En roun­dup om sam­men­stø­det mel­lem Israel og mili­tante grup­per i Gaza­stri­ben. 
Bor­ger­retsad­vo­kat og jour­na­list Glenn Gre­enwald skri­ver om den ame­ri­kan­ske rolle i den sene­ste eska­la­tion i Guar­dian, og giver en række links til nyt­tige kon­tek­st­a­na­ly­ser og tidlinjer:


Meanwhile, most US media out­lets are petri­fied of straying too far from pro-Israel ort­ho­doxies. Time’s Mid­dle East cor­re­spon­dent Rania Abouzeid noted this mor­ning on Twit­ter the typi­cal tem­p­late: “Just read report in major US paper about Gaza/Israel that put Isra­eli dead in 1st sen­tence. Palesti­nian in 6th para­graph.” Or just con­si­der the BBC’s head­line. Worse, this morning’s New York Times edi­to­rial self-consciously dra­pes itself with pro-Israel cave­ats and com­ple­tely igno­res the exten­sive civi­lian deaths in Gaza before iden­ti­fying this as one of the only flaws it could find with the let­hal Isra­eli assault: “The action also thre­a­tens to divert atten­tion from what Prime Mini­ster Benja­min Net­a­ny­ahu has repe­a­tedly descri­bed as Israel’s big­gest security threat: Iran’s nuclear program.”

In what I know will be a fru­it­less attempt to avoid having this discus­sion subsu­med by that tired script: I will recom­mend seve­ral out­stan­ding, truly must-read pie­ces writ­ten by others over the last 24 hours in lieu of my own reci­ting of the various arguments. Begin with this arti­cle by You­sef Munayyer in the Daily Beast set­ting the crucial con­text for the rocket atta­cks from Gaza; then read this Daily Beast news-breaking acco­unt from Gers­hon Baskin, who details how the pro­vo­ca­tions from the Isra­e­lis were gea­red toward dis­rup­ting an immi­nent peace deal with Hamas (“The assas­si­na­tion of Jaa­bari was a pre-emptive strike against the pos­si­bi­lity of a long term cea­se­fire”); also vital is this time-line of events lea­ding up to the rocket atta­cks from Gaza, with ample docu­men­ta­tion from Ali Abuni­mah; and finally, there is this very suc­cinct but poig­nant sum­mary of what Israel has done over the last three weeks.

I want to focus on the US response to all of this. US policy always lies at the heart of these epi­so­des, because Isra­eli aggres­sion is pos­sible only due to the unstin­ting finan­cial, mili­tary and diplo­ma­tic sup­port of the US. Need­less to say, the Obama admi­ni­stra­tion wasted no time expres­sing its “full-throttled sup­port” for the Isra­eli atta­cks. […]

Tjek også denne tid­linje pro­du­ce­ret af mel­le­møst­ma­ga­si­net Jadaliyya.

En gruppe viden­skabs­kvin­der og mænd (her­i­blandt ling­vi­sten Noam Chom­sky) udste­der en for­døm­melse af mas­se­me­di­er­nes sæd­van­lige lortedækning.

Chom­sky udta­ler sig i Demo­cracy Now:

Gers­hon Baskin, en isra­elsk fredsak­ti­vist, som stod bag hand­len mel­lem Israel og Hamas om fri­gi­vel­sen af den isra­el­ske sol­dat Gilad Sha­lit, i Ha’aretz::

[…] Baskin told Haa­retz on Thurs­day that senior offi­ci­als in Israel knew about his con­ta­cts with Hamas and Egyp­tian intel­li­gence aimed at for­mu­lat­ing the per­ma­nent truce, but nevert­he­less appro­ved the assas­si­na­tion [of Hamas mili­tary chief Ahmed Jabari]

I think that they have made a stra­te­gic mistake,” Baskin said, an error “which will cost the lives of quite a num­ber of inno­cent people on both sides.”

This blood could have been spa­red. Those who made the deci­sion must be jud­ged by the voters, but to my regret they will get more votes because of this,” he added.


Accor­ding to Baskin, during the past two years Jabari inter­na­lized the rea­liza­tion that the rounds of hosti­li­ties with Israel were bene­fi­cial neit­her to Hamas nor to the inha­bi­tants of the Gaza Strip and only cau­sed suf­fe­ring, and seve­ral times he acted to pre­vent firing by Hamas into Israel.

He said that even when Hamas was pul­led into par­ti­ci­pat­ing in the laun­ching of rockets, its rock­ets would always land in open spa­ces. “And that was inten­tio­nal,” cla­ri­fied Baskin.

In recent months Baskin was con­ti­nuously in touch with Hamas offi­ci­als and with Egyp­tian intel­li­gence as well as with offi­ci­als in Israel, whose names he refu­sed to divulge. A few months ago Baskin showed Defense Mini­ster Ehud Barak a draft of the agre­e­ment and on the basis of that draft an inter-ministry com­mit­tee on the issue was establis­hed. The agre­e­ment was to have con­sti­tu­ted a basis for a per­ma­nent truce between Israel and Hamas, which would pre­vent the repe­a­ted rounds of shooting.  […]

Ulrike Putz argu­men­te­rer i Der Spie­gel, at eska­la­tio­nen skyl­des det isra­el­ske valg:

[…]Indeed, one can con­clude that the most recent offen­sive against mili­tants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip – which star­ted Wed­nes­day with the kil­ling of Jabari — has been con­cei­ved as more of a show fight for the Isra­eli public than the begin­ning of a deci­sive battle.

Dan­gerous Gam­bling
Both Net­a­ny­ahu and Barak would have good rea­sons for wan­ting to use a suc­ces­sful mini-campaign to score points before par­li­a­men­tary elections are held on Jan. 22. Net­a­ny­ahu is undoub­tedly afraid that ex-Prime Mini­ster Ehud Olmert could snatch votes away from his Likud party if he deci­des to throw his hat in the ring. In fact, there are rumors that Olmert was plan­ning to anno­unce his can­di­dacy pre­ci­sely on Wed­nes­day eve­ning. But the mili­tary action code­na­med “Pil­lar of Defense” upset his plans.

Defense Mini­ster Barak can also no lon­ger assume that his “Inde­pen­dence” party, which broke off from the Labor Party in Janu­ary 2011, will win enough votes to keep seats in the country’s par­li­a­ment, the Knes­set. However, a suc­ces­sful offen­sive could boost its waning popu­la­rity enough to gua­ran­tee it some par­li­a­men­tary seats. An offen­sive that gets the popu­la­tion to close ranks behind the mili­tary would also divert atten­tion away from pres­sing social pro­blems in Israel. Doing so would take the wind out of the sails of groups such as the Labor Party and cost them votes, the­reby hel­ping Netanyahu’s and Barak’s respective parties.

Still, even if the offen­sive might give the two some poli­ti­cal advan­ta­ges, it also entails mas­sive risks. If the vio­lence gets out of hand and the con­flict between Israel and Hamas esca­la­tes into somet­hing like the three-week war that broke out between the two in Decem­ber 2008, it could have dra­stic con­sequen­ces for the men who orche­stra­ted it. […]

Eli Bar­denstein skri­ver i den isra­el­ske avis Maa­riv, at angre­bene på Gaza-striben sæt­ter det i for­vejen tynds­lidte isra­el­ske for­hold til Egyp­ten i fare. Bl.a. har Egyp­ten truk­ket sin ambas­sa­dør til Israel hjem. (over­sat i tids­skrif­tet al-Monitor)

[…] Yet the issue of gar­ne­ring inter­na­tio­nal legi­ti­macy for laun­ching an ope­ra­tion in Gaza isn’t the gre­a­test pro­blem facing Net­a­ny­ahu and his government. The real price is the rela­tions with Egypt. In fact, Israel has alre­ady star­ted paying that price fol­lowing the anno­un­ce­ment from the presi­den­tial palace in Cairo that the ambas­sa­dor had been recal­led for con­sul­ta­tions. Today [Nov. 15], Tel Aviv will wake up wit­hout an Egyp­tian ambassador. The Isra­eli Ambas­sa­dor to Cairo, Yaakov Ami­tai, and the rest of the diplo­ma­tic corps also retur­ned to Israel, with the offi­cial expla­na­tion of a gene­ral holi­day in Egypt. In this case, too, his sta­tus remains unclear.

For four years Net­a­ny­ahu has avoi­ded laun­ching a large-scale mili­tary ope­ra­tion in Gaza. Ever since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, the Egyp­ti­ans applied heavy pres­sure to Net­a­ny­ahu and Defense Mini­ster Ehud Barak not to do it because of hostile public opi­nion in Egypt. Last August, the Egyp­ti­ans resor­ted to real thre­ats — that hel­ped. Netanyahu’s advisor, Yaakov Ami­dror, admit­ted to the Egyp­tian ambas­sa­dor at the time that “Egypt aver­ted a war in Gaza.”

This time, the Egyp­tian issued a war­ning as well. However, now sen­si­ti­vity is much more heigh­te­ned because neit­her Muba­rak nor Gene­ral Tan­tawi are at the helm but rat­her the Mus­lim Bro­t­her­hood, whose presi­dent refu­ses to men­tion Israel by name.

The Egyp­ti­ans didn’t wait. Less than five hours after the assas­si­na­tion of Hamas’ mili­tary lea­der, Ahmed Jabari, the presi­den­tial palace anno­un­ced the recall of the Egyp­tian ambassador. How much damage have Israeli-Egyptian rela­tions sustai­ned? We’ll find out shortly. […]

Gaza-ekspert Nat­han Thrall fra The Inter­na­tio­nal Cri­sis Group inter­viewes i det jødi­ske tids­skrift Tab­let Magazine:

[…]What is the big­gest takeaway from what’s hap­pe­ned today?

It looks like it’s going to be a large esca­la­tion; it seems very likely that Hamas is going to reta­li­ate strongly. They’ll pro­bably use longer-range wea­pons than they’ve ever used. The real question is whet­her any of this is going to change the basic sta­tus quo in rela­tions between Israel and Gaza, and I think the answer to that is pro­bably ‘no’ unless it esca­la­tes to the point that Israel reoc­cupies parts of Gaza, which is always a possibility. […]

Gers­hon Baskin kal­der lik­vi­de­rin­gen af Hamas’ mili­tær­chef for “total insa­nity” på sin Facebook-profil:

The Isra­eli deci­sion to kill Ahmed Jaa­bri was total insa­nity. Jaa­bri was behind enforcing all of the recent cea­se­fire agreements. He sent his troops out to stop the rock­ets and was pre­pa­red to reach a long term cea­se­fire. Jaa­bri was also the main inter­lo­cu­tor of the Egyp­tian intel­li­gence ser­vice in rea­ching cea­se­fire under­stan­dings. Now who are they sup­po­sed to talk to? Who can expect the Egyp­ti­ans to con­ti­nue to miti­gate our rela­tions­hip with Gaza? Now the gover­n­ment and people of Israel will face a mas­sive bar­rage of rock­ets and they bought the entrance card to Cast Lead II. God help us all. This is what I will say on Lon­don Kirs­chen­baum on Zis­sels television.

En mere dyb­de­gå­ende øjebliks­a­na­lyse af mor­det på Hamas’ mili­tær­chef leve­res af mel­le­mø­ste­n­eks­pert Paul Mut­ter på Ara­bist:

[…] In undertaking Ope­ra­tion Pil­lar of Cloud, Israel is under­mi­ning Hamas’s efforts to keep smal­ler groups like Isla­mic Jihad, opportu­ni­sts from the Sinai and the dis­sen­ting “Popu­lar Com­mit­tees” from laun­ching atta­cks on civi­li­ans in sout­hern Israel out of Gaza. By bro­a­de­ning the ope­ra­tio­nal tar­get list to include Hamas mem­bers once again, the group is going to have an extra­or­di­na­rily dif­fi­cult time manag­ing its mem­bers’ anger, not to men­tion public opi­nion since tens of civi­lian casu­al­ties have been repor­ted. But for Net­a­ny­ahu, he’s scored an important boost to his image ahead of the Isra­eli gene­ral election in 2013 by taking out Jaa­bari, who is best-known to Isra­e­lis as the archi­tect of Gilad Shalit’s abduction, which only ended when Net­a­ny­ahu tra­ded over 1,000 pri­so­ners for Shalit’s release. […]

Jour­na­list David Harris-Gershon skri­ver om Net­a­ny­a­hus moti­ver i det jødi­ske tids­skrift Tik­kun:

[…] The truth is this: Israel has enga­ged in its cur­rent, esca­lat­ing mili­tary campaign not to pro­tect Isra­e­lis from a mili­tant Hamas, but in order to ensure that Hamas in Gaza remains militant. See, while Jaa­bari was a known ter­r­o­rist who had his hand in the Gilad Sha­lit kid­nap­ping, he was also the Hamas lea­der both wil­ling and capable of enforcing cea­se­fire agre­e­ments. In fact, as Gers­hon Baskin wri­tes in “Assas­si­nat­ing the Chance for Calm,” Jaa­bari was con­si­de­ring a cea­se­fire pro­posal the moment he was assas­si­na­ted. And Baskin should know, for he was wor­king clo­sely with Hamas offi­ci­als on the pro­posal itself.

So why would Israel assas­si­nate a Hamas offi­cial, a move gua­ran­teed to pro­voke extreme out­rage and revenge, at a time when Hamas lea­ders were wor­king on a cea­se­fire? The answer is simple and twofold: a) Netanyahu’s gover­n­ment wants a mili­tant Hamas in Gaza; it wants a situ­a­tion in which Gaza beco­mes iso­la­ted from the West Bank, hoping even­tu­ally Gre­a­ter Israel will be obtai­ned with Gaza beco­m­ing a sepa­rate entity, and b) with Isra­eli elections set for Janu­ary, electo­ral moti­va­tions are unde­ni­ably in play with regard to this sud­den mili­tary barrage.

This has hap­pe­ned before, this tactic to destroy a cease fire and stoke mili­tant extre­mism. And it’s a tactic I know inti­ma­tely. See, in 2002, my wife was inju­red in the bom­bing of Hebrew Uni­ver­sity in Jerus­a­lem. The bom­bing, car­ried out by Hamas, was a revenge attack for Israel’s tar­ge­ted assas­si­na­tion of a top Hamas ter­r­o­rist, Sheikh Salah She­hada. The rub? This assas­si­na­tion came 90 minu­tes after Hamas, Isla­mic Jihad and the Palesti­nian Authority’s Tan­zim had agreed on a long-term cea­se­fire agre­e­ment that inclu­ded a histo­ric call from all orga­niza­tions to end all ter­ror atta­cks on civilians.

In 2002, Ariel Sha­ron laun­ched an Isra­eli offen­sive when Palesti­ni­ans were on the cusp of an histo­ric cea­se­fire. Today, Net­a­ny­ahu has done somet­hing similar. Both moments share a singu­lar moti­va­tion: ensuring that Hamas remains a mili­tant enemy. It is a desire Hamas has been all too wil­ling to oblige for its own poli­ti­cal gain, wil­ling to accept the self-destructive, sym­bi­o­tic rela­tions­hip Israel offers repeatedly. […]

Any­one with even a limi­ted under­stan­ding of what life in Gaza is like right now knows that Palesti­nian suf­fe­ring is intense and overwhelming. Millions of people are being ter­r­o­rized by one-ton bombs fal­ling inces­santly in resi­den­tial areas, and sco­res of civi­li­ans – inclu­ding young chil­dren – have been inju­red and kil­led so far. And those inju­red are unable to receive pro­per medi­cal atten­tion due to medi­cine and sup­ply shor­ta­ges cau­sed by Israel’s blo­ck­ade of Gaza, itself a brutal and ever-present stranglehold.

John Gla­ser spe­ku­le­rer på hjem­mesi­den Antiwar.org, om Israel bevidst eska­le­rer for at afspore ame­ri­kan­ske for­hand­lin­ger med Iran:

So, is Net­a­ny­ahu knowingly esca­lat­ing mili­tary ten­sions in order to avoid a suc­ces­sful diplo­ma­tic over­ture? I’m specu­lat­ing, but it isn’t far fet­ched. We know from exten­sive repor­ting, mainly in Isra­eli media, that in 2010 – just as Presi­dent Obama reque­sted a fre­eze on Jewish sett­le­ments in the West Bank with the aim of resu­m­ing peace talks – Isra­eli Prime Mini­ster Benja­min Net­a­ny­ahu tried to pro­voke Iran into a war with Israel that would even­tu­ally drag in the Uni­ted States.

It reminds me of what for­mer CIA Mid­dle East ana­lyst Paul Pil­lar refer­red to this week as“Netanyahu’s tension-stoking brinks­mans­hip: to divert atten­tion from con­ti­nued Isra­eli occu­pa­tion of Palesti­nian ter­ri­tory and ina­ction on the feste­ring Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”“[T]he Iran issue,” Pil­lar has pre­viously writ­ten, provi­des a “distra­ction” from inter­na­tio­nal “atten­tion to the Palesti­ni­ans’ lack of popu­lar sovereignty.” Now the situ­a­tion seems rever­sed: Israel is esca­lat­ing war with Gaza to main­tain dead­lock with their favo­rite sca­pe­goat, Iran.

Lara Fri­ed­man skri­ver i Open Zion om for­skel­len mel­lem USA’s støtte til Israel ved for­rige krig mod Gaza i 2008–9 og USA’s nuvæ­rende støtte. Hun argu­men­te­rer, at støt­ten er skærpet:

The fact that the Senate wants to weigh in to express sup­port for Israel during a con­flict is, in itself, neit­her inap­pro­p­ri­ate nor espe­ci­ally notable. What is notable is the ways in which the cur­rent reso­lu­tion (at least the draft that is circu­lat­ing this after­noon) dif­fers from the reso­lu­tion pas­sed by the Senate in the con­text of the last Gaza war. That reso­lu­tion, S. Res. 10, was adop­ted Janu­ary 8, 2009, by unani­mous con­sent. Two major dif­fe­ren­ces between the cur­rent reso­lu­tion and S. Res. 10 bear mentioning.

First, the Gillibrand-Kirk reso­lu­tion con­tains no men­tion of any aspira­tion to see hosti­li­ties end and inclu­des no exhorta­tion for the Presi­dent to in any way to engage to try to calm the vio­lence or bring about a ceasefire.

This is in con­trast to S. Res. 10, which inclu­ded a resol­ved clause encou­rag­ing the Presi­dent “to work acti­vely to sup­port a durable, enfor­ceable, and sustai­nable cease-fire in Gaza, as soon as pos­sible, that pre­vents Hamas from retai­ning or rebu­il­ding the capa­bi­lity to launch rock­ets and mortars against Israel and allows for the long term improve­ment of daily living con­di­tions for the ordi­nary people of Gaza.”

Second, the Gillibrand-Kirk reso­lu­tion doesn’t even pay lip ser­vice to, or offer even can­ned langu­age feig­ning con­cern for, civi­lian life on both sides—or even on eit­her side. This is bizarre, given that inno­cent civi­li­ans, inclu­ding chil­dren, have alre­ady been kil­led and inju­red on both sides, and these num­bers are almost certain to grow.

In con­trast, S. Res. 10 inclu­ded a resol­ved clause stat­ing that the Senate: “belie­ves strongly that the lives of inno­cent civi­li­ans must be pro­tected and all appro­p­ri­ate mea­su­res should be taken to dimi­nish civi­lian casu­al­ties and that all invol­ved should con­ti­nue to work to address huma­ni­ta­rian needs in Gaza.”

Some might sug­gest that these omis­sions weren’t deli­be­rate. This sug­ge­stion hits a wall, howe­ver, given that much of the Gillibrand-Kirk text appears to be drawn directly from S. Res. 10. Indeed, Gil­li­brand and Kirk include in their reso­lu­tion a “resol­ved” clause clearly drawn from the clause in S. Res. 10 dea­ling with a cea­se­fire, but with the langu­age about a cea­se­fire (and about improving the daily lives of Palesti­ni­ans in Gaza) cut out.

In short, this pared-down ver­sion of S. Res. 10, as pre­sently draf­ted, sends the mes­sage that the Senate isn’t con­cer­ned about harm (alre­ady done or poten­tial) to civi­li­ans, and that the Senate is in no hurry to see a ceasefire—consistent, per­haps, with recent remarks by Israel offi­ci­als to the effect that “We’re in no hurry to receive mes­sa­ges about a cease fire from Egypt or other sta­tes” and “We’ll con­ti­nue the pres­sure and the atta­cks on Gaza until Hamas begs for a cease-fire.” Such a mes­sage seems both poli­ti­cally short­sigh­ted and morally dubious.

Udveks­lin­ger mel­lem Hamas og Israel er også at finde i de soci­ale medier. Her er et eksem­pel på pro­pa­gan­da­kri­gen på net­vær­ket Twitter:

Israel og Gaza, den seneste eskalation, medie roundup

Noah Sha­ch­t­man og Robert Beck­hu­sen skri­ver om medi­e­kri­gen i Wired:

On day one of the fight between Israel and Hamas, the Isra­eli Defense For­ces execu­ted a top lea­der of the mili­tant group — and took to Twit­ter and YouTube to brag about it. On day two, the Palesti­nian group hit back, laun­ching its most sop­hi­sti­ca­ted rock­ets and anno­un­cing every new bar­rage on social media.

The coun­te­rof­fen­sive is a major change from the last time the IDF and Hamas batt­led, during 2009′s “Ope­ra­tion Cast Lead.” […]

When the Isra­eli Defense For­ces began on Wed­nes­day “Ope­ra­tion Pil­lar of Defense” — the lar­gest assault on Gaza in more than three years — the IDF aggres­si­vely live­blog­ged, twe­e­ted and uplo­a­ded a stream of upda­tes to social media sites. In par­ti­cu­lar, the IDF instantly boa­sted on social media about the slaying of Ahmed al-Jabari, one of Hamas’ best-known leaders. […]

Not to be out­done, Hamas has also taken to social media to publi­cize its rocket and mortar atta­cks, which it is cal­ling “Ope­ra­tion Shale Sto­nes.” And just like the IDF and Jabari, the al-Qassam bri­ga­des tweet when Isra­eli casu­al­ties are repor­ted. “Enemy admits of kil­ling 3 Zio­ni­sts and injuring 3 others by Palesti­nian resi­stance shel­ling,” the Bri­ga­des twe­e­ted at 4:29 a.m.

On Twit­ter, Israel sought to sway glo­bal public opi­nion with the hash­tag#Isra­e­lUn­der­Fire. Hamas and their sup­por­ters respon­ded with #GazaUn­de­rAt­tackalong with vari­a­tions in dif­fe­rent langu­a­ges. These hash­tags are also some­ti­mes com­bi­ned with #Fre­e­Gaza and the more mili­tant #Resi­stance hash­tag, and Hamas adds the hash­tag #Sha­le­Sto­nes for mili­tary upda­tes. And both sides are figh­ting over con­trol of #Gaza.

It’s important to note that – like Israel’s social media offen­sive – Hamas’ ver­sion is inten­ded as propaganda. […]

I andre nyhe­der frem­går det, at Israel er ver­dens mest mili­ta­ri­se­rede stat. Som jeg selv har skre­vet i RÆSONi en anden sam­men­hæng:

Selvvalgte krige 

Israel for­sva­rer sin besæt­telse af de palæsti­nen­si­ske områ­der med hen­vis­ning til dets sik­ker­heds­be­kym­rin­ger. Den isra­el­ske sik­ker­heds­dok­trin er i høj grad base­ret på lan­dets evne til at skræmme sine naboer fra at handle imod det. I sine spæde 64 år har Israel ført i hvert fald syv krige, og haft mere end 150 mili­tære sam­men­stød med sine naboer. Israel er såle­des den mest kon­flik­tramte stat i moderne historie. I en udtøm­mende publi­ka­tion fra Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Press kon­klu­de­rer den isra­el­ske mili­tær­hi­sto­ri­ker Zeev Maoz, at ”de fle­ste af de isra­el­ske krige helt kunne have været und­gået.” De var et resul­tat af ”bevid­ste isra­el­ske aggres­sio­ner, defekte poli­tik­ker og fejl­for­tol­ket kon­flikt­sty­ring.” De var alle ”selvvalgte krige”, og har kon­se­kvent gjort sik­ker­heds­be­ho­vet større.

Læs resten af denne round-up på poyapakzad.blogspot.com.

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Israel og Gaza, den seneste eskalation, medie roundup

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