Quote of the day – (4th in our series)

Today’s quote is written by Jerusalem Post Defense Correspondent Yaakov Katz, writing about the report commissioned by the IDF, which was recently presented to the client (with only a summary to the public) by Major General Giora Eiland:
“…what is also clear from the recent flotilla affair, and others before it, is that the military culture here does not believe in holding individual officers responsible for their mistakes. This is without a doubt the case when it comes to high-ranking officers but can also be applied to the junior ranks“. The JPost article from which this is drawn can be read in full here.

13 thoughts on “Quote of the day – (4th in our series)”

  1. Quote of the day.
    This was written by Maan news:
    Fatah and Hamas rejected Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s reported plan to make Gaza an independent entity, spokesmen said Friday.
    Israeli press reported Friday that Lieberman plans to lift the four-year siege on Gaza, while hermetically sealing its borders with Israel, in a move to gain international recognition that Israel has ended its occupation of the Strip.
    Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhary said Friday that Israel is proposing to lift its four-year siege on the coastal enclave to avoid its practical obligations as an occupying power under international law.

    What will be the next Palestinian request: to return settlements to Gaza?

  2. Yes, I saw that Ma’an report — it pushes for the sensational, but there is really not really anything solid there.

    It strikes me as nonsense to imagine that the Israeli Foreign Foreign Minister has the power to make such a decision.

    It could be that he might think it’s a good idea, but I do not believe that even Mr. Lieberman has the power to do this.

    There have been many instances of Israeli officials, analysts, etc. speaking about how they think Gaza should be disposed of, in one way or another — giving it to Egypt {which would necessarily be the outcome of this reported suggestion}, hermetically sealing the borders, etc., etc…

    The reported remark you cited from Sami Abu Zuhri is interesting — if true, he is saying that Israel is the occupying power in Gaza. OK, What does that make Hamas, then?

    The Israeli naval blockade of Gaza’s maritime space again complicates the Israeli argument that the unilateral 2005 “Disengagement” means that Israel is no longer occupying Gaza.

    Professor Ruth Lapidot recently explained in a discussion at the JCPA {which I reported in the post “Israeli international law expert discusses naval blockade of Gaza” written on July 12th, 2010, and published here }, in which she said that there is a disagreement in Israel betweene two positions (one says, basically, that Israel is no longer occupying Gaza, while the other position is that, well, maybe there is something that cannot just be asserted away…)

    Professor Lapidot said her view is somewhat in between – she said she thinks Gaza is “sui generis”, or a unique case…

    She added that she thought there was also some kind of mixed responsibility, because Israeli is still “in charge” of Gaza’s air + maritime space (these are criteria that very many, if not most, international law experts say are the conclusive proof that Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza), which gives Israel responsibility for — for example — rescue operations if there is a aviation or maritime accident…

    Professor Lapidot also noted that Israel’s former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak ruled, after the “Disengagement”, that even if one believes Israel is no longer occupying Gaza, Israel still has some continuing “moral responsibility”, due to its long presence there.

    The direct occupation of Gaza was not a pretty picture at all — Palestinians were locked down whenever a settler bus moved with its military escort, for example.

    If Israel really believes that what happened in Gaza after the “Disengagement” is a good example of what should happen when an occupation ends, then no wonder there is no big pressure for this from the West Bank.

    In fact, the present situation in the West Bank might be the model for what might happen throughout Israel (with checkpoints + supervision everywhere)… and then there are some who believe that what has happened in Gaza is what is coming to the West Bank.

    Israel’s “Disengagement” did nothing at all to bring freedom or human rights to the Palestinian population there, but instead, its opposite — but blaming Hamas alone for this is simply not credible, so matter how loudly anyone shouts.

    The post-“Disengagement” situation in Gaza is not an appealing option, and more and more people saying so, internationally, following Operation Cast Lead, and the Freedom Flotilla fiasco.

    Oppression and subjugation, supression of human rights, dispossession, and every day humiliation is not the answer for Israel’s security concerns — just as it is not the answer anywhere else in the world.

    Nobody in Israel [ not even the Prime Minister + Defense Minister together] can simply dump 1.5 million people — or responsibility for them — where ever and when ever…

  3. Ynet wrote today:
    “According to Lieberman’s plan, which was published by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Gaza – with European assistance – will become an entirely independent entity. In this way, Lieberman believes, the world will finally recognize the end of the Israeli occupation there. Lieberman’s plan calls to fully lift the siege and allow ships to dock in the Strip without being inspected in Israel first. Ships that will undergo inspection in Cyprus or Greece will be allowed to continue towards Gaza. According to the proposal, Israel will also allow European countries to implement plans aimed at improving the lives of the coastal enclave’s residents. Israel’s border with the Hamas-ruled territory will be hermetically sealed.”
    end of quote.

    Also, Lieberman suggested to build in Gaza (with assistance of international community) power plants, water production plant (by sea water desalination) and sewage treatment facilities. All these sounds like dream of any Palestinian freedom fighter, but why they rejects this offer?

  4. The answer is pretty clear:

    “Of course Hamas is against it – they want to keep blaming Israel for their own existence. Without the blockade they can not be taken seriously, and the pretense of Israel occupying will go away. Then their real agenda of always being against Israel (like Hezbollah) even when Israel is gone”

    “… Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of the “Zionist entity” and the extermination of the Jewish people, but not as long as the people of Gaza are fed, clothed and taken care of thanks to the largesse of the State of Israel. I guess it simply won’t do for Hamas to stop using the billions of dollars and billions of euros that have poured into the Strip for their own nefarious intent and their own personal gain. Hamas wanted self-determination; they have it. Why cannot they do something with it; Israel is sick and tired of those Palestinian leeches and terrorists. “

  5. OK, there are some serious mistakes here:

    (1) What can you possibly mean by saying that Hamas is “blaming Israel for their own existence”?

    (2) Or by saying that “their real agenda” is “being against Israel…even when Israel is gone”?

    This is just emotional nonsense.

    (3) Hamas’ charter does not call for the “extermination” of anybody, and

    (4) Israel is not feeding, clothing, and taking care of the people of Gaza — none, nothing, of what goes into Gaza from Israel’s land crossings is a donation from the State or people of Israel.

    Is Mr. Lieberman talking about real independence? Or is he proposing something that is just another form of disregard and degradation?

    The border is nearly, if not totally, hermetically sealed now.

    It seems to me that the Foreign Minister is just proposing to remove the crossing apparatuses and apparatchiks… But I cannot see at all that this reported (leaked) proposal means removing Israel’s total control…

  6. The main points of the Hamas charter:
    The conflict with Israeli is religious and political: The Palestinian problem is a religious-political Muslim problem and the conflict with Israel is between Muslims and the Jewish “infidels.”
    All Palestine is Muslim land and no one has the right to give it up: The land of Palestine is sacred Muslim land and no one, including Arab rulers, has the authority to give up any of it.
    The importance of jihad (holy war) as the main means for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to achieve its goals: An uncompromising
    1 Supplements to and clarifications of the Qur’an, originally an oral tradition, later written down and
    3 jihad must be waged against Israel and any agreement recognizing its right to exist must be totally opposed. Jihad is the personal duty of every Muslim.
    The importance of fostering the Islamic consciousness: Much effort must be invested fostering and spreading Islamic consciousness by means of education [i.e., religious-political indoctrination] in the spirit of radical Islam,
    based on the ideology of the Muslim brotherhood.
    The importance of Muslim solidarity: A great deal of importance is given to
    Muslim solidarity, one of whose manifestations is aid to the needy through the establishment of a network of various “charitable societies.”
    In addition, the charter is rife with overt anti-Semitism: According to the charter, the Jewish people have only negative traits and are presented as planning to take over the world. The charter uses myths taken from classical European and Islamic-based anti-Semitism.

    The full charter can be found here:


  7. “The border is nearly, if not totally, hermetically sealed now”
    This statement is not just “some serious mistakes”, it is pure deception.
    Only during last June 2,421 Palestinians exited the Gaza Strip through Erez crossing, including 1631 persons for medical treatment.

  8. Just read the Ma’an report, and found the most significant thing it says:
    ‘A confidential document recently sent to Lieberman said ‘we must discreetly approach the US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and renowned international law experts to examine their terms for international recognition of an end to the occupation’, Israeli news site Ynet reported Friday”… This is published here.
    But, of course, Israel already knows what it will take…

  9. Israel shouldn’t ask for international recognition of “end of occupation”- what it will bring to israel or how it will make Hamas to recognise very existance of israel as jewish state?

    The world accepts current status quo (after releasing “civil” blockade on Gaza) and continue of israel control over air end marine space of Gaza for the monitoring of weapons flow to the terrorists under Hamas leaderships.

  10. Though I have already written, myself, that the net result of the Flotilla fiasco is more explicit recognition of the naval blockade in exchange for some change at the land crossings (though Israel will probably still have to do a lot better than the current proposals to keep everybody happy), it isn’t really possible to say that the world accepts the current status quo…

    Israel should not think it can continue indefinitely to control Palestinians like inmates in a prison, and to treat them as subject people with lesser human, political and other rights. Israel has to do better than this, and as somebody more clever than I said recently, this is not beyond the capacity, or wit, of the Israeli people.

    As to recogition of the existance of Israel as a Jewish State, I think this has already been done, in the PLO’s 1988 declaration of a Palestinian State, so there is no reason to deny this now, or withhold it as some kind of bargaining chip.

    It is not up to the Palestinians to decide how the Israeli people want to define themselves — or to object to it, unless of course it presents some concrete danger.

    The first Israel mention of this recognition of Israel as a Jewish State being an Israeli requirement was in Sharon’s 2003 reservations about the Road Map Nothing more was heard until Olmert and company brought it up as the Annapolis process of U.S.-led negotiations got underway in late 2007, saying it was a requirement for peace. Now, Netanyahu says it regularly What is true is that neither he, nor Olmert in the past, nor Sharon before them, has clearly explained what they mean by this phrase, exactly.

    This evoked a strong and outraged Palestinian backlash in 2007 — because it was interpreted as meaning automatic surrender of any Palestinian refugee’s rights, including to return, and also as agreeing to expulsion of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens. In 2007, this was too reminiscent of the wars in the Former Yugoslavia for the world to accept any new kind of ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians could have asked for clear international guarantees that this would not happen. But now… just three years later, things are different. The lack of creative or empathetic Palestinian response has backfired. Now, Obama has endorsed the formulation, and the Palestinians are going to have to deal with it, somehow.

  11. “The first Israel mention of this recognition of Israel as a Jewish State being an Israeli requirement was in Sharon’s 2003 reservations about the Road Map”

    I’m sick to hear it time after time these slogans!
    The state of Israel was created as Jewish state, and it will continue to be Jewish state.
    You should return to basics:


    May 14, 1948

    What can be more clear claim than this one?

  12. Yes, the 1948 proclamation of the State of Israel said that a Jewish State was being established.

    That was recognized in the Palestinian declaration of a state in 1988.

    Both — the Israeli proclamation + the Palestinian declaration — were based on UN General Assembly resolution 181, which divide the British Mandate (conferred by the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations) into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

    But, now that the Israeli leadership is demanding that Palestinians state it (once again) as a precondition for a negotiated deal, what do they mean, exactly?

    Netanyahu even modified his words at Bar Ilan University by subsequently demanding Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

    (After the release of the 2001 Netanyanu tape, in which he stated he intended to bust the Oslo Accords, scepticism seems even more justified…)

    Why doesn’t the Israeli leadership argue that the Palestinian leadership has already committed to this? By ignoring, or casting doubt, on the Palestinian declaration, this raises great fears.

    And so, finally, why can’t the Israeli leadership address the fears expressed by the Palestinians?

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