how will the quasi-Independent Sinai pennisula react to this? Lots of Salafists there and just a stones throw away from Gaza.

- Iran will probably stay quiet or at least stay in the shadows of any Gaza war. Rocking the boat now probably not a good idea. However would love to see Hezbollah strike while Israel is in the middle of fighting in Gaza and with the Golan Heights so unstable. Though highly unlikely it could really set the domino rolling.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 14, 2012 7:00:00 PM | 32

Lysander;
Who are you talking to? To whom are you saying:

"If they are too frightened to confront Israel over Gaza, then at the very least shut the fuck up about Syria. If you are to frightened to joint the resistance, at least don't rat them out to the enemy. Defeat after fighting your best is no shame. Collaboration is."

Are you saying this to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa (Emir of Qatar)?
Or to King Abdullah of S. Arabia?
Or to King Abdullah of Jordan?
To Morsi?
Among the aforementioned the only leader who anyone can even pretend to have been the result of an election is Morsi. And he is representative of 27% of the Egyptians (at best) considering that the turn out of the second round was 52%. Incidentally I am not even sure that even that 27% is behind Morsi in his positions wrt Syria.

You are an Egyptian, you know Egypt in particular and the Arab world in general much better than I do. Do you think that the majority of the Egyptians approve of what's going on in Gazza or Syria?
By the way the list includes Erdogan, who is not an Arab, so should we extend this criticism to Turks (the vast majority of whom are against the current policies of their government)?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 14, 2012 7:22:59 PM | 33

colm, the idf spokesperson tweeted that this morning. or maybe it was the gov press office. i found it in hebrew earlier.

Posted by: annie | Nov 14, 2012 7:23:40 PM | 34

30, can't believe political dynamics in Gaza are not the mirror image of political dynamics in Tel Aviv, i.e. in war the military hard liners win politically.

- Erdogan has a real political problem now as he has to explain why he supports Syrian rebels but not Hamas to his constituency - who are emotionally invested there

- of course Egypt's Muslim brotherhood has even more of a political problem, same as Quatar and al Jazeera

- I do wonder if the Gaza front will remain the one front

- even though Israelis obviously had the intelligence on the "commander" I doubt Hamas has let themselves split internally public pronouncements notwithstanding - they must know Israeli, Arab countries and Iranian motives by now

- I doubt that the operational Hamas military commanders are known

- reoccupying Gaza is Israeli desperation as they are now for sure getting the one state solution with an overwhelming Palestinian majority - something Sharon had tried to get out of

- the Israelis have now fallen into their own trap - instead of attacking Iran they have attacked the weakest proxies, allowing Iran to escalate or de-escalate at will without repercussions, next step for Iran will be the position of mediator (Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is already there).

Posted by: somebody | Nov 14, 2012 7:30:20 PM | 35

i think israel is doing this now to stop the UN bid.

Posted by: annie | Nov 14, 2012 7:38:12 PM | 36

36, probably.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 14, 2012 7:40:34 PM | 37

I am dying to read reactions from the good emir of Qatar, turkey's erdogan and for selfish reasons, whether the so called new Syrian opposition has any comments on this considering their masters are saying, Israel has the right to defend itself.
Still trying to figure out what the " opened the gates of hell" is supposed to mean. According to haaretz, iaf destroyed most of Hamas long range rockets already. After months of boasting, reality is, a laser guided missile from a f15 has a far bigger impact than hundreds of rockets with no guidance.
The poor citizens of gaza are paying the price of their idiot leadership who in 2008 hid in bunkers while their people were facing one of the most powerful militaries in the world.
Maybe after this is over, Hamas is history and a future leadership focuses on sucking as much money off their so called Arab friends to build some kind of a future.
I sound synical but, I am sick of watching Arab leaders lead their citizens to the killing fields.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 14, 2012 7:48:19 PM | 38

Looks like Israel is ready to invade Gaza. 35 looks good. Invasion and conquest of Gaza is easy to do. The consequences much less.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 14, 2012 7:51:11 PM | 39

this is Haaretz take on the "commander" they killed - sounds to me they killed a political guy

Israel killed its subcontractor in Gaza
The political outcome of the operation will become clear on January 22, but the strategic ramifications are more complex: Israel will have to find a new subcontractor to replace Ahmed Jabari as its border guard in the south.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 14, 2012 7:59:48 PM | 40

And [almost] nobody wonders why the IDF knew how to target which car? Wonder what some of the comments would've been when we'd been watching the Warsaw ghetto. "6 million of you and nobody put up a fight, ya cowardly bastards?" But that ain't PC now, is it? So let's go after 'em Palestinians and the IDF's own creation, Hamas. Israel has the right to defend itself [never mind history]!

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 8:13:00 PM | 41

Israel launches fresh airstrike on northern Gaza Strip

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/15/272294/israel-launches-fresh-attack-on-gaza/

"Israeli forces have launched a fresh airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip as Tel Aviv intensifies its attacks on the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The strike occurred late on Wednesday night, shortly after the military wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said they had fired a homemade missile into Tel Aviv.

At least ten Palestinians, including senior Hamas commander Ahmed al-Ja’bari, were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Ja’bari - the most senior Hamas official to be killed since Israel’s invasion of Gaza in late 2008 - died after the car he was traveling in was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City.

Two children and a woman are also among the victims of Israel’s deadly raids, which the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine described as a declaration of war.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades also stated that Israel opened gates of hell for itself by killing Ja’bari.

Tel Aviv's attacks drew a fiery response from Palestinian resistance movements, who fired dozens of rockets at Israeli settlements in Negev, leaving several Israelis injured.

Hamas also announced that it has hit Tel Aviv with a homemade rocket, prompting Israelis to declare a state of alert.

Rockets fired from Gaza also hit an area near Israel's Dimona nuclear facility. It is the first time that Palestinian rockets have reached the area.

Israeli drones and warplanes continue to target the long-blockaded Gaza Strip, while an Israeli official has said that Ja’bari's assassination was not the end of Tel Aviv's assault on the coastal sliver and that more strikes would follow.

The Israeli military has also said that it is prepared for a ground operation in Gaza "if necessary."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 8:24:53 PM | 42

At Pirouz. Yes, I'm speaking of those four and the numerous Salafist quack clerics who back them up. I'm well aware that there is a huge number, likely a majority who oppose these collaborationist policies, as did most Iranians in the days of the Shah. But there are also those who hate Assad so much that they will do ANYTHING, including sell themselves to the devil, to topple him.

I'm addressing them. Mind you, I'm not advocating anything so adventurous as war, or even passive resistance. I'm simply hoping they at the very least avoid harming those who **are** prepared to resist. And even that seems too much to expect of them.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 14, 2012 8:29:35 PM | 43

annie says: i think israel is doing this now to stop the UN bid.

I am sure that is part of Israel's calculations. Also Netanyahu knows that killing Arabs will be a big plus in his upcoming election. It does seem that killing "Arabs" is quite popular among the Israeli people. I was quite shocked to realize that Lieberman's political rallies were accompanied by mass chants of "death to the Arabs". When I first heard these stories I assumed they must be some fringe party. But we do know now that Lieberman is not fringe, he is mainstream.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 14, 2012 8:39:57 PM | 44

Does the timing of this attack have anything to do with this?

Grave concerns: Palestinians seek Russian help in Arafat autopsy

http://rt.com/politics/yasser-arafat-russia-israel-exhumation-499/

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 8:46:03 PM | 45

China repeats support for Palestinian U.N. bid

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/13/us-palestinians-israel-china-idUSBRE8AC0FR20121113

"China said on Tuesday it supports the Palestinian bid for U.N. observer status, with a vote on the matter at the United Nations later this month."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 8:51:56 PM | 46

Bot Tak asks: Does the timing of this attack have anything to do with this?

Simple answer to simplistic question: NO.

Next question.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 14, 2012 8:55:20 PM | 47

#47

It looks like you guys will have a busy schedule for a while. Hope you get overtime pay.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 9:11:13 PM | 48

4 more ff-ing years of:

The Obama administration backed the Israeli airstrikes. Reports said Barack Obama spoke directly with Netanyahu, and the Israeli prime minister thanked the president for his support. Netanyahu also spoke with the vice-president, Joe Biden, it was reported.

US state department spokesman Mark Toner denounced Hamas militants and others in Gaza for a barrage of rocket fired into southern Israel. He said the US supported Israel's right to self-defence. "We support Israel's right to defend itself and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties," Toner said.

Guardian

@ bot tak,

As long as Palestine isn't a nation it can't get anything done in the courts of The Hague. It's obvious who doesn't want that to happen.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 14, 2012 9:12:28 PM | 49

"As long as Palestine isn't a nation it can't get anything done in the courts of The Hague. It's obvious who doesn't want that to happen."

Yes it is.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 9:16:22 PM | 50

@Lysander 43;
Well here is my point and I hope you will take the time to comment on it because I think you know much more than I do about the Arab world:
The so called "leaders" of the Arab world are pretty much all (with very few exceptions such as HAMAS and Morsi) absolute rulers of their people. In reality they are not leaders of their people but rather they are satraps appointed by the West. Their rulership depends on the Western hegemony. Without the Western hegemony to keep them in power they will be gone. So I can't understand how anyone can expect them not to do their utmost to damage the resistence. I remember that Isaelies were saying in 2006 that most of regional Arab governments were begging them to take a stance and finish Hezbollah once and for all!!

Two exceptions to such rulers are HAMAS and Morsi (especially HAMAS). It could be argued that they are to some extent "elected" (in case of HAMAS they are truly elected). I say to "some extent" because as I said in my previous comment Morsi represents 27% of the Egyptian poppulace (at best) and the elections in Egypt were far from free.
So coming to these two cases:
Morsi and MB were from day 1 the Western allies. They depend on Western money (I consider Qatar/S. Arabia/Kuwait/Bahrain's money as US money because they are completely controlled by US). And as such it is only natural for them to do their pay masters' bidding. Incidentally there is an interesting regarding HAMAS and how it was supported by the Israelies in the 70's to weaken the PLO.
The only criticism which could logically go to the Egyptians is "why did you (27%) vote for this guy?" But then again a)they didn't have much of a choice and b) people every where make mistakes in their choices (ask Turkey!!) and hopefully during the course of history they learn from their mistakes.
A similar argument could be made about the treacherous leaders of HAMAS (Palestinians only choices were M. Abbas/PLO and HAMAS). And hopefully the palestinians will learn from their current experiences (I especially refer you to the post# 3 by 'b' on this very tread).


By the way, I am very much interested in something you said earlier. You said that the military wing of HAMAS (the actual people who live in Gazza and stick their neck for their own families who also live in Gazza) is pro-Iran and that they are very much against their political wing's (who happen to live comfortablly in "exile" spending Qatari money) position with respect to Asad? Can you provide us with a link and tell us how you got that information?

PS. You are the same 'Lysander' who used to write comments on Arnols Evans' weblog? If so I am very glad to be able to continue to read your comments.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 14, 2012 9:43:59 PM | 51

Every now and then Israel feels the need to toss its rattle out of the pram to "assert" itself and prove it is one bad arse mofo. Since it can't do this to Lebanon, Syria (openly), or Iran and just about every other country in the Middle East kisses Tel Aviv's arse, that just leaves poor benighted Gaza so Obama has given Netanyahu permission to behave like a thug as a sop for not bombing Iran.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 14, 2012 10:14:02 PM | 52

bevin @ 22: Very well said, right on point.

Posted by: ben | Nov 14, 2012 10:31:04 PM | 53

From the RT live coverage page:

"03:25 GMT: Internet hacktivist collective 'Anonymous' claims to have taken down the Israeli Defense Ministry website www.idf.il. In a message shared via one of the group's Twitter accounts, they posted the site address with a popular hashtag used for similar actions, 'tango down'."

When I visited the IDF page I got this message:

"Cookies must be enabled in order to view this page."

LOL, like I would do that.

Ran their address through a site checker:

http://www.websitedown.info/idf.il

And it was indeed down. But strangely, the checker only took a few moments to find that out. Normally when a site is down, it takes 30 seconds or longer to post the results.

Anonymous was pretty fast organising their attack. The IDF site was also overly quick to show itself "down". I smell a ziorat. As in Anonymous and the IDF coordinating this together. Anonymous has a past of supporting Israeli-American attacks against Iran and Syria through their previous "hacking" actions.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 11:28:51 PM | 54

Is Israel Escalating War on Gaza to Foil US-Iran Deal?

http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/11/14/is-israel-escalating-war-on-gaza-to-foil-us-iran-deal/

"So what does Israel’s impending war on defenseless Gaza have to do with Iran diplomacy? Here’s a tweet from the Tehran bureau chief for the New York Times, Thomas Erdbrink:

Forget ANY #Iran-US talks if conflict in Gaza escalates

#Iran leaders can never be seen as talking to US, while its "eternal" ally Israel assassinates Iran's ideological allies"

While:

Israeli Troops Massed on Gaza Border, Poised for Invasion

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/11/14/israeli-troops-massed-on-gaza-border-poised-for-invasion/

"Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Israeli troops have massed on the Gaza border, poised for invasion.

This latest surge of violence between Israel and Gaza militants occurred after Israel shot and killed at least two Gazans and intruded into Gaza with tanks and bulldozers. In response, Gaza militants fired a missile at an Israeli army jeep, wounding four soldiers – to which Israel responded with an extended bombardment of airstrikes.

But the Israeli leadership continue to try and claim Hamas initiated the flare up in violence, issuing the same statements of war rhetoric as always."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 15, 2012 12:23:48 AM | 55

It is clear they are going to invade. It is military logic. As long as Israel is not going to invade Hamas can continue firing rockets. I am not sure if Israel is escalating now or Hamas is escalating. Israel is limited by public opionion how much they can flatten - same as Syria. They can not really afford to have their conscript soldiers killed for their population to support the war. I am not that sure it was Netanyahu who wanted this war. For his election campaign Netanyahu needs a short campaign and then peace.

I am also not sure Iran hardliners want to talk to the US.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 15, 2012 1:59:50 AM | 56

It looks like Gaza is what Bibi will settle for after all his efforts to get the West to attack Iran failed miserably...Gaza's a small fish. With the collective stupidity of Arab leaders and institutions, the Israelis really believe they can get away with it - literally.

What's the point in hyping up your military threats and even preparing them for a fight if you're not going to use it?

It also serves and an election ploy for Bibi to be seen as a "tough leader"..

You see, there's not much different between the US and their Israeli masters..They launch wars everytime there's an election on the horizon to "prove a point"..The people too love this.. In fact, most of the people in these two countries will vote for a president that launched a war on brown people and "won".. I believe they call it foreign policy.

Posted by: Zico | Nov 15, 2012 3:05:31 AM | 57

FYI


JVP Statement on Israel's Operation "Pillar of Defense"

Submitted by Alissa Wise on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 12:32pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rabbi Alissa Wise, alissa@jvp.org


Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on Israel’s Operation "Pillar of Defense"

As Israel launches operation “Pillar of Defense” in Gaza, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) calls for an immediate cessation of the air strikes and naval bombardment into Gaza and an end to the ongoing siege of Gaza. JVP urges Israel not to exploit its asymmetric power to exacerbate the instability in the region. We urge President Obama to take a stand against these attacks and to use the power of the United States to insist that Israel pursue all diplomatic measures possible for the sake of life, safety and security on all sides. JVP also urges the end of rocket attacks from Gaza into civilian communities in Israel, which we believe is never justifiable, and which only serve to derail efforts for a just resolution to the conflict.

This operation is named in reference to a biblical passage in which a pillar of cloud protects the Israelites as they wandered in the desert after leaving bondage in Egypt.


And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night. Exodus 13:21

It is unseemly to invoke the protection afforded the Israelites wandering in the desert when Israel is the dominant military power in the region. JVP rejects the possibility that such a military operation and escalation of violence will be of any protection for Israelis or Palestinians. As Israel continues to control Gaza by air, land and sea, Israel holds responsibility for the well-being and safety of Palestinian civilians in Gaza who will be traumatized, injured and killed through this escalation of violence.

JVP calls on our chapters, members, and supporters to join us in redoubling our efforts to advocate for an end to the U.S.’s unconditional military aid to Israel and to intensify our calls for divestment from all companies that profit from this escalation of violence and Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.

You can follow live updates from Gaza here: https://twitter.com/theIMEU/watching-gaza

_________________________________________________________________________________
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law.
With offices in New York and California, over 100,000 supporters and 30 chapters, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and a youth wing, JVP’s board of advisors includes Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, writer Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists.
http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 15, 2012 3:07:56 AM | 58

@bevin 22 - right on; ana souri, your comments are simply racist; Israel attacks for its own domestic, strategic and propagandistic reasons, however ill-perceived (elections, thwart a Us-Iran deal, intimidate Obama in 2008, etc), and you can't blame the plight of the Palestinians on Hamas;

anyways, look at it as you wish, but Israel has just smashed the anti-Assad alliance (of which I doubt it was ever a participant)

Posted by: claudio | Nov 15, 2012 3:13:54 AM | 59

My recent post on Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’: Cast Lead 2...

Posted by: CTuttle | Nov 15, 2012 3:18:36 AM | 60

@ Pirouz

You said that the military wing of HAMAS (the actual people who live in Gazza and stick their neck for their own families who also live in Gazza) is pro-Iran and that they are very much against their political wing's (who happen to live comfortablly in "exile" spending Qatari money) position with respect to Asad? Can you provide us with a link and tell us how you got that information?

I said the same thing as Lysander so will reply.

This would reflect the power struggle within Hamas over the Resistance axis

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah’s trip to the Iranian capital of Tehran highlighted the disagreement between the movement’s leaders at home and abroad, particularly his relationship with Damascus-based politburo chief Khaled Mashaal.

Haniyah’s acceptance of an invitation by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to participate in the celebration of the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, demonstrates the disagreements between Hamas leaders inside and outside the Gaza Strip, said political analyst Mekhimar Abu Saada.

Abu Saada added, divisions inside Hamas were made clear when the resistance movement was required to take a stance as far as the Syrian crisis is concerned and the general inclination was to reject Iran’s demand that Hamas support Bashar al-Assad’s regime like Lebanon’s Hezbollah did. “Mashaal was in the camp that favored distancing itself from Iran and Syria and getting closer to the Sunni axis represented by Turkey, Qatar, and the Palestinian president.”

Part of it would be common sense since its unlikely the armed wing would want to give up an Iranian connection that provides them with advanced weapons. Likely that Qatar's military assistance to Hamas would be much weaker than Iran's (since Qatar is a US ally).

The origins of this split are with Ismail Haniyah (Hamas head of Gaza, who favours keeping ties with Iran) and Khaleed Meshal (Hamas leader in Exile who favours breaking with Iran). In this split its likely the Military wing knows what side it gets it's gear from. Also notice that Ismail Haniyah survived one of the Israeli airstrikes.

Then we have this news from around an hour ago (though reported on the Israeli front company Debka):

Hamas names Pro-Tehran Marwan Issa to head military arm

Ahmed Jabari was replaced as commander of the Hamas’ military wing, Ezz e-din al-Qassam, Thursday, the day of his funeral in Gaza City, by his deputy Marwan Issa. DEBKAfile: Issa, who is in charge of Hamas’s special operations units, headed the radical organization's military delegation which travelled to Tehran and Beirut in mid-September and signed secret mutual defense pacts with Iran and Hizballah.

While the exiled political faction lives it up with Qatar and says one thing, the position of the military wing and Gaza head Haniyah (who runs the party grassroots operation) is doing another thing. The mention that Marwan Issa the new head of the military wing was in charge of the "special operations units" says it all. Who but Iran would be willing to give Hamas special forces training? No way would the military wing of Hamas turn against Iran. It would be suicide.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 15, 2012 6:43:09 AM | 61

In some ways Isreal has done both Syria and Iran a favor by attacking Gaza - it shows the true colors of the Western regimes - who have been screaming and shouting democracy/freedom/etc in Libya and now in Syria working with the aremd insurgents to fight the govt in Damascus. The Arab countires and movements thought they now have been accepted by the West, but Gaza shows the limit of the West acceptance of Arabs and their demands for freedom and human rights.

So far all the Western regimes have blamed the Palestinians for the violence and are largely silent on Isreals attack - so people in Turkey/Qatar/Saudi/etc. will have to stop and think "wtf are we doing destroying a country that did so much to help the Palestinians?" It will also show to the wider Arab/Muslim world the hypocisy of the West and the impotence of Turkey/Qatar/Saudi in defending Arabs against THE biggest oppresor of Arabs in the Middle East. Incidentally, the armed insurgents in Syria have uploaded pictures of Narallah/Khamenie/Ahmednijed been burnt in Syria - but not once, did they burn the Isreali flag or mention the Golan Heights in any of their propoganda videos. Again this showed to me that this was a foreign backed insurgeny as their backers did not want to antagonise their Western masters.

Lets see how Doha/Riyadh/Ankara/Cairo/Benghazi save Palestine.

As someone over at RaceforIran said, the Arabs are cannibals - they know how to kill each other but not their enemies. Think all that happened in Iraq/Yemen/Bahrain/Libya/Gaza/Lebanon/Syria over the last 30years or so.

Posted by: Irshad | Nov 15, 2012 7:45:01 AM | 62

Colm,

Greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 15, 2012 9:18:20 AM | 63

"As someone over at RaceforIran said, the Arabs are cannibals - they know how to kill each other but not their enemies. Think all that happened in Iraq/Yemen/Bahrain/Libya/Gaza/Lebanon/Syria over the last 30years or so." ~ Irshad

This southern white ol' lady recognizes that comment as pure racism... simply substitute the word "N*#&rs" for "Arabs" etc. ~ and voila!

[Irshad sounds like one of those trolls B has been cautioning us about]

Posted by: crone | Nov 15, 2012 10:45:45 AM | 64

Crone - I did not mean to sound racist and am definitely not a racist let alone a Troll that b has been warning about!
The comment was made in re: to what is happening in Libya/Syria - one group of Arabs killing another group except one side has the Wests backing whilst the other hasn't. Something that has been going on for decades in the Middle East. But when it comes to Isreal - they cannot do anything - except Hezbollah.

Take what you want from it but please stop flipping the "he/she is a racist" around so lighthly! I can tell you some stories of racism I faced.suffered because of my 1. my name 2. color of my skin in oh so civilised Europa!

Posted by: Irshad | Nov 15, 2012 11:09:01 AM | 65

Racism is an easy charge to lay and a hard one to disprove. It's also complex: the biggest racists of my acquaintance were native Indians(albeit of the inner city) and the blacks I knew growing up were just as dismissive of hindoos as the whites. But the dead speak for themselves, where in unremarkable life they were never heard from. And in the mid-east they cry, Oh, where is the new Saladin to unite the tribes and crush the usurpers? They must learn to submerge their egos, have faith in the God they never cease declaring, and surrender to the collective of the just society EVERYONE from Pope to proletarian says they want. This is not racism; it's a request for a change of one's perspective.

Posted by: yes_but | Nov 15, 2012 11:43:56 AM | 66

Hypocrisy of slaughter: Israel’s Orwellian account of Gaza campaign (Op-Ed)

http://rt.com/news/israel-gaza-campaign-hypocrisy-815/

‘Don’t worry about America…’

"Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is infamously quoted as yelling to his colleagues during a heated debate in Israel’s Knesset in October 2001, that they need not worry about American reaction to Israel’s Palestine-bashing because “we the Jewish people control America!"

Watching how US politicians file through powerful Pro-Israel lobbies, think tanks and organizations like AIPAC – American Israeli Public Affairs Committee -, the ADL and others, competing to give their most impassioned and dramatic pro-Israel speeches, one is tempted to believe Mr. Sharon’s candid words.

During the recent US presidential campaign both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each tried to give their most convincing Joe Biden-like “I-am-a-Zionist” speeches, to win over not just the Jewish vote and money in America, but also the Zionist vote which is represented by many non-Jewish born-again Christians.

So, when earlier this week US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice openly supported Israel and condemned Hamas’ retaliatory attacks describing them as “violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel", one can hardly be surprised.

It doesn’t really matter who sits in the Oval office; whether Democrat or Republican, the US will always unthinkingly and unreservedly support Israel every time it decides to play a new round of Palestine-bashing.

Naturally, US and global mainstream media willingly oblige, having succeeded in drilling deep into the collective psyche the conclusion that “Terrorism” is always linked to “Islamic Fundamentalists”.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 15, 2012 9:56:27 PM | 67

Israel ignores intl law with Gaza bombing, enjoys US, UK support (PHOTOS)

http://rt.com/news/international-reaction-gaza-assault-736/

"The latest attacks by Israel against Gaza have been condemned as a violation of international law. However the US and UK have given their unwavering support to the new strikes on Gaza.

Israel has now reportedly hit over 200 “targets” in Gaza, killing 13 and injuring over 120 people.

The unwavering support by the US and the UK is astounding, considering Israel has yet to comply with to any of the resolutions passed (see list) by the United Nations in relation to the Middle East conflict.

In addition to the frequent air strikes and shelling, Israel has kept Gaza under blockade since 2010 which is seen as an infringement of the right of the people in Gaza to a decent living, work, health and education.

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk explained that since the 1967 war, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians, including 23,000 women and 25,000 children, had gone through detention in Israeli jails. This constitutes approximately 20 per cent of the total Palestinian population in the occupied territory or 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population.

In 2008 Israel launched a 3 week offensive against Gaza, which resulted in 1,417 deaths, of them 926 civilians. Israel’s death toll was 9.

The Palestinian envoy to the UN slammed Israeli aggression during the meeting, decrying it as "vulgarly and publicly boasting about its willful killing of Palestinians.” Following Wednesday’s offensive that killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 15, 2012 10:03:12 PM | 68

Bloodbath in Gaza

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/15/bloodbath-in-gaza/

"For days now, Israel has been launching aerial attacks on Gaza, resulting in many dead and many injured. The attacks are part of a larger and massively depressing spectacle of a usurping colony forcing a population into a wall-enclosed ghetto and bombing them in the name of Judaism and the Jews.

A New York Times article, published November 14th, reports on the death of Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, killed by one of Israel’s recent (“pinpoint,”* according to the article) airstrikes. Naturally, the article makes sly non-mention of the others—including the children—killed in the strikes."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 15, 2012 10:21:56 PM | 69

@ bot tak,

How can you kill collateral damage? They're bombing an empty desert are they not? The place was empty when they got there, right?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 15, 2012 10:32:56 PM | 70

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