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16 July 2014


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"Any “peace” on Israel’s terms means only self-imprisonment and ultimate self-annihilation."

Why won't Abbas say this every day?


Well said, but your hope is futile I think. The lunatics are running the asylum and the kind people have long fled it to pastures safe


This may, in fact, be why Israel probably will not actually invade Gaza with ground forces. It is one thing to face a network of well-fortified bunkers and such (they probably will) but they will be "forced" into massacring (mostly) civilians with their own rifles. This may well break the morale of IDf soldiers. It will certainly break Israel's image worldwide. But bombing Gaza from afar does not require having to come face to face with the ugliness up front and (most of) international media can be kept away while the bombardment is taking place.


Yes well said and I hope for all concerned that the meme changes in the way you discuss in your two last paragraphs. But I am not optimistic, it seems to me that they're now so locked into what they're doing and what they believe that they are incapable of changing course. It seems to me that from now on they will plunge ever further down the nihilistic path of their own destruction. That they would rather see Israel perish than do what is needful to survive and that when they go down that they will do their utmost to drag as many they can into the grave with them. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.


The Twisted Genius

"Never underestimate the spirit, resilience and tenacity of a people who decided they want to be free or just left alone. We may have COIN, shock and awe, and full spectrum dominance; but all that is no guarantee of prevailing in a multigenerational war of liberation."

I made this comment over four years ago to a posting I made of an old paper of mine concerning the Lithuanian resistance to Soviet occupation. The Lithuanians were, quite literally, thrice decimated in their struggle for freedom. The Palestinians will probably surpass this, if they have not done so already, before they attain anything resembling freedom. But make no mistake, they are willing to make this sacrifice to attain their goal. WP has captured this thought well.

My only advice to the Palestinians is to insure that the diaspora includes experts and leaders that will be crucial to building a new Palestinian society once their struggle is won. Many will consider it a humiliation to not sacrifice their lives in the struggle, but that humiliation is the sacrifice that must be made to ensure the new society will bloom in the future. Think of it as saving the seed corn. This is not an original thought. After the last "dust up" in Gaza, I was in contact with a Palestinian hacker of considerable skill. He lamented that perhaps he should stop his IT studies and take up arms in the struggle. His compatriots quickly and vociferously advised him to not take up arms. His skills will be necessary to rebuild a future Palestinian society.


Great analysis WP.

Here is a similar analysis from John Mearsheimer:


His advice to Palestinians towards the end (57:00) is eminently sensible.



I wonder about two things here:

1. How much can change for Palestinians as long as the US continues to see Israel as our child who must be defended and protected as if OUR lives depended on it?

2. Their fellow Muslims and Arabs could have offered the Palestinians refugees permanent refuge and citizenship in their countries long ago but chose not to. Isn't this practical inaction in the face of decades of very fervently professed sympathy and solidarity by their own supporters also very hard to overcome?

I am sick of the status quo and find the whole situation maddening. I would love to see change. But I am uncertain that the world will react as you hope to increasingly desperate acts by the Palestians.

I'd like to hear more from others.


Don't wait for the Israelis to relent. They know perfectly well, as well as anyone on earth with the exception of Palestinians, what they are doing on the ground. They're committed to their stance.

The only population of significance that is uncommitted, and probably somewhat uninformed too, is right here in the US. THAT can be worked on (despite the best efforts of our government and media).


Why should Muslims and Arabs offered the Palestinians refuge? They were/are not homeless.

The Israelis will never be satisfied... they will con't to steal land.


In reply to jerseycityjoan 16 July 2014 at 11:15 PM

I have to echo crone's question. Why, for example, should the Jordanians have to accept what would amount being swamped by another ethnic group in their own country because a hostile and alien culture has violently taken over that group's homeland?

I hope you won't take this as an ad hominem but I've read comments from you here in which you give the strong impression that you are more than a little worried about the effects on American society of the current immigration situation. What Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, in particular would have to accept would be an order of magnitude worse than the situation that's worrying you and without the resources that America has. Put yourself in their shoes and tell us how would you feel about accepting a rapid influx of a couple of million of people from a different (but still North American) culture into your local economy?... What if the entire population of Quebec moved to your state? And did so moreover in a such a state of impoverishment that a hefty proportion of them only possessed a small suitcase worth of clothes? How do you feel about that prospect? - Would you resist it or would you accept them into your home?


Charlie Wilson


I personally don't give a good perspiration inducing shit whether Israel survives or not. Perhaps Highlander, an efficient killing machine, can venture out and put his money where his mouth is

Sir Charles


"Soon the meme will grow that those who suffered the holocaust now are running their own death camp, devoid of human compassion."
This is already a reality and a point of terrible pain for the few dignified souls that care about nobility of Jewish humanistic tradition.
The Israeli populace at large, brainwashed by the ideology of "chosen" and disoriented by the impunity, cannot stop the inhuman policies. The majority of Israelis became banal sadists.
I agree that Israel has been moving towards self-annihilation due to moral decline.



"Their fellow Muslims and Arabs could have offered the Palestinians refugees permanent refuge and citizenship in their countries long ago..."

The Europeans could have given up part of thier countries to create a homeland for the "Jewish People" to atone for the Holocaust. Instead they chose to give up Palestine.


Last week I asked: Is Hamas so stupid to throw futile rockets at GoI knowing they are going to draw F-16 reprisals?

That question drew the ire of Mr. Lang, who labelled me a "hasbarist" for asking it. But it also drew a number of very thoughtful responses. I think most of those responses are wrapped up in this article.

The idea, as I understand it, is to provoke GoI to the point they will kill Palestinian children, who are then photographed and shown to the world. Like the children butchered on the beach:


The world absolutely has to hold the Israelis responsible for this kiddie-carnage, and for decades of brutal apartheid. And I stand with the Palestinians on that.

But the Americans are complicit by their blind support of GoI as well. (The 155 rounds I see are all marked in English, BTW. I'm not sure what that tells us.) America has been funding this travesty big-time from the beginning, and the volume must be turned up on Congress' role in this travesty.

But if it is the policy or strategy of Hamas to bait the Israelis so that they will kill Palestinian children for photo-ops, then, I'm sorry, I can't support that. Intentionally making martyrs of children is where I draw the line. There has to be a better way to turn the world against the creeping cancer of Zionism.

ex-PFC Chuck

Thanks for the very pertinent and penetrating essay. I'm curious as to who or what "WP" is. I didn't find this on the Washington Post site when I looked for it there and, frankly, although I don't read that paper's website often, I find it hard to believe that the new meme has penetrated that institution enough to induce them to publish something like this.

Also the initials "WP" didn't jump out at me as being ones I see on this website except as the first two initials of our host. Was this written by you, Col.?


Denis: Your point is legitimate, but allowing children to play outside is not using them as "bait."

As I've written, Israel wants to maintain the siege until the Strip becomes uninhabitable, so that Israel gets the result (ethnic cleansing) with having to kill Palestinians directly.

When the Palestinians die quietly, they are quickly forgotten. When Israeli snipers shoot children scavenging for scrap metal inside Gaza, the USG does nothing. When Palestinians fire rockets at Israel, the world pays attention. That is the real moral calculus.

And after one week of slaughter Western politicians begin to feel guilty. See http://forward.com/articles/202263/british-deputy-prime-minister-nick-clegg-blasts-is/?


Israeli doesn't need to Hamas to tempt them. They do what they wish, anywhere they wish!

They need to be stopped in their tracks! How?


Bill H

FWIW I used the trackback link on my blog when I linked to this excellent piece, and got an error message that trackbacks are blocked in typepad.



How Israel came to be is in the past. The evils that brought it about are obvious and manifest. Those evils have occurred and cannot be erased or changed. We do not now need to continue to make points discussing them to death. I focus here on the present and future possibilities and likely outcomes.

The reality today is that Israel was formed from the territory of a people who no one wants to absorb into their own state and who now live in a prison state, controlled by a people who few like and many hate, but to whom many in the outside world have a deep loyalty. Many view the Israelis as monsters while others view the Israelis as beloved allies against the terrorist hoards. Many view the Palestinians as terrorists and sub-humans who are not entitled to any real rights. Others view the Palestinians as the ultimate victims. All of these views have foundation in fact.

The situation is simply untenable and will not last.

For more than seven decades, the world has stumbled without finding a solution. I am an old guy and the headline of the newspaper on the day I was born featured battles between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The fact that this struggle continues without resolution is proof of a major failure of imagination and leadership skills worldwide. This thing does not need to go on for more generations.

There are historical examples of similar, intractable crises being mitigated or solved: Northern Ireland, American slavery-segregation. and South African Apartheid. In each of those cases, people of wisdom, acting on both sides of the issue, found new memes that allowed reconciliation. Internal memes rarely change the actuality. It is the external meme that forces change. In these cases, the top group was ultimately corrected when a large group outside the affected region and in the greater world simply decided that the dominant group’s conduct would not continue. In each case, the new meme developed outside of the polity of the dominant group and destroyed the dominant group’s ability to continue as before.

Many commenters have correctly stated that the Israelis are set in their ways and that they know what they are doing. I and others have focused upon the desperation of the Palestinians that draws in children as soldierly sacrifices. I view the Israelis and the Palestinians as victims of the world’s failures in need of help.

I do not view Israel as being successful in controlling the meme much longer. Israel cannot control the developing meme because its ruling elite and many of its people are blind to see how its aggression is viewed from the outside. A reading of the comments in the Israeli press graphically demonstrates the viciousness of the internal meme against the Palestinians by the Israelis.

The tacit knowledge is growing that the Palestinians became terrorists, not because of some character or cultural defect, but out of simple desperation because of their impotence. The cognitive dissonance against the long- prevailing world meme favoring Israel as David against the terrorists is becoming so obvious that it cannot be longer ignored. Israeli bombing of innocents just proves Palestinian impotence and accelerates the break toward a new meme.

Israel is a dependent country. It cannot survive without the largess and support of Europe and the U.S. Europe and the U.S. actually have the power, quickly to stop the disintegration simply by stopping the flow of money and military support and demanding the initiation of a western managed reconciliation process. Those who would propose such are deemed to be Anti-Semitic and enemies of Israel. On the contrary, true friends of Israel can see that support of Israel’s current policies will ultimately doom it.

The theme of the developing meme is that Israel needs to be saved from itself.

Memes always control, not policies.



I am not Col. Lang. I am an observer of life and politics who has been commenting on this blog for many years. I am a civilian who is not associated with the military or the intelligence community.

Thanks for the compliments! I always hope what I write will help somehow.


Only a few children were killed on the beach. Many have been killed in their homes. So far, I have not observed Hamas intentionally placing innocents in the line of fire. However, the rockets do invite bombing of homes where children do live. The Gazians have not developed their will sufficiently yet. They run and evacuate when Israel threatens bombing.

If the Gazians were to decide to flood the areas Israel demands to be evacuated for bombing with a hundred thousand women and children sitting and dancing in the street, that would be a real statement. I witnessed and participated in sit-in during the late 1960s. A well videoed, very peaceful sit-in is a powerful weapon for change. The best weapons are words, thoughts, feelings, and non-violent physical courage, not those propelled by explosives.

System change is always a balance between will and fear, coupled with information. We will see where the wills and fears are in action.

Seamus Padraig

Because Abbas--or, as I call him, Mini-Mubarak--is basically Israel's puppet.

Charles I

Thanks for this, I'll be sending it around.

How does one save a nuclear armed true believer? Whose many fervent Christian supporters' sacred texts ordain Armageddon?

Babak Makkinejad


I just do not think that the state of Israel is suicidal or is taking that route.

They are supreme Realists: they know that they have been in a permanent state of war and like the denizens of the legendary Fort Apache, they have to send punitive expeditions every once is a while.

Expecting the demise of that state is wishful thinking, just like so many Arabs looking for another Saladin.

Israelis can continue in this fashion for decades, they will change only if they lose the support of American people.

Not like any time soon, in my opinion.

Charles I

It could be argued the Holocaust was a prerequisite to the establishment of a Jewish State. Now its destruction is the religious conviction of many of its most ferevent supporters. While inducing it was not a Zionist tactic,(tho I just assume there are Nazis out there who hold the very thing) the sequelae have been adeptly used for political purposes conducive to the maintenance and unfettered expansion of the democratic miracle in the desert.

History is to learn from, not just repeat. There are gruesome existential lessons abounding that could apply to particular circumstances with a terrible irony, perhaps revealing the joke and changing the meme.

In my moral universe, just war legal collateral damage and all, I draw the line with the one who pulls the trigger aimed at a child trapped in its own miserable home, and stand with the child against the intentional moral agents - the killers.

Martyrdom is a sequelae of the murder, not the cause of it.

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