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24 July 2014


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About a year ago our church (Episcopal) had a talk by a Palestinian Arab woman (the mother of our assistant rector--so yes, she was Christian) about her experiences at the time of the Israeli conquest. Her parents sent her to the US to live with an uncle--they stayed and lost everything. Very evocative and very instructive--and she was still quite angry.



I read this an hour ago. Came to bed and am still weeping.


Thank you for a really good article, WP, but I think you are being over pessimistic in your comparison.

The wiping out of the native Americans was done in one country and the rest of the world had absolutely no interest in it.

Gaza is taking place before the eyes of an extremely crowded and - outside America - relatively well-informed world. Social media give the world an extremely close-up and vivid sense of what is happening inside this tiny sliver of land. Levels of information are being delivered to the world inconceivable even ten years ago.

Israel can do what it is doing in Gaza not because it is almighty - which America was with its Indians - but because it has a backer and armorer, America, which once might have been almighty but is these days slithering all over the place trying to get serious allies in the Middle East (and elsewhere).

Whatever the result - and there are some signs this could be lining up as a second '06 - Israel's chances of remaining almighty are lessening by the day.


The Palestinians have most definitely shot themselves in the foot with their lack of media savvy. Perhaps they are learning now. Hamas' cease fire demands are in no way unreasonable but getting that point across to Western population is a challenge to say the least.

Unfortunately for the Palestinians the Arab-Israeli conflict was also sucked into the West vs the Soviet-union with the Arabs seen as on the Soviets side.

People like Sirhan Sirhan have no doubt made it much easier to regard Palestinians as enemies in the West, but they also never had a large group of pro-Palestinian ready for damage control when something went wrong.

As for the future I would go with Bantustan-like reservations. Densely populated and poor. Living at Israeli mercy if you can call it mercy.


Brazil has recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv over Israel's "disproportionate use of force" in its ongoing ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-24/264966-brazil-recalls-ambassador-from-israel-over-gaza-assault.ashx#ixzz38NkozOMQ
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

South American countries are one of the few bright spots for the Palestinians. They are not caught up in the heritage of past politics.

William R. Cumming

Thanks WP! The concept of private and state property [the hunting lands of royalty] has been a driver for Western Civilization as opposed to stewardship or trusteeship of lands for those coming after! Cf. the regard of Native Americans for the land. Exceptions of course such as Inca, Maya, and Aztec!

Exploitation of "owned" lands now poisons the earth and its people.

Like the frog placed in warm water we do not notice the water heats towards boiling.

Seamus Padraig

Good on you, Pat! I am not a big fan of Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood = sectarian), but unlike (modern) Fatah, they at least fight back. Life in Gaza is much harsher in Gaza than on the WB, but at least in Gaza there are no more settlements (legal or otherwise).

By the way, there are still Jewish men and women of conscience left in this world who are standing up to the new holocaust. A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook. Watch this brave, earnest young man--an honorable American Jew--go to Israel and protest against Israeli war crimes. Then watch what the Israeli insecurity (not a typo!) forces do to him:


This is the "middle east's only democracy," as the Zio-heads never tire of telling us. Our hard-earned tax dollars at work!

But that young man makes me truly proud to be an American (hard to do nowadays), and the Jews in this country should be proud to claim him as one of their own.


Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. I believe this has finally set into the real life consciousness of the Palestinians, at least those living in Gaza. I would be beyond surprised if they are not hearing this in the mosques this Ramadan.

Abu Sinan

This is one of the best write ups I have seen on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Thanks!

r whitman

Unlike the Indians, the Palestinians have an opportunity to use "asymetric warfare". The threat closing BG airport is one. The turning of anti-Israel demonstrations in Western Europe into anti-semetic demonstrations is another. Perhaps they will get some clever leadership that will think up ideas to antagonize and delegitimize Israel on the world stage.


Slightly OT, but confirms theories of "tail wagging the heck outta' the dog"...


FB Ali

"Media savviness" is important for their image in the West. But do you think it would make the slightest practical difference in their relations with the West if it had been different?

In the East, on the other hand, the reality counts much more than the image. The atrocious treatment of the Palestinians by Israel, backed by the US, is building up a deep wellspring of anger among Muslims everywhere. Some day a price will have to be paid for it all.

Bantustans?........We shall see (but don't count your chickens......).


A brave post Col.
Many Jews of conscience living outside Israel (and a politically besieged minority in Israel) find themselves deeply conflicted by the wanton acts of destruction to which the world is witness.
Cassandra like, you have always pointed out Bibi's long-term strategic vision as ultimately ruinous for Israel and by proxy, the US. Let's hope Bibi's attempt to fix the 'facts around 'the settlements'is rejected by Israelis who refuse to have a cached policy of expulsion used in defense of their legitimate right to exist in peace with their neighbours.
Btw sir, 100 days since the Chibok kidnapping. The Nigerian govt has declared #bringbackourgirls a subversive group with the power to undermine the govt's ongoing negotiations......smh



I am not WP. pl


They don't have to do that. Israel antagonizing me and others all by themselves! Those f!#*#!'s!

They just bombed a UN school, KNOWING it was a school.



LOL! I was thumbing through some of my old books that past few days and came up Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad by Gordon Thomas. He wrote that "Israel planned to use the tapes as a potent weapon if they found their backs against the wall"


Her family is going to get more company. Ethnic cleansing as humanitarianism. See http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.U9Eeu5sg_q4

This meme is circulating in the social media. The Palestinians have to be "saved" by de-nationalizing them.


I count Europe as responsible too. Israel is vulnerable to economic sanctions in particular from the EU. A simple thing would be a tax on all Israeli goods to the EU to finance the UN expenditures in the occupied territories. Make them pay for every building destroyed.

But our tacit support for the treatment of the Palestinians cannot be separated from our view of them as enemies. And our picture of them as enemies is a historical process.

As for Bantustans... Yes, with the new younger Israeli political leaders like, Naftali Bennett, it could be ethnic cleansing a la 1948 again.


I'm perfectly aware that we in the West create people like Osama bin Ladin with our Israel policies. A policy of big costs and few benefits.

The support for Israel in Europe could be a generational thing, a bit like when the German youth in the 60's started to question their parents and grandparents past.

Charles I

as for the future , you'd go with a monstrous past that didn't work except, I assume to consign many a unreservedly religious overlord's soul to hell?

More empathy and imagination indicated.


Here is a Halakhic ruling from Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba. I have to listen to him every time I visit my niece and her family.

“The Torah of Israel guides us in all walks of life, private and public, on how to behave during war and also how to keep moral standards.
The Maharal from Prague (Rabbi Judah Loew – A.K.), in his book Gur Arye, clearly writes that… in all wars the attacked people are allowed to attack fiercely the people from whom the attackers came from and they do not have to check if he personally belongs to the fighters.
Therefore, during war the attacked people are allowed to punish the enemy population in any punishment it finds worthy, such as denying supplies or electricity and also to bomb the whole area according to the discretion of the army minister and not to just simply endanger soldier’s lives but to take crushing deterrence steps to exterminate the enemy.

In the case of Gaza, the Minister of Defense will be allowed to instruct even the destruction of Gaza so that the south will no longer suffer and to avoid harm to our people who have been suffering for so long from the surrounding enemies.”
Any kind of talk about humanism and consideration are moot when speaking of saving our brothers in the south and in the rest of the country and bringing back quiet to our country.”

This is the current mentality of the settlers but it has also infected the rest of Israeli society, especially the IDF which has drawn an increasing number of its recruits from the settlement communities. In Israel talk of EXTERMINATION has increased dramatically. The parallels between American treatment of Native Americans and reservations is increasingly used in Israel for justification of the end result of the conflict with Palestinians. I think my people are losing their moral compass.

Charles I

I just read a fantastic historical novel A Good Man, part of a western trilogy, by Guy Vanderhaeghe:


The book is in part an account of Sitting Bull's eventual surrender under the aegis of the title character, a Major Walsh who goes Indian and then is shunted to obscurity once the deed is done, as told by a former North West Mounted Policeman intent on making a farming life in 1860's Montana at the end of the Indian Wars, and who serves a conduit for Walsh and American frontier authorities as Washington, Ottawa and London plot the fate of the last free, starving Indians.

Highly recco'ed, as are the others of the Triliogy, The Last Crossing, an account of the Cypress Hills Massacre, and the equally enthralling The Englishman's Boy.

I think a lot of attention is now going to be paid to thinking about how to engage in low cost high leverage economic warfare against Israel.



While I do not disagree with the thrust of WP's post his view of Wounded Knee, is, I think, just wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre
The Seventh Cavalry Regiment, not "troop" lost 25 killed at Wounded Knee and the notion that most of those were lost to friendly fire is just Indian activist propaganda. pl


jdledell: I'm sorry, but they lost their moral compass a long time ago.

And the virus of hate is spreading to our country. See http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/07/christians_united_for_israel_the_most_insanely_pro_israel_conference_of.html

Can you find any "Jesus" in any of this?


3 m ago..."The Israeli military has put out a new statement about the strikes on the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun struck Thursday...



Thanks WP for an insightful post.

There are four significant differences, which augur for history not repeating, but rhyming.

Of greatest importance are antibiotics and inoculations, which have been proposed as the primary cause of the large disappearance of Native American populations, often before outright hostilities commenced.

Second, is asymmetrical warfare including media, with far more global access to information (including critical non-western audiences).

Third, is that Israel's economy is a basket case, continually kept on life support by US economic subsidies, favorable trade, and the strength of the US economy. It is a fair question whether Israel will reap these benefits when the dollar loses its international exchange status - the US will have bigger concerns at that point.

One and three, in my view, mean Palestinians will survive long enough for the dynamic to dramatically change.

Thanks Colonel for the wikipedia link. The parallel in attitudes towards Palestinians is mirrored uncannily with that during the Indian wars - something about human nature that tends to get glossed over in current discourse.

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