Discussion: The Israel v. Palestine crisis

May 19, 2021 • 12:48 pm

As I expected but hoped wouldn’t happen, the Biden administration is turning from a pro-Israel to a more pro-Palestinian stance, as described in this article in the Washington Post (click on screenshot):

This is my personal view of the situation, and I’m quite depressed about it. Not only about the deaths, rockets, and now an internecine war in Israel in which neighbor attacks neighbor, but also about the fact that, to me, the Democrats are falling for the tenet of Critical Race Theory that the world is divided into the oppressor and the oppressed, and Jews are in the former class while Palestinians are in the latter. And this despite both groups could be considered “people of color” and in fact many have very similar ancestry.

I will tender some tentative thoughts, and remember they are tentative, but this is what’s going through my mind at the moment. Feel free to agree, disagree, embroider, add your own thoughts, and so on .

a.) The swing of the Biden administration is merely one symptom of a rise in anti-Semitism in general, though I don’t think for a minute that Biden is an anti-Semite. Many Democrats are not ill disposed towards Jews or Israel. But I will add that I think that people like Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar are anti-Semitic, sharing the same aims as Hamas: the elimination of the state of Israel. These Democrats with loud megaphones are clearly influencing the actions of the Biden administration.

b.) Along with this, I worry about a burgeoning anti-Semitism in the West. This is instantiated by the large number of demonstrations against Israel and very few against Palestine.  We already know that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the West, but to see it infecting my own political party upsets me.

c.) For the life of me, I cannot see much that Israel has done wrong in this whole conflagration. Even Netanyahu, regardless of what you think of him, prohibited a Jerusalem March this year because he thought it might incite violence. He didn’t have to do that, for the march proceeds every year. The invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the IDF seems justifiable since it was housing fireworks, rocks, and Molotov cocktails that Arabs were hurling on the Jews praying at the Western Wall. below. (Remember the mob of Israeli Jews who shouted “death to Arabs”—a reprehensible act—was dispersed and arrested by the Israeli Police.)

d.) Then there are the rockets that Hamas launches indiscriminately at Israel to kill civilians and wreak terror. Had they not done that, there would be no attempts by Israel to stop the launch of future rockets by destroying Hamas’s military capabilities. Can you think of any unilateral attack by Israel on Gaza without a prior provocation from Hamas’s rockets or other weapons?

e.) There are many reports of the new “hard line” that Biden is taken with Netanyahu. And yes, I believe pressure needs to be applied—but to both sides, with a stipulation that if Hamas stops the rockets, Israel will stop its self defense. Do we have any reports that Biden has taken a hard line with Mahmoud Abbas? (Granted, he doesn’t have much power in Gaza, but he’s still the President of Palestine and head of the PLO.) I haven’t seen any news reports that Biden has talked to Abbas.

f.) The most frequent charge leveled at Israel is the “disproportionality” charge: more Palestinians have died in the fighting that have Israelis. (I have to add, cynically, that if the situation were reversed, I don’t think the world would care much.) But the disparity is clearly not because Israel is deliberately targeting civilians. Far from it—it would be the worst thing Israel could to to go after civilian targets, particularly women and children. Now it’s well known that Hamas uses human shields, fully cognizant that it will lead to more deaths of civilians, including women and children, and that their own malfunctioning bombs, fired from civilian areas)  have killed a fair number of their own people. I believe that sacrificing part of their civilian populations is in fact an important part of their public-relations strategy. Nothing shows this more clearly, I think, than this conversation between an Arab-speaking IDF member trying to warn someone in Gaza of an imminent attack (yellow text), with the latter person (white text) choosing death for children. “If the children need to die then they’ll die”.

But given that Israel’s aim is to destroy Hamas’s capability of attacking and terrorizing the Israeli populace, what are they to do? Stop going after Hamas? Take down the Iron Dome so the playing field gets more “level”? Remember, Israel always warns civilian occupants of buildings that they want to attack, and those buildings house facilities involved in promoting terrorism against Israelis. Such was the case for the building housing the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.

As always, I favor a two-state soution, but have come to realize that that solution is largely unpalatable to those Palestinians, and there are many, who want the complete eradication of the nation of Israel.

So yes, call for a cease-fire, but the first stipulation must be that Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel.

Your turn. Have your say. I’m not going to argue with anyone, as this is just a brief series of thoughts, but other people might argue. Please be civil: this topic is a fraught one. Thanks!

121 thoughts on “Discussion: The Israel v. Palestine crisis

  1. ” The most frequent charge leveled at Israel is the “disproportionality” charge: more Palestinians have died in the fighting that have Israelis.”

    By recent count, the Gazans have hit their own people with 700 rockets. How many of these casualties are falsely attributed to Israel?

      1. Jerry, I see it as anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitism. There will always be a hatred of one or more racial groups by one or more other racial groups. And, of course, there’s bigotry. But the Israeli Zionists take the cake in these stakes, not Hamas so much.
        Apart from the Zionists occupying Palestine territory, forcing Palestinians from their homes, seconding them for Israeli occupation, they are really only going after the ill or undefined boundaries with Syria et al. Why the agreed arragements were put in place without defined borders is beyond me. It was all messed up with from 1947 onwards.

        1. Israel had defined borders, legal under International law, on May 14th, 1948. They were from the center of the Jordan River to the sea. Which means it is the Palestinians who are occupying Israeli territory, not the other way round. If you want to read a peer-reviewed law journal article on this, go here:


    1. I lived in Israel during the first Gulf War. We endured several months under daily attacks that left several structures heavily damaged. We were constantly worried about the one carrying a chemical head (which didn’t come), so much so that people died of suffocation and even accidentally smothered their own kids. Israel showed incredible restraint then, why can’t it do the same now?

      1. I’m wondering why you think restraint is a virtue in such circumstances. Do you think the U.S. would show incredible restraint if there were daily attacks on Alaska from, say, Russia?

        1. If they hadn’t shown restraint during the first Gulf War, the alliance would have collapsed and Kuwait would still be under Saddam Hussein’s control.

          It is a totally different situation now, which is why Mario’s analogy fails. This time there’s no greater context to which Israel must defer.

      2. What was happening was that Saddam Hussein launched Scud missiles into Israel in a cynical bid to get Israel to fire back (if I recall correctly). Had Israel responded then it would become difficult for Arab states to support the coalition against Iraq during the first Gulf war. What a crazy situation it was! But Israel held back from retaliating, and the coalition against Iraq kept going in part b/c of it.

  2. We need to eliminate religion from the region. This is a war over which version of their god granted them real estate in the same place, and as long as they hold onto that belief, they will always be at war. To your point C, Human Rights Watch has a significant list of systematic and ongoing human rights abuses that those in the Gaza strip suffer every day. Otherwise, I think your tentative thoughts have merit.

    1. This war is about Hamas supported by Iran trying to “wipe Israel of the map” and kill all the Jews (even those outside Israel) and Israel which is against this idea. And whatever was written by the organization denounced already 2009 for blatant hatred of Israel by the Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Right Watch, should be taken with a huge dose of salt.

      1. Malgorzata, I’m not saying I agree with the Palestinians either. As I already noted, both sides have an illogical but strongly believed claim to the area, causing them to act illogically and strongly.

        But the fact remains that there are Israeli policies that cut off the people in the Gaza strip from aid, they aren’t allowed to enter Israel or marry an Israeli, Israeli troops can enter any facility at any time with little to no reason, and anyone can be forced from their home anytime and with little to no reason. The Israeli’s aren’t innocent, they are equally illogical and forceful.

        1. You state as facts things which are not true. People in Gaza are not cut from aid – they are cut from weapons (though very imperfectly because Iran is a specialist in smuggling). Even today Israel tried to deliver fuel, medicines and food to Gaza but Hamas started to shoot into the border crossing. They managaed to kill two workers and wound 10 civilians plus one soldier. After that Israel closed the crossing. In peace time dayly hundreds of trucks with goods enter Gaza. No restriction except for weapons and a few dual usage items. Very many Palestinians from Gaza are entering Israel every day (when Hamas is not launching rockets) for work, for medical treatment etc. Palestinian fron Gaza can marry an Israeli and can take his/her spouse to Gaza. Yes, he/she cannot come to live in Israel. There were many sham marriagase when Hamas operative married an Israeli, moved to Israel and murdered Jews. So Israel stopped it. Israeli soldiers do not force themselves into Arab homes without reason and they definitely do not come into Gaza at all.

            1. There is an UN approved, legal blokade which means that Israel has the right to check everything coming into Gaza in order to prevent transport of wepon. Normal, civilian goods are coming into Gaza in any amount Gazans want, inclusive luxury cars for their leaders. Israel wants to wipe a terrorist organization – Hamas, not the civilian population of Gaza. On the contrary – 2005 they left Gaza forcibly uprooting all Jews who lived there (thousands of them) to give Palestinian their own land and as a start to similar withdrawal from the West Bank. You should know how this misfired when Hamas in 2007 staged a bloody coup against Fatah, killed many Fatah members and took over the power. And from the day one started to launch rockets on Israel’s civilian population. There is a slight difference when you want to kill the whole population in a country (babies included) and you want to dismantle a terrorist organization very similar to ISIS.

            2. If Israel wanted to wipe Hamas off the map (or at least Gaza), they would simply do it.

              I’ll ask this again:

              What would it look like if Israel could wipe out the Palestinians? Exactly what it looks like today: Israel can wipe them out. They choose not to.

              What would it look like if the Palestinians could wipe out Israel? I think we can very confidently predict that Israel would exist for only a short time.

          1. Oh, and I’m sorry, I forgot to mention, absolutely do soldiers force themselves into Arab homes without reason. This is the entire “resettlement” thing. This is international news, I’m surprised you don’t know if it.

    2. Do the 3400+ rockets intentionally fired by Hamas upon Israeli civilians count as 3400+ human rights violations? Or 3400 X the potential deaths and injuries? Or do we just count the ones that get through and kill/injure/destroy property?

      I find it interesting that the discussion about Gaza always goes to “apartheid” and how the Gazans are “imprisoned” in the strip. Without ever noting the reason for the walling off of Gaza from Israel: Suicide bombers from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians. (How does one provide a counter incentive for a person willing to kill themselves to kill civilians?)

      HRW is calling the walling off of Gaza and Israel’s refusal of right of return apartheid. Those seem to be their main points. Also affirming the Jewish nature of the state of Israel.

      The Hamas Covenant:

      ‘[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement … Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.’ (Article 13)

      ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ (Preamble)

      ‘The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.’ (Article 11)

      ‘Palestine is an Islamic land… Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem wherever he may be.’ (Article 13)

      1. No, jblilie. Two wrongs don’t make a right. One side does something so the other side does something, so the first side does something, then the second side does something. How far back should we go in assigning blame?

        1. No: Meaning the rockets on Israeli civilians are not human rights violations? Trying to understand your meaning.

          You cite one source calling Israel as a human rights violator. Is Hamas a human rights violator?

          Hamas’s charter rejects a negotiated settlement, a priori. Hamas’s covenant calls for the destruction of Israel. They intentionally target civilians by whatever means they have. They don’t seem like reasonable interlocutors.

      1. Jeremy, absolutely. As it is famously said, a plan is something that can be modified. If it can’t be modified, then it isn’t a plan but an idea.

        So since you pressed me on this, I’m fully aware that we will never eliminate religion actually. However, there are many countries around the world where religion does not dictate the daily actions of the government. If I were to develop an actual plan to “eliminate religion” from the region, it would be by establishing government neutrality in matters of religion, ensure freedom of religion for citizens, enforce secular law over any religious laws, and possibly encourage inclusion and diversity. Would this be easy? LOL! NO! But frankly, I think if the international community doesn’t work towards that goal, there will never be peace in the region.

  3. NPR is presenting an almost completely one-sided view of this conflict, at least the coverage that I have heard. No one presents the Israeli perspective. Sweeping negative statements about Israel are made with zero challenge.

    And yes, they rattle on about the “disproportionality” of the effects. I would want to ask them how many dead Israelis they are looking for to right the disparity.

    One of their talking heads just rattled on about what a terrible violator of human rights Israel is, whiling never mentioning Hamas intentionally targeting civilians in Israel.

  4. c.) For the life of me, I cannot see much that Israel has done wrong in this whole conflagration.

    Were i grand pooh-bah of Israel, my response to Hamas’ rocket attacks would’ve likely been limited to targeting missile launch and production sites within Gaza, but not leadership. Keep it strictly at self-defense and removing immediate threat infrastructure.

    Do we have any reports that Biden has taken a hard line with Mahmoud Abbas? (Granted, he doesn’t have much power in Gaza, but he’s still the President of Palestine and head of the PLO.) I haven’t seen any news reports that Biden has talked to Abbas.

    Unfortunately I think Trump burned all our bridges with the Palestinian leadership. Even if they personally trusted Biden (and I put that out as a hypothetical, I have no information that’s the case), they won’t trust the U.S. as a nation to be consistent in our mid-east policy. I expect its going to take years of consistent more-neutral policy and/or some unexpectedly large aid package to get them to give any weight to our diplomacy.

    I favor a two-state soution, but have come to realize that that solution is largely unpalatable to those Palestinians, and there are many, who want the complete eradication of the nation of Israel.

    I agree, but would add that the terms probably necessary for a two-state solution are likely unpalatable to a large number of Israelis too. Not attempting whataboutism, rather saying that it appears to me the two-state solution is dead at the moment because it requires a recognized border, and it’s unlikely any border is going to be satisfactory to the right-wing factions of either group. I forsee the current ‘hot’ state will cool down, but don’t see anything other than simmering low-level conflict for years.

    So yes, call for a cease-fire, but the first stipulation must be that Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel.

    I think it’s going to have to be a simultaneous cease-fire. On a pragmatic basis, I can’t see Hamas accepting any “you stop first” proposal. Frankly, I can’t see Hamas even being capable of stopping the ground attacks at this point, so I’d set the initial cease-fire agreement at no cross-border rocket/missile fire. Once that sticks for a few days, I’d then do a stage 2 cease-fire where both sides agree to stop on-the-ground violence. Because I don’t think the latter is going to be achievable right out the gate, even if the political leadership on both sides agreed to it.

    1. Yes, I meant that both sides should stop at the same time. I was referring to a one-sided cease fire that, I heard, Israel allowed so that Palestinians could go to Egypt. I can’t be sure about this, but I recall that Israel stopped bombing but Palestine did not stop the rockets.

    2. So you propose continuation of many years of rewarding terrorism. How many previous (before Trump) wars there were after which a huge aid packages went to the terrorists and they managed to rebuild and modernize their arsenal? There was relative calm under Trump because he stopped this crazy scheme of rewarding terrorism. Everybody in Democratic Party expected explosion of rage in the whole Islamic world after Trump acknowledged the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Jerusalem in 2017. No explosion came because terrorists knew perfectly well that this time they will not be rewarded. Now, expecting rewards (already promised by Biden administration) they knew that they can easily get their arsenal destroyed because Americans will give them more money to buy new and better weapon. (BTW, that’s why killing the leaders is important). And the leaders do not count the lives of their people as a cost of war. They just don’t care about civilians. That’s why to be against Hamas is to be pro-Palestinians. You can read what a Canadian-Lebanese has to say about it: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-does-not-kill-palestinians-we-do/?fbclid=IwAR1mnHk9GDwWbp2RvvjnWdN8tL1bIDOimShGpVamajYw6V5I0VlPXtVB1Ko and who is guilty – we all are who are financing terrorism.

      1. So you propose continuation of many years of rewarding terrorism.

        That is not what I said. I assume you’re talking about my aid comment: What I said was, the US will not likely have much pull with the Palestinian authority without it and/or some years of a more neutral stance. Do you disagree? Do you think the Palestinians are going to listen to us while we continue Trump’s pro-Israel position?

        (BTW, that’s why killing the leaders is important).

        It’s a good tactical move in a war. It is IMO a terrible move if you’re trying to demonstrate to the people you’re fighting with that you really want peace. What would be the response in Israel if the Palestinians killed Kochavi (head of IDF) or Netanyahu? Do you think that would bring them to the table, or make them more hawkish? The latter, right? So why think the Gazans are any different when it comes to Hamas’ leadership?

        1. Here is a Palestinian who for years now has been fighting for human rights for Palestinians and he begs to differ with your opinion: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/hamas-not-israel-is-to-blame-for-the-latest-bloodshed
          He is not the only one.
          I dont understand two things: why US should have a good relations with two terrorist organizations: Hamas and Fatah. The first is openly terroristic, the other shows it’s terrorsist goals only in it’s Charta, in it’s TV, in it’s school curriculum and the speeches of it’s leaders in Arabic (never in English!)
          Second is why under the article about the change of attitude of American party we are all discussing which side is right: Hamas which wants to kill all Jews, or Israel who dosn’t want to allow it.

    3. ‘On a pragmatic basis, I can’t see Hamas accepting any “you stop first” proposal.”

      I agree. “You stop first” would not seem to be the priority position of someone who has previously said, “I’ll fire first.”

  5. 100% with you Jerry. With emphasis on the Left’s turn toward antisemitism. The Democrat’s becoming antisemitic and anti Israel really upsets me and I think I might have to become an Independent . The mainstream media seems to have become more anti Israel too. The two state idea seems to be a non starter as long as Hamas controls Gaza, the media and the ‘education’ of Palestinian Arab children.

    1. I too find that the Left has taken up the Palestinian cause extremely disturbing. The Left seems to be reacting to the fact that Israel has a strong military. That makes them look like the aggressor. The Palestinian cause has done a great job tying itself to oppressed people of color.

      Last night in West Hollywood, a group of Palestinians attacked some Jews sitting at a restaurant. They were driving their cars, waving Palestinian flags and shouting slurs. I find this all terrifying. That is the neighborhood I grew up in.

  6. Questions and observations:

    1. Has there been much criticism of Hamas firing rockets into Israel? Has there been much criticism or notice of Hamas’s use of citizens as human shields? Time and again, Israel is the responsible, adult party in the condemnations, seems to me.

    2. Related to point number one above, within an intersectional/CRT view, the oppressed can never be made responsible because to do so is to attribute agency to the oppressed, which dilutes victimhood. But more, in attributing agency/responsibility, there is the subtle implication that their condition could be explained by their own actions.

    3. It’s gotten to the point that whenever you discuss this situation with someone, I think the first question that should be asked is “Should Israel exist”?

    4. Hasn’t Israel and others presented a 2-state solution to Palestinians/Fatah/Hamas in the past, only for it to be rejected?

    5. I am going to post again an article from 2014 in The Atlantic….I don’t think it would publish this today. But it’s stunning to see, in clear words, that Hamas considers Western Media its asset and it is right:

    “When Hamas’s leaders surveyed their assets before this summer’s round of fighting, they knew that among those assets was the international press. The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.)

    Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying…”


    1. 4. Hasn’t Israel and others presented a 2-state solution to Palestinians/Fatah/Hamas in the past, only for it to be rejected?

      Yes…sort of. There have been many proposals. Maybe the closest we came was when Arafat agreed with Ehud Barak on a map. However Barak was voted out of office two weeks after doing that.

      This is what I mean when I say neither side really wants peace. The Israelis certainly accept it more in principle/theory, but in practice, when their leaders start drawing borders up, the Israeli right has enough power to stop the process by voting them out of office in favor of someone more hawkish. Or some ultranationalist opposed to peace kills them, in the case of Rabin.

  7. There are many reports of the new “hard line” that Biden is taken with Netanyahu. And yes, I believe pressure needs to be applied—but to both sides, with a stipulation that if Hamas stops the rockets, Israel will stop its self defense.

    I take this merely as the realpolitik realization that the United States has greater purchase on suasion with one of its closest allies rather than with a rogue government like Hamas.

    The death of innocent children is an unmitigated tragedy anywhere, on any side of any border, regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion. Whatever course can bring about a ceasefire should be pursued.

    About the onliest thing could make me feel better about any of this right now would be the escapism of watching the great joint Israeli-Palestinian 2018 dramedy Tel Aviv on Fire again tonight, so I’m gonna.

  8. It’s been said many times, but: “There won’t be peace until the Palestinians love their children more than they hate ours”.

    1. I have not heard that one before. It reminds me of an observation about Ireland, to the effect there wouldn’t be peace in Ireland until the English learned a some Irish History, and the Irish forgot some.

    2. Quite right, Coel, but one tiny correction: Golda Meir said there would be peace when the Palestinians loved their children “more than they hate us.”

  9. There are a lot of points I could comment on, but I defer to the expertise of Tamara Cofman Wittes, current Brookings scholar and former deputy Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs. In the piece linked to below, she points to leadership failures on both sides, as well as the fact that the Oslo framework for progress towards a two state solution is in shambles. IMHO, this is how we should be thinking about the situation.


  10. Biden definitely spoke to Abbas last weekend, when he also spoke to Netanyahu – I haven’t seen reports of any subsequent calls to.Abbas, though.

  11. As always, excellent analysis, Jerry. Thanks for clarifying the precipitating event that led IDF to storm Al-Aqsa.

  12. I have no idea what the solution is, but how can you not feel for the people of Gaza? According to the CIA Factbook, the median age there is 18. That means about half of all Gazans are children, most of whom probably remember nothing other than life under the blockade. They’ve been doomed since birth to poverty, powerlessness, and frustration. They’re not allowed to escape. I have two teenagers, and I wonder how they would cope with such a life. I know Hamas is run by nasty people, but I think the Israeli government contains lots of nasty people too, and the Palestinians are bearing a far greater weight of the suffering.

    1. The so-called “blockade” has nothing to do with the poverty of Gazan children. It only removes weapons. Israel completely left Gaza 15 years ago – Gaza bears its own responsibility for the state of the place.

      For the poverty of Gazan children, you need to hold the Gazan government responsible, for they have diverted billions into their own pockets. Google “gaza mansions” and weep.

      View this video on where all the humanitarian aid to Palestinians goes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MEtQU5x5sE

        1. The AP are the fine fellows who were just shown to be sharing a building with Hamas, and who regularly report in very biased fashion from Israel. The article quoted is from the UN, which is remarkably biased against Israel.

          If the Gazans truly do not want the blockade , which is completely legal and very much needed, all they have to do is stop trying to murder Jewish children. That is it. That is evidently too much for them.

    2. I keep thinking about this too. It isn’t as if they can just leave – they are trapped. It behooves Hamas to keep the bloodshed up, because then those frustrated and disenfranchised youth will be easier to recruit. Instability is the goal, I think, for Hamas. So – could Israel, in any meaningful sense, take up charge and restore full governance to the Palestinian people? Could that give enough of a window of peace and stability so that the next generation of Palestinian children do not have to grow up to hate? If not Israel, could an Arab neighbor take up governance? Certainly no western power, too much colonial baggage there. I honestly don’t know what can be done.

      1. Gaza also has a border with Egypt. Israel lets a vast amount of stuff into Gaza through their border crossing. I think it is important to remember that when Israel turned the Gaza Strip over to the PA in 2005, it was in good shape and even had productive greenhouses. The Arabs quickly destroyed those benefits for ideological antisemitic reasons. They could have made it into something. Imagine tourism and seaside resorts. But the hatred of Israel trumped everything else. Gaza today is the result.

      2. ” It isn’t as if they can just leave – they are trapped.”

        Not true.

        Tens of thousands emigrate every year. Israel actually gives them money to emigrate.

        Thousands of Gazans cross into Israel every day to work. Gazans can travel to Egypt when its border is open. Thousands have done so.

    3. “I have no idea what the solution is, but how can you not feel for the people of Gaza?”

      I think that an excellent question to pose to Hamas, especially in relation to its firing rockets from Gaza,

      1. Right, and Hamas don’t care – as the kids say. So, what do we, the world, do? Just let Hamas lead the people of Palestine to the slaughter? When do we say enough is enough, Hamas has failed to govern and is holding the Palestinian people hostage.

  13. There is really no hope for an end to the problems in the Middle East. The two sides continue to hate each other and fight today as they have for more years than anyone can count. Those of us that are not attached personally or religiously to either side matter even less because we do not take sides and are not in the game. So if you are neutral on this subject both sides will likely accuse you of favoring the other. That is how dug in and settled this fight really is. So if you do not take sides there is something wrong with you. The fact is, most of us in the middle are very tired of this issue and would love to see it go away. But it is not going away and not going to end.

    The other religious war that went on for decades over in Ireland finally came to a close several years ago. The two sides still hate each other but they stopped killing each other, at least for now. Maybe that will be the result in this conflict some day. The two sides will just run out of gas and stop killing each other. But they both should remember those of us who have no side also do not need to hear the propaganda and talking points pronounced daily by each side because it becomes meaningless. The United States has fought nothing but useless and meaningless wars/conflicts for 60 years or more and there is no room for more.

    1. Thank you very much for that. I have become intollerant of the usual volleying on this topic, fruitless exchanges of “your preferred side is obviously so much more evil than mine”, rinse, repeat. Indeed, there does appear to be no hope at all.

      The Irish peace used to give me a lot of hope, but now looks to be cracking under otherwise-manageable external inconveniences. Rather than Ireland, my go-to examples are now Rwanda and former Yugoslavia; ISTM Israel could blow apart similarly. Maybe in a decade or so we will be referring to “former Israel”.

      And to end on an even darker note, there is always room for more war….

  14. I think you’re spot on in your analysis of the cognitive capture of the progressive left by critical theory. Israel, a beacon of democracy in a wasteland of authoritarian and illiberal states, is nonetheless, the evil oppressor, subjugating people of color to brutal colonialism. This convenient narrative perfectly fits the reductive and simplistic world view of critical theory which reduces all issues, personal and otherwise, to a Manichean good vs evil narrative. And excuses the actions of Hamas, since it is simply punching up. No need for true critical thinking, as the identity of the antagonists reveals their respective culpability or innocence. How’s this for a simple analysis: the Palestinians have never truly recognized the legitimacy of the state of Israel and the impediment to a peaceful solution is the West’s complicity in a Palestinian claim to a right of return. Until the Palestinians withdraw that claim, no peace will be achieved. But dropping that claim would effectively recognize Israel’s right to exist.

    If, as has been said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact, it is equally true that Israel must remain a Jewish majority state.

  15. Much of this is optics. Israel is trying to destroy the ability of Hamas to attack Israelis, at least for a while, a process Israel calls mowing the lawn. Doing this is not pretty, and leads to disproportionate casualties, especially given the tactics used by Hamas. But like it or not, optics matter diplomatically and Israel should try to employ them more to its advantage. For example, Israel could declare a unilateral cease fire if Hamas stops its attacks. If Hamas does not stop, Israel can then point to this as it continues to “mow the lawn.” Israel is powerful enough to take some risks for the sake of optics.

    1. I imagine that how things look to the outside world is not Netanyahu’s primary concern; and I’m not sure that Israel taking a “softer” approach would necessarily gain it more sympathetic in much of the media in any case. The “oppressed Palestinians” angle would likely still dominate much of the news, and Israel not striking back could be wilfully misinterpreted as a tacit admission that it is in the wrong in some way.

      That all said, there are also probably internal political calculations that appearing “weak” won’t win electoral support, especially with rockets raining down, and given the gridlock in repeated recent Israeli elections that is doubtless an important consideration.

      1. I am suspicious that the next (inevitable) Israeli election is indeed a consideration for Netanyahu. But he should also consider the politics of Israel’s great ally and benefactor. He must realize that he is putting Israel supporter Biden between a rock and a hard place within his own party by Israel taking a non-compromising position. Or perhaps he doesn’t care because he hopes his buddy Trump will get elected in 2024 eliminating any need for compromise.

  16. In the summer of 1944, the USSR launched Operation Bagration, the Belorussian offensive, which shattered Germany’s Army Group Centre, and began the overwhelming advance of the Red Army to Berlin and the complete defeat of the Third Reich. Bagration’s disposition of forces showed the Soviets with a hugely disproportionate advantage: about twice as many troops, and about ten times as many artillery pieces, tanks, and aircraft (see Wikipedia). One might lament the unfairness of this advantage, except for the consideration that Germany’s Army Group Centre (and the rest of the German forces) had begun the conflict by invading the Soviet Union. The Gaza government began the present exchange of fire on the evening of May 10 by firing more than 150 rockets into Israel.

  17. “I worry about a burgeoning anti-Semitism in the West.”

    They might be in the West geographically, but most of the demonstrations and so on are by recent Muslim immigrants. By and large, the degree of anti-Semitism in Western countries hasn’t changed that much. Sure, there are anti-Semites everywhere, but I don’t see any increase among non-recent-immigrant populations. Also, the anti-Semitism of a typical Neonazi does not jibe well with support for Palestine or for anything at all Muslim. In Germany, which might be a special case, the policy of the government and parliament is one of no tolerance towards anti-Semitic actions, that policy even from leftists who are traditionally pro immigration and pro Palestine (but not anti-Israel; seeing Palestine and Israel as either/or instead of both/and is the main problem). No conflict there, of course. Elsewhere, such as in the USA, it’s hard to tell if there has really been a change or whether the politicians involved are just jumping on the CRT bandwagon, which at the moment is very one-sided.

    While political violence is almost never justified (trying to assassinate Hitler might be a counterexample), as Jerry himself has mentioned people in Palestine are brainwashed into a caricature of history from an early age. Most Palestinians have grown up under something similar to the present situation. In some sense, it is hard to blame them. While shelling civilians is not something I condone, one can’t deny the fact that Israeli settlements which are not recognized by international law exacerbate the problem. While Hamas might want to wipe Israel off the map, the settlements are wiping Palestine off the map: just look at a map of religion as a function of position within the occupied territories.

    1. There are also other issues lurking behind this as well.



      I see the great tragedy being the conflation of anti-Jew. with anti-Israel (government) – there are lots of Israelis (especially the non-religious) who are horrified by the direction their government has taken over the years – Bibby is just the latest version. As someone said – Netanyahu needs Hamas and Hamas need Netanyahu, to stay in power.

      1. I am sure that it is a big mistake to equate Israeli government action with what must be a diverse range of views in the country. If only the state treated all its inhabitants as equals, rather than feeding hatred with violence. If only there was no religion involved.

        “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.”

        1. The people you think Israel is treating unfairly are not subjects of Israel – they have their own government whose official policy is the terrorist murder of Jewish children whenever possible.
          This is they government THEY voted into power, the government they do not oppose, the government they do not replace.

          I can not see how you feel criticism of Israel is warranted here. Me, I am gobsmacked that they do not arrest every PA member for terrorism.

    1. But who are the perpetrators? Muslim immigrants? Right wing fanatics? Labour Party members? Or ordinary people, the rest of us? I doubt if the latter are involved. Feelings about Israel or Palestine – I doubt they have changed. A lot of people think they deserve each other. I expect there is a lot of copycat crime here.

  18. There hasn’t just been a rise in anti-Israel protests across the West, which it should be noted started on the very first day of this new conflict, when only 20 Palestinians had dies, 1/3 of them by Hamas-fired rockets. These protesters will use any reason to demonstrate against Israel.

    But, as I said, it’s not just a rise in anti-Israel protests. There’s a huge wave of anti-Semitism rising in just the past few days, which had clearky been simmering and being stoked just below the surface for years. As already noted previously on this site, there have been chants to kill the Jews and rape their daughters. There have been cars driving through neighborhoods in Canada shouting about death to Jews, and even stopping to ask people on the street to ask if they know where they can find some Jews. Jews beaten and sexually assaulted in the streets. People waving Israeli flags with swastikas painted all over them, and even driving those flags through Jewish neighborhoods.

    And that wave of violence and hate is happening across thr West. Now imagine that this was happening to literally any other minority group. Imagine the litany of strong denunciations from leaders all over (Justin Trudeau didn’t even have the mettle to mention Jews or antisemitism in his tweet asking for “hate” to stop after the violence). Imagine all the meetings with community leaders. Imagine how the media would be reporting on it, especially considering how they’ve reported recently on the handful of assaults on Asian-Americans across the country (well before the spa shooting, which they tried to portray as anti-Asian to help the narrative, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary). But the media is largely silent. Nothing on CNN, nothing on MSNBC, nothing on ABC nightly news.

    Oh, and one more thing that really gets to me: these outlets keep reporting on the death toll with accurate numbers from the Israeli side and casualty number “according to Palestinian health authorities.” Those were the words used on CNBC last night, while they put up a graphic of the two numbers side by side as if they were pure fact. But we all know that “Palestinian health officials” means Hamas, and the absurdity of reporting on figures from Hamas as if they’re gospel is just another sign that the media isn’t interested in being fair. At the very least, they could say that the numbers aren’t confirmed.

    I just keep asking over and over how this would be playing out if this was happening to any other minority. And, meanwhile, there are no demonstrations for years now and almost zero coverage of conflicts like that in Yemen — well, less a conflict and more of a religiously motivated cleansing by Saudi Arabia. Over 300,000 killed, at least 2 million displaced, nearly everyone there starving. Any demonstrations or widespread media coverage anyone has seen about that lately? Nah, me neither.

    200 people (according to Hamas) die while Israel is defending itself and the Left and media go nuts. 300,000 die, many more starving, and millions displaced by Saudi Arabia and its allies and…crickets. I can only think of one difference between Israel and the many other countries that have killed far more people in recent years in acts that were NOT self-defense, and it’s that Israel is a Jewish nation (though with plenty of citizens who aren’t Jewish and have all the same rights as Jews).

      1. Of the anti-Semitic violence reports I have seen (or can find) and identify suspects’ backgrounds, they point towards white supremacists most often. Black Hebrew Israelites show up as well.

        1. What on earth are black Hebrew Israelites?! I was very puzzled by Jerry saying Jews or was it Israelis might be ‘people of color’ – as all the Jewish people I have ever seen are very white-?is that connected?

          1. More than half of Jews living in Israel are from Arab countries in Asia and Africa. Many have black skin. And they live not only in Israel. There is a substanitial Diaspora of Ethiopian and Iranian Jews in US.
            Black Hebrew Israelites is a sect of people of African origin (not Jews) who preach that they are the real Jews and all other Jews are impostors.

            1. Ah! I have heard of the Ethiopian & Yemeni & Iranian Jews & the now vanished Iraqi population – if they are ethnically diverse that suggests their genetic legacy reflects that of the populations they lived amongst, which is no surprise. Intermarriage & conversion over hundreds of years. Ta.

    1. Agree with Phillip. To my knowledge, in Europe, and certainly in Germany, the sickening, openly anti-semitic demonstrations of the past week are by Muslim, and for the most part Arab, immigrants and their descendants. I have never seen right wing (in contrast to left wing) extremists of any kind in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Some right wing extremists in the AfD and Pegida-Camp here in Germany are vociferously pro-Israel (or at least they pretend to be) because that gives them a handle against Muslim immigrants.
      I know rabid antisemitism plays a huge role in right wing extremism in the US, e.g. in the form that the immigration reform of 1965 that led to loss of the ethnic near-homogeneity of the 1950s and 1960s was supposedly Jewish-instigated, and CRT is supposedly also a Jewish plot.. But I doubt they would protest Israeli air strikes against Ghaza. Don’t know about Canada, but this US demonstration doesn’t look like a white supremacists demonstration either:

      1. I agree the vast majority of participants in anti-Semitic demonstrations are Muslim immigrants from Arab countries. The same seems to be true of public, anti-Semitic rhetoric. However, regarding anti-Semitic violence, I could not find any reports on the relative contribution of those same immigrants (as the question from PH specified).
        If you or anyone else has data on anti-Semitic violence by Muslim immigrants from Arab nations and/or their descendants please direct me to it. The occasional news report (from Beverly Grove for example) was all I could find.

  19. This seems like the biggest and longest event to take place in this location in several years, at least. However it does not seem like anything major has changed. Hamas may be shooting more rockets now because Israel has the Iron Dome thing to quench them. Other than that, it seems likely to me that it will be over in a few more weeks, and things will continue as before. The two state option is long gone, I think it vanished in 1995 when Rabin was assassinated. So the cycle will continue, and there will be a shaky truce for a while and then another burst of rockets and air attacks, in a year, or maybe two, or maybe ten, who knows? It will be the same situation come 2030.

  20. I have a question for the gentle readers here – something I’m trying to sort: I know that Hamas uses ‘human shields’ – but at what point is a human shield a hostage? Obviously, my mind first goes to consent. Does the person consent to being used in this way? Then I’m led to wondering whether it was/is meaningful consent. Was/is it enthusiastic consent? Informed consent? If a child, I would argue that they cannot meaningfully consent in any capacity to be used in this way, and as such those children are by default hostages, not shields. What about a woman? In that society would a woman be able to refuse Hamas demanding she let them use her in this way? I lean towards not. Not to say that there do not exist women who would enthusiastically consent. So with these things in mind, at what point do the hostages need rescued, and by whom?

    1. I would be very surprised to find that Hamas gives even the slightest consideration to consent.

      Rescuing the hostages from Hamas would be ideal, but how could that happen? There are several problems, some that seem to have no practical solution.

      How do you rescue hostages that don’t want to be rescued? The only nations that have, by actions, shown interest in rescuing Palestinians are Western countries like the US and European nations, and Israel. The very people Palestinians have been conditioned for decades, or even much longer, to see as the enemy.

      I think to have a chance of rescuing them that first you have to somehow change their minds, change some of their ingrained cultural and ideological attitudes. Even supposing you were to find effective methods for doing that it would certainly take a long time. But when Hamas is firing rockets from behind their human shields, at those moments, there is no practical way to rescue those human shields. You can choose to not use force to stop the attacks and accept the additional deaths of your own people that inaction will entail, or you can use force to attack your attackers. You then have the additional choice to either make an effort to not kill the human shields, though some will surely die no matter your efforts, or to ignore them. Israel chooses to make an effort to not kill them.

      And I think it is immoral to expect anyone being attacked with lethal force to not fight back to protect themselves. Israel has been sorely tested ethically for its entire existence with the rest of the world sitting in judgement, and despite the lack of perfection they have behaved better than just about any nation ever has in similar circumstances. If the US were tested the way Israel has been we would have long since crushed the enemy. So would have the UK, France and just about any other nation that had the ability to do so.

      If the Arab nations had any interest in rescuing their fellow Arabs in Palestine they could have long since done so. Instead they use their fellow Palestinians as a tool to fight against Israel.

  21. I keep trying to post this and it either doesn’t show up or shows up and then is deleted:

    Here’s my take, yazikus: Hamas has no interest in obtaining consent, and is pleased as punch to have its human shields die when Israel counterattacks against the military assets those hapless souls are shielding, very likely without their knowledge (note that the massive network of tunnels called The Metro that Israel lured Hamas into and then largely obliterated had extensive portions that ran under civilian population centers). Why should Hamas care, when every Palestinian death in such exchanges wounds Israel in the court of an already grossly uninformed and skewed public opinion? Such deaths can be marketed as cold-blooded deliberate attacks on civilian populations, with predictable effect. You can count on Reuters, AP, the NYT, WaPo, the BBC, NPR and so on and on ad nauseum to take that line. So as far as Hamas is concerned, civilian deaths are in the ‘the more the merrier’ category. As for rescuing them… not clear what that would even mean. Only a popular mass uprising against Hamas by the civilians themselves would effect that, I think—and Hamas has all the weapons.

    1. I see you. Your last point is so important. Can the Palestinian people even hope to rid themselves of Hamas? I just don’t see how they could.

  22. That has puzzled me too. My guess is that it is partly or largely brainwashed consent. Think of the constant indoctrination beginning in early childhood, the desire to become glorious suicide bombers and so on. The noble cause of eradicating Jews, saving Al Aqsa, etc. But how can we know about any with more normal ambitions? I think a few do escape Hamas, but I’m not sure how, as it has a stranglehold on the hapless Gazans.

    1. Yes, and as I said in a comment upthread, the continued violence towards and disenfranchisement of Palestinians only serves to further the goals of Hamas, and provides future recruits. So, can we all agree that Hamas has failed to govern, and that to prevent the continued violence towards innocents in both Israel and Palestine they need removed and replaced?

    1. The problem with such analyses is that they assume that Hamas wants a way out of this war. They don’t—it serves their purposes just fine. If they didn’t, it seems unlikely that they would behave in the way they have, consistently, from day one. What Hamas wants is the elimination of Israel—don’t take my word for it; it’s right there in their founding charter. That posture gives them huge leverage against the PA, among other things. This is a point that mainstream media consistently fail to recognize….

  23. The IDF entering the mosque and firing on worshipers is unforgivable. Fire crackers and rocks thrown from within the compound did not warrant that response. And what about the original cause of Palestinian protest–over the planned demolition of that neighborhood?

    1. No, Israeli soldiers didn’t fire on the worshippers. No, Israel has no plans to demolish any neighborhood. You are either terribly misinformed or you are lying through your teeth to defend terrorists which is quite despicable.

  24. The Palestinian Authority is COMPLAINING that the WARNINGS they get from the Israeli Defense Force to “get out of your of your houses/ hamas offices/ bomb factories b/c we’re going to bomb them in an hour or so…” – “cause, y’know, you’re making bombs and missiles there”…. these WARNINGS _ are somehow insufficient, because a few civilians are accidentally killed is somehow…


    ….than 3,700 unguided, randomly fired rockets at civilian women and children in Israeli cities?

    Do I have this right?

    Pull back the camera a bit: see the big picture: All this in a fight, AGAIN, the P.A. STARTED lately?
    THAT detail seems to have gotten lost in the mix.
    As has northern fire from Lebanon getting in on this international kinetic gangbang.

    The P.A., btw, was repeatedly ELECTED fairly by the people of Palestine, (to wit: Hamas and Fatah) who HAVE IN THEIR VERY CHARTERS the intentional destruction of the State of Israel and the extermination of its people. The same administration who today rewards “martyrs” families with pensions for blowing up civilians on busses, in pizza parlors and cafes in Israel and machine gunning teenagers?

    Lucky the New Woke Times/Guardian and the American media are taking the right side here, eh?

    WHY are there two separate standards of morality?

    B.A. (Hon.) Middle East politics, 1992
    (Atheist – no time for the iron age fairy tales of ANY flavor)

  25. Israel has lost a lot of moral high ground with their stupid settlements policy. Now there are enough settlements in what might have been the Palestinian areas that Israel points to them and says, see, they aren’t safe in a two state world. A situation they deliberately created.

    The Palestinians aren’t much interested in peace anyway and had many chances to settle this. Blame the outside countries as much as them because they have egged them on.

    Bibi, though, I think, is very happy with this conflict. He hates the Palestinians as much as they hate him.

    1. What settlements do you mean? Israel is entitled to build in Area C, according to the agreement in the Oslo Accords.

  26. So what do we have here: a question whether (and if so, why) American Democratic Party is giving more and more support to Palestinians and less and less support to Israel in their conflict, and a question why antisemitism is growing all over the world.In comments some people justified Hamas’s actions by claiming that Israeli prime minister is right wing, that Jews are building homes in places which should beJudenrein, by repeating lies that Israel provoked Arabs. Not one of them called Hamas – a fanatically religious terrorist organization which kills, tortures and imprisons every Palestinian who dares to oppose it, which kills own peopleon the streets and triumphantly drags their corpses behind motorbikes to show other Gazans what happens to those who call for peace with Israel, which kills gays by throwing them from the roofs of high buildings, which treats women as second class citizens and which uses huge funds from international aid to buy weapons and dig terror tunnel and, of course, to line the pockets of the leaders – a right wing organization.

    And that’s part of the answer for the questions stated above: if such an organization is justified in attacking a democratic (albeit imperfect, like all states in the world), sovereign state, this state must be evil beyond words. And because the state is Jewish and the majority of Jews in the world support it, Jews must be evil beyond words and the 2,000 years old tradition of Judenhass must have had rational underpinnings. All our ancestors couldn’t have been wrong.

    Looking from outside the country at the Democratic Party: the combination of Critical RaceTheory, Intersectionality and susceptibility to relentless Arab propaganda causes that Democratic Party more and more leans toward “Palestinian cause”.Some of them know that “Palestinian cause” means obliteration of Israel and are working towards it, many just think that they simply are for the “oppressed”and against  the “oppressor”.  

    1. Exaggerating the position of the side you disagree with is not at all helpful. One example: Israeli settlements in areas where, according to international law, they have no right to be, should not be described as areas which should be judenrein. It seems that it is you who cannot stop living in the past.

      1. 1. It was Mahmout Abbas, the president of Palestinian Authority, who said that Palestinian will not allow any Jew to live in his future Palestinian state. It’s the law of Palestinian Authority which severely penalizes selling any property to a Jew. And – this is really from the past – it was Jordanian army which ethnically cleansed thousands of Jews from the territory which they never wanted to give to any “Palestinians” but illegaly anected to their own country, but which now is claimed by Palestinians.

        2. Hamas is not launching all those rockets (approximately double to what Germany launched on London during WWII) because of settlements. There is no one “settlement” in Gaza. Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza but this time by Israeli army.

        3. Read Oslo Accords signed by PLO. Area C is disputed territory and Israel has full right to build there, all (non-binding) resolution by UN notwithsanding.

        1. I am no expert on this, but wether Oslo II gives Israel the right to build new settlements in area C seems to be disputed, Israel seems to have an interpretation that is not shared by “the international community” (whoever that may be) and the UN, says Wikipedia.
          Note that I am on Israel’s side in the current conflict. I also believe that even a peace dove-Israel full of concessions would not make Palestinians a peaceful neighbor (I learned my lesson from the Ghaza withdrawal).

          1. I’m going after experts in international law, among others, Professors Bell and Kontorovich, who – moreover – show that during prolonged occupation (real occupation of the territory of another sovereign state, not like in this case, disputed territory which didn’t belong to any sovereign state before 1948) nobody is treating building of towns and villages as “illegal settlement”. So why this exception for Israel?

      2. But what else can you call it?The PA doesn’t allow Jews in its Areas and B, and it is strictly illegal for Arabs to sell land to Jews there. It may be a word from the past, but it describes the present.

  27. If only we could squeeze out the religion from these two sides, maybe they could romp together in Elysian fields of prosperity!

    The old Aesop’s fable of the sun & the wind…

  28. 80 million people in America voted for this to happen last November. They chose the one candidate who would reverse the comparative peacefulness of the last 4 years.

    Your vote has consequences.

    1. It is quite difficult to have balance when mainstream media refuse to show the violence from the Palestinian side. In a sane world these videos and pictures, not to mention simple written information would have been in such a paper like “The Guardian” which seems to be your Gospel. But they are studiously avoided, not only but The Guardian but by The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, CNN, you name it. In a sane world the words of Israeli witnesses, Israeli authorities should be enough and people who doubted their words would have to produce proofs. But we are not living in a sane world. So the only sources I can give you (as an example, there are more and if you really want to know you can find them but not in mainstream media) are blog posts and tweets:



      1. Personally, I always think the news coverage is like being on a jury and hearing 3 or 4 cases for the prosecution and nothing for the defense. Don’t people even notice that they are getting one side of a story? Instead of asking Israeli sources for their answers to questions, journalists behave as though Israel is some unknowable, unfathomable, malign phenomenon of nature, like a hurricane that can’t be interviewed and has no point of view. One can only guess and surmise and make assumptions. It’s not so much journalism as lazy gossip.

    2. Perhaps it’s “one sided” because Hamas is largely to blame for starting this war. What amazes me about your presumptuousness is that you’re asking US to prove that the invasion of the mosque was legitimate. Why didn’t YOU do the work of proving that it was illegitimate (you don’t cite any of your “available sources”?

      And yes, you have consistently defended Hamas, despite your assertions to the contrary.

  29. As usual, my ignorance won’t keep me from opining. I certainly hope, and would be utterly opposed to, any Democrat or Republican who wants Israel to cease to exist. Having read a lot of popular books discussing the Holocaust in the 70’s, and a short book on the history of the Jews and violence world-wide they historically have been victims of, obviously the world owed the Jewish people their own state.

    Where my support of Israel wanes is when the it’s reported that Israel is moving long-term Palestinian family residents so new housing and expansions occurs for Jews to move into areas currently lived in by Palestinians. And it’s not my support of Israel as a nation that wanes, it’s my lack of support of Israel’s current displacement of Palestinian families. Or a least that is the story line I hear promoted by the media. I am influenced by the media’s reporting of the current violence.

    1. And that’s so very sad and tragic. Israel does not move long term residents who pay rent like residents have to do all over the world: tenants have to pay rent to landlords othewise they are evicted. That’s the story of Shejkh Jarrad. And because it’s Israel, it’s more complicated than so. Even tenants do not dispute that there is a Jewish owner of the property. 1982 in court they got the verdict that they are “protected tenants” and may love in their homes but have to pay rent to the owner. They agreed. Then they were accused by their more radical (and armed) brethren that would be punished as traitors if they do not refuse to pay. This was 39 years ago. For 39 yeras they didn’t pay rent, both they and the Jewish owner went to courts and now, finally the Supreme Court was supposed to give final verdict.

      Israelis do not evict Palestinian families to make place for Jewish families. You were lied to.

  30. I am worried. I can feel a shift. BLM and BSD have joined forces to end “settler colonialism” and defend Palestinians. The Credulous Kristof (NYT) wants tax dollars redirected away from Israel, and to national pre_K and vaccinations for other countries. As if . . . never mind. He also supports a war crime investigation into Israeli attacks, while seeming less interested in Hamas’s role. CNN reports that Hamas is predicting a ceasefire because of the international pressure on Israel, which tells us that at least CNN has a working relationship with Hamas officials. There was an attack on Jewish diners in LA, but you need to go to Fox to read about it.

  31. There are plenty of Israeli settlements across the West Bank. The facts on the ground that the government of Israel has developed makes the two state solution nonviable. The alternatives: one state with equal rights for all, or the consolidation of an apartheid State.

    1. It really is a pity that people with very firm opinions do not pay any attention to facts and to analyses that go against their opinions. It has been written and shwn on maps thousands of times that Israeli “settlements” (which just are towns and villages where Israeli Jews live – and even some Israeli Arabs) occupy less than 5% of the area of the West Bank. Yes, more people are living there than 10 years ago, but the territory they take is barely larger.

      The two-state solution is dead not because of the settlements. Look at Gaza without thinking that everything evil comes from Israeli Jews and you will see why the Palestinian state in the West Bank is an impossibility. Israel uprooted thousands of its own citizens from Gaza, left a thriving industry and agriculture to let Palestinians govern themselves, to have peace and as a first step of doing the same in the West Bank.

      The answer: incessant rocket fire and terrorists attacks from Gaza. Now, all polls show that if there was an election in the West Bank, Hamas would win in a landslide. To have a terrorist state just beside main population centers in Israel, their transport, their industry, would mean suicide. Iran would supply West Bank with many more rockets – it would be so much easier than their present smuggling of weapon to Hamas and they are very good at it (almost 5,000 rockets fired from Gaza on civilian population of Israel).

      Your comments about one state (like Lebanon? maybe Syria? or possibly Iraq?) and about the non-existent apartheid are not really worth an answer. For now the solution is an autonomy for Palestinians on the West Bank (which they already have and the absolute majority of Palestinian population is governed by Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies), and attempts to not let Hamas terrorists kill too many Israelis. And to hope that the next generation of Palestinians will be less poisoned by hate or that the world will stop rewarding terrorists and rejectionists, that Palestinians will understand that Israel is there to stay and that they have no chance to throw all Jews into the sea, and that they would then start to look after the interests of their own children. Only then would a peace would be possible.

    2. The Israelis are fully entitled to build in Area C of the West Bank. There is nothing irregular about that.
      (Oops, I wrote this before seeing Malgorzata’s excellent and comprehensive reply.)

  32. Reading these comments – and the various media, I am deeply pessimistic about any chance for a resolution in Israel/West bank/Gaza. The attitudes are ingrained (and to a great degeree, historical) – and the tragedy is they both worship the same “god” Yaweh .. as both are Abrahamic religions. Zionism has been grabbed by the Christian fundamentalists as the answer to a prophesy. Trump pushed that along by declaring Jerusalem to be the “capital” of Israel. Hold the trumpets. Comments about the bad behaviour of the Israel Government (which is in shambles) are exactly that. The inhabitants of Gaza, mostly young, have their backs to the wall. The power struggle between Hamas and Fatah eclipses their needs. I suspect most of the “reasonable” people in Israel, West Bank and Gaza, are effectively silenced. Plus the ill advised invasion of Iraq activated the Shiite power structure – also activated by the promotion of a hard-line Islam (Wahabism). Ditto US and UK (and German) interference in Iran. (Read Blood and Oil:: Memoirs of a Persian Prince by Manucher Farmanfarmaian ). We reap what we sow.

Leave a Reply