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In case you didn't know UPDATE

UPDATE: Here is the Financial Times (British) on the Obama conundrum with Israel/Palestine: "The odds are that, once the dust settles in Gaza, Washington will let the situation drift. It is arguably the fourth of Mr Obama’s Middle East crises after Iraq, Iran and Syria. Why waste more capital on it? The answer lies as much within the US as in the Middle East. Unless Mr Obama is prepared to play the role of a genuinely neutral broker, talks are always likely to fail. If, as a growing number of American Jews and a brave minority of Israelis argue, Israel is digging its grave by undercutting moderate Palestinians, it is time for more thoughtful friends in the US to speak out. Why should Aipac be the one with the megaphone?"  Whole article here

Original post: 7/31: "While Congress figures out how to pass $225 million in new Iron Dome funding before the August recess, DoD supplies Israel with new ammo. Stars and Stripes' story: "As conflict continues between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, the Department of Defense has released arms to Israel from a weapons stockpile maintained within the borders of the close U.S. ally, defense officials confirmed Wednesday. The ammunition sale from the weapons stockpile, established in the 1990s for use by both countries in case of emergency, took place within the past week, following three weeks of battle between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in Gaza."  Foreign Policy Situation Report, Gordon Lubold

"But according to a defense official it was not in response to an emergency request from Israel. "Instead, the United States elected to supply 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenades from the stockpile because the arms were approaching the date they would require replacement, he said. Israel regularly buys such ammunition when the United States rotates its stocks, he said, and the United States would meanwhile send new ammunition to refresh the stockpile." Stars & Stripes

This from Kevin Clarke at America: Here's an AP lead you don't see every day:

"Members of Congress are falling over one another to show their support for Israel." Read the rest here...

"While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations.

Clarke: "And you won't see this lead today, unless you were on twitter and fast on your feet this morning. It was quickly scrubbed from an AP report on, well, Congress members falling all over each other to publicize their support for the IDF campaign in Gaza. A hasty rewrite followed yet another twitter micro-squall provoked by the unusually blunt AP tweet, built on the lead, linking to the story."  Kevin Clarke, America


About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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....meanwhile the US criticizes and sanction Russia for involvement in Ukraine and violating arms control treaties and supporting these oh so awful "separatists" against the sainted western Ukrainians.


Good to know that an expeditious solution has been found for the nagging logistics problem of what to do with all those obsolescent tools of death and destruction.  And it's reassuring that, like Syndrome in The Incredibles, we keep all the best stuff for ourselves.

Here the news say that the US supplied Israel in response to a request from Israel whose supplies were diminishing because of the war of the past three weeks.


In the words of Major Clipton at the end to the movie, The Bridge over the River Kwai, ..... Madness!!!

Good cover story for what is probably another source of aid for Israel beyond the $3B.  Has anyone heard stories  of mortar or grenade shells misfiring for the Israeli army?

Friday, August 1: It appears that the Iron Dome funding has been caught up in the wrangles over the funds for the border children. How will this end?

Claire, thanks for the citation. If I read it correctly, it says the WH was not in the loop on this decision, which is what the S & S's story reports as well. Are such decisions on auto-pilot? Or is the WH taking its distance from rearming Israel?

Ms. Steinfels - agree with the first paragraph.  Until or when the adminstration (or some administration) is willing to take on AIPAC, any US efforts are compromised and ineffective.  Why waste time.

The other item you could add to this post is the change in focus from UAE, Saudi, Eygpt in not condeming Israel and their combined antipathy towards Hamas (they see Hamas as a theart to their national peace also).  This is a significant shift.

But, Israel has laid the seeds for this - by not backing Abbas and the West Bank, they have allowed Hamas to continue to rally and remain in place.

Peggy, almost correct. It says that it is perfectly legal, according to the rules, to take this type of decisions without putting the WH in the loop. But whether the WH was involved or not remains unsaid.

Here is an article per Bill deHaas's comment on some Arab nations' (Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE) views of Hamas. "Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse than Israel, Stay Silent." NY Times, July 31. As far as I can tell, Turkey and Lebanon do not share this view. Syria? Busy with other issues, I suppose. Iraq? Ditto.

The story identifies opposition to Iran as the common source of their convergence on this issue.

Here is part of Article Thirteen of the Hamas Charter:

Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. [italics added by me] For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; [italics, again. added by me] the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad:

I would not want to negotiate anything with these folks; not cool. not cool at all.

Is it just me, or did a whole bunch of posts from this thread get deleted?

Hi, Jean Raber: There are two of these posts, this one: "In case you didn't know," and a second, "In case you missed this." I think everything is still there on both posts, for better or worse!!

Sorry for the delay; have been on the road...


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