israeli Crimes Against Humanity: Remembering the Sabra and Shatila Massacre


By Institute for Middle East Understanding,

The Gaza massacre is part of longstanding process of Israeli crimes against humanity. This article describes one of the worst atrocities in modern Middle Eastern history committed against the people of Palestine. This article was first posted on Global Research in 2016.

On September 16, 1982, Christian Lebanese militiamen allied to Israel entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and the adjacent neighborhood of Sabra in Beirut under the watch of the Israeli army and began a slaughter that caused outrage around the world. Over the next day and a half, up to 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were murdered in one of the worst atrocities in modern Middle Eastern history. The New York Times recently published an op-ed containing new details of discussions held between Israeli and American officials before and during the massacre. They reveal how Israeli officials, led by then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, misled and bullied American diplomats, rebuffing their concerns about the safety of the inhabitants of Sabra and Shatila.

Lead Up

  • On June 6, 1982, Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon. It had been long planned by Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who wanted to destroy or severely diminish the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was based in Lebanon at the time. Sharon also planned to install a puppet government headed by Israel’s right-wing Lebanese Christian Maronite allies, the Phalangist Party.
  • Israeli forces advanced all the way to the capital of Beirut, besieging and bombarding the western part of city, where the PLO was headquartered and the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and the adjacent neighborhood of Sabra are located.
  • Israel’s bloody weeklong assault on West Beirut in August prompted harsh international criticism, including from the administration of US President Ronald Reagan, who many accused of giving a “green light” to Israel to launch the invasion. Under a US-brokered ceasefire agreement, PLO leaders and more than 14,000 fighters were to be evacuated from the country, with the US providing written assurances for the safety of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians left behind. US Marines were deployed as part of a multinational force to oversee and provide security for the evacuation.
  • On August 30, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat left Beirut along with the remainder of the Palestinian fighters based in the city.
  • On September 10, the Marines left Beirut. Four days later, on September 14, the leader of Israel’s Phalangist allies, Bashir Gemayel, was assassinated. Gemayel had just been elected president of Lebanon by the Lebanese parliament, under the supervision of the occupying Israeli army. His death was a severe blow to Israel’s designs for the country. The following day, Israeli forces violated the ceasefire agreement, moving into and occupying West Beirut.

The Massacre

  • On Wednesday, September 15, the Israeli army surrounded the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and the adjacent neighborhood of Sabra in West Beirut. The next day, September 16, Israeli soldiers allowed about 150 Phalangist militiamen into Sabra and Shatila.
  • The Phalange, known for their brutality and a history of atrocities against Palestinian civilians, were bitter enemies of the PLO and its leftist and Muslim Lebanese allies during the preceding years of Lebanon’s civil war. The enraged Phalangist militiamen believed, erroneously, that Phalange leader Gemayel had been assassinated by Palestinians. He was actually killed by a Syrian agent.
  • Over the next day and a half, the Phalangists committed unspeakable atrocities, raping, mutilating, and murdering as many as 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, most of them women, children, and the elderly. Sharon would later claim that he could have had no way of knowing that the Phalange would harm civilians, however when US diplomats demanded to know why Israel had broken the ceasefire and entered West Beirut, Israeli army Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan justified the move saying it was “to prevent a Phalangist frenzy of revenge.” On September 15, the day before the massacre began, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin told US envoy Morris Draper that the Israelis had to occupy West Beirut, “Otherwise, there could be pogroms.”
  • Almost immediately after the killing started, Israeli soldiers surrounding Sabra and Shatila became aware that civilians were being murdered, but did nothing to stop it. Instead, Israeli forces fired flares into the night sky to illuminate the darkness for the Phalangists, allowed reinforcements to enter the area on the second day of the massacre, and provided bulldozers that were used to dispose of the bodies of many of the victims.
  • On the second day, Friday, September 17, an Israeli journalist in Lebanon called Defense Minister Sharon to inform him of reports that a massacre was taking place in Sabra and Shatila. The journalist, Ron Ben-Yishai, later recalled:

    ‘I found [Sharon] at home sleeping. He woke up and I told him “Listen, there are stories about killings and massacres in the camps. A lot of our officers know about it and tell me about it, and if they know it, the whole world will know about it. You can still stop it.” I didn’t know that the massacre actually started 24 hours earlier. I thought it started only then and I said to him “Look, we still have time to stop it. Do something about it.” He didn’t react.”‘

  • On Friday afternoon, almost 24 hours after the killing began, Eitan met with Phalangist representatives. According to notestaken by an Israeli intelligence officer present: “[Eitan] expressed his positive impression received from the statement by the Phalangist forces and their behavior in the field,” telling them to continue “mopping up the empty camps south of Fakahani until tomorrow at 5:00 a.m., at which time they must stop their action due to American pressure.”
  • On Saturday, American Envoy Morris Draper, sent a furious message to Sharon stating:

    ‘You must stop the massacres. They are obscene. I have an officer in the camp counting the bodies. You ought to be ashamed. The situation is rotten and terrible. They are killing children. You are in absolute control of the area, and therefore responsible for the area.’

  • The Phalangists finally left the area at around 8 o’clock Saturday morning, taking many of the surviving men with them for interrogation at a soccer stadium. The interrogations were carried out with Israeli intelligence agents, who handed many of the captives back to the Phalange. Some of the men returned to the Phalange were later found executed.
  • About an hour after the Phalangists departed Sabra and Shatila, the first journalists arrived on the scene and the first reports of what transpired began to reach the outside world.

Casualty Figures

  • Thirty years later, there is still no accurate total for the number of people killed in the massacre. Many of the victims were buried in mass graves by the Phalange and there has been no political will on the part of Lebanese authorities to investigate.
  • An official Israeli investigation, the Kahan Commission, concluded that between 700 and 800 people were killed, based on the assessment of Israeli military intelligence.
  • An investigation by Beirut-based British journalist Robert Fisk, who was one of the first people on the scene after the massacre ended, concluded that The Palestinian Red Crescent put the number of dead at more than 2000.
  • In his book, Sabra & Shatila: Inquiry into a Massacre, Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk reached a maximum figure of 3000 to 3500.



  • Following international outrage, the Israeli government established a committee of inquiry, the Kahan Commission. Its investigation found that Defense Minister Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the massacre, and recommended that he be removed from office. Although Prime Minister Begin removed him from his post as defense minister, Sharon remained in cabinet as a minister without portfolio. He would go on to hold numerous other cabinet positions in subsequent Israeli governments, including foreign minister during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first term in office. Nearly 20 years later, in March 2001, Sharon was elected prime minister of Israel.
  • In June 2001, lawyers for 23 survivors of the massacre initiated legal proceedings against Sharon in a Belgian court, under a law allowing people to be prosecuted for war crimes committed anywhere in the world.
  • In January 2002, Phalangist leader and chief liaison to Israel during the 1982 invasion, Elie Hobeika, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut. Hobeika led the Phalangist militiamen responsible for the massacre, and had announced that he was prepared to testify against Sharon, who was then prime minister of Israel, at a possible war crimes trial in Belgium. Hobeika’s killers were never found.
  • In June 2002, a panel of Belgian judges dismissed war crimes charges against Sharon because he wasn’t present in the country to stand trial.
  • In January 2006, Sharon suffered a massive stroke. He remains in a coma on life support.

The United States

  • For the United States, which had guaranteed the safety of civilians left behind after the PLO departed, the massacre was a deep embarrassment, causing immense damage to its reputation in the region. The fact that US Secretary of State Alexander Haig was believed by many to have given Israel a “green light” to invade Lebanon compounded the damage.
  • In the wake of the massacre, President Reagan sent the Marines back to Lebanon. Just over a year later, 241 American servicemen would be killed when two massive truck bombs destroyed their barracks in Beirut, leading Reagan to withdraw US forces for good.

The Palestinians

  • For Palestinians, the Sabra and Shatila massacre was and remains a traumatic event, commemorated annually. Many survivors continue to live in Sabra and Shatila, struggling to eke out a living and haunted by their memories of the slaughter. To this day, no one has faced justice for the crimes that took place.
  • For Palestinians, the Sabra and Shatila massacre serves as a powerful and tragic reminder of the vulnerable situation of millions of stateless Palestinians, and the dangers that they continue to face across the region, and around the world.

The real #antiSemitism: ‘We view them as of they were Donkeys’–What israel’s First Ruling Party Thought About Palestinians

‘We view them as of they were Donkeys’–What Israel’s First Ruling Party Thought About Palestinians

Israel’s first ruling party, Mapai, was torn about the status of Arabs who remained in the country after the War of Independence; almost 70 years later, the ‘Arab question’ has yet to be answered

ed note–remember a few important factoids here–

Ben Gurion and his ‘peeps’ were hard-core leftists, whose great-great grandchildren today like to gussy themselves up as the polar opposite of those on the right such as Netanyahu, Bennett, Lieberman, etc.

And yet, here are these ‘good Jews’, these ‘progressive’ Jews speaking the same racist, elitist language which they make the not-so-convincing pretenses of opposing with their inclusive, progressive language.

So what gives here?

Easy…They are Jews who–either in the religious or cultural sense–practice this thing known as Judaism which–in whatever context it exists, religious or cultural–is a racist, elitist ideology that views the world in very simple and very stark terms–Jewish vs Gentile, with the former being the superior and the latter being of no consequence at all except in the manner in which it devotes its energies in bettering the lives of Jews.

The other important factoid that is important to consider here is that the narrative which Judea, Inc likes to employ when anesthetizing the Gentile mind in favor of Israel’s interests, where duh po’, lil’, innocent, harmless Jooz wuzn’ duin’ nuffin’ at all, jes’ tryna livn’ peese wif dayr naybrs an den duh mean ol’ AY-rabs came an tryyd killn’ em’ is patently false on its face. The tension between the 2 was not the result of ‘AY-rab’ anti-Shemitism, but rather was the reactive, protective instinct on the part of an indigenous people being forced to endure the obnoxious, criminal behavior of an invader who saw himself as superior and as ‘chosen’.

As we like to say here often–fish swim, birds fly and Jews lie.


The Arab question in Israel was the term used in the top ranks of Mapai, the ruling party in the young State of Israel – and forerunner of Labor – to encapsulate the complex issue that arose after the War of Independence of 1948-49. In the wake of the fighting, and the armistice agreements that concluded the war, about 156,000 Arabs remained within Israel (out of an estimated 700,000 before the war), accounting for 14 percent of the nascent states population. So it was with some justification that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett stated in a meeting of Mapai Knesset members and the partys senior leadership, on June 18, 1950, that this is one of the fundamental questions of our policy and of the future of our country. He added that the issue was one that will determine the direction of the countrys morality, for our entire moral stature depends on this test – on whether we pass it or not.

Almost 70 years later, the Arab question in Israel continues to pose a conundrum for politicians when they address the issue of the status of Palestinian citizens of Israel (or, as they are often imprecisely called, Israeli Arabs).

The minutes of the meetings held by Mapai, which are stored in the Labor Party Archive in Beit Berl, outside Kfar Sava, attest to the deep dispute in the party over two conflicting approaches concerning the Arabs in Israel. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his associates – Moshe Dayan (Israel Defense Forces chief of staff 1953-1958) and Shimon Peres, at the time a senior official in the Defense Ministry – urged a policy of segregation and a hard hand against what he argued was a communal threat to national security; while Sharett and other Mapai leaders – Pinhas Lavon, Zalman Aran, David Hacohen and others – promoted a policy of integration.

The disagreement between Ben-Gurion and Sharett mirrored the respective approaches held by the two regarding the Arab world in general. Sharett was critical of Ben-Gurions policy, which he said, held that the only language the Arabs understand is force, and called for an approach that preferred the matter of peace. Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, then a Knesset member, and later Israels second president (1952-1963), summed up succinctly the alternatives in a meeting of the Mapai MKs several weeks later, on July 9, 1950: The question is the attitude the state takes toward the minorities. Do we want them to remain in the country, to be integrated in the country, or to get out of the country We declared civic equality irrespective of race difference. Does this refer to a time when there will be no Arabs in the country? If so, its fraud.

‘Transfer’ option

The discussions within the party were quite freewheeling, even if speakers frequently expressed concern of leaks to the press, which could have lead to international pressure on Israel to improve the treatment of its Arab citizens. Indeed, the future of the relations between the peoples who inhabited the country demanded weighty political decisions. Among the issues in question: the right to vote, the Absentees Property Law, the status of the Arab education system, membership of Arab workers in the Mapai-affiliated Histadrut federation of labor, and more.

One proposition that arose frequently in the discussions was that of a transfer – the expulsion of the Arabs who continued to reside in Israel – a term that some found grating already then. In the June 1950 meeting, Sharett took issue with the allegation, voiced by Ben-Gurion and his supporters, that the Arabs in Israel were a fifth column. That was a simplistic assumption, Sharett said, which needs to be examined. As he saw it, the fate of the relations between the two peoples depended overwhelmingly on the Jews. Will we continue to fan the flames? Sharett asked, or try to douse them? Even though a high-school education was not yet mandatory under law (and the state was not obligated to offer one), a large number of the Jewish youth in the country attended high school, and Sharett thought that the state should establish high schools for the Arabs as well. Israel needs to guarantee them their cultural minimum, he added.

For political reasons, the segregationists tended to ignore the difference between the Arabs living in Israel and those who were left on the other side of the border following the war, many of whom made attempts to infiltrate and return to their homes. Sharett took the opposite view: A distinction must be made between vigorous action against Arab infiltration and discrimination against Arabs within the country.

Ranking figures such as Sharett and Lavon, who was defense minister in 1954-55, viewed positively a further exodus of Arabs from the country, but only by peaceful means. Sharett vehemently objected to the position taken by Dayan, who not only wanted to bring about a situation in which there would be fewer Arabs in Israel, but sought to achieve this through active expulsion. In Sharetts view, We must not strive to do this by a wholesale policy of persecution and discrimination. Sharett spoke of distinctly unnecessary forms of cruelty, which are tantamount to an indescribable desecration of Gods name.

Dayan, notwithstanding the fact that he was serving in the army at the time – as head of Southern Command – participated in Mapais political meetings and helped set public policy. He was one of the leaders of the aggressive stance against the countrys Arabs and was against a proposal that they should serve in the army (an idea that came up but was shelved). He opposed granting the Arabs permanent-citizenship certificates, opposed compensating those who had been dispossessed of their land, and in fact opposed every constructive action that could contribute to bridge-building between the peoples. Lets say that we help them live in the situation they are in today and no more, he proposed.

Dayan’s approach remained consistent over the years, and conflicted with the view taken by Sharett and the stream in Mapai that he represented. Speaking in the same June 1950 meeting, Dayan asserted, I want to say that in my opinion, the policy of this party should be geared to see this public, of 170,000 Arabs, as though their fate has not yet been sealed. I hope that in the years to come there will perhaps be another possibility to implement a transfer of these Arabs from the Land of Israel, and as long as a possibility of this sort is feasible, we should not do anything that conflicts with this.

Dayan also objected to Sharetts proposals to improve the level of education among the countrys Arabs. It is not in our interest to do that, he said. This is not the only question on which the time for a final solution has not yet arrived.

Zalman Aran, a future education minister, objected to the military government that had been imposed on Israels Arabs at the time of statehood and remained in effect until 1966. Under its terms, Arabs had to be equipped with permits both to work and to travel outside their hometowns, which were also under curfew at night. As long as we keep them in ghettos, Aran said, no constructive activity will help. Lavon, too, urged the dismantlement of the military government. In 1955, a few months after resigning as defense minister, he savaged the concept at a meeting in Beit Berl. The State of Israel cannot solve the question of the Arabs who are in the country by Nazi means, he stated, adding, Nazism is Nazism, even if carried out by Jews.

Even earlier, Lavon was a sharp critic of the line taken by Dayan and other advocates of transfer. At a meeting of another Mapai leadership forum, on May 21, 1949, he said acidly, Its well known that we socialists are the best in the world even when we rob Arabs. A few months later, on January 1, 1950, in another meeting, he warned, It is impossible to take action among the Arabs when the policy is one of transfer. It is impossible to work among them if the policy is to oppress Arabs – that prevents concrete action. What is being carried out is a dramatic and brutal suppression of the Arabs in Israel… Transfer is not on the cards. If there is not a war, they will not go. Two-hundred thousand Arabs will be citizens in terms of voting… As the state party, we must set for ourselves a constructive policy in the Arab realm.

Back in December 1948, during the discussions on granting the right to vote for the Constituent Assembly – Israels first parliamentary institution, which was elected in January 1949, and a month later became the Israel Knesset – Ben-Gurion agreed to grant the right to vote to the Arabs who had been in the country when a census was taken, a month earlier. About 37,000 Arabs were registered in the census. The decision to enfranchise them apparently stemmed from party-political considerations. The thinking was that most of them would vote for Mapai.

This assessment was voiced in the discussions on the Citizenship Law in early 1951, when Ben-Gurion expressed the most assertive opinion. He refused to grant the right to vote to the Arabs who were living in the country lawfully (as Sharett demanded) but who had been elsewhere during the census (because they had fled or had been expelled in the wake of the war); or to those Arabs who resided in the Triangle (an area of Arab towns and villages on the Sharon plain), which was annexed to Israel only in April 1949, under the armistice agreement with Jordan. Is there no country in the world that has two types of citizens in elections [meaning voting and non-voting], Ben-Gurion asked rhetorically in a meeting of Mapai MKs on February 20, 1951.

In the view of Sharett, who submitted a conflicting draft resolution, it would not be possible to defend this situation in regard to ourselves and in regard to these Arabs, and in regard to the Arabs in Israel as a whole and in terms of world public opinion. Accordingly, I suggest granting them the right to vote… Discriminate only against the Arabs who entered Israel without permission.

Sharett maintained that Ben-Gurion had not given consideration to the root of the problem. Terrible things were being done against Arabs in the country, he warned. Until a Jew is hanged for murdering an Arab for no reason, in cold blood, the Jews will not understand that Arabs are not dogs but human beings. Sharetts view carried the day in the vote, and the Arabs in the Triangle voted in the elections.

In the July 9, 1950, meeting, MK David Hacohen disputed the argument that discrimination against the Arabs and the institution of the military government were essential for the countrys security. Assailing the Absentees Property Law – a series of measures that allowed the state to expropriate land and homes abandoned by Palestinians who were displaced during the war, even if they subsequently returned to the country – he said, I dont know whether it was clear to us all, when we voted, how grave it is. He noted that, According to the law, when an Arab dies, his property does not go to his wife but to the Custodian of Absentees Property It is inconceivable for us to declare equality of all citizens and at the same time have a law like this on the books.

Apparently, no one took issue with the next comparison Hacohen drew: These laws that we are coming up with in regard to Israels Arab residents cannot even be likened to the laws that were promulgated against the Jews in the Middle Ages, when they were deprived of all rights. After all, this is a total contrast between our declarations and our deeds.

A similar approach was voiced during the same meeting by Zalman Aran, who viewed Mapais handling of the Arabs as a process of despair that must be rejected instead of finding excuses for it.

Morally, if we are a movement that does not lie, and we do not want to lie, we are here living a total lie, he said. All the books and articles that have been written, and the speeches made internally and for external consumption, are groundless when it comes to implementation. I am not talking about the attitude of individuals in the country toward the Arabs. I am talking about a [policy] line. I reject this line, which has emerged within society and has a thousand-and-one manifestations. I do not accept all the excuses that have been put forward.

Taking issue with Dayans approach, Aran compared the situation of the Arabs in Israel with the situation of Jews in other countries. On the basis of what we are doing here to the Arabs, there is no justification for demanding a different attitude toward Jewish minorities in other countries I would be contemptuous of Arabs who would want to form ties with us on the basis of this policy. We would be lying in the [Socialist] Internationale, we are lying to ourselves and we are lying to the nations of the world.

Dayan – still an officer in uniform, it must be remembered – objected to the opinions voiced by Hacohen and Aran, and saw no reason to draw a distinction between the Arab public in Israel and Arabs in enemy countries. I am far more pessimistic about the prospect of viewing these Arabs as loyal, he countered.

During the same period of a decade-plus when Ben-Gurion was premier, a political battle raged in Mapai over the continued existence of the military government. Ben-Gurion persistently defended the military government, which he saw as a deterrent force against the Arabs in Israel. In a meeting of the Mapai Secretariat on January 1, 1962, he railed against the dominant naivete of those, such as Sharett and Aran, who do not understand the Arabs, and warned of the possible consequences: There are people living under the illusion that we are like all the nations, that the Arabs are loyal to Israel and that what happened in Algeria cannot happen here.

He added, We view them like donkeys. They dont care. They accept it with love… To loosen the reins on the Arabs would be a great danger, he added: You and your ilk – those who support the abolition of the military government or making it less stringent – will be responsible for the perdition of Israel. A decade earlier, on January 15, 1951, Shmuel Dayan, Moshe Dayans father, a Mapai leader and longtime Knesset member, had voiced similar sentiments in a meeting of Mapai MKs. The Arabs, he said, could be good citizens, but its clear that at the moment they become an obstacle, they will constitute a terrible danger.

A decade later, Aran offered an opposite assessment of the situation. Speaking at a meeting of the Mapai Secretariat in January 1962, he maintained that it was the military government that is exacerbating the situation. He also rejected the Algeria analogy. On the contrary, he thought, the existence of the military government would not delay an Arab uprising but would only spur it. He reiterated his critique of the early 1950s a decade later. He was against a situation in which the Arabs are second-class citizens who lack rights like the Jews, and he was critical of both himself and his colleagues: We accepted this thing, we became accustomed to it… We took it in stride… Its hard to swallow… No Arab in the State of Israel is able, needs to, is capable of – whatever you give him economically, educationally – accepting that he is a second-class citizen in this country. I think that the world does not know the true situation. If it did, it would not let us keep going on this way.

Already then, Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, under whose term as prime minister the military government would be abolished, foresaw the dire consequences: It would not surprise me if something new suddenly emerges, that people will not want to rent a stable – or a room – to an Arab in some locale, which is the [logical] continuation of this situation. Will we be able to bear that?

One person who was not impressed by such arguments was the deputy defense minister, Shimon Peres. In a Mapai Secretariat meeting on January 5, 1962, he maintained that in practice, the military government is not a strain on the Arabs. The military government, he added, was [effectively] created by the Arabs, who endanger Israel and as long as that danger exists, we must meet it with understanding. In contrast, Isser Harel, head of the Shin Bet security service (1948-1952) and the Mossad (1952-1963), stated in 1966, days after resigning as Eshkols adviser for intelligence and security, that the military government is not a security necessity, and therefore there is no need for its existence. The army should not be dealing with the Arab citizens. That is a flaw in terms of our democracy (quoted in the daily Maariv, July 10, 1966). That had been the view of the security hawks, including Yigal Allon, since the early 1950s.

Over the years, it was claimed that the military government had served as a tool in Mapais hands for reinforcing its rule, both by giving out jobs and by distributing benefits, and also by intervening in election campaigns through the creation of Arab factions within existing parties that were convenient for the ruling party (and suppressing opponents on the other side). This is not the venue to discuss that allegation – for which evidence exists – but its worth noting one of the motifs of the hard-hand policy, which preserved the segregation between Arabs and Jews, as expressed candidly by Ben-Gurion in the meeting of the Mapai Secretariat on January 5, 1962: The moment that the difference between Jews and Arabs is eliminated, and they are at the same level If on that day there does not exist a regime in a world where there are no more wars, I do not have the shadow of a doubt that Israel will be eradicated and no trace will remain of the Jewish people.

New Knesset Bill calls for national day to recognize pre-israel state terrorist groups


‘This law will preserve their heritage and will thank them on behalf of all the citizens of Israel.’

ed note–Dear God, where do we even begin?

Yes, these groups were terrorist groups and were/are recognized as such by every civilized standard in every civilized nation in the civilized world. They blew up hotels full of non-combatants, assassinated high officials, and in the case of the Judaic massacre at Deir Yassin, men and young boys were lined up against a wall and machine-gunned to death while pregnant Palestinian mothers-to-be had their bellies slashed upon with bayonets and the unborn children ripped out of their wombs.

If any other group of people had done a mere 1% of what these people had done and the nation-state where this took place then introduced a bill setting up a national day of honor and remembrance, the world would be convulsing, as it should.

But when it is Jews doing it for the benefit of the Jewish state, no one utters even a burp of protest or condemnation.

Israel National News

A new bill calls to establish a national day of recognition for the Jewish underground organizations that operated in Israel prior to the establishment of the state.

The legislation, submitted by MK Amir Ohana (Likud), aims to recognize the contribution of the pre-state underground organizations to the establishment of the state and the IDF.

The day would include a special discussion in the Knesset plenum, a national memorial ceremony, and programs in the education system focusing on the Palmach, Irgun, Lehi, NILI, Hashomer, Bar Giora and the Jewish Resistance Movement.

Image result for deir yassin massacre

According to the proposed legislation, the day will be marked on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Shvat, the day on which Avraham (Yair) Stern, founder of the Lehi, was murdered by the British Mandatory police.

“The story of the Jewish underground is taught far too little in our educational institutions,” said MK Ohana, “and as a result their tremendous contributions to the state have been mitigated.”

“These are the founding fathers of us all, those who not only dreamed but who acted: they built settlements, smuggled Jewish immigrants, fought battles, defended the Jewish community and gave their lives for the country. This law will preserve their heritage and will thank them on behalf of all the citizens of Israel.”

Matan Peleg, Chairman of the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu that has been advocating for this national day of recognition, said that showing appreciation to those who fought in the Jewish underground is an historic and moral duty.

“The underground organizations were the shield of the Yishuv, and were crucial in bringing about the establishment of the state after 2,000 years of exile,” said Peleg.

“These people were visionaries without whom we would not be here,” continued Peleg. “It is our historic and moral obligation to show them thanks and appreciation, and it is astounding that such a day has yet to be established.”


South Front

On February 17, the Israeli military announced that one of its patrols had been hit with an IED near the security fence south of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli sources revealed that the IED had detonated when the Israeli soldiers were trying to remove a Palestinian flag from the fence. According to the sources, at least three Israeli soldiers were injured in the IED attack.

Moments ago, an explosive device detonated on IDF troops adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip

In response to the attack, an IDF tank targeted an observation post in the southern Gaza Strip

 So far, no Palestinian armed group has claimed responsibility for the IED attack. However, Israeli sources believe that the attack was likely carried out by the Hamas Movement or the Islamic Jihad Movement, the two main armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

The area of the security fence around the Gaza Strip had witnessed several clashes between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli Army since the U.S. recognized Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel on December 7, 2017. Many Palestine protestors had been reportedly killed along the fence by Israeli soldiers. In response, Palestinian armed groups had launched several rockets on Israeli settlements north of Gaza.

Related News

Palestine news

ماذا أسقطت سورية مع إسقاط الـ «أف 16» «الإسرائيلية» المعادية؟

فبراير 13, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

كان واضحاً منذ أن تسارعت الإنجازات العسكرية السورية وتراكمت الانتصارات التي تصنعها مع حلفائها الاستراتيجيين الذين يعملون معها في إطار معسكر الدفاع عن سورية، أنّ معسكر العدوان بات يشعر أنه يُحشَر في الزواية الأخيرة من المسرح، وأنّ أوراقه تحترق الواحدة تلو الأخرى، حتى كان احتراق ورقته الاستراتيجية الرئيسية التنظيم الإرهابي «داعش» الذي دخل في إطار التصفية النهائية من الأرض السورية، وكانت عملية تطهير جيب الـ 1100 كلم في أرياف حلب وحماة وإدلب بمثابة الإشعار الأخير بأنّ «داعش» يودّع الميدان السوري، وأنّ شقيقتها جبهة النصرة تتحضّر لتلاقي المصير نفسه، وأنّ أميركا و«إسرائيل» وهما القيادة الحقيقية والفعلية لمعسكر العدوان باتتا أمام حقيقة مرّة مضمونها أنّ عليهما الاعتراف بالهزيمة في حرب الوكلاء والأدوات، وأنّ الخيارات أمامهما محصورة بين أمرين لا ثالث لهما… إما النزول بقواتهما الى الميدان أو البحث عن مخرج منه يحفظ لهما شيئاً من ماء الوجه ويفتح الطريق أمام سورية لاستعادة استقرارها على قاعدة «أن ليس للأجنبي مقرّ فيها»، وليس لعدو سيطرة أو نفوذ، ومَن يريد الصداقة ممن طبيعته تتناسب مع طبيعة سورية، فإنّ يد سورية ستكون ممدودة لملاقاته.

بين هذين الخيارين اختارت أميركا و«إسرائيل»، كما يبدو الخيار الأول، ورفضتا الاعتراف لسورية بالنجاح في إسقاط العدوان والمحافظة على ذاتها واستقلالها وسيادتها ودورها، وترجم الرفض مباشرة عبر أكثر من سلوك بدءاً بورقة الحلّ السياسي المقترح من قبل دول العدوان الخمسة، والتي تتضمّن ببساطة إعطاء المعتدي بالسياسة ما عجز عنه في الحرب، ثم كان التلفيق الأميركي الذي بمقتضاه اتهمت سورية باستعمال السلاح الكيماوي وهدّدت بـ «الملاحقة والمعاقبة» ثم ارتفعت وتيرة التهديات «الإسرائيلية» للمقاومة ولبنان بالحرب، ثم كان البدء بإرسال الرسائل التنفيذية النارية فقامت أميركا بعدوان جوي على مجموعات عسكرية سورية وحليفة تعمل ضدّ «داعش» مدّعية وبوقاحة كلية بحق مشروع للدفاع عن احتلالها للأرض السورية، حتى كان يوم الـ 10 شباط 2018 وقام الطيران «الإسرائيلي» بالعدوان على مراكز عسكرية سورية في الداخل السوري، وتحديداً في المنطقة الوسطى، في عدوان يرسل رسالة واضحة بأنّ «إسرائيل» بعد أميركا قرّرت التدخل في الميدان لوقف اندفاعة الجيش العربي السوري ومنعه من استكمال الإجهاز على الإرهابيين، كما ومنعه من استثمار إنجازته السابقة التي مكّنته من فتح الطريق الآمن الى الحلّ السياسي، كما أوحى بيان سوتشي.

وبالتالي، فإننا نفهم العدوان الجوي «الإسرائيلي» الأخير وقبله العدوان الجوي الأميركي بأنه عدوان يتعدّى هدفاً عسكرياً محدّداً وأنه من طبيعة استراتيجية أراد أصحابه القول لسورية إننا لن ندعك تستقرّين وأنّ بيدنا القوة التي يمكن اللجوء اليها بما في ذلك التهديد بالحرب المحدودة تخوضها «إسرائيل» وتدعمها أميركا، وكان هذا التهديد، او بات هذا التهديد، في الآونة الاخيرة بمثابة ورقة استراتيجية أساسية يعتمد العدوان عليها، ولهذا أعيد تحريك ملف الكيماوي مقروناً بإعطاء أميركا نفسها وبكل صلافة الحق بالعمل ضدّ الجيش العربي السوري لحماية الفئة الانفصالية في الشمال الشرقي السوري.

وفي ظلّ هذه البيئة قامت الطائرات «الإسرائيلية» من طراز «أف 16» بعدوانها وكانت «إسرائيل» تتصوّر أنّ العدوان سيمرّ كما خططت وعملت منذ بداية العدوان على سورية، حيث قام الإرهابيون يومها باستهداف منظومة الدفاع الجوي السوري بشكل ممنهج ما أدّى الى وضع معظمها خارج التأثير والفعالية إنْ لم نقل خارج العمل، ما جعل «إسرائيل» تعتقد أنّ السماء السورية أصبحت آمنة أمام طيرانها، ومأخوذة بغرورها وعنجهيتها وصلفها، لكن فاتها أن تدرك أنّ القيادة السورية تمارس دفاعها، بما يناسب المرحلة ولا تُستدرج الى ميدان ومعركة وضع العدو شروطها وأعدّها بما يخالف الخطط الدفاعية السورية. وهنا كان سوء التقدير الفظيع الذي ارتدّ اليوم على «إسرائيل» بأبشع ما يمكن أن تتصوّر، خيبة أحدثت الصدمة والذهول لديها. وبالتالي فإنّ «إسرائيل» أدركت وهي تراقب طائرتها تحترق وتهوي أمام أعين المستوطنين أنّ وضعاً جديداً تشكل في المنطقة، وأنّ أموراً هامة ينبغي أن تأخدها بعين الاعتبار، منها:

1 ـ أن سورية ليست واهنة عزلاء كما اعتقدت، بل لديها منظومة دفاع جوي فاعلة، وإذا كان القديم منها سام 5 أسقط أكثر من طائرة من الطائرات الأربع التي اعتدت، فكيف سيكون الحال مع استعمال المنظومة المتطوّرة التي تلقّتها مؤخراً؟

2 ـ إنّ القيادة السورية لديها القرار الاستراتيجي الواضح بالتصدّي للعدوان مع الاستعداد الكامل لتحمّل التبعات والتداعيات، أو بكلمة أخرى إذا كانت الأمور ستتدحرج وتنزلق إلى حرب، فإنّ القيادة مستعدّة لها. وهنا بيت القصيد الذي سيُبنى عليه بشكل دقيق. وهو أنّ الوضع العسكري السوري هو من السلامة والقوة ما يمكن سورية من المواجهة. وأنّ التهويل بالحرب والتدخّل «الإسرائيلي» المباشر في الميدان لم يعُد له قيمة ولم يعُد مجدياً أمام صلابة وشجاعة وإرادة القيادة السورية الحازمة والواضحة.

3 ـ إنّ الردّ السوري العنيف استعمال 25 صاروخاً لمواجهة 4 طائرات لا يمكن أن يكون قد حصل إلا بعد تقدير موقف عسكري واستراتيجي جرى مع الحلفاء في محور المقاومة وروسيا. وهذا الأمر يزيد من مخاوف «إسرائيل» وينسف مرة أخرى ورقة تهويلها بالحرب. وبمعنى آخر إنّ السحر انقلب على الساحر. ولذا رأينا «إسرائيل» كيف سارعت أولاً للاتصال بروسيا طلباً للتهدئة ثم وقبل أن تغيب شمس نهار العدوان المرتدّ عليها خيبة وحسرة سارعت الى القول بأنّ العملية انتهت وضاعت الطائرات الـ أف 16 في لعبة الخيبة وسوء التقدير.

اما ملخص النتائج التي ستحكم المرحلة الجديدة، فهي برأينا ستشكل انقلاباً في المشهد العام لقواعد الاشتباك بين «إسرائيل» وسورية ومعها محور المقاومة، حيث ستجد «إسرائيل» نفسها وقد خسرت الحرية في التحليق في السماء السورية، وخسرت ورقة التهديد بالحرب، وأُلزمت بمعادلة ردع استراتيجي توسّعت من لبنان براً الى سورية جواً مع البرّ طبعاً. وفي هذا خسائر استراتيجية كبرى لحقت بـ»إسرائيل» أولاً وبقيادة العدوان على سورية كلها، بما فيها أميركا ثانياً. واذا كانت أميركا تخطط لإطالة أمد الحرب، فإنّ سورية لديها الخطط الدفاعية التي تفعل في اتجاهين في الداخل لحسم المواجهة مع الإرهاب وتجاه دول العدوان التصدّي المباشر وإسقاط استراتيجية إطالة أمد الصراع التي يتمسّكون بها وإن أصرّت قيادة العدوان على المواجهة بعد سقوط الحرب البديلة، فعليها أن تتوقع مزيداً من أيام 10 شباط، حيث سقطت طائرات الـ أف 16 وسقطت معها هيبة سلاح الجو «الإسرائيلي» وصلف قيادة العدو على المستويين السياسي والعسكري، وسقطت ايضاً الورقة الاستراتجية المسماة «الحرب المقبلة» والتهويل بها، وسقطت أيضاً استراتيجيات العدوان الأخيرة مع أوراقه الأخيرة لتفتح سورية الباب واسعاً لإنهاء الأزمة بما يتوافق مع مبادئها وحقوقها الوطنية والسيادية… لقد أسقطت سورية أبعد من الطائرة… إنه وهم العدوان بتحقيق أو تعويض خسائره الاستراتيجية فيها. وهذا هو الأهمّ.

أستاذ جامعي وباحث استراتيجي

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The Banality of Good (part 1)

Clara S & Gilad Atzmon

The following is the first segment of fearless eight parts exchange between German Left voice Clara S and ex Israeli Jazz artist Gilad Atzmon. We spoke about  Israel, Palestine, the Holocaust, peace and delusion, Left and Right, the meaning of the past and the prospect of a future within the context of the current identitarian dystopia. 

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding (Albert Einstein)

In cases of doubt – stay coherent! (Kurt Flasch, German philosopher and historian) 

 Growing up


Clara:   What does the Holocaust mean to you?

Gilad: This is pretty loaded question. The answer is undoubtedly a multilayered one.

Clara:   So let’s have a look at the layers and loads in this conversation. How did the Holocaust come into your life?

Gilad: I grew up in Israel, I was surrounded by people with tattooed forearms; some of them were members of my family.

Clara:   So the Holocaust was part of your reality from the day you were born?

Gilad: That is hard for me to say although it was clearly there. But I do not think that we, Israelis born in the 1960s, were that concerned about the Holocaust.  Both my parents were born in Palestine. On my father’s side, my great great grandfather was buried on Mount Olive.  My wife probably sees it differently. Both her parents lived in Europe during the war and suffered a lot.

Still the Israeli society in which I grew up looked down on Holocaust survivors. They were seen as weak diaspora characters, people who weren’t quick enough to respond to the Jewish Nationalist call and paid heavily.

Clara:  Are you really telling me that Israelis had no sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust!?

Gilad: I guess that here I happen to be the messenger.  Until the late 1960s there was an element of dismissal, repression and concealment of the Holocaust in Israel.  But there is more that helps to explain this. In Israel in the 1960s, the 70s and even the 80s I can not remember Holocaust survivors asking for sympathy or even empathy. It seemed to us as if most of them wanted to put the Holocaust behind them. To move on, to forget. I tend to believe, and I am not alone, that it was the so-called 2nd generation that politicised the Holocaust. It was the 2nd generation that made this chapter into a contemporary pillar of Israeli identity. The 2nd generation found it difficult or perhaps impossible to deal with their parents’ plight. In ‘The Wandering Who,’ I elaborated on this topic.  As you may know, many of Israeli thinkers have been concerned by this topic. I would recommend watching Yoav Shamir’s film, ‘Defamation’ in order to understand the subtlety of the Israeli debate.

Clara:   Now this is extremely interesting. Listen to this description of post-World-War-II Germans taken from the book ‘The inability to mourn’:

“Denial of the past has replaced work of mourning along the Freudian formula ‚remember, repeat, work through‘.  ‚The manic cleaning of the slate through the Wirtschaftswunder – Germany’s magical economic recovery –‚ has made it possible to regard Nazism ‚as an intermezzo of childhood disease‘ on Germany’s path to democracy (p.25). The result of this ‚autistic attitude‘ was a ‚conspicuously emotional rigidness‘ of the Germans. This emotional rigidness could be perceived everywhere in our society “(p.38)

In Western Germany, by the way, the first generation didn’t talk, the second generation was the angry one, the third generation (if not ‘right-wing revisionist’ or ‘antifa’) tries to understand. I don’t really know about the situation in Eastern Germany. 

Does that seem similar to your experience?

G:   I contend that this results from a systematic and institutional repression mechanism that verges on complete denial. I suppose that for the Germans the Holocaust chapter created cognitive dissonance that has never matured into a universal lesson. Maybe the time is ripe to look at the Holocaust as an integral part of your past and understand it within the context of an historical continuum. Such an approach may prevent the next global disaster.

Clara:   You might be right; what you are saying here provides a lot of food for thought. I think it is necessary to have a look at the reasons for the denial, both the wish to look only forward and the repression of the past. And of course, its place within German history.
But let us explore this one step at a time and have a look at the personal experience first. In my family we grew up with fathers who didn’t talk about the war and mothers who talked about the war as if it had been a fate that had come upon them: the husband killed, the waiting for the fiancé who was a prisoner of war in the Sowjetunion, the bombs, the hunger, the tearing apart of families, the sticking together as a family, the partition of Germany and the tearing apart of families again.  I learned very early that war is something terrible and this became a basic premise for me. Warmongers are wrong and it is essential to stand up against them. 

Gilad: I am pretty aware of that response to history and I am fully aware of German suffering. But what was the role of the Holocaust in all of that?

Clara:   It wasn’t really mentioned in my family. But when I was sixteen I saw the original films about concentration camps and industrially-organized murder and I was profoundly shocked. And this was not fiction! The Nazis had made these films themselves and had seemed to be proud of what they were doing.

I took part in a youth exchange in Israel, I saw the names and portraits of people who had been killed and I spoke to survivors. The word ‘ramp’ has never been a normal word for me again. A ramp is a place where people were selected to live or die by doctors whose duty was to preserve human lives! This was reality. And it would not go away if I looked into another direction.

So the Holocaust, too, became part of my moral compass, to prevent something like the Holocaust from happening again a kind of a mission in my life.

At some stage the Holocaust did become important in your life, when was that?

Gilad: Hard to say exactly. But it is clear that there was a shift in Israeli society in the 1970s. Some believe that it had something to do with the great victory in 1967. Others believe that it was actually the traumatic defeat in 73. And a few believe that it had something to do with Menachem Begin’s victory in 77. Begin was a right wing Polish Jew who was not a part of the ‘sabra’ narrative. Begin peppered his speeches with Holocaust anecdotes. In truth, the shift was probably occasioned by a combination of these factors.  I grew in the midst of that cultural shift in the treatment of the Holocaust.

Clara: What about guilt? Did you learn in Israel that Germans were cruel and guilty? My experience in Israel was that people didn’t blame me, personally. But the question of guilt was always in the room.

Gilad:  This is a fascinating topic. Zionism was and still is a nationalist, racist and expansionist  ideology. It didn’t just resemble Nazi ideology, it actually predated Nazism by almost three decades (the first Zionist Congress took place in Basel in 1897). Some political elements within the Israeli right were proto-fascist (Menachem Begin’s Herut Party for instance).  And it was actually the Israeli ‘Left’ that ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and prevented their return to their land through discriminatory race laws that were far too similar to the Nuremberg race Laws. The young Israeli Army pretty much copied the Blitzkrieg military doctrine, a military strategy that led to the 1967 miracle victory. So at least in its early days, the Israeli attitude to Germany and Nazism was somehow mixed.  No one loved Nazis but admiration for Germans and German culture was deeply embedded in some segments of the still young Israeli society. We are dealing with a love/hate relationship. We have, once again, stumbled upon a cognitive dissonance at the heart of Israeli/Zionist culture. I can try to explain this. For Israelis in the post Holocaust years, the Shoah was a shameful event. It made Diaspora Jews look hopeless. ‘Lambs to the slaughter’ is how they were described in Israel. Young Israelis preferred not to associate  themselves with that disastrous Jewish chapter. They regarded themselves as the healthy alternative. In my immediate family there was always a fascination with Germans and their culture. I even allow myself to think that my peers didn’t see Germans as enemies. Within my immediate circle the big war belonged to the past.

Clara:   That was also my experience with my Israeli peers during the youth exchange.

Gilad:  But it is also true that my right wing grandfather, a veteran terrorist who had settled in Palestine in 1936, deeply hated Germany, he vowed never to visit Germany or to own a German car. In short, the interaction among Israelis, Germans and the Holocaust is not as simple a topic as some want it to be. More interesting for me is to hear how the question of German guilt become part of your life, after all you were born almost a decade after the end of the war.

Clara: It was very early.   As a kid of eight I was in Tansania as a missionary’s daughter at an American boarding school. The year the Berlin Wall was built my American school-mates blamed me for being a Nazi and a communist at the same time. So yes, I learned that it was ‘the’ Germans who had been responsible, in the case of the Berlin wall in cahoots with the Russians.

Mercifully I didn’t bring my parents‘ and relatives‘ guilt into the picture until later. Then I found that this was a very wide field indeed, which could hurt a lot. There was the whole range from a grandfather awarded the title ‘acknowledged antifascist’ in the former GDR, family members being silently critical of what was going on over collaboration to enthusiastic support and even committing war crimes. There were quite a lot of secrets to discover for the 2nd generation.
But back to you. Obviously the Holocaust shaped your life a great deal. How was that?

Gilad: I can’t really say it did. As I mentioned before it wasn’t a pillar of my identity. But I guess that it was true that the Holocaust was there to deliver us as Israelis, a clear hawkish message–we were raised to fight to death and were traumatised by phantasmic future attempts in our lives ‘as a collective’ (Arabs, anti-Semites, USSR, PLO, Iran etc.) I guess that it was this deep sense of PRE-TSD that contributed to the incredible Israeli victory in 1967. In their minds, my father and his peers were preventing a Holocaust by means of a Jewish made blitzkrieg.

Clara:   PRE TSD?

Gilad: PRE TSD  (Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder) as opposed to POST TSD refers to the idea of one being traumatised by a future phantasmic event. I can provide many examples of PRE TSD manifestations that have shaped Jewish history and actually led to total disasters.

Clara:   But the danger was real. Israel was surrounded by hostile neighbours.

Gilad: You have to ask yourself, why is the ‘danger real’? Didn’t Zionism promise to civilize diaspora Jews by means of a ‘homecoming’, making them people like all other people, a collective of people bonded with the soil and living in peace and harmony with their neighbours? At some point we will have to ask ourselves, why did Zionism fail? Where did it go wrong?  Why didn’t Israel managed to love its neighbours and to be loved in return? I believe that the answers to these questions extend far beyond Israeli politics and Zionist ideology. We are digging once again into the so called ‘Jewish Question.’

In my teens it began to occur to me that we were living on someone else’s land. I realised that Israel was a State but Palestine was the land.  While in the army and especially at the time of the 1st Lebanon War (1982), it became clear to me that we, the Israelis were on the wrong side of history. As I mentioned in a few of my writings, when I visited Ansar, and witnessed Palestinians and Lebanese locked behind barbed wire, guarded by towers and machine guns, for the first time I understood that in this battle, I was the Nazi.

It was actually the internalisation of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It was the Holocaust that made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return.

Clara:   So the Holocaust holds a universal message for you and you had to realize that it was not seen like that in Israel?

Gilad: Exactly. I knew that my days in Israel were numbered.

Clara: It was similar for me. During the Israel exchange even as a 17-year-old teenager I wondered about how my German „father generation“ could be full of admiration for the Israelis who had just won the 6-days war and how no Israeli complained about applause from the wrong side. The former victims and the former perpetrators joined into the celebration of the victory together. When I asked them about the fate of the Palestinians the answer was: „The Arabs want to throw us/them into the sea”.

I picked apples together with 200 young people in a Kibbutz. A great peace project. Some Arab youths from Nazareth made friends with us. I was invited to one of their homes. And strictly reprimanded by the Kibbutz people because „those Arabs are dangerous“.

So that is when I learned that you cannot always call a spade a spade. There seem to be good and bad spades. This made me critical of Israel’s politics, but of course also of the American war in Vietnam and the unconditional support Germany gave to our ‘big brother’. It made me take part in the big German peace movement in the 1980s and turned me into a staunch supporter of the German ‘Entspannungspolitik’, the policy of détente in Europe, which led to the fall of the wall in 1989.

And you weren’t content with being a Jazz musician in Britain. You also became a political activist. 

Gilad:    I am really not a political activist, I have never been part of any political organisation and, in general, I stay away from activists.  For one reason or another, activists always know the answers. They follow commandments, jargons, regimes of correctness. I am instead a philosopher, my task is to refine the questions. I am pretty good in opening the discourse, offering alternative perspectives. I have been subject to some intensive  defamation and smear campaigns, however, it is now clear beyond doubt that my work on identity politics in general and Jewish identity politics in particular was simply  ahead of its time. I may not sound modest, but I believe that even my bitterest detractors would  admit by now that this has been the case.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it …

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,  ,  and   here  ( 


2.    Blaming the Victim?

3.    Revising History

4.    Antisemitism, Racism and Cultural Identity

5.    Pretraumatic Stress Disorder (Pre TSD), Zionism and Empire

6.    Jewish Power and Identity Politics

7.    Global Tribes and National Hypes

8.    Finding the Way Home

israel Increases Threats to Attack Lebanon


Israel has relatively frequent moments of stepping up war rhetoric, and these days that is aimed squarely at Lebanon, with officials openly threatening to force all of Beirut into bomb shelters and bragging about the impact the war will have on the Lebanese civilian population.

It’s less a question of Israel needing to attack Lebanon than them wanting to attack Lebanon, with analysts openly calling it a “war of choice.” Israel’s far-right government considers war with everyone and everything inevitable, and argues at times like this that a war now is preferable to a war later.

It’s not clear the US is totally on board with this, however, with US officials playing up their intention to keep supporting the Lebanese military, even as Israel vows to destroy it. This is an unusual public dispute.

The US seems comfortable with Israel attacking Lebanon so long as they just attack Hezbollah, but Israeli rhetoric in the decade-plus since the last time they did that has leaned heavily toward the idea of a full-scale war attacking all things Lebanese this time around, and they don’t appear willing to back off of routing Lebanon’s barely function, US-backed military just to placate the US

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