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The unfolding lie of Operation Protective Edge

An Israeli leadership truly interested in a peace agreement would not have driven its partner to the point of lacking any leadership authority among his people. But that is exactly the point. Israel is not really interested in peace or in a partner who can bring about peace.

By Idan Landau (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

A child inspects the ruins of a house destroyed by an Israeli air strike in the Al Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, July 11, 2014.

A child inspects the ruins of a house destroyed by an Israeli air strike in the Al Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, July 11, 2014.

In January 2011 the winds of the Arab Spring blew through Gaza and the West Bank, and the four-year rift between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas came to an end. Reconciliation talks took three months, and were boosted by mass demonstrations of Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah in favor of a unity government. Abu Mazen declared his willingness to travel to Gaza and sign an agreement.

In other words, Bibi’s nightmare came true.

The day after Abu Mazen’s declaration, the IDF killed two Hamas activists in Gaza, in an action authorized by the highest levels – the minister of defense and the IDF chief of staff. The killing was portrayed as a response to the launching of a single Qassam rocket, which hit no one, but some, like Yedioth’s Alex Fishman, understood that this had been a “premeditated escalation” by Israel. The following day, March 17, Netanyahu came “full circle”, clarifying to those who had not yet understood: Palestinian unity is a red line, as far as Israel is concerned.

Israel’s array of diplomatic threats was retrieved from storage: economic sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, an end to security cooperation. Nothing was said about the escalation in the South being the immediate aftermath of that policy. The security pretext – “restore calm to the South” ­– was brittle and unconvincing. Astute observers noted that at the beginning of that month Israel had substantially decreased the flow of goods into Gaza – a move that precedes an Israeli strike more often than it is a response to a Palestinian strike.

The killing of Hamas activists was the first shot in yet another seasonal round of violence between Israel and Gaza. The “premeditated escalation” claimed the lives of innocent people – four members of the el-Hilu family in the Saja’ia neighborhood. A detailed day-by-day analysis of that round of escalation appeared on this blog, showing that there were various reasons behind the Israeli escalation, but none of them were the protection of the lives and wellbeing of the residents of Israel. This is what I wrote then:

What does one do? One escalates. That’s the explanation for what we have seen throughout the past two weeks. Why is an escalation good? Because an escalation, and the stoking of flames on both sides of the border, always plays into the hands of extremists. The call for revenge trumps the call for reconciliation, and the voice of separation overrides the voice of unity. In short, when Grad rockets and choppers roar, reason moves to one’s balls. Another week or two of rockets and choppers and mortars, and the sane, alternative agenda will undergo the burial of a donkey. Another few casualties on both sides, and eyes will be bloodshot once more, and hateful chants will fill the air, and at night only the silent sobs of bereaved mothers will be heard.

This is how Israel hopes to disrupt and roll back the civilian, non-violent dynamic, which has already taken deep roots in the West Bank. This is how Israel hopes to derail the “dangerous” train of Palestinian unity, which may define an entirely new set of rules in the region.

Let there be no doubt: Islamic Jihad, as well as some extremist factions of Hamas, share this goal. They too would like to torpedo any intra-national compromise with Fatah, on the one hand, and will not let go of their raison d’être – the armed, violent and terrorist struggle – in exchange for a popular struggle, on the other hand.

Therefore, the confrontation, as always, is between those seeking peace on both sides and the warmongers. Between those who love life, and those who love death. Will Israelis come to realize that their extremists are not just a bunch of hilltop youths in Samaria, but those who were elected to lead – Netanyahu, Barak, Livni and Mufaz? Will Israelis save themselves from their leaders, or will they, for the second time in the past few years, put their fate in the hands of the aforementioned politicians, shut themselves in a bubble and passively stare at their disaster and at the disaster being inflicted in their name?

The historical irony – which keeps being forgotten here – was that all these flames and casualties were in vain. In May 2011, Fatah and Hamas signed a historic reconciliation agreement, and there was nothing Israel could do about it, to the embarrassment of a few despondent Israeli commentators. The Israeli illusion of landing a few hundred or thousand missiles on the Arabs in order to successfully shape their internal politics was shattered once more against the cliffs of reality.

The cliff of reality is the only solid cliff

[Translation note: the Hebrew name of the current operation is “Solid Cliff”] 

***

Back to the present. Palestinian reconciliation has not made the transition from paper to implementation. Fatah and Hamas have remained split and primarily committed to contrasting interests: The Palestinian Authority kept arresting Hamas activists in the West Bank to continue receiving donor support and maintain its survival. And Hamas kept resisting the Israeli siege of Gaza. Six weeks ago, on April 23, the gaps were bridged and the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement was signed for a second time.

As usual, all those who are threatened by Palestinian unity were alarmed. The entire Israeli leadership denounced the unity government, and the Americans were also “disappointed.” Netanyahu declared: “We regard this move as a return to the well-known Palestinian pattern: whenever they have to make a decision, they run away.”

And here one cannot but interject. We too have witnessed the well-known Israeli pattern: every time they have to make a decision, they bomb. No more than a few minutes after the agreement was ceremoniously signed, an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a motorcycle in Beit Lahiya. The “target” was not hit. In its stead, seven passers-by were injured. But the message was delivered: whoever dares to speak of unity in this neighborhood will get it. Throughout the month of June, the flames rose gradually higher and higher on both sides, and the IDF demonstrated once more the “surgical” precision of targeted assassinations by killing a seven-year-old in the Sudaniyeh neighborhood of Gaza.

The kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014 was a boon to the prime minister. This is a harsh statement, but it can be corroborated by what Netanyahu said just two days after the incident, before there was any lead for the resolution of the case: “The incident demonstrates what we have been saying throughout long months: the alliance with Hamas brings about very bad consequences, which run contrary to the advancement of peace between us and the Palestinians.” This statement was unfounded. Among the Palestinian public, it was obvious to all that the kidnapping was in fact a test of the alliance and an act that subverted it. As one can recall, even Abu Mazen’s unequivocal condemnation, delivered to the entire Muslim world, a condemnation that furthermore crumbled the shaky unity with Hamas, was not good enough for the Israeli government. Once more, Netanyahu’s office made clear in its response that there was only one thing on its mind – rockets or no rockets, kidnapping or murder, condemnation or whatever: “Cancel the agreement with Hamas.”

And then, at the beginning of this month, the flow of goods into Gaza was reduced. And since July 7, we are officially in yet another “operation to restore calm to the South.”

Read +972′s full coverage of the operation in Gaza

Does that ring a bell? The dynamic of July 2014 is astonishingly similar to that of March 2011. In both cases, political developments in the Palestinian arena generate an Israeli military response. In both cases, Fatah-Hamas unity is perceived as a strategic threat, which justifies a “pre-emptive strike.” The justification is total, to the point of retroactively justifying “premeditated escalation” to achieve the desirable level of fire. In both cases, the lives and wellbeing of residents on both sides of the border are of no interest to the leadership. They are nothing more than a trader’s currency on an agenda that is strategic, not defensive.

And Palestinian unity will survive both cases. This unity is inevitable, just like the unity between Jewish Israelis in the Negev and in the central area is inevitable. In both cases, we are talking about one nation. Only the casualties claimed in vain, among both peoples, are preventable.

A few words about the political folly: what is the reason that the Israeli policy is so totally enslaved to its anxiety over Palestinian unity? The answer is not complicated. It can be summed up in the single sentence: We should ensure there is no partner. We should ensure there is no partner, for if a Palestinian partner exists, there is someone with whom we can negotiate a peace agreement, which requires the most dreadful thing of all: giving up land and control. Therefore, for many years, Israel has taken care to crush any potential partner for negotiations, including the one who only yesterday was sitting at the negotiation table and scheming with it against its “extremist” compatriots.

Thus, Israel does not settle for a persistent fight against Palestinian unity, it also strives to weaken its so-called partner vis-a-vis the Hamas zealots ­– Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority. Years of servile obedience have turned Abu Mazen into a caricature in the eyes of his own people. An Israeli leadership truly interested in a peace agreement would not have driven its partner to the point of lacking any leadership authority among his people. But that is exactly the point. Israel is not really interested in peace or in a partner who can bring about peace.

This policy has borne fruit. First we crushed the Palestinian Authority, which brought Hamas to power in Gaza. The persistent fight against Hamas is also beginning to bear fruit: the influence of extremist Islamist groups in Gaza is on the rise, groups with whom one cannot negotiate anything. And Netanyahu? He is already rubbing his hands, eagerly awaiting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

One must recall all this when tales are being peddled about the goal of the current operation being “the restoration of security to the citizens of Israel.” This bullshit has been circulated here for years, as if it weren’t fake, used merchandise. There is no military deterrence in the South, and there will be no such thing. Perhaps you would listen to some generals who have sobered up way too late, if you don’t want to listen to me, or to a cynical military commentator who has already seen a thing or two in his lifetime.

And if I were to get a call-up for reserve duty, I would refuse. I would do so because they are lying to us (again), but primarily because of the bodies of children and women that are already beginning to pile up in Gaza under the IDF’s war machine.

In the following diagram, posted on Facebook, Shlomit Havron lists Israeli operations in Gaza under the headline, “Let’s hit Hamas hard and prevent them altogether from launching rockets! It worked great the last time!…Eh, Wait…

An infographic from Shlomit Havron's Facebook page lists the previous Israeli military operations in Gaza dating back to 2004. The headline reads, “Let’s hit Hamas hard and prevent them altogether from launching rockets! It worked great the last time!...Eh, Wait...”

An infographic from Shlomit Havron’s Facebook page lists the previous Israeli military operations in Gaza dating back to 2004. The headline reads, “Let’s hit Hamas hard and prevent them altogether from launching rockets! It worked great the last time!…Eh, Wait…”

Havron proceeds to list the Israeli operations in Gaza:

June 2014 – Protective Edge

November 2012 – Pillar of Defense

December 2008 – Cast Lead

February 2008 – Hot Winter

June 2006 – Summer Rains

February 2006 – Lightning Strike

September 2005 – First Rain

October 2004 – Days of Penitence

What this diagram doesn’t show is that from one operation to another, the range of Hamas rockets has increased. During “Cast Lead”, rockets hit areas within a radius of 40 km from the border. During “Pillar of Defense”, Grad rockets hit Tel Aviv, and during “Protective Edge”, rockets have hit the Haifa area. That’s what Israel’s “military deterrence” vis-a-vis Hamas looks like.

***

On this eighth day of “Protective Edge”, at least 176 dead Palestinians have been reported. The number of uninvolved civilians among them is not precisely known. The true figures are revealed only when the dust settles (for current updates, click here). However, one can already conduct a crude comparison with operation “Pillar of Defense” in November 2012. Back then, according to a meticulous report by B’Tselem, 17 people were killed on the first two days of the operation, eight of whom were uninvolved civilians. Therefore, the number of people killed by Israel during the first two days was twice that of November 2012.

The most important finding of that report pointed out that a turning point occurred after the fourth day of the operation. While the IDF had killed “only” 17 uninvolved civilians during the first four days of “Pillar of Defense”, in the last four days it killed 70 uninvolved civilians. In fact, during the second half of “Pillar or Defense”, the IDF killed two innocent civilians for every combatant. The four-day scope, therefore, seems to represent the moral life span of operations in Gaza. Following this in the short term, Hamas combatants fade into the population sufficiently, in a way that steers the rest of the operation towards distinct war crimes, with or without “surgical” weapons.

As I’ve documented extensively, the extent of innocent casualties during “Pillar of Defense” was concealed well from the eyes of the Israeli public. It is doubtful whether the average Israeli can even guess the numbers. The IDF published false data with little publicity – an inevitable conclusion considering its reluctance to corroborate them by a list of names. Furthermore, the disinformation was also circulated within the army’s ranks, including the air force website, which did not mention in a single word the Palestinian victims of “surgical precision.” This mendacious propaganda plays a distinct operational role: preparing the ground and the hearts for the war crimes of the next operation. Under this guise of ignorance, pilots can embark with no qualms on bombing missions over the densely populated neighborhoods of Gaza and hang on to the illusion that they are only hitting arch-terrorists. Mendacious propaganda can also serve as a protective edge.

Well, surely you didn’t think this operation came as a surprise to anyone, or did you? The IDF had already begun work on it the moment “Pillar of Defense” concluded in November 2012. Rest assured that somewhere in the IDF headquarters, a few brilliant minds in the operations section are already toiling, drawing conclusions from the failures of “Protective Edge”, building a new target bank, improving the technologies and outlining the next operation in Gaza – the one that would finally, really “bring Hamas to its knees.”

***

This presentation of the state of things is surely quite infuriating, since it totally ignores the role played by Hamas in stoking the flames of confrontation. But I am not ignoring the matter. In fact, I am writing all this in between one rocket alert and another, so it’s hard for me to ignore the rockets launched by Hamas. But the fact of the matter is that I am an Israeli citizen and those who are accountable to me are the Israeli politicians who have failed to ensure my security, not the Hamas leadership. The Israeli media keeps commenting to no end on the motives driving the other side, but it is almost pathologically blind when it comes to the motives on our side. On this issue, it can all be summed up in slogans like “calm in the South”, and “restoring deterrence.” Israeli commentators have no problem cutting through the screen of Hamas propaganda, (rightly) observing that the grave salary crisis in Gaza is one of the indirect reasons for Hamas’ attempt to heat up the border. Any arrangement to be established after the current confrontation, any written or unwritten understanding, will give Hamas more breath. That’s all true, but the Israeli commentators are stuck in the other side’s book-keeping, instead of asking themselves honestly that if that is the case, and if my leaders also know that this operation will only strengthen Hamas (and its militant factions in particular) – why are they playing into its hands?

They are obviously not playing into its hands. They are playing with it, and the ball is the inhabitants of Israel and Gaza. This is men’s playtime.

One cannot conclude without responding, at the end of one’s rope, to the recurring complaint: so what should we do? Should we sit idly by when they are launching rockets at us?

No, we should do the obvious to prevent the rockets. We will recognize Hamas as the elected government of Gaza and cast aside all hysterical shrieks about the “Hamas Charter” and “recognizing a Jewish state.” We will lift the siege on Gaza (yes, there is a siege, and it is tightened when we feel like it). We will strengthen and cooperate with Palestinian unity and let the Palestinian people themselves shape their government. That would be a pretty good start, certainly not one that has proven to be an abysmal failure, as the eight previous “Let’s crush Hamas” rounds have been.

Read the original article in Hebrew on the author’s blog 

Related:
The occupation will last forever, Netanyahu clarifies
How Netanyahu provoked this war with Gaza
‘They left us no choice’: On military escalation and its Israeli rationale

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Arb

      You know, I went to your link showing where you “documented extensively” civilian casualties in Pillar of Defense and read your case. My immediate question were actually asked of you by the commenter Amit. Instead of responding seriously to the most serious challenge you faced to that article, you claimed he was trolling, claimed you already addressed his issues and threatened to prevent him from commenting any further.

      Your article in this instance is fascinating because the Palestinians have zero agency. Hamas takes over Gaza from the PA and throws Fatah men off rooftops (to see how well they bounce), well, in your universe that’s Israel’s fault for weakening Abbas. Three Israelis get kidnapped? Well, that’s a blessing for Netanyahu, and if he correctly places the blame on Hamas, then he’s manipulating events.

      Does it not occur to you that Hamas actually took Gaza over violently because they are violent and they could? Does it not occur to you that if a movement spends years cultivating opportunities to kidnap and kill Israelis (or was the kidnapping handbook just written for fun? Were the tunnels found into Israel built because Hamas was bored and had nothing better to do with their concrete?), then when a kidnapping happens, it is natural to blame them. And the Qawasmeh family is aligned with Hamas and one of them is accused of involvement – and has yet to appear weeks after the event.

      There is nothing earth shattering in the news that Israel wants to prevent a unity government. Unfortunately, it’s not for the reason you think. You see, the Israelis know perfectly well that a unity government won’t be there to make peace with Israel. It will simply serve as a Trojan horse for Hamas to eventually take over in Judea and Samaria as it already has in Gaza. I realize you consider this to be the “Palestinian people shaping their own government” but as the failure of Hamas in the past 8 years to hold any election as well as the failure of Abbas in a similar period to hold any election, even as both groups use their thugs to dominate their people with an iron fist, simply demonstrates that the Palestinian people will shape nothing. Their leaders will fight it out one way or another and then the winners – almost certainly the Islamists in this case – will control their people precisely with the same heavy hand we’ve seen so far and that you can find without looking too hard in many of Israel’s neighbors.

      That may seem like a good outcome to you, but I would suggest that’s a very naive outlook.

      Reply to Comment
      • Dave Thawley

        Is this a place for Israeli stooges to post crap answers. Sorry you have been sussed out. I am sure the people who produces the answers for you think that they are clever enough to fool people but they are crap. Israel is a murderous racist state who is killing kids so they can keep hold of land they stole – this is all the truth there really is. Spinning a load of bollox doesn’t detract from that truth at all

        Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        “No more than a few minutes after the agreement was ceremoniously signed, an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a motorcycle in Beit Lahiya. The “target” was not hit. In its stead, seven passers-by were injured. But the message was delivered: whoever dares to speak of unity in this neighborhood will get it.”

        This shows that Israel fired the first shot almost immediately after the Unity Government was established. No rocket from Gaza led to this; no bullshit excuses about self-defense.

        Reply to Comment
        • Arb

          Right, the Israelis just decided willy nilly to attack a motorcycle. Why not? A unity agreement is signed and the IDF has, what, a standing order to fire once it’s signed?

          What a joke.

          All you need to know is that Israel stopped firing yesterday for 6 hours. In that time, Hamas fired 40-50 rockets and declared they’re not stopping the war.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            A joke? This is a documented fact that Israel fired first, and you have no answer.

            You have no credibility. It is people like you who brought Hamas into existence to undermine Arafat.
            Your Likudnik colleagues will burn in hell for that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Israel fired first? Even we go by Wikipedia instead of Israel’s Foreign Ministry which lists many more attacks, you are wrong:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel,_2014#June

            I brought Hamas into existence? I didn’t realize I was in the Muslim Brotherhood. Just because you read somewhere that Israel “created” Hamas doesn’t mean this is so. Sorry.

            As for my “Likudnik” friends, being a Likud member isn’t an insult but if I were to vote tomorrow it would be to the left of Likud. Since I live in the USA I guess that means Obama. ;)

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            The Wikipedia listing does not detail the context of the rocket attacks, i.e. which one was in response to what Israeli attack; therefore, it is a useless listing. Once again, you did not refute my citation from the above 972 article.

            You claim that Israel’s funding of Hamas in its nascent stages was a myth; but merely repeating that does not make it so. It inconveniences you? too bad.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Look, you ignorant fool, if you don’t know your material, stay out of the conversation. Here is a book about Hamas foundations, you will find on page 10 that leaders in Gaza’s Muslim Brotherhood decided in 1987 to found Hamas:

            http://books.google.com/books?id=LGr13CuNe28C&printsec=frontcover&dq=history+of+hamas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LzXGU–dIY-9oQThj4GwAg&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20hamas&f=false

            Israel certainly didn’t fund it or assist it. What Israel did was minimize challenging it, which enabled the movement to grow.

            As for the rockets from Hamastan, every single one is a war crime and zero of them have any justification since they all target Israeli civilians. The notion that it’s all a tit for tat is the only lie you Hamas supporters have remaining since you know that your lies have been demonstrated again and again. Hamas is a brutal, authoritarian, kleptocracy that is sister to the extremist Islamic movements whose violent tendencies we see in Iraq and Syria presently. Hamas does not give the Gazan population freedom and uses it as hostage and human shield while it builds its murderous arsenal targeting civilian Israelis. That’s who you’re defending. That’s whose side you’re on.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            The rockets at Gaza are not aimed at civilians. They are aimed at anything that moves, civilian OR military, as well as buildings. Or are you suggesting that Palestinians have the technology to program rockets to veer away from Israeli soldiers and selectively seek out civilians?

            That’s why the rocket attacks are called INDISCRIMINATE (as if you didn’t know). And so far, the only Israeli killed was someone supplying food for soldiers on the Israeli side of the Gaza border – not acting as a civilian.

            I love the way you answer my statement that Israel funded Hamas at its start, by saying that Hamas was FOUNDED by Muslims – a claim that I never denied. Your dodge is transparent and easy to expose.

            It is common knowledge among every journalist who writes on this site – my fellow Zionist Larry Derfner included – that Israel colluded with Hamas in the manner I have described.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            So I give you a book by a former Hamas man and a thoroughly researched article from the WSJ, and you respond with one article that makes a claim which it then does not back up with evidence (direct and indirect funding of Hamas) and then a second article which relies on the first article and uses Ray Hanania as a credible authority. Ray Hanania is a comic from the USA of Palestinian origin who started writing articles about the conflict several years ago. I know because I used to debate him on some of them. He is an authority on Hamas, Israel and their history in the same way that Britney Spears is an authority on Middle East affairs.

            As I keep telling you, if you are out of your depth, keep out of the discussion.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jo

            WSJ

            “… “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.”

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123275572295011847

            give it up!

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Reading the teaser isn’t enough. Read the entire article, doofus.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jo

            Justin documents and documents some more…

            “… Israel did much to launch Hamas as an effective force in the occupied territories. If ever there was a clear case of “blowback,” then this is it. As Richard Sale pointed out in a piece for UPI:

            “Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel ‘aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies. Israel’s support for Hamas ‘was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,’ said a former senior CIA official.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Oh my god, you won’t stop!

            Israel NEVER financed Hamas. Israel simply did not do anything while Hamas (which was not known as Hamas at that point) built its “charity” infrastructure.

            Here is an excellent recap of the relationship Israel had with this group. As you can read for yourself, it is a passive relationship, not an active one. The group is founded by Muslim Brotherhood and then the same leaders take it into Jihad mode and “Hamas” as described in the book to which I linked.
            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123275572295011847

            Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Very good analysis. Clearly Israel’s motives in sparking confrontations in Gaza have nothing to do with “calm” and “security” for the south’s residents. Indeed, those civilians were put in those places in the first place precisely to be a human buffer zone between Gaza and the rest of the country, and their continued suffering is seen as a necessary evil in the eyes of Israel’s government.

      What we are essentially talking about here is a 1984-type perpetual war in which the citizens are not made to know their objectives or even their reasons. We are talking about a criminal government of war-mongering cynics whose raison d’etre can be more or less summed up thusly: Kill lots of brown people, survive another year in office. We are talking about a state that is morally bankrupt, with leaders that, frankly, have become indistinguishable from those of our neighbors, including Hamas. Indeed, I think Netanyahu and Haniyeh have a lot more in common than either of them would care to admit.

      Reply to Comment
    3. M. de Keyzer

      No one is talking about the fact that PA doesn’t respect the life of their citizins. Every time when hamas or fatah fire rockets the men are hiding behind women and children, instead of protecting them. The PA whether it was hamas of fatah has always shown that they can’t be trusted. They Always lie about everything even to their own citizins. How can you expect respect from other people if you yourself don’t even respect the life of your own civilians? If people would read the books:1)son of hamas and 2)Once an Arafat man, people would understand why peace is not possible. These books are written by Palestinians themselves who fled the westbank and gaza.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Alex

      I see the author is willing to accept Hamas due to the following ”

      “In an April 2008 meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, an understanding was reached in which Hamas agreed it would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the territory seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, provided this were ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas later publicly offered a long-term truce with Israel if Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and grant the “right of return” to all Palestinian refugees.[68] In November 2008, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh re-stated that Hamas was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and offered Israel a long-term truce “if Israel recognized the Palestinians’ national rights”.[69] In 2009, in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Haniyeh repeated his group’s support for a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders: “We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital.”[70] On December 1, 2010, Ismail Haniyeh again repeated, “We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,” and “Hamas will respect the results [of a referendum] regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles.”

      In none of these quotes do you actually see a recognition of Israel. They are willing to accept a Palestinian State within 1967 borders and offer Israel a truce if Israel surrendered on the Right of Return. Blessed are the peacemakers and their Israeli followers at 972 Mag.

      Reply to Comment
    5. bp

      Very incisive analysis by Idan Landau. Very fine. Very true. Look, some advice to +972. I’ve read through all the comments here. This “Arb” is a distracting waste of everyone’s time at this site, a drainer and manipulator of the sincere attentions of good and intelligent commenters. Full of stupid vitriol. In short a troll. She should be banned. She adds nothing useful. There is no reasonable conversation to be had. The last straw should have been her “Look, you ignorant fool,….” There is NOTHING to be gained by pseudo-dialogue with this misguided and/or malicious presence on these boards.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Mike Miehl

      Brilliant analysis. My heart is with you, your family, and your Palestinian brothers and sisters. You are not alone…plenty of us here in the U.S. agree with you.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Sonnenuhr

      Joel, Mya Guarnieri already has written an indefensible defense of Hamas.

      She writes

      “But how can Hamas possibly accept a ceasefire it wasn’t consulted on and especially one that would mean a return to the status quo”

      See her article “What does Israeli acceptance of the ceasefire really mean.”

      In this article she argues that

      “Hamas’ terms for a ceasefire are reasonable: that Israel lifts the blockade of the Gaza Strip; that Israel ends aggression in the Occupied Territories; and that Israel releases Palestinian prisoners, many of who were released in the Shalit deal and re-arrested in the West Bank during the so-called “Operation Brothers’ Keeper.”

      Taken logically, Mya argues for the legal blockade of Gaza to prevent the importation of weapons, which were fired at Israeli cities to kill Israeli citizens, should be lifted.

      She argues that Israel should not defend itself. She argues that Israel release Palestinian prisoners, no matter what crimes they have committed.

      Mya represents a tiny extreme element in Israeli which has little support in Israeli society.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Joel

      @Sonnenuhr

      I think my comment has been deleted.

      Anyway, Mya seems to confuse ‘ceasefire’ with a ‘peace treaty’.

      World War 1 saw many ceasefires, but only one peace treaty.

      Mya?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Reza Lustig

      North and South Korea have had a ceasefire since ’53, so technically the war is still on. No Rodongs (NK scud clone) or F-15 airstrikes in Seoul or Pyongyang so far.

      Reply to Comment
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