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How Gaza Changes the Game

A ceasefire may be imminent, but the fallout is just beginning. What’s next for Iran, Egypt, and the U.S.

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Seven days ago, Israel embarked on Operation Pillar of Defense, the second time it’s gone to war against Hamas in the past four years. The proximate cause of this campaign, according to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, was “the incessant rounds of artillery rockets and mortars into the heart of our southern communities.” But that rationale was surely coupled with a build-up in Hamas’ weapons arsenal—including the Iranian-made Fajr-5 missile, capable of striking Tel Aviv, and Kornet anti-tank missiles, one of which was fired on an IDF jeep and injured four soldiers on Nov. 10.

But as with all conflicts in the Middle East, this confrontation is not limited to the two actors currently exchanging fire. It will shape the strategic position of a host of regional and international actors, most dramatically Egypt, the United States, and Iran. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrival yesterday in Jerusalem (she will also be visiting Ramallah and Cairo) for ceasefire talks marks a very delicate and perhaps dangerous phase of this war.

Will the secretary of state be able to take Israel’s winning military campaign and turn it into a diplomatic triumph for Washington and Jerusalem at the expense of Hamas and Iran? Successful negotiations would also convince a reluctant Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi that his long-term interests are best served by staying close to the United States rather than Hamas. Perhaps no one is watching Clinton and the course of the Israeli campaign more closely than those in Tehran. With rumors of bilateral talks with Washington over their nuclear arms program, the Iranians want to see how the Americans deal with their Israeli ally and negotiate under pressure.

No matter what happens in the next few days, though, Operation Pillar of Defense has rearranged the Middle East game board. Here’s how it looks right now—and how the dynamics might look in the coming months as Iran continues to march toward nuclear weapons.

Israel

If deterrence seems like a short-term fix to those in search of a permanent solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the reality is that most of Israel’s wars, like most conflicts in the Middle East, are duct-tape wars: There are few permanent solutions in the region, merely readjustments to the status quo. That may prove dissatisfying to some, but it’s far preferable to the 900 rockets and missiles that Hamas has rained down on Israelis over the past year.

Israel has already accomplished two of its main goals: killing several of Hamas’ top military officials, and degrading the Islamic Resistance’s arsenal of long-range missiles, including the Fajr-5. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has no interest in occupying Gaza or uprooting Hamas. Some Israeli officials fear that with Hamas gone, the even more extreme Salafist movement would come to rule Gaza. What Jerusalem wants is to prevent Hamas from renewing hostilities anytime soon, and the IDF looks like it may well accomplish that without sending the 30,000 troops currently poised on the Gaza border. Israel cannot stop its campaign until it is certain to have the same quiet on its southern border that it has enjoyed on its northern frontier since the 2006 war with Hezbollah.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the current campaign is the relative lack of international criticism of Netanyahu, a world leader unloved by his peers. Given that Israel is typically the target of international opprobrium, the silence is hard to explain. Some are speculating that Netanyahu may have paved the way for Pillar of Defense, beginning last month when a factory in Khartoum was bombed. Israel was widely credited for bombing the site, which was said to serve as an Iranian weapons depot, though Jerusalem has avoided comment. Some experts have argued that Pillar of Defense might best be seen as the second stage of a two-part operation against Hamas that began in the Sudanese capital. Perhaps Netanyahu took the evidence gathered in Khartoum to European leaders and the Obama Administration to make sure that no one was going to be surprised by this current operation in Gaza—and so they understood that the larger target was Iran.

Hamas

It’s not clear why Hamas chose to escalate at present. Perhaps there are intra-Palestinian issues that forced its hand, like Mahmoud Abbas’ upcoming trip to the U.N. General Assembly later this month when he intends to once again push for Palestinian statehood; Hamas may have simply wanted to remind Abbas (and others) that it is they who truly represent the Palestinians since they fight and die for the cause. There are also regional factors. The Iranians may have sought to change the conversation from their nuclear weapons program by having Hamas wage war against Israel. Finally, there are ideological reasons: An anti-Zionist resistance movement has to fight Israel.

Whatever the cause, the result seems clear: In stepping up its attacks against Israel, Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement overreached badly. Clinton must avoid the temptation to give Hamas a fig leaf, like lifting the six-year-long blockade of Gaza, which would allow them to portray this confrontation as a win. That’s not just for the sake of U.S. and Israeli prestige, but also to show Hamas that it must pay a price for putting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in a compromising situation.

After honor, what Hamas wants most right now is money. The emir of Qatar pledged $400 million for construction projects in Gaza last month, but this will do little to turn around an economy that is effectively shut off from the rest of the world. Though often blamed for Gaza’s crippled economy, the Israeli blockade is only one side of the problem. The other is that the Egyptian army has started to close down the smuggling tunnels to the Sinai that serve as a major source of income for Gazan entrepreneurs.

Paradoxically, the army under Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government has been more active in closing down tunnels than Hosni Mubarak’s military ever was. After a jihadist group in the Sinai killed 16 Egyptian border guards in August, the army realized that with the flow of materials going back and forth between Sinai and Gaza Egyptian national security was at stake—and so were their lives. When the army moved to close tunnels, they inadvertently sent the Gazan economy into a tailspin. The current exchange with Israel might be considered in part as a sort of fundraising drive: The longer Hamas can drag the conflict out, the better chance they have at eliciting donations from Gulf patrons.

Still, money won’t solve the organization’s structural problems. Ever since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad started, Hamas, whose political bureau was based in Damascus until last year, has been in trouble. They couldn’t very well side with a regime killing their Sunni brothers, but to go against Damascus meant alienating Iran, which supplies the group with the weapons it needs to wage resistance against Israel. That left Cairo as a possible patron. To be sure, an Egypt led by the Brotherhood is a more natural fit for Hamas than the foundering Alawite regime in Syria. But Egypt has its own interests, like staying out of a war with Israel, at least for the present, and not being publicly embarrassed when it doesn’t enter a war it can’t afford. Trying to ride Cairo for political clout while at the same time depending on Tehran for weapons was bound to get Hamas in a jam.

Egypt

It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are blood relatives, sharing ideology and the larger strategic goal of destroying Israel. To lend real clout to Hamas, Morsi’s big move would be to threaten to trash the peace treaty with Israel. But he can’t play that card since 1) Egypt sorely needs financial support from the United States and Europe; and 2) the Egyptian army would likely move against him if he jeopardized the supply of American arms and cash flow that it lives on.

Morsi’s domestic rivals to the right, the Salafists, must enjoy seeing him twisting in the wind, not able to make war or broker peace. It’s unclear what kind of a compromise he can sell Hamas, especially now that Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has named a price—end of the blockade—that Israel won’t pay.

And so Morsi’s prestige is on the line, even if he has been somewhat insulated by news of a domestic tragedy in which 49 Egyptian schoolchildren were hit by an oncoming train. If the Gaza war is still hot when Egyptians turn their attention away from this horrific story, he will have to manage large parts of a population questioning whether he, like his predecessor, is simply an American and Israeli stooge.

The Brotherhood is likely incensed that Hamas put them in this position, subject to ridicule and criticism from regional rivals. On Monday, Hassan Nasrallah described Egypt much the way he did when Mubarak was in charge. “What is asked from the Arab countries is to help and arm Gaza, rather than working as mediators between the [Palestinians] and the Israeli enemy,” said Hezbollah’s general secretary.

As many Egyptian journalists have remarked, the reality is that Morsi’s key interests are virtually identical to Mubarak’s—among others, maintaining stability in the Sinai, observing the peace treaty, and keeping Gaza quiet. Unlike Mubarak, the Brotherhood was elected, in no small part because of its historical reputation for repudiating the West. Morsi’s weakness hurts the Brotherhood not only with its Salafist rivals, but also in the larger regional competition with Iran for the hearts and minds of the umma.

The United States

Clinton’s visit to the region reminds all the regional players why the United States is, at least in the Middle East, the indispensable nation. The secretary of state’s trip could reap significant dividends for U.S. policy. Or it could misfire badly.

So far, the Obama Administration has been very generous in its support of Israel, and it likely earned Netanyahu some good will that he embarked on his campaign after the president was re-elected. But warm feelings can evaporate very quickly, as we saw during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war when Condoleezza Rice won control of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Rice wasn’t entirely wrong to be angry with the Olmert government, which proved incapable of meeting its stated war aims, like disarming Hezbollah and freeing the IDF soldiers that the Lebanese outfit had taken hostage.

In contrast, Netanyahu’s handling of this conflict has been the model of competence—at least so far—and may allow Clinton to build on the groundwork laid in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. It was then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s massive air lifts to Israel that proved to the Arabs they were incapable of driving the Jews into the sea, and that they had to come through Washington to deal with the Israelis. What the United States wants in exchange from the Arabs has changed over the years, and right now what Washington needs most in the eastern Mediterranean is a stable Egypt, meaning a compliant Morsi who understands the region is safer when it is he, and not Israel, who keeps Hamas in line. With some luck and some skill, Clinton may well leave the region with just that, which would be a big win for the administration and U.S. policy in general.

Iran

It is important to see this entire campaign in its second dimension—that is, in terms of how it reflects and illuminates the Iran issue. The Iranians are watching carefully, noting Israel’s ability to target Iranian missiles and Hamas militants who trained in Iran. Iron Dome’s 90 percent success rate in destroying short-range missiles destined for populated or security-sensitive areas will surely affect how the Iranians plan to react in the event of an Israeli or American attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. If Iron Dome limits both Hamas and Hezbollah in their future missile campaigns against Israel, then Iran will have to spend other, likely costlier, resources to target Israelis.

But perhaps most important, the Iranians are watching to see if there are any signs of daylight between the United States and Israel. With all the talk of the administration offering a grand bargain to the Iranians, the question that the regime most wants answered is whether or not Obama will restrain the Israelis. To date, Washington and Jerusalem’s coordination has painted a picture that is likely to keep Tehran guessing. So far, the message from Operation Pillar of Defense is that the Israelis will act on their own—and have the support of the United States, which does the diplomatic and political mop-up after the damage is done. That’s the kind of strong message that might even convince the Iranians, fearful of America’s effective ally, to enter direct talks with the administration.

***

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Bibi and Bill Kristol made some of the biggest blazing boo boos of this still young century.

Binyamin says:

The world according to Mr. Lee sure is nice for Israel.
It’s a delusion. You are drinking Likud kool-aid. Hamas will emerge within a year’s time with a resounding victory. Here’s how:
1. Israel will not be able to achieve its stated objective of permanently stopping all rocket fire from Gaza.
2. The rockets have persisted for over a decade now and will have even more support within Gaza and the West Bank. As a symbol of Palestinian resistance, they will continue for another decade, it there is no comprehensive peace.
3. There will be a ceasefire, but a few weeks (or days) after, a few pea-shooters will be fired at Sderot, and the world will know Hamas has not been defeated.
4. Abbas will come to the UN on Nov. 29 and the General Assembly will vote to admit Palestine as a non-state member. His plea will seem strong — I am the last chance for a two-state solution. It’s me or Hamas. Make your choice, America.
5. America will, because of the pro-Israel lobby, effectively choose Hamas by opposing the GA resolution. Israel will elect an even more rightist government in January. Abbas will offer to go back to negotiations on condition that while the talks are underway, no new settlement expansion be permitted. The U.S. will fail to support this reasonable demand, and there will be no talks.
6. The PA will die of economic starvation by the summer, but no one will notice because of Israel’s attack on Iran.
7. Post-Iran, Israel will be a bi-national state without either the puppet regime in Ramallah or the fig-leaf of the Iran threat.
8. Hamas will be the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as was the PLO before it.

One thing is lacking in this article. Namely that the apprentice sorcerer in foreign policies, Obama threw a 30 years ally of the USA under the bus. This resulted in The Muslim Brotherhood to take over in Egypt with Morsi as President. The administration calls the Brotherhood falsely “Moderate” while it is everything but moderate. It’s political theory: Use every opportunity to advance toward the world wide Caliphate and never make a move endangering this ultimate goal by moving too fast. Hamas is the progeniture of the Brotherhood. Of course for Hamas it is the right time to strike Israel with missiles because of who controls Egypt and the supply line from Sudan and Libya is now for intent and purposes open. The missile rain did not start now. It went on for the last 6, 7 years in dribbles aimed with schools schedules. It has increased both in number and in coverage of Israel’s cities. “The poor people of Gaza” is now heard more and more to stop Israel from defending itself to give Hamas the right to claim victory like Hitzbollah did previously. Notice how Hitzbollah’s vast arsenal of missiles is like a non existent arsenal at this time.

Throwing Mubarak under the bus was received by Islamists world wide with a sigh of relief. Their march toward the world wide Caliphate was restarted in fact by Obama. Israel is the first stumbling block in the way of that march. “The good thinking people“ of the West feeling sorry for “The poor people of Gaza” are the unknowing helper of the world conquest by the religion of peace. One thing is lacking in this article. Namely that the apprentice sorcerer in foreign policies, Obama threw a 30 years ally of the USA under the bus. This resulted in The Muslim Brotherhood to take over in Egypt with Morsi as President. The administration calls the Brotherhood falsely “Moderate” while it is everything but moderate. It’s political theory is use every opportunity to advance toward the world wide Caliphate and never make a move endangering this ultimate goal by moving too fast. Hams is the progeniture of the Brotherhood. Of course for Hamas it is the right time to strike Israel with missiles because who controls Egypt and the supply line from Sudan and Libya is now for intent and purposes open. The missile rain did not start now. It went on for the last 6, 7 years in dribbles aimed with schools schedules. It has increased both in number and in coverage of Israel’s cities. “The poor people of Gaza” is now heard more and more to stop Israel from defending itself to give Hamas the right to claim victory like Hitzbollah did previously. Notice how Hitzbollah’s vast arsenal of missiles is like a non existent arsenal at this time.

Throwing Mubarak under the bus was received by Islamists world wide with a sigh of relief. Their march toward the world wide Caliphate was restarted by Obama. Israel is the first stumbling block in the way of that march. The good thinking people of the west feeling sorry for “The poor people of Gaza” are the unknowing helper of the world conquest by the religion of peace.

Abu_Zibby says:

“A resounding victory”. Right, like Hizbullah. Their Sheikh Nasrallah has turned into an earth worm.

federbender says:

Enough with “under the bus.” This seems to be a standard phrase used by anti-Obama partisans. Some independent, original thinking, please.

federbender says:

I can’t help thinking about the old story about a boy explaining to his principal how a fight started. “It all began when he hit me back.” It may have been a joke, but apparently there are people who think that way.

PhillipNagle says:

The so called Palestinians, whether Hamas or the PLO, have made it clear, their long term goal is the destruction of Israel. Short term surgical strikes only buy some for Israel. Until Israel realizes that it is in a fight to the death, it will never achieve peace.

Great! I like your idea. What do you propose instead? I propose “Got rid of a dependable ally of the USA and enemy of Islamists.” I think you will like this one. I think you are right on the money. “Under the bus is not descriptive enough.

No real Jew can ignore “The 1967 line” horror as a precondition to any negotiation that excludes purposefully Jerusalem from Israel. Would Jews from then on during the Seder have to say “Next year in Al Qudz?”

Binyamin says:

Don’t take the goyim for fools, Poupic. It’s East Jerusalem they want as their capital. Abbas and the PA are just fine with the Knesset (and the Kotel) staying where it is.

Israel’s pummeling of Gaza is not killing Hamas. It is killing Abbas and any hope for two states.

Prayers for the Holy Land and Middle East in the coming hours and days. Take note all…Violence is not innate.

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

- Malachi 4:6

Barukh Aatah Adonai…

ייתכן שאתה להתפשט החופה של שלום ירושלים ארץ הקודש, כל האנושות.

Zionist lies, ho-hum. The Brotherhood is a secular movement made up of physicians, attorneys and teachers. Morsi was elected and the evil despot is gone for good.

The so-called Jews are wearing on everyone’s nerves. Until America realizes Israel is killing her – the Zionists will dance the hora on all our graves.

Poupic says:

Is this your comedy act? The Brotherhood is what? A secular movement? I almost choked laughing so hard reading this comedy. You are good! Maybe you should try this on David Letterman.

Don’t think Abbas ever wanted a 2-state solution. If he did, all he had to do is say so, with no preconditions. Not interested in Abbas and his facists being fine with the Kotel, which I don’t believe is true. We Jews don’t need anyone to be fine with our being in possession with what belongs to us.

Don’t think Abbas ever wanted a 2-state solution. If he did, all he had to do is say so, with no preconditions. Not interested in Abbas and his facists being fine with the Kotel, which I don’t believe is true. We Jews don’t need anyone to be fine with our being in possession with what belongs to us.

Spoken like a true Nazi. Let me guess, you were just about to go on about the blood libel, right?

Spoken like a true Nazi. Let me guess, you were just about to go on about the blood libel, right?

you seem to think israel is purely defensive in this latest spat, and not provocative, in support of an agenda.

The blockade of Gaza has been a failure of many dimensions, it should end. A tunnel economy based on smuggled foods, goods and it’s taxation by Hamas has facilitated the smuggling of weapons in the tunnels maintained by that economy.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/demographic_duo/item/israeli_math_argues_for_an_end_to_gaza_blockade

Jerusalem Center says:

Hamas views each round of armed conflict with Israel as a stage in a long-term war of attrition. Hamas leaders hope the increasingly severe and violent outbreaks will eventually erode Israel’s resilience, while goading the masses toward the emergence of a united military front for the liberation of Palestine. For this reason, the ceasefire agreement must be viewed in its proper context.

http://jcpa.org/article/the-long-term-implications-of-the-israel-hamas-clash/

Binyamin says:

I wrote this before the cease fire. I said “a year’s time” for Hamas victory. I should have said a day. Can anyone doubt they have gained tremendous international legitimacy? Israel itself has recognized it by negotiating with them.

God I love when Jews play the Nazi card when in fact they are as bad if not worse in killing others. Gaza=Concentration camp Nightly raids into homes? = Gestapo. The world is not ignorant to your ploys.

Plumbline says:

God has titled the Land and Jerusalem to Israel……..Period………

…..Jeremiah 30:3……For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’”……….
1 Chronicles 23:25……….For David said, “The LORD God of Israel has given rest to His people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever”;

Natan79 says:

Do you have a personal picture you can send me? It would be useful for target practice in the IDF. I like practicing on pictures of people who want Jews dead, like yourself.

Natan79 says:

Fuck you anti-Semite. May you die soon.

normbnm says:

Mr. Smith, I would not count on Mrs. Clinton nor the American government as to negotiations with Iran. Iran, The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and many other Arab countries have done the same as Hitler did in the 1930′s, clearly state what their desire is. For Hitler their was no country of Israel but their where Jews. Hitler told us in a book and Iran, Hamas and The Muslim Brotherhood have told us over TV, radio and print. The world choose to not believe or ignore Hitler’s words and now is repeating history again. Look how similar conditions are in the world today compared to the early half of the last century. Can we fail again to ignore these words and actions as we did back then. Many learned people wrote articles of what was happening then and that the only way out was for people to see how connected we all are and that the events in one area will reach the whole world. Many people today are repeating the same warnings, if all of us don’t see how we need to treat each other with Mutual Respect and Responsibility to do good for all and not the few, to change education to include how we act towards each other and that we are a inter-connected society around the world and start now, then we don’t have to wonder what the future will bring just look at the past. As long as we continue to look at others with anger and hate in ourselves we cannot see anything good and constructive in others. If somehow we can step back from our EGO’s and stop disseminating hate and anger we can see the good in others and start to realize we can change our society to one that see’s the worth of every person. Of course it will be hard to accomplish but we are running out of time and choices not too.

Roger S says:

Nobody wants Jews dead. We just want Jews to understand that the indigeneous people have as much right, if not more, to the land that is called Israel. These people have been living here for millenia. How dare you usurp their land and deprive them of their rights! Like it or not you are a European and Palestine can be your home only when you accept that Arabs are entitled to the same rights as you…period

Roger S says:

It doesn’t belong to you. you stole it dude. Once you admit that, then the real negotiations can begin.

Jacob Arnon says:

They gained no legitimacy.

They were and still are a terrorist organization.

The Chicago police negotiated with the al Capone gang once. Doesn’t mean they were legitimized.

Jacob Arnon says:

Binyamin is a leftist antisemite who can speak in cliches.

Any man who believes in this contradictory assumptions is an ignorant idiot.

“7 Post-Iran, Israel will be a bi-national state without either the puppet regime in Ramallah or the fig-leaf of the Iran threat.
8. Hamas will be the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as was the PLO before it.”

Hamas as the leader of the Arabs in “Palestine” will never agree to a bi- national State. They want an Arab Muslim State with them in charge that is their end game and no government in Israel will agree to that.

Are you daft or do you really believe your own propaganda.

The one who keeps drinking Kool aid is you so called “bin-yamin.” Your name is probably ibn-ya-mean the Jew hater.

JehudahBenIsrael says:

Hamas:

Mahmoud Al Zahar reveals Hamas’ genocidal agenda – shocking! – YouTube

obadiah_edomite says:

The blockade is an instrument, not an end in itself. By lifting the blockade, Israel can distract from new Settlements that are established at the same time. Then, when Hamas acts up again, the blockade can be re-imposed, and there will be justification for new Settlements.

Pam Green says:

Where are Tablet’s editors? Why isn’t such brazen anti-Semitism barred from this site?

Pam Green says:

The Jews are indigenous! Learn your history!

Roger S says:

Really MS. PAM GREEN. Can you tell us what the indigeneous Jewish population of Palestine was prior to the modern Zionist Movement? Can you really say with a straight face that Palestine was not ethnically cleansed of 80% of it’s indigenous Arab population? And if it was politically feasable, that Israel would not try to cleanse the other 20%. I know the history of modern Israel quite well. The question is do you? Or do you make yourself feel better by clinging to old Zionist myths. Here are but a few quotes to refresh your memory. But I’m sure you’ll just dimiss them as lies and propoganda.

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as
many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements
because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don’t grab will
go to them.” Ariel Sharon 15 November 1998.)

“Let us not
ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they
defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we
want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from
them their country.” — David Ben Gurion, pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful
Triangle,

Simha Flapan’s
“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one
has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.”
– Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News
Online

“I imagine
that if I were a Palestinian of the right age, I would, at some stage, have joined
one of the terror organizations.” — Ehud Barak’s response to Gideon Levy,
a columnist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have
done if he had been born a Palestinian.

In July 2006,
Israelis including Binyamin Netanyahu attended a 60th anniversary celebration,
organized by the Menachem Begin Centre, of the King David Hotel bombing. The
British Ambassador in Tel Aviv and the Consul-General in Jerusalem complained,
saying “We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which
led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”.

“The
settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement,
we will not fulfill Zionism. It’s that simple.” — Yitzhak Shamir, Maariv,
02/21/1997.

“This
country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be
ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.” — Golda Meir, Le
Monde, 15 October 1971

“(The
Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the
boulders and walls.” — Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak
Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988.

ALL decent people
have the right(and DUTY)to resist the theft and OCCUPATION of their land.
Palestine was wiped off the map by Zionist jews and yet the jews are the ones
protesting the Palesinians’ right of a homeland. Here is a quote from the
founder of Israel that illustrates what kind of people Israelis truly are:

Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldman (one of the prominent Zionists leaders) before he
died:

“I don’t understand your optimism.,” Ben-Gurion declared. “Why
should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms
with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised
it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come
from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them?
There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their
fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why
should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’
time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it’s simple: we have to stay
strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the
Arabs will wipes us out”.

Ben Gurion was stupid enough to think that the Palestinains would
“forget” their country in one or two generations – they will NEVER
FORGET and will continue to fight APARTHEID until Israel goes the way of South
Africa.

What Israel is doing, with the help of
the United States, of course, mirrors the treatment of the American Indians. Take
their land, kill them, and shuttle the rest to reservations – like Gaza. Make
promises never intended to be kept. Keep squeezing the savages until they are
in abject helplessness. Then forget about the whole nasty business.

Pam Green says:

Quoting classic anti-Semites i.e. Chomsky, the BBC, the NYT? Laughable!

LouAdams says:

See if you understand this! Had did those 3,000 year old Jewish cemeteries and religious sites get build by the Muslims?

LouAdams says:

the real Jew haters have always done their homework, from the sites that take Jew’s words out of context and make up the rest. Tell me Frau green, do you have real quotes from the nazi allies who are all about another Shoah? Plenty exist if you are about justice, why have you neglected balance in your post?

LouAdams says:

Jerusalem was ethnically cleansed of it’s Jewish majority by the Arabs in 1948. Ignorance dude, complete ignorance

LouAdams says:

you forget the nazis and the arabs were allies. If things are so bad in gaza how do you explain the 100′s of millionaires and the mansions and the exotic cars. Even the UN has said that gaza is not starving. I love it when racist attempt to justify being nazi propagandists who are still using out dated documented lies.

Roger S says:

Those old Jewish cemeteries and religious sites were built by Palestines Jewish inhabitants who are today the Muslim Arab of Palestine. The Jews of Palestine never left after the Roman destruction of the Temple. They continued to live there and to farm in Palestine under Roman rule and then Byzantine. They gradually converted to Christianity. After 638 CE all but 10 percent gradually converted to Islam. The present-day Palestinians are the descendants
of the ancient Jews and have every right to live where their ancestors have lived for centuries.

Roger S says:

You live in an echo chamber. you are incapable or unwilling to see any other view point that is different than your own. You add nothing to the discussion. You are part of the problem. Not the solution. Please go away.

Roger S says:

You want to talk about Jerusalem….I’ll give you 10 reasons why Jerusalem doesn’t belong to Jewish Israelis.

1.
In international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory, as are the parts of the West Bank that Israel unilaterally annexed to its district of Jerusalem. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and
the Hague Regulations of 1907 forbid occupying powers to alter the lifeways of civilians who are occupied, and forbid the
settling of people from the occupiers’ country in the occupied territory. Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, its usurpation of Palestinian property there, and its settling of Israelis on Palestinian land are all gross violations of international law. Israeli claims that they are not occupying Palestinians because the Palestinians have no state are cruel and tautological. Israeli claims that they are building on empty territory are laughable. My back yard is empty, but that does not give
Netanyahu the right to put up an apartment complex on it.

2. Israeli governments have not in fact been united or consistent about what to do with East Jerusalem and the West Bank, contrary to what Netanyahu says. The Galili Plan for settlements in the West Bank was adopted only in 1973. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave undertakings as part of the Oslo Peace Process to withdraw from Palestinian territory and grant Palestinians a state, promises
for which he was assassinated by the Israeli far right (elements of which are now supporting Netanyahu’s government). As late as 2000, then Prime Minister Ehud Barak claims that he gave oral assurances that Palestinians could have almost all of the West Bank and could have some arrangement by which East Jerusalem could be its capital. Netanyahu tried to give the impression that far
rightwing Likud policy on East Jerusalem and the West Bank has been shared by all previous Israeli governments, but this is simply not true.

3. Romantic nationalism imagines a “people” as eternal and as having an eternal connection with a specific piece of land. This way of thinking is fantastic and mythological. Peoples are formed and change and sometimes cease to be, though they might have descendants who abandoned that religion or ethnicity or language. Human beings have moved all around and are not directly tied to any territory in an exclusive way, since many groups have lived on most
pieces of land. Jerusalem was not founded by Jews, i.e. adherents of the Jewish religion. It was founded between 3000 BCE and 2600 BCE by a West Semitic people or possibly the Canaanites, the common ancestors of Palestinians, Lebanese, many Syrians and Jordanians, and many Jews. But when it was founded Jews did
not exist.

4. Jerusalem was founded in honor of the ancient god Shalem. It does not mean City of Peace but rather ‘built-up place of Shalem.”

5. The “Jewish people” were not building Jerusalem 3000 years ago,
i.e. 1000 BCE. First of all, it is not clear when exactly Judaism as a religion centered on the worship of the one God took firm form. It appears to have been a late development since no evidence of worship of anything but ordinary Canaanite deities has been found in archeological sites through 1000 BCE. There was no invasion of geographical Palestine from Egypt by former slaves in the 1200s BCE. The pyramids had been built much earlier and had not used slave labor. The chronicle of the events of the reign of Ramses II on the wall in Luxor does not know about any major slave revolts or flights by same into the Sinai peninsula. Egyptian sources never heard of Moses or the 12 plagues & etc. Jews and Judaism emerged from a certain social class of Canaanites over a period of centuries inside Palestine.

6. Jerusalem not only was not being built by the likely then non-existent “Jewish people” in 1000 BCE, but Jerusalem probably was not even inhabited at that point in history. Jerusalem appears to have been abandoned between 1000 BCE and 900 BCE, the traditional dates for the united kingdom under David and Solomon. So Jerusalem was not ‘the city of David,’ since there was no city when he is said to have lived. No sign of magnificent palaces or great states has been found in the archeology of this period, and the Assyrian tablets, which recorded even minor events throughout the Middle East, such as the actions of Arab queens, don’t know about any great kingdom of David and Solomon in geographical Palestine.

7. Since archeology does not show the existence of a Jewish kingdom or kingdoms in the so-called First Temple Period, it is not clear when exactly the Jewish people would have ruled Jerusalem except for the Hasmonean Kingdom. The Assyrians conquered Jerusalem in 722. The Babylonians took it in 597 and ruled it until they were themselves conquered in 539 BCE by the Achaemenids of
ancient Iran, who ruled Jerusalem until Alexander the Great took the Levant in the 330s BCE. Alexander’s descendants, the Ptolemies ruled Jerusalem until 198 when Alexander’s other descendants, the Seleucids, took the city. With the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BCE, the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom did rule Jerusalem until 37 BCE, though Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean, only took over
Jerusalem with the help of the Parthian dynasty in 40 BCE. Herod ruled 37 BCE until the Romans conquered what they called Palestine in 6 CE (CE= ‘Common Era’ or what Christians call AD). The Romans and then the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium ruled Jerusalem from 6 CE until 614 CE when the Iranian Sasanian Empire Conquered it, ruling until 629 CE when the Byzantines took it back.

The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and ruled it until 1099 when the Crusaders conquered it. The Crusaders killed or expelled Jews and Muslims from the city. The Muslims under Saladin took it back in 1187 CE and allowed Jews to return, and Muslims ruled it until the end of World War I, or altogether for about 1192 years.

Adherents of Judaism did not found Jerusalem. It existed for perhaps 2700 years before anything we might recognize as Judaism arose. Jewish rule may have been no longer than 170 years or so, i.e., the kingdom of the Hasmoneans.

8. Therefore if historical building of Jerusalem and historical connection withJerusalem establishes sovereignty over it as Netanyahu claims, here are thegroups that have the greatest claim to the city:
A. The Muslims, who ruled it and built it over 1191 years.
B. The Egyptians, who ruled it as a
vassal state for several hundred years in the second millennium BCE.
C. The Italians, who ruled it about 444
years until the fall of the Roman Empire in 450 CE.
D. The Iranians, who ruled it for 205 years under the Achaemenids, for three
years under the Parthians (insofar as the last Hasmonean was actually their
vassal), and for 15 years under the Sasanids.
E. The Greeks, who ruled it for over 160 years if we count the Ptolemys and
Seleucids as Greek. If we count them as Egyptians and Syrians, that would
increase the Egyptian claim and introduce a Syrian one.
F. The successor states to the Byzantines, which could be either Greece or Turkey, who ruled it 188 years, though if we consider the heir to be Greece and add in the time the Hellenistic Greek dynasties ruled it, that would give Greece nearly 350 years as ruler of Jerusalem.
G. There is an Iraqi claim to Jerusalem based on the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests, as well as perhaps the rule of the Ayyubids (Saladin’s dynasty), who were Kurds from Iraq.

9. Of course, Jews are historically connected to Jerusalem by the Temple, whenever that connection is dated to. But that link mostly was pursued when Jews were not in political control of the
city, under Iranian, Greek and Roman rule. It cannot therefore be deployed to make a demand for political control of the whole city.

10. The Jews of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine did not for the most part leave after the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 136 CE. They continued to live there and to farm in Palestine under Roman rule and then Byzantine. They gradually converted to Christianity. After 638 CE all but 10 percent gradually converted to Islam. The present-day Palestinians are the descendants of the ancient Jews and have every right to live where their ancestors have lived for centuries.
Yeah Dude…….complete ignorance. I know it must hurt to have your entire world view turned upside down. Like Ms. Green, please go away.

Pam Green says:

Blah blah blah. You’re the one who should go away. Let’s put it to the other readers on this thread. I’m sure Yevka will defend you.

Pam Green says:

Lou, your post above is directed to Roger S, and yet it appears that you have also addressed a question to “Frau Green”. Is that supposed to be me? Please keep your comments to me separate from your comments to that troll. Okay?

Pam Green says:

You see, Lou, what comes of taking Roger S seriously? Look at his response below. Are you satisfied now that he spewed a little more filth here?

Roger S says:

BLA BLA BLA……..That’s all you got and you know it. You know I’m right!!! Kisses Pam. Come to the dark side. You’ll like it.

LouAdams says:

very nice, the anti Israel sites sure have worked hard on putting this together, but still Jerusalem, there is no J in Arabic by the way, was ethnically cleansed of it’s JEWISH MAJORITY by the Muslims in 1948, it it was theirs after 48, or in the 600′s by conquest it’s Israel’s by the same rules. It hurts me not, we have it, we will continue to have it and you can twist in anger and frustration while supporting genocidal psychopaths who rape their own sons and daughters and then murder them when they are found out. By the way, Sharon was born in Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jews.

LouAdams says:

oops sorry

LouAdams says:

Pam I am with you

LouAdams says:

Roger, I call BS. But it’s fun viewing your complete made of stories. Can you explain this.
“There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. Palestine is alien to us.

Arab leader
Auni Bey Abdual Hadi told the Peel commission in 1937

Roger S says:

Obviosly you don’t read very well. I will refer you to item #3. Nothing is eternal.

Thanks for admitting that Israel is guilty of war crimes.

By the way smart guy, Ariel Sharon aka Ariel Scheinermann, was born in 1928 in Kfar Malal, then in the British Mandate of Palestine, to a family of Lithuanian Jews — Shmuel Sheinerman (1896–1956) of Brest-Litovsk and Dvora Scheinerman (1900–1988) of Mogilev.

Lithuania last I looked at a map is nowhere near Palestine. Funny I don’t think you’ll find many people named Lou in Palestine, unless they came from some place else.

“There is no such
country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. Palestine is
alien to us.
Arab leader Auni Bey Abdual Hadi told the Peel commission in 1937.
We’re not talking about what the indigenous people chose to call themselves over a span of time. We can call them Martians if you like. They still deserve to live in the land of their birth with full rights as Israeli’s.
Of course Israel is sewing the seeds of her own destruction. With the two state solution gone, there is only one solution. One state for all her peoples Arabs and Jews. But I fear that when the Arabs are once again in control, payback is going to be a bitch. After all they will treat Jews as harshly as they have been treated.
I don’t have a dog in this hunt. I’m a casual observer of human nature. The demographic time bomb is ticking.

LouAdams says:

you seem to be like your terrorist friends acknowledging the historic Muslim affinity for genocide, repression and racism is the documented history of Islam. The reality of Islam being a time bomb has always been and always be the issue of the hate inducing culture of the people you submit to. From their early beginnings they have murdered everything they come in contact with and anyone who know their history knows this is not about Israel, it’s about the expansionist Islam, look at the battles they have fought and continue to fight against any people they come in contact with. By the way, since Israel has been better to the Israeli and local Muslims than their own people, giving them more freedom, better quality of life and medical care even to the terrorists attempting to murder Israelis, your hate inciting lies are transparent. Your threat is recognized, that is why Israel is so strong and continue to respond to the terror, the hatred and the Arab attacks on women and children with power The Arabs and their supporting Jews haters will continue to be defeated and frustrated. For someone who claims they have no dog in the fight you have spent a lot of time justifying your hatred, pretty sad commentary on who you are.

Roger S says:

Go away lou!! I made my point and you made my point. The world has grown tired of people like you calling anyone who criticizes Israeli policy as a Jew Hater. Your’re obviously a right wing kook. I’ll bet you’re a closet member of the KKK. Admit it Lou…how many cross burnings have you attended??? Get lost lost you racist fuck!!!!

Laughing at Roger S says:

You Absolute Uneducated Fool! I haven’t laughed this much in ages My Goodness! Ha Ha Ha Ha

Laughing at Roger S says:

If you are going to discuss this, at least talk actually truth and less fake shit! It’s not even a genuine debate now! YOU ARE TRULY AND UTTERLY UNEDUCATED! WOW! Please read some genuine Histroy books!

Laughing at Roger S says:

Don’t waste your energy on twats like this guy Pam! He has already made up he’s stupid mind! Most people that are educated know the reality of this all. Just laugh and smile! ignore genuine assholes like this fool. :} I ain’t even going to say anything else!

Laughing at Roger S says:

He is a Hateful person and sad person.

Roger S says:

Truth hurts Lou……you dumb fuck. Must of hit a raw nerve. bahaaaaaaa, bahaaaaaaa, Tell us Lou……do you say that to your muslim lover when he sticks his roll steak way up your ass???? Go away Lou…..we know your a Hamas agent…you dumb fuck

Pam Green says:

Thank you. I agree with you. I do try to ignore anti-Semitic propagandists like Roger S. However, yesterday, I did write a letter to the Tablet editors complaining that they have abdicated their responsibility to evict bigots from these comment sections.

Dick Stanley says:

Indeed, where are the editors? Trolls should be ignored. They feed on angry response, but when people start insulting each other with abandon, you have to wonder why Tablet hasn’t invested in software to stop it. Or at least slow it down. Our society is coarse enough. Must we read the F-word everywhere we go?

Pam Green says:

I don’t necessarily agree with you that “trolls should be ignored”. If you have a bunch of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist propagandists posting outright lies, it is tempting to respond, to negate the impact such words might have on uninformed or naive readers. But to succumb to such temptation is to feed the troll, as you say. That’s why the editors are supposed to step in to moderate.

Natan79 says:

You are not just a fool, but also a liar. “Nobody wants jews dead”. Your Palestinian friends certainly do.

it is not Palestine, but israel. I am not opposed to a Palestinian state, but they certainly are opposed to an Israeli state. They cpuld have had Palestine in 1948, or in 1967, or in 2000. No matter how many time they are offered it, they

You surely are an anti-Semitic imbecile and a liar.

First, 55% of israeli Jews are not of any kind of European origin, but were descendants of refugees from islamic countries.

Second, modern molecular genetics has shown beyond doubt that Jews are from the Middle East AND that Jews from Europe and from Arab countries are most closely related to each other than to host populations – in other words that they are a people, whose closest genetic relatives are the Kurds.

Third, you take the typical European anti-Semite line: Jews are European, so they have no place in “palestine”. When we were in Europe, we were killed by the millions as foreigners from the Middle east. Now that we are in Israel, you don’t want us there either? As Amos Oz said: “Europeans tell Jews: don’t be here, don’t be there. In other words, don’t be.”

Genocidal bastards, you and your ilk.

Natan79 says:

Anti-Semitic bastard and liar, that’s what you are.

Natan79 says:

Cretin Roger S. Go fuck yourself and then read some molecular genetics articles. None of the data fits your small-brain Nazi fantasies. Palestinian are not Jews and not closely related to them. They are related to other Arabs. Jews’ closest relatives are Kurds.

Natan79 says:

Roger S, may you get a Fajr-5 on your house. From your friends who you so dearly love.

Natan79 says:

Nazi bastard, may you die from a Palestinian rocket. I replied to you several times that all you say is a lie and that genetics has proven beyond doubt that Jews are a people from the Middle East, that they are not Palestinians, that Palestinian are Arabs and so on.

Roger S, may you die at the hands of the Arab terrorists that you aid and abet, when they put a bomb in a subway or a bus. You and all those you hold dear. And may you die slowly and painfully – that way, you’ll see and feel on your own skin how it is.

Natan79 says:

Fuck you Roger S, Nazi bastard and Arab terrorist. I always vote Left, and I would love to have your picture for target practice. Second it to me. I always train, so that there is an Israel. Otherwise Nazis like yourself would win. Send me your picture. I’ll print some toilet paper rolls too.

Natan79 says:

May one of the rockets sent by Hamas fall on your house in Malibu, California, when you are inside. May everything you have be destroyed.

Natan79 says:

What’s shocking? Genocidal Palestinians? In other news, the Sun will rise tomorrow.

Roger S says:

I win you fucking Jew bastard. I’m going to fuck your wife and then I’m going to rip your head off and shit down your throat you Fucking Filthy Nazi Facist mother fucking Jew pimple on the ass of humanity. Get lost you fuck wad. I piss on you and your fucking Israel. HaaaHaaaaaHaaa!!!!!!!!!!

Natan79 says:

Try Roger S, try. That’s we train for when learning to defend the sta of Israel and its citizens.

As for fucking, we all know here that the only thing you have for that is your dog – which is cruel, as she can’t give informed consent.

Otherwise, interesting, I touched a raw nerve. Good. Send that picture of yours. It might also make a nice toilet paper print. They print a whole roll cheaply these days.

It must be sad for you, Roger S, on the anniversary of death of Hitler, or Osama. Do you fast then?

Roger S says:

You are such a fucking douchebag. Without the USA you’re nothing. You don’t defend the state of Israel….I do with with my taxes. I and many others are getting sick and tired of defending your bullshit piece of dirt and getting nothing in return.
So kiss my ass Natan you camel butt fucking Jewish piece of shit. Can’t wait until you have to beg to leave your precious Israel when it’s finally taken back by it’s rightfull owners.
BTW how was getting butt fucked by Mohammad last night??? Does your mother know??? Jewish fuck stick. HAAAAAAhAAAAAA.!!!

Natan79 says:

Arafat was born n Egypt, Al-Roger. Send that donkey’s bones in Cairo, where they belong.

Roger S says:

Are you still alive Natan??? Man you are like the energizer bunny. Keep getting fucked up the ass by your friend Mohammad and still come back for more. Does your mother know you like to suck Arab cock??? Admit it Natan, you really do.

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