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Why Didn't Hamas Fighters Line Up Like Ducks?
Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? Part 10
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Failure to Take All Feasible Precautions

International humanitarian law obliges all parties to a conflict to take “all feasible” precautions/precautions “to the maximum feasible extent” in order “to protect civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations.” One example is to “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” The critical caveat is of course “feasible.” The incorporation of this qualifier in binding law “reflected the concern of small and densely populated countries which would find it difficult to separate civilians and civilian objects from military objectives”; these countries “stressed the fact” that the obligation to “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas” was “difficult to apply.” In general, the provision has been construed to mean “those precautions which are practicable or practically possible taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.”[1]International Committee of the Red Cross, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Volume I: Rules (Cambridge: 2005), Rules 22, 23, pp. 68-74; Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, pp. 691-95. To properly indict Hamas for violating the “precautions” provision, Amnesty would at minimum have to demonstrate two things: (1) that in each specific incident, Hamas had another feasible option “taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time.” But, as Amnesty frankly acknowledges, “Israeli authorities’ denial of access to the Gaza Strip…has made documenting and verifying specific violations” by Hamas “more difficult”—in particular, the possibly extenuating circumstances in which each alleged violation of the precautions principle occurred; (2) that in general circumstances that make it inherently “difficult to apply” the “precautions” provision—e.g., in Gaza, which is among the “most densely populated places on earth”[2] Human Rights Watch, Indiscriminate Fire , p. 19. — Hamas had another feasible option except to fight among civilians. How did Amnesty negotiate these daunting evidentiary hurdles? It simply discarded the critical “feasibility” caveat. Instead, it finds prima facie evidence of a violation of the “precautions” principle whenever and wherever it can be shown (however tenuously) that Hamas was resisting in proximity to civilians (see Table 6).[3]In fairness to Amnesty, it does absolve Hamas (if just barely) of the widely reported charge of “human shielding.” 2014 Gaza Conflict alleged that Hamas engaged in coercive “human shielding” on the dubious basis of “eyewitness testimony from a number of IDF officers” (paras. 161-64). Just as in Operation Cast Lead, it turns out that during OPE it was not Hamas but Israel that practiced human shielding. Finkelstein, “This Time,” pp. 88-89; Medical Fact-Finding Mission, pp. 91, 94.

TABLE 6 A Selection of Amnesty International’s Evidence That Hamas Did Not Take “All Feasible Precautions” to Protect Civilians
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documented cases of the firing of rockets from in and around a cemetery in the al-Faluja neighbourhood in densely populated Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip.
[A] France 24 correspondent was reporting live from a civilian area in Gaza City when a rocket was launched from very nearby. The same reporter subsequently broadcast footage of the launcher he believed the rocket had been fired from, located some 50m from a hotel frequented by international correspondents, 100m away from a UN building, and very near several civilian homes; his report includes footage of children playing next to the rocket launcher.
A rocket launched…just down the street from an Al Jazeera film crew reporting from Gaza City was also captured on camera.
[A] crew from NDTV, an Indian television network, filmed members of an armed group burying and rigging a rocket launcher under a tent in an open area next to the al-Mashtal hotel in Gaza City. The same film crew captured the launch of the rocket…; it was one of several rockets launched around the same time…. Their report noted that a rocket had been fired from the same location [earlier]. The hotel and area from which the rockets were launched are surrounded by residential buildings.

But such a proof in itself proves nothing; fighting in proximity to civilians is not the threshold of illegality set by international law. One would have to examine in each specific incident whether or not other “practicable or practically possible” options for resisting existed and what were the “circumstances ruling at the time” in each incident. In its previous report on Operation Cast Lead, Amnesty did take into account these factors and, as a result, a more nuanced—genuinely balanced—picture emerged. After affirming and documenting that “Hamas and other Palestinian groups endangered civilians by firing rockets from populated residential neighborhoods,” it went on to note:

  • Amnesty International has seen no evidence that rockets were launched from residential houses or buildings while civilians were in these buildings.
  • In Gaza, Palestinian fighters, like Israeli soldiers, engaged in armed confrontations around residential homes where civilians were present, endangering them. The locations of these confrontations were mostly determined by Israeli forces, who entered Gaza with tanks and armored personnel carriers and took positions deep inside residential neighborhoods. A resident of a neighborhood in the center of Gaza City told Amnesty International that, as Israeli forces entered Gaza and as rumors spread that they were going to advance into the center of town, Hamas fighters located a 50mm mounted machine-gun in the street by the corner of his building.
  • Hamas and other groups generally store weapons in civilian areas and there is no reason to believe that it was any different during Operation “Cast Lead.” By doing so, it rendered such locations possible targets of attack and therefore exposed civilians who may have been present to risk. However, fighting in urban areas per se is not a violation of international humanitarian law, but the parties involved in the conduct of hostilities in an urban setting have an obligation to distinguish, and to ensure to the best of their ability, that their attacks only target military objects. Israeli forces have at their disposal a range of high-precision weapons capable of pinpoint targeting—within a meter—and recklessly attacking civilians or civilian objects simply because they are in the vicinity of fighters or other military targets cannot be justified.

It would be the wonder’s wonder if Hamas wasn’t resisting much of the time in proximity to the civilian population—it’s Gaza, after all. Indeed, Amnesty is not indifferent to this dilemma, but the solution it recommends cannot but bewilder: “It should be noted that even though the overall population density in the Gaza Strip is very high, particularly in and around Gaza City, significant areas within the 365km2 of territory are not residential, and conducting hostilities or launching munitions from these areas presents a lower risk of endangering Palestinian civilians.” For argument’s sake, let us set to one side that: (1) as Human Rights Watch has observed, “open areas are relatively scarce” in Gaza,[4]Human Rights Watch, Indiscriminate Fire, p. 7. (2) as Amnesty itself noted in its prior report quoted above, “fighting in urban areas per se is not a violation of international humanitarian law,” and (3) under international law, “a Party to the conflict cannot be expected to arrange its armed forces and installations in such a way as to make them conspicuous to the benefit of the adversary.”[5]Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, p. 693.

Still, the irreducible facts are these: Israel has maintained its occupation of Gaza the past decade largely by remote control;[6]South African jurist John Dugard observes:

Modern technology now permits effective control from outside the occupied territory, and this is what Israel has established…
Before Israel’s physical withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Palestinian acts of violent resistance were directed at Israeli forces within the territory. This was during the second intifada. Since then, Palestinian militants have been obliged to take their resistance to the occupation and the illegal siege of Gaza to Israel itself. The alternative is to do nothing, a course no occupied people in history has ever taken. It is unusual for an occupied people to take its resistance outside the occupied territory. But it is also unusual for an occupying power to maintain a brutal occupation from outside the territory. (“Debunking Israel’s Self-Defense Argument” 31 July 2014;http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/7/gaza-i....html)
even after the ground invasion phase of OPE was launched, Israeli troops mostly huddled close to the border areas. On the other hand, Amnesty has declared all projectiles in Hamas’s arsenal illegal. So, Hamas cannot be “conducting hostilities or launching munitions” against a remotely situated occupying power and still pass legal muster. The long and the short of Amnesty’s counsel then is, to resist Israel’s illegal and inhuman occupation, punctuated periodically by large-scale massacres, Hamas militants should gather, en masse and unarmed, in an open field. But, in order to facilitate matters, shouldn’t they also line up like ducks? Just as Amnesty applied a multiplier to “indiscriminate attacks” by Hamas, so it also engages in an inflation of Hamas’s violations of the “precautions” provision. What begins in Unlawful and Deadly as “some” and “certain” cases in which Hamas breached this provision, metamorphoses into “far from isolated” and “not…infrequent” violations, until, in the report’s conclusion, Hamas is accused of “routinely” violating the provision and a “consistent failure” to abide by it.

Meanwhile, it is no less instructive what Amnesty elects to pass over in silence. “In Ashkelon, Sderot, Be’er Sheva and other cities in the south of Israel, as well as elsewhere in the country, military bases and other installations are located in or around residential areas, including kibbutzim and villages,” Amnesty breezily observes. “During Operation Protective Edge, there were more Israeli military positions and activities than usual close to civilian areas in the south of Israel, and Israeli forces launched daily artillery and other attacks into Gaza from these areas along Gaza’s perimeter.” But, according to the “precautions” provision, “governments should endeavor to find places away from densely populated areas to site” permanent military objectives, such as military bases, and “as regards mobile objectives, care should be taken in particular during the conflict to avoid placing troops, equipment or transports in densely populated areas.”[7]Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, p. 693. Israel is far from lacking in empty spaces; it can also choose from a dazzling spectrum of weapons, which can be launched from virtually any terrain and distance. Didn’t Israel, then, flagrantly violate the “precautions” provision? Apparently not, according to Amnesty, which utters not a peep of criticism.

[1] International Committee of the Red Cross, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Volume I: Rules (Cambridge: 2005), Rules 22, 23, pp. 68-74; Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, pp. 691-95.

[2] Human Rights Watch, Indiscriminate Fire , p. 19.

[3] In fairness to Amnesty, it does absolve Hamas (if just barely) of the widely reported charge of “human shielding.” 2014 Gaza Conflict alleged that Hamas engaged in coercive “human shielding” on the dubious basis of “eyewitness testimony from a number of IDF officers” (paras. 161-64). Just as in Operation Cast Lead, it turns out that during OPE it was not Hamas but Israel that practiced human shielding. Finkelstein, “This Time,” pp. 88-89; Medical Fact-Finding Mission, pp. 91, 94.

[4] Human Rights Watch, Indiscriminate Fire, p. 7.

[5] Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, p. 693.

[6] South African jurist John Dugard observes:

Modern technology now permits effective control from outside the occupied territory, and this is what Israel has established…
Before Israel’s physical withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Palestinian acts of violent resistance were directed at Israeli forces within the territory. This was during the second intifada. Since then, Palestinian militants have been obliged to take their resistance to the occupation and the illegal siege of Gaza to Israel itself. The alternative is to do nothing, a course no occupied people in history has ever taken. It is unusual for an occupied people to take its resistance outside the occupied territory. But it is also unusual for an occupying power to maintain a brutal occupation from outside the territory. (“Debunking Israel’s Self-Defense Argument” 31 July 2014;http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/7/gaza-israel-internationalpoliticsunicc.html)

[7] Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Article 58, p. 693.

(Republished from Byline.com by permission of author or representative)
 
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
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  1. On my only visit to Israel, which was in April-May, I saw no evidence that the IDF would have operated in proximity to civilians in ways which would have endangered them and, on the contrary, was fortified in my view that Norman Finkelstein has mo case on that score by the vast spaces around Gaza that were available for IDF use and were well away from civilians. I say “fortified” because there was no likelihood of Hamas effectively attacking any specific targets in Israel. Their use of rockets for terrorising Israelis (or more likely to provoke IDF attacks which will rebound on Israel in terms of international PR) have nothing in common with IDF tactics in attacking Gazan targets.

    As a matter of common sense Gazan civilians) should make sure (if allowed by Hamas) that they remove themselves by at least 150 metres from anywhere that Hamas fighters are operating or even assembling for action. The IDF should warn them to do so – and I am told does that but can’t vouch for it – and should be able to use its advanced targeting technology to ensure that it is only Gazan civilians who have been coerced by Hamas or have behaved with suicidal carelessness that are killed or wounded. Mere numbers killed in Gaza and in Israel don’t answer the questions implicit in those comments.

    Does anyone have a problem with the proposition, setting aside the civilian casualty question, that Israel is entitled to respond to Hamas rocket attacks by attempting to kill enough Hamas fighters to make the pain a major deterrent? What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence. Perhaps a new UN mandate would be some sort of answer until someone killed enough of the troops trying to keep the peace. (Anyone for building a King David Hotel in Gaza to focus attention?)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Max Payne

    What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence.
     
    I thought Iron Dome was the alternative. The few (unguided) rockets that actually make it to civilian settlements are just shot right out of the sky. Bang bang.

    What's the problem here? Am I missing something? It's as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.

    Israel can just shoot the rockets out of the sky with ease, report it on the news in a quick statement and move on making Hamas look completely incompetent. Instead Israel does the PR work for Hamas by telling the world how dangerous and capable Hamas is (even though its considered a joke militarily).

    But I think Israel will launch a couple of more wars into Gaza before it tries to take on Hezbollah. That's all Gaza is right now. A test bed for new weapons technology. And if Hamas is made to look too foolish the people in Gaza might actually oust them for being fools.
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  2. Hugo says:

    “What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence.”

    No you don’t. You have an agenda and its glaringly obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Well you are obviously very clever. So, unless you are too grand to spell out the obvious for simpler souls (even if you don't include me) please spell out the essentials at least of the "glaringly obvious agenda" and your reasoning which brings you to your inference.
  3. Max Payne says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    On my only visit to Israel, which was in April-May, I saw no evidence that the IDF would have operated in proximity to civilians in ways which would have endangered them and, on the contrary, was fortified in my view that Norman Finkelstein has mo case on that score by the vast spaces around Gaza that were available for IDF use and were well away from civilians. I say "fortified" because there was no likelihood of Hamas effectively attacking any specific targets in Israel. Their use of rockets for terrorising Israelis (or more likely to provoke IDF attacks which will rebound on Israel in terms of international PR) have nothing in common with IDF tactics in attacking Gazan targets.

    As a matter of common sense Gazan civilians) should make sure (if allowed by Hamas) that they remove themselves by at least 150 metres from anywhere that Hamas fighters are operating or even assembling for action. The IDF should warn them to do so - and I am told does that but can't vouch for it - and should be able to use its advanced targeting technology to ensure that it is only Gazan civilians who have been coerced by Hamas or have behaved with suicidal carelessness that are killed or wounded. Mere numbers killed in Gaza and in Israel don't answer the questions implicit in those comments.

    Does anyone have a problem with the proposition, setting aside the civilian casualty question, that Israel is entitled to respond to Hamas rocket attacks by attempting to kill enough Hamas fighters to make the pain a major deterrent? What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence. Perhaps a new UN mandate would be some sort of answer until someone killed enough of the troops trying to keep the peace. (Anyone for building a King David Hotel in Gaza to focus attention?)

    What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence.

    I thought Iron Dome was the alternative. The few (unguided) rockets that actually make it to civilian settlements are just shot right out of the sky. Bang bang.

    What’s the problem here? Am I missing something? It’s as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.

    Israel can just shoot the rockets out of the sky with ease, report it on the news in a quick statement and move on making Hamas look completely incompetent. Instead Israel does the PR work for Hamas by telling the world how dangerous and capable Hamas is (even though its considered a joke militarily).

    But I think Israel will launch a couple of more wars into Gaza before it tries to take on Hezbollah. That’s all Gaza is right now. A test bed for new weapons technology. And if Hamas is made to look too foolish the people in Gaza might actually oust them for being fools.

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander
    How about giving peace a chance ?

    It would not take very long for Israel to sit down with the governing body of Gaza and ink out a deal that puts rocket fire into Israel to bed for a very long time ...if it wanted to.

    Opening up Gaza's border for food , water ,trade, and construction material, all the assorted things one would need to make life livable there, would be welcomed by all of humanity, not just the people of Gaza.

    Assurances against weaponry of any sort, could be maintained at all the access points, without a very heavy hand.

    Mr Netanyahu is always talking about "security"..security !...What greater security could Israel possibly have than formulating and implementing a just resolution to the conflict , once and for all...

    .Having a neighbor you are no longer at war with is the greatest "security" there is.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Please don't think I'm claiming much expertise but I did see a large collection of allegedly Hamas rocket remains which were not like mere fireworks in a city within range at the northern end of the Negev. I think its a bit like Saddam Hussein actually wanting people to believe he had WMDs. It possibly suits Israel to boast much greater efficacy for Iron Dome (which, absurdly, I had forgotten) than it is capable of.
  4. alexander says:
    @Max Payne

    What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence.
     
    I thought Iron Dome was the alternative. The few (unguided) rockets that actually make it to civilian settlements are just shot right out of the sky. Bang bang.

    What's the problem here? Am I missing something? It's as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.

    Israel can just shoot the rockets out of the sky with ease, report it on the news in a quick statement and move on making Hamas look completely incompetent. Instead Israel does the PR work for Hamas by telling the world how dangerous and capable Hamas is (even though its considered a joke militarily).

    But I think Israel will launch a couple of more wars into Gaza before it tries to take on Hezbollah. That's all Gaza is right now. A test bed for new weapons technology. And if Hamas is made to look too foolish the people in Gaza might actually oust them for being fools.

    How about giving peace a chance ?

    It would not take very long for Israel to sit down with the governing body of Gaza and ink out a deal that puts rocket fire into Israel to bed for a very long time …if it wanted to.

    Opening up Gaza’s border for food , water ,trade, and construction material, all the assorted things one would need to make life livable there, would be welcomed by all of humanity, not just the people of Gaza.

    Assurances against weaponry of any sort, could be maintained at all the access points, without a very heavy hand.

    Mr Netanyahu is always talking about “security”..security !…What greater security could Israel possibly have than formulating and implementing a just resolution to the conflict , once and for all…

    .Having a neighbor you are no longer at war with is the greatest “security” there is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously most Israelis would like peace above adding to Israeli territory in "Judaea and Samaria" just as most American Jews support the deal with Iran. And most vote against Netanyahu. We should find it easy to be modest in our claims to understand what Netanyahu is up to and why. We know that the almost all absorbing problems of Israeli domestic politics can cause a government with as many really smart people working for it as any (in countries with fewer than 300 million people anyway) can lead to inattention and stupidity of which the unnecessary killing of activists on a boat from Turkey springs to mind.

    How many moves ahead is the Israeli department of Foreign Affairs and PM's office already? What is plan B oncee the Iran deal takes effect, or doesn't? I agree that it might not be beyond possibility to buy an ageing Hamas leadership, or merely ambitious younger more flexible aspirant leaders, and suddenly have Gaza heading enthusiatically for Hong Kong or Singapore or merely Cyprus status (don't laugh). The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances but what do we know about what their best informed politicians think doable having regard to what they know about Gaza and the mad thugs from Russia and elsewhere on the West Bank just for starters????
  5. Any fool who thinks that Israel, after giving Gaza back to the goat fucking brigade, is wrong to fight back when rockets are launched from Gaza, is the kind of twerp who thinks letting a third-worlder fuck his wife while he watches is some kind of “cosmic retribution” for the White Man’s prior actions. This type of thinking is beyond belief. I suggest Finkelstein get a testicle transplant and become a man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I have a technical reason for supposing you were posting till recently on this website using a different name or pseudonymic handle. N'est-ce pas?

    If so would you care to disclose your previous name?

    I don't anticipate wanting to use the info to bash both your heads though the views of today's persona ought to guarantee you a good bar brawl :)
  6. @Charlesz Martel
    Any fool who thinks that Israel, after giving Gaza back to the goat fucking brigade, is wrong to fight back when rockets are launched from Gaza, is the kind of twerp who thinks letting a third-worlder fuck his wife while he watches is some kind of "cosmic retribution" for the White Man's prior actions. This type of thinking is beyond belief. I suggest Finkelstein get a testicle transplant and become a man.

    I have a technical reason for supposing you were posting till recently on this website using a different name or pseudonymic handle. N’est-ce pas?

    If so would you care to disclose your previous name?

    I don’t anticipate wanting to use the info to bash both your heads though the views of today’s persona ought to guarantee you a good bar brawl :)

    Read More
  7. @Hugo
    "What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence."

    No you don't. You have an agenda and its glaringly obvious.

    Well you are obviously very clever. So, unless you are too grand to spell out the obvious for simpler souls (even if you don’t include me) please spell out the essentials at least of the “glaringly obvious agenda” and your reasoning which brings you to your inference.

    Read More
  8. @Max Payne

    What is the alternative? I ask that in all innocence.
     
    I thought Iron Dome was the alternative. The few (unguided) rockets that actually make it to civilian settlements are just shot right out of the sky. Bang bang.

    What's the problem here? Am I missing something? It's as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.

    Israel can just shoot the rockets out of the sky with ease, report it on the news in a quick statement and move on making Hamas look completely incompetent. Instead Israel does the PR work for Hamas by telling the world how dangerous and capable Hamas is (even though its considered a joke militarily).

    But I think Israel will launch a couple of more wars into Gaza before it tries to take on Hezbollah. That's all Gaza is right now. A test bed for new weapons technology. And if Hamas is made to look too foolish the people in Gaza might actually oust them for being fools.

    Please don’t think I’m claiming much expertise but I did see a large collection of allegedly Hamas rocket remains which were not like mere fireworks in a city within range at the northern end of the Negev. I think its a bit like Saddam Hussein actually wanting people to believe he had WMDs. It possibly suits Israel to boast much greater efficacy for Iron Dome (which, absurdly, I had forgotten) than it is capable of.

    Read More
  9. @alexander
    How about giving peace a chance ?

    It would not take very long for Israel to sit down with the governing body of Gaza and ink out a deal that puts rocket fire into Israel to bed for a very long time ...if it wanted to.

    Opening up Gaza's border for food , water ,trade, and construction material, all the assorted things one would need to make life livable there, would be welcomed by all of humanity, not just the people of Gaza.

    Assurances against weaponry of any sort, could be maintained at all the access points, without a very heavy hand.

    Mr Netanyahu is always talking about "security"..security !...What greater security could Israel possibly have than formulating and implementing a just resolution to the conflict , once and for all...

    .Having a neighbor you are no longer at war with is the greatest "security" there is.

    Obviously most Israelis would like peace above adding to Israeli territory in “Judaea and Samaria” just as most American Jews support the deal with Iran. And most vote against Netanyahu. We should find it easy to be modest in our claims to understand what Netanyahu is up to and why. We know that the almost all absorbing problems of Israeli domestic politics can cause a government with as many really smart people working for it as any (in countries with fewer than 300 million people anyway) can lead to inattention and stupidity of which the unnecessary killing of activists on a boat from Turkey springs to mind.

    How many moves ahead is the Israeli department of Foreign Affairs and PM’s office already? What is plan B oncee the Iran deal takes effect, or doesn’t? I agree that it might not be beyond possibility to buy an ageing Hamas leadership, or merely ambitious younger more flexible aspirant leaders, and suddenly have Gaza heading enthusiatically for Hong Kong or Singapore or merely Cyprus status (don’t laugh). The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances but what do we know about what their best informed politicians think doable having regard to what they know about Gaza and the mad thugs from Russia and elsewhere on the West Bank just for starters????

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    "The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances"

    Zionist Israel has the cool objectivity to murder 2,200 Palestinians 512 of them children.

    Any one who supports these killers is human trash!
  10. Art says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously most Israelis would like peace above adding to Israeli territory in "Judaea and Samaria" just as most American Jews support the deal with Iran. And most vote against Netanyahu. We should find it easy to be modest in our claims to understand what Netanyahu is up to and why. We know that the almost all absorbing problems of Israeli domestic politics can cause a government with as many really smart people working for it as any (in countries with fewer than 300 million people anyway) can lead to inattention and stupidity of which the unnecessary killing of activists on a boat from Turkey springs to mind.

    How many moves ahead is the Israeli department of Foreign Affairs and PM's office already? What is plan B oncee the Iran deal takes effect, or doesn't? I agree that it might not be beyond possibility to buy an ageing Hamas leadership, or merely ambitious younger more flexible aspirant leaders, and suddenly have Gaza heading enthusiatically for Hong Kong or Singapore or merely Cyprus status (don't laugh). The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances but what do we know about what their best informed politicians think doable having regard to what they know about Gaza and the mad thugs from Russia and elsewhere on the West Bank just for starters????

    “The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances”

    Zionist Israel has the cool objectivity to murder 2,200 Palestinians 512 of them children.

    Any one who supports these killers is human trash!

    Read More
    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    Don't get mad. I'm overjoyed by the dismissive attitude and desperate cover-ups by people like Wizard of OZ. They make it abundantly clear what moral garbage Zionism is.
  11. @Art
    "The Israelis have the brains and perhaps the cool objectivity in the right circumstances"

    Zionist Israel has the cool objectivity to murder 2,200 Palestinians 512 of them children.

    Any one who supports these killers is human trash!

    Don’t get mad. I’m overjoyed by the dismissive attitude and desperate cover-ups by people like Wizard of OZ. They make it abundantly clear what moral garbage Zionism is.

    Read More
  12. tsotha says:

    What’s the problem here? Am I missing something? It’s as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.

    This Israelis have never claimed Iron Dome is 100%. In fact, the system depends on the current situation in the sense that 90% of the Hamas rockets are going to miss populated areas. The IDF can only afford to shoot down the ones that are actually going to hit a city. In that sense it’s a temporary solution – as Hamas gets better at building rockets and/or is able to import higher quality rockets the effectiveness of the system goes down dramatically.

    I don’t see any problem with invasions to stop rocket fire. Clearly they’re not as brutal as the Palestinians would have you believe, or they wouldn’t invite more with rocket fire. What’s really going on here is Hamas is a reasonably competent paramilitary organization that’s terrible at government. If they don’t keep the conflict with Israel on a steady boil the people will get rid of them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver

    I don’t see any problem with invasions to stop rocket fire.
     
    Of course you don't. This wilful blindness allows you to keep tightening the very noose that is responsible for the rocket fire in the first place. Quite simply, Israel has never demonstrated the slightest willingness to treat fairly with Palestinians. Quite the contrary: it has always been intent on brutalising and dispossessing them at every opportunity, starting from day one of the Zionist presence. There's really no point discussing anything as long as this fundamental fact goes unacknowledged.
  13. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    just to add a caveat to the current disccution.

    the united states payed for israeli weapons companies to develop and produce it

    all current iron dome batteries have been payed for in full by the united states.

    every interceptor cost 20,000$ paid for by the united states.

    a few years ago, idf soldiers forgot to secure the interceptors on a transport truck, and damaged and destroyed several dozen.

    no problems though cause uncle sam will foot the bill

    Read More
  14. @tsotha

    What’s the problem here? Am I missing something? It’s as if Israel is so technologically omnipotent it can make gestures of resistance seem meaningless. Fruitless. A non-issue even.
     
    This Israelis have never claimed Iron Dome is 100%. In fact, the system depends on the current situation in the sense that 90% of the Hamas rockets are going to miss populated areas. The IDF can only afford to shoot down the ones that are actually going to hit a city. In that sense it's a temporary solution - as Hamas gets better at building rockets and/or is able to import higher quality rockets the effectiveness of the system goes down dramatically.

    I don't see any problem with invasions to stop rocket fire. Clearly they're not as brutal as the Palestinians would have you believe, or they wouldn't invite more with rocket fire. What's really going on here is Hamas is a reasonably competent paramilitary organization that's terrible at government. If they don't keep the conflict with Israel on a steady boil the people will get rid of them.

    I don’t see any problem with invasions to stop rocket fire.

    Of course you don’t. This wilful blindness allows you to keep tightening the very noose that is responsible for the rocket fire in the first place. Quite simply, Israel has never demonstrated the slightest willingness to treat fairly with Palestinians. Quite the contrary: it has always been intent on brutalising and dispossessing them at every opportunity, starting from day one of the Zionist presence. There’s really no point discussing anything as long as this fundamental fact goes unacknowledged.

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  15. tsotha says:

    There’s really no point discussing anything as long as this fundamental fact goes unacknowledged.

    Since it’s not a “fundamental fact” at all as long as you’re gonna take that tack the only people who’ll take you seriously are in the tiny choir you’re preaching to.

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  16. The view I’ve put forth here is a summary form of the positions on the conflict held all across western academia. Eat your heart out.

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