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The ‘terror tunnels’: Another Israeli self-fulfilling prophecy

There were non-lethal ways to preempt Hamas’ underground attacks, but the Netanyahu government rejected them all.

Here is the current, ostensibly airtight rationale for whatever the IDF chooses to do in Gaza: armed Hamas militats are coming up out of tunnels that start in Gaza and end not far from kibbutz and moshav communities on the Israeli side. So if the IDF doesn’t go as far into Gaza as necessary to destroy the last of these underground passages, sooner or later Hamas will succeed in carrying out “catastrophic” terror attacks, as Netanyahu puts it. The army has stopped several of them since Thursday night’s ground invasion of the Strip; today (Monday) soldiers were wounded in Israeli territory stopping another one.

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)

An unnamed IDF commander put the case very well to Yedioth Ahronoth’s Nahum Barnea:

The IDF’s war to wipe out the threat from the tunnels is not an aggressive operation. It’s a preemptive attack, a completely defensive operation. … Imagine if someone in Hamas makes the decision to send out on some dark night, by surprise, teams of commandos through all the tunnels, and they go on a killing spree in the communities near the Gazan border. …

It’s true that many soldiers [13 – L.D.] were killed tonight. It’s likely that more will be killed. But think of the alternative. How could we look kibbutz or moshav members near Gaza in the eye if a commando unit were to infiltrate and kill dozens of their people? Now that we know the tunnels are there, we can’t allow ourselves the luxury of doing nothing about them.

It sounds entirely reasonable – Hamas is using tunnels to try to kill Israelis on Israeli territory, so the IDF has to go into Hamas’ territory and wipe out those tunnels. And it might be reasonable – if there were no other way Israel could avoid being attacked through those tunnels. It might be reasonable if Israel wasn’t choking Gaza and the West Bank for 47 years. It might be reasonable if Israel hadn’t provoked the war that led to these underground attacks (after a year-and-a-half in which Hamas not only didn’t lift a finger at Israel, but also reined in, to varying degrees, rocket attacks by other Gazan armed groups). Going after the “terror tunnels,” even at the cost of Gazan and Israeli lives, might be reasonable if Israel wasn’t rejecting any cease-fire terms that would allow the 1.8 million people of Gaza to breathe for once.

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Israel could have preempted the tunnel attacks by ending the occupation; and failing that, by not provoking this war; and failing that, by accepting a ceasefire on humane terms. But Israel’s answer is no, no and no, so truly, the only choice it leaves itself if it wants to protect its citizens near the Gazan border is to send Israeli soldiers charging into Gaza, killing and getting killed.

Israel provokes Hamas into a war that escalates to the point where Hamas is fighting a war of survival, using everything it’s got, including tunnels for attempted terror attacks in Israeli territory – and Israel says, “Look what they’re using! My God! We can’t let them have that kind of capability – they’ll use it to kill dozens of people!”

If somebody hasn’t said it already, I don’t think it will be long before we hear, “Lucky for us that Hamas forced us to invade; otherwise we wouldn’t have known about all those tunnels.”

          Read +972′s coverage of the latest round of violence

Israel can play this game with any of its enemies. Hezbollah has 100,000 rockets and missiles pointed at this country; they haven’t fired a single one in eight years, since the Second Lebanon War. But let’s go provoke a war with Hezbollah, they’ll start firing thousands of rockets at us – Iron Dome can’t shoot them all down – and we’ll say, “You see? They’re firing thousands of rockets at us, we have to go into Lebanon and destroy them all.” We can play the same game with Syria, with Iran, with anybody.

Instead, why don’t Israelis ask themselves: if Hamas has this network of tunnels that leads into Israel, and which took them years to build, why didn’t they use them before? For that matter, why didn’t they use their long-range rockets before? Why were they sitting on 10,000 rockets and not firing any of them?

Could it be that they weren’t so eager to use everything they’ve got, to invite Israel’s wrath, to fight a war of survival?

But very few Israelis have any interest in questioning Operation Protective Edge. Israelis generally don’t ask a lot of questions about matters like these even between the wars, so they’re certainly not going to ask them now.

‘Cast Lead was a joke compared to this’
Mourning death wherever it strikes
PHOTOS: Scenes of devastation from deadliest day in Gaza
WATCH: Dozens of bodies strewn in the streets of Gaza

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    1. Joel

      Netanyahu provoked Hamas to commit wholesale war crimes when they target Israeli civilian centers?

      Am I the only idiot who can’t follow Larry?

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        Let me put it in a nutshell:

        Do bullies have a right to self-defense when their victims fight back? No, they don’t, because they shouldn’t have picked a fight with a perceived weakling in the first place.

        Your self-description as ‘idiot’ is unusually honest for a Likudnik troll, however.

        Reply to Comment
        • Craig Vale

          Bibi and his bullies have held siege over Gaza for about a decade and I can’t help but think of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising when they too had had enough. This crap about rocket fire coming into Israel is portrayed as some vile act of terrorism occurring for no other reason than to wreak havoc in Israel. These rockets don’t come over the border in a vacuum. There are decades of oppression, land grabs, continuing settlement activity, thievery, looting , and murder of Palestinians. There backs are against the wall and I’d be interested in hearing from some old timer who survived the Warsaw Ghetto give his opinion on why they fought back against all odds and a certainty of death and compare that to how the Palestinians in the Gaza feel. Bibi has had the jack boots of the IDF firmly planted on the necks of these forsaken people for years and the Hasbaran talking heads want the world to think that it is the Israeli’s who are victimized in this century old conflict. Read the Balfor Declaration, Sykes-Picot and Paris Peace Agreements where the Arabs who helped topple the old Ottoman Empire got royally screwed for their efforts and the broken promises particularly as it related to Sykes-Picot. That history is what is behind those feckless rockets, Its all they have to fight back with.

          Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        No, you’re not the only idiot here, there are a few others.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oren Aviv

          No wonder there is still conflict. Time to improve education system in Israel so that critical thinking becomes an important part.

          Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        I have trouble following Larry’s logic, if that is what you want to call it. For instance he says that Israel provoked the current war “after a year-and-a-half in which Hamas not only didn’t lift a finger at Israel.”

        Just back in March a Hamas operative, Ziad Awad, in the West Bank killed an Israeli police officer by spraying his car with bullets killing the Israeli and injuring his wife and 9 year old child.

        The Shin Bet in the 18 months prior to the current escalation foiled 283 terrorist plots, 45% of which were planned by Hamas. 28 of these Hamas plots were kidnapping attempts.

        In addition Hamas operatives continued to plant bombs on the 67 lines with Gaza and their subcontractor which is funded by them, the People Resistance Committees, fired rockets into Southern Israel. There were 150 rockets fired into Israel prior to the abductions of the 3 Israeli teenagers by Hamas members.

        Israel in 2013 interdicted many Hamas cells and arrested 80 Hamas members in the West Bank. In 2013 Israel smashed a ring of 20 Hamas members who were trying to establish a command center in Hebron for the express purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks and kidnap operations.

        The truth of the matter is that Hamas itself continues to state that it is committed to Israel’s destruction and it believes jihad is the only method. Hamas leader Meshal in early May, 2014 said;

        “Our path is the resistance and jihad is our choice. This is the original Palestinian strategy. We want to build our homeland and liberate our land and holy sites, bring back the refugees and release the prisoners. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, inside and outside, our choice is resistance and the rifle is our way. There is no history or future without jihad and resistance.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          Let me get your lies straight:

          * I’m sure you have a credible source for your claim that Ziad Awad is in fact a Hamas member. That he commited the crime you alleged he commited. And that this even happened at all.

          * The Shin Bet, like every secret service all over the world, lies constantly. Other than that, I’d like to also have a source for your numbers.

          * I’m sure you also have credible, non-partisan sources for your claim that Hamas was funding the rocket attacks on Israel, when even Israeli officials and generals admitted that Hamas did everything in its power to uphold the 2012 truce (up until Israel broke this June).

          * If the Hamas command center in Hebron was established for “The sole purpose of kidnappings”; I’m wondering why NONE of the arrested Hamas members was even indicted for that? What they were actually indicted for:
          “The charges brought against the operatives include membership, employment and carrying out services for an illegal group, maintaining contact with the enemy and transferring enemy funds into the West Bank.”


          So you seem to know more than the Israeli investigators. How come? Please provide your sources.

          Reply to Comment
        • Please explain to me how does one justify an occupation that has lasted over 47 years. HOW can you sustain such an en devour?

          Reply to Comment
    2. Arb

      A delusional piece by Derfner.

      “It might be reasonable if Israel wasn’t choking Gaza and the West Bank for 47 years.”

      20 years ago, Israel signed Oslo and placed virtually all Palestinian under a Palestinian government. 14 years ago Israel offered the Palestinians a state and peace and then improved the offer months later and provided yet another offer a few years later. There could be a “Palestine” already if the Palestinians had wanted one. They don’t unless it encompasses Israel.

      “It might be reasonable if Israel hadn’t provoked the war that led to these underground attacks (after a year-and-a-half in which Hamas not only didn’t lift a finger at Israel, but also reined in, to varying degrees, rocket attacks by other Gazan armed groups).”

      Israel “provoked” a war? Israel was looking for kidnapped teens and making sure that Judea and Samaria don’t fall into the hands of loony tunes Hamas. Larry, look at Syria and Iraq. Are you really a fan of what is happening there? I ask because that’s what Hamas is shooting for. They’re not going for a nice little state, they’re going after Israel.

      “Going after the “terror tunnels,” even at the cost of Gazan and Israeli lives, might be reasonable if Israel wasn’t rejecting any cease-fire terms that would allow the 1.8 million people of Gaza to breathe for once.”

      Are you kidding? Tell the Palestinians to stop firing rockets and this will all end. As for the “cease fire” terms proposed by Hamas, why should Israel accept them? Why shouldn’t Hamas just stop firing? What advantage do they have that enables them to attack civilian centers from civilian centers and then not only will you blame Israel but actually expect Israel to be held hostage and be blackmailed by these violent thugs. Should Israel pay them protection money as well?

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        20 years ago, Israel signed Oslo and placed virtually all Palestinians under one convenient, so called “Palestinian” government, that is actually a subcontractor of the Israeli occupation.

        14 years ago, Barak made a bullshit offer to Arafat for a so called “sovereign” Palestinian state, that Arafat could only refuse, unless he wanted to lose face. It contained only 73% of the West Bank (without Land Swaps), didn’t contain East Jerusalem, did contain a right for Israel to close the meridian-road through the West Bank, and close the proposed highway linking the West Bank and Gaza at any time it wished.

        Palestinian airspace would have been controlled by Israel, etc.

        So what this amounts to is not an offer of a sovereign state, but of a hacked-up vassal-state to Israel.

        Of course Arafat refused. Rightly so.

        And Israel was “looking for kidnapped Teens”? Sure, and because of three kidnapped teens they searched thousands (!) of homes (without warrants), arrested over 500 people (without warrants), and killed at least six in their so called “investigation”.

        Only democracy in the Middle East. TM.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Danny

      Most Israelis don’t get this patented Israeli tried and tested formula for provoking Hamas into shooting rockets. They either don’t understand basic principals of cause-and-effect, or are too power drunk to accept the fact that Hamas is a bona fide military force that will not capitulate to Israeli demands without a fight. Either way, Israeli – and their much dumber Jewish defenders in the U.S. – simply can’t wrap their heads around the fact that it is Israel that has full control over the fire-dial: When Israel decides to increase the fire into and out of Gaza, it does so effortlessly by provoking Hamas using a nice assassination or two (or ten). Likewise, Israel can dial the fire down by keeping to its end of a truce, which it did until about a month ago.

      But go explain that to Israelis.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Goldmarx

      Why isn’t Lebanon’s Hezbollah firing rockets, of which it has many?

      Israel is not besieging Lebanon.
      Israel is not launching sonic booms in Lebanese airspace.
      Israel is not blockading Lebanon.
      Israel is not besieging Lebanon, converting it into an open-air prison.

      Hezbollah leaders are known to say anti-Semitic stuff, but Israel gives them no reason to act on it.

      Perhaps if Israel’s leadership were hypnotized into thinking that Gaza is Lebanon, then Bibi would act appropriately.

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        I think after this disastrous military campaign, in which 20 soldiers were killed, dozens gravely wounded, on possibly captured and no end to rocket fire, with the delectable possibility of Goldstone redux, Netanyahu (or anyone who will replace him) will think twice about going into Gaza again.

        Then again, this is Israel we’re talking about here. Bombing Gaza is their national sport.

        Reply to Comment
        • Whiplash

          The deaths of 25 soldiers will not deter Israel or the members of the arm forces from entering Gaza whenever there is a threat to Israel or its people. Israel withstood the loss of 6400 persons in 1948 and 2600 in 1973.

          Israeli society knows that the armed forces are defending Israeli homes and Israel’s way of life against the extremism of Islamic Hamas.

          Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        This year, Hamas boxed itself into a corner politically. No friends, no patrons.

        They’re current attack on Israel is a Hail Mary play to remain vital and to appear legitimate in the Arab world.

        For all I know, it began when they ordered the kidnap/murders of the three Jewish boys.

        Funny how the killers have disappeared, as if they’d gone down a rathole, or a terror tunnel, of which there had been many.

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          “For all I know, it began when they ordered the kidnap/murders of the three Jewish boys.”

          You don’t know much. ISIL claimed credit for the kidnapping, and there is no proof of Hamas involvement.

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            No proof other than the fact that the two prime suspects are Hamas.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            What credible source identifies them as current members of Hamas?

            Reply to Comment
    5. Arb

      You know, another day has passed. There are now 25 Israeli soldiers killed and dozens seriously wounded. They are fighting a war against an enemy that OPENLY seeks to destroy Israel and murder Jews.

      But on 972mag, it is business as usual. The incessant attacks on Israel are truly sickening. This article is a prime example.

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Poor you. All your doctrines are falling apart one after the other. Just chew on this little fact: So far in this conflict, Hamas has mainly killed military units, while Israel has mainly killed civilian units. So, who is the righteous side in this conflict?

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel


          Hamas has attempted murder on a mass scale with their rockets aimed at strictly civilian targets.

          Reply to Comment
          • Anne O'Nimmus

            Hmmm, Tel Aviv…remind me, isn’t that where IDF HQ is? Not very civilian, that.

            Reply to Comment
        • arb

          “Poor you. All your doctrines are falling apart one after the other.”

          What are you talking about?

          “Just chew on this little fact: So far in this conflict, Hamas has mainly killed military units, while Israel has mainly killed civilian units. So, who is the righteous side in this conflict?””

          Are you kidding? Where are the Hamas fighters, Danny? How come we haven’t seen them? where are they? I mean, they are successfully killing and injuring Israeli soldiers, so presumably there are Hamas fighters somewhere. How it is there are no images of them unless they’re getting blown up coming out of tunnels inside Israel. Answer: they are dressed like civilians, hiding among civilians, fighting from among civilians, using their stores of arms under and within civilian homes, using their tunnels which are built into civilian homes, stockpiling arms and rockets in those tunnels under civilian homes.

          Oh, and when they aren’t busy committing war crimes, Hamas is telling these civilians who it put in such danger NOT to leave despite days of IDF warnings – warnings that endangered Israeli soldiers, as we can now plainly see – so they can better hide among them and, when things get blown up, get some media mileage out of it.

          Those are the people you’re defending. After they launched 1400 rockets at civilian Israeli targets (100 of which, at least, landed on their own people), you have the gall to claim that somehow they have a moral upper hand? As I pointed out in another idiotic anti-Israel article on this site, you guys are demonstrating precisely why Israel should stop with the forewarnings because they get attacked for being too violent anyway and only endanger their own soldiers for this stupid attempt to be “fair.”

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Are you kidding? Where are the Hamas fighters, Danny? How come we haven’t seen them? where are they? I mean, they are successfully killing and injuring Israeli soldiers, so presumably there are Hamas fighters somewhere.”

            Irelevant. Danny’s point still stands – Hamas is killing mostly enemy soldiers; Israel is killing mostly civilians. It doesn’t matter what garb Hamas fighters don – that is a distraction from the fact that one of your major talking points is going straight to hell.

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            The fact that Hamas hasn’t killed many civilians certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying. Hamas is incompetent even when it is trying to fulfill it’s stated goals and you are confusing that with morality. Because Israel has been successful at heading off infiltrators before they were able to get to civilians you are drawing the incorrect conclusion that that is not Hamas’ intent. Hamas showed they have no moral difficulty killing civilians time and time again. And while you may speculate that Israel kills civilians on purpose we know without a doubt that killing civilians was Hamas’ primary strategy during the 2nd intifada.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Israeli hasbarah has not focused on intent but on results. The propaganda has been, “Look – they only kill civilians, not the soldiers. This shows genocidal purpose!”

            Well, now that that has been shown not to be true in this latest conflict, you change the argument without acknowledging that the previous argument was wrong. This is called “shifting the goalposts.”
            It is dishonest and typical of Likudniks. It is just one more reason why nothing they say can ever be trusted.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Not too clever, are you?

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Really Israeli “hasbarah” has focus on results not intent ? That’s total BS. Israel has always maintained that this latest campaign was about stopping the rockets, which until lately had killed very few. You complain about “hasbarah” and then when you have no cogent response you are forced to respond with name calling. Pathetic.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Israel has always maintained that this latest campaign was about stopping the rockets, which until lately had killed very few.”

            On the contrary, until lately, much more than “very few” Israelis were killed by the rockets. Then Iron Dome came along and cut down the fatalities to almost nil.

            Better watch who you accuse of BS.

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Yes and Iron Dome was in place long before this current round of hostilities which is what we are talking about. Why do I need to be concerned about accusing you of BS? I just proved you were.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            No, all you did was repeat the same lie and then accuse me of BS. Busted!

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Hamas, a guerilla army, is using guerilla tactics. Suprise, suprise! What monsters!

            Reply to Comment
    6. kate

      The tunnels appear as if they were built for long term use possibly like smuggling, it would stand to reason for that to be the case

      Now when it comes to the ground invasion it has at this point has proven it self to be a bit more expensive in Israeli lives than IMO Netanyahu expected, IDF has lost more soldiers in this one conflict than in the previous 4 Gaza operations combined,calling into question how much longer the Israeli people will put up with this, a poll taken of the Israeli public shortly prior to the ground operation showed that while the air campaign had wide and over whelming support a ground operation had little in fact less than 50%, I find it hard to believe that number has grown

      Reply to Comment
    7. Our bribed and subverted White House and Congress are full accomplices in Israel’s genocide of Palestine. The shrinking map of Palestinian reveals Israel’s Final Solution.
      It is time for another Nuremburg Tribunal for War Criminals; but where are the law-abiding jurists to render just verdicts?

      Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        “but where are the law-abiding jurists to render just verdicts?”

        Have you checked under you tin foil hat?

        Reply to Comment
    8. Israel can destroy all the tunnels. Look at them destroying peoples homes.business es. I don’t see that the Has rockets are doing much damage in Israel. What a shame that the Jewish people are doing the same thing what was done to them. As they say children learn from adultswell now these Israelis children the way in the camps have become adults however they haven’t forgotten what was done to them and not doing to the Palestinians

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ellci

      There’s no crime in questioning one’s opinions and actions, unless considering oneself as “perfect, all knowing”. Also to do so while looking at one’s long term goals is mandatory to keep one’s road. Also knowing your enemy’s real motivations has long been essential for success. Larry Derfner tries to do that. It’s clear the guys who want people like him to shut up have problems with questioning. Like why humans living in jail with no future and punched at will might get a very little bit angry at some point.

      > Jews didn’t suicide bomb German children. Didn’t rocket German cities.
      Neither did the Palestinians for _decades_ after Israeli kidnapped & bombed English soldiers, and executed hundred of Palestinian villagers. Correct me if i’m wrong: after Israel blocked their Oslo planned State, … and treated them as meat, ordering F16 to bomb city centers and refugee camps, came the first suicide bombers and rockets.

      Reply to Comment
      • Craig Vale

        Your post is one of the few to view this conflict in the historical context of the rocket fire we see today. For the better part of a century the Palestinians have be robbed of their lands, their olive groves set alight by encroaching ” settlers” livestock killed and village after village plundered as thousands were murdered in the name of a greater Israel. The propaganda has been employed most adroitly by those seeking to ethnically cleanse the whole of Palestine to make room for the returning diaspora. The seminal piece of this propaganda had to be Otto Preminger’s ” Exodus” of 1960 which illicited profound sympathy for the Jews when the horrors of WWII were still fresh in the minds of many. This epic film set the tone for the decades that followed when the craft of propagandizing the plight of the Jews was at its zenith. Both Goebbels and Leni Riefenstahl would have stood to applaud. In recent decades Hasbara has picked up the mantel to paint the image of Israel as being the perennial victim of anti semitism and attempting to assuage the public at large from viewing Israel as the victimizer it truly is.
        The ” Final Solution” has been subverted by successive Israeli governments along with Israel’s own iteration of Lebensraum wherein part of that ” Final Solution” is to rid Israel’s environs of each and every Palestinian who is determined to defend his land. Look at the maps enclosed and decide for yourself if the Palestinians have a legitimate gripe. Note too, that these maps only begin in 1947 and do not reflect the hundreds of smaller enclaves that decades earlier had been overrun by militant Zionists emboldened by the Balfor Declaration, The Paris Peace agreement, And the Sykes – Picot agreement, the latter which was a flat out betrayal of promises made to the Arabs who fought on the side of the allies in WWI and rid the area of the old Ottoman rule.
        That betrayal continues to this day as the siege of the Gaza continues unabated. Like cornered animals Palestinians fight back with whatever means they have. In the current circumstance it is with the feckless rockets they fire across the border into Israel. They have been not only robbed of their lands but more importantly their very dignity.


        Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash


        “> Jews didn’t suicide bomb German children. Didn’t rocket German cities.
        Neither did the Palestinians for _decades_ after Israeli kidnapped & bombed English soldiers”

        Actually Palestinian Arabs and their allies mortared and bombed Israelis and Israeli cities, towns and villages during the civil war of 1947 and the war of independence in 1948. They tried but fail to destroy Israel and its people.

        Within hours of the Partition declaration 8 Jews had been murdered. The Polish and Swedish consulates were attacked. Bombs were thrown into cafes, Molotov cocktails into shops killing and maiming and a synagogue set on fire. The new commercial center of Jewish Jerusalem was ransacked and many beaten. On December 4, 1947 an armed force attacked Kibbutz Efal, then the Hatikva quarter on December 8, and Jewish East Jerusalem on December 10, 1947. Jewish travel on roads was interdicted by shootings and bombings. By the end of December, 1947 207 Jews had been killed by Palestinian Arabs.

        An armed force of 900 Arab fighters on January 10, 1948 attacked Kibbutz Kfar Szold with mortars and artillery. 1000 fighters attacked Kfar Etzion On January 10, 1948. On January 20, 1948 the Kibbutz of Yechiam was attacked and mortared. Jerusalem was mortared and bombed. In February, 1947 a Palestinian Arab car bomb killed 50 persons on Ben-Yehuda Street. The Arabs meanwhile attempted to prevent all supplies into Jewish Jerusalem to starve the inhabitants.

        Palestinian leader Jamal Husseini before the partition plan was passed promised blood would flow in the streets and he kept his promise. The head of the Arab league promised a massacre of Jews but the Arabs failed and caused a hammer blow to Palestinian society that Palestinians are still trying to undo.

        Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          Mishmar HaEmek was a training ground for Palmach. Kfar Etzion was a Haganah base. Yechiam is situated at a Crusader Fortress which was a training ground for Hashomer Hatzair members of Haganah. I hope you’re not intending to imply the kibbutzim were civilian objects.

          For good measure, the Haganah stashed weapons at civilian sites.


          People who do their homework on the conflict notice this stuff. And we most certainly notice when Israeli talking points are just as applicable to the pre-May 1948 Yishuv as Hamas in Gaza.

          Of course, Jews didn’t bomb German children; neither did Palestinian Arabs sail to Russia and take part in pogroms. The Zionist movement conspired from no later than 1907 to impose a colonial-settler majority on Palestine (Ruppin’s memorandum to the WZO) and worked through the JNF to create Arabenrein spaces from which they launched an invasion of Arab villages within and outside the UN partition boundary. They had the motive to ethnically cleanse Palestine before there were any uprisings against the British Mandate, nevermind the UN partition.

          Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Interesting spin. Apparently you didn’t go to some of your original source material. Here is the conclusion of the article about the Hurva Synagogue:

            “Two days after conquering the quarter in 1948, the Jordanians bombed the synagogue and the Jordanian commander reported to headquarters: “For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter. Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews’ return here impossible.””

            Interesting, huh? Kinda lays waste to all of your BS.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            I guess you might call the decimation of the Jewish Quarter, what’s that word again? Co… coterminous damage for the Haganah stationing itself there.

            You guys ought to understand, the rules you make up can be applied to your side as well.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Nope. You are quite experienced at not looking carefully at links that purport to support your opinion but which actually undermine it.

            For instance, on another thread, I schooled you on Israel’s support for Hamas in previous decades. Failing to recognize what I had done, you purported to offer a supportive link to the Wall Street Journal.

            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. Perhaps Arb will belch, “Nah, you’re not clever.”

            Reply to Comment
    10. Tomer

      The Arabs keep complaining that they are locked up in a “Warsaw Ghetto”,

      Well, Knesset member Moshe Feiglin will FREE THEM from their Ghetto when he becomes PM. He will remove them all to Sinai.
      Freedom for Gaza is coming!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        Just FYI:

        “(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

        (c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

        Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.”

        (emphasis added)


        Reply to Comment
    11. Catweasel321

      Palestinians are definitely not learning from the the masters of propaganda, the US and the IDF.

      Every conversation with the media that you don’t exploit as an opportunity for psychological suggestion is one lost to your propaganda.

      You acknowledge nothing and never argue the opponents point.

      Thus, you don’t promote their labeling by repeating and thus reinforcing them e.g. they’re not ‘terrorist tunnels’, or just ‘tunnels’. Don’t surrender the initiate.

      At every opportunity you call them ‘freedom’ tunnels or ‘self defense’ tunnels.

      Just as its not war but a deployment of forces; not invasion but an incursion; not an aggressive act but ‘preemptive self defense’.

      They made me do it gambit.

      You never kidnap the enemy but apprehend then. It transfers the suggestion of criminality on to the kidnapped.

      Its never ‘civilian casualties’ but collateral damage. Its usually important to preface even that with minimization or lamentation words such as unconfirmed, unfortunate or regrettable in order to cast doubt and refocus attention on yourself as the real victim.

      Known as the ‘Imagine how I feel, they made me do it’ play.

      You compete for the audiences emotional empathy while simultaneously exploiting the moment to deny any culpability.

      An adjunct to this is to equate military casualties incurred while pressing the offensive into the others territory with the civil casualties you cause while doing so, by coupling any mention of one to the other.

      Thereby the greater the impression of senseless loss of human life the less differentiation there will be or distinction made.

      You need to talk in unequivocal absolutes to avoid giving others he impression that compromise is in any way a viable alternative to outright victory.

      i.e before we can open discussions to end the confrontation you must surrender.

      Be specific about who has the right to self defense and never advocate self defense in general, as that encourages discussion by all.

      If forced to, appeal to everyone’s inner Caesar, not revolutionary, by using imperious words such as ‘nation’ and not ‘people’.

      Don’t supply the corporate media with low value unprocessed raw data, you need to add value by preparing it in easily suggestive prepacked narratives.

      Otherwise you’re just going to look unprofessional and be regarded as poorly coordinated amateurs.

      Reply to Comment
    12. GilGamesh

      What lie did I repeat? My first post spoke claimed that Hamas not inflicting many casualties was NOT for lack of trying. Rather than counter that claim, because you couldn’t, you tried to change the subject and replied that the “Hasbarah” in the lead up to the conflict said it was about the casualties and not the rockets which is BS and of course you coundln’t back it up with any proof or logic.

      Then you warned me that I better watch who I call a BS’er. I asked you why, and rather than respond, you called me a liar.

      Oh and I’m still waiting for that list of “Israeli Gov’t approved books” you claimed exists.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        What lie did you repeat? Well, let’ see. First, there’s this:

        “Iron Dome was in place long before this current round of hostilities” Wrong. It became operational in late March of 2011, slightly more than 3 years ago. That may be ‘long’ to Revisionist roaches, but not to actual human beings.

        …and then there’s this: “Israel has always maintained that this latest campaign was about stopping the rockets, which until lately had killed very few.”

        But until ‘lately’, the rockets had killed NOT ‘very few’ but far more Israelis than now; why the fuck do you think Iron Dome was invented? Why else would it be praised so effusively if it’s not improving on the past?

        Books which uncritically parrot the Israeli government line qualify as “Israeli Gov’t approved books”. In other words, sources that are not credible. You post as if you are intimately familiar with them, so there’s no need for me to post a list of that type.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kiwi

          Yes, the iron dome is so effective that at a mere whiff of a successful rocket attack near the airport which destroyed a house, American, German, Swiss and French airliners stopped their flights to Israel and ran for cover.

          But a million Israelis in the south have had to put up with this since around 2000. And hypocrites like you are just saying: tut tut, not too many of you died, just put up with it. Just suck it up! You people are sickening.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Well, it’s Bibi & Co who are bragging about the Iron Dome’s success – are you disagreeing with the Israeli government?

            The Israelis in the south may be living in a tense atmosphere – but at least they get to live. Palestinian civilians are being murdered by the hundreds (as of now), so they don’t even get to kvetch and bitch.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            I just hope that Israeli policy makers are taking notes.

            If and when peace negotiations commence again, giving up land overlooking Tel Aviv airport should be entirely off the agenda. Unless of course they want to put up not just with rocket fire but even sniper fire.

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Thanks, Kiwi, for your respectful response.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            “Palestinian civilians are being murdered by the hundreds (as of now), so they don’t even get to kvetch and bitch.”

            Murdered? They die in a war which Hamas wages. They can thank Hamas for their predicament. People die in all wars. Even wars which NATO wages. What a surprise.

            I vote for no more wars. Do you think Hamas listens? Do you think Americans listen? Do you think Russians listen? Do you think less people die in other wars?

            Reply to Comment
        • GilGamesh

          Three years ago predates pillar of defence which was the last conflict so saying three years ago is the lead up to this conflict is BS. they fact of the matter is the rockets have always been the major reason for this latest conflict. Face it you can’t provide a list for something that doesn’t exist. Like the rest of what you post the Israeli gov’t approved list of books is made up by you. So go ahead and curse some more and stamp your feet and tell me again how I better watch who I said is a BS’er. Still waiting for you to tell me what the consequence of that is. bwahhawhaw.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            When did I saw three years ago is the leadup to this conflict?

            By attributing to me what I did not say, yes, that’s more bullshit, Gil.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            “… when did I saw …”?

            Good English Goldmarx, NOT!

            Why don’t you stick to Arabic? Many of us understand Arabic you know.

            Reply to Comment
    13. Sam

      Some people here try to justify the deliberate attempt to kill innocent people and even exterminate an entire country by saying that those terrorists believe their land was stolen.
      That argument is not valid.
      Firstly, Jews didn’t steal any land. Christians and Muslims immorally stole much land by building armies and attacking faraway lands and then exterminating or forcefully converting the local population. Jews didn’t do that. There was nothing immoral in the way Jews immigrated to the land of Israel, there was nothing immoral in the way they bought land from Arab sheikhs, there was nothing immoral in the way Israel was established and there was nothing immoral in the way Israel acquired more land after it was attacked by half a dozen Arab armies whose sole purpose was to exterminate Israel and all its Jewish inhabitants.
      Secondly, territories and even entire continents were conquered and stolen throughout all of history. Borders had been changing constantly throughout history. New countries were created and old countries disappeared. Practically every country and every nation on earth could be accused of stealing land at some point in history. So even if a certain nation had indeed stolen land in the past it still doesn’t give anyone the right to try and exterminate that nation or kill innocent people of that nation.
      Thirdly, “stealing land” is a relative phrase. It depends on who you ask. Some Arabs and Muslims might believe the land of Israel belongs to Arab speaking Muslims. Some Jews might believe this land belongs to Hebrew speaking Jews. But one’s believes don’t give them the right to hurt innocent people. Everyone can justify his crimes with his believes, even a rapist and a murderer. Believes don’t justify anything.
      As to Gaza – It was “stolen” in 1967 from Egypt and Egypt can have it back if they want to. Until the 90’s Arabs in Gaza could travel freely into Israel and beyond. Then the two-state solution was proposed inside Israel and abroad and negotiations began in early 90’s. Those negotiations led to the creation of a Palestinian government and Palestinian autonomy, and Israel gave many weapons to those Palestinian governments to maintain order. Sadly, this autonomy and the weapons were exploited to commit countless terror attacks – busses exploded, restaurants exploded, discotheques exploded. Radical organizations popped everywhere. All that terror resulted in Israel closing all its borders. Sadly, the Muslims believe that the only solution to any problem is terrorism, war, extermination. And the more they try to use force, the more they suffer, the more they lose. They are still stuck in the middle ages and refuse to progress to the 21’s century. They are their own greatest enemies. Instead of cooperating with Israel and learning from Israel and developing their economies they invest all their money, time and effort in terror, propaganda, hatred and war.

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