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‘Finish the job’

This is the watchword in Israel today, no matter the price.

Late last night (Monday), I was driving home from work and listening to the talk show hosted by Jojo Abutbul, who is sort of an old-time folk hero in this country – a Mizrahi Jew with down-to-earth wisdom. An Israeli common man. He speaks mainly to an older, Likud-oriented Mizrahi crowd, which is still very reflective of Israeli mainstream views, and is disproportionately represented in Sderot and some of the other towns near the Gaza border that have taken the brunt of Hamas’ rockets. Jojo Abutbul and his callers are an important voice in Israeli public opinion, especially now, during the war. They’re thought to be on the right wing of the mainstream.

They were speaking after a day in which seven Israeli soldiers had been killed, and a family of 26 had been killed in Gaza. The first tragedy overhung everything they said; the second was not mentioned. And the phrase that kept being repeated was, “Finish the job.” Abutbul said, “It hurts me, the number of soldiers who have fallen. But I think I’ll be able to withstand any number if they finish the job. But if even one soldier meets his fate and they don’t finish the job, then I’m going to find this impossible to take.”

A mourner carries the body of a child among 24 members of the Abu Jamea family, who were killed the previous day during an Israeli attack over the Bani Suhaila neighborhood of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip.

A mourner carries the body of a child among 24 members of the Abu Jamea family, who were killed the previous day during an Israeli attack over the Bani Suhaila neighborhood of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip.

I thought, well, that’s an “authentic” Israeli voice today, but it’s not the only one, and it’s probably somewhere to the right of the center of gravity. I still believed there were a lot of Israelis who are saying “enough” – not just left-wingers but centrist Israelis who cannot take anymore Israeli soldiers getting killed and want the fighting to end now. This, after all, is supposed to be a basic truth about the Israeli political mentality – that they won’t stand for large numbers of casualties in war. And seven soldiers were killed yesterday, and 13 the day before, and now 27 Israelis have been killed all told. This morning the news is that a soldier is missing in action, which means a whole agonizing bargaining ordeal again.

All the things Israelis were warned about if the fighting went on too long – international outrage over the scenes of Palestinian civilians being slaughtered, large numbers of Israelis being killed, soldiers being captured – have now happened. I would expect that a lot of people, not just leftists, would be echoing the world by calling for a ceasefire right now.

Then this morning I picked up a copy of Yedioth Ahronoth, the “newspaper of the nation,” what I consider to be the clearest window there is into Israeli society. The front-page commentary is by Yuval Diskin, the former Shin Bet chief and conscience-ridden star of “The Gatekeepers,” the incessant critic of Netanyahu’s hardline policies – and the title of his commentary is “Don’t Stop Yet.”

We need to expand the ground operation because the operation must not end with the status quo. The home front is prepared to pay the price so that the problem of the rockets will be solved for the long term. The operation to destroy the tunnels is absolutely vital.”

Actually, the main price for the home front now is not the rockets, but the deaths of the soldiers. Are we prepared to pay that price? Evidently.

Funeral of Israeli soldier Banaya Rubel, Holon, Israel.  Rubel was killed during clashes in Gaza. (photo: Activestills.org)

Funeral of Israeli soldier Banaya Rubel, Holon, Israel. Rubel was killed during clashes in Gaza. (photo: Activestills.org)

But there was also a column inside by Shimon Shiffer, who wails away at Netanyahu’s rejectionism toward the Palestinians; his commentary was titled “The Next War.” Ah, he’s going to provide a little balance, he’s going to say the war is futile, that either we change our approach to the Palestinians or the next war is on the way.

Shiffer slammed Netanyahu alright – but for failing to be warrior enough, for bending to international pressure.

As has happened in past military campaigns, so it threatens to happen again: the operation against Hamas ends with a sense of missed opportunity, with the knowledge that the mission and objectives of Operation Protective Edge were not fully achieved. … It can be assumed, without cynicism, that Netanyahu will find a way to sell us the successes of Protective Edge.”

Well, he took it to Bibi, anyway, so he earned his paycheck from Yedioth.

The front-page headline, beneath the photos of 10 soldiers who were killed, reads “Model Commanders.” The tone of the paper is not tragic, it’s heroic. The message is that the deaths of the soldiers has only increased our will to fight to the end, to finish the job.

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It’s pretty much in line with what I’m hearing from the people in my “social circles.” They’re not mainly leftists, they’re mainly center-leftists – they’d like Labor leader Isaac Herzog or Tzipi Livni to be prime minister. They’d love to be rid of the settlements. They’re completely heartbroken over the soldiers’ deaths, and they’re sorry for the Palestinian civilians’ deaths, too. But as far as I can tell, they believe in the necessity of this war, they see it as a war of self-defense against Hamas. And if the army says it needs to finish the job and that now is not the time for a ceasefire, which is what the army is saying, they’re not going to disagree.

I wasn’t here in 1982, but it is said that 400,000 Israelis protested in Tel Aviv’s Malchei Israel (now Rabin) Square against the Lebanon War. What happened? I know what happened, but the contrast between then and the way things are now is still uncanny.

At the beginning of this war, when it was impossible to call it a war, when the “kill ratio” was 200 to 0, I was filled with loathing at this country, at the complacency in the face of what the air force was doing to people in Gaza. But now that Israeli soldiers are dying – mainly young soldiers, of course – I don’t think I have any anger left in me.

Sunday morning, after a day in which 13 soldiers were killed and 100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, mainly in Shujaiyeh, I thought, That’s it. Israelis are not going to tolerate so many soldiers being killed, and the world is not going to tolerate so many Palestinian children getting killed. Putting aside the world reaction, I thought Israelis, as deadened as they are toward the evil we do to the Palestinians, would save the situation with their finest quality: their inability to withstand the deaths of their own, especially their young.

I was wrong. Evidently, if they believe that the war is serving a purpose, in this case to bring long-term security to Israel, at least from Gaza, then they will put up with the deaths of their soldiers.

They’re not callous – far, far from it. Israelis really do have good hearts, and they love their own, especially their young, as much as any people on earth. The problem is their minds, or rather their collective mind, the mind of this society – it is geared like a sports car engine to war.

PHOTOS: A Gaza funeral for 26 members of one family
Mourning death wherever it strikes
Why Palestinians continue to support Hamas

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    1. Sonnenuhr

      Israel, you are a bad country. So says Larry Derfner. Israel is a bad country since it exercises its right of self defense against a hostile entity called Gaza which is controlled by an extremist Islamic quasi government called Hamas. Hamas’ reason for existence is the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of all Jews.

      Hamas knows that it cannot destroy the state of Israel but they wage war none the less. Each war they improve their capabilities. Their missiles fly further and most of Israel is under threat of deadly missile attacks. Israeli communities in Southern Israel near the Gaza cease fire lines are also under threat of attack from Hamas terrorists swimming ashore or tunneling under the fence separating Gaza and Israel. The intent of these attacks is to cause massive civilian causalities during these suicide missions.

      Yet for Derfner Israel is bad in exercising its right of self defense.

      The people of Israel are right to want the IDF to end the threat and to see Gaza demilitarized once again as it was in 1970-71. The force that Israel uses will be proportionate to remove the threat to Israeli citizens. The only thing which might stop Israel is the United States’ administration which has a hard time stomaching the type of civilian collateral damage which it imposed in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and permits in Syria.

      If Israel is not allowed to finish the job and the international community does not demilitarize Gaza, another war will follow.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        If Israel continues its economic stranglehold of Gaza, its inhumane blockade, continues sabotaging the Palestinian unity government (and with that the elections in the territories), THEN another war will follow.

        Reply to Comment
        • vivarto

          As long as Arabs are occupying Jewish land, the struggle for liberation of Palestine will continue.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Goldmarx

      “Israel is a bad country since it exercises its right of self defense against a hostile entity called Gaza which is controlled by an extremist Islamic quasi government called Hamas.”

      The Likud regime is evil because it is a bully has had Gaza in a chokehold since it set up the blockade. Bullies do not have the right of self-defense when their victims fight back.

      Hamas is evil? Blah blah blah. Hamas was spawned and financed largely by a succession of Israeli governments to undermine the PLO. Did you expect Hamas to be nice and benevolent? Hamas is Israel’s stepchild, so don’t whine about what the stepchild does. Instead, Israel should stop the fighting, get the hell out of Gaza, and call for direct unconditional talks with the Hamas leadership.

      Reply to Comment
      • Arb

        “Hamas was spawned and financed largely by a succession of Israeli governments to undermine the PLO”

        False. As already demonstrated to you.

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          Demonstrated by you? Really? Because an Israeli intelligencer denied it in a Wall Street Journal article that featured “Israel Help Spawn Hamas” in its headline? I’m sure that headline helped your cause.

          And the man who denied it denied that Israel armed Hamas, even though he wasn’t asked about that. That is suspicious, which leads one to wonder if Israel wasn’t in fact, arming Hamas to kill Arafat.

          I already posted links to Mr. Sale’s 2002 UPI piece about the financing, and there’s also Justin Raimondo’s article on his anti-war website. These articles stand unrefuted.

          Reply to Comment
          • arb

            No, I offered you Azzam Tamimi’s book, “Hamas: A History from Within.” I told you on which page to look and gave you a link for google books.

            And here again is the link to the WSJ article. This time, try to read it without your lips moving and maybe you’ll understand it.


            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            The link you provided only strengthens the case that Israel did finance Hamas, going far beyond sitting back and allow civil liberties to bloom.

            Avner Cohen: “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation.” He worked in Gaza for more than two decades, responsible for religious affairs there. He warned Israel of the dangers of Sheikh Yassin, but his warnings went unheeded

            Well, speaking of Azzam Tamimi, this is what he told Grace Halsell of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs(December 1998):

            And where does Hamas get its money? “In the West, this question generally is raised to create suspicion,” Tamimi said. While Israel today puts pressure on Washington to prevent money from any source in the U.S. getting to Hamas, Israel had a different agenda originally. Initially, it saw the PLO as the enemy. And, in its determination to undermine the PLO, Israel supported Hamas, financially as well as by other means. After co-opting the PLO, Israel then saw Hamas as the enemy.”

            How sad for Arb that Tamimi won’t dance to his tune

            Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Absolutely false.

          Hamas is the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, and 80 year old movement.
          Yes, Israel stood by for a bit and let Hamas social welfare programs grow, but as soon as Hamas armed itself and showed it’s true colors, Israel completely repudiated it.

          Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        Likud did not institute the blockade. It was done by leftist leaders, Olmert and Livni.

        Israel did not birth Hamas. Under Israeli occupation Israel allowed freedom of speech, movement and association, including for Islamic movements. Ahmed Yassin, a member of Muslim brotherhood, taking advantage of Israeli tolerance established the Islamic Center in 1973 and another Islamic Organization which focused on charity, schools, social and welfare issues for Muslims. He was motivated by the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and restored to violence against Fatah. Yassin was imprisoned and released in a prisioner exchange. In 1987 he founded Hamas and in 1989 began terrorist attacks against Israel.

        Yassin in line with his ideology approved of suicide bombing of civilians. He believed that all of what was Mandate Palestine was a holy Islamic trust for Muslims until the judgment day. He said:

        “”Palestine” should be “consecrated for future Muslim generations until judgment day” and that no Arab leader had the right to give up any part of its territory.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          Olmert and Livni were never leftists. They started out in Likud and later became part of a new party to gain more prominence politically for themselves.

          They evolved into something less extreme than standard Likud policy, so this makes them “center-right”, not leftist.

          The rest of your post does nothing to change the facts mentioned in the source material I have cited. Sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming “La la la” won’t make these inconvenient facts go away.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Arb

      “Evidently, if they believe that the war is serving a purpose, in this case to bring long-term security to Israel, at least from Gaza, then they will put up with the deaths of their soldiers.”

      It is fascinating to see you write “they” and “their” instead of “we” and “our.”

      The deaths of the soldiers make it much tougher for Israel to walk away now without an “achievement” and the only achievement which will suffice is one that indicates that the Hamas threat is ameliorated significantly.

      Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Your only real achievement will be achieving a civilian kill-count in the triple digits. Of course, in the name of “Israel’s right to self-defense,” you are absolved of guilt simply by crying crocodile tears and trying to pass your guilt to the Gazan people for not having a revolution against Hamas.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      Thanks for the thoughtful piece, Larry. I think, however, that the narrative of Lebanon 2 and Cast Lead is the driving force behind the phenomenon you describe. Following Lebanon 2 there were two popular criticisms of the conduct of that war. The first was that the reserves were let down with shoddy equipment and poor training. The second that the campaign did not go far enough. In Cast Lead the main criticism was that, again, the campaign did not go far enough in pummeling Gaza. Operation Pillar of Cloud only retrenched this narrative when it added “until the next round” into the lexicon. I think that over 8-years the discourse on this topic has created an architecture in which IDF fatalities will be tolerated so long as the IDF is seen to be escalating its violence over time. I think that contrary to previous outbursts of Israeli bellicosity the government risks its incumbency if it is seen to end the ‘war’ too soon.

      Reply to Comment
    5. sh

      It’s like this each time. In 2006 apparently normative people thought it was ok to go on carpet-bombing the whole of South Lebanon and littering it with cluster bombs in order to stop Hezbollah rockets; the Olmert government pretended to be terribly frustrated when the world finally called a halt to it. In 2009 Cast Lead, same thing. The world gives Israel a bit of leeway and when things go pear-shaped bangs on the table while we moan in a corner that we weren’t allowed to finish the job.

      There’s really nothing special about our behaviour this time around, bombarded as we are not only by rockets but also bombast, gag orders, hasbara and diversions that make you forget what happened only the day before yesterday. Israel always plays the part of the furious giant whose fists end up being tied by the UN. Maybe the truth is that the Palestinians are not going anywhere and we’d better get used to the idea of working with them towards an end to hostilities even if that involves us giving up on something?

      Finally, going by Hezbollah’s book, if Hamas is still upright when the cease-fire kicks in it will be seen as the victor. Then follows the body-parts swaps chapter of the ritual. And then?

      Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        The problem in 2006 was that the international community did not force Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah. Now Hezbollah is in Syria killing Syrian civilians and armed to the teeth in Lebanon. Lebanon teeters on the ledge of civil war between Salafist, Hezbollah and other segments of Lebanese society.

        At some point, Hezbollah may chose to start another war, to save itself as Hamas has done in Gaza. Cursing, fighting and killing Jews is always a winning strategy in the Arab world.

        Hopefully the result of this Gaza war will be to demilitarize Gaza, if not war is only a rocket away.

        Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        The problem in 2006 was that the international community did not force Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah. Now Hezbollah is in Syria killing Syrian civilians and armed to the teeth in Lebanon. Lebanon teeters on the ledge of civil war between Salafist, Hezbollah and other segments of Lebanese society.

        At some point, Hezbollah may chose to start another war, to save itself as Hamas has done in Gaza. Cursing, fighting and killing Jews is always a winning strategy in the Arab world.

        Hopefully the result of this Gaza war will be to demilitarize Gaza, if not war is only a rocket ride away.

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          Hezbollah won’t start a war with Israel in the future. Given current trends, the Likud regime will provoke Hezbollah – something that they’ve had a lot of practice with over in Gaza.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Whiplash

      Derfner states:

      “The problem is their minds, or rather their collective mind, the mind of this society – it is geared like a sports car engine to war.”

      Well, Larry, the Israeli engine was forged and calibrated in an existential war in 1947 to 1949. So was the collective mind of the Israelis, fight or be exterminated.

      Since 1949 Israel has not been allowed to retire its sports car engine but has had to overhaul the chassis and change the spark plugs. In this endeavor all Jews, except Haredi, are required to serve as part of the pit crew of this racing machine to perserve the right of the Israeli state to exist.

      The Arab pit crews continually try to sabotage the Israeli machine and its people. They continually issue bellicose statements not only how they are going to vanquish the Israeli sports car while the Israeli pit crew sleeps but tell the pit crews that they intend to kill them so that another Israeli car may never again be manufactured.

      Collectively the Israeli pit crew knows and believes that Arabs would carry out their threats if they were able. Thus the Israeli pit crew duly improves its car’s chassis, changes its spark plugs and keeps a competitive advantage over its rivals.

      Ynetnews has on its website a Hamas tunnel video showing how Hamas intends to use the tunnels to kill Israeli settlers in Southern Israel. To Hamas all Israelis are part of Israel’s pit crew and must be killed. Israel’s collective mind already knows this and has been in a war with Hamas and Palestinians over the Palestinians’ desire to kill the Israeli state and kill its citizens since the Israeli war of independence.

      Let us have no illusions here, Arabs who have killed thousands of Palestinians and other Arabs in Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Sudan would have no compunction in killing all Jews of Israel if they were given a chance. One only has to remember that King Hussein of Jordan killed 15,000 Palestinians in 1970 and expelled 20,000 from his territory. King Hussein was a hero. Lebanon keeps 500,000 Palestinians in slum communities and prevents them from working at many occupations. Kuwait killed many Palestinians and expelled 400,000 of them from their territory. Iraq turned on the Palestinians after the fall of their dictator. Syria has killed thousands of Palestinian and smashed their home communities.

      The fact that Arab countries have not prevented their brothers from killing each other, is no comfort to Israelis who are their mortal enemies. And Larry wonders why Israelis keep their sports car engine revved up.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        The fact that Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel exposes your racist nonsense about “the Arabs”.

        Reply to Comment
    7. David

      National chauvinism has become so ingrained into the Israeli collective consciousness and the demonization of the Palestinians has become so pervasive that the Israelis have become anesthitized to the hopes and the pain of “the other.” Claiming a proprietary right to suffer dehumanizes both oppressor and oppressed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Craig Vale

        David, I’d go a bit further and charge Israel with having their own version of the “Final Solution” Additionally one could argue that they even have their own iteration of Lebensraum too, in that anyone who sees a map of 1947 and compares it to what Israel has acquired since they became a nation, it is abundantly clear that the goal is the total ethnic cleansing with the hope of seeing condos and falafel shops along the shores of the Mediterranean the sooner the better.
        Hamas will fight to the bitter end to get rid of the siege and Israel has no plans to end its dehumanizing policies anytime soon. So the blood of Palestinians will continue to soak the sands of Gaza and mark my words here….. The West Bank too, as this recent brutal and murderous assault is about to come into focus as more and more social media outlets publicize the inhumanity directed by Bibi and his bullies. Hasbara can’t control each and every cell phone or iPad.

        Reply to Comment
        • David

          Craig, my caveat is that as oppressive as Israeli policy is, it should not be compared to the Holocaust.

          Reply to Comment
          • Craig Vale

            I’d argue it is a matter of degree when making the comparison because the issues are nearly identical although the numbers are not. In the past decade some 4300 Gazan’s have been killed by the IDF or settlers and less than 100 Israeli’s and the Lebensraum I referred to is certainly provable and comparable when looking at the maps contained in the link below. So, while it may not be as dramatic and ubiquitous as was the holocaust, the underlying features are quite similar and the ultimate goal undeniable. The rightist’s in Israel want to drive out every last Palestinian in Gaza and then they will turn their attention to the West Bank and ethnically cleanse that area as all. I t will take a while but that is the goal. In any event thanks for your thoughtful reply.


            Reply to Comment
          • Eliza

            David, why the caveat at comparing Israeli actions to the Holocaust?

            Zionism, from its earliest days has been (and still is) founded on the requirement to remove as many non-Jews as possible from the land.

            The Third Reich did not arrive at the ‘Final Solution’ until the transfer of Jews from Germany or German occupied land became impossible because receiving states did not want to accept too many German Jews and the reality of WW11. Hitler was a Zionist in his own way.

            The death camps were the end of the process of German racial purification. Not the beginning or even the middle.

            Just what restraint do you really think Israel would show towards non-Jews if it felt confident that it could forcibly transfer or kill Palestinians residing in any part of ‘Greater Israel’ under the cover of hostility and chaos within the region comparable to WW11?

            There is every possibility that the killing of Palestinians could approach the level of depravity of the Third Reich given suitable conditions. There is nothing within Israeli society (left, right or whatever) that would be capable of preventing mass Palestinian death or transfer. The fact that it hasn’t happened with the same intensity of the Holocaust is primarily a reflection of the constraints the international community has so far imposed on Zionism.

            And to Larry – all people have ‘good hearts’ and love their children even as they kill or maim others. Israeli Jews are just ordinary people; neither better or worse than others. But Israel itself is a basket case.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Danny

      Listening to radio talk shows in Israel will certainly gives you an idea of the psyche of the nation; you will certainly get the gist of the zeitgeist. However, to understand Israel’s affinity to war, one must go deeper into the roots of why Israel why formed in the first place:

      Was it to create a safe haven for Jews? No, it wasn’t, Israel is in fact one of the most dangerous places in the world a Jew can live in.

      Was it to escape persecution? Partly, but not anymore, as Jews are no longer persecuted or even discriminated against.

      The real reason for Israel’s formation has everything to do with power. Specifically Jewish power, which up until about 66 years ago never really existed. Jews have always been at the mercy of the ‘paritz’, the goy whose tender mercies Jews always sought. But the formation of Israel created with it a manifestation of real Jewish military power, and the feeling that at long last our fate was finally in our own hands.

      So, from the very beginning the national zeitgeist was always geared toward war, or as Jews like to see it, a display of Jewish power. That is why every war where Israel doesn’t deliver its enemy a crushing defeat is considered a partial failure and a national disappointment.

      That is why Jojo and his friends are so up in arms about this war – it is turning out to be another national disappointment at the relatively poor display of Jewish power.

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Thank you Danny for a glimpse of perspective. Israel was formed to take over The Land Of Israel for The Jews. By the way The Land of Israel is much bigger than the current State of Israel. So in terms of perspective, Israel was formed to expand.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Jan

      Thank you Larry.

      I am sick at heart at what is going on. I am sick of the killing, of the bombing of hospitals, at the deliberate murder of 4 soccer playing boys on a beach, at the murder of entire families, of the murder of a young Palestinian man looking for members of his family in the rubble of their bombed out home.

      I am also sick of the lack of context. I am sickened that no one wants to talk about the fact that there was no Hamas until after 20 years of brutal military Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. During those 20 years Israel imprisoned, deported and killed Palestinians, destroyed thousands of homes, built their illegal settlements that were deliberately designed to carve up the West Bank. Those settlements took the lion’s share of the water of the aquifers of the West Bank. During those 20 year bombs were placed by Israelis in the cars of three mayors of Palestinian towns who had advocated non-violent resistance to occupation. The mayors were horribly injured.

      During those 20 years Israel deported Mubarak Awad,a Palestinian American who had founded the Palestine Center for Non-Violence. With Awad’s deportation Israel proved to the Palestinians that they wanted no resistance, violent or non-violent, to their occupation and land theft.

      It was only after 20 years of living under the Israeli jackboot that Hamas, first founded as a charitable group, turned to violent resistance.

      I have heard people ask where is the Palestinian Ghandi? My answer. He is either in an Israeli prison, or has been killed by an Israeli bullet or has been deported.

      Occupation breeds resistance. It should not be forgotten that the Jews in Palestine also had their own terrorist groups, Irgun and Stern Gang, who fought against the British occupation, put bombs into Arab markets and theaters, blew up the King David Hotel, assassinated peace envoy Count Folke Bernadotte and committed the massacre of some 100 men, women and children at Deir Yassin on April 8, 1948.

      If there is to be peace there must be justice. The Palestinians must have a reason not to resort to acts of terror. Without justice there will be no peace and rockets or worse will go into Israel. Is that what Israel wants? Sure seems that way.

      Reply to Comment
      • Arb

        Let’s all hope you’re sick of spouting propaganda.

        Reply to Comment
        • Reza Lustig

          You’re obviously just plain old sick.

          Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            No, I just like to point out propaganda.

            Reply to Comment
      • Craig Vale

        Jan, you are spot on as this current episode of violence did not occur in a vacuum. While we abhor the brutal kidnappings and murders of the four Israeli boys, no mention is ever made that since Jan.1 of this year 30 Palestinians were killed either by settlers or the IDF. It was Israel who violated the truce with Hamas by kidnappings and arrests of hundreds, held without charge and prohibited from legal counsul too! Where is that news to be found ? This is always the case as the Hasbaran propagandist’s work hard to keep this out of the newspapers and other media outlets. Look what happened just the other day with NBCs Ayman Mohyeldin who had reported on the previous incursions into the Gaza. He was removed under the guise of ” security” and was immediately replaced by Richard Engel. Nothing against Richard as he is a great reporter but so too was Ayman. Rumor has it his colleagues were about to mutiny over his removal and MSNBC relented. It does make you wonder where the initial call for Ayman’s removal came from and I have little doubt Hasbara, AIPAC, and several government officials complained that he was biased and as such a threat to Israel’s status as always being the victim and NEVER the victimizer. The numbers don’t lie ~ Cast Lead 1400+ Palestinians dead vs 14-IDF killed. By the end of today likely 400 dead Gazan’s and 33-35 dead IDF. This was never and will never be a fair fight. Since 1947 Israel has gobbled up 92-95 % of the lands once occupied by the Palestinians. See the map on the link below. This is the context that is lost in these conversations ! Irrefutable proof, so I rarely see any blow back on these maps. The reply is usually ” Yeah, but,but,but….”


        Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Jan thank you for mentioning Israeli settlements have taken over water and other natural resources of the West Bank, without ownership or lien or license, just with guns. Much easier. And with jackboots, thank you for mentioning that too.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Avdim

      “The problem is their minds, or rather their collective mind, the mind of this society – it is geared like a sports car engine to war.”

      No Larry, we are geared like sports car engine to peace. Every neighbor that WANTED peace, got it. There cannot be a peace with Hamas or its likes – they stand against everything you and I believe in, EVERYTHING.

      The road to peace is not nice, sadly there is no other one.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        “There cannot be a peace with Hamas or its likes – they stand against everything you and I believe in, EVERYTHING”

        That’s what Israeli hawks said about Egypt, Jordan, and Arafat’s PLO. How did that work out?

        You guys never tire of being wrong. It must be a sexual fetish – errataphilia.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “That’s what Israeli hawks said about Egypt, Jordan,”

          No we did not. Begin was the hawk who signed the peace deal with Egypt.

          “and Arafat’s PLO. How did that work out?”

          Good point. It culminated in the second intifada after Ehud Barak’s peace offer.

          And the rockets from Gaza never stopped since 2001. Even after the Gaza settlements were completely dismantled.

          “You guys never tire of being wrong. It must be a sexual fetish – errataphilia.”

          And people like you never stop lying.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            You didn’t respond to my point about the treaty with Jordan. Interesting.

            Begin was acting very unhawklike when he signed the treaty with Sadat. When many on the right called him a sellout, Peace Now marched in front of his house thanking him for his courageous move.

            Mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO did not lead to the second intifada. That was the result of Israel not bargaining in good faith with the PLO.

            The Hamas rockets stopped, for example, from the 2012 ceasefire until the day the Unity government between the PLO and Hamas was established. Even Bibi said so.

            In 2001, settlers and soldiers were internally occupying and oppressing the Palestinians in Gaza. And, from then on, if you look at the timeline honestly, you will find one or more Israeli provocations that led to Palestinian counterattacks.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            Goldmarx thank you for mentioning Jordan. Israeli military is already in the Jordan Valley, and the next move will be into the East Bank not the West Bank. Jordan is considered by Israel as part of “The Land Of Israel”, just look at the map on Menachim Begin’s Irgun posters.

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          • Gustav

            Hey stupid.

            Goldmarx claims to be a Jew and a Zionist (snigger snigger snigger). Are you still going to thank him?

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          • JohnW

            Jordan and Egypt huh, Goldmarx?

            Both were willing to negotiate and make peace with Israel. So Israel too was happy to make peace with them. In fact even after 1967, Israel was the one that wanted face to face negotiations with all the neighboring Arab states but they refused. Have you not heard of the three Nos of Khartum? No? Then let me refresh your memory about how the Arab League responsed:

            1) NO negotiations.

            2) No peace

            3) No recognition.

            Hamas still feels that way. Thats why there have been no discussions about peace with Hamas.

            Egypt’s and Jordan’s leaders on the other hand changed their policies and when they did, Israel was more than ready to make a peace deal with them.

            Stop inverting history and pretending that Israel was/is the one who refused/refuses to negotiate.

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    11. Guy L.

      I’m just gonna bring up two points here:
      1) JoJo Abutbul is not really an “Old Time Folk Hero”. I actually had to Google his name to find out who he is. He has a radio show on Reshet B, which is mainly heard by my 80 years old grandparents. And maybe 5 other people as well. It doesn’t really “give you an idea of the psyche of the nation”, as Danny said.

      2) Quoting another few snippets from Diskin’s article to Yediot Aharonot (the same article cited by Larry in this piece):
      “Any future initiative must follow these basic guidelines:
      Security Component:
      1) A complete and prolonged ceasefire.
      2) A mutual cessation of all attacks from both sides (including Israeli assassinations).
      3) A gradual disarming of any rockets from the Gaza Strip.
      4) The end of arms smuggling
      5) Shutting down the tunnels
      6) Bringing an international peacekeeping force.

      Civilian component:
      1) A complete lifting of the maritime, financial and land siege on Gaza. This is to include opening up all of the border passages as well as the Gaza Harbor to allow goods to come in, under international inspection.

      2) Enlarging the fishing zone to 12 miles.

      3) Allowing freedom of movement to Gaza citizens in all areas of the strip without any bufferzones.

      4) Implementing an international plan to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip which will be coordinated and executed in cooperation with the Unity Palestinian Government.”

      Another snippet from Diskin:
      ” We need to start thinking about a diplomatic end to this situation. In order to do so, Israel must stop willingly covering its eyes strategically. Israel must bravely determine its physical borders and bring forth a credible and reliable plan for peace.”

      A former head of the Shabak, mind you, calling for lifting the siege on Gaza and saying that Israel should decide where it’s bloody borders are.

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