In an NPR piece yesterday, Bill Chappell noted that “the war between Israel and Hamas is being fought, in part, through disinformation and competing claims.” Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas’s leadership team currently in Qatar, told Ben Hubbard and Maria Abi-Habib of the
Wise words at the close of the letter. Life is a gift. This planet is a gift, and both are unfathomably rich and fortunate. We endure floods, droughts, earthquakes, etc. and an array of infectious and congenital diseases, and yet, over all, this planet is paradise. Why is so much of our history and our present as a species devoted to making it a hell?
Thank you Dr. Richardson. This is the best, clearest, most balanced and nuanced synopsis of the Hamas/Israel War I have read.
I am familiar with high-level disinformation. I am leery of Netanyahu’s and Israeli Defense Force (IDF)absodamnlutely claim that Hamas had massive physical operations in/below Al Shifa Hospital.
This is the Israeli linch pin for its massive assault on major hospitals and apparent disregard for patients and refugees huddled in these hospitals.
As a former Foreign Service Officer, I find the Israeli public ‘evidence’ so far unconvincing. An IDF public statement highlighted an AK 47 and some ammunition found in a case in an MRI room. Huh? Because of the strong magnetic power of an MRI, such a weapon and ammo would be sucked up dangerously.
Currently the IDF has highlighted a tunnel opening and says that it could take quite a while to determine whether this leads to a major Hamas command center under Gaza’s major hospital. Huh?
There are probes [like one recently used on our sewer line] and drones that could provide considerable intelligence, were this a functioning Hamas command center.
We all remember the Weapons of Mass Destruction debacle in Iraq—NONE, despite US government misinformation. Ditto with our false military reporting on our ‘success’ during much of the Vietnam years.
I had a personal encounter with US government ‘disinformation’ when a Foreign Service Officer in Congo in 1963. A cache of ‘communist’ arms was discovered close to Congo’s northern border. I was drafting a cable on the implications of this ‘discovery,’ when the CIA station chief stopped by. He told me that these ‘communist’ armaments were a CIA plant.
When hospital doctors and UN medical personnel loudly deny that their hospital was a Hamas command center, I shall carefully scrutinize contrary ‘evidence’ provided by the IDF. I will do the same with fragmentary US intelligence that has already been used to support the ‘massive Hamas hospital command center’ contention.
In war, truth is the first casualty.
Yesterday the NY Times reported that it is possible that all 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza might starve.
So, now, the USA may become complicit in one of the largest genocides in human history.
Having watched Israel illegally expand onto Palestinian lands all of my adult life, without regard for the fate of the people they displace, I am becoming, as a consequence of Israel's own choices, more and more pro Palestinian.
When Balfour wrote his declaration in 1917 so he could ship the Jewish people in Britain back to the homeland (thereby executing Britain's own final solution), he, nor anyone, considered the Palestinian people already there living lives in peace.
Now, more than 100 years later as the Palestinian people continue to be displaced to smaller and smaller plots of land, with no hope of change, I am positively pro Palestinian.
Only because of Israel's actions for my whole life am I now pro Palestinian and it has nothing to do with religion or God or any of that imaginary stuff.
It has to do with how the Israelis have treated the Palestinian people for more than 100 years.
What the Israelis have done to the Palestinian people and are doing to them now, with the help of the United States, is just wrong.
"Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant [...] announced “a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed…. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly."
That's 100% pure fascism right there: a classic from the right-wing playbook: dehumanize your opponent, so it's easier to kill them. I simply can't wrap my head around the fact that that's coming from an Israelian Minister when at the same time Jews have suffered so much under fascist aggression themselves...
P.S. The Mighty Musk is showing his true colours... The guy is a narcist and a nazi, be wary of him...
As HCR makes clear, Hamas's goal is permanent war. Permanent war in order to achieve what? HCR does not say, but Hamas does often enough. Its goal is to destroy Israel, to create a Palestine from the river to the sea. Hamas does not say, but the actions of October 7 make it clear enough. The goal is to rid "Palestine" of Jews. As Hillary Clinton has made clear, a cease fire only allows Hamas to regroup and to extend its war as it seeks its version of success.
Israel's goal, the US's goal is the destruction of Hamas. Toward what end? I would not trust Netanyahu's plans -- which appear to be a return to military government of Gaza. Both Joe Biden and Abdullah II call for two states -- Israel and a Palestinian state. Is this achievable? After Hamas is thoroughly defeated, achieving a two state solution will require an Israel led by someone other than Netanyahu and Marshall Plan equivalent reconstruction of Gaza and support for the West Bank.
Does that mean the US needs to interfere in Israel's politics? Probably not. But if the US does interfere to hurry along Netanyahu's ouster, it would be justice. More than any foreign leader, more even than Putin, Netanyahu interfered with American politics in support of Republicans. He even humiliated Joe Biden on a visit to Israel. And right now, the most popular political leader in Israel is an American -- Joe Biden.
Once upon a time Israel had a leader who sought to solve the Palestinian problem.
Ultra Orthodox Jews assassinated him.
This will be the never-ending war if its end means Netanyahu loses power. He has no incentive to end it.
My biggest fear is that progressives' anger at Biden over the latest Mideast crisis, will inspire an election boycott that will help usher Donald Trump back into the White House. I'm hopeful that something, anything, positive can emerge before election day. We cannot let the eternally intractable situation in the Middle East lead to the destruction of American democracy.
In dealing with its collective guilt over the historic mistreatment of Jews, not just the Holocost, the world's creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was done in such a way that, in my view, there can never be a peaceful resolution. I was born in 1951, and in all those 72 yrs, there has always been one crisis or war after another over the State of Israel. One American president after another has brought various parties together, there were talks and negotiations, peace has been joyously declared a half dozen times, and soon thereafter they're at each other's throats again and again and again.
The Jews have a right to have a homeland; so do the Palestinians. Until that reality is acknowledged by everyone, especially the Israelis, there can be no enduring peace. The conflict and the bloodshed of innocents will erupt again and again and again.
Sorry to be such a cynic, but one gets that way from seeing the same stupid sh*t over and over again for a lifetime.
Hamas over there is MAGA over here. Donnie Goose Step is priming his Christian soldiers for war. This is no time for pearl-clutching. The MAGANAZI Party is a domestic terror organization. I call upon the D.O.J. and the judiciary to stop playing footsie with Ku Klux Don.
I hope the Jordanian King's words touch the hearts of world leaders and inspires them to be more comtemplative about the current path of war. I hope any who can, will be able to look out beyond the trauma and see the wider view, the larger picture of the inevitable counter-productive outcome of violence. I hope any who can, will see the sky of our humanity.
I hope many peacemakers will come forward to call for the hostages to be rescued. To call for the Hamas militants to be extracted and brought to justice in a court of law.
And I hope peacemakers everywhere en masse come forward to honor the dignity of the Israelis and Palestinians and support their rights to live in peace, without fear of violence.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi
Thank you Professor Richardson. I am a proud Zion-ist, and have family in Israel (who are now living in a constant state of anxiety, terror and tragedy). It is a small country, and the funerals of 1500 dead, many young, take their toll. I have visited the border communities of the south. Until October 7th, they were mostly peaceful and almost idyllic places. They were wary, with wire fences and school bus shelters with thick walls to protect against rockets. Kids had painted the bus shelters with brightly colored animals and flowers. But life went on. No longer.
I lament the loss of life in Gaza, due to asymmetrical warfare. The US has engaged in this against ISIL and Al Qaeda. Civilian casualties are inevitable and tragic, but keep in mind that there was a clear aggressor on October 7, a date that was picked for maximum psychological impact. It was a Sabbath, and a holy day (the conclusion of the festival of Sukkot, aka Tabernacles, aka Thanksgiving). It was also the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of 1967. Hamas knew what it was doing. It wanted the carnage which has followed.
All that being said, the world (coalitions, blocs, UN etc) must create the conditions in which a two state solution can take root. Moderate Arab states must engage with the Palestinians. So far, over the past 75 years, they have not. The Abraham Accords were part of that flawed pattern. If the Arab states cannot or will not engage, then I see no hope for a two state approach. Perhaps this is what they want...a Middle East which is rid of European and Western presence. That is what Israel represents. If that is their true intent, then the world is headed for another clash of civilizations.
In the Mandatory run up to the creation of an independent Jewish state in Palestine, some Saudi leaders appeared to be warm to the idea of a new “Switzerland” in their midst. Unhappily, that vision died when Israel became a reality. We can hope that it can be revived, and if so, a two state solution might actually emerge decades after the Brits and post WWII powers envisioned it.
Let us all pray for an end to this war, including an end to Hamas. Both the Israeli and Palestinian people deserve to live in peace and security. So long as Hamas exists, Israel will never be secure.
This item has taken away any oxygen concerning Ukraine (an equally anti-semitic act) and Nagorno-Karabakh (an equally genocidal act) and serves to deflect attention from the Putin agenda as these two geopolitical knots (as Solzhenitzyn would label them) are also critical to destabilization.
And Mike Johnson invects mush. A very dangerous Thanksgiving.
“Who is entitled to hate more and kill more.” That seems to be the question of our times??
Referring to London Review of Books article by Jacqueline Rose “You Made Me Do It,” it seems that we have trouble lamenting “more than one people at a time.” On one side is Hamas stating that their goal is permanent war against Israel, and the right-wing faction in Israel, putting a permanent squeeze on the Palestinians in Gaza. Where is any good faith. No heroes no where. The level of violence is no accident, “you made me do it” is the scream from both sides. “Who suffers most.” The “eternal victims of history” or the dispossessed who have suffered grievance upon grievance. We look at the origins of the conflict, we look at the result. “‘There is, Edward Said wrote, “suffering and injustice enough for everyone.” Maybe peace will come when both decide to love their children more than they hate each other. It could be a message for all of us.
Another fantastic Letter. Thank you Heather. The killing must stop! A ceasefire is the only way. Over 4,000 children have died in Gaza from Israeli bombardment. Over half of the population in Gaza is below 18, accounting for the egregious high number of young people dying, among the more than 11,000 or more civilians who have died since October 8. This madness and cruelty must stop. Please, everyone of good will must call on President Biden to insist on an immediate ceasefire. I know it is not even 5 am in Maine, Heather. Way past your bedtime. Please take off Sunday and get some well-earned rest!! Sending love from India.♥️