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Israel Hits Hamas

Israel and Hamas this time. And what’s changed with Egypt reshaped. And Syria at war.

Explosion and smoke rise following an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip, seen from the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. (AP)

Explosion and smoke rise following an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip, seen from the Israel Gaza Border, southern Israel, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. (AP)

Nearly a hundred Palestinians dead now in Gaza, as Israeli air strikes grind into a sixth day.  Nine in a single family.  Three generations.  And nearly a hundred Hamas rockets flying out of Gaza into Israel on Sunday.  One crashing into an empty school.  Two, with their new, long range, toward crowded Tel Aviv.

The fight looks terribly familiar.  But the frame has changed.  Hamas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Muslim Brotherhood now has its man as president of Egypt.

This hour, On Point:  Israel and Hamas this time, in a region being remade.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Youssef, Middle East bureau chief for McClatchy newspapers.

Natan Sachs, fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Robert Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “The current spasm of violence in Gaza had not yet begun — his concern was not due to current events, but a general disapproval of ever venturing into the West Bank. I tried to explain the poverty rampant in Palestinian society and especially the dismal conditions in the refugee camps, one of which my students and I had visited the previous day. Yes, there are some wealthy Palestinians, but most do not live all that well under occupation. Settlements are a particular problem. We rode the rest of the blessedly short trip in silence.”

al Jazeera “Twitter also became a vital outlet for Gazans to spread information even after the power was cut off. The hacker collective Anonymous is reportedly fighting to keep Gaza online after fears spread that the Internet might be cut.”

Haaretz “After a relatively quiet night on the Israeli side of the border, Friday morning saw the renewal of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip toward Israel’s south. Several rockets hit residential areas in Ashdod; a woman sustained light injuries and a few residents suffered an anxiety attack following the rocket fire. The Israel Defense Forces struck some 150 targets overnight in Gaza.”

Video

Here is video posted on YouTube by the Israeli government showing an attack on a suspected Hamas militant.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.palmer.16 Jeffrey Palmer

    Would any of this be happening if Hamas hadn’t begun showering Israel with deadly rockets?

  • WilFosOp

    For the Israel’s, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, this is sickening to watch!

    The rockets coming out of Gaza, are signs of desperation from the on

    going occupation and imprisonment of the Palestinian people!

    Israeli settlements continue to expand unabated and the injust treatment

    of the Palestinian people is seldom considered as a root cause for these conflict!

  • WilFosOp

    For the Israel’s, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, this is sickening to watch!

    The rockets coming out of Gaza, are signs of desperation from the on

    going occupation and imprisonment of the Palestinian people!

    Israeli settlements continue to expand unabated and the injust treatment

    of the Palestinian people is seldom considered as a root cause of these conflict!

  • anon

    ‘Israel hits Hamas’? Israel is hitting and killing civilians. More than half of the deaths (the total is 92 as I write this) have been women and children.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I certainly do not support killing of innocent civilians nor blindly support Israel.  But Hamas fires rockets into Israel from sites within population centers, essentially using its civilian population as a human shield.  No country can be expected to simply let those who vow to “wipe it off of the face of the earth” to fire offensive rockets without retaliation.

      On the other hand, Israel continues to build settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, essentially making the peace process impossible (Palestinians will not sit down with Israel until they stop building settlements, and Israel wants the Palestinians to sit down to endless talks mired in delay-producing detail while it continues to build settlements during the process until a peace agreement is reached).

      Not that we shouldn’t try, but there never will be any kind of peaceful settlement as long as both sides hold to these positions.  And due to domestic politics, the U.S. cannot threaten to withhold its aid to both sides in order to force both sides to the table to seriously discuss a workable solution.

      • Potter

        There is no good reason why Obama can’t take a tougher stand, especially now that he has no future election to be concerned about. 

        As well Hamas fires rockets from dense population centers because all of Gaza is densely populated. It’s one of the most, if not the most, densely populated areas on the planet.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          I basically agree with you concerning the stand that Obama should take.  But if you are arguing that Hamas is justified in firing rockets from densely populated centers because the entire area is densely populated, that is a more troublesome argument.  Are you arguing then that Israel should not respond when Hamas fires rockets at Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, etc.?  That’s not reasonable, especially if Hamas has stockpiled 12000 rockets as has been reported in some places.

          • Potter

            The rockets are resistance to occupation. The response is resistance to Hamas and dealing  through a peace process while the occupation and the settlements go on. In other words the response is arrogance, relying on military superiority. The price, though will be heavy in other realms.

          • Don_B1

            I’m not sure that Potter is arguing that rockets are a good way for Hamas to react to Israeli refusal to negotiate responsibly, at least from Hamas’ perspective. But there is an argument that Hamas may not see any other way either.

            The history of Israeli-Palestinian relations goes back to at least the Balfour Agreement, ratified by the League of Nations in 1920, with wildly different interpretations of each event. The talking points on each side are so convoluted that it is really difficult to get any resolution, with cherry-picking of incidents by each side.

            The Oslo Accords (1993) were the last time both sides were able to get past most of it. But the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was the tipping point in the difficulty of both sides to implement the agreement.

            Note that the Fatah led West Bank government has greatly reduced violence but the Israelis have only increased the rate of settlement growth and harassment of Palestinians living there.

            So what hope would Gaza’s leaders see in reducing their attacks? It is a no-win policy for both sides.

  • Ed75

    I wondered how any Catholics could vote for President Obama since he promotes anti-Catholic principles. But also wondered how Jewish people could vote for President Obama since he’s shown himself a less than enthusiastic supporter of Isreal.

    I wonder if Iran – Hamas would have attacked has Romney been elected. It directs attention away from the Iranian nuclear program, for sure.

    • anamaria23

      Mr. Romney supports anti-Catholic principles, also.
      His preferance for the weathiest at the expense of the common good,  his desire to increase military spending,
      his disdain of working toward health care for all which would do more to prevent abortion than an other initiative.  
      Please explain how Mr.  Romney could have prevented this new conflict.   Bomb Iran?   

      • Ed75

        There are different kinds of moral commandments, one kind is the ‘non-negotiable’ kind, the other is a ‘prudential judgement’.

        There are five ‘non-negotiable’ ones that President Obama and Governor Romney disagreed on. These are the kind that disqualify a candidate from getting a Catholic’s vote:

        support of abortion
        embryonic stem cell research
        same sex marriage
        restriction of religious freedom
        euthanasia (forthcoming)

        President Obama supports these five things, Governor Romney didn’t support any of them.

        The other issue are ‘prudential judgements’. In other words, both parties are for helping the poor, but they disagree on the best way to do it. Republicans argue that a debt that’s out of control will hurt the poor more than anyone, for example.

        About the Middle East bombing, it’s possible that they would not have done this if Romney were president for fear of retaliation. President Obama has been apologetic to Islamic countries and luke warm in his support of Israel, so Iran could have taken it as a red light to attack Israel and proceed with its plans. We’ll see.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Anti-Catholic principles?

      I wonder if you’re really the one perfect Catholic on earth.

      I mean, you must have given up in disgust preaching to lesser, failed Catholics in America. Y’know, the 90% of them who don’t follow the Vatican or the USCCB’s dictums on birth control or wearing mixed-fabric shirts or conquering the neighboring town and selling their children as slaves. (Were those in the Bible or from the USCCB? It’s hard to tell sometimes.)

      But these same people seem to have no problem with the Big Book’s ideas of faith, hope and charity. Plenty of those folks I know do a pretty good job of keeping to their favorite Bible axioms. The little old lady who gave her one coin meaning more than the showboat merchant, because she had so little to give. Or “whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers you do to me”. Or “pray in private; it’s not something you do for others to watch, but between you and God”. (Edit: And it’s amazing how they’re quite capable of not taking their God’s vengeance out on their political enemies within the USA.)

      Or maybe you’ve stopped preaching to all the Catholics because they’ve stopped listening to you.

    • J__o__h__n

      Isn’t it enough that you are the self-appointed voice of all Catholics?  Did the Jews ask you to be their moral police too? 

  • alangig

    It’s election time in Israel and the end of the election cycle in the US. Bibi promised to behave during but now need points for Israeli elections, he broke the ceasefire. 
    For Israel, the plus points are that Iron dome works(pay attention Iran) maybe it is a dress rehersal but the minus point is, without egypt, there is no ground war into gaza which means countless lives will be saved.

  • alangig

    It’s election time in Israel and the end of the election cycle in the US. Bibi promised to behave during but now need points for Israeli elections, he broke the ceasefire. 
    For Israel, the plus points are that Iron dome works(pay attention Iran) maybe it is a dress rehersal but the minus point is, without egypt, there is no ground war into gaza which means countless lives will be saved.

  • Potter

    this stuck out from today’s Times: Others in the Egyptian government argued that President Morsi was gaining a new perspective on Hamas, and on what officials of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry have long said was the group’s pattern of sacrificing the lives of Gazans to Israeli military campaigns for little reason other than to burnish its claim to be the champion of resistance to the Israeli occupation. That status is a key to its hold on power, and an asset in its rivalry with Fatah, the Western-backed faction that controls the West Bank.

    This is mirrored on the Israeli side. Netanyahu, many have said, is taking advantage here to get Israeli’s behind him for the coming election… just “cutting the grass”, getting people in Israel more anxious and frightened.

    Morally, this is reprehensible on both sides.

    Obama so far has been very disappointing claiming that Israel has a right to defend itself. The Palestinians do too, Mr. President. Just look now at what Hamas is able to justifiably demand for a ceasefire: an end to the occupation of Gaza- the continuing siege. 

    And of course the elephant in the room has been no peace process while settlements continue.

    I am afraid that Palestinians have just cause to keep resisting until they get the kind of justice they need and deserve. This  would go a long way to preserving Israel. Otherwise Israel will have to beef up it’s fortifications on all borders.

  • NewtonWhale

    Catapulting the Propaganda, much?

    “Israel Hits Hamas” is Orwellian in its framing. 

    It’s such second nature in the U.S. to repeat Israeli talking points that I doubt you were even aware of what you were doing.

    I have been appalled at American media coverage, which paints the Israeli attacks as somehow surgical and aimed solely at Hamas. 

    That is clearly wrong about their effect, as 91 Palestinians have been killed, 700 wounded, including 200 children. Are they Hamas, too?

    It is also wrong about their intent. Read this Op-Ed by Gilad Sharon, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post:

    “A strong opening isn’t enough, you also have to know how to finish – and finish decisively. If it isn’t clear whether the ball crossed the goal-line or not, the goal isn’t decisive. The ball needs to hit the net, visible to all. What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was defeated.

    The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.
     
    We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. 

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?ID=292466&R=R1&utm_

    Don’t think Sharon is alone. 

     Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai is reported by The Yeshiva World News to have said, “We must blow Gaza back to theMiddle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.” Haaretz also reports that Yishai stated, “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/18/gilad-sharon-israel-gaza-op-ed_n_2155932.html

    American media needs to stop regurgitating Israeli propaganda.

    How about getting “On Point” with that?

  • paolocaru

    Despite obfuscation by the Western media, Israel’s brutal occupation,
    ethnic cleansing and genocide could never be pardoned nor forgotten by
    the majority of the planet.

    How could it?  It is the among the most clearly documented crimes in world history.

    Despite
    Israel’s disproportionate military and superior security apparatus, the
    days of this ruthless state is numbered.  What is now shown as might is
    merely desperation.  What should be considered now is the civil treatment and
    placement, the penitence, of Israelis and their existing settlements,
    when the unthinkable happens and Israel is eventually overwhelmed.

    At that inevitable time, hopefully the Palestinians will show more mercy and consideration than they have received.

    • brettearle

       Oh, yes, that is so true what you say.

      Why it has not a scintilla of ignorance of bias, about it, now does it? 

      Your demons and angels are very clear to you, aren’t they?

      You, my dear dear friend, are part of the PROBLEM.

  • OnpointListener

    Rarely is war a moral undertaking.

    To better understand this conflict, I think we in the US need to reflect on our own eagerness to wage war and willingness to use drone strikes.  We have killed thousands of innocent civilians in our “war on terror”.

    To quote George McGovern, admonishing the Senate during the Vietnam war:  “This chamber reeks of blood…”

    Maybe we should ask our leaders to sign a “no war” pledge, instead of a pledge for no new taxes.

    • brettearle

       Do you think Drones, ordered by the Obama administration, are used to kill men and women who have no major commitment to destroying US troops and US citizens?

  • engineerD

    It seems like history gets lost in these circumstances…how many attempts have been made for peace by the Israelis? A deal is made then a car bomb goes off in the streets and all trust is lost with Palestinian leadership. Why not let egypt occupy gaza as they used to and let them deal with hamas? Israel offers a rational society whereas hamas offers scapegoats and war.

  • engineerD

    It seems like history gets lost in these circumstances…how many
    attempts have been made for peace by the Israelis? A deal is made then a
    car bomb goes off in the streets and all trust is lost with Palestinian
    leadership. Why not let egypt occupy gaza as they used to and let them
    deal with hamas? Israel offers a rational society whereas hamas offers
    scapegoats and war.

  • engineerD

    It seems like history gets lost in these circumstances…how many
    attempts have been made for peace by the Israelis? A deal is made then a
    car bomb goes off in the streets and all trust is lost with Palestinian
    leadership. Why not let egypt occupy gaza as they used to and let them
    deal with hamas? Israel offers a rational society whereas hamas offers
    scapegoats and war.

    • brettearle

       I support Israel–but you are forgetting Israel’s position on settlements and on Jerusalem.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The November 29, 1947 UN Resolution recommended two states. Today people are saying “the two state solution” is dead. It’s time to break out the round table at Camp David again.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Here’s Egypt’s opportunity to show that a popular revolution can lead to a responsible country.  Egypt should use its influence to rein in Hamas.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Should we use our (US) influence to reign in Israel? Oh that’s right, we’re not really the one holding the leash are we. Both sides are dead wrong, neither is willing to check their insanity.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         When the Palestinians are ready to make a deal, the U.S. will be there to support the negotiations.  The problem is that when the Palestinians don’t like the offer, they don’t make a counterproposal.  They start shooting again.

        • brettearle

          I support Israel, rather strongly–but I don’t fully agree with what you are saying.

          Netanyahu’s position on settlements and Jerusalem make it harder for any negotiated peace, much less cease fire.

          Nevertheless, the border attacks by Hamas are not justified–and are nothing short of deplorable.  

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Look at the attempts to make a deal between Barak and Arafat in 2000.  Arafat didn’t like the offer, so he took his toys and went home.  His people turned to violence again.

    • brettearle

      The Brotherhood is starting out as a major Islamic leader, now, of a major Arab country.

      They are not about to do anything that would either undermine, or possibly usurp their position–in the Islamic world.

      They feel that they can bear the brunt of the threat of withdrawal of financial support from the US.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Sounds like a petulant child.  The adults have other things to attend to, so the brat throws a temper tantrum (rockets) to make a scene.

  • http://twitter.com/areallycc Margaret

    How are the number of Rockets Hamas has been generating built or smuggled in to Gaza? Why do Palestinians allow missiles over food and medication and education?

  • asfa81

    The Hamas Charter: 

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”
    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

  • asfa81

    The Hamas Charter (need I say more!):

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”
    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    • brettearle

      What do you suppose the Hamas apologists say to that?

      The ones who support the credo above–including men and women around the world; including many countries in the UN; and including many contributors on this thread–will not admit openly that they WANT Israel DESTROYED or else they want Israel DRIVEN OUT OF THE REGION.

      IF ISRAEL NEVER RETALIATED, THIS ANTI-ISRAELI SENTIMENT WOULD REMAIN THE SAME.

  • paolocaru

    The host Tom seems to always soften the Israeli side.  He just stated that there have been almost “100″ casualties on the Palestinian side. 

    WRONG – there have been 100 Palestinian deaths and an additional 700 casualties caused by Israel so far.  He owes his listener’s a correction.

    • brettearle

      Explain your media-biased source.

      And explain the preemptive attacks by Hamas, for many months–without Israeli response.

      • NewtonWhale

        “explain the preemptive attacks by Hamas, for many months–without Israeli response”

        You appear to be unaware of the fact that Israel has been blockading Gaza for years, enforcing a subsistence diet on its people and effectively strangling them:

        Israel forced to release study on Gaza blockade

        An Israeli court has forced the release of government research detailing the number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume to avoid malnutrition.

        The study was commissioned after Israel tightened its blockade of the territory after Hamas came to power in June 2007.The UN said if the research reflected a policy intended to cap food imports, it went against humanitarian principles.

        The Israeli human rights group Gisha, which campaigns against Israel’s Gaza blockade, fought a long legal battle to get the Israeli ministry of defence to release this document.

        Gisha says the research contradicts Israel’s assertions that the blockade is needed for security reasons.

        “How can Israel claim that it is not responsible for civilian life in Gaza when it controls even the type and quantity of food that Palestinian residents of Gaza are permitted to consume?” asked Sari Bashi, Gisha’s executive director, in a statement.

        “Israel’s control over movement creates an obligation to allow free passage of civilians and civilian goods, subject only to security checks – an obligation that remains unfulfilled today.”

        Robert Turner, director of operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) for Palestine refugees, said:

        “If this reflects an authentic policy intended to cap food imports, this ‘red lines’ document is contrary to humanitarian principles.

        “The facts on the ground indicate that food imports consistently fell below the red lines.

        “”We recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns but we have said consistently that the blockade is collective punishment of the population. It’s illegal under international law and we think it’s counterproductive,” he added.

        Israeli government officials now acknowledge the food restrictions were partly intended to put pressure on Hamas by making the lives of people in Gaza difficult, says the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza City.

        In 2006, Israeli government adviser Dov Weisglass was widely quoted as having said: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19975211

        • brettearle

          Give me a source that exactly documents your claim about caloric restriction, ACTUALLY being implemented.

          Do we hear this exact claim from the International Crisis Group?

          Do we hear this exact claim from Doctors Without Borders?

          Do we hear this from the Brookings Institute?

          Do we hear this from Amnesty International?

          Do we hear this from any reputable agency, organization, or information source that does not have a bias against Israel?

          There is a 110 Nation pact, within the UN, that ignores or rebuffs any single claim by Israel…..no….matter…what….it…..is.

          If Hamas were Israel, they would have imposed the SAME RESTRICTIONS ON A BLOCKADE, TO INTERDICT SUPPLIES into
          Gaza, if the Israelis were there and Hamas was occupying Israel.

          Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories NEVER IMPLEMENTED THE PLAN.

          The study was commissioned to avert a Humanitarian crisis–at a time when Hamas was smuggling in weaponry:

          THE SAME WEAPONRY THAT HAS RAINED DOWN ON ISRAEL, AT ITS BORDER FOR YEARS.

          You’re FULL OF BULL.

          It is YOUR BIAS that OVERSTATES THE CASE.

          • NewtonWhale

            You repeated the claims of  the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which were specifically and factually repudiated by the Court in its decision ordering release of the document:

            “COGAT, appealing a District Court ruling to release the document, stated that it was merely a rough draft, that it was never actually implemented, and that it did not guide Israeli policy in practice.”

            “But the court disagreed, and on its orders, the document (in two different versions, both from January 2008) was given to Gisha two weeks ago. It is now being published here for the first time. 

            At a High Court hearing on Gisha’s petition against this policy, government attorneys Gilad Sherman and Dana Briskman, backed by an affidavit from Col. Shlomi Mukhtar of COGAT, explained that “it is the state’s right to decide that it doesn’t intend to have economic ties with, or provide economic assistance to, the other party in the conflict, and to adopt a policy of ‘economic warfare.’

            “The “red lines” document calculates the minimum number of calories needed by every age and gender group in Gaza, then uses this to determine the quantity of staple foods that must be allowed into the Strip every day, as well as the number of trucks needed to carry this quantity.

            The point of the “red lines” document was to see if this number of trucks in fact met Gaza’s needs. But according to Gisha, UN data shows that the number of trucks allowed into Gaza each day often fell below this level.

            COGAT, then headed by Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, translated the government’s policy of restrictions into two lists. The long one detailed the forbidden goods that couldn’t be brought into the Strip (including, for example, building materials, needles, cloth and other raw materials, cleaning and bathing supplies, books, musical instruments and processed hummus). The short one listed those that could be brought in. 

            The guiding principle was that instead of the supply of goods being dictated by demand, it would be dictated by the quantities and varieties deemed necessary by COGAT.

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/2-279-calories-per-person-how-israel-made-sure-gaza-didn-t-starve.premium-1.470419

            Just so it’s clear,

            “demand” means the actual amount of food needed

            “deemed necessary by COGAT” means the amount of food allowed into Gaza by Israeli Maj. Gen. Gilad.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Right on caller! It doesn’t matter what they say, it matters what they do.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I cannot justify the actions of murderous provocateurs in Hamas. 60 years of war has changed nothing but visit suffering and despair upon the people living there. 60 years of denying the Palestinians a state has changed nothing. 60 years of colonization has not increased security. Perhaps its time to change the dynamic and create a Palestinian state. Looking back over half a century of this conflict, could things get that much worse with a new free Palestine?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How about a three-state solution?  Israel and the West Bank make a deal, and Gaza can play with itself by itself.

  • DrewInGeorgia

  • refwards1

    THE TUNNELS, ANSWER ABOUT CLOSING THE TUNNELS

  • J__o__h__n

    This mess will be going on a hundred years from now. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

       If we’re still around.

  • OnPointComments

    “Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies.”
      — Dave Barry, “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years”

  • svc72

    All the awful things that commenters have posted about Hamas are true. However, if that’s the bar, Israeli Govt is just a shade above it. And the main problem is that the US Govt, while rightly declaring Hamas a terrorist organization, continues to support Israeli Govt’s acts of terror

  • Shag_Wevera

    The Arab-Israeli conflict reminds me of this closet in my house.  It is overstuffed with things I’m not quite sure what to do with.  Every time I open the door, things begin to fall out, so I quickly shut the door.  I keep that door closed until the next time I forget what a mess I have in there.

    Israel and its neighbors are a big fat no-win scenario for the US.  I’d like to see us take a step back from it all.  Israel has a big military and nukes to boot.  If they can’t defend themselves, no one can.  I think we’d gain respect worldwide if we could keep our nose clean on this one.

    • anon

      If we step back, we should also take all our billions of aid and our automatic protection for Israel in the UN security council, no matter what they do. They count on that support… the rest of the world wouldn’t let them get away with what they get away with otherwise.

      • notafeminista

        “…the rest of the world wouldn’t let them get away with what they get away with otherwise.”   Right.  How dare they demand not to be wiped from the face of the earth.

  • Steve__T

    The thing that a lot have forgotten is that they are cousins, the broken tribes of  Israel splintered into many different lands. The Philistines and Canaanites  have been at war with Israel since the book of Exodus
    and they have ruled Gaza since the time of Joshua, IF anybody thinks the can stop this dispute you must think your GOD. And he didn’t stop it. Its up to them and no body else.

    • anon

      Actually a lot of these Israelis are not from those ancient people. A lot of them are from Brooklyn or Europe, and they actually discriminate against the Middle Eastern Jews who are descended from those that you mention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barney.frank1 Barney Frank

    Stepping back from the latest violence, what benefit does an alliance with Israel now provide to the US? During the Cold War, Israel was an important piece in the global chess match with the Soviet Union. Why does the US continue to back Israel now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    07:32 PM ET

    Official: Changes to Benghazi talking points made by intel community
     http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/19/official-changes-to-benghazi-talking-points-made-by-intel-community/comment-page-1/#comment-269592

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.fuchs.7 Sam Fuchs

    Which came first, occupation or attacks by Palestinians?

  • hennorama

    Israel provoked Hamas with their “targeted killing” (read: state-sanctioned assassination) of Hamas leader Abdel Jabari.  They knew Hamas would respond with rocket launches, and seem to have WANTED Hamas to respond this way.

    Israel is essentially using this as a sort of military and political lab experiment – they are testing the effectiveness of the Iron Dome interception systems, as well as the political responses of the newest post-Arab Spring leaders, and the post-election response of Pres. Obama.

    This isn’t the first time that military engagements have been used as proving grounds for new weapons and defense systems – look at the Persian Gulf War in 1991 when the AWACS system, GPS satellites, the M1A1 Abrams tank, Tomahawk cruise missiles, were used extensively,  and the Pointer and Pioneer drones and the Patriot missile defense system were first used.

    Source:http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Persian_Gulf_War.aspx

    Even a casual observer could conclude that this may be a prelude to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.  Israel is now ascertaining whether they can rely on the Iron Dome system as an effective defense of their population centers against counterattack from Iranian missiles.  They also are testing the political waters, and have found Pres. Obama to be a strong ally.  There also has been very little in the way of irrational response from other Middle Eastern and North African countries, especially Egypt’s new leader Morsi.

    Any degradation of Hamas, especially their offensive military capabilities could be viewed as a bonus.

    What would happen if Israel publicly “catches” Iran resupplying Hamas with rockets and other heavy weapons?  That may be the excuse Israel is looking for as a justification for striking Iran.

    Scary stuff.

    This is not a new idea.  Many have wondered about the “why now?” aspect of the elimination of Jabari, and how Israel crowed about it, releasing the video of this assassination.  Very similar to how the US military first put out the videos from precision strikes by guided munitions during the Gulf War more than 20 years ago.  Except this time the video was deliberately provocative rather than as propaganda to garner positive public opinion in the US.

    Much of this was put forward on Sunday by Tom Ricks and David Ignatius, on CBS’s Face The Nation.  You can see their brief discussion of this about 13:40 into this clip:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50135400n

    • Steve__T

       Great post thanks for the link. The discussion on Benghazi was interesting also, the statement by the author of the book Generals, that their were about 50 deaths in Afghanistan last week and no one has said a word, but still focused with single mindedness on the 4 deaths in Benghazi. I too think is incredulous, and disingenuous of the American people.

  • Tyranipocrit

      
     

    1.
    Israeli hawks represent themselves as engaged in a ‘peace process’ with
    the Palestinians in which Hamas refuses to join. In fact, Israel has
    refused to cease colonizing and stealing Palestinian land long enough to
    engage in fruitful negotiations with them.  Tel Aviv routinely announces new, unilateral house-building on the Palestinian West Bank .
    There is no peace process. It is an Israeli and American sham. Talking
    about a peace process is giving cover to Israeli nationalists who are
    determined to grab everything the Palestinians have and reduce them to
    penniless refugees (again).

    2. Actions such as the assault on Gaza can achieve no genuine
    long-term strategic purpose. They are being launched to ensure that
    Jewish-Israelis are the first to exploit key resources. Rattling sabers
    at the Palestinians creates a pretext for further land-grabs and
    colonies on Palestinian land. That is, the military action against the
    people of Gaza is a diversion tactic;  the real goal is Greater Israel, an assertion of Israeli sovereignty  over all the territory once held by the British Mandate of Palestine.

    3. Israeli hawks represent their war of aggression as in ‘self-defense.’ But the UK  Israeli chief rabbi admitted on camera that  that the Gaza attack actually ‘had something to do with Iran.’

    4. Israeli hawks demonize the Palestinians of Gaza as “bad neighbors”
    who don’t accept Israel. But 40% of the people in Gaza are refugees,
    mostly living in refugee camps, from families in pre-1948 Palestine that
    had lived there for millennia….

    They were expelled from what is now Israel in the 1948 Zionist ethnic cleansing campaign .

    Israel not only has kept Palestinians of Gaza in the world’s largest outdoor penitentiary, they have them under  an illegal blockade  that for some years aimed at limiting their nutrition without altogether starving them to death.

    Israelis do not allow it to have a port or airport, nor to export most
    of what it produces. Palestinians cannot work about a third of its land,
    which is reserved by Israel as a security buffer
    If any foreign power surrounded Israel, destroyed Haifa port and Tel
    Aviv airport, and prevented Israeli exports from being exported, what do
    you think Israelis would do? Oh, that’s right, it is rude to see both
    Palestinians and Israelis as equal human beings.

    • asuka langley sohryu

      /All/ normal standards are /always/ put in parentheses when considering the Israel-Palestine situation.

  • brooksjason

    nearly a hundred palestinians killed.. 
    such a low number, im somewhat dissapointed.. obama promised so much more!!!

  • brooksjason

    when the oil runs out.. we wont hear about any of this anymore.. period!!!

  • asuka langley sohryu

    I’d like to hear a reality-based show on the topic “What if a two-state solution is not possible?”
    If On Point can devote a show to as distant a hypothetical as an evenly split electoral college, what about a show about this very likely future?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

 
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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