Zombies march on Gaza

A few day’s ago, Arthur posted the following comment in the old Marwan Barghouti thread.  I’m reposting it here, followed by my own thoughts about current events in Gaza.

Arthur’s comment:

This topic seems a good reminder about the hazards of prediction in commenting on the latest Israeli outrage.

Not having been following events recently, let alone expected the latest, its difficult to be confident in analysing what’s going on.

But for what it’s worth, the parallels with both the previous murderous assault on Lebanon and Nixon’s Christmas bombing of Hanoi, again strike me as eerie.

As was obvious at the time, though hardly noticed, the main point of killing a thousand or so Lebanese was to establish a clear understanding among all but the looniest sections of Israeli opinion, of the fact that it’s pointless, that the old policies have failed and they will have to back off generally.

The better understood point of telling the world that they are still able to beat up their neighbours was quite secondary – since nobody serious doubted it.

The main point of outraging world opinion by the Xmas bombing of Hanoi was to prepare the way for agreeing to withdraw completely only a few weeks later. Such gestures disorient the diehards on one’s own side by keeping them so busy defending the indefensible that they lack energy, inclination or credibility for obstructing the subsequent “triumphant” or “defiant” retreat.

If the Israeli leadership really was hoping to restore its “strategic credibility” by actually going into Gaza with more success than they went into Lebanon, the advantage of surprise has been lost by so much shouting.

Nor am I aware of any evidence that they either still need to prove it would be pointless to a significant section of their own public opinion, or are unaware of that fact themselves.

So, let’s assume they just keep bombing for a while, and stop when the world gets hostile enough about it. Then what?

The only plausible “exit plan” I can see is that both sides agree on an actual permanent ceasefire, with Gaza’s borders open instead of still under an absurdly prolonged Israeli occupation blockade, long after the Israeli occupation became completely untenable.

That gets seen as victory for Israel and defeat for Hamas by those who want to see things that way, just as the Vietnamese were supposed to have been bombed into allowing the Americans to withdraw with honour, and Hezbollah was forced to let the Israelis stay out of Lebanon, and forced to join the Lebanese government!

Ok, well it was also obvious that the Republicans could not possibly be serious about running what’s his name, and that Condi was their real candidate…I narrowly escaped making an actual prediction rather than a hopeful speculation on that, so I’m certainly not making any predictions on imminent events in the Middle East.

But I won’t be among the perplexed if this bullshit turns out to be a harbinger of an imminent outbreak of peace.


The hazards of prediction are well exposed  in two articles published here by me, last year: How goes the war for greater Israel? (June)  and Marwan Barghouti: 25 August! In both articles, I stuck my neck out by predicting that the Israelis were about to release Marwan Barghouti.  Trends are one thing, but the confusion of general trends with the ability to predict even the next week’s actual events is quite another! The conclusion I draw is the familiar one, to be written by me 100 times on the blackboard.

I must not draw any direct conclusions from general policies.

Now where was I?  Oh yes.

Marwan Barghouti has now become the central player in the eyes of the competing Israeli leadership as they have just launched a war to smash Hamas, and in doing so cut Abbas adrift to go the way of Olmert.  Like Bush and Howard, they are  now yesterdays men.

The Israeli leadership intends to make it possible for this soon-to-be released and rapidly emerging leader of the Palestinian people to reintegrate Hamasstan with the West Bank during the coming handover period.  They want to hand over not just the West Bank piece by piece,  but also the Gaza strip, piece by piece, once they have cut it up again.

We really are now in the end stage of the failed war for greater Israel.  The next stage will be the establishment of an Israeli goverment  that can legitimately conclude the war in the eyes of its own people.

IMV,  the assault by Israeli ground forces won’t risk going  in deep enough to bring on dozens of Israeli casualties (that would mostly certainly give Netanyahu the next election). That means that there will be depth for retreat to urban centers, as the Israelis methodically advance.  But Gaza will be cut up , surrounded and subjected to a brutal siege.

Surprise cannot  be meaningfully achieved in this type of war (without finding yourself deep in where you don’t want to be,  engaged in Stalingrad rubble fighting and taking far more casualties than you have to).  The Israelis intend to take control of open ground, and surround urban centers.   They are not playing close and kill, but stand off and butcher.  So surprise is not required of the ground force.  Rather,  brutal artillery work is required.

Given that that 40 years on, it’s actually quite clear that Israel has lost this war, the current  military operation is not trying for conventional “victory”.  Israeli  forces will demonstrate their  brutal artillery might but will do nothing which risks substantial casualties on their own side. However, they do intend to smash Hamas, and that means that Abbas will be the  collateral damage. As far as I can see,  Abbas is virtually finished.  The popular imprisoned leader,  Marwan Barghouti , is now ‘the great hope’.

But what of the current outrage in the context of my remarks last year, in  How goes the war for greater Israel? ?

The obvious answer as we head to the 42nd anniversary of this war, is more than just ‘not good’.  The reality  is that this damn war has failed and what we are seeing now is the grotesque and murderous march of the undead Zombies / Zionists. This war reflects Barak’s personality, in that while it is tremendously one-sided, it is still high risk.

What a difference from the way things looked six days after this war was launched!   Forty years (and many thousands of Palestinian, plus some thousands of Israeli lives) later,  the ‘victory’ has now clearly gone the other way.  But still,  we are right in the midst of yet another murderous Zionist attack on the Palestinian people. How does this make sense?  What are they up to?

Arthur said ‘…the parallels with both the previous murderous assault on Lebanon, and Nixon’s Christmas bombing of Hanoi again strike me as eerie.’

Contrary to Arthur, I don’t think that in Lebanon, Olmert was trying to demonstrate to Israeli public opinion that continuing the war is all “quite hopeless” and it’s time to “back off generally”. The way Olmert conducted  that stage of the war,  just put him in an enormous political hole.  I think it is better explained by seeing the Israeli leaders as just typical reactionaries. In that case they reacted, their inflated view of themselves mcausing them to believe  that they were still capable of dishing it out, as in the past. (Much like Bush, even when on the right side).  So they rushed in,  copped some grief, and were forced to  regroup and take every opportunity to end that front of the failed war, as soon as they got the opportunity.  I’m thinking it’s more like walking and chewing gum.

Arthur says; ‘The main point of outraging world opinion by the Xmas bombing of Hanoi was to prepare the way for agreeing to withdraw completely only a few weeks later. Such gestures disorient the diehards on one’s own side by keeping them so busy defending the indefensible that they lack energy, inclination or credibility for obstructing the subsequent “triumphant” or “defiant” retreat.’

In fact, the US would have already have done the deal since it was settled in October.  In my view, Nixon launched the Christmas bombing in order to mislead the leadership of South Vietnam (who were successfully misled by it).

It’s worth looking at this newly released audio of Nixon and Kissinger discussing the Christmas bombing, just declassified as far as I can tell, that’s well worth a listen (took me ten times to hear it all. Anyone want to transcribe it?).


Anyway, although I don’t know for sure about Nixon’s motives, I do know that imperialist disregard for the lives of common people, as they order this or that “show of force”, can still amaze me.

Yet for all that, I am trapped with a firm understanding (that I’m sure I share with the political leaders in Israel), that the war for greater Israel remains a failed war!

Nevertheless, they still have to get it ended, and in order to do so, they have to hold power.   Olmert couldn’t get it done and will go down in history for having failed.  Nixon did not fail.  But then Nixon was a president, and Olmert, only a PM.

I don’t know how bad this latest round of Zionist bastardry will get, but the Israeli spokespeople say it’s going to go on for some time. Since I don’t have solid grounds to doubt them,  I suspect it could get quite a bit worse, although I  hope it won’t.  After seven days, there are already around 500 dead, and the attacks have been designed neither to please the international community, nor to win any Palestinian hearts and minds, wherever they live. What’s more, it’s been clear from the beginning that there’s no chance that such attacks can achieve what the Israeli government says it wants.  So what is it all about?  When will there be enough killing and destruction for the Israeli government to claim victory, withdraw, and then implement the policy changes that it must.

This is both a strategic war and an election war.  They may get a truce in a couple of weeks and that  would hold till after the elections,  or they may keep butchering all the way through to that election.  Provided there are few Israeli casualties, the whole affair can still be framed as an Israeli victory.   There’s a good chance that it will have the effect of convincing the Israeli electorate that the current government is as tough as is required, and that Netanyahu would be unable to do anything tougher.

I suspect there is a grim determination on the part of the Israeli leadership to leave a death toll in Gaza that well tops the 1,000 mark.  I also believe this mass slaughter has been planned for some time.  (This makes it unlike  Lebanon where they quickly, and with a degree of overconfidence, reacted to events.  They  now have that experience to draw on and will  be engaging with far more strategy.  Also the terrain is different and the enemy less well armed and prepared).  Their war planners will have presented the grim figures of the death toll achievable in Gaza with even a limited ground assault. )

It’s quite clear to me that the Israeli government is currently more than just divided.  They have been pushed by Barak into giving him a good shot at being the next PM.  They are all prepared to take some risks with the direction in which the Palestinian people may swing because they know that in the end, they can do the deal and release Barghouti.  He is clearly capable of doing the job of pulling the entire Palestinian people together in the way required for a Palestinian State to get up and running.  Knowing this, allows the  Israelis feel free to continue  targeting  Hamas until they get what they already have got!

In order to actually “defeat’ Hamas, Israel would have  force the concession from them that the ceasefire be permanent or  Gaza will be handed bit by bit back to the PA.  However as I understand it, that won’t be on offer, other than in a formulation that the occupation is ended and such a  deal be submitted to a referendum.

Arthur says;  ‘The only plausible “exit plan” I can see is that both sides agree on an actual permanent ceasefire, with Gaza’s borders open instead of still under an absurdly prolonged Israeli occupation blockade, long after the Israeli occupation became completely untenable.”

International monitoring is all about monitoring borders between enemies, so I take all this talk of monitoring as the Israelis declaring that they want to stop, and that they will not violate the Palestinian border any more, and keep killing  at will,  as a aggressive power of occupation, provided that the PA in partnership with Hamas, agrees to suppress any force like Islamic Jihad etc which wants to launch attacks against Israel.  Monitors are not much good for the now friendly Egyptian border.  They just won’t work, and wouldn’t do so even if Mubarak was a strong leader and not already  heading for the scrap heap.

I suppose that Arthur is correct in saying:

‘That gets seen as victory for Israel and defeat for Hamas by those who want to see things that way,  just as the Vietnamese were supposed to have been bombed into allowing the Americans to withdraw with honour, and Hezbollah was forced to let the Israelis stay out of Lebanon, and forced to join the Lebanese government!’

As I’ve already mentioned,  this latest atrocity is clearly in the interests of Ehud Barak et al. Provided it can be carried off with minimal Israeli casualties, it will have the effect of demonstrating that an alternative (Netanyahu led) government could not produce a  tougher response to the pin prick Hamas rockets.

Of course those rockets continue because Israel continues not to uphold a truce with Hamas AND the continuing occupation has created a  massive, angry  prison right alongside Israel. This problem won’t go away until the failed war for greater Israel has  been brought to an end.  None of these politicians really believe that there’s any other solution. It just hasn’t happened because the Israeli politicians can’t get the numbers right to both do the required deal and hold on to personal political power.  So hundreds more Palestinians get slaughtered because this Zombie leadership is unable to get its act together .

So several years on from 9/11 we repeat the now all too  familiar question “how goes the war for greater Israel?’ and everyone answers yet AGAIN ‘not good’. But still no finality.

This Zionist bastardry is going to harm Abbas, and the Zionists don’t care because he is yesterday’s man.  It’s going to harm Mubarak, and they don’t care because he is also yesterday’s man.  It will upset the Lebanese and the Syrians,  but they don’t mind because the same deal will be done with them happy or not happy.   It can’t be a way of shutting  the Gaza prison even tighter because it will have exactly the opposite effect since the Egyptian side of the border will become even ‘blinder’ in practice,  monitors or no monitors.  The prison wall can’t be established again so that can’t be the goal of this action.

I say it’s both an election stunt and yet another stage in the failed war.   With regard to the latter, it seems to be  an attempt to dismember Hamastan (to the extent they can)   and prepare the way for an  integrated Palestinian state.

And no, I didn’t predict this.  But nevertheless this entire  stream of events remains best explained as part of the endgame of the war for greater Israel . I think we are almost certainly now viewing the last scenes of the final Act. But….

14 Responses to “Zombies march on Gaza”

  1. 1 Arthur

    Re Xmas bombing of Hanoi. Supporters of the puppet regime in south Vietnam and its (important) lobby in the US were certainly the main diehards on the US side that the bombing was intended to disorient and neutralise. But I wouldn’t put in terms of “misleading” the puppet regime. In fact the same newspapers that carried banner headlines of the bombing and the unfolding worldwide protests also carried the largely unnoticed paragraph or two on the fact that Nixon had cut off all aid to the “Republic of South Vietnam” until they agreed to sign the already drafted final peace agreement which they had flatly refused to do, spelling out that this would be signing their own death warrant. (Noticing that small news item at the time enabled me to take bets at the demos that the agreement would be signed within weeks, thus leading to subsequent over confidence in predictability 😉

    Re Israel cutting up Gaza and handing it back to PA piece by piece. That makes absolutely no sense to me. More plausible objective is to demonstrate what they failed to demonstrate in Lebanon – that they can and will stay and inflict collective punishment until rocket fire abates (whether through depletion, suppression or agreement), and then present that to themselves as though it is some sort of strategic victory, best followed up by an immediate long term peace agreement.

    Already there’s seems to be some hint of Israel wanting international monitors, which is precisely what they have been trying to avoid throughout the failed war.

    The propaganda line emphasizes that all they want is an end to rocket attacks. Even the Likudniks are chanting that with immense satisfaction about how good it sounds, hardly noticing that it implies abandoning the previous goals for which they have fought for four decades.

    That’s the striking parallel with Vietnam. When Nixon “escalated” to “win” a “peace with honour” by insisting on the return of every P.O.W. it became a war for the return of P.O.W.’s. The right got so worked up and impassioned about it, that it became part of the national psyche. They were completely disoriented and demobilised that when Saigon “fell” a few years later, there were only scattered mumblings about perfidious Hanoi not having kept some non-existent promise to miraculously keep the puppet regime upright after the strings had been cut. There was no backlash about “who lost Vietnam”? (Curiously, this was so successful that even now we see liberals swooning over Obama with comparisons to Kennedy, who started the Vietnam warand associating the Democrats as the party of peace, while regarding the Republicans who got out of it, as the party of war).

    Re Israeli elections, I haven’t been following them, but I don’t see much basis for assuming that a government dominated by Barak’s opponents is going out of its way to assist him for fear of Netanyahu.

    On the strategic issues there’s no reason to assume Netanyahu would be any less likely to recognize the war has been lost than Sharon was, and like Sharon, he could well find it easier than is opponents to demobilize opposition to accepting defeat.

  2. 2 patrickm

    Arthur said ‘…I don’t see much basis for assuming that a government dominated by Barak’s opponents is going out of its way to assist him for fear of Netanyahu.’

    The current Israeli government is a coalition that was staring at political defeat in an immanent election.  By going to war, an extremely fluid situation has been established and that coalition is back in the hunt.  Barak is in a government where all are opponents and all are allies. Those who launched this murderous, bloody, slaughter do all want to remain in the government, and political parties are not ‘what they used to be’.   There is the little matter of them being (even in PR Israel) substantially Tweedledee and Tweedledum parties.  They are first of all in a numbers game, and after the vote, the numbers could break in any one of three ways.

    In South Australia, two elections back, the numbers were split right down the middle between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, with one independent who was a former member of Dee, still remaining to decide the issue.  He ended up forming the new government with Dum, after being offered the Speaker’s post! (Plus given promises on a pile of other demands including electoral reforms).  Then that unstable government with the independent Speaker carrying on like an Emperor, became stable by the political dealing of the new Premier, as he offered another independent supporter of Dee and the only National party member Ministerial posts, and they accepted.  Cabinet solidarity and all that!  All the former promises to the Speaker were then shelved. What ought to have been an unstable Dee government became a stable Dum government.

    Barak has no chance of becoming popular enough to see his Party’s vote overtake Kadima’s, and for him to become the leader of the largest party in a  potential new coalition government.  But he doesn’t have to achieve that impossibility to become PM.  Barak only has to be able to form a government against the efforts of two others to do the same.  After the 10th of February vote, the numbers will be thrown into the air again and Netanyahu and Livni and Barak will try to form a government. 

    The polling for some time has indicated that Netanyahu would get the numbers.  Olmert is only caretaker PM still because Livni could not do it before the elections, even though she is leader of the biggest party in the current government.

    The latest polling since this violence started has Barak’s party up from 11 to 16 seats and he is a now a national military hero and current defense Minister and former PM, who is clearly leading this mostly popular war.  That’s about 1 seat for every 100 Palestinians deaths at this point! 

    He is seen as very much as a leader, not just of his minor party but potentially of a coalition, depending on how the numbers break. 

    If an election was held now, polling has Kadima at 28 and Likud at 28!  But then there are all the others on the left and the right. Nothing is clear but that there is a real struggle for the prize of forming the government and being PM.  Barak is now well in the hunt. 

    Netanyahu, Livni, or Barak will be PM and it matters a great deal to each of them who that PM is.  Without this war Netanyahu was apparently strolling to the prize, therefore Livni needed the war to get her chance, but self evidently couldn’t get her chance without increasing Barak’s chances as well.

    This is only 34 days away from resolution, and the problem for Netanyahu is that unless the military stuff up the plans, producing a disaster he has now been made an irrelevancy, with nothing to add to convince swinging voters that he is the way to go.  

    Both Livni and Barak are sucking up all the oxygen of publicity.  They have the momentum and I don’t think they are unduly tainted by association with Olmert, who the Israeli public has seen as an issue that’s effectively already dealt with.

    The swinging voters are all that matter, to create new numbers to throw in the air and in this situation IMV, they will see Barak and Livni, or Livni and Barak as safer hands.  The anti-war electorate will keep their numbers.  So where is the polling increase for Barak coming from?  Livni is going to attract some level of swinging women’s vote from Netanyahu, and Barak could be wining back much of the vote that was drifting to Netanyahu as a result of the poor showing over Lebanon, and or that was drifting that way because they wanted to see a tougher approach to the Palestinians

    I just noticed the following saying something similar.http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24866269-15084,00.html

  3. 3 Arthur

    I don’t think it’s productive to attempt that level of detail on analysis of Israeli internal politics.

    Nor is it obvious that the current war will be popular. A substantial majority enthusiastically support bombing Gaza, but only about 20% supported an invasion. There is the usual rallying around the flag and that may well influence the election. But the initial flag waving period will be over by polling day, and the influence of the actual results achieved and casualties could also be simply a wider cynicism about everyone and everything (a fairly dominant mood).

    As far as I can see, it isn’t a three way election. Only two parties are capable of forming a government and Barak is not a leader of either of them.

    The decision to launch a war was a government consensus, not an initiative on behalf of Barak.

    Rabinovich’s article is very enthusiastic promotion of Barak alongside enthusiastic propaganda for Israel. That doesn’t imply that Barak is a popular politician in Israel. As far as I know, he’s one of the least popular, and especially hated by other leaders.

    Anyway, focus should be on the Israel/Palestine struggle, and overall situation in middle east, not on Israeli election politics.

    As far as “external” factors are concerned, the relationships among Hamas, Fateh and Mubarek and the Muslim Brotherhood seem far more relevant than those among Israeli parties.

  4. 4 GuruJane

    Patrick and Arthur:  if you continue this dialogue it would be useful if you were to acknowledge that the proportionately representative democratic electoral system chosen by the Iraqis is identical to that adopted by the (largely communist/Left derived)/secular Zionists 60 years ago in Israel. 

    You should please factor in the part the Zionists have played in modernising the Middle East? The Zionist Right surrendered in the war for Greater Israel five years ago as soon as the Baath regime had been removed in Iraq and the US made plain its intention to install a proper democracy there by dismantling the Baath army and banning the Baath Party. From that moment, Sharon and the Zionist Right surrendered to history.

    The current war with Hamas in Gaza is a war for and against formal Arab/Palestinian recognition of the jewish state and the advance of democracy in the ME. It is nothing to do with Greater Israel.

  5. 5 GuruJane

    As to the comparisions of this war with any aspects of the Vietnam War, only one point needs to be made: for Israel as a jewish state, this war and all its wars since 1947 have been existential. For the US, Vietnam was not.

    As for Lebanon 2006: Hizbollah, as a threat to Israel, was nullified for many years by that war as can clearly be seen by subsequent events, including Hizbullah’s lack of interest in starting a 2nd front in support of its religious fundi (but Sunni) brethryn in Gaza as it did in 2006. Again, that was an existential war from Israel’s perspective, not an expansionary war for Greater Israel.

    Finally, I don’t know why the unreconstructed maoists keep hanging their hats on fundamentalist, irrational religous jihadi fanatics just because it’s Israel!  Historically Hamas is gonna go the same way as the Sunni and Shiite jihadi crazies in Iraq and the Palestinian state will probably end up having a constitution and right of return very similar to Israel’s.

  6. 6 Arthur

    1. The PR system in both Iraq and Israel is fine. Other aspects of Israeli politics ensure that it is used within a similar context to the old Democrat primaries in the US. Arabs know they are not part of the system. Zionist governments are formed from coalitions of Zionist parties while Arab members of the legislature are basically token onlookers.

    2. Zionists like imperialists generally, have played contradictory roles in the middle east. On the one hand the Palestinians can “thank” Zionist oppression for being amongst the more modern Arabs, on the other hand, Zionism has helped maintain the whole autocratic swamp.

    3. Neither the Zionist Right nor the Left surrendered 5 years ago. Their position became completely untenable for the reasons Guru Jane mentioned, but they still haven’t actually ended the occupation of either the West Bank or Gaza, even though they do know it is inevitable and have been adapting towards that inevitability.

    4. There is no such thing as a “war for formal recognition”. The concept is patently absurd. Numerous states have refused to recognize each other or armistice borders without maintaining decades of occupation and conflict. Wars are fought for territory etc, not for recognition. The stark reality is that Israelis still do not recognize the Palestinians as a state, and still occupy the whole territory of that state. To distract attention from that they complain about Palestinians not recognizing them. This is as bizarre as if the British had maintained occupation of Eire because the Irish wouldnt recognize British rule in Ulster.

    5. The current war has everything to do with Greater Israel. The Zionist leadership knows that that cause is lost but they are still stuck withh hundreds of thousands of settlers who are in denial, and it is too gutless to confront them without first demonstrating how tough they are against Arabs.

  7. 7 Arthur

    Also worth mentioning on the electoral system is the differences between Israel’s Jewish State and Iraq’s Federal State.Inevitably the three major communities in Iraq still tend to vote (overwhelmingly) as community blocs – Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shia just as Arabs and Jews do in Israel (in both cases there are multiple parties in each bloc). But a federal constitution requires compromises so that instead of a purely Shia majoritarian government even the Sunni minority has been an active participant in government politicking since it ended its boycott. That was a necessity for viable democratic development in a country with three major communities just as Israel’s unitary state is a necessity for a country that regards a major part of its citizens as a “demographic threat” and lives in fear of the day that Palestinians cease to regard themselves as a conquered people.

  8. 8 GuruJane

    4. The war against formal recognition of Israel is not patently absurd to Hamas. That’s the war they have been fighting against the PLO and PA since the Oslo recognition in 1993 – 16 years now.Thankfully, it is very hard to believe that Egypt and Jordan will not take advantage of the IDF’s destruction of Gaza to rid themselves of the Muslim Brotherhood and restore the lawful government of the Palestinian people to Gaza – ie, the Palestinian Authority. After which I would expect that the PA will try the remaining Hamas leaders for their war crimes against the people. Not the least for constructing bunkers and tunnels for themselves but providing no, repeat no, bomb shelters for the people.

  9. 9 Arthur

    I gather Guru Jane has given up analysis. Nothing there worth responding to.

  10. 10 GuruJane

    Arthur. You are clearly displeased. Personally am analysed out on this issue. All I can do is repeat what I said in a previous post:  ie:  I don’t know why the unreconstructed maoists keep hanging their hats on fundamentalist, irrational religous jihadi fanatics just because it’s Israel. Nothing you have posted subsequently has addressed this.

  11. 11 Arthur

    Guru Jane, I responded to each of the points you made with numbered replies. Your other remarks seem to be basically incoherent propaganda mutterings from which it is difficult to extract anything to reply to.Since you insist I will attempt to unpack this:

    I don’t know why the unreconstructed maoists keep hanging their hats on fundamentalist, irrational religous jihadi fanatics just because it’s Israel.

    It’s natural for someone like dalec to fail to understand something and then automatically conclude that since his own perceptions could not possibly be faulty, simply announcing his own incomprehension is a useful contribution to discussion.

    From Guru Jane it is more disappointing. Since it obviously would not make any sense for maoists to “hang our hats” (whatever that means) on jihadi fanatics (presumably referring to forces like Al Qaeda), the conclusion ought to be that we don’t, so you need to think more deeply about what we are saying or at least attempt to demonstrate the correctness of your assumptions – both that Hamas are jihadis, and that we are actually supporting them rather than opposing Israeli terrorism. Adding “just because its israel” clarifies nothing, except that your analytical failure is probably induced by the usual Zionist delusion/pretence that objection to racist, colonialist policies and war crimes should spare Israel, and that when it doesn’t, this is unfair/anti-semitic.

    Hamas is not jihadi, nor especially fanatical (eg compared with Likud). It is fundamentalist and therefore irrationally religious, as are other forces whose right not to be subjected to terrorist bombing you have defended yourself such as the dominant Shia parties in Iraq (and also the dominant Sunni party there which, like Hamas, is part of the same Muslim Brotherhood as the Egyptian opposition).

    The terrorist bombers in this case have an airforce, but there is nothing remotely perplexing about unreconstructed maoists opposing them.

    As for what you say “it is very hard to believe” won’t happen, there isn’t the slightest indication of any of it happening nor any reason to suppose you actually do believe it will happen.

  12. 12 dalec

    Thought you all might like to buy and read this book. It certainly makes much of what you say on this site comprehensible.http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/culture/books/justify_this

  13. 13 Arthur

    Best slogan at Sunday’s (large) Melbourne rally:”They can kill, they can lie, but Palestine will never die”(Actually it was “You” not “They” but otherwise exactly right the note).Best received speech was from Peter Sleezak of Independent Australian Jewish Voices. It was MUCH more sharp and clear than their general “declaration”. There was also a group of Israelis with  real spirit. Am hoping to put them in touch with another group of Muslim arab youth I met recently via similar reactions to mine at an excrutiatingly boring typical “left” organizing meeting for the rally who also struck me as “kindred spirits” (ie rebellious, independent thinking).Feels like the “first swallows of spring”.

  14. 14 Arthur

    Some more straws in the wind on ceasefire agreement ending the siege of Gaza and releasing Marwan Barghouti. No way to tell, but arranaging things during the transition is a plausible way for the next Israeli government to simultaneously maintain the posturing while shifting. From Haaretz 2009-02-09 citing Al Hayat.

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