All Israel, All the Time

Sometimes it can seem that way. All from The Guardian.


Iran‘s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, today launched an angry attack on “doomed” US-brokered Middle East peace talks and urged the Palestinians to continue armed resistance to Israel.

Ahmadinejad used the annual al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day rally in Tehran to scorn the Obama administration’s efforts in launching the first Arab-Israeli negotiations in nearly two years.

“What do they want to negotiate about? Who are they representing? What are they going to talk about?” the hardline Iranian leader said of the Palestinian negotiating team in Washington.

“Who gave them the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and doomed.”…

“The fate of Palestine is determined in Palestine and through the resistance of the Palestinian people, rather than in Washington, Paris and London,” Ahmadinejad said in his live TV broadcast.

Give that man an atomic bomb.


Militant groups in the Gaza Strip said last night they had joined forces to step up attacks against Israel, possibly including suicide bombings.

The statement was made as Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington for the first day of direct talks yesterday, and agreed that a peace deal could be achieved within a year….

A spokesman for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said 13 militant groups would work together to launch “more effective attacks” against Israel. Asked if this included suicide bombings, he said: “All options are open.”

Hamas has claimed responsibility for two separate shooting attacks in the West Bank this week that killed four Israeli settlers and wounded two.

Several armed gunmen held an open-air news conference in Gaza where Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, vowed that militants would “respond to the negotiations that aim at selling out (Palestinian) land”.

Very hard to understand why Israel won’t open the Gaza border. Can’t make any sense of it.


Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade, and a former Belgian foreign minister, sparked outrage after voicing his scepticism about the prospects for the negotiations which opened in the US this week. He told a Belgian radio station that most Jews always believed they were right, and questioned the point of talking to them about the Middle East.

De Gucht, who negotiates for Europe on trade with the rest of the world, and is one of the most powerful officials in Brussels, was forced today to issue a statement declaring that the views he expressed were personal.

“Don’t underestimate the opinion … of the average Jew outside Israel,” he told the radio station. “There is indeed a belief – it’s difficult to describe it otherwise – among most Jews that they are right. And a belief is something that’s difficult to counter with rational arguments. And it’s not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East.”

De Gucht presumably prefers the kind of rational discussion to be had with the members of the thirteen groups of the previous story. They have this belief – “it’s difficult to describe it otherwise” – that they are right.

Former Belgian foreign minister. European Union minister for trade. Not just any lout on the street.  Think this is the first time he’s ever spoken like this?  To friends? Family? Colleagues? What do you think he might have been doing in, say, 1940?

(h/t Yaacov Lazowick)


An Israeli soldier has been charged with looting the lead ship in a Gaza aid flotilla attacked by Israeli naval commandos at the end of May.

Now, you see, I’m guessing that the honorable Karel De Gucht would find in this report a story of what is wrong with Israel. Ah, but that would be, wouldn’t you agree, a matter of perspective?

Perspective – now, that’s what fifth is all about , but I’ve saved the best for later.



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2 thoughts on “All Israel, All the Time

  1. @thesadredearth A bit unfair to take out the holocaust card (in a way) against Karel De Gucht in your last sentence. Right?

    1. Actually, Thomas, I don’t think so. I did not make my observations in a casual, unconsidered way. Purported policy critique of Israel that covers demonization of the nation and evolves easily in anti-Semitic demonization of Jews is now widespread. It’s historical patterns and likeness require, deserve, to be highlighted. De Gucht did not even speak only of Israelis, which would be bad enough, but of Jews, a whole people maligned, demonized, as a people with whom one cannot reason – at once arrogantly superior in believing themselves right (as if their enemies do not think themselves right) and irrational. A leading Belgian and European diplomat and bureaucrat, mere decades after the Holocaust, when so many in that European class think they have themselves evolved to some more superior manner of political being. De Gucht does not think, communicate, or function in isolation, and the Holocaust did not burst like some alien monster full-grown out of the European stomach on a given date. People believed stupid, hateful things, even casually, and when the wave of horror approached they did not swim against it, but were already turned in that direction, more easily to ride the wave.

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