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Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?

I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege – part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that.

In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy.

In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his administration’s ability to put itself in the shoes of the Soviets and understand their point of view. “In the case of Vietnam,” he says, “we didn’t know them well enough to empathize.” As a result, each side had a completely different understanding of what the war was about.

This understanding came to McNamara only in 1991, when he visited Vietnam and met with the country’s foreign minister. McNamara asked the foreign minister whether he thought it was possible to reach the same results of the war (independence and uniting the south with the north) without the heavy losses. Between one and three million people died in the war, most of them Vietnamese civilians. This does not include the hundreds of thousands of casualties in the war against the French, which took place shortly before. Approximately 58,000 American soldiers were also killed in the Vietnam War.

“You were fighting to enslave us,” yelled the foreign minister at McNamara, who in turn replied that that is an absurd notion. The two nearly came to blows. But as time passed McNamara understood. “We saw Vietnam as an element of the Cold War,” he says, whereas what the foreign minister was trying to tell him was that for the Vietnamese it was a war of independence. Communism was not the heart of the matter for the Vietnamese. They were willing to make the worst sacrifices because they were fighting for their freedom – not for Marx or Brezhnev.

Nations will make inconceivable sacrifices in these kinds of struggles. An entire one percent of the Jewish population was killed in the 1948 war. The public accepted it painfully and with a stiff upper lip because they felt, just like the Vietnamese, that they were fighting for their lives and for their freedom. We have become so much more susceptible to loss, not because we went soft, but because we have a deeper understanding that despite all the “we’re fighting for our future” slogans, 2014 is not 1948.

Over 2,000 Palestinians were killed in all three military operations in Gaza, not including the Second Intifada. Most of them were civilians. I’ve exchanged emails with people in Gaza in the past few days. These are people who don’t care much for Hamas in their everyday lives, whether due to its fundamentalist ideology, political oppression or other aspects of its rule. But they do support Hamas in its war against Israel; for them, fighting the siege is their war of independence. Or at least one part of it.

+972′s full coverage of the war in Gaza

The demand that the people of Gaza protest against Hamas, often heard in Israel today, is absurd. Even if we disregard the fact that Israelis themselves hate protests in times of war, they still expect the Palestinians to conduct a civil uprising under fire. The people of Gaza support Hamas in its war against Israel because they perceive it to be part of their war of independence. A Hamas warrior who swears by the Quran is no different from a Vietcong reciting The Internationale before leaving for battle. These kind of rituals leave a strong impression, but they are not the real story.

Israelis, both left and right, are wrong to assume that Hamas is a dictatorship fighting Israel against its people’s will. Hamas is indeed a dictatorship, and there are many Palestinians who would gladly see it fall, but not at this moment in time. Right now I have no doubt that most Palestinians support the attacks on IDF soldiers entering Gaza; they support kidnapping as means to release their prisoners (whom they see as prisoners of war) and the unpleasant fact is that most of them, I believe, support firing rockets at Israel.

“If we had planes and tanks to fight the IDF, we wouldn’t need to fire rockets,” is a sentence I have heard more than once. As an Israeli, it is unpleasant for me to hear, but one needs to at least try and understand what lies behind such a position. What is certain is that bombing Gaza will not change their minds. On the contrary.

A Palestinian crying near rubbles of his home after the latest round of Israeli attacks against Al Shaja'ia, Gaza City, July 20, 2014.  (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian crying near rubbles of his home after the latest round of Israeli attacks against Al Shaja’ia, Gaza City, July 20, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

“But if they didn’t fire rockets or launch terror attacks there would be no siege. So what do they want?” the Israeli public asks. After all, we already left Gaza.

Back to McNamara and The Fog of War. If the citizens of Vietnam would have abandoned Communism, McNamara told the Vietnamese foreign minister 1991, the U.S. wouldn’t have even cared about them. They could have had both their independence and their unity. But in the eyes of the Vietnamese, things looked completely different. As soon as they managed to drive out the French, in marched the Americans. Colonialism simply never stopped. The choice was between a corrupt U.S.-sponsored regime in the south and a horrific war with the north.

For the Palestinians, the choice is between occupation by proxy in the West Bank and a war in Gaza. Both offer no hope, and neither are forms of freedom. The Israeli promise — that an end to armed struggle will bring freedom — is not trustworthy, as the experiences of past years has shown. It simply never happens. The quiet years in the West Bank have not brought the Palestinians any closer to an independent state, while the truce in between wars in Gaza has not brought about a relief from the siege. One can debate the reasons for why this happened, but one cannot debate reality.

Hamas tells the Palestinians the simple truth: freedom comes at the cost of blood. The tragedy is that we usually provide the evidence. After all, the evacuation of settlements in Gaza came after the Second Intifada, not as a result of negotiations. The Oslo Accords came after the First Intifada; before that, Israel turned down even the convenient London Agreement between Shimon Peres and Jordan’s King Hussein.

Israelis are convinced they are fighting a terror organization driven by a fundamentalist Islamic ideology. Palestinians are convinced Israelis are looking to enslave them, and that as soon as the war is over the siege will be reinforced. Since this is exactly what Israel intends to do, as our government has repeatedly stated, they have no reason to stop fighting.

Hamas may accept a ceasefire soon. Its regime might collapse. Either way, it is only a matter of time before the next round of violence. Human lives are not cheaper for Palestinians than they are for us. But nations fighting for their freedom will endure the worst sacrifices. Like in Shujaiyeh.

***
An excerpt from The Fog of War. The part I refer to starts at 11:46 minutes:

Originally posted in Hebrew on Local Call.

Related:
PHOTOS: A Gaza funeral for 26 members of one family
The ‘terror tunnels’: Another Israeli self-fulfilling prophecy
‘Cast Lead was a joke compared to this’
Mourning death wherever it strikes

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  • COMMENTS

    1. zulu

      So in The New Republic’s reporting on the breakdown of the latest peace talks between the PA and Israel, they recount an incident in which Netanyahu and Kerry were talking (evidently they’re, somehow, friends). Kerry made an observation about his experiences in the Vietnam War and how he realized how differently America saw the war from how the Vietnamese did when he saw the looks the locals gave him and his fellow Americans. Netanyahu goes stupid, of course, and wails “THIS ISN’T VIETNAM! ONLY ISRAEL UNDERSTANDS ISRAEL!”

      I guess it’s too much to ask for Israel to learn from other nations’ history, since its people and leadership don’t even learn from their own.

      Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        Kerry has no clue how the Israeli mind works. He did not understand the Vietcong. He does not understand the Palestinians. He does not understand the middle east and does not understand Israel.

        To understand the Israeli mind, and its collective paranoia of being overwhelmed by forces hostile to its existence, he should understand that Israel gained its independence in an existential war against Palestinian Arabs and the collective might and will of the Arab and Muslim world to destroy it. Only a few years before that war 6 millions Jews were murdered and the Palestinian leaders of the Arab Higher Committee wished to do the same to the Jews in Mandate Palestine in 1947-48. So the Jewish people come by their paranoia quite rightfully.

        Israeli leaders tried to negotiate peace with the Arab Higher Committee and the leaders of the Arab world before and after the war of independence. The Arab leaders eschewed all attempts at peace and chose to go to war to end the Israeli state.

        Its right to exist is assailed like no other country. The world did nothing to stop the Arab assault against Israel in 1948, 1973 or in any other conflict. Israel can count on no one but itself to defend its citizens from the vilest attacks. We have seen what Arabs have done to each other in other Arab countries and what Palestinians did to Christian Arabs in Lebanon and what what Arab states have done to Palestinians in the past. We can have no illusions what they would do to Jewish Israelis if they had the upper hand. Hamas leader and former interior leader Fathi Hammad said Palestinians would kill all Israelis once they gained the upper hand.

        Reply to Comment
        • Phil

          With all due respect, it’s my recollection that during the Yom Kippur War the United States was airlifting ammunition and weapons to Israel. That hardly counts as Israel be left alone to fight.

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Henry Kissinger, and others in the Nixon administration, tried to delay the re-supply of arms to Israel in order Israel should ‘bleed a little’.

            President Nixon personally intervened and expedited an increased the re-armament.

            Reply to Comment
          • Whiplash

            The United States made Israel absorb the first strikes of the Egyptian and Syrian armies. The US would not allow Israel to strike the Arabs first. Golda Meir’s decision to not strike first was based on the fact that the US would not provide Israel with any resupply if it struck first. And the Americans held back the resupply to make sure that Israel suffered many causalities.

            When the tables turned and the Israelis could have destroyed the Egyptian Third Army entirely and sacked Cairo, the Americans intervened to prevent them from doing so.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Israel was taken by surprise by Egypt and Syria – that’s why Golda didn’t strike first. Occupying territories it did not need for its security made Israel fat and overconfident

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Sorry but your are wrong. It’s well documented fact Kissinger told Meir not to attack preemptively. I suggest you do some reading on the subject.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Reading books by who? Israeli-government approved sources?

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            yes read books by “Israeli-government approved sources” .
            I’ll tell you what provide me with this list, you claim exists, and I’ll provide you with a source that is not on the list. sheesh.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sonnenuhr

            Israel held a commission into the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Gold Meir testified at the commission. Meir describe her decision to not order a preemptive strike when war seemed imminent, saying she was concerned it would jeopardize the support of the Americans

            “I can say with almost full confidence that if we launched a preemptive strike the American air lift wouldn’t come through. I don’t know if you know this, but the air lift didn’t go so smoothly,” she said. “I knew at least that accusation that we started the war won’t be. I said, 1973 is not 1967 and we won’t be forgiven this time. Maybe some men would still die, but I don’t know how many more others would die because of lack of equipment.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            By the way, I never claimed that a formal list existed. You put words into my mouth, which makes you a Likud troll who, like all such trolls, support genocide against the Palestinian people. At least Ayelet Shaked is open about it, so I give her props for that.

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            “i never said a formal list exists” oh man face it you said there was a list now you are backing off when challenged. Formal or informal there is no such thing as an Israeli gov’t approved list of books. Face you were wrong about both the list and the surprise. It’s evident that when you MW guys have to debate in a forum that is not moderated in your favor getting called on your BS sends you up a wall.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Just like you, I saw that on Wikipedia’s entry on the Yom Kippur War. But it also says this:

            “The war began when the Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions in the Israeli-occupied territories on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, which occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.”

            Now boys and girls, didja see where Wikipedia says it was a SURPRISE ATTACK” (caps mine).

            Contemplating pre-emptive strikes was an ongoing matter in Iaraeli security circles. But that doesn’t mean that they knew that an attack on Yom Kippur was coming.

            Reply to Comment
        • David

          Reality:

          Palestinians rejected the 1947 Partition Plan for just reasons grounded in international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% were of foreign origin, only 30% had taken out citizenship, tens of thousands were illegal immigrants) and owned less that 6% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal basis, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they be given 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine’s total Jewish population consisted of native anti-Zionist Palestinian/Arab Jews).

          Although native Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the population and owned over 94% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they have a mere 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem, East and West, and Bethlehem was to be a corpus separatum under international control). No wonder the utterly unjust and illegal Partition Plan was rejected by Palestinians. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel effective 15 May 1948 – after Jewish forces had already dispossessed and expelled 400,000 Palestinians per the Jewish Agency’s Plan Dalet – the UNGA, as requested by the Truman administration, was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship for Palestine. When war erupted due to the necessity of intervention by the outnumbered and outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians (e.g., 60,000 driven out of Haifa in April’48; 75,000 driven out of Jaffa in early May and 60,000 expelled from West Jerusalem in March and early May), a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

          During the ensuing war Israel seized 78% of Palestine, expelled a further 400,000 Palestinians and bulldozed about 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries. Just before and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in 1956, the IDF drove out 25,000 more Palestinians and during and after the war it launched on 5 June 1967, Israel seized the remaining 22% of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, (along with Egypt’s Sinai, Syria’s Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebba Farms) and expelled a further approximately 250,000 Palestinians as well as 150,000 Syrians and 30,000 Egyptians.

          Reply to Comment
          • Margot Dunne

            Thank you, David, for a very accurate historical account of the roots of the present tragedy. So many people who write here have no idea of the true history & consequent context of the Israel/Palestine conflict. There has been too much Zionist brainwashing for too many decades. Time for it to stop – time for Israel to hold itself to account – time for the voices of its great prophets to be heeded. One can only hope it is not too late.

            Reply to Comment
        • David

          Neither Egypt nor Syria attacked Israel in 1973. They attacked Israeli forces occupying sovereign Egyptian and Syrian lands. No Egyptian or Syrian land forces, aircraft or ships entered Israel
          proper, i.e., in accordance with UNSC Res. 242, its boundaries as of 4 June 1967.

          Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Those were not boundaries. They were cease-fire lines.

            Reply to Comment
    2. DR

      Who told you Palestinians support Hamas? The most recent poll from before the op had Fatah leaders taking it by a landslide. Gaza doesn’t hold elections and Hamas eliminated most of its political rivals there. It’s essentially a dictatorship right now.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        You didn’t read too carefully. Sheizaf said the Gazans support Hamas in its struggle with the Israeli army because to them it’s a war of independence.

        If and when the fighting stops long enough to have new elections, the Gazans may vote for a new leadership.

        Reply to Comment
      • Tal

        The poll commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was conducted BEFORE this war. This war as it is progressing may very well have a positive impact on support for Hamas in Gaza. War unites people under attack.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Sonnenuhr

      Palestinians support Hamas because they they want to see Israel destroyed and replaced with another Arab state.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        Wrong, SonnyBoy. You keep repeating the BigLies so often you’re making Goebbels jealous.

        The Palestinians voted in Hamas because the PLO was corrupt and squandered funds that were supposed to go to the poor.

        Likud MP Ayelet Shaked has called for total extermination of the Palestinian people. And Knesset Deputy Speaker Feiglin (sp?) called for total ethnic cleansing of Gaza. So do lecture us on what Hamas’ intentions are toward Israel, a country whose leaders developed and funded it to undermine Arafat.

        Reply to Comment
        • Rena

          “The Palestinians voted in Hamas because the PLO was corrupt and squandered funds that were supposed to go to the poor.” Really? Hamas is pure in this? all the money they have received for the poor went to the poor? Concrete intended for housing for the poor, went for housing for the poor? see if you can find some info on where all that money and building material ended up.

          Reply to Comment
      • Lo

        What does Hamas’ blinkered, self-destructive charter even mean in the face of Israeli preeminence?

        Hamas is well aware of the fact that advanced bottle rockets will never destroy the world’s 4th largest army, one that is both highly technologically advanced, has a nuclear capability, and enjoys the backing of the (current) international Hegemony.

        It also realizes that the Information Age will not abide the use of weapons designed to destroy Soviet columns against defenseless civilians. You can say its dishonorable, but I’m sure Hamas would not resort to tunneling and capture of enemy combatants as its most potent tool of it had full spectrum dominance of the battle space as Israel enjoys.

        Reply to Comment
        • Thierry Wasserman

          4th largest army?!? What are you smoking. Not in the top ten in either military expenditure, standing army, reserve army, or whatever you’re using to measure such nonsense.

          Reply to Comment
      • dadanarchist

        Of all the hasbara trolls on this page, you are by far the most boring.

        Reply to Comment
      • TheoG

        “Palestinians support Hamas because they they want to see Israel destroyed and replaced with another Arab state.”

        Utter rubbish.

        The 1917 Balfour Declaration, sanctioned by the idiotic British, illegally gave Palestinian lands to persecuted European Jews. In in their wisdom thought given the minority Jewish population the greater land area, and the greater Palestinian population the smaller land area.

        What ‘other Arab state’ did the Palestinians want in Palestine, when they already lived there!!?? The land is theirs!!

        Palestinians support the democratically elected Hamas because they wish to drive out the colonial, apartheid, occupier that is oppressing them in their own lands!!

        Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      Noam.
      Do Gazans want a two-State solution, or a one-State solution?

      The Vietnamese didn’t want to destroy the United States, they just wanted America to leave their country.

      Reply to Comment
      • JJ

        Joel: That was a great distinction you made between Shiezaf’s “analogy” between Gaza and Vietnam. The goals of the Gaza Palestinians and the Vietnamese were different.

        Reply to Comment
        • Micah

          Yes, Hamas thinks they are fighting an anticolonialist war like the Vietcong against the Americans, the Algerians against the French, the Afghans against the Soviets. But unlike the Americans, the French and the Soviets, Israel is not a colonial outpost of some foreign country. And therein lies the fundamental (and tragic) flaw in Hamas’s strategy. http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-tragic-self-delusion-behind-the-hamas-war/

          Reply to Comment
      • Sam

        That’s what I was thinking. If Hamas has independence as a goal, they should say so and clear up the confusion. Instead, their explicit, written goal is to put an Islamic state from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.

        And why is Israel expected to have empathy, but Hamas isn’t? Can’t Gazans be asked to empathize with Israel’s wish to continue to exist?

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          Hamas entered into a Unity Government with Mahmoud Abbas, who recognizes Israel. That says a lot about their intentions.

          As for Israel’s intentions, see my aforementioned citations from Shaket and Feiglin.

          Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “Hamas entered into a Unity Government with Mahmoud Abbas, who recognizes Israel. That says a lot about their intentions.”

            Go on say it Goldmarx. Say what you already said on another thread. That such action by Hamas means that they now recognize Israel.

            Tell me, do you people believe your own lies? What about the Hamas charter?

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Well, what about the Hamas charter? What about the PLO charter? And what about the Likud’s promise to expand Israel to a “Greater Israel”?

            Charters get violated all the time in the name of political expediency. Clearly, Hamas was going against the spirit, if not the letter, of part of its own Charter. Welcome to the Middle East!

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Really?

            So you think Hamas is just joking when in it’s charter it promises to destroy Israel. And their rockets just prove your point that they are joking?

            They want an end to the blockade? Stop the rockets and amend their charter. That’s all it would take. Are they doing it? Nope!

            As for your Likud point. Guess what: Likud is currently in power. The entire West Bank is under Israeli control. Yet the so called settlements take up only about 4% of the West Bank. So your claim that Likud aims to annex the entire West Bank is sheer fantasy.

            In both cases the proof is in the pudding. Hamas says that it wants to destroy Israel and acts like it. Likud could now annex the entire West Bank but it does not.

            Get a life and stop changing facts to suit your beliefs.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “So you think Hamas is just joking when in it’s charter it promises to destroy Israel. And their rockets just prove your point that they are joking?”

            Where did I say they were joking? Are you putting words in my mouth because you can’t win otherwise?

            “They want an end to the blockade? Stop the rockets and amend their charter. That’s all it would take.”

            Really? Do you want to stake your life on that? What will you do if Hamas does that and Israel doesn’t care?

            “In both cases the proof is in the pudding. Hamas says that it wants to destroy Israel and acts like it. Likud could now annex the entire West Bank but it does not.”

            Likud is annexing it in stages, building ever more settlements there, even as we post.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Where did I say they were joking? Are you putting words in my mouth because you can’t win otherwise?”

            Fine. Then I take it you agree with me that Hamas mean what they say about wanting to destroy Israel and replace it by an Islamic Arab state.

            Why are you making such a fuss then? You think Israel should just ignore that?

            “Really? Do you want to stake your life on that? What will you do if Hamas does that and Israel doesn’t care?”

            Wow! What would you have me do then? Cut my own throat?

            Here is a suggestion: Hamas could try it and see what happens. They could rescind their policy to destroy Israel and replacing it with an Arab state. If Israel would still not end the blockade, they could continue where they left off and do what they do now.

            “Likud is annexing it in stages, building ever more settlements there, even as we post.”

            Really? Name one new settlement built by Likud recently.

            Reply to Comment
          • ZH

            I urge you to check Hamas’s request for ceasefire. 10 demands that are very understandable to any human being. The people in Gaza have no rights, no economic freedom, liberty, and live in even more fear than the Israelis.
            When they joined Fatah as a unity government, they agreed to acknowledge and accept Israel as a state. If you do not remember Israel was very angered by this political move and used the poor 3 kidnapped Israeli boys for their political advantage. They had knowledge of their death and did not release it to the public, instead they went and searched hundreds of homes and instigated a large movement to find “our boys”.
            The continuing expansion of settlements in the occupied territory is another example of Israel’s real will for a two-state solution. There is none.

            The call for mass genocide and murder of Palestinians by Israeli government officials and Members of Parliament really shows the facade Israel has built to the western world and really shows the deep hate towards Arabs the government has and their lack of will to create a long lasting peace.

            At the end of the day both parties consist of many people that just want a long lasting peace, freedom, individuality, economic freedom, and liberty. However, Israeli’s have received 90% of these requests under the occupation while Palestinians have received close to none.

            This being said, I would like to state that I am not a supporter of Hamas and will please ask if you are going to reply to my post to please not put words in my mouth such as anti-jewish- anti-semite, etc. I am really interested in a long lasting peace for both peoples.

            Reply to Comment
          • mm

            Blockade didn’t start until 2007. Most people conveniently forget that.

            Reply to Comment
      • SKat

        Yes, but America does not have settlements in Vietnam…

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “Yes, but America does not have settlements in Vietnam…”

          Yep, we get it.

          It is ok to aim to destroy Israel because you claim that it has settlements in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem and in Gush Etzion.

          What about before 1967? There were no “settlements” then. What was their excuse for trying to destroy Israel then?

          Oooops!

          Reply to Comment
          • Eugene

            I’m very strongly against the violence of those who tried to destroy the new State of Israel in 1948 and I’m also strongly against the violence of those who used it to create the State of Israel.

            The “excuse” before 1947 was that Israel was founded without the consent of the local population as a state where Jews were racially favoured (law of return for Jews –> Jewish majority –> guaranteed Jewish control of government). Unfortunately too many people in the Middle East (and in much of the rest of the world) think in racial terms and consider violence to be an effective & heroic way of solving their problems. You can read the “Truth Against Truth” PDF produced by Gush Shalom, which I don’t agree with 100% but imho it’s one of the better resources out there.

            Reply to Comment
          • Judas Priest

            What?!
            How about Palestinians didn’t accept the UN’s division of the land to a Jewish state and an Arab state back in ’47 and then started war?
            Back then they were convinced that they could win ALL the land by killing ALL the Jews.

            Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Yes, the people of Gaza are completely dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That makes perfect sense.

        Dolt.

        Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          “Dolt.”

          Dolt? Do you think invective and insults strengthen your argument?

          Wrong. Try facts and logic.

          “Yes, the people of Gaza are completely dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That makes perfect sense.”

          Do you deny it? Have you read Hamas’s charter?

          That’s what you people do. When the facts don’t suit, you make up your own facts.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            Is that so? Well apparently China is supposed to be a socialist country, whose constitution enshrines workers’ control of the means of production. Don’t believe me? It’s written on an official piece of paper! That proves it!

            Double dolt.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “Double dolt”

            More insults. Oh my, you have a mind like a steel trap.

            “Well apparently China is supposed to be a socialist country, whose constitution enshrines workers’ control of the means of production. Don’t believe me? It’s written on an official piece of paper! That proves it!”

            And China proves it? So your contention is that because China makes propaganda about the condition of their workers, Hamas too just pretends to want to destroy Israel?

            Do you think that “pretending” to want to destroy Israel is an advantage or a disadvantage to Hamas?

            In my opinion, it is a disadvantage to them. So it must mean that they are not pretending. It means that they mean it!

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Silly analogy. Have you read the Hamas charter Reza? I love how all these people who claim to be progressives and favor peace make excuses for a bigoted and war mongering document.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            “Have you read the Hamas charter Reza?”

            Have YOU read the constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China?

            And your castigation of us goes more so for the Israeli “centre-left” who make common cause with the Jewish supremacist Ayelet Shakeds and Moshe Feiglins who populate the Knesset in the name of “patriotism.” Lord knows we should be grateful we didn’t have such “progressives” in America to scuttle the anti-Vietnam War movement with their cowardice and ideological incoherence.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Talking about supremacists, you don’t think Hamas are supremacists, Mr Lustig?

            No of course you don’t. Not much they are not [sarcasm].

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            At your suggestion I read the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China?. there was no racist or warmongering language in it. I have no idea who supports Ayelet Shakeds and for purposes of this discussion I don’t care. The only “cowardice and ideological incoherence” I’m addressing is yours.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            You missed my point, on purpose, by nitpicking. My point is that, just like the PRC doesn’t care about their constitution’s claim to be a socialist country where the workers’ control the means of production, Hamas ignores their own charter when they feel it is expedient to do so.

            Also, in case you didn’t notice, the PRC is a country, Hamas is a resistance organization/political party. Of course they have armed struggle as part of their “official” charter.

            And obviously Feiglin and Shaked have supporters, otherwise they wouldn’t have political careers.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gil Gamesh

            I’m not nitpicking at all. Much of Hamas’ charter in racist and warmongering is it not? Or haven’t you read it? China’s constitution aspires to socialism. Hamas’ charter aspires to racism and warmongering. I can’t be any clearer than that. YOU support a group with a racist warmongering doctrine. When I show support for China you can accuse me of supporting a country that aspires to be socialist but isn’t.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            …and to further support MR. Reza Lustig’s point (aorry for the gender typo earlier!), Bibi has not disavowed what Feiglin or Shaed said.

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            What exactly did I write that was nitpicking ? Face it I exposed your silly analogy for what it was. The Hamas charter is racist and warmongering and you continue to make excuses for it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            I don’t “support” Hamas. I support Israel being forced to unconditionally end the blockade, and the occupation altogether. Just as with Syria and Libya, as long as that is achieved, the ideological nature of the resistance is irrelevent. I’m not a tankie (named for Western leftists who supported the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia) who justifies occupation and imperialism, as long as it is carried out by “progressive” (in their own minds, at least) imperialists against “backwards” locals.

            Thus, I don’t really care about Hamas’ charter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Noir

            That will be a problem as long as HAMAS continues to try to smuggle weaponry, bombs, and other such things through egypt and into Isreal, as long as they make public statements to destroy the Jews, and to express desire to destroy all of Isreal.
            The problem is, they consider ALL of Isreal “occupied territory” and “theirs”. Their proposed Palestine is literally everything in Isreal, down to the borders. “Palestine” wasn’t a recognized separate country, or state. Not by the surrounding countries, not by the country occupying it, not even by the rest of the world. No one cared until it was given to Jews for them to have their own country “Israel”.

            Everything you say HAMAS said about wanting peace, their actions vastly differ from their words. They vehemently follow the law of “Taqiyya”. They claim to want peace, yet they also claim to want to destroy isreal. They aim rockets at civilian centers, They kidnap civilians, they just do things that won’t do anything but serve to cause death and mayhem. They are also backed and supported by terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Islamic Brotherhood. That speaks leagues about what they do. One question to ask, They spent tens of millions of dollars in tunnels that go straight into the territory of Isreal, with cuffs, weapons, rockets, syringes with tranqs inside em, while their population starve and are left with little to no education, while all who oppose them are beheaded. That speaks louder than anything they say if they got the “palestine” they wanted as to what that state of palestine would be like, in comparison to Isreal’s more secular and enlightened nation. Which state would you rather have? Why should we care about what you have to say?

            Reply to Comment
          • Noir

            That will be a problem as long as HAMAS continues to try to smuggle weaponry, bombs, and other such things through egypt and into Isreal, as long as they make public statements to destroy the Jews, and to express desire to destroy all of Isreal.
            The problem is, they consider ALL of Isreal “occupied territory” and “theirs”. Their proposed Palestine is literally everything in Isreal, down to the borders. “Palestine” wasn’t a recognized separate country, or state. Not by the surrounding countries, not by the country occupying it, not even by the rest of the world. No one cared until it was given to Jews for them to have their own country “Israel”.

            Everything you say HAMAS said about wanting peace, their actions vastly differ from their words. They vehemently follow the law of “Taqiyya”. They claim to want peace, yet they also claim to want to destroy isreal. They aim rockets at civilian centers, They kidnap civilians, they just do things that won’t do anything but serve to cause death and mayhem. They are also backed and supported by terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Islamic Brotherhood. That speaks leagues about what they do. One question to ask, They spent tens of millions of dollars in tunnels that go straight into the territory of Isreal, with cuffs, weapons, rockets, syringes with tranqs inside em, while their population starve and are left with little to no education, while all who oppose them are beheaded. That speaks louder than anything they say if they got the “palestine” they wanted as to what that state of palestine would be like, in comparison to Isreal’s more secular and enlightened nation. Which state would you rather have? Why should we care about what you have to say?

            Reply to Comment
    5. marc Gopin

      This is brilliant and important. the mistakes from lack of empathy

      Reply to Comment
    6. fred lapides

      While it is not unusual for a people to unite when attacked, clearly, Hamas is incapable of governing Gaza and has lost the support of a number of Arab nations. Now, with the siege, Hamas has turned down three cease firees. Even the Arab League has asked them to accept it for the sake of their own people and yet they thus far have refused.

      During the last seven years, Hamas banned public dissent while encouraging mass demonstrations supporting Hamas.
      And THISis the Hamas record to date! A disaster for the people of Gaza.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        No one is capable of governing Gaza given the restrictions placed on it by Israel since 2007.

        Hamas turned down cease-fires for which it was not even consulted. It has offered one of its own, with reasonable conditions, which Israel turned down.

        The Arab nations that no longer support Hamas do so because of Hamas’ link to the Muslim Brotherhood, not because of its troubles governing Gaza. Morsi, for example, would not have closed the Rafah gate.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “No one is capable of governing Gaza given the restrictions placed on it by Israel since 2007.”

          But the rockets from Gaza started in 2001. There was no blockade then. So what was their excuse for the rocket fire before 2007?

          And the rockets continued even after 2005 after Israel got out of Gaza completely and removed 10,000 settlers from their homes. There was no blockade then. So what was their excuse for the rockets?

          “Hamas turned down cease-fires for which it was not even consulted. It has offered one of its own, with reasonable conditions, which Israel turned down.”

          Reasonable conditions? Such as stop the blockade without them renouncing their policy to destroy Israel?

          Nope! That isn’t reasonable. You know why? Because without the blockade, they would be able to bring in more advanced rockets and make what they do now to Israel look like a Sunday school picnic!

          Reply to Comment
    7. Sara

      Thank you for writing this important perspective. This is one of the best articles I’ve read about the conflict as of late.

      Reply to Comment
    8. OH

      McNamara go to Hell. Now you found Jesus or something. Of course the Vietnamese were fighting for independence, you cruel, silly, ridiculous, fluffy freak.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Richard

      Mr. CEO: Did +972 retract Lisa Goldman’s posting of a video that allegedly showed the death of a green-shirted Palestinian civilian? Is +972 going to issue a formal retraction like normal publications do or simply take down the video because they realized its likely fake, hope nobody noticed, and carry on? Here is a real test of your credibility. I don’t think you’re going to pass it, but I’m happy to be wrong. Maybe I just can’t find the video because it was moved somewhere?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Gustav

      Thank you Noam, I have seen the light.

      I now emphatize with Hamas and the Palestinian people who voted for them in 2006 in the middle of a major peace initiative. I emphatize with their aim of wanting to see Israel destroyed and replaced by the twenty second Arab Muslim state.

      NOT!!!!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    11. Goldmarx

      “Then I take it you agree with me that Hamas mean what they say about wanting to destroy Israel and replace it by an Islamic Arab state.” No, I don’t agree. Being flexible about interpreting one’s charter is not the same thing as treating it as a joke.

      Why are you making such a fuss then? You think Israel should just ignore that?

      Israel is capable of ‘ignoring’ many things if it feels it serves its interest. Israel ignored Hamas’ true intent in the 1970s and 1980s because it sought to use it against the PLO; Israel ignored the PLO’s ‘charter’ and got the PLO to recognize Israel, etc.

      “Wow! What would you have me do then? Cut my own throat?” Now there is an interesting concept.

      “Here is a suggestion: Hamas could try it and see what happens. They could rescind their policy to destroy Israel and replacing it with an Arab state. If Israel would still not end the blockade, they could continue where they left off and do what they do now.” If that suggestion came from someone with integrity, OK; but from you or Arb or Gustav or Sonnyboy? No way.

      “Really? Name one new settlement built by Likud recently”

      This is what I’m talking about:

      http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/construction-on-new-west-bank-settlements-doubled-in-2013_21962

      “Construction on new West Bank settlements doubled in 2013″

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “Being flexible about interpreting one’s charter is not the same thing as treating it as a joke.”

        Yep, you are flexible alright. They say they want to destroy Israel and you are flexible about it. I am afraid we cannot be flexible when our enemies say they want to destroy us.

        The last time the Jews of Europe interpreted the ravings of a homocidal maniac flexibly, they paid a heavy price.

        “Israel is capable of ‘ignoring’ many things if it feels it serves its interest.”

        Yep. And we will decide what we are flexible about. Not the likes of you!

        “Now there is an interesting concept.”

        Cutting my own throat? I knew you would be amenable to that. You are a Hamas stooge and a hater.

        “If that suggestion came from someone with integrity, OK; but from you or Arb or Gustav or Sonnyboy? No way.”

        If I were you, I would not invoke the concept of integrity. The only words out of you which are not lies or distortions, are the ones which you don’t post.

        In any case, you expect Israel to take a risk by lifting the blockade and trust Hamas not to import advanced rockets with which it could do a better job than it is doing now to try and destroy Israel. If it’s trust would be misplaced, the situation could not be reversed and Israel would pay a heavy price.

        But you don’t want Hamas to take the risk of dropping it’s policy to destroy Israel because you don’t trust Israel. Even though if you would be right, Hamas could easily reverse their policy with very little consequence if Israel would not reciprocate.

        That says it all. You are full of it, Goldmarx. You are a Hamas stooge.

        John:“Really? Name one new settlement built by Likud recently”

        Goldmarx:This is what I’m talking about:

        http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/construction-on-new-west-bank-settlements-doubled-in-2013_21962

        My question still stands. Your propaganda rag has not named a single NEW “settlement” which Israel recently built. It talks about building activities within the perimeters of EXISTING “settlements”.

        I repeat, existing “settlements constitute about 4% maybe 6% of the area of the West Bank.

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          In your very first response to me on this thread, you said, “Get a life and stop changing facts to suit your beliefs.” Telling someone to ‘get a life’ is personal invective. That is where YOU started this pissing match.

          “Yep. And we will decide what we are flexible about. Not the likes of you!”

          –>What do you mean, “we”? If American taxpayers (of which I am one) don’t like what Israel is doing, then is WE who decide, because Israel can’t do SHIT against the Palestinians without the $3 billion + /year in US aid that Israel asks for. Spoiled brats who take your line really need to be smacked upside the head. And eventually, you will be.

          “But you don’t want Hamas to take the risk of dropping it’s policy to destroy Israel because you don’t trust Israel. Even though if you would be right, Hamas could easily reverse their policy with very little consequence if Israel would not reciprocate.”

          –> If Israel centers into talks with Hamas with no preconditions and bargains in good faith, I have no problem with Hamas risking that. You would have known that if you conducted yourself in a respectful manner, but you don’t want to do that because of your fascist mindset. As a son of Holocaust survivors, why shouldn’t I be amenable to someone with that mindset committing suicide? It’ll save me the trouble!

          “My question still stands. Your propaganda rag has not named a single NEW “settlement” which Israel recently built. It talks about building activities within the perimeters of EXISTING “settlements”.

          –> It’s not my rag, since I’m not on staff here, doofus. And how is expanding the size of existing settlement not a manifestation of creeping annexation? By the way, Bibi has announced plans to build new West Bank settlements in honor of the three Jewish teenagers killed recently.

          Reply to Comment
    12. Avdim

      “Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?”

      Because their priorities are screwed up. That simple.

      Reply to Comment
    13. After MH17, Rocket falls near Israel airport. Airlines cancel operations. God knows when these fights will stop. Tel Aviv airport is a crucial target for attackers…- http://bit.ly/1wYZxvK

      Reply to Comment
    14. Murica

      These sickening photos must have brought a thundering round of applause from the ‘poor unfortunate victims’ that were responsible. The entire world is watching. 99.99% are applauded and repulsed.

      END ALL U.S. TIES WITH israel NOW!

      Reply to Comment
    15. Goldmarx

      “Cutting my own throat? I knew you would be amenable to that. You are a Hamas stooge and a hater.”

      No, I am a left Zionist who believes that Ben Gurion should have finished the job with the Altalena. Yitzhak Rabin’s murder was never properly avenged.

      True, I hate fascists, including the ones like you who pose as patriots but who are like a cancer eating away at the soul of my people, the Jewish people. Justice demands that you will be dealt with harshly, in the name of Zionism.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “No, I am a left Zionist who believes that Ben Gurion should have finished the job with the Altalena. Yitzhak Rabin’s murder was never properly avenged.”

        Funny that. I hate Rabin’s murderer too. Yigal Amir murdered a true Zionist and a devoted son of Israel. He committed a crime against Israel by dividing our nation. And you are no better than him in intent. In fact, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword and you are assassinating your people on a daily basis. You are nothing but scum.

        “True, I hate fascists, including the ones like you who pose as patriots but who are like a cancer eating away at the soul of my people, the Jewish people. Justice demands that you will be dealt with harshly, in the name of Zionism.”

        I am not even convinced that you are Jewish. You sound much more like a Hamas stooge who wants to divide and conquer. You won’t succeed. I respect all Zionists, be they leftists or right wingers. As long as they are true Zionists. You don’t even sound to be a Jewish let alone a Zionist.

        But on the off chance that you are Jewish then, then let me just say that let’s not kid ourselves, we too as a people have our share of fools. And there is no greater fool than a Jewish fool.

        Twice in our history the temple fell because of people like you who believed in sinaat hinam.

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          You, Arb, Gustav, Steve Plaut, for example are the ones perpetrating sinat hinam here by flinging vulgar epithets whenever you’re losing an argument. You start that, but some of us won’t be intimidated. We will respond not only in kind, but even DISPROPORTIONATELY, because that’s one thing I have learned from Israel.

          I don’t believe you are Jewish, either. You smell of swastika.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            I have lost the argument? You have dropped the argument entirely and you started on the invective instead.

            Here, let’s try again. Respond to this:

            If Hamas would drop it’s policy about Israel’s destruction, Israel would lift the blockade.

            You claim, you don’t believe that Israel would end the blockade even then, so you advocate that Hamas should NOT drop it’s policy. Why? What has Hamas to lose by trying? If Israel would not reciprocate, Hamas could just resume where it left off and behave as it behaves NOW!

            On the other hand you advocate that Israel should stop the blockade against Hamas and hope that Hamas would reciprocate by dropping it’s policy to destroy Israel.

            Now let’s see the risk in that for Israel: If you are wrong, Hamas would get the chance to arm itself with much more advanced missiles and make what is happening to Israel now, look like a sunday school picnic.

            You did not even respond to the above Goldmarx. And you won the argument? You are funny.
            :)

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Here, let’s try again. Respond to this:

            If Hamas would drop it’s policy about Israel’s destruction, Israel would lift the blockade.”

            “Again”? That’s not what you argued originally. You wanted Hamas to STOP FIRING ROCKETS and change their charter, and that is what I was answering.

            I have no objection to Hamas to making a paper change to test Israel, but let’s see Likud change its ‘charter’ on Greater Israel as well. Or did that not occur to you?
            Because of who YOU are, the whole idea smacks of insincerity.

            “On the other hand you advocate that Israel should stop the blockade against Hamas and hope that Hamas would reciprocate by dropping it’s policy to destroy Israel.”

            –> Nope. I have advocated on this website’s comment section that Israel negotiate with Hamas on the latter’s call for a ten-year truce, with Hamas’ list of demands as the basis for those negotiations. Within that context, Israel can bargain for Hamas concessions.

            Reply to Comment
    16. Goldmarx

      “Funny that. I hate Rabin’s murderer too.” What’s funny is that you expect anybody outside of Hasbarah Central to believe you.

      “In fact, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword and you are assassinating your people on a daily basis. You are nothing but scum.”

      My politics, as you well know, are nearly identical to Larry Derfner’s and to many of the 972 staff. So are they assassinating Jews too? Are they scum?

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        J:“Funny that. I hate Rabin’s murderer too.”

        G:”What’s funny is that you expect anybody outside of Hasbarah Central to believe you.”

        I expect nothing from the likes of you. Why would I care what you think of me?

        J:“In fact, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword and you are assassinating your people on a daily basis. You are nothing but scum.”

        G:”My politics, as you well know, are nearly identical to Larry Derfner’s and to many of the 972 staff. So are they assassinating Jews too? Are they scum?”

        Some of them ARE! But at least, unlike you, they don’t pretend to be Zionists so they are more honest than you. And that makes them less scum than you.

        Now, about the word “scum”, just for the record, I only started using it to describe you, after you made it clear that you would like to see me dead!

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Last but not least, let’s talk about you Goldmarx. You might be like Larry Derfner but you are NOTHING like Rabin.

          I am much more like Rabin than you are. My views are much closer to Rabin’s who was a Zionist and who dedicated his life to Israel. You on the other hand hate Israel and again, you are obviously not a Zionist.

          Here is a challenge for you: prove me wrong. Talk to me about what Rabin stood for and advocated. Here is your chance to show us what you know and you don’t know. Go on, I dare you!

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “I am much more like Rabin than you are.”

            If you’re going to use that knife in the suggested manner, your aim will be better if you stop smoking crack. Rabin’s rhetoric was not only dovish but he acted in accord with Peace Now by fostering mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, thereby putting the concept of the two-state solution into the mainstream.

            You, on the other hand, are a hawk whose views on the Palestinian differ in no significant way from Rabin’s assassin. No doubt he too would be cheering Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “Rabin’s rhetoric was not only dovish but he acted in accord with Peace Now by fostering mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, thereby putting the concept of the two-state solution into the mainstream.”

            Thanks for telling me what I am for and what I am not for.

            Now put on your hearing aid and hear this:

            I AM FOR THE TWO STATE SOLUTION!

            But only if we get what we ask for in return. Like:

            1. No right of return.

            2. Recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

            3. No return to the 1949 armistice lines (the 1967 boundaries). Have land swaps instead.

            As for Rabin, he did not even promise a Palestinian state. All he offered was autonomy. Go read real history books, not Gush Shalom mumbo jumbo.

            Here read this link:

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/rabin-formally-opposed-a-palestinian-state-more-than-a-year-after-white-house-handshake-letter-from-1994-shows/

            “Rabin formally opposed a Palestinian state more than a year after White House handshake, letter from 1994 shows”

            Oops, don’t you feel embarrassed, Goldmarx?

            Reply to Comment
    17. For Palestinians, the Gaza war has always been about ending the siege as part of their war of independence, but Israelis refuse to understand this.This is the point very few Israeli supporters do not want to understand .Instead they blame rocket firing only

      Reply to Comment
    18. David

      Israel is an historical anachronism, a foreign transplant that history will record as a mere blip. 21st century geopolitics, international economics, international law and demographics are with the native Arabs, not Israeli Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Hadi Sheriff

      I totally agree with this article by 972

      Reply to Comment
    20. Gustav

      You wish …

      Reply to Comment
    21. Goldmarx

      “I expect nothing from the likes of you. Why would I care what you think of me?”

      If you didn’t care, who are you bothering to respond to my posts here? Why do you ‘care’ if I want to see you dead?

      Your actions contradict your words.

      “G:”My politics, as you well know, are nearly identical to Larry Derfner’s and to many of the 972 staff. So are they assassinating Jews too? Are they scum?”

      Some of them ARE! But at least, unlike you, they don’t pretend to be Zionists so they are more honest than you. ”

      Some of them? Please name them.

      Last I checked, Larry says he’s a Zionist, just not a Likudnik like you. And, you have failed to demonstrate how anything I have posted here violates the definition of Zionism.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “If you didn’t care, who are you bothering to respond to my posts here? Why do you ‘care’ if I want to see you dead?

        Your actions contradict your words.”

        Why do I care if someone wishes me dead? Are you really that stupid? I don’t care what you think of me. But you wishing me dead, that’s another matter. I take note of anyone who wishes me dead.

        My advice to you is to think before you leap lest you fall into your own trap. I am not a pacifist and I take a dim view of anyone who tries to murder me.

        But relax, despite your ill will, I would never present a threat to anyone who does not physically attack me. I believe in democracy and free speech even for arse holes like you. However, should you resort to physical threats, that is another story. Know what I mean?

        Why do I respond to you? That’s easy. In order to counteract your and lies and your propaganda.

        Reply to Comment
    22. rami gelber

      Gaza borders with Egypt!!! “Fellow” arabs, why dont the Egyptiens provide them with electricty, water, cement, medecins. open border?

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        Cause Sisi is a minion of Israel and US, his coup was backed by them and now he serves his masters.
        Well, that was an easy one to answer..

        Reply to Comment
    23. Eli Yaron

      “Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege” How can possibly believe that. I for one would never hire the IDF to enforce a siege. They did a horrible job on Gaza where is truly life threatening. It is Hammas choice, and they are very successful in passing the buck to others. 972 organization, do you always side with barbaric organizations?

      Reply to Comment
    24. Annie

      Stop arguing. It doesn’t help.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Brenda

      A very good article and analysis. I was following closely the US-sponsored peace negotiations and readily agree; it was inevitable, when Netanyahu chose not to pursue a peace treaty with an independent Palestine there would be a violent uprising. The living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza — and the West Bank under direct Israeli occupation — would not allow a simple acquiescence. There would be a price to pay for declining the peace treaty.

      The Vietnam analogy is apt. Also, some elements of the American fight against black apartheid hold here. When the non-violent tactics of MLK were having not a lot of effect, the black power radicals forced the issue. Blacks burned their own neighborhoods — something that was puzzling and incomprehensible at the time.

      Reply to Comment
    26. shad Saturne

      What can one expect if he chooses death over life. If he chooses destruction over building.
      The Palestine people should have learned a lesson from Israel. Learn to make the best from what you have. Focus on improving yourself and your life, not on destroying another.

      Hatred never served a purpose of growth, only destruction.

      Had the Palestinian chose a progressive government and used foreign funds to grow, they would have a better life and would not feel they are victims. Open borders would be possible and even open trade with Israel.

      When one has something to lose he will not risk losing it.

      Unfortunately, they spent their money on arms and rockets and focused on destruction of Israel not on making a better life for themselves.

      They let thugs run the state and saw the direction they were heading, yet they did not protest.

      Israel is protecting their citizens from harm, yet Hamas just brings more harm to the people they represent.

      People who care for their women and children will do all to protect them. Move them out of harms way. They should care about the children not to let them play in a war zone.

      They were told to evacuate, why stay and be counted as collateral damage.

      To turn this crisis into a positive settlement, the Palestinian should outlaw Hamas, become democratic and start thinking about living in peace with Israel and focusing on improving all walks of life.

      They can truly benefit from dealing with a democratic country who always strive to improve themselves

      Reply to Comment
    27. Hello. I translated this article to spanish (here: bit.ly/1nSz1Ud). It would be nice to have more articles like this translated because they give a deeper understanding than what appear on the mass media.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Brian

      What an excellent and insightful article, a piece of wisdom.

      Reply to Comment
    29. PhilR

      It’s vitally important to understand how things look to the civilian population of Gaza. It makes sense the way the author explains it. What’s disturbing, though, is that it’s also easy to see how Hamas’s continued rocket fire (which was not accompanied by any stated demand or purpose) right after Israel withdrew is part of what took any extensive withdrawal from the West Bank off the table. And it’s hard to believe that Hamas wasn’t angling to block further progress toward a negotiated solution. So it looks like Hamas successfully manipulated Israel into acting (and sometimes overreacting) in ways that would support its claim that violence was the only way. What would have happened if Hamas had pledged from the outset to hold its fire to give Gaza’s economy a chance to stabilize?

      Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        You ask ‘what would have happened if Hamas had pledged from the outset to hold its fire to give Gaza’s economy a chance to stabilise’?

        Nothing except the siege of Gaza would have happened. Israel fears Fatah/Hamas reconciliation and Palestinian solidarity and needs to maintain its divide and conquer strategy in place.

        And if Israel is somehow being forced or tricked into ‘overreacting’ by Hamas as you indicate, then more fool Israel.

        Israel can imprison, kill and detain Palestinians at its will – and it does with the support of Fatah based Palestinian security and the USA Government – but it cannot win the main game; Zionism is failing and Israel is being recognised as a rogue state.

        Reply to Comment
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