What should have israel done instead?

I don’t think the US can snap their fingers and stop this, but I do think they can make the price Israel pays for it very high indeed. First, stop providing them with weapons. Second, stop giving them cover in the UN and other international orgs. Third, work to isolate them diplomatically. Come out strongly for the dismantling of all settlements in the occupied West Bank and a return to a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders. Condemn the unilateral annexation of Jerusalem and move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv.

Well put.

I also don’t think people should discount the fact that there are plenty of people in Israel who are just as horrified by Ben-Gvir and Smotrich (and Netanyahu for empowering them) as we are, so it’s not like they have a divine mandate. Even if they won’t acknowledge that losing US support is important, I think many see it differently.

I linked to an article that carried a quote about Ben-Gvir asking why Israeli forces weren’t executing Palestinians who surrender to arrest, but the full exchange, according to The Times of Israel, supposedly went like this:

“Why are there so many arrests?” Ben Gvir reportedly asked. “Can’t you kill some? Do you want to tell me they all surrender? What are we to do with so many arrested? It’s dangerous for the soldiers.”

[Lt. Gen. Herzi] Halevi, apparently nonplussed, was said to retort: “Dangerous for who? We don’t shoot people who come out with their hands up. We shoot those who fight us. There’s no dilemma here. Those who surrender, we arrest.”

And Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, a former chief of the Shin Bet security agency, was quoted as saying to Ben Gvir: “I’m listening to you, and I don’t know whether you’re a minister in Israel or a different country.”

I personally don’t think it would have to go as far as the measures you suggest. If the US made it clear that that was the road they would be taking unless Israel made changes, then I think that would be enough.

Anyone considering a vote for Netanyahu or his ilk would also have to consider that it was a vote to lose the support of the US.

And if that doesn’t do it, then I think it says that Israel isn’t a country we should be allied to anymore.

Also well put. The truth is that Netanyahu doesn’t have any real values that aren’t directly tied to his own personal or political fortune. He’s a bullshit artist. He’ll keep selling bullshit until there’s no more bullshit left to sell - as in the case of destoying Hamas - and then he’ll have to invent some new bullshit to sell.

And in this case it’s very likely that he’ll go to prison when he’s no longer prime minister, so the stakes are that much higher. He’s obviously willing to risk the relationship with the US, and Israel’s standing in the world to prevent it.

I think this is all correct, but needs to be handled carefully so that the Israeli population sees it as this and not as the US betraying them and turning their backs on Israel in a time of need. I simply fear it’s too late for that with Rafah. The administration certainly has finally indicated there will be consequences if Israel goes ahead, but it’s kind of too little too late for how long they waited on doing anything with any kind of bite. There probably is opportunity to push harder considering the current situation and increasing distance from Oct 7, but I also think as long as they can respond with “but the hostages!” it’ll be hard for the US to push too hard without angering too many people. Of course, if Netanyahu’s government actually was prioritizing recovering the hostages, like they keep saying they are, they’d probably actually have done a lot more of that in the intervening 7 months.

Getting the hostages out stopped being a real goal about two weeks in.

When everything is sorted out I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the IDF killed more hostages than Hamas did.

I mean they machine gunned down hostages already, I can’t imagine they didn’t bomb the shit out of a bunch of them. After all that’s apparently what you do with human shields in Israel: kill them. And hostages are ultimately just human shields.

Returned hostages actually undercut Netanyahu at the end of the day. As long as nebulous hostages exist he can stay in power and do anything he wants. So the ones likely buried under rubble are in many ways the most valuable ones to him. They can never be returned and wont be found until he’s decided he’s finished, if even then.

As I said the other week during ceasefire talk

But they sure like to talk about the hostages as a reason why the military operation must continue, as if it has been helping the hostages. From what I’ve seen, that’s not lost on the families of the hostages. They are increasingly upset about the lack of actual effort to get the hostages back.

The families of the hostages seem to be the ones leading the charge against shit in Gaza from what I’ve seen.

For American political leaders, it’s very hard to stake out any position that isn’t a shameful kowtowing to Netanyahu. Any hint of rationality, realism, or empathy for anyone other than the IDF essentially becomes political cyanide.

Bibi: “Stockholm syndrome. Have you heard of it? The hostages have turned into Hamas by now, so we must be ruthless.”

edit: I suppose I’d better add that he didn’t actually say that, because I’m still learning about sarcasm and forums.
Well damn it, he might have, actually. :-/ Who knows anymore.

But many Israelis simply do not buy this explanation. Many believe that Netanyahu does not want to release the hostages and end the war – because an end to the war would mean an end of his government.

I’m pretty sure Bibi is trying to find a way to say the families of the hostages are Hamas, actually, but he hasn’t gotten there yet. So he’ll have to settle for arresting them for now.

Edit: Also the scorecard as it were of rescued hostages vs hostages killed by the IDF is 3-3.

So my earlier comment about them killing more than they rescued is almost assuredly going to come true. Unless they somehow killed zero in this entire operation that saw them dropping 2000 lb bombs in urban areas with apparently little to no oversight beyond the commanders on the field.

Well you know, the big tough guys like Bibi prefer the ones that don’t get captured.

It’s Helsinki Syndrome!

Glad we’re back to sending them huge amounts of weapons, after Netanyahu’s spent several days saying he’ll ignore any restrictions from Biden.

The bodies of three hostages were recovered from tunnels in Gaza [<-- link to ongoing updates on the Washington Post]. According to the IDF – state-run media, if you’re determined to call out that sort of thing! – they were killed at the Nova music festival on October 7th and their bodies were then carried into Gaza by Hamas. Please try to read that with a straight face suitable for the gravity of the situation.

Also, this is almost ready to open for business. I hope it goes well.


To build off of @tomchick’s picture:

Gifted link. I’ve seen Rube Goldberg devices less complicated.

The answer to this thread’s topic I think is probably going to end up being: “They shouldn’t have sent this letter.”

They really wouldn’t like me. I think they should’ve followed through with cutting them off when they weren’t coming clean about Pollard in the 80s.

Yes that bugged the hell out of me. Especially as I was in the classified compartmented intel world at that time.

ICC Prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israeli government officials Netanyahu and Gallant, and for Hamas leaders Sinwar, Al-Masri and Haniyeh.