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What 'no country in the world' should tolerate

Israel says that ‘no country in the world’ would agree to live under the threat of Gaza’s rockets, but ignores its own culpability in its 100-eyes-for-an eye spiral of violence.

Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

A child stands  amid the rubble of the Al Dalu family home, Gaza City, December 3, 2012. Ten members of the Al Dalu family were killed, as well as two neighbors, by an Israeli air strike on their three-story home on November 18, 2012. Four of those killed were children, and four were women.

A child stands amid the rubble of the Al Dalu family home, Gaza City, December 3, 2012. Ten members of the Al Dalu family were killed, as well as two neighbors, by an air strike on their three-story home on November 18, 2012, during the Israeli offensive known as “Operation Pillar of Cloud.” Four of those killed were children, and four were women.

One of the common talking points used to defend Israel’s pummeling of Gaza is that “no country in the world” would agree to live under the threat of rockets. (Robert Fisk gives at least one historic example to the contrary.) But thin as the argument may be, it begs the question:  Why single out Israel for criticism?

Here’s one guess: has any other self-declared democracy killed its enemies (mostly civilians) at rates of 1,400-to-9 in Operation Cast Lead, 176-to-6 in Operation Pillar of Defense or 163-and-counting-to-0 in the current offensive, Operation Protective Edge?

A Palestinian child plays among the ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the 2008-2009 war known as Operation Cast Lead, July 4, 2012.

A Palestinian child plays among the ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the 2008-2009 war known as Operation Cast Lead, July 4, 2012.

Another complaint of double standards that’s often leveled at advocates for Palestinian rights: “why don’t you go to Syria or Iraq where things are really bad?” This recommendation was offered to me by an Israeli soldier sent to quell a nonviolent demonstration in the West Bank. My answers to this dodge:

1) As a U.S. taxpayer, I have a special relationship with the country that receives the largest amount of my foreign aid. The soldier who asked me this question had “Property of U.S. Govt.” stamped on his rifle. The tear gas I inhaled at other demonstrations was also “Made in USA,” as are the planes dropping bombs on Gaza right now. So in one sense, I’m holding my own country accountable. More on that later.

An Israeli soldier at a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in the West Bank town of Al Ma'sara rests his finger near the trigger of a rifle stamped with the words, "Property of US Govt", October 25, 2013.

An Israeli soldier at a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in the West Bank town of Al Ma’sara rests his finger near the trigger of a rifle stamped with the words, “Property of US Govt”, October 25, 2013.

2) Like many advocates for Palestinian rights, I’ve been active in human rights campaigns focused on many other countries, including Guatemala, Colombia, East Timor, Egypt, Iran, and Sudan. I’ve even traveled to a few of them. As a member of Amnesty International, I’ve written letters on behalf of political prisoners in more countries than I can remember, including some of Israel’s hostile neighbors. At home, I got arrested at the White House to protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq, marched for immigrant rights and opposed the death penalty. The point here is not to toot my activist horn, it’s to demonstrate that many of those who criticize Israel are consistent advocates for global human rights, including criticism of our home countries. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. So while Israel is special—right?—it’s not the only target of activism.

So whether I’m continuing my consistent concern for international human rights or succumbed to accusations of double-standards out-singling, after four years in occupied Palestine, here I am now in Iraq.

Displaced Iraqis pass a tent camp set up by the UNHCR outside the Khazer Checkpoint between Nineveh and Erbil Provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan, July 9, 2014. Thousands are fleeing the city of Mosul where fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have taken control but are facing air attacks by Iraq's central government forces.

Displaced Iraqis pass a tent camp set up by the UNHCR outside the Khazer Checkpoint between Nineveh and Erbil Provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan, July 9, 2014. Thousands are fleeing the city of Mosul where fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have taken control but are facing air attacks by Iraq’s central government forces.

Interestingly, while skyping with friends in Gaza to see how they were holding up, they expressed concern for my safety. I said it’s a little like being in East Jerusalem when there’s war in Gaza. There might be some risk, but even though the fighting is only 90 kilometers away, it’s quite safe where I am in Erbil.

A big difference, I added, is that people in Mosul, for example, can leave their city if it becomes too dangerous. They’re not locked in a big jail like Gaza, so that when the Israeli military drops leaflets telling 100,000 Gaza residents to flee, it’s something of a sick joke. To where do you flee when all of your borders are closed and you live in one of the most densely populated places on earth?

Internally displaced people ride in the back of a truck outside the Khazer Checkpoint between Nineveh and Erbil Provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan, July 9, 2014. According the the BBC, more than a million people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting in Iraq in recent months.

Internally displaced Iraqis ride in the back of a truck outside the Khazer Checkpoint between Nineveh and Erbil Provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan, July 9, 2014. According the the BBC, more than a million people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting in Iraq in recent months.

A Palestinian rides his donkey near the northern border between Gaza and Israel, Beit Hanoun, February 18, 2014.

A Palestinian rides his donkey near the northern border between Gaza and Israel, Beit Hanoun, February 18, 2014.

Not to minimize the danger in Iraq. The militants here make Hamas and Islamic Jihad look like J Street. The casualties from Gaza rocket fire can’t hold a Roman candle to the death toll in Iraq. To even approach that magnitude, you’d need to compare a far greater killer of Israelis, like … traffic accidents. If that comparison seems inappropriate, tell it to Amos Harel, who in a 2005 Haaretz article used it contextualize suicide bombings. That year, car crashes killed 10 times more Israelis — 450 — than did terrorist attacks. Or just this week, Max Fisher in the Christian Science Monitor, who cites zero Israeli deaths so far in this operation while noting 303 traffic fatalities last year.

Gaza youth sit in front of a spray-painted mural depicting rockets with the slogan, "Popular Resistance Movement", Gaza City, December 2, 2012.

Gaza youth sit in front of a spray-painted mural depicting rockets with the slogan, “Popular Resistance Movement”, Gaza City, December 2, 2012.

Employees of Rafael, an Israeli weapons company, march with a replica of an Iron Dome missile in the annual Jerusalem March, October 4, 2012.

Employees of Rafael, an Israeli weapons company, march with a model of an Iron Dome missile in the annual Jerusalem March, October 4, 2012.

I’m also not trying to minimize the danger of Gaza’s rockets. They’ve killed in the past, and people in Tel Aviv and elsewhere—including many Israeli friends who are actively opposing the military strikes — live in fear and uncertainty under the sirens and booms. That rockets have also fallen in the West Bank only further demonstrates the criminal stupidity of this tactic. But have Israelis noticed that far more rockets are fired at them when their military attacks Gaza? The issue is not whether Israel should protect its people — or whether Palestinians should resist Israeli oppression — but how.

A bomb shelter is covered with graffiti in a Be'er Sheva neighborhood, Israel, December 10, 2013.

A bomb shelter is covered with graffiti in a Be’er Sheva neighborhood, Israel, December 10, 2013.

In principle, most countries do agree to live with certain levels of threat — even lethal threats — without violently and collectively punishing entire communities. See the U.S. response to mass shootings. On second thought, see the Australian response to mass shootings. Though Israel is right that no country would ignore attacks on its citizens, there are effective and rational alternatives to massive violence.

Even the biblical principle of an “eye for an eye” would be preferable to Israel’s current 100-eyes-for-an-eye bloodshed. But since every other escalation has ended with a ceasefire, showing that Israel is willing to negotiate with Hamas after killing scores of Palestinians, why not before? As Yitzak Rabin famously said, “You negotiate with your enemies, not with your friends.” Israeli control over Palestinian lives and land remains the root of this conflict. Yet Israel broke off peace talks over Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

A donkey cart passes a Hamas billboard in Gaza City, January 26, 2014.

A donkey cart passes a Hamas billboard in Gaza City, January 26, 2014.

Since the tactic was first used in 2004, rockets from Gaza have killed 32 Israelis according to B’Tselem. In the same period, Israeli forces have killed more than 3,700 Palestinians in Gaza, about half of them noncombatant civilians, and that number is growing every day. Neither side has accomplished anything but suffering for the most vulnerable. But only one side is killing men, women and children in a spiral of violence that no country in the world should tolerate.

Citrus farmer Yusuf Jilal Arafat holds a photo of his 5-year-old daughter Runan, who was killed when 10 Israeli missiles struck their mostly agricultural area in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, December 2, 2012 during the offensive known as "Operation Pillar of Cloud".

Citrus farmer Yusuf Jilal Arafat holds a photo of his 5-year-old daughter Runan, who was killed when 10 Israeli missiles struck their mostly agricultural area in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, December 2, 2012 during the offensive known as “Operation Pillar of Cloud”.

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    COMMENTS

    1. David

      I was interested until I read “As a member of Amnesty International, I’ve written letters on behalf of political prisoners…”

      Also, doesn’t AI write letters to prisoners? Can a liberal explain how all of that works or how the reference functions in this piece?

      Reply to Comment
    2. rsgengland

      The dear writer talks about all the countries civil rights he fights for (he should get together with the Dear Leader).
      Problem is there are so many glaring omissions to that list.
      Lets start with Cuba and Turkey and North Korea and Sri Lanka and Pakistan and Sudan and Iran and Russia and China and……..
      At the end of it probably 75% of the UN membership should be investigated for human rights and lack of freedoms before you even get near Israel.
      But the bunch of self righteous bigots that always attack Israel have their heads stuck wherever, to be able to see the blindingly obvious.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ant Aloy

      The UN view of the Palestinian Territories can be seen at
      the following URL:
      http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/OCHA_IsrSettlementPolicies.pdf
      * The West Bank and East Jerusalem is occupied Palestine (bilaterally recognised by 133 nations in the world including India, China, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Guatemala, Thailand and Iceland). This number has increased since 2013.
      * Palestine is officially a non-member State and recognised by the UN. 138 nations supported Palestine in November 2012 in its successful bid for statehood. France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Greece, Cyprus and Malta were among many European nations to support Palestine. Their vote for Palestine was important as were those cast by India, China, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand who supported Palestine too. The Secretary General of the UN and Vatican Church wel-comed the re-birth of Palestine.
      * However, Palestine (West Bank and East Jerusalem) is still illegally held and sadly Israel’s Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu has ignored the ruling of the International Court of Justice (subsequently supported by the UN and EU) with respect to the “separation barrier”. This “wall” is 3 times the length of the Berlin Wall.
      * UNESCO’s recognition of Palestine in 2011 was supported by France, Spain, Ire-land, Belgium, Norway, Greece and other European nations.
      * Please also see UNSC Resolution 478 concerning Jerusalem. The 4th Geneva Convention is applicable to all the Palestinian Territories.
      * International law and UN Resolutions (over which there are over 150) are ignored by Israel’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
      * UN Resolutions specify Israel’s illegal hold of the Palestinian Territories to be a vio-lation of the 4th Geneva Convention and as such is a War Crime under international law. More so now, that settlements are being placed in another nation.
      *** UN Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August
      1980 – BINDING
      The Security Council, recalling its resolution 476 (1980);
      reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible;
      deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli
      Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of
      Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security; noting that Israel has
      not complied with resolution 476 (1980); reaffirming its determination to
      examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of
      the Charter of the United Nations, to secure the full implementation of its
      resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel ; Censures in
      the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the “basic law” on
      Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;

      *** Resolution 694 (1991) – BINDING
      Adopted by the Security Council at its 2989th meeting on 24
      May 1991
      The Security Council,
      Reaffirming its resolution 681 (1990),
      Having learned with deep concern and consternation that Israel has, in violation of its obliga-tions under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and acting in opposition to relevant Security Council resolutions, and to the detriment of efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, deported four Palestinian civilians on 18 May 1991,
      1. Declares that the action of the Israeli authorities of deporting four Palestinians on 18 May is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which is applicable to all the Palestinian territories
      occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;
      2. Deplores this action and reiterates that Israel, the occupying Power, refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories and ensure the save and immediate re-turn of all those
      deported;
      3. Decides to keep the situation under review.

      *** Resolution 672 (1990) – BINDING
      Adopted by the Security Council at its 2948th meeting on 12 October 1990
      The Security Council,
      Recalling its resolutions 476 (1980) and 478 (1980),
      Reaffirming that a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict must be based on its resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) through an active negotiating process which takes into account the right
      to security for all States in the region, including Israel, as well as the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people,
      Taking into consideration the statement of the Secretary-General relative to the purpose of the mission he is sending to the region and conveyed to the Council by the President on 12 October 1990,
      1. Expresses alarm at the violence which took place on 8 October at the Al Haram al Shareef and other Holy Places of Jerusalem resulting in over twenty Palestinian deaths and to the in-jury of more than one hundred and fifty people, including Palestinian civilians and innocent worshippers;
      2. Condemns especially the acts of violence committed by the Israeli security forces resulting in injuries and loss of human life;
      3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to all the territories occupied by
      Israel since 1967;
      4. Requests, in connection with the decision of the Secretary-General to send a mission to the region, which the Council welcomes, that he submit a report to it before the end of October 1990 containing his
      findings and conclusions and that he use as appropriate all the resources of the United Na-tions in the region in carrying out the mission.
      24th April 2012 – UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
      “I strongly condemn the Israeli government’s decision yesterday to turn three illegal outposts in the West Bank into settlements. I urged the Israeli government in my statement on 5 April to remove – not
      legalise – outposts across the West Bank”.
      Furthermore, I would like to refer you to specific serious concerns raised by the International Court of Justice (2004) – with relevance to the ‘security barrier’ – which was viewed with alarm by the international community. Incidentally the reference to the illegality of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was also reinforced when the International Court of Justice also found the following (indeed the EU supported the UN vote pertaining to the ‘security barrier’):
      * That the separation barrier is intended to assist the settlements, the establishment of which violates Article 49 of the Convention. Also, the court pointed out that the restrictions placed on the local population located between the barrier and the Green Line are liable to lead to abandonment of the land, which also constitutes a violation of Article 49. In addition, the opinion stated that taking control of private land to build the barrier injured private property owners, and thus violated Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      Some other key UN Security Council Resolutions on Palestine – BINDING AND INTERNATIONAL LAW (there are over 150 UN Resolutions)
      252 (21 May 1968)

      Urgently calls upon Government of Israel to rescind measures that change the legal status of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and properties thereon.

      262 (31 December 1968)

      Calls upon Government of Israel to pay compensation to Lebanon for the destruction of airliners at Beirut International Airport.

      267 (3 July 1969)

      Expects Israel rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

      271 (15 September 1969)

      Expects the demand that Government of Israel rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

      298 (25 September 1971)

      Expects the demand that Government of Israel rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

      446 (22 March 1979)

      Calls on Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction, and planning of settlements in the Palestinian Territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

      452 (20 July 1979)

      Expects Israel cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction, and planning of settlements in the Palestinian Territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

      465 (1 March 1980)

      Expects Israel cease, the establishment, construction, and planning of illegal settlements in the Palestinian Territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

      471 (5 June 1980)

      Demands prosecution of those involved in the assassination attempt of West Bank leaders and compensation for damages; Expects demands to comply by Fourth Geneva Convention.

      484 (19 December 1980)

      Expects Israeli compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      573 (4 October 1985)

      Condemns the Government of Israeli with respect to the attack in Tunisia. Call on Israel to pay compensation for human and material losses from its attack and to refrain from all such attacks or threats of attacks against other nations.

      592 (8 December 1986)

      Demands Israel comply with the Fourth Geneva Conventions in all Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem.

      605 (22 December 1987)

      Calls upon the Government of Israel, the Occupying Power, to comply by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      607 (5 January 1988)

      Expects Israel to comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as cease its practice of deportations from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

      608 (14 January 1988), 636 (6 July 1989), 641 (30 August 1989)

      Expects that Israel cease the deportations of Palestinian people from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

      672 (12 October 1990)

      Expects Israel to comply by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

      673 (24 October 1990)

      Demands that the Israel come into compliance with UN Resolution 672.

      681 (20 December 1990)

      Expects Israel to comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention with respect to the Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem.

      694 (24 May 1991)

      Expects that Israel stop Palestinian civilian deportation from the Occupied Palestinian Territories and ensure the safe and immediate return of deportees.

      726 (6 January 1992)

      Expects Israel to comply with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its deportation practice from Occupied Palestinian Territories.

      799 (18 December 1992)

      Reaffirms Fourth Geneva Convention to all Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem. Also affirms that deportation of civilians constitutes a contravention of its obligations under the Convention.

      904 (18 March 1994)

      Israel is called upon, as the occupying power, to take and implement measures, inter alia, confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by settlers.

      1073 (28 September 1996)

      Calls on the safety and security of Palestinian civilians to be ensured.

      1322 (7 October 2000)

      Calls upon Israel to comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of the occupying power in the Palestinian Territories.

      1402 (30 March 2002)

      Calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian cities.

      1403 (4 April 2002)

      Demands that the Government of Israel go through with the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1402.

      1405 (19 April 2002)

      UN inspector call to investigate civilian deaths during Israel’s assault on the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp.

      1435 (24 September 2002)

      Calls on Israel to withdraw to positions of September 2000 and end its military activities in and around Ramallah, including the destruction of security and civilian infrastructure.

      Reply to Comment
    4. @EllCiii

      Ryan your article resulted in having me thinking –great ;}

      @Allan Farber ·
      > the Gazans build missiles and tunnels to maintain a state of war against Israel.

      Yeah, and Israel buy weapons and trains hundred of thousands to make war to the Arab peoples and maintain million of Palestinians under constant humiliation.
      Oh and U.S.A., UK, France pay diplomats just to have Israelis helping Arab countries keep shitty leaders.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Arb

      Nicely written piece.

      I think there are some significant flaws in your thinking, unfortunately.

      First of all, you write as if the Palestinians have no agency. They do. Hamas is a huge organization and they know precisely that at some point they will provoke a response from Israel. They sought to achieve this response and this is the only reason there’s an operation in Gaza presently.

      You have to put the blame where it lies. Had no rockets been fired, there would be no operation.

      Second, the number of victims on each side indicates nothing other than the criminality of the Palestinian leaders who know the risk they are taking. They prefer this risk and the potential news and propaganda they get out of it to preventing the conflagration in the first place.

      Third, the ratio of Israeli to Palestinian dead and injured does not excuse the rocket attacks from Gaza which instigated this war. Israel has spent significant sums on mechanisms to avoid injury to its citizens including fortified schools, multiple shelters (even some on the street!!!!), Iron Dome, warning calls, etc. Has Hamas built shelters? No, it has built tunnels to smuggle in arms and tunnels into Israel to commit murders and kidnappings.

      Fourth, the 8th grader at school doesn’t attack the high school senior and expect to come out of it without a couple of black eyes. If you attack a much stronger opponent, expect to be hurt. Israel is not attacking willy nilly, it is doing so after using intelligence gathering and targeting important targets. It’s warning before it attacks, it is waiting when it sees civilians in the way of the attack, etc.

      Fifth, would you be more satisfied if the ratios were 250:1400? What kind of thinking is that? You want more dead? When the US sends its forces into war, do you want them all to come home safely or do you hope that enough of them will die so you can rest easy that it was a “fair” war?

      Sixth, Israel does agree to live with a certain “level of threat” all the time. It only attacks when the threat becomes significant. Aren’t 100 rockets significant? 200? At what point does a country say, “enough?” It seems you think the number is “any number of rockets.” But that isn’t the real world. There are communities near Gaza that have not had normal lives in many years and they deserve to live in peace.

      In short, stop minimizing the Palestinian role in what happened here and stop feigning surprise that in the end they get hammered. If there were no rockets fired at Israel, there would be no Israeli attack on Gaza. And please don’t kid yourself, Israel has been far more careful about trying to avoid civilian casualties than any Western country has been.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2014/07/gaza_civilian_casualties_a_closer_look_at_the_death_toll_israel_s_warnings.html

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        You’re whole premise is wrong, I’m sorry to tell you.

        Gaza was bombed by Israel BEFORE Hamas fired its first rockets.

        There were one or two rockets a day coming from Gaza since the beginning of the year. But as even Israeli security experts acknowledge, these rockets did not come from Hamas, but from groups that are enemies of Hamas (like Islamic Jihad).

        Hamas tried to uphold the truce it made with Israel as good as it could manage. Israel then broke that truce. Just like in 2009.

        A question you should probably ask yourself is this:
        Why did Israel only now answer these rocket attacks (that did NOT come from Hamas) by bombing Gaza? Why not before? These rocket attacks have been going on for at least a couple of months, so why react now?

        “On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force attacked four targets in southern Gaza following rocket fire that landed in the southern Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. The IDF said that it will “not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and will act against anyone who operates terror against Israel.”

        Israeli security forces estimate that the Islamic Jihad is responsible for some of the launches in the past week and a half, while others were probably carried out by organizations that do not accept Hamas’ rule in the strip.

        The IDF has responded to every incident of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation Brother’s Keeper, with more than 20 targets in Gaza bombed by the Israel Air Force.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.600970

        Reply to Comment
        • Arb

          1. The rockets have only been coming in significant numbers since the Israeli boys were kidnapped. Hamas didn’t like Israel’s West Bank operation so they decided it was open season.

          2. Israel attacked now because the rockets reached 150 in less than a month and Hamas was launching this time.

          3. In March there were 50 rockets launched at Israel. In April there were 10 more. In May, 2. In June, over 150. I’m glad you think this is normal but at some point enough is enough. Israel attacked after trying to come to a cease fire with Hamas. Egypt was the go-between. When the talks failed, Netanyahu still waited a couple more days and only then attacked.

          4. Hamas was offered another cease fire brokered by Egypt in the past two days. They refused.

          Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            “Hamas didn’t like Israel’s West Bank operation so they decided it was open season.” Wrong. Hamas is now part of the Palestinian Unity government, so they have a responsibility for Palestinians in the West bans as well as Gaza.

            “Israel attacked now because the rockets reached 150 in less than a month and Hamas was launching this time.” Wrong – Israel attacked now because they want Hamas out of the Unity government, and are provoking rocket attacks. There are more rockets being fired now precisely because Israel is attacking now.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            You aren’t reading the newspaper very carefully. The unity government is supposedly a technocratic one without Hamas members. If the unity government’s responsibility is to address grievances with rockets, then please explain how Hamas can take these actions while the president of the Palestinian Authority rejects it? And if, indeed, you are right, then doesn’t Israel now have the right to attack Palestinian targets under PA control in Judea and Samaria just as harshly?

            Reply to Comment
          • Goldmarx

            Israel has already been attacking West Bank Palestinian targets – that’s what the whole roundup and killing of Palestinians was about in the aftermath of the killing of the 3 Jewish teenagers. Talk about not reading the papers carefully!

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Again, since you don’t know your stuff, please keep out of the conversation. I have no intention of educating you.

            Reply to Comment
      • Reza Lustig

        Then why is Israel humoring them (if that is their goal) by flattening an urban area and racking up a kill count of civilians?

        Reply to Comment
        • Arb

          Why is it playing into their trap?

          Because if they don’t, their people will continue to get bombed and the rocket arsenal will continue to grow exponentially. In the current situation, it appeared that Hamas intended to use their attacks on Israel to garner favor in Judea and Samaria now that they were permitted to operate there again by the PA. Israel cannot allow that. Judea and Samaria will not be permitted to descend into another Hamas hellhole, is apparently what the current Israeli government believes.

          Reply to Comment
          • Reza Lustig

            I think the fact that the rockets have killed nobody so far in this exchange (but they set some one’s field on fire), the question of “self-defense” is a non-sequitur. Would giving Hamas what they’re asking for (negotiations to continue the ceasefire) be such a crime, if it prevents civilian casualties.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arb

            Funny how daily events prove you wrong, huh? Now you can’t use the cease fire lie any more after we saw Hamas absolutely refuse to even consider one while Israel stopped shooting.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Sheila Sandler

      I disagree with your picture of what happened over the past 9 years since Israel GAVE UP the Gaza Strip to the so-called Palestinians. They made a promise to Israel to make the Gaza Strip a Paradise for their people. Instead, they built tunnels and weapons to destroy Israel and have been shooting those rockets into Israel in the hopes of destroying all the Jews, etc. They have turned the Gaza Strip into a fortress of terror.

      Reply to Comment

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