Gaza Strip Israel Palestinians

Report: Israel’s assault on Gaza thus far has been “child’s play”

Needless to say, most of what is written by Israeli military reporters includes information that the IDF wants to make public for political or strategic purposes. So while the following piece by Alex Fishman in Yedioth Ahronoth is absolutely TERRIFYING, take it with a grain of salt, as it seems to be a message to Hamas leaders about “Stage 3.” It is probably meant to speed up their decisionmaking on the ceasefire. Still, if even a bit of it is true, we should all pray even harder (and scream louder, and write to Congress) and hope beyond hope that the Israeli operation and the Hamas rocket fire end immediately. [I can’t provide a link to this excerpt, as it comes from one of the paid news translation services used by, among others, foreign reporters stationed in Israel. You can email the service at isrlnews@netvision.net.il. This graphic description of Stage 3 didn’t appear in Ynet News. Hmm..I wonder why. And it didn’t appear in the NY Times. Hmm….I wonder why]

The IDF is finding itself taking its first steps in
what is known as the third stage of Operation Cast Lead. This is still
reversible, but the meter is already running.

Just as prior to the start of the ground stage, we did not believe it
would happen and were proved wrong-it is happening to us now too….
The third stage can certainly meet the definition of a war:
The objectives are already broader, and the time of warfare is already
less defined. This could take a great deal of time.

Everything we have seen so far in Operation Cast Lead will be child’s play compared to what is waiting for us and the Palestinians in the third stage. If this is indeed executed, the IDF will enter, with great force, with tens of thousands of soldiers, into the heart of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. These will no longer be strikes at the margins from the ground and destruction from the air. Now we are talking about armored divisions that will not leave a single stone standing on their way into the refugee camps and into the heart of one of the most crowded cities on earth. [DF:emphasis added]

…The coming days are critical in the current crisis..The political echelon in Israel decided yesterday that actually, at the moment, we are in no rush to commit to anything. We have time. Hamas is the one that has to stew in its own juices and decide where it wants to go in the current crisis. .

19 thoughts on “Report: Israel’s assault on Gaza thus far has been “child’s play”

  1. Terrifying indeed. And in the face of something like that, Dan, what an obstacle to peace advocacy it is to have to constantly justify Zionism! No?

    Talking about Hamas right now is simply carrying water for this operation. Discuss Hamas when INNOCENT GAZANS aren’t being maimed and killed by the dozens every minute. Israel goes on and on killing the leaders of all Arab resistance organizations and yet the resistance remains.

    When can we talk about why that is? And honestly.

    And for someone who must justify Zionism, it’s a little difficult to own that why. It’s all due to something else, anything else.

    Look at this if you haven’t seen it–Stephen Walt linked to this noble, self-effacing piece of pure prevarication.

    Prevarication isn’t just a tactic, it’s also becoming the state of eternal refuge for the Zionist people. I’m sorry to be harsh but good faith requires honesty. Look at all the classic elements of Zionist apologia in the piece by Jim, uh, Sleeper:

    NAKBA DENIAL/ORIENTALISM:
    “If we’re honest, we also know that there’s a dysfunctional mindset among Arabs that antedates Israel’s outrages: (It wasn’t Israel, for example, that blocked a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza from 1948 to 1967.)”

    [Nope, losing their homes and livelihoods had nothing to do with Palestinians’ and their Arab cousins’ rejection of the UN partition. It was those dysfunctional Arabs, simply not understanding their dispossession and subordination for the great thing it was.]

    ETERNAL ANTI-SEMITISM:
    “…Israelis against a raging sea of 100 million Arabs whose demagogues act as if .01 percent of the Middle East can’t be home to a people Immanuel Kant tellingly called “these Palestinians who are living among us,” thereby tapping swift, dark undercurrents that would soon surface across Europe.”

    [And did he really just quote an 18th century Prussian philosopher to smear Palestinians and Arabs as anti-Semites?]

    ZIONISM HAS A RIGHT TO PLUNDER / WE’RE NOT PLUNDERERS:
    “I once stopped an Australian who was ranting on and on about the Israelis by telling him, ‘I agree with you completely that all whites should leave Australia'” / “I assured [a New England WASP] that I will give his address and his child’s Manhattan address to incredibly brave American Indian suicide bombers, should any arise to redress the outrages he still profits from.”

    “I am not claiming that one imperialism justifies another.”

    “I am doubting that Israelis are the imperialists it pleases their European and American critics to think they are when really the critics are writhing in their own pasts.”

    [You know I’m not racially pure or anything, and I do accept that the Native Americans genocide can be laid squarely on the mud-brick doorsteps of my 19th century Catholic immigrant ancestors, whose expansionist settlement of urban ghettos practically obliterated the indigenous populations of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and other American cities, but if somehow in a twist of history it were my particular ancestral tribe that was CURRENTLY carrying out an aggressive genocide, here in the year 2008, I wouldn’t be denying their responsibility for why it occurred and must continue.]

    “As long as Israel occupies lands it conquered almost defensively in 1967 but now claims historically and entrepreneurially, it further erodes its democracy, and, for demographic reasons alone, it can remain a Jewish state only by abandoning any pretense of democracy at all.”

    [Now now, there IS a school of foreign policy that acknowledges “almost defensiveness”, and which substitutes for the concept of aggression, a notion of entrepreuneurial and historically-vindicating success. It used to be called National Socialism. Now it’s got a Z for Zendetta!].

    So my final comment comes in the form of two questions. They aren’t rhetorical, in case anyone wants to give them a shot:

    1. After how many more of the same wars will Zionists with a conscience conclude there just might be something wrong with the original premise?

    2. If and when Syria, or Iran, must entertain their enlightened Western guests, their gunships, and their good bud Willy Pete, will we all STILL have to insist that Arabs who might reject Zionism ought to be starved, maimed, or killed?

  2. MM,

    The problem with the topic you want to address is that when I take it up, and give it the attention it deserves in writing or in conversation, I find myself disappearing down a very deep and dark philosophical/historical/rhetorical/emotional rabbit hole, and cannot return back to ground level without great effort. Forgive me if I don’t want deal with the nature of Zionism and ethnic nationalism at the moment. There are too many other, more immediate concerns to address. Suffice it to say that I am moving closer to the Magnes Zionist with every Israeli mortar shell and stream of white phosphorus in Gaza.

  3. Fair enough, Dan, but what does it cost us to try imagining something better? And since the “one state” solution is already upon us (just without equal treatment under the law), is it such a leap to

  4. …switch “Jewish culture” for “Jewish people” and quit wasting so many lives and resources fighting the “demographic problem”?

  5. MM, what an obstacle to peace advocacy it must be for you to have to constantly justify Hamas!

    Talking about Israel right now is simply carrying water for Hamas’s incessant rocketing of Israel. Discuss Israel when INNOCENT ISRAELIS aren’t being injured and killed every week. Hamas goes on and on rocketing Sderot, yet Sderot remains.

    When can we talk about why that is? And honestly.

    And for someone who must justify Hamas, it’s a little difficult to own that why. It’s all due to something else, anything else.

    Look at this if you haven’t seen it.

    Prevarication isn’t just a tactic, it’s also becoming the state of eternal refuge for Hamas. I’m sorry to be harsh but good faith requires honesty. Look at all the classic elements of Hamas’s apologia:

    DENIAL OF ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST
    “If we’re honest, we also know that there’s a dysfunctional mindset among Arabs that antedates Israel’s outrages: (It wasn’t Israel, for example, that blocked a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza from 1948 to 1967.)”

    ETERNAL ANTI-SEMITISM:
    “…Israelis against a raging sea of 100 million Arabs whose demagogues act as if .01 percent of the Middle East can’t be home to a people Immanuel Kant tellingly called “these Palestinians who are living among us,” thereby tapping swift, dark undercurrents that would soon surface across Europe.”

    ISLAM HAS A RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN JIHAD / WE’RE NOT JIHADISTS:
    “I once stopped an Australian who was ranting on and on about the Israelis by telling him, ‘I agree with you completely that all whites should leave Australia’” / “I assured [a New England WASP] that I will give his address and his child’s Manhattan address to incredibly brave American Indian suicide bombers, should any arise to redress the outrages he still profits from.”

    “I am not claiming that one imperialism justifies another.”

    “I am doubting that Israelis are the imperialists it pleases their European and American critics to think they are when really the critics are writhing in their own pasts.”

    I now offer two questions. They aren’t rhetorical, in case anyone wants to give them a shot:

    1. After how many more of the same wars will Islamists with a conscience conclude there just might be something wrong with the original premise of destroying Israel?

    2. If and when Syria, or Iran, must entertain their enlightened Western guests, their gunships, and their good bud Willy Pete, will they STILL have to insist that Israelis who live in Sderot ought to be maimed, or killed by rocket fire?

  6. And in the face of something like that, MM, what an obstacle to peace advocacy it is for you to have to constantly justify Hamas! No?

    Talking about Israel right now is simply carrying water for Hamas’s incessant rocketing of Israel. Discuss Israel when INNOCENT ISRAELIS aren’t being injured and killed every week. Hamas goes on and on rocketing Sderot, yet Sderot remains.

    When can we talk about why that is? And honestly.

    And for someone who must justify Hamas, it’s a little difficult to own that why. It’s all due to something else, anything else.

    Look at this if you haven’t seen it.

    Prevarication isn’t just a tactic, it’s also becoming the state of eternal refuge for Hamas. I’m sorry to be harsh but good faith requires honesty. Look at all the classic elements of Hamas’s apologia:

    DENIAL OF ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST
    “If we’re honest, we also know that there’s a dysfunctional mindset among Arabs that antedates Israel’s outrages: (It wasn’t Israel, for example, that blocked a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza from 1948 to 1967.)”

    ETERNAL ANTI-SEMITISM:
    “…Israelis against a raging sea of 100 million Arabs whose demagogues act as if .01 percent of the Middle East can’t be home to a people Immanuel Kant tellingly called “these Palestinians who are living among us,” thereby tapping swift, dark undercurrents that would soon surface across Europe.”

    ISLAM HAS A RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN JIHAD / WE’RE NOT JIHADISTS:
    “I once stopped an Australian who was ranting on and on about the Israelis by telling him, ‘I agree with you completely that all whites should leave Australia’” / “I assured [a New England WASP] that I will give his address and his child’s Manhattan address to incredibly brave American Indian suicide bombers, should any arise to redress the outrages he still profits from.”

    “I am not claiming that one imperialism justifies another.”

    “I am doubting that Israelis are the imperialists it pleases their European and American critics to think they are when really the critics are writhing in their own pasts.”

    I now offer two questions. They aren’t rhetorical, in case anyone wants to give them a shot:

    1. After how many more of the same wars will Islamists with a conscience conclude there just might be something wrong with the original premise of destroying Israel?

    2. If and when Syria, or Iran, must entertain their enlightened Western guests, their gunships, and their good bud Willy Pete, will they STILL have to insist that Israelis who live in Sderot ought to be maimed, or killed by rocket fire?

  7. The greatest sin for a proponent of scripture is to use scripture as justification for one’s personal prejudice.

    That assumes that scripture is the most authentic reference (authentic as in center of gravity, authority).

    Angers, a subject of today’s Magnes Zionist post, are entirely subjective. They include ONLY one’s own perspective, intentionally NOT learning once a decision born of anger is undertaken.

    To fix the world, it takes retaining our sensitivity, and our flexibility in action. In statecraft, that requires multiple relationships and communications, so that we really have choice, and freefall (commitments without any possibility of control or adjustment) is minimized.

    Consideration of the other breeds the most and most free options.

    Israel in committing to a giant undertaking, a likely harmed and harmful one, without any prospect of exit or adjustment then has very limited prospect of fixing things.

    Vulnerable AND innefective is not a great combination for strategy.

    But, Hamas is guilty of the same. It continues to shell civilians. It continues to take reckless and aggressive political and “military” positions and FAILS to clearly commit to a goal of peace.

    It hedges, so that the gullible have something to chew on, but not something with any nourishment.

  8. You’re right, Richard. We are so gullible to trust the photographs the Hamas politburo is releasing from Gaza.

    And speaking of nourishment and something to chew on, I just want to congratulate The Jewish Peopleâ„¢ on another very well-cooked Arab infant.

    The great thing about White Phosphorus is that it cooks infants so thoroughly that there is literally NO risk of salmonella or tapeworm when the baby is consumed. So bon appetit!

  9. And for the above I do apologize to all the great Jewish activists denouncing this series of war crimes, but I must remind them that The Jewish Stateâ„¢ continues to do all of this IN THEIR NAME.

    Every time a Zionist says Hamas is shelling civilians, another charred baby gets his wings (meaning: dies of White Phosphorus burns).

  10. “””Every time a Zionist says Hamas is shelling civilians…”””

    It is not a question of what “a Zionist says.” Intellectually honest opponents of Israel say it as well.

    Michael Neumann, the author of The Case Against Israel, posted the following in the 1/13/09 online edition of Counterpunch:

    http://counterpunch.org/neumann01132009.html

    “””Part I: The Evaders

    It’s only human to shrink from hard choices. Current leftist writing on Gaza shrinks from an easy choice. A hard choice would be whether to fight for Hamas. An easy one would be whether, in safety and comfort, to speak honestly about what Hamas actually does. This isn’t happening.

    It needs to happen, and not out of some puritanical concern for honesty. Current writing on Gaza is crippled by cop-outs when it comes to Palestinian resistance. Hamas fires rockets which it knows can harm only innocent civilians, including children, who certainly bear no responsibility for Palestinian woes. Even the adults often bear little if any responsibility – some are Israeli Arabs, others are opposed to Israel’s occupation, others are apolitical, which may be reprehensible but probably isn’t deserving of violent death.

    Every fifth-rate mainstream commentator notices this. Some of them recoil at the anguish engulfing Gaza. However they also know that nations and populations have a right to defend themselves. When someone sets out to kill innocents, or to fire weapons which can only be expected to kill civilians, that right looms large. In response to this, the left has, with great sincerity and passion, changed the subject. This hurts the Palestinians. Their defenders come over as anything from merely blinkered to cowardly, manipulative or, most often, selectively and implausibly tender-hearted. This doesn’t capture hearts and minds; it just invites contempt.

    Every kind of evasion surfaces.

    Tariq Ali (“From the ashes of Gaza”, Guardian, 30 December) is among the most adept. We hear that the attack on Gaza is timed to influence Israel’s elections, that Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza has to be considered when the rockets are called a provocation, that the supposedly democratic West doesn’t accept democratic r?gimes it dislikes, that Hamas shows discipline in its cease-fires, that Palestinians are human beings. How does any of that justify the rocket attacks, which harm and try to harm people entirely innocent of Israeli crimes? (Let’s not join American military creeps and talk about unintended ‘collateral damage’ here.) Apparently none of it does: “All civilian deaths are to be condemned, but since Israel is their principal practitioner, Euro-American cant serves only to expose those who utter it.” Oh really? If Hamas’ attacks are to be condemned, something Tariq Ali seems to be doing at the length of a fifty-foot pole, why shouldn’t Israel try to stop them?

    Richard Falk (“Understanding the Gaza Catastrophe”, The Huffington Post, 2 January 2009) suggests Israel attacked “not simply to stop the rockets or in retaliation, but also for a series of unacknowledged reasons” – not just election opportunism but also a desire to efface the defeat in Lebanon. But so what if Israel has unacknowledged, perhaps lousy reasons? Maybe it also has good reasons. Maybe defending its innocent civilians is one of them.

    Joseph Massad goes beyond mere evasion by writing on the situation without even mentioning rockets or missiles. (“The Gaza Ghetto Uprising”, 4 January 2009) Oren Ben-Dor (The self-defense of Suicide”, Counterpunch, 1 January 2009) very plausibly argues that Israel’s strategy is self-defeating – which hardly explains why Hamas should attack civilians. Robert Fisk takes a similar tack: “Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it.” (“Leaders lie, civilians die, and lessons of history are ignored”, The Independent, 29 December 2008) Again, the attacks are not explained, nor is there anything beyond mere assertion to dismiss the possibility that Israel’s response will bring, if not security, at least an end to the rocket fire.

    Some think fiery rhetoric will do: “Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is at one with that of the United States; if the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and all the international legal agencies and organizations spread across the globe are going to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a “ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.”

    And what is this truth? We get one mention of the rockets: “Islamist policies and politics…. have nothing to do with primitive rockets being fired over the border.” But the Israeli assault? Does that have nothing to do with the rockets? Focus, focus.

    This could go on for many pages. The articles are decent and humane yet, for all their deep sincerity, dishonest as well. The truth is we are all prepared to see children maimed and screaming to further the goals we approve. The first and most important thing we cannot face is our own morality.

    Ever since World War II it has been crystal clear that, if defeating evil involves air power, we will bravely let the children scream. We know their fate but we’re stuck with endorsing contemporary military responses to genocide and even mere aggression. In this respect it is we, not Bush or the neocons, who seem out to give Israel carte blanche. If someone is rocketing our cities, however inefficiently, are we to wait until their technology improves, or our population displays an appropriate number of bloody stumps? And if the enemy is lodged in a densely populated area, must we hold off? It seems not – otherwise why can we bomb strategic targets even when we’re certain that civilians will die in the process?

    It is beyond obvious that violence is sometimes justified. In some cases, we undoubtedly sanction the use of air power, a clumsy standoff weapon almost guaranteed to kill and mutilate civilians. Hamas uses exactly this sort of standoff weapon. What’s more, Hamas, for the sake of military convenience, has adopted a weapon even more certain to detonate among civilians than when brave anti-fascist pilots took off to fight a genocidal Nazi regime. Jennifer Lowenstein gets it precisely wrong: “Slave owners were also human beings, some of whom suffered unjustifiably violent attacks at the hands of their slaves. What do we do with this information? Sum it up by saying “therefore both sides were wrong”? or try to make people understand what led slaves to lash out in ways that were often so brutal? This changes the entire equation without sanctioning acts of murder or violence.” No, we do indeed sanction acts of murder and violence, in just such circumstances.

    These evasions are just what make the defenders of the Palestinians look like sleaze next to the forthright pigs who revel in the brutality we merely try to sneak by our audience. It doesn’t work; it has never worked; it never will work. We all live in the same world and we all know what goes on in it, and how brutal we have become. We cannot and will not go back, not in this millennium. What is happening in Gaza is indeed a horror, and indeed terribly, incontrovertibly wrong. But to show this requires using the morality we have, not the morality we like to pretend we have.”””

  11. Hanna, nice cut & paste.

    Neumann also advocated in Counterpunch for the two-state solution. That would make him a Zionist. Nothing wrong with that, and thankfully he’s not an Eretz-Israel type, but he is in favor of preserving Israel as “the Jewish state”.

    Non-Zionists simply aren’t talking about Hamas rockets right now. Don’t believe me if you want, but I’m not lying.

    World-wide public opinion despite being bombarded with Hasbara crap is overwhelmingly clear on which side is committing grotesque war crimes.

    What’s not clear is what to do about it – But a boycott looks to be on the horizon.

  12. “””Non-Zionists simply aren’t talking about Hamas rockets right now.”””

    Here are some publications from around the world which are “talking about Hamas rockets right now.”

    “””A total of 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers, have died. Palestinian rocket fire has dropped since the offensive was launched. Some 15 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel on Tuesday, the army said.”””
    –The Dawn, Pakistan, 1/13/08, http://www.dawn.com/2009/01/14/top2.htm

    “””an extraordinary correspondence between Jewish residents of the much-rocketed town of Sderot, nearby kibbutz, and the Palestinians living within sight in the Gaza strip…”””
    –The Palestine Chronicle, 1/13/08, http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14661

    Here is an article from the Iranian government’s Press TV website:

    “””Hamas rockets hit Israeli towns
    Tue, 13 Jan 2009 10:32:51 GMT

    Palestinian resistance Hamas says its Grad rockets have hit several Israeli towns, killing at least one Israeli and wounding another.

    The rockets landed in Negev and in the towns of Ashkelon, Ofakim and Sderot on Tuesday — the 18th day of the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip.

    The Israeli settlement of Nir Isaac has also been hit by at least one Qassam rocket.

    Israeli sources have confirmed the attacks, saying the casualties were reported in Ashkelon. There have been no reports of damage or casualties in other regions.

    The rocket attacks on Israeli towns comes as Tel Aviv started shelling residential areas in eastern Gaza on Tuesday and blocked aid to those injured in attacks on the strip, Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV reported.

    The attacks also come after Israeli ground troops made their deepest push into Gaza since the beginning of the assault on the sliver of land — home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

    Tel Aviv attacked Gaza on December 27 and has so far killed at least 940 Palestinians and wounded over 4,400 others, many of them women and children.

    In response to Israel’s full-scale invasion, Hamas has stepped up rocket attacks on Israeli cities and is making preparations to target towns more to the south. According to Al-Aqsa TV, more than 40 Hamas rockets hit various Israeli cities on Monday.

    The recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the latest of a series which began when world powers created Israel in 1948 under the Zionist slogan of a ‘land without a people and a people without a land’.

    The establishment of Israel in the Middle East was carried out in compensation for the hardships and suffering imposed on the Jews of Europe due to anti-Semitism in the continent.

    Zionists benefited by gaining power over the native land of the Palestinians, but the establishment and the subsequent terror attacks against the Palestinian population gave rise to the philosophy of resistance and in recent years armed retaliation.

    According to Tel Aviv, the current war on Gaza is aimed at ending rocket attacks against Israeli settlers, toppling Hamas and preventing the resistance group from rearming.

    The democratically-elected ruler of the strip Hamas, however, has logical demands. It wants the cessation of the Israeli attacks and the opening of the Gaza border — which has been closed due to the 18-month blockade imposed on the strip by Tel Aviv.”””

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=82036&sectionid=351020202

  13. Facts and interpretation of facts.

    Scripture for opportunism, news for opportunism.

    Neither peace, neither justice.

  14. Dan,
    Have you ever noticed that the extremists on your website are unwilling to put their real names to their rants. They hide behind initials or names of dead historical figures, some of whom have very different views to what they write and among each other.

  15. If Dan wants to require people to use their real names I surely will do so. In fact, I did so for a long time.

    However, Dan does not require the use of real names. Once he does and MM (and others) post under their real names I will do so as well.

    But since the Hamas supporter in our midst calls himself MM I can be yours truly, Abraham Isaac Kook.

  16. Thomas, there is only one person using dead historical figures for names here and this is Jonathan Mark, who, while always being a pest in the past, at least looked like a conventional hasbarah hack; whereas now he seems to be a bit unstable mentally.

  17. I think the nicknames are fine. Most of them show a knowledge of Israeli history that distinguishes this blog from many others.

  18. “””I just want to congratulate The Jewish Peopleâ„¢ on another very well-cooked Arab infant.”””

    Our friend “MM”” has now progressed to blood libel.

    If “MM” comes back I want to ask him a question.

    “MM”, did the Nazis murder millions of Jews during World War II, some of them in gas chambers?

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