Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 17, 2012

The IDF's Stupid Hasbara

Really stupid hasbara is ...

... bragging about ones own missile strike while using the hashtag #stoptherockets.

h/t bungdan

Posted by b on November 17, 2012 at 16:04 UTC | Permalink


Al-Akhbar Arabic reporting on a supply line of rockets to Gaza, including a quantity that arrived in the last few hours. According to the article, Hamas has learned how to broadly distribute the hiding places, and rockets are arriving from various paths, not just from Sudan via Sinai.

I don't know if this is real, or just Israeli hasbara designed to justify a broader war.

Al-Akhbar is usually pretty good, so if I had to bet, I would say that Netanyahu has his hands full. Perhaps Egyptian authorities have decided that covert operations can work both ways--if the US and Gulf States can covertly supply the rebels in Syria, they can do the same for Gaza.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 17 2012 16:35 utc | 1

Tel Aviv residents cheer rocket interception

This headline and the enclosed photo in USA today article should be really educating to majority of Israelis and their EU/US supporters, here the editor of USA today is trying to convince his audience that the residence of Israel are so comfortable and sure of their Iron Dome shield that they let their kids play Russian roulette outdoors? I wonder if this dumb editor would allow his kid to watch missile fired at them.

I would think a responsible parent after a while will ask himself/ herself if I have a choice to move on and away from this situation should I pass and stay to have my family cheer intercepting missiles, here with this circumstances is just like watching my kid playing Russian roulette on daily bases. That should tell a lot about the level and quality of the USA Today editor who allowed this headline. At the end of the day is scarier than convincing that all is all right.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 17 2012 17:13 utc | 2

Al-Akhbar English does not sound that optimistic. It seems that Israel's first strikes took out a lot of weapon stores.

Israel want to avoid an invasion and wants a new ceasefire. The new Egyptian government is just like the old Egyptian government and also wants an immediate ceasefire.

In my view that is not in Hamas interest. But there are different people in Hamas and the external Hamas folks are now paid and bought off by Qatar and will do what they are hold. But any ceasefire now will look like an Israeli victory and will Netanyahoo let win the election. If Hamas can continue to fire rockets then Netanyahhoo will have to invade. Then there will be Israeli losses and greater international outcry and Netanyahoo may then loose the war (and the election.)

As this calculation is probably known by everyone Hamas should at least ask for a very high price from Israel (and Qatar) to stop fighting. Ending the Israel blockade and an end of the Israeli assassination campaign should be the minimum demand.

Posted by: b | Nov 17 2012 17:16 utc | 3

At issue here will be the sympathies and loyalties of Egyptians charged with policing Sinai. If some choose to turn a blind eye to weapons shipments, Israel will be forced to attack Sinai, an escalation which would have broad repercussions throughout the Arab world and demand an even more permissive attitude toward the flow of arms by the Egyptian government, who would do their utmost to achieve plausible deniability in English while sending opposite signals in Arabic.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 17 2012 17:42 utc | 4

I guess a lot of it is about the tunnels.

Hamas needs an end of the blockade or they need the tunnels. And I guess the Israelis do not get the security cooperation from Egypt they used to plus Egypt has reasons of their own to take control of Sinai

“Sinai is a significant threat. You have jihadist groups which are able to operate relatively freely across Gaza and the Sinai, giving them strategic depth,” says Mike Singh, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ”It’s all part and parcel of the same threat as Gaza, and we need to see Cairo and Hamas get serious about getting it under control.” But, until a ceasefire is called in the Gaza Strip, nothing can be done except to take cover.

US, Turkey, Egypt, Quatar, Israel need Hamas to cave in now. I do not think Hamas political wing can stop the military wing.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 17 2012 18:17 utc | 5

The Egyptian government is bound by the moneymen in Washington and Brussels.They can't operate beyond the limits set by the moneymen.

The Muslim Brotherhood tag is just for the masses.You can bet Obama's been on the phone with Erdogan and Mursi to put pressure on Hamas to stop the rocket fire.A tough sell for a government that claim to be Muslim Brotherhood and have campaigned on an anti-western ticket for decades.

So what's a "reformed" MB to do??? They arrange a lousy Arab League meeting and issue statements of condemnations and make assorted noises and makes sure their masters in Washington and Brussels see/hear them - everybody gets a cut in the end.

They call for so many things on Gaza but stops short of calling for arming the Palestinians. Compare that with their efforts on Syria. When will the Arab world wake up to this hypocrisy and stupidity of their so called leaders???

If they mean business, they can start by stopping the export of oil and gas.

Posted by: Zico | Nov 17 2012 19:09 utc | 6

@somebody - quoting a zionit WINEP propagandist doesn't make a point.

Elaborating on what I said above - the Hamas MB-friendly exiles vs. the fighters on the ground:Hamas pragmatists lose out in leadership struggle
"Pragmatists" are the ones paid by the Guld states.

The reactions represent a shift of power away from the outside leadership under Mr Meshaal that gained momentum when Hamas was forced last year to dismantle its headquarters in Damascus, Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the Washington-DC-based American Task Force on Palestine, wrote in Foreign Policy, a US magazine, last week.

Hamas's leaders were under pressure to give a firm response to Ahmed Al Jabari's assassinationon on Wednesday, in part, to placate allied militant groups in Gaza that have been critical of an informal truce Hamas upheld with Israel in recent years.

Targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem went far beyond what was expected. Not only does it threaten to bring a devastating response from Israel, but it could strain Hamas's ties with its new allies in the Arab Spring countries of Egypt and Tunisia, where Islamist have risen to the key positions of power. It could also strain its relationship with Qatar, which last month reached out to Hamas with a visit to Gaza by the country's emir.

Posted by: b | Nov 17 2012 19:19 utc | 7

b. I agree WINEP is propaganda, but somehow Gaza militants got those Fajr rockets despite there being a blockade on Gaza.

Israel has no policy to reverse course - and they are at a dead end - so Netanyahu insists on doing more of the same.

This here is Thomas L. Friedman from 2009

But that requires diplomacy. Israel de facto recognizes Hamas’s right to rule Gaza and to provide for the well-being and security of the people of Gaza — which was actually Hamas’s original campaign message, not rocketing Israel. And, in return, Hamas has to signal a willingness to assume responsibility for a lasting cease-fire and to abandon efforts to change the strategic equation with Israel by deploying longer and longer range rockets. That’s the only deal. Let’s give it a try.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 17 2012 20:00 utc | 8

b., the article you link to is fun actually, as I distinctly remember Haniyeh being depicted as the moderate suffering in Gaza whilst hard liner Meshaal was being safe in Syria :-))

There has been enormous speculation about what connection, if any, linked the two events. The facts, inevitably, are murky. Israeli leaks suggested a split in Hamas, with Khaled Meshal using his influence over Hamas’ military wing to sabotage an initiative of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas moderate (AP, 6/26/06). Hamas sources claimed the raid was unauthorized, the work of a rogue faction of the group’s military wing that no longer took Hamas’ orders due to unpaid wages and political disputes (Ha’aretz, 6/27/06).

Apart from the speculation of Hamas hardliners versus pragmatists above article is worth the read for the timeline of Israel opting for the "Bantustan solution" - I guess there is no Palestinian pragmatism that could accept this solution.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 17 2012 21:03 utc | 9

re b 3

Al-Akhbar English does not sound that optimistic. It seems that Israel's first strikes took out a lot of weapon stores.

That is normal. The same happened in 2006. We are talking about repeats of what happened before.

Hamas will have prepared, successfully or not. They know that many of their emplacements will have been betrayed by Israeli agents. A certain proportion will have been lost.

We will see what happens.

The base aim of Hamas will be to be able to fire rockets until the cease-fire. If there are some long-range, all the better.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 17 2012 21:39 utc | 10

Following what the various spokesmonkeys for the likbloodists are saying it would appear they do NOT really want to launch a ground offensive with all it's attendant adverse reaction. They may have been able to get Goldsmith to denounce his own report on cast lead but the damage was done and they wont want a repeat.

Posted by: DontNnSUName | Nov 17 2012 21:44 utc | 11

here's a good utube video of RT giving it to a spokesmonkey. . . ."we have not targeted children - there are no hurt children " as the split screen shows kids being wheeled into hospital

Posted by: DontNnSUName | Nov 17 2012 21:46 utc | 12

Alqassam Brigades ‏@AlqassamBrigade
Al Qassam Brigades to hold its press conference at 11:40 pm. #Hamas #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack #ShaleStones #Palestine #Israel #IDF #Terror

Posted by: brian | Nov 17 2012 22:30 utc | 13

according Iran media(Fars) It was the Qatari Emir's who gave Israel information about the location of Hamas leaders

(FNA)- The residence and offices of a number of Hamas leaders were
identified during the recent visit to the Gaza Strip by Qatar's King
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and later targeted by Israeli missile
and bomb attacks, informed sources disclosed.

Posted by: nikon | Nov 17 2012 22:30 utc | 14

I am surprised Israel hasn't invaded Gaza today. If it doesn't happen tomorrow, we'll doubt where Israel is going.

In the case of Israel, a non-success equals defeat.

I don't know where Israeli policy is going. It could be that Israel is taking down Hamas defences, before attacking Iran. In that case they also need to take down Hizbullah defences. After which they will be pretty exhausted, even before attacking Iran.

A plan which could work, but is more likely to remain stuck in the mud.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 17 2012 22:40 utc | 15

@14 It looks like "fat pig" as he is known showered the Hamas leadership with gifts of Pens and watches - with built in low level transmitters. . .Ya'd have thunked Hamas might have been a bit more "onto it" than that, but he was the first head of state to visit Gaza since the new regime came to power and no doubt the presents wouldn't have been your el cheapo models, most likely Cartier or some such that would've massaged the targets egos. Very sly bit of business there. What do ya expect from Qatar though - I'm sure they don't see themselves as Arabs but as WASP Jews (shudder !!)

Posted by: DontNnSUName | Nov 17 2012 22:41 utc | 16

re nikon 14

according Iran media(Fars) It was the Qatari Emir's who gave Israel information about the location of Hamas leaders

This is likely to be anti-Sunni propaganda. I doubt very much that the Qatari emir visited Gaza as an Israeli spy. More likely he is sympathetic to Hamas' interests, as both salafi.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 17 2012 22:51 utc | 17

I don't think Qatari royal family become incredibly rich by sympathizing those who are deemed terrorists by western governments.

Posted by: nikon | Nov 17 2012 22:58 utc | 18

Alexno @14: Ahmadinejad said that Israel is at a strategic dead end. If they invade, it will greatly advance the Arab Spring and weaken the tyrants who have tacitly supported Israel. If they don't invade, Hamas wins.

If Obama doesn't use a very crude, simple drawing to explain the potential harm to the US position in the ME created by a rejuvenated Arab Spring, then he doesn't care about US interests.

It will be very interesting to see in the next couple days whose side Obama is really on--the US' long term interests in the region or Netanyahu's election nonsense.

If, as the media reports say, Obama and Netanyahu don't like each other, Obama could get rid of Netanyahu once and for all by simply giving him a public, verbal whipping. Israelis are paranoid about losing the favor of their protector.

Given US past behavior, I expect the US to support Israel, a huge favor to Arabs, who will see their movement for self determination take a gigantic stride forward.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 17 2012 23:01 utc | 19

Frankly, if Israel doesn't invade, they lose. If they do, the only real objective should be to exterminate the Gazans. That's not a winning strategy either.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 18 2012 0:10 utc | 20

Haaretz' lead story is now Netanyahu says Israel will agree to ceasefire if rockets from Gaza stop

Not sure what that means. It could be the Euros and US pressuring him behind the scenes, possibly due to fear of the effect the Gaza massacre is having on the puppets and their Syria project.

Or it could be that Hamas' rockets are proving too hard to stop and will become a detriment to his election campaign if they continue for too long.

Regarding the blockade, Egypt is the weak link therein. Hamas can't openly demand that Israel lift the blockade as a condition for ceasefire, because it wont. Morsi on the other hand is in a bind. If this gets out of hand he may agree to reopen Rafah so as not to be embarrassed. So Hamas should secretly tell him that things WILL get out of hand unless the blockade at Rafah is seriously loosened.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 18 2012 0:54 utc | 21

The more information that comes out it is not unreasonable to suggest that the early "negotiations" between Hamas and Egypt, Qatar and whoever provided the Israelis with information that allowed them to kill Jafari (sp?). I suspect that he relaxed his own security in order to facilitate some kind of cease fire. Those Israelis are incredibly devious. No doubt about that.

I think one of the longer term messages that Israel have just sent to Mursi is that the Israelis cannot be trusted. If US diplomats encouraged Mursi to engage in these discussions then I hope he now realizes that the US is as devious as the Israelis.

It is very difficult to think that anything positive can come out of Israel's latest turkey shoot in Gaza. That is so depressing to even think about it makes if difficult to even comment on it. Given that I hope Mursi fully realizes what he dealing with and will use Egyptian state resources to support Palestinian resistance inside Gaza. And yes, he should be willing to be as devious as the US and Israel in this latest blow up.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 18 2012 1:07 utc | 22

Iran scores again. Iranian missiles from Gaza have tipped the balance, which goes nicely with Iran's new NAM chair, the US being evicted from Iran's contiguous neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iran's beating the sanctions as its oil exports have climbed back to 2.7 million bpd. Iran with its cash has offered to fund the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and its GDP growth exceeds the US's while the EU, a victim of US sanctions, is on the financial ropes. What's not to like for Iran?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2012 3:02 utc | 23

Iran also has an ace up its sleeve, which is now apparent to Israel. Hezbollah has thousands of rockets pointed at Israel.

Hamas’s arsenal is tiny compared with what Hezbollah in Lebanon is thought to have: thousands of rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv. Yonatan Touval, an analyst with Prime Source, a private Tel Aviv risk-assessment company, said, “The Iron Dome system is ineffective in intercepting longer-range projectiles, such as those that would be launched from Lebanon toward the Tel Aviv area. To address this threat, Israel is currently developing the Magic Wand system, but it is not expected to become operational before 2015.”
Like Syria, this is really Israel v. Iran, and Iran is prevailing in both.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2012 3:48 utc | 24

syria is gulf monarchs vs. iran

Posted by: nikon | Nov 18 2012 4:25 utc | 25

21, lysander, they are trying to get a cease fire without a cease fire agreement. That is all.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 18 2012 5:25 utc | 26

@ alexno

Invasion means casualties. 'Justice' from the air costs only [refundable] $$. Public doesn't like bloody pics of team IDFers being hurled back home.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 18 2012 5:46 utc | 27

ok. this is the wish list and yes the Israeli attack on Gaza is directed at Egypt

As indirect negotiations over a cease-fire progress at this moment, with active U.S. involvement, it is time to chart a course to end this round of hostilities ...

Note: The wish is that Egypt deals with Israel at the highest levels ... how about Israel dealing with Hamas at the highest levels ...

Posted by: somebody | Nov 18 2012 5:49 utc | 28

This here is probably what Israel thinks it is doing, managing the problem

Posted by: somebody | Nov 18 2012 7:22 utc | 29

“There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Mr. Obama said in his first public comments since the violence broke out. “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Another hasbarist?

Posted by: ess emm | Nov 18 2012 17:34 utc | 30

I'm sure that if foreigners destroyed the US defense chief with a rocket, the US would do some rocket-raining in return. Or even if it were a GI in a German bar that was killed by unknown assailants, as with Libya years ago.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2012 21:40 utc | 31

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