A huge disconnect between US public opinion and US political leadership about the events in Gaza.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows a huge disconnect between US public opinion and that of US political leadership over the attacks on Gaza. As discussed in the video more democrats than republicans think its a bad idea , and the Chicago Sun Times reports

Much more notable is the fact that Democratic leaders — including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi — are just as lock step in their blind, uncritical support for the Israeli attack, in their absolute refusal to utter a word of criticism of, or even reservations about, Israeli actions.

While some Democratic politicians who are marginalized by the party’s leadership are willing to express the views that Democratic voters overwhelmingly embrace, the suffocating, fully bipartisan orthodoxy which typically predominates in America when it comes to Israel is in full force with this latest conflict.

Is there any other significant issue in American political life, besides Israel, where citizens split almost evenly in their views, yet the leaders of both parties adopt identical positions which leave half of the citizenry with no real voice?

  • RepublicanStones

    Its pretty obvious why the political elite in the USA read of the same page as regards Israel. If you dare ad-lib one little bit and show compassion for the plight of the palestinians, kiss your politcal career goodbye.

  • LURIG

    A few weeks ago the West was up in arms and very loud, quite correctly, in it’s criticisms and condemnations of the Muslim militants who slaughtered dozens of people in Mumbai, India. Their response to Israel’s actions in Gaza have not only been quite mute BUT like the US, very supportive. Is it any wonder hundred’s of these Palestinian kids end up as suicide bombers or in militant camps in Afghanistan & Pakistan? The unwavering support of the West to allow Israel to carry out genocide is most disturbing. The Israelis have now turned the tables as Gaza and the West Bank are the 2 biggest concentration camps in the world. The US, UK & European Union are cowards who foment violence on the West and I say that as a white Western European. Shame on them. Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. I fear for the future!

  • RepublicanStones

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3b3_1230864719

    Is it any wonder why Israel has banned international journalists from entering Gaza?

    (Hat tip flaminglip)

  • LURIG

    RS

    That was raw and very emotional. I was struck dumb by the graphic reality of the human cost in Gaza. You won’t find that on the BBC or SKY news. Great post mate, should be compulsory for EVERY poster on Slugger BUT especially for the psychophantic Israeli poodles and apologist journalists in the Western media. They nauseate me to the core.

  • LURIG

    Those with a conscience should now do what many of us did in the early 80’s with South Africa. A widescale boycott of ALL Israeli goods, products and services must be encouraged. Mass peaceful protests should gather outside all Western Israeli Embassies and pressure put on our governments to STOP this. The Trade Union movements in Britain & Ireland MUST now show the same leadership and action as they did towards apartheid in South Africa. There can be NO excuses!

  • NCM

    A huge percentage of Jewish-Americans historically vote for the Democratic party because it is the more liberal party and Jewish-Americans, tending to be educated and progressive on social issues (civil rights for minorities, social programs, etc.), identify with Democratic party values. Also, many Jewish-Americans donate to Democratic party candidates, and there are enclaves, like Florida, where the Jewish vote is particularly important. By no means is Jewish support for Israel universal, and many of Israel’s biggest critics are Jewish, but it is a fair statement that many Jewish voters support Israel. Additionally, Jewish voters tend to consider Israel a far more important issue than the average progressive who is troubled by US unquestioned support of Israel, so there’s a greater incentive by politicians to go for the pro-Israel Jewish votes than the pro-Palestinian leftwing votes. So even though it may be true that many Democrats aren’t necessarily particularly pro-Israel, the pro-Israel vote is more important.

    Plus anti-Israel liberals have no choice but to vote Democratic anyway, since we have a two party system and the US Republican party isn’t an option for anyone who isn’t a right-winger… and have you seen these guys lately? The Republicans have become particularly nuts…

    There have been efforts in recent years by the Republican party to try to gain Jewish voters, by emphasizing traditional values and support of Israel, but it has met with mixed success. Many non-Jewish Republicans support Israel either because they are right-wing evangelical Christians who believe, and I’m not kidding, that supporting Israel is a necessary precondition for Armeggedon and the return of Jesus Christ, or because in a post-9/11 world anyone who sounds at all like al-qaeda is an enemy, and Hamas sounds enough like al-qaeda (they’re Muslim fundamentalists and have engaged in terrorism against civilian populations, a la suicide bombings) that they’re the enemy.

    Or at least that’s my explanation. Jews vote Democrat, they’re an important vote, they donate, many support Israel, and politicians want to get re-elected so they follow the path of least resistance and chase the votes.

  • Dave

    I guess some folks ^^^^ who sang the praises of Mr Change are slowly discovering that the were duped into supporting Mr More Of The Same.

  • colm usa

    RS,
    That was extremly disturbing, I couldn’t watch the entire video, made me sick. It’s the children caught in the middle that disturbs the most.

    Can anyone become immune to these kinds of images? If not, how can this be allowed to continually happen?

  • Quagmire

    Israel is nothing but a land grabbing/stealing,occupying, sectarian, mongrel, fascist,terrorist state. The so called “International Community” should be ashamed of itself. If this were Iran it would be a different story. You either have principles or your don’t. As Tony Benn once said, “there are two types of politicians in this world; wind-vanes and signposts”. It seems when it comes to Israel there are no signposts except for those who support this genocide. The Jews in Israel have short memories. Do onto others eh? Thought Obama would be different, but he’s the same as the rest of them.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Christians who believe, and I’m not kidding, that supporting Israel is a necessary precondition for Armeggedon and the return of Jesus Christ,’

    That would be those ‘Dispensationalist’ loonies?
    Christian Zionists on who Bibi Netanyahu’s former director of communications, Micheal Freund wrote –
    “Thank God for Christian Zionists. Like it or not, the future of the relationship between Israel and the U.S may very well hinge far less on America’s Jews than on its Christians.”

    Apparently alot of these guys oppose a two state solution, or any kind of land concessions to the Palestinians. The Jewish Zionists and Israelis, welcome this, even though dispensationalism involves the Jews being converted or destroyed during Armageddon IIRC. Strange bedfellows, but then theft of land has always thrown up strange bedfellows.

  • Al

    Good grief, when will a lasting and genuine peace come to the Middle East region?

  • LURIG

    It’s the lies that are the most disturbing. Israel says this is about making Israelis safe from Hamas rockets. While I totally condemn this too we must not forget that Israel has imposed a total trade embargo on Gaza controlling what goes in and out at all times. They turn electricity and water off as collective punishments. What is behind this offensive is that the Israeli military is still smarting from Lebanon in 2006. They got a very bloody nose in South Lebanon and were basically humiliated and embarrassed by the Israeli right wingers for their ‘failure’ to defeat Hamas & Hizbullah. Since then they have been looking and spoiling for a fight to put things right and with an election coming up in February Zionist Nationalism has come to the fore from all shades of Israeli opinion. They want to punish Gaza and the Palestinians for their defeats in South Lebanon and as a cheerleader for the coming election. Shame on the West. Where are you Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance, ICTU? Your silence is deafening!

  • NCM

    Dave: “I guess some folks who sang the praises of Mr Change are slowly discovering that the were duped into supporting Mr More Of The Same.”

    Guilty as charged. I donated several hundred dollars to the Obama campaign because I honestly believed he represented a progressive sea-change. I now realize I was a schmuck. I still get mass emailings from the Obama people asking for MORE money… for the inauguration, to help retire Hillary’s campaign debts, etc., confirming once again that I was a schmuck to begin with.

  • LURIG

    I have just watched a SKY NEWS report (for CBS AMERICA) and it was so biased, right wing and pro-Israel that it would make you weep. The IDF were portrayed as brave warriers entering a dark zone to save the Israeli nation. NO mention of dead Palestinian children, murdered families and destroyed neighbourhoods. It was stomach churning, shocking and quite disgraceful. The West reaps what it sows, it really does. We deserve what comes our way sometimes. I am so angry!

  • Ri Na Deise

    Needless to say the usual onionist goons will be on tomorrow cheerleading their fellow fascist land grabbers.

  • KieranJ

    War criminal George Bush needs to be arrested and taken in handcuffs to the Hague for the murder of innocent women and children in the Gaza Strip.

    He is no better than the Israeli killers who use American planes and bombs to slaughter these kiddos.

  • First – of course the Israelis took the land. Who would have given it to them?

    As for this post – Slugger seems more and more like Indymedia these last weeks. That’s not a compliment. Take out the space posts and it would be even more so. Sorry but that’s how I feel.

    One of the things that differentiates the SF/PIRA-UK conflict with the PLO/Hamas-Israel one is the willingness – the certainty indeed – of the IDF to use disproportionate response and to strike at targets whether covered by human shields or not. Now, that methodology is the IDF not playing by the rules of war as we generally know them.

    But what does it say about the Palestinians that time and again they have opted to carry out suicide attacks and fire unguided missiles into civilian areas, basing their attacks within their own residential neighbourhoods, KNOWING for a fact that the price of that action will be their civilians and their children WILL, not might, WILL be killed within days if not hours. Time and again they make a brutal calculation and reach the wrong answer.

    There is a sickening rationalisation among those who excuse the Palestinians their methods on the grounds that Qassams don’t kill anybody, or maybe they kill a few people but only a few.

    Barack Obama says “If somebody is sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that – and I’d expect Israelis to do the same thing.” I entirely agree with the President-Elect.

    I wouldn’t stand for a single countryman of mine being killed or even maimed or spend days upon days in blast shelters just to give Hamas some kind of free shot justified by “their land got taken away”. However it would be easy to see why this kind of remark makes some on this board uncomfortable.

    One of these days a wee Qassam, one of those fireworks, is going to hit a petrol station or some other installation and while the dismembered Israelis – Jews and Arabs – are carted off some commenters above are going to be hard to find.

    It’s harder to cite examples where IDF has instigated a round of violence – it has happened, sure, but it’s numerically rare. The fact on the ground is that it is almost entirely within the power of Hamas to stop the deaths of those it represents and to ensure there are no more videos such as those linked above by RS.

    This may require it to make greater political sacrifices than SF-PIRA were asked to make, but how many children have to die before they, like PLO-Fatah, get the message that Israel is not going to change its military gameplan, so they should?

    I blogged about proportional response around the time of the start of the disastrous recent IDF invasion of South Lebanon and as the folly of that campaign unfolded I rethought my stance on that compared with my instant response.

    But last night I watched “Munich” and remembered how lucky the Irish are that we are not as reviled by “polite society” as the Jew has been down the centuries and to not have had as many pernicious, disgusting lies told about their people and their culture in the vein of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a text incidentally referred to in Article 32 of the Hamas Covenant, 1988.

    This is not least in Ireland itself such as during the Limerick pogrom and the bureaucratic obstacles placed in the way of receiving Jewish refugees into the South, fortunately overruled by DeV.

    I also wonder how roughly the Irish could have been handled since 1970 if we, too, didn’t have the Americans watching our conflict with a higher level of concern than their citizens’ level of interest in it otherwise justified.

  • LURIG

    Ri Na Deise

    Correct! It didn’t take long for the onionist goon apologists to make an appearance. Such is their bigoted hatred that they will excuse ANY white right wing genocide. It’s in their apartheid genes. PALESTINIAN = FENIAN = BLACK SOUTH AFRICAN = A SECURITY MEASURE.

  • When did onions become offside all of a sudden? Is it so wrong to want a few with my steak or my salad?

  • have_a_heart

    Mark Dowling wrote: “It’s harder to cite examples where IDF has instigated a round of violence – it has happened, sure, but it’s numerically rare”

    God you are naive – I think it was Yael Dayan, Moshe Dayans daughter who revealed what her father had said about how Israel got on with its neighbours – he said that in the vast majority of cases Israel was the one doing the instigating often drawing neighbours into conflict so that “goals” could be achieved.

    Incidentally I watched a docu on the Syrian Golan tonight – there was one part where an American missionary speaking in the mid 70s described how the Israelis had levelled the city of Quneitra – even going so far as breaking open the tombs in the christian graveyard. This was accompanied by footage of graves with the bodies pulled from them. Classy stuff.

    Ive been watching uncut feeds from Gaza for days and the pictures on the link posted here are repeated time and again.

    Anyone who doesnt know why Hamas fires rockets into Israel is an imbecile (even though it is wrong to indiscriminately fire them). Just like the people who say things like “Hamas have the people of Gaza as hostages” or ” Hamas use the people as human shields”. Hamas are the bloody people!.

    The bombing is going on now because hamas wanted the siege lifted not because of rockets – see also this article – If Hamas did not exist
    (JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN, CounterPunch: “Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian State”) 01.01.2009 http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2327

    Israel has absolutely no interest in a peace it doesnt control. The events of the last days are truly sickening.

    What can people do?.

  • Obama is not president yet. It’s not considered kosher for the president elect to criticize the policies of the current president even though they may churn his stomach.

    Don’t expect much to change though. Incoming Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s power base is New York with a highly influential and able pro-Israel lobby.

    More blame should be turned on the Arab world especially the weasly administrations in Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia. They regard Palestinians as a nuisance and have failed to offer them any support whatsoever. Sad to say but the Palestinians are treated as the “negroes” of the middle-east. If only they had oil, then the Americans could come in and “protect” them.

  • Wilde Rover

    Mark Dowling,

    “Now, that methodology is the IDF not playing by the rules of war as we generally know them.”

    Is that a euphemism for war crimes?

    “There is a sickening rationalisation among those who excuse the Palestinians their methods on the grounds that Qassams don’t kill anybody, or maybe they kill a few people but only a few.”

    That was an ironic accusation of “sickening rationalisation” considering the above euphemism.

    “But what does it say about the Palestinians that time and again they have opted to carry out suicide attacks and fire unguided missiles into civilian areas, basing their attacks within their own residential neighbourhoods,”

    Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

    “Barack Obama says “If somebody is sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that – and I’d expect Israelis to do the same thing.” I entirely agree with the President-Elect.”

    Change “Israelis” in the above to “Gazans” then you are providing a justification for Hamas attacks on Israel.

    “I wouldn’t stand for a single countryman of mine being killed or even maimed or spend days upon days in blast shelters”

    Taking this emotional part of your statement, it looks like it could be used for a justification of Hamas actions.

    “The fact on the ground is that it is almost entirely within the power of Hamas to stop the deaths of those it represents and to ensure there are no more videos such as those linked above by RS. “

    Interesting. By that logic I suppose a rape victim is to be blamed for the punches she receives to the head because she has resisted. It is entirely within her power to stop the punches by lying back and telling her rapist what a wonderful lover he is.

    “This may require it to make greater political sacrifices than SF-PIRA were asked to make, but how many children have to die before they, like PLO-Fatah, get the message that Israel is not going to change its military gameplan, so they should?”

    People in Gaza should walk into the sea and those in the West Bank should walk east, cross the Jordan and keep walking?

    “But last night I watched “Munich” and remembered how lucky the Irish are that we are not as reviled by “polite society” as the Jew”

    This conflation of supporters of all actions of the state of Israel and Jews, while ostensibly supposed to be defending Jewish people, is actually a clumsy, ham fisted, thoughtlessly anti-Semitic remark.

    Some of the bravest people in the world are Jews who oppose the actions of those who claim to be Jewish and who claim to be acting in the best interest of Jewish people worldwide, and yet you seek to lump them in with the people they despise most.

    In conclusion, your remarks remind me of most mainstream media pieces on the issue, and that is not a compliment.

  • whatabout

    whatabout the Christians getting slaughtered by Muslims in Darfur and in Nigeria being denied equal rights in any of the Muslims countries they are born in.What about poor Paul Quinn slaughtered by the ira.What about poor steak knife when are we going to get a campaign up to get him home where he belongs in south Armagh so that he can collect his provie pension and of course he can collect the British one in the post office in the cross.

  • muslim law rules ok

    Under the Taliban, regime, a woman, Nurbibi, 40, and a man Turylai, 38, were stoned to death in a public assembly using palm-sized stones. They were found guilty of non-marital sex. Turylai was dead within ten minutes, but Nurbibi had to be finished off by dropping a large rock on her head. Mr. Wali, head of the Office for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prohibition of Vice expressed satisfaction with the execution: “…I am very happy, because it means that the rule of Islam is being implemented.” These executions (as well as hand amputations for convicted thieves) are regarded as religious occasions and are not normally viewed by non-Muslims.

  • have_a_heart

    Hey whatabout why dont you go to Bethlehem and see how decent Christians are doing under Israeli occupation. Go ask them, I dare you.

  • muslim law rules ok

    These executions (as well as hand amputations for thieves) are regarded as religious occasions and are not normally viewed by non-Muslims. Fekme oul slab and the boys who slaughtered Paul Quinn better watch out when the oul muslim sharia thing arrives here.

  • muslim law rules ok

    Hey whatabout why dont you go to Bethlehem and see how decent Christians are doing under Israeli occupation. Go ask them, I dare you.

    Posted by have_a_heart
    have_a_heart im with you kid but why do the muslims get such a big by ball in darfur for instance they are slaughtering and maiming and discriminating as i type.

  • Wilde Rover

    Muslim law rules ok,

    Are you agreeing with “whatabout” or are “whatabout” and “muslim law rules ok” just two alts you use and you forgot to reply with the appropriate alt?

    Methinks someone’s slip is showing…

  • whatabout

    Hey whatabout why dont you go to Bethlehem and see how decent Christians are doing under Israeli occupation. Go ask them, I dare you.

    Posted by have_a_heart
    I agree with you now what about the christians gettin slaughtered and maimed and discriminated against as i type.

  • Wilde Rover

    Whatabout,

    “You see Muslims even hate other types of Muslims so Jews and Christians have no chance of a fair treatment under islam.”

    And all Christians love each other?

    And there are no internal divisions in Judaism?

    Fearmonger much?

  • Jimmy

    Its all been said to the point of nausea, Israel acts like war mongering phycopaths with the placid support of its paymasters that Israel controls ie US administration, the West does nothing and we wonder why Muslims strap bombs to themeselves and hijack planes? On the subject of all American administrations apathy to Israel.

    “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that. . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and they know it.” -Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to FM Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio Oct 3, 2001

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/46207,opinion,israel-gaza-and-the-us-what-will-obama-dare-to-do

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-true-story-behind-this-war-is-not-the-one-israel-is-telling-1214981.html

  • whatabout

    And all Christians love each other?
    And there are no internal divisions in Judaism?
    Fearmonger much?
    Posted by Wilde Rover
    So two big wrongs make a right for you.
    What i am saying is dont take your eye of the ball ALL the bullies need to be harrased and dealt with equally but this seems to be beyond the scope of the sinn fein types and the liberal types on slugger.Wilde Rover tell the non muslim people of Darfur Nigera Somalia Iraq Iran Sudi Arabia Quatar that its all fear mongering they will not talk to you about it this has been my own experience. Try to bring up the subject and they will look at you with fear and suspicion.

  • whatabout

    you see already how the Muslims in the name of Islam have petrified the world you are afraid to critic any of their numerous monstrous acts against humanity all you do is nitpick at anyone who tries to point them out to you .

  • whatabout

    At least 35 Shia pilgrims have been killed by a female suicide bomber at a shrine in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say. At least 65 people were injured in the blast, in the Kadhimiya area of the Iraqi capital, where pilgrims were gathering for a religious ceremony. Most of the casualties were from neighbouring Iran. There are fears the death toll will rise. Processions of Shia pilgrims across Iraq have been targeted by Sunni insurgents in the past. Lovely trustworthy peace loving Islam yea right on. You see how they hate each other and want to wipe each other out when Hamas are finished with the Jews they will turn on their own because they will still need to hate and slaughter someone in the name of Islam and Allah all in the search for peace of course. Look out the west bank we might have slaughtered and tortured our brother palastinians last year but we have plenty of spare hate left.

  • runciter

    Mr Whatabout is very keen to prevent any discussion about what is happening in Gaza.

    In response to Mark Dowling’s propaganda-inspired rubbish about Hamas being responsible for Israeli atrocities, the here is a link to the UN Special Rapporteur describing how Israel ignored repeated attempts at diplomacy by Hamas, and wilfully broke the most recent truce:

    http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Falk.htm

    More useful information here:

    http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20090101212318310

  • whatabout

    Mr Whatabout is very keen to prevent any discussion about what is happening in Gaza.Posted by runciter

    Oh no runciter I am not I am just stating that Hamas hate knows no bounds they slaughtered and tortured large numbers of their fellow Palestinians just last year. Your remarks are very typical of the liberal Nazis.You with your snide little remark are the one thats trying to prevent discussion.
    In 1987 Hamas is founded as the Gazan arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political organisation with branches throughout the Arab world. Its charter commits the group to the DESTRUCTION YES THE DESTRUCTION of Israel and to raising “the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.

  • Regarding the topic of this thread, I think that there will always be a serious disconnect between what most Americans want or need from their government, especially in the foreign arena, given the totally crazy political system.

    It’s one where only the important players get anywhere to do something about it by being funneled into an elite pool which ends up running the country, thanks to the lack of a party system worthy of the name, simple bribery by rich contributers to get politicians who will serve their interests, the need to reassure the industrial-military-intelligence complex that you are someone who can be trusted, etc.

    Just look at Obama, someone the average voter thought was simply a black guy of questionable paternity, religion, morality, etc., when he turns out to be a important resource that the CIA picked up back in the 1980s, checked out his reliability by giving him a position in a CIA-front – the Business Interantional Corporation – helped move him up the ladder by connecting him to the corrupt industrial complex in Chicago, etc.

    Now we see Obama poised with something similar to JFK and the Bay of Pigs operation back in 1961, the only differences are that Obama is well on board regarding the remaking of Gaza – unlike Kenned with the crazy plan to overthrow Castro – and will try to pick up the pieces in the Middle East after his inauguration rather than before it.

    Anyone who thinks that the American system can ever elect a President in tune with the needs of the majority of its people is just misguided.

  • Wilde Rover

    Whatabout,

    “What i am saying is dont take your eye of the ball ALL the bullies need to be harrased and dealt with equally”

    This thread is about how they are not being treated equally.

    “Your remarks are very typical of the liberal Nazis.”

    And you’ve Godwined the thread.

  • Turgon

    I do not want to get involved in this debate save to say that each time I click on it I get pretty odd ads on my computer. Currently it is a site for learning Hebrew, last time it was for a Muslim marriage agency.

  • Rory Carr

    It is commonplace for even the mildest of critics of Israeli policy towards Palestine to be subject to a barrage of accusations by frenetic Zionists that they are ‘Jew haters’, ‘anti-Semites’ or even ‘Holocaust deniers’; if the critic happens himself to be Jewish, as are many of the most acute critics of Israel of my acquaintance in London, then the abuse may extend to being called a ‘self-hating Jew’. All of this is quite vile of course and is intended by a process of hysterical vituperation to divert attention from the shame and guilt of those Jews who support Israel’s policy of racial murder and land theft in Palestine.

    Such guilt and shame is perfectly understandable (and the more telling the more it is denied) for apart from the category of ‘Holocaust-denier’ there surely must be great shame on those who act as Holocaust-betrayers insofar as they inflict upon another people the very horrors which their forebears suffered and so betray the sacred lesson to be drawn from that sacrifice.

    This is not a policy of protection for Jewry – what have New York Jews to fear (apart from gentle mockery from Woody Allan) that they must flee Manhattan to find safety in occupying land that is not theirs in far-off Palestine? The horrific irony is that these self-same land thieves refuse to fight with the Israeli Defefence Forces on religious grounds while demanding that the IDF kill and die in furtherence of their unbridled greed.

    Go figure.

  • 6countyprod

    There is a huge disconnect between Israeli morality and Hamas morality. Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post explains the difference:

    Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons. — Associated Press, Dec. 27

    Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating.

    Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis — 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years — deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.

    This has two purposes. First, counting on the moral scrupulousness of Israel, Hamas figures civilian proximity might help protect at least part of its arsenal. Second, knowing that Israelis have new precision weapons that may allow them to attack nonetheless, Hamas hopes that inevitable collateral damage — or, if it is really fortunate, an errant Israeli bomb — will kill large numbers of its own people for which, of course, the world will blame Israel.

    more

    So, when you do the math, it’s simple:

    If Hamas stops, then Israel will stop… problem solved

    On the other hand,

    If Israel stops, Hamas will continue… problem remains

    Solution?

    Eliminate Hamas, or its ability to continue its reign of terror.

    Voila! Problem solved.

    Krauthammer again: Since its (Hamas’s)raison d’etre is the eradication of Israel, there are only two possible outcomes: the defeat of Hamas or the extinction of Israel.

  • NCM

    Like turgon I do not wish to get involved in this debate as this type of thing when on the net, always seems to descend into racist name calling around whether it is the Jews or Muslims who are sub human and deserve all they get. Whereas in reality they are both Semitic peoples, some good some bad

    I just wish to ask NCM this question, do you feel the Zionist lobby in the USA may have had its day and the politicians have simply not yet caught up with this due to the influence of the Zionist public relations machine which is based in Washington.

    I ask this as I have noticed from a distant that the anti Castro lobby, once comparable to that of the Zionist, is only a shadow of its former self.

    It might be worth remembering that Israel is a Zionist state, and not all Jews support it, indeed an increasingly large number do not.

  • Note this column in the Sunday Herald, comparing the Israelis’ treatment of the Gaza ghetto to the Germans’ of the Warsaw one:

    http://www.sundayherald.com/oped/opinion/display.var.2479028.0.0.php

  • 6countyprod

    MH
    ‘Anti Castro lobby’

    There is no need for an anti Castro lobby. Cuba has been a 50-year failure of political, economic ans social leadership – and only blinded Castro die-hards would say any different.

    Fifty Lousy Years pretty much sums it up.

  • JRD

    Since Hamas have come to power in gaza in 2006, Gazan Melkites and orthodox Christians, can no longer teach Christian doctrine in schools, co-ed has been banned, Christian women are required cover themselves when in public, Christians are required to pay a jizya (a tax on non Muslims),and are continually subjected to looting,orchestrated attacks,kidnappings,by islamic groups. In 1920’s quarter of the Palestinian population were Christain, it currently stands at 2%.

  • 6countyprod

    There is a huge disconnect between what the media is portraying and what is actually happening on the ground in Gaza.

    Hamas has started to execute Palestinians who have been informing Israelis where Hamas weapons and explosives are stashed. The Israelis continue to warn Palestinians of impending missile strikes to give them time to get away and the IDF is systematically taking out Hamas leaders.

    Israel has the high moral ground. May they finish this thing quickly.

  • NCM

    Mick Hall: “I just wish to ask NCM this question, do you feel the Zionist lobby in the USA may have had its day and the politicians have simply not yet caught up with this due to the influence of the Zionist public relations machine which is based in Washington.”

    (Take this with a grain of salt, since I’m talking outside my area of knowledge.) No, I don’t get that sense, but also I don’t get the sense that the Zionist lobby is nearly as powerful as its critics think it is. But I also get the sense that primarily support for Israel comes in large from bottom-up grassroots Jewish supporters (voters, donors, community groups, synagogues) rather than from a top-down group of lobbyists, who nonetheless play their role and help keep politicians reminded that pro-Israel voters and donors are watching and are highly motivated on this issue (and after all, some of these folks have relatives over in Israel and have very personal and understandable reasons for making sure Israel is secure). I also belief that what’s going on is that those who are opposed to US support of Israel aren’t particularly motivated and organized compared to Jewish supporters of Israel. And of course, this discussion is not even counting all the right-wing Christian supporters of Israel and others who support Israel because it is a democracy, an ally, or because in a post-9/11 world, anyone who supports Islamic fundamentalist terrorism (especially suicide bombing) is an enemy who can expect nothing but death, no further questions asked [and I admit I sometimes lapse into this myself]. So you’ve got motivated supporters, relatively unorganized opponents, and politicians who want to get re-elected. Hence, support for Israel.

    There’s a book written by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt at the University of Chicago on the Zionist lobby in the US, and this is a book I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t read. Whether the book is actually correct is another matter, but since I haven’t read it, I can’t exactly criticize it.

    So, in summary, my belief, partially informed but partially uninformed, is that the Zionist lobby is still a powerful force, but that they are not the primary force, for support of Israel. Nor is the Zionist lobby some all-powerful cabal or something like people who falsely imagine Jews control everything fantasize about.

    Speaking of which, and just to be clear to anyone reading this, the idea that America supports Israel because the Jews control everything is total crap and is Protocols of the Elders of Zion paranoid b.s. and this is not what I’m saying at all. Nor am I saying that all Jews support Israel, that Jews are necessarily Zionists, or, and this is a big point, that people who support Israel are even “Zionists” as opposed to people who simply think Israel has a right to exist without its people being constantly killed while they try to live their lives.

  • NCM

    “Hamas has started to execute Palestinians who have been informing Israelis where Hamas weapons and explosives are stashed.”

    If my country were in a fight for survival and traitors called the enemy to tell them where our arms were located, I would fully expect quick executions without much due process. This is unjust, how?

  • NCM

    “There is no need for an anti Castro lobby. Cuba has been a 50-year failure of political, economic ans social leadership – and only blinded Castro die-hards would say any different.”

    Go to Miami.

    The anti-Castro folks would argue that they need to keep up the pressure precisely because Castro’s Cuba has been a failure.

  • NCM

    Cheers I will look out for that book.

    The Christian thing and the jews is very weird and hard for me to understand, as they seem all over the place and I do not believe anti semitism would exist if Christianity had not popularized it. Even when I was growing up many Christians hated the jews, (not all christians of course) and refused to publicly acknowledge that Jesus was even a Jew. (if Jesus by some smidgin of a chance actually existed)

    If you look at the windows in churches and painting, icons etc, Jesus was always portrayed as a blue eyed aryan boy, which is pure fantasy.

    If you take out the European blood that has seeped into Jewish veins during the Diaspora, in appearance there is little if any differences in appearance between jews and arabs.

    Funny old world

  • Ri Na Deise

    Anyone else find it disturbing how quick some posters here found justification in sectarianism? ie. Look what themmuns were at in Darfur, they deserve what they get.

    I dare say the average Palestinian lying under siege and close to starvation doesnt give a toss what happens in Darfur or Mumbai or anywhere else.

    Following the same logic, Hitler was a prod, so all prods are evil racist murderers. X-terrorist is a muslim, all muslims are terrorists. All Irish catholics are in the IRA etc.

    A warped and disturbing mindset.

  • USA

    I didn’t read the posts above, I didn’t watch the video link in post number 2 page 1.
    I saw the first 5 seconds of the video and had to turn it off.
    Dead children and human suffering scattered everywhere.
    The reality of war sucks guys and anyone who supports this action by Isreal is scum.
    I will be joining any Palestinian protest in my metro area.
    Why are we so horrified in the West when Mumbai happened yet we rationalize the murder of Palestinian kids?

  • Dave

    Kathleen, Noam Chomsky has a good article on his website in which he makes the point that ‘grassroots support’ in America means that a candidate has a large group of lackeys who promote his agenda rather than meaning, as it does elsewhere, that the candidate promotes the policies of the people who support him: “These popular movements did not simply take instructions from party leaders. Rather, they formulated the policies that their candidates were chosen to implement. That is quite different from the Western model of democracy, as we see clearly in the reactions to Obama’s victory.” Democracy is an elite-controlled process where the people are only granted the role of endorsing whichever candidate is proffered by either one of two controlling elites, and whose policies are pre-endorsed by those elites.

    [i]The Obama campaign greatly impressed the public relations industry, which named Obama “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008,” easily beating out Apple. The industry’s prime task is to ensure that uninformed consumers make irrational choices, thus undermining market theories. And it recognizes the benefits of undermining democracy the same way. [/i]

    http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20081125.htm

  • whatabout

    Anyone else find it disturbing how quick some posters here found justification in sectarianism? ie. Look what themmuns were at in Darfur, they deserve what they get.
    I dare say the average Palestinian lying under siege and close to starvation doesnt give a toss what happens in Darfur or Mumbai or anywhere else. Following the same logic, Hitler was a prod, so all prods are evil racist murderers. X-terrorist is a muslim, all muslims are terrorists. All Irish catholics are in the IRA etc. A warped and disturbing mindset.
    Posted by Ri Na Deise

    One of my points was that i never see any of the liberal Nazis on slugger ever mention what happens in Darfur or Mumbai or anywhere else but then given that maybe they have warped and disturbing mindsets they cannot see the suffering of the people of Darfur or Mumbai or Nigeria or of the Christians in Gaza. Since it is Muslims who are perpetrating the monstrous crimes.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘There’s a book written by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt at the University of Chicago on the Zionist lobby in the US’

    Its called ‘The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy’. Sitting on my shelf here, picked it up during Palestine day at Feile last year. Whilst it shows there isn’t a grand ‘Protocols’ conspiracy going on. It does have numerous examples of where speaking out against Israeli policy, or refusing to vote a particular way at Congress, has damaged quite a few U.S politicians careers. I’d recommend it, quite interesting stuff.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Hitler was a prod,’

    IIRC weren’t his folks catholic?

    ‘One of my points was that i never see any of the liberal Nazis on slugger ever mention what happens in Darfur or Mumbai’

    First, this thread is concerened with Gaza. Second if there were threads pertaianing to the issues you care about, I would comment as im sure would many others.

  • Ri Na Deise

    RS

    I’ll bow to your greater knowledge of old Adolf. Either way I dont really care what he was. The flawed logic involved in the equation remains as glaring.

  • whatabout

    No it doesn’t Ri Na Deise. Hamas Muslims are just as big a bunch of murderers as the people you want to denigrate they are murdering their own people as we speak just like the Nazis and the ira did to their people who disagreed with them. It’s a great time to bury bad news as new labour would say. Don’t know what the Palestinian is for tout but that will be the excuse .Step forward the Hamas equivalent of steak knife.

  • Driftwood

    The middle east is the way it is because of RELIGION. The root of ALL evil. Why are ALL nation states not listening to Richard Dawkins?

    He should be required reading in all countries. then we wouldn’t have any stupid wars.

  • RepublicanStones

    I could be wrong R N D, but I remember reading somewhere he came from a catholic background, and there may even have been a question of a bit of Jewish lineage as well. But your right regarding the twisted logic of some.

  • whatabout

    Amen Driftwood Amen :)I totally agree all governments should be totaly secular but boy doesnt Allah or his equivalent give them a great excuse to hate Oh and for the chosen few make lots of money.

  • runciter

    The middle east is the way it is because of RELIGION

    I’m pretty sure this is not a theological dispute.

  • whatabout

    In the case of Ayyad, who managed the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, his body was discovered riddled with gunshot and stab wounds. Just before his murder, Ayyad, a Baptist, was publicly accused by Abu Islam’s group of engaging in missionary activities. Ayyad’s bookstore, owned by the Palestinian Bible Society, was firebombed in April 2007, after which he told relatives he received numerous death threats from Islamists. Witnesses stated Ayyad was publicly tortured a few blocks from his store before he was shot to death. The witnesses said they saw three armed men, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Ayyad repeatedly with clubs and the butts of their guns while they accused him of attempting to spread Christianity in Gaza. The witnesses said that after sustaining the beating, Ayyad was shot by all three men.

  • Suilven

    Interesting that RND immediately jumped to the erroneous conclusion that Adolf Hitler was a Protestant. Says a lot about his worldview, IMO.

  • RepublicanStones

    Says alot about your opinion that you can decipher somebody’s world view from such a trivial thing.

  • Dave

    Actually, he converted to Protestantism before renouncing Christianity in favour of a position favoured by Richard Dawkins, i.e. atheism. That, unfortunately, blows a large hole in the theory that eradicating religion would eradicate war.

  • RepublicanStones

    So RND was correct. Tá bron orm mo chara.

  • If China wasn’t propping up Sudan (or at least their resource industry) the UN/AU would be in Darfur in force (see Sierra Leone, Liberia) rather than faffing around in Chad. Hopefully $35/bbl oil will do what actions up to now could not.

  • whatabout

    Nite nite to the trolling sock puppet RepublicanStones with no mind of his own no freedom to express himself always the party line.That why Democracy with all its flaws is so important because within that polling both your on your own to make your mark even if its for RepublicanStones its yours to make.

  • have_a_heart

    Islamic fundamentalists have murdered Christians in Gaza – well that makes what Israel is doing ok then, thanks for clearing that up whatabout.

    I mean, as we all know, all Gazans are fundamentalist scum who should be wiped out, particularly the minors.

    Funny how Israel didnt always hate Hamas
    ( sorry i couldnt get to the original article on the UPI website)http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/hamashistory.html

    Shades of Northern Ireland eh?

  • Driftwood

    The middle east is the way it is because of RELIGION

    I’m pretty sure this is not a theological dispute.

    Oh it is Runciter, it is. What the hell else is it about? Trotsky vs Adam Smith???
    Get real, moron.

  • runciter

    Oh it is Runciter, it is. What the hell else is it about?

    Territory mostly.

  • LURIG

    Dritwood,

    I have told you before, stop the personal insults towards people, are you at the wine gums again? Respect their opinion and views even if you don’t agree with it. Abuse and ridicule are the first bastions of the desperate so give the ‘moron’ terms a rest. What’s going on in Gaza has been building for over 2 years. It is both a religious and territory war but what’s really behind this Israeli campaign can be traced back to Lebanon in 2006. Hizbullah gave the Israelis one hell of a bloody nose in South Lebanon and the Israeli military lost a lot of face. They were ridiculed and shamed at home and have been itching for a chance to put things right since. The Zionist right wingers and Neo-Con army people have been manipulating and provoking events in Gaza to set this scenario up. They have imposed a trade embargo and cut off water and electricity to Gaza over the last 2 years and turned it into a big concentration camp. The launcing of Hamas rockets has been a response to this so this ‘defence’ excuse from the Israelis is a nonsense. We have a deliberately manuipulated situation which gives Israel an excuse to invade Gaza with an invasion of the West Bank soon to follow. When this has been settled Israel will then attack Iranian missile and alleged nuclear sites. It is ONE big plan and formuated rubber stamped by Washington. Obama will not get out of it and that’s why he and the Democrats have been so quiet. Iran will be attacked in the next few months.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Suilevan

    I made a lazy assertion based on his nationality. In truth I dont care if he was a Hare Krishna. Apply the statement as necessary: Hitler was a ___, therefore all ___ are etc etc.

  • colm usa

    Driftwood,

    This is another round in a Nationalist based conflict, over control of land, security and unfulfilled national identity. Religious denomination is an indication of sides but any ‘moron’ can see that it’s NOT a religious war. Does the setup sound a little familiar?

    Trying to control population Gaza (not all Hamas) through through the barrel of a gun or imposing trade embargos on necessary goods nourishes Hamas and ensures their continuation with even larger membership and will never achieve the desired end from an Israeli perspective if PEACE and SECURITY is desired (is this how peace and security is achieved?). More like “Croppies Lie Down”

  • colm usa

    …also as a duel Irish US citizen who voted Obama, need to see some balls on the man or else nothing will change. The pro-Israel lobby is very strong and not expecting much to change.

  • RepublicanStones

    whatabout I get the feeling you want to ask me out for dinner !

  • Dave

    “I made a lazy assertion based on his nationality.”

    Which would be Austrian – the population of which was 91% Catholic circa 1900.

  • whatabout

    No way RepublicanStones no how I get the feeling you might suggest we go to a certain barn to dine al fresco and find twenty boiler suited thugs waiting.Or we could maybe dine down the wee lane in Francis street (sinn fein offices manys a poor man was summoned to see the curly haired one there)with some of those nice thuggies.Again no way RepublicanStones I know you.

  • whatabout

    Why dont the thugs of hamas just fuck of like the ira had to do in the end and let the rest of us sort it outcutting throats and guns didnt sort it in NI funnily enough it was mostly american politicians and Mo Mowlam not the useful teary eyed fools in the bars of boston.

  • whatabout

    Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic organisation intent on the eradication of the state of Israel and all its citizens; a violent fascist regime that allows honour killings and the execution of homosexuals to continue in its sphere of influence. Bankrolled by Iran, it manages to make even Hezbollah look like a moderate organisation.

    Hamas IRA RepublicanStones Panchos arse steak knife and include their apologists and you end up with the innocents like Paul Quinn slaughtered for what just because some lunatics have maggots in their heads.Why can we not see the peace loving side of the muslims in Darfur in Nigeria in Gaza (we do in the west bank).

  • whatabout

    Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants fought gun battles in the streets of Gaza City for the first time this morning,with Israeli troops going house to house SEARCHING for Hamas fighters.
    Why do they have to search for the brave men who strap suicide vests to 16 year old mentally handicapped children. The so called Hamas fighters are like the great men who slaughtered Paul Quinn great when they are gang handed. Wonder how many men it took to hold down Scappoes Steak knifes victims before he felt safe enough to approach them with his toolbox full of torture implements.

  • Driftwood

    LURIG
    That sure is an amazing crystal ball you have.
    And others, if this is not a dispute about religion, would it be true that Hamas are a group encompassing many faiths and none, likewise the Israelis?

  • 6countyprod

    Over the past week, I have been monitoring the situation in the Middle East closely with the members of my national security team.

    And I’ve been in contact with leaders throughout the region — including the King of Saudi Arabia, the King of Jordan, the President of Egypt, the President and Prime Minister of the Palestinian Territories, and the Prime Minister of Israel.

    This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas – a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction. Eighteen months ago, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup, and since then has imported thousands of guns and rockets and mortars. Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, but Hamas routinely violated that ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel. On 19 December, Hamas announced an end to the ceasefire and soon unleashed a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis – an act of terror opposed by the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, President Abbas.

    In response to these attacks on their people, the leaders of Israel have launched military operations on Hamas positions in Gaza. As a part of their strategy, Hamas terrorists often hide within the civilian population, which puts innocent Palestinians at risk.

    Regrettably, Palestinian civilians have been killed in recent days. The US is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people. Since Hamas’s violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza. By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.

    In addition to reducing humanitarian suffering, all nations must work toward a lasting end to the violence in the Holy Land, and a return to the path of peace. The US is leading diplomatic efforts to achieve a meaningful ceasefire that is fully respected. Another one-way ceasefire that leads to rocket attacks on Israel is not acceptable. And promises from Hamas will not suffice – there must be monitoring mechanisms in place to help ensure that smuggling of weapons to terrorist groups in Gaza comes to an end. — George W Bush

    Succinct and accurate, don’t you think?

  • runciter

    And others, if this is not a dispute about religion, would it be true that Hamas are a group encompassing many faiths and none, likewise the Israelis?

    Religion is one of the characteristics used to identify group membership (although one can also be Jewish or Palestinian independent of one’s religious beliefs), but it is not the subject of dispute.

    The subject of dispute is territory.

  • RepublicanStones

    6countyprod uses a quote from Dubya, incumbent US president.

    (shakes head)

  • whatabout

    Religion is one of the characteristics used to identify group membership (although one can also be Jewish or Palestinian independent of one’s religious beliefs), but it is not the subject of dispute.
    The subject of dispute is territory.
    Posted by runciter
    In parts of England Muslims have ethnically cleansed areas which is alright for now but as the Muslim population grows and as these now Muslim tribal religious areas need to expand expect a lot of trouble that’s just the way it is. Oh dear it’s not politically correct to the outside liberal Hezbollah box.Then we can expect the arrival of foreign fighters warriors or whatever try terrorists .

  • Earnan

    Krautheimers article and logic made the most sense to me.

    If Isreal does nothing, they will continue to get rockets fired on them.

    If Hamas stops shooting rockets, Israel will do nothing to them.

    But since Hamas will not stop firing rockets, Israel cannot do nothing if they want to stop rockets coming in their towns on a daily basis.

  • Earnan

    And yes, I worded that last post very akwardly but you get my point.

  • Silver

    @LURIG

    The unwavering support of the West to allow Israel to carry out genocide is most disturbing. The Israelis have now turned the tables as Gaza and the West Bank are the 2 biggest concentration camps in the world.

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

    “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.”

    Population of West Bank and Gaza 1969 – 954,898

    Population of West Bank and Gaza 2008 – 3,907,883

    If Israel has been committing genocide it must be the most inefficient and inneffective genoocide in the whole of recorded human history.

  • runciter

    Population of West Bank and Gaza 1969 – 954,898

    Population of West Bank and Gaza 2008 – 3,907,883

    Do you have a source for these figures?

    The maps of the occupied territories tell another story.

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/Israel_stealing_palestine.jpg