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States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

By Russ Castronovo (Editor), Susan Gillman (Editor)

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Ear to the Ground

Israeli Troops Push Into Gaza City

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Posted on Jan 13, 2009
Gaza City
AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Smoke rises in Gaza City on Tuesday after Israeli airstrikes on the 18th day of the military offensive.

The war in Gaza has taken on another deadly dimension, as Israeli troops have moved into several districts of Gaza City, the BBC reported Tuesday, sparking street fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.


BBC:

Witnesses say Israeli special forces have advanced several hundred metres into several districts and intense gunfire can be heard.

Earlier, Israeli planes attacked more targets in Gaza as its offensive against Hamas entered its 18th day.

A Gaza rights group has said more than 90,000 people have fled their homes.

Palestinian medical officials say more than 40 people were killed on Tuesday, as Israeli troops advanced into parts of Gaza City and continued attacks elsewhere in the Gaza Strip.

They said emergency services had been unable to reach many of the areas targeted.

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By Margaret Currey, January 14, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If there are tunnels and Hamas can rearm themselves can they also not get food through their tunnel systems.

If these countries had bombs landing on their doorstep how would they react.

The first thing is these people do not want to have the Jewish have a state they hate Jews.

I read where a Jewish person was asked to convert to Muslim and when the man refused he was killed.

I would want to know why someone would want to convert, the first religion in the region was Jewish and then there was Cristanity, Muslim is a religion that was started up in the 7th century after Christ died.

The only way America can get out of the mess is let the state of Israel go it alone because this country cannot even take care of its own, thanks to the Foxes on Wll Street, and after the Foxes have stolen all the hens, this government gives them money after they took all the risks, and by risks I mean subprime mortgages which the banks had they been watched would not have made such risky loans.

But owning a house is great if you have a job, and the corporate owners have made sure that all jobs have been forced downward and out of the country.

Then there is the encouragement of illegal labor, and even our own government hires illegals to balance the budget.  But if there are few jobs would you give a mortgage to someone selling drugs.  Some mortgages are given to people who might not even be in the U.S. legally.

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

mvhome:

I answered your main question on another thread.

As to this comment: “On another note… I find the truculent tone coming from those posters who are strongly opposed to Israel’s combative stance odd. Seems a bit incongruent.”:

What’s odd? It’s totally consistent with the content and seriousness of our complaints against Israel that we’re not very nice about it.

You Israelis and Israel-centric “Americans” are so spoiled by the reverential treatment you get from our politicians and TV journalists, who are all cowed by your thought police. I guess it must come as a shock to find out how a lot of us Americans feel when we’re free to speak up.

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By mvhome, January 14, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges wrote…

“Look, dear. Lots of people don’t get to have a religious-ethnic state, paid for and violently supported by somebody else’s government. It’s really OK.

Can you get that through your ethnocentric little head?”

You wrote a similar notion on another thread… so please forgive the potential for repeating myself… Can you apply the same logic to massive economic support for the Palestinian Government with the ultimate aim of establishing an ethno-centric nation state?

On another note… I find the truculent tone coming from those posters who are strongly opposed to Israel’s combative stance odd. Seems a bit incongruent.

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By Ed Harges, January 14, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

re: By AndrewX, January 13 at 6:36 pm:

Andrew, dear: having a religious/ethnic supremacist state all your own is not the same as “existing”.

Our lack of interest in helping you to keep your ethnocratic nation-state on occupied land while dehumanizing, tormenting, and dispossessing the indigenous population by means of passionate support from our government, is not the same as wishing Jews not to “exist”.

Look, dear. Lots of people don’t get to have a religious-ethnic state, paid for and violently supported by somebody else’s government. It’s really OK.

Can you get that through your ethnocentric little head?

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By ThnkUBush, January 14, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Once the immediate crisis comes to an end, the Obama-Clinton team will face a choice in how to fulfill the new president’s commitment to invest heavily and early in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Although there are glimmers of hope on the Israel-Syria front, given current events, , the peace process refers—for all intents and purposes—specifically to the Israeli-Palestinian track. On this track, there are two principal schools of thought, reflected in two sets of studies produced in Washington in the last few weeks: The Washington Institute studies Prevent Breakdown, Prepare for Breakthrough: How President Obama Can Promote Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Security First: U.S. Priorities in Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking on the one hand and, on the other, an impressive report produced jointly by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Brookings Institution Restoring the Balance. On Israeli-Palestinian issues, the difference is clear: the Washington Institute studies call for a combined top-down/bottom up approach toward strengthening the Palestinian Authority (PA) and enhancing prospects for Israeli-PA negotiations; the relevant chapter in the CFR/Brookings study calls for findings ways the United States can engage Hamas.

Each approach has a certain logic, but it is important to recognize that these are “either/or” options. It is not possible to engage Hamas and build up the PA at the same time. Engaging Hamas would undermine whatever popular support remains for the Mahmoud Abbas-Salam Fayad government, bring an abrupt end to the Dayton (U.S. security coordinator, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton) effort to “train and equip” PA security forces, compel Egypt and Jordan to change course in terms of their own approach toward the PA, and buoy radical actors from Gaza to Beirut to Tehran.

Given both personnel choices and strategic imperatives, it is unlikely that the Obama-Clinton team will choose to engage Hamas. Indeed, even tactically, if the new administration is committed to a wholly new approach toward Iran, it makes little sense to waste capital and credibility—both here and abroad—on an early tilting at Hamas’s windmills.

Iran: the Bigger Picture
The Obama team cannot let Gaza distract from the even bigger test confronting them: the challenge of Iran. On Iran, the new administration faces a near-term policy decision of when to launch an international initiative to build leverage vis-a-vis Iran and open a direct engagement with Tehran. Some argue that Washington should wait several months, lest U.S. diplomacy itself become an issue in Iran’s June presidential election and somehow help the incumbent win a second term by letting him boast that his hardline policies compelled America to talk on his terms. Even Israeli president Shimon Peres has reportedly made this case. But in view of key players in the new administration, this argument is unlikely to carry the day. The reason is simple: as Washington dithers, centrifuges spin. If Washington waits until after Iran’s election to launch an engagement strategy with Iran, the Iranians will be close to—if not already at—the point where they have amassed enough low-enriched uranium to convert into weapons-grade material. So, timing is at the top of the agenda.

Expecting the Unexpected
There are many possibilities: the passing of a key regional leader like Egypt’s Mubarak or Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah; a spectacular Hamas terrorist attack inside Israel or against the PA, changing the dynamics of the current conflict; a decision by Hizballah and its Iranian patron to truly open a second front; terrorism against U.S. interests or installations; an unexpected outcome to the Israeli election; or a declaration by Iran that it had passed a nuclear threshold months before U.S. intelligence thought it was possible. The list goes on. These are just a few of the “what ifs” that, in the Middle East, are more often “whens” than “whethers.”

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By thebeerdoctor, January 14, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Why support the Democratic party?

http://www.alternet.org/audits/119252/

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By Shift, January 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

AndrewX: “give us peace please”

Only you can give yourself peace.

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By AndrewX, January 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Please.. we are givers not takers…
20% of all nobel prizes..170 or so out of 500… (and only 0.05% of people on earth…. 14 million people. its bugger all.. leave us be please…)...
we are givers not parasites..
we have nothing…
give us peace please… stop the hatred…

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By AndrewX, January 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Should we jews have a homeland a place we can call home??
Or in your opinoin do we deserve to to be alive??
Or did hitler fail?
Tell me please what should we do???
Its a minute piece of land….

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By Ed Harges, January 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Israel’s justifications for this massacre are complete crap.

Don’t understand that? Well then, Steve Weissman explains it all for you:

“Tel Aviv and its defenders never tire of repeating that Hamas started the war by shooting rockets into Israel. Few of the pro-Zionists mention that Israel has long blockaded Gaza’s ports and stopped cross-border shipment of needed supplies, creating a humanitarian crisis well before the current fighting began. Blockades are widely considered an act of war and, in the case of Gaza, is arguably a war crime as well.”

http://www.truthout.org/011309R

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Remember reading about Masada and the Masada complex?! If not, go to the link below and read a concise summary of that historical event of 73 C.E.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Arch...

It seems to me that the Palestinian resistance, though unconsciously, are intend on creating their own modern “Masada” complex, similar, en essence, to to their ancient cousins, yet different in details.

In the original Masada, the ancient Jewish zealot men killed their own children and women, then the men committed suicide rather than surrendering to the Romans. The number of people who perished in that incident are estimated at one thousand.

In the Palestinian situation, the besieged Palestinians are putting a stiff resistance rather than surrendering to a far superior army with much more superior and deadly weapons, so, en essence, it’s a form of suicide, but less cowardly than the original “Masada”; hence a difference. Another difference is related to the number of victims among the besieged Palestinians and the level of infrastructure destruction after this modern siege is over. 

However, the ultimate outcome would be the same. The Palestinians will develop their own “Gaza Complex” which will be built in the psychic of the survivors for generations to come, which only an Omni-Scientist God will know its long term tragic consequences.

How tragic that history repeats itself and recalcitrant human beings continue to fail learning its lessons!

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By Crimes of the State Blog, January 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Tired Zionist lie:

“Hamas is at fault for all of it. “

Absurd.  Israeli terror has been unabated for decades.  Their genocide against the people of Palestine continues, although progress occasionally stalls.  They have never wanted peace, being the overwhelming military power in the area.  They use opportunities like the Palestinians fighting back as excuses to push forward with their apartheid and land grabs.  They provoke these responses, as they have held Gaza under a starvation siege for months, even as Hamas agreed to a 5 month cease fire—which Israel broke on November 4th. 

No. All the lying spin in the world isn’t fooling the world that Israel’s actions are anything other than genocide.  They intend to make life impossible, and forcefully eject the Palestinians in order to steal ever more of their lands.  Leaders like Ben Gurion made no secret of their intentions.

This isn’t about Hamas at all.  It never was.  The policies were the same long before Hamas ever existed.  They will continue even if every last Hamas “militant” is killed.  Israel is a terror state, hell bent on territorial expansion and the securing of resources like water and natural gas.  This is reality, not your endless lies and faux victimhood.

Israel has made no offer to lift the starvation siege which left Gaza the “biggest open air prison in the world.”  Not during the ceasefire.  Not at all.  Israel is a monstrous, genocidal, despicable regime that should be isolated and cut off from the world and its funding.

If any Arab regime had done to the Jews what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians, the arguments would all be 180 degrees flipped.  That’s the test of a moral principle.  What if they were doing it to you? 

Oh yeah—we already have a large library of Holocaust films and literature to sort that one out. 

It was wrong what the Germans did to the Jews.

It is wrong what the Jews did, and are now doing at this minute, to the Palestinians.

The leaders of Israel, like the leaders of the US, should face war crimes charges, as they are clearly war criminals.

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By Howard, January 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Where were the protestors when missiles were falling on southern Israel? Had they come into the streets then and demanded that Hamas stop firing we wouldn’t have the sad mess in Gaza today.

The rockets and mortars first struck on April 16, 2001. Since then, there have been more than 6,300. Last year’s toll was more than 3,000.

For much of the time the rockets were small Qassams with small warheads. However small, they kill as effectively as any high-tech grenade launcher. The missiles have been getting deadlier: Katyushas and,finall Grad missiles have been reaching further into Israel, striking towns 30 miles from Gaza.

Casualties from the rockets have fortunately been light, with about 20 deaths. That is not due to any lack of trying by Hamas. Instead, it’s mainly because of air raid sirens which give people only a minute to get into shelter. And some luck: Last week a missile hit a school; deaths were avoided because the children had been sent home. A kindergarten was again damaged this week; again, the children were at home.

A million people now live under threat of terror attack. Life is certainly strained

THE GOVERNMENT has never been able to resolve the quandary of commanding one of the world’s most modern armies and yet being powerless to halt low-tech rockets and bombs. It still loods for a solution. No help form other countries.  Especally in the ME as to Israel’s predicament.

Public demands mounted for tough action. How about returning a rocket fired into gaza for every one indiscriminately one fired into Israel?

Government was under trmendous pressure. Any nation in similar situation would do the same. Hamas has been counting on this happening. Most likely not as severe.  Have yet to see any criticsm of Hamas. Who never ever exhiibited any tendencay for a peaceful way.

Hamas is at fault for all of it.  Cannot govern.  A disgrace to their people.  A stooge group of anarchists doing Iran and Syria’s bidding. To the detriment of its own people.

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By P. T., January 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Israel even targets children in U.N. shelters.

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By Shift, January 13, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

The Israeli’s, the butchers of Gaza, delude themselves in their righteousness.  Their actions are genocide.  They have become the executioners in the camps.  Israel is now the darkness and in that darkness they are forever damned in the minds of civilized and moral peoples across the globe.  America is the enabler of death, and therefore also damned.  We have crossed the line of no return and our futures are double damned.

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By yours truly, January 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(Can there still be any doubters?)

Gaza And The Warsaw Ghetto

same place

different time

while the world stood by

genocide

live

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By Howard, January 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

No stealing of land. No stealing of water. Blockading is ok if ones you are blockading are trying to destroy you and have been bombarding you with over 6000 rockets and missles for the last 6 years. Inadvertant loss of civilian life is Hamas’s fault as they caused this crisis, and unlike Hamas, IDF goes out way to not hurt civilians, but goes after terror bums who hide amongst the civilians.

And I do hope Israel re-arms when they can until implacable foes surrounding her decide to change their educational system and get with signing a true meaningful peace agreement for the benefit of all in the region.

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By P. T., January 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

In Israeli places hit by rocket fire, Israel harbors soldiers and reservists amongst human shields. Any people or nation would resist if Zionist terrorists were stealing its land and water, blockading it, and killing residents. The Zionists also use any ceasefire as an opportunity to rearm.

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