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Are they “anti-semites” or “self-loathing” Israelis? Or could it be okay as long as they say it?

25 January, 2009

No moderates left

By Gideon Levy

Tags: kadima, gaza, israel news

The three leading candidates for prime minister are extremists. Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak went to war in Gaza and are therefore as radical as can be. Benjamin Netanyahu is more radical in rhetoric only.We must not be led astray in this election campaign and consider both Livni and Barak as moderates, in contrast to the “extremist” Netanyahu. This is a deception. Kadima and Labor, the center and left-wing parties, have led Israel to two awful wars within two years. Netanyahu has yet to go to war once. True, he speaks more radically than the other two, but so far it has only been words, while the “moderates” have taken radical, aggressive action.


None of the people involved in the Gaza war can speak of peace now. Those who delivered such a brutal blow to the Palestinians, only to sow more hatred and fear among them, have no intention of making peace with them. Those responsible for firing white phosphorous shells into a civilian population and destroying thousands of homes cannot talk the following day about two states living peacefully side by side.


This war unmasked Livni, the woman who had promised us “different politics.” She, who as foreign minister was supposed to show Israel’s sunny side to the world, chose to present an arrogant, violent and brutal face. During the war she boasted that Israel was acting “savagely,” threatened to let Hamas “have it” and announced that the cease-fire would come into effect “whenever Israel decides.”

As far as she was concerned, there was no world, no United States and Europe, no UN Security Council, and no bleeding and defeated other side – only Israel will decide. No foreign minister has ever spoken like this before.


This war’s marshal, Ehud Barak, has forever deprived himself of the moral right to talk of coexistence, political arrangements and diplomacy. If he really believed in them, he would have given them a chance before going to war, not afterward. Barak took the army to war and Barak must pay for it, together with his “left-wing” party, which joined the most radical, far-right parties in supporting the move to outlaw Israel’s Arab parties.

Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu, Livni and Barak are one – they all voted in support of an undemocratic decision. And don’t be alarmed by Lieberman – he, too, only talks. But at least he does so honestly, while Barak fires off salvos and deceives.

Granted, these impostors still enjoy the support of world leaders, but for many people around the globe, they have become war-mongers and suspected war criminals. Their diplomatic immunity will protect them – but who wants those leaders, with their bloodied hands, to represent us?


This is how we’re going into elections – with three leading parties that are hardly different from each other.

We always used to say, “There aren’t any moderates in the Arab world.” Now we are the ones who don’t have any. Vote as you will, but don’t fool yourself. Every ballot cast for Kadima, Labor and Likud is an endorsement of the last war and a vote for the next one. (bold emphasis mine)


The war that wasn’t
By Reuven Pedatzur
Tags: israel news, hamas, IDF, gaza

It is very dangerous for the Israel Defense Forces to believe it won the war when there was no war.


The Hamas fighters did not even try to stop the IDF soldiers who entered the Strip, opting to withdraw without a fight. The challenge the soldiers were faced with in their advance on Gaza City was not – as senior command had said prior to the operation – hand-to-hand combat with determined fighters, armed to the teeth and willing to die, but the need to find booby traps and explosives, and occasionally to neutralize individual snipers as well. This is not war. It is not even a real battle.


But all this does not alter the fact that what happened in the Strip was essentially a military operation characterized by advancing forces in hostile territory, densely populated by civilians, without facing a military force.

At the start of the ground offensive, senior command decided to avoid endangering the lives of soldiers, even at the price of seriously harming the civilian population. This is why the IDF made use of massive force during its advance in the Strip. As a Golani brigade commander explained, if there is any concern that a house is booby-trapped, even if it is filled with civilians, it should be targeted and hit, to ensure that it is not mined (bold emphsis mine) – only then should it be approached. Without going into the moral aspects, such fighting tactics explain why there were no instances in which there was a need to assault homes where Hamas fighters were holed up.

Other outcomes of this fighting method were the extensive damage and the deaths of many civilians. According to IDF statistics, almost two thirds of Palestinians killed were civilians. Moreover, even though it was one of the war’s aims, hardly any Hamas fighters were taken prisoner, and the holding center set up to imprison them remained almost empty.


The IDF should relate to its performance in Operation Cast Lead with the necessary humility and proportionality. There was no war there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mythos permalink
    26 January, 2009 21:15

    Great article.

    ~ Mythos

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