Tuesday, July 29, 2014


That was from five years ago - even the number of casualties is close to the same as now.   

This was also from five years ago   - we've gotten acclimatized to the language spin now but it was greeted with incredulity at the time.

Plus ça change ...
Wednesday update : Tonight, CBC's As It Happens interviewed Chris Gunness from UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, about the shelling attacks on the UN Jabaliya Elementary Girls School in which 19 people died and another 125 were wounded. The UN has accused Israel of carrying out the attack after being warned 17 times that civilians were seeking shelter there. Gunness said five of his workers have also been killed. 

In the middle of the interview, CBC played a clip from Israel spokesey Mark Regev (featured in above vid) saying it was actually Hamas that was attacking the UN. 
Thanks, CBC - because it's really really important to be fair and balanced about the now nearly 1400 Gazan casualties shelled in their outdoor prison by Israel.

Regev, as brilliantly deconstructed by Alex Nunns :



Boris said...

I think the present elected Israeli government and Hamas are the least credible groups at play. It is in theory possible to negotiate and if need be sanction the Israeli government. Perhaps Hamas needs to go, or at least be made militarily ineffective. But like this?

Its existence gives Israel's government the pretext for attacking Gaza. No Hamas, no rockets or tunnels. Without these, Israel's actions in Gaza and the settlement growth lose any plausibility.

If Israel's goal is to destroy Hamas as an organisation, it will take a long time and kill thousands, and radicalise more. It will change relations between the Israelis and Palestinians. How? WHo knows, but if it means an even more hardline group like ISIS replaces Hamas...

But then there's the question of the Israeli government's long term aims. Are they willing to stop settlement expansion? If not, then there's nothing but more war in the future until the Palestions are driven into Egypt or something. If Israel stops settlements growth, it might end up with a significant internal terror problem from fanatical Zionists...

And this is just short-term. Long-term, there's a disintegrating stability on Israel's eastern borders. ISIS is gaining strength and if it is able to consolidate its gains in the coming years, it will turn to Israel.

The next decades bring in climate change, which mean a hot, dry, and waterless Levant, complete with salinised aquifers. I can't imagine adaptation will happen peacefully, even if it is possible.

Anonymous said...

Items I have read around the internet. Harper is urging Israel on, to make war on Palestine. Harper did take a planeload of people with him when, he visited Israel. That Harper told Israel, Canada would back Israel up.

It was said, Israel wants Palestine's water and gas. Israel said, Palestine would never become a state. That the dead children of Palestine, were the shields for Hamas, and merely collateral damage. There is a petition going around the globe, against Israel and their supporters. Much of the world is angry about the dead children of Palestine.

That Israel wants to push Palestine into the sea and take all.

If it is Harper calling all of the shots then, all of that is believable.

Harper does not speak for all Canadians. Harper knows exactly how much he is despised, by scores of Canadians? His security bill has doubled.

Boris said...

I think it is incredibly important now to make a distinction between Israel and the Israeli government. It is the latter, the current batch of elected representatives in Israel, that are responsible for the violence on the Israeli side. They are not Israelis or Jews as a whole, the same way that Hamas is not representative Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims. This is about holding a government to account.

Anonymous said...

No outside entities are allowed to see up-close, the Israeli
No monitor.
No reportage.
Only the Knesset's word.

The 'citizens' of Israel- not the prisoners of Palestine's Gaza,
for they have been fighting for freedom since '48- have become much more militant, due to the desensitization
techniques being perpetrated on them by their own government.

Remember when the "Right To Return"
was still thought of as possible?
And was being negotiated for,
in good faith, by honest brokers?

Anonymous said...

Palestine is more democratic
than Israel will ever admit.

Unknown said...

Now BC's Premier my unfortunately Premier has thrown her hat into the ring and stands behind Steve and the Christian Israeli worshipers.

Christy what are you thinking? Are you truly the epitome of a d^^^^ blonde?

Anonymous said...

They are many things, mogs-
the Harperite-Zionists;
but Christians? No. WAY.
"many will come in My name,
but I will know them not"....

You see, it is those, who hi-jack
the Sweet Baby Jesus for selfish
gain, and the Beatles too, for that matter, that give the rest of us a BAAADDD NAME. Deliberately.

Anonymous said...

Really, Boris? As the number of Israeli civilian casualties is currently two ...

Times of Israel:

"A Channel 10 poll late Sunday showed 87 percent of the public would like Operation Protective Edge to continue, and 69 percent want Hamas to be toppled entirely.

Only seven percent say they want an immediate ceasefire, and six percent answer that they don’t know."

"A poll this week conducted by the Sarid Institute found that 87 per cent of Jewish Israelis support continuing the Gaza operation.
A survey by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 95 percent of Israeli Jews think the operation in Gaza is just, and four of five oppose a unilateral withdrawal. Just 4 per cent said the Israeli military has used excessive force.

And in another survey this week, by the University of Haifa, 85 per cent of Jewish Israelis polled said they are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with Netanyahu's leadership.

Boris said...

Anon, I had a chat with an Israeli friend the other day who simply could not believe Israel bombed or shelled shelters and hospitals. It was Hamas who shot or shot or killed the Palestinian civilians. It is as good as impossible.

Buried within those statistics is percentage of people for whom cognitive dissonance is so profound is beyond their ability to believe evidence. In other words, the rest of the world must be in a conspiracy. Others within those statistics will have their own rationalisations. Yes, perhaps there's a general shift to harder line within Israeli public opinion, but this does not mean all Israelis see sport or fanatical bloodlust in the actions against Palestinians.

IN practical terms, Israel is facing the issue of tunnels. http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/7/gaza-tunnels-hamasisraelidf.html

These are terrifying (no, I am not equating these to IDF bombs on Gaza) and represent a weapon against which Israel has little military defence. They are deep underground, protected against air attack, and virtually undetectable. Hamas uses the tunnels to assault and snatch teams, and they could also theoretically mine and destory an entire buildings and villages through the tunnels. I'm not sure Israel is lying when they say this is what their invasion is about.

Alison said...

Boris@9:36 :
"[Hamas'] existence gives Israel's government the pretext for attacking Gaza. No Hamas, no rockets or tunnels"

You do recall there were rockets and tunnels and Israeli reprisals prior to Hamas, right? And that Israel has been happy to support Hamas in suppressing the more extreme anti-Israel elements in Gaza on Israel's behalf - which kinda makes sense given Hamas is every bit as much a creature of Israel as the Taliban in Afghanistan was of the west.

"Without these, Israel's actions in Gaza and the settlement growth lose any plausibility."

During the period of relative peace since the 2012 ceasefire during which Hamas reverted to writing letters to the UN, settlement activity increased 70%, culminating in Netanyahu announcement of 20,000 new units for the West Bank in response to the UN’s acceptance of the Palestinians’ request for non-member observer status.
There are no penalties for Israel continuing to do this as no one pays any attention until Israeli civilians are killed.

"I think it is incredibly important now to make a distinction between Israel and the Israeli government"

Yes, of course it is - although neither Steve nor Bibi nor the right bother to do so, while also conflating Jews and Israelis in the course of blurring the distinction between anti-Semitism and criticizing Israel.

" [Tunnels] are terrifying and represent a weapon against which Israel has little military defence. They are deep underground, protected against air attack, and virtually undetectable.

Yes, I've read the recent IDF statements saying they are virtually undetectable.
Yet in the ten years they have known about them, Israeli secret services (budget - $1.75 billion a year with an option for an additional $1.75B) has for some reason declined to detect them, despite entreaties from local Israelis who have stumbled upon them and had their photos taken within the tunnel concrete walls and the advice of various experts on how to detect them.

Haaretz :

"There are three main types of technology for locating tunnels; the most common is based on listening for digging. In 2009, scientists at the Technion technology institute’s Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering presented a method for identifying tunnels using a fiber-optic cable.

The Technion’s Assaf Klar and Raphael Linker say the system can even locate narrow tunnels more than 60 feet (18 meters) deep while keeping a lid on false alarms.

“Tunnel excavation is accompanied by the release of stresses that cause permanent — though very tiny — displacements and strains in the ground,” Klar says. “When you measure these strains in the soil with sensitive equipment, you can find a tunnel’s location.” Tunnel excavation produces a very distinctive signal, he adds.

The research lays the groundwork for an underground fence based on existing technology called BOTDR — Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry. This makes it possible to measure fiber distortion along 30 kilometers using a single device and a standard fiber-optic cable — a cable that costs only a few shekels a meter.

Alison said...

Haaretz continued ...
"The system is based on so-called wavelet decomposition of the BOTDR signal, a process that breaks down the signal into simpler shapes and filters out irrelevant noise. The signals that remain are then classified by a network that locates tunnels using the computer simulation of tens of thousands of profiles, including disturbances not related to tunneling; for example, raindrops.

“The ability of the BOTDR approach to supply a continuous profile of soil distortions along the fiber-optic line — and the ability of the neural network to identify the relevant profile — are the keys to the system’s success,” Linker says.

In recent days, geology experts say technologies indeed exist to locate the tunnels, it’s just that the IDF hasn’t adopted them. “It’s not a challenge and it’s not difficult; solutions are already at hand,” says Dov Frimerman, the former geologist at the Public Works Department.

Frimerman was one of the geologists behind the research into the sinkholes near the Dead Sea. He describes another method for locating underground spaces via radar, which he used to find sinkholes at the Dead Sea.

“If I drive a car or armored personnel carrier with underground radar attached, technically there’s no tunnel I can’t identify up to 10 meters deep,” he says. “You can go over the entire border at 5 kilometers an hour and within three hours mark every tunnel.”

The radar sends electromagnetic waves into the ground and creates a picture of the soil layers — “for example, if there’s a fault. That’s how we found the [hollow] spaces under the parking lot of what was the resort village at Ein Gedi,” Frimerman says.

This American-made radar is relatively simple to use. Frimerman notes that even Hamas’ tunnels more than 10 meters deep can be found by this method when the tunnels slope up into Israeli territory. Also, sealed- and concrete-walled tunnels can be identified this way.

A third method for locating tunnels more than 10 meters deep is microgravimetry, which measures very small variations in gravity.

“The level of precision of this test is in parts of a billion, so there’s no hole or space in the ground up to 100 to 150 meters that can’t be identified with it,” Frimerman says. The equipment was originally developed by NASA and was used to test gravity variations to determine the distribution of minerals in the ground.

The method for locating tunnels by listening for sounds underground is called geo-seismology. It’s based on the use of microphones as underground sensors.

“When you don’t know if there are tunnels you can dig two pits 10 centimeters in diameter and 10 meters deep. You place microphones there, which cost $80 to $100 each, and connect them to equipment that costs $2,500. It’s impossible to reach a distance 100 meters from the microphones without hearing movement in the headphones,” Frimerman says.

“If the tunnel is ready, you can hear whoever is walking in it; you can distinguish between the steps of a person and the steps of a fox, for example. It’s impossible to dig at a distance of 100 to 150 meters from the microphones without noticing the digging.”

For a relatively low price the IDF could spread microphones 100 meters apart and cover the entire Gaza border, Frimerman says. If the position where soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted in 2006 had two microphones near the fence 100 meters apart, no one could have walked through the tunnel without being heard, he adds.

“The technology exists; it’s not clear why they aren’t using it,” he says. “We proposed it 30 years ago.”

Alison said...

... end of Haaretz article, Boris, which I copied so much of coz it's behind a paywall.

I guess it's more expedient to just flatten Gaza.
How many Israeli citizens have been abducted and transported through a tunnel since Gilad Shalit was taken through one in 2006, eight friggin years and a whole war ago.

Meanwhile with 1300 Palestinian now dead and six UN schools bombed, the US made a frowny face today before authorizing Israel's request to resupply it with more 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers from the $1B stockpile the US keeps in Israel.

Anonymous said...

"Evidently, kidnapping of civilians is a far more serious crime than capture of a soldier. Those who do not understand the terminology used might turn to military historian Caleb Carr, who discusses Israel’s escalated attacks on Gaza `to rescue what Israel claimed was a “kidnapped” soldier -- an assertion that was absurd because a uniformed, front-line noncommissioned officer can no more be “kidnapped” by the enemy than an innocent, unarmed child can “die in battle”.’ (Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2006).

The great significance of these incidents on successive days can hardly be overemphasized: they reveal that the show of outrage over the Shalit kidnapping, and the support for Israel’s sharp acceleration of atrocities in Gaza in response, was cynical fraud. That is even more dramatically true in Dershowitz’s case, in the light of his desperate efforts to blow smoke to obscure the very clear and critically significant facts. Furthermore, as Gideon Levy accurately wrote in Ha’aretz – as Dershowitz surely discovered in his Google search - the IDF kidnapping of civilians the day before the capture of Cpl. Shalit strips away any “legitimate basis for the IDF's operation” - and, we may add, any legitimate basis for support for these operations."

Sounds all too familiar...


Chomsky on Gila Shalit

Boris said...

Thanks, Alison.

During the period of relative peace since the 2012 ceasefire during which Hamas reverted to writing letters to the UN
Hamas has a militant wing that is always preparing for the next confrontation with Israel. There's no reason to think it wouldn't have been doing this in the 2012 period no matter what the political wing was doing. Also, if some reports suggest, that it was some unauthorised faction of Hamas that kidnapped the Israeli teens a few weeks back, then Hamas could have a serious organisational problem.

I guess it's more expedient to just flatten Gaza.

Yes, and gives them a crack at destroying Hamas (or increasing its membership, both outcomes may serve Israeli strategic interests, depending...), and/or thwarting the recent agreement between Hamas and Fatah, and/or potentially annexing more settlement territory, and/or terrorising Palestinian society into disorganised madness. If capable tunnel finding technology exists as the article says, then there would have been discussions in the Israeli government about adopting it. For one reason or another they've apparently elected not to - incompetence or conspiracy? I wonder if that story will come out.

I'm concerned that the results of Israeli's actions are so reprehensible that observers in the rest of the world end up losing track of key distinctions. First, between the Israeli government, the IDF, and the public, and Jews everywhere either in praise or hatred. And also between the Palestinian civilians and Hamas, in the sense that Hamas is some kind of innocent and righteous underdog and not an Islamist militant group.

Unknown said...

Boris you leave me stunned at times? What are you thinking my man?

The Zionists in control of the Knesset are acting out the worst possible scenario. And Alison has it right but not quite Hamas is an Israeli organized mob to bring chaos to order as it was. You forget history too soon my friend Boris [code name]... Ten years ago it was acknowledged that Hamas was a creature of Mossad--->


Need I say more?

Boris said...

Oh, Regev. I'd have a serious narcotic dependency if I had his job. I bet he does actually wake up screaming. The soul cannot sustain that much lying.

I'm curious about the decisionmaking processes that allow the IDF to target hospitals and shelters? There's so many layers to that question, from long established target lists created at the strategic level either by the IDF or politicians, to the tactical fire missions given by Israeli ground troops or drone operators, to whatever targets of opportunity gunships and strike aircraft are allowed to hit. Given the levels of hatred some young Israelis (IDF member twitter feeds make you want bleach your eyes) have toward Palestianians (and/or Arabs in general) it is not difficult to see that an IDF member with immediate tactical control could order artillery strikes or aim a tank gun, or simply not care enough discriminate. Rogues, or an institutional cultural failure of some kind. Whatever the case, there's rationales and processes that lead to strikes that haven't been talked about beyond "Israel is deliberately targetting..." Wonder what these are.

Boris said...

Mogs, not sure you get me. Just because Hamas may (assuming your link is accurate) have once served Israeli intelligence interests against the PLO, doesn't mean that it still does. Here's another take which suggests that Israeli actions are presently serving Hamas interests. http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/gaza-a-little-context/Content?oid=2564354

Nor is anyone yet acting our the worst scenario. Casualties could be much higher, and bombing and shelling much more indescriminate than it is. Israel is also capable of pushing the Palestinians into Sinai and the sea or killing all of them. That is the worst scenario and it is advocated by assorted Israeli and Jewish fanatics who are thankfully held in check by slightly saner if no less cruel minds.

I cannot take a 'side' on this issue other than that which preserves all life. Hamas has wide support in Gaza the same way that the present Israeli government has wide support in Israel. Many but not all people on both belligerent sides (the unsided have little say) are fueled by ignorance and hate, and led by [mostly] men of violence and religion with deep senses of injustice rooted in historical displacement and incalculabe violence. Each side manipulates information and lies about the other, resulting some really bizarre claims and the truth is lost. Sitting on the outside listening to well meaning progressives denounce Israel because of its brutal violence to me is the same thing as listening to fans of the Israeli right denounce Palestinians because it denies the complexities of each society and the views of their members that perpetuate or mitigate the conflict. It simply isn't black and white.

Anonymous said...

"During the period of relative peace since the 2012 ceasefire during which Hamas reverted to writing letters to the UN"

What crap!
Can you back that assertion up, Alison?

Alison said...

Times of Israel, June 30, 2014

Hamas fires rockets for first time since 2012, Israeli officials say

"Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.

At least 16 rockets were fired at Israel Monday morning, most of them hitting open areas in the Eshkol region, the army said.

The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.

Hamas hasn’t fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012."

You could have googled this for yourself - it was widely reported.
Note it was in retaliation for Israel breaking the ceasefire.

Unknown said...

Boris our fight is not among ourselves, either way it is a trAvesty that the HARPER-CONS BACK THAT IS HAPPENING OVER THERE.

I do not particularily like it either Canada used to be a peaceful/peacekeeping nation. NO MORE:


Unknown said...

And Boris; I personally like to keep informed that is why I come here. I'm pushing 60 and wish to comment on what I see as a complete waste of human energy the battle the Zionists are leading in the Gaza Strip or more fundamentally "Concentration Camp" ever heard that before?

My Swiss friend Luiz Scleninger once told me and I was to young to accept his viewpoint that was "Every JEW should have a bust of hitler on their mantle, because if it was not for him they would not have a homeland."

Concentration Camp = Gaza Strip. The AMERICANS fought tyranny under King George and won independence in 1776 for the same reasons the Palestinians are now resisting the Knesset's iron fist.

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