“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The “Existentialists” and the “Militants” - A Tale of Two Cities Israeli Style


(to watch this video, you will have to go to the youtube link in the corner)


Israel kills scores in Gaza City suburb in deadliest assault of offensive so far
Special dispatch: Peter Beaumont reports from Shujai'iya, where fleeing and injured tell of streets strewn with bodies and rubble

Peter Beaumont in Shujai'iya 
The Guardian, Sunday 20 July 2014 13.41 EDT

Al-Beltaji Street, off the main road in Shujai'iya, is a scene of utter devastation – the site of Israel's bloodiest assault in almost two weeks of fighting in the coastal strip.
An ambulance sat on shot-out tyres, shrapnel punched through its sides. A charred car lay flattened as if by a giant hand. Smoke rose from one end of the street in a dark billowing curtain.
Fallen trees, tangled electricity cables and drifts of rubble covered the road, smashed, chopped and torn apart by Israeli shells and bombs that slammed into this Gaza City district at a rate of one every five seconds on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.
A body was carried out of a ruined house, then a second and a third – seven in total from buildings within a hundred metres of each other during a brief agreed lull in the fighting to evacuate the dead and wounded. A little further along, bodies lay in the street where they had fallen, mostly scorched figures – one still in a yellow dressing gown – others missing limbs.
"Come out it's safe," rescue officials shouted as they picked their way along the street.
At least 67 people – some fighters but many civilians – were killed in a night of intense violence in Shujai'iya that has been described by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, as a massacre. Hundreds more were injured.
At the far end of the street, a family emerged running, led by a man cradling a child. Slowed at times by the rubble, their faces, stunned by fear, were deaf to questions, focused only on reaching the road leading to the relative safety of Gaza's City centre.
Raed Zaqtout fled at 10am on Sunday morning, but returned with his brother in the midst of a two-hour humanitarian ceasefire organised by the Red Cross to retrieve the dead and the injured. The ceasefire only lasted an hour.
"We stayed in the house while they were shelling. Two other families came to shelter with us. In the morning we decided to escape along that lane," he said, pointing to an opening opposite. "Even then some of us were injured, thankfully only lightly, by shrapnel."
Both sides have accused the other of breaking the ceasefire. An Israeli military spokesman conceded that during the brief initial pause in fire, Israeli forces had continued firing in an adjacent neighbourhood – an area, he claimed, that was not covered by the truce. Nonetheless, it is that Israeli fire that appeared to have hastened the Hamas fighters' return to hostilities.
As the regular thud of explosions resumed, three Palestinian fighters – carrying AK-47s, and with their faces wrapped in scarves – jogged along the street. Other militants were seen sheltering in the buildings. Shujai'iya residents said the heavy shelling began around midnight as tanks and soldiers reached the edge of their neighbourhood – a fierce gun battle followed.
In the first hours of shelling, it was too dangerous for ambulances to approach – residents were faced with a choice: stay and risk being killed while sheltering at home, or make a run for it and risk being caught in the crossfire.
Those who decided to flee started moving at dawn, when Shujai'iya was still under heavy Israeli tank and mortar fire. They hurried past the corpses in the street, some carried their frightened children, most with only the clothes they had escaped in – several barefoot.
Among the 30,000 who fled were Sabreen Hattad, 34, and her three children.
"The Israeli shells were hitting the house. We stayed the night because we were so scared but at about 6am, we decided to escape.
"But where are we supposed to go? The ambulances could not enter and so we ran under shell fire."
Three men rushed past, clutching bedding. Asked what they had seen they replied only: "Death and horror." The sound of small-arms fire rattled from the direction they had come.
Many of those who fled Shujai'iya headed for Gaza City's Shifa hospital, which was engulfed in chaos. Ambulances that had finally and briefly been given access to the site of the carnage sped in steadily, ferrying the dead – among them a local TV cameraman, Khaled Hamad, who was killed during the overnight offensive alongside a paramedic.
At the morgue, dozens crowded the entrance demanding to be let in to look for missing relatives – and too often found them.
Inside the hospital, the staff put mattresses on floors to accommodate the injured, while other patients were evacuated. Nurses carefully placed Aish Ijla, 38, on a mattress in a corridor. His leg had been broken by shrapnel.
"When the shells started we couldn't leave the house – 30 of us. The shells were hitting the upper floor so we all moved downstairs. Then the shrapnel started hitting our door.
"It became quiet for a moment and we decided we should run. But as we were on the road a shell landed near me, breaking my leg. I told my family to go on with out me. I carried on – stopping, then limping. Two hours later, an ambulance reached me ."
Arye Shalicar, a spokesman for the Israeli military, told the Guardian that Shujai'iya was a "frontline base" for Hamas fighters: "140 rockets have been launched from there in the last week and a half alone. And [there are] not only rockets but tunnels.
"We asked the population to evacuate to other neighbourhoods. If we were not bothered about civilians we would have just bombed from the air rather than sending in tanks and soldiers, dozens of whom have been wounded."
Hamas fighters may be based in Shujai'iya and rockets fired from its streets, but it is also the most densely populated residential neighbourhood in Gaza City. Many homes have been targeted.
The injured were still being brought to Shifa hospital on Sunday evening. Two young girls arrived, one with a bleeding head wound, another with her teeth smashed out, covered in dust. Another man had lost most of his face.

Naser Tattar, the hospital's director, said at least 17 children, 14 women and four elderly were among the 67 killed in the Israeli assault. About 400 more were wounded. The medical director, Dr Mohammad El Ron, stood in the casualty department, exhausted: "Most of the casualties brought in so far have been dead."


  1. Posted by Deuce, Director, Hamas Propaganda Department

    1. For Ash, in the hope it might help him understand -

      July 21, 2014
      The Arab-Israeli conflict is not elementary school

      But if it were, it would look something like the video below.

    2. Not for Ash (requires reading skills)

      July 21, 2014
      How far has Netanyahu been provoked?
      By Ron Lipsman

      President Obama might not be the only leader whose self-imposed red lines are drawn in disappearing ink. Until very recently, some were thinking that Benjamin Netanyahu might be predisposed to the same behavior.

      Netanyahu has been arguing for years that Iran – despite protestations to the contrary – is intent on developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them both near to and far from the Persian homeland. From the Knesset to the halls of the UN to the Oval Office, Netanyahu has preached that the Iranian nuclear quest is a threat to the civilized world, but of course particularly to Israel. He exhorts the world community, and especially the US, to halt the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons capability; and he promises in the most forceful terms that if others will not act, then Israel will.

      In a similar vein, Netanyahu has given eloquent speeches excoriating the evil practices of the Gaza-based terrorist organization, Hamas. In the same venues in which he lambasts Iran, Netanyahu passionately describes the murderous designs of Hamas and how the Israelis will thwart those intentions; indeed, how Israel will destroy Hamas if provoked sufficiently.

      Well, if more than fifteen hundred rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza into almost every Israeli community is not sufficient provocation, then one wonders what is. Moreover, the latest provocation is exactly that – the latest. For more than decade, Hamas has engaged in rocket attacks, kidnappings, assassinations and many other forms of terror directed at the Jewish State. Periodically, Israel administers a harsh, but short, and in many ways restrained, military response. The international community says, "Tsk, tsk" and prevails upon both sides to cease fire. The calm lasts a brief period whereupon Hamas resumes its cross-border aggression, and gradually escalates its terrorist actions. The cycle repeats.

    3. Everyone, absolutely everyone, understands that the only way that Netanyahu can fulfill his promise to silence Hamas is by reconquering Gaza. The Israelis could do so, but at great cost in casualties on both sides. Netanyahu, despite his eloquent assertions that he will do whatever is necessary to silence Hamas, has – until this past week -- seemed unwilling to incur that cost. When Deputy Minister Danny Danon said so publicly, Netanyahu summarily cashiered him. But Danon was merely pointing out what many were thinking.

      In fact, as events have unfolded, it is clear that more than just Danon in Netanyahu's cabinet subscribed to the view that the Prime Minister engaged in perhaps too much talk and too little action. Those suspicions have likely been allayed by Israel's entry into Gaza.

      And yet, it is still unclear how indelible the ink on Netanyahu's red line vis-à-vis Hamas really is. According to his words, the goal of the Israeli incursion into Gaza is not the destruction of Hamas, but rather the rendering of that terrorist organization's power sufficiently impotent so as to ensure no attacks from Gaza for a "sustained period." I have no doubt that the IDF can achieve that objective. I also have no doubt that if Hamas remains the governing force in Gaza, it will be able to reconstitute the threat it poses to Israel. It might take years instead of months; but if Hamas is not destroyed, it will eventually recover its dangerous potential. The period of the cycle will lengthen, but the cycle will recur.

      Netanyahu is an Israeli hero. If one counts only his achievement of almost single-handedly converting Israel's basket-case socialist economy into the free market dynamo it has become, it would suffice to cement his place among the Zionist giants of the last hundred years. His leadership and ability to unify the Israeli people are also testament to his greatness. Finally, his eloquence in describing the fundamental differences between the freedom and rule of law present in western democracies, and the barbaric, tyrannical forces arrayed against the West in the Islamic fundamentalist world, is without equal. His 1986 book Terrorism: How the West Can Win is representative of his masterful arguments.

    4. But as the years have passed, and Israel under his leadership has failed to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities, doubts have arisen about his resolve. His seeming unwillingness to deliver a fatal blow to Hamas reinforces those doubts. The events of the coming days should resolve the doubts – one way or the other. It is important to resolve them now. For surely, the Iranians are watching carefully and might conclude that Netanyahu has no intention of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. One supposes that the new "Islamic State" and its mad caliph are also paying attention – not to mention all the other bad apples in Israel's neighborhood.

      A century of history has proven that the Arab/Muslim world does not and will not accept the existence of a sovereign Jewish State in the Umma. The Muslim word is willing to use any means, of course including terror, to obliterate Israel. The Israelis understand this. It has compelled them to fight many wars in order to maintain their existence. The sacrifices the Israelis have made in these efforts have been enormous. The Israelis would like, most fervently, to not have to continue making those sacrifices. Alas, harsh (even if eloquent) words and limited military reactions will not dissuade Hamas and its allies from their genocidal intentions. Unfortunately, much more severe action by Israel is required.

      Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, writes about politics, culture, education, science and sports at Follow him on Twitter @rlipsman

  2. With the U.N. Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire, Israeli jets and tanks continued to pound the Gaza Strip through the night.

    The Israeli barrage killed 25 people from one family near Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, while 10 from another died in the nearby Khan Younis after shells hit their home and struck again as they tried to flee, hospital officials said.

    The overnight raids lifted the Palestinian death toll to 484, mostly civilians, since fighting started on July 8. Israel says 18 of its soldiers have also died along with two civilians.

  3. The World is getting a very clear picture of the true face of Israel.

  4. Name one arab country or leader that has condemned Israel's recent actions.

    I can't think of one.


    Saudi Arabia?



  5. “precision strikes”

    Hetanyahu and his US backers in the Conga Line haven’t a clue as to the damage they have done to Israel’s reputation.

    1. Other than some moslems in Paris and London no one seems care.

      sleep time for me......