Obama's Options for the Israel-Gaza Conflict

President Elect Barack Obama's support for Israel grew during the course of the campaign. This weekend he received briefings from Bush's Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. In three weeks, he will be President and shortly thereafter, Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State.

David Axlerod, on Face the Nation today, was asked what Obama's response to the crisis would be. He waffled a bit, noting that it would inappropriate for Obama to take a strong position while Bush was still President, but repeated what Obama had said when visiting Israel this summer:

“If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

So, what will Obama do once he is President? The New York Times lays out two options: [More...]

One option would be for an Obama administration to respond much more harshly to Israel’s policies, from settlements to strikes like those this weekend, as many in the Arab world and beyond have long urged. On Sunday, though, Mr. Axelrod said the president-elect stood by the remarks he made in the summer and, when asked, noted the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel.

Otherwise, Mr. Obama could try to pressure surrogates to lean on Hamas, including Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza. He can try to build international pressure on Hamas to stop the rocket attacks into Israel. He can try to nurture a peace between Israel and Mr. Abbas on the West Bank, hoping that somehow it spreads to Hamas. All have been tried, and all have failed to avoid new fighting.

What do you think Obama will do?

On a related note, a HuffPo journalist in Israel has printed the transcript of President Shimon Peres press statement on the attacks, and photos of the targeted structures before the strike.

According to the AP, Israel is now preparing ground troops for assaults and Hamas is responding with longer-reaching rockets.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The big question is (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by ricosuave on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:01:33 AM EST
    What will be the first thing Obama does that actually meets the expectations of his supporters?  This (switching US policy to strong support of the Palestinians) won't be it, and we can't expect support for gay marriage either.  Health insurance?  Total pullout from Iraq?  Reversal of Bush tax cuts to the rich?

    Someone here in Austin assured me recently that after Obama takes office we will get to travel to Cuba legally.  I don't think I truly understood the degree to which people projected their hopes into the Obama vessel until that conversation.

    Wow (none / 0) (#61)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 02:06:32 AM EST
    That's just sad.  

    Rockets (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by koshembos on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 07:52:25 AM EST
    The flat earth faction is now claiming that no rockets were targeted at Shderot and other towns in Israel. I have a simple proposition for the flat earth people: go live for a month in a town that is bombarded daily year in and year out by rockets that fall in the town center but hurt no one since the population stays is shelters. Enjoy every moment since the rocket don't really exist.

    As for Obama's policy, there are a short term and a long term goals. First and foremost, Obama should try to achieve a cease fire based on continued truce (that Hamas wasn't interested in). The second goal must include Hamas, Patah in serious peace talks with Israel with a realistic time table (not the stupidity coming out of the quartet).

    I am astonished at the amount of hate, disinformation and sheer ignorance some of the commenters show. One should expect liberals to be more knowledgeable, more understanding and better informed. Liberals and hate should be like oil and water; it turns out that the old European racism is alive and well in America.

    I've only seen one commentor here today at (none / 0) (#64)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:27:32 AM EST
    TL who completely denies that Hamas has fired rockets into Israel and he got banned today for a number of reasons. Yet, in your foregoing comment you said that, at TL, there is a whole "flat earth faction" who are:
    claiming that no rockets were targeted at Shderot and other towns in Israel...it turns out that the old European racism is alive and well in America.

    I have not seen any other remarks to support your theory that there is a whole "flat earth faction" making such claims. If I am wrong about that I will be more than happy to stand corrected.  But for now, it is my perception that you may be indulging in exaggeration and you may be smearing people as anti-semitic simply because they oppose Israel's treatment of Palestinians.


    I tend to suspect that commenters (none / 0) (#67)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:19:16 AM EST
    are anti-Semitic when they make gratuitous comparisons to the Holocaust. It happens all too often on "liberal" blogs.

    Yes (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 01:11:28 PM EST
    Mostly when anyone criticizes Israel for war crimes, or anything for that matter, they are labeled anti-semitic, in America that is.

    In Israel it is not unusual to compare the right wing to perpetrators of a holocaust. And for that matter, they are correct in that the right wing has stated that they will unleash a Shoa or Holocaust on Hamas.

    Israel's deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio: "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger 'shoah' because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."

    The word "shoah" is rarely used in Israel beyond discussions of the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews but government spokesmen said Vilnai had employed the word only to mean "disaster".


    More anti-semitism from the The UN?:

    Professor Richard Falk, a United Nations envoy who once sparked controversy by comparing Israelis to Nazis, has been barred entry to Israel and was put on a plane bound out of the country early on Monday.

    In March, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council appointed Falk, a Jewish American and professor emeritus at Princeton University, to a six-year term monitoring the human rights situation as UN Special Rapporteur in the Palestinian territories.

    The council's previous investigator, John Dugard from South Africa, compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid, the discriminatory policy of the previous white regime in South Africa toward blacks.



    Well, I'm not sure who has the ultimate (none / 0) (#72)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 05:29:36 PM EST
    authority to judge when a given comparison to the Holocaust is "gratuitous", andgarden.

    I prefer Jimmy Carter's analysis. In his view, Israel's domination of the Palestinians is more comparable to the APARTHEID Government of South Africa; whereby the people of South Africa were subordinate to a segregationist system of governance by European settlers and their descendants, from 1948-90.  


    To me (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Makarov on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:40:32 AM EST
    the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reached a point where debating it in the USA is about as productive as debating abortion.

    Some support one side, some the other, and there hasn't been a new argument in over 20 years.

    John Bolten Chimes In (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    Yesterday, on Fox's Hannity and Colmes, Iran war hawk John Bolton said that Israel's recent bombing campaign in Gaza is all the more reason for the United States to bomb Iran now. "So while our focus obviously is on Gaza right now, this could turn out to be a much larger conflict," he said, adding that "we're looking at potentially a multi-front war here."

    Good thing warmongers like Bolton are on the way out.

    Problem: for some on the ANSWER left, (3.66 / 3) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:33:30 AM EST
    no amount of restraint is sufficient. Israel is always evil.

    I don't really know who was responsible for scuttling the 1999 agreement, but as far as I'm concerned, a permanent pox on them.

    Jimmy Carter brokered Camp David Accords (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:49:36 AM EST
    You're right, this is something worth remembering: the Camp David Accords of 1978, where President Jimmy Carter was able to broker a peace agreement between Egypt, represented by President Anwar Sadat, and Israel represented by Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

    It still stands as a venerable achievement, by the same man who now compares Israel's domination of the Palestinians to South African Apartheid. Chances are, Carter still knows what he's talking about this time as well.

    BTW, what is your sense of the actual damage/casualties Hamas has caused to Israel with their "repeated and mindless provocations" within a given time frame? I'm not refuting your statement here, just wondering about the follow through.


    That's the point (none / 0) (#33)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:11:58 AM EST
    Israel signed a treaty with Egypt, and it's largely held.  Israel signed a treaty with Jordan, and it's largely held.  The record shows that Israel can make peace with it's neighbors, if the neighbor is also interested in making peace.

    But for the last few years -- every time Israel withdraws from land (Lebanon, Gaza), their enemies attack them from that very land.


    How on earth did you decide that (none / 0) (#58)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 05:19:43 PM EST
    Gaza and the West Bank are analogous to Egypt and Jordan?

    Has Israel occupied, blockaded and systematically battered these two affluent, independent, militarily powerful, nation states for the past 60 years. Under such conditions, Israel could not have achieved a "peace accord" with Egypt and Jordan, any more than it can with the Palestinians.


    The latest plan to scuttle Israel (3.00 / 2) (#14)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:07:14 AM EST
    is to prevent any settlement and force a "one state solution" with a quickly emerging Palestinian majority. Of course, that's never going to happen, but in the meantime, "disengaged" Israel lives right next door to a failed state.

    It's a difficult problem .


    There is no equanimity or reason . . . (none / 0) (#17)
    by daryl herbert on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:30:25 AM EST
    At some point, I would think that equanimity and reason must surely prevail on both sides.

    There is no equanimity or reason in the minds of people indoctrinated since birth with racist, nationalist ideology.  Palestinian children are taught to hate all Jews and kill them wherever they can.  They are taught that Israel has no right to exist.  They are taught that any Palestinian (even a child) who wants to compromise with Israel is a traitor.

    You don't get many reasonable people in that kind of environment.  Some, to be sure, but not nearly enough.

    On the other side, Israelis live side-by-side with Arabs (except in the settlements, for security reasons) and are taught from a young age not to hate. Compare Israeli and Palestinian children's television.


    Sadly, (none / 0) (#63)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 02:20:24 AM EST
    That's the truth.  I am so old, I can remember when democrats and liberals supported Israel.

    Congressional Democrats and the GOP and (none / 0) (#65)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:39:04 AM EST
    the mainstream US media will be supporting Israel every inch of the way, as they've always done. They will all condone and enable the decimation of everything that moves in Gaza.

    The dissent you're seeing in some "liberal" blogs won't affect that outcome.


    You must not have read the front page (none / 0) (#70)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:20:52 PM EST
    of the Washington Post today.   I didn't see much support for Israel there.  They were very sympathic to people in Gaza who are being hit.  

    That's great; and if at least half of all (none / 0) (#71)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 04:42:22 PM EST
    the other major papers in the US follow suite, maybe the majority of Americans will start insisting that the Palestinian people deserve to be treated like human beings.

    Obama supports the premeditated mass murder (1.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Andreas on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:27:23 AM EST
    The WSWS writes:

    It strains credulity, however, that Israel would have carried out its actions without prior consultations not only with the Bush administration, but with the Obama camp as well. Rather than trying to push through its Gaza attack out of fear of a less sympathetic environment in Washington after Obama enters the White House, it is far more likely that the Israeli government was doing Obama a favor by carrying out a crime that he supported before he had to take public responsibility for it.

    The reality is that the Democratic president-elect has sworn to maintain US support for Israel and has repeatedly defended Israel's "right to self-defense," including during its criminal war against Lebanon in 2006 and in regard to its repeated attacks on Gaza. He has likewise promised to maintain the US pledge of $30 billion in arms aid to Israel over the next decade.

    Those he has chosen as his top aides--the congressman and former Israeli citizen Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff and his former presidential rival Hillary Clinton as secretary of state--are known for having criticized the Bush administration for being insufficiently supportive of Israeli aggression.

    During the election campaign last summer, Obama made a trip to the southern Israeli town of Sderot, which had been a target of rocket attacks from Gaza, to provide an explicit justification for the kind of assault now being waged.

    "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that," Obama said during the visit. "And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing." He uttered not a word of sympathy for the Palestinians and gave no indication of what actions he expected from parents in Gaza who have watched their children torn to pieces by US-supplied bombs and missiles.

    Meanwhile, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement providing an explicit endorsement of the Israeli bombing campaign. "When Israel is attacked," she said, "the United States must continue to stand strongly with its friend and democratic ally."

    The response of Obama and the Democrats to the ongoing atrocity in Gaza represents a stark warning. Far from representing a last gasp of militarist aggression on the part of the lame duck Bush administration, the assault on Gaza is an indication of the shape of things to come.

    The coming to office of the new Democratic administration will not spell an end to the crimes associated with US imperialism, but rather their continuation. Driven by the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, American militarism will play an ever more prominent role in Washington's desperate struggle against its rivals for the domination of dwindling markets and vital resources.

    Washington bears guilt for Gaza war crimes
    29 December 2008

    "mass murder" my rear end (3.66 / 3) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:30:48 AM EST
    Seriously, please.

    What would you call it? (none / 0) (#26)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 06:58:42 AM EST
    300+ dead in 2 days, civilians being bombed by f-16 fighter jets, what would you call it. I call it mass murder by a bunch of cowards who hide behind USA built military machines, who when they launched a ground war in Lebanon they got their clocks cleaned their asses handed to them. I call it mass-murder.

    The 300 (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:02:33 AM EST
    Are almost all Hamas fighters as I understand it.  The reason why it was so high, according to the BBC, was that usually Israel says they are going to attack and then the buildings they bomb are empty (this is by design), this time, by design, they lied and killed as many fighters as they could

    I guess that explains (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:06:21 AM EST
    why I'm seeing so many pictures of dead and maimed women and children being carried out of the rubble?

    Please.  We can debate whether what Israel is doing is a good idea or not, whether it's right or wrong, but let's not be so naive that we swallow that kind of preposterous propaganda.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by squeaky on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:15:18 PM EST
    The military said approximately 90 trucks were delivering medicine, fuel, cooking gas and other vital goods into Gaza. The shipment included a large donation of goods from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's wife as well as more than 150,000 gallons (400,000 liters) of fuel and 200 tons (180 metric tons) of natural gas, the military said.

    That was on Friday, the bombing started on Saturday.

    Israel had just delivered relief in the form of tons of food and supplies, generously donated by Egypt. Hamas was distributing the food and supplies when the bombing took place. The relief effort provided the target for Israeli to maximize the carnage.

    Sick and certainly a war crime, imo.


    No proof of any of this (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:37:56 AM EST
    Israel won't let the press in GAZA. I wonder why?

    Hamas fighters? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by bernardab on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:13:36 PM EST
    Bombing a police station with recruits who had nothing to do with launching rockets. That is hardly eliminating Hamas militants. Collective punishment has been recognized as a war crime for years. Israel has been doing it for almost as long.

    I seem to remember (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:44:51 AM EST
    that the F-16's didn't show up until after the rockets had fallen on Israel.

    Cause and effect, eh?


    WHere's the proof of these rockets, (none / 0) (#51)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:40:12 AM EST
    all I have seen is video of a small crater in the middle of a field. We are supposed to believe that Hamas has launched hundreds of missles into vacant lots, with no casualities? Give me a break, there is no property damage or casualities beacause the rocket attacks are a lie.

    Check out (3.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:40:28 AM EST
    A must for evryone's reading list (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:48:05 AM EST
    Leon Trotsky & the Post-Soviet School of Historical Falsification

    If you read (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:29:08 AM EST
    The Pillars of Hercules by Paul Theroux, you get a feel for what Hoxha did to Albania.

    Off topic (none / 0) (#18)
    by Andreas on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:38:40 AM EST
    Only Stalinists and ideological supporters of capitalism claim that "Albania under the then-current regime of the late Enver Hoxha" was a "workers' paradise".

    From an text published by the WSWS in 2003:

    Then there is the Revolutionary Communist Party, which is based on Maoism, the nationalist and petty-bourgeois outlook that disoriented a whole generation of youth in the backward countries and is responsible for the repressive and pro-capitalist policies of the Chinese Stalinist regime.

    History, program and the "unity of the left": an exchange of letters
    8 October 2003


    Oh, this is all kinds of awesome (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:48:52 AM EST
    I love the hard left's never ending and complicated conversation with. . .no one. My favorite quote, because it's classic:

    The Democratic Socialists of America is part of the Second International, which sent European workers into the slaughter of World War I and then emerged as a central prop of capitalist rule in Western Europe. Its sister parties today include Tony Blair's Labor Party, which provided crucial backing to Bush's war in Iraq. The DSA currently counts among its members AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, whose trade union federation, as is well known, collaborates in the counterrevolutionary activities of the CIA.[Emphasis Mine]

    Andgarden, do you have any interest (none / 0) (#21)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:30:07 AM EST
    in the question below about the number of recent Israeli fatalities/casualties caused by Hamas rockets. I'm assuming the numbers are higher than I've found thus far. Just wondering what others may have read on the subject.

    There have been very few... (none / 0) (#32)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:05:25 AM EST
    ... and -- so what?

    140 rocket attacks in two days (last Wed and Thrs).  How is Israel supposed to respond?

    Unless you're arguing that attempted murder is not a crime.


    Yes, "attempted murder" is a crime... (none / 0) (#57)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:56:06 PM EST
    but it is a considerably less grievous crime than "murder".

    But evidently, when it comes to Palestinians, you are suggesting that both crimes are equivalent and punishable by death.


    I've been doing google searches to (none / 0) (#19)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:45:44 AM EST
    determine how many Israelis have been killed and injured by Hamas rockets.

    I keep finding the same stats as are reported here by the UK Independent.

    *Israeli authorities claim that Hamas has launched 3000 rockets into Israel during the past year. Thus far, I am finding reports of just one fatality and only several injuries. Property damage is also minimal. If this is accurate, the rockets are doing far less damage than one would think.  

    Has anybody seen news reports of higher Israeli fatality/injury counts from Hamas rockets? It's harder to put these events in perspective without a full and accurate record.


    gosh no, it isn't. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 03:31:42 AM EST
    Has anybody seen news reports of higher Israeli fatality/injury counts from Hamas rockets? It's harder to put these events in perspective without a full and accurate record.

    let me simplify this for you:

    hamas shoots rockets into israel. what, if anything they hit, is irrelevant. israel has every right, if the palestinian authority is powerless to do so, to take whatever measures it deems necessary to stop those rockets from being launched.

    again, let me stress this:


    if a radical group, based in either mexico or canada, were doing the same thing to the US, and neither country's governments were able to stop them, we would be well within our rights to do it ourselves. if those rockets hit in the desert or forests, it would make absolutely no difference whatever.

    there, i hope i cleared that up for you.


    Sorry, I thought DEATH (3.00 / 2) (#24)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:05:34 AM EST
    was, you know, RELEVANT.

    You just said:


    Surely, you don't think it is "irrelevant" if Hamas rockets hit Israeli civilians? Do you?.

    I think it is very relevant and I want every injury and fatality to enter the public record, as the public usually demands in matters of life and death.


    Are you claiming (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:48:03 AM EST
    that Hamas has such a targeting system that they can keep the rockets from hitting people?

    Evidently most Hamas rockets are substandard (none / 0) (#56)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:46:41 PM EST
    and outmoded. I don't know of any credible source who would argue otherwise. it's common knowledge that Hamas rockets usually fall short of their target and don't cause massive damage when they do land on target.

    The record shows that the damage Hamas has caused to Israel is a drop in the bucket relative to the destruction Israel has wrought upon the Palestinians. Israel is clearly using massive disproportionate force.

    *This fact would be all the more clear if we had a full and accurate record of the deaths, injuries and property damage on both sides. It's safe to conclude that this information is  suppressed and obscured because the comparison is not at all flattering to Israel and its American benefactor.


    So you think it is okay (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 06:52:37 PM EST
    to try and kill people as long as the weapons are "old?"



    I'm saying there is a HUGE difference between (none / 0) (#60)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 07:12:48 PM EST
    being dead and being alive. Likewise, there is a HUGE difference between attempting to kill somebody and actually killing somebody.

    Do the laws of your country fail to make that distinction?

    *Ask yourself, would you prefer to be in Israel where you stand a very good chance of not being hit by a sub-par Hamas rocket?

    *Or would you prefer to be on the Gaza Strip where you stand a very good chance of being killed by state-of-the-art, Israeli F-16 bombers?


    This is easy (none / 0) (#1)
    by pmj6 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:04:37 PM EST
    He'll "lean" on Hamas and sing paeans to Israel's right to defend itself.

    I take it the Bush doctrine (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 10:59:41 PM EST
    of sitting them down and telling them to "stop this s%&$" is no longer being considered?

    I think Obama and Clinton will appoint a dedicated envoy- possibly Dennis Ross. Neither Obama nor Clinton will not be doing the day to day handling of this.

    Aargh - I mean (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:04:14 PM EST
    neither will be doing, not neither will not be doing.

    Also I'll add that the envoy will be going after that second NYT option.  I don't think Obama will be harsher on Israel right out of the gate.


    YUp (none / 0) (#62)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 02:18:26 AM EST
    We need only read this thread to know that liberals want him to put down Israel, tell them to sit down and shut up and let Hamas continue to bomb away.  

    Exactly what I was afraid of, liberals turning their backs on Israel.  


    Some (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:58:11 AM EST
    Hamas intel from one point of view.

    I love Strategy (none / 0) (#25)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 05:10:59 AM EST
    page, been reading it for years.  Spot on.

    Obama (none / 0) (#28)
    by Juan Gomez on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 07:38:05 AM EST
    Well, it's fairly obvious, but the struggle for peace is a long one.  Sustained, intelligent engagement over decades is what is needed.  The most important times are those when few in the world are paying attention.  Subtle pressure on Israeli and Palestinian politicians during lulls in the violence that help build trust.  W's lack of engagement and complete acceptance of the status quo has set us back more than a decade.  

    At the moment it's important to maintain (regain) credibility with civilians on both sides and call out politicians and movements for exploiting fear and hate in their policies.  I'd suggest Obama express disappointment in the current chain of events and express an intent to get us back to 1999.  It won't be easy.  There are elements on both sides who have been working every day of the Bush administration to bury the prospect of peace.    These folks need to be called out by some one eloquent and someone with a big microphone.  Still, the good guys don't even  have a prospect of winning for another 4 elections.  I don't even know who they are.

    They could go in through Egypt (none / 0) (#34)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:14:08 AM EST
    no, wait, Egypt is not letting them in either.  Why not criticize them, too?

    And, while we're at it, I'd note that Egypt thought that the situation was mostly the fault of Hamas for their rocket attacks.  Abbas of Fatah agreed.

    Where's the proof of these (none / 0) (#35)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:21:04 AM EST
    rocket attacks. I have seen none. How many civilian deaths in Israel from "rocket" attacks? If Egypt isn't letting the press in then they should be criticized as well. What is your defense for Israel not letting the press in?

    You want proof of rocket attacks?!?! (none / 0) (#36)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:46:16 AM EST
    Here is a story from AP from last Thursday.  Note a few quotes:

    The Egyptian president on Thursday urged Israel to show restraint in responding to renewed rocket and mortar barrages from the Gaza Strip, and said he also wanted the militant Palestinian Hamas to halt its fire immediately.

    Gee, I guess there must've been "rocket and mortar barrage".

    But after militants pummeled Israel with more than 80 rockets and mortars on Monday [Dec 22], Livni dismissed that option

    And while we're at it, read the following, from here:

    Hamas could have prevented the "massacre" in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday in Cairo.

    "We spoke to them and told them 'Please, we ask you not to end the cease-fire. Let it continue,'" Abbas said during a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. "We want to protect the Gaza Strip. We don't want it to be destroyed."

    Abbas called on Hamas to renew the cease-fire with Israel to avoid further bloodshed in Gaza.

    Aboul Gheit also attacked Hamas, saying the group had prevented people wounded in the Israeli offensive from passing into Egypt to receive medical attention.

    Any deaths from (none / 0) (#42)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:54:33 AM EST
    all these rocket attacks? I didn't think so!

    oh, it's only attempted murder (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:08:17 AM EST
    Is that Hamas's defense?  "Oh, yes, we tried to kill you, but we missed.  Therefore, please don't react."

    Israel's only supposed to be react if someone gets killed?



    You seem to always miss the point (1.00 / 1) (#47)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:20:28 AM EST
    There are no deaths because the attacks are a lie. I want to hear your argument supporting the deaths of innocent unarmed civillians. If you are pro-war and pro-death than just admikt it,not sure why your reading and commenting on a liberal blob. Being a death merchant and war monger is traditionally a liberal trait.

    hard to find evidence (none / 0) (#37)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:02:10 AM EST
    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:26:54 PM EST
    by Uncle Dad had profanity and was deleted. If he does it again, he's banned from the site.

    uncledad, we're lucky we don't have to experience (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycvoter on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:50:03 AM EST
    what the Israeli's do on a daily basis.  You only have to listen to any news source (including Hamas statements boasting of the attacks) to know that Hamas has been sending multiple (sometimes 60-80 per day) rockets over the border to Israel.  They did it through out the cease fire ended but really stepped it up last week. It's nearly impossible to imagine the terror of having random bombs dropped on your town every day. Families sending kids to school knowing at least once during the day they will end up in a bomb shelter.  This has been going on for over a year.  

    Hamas has failed to bring along any kind of day to day life for the people of Gaza that has anything to do with anything outside of creating martyrs and fighting with Fatah.  They could have tried to build a non-corrupt civil government in Gaza to gain world support for pushing a peace process with Israel with a two state solution.  Instead they have chosen violence.  I have a lot of sympathy for those Palestinian families that just want to live in peace and have a normal day, but they have to become the leaders of their society in order to meet Israel half way.

    I would say (1.00 / 2) (#43)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:58:46 AM EST
    Imagine you have to live in an armed camp, you cannot leave, your relatives cannot visit. You have no access to hospitals, fresh water, food, basic services. That is what the palastinians live like. I have no pity for Israeli citizens, that is what you get when you steal someones land. I am pointing out that we have no idea what is really happening there. We only hear what the Zionist american media wants us to hear. A story always has two sides, in this case we only get one side.

    You can imagine it . . . (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:10:47 AM EST
    but it's not true.

    I've been to the West Bank.  It's not an armed camp.

    As for Gaza, might you want to guess why the border is sealed between it and Israel?  Think it might have anything to do with terrorism?

    And it's the same reason that Egypt seals the boarder between it and Gaza.  To protect itself from terrorism.

    Funny -- Israel and Egypt agree on something.


    Wrong (none / 0) (#48)
    by uncledad on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    Eygpt has sealed it borders because they cannot afford to deal with the refugees, people desperate to flee from the ZIonist bombs. Nme one terroist attack on Egypt by a palistinian, you can't, see your argument is very thin, it is hard to justify the killing of innocent civilians isn't it?

    Maybe the "Zionist American media" (none / 0) (#49)
    by NYShooter on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:31:06 AM EST
    Should report on all the Palestinian students studying to become doctors, teachers, and engineers while Israeli parents are teaching their children how to strap on explosive belts so they too can become martyrs.

    WSWS on Hamas and rockets (none / 0) (#66)
    by Andreas on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:12:55 AM EST
    In reply to those who defend or deny that Hamas has fired rockets into Israel here is what the WSWS wrote today on that issue:

    while it is necessary to defend Hamas against the ongoing assassination of its leaders and the unending vilification of its supporters as "terrorists" by those inflicting massive state terror against a civilian population, this Islamist movement has no real perspective for confronting and defeating the US-Israeli offensive.

    The firing of rockets into southern Israel was aimed at convincing Israel to negotiate a lifting of economic sanctions, just as its talk of renewed "martyr operations," sending young Palestinians to blow themselves up in Israeli cafes and buses, is similarly designed to pressure the Zionist regime.

    No one has benefited more from the domination of nationalism and Islamism in the Arab countries than the Zionist regime itself. There is no nationalist way out of the present morass.

    Creating another national mini-state in the region will not provide a solution to the decades-old dispossession of the Palestinians. The division of the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli settlements, security roads, checkpoints and walls make it clear that such a territory could represent only a Bantustan-type prison, with a Palestinian bourgeois nationalist regime serving as its guards.

    Israeli officials have made it clear that they see the so-called "peace process" as a means of creating just such a monstrosity, dubbed the "two-state solution," in order to lay the political foundations for expelling Israel's own million-strong Arab population, a massive exercise in ethnic cleansing.

    This maniacal perspective, like the attack on Gaza itself, is a manifestation of the political bankruptcy and crisis of Zionism. The Israeli state and all of its major parties are subordinate to a military camarilla. The regime staggers from one reckless military adventure to another--from Lebanon to Gaza and, on the horizon, to Iran--inflicting destruction on civilian populations while horrifying and demoralizing large sections of Israel's own people. ...

    A genuine struggle against Zionism is conceivable only on the basis of a class struggle that transcends national boundaries, uniting Arab and Jewish workers based upon their common class interests. Outside of a class perspective, which seeks the independent and united mobilization of both Arab and Israeli workers, there is no real means of dealing a deathblow to Zionism and imperialism in the Middle East.

    The Gaza crisis and the perspective of permanent revolution
    30 December 2008

    Keep bombing (none / 0) (#73)
    by FredFelch on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 12:47:41 PM EST
    I say keep bombing the f u c k e r s. They deserve it.