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Why Israel’s Bombardment of Gaza Neighborhood Left US Officers ‘stunned’
Analysis: Military sources say Pentagon’s assessment of Shujaiya shelling alarmed even Secretary of State John Kerry
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The cease-fire announced Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian factions — if it holds — will end seven weeks of fighting that killed more than 2,200 Gazans and 69 Israelis. But as the rival camps seek to put their spin on the outcome, one assessment of Israel’s Gaza operation that won’t be publicized is the U.S. military’s. Though the Pentagon shies from publicly expressing judgments that might fall afoul of a decidedly pro-Israel Congress, senior U.S. military sources speaking on condition of anonymity offered scathing assessments of Israeli tactics, particularly in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

One of the more curious moments in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge came on July 20, when a live microphone at Fox News caught U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commenting sarcastically on Israel’s military action. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry said. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

Rain of high-explosive shells

Kerry’s comment followed the heaviest bombardment of the war to that point, as Israeli artillery rained thousands of high-explosive shells on Shujaiya, a residential area on the eastern edge of Gaza City. A high-ranking U.S. military officer said that the source of Kerry’s apparent consternation was almost certainly a Pentagon summary report assessing the Israeli barrage on which he had been briefed by an aide moments earlier.

According to this senior U.S. officer, who had access to the July 21 Pentagon summary of the previous 24 hours of Israeli operations, the internal report showed that 11 Israeli artillery battalions — a minimum of 258 artillery pieces, according to the officer’s estimate — pumped at least 7,000 high explosive shells into the Gaza neighborhood, which included a barrage of some 4,800 shells during a seven-hour period at the height of the operation. Senior U.S. officers were stunned by the report.

Twice daily throughout the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) operation, a select group of senior U.S. military and intelligence officers at the Pentagon received lengthy written summaries of Israeli military action in Gaza. The reports — compiled from information gleaned from open sources, Israeli military officers with whom U.S. officials speak and satellite images — offered a detailed assessment of Israel’s battlefield tactics and the performance of its weaponry, a considerable portion of it supplied by the United States.

Although these reports shy from offering political judgments on the operation, a number of senior U.S. military officers who spoke about the contents of those daily reports were highly critical of some of the IDF’s tactics, particularly in the Israeli ground invasion of Shujaiya. An official spokesman at the Pentagon declined to comment on the contents of this article.

On July 16, the IDF dropped leaflets into Shujaiya, warning residents of an imminent Israeli attack and urging them to evacuate the area. The next day, after a short artillery preparation, three IDF units, led by the Golani Brigade, began a ground assault into the neighborhood to destroy Hamas bunkers and break up Hamas formations.

‘Take off the gloves’

The incursion went well at first, with Golani soldiers meeting little resistance. But by late on Saturday afternoon, July 19, forward elements of the brigade were running head on into well-organized Hamas units, and some IDF formations were pinned down in vicious fighting in Shujaiya’s streets and alleys. What had been envisaged as a limited ground operation was not going as planned, with Hamas units emerging from tunnels and bunkers in attempts to exploit IDF weaknesses. The Hamas units were well prepared and trained, with their formations hidden so well that Israeli soldiers were rarely able to pinpoint their locations.

“The ground assault was poorly handled into eastern Gaza City,” an Israel civilian adviser to the IDF’s chief of staff said at the time. “The Hamas fighters showed an unexpected tenacity and were far more effective against our armored units than we’d anticipated.”

By late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, the fight had devolved into a series of vicious small unit clashes, with IDF squads facing off against Hamas squads, sniper units and teams carrying lethal anti-tank rockets. In one eight-hour period starting early on July 20, the IDF suffered 13 dead, seven of them in an armored personnel carrier that caught fire after a Hamas sapper team detonated an anti-tank mine beneath it. When the IDF moved to retrieve the bodies and the stricken APC, Hamas fighters targeted the rescue vehicles and engaged in gun battles with IDF combat teams as the rescue convoy retreated.

In the early hours of that Sunday morning, with IDF casualties mounting, senior officers directed IDF tank commanders to “take off the gloves” and “to open fire at anything that moves,” according to reports in the Israeli press.

The three Israeli units assaulting Shujaiya were never in danger of being defeated, but the losses the IDF suffered in the four-day house-to-house battle embarrassed IDF commanders. By the afternoon of July 19, even before Israel had suffered most of its casualties, the scale of resistance prompted Israeli battlefield commanders to blanket Shujaiya with high-explosive artillery rounds, rockets fired from helicopters and bombs dropped by F-16s. The decision was confirmed at the highest levels of the IDF.

By Sunday night, Palestinian officials were denouncing the bombardment of Shujaiya as a massacre, and international pressure mounted on the Israeli government to explain the heavy casualty toll being inflicted on Gaza civilians. The IDF told the press that Shujaiya had been a “fortress for Hamas terrorists” and reiterated that while Israel had “warned civilians” to evacuate, “Hamas ordered them to stay. Hamas put them in the line of fire.”

Kerry’s hot-microphone comments reflect the shock among U.S. observers at the scale and lethality of the Israeli bombardment.

“Eleven battalions of IDF artillery is equivalent to the artillery we deploy to support two divisions of U.S. infantry,” a senior Pentagon officer with access to the daily briefings said. “That’s a massive amount of firepower, and it’s absolutely deadly.” Another officer, a retired artillery commander who served in Iraq, said the Pentagon’s assessment might well have underestimated the firepower the IDF brought to bear on Shujaiya. “This is the equivalent of the artillery we deploy to support a full corps,” he said. “It’s just a huge number of weapons.”

Artillery pieces used during the operation included a mix of Soltam M71 guns and U.S.-manufactured Paladin M109s (a 155-mm howitzer), each of which can fire three shells per minute. “The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible,” said the senior U.S. military officer. “It’s not mowing the lawn,” he added, referring to a popular IDF term for periodic military operations against Hamas in Gaza. “It’s removing the topsoil.”

“Holy bejeezus,” exclaimed retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard when told the numbers of artillery pieces and rounds fired during the July 21 action. “That rate of fire over that period of time is astonishing. If the figures are even half right, Israel’s response was absolutely disproportionate.” A West Point graduate who is a veteran of two wars and is the chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, D.C., he added that even if Israeli artillery units fired guided munitions, it would have made little difference.

Even the most sophisticated munitions have a circular area of probability, Gard explained, with a certain percentage of shells landing dozens or even hundreds of feet from intended targets. Highly trained artillery commanders know this and compensate for their misses by firing more shells. So if even 10 percent of the shells fired at combatants in Shujaiya landed close to but did not hit their targets — a higher than average rate of accuracy — that would have meant at least 700 lethal shells landing among the civilian population of Shujaiya during the night of July 20 into June 21. And the kill radius of even the most precisely targeted 155-mm shell is 164 feet. Put another way, as Gard said, “precision weapons aren’t all that precise.”

Senior U.S. officers who are familiar with the battle and Israeli artillery operations, which are modeled on U.S. doctrine, assessed that, given that rate of artillery fire into Shujaiya, IDF commanders were not precisely targeting Palestinian military formations as much as laying down an indiscriminate barrage aimed at cratering the neighborhood. The cratering operation was designed to collapse the Hamas tunnels discovered when IDF ground units came under fire in the neighborhood. Initially, said the senior Pentagon officer, Israel’s artillery used “suppressing fire to protect their forward units but then poured in everything they had, in a kind of walking barrage. Suppressing fire is perfectly defensible. A walking barrage isn’t.”

That the Israelis explained the civilian casualty toll by saying the neighborhood’s noncombatant population had been ordered to stay in their homes and were used as human shields by Hamas reinforced the belief among some senior U.S. officers that artillery fire into Shujaiya was indiscriminate.

“Listen, we know what it’s like to kill civilians in war,” said the senior U.S. officer. “Hell, we even put it on the front pages. We call it collateral damage. We absolutely try to minimize it, because we know it turns people against you. Killing civilians is a sure prescription for defeat. But that’s not what the IDF did in Shujaiya on July 21. Human shields? C’mon, just own up to it.”

(Republished from Aljazeera America by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Israel/Palestine 
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  1. Don Nash says: • Website

    “Disproportionate… collateral damage… minimize it…”
    War crimes are war crimes. The Israelis need to face the ICC.

  2. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Ron Unz: self-hating Jew

  3. Svigor says:

    2,200 Gazans and 69 Israelis

    32:1 ratio. I wonder how many Germans the Jews killed in the Warsaw Uprising? At 32:1, that’s a lot of Jews justly killed. I mean, according to Jewish logic, anyway.

    By late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, the fight had devolved into a series of vicious small unit clashes, with IDF squads facing off against Hamas squads, sniper units and teams carrying lethal anti-tank rockets. In one eight-hour period starting early on July 20, the IDF suffered 13 dead, seven of them in an armored personnel carrier that caught fire after a Hamas sapper team detonated an anti-tank mine beneath it. When the IDF moved to retrieve the bodies and the stricken APC, Hamas fighters targeted the rescue vehicles and engaged in gun battles with IDF combat teams as the rescue convoy retreated.

    Ridley Scott should try to make a movie out of this. Seriously, we only lost 18 men in the Battle of Mogadishu, depicted in Scott’s Blackhawk Down, and that made for a great movie. The first half or so of that movie (up until the Army holes up) is flat-out awesome.

    By Sunday night, Palestinian officials were denouncing the bombardment of Shujaiya as a massacre, and international pressure mounted on the Israeli government to explain the heavy casualty toll being inflicted on Gaza civilians. The IDF told the press that Shujaiya had been a “fortress for Hamas terrorists” and reiterated that while Israel had “warned civilians” to evacuate, “Hamas ordered them to stay. Hamas put them in the line of fire.”

    And the Jews mowed them down with aplomb.

    • Replies: @Anon
  4. Svigor says:

    Funny, in Jewish movies, when the bad guys surround themselves with women and children, the good guys never mow them all down, women and children included, blow the smoke off their barrels, and say, “the bad guys put them in the line of fire, it’s their fault.”

    But that’s precisely how their propaganda works vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

  5. Svigor says:

    Ron Unz: self-hating Jew

    Maybe he’s just a white man. Or an American.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @The Plutonium Kid
  6. TomB says:
    @anon

    anon wrote:

    Ron Unz: self-hating jew

    And … there it is. A man who merely publishes an entirely fact-based article is considered a traitor.

    You couldn’t better expose the mentality we are dealing with when it comes to Israel and its hyper-partisans: So blind and deep and vicious and stupid it exposes itself.

    • Replies: @anon
  7. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @anon

    I have great respect of Mr. Unz.
    It does not necessarily mean that
    my humble opinion always coincides with his one,
    but his work is really great.
    Look who publish here:
    Steve Sailer,
    Razib Khan,
    John Derbyshire,
    Patrick Buchanan,
    *
    Studies by Mr. Unz himself are really deep and non-trivial.
    F.r.

  8. retired says:

    “…alarmed even Secretary of State John Kerry” who couldn’t find his behind with both hands.

    Let’s apply the “what would any other country do if a neighboring state started bombarding them? test.”

    The IDF has shown a lot of restraint, but not enough for the terrorist apologizing far right.

  9. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @TomB

    There is an almost-infinite number of facts in the universe. The ones we focus on reveals something about ourselves. Focusing on mildly unsavory actions by a country fighting Islam, which is an existential danger to all of Western Civilization, instead of the danger Islam poses reveals one to be blind, vicious, and stupid.

  10. quercus says:

    @anon. Please do give us your definition of a “self-hating Jew” so that we may tear it to shreds.

  11. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Svigor

    Of course, the same people who condemn charges of ethnic betrayal against Unz are the same who rail against white Americans gentiles who are liberal on issues of race. Ethnic loyalty for me, not for thee, indeed.

  12. geokat62 says:

    @anon “… mildly unsavory actions…”

    Do you realize that these are the exact same terms the Nazis used to describe what they were doing to the Jews?

    • Replies: @anon
  13. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @geokat62

    Go fuck yourself with your disgusting comparison. Israel is fighting a war of self-defense in the most humane manner a war has ever been prosecuted, incurring no more than a thousand civilian casualties, and probably far less. The Nazis deliberately murdered six million innocent civilians.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  14. Svigor says:

    it exposes itself.

    Indeed, and well put.

    Let’s apply the “what would any other country do if a neighboring state started bombarding them? test.”

    The IDF has shown a lot of restraint, but not enough for the terrorist apologizing far right.

    Let’s apply the “what would American Jews do if it were any country other than Israel doing this stuff?” test.

    Jews have shown a lot of hypocrisy and dishonesty, but not enough to wake Americans up to their faux leftism.

    There is an almost-infinite number of facts in the universe. The ones we focus on reveals something about ourselves. Focusing on mildly unsavory actions by a country fighting Islam, which is an existential danger to all of Western Civilization, instead of the danger Islam poses reveals one to be blind, vicious, and stupid.

    Hahahah. “Mildly unsavory,” aren’t you a cute one.

    2200 dead, most of them civilians.

    As for focus, call me when Jews stop focusing on white peccadilloes and start focusing on their own monstrosity.

    Of course, the same people who condemn charges of ethnic betrayal against Unz are the same who rail against white Americans gentiles who are liberal on issues of race. Ethnic loyalty for me, not for thee, indeed.

    Lemme check…yep, still gonna point out Jewish hypocrisy, still gonna point out that at least White Liberals are consistent on the issue. They don’t condemn Ferguson, then turn around and become Nazis when it’s their interests on the table.

    • Replies: @anon
  15. Cahokia says:

    It’s amusing to hear Israel’s propagandists citing their country’s value to the U.S. as a supposed front-line state against radical Islam.

    Newsflash – aside from some skirmishes with Barbary pirates, America didn’t have any problems with the Islamic world prior to the creation of Israel. In fact, the U.S. was wise enough to stay out of the region, unlike the British and French.

    Anyway, the radical Islam bogeyman is just for show. At the end of the day, Israel doesn’t discriminate between Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Likewise, the Israeli government, despite its current obsession with Hamas, never had any preference for secular Palestinian groups like the PFLP.

    The fact is, the Palestinians could all become Buddhists or Rastafarians, and they’d be treated the same. The only thing which would change is the propaganda coming out of the Zionist lobby.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @ToursLepantoVienna
  16. Svigor says:

    When are you lot going to figure out that you got NOTHING (N-O-T-H-I-N-G) and that just staying mum is the best of a set of bad choices?

    Can’t help yourselves – can you?

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    War is hell. Except when Israel is involved. Then it’s supposed to be heaven. Why on earth would anyone rain rocket fire on an enemy that could completely eliminate them all in a matter of hours? All Hamas has to do is stop sending missiles and it will be over.

    This isn’t a hockey game to keep score on. Other than accept death or commit mass suicide, is there any other way the Jews can atone for the crucifixion?

  18. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Cahokia

    Christian Arabs in Israel do better than Jews on basically all metrics. If there was really some horrible treatment of peaceable Arabs, surely that wouldn’t be true.

    The US is only worth something as the culmination of 2500 years of Western civilization, including 2000 years of Christianity. Christianity and Islam have been at war since the rise of Islam. 732, 1389, 1453, 1492, 1526, 1683–victories and defeats, these are crucial dates in the history of Christendom. To think that in an infinitely smaller world today America can stay safe as millions of Moslems stream unmolested across the borders of what was once Christendom is pure fantasy.

  19. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Svigor

    The only Nazi here is you.

  20. geokat62 says:

    @anon

    “Israel is fighting a war of self-defense…”

    My word! You took offense to the comparison? You don’t believe Israel is committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians… you think they are simply defending themselves against Hamas, the evil terrorists?

    I’m curious to see what you think of the following analogy provided by Prof. N. Finkelstein :

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?320736-1/book-discussion-old-wine-broken-bottle

    AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, IT IS A VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT. PERSON “A” IS GRAPPLING AND SUFFOCATING (SUFFOCATING IS A FANCY WORD FOR CHOKING)… JAMES. JAMES MANAGES, IN THE COURSE OF BEING SUFFOCATED, TO SCRATCH HIM A LITTLE. HE’S NOW ENRAGED. HE IS FURIOUS AT THE SCRATCHES, AND SO BEYOND SUFFOCATING HIM HE STARTS TO BEAT HIM AND BEAT HIM AND HE SAYS “IT’S MY RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE. HE SCRATCHED ME. IT’S MY RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE.” SOME PEOPLE SAID HE HAS NO CHOICE. JAMES IS SCRATCHING HIM. ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY KNOWS FULL WELL THAT HE HAS A CHOICE. IF HE DOESN’T WANT JAMES TO SCRATCH HIM, ALL HE HAS TO DO IS TO STOP SUFFOCATING JAMES.

    IF ISRAEL DOES NOT WANT TO BE THE SUBJECT OF OCCASIONAL SCRATCHES, WHICH IS ALL THAT THESE ROCKET ATTACKS COME TO, IT HAS A VERY SIMPLE OPTION. IT COULD STOP SUFFOCATING THE PALESTINIANS, IT COULD PACK UP ITS BAGS AND RETURN TO ITS STATE. THE BORDERS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND IT CAN FINALLY LET THE PALESTINIANS LIVE IN PEACE.

    The key phrase for me is “ANYONE WITH COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY KNOWS FULL WELL THAT HE HAS A CHOICE…”

    It’s clear to me that you have neither!

  21. I am glad our military recognized how awful Israel’s bombardment of Gaza was. It was done with American armaments and the world knows this. This is not a good position for the United States. I hope action will be taken through the UN to end this bloody conflict and provide security with both (I know I’m probably dreaming).

    I wish people wouldn’t generalize. The Jews I have met in real life have been nothing but kind and thoughtful to me. Also I disagree with the slur against Ron Unz. There is nothing on here that is calling for a second holocaust. That is the Christian Zionist position who as the hasbara tells us are big supporters of Israel’s colonialism. I don’t agree with everything I read on this site, but the authors are not advocating or being apologist for massive senseless violence against anyone.

    • Replies: @Anon
  22. anon • Disclaimer says:

    ” You don’t believe Israel is committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians”

    Of course not–ethnic cleansing is attempting to clear a particular piece of territory of a particular ethnic group (usually in order to place your own people in that territory). Israel has bent over backwards to avoid reoccupying the Gaza Strip and has done absolutely nothing to clear it of Arabs. In fact, the only ethnic cleansing that occurred was against the Jewish inhabitants of the Gaza Strip by their own government in 2005.

    And of course, the Nazis’ crime was genocide, not ethnic cleansing. Do you believe Israel is committing genocide?

  23. Mike says:

    Don’t fire rockets at Israel – they wont fire rockets at you.

    Israel elected not to get into an endless street battle in a neighborhood that had been built for years as an ambush trap.

    • Replies: @Ace
  24. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Svigor

    32:1 ratio. I wonder how many Germans the Jews killed in the Warsaw Uprising? At 32:1, that’s a lot of Jews justly killed. I mean, according to Jewish logic, anyway.

    Why wonder?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising

    German casualties: At least 17 killed, 93 wounded (German figures)
    Jewish casualties: About 13,000 killed, 56,885 deported, mostly civilians (German estimate)

    The deported were presumably killed in death camps.

    (56,885+13,000):17 = 4110:1

    And the Jews were presumably not firing thousands of rockets into Germany, or any other part of the Reich, although the Nazis did suggest that their brethren in the rest of the world was conspiring against the Aryan people.

  25. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Johnny F. Ive

    I am glad our military recognized how awful Israel’s bombardment of Gaza was.

    “Our military” believes nothing of the sort. Al Jazeera’s cherry-picked quotes from anonymous people plus one from General Gard, the guy in charge of a left-wing think tank, represents its particular brand of deceit, not the US defense establishment.

  26. TomB says:

    I have to say I tend to agree with anon that what we’re seeing with Gaza isn’t really an exercise in ethnic cleansing although I don’t think that aids the Israelis much. And that’s because what’s clear is that all this started due to that horrific murdering of those three jewish boys and represents nothing less than an exercise in collective punishment by the Israeli government upon the head of the Gazans, and it goes without saying that the one thing that you would not expect jews to be endorsing is the idea of collective responsibility.

    But, getting to what seems to me the deeper nub of things I just cannot get over how … pathological has become the blindness of Israelis to the simple and obvious truths that a simply huge percentage of their problems arises from their simple stupid refusal to just return that land they took in ’67 to the Palestinians. It’s like the settlers have sprinkled some pixie dust over them so that it’s like an unimaginable thought to the vast majority of Israelis now that those territories matter at all.

    And of course coincident with that is the utter lack of consideration of all the benefits Israel would gain by just giving those territories back.

    For instance, even if it *hasn’t* engaged in any recent ethnic cleansing it clearly wouldn’t mind seeing all those Palestinians on that land move on, and of course it’s clear that many Israeli politicians are increasingly talking about some forced ethnic cleansing measures. But of course if Israel merely gave up those territories … poof, not a concern. Not Israel, no cleansing necessary.

    And if Israel would simply move back to its righteous pre-’67 borders who in the world would be saying much at all about Israel’s actions defending itself then from any attacks? *Then* it would be Israel’s argument of today would hold water about any other country reacting pretty much the same with rockets coming over their just borders.

    But that just simply ain’t true now.

    The consequent intellectual equation then is just simply that … Israel values that stolen land more than it values good relations with so much of the rest of the world, more than lots more peace if not total peace, and on and on.

    But it doesn’t even seem to *register* as an intellectual thing anymore. Like I say, it just seems to amount to a pathological delusion in a way to pretend that “No no no, that little bit of larceny/occupation on our part just has nothing to do with anything; might as well doesn’t even exist la da da…”

    Rather remarkable. All or most apparently stemming from a bunch of people with a mere but obvious powerful motive to find cheap housing, and hilariously finding some Biblical justification for it.

    Whatever’s in that Settler pixie dust it sure is powerful.

  27. Jo S'more says:

    ” You don’t believe Israel is committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians”

    How many Arabs/Palestinians were there when the Israel was established?

    And how many are there now?

    Because if there are more there now than when the Jews took over, then the Jews are failing at the ethnic cleansing thing.

  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Nice quote from LTG Gard, a carter-era general who makes a living doing non-proliferation NGO bs work.

  29. Aaron says:

    Anon…..stop with the 6 Million already! LOL! That’s the biggest lie ever told! A Talmudic number used to describe various supposed Jew catastrophes dozens of times before WW2.

  30. geokat62 says:

    “Do you believe Israel is committing genocide?”

    In response to Lilienthal’s question What Price Israel?, I did a little accounting of the price the Zionist state (and mostly others) has paid so far to ensure the security of “the villa in the jungle.”

    My starting point is the June ’67 war, in which Israel conquered, among other lands, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip and, in violation of international law, immediately started placing “facts on the ground.”

    Although Israel formally “disengaged” from Gaza in 2005, the de facto occupation of OPT has now lasted almost half a century. Rather than pursuing a policy of “land for peace,” Israel decided to take a Clean Break (a policy paper presented to Bibi Netanyahu in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle that was later adopted by GWB as the basis of US foreign policy in the ME following 9/11) and has instead been pursuing a policy of “peace for peace” (don’t you recall how Condi Rice infamously described this policy when Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006… these are “the birth pangs of a new ME”

    1. 1982 Lebanon War (1982-1985)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 657, civilians 10
    • Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian killed: 17,285 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    2. First Intifada (1987-1993)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 60, civilians 100
    • Palestinians killed: 2,162 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    3. UN Sanctions against Iraq (1990-2003)

    Cui Bono? In 1991, Paul H. Lewis wrote in the New York Times:

    “Ever since the trade embargo was imposed on Aug. 6, after the invasion of Kuwait, the United States has argued against any premature relaxation in the belief that by making life uncomfortable for the Iraqi people it will eventually encourage them to remove President Saddam Hussein from power.”

    It should also be noted that Saddam was underwriting the family members of Palestinian suicide bombers to the tune of $25,000. He also dropped 27 Scud missiles on Israel during the first Gulf War in 1990-91.

    “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.” Madeleine Albright (whose real name is Marie Jana Korbel), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in reply to Lesley Stahl’s question “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

    • 500,000 Iraqi children killed

    4. Operation Defensive Shield (2002)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 30
    • Palestinians killed: 497 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    5. Iraq War (2003-2012)
    Cui Bono? Mearsheimer and Walt in Ch 8 of their book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy provide the incriminating evidence that the Iraq war was pushed by the Lobby to enhance Israel’s security:

    Israel’s enthusiasm for war eventually led some of its allies in America to tell Israeli officials to damp down their hawkish rhetoric, lest the war look like it was being fought for Israel. In the fall of 2002, for example, a group of American political consultants known as the Israel Project circulated a six-page memorandum to key Israelis and pro-Israel leaders in the United States. The memo was titled “Talking about Iraq” and was intended as a guide for public statements about the war. “If your goal is regime change, you must be much more careful with your language because of the potential backlash. You do not want Americans to believe that the war on Iraq is being waged to protect Israel rather than to protect America.” http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.html

    It’s important to remember that the removal of Saddam was the prerequisite to Israel’s “mowing the lawn” campaigns and the invasion of Lebanon, which commenced soon after Saddam was deposed.

    • Iraqi deaths: 500,000 (overwhelming majority civilians)
    • American soldiers killed: 4,500

    6. Second Lebanon War (2006)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 121, civilians 43
    • Lebanese citizens: ~1,200

    7. Operation Summer Rains (2006)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 7
    • Palestinians killed: 402 (just under half civilians)

    8. Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 10, civilians 3
    • Palestinians killed: militants ~700, civilians ~700

    9. Operation Pillar of Defense (2012)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 2, civilians 4
    • Palestinians killed: militants ~100, civilians ~100

    10. Operation Protective Edge (2014)

    • Israelis killed: IDF 65, civilians 6
    • Palestinians killed: ~2,100 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    11. Libyan Civil War (2011)
    Cui Bono?

    “Senior Israeli government officials were quoted as saying that ‘there is no reason for Israel to be sorry over the loss of Gaddafi’ as Muammar Gaddafi ‘supported terror and advocated terror against Israelis all over the world.’”
    “Gaddafi was a major financier of the “Black September Movement” which perpetrated the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics, …”
    “Gaddafi also became a strong supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which ultimately harmed Libya’s relations with Egypt when in 1979 Egypt pursued a peace agreement with Israel.”

    • death toll: 2,500-25,000 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    12. Syrian Civil War (2011-?)

    Cui Bono?

    “New York Times correspondent Jodi Rudoren reports: ‘More quietly, Israelis have increasingly argued that the best outcome for Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, is no outcome. ‘Whereas Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul general in New York, told Rudoren: ‘Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.’”

    • death toll: 191,000 (overwhelming majority civilians)

    Tally to date:

    • Israelis killed 1,108
    • Arabs killed ~1,200,000

    That’s a ratio of over 1,200 : 1!

    So does this meet your definition of “genocide”? And the future doesn’t look any brighter as more and more Israeli politicians on the far right are calling for genocide.

    For example, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked published on Facebook a call for genocide of the Palestinians:

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-lawmakers-call-genocide-palestinians-gets-thousands-facebook-likes

    It is a call for genocide because it declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justifies its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

    It is a call for genocide because it calls for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

  31. anon • Disclaimer says:

    LOL 1.2 million deaths due to Israel because America put sanctions on Saddam’s Iraq? Hahaha

    You’re a caricature of the anti-Semite who blames everything on the Jews. Okay, buddy, whatever helps you sleep at night.

  32. Tad says:

    Let’s not use the term “Jews” when talking about the people behind this “disproportionate response”. The Israeli government dictated this response, not Jews in general.

    It sounds to me like the Israeli military/government leaders had become stymied and frustrated and over-reacted with the artillery barrage. It’s a very frustrating situation but they need to keep their cool if they ever hope to win in the long run.

    • Replies: @CCR
  33. @Anon, what is the opinion of the top military leaders in this country? Israel’s actions makes it harder for our military to conduct business in the Middle East and Europe. Why would they celebrate a headache? I do not see how it is in their interest to have to deal with this mess. It is interesting that they thought about putting Israel and the Palestinian territories under Centcom.
    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/08/07/why-the-us-military-puts-israel-gaza-in-europe.html

    The Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation (I suppose this is what you are referring too) at a glance looks like the reality based community: http://armscontrolcenter.org/issues/iran/

  34. Sherman says:

    Mark Perry isn’t exactly the most objective person when it comes to Israel or to the I/P conflict. Anything he writes must be taken with a grain of salt, especially when he quotes anonymous “senior U.S. military sources” to justify his attacks on Israel.

  35. CCR says:
    @Tad

    A disproportionate response would have been nuking Mecca, Riyadh, Tehran, Amman, Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo.

    The Israelis should have long ago, removed every “Palestinian” from their country.

  36. @Svigor

    Or perhaps a commie like Pol Pot or Mao Tse Tung.

  37. Why is unz.com reprinting propaganda from Al Jazeera ,which I think is mainstream media (it has its own cable channel) and doesn’t need a megaphone.

    Furthermore, how is Israel’s conduct of its war any different than Assad’s conduct of his war against rebels? The answer is that Israel hasn’t used chemical weapons, I guess. Or how about how ISIS has massacred thousands because they aren’t Sunni? Criticizing Israel for this is merely blindness about how things work in the Middle East.

    • Replies: @TomB
  38. TomB says:
    @Lion of the Blogosphere

    wrote:

    how is Israel’s conduct of its war any different than Assad’s conduct of his war against rebels?

    I think that’s a fair point, but a secondary one.

    That is I think it’s a big mistake for people in the U.S. to go whacking at the Israelis’ behavior as if the behavior of the arabs was as bad if not worse.

    In essence, taking side in the conflict.

    Especially since I think most people in the U.S. would *not* favor taking sides and instead would just far rather see the U.S. removed entirely from that conflict—and indeed the other conflicts in the ME. No more money or materiel to Israel, no more fighting its wars for it, no more funding the PA or anything. Neutrality. Non-interestedness.

    But, you know, the fact that many Americans *do* get seduced into “taking sides” credits Israel nothing, and indeed may prove its downfall.

    Given all its lobbying and aid-requesting and support-requesting and defense-requesting it does of us, it can hardly be heard to complain about American citizens disagreeing with that and disagreeing with Israel on the whole and taking the other side.

    I.e., you come and ask us to get involved, be careful what you ask for because ultimately you might get some involvement you don’t want.

    And there’s some good evidence this is already happening, and has some huge further potential with the BDS campaign for one, but then also how it has spurred any number of ways in which Israel’s fundamental right to exist at all and thus its fundamental legitimacy is being examined and, given its history, ever more challenged too.

  39. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @anon

    #anon- You are a disgusting example of a human being, one of it’s lowest forms. “Self-defense”? Ha ha ha ha ha. 6 million Jews died? Try 1.6, and most of those were from Typfus, carried by fleas. “Humane”? Ha ha ha ha, yet another lie, out of the mouth of a Zio-Nazi. That is why your race was left to wonder the desert.

  40. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    One day the truth will come out.
    Israeli dual citizens all over 911.

    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9/11:Israel_did_it

    Remember the USS Liberty.

    These snakes are not our allies.

  41. geokat62 says:

    “The Nazis deliberately murdered six million innocent civilians.”

    Not that I’m justifying their actions, but I just wanted to dispel this notion that the Germans were wrong for slaughtering the Jews because they were loyal citizens, while the Israelis are right to slaughter the Palestinians because they are disloyal subjects.

    Based on the historical facts, I’m sure many Germans could argue that their Jewish citizens were anything but loyal:

    Judea Declares War on Germany! (headline from the Daily Express March 24, 1933)

    “Both the Nazis and some outside Germany saw the boycott as an act of aggression…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_boycott_of_German_goods

    Slaughter is slaughter, period… there is no justification, no matter who commits it!

    BTW – I noticed that you didn’t bother responding to Finkelstein’s analogy!

  42. Expat says:

    (Reprinted from Aljazeera America

    Gotta believe anything from them right?

  43. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    “Listen, we know what it’s like to kill civilians in war,” said the senior U.S. officer. “Hell, we even put it on the front pages. We call it collateral damage. We absolutely try to minimize it, because we know it turns people against you. Killing civilians is a sure prescription for defeat.

    This senior U.S. officer seems to have a shaky grasp of history. We killed a hell of a lot of German and Japanese civilians during World War II. It wasn’t a prescription for defeat. We’ve gone out of our way to avoid civilian casualties in recent wars, dropping smart ordnance that’s usually worth more than what we’re bombing, and we arguably haven’t won a war since 1991 (or 1989, depending on whether you consider the Gulf War a victory, in light of the mess that followed).

    If anything, what Israel’s been doing in Gaza is closer to our recent M.O. than it is to our WWII-era M.O. Interesting how Germany and Japan have been peaceful since yet Iraq has simmered with violence for over a decade since our most recent war against it.

  44. Karl says:

    the Fakestinians don’t need to worry about no “right of return” to TelAviv.

    they need to worry about us giving Gaza back to the Coptic christians that they stole it from.

    By whatever means necessary.

  45. @Cahokia

    “The fact is, the Palestinians could all become Buddhists or Rastafarians, and they’d be treated the same. The only thing which would change is the propaganda coming out of the Zionist lobby.”

    No. They would then no longer be medieval savages enrolled in the death cult masquerading as a religion started by an illiterate, mass-murdering pedophile.

    That would disappoint you and the Wahabbis, of course, being deprived of a handy cudgel for bashing the evil Jew.

    Concerning Palestinian Christians, they have far more to fear from their Muslim “brethren” than from the Israelis. Any claims to the contrary are motivated by self-preservation. We’ve seen recently how fervent Muslims handle their critics and opponents.

  46. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    True dat. Article reprinted from Al Jazeera… Nuff said.

    Amusing quotes from “US military sources” too. LMAO! Difference in the way the US has waged war lately and the way the Israelis do it is the Israelis go in to get the job done – and win!

  47. Ace says:
    @Mike

    Correct.

    The U.S. fought in Vietnam with restrictive rules of engagement and ended the Christmas bombing of Hanoi when Hanoi was about to run out of SAMs and was on the point of crying “Uncle.” We never drove 5o miles into Laos to sever the Ho Chi Minh trail permanently and we never mined the Haiphong harbor (or did so too late in the game, I don’t recall). Our restraint and absurd ROE effectively negated all our sacrifice. The U.S. yet again fought a stupid limited war with no intention of winning.

    Israelis chose not to engage in half measures.

    No one forced Hamas to rocket Israel but, having chosen to do so, Hamas and its apologists now complain that overwhelming force was used to minimize Israeli casualties and bring the war to a swift conclusion. Hamas foolishly chose to begin the war but the Israelis ended it. The ferocity of Israel’s actions are precisely the correct way to fight a war and, in the sad calculus of war, ferocity today can dissuade one’s enemies from future adventures with yet larger casualties. That is the big picture and this endless Monday morning quarterbacking of each Israeli tactical decision does not change that.

    And the attempt to minimize the Hamas tactic of locating weapons in concentrations of civilians is a disgrace. If Gaza does not have wide open spaces or Hamas chooses not to build effective fortifications to withstand expected Israeli reactions, then Hamas is the corrupt actor.

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