178 thoughts on “Gaza Conundrum

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  • Dreoilin

    “I said it, falsely, deliberately stating that it had just assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin , its spiritual leader, in the forlorn hope that posters would talk about their situation a decade later.”

    That’s not what you said, Trowbridge. You said you were

    “just checking to see if anyone reads my posts.”

    Now give it up, man.

  • Mary

    The most cruel people are shelling/bombing a rehabilitation hospital.

    For immediate release: Gaza Friends/Israel attacks Gaza hospitals. Wed 16 July 2014 5.44am

    *International activists remain in Gaza hospital threatened by Israeli
    missiles *

    Last night, Israel’s army fired five warning missiles at El-Wafa geriatric
    hospital in Gaza City, Gaza. International volunteers now staying in the hospital in
    solidarity, have said they, “can hear missiles falling close by”.

    “The civilian population of Gaza is being bombed. We will stay with them in
    solidarity until the international community and our governments take
    action to stop Israel’s crimes against humanity.” States Swedish
    International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, Fred Ekblad.

    The volunteers are citizens of USA, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, France, UK,
    Australia, and New Zealand. The first barrage of missiles hit the fourth
    floor of the hospital at 2:00AM.

    At approximately 19:00 a fifth missile hit the hospital. “Windows and doors
    were blown out, broken glass everywhere, damage to the stairs, there’s a
    big hole at the impact area and the wall is burnt,” reports Joe Catron, ISM
    activist, from the U.S.

    At around 20:00 Basman Alashi, executive director of the hospital, received
    an unidentified call from a person with a, ‘heavy Israeli accent’, asking
    if there were any injuries, whether there was any one in the top floor, and
    whether they were planning to evacuate the hospital.

    Alashi says the hospital will not be evacuated because there is nowhere to
    evacuate the patients to. “El-Wafa hospital serves the patients that need
    medical attention 24 hours a day. Including patients that can’t move, or
    people who need to be fed by tube. This hospital is the only one in Gaza
    specializing in the rehabilitation of people who need physical and
    occupational therapy. All our patients are over 60 years old, men and
    women. We don’t understand why the Israeli forces have fired five rockets
    at the hospital in the last 24 hours so far. We serve humanity.”

    *For more information contact:*

    +972597406401 Ally Cohen, ISM Media Office (English)

    +972592224699 Basman Alashi- executive director of El-Wafa hospital
    (English, Arabic)

    Internationals in the hospital:

    +972592224699 (ISM) Joseph Catron, USA (English)

    +972595594326 Manu Pineda, Spain (Spanish)

    +972595251720 Huda Julie Webb-Pullman, Australia and New Zealand (English)

    +972595209679 (ISM) Fred Ekblad, Sweden (Swedish/English)

    Brave people. We can only weep.

  • Mary

    Israel warns Gaza ahead of strikes
    Israel warns thousands of Palestinians in eastern and northern Gaza to leave their homes by Wednesday morning as it continues air strikes.

    The weather now –
    28 °C Scattered clouds.
    Feels Like: 29 °C
    Wind: 5 mph ↑ from Southwest
    Humidity: 55%

    The temperature is rising to 34C over the next fortnight.

    A hell created on earth. Smashed buildings. No water or electricity. Arid surroundings. Sheltering in schools. cf the Israeli lifestyle and living conditions esp in the settlements.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    it has no interest in a ceasefire to innate its demise.
    (Trowbridge H)

    ‘Innate’ is an adjective, not a verb.
    ROFLcopter. ( (c) Dreoilin)

    The Israelis continue to act as if officially Hamas simply does not exist.
    Then what are they shooting at?

    OK, that’s flippant. Listening to the Israeli Labour leader on R4 this morning. Backed Netanyahu to the hilt: same arguments, and same strange failure to acknowledge that if you intentionally and arbitrarily target Hamas, Hamas starts shooting. I wasn’t expecting him to regret the destruction of a home for the disabled, a hospital director’s house and clinic, and numerous UNWRA facilities, of course.

    There’s a nuance here that seems to be getting missed. Netanyahu, just prior to the Egyptian proposal, was insisting that international pressure would not induce him to stop assaulting Gaza. Yet, come the proposal, it took much less time than usual for the Israelis to agree to a pause. Ergo, this was an Israeli proposal. I would guess that it was personally delivered, by the hand of Tony Blair, (who has spent longer in Israel lately than he normally spends anywhere on his travels, and who has not been recorded as ever talking to Hamas) to al-Sisi.

    What motivates al-Sisi? Primarily, the threat of withdrawal of US aid, which is wholly conditional on playing nicely with Israel. Secondarily, he’s got Islamists in Sinai, adjacent to Gaza. He really doesn’t want the two to join up. And thirdly, he’s a shit.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Tony Blair, secure in the knowledge of another job well done, is at this moment over Western Greece, having left Tel Aviv earlier this morning. Didn’t even stop over to say goodbye to his good friend al-Sisi, with whom Blair, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Abu Dhabi have a mutually beneficial arrangement re. governance advice. (see my comments, passim)

  • Mary

    One of Israel’s prisoners. Can’t have anyone expressing thought or ideas as art.

    July 14, 2014
    Israel bars prominent Palestinian artist from traveling to N.Y. exhibit
    Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar travels regularly to exhibit and discuss his art. This time, the Israeli army simply said no, you can’t go.


    The exhibition http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/here-and-elsewhere

  • Mary

    Good for Miguel. He says it on our behalf.

    Email to BBC Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly
    Posted by The Editors on July 16, 2014, 9:04 am

    From: Miguel Ramano
    Date:15/07/2014 4:34 PM (GMT+00:00)
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: questions

    Mr Connolly trust this finds you well and safe. in a latest piece on the BBC website, the table below (under the section head Kevin Connolly analysis) as a comparison between what has been done so far by Israel and Gaza

    “Rockets fire from Gaza .. Gaza Targets hit by Israel” – source IDF. (my emphasis)

    A couple of things:

    · The source of the table is the IDF – which you seem to have accepted as an objective source of information.

    · The table which you are using seems to be suggesting an equality in military power here – what it doesn’t show/do is enlighten your readers/viewers on the military might that is the state of Israel (funded to the tune of $3bn plus further addition for research and development). Do you think it’s not important to highlight this?

    · The table also says Gaza targets hit by Israel – are you also going to show that one of these so called “target” was a charitable association? Using the IDF official account of ‘target’ is accepting their premise that the IDF is only accidentally killing civilians. Do you think you should be questioning the IDF account given that the number of civilians dead has now gone to 138, (36 children), according to a latest UN report.

    · The piece also mentioned, “The BBC’s Kevin Connolly said that Israel’s rapid acceptance of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal was a smart tactical move. If the deal had held, Israel would have been happy with the outcome, he says, because it has damaged stockpiles of weapons that Hamas will find difficult to replenish”.

    Now this could well have been a “smart tactical move” and “Israel would have been happy with the outcome” – but in terms of the outcome, you only mention the “damaged stockpiles of weapons”. How do you know “stockpiles of weapons” have been destroyed? Why not also mention that the outcome, has been the toll that the bombardment of Gaza has had on civilians (see latest UN report)

    · Also, perhaps not your editing – I see the BBC as always refer to the usual “Palestinian officials say at least xxx people have been killed …” – is the BBC suggesting that the “Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza” might be making this up?” – is this the BBC’s idea of balance?



    Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28314604

  • Light

    Why are the Palestinians abandoned? Why does no one nation or people –in the West– support the Palestinians? Where the trees from the Spring Revolutions, the crop from those flowering democracies? Why can’t they be allowed self-determination? Why does the Arab and the Persian allow themselves to be divided by the West? Why can’t the short bridge between Sunni and Shia be crossed? Education? Tribalism? The same old problems that have tried and tested solutions… why are they not resolved? Control. Nationalism. Short-sighted opportunistic political gains at the expense of a future as one. It is infuriating, mind-humbling insane.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    WITNOF is Walking Eagle doing in Florence? Is it time for his hols? Make them long ones, please God.

  • craig Post author


    I agree with you in all you say, except I am fed up hearing the West used as an excuse for the absolute disgusting venality and self-interest of Arabs and their culture. The truth is, that while Palestine is indeed treated very badly indeed by the West, the West nonetheless provides more support for Palestine – both financially and politically – than the entirely small-minded and self-interested Arab nations do. And I do not accept a distinction between the people and their leaderships there – in no Arab country do the people care enough about the Palestinians to exert pressure on their leaderships.

    There are far more westerners like us than Arabs taking to social media to protest about Gaza. And far more Christians than Muslims.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    That the Arabs are silent and do not help save their alms is the Conundrum. The Arab Gulf nations resemble the robber Barons of the middle ages and self preservation and more wealth is their goal.They don’t give a sh** about Palestine.
    Ghadafi was a pan Arabic leader that tried in vain to unite all Arabs and wanted a free Palestinian people.
    Any friend of Tony’s is collateral damage.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now that the IDF has killed over 200 Palestinians in the hope of making them overthrow Hamas in Gaza, it has finally resorted to attempting to kill some of its leaders by blowing up some of their houses after warning neighbors of what was planned.

    Of course, by now they all know what is afoot, and have gone into hiding.

    In short, all Gazans are now Hamas supporters, and the Israelis, unless they change course, will have to invade again, and this time there will be much higher casualties, making it likely that it will resort to nuclear weapons.

    What will the West do then?

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    … in no Arab country do the people care enough about the Palestinians to exert pressure on their leaderships.

    Not sure I’d go with your blanket condemnation there, Craig: Qatar is at least one exception:






    Also recently donated to UNRWA for Pal refugees in Syria.

    We might beware of blindly accepting the meme that the Arabs are doing nothing. Whose interests might that acceptance serve, eh? And even if it were true, it’s a damn good reason for doing more ourselves. Because it’s beyond dispute that not enough is being done.

    And while we’re patting ourselves on the back, remember that “the people” of the UK have so far had very little influence on US/UK policy in the region, which is not confined to providing aid to the Palestinians, but gives far more to Israel and Egypt, meanwhile stirring the regional shitheap as hard as it can to get rid of people Israel doesn’t like.

  • craig Post author


    I am not patting us on the back at all. But the Arab contribution is paltry compared to their resources and what ought to be their interest. Tiny public gatherings of mostly Palestinians are not evidence of popular interest.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Hmmm, @ Craig. Given the various ethnic, tribal, national and religious divisions involved, which we are spending a lot of money to encourage, and given that spoken Arabic, varies almost as much as the Germanic language group as a whole across the region, given also that we are talking also about autocrats who control the substantial wealth of their countries and don’t encourage input from the proles, given yet again that a good Muslim gives 10% of his income to charity as his religious duty, I think you’re being hypercritical*. With respect.

    * ‘ER’. Not ‘O’, in case any illiterate pedants are watching.

  • craig Post author

    “largest supporters”. Well, where are they today when Gaza is being bombed? Precisely how is tis support manifesting itself?

  • craig Post author


    Well, I think Arab cultures are horribly self-interested and materialistic. Actually I think the Arabs live by the ethical philosophy of Islam less than any other people on earth. Just my personal observation.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    @ Craig -In the words of any logical-philosopher, “it depends what you mean by ‘culture'”. A clear distinction was always made by my Service mates between town and desert Arabs, in this respect, with absolute contempt implied towards the former (and occasionally OTT admiration of the latter). So I see your point. But I think it’s an unfair generalisation, which, if true, might almost give aid and comfort to the Puritans of Islam as they seek to return the Arab world to ‘better’ values.

    Relax. I’m hardly ever completely serious. You like to make people think. So do I. And thanks for the opportunity to try.

  • craig Post author


    I am not in the least angry with you. And yes of course it is a gross generalisation. But there is an element of truth in there which deserves some thought.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    @ Rehmat: PS. Hizb’ullah and Hamas are united only by their detestation of Israel. Israel tries to conflate the two for propaganda purposes, but the former is Shi’a, and the latter Sunni; the division is one we have long encouraged. Hizb’ullah is wisely staying out of this one, and is in any case partially engaged in supporting its long-term backer, Assad, in Syria. I hope it is still capable of humiliating Israel, should Israel yet again try to invade Lebanon on a specious pretext.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Arabs have been picked over by Western imperialism, especially the French, American, and the British, so much and for so long they are hardly recognize who they are, what they stand for, and with whom.

    Given what has happened to Arab leaders who wanted to change things, I am surprised that there is the support for the Palestinians that there is.

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