An edited version of this piece first appeared at LobeLog.
When Israel, or any country, engages in armed conflict with a guerilla group, even if that group controls significant territory and resources, it is a virtual truism that the longer the fighting goes on, the greater the gains for the non-state actor. In Gaza, Hamas’ quasi-governmental position still leaves it in the role of the guerilla enemy. And with the events of the past few days, it is worth asking if Israel is not losing this “war.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Gaza | Tagged Barack Obama, Ben-Gurion Airport, Benjamin Netanyahu, ceasefire, FAA, Gaza Siege, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Hanan Ashrawi, ICC, Michael Bloomberg, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Solid Cliff, Palestinian Unity Government, Ted Cruz, UNHRC, West Bank | Leave a Comment »
Today, another piece on Gaza. This one, though, is more emotional and personal. I see too much of my own background, too much of
Israeli soldiers lounge outside the museum of the Zionist militant group, the Irgun Zvai Leumi.
how I was raised to understand Judaism in Israel’s actions. I stress, this is far from any kind of “real” Judaism. It is one of a great many kinds of Judaism, many understandings of what being Jewish means. the one I was raised with was, well, simply not a very nice version. And on some level, no matter how much I may embrace other Judaisms, this version will always be the most visceral for me. And, luck me Israel reflects it back at me on a regular basis. I explore in Souciant today.
Posted in Gaza, Judaism | Tagged Anwar Sadat, Beit Hanoun, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Jewish Defense League, Jimmy Carter, Joshua Heschel, Kach, Meir Kahane, Menachem Begin, Palestine, Shoah | Leave a Comment »
Israel seems to be failing to make the (false) case that it is not trying to harm civilians in Gaza. People aren’t buying it this time. True, the politicians haven’t changed. But the public response has been sharp. There are still plenty of people to whom Palestinian life has no value, and they fully support what is Israel is doing, but that now seems to be the dividing line. I explore today at LobeLog.
Posted in Gaza, Hasbara | Tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, atomic bomb, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dalia Scheindlin, Gaza, Gaza massacre, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Harry Truman, international law, Israel, Japan, John Kerry, nagasaki, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Solid Cliff, Shujaiya, Shujaiyah | Leave a Comment »
A slightly edited version of this article first appeared at LobeLog. It’s the best resource on the web for analysis of US foreign policy. Please check it out.
The two ceasefire proposals aimed at ending the accelerated violence in Gaza and Israel offer one of the best illustrations of the
Relatives and friends of the al-Kaware family carry 7 bodies to the mosque during their funeral in Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, on July 9, 2014. The father, a member of the Fatah movement, and his 6 sons were all killed the day before in an Israeli air strike that targeted their home. Credit: AFP/Thomas Coexthomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images/Used under a Creative Commons license
Israel-Palestine conflict one could ask for. The circumstances and the content of each proposal demonstrate very well why outside pressure is necessary to end this vexing, seemingly endless struggle and just how differently Israelis and Palestinians view both current events and the conflict as a whole.
Let’s look at the two proposals. Egypt, acting as the United States normally does, worked out the details of their ceasefire idea with Israel primarily. The deal reflects the Israeli and Egyptian agenda: it mostly follows the formula of “quiet for quiet,” essentially bringing back the status quo ante of early June. It offers Hamas a vague promise of future negotiations to address the siege of the Strip. But this is hardly something Hamas will put stock in. The 2012 ceasefire agreement, which was negotiated by then-Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, a man much friendlier to Hamas than the current Egyptian leadership, also made such a promise and it never came to anything. Finally, Egypt says it is willing to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt more widely but only if Hamas allows PA security to police it instead of their own people. Continue Reading »
Posted in Gaza | Tagged ceasefire, Egypt, Gaza, Gaza Siege, international law, Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Operation Protective Edge, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Three kidnapped Israelis, Turkey, United States, West Bank | 1 Comment »
An edited version of this piece originally appeared at LobeLog.
The fighting in Gaza will continue for some time, as a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt fell apart. Despite the bellicose
The remains of the Ministry of Interior’s Civilian Affairs office after Israeli bombardments in Gaza City, November 2012. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
language Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has employed over the past week, it was Hamas and not Israel that rejected the proposal. This was, to be sure, the direct result of that proposal not meeting any of Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire and, because as one Israeli official put it, “…we discovered we’d made a cease-fire agreement with ourselves.” The dynamics of this turn of events are important and tell us much of how the ground has changed in the region.
We first must ask why Hamas rejected the Egyptian proposal. They have been rather clear about their reasons:
- One, Hamas felt, quite correctly, that Egypt had essentially negotiated this deal with Israel, then presented it as a fait accompli to Hamas. In fact, they said they first heard about it through social media.
- Two, Hamas has declared that they intend to come out of this round of fighting with some gains. In particular, they want to see the siege that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007, the release of all the prisoners who had been re-arrested recently after being freed in exchange for Hamas freeing Gilad Shalit in 2011, and the negotiation of a long term truce, as was agreed in 2012, but never acted upon. The terms of the proposal offered no such relief, or any real change to the status quo.
- Three, many among Hamas and other groups believe this proposal was deliberately put forth by Egypt as one Israel would accept and Hamas would reject, in order to legitimize further attacks on Gaza. The way things have unfolded, they may very well be correct.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Gaza, Hamas | Tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Egypt, Gaza, GazaUnderAttack, Hamas, Hosni Mubarak, Israel, IsraelUnderFire, Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Operation Protective Edge, Qatar, Turkey, United States | Leave a Comment »
It may be just a footnote to the current violence in Gaza and Israel, but it’s important for Americans to see what is being said in our names. The AIPAC-crafted bills in Congress reflect the very ugly sense of valuing Israeli lives and not Palestinian ones at all. I can only wonder how that feels to Arab-Americans, especially Palestinians. I explore at LobeLog.
Posted in Congress, US-Israel Lobby | Tagged AIPAC, Arab-Americans, Congress, Gaza, Israel, Lindsey Graham, Operation Protective Edge, Palestinian-Americans, Palestinians, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives | Leave a Comment »
An edited version of this article appeared at LobeLog.
The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
It has become even more important for Israel to fight this rhetorical battle because, while it can always count on mindless support from Washington and from the most radically nationalistic and zealous Zionists around the world, the current escalation and ugliness is going to be very difficult to defend to even mainstream pro-Israel liberals, let alone the rest of the world. The hasbara (propaganda) has been flowing at a rapid pace, even more so than usual, as Israel struggles to maintain the treasured hold on the “moral high ground” that its own actions have increasingly undermined. Continue Reading »
Posted in Gaza, Israel, United States | Tagged Avraham Stern, Ayelet Shaked, Barack Obama, Baruch Goldstein, Benjamin Netanyahu, Dan Shapiro, Fatah, Gaza, Habayit Hayehudi, Hamas, Hasbara, Hebron, Irgun, Israeli Bombing of Gaza, Jewish Home, JJ Goldberg, Kiryat Arba, Kochav Yair, LEHI, Mahmoud Abbas, Meir Kahane, Menachem Begin, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, Operation Protective Edge, Operation Solid Cliff, Palestinian Unity Government, Three kidnapped Israelis, United Nations, United Nations Security Council, war crimes, War of choice, West Bank, Yitzhak Shamir | Leave a Comment »
Older Posts »