According to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke to an AIPAC mission in Israel on Wednesday and said that "Israel's aim [in attacking Gaza] was to provide a strong blow to the people of Gaza so that they would lose their appetite for shooting at Israel." If (as Tom Friedman suggested) that really is Israel's principal aim -- to deal "a strong blow to the people of Gaza" -- then it's easy to understand why Peres is so happy with how things have proceeded: "Implementation of the current operation had gone 90 percent according to plan, he said."
Prior commitments prevent me from writing much until later this afternoon, so I wanted to post the two-part video of a shockingly balanced, candid and informed discussion of the Israeli war in Gaza and of the U.S.'s self-destructively one-sided policy towards Israel that actually took place yesterday on a major American television outlet yesterday. Numerous people emailed and commented about this segment, which was part of MSNBC's Morning Joe show [it's safe and worthwhile to watch because Scarborough himself was entirely absent (these are the grotesque results when he is present)].
The commentary from Jordan's Queen Noor, in particular, is extremely insightful and articulate, virtually never heard (as the participants note) on American television, and underscores how unbalanced and incomplete is the debate most Americans hear concerning this issue of vital importance to American intersts (i.e.: virtually unquestioning American support for Israeli actions). Bill Moyers apparently received among the most intensely angry response that he has ever received as a result of his quite balanced criticism last week of Israel's war in Gaza -- including a written "rebuke" from the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman that disgustingly accused Moyers of "anti-Semitism"-- and Moyers intends to respond on his PBS show tonight.
Perhaps it takes a highly-telegenic, American-born Jordanian monarch for America's cable networks to include these views, though it does seem, for a variety of reasons, that the taboo against discussing these matters is eroding slowly though substantially:
UPDATE: In October of this year, Haaretz published a report regarding the strategies the IDF intended to use to fight "the next war." The article's title: "IDF plans to use disproportionate force in next war":
In an interview Friday with the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, [GOC Northern Command Gadi] Eisenkot presented his "Dahiyah Doctrine," under which the IDF would expand its destructive power beyond what it demonstrated two years ago against the Beirut suburb of Dahiyah, considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
"We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases," he said. "This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized" . . . .
Major General (Res.) Giora Eiland, formerly head of the National Security Council, belongs to a similar school of thought, and even goes a step further.
He believes Israel failed in the Second Lebanon War and is liable to fail in a third such war, because it is fighting the wrong enemy: Hezbollah, instead of the state of Lebanon itself. . . .
Eiland recommends preemptive action: that Israel pass a clear message to the Lebanese government, as soon as possible, stating that in the next war, the Lebanese army will be destroyed, as will the civilian infrastructure.
It's a bit hard to deny that this is Israel's strategy and intent when their own military officials (and their own President) openly proclaim that it is. In an excellent and well-documented article today in Salon, Robert Bryce documents how so much of what Israel is able to do in this regard is funded and supplied by the U.S., including not only huge amounts of cash and weapons, but also fuel resources for which the U.S. itself has a substantial need. Is there anyone who actually believes that this assault has advanced Israeli interests, to say nothing of American interests?