Who Asks "Why?"

Every time there's a conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, all we hear is 'why?'  Why, as in, whose fault is this?

It's easier to affix blame if you can truncate the event. Pick a convenient start date, something recent. In this case we'll make it either the Israeli eviction of Arabs from Jerusalem or the scuffle that took place outside the mosque in response. If those don't work, let's go for Hamas launching unguided rockets into Israel. That's even better because it tags Hamas with the blame.

The nice thing about this approach is you can just keep using it. It goes on and on, just as it has for the past half-century since the '67 war. You can even date this whole mess to the beginning of the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Israelis are said to have called these periodic wars, "mowing the lawn." The idea is that, every now and then, you have to take these Arabs to the woodshed. And then you keep your powder dry until the next one. These periodic thrashings anchor Israel's arguments that the conditions aren't right for peace. Leave people to be born into captivity and live their lives and die in captivity as you appropriate their territory is a perfect formula for endless, periodic fighting.

Israel doesn't want a solution. It doesn't want a two-state solution. It doesn't want a one-state solution. It wants the Palestinian problem to go away and, until then, it wants to perpetuate today's Apartheid state. It has no intention of giving back land in the Occupied Territories it has taken as its own. That's not going to happen. 

Stop asking "why." 


John Feffer of Foreign Policy in Focus argues that, in the perennial conflicts between Israel and Hamas, there is always one winner - Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bibi is a political survivor. He is now Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He has weathered social protests, a raft of corruption charges, and the persistent condemnation of international authorities for policies that trample the rights of Palestinians and military actions that have killed scores of civilians.

One major reason for his political longevity is the collapse of the Israeli left. The Labor Party has seen a catastrophic drop in its vote totals, and it now has only one more seat in the Knesset than the other left-wing party, Meretz (together the two parties have 13 seats, less than half of what Likud alone controls). To stave off the centrist parties, Netanyahu has at one point or another counted on the political support of actors further to his right, like the Religious Zionist Party and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitanu.

But it’s really been Hamas that has saved Bibi’s skin time and again. In 2009, Hamas served as a justification for steering the country into an even more hard right direction. In 2012, the Israeli government killed Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari, which precipitated the rocket attacks from Gaza that in turn served as the pretext for Operation Pillar of Defense.

This year, Netanyahu could count on Hamas again to launch rocket attacks in response to Israel’s eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, itself part of a much wider effort to displace Palestinians in favor of Jewish settlers, as well as a police raid on al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan prayers. The Palestinian Authority protested both actions. So did the Arab world, the international community, and demonstrators throughout the United States.

But it was Hamas, and its perennial quest to become the face of Palestinian resistance, that once again has served as the anvil for Bibi’s hammer. In the 1980s, Israeli hardliners helped create the organization to divide and weaken the Palestinian movement. Hamas has been a gift to hardliners ever since.

...As he promised in 2015, Netanyahu has moved the goalposts in Israel’s struggle with Palestinians to such a degree that the “two-state solution” has practically disappeared from the political agenda. With Israel blockading Gaza and whittling away at Palestinian territory in the West Bank, Palestinians have less and less of a state to stand in. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas for as long as Netanyahu has been prime minister, has been incapable of stopping Bibi. Abbas and his Fatah party have lost so much support among Palestinians that they had to postpone elections this year to avoid outright repudiation at the polls. Only Hamas, with a fanaticism equal to Netanyahu’s, has put up any significant resistance.

...Bibi dreams of annexing as much of the West Bank as he can, defeating Hamas militarily and politically, and reducing the Palestinian community to nothing more than a source of cheap labor for Israeli farms and factories. Nearly everything he has done geopolitically has been toward that end, like negotiating diplomatic recognition deals with Arab states (UAE, Morocco) and humoring Jared Kushner’s “deal of the century” of buying Palestinian sovereign aspirations with Gulf State largesse.  


  1. Why, as in, whose fault is this?

    Gods, Allah's, Christ, Mohammed, HaShem, not to forget a little Buddha and Brahman you name it the crazies have it.
    Adding to the confusion are the chosen ones!
    The obvious one are the Jews tho here in Nanaimo we had Brother twelve https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_XII a worthy competitor to Jim Jones.
    Jim Jones had the advantage of the production of Cool aide!!


  2. "Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word - which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly - it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it."

    — Theodor Herzl (1897)

    Yes, that sums up a bit of it Start there and work back and forth. You still won't know "why", but you'll get better at recognizing the bullshit.

    1. I would recommend that anyone interested in the creation and expansion of Israel read David Hirst's "The Gun and the Olive Branch." The author has an annoying habit of being truthful which has earned him the scorn of Arabs and Israelis alike. What I got from it is that both sides deserve a fair hearing, something almost impossible in such a polarized issue.

  3. Clear headed observers know WHY Bibi and his bandit nation are doing ethnic cleansing while waging endless war.

    As to why Hamas recently launched their puny rockets?

    Yes, it was a tactical response to the latest, egregious provocations in Sheikh Jarrah.
    But it also a strategic response to all the recent lovely-dovey diplomacy between Bib's crew and the Arab elite. Hamas woke up the 'Arab street' to keep the Arab elite in line and as a bonus, they sway world (and US Democrats) opinion .

    For Hamas, it's all about the fruits of asymmetrical warfare.

    "Palestinians see victory in Gaza truce " ... AP

    1. In North America our grasp of the Israeli-Palestinian problem is primitive at best. How many even know the role Israel played in the creation of Hamas?

  4. .. here n there I get the 'anti Semitic label
    I have seen the pattern in its differing forms
    and in different countries ad nauseum

    I recall Jewish 'settlers' cutting down Palestinian farmers olive trees
    Always a clear sign that the bulldozers would follow
    The military quick to jump in and 'quell the dispute'
    as well as seize the offshore mineral assets

    Canada has a history as 'the Liberia' of mining companies
    Thus the bulldozers roamed in corrupt South American states
    Simply roared in from rail yards flattened ancient indigenous communities and basically told the locals to hit the road. Gee, thanks Stephen Harper & now Justin Trudeau
    - both remarkable along with Ontario for Grassy Narrows..
    Which is basically Canada's 'Minimata' and all for a single copper or silver mine
    Still not cleaned up - just dozens of buried barrels..
    Not vast toxic tailing ponds

    Nothing new - how about those buffalo eh !

    But bottom line, Israel appears certainly to exist in a tenuous, even dire Arabian surroundings.. and in the same way that Irish in America had & have wishful wonderment of St Patrick, shamrocks & leprechauns.. Well the Jewish are 'hold my beer !'

    If Ireland had the conflict of Protestant and Catholic religions
    in all reality it was & is nothing compared to the baggage of Judaism
    Did the Irish want to conquer Scotland or Wales recently ?

    It's always seemed to me that when mythology, Moses, the Virgin Mary
    ie Religion, & factionalism are locked into 'identity' (also mythical)
    Bad things (Pandora) are sure to follow
    Thus Canada and the USA pump $$ & military gear
    into the cluster fluck - and leap onto our high Christian horse as well

    It makes for sensational collateral damage ..
    and one supposes some inner pride..
    whatever for I have zero idea..
    Subsidizing religious faction warfare is a 'holy mission' ?

  5. I sometimes wonder how we came to the idea that the Bible, the Torah or the Koran were divinely inspired. Given the murderous mischief the Abrahamic faiths have created going back to the days of David and, later, the Crusades, and now the struggles of Islam, I find it easy to believe it's the handiwork of some Loki.

  6. Not to be left out, the conflict has given Bibi and the boys some extra treats in their fruit bowls too.


    "States around the [US] are reporting vandalism at synagogues, such as graffiti of swastikas and pro-Palestinian messages. ... [T]he Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday reported finding 17,000 tweets between May 7 and May 14, a period of escalation in Gaza, with a variation of the words 'Hitler was right.' ...

    "Pro-Palestinian protests are setting up outside of synagogues and Jewish communities in multiple states despite their having no direct involvement with the Israeli government. ...

    "[I]t's not protesting an Israeli consulate or a State Department but protesting Jews for being Jewish,” Oren Segal, vice president for the Center of Extremism at the ADL, told The Hill."


    We're so good at this. If we create enough new victims all of us can be winners.

    1. Anti-Semitism is rebounding, certainly in Europe and North America. So too is the linked phenomenon of white supremacy. In the States these rightwing goons are often seen chanting "Jews will not replace us."

      Yes, some critics of Israel are anti-Semitic. Some but by no means a great percentage. And, as you note, there's a handy martyrdom dividend for those who wear this on their sleeve.

  7. Be it antisemitism gay bashing or colour prejudiced , the root cause is the anger of the uneducated.
    Is it no wonder Trump loves the uneducated?
    That said , antisemitism has been around so long you would think Moses invented hate?


  8. A little late in the conversation.



    1. That was a true eye-opener, Trailblazer. Many thanks.

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