Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Gaza war ended in utter failure for Israel – By Gideon Levy – Haaretz, Israeli English Daily

January 22, 2009

Last update¬†–¬†04:19 22/01/2009

Gideon Levy / Gaza war ended in utter failure for Israel

By Gideon Levy

Tags: israel news, gaza, hamas, IDF

On the morrow of the return of the last Israeli soldier from Gaza, we can determine with certainty that they had all gone out there in vain. This war ended in utter failure for Israel.

This goes beyond the profound moral failure, which is a grave matter in itself, but pertains to its inability to reach its stated goals. In other words, the grief is not complemented by failure. We have gained nothing in this war save hundreds of graves, some of them very small, thousands of maimed people, much destruction and the besmirching of Israel’s image.

What seemed like a predestined loss to only a handful of people at the onset of the war will gradually emerge as such to many others, once the victorious trumpeting subsides.

The initial objective of the war was to put an end to the firing of Qassam rockets. This did not cease until the war’s last day. It was only achieved after a cease-fire had already been arranged. Defense officials estimate that Hamas still has 1,000 rockets.

The war’s second objective, the prevention of smuggling, was not met either. The head of the Shin Bet security service has estimated that smuggling will be renewed within two months.

Most of the smuggling that is going on is meant to provide food for a population under siege, and not to obtain weapons. But even if we accept the scare campaign concerning the smuggling with its exaggerations, this war has served to prove that only poor quality, rudimentary weapons passed through the smuggling tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

Israel’s ability to achieve its third objective is also dubious. Deterrence, my foot. The deterrence we supposedly achieved in the Second Lebanon War has not had the slightest effect on Hamas, and the one supposedly achieved now isn’t working any better: The sporadic firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip has continued over the past few days.

The fourth objective, which remained undeclared, was not met either. The IDF has not restored its capability. It couldn’t have, not in a quasi-war against a miserable and poorly-equipped organization relying on makeshift weapons, whose combatants barely put up a fight.

The heroic descriptions and victory poems written abut the “military triumph” will not serve to change reality. The pilots were flying on training missions and the ground forces were engaged in exercises that involved joining up and firing weapons.

The describing of the operation as a “military achievement” by the various generals and analysts who offered their take on the operation is plain ridiculous.

We have not weakened Hamas. The vast majority of its combatants were not harmed and popular support for the organization has in fact increased. Their war has intensified the ethos of resistance and determined endurance. A country which has nursed an entire generation on the ethos of a few versus should know to appreciate that by now. There was no doubt as to who was David and who was Goliath in this war.

The population in Gaza, which has sustained such a severe blow, will not become more moderate now. On the contrary, the national sentiment will now turn more than before against the party which inflicted that blow – the State of Israel. Just as public opinion leans to the right in Israel after each attack against us, so it will in Gaza following the mega-attack that we carried out against them.

If anyone was weakened because of this war, it was Fatah, whose fleeing from Gaza and its abandonment have now been given special significance. The succession of failures in this war needs to include, of course, the failure of the siege policy. For a while, we have already come to realize that is ineffective. The world boycotted, Israel besieged and Hamas ruled (and is still ruling).

But this war’s balance, as far as Israel is concerned, does not end with the absence of any achievement. It has placed a heavy toll on us, which will continue to burden us for some time. When it comes to assessing Israel’s international situation, we must not allow ourselves to be fooled by the support parade by Europe’s leaders, who came in for a photo-op with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel’s actions have dealt a serious blow to public support for the state. While this does not always translate itself into an immediate diplomatic situation, the shockwaves will arrive one day. The whole world saw the images. They shocked every human being who saw them, even if they left most Israelis cold.

The conclusion is that Israel is a violent and dangerous country, devoid of all restraints and blatantly ignoring the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, while not giving a hoot about international law. The investigations are on their way.

Graver still is the damage this will visit upon our moral spine. It will come from difficult questions about what the IDF did in Gaza, which will occur despite the blurring effect of recruited media.

So what was achieved, after all? As a war waged to satisfy considerations of internal politics, the operation has succeeded beyond all expectations. Likud Chair Benjamin Netanyahu is getting stronger in the polls. And why? Because we could not get enough of the war.

The victory of the Palestinian Resistance & Israel’s unilateral withdrawal – A W A M I B H A R A T

January 18, 2009


The victory of the Palestinian Resistance & Israel’s unilateral withdrawal

The Palestinian Resistance has been victorious whilst the Israeli Nazi army withdraws in ignominy and global wrath. The People of Gaza have withstood the F-16’s, Helicopter gunships, tanks, ships and phosphorous attacks and have done so with extraordinary courage.

All that Israel achieved was the wanton destruction & death of children and civilians and residential neighbourhoods that included schools, hospitals, government buildings as well that of the United Nations. More than 1200 dead and 5000 seriously injured by the mercenary Israeli army.

The resistance led by Hamas still stands in defiance and the People of Palestine and the world stand in solidarity of the brave and courageous 1.5 million Gazan polulation who are challenging the collective might of the Israeli and American warmachine. Clearly Hamas and the Palestinian National resistance has triumphed and the Zionist colonial project of genocidal ethnic cleansing has once again been vanquished.

Palestine in 2009 and Lebanon 2006 have forever shattered the myth of Israeli military supremacy and have proved that the Palestinain resistance that stands at the vanguard of the global resistance to US-Zionist Imperialism will ultimately suceed to create an Independent state of Palestinen with Jerusalem as its capital.

We also salute the people across the world who took to the streets and besieged their governments. We also salute the rising tide of global Jewry against the Jewish Zionist counterparts.

This struggle will prove critical for the just resolution of the Palestine – Israel conflict. We need to stand in solidarity with the Jewish people as they join the struggle against Zionist Imperialism.

We also salute the leadership of South America lead by Chavez of Venezuela and Morales of Bolivia for taking a clear position against Israel, unlike the collaborator regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, we must add.

The anger of the Arab street, social and political movements will lead to democratic revolutions that will soon sweep away these dictators and monarchs. With Israel having lost both the strategic and moral war, the Zionists will resort to even more desperate measures.

The “Shoah” promised by the Israeli leadership is still a possibility. For the larger agenda of total ethnic cleansing, the Zionists need a larger war that will envelope both West Asia and the South Asian nations.

In the absence of a larger war theatre, without the direct involvement of the US and NATO, Israel cannot succeed.

And thus the coming war on Iran !!

We need to see the growing tensions between India and Pakistan that are being fanned by the Imperial powers in this light as well.

The patriotic people of both India and Pakistan can together avert a global catastrophe if we refuse to be drawn in to the agenda of nationalist jingoism and war mongering.

We the People of Asia need to stand as one, to defeat the designs of both the Israeli European colonial power and that of the US and the EU.

This is a both a time of sorrow and triumph. Sorrow because of the deaths of thousands of children and a sense of triumph because of the victory of the Palestinian resistance.

Yes the souls of the children and resistance fighters of the Warsaw ghetto and found a new voice and have been resurrected in Gaza.

And with resurrection, comes a new life and a new will to struggle and to change the world.

Long Live Palestine !!

Towards a Global Intifada !!

Feroze Mithiborwala, Kishore Jagtap, Varsha V V, Sayeed Khan, Amol Madame, Chetna Birje, Arif Kapadia, Reshma Jatap, Afaq Azad, Irfan Mulla, Inayat Akhtar, Mulniwasi Mala, Jyoti Badekar, Jagdish Nagarkar, Gaurav Karia, Avinash Kamble, Harshavardhan Vartak 98208-97517 / 93245-14101

A view from the other side: History did not begin with the Qassams – By Amira Haas, HAARETZ, Israeli English Daily

January 15, 2009

History did not begin with the Qassams

By Amira Hass

Tags: Israel News, Hamas, Israel

History did not begin with the Qassam rockets. But for us, the Israelis, history always begins when the Palestinians hurt us, and then the pain is completely decontextualized. We think that if we cause the Palestinians much greater pain, they will finally learn their lesson. Some term this “achievement.”

Nevertheless, the “lesson” remains abstract for most Israelis. The Israeli media prescribes a strict low-information, low-truth diet for its consumers, one rich in generals and their ilk. It is modest, and does not boast of our achievements: the slain children and the bodies rotting under the ruins, the wounded who bleed to death because our soldiers shoot at the ambulance crews, the little girls whose legs were amputated due to horrible wounds caused by various types of weaponry, the devastated fathers shedding bitter tears, the residential neighborhoods that have been obliterated, the terrible burns caused by white phosphorus, and the mini-transfer – the tens of thousands of people who have been expelled from their homes, and are still being expelled at this very minute, ordered to cram into a built-up area that is constantly growing smaller and is also under sentence of incessant bombing and shelling.

Ever since the Palestinian Authority was established, the Israeli public relations machinery has exaggerated the danger of the military threat that the Palestinians pose to us. When they moved from stones to rifles and from Molotov cocktails to suicide bombings, from roadside bombs to Qassams and from Qassams to Grads, and from the PLO to Hamas, we said with a whoop of victory, “We told you. They’re anti-Semites.” And therefore, we have the right to go on a rampage.


What enabled Israel’s military rampage – the proper words to describe it cannot be found in my dictionary – was the step-by-step isolation of the Gaza Strip. The isolation turned Gaza’s residents into abstract objects, with no names and addresses, except the addresses of the armed men, and no history, aside from the dates determined by the Shin Bet security service.

The siege of Gaza did not begin when Hamas seized control of the Strip’s security organs, or when Gilad Shalit was taken captive, or when Hamas was elected in democratic elections. The siege began in 1991 – before the suicide bombings. And since then, it has only become more sophisticated, reaching its peak in 2005.

The Israeli public relations machinery happily presented the disengagement as the end of the occupation, in brazen disregard of the facts. The isolation and closure were presented as military necessities. But we are big boys and girls, and we know that “military necessities” and consistent lies serve state goals. Israel’s goal was to thwart the two-state solution, which the world had expected to materialize once the Cold War ended in 1990. This was not a perfect solution, but the Palestinians were ready for it then.

Gaza is not a military power that attacked its tiny, peace-loving neighbor, Israel. Gaza is a territory that Israel occupied in 1967, along with the West Bank. Its residents are part of the Palestinian people, which lost its land and its homeland in 1948.

In 1993, Israel had a one-time golden opportunity to prove to the world that what people say about us is untrue – that it is not by nature a colonialist state. That the expulsion of a nation from its land, the expulsion of people from their houses and the robbery of Palestinian land for the sake of settling Jews are not the basis and essence of its existence.

In the 1990s, Israel had a chance to prove that 1948 is not its paradigm. But it missed this opportunity. Instead, it merely perfected its techniques for robbing land and expelling people from their houses, and forced the Palestinians into isolated enclaves. And now, during these dark days, Israel is proving that 1948 never ended.

Unprecedented Numbers of Americans Question Israel’s Actions in Gaza – By Max Blumenthal, Huffington Post.

January 13, 2009

Unprecedented Numbers of Americans Question Israel’s Actions in Gaza

By Max Blumenthal, Huffington Post. Posted January 6, 2009.

Could it be the rise of online progressive media telling the truth about Israel, or that the public rejects the same pundits who sold us Iraq?

Almost as soon as the first Israeli missile struck the Gaza Strip, a veteran cheering squad suited up to support the home team. “Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life,” Charles Krauthammer claimed in the Washington Post. Echoing Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz called the Israeli attack on Gaza, “Perfectly ‘Proportionate.'” And in the New York Times, Israeli historian Benny Morris described his country’s airstrikes as “highly efficient.”

While the cheerleaders testified to the superior moral fiber of their team, the Palestinian civilian death toll mounted. Israeli missiles tore at least fifteen Palestinian police cadets to shreds at a graduation ceremony, blew twelve worshipers to pieces (including six children) while they left evening prayers at a mosque, flattened the elite American International School, killed five sisters while they slept in their beds, and liquidated 9 women and children in order to kill a single Hamas leader. So far, Israeli forces have killed at least 500 Gazans and wounded some two thousand, including hundreds of children. Yesterday, the IDF blanketed parts of Gaza with white phosphorus, a chemical weapon Saddam Hussein once deployed against Kurdish rebels.

“It was Israel at its best,” Yossi Klein Halevi declared in the New Republic.

By New Year’s Day, Israel’s cheering squad had turned the opinion pages of major American newspapers into their own personal romper room. Of all the editorial contributions published by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times since the Israel’s war on Gaza began, to my knowledge only one offered a skeptical view of the assault. But that editorial, by Israeli novelist David Grossman, contained not a single word about the Palestinian casualties of IDF attacks. Even while calling for a cease fire, Grossman promised, “We can always start shooting again.”

Israeli public relations agents fanned out to broadcast studios from the US to Europe, fulfilling an aggressive strategy conceived after the country’s catastrophic 2006 attack on Lebanon. An analysis by Israel’s foreign ministry of eight hours of coverage across international broadcast media concluded that Israeli representatives received a whopping 58 minutes of airtime compared to only 19 minutes for Palestinians. “Quite a few outlets are very favorable to Israel, namely by showing [its] suffering. I am sure it is a result of the new co-ordination,” said Major Avital Leibovich, an IDF spokesperson who has become a fixture on cable news in the past weeks.

But while Israel’s PR machine cranked its Mighty Wurlitzer to full blast, drowning out all opposing voices with its droning sound, a surprisingly substantial portion of the American public decided to dance to its own tune. According to a December 31 Rasmussen poll (so far the only measure of US opinion on the Gaza assault), while Americans remained overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, they were split almost evenly on the question of whether Israel should attack Gaza — 44% in favor of the assault and 41% against it. The internals are even more remarkable.

While Republicans supported the assault on Gaza by a large margin, a predictable finding, only 31% of Democrats did. Members of the Democratic base thus stood in sharp contrast to most of their elected representatives (freshman Rep. Donna Edwards is a notable exception), who backed the latest Israeli assault in lockstep, and seem to support Israel no matter what it does. The rift between the progressive base and the party played out on Barack Obama’s site, which was deluged in recent days with demands for a statement condemning Israel’s assault on Gaza.

So what accounts for the surprising trend in American opinion on Gaza? The proliferation of progressive online media and social networking sites could be a factor, but I have another theory: The same pundits who are cheerleading Israel’s assault on Gaza once sold the occupation of Iraq to America, and with a nearly identical set of arguments. In their voices and those of the grim Israeli PR agents carted out for cable news, many Americans hear echoes of the Bush administration’s most fantastical lies. When they see images of Gazans under withering bombardment, they flash back to Fallujah and the assorted horrors of Iraq. When they look at Israel, they see themselves during the darkest days of the Bush era.

Now, an increasing share of Americans know what Israel is doing to Gaza. And they reject it, even when Israel is “at its best.”

See more stories tagged with: israel, gaza, white phosphorous

Max Blumenthal is a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at the Nation Institute based in Washington, DC. Read his blog at

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