The Top Ten Takeaways From Hamas’ Sneak Attack on Israel

Yves here. Despite having limited information about the current state of the Hamas campaign against Israel, Andrew Korybko has a good list of hot takes.

Israel was clearly caught by surprise, which raise the question of how the vaunted Mossad failed to see this coming. Snowden argues that bulk surveillance does not work:

But I wonder if Hamas largely avoided electronic communication. This of course was prefigured in the famed 2002 Millennium Challenge war games, where Team Red used motortbikes to convey messages as well as coded communiques in prayer-time messages from mosque loudspeakers. Gaza is all of 25 miles long and 7.5 miles wide at its widest, so it’s not hard to imagine that messaging via hand delivery would be viable in a lot of cases.

Another question related to the failure to catch a buildup via aerial/satellite surveillance. But again, this action presumably used men already in Gaza. so no manpower massing. The area is densely populated, so hiding rockets and small arms might not be hard. The trick would be smuggling the materiel in….

Finally, as far as I can tell, Israel’s neighbors have not cleared their throats, aside from the report that Egypt relayed that Hezbollah would attack if Israel’s reprisals were too aggressive:

The wee problem is Israel believes in disproportionate responses, and Netanyahu had told Palestinians to leave…to where? To all walk into the Mediterranean and drown?

For Israel not to take extreme action would likely go over badly with voters, but the level of response that would be deemed adequately punitive runs the risk of Hezbollah entering the fray. This may be one reason for bordering countries refraining from pronouncements, since the question of Hezbollah opening a front opens up a whole new set of potential actions. The other may be that they are all in intense communication and information-sharing mode and are seeing to what degree a coordinated position is viable.

Finally, Korybko points out that the pending Saudi-Israel peace deal is likely kaput. This is a bigger loss for Team Biden than might initially be apparent. The Saudis had offered to increase oil production to help secure the agreement. Needless to say, high oil prices are not conducive to a Biden win in 2024.

By Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based American political analyst who specializes in the global systemic transition to multipolarity in the New Cold War. He has a PhD from MGIMO, which is under the umbrella of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Originally published at his website

Everything that’s happened thus far has been eye-opening for everyone.

Hamas launched an unprecedented sneak attack on Israel over the weekend that completely caught the self-professed Jewish State by surprise after all its security systems unexpectedly failed at the same time. The border wall was breached, some military bases were captured, and dozens of hostages were taken back to Gaza. Israel responded by launching airstrikes inside the strip and preparing a ground operation. Here are the top ten takeaways from everything that’s happened thus far in the latest Israeli-Hamas war:


1. Israel’s Alleged Invincibility Was Dispelled As An Illusion

For starters, nobody is under the illusion any longer that Israel is invincible. Up until this weekend’s sneak attack, some had continued to cling to the claim that its conventional military-technical capabilities and massive aid from America made it the regional hegemon, but that perception was just shattered.

2. It Was Totally Unprepared For Hamas’ Hybrid War Tactics

Upon the breaching of its border wall, which was the result of a colossal intelligence failure and subsequent collapse of all security systems, Israel proved that it was totally unprepared to counter Hamas’ Hybrid War tactics of lightning-fast squad assaults and rudimentary drone attacks.

3. Political Infighting Likely Contributed To This Intelligence Failure

Had Israel’s military and intelligence services not gotten involved in the political dispute over Netanyahu’s planned judicial reforms, which was exacerbated by the Biden Administration’s meddling as explained here, then they might have detected Hamas’ plans in advance and thus been able to foil them.

4. It Also Didn’t Help That US Spies Are Distracted With Ukraine

Israel must take full responsibility for its intelligence failures, but it also didn’t help any that its American ally’s spies have been distracted with Ukraine. If they weren’t so focused on that conflict, then they might have kept at least one satellite over Gaza that could have discovered Hamas’ military buildup.

5. America Is Now In A Dilemma Over Who Gets Finite Military Aid

Business Insider drew attention to America’s newfound dilemma over whether to give finite military aid, particularly artillery shells, to Ukraine as planned or redirect these resources to Israel instead. Its decision could have major implications for both conflicts since the choice between them is zero-sum.

6. Saudi Arabia Will Probably Freeze Its Peace Talks With Israel

Saudi Arabia is under immense pressure from the international Muslim community to freeze its reported peace talks with Israel after the latter’s strikes against civilian targets in Gaza. It’ll probably comply with these demands, which would then ruin the Biden Administration’s plans for a deal before the elections.

7. The IMEC Megaproject Will Likely Be Put On Ice For Some Time Too

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) can’t be completed if Saudi Arabia and/or especially Jordan freeze their role in its construction to protest Israel’s involvement in the latest conflict, though this won’t harm India’s trade with any relevant party since it’s entirely conducted by sea.

8. Russia & China’s Balanced Statements Surprised Some Observers

Many in the Alt-Media Community wrongly thought that Russia and China favored Palestine, hence why those two’s balanced statements here and here surprised them. Even fewer knew that President Putin fully supports the IDF as proven by his official statements over the years that were documented here.

9. The Debate Over Whether The Ends Justify The Means Has Re-Opened

Hamas’ killing of IDF-trained settlers-civilians and kidnapping of children, women, and the elderly to swap for prisoners was justified by some Palestinian supporters as a legitimate means for pursuing national liberation while other supporters criticized these tactics for undermining their cause’s morality.

10. Hezbollah Is The Wild Card In The Latest Israeli-Hamas War

Hamas’ sneak attack against Israel brought to life one of the latter’s worst nightmares, which might become even worse if Hezbollah decides to commence large-scale hostilities. In that event, Lebanon and possibly also Syria could be dragged into the fray, which could easily become existential for all parties.


Everything that’s happened thus far has been eye-opening for everyone. The reputation of Israel’s security services has been shattered, Hamas’ has never been better in the eyes of most non-Western observers, and many among the latter finally learned that neither Russia nor China favor Palestine. Should the latest conflict become protracted, let alone expand into a regional one, then there’s a real possibility that the US will freeze the Ukrainian Conflict in order to redirect finite military aid to Israel.

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  1. RookieEMT

    I’m looking at images of Israeli settlers fleeing for their lives. It’s pretty horrible but…

    When did they settle bulldozed Palestinian property?

    They are a party to the genocide.

    1. SpatialFix

      Were those the ones fleeing from a rave not far from Gaza, which is effectively a concentration camp?

      Can’t say I feel too sorry for those ones.

      1. furnace

        Yeah. Also apparently more than 200 have been killed. Though of course civilian deaths are always awful, it’s a bit callous to have a rave a few miles from an open-air prison camp.

        1. The Rev Kev

          From RT’s Live updates-

          ’13:00 GMT
          ZAKA, a volunteer group that handles human remains after terrorist attacks in Israel, has said that more than 600 Israelis have been killed since the launch of the surprise attack by Hamas.’

          11:33 GMT
          The Israeli Health Ministry said 2,048 people had been hospitalized with various injuries in the past 30 hours, including 20 patients in critical condition, and 330 others with serious injuries.’

          1. Polar Socialist

            It’s somewhat telling of the imbalance of the situation that while Israeli casualties have passed the cumulative count of the last 15 years, Palestinian casualties (in Gaza) have just passed the annual average.

        2. SpatialFix

          I don’t think it’s morally any different to German settlers having a party next to the Warsaw Ghetto.

          I don’t condone killing civilians. But, in this case, I have no sympathy either.

          1. Beth

            Are settlers technically civilians? Aren’t they there specifically for the purpose of taking territory that does not belong to Israel?

        3. Jams O'Donnell

          These may be the same settlers who had picnics and cheered, on the hills overlooking Gaza, the last time the Israelis mass-bombed the place

          1. Phenix

            It was a bunch of peacenik hippies at the rave not Israeli settlers….the rave was a pro-prace rave.

    2. Louis Fyne

      your point, while valid, will be memory-holed.

      if anyone though Ukraine media coverage was peak narrative, we have 9/11 + Pearl Harbor + 2024 election year and all that bipartisan AIPAC money sloshing around

    3. Cristobal

      Apart from the sophisticated military planning, the behavior of the liberated people of Gaza looks like a bloody prisión riot, which It is.

        1. Jeff

          It’s a pity people throw terms like concentration camp demonstration their breathtaking ignorance. I’m no longer surprised to read tripe like that.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I notice that Wikipedia refuses to have an article on ‘Concentration camps’ but now redirects to ‘Internment’ instead. But if Gaza is not an open air prison or a concentration camp (like the British did with the Boers during the Boer war) or a ghetto, how would you describe it then?

            1. ambrit

              The fact that “Jeff” used the pejorative “tripe” to describe the previous comment is the tell. “Jeffs” comment is a pure appeal to prejudice.
              To me, the best term with which to describe the Gaza is “ghetto.” In the old, round ’em up and hold ’em down sense.

          2. Old Builder

            I imagine it’s where they take ADHD sufferers to learn to proofread their comments, so they don’t look stupid.

          3. JonnyJames

            Jeff: Gaza has been under siege for years, talk about breathtaking ignorance. The hard truth is too uncomfortable for many to admit. I’m not the only one who has referred to Gaza as a concentration camp. Do your homework son

    4. steppenwolf fetchit

      Confucius once said: ” first, rectify the language”.

      Ethnic cleansing and genocide are two different things. Ethnic cleansing is where the perpetrator group drives out the targeted group and takes their land. Genocide is where the perpetrator group tries to kill every member of the targeted group it can in order to exterminate the targeted group from physical existence.

      The Naqba was an ethnic cleansing. The Interahamwe holocaust of the Tutsis was a genocide.

      Ian Welsh sometimes reminds his readers of the difference, as in this partial quote from his just-yesterday post about the Hamas attack . . . ” many Israeli politicians have been clear they want to just get rid of the Palestinians. They can’t genocide them, because it would destroy the Holocaust trump card, but many would love ethnic cleanse them. This may be an opportunity.”

    5. Merf56

      While no sane person wants to see children killed or orphaned my sympathy for the settlers is nearly nil. They knew what they were doing by living on stolen land, often in stolen homes.
      Were they so arrogant as to believe the people whose lives, homes and futures they destroyed would never take up what arms they have and fight back? The mind boggles.
      Hamas is not exactly who you’d hope would lead the revolution but who else do they have?
      The entire jewish zionist project of genociding the Palestinian people seems rooted in a kind of Stockholm syndrome from the Holocaust and they have become what they feared most – genocidal maniacs
      And the msm press being totally aligned with this is unspeakable

  2. Louis Fyne

    1. weaker -on-paper side uses asymmetric methods (hang-gliders, etc) against conventionally strong opponent.

    2. pundits/Establishment shocked that the other side doesn’t play according to scenarios that the superior side prepared for.

    3. “preaching in the wilderness like John theBaptist” asymmetric warfare nerds still get ignored by the corner offices.

    rinse, repeat. get ready for the next asymmetric “shock”

  3. Louis Fyne

    Hezbollah has the theoretical ability to disrupt the Israeli power grid via drones, missiles.

    any war against hezbollah will not be like 2006

  4. Jessica

    “then there’s a real possibility that the US will freeze the Ukrainian Conflict in order to redirect finite military aid to Israel.”
    Is there any way for the US to freeze the Ukrainian conflict?

    1. chris

      The US can freeze media coverage of the Ukrainian conflict. I’m sure we’ll all be amazed at how quickly it vanishes from ever being mentioned once our elite leaders make the decision to jump ship.

      And before myself and everyone who is commenting on this article are yeeted away to Hillary’s re-education camps for our cult like beliefs, it’s worth wondering when our media will at least attempt to reconcile the apartheid state that Israel enforced prior to this awful turn of events with the response of the Palestinians. I don’t know how long I could live under those conditions. I doubt it would have been as long as most in Gaza had endured.

      It’s awful to think this, but I believe we need to stay away from the conflict and let all sides finish this war. Maybe we prepare a nice piece of land in Brazil or Nevada, or anywhere other than Jerusalem for the inevitable refugees. Because if we help Israel with any military aid beyond what we’ve already given them prior to the conflict, won’t the rest of the Arab world hurt us with high oil prices and other difficulties? Aren’t we still exposed for a big attack like the Cole or 9/11? I know there’s zero chance of the US offering to help the Palestinians but perhaps we can thread the needle with humanitarian aid?

  5. furnace

    Is the US even capable of freezing Ukraine? For me such a “freeze” would just amount to capitulation and collapse of the Ukrainian Army. As for international support for Palestine, esp. from Russia and China, it clearly was never going to materialize. The situation is too complex and both know that nothing good will come from trying to meddle. Best to leave the Arabs to solve their own issues, as is the usual anticolonial stance.

    Lots of commentators like Big Serge are predicting cataclysm to the Palestinians from the point of view that the Israelis have a lot more and a lot larger guns. True. But considering the size of the mess barely 1000 Hamas fighters have managed to create, I’m not convinced about Israel’s operational capabilities. Of course, it remains to be seen how things will develop. But I wouldn’t discount the Palestinians simply based on spreadsheet logic.

    1. IM Doc

      It is probably time to reflect again upon the Arthur C. Clarke 1951 short story “Superiority”.

      Basically, a story of two futuristic societies engaged in war. One was heavily invested in technology and all the hubris that comes with that, the other not so much. The debacles experienced by the “much better prepared society” – the one with overwhelming technology are eerily familiar to a modern reader. And one has only to guess which side eventually wins.

      Many of those post War sci-fi writers were amazingly prescient. I would also add that Asimov included this story in his 1980s anthology “The Cardinal Virtues of Science Fiction”. Which virtue did this Clarke story represent?

      Temperance. It is something our war-monger elite have absolutely no concept of.

      1. Oh

        The treatment of the people in the Gaza strip and ilegall occupation and appropriation of Palestinian resources by Israel finally brought this situation to a boil. The situation is compounded by US aid to Israel.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Got a copy of that story myself as it is a great one. I’m pretty sure that I read once that “Superiority” was once required reading in US military academies but that it was eventually dropped. To much on the nose I guess.

      3. digi_owl

        Sir Clarke in particular worked on radar during WW2, and conceptualized satellite communications (claiming that 3 of them in stationary orbits would be enough to cover the globe) before becoming a sci-fi author.

        He also interestingly compared the world wide web to drinking from a fire hose, and limited his use of the internet to email.

        1. ambrit

          A friend of ours in Louisiana corresponded with Clarke through the international “snail mail.”
          Back then, Clarke tried to answer all of his mail, even ‘fan mail’ personally. Our friend ended up using a method that reduced the time and resources needed for Clarke to reply. Brian would send off a letter, with a page of questions, in list format, a double spaced line per query. A wide margin to the right of the page left room for Clarke to jot down answers to individual questions.
          It was a very efficient way to exchange information.
          We would joke about how many Ceylonese stamps were affixed to the outsides of the Air Mail envelopes coming from Clarke.
          At the second phase of his life, Clarke moved to Ceylon and stayed evidently very happy there until the end.

          1. some guy

            I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the reason Clark ( A British Subject living in America I believe) moved to Ceylon was that during the early Star Wars planning and salesmanship period, when Clark offered reasons why it wouldn’t work and was a silly thing to try, fellow science-fiction author Robert Heinlein condemned Clark as some kind of resident alien who had no business commenting on American affairs. Clark decided that Reagan period America was no longer a rational or livable-in society, so he left.

            1. Revenant

              There are longstanding allegations that Arthur C Clarke stayed in Sri Lanka for the lax laws about sex with youths (“underage” would be hard to argue, as whose legal system is to be the yardstick). Let’s just describe it as Greek practices. I don’t know how much proof there is but the rumours have often been printed in the mainstream UK press since his death. None of this detracts from his prescience but I don’t think he moved to get away from Heinlein!

              1. ambrit

                Heinlein himself was no saint when it came to personal sexual practices. His later, self indulgent phase of work contained many themes that we might consider “seamy.” From what I have gleaned, Heinlein was a libertine himself, and actually lived out the “fantasies” delineated in his later works.
                Clarke was evidently attracted to men, and moved to where he would not be prosecuted and punished for such.
                Heinlein, from what I have read, was a mean spirited man where it came to people opposing his political views. He was a classic case of one starting out as Leftist and converting to hard Right later in life. American politics and academics is full of such. Nothing is so self-righteous as a convert to a new religion.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  He changed a lot from his younger self and by the time of the Ronnie era, he had gone hard right. Thus it was that during this era the government gathered a lot of writers like himself together to recruit them to push a pro-American viewpoint in their writings. I wonder which other writers were in that room?

                  1. digi_owl

                    Didn’t he also have people return all personal correspondence to him so he could burn it on a backyard bonfire?

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      No idea. I know the guy kept all the correspondence that was sent to him which he kept in his files.

                  2. ambrit

                    I understand that writers like Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven were in that group. A rule of thumb here is that 1980s and later “hard science” science fiction writers are “suspect.” (Some, like Professor Forward are the exceptions that ‘prove’ the rule.) This subject is a Wild West in fan circles.
                    The classic anecdote is that Heinlein personally and publically “shamed” Clarke at one of the meetings of the informal “Raygun Group” when Clarke “dared” to push back against the early Star Wars Anti-Ballistic Missile system hoopla.
                    Asimov was also anti Star Wars System, but kept it low key on his part.

                    1. some guy

                      I remember once reading something Kurt Vonnegut wrote when he was called a “science fiction” writer. I can only do my best paraphrasing.

                      ” I get soreheaded about being put in the file drawer of “science fiction writer”, especially because some critics keep mistaking the drawer for a urinal.”

                2. lyman alpha blob

                  Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” was a great read. Been years since I read it, but the politics are likely relevant to this current conflict – the scrappy lunar colonists fighting back against the hegemon Earth.

                  A major innovation he trots out in that book is the concept of “line marriage” practiced by the lunar residents. He spends quite a bit of time describing the dynamics of the arrangement, and how it would be much better than traditional monagamous marriages, but it’s essentially just wife swapping or polyamory – pretty seamy although those practices are making a comeback these days, at least from what you see on the interwebs.

                  1. ambrit

                    There are too many anecdotes about Heinlein and his wives, he was married three times, practicing your nicely named “polyamory” for the question to be dismissed out of hand.
                    Heinlein was a nudist, no big deal there, and also an “amateur photographer” of “erotic” subjects.
                    The above would not be such a big deal if there were not also rumours of Heinlein, and his clique, practicing such “lifestyle choices” with underage women.
                    The basic problem here is the tension arising between the individuals right to personal privacy versus the societies mandate to protect the “innocent” from predation by stronger social actors.
                    Taking Heinlein and his group as early examples of the Neo-liberal World Order, the inescapable conclusion I come to is that Neo-liberalism is the perfect vehicle for the promotion of Predation as the basic social “value.”
                    It is no longer a question of, “Would you want to live in a world like that?” We are already well into the belly of that Beast. Now our problem, and task, is to slay that Beast and free ourselves.
                    Sorry for the Rant.
                    Stay safe all.

      4. .Tom

        Prescient, yes, but also historical. Looking back from ’51, WW2 Germany had heavily invested in technology and all the hubris that comes with that. At the time of writing the USA was too and was ramping it up fast. Louis Fyne’s list above has in #3 a comment about corner offices. It is on point. Clarke was taking about his past and present as well as predicting that these corner offices probably won’t learn.

      5. Mikel

        I just read it and was reminded of Wile E. Coyote’s contraptions to catch the Roadrunner.

        I loved the ending:
        “But I cannot be held responsible for my future actions if I am compelled any longer to share
        my cell with Professor Norden, late Chief of the Research Staff of my armed forces.”

      6. berit

        Curiosity made me look up Arthur C. Clarke. I found a treasure. Thank you!
        As you say, amazingly prescient. “Superiority” found on the web. Antidote superieur after news of tragedy once more unfolding in ME and the continuing Ukrainian blood bath. And this one quote among the many wise and prescient listed: “As our own species is in the process of proving, one can not have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and selfdestroying.” Thanks!

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Netanyahu and the IDF spokesman are calling for a long war. Israeli defense philosophy is to win quickly and decisively partially because the longer things go the more opportunity for mistakes there are and disruptions to the economy. People who can move back to Florida might skip town, hence the airport scenes. I’m not talking about the people who might be called up but engineers, doctors, mechanics, etc. The Iron Dome attracted immigrants. I’m not sure they would be there without the sense of impunity.

      Israel is the size of New Jersey. It’s smaller than the SMO theatre. Even in 2006, much of Israeli life was normal. This has the potential to affect their economy in a way no one has prepared for. Then on the other side, the EU and US aren’t likely going to be providing reconstruction funds.

      The other thing is I’m not sure the IDF knows entirely what Hamas’ goals are or they do and are trying to not play the Hamas game. I’m certain Hamas expects the IDF to try to move quickly as possible into the re-occupied areas and the northern border of the Gaza Strip. Then the West Bank explodes, followed by Hezbollah depending on how things go.

      Biden not reentering the Iran deal might be the real blunder of his presidency. The potential US diplomatic position was burnt up to please Rubio.

      1. .Tom

        What do you mean my “the potential to affect their economy”? Simply that a long war will soak up a lot of resources and put a damper on economic activity it doesn’t directly affect?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          After the conflicts in the he 60’s and 70’s, Jewish immigrants moved to Israel with the idea they needed to support the Jewish state. Who are these modern settlers in the 21st century? The settler from the Bronx who made news a few months back moved there after the promise of the Iron Dome and when Israel just bombs neighbors for fun. Thsee more recent settlers aren’t there for a fight. They are there to be thugs. Why should someone in Tel Aviv lift a finger for a thug?

          The remaining modern Kibbutzes are as real as anything found by St. Helena there for the express purpose of entertaining kids on birth right trips. The previous solidarity is long gone and can be seen in the extreme wealth inequality.

          Then you have a huge non-Jewish population outside of Palestinian areas.

          Finally, Israel is fairly small. It’s not self sufficient but has a number of advanced industries. Prolonged wars are going to create related shortages. Again, there will be plenty of people who might decide the Florida humidity just that bad. Tech and weapons sold that ultimately buy products citizens need will have to be turned to the war effort if it’s prolonged. It’s why they quit previous conflicts.

      2. XXYY

        The Iron Dome attracted immigrants

        The Ukraine conflict has given a vivid illustration of how large numbers of small, cheap armed drones can affect the course of a conflict. Traditional big power defensive systems like the Patriot and Iron Dome are not well suited to providing protection against these kind of attacks. Also, the increasing range, accuracy and ubiquity of larger missiles makes it more and more unlikely that anyone can claim they are immune from air attacks.

        The Ukraine conflict has really changed the face of war, whether we like it or not. We had better start learning how to live with each other.

    3. Kouros

      Given the almost formalized intentions of Israel government and society at large to move towards estinguishing the Arab presence in the lands of “historical” Israel, amounting with a cataclysm, this “Escape from Sobibor” event will have the chance to clarify things a bit.

  6. HH

    Politicians exploit hatred to gain and hold power. Nothing stokes hatred like abusing and killing civilians. Thus, politicians perpetuate the evils that keep them in power. This is why there is no peace in the Middle East.

  7. The Rev Kev

    Say, does anybody remember reading about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising from WW2? How you had all those people jammed into an open-air prison with no place to escape to and the Nazis kept them on starvation rations and would go in to occasionally to mow the grass? And how the people there smuggled weapons and explosives into the ghetto to defend themselves in spite of the fact that they were heavily outgunned and the Nazis had an air force to bomb them with at will? And then how the people there, facing future annihilation, decided to make a stand and fought those Nazis with everything that they had – as little as it was. And then the Nazis went in to crush that rebellion through sheer brutality and cruelty. You know what? As much as I despise the Nazis, not once did I read of them saying as they went into Warsaw that they did so as they ‘had the right to defend themselves’ or that they bombed synagogues because they knew that weapons were stored there or say that these people were animals because of the way that they acted-

    1. Morpheus

      Rev, I am sure you realize that you will be branded an antisemite (by some) simply for drawing such an analogy. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t completely valid.

      As an American Jew, I have dozens of friends and family who are right now decrying the terrorist attacks on the peace-loving, democratic Israel (despite the fact that most of them would agree that Israel has moved uncomfortably to the right in recent years). For me, it has only been in the last decade or so that the scales of Israeli Hasbara have dropped from my eyes and I have seen the truth. But having reached this point of (greater) enlightenment, I can only say that this appears to me to be Israel reaping what it has sown over so many decades.

      I hope that this shock will ultimately lead to a better life for the Palestinians who have suffered so much for so long, but I suspect there will be a lot more suffering and death before we reach such a place.

      1. The Rev Kev

        My greatest fear is that the ultra hard right in Israel will take total control of that country and push the secularists into the background – and women back into the home. People like Bibi have been going on for decades about mad Mullahs with nukes in Iran but it may be that instead we will have mad Rabbis with nukes in Israel. In the years ahead it will be harder and harder for a secularist to live in Israel as life will become harder for them and I think that many will choose to leave the country. One of them joked that one third of the people in Israel served in the army, one third filled the administrative roles and one third payed all the taxes. Unfortunately it was all the same third. There was a chance for peace back in the 90s but that all got pushed aside. A two State country is no longer possible so I think that the only viable choice long term will be one country, one people and all with equal rights. But it is going to be a long bloody path to get there.

          1. Socal Rhino

            Former Archdruid of one particular order, wrote for years about peak oil, the decline and fall of civilizations, polytheism and ceremonial magical practices. One of the first I know of that pointed out the power of the current republican frontrunner to get in the heads of his opponents.

        1. playon

          That was one of my first thoughts too – there is nothing like fear to move a population to the far right and now Israelis are rightfully afraid.

        1. Jams O'Donnell

          Good for them. I had the impression that the religious right in Israel were on the more extreme side of Jewish society, but these seem not to be. I wonder how much influence their views have.

        2. Morpheus


          As you may know, some of the most anti-Israel Jews are the most religious. Judging from their dress, and the use of quotation marks around the word Israel suggests to me that these protesters are of that sort. These Jews believe that the Jewish people cannot return to the Land of Israel until the Messiah comes (i.e., they are 100% against the existence of Israel in the absence of the coming of paradise on Earth).

          I grew up in the conservative movement, and I suspect that the number of conservative Jews who agree with my position on Israel is quite small. I literally would not express my true views to any of my friends or family for fear of irrevocably destroying our relationship. At best, I can talk around the edges (e.g. pointing out how the settlements are clearly against international law). Even on the subject of whether Israel is an Aparteid state is anathama, although I love to point out the existence of Jew-only roads, and ask my friends if they would support white-only roads in, say, Mississippi.

          Unfortunately, I know that my friends and family see the current action as a totally-unjustified, terrorist attack that cannot be justified in any way, etc., etc.

          So, unfortunately, in my social circle, I feel very much alone.

          1. Feral Finster

            Satmar Hassidim.

            I am no fan of Israel as it currently is constructed, but I am NO antisemite.

            You are not alone.

            1. anthony H

              I attended the huge anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, and the most positive thing I saw there were very Orthodox Jews hugging, chatting with and being photographed with Muslims. It brought tears to the eyes of many people.

      2. local to oakland

        I have ancestors who settled the frontier in the US midwest. I also have ancestors who arrived after the dispossession of the native americans was complete. The stories have paralels with the Israeli Palestinian story.

        The palestinians have been squeezed into ever diminishing territory. They have been oppressed and their land expropriated. Some have been killed. Now Hamas has kidnapped and executed Israelis. However, I fear that the recent attacks will lead to genocide implemented by the Israeli military as happened in the US with the native americans.

        I think the Clark short story is one possible scenario, but a different possibility is that the Israeli army simply wins.

        1. ambrit

          “…a different possibility is that the Israeli army simply wins.” And by so doing, destroys the moral standing of Israel.
          If this kills the Saudi/Israeli normalization talks, then Hamas wins. Israel will then be completely surrounded by hostile nations. Even Egypt will have to ‘join the crowd’ in this. The Islamic Brotherhood was too powerful a socio-political group to have completely disappeared there.
          At root, this is a religious war. Those are the hardest to resolve.

    2. LAS

      Isn’t it also the case that the people in the Warsaw Ghetto timed their rebellion to coordinate with the approaching Russian army, thinking they might have support from Russia before they were wiped out? However, the Russian army refused to get involved and stood on the side, across a river near Warsaw.

      1. Kevin Walsh

        No. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising happened in 1943, and is a different event from the later Home Army uprising in 1944.

        The Home Army uprising took place at the tail end of a Soviet offensive. The Soviets did attempt to reach Warsaw, but they were defeated by the Germans.

  8. Mark Gisleson

    Russia has gone easy on Ukraine. I’m pretty sure Hamas won’t go easy on Israel.

    All you urban folks need to pay close attention to what happens to cities that lose their electricity because that’s probably about to happen.

    1. Louis Fyne

      step 1. fill up every container w/potable water (which needs a smidge of bleach to be potable long-term), to the point of being a pathological hoarder.

      1. ambrit

        Yep. The basic ethos of Preppers is that: Everything falls apart sooner or later.
        The hard part is the rebuilding.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Also, don’t forget to fill up the bathtub as well as a large, source of drinkable water. I did that when major floods hit this region back in 2011 and though we did not need it in the end, was glad that I did.

    2. .Tom

      In the UK my generation learned it in 1978 in the terrifying first episode of James Burke Connections.

      We live in Boston USA now. We have done no prepping because don’t wanna but I often think about it. When the electricity went out here for 5 days in a terrible cold snap, virtually all the neighbors just left. We didn’t have anywhere to go and stayed and were fine. Water pipes did not freeze so we were ok. Maybe we should get a good big cistern (as is common in the UK) but then I’d have to make space for it.

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        Connections is an awesome series and I highly recommend it. The first episode is ‘The trigger effect’ on the possibility of cascading failures resulting from failure of the grid. It uses a large historical blackout in New York as an example. Burke imagines himself trapped in elevator in the World Trade Center in the opening sequence. I have a physical copy.
        It is broadly about the development of technology historically and all the weird things that can influence history.
        It profoundly affected my thinking as a teenager when I first saw it.

    3. Feral Finster

      If Russia treated Ukraine with half as much brutality as Israel treats its neighbors, the howls of outrage would be deafening.

      1. MFB

        I’ve been wearing earplugs since the Russians moved into Crimea, for that very reason. I seriously doubt NATO can howl any louder, even here in South Africa where the bulk of the population is neutral on the war (but the media is all NATO all the time).

  9. furnace

    From an update on Middle-East Eye:

    Israeli police forces fatally shot an Israeli civilian thinking he was a Palestinian fighter on Sunday, according to Haaretz.

    The man was driving a car that Israeli forces thought belonged to a suspicious vehicle fleeing towards Highway 4 near the city of Ashkelon.

    He was shot dead after a police car chase.

    Not a good look. Paranoia in the armed forces.

    1. furnace

      Again, from Resistance News Network:

      According to zionist media, a number of occupation soldiers were injured by bullets from their colleagues on the border between occupied Palestine and Lebanon, after they thought that resistance fighters of Hezbollah’s Radwan force were present there.

  10. furnace

    New message from Hezbollah. Propaganda or not, this sounds like it means business:
    (From Resistance News Network)

    Chairman of the Executive Council of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hashem Safieddine:

    We are in the position we should be in, and the epics being written by the resistance fighters today in Palestine are the beginning of a new phase.

    The resistance fighters in Palestine proved that they are capable of liberating all of Palestine, and their operations warmed the hearts of all Arabs and Muslims.

    Netanyahu, the zionists, and all “israeli” leaders will not recover from this shock.

    The failure of “israeli intelligence” means the success of the Palestinian resistance at various levels and the accumulation of military combat experience.

    The entry of the resistance fighters into the settlements that they thought were fortified and protected and the capture of a large number of zionists is a scene of humiliation that indicates the ability of the heroic Palestinians to take revenge for decades of injustice.

    These scenes indicate that the time for revenge and reckoning has come.

    The Islamic Resistance’s slogan has always been “March, March, March towards Al-Quds,” and we must always repeat this slogan.

    We have witnessed and are witnessing the complete and clear ratification of the statement of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, “The time of defeats has passed and the time of victories has come.”

    Netanyahu thought that with his extremist decisions he could do whatever he wanted in Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the satisfactory answer came to him from the “Al-Aqsa Flood” that Al-Quds has its protectors and Al-Aqsa has its men and that the resistance can have many surprises.

    The battle is not over, and in some results, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation ended the notion of safe settlements in all of Palestine and is continuing, and what is coming is greater.

    This era is the era of armed resistance, blood, martyrdom, glory and pride, not the era of submission and normalization.

    The Islamic nation is becoming increasingly convinced, steadfast, solid, and certain that this entity is about to disappear.

    This battle is the battle of the entire nation in the face of this enemy, and everyone must engage in the battle to defend Al-Quds and the holy sites.

    Netanyahu must know that this battle is not a battle for the people of Gaza and the West Bank only, but the responsibility requires all our people in the Islamic and Arab nation not to be neutral, and we are not neutral in this battle.

    The resistance sent a greeting this morning to the Palestinian resistance, and we say that this message must be carefully considered by the Israelis.

    Our message to the Americans and the “israelis”: “Your foolishness, O “israelis” and Americans, and your disdain for the sanctities and your transgression of all lines, will lead you to the Al-Aqsa flood, and if you continue in your foolishness, it will lead to the flood of the entire nation, which will drown the entire entity.

    Greetings to the heroic resistors, to all the resistance factions in Palestine, and to the families of the wounded and martyrs, and we say to them, “The nation, we are with you, and our hearts, souls, missiles, and rifles are with you, because we are the resistance that originally existed for the sake of Palestine and Al-Aqsa.”

    In our dear resistance, we have always longed for these moments in which we clash with this enemy and we are fully prepared and ready when needed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not to worry. There is always the New York Times or the Guardian or the Washington Post or even CNN. They will tell you all they think that you need to know and will have comments more to your liking.

          1. JonnyJames

            If I recall, a population under occupation and attack (Palestine) has a legal right to fight back and use violence under international law. The basic facts make any claim of “unprovoked attack” ridiculous.

            Thanks for the Caitlin Johnstone link, she kicks ass!

              1. JonnyJames

                Silly me, I forgot: The “rule of law” is so 20th century.

                From Caitlin’s article: (Amer Zahr)
                75 years of ethnic cleansing.
                15 years of blockade.
                Confiscation of Palestinian lands.
                Pogroms on Palestinian towns.
                Desecration of Palestinian sacred sites.
                Daily raids into Palestinian homes.
                Constant humiliation of a entire people.

                Nothing about today is “unprovoked.”

      1. ambrit

        Also, and crucially, most perusers of this site read the entire articles, not just the first few paragraphs.
        Critical thinking skills are valued here.

        1. urdsama

          To be honest, the quality of the analysis and links on this site provide better information in the first few paragraphs than entire articles in the MSM.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar


      What do you make of this assertion?

      The Ukraine Connection

      Of significant amusement is that it appears that much of the weaponry used by Hamas is from stockpiles sent to Ukraine and sold on the black market. This spread of weaponry was predicted and lo.

      Can Ian Welsh back that up?

      1. Lex

        Netanyahu said this summer that there were Ukrainian arms “on the border” and there was a statement today after a pickup truck load of Hamas fighters were captured that arms with Ukrainian military markings were found with them. Hamas published a video yesterday thanking Ukraine for all the arms.

        Nothing truly official but a lot of circumstantial evidence and given the scale of corruption not surprising.

        1. John

          Alexander Mercouris said the same and added that “arms for Ukraine” can be found all over the EU

    1. JonnyJames

      Cheers for the link, always interesting to see what he has to say. Also good to listen/read other “self-hating Jews” opinions, Max Blumenthal, Dennis Bernstein especially.

      (It is sad and pathetic that the far-right Likudnik types only defense is to call folks’ names.)

  11. Isl

    From what i know of orbital mechanics, which actually is a lot, you can’t leave a satellite in Leo over Israel or Ukraine. You can choose not to analyze the data.

    1. Glen

      Yes, most “traditional” spy satellites are in polar orbit, and require a massive infrastructure to build, launch, and run. As far as I know, Israel has none of that, but probably does have intelligence sharing agreements with allied countries that do have that capability. But for ultimate just go launch, fly in a circle, and suck up data, it would be done by one of these (and Israel is very good at these):

      Unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aerial vehicle

      I suspect, but we will probably never know, that almost all surveillance assets available to the “West” have been deployed over or next to Ukraine, and are kept very busy, although one has to assume that there are many in use in parts of the middle east due to all the intra region conflicts.

      But in all, this attack is just a massive intelligence failure. I imagine the big question today for any Israel intelligence employee that is not already occupied 24/7 dealing with the current attack is what else did we miss? What is coming next?

  12. TomDority

    Sounds like I am contrarian – maybe just being contrarian on purpose.
    Maybe none of it was a failure or a surprise to USA – Israeli intelligence. Just maybe cause all that loot spent over decades on the most advanced stuff can’t possibly have been for naught – I mean, I have been told by my leaders that they are doing everything to keep me safe and coddled in the belief that they know what’s best for me – it can’t be that these decades long advances could have failed – just saying

    1. jefemt

      I reached a similar conclusion, different path to it. Shock Doctrine, The Great Game, etc.

      I just finished a pretty interesting read called, “Into Tibet”, Thomas Laird–about spycraft in Asia trying to track Russia’s first Nuke, China, Tibet, post-WW2.
      Interesting subject matter, not the most well-crafted. I’d say worth the time, though.

      My takeaway– there is really no way to know about our own government, foreign governments, and International Affairs.
      Many agencies within one government work cross purposes, purposefully. Add in a few other powers and their agencies.

      Mix in Foreign Money influencing domestic political policies.

      Armament Futures.

      I really need new glasses– this poop-tint is exhausting- can humans really suck so much 24/7?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Call it partisan, but Israel has had nothing but neoliberals and Netanyahu running it since Rabin was shot. The country built by their old Labor party (not to sanctify them) simply hasn’t had reasonable people running things in decades.

      What you have is coasting on past glories and old plans still in place. Even the old conservatives are part of the story. Sharon was many bad things, but he was a proper hero and patriot worried about the state of Israel, not stealing land for personal use. Israel hasn’t been run by people who share politics with Sharon but Sharon cosplayers.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        NotTimothyGeithner: Yes, I think that your point is not partisan but structural. When Likud and the other neoliberals replaced Labor, they thought that they were more exceptional than ever, mainly had to manipulate U.S. politicians, and the result would be that their fantasies would come to pass. Likud and the foaming-at-the-mouth parties of the right of Likud are revealed for what they are: Empty.

          1. Retired Carpenter

            Victoria -family blog the EU- Nudelman is a “neoliberal”.
            “Rectification of Names”?
            Retired Carpenter

            1. JonnyJames

              Retired Carpenter, I thought she was a “neocon”? with her hubby Robert Kagan (See:PNAC). Two pigs in a pen.
              “neoliberal” is an economics term. See: Washington Consensus

              adjective: neo-liberal; adjective: neoliberal

              favoring policies that promote free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending.

              noun: neo-liberal; plural noun: neo-liberals; noun: neoliberal; plural noun: neoliberals

              an advocate or supporter of free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending.

              1. skippy

                Atlanticism Political ideology regarding North American–European cooperation

                Atlanticism, also known as Transatlanticism, is the ideological belief in support of closer relationships between the peoples and governments in Northern America and in Europe on political, economic, and defense issues for the purpose of maintaining the security and prosperity of the participating countries and protect liberal democracy and the progressive values of an open society that unite them under multiculturalism. The term derives from the North Atlantic Ocean, which is bordered by North America and Europe. The term can be used in a more specific way to refer to support for North Atlantic military alliances against the Soviet Union, or in a more expansive way to imply broader cooperation, perceived deeply shared values, a merging of diplomatic cultures, as well as a sense of community and some degree of integration between North America and Europe.

                Its a big tent.

                1. ambrit

                  “Its a big tent.”
                  But I don’t see any camels sticking their noses in under the edge anymore.

      2. game theory

        Sharon was many bad things, but he was a proper hero and patriot worried about the state of Israel, not stealing land for personal use.

        Oh? if Ariel Scheinermann became known as the “Butcher of Lebanon” for being a patriot and “proper hero” of Israel, then people should be reevaluating their idea of national heroes and patriotism.

        In January 2014 Craig Murray wrote on his blog, “Seeing Tony Blair speaking at Ariel Sharon’s funeral – one war criminal eulogising another – was so horrifying it has jolted this blog back out of retirement. There may be no justice, but there can be truth.”

        David Edwards wrote an excellent piece on “Sharon” for Media Lens back in January of 2014 entitled “Ariel Sharon – War is Peace.” Well worth the read:

  13. LawnDart

    From last Wednesday:

    Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on fifth day of Sukkot

    4 Oct 2023

    Dozens of Israeli settlers have forced their way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem to mark the fifth day of Sukkot, according to the Islamic Waqf Department.

    Since Sunday, thousands of settlers have been carrying out provocative tours of the mosque complex following calls by ultranationalist Jewish groups.

    Note that Israel itself was facing mass civil unrest due to Netanyahu’s judiciary “reforms.”

    Israel must have a change in government soon, German-Jewish leader says

    Germany’s Jewish community leader called for a change of government in Israel in an exclusive interview with German outlet published on Friday, in a direct attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s judicial reform.

    President of the Central Council of Jews Josef Schuster, a vocal proponent of the government since its inception late last year, also expressed his concern about Israel’s democracy as the “problematic judicial reform is dividing Israeli society as the only democracy in the Middle East.

    From last May:

    Hamas: We will not allow Zionist entity to pass its plans in al-Aqsa

    GAZA May 18. 2023 (Saba) – The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas confirmed that it will not allow the Zionist entity to pass a plan to extend its sovereignty or impose its control over al-Aqsa Mosque through the march of flags of settlers or repeated incursions into it.

    Hamas spokesman Abdullatif al-Qanou’ said in a press statement that our battle with the Zionist enemy over the identity of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque is still open and ongoing.

    He added “The enemy’s fascist government allowing extremist groups to march flags for settlers and the repeated incursions into the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, especially this morning, should constitute a mobilization for every Arab and Muslim.”

    I am having a difficult time believing this attack was unexpected, or unprovoked.

    Who benefits?

    1. Skip Intro

      It was an intentional escalation:
      from MoA:

      October 5 2023:

      Over 800 Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa compound during Jewish Sukkot holiday

      More than 800 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday morning under the protection of Israeli forces.
      Rabbis, heads of settlement associations, and far-right university lecturers were among 832 people who forced their way into the religious site compound, a source in the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem told The New Arab’s Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

      Israeli forces imposed severe restrictions on Muslim worshippers entering Al-Aqsa and those under 60 were prevented from accessing the site.

      It comes during the Jewish religious holiday of Sukkot, which started on 29 September and ends on Friday. The holiday has seen thousands of Israeli extremists storm the Al-Aqsa compound, with almost 1,500 entering the site on Monday.

      1. Revenant

        On a similar note, I don’t like to see this attack described as a “sneak” attack, any more than Pearl Harbour was a “sneak” attack. It was an attack. Possibly by surprise. Calling something a sneak attack belittles the attacker and sides with the defender.

  14. Synoia

    My father was in Israel from 1943 to 1946 and was the Garrison Engineer for Nazareth. He, and later the War My Mother Mot,her were pro Arab to the core, because of the Israeli attacks on the British during WW II ftpm the Eurgan, Stern Gang and Haganar.

  15. Bosko

    There was a Twitter post a few years ago from an IDF soldier, shirt off and belly hanging over his underwear, saying that he had recently started working out again after a Palestinian kid mocked him for being chubby. This is one of the takeaways from the weekend: Israel may be wealthy and the IDF might be swimming in expensive weapons, but the occupiers looked clueless–not only in the grand scheme of things (being unaware of the attack), but in the particulars, in the training and behavior of individual soldiers. Did anyone see the TG post of the Russian colonel saying that the footage he’d seen led him to believe that the IDF were the most incompetent soldiers he’d ever seen?

  16. JohnA

    The coverage to date shows the great disconnect between politicians, who from Ursula VDL saying the EU was solidly behind Israel in its fight against terrorism, ditto from both Sunak and Starmer in Britain, and other western politicians, and the general public who, despite the warped media coverage that conceals Israeli crimes and killings and collective punishments, recognise how terrible life is for Palestinians, gradually being dispossessed of their lands and heritage, with nowhere to go, and whatever means they employ to resist will immediately be labelled terrorism by politicians and media.
    The public in general see a desperately unfair fight for what it is, and how despicable the west is in turning a blind eye when all the while employing laser vision in its other eye to scream war crimes about any actions Russia, Serbia, Hamas etc., engage in.

  17. Es s Cetera

    My key takeaways:

    1) Netanyahu looked positively thrilled, glowing, was practically smiling.
    2) Suddenly all attention is on Israel, hardly on Ukraine, Biden and Elensky must be relieved. What timing.
    3) The news media are having an orgasm.

    Also, if it’s true Mossad has thoroughly infiltrated and controls Hamas and Hezbollah…

    1. hk

      I don’t know. For past 40-50 years or so, the reputation that Mossad has been that it’s good at special ops, but terrible at intelligence gathering–it’s good at playing James Bond, but not George Smiley. Earlier, there were plenty of Jews from Arabic speaking lands (and loyal Arab citizens of Israel) who could blend in well in Arabic-speaking societies. But the changes in Israeli society meant that the human linkages with other parts of the Middle East have been broken and little ability by the Israeli intelligence remained (combined with not so hidden racist contempt towards Arabs’ ability to wage wars) to collect information from human sources.

      The real surprise to me is how Hamas managed to deploy the resources (rockets etc) and train for all their operations on this scale without Israeli intelligence being able to plan for them. I don’t discount the possibility that some sort of “incident” was being provoked by Israel (given what was going on lately, that there was going to be something nasty breaking out was obvious enough). The real surprise to me is the scale and scope of the thing which I doubt Israelis anticipated.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A friend of mine who has spent a lot of time in the Middle East disagrees with your claim about Arabic-speaking Jews being able to blend in in Gaza. Not only are the accents different, but their teeth would be too good.

        1. hk

          Actually, that is exactly what I meant: I said 40-50 years ago. In 1960, yes, I think they could have. By 1980, not so much. In 2023, I’d rather bet on snowball’s chance on Mercury than an Israeli Jew blending into Nazareth (which actually is in legal Israeli territory), let alone Gaza. Israel is a real apartheid society now: very few Jews know anything Arab and Arab Israelis have been largely alienated and their loyalty cannot be counted on as it was about 40-50 years ago: there was a time, decades ago, when Bedouins we’re recruited into IDF special forces as valuable assets. I wouldn’t count on them if I were Israeli brass today.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Sorry, I should have clarified my quibble. Your comment said “little ability” re Arab-speaking Jews which still suggested it could be done but probably on a such a small scale that would not produce great results. We agree “pretty much zero ability”.

        2. hk

          I suppose one other qualifier is that 40-50 should have been 50-60 or even 60-70. In 2960, Israeli Intel had good assets in Arab world. Even in 1973, there were talks that their contacts in the Arab world were not so good–thus the surprise of the October War. By 1980s and beyond, they really didn’t have contacts that were any good.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Everyone at the Munich Security Conference. February 15, 2022, was also super chuffed because they were about to get the war with Russia they’d been lusting for for so many years.

      1. Lysias

        Zelinsky spoke at that conference on that date, calling for Ukraine to reacquire nukes. After that, Russia had no choice but to invade.

        Kamala Harris and other US officials were in attendance.

    3. Jams O'Donnell

      So you (Es S Cetera) are saying that Mossad is behind the kidnapping and/or killing of 300 (600?) odd Israeli citizens? With that kind of security service, I would emigrate to a safer location – like Somalia.

    4. urdsama

      I’m confused about your Mossad comment as it would indicate Israel is attacking itself.

      And even if this were true, which I don’t think it is, they don’t control Iran.

    5. Susan the other

      I agree. Netanyahu was actually smiling and his behavior was calm. Mercouris implied the possibility of “treachery” because the Mossad is notoriously efficient. Imo Ukraine is done. Syria is done too, neither war gained oil for the West. Azerbaijan seems to be firmly aligned with Russia. And the Saudis have backed off. Israel’s big push was to be the energy hub for Europe, but that has been fought and challenged by Lebanon. Nobody ever discusses the very large oil/gas field that sits right off Gaza’s shores. It is likewise contested by Egypt… so wouldn’t it be a good move for Israel to come to terms with the Palestinians who might have a claim and who are on good terms with Egypt? And naturally this attack was justified because some thoughtless Israelis vandalized Al Asqa Mosque. But let’s all come together now. So now everyone can bring peace offerings?

      1. John

        “Thoughtless Israelis” … not at all. Their intentions were clear on Friday as thy have been on other occasions.

      2. ambrit

        We should take note of the fact that this large and complex of an operation takes months of planning and preparation to carry put. So, even though the Al Asqa Mosque ‘event’ would be a proximate ’cause,’ the actual attack was cued up already.
        The other point to note is that the nature of this attack shows that the Gaza has run out of hope and patience. When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.
        Thirdly, if the regional Muslim majority States throw the Palestinians “under the bus” this time, said States had better brace themselves for significant ‘blowback.’ There are many ‘flashpoints’ scattered around the Middle East.

    6. The Heretic

      Hard to say what the consequences will be. For certain, Gaza will be heavily bombed and all major infrastructure destroyed, and even more sea patrols and tunnel monitoring via seismic monitoring.

      Did Netanyahu know about the attack? It is possible that he allowed it to happen. Although, it damages Israel’s image of invulnerability, real damage was minimal. He can use the attack to rally the people of Israel around him… as an external or terrorist attack on a people with a even weakly cohessive identity will activate their group instincts to protect themselves against the other… a very strong and very old instinct that is easily manipulated. There are many historical parallels; some examples are Ayatollah Khomeini and the Army was able to exert enormous power to crush dissent once Iraq attacked Iran, and Sept 11 galavanized the people of the United States giving Bush the cover to do all sorts of heinous actions, including the false justification to instigate Iraq war 2. We shall see what happens.

      FYI… I think hamas overplayed their hand. Based on what I have seen (and I only have general media news access, Hamas attacked areas that would be viewed as part of Israel proper… like the town of Ashkelon. An attack on the settlers of the past 10 years that are encroaching on the Gaza Strip, especially the very recent settler outposts and the ones that encroaching on the Gaza Strip along the sea would have been strategically better, and would elicit more dissent within Israel, as I suspect there are many Jews, within and outside of Israel, who view the settler activities as disgusting. Plus, if they launched 2500 to 5000 rockets, they might have had much more accuracy hitting the settlement defenses.

  18. Louis Fyne

    welp,verdict is in…..people would rather believe that Bibi is a grandmaster of 12-D chess and crafted a politically convenient war than believe in Israeli institutional rot and Palestinian survivorship-bias and Hamas asymmetric cleverness….

    as the bombing of Solemani proved, your secrets don-t stay secret unless one uses communication methods from the 18th century.

    1. Joe Well

      Not good optics for Hamas if they wanted to win international support.

      Killing people at a music festival “for peace” filled with people from around the world, including countries where the general population had a good deal of skepticism toward Israel…then desecrating the corpses…then claiming the ravers were IDF…what a propaganda gift for Netanyahu.

      1. urdsama

        Was this actually the rave mentioned previously by SpatialFix above?

        While I do not support this type of behavior for ethical and strategic reasons, if this is the same event, it is just another example of Western MSM framing things in the most dishonest way possible. That and the massive images of the woman. Have they done that for similar acts of violence committed against the Palestinians?

        Additionally, it is a very privileged mindset to hold a “concert for peace” so close to what is essentially an open air prison.

        I think things have gone way past optics.

              1. game theory

                It seems there were a number of “delegations” to Israel that just so happened to coincide with this event. NJ Senator Cory Booker was there:


                Here is Booker’s little video clip which frankly seems choreographed and completely disingenuous:


                I am sure that there will be more of these from various US politicians at all levels.

                The Washington Post is reporting that “an Alabama church group is stuck in Israel” immediately followed by “a holocaust survivor in a wheelchair is among the hostages taken into gaza by hamas” which apparently Sec of State “Antony” Blinken told Dana Bash on CNN earlier today.

                These captions are immediately below WaPo’s humongous headline which blares: US to Provide Arms; Death Toll tops 1100

                We will hear about more church groups, more school groups, etc, etc etc etc etc etc.

                The massive imbalance of power will never be mentioned, the true history of Palestine will never be mentioned, Israeli subterfuge vis-a-vis the US in order to become the fourth largest military and one of the few nuclear powers on earth will never be mentioned.

                The massive “intelligence failure” will require massive amounts of money to Israel for more and better future “intelligence” and of course shiny, more sophisticated weapons and war gadgets.

                Hamas bad. Israel good. Holocaust. Go to Starbucks and watch football.

  19. Aurelien

    Two brief points.
    Mass surveillance, almost by definition, cannot indicate the timing of an attack, because only an idiot will broadcast it widely in advance. Most surprises of this sort are tactical ones, whereas what mass surveillance can do is to indicate that things are being planned, discussed, even prepared for, but not whether and if so when they will be put into effect. That said, there are certain indicators that should have warned the Israeli intelligence services. For example before an attack communications on particular networks might increase sharply, and this is a warning indicator even if you don’t know what they are saying. Under other circumstances, complete silence on the same networks could also indicate something. In this case, then either all communication was by hand as Yves suggests (difficult but not impossible), or the Israelis simply didn’t realise that Hamas was capable of launching something as large as this, and so didn’t think that warning signs were important.

    On Hezbollah, from contacts in the region and looking at the Lebanese media this morning, there seems to be a consensus that they’ll limit their activities to some symbolic rocketing. They basically follow what Iran wants, and Iran has its hands full at then moment with Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the nuclear issue and the complex questions related both to the void in Lebanon where a President should be, and who should be the next Army Commander. It’s not in Iran or Hezbollah’s interest to start a war in the South of the country, and for its part the US is likely to put a lot of pressure on Israel not to provoke a war there either, since it would completely stuff their regional policy.

    What this is really about is the Saudi-Israel rapprochement. As the muted response from Arab capitals shows, the Palestinians are going to be thrown under the bus yet again, and their notional supporters will all find that they have good reasons for not actually doing anything beyond posturing. This is partly a gesture of desperation, and partly an attempt to drag the spotlight back to the Palestinian question which everyone was comfortably forgetting. For what it’s worth I don’t think it will derail the Saudi-Israeli process, it might just drive it a bit deeper underground. Both sides know that nobody cares about the Palestinians.

    Also for what it’s worth I think Serge is wrong about some kind of massive ground war: like a lot of pundits he takes what he knows about and assumes it applies to other situations. A ground war in a tiny and densely populated territory like that would be appalling, and I don’t think it could be done with a mobilised citizen army. And what on earth would the objective be, apart from sheer destruction? And how would you know you had achieved it?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Last time around the Israelis bombed the crap out of the Palestinians from the air and after a week or two they called it quits. Said at the time that it was probably because they had run out of bombs and so it proved. The Israelis demanded that the US supply them with replacement bombs for free soon after. But this time around the Palestinians have scores if not hundreds of hostages and what if they do not quit? The Israelis just can’t leave those hostages with them and Palestinians capabilities with their weaponry may no longer be known. And if the Israelis get too brutal, there is nothing stopping Hezbollah from using missiles or drones to bring down the Israeli electrical grid. Too many unknowns this time around.

    2. Lex

      I agree on principle with all of this. However, I see the total situation as complex enough that it could spin wildly out of control. One mistake may be enough. And I’d say Israel attempting a significant ground operation in Gaza is that potential mistake. The danger being Netanyahu feeling like he must show Israel’s power while overestimating it.

      Significant IDF casualties would be problematic for Israel. Actualizing the sort of Palestinian casualties (or mass exodus) some of Israeli public statements are hinting at would potentially be just as problematic because they could create difficulties for Arab states to continue ignoring the Palestinian question.

    3. elissa3

      I sincerely hope that your sources concerning Hezbollah are correct since I have plans to visit Israel’s northern neighbor in a short while. For the past 10 years or so, it would seem that there is a balance of terror between Israel and Hezbollah: a full scale conflagration would result in many thousands of casualties and unthinkable damage to infrastructure. I have a vague recollection of some Israeli government official saying a few years ago that, in the event of war, they would take Lebanon back to the Stone Age. Hyperbole, yes, but by the same token Hezbollah probably has the capability to take Israel back 20 years or so. Balance of terror.

      As in October, 1973, which coincidentally I spent very safely in Beirut, the level of arrogant overconfidence by the Israeli government is hard to fathom. And there is the potential spanner in the works that could render all rational, gamed-out analysis moot: the racial-religious component. Not having any identity with any of the parties, I am incapable of understanding this. But I know it exists and is to be feared.

    4. Polar Socialist

      Both Gilbert Doctorow and Elijah Magnier disagree.

      Doctorow believes the main point of the Hamas action was to stop the Israel-Saudi detente. Israel has been dealt a historically hard blow, and just has to retaliate hard. And the endless of stream of dead Palestinian babies in news reels will make it extremely hard for bin Salman to be nice with Israel.

      Magnier thinks that Israel’s decision to evacuate population from the areas near Lebanese border indicates that a) Israel will use ground forces against Gaza and b) Israel expects Hezbollah to act on when they do. Apparently Hezbollah has also destroyed several Israeli radar stations punching a huge hole in the already depleted Iron Dome.

      And, frankly, no matter what happens next, Hamas has now bitch slapped Israel like no-one in a very, very long time. Hezbollah would be hard-pressed to just sit in the sidelines and let Hamas be the hero of the resistance and get all the new recruits.

      1. Aurelien

        I hadn’t come across Doctorow as an expert on the Middle East before. He does get around. I don’t think there’s any doubt, as I said, that this action is directed against the Saudi-Israeli rapprochement, and the question is not really the motive, but whether it will be effective. I don’t think there were ever going to be hugs and kisses in public anyway: rather, MbS has other and more important fish to fry, and I suspect that a lot of subterranean contact will continue and even expand – intelligence cooperation, for example. Magnier (who does know the region) may well be right that Israel is expecting Hezbollah to act, but, as I say, there are lots of powerful reasons why they (and of course Iran behind them) should exercise restraint. Of course restraint is a relative term in that part of the world, and I’m pretty sure there will be quite a lot of shooting, and a number of casualties. Hezbollah organised a demonstration of support by about 500 supporters in Beirut today, in its stronghold the souther suburbs. But that seems to be it for the moment.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          but what about the context of the broadest current events?
          like Brics is happening with such gusto, where…things like NAM never got traction: whats different?….West shown to be wearing no clothes, IMO.
          as well as there being at least a decently worked out Alternative/Parallel System.
          could the apparent failures in Ukraine be a signal to Hamas(and Hezbollah, Iran, etc) that now might be a pretty good time to go for the gold?
          add in the recent internal Israeli chaos….and the crazy right taking over everything(TMK, they dont really have a plurality of the israeli people behind them…more of a teaparty using the Institutional Quirks larded throughout to essentially rule from a minority position)…might look like an opportune time to the various peoples who have a history of support for Palestine.
          as for the saudi/israeli “pact”…isnt that the US’ answer to China’s SA/Iran thing, some months before…just as the US finally got around to cobbling together their version of a Belt and Road…way too late, imo…?
          I reckon that the West being perceived as on its back foot prolly plays into at least the “why now?”.

          an i admit to being against American Empire(because im a frelling Patriot)…and that includes being against Israel…because they’ve been acting like the nazis they fled since they got there.
          “zionist” is almost an anagram for “nazi” in my book(ive known quite a number of Palestinians in my time, too)

          (sits down and waits for Hasbara to nuke NC–sorry)

      2. elissa3

        “Hezbollah would be hard-pressed to just sit in the sidelines and let Hamas be the hero of the resistance and get all the new recruits.”

        Different countries, different religions, different motivations. Not really competitive.

    5. Jams O'Donnell

      ” . . . there are certain indicators that should have warned . . .” So easy to be wise after the event.

      But the sort of cynical attitude you describe is what allows this murderous conflict to continue, decade after decade. Instead of seeing this as some sort of political game we have to grasp that these are real people, on both sides, who are being manipulated and wantonly murdered in the service of political manoeuvrings such as you represent above.

    6. Raymond Sim

      Looking at the operations the Palestinians seem to have undertaken, it seems to me it was likely feasible for their organization to be highly compartmentalized and pre-loaded, so to speak. In that case I would guess any signal from comms traffic would have come some time ago, in the form of activity leveling off.

      I agree that Serge’s reasoning appears to proceed from dubious assumptions. I wouldn’t discount the liklihood of an Israeli attempt at a massive ground attack however, since so many of the shot-callers in Israel seem to regard that as an end in itself.

      More generally, hope for moderation from the various potential actors in the region seems to rest so heavily on “Homo economicus” sorts of assumptions that I’m just not feeling it.

    7. urdsama

      I echo what Lex has stated very articulately, and would ad with regards to Iran, Saudi Arabia isn’t in a great position either so I’m not sure I would be very reassured by what the current consensus is on the matter. That and the region has on multiple occasions not conformed to what such people predicted.

    8. lambert strether

      > the Palestinians are going to be thrown under the bus yet again

      They “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” –Abba Eban

      Thing is, if Deif is a brain genius, why isn’t he taking his patron’s needs into account?

  20. Lex

    The IDF still hasn’t regained control of areas outside Gaza which Hamas penetrated. While it’s only been ~24 hours, that bodes ill for Israel’s ability to manage the situation. And it bodes particular ill for the proposed ground offensive into Gaza. Unless the IDF is an order of magnitude better than Hamas fighters, urban combat in Gaza will be potentially horrific for the IDF.

    Leveling Gaza from the air and/or with artillery is going to deeply complicate Israel’s relationships with all of its neighbors. Which raises the question of whether it can defend itself from all sides if required. I’d guess that it cannot.

    The iron dome was overwhelmed and it doesn’t appear that Hamas has run out of rockets or drones. Hezbollah has many more and of better quality than Hamas. Can the US supplement Israel with air defenses after what’s been sent to Ukraine? Can it support both simultaneously? I’m guessing no to both. In the wider scale, the US spent too much on Ukraine and likely can’t support two conflicts simultaneously. Remember the 300k artillery shells removed from Israel and sent to Ukraine this year. (Or roughly a year of current US production capability.)

    Hamas doesn’t need to win. It only needs to drag Israel into a protracted and bloody struggle. Nor does it have anything to lose. Israel’s internal contradictions were boiling over before this, a conflict may plaster over them in the short term but not the medium. That’s especially true if the IDF does not produce a quick and overwhelming victory.

    1. hk

      I don’t think US has air defense capabilities to spare: Israelis supposedly went as far as any Western power in terms of countering rocket attacks and even their capacity to do anything serious was always premised on the attacks being smallish in volume. US, or indeed, anyone, would never be able to meaningfully stop rocket attacks on this scale.

      The talk of IDF responding “overwhelmingly” is meaningless because they have effectively run up to the top of escalation ladder. What more can they do now? Kill all the Gazans? If they escalate beyond what they already have in the past, the diplomatic consequences will be intolerably high for no gain beyond satiating crazies’ bloodthirst.

      1. Paradan

        So the carrier group that’s being sent has one Tico and 4 Burkes, these are all AEGIS ships, but even if loaded out with SAMs only, they represent a SAM battery of about 500+ missiles (some of the SAMs are 2 to a cell). So even if the system worked well enough to provide cover from just off shore, it would be like half an evenings worth of cover.

    2. hemeantwell

      “Hamas doesn’t need to win”
      Right. Look at what the North Vietnamese and the VC were able to accomplish with the Tet offensive. They accepted heavy casualties and achieved a tremendous political victory.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        Tet is what i was thinking when i first read about this, early this morning.
        and i’m in closer agreement with Lexx on all of this.
        but fog of war, and well as the 2 miles deep censorship and gaslighting…

  21. Societal Illusions

    I am surprised to not see any mention of possible False Flag (or reverse FF) activity – that Mossad and CIA and IDF did know what was happening and the attack was permitted, with defenses purposely diminished. Netanyahu’s demeanor and reference to Pearl Harbor felt odd. Many reports that don’t add up…

    1. Mikel

      Indeed. Sept. 11 had its Pearl Harbor references galore and reports that didn’t add up.
      Time will tell.

    2. TimH

      If that is the case, why? There are arguments that FDR “allowed” Pearl Harbor as the excuse to enter WW2 against a negative US opinion… don’t see a reason why Israel would need a externally visible reason to escalate their existing efforts, since the ROW’s MSM is largely ignoring their current activities in Gaza etc.

      1. ChrisPacific

        It would be immensely risky if it were true. These things tend to come out in the end (you just need one Edward Snowden type). All the hostages are already a bad look, but would be infinitely worse if it turned out that Israel knew about it and permitted it to happen.

        My money is still on intelligence failure for the reasons noted in the article/intro.

    3. Arkady Bogdanov

      I have to say that it never ceases to amaze me how many people are simply unwilling to believe that brown people can plan for and achieve strategic surprise without either inside help or permission. People denied this ability on 9/11 and they are doing it again now. It’s breathtaking to behold, and I’m sorry, but it smacks of racism.

      1. Societal Illusions

        Curious at this comment and accusation. was this in response to my post or something else?

        That a situation doesn’t add up and curiosity about possibilities ignored by all the propagandists doesn’t equate to racism. It doesn’t necessarily exclude it either.

  22. Maxwell Johnston

    My initial take on this war which is just getting started:

    1. Hamas is using drones, which means they’ve been paying attention and learning from the mistakes of others. Clever fellows.

    2. If it turns out that weapons destined for UKR ended up in the hands of the Palestinians, then this will be one more nail in the coffin of Project UKR.

    3. It will be fun to see how western media (especially in the USA) spins Israeli bombing of civilian infrastructure in Gaza and the inevitable deaths of children and women, compared with RU’s considerable restraint in UKR. The contrast between Putin being indicted for moving children out of harm’s way and Netanyahu being given a free pass for killing children won’t look good in the 80% of the world that lives outside Borrell’s Garden.

    1. The Heretic

      That would be a biggy, if a stinger missile blasts an Israeli Apache or F16, or a Javelin destroys a Merkava… very embarrasing to Ukrainians….

  23. upstater

    The Assassination of HS2 by the Coward Rishi Sunak S(ubstack)-Bahn By S.Y. Lee

    Cost creep cripples high-profile high-speed rail projects. But it’s not what kills them.

    For those who wonder why name-your-country can build so much high speed rail but not the United Kingdom or United States, my short answer is this: the former has an established system tasked with building big things at all times and the latter do not. The former has dedicated, stable government support; a stable of in-house experts with continuous experience in delivering big public projects; a well-oiled supply chain comprised of firms which are assured of future big project works in the pipeline; and regulations designed to standardize designs, reduce redundancies and smoothen the procurement process. Much of these are recommendations from the Transit Costs Project, a NYU-led study into high infrastructural costs in the United States.7
    The work never really stops in France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, China, or South Korea. But in the United Kingdom and United States, the work happens maybe once a generation, if lucky.

    The article also discusses the ongoing California HSR debacle. Both the US & UK also outsource technical expertise to politically connected firms and the lack of ongoing projects insures a huge learning curve.

    1. JBird4049

      Just as the California PUC’s (Public Utilities Commission) consistently fails to oversee companies like PG&E, CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) has a problem with not overseeing the work of the construction companies. The near disaster of the San Francisco Bay Bridge is an example.

      Too much money used for bribery, kickbacks, and hush funds.

  24. DJG, Reality Czar

    According to Fatto Quotidiano (today), the leader of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam brigades, the militias of Hamas, is indeed using written messages to manage the war effort, just as Yves Smith surmised.

    Reporter Fabio Scuto gives the leader’s name as Mohammed Deif, age 58. A few years back, the Israelis tried to kill him in an ambush at Khan Yunis and succeeded in killing his wife and daughter instead.

    Scuto writes that he lives in the tunnel system below Gaza and never emerges. He has no telephone. He doesn’t hold face-to-face meetings. He issues some messages on the WWW, in shadow.

    Deif is also confined to wheelchair.

    If anyone can confirm the existence of Deif in English-language or French-language media, it may help to clarify events in Gaza (slightly).

    1. XXYY

      using written messages to manage the war effort

      My impression is that most surveillance forces in the world today rely almost exclusively on electronic intercepts. This is easy, cheap, and fast, but obviously means that anyone not using electronic communications is invisible. Anyone who can get this idea into their heads has a pretty big weapon for carrying out secretive operations.

      Interestingly, Seymour Hersh reported that the US planning for blowing up the Nordstream 2 pipeline was done by using a typewriter to type on paper. This ensured that no clandestine copies could be made made and no electronic hacks would find anything. When the operation was done, the paper was burned, leaving no trace.

      Everything old is new again.

    2. lambert strether

      > Deif is also confined to wheelchair

      I’ve gotta say, the wheelchair reminds me of Bin-Laden’s dialysis. Must all our demon figures be possessed of such impedimenta?

      1. JBird4049

        I rather think that this shows that these “demon figures” are human beings just like everyone else dealing with life and all its many problems. Too often it’s how evil these people “who hate us for our freedoms.” Servants of the Dark Side who have no reason to hate us peace loving Americans.

  25. EnigmaWrappedInBacon

    The rhetoric on all sides is ramping up. Below is a machine translation of recent comments of the Israeli Defense Minister, as reported on the Israeli news website Walla (

    19:00 – Defense Minister Galant: “The rules of war have changed, we will strike Gaza as we have never seen before”

    Defense Minister Yoav Galant recently concluded a visit to the city of Ofakim, during which he received an assessment of the situation. He said: “We are responsible for making this operation remembered in Gaza for the next fifty years and regretting that they started it. At this time, IDF forces are attacking in a number of locations in the Gaza Strip that will intensify. The IDF is concentrating large forces. We will strike Gaza as never before. The rules of war have changed, the price the Gaza Strip will pay will change the reality there for generations.

    * * *

    There are several indications that Israel and its citizens are prepared for a long war, including the possibility that cities like Tel Aviv might be without electricity. There are pictures of Walla of hundreds of people lined up in the center of Tel Aviv to donate blood. This sentiment has been echoed by people I know who live in Israel, none of whom are supporters of Netanyahu or the current government.

    It is always hard to extrapolate how rhetoric will translate to military action. But right now this looks like this will be a long war with high numbers of civilian casualties.

    1. game theory

      The Walla news site is itself an (intentional?) conundrum. It is somewhat akin, though not exactly, to an AP or Reuters for Israel/Zionism – written in Hebrew – in that it supplies a number of articles and images that then show up in other Jewish publications, including those written in English and other languages.

      There is no English version of the Walla site and I have been unable to translate the site using online URL translators, most of whom use google translate anyway.

      Walla’s former editor Avi Alkalay testified against Netanyahu in the latter’s corruption trial last month:

      “Avi Alkalay said the outlet’s editorial staff had undergone “very aggressive mental coercion regarding the content relating to the Netanyahu family.”

      “The pressure was there all the time and the intervention was in all areas,” Alkalay testified.

      Netanyahu’s September trial involved “case 4000” which is considered the most serious of his many corruption charges. The other main player in this particular rabble-distracting mini-drama is shady “self-made man” Shaul Elovitch. Elovitch has been involved in the dismantling of the former Israeli state run Bezeq which was a “monopoly” broken up to foster competition, then reacquired by an even larger privately-owned conglomerate – Elovitch’s Eurocom Group, which is one of the largest private “holding companies” in Israel.

      The pattern is all-too familiar.

      The privatization schemes that allowed Elovitch to maintain and grow his empire at the expense of the larger populace were largely the work of policymaker Eyal Gabbai. Wikipedia reports that Gabbai’s “public service career began in 1996” with an advisory appointment, but it was 1998 that saw Gabbai appointed head of Netanyahu’s economic division. He then went into the private sector (the public-private revolving door thing) until the Butcher of Lebanon Ariel Sharon was elected in 2001 and brought him back into the fold:

      “In 2002 he returned to public service and was appointed Director of the Government Companies Authority and served there until 2007, under Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu. This period was characterized by vigorous privatization of state companies, including El Al, Bezeq, Israel’s Oil Refineries and Zim, selling shares in a total value of 14b NIS in an unprecedented privatization spree. Other changes he instituted included the split-off of Israel Railways from the Ports and Railways Authority and its transformation into a government company, as well as making the Postal Authority and the Government Department of Public Works an auxiliary unit of government companies.”

      Zim, incidentally, has direct ties to the atrocities carried out in New York on September 11, 2001. But there is no space for that in this post.

      Returning to Elovitch, he and “other officials” avoided many charges last year:

      But charges were brought again this past summer:

      Interestingly, the CEO of Bezeq from 2007 t0 2013 was a “Labor Party” leader named Avraham “Avi” Gabbay. In a somewhat similar vein to Barack Obama keeping Bush officials in his administration, or Trump surrounding himself with neocons, Netanyahu appointed Gabbay Minister of Environmental Protection between 2015 and 2016.

      Needless to say, Gabbay has no desire for peace with Arabs or Palestinians:

    2. Sibiriak

      Israel’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, said that Israel is imposing a “complete siege” on Gaza.

      There is no electricity, there is no food, there is no water, there is no fuel,” he said.

      –The Guardian 0.41 BST

  26. JonnyJames

    Israel “mows the lawn” in Gaza every so often to keep the population of the world’s largest concentration camp in line. While tragic, this is very convenient for Israel: the Biden regime is already talking about how much extra free weapons and cash to give.

    As noted, it is also very interesting how some of the most expensive and sophisticated surveillance/security systems utterly failed.

    The MassMediaCartel instantly repeated the Israeli IDF press releases as usual. Israel is always cast as a helpless victim that can do no wrong. No one could be bothered to actually talk to Palestinians. If they tried, they might get the Shireen Abu Akleh treatment.

    Since KSA and other Arab states threw Palestine under the bus years ago, there is no one to help them. Russia and China don’t see any advantage in helping an imprisoned population with zero financial political power.

    The Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine will continue for as long as Apartheid Israel exists, or the vast majority of Palestinians leave or are exterminated. It’s that sad.

  27. Allison

    It never fails. The peoples and nations of the world are bringing appropriate attention to Israeli/Zionist crimes against humanity. Many Christian organizations, including even the pope who has seemingly been in the Israel/Zionist establishment’s pocket forever, were calling on Israel to stop terrorizing all Christians and all non-Jewish peoples of Palestine/Israel, joining the Arab, Muslim and non-Jewish majority of the region who have been seeking redress for over a century.

    It is too often forgotten or ignored, or just plain not thought about to any serious degree. But it shouldn’t be. Israel proudly declares itself a Jewish State and employs Jewish soldiers using weapons with Jewish religious symbols on them to terrorize, kill, and maim the non-Jewish population of Palestine/Israel in order to maintain an exclusively “Jewish character and identity” inside “Eretz Yisrael” – which ultimately includes land well beyond even the current-day “Israeli” borders, which are intentionally left vague and undefined.

    1. game theory

      “Eretz Yisrael” – which ultimately includes land well beyond even the current-day “Israeli” borders, which are intentionally left vague and undefined.

      I believe Israel Shahak wrote one of the best pieces on this, tying it most recently to the “Oded Yinon Plan” which itself evolved from earlier Zionist/Jewish Supremacist ideology that Shahak detailed in his “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight Of Three Thousand Years.”

      Professor Michel Chossudovsky wrote an introduction to Shahak’s piece for his GlobalResearch website back in 2013. It is one of the most popular articles on the site:

    2. Alice X

      Thank you for the link. The site has a brief synopsis of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Like any short piece it has omissions. Yesterday I shared a clip from the book of Samith K. Farsoun / Naseer H. Aruri – Palestine and the Palestinians, found here . It adds a few details.

  28. Louis Fyne

    takeaway #1 or #11…

    pumping the region with weapons and regime
    change (US and Israeli policy) was a bad idea.

    Weapons and fighters from Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen (and likely blue light specials from Ukraine), probably all floating around Gaza and Lebanon right now

    1. JonnyJames

      On the other hand it was a ‘great idea’: more windfalls for the WMD corporations. In a twisted way, this gives Nutty-yahoo a great excuse (and great tool of political mobilization) to escalate violence on Palestine. And, wait, there’s more: Israel will receive billions in extra free goodies from the US.

      Escalation is good for business, political distractions and political mobilization. I’m sure ol’ Nutty’s approval ratings will rise.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Old Bibi was caught unawares, and now he’s discussing extended war. He might think this save his hide, but his grift and unreadiness go hand and hand. Rally around the flag moments aren’t necessarily going to change anything unless he can produce.

        1. JonnyJames

          True this will be much more tricky than in the past. Today Israel will start the starve in the dark total blockade and siege of one of the most densely populated places on earth.

  29. XXYY

    there’s a real possibility that the US will freeze the Ukrainian Conflict in order to redirect finite military aid to Israel.

    I hope this dude’s analysis on other things is better than it is here. The idea that somehow the US is in the driver’s seat in the Ukraine conflict, and can “freeze” it at will, is very much at odds with reality.

    I seriously doubt that Russia is going to change it’s Ukranian strategy by one iota as a result of what’s going on in Israel. On the other hand, tiny Israel has always loomed disproportionately large in American politics, and this latest in 50 years of armed conflict by the country may somehow be used by US elites as a welcome excuse to justify bugging out on Ukraine without losing face with American voters.

    One interesting factor is that Israel’s reputation for military superiority has always been strongly tied up with its patron America’s reputation for military superiority. Now that the US is looking more and more like a paper tiger in Ukraine, it seems likely that this may affect Israel’s own reputation in the Middle East. Most of the takes I have seen in the media, including this one, seem to be going out of their way to suggest that Israel is not what it once was when it comes to military power. I think this is new.

    1. lambert strether

      I think “finite” is doing some work there. How much do we really have on the shelf?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Korybko is not naive but he does sometimes draft in haste and/or use formulas. A “US freeze of the conflict” is an oxymoron and I suspect he expects his readers to understand that. There can be no freeze unless Russia agrees and Russia has said no. So this is a less controversial way of saying “the US abandons Ukraine.”

  30. danf51

    It’s good to be reminded, by the images of civilians murdered on their living room floors, posted by Hama’s and their fellow death cultists, exactly what their war aims are. What a relief to be able to cast aside any illusions we might have had about the nature and intentions of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Thank you Hamas.

    The question now is can Israel still fight after 10 years of importing more and more American woke.

    I guess we will find out soon enough.

    1. Don

      The right to cluck disapprovingly at Hamas cannot be earned by deliberately ignoring the decades of brutal, murderess criminality of the Israeli state. I do not take your compassionate views seriously

    2. Jeff

      Looks like you struck a nerve by blaming Hamas for the Hamas attacks. Can’t have that kinda talk. Hamas is a charity… a group of innocent Aladdins just doing this to feed the poor. Ask them… They’ll tell you.

  31. Lex

    Word on the street is that a C-17 is already on the way. Perhaps the rumors that Israel desperately needs more rockets for the Iron Dome are true. But it raises the question of how Israel already needs immediate US resupply less than 48 hours into the conflict.

    I just saw unconfirmed reports that ISF forces just killed seven IDF troops in a friendly fire incident mistaking them for Hezbollah coming out of Lebanon.

    Additional reports suggests that the Israeli reserve system is broken. Reserves showed up and there wasn’t equipment, food, etc ready.

  32. Glen

    Sixth Fleet is being deployed to the east Med along with support groups (US Air Force):

    US Navy Deploys Ford Carrier Strike Group to Israel | Impact on Global Shipping?

    This is not unusual, US carriers are generally deployed in the east Med for middle east hot spots.

  33. The Rev Kev

    The way things are going in the middle east, would it be an idea to fill up your fuel tanks for any price spikes?

  34. Jeff

    Wow, so many commenters ready to assign blame mostly or fully to Israel. Tell that to the people getting killed and their families.

    I’m no fan of bibi, but there’s some gross bloodlust getting vented by not a small number of commenters. Pretty disgusting. Reminds me of the neocons cheering Russian deaths. Different conflict, same reaction.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Look, I know that you are upset about this so consider this idea. Set up a small village in Israel where people can live the Palestinian experience and have Israelis live there for a week to see what life is like. Have the concrete walls, the armed guards, the sudden raids in the middle of the night, the hours-long wait going through checkpoints, the arbitrary arrests, the march of settlers through their street guarded by soldiers, etc. In other words the whole shebang. Then, when they finally come out, ask them how they feel about their jailers.

      1. Jeff

        This is a similar argument that was shared on 9/11. Rationalizing, minimizing or otherwise brushing away indiscriminate killing because of grievances legit or not is immoral.

        Its not hard to see.

        And as in Ukraine, it’s the regular people on the ground paying the highest price.

        This isn’t aimed at you Rev, but I gotta say…

        Enough with the holier than thou grandstanding from people sitting in ergonomic chairs thousands of miles away casting their morality. Please. Itd be better if you just passed along inane thoughts and prayers.

    2. Carolinian

      Please explain how Israel is not totally to blame. Has it ever ever been the intention of various Israeli governments to accommodate the Palestinians and their desire for independence on their historic land? The Israelis like to cite American treatment of the native inhabitants. But you will find very few people these days who take the side of the Manifest Destiny crowd despite considerable violence by the natives. At the same time defenders of Israeli violence are legion. Even when the IDF makes jokes about killing people they turn a blind eye.

      I think what commenters here are reacting to is the attitude of the defenders which is the same attitude of the privileged here in America–“it’s ok when we do it.” No it’s not. The Israelis brought this on themselves.

      1. Felix_47

        You might want to read about the Farhud and the treatment of the Jews by the Arabs over the last 1000 years. I think the takeover of the mideast by the British and the ability of the Jews to intermarry and interact with the British and Europeans while the Arabs were treated as savage barbarians may have something to do with their extreme anger towards the west and by extension the Jews. And when Arabs become oil billionaires it is interesting that they gravitate towards England and tend to marry or hire fair Englanders. It is similar in Germany. Here in Germany last night the young male Asylanten were out in our area all night celebrating and burning Israeli flags. But the same young 20 something migrants are constantly hanging out at the schools trying to hit on young German girls using drugs or whatever to attract them at least from what my kid sees and my neighbors report. And the violence against the “Christ” boys is significant. It is a love, hate, jealousy problem. And Arab men are brought up to think they are superior and the world treats them as nothing which infuriates the Arab street. The problem will solve itself demographically since the birth rate in Gaza is one of the highest in the world at something like 4.5. The Jews will have to either intermarry with the Arabs and integrate Gaza and give up on the Zionist experiment or leave the mid east. There are simply too few Jews. Erdogan said it out loud about Europe some years ago as quoted in the New York Times,”Calling Muslims the Future of Europe Turkey’s president on Friday implored his compatriots living on the Continent to have multiple children as an act of revenge against the West’s “injustices.” “Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you.” I do not see how Israel can solve this problem. They cannot outbreed their neighbors. The manifest destiny is with the Arabs. The west is in demographic decline.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Your comment is not correct. The reason the Palestinians have such a following in the Middle East oil states is that when they became wealthy and powerful, the kings turned to Palestinians, who had a college-educated elite (and had a lot in common with Lebanon in that respect) as advisers. It was those Palestinians who then kept the kings well appraised as to what was happening to the Palestinians and enlisted their support.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Jordanian royal family is actually “the protector of the holy sites in Jerusalem” recognized by all parties.

            There’s probably a lot of historical weight in this also from the time the Ottoman Empire was split into multiple kingdoms.

    3. Don

      Sorry that you don’t like the sentiment being expressed , but Israel is an evil, murderous force, and has been for decades.

      1. TimH

        Israel the country is an evil, murderous force, yes. Also USA, UK the countries to name two more. But most Israelis, Americans, and British would not support their countries’ evil, murderous behaviours if they were made fully aware of them…. and most Israelis, Americans, and British have absolutely zero influence on those evil, murderous behaviours despite the comforting label ‘democracy’.

        1. Fireminer

          Are you sure that the Israeli that ignorant of the atrocities committed by their state? In the case of America, the UK, etc. I can believe that your average citizen has little idea what their military does thousand of miles away. I find it hard to believe when you live just a stone’s throw away from Gaza, or even worse, living in one of the illegal settlements in the West Bank. Doubly so if you’re from Long Island or some other places in America before moving to Israel.

          The fact that the protestors against Netanyahu a few months ago made no demand for recourse regarding the treatment of Palestinians is a pretty clear sign. It’s evidence that even the so-called ‘liberal’ Israelis pay little thought to stopping the Apartheid regime. They must’ve had felt that they themselves benefited from it.

          1. Freethinker

            In the UK, people don’t care about wars done in their name & if they don’t know about them its because they don’t want to know …..they will only care if/when they realise their taxes fund those wars so their elites can profit.

  35. MichaelC

    Perhaps I’m completely off base, but I’ve seen no mention of Israel’s nukes wild card leverage in any of these scenario analyses.
    Israel’s hubris re unquestioned Western support has always been based on that quiet pact/threat w the alliance.
    That support looks to be more uncertain, given the quiet diplomacy underway btw the US and and Iran recently, I.e the release of Irans 6 billion.
    If the US no longer sees that nuclear threat as under US dubious control, and fears the moment has arrived when Israel may finally go rogue, this might have been either orchestrated to put Israel on notice they don’t control their Iron Dome defense or that the time has come to strip Israel of that control of their nukes. And that their blowhard, bullying disproportional response only works when their sponsors are willing to cover for them.
    To this layman it looks like Israel has blown their wad. AIPAC won’t be able to bail them out after this display of overreach, incompetence, or political miscalculation.

  36. Glen

    So, I don’t know if this interview got NC attention when it dropped, but it provides a good overview of the Middle East:

    U.S. Interference in the Middle East – 20 Years Since the U.S. Invasion of Iraq – Larry Wilkerson

    It basically covers the the regional history starting from the invasion of Iraq. It goes into some detail later in the interview on the situations regarding nukes in the middle east, and the danger of nuke proliferation. And it discusses Israel’s situation dealing with all of it.

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