[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.

Wait, did he actually post this? I can't verify without actually logging onto Xitter...

He did, though like Candace Owens, it’s driven more by antisemitism (also paranoia over Israel’s AI missile system) than any serious critique of Zionism or support of Palestine.

Russia and China veto US resolution calling for immediate cease-fire in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and China on Friday vetoed a U.S.-sponsored United Nations resolution supporting “an immediate and sustained cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, calling the measure ambiguous and saying it was not the direct demand to end the fighting that much of the world seeks.

The vote in the Security Council became another showdown involving world powers that are locked in tense disputes elsewhere, with the United States taking criticism for not being tough enough against its ally Israel, whose ongoing military offensive has created a dire humanitarian crisis for the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

A key issue was the unusual language that said the Security Council “determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire.” The phrasing was not a straightforward “demand” or “call” to halt hostilities.

The resolution reflected a shift by the United States, which has found itself at odds with much of the world as even allies of Israel push for an unconditional end to fighting.

In previous resolutions, the U.S. has closely intertwined calls for a cease-fire with demands for the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza. This resolution, using wording that’s open to interpretation, continued to link the two issues, but not as firmly.

Before the vote, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow supports an immediate cease-fire, but he criticized the diluted language, which he called philosophical wording that does not belong in a U.N. resolution.

He accused U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield of “deliberately misleading the international community.”

“This was some kind of an empty rhetorical exercise,” Nebenzia said. “The American product is exceedingly politicized, the sole purpose of which is to help to play to the voters, to throw them a bone in the form of some kind of a mention of a cease-fire in Gaza … and to ensure the impunity of Israel, whose crimes in the draft are not even assessed.”

China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, said the U.S. proposal set preconditions and fell far short of expectations of council members and the broader international community.

“If the U.S. was serious about a cease-fire, it wouldn’t have vetoed time and again multiple council resolutions,” he said. “It wouldn’t have taken such a detour and played a game of words while being ambiguous and evasive on critical issues.”

The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions demanding a cease-fire, the most recent an Arab-backed measure supported by 13 council members with one abstention on Feb. 20.

Thomas-Greenfield urged the council to adopt the resolution to press for an immediate cease-fire and the release of the hostages, as well as to address Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and support ongoing diplomacy by the United States, Egypt and Qatar.

The vote in the 15-member council was 11 members in favor and three against, including Algeria, the Arab representative on the council. There was one abstention, from Guyana.

After the vote, Thomas-Greenfield accused Russia and China of voting for “deeply cynical reasons,” saying they could not bring themselves to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, which the resolution would have done for the first time.

She accused Russia of again putting “politics over progress” and having “the audacity and hypocrisy to throw stones” after launching its unwarranted invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

At the White House, national security spokesman John Kirby said Russia and China would “rather shoot down something we authored simply because we authored it.”

While the most recent resolution would have been officially binding under international law, it would not have ended the fighting or led to the release of hostages. But it would have added to the pressure on Israel amid global demands for a cease-fire at a time of rising tensions between the U.S. and Israeli governments.

Meanwhile, the 10 elected members of the Security Council have put their own resolution in a final form. It demands an immediate humanitarian cease-fire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began March 10 to be “respected by all parties leading to a permanent sustainable cease-fire.” The Palestinian U.N. ambassador said the vote would take place Saturday morning.

The resolution also demands “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages ” and emphasizes the urgent need to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip.

The Russian, Chinese and Algerian ambassadors urged council members to support it, but Thomas-Greenfield said the text’s current form “fails to support sensitive diplomacy in the region. Worse, it could actually give Hamas an excuse to walk away from the deal on the table.”

The Security Council had already adopted two resolutions on the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza, but none has called for a cease-fire.

Russia and China vetoed a U.S.-sponsored resolution in late October calling for pauses in the fighting to deliver aid, protection of civilians and a halt to arming Hamas. They said it did not reflect global calls for a cease-fire.

Israel’s Netanyahu rebuffs US plea to halt Rafah offensive. Tensions rise ahead of Washington talks

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday once again left the Middle East empty-handed as Israel’s prime minister rejected American appeals to call off a promised ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is overflowing with displaced civilians.

The tough message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets the stage for potentially difficult talks next week in Washington between top U.S. officials and a high-level Israeli delegation. Netanyahu said Israel is ready to “do it alone” in Rafah if necessary. Despite their differences, the Biden administration has continued to provide crucial military aid and diplomatic support, even as Israel’s war against Hamas has killed more than 32,000 people in Gaza and led to a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Israel says Rafah is the last remaining stronghold of Hamas and says the militant group’s forces there must be defeated for Israel to meet its war objectives. Israel vowed to destroy Hamas following the group’s Oct. 7 attack, which killed some 1,200 people, took 250 others hostage and triggered the fierce Israeli air and ground offensive in Gaza.

But Rafah now shelters over 1 million homeless Palestinians who fled fighting elsewhere in Gaza. The U.S., along with most of the international community, fears an Israeli ground invasion will endanger civilians’ lives and impede the flow of desperately needed humanitarian aid into the territory, most of which comes through Rafah.

sometimesdee wrote:

Wait, did he actually post this? I can't verify without actually logging onto Xitter...

IMAGE(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/689277687063117891/1220968810321023006/wat.JPG?ex=6610ded0&is=65fe69d0&hm=3a1a05c47e4b6ee68c8dc68baeb4cad596258a28ea19f3f764eecf24c55dac22&)

Genuinely stopped and had to look at my drink upon discovering that apparently, I and Alex f*cking Jones have a similar take on the Gaza War.

Must be something in the water.

Is this some kind of reverse psychology? "Well if Alex Jones says Israel is committing war crimes, then they must not be committing war crimes!"

Jones has had no few openly anti-Semitic figures on his show (for example Richard Spencer and Ye), and while he limits himself to rants about the "Jewish Mafia" and George Soros and similar dog whistles, he has repeatedly allowed his guests to talk favorably of Hitler, and make anti-Semitic statements on his show. He thinks he's walking a line, but he is no one you want to get in line with.

Jones’ tries to downplay his antisemitism on his show but his dad was big into the John Birch Society and he has openly bragged about growing up reading Bircher literature and things like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and most of his rhetoric is just very loosely coded variations on that stuff with a sprinkling of sci-fi bullsh*t from whatever movie he most recently watched. When he talks about “The Globalists” it’s pretty clear who he’s actually talking about, especially since whenever he DOES get specific about who the globalists are it’s always someone with a very specific type of surname.

Now he's out on X claiming the US and Israel created ISIS and the Israelis also created Hamas.

EDIT: Whoop! Wrong thread!

Musk considers "cis" a slur*.

(*He doesn't actually, but that's how he vice signals.)

I don't consider the Guardian to be a tabloid.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/jMFRzbx.jpeg)

Food for thought.

Japan Times wrote:

Hamas, for its part, is alleged to have emerged out of the Israeli-financed Islamist movement in Gaza, with Israel’s then-military governor in that territory, Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, disclosing in 1981 that he had been given a budget for funding Palestinian Islamists to counter the rising power of Palestinian secularists. Hamas, a spin-off of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, was formally established with Israel’s support soon after the first Intifada flared in 1987 as an uprising against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

Israel’s objective was twofold: to split the nationalist Palestinian movement led by Arafat and, more fundamentally, to thwart the implementation of the two-state solution for resolving the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By aiding the rise of an Islamist group whose charter rejected recognizing the Israeli state, Israel sought to undermine the idea of a two-state solution, including curbing Western support for an independent Palestinian homeland.

Israel’s spy agency Mossad played a role in this divide-and-rule game in the occupied territories. In a 1994 book, “The Other Side of Deception,” Mossad whistleblower Victor Ostrovsky contended that aiding Hamas meshed with “Mossad’s general plan” for an Arab world “run by fundamentalists” that would reject “any negotiations with the West,” thereby leaving Israel as “the only democratic, rational country in the region.” Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official involved in Gaza for over two decades, told a newspaper interviewer in 2009 that, “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation.”

To be sure, some others, including the U.S. intelligence establishment, have not endorsed the Israeli connection to the rise of Hamas, portraying it simply as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood
...
Israel, by contrast, persisted with its covert nexus with Hamas. With the consent of Israel, Qatar, a longtime sponsor of jihadi groups, funneled $1.8 billion to Hamas just between 2012 and 2021, according to the Haaretz newspaper.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power for much of the past decade and a half, told a meeting of his Likud Party’s Knesset members in 2019 that, “Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas,” adding, “This is part of our strategy — to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the West Bank.”

And right after that ceasefire resolution Israel:

Cancelled the planned visit to DC to discuss Rafah, but is showing up to ask for more weapons...
Bars UNRWA food convoys from Northern Gaza
Stated there will be no ceasefire

Foreign Minister Israel Katz insisted that Israel "will not cease fire" after the UN Security Council on Monday passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the remaining weeks of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and "the urgent need to expand the flow" of aid into Gaza.

Katz added that Israel "will destroy Hamas and continue to fight until the last of the hostages returns home," in a statement.

The death toll in Gaza is already 32,000 and growing.

JC wrote:

And right after that ceasefire resolution Israel:

Cancelled the planned visit to DC to discuss Rafah, but is showing up to ask for more weapons...
Bars UNRWA food convoys from Northern Gaza
Stated there will be no ceasefire

Foreign Minister Israel Katz insisted that Israel "will not cease fire" after the UN Security Council on Monday passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire for the remaining weeks of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and "the urgent need to expand the flow" of aid into Gaza.

Katz added that Israel "will destroy Hamas and continue to fight until the last of the hostages returns home," in a statement.

The death toll in Gaza is already 32,000 and growing.

Netanyahu can die big mad for all I care. Whatever "right to exist" Israel has does not obligate us to participate in a genocide.

With its soldiers mired in Gaza, Israel fights a battle at home over drafting the ultra-Orthodox

JERUSALEM (AP) — As Israel battles a prolonged war in Gaza, broad exemptions from mandatory military service for ultra-Orthodox men have reopened a deep divide in the country and rattled the government coalition, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fellow War Cabinet members staunchly opposed to his proposed new conscription law.

By the end of the month, Israel’s governme nt must present legislation aimed at increasing recruitment among the religious community. As the deadline approaches, public discourse has grown increasingly toxic — a departure from demonstrations of unity early in the war.

Netanyahu’s government so far has survived the public angst sparked by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack that ignited the war, but the draft issue has put him in a bind. The collapse of the three-member War Cabinet would undermine the country’s stability at a sensitive time in the fighting. But a loss of the ultra-Orthodox parties would bring down his broader governing coalition and plunge the country into new elections as he and his Likud party are badly trailing in opinion polls.

“Politically, this is one of the most concrete threats to the government,” said Gilad Malach, an expert on the ultra-Orthodox at the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem think tank.

Most Jewish men are required to serve nearly three years followed by years of reserve duty. Jewish women serve two mandatory years. But the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox, who make up roughly 13% of Israeli society, have traditionally received exemptions if they are studying full-time in religious seminaries. The exemptions — and the government stipends many seminary students receive through age 26 — have infuriated the wider general public.

The Supreme Court has ruled the current system discriminatory and given the government until April 1 to present a bill and until June 30 to pass it.

Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz — who with Netanyahu comprise the War Cabinet — say the prime minister’s proposed law doesn’t go far enough toward increasing the number of ultra-Orthodox who will join the army. Critics say some aspects, such as raising the age for exemption, could even depress the numbers.

Gantz, Netanyahu’s top political rival, said he’d leave the Cabinet if the enlistment law is weakened or fails to pass by the deadline. Defense Minister Gallant said he’d support a new law only with the support of Gantz and more centrist members of the country’s emergency wartime government.

That's an amazing public sentiment defeat for Israel. They have been influencing US opinion since the 60's, and I suspect this is the first time it's dropped below 50% on an important topic.

Robear wrote:

That's an amazing public sentiment defeat for Israel. They have been influencing US opinion since the 60's, and I suspect this is the first time it's dropped below 50% on an important topic.

And it only took 5 months of extreme violence and a civilian death toll that would make 1940's era German leadership proud to do so! USA! USA!

The Israeli Supreme Court has issued it's judgement on whether Haredim men should be subject to the military draft, and it's not looking good for Netanyahu's political coalition. But he still has some wiggle room.

WaPo wrote:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a coalition crisis over drafting ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military, an intractable battle at the heart of the state’s identity that has been sharpened by the country’s manpower needs during the war with Hamas.

In a decision that has deep ramifications for society — not to mention Netanyahu’s government — Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the suspension of state subsidies for ultra-Orthodox Jews studying in yeshivas instead of doing military service. It came just days ahead of an April 1 deadline for the government to agree on a new law to allow the community to avoid being drafted.

“There is a chance that this could be the first break in the wall for this coalition,” said Gilad Malach, an expert on the ultra-Orthodox at the Israel Democracy Institute, a Jerusalem think tank. Ultra-Orthodox leaders see the ruling as a betrayal of promises from Netanyahu, he said, including assurances of financial aid and military exemptions in return for their political support.

...

Many ultra-Orthodox, also known as Haredim in Israel, see military conscription as a threat to their existence, putting their normally cloistered young men in contact with secular life. But an increasing number of Israelis resent them for not pulling their weight; 70 percent of Israeli Jews support an end to blanket military exemptions, according to an Israel Democracy Institute survey.

The court ruling “destroys the foundation of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel,” tweeted Aryeh Deri, the leader of the Shas, an ultra-Orthodox political party in the governing coalition. “The people of Israel are engaged in a war of existence on several fronts and the judges of the High Court did everything tonight to create a fratricidal war as well.”

If ultra-Orthodox parties pull out of the coalition in protest, it would propel Israel into elections at a time when Netanyahu is deeply unpopular, his security credentials shattered by Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

This is so hilarious.

Religious extremists won't rub shoulders with the heathens that protect their religious extremism because it will contaminate their holiness.

I mean, maybe Col Jessup kinda had a point.

There is one Ultra-Orthodox unit already in the Israeli Army, Netzah Yehuda. I believe they are drafted from the members of a particular community. They are able to maintain most of their religious practices in camp.

Tonight on SNL, Ramy Youssef said "Please free the people of Palestine."

He also said "Free the hostages."

It's going over about as well as you'd expect in certain quarters.

Prederick wrote:

Tonight on SNL, Ramy Youssef said "Please free the people of Palestine."

He also said "Free the hostages."

It's going over about as well as you'd expect in certain quarters.

Probably from the same people who think (or at least say) that any criticism of Israel is antisemitism. A huge part of me thinks that Israel not engaging in the diplomatic process with Palestine is realpolitik because they know that if there was ever a lasting peace process, the many MANY divisions in Israeli society would see it descend into chaos.

Speaking of divisions:

Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu protests put political divides back on show

Israel's deep political divisions are back on public display.

They were put to one side for a while, as shock and national unity followed the 7 October attacks by Hamas - but six months later, thousands of protesters are once again on Israel's streets.

The war has turbocharged their determination to unseat Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Jerusalem, police used skunk water - a foul-smelling substance fired from water cannon - to clear protesters who had blocked the Begin Boulevard, the city's major north-south highway.

Well-worn slogans demanding his resignation and early elections were amplified by newer ones calling for an immediate deal to free about 130 Israeli hostages still held in Gaza. An unknown number of them are presumed dead.

The big fear of their families and friends, as well as the protesters, is that many more will die the longer the war drags on without a deal.

On Sunday evening, as thousands packed the broad avenues around the Israeli parliament, Katia Amorza - who has a son serving in the Israeli army in Gaza - put down her megaphone for a moment.

"Since eight this morning, I'm here. And now I'm telling Netanyahu that I would be glad to pay one way ticket, first class, for him to go out and not come back anymore.

"And I'm telling him also to take with him all those people that they put in the government that he chose one by one, the worst, the worst that we have in our society."

A rabbi crossed the road past Katia and her megaphone. It was Yehudah Glick, who campaigns for Jewish prayer in the area Israelis call the Temple Mount, the site in Jerusalem of Islam's third holiest mosque, al Aqsa.

Rabbi Glick said the protesters have forgotten that their real enemy is Hamas, not prime minister Netanyahu.

"I think he's very popular. And that's what aggravates these people. I think these people, are not willing to forgive the fact that for so long they've been demonstrating against him and he's still in power.

"And I'm calling upon them to demonstrate, to come and demonstrate, speak loud and clear what they feel, but to be careful not to cross the very thin line between democracy and anarchy."

The protesters, and Mr Netanyahu's critics in countries that otherwise support Israel, believe the enemies of democracy are already in his government, a coalition that depends on the support of ultranationalist Jewish parties.

Among them is the Religious Zionism party, led by the finance minister Bezalel Smotrich. One of its MPs, Ohad Tal, said it was "naïve" to believe anything other than more military pressure on Hamas would free the hostages.

"You don't think Hamas will bring back so easily the hostages in a deal, release everybody and then will allow us to, you know, to kill all the terrorists that we would release in such a deal...It's not as simple.

"If there was a button that you can press and bring back all the hostages and make everything okay, every Israeli would press this button. But it's not as easy as you may think."

Benjamin Netanyahu used to say he was the only one who could keep his country safe. Many Israelis believed him.

He said that he could manage the Palestinians, settle Jews on the occupied land they want for a state, without offering the concessions and making the sacrifices necessary for a peace deal.

All that changed on 7 October last year when Hamas stormed through the border wire.

To be clear though, this wasn't a Ceasefire march:

While the protesters were still on the streets, Mr Netanyahu ruled out early elections and repeated his determination to mount a new offensive against Hamas forces in Rafah.

His record as a political survivor and formidable campaigner means that even if his opponents get their wish for early elections, his dwindling band of devoted followers believe he might even win.

Israelis are not divided about destroying Hamas. That war aim has overwhelming support.

But the way the war is being handled, and the failure to rescue or free all the hostages, is putting Benjamin Netanyahu under career-ending pressure.

Fascists gonna fasct

Netanyahu said he would shut down satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera immediately. Netanyahu vowed to close the “terror channel” after parliament passed a law Monday clearing the way for the country to halt the Qatari-owned channel from broadcasting from Israel.

Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of harming Israeli security, participating in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and inciting violence against Israel.

Almost anytime you go after news organizations you are in the wrong.

Netanyahu really is just screaming from the balcony now.