Can anyone identify the maker of the shell?
Can anyone identify the maker of the shell?
This requires no comment. It reminds me of street scenes in Frankfurt am Main when I lived there as a child just after WW2. And we are giving the IDF more bombs? How can we pretend to be seeking a cease-fire when we are doing that? pl
“Under those circumstances, Israel would potentially have to contend with tens of thousands of casualties, the paralysis of all its systems and the need to create defensive measures for individual neighborhoods and even for streets. And all of that is based on the assumption that West Bank Arabs and some the Israeli Arabs will not join the campaign. Counter-attacks by the air force won’t help when everyone is dug in deep underground, laughing all the way to Jerusalem.”
This horrific scenario that he so ardently etched in the consciousness of the Israeli masses justifies the killing of civilians in Gaza and the deaths of Israeli soldiers in battle. It ends with an apocalyptic prediction: “In the best-case scenario, international forces would be brought in to demilitarize the state,” the popular status update says, continuing, “Israel’s nuclear weapons and the whole dream of a Jewish state would disintegrate for another thousand years.” According to this article, the kidnapping and murder of the three teens paved the way for a military operation that resulted in the discovery of a “brilliant plan” to destroy Israel." Akiva Eldar
Hysteria and skillful use of IO has brought about this image in Israeli minds and the same bilge is being sold to American audiences by Zionist spokesmen like Steve Schmitt who mouthed this line on Morning Joe" yesterday.
In fact, what we are talking about in the actual, as opposed to the fantasy, combat situation is posession by Hamas of a mass of homemade artillery rockets that are wildly innacurate and that are easily defeated by the American funded "Iron Dome." In addition, Hamas has some tunnels which penetrate as much as a mile into the Israeli desert and which can be used for raiding in Israel.
This is an existential threat? Does the IDF not station troops in the desert near Gaza? Do the Israelis in all their genius not posses Ground Penetrating Radar? No? Well, the Americans can always give them the equipment and/or training or can provide them with the imagery.
Natanyahu is smarter than to believe this silliness. His real purpose is to destroy Hamas so that he can dominate the PA. pl
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/israel-protective-edge-right-left-support-avri-gilad.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=6f08e48c7b-July_29_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-6f08e48c7b-93066749#ixzz38sKpM42d
"Vice President Cheney knew all along Saddam had zero nukes. His main interest was to establish a democracy in Iraq which he believed would have a rippled effect among Israel’s neighbors and provide the Jewish state with 25 years of peace and security. Given the bloody failures of Afghanistan and Iraq, President Obama is understandably gun-shy, reluctant to get more deeply involved in a geopolitical game he clearly does not understand.
John Kerry, his Secretary of State, while well-equipped intellectually for the job, showed yawning gaps of Middle Eastern knowledge, when he made 12 roundtrips to the Middle East in almost as many weeks — in the mistaken belief that Israel and Hamas in Gaza were ready for a Middle Eastern settlement." De Borchgrave
What is it with Cheney and Israel? Rumors have circulated in Washington for years that he has some undisclosed family or other personal connection with the Zionist cause. Is that what all this has been about? Alternatively, does he harbor resentment against the "Aghabs" for slights received during his business years. God knows it is easy to be offended by the behavior of a lot of Arabs in the business world.
Kerry is an "Innocent Abroad." He has been a striver with beautiful hair for a long time. His vanity is apparent. For such people it is easy to imagine that the irresistable charm of your manner gives you leverage in interpersonal relations that, unfortunately, does not exist.
The thought of John Kerry trying to cozy up to a hyper-nationalist fascist like Natanyahu is sadly amusing. pl
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/ArnauddeBorchgrave/Afghanistan-Iraq-Iraq-in-Crisis/2014/07/29/id/585556#ixzz38xUGS9NH
Evil has many faces.
Once it was a bespectacled jackbooted 'specialist' working assiduously to increase the throughput of the gas chambers.
Today it is a bunch of drunken louts on a hilltop cheering as bombs and shells destroy apartment building after apartment building along with their occupants.
Or, the fanatics steeped in religion who brutally kill people because they hold different beliefs.
Evil arises in the human heart. When it fills it to the brim the heart becomes a blackened, putrid bit of flesh, instead of the repository of the feelings and emotions that make us human.
When Evil fills a heart it makes it easy to commit the greatest of all crimes − kill another human being. When Evil fills the hearts of a whole people it makes it easy for them to annihilate another people. It makes no difference if that is done to seize their land or to purify one's own; the crime remains the same.
Such manifestations of Evil pose a challenge to the rest of humanity. Either we stand up and condemn or oppose them, or we become complicit in the crime − there is no middle, neutral ground.
While few indeed can summon up the shining heroism of a Rachel Corrie, or even the courage of a young Lucas Koerner (who stood up in Jerusalem to say: Not in my name), it is important to disassociate oneself from the abomination being perpetrated by bearing witness to one's opposition, each according to their circumstances. That is how one affirms one's own humanity.
As for those who support, excuse, or even condone this crime, or use mealy-mouthed circumlocutions to avoid showing their true colours, they become a part of the Evil abroad in the land. The Evil descends into their hearts, and they begin to recede from humanity, and join its enemies.
Let us keep a running account of Israeli and Palestinian casualties here both civilian and military. It appears to me that one of the reported Israeli civilian deaths was that of a Beduin Arab.
It appears that the number of Gazan civilian deaths is now over 1,000. The number of IDF deaths now seems to be 37?
Fill us in. pl
"Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas." Michael Oren
"I have seen no confirmed reports, however, of Hamas using force to keep people in targeted areas so they can serve as human shields — and perhaps sway world opinion by boosting the body count. When people decide they must leave their homes, they can do so. But where are these evacuees supposed to go? To the nearest school or hospital? Not if these, too, are considered legitimate targets by the Israeli Defense Forces.' Eugene Robinson
Oren is undoubtedly a spokesman for the real Israel. He is CNN's leading man on the Middle East. Was that apointment happenstance? He is "Ambassador in Residence" at the Atlantic Council, etc. There has been a lot of prevarication on the part of the Zionists here and there, a lot of talk of "limited objectives," "desperate efforts to avoid civilian casualties," and of the "traumatization of Israeli civilians" by Hamas/IJ rockets. (This last in spite of the nearly complete ineffectiveness of Hamas/IJ rockets). But, here, in former American Oren's oped we see a little honesty. Israel means to destroy Hamas in order to make a peace of subjugation with the PA, and that is the whole story. Hamas is not crushed yet. It fights on and therefore Israel does not want "peace." Next stop will be rebellion on a large scale in the West Bank and I am still waiting to know what Hizbullah will do to back up their statements.
Robinson, after the still obligatory oath of fealty to Israel, opines that they have gone too far. Amen, brother. pl
"Hundreds have found shelter in areas between Mosul and Irbil – the capital of the Kurdistan regional government – that are controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, but they face an uncertain future.
"If Isis stays, there is no way the Christians can return," Father Boutrous Moshi said from Qara Qoosh, a Christian area south-east of Mosul. "It is up to God whether we return or not. They have not burned the churches but they did set fire to the pictures and the books and broke the windows."
Monks at the 4th-century Mar Behnam monastery, a major pilgrimage site run by the Syriac Catholic church, were allowed to take only the clothes they were wearing.
Sarab Hazem, from the Zehoor neighbourhood of Mosul, said that initially there were no attacks on Christians when Isis took the city in a lightning offensive in June, though Isis fighters did capture and take away police, security agents and soldiers. "No one knows what becomes of them," he said.
Then, statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary were destroyed. "They are savages," Hazem said. "This is oppression for no reason. I believe it is no longer possible for Christians to live in Iraq."" The Guardian
There are still vast numbers of Americans who have no grasp of the idea that there are Arabic and Aramaic speaking Christians in places like Iraq and Palestine, and that these Brethren in Christ lived well under secularists like Saddam and the Assads as well as under the Hashemites in Jordan. Jesus was an Aramaic speaker. These are among the oldest Christian communities in the world. ISIS gave them a choice of conversion, the Jizya (capitation tax) or death. At least they had a choice. Correct me if I err but I thnk the Shia and the Yazidis are simply killed as murtadoon (apostates). Non-wahhabi Sunnis are given one chance to "repent."
Why do they do things like destroy Jonah's Tomb? As strict muwahiddoon (wahhabis) they believe that reverence for any object, whether grave, shrine, or a person is shirk (a form of idol worship). pl
"The latest invented story appears to have been produced primarily as a replacement for Harf’s increasingly debunked allegations surrounding the MH17 shoot-down, a talking point which has gained her no small mocking in the press over the past week, as she directly contradicts the US intelligence community’s own releases on the matter.
Harf’s latest allegations included the phantom artillery fire and secret evidence of Russia planning to maybe send a bunch more weapons to the rebels. One member of the assembled press, humorously, asked if there was “a YouTube video or something that you can point us to,” calling back to Harf’s regular use of social media as “proof” for her claims.
Harf declared “I just said I wasn’t going to give you the underlying source,” and asked if the press preferred she keep things to herself that she can’t prove. This led to another exchange, with someone shooting back “Marie, I think that it would be best for all concerned here if when you make an allegation like that, you’re able to back it up with something more than just “because I said so.”" Anti-war.com
Women like this one and Mika B give women a bad name. They can't find a woman spokesperson for State who looks like something more than a sorority girl homecoming queen? pl
Wounded Knee 1890 – Gaza 2014
Manifest Destiny in the United States and Israel
"Charles Marion Russell - The Custer Fight (1903)" by Charles Marion Russell - The Library of Congress. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
"There is no good Indian except a dead Indian.” Gen. Phillip Sheridan 1869
“Stay as long as you need to stay. Go wherever you need to go to deal with the vipers nest called Hamas.” Sen. Lindsay Graham 2014
As the process of extirpating the Palestinians from Israel comes to its final culmination, a little bit of historical comparison between the United States and Israel is appropriate. Analysis of the prevailing myths and memes can be helpful in understanding how two groups of people living in the same neighborhood can reside on different planets.
American “Manifest Destiny”, the total conquest of the North American continent by the Europeans from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was the predominant theme of U.S. culture up until the end of the nineteenth century, after which the U.S. joined the colonialists.
The final act in Manifest Destiny was the completion of the subjugation of the Native Americans by finally forcing all of the free-roaming Native Americans onto Indian reservations. From the beginning in the 1600s, the European settlers invaded a land populated by a people who had no effective way to resist the germs, guns, agriculture, and advanced technology of the settlers. Ultimately, the Native Americans were killed, acculturated, or put on a reservation out of the way of American Progress. Their primitive societies were fully outmatched by European science and organizational practices. The indigenous peoples never had a chance of winning.
The IDF evidently claims it has lost 32 killed so far but from my count of the dead mentioned in this Haaretz piece I would make that 34 counting the two armored corps captains killed by snipers who are mentioned farther down in the article. Armored officers are killed by small arms fire usually when parts of them are outside the vehicle. A head sticking out of a hatch where visibility is better makes a good target. IDF casualties will continue to accumulate and IMO will increase in number if the IDF presses farther into Gaza City.
Richard Engels' linked video makes it clear that the IDF is targeting clearly marked ambulances employing the lame excuse that they are being used to transport armaments. They are doing the same with marked medical facilities. The IDF has long done such things. A Givati lieutenant once told me in Bethlehem that they "normally shoot people giving first aid to Palestinian wounded."
IMO the whole Gaza strip is one big undergraound fortified zone with interconected bunkers, tunnels, fighting positions, supply points, etc. The underground facilities are very well built, have electric power and uninterceptable communications.
Hamas/IJ want a big bite out of the IDF and if this continues they will get it.
At the same time Ben Gurion airport remains closed. People like Bloomberg have flown over there to show "solidarity." IMO he should volunteer for service in the Golani Brigade and stay there. The Israeli government wants more US money for Iron Dome so that it can continue to defy the US government's desire for a cease fire? Bloomberg should show his solidarity by donating the money. pl
"I’d like to propose a new rule of thumb for writers: When your op-ed’s first sentence reads “Let’s state the obvious: No one likes to see dead children,” you should step away from the keyboard, take a look in the closest mirror and think long and hard about exactly the argument you’re about to make. Otherwise, you may end up with an execrable screed like the one New York University law professor Thane Rosenbaum published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Rosenbaum argues that the adult residents of Gaza are not innocent civilians, as even Israeli leaders (sometimes begrudgingly) admit, but part of a “citizen army.”" Washington Post
This linked oped by Rosenbaum is contemptible, racist, fascist evidence that some Jews evidently learned a lot from their experience if the Shoa. Unfortunately, what they learned were the worst things possible. pl
"Hanin Zoabi, a favourite target for the right, was briefly arrested at a rally in Haifa on Friday. Lieberman called her political party Balad "a party of traitors", and suggested that she be barred from running for office in the next election.
The vitriol directed at Zoabi, Barakeh, and others, is rarely applied to Jewish politicians who make incendiary statements. Ayelet Shaked, a prominent member of Bennett's Jewish Home party, penned a status on Facebook earlier this month suggesting that Israel kill the mothers of Palestinian fighters, lest they give birth to more "little snakes". There was no public outcry or official censure.
"When they are under fire, soldiers killed, rockets flying in the centre [of the country], they become irrational, totally irrational," said Basel Ghattas, another Knesset member from Zoabi's party.
Public criticism has come mostly from the relatively liberal enclaves of Tel Aviv and Haifa. But those voices are being drowned out in a society that has drifted steadily to the right over the past decade.
Knesset members have pursued laws to declare Israel a "Jewish state", drive Palestinian parties out of politics and crack down on left-leaning NGOs. Opinion polls find that younger Jewish Israelis are increasingly right-wing and hold negative views of Palestinians. Al-Jazeera
Bennett is frequently interviewed in US TV as a supposedly rational actor on the Israeli political scene. pl
And then there is the question of Hizbullah. What will Nasrallah say on Friday? pl
While conventional states try to win hearts and minds abroad before necessarily resorting to military force, the jihadist group is also achieving its aims by psychological means - backed up by a reputation for extreme violence.
The Islamic State, which in June captured a vast stretch of territory in the north including the largest city Mosul, used this strategy when its fighters met armed resistance from the town of al-Alam for 13 days running.
They kidnapped 30 local families and rang up the town's most influential citizens with a simple message about the hostages: "You know their destiny if you don't let us take over the town."
His eminence praised the persistence of the Hamas resistance and the tremendous patience of the people of Gaza and strongly supported their rightful demands to end the current battle.
Sayyed Nasrallah heard from Meshaal comforting and confident stance, as he reassured that Hamas resistance was ready to make a second victory in July." al-Manar
Israel should seriousl think about agreeing to a cease fire. It has been suggested by some of our European friends on SST that Hizbullah does not care about Gaza and will not fight the Israelis over the "destiny" of th eGazans. IMO Nasrallah is not making an empty gesture. If the IDF continues its ravishment of Gaza, Hizbullah will begin to fire into nothern Israel. They can target just about anything in th enoerthern half of the country and have many, many weapons. A good question now would be the degree of redundancy in Iron Dome. pl
Hasbara work - "Now, there are 40 people in the interactive unit of the Israel Defense Forces, including videographers, animators, graphic artists and computer programmers, pumping out missives in six languages, on many platforms, in a tone much punchier than the typical news release. “Israel uses the Iron Dome to protect its civilians,” it said on Twitter over the weekend. “Hamas uses civilians to protect its rockets.”
"On Sunday, 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in a series of attacks in the Gaza Strip, where the death toll is believed to have climbed beyond 400." abc news
"Israel's defence force have not yet confirmed if any of its soldiers are among the dead, but it is understood 44 wounded soldiers are in Ashkelon Hospital with more in other hospitals. It comes amid unconfirmed reports that the military wing of Hamas destroyed an Israeli tank in a suicide bombing. Israelis are yet to comment on the reports." abc news
"On Israel's side, two civilians have been killed by cross-border fire and 18 soldiers have died in fighting. More than 50 Israeli troops have been wounded, hospital officials said." abc news
As sad as it is to say, the main effects of this round of fighting in Gaza will be found; 1- in the worldwide political damage done to Israel for the callous massacre of civilians and 2- the impact on Israeli and more importantly American popular opinion of a high Israeli military body count. Throughout previous Israeli operations intended to "mow the grass," in Gaza, the IDF has operated with impunity, able to continue from day to day without major fear of the likelihood of its own casualties in dead and wounded. If these present reports are correct, that has changed. The American people have many admirable characteristics but their inability to see virtue in "losers" is not one of them. An ability on the part of the Hamas/IJ fighters to inflict casualties on the IDF would raise the public image of the Palestinians in America. According to the Israel FB page, Hamas now says that it will equip large numbers of Gazan youth with grenades and send them against IDF forces in suicide attacks. The Israelis do not seem to understand how potent a weapon that would be. pl
"... residents are proud that their sons both fiercely resisted U.S. invaders and then joined forces with their former adversaries as part of the so-called Awakening movement, in which the U.S. military paid ex-insurgents and others to fight Al Qaeda-style hard-liners. Hatem, 36, a father of four, was one of hundreds of Sunnis in Adhamiya who signed up.
But the residents of Adhamiya and other mostly Sunni areas are now facing a more entrenched foe: the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and its heavy-handed security forces.
In interviews here, Adhamiya residents complained of a pattern of harassment, random arrests and illegal imprisonment: the kinds of grievances that helped detonate the uprising raging in Sunni-dominated provinces to the north and west.
Those interviewed said they empathized with Sunni fighters who have seized large swaths of Iraqi territory, but insisted that they did not back the Islamic State, the Al Qaeda breakaway faction leading the uprising. Whether their professed antipathy for the militants was authentic or meant for Western consumption was not clear." LA Times
The inhabitants of the Sunni parts of western Baghdad are a potential fifth column likely to assist IS coalition forces in penetration of Baghdad between BIA and the US Embassy. pl
“Profoundly moved” by this picture of desolation wrought by his troops, General von Hausen departed from the ruins of Dinant secure in the conviction that the responsibility lay with the Belgian government “which approved this perfidious street fighting contrary to international law.” The Germans were obsessively concerned about violations of international law. They succeeded in overlooking the violation created by their presence in Belgium in favor of the violation committed, as they saw it, by Belgians resisting their presence. With a sigh of long -tried patience, Abbé Wetterlé, Alsatian delegate to the Reichstag, once confessed, “To a mind formed in the Latin school, the German mentality is difficult to comprehend.” The German obsession had two parts: that Belgian resistance was illegal and that it was organized from “above” by the Belgian government or by burgomasters, priests, and other persons who could be classified as “above.” Together the two parts established the corollary: that German reprisals were righteous and legal, regardless of degree. The shooting of a single hostage or the massacre of 612 and the razing of a town were alike to be charged to the Belgian government —this was the refrain of every German from Hausen after Dinant to the Kaiser after Louvain. The responsibility must “fall upon those who incited the population to attack the Germans,” Hausen protests constantly. There can be absolutely no doubt, he insists, that the whole population of Dinant and other regions was “animated— by whose order?— by one desire to stop the advance of the Germans.” That people could be animated to stop the invader without an order from “above” was inconceivable.
Tuchman, Barbara W. (2009-07-22). The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I; (Kindle Locations 5890-5902). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
"Yesterday saw Israel come in for particular criticism after the al-Wafa hospital, which cares for patients suffering from brain and spine trauma, was damaged by the Israeli air offensive.
Asked if Israel “has the right to defend itself by bombing hospitals”, Dermer said: “Actually, if you turn your hospital into a command post & missile launching site you do. But Israel hasn't.
“Israel cares more about Pal civilians in Gaza than Hamas,” he continued. “We try to get them out of harm’s way. They put them in harm's way.”"
Well, at least he is no longer an American. pl
Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
* Adam L. Silverman is the Cultural Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.
JC, an old Army friend with long experience in Israel and Gaza sent me the following today.
"In that the current situation is unfolding somewhat similar to the 2006 Lebanon "fiasco", I am forwarding a brief summary of the Winograd Commission (edited, but courtesy of Wikipedia). I suspect that we may see a repeat of the final statement.
According to the Winograd Commission Report, the Second Lebanon War was regarded as a "missed opportunity" and that "Israel initiated a long war, which ended without a defined military victory". The report continued to state that "a semi-military organization of a few thousand men resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East, which enjoyed full air superiority and size and technology advantages". Furthermore, Hezbollah's rocket attacks continued throughout the war and the IDF did not provide an effective response to it. Following a long period of using standoff firepower and limited ground activities, the IDF launched a large-scale ground offensive close to the UN Security Council's resolution which imposed a cease-fire. "This offensive did not result in military gains and was not completed".
..."The fact Israel went to war before it decided which option to
select and without an exit strategy, all these constituted serious failures of the decision making process."" JC
As JC observes this situation appears similar. Once again, Israel has initiated hostilities with an Arab group without any clear idea of the result to be rationally expected or of an "exit plan" from the war itself. The "strategic thnking' involved appears to have consisted of an unbounded hatred for the Palestinians and a desire to smash and humble them while using the worldwide resources of the Zionist cause to silence criticism. A humilation like that which resulted from the Second Lebanon War now seems likely to emerge from a "permanent" cease fire unless Israel decides to "double down' in a large scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. pl
While I am not a military person, after years of studying history, it now seems to me that the reading of the tea leaves in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foreshadow a changing of the meme. The leaves now seem to align to a conclusion that Israel may now be committing suicide. The myth cycle is turning against Israel.
Coming out of the holocaust, Israel had a huge moral benefit of western guilt that enabled it to expand within Palestine and to concentrate the Palestinian population into increasingly more restricted areas. The PLO’s support of violence, coming to the fore during the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the continuing Islamist violence thereafter gave Israel a free hand to fill nearly all of the lands of historic Israel without providing any real justice to the displaced Palestinians. Immigration from Russia strengthened Israel’s power by increasing its population beyond its existing birthrate. That population growth pressured the forming of the West Bank Settlements that devastated the life of the West Bankers.
As the decades passed, more Islamist violence further estranged western sympathy away from the Palestinians. Israel was able to cast itself as the David standing up to the Islamic hoard and thereby captured the unquestioning support of most of the American polity. The meme was supported by the accommodation of Egypt and Jordan who did not want the Palestinians interfering in their nations and eliminated thousands.
"Government troops and allied Shi'ite volunteer fighters retreated from Tikrit before sunset on Tuesday to a base four km (2.5 miles) south after coming under heavy mortar and sniper fire, a soldier who fought in the battle said.
Residents said there was no fighting on Wednesday morning in Tikrit, which lies 160 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad. It is a stronghold of ex-army officers and loyalists of executed former dictator Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who allied themselves with the Islamic State-led offensive last month.
Tuesday's military attack was launched from Awja, Saddam's birthplace some 8 km (5 miles) south of the city, but ran into heavy opposition in the southern part of the city.
Pictures published on Twitter by supporters of the Islamic State showed a fighter holding a black Islamist flag next to a black armored car it said had been abandoned by a military SWAT team, as well as vehicles painted in desert camouflage - one of them burnt out - which it said retreating troops left behind." Reuters
We wrote here some time back that the Iraqi "Army" would have one major opportunity to conduct a counter-offensive to the north and that if that failed they were finished as a force and would not be able to establish the Iraq government's authority north and west of Baghdad. They have now failed in that attempt and Iraq is effectively partitioned unless Iran, Turkey or some other regional power intervenes massively. All the baloney in the world about "soft power" is not going to change the situation. At the same time the unstable cooperation between; ISIS fanatics, Sunni tribals and nationalist soldiers from Saddam's army will soon start to break up. IMO the soldiers and the tribesmen will eliminate ISIS in Iraq. This may take some time but it will happen. pl
" Israeli experts predicted overland raids to destroy command bunkers and tunnels that have allowed the outgunned Palestinians to withstand air and naval barrages on Gaza and keep rockets flying." CBC
Hamas has offered Israel a ten year truce (hudna). This is a relgiously sanctioned temporary cease fire contingent on; release of prisoners whom the Israelis earlier released in an exchange and then re-arrested. Hamas also wants the borders of Gaza opened and an end to the naval blockade. The Israelis don't want peace with Hamas. They want to destroy the group so that they can continue to dominate the non-peace process farce. Therefore, there is no chance of the Israelis accepting such an offer and Hamas knows this.
Nevertheless, the Izzies are in the "hurt locker." They are locked into their own bluster concerning the terrible things they are going to to do to Gaza if the Gazans do not abandon Hamas politically. So far, it appears that the Gazans blame Israel, not Hamas for their predicament. The pro-zionist US media are eagerly waiting for some sign that such a shift is happening but, alas, it does not seem to be so.
In the absence of that development, Israel's internal politics is driving it toward a decision to begin to conduct ground operations. This will probably begin as more raids against Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites. These will, of course, be defended and there will be IDF casualties. Failures like the naval commando raid this week will lead to demands for larger operations.
At the same time it is now reported in the Israeli press that ISIS is recruiting in Gaza. pl
Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
Captain of Engineering Montgomery Scott was right (or will be as his character lives in the 23rd Century): "Ya canna change the laws of physics..."
One of Israel's major defenses against the Hamas rocket attacks emanating from Gaza is their Iron Dome missile defense system. According to experts it is NOT actually doing what it is designed to do. Richard Lloyd, a former Engineering Fellow at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, recently stated that: "The Iron Dome interceptors need to hit an incoming rocket head-on to have much hope of detonating a warhead... And initial visual analysis of the engagements in recent days shows that the interceptions that are occurring are from the side or behind, which provide 'essentially a zero chance of destroying the warhead,' based on the basic physics of such engagements".
It is, apparently, very hard to hit a bullet, no matter how big and how advanced one's software, head on with another bullet. Who could have known?
* Adam L. Silverman is the Cultural Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.
"A classified military assessment of Iraq’s security forces concludes that many units are so deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnel backed by Iran that any Americans assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces could face risks to their safety, according to United States officials.
The report concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are capable enough for American commandos to advise them if the White House decides to help roll back the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month." NY Times
Basically, the Iraqi "army" is not worthy of the term. LTG (Ret.) Dubik who now works for !SW and who "trained" this "army" says the same thing although I am told by people who were there when he was so engaged that he was fulsome in the praise of these "troops" at that time. pl
"Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday that Iran and Russia were helping Iraq battle a Sunni extremist insurgency but that the U.S. was not coordinating its own assistance with either country.
"We are aware of the Iranian and Russian efforts to help the Iraqis, but we are not involved in coordinating any missions," Hagel said.
Hagel’s comments came after reports quoted Iraqi military officials saying that Iran and Russia were conducting airstrikes in their country, hitting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets.
A Pentagon official said the U.S. believes Iranian pilots are in the air in Iraq but not Russian pilots.
"Those who fail to comply with the instructions will endanger their lives and the lives of their families. Beware," read a leaflet dropped by the Israeli military in the town of Beit Lahiya, near the border with Israel.
Despite intensified Israeli military action - which included a commando raid overnight in what was Israel's first reported ground action in Gaza during the current fighting - militants continued to launch rocket after rocket across the border.
"The worshipers and other Sunnis interviewed in Baghdad said they have little affinity for the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State that routed Iraqi forces last month and declared a “caliphate” across a vast swath of the country.
But as the militants take aim at Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, these educated, professional Sunnis leave no doubt that their sympathies lie with the insurgents.
“It’s a revolution against oppression,” Moussa said. “We believe there will be a zero hour here in Baghdad soon. The Sunnis have nothing to lose.”" wshpost
As I thought the Sunni residents of western Baghdad will nt be loyal to the Shia run government. pl
"A ground operation is looking more likely. This assessment is strengthened by the impression that Hamas has rejected various mediation efforts so far, and has relayed the message to whoever they speak to that currenty there is nothing to be discussed. The question of how deep Israel's ground maneuver will go is still open, however. The numbers are interesting: In Operation Pillar of Defense, which didn't see a ground operation in the end, some 75,000 IDF reservists were called up. This time the cabinet approved calling up 40,000 reservists, but the army has still not called up more than half that number. Those who were called up don't belong to the reserve divisions that will be deployed in the Strip. They are mainly soldiers in different roles in the 'Gaza envelope' (logistics, intelligence and other non-combat roles) from regular divisions, the Home Front Command, and in infantry battalions that replaced regular battalions that were sent from the West Bank and the northern border to the south." Haaretz
I will be surprised if there is not a ground invasion and I would think that it is likely to begin when Shabat ends today. Hamas actually seems to be inviting an Israeli ground operation. That indicates to me that either Hamas will accept heavy civilian casualties as a political warfare burden for Israel or that they have prepared the ground for a close encounter with the IDF or maybe both things. pl
"The overall impact is the opposite of what the United States has long sought in the Middle East — a strengthened hand for Abbas and marginalization for Hamas and other militant groups.
Bitter Abbas aides acknowledge that the president is fast losing relevance, but they say this is what Israel intended all along: hopeless negotiations followed by a fight that would elevate militant Palestinian elements at the expense of relative moderates. The timing, they say, is aimed at derailing a fragile Palestinian reconciliation deal that brought together the various factions, including Hamas, under Abbas’s leadership." washpost
IMO the underlined text is correct. This is all about disassembling the PA coalition in order to prevent effective peace negotiations. pl
"Ammar and his comrades said they never had any illusions about the virtue of their officer corps. Iraqi soldiers could often avoid showing up for duty by giving half their salaries to their commanders, who in turn paid off the generals. Even before Mosul fell, this cycle of bribery and absenteeism had deprived the military of almost one-third of the 1 million troops receiving paychecks, according to Knights.
Still, Ammar said what happened after the June 23 battle shocked him. At sunset, a minibus was ushered through a refinery gate. His commanding officers — including a brigadier general, a colonel, and a lieutenant, he said — quickly began boarding." washpost
An army is a social institution that lives by tradition and discipline. mostly self discipline. We Americans destroyed an Iraqi army that had learned to fight well by the end of the Iran-Iraq War and then had been largely destroyed by Saddam, sanctions and us in the First Gulf War. The neocon CPA finished the job by abolishing the army altogether and outlawing most of its officers.
It takes a long time to grow a real army, a long time. The American generals including the Great Captain, David Petraeus, not only failed in creating an army but certainly faked the data in reports about the mess they were creating. They must have done this to make themselves look good. I have seen this kind of thing many times. pl
"Hezbollah possesses the Katyusha-122 rocket, which has a range of 29 km (18 mi) and carries a 15-kg (33-lb) warhead. Hezbollah also possesses about 100 long-range missiles. They include the Iranian-made Fajr-3 and Fajr-5, the latter with a range of 75 km (47 mi), enabling it to strike the Israeli port of Haifa, and the Zelzal-1, with an estimated 150 km (93 mi) range, which can reach Tel Aviv. Fajr-3 missiles have a range of 40 km (25 mi) and a 45-kg (99-lb) warhead, and Fajr-5 missiles, which extend to 72 km (45 mi), also hold 45-kg (99-lb) warheads. It was reported that Hezbollah is in possession of Scud missiles that were provided to them by Syria. The reports were denied by Syria.["
Wiki on Hezbollah.
Natanyahu has made it clear that if rocket (not guided missile) fire out of Gaza does not end, there will be a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. IMO this will be a large search and destroy operation employing a lot of infantry supported armor that will be heavily provided with artillery and air support. IMO a decision to conduct such an operation in an area that contains 1.6 million people, most of them civilians, is a decision to inflict mass casualties on that population. IMO that decision is motivated by a desire to destroy the unity government now in effect in the Palestinian Authority. Is this not a war crime?
In a ground attack the IDf will find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have studied the lessons of the 2006 war against Lebanon.
There has now been rocket fire out of Lebanon. This is Hizbullah fire. HB possesses an impressive inventory of rockets and guided missiles as well as many hardened positions from which to fire. They also have a large inventory of antiaircraft weapons. There is little love lost between Hamas (Sunni) and HB (Shia) but the provocation being offered by Israeli bombardment and the coming invasion may be too much for HB to accept. A combination of Hamas and HB rocketry and guided missiles would have range fans that would cover most of Israel. These weapons are admittedly inaccurate, but if they fire enough of them they will swamp Iron Dome and a lot will get through the defense. There would be significant Israeli civilian casualties in that combination of events. IMO these first rockets from Lebanon are a shot across Israel's bow.
Ben Gurion airport is the best counter value target in Israel. The Dimona nuclear complex is too deeply buried to be accessible to the primitive rocketry available to either Hamas or HB. Look to see the "Aghabs" shoot at the airport in an effort to hurt Israel's economy. pl
""We have suspended our government business," said minister Hoshiyar Zebari, who is a Kurd.
Zebari said that Kurdish ministers were suspending their day-to-day involvement in the foreign, trade, migration and health ministries and the deputy premiership. On Thursday, Kurdish leaders announced they were canceling their participation in cabinet meetings.
Zebari said ministers will continue to attend the parliament, elected on April 30, which is seeking to form a new government in the face of a Sunni insurgency that has seized large sections of northern and western Iraq.
Zebari said Iraq risked falling apart if a new inclusive government was not formed soon as "the country is now divided literally into three states...Kurdish; a black state (IS) and Baghdad." He urged Iraq's political blocs to form a government quickly." al-jazeera.com
I remember Zebari laughing at me at a conference in Kuwait in 2005 when I told him that the Iraq that Bremer as built was truly a house of cards that would disappear with the departure of the Americans. He was as confident then as were many semi-westernized Egyptians after Mubarak's government fell to the mob in Tahrir Square.
IMO it is "all over" for the political mess that we Americans left behind in Iraq. This "government" was based on the neocon/neo-wilsonian fantasy that dreamt of an Iraq in which the disparate peoples of Iraq would stop being disparate. That was nover going to happen.
The Kurds will watch the circus act in the Iraqi Parliament and then vote themselves out of Iraq. They will have to fight the IS to keep their lands but they can do that if they try hard.
The only real question is whether IS will try to take Baghdad once it has finished the business of consolidating its position in the lands of what they see as Caliph Ibrahim's 'umma. pl
"“The ISF are capable of limited defensive actions. And in some areas they are capable of limited but not sustained counter attacks,” says Jim Dubik, a senior fellow of the Institute for the Study of War and, in 2007, the US lieutenant general in charge of overseeing the training and development of the ISF. “But what they are totally incapable of planning, preparing or conducting is a counter offensive of any kind against Isis that will push them back and retake territory from the insurgency.”
Mr Dubik’s view is shared by many military analysts and current military officers.
In the next few days, six assessment teams dispatched by the Pentagon to Baghdad and Erbil will report on their assessment of the ISF’s disposition and capabilities. The picture will be “grim” says one Nato military intelligence officer.
In three operational areas the ISF has seen its capabilities degraded, according to Mr Dubik: “The systems that supply and support the combat soldiers – intelligence, logistics and personnel management – have atrophied.”" FT
This FT article is well worth reading. I don't know Dubik but he knows the Iraqi forces well and is a seasoned officer. ISW analysis of Syria and Iraq has generally been worthless but perhaps Dubik will fix that. The underlined text above is literally the "crack of doom' for Maliki's Iraq.
The Malta Times reports that an IS force has seized the military base in Muqdadiya, Diyala Province 60 kilometers NE of Baghdad. It is reported that many of the rebels went into the attack in armored personnel carriers (APC) or riding atop tanks. So much for the idea that they are too primitive to use captured equipment. pl
"When the decision was made to launch Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the security cabinet did not set any diplomatic objectives for it. Beyond trying to stop the rocket fire by military means, it isn’t clear if the Netanyahu government wants to simply restore the status quo and gain a few more months of quiet, or to fashion a new diplomatic reality regarding Gaza for the morning after.
The only diplomacy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Foreign Ministry are engaged in right now is public diplomacy. Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday by phone to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, asking them what they would do if missiles were being fired at Paris or Berlin, and also asking them to publicly condemn Hamas." Haaretz
IMO the underlying "strategic" goal for Israel in this largely manufactured frenzy is the one often discussed here on SST, i.e., to divide the Gazan people from their Hamas government through fear of mass collective punishment.
Most of the Israeli people and their government still believe that if they beat the "Aghabs" long enough and hard enough, the "Aghabs" will eventually understand that they have no choice but to submit and accept their permanent serfdom under Israeli rule.
This understanding of the possibilities is typical of the Revisionist Zionist thinking of the Likud and Bibi Natanyahu. Israel has been applying this kind of political logic for many decades. This approach has never worked to further the goal of improving their security situation. What did work was the Madrid/Oslo process. but the implied creation of an actual Palestinian state has never been an acceptable notion for most Israelis. They say to pollsters that they want peace? Many conquerors and occupiers have wanted peace, but what kind of peace?
Bibi spends his time calling world leaders seeking a sympathy that does not exist? He should continue. pl
" I can assure you the Israelis have no intention of reoccupying Gaza. They do not want the responsibility of managing the Gaza people. They will simply go in, kill as many young men(assumed to be Hamas) as possible and utterly destroy as much infrastructure and economic assets as they can. They will then withdraw and leave the people to their own devices. My nephew is a Golani captain and his unit is just outside Gaza the above is the essence of his unit's orders." jdledell
jdledell is a dual national Israeli-American with long exoerience in and of Israel pl
"“We have decided to intensify even further our attacks on Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza,” Netanyahu said in a text message, as barrages of rockets from Gaza reached as far as 88 miles (142 kilometers) into Israeli territory. “The military is prepared for all options.”
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke explicitly of a possible ground offensive and reoccupation of Gaza, which Israel evacuated in 2005 after 38 years. Authorities yesterday authorized a call-up of 40,000 reservists, and tanks are massed along the border with Gaza.
Israel’s air force, backed by the navy, ramped up weeks of attacks on Gaza yesterday, with the declared intent of ending the rocket bombardments that began last month. The worst fighting since November 2012 follows the collapse of U.S.-led peace talks in April and the recent killings of Palestinian and Israeli teenagers, further dimming any chance of renewing negotiations soon." Bloomberg
Sisi and Bibi seem to have similar programs. Sisi is in the process of setting back the Islamists' clock in Egypt through the mechanism of extermination. He is operating on the principle of "Dead Men Don't Bite." I doubt that he believes that this process will permanently expunge Islamism from Egypt but he thinks, as I do, that this will mightily impede the phenomenon.
Bibi seems intent on exterminating Hamas. The US under Obama has not been sufficiently docile and obedient. Kerry actually criticized Israel over the collapse of the peace talks and Obama just does not know his place.
IMO Israel's internal inhibitions against massive violence against "Arabs" has been suspended through massive media manipulation and anti-Palestinian propaganda. The only restraining factor on Israeli behavior now is their perennial fear of Jewish casualties. There are non-Jews in the IDF, Druze mainly, but I suppose that concern extends to them as well.
To miminize IDF casualties, the coming ground invasion will employ maximum firepower.
Caliph Ibrahim is now giving the Shia of Iraq much the same treatment. He is also reported to have begun the process of rounding up Baathists and veterans of Saddam's army to give them the opoortunity to acknowledge his authority. This will accelerate the disintegration of his cooperation with the same groups and the tribes. pl
"The assault on the West Bank arrived on the heels of the collapse of the US-led framework negotiations, for which the US blamed Netanyahu, and immediately after Hamas’ ratification of a unity deal with the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu was still smarting from the US recognition of the unity government when news of the kidnapping reached him. Never one to miss an opportunity to undermine the Palestinians, he and his inner circle resolved to milk the kidnapping for maximum propaganda value.
Weeks after the incident, it is now clear that the Israeli government, intelligence services and army engaged in a cover-up to provide themselves with the political space they required for a military campaign that had little to do with rescuing any kidnapped teens.
The disinformation campaign they waged sent a heavily indoctrinated, comprehensively militarized population into a tribalistic frenzy, provoking a wave of high-level incitement, the shocking revenge killing of an innocent Palestinian teen and rioting across East Jerusalem.
Where the chaos will end and how far it will spread is unknown. But its origins are increasingly clear." Max Blumenthal
At the moment the Likud government is massing troops before Gaza in "self defense" (of course). The reallly heavy self defending will commence soon and more of the same can be expected in the West Bank and Jerusalem. American Zionists of both the Christian and Jewish varieties cheer this on, the Jews because they are driven by racial and national hatred and the Christians in the hope that Jesus will approve. pl
"He said Khudair's friends saw a car make a U-turn near the mosque, when someone called the teen over and then forced him into the car. Friends reported seeing two or three people in the car at the time. They chased the vehicle, he said, but it managed to drive away. His friends called the police immediately, Mahmoud said.
"The police know who did this,” he told Israel Radio, adding that a description of the car, pictures and a license plate number were available to police. "" LA Times
Congressman Peter King was on the tube a few minutes ago repeating the Israeli government position (Marc Regev) that there is no equivalence in the killing of the three Jewish boys and the death of this Muslim boy. That will play well in King's Long Island District. King is a feircely patriotic New York Irishman. He appears never to have met a war he didn't want the US to participate in. This was evident in his service in the New York Army National Guard from 1968 to 1974. He was 24 in 1968 so I guess he felt the call of duty then. Clear enough?
Seriously, Bibi's main concerns lately have been the Hamas/PA alignment and a growing tendency toward "de-legitimization" of Israel around the world. In his obsession with these things he becomes more and more belligerent and manipulative in US politics and media. The crisis in Syria and Iraq (the Islamic State) must be an irritant for him in that it distracts from what should the main focus of the US, Israel's wishes.
The criminal idiocy of the men who killed the three Jewish boys has now been matched by the criminal idiocy of the men who killed the Muslim boy. Peter King says there is no equivalncy. He is wrong. Natanyahu encourages such idiocy by the virulence of his encitements of Israeli Jews against the Palestinians and his all too evident intention to deny them a state forever.
Several factions of Hamas have now pledged their allegiance to Caliph Ibrahim. There is fighting today in the streets of Jerusalem. Will this escalate to a general and genocidal war of Jews against Arabs in the Holy Land? Will the treaties with Egypt and Jordan withstand the political stress that would ensue.
I do not know. pl
"His sentiments are reflected by the Israeli novelist and playwright AB Yehoshua, who gets on the stage to read a comment piece he had written the day before to mark the event. "The great danger to Israeli society," Yehoshua explains, "is the danger of weariness and repression. We no longer have the energy and patience to hear about another act of injustice."
A man appears holding a handwritten sign that condemns Breaking the Silence as "traitors". Some of those attending try to usher him away while others try to engage him in conversation. A journalist asks Shaul if the man is "pro-army". "I'm pro-army," Shaul answers immediately. "I'm not a pacifist, although some of our members have become pacifists. I'm not anti-army, I am anti-occupation.""
At one point in this article the author opines that all military occupations of a defeated country result in brutalization of the occupiers and abuse of the occupied,
That is not really true. The conduct of British and US occupation authorites and troops in Austria, Germany and Japan was not like that. There were instances of violence and theft against the occupied (and the reverse) but these were few and were dealt with severely by the occupying powers. The US command in Germany did not hesitate to court-martial offenders in its ranks. As a result these occupations were bloodless and the Austrians, Germans and Japanese accepted what had to be an unpleasant experience coming after a horribly lost war.
In Germany where I lived during the occupation, the US Army went to a lot of trouble ensuring that people did not starve, that the schools were open and that economic activity was resurrected. There was an inital period just after the war in which a policy of deprivation was in place in Washongton, but Lucius Clay got that changed and the situation improved rapidly. As a result little children like me could walk the streets of cities like Bremen and Frankfurt am Main in 1947 and 1948 without there being any fear for us. I got lost once at eight years old in Frankfurt. I went to a German cop who was directing traffic. The polizei put me in a car and took me home. Many Americans married German women. Some never left.
The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is nothing like that. It is a brutal, savagely racial thing run by adolescents commanded by officers scarcely older than their "men."
The Israeli soldiers who have found the courage to speak of this are "bound for glory" when the day comes that their country accepts the awfulness of its actions. pl
"New video evidence showing the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenagers last week strongly indicates that neither of the boys posed a threat to Israeli forces at the time they were targeted, supporting claims they were "unlawfully killed".
The footage was caught by a CCTV camera installed above a nearby office and shows the deaths of Nadeem Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Salameh, 16, who were both shot through the chest in separate incidents just over an hour apart.
The two boys are seen walking near the building, apparently unarmed, with the second teenager killed while walking away from positions occupied by Israeli security forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank"
“”We don’t need an American request to investigate the subject,” Liberman told reporters Wednesday while visiting Samaria’s Ariel University. “I reject any request and the hypocrisy we see worldwide.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki called for a “prompt and transparent” investigation in response to a reporter’s question during a briefing on Capitol Hill.
European Union missions in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah and in Jerusalem made similar statements. “We reiterate the need for security forces, whether Israeli or Palestinian, to refrain from the use of lethal force, except in cases where there is a real and imminent threat to life,” they said.
In response, Liberman pointed out that the Israeli army is the “most moral” military force in the world." The Jewish Press
They do this kind of thing. The IDF can usually simply deny the event because it is not recorded and they feel free to lie to the world. After all, these are just Palestinians.
I witnessed a similar event in Bethlehem about 15 years ago. Three Palestinian teenagers were killed that day when Israeli troops opened fire with ball ammunition from a sandbagged position at Rachel's tomb. (It is now permanently fortified) Having tried to administer CPR to one of the boys I can certify that he was shot through the thorax with a rifle. I happened to be on the scene shopping. The boys had been throwing rocks at the soldiers. There were about 15 wounded. They had been hit with super-caliber riot control munitions and had broken bones.
They got caught this time because CNN had a camera crew in this town for Naqba Day "festivities" outside Ofer Prison. The CNN camera man caught an Israeli soldier on the wall of the prison firing what looks like an M-4 carbine at the demonstrators. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador in Washington claimed yesterday on "Wolf" that no ball (live fire) ammunition was used but the father of the boy hit from in front had a bullet that he said went through his son's chest, through his backpack and a book inside and was found in the pack. It looked like 5.56 mm. to me. It was not noticeably deformed. That would be the case with steel jacketed military ammunition.
Oren suggested that the Palestinians staged all this to make Israel look bad. pl
"The agreement, Mr. Peres said, was arrived at in four secret meetings in Jordan. It called for mutual recognition of “a Palestinian state” and “a Jewish state,” a goal Mr. Netanyahu made a priority in his recently terminated peace talks with the Palestinians. It also included an understanding on how to resolve the vexing refugee issue. The matter was settled, Mr. Peres said, when Mr. Abbas “agreed to adopt the Arab League’s proposal that this issue would be resolved in a just and mutually agreed upon fashion.” This approach, which stems from the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, ruled out an unlimited return of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. Instead, the parties would arrive at mutually agreed numbers, something very much to Israel’s liking. Only one final meeting was left, Mr. Peres said, when the Prime Minister halted everything. “Netanyahu stopped it,” said Mr. Peres, who indicated he was perplexed by the decision, since the agreement had been reached with the Prime Minister’s knowledge. “I didn’t conduct private negotiations,” Mr. Peres said. “The Prime Minister was an accomplice to the negotiations at every step of the way.”" Globe and Mail
IMO the truth is that Natanyahu never has had any intention of signing a two state peace agreement. He let Peres negotiate because in his hate filled mind he was sure that an agreeement could not be reached. pl
Yesterday COL Lang reported on the brouhaha caused by Secretary Kerry's remarks that if a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute failed, then it would lead to one of two potential unitary state options for the Israelis. The first would be that Israel if it preserved its democratic system would lose its Jewish majority, ceasing to be either a Jewish State or a State for Jews because of potential/projected demographic changes vis a vis the Palestinians. The other possibility was to become a unitary state that relegates the Palestinians to second class status. Secretary Kerry asserted that should Israel go this latter route it would mean that Israel would become an apartheid state. His larger point, however, was that neither of these are in Israel's interests. This seems to have been meant as a supporting argument for why a two state solution is preferable in general and as a specific push for the ongoing US led efforts. As COL Lang anticipated this set off the usual freakout from all the expected players.
What's really interesing, however, is that this is not the first time a senior or strategic leader has made this type of remark. After the 1967 Six Day War David Ben Gurion remarked that if Israel did not rid itself of its territories and their Arab population quickly it risked becoming an apartheid state (h/t Corey Robin). Ehud Olmert issued a similar warning in 2007 and Ehud Barak reiterated this concern in 2010 (h/t for both Little Green Footballs).
All of this is part and parcel of the warped nature of America's discussion - both popular and strategic/policy - regarding the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Regardless of how it has happened, and that's a series of posts all their own, we have limited our ability to speak openly and honestly with each other about this issues, about what is really good for the US or in the US's interests, what is really good for Israel from a US perspective given that Israel is a statutory ally and client, and what is really good for the US's other allies, from the US's perspectives in the region. The narrow limits that we have placed on ourselves regarding these issues do not serve us and our interests well.
* Adam L. Silverman is the Cultural Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.
"US Secretary of State John Kerry told a group of senior international officials that Israel risks becoming an "apartheid" state if it does not make peace soon, a US news website reported. Kerry made the remarks at a closed-door meeting of the influential Trilateral Commission on Friday, The Daily Beast news website reported Sunday. The Daily Beast said a source at the gathering provided them with a recording of Kerry's remarks." "A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens —- or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state," Kerry said, according to The Daily Beast." Maannews
Well, that's it. He has revealed himself as an anti-Semite and will have to go! He may even be an agent of one ofthe Arab countries. Is he registered under FARA? Come to think of it, I don't recall that any of the actual Bantustans had walls around them. pl
"In 1983, the ABC television network broadcast a movie called The Day After about how a superpower nuclear exchange devastated the lives of typical Americans in two midwestern cities. The conflict began with a Russian troop buildup in Eastern Europe (which Moscow initially claimed to be a military exercise), and then gradually escalated to a point where both sides launched their nuclear missiles for fear of losing them in a preemptive attack. Coming as it did during a period of U.S.-Soviet tensions and controversy surrounding Reagan Administration nuclear policies, the broadcast attracted a huge audience of over 100 million viewers; it is still the highest rated made-for-television movie in U.S. history. Americans haven’t thought much about such scenarios since the Cold War ended, because the Soviet Union dissolved and the ideological rivalry between Washington and Moscow ceased. However, this year’s crisis over Ukraine is a reminder that Russia remains a nuclear superpower, and that the geopolitical sources of its security concerns have not vanished. In fact, Moscow may have greater reason for worrying today, because it has lost the buffer of allies that insulated it from Western attack during the Cold War, and now finds its capital only a few minutes from the eastern border of Ukraine by jet (less by missile). If you know the history of the region, then it is easy to see why Moscow might fear aggression." Forbes
There is a lot of news today, news that stirs the loins of the MSM:
- An aged rancher in Nevada is exposed as a fool who threw away right wing support for his non-payment of grazing fees on federal lands by saying that he thought blacks might have been better off as slaves. As a lifelong student of nineteenth century America I can assure him that they were NOT better off. The Hillary enthralled press has, of course, seized on this and is running with the ball. What a splendid way to "sell" their thematic material on the subject of conservative awfulness.
"Israel has proposed a deal to rescue the peace talks, offering to release 26 prisoners if the Palestinian leadership “cancels” its bid for greater international recognition. Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli intelligence and strategic affairs minister, told The Daily Telegraph that this exchange could be a way of continuing the negotiations brokered by John Kerry, the US secretary of state. His words suggest there is a possible opening to prevent the imminent collapse of the peace process, which had appeared to be in tatters last month when Israel failed to release 26 prisoners, prompting the Palestinians to sign up to 15 United Nations conventions. Under the US-mediated agreement last year, Israel promised to free 104 prisoners in four groups of 26. The Palestinians had agreed not to use their upgraded membership of the UN to sign any international conventions." Telegraph
And BTW, part of the deal has to be that we release Pollard.
This is all very interesting,. The Lilliputian state of Israel, armed to the teeth and dependent on the United States seeks to dictate terms to the US for a renewal of "negotiations" over a possible peace between said Lilliput and the Palestinian community. The US is not really an interested party. The US is seeking to broker someone else's deal. So, why are we willing to bargain with Israel over this?
We deserve to be treated this way. Our situation is somewhat analogous to that of parents who are dominated and bullied by children who have learned that they have nothing to fear from such parents. pl
"The White House signaled an indefinite pause in Middle East peace talks Friday, and President Barack Obama is reconsidering how much political capital he will continue to spend on the issue, given that the U.S. faces "a range of challenges" elsewhere, spokesman Josh Earnest said. Mr. Obama will discuss next steps in the process when Secretary of State John Kerry returns to Washington from a trip abroad during which he was forced to cancel a stop in the Middle East. "There's no doubt that we have reached a point where the Palestinian leaders and the Israeli leaders need to spend some time thinking about making some very difficult decisions," Mr. Earnest said." WSJ
It has been obvious from the beginning of his effort in brokering peace in the Holy Land, that Kerry would fail. He likes to deliver hortatory pep talks to his staff encouraging them to ignore the lack of potential in the course he has followed in the "process." Now, he will reap a whirlwind of scorn for his naivete.
He could not reach a compromise between the two paties because neither wants a compromise. In spite of their prevarication and deceptiveness both sides see the Palestine/Israel dispute as a zero sum game in which there can be no win-win outcome.
One can only hope that Obama now sees the foolishness in allowing advocates for the "process" and the two sides to determine his policy. pl
Israel is holding back on the release of the final group of 26 Palestinian prisoners promised in the current round of negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The talks are now deadlocked. Would releasing Pollard save them from collapsing?
The talk of releasing Pollard as a gesture to Israel in return for the previously promised release of the prisoners cropped up last summer between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry. Nothing came of it. Haaretz reports that the “prisoner exchange” has come up again in an effort to keep the talks from collapsing.
No names and no attributions to the story. Trial balloon? Idle chatter? Kerry trying to convince Obama? What guarantee that the talks would finally go anywhere even with Pollard in Israel and the Palestinian prisoners back home?
Haaretz, March 23, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.581444
Bargaining Chip: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.565943
Wikipedia (a pretty grim indictment of Pollard) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard
"Israeli police say vandals have slashed car tires and sprayed walls with anti-Arab graffiti in a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says 19 cars were damaged early on Monday in Silwan. He says police are investigating the incident and searching for suspects. Extremist Jewish settlers have been carrying out acts of vandalism in recent years, in retaliation for Palestinian attacks and to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted in these so-called "price tag" assaults. The attacks have been widely condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum." Houston Chronicle
Kerry is going to negotisate peace in the Holy Land? Sure he is. Sure. pl
“He was trying to threaten us with a third intifada and I know that the intifada is already here – and it’s here because of him and the terrorists he set free,” she said. “It’s a shame that the secretary of state of the United States is on the side of the terrorists,” Struk added. Meanwhile, Jeff Daube, director of the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America, condemned Kerry’s rhetoric on behalf of his agency. “As far as the ZOA is concerned we wonder why Kerry is not mentioning any of the acts of Palestinian terrorism in general, and this one in particular,” he said. “He will be responsible, as far as we’re concerned, for any uptick in violence.” Daube went on to caution Kerry of the powerful consequences of his words. “I’m hoping the secretary of state will give more thought to his comments in the future because this could have deadly consequences,” he added. The demonstration’s organizer, Elie Pieprz, director of external affairs of the YESHA Council, said Kerry is responsible for Friday’s firebombing, adding that he should be disqualified from his role as peace broker for his “reckless behavior.” “Thursday Kerry makes a statement how Judea and Samaria are illegitimate, that there will be a third intifada and the next day there was a firebombing there,” he said. “A plus B equals C.” Pieprz noted that because the peace talks are intended to address Judea and Samaria’s status, by deeming the territories “illegitimate” Kerry should be disqualified from his role. “We need to understand that what Kerry said on Thursday should disqualify him as a mediator for the peace process,” he said." jpost
Natanyahu seems frustrated to find that the Americans are harder to push than he famously once said. His Saudi crypto-allies appear to feel the same way.
"... what Kerry said on Thursday should disqualify him as a mediator for the peace process,” he said."
Interesting. These same Zionist types did not seem to mind at all when the openly Zionist Dennis Ross served their interest in his belief that the Israelis are "his people."
Natanyahu and his various allies in the US media (Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Ricard Engel, etc.) are busy encouraging congressional resistance to US foreign policy with regard to Iran, Syria and Palestine.
The basic problem for the Israelis is the present unwillingness of most Ameicans to sacrifice their own interests for those of Israel. This, of course does not apply to Israel's bought and paid for agents among the members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Nothing could ever be too much for them.
Israel's trip to the "hurt locker" is approaching. pl
"Syrian troops have retaken a key rebel-held town south of Damascus, state media and activists say. State TV said the army had full control of Sbeineh and that "terrorists" had been driven out. UK-based activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sbeineh was one of the most important rebel positions near Damascus. Meanwhile, inspectors say they have verified one of Syria's two remaining chemical weapons production sites. Inspectors had already verified 21 out of 23 sites declared by Syria but two sites were too dangerous to reach. They said the latest site - near Aleppo - was verified using footage from sealed cameras and that it was dismantled and abandoned." BBC
As TTG wrote, the Syrian government is making steady progress in its campaign of pacification. The Saudis face deep humiliation in this latest example of their drive for Sunni triumphalism in the Levant. This project is decades long now and has had remarkably little success.
At the same time, the UN has gone competently forward in the work of eliminating CW production and weapons stockpiles. There is a certain amount of "logrolling" going on in Washington for the notion that Syria is somehow not living up to its undertakings in this matter. No evidence has been produced for public view so this is just more rumor. pl
The last time Kerry spent so much time over so many days with Netanyahu and Abbas was in July, when the two leaders agreed to enter direct peace talks for the first time in three years. More than three months later, after a dozen meetings between their teams, there are visible cracks in the negotiations. Both Netanyahu and Abbas warned early this week of growing tensions in the private discussions, and public potshots between the two sides have escalated. Speaking before a three-hour session with Kerry on Wednesday morning, Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “continuing to create artificial crises, continuing to . . . run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace.” Washpost
Kerry is trying to make something out of nothing. The various parties to the Palestine dispute remain unwilling to create an actual and viable settlement of the matter. For some reason he does not understand that. pl
"I am eager to debate the issues raised in my new book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (Nation Books), the result of over four years of on-the-ground research and reporting. Whatever one’s opinion of possible resolutions of the Israel-Palestine crisis, I have dedicated my work to presenting the facts as clearly and accurately as I could. Without understanding the realities, no true debate can take place. In writing my book I intended to loosen the blockade of suppression of thought and discussion on the subject of Israel-Palestine. For years, especially since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing Jewish extremist, a contingent of self-appointed enforcers has attempted to suppress an honest, free and full debate. These enforcers, recently aided and abetted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government, have painted critics who do not toe the party line or journalists who report uncomfortable facts as anti-Semitic, self-hating Jews or cheerleaders for terror. Readers of The Nation should recognize this kind of smearing as a form of McCarthyism." Max Blumenthal
"a form of McCarthyism." Amen. pl
"Parash Hill is a scenic overlook near Sderot, which is one of the underserviced development towns originally constructed in Southern Israel to accommodate some of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who arrived to Israel from Arab nations during the 1940s as impoverished victims of government-led campaigns on expulsion. Parash Hill offers sweeping views of the Gaza Strip, and beyond it is the Mediterranean Sea. Here, hundreds of Israelis gathered at the vista to revel in the violence. For them, the hill offered mezzanine seats for the bombing; they cheered or stared with silent satisfaction while the hometown team exacted blood vengeance on the Enemy. “Of course I’m happy,” a twenty-six-year-old Orthodox Jew told a reporter from the UK’s Sunday Times as he watched Israeli jets bombard the strip. “It would be better if innocent civilians weren’t hurt, but the ones who cooperate with Hamas—that’s their problem.” A secular, middle-aged woman pointed to Gaza and calmly explained to Ulla Terkelsen, a Danish TV reporter, “They should just wipe the whole thing off the map.” With a dramatic wave of her hand, she added, “Yeah, I’m a little bit fascist.” A twenty-seven-year-old student surveyed the scene of picnicking Israelis and lamented, “People in Israel are addicted to violence." Max Blumenthal in "Goliath"
Max Blumenthal is a brave man, a brave and honest man. He is the son of my friend Sidney Blumenthal.
"Goliath" will be published by "Nation Press" on the first of October. I recommend it. pl
- Fighting continues in the Sinai Peninsula with Israeli and Egyptian forces cooperating more than they ever have before. At least 24 egyptian policemen have died in a jihadi ambush at Rafa on the Israeli border. The Israelis tell me that they are very hopeful that the US will not cut off military aid to Egypt.
- Husni Mubarak may soon be released from prison. He is a lucky man, Mursi might well have had him hanged on general principles. Now.... The shoe is on the other foot. BTW, the search for Mubarak's "billions" of stolen money never got anywhere. They found a few hundred million. In the ME that is chicken feed. Egyptians tell me that Amre Mousa is the preferred candidate of the military for an eventual presidential election. He is a non-entity with a long history.
- UN chemical weapons investigators began work in Syria today. They are to determine if CW was used and by whom. They are at work in spite of US obstructionism in New York. IMO the result of their work may be the next big embarassment for Obama. There is a reason why the Syrian government is so willing to have the UN investigate this matter.
- The US media in its eagerness to support the naive poliicy of the Obama Administrations and the Congress continues to exagerate the importance of the 1.3 billion $ that we give Egypt in the form of credits we do not expect to have repayed. Egypt has reacted to this talk. Their government has now stated that it, too, will examine its relations with states that have sought to "interfere" with Egypt's internal affairs. The Gulf will easily replace moneys lost in disappeared US aid. The highly complex equipment provided by the US to Egypt in the expectation that Egypt could be a worthwhile internation "player" is not needed by Egypt. The material exceeds Egypt's needs and capacity for absorption. For the Egyptians the possession of such equipment is a matter of national pride. Egyptian forces are really internal security forces. It does not matter if they want to admit that or not. The kind of equipment they really need is widely available on international markets. At the same time, to prevent sales of spare parts for equipment now in Egyptian hands, the US Government would have to take executive or legislative action to prevent private sales of spare parts to the Egyptian government. Would they really want to do that to companies like Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics? Personnel training? Don't kid yourself, there are lots of places for very fine training. India comes to mind. And lastly, a rupture of relations would cost the US automatic overflight clearance priviliages and queueing privileges in the canal.
- And then there is the Kerryesque farce in Palestine where the Israelis are playing us for suckers once again and the Palestinians are enduring yet another humiliation. The Israelis have no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state as a rival. All else is tactics and playing nice with the ignorant Americans.
Ah, me. pl
"Why is it then that US Secretary of State John Kerry is so eager to push both parties into another set of negotiations that are highly likely to be not only unproductive but counterproductive, by fuelling Palestinian anger by their failure and thus bringing us a step closer to the inevitable third intifada? The answer is simple. The United States needs Israel and the Palestinian Authority to start negotiations for the sake of negotiations well before the UN General Assembly convenes in September so that it can be spared another major embarrassment on the issue of Palestinian statehood when the General Assembly convenes. If Kerry can demonstrate that an American-sponsored peace process is underway he can forestall criticism both of Israel and of the United States in the General Assembly for lack of progress toward Palestinian statehood.
The primary reason for the Kerry initiative is to deflect international criticism of the United States for its failure to stop Israeli colonisation of the West Bank which is rendering Palestinian statehood impossible. It has become increasingly clear to seasoned observers of the Middle East that Washington's inability to make a dent in Israel's settlement policy is not only a question of the tail wagging the dog; it demonstrates that on the Palestine issue the dog and the tail have switched roles.
" Mohammad Ayoub in Al-Jazeera
A retired career ambassador with experience in the ME chided me recently for incessant pessimism. He specifically mentioned Kerry's current attack on this "windmill." I told him that it was understandable that policy people like him should insist on hoping that someday money would grow on trees or that there would be a chicken in every pot, but I also told him that as a long experienced intelligence person I was not inclined by habit to do other than describe present reality or probable futures.
IMO, the Natanyahu government does not intend to allow the creation of a Palestinian state that would have the attributes of an independent country, i.e., armed forces, borders that it controls, unfettered economic development, control of its own government finances, currency, contiguous territory free of the occupation of foreign (Israeli) troops,control of its own air space, and an independent foreign policy. Shall I continue? I do not blame the Israelis for this. They know what they are. This is a religio-nationalist settler state. They are less and less abashed about saying this. Michael Oren was very firm on television this week in insisting that Jews are an ethnic people, not a religious group and that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish ethnic group. I applaud his honesty, but Israel remains a strange ally for the United States, a country in which the central government is suing Texas for supposedly seeking to favor one ethnic group over others.
What the Israelis are willing to "give," the Palestinians will not accept. That is what Israel expects. The Palestinians know this but have been strong-armed into the Washington circus.
John Kerry's heart's desire rests beyond his reach. pl
"Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi seems to have "lost control over the security forces", the BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab has said. He was speaking after anti-government protesters in Egypt stormed the national headquarters of the president's Muslim Brotherhood in the capital, Cairo." BBC
There were several hundred thousand people in the streets yesterday. They do not want to go quietly into a dark night of medievalism.
"Now's the time and now's the hour!"
The US government loves elections. The results of elections do not seem to matter to the brilliant minds in the WH and State Department.
The Egyptian Army should consider its position.
The MSM in the US is trying to ignore this situation in its slavish service to the WH.
On the Palestine "front" much the same thing is happening. Kerry's total failure is being covered up as best the MSM can manage. pl
Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
Not to horn in on BG Farrell's movie reviews here at SST, but I recently saw a documentary and wanted to bring it to the attention of the SST community. About two weeks ago I was asked to go with our former USMC senior service rep here at the US Army War College to see the new Israeli documentary The Gatekeepers by Dror Moreh. The Gatekeepers is an oral history of Israel's internal security and intelligence service - Shin Bet. Moreh's documentary is built around in depth interviews with the last six Shin Bet directors and spans events from the 1960s through to the last several years, combined with archival footage and computer generated reenactments. In fact the documentary's production was delayed until the most recent former director, Yuval Diskin, retired and could be interviewed for and part of the project. Moreh was able to get the project going, which features the first public interviews with any of these men, because one of the former directors, Ami Ayalon was willing to be interviewed after being elected to the Knesset from the Labor Party. It was Ayalon who helped convince his peers to participate.
Moreh's documentary is divided into seven segments and includes such controversial topics as the 300 bus incident, the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, and breaking up the Israeli Jewish extremist attempts to blow up the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. For me one of the most interesting portions of the film was when Yaakov Peri, who ran Shin Bet from 1988 to 1994, referred to Palestinian's who had engaged in attacks on Israel as melkhamim. Melkhamim is Hebrew for warriors. All the other former directors referred to Palestinian attackers as terroreest, which, as you can tell, is the transliteration word imported into Hebrew for terrorist. The documentary was excellent and I cannot recommend it highly enough to the SST community. If you're interested in counter-terrorism, intelligence, counterintelligence, and/or the Israeli/Palestinian dispute you need to see it if it is in your area. All six of the former directors interviewed demonstrated significant nuance in regards to their assignments, their adversaries, the problems Israel faces, and the politicians they work for.
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the United States Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Army War College and/or the US Army.
"Despite official U.S. assessments that al Qaeda leadership has been “decimated,” some experts are insisting that the U.S. maintain a heavy military footprint in Afghanistan — a strategy that will cost billions of dollars each year. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently addressed the success of U.S. efforts against al Qaeda, saying “al-Qaeda has been significantly weakened in Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Its most effective leaders are gone. Its command, and control have been degraded, and its safe haven is shrinking….we have decimated core al-Qaeda.” The U.S. must still “finish the job” in Afghanistan, Secretary Panetta added, calling for continued commitment on both military and diplomatic fronts. " Afghanistan Study Group
This is all nonsense. The Afghans are not going to agree to a SOFA that gives US forces legal immunity in their country and that will be the end of it. The Pentagon should start preparing for that event. pl
William Hague has said today Britain will back the Palestinian bid for United Nations observer status if they agree to peace talks with Israel. The UK will abstain from debating the issue at the UN General Assembly as there are no guarantees Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas will negotiate. Express.coDespite official U.S. assessments that al Qaeda leadership has been “decimated,” some experts are insisting that the U.S. maintain a heavy military footprint in Afghanistan — a strategy that will cost billions
So, the US and Israel will vote against non-member 0bserver status for the PA? Why does the US continue with the farce of pretending to be an "honest broker" in this dispute? The soon to be disunited Britain will abstain unless the Palestinians give up a right to press charges against Israel in the international courts? The Palestinians will win the vote in the General assembly and then prefer charges against such as Natanyahu, Barak and Avigdor Lieberman. This will expose these Israelis to extradition action by various member states. Then Israel can be a prison for them in much the same way that Gaza is for the Palestinians. pl
"Fresh clashes broke out in Cairo on Wednesday near Tahrir Square, as riot police fired tear gas and charged at Egyptian protesters angry about a move by President Mohamed Morsy to extend his powers." CNN International
Egypt is on fire again. There were 100,000 anti-Mursi demonstrators in Tahrir square yesterday. The US media is obviously avoiding the subject of the imposition of a tyranny in Egypt. It seems that the revelation of their own naivete two years ago is too much for them to cope with. And then there are the naifs and neocons in the governmenr who still cling to their hopes. pl
"About 14 percent of the 1.4 million troops in the active-duty military are women. About 280,000 women were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. About 150 women died in those two conflicts. Although there may be growing support in the military to opening some jobs in combat units to women, there remains stiff opposition from the infantry, where the physical demands — like walking long distances carrying heavy loads and handling bulky weapons — are most demanding. In a widely circulated article, a female Marine Corps captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan wrote in the Marine Corps Gazette this year that seven months in Afghanistan left her physically broken, with muscle atrophy in her leg and an ovarian condition that left her infertile. “I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females,” the article’s author, Capt. Katie Petronio, wrote. " NY Times
If I recall correctly there is a provision in law aganst womens' service in certain combat specialties in the infantry, armor and SF. If that is so, then congressional repeal of that provision would also be necessary, but since the Congress can be expected to do anything "catchy" that appears popular, well... I think that since these women see this as a civil rights jobs program issue they should be given the chance to "try it on." My only hope about this is that physical standards are not lowered to make this easier. War is an equal opportunity employer. It would be most unfortunate if some of these job seekers literally have to be carried. pl
Nasrallah's televised warning comes just days after a tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the end of Ashura, a religious holiday for Shia Muslims.
“If the confrontation in the Gaza Strip given its blockade included missiles reaching 40 to 70 kilometers [into Israel], then the radius of a battle with us will reach occupied Palestine [Israel] from the Lebanese border to the Jordanian border and the Red Sea,” Nasrallah said, according to the Daily Star.
“From Kiryat Shmona to Eilat,” he continued, in reference to Israel's most northern and southern cities.
Nasrallah has previously warned that it now has an arsenal of weapons that could reach Israel's largest city Tel Aviv." Global Post
Israel and the "Israel Friendly Community" should take this warning seriously."As of 2010[update], the Israeli government believed Hezbollah had an arsenal of more than 15,000 long-range rockets stationed on its border with Lebanon. Some of these missiles were said to be capable of penetrating cities as far away as Eilat." Wiki on Hizbullah
Israel's nightmare ought to be a situation in which war with both HAMAS and Hizbullah ocurs and 20,000 odd artillery rockets and short range ballistic missiles are fired at their population centers, Iron Dome worked reasonably well against HAMAS artillery rockets, but even at the end of hostilities after a week of bombardment by Israel, HAMAS was still firing salvos of rockets at Israeli targets. HAMAS has buried pre-aimed rockets that are very difficult for the Israelis to locate before they are fired.
A war in which both Islamist groups "unloads" the whole inventory at Israel would produce high casualties and much damage in Israel.
Would there be a lot of damage in Lebanon? Yes. Would that deter Hizbullah? No. pl
Natanyahu looks weak. The generally militaristic and nationalist electorate in Israel will make him pay for that in the election. Bibi chose to mobilize for war against HAMAS and then drew back his hand when faced with; Obama, Mursi, the international media and continuing and defiant HAMAS rocket fire out of Gaza. Iron Dome worked but but the fire out of Gaza continued unabated and Israel faced the possibility that Hizbullah might join in the barrage at some point.
The Palestinians in Gaza are celebrating because in the end the Israelis blinked. pl
In this interview Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared a position on Palestinian statehood that is nearly identical to that of his Fatah rival, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview with CNN aired Wednesday.
"I accept a Palestinian state according [to] the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return," the Hamas leader told Christine Amanpour in Cairo.
"After this state is established, it decides its standing toward Israel," the Hamas leader said. JPost
This is much the same thing that Mashall insisted on saying on Charlie Rose's show in 2010. Rose appeared to be unhappy with this and kept questioning Mashall in the apparent hope that he would express some anti-semitic thoughts.
IMO Mashall can say this until his head falls off or is blown off by the "Israel friendly community" and nothing will result. Israel does not want peace with the Palestinians on any sort of basis of equality. The PA has been sufficiently subjugated with money and fear to produce a peace of unequals. HAMAS has not been subjugaed yet. The struggle will continue indefinitely. pl
The "iron dome" anti-rocket defense system appears to have functioned well in the recent Gaza crisis. There remain questions as to whether saturation of the system defense by Hizbullah's massive rocket and missile inventories could occur, and more importantly, does this system work against ballistic missiles. pl