‘I Hope Each Bullet Was Justified.’

A blood-curdling article in the NYTIMES: “‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified.’ Israelis Reflect on Death in Gaza.”

I keep hoping it’s biased reporting, that people are not really saying all of these things, that the quotes are cherry-picked for effect. I know I’m being silly but it’s so hard to accept.

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62 thoughts on “‘I Hope Each Bullet Was Justified.’”

  1. “I keep hoping it’s biased reporting”

    From the noted pro-palestinian propaganda outlet, the New York Times. If anything, I bet it’s been scrubbed to remove the more nasty responses, to not offend the tender sensibilities of the median NYTimes reader.

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  2. I have seen quite a few very nasty comments threads on this. People are authoritarian and bloodthirsty, what can I say. This is why atrocities are not stopped.

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    1. On this blog, no less. Yesterday, Dreidel said that a Dresden style bombing on Gaza would be the best thing to do, if you wanted long term peace.

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      1. It’s one thing what people say anonymously without showing their face. But usually when you are talking to an interlocutor who’s in front of you, some sort of an internal censorship kicks in. A lot of people think really shitty things but at least they know it and keep it at least a bit censored for public consumption.

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          1. When that internal censorship stops working, this means that the capacity to distinguish between good and bad has been switched off. And that’s when people get really scary.

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            1. Well you two, check out how nasty this very thread now gets toward the (current) end. GOOD point about what people will say out loud or not.

              The comparison of WWII and this conflict is quite a distortion, I must say.

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              1. I agree that we should stay away from facile comparisons with WWII. But I do find it painful that Jews, who really should know better, are adopting this mentality of people being subhuman and racially inferior.

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      2. There you go again misquoting people!

        What Dreidel actually said yesterday, in response to a post by another reader about Dresden: “A Dresden-style bombing of Gaza would have solved the Hamas problem decades ago.”

        And it’s a factually-correct statement — not a recommendation as you falsely imply.

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  3. Can I ask you something? I’ve been on this blog since 2011 and I feel the way you talk about this subject now has changed quite a bit.

    Am I mistaken? If not, what happened?

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    1. Absolutely. I have wanted to convince myself that things are not as bad in Israel. I’ve been very willing to dismiss evidence, stories, information because I didn’t want to believe it. It’s very hard for me to accept that Israeli Jews are exhibiting genocidal behavior, even though it’s very clear that they are.

      And this is going to sound very strange but the tipping point were the newspaper reports by Mario Vargas Llosa who’d been a lifelong fan of Israel, feted and praised in Israel for his support for decades. And then he visited the Palestinian territories, saw the suffering, the horror, and found the courage to write honestly about it. And I was thinking, gosh, here’s a 86-year-old fellow who is not afraid of seeing what’s going on and revising a lifelong position. Because that’s the right thing to do.

      Also, I obviously haven’t gone there myself and haven’t seen anything first-hand. So I need to hear from people who have been there and whom I can trust. Once I have, that’s all I need.

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      1. “It’s very hard for me to accept that Israeli Jews are exhibiting genocidal behavior, even though it’s very clear that they are.”

        Wow. For you to say this…it’s something.

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      2. “It’s very hard for me to accept that Israeli Jews are exhibiting genocidal behavior, even though it’s very clear that they are”

        My pessimistic take: Of coursed they are, and if the Palestinians had the upper hand they would too. This is an extremely mundane case (abstractly speaking). The world was populated by groups committing genocide (physical or cultural). This is just one of the few examples that can be seen in real time.

        Enough people on both sides want all the land (and are unwilling to compromise and are being egged on by others enough) hat the only practical solution is going to involved the total destruction of one side or the other or de facto outside colonization to keep the two sides from each other’s throats.

        There will be no two state solution unless it’s forced from outside for long enough to become institutionalized (decades at least maybe centuries) Israel will either have all the west bank (and a Berlin wall with gaza) or it will be Palestine from the river to the sea (which will be full of Israeli skeletons).

        No Palestinian group will accept an agreement without the Right of Return and no Israeli government can ever accept that. Solve for equilibrium as they say.

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        1. You suffer from what Strauss identified as ‘probity’, the idea that the bleakest, most pessimistic explanation of anything must necessarily be the truth. And whoever accepts that truth must therefore be the most intellectually courageous.

          No wonder you’re drawn to smug MRA/reddit/redpill explanations of the world.

          Cynicism is not wisdom.

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            1. \ That’s my pessimistic take I have a more optimistic one or two as well.

              Which are those? Would love to hear them.

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              1. The optimistic takes are mostly based on things that aren’t liable to happen soon like the Palestinians giving up the right of return or giving up their genocidal rhetoric and ideology or Israelis deciding they want to be a multi-ethnic multi-faith state rather than a Jewish state.

                Other optimistic takes involve large scale generous resettlement deals for most of one side or the other including things like Arab states giving the Palestinians living in them their human rights by granting those that want it citizenship (and maybe some reparations for the decades they’ve been treating them like garbage).

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    1. All of the quotes in the linked NYTIMES article were from Israelis, and most of them express grief at being forced to defend their country and their families from violent but deranged individuals driven to madness by their terrorist Gazan masters.

      If you want to find Palestinian quotes from mothers who took their children to Israel’s borders to be sacrificed for Hamas talking points, log in to Euronews.com.

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    2. “And what do you have to say about the quotes from Palestinians about the reasons for their march?”

      • The ones who are dead are not saying anything.

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  4. \ I couldn’t even read the article to the end.

    Then it’s not completely fair to quote it, especially considering that the following information was put at the end:

    // The army provided new details on Tuesday about Monday’s confrontation to bolster its contention that the Gaza demonstration was no innocent protest but what commanders called a “terrorist operation” orchestrated by Hamas.

    Eight of the dead, the army said, were armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes who tried to storm the fence in northern Gaza and attacked Israeli forces with grenades and pipe bombs before being killed in a shootout. A photograph showed what the military said was an Israeli battalion commander’s armored vehicle pockmarked with Kalashnikov fire. Another three militants were killed while laying an explosive device in the south, the army said.

    Rebutting accusations that the military used excessive force, two senior officers of the Maglan commando force said the armed Hamas force in the north emerged from the crowds and attacked a patrol vehicle and five of their positions, including those of snipers perched on sand berms along the fence.

    They said they killed four militants in the first contact, then another four arrived in a jeep. As soon as the militants opened fire, they said, the civilian protesters fled the area. The episode ended after a 20-minute exchange of fire.

    The officers, whom the army insisted could not be identified, rejected the outcry from critics, saying that each day of protests they had witnessed attacks on the fence and military infrastructure, and that Hamas had exploited the civilian protesters in order to try to break through.

    “It’s very different when you see it with your own eyes,” one officer said, “when you feel the threat.”

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  5. If the description of IDF is true, it’s pity they didn’t videotyped it and put it on an international news site.

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  6. I didn’t have to lose my 1 out of 2 remaining free articles at your site, since the info apppears on Israeli sites too:

    // IDF details attempted terror attacks carried out under guise of Gaza border protest
    Eleven Hamas militants, armed with weapons and explosives, attempted to use Monday’s riots on the Gaza border as cover to breach the fence, plant explosives to harm Israeli soldiers; they were intercepted by Israeli commando units.
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5261606,00.html

    Other article claims that “IDF affirms 24 out of 61 killed in Monday’s mass riot at the Gaza border were terrorist affiliated with either Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, citing data gathered by the Shin Bet.”

    Also this:

    ” About 1,200 others suffered other types of injuries, including from tear gas, Palestinian sources said.”

    So Israel shouldn’t use tear gas either now, which is not bullets but a crowd dispersion tactic?

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    1. Israel has been one of the most foolishly patient countries in the world, tolerating savages and terrorists shooting arrows and firing rockets at its senior citizens and children, long after any other country would have wiped them off the map.

      America didn’t put up with the Indians who bashed babies’ heads against trees, and England didn’t tolerate backward cultures who stood in its way as it spread Western civilization around the world.

      Intelligent people have to take sides in a war of clashing civilizations, and it’s a zero-sum equation. You have to listen to your head, and not all the contradictory rumblings in your heart.

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  7. Very interesting take on Israel here (nb the author’s thesis is that politics runs in cycles and that Israel, the UK, the US and France are ending a more or less 40 year cycle at the same time, if you don’t believe in cycles you’ll probably disagree strongly with the article)

    The US wasn’t a major ally of Israel during the Social Democracy phase which ended in the late 1970s and it probably won’t be once the neoliberal/neocon phase ends (it’s entering its death throes now).

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2018/05/israels-trajectory-as-40-year-era-comes.html#comment-form

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    1. cliff, I agreed with many things in your previous comment on this thread, but this article lost me with

      “The new consensus might be that we Israelis need to make peace with the Palestinians by incorporating them into a one-state nation (albeit as second-class citizens), so that we can devote all of our energy to fighting against Iran.”

      You have yourself said that both us and Palestinians won’t rest till the other side goes away, so I don’t see how one-state nation suits your vision.

      Also, the conflict with Iran is officially based on Israel hurting Palestinians. It P-s are incorporated, what would be the reason for conflict?

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      1. I’m more interested in the cycle theory than the nuts and bolts of what will/could happen in Israel and agree he’s entirely too optimistic about non-starters like a single state (multicultural) solution which seems as dead in the water as the two state solution.

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    2. \ Very interesting take on Israel here (nb the author’s thesis is that politics runs in cycles and that Israel, the UK, the US and France are ending a more or less 40 year cycle at the same time, if you don’t believe in cycles you’ll probably disagree strongly with the article)

      I got interested and started exploring that blog today hoping to find a new good blog to read. Naturally, I clicked on “Jews” label and saw a horrific degree of antisemitism which made me doubt anything that person could write on any subject.

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      1. “I clicked on “Jews” label”

        Yeah, that’s not a good idea…. he’s terrible on Gays as well. I filter out a lot of stuff he writes because the stuff on cycles in culture and politics and history repeating are so interesting, but yeah there’s some mud in that pit as well.

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        1. \ I filter out a lot of stuff he writes because the stuff on cycles in culture and politics and history repeating are so interesting, but yeah there’s some mud in that pit as well.

          Btw, would be glad to see a post of blog recs on your blog.
          Am searching for good blogs to read. 🙂

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  8. @ el
    Relax! Israel has the firepower — and all the support that it needs from the U.S. under Trump that it needs. Nobody cares that much about the technicalities of the law when your people are forced to defend themselves against rapid maniacs.

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    1. Dreidel, have you read the article?

      \ Relax! Israel has the firepower — and all the support that it needs from the U.S. under Trump that it needs.

      Trump and more importantly the current situation bringing American and Israeli interests together are not eternal. The post about the law demonstrates that well by giving concrete examples.

      Israel should also consider some long term strategy which would help us in the Middle East even if interests change.

      \ Nobody cares that much about the technicalities of the law when your people are forced to defend themselves against rapid maniacs.

      I am afraid about having to defend myself against random 1-2 Israeli politicians of dubious judgement (and who are potentially guided by the approaching elections) deciding single-handedly to start ‘a little war,’ while ignoring the opinions of the professionals in the army and security services.

      Have you read the article?

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  9. Here is in short:

    The most significant news coming out of Israel this week [was] a Knesset vote on Monday night that dramatically changes the circumstances in which Israel can declare war.

    Until Monday, all wars or major military operations conducted by Israel required approval by some segment of the cabinet.

    the bill that grants the prime minister and the defense minister the power to declare war or authorize major military operations alone and without the consent of the rest of the security cabinet in undefined situations of extreme urgency.

    During the earlier part of this decade, when Israel’s leaders were debating what to do about Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided that they wanted to launch a strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Rather than simply conduct a military operation, however, they needed to get the security cabinet’s approval, which at the time numbered fourteen and broke down eight in favor and six against. Even having this small majority was not enough, since it would have been enormously divisive to take the giant and risky step of attempting to take out Iran’s nuclear program without anything approaching unanimity. Israel instead backed away, and over half a decade later it is very difficult to find anyone in the Israeli security establishment – which as a general group was vociferously opposed to the Iran deal – who believes with the benefit of hindsight that a strike on Iran in 2012 or 2013 would have been a good idea.

    Imagine this scenario being replicated today in a decision to attack Iran, but with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman – who has by all accounts been doing a solid and professional job but who is perhaps the least militarily experienced defense minister in Israeli history – as the only person in the room to check Netanyahu.

    […] Three Israeli prime ministers – David Ben Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ehud Barak – have simultaneously served as their own defense ministers, just as Netanyahu now holds the foreign affairs portfolio, and in that scenario a prime minister would not be required to get authorization from anyone to declare war if he or she decided that it was a matter of extreme urgency. […] consolidating power in a maximum of two people (but potentially in only one) and laying the foundations for the security cabinet to be cut out entirely is not only foolish but monumentally dangerous.

    https://ottomansandzionists.com/2018/05/03/the-most-important-ignored-news-of-the-week/

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  10. Another intersting post of his:

    The Russian View of Israel and Syria

    I just returned from a quick trip to Moscow, where I had a chance to talk to a few Russian academics and foreign policy experts about what Russia is up to in Syria and get some Russian views on its relationships with Israel and Iran. Here are a few brief observations about what I learned, with the caveat that they are the result of a small sample size and hardly a wide-ranging survey.

    https://ottomansandzionists.com/2018/04/26/the-russian-view-of-israel-and-syria/

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    1. The article is deeply flawed in that it analyses Russia’s involvement in Syria outside of the context of its war in Ukraine. Many of the people fighting in Syria fought in Ukraine until Putin withdrew them and sent them to Syria. Bringing them back to Russia would be disastrous because nobody wanted them to start talking about their presence in Ukraine. Also, Russian media needed to wind down the obsessive discussions of Ukraine and distract the public’s attention from that subject. Syria was also a way of showing to the US what it feels like when somebody meddles in “your” area of influence like Putin believes the US did in Ukraine.

      Russia’s view of Israel is that it’s not a state but a US military base, so having an actual relationship with it makes no sense because it’s not on the same level as actual states.

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      1. \ The article is deeply flawed in that it analyses Russia’s involvement in Syria outside of the context of its war in Ukraine.

        Sorry to sound like a broken phone machine, but what about the article about the new Israeli law?
        Don’t you see it as significant?
        Am I the only one to care?
        I thought it was more significant than the current demonstrations in the long term because of its ability to lead to full war in a stupid fashion.

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        1. “Sorry to sound like a broken phone machine, but what about the article about the new Israeli law?
          Don’t you see it as significant?
          Am I the only one to care?”

          • No, I think you are right, it’s quite scary. I hope the people of Israel notice and do something about it.

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          1. \ No, I think you are right, it’s quite scary. I hope the people of Israel notice and do something about it.

            I am unsure whether mass media covered it extensively. May be, journalists were the first to almost completely ignore it. I will check later today.

            The first time I heard about it was from his site, not Israeli news sites.

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            1. It’s the same here in the US. Coverage is reserved for ridiculous gossipy items while serious, crucial news are not covered. The distinction between tabloids and serious news has been completely erased.

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              1. Absolutely. But we have only ourselves to blame if even among scholars of literature it’s more acceptable to argue that 2+2 makes 73 than to say that there is a qualitative difference between texts produced by Shakespeare and Justin Bieber. People react with a stunned “But you can’t say this kind of thing!” when I do say it.

                Academics in the Humanities promote fluidity like it will bring us some benefits instead of destroying our disciplines.

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    1. And then it’s all, “but what can we do if they just started running at the fence completely unpredictably and for no discernible reason?”

      If you have a consistent, long-term policy, then here are the results of the policy. I’m maddened by the attempts to discuss it as an isolated and causeless event.

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      1. How would one feel if you knew every time you gave your child some water to drink, you were actually poisoning her?

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  11. Has hell frozen over?

    // Swiss minister: UN Palestinian refugee agency ‘part of the problem’
    Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis says Palestinian ‘dream’ of return is ‘unrealistic,’ noting ‘UNRWA maintains this hope’ and adding that while the UN agency ‘worked as a solution for a long time, today it has become part of the problem.’

    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5263653,00.html

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      1. I currently only glanced at it since it’s 23:14 in Israel and I am tired, but it sounded interesting. I will read it tomorrow. Thanks.

        Wanted to ask whether you might want to put a post and make an invitation in the next link encyclopedia for readers to link to their favorite blogs. I would love to find new good blogs to read, but it’s very hard alone. Who knows, may be you and others would benefit and discover some treasure.

        I see only 4 blogs on the left in “MY BLOGROLL”. Is your feed (?), meaning full(er) list inaccessible?

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        1. Problem is, blogging is dying as a genre. It’s all Facebook these days. I’m going to add a couple more blogs to the panel when I get a moment but many of the good ones are dead and nothing new is coming up. It’s a shame,of course.

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            1. Even FB is fading away, actually. It’s now more about Twitter and Instagram. Because they are more scandalous, more about generating outrage, and that’s addictive.

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              1. May be, when blogs were what people knew, the default option was to blog, even if the person in question was more naturally inclined to have something like Instagram.

                With the rise of other competitive platforms, the bloggers will be those naturally inclined to be writers and to enjoy relatively deep analysis and thoughtful discussions. So I don’t expect blogging to completely die out, just to shrink to its natural dimensions rather than previously artificially inflated ones.

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