Arrogant men who have no one but themselves to blame

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

The achilles heel that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar identified in Israel was hostages. The proof lies in uneven hostage-for-prisoner swaps, typically three Palestinians for one Israeli, showing that Israel values Israeli lives far more than it does Palestinians. Sinwar’s strategy is quite simply to turn this against Israel, seizing a few hostages, getting many more Palestinians freed in exchange.[2] If you recognize this very dynamic as the very reason the standard advice is against paying kidnap ransoms, go to the head of the class.

But when the Israeli Defense Force encountered three hostages, instead of freeing them, the force killed them.[3] With Binyamin Netanyahu already taking blame for the October 7 attack, yes, you better believe I was wondering how this is going down in Israeli politics.

Then it emerged that the soldiers had shot the hostages while the latter were holding up a white flag.[4] The gentlest possible interpretation of this is of soldiers entirely too anxious to kill. It suggests, though the killing supposedly violated rules of engagement, that those rules are entirely too aggressive. And blame will fall on Israel’s political leadership as a matter of course.

In the instant, this is unfair: It amounts to second-guessing soldiers who were reportedly engaged in intense firefights in the area.[5] But the larger implication for Netanyahu is that he will be accused of failing to adequately prioritize freeing the hostages.[6]

Which is to say that Netanyahu has failed to pay enough ransom.

Of course, the larger reality remains, that Israel, through its continuing violent expulsion of Palestinians, has no one but itself to blame, especially for having pursued Netanyahu’s hardline policies. But everything I’m seeing suggests the Israeli public isn’t ready to understand that. So Netanyahu will be unfairly and paradoxically blamed. Serves him right.

Edith M. Lederer, “US vetoes UN resolution backed by many nations demanding immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza,” Associated Press, December 9, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-un-resolution-ceasefire-humanitarian-6d3bfd31d6c25168e828274d96b85cf8

Times of Israel, “National security adviser indicates war against Hezbollah likely once Hamas is defeated,” December 9, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/national-security-adviser-indicates-war-against-hezbollah-likely-after-defeat-of-hamas/

Rory Jones et al., “The Hamas Leader Who Studied Israel’s Psyche—and Is Betting His Life on What He Learned,” Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/hamas-yahya-sinwar-israel-palestinian-hostages-6407dc41

Jeremy Scahill, “This Is Not a War Against Hamas,” Intercept, December 11, 2023, https://theintercept.com/2023/12/11/israel-hamas-war-civilians-biden/

David S. Cloud, and Summer Sai, “Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects U.S. Plan for Postwar Gaza,” Washington Post, December 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israels-netanyahu-rejects-u-s-plan-for-post-war-gaza-d60fc0c3

Caitlin Hu, “UN General Assembly votes to demand immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” Cable News Network, December 12, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/12/middleeast/ceasefire-vote-gaza-israel-un-intl/index.html

John Hudson and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden shows deep empathy with Israelis. Some feel it’s missing for Gazans,” Washington Post, December 12, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/12/12/biden-empathy-lacking-palestinians/

Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, “Biden tells donors Israel is losing support, Netanyahu must change his government,” Cable News Network, December 12, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/12/politics/biden-israel-losing-support-netanyahu/index.html

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel’s Gaza war raises fears of a Palestinian exodus into Egypt,” Washington Post, December 12, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2023/12/12/gaza-displacement-egypt-palestine-israel-flee-rafah/

Nancy A. Youssef et al., “Israel Begins Pumping Seawater Into Hamas’s Gaza Tunnels,” Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-hamas-war-pumping-seawater-gaza-tunnels-2ed3b3f2

Kareem Fahim et al., “Images of stripped and humiliated Palestinians draw condemnation,” Washington Post, December 13, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/12/13/gaza-palestinian-detainee-photos-israel/

John Hudson et al., “Unguided ‘dumb bombs’ used in almost half of Israeli strikes on Gaza,” Washington Post, December 14, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/12/14/israel-unguided-dumb-bombs-gaza/

Dov Lieber, “Israel’s Netanyahu Bets Political Survival on Opposing a Palestinian State,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israels-netanyahu-bets-political-survival-on-opposing-a-palestinian-state-9e78790f

Jacob Magid, “Biden: ‘Indiscriminate’ bombing costing Israel support, Netanyahu ‘has to change,’” Times of Israel, December 13, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/biden-indiscriminate-bombing-costs-israel-support-netanyahu-has-to-change/

Times of Israel, “Poll shows soaring Palestinian support for Hamas; 72% back October 7 atrocities,” December 13, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/poll-shows-soaring-support-for-hamas-in-west-bank-as-90-say-abbas-should-resign/

Nancy A. Youssef and Vivian Salama, “U.S. Blocks Shipment of Rifles to Israel Over Concerns of West Bank Settler Violence,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/u-s-blocks-shipment-of-rifles-to-israel-over-concerns-of-west-bank-settler-violence-9764c87d

Edward Luce, “Biden’s mounting self-harm on Israel,” Financial Times, December 15, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/cfb4660f-de36-4453-9b44-531996c6ec9e

Anat Peled, “Israeli Military Says It Accidentally Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israeli-military-says-it-accidentally-killed-three-israeli-hostages-in-gaza-2acebecc

Times of Israel, “White House ups pressure on Israel to end ‘high-intensity’ fighting in Gaza soon,” December 15, 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-ups-pressure-on-israel-to-end-high-intensity-fighting-in-gaza-soon/

Patrick Wintour, “Biden in a bind as Netanhayu ready to flout any US attempt to rein in Israel,” Guardian, December 15, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/15/biden-in-a-bind-as-netanhayu-ready-to-flout-any-us-attempt-to-rein-in-israel

Summer Said and David S. Cloud, “Israel Says Its Soldiers Killed Israeli Hostages as They Held Up White Flag,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-and-qatar-explore-revival-of-deal-for-gaza-hostages-ff7af151


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 1. Donald Trump booking photograph by Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, August 24, 2023, via New York, August 25, 2023,[7] public domain.

Nick Coltrain, “Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis faces Colorado disbarment complaint following guilty plea,” Denver Post, December 15, 2023, https://www.denverpost.com/2023/12/15/jenna-ellis-disbarment-colorado-donald-trump-election-lies/

Andrew Rice, “Why Rudy Giuliani Lost So Big,” New York, December 15, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/12/shaye-moss-ruby-freeman-beat-giuliani-in-defamation-trial.html

Jan Wolfe and C. Ryan Barber, “Rudy Giuliani Hit With $148 Million Verdict for Defaming Election Workers,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/us-news/rudy-giuliani-hit-with-148-million-verdict-for-defaming-election-workers-018781ca


  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Rory Jones et al., “The Hamas Leader Who Studied Israel’s Psyche—and Is Betting His Life on What He Learned,” Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/hamas-yahya-sinwar-israel-palestinian-hostages-6407dc41
  3. [3]Anat Peled, “Israeli Military Says It Accidentally Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israeli-military-says-it-accidentally-killed-three-israeli-hostages-in-gaza-2acebecc
  4. [4]Summer Said and David S. Cloud, “Israel Says Its Soldiers Killed Israeli Hostages as They Held Up White Flag,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-and-qatar-explore-revival-of-deal-for-gaza-hostages-ff7af151
  5. [5]Anat Peled, “Israeli Military Says It Accidentally Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza,” Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israeli-military-says-it-accidentally-killed-three-israeli-hostages-in-gaza-2acebecc; Summer Said and David S. Cloud, “Israel Says Its Soldiers Killed Israeli Hostages as They Held Up White Flag,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-and-qatar-explore-revival-of-deal-for-gaza-hostages-ff7af151
  6. [6]Summer Said and David S. Cloud, “Israel Says Its Soldiers Killed Israeli Hostages as They Held Up White Flag,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/israel-and-qatar-explore-revival-of-deal-for-gaza-hostages-ff7af151
  7. [7]Margaret Hartmann and Nia Prater, “All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators,” New York, August 25, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-mug-shot-gallery.html

One thought on “Arrogant men who have no one but themselves to blame

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.