Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Major Turn for the Worst in the Mideast

We have this news from Israel today:

"Three rockets were launched at Dimona in southern Israel on Wednesday afternoon. The Iron Dome intercepted one rocket before it could land, while two other rockets landed in open areas.

Dimona is the location of Israel's nuclear reactor...

Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor.  Militants from Hamas's Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets towards Dimona."

The above is from the Jerusalem Post, not necessarily the most trustworthy source, but a quick Google search will convince you that it is being reported all around the world, by Reuters, Haaretz and many news sources across the political spectrum.

To understand what a threat this represents, take a look at a map of Israel:
You can find Dimona near the bottom end of the Dead Sea.  It is about 60 miles from Jerusalem, 30 miles from Jordan and 50 miles from Egypt.  In fact it is only about 60 miles from Gaza itself.  A direct hit could render large parts of Israel and two Islamic countries uninhabitable, destroy any hope of access to Jerusalem for thousands of years, and if the wind was right, pretty much destroy Gaza itself.

This is the work of mad dogs, whose lust to kill has grown so great that it will lead them to destroy themselves in the process of slaking their out of control desires.  No one who is the least bit rational can have any doubt that the people controlling Gaza today are beyond reason and human decency, and have embarked on an apocalyptic campaign of destruction that will know no end while they still survive.

At this point, they have crossed the border between ordinary violence and hatred, into a madness that makes any attempt to forge a peaceful life with them impossible.  Yes, many, many innocent Palestinian civilians are likely to end up dead as a result, but the attempt to bomb a nuclear reactor only 60 miles from themselves shows that they no longer care about their people, or about anything but apocalyptic violence.  In this regard, the Hamas government is more like the mass murderers that we have become so familiar with in this country than they are like, say, the governments of Egypt or Syria, as bad as those governments are.

Unfortunately, I now see no answer to this situation but to remove this "government" by force, and to treat its leaders like the killers they are.  Of course, anything Israel does in response will be treated as an abomination by the antisemites who fill the internet with their hatred, but if this is not stopped, it will continue until Iran or Pakistan supplies Hamas with some missiles capable of actually hitting that nuclear reactor, and then the gates of hell really will open.


Infidel753 said...

I now see no answer to this situation but to remove this "government" by force

The sole hopeful aspect of the situation is that the Israelis are quite capable of doing that very thing if they judge the danger to be as serious as you say. Jewish history has wiped out any tendency to treat threats of extermination as implausible.

What have they got to lose? Yes, the usual pearl-clutchers would shriek their condemnation, but they'll do that no matter what Israel does. Then there's the crowd -- some of them occasional blog commenters -- who claim they "support Israel" but never ever seem to support any actual specific action which the actual elected government of Israel takes to defend the country.

Most Arab governments would probably be quietly happy to see Hamas gone. They're not that crazy. Several Arab states have had rockets that could hit Dimona for decades, but none of them has tried it.

Magpie said...

“Then there's the crowd -- some of them occasional blog commenters -- who claim they "support Israel" but never ever seem to support any actual specific action which the actual elected government of Israel takes to defend the country.”

In the 1980s Israel took out an Iraqi nuclear reactor to the considerable chagrin of Saint Ronnie and co. What I, you, or anyone says will not stop Israel from doing what it thinks is necessary, if they thought the threat was profound enough.

On the other hand – and maybe you’d agree and maybe you wouldn’t - the point cannot be stretched to ‘supporting Israel’ equals supporting absolutely every and any action ever taken by anyone in its name, particularly if that action is ultimately detrimental to Israel itself. Israel has mad dog Right wingers and loopy religious fundamentalists too.

Not speaking of anyone here... but cheering on Israel no-matter-what is often self-servingly hollow of any genuine regard for justice and reason, or the best interests of Israelis. It is rhetorical act by which liberals prove they’re not pacifists, and by which conservatives indulge their cartoon-like ideas of a good vs evil world, and neither is shedding their own blood while doing it.

The rules are not different – whatever is done, I still want to know that it avoided even worse outcomes, and whether that is true or not is still a debate I want to see.

Green Eagle said...

Magpie, let us not forget that the Iraqi nuclear reactor you are talking about was destroyed before it was functioning and had any nuclear material in it.

What the Palestinians have done is essentially the poor man's nuclear war. It is an utterly unforgivable use of weapons of mass destruction in a totally indiscriminate manner.

I want to say a little more about this, which I will shortly in another post.

Sam240 said...

I did do a quick Google search for Dimona, Hamas, and Haaretz That search find anything at Haaretz about Hamas claiming to have shot rockets at Didoma.

For that matter, I didn't find anything about this at, where support for the Israeli government appears mandatory. I didn't even find anything at Given Glenn Beck's reflexive support of the Israeli government, if Hamas had made such claims, they would have shown up there.

I also ran a Google news search for Hamas and Dimona. Outside of Israel, there aren't many news sources which say that Hamas claimed responsibility for what happened. There were two American newspapers which stated that Hamas claimed responsibility: The New York Post and the Washington Times. Neither has a reputation for reliability.

Infidel753 said...

the point cannot be stretched to ‘supporting Israel’ equals supporting absolutely every and any action ever taken by anyone in its name

Nor did I suggest that. As I said very clearly in the sentence you quoted, I'm talking about people who always oppose any actual action Israel takes to defend itself. Any reasonable person will sometimes oppose things Israel does, as with any country. No one has ever suggested that everything Israel does has to be supported. That's a straw man.

But there are people who are always to be found condemning Israel's specific actions, preceded by "I support Israel but...." That's what arouses suspicion.

It's relevant to the post because here we have Israel facing an unprecedented escalation -- missiles from Gaza aimed at its largest city and at the Dimona reactor -- and you have people like Andrew Sullivan going into their usual hand-wringing act, picking apart and criticizing Israel's response, as they always do, and never suggesting what means Israel could employ to stop Hamas that would be acceptable to them. Because nothing Israel could do, other than turning the other cheek and passively letting itself get attacked, could be acceptable to them.

Magpie said...

“That's a straw man.”

No it’s not - because I wasn’t accusing you or even assuming what your full position was on the subject. I thought I made that clear.

I just used your observation as a point of pivot to my own observation of what some pro-Israel support amounts to... usually among the Tea Party aligned, and I do know you are no Tea Party guy.

Green Eagle said...


Not too good with teh Google, there, are we?

Here are a few of many I found in about five minutes:

Of course, maybe you are just lying about not being able to find any corroboration for the attack.

Sam240 said...

Green Eagle --

You said Haaretz printed the claim that Hamas claimed responsibility. You have yet to show anything from Haaretz showing this. I can only conclude that you were lying.

Show me the source from Haaretz that you claimed exist.

Haaretz did claim that rockets were fired towards Dimona, but it never said that Hamas claimed responsibility.

Now, did Hamas fire the rockets, or was it one "lone wolf" acting independently? That's a different question.

*You yourself said that the Jerusalem Post was not a trustworthy source in your original post.

*The Telegraph story claims that Hamas fired the rockets, but offers no evidence that is was, in fact, Hamas, and not a single criminal acting independently.

*The BBC tweet doesn't mention any claim by Hamas that it shot the rockets.

*The Reuters article says, "Militants from Hamas's Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets." This is technically true -- the English section of the website says that Qassam fired rockets at military bases. The article does not directly claim that Hamas said it targeted Dimona, nor does list Dimona on the list of attacks it claims credit for.

*The Israel National News website merely says "Gaza terrorists" fired the rocket. If I were a journalist, I would write "someone from Gaza" instead, but that's a minor difference in style.

*The NTI website's entire documentation for its claim is that the Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas claimed responsibility. As you yourself said, the Jerusalem Post is not an entirely trustworthy source.

The only two sources (of the seven listed above) that directly said that Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack are the Jerusalem Post and Bloomberg. And, as you said the Jerusalem Post is not trustworthy, we can throw that one out.

Not too good with the reading comprehension, eh, Green Eagle?

I just made another search for news websites to see if any other ones made the claim of Hamas spokespeople claiming responsibility. There was nothing new.

So, as I see it, there are two options:

(1) Hamas never claimed responsibility for the rockets aimed at Dimona, and Bloomberg News made an error; or

(2) ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the BBC, the CBC, the AP, AFP, NTV, the New York Times, the Times of London, Time Magazine, Le Monde, the Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, and all of the other people who gave copious coverage to the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish students in Hebron knew that Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets at Dimona, and somehow thought that such a detail was not worth mentioning when they covered the rocket attacks.

When I use Occam's Razor, I have to go with option number 1.

If more news outlets had verified the Jerusalem Post claim, or had someone posted an actual statement from Hamas, then I would have reason to believe that Hamas had indeed made such a claim. But the absence of a direct claim and the lack of media outlets (other than Bloomberg and the not entirely trustworthy Jerusalem Post) making such a statement leads me to believe that Hamas never made such a claim of responsibility.