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How Hamas became so deadly Funded and equipped by Iran, it could overwhelm Israel's Iron Dome

Armed Palestinian members of Hamas. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Armed Palestinian members of Hamas. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)


May 17, 2021   5 mins

Gaza in spring is vertiginous. Half-bombed tower blocks dot the cityscape like broken Lego; satellite dishes cluster on roofs; the streets are thick with people. They drive cars and motorbikes and scooters. They ride horses and, occasionally, carts pulled by donkeys. They walk, talk and gesticulate; they smoke furiously.

Piles of rubble — the result of Israeli bombs — are interspersed with symbols of defiance. Murals of Palestinian resistance heroes adorn almost every surface; no one, it seems, is more popular than Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the former head of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2004.

I was told, when I last visited, that another war was inevitable. And everywhere they reminded themselves of it. Driving through the city one day, I pulled up at a roundabout at the centre of which is a monument of a rocket. On it is painted the number R-160 — the Palestinian designation of the Chinese-designed and Syrian-made M-302 rocket. Cocked at a 45-degree angle, it points squarely at Israel.

Hamas rockets attacks and Israeli strikes have now entered their seventh day. Palestinian officials say at least 148 people have been killed in Gaza. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children. The pattern of violence (strike counter and strike) and its accompanying rhetorical war (each side condemns the other and Twitter froths with uninformed hysteria) are timeless. But Hamas’s methods of violence are showing signs of evolution. And there is one overarching reason for that: Iran.

A guiding ideological goal of the Islamic Republic, especially in its first decade or so, has been to export its Islamic Revolution; it has courted Islamic across groups the region for almost 40 years. Iran supported Hamas from its beginnings in in 1987 as an offshoot of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood. But it was only when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) began to consider peace with Israel in the 1990s that their relationship really blossomed. Mousa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas leader, visited Tehran and reportedly extracted a promise of $30 million annually — as well as military training for thousands of Hamas activists at Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bases in Iran and Lebanon.

When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 the relationship was sealed; Hamas’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections meant a terror group, supported by Tehran, was now in charge of Gaza. International aid dried up, so the Iranians pumped in money, and with it of course, an influence that was now unrivalled.

It has been that way ever since. In the words of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority that governs the West Bank: “Hamas is funded by Iran. It claims it is financed by donations, but the donations are nothing like what it receives from Iran.”

More important than cash for Hamas, though, is Iranian military know-how and tech. The Iranians have a Manichean view of the world. It is Haq versus Batel, (truth and righteousness against falsehood) and Dar al-Islam (realm of peace and belief) versus Dar al-Harb (realm of war and disbelief). They perceive themselves to be underdogs in a just battle against overwhelming odds — and they fight accordingly.

This means they avoid direct conflict in favour of terror; they seek some form of deniability, and they always, always try to avoid the battlefield. Iran fights throughout the Middle East through a variety of proxy groups to strike at its adversaries: the Shia militias in Iraq to strike against the United States; the Houthis in Yemen to strike at Saudi Arabia; and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza to strike at Israel.

Now the skies over Israel throb not just with rockets but drones. Last Thursday Israel said it shot down a UAV (Unmanned Aerial vehicle) that had flown over the border from Gaza. Hamas now boasts about its drone capabilities in videos online; they call them “Shebab”. But as Nick Waters, an investigator for Bellingcat has suggested, they look very much like Iran’s Ababil 2 drone, which is also remarkably similar to the Qasef drone used by Houthis in Yemen.

According to Seth Frantzman, senior Middle East analyst at the Jerusalem Post and author of Drone Wars, Iran is now “a drone mini superpower”. He explains: “Iran is clever. It won’t export its own drones but it is very smart packaging that knowledge so it can be replicated. Now Hamas has clearly been able to copy the designs to make its own version indigenously, dramatically increasing its threat to Israel. Make no mistake: this is the equivalent of a state sending a terror groups tanks or planes.”

When I speak to Palestinians about Iran, it’s highly telling that they don’t want to say too much. And of course religious tensions remain. The Palestinians are overwhelmingly Arab Sunnis; it’s not lost on them that the Iranians are Persian Shias. Like Israel, Iran is isolated in the Middle East: it needs allies and one way it can get them is to champion the Palestinian cause — not least because so many Arab rulers have “sold out” to Israel in the eyes of their people. As with most things in the Islamic Republic, strip away the mosaic of ideology and you find the cold steel of strategy.

“We’ve been fighting these [Iranian] bastards for a thousand years,” said one local politician to me in the West Bank a few years back. “They were a problem for us long before the Jews.” In Gaza especially, people tend to be reticent. But there, where Iran’s military support is vital fact of life, they know the debt they owe. Over coffee one day a young activist I asked about Iran simply put his finger to his lips, smiled, and pointed to the sky — where the missiles fly.

It’s not just tech and cash that Iran funnels to Gaza, but expertise. Iran’s Quds Force, the branch of its IRGC that deals in unconventional warfare and intelligence operations, has long advised Hamas’s military wing. Now it’s ramping things up. According to IRGC-linked Tasmin News, Quds Force chief Ismail Qaani met with Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas last weekend where he claimed that Israel’s air defence systems — specifically the Iran Dome system that intercepts the rockets — are vulnerable to large barrages of rockets. Overwhelming it, he said, is the key.

Not long after, Hamas launched an unprecedented rocket barrage (reports say around 150 rockets in five minutes) at Israel. “This was about as clear and direct advice as one can get,” says Frantzman. “In future wars, which could be multifront, especially if Hezbollah starts launching missiles from Lebanon, the direct message from Tehran via Iranian state media is unambiguous: we can overwhelm the Iron Dome.”

How long this deadly iteration of the conflict lasts remains unclear. Will it die down once both sides feel they have saved sufficient face to mollify their respective constituencies, or will it descend into another full-blown war in Gaza and intifada inside Israel? Either way, both sides cannot now help but look forward. Hamas knows that right now it cannot inflict serious casualties on Israel because of the Iron Dome. Israel knows that for the time being, it can largely keep its population safe. But the more Hamas fires, the more it probes, the more it can discern weakness. Nothing is infallible, and certainly not forever.

Both sides know this. Both sides know that next time will be different. And both sides know that in the background, as always, will be Iran. Peace between Hamas and Israel now runs, at least to some degree, through Tehran. For at the end of the day, Iran, by enabling Hamas, can, if not reverse, then at least affect the balance of power between the two, and with that events across the entire region.Tehran is playing a sophisticated and deadly game in the Middle East — and whether it wins or not, it seems guaranteed that the innocent citizens of Israel and Palestine will continue to lose.


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

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andrew harman
andrew harman
3 years ago

It needs to be put in this simple way. If Hamas et al laid down their arms, there would be peace. If Israel did, there would be a bloodbath.

Last edited 3 years ago by andrew harman
Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

The settlements in the occupied West Bank have not stopped and the siege on Gaza has not stopped either. So it is less of a Chicken and Egg situation and more of an escalation of violence from, yes, both sides.
No one expected Czech, Polish or French partisans to lay down their arms and make peace with their occupiers during the second world war — once the occupation has ended then you’d have a point to criticize lack of progress toward peace.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

I agree entirely. How long are we going to go on allowing Israel to continue this through a distorted lens? It’s a simple land grab by one group over another. We used to do it all the time in the colonial era but I thought we’d got beyond it. The US is more than prepared to induce a civil war supporting heinous acts when it doesn’t like the freely elected regime in it’s back yard (Nicaragua) and funnily enough Iran doesn’t like something similar. Only this one has Nuclear weapons and has the complete support of the major powers that exploited its own country for years.
How is is that people can be so one sided in their view of Iran? We are happy for their intervention with IS yet we murder the man who led that campaign. We make deals with the likes of kidnappers who run states on the Arabian peninsula without a peep from our leaders. We publish negative or nearly negative news from Iran all the time.
I know they have not had the best of leaders over time but look at the vacuous, rhetoric shouting, rabble rousers we elect. And I know the Iranian leadership do utterly stupid self defeating stuff like taking Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as a hostage but I can’t help thinking Bungling Boris has something to do with that. They really could do with a PR makeover.
If we are not friend with Iran. Why are we friends with the house of Saud. They both have oil.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

A simple land grab? Hardly. The West Bank was occupied during the Six-Day War in 1967 in direct response to Jordanian attacks across the existing border. Since then, Israel has given up “land for peace” on several occasions but peace has not come. Why? Because Iran does not want peace.

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

The land for peace offers have been far from sufficient. Offer a coherent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and I think you will get a positive response from the Palestinians. The Arab World has already said it would accept 1967 boundaries. Hamas would either accept it, or lose legitimacy.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago

How would the Arabs employ themselves at peace? They have proven they can’t do much other than fight & kill.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Not criticising your general point but not sure ‘Arab world’ means that much any more. Too much of the narrative is portrayed as Arab vs Jew when it’s not really an accurate portrayal of what’s going on. The UAE, Bahrain or Saudi Arabian governments have arguably more interests in common with the Israeli government than with the IranIan government Palestinian authorities or Lebanese government.
Portraying the power politics of the region in ethnic terms plays into the hands of those who exploit both Jew and Arab hatred for their own benefit.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Spot on. The Abraham Accords have solidified this.

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
3 years ago

Nonsense. No Palestinian leader will accept anything less than the whole land of Israel

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago

Well, Arafat didn‘t accept any compromise. Iran will never accept a Jewish State and their official foreign policy is to destroy Israel.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

1978 Peace agreement has been broken by both sides .Israel builds in West bank, Hamas uses every country to shell Israel……but Trying to intimidate People in finchley,Golders green & Manchester will backfire on loony muslim militants here ,Go &live in IraQ,Iran,Egypt,Jordan,Syria if its so perfect

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
3 years ago

What legitimacy has it got to lose? As the article says, it’s largely funded by Iran, which isn’t part of the “Arab World.”

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

The Arab World has already said it would accept 1967 boundaries.
Omission of truth. They would only accept this with right of return. You may as well ask the jews to commit collective suicide.

Marcus Corbett
Marcus Corbett
2 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Wel they WOULD have to return stolen property, yes. Is that why you say they would commit suicide ?

David Otness
David Otness
3 years ago

Hello. Israel started the 1967 war precisely so they could gain more territory. Ask Miko Peled, the son of one of the Israeli generals who came to regret what he had been a part of doing. The whole Peled family became peace activists and those remaining still are. “The General’s Son.” Look it up some time or hear Miko out on any number of YouTube presentations.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  David Otness

Anyone who quotes Peled is a raving loon.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  David Otness

Israel stared a war with Egypt so that it could grab the Sinai and then returned it to Egypt on the condition that Egypt stop attacking Israel? That makes sense to you?
Self hating Israelis are not unique. We have all seen self hating Brits and self hating Americans. But you don’t take them seriously.

Marcus Corbett
Marcus Corbett
2 years ago

Hamas has done Palestine no favours. A tragedy that they were elected. Does the following observation better explains why peace has never come than yours? ‘Laws Violated: Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations U.N. Charter, Article 25 (1945); a few sample resolutions – 54, 111, 233, 234, 236, 248, 250, 252, 256, 262, 267, 270, 280, 285, 298, 313, 316, 468, 476, etc.’
I love the ‘etc’…..

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

If you read the peace negotiations in the 90s between Arafat (PLO), Israel and US everything was on the table including a big chunk of the Westbank. Israel wanted to keep some of the territory for security reasons. But Arafat said no. Basically he didn‘t want the existence of a Jewish State.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Anti-semitic alert : characteristing and delegitimising the whole of Israel as a ‘landgrab”.

shannon
shannon
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

I find it incredible that intelligent people can’t see how an imprisoned and provoked people will lash out from time to time. Gaza is a chained dog that Israel says must be shot because it bites the foot that kicks it. Meanwhile I wait with pleasure the replies of comfortable and well-off ‘liberal’ commentators listing the reasons why it is OK to evict people from their homes because of their ethnicity.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  shannon

Finally commentators to the very pro-Israel NYTimes are getting fed up and beginning to say enough. It is the first time in years since a commentator even remotely sympathetic to the Palestinians has been allowed into the comments section. I am hopeful that this time, the actions of Israel are so outrageous that even the Times’ readers can no longer ignore them.

Val Cox
Val Cox
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

The NY Times has not been pro Israel for a while now and less so since 2016.

Last edited 3 years ago by Val Cox
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  Val Cox

The secular Jews that run the NYTimes and a good many secular Jews in NYCity don’t care about Israel. They are non-practicing.They have abandoned the religion. It’s true. They are only ethnically ‘Jews’. Today in the USA, most liberal Jews’ ideology or religion is Progressivism.

Last edited 3 years ago by Cathy Carron
Don Lightband
Don Lightband
3 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Ha! As if ethnicity has ever been anything less than the pre-eminent source of conflict! I think in the case of NY “secular Jews” we mean ..ethnicity-plus!

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

What is so outrageous about a country defending itself against terrorist attack?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

It is Jews! Hundreds of thousands of Muslim children being bombed and starved by other muslims in Iraq, Syria, Yemen never brings these worthies out in their enraged incarnations.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Silly person alert. The Grey lady is pretty resolutely anti Israel. That one hopes for a solution to a geopolitical issue by comments in a biased news paper indicates a less than firm tether to reality.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

“Finally commentators to the very pro-Israel NYTimes”
best laugh of the day

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  shannon

DO note, that the evictions that sparked this outbreak of war were from properties that are owned by Jews. The Arabs stopped paying rent. In any other place on earth you’d be booted if you can’t or won’t pay your bills.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  shannon

What about eviction based on land deeds and after a protracted 4 decade long battle in court? Gaza has a border with Egypt and need not be ‘imprisoned’. They are a feckless lot with foreign money spent on rockets but not decent schools and hospitals. They are lucky to have the Jews instead of say China, or Russia as their enemy. They would have been properly wiped out then. Does you heart only bleed for Gaza? Why not West Papua?

Last edited 3 years ago by m pathy
m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  shannon

Muslims will not take kindly to being compared to unclean dogs. But that the palestinians bite the hands that feed them is true. Ask Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Syria.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

The settlements are a message that Israel will bring about an end to this either by settling all of the land and making it Israel with Arab citizens or by making peace with moderate leaders. The sooner it comes the bigger the Arab state will be. Nobody is going to stop them first because because everyone can see that being an Arab citizen of Israel is probably better than being an Arab citizen of Lebanon or Syria or Iran (especially if your gay or female) and second because only the Iranians want to see more actual country hellholes like Lebanon, Syria and Yemen as opposed to just regions like Gaza. Given what has happened there (Sunnis ruled by Shiites) who would suggest that Israel retreat again from any area without some reassurance that the same thing will not happen again?
Oh and by the way a lot of the French, Czechs, Polish Hungarians, Austrians etc collaborated or at least accepted very few (under 5%) were actual partisans.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

NIce idea, but no Israeli will have a 50% Arab Israel.
Either Arabs magically disappear from the area Israel now controls, or the two sides come to some agreement that will make both very unhappy.
No other options.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

Exactly. It’s ethnonationalism — the exact same kind the very same people who support Israel don’t want to happen in England or America. Interesting, isn’t it!

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Ethnonationalism is a thing whether globalists like it or not. Japanese or Polish people would like their countries’ ethnic make up to be reflected in its political character. There is however ethnosupremacy – like in Malaysia with state mandated racial discrimination – which you self selected human rights warriors NEVER address. What more the religious supremacy, nay fascism, of dozens of muslim states! Interesting isnt it?

Last edited 3 years ago by m pathy
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

Surely not 5% of Austrians were ‘partisans’?

More like 0.001% at the very most.

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

As Abba Eban once said. the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

the entire Middle East is under muslim occupation and has been for between 1,400 and 500 years, including asia minor etc with disastrous consequences for non-muslims in those areas – 2 million butchered Armenian christians is only one example. If your analogy was correct, the Palestinians are the germans in this particular example.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Antisemitic alert : comparing Jews in Israel to Nazi invasion forces in WW2

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

THe bloodbath IS happening, and it’s the regular Israeli sadistic “mowing the lawn” in Gaza, the only outright war crimes which the West tolerates (approves).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

That’s just straight out of your bigoted imagination. 

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Hamas fired the first rockets and then keeps doing it. What is Israel supposed to do ?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Hamas and Israel are manipulating the conflict for political ends. Israel uses disproportionate force to punish Gaza and to deter any future attacks. While Hamas fires rockets to shore up its position as the only Palestinian faction willing to aggressively challenge Israeli advances. Mahmoud Abbas has effectively been sidelined throughout this crisis. Both sides do not care about civilian casualties, unless it harms their strategic goals.
You say what is Israel supposed to do but what is Hamas supposed to do? The group needs leverage of some kind as it’s the only way to force Israel to make concessions. All diplomatic efforts have failed and Israel retains strong support from the United States of America. Palestinians are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Non-violence and diplomacy have failed and aggressive military action has also yielded little positive change. Israel is content maintaining a status quo of low level and sporadic attacks that only for brief moments seriously disrupt normal life for their citizens and so long as casualties disproportionately fall on Palestinians then that is an acceptable price to pay, of course it’s not Israeli’s paying that price in the main. It cannot and will not last but there is little leverage to force either side to make meaningful concessions for the time being.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

What is Hamas supposed to do? Dropping its constitution that says Israel must be wiped from the map and all Jews exterminated would be a good start. Otherwise, what is there for Israel to negotiate over?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Israel continues to blockade Gaza and build ever more settlements in the West Bank. Hamas rightly perceive that force is more powerful than diplomacy without any leverage whatsoever.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I’m assuming you would like a negotiated peace, Zach. How can that come about unless both sides seek it? The chances of Israel succumbing to Hamas force is zero because Hamas will not stop until the Israelis are driven into the sea.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Israel is ethnically cleansing the land of Palestinians via building ever more settlements in land supposed to be for a Palestinian state. A negotiated peace would require significant concessions from Israel and their population is not ready to make that sacrifice because there’s scarce reason to do so. My point is that blaming the Palestinians for this situation is silly. There’s little they can do through diplomacy or violence to stop their demise. That doesn’t mean they’ll stop trying.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Ethnic cleansing is when population numbers fall. It may be happening in Xinjiang where the birthrate has dramatically fallen and actual internment camps exist. No impassioned marches against China by all the bleating white liberals. Not sexy enough a cause?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

China isn’t seriously considered a ‘Western Style Democracy’. If a country makes that claim and expects to be taken seriously it can expect examination.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

What makes you think that I’m not extremely critical of a nightmarish totalitarian state like China? The lack of marches is because China tightly controls media coverage. We see visceral images of dying children in Gaza and it ignites passions, understandably. Nonetheless, both are immoral and shouting what about this is poor defence of Israeli action.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

There has always been a Jewish presence in the West Bank.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

The expanding settlements make a 2-state solution unworkable. This denial of statehood is the root cause of the conflict.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

No. The existence of Israel is the root cause.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Agree absolutely Zach

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

While Israel could wipe the Palestinians off the map if it wanted to, it doesn’t.
As to Hamas stopping the violence, perhaps they don’t mind losing lots of people. You cannot prevent people from committing suicide.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

The settlements in the West Bank have nothing to do with Gaza, which was completely emptied of all Israeli presence in 2005. And Egypt blockades Gaza too. Why isn’t Hamas also firing rockets at Cairo?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

It hasn’t been more powerful so far. All it’s done is get a lot of their own people killed.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I think you will find that Israel cares a great deal about civilian casualties unlike Iran and Hammas. I do not accept that “Palestinians are stuck between a rock and a hard place”. Being an Israeli Arab is not a hard place it is probably better than being a Arab/African/Asian in Europe and certainly better than being Iranian even if your not female or gay.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

If Israel cared more about civilians than it’s own strategic goals then it wouldn’t drop 1,000lb bombs in high density civilian neighbourhoods. Please, do not respond with euphemistic military language of ‘precision strikes’ and ‘collateral damage’.
The rest of your comment is plain racism and not worth engaging with.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

The Iranian Shiite Hamas entryists use the Sunni Arabs as human shields and you fall for it.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

My previous comment clearly states that Hamas do not care about civilian casualties. Neither do Israel who consider civilian casualties an acceptable price in pursuit of their strategic objectives.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

No they do care just not enough to get pushed into the Sea which is why most Israelis go into the army and accept with a heavy heart the consequences of fighting for what is right. Sure its ugly but not a ugly as the available alternatives.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

The IDF ‘accept with a heavy heart’ the death of hundreds of innocent civilians caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The IDF use disproportionate force as a strategy. Civilians are only spoken about in meetings because of the massive media coverage. Negative media coverage eventually pressures Israel’s allies to pressure them to bring hostilities to a close. It’s a well trodden path that all recent outbreaks of violence have predictably followed.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Get some proportion man 400,000 dead in Syria.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

The Golden Horde killed even more people but we are not speaking about that. Stay on topic and stop being dishonest.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

You Know what Zach you are right. Yes “The IDF use disproportionate force as a strategy” its called being stronger than your enemy a strategy for survival. Have a read of Unherd Peter Franklin Article on the Psychic Powers of the Contemporary left. He is writing about you.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

Ok so we agree then. You just choose to use euphemistic language to hide the human toll of the actions you support. How about being honest?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

You do know that the Palestinian casualties could be much higher if that’s what Israel wanted, don’t you?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

If that were true there would be many more Palestinian civilian casualties.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Perhaps Hamas shouldnt fire from behind their women and kids? One side definitely glories in photo opportunities of dead babies to rouse the ummah.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Anti-Israel obsessives self-project by calling others racists. You are the real bigot. You have vastly different expectations for behaviour based on ethnic origin.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Nonsense. I condemn both sides. What I dislike is the blatant racism and bias in this forum.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Let’s hear your condemnation of Hamas and the Palestinians then.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

The Israelis give plenty of warning so people can evacuate, which is why under 200 people have been killed so far, instead of thousands. It’s why everyone was able to get out of that highrise that Hamas operations and the AP offices were in, before it came down.
They are military strikes because Hamas uses these civilian areas as military bases and launches missles from them, as a strategy. They want to maximize civilian casualities on their side.

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

really ……what nonsense

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

“Israel uses disproportionate force to punish Gaza and to deter any future attacks.”
This isn’t even logical. How can it be disproportionate force if the intent is to deter future attacks?
you likely meant the necessary force required to deter any future attacks. If not, explain how whatever you determine would be proportionate force would accomplish the goal of deterring future attacks?

johnregan195322
johnregan195322
3 years ago

OH you were there,What is Israel well it could consider to stop taking homes of the natives and except they took someone country and land.Then try to make peace,and they could dig up the mass graves and bury them.

Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago

they fired them in response to the actions of the israeli police and army who were attacking peaceful palestinians

Clive Hambly
Clive Hambly
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

Peaceful Palestinians? They were rioting. Even if they have valid grievances, that does not excuse an act of war, i.e. the firing of rockets into Israel.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

The ‘peaceful’ sort who pile up rocks and molotov cocktails in their most holy sanctuary.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

Police have also been attacking peaceful anti-lockdown protesters here in Canada but neighbouring countries are not firing missles at it “in response”.
In case you haven’t looked at a map recently, Gaza is a good distance away from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where all that unrest was going on.
And the missiles fired by Hamas are as likely to kill Palestinian and Israeli Arabs, including those “peaceful protesters”. So it seems an odd way of showing their concern.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

You probably won’t get an answer to that perfectly reasonable question, but if they the Hamas apologists were honest it would be “Stop existing.”

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago

Stop taking Palestinian land?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Bianca Davies

There is no country called Palestine.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago

They are people and have the right to live on their land.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

it takes quite the imagination to think that the instigator is the party in the right. Israel signed one deal after another with multiple Arab states. None of them mentioned the Palestinians because none of them care about a group bent on pursuing grievances in perpetuity.

Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Palestinians have been under military occupation for 70 years, Israel has no claim to victim status. End the occupation, remove all illegal colonists to the agreed international borders, which btw Israel has never acknowledged because they have not finished stealing the land of others. Do you know nothing of the history of that racist murderous entity?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

how do you occupy a non-existent place? There is no nation called Palestine. There never has been. Even before 1948, no such country was on the map. You hate the Jews. Got it. You carry the water of those who hide behind women and kids and routinely kill civilians.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

How is it even possible to discuss the issue when “the Jews” are conflated with “the state of Israel?”

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

Israel is a Jewish state, is it not? That doesn’t mean all Jews are supportive; many are not. In the US, they are unfailingly Democrats. But let’s not pretend religion is a non-issue here.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

So, when Israel defines itself as a nation for the Jewish People is that for religious Jews or ethnic Jews? I understood it to mean both – with religion being the lesser of the two in importance.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

You see that is why Anti Zionism is Antisemitism. To deny a faith any homeland which it had once just because other faiths want another or more homeland is racist. The two are connected bit like Rome and Catholics.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

I’d challenge that. What’s the moral rationale for saying a faith needs a homeland? I can accept people of all faiths and none need to be able to feel safe where they live but no faith should have the right to make a particular patch of land exclusively theirs or deny other faiths (or ethnicities, depending on which way people are being defined) the right to share that patch of land as equals because of their faith or ethnicity.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Make that argument to scores of “muslim” nations first before you do it to the single nation founded as a refuge for an eternal and most persecuted minority after a surgical attempt to wipe them out..you are obscene.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

The Israeli government proclaims itself the only democracy in the Middle East – it is expected to behave accordingly.
If the Israeli government expects to be held to the same standard as, say Iran or Syria, fair enough. Those countries are sanctioned.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

‘There is no nation called Palestine.’
This seems to be lost on the Hamas apologists. Palestine was a term coined by the Romans to describe a geographical area.There has never been an independent state of Palestine in all of recorded history.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

There was no nation called USA or Germany until pretty recently. And no Israel for 2000 years. Is there a particular cut off date at which you allow or disallow the creation or re-creation of nations?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No, there is no cut-off date. I’m just setting right the Hamas apologists who think that the Arabs have a better right to live in that geographical area than the Jews.
Both USA and Germany came into existence by right of conquest. Israel in fact has a better claim as it was voted into existence by a majority vote at the UN.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Israel’s nation status was established by right of conquest in 1948, then agreed by USA and USSR, before being ratified by the UN. It would not have been possible for the UN to ratify USA or German Nation Status.
If right of conquest is the standard for international relations we’re aspiring to then eternal war in the region looks pretty much inevitable. I’d hope for better.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

South Sudan didn’t exist pre 2010. What’s your point?

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
3 years ago

Palestinians are pawns of the Arab powers that see advantage in their suffering. WWII was a primarily Western war with global implications. Whatever outcome was available to the Palestinians, Israelites and Arabs was going to be constrained by that reality. The Israelites accepted the two state solution. The Palestinians did not though I have never been able to satisfactorily understand just who rejected the terms offered.
Post Israel creation it is the Arabs who have been the aggressors, the Palestinians the victims as they have lost land and the opportunity to build a society.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago

Wonder what your answer would be, why the allies decided to give the whole of former East Germany (Silesia and East Prussia) to the neighbouring States (Poland and Soviet Russia). Back then the over 2 Million Germans from these territories had to find a new home in the West. Why are Palestinians still called refugees and can‘t integrate into the surrounding Arab States like Jordan, where the Queen is actually a Palestinian. Arafat had the chance in the 90s to resettle many Palestinians out of the refugee camps into a big chunk of the West Bank. Israel only wanted to keep some territory for security reason. Arafat said no… Read the protocol of these negotiations.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

So What..Why have Syria,Yemen,Iran,IraQ,Oman,Emirate states NEVER offered Palestinians refuge? .If they did this,then We’d soon see whether these Wealthier Arab States really wanted Palestinian refugees or Continue to Ignore them,Same with Syrian..

Clive Hambly
Clive Hambly
3 years ago

What an absolutely moronic post.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

Wow, take a chill pill and lie down.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

That 70 years remark shows you for what you are : a would be genocider. Israel fights to survive because of people like you and your chums. I am not jewish btw but your type gives itself away so easily.

Last edited 3 years ago by m pathy
Julian Rigg
Julian Rigg
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

and Turkey bombing the Kurds? and China enslaving and killing Uyghurs???

Julian Rigg
Julian Rigg
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Rigg

and the Muslims being ethnically cleansed in Myanmar…?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Rigg

Rohingya, not muslims. There are indian and Arakanese muslims living in peace in Myanmar. It’s good to know the details if you purport to care about these things.Yes, it is a BAD thing to ethnically cleanse the Rohingya.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The phrase ‘the West tolerates’ is the giveaway here. You believe the West is superior to both Jews and Arabs and should rule over them. It’s an arrogance tinged with racism and imperialistic desire.

Janetta McGuigan
Janetta McGuigan
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

You know what a pawn is, yes!

Have you ever been to Israel, Jerusalem in particular? Egypt, Cairo in particular?

Haven’t you ever once wondered why the Egypt-Gaza Barrier has never been removed?

Israel, that tiny bit of land ‘given’ which has always been surrounded by aggressors. Israeli youngsters having to join the army between school and University.

Please, do some deep research.
Or at the very least, read David’s article.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Such a simplistic view of things.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

True, though.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Many things in life are simple. This is one of them. The Palestinians could choose to live in peace live civilized human beings, but they cannot abide the presence of Israel. How odd that multiple Arab states signed deals with the Jews, choosing to get on with life rather than fixate on death.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Hmm. Simple as long as you ignore all the complex bits. The deals made with other Arab states are western allies in western pockets. Hardly a civilised mob. And I suppose you would be happy living in a country occupied by foreign immigrants who stop you leaving, owning land (after they took yours from you), provide second class health care … oh the list goes on. Its exhausting.
So much for Unherd – this is just the same old twoddle thats been peddald for years. Racist clap trap. I could go to the Daily Mail for this.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

 Racist clap trap. Find a new talking point. You could put ten Israelies and ten Palestinians in a room, dressed alike, and virtually no one would be able to tell them apart.
One side is bent on the other’s destruction. And what country is “occupied by foreign immigrants”? Not Palestine, since it has never been a country, in large part due to the likes of the PLO, Fatah, and now, Hamas.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That reminds of that fabulous sketch in ‘The Life of Brian’ about Big Nose!

Christin
Christin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Please go. We don’t need your gibberish.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Christin

They wont. They live for these Palestine flareups like ghouls and then go into a feeding frenzy.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Anyone who disagrees with you is a racist, natch. I’d suggest look to the left for its increasing anti-semitism.

And I’m not quite sure why your absurd dismissal of the Gulf countries, which most certainly are not in Western pockets, whatever their undoubted faults, itself doesn’t count as racism.

Your position on ‘foreign immigrants’ meaning the Israeli population the vast majority who were born there, unlike the Palestinian ‘refugees’ (the great grand descendents of some people living there in 1948) is also revealing.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

3.2m immigrants between 1948 and 2020 (according to the Jewish Virtual Library). Total population 9.7m of which 6.2m are Jewish in 2020. I wonder how many UK voters would encourage that level of immigration and accept being ruled by them (remember how vexed we got over the EU). Again. It’s incredible that the world sees Israelis as victims.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mark Stone
Grant Evans
Grant Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

wholeheartedly agree

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Evans

You would. Isnt the Al Guardian opening comments?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Such a dishonest interlocuter. They were not just ‘migrants’ like the lot in Calais your ilk love to emote over. They were refugees from the holocaust and later jews expelled and disposessed from the rest of the Mena.

juanplewis
juanplewis
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Mark, you’re talking through your rear. Most land in Israel is public land, as it was before the Mandate. When it comes to private lands within the 1949 armistice land Arabs own more than Jews. No Jews own land in Gaza and the WB, as it is forbidden by Palestinian law.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Indeed, or the BBC, Times, Telegraph….etc.
My father was in Palestine at the end of the Mandate in 1946. He was there when Begin and Co blew up the King David Hotel killing 89 Bristish personnel and staff (now celebrated in Israel in part because they dressed as Arabs). He was there when Jewish terrorists hanged 3 British army sergeants. This was a shock to the Britsih personnel (and many Jews in the British Army) who had just liberated N.Europe and a number of concentration camps.
You would think this inconvenient stuff (sinking of the USS Liberty?) might temper the exaggerated love many posters on here have for the Apartheid state. But I think this is trumped by their intense dislike for anyone who is Muslim, whom they throw into one basket despite huge differences across those peoples.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

You would think this inconvenient stuff

…and that’s the real issue, no-one wants to forget the past, and so the future will always resemble the past.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Or we might just learn something….

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I don’t agree with that. It’s if you don’t learn from the past that you repeat mistakes. Israelis ethnically cleansing Palestinians is a case in point.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Ipso Facto, no one learns from the past, and as I said, and so the future will always resemble the past.
And have a word with yourself (blinkered is the word that popped in to my mind). Israel, for all it’s faults and transgressions of UN resolutions, they are not “ethnically cleansing” Palestinians. Killing them, yes, but not “ethnically cleansing”.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

But they are ethnically cleansing them, chasing them out of East Jerusalm and herding them into smaller and smaller areas. It’s pretty well the definition.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Absolutely agree with you Paul. Too many Israeli apologists here.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Bianca Davies

Explain how the ethnic cleansing of the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide and the Balkans in the 1990’s in anyway resembles what Israel is doing?
I’m no supporter of Israel’s policies, but calling something ethnic cleansing when it clearly isn’t does a dis-service to the real atrocities of ethnic cleansing that have occurred over the years.

And you clearly did not red the article.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

You don’t understand the difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide. Back to your dictionary.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

United Nations definition: Ethnic cleansing is the process of removing particular groups from a specific area based on race, nationality, religion and other identifying principals.
While ethnic cleansing doesn’t, by definition, involve the intent to kill a group, the resettlement of said people typically results in the loss of lives; genocide, however, focuses on the “intent to destroy.”
Ethnic cleansing is considered a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, Israel has been ethnic cleansing for years and will continue to do so unchallenged by Western countries.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I thought Mr. Santayana said exactly the reverse.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

As you kindly introduced George Santayana* to this discussion let us
record his thoughts on the British Empire, written I think in about 1920.

“Never since the heroic days of Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls, and fanatics manage to supplant him.”

Now that is praise indeed from a Spaniard, is it not?

(*1863-1952.)

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

I suppose one might have gotten a different opinion about that from the Irish, the Indians, the Cypriots, various African countries, and of course the very inhabitants of Palestine we’re sort of discussing. The good master is followed by the bad master, or maybe the master just takes his mask off. One can point out that in the very five-plus cases I mention, the inhabitants of the liberated regions then couldn’t wait to set about killing one another in great numbers, so it may be the good mastery wasn’t so good after all — or it could be that that is just bad old human nature, but it might also be that there was some element of ‘Divide et impera’ (recited in a public-scool accent) that contributed to the subsequent carnage.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Although the likes of Mary Beard would tend to disagree, I regard the Roman Empire to be the greatest Empire that the word has ever seen,
closely followed by our own.

Neither of course was a charity, but both brought inestimable benefits to mankind, too numerous sadly, to recall here.

The new American Empire, or Pax Americana, is showing signs of promise, despite its current very feeble, almost non existent leadership.

Was Trump their Caesar and Biden their Pompey?

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

No; our Caesar is still in the wings, waiting for his cue. It may not be a long wait.
If you like empires, and don’t mind the slaughter, you might want to consider the Mongols led by Genghis Khan. They reopened the Silk Road and generally practiced religious tolerance and local semi-autonomy — benevolent qualities not found much in our more recent world-conquerors.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

I’m glad hear it! It can’t come soon enough!

Unfortunately Genghis Khan & Co were a rather short lived phenomena, even in China, and thus things quickly returned to corrupt normality.

Additionally he was rather vilified by the reputation of his predecessor Attila and his Huns in the fifth century.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Biden has less talent than or diplomacy than Timmy Mallet ,At least Trump tried to get Arab States on board,Even Richard Nixon did 1972-74 , Biden &his postal Fraud acolytes are useless &guaranteed to Pour oil on troubled waters..

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 years ago

Even to ask that question is surely an insult to Pompey.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Your forgot to mention that ‘they’ also booby-trapped the bodies of those hanged sergeants, (two not three incidentally) to impede recovery. Not a pleasant job in the heat of July.

However both our gallows* in Acre and Jerusalem were kept busy hanging Irgun & Stern Gang terrorists.
In fact the very unpleasant Begin only avoided the ‘drop’ because peace arrived!

(* Both are now National shrines and can, Covid permitting, be visited.)

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I Know. Selective memory. My grandad was an Irish Guard in Palastine in 1936 supposedly keeping the peace. He was in the army cricket team so had special privileges. In that way he avoided patrols that could get very nasty. He was not a fan of settlers and would chuckle at the way reporting changed at the end of the last century as if they were the hard pressed freedom fighters who had never used terror to reach their aims.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I think the Arab leaders sided with the Nazis during WW2, so hardly surprising if the Israeli state hates Muslims.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The mark of the obsessive jew hater : mentions of King David and the USS liberty.

Bianca Davies
Bianca Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Nothing to do with Religion. Criticisms are directed to the State not the religion.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Yes, I know, factual history is a real inconvenience when you’re spreading myths…

juanplewis
juanplewis
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Health care in Israel is the same for everyone. In the WB is run by the PNA. So, it might not be that good, but that’s because it’s under different jurisdictions. If you are an Arab in Israel, citizen or not, you’re entitled to the same health care as anyone else. If you are in the WB, however, you’re entitled to a different health care system. For Arabs, it is a question is where they have their residency. For Jews, it is Israeli hospitals or nothing.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Israel is occupied by refugees, most of whom were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries for being Jewish.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

So they are taking it out on the Palestinians.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

In part, yes, in part they’re defending themselves against an Islamic war of supremacy. But you’re not interested really. You just can’t get over the end of British Imperialism and that the Jews kicked the British out.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Oh, I have no problem with the fact that the British are no longer there. Idem India and so on. However I don’t agree at all with your analysis: this is about the theft of all historic Palestine, to be followed by the pushing out of Arabs to maintain numerical superiority. Just read what they themselves write; it’s all there.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I think you know it’s a lot more complicated than that. Israel is a refugee state founded for the security of Jews. If they become a numerical minority they will not be secure. They’re not even secure in London as we saw yesterday. It’s pretty obvious. You have to avoid looking not to see.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

They’re as safe as anyone else in London: look at any statistics. Rude Tweets do not constitute threats to life. In passing, I deplore the shouting from the cars to which you refer.
The problem with your refugee state is that you created it where other people had been living for hundreds of years, created more refugees, and are not taking any responsibility – quite the opposite.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Only to a diseased mind.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

That’s a reply to what?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Racist is a badge of honour for Alex Lekas and others like him.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

It seems to me Zach from your comments that you spout antizionist anti-Semitism. I just cannot tell whether you are doing it from one of those leftist anti-Semitic positions like Corbyn, one of those Islamic anti-Semitic positions like the Ayatollahs or one of those old fashioned British anti-Semitic positions like Roald Dahl. Care to enlighten us?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

My position is clear. Both sides in this conflict pursue political goals at the expense of civilians. I hate everything Hamas stands for. I am secular liberal so the notion of theocratic fascist state is reprehensible. Nonetheless, the Palestinian position is primarily the result of Israeli action. This forum and your comments is a morass of bigotry and racism. You ramble about how Arabs have it better than Africans and then have the gall to accuse me of anti-semitism because I called out your bias. You’re a joke.

johnregan195322
johnregan195322
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Maybe they might if Israel turned on the water,the power and give back all the land took by Jewish settlements.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

there is zero evidence to believe that would happen. Hamas, through its masters in Iran, remains committed to the same goal it has always pursued. And it’s willing to use its own people as cannon fodder.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Coming from you that is a compliment.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Hamas are only in power in Gaza. Palestinians in the West Bank are disarmed and living under an occupation and yet still more Israeli settlements are built in their territory legally and illegally under Israeli law and yet all with the protection of the IDF. These settlements will eventually make any 2-state solution impossible, which is their aim. If all Palestinians ceased all resistance they would cease to exist as a people. They would be subsumed into a religious state that does not safeguard their interests as a people.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

The two-state solution is already impossible, apparently. Israel-Palestine are/is effectively one state, and the remaining issue is how the civil rights of the inhabitants are to be established and guaranteed. At present, neither side seems to be willing to work that out. The continued fighting must be seen as a good thing by the numerous foreign powers (the US, Iran, Turkey, Russia, etc.) that support the various contending parties, or they would act differently.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

You are right. The 2-state solution is practically unworkable because of Israeli settlements. The future is extremely bleak for the Palestinian people. The rising neo-Ottoman Empire might have a thing or two to say in the next 25-50 years.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Well, if I were King of the Palestinian Arabs, I would tell my people to say to the Israelis, “All right; you wanted us, you’ve got us. We are yours and correspondingly you are ours. Now let’s talk about our inheritance and our rights in this marriage you’ve insisted on.” Because that’s what taking over the land amounts to. The indefinite expansion of an ethnically-based state seems to contradict itself unless, like the US, you’re going to either assimilate or exterminate the natives, but I suppose it’s not my business.
In other news, for like reasons, I am not much of a believer in the reinflation of the either the Ottoman or the Persian empires.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  andrew harman

Another expert with a crystal ball

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

What never seems to be discussed is something that has puzzled me for years, which is this. If Hamas somehow got its way and Israel left the West Bank, that territory would immediately turn into a version of Yemen or Saudi Arabia or indeed Iran overnight: a benighted, totalitarian, fundamentalist 54ithole at best, an actual outlaw, bandit state at worst (my money would be on the latter).
Meanwhile, and consequently, the existential threats to Israel would, of course, continue, because Jews.
How would that be better for anyone living in the West Bank or in Israel?

Last edited 3 years ago by Jon Redman
Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You mean if the Palestinian people were allowed to live in a sovereign and independent nation and not under an apartheid regime?
Are you asking if a nation of people should be permitted to live in a sovereign state?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Wow, the tone deafness is astounding. Please explain how a Jew would fare in the Pali’s “sovereign nation”? Less comfortably than a Palestinian in Israel. But, congrats on parroting the “apartheid” talking point.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The West Bank isn’t Israel and has no Israeli citizens, and the well-being of fictitious people who don’t exist are immaterial to the discussion.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

remind me how Israel came into possession of the West Bank. History shows there was this dustup back in ’67. It’s almost like there is a common thread here, one of attacking Israel for daring to exist.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Do you think that the nation of Jewish people “should be permitted to live in a sovereign state”
I do not claim this is simple – but you really asked for that one.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Of course I think Israel (1) exists and (2) is sovereign. There is nothing to say about permission because they already have it. Palestinians do not.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

OK.

Val Cox
Val Cox
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

What is your view on Catalonia?

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That’s just straight out of your bigoted imagination. Palestinian women are educated, they don’t wear the burka, and the Saudis (Israel’s ally) are no friends to the Palestinians and vice versa.
Typically for Israel Apartheid apologists, you project your imagination onto a people of whom you know very little (threats, hate etc), while ignoring the reality of the situation, that the destroying and ethnic cleansing is being done by the Israeli occupation, not by the Palestinians of your lurid imagination.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

That’s just straight out of your bigoted imagination. 

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

it increasingly appears that no Arabs are friends of the Palestinians. Why do you suppose that is? Muslims live freely in Israel. How many Jews can say the same about life under Palestinian authority?

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Which Arabs are those — Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi… the ones beholden to and vassals of the US? I wonder why they don’t support Palestine any more…

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Any more? They’ve had 50 years + in which to provide support. But, sure; vassals. What else could it be.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The border between Egypt’s Sinai and Gaza was shut by the US-backed Hosni Mubarak, after his getting deposed the Morsi government (Muslim Brotherhood, not US-backed) opened the border with Gaza in c. 2011, then after his getting deposed the US and Saudi-backed Sisi government shut the border with Gaza again.

Notice a pattern?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Mubarak was pretty much forced out under Obama, who I believe was a US president. Again, this conflict has gone on for decades. It’s like some Arabs think Hamas has no more interest in peace than the PLO did.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The PLO did want peace, as does Hamas. But your version of peace is: stop shooting at us and accept subjugation in your own lands. Peace AND justice are necessary here.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Empty Vassals make more noise?…

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The despots have all been bought off, yes, I know. No Jews need live under the PA, because they just steal the land from under them (colonies) and prevent the Palestinians from returning. As for “equal rights” in Israel: only in your imagination.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The point remains – there are Muslims who live and work in Israel, including as cops and in other capacities. There are no Jews doing that on the other side. The Palestinians have shot down every two-state solution proposed because they cannot tolerate the presence of the other state.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You are creating a straw man with this. No Israeli needs or wants to live among the Palestinians, because the have Israel and the settlements. As you know, if they could push out the 20% of Israeli Arabs – they would do it tomorrow! Not sure who would then clean their toilets and streets, but I’m sure they’ll come up with something.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

the same people who cleaned their streets and toilets before. They can do it themselves, but nice to see that you think Palestinians are not fit for anything further up the food chain.
Palestinians could Palestine, if not for their obstinate leadership. You keep ignoring their refusal to go along with two-state solutions.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

They could Palestine with what? The ten acres of arid desert you are willing to leave them of historic Palestine?
From an Israeli economic publication:
On the social-economical level, the difficulties the Arab citizens face on the job market are a central factor in the economic disparity between Jews and Arabs—among the largest in the OECD countries—and to widespread poverty among the Arab population. Statistics show that approximately half of Arab families in Israel live below the poverty line (after taxes and transfer payments)1.”

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

“Desert”? Well, Israel managed to figure out how to grow food on arid land, so presumably the Palestinians can too. Most of the land of Israel, eg. the Negev in the south, is desert.
And what they were offered for a state (and rejected) two times was considerably more than “10 acres”. It was approximately the same amount of land Israel has.
As for Arab Israelis, plenty of Jewish Israelis are living under the poverty line too. Israel has its own cognitive elite like most countries do; they are the Ashkenazy Jews, descendents of Jews who migrated there from Russia and Europe starting in the 19th century. But at least 50 percent of Jews in Israel are not in that group; they are Sephardic, Mizrahi or Middle Eastern Jews, or Ethiopian Jews.
Obviously Israel is far from perfect. It has inequality and social problems, like all countries do. However, most Arab Israelis say they would not give up their Israeli citizenship to live in a Palestinian state, if one is created. So life there can’t be all that unbearable.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kathy Prendergast
John Mann
John Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Realistically, the two state solution is dead. A Palestinian state is a terrible idea, both for Jews and Palestinians. The sooner Israel realises that, and ends special rights for people of one group, the better.
https://mondoweiss.net/2019/10/the-two-state-solution-is-a-cruel-delusion-and-an-idol-in-washington/

Last edited 3 years ago by John Mann
Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
3 years ago
Reply to  John Mann

So I clicked on your link and was reminded of the old trope “opinions are like…” and the opinions expressed are especially repugnant. For example, “The answer is that Palestinians have experienced nothing but violence, disenfranchisement and diminution of their possessions throughout the two-state era. So they are the rightful leaders of this discussion. Their movement of nonviolent resistance has been inspiring internationally, in much the way that the civil rights and South African struggles once were, and the two-state consensus in Europe is beginning to fragment.”
Earlier a Democrat politician places ALL the blame on, you got it, Donald Trump. Amazing how a conflict of centuries duration became hopeless due to the shifting of liberal policies that FAILED for decades.
I will close by asking the same question I have asked before without satisfactory answer – who turned down the two state solution on behalf of the Palestinians?

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  John Mann

If Jordan and Egypt hadn’t attacked Israel in 1967 and got soundly defeated, they would likely still be occupying the West Bank and Gaza now, and no-one would be bitching about it or the need for a “Palestinian state”.

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

From a distance it feels like the change in administration in the US is also part of the cause/calculations. Trump was steadfastedly ignoring the Palestinians, refusing to parley with the Iranians, and working to create Israeli-Arab accords – effectively isolating the Palestinians politically.
Now, with the Democrats this has been unwound. It feels like Palestinians are back banging the table and making noise and demands, perhaps sensing that the US and others are more willing to support giving them concessions. Israel is having none of it of course. But if Palestine regains influence (and possibly funds) internationally as a result, they might see the bigger picture as worth the act of throwing their toys out of the pram to provoke their neighbours.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

I wonder if that might be the case for both sides. Ie. The Israeli government is also sending a message to the Democrats that this is what will happen if you don’t support us.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Those cunning Jews!

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Weird comment. Obsessed a little?

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

It’s irony, Mr Wright!

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

It’s ok, in UK politics you’re allowed to use anti-semitic tropes just so long as you’re overtly pro-Israel.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

I believe Biden did restore some funds to the Palestinians. And Trump wasn’t working to create Arab-Israeli accords, he actually got them signed.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Bill Clinton desperately sought to accomplish a Middle East peace deal to shore up his tarnished legacy. As his administration wound down hopeful word come forth that a deal was near but Arafat made last minute, unreasonable demands; http://www.thetower.org/0257-pres-clinton-arafat-turned-down-major-last-minute-israeli-concessions-in-2000/
Israeli concession do not bring peace.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

“How Hamas became so deadly”, really?

Hamas is as feeble and pathetic as every other contemporary Islamic terror group. Experts at slaughtering the innocent, but otherwise an irritation that the West can easily endure.

Paradoxically, given that they possess many young men & women who are not afraid to die, they should be performing much better.

They should look to History and attempt to emulate their Nizari Ismaili* predecessors, the fabled Assassins. High profile, targeted assassination of the ‘mighty’ was their specialty, and they had a remarkably successful record, until they were exterminated by the Mongols.

As to Iran, it hasn’t done anything of any real military significance since Nader Shah sacked Delhi in 1739. Are the loony Ayatollahs really going to change that? If there is even the slightest whiff that they have a credible nuclear weapon, they will, (to possibly misquote USAAF General Curtis E LeMay,) “ be bombed back into the Stone Age. Does anyone seriously doubt this?

(* Also referred to as the Almat State, 1090- 1275 AD).

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

If i recall correctly the original Old Man of the Mountain – Hassan Al Sabbah, and his followers, gave us the term hashashin. From this root we derived the term Assassin, whereas hashashin means an habitual or heavy user of cannabis. That plus the widespread belief that Almat soldiers were in a “friends with benefits” arrangement when on campaign or holed up in their mountain monasteries probably puts the mad mullahs off learning from them.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Their list of high profile victims was impressive, as was their preferred mode of attack.

Isn’t there also a theory that the ‘hashashin’ was used in the pejorative sense by their opponents?

Frankly killing innocent teenagers in the Manchester Arena will/has only generated complete and utter contempt for Islam.

Detonating oneself on the gates of the White House or even No 10, would be far more effective and generate far less revulsion, perhaps even applause in some quarters.

‘They’ might also recall that a rank amateur using the wrong calibre pistol, very nearly killed the US President thirty or so years ago, and before that JFK.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

JFK was killed by MK Ultra project ,Lee Oswald was in CIA via Atsugi ,top secret military base &Language school in Japan..Sirhan (Who still has no memory of What really happened) shot from the front on june 5 1968 he wounded 8 people, ..Thane cesar (US security guard & Nixon supporter) Shot Robert Kennedy in head,back & right Armpit from the back which mortally wounded him..

Last edited 3 years ago by Robin Lambert
Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Hassan-i Sabbah

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Or even, Hassan as-Sabbāh.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

Last word….Hassan Ibn al-Sabbah

🙂

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago

Do you remember the Oslo Accords? The Norwegians had moderated secret talks between the Israelis and the PLO. The PLO secured autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank. This was the early 1990’s.
I remember being pleased with the this. The administration of George H.W. Bush made a point of putting aside its own peace initiatives. It has become weary of Palestinian and Israeli intransigence. But the Oslo Accords opened new possibilities.
Unfortunately, the Palestinians couldn’t coalesce around their gains. Hamas pushed the newly-created Palestinian Authority (PA) out of Gaza. And ever since then Hamas has been scrounging for money and munitions with which to terrorize folks on the other side of the wall. For 20 years now, Hamas would set off on these binges of launching rockets into Israel.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank Mahmoud Abbas was elected to lead the the PA for a four year term. That was like 2010 or so. And, yet, they’ve never had new elections.
It’s hard not to conclude that both Hamas and the PA have been less than reliable bargaining partners. And, so, my own orientation has flipped from rather more pro-Palestinian to pro-Israeli: If the Palestinians aren’t going to negotiate in good faith — if they’re just interested in pocketing gains and undermining their counterparties (the Israelis), then there will never be peace. So, we find ourselves watching an interminable sequence of t*t-for-tat retaliation. What can the Palestinians expect?
Well, they could see that peace prevailed once the money from Iran and even from the US had been cut. No money. No rockets. There was something approaching peace.
And, how did that happen. The Trump administration reversed the pro-Iran policies of the Obama administration. Peace prevailed. Hate ’em or love ’em, the Trump people were on to something, but now we are back to the demonstrably failed policies of the past. That is a tragedy.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

And I suppose covering the West Bank with Israeli-only settlements, Israeli-only roads, was good faith?? That has made any idea of 2 states impossible, crystal clear from any map.

Robert Camplin
Robert Camplin
3 years ago

Any reading of history makes it very clear the Palestinians have never been offered anything they could accept; anything any rational person would accept.
They were offered bantustans where the Israeli military still had full control. They were never offered a State with contiguous borders, East Jerusalem as its capital and full control over land, air and sea. What idiot would accept such a play state when they have time, right and justice on their side?
Israel was never going to be able to hold the Palestinians under permanent occupation and it certainly cannot kill 6 million men, women and children. Neither can it drive them out. Occupied Palestine is dotted with illegal Jewish settlements, connected by Jew-only roads, but, to attack and drive out 4 million Palestinians, those settlements would need to be evacuated so as not to have Jewish settlers caught up in the carnage. That would immediately give the game away.
So, Israel is now hoist on its own petard with one option, just as South Africa faced, one state with equal rights for all. It is now inevitable and the only just solution to this colonial misery and mess.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Camplin

Any reading of history makes it very clear the Palestinians have never been offered anything they could accept

That is rather the point, is it not? What could they accept? Would they be satisfied with anything less than total domination, in the long run?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“It’s hard not to conclude that both Hamas and the PA have been less than reliable bargaining partners”
yes and their internal squabbles have done much to prevent any of them being taken seriously as good faith negotiations partners.
And I agree that cutting the money for rockets was a great idea, attacks against Israel were greatly reduced. It’s no coincidence that they have started back up again under Biden. Sad for their kids but they don’t seem to mind throwing their own kids lives away.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Robert Camplin
Robert Camplin
3 years ago

Nothing will change until Israel ends the occupation. Israel is the aggressor and has been since 1947.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago

I wonder if the fundamentalist mullahs in Iran appreciate the delicious irony of them having a Manichean view of the world…

David Simpson
David Simpson
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

At heart, all fundamentalists are Manichean. The War against Evil (I think that was the one before the War on Terror and after the War on Drugs) are much the same. Binary black and white thinking will destroy us all if we let it.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Simpson

True that.
btw I fear a war on disease now, specifically COVID, since people’s patience with the War on Drugs is pretty much run out. Who could argue with that? Endless opportunities for posturing politicians, ‘saves lives’, lots of money sloshing around, ..

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

It couldn’t overwhelm the iron dome before, but one day it may that’s what that article is saying. Iranian proxies around the Middle East gaining influence and power, whereas America’s changing demographics mean that it’s unwavering support for Israel may change within a generation or two

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I doubt it. But let’s not pretend that Israel would be helpless without the US. Let’s also not forget that the Middle East has changed. It isn’t all about the Palestinians anymore. The Abraham accords shifted the focus to Iran. Countries care far more about their security than they care about the Palestinians. Iranians have NOT gained influence around the Middle East, they have lost influence to the point that countries are willing to make deals with Israel, including security and trade. That is a huge shift. The article fails to recognize it. Witness the comparatively low level of world condemnation of Israel’s defense this time.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

I have to say that I don’t see a “comparatively low level of condemnation of Israel’s defence this around”. That statement has a smack of wishful thinking about it. Anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli statements and demonstrations are rife in England, and Germany, for example. Ignore them, if you wish, but there they are. I did note, however, from a report out today that the US vetoed several times in recent days a statement on the crisis from the UN Security Council. Presumably such a statement was calling on the Israelis to cease fire and sit down to negotiate. If so, it looks very much like Israel + US versus The Rest.

Julian Rigg
Julian Rigg
3 years ago

This situation is unsolvable in my view. I wish it were not so but it’s the tragedy of geography, religon and history gone mad and bad. However, seeing pro-Palestinians threaten Jews in London is not acceptable. I would feel the same if it were the other way around. Anyone who justifies that is A BIGOT.

Robert Camplin
Robert Camplin
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Rigg

It is important to remember not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews, and not all support the Israeli State. Equally, it is important to remember that Palestinians as Christians and Muslims are not all fanatics.
Unfortunately the Israeli State gives Jews and Judaism a bad name and more Jews, including Americans are coming to understand that reality.
The war crimes and human rights atrocities so often committed by Israel will taint followers of Judaism until the religion and its followers separate themselves from the Zionist State.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Rigg

Totally agree.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Clearly the Palestinians need justice from Israel. Truism: the blatant inbalance of material dignity is a gift to Israel’s eternal enemies.
Like many others must do I find this so hard to deal with in my mind. You can’t ‘not have an opinon’ but I can understand why so many others actively ‘say nothing’. Much energy is required to take a genuine even-handed approach.