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Hamas Rejects Egyptian Cease Fire Deal Israel Had Accepted

Gaza Rockets
Late yesterday, Egypt proposed a cease fire to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel that would have brought the conflict, which has resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 Gazans to date, to an end. After an early Tuesday morning meeting of the Security Cabinet, Israel accepted the offer and began a cease fire that lasted some six hours before Hamas decided that it was rejecting the proposal:

JERUSALEM — Hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip continued Tuesday, despite Israel’s initial embrace of an Egyptian cease-fire proposal, which the Islamist Hamas movement appeared to reject.

Israel announced at 9 a.m. Tuesday that it had accepted the Egyptian initiative, but a barrage of nearly 50 rockets from Gaza continued to fly into its territory over the next several hours. By 3 p.m., Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, confirmed that “we’ve resumed some striking in Gaza,” but would not provide specifics. At least one airstrike hit Gaza City.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had said earlier that he would respond with force if the rockets did not stop.

“We agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give the opportunity to deal with demilitarization of the strip from missiles, rockets and tunnels through diplomatic means,” Mr. Netanyahu said after a meeting with the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “But if Hamas does not accept the cease-fire proposal, as it looks now, Israel will have all the international legitimacy in order to achieve the desired quiet.”

Leaders of Hamas have not officially responded to Israel’s acceptance of the Egyptian proposal, which would halt the aerial battle that began on July 7 and calls for Israeli and Palestinian delegations to travel to Cairo within 48 hours to negotiate further terms.

Mousa Abu Marzouk, a Cairo-based leader of Hamas, said in a message posted on Twitter around the time the rockets were flying that the organization was still “consulting” and had “not issued an official position on the Egyptian initiative.”

A Twitter post, in Hebrew, by Hamas’s military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, took responsibility for the rockets that were fired at Israeli cities on Tuesday, adding, “We will continue to bombard until our conditions are met.”reportedly

(…)

The response was a stark contrast from 2012, when an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended eight days of cross-border violence was greeted by street parades celebrating it as a Hamas victory. A Hamas security official outside the hospital, who gave only a nickname, Abu Mahmoud, pointed at the rocket and said, “This is our celebration.”

He referred to the cease-fire proposal as “only a way for Egypt to save face” and said bluntly, “We don’t accept it.”

The Egyptian proposal, which was embraced by the United States, the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority, calls for border crossings into Gaza to “be opened,” and for the movement of people and goods to be “facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.”

Some Israeli politicians criticized the cease-fire plan, saying that not enough damage had yet been inflicted on Hamas’s infrastructure and weapons caches. Haaretz, an Israel daily, reported that the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the economy minister, Naftali Bennett, had voted against it in the early-morning meeting of top ministers known as Israel’s security cabinet.

(…)

But some analysts had said there were no downsides to Israel’s embrace of the cease-fire proposal: The Egyptian cease-fire would either lead to a genuine calm that benefits both sides or, if Hamas rejects the terms, provide Israel with cover to continue the conflict.

“If Hamas looks at the cards it has been dealt — and they are very weak cards indeed — resuming military operations against Israel is not a good hand to play,” Michael B. Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, told reporters on Tuesday in a conference call organized by The Israel Project, an advocacy group.

On some level, it’s hard to figure out what rational strategy the leaders Hamas are following here, assuming that they are following one at all. To date, their rocket attacks have inflicted nothing but minimal damage on Israel itself thanks both to the fact that many of rockets are rather poorly designed to begin with, and the fact that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has been particularly effective at stopping those missiles that do threaten Israeli cities, while at the same time mostly ignoring the ones that end up falling harmlessly in the desert. The handful attempted incursions into Israel proper that Hamas fighters have made over the past two weeks, usually via the sea, have all been beaten back by the Israeli military at high cost to the attackers. Mostly importantly, each attack on Israel that is responded to results in substantial damage to Hamas’s capabilities, as well as damage to the civilians that Hamas, cowardly, hides its military assets around. Rather than terrorizing Israel into some kind of submission that will lead them to make concessions at a negotiating table — a table that doesn’t exist largely because Hamas refuses to negotiate with Israel or even recognize its right to exist — the attacks only serve to strengthen Israel resolve and, indeed, international sympathy for Israel itself since it is obvious that Hamas is the party at fault here.

As I’ve said before, while I’ve often been critical of Israeli policy in the past, for example the position that the Netenyahu government has taken regarding settlement expansion in the West Bank which seems to do more to retard the peace process with the Palestinian Authority than anything else, I find it hard to criticize Israeli actions here. Hamas’s rockets threaten Israels largest cities on a regular basis, and the attacks they launch are largely unprovoked. Whereas Israel has arrested the Jewish extremists who are apparently responsible for the murder of a Palestinian youth, Hamas has done nothing regarding the men responsible for the murder of three Israeli teenagers, one of whom is also an American citizen, that set off the current crisis. Hamas refuses to recognize Israeli’s right to exist and refuses to negotiate toward some kind of long term peace deal. Instead, it lobs rockets into Israel. What else is Israel supposed to do expect respond in the manner that they are responding? I certainly can’t think of any other option that is even remotely plausible.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. D.C. Sachs says:

    Doug writes, “It’s hard to figure out what rational strategy the leaders Hamas are following here.” Unfortunately, it is not hard to follow. They seek martyrdom. Israel’s dilemma is how to stop the violence without giving Hamas what it wants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Tillman says:

    He referred to the cease-fire proposal as “only a way for Egypt to save face” and said bluntly, “We don’t accept it.”

    Here’s the key point. The Muslim Brotherhood just got overthrown in a coup in Egypt, so Hamas doesn’t trust anything brokered by the perpetrators of the coup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Egypt: “We propose a cease-fire.”

    Israel: “We can live with that, sure.”

    Hamas: “We refuse to accept a cease-fire!” (fires more rockets)

    Israel: “OK.” BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    Hamas in Gaza was not involved in the kidnapping and murder of the teenagers in Hebron, which was in the West Bank. Nobody in the Israeli government thinks they were involved. They were attacked because of Israeli hysteria. According to this piece in the Forward, the Israeli government knew that the three teenagers were dead on the day it happened. Instead of saying this, they built up the search and manipulated the public.

    And from the same piece:
    Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013. Neither side had any desire to end the détente. Besides, whatever might replace Hamas in Gaza could only be worse.

    Hamas is no innocent party here. They are war criminals. And they should accept the cease-fire. But this whole thing was about Israel stage-managing the murders of three teenagers so they could launch military operations, the purpose of which being to kill Palestinians as sacrifices for the public spirit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  5. C. Clavin says:

    The only question that matters…how does this help advance US interests in the region?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    Thanks for the link. For those interested, Goldberg has a succinct, and generally speaking balanced*, history of the lead up to the current conflict right here:
    http://blogs.forward.com/jj-goldberg/201863/how-the-gaza-war-started-and-how-it-can-end/?

    It’s worth reading as, if its accurate, it presents a lot of the challenges that are complicating any quick resolution to this conflict.

    * – By balanced, I mean that it sees the rational behind both Israeli and Hamas actions and, by no means, lets Hamas off the hook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So, what, are you cheerleading the Israeli BOOMing or…?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  8. rudderpedals says:

    Reading Goldberg’s piece last night I thought it was generally a good read but fundamentally flawed in concluding that body fluid DNA matchings were proof of deaths. Until the bodies were found it would have been unreasonable to stop looking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Ron Beasley says:

    The mistake people make is assuming there is anything rational about this totally irrational region.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013. Neither side had any desire to end the détente.

    So, what is an acceptable number of rockets that Hamas should be allowed to fire into Israel without fear of retaliation? From your comment here, I’m thinking you believe 240 is too many, while 5 is acceptable. Where is the magic number?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: So, what, are you cheerleading the Israeli BOOMing or…?

    I tend to cheer when bad things happen to bad people.

    On the other hand, I don’t cheer when bad things happen to innocent people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Hamas in Gaza was not involved in the kidnapping and murder of the teenagers in Hebron, which was in the West Bank. Nobody in the Israeli government thinks they were involved. They were attacked because of Israeli hysteria.

    You skipped a few steps there — mainly, Hamas celebrating the deaths of the teens with a fresh barrage of rockets into Israel.

    Oh, and one of those rockets took out the electricity for 70,000 Gazans. Electricity that Israel gives them and doesn’t get paid for. I don’t see the Israelis rushing to fix the rocket damage any time soon, and good for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  13. Rob in CT says:

    There is a dreadful symbiosis at work in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict between the hardliners on each side. From a hardliner Palestinian/Islamist PoV, Palestinians killed by the IDF are a good thing. Great propoganda value!

    The article seems to indicate Hamas hasn’t actually formally taken a position, though? Others seem anti… is it possible Hamas is a mess internally? I wouldn’t be surprised if so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  14. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    One of the points made clear in Goldberg and others reporting is that Hamas is not a unified entity. And this is a region where cheaply made weapons are readily available.

    So blaming every rocket launch on “Hamas” (or every kidnapping on “Hamas”) as if it was a singular State actor like the US, where military operations are centrally controlled, doesn’t work.

    The fact is that as Goldberg and others report, Hamas (the governmental body) had actually been policing it’s populace to prevent rocket fire. Hence the decrease after 2007.

    In fact, in the present conflict, according to Goldberg’s reporting, Hamas officially joined the rocket fire late.

    This isn’t a meant to be a defense of Hamas. But blaming them for every missile attack (especially when they had in recent years been working to stop them) is like blaming the Israeli government for any act of settler violence against Palestinians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  15. Eric Florack says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Irrationality is cognition, thinking, talking or acting without inclusion of rationality. It is more specifically described as an action or opinion given through inadequate use of reason, emotional distress, or cognitive deficiency. Wikipedia

    You my disagree with their rationale, and in fact I do as well.It is certainly irrational in terms of western logic. But there’s the key…. I submit that “Rational” is a subjective term as is reason, or the supposed lack of it, and that what we hold as logical is largely a product of western civ, and theirs is based on something else altogether.

    The Islamists have a longish and bloody history… thousands of years of it… of using such “Negotiations” as they would any other weapon…. against their enemy. That kind of consistency can only be a product of an underlying logic, a school of thinking.

    Calling it irrational and walking away is an easy out. And even attempting to negotiate with that lack of understanding of their motivations is suicidal, Such irrationality is our foreign policy today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  16. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    From the Goldberg post that Matt Bernius links to:

    But on June 29 Israel hit a Hamas operative, who was not involved in rocket fire but by some reports part of the enforcement squads. Hamas publicly protested the assassination of its guy and responded the next morning with a barrage of its own rockets. These were by every account the first rockets Hamas had fired since the 2012 cease-fire.

    If this is true, the rockets probably came from other militant groups in Gaza, and not the de facto government. It also positions Hamas as responding to an attack. Granted, I’m sure they were not anguished by the ordeal. But how anguished are the Israelis to be attacking Gaza and killing Palestinians?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. Matt Bernius says:

    @Rob in CT:

    is it possible Hamas is a mess internally? I wouldn’t be surprised if so.

    This. Hamas is a mess internally. It doesn’t have a unified centralized structure.

    The net result is *a* Hamas group — out of Hebron, *not* Gaza — are possibly responsible for the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli boys that kicked off the present conflict.

    Again, this doesn’t excuse the behavior of the Gaza Hamas leadership.

    But we really don’t have a particularly good model for understanding these types of fragmented group relations within our existing modern western experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Hamas is the legally elected government of Gaza. Whether or not they are to blame for the rockets, they are responsible for them.

    Here’s a way Hamas could actually send a message to those “rogue” rocket-launching guys: “OK, no more firing rockets into Israel. If you do it and they hit back, you’re on your own. We won’t help you, we won’t defend you. And we might even consider telling Israel just who and where you are, so they don’t take out innocents when they shoot back.”

    This, of course, conflicts with Hamas’ declared goal of genocide against Israel, but it might actually work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Ha… I get down voted for asking how this helps the US…those folks should move to Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  20. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Just so I understand your position, when US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales killed 16 afghani citizens in cold blood, was the US Government responsible for his actions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: But how anguished are the Israelis to be attacking Gaza and killing Palestinians?

    Israel goes to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties. They took our Hellfire missiles and reduced the warhead’s size to cut down on collateral damage. They often fire a “knock” rocket (a very low-powered rocket) to give residents warning that a bigger missile is coming. They drop leaflets warning about pending strikes. But the Palestinians are using human shields — willing ones, for the most part.

    On the other hand, the Palestinians do everything they can to maximize casualties. They load their suicide bombs with nails, screws, and rat poison (which prevents the wounded from clotting). They invented the double-bomb (a second bomb to go off a little after the first one, to take out first responders). They fire unguided rockets in the general direction of Israel and hope to kill as many as possible.

    I’ve heard several Israeli officials make variations of the following statement: Israel uses weapons to protect civilians. The Palestinians use civilians to protect weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  22. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hamas is the legally elected government of Gaza. Whether or not they are to blame for the rockets, they are responsible for them.

    Have they had elections since July 1st I’m unaware of? Hamas isn’t controlling the strip through democratic legitimacy, so claiming they are responsible for every attack out of it because of this legitimacy is BS.

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    They took our Hellfire missiles and reduced the warhead’s size to cut down on collateral damage. They often fire a “knock” rocket (a very low-powered rocket) to give residents warning that a bigger missile is coming.

    Yeah, they give ‘em three minutes to evacuate out of the densely-populated area after a mortar attack on the roof. This is great lengths indeed.

    I’m all down on depicting Hamas as the war criminals they are, but your whitewashing of similar crimes by the Israelis is depressing. They aren’t the shining knights serving justice here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Just so I understand your position, when US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales killed 16 afghani citizens in cold blood, was the US Government responsible for his actions?

    Yes, we were. He was our agent, in our uniform, there at our command.

    And we handled it appropriately. He was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life without parole.

    Because we were responsible. We weren’t at fault, as we didn’t order him to commit those massacres, but we were responsible. We accepted that and handled it appropriately.

    How has Hamas handled its responsibilities?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  24. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Then I agree with your use of “responsible” if not the full conclusion you reach about it.

    Chances are that’s the closest we’re going to get to alignment and I don’t think there is much use in engaging in talking past each other beyond that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. C. Clavin says:

    Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman:

    “A full takeover of the Gaza Strip is Israel’s only course forward.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:
    Additionally, while the target house in question may receive a “knock missile” the surrounding structures typically do not. And for better or worse, the general state of construction materials in Gaza mean that adjacent houses often collapse from the *nearby* impact of Israeli missile strikes.

    It’s my understanding that those collapses that are responsible for many of the civilian casualties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: Yeah, they give ‘em three minutes to evacuate out of the densely-populated area after a mortar attack on the roof. This is great lengths indeed.

    That’s not how it works. In this case, the IDF called the residents and warned them. Then came the “knock on the roof.” Then, 15 minutes later, the bigger rocket.

    Meanwhile, the Palestinians are firing rockets at Israel’s nuclear power plant at Dimona. And the United Nations specifically calls such attacks as nuclear terrorism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  28. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    First, Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth. Israel can claim that every citizen they kill is a human shield, or that Hamas puts its weapons in civilian areas, but it’s just as likely that the human shields are just people living next door to weapons and Hamas offices.

    Also, while it’s true that Israel tries to minimize casualties, this is contradicted by the fact that they are attacking partly for their public’s reassurance. They are hitting Gaza to punish Gazans so that Israelis feel retribution has been served. This is collective punishment, and collective punishment of Gaza equals collective punishment of Gaza, regardless if there are a thousand dead or a hundred.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  29. C. Clavin says:

    The Hamas military seems to be acting on it’s own…independent of the political leadership.
    This is currently unconfirmed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Another Mike says:

    @Tillman:

    They aren’t the shining knights serving justice here.

    Actually they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  31. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In this case, the IDF called the residents and warned them. Then came the “knock on the roof.” Then, 15 minutes later, the bigger rocket.

    This is correct in regards to the targeted structure.

    However, the IDF, to my knowledge, does not call or directly warn residents in adjacent buildings. Again, the problem is that while X structure may be cleared, the subsequent tactical impact often causes collapse of neighboring buildings/structures.

    As @Modulo Myself points out, in a densely populated area, it are those collateral collapses that result in many of the civilian casualties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Would it help if we had an official Hamas spokesman praising human shields, and calling on Palestinians to act as human shields, on official Hamas TV?

    Well, here you go.

    A far as the logistics angle goes… that’s not Israel’s problem. If the Palestinians didn’t set up rockets among civilians and then fire them, then Israel wouldn’t shoot at the rockets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  33. C. Clavin says:

    @Another Mike:
    Well I guess that settles it…against all evidence to the contrary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. anjin-san says:

    BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

    Well, some of us don’t think human beings getting blow to bits is cause to make pithy little attempts at humor, but I guess you are not one of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  35. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You got voted down because people here are sick of your stupid comments. The fact that you actually care how many likes or dislikes you get is even more pathetic. You should ask yourself why you even come here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  36. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’ve found a case. Meanwhile, around nine hundred homes are gone and nearly two hundred dead. The doctor quoted here had ten minutes for a call not even sent to him. The police chief didn’t get any warning. They’re certainly not applying a golden standard to every strike, and every strike that results in collateral damages further economically displaces the Gazans, only strengthening Hamas’s hold.

    @Another Mike: …okay, go on. Explain how they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Let me call you a wah-mbulance.

    If you’re nice, I’ll make sure it’s not one of these.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  38. Tillman says:

    @Cletus: How is asking about how this impacts U.S. interests a stupid comment? This blog’s mostly about American interests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  39. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes, because the Palestinians are such savages they will die in their homes to spite Israel. Also, at funerals, they will act like humans with their visages of grief, but that again is a savage lie.

    If you had some courage, you would say what you mean–which is that the Palestinians are insects who deserve to be exterminated. But instead, you follow what you were taught, which is the need to have the moral high-ground while being a bloodthirsty goon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: I found ONE case without even trying. And you even acknowledge that it isn’t unique, but a fairly common practice of the IDF. They put a lot of effort to minimize innocent casualties.

    Please find a case where the Palestinians demonstrated compassion or restraint or common decency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: I’m saying that the Israelis are, and have, consistently acted in a more moral way than the Palestinians. BTW, they’re still sending tons and tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza every day, even while the current fighting is going on.

    To steal a line I’ve lost the source of: I’ll start feeling sympathetic for the Palestinians when they start acting in a way that elicits sympathy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  42. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Let me call you a wah-mbulance.

    Well of course, because you are a manly guy who cheers for war and destruction on blogs. And no doubt you watch a lot of war movies and read Clancy, so by armchair warrior standards, you have “seen the elephant”…

    I don’t cheer when bad things happen to innocent people.

    BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  43. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’re missing the point. You’re claiming that Israel warning civilians of incoming attack gives them moral superiority when they attack, and that is dead wrong because, as Modulo and Bernius and myself have noted, Gaza is densely-populated with nowhere safe to truly evacuate to. An attack on a specific house in an economicaly run-down area (thanks to the Israeli blockade) is bound to damage other areas and kill unintended targets. What’s worse, you’re claiming firing a mortar a few minutes before firing a larger bomb counts as a large humanitarian effort to warn civilians to leave the bomb zone. Where are they going to go, Jenos? Other areas that Israel might decide to target for unknown reasons?

    And further, you’re claiming it’s a great effort on their part, but as I noted with the article on the Gazan police chief, they don’t seem to care about exercising that effort consistently. That says to me they do it as political cover internationally, not that they’re taking all possible steps to reduce civilian casualties.

    Finally, they are killing all these people over three dead teenagers. That’s the definition of a measured and adequate response to you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  44. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So you don’t think parents who lose children deserve sympathy? Or the parents or siblings of the Israeli Arab who was kidnapped and burned alive deserve sympathy? What kind of proof do you need of humanity?

    It’s bizarre, because you are basically admitting to what every racist uses as justification for their racism, and you don’t even have the awareness to grasp it. What other groups out there, just for the record, have you yet to grant human rights?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Funny, O Saintly One, I don’t recall you gushing with sympathy for the wife and parents of George Zimmerman. And you were incredibly dismissive to Holly Fisher.

    Just what are the standards for your selective sanctimony, anyway?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  46. anjin-san says:

    Oh my, we get to talk about George Zimmermann now. I hear he is borderline homeless Jenos, why don’t you take him in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  47. Cletus says:

    @Tillman:

    The comment by Clavin is just another blanket statement by a guy that offers little to no value to this blog. We all know by now how Clavin feels about Israel. He never misses an opportunity to voice his endless opinions when the topic comes up. HE doesn’t offer analysis or even a good copy & paste job.

    I will though respond to his stupid comment. you may have missed his comment last week on Israel, WORST. ALLY. EVER.
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/israel-intensifies-attacks-on-gaza-hints-at-ground-invasion/

    That was his comment which was all about getting “Likes” on here. No argument or analysis.
    Clavin seems to think Israel should be held to a much higher standard than all our allies, even the ones who are still intolerant of women, gays, and basic human rights.

    Everyone here is entitled to their opinions but it would a better blog if these comments were not about getting likes, but instead of creating real debate. IF you want me to believe your opinion is right, then make a good argument. There are still people on here who I often disagree with that make good arguments and have changed my point of my view on a few issues. That should be the point of commenting instead of attention seeking folks like Clavin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Another non-answer.

    Can you recall your last relevant comment, or should I break out the carbon-dating kit?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  49. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes, it was tragic how no medal was awarded to a vigilante who had the frightening experience of seeing a black teenager on the street, and then who overcame this trauma by shooting said teenager.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  50. Matt Bernius says:

    @anjin-san:

    Oh my, we get to talk about George Zimmermann now.

    OK folks. I don’t care who brought him up*. Mr. Zimmerman is *WAY* off topic here. And I’d prefer not to have to chew that particular cabbage again. Or watch other people chewing it.

    Let’s keep with the TOS and stay on the topic at hand (there’s more than enough to argue about on it)

    * – please don’t use the 7-year-old’s excuse of “he did X to me first”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  51. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The Islamists have a longish and bloody history… thousands of years of it… of using such “Negotiations” as they would any other weapon…. against their enemy. That kind of consistency can only be a product of an underlying logic, a school of thinking.

    You know who else historically has the same approach to diplomacy? Everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  52. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: Agreed, as per diplomacy.
    But that suggests there are some situations which diplomacy isn’t any good for, doesn’t it? Look, the crazies on the left can complain all they want to, about Israel, and label them the problem, but it doesn’t change the fact that Hamas has only one goal… the elimination of Israel. There is no negotiation, no compromise possible with that goal. THere are other solutions that will cost less in terms of lives and treasure.

    @C. Clavin: Actually, it’s simply more of the same. This situation has never changed, and the place invariably heats up when we get someone in power here in the states who thinks(?) Israel is the problem. But, as I say to Mike theres a solution that will actually solve the issue… and it doesn’t involve diplomacy.

    Let the whining begin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  53. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Yeah…. I searched you website for the “N” word.
    You are a disgusting bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  54. CB says:

    @Eric Florack:

    No whining necessary, just complete rejection of the fool who writes garbage like this:

    I say let Israel level Gaza. Peace will come when Israel has the parking stripes painted on the place.

    Idiocy, on every level.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    How I feel about Israel?
    They are the worst ally ever.
    They continually act against our interests.
    Your problem seems to be that I do not support them unconditionally.
    To which I have to wonder why you do…against the interests of the US?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  56. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    the left can complain all they want to, about Israel, and label them the problem

    Except that is not what is happening. Israel plays their part in the seemingly endless cycle of violence and death. What “the crazies” as you refer to them want, is to look at the complete problem, not view it through a cartoonish lens where Israel is always virtuous and correct, and Arabs are basically animals deserving of slaughter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  57. Mu says:

    Hamas cannot stop its attacks, their only goal is to goad the Israelis into reoccupying Gaza. Hamas “won” the interpalastine civil war, and doomed itself. They are incompetent as administrators, isolated from resources, and their enemy sits behind fences and is hard to reach for a guerrilla force. Only if the Israelis “relieve” them in the administration and allow them to restart hit-and run campaigns can they hope to rekindle the outside support they need to survive as an organization.
    Israel knows this, and this is why they’re playing at war with Hamas without really getting serious about it. If they wanted to stop the missiles they could hit any missile site within 30 sec of launch with counter battery fire, flattening the block it happens in. But that might drive Hamas out all together, and they’d have to reopen the borders, what allows journalists in and terrorists out. Both not desirable outcomes for the Israelis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  58. Tillman says:

    @Mu: I can see the strategy there, but it ignores the problems of Palestinians not affiliated with Hamas or other jihadist groups. If we pretend the entire conflict is over Israel wishing to peacefully exist and Hamas attempting to suicide-bomb them into oblivion, we miss the expansion of settlements in the West Bank reducing Palestinians living there to second-class citizens in their own quasi-nation. Not to mention how Gaza City used to be a thriving metropolitan area, and how it’s been reduced to economic rubble by the blockade purportedly only targeting terrorists.

    If they wanted to stop the missiles they could hit any missile site within 30 sec of launch with counter battery fire, flattening the block it happens in. But that might drive Hamas out all together, and they’d have to reopen the borders, what allows journalists in and terrorists out. Both not desirable outcomes for the Israelis.

    In other words, they’d no longer have an organization to blame their immoral [re]actions on, and, like us in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’d simply create lasting enmity and a new class of terrorists would pop up. As I said in another thread, Israel really isn’t serving its long-term interests unless it plans to be in a state of semi-war with the Palestinians for the foreseeable future.

    A proven way to get rid of terrorism I’ve encountered is to discredit it with the population, denying them cover from the authorities. What Israel’s been doing for a decade has had the exact opposite effect. The only other way is to go Mongol on the population and ethnically cleanse it, which I think we all decided was a crime against humanity at some point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  59. Stonetools says:

    I know that my Jewish and Arab friends may condemn me for this but honestly I think of Israelis and Palestinians as the problem kid who when he doesn’t get attention stamps their feet and throws a tantrum , thus monopolizing all the attention in the home room.
    Folks Israel and Palestine have a population of less than 10 million people combined. You have China with a population of 1.3 BILLION -a rising nuclear superpower that’s flexing its muscles and threatening Japan(pop. 130M), Philipinnes(65M) and Vietnam (70M).
    Then there is India with its own issues. These countries must wonder who do they have to bomb to get a visit from the SoS. And of course there is the ongoing unpleasantness in the Ukraine…
    Seems to me we should maintain focus on those countries, not on the crazy kid in the corner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  60. Grewgills says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Perhaps because you said it was “The only question that matters” and your comment was dripping with snark when people are dying. I down-voted you for that one, just like I down-voted Jenos’ rather heartless BOOM BOOM… and his implication that Palestinian children are getting what they deserved because they held up a 3 finger salute like their parents told them to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  61. Another Mike says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Well I guess that settles it…against all evidence to the contrary.

    One side, Hamas, intends to kill as many innocent people as possible. The other side, Israel, intends to kill no innocent person. A person would have to be morally depraved not to be able to tell which side is good and which side is evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  62. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Hamas is the legally elected government of Gaza. Whether or not they are to blame for the rockets, they are responsible for them.”

    By your logic, Netanyahu is responsible for the three thugs who burned the Palestinian kid to death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  63. anjin-san says:

    Israel, intends to kill no innocent person.

    How do you use high explosives in a heavily populated area with no “intention” of killing innocents? Get real.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @Another Mike:
    If that were true…sure. But it isn’t even close to being true.
    It’s interesting to note that 23 of 24 people killed in this conflict have been Palestinians…which is staggering when you consider that there are twice as many Israelis as there are Palestinians.

    While Israeli strikes are targeting Hamas and other militant groups that are firing rockets into Israel, a local UN office estimated on Friday that 77 percent of people killed in Gaza up to that point were civilians, including 30 children. A separate UN agency estimated on Sunday that 70 percent of the killed were civilians, including 27 children.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/14/5898581/chart-israel-palestine-conflict-deaths
    I can only assume that confronted with facts you will change your opinion.
    Bwah-hahahahhahahaha…I crack myself up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  65. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    A person would have to be morally depraved not to be able to tell which side is good and which side is evil.

    Some version of this has probably been repeated by both sides in every conflict in history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  66. Stonetools says:

    @Another Mike:

    Yet Isreal has killed allegedly. 200 people ( mostly women and children.
    Let me make it easy or maybe complex for you. This isn’t a children’s movie with the bad guys wearing the black hats. BOTH guys are at fault and both are morally wrong. Both are commiting war crimes. This might be tough for you to get your mind around but that’s the complex, objective reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  67. Matt Bernius says:

    @wr:

    By your logic, Netanyahu is responsible for the three thugs who burned the Palestinian kid to death.

    Based on his response to me here, I think Jenos would agree.

    And to be fair to the Israelis, they have arrested the individuals they believe to be responsible and will be putting them on trial for the murder.

    I think it’s worth noting that this is a very particular definition of “responsible” that does not mean *direct* responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  68. wr says:

    @Another Mike: “One side, Hamas, intends to kill as many innocent people as possible. The other side, Israel, intends to kill no innocent person. A person would have to be morally depraved not to be able to tell which side is good and which side is evil.”

    Unless, of course, one looked at the numbers and discovered that in the current contretemps Israel had killed more than 150 Palestinians and Hamas had killed 0 Israelis. So neither seems to be doing a very good job of living up to the intentions you ascribe to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  69. Tillman says:

    @Another Mike:

    A person would have to be morally depraved not to be able to tell which side is good and which side is evil.

    On that limited notion we can agree. However, a person would have to be morally blind to believe that there must be a good side and an evil side in any conflict. Sometimes two good sides exist, and sometimes two evil sides. More naturally, there’s a mixture of good and evil done on any side.

    What I’m against is the whitewashing of evil done in the name of an alleged good. And what you’re doing there, claiming Israel is pure as driven snow in its actions, is possibly the worst job I’ve seen. At least Jenos tries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  70. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    “they continually act against our interests”

    So, Israel Is our only ally that acts against our interest? What exactly are our interests these days in the Middle east? How’s that Arab Spring working out after Obamas’ Cairo speech? Did Israel disappoint you because they didn’t make peace with Hamas when Kerry wanted them to?

    Riddle me this, Why are both Dems and the GOP overwhelmingly supportive of Israel’s continued operation in Gaza? Is it because of lobbyists and money or the fact that ISrael is a major ally we can count on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  71. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:

    Sometimes two good sides exist, and sometimes two evil sides. More often, there’s a mixture of good and evil done on any side.

    Or rather, in almost every conflict there are a lot of “we’re trying to keep our heads down, live our lives, stay alive, and not provide much direct support either side” folks. And unfortunately, these are often the majority of the types of people who get blown up in air raids on London, Dresden, and Gaza.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  72. Tillman says:

    @Matt Bernius: Yeah, there’s not a lot of time for moralizing when you’re attempting to survive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  73. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    Tell me when we have counted on Israel for anything other than spending our money? (In fact they have cut their own budgets but we have not reduced our aid accordingly.)
    Interesting that Israel spys on the US more than anyone else.
    The Zionist lobby…AIPAC…is all powerful. Politicians from both sides kneel before them…and Adelson, as well.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/chris-christie-occupied-territories-apology-105169.html
    Why do you support someone who acts against our interests? Simple question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  74. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:

    Yeah, there’s not a lot of time for moralizing when you’re attempting to survive.

    Correct.

    And while many may realize that their governing bodies are not making things easy for them, there’s nothing like rockets raining down on your head to unite your resolve against the people firing the rockets at you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  75. Another Mike says:

    @Tillman:

    What I’m against is the whitewashing of evil done in the name of an alleged good.

    You and a few others seem to lack any moral capacity to judge good and evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  76. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    So you ignore my questions and throw some out at me. Predictable. Do you know that when you throw out terms like “Zionist lobby” you are putting yourself solidly in the Anti Israel camp. Google that term and see all the people who talk like that. You’re now in that category.

    You also bring up Spying which is just funny with all the recent information about the US spying on just about every country in the world, including Germany a close ally. It’s time to grow up and realize allies and enemies all spy on each other.

    “Why do you support someone who acts against our interests” Israel does not act against the interest of the US. IF they did, they would not Exist. Israel does not do much with out the approval of the US. From Harry Truman all the way to Obama, every president has been an advocate for Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  77. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    Yor questions are nonsense…and are biased by your inability to question what you are told to think. You keep hearing that Israel is our greatest ally…damn…it must be true.
    It’s all about the Zionist lobby being so powerful. That’s the only reason.
    Zionists want to control Palestine. Israel currently is building settlements in Palestinian Territory against the wishes of the US and the International community. Ipso facto…
    It’s pretty obvious that Israel has zero interest in peace.
    Again…Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman:

    “A full takeover of the Gaza Strip is Israel’s only course forward.”

    I’ll bet you condemned Putin for his naked land-grab…but not Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  78. Tillman says:

    @Another Mike: …you know, you still haven’t gotten back to me about how the Israelis are shining knights serving justice here. Instead of casting aspersions on my judgment (which you’re perfectly free to do), perhaps you could share the reasoning that leads you to see this conflict as so black and white? Who knows, it might be convincing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  79. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    oooh Zionist lobby!! Sounds like a conspiracy? Even the great heroes of the left like Elizabeth Warren are in on it? Is this Alex Jones?

    Israel wants nothing more than peace with its neighbors. the Camp David accords were a success with peaceful relations with Jordan and Egypt. They also have unofficial relations with Saudia Arabia, Turkey, and Bahrain. Those countries all acknowledge and accept Israel’s right to exist. Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  80. C. Clavin says:

    In this conflict one side has had more than 170 fatalities…1,200 casualties…80 percent of whom are civilians. The other side…none…a handful of injuries at best. Yet somehow you think Israel is justified in continuing the bloody onslaught. It’s pretty basic morality. Human rights are not dependent on your religion or race or if you are considered the US’s greatest ally.
    As the illegal settlements increase Israel is becoming increasingly a fundamentalist state…think Jim Crow segregation…with Palestinians being on the losing end.
    And too many of you unthinkingly support this crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  81. C. Clavin says:

    @Cletus:
    holy shit…so many tired cliches in one comment…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  82. Mu says:

    @Tillman:
    The only other way is to go Mongol on the population and ethnically cleanse it, which I think we all decided was a crime against humanity at some point.
    Oddly enough, we only decided that for the Palestinians in 1948. The massive ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe after WW2 is sacrosanct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. anjin-san says:

    @ Another Mike

    You and a few others seem to lack any moral capacity to judge good and evil.

    Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

    Albert Einstein

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  84. Cletus says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Not as tired as your being. i also find it hilarious you called someone on this blog a bigot. Do you even read your own posts? You are so uniquely ignorant of how the world works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  85. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: who is Putin trying to destroy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  86. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: so, does Israel have in its charter, the destruction of anyone, as Hamas does?

    You can’t get around this one, though your dancing is interesting, so do try….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  87. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: My, but you do go back to your crutches when your argument can’t stand on its own, don’t you?

    BUT, I would advise you to read your own posts before trying that particular one again, however

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  88. Eric Florack says:

    @CB: OK, CB. Tell you what… LETS TRY IT YOUR WAY.

    Oh, wait…. we did… and it worked so well, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  89. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    If you want to illustrate Israel’s moral high ground, you are going to have to do better than “Our documents are nicer than your documents.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  90. Grewgills says:

    @Another Mike:

    A person would have to be morally depraved not to be able to tell which side is good and which side is evil.

    As much as your moral blinders try to make it so, this conflict doesn’t have a good side. The good guys in this conflict are few and they have very little power. The dominant players on both sides do their part to make the conflict go on longer with predictably deadly results.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    You seem to be advocating something that is within shouting distance of a genocidal war. I remember you telling me once that you are a Christian, can you direct me to where Jesus said that ethnic cleansing is ok?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  92. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: You know who else historically has the same approach to diplomacy? Everyone.

    From the Hamas charter:

    Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
    [Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did the Unbelievers do justice to the Believers? “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it: “The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  93. Another Mike says:

    @anjin-san:

    Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

    Albert Einstein

    Often it is better to stay within one’s discipline of expertise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  94. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: I can see the strategy there, but it ignores the problems of Palestinians not affiliated with Hamas or other jihadist groups. If we pretend the entire conflict is over Israel wishing to peacefully exist and Hamas attempting to suicide-bomb them into oblivion, we miss the expansion of settlements in the West Bank reducing Palestinians living there to second-class citizens in their own quasi-nation. Not to mention how Gaza City used to be a thriving metropolitan area, and how it’s been reduced to economic rubble by the blockade purportedly only targeting terrorists.

    How much is wrong here? So much…

    1) Hamas is the duly-elected representative of the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip. They are the closest thing to a legitimate government there.

    2) Israel DOES want to peacefully exist. That’s why there are still any Palestinians still alive.

    3) Hamas’ declared goal is the extermination of Israel. They’ve already made Gaza and the West Bank Judenfrei.

    4) For all the “inhumanity” of the blockade, the Palestinians still manage to get PLENTY of weapons into Gaza. If they put a fraction of that effort into economic development, then they wouldn’t live in a hellhole.

    There are other points to correct here, but I have limited time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  95. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Show me one example of my using the N word… Your website has dozens.
    Bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. Grewgills says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The other side…none…a handful of injuries at best.

    That is factually incorrect. There are a lot more Palestinian casualties than Israeli casualties* and have been for quite some time, but the tally isn’t some high number to zero.

    * Not for lack of effort on the part of Palestinian militants

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  97. C. Clavin says:

    Israel does want peace…just as soon as they take over all the Paelstinian land and subsume the Palestinians into their segregated world.
    Then the will stop killing them at a rate of 23:1.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  98. Grewgills says:

    @Mu:

    The massive ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe after WW2 is sacrosanct.

    Really??? I usually hate multiple punctuation marks, but really???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  99. C. Clavin says:

    @Grewgills:
    The numbers are fudgy depending on timeframes.
    In any case the conflict is immorally one-sided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  100. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    The Constitution talks about equality.
    Another fiction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  101. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “2) Israel DOES want to peacefully exist. That’s why there are still any Palestinians still alive.”

    You see, in Jenos-world, there are only two options — either you are entirely committed to an honest, secure and fair peace, or you commit genocide. And since the Israelis have not murdered every man, woman and child of the Palestinians, clearly all they are interested in is hugging fluffy bunnies.

    It’s the kind of keen geopolitical and moral insight we’ve come to expect from the Man With Many Names.

    (It is an odd coincidence that “Cletus” has popped up to attack Clavin at exactly the same time you’ve stopped. Well, that must take a load off your mind.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  102. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    1) Closest thing to ≠ legitimate and functioning. You keep (willfully?) ignoring that it is a fractured group that has very little control over its constituent parts. At this point I can only assume that this is because it would hurt your position to admit it.

    2) If Israel wanted to have peace then step one would be to stop expanding settlements in the disputed territories. They have not and will not in the foreseeable future, that rather undercuts your argument.

    3) There are 350,143 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem,[125] as well as around 210,000 living in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. There are also small ethnic groups, such as the Samaritans living in and around Nablus, numbering in the hundreds. That’s a lot of Juden for a Judenfrei zone. You are factually incorrect here and by a LOT.

    4) Meaningful economic is impossible with the blockade as it stands. Smuggling in enough poorly put together weapons and weapon parts if FAR EASIER than bringing in the necessaries to build a working economy.

    5) This conflict defies cartoonish attempts to paint it in black and white, good vs evil terms. Attempts to do so only obscure the truth and make any resolution even less likely than it already is. Those who attempt to do so are part of the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  103. C. Clavin says:

    @wr:
    That’s just a right wing meme he’s copying and pasting. I think it comes from McCain. Imagine having a senile old man telling you what to think!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  104. PJ says:

    @anjin-san:

    Oh my, we get to talk about George Zimmermann now. I hear he is borderline homeless Jenos, why don’t you take him in?

    His mother won’t let him have sleepovers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  105. C. Clavin says:

    @PJ:
    Who? Zimmerman? Or Jenos?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  106. G.A.Phillips says:

    I get the love and sympathy for terrorists and the anti Semitism, because there is nothing new under the sun.

    Just saying…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  107. Eric Florack says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: anything that supports the leftist line. That much has always been invariably clear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  108. Eric Florack says:

    @C. Clavin: Bigot?
    That would be you.
    And your charge seems rather selective as I should expect from you. Context.

    And again, tell me how diplomacy solves the problemthe world is waiting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  109. An Interested Party says:

    Israel wants nothing more than peace with its neighbors.

    Hmm…that isn’t very compatible with gobbling up the West Bank…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  110. michael reynolds says:

    I do think we get just a bit up on our moral high horse as Americans.

    How many innocent civilians did we intend to kill at Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima? Hundreds of thousands died, and they were not collateral damage, they were the target.

    And let’s remember, too, that by the time we were pulling those triggers there was zero chance of either Nazi Germany or Japan laying a glove on us. Tokyo was a very, very long way from us, 5000 miles further away than Gaza is from Tel Aviv. And by that point we knew we had won. It was not about our survival or even our victory, it was about speeding up those worthy ends. We did it to shift the cadaver load from us to them.

    Had I been FDR or HST I’d have probably done the same, but it’s a good thing to remind ourselves of our own history. And in case you might be drawn to the argument that we have outgrown that: 911. We lost 3,000 people in retaliation we blew up two entire countries, only one of which was even involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  111. G.A.Phillips says:

    We lost 3,000 people in retaliation we blew up two entire countries, only one of which was even involved

    No we didn’t…

    but it probably would have been a better idea then then the war effort
    undermining, time lined withdrawal, leading from behind, apology strategy that our current leadership has been implementing since shortly after we went into Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  112. An Interested Party says:

    …in retaliation we blew up two entire countries, only one of which was even involved.

    Sadly, fear often causes people to make foolish decisions…

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  113. wr says:

    @G.A.Phillips: “but it probably would have been a better idea then then the war effort undermining, time lined withdrawal, leading from behind, apology strategy that our current leadership has been implementing since shortly after we went into Iraq”

    I don’t know if you were napping for this part, but we went into Iraq in 2003 and the current administration took office in 2009.

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  114. michael reynolds says:

    @G.A.Phillips:

    Your capacity for denial of reality would disturb me if you lived anywhere near me. But I assume you’re safely off in cow country somewhere, so you’re their problem.

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  115. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    tell me how diplomacy solves the problemthe world is waiting.

    It worked when Jimmy Carter did it, producing the only truly meaningful peace process in that part of the world in our lifetimes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  116. Grewgills says:

    @G.A.Phillips:
    Do you believe any of this or are you just here to annoy people? If it’s the latter get your old avatar back, then go somewhere else please.

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  117. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I submit that “Rational” is a subjective term as is reason

    No. Those are not subjective terms. The givens that people start with to build a rational argument vary (sometimes wildly), but an argument either follows from that base or it does not. This belief of yours that reason and rationality are subjective does explain quite a bit of your argumentation. I’m sure they are all rational and reasonable within your subjective world view.

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  118. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Bigot?
    That would be you.

    I don’t know you or how you interact with people out in the real world and I can’t see into your heart, so I don’t know if you are a bigot. I do however remember several long arguments with you during the run up to the 2008 elections and your obsession with Rev Wright. You argued then that Wright and many other civil rights leaders were bigots because of intemperate things they said about white people at the time they were fighting for their civil rights. I remember your argument that it was really only white Christian men who were the real targets of bigotry*. I also remember giving your website a good read through then because I was curious if your really meant what you said and I remember being shocked and appalled when I did.
    Eric, you may or may not be a bigot, but you certainly play one on the internet.

    * and Jewish people when it suits your arguments on the ME

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  119. G.A.Phillips says:

    I don’t know if you were napping for this part, but we went into Iraq in 2003 and the current administration took office in 2009.

    wr, who was in congress undermining the war effort and our troops soon after we went into Iraq and who is running our country now? 2+2 man 2+ 2.

    Your capacity for denial of reality would disturb me if you lived anywhere near me. But I assume you’re safely off in cow country somewhere, so you’re their problem.

    Denial Harry? Same thing I have been saying the whole time we have been talking about it. And yes, still in my little backwards village on the lake :) And how am I the problem? It was your guys that ruined the progress we made and let our enemies reconstitute themselves not to mention arm many of them directly and indirectly by leaving all kinds of equipment laying around. I don’t even have the stamina to go over how many times your guys have failed us and craped away the sacrifice of our troops. They are undermining them still as they try to get help here back at home for God’s sake.

    Anyone that still supports Obama or his henchmen are the problem. Talk about denial.

    Do you believe any of this or are you just here to annoy people?

    Blow up the counties, no I don’t believe we should blow up whole countries. I was making a joke in reference to Harry’s ridiculous assertion. I do believe we should have defeated the enemy instead of doing this ->

    war effort undermining, time lined withdrawal, leading from behind, apology strategy

    And the other thing I stated above.

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  120. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: @C. Clavin: Careful there. We’re not supposed to mention the Z-Person on this thread any more, and personal attacks are also no-=nos. Don’t risk getting in trouble with the TOS here.

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  121. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: I’ve asked my prior comment be deleted, as I spotted a couple of errors too late to edit them. Here’s my revised comment:

    @Grewgills:

    1) “dysfunctional” and “fractured” does not conflict with “closest to legitimate” or “functional.”

    2) Settlements are NOT permanent. Maybe you’re too young to recall, but there used to be a lot of settlers in the Gaza Strip. When Israel pulled out of there, they took (forcibly, in some cases) all the settlers with them. Plus, should the settlers withdraw, they will leave behind at least some infrastructure that the Palestinians will then gain.

    3) Since you’re being ignorant, I will correct you: I was referring to Jews living in Palestinian-controlled territory. The Palestinians have, indeed, rendered the territories they control Judenfrei. The Israelis in those settlements are there despite the Palestinians’ wishes. If they had their way, those settlements would be Judenfrei as well.

    4) The blockade is limited to weapons and readily weaponized materiel. And if it’s so effective, where the hell do all these rockets come from? The Palestinians have a choice between guns and butter, and their choice is all guns, then whine about their lack of butter.

    5) My objection is that Israel is being held to an absolute standard — they are faulted for not upholding a perfect standard — while the Palestinians are held to no standard.

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  122. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    You can strike my comment from moderation…providing stark evidence of Florack’s bigotry adds nothing to the discussion.
    Grewgills makes the point quite clearly.

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  123. Mu says:

    @Grewgills: You are aware that the eastern half of what’s now Ukraine was populated by Poles before the war which were all forcefully “resettled”?

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  124. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    1) That they are the closest to legitimate doesn’t make them functional or able to control their fractured pieces. You are holding them responsible for things well outside of their ability to control.
    2) The settlements continue to expand. While that is the case no real movement towards peace is possible. If Israel was serious about wanting peace they would reverse this. Their pattern here indicates they are not serious about wanting peace.*
    3a) I responded to what you said, calling me ignorant for responding to your argument is, well, ignorant.
    3b) Israel has done it’s part to make the occupied territories a place that no one with a choice would want to live. Jews there have a choice, Palestinians much less so.
    4) The blockade stops more than you seem to think it does. Travel restrictions also make a real functioning economy near impossible. This is by design. Pretending otherwise is not honest.
    5a) Where have I ever held Israel to a standard of perfection? For that matter where has anyone in the original article or any of the comments held Israel to a standard of perfection? Please be specific.
    5b) How have I or anyone in the original article positioned ourselves such that the Palestinians are being held to no standard? I have been quite clear that they are bad actors. I have simply objected to the cartoonish notion that Israel hasn’t played its part in continuing this conflict. Once again, both sides are dominated by bad actors and both sides have good actors that are being forced to the sidelines.

    * Note, this is not saying that the Palestinians are serious about wanting peace, rather it is pointing out that neither side is a good actor here. Both sides are acting poorly. Attempts to paint this as one side is good and the other is evil are both false and counterproductive.

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  125. Grewgills says:

    @Mu:
    I am well aware of the Soviets forcibly displacing quite a few people in the Ukraine, Crimea, and other areas they wanted to Russify. I am curious why you think that is sacrosanct. Perhaps you are using a different definition of sacrosanct than the one I am aware of? Can you explain how you see the Soviet era displacements as holy or immune from criticism? I remember a fair bit of criticism of this regarding Crimea in the last several months and in fact participated in that criticism.

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  126. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: You are already rendering a moral judgment when you say that both are bad. At that point, there are three options:

    1) Israel is acting worse than the Palestinians.

    2) The Palestinians are acting worse than the Israelis.

    3) Both are acting equally bad.

    If you don’t take either the first or second stance, then you are taking the third.

    I’m solidly on the second option. And I can cite example after example after example to reinforce my point.

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  127. wr says:

    @G.A.Phillips: “wr, who was in congress undermining the war effort and our troops soon after we went into Iraq and who is running our country now? 2+2 man 2+ 2.”

    If you’re going to accuse the Democratic party of treason, you either need to support this slander with facts or apologize really fast.

    This crosses the line, even for you.

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  128. Cletus says:

    @wr:

    What line is that? The guy is entitled to his opinion no matter how unpopular or distasteful if may be for you and your buddies. He doesn’t owe you or anyone on here an apology. Good call too thinking Jenos and I are the same person.. Maybe you should actually consider trying to understand why people support Israel.

    You can also ask yourself why the Arab world has been so quiet. Where are the protests? Egypt knows what Hamas is all about. Most Egyptians including al-Sisi consider Hamas a terrorist organization. They are apathetic about and support Israel’s military action . They haven’t forgotten Hamas killed 16 of its soldiers in 2012 on the Gaza border. They know these people better than you do and the tactics that they use, including using civilians as shields while indiscriminately lobbing missles at Israel.

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  129. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: Really? It worked?

    Hmm… Your definition of longer term success must be somewhat differnt than the remainder of the planet. If you look closely, Sadat got killed, and the fighting was going full tilt again before the ink was dry. and, what were the motivations? Oh, yeah, the same ones that existed before, except now the Islamists had a foothold they didn’t have before, thanks to Carter.

    Negotiated peace, you see, very seldom lasts for very long, and usually works out to a serious disadvantage for one side or the other… usually, the one trying to negotiate.. A close look at North Korea, certainly the product of a negotiated peace and of an antiwar sentiment here in the United States and back in the days of the Korean war, will demonstrate that clearly. I suggest you ask the south Koreans if they think their existence has been a peaceful one since those days. I suspect that they will not.

    Consider also, the negotiated peace of World War One. What was negotiated, most scholars will advise us, led directly to World War Two, which was an even bigger and bloodier conflict.

    I dare to propose to you, that peace is the product of having overwhelmingly won the war, and of showing the resolve to take on all those who would disturb that peace, thus removing war as an option for them.

    As examples of this, let’s look at Germany and Japan in the years following World War Two. I suspect and suppose that there are very few indeed who will complain that the actions and intentions of the German and Japanese peoples following World War Two, were anything but peaceful. Demonstrably, these two countries have been among the most peaceful countries on the planet, and have been stalwart friends of freedom. I suggest this is a direct result of having won the wars against Germany and Japan in overwhelming fashion, and showing a continued resolve to take it on any world power who decides for whatever reason to act unpeaceably.

    The leftist “peace” movement in this country with its call to unconditionally separate us from our ability to respond to war making is in fact exposing us to aggressors, thereby causing more bloodshed, and certainly causing a loss of freedom throughout the world. They would have us negotiating with every tin pot dictator that comes along, in the hope of avoiding bloodshed. ( The name of Neville Chamberlain pops into mind, unbidden.)

    So it is in the middle east. As Ive said, there is no compromise with their long held position, no negotiation which will end the constant war. The only thing that will create peace is winning the war they bring against the rest of the world.

    @Grewgills: The point you missed… Black on White bigotry these days still has the force of government behind it… a situation that white on Black Bigotry lost back in the 60’s.

    @Grewgills: An understandable response.
    But then, you’re using your own framework of what is and is not rational. Perhaps it would be useful to ask the Islamists if they’re being irrational. Being, I think, by asking what drives their choices.

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  130. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    How many general wars have there been between Israel and the Arab countries since the peace accords were signed? They were fairly common before. How many wars between Israel and Egypt since then?

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  131. pylon says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.605514

    Which is why Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments last Friday were so important. “There cannot be a situation, under any agreement,” he declared, “in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” With those words, explained Times of Israel editor David Horovitz, a Netanyahu sympathizer, the Prime Minister was “insisting upon ongoing Israeli security oversight inside and at the borders of the West Bank. That sentence, quite simply, spells the end to the notion of Netanyahu consenting to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

    Publicly, at least, this is an earthquake. Until last Friday, Netanyahu was on record as supporting a Palestinian state. For five years, in fact, American Jewish leaders have insisted that he sincerely desires one. So what has changed on the ground to make Netanyahu change his mind? Nothing. Netanyahu now says he cannot relinquish control of the West Bank because Hamas could use it as a base from which to shell Israel, as it is now doing from Gaza. But that danger didn’t arise last week. Hamas has been shelling Israel, and refusing to recognize its right to exist, for a long time. The argument for the two state solution—which most top former Israeli security officials endorse – has always been that once Palestinians gained the rights and dignity that came with a state, their government would have a strong incentive to keep Hamas and other militants from imperiling that state by using it as a launching pad for attacks on Israel, as the governments of Egypt and Jordan have done in the decades since they signed peace deals. One can dispute this logic. But it is no less persuasive this week than it was last week. And last week, Netanyahu publicly supported a Palestinian state.

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  132. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    The current Israeli government is a worse actor than some earlier Israeli governments, but not so bad as the current non-government of the West Bank, but both are bad actors at this point. Tillman’s point that you so forcefully attacked was that Israel shares some blame for the current situation, not that Israel is solely or even mostly to blame, but owns a share of the blame. Your previous commentary made an Israel good:Palestine bad dichotomy, not a Israel bad:Palestine worse dichotomy. Are you backpedaling again? If you are you should rapidly backpedal your earlier commentary that included cheer leading the Israeli strikes into the occupied territories that killed hundreds of civilians in retaliation for single digit Israeli deaths. You should be even quicker to backpedal your implication that Palestinian children deserve to die for holding up their fingers. You might also address the points I made

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  133. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    The leftist “peace” movement in this country with its call to unconditionally separate us from our ability to respond to war making

    Exactly what kind of drugs are you taking? Must be some pretty potent stuff.

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  134. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Thank you for helping to make my point for me. I knew I could count on you.

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  135. Grewgills says:

    @Cletus:

    What line is that?

    The line of rational and honest debate. When you start calling your political opponents traitors, you have crossed that line. GA is a troll. Perhaps you are too new here to know that. His previous schtick was variations on the word donkey often with some vaguely scatological attempt at humor sprinkled with bible verses. He has changed slightly in affect, but at his core here he is still a troll.

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  136. anjin-san says:

    North Korea, certainly the product of a negotiated peace and of an antiwar sentiment here in the United States and back in the days of the Korean war

    Some would say it was a product of the fact that we could not defeat China in a land war where they had extremely short supply lines and we had extremely long ones without going nuclear. Then there is the fact that they had an essentially unlimited supply of soldiers to throw into the meat grinder, and we did not.

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  137. Tillman says:

    @Cletus: I like how we can consider “indiscriminately firing rockets into X” more morally objectionable than “targeting missiles into X based on unknown criteria.” I love how Hamas being horrible at killing people but Israel being efficient at it means Hamas is just the pits but Israel’s fine. :) I don’t know, maybe I consider death more important.

    @michael reynolds: Dude, I’m a Christian, my moral high horse is the only horse I’m allowed to have. (And it’s more a donkey anyway.) And while our history is informative, I’m only casting aspersions on defenders of Israel who attempt to paint the conflict as whiter-and-blacker than it really is.

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  138. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    5) My objection is that Israel is being held to an absolute standard — they are faulted for not upholding a perfect standard — while the Palestinians are held to no standard.

    It’s a standard you gave them, Jenos. You insisted from the beginning that Israel does everything it can to minimize casualties. Backpedaling to suggest we’re crucifying Israel on some perfect standard ignores how this discussion developed.

    Further, the scopes of our respective arguments have always been different. You speak mostly on war tactics, whereas I and others have mentioned the situation surrounding the war: the blockade, the settlements, etc. These wars don’t exist in a vacuum, and understanding how both sides perpetuate the current conflict helps to assign culpability. No one here’s claiming Hamas is a beautiful, life-affirming org out to inspire us into hippy love-singing. All I’ve attempted to do is show how Israel isn’t a white-hat.

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  139. Cletus says:

    @Grewgills:

    I don’t know GA and haven’t been on this site more than 6 months. I don’t condone racism and if he is using coded words like donkey, its up to the moderators of this site to ban him or at least delete his comments.

    My comment was directed at Wr for his absurd demand for calling out an online comment as Slander and demanding an apology. If GA is a a Troll, and I’m not doubting that, why do you guys engage him?

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  140. Tillman says:

    @Cletus:

    If GA is a a Troll, and I’m not doubting that, why do you guys engage him?

    Because we’re idiots.

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  141. Grewgills says:

    @Cletus:

    If GA is a a Troll, and I’m not doubting that, why do you guys engage him?

    I think most of us here have a highly developed sense of SIWOTI and can’t help ourselves and as Tillman said, we’re idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  142. Cletus says:

    @Grewgills:

    LOL. I’ll have to throw myself in that category too. Looks like we’ve also reached a Cease Fire.

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  143. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    I’m only casting aspersions on defenders of Israel who attempt to paint the conflict as whiter-and-blacker than it really is.

    That was not a shot at you, I agree with you.

    I am all about shades of gray. It’s a consistent literary tic of mine that I never have entirely clean heroes or entirely dirty villains.

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  144. C. Clavin says:

    After killing 4 boys playing soccer on a beach…Israel decides it’s going to take a break from killing innocent people for now.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28334219

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  145. C. Clavin says:

    @Tillman:
    Easily distracted idiots….

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  146. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos yesterday…

    BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

    Israel today…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/middleeast/visceral-accounts-of-gaza-attack-that-killed-4-boys.html?_r=0
    Life is easy from behind your keyboard, eh General Jenos?

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  147. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yeah, but those kids deserved it because their parents live in a place governed by Hamas, which may or may not have ordered the deaths of three Israeli teen-agers. Those ten year-olds made very bad decisions being born there.

    So, BOOM BOOM BOOM.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  148. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    And as we were told…Israel wants peace.

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  149. anjin-san says:

    Life is easy from behind your keyboard, eh General Jenos?

    I don’t think there is much doubt that Jenos gets off on dead Muslims. Sickening.

    There’s one more kid
    that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love,
    never get to be cool

    Neil Young

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  150. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: Didn’t think you were shooting at me, just needed an excuse to talk about donkeys.

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  151. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    If I believed in god I would ask her to bless Neil.

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  152. Pharoah Narim says:

    Wow, I’m shocked this thread went so many posts responding to the resident trolls. For them its pretty simple: Pale-skin Israelis = Good….. Brown-Skinned Arabs = Bad. You will find no case where they ever have supported the cause of any non-white peoples. They can’t help themselves–Zenophobia and Tribalism is the hallmark of the lower brain.

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  153. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: It’s a standard you gave them, Jenos. You insisted from the beginning that Israel does everything it can to minimize casualties. Backpedaling to suggest we’re crucifying Israel on some perfect standard ignores how this discussion developed.

    Here’s a little tip, Tillman: if you’re going to try to use someone’s own words against, them, it’s really helpful if you use their actual words, instead of lying and putting words in their mouth.

    My exact words:

    Israel goes to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties.

    And then I cited several examples of how Israel does that.

    There is a HUGE difference between “goes to great lengths” and “does everything it can.” I “go to great lengths” to avoid engaging in a hostile tone around here, but I don’t “do everything I can.” For example, above I let a bit of anger show through when, strictly speaking, I didn’t need to. But your dishonesty antagonized me enough that I felt the need to express my displeasure.

    I might not have shown such irritation if you hadn’t actually linked to my comment before you mischaracterized it. If you hadn’t, you could have pleaded carelessness. But that link pushed you beyond the bounds of plausible deniability.

    Kindly correct yourself.

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  154. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: By your logic, Netanyahu is responsible for the three thugs who burned the Palestinian kid to death.

    Good Christ, do you even READ the thread before you spew your idiocy?

    I already answered that same theoretical in an exchange with Mr. Bernius.

    But because you’re just that stupid, I’ll adapt the same answer I gave him to your blather.

    Yes, Israel was “responsible” for the murder of the Palestinian teen. And they accepted that responsibility by investigating, arresting, and charging three suspects. (Here’s a hint: you know that there were were three thugs because Israel arrested them, and announced those arrests. They will try them, and if convicted will sentence them to prison. (Israel has no death penalty.)

    Contrast that with the murder of the three Israeli teens (one was also American). The Palestinians didn’t condemn the action, they celebrated it. They have announced no investigation, and have shown zero intention of bringing their killers to justice. They don’t consider it a crime at all. And when the bodies were found and recovered, they stoned the ambulance carrying their bodies.

    So your point, made 5 hours after Mr. Bernius raised the very same point and I answered it, goes to bolster my argument. I’d thank you, but I know that’s not what you meant to do.

    You wanna shut up now, or do you wanna reload and shoot off your other foot?

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  155. wr says:

    @Cletus: ” Maybe you should actually consider trying to understand why people support Israel.”

    Thanks, “Cletus,” but having actually been a Jew all my life — and not merely wanting my people to exist long enough for Jeebus to come down from the sky and kill them all, ensuring your entrance into heaven — I understand why people support Israel. And I understand that there’s a huge difference between supporting the idea of Israel and the state of Israel and supporting the current right-wing, apartheid government there.

    Of course it’s always like this for righties. When there’s a Republican president, to mildly criticize the government is anti-American. When there’s a Democrat in office, Republican “patriots” start screaming about secession.

    Say, why don’t you go out and meet a Jewish person. Then we can talk.

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  156. wr says:

    @Cletus: “If GA is a a Troll, and I’m not doubting that, why do you guys engage him?”

    And more to the point, why does anyone engage you? Bye.

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  157. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There is a HUGE difference between “goes to great lengths” and “does everything it can.”

    That’s what you’re going with? A semantic quibble over adjectival phrasing? And you’re elevating it to intentional deception on my part?

    Well, my integrity is what it is; I’m sure there are plenty here who consider me a liar and can point out the many times I’ve glibbed my way through an argument. (See, right there I was lying; “glib” isn’t a verb.) What strikes me as odd is even if we take your objection over phrasing as axiomatically true, just take it as a given, that doesn’t really, uhh, change anything?

    You argue Israel “goes to great lengths” (your words) to prevent civilian casualties and cite examples. I (and others) say “no” or “those great lengths are applied inconsistently thus rendering their operation useless overall,” and cite examples. You claim we’re attacking a perfect standard. I point out we’re attacking the standards you set for them in the discussion. What precisely has changed?

    I mean, if I wasn’t taking as axiom your objection to my characterization of what you said (say that five times fast), I’d go on the irrelevant tangent over how your claim “goes to great lengths” and “does everything it can” marks a “HUGE difference” (your words) is utter malarkey, but I don’t have to because…what point have you made in contention with the topic at hand?

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  158. Cletus says:

    @wr:

    i live in NYC buddy and there’s nothing worse than a self hating Jew. btw, did you get that Apology yet?

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  159. Grewgills says:

    @Cletus:
    Come on, there’s plenty worse than self hating Jews. Not to get all nazi… but nazis.

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  160. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: I think it accurate to suggest they’ve been in a constant state of war for that period of time.

    @Pharoah Narim: I couldn’t care less what color they are.
    PLaying the race card buys you nothing, except the racsit label you’re trying so desperately to attach to everyone else.

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