The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

How ‘Bout Treating Palestinians Like Equal Human Beings

Pat Lang sums it up nicely:

On a grander scale, Israeli complaints of continued Palestinian (Hamas) smuggling of supplies and munitions are a validation of the analytic comments I made here and on television to the effect that the Israeli effort at Gaza (Cast Lead) would be a total strategic failure if the Palestinians did not submit to the Israeli collective will as a result of that punitive campaign.

They have not submited and so it is fair to say that “Cast Lead” was strategically a total failure that served once again to demonstrate the impotence of Israeli arms in dealing with the essence of their “problem” with the Palestinians.  What is next, forced “re-locations,” a first strike against Iran as a relief from having to deal with the truly existential issue of Palestine?  How about face to face negotiations with the Palestinians as equal human beings?  How about that?

The Palestinian problem only as three solutions—real negotiation leading to a single state or two state solution with the settlers withdrawn, or full on ethnic cleansing.  The Israelis need to cut bait and decide if they are monsters or human beings and which one they’d prefer to do.  In the meantime, until they decide that, perhaps they should stop with the deliberate war crimes:

Well, the photograph above is of white phosphorus shell fired from either artillery or mortars.  It is bursting over an upscale civilian apartment development.  There are a lot of pictures like this.  Any old soldier, including ones from the IDF, knows that this is white phosphorus shell.

White phosphorus (a metal) burns on contact with air.  It burns under water.  If you get it on you, it will burn through your arm, leg, etc., until the burning phosporus comes out the other side.  Your only real recourse is to cut it out of you with a knofe before it does so.  White phosphorus shell is legally used for generating smoke on the battlefield.  It used to be common in aerial bombs.  Germany and Japan were heavily bombed with this among many other  things for the specific purpose of burning down their towns.

So.  The IDF spokeman is a liar.  The question of whther and to what extent the IDF also shot civilians deliberately I leave to the conscience of IDF soldiers who seem unwilling to shut up about it.  God bless them.

Saying this sort of thing is one of the last taboos, where you can get real pressure to stop.  But I don’t imagine Pat Lang cares much what people tell him to do and I think the worm is slowly turning.  The Israelis deliberate decision to commit premeditated war crimes during the Gaza incursion turned a lot of stomachs.  It was different mostly in degree, not kind, to the sort of thing they’ve done before but just people have a threshold beyond which evil becomes too hard to ignore.

Hopefully Americans and, more importantly, the arbiters of American discourse in the media and politics, are beginning to be tired of covering up Israeli atrocities.


And meanwhile the Israelis are 0 for 2.  Neither their war against Hezbollah nor against Gaza achieved the goals they themselves declared were the victory conditions.


Next Time, Listen


Netanyahu’s Delusional Desire to Attack Iran


  1. senecal

    ” a first strike against Iran as a relief from having to deal with the truly existential issue of Palestine.” (Lang)

    This is a great retort, one I haven’t heard before. The monster of Israel is so great it’s hard to know where to strike it. Is it the generals, the militarists, the expansionists, the settlers, the right-wing politicians, the American Zionists, or maybe it’s all 97% of the Israeli people (everyone except the tiny peace movements, the scattered and isolated Jeff Halpers and ICAHDs.)

    When I saw pictures during the Lebanon invasion of middle-class Israeli schoolgirls painting jingoistic messages on missiles intended for Lebanon, while their mothers watched approvingly in the background, I thought the whole nation needs to be locked up.

  2. we will see how tired people are soon I believe:

    Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will

    Jeffrey Goldberg

    An Atlantic exclusive – The message from Israel’s new prime minister is stark: if the Obama administration doesn’t prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, Israel may be forced to attack.

    In an interview conducted shortly before he was sworn in today as prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu laid down a challenge for Barack Obama. The American president, he said, must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and quickly—or an imperiled Israel may be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities itself.

    “The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told me. He said the Iranian nuclear challenge represents a “hinge of history” and added that “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

    In unusually blunt language, Netanyahu said of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”
    Neither Netanyahu nor his principal military advisers would suggest a deadline for American progress on the Iran nuclear program, though one aide said pointedly that Israeli time lines are now drawn in months, “not years.” These same military advisers told me that they believe Iran’s defenses remain penetrable, and that Israel would not necessarily need American approval to launch an attack. “The problem is not military capability, the problem is whether you have the stomach, the political will, to take action,” one of his advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me.

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