OT - U.S. voices concern as Gaza hospitals hit, reported overall Palestinian death toll tops 11,000

Your post was a copy&paste verbatim of 3 paragraphs from wikipedia with no credit noted at all. And those paragraphs, as in much of wikipedia, included links to other pages and to source material (that the wikipedia editor collected, not you!)

Plain copy&paste with no mention (or link) of where it came from is not how we do things around here.

It was not very hard to find the Wiki source for you or anyone else. I donate to Wiki. Do you? I fixed my post so you should be glad that you behaved as a gentleman.

Because the Arab governments are impossible for the Jews to live with. The entire area is Greater Syria meaning people have roots throughout the area not just in the territories. Reality is Netanyahu is pushing for Palestinians to vacate. Reality is that may be the only way. If you look at Hamas you see why the Israelis can not really even begin to compromise but Hamas is not the only problemed leadership on the Arab side of things.

The Palestinians have a much larger homeland already in Jordan. The Greater Syrian tribes are all part of a mix of peoples across the Levant. Where they end up is only important to them in one major aspect the claim of much much more power. This includes ending Christendom one day.

We are talking about democratic republics versus a choice of scapegoating dictators or the Muslim Brotherhood. No matter how polite we wish the West was the choices are not decent at all.

Blame is a big problem. Israel is not to blame for many things that other people do.

Russia has claims on Ukraine. That does not mean I blame Ukraine. Syria has claims on the entire area. There is no such thing as Palestinians. There are Syrian tribesmen fighting for it all.

The power politics do exist. It might be wonderful to believe otherwise but it is not realistic. The US is handing over billions in equipment to Ukraine. You do not see that as power politics? Some do not think the killing should be going on to save Ukraine or that the cause is worth a penny. That is not reality-based. Look at what you are saying in the name of feeling good. The road to hell is paved in good intentions.


It does not matter what other groups you mention. Besides the Sephardic do include Northern African Jews regardless of other categorizations.

As for the first question, because of the various unjustified acts of war that were committed against Israel for decades after their formation.

As you know, the UN authorized the formation of two states within the old League of Nations Mandate area - a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. Once the Brits moved out, though, Egypt and Jordan immediately launched an unjustified war against Israel. In the course of that war, Egypt and Jordan seized the Palestinian territories. So from 1948 to 1967, those territories are under Egyptian and Jordanian jurisdiction. They’re the nations that first “stole” nearly all of the area of Mandatory Palestine that was set aside for Arabs.

The Egyptians and Jordanians, having seized those territories, could have granted them independence. They could have created a separate state. They chose not to. They kept the Palestinians in refugee camps and administered those areas as their own. And used them as launching areas for other wars against Israel.

So a few wars later, when Egypt and Jordan lose yet another conflict with Israel, they formally cede that territory back to Israel. The territory was then under Israeli jurisdiction. There’s actually nothing illegal about that transaction, actually. Under international law, if two nations mutually agree to transfer lands from one country to another (like, say, the Louisiana or Alaska Purchases), that’s perfectly valid.

Six years later, the coalition of Arab states launch yet another unjustified war against Israel (the Yom Kippur War), trying again to destroy them. So Israel determines that it needs to administer these territories in a way that they serve as a demilitarized buffer against the hostile, and frequently invading, surrounding nations.

The modern argument against Israeli possession of these territories is that all of these countries were violating the UN Mandate by not giving the Palestinians self-determination. That would mean not just Israel, but Egypt and Jordan as well. But since Israel is the one that has them now (and trust me - Egypt does not want Gaza back), they’re the ones taking the heat. But the above is the (vastly oversimplified) explanation of how we got here. Or at least, to Oslo.


albaby1 –

Thanks and congrats for writing so careful a brief accurate summary of the more recent parts of the ancient plot (leaving out, e.g., Assyrians, Thutmoses I and III, Babylonians, Rome, and…).

There are other such nightmarish messes where catalogs of evils between “nations” and their reasonable causes approximate infinite regress, but the struggle to live in and dominate Canaan and its vicinity is literally central to the world.

If I was ordered by G-D to fix blame on some living bunch of humans I think I would (idiotically) fix it primarily on UKofGB & France (cuz Sykes Picot), and the USA (cuz Truman), who as outsiders in control after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (whether eagerly greedily imperialistically or reluctantly distantly) made various decisions.

Which is to say, I think assigning blame is both useless and hopeless, whether as a religious zealot ( I hereby RIGHTEOUSLY condemn all those zealots to hell!, so there, done), or as a Grotian missionary of sanity (can anything reduce Grotian Just War theory to gibbering noise followed by silence faster than the current conflict?).

What is needed (as mentioned a few times already in this thread) is compassion and aid to all the suffering as best we can, coordinated throttling down by all outside parties physically assisting the pace of murder and destruction, and dogged patience.

For four decades now I have begged my Palestinian and Israeli friends to leave their Holy Land for their own personal safety, but primarily because the situation has been and remains one of impossible moral choices. I tell them what matters most is their ability from outside to

  1. live and thrive away from communal madness
  2. learn from and help each other (much easier to do in Los Angeles than Jerusalem)
  3. accumulate the wealth, connections, and knowledge that will one day be needed when the time comes to return to help repair the terrible damage, and to heal the wounds.

I believe reparational payments by outside powers (certainly UKofGB, France, USA, Arab potentates and states, and now Iran) to finance healing and growth once peace is somehow established are a moral imperative, but one that will be ignored. Charitable assistance has been, is, and will be needed; I think much of it is counterproductive unless coordinated to assist all in pain and need.

david fb


Ah, but then there’s a little more history there - because the decisions weren’t entirely made “after” the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. You correctly note that the Brits and the French had agreed to carve up the region - and I think in 1916, that was certainly “greedily imperialistic.” But then the Brits were worried about losing the war. So they went out and made promises to the various groups in 1917 to try to shore up support for the war. They promised a state to the Jews to bolster American and Russian support. They promised an independent state to the Arabs to get their support for active rebellion in Ottoman territories. And then they ended up alienating both groups with their decisions after the war - after the Brits got what they wanted but everyone else realized that their commitments to the French, Jews, and Arabs were all inconsistent with each other.

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As I noted above, casualties in Mosul have been estimated at 9,000 to 11,000 civilians in the retaking of the city from ISIS. The United States chose to bomb a city of 600,000 civilians into the ground.In Raqqa, Syria: The U.S. decision to encircle Raqqa made it far more dangerous for civilians trapped inside the city to find their way to safety. Sound familiar? US forces admitted to firing 30,000 artillery rounds during the offensive on Raqqa. US forces were responsible for more than 90% of the air strikes. An estimated 11,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, including hospitals, mosques, schools, and water facilities.
The ISIS fighter inside Raqqa had built tunnels between buildings and draped canopies over streets to hide their movements from aerial surveillance. They had rigged the city with explosives and herded civilians into front-line positions as human shields. ISIS is charged with causing the majority of civilian casualties due to this practice. The Rand Corp. estimates that the US forces were directly responsible for 1,600 civilian dead in Raqqa. Today there are 13 million Syrian refugees. The City of Raqqa by the 2015 had no civilians able to live in the city proper. Today most civilians live in bombed-out ruins; one third of the city remains destroyed and uninhabitable.
Today in Gaza, Hamas continues the same practices that ISIS used in Raqqa. Hospitals have been rigged as human shields, the power and fuel has been diverted to keep the tunnel system viable, Hospitals have often been denied electricity in order to maintain Hamas’ fighting capabilities. Israel offered to take all the patients from the largest neonatal unit in Gaza, Hamas denied the transfer at gun point.



And that is why I pin the first and biggest burden on UK, followed by USA. The French primarily need to pay for patching up Lebanon at least (bless them!)

It is interesting for me here in Mexico to watch, rather too close by, an accelerating cycle of ever more hideous and murderous gang warfare (…besides certain “traditional” century old gangs and the shifting narco-traficante gangs I now see most of the police and the army as simply agglomerations of other gangs involved in turf wars under the control of their own corrupt wealthy bastards and warlords)

The hatreds do not grow as deep and eternally held because the madness and bloodshed, in comparison to Palestine Israel, is “all in the family”.

I do not go to certain zones where the family is most troubled.

david fb

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The problem is the “blame” is a release for the Arab leadership not to be at all responsible for how their nations are shepherd. Their dialog is often one of equality by complete global domination. A belief that the Arab world outside of oil wealth is held back by evil forces.

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I think Egypt and Jordan deserve some acknowledgement for their roles in creating the current mess as well. I’m not so pollyannish as to believe that things would have worked out swimmingly had the 1947 Partition Plan actually been implemented, and a Palestinian state created in 1948 alongside of Israel. But Egypt and Jordan seizing most of the land that had been set aside for an independent Arab state in the UN Plan certainly didn’t help.


Ahhh but that doesn’t mean that Israel hasn’t offered Palestinians self-determination:
Clinton and the Camp David Summit 2000: Bill Clinton brought Arafat and Ehud Barak together for two weeks and demanded an all or nothing agreement, aimed primarily at Barak. Arafat demanded Palestinian sovereignty over the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip plus and other 10% of Israeli land in the South of the West Bank. We’ll never known, but it is surmised that Clinton sat Barak down for days until he gave into all the demands of the PA leader Arafat; except for the condition that Palestinians could apply for citizenship in Israel (right of return). All settlements would be dismantled, with the exception of Kiryat (near Hebron) a rather large settlement inside the West Bank linked by a corridor for transport. In the same way, Barak agreed to a corridor for transport between Gaza and the West Bank, and full autonomy for both regions.
Arafat walked away from the deal, which Barak was willing to sign, and started the second intifada.
Outgoing President Clinton held the Taba Summit against the backdrop of the second intifada to resume the Camp David process. This fell apart due to Barak’s demise in popularity in Israel, specifically the more violent second intifada. Negotiators at Camp David have said that Arafat really wanted a one-state solution, which flies in the face of the UN Partition. Arafat wanted a single Arab State encompassing all of historic Palestine.
But, in light of the current criticism of Israel, the Palestinians have turned down complete sovereignty and a contiguous WestBank/Gaza. And it cost Barak his office, and brought in Gen. Ariel Sharon and a hard shift to the right which hasn’t abated since. Sharon blew off the Taba Talks and offered a military solution in place of a two-state solution.


albaby you have this history down so well I expect you would have been useful at the last dinner I had three years ago with my Israeli and Palestinian friends. I doubt they will ever sit down together again, not because of hatred (they both are fond of each other and came close to being lovers), but from the degree of their crushing sorrows tied to perceptions of betrayal that simply would make it too hard to break bread. At least for some time to come.

I see the rulers of Jordan and Egypt in 1948 as pathetically uneasy on their thrones as deeply dependent on the British, struggling to have Arab legitimacy, reacting more than acting, and so succumbing to what evolved into mob placation. I see their taking of “Palestinian lands” as mostly trying to hold back the potency of Palestinian nationalism, gaining themselves controlled buffers from what was rapidly transforming into disaster. They might well have been doing the right thing for their own nations within our current perspectives.

A truly crucial complex horrific player in the tragedy was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini.
Amin al-Husseini - Wikipedia.

Another was his bizarre mirror image, the founder of Lehi, aka the Stern Gang, Avraham Stern

In reading their stories in detail I can easily imagine that if I myself were in their place, in my furiously angry younger romantic years, I could all too readily have succumbed to the allure of their murderous blinding nationalisms, especially that of Avaraham Stern. (I think even as a nationalist nut I would never, as did al-Husseini, been willing to associate with Hitler, not because of my superior morality but because of my Puritanical snot.)

So I find I really cannot condemn, nor confidently posit plans saying “Do this!”, but only study, commiserate, and try to preserve the possibility of a sane not hopelessly too distant future.

david fb

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Yes - but if I can voice the Palestinian point of view for a moment, the Right of Return is very much a non-negotiable point for them. There’s some 3 million Palestinians living in refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon today. It was 2 million back in 2000. There’s no way that they can be accommodated in the WB and Gaza - even if Gaza hadn’t been ravaged by the current fighting.

Again, I don’t want to seem pollyanish about a counterfactual - but if Jordan and Egypt hadn’t invaded Israel in May of 1948, and a Palestinian state were instead established back then…maybe the Right of Return wouldn’t be as much of an insurmountable issue? The numbers weren’t nearly as large back then. The UN Resolution wasn’t adopted until the end of the fighting, and became one of the few formal points of recognition for the Palestinian cause for decades afterwards - ratcheting up its salience.

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Tucson Bones

Well put. An excellent condensation of that section of the horrible saga. I would only add to it

the further tragedy of the assasination of the (for me) courageous above all Rabin,
the tragedy of the prolonged power of the astonishingly venal and shallow Arafat.

david fb

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I’m not sure of the numbers, according to the Camp David summary there were approximately 711,000 to 725,000 at the time. At the time (Camp David) I believe that Barak was willing to allow 10% Right of return. The other issue, almost the entire West Bank can claim some kinship to refugee status and a legal avenue to right of return. At issue to say the least is a lack of condoms in Palestinian Territories. Palestinians are having families of size they cannot afford 6-7 as of 2007. When Israel took control of Gaza the population was something on the order of 350,000. Israel’s supposed holocaust campaign against Gaza has not had the traditional effect of halving the population.
Again, my point is that Israel has made tremendous offers, and the Palestinian offer has mostly been, all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza for Palestinians. And violence which has driven Israel to the military right. This is especially true of the young population in Israel 20-35 which wants a military solution to Gaza and the West Bank.


Per wikipedia, in 2000 there were well more than 2 million Palestinians living in refugee camps in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon - in addition to those living in such camps in Gaza and the West Bank. See link at bottom. Compared to the total population of about 3 million that lived in the WB and Gaza in 2000…it’s just hard to see how that could possibly have worked.

I’m not the first one to note that it’s an insanely complicated situation. Again, voicing the Palestinian position, rejecting the right of return is not a “tremendous offer.” It’s consigning millions of people to being banished from their homeland (from their perspective). I think the tragedy of Camp David is that it’s very possible that Israel made the very best offer that it could have gotten through its people and that Arafat had to turn the offer down, because he knew that the Palestinian people would never accept it. What Barak could sell to his constituents, Arafat never could; but what Arafat could sell to his constituents, Barak would never agree to.


In general all blame for anything bad in the world is only to be placed on westerners, and only on white male westerners. They are the cause of any hardship or anything bad that has ever occurred or will ever occur in the world. The Asians, Africans, and others are never at fault, and are peace loving societies, one and all.


Yes vastly over simplified explanation of the history of from 1948 to the Oslo Accords. But you do not blame Israel for any of the troubles in that time period. Israel is pure as the driven snow (not).

You did not answer my second question:

What right do the Jewish settlers and IDF have to go into and take over (steal) Palestinian lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?

Israel is directly responsible for almost 16,000 Palestinian deaths in less than 2 months. That is 10 times more dead in Gaza than in Raqqa.