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I’m always so torn as to what to think of these situations. The Palestinians do, without a doubt, use civilians as military shields for the bases they launch rockets from. It’s also the case that the Palestinians do purposefully target Israeli civilians. So what choice does Israel have but to inflict so called “collateral damage”?

Yet the Israeli army is too powerful and technologically capable for Hamas to challenge directly. So, I think, it attacks Israeli civilians in an attempt to demoralize the people and government and sure up their own base.

Both sides seem to be pursuing a strategy that leads to stalemate.

I think it’s more likely that Israel has undertaken Operation Defensive Pillar to strengthen its position with regard to Iran. With Obama’s reelection the likelihood of an American led offensive against Iranian nuclear ambitions is significantly diminished. A strike on Iran would result in Hamas firing rockets and missiles into Jerusalem. Israel may be preparing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities by crippling the response of Iran’s ally Hamas.


On the day they buried Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas commander blown apart in what Israel calls a “targeted killing,” a man named Jihad Misharawi cradled the corpse of his 11-month-old son, killed when an apparently errant Israeli shell pierced the roof of their Gaza home. The father’s grief was captured in a compelling Associated Press photograph that Misharawi might have appreciated in his professional capacity: he works for the BBC as a photo editor, the job that involves deciding what images to send out to the world when the story becomes the death of civilians, as it is becoming in Gaza.

Until Sunday, the number of Palestinian bystanders killed in the Israeli assault on the crowded, poverty-stricken stretch of sand may have been as low as 16, barely half the number of fatalities among militants across the first four days. That proportion, if it had stood, would have been exceptional…

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"The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks." - Christopher Hitchens

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