Congrats Daoud Kuttab in the Washington Post:

In its efforts to stop amateur rockets from nagging the residents of some of its southern cities, Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.

We can talk about proportionality all day long, but to call explosive raining down on your town merely ‘nagging’ is a bit like saying that 9.6% of Michigan residents are enjoying nice lazy days with no jobs to worry their pretty little heads. One would think that Sderot residents are annoyed because there is an amateur rocketry competition going on next door. (for all that, muffti found the rest of the article interesting).

Dore Gold has a nice article in Jpost about the issue of proportionality. Dershowitz has something in Christian Science Monitor on Moral Idiocy that muffti didn’t find very illuminating but will probably confirm what most of our readers are already thinking. It’s nice to be able to speculate about proportionality, the annoyance of rockets and the like when you are thousands and thousands of miles away from the actual action (though Dore is based in Jerusalem).

Muffti wishes all of you a shana tova.

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  • Re the xisnotx link: am I correct that, while Netanyahu claims the purpose of the IDF action is to remove Hamas, no one from the government has yet stated this to be the goal?

  • I think it’s silly to bring up any notion of removing Hamas.

    1. There’s no credible party to replace them in Gaza.

    2. They voted for them.

    3. The U.S. pushed the practice of democracy on them.

    4. It’s a bad idea to shield Gaza from the consequences of its bad decisions.

    5. Allowing Hamas to play their losing game ensures their further isolation by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Fatah, and condemnation by those parties. Plus, it gives Israel an easier PR victory militarily (when going after them), and politically (see aforementioned. Having Arab support is a good thing, especially when you give the other parties an opportunity to frame as themselves as moderates/non-theocrats).

    I was initially going to just comment on 5), as well as offer some encouragement to Muffti. The anti-Israel PR is really less effective overall this time around, perhaps for a variety of factors. But I suspect that Tzipi Livni is clever enough to have had something to do with it. Plus, she’s a way more effective diplomat/spokesperson/PR. I haven’t been following all that much about Israeli politics, but I suppose having had her as FM these past few years, given her IQ of 150 and the fact that she has a great deal more creativity and insight in how to engage and address Israel’s friends and foes, might have something to with the slight rise in status that Israel has been able to achieve.

    Israel is right to separate out their military objectives from internal Palestinian political issues. Let the latter decide how much maturity they want to display and how much responsibility they want to take. That’s the only way to go, as the lefties and internationalists are only to eager to target the physically stronger party as a way to avoid the idea that the Palestinians should have any responsibilities of their own. Anything you can do to marginalize the Israeli contribution to Palestinian political developments is good.

    If they play this (and their elections) right I feel there will be a turning of the page for the better.

  • You guys should really allow for an edit/preview mode on the comments. And this courier font in the text boxes is just horrendous!

    Oh how I wish I could to back correct all the typos and grammatical infelicities I consistently dump onto you guys. ;-(

  • JGooders is supporting Front Line communities during this time of conflict.

    We will add 10% to all contributions made to projects through JGooders, actively helping those on Israel’s front line, whether in Beersheva, Sderot, Ashkelon or other targeted cities.

    Click the link for a list of active projects:…fo.asp? infoid=9

    May all of the Southern residents be safe and protected,


    JGooders is a new online giving portal based in Israel, helping people give directly to Jewish and Israeli causes.

  • Tom, check out these comments:

    “The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas,” declared Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon during a December 29 television interview. “We will stop firing immediately if someone takes the responsibility of this government, anyone but Hamas. We are favorable to any other government to take the place of Hamas.”

    And, in a widely quoted statement the same day, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, told CNN, “The main goal is to destroy completely this terrorist gang, which makes people on both sides of the border, in Gaza and in Israel, suffer daily.”

  • Not encouraging you to do anything, Mr. Muffti. Just encouraging you to feel less down about Kuttab’s insensitive language, as there are bigger fish to fry – whether he realizes it or not.

  • Israel is acting disproportionate – they should wait until more missiles hit, I mean, the israeli rockets hit their targets, it’s only fair.