}

Three Updates from the Incursion into Gaza

One:

The IDF was not responsible for the death of a Palestinian aid worker contracted to the UN and the wounding of two others last Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson said Saturday.

“An IDF investigation has found that it was not the army who fired on a UN truck at the Erez Crossing,” the Spokesperson’s office said. The IDF is not sure who fired on the truck, and is still investigating. “The army further wishes to point out that the Palestinian wounded were evacuated by the Red Cross to the Israeli border, where they were taken by Israeli medical personnel for treatment at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital,” the IDF told The Jerusalem Post.

On Thursday, the Post reported that contrary to foreign press reports, it was not certain that an IDF tank shell hit the aid truck, and that in all probability, the aid workers were hit by Hamas gunfire.

The foreign press reports were based on UN sources, who later admitted to the Post that they were not sure in which direction the truck was headed when it was hit, and could also not say with certainty that tank shells were responsible. Foreign press reports said the dead Palestinian and two others were hit by tank shells.

An MDA medic at the scene told the Post that soldiers in the field said Hamas snipers targeted the aid workers. A Post probe revealed that the two wounded Palestinians were being treated at Barzilai for gunshot wounds.

Two:

The incoming Obama administration will not abandon US President George W. Bush’s doctrine of isolating Hamas, the chief national security spokesperson of the Obama transition team has told The Jerusalem Post.

US President-elect Barack Obama “has repeatedly stated that he believes that Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction, and that we should not deal with them until they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by past agreements,” said Brooke Anderson in a statement to the Post.

Those conditions match the international Quartet’s longstanding demands from Hamas, shared by Israel.

The Obama spokesperson was responding to an article in Britain’s Guardian daily on Friday, which asserted that three people with knowledge of discussions held in the Obama camp said that while the president-elect will not approve direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, his advisers are urging him to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, in light of the growing recognition in Washington that ostracizing the terror group is counter-productive policy.

Three:

Scottish singer-songwriter and Eurythmics star Annie Lennox, who starred in an anti-Israeli rally in London on Saturday slamming Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, posted a message on her facebook site Wednesday denying she was anti-Israeli.

Lennox’s comment, entitled “Annie’s Second Official Statement regarding the Situation in Gaza,” said, “I am not anti-Israeli nor have I ever been, and for anyone to say that I am is profoundly offensive and completely wrong.

“The reason why I spoke out when I did was because at that point in time there was a tiny window of opportunity to prevent a blood bath on both sides before the ground troops went in,” she wrote. “I have never condoned suicide bombings, or the firing of missiles into Israel. I repeat… The slaughter of innocent lives on both sides is abhorrent.”

I’m not sure why anybody cares what Annie Lennox says or thinks about Israel, but there it was, a little article among the others letting us all know. Now we know.

13 Comments

  1. Tom Morrissey

    1/10/2009 at 1:26 pm

    Fine, but what does Gwen Stefani think?

  2. Tom Morrissey

    1/10/2009 at 1:28 pm

    I’ll bet we’re about to find out how it’s entirely possible to talk to people we believe in isolating.

  3. froylein

    1/10/2009 at 1:55 pm

    I wasn’t aware Annie Lennox was still alive… I should patronize gay bars more diligently.

  4. Ephraim

    1/10/2009 at 11:05 pm

    If DEBKA is to be believed, there might not be any Hamas to talk to by the time The One is inaugurated.

    They say that Hamas is on the point of collapse, with “soldiers” abandoning their posts and deserting.

    Hope it’s true. It’s DEBKA, so a certain amount of skepticism is warranted, but it would be nice if they’re right.

    I hope Israel is watching the North. if Hamas is really that close to a complete rout, Hizballah might try to light things up.

    But did you notice that Iran, after getting them all riled up, told its “volunteers” that they had to stay home? And how Nasrallah insisted “we didn’t fire those rockets” about two seconds after they landed in northern Israel?

    They’re scared shitless, man. The best way to keep them that way is for Israel to crush Hamas now while they’ve got them on the ropes.

    Only 9 days until Jan. 20. Hurry up, guys.

  5. montana urban legend

    1/10/2009 at 11:08 pm

    What Tom, you’re not gonna believe the Obama statement? And here I thought you and Middle were finally going to have something to look forward to. Oh ye of such little faith…

    A user blog post at Jewcy mentioned the Annie Lennox thing, which left me a bit perplexed as well. Apparently she was or is married to an Israeli film producer. In any event, that of course doesn’t make her brand of moral equivalence any wiser, although it would appear to provide an interesting explanation for these lyrics:

    Some of them like to use you

    Some of them like to get used by you

    Some of them like to abuse you

    Some of them like to be abused…

  6. themiddle

    1/11/2009 at 12:07 am

    She was married to an Israeli filmmaker. They divorced and she made a great album about disappointed love.

  7. themiddle

    1/11/2009 at 12:07 am

    Well, if Hamas is collapsing, then this is the bluff in poker when you hope to get the other side to fold first:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054262.html

  8. Ephraim

    1/11/2009 at 12:36 am

    He’s bluffing. The IDF should call it.

    I mean, look at him: he’s begging Egypt and Jordan to sever relations with Israel over this. The very fact that he has to ask them to do it shows he’s not even holding a pair of twos. If they were pissed over what’s happening, they would have severed relations without having to be asked. I mean, Egypt is the one who set of the open-air prison known as Gaza in the first place. You don’t really think Mubarak wants a Persian-run squat right on his doorstep, do you?

    He’s a fool if he thinks Mubarak will do anything for Hamas. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood, the only real threat to Mubarak’s dictatorship. Mubarak is only too happy to let Israel finish them off. There is absolutely no downside for him. It’s a win-win all the way.

    The same goes for Jordan. The last thing any of these tinpot Arab dictators want is a resurgent Muslim Brotherhood. It’s bad news for all of them.

    Hamas has no friends but the Iranians now.

  9. Ben-David

    1/11/2009 at 1:35 am

    The Annie Lennox thing is interesting as a zeitgeist indicator – the fact that she feels the need to publicly backtrack indicates that many people understand what’s really going on – despite pro-Pali media bombardment.

  10. xisnotx

    1/11/2009 at 6:45 am

    Hirsh Goodman was on al-Jazeera saying Olmert was softening up public opinion for ending it soon. Sounds like the opposite to me:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSLB641953._CH_.2400
    “Israel is getting close to achieving the goals it set for itself,” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet, citing a desire “to change the security situation in the south”, a reference to the Hamas rockets threat

    ….

    In broadcast remarks, Olmert gave no timeframe for the Gaza operations, saying only that Israel “must not miss out, at the last moment, on what has been achieved through an unprecedented national effort”.

  11. Tom Morrissey

    1/11/2009 at 1:36 pm

    Some of the most thought-provoking coverage I’ve read of the Gaza operation has been at theatlantic.com, with Andrew Sullivan, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Ross Douthat debating its practical and moral merits and reviewing a range of American thinking and reaction, from left and right alike.

    This, for example, from Douthat:

    Israel is already engaged in a ‘fighting retreat’ [from the bulk of the territories won in 1967], as Noah [Millman] puts it, and a great many Israelis – the current Prime Minister included – argue that the Zionist project cannot survive in a long term, for political and demographic reasons, without a viable, independent Palestine next door. If I were a Palestinian, I’d be inclined to see time as being on my people’s side: Not because I’d necessarily prefer the quixotic quest for Israel’s destruction to the goal of ‘peace and prosperity’ through compromise, but because I’d have reason to think that with time, patience and endurance I might be able to achieve either a two-state compromise on still better terms than what’s on the table at the moment (and let’s face it, a state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza is never going to be the most viable entity in world history, whether economically or politically), or a one-state settlement that destroys Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, even if it doesn’t destroy Israel outright. Yes, waiting things out comes at a heavy short-term cost to the Palestinian people, but if you’ve waited sixty years and you feel like your enemy is finally in retreat, there’s a not-irrational case for waiting longer still.”

  12. xisnotx

    1/11/2009 at 3:24 pm

    there’s nothing about the moral merits in that post.

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