[Discussion] The Middle East in Crisis

A place to post and discuss news related to the recent events in Israel, including the Hamas/Islamic Jihad incursion and repercussions.

It's extremely frustrating and discouraging to note that Israel's own intelligence services warned Netanyahu's administration that their policies of repression were degrading their security. The fascist chuds in the Likud party essentially dismissed this as Shin Bet being infiltrated by the woke mind virus.

https://www.ft.com/content/aa7eb6ba-...

When the head of Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic intelligence service, warned Netanyahu earlier this year that deadly attacks by settlers on Palestinians would increase the security threat to Israel, he was roundly denounced by members of Netanyahu’s Likud party. One Likud member of parliament complained: “The ideology of the left has reached the top echelons of the Shin Bet. The deep state has infiltrated the leadership of the Shin Bet and the IDF.”

40 Jewish babies beheaded!
The enlightened intellectual sitting in their protected ivory tower… “both sides”.

I’ve made my point and now bow out.
We can go back to the normal echo chamber.

WizKid wrote:

40 Jewish babies beheaded!
The enlightened intellectual sitting in their protected ivory tower… “both sides”.

I don't think this is actually what anyone here is saying.

WizKid wrote:

40 Jewish babies beheaded!
The enlightened intellectual sitting in their protected ivory tower… “both sides”.

Is this verified? I just don’t want to fall for the whole “throwing babies from incubators” false propaganda from Desert Storm if there isn’t hard evidence.

WizKid wrote:
UpToIsomorphism wrote:

IMAGE(https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/2/those-who-make-peaceful-revolution-impossible-will-make-violent-revolution-inevitable-world-of-quotes-artist-singh.jpg)

Just so I'm clear on the point you're trying to make.

So you're saying that the Jews had it coming due to their own actions, and it's their own fault Israeli (and other nationalities) citizens were murdered, raped, and dragged naked through the streets to the cheering of the Palestinians.
How much blame do you place on Israel for the recent vile attacks? 10%, 30%, 50%, 60%, 80%, 100%?

farley3k wrote:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/SIiKXVT.png)

I don't support Hamas, I just parrot their talking points, play right along with their playbook, and point out how evil both sides are.

1) The Nation of Israel is not "the Jews."

2) I am less interested in assigning blame but pointing out inevitability. There are hundreds dead and thousands in a state of terror based on the self-interested decisions of those who have power and those who want (more) power and real people are suffering at the altar of those desires.

3) The actions of Hamas are terrible, but if in the 80+ year history of the nation Israel (or the West that formed it out of largely their own anti-semitism) had done more to find a peaceful resolution, we may not be there.

So in short, violent leaders are committing violence and will continue to commit violence while the people who aren't making the violent decisions will be hurt. The people who have power will not share power with those they are oppressing, and those who are being oppressed are using violence to be heard, largely because they believe (and arguably rightly) that those wielding power will respond to nothing other than violent action.

So people will suffer and die because greedy, power-hungry people will choose to exercise violence as opposed to finding peaceful solutions. And all we can do is hope that after violent people have ordered enough suffering and violence people will find a way to make a better and more equitable world than the one we left Saturday.

WizKid wrote:

40 Jewish babies beheaded!
The enlightened intellectual sitting in their protected ivory tower… “both sides”.

1) Show me where anyone is defending the atrocities Hamas is committing
2) Are you truly willing to hold entire ethnic groups culpable for the actions of extremists? Because that's what we're arguing against and you seem to be stridently crying for. Has some real "nuke the entire middle eastern population because they knocked two of our towers down" energy going on here.

WizKid wrote:

I’ve made my point and now bow out.
We can go back to the normal echo chamber.

Oh, you're not actually trying to have a good faith discussion. Got it. Good to know.

And if Gaza had not been handed over to a corrupt organization like Hamas, and had real leadership interested in a two-state solution and willing to acknowledge Israel's right to exist (and vice versa), we'd not be here either. And if other countries had not used Palestinians as sacrificial pawns, and Israel had not adopted policies to steal their land and deliberately reduce them to 3rd world poverty, and even block outside aid, and... on and on and on. So many countries and people hold blame.

But all of them have abandoned the moral high ground. Most of them have stepped off the moral high *chair*, in my opinion, and are writhing around on the ground, in the mud, trying to kill one another as horribly as possible.

That's no way to solve 80 years worth of problems.

I was struck with a sense of deja vu.

"Should you be criticizing the government of Israel at all when Hamas is so evidently evil?"

The arguments and level of contention surrounding that question here... It reminds me a lot of:
"Should you be criticizing the Democrats at all when the Republicans are clearly worse?"

That's a totally different situation. The extreme right wing of the Republicans is trying to tear down democracy. The Dems are trying to protect it.

There's no one in Israel/Palestine conflict who is trying valiantly to stop the conflict and create a lasting peace.

...editing is hard on a phone

Farscry wrote:
WizKid wrote:

I’ve made my point and now bow out.
We can go back to the normal echo chamber.

Oh, you're not actually trying to have a good faith discussion. Got it. Good to know.

Or it’s not worth the effort to reply to the dog pile of several different people. I've been around here long enough to know what's what. But thanks for questioning my motives.

WizKid wrote:

Or it’s not worth the effort to reply to the dog pile of several different people. But thanks for questioning my motives.

It does often feel like it is very hard if not impossible to have a normal conversation on the Internet.

Sorry. I honestly would like to understand why actions taken by two different groups - even if they are the same action - are treated differently. It feels like morality isn't about an action, but an actor. Which, I think, leads to the "whataboutism" discussions often devolve into.

And on a related note

Twitter’s Monetization For Blue-Check Accounts May Be Fueling Fake News On Israel-Palestine

As the world learned over the weekend of Hamas’ surprise military incursion and hostage-taking in southern Israel and Israel’s subsequent airstrikes in Gaza, millions flocked to X for news.

But the site, formerly known as Twitter, has become a massive engine for false, fake and manipulated information, clouding the reality of events on the ground. In many cases, X users appeared to be following economic and political incentives to muddy the waters. And Musk’s overhaul of the site, several experts observed, could be fueling the widespread misinformation.

Unlike in years past, nearly any X user can now pay for a blue checkmark, which previously indicated someone was a journalist or notable public figure and that Twitter had verified their identity.

X users can now also monetize their content ― they can receive a portion of the revenue for ads displayed on their content, in addition to tips and subscription revenue ― providing an economic incentive for amplifying emotionally charged material, even if it’s fake or misleading.

“People who have paid for blue checks have a financial incentive to LARP [live action role-play] as war reporters by dredging up old stories or fake footage,” Emerson T. Brooking, a researcher at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, wrote. “Elon Musk enables this.”

Examples of that sort of content have been overwhelming in recent days.

One fake document, which became widespread on X, falsely stated that President Joe Biden had approved $8 billion in emergency aid for Israel. Though some posts showing the fake document included “Community Notes” from X users clarifying that it was fake, many more did not, NBC News reported, noting that a group of “verified” accounts eligible for monetization were among the early disseminators of the fake document. While Community Notes were appended to some other false and misleading posts elsewhere on X, they’re often attached well after a given post has gone viral.

Another post, now with 3.9 million “views” according to X’s metrics, falsely claimed that Hamas has bragged of purchasing U.S.-funded weapons from Ukraine for the attack, according to the fact-checking website Lead Stories.

A video post shared by top right-wing influencers ― including Charlie Kirk and Ian Miles Cheong ― claimed to depict Hamas militants going door-to-door killing Israelis. It actually showed Israeli police assembling outside of a single house at an unspecified time. Though some users have removed the post, others reposted the clip ― and plagiarized the false commentary – well after it had been identified as misleading.

One video, claiming to show Israeli helicopters being shot out of the sky by Hamas, actually showed a video game. Another, purportedly showing Israeli generals taken into custody by Hamas, was actually old footage showing Azerbaijani forces arresting Karabakh separatist leaders, the BBC reported.

“I’ve been fact-checking on Twitter for years, and there’s always plenty of misinformation during major events. But the deluge of false posts in the last two days, many boosted via Twitter Blue, is something else,” commented Shayan Sardarizadeh, a BBC journalist covering disinformation who’s done yeoman’s work recording lengthy tallies of dozens of misleading posts on the platform in recent days. “Neither fact-checkers nor Community Notes can keep up with this.”

X responded to HuffPost’s request for comment Wednesday morning with a single automated sentence: “Busy now, please check back later.” But the company said in a post Monday night that it was enrolling new accounts to participate in the Community Notes program and that “Community Notes typically appear within minutes of content posting.” Avi Asher-Schapiro, a Thomson Reuters Foundation journalist, noted the statement included “no comment on the proliferation of verified (paid) accounts spreading fabricated & fake images/information.”

Scores more misleading posts featured real footage but falsely claimed that it depicted the past two days’ events in Israel and Gaza when it showed years-old developments in other countries, including Syria and Algeria. NBC News reported that accounts spreading misleading and recycled videos were largely conservative Twitter Blue, now known as “X Premium,” users who had previously spoken about participating in X’s monetization program.

Even Musk himself took part, recommending to X users that they follow two accounts for war coverage that, actually, were notorious sources of bad information ― including the A.I.-fueled lie last May that there had been an explosion at the Pentagon, The Washington Post noted. After X users flagged several anti-Semitic posts by one of the accounts, @WarMonitor, Musk deleted his recommendation.

The other account Musk recommended, @sentdefender, posted in July about making money on the platform just as monetization payments began to hit users’ bank accounts.

“Thank You to all of my Followers and to the People over @TwitterCreators for making this possible, I never expected to ever make much money off of this App because I primarily do it as a Hobby but this could honestly change so much about what I do on here,” the account wrote.

At the time, @sentdefender had just over 400,000 followers on the platform. After Musk’s promotion, it was at nearly 780,000 on Tuesday.

The monetization changes are hardly the only explanation for the high rate of false claims on X recently: Musk punctuated his takeover of Twitter with historic layoffs, dismissing staff who’d worked on countering disinformation and hateful content. He also bought (or rather, was essentially forced to buy) the company with the explicit pledge to loosen Twitter’s content moderation rules. Finally, Musk broke promises to manually authenticate blue-checkmark, or “Twitter Blue,” accounts.

Emma Steiner, the information accountability project manager at Common Cause, told HuffPost that Musk’s monetization program, combined with his new system for receiving “verified” badges, had encouraged misleading information.

“The new verification system means that it’s almost impossible to discern real news from fake news on the platform now, especially since people are posting specifically to gain revenue for engagement,” Steiner said. “That creates some really perverse incentives for breaking news events.”

If a false post generates views ― and therefore money ― deleting it may be responsible, but it’s also financially irrational.

For example, an account identified as Sulaiman Ahmed claimed in one tweet that Israeli forces had bombed the Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza. Even though the church quickly corrected the rumor ― and even after Ahmed acknowledged he was mistaken ― Ahmed kept his initial post up rather than deleting it. At press time, it had garnered more than 3 million views according to X’s metrics. HuffPost was unable to reach Ahmed for comment, though he has acknowledged participating in the monetization program in the past.

Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative outlet Bellingcat, said Tuesday that the church misinformation was indicative of a broader issue under Musk’s tenure.

“Last night, we saw a totally false claim about Israel bombing a church in Gaza go viral, thanks to multiple blue tick accounts repeating an unverified claim that had no evidence to back it up,” Higgins said. “Musk has created a fundamental issue with Twitter’s credibility in moments of crisis.”

Nonetheless, Ahmed ― who also runs a YouTube account mostly dedicated to Andrew Tate news ― wasn’t finished, posting a video later Monday night of what he claimed showed “ISRAEL ATTEMPTING TO CREATE FAKE FOOTAGE OF DEATHS.” In fact, he’d posted old footage of a film set. That post, too, is still on X, having racked up 1.5 million views, the bulk of which, as with the church video, came after it was revealed to be misleading.

“THEIR ARE CLAIMS THIS IS FROM A MOVIE SET,” Ahmed followed up. “Even if it is, the general propaganda is real.”

WizKid wrote:
Farscry wrote:
WizKid wrote:

I’ve made my point and now bow out.
We can go back to the normal echo chamber.

Oh, you're not actually trying to have a good faith discussion. Got it. Good to know.

Or it’s not worth the effort to reply to the dog pile of several different people. I've been around here long enough to know what's what. But thanks for questioning my motives.

It's pretty clear from your first post on the subject that you had already pre-determined everyone else's motives and were never interested at all in an actual discussion.

~ mod ~

Please discuss the topic, not the people involved in the discussion or their motives.

Israel has 'duty' to respond to Hamas, says Biden

US President Joe Biden has said that Israel has a duty and a right to respond to Hamas' "terrorism" as fighting continues near Gaza.

In his remarks, Mr Biden said that the US will "stand with Israel" and provide whatever assistance it needs.

Mr Biden said that at least 14 Americans have been killed in the fighting, with others taken as hostages.

He added there was no justification for the "rampages" by Hamas.

The identities of US citizens killed or missing have not yet been announced by officials.

In an approximately 10-minute speech at the White House, Mr Biden condemned what he termed "an act of sheer evil" from Hamas, comparing the attacks to "the worst rampages" of the so-called Islamic State.

"Like every nation in the world, Israel has the right to respond, and indeed has a duty to respond, to these vicious attacks," Mr Biden said, adding that the US response in a similar situation would be "swift, decisive and overwhelming".

Standing alongside Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Mr Biden also said the US is sharing intelligence with Israel and has deployed experts to "consult with and advise Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts".

"As president, I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans being held hostage around the world," he added.

At a separate news conference on Tuesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that "20 or more" Americans are missing, although US officials are unsure of how many have been taken captive.

Mr Sullivan added that Mr Blinken - who has been focused on securing the release of hostages in Gaza - will travel to Israel "in the coming days" to meet with Israeli officials.

Earlier this week, the US announced plans to move naval forces - including an aircraft carrier - to the eastern Mediterranean. US Air Force squadrons based in the region are also being bolstered with additional combat aircraft.

Additionally, US defence officials have said they are working with their Israeli counterparts to expedite shipments of military supplies and ammunition to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Mr Biden said that he will ask Congress to take "urgent action" to fund the requirements of US allies.

"Let there be no doubt - the United States has Israel's back," Mr Biden said. "We'll make sure the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow, as we always have".

In his remarks on Tuesday, Mr Biden said that the US stands "ready to move in additional assets as needed" - which he said is a message intended for other groups or countries in the region that may get involved.

"I have one word: don't," he said.

Meanwhile, the ground war appears to be imminent.

EDIT: And, of course, when the ground war is likely launched, will Hezbollah get involved?

Prederick wrote:

EDIT: And, of course, when the ground war is likely launched, will Hezbollah get involved?

For their sake, I hope not.

Everyone knows you should never get involved in a land war in Asia.

The 6th fleet is on their way. Hezbollah isn’t going to want the smoke.

They will enter, with a huge coordinated rocket assault designed to overwhelm Iron Dome all across the country, and a simultaneous ground, drone and missile assault in the North. That's my bet.

Oh boy, here I go tossing my kippah into the ring again. Contemplated typing this out last night but held off, and now here we are.

Israel has been a colonialist project from the outset & the state does not exist without the 1948 war and subsequent displacement of the Palestinian people (aka the Nakba) (which also doesn't happen without the surge in Zionism post-WW2/Holocaust, history never stops and oft repeats). 70+ years of occupation have seen ample and continued abuses carried out against the Palestinian people, from protestors killed & injured to the full blockading of Gaza creating effectively an open-air prison.

I think we can all agree that civilian death is an inherent tragedy. If you lay out the civilian casualties between Israel & Palestine over the course of the conflict, the toll is overwhelmingly heavier on the Palestinian side. Pointing that out is not some automatic defense of Hamas, it's just the sad reality. And I understand how we get here and how that stays the status quo for generations.

Growing up as an American Jew in the '90's & '00's meant seeing A Lot of Holocaust Museums. When they say "Never Forget, Never Again", they mean it in their bones, and the imagery & artifacts of concentration camps on display certainly do good work of commiting it to memory. Something I observed in my upbringing, though, was that it unconsciously sets the bar for "Never Again" at concentration camps of Nazi-level villainy.

Fast-forward a bit to my time in United Synagogue Youth/USY in the late '00's. A regional Spring Convention ends up including a collaboration with AIPAC. The encouragements and push for Birthright trips when you come of age are ample (a free week-long round trip to & from Israel for international Jewish youth from 18-25, provided you can get to & from NYC), because who knows how long there will still be an Israel for you to visit? Zionism is a baseline assumption and further compounded with age.

I got older, and I questioned those baseline assumptions as I did. I found the treatment of the Palestinian people to be incongruent with the teachings of "Never Again", because you don't have to be at the point of Literal Gas Chambers to qualify for displacing & imprisoning a people. It's tragic all around, but I fear for the Palestinian people especially, because they're objectively working with less (in terms of medical resources and general living) as things are getting worse.

The tracks of this train of history simultaneously run both shallow & deep and I apologize if I've run off the rails in here somewhere, thanks. End of line.

Thanks for that post, Rad

There is a great deal to unpack starting with the 1948 War.. it probably even goes further back than that… hell I know Greek folks that still want Constantinople back…and nobody alive has any remote connections to there…it’s just been built into many Greeks psyche.

I think Hezbollah launching attacks was like Kat von D's conversion to Christianity: a thirsty reminder they still exist.

Gaza attacks: US holds talks on safe passage as Israel forces gather around Hamas-run enclave

The US is discussing the possibility of creating a safe passage for Gaza’s civilians as Israel’s air force continued to pound the enclave and the Israeli death toll from the Hamas offensive – the deadliest militant assault in its history – reached 1,200.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday talks on safe passage were being held with Israel and Egypt. “We are focused on this question, there are consultations going on. But the details of that are something that are being discussed among the operational agencies and I don’t want to share too much of that publicly at this time.”

It follows pleas from humanitarian groups for the creation of corridors to get aid into Gaza and warnings that hospitals overwhelmed with wounded people were running out of supplies. Israel has stopped entry of food, fuel and medicines into Gaza, and the sole remaining access from Egypt, at Rafah, shut down on Tuesday after airstrikes hit near the border crossing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said there had been 11 attacks on Gaza healthcare sites in the first 36 hours of the conflict. “There is an urgent need to establish a humanitarian corridor for unimpeded, life-saving patient referrals and movement of humanitarian personnel and essential health supplies,” the WHO said.

On Saturday, on the morning of a Jewish holiday, militant organisation Hamas launched a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip that saw gunmen crossing the border, raiding Israeli cities and gunning down civilians in their homes, cars and at a desert music festival. As many as 150 hostages are believed to have been taken.

Amid mounting expectations that Israel will launch a ground invasion of Gaza within days, the air force continued to batter the enclave with deadly strikes late on Tuesday, using dozens of fighter jets to hit more than 70 targets, according to Israeli military officials.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), said on Wednesday morning that 300,000 reservists had been sent south, close to Gaza, and were getting ready “to execute the mission we have been given by the Israeli government … to make sure that Hamas, at the end of this war, won’t have any military capabilities by which they can threaten or kill Israeli civilians”.

Also, Israel says it's recovered the bodies of 1,500 Hamas fighters, which, again, the sheer scale of failure to allow this to happen.

TheGameguru wrote:

There is a great deal to unpack starting with the 1948 War.. it probably even goes further back than that… hell I know Greek folks that still want Constantinople back…and nobody alive has any remote connections to there…it’s just been built into many Greeks psyche.

I mean some of the Turks want... well.... A LOT, so that tracks.

Yes, thanks Rad, that mirrors experiences I've had (except I grew up in a huge Jewish enclave in the US, but not Jewish myself). You think about these things because your friends and neighbors are going through them and carry you along with them. And I really did think about converting, and Israel looked like a really good place for me to be - until 1982. That's when I began questioning everything I had learned, and my viewpoint has slowly changed over time until I'm at the point where you are.

Pro-Israel Protesters in NYC Demand Gaza Flattened: 'Kill All Palestinians'

The irony of an ethnic cleansing is probably lost on them.

The comment I have in mind would be nuked from orbit by any reasonable mod.

IMGUR was the wrong place to repost this twitter post but it is worth a read

Let me start with this: It could've been me