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

Israel Invades Gaza

After bombing the shit out of Gaza, the ground incursion has begun.

The strikes were so strong that people inside the city, several kilometers away, could be heard screaming in fear…

…Gaza’s Health Ministry said the death toll has climbed to 103 Palestinians, including 27 children and eleven women, with 530 people wounded. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, though Israel says that number is much higher. Seven people have been killed in Israel, including a six year-old boy.

Let us remember the sequence. Israeli settlers stole homes in Jerusalem, and Israeli troops attacked peaceful worshippers in al-Aqsa mosque, then Hamas fired missiles after this had been going on for days and the government showed no sign of stopping.

Hamas exactly knows Israel’s weakness: Israelis are paralyzed by the fear of having soldiers taken captive, because the Israelis have become cowards: they have spent over 40 years killing and hurting and dispossessing the weak, and like all bullies, they can’t stand anyone who doesn’t cower in front of them. Remember that Hezbollah beat them in the last war, and even defeated them in the electronic warfare theater (which takes some doing since Israel has the best US equipment). Israel is too scared to patrol near Lebanon, because Hezbollah has told them that if they do, they will grab the first soldiers they can find.

Hamas military spokesman Abu Obeida said the group was not afraid of a ground invasion, saying any invasion would be a chance “to increase our catch” of dead or captive soldiers.

Catch ’em. Send them through the tunnels to safe houses.

The Israelis, of course, have many many prisoners, but Palestinians expect that, are used to it, and know it is a cost of resistance.

I will not cavil or “both sides” this. The Palestinians, as an occupied people, have every right to resist the occupiers, and the Israelis, as the occupiers, are the people committing the serious crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Hamas can’t “win” this. They are too outgunned and outnumbered.

But because they know the weakness of the Israelis, because they know the Israelis cannot bear one-one hundredth of the pain they routinely inflict on Palestinians, Hamas can make Israel pay.

Israel, as a Jewish-ethnic state, is an ongoing crime against humanity. The two-state solution is dead. Israel needs to become a single state, with everyone being a citizen with equal rights, and all stolen property needs to be returned to those from whom it was stolen.

To do otherwise is unworthy and pathetic; it shows that Israel learned the exact wrong lessons from the Nazis and the Wehrmacht. It is terrible and sad.

There is no good end here for Israel without doing the right thing. The only other option is to finish their wholesale ethnic cleansing and show that, while not strictly speaking genocidal, they truly are Hitler’s bastard children.

If that’s not who they want to be, then for once in Israel’s existence, it must do the right thing by those it has wronged. There is no other good path out; no other path worthy of a God served by Rabbi Hillell:

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

The Israelis claim to be Jews. If I were a Jew, I would claim that no one who supports the actions of Israel towards the Palestinians can be Jewish, for they do not follow the whole Torah. God and all the prophets can only curse their names for doing their evil and cloaking in God’s name.

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The Right of Israel to Exist and the Fresh Hell it Is Heading Towards


Open Thread


  1. Jason

    Updated casualty figures from Gaza, Israel; US blocks UN statement, Israel targets journalists

    An Israeli army spokesman says that its warplanes have hit 600 targets in Gaza since the conflict began, and the military is preparing for a possible ground assault on Gaza.

    Israeli spokespeople – and U.S. media – continue to claim that Israel’s strikes are against military targets, but the vast majority of those killed & injured in Gaza are civilians.

    The U.S. blocked a proposed UN Security Council statement aimed at reducing the escalating violence. Other than the US, Security Council members were unanimous in supporting the statement.

    US President Biden’s new ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, pledged during her confirmation hearings that she would “stand with Israel.”

    Gazan rockets, which were first launched in 2001 after Israeli airstrikes had killed 570 Palestinians, have killed a total of 33 Israelis. During the same period, Israeli air attacks have killed over 4,000 Gazans.

    Gaza authorities reportedly say Israeli air strikes have destroyed two high-rises and damaged 550 homes.

    An 80-year old woman says she lost 30 years of memories: “I can’t stop crying. I lived 30 years in this home, all my memories and life were there.”

  2. Soredemos

    As of right this moment, the ground assault hasn’t actually begun. But I expect it will within hours. The IDF has called up 9,000 reservists and has been massing troops and armor on the border over the past day. Hamas is goading Israel into going in to try and eliminate the rockets from the ground. Another 250 rockets were fired this morning (well, their morning, friday). Hamas wants this.

    I expect Netanyahu deliberately sent the police thugs into Al-Aqsa hoping to trigger a response from Hamas, which would then give him an excuse to call in the military and play at being the big man. For him he’s blatantly wagging the dog.

    But I don’t think he expected the response he’s gotten. Hamas has clearly been preparing for a major confrontation for a long time. No one, I think, suspected they could unleash the rocket barrages they’ve been unleashing. They’re overwhelming the Iron Dome system, and draining it dry ($80,000 for every one of those Israeli anti-missile missiles). On top of that they seem to be deploying new, more advanced weapons: drones, maybe even some kind of cruise missile if rumours are true.

    And Israel, despite clearly declaring open season and not even pretending to discriminate with targeting anymore, seems unable to suppress the rocket launches from the air. From the Israeli perspective they *have* to go in on foot now.

    You can be damn sure Hezbollah is taking notes on all of this, and prepared at a moment’s notice to begin their own operations if Israel so much as looks threateningly at Lebanon. If this is what a bunch of people under permanent blockade can do with mostly improvised munitions, what could the Lebanese fighters do with tens of thousands of much better missiles and rockets?

    On top of all of that, Arab Israelis are taking to the streets in a way they haven’t before, as are the craziest elements of Jewish Israeli society. Netanyahu kicked the hornet’s nest, but half the hornets had been preparing for the kick, and the other half, previously docile, aren’t taking it anymore.

  3. Jeremy

    I am a UK Jew, and I say –

    God Bless Ian Welsh.
    Thank you Ian.

  4. Joan

    This also has me thinking of the Jewish community in my city. I’ve never seen an Israeli flag here, though I’m sure there are supporters who don’t put flags in windows, of course. It likely depends on the family and whether they have direct ties to Israel. But regular Jews living in other places shouldn’t immediately be lumped in with Israel, as in my experience they certainly don’t feel that way. Ian and the commentariat here are more nuanced than that, thankfully.

    Also, wow, claiming Judiasm is one ethnicity is super problematic (does this point even need to be made?). Judaism has spread all over the world. My favorite Korean figure skater is Jewish. I have no idea how that works, but he wears a Star of David necklace though I’ve never heard him mention his faith in an interview or anything.

  5. Jeremy

    Max Blumenthal speaks some truth.

  6. Plague Species

    On Morning Joe this morning, they must have mentioned Hamas rockets ten times, maybe more. It gives them the excuse they need to support Israel’s aggression. If you’re a hard right Israeli, you’re thanking Hamas for its beneficence in firing these largely feckless rockets. It provides the pretext for a violent asymmetrical response supported by the West, i.e. an invasion of Gaza with many civilians murdered. But hey, if you point this out, you’re Hasbara.

    Jason and Jeremy and Astrid and Z and Soredemos, I imagine them all in a room together considering they appear to be reading from the same script on this and refuse to think for themselves, what do you think will come of all of this? Not what you think should happen or what you want to happen, but what will happen? I can assure you, whatever you want to happen will NEVER happen. Calling those you’re trying to influence Hasbara when they don’t agree with you means you will never influence anyone you haven’t already influenced. So it’s just a matter of what will happen. Well, what will happen?

    My educated guess? Pretty much more the same that we’ve seen for the past half a century or longer, just more intense and brazen. It’s horrible and tragic but the world really doesn’t care all that much for the Palestinians or not enough to bring Israel to heel. What does McDonald say about the recent escalation. I ask because he may be POTUS again in 2024, so his opinion is still relevant and his opinion is the opinion of his 74 million or more American supporters who vote. Also, what is Putin’s response to Israel’s aggression? Live and let live when it comes to the Israelis and live and let die when it comes to the Palestinians?

  7. Plague Species

    Hamas wants this.

    That’s sickening. They want a bunch of murdered civilians? I believe it. Hamas’s existence is predicated on it. Without Israel and its aggression, Hamas has no reason to exist. Of course it wants it. The more blood, the better.

  8. Z

    The top three people in the Bibi’s bitch state’s State Department (Tony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland) are all Jewish Zionist Mafia (JZM) members and posters like Plague Species are trying to lay this on the after effects of Trump.

    I’d imagine Israel feels pretty confident, for good reason, attacking the Palestinians with those three in charge and it ain’t got a damn thing to do with Trump. They know that trio will continue to be “concerned” and “monitor” the situation but not do a damn thing about it unless Israel starts to lose.


  9. Plague Species

    Z, I am not excusing Biden or Obama or any Dem leader. I will not provide apologia for their fealty to Israel. For their cowardice. As I have said, they are ALL bad when it comes to Israel and many other issues as well, but McDonald was and is many times worse.

    Here’s a blast from the past. Considering today’s context, James Baker’s approach in 1992 is positively leftist in sentiment. This is how far the Overton Window has shifted on Israel.

    I bet Biden was one of the 92 Senators who signed the letter sent to Baker in opposition to Baker’s tough stance with Israel, or tough relatively speaking.

    In the US, media reaction to Baker’s speech was remarkably positive. In Congress, there was an audible sigh of relief. Both Republicans and Democrats are starting to hear from their constituents on the subject of $3 billion in annual aid to an Israel that clearly is misusing it. It didn’t take AIPAC lobbyists long to counterattack, however. It came in a letter to Baker, signed by 92 senators, expressing support for the Israeli peace initiative. In anoblique reference to the Baker speech the lobby did not dare attack frontally, the letter suggestedthat in dealing with Israeli proposals, “the United States must be fully supportive, both in fact and in appearance.”

    I’m not a James Baker fan. I don’t do fan. But he had it right. Aid to Israel, if there is to be aid, must be conditional and if the conditions aren’t met, poof goes the aid. That was then, though, and this is now. Note in that article that it was mentioned the media was ecstatic with Baker’s speech to AIPAC taking Israel to task. That would never happen today. The media has been captured by the Israeli lobby and would never be ecstatic if such a speech was delivered by a Secretary of State today, and the capturing goes so deep, no Secretary of State today would have the sack to deliver such a speech. Can you imagine Blinken delivering such a speech? Not on your life. Or his.

  10. Astrid

    Palestinians have the right to retaliate against the illegal and US enabled Israeli aggression. They can decide what’s an appropriate response and who to support. Focusing on Hamas is an intentional distraction from what Israel is doing now and victim blaming.

    It’s as simple as this. It’s exactly like people who blame people murdered by police of “looking at them funny”.

  11. Plague Species

    Of course, this is the same James Baker who supports insurrection by virtue of his support of McDonald Trump. Baker’s pragmatism has twisted him in contradictory knots. His support of McDonald reveals the absurdity produced by the merger of senility and pragmatism.

    The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III, reports that Baker, a Bush family confidant, thinks Donald Trump is “crazy.” Despite that assessment, Baker remains appreciative of the president’s tax cuts, deregulation, and judicial appointments and would like to see him reelected.

  12. Plague Species

    Answer the question, Astrid. What do you think will happen? Understanding the many dimensions of this complex dilemma is not a distraction. It’s essential. Hamas and its role is one dimension of so many.

  13. Soredemos

    @Plague Species

    You clearly have no idea what my ‘script’ even is. I have zero desire to influence anyone.

  14. Plague Species

    As an example of how substantial the Israeli lobby in America has grown in influence, that Washington Monthly article doesn’t mention the most glaring difference between McDonald and James Baker, namely their stance related to Israel. They are 180 degrees, or I guess I should say were. Apparently Baker ended up capitulating and is now a supporter of Israeli hard liners. That’s a pragmatist for you.

  15. Astrid

    It’s not complicated. The terrorist settler state, fully supported the Biden, is murdering innocent Palestinians and destroying their livelihoods. This event wasn’t triggered by Palestinian action, it’s triggered by Zionazis who wanted to do “lawn mowing” for fun and right-wing settler support.

    My analogy to cop killing doesn’t go far enough. No, this is more like black men being lynched for looking at a white lady. And you’re the guy fixated on saying he shouldn’t have looked.

    Oh, and to hijack every conversation into your hated of Trump and provide distraction from what the Democrats are doing now.

  16. Jeremy

    JUST IN – Israel’s PM Netanyahu: “Hamas pays and will pay a heavy price, as it is not over yet, and they will not escape our strikes.”

  17. Jeremy

    Netanyahu is a complete meshugana!

  18. Plague Species

    It’s clear Astrid, based on Biden’s pick for Secretary of State and his history related to Israel, that he and his administration will not take Israel to task or bring Israel to heel, and that America will still continue to fund Israel regardless of what it does. If McDonald hadn’t done what he did related to Israel, I highly doubt Biden and his administration would have. It’s not much but it’s something. The Biden administration never would go as far as McDonald Trump in sticking its head up Israel’s ass. Much of what McDonald Trump has done cannot be undone and it has emboldened and fully legitimated the Israeli hard liners who are now exercising their muscle in a show of force. Hamas is giving them just the pretext they need to mollify the spineless West. The rockets, the rockets (the horror, the horror).

    “When I look at Trump, I see, first of all, a powerful man,” Boaz Bismuth, the editor-in-chief of Israel Hayom, told me recently. “I liked him from the very beginning.” Parallels between Trumpism and what’s known in Israel as Bibism are unmistakable: an outward contempt for—and inward obsession with—the media; a disdain for cultural élites and elements of a so-called deep state; racist incitement (Netanyahu: “Arab voters are coming out in droves”; Trump: “These aren’t people. These are animals”); and a brand of nationalist populism that has similarly taken root in countries as far flung as India, Hungary, and Brazil.

    A large part of the Israeli right’s affinity for Trump stems from his willingness to countenance new settlements in the West Bank while ignoring the Palestinians who live there. “Every building plan that had been placed in front of me was approved; under Obama, we didn’t even dare to dream about it,” one settler leader said, during a joint prayer for Trump in Hebron, a few days before the U.S. election. The right also appreciates the Trump Administration’s broader disregard for the Palestinians. When Trump announced a peace plan for Israel and Palestine—his so-called “deal of the century” in the region—without even briefing the Palestinians, he seemingly wished them out of existence. In response, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, called Trump’s plan the “slap of the century.” The irony is that, despite getting all it could wish for under Trump, the Israeli hard right still rejected his “deal.” It opposed the mention of a Palestinian state—even a shrunken one that would have no security autonomy and would be pockmarked by Jewish settlements.

    Bismuth believes that, if Trump had won a second term, he would have allowed Israel to annex West Bank settlements—or, in Bismuth’s words, to “recognize our sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.” He also credits Trump with making the Gulf states effectively choose Israel over Palestine. “Israel shouldn’t be the mistress in the Arab world—Israel should be the wife. And Trump helped us become the wife,” he said. The way Bismuth sees it, “We suddenly have an American President who says, ‘Wait a minute, you’re actually O.K. Your success, your existence, your ability to thrive doesn’t have to depend on the Palestinians.’ “

  19. Feral Finster

    Donald Trump is a roaring jackass.

    That does not excuse Biden.

    Of course, right on cue, some 44 Team R Senators use this as an pretext to demand that Biden break off talks with Iran regarding restoring the JCPOA. Which was the entire point of this murderous exercise.

  20. Plague Species

    No, it doesn’t excuse Biden. But the 74 million or more Trump supporters are emblematic of what this freak wrote over at Fox News in a comment to a recent article related to this.

    The filthy enemy can sense biden’s weakness and inability to do the right thing. So…why not exploit that? The right thing would be to assist Israel in eliminating the threat of having their people harmed. This term, evil runs the U.S. Government, under the guise of compassion. The world needs our rightfully re-elected President back!

    We have the likes of Astrid and her ilk telling us Biden is McDonald or worse when it comes to Israel and McDonald is no longer relevant and we have the freak who wrote this comment above basically telling us Biden is a communist who is in bed with Hamas and is an enemy of Israel.

    Read the comments to that article and compare them to what Astrid and some others are saying here and what Greenwald is saying. Insanity.

  21. Bridget

    Israel has asked the Biden administration to block any measures at the UN since the fighting began on Monday, and the U.S. has blocked at least two attempts by other members of the council to publish a statement on the situation.

    The Israeli government had hinted to the U.S. that it might be better to hold the visit at a later stage, U.S. and Israeli officials say. Israel has said it’s not yet ready to seek a ceasefire.

    The US: Err, can we talk about this, maybe, um, like we’d like to try…
    Israel: Fuck you. We’re not done with our killing yet.

    Israel bribes U.S. politicians via its U.S. lobby apparatus. The whole setup is akin to a money laundering operation.

    Who’s the fucking superpower here?

  22. Willy

    Since most American Jews are democrats, the Israeli PTB relies on American conservative evangelicals to make most of the noise to demand that American PTB maintain support of Israeli PTB anti-property right military policies with the ultimate goal of getting that temple built on the mount to please God enough to make him unleash Armageddon so they can be raptured in the ultimate liberal-owning teeth-gnashing exercise. Plus sharia law is bad and Trump will make Israel great again with lots of Israeli lobby money available for anybody else in a position of influence.

    What’s not to like about all that?

  23. Z

    Israel bribes U.S. politicians via its U.S. lobby apparatus and also blackmails them via Israel’s intelligence agencies, both state-run and private.

    The carrot-and-stick trick … we can publicly humiliate you or make you a multimillionaire … produces U.S. politicians who are fervently loyal to the Zionist cause because it strongly aligns their personal fortunes with it.


  24. DMC

    If Israel should actually destroy the dome of the Rock, they can expect full-blown, worldwide jihad declared by actual Islamic authorities, which will be incumbent on all Muslims everywhere. This will be nothing like the small groups of self proclaimed jihadis they have dealt with in the past. This will be all 1.5 or 6 billion Muslims in the world. This will be nuclear armed Pakistan. This will be all its neighbors. This will be war to extinction. If it is the “final solution” they seek, then that is what they shall find, just not on the terms they imagined. “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad”.

  25. Hvd

    If I might try putting a few words into plague species mouth that might curb some of the vitriol hurled his/her way…

    Without in the least excusing Israel PS seems to be saying that Hamas unfortunately helps do the devil’s work by its feckless behavior. I think PS would rather see a Palestinian leadership akin to that of Hezbollah that both positively serves its people and understands how to counter its peoples’ enemies. We might then start seeing positive results rather then this endless round of misery, death and destruction visited on the Palestinian people. This not a case of deflecting attention from he aggressor but is instead an attempt to discuss what strategy and or approach would effectively end the agression.

    In this respect it is not entirely clear who the hasbara troll epithet applies to – the person who starts the search for effective counter measures to an evil or the one who keeps supporting the failed approaches of the past. I personally think no one in this particular company deserves that epithet.

  26. Hugh

    Israel is a pathological state in a pathological region. The only thing that sets it apart is that it has nukes. With climate change, the chances of its survival are poor. These are made worse by its murderous apartheid politics.

  27. Soredemos

    @Plague Species

    The problem with claiming that Trump was uniquely friendly with/subservient to Israel is, well, all of the history of US-Israeli relations. The current Israeli assault was fundamentally driven by internal Israeli politics. It’s not like Netanyahu had never previously demonstrated a willingness to engage in a bloodletting of Gaza before Trump came along. The Protective Edge slaughter happened during the Obama years, not under Trump.

    As of right now the ground invasion still hasn’t started, but Israel is if anything increasing that bombing of Gazan infrastructure. Meanwhile police have gunned down ten protestors in the West Bank, as well as killed a Lebanese who was trying to climb a wall.

    Neither side is going to back down. And in fact at this point I don’t think Netanyahu could deescalate even if he wanted to. The way things are spiraling out of control, I think there’s a real chance he does want to pull back; he’s an evil thug, but he’s not completely stupid. Netanyahu needed something to save his political career and keep himself out of jail, so he contrived a confrontation with Hamas. But he got way more than he bargained for, and there’s no way he can back down now. Israeli anger wouldn’t stand for it. Events are outside his control now.


    It’s not a matter of supporting Hamas. I don’t particularly like Hamas; they have a lot of problems and are a poor option as the vehicle of Palestinian resistance. But they *are* the main vehicle of that resistance.

  28. Mark Level

    A vital and excellent commentary by Ian, as usual.

    Much intelligent commentary by the usual folks who I have noticed share the anti-imperialist, anti-nationalist and humanist values which I try to follow, like Astrid and Soredemos.

    Some off-track stuff, but no use pointing at the darkness in online comments when Palestinians are being senselessly slaughtered for the long-term goal of thoroughly purging them from their homeland, via either mass displacement or a full-on genocide, all while docile Joe stands on the sideline and his spokespeople use “Israel’s right to exist” as an excuse for murdering children, and affirm spinelessly that Everything Israel does is supported unconditionally by the US government, & will be for eternity. Of course, if King Donald were still in office, US troops might be joining in the ethnic cleansing, though he was just more extreme (for family/financial reasons) than Zionists like HRC in fellating the murderous Zionist ethno-state, not fundamentally different.

    I have no idea whether or not DMC’s prognostication is fully credible or not. If Israel should overreact (& that verb is way too weak) and destroy one of Islam’s holiest sites it certainly would be a deliberately “apocalyptic” act (both in terms of pulling back a curtain and ending one world historical stage to begin another). I would certainly like to think that at a minimum the Saudi public might rise up against the MB Bonesaw and the royals if they continued to openly ally with the US and Israel after such a hateful, “mad” (indeed) act. But there’s very little I’d put past Netanyahoo given his current stage of vulnerability.

    Also, I appreciate Ian’s closing lines, which (deliberately, I expect) reverse Ben Shapiro’s take on what “a Jew” is. Ben says any Jew who doesn’t support crushing the “filth” loving Palestinians is not a member of the tribe; Ian reverses that nicely with the Hillel quotation. And yes, most American Jews are secular and (while I’d disagree that the Dem party is any protector of Palestinian lives, which one commenter implies) not on board for the full-scale bloody extermination of the Palestinian native population.

    And let’s not forget that the area has been called Palestine since Herodotus’ time; the kingdoms of Judah and Israel didn’t last particularly long, and failed to exterminate their Caananite brethren who remained for millenia.

  29. Jeremy

    Can you imagine ?

    “A building in Gaza City collapsed during a live BBC TV report after being hit by an Israeli strike.”

  30. Jeremy

    “Israeli media has been inciting against Palestinians non-stop the past few days. Now Israeli lynch mobs are roaming the streets fully armed chanting “death to Arabs”

    Many friends are afraid of imminent massacres in Lydda, Jaffa and Haifa”

  31. Jason

    Israeli-Palestinian Strife Widens as Frantic Calls for Calm Go Unheeded

    The widening sense of mayhem in Israel and the Palestinian territories came as Israeli airstrikes brought mass evacuations and funerals to Gaza, and as Hamas rockets singed Israeli towns for a fifth consecutive day.

    Gaza funerals and mass evacuations are one thing, but singeing towns? Must be a war crime. Israel has a right to exist.

  32. Soredemos

    @Mark Level

    All I can say is that Ben Shapiro is genuinely not worth expending the energy to fire a single brain cell thinking about. I suspect he doesn’t actually believe at least 99% of anything he says; he goes where he thinks the money is. And anything he legitimately thinks wasn’t arrived at through anything resembling critical thinking (I think he truly believes in Judaism; I note how all his “facts don’t care about your feelings” stuff instantly disappears when it comes to his religion and why he believes it). The guy is mostly grifter, and any positions he he genuinely holds he didn’t arrive at via rational inquiry, because that’s something he simply doesn’t have the intellectual capacity for.

    He thrives on attention, it’s how he makes a living.

  33. Willy

    Could someone be so kind as to tell the affected Palestinians and/or their descendants that most Americans don’t approve of these behaviors, and could they please point their retaliatory terrorism blowback strikes at those who do? Be a lot more effective and it’d give the rest of us normals a chance to say “we told you so”. Thanks in advance.

  34. Plague Species

    Maybe “the Palestinians,” as if they are monolithic and therefore united with Hamas, should hire Darkside to retaliate against Israel. Hack Israel into the sea, so to speak. As we saw with Darkside and Colonial, we know they would have to pay the ransom and the Biden administration will do nothing except say no one has to where silly masks anymore.

    Every news clip I watch leads with Hamas’s rockets. Hearts and minds.

    This latest escalation is for many reasons that are all wrapped up into one. First reason is that this is what Israel does every few years like clockwork. Second reason is Donald Trump’s emboldening of the Israeli hard liners with his overtures towards Israel. Third reason is Bibi’s political survival. Fourth reason is testing of the Biden administration. Fifth reason is the Iran nuclear deal. There are also other reasons no doubt. It is never just one reason.

    My question is, if the American media didn’t have the rockets red glare to use as the excuse for Israel’s violent aggression, what would it use as justification? Hamas’s rockets are very convenient, you must admit, and what’s also convenient in crafting a narrative favorable to Israel is to equate ALL Palestinians with Hamas thus rendering a perception that ALL Palestinians are terrorists and that’s not just the American media doing that, but also people in this commentary. It seems to me this would be a tactic out of the Bibi playbook. Under the guise of opposition to Israel, make that opposition, and ALL Palestinians too, appear sufficiently radical, too radical, by having it label all criticism of Israel as terroristic by tying it to the hip of Hamas.

  35. Ian Welsh

    I don’t read Shapiro, since I loathe him as a lightweight, so I didn’t know he’d made that argument, not that it isn’t a common one.

    Still, the kid obviously knows how to write pieces people want to read and share. As a propagandist and polemicist, he’s A+.

    My actual reasoning was thinking that if Israel claimed to be Christian, I’d rip them a new one, then I realized that what they are doing is hardly approved of by the mainstream of Rabbinical thought, either (at least, if they actually applied the principle they claim to believe in.)

  36. Soredemos


    Imagine posting something like this just a few hours before Israel bombed both a refugee camp and major international media outlets.

  37. Synoia

    This looks like a typical Netanyahu re-election campaign. Is there an election due, or another money scandal surrounding dear Benjamin ?

  38. Soredemos


    He’s on trial for multiple major corruption charges that he’ll almost certainly be convicted for, and has been unable to form a coalition government despite multiple elections. He needs to stay PM, or he goes to prison.

  39. someofparts

    This post talks about possible aspects of the conflict I haven’t heard anyone else mention. If Israel is drawing fire from Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen I wonder if it will make a difference.

  40. Lex

    PS is arguing for political action and non-violence (though not necessarily pacifism) as being more effective than than rockets. That may be true in concept but only works if the conscience of others can be affected. It’s been too many decades without conscience by the world to assume that plan will be effective. If not the rockets it would be something else that caused Israel to act this way in the US media presentation. It must be so because politically the decision has been made. Even now, the US will block even statements by the UNSC. According to our president, Israel’s right to exist is synonymous with its right to war crimes, oppression, overwhelming violence and apartheid.

    Nobody thought Hamas had so many rockets and they keep coming. Israel is clearly terrified of a real ground assault because they’ve been threatening one but not committing. Statements from Hamas suggest that they are goading Israel with the rockets because they want to capture Israeli troops. Bibi can’t back down because he believes peace is weakness but he can’t go forward because he’s a lot weaker than he boasts. What if he needs troops to attempt to control internal mob violence that’s spinning out of control? He’s got to worry about Lebanon, given that his fear of using ground troops against mostly civilians stems from defeat in Lebanon. Syria is full of well-armed militias and terrorists. Defeating combined Arab armies was a long time ago.

  41. Astrid

    Plague Species doesn’t offer any solution to the Palestinians, besides lying down and take the continued violence without resistance. Because any resistance, unless so overwhelming as to defeat the Zionists and drive them to the sea, would be subject to his criticism of Hamas.

    Without Hamas and unless Hezbollah is willing to wade in and escalate, thus giving the long Neoliberal-neocon project the opening for direct war with Iran, all the Palestinians have is Hamas right now and Hamas is fighting the only way that it can.

    If Plague Species wants to take his wife and two kids to Gaza and fight the IDF the”right way”, go ahead. If he wants to start targeting Zionist US politicals who have worked to outlaw BDS and make any criticism of Israel omerta, that’s something. Otherwise it’s just typical bullshitting chickenhawkery with a massive side order of undermining and minimizing the sufferings of a people being ethnically cleansed by the brutally racist state. He has consistently shown himself to be a tool of the USUKIS state And he might actually be arrogant, deranged, and stupid enough to think he’s not.

  42. Bridget

    “If left to its own Israel will have no choice but to fall back on a riskier defense which will endanger itself and the world at large … To enable Israel to abstain from dependence on nuclear arms calls for $2 to $3 billion per year in U.S. aid.” – Amos Rubin

    This is a microcosm of the deranged thinking that dominates the Zionist project, which is an extension of the more nefarious aspects of Judaism. There is no Zionism without the Talmud.

    It’s actually very easy to unpack: We’re chosen and you’re here to service us. Anything that severs this arrangement scares us. Our fear then turns to anger, and we lash out with great vengeance upon thee.

    There’s no way out. In order to not be thoroughly destroyed, you have to continue in the arrangement that is slowly destroying you anyway.

    It’s just circular reasoning.

  43. Bridget

    “If left to its own Israel will have no choice but to fall back on a riskier defense which will endanger itself and the world at large … To enable Israel to abstain from dependence on nuclear arms calls for $2 to $3 billion per year in U.S. aid.” – Amos Rubin

    I highlighted the beginning so as to better illustrate the point.

  44. John

    Israel is a pathological state in a pathological region

    The whole region is pathological? What does that even mean? Has it always been so?

    Why did the Jewish Zionists decide to set up shop in a region so prone to utter pathology? That’s indicative of utter pathology on their part.

    “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.” – John R Sheehan

  45. Plague Species

    Astrid, I apologize. I didn’t realize until now you were one of those in Gaza firing the rockets into Israel, from a preschool no less. Why didn’t you say so earlier?

    As for your invitation for me and my family to join you in Gaza, no thanks, we’ll decline. Considering Hamas’ MO, we would be slaughtered as soon as we stepped on Gazan soil no doubt — the fate of any ordinary Palestinian who would dare stand up against Hamas.

    My call to exterminate the wealthy elite everywhere would take care of all of this. Instead, you want to fire feckless rockets aimlessly and taunt Israel to mow a few more innocents for further funding.

    If something doesn’t work, you jettison it. Hamas doesn’t work. The Palestinians are not better off than they were thirty years prior when Hamas started to take root and grow in influence and power with the backing of Israel no less. In fact, they’re much worse off. It’s time for something different. How about you propose that different rather than suggesting and championing the ineffective same old same old under the guise of resistance.

  46. Bridget

    This looks like a typical Netanyahu re-election campaign.

    Another grand deception. Blame everything on the far-right branch of the overall Jewish Zionist project for Eretz Yisrael.

    It’s just a political stunt for a deranged far-right politician, not an overarching project with dire consequence for the wider Middle East and much of the world.

  47. John

    Why did the Jewish Zionists decide to set up shop in a region so prone to utter pathology?

    Should read: Why did the Jewish Zionists decide to set up shop in a region allegedly so prone to violence?

    It’s rhetorical, obviously.

  48. Jacqueline

    Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb

    Kennedy and the AIPAC

    In May 1963, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations opened an investigation into the covert activities of foreign agents on U.S. soil, focusing in particular on the American Zionist Council and the Jewish Agency for Israel. The investigation was prompted by a report from the Chairman of that standing Committee, Senator J. William Fulbright, written in March 1961 (declassified in 2010), stating: “In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels.” By covert activities, including “within the United States and elsewhere,” Fulbright was referring to the 1953 “Lavon Affair” where a group of Egyptian Jews was recruited by Israel to carry out bomb attacks against British targets, which were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood so as to discredit Nasser in the eyes of the British and Americans.

    he Senate investigation brought to light a money laundering racket through which the Jewish Agency (indivisible from the State of Israel and a precursor to the Israeli Government) was channeling tens of millions of dollars to the American Zionist Council, the main Israeli lobby in the United States. Following this investigation, the Department of Justice, under the authority of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, ordered the American Zionist Council to register as “agents of a foreign government,” subject to the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, involving the close monitoring of its activities.

    This attempt to counter Israel’s growing interference in U.S. politics undoubtedly enjoyed the support of the President. At the time when he was still a young journalist covering the United Nations inaugural conference, John Kennedy was troubled by Israel’s ability to buy politicians, up to and including the President himself. By recognizing the State of Israel on May 15, 1948, (just ten minutes after its official proclamation) despite the unanimous disapproval of his government, President Harry Truman not only gained a place in biblical history (“Truman’s historic act of recognition will remain forever inscribed in golden letters in the 4000-year history of the Jewish people”, declared the Israeli ambassador), he also pocketed two million dollars to revitalize his re-election campaign. “That’s why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast,” Kennedy told his friend novelist and essayist Gore Vidal.

    In 1960, John Kennedy himself received a financial aid offer from the Israeli lobby for his presidential campaign. He decoded Abraham Feinberg’s proposal for his journalist friend Charles Bartlett in the following terms: “We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.” Bartlett recalls Kennedy’s promise that “if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it.” Between 1962 and 1963, he submitted seven campaign finance reform bills but all were defeated by the influential groups they sought to restrain.

    All government efforts to stymie the corruption of American democracy by Israeli agents were stopped short by Kennedy’s assassination and his brother’s replacement at the Department of Justice by Nicholas Katzenbach. The American Zionist Council evaded foreign agent status by dissolving and renaming itself American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Ten years later (April 15, 1973), Fulbright commented on CBS: “Israel controls the U.S. Senate. […] The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. – somewhere around 80 percent – are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants Israel gets.” AIPAC continued the same practices, dodging any sanction even when its members were caught red-handed in acts of espionage and high treason. In 2005, two AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, were acquitted after having received from a member of the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, Larry Franklin, documents classified as Secret-Defense which they transmitted to a senior Israeli official.

  49. Astrid

    Plague Species,

    Opinions are like assholes, everyone had got one. Yours is very productive. Good luck getting anyone outside of your skull to buy into it though.

  50. Plague Species

    The price of feckless resistance that’s convenient for Israel. If you’re a woman in Gaza, you’re doubly screwed. First by Israel, second by Hamas.

    A Hamas-run Islamic court in the Gaza Strip has ruled that women require the permission of a male guardian to travel, further restricting movement in and out of the territory that has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt since the militant group seized power.

    The rollback in women’s rights could spark a backlash in Gaza at a time when the Palestinians plan to hold elections later this year. It could also solidify Hamas’ support among its conservative base at a time when it faces criticism over living conditions in the territory it has ruled since 2007.

  51. Astrid

    Internal Palestinian politics has absolutely nothing to do with Israel’s genocidal politics and how US provided Israeli precision missiles have murdered exponentially more Palestinians children and a higher proportion of children, than crude uncontrolled Hamas rockets.

    Plague Species edgelording is about giving cover to Israel and by extension, the US empire. The whataboutism is used everytime this evil empire wants a pretext to dehumanize and destroy another largely harmless people, all while it lets Israel, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Turkey, Brazil, and its brutal and racist (but not just racist) police departments run amok. No, you have to always focus on the evil orange clown and ignore what the politicians actually in power and their oligarch puppetmasters are doing right now.

  52. Astrid

    It’s all MSM. They lie so much that even when they do accidentally tell the truth, you have to wonder what lies they are trying to hide under it.

  53. Plaguer Species

    Internal Palestinian politics has absolutely nothing to do with Israel’s genocidal politics….

    It has everything to do with supporting Hamas and the fact that Palestinians are doubly screwed. There are currently no good options and Astrid has yet to offer a proposal that will make a difference instead of saying Hamas is all the Palestinians have because if that statement were true, it means the Palestinians not only have nothing but in fact have less than zero.

    Wealthy people like Astrid aren’t truly interested in helping the Palestinians. At most, they’re satisfied with trying to score points on the internet. At most.

  54. Astrid

    Again, what the Palestinians want to do for themselves is none of the business of outsider know nothing’s like you. Whose solution translates to do nothing or die, while undermining the Palestinians’ moral right to exist and fight back. You’re the asshole yelling “you’re doing it wrong” against the victim of a lynch mob.

    What I can do is limited. I send money to independent journalists who are covering this beat. I may eventually have to cut my ties to my best friends over this. I will make a better effort to boycott Israel. I won’t support public figure who supports the Zionist state and give money to any opponents who voiced support Palestinians.

    What the hell are you doing that’s so great, other than attacking the only organization currently putting up any kind of resistance against Israel?

  55. Plague Species

    …what the Palestinians want to do for themselves is none of the business of outsider know nothing’s….

    That’s precisely what Bibi thinks and what Bibi would say. It’s what abusers say about their victims to those who want to help the victim — “mind your own business.”

    It will take the world to solve the Palestinian/Israeli dilemma if it can be solved, so it’s everyone’s business. How about you refrain from speaking for the Palestinians as though you represent their diverse opinions on the matter and their desires and wishes.

  56. Astrid


    Are you a Palestinian?

    If not, why are you speaking for them? Do you actually know any other living Israeli politician other than Netanyahu without Googling?

    Your gaslighting is pretty good, almost as good as the jackasses who weaponized antisemitism on behalf of the aparteid state.

  57. different clue


    You put your finger on a very interesting and important point. Bombing/burning the Dome of the Rock Mosque would have the result you describe.

    Who wants that result? The Christian Zionist Rapturanian Armageddonites who support the “right wing” and Settler Movement squattlers in their West Bank and East Jerusalem squattlements, that’s who. The various flavors of Rapturanian Armageddonite support their Greater Israel in hopes to maneuver it into destroying the Dome of the Rock in order to trigger off the War of Armageddon which will signal Christ’s Return and His Thousand Year Rule On Earth.

    I first understood the literal reality of that fact when I heard that Pat Robertson said Ariel Sharon had his post-surgery stroke as ” God’s Punishment” for “dividing the Land” by evacuating Gaza. Robertson thought it threatened the approach of some sort of Two State Solution which would delay the War of Armageddon and the Rapture and so forth.

    Here is a link about that.

    The Christian Zionist Rapturanian Armageddonite Lobby is going to be a very powerful opponent of any effort to delay or deny the achievement of Greater Israel . . . . because such delayal or denial delays the arrival of Armageddon, Rapture, and Christ’s Thousand Year Rule from upon His Throne.

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