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Posted on Dec 29, 2008

Yaakov Kirschen, The Jerusalem Post, Dry Bones



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By DR, January 4, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

To all those who would defend Israel’s actions:

WATCH THIS VIDEO… If your heart doesn’t sink, you’re not human:

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Leaked_graphic_video_shows_carnage_in_0104.html

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By Maani, January 1, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

DR:

You say, “You’re really being a dimwit here; I’m wondering if it’s real, or if you’re just desperate not to admit you’re wrong on this one.”

Among other things, I have said the following:

“The only thing that is not in dispute (to one degree or another) is that the formation of the State of Israel caused the displacement of other people who have equal rights to live there in peace, whether autonomously or otherwise.”

And

“[F]or the record, I deplore almost all of what the Israeli government does, and has done, over the years, and I have been, and remain, a staunch supporter of a Palestinian homeland.”

Thus, I have acknowledged the single most important underlying FACT of them all - that the creation of the State of Israel caused the displacement of the Palestinians - and I have made it clear that I am opposed to almost everything the government of Israel says and does.

What else would you accept as “bona fides” for my even-handedness?

Peace.

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By DR, January 1, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Wow Maani, learn how to read, will you? When I said that I attempted to see the Israeli side, I was contrasting it with you, who are explicitely on the Israeli side, being incapable of seeing the PALESTINIAN side.

You’re really being a dimwit here; I’m wondering if it’s real, or if you’re just desperate not to admit you’re wrong on this one.

Report this

By kim worth, January 1, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone on this forum is missing the point, obsessed with details of the last few days. The point is that, contrary to the MSM slant, nothing in the ME started last week. MSM slant always begins with “Israel, responding to rocket attacks…”. Evidently the rocket attacks themselves were NOT a response to anything, say, land theft, inhumane living conditions, and serial war crimes. Obama’s comment, that he’d do something too if someone were firing rockets at his daughters’ house, invites the question, what if someone had kidnapped your brother and locked him up for 2 decades without a trial, stolen your house and lands, driven you into a tiny area, sealed off the border and driven living conditions below most 3rd world slums? What if they’d denied your daughters needed medicine and even food? What if your kids were deaf from Israeli sonic booms and had PTSD (most Gaza kids do)?  “Change you can believe in”. HAH! Meet the new boss…

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By Maani, January 1, 2009 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

troublesum:

“The Israeli members of the knesset who run on a platform of a just peace and a recongition of Palestinian rights are in a small minority.  That doesn’t say much for the kind of peace ‘most Israelis on the street’ want.  Presumably, if ‘most’ Israelis wanted peace they would elect more candidates from these minority parties.”

I’m not sure this follows, as logical as it may seem.  After all, there is no question that every poll taken prior to the U.S. elections showed that well over 70% of Americans wanted the U.S. out of Iraq.  Yet 70% of America did not vote for Obama.  And this is true and typical of many countries: people not voting for the candidates who would actually best carry out their desires.  It is bizarre, to be sure, but it is a fact of elections.

DR:

“I, at least, have attempted to see the Israeli side—I have never in the least justified or excused Hamas’ actions. You have done nothing of the sort, at least in this forum.”

Apparently, I am both a Zionist AND I have not “attempted to see the Israeli side.”  Boy, a guy just can’t get a break!  LOL.

Seriously, though, your comment makes little sense, since, if anything, I have been shown as much of my “Zionist” side (LOL) as my “not attempting to see the Israeli side” side.  That is, a quick read-through of all my posts on this thread shows that I have been basically even-handed in my comments.

Peace.

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By DR, December 31, 2008 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

1. Israel targeting civilian buildings: simple, just watch BBC once in a while. Israel is very clear that they target civilian buildings, only they justify it by claiming they are being used as shields by Hamas. Why would they use that justification if not to excuse their targeting of civilian buildings?

2. Israel DID officially justify its attack on the Gaza University by directly referring to that University’s teaching of missile technology. That’s a matter of public record. But if we accept your view of this situation (“they bombed the Islamic University of Gaza as a “symbolic” gesture), it’s far worse: Israel would have targeted a civilian installations, and civilians specifically WITHOUT ANY MILITARY JUSTIFICATION WHATSOEVER (not even a bad one), AND IS AN OUTRIGHT, EXPLICIT WAR CRIME. So I fail to see how that excuses Israel’s attack.

3. “I deplore almost all of what the Israeli government does”: Except, it would seem, when Israel decides to launch an attack which is completely un-justified. Then you go on full Israel-defence mode. I say the attack is un-justified because although Israel might have a case for *some* kind of action, there is no justification under international law for the deliberate targeting of civilians, whether the culprit be Hamas, Israel or the U.S.

Once again, good for the goose, good for the gander. As for my “hefty assumptions”: they are not assumptions, but rather an interpretation of the only evidence available to me (namely your comments here). If I am incorrect, then so be it. But you have given me no reason to believe that I am wrong. I, at least, have attempted to see the Israeli side—I have never in the least justified or excused Hamas’ actions. You have done nothing of the sort, at least in this forum.

Namer:

Quoting WorldNutDaily and Pajamas"Media” here won’t do you much good. Those organisations have zero credibility. This is not simply because they are extreme-right propaganda organs (which they are), but because their track records in terms of factual reporting is less than stellar.

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By troublesum, December 31, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Maani
Of course most Israelis want peace - peace on THEIR terms, which explains why they keep electing leaders who will not recognize Palestinian rights.  If they wanted a just peace they would elect the kind of government which would bring it about.  The Israeli members of the knesset who run on a platform of a just peace and a recongition of Palestinian rights are in a small minority.  That doesn’t say much for the kind of peace “most Israelis on the street” want.  Presumably, if “most” Israelis wanted peace they would elect more candidates from these minority parties.  If most Israelis wanted a just and lasting peace they would adopt the UN resolution calling for a pull back to the boundaries that were in place prior to the ‘67 war.  That would be the place to start.
I’m sorry but it is still incomprehensible to me why a people with the history of the Jews would support the Israeli government in perpetrating crimes against humanity.  It would think they would be the first to condemn it.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Maani, December 31 at 4:59 pm wrote:

“I admit to having read about half a dozen reports, from a wide spectrum of print and Web media, but I had not come across the JP item.  Are there others like it?”
=========================
“Israel Targets Terror Labs Funded by U.S. Islamic Group”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-targets-terror-labs-funded-by-us-islamic-group/
=========================
“News media falsely portraying Gaza attack”

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=84806
=========================

It certainly seems to me like the Israeli was “in the right.”  If so, be careful of being labelled a “Zionist.”  LOL.

I am a Zionist, and proudly so. In the real world, it’s a good thing to be, despite what you read from the usual assholes on these comment pages.

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Namer:

I admit to having read about half a dozen reports, from a wide spectrum of print and Web media, but I had not come across the JP item.  Are there others like it?

Re the joke, while it is funny, I’m not sure what to make of it.  It certainly seems to me like the Israeli was “in the right.”  If so, be careful of being labelled a “Zionist.”  LOL.

Peace.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Maani, December 31 at 4:36 pm wrote:

“Yet Israel bombarded a University in Gaza under that very justification.”  No, that was not their justification, at least not that I have read anywhere.  Rather, they bombed the Islamic University of Gaza as a “symbolic” gesture, since many (if not most) high-ranking Hamas officials graduated from there.”

Not so.
The reason the IDF gave for the hit on the university building was that it housed the R&D and production facilities for advanced explosives and rocket motor fuels.

Two laboratories in the university, which served as research and development centers for Hamas’s military wing, were targeted. The development of explosives was done under the auspices of university professors.

University buildings were also used for meetings of senior Hamas officials.

The IDF said rockets and explosives were stored in the buildings.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111723191&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

troublesum:

“This morning on democracynow Benjamin Netanyahu’s nephew, a citizen of Israel who is a student in the US, said that you hear just as much talk in Israel about wiping Palestinians off the face of the earth.  It’s just that the media here doesn’t report that.”

At the risk of sounding sarcastic, are you going to take the word of the son of the single most right-wing figure in all of Israeli politics?

In fact, although playing “tit-for-tat” may seem silly, I have literally dozens of Israeli friends who tell me quite different.  That most Israelis “on the street” very much want peace, and support a two-state solution.  In this regard, it may be true that the “political types” (Meir, Dayan et al) may talk that way, but most Israelis (and most Israeli Arabs) are more progressive than that.  Although it is not a perfect example, do you remember that, in the lead-up to the Iraq war, there was one weekend when over 30 million people marched against the war in 106 cities in 20 countries simultaneously?  And do you remember that, in Israel, the Jews and Arabs joined - over 20,000 strong - to protest together?

My understanding, from all of my Israeli friends, is that perhaps 60% of the country very much wants peace and a two-state solution, but that (as usual) it is the extremists - on both sides - who continue to make it impossible.

As for, “American Jews are too emotional about the issue.  Their identity as Jews is tied to the Israeli government which is incomprehensible to me,” while I would have to agree with the first sentence fragment, it should not be “incomprehensible,” given the history of the Jewish people, the diaspora, the Holocaust, and the “miracle” of a Jewish homeland.

Peace.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Gotta love Kirschen - been so good for so many years and shows n sign of slowing down now. So, along the lines of his great cartoon, I offer this echoing sentiment:

Dan Rather, Katie Couric, and an Israeli sergeant were all captured by terrorists in Iraq. The leader of the terrorists told them he would grant them each one last request before they were beheaded.

Dan Rather said, ‘I’m a Texan, so I’d like one last bowlful of hot spicy chili.’ The leader nodded to an underling who returned with chili. Rather ate it all and said, ‘Now I can die content.’

Katie Couric said, ‘I’m a reporter to the end. I want to take my tape recorder, then describe the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe someone will hear it and know I was on the job till the end.’

The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder, and Couric dictated some comments, then said, ‘Now I can die happy.’

The leader turned and said, ‘And now, Mr. Israeli tough guy, what is your final wish?’

‘Kick me in the ass,’ said the soldier.’

‘What?’ asked the leader? ‘Will you mock us in your last hour?’

‘No, I’m not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,’ insisted the Israeli.

So the leader shoved him into the clearing and kicked him in the ass. The soldier was sent sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from under his flack jacket, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he jumped to his knapsack, pulled out his carbine and sprayed the rest of the terrorists with gunfire. In a flash, all terrorists were either dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the soldier was untying Rather and Couric, they asked him, ‘Why didn’t you just shoot them in the beginning? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass first?’

‘What?’ replied the Israeli, ‘And have you two assholes report that I was the aggressor?!’

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

DR:

“Israel is targeting civilian buildings, period.”  And you know this how?  Do you have some proof to support this irrefutable claim?

But follow your argument to its conclusion; any military installation, in any guise, anywhere is a viable target.”

I am not sure I agree with that, nor do I believe that either Israel or Hamas believes that.  That is, even though it is true that universities often have “military research programs,” that has never been the focus of attacks, nor should it be.  When most people (including governments) talk about “military targets,” they are talking about either places from which military strikes are actually coming, or places that house military equipment and/or personnel.

“Yet Israel bombarded a University in Gaza under that very justification.”  No, that was not their justification, at least not that I have read anywhere.  Rather, they bombed the Islamic University of Gaza as a “symbolic” gesture, since many (if not most) high-ranking Hamas officials graduated from there.  This BY NO MEANS excuses Israel’s outrageous and unnecessary destruction of a civilian educational target.  But if you are going to claim a “justification,” make sure it’s correct.

Finally, “But you are far too pro-Israel to ever be able to see the other side. The Arabs are not human beings in your eyes, they are simply the enemy. So this conversation is pointless.”

You make some pretty hefty assumptions here.  But, for the record, I deplore almost all of what the Israeli government does, and has done, over the years, and I have been, and remain, a staunch supporter of a Palestinian homeland.

Peace.

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By DR, December 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

Israel is targeting civilian buildings, period; that is a war crime under any statute. We’ll never know for sure whether there were or were not any Hamas installations there, since the evidence has been destroyed.

But follow your argument to its conclusion; any military installation, in any guise, anywhere is a viable target. You might not be aware of this, but pretty much any University of any repute in the hard sciences has military research programs. McGill University in Montreal, for example is well know for its participation in numerous black programs; some we know (because the documents were de-classified decades later), some we don’t. Do you not realize that Technion University is a primary research center in WMD for the Israeli government (biological, chemical AND nuclear)? Does that make it an acceptable target? Yet Israel bombarded a University in Gaza under that very justification.

What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. But you are far too pro-Israel to ever be able to see the other side. The Arabs are not human beings in your eyes, they are simply the enemy. So this conversation is pointless.

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

DR:

Thank you for your measured response.

You say, “Israel might be *targeting* Hamas, but they are killing innocents by the boatload.” And you add, “but to compare that to the utter destruction visited by Israel on hospitals, entire apartment blocks full of people, or kids playing in a schoolyard is absolutely ridiculous.”

What is not being said is that Hamas DELIBERATELY places some (perhaps many) of its rocket launchers in residential neighborhoods (this was even truer of Hezbollah during the recent Israeli conflict).  So one could claim that the innocents being killed - including children - are at least partially Hamas’ own fault.  After all, the Israelis are trying to target only the launch areas.  If those launch areas are being deliberately set up in or near residential areas, then Hamas would seem to bear equal responsibility for its own civilian dead.

Peace.

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By troublesum, December 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Maani
This morning on democracynow Benjamin Netanyahu’s nephew, a citizen of Israel who is a student in the US, said that you hear just as much talk in Israel about wiping Palestinians off the face of the earth.  It’s just that the media here doesn’t report that.  It was only this week that I read things which were said by Israeli leaders throughout the history of the conflict such as, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.” (Golda Meir)  “You are free to leave, but if you stay you will continue to live like dogs.” (Moshe Dayan)  We have had only one side of the story in this country.  The news has been carefully managed on this issue.  In the film “Occupation 101” an Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi in Israel states that the conflict has nothing to do with Judaism or Jews or Arabs; it has to do with Zionism - the belief that the land belongs only to Jews and no one else.  He said he remembered his father saying how Jews and Arabs lived together like brothers before the Zionists came.  This man surely knows the meaning of the nazi holocaust as well as anybody, but it doesn’t cloud his understanding of what is happening in the ME today.  American Jews are too emotional about the issue.  Their identity as Jews is tied to the Israeli government which is incomprehensible to me.  I hope I die if the day ever comes when my identity as an American is tied to the actions of my government.

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By DR, December 31, 2008 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

Would you want an Israeli ordnance lobbed into your living room? If you read my post, you’ll see that I compare the destructive power of what Hamas is using to that which Israel uses; they are apples and oranges. A simple American-Israeli bomb can level entire city blocks. Israel might be *targeting* Hamas, but they are killing innocents by the boatload.

Case in point: A video was shown today on MSNBC depicting the explosion of a Hamas missile in Israel. The explosion was about equivalent to a small car-bomb. A man was standing about 10 feet away, yet he was completely unhurt. I wouldn’t want to have been him, but to compare that to the utter destruction visited by Israel on hospitals, entire apartment blocks full of people, or kids playing in a schoolyard is absolutely ridiculous.

And I did not say it was not ok to compare the number of people killed; quite the contrary. And if you actually read what I wrote, you’d have known that. I’m saying that for some, 1 Israeli dead is far more important than 300, or 1000, or even 10000 Palestinian dead. The fact that those are people like you and me escapes most of the zim-boom-bah blood-thirsty war-cheerleaders.

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

troublesum:

With all due respect, the “facts of the conflict” are not nearly so black and white.  In fact, it is quite a number of shades of gray.

I do not dispute the generality of your comments, or their status as “facts” of a sort.  But they are not the ONLY facts, and they do not necessarily follow each other as directly or logicially as you provide them.

The only thing that is not in dispute (to one degree or another) is that the formation of the State of Israel caused the displacement of other people who have equal rights to live there in peace, whether autonomously or otherwise.  This is, in fact, why Hamas’ “constitution” calls for nothing less than the “elimination” of the State of Israel, whether by violence, by dissolution, or otherwise.  Since that is simply not going to happen (i.e., Israel is not “going anywhere”), the “facts on the ground” can be seen from opposite perspectives.

Unless Hamas (and Hezbollah) gives up its unrealistic goal of “eliminating” Israel, nothing will ever change.  And this would be true even if Israel ceased all violence, all settlements, went back to 1967 borders, etc.

Peace.

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By troublesum, December 31, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

“Gaza is a prison; just one big prison.”  Richard Falk
God forbid that prisoners should try to defend themselves against the guards who have gone mad.

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By troublesum, December 31, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

“Gaza is a prison; just one big prison.”  Richard Falk
God forbid that prisoners should try to defend themselves against the guards who have gone mad.

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By troublesum, December 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

People should at least try to acquaint themselves with the facts of the conflict.  We keep hearing that Hamas is wrong to send rockets over the boarder. The fact is that Gaza has been under siege on and off for the past twenty years - since the time of the first Intifada.  According to the UN commissioner on refugees, what Israel was doing was a crime against humanity.  They were not allowing food to enter Gaza and people were starving.  If this is not a crime against humanity, I don’t know what is.  It is certainly an act of war at the least.  In response to that Hamas has fired rockets over the boarder.

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

lefktra:

“There’s a word for what Israel is doing to the Palestinians: holocaust. Anyone who denies it is anti-Semitic.”

Please.  Hyperbole and broad-brush accusations are inappropriate.

If Israel were interested in a “holocaust” of the Palestinians, it would have occurred long ago; after all, Israel has been a “state” for 60 years, fully supported by the U.S. and others.  A “holocaust” would not have taken 60 years to achieve, if that were their goal. (Compare this with Hitler, who was able to come close to exterminating most of Europe’s Jews in only a few years.)

I am Jewish (by birth), I reject almost everything the Israeli government does and has done, and I support a free and autonomous Palestinian state.  Thus, to suggest I am “anti-Semitic” because I disagree with your assessment is simply absurd.

Peace.

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By lefktra, December 31, 2008 at 2:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s a word for what Israel is doing to the Palestinians: holocaust. Anyone who denies it is anti-Semitic.

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By Doug Tarnopol, December 30, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

What is this crap (the political cartoon) doing on Truthdig? Irony?

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By Maani, December 30, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

dsmith:

“The count now stands at…for every 300 Palestinians killed, one Israeli has died.”

You wanna try supporting this statement with actual evidence?

Alan:

Bravo.

DR:

“I agree with you. Hamas is in the wrong in lobbing missiles over the border. Yet in comparison to a single Israeli bomb, courtesy of Uncle Sam, those missiles are mere firecrackers.”

So it’s not okay to make comparisons re the number of people killed, but it’s okay to make comparisons on the destructive power of rockets?  Let me ask you: would you want those “mere firecrackers” lobbed into YOUR neighborhood on an ongoing basis?

Peace.

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By DR, December 30, 2008 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Alan:

That’s a whole load of BS, and you know it. 1 dead Israeli, in your mind, is morally equivalent to 1000 Palestinians. Most Israelis I’ve known consider Arabs to be nothing but dogs. They will scream bloody murder if one of their own is kidnapped, and launch a carpet bombing campaign levelling half of Lebanon to “avenge” them, yet they have in their prisons thousands of political prisoners, most of which were kidnapped in various area which Israel controls militarily, but which it has NO RIGHT TO. And quite a few of those prisoners have been regularly tortured.

It’s funny that you claim such sympathy for the inhabitants of Sderot; fine. I agree with you. Hamas is in the wrong in lobbing missiles over the border. Yet in comparison to a single Israeli bomb, courtesy of Uncle Sam, those missiles are mere firecrackers. A Hamas missile will typically punch a whole in a wall; an Israeli bomb will level a street-block, women and children included. A dead man is a dead man is a dead man; you simply do not have the right to equate 1 Israeli to 300 Palestinians, whatever the justification.

This is precisely the kind of reasoning that lead to the Holocaust.

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By Alan, December 30, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

so let’s see… when the civilian town of Sderot was being bombed on a daily basis with concomitant casualties and fatalities it was OK? And consider this, perhaps when someone threatens your well being you should be ignored.
I think it’s remarkable how one can apply humanitarian concerns in one direction but not the other. When I read comments such as those above I question the ethical basis of the writers.
Hamas’ provocations over the years and Israel’s response is not at all helpful to anyone involved. Pointing fingers is not helpful to anyone. Getting the cycle of violence to stop in a reasoned manner will.
Perhaps, if Hamas, the legitimate governing organization in Gaza, changes their mission from the destruction of Israel to the creation of a civil society then progressive and constructive change can be realized.

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By Bob Reedy, December 30, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“You know”,why can’t we have someone from our state of New York for our Senator.New Yorkers understand each other,YOU KNOW?

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By warren schaich, December 30, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascism,rule by violence is alive and growing in the early 21st century, led by the US and its sister companion Israel; both build massive walls to contain the colonized, both kill innocents from the air without conscience and both have histories of racism. Hey they do it in the christian way with God looking on.
Warren Schaich

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By dsmith, December 30, 2008 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The count now stands at…for every 300 Palestinians killed, one Israeli has died. 1000 Palestinians…men, women and children, are seriously wounded and cannot get medical care due to the blockade.

Israel is a thug nation who is acting like Nazi Germany. Don’t cry for them, cry for the oppressed Palestinians.

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By DR, December 30, 2008 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

40 years of illegal occupation; forced starvation due to extended blockade; disappearance and torture (you didn’t realize Israel was a torture regime?); carpet bombings of civilian targets at the slightest provocation, with countless victims (because no one takes the time to count the Palestinian dead; they only ever count the Israeli dead).

Oh, and the continuing encouragement of illegal settlements.

that enough for ya? Let’s look at the other side of the conflict, once in a while; otherwise you look like a bunch of knuckle-dragging morons.

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By P. T., December 29, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

The Gazan rocket attacks have nothing to do with Israel’s massacre of Palestinians.  Hamas made clear it would accept a ceasefire if Israel also did and ended the siege.  The Zionists declined.

This thing is about Israel and the U.S. trying to kill Palestinians so that the people will turn against Hamas and try to overthrow it.  However, the indigenous Palestinian people are not cooperating.

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