I think we can still safely say that Post Secret is the most depressing website on the internet.
A friend of mine who is teaching in Taiwan just posted this photo. I believe it is from the “nope” family, possibly a member of the “nope nope” genus. It’s coloring and size suggest that it might be a member of the ”nope nope nope”species, but research is ongoing.
From the article:
(Reuters) - A top Pentagon intelligence official warned on Saturday that the destruction of Hamas would only lead to something more dangerous taking its place, as he offered a grim portrait of a period of enduring regional conflict.
The remarks by Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, came as Israeli ministers signaled that a comprehensive deal to end the 20-day-old conflict in the Gaza Strip appeared remote.
At least 1,050 Gazans - mostly civilians - have been killed, and 42 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have died.
Flynn disparaged Hamas for exhausting finite resources and know-how to build tunnels that have helped them inflict record casualties on Israelis. Still, he suggested that destroying Hamas was not the answer.
"If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse. The region would end up with something much worse," Flynn said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
"A worse threat that would come into the sort of ecosystem there … something like ISIS," he added, referring to the Islamic State, which last month declared an "Islamic caliphate" in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.
Confined in the crowded, sandy coast enclave of 1.8 million, where poverty and unemployment hover around 40 percent, weary Gazans say they hope the battle will break the blockade that Israel and Egypt impose on them.
Israeli officials said any ceasefire must allow the military to carry on hunting down the Hamas tunnel network that criss-crosses the Gaza border.
Flynn’s comments about the conflict came during a gloomy, broader assessment of unrest across the Middle East, including in Syria and Iraq. Flynn said bluntly: “Is there going to be a peace in the Middle East? Not in my lifetime.”
This is so cute I think I might die.
From the article:
Some 5,000 Israelis on Saturday evening protested the war in Gaza under the banner, ”No more deaths – Israeli-Palestinian peace, now.” The protest took place at Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv.
Speakers included Hadash MK Dov Khenin, an Israeli and Palestinian veteran from the organization Combatants for Peace, and Yifat Solel, the head of the Meretz party’s anti-occupation forum. Meretz, however, did not back the demonstration as a party. The speakers criticized the government for its attitude toward peace negotiations, and for resorting to war as a default policy. Demonstrators chanted “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies,” called for an end to the occupation and the siege on Gaza, and lit candles to commemorate the victims.
Roughly 300 right-wing counter-protesters were on the scene trying to reach the main demonstration. A large police presence circled the square in order to keep the sides separate. Four were arrested.
Some two hours before the protest was set to begin, police canceled it, citing fear of a rocket attack. The permit for the demonstration was reinstated only an hour before it began – by which time busses of protesters en route for Tel Aviv had turned back. Police ended the protest at around 10 p.m. – according some reports, because rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, two hours before the a “humanitarian ceasefire” was to expire, and according to others, in order to prevent violence on the part of the counter-protesters.
I for one welcome our new crow overlords.
Late Night Music: Bon Iver, Woods
I’m up in woods.
I’m down on my mind.
I’m building a still.
To slow down the time.
(Image via Katie Zavadski / Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images)
Israeli government officials now admit that Hamas was not responsible for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens which sparked the recent escalation of hostilities, despite clearly stating early on that Hamas was responsible. Katie Zavadski, who wrote the article linked above, points us to Musa al-Gharbi, who argues that Israeli officials were deliberately provoking Hamas:
All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas. This pattern of deception continues under the ongoing military offensive in Gaza. For example, last week in collaboration with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Abbas, in its efforts to alienate Hamas, Israel announced a bad-faith cease-fire proposal, which Hamas was not consulted on and never agreed to but whose violation supposedly justified Israel’s expansion and intensification of the military campaign into Gaza.
If it’s true that the Israeli government lied about the time and cause of death for three Israeli teens in order to whip up support for a new war with Hamas, then it’s pretty clear that this was a war of choice. And while attempts to organize a ceasefire continue, it may too late to keep the number of casualties minimal, since some Palestinians in the West Bank are now claiming to have started the Third Intifada:
The epicenter of the protests was the Qalandiya checkpoint, which separates Jerusalem and Ramallah, while smaller protests reportedly took place in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Nablus. At least two Palestinians were killed and 200 others were injured after IDF troops returned fire to the protestors during Laylat al-Qadr, a holiday marking the night the first verses of the Quran are believed to have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
"In the West Bank, we need to take our resistance efforts to a higher level," a student named Na’el Halabi told Al Jazeera. "Gaza is not alone: we are part of the same struggle.”
This “day of rage” was evidently called for by Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Often considered the preferred, more moderate alternative to Hamas by Western leaders, Fatah has recently felt pressure to build up support among its constituency by standing up to the West. Thursday’s protests are believed to be the largest since the end of the 2000–2005 uprising. Organized as the “48K March,” they were quickly branded with the “Third Intifada” hashtag on Twitter[.]
Maybe calling this the “Third Intifada” is just exaggeration from over-zealous protesters. But either way, it is bad news for both sides. Dropping bombs in Gaza is a sure way to provoke violence in the West Bank. If these mass protests and clashes with security forces in the West Bank continue, the Israeli government may be looking at a lot more bloodshed than it originally anticipated.
So, now there’s a group publishing photos of French Jews on Facebook and encouraging people to attack them:
A violent mob of more than a dozen men in France assaulted a Jew at his home in a Paris suburb after confirming that his photograph had been published by a French Facebook page identifying Jews to be targeted for physical intimidation, The Union of Jewish Students of France, the UEJF, said in a statement on Friday.
The Facebook page, ‘Jeunes Révolutionnaires Français’, JRF, or ‘Young French Revolutionaries’, posted the names and photos of 32 Jews. The assault on one of those listed took place on Thursday night in Bobigny, Seine-Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb. The assailants were armed with iron bars.
No response yet from Facebook about why this page is still up on the site despite the very clear intentions of those who created it to harrass, intimidate, and cause harm to Jews.
LTMC: There’s been some scary anti-semitic undercurrents in a few of the European protests against Israel’s recent actions in Gaza. But I suppose it’s predictable that these people would attempt to hijack the recent peace protests to promote their genuinely anti-semitic agenda. It’s people like this that make it difficult for good-faith critics of the Israeli government to state their opinions without being labeled anti-semites or self-hating Jews.
Headline of the year?
"I never should have played God!"
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- “Through no fault of their own, [the immigrant children] are caught in political crossfire. And while we continue to put pressure on Washington and...”
- Dithering on Marijuana Policy
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio borrowed a page from the Clinton playbook tonight when he appeared to embrace two...