CTuttle

Last active
9 hours, 45 minutes ago
User Picture

Unit 8200 Intelligence Reservists Boycott “Intrusive” Spying On Palestinians

By: CTuttle Friday September 12, 2014 4:15 pm

From the IB Times… Israeli Unit 8200 Intelligence Reservists Boycott “Intrusive” Spying On Palestinians

Dozens of Israeli reservists with an elite intelligence unit have refused to take part in spying activities on Palestinians, denouncing the military’s intrusive security policies in an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and armed forces chiefs.

Extracts from the letter were published by Ynet newspaper, signed by 43 reserve soldiers and officers of Israel’s largest signals intelligence gathering unit, known as Unit 8200 or Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim in Hebrew.

“We refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as a tool for deepening military rule in the occupied territories,” the servicemen wrote.

“The Palestinian population is subject to military rule, completely exposed to espionage and to being tracked by Israeli intelligence.”

The signatories said that, different to Israeli citizens who can be spied upon only with a court’s authorisation, Palestinians were subject to intrusive monitoring without oversight, “regardless if they are connected to violence or not.”

“Intelligence allows ongoing control over millions of people, thorough and intrusive monitoring and invasion into most aspects of life,” the letter read.

“All of this does not allow for normal living, fuels more violence and puts off any end to the conflict.”

From the Guardian…

 

Whither ISIS/ISIL…?

By: CTuttle Wednesday September 10, 2014 5:00 pm

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. — Rita Mae Brown

So naturally … White House asks Congress for authorization to arm Syrian rebels

The White House is asking Congress to quickly authorize arming Syrian rebels to bolster President Barack Obama’s offensive against Islamic State militants, a request that could be voted on as soon as this week in a must-pass spending bill.

As Obama prepares to address the nation Wednesday night, administration officials were meeting behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to press the issue with key lawmakers, many of whom panned the idea when Obama first raised it this year.

Although the request would earmark $500 million to help Syrian rebels, it is not the money that is in question but the policy of the U.S. arming foreign fighters, particularly rebel factions whose allegiances are not always clear.

Congress was previously expected to consider Obama’s request later this year when it voted on a larger defense-spending bill, but the president wants to accelerate the process to give him greater authority to train Syrian rebels to help confront the militant group.The White House is asking Congress to quickly authorize arming Syrian rebels to bolster President Barack Obama’s offensive against Islamic State militants, a request that could be voted on as soon as this week in a must-pass spending bill.

BAR’s Glen Ford nails the real reason… Assad!

To be sure… US will destroy Islamic State ‘wherever they exist,’ Obama will say

From Bloomberg…

Obama Moves to Aid Syrian Rebels Against Islamic State

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made calls to lawmakers today urging them to authorize the Defense Department to begin training and equipping vetted groups within the Syrian opposition.

Obama is preparing to expand the U.S. offensive against Islamic State extremists, including targeting the group’s havens inside Syria.

The president is renewing a request he made in June for Congress to provide $500 million to pay for training and equipping Syrian rebel groups as a way to add a ground force to take on the Islamic State in Syria.

‘They know that Syria has to be a piece of the plan,’ said former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Jane Harman, one of a group of outside foreign experts Obama consulted over a three-hour dinner at the White House on Sept. 8. ‘He’s seriously considering all options.’

From Scoop…ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state

Meanwhile, from Baghdad our POSSOS boasted…

David Weigel, in Slate, wrote on the political (ill)will in DC…

Gaza Update: Delays, Deceit, and Death

By: CTuttle Monday August 18, 2014 4:15 pm

The Ceasefire was in fact extended for another 24 hrs… Palestinians, Israelis agree on extending Gaza cease-fire, continue talks

Egypt late Monday announced a 24-hour extension in talks between Israel and the Hamas militant group aimed at salvaging a long-term arrangement that would allow reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following a monthlong war that killed more than 2,000 people.

The announcement came just minutes before a temporary truce was set to expire at midnight, averting a resumption of the fighting that has caused devastating damage across Gaza and disrupted life throughout southern Israel.

‘Palestinians and Israelis agreed on extending the cease-fire by 24 hours to continue current negotiations,’ the Egyptian government said in a statement. Palestinian and Israeli officials confirmed they had accepted Egypt’s request for an extension.

A Palestinian negotiator said the sides had exchanged draft proposals for a long-term truce that were to be addressed during the 24-hour extension in talks. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Today’s Haaretz revealed the explosive politics at play within Bibi’s rabid Cabinet…

Israeli official: Netanyahu tried to hide Egyptian cease-fire proposal from cabinet

Only when Lieberman brought copy to cabinet meeting did PM reluctantly admit its existence.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried last week to hide from cabinet ministers the draft of a cease-fire agreement drawn up by Egypt. A senior Israeli official said that during last Thursday evening’s cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman confronted Netanyahu, showing him the copy of the Egyptian proposal that he, Lieberman, had received, and demanded an explanation.

The Israeli official said Lieberman surprised Netanyahu with this revelation. This was the first that the other cabinet ministers had heard that Israel had received a draft cease-fire agreement from the Egyptians, and they demanded copies of their own so they could review it.

A stormy atmosphere ensued and Netanyahu found himself on the defensive. The official said Netanyahu told the cabinet members that it was only a proposal, one of many that had been updated again and again in previous days.

‘I didn’t say ‘yes’ to this draft and for now we do not accept it,’ he told the ministers.

To be sure…

Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein wrote yesterday about even more Palace intrigue… Avigdor Lieberman Leaked Secret Gaza Military Briefing

Bless Bibi’s piteous heart… Israel lifts Gaza fishing ban as goodwill gesture for cease-fire

Meanwhile, from Ma’an… Touring the devastated industrial zones of Gaza

From the WaPo… Instagram photos from Gaza: A shift from a summer lull to war

Lest you thought the WaPo was getting soft on Gaza, the odious Richard Cohen, quickly quelled that notion… Israel is held to an impossible standard

Sorry, allow me to cleanse your palate, from Electronic Intifada… An open letter to Israel

In wrapping up, Don’t you just feel the Love…?

Hawaii’s Historic 2014 Primary Election

By: CTuttle Sunday August 10, 2014 4:25 pm

With an unprecented two hurricanes taking aim at the Isles, yesterday’s Primary election was threatened, but, after the Big Isle shredded Iselle, the election happened with minimal impact. Two precincts in the Puna district, here on the windward side of the Big Isle, were forced to close due to the destruction from Iselle. And, their absentee votes will ultimately decide the Schatz-Hanabusa feud.

Now, let’s delve into the results… (PDF!)

Meet David Ige, the Democrat who defeated Hawaii’s governor

Who is David Ige, the Hawaii state senator who defeated Gov. Neil Abercrombie by a whopping 35 percentage points in a Democratic primary?

History maker

A sitting Hawaii governor had not lost a campaign for re-election since 1962, so Ige’s defeat Saturday of Abercrombie is one for the history books. Abercrombie, who served in Congress for more than 20 years before his 2010 election as governor, is the first Hawaii governor to be defeated in a primary and only the second not to win a second term. William Francis Quinn, a Republican who was governor from 1957 to 1962, also lost his re-election bid. Quinn’s tenure included two years when Hawaii was still a territory and not yet a state.

Longtime legislator

Ige, 57, has served in Hawaii’s Legislature for 29 years — 21 in the state Senate and eight in the state House. An electrical engineer by training, Ige has focused on information and telecommunications policy as a legislator. He was chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee for three years. During his legislative career, Ige served as chairman of nine different Senate and House committees.

Underfunded challenger

Ige was outspent 1o to 1 in the Democratic primary. Abercrombie had spent $4.9 million vs. $447,000 for Ige, according to Hawaii’s Campaign Spending Commission. Ige also lacked Abercrombie’s endorsements, including the backing of President Obama. ‘The voters of Hawaii have said loud and clear that it’s not money that wins elections,’ Ige said in a statement after his primary victory. ‘It’s about grass-roots campaigning, meeting voters face-to-face, and above all, listening to what they have to say.’

Here’s a great synopsis on Abercrombie’s crummy record…

Former Gov. Ben Cayetano said he believes Gov. Neil Abercrombie stunning defeat happened because Abercrombie lost touch with his base.

Abercrombie has also lost favor with his supporters in part because he reversed his positions on key issues with explaining why, Cayetano said.

For example Abercrombie’s backers believed he was anti-development and pro environment when they cast their vote in the governor’s race in 2010.

However, Abercrombie has become one of the most pro-development governor’s in Hawaii’s history, allowing Koa Ridge and Hoopili development projects to move forward.

Abercrombie told supporters he would protect the ag land in Hoopili.

Environmentalists tried to stop these developments for years, but in the end, it was Abercrombie who pushed them through.

The Hoopili housing and shopping center projects will be built on some of Oahu’s only remaining rich soil land where farms have been growing produce for Hawaii’s stores.

During Abercrombie’s term, construction in Kakaako is also booming like never before with plans for up to 29 buildings in the waterfront area.

While the governor claims Hawaii residents need housing, –the condos range from $600,000 to $50 million, Cayetano said, not prices many Hawaii families can afford.

Cayetano said in addition, Abercrombie’s personality is abrasive and that contrasts sharply with Sen. David Ige’s quiet mannerisms.

I was one of the participants of a protest that Abercrummy went off at…!

Good riddance…!

Moving along to the Hanabusa-Schatz showdown…

Neither U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz nor his Democratic primary challenger, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, went to bed after Saturday’s primary election knowing who won their party’s nomination.

In one of the closest races in state history, Schatz and Hanabusa were separated by a mere 1,635 votes with all but two precincts accounted for and potentially as many as 8,000 votes from Hawaii island still to be tallied.

Election officials still need to tabulate votes from two Puna polling sites that were closed as a result of roads damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle, affecting about 8,000 registered voters. Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago said ballots would be mailed to those who did not vote prior to Saturday by mail or walk-in and voters would have several days to return them.

Neither camp conceded Saturday night.

‘We’ve got some more votes to be counted and we’ll see what happens there,’ Schatz said in an interview with Hawaii News Now. ‘We came from behind and we like where we’re at.’

Schatz said he would wait until Sunday morning to start strategizing on the extended voting period.

Roland Casamina, a Schatz campaign co-chairman, said personal calls to Puna voters will be critical.

‘We really have to go and contact the people we know on that island,’ he said.

Former Gov. John Waihee said it’s going to be an ‘on the ground’ campaign with lots of hand-shaking.

‘I think the senator will do very well there,’ he said.

Hanabusa had led since the results first started coming in, but Schatz closed the margin as more and more precincts reported.

‘This election is not over,’ Hanabusa told a crowd of enthusiastic supporters at her primary night rally at the Hawaii Laborers’ Union Local 368 hall in Kalihi. ‘It is far from over. Anything can happen.’

Seriously, Hanabusa should concede to Schatz, since the Punatics are largely DFH’s and highly unlikely to vote for the DLC tool that Hanabusa is. Her current congressional seat went to the more progressive Mike Takai, who beat another long-time DLC tool, Donna Mercado Kim.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed bag for progressives with some key victories and losses for local and state offices.

One of the key victories was St. Senator Malama Solomon’s loss to Lorraine Rodero-Inouye…

Jimmy Carter Demands “War Crimes” Be Investigated In Gaza

By: CTuttle Wednesday August 6, 2014 5:15 pm

In an Op-Ed in Foreign Policy, Elders Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson wrote…

There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverized large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals. More than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed. Much of Gaza has lost access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe.

There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes. This is true for both sides. Hamas’s indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians is equally unacceptable. However, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets, while an overwhelming majority of the 1,600 Palestinians killed have been civilians, including more than 330 children. The need for international judicial proceedings to investigate and end these violations of international law should be taken very seriously.

As Ma’an reported…

Jimmy Carter: World powers should rethink approach to Hamas

Former US president Jimmy Carter said in an op-ed Monday that in order for the Israel-Gaza status quo to change, the international community needs to recognize Hamas as a ‘legitimate political actor.’

‘Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise,’ an op-ed written by Carter and former Irish president Mary Robinson said.

‘Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor — one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people — can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons,’ the op-ed, published in Foreign Policy, said.

‘Ever since the internationally monitored 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power in Palestine, the West’s approach has manifestly contributed to the opposite result.’

Carter and Robinson called for an ‘partial lifting’ of the eight-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip, and said an international force should be put into place to monitor border crossings.

The presence of an international force is also necessary to hold both sides accountable for ceasefire violations, they said. {…}

Both Carter and Robinson are members of the Elders, a non-governmental organization that describes itself as a group of ‘independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights.’

Carter is among the most notable American public figures to criticize Israeli policy toward Palestinians. He is the author of ‘Peace Not Apartheid,’ a book for which he has earned praise for its frank speech about Israel and Palestine. Some key American figures, however, accuse him of being biased against Israel.

One of those ‘Usual Suspects’ key American figures… Giuliani: Jimmy Carter ‘Off the Deep End’ Asking U.S. to Recognize Hamas

Naturally, Bibi says there’s nothing to see, move along…

Netanyahu: Gaza operation ‘justified, proportionate’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday launched a vigorous defence of Israel’s month-long conflict in Gaza as ‘justified’ and ‘proportionate,’ blaming Hamas for the heavy Palestinian civilian death toll.

‘I think it was justified. I think it was proportionate and that doesn’t in any way take away the deep regret we have for the loss of a single civilian casualty,’ he told a news conference in Jerusalem in response to a question from the US news channel CNN.

He said it would have been disproportionate to not ‘defend your people and giving the terrorists a license to kill.’

In his first public remarks since a 72-hour ceasefire came into effect on Tuesday, Netanyahu told local and foreign journalists that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas was to blame for the heavy destruction and civilian casualties.

‘The tragedy of Gaza is that is it ruled by Hamas,’ he said.

It should be noted that the Palestinians are getting serious about the ICC…

Palestinian foreign minister seeks to prosecute Israel for war crimes at ICC

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki has announced that the Palestinian Authority seeks to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its war crimes committed during the latest aggression in the Gaza Strip.

Following his meeting at The Hague with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the Gambia, Al-Maliki said the Palestinian Authority seeks to join the ICC as a prerequisite to opening an international investigation into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Arabs 48 news website reported that Al-Maliki accused Israel of committing ‘atrocities’ and said that ‘Israel does not leave us with any other choice; we must do everything we can to bring those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice.’

Al-Maliki commented on the 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian resistance, which went into effect on Tuesday morning, saying: ‘We expect the ceasefire to continue for 72 hours and even more,’ adding ‘everything depends on the seriousness of the Israeli side.’ {…}

Al-Maliki pointed out that the Palestinians are prepared to bear the results of any possible investigation, which would include both sides, not only the Israeli side.

Bensouda said in a statement that the court still could not investigate Israel over war crimes because the Palestinian Authority is not a member state of the Rome Convention.

The ICC prosecutor pointed out that she had not yet received ‘any official document from the Palestinians requesting to join the ICC or demanding to investigate the Israeli war crimes’ following their recognition as an observer state.

Bensouda noted that her meeting with Al-Maliki was intended to ‘clarify the available mechanisms for any state to join the ICC or push for a probe.’

The Times of Israel quotes Al-Maliki as saying that joining the ICC now is merely ‘a question of procedural matters.’

Hunkering down… Israeli Foreign Ministry advises against cooperation with UN inquiry into Gaza war

Meanwhile, our State Dept had to chime in…

Gaza Update: Bibi’s Worried, The Carnage Continues, and Global Protests

By: CTuttle Sunday August 3, 2014 6:05 pm

As I noted in my last postIsrael fears UN investigation on its crimes in Gaza

…Israel Today quoted official Israeli politicians as saying that the UN commission of inquiry will be much more damning than the ‘Goldstone Commission’ report issued by a similar committee in the aftermath of the aggression on Gaza at the end of 2008, especially since the “Goldstone Commission” was a “fact-finding committee”, whilst the current committee is a ‘commission of inquiry.’

The newspaper considered the differences to be ‘extremely worrisome’ because the probe could refer its conclusions to the International Criminal Court and bring to trial the leadership in Israel on charges of committing war crimes, should the case reach such a conclusion.

The newspaper said that the Israeli government has formed a team to deal with the commission of inquiry, and the team will focus on facing legal and political campaigns as well as the international media immediately after the aggression on Gaza ends.

It seems that Israel will repeat its claims and arguments that the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip worked from within populated areas and used civilians as human shields, and that this lead to a large number of civilian deaths.

Haaretz reported today that the IDF puts together team to deflect war-crime allegations…

Legal work is being done ahead of possible international investigations like those that followed the 2009 Gaza offensive and the Mavi Marmara incident.

The Israel Defense Forces has established a team to collect evidence on the fighting with Hamas in Gaza in case the army is accused of war crimes. The IDF reiterated yesterday that Hamas had committed crimes, not Israel.

The team, headed by the chief of the IDF’s Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, includes officials from the Military Advocate General’s Office, Southern Command, the Gaza Division and the air force.

The team will collect evidence about Palestinian civilians used as human shields, particularly video documentation by the air force. The officials note a number of events in which Palestinian civilians have been harmed and it is not clear who was responsible. This includes firing on the Shati refugee camp and Shifa Hospital, a military source said.

The IDF also intends to discuss the air force’s target planning, which includes calculations of possible damage to surrounding buildings and sites during an air strike.

The daily Israel Hayom, which first reported on the establishment of the team Friday, said officials from government ministries would also be on board, including the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry.

Legal work is being done ahead of possible international investigations like the ones that followed Israel’s January 2009 ground offensive in Gaza and the 2010 commando raid on the Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara. The new team will also present findings on the conduct of Hamas during the fighting in Gaza over the past three and a half weeks.

Sheffer’s work will run simultaneously with probes coordinated by Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon, who is heading a General Staff panel tasked with clarifying cases in which the IDF harmed noncombatants.

Reflecting back on the ‘Cast Lead’ debacle, Wikileaks, had released this Tel Aviv cable…

The ‘Incremental’ Genocide in Gaza

By: CTuttle Friday August 1, 2014 5:45 pm

When a prominent Israeli pens an OpEd entitled: When Genocide is Permissable(text), let’s take a gander at the actual Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Article 1
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3
The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Starting with Art. 2(a) Killing members of the groupGaza death toll surpasses that of Cast Lead as count hits 1,437

Pretty self-explanatory…!

Now, lets look at Art 2 (c & d) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part and, (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

From Haaretz… Siege of Gaza

Formulas for siege

Operations Brother’s Keeper & Protective Edge

By: CTuttle Saturday July 12, 2014 6:45 pm

Jeff Halper wrote this excellent post at Mondoweiss…

Israel’s message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die

The Kerry initiative may have ended with a whimper instead of a bang, but its impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was significant and fundamental nonetheless. The end of the political process, futile as it may have been, triggered the collapse of the status quo as we have known it for the past 47 years. It set in motion a series of events that will confront us with two stark alternatives regarding Israel and Palestine: either the permanent warehousing of an entire population or the emergence of a single democratic state.

Both the blatantly disproportionate response to the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli boys and, as I write, the all-out air strikes on Gaza, have been cast by Israel as military operations: Operations Brothers’ Keeper and Operation Protective Edge. Neither had anything to do with the operations’ purported triggers, the search for the boys or rocket fire from Gaza. Palestinian cities supposedly enjoying extra-territorial status were invaded in Operation Brothers’ Keeper, more than 2000 homes were ransacked, some 700 people arrested. Who knows as yet the devastation wrought on Gaza – 100 dead in more than 1,100 air attacks so far, mostly civilians according to reports; deafening around-the-clock bombing of communities by American-supplied F-15 and artillery from the ground and sea that amounts to collective torture; Israel’s Foreign Minister calling for cutting off all electricity and water amidst threats to completely obliterate Gaza’s infrastructure; and the prospect of almost two million people being permanently imprisoned, reduced to bare existence just this side of starvation. {…}

Operations Brothers’ Keeper and Protective Edge represent the imposition of a regime of warehousing, of outright imprisonment of an entire people. The seemingly blind and atavistic destruction and hatred unleashed on the Palestinians over the past few weeks is not merely yet another “round of violence” in an interminable struggle. It is the declaration of a new political reality. The message is clear, unilateral and final: This country has been Judaized: it is now the Land of Israel in the process of being incorporated into the state of Israel. You Arabs (or “Palestinians” as you call yourselves) are not a people and have no national rights, certainly to our exclusively Jewish country. You are not a “side” to a “conflict.” Once and for all we must disabuse you of the notion that we are actually negotiating with you. We never have and never will. You are nothing but inmates in prison cells, and we hereby declare through our military and political actions that you have three options before you: You can submit as inmates are required to you, in which case we will allow you to remain in your enclave-cells. You can leave, as hundreds of thousands have done before you. Or, if you choose to resist, you will die.

As Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein just reported…

Israeli Invasion to Begin in “Coming Hours”

In a recent post, I published a State Department notice it was evacuating U.S. citizens from Gaza. The message asked those wishing to leave to provide necessary contact information by the morning of July 11th (yesterday). I predicted that meant an Israeli invasion would happen the next day (July 12th) or the following one. True to form, Israel Radio aired this announcement minutes ago:

A senior military source says that the IDF will mount a significant military operation in the coming hours, after the [civilian] population is cleared from areas from which rockets are fired, mainly in northern Gaza. Residents [to be cleared] will receive announcements, SMS messages, media bulletins and leaflets. According to the military source, this type of operation is accepted under international law. Israel did the same in the past in Lebanon and that experience proves a population may be cleared from an area exploited for the purposes of acts of terror.

To be clear, the news item announces a “significant [new] military operation.” I’ve interpreted this (reasonably I think) as the expected ground invasion. You often have to interpret such statements from Israeli military-intelligence sources using previous experience and understanding of sub-text. A lot is communicated through hints and coded language. AP has also confirmed the IDF was clearing northern Gaza in preparation for “stepping up its offensive.” {…}

This is the moment so many of us have expected and dreaded. It is the crossing of the Rubicon. From here, Israel crosses over from a massive, punishing air assault to outright invasion. The Obama administration and United Nations, which have stood by thus far impotently, must rouse themselves from moral torpor and act decisively. Of course, they will wait until the killing becomes even more senseless than it already is. If they act at all.

Here is the latest ineffectual pap from the State Department on the crisis: