Don’t Trust Elliott Abrams on Israel

Palestinian medicsI understand that it must suck to be Israel. That’s a hell of a place to be Jewish. Of course, at this point, I think at least a large part of the area’s hatred of Israel comes from the country being an asshole and a bully. But that’s understandable. If I lived there, I’d have to be properly medicated—high doses of Valium. Otherwise, I’d be basket case.

But I really don’t understand the last two days. Egypt brokered a ceasefire two days ago. Everything seemed to be going well. And then Israel launched an attack that killed more Palestinians in Gaza than all the Israelis killed by projectiles from Gaza in the past three years. And what coverage are we getting about the situation here in the United States?

Most of it could be taken right from Elliott Abrams at the Council on Foreign Relations, Why Did Hamas Provoke a Conflict?

There is a conflict now between Israel and Hamas because Hamas insisted on starting one. After relatively few rocket and mortar strikes into Israel in 2010 and 2011, Hamas increased the numbers strikingly this year, and finally fired more than 100 into Israel this past weekend. This was a deliberate effort by Hamas to elicit an Israeli response, for it was obvious that as the numbers grew any Israeli government would have to protect its population. One must assume that if Israel had not responded to the hundred rockets last weekend, Hamas would have upped the ante even more until it got what it wanted.

But that’s not what Abrams wrote earlier this week before the ceasefire. He wrote this today. Note that everything he writes is true. He just fails to mention anything that Israel has done wrong. You know, little things, like breaking the ceasefire and killing a bunch of people. And as always, he makes a very big deal of the mostly impotent rockets from Palestine.

I admit that I don’t understand what is going on. It is hard to sort through all the conflicting information. It certainly seems that Israel has done something very bad, but I’m sure they have their reasons. The problem is that most of our media just follow the Elliott Abrams line that Israel is always right and Palestine is always wrong. And as a result, we never get anywhere near the truth.


It is interesting to compare Abrams bit of agitprop with The Daily Beast article by Yousef Munayyer. Munayyer seems to be every bit as much of partisan as Abrams but he presents the conflict between two groups of people with conflicting desires. Abrams presents it as a conflict between good and evil. My internal sense of drama tells me that I have to side with Munayyer. I think there’s a general rule here: when someone presents a conflict as clear cut, he is lying.

Munayyer ends the article:

Why, then, would Israel choose to revert to a failed strategy that will undoubtedly only escalate the situation? Because it is far easier for politicians to lie to voters, vilify their adversaries, and tell them ‘we will hit them hard’ than to come clean and say instead, ‘we’ve failed and there is no military solution to this problem.’

With Israeli elections around the corner, the right-wing Israeli government chose the counter-productive path of escalation even though civilians would pay the price and their domestic opposition rallied behind them.

Trading bodies for ballots is an equation Israeli leaders are happy to be engaged in, especially since all the ballots are Israeli and the bodies are almost always Palestinian.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Don’t Trust Elliott Abrams on Israel

  1. Have you seen [i]Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land[/i]? It sheds some light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it’s covered by the US mainstream media. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but I remember it being pretty good.

    Watch it here:

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