Guest Post by Tom Kutsch: One Year After Gaza

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gaza.smoke.bmp
Tom Kutsch is a research associate at the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force.
In a year end report by the Israeli NGO Gisha assessing the Gazan infrastructure after last year’s war in Gaza, a particularly eye-opening stat jumped out on the still bleak situation in Gaza:

- Reconstruction funds pledged at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit: Some $4.5 billion.
- Number of months the international community negotiated with Israeli government over a mechanism for transferring reconstruction funds and materials: 9 months.
- Implementation of mechanism for transferring reconstruction funds and materials: None.

Given all the attention that was lavished upon Gaza by the international donor community (including Secretary of State Clinton’s high profile effort to secure over $900 million from the U.S. Congress for Gaza reconstruction) in the aftermath of the Operation Cast Lead last January, it seems curious that action has been so out of sync with the widespread rhetorical assurances.
One year on, reconstruction of homes and buildings has barely begun, economic development has stagnated, and the humanitarian situation facing the Gazan population remains dire. The status quo remains rooted in insecurity and uncertainty, and not just for the 1.5 million Gazans directly affected by this state of affairs.
Indeed, recent moves by the Egyptian government to build a wall in hopes of battling the Gazan smuggling economy, and Israeli attacks in Gaza in response to mortar fire from groups opposed to Hamas’ de facto cease-fire, demonstrate the extent to which stability remains illusory.
The implications for US policy and Israeli and Palestinian security, if the status quo is allowed to continue are particularly worrisome for an Obama administration that has talked in the new year of its desire to reinvigorate the peace process after its inability to get the parties into resumed negotiations in 2009 (yesterday, Marc Lynch had an interesting post on his Foreign Policy blog on how the administration can link ending the humanitarian disaster in Gaza to its renewed peace push).
To flesh out these and other issues related to the bleak picture in Gaza, and the wider consequences that it has for Palestinians, Israelis, and for U.S. interests in the region at large, the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force will be co-hosting an event with the Brookings Institution/Wolfensohn Center for Development today from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
Middle East Task Force co-Directors Daniel Levy and Amjad Atallah will be joined by speakers including Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5), former president of the World Bank James Wolfensohn, and Brookings’ President Strobe Talbott to discuss, among other things, the economic prospects for Gazans and the implications for U.S. policy going forward.
The event will be covered by CSPAN and can be viewed live on its website.
– Tom Kutsch

Comments

71 comments on “Guest Post by Tom Kutsch: One Year After Gaza

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I now have someone on the TWN team who occasionally checks into the comments which I don’t always have time to do”
    Good Lord, I hope its not Pinkerton!!!!

    Reply

  2. kotzabasis says:

    My dear Steve
    Your civility is incomparable! And your explanation has my utmost respect.
    Best wishes to you as always,
    Con George-Kotzabasis

    Reply

  3. Steve Clemons says:

    Kotz, deleting the post was nothing personal. I now have someone on the TWN team who occasionally checks into the comments which I don’t always have time to do. There are too many to screen everything — and the balance between not permitting any comments and allowing everything is a subjective, not always fairly applied review that deletes anything that I think moves into ad hominem attack territory. Just so you know, there have been items removed here authored by nearly all of the regulars. I try to take a quick glance at comments that my team catch, but can’t always do it. I know that very few of yours have been deleted as I enjoy them — and they don’t tend to be as hostile in their style as some, but occasionally even you go over the line.
    So I hope you won’t take it personally. I don’t like anyone attacking commenters here, but there seems to be a need some of you have to personalize some of the back and forth. I can live with that as long as it is mostly civil — otherwise, I do just delete the comments, and that goes for all the posters here.
    best regards as always,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  4. kotzabasis says:

    It was an amazingly unexpected effete action by Steve to delete my posts which merely stated that people engaged in intellectual discourse would have anything other than contempt for someone who deliberately distorted the issue, as Norheim did to the comments of Nadine, so he/she could accuse and abuse his/her interlocutor of being a fascist and a racist. But I guess it was the case of a weak swimmer ‘rushing’ in the storms of the intellect to save another weak swimmer from intellectual drowning.

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    No misspellings in your comment, Kathleen — that must be a sign that your eyes are
    getting better and better – and that’s great news. I wish you a speedy recovery!
    By the way, I just noticed that Steve deleted Kotzabasis` comments on this thread.
    Steve welcomes different opinions at TWN, but I guess he realizes that Kotz doesn`t
    play a constructive role here. His vocabulary is almost always entertaining when he
    ridicules or attacks Steve, Dan, POA, or yours truly, but his “Bomb, bomb, bomb (…
    fill in country or area)” mantra doesn’t add much to the discussions. It sounds like a
    broken record, playing Mr. Kurtz’s last words in Joseph Conrad`s Heart of Darkness:
    “Exterminate all the brutes…exterminate all the brutes…exterm…”

    Reply

  6. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Thanks, Paul…great thread guys…couldn’t be saying it better if I tried.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    “Israel Threatened To Hit West Bank Hard If Abbas Did Not Stop Goldstone Report
    By M.J. Rosenberg – January 17, 2010, 8:03AM
    Remember that amazing moment when President Abbas asked the United Nations to defer consideration of
    the Goldstone Report that found that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza.
    Now we know why Abbas did it.
    “The request by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations Human Rights Council last
    year to postpone the vote on the Goldstone report followed a particularly tense meeting with the head
    of the Shin Bet security service, Haaretz has learned. At the October meeting in Ramallah, Shin Bet
    chief Yuval Diskin told Abbas that if he did not ask for a deferral of the vote on the critical report
    on last year’s military operation, Israel would turn the West Bank into a ‘second Gaza.’
    Diskin, who reports directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened to revoke the easing of
    restrictions on movement within the West Bank that had been implemented earlier last year. He also
    said Israel would withdraw permission for mobile phone company Wataniya to operate in the Palestinian
    Authority. That would have cost the PA tens of millions of dollars in compensation payments to the
    company.”
    And the Israelis deny imposing collective punishment. But what else is it when you threaten to turn
    the peaceful West Bank into hell if its leader refused to condemn a report about crimes committed
    against fellow Palestinians?”
    More here:
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/17/israel_threatened_to_hit_west_bank_hard_if_abbas_d/#mo
    re

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    nadine
    You are probably the most uneducated and truely fanatical poster I have ever seen on this site. We had some Israel defenders on here before that at least made an attempt at facts or barring that, were at least honest about their personal paranoia or jeiwsh upbringing that created their prediuces.
    Your post and replies don’t even make sense…they are either ranting or name calling when you are confronted with the facts.
    I agree with James, it’s time you were booted from this site.
    And/or time for us all to not bother to respond to your rantings or correct your disinformation. It only encourages your irrational hatred.
    Ciao…

    Reply

  9. nadine says:

    Oh, you are “proving” Arab support for the Allies in WWII with a list that includes Egypt and Iraq? ROFL, what a total ignoramus you are. Geeze, your leftist school of “colonialism is the font of all evils” doesn’t usually provide the support of BRITISH COLONIES as proof of genuine support of British causes. The Arabs were pro-Nazi.
    “It’s obvious that you know nothing about the ME during WWII…or how little actually the Arabs cared about either side.
    “INTRIGUE”…was the name of the game in the ME during WWII, not nazi ideology. They had their own goals, mainly to be rewarded by getting out from under the French and British colonization since WWI”
    Yup, so they were EASY fodder for Nazi propagandists. You hate the British and Jews? Guess what? So do we! and you haven’t even guessed half the reasons you should hate them! Here, see Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (both STILL best-sellers in the Arab world – remember the fuss when the Librarian of Alexandria displayed a copy of the Protocols in the Lobby?). There were MAJOR Nazi-allied parties in the Arab world.
    The Mufti of Jerusalem was really the most ardent Nazi. He raised a division of Bosnia Muslims for the Waffen SS and helped prevent 80,000 Rumanian Jews from escaping the Final Solution. He should have been tried at Nuremberg with the other war criminals. Naturally he’s a hero to the Palestinians.
    Go tell somebody as ignorant as yourself how the Arabs were anti-Nazi. It won’t fly with me.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its interesting to me that the “Palestine Note” seems to get very little feedback in the comment sections. Initially, when the site was launched, there was a bit of tension between “moderate” and more “militant” commentors. I wonder if that expressed animous contributed to the lack of participation in the comment section?
    I don’t think I have EVER seen a pro-zionist comment there. However, the posts are proof read before they are allowed to appear, so there is no way of knowing what kind of comment is censored, if in fact any are.
    The site seems a bit sacharin to me, lacking teeth in its criticism of Israeli policy, much the same as J-Street strikes me. I have wondered in the past, and continue to wonder, if these two entities actually work for Israel’s agenda in maintaining and nurturing the animous that exists between Fatah and Hamas. As long as the two factions remain at odds, there will be no resolution of the “plight of the Palestinians”. At times, it seems both J-Street and the Palestine Note seem to nurture this division.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The UN trucks roll into Gaza every day too”
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/01/17/how-cruel-is-the-israeli-siege-on-gaza-the-idf-spokesperson-s-tweets-can-give-an-idea.aspx
    Noam Sheizaf
    How cruel is the Israeli siege on Gaza? The IDF’s tweets can give an idea
    I follow the IDF spokesperson on twitter (tweets are in English, btw). Every few days, there is an update there on the humanitarian aid and fuel trucks intended to pass through the Erez crossing point into Gaza.
    Here are some examples:
    Jan 14: #IDF: 108 aid trucks and supply of fuel and natural gas scheduled to cross into #Gaza today. Erez Xing open.
    Jan 13: 171 aid trucks and a supply of fuel scheduled to cross into #Gaza today. Erez Xing open.
    Jan 11: 74 aid trucks and supply of fuel and natural gas scheduled to cross into #Gaza today through Erez Xing
    There are some Israelis who Re-tweet these messages to their followers. Some Israeli embassies do that too. I guess they see it as further evidence to Israel’s claim that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza because of the siege. But the truth is that these numbers tell a totally different story.
    There are no natural resources in the strip and hardly any food is grown there, so all the population is dependent on supply of food, fuel and gas from the outside. The economy is on hold since the war, and 80 percent of the people live on humanitarian aid.
    According to the CIA factbook, there are 1,551,859 people living in Gaza.
    Let’s take the best day of the month, according to the IDF. That was Jan 13, in which 171 trucks crossed the border into Gaza. That’s 171 trucks for 1.5 million people, or one truck for 9,075 people (1,551,859 divided by 171). Now imagine having to feed, give clothing and supply heating and power to 9,075 people – like the population of a not so small US town – with a single truck.
    Another example: On Jan 11, 74 fuel trucks crossed into Gaza. That’s one truck for 20,971 people. Afuel truck carries between 5,500 and 9,000 US gallons, or 20,000 to 34,000 liters. That means between 0.43 and 0.26 gallons of fuel/gas per person. Even if you consider the fact that Gaza households are fairly big, and that the local population’s needs are very modest, how much power can you supply with that? No wonder 95 percent of Gaza’s factories are not working. And again, these are the IDF numbers, not mine.
    From what I hear, humanitarian organizations claim that 300 trucks of aid are needed daily to provide the minimum needs of the population of Gaza. This means one truck for 5,172 people. Try to imagine keeping 5,172 people alive for whole day on the supply of a single truck (and that includes providing power, shelter and clothing). Even if you assume that everything is distributed equally, and that nothing is lost on the way – which, as we know, is never the case in real life – it’s not an easy task.
    Now consider this: according to all sources I know, there haven’t been a single day in which 300 trucks of supply entered Gaza. I’ve looked back on the IDF spokesperson’s tweets, and didn’t find a single day in which even 200 trucks entered Gaza. And there are many days in which Erez crossing is closed, and not a single truck enters the strip.
    Even if you think that the Palestinians “had it coming” after electing Hamas, you must understand what’s going on here: Israel and Egypt have turned Gaza into the largest prison in the world, in which they keep 1.5 million – same as the entire population of Philadelphia – on the verge of starvation.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “But we knew that”
    Nadine, you should know better than to “we” on this blog. Virtually everyone that posts here knows that you are a racist liar. You do not belong to any “we” that exists here that I am aware of.

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by kotzabasis, Jan 16 2010, 10:29PM – Link
    Norheim, you are intellectually contemptible. The metaphor “rathole” had a specific economic context. Nadine clearly was trying to illustrate that no amount of money will make either Gaza or Haiti ECONOMICALLY “self-sufficient…without a cultural change.” That is, “billions thrown down a rathole, to quote her, with no prospect of economic development.. You are intellectually irredeemable.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And you dumbo, are irredeemably stupid. Israel is the biggest rathole welfare baby in the universe and after 60 years still has to be supported by the US and others.
    They….my dear, are the world professional welfare CULTURE.
    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. CRS Issue Brief for Congress, Updated July 12, 2004. Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance, by Clyde R. Mark.
    http://www.fas.org/man/crs/IB85066.pdf and
    Excerpt below is from the above CRS report.
    “”Israel is not economically self-sufficient, and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its economy.””
    Since 1985, the United States has provided $3 billion in grants annually to Israel. Since 1976, Israel has been the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, and is the largest cumulative recipient since World War II. In addition to U.S. assistance, it is estimated that Israel receives about $1 billion annually through philanthropy, an equal amount through short- and long- term commercial loans, and around $1 billion in Israel Bonds proceeds.”
    The US alone, not counting Germany, has given Israel over 1.4 TRILLION dollars since it’s inception.
    And they are still begging and stealing. Now that’s a worthless culture.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Observe naddie…..
    Statemaster,Ency of World History WWII
    Palestine
    See also British Mandate of Palestine
    As in most of the Arab world, there was no unanimity amongst the Palestinian Arabs as to their position regarding the combatants in WWII. Many signed up for the British army, but others saw an Axis victory as their best hope of wresting Palestine back from the Zionists and (as they saw it) their British protectors. Some of the leadership went further, especially the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini (by then expelled from Palestine), who on November 25, 1941, formally declared jihad against the Allied Powers. Even though Arabs were only marginally higher than Jews in Nazi racial theory, the Nazis naturally encouraged Arab support as much as possible as a counter to British hegemony throughout the Arab world.
    During the war, the British forbade entry into Palestine of European Jews escaping Nazi persecution, placing them in detention camps or deporting them to other places such as Mauritius.
    Avraham Stern, the leader of the Jewish Lehi terrorist gang, had advocated an alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, believing these ties would assist the nationalist effort in Eretz Yisrael. The Jewish Irgun gang were implicated in the assassination in Cairo on 6 November 1944 of Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State.
    Fighting Jewish terrorists on one hand and the Germans in North Africa on the other did not endear the Jews to the British at this critical stage of the war.
    Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, was an armed underground Zionist faction in the Palestine Mandate that had as its goal the eviction of the British from Palestine to allow unrestricted immigration.
    The British considered it more important to get Arab backing, due to their important interests in Egypt and other Arab lands. The influx of Jewish refugees had already caused severe problems in Palestine, and the British did not wish to further exacerbate the situation. The British authorities were also concerned about the possibility of German agents entering Palestine on a refugee boat. Irgun opposed British control of Palestine and the restriction on refugees in particular which was an opposition that would continued after the end of World War II.
    For your further education dear:…beside the fact that the Jews were a pain in the ass to the allies operation in the ME and actually wern’t worth jack shit to the allies.
    Nations Involved in World War II
    The Allies – the nations that fought against the Axis in World War II.
    Agentina, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Poland, Australia, Ecuador, Lebanon, San Marino, Belgium, Egypt, Liberia, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, El Salvador, Luxembourg, South Africa, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, Soviet Union, Canada, France, Mongolian People’s Republic, Syria, Chile, Great Britain, Netherlands, Turkey, China, Greece, New Zealand, United States, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay,
    Costa Rica, Haiti, Norway, Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras, Panama, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, India, Paraguay,
    Denmark, Iran, Peru.
    The Axis Powers: (in World War II) the countries that fought together with Germany, Italy, and Japan.
    Albania, Italy, Bulgaria, Japan, Finland, Romania, Germany, Thailand, Hungary.
    Source(s):
    http://www.ucc.uconn.edu/~ww2oh/Powers.h…
    AND OH GEE… look at the Arab countries that fought for the Allies.
    It’s obvious that you know nothing about the ME during WWII…or how little actually the Arabs cared about either side.
    “INTRIGUE”…was the name of the game in the ME during WWII, not nazi ideology. They had their own goals, mainly to be rewarded by getting out from under the French and British colonization since WWI. Britain and every other ally including the Russians were promising the Arabs this that and the other help in gaining independence in exchange for their loyalty.
    Aside from Rommel’s desert tour, the main action in the ME was the US and Britain getting fuel to the Russians thru the Persian Gulf.
    Do you even know which Arab countries were under the French “‘vichy” control, compelled to not assist the allies and which wern’t? Didn’t think so. Or which forces overthrew the vichy rule in those ME countries for the allied effort? Didn’t think so.
    It’s interesting that in all the misinformation you spout you never have actual historical citations to back up anything you say. Everything you say comes straight off some zionist site, which in turn never has any real historical authority citations to back up what they spout.
    You are such jewish Israel fanatic andnnot a smart one at that that I don’t why you stay on here and take the beatings you do.
    I would guess from the things you say that you hate gentiles and americans and Europeans as much as you do Arabs so you just get some kind of ziocaine high from insulting and being insulted.

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    “Some days ago, I said explicitly that I don’t like the Iranian regime – in a direct
    exchange with you. On this thread, I just said that I don’t like Hamas – in a direct
    exchange with you. And now you claim that I support Iranian aid to Hamas – “carte
    blanche”.”
    “Oh, I don’t like them,” he said, daintily. Your dislike, however, never seems to supporting sanctions, whether against Hamas or Iran — no, no, you are too dainty for coercive measures. Those poor civilians! You won’t have it. Their Islamist overlords must have whatever they desire, you’re sure the civilians will benefit somehow.
    The civilians of Gaza and Iran know better, but then they don’t have the benefit of your no doubt advanced education.
    And so we wait for the next, greater war, which you will once again blame on anybody but the instigator.

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    Carroll, in 1946 the Zionists wanted the mostly pro-Arab Brits out of Palestine and relations between them were not good. Nonetheless, you are as ignorant as you are bigoted if you really don’t know that the Nazis were huge allies of the Arabs in the 1930s until the end of the Third Reich. Egypt had a big Nazi party (Nasser and Sadat were prominent members). Hitler had no bigger Arab ally than the Grand Mufti, national leader of Arab Palestine, who actually tried to lead a Nazi-funded coup in British Iraq in 1941 and then spent WWII in Berlin with his good buddy, Adolf, who promised him the job of overseeing the Final Solution in Palestine once the Germans conquered it. The Mufti’s cousin, Abdul Khader Husseni, was the local warlord of the Arab Palestinian fighters during the Israeli War of Independence.
    So you are only demonstrating how miserably ignorant you are about any kind of Mideast history. But we knew that.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    nadine dear you were born a little too late.
    You would have been better suited to the more crude displays of zionist nazism back in the 30′s and 40′s than to their today’s efforts at propaganda and historical revision….you are good at shouting, not so good at propaganda.
    From the British embassy documents:
    “[8.44] January 1946, British Consul, New York reporting a mass demonstration for Jewish freedom put on by the New Zionist Organization of America. “It was constantly patrolled by the Betarim, the new Jewish Youth Army, attired in a Hebrew version of the old Nazi Bund uniform.” “Great Britain was public enemy no. 1 of the Jewish people, more dangerous and shrewder than the Nazis…”
    [8.65] February 1946, formation of B´rith Trumpeldor of America or Betar, affiliated with the NZO. “there is noticeable similarity in the organisation´s character, structure and aims to those of the Hitler Youth…”, reported by British Embassy, Washington.”
    There isn’t a dimes worth of difference between the cult of zionism and the nazis of Germany.
    From what I read huge numbers of both secular and religious younger jews around the world are rejecting Israel and the zionist. They don’t want to be associated with that mentality. You should listen to them.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Kotz,
    I have nothing to say to you. I learn a lot from some people I usually disagree with -
    like WigWag. Except for your vocabulary, I learn nothing from reading your comments.
    When you don’t accuse the host or fellow commenters of being weak and ridiculous, your
    only “constructive” approach to ANY issue that occupies your mind is to suggest a
    merciless military attack. It`s sick and boring.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obviously Kotz, in calling Paul “intellectually contemptible” cannot see how morally reprehensible his defense of Nadine’s racism is.
    I wonder how Kotz justifies Israel’s racist treatment of Ethiopian women.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/01/15/gaza-picking-up-the-pieces.aspx
    “About 17% of Gaza’s farmland was destroyed by shelling and Israeli tanks during the 22-day war last January. About one-third of all damaged and destroyed agricultural fields remains untouched. Irrigation pipes, pumps and other equipment were destroyed during the war and cannot be replaced. Farmers have little fertilizer or seeds to replant”
    “Local food production has plunged. Fresh food does arrive in the markets from Israeli commercial enterprises but prices are much higher than what locally-grown produce would have cost, putting it out of reach for most jobless families. The World Food Program estimates 10 percent of children under five suffer from malnutrition”

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    “You favor ending the blockade and funding Hamas, carte blanche – aid from UN, donor
    nations, Iran…” (Nadine)
    This is just the last example of your intellectual dishonesty, Nadine.
    Some days ago, I said explicitly that I don’t like the Iranian regime – in a direct
    exchange with you. On this thread, I just said that I don’t like Hamas – in a direct
    exchange with you. And now you claim that I support Iranian aid to Hamas – “carte
    blanche”.
    I could have asked – again: What`s the point of deliberately distorting (and flat out
    lying about) the position of your opponents? You`ve done this at least a dozen times
    before in your “discussions” with me (not to speak of others).
    But I give up. There is no point in asking such questions.
    I wouldn’t dream of saying that you`re full of shit, Nadine, but the general opinion
    here unambiguously points in that direction. Not only long time readers of this blog
    may have reasons to question the aspects of your moral character that you have chosen
    to display on this blog: poisoning the atmosphere with these constant lies,
    inventions, weird imagined realities frequently popping up… Personally, I’ve had
    enough of it a long time ago. It constantly gets in the way of the topics and
    arguments, making it difficult for everyone here to focus on the real issues.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Like I have always said, if there was one damn child in Gaza with the big belly and stick limbs of starvation we all would have seen his picture by now”
    You’re a liar, Nadine. Whats more, everyone here knows it. YOU, and your kind of bigotry is a causative factor for anti-semitism. If all Jews were like you, Israel would not exist.

    Reply

  23. nadine says:

    So you admit that you’re in favor of letting all the billions flow into Gaza. Of course it won’t be “officially” intended for Hamas to buy arms (nudge nudge wink wink) but that’s where it will go. And it will also produce more of those charming childrens programs where Hamas teached the tots that Jews must die.
    “But obviously your position is that starving the civilian population on the
    Gaza strip is the only viable option”
    People who are rational can see the obvious false dichotomy in saying that either you favor funding a political entity to the point where it doesn’t need to collect any taxes (& thus have some kind of tax-paying base and a functional economy) or else you’re in favor of “starving the civilian population”.
    You favor ending the blockade and funding Hamas, carte blanche – aid from UN, donor nations, Iran, you’ve never objected to any of it. I favor cutting off their funding so Iran can’t build a second Hizbullah in Gaza. I never favored stopping all UN food aid to Gaza, so can we stop with wailing about “starving the civilian population”?
    Besides, Gaza has enough agriculture that the price of vegetables dropped when the blockade went in because the farmers could no longer export their crop to Israel. The markets are bustling. Nobody is starving. The best the NGOs can wail about is “food insecurity” which means that somebody is receiving food aid. Like I have always said, if there was one damn child in Gaza with the big belly and stick limbs of starvation we all would have seen his picture by now.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    “Now I am suppposed to prove that you are pro-foreign funding and anti-
    blockade of Gaza?”
    Nope.
    But obviously your position is that starving the civilian population on the
    Gaza strip is the only viable option, and anyone disagreeing with this insane
    and cruel position is supporting anti-Semitic propaganda and “perpetual jihad
    against the “Jews”.
    Your premises are so weird that I see no reason to discuss this with you.

    Reply

  25. JamesL says:

    Steve, I see no value in Nadine’s constant repetition of propaganda. I used to build little rockets when a tyke–Estes Company out of Colorado. Some were as large, and probably more accurate, than the “thousands” of rockets Nadine claims caused mass death and destruction. During the space race an awareness or rocketry science was deemed useful to the nation and actually encouraged. Eighty years ago my deceased ultra-conservative uncle blew my grandfathers buckboard 25′ in the air just outside the back door in a failed but enthusiastic experiment with dynamite, which kids could buy at the local hardward back then, to loosen a tree stump. Both he and I, and a fair number of childhood friends would be considered by Nadine to be terrorists. But not Israel. Never Israel. In the words of Bush the Miniscule, she is irrelevant to any meaningful dialog.

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    Paul, when did the brownshirts ever talk about billions in foreign aid? Lots of people from all across the political spectrum talk about the trillions that have been wasted in third world “anti-poverty” programs, only to support kleptocrat regimes that pay no attention to their own people. So, everybody who says “money down a rathole” is a fascist? Who knew?
    Now I am suppposed to prove that you are pro-foreign funding and anti-blockade of Gaza? People can read what you’ve been writing. Like when I asked you what Israel should have done in response to thousands of Hamas missiles, and you said “withdraw to the Green Line” — which the Israelis had already done in Gaza, which is why they were getting shelled in the first place.

    Reply

  27. Paul Norheim says:

    “Paul, the only quote you provided was by me, so I have no idea what you are talking
    about now.”
    If you accuse me of something, Nadine, you have to show some evidence, and not just
    accuse me out of thin air. One example could be quotes of what I’ve said here, or
    previously, that could back up your claims.
    I provided a single quote showing that you talk like a brownshirt, and then accused
    you of talking like a brownshirt. If you want to check out how the brownshirts
    talked about people they felt were inferior to them – especially due to their
    weakness – comparing them to rats, insects and other animals, the internet is full
    of documentation. I`m not referring to the respective targets here (Jews, or
    Palestinians, or “Negroes” etc), but the general tone, the contempt – the “rathole”
    metaphor used in an argument against supporting the civilian population in Gaza (and
    Haiti). Do you get it?
    Probably not.
    In any case, if you accuse me of “paying for perpetual jihad against the Jews, for
    the cartoons teaching tots that all Jews deserve to die”, you have to provide some
    evidence.
    And empty claims that ALL money meant for the civilian Palestinians goes to promote
    jihad against the Jews and anti-Semitic propaganda, doesn’t count here. You have to
    prove MY role on the “paying” side; and then a link from my “paying”, to the Jihad-
    and anti-Semitic propaganda this money is financing.
    Even proving that I verbally or with other means actively support Hamas (I don’t,
    and I don’t like them, but I think “we” should talk to them) would do, to make your
    case in a metaphorical sense.
    So far, I have showed that you talk like a fascist, and you have proven nothing.

    Reply

  28. Outraged American says:

    You guys are falling into the trap of calling the Gaza Strip “Gaza”
    which makes it seem like the Palestinians there are different from
    the ones in the West Bank. Divide & Conquer.
    Nadine’s winning, and you’re letting her.

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    Paul, the only quote you provided was by me, so I have no idea what you are talking about now.
    I didn’t say we shouldn’t send relief to Haiti; only that no amount of the relief will make the place self-sufficient. The UN trucks roll into Gaza every day too. Neither place will ever be self-sufficient without a cultural change.

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    POS, Hamas and Hizbullah both arose on outside funding. They weren’t paid for by the locals. They don’t answer to the locals.
    Hamas rose on Saudi funding until it switched to Iran a few years ago. Hizbullah rose on Iranian funding and answers to Iran, not the local Shia, as the Lebanese know very well (though I notice Steve’s foreign policy crowd is starting to pen idiotic screeds about how Hizbullah just has to moderate as it becomes a stronger force in Lebanese politics. No it doesn’t. It has to do what Iran wants because Iran is paying the bills.)
    Hamas got voted in as a protest vehicle against Fatah corruption. They ran on clean government, not endless jihad and rockets that brings down Israeli retribution. You don’t see them scheduling another vote, do you? They wouldn’t win.
    If you actually cared tuppance about the Gazans you would want them free of Hamas control. But you don’t.

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    I provided quotes to back up my accusation. If you provide some documentation, I
    may consider writing a reply to your accusations.
    And BTW, the police can visit every neighborhood in Oslo.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Although the Palestinian people continue to suffer, the reality is that Hamas, supported by Iran, is a thorn in everyone’s side. Ours, Israel’s, Egypt’s, the Palestinian Authority’s”
    There would be no popular support in Gaza for entities such as Hamas were it not for the Israeli’s longstanding oppression, murder, and partitioning of the Palestinians. The Israeli’s need only look in the mirror to find their own worst enemies. Read a few of the racist Nadine’s posts, if you want a true window into why Israel is falling further and further into global disfavor.

    Reply

  33. larry birnbaum says:

    “Given all the attention that was lavished upon Gaza by the international donor community … in the aftermath of the Operation Cast Lead last January, it seems curious that action has been so out of sync with the widespread rhetorical assurances.”
    Mr. Kutsch’s correctly points out the cynicism involved in all the “attention lavished by the international donor community” on Gaza. However he sees the cynicism as the failure to follow through on these promises. I see the cynicism as the making of these promises in the first place. Although the Palestinian people continue to suffer, the reality is that Hamas, supported by Iran, is a thorn in everyone’s side. Ours, Israel’s, Egypt’s, the Palestinian Authority’s. Egypt is now building a “separation barrier” to prevent smuggling of arms as well as goods necessary for normal economic life into Gaza. While people may want to help ordinary Palestinians, no one (outside of Iran and its allies Syria and Hezbollah) wants to help Hamas. Which is to say, Israel’s policy of not lifting a finger to help them is everyone else’s as well. But no one wants to tell the truth about this. That’s unfortunate because it continues the infantilization of discourse in and about the Middle East.

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    Paul, you are a walking example of the self-destructive idiocy of the Euro Left. If Hamas were not receiving billions in aid, they could not feed their people and make Qassams and purchase long range missiles without bothering to have an economy. If they needed an economy, they could not live under sanctions and would have to agree to trade. YOU are paying for perpetual jihad against the Jews, for the cartoons teaching tots that all Jews deserve to die, for thousands of bunkers and tunnels but never one civilian shelter, for Islamic Vice police instead of businesses; YOU.
    That you are paying for it in Gaza is idiotic enough. But I understand well that you are paying for it in Oslo too, in the form of welfare benefits to unassimilated deracinated Islamic youth. Can the police still go into every neighborhood in Oslo, or are there no-go neighborhoods for them there, as there are for the Swedish police in Malmo?
    But of course it’s “racist” to notice such realities.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    “Feeding more billions to Gaza (…) Billions thrown down a rathole.” (Nadine)
    And she apparently feels the same regarding aid to Haiti.
    Der Führer tended to use more words. Nadine`s – I wouldn`t say “aphorism”, but perhaps
    “barbarism” would do? – reminds me more of expressions in Goebbels` diaries.
    I don’t know how Steve reacts when he sees such comments. Personally, I’m sick of it.
    And every time I read similar sentences from the same commenter, it makes me ask: Why
    do the most aggressive supporters of Zionism sound more and more like the brownshirts
    in the 1930`s?

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POS, you moron, the Ethiopian Jews are only in Israel because Israel went and got them, in a huge effort”
    Yes, and then they pump the women full of Depo Provera. Handy as lower class servants and workers, without the worry of genetic contamination, eh?
    You have an excuse for everything, don’t you?
    You’re a despicable bigot, Nadine. You have an excuse for any and every inexcusable Israeli policy, crime, and human rights travesty that becomes a matter of record.

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    JamesL, Feeding more billions to Gaza (there isn’t one “Palestine”, today less than ever) won’t ever make them any more self-sufficient than feeding more billions to Haiti will do, and for similar reasons. The culture ensures it.
    In Haiti it’s voodoo fatalism and endemic corruption; in Gaza it’s Islamist jihad and endemic corruption; same results. An endless welfare squat devoted to more of what made it a basket case to begin with. Billions thrown down a rathole. Both places living off foreign aid.
    Remember those state-of-the-art greenhouses that some peacenik ensured were handed over intact when the Israeli settlers were forced out of Gaza? They were an excellent business opportunity. Tell me, what happened to them?

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    POS, you moron, the Ethiopian Jews are only in Israel because Israel went and got them, in a huge effort. If they hadn’t wanted more black Jews they could have left them in Ethiopia. Just because some lefty is trying to magnify supplying women with birth control into some major human-rights violation doesn’t mean anything.
    You want to see suffering, check out how Egypt treats its Coptic Christian population. The drive by shootings, the kidnapping of young girls into forced marriages and conversions? Not that you’d care. No Jews involved.

    Reply

  39. JamesL says:

    The lack of transferrance of committed aid to Gaza is red herring holdup, with Israel’s finger stuck int he hole in the dike. The solution is quite simple. Pick a dependable government (with Switzerland’s fall from Grace that is probably the hard part. Norway?) and in that country establish a Gaza Development Fund, upon which the hosting country gets to make a small amount. IMF and WB are naturally excluded from this, due to their wont to play with things behind the scenes and turn cash into debt.
    Begin with Juan Cole’s American Banker Bonus Tithe, which should at least be a double tithe or 20% this year, half going for Haiti, and half for Gaza. That would amount to about $15B for each, or as Juan points out, two years worth of Haiti’s GNP. Measure out and fold in another billion or three from each of the surrounding Arab oil states.
    After that there are only three rules.
    Rule One of the game is that the only way for any capitalists to get their hands on this chunk of cash is for it to be funneled through Gaza. Thus we have instant motivation for millions of entrepreneurs to assess all the holes and potential holes in the dike around Gaza versus their own girth.
    Rule Two is that the money may be spent only in ways that fund in majority proportion the welfare of Palestinian individuals and Palestinian businesses. Note that half the total would be potential profit for those who can play be the rules.
    Rule Three is that all expenditures must be aimed at making Palestine (Ah I get a thrill out of just saying that, the same as I once did about saying “Israel”) self sufficient.
    With $20 or so billion just sitting there waiting for entrepreneurs, no more rules are probably needed. Faced with this dilemma of “money there, how do I get it” the natural course would be for all nations wanting a piece of the pie to unilaterally and quickly declare Palestine a state, and further declare what they felt should be proper borders (for normal economic development and expansion).
    “Follow the money” has an obverse. PLANT the money somewhere and then watch a highway be built to it.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, perhaps we can hear from some members of the Master Race about this policy of keeping Israeli society pure from inferior genetics???
    Nadine??? Wig-wag??? Questions??? Birnbaum???
    Come on, inquiring minds would like to know.
    What other policies practiced by Adolph Hitler do you admire and seek to emulate??

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Clalit, the largest health company, however, did provide figures showing that 57 per cent of its Depo Provera users were Ethiopian compared with a handful of women in other ethnic groups.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    When Woman to Woman conducted an experiment by sending five non-Ethiopian women to doctors to ask for Depo Provera, all were told that it was prescribed only in highly unusual cases.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    There have also been regular reports of Ethiopian children being denied places in schools or being forced to attend separate classes.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yali Hashash, a researcher at Haifa University, said attempts to restrict Ethiopian women’s fertility echoed practices used against Jewish women who immigrated to Israel from such Arab countries as Iraq, Yemen and Morocco in the state’s early years, in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Many, she said, had been encouraged to fit IUDs when the device was still experimental because Israel’s leading gynecologists regarded Arab Jews as “primitive” and incapable of acting “responsibly”.

    Reply

  45. Mr.Murder says:

    Gaza should beocme Dubai West with the kind of capital some of the OPEC states could pony up there.
    Enough to get UNESCO’s attention.
    Pre-emptive trade, not pre-emptive war.

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel’s treatment of Ethiopians ‘racist’
    Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent
    Ethiopian Jews are reported to face widespread discrimination in jobs, housing and education in Israel. AP Photo
    NAZARETH, Israel // Health officials in Israel are subjecting many female Ethiopian immigrants to a controversial long-term birth control drug in what Israeli women’s groups allege is a racist policy to reduce the number of black babies.
    The contraceptive, known as Depo Provera, which is given by injection every three months, is considered by many doctors as a birth control method of last resort because of problems treating its side effects.
    However, according to a report published last week, use of the contraceptive by Israeli doctors has risen threefold over the past few years. Figures show that 57 per cent of Depo Provera users in Israel are Ethiopian, even though the community accounts for less than two per cent of the total population.
    About 90,000 Ethiopians have been brought to Israel under the Law of Return since the 1980s, but their Jewishness has subsequently been questioned by some rabbis and is doubted by many ordinary Israelis.
    Ethiopians are reported to face widespread discrimination in jobs, housing and education and it recently emerged that their blood donations were routinely discarded.
    “This is about reducing the number of births in a community that is black and mostly poor,” said Hedva Eyal, the author of the report by Woman to Woman, a feminist organisation based in Haifa, in northern Israel. “The unspoken policy is that only children who are white and Ashkenazi are wanted in Israel,” she said, referring to the term for European Jews who founded Israel and continue to dominate its institutions.
    http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100106/FOREIGN/701059823/1011
    So how does the racist Nadine explain away this policy?

    Reply

  47. Outraged American says:

    Divide & Conquer, Nadine, works every time.
    Operation Juniper Cobra, the recent, joint UsRael exercise-what
    was up with that, Steve/ Mr. Kutsch?
    Please tell us what fresh hell UsRael has planned for our
    children, who will soon be pressed into service to fight yet again
    for Israel Uber Alles.
    Oh BTW, that kid who was on R& R from Afghanistan — turns
    out he was promised by recruiters that he would never be
    deployed to a war zone. And he’s back in one, out there risking
    his life protecting whatever they call Dick Cheney’s personal
    fiefdom, Kellogg, Brown & Root, now, as I sit and enjoy this
    gorgeous sunrise in our home state. A sunrise that he should
    be enjoying too and I hope will again. Inshallah.
    Now Nadine’s going to get the Gestapo/ Dept. of “Homeland
    Security” after me, run by a fellow Member (Napolitano, like
    Chertoff, is a Member), for using an Arabic word in an internet
    post.
    I’m personally tempted to click on the chi flat irons. Like, what
    does “chi flat Iron” mean? What do “chi flat irons” do? Why have
    “chi flat irons” decided to invade Steve’s site?
    Too many QUESTIONS…I know I have the IQ of a spent Q-tip
    according to Norheim, but chi flat irons, the name alone, really
    intrigue me.
    And the fact that Steve has obviously entered into a profit
    sharing deal with “chi flat irons” means it must have Steve’s
    Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. So Steve, if we buy one,
    do we get a money back guarantee, or just an action packed trip
    to Gitmo for purchasing an item that can obviously be used
    to…whack a flight attendant on his head?
    Chi flat irons, the boxcutters of the future.

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    “If you actually cared tuppance about the Gazans you would want them free of Hamas control. They certainly do” (Nadine)
    So perpetual land grab and periodic population-punishing invasion, and undermining and moves toward final status is definitely the way to show real “care” for Gazans? What’s the denouement when a two state solution is no longer possible due to Israel, with the absolute upper hand until that time, intransigence? What’s the final solution, Nadine? Surely you have an inside track. Gassing the whole Gaza and West Bank. Diverting all the water, Salt on the land? Anthrax? Wolfensohn says its a max of 2 years away.

    Reply

  49. Muggboots says:

    “U.S. To Store $800 Mil in Emergency Gear in Israel”
    So the US military industrial complex churns on without rest, filling domestic warehouses with this dangerous junk and then expands these facilities to other places.
    Business as usual until the dollar crashes and real US tax payer money is needed to feed this monster.
    This dump will just be another target for Iranian missiles.
    Obviously it is time to wear uggboots and seek peace!

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    “No nadine it’s all about the jews….the whole world hates the jews and wants to kill them and throw them into the sea or whatever.
    You know, until Israel ramped up their land thefts and attacks on Palestine and Gaza and it made the news and the actual truth of the conflict got spread around the net, no one talked about Israel and the jews…no one paid any attention to the Jews, neither they or Israel were a topic of interest, political or otherwise, to any one but the jews themselves.”
    Carroll, glad to hear you admit the hatred that fills every one of your posts. Nobody paid attention to Israel before? Before what? Ha! the entire world has been obsesses with Israel for sixty years, while conflicts with 10,000 TIMES more casualties go unobserved.
    Just as a reminder, since your geography seems very shaky, what touched off the latest round in Gaza was not Israel “stealing” any land but rather their withdrawing completely out of GAza…to the Green Line, you know, that line you pretend occasionally to respect? A chance for the Gazans to manage their own affairs, we were told. Hamas’ answer was to shoot thousands of rockets into Israel proper, which you apparently think Israel should just accept as their lot in life…heck, you’re always crying out for the end to the blockade so Hamas can get long range missiles and do a better job — btw, this is not speculation as Hamas has boasted of their intentions to shell Tel Aviv.
    There’s an excellent reason Egypt is joining with Israel in the blockade and building an “iron wall” to stop the smuggling. Egypt cannot afford a Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda/Hizbullah safe haven in Gaza working to overthrow Mubarak. When Hamas and Hizbullah stuck to attacking Israel, Egypt turned a blind eye to their activities. Now that they attack Egypt, or lend aid to attacks on Egypt, Egypt cannot afford to ignore them any more.
    If you actually cared tuppance about the Gazans you would want them free of Hamas control. They certainly do.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    “(New York Post) Andy Soltis – Hamas’ terrorist TV channel is launching a new cartoon series that depicts a new enemy, the Palestinian Authority police. A pilot episode shows a toadyish Palestinian officer watching as a Jewish character machine-guns a group of West Bank children to death and drinks their blood. “You killed our children before my eyes,” the officer says meekly. “I will respond with even more peace.” The cartoon portrays a PA police officer named Bahlul, “buffoon” in Arabic, who kisses the feet and shines the shoes of an Israeli soldier. He says he would shoot his brother, divorce his wife and arrest his relatives if the Israelis ordered him to do so.”
    They’ve got to be carefully taught.
    Think Hamas and the PA will reconcile anytime soon? Man, those Mideast peace negotiatons look so promising!

    Reply

  52. Carroll says:

    Thanks James, ….is the one or one similar to what I saw…because it was about the problems in getting the weapons shipped to Israel.
    I just found this also on the Forward site:…and I remember reading during Israel’s attack on Lebanon that they were using US weapons we stockpiled in Israel. “Stockpiled”, what a joke! Evidently Israel has permission to use the 800 million in weapons should they choose to…really just another giveaway to Israel in addition to the regular billions in aid.
    What is so sickening is if you go FAS.org and look at the arms sales charts you can see that Israel’s largest export is weapons…they export more than they import…weapons are their largest industry. Yet the US gives them billions to buy weapons from us so they can sell theirs abroad for profit. What a racket. It’s these kinds of con games (among others)DC pulls on the American taxpayers that makes me want to see them burned to the frigging ground.
    This article predates yours so let’s hope the weapons don’t get delivered.
    U.S. To Store $800 Mil in Emergency Gear in Israel
    By Amos Harel (Haaretz)
    Published January 10, 2010.
    The U.S. Army will double the value of emergency military equipment it stockpiles on Israeli soil, and Israel will be allowed to use the U.S. ordnance in the event of a military emergency, according to a report in Monday’s issue of the U.S. weekly Defense News.
    The report, written by Barbara Opall-Rome, the magazine’s Israel correspondent, said that an agreement reached between Washington and Jerusalem last month will bring the value of the military gear to $800 million.
    This is the final phase of a process that began over a year ago to determine the type and amount of U.S. weapons and ammunition to be stored in Israel, part of an overarching American effort to stockpile weapons in areas in which its army may need to operate while allowing American allies to make use of the ordnance in emergencies.
    The agreement was signed by Brig. Gen. Ofer Wolf, who heads the Israel Defense Forces’ technology and logistics branch, and Rear Adm. Andy Brown, the logistics director of U.S. Army European Command.
    The United States began stockpiling $100 million in military equipment in Israel in 1990, 12 years after it first began storing weapons within the territory of key allies, starting with South Korea.
    An American defense official told Defense News that the U.S.-Israel agreement reflects the Obama administration’s continued commitment to Israel’s security and the understanding that changes in U.S. economic conditions and inflation have limited the weapons available to Israel.
    The deal allows Israel access to a wider spectrum of military ordnance, and the U.S. official said his government was considering which forms of military supplies would be added to stores in Israel. Missiles, armored vehicles, aerial ammunition and artillery ordnance are already stockpiled in the country.
    The agreement is expected to aid Israel in its effort to bolster its weapons stockpiles for use in an emergency. Israel’s stores of aerial and artillery ammunition were depleted during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, nearly reaching levels the IDF considers dangerously low.”

    Reply

  53. JamesL says:

    Yeah Steve, what about Ugg? If you can’t figure out how to ban an idiot like that, how can you hope to solve nuclear/Israeli/food/energy/fascism/oil/fraud……. issues?
    ***********
    On the other hand Carroll, it could have been one of the many other very large shipments of bombs and munitions by the US to Israel. Or on the other hand (if you have three) they could have been bound to just about anywhere, someplace poor most likely. Info treats on the weapons trade at:
    http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business
    Including a link to this Oct 08 article: “An investigative report by Amnesty International last month found that clandestine gun suppliers, funded by the U.S. and Iraqi governments, have flooded Iraq with a million weapons since 2003. Because of faulty or non-existent government tracking systems, many of those guns have gone missing, and some have turned up in the hands of insurgents, Amnesty said.”
    Hmmm, the US could not even control the arms IT was shipping. Lost them, poof. Not that Iraq wasn’t flooded already, the Iraqi army having been Bremered, and the arsenals opened, then abandoned to plunder by the US. Cynics might call that job protection (or is it assuredness these days?).
    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44199

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, where does the ISP from this asshole Ugg boot guy say this spam is coming from?
    Can we all spam the son of a bitch with a few hundred emails?

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The last thing that is needed now is more weapons and munitions in the region, which is awash with arms that are being used in a manner which contravenes international law and is having a devastating effect on the civilian population in Gaza.”
    Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? And these pieces of shit in DC will MAKE SURE these arms get into the murderous grasp of the Israelis.
    The whole world is watching, Barack. And they see a fraud.

    Reply

  56. JamesL says:

    Carroll, maybe this? Off the radar when convenient.
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 January 2009
    The Pentagon has suspended the delivery of a shipload of munitions to Israel after international concern that it could be used by Israeli forces in Gaza. The German-owned cargo vessel, Wehr Elbe, under charter by the US Military Sea­lift Command, is currently in Greek waters with its transponder tracking turned off to prevent its location being identified. Amnesty International has written to the foreign secretary, David Miliband, asking him to make “urgent approaches to the US, German and Greek governments to prevent this, or any pending or future shipments of weaponry until it can be verified that they will not be transferred to the Israeli Defence Forces or other parties to the conflict in Gaza. “We urge you to ensure that no EU member state will allow their ports or other facilities to be used to transit these or any other weapons to any of the parties to this conflict.”
    The Wehr Elbe, owned by the Hamburg company Oskar Wehr, arrived outside the Greek port of Astakos on 1 January, where it was due to transfer its 1,000 containers to another vessel for delivery to Ashdod in Israel. But after a two week stand-off, amid local protests in Greece, it moved out into the Mediterranean two days ago and disappeared off tracking websites.
    Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said that the contract for the munitions had been arranged last summer and approved in October. He said the munitions were due to be delivered to a US pre-positioning depot in Israel for US forces. But he added: “If the government of Israel requests munitions they can do so direct to the US government under the Foreign Military Sales programme.”
    He said the ship’s journey had been delayed due to “safety concerns” about unloading the cargo at Ashdod and that other arrangements were being made by the Military Sealift Command’s European office in Naples.
    The letter to Miliband, from Amnesty’s director, Kate Allen, calls “for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and Palestinian armed groups until effective mechanisms are in place to ensure that weapons and munitions and other military equipment will not be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law”.
    Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme director, Malcolm Smart, said: “The last thing that is needed now is more weapons and munitions in the region, which is awash with arms that are being used in a manner which contravenes international law and is having a devastating effect on the civilian population in Gaza.”

    Reply

  57. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jan 15 2010, 9:38PM – Link
    I read something somewhere..maybe it was in a link you posted or at a reg news site…can’t remember exactly where I came across it.
    But it was about this huge shipment of arms and bombs going to Israel from the US and the trouble
    the US was having finding a shipper or ship to transport it.
    What do you know about that?

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This whole thing with Turkey got started because Erdogan dared criticize Israel’s murderous campaign; “Operation Cast Lead”.
    It seems that Ben Katcher, who seems to be a Turkeyphobe, doesn’t seem to find this FACT relevent when discussing the Turkey/Israel rift.
    If only foreign policy issues were so simple that ignoring key factors simply made those factors dissappear. But unfortunately, us poor ignorant rubes that reside outside the beltway enjoy no such luxury of conjuring up selective realities.
    Perhaps the great Washington political “thinkers” have made such a muddle of things because their reality consists of wishful thinking, augmented by a general disdain for reality, logic, and common sense.

    Reply

  59. Carroll says:

    Here’s a small example (we already have the large examples) of why I call the Israeli zionist batshit crazy.
    Seems the Israeli FM Leiberman and his sidekick Aylon wanted to call Turkey on the carpet.
    So they summoned the Turkish Amb. to a meeting.
    The meeting room was set with chairs placed on a makeshift “raised” platform where the Israelis sat and the Turkish Amb was made to sit in a chair down below them on floor level.
    When reporters covering the meeting asked Aylon if he was going to shake hands with the Turkish Amb..here’s what Aylon said…
    “”The important thing is that they see he’s sitting lower and we’re up high and that there’s only one flag, and you see we’re not smiling,” Ayalon said in Hebrew with the embarrassed Turkish envoy next to him.”
    Then some other officials and writers chimed in with comments:
    One writer said Israel had considerable leverage against Ankara, since “world Jewish capital” could boycott Turkey and exacerbate its deteriorating economic situation.
    (er…isn’t jewish world capital how Hitler described the zionist boycott of Germany?)
    Another writer in Ha’aretz agreed, saying Ayalon had, “albeit clumsily”, risen “to restore the honour of the people”. The days when Jews must cower in fear and fawn over those who spit in our faces are over,” said an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post.”
    Keep making more enemies Israel. I don’t think I have seen anything like these people, they are like little teenage monkeys, beating their chest, pretending to be silverbacks, screeching and chattering, spitting and throwing bananas at everyone within their sight. I guess the next step in the jewish psycho revenge routine to “attain manhood” thru bullying and bravado is for Aylon to actually pee on the head of the next Amb. from his “raised platform” seat. If the next one is stupid enough to risk sitting below them.
    These people are insane juveniles.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what Israel does while the world is focused on Haiti. Great diversion of attention if one wants to steal some more land and erase a few more of those nasty heathen Palestinians.

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    With garbage like Reid, Pelosi, Harman, Hoyer, etc. having so much power, the United States will NEVER be an honest and constructive broker of peace.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There is nothing in the Middle East that we can’t fix with a blast from our new Earthquake Ray”
    Love it.

    Reply

  63. Carroll says:

    What I favor, as I have said over and over for years…..is “enforcing” a settlement.
    Because otherwise there will never be a settlement.
    I also favor turning it over to the UN for final peace status and borders. The British tossed the jewish Israel problem to the UN so the UN would be the proper entity to correct it.
    http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/ngo/history.html
    The cleanest quickest, most fair way to approach it and settle it is to go back to the begining, enforce all the UN resolutions on Israel and start from that line. If the UN were to do this it would return the major part of Palestine land resources (water,gas,etc) to Palestine.
    If Israel then wanted to bargin for changes (or buy what they now steal) with Palestine they could.
    Would Israel accept a right of return in return for sharing Palestine water that Israel can’t live without? hummm?
    Of course this is the ideal of what should happen but won’t because Isr is batshit crazy and the USA is batshit corrupt on the Israeli issue.

    Reply

  64. DonS says:

    I guess I temporarily lost my mind; I should have noted that virtually the entire US political spectrum not just the right wing, has become complicit in Israel’s game plan.

    Reply

  65. DonS says:

    Poor Tom Kutsch, I guess it’s a right of passage at New America Foundation to get a target stuck on your back. Well, you know, I’m willing to give Nadine the benefit of the doubt at times, but aq one trick pony is a one trick pony. Interesting that she could not just lay off. Of course she could not just let go the facts that Kutsch presents regarding how Israel has stymied progress.
    I think its interesting that Wolfensohn sees a 1 – 2 year window for a settlement to be made before the doomsday scenario sets in. Also interesting how he lays out the very simple, basic elements to a settlement that everyone knows makes sense. Except Israel which, I presume, continues to stall to establish more — as for decades passed — “facts on the ground”. Increasingly, with the collaboration of the right wing, the US political apparatus has become complicit with this trajectory.

    Reply

  66. Dan Kervick says:

    There is nothing in the Middle East that we can’t fix with a blast from our new Earthquake Ray.

    Reply

  67. Carroll says:

    No nadine it’s all about the jews….the whole world hates the jews and wants to kill them and throw them into the sea or whatever.
    You know, until Israel ramped up their land thefts and attacks on Palestine and Gaza and it made the news and the actual truth of the conflict got spread around the net, no one talked about Israel and the jews…no one paid any attention to the Jews, neither they or Israel were a topic of interest, political or otherwise, to any one but the jews themselves.
    How do you explain that?
    Let me see if I can guess your reply….it’s that “latent” anti semitism always lurking and waiting to pounce. All the anti semites were just waiting for an excuse to get the jews and Israel’s genociding of Palestine was a handy cause. Right?
    You are hopeless.

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  68. nadine says:

    And if all this aid actually goes to Hamas, will Tom Kutsch and his fellows lift a little finger to ensure that it actually rebuilds the civilian homes and structures they are bewailing? Or will they be delighted to cooperate with Hamas and ignore it when Hamas appropriates all the funds to better armaments and bunkers?
    That’s what the Code Pink demonstrators did. They happily let Hamas minders stage propaganda photo-ops with them all over Gaza. They never got to talk to any of the ordinary Gazans whose welfare they supposedly care about. The persecuted women, Christians, Fatah members, those who want Hamas to recognize Israel so the siege can be lifted (that’s what you all forget, the seige was imposed due to Hamas’ policies and Hamas can reverse it) – they didn’t talk to any of those Gazans.
    But then, this isn’t really about the Palestinians, now is it?

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  69. not AIPAC approved says:

    . . . To mark the first anniversary of the Gaza atrocity, a great humanitarian procession from 42 countries – Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, old and young, trade unionists, writers, artists, musicians and those leading convoys of food and medicine – converged on Egypt, and even though the American bribed dictatorship in Cairo prevented most from proceeding to Gaza, the people in that open prison knew they were not alone . . . .”
    http://original.antiwar.com/pilger/2010/01/14/for-israel-a-reckoning/d

    Reply

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