On the Murder of West Bank Settlers

-

The brutal killing of a family of five Israeli settlers, all from one family and including three children, in the West Bank is deeply disturbing. Little is known of the killer’s motivations at the moment — but no matter what they were, this was a despicable act that makes tensions between Palestinians and Israelis worse.
It is good that the Palestinian leadership has condemned the killings — but it is the responsibility of governments to stabilize during times of stress, not to escalate to the irrational and emotional. The decision made by the Israeli government today in response to the killings to further expand settlement building in the West Bank is irresponsible and reckless. This makes settlements, controversial enough in their current context, a tool of war and conflict; perhaps that is what they have always been.
In any case, the lack of trust between Israelis and Palestinians has intensified because of the murders as well as Israel’s reaction.
We are watching the fast declne of moderates in Palestine — seeing that those who have been the most pro-American leaders and pro-peace deal who have favored negotiations over violence are seeing their legitimacy collapse. Those who use the currency of force, conflict, kidnapping, detention and provocations of many other kinds — on both sides of the Israel-Palestine divide — are the ones controlling the board.
What follows is the official statement of the Quartet released by the Department of State.
My condolences to the family, friends of the associates of those who were killed.
I still hope that the Israeli government finds its way back to behaving responsibly in times of stress and not making everything worse while simultaneously depending on others to defend its prerogatives as a state.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release — March 12, 2011
Joint Statement by the Quartet
The following statement was issued today in New York by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, and the United States):
Begin Text:

The Quartet condemns in the strongest possible terms the violent murder of an Israeli family of five, including three young children, in the West Bank today. The Quartet offers their condolences to the loved ones of the victims and to the Israeli people. Attacks on any civilians are completely unacceptable in any circumstance. The Quartet calls on those responsible to be brought to justice and welcomes the strong condemnation of this attack by President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.
The Quartet emphasized the need to expedite efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

58 comments on “On the Murder of West Bank Settlers

  1. Cee says:

    The Palestinians are STILL being punished for
    something that they didn’t do. If I didn’t know better I
    would think that now Bibi wants to provoke a suicide
    boming. Perhaps Piers Morgan can ask him about this
    tonight.

    Reply

  2. JohnH says:

    Stupid…”Maybe it is not about land.” Then why does the government sponsored settler movement keep stealing Palestinian land? After all, Israelis could simply sit within the 1967 borders and hate their neighbors in peace. Instead they choose to steal their land.

    Reply

  3. Elli Davis says:

    Maybe it is not about land. It seems those countries don

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And we have the Israeli residents, of course, lashing out in their typical way…..”
    And, unfortunately, we have Steve Clemons’ timely adherence to the script. Somehow I believe he will admit to haste of judgement, (perhaps its just optimism on my part), but I doubt that the firsters will do the same.
    Whats the point in being a “moderate Palestinian” these days? If you’re gonna get accused of slaughtering Israeli Jews anyway, maybe its time to take your land back by force, and work hard at getting better rockets.
    (Oh, oops, I forgot, killing is only “defensive” in nature if you’re a Jew, killing Muslims. Otherwise, its called “terrorism”.)
    What dividends has “moderation” ever paid to the Palestinians?
    Personally, I’m tired of the effin’ fanatics on BOTH sides of this issue. Lets give ’em equal armaments, cut off all further assistence to both sides, and let ’em slug it out. Maybe we can get Huckabee to go over and blow a bugle for a change, instead of blowing Netanyahu. (Uh, darn, figuratively speaking, of course.)

    Reply

  5. DonS says:

    . . . sorry for the multiple typos:
    corrected copy:
    You beat me to it Paul. I just read about the confirmation of this at antiwar.com.
    Here in the states we have a couple of sayings that come to mind: “do over”; “I want a refund”, etc. Think Israel will give a refund on their bellicose — and immediate — reaction? Think they’ll sincerely apologize, or even insincerely?
    We’ll see how this story proceeds, or gets covered up.
    Regardless, we have the WH jumping (“how high”!) to get on the atrocity bandwagon over these 5 people killed in an obvious “terrorist attack”.:
    “As reported “White House calls on PA “to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be held accountable.” (BTW the PA followed the script and condemned the killings; quite normal I’d say)
    And we have the Israeli residents, of course, lashing out in their typical way.:
    “Sources say that dozens of Itamar residents march towards Awarta, damage houses in apparent revenge for Fogel family killings.” They threw stones . . .
    Not to say that either of these responses is in and of itself un-understandable.
    But, one asks, to what murder of any 5 random individuals around the globe does the President of the United States pointedly take notice of and comment on? (no Lobby, huh). He can’t be bothered to take seriously the torture of Bradley Manning.
    Priorities. FU.

    Reply

  6. DonS says:

    You beat me to it Paul. I just read about the confirmation of this at antiwar.com.
    Here in the states we have a couple of sayings that come to mind: “do over”; “I want a refund”, etc. Think Israel will give are fund on their bellicose — and immediate — reaction? Think they’ll sincerely apologize, or even insincerely?
    We’ll see how this story proceeds, or gets covered up.
    Regardless, we have the WH jumping (“how high”!) to get on the atrocity bandwagon over these 5 people killed in an obvous “terrorist attack”.:
    “As reported “White House calls on PA “to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be held accountable.” (BTW the PA followed the script and condemned the killings; quite normal I’d say)
    And we have the Israeli residents, of course, lashing out in their typical way.:
    “Sources say that dozens of Itamar residents march towards Awarta, damage houses in apparent revenge for Fogel family killings.” They threw stones . . .
    Not to say that either of these responses is in and of itself un-understandable.
    But, one asks, to what murder of any 5 random individuals around the globe does the President of the United States pointedly take notice of any comment. (no Lobby, huh). He can’t be bother to take seriously the torture of Bradley Manning.
    Priorities. FU.

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    “‘Itamar killings carried out by foreign worker’
    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
    03/14/2011 19:19
    News sites affiliated with PA cast doubt about Israeli claims
    that Palestinains were behind killings, says IDF arrested Thai
    worker.
    A number of news Web sites that are affiliated with the
    Palestinian Authority claimed on Monday that the Itamar
    killings were committed by a foreign worker who was employed
    in the settlement.
    PA-controlled media outlets also highlighted the story and
    continued to cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinians
    were behind the killings.
    The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “My nephew just called and said that Udi Fogel had a big argument over back pay with one of Itamar’s numerous Thai workers and that the IDF has arrested just about every Thai in the vicinity. The rumor, unsubstantiated, is that the Thai worker killed the Fogels out of anger. Stay tuned”
    Gee, suprise, suprise, that this hasn’t been presented to us as such, eh??? Even Steve dug the into “where have all the moderates gone, loooong time a-passin'” songbook.
    Well, they’ll do their damndest to keep THIS quiet, you can rest assured.
    A pity these bloodthirsty Israeli leaders didn’t get to dump a few tons of white phosphorous on these Palestinian heathen savages before the truth started coming out, eh?? Oh well, I’m sure they’ll figure out an excuse to do so again, sooner or later.
    And do you think this racist murderous Netanyahu will rollback his promise of a “revenge expansion”?
    Yeah, fat chance.

    Reply

  9. jdledell says:

    My nephew just called and said that Udi Fogel had a big argument over back pay with one of Itamar’s numerous Thai workers and that the IDF has arrested just about every Thai in the vicinity. The rumor, unsubstantiated, is that the Thai worker killed the Fogels out of anger. Stay tuned.

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    jdledell,
    Thanks for reply, that clarifies it.
    I will never be able to understand how a human rational mind can cling to irrational religiousness in cases like this so I won’t even try.
    It must be as you say they know nothing else.
    But it is hard to see how they don’t see that it is their being where they are that is the core of conflict.
    Out of curiosity what does your nephew say about the prospect of ever being moved off the settlement in the event of some sort of peace agreement would require it? Would they accept it or fight it and turn on Israel and/or the Palestines?
    The setttler leaders always quoted in the press vow all kinds of violence if that is tried. But then, the previous settlers that were moved gave in and moved without too much of a battle.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Grasping with TENtacles is Brad DeLong today–
    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/03/what-the-frack-is-going-on-in-fukujima.html
    His conclusions from the people he cites sound pretty much on the ball near as I can tell.
    As for why nuclear engineers don’t blog — maybe because everything is so site-specific, esp. in this case, that we can’t do much without the data, the meters, the readings, the list of faulty valves, the reason that there are such insufficient back ups and so on.
    But then, from reading Richard Cranium, sounds a whole lot like the people on the ground have the same problem.
    It’s a little worrisome to think that a Berkeley economist/blogger has as much information about Fukushima as the engineers on the ground at Fukushima.
    What ever are we doing?

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    “By way of credentialing myself, I’m an Institute for Nuclear Power Operations-certified systems engineer in GE Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), and worked for over 20 years in the industry with a large architect engineering (A/E) firm and an electric company with a nuclear portfolio. I’ve worked directly at four BWR plants, including one similar to the Fukushima plants. Ok, with that out of the way…”
    From kos:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/14/956193/-What-the-Fukushima-20Another-explosion,-an-uncovered-core-%28UPDATED%29
    It’s once again looking uglier — NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html?hp
    “The plant

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “We’ve seen so many tragedies unfold over the past five decades, but for some reason, this was particularly chilling. Perhaps it was due to the nature of the crime. We’re so used to faceless victims and collateral damage on either side of border. But this is so much more tangible. A family brutally killed. For what?”
    For what???
    That depends on who benefits, doesn’t it?

    Reply

  14. Cee says:

    Mashup, Your use of the word “chilling” reminded
    me of what the criminals who killed Leon Klinghoffer
    were told. It has been reported that they were
    operating for the Mossad in order to undermine the
    PLO. HEY! Isn’t Bibi headed to DC this week or next?a

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, now we find out that the Israeli right wing is using these murders to attack Israeli peace groups such as “Peace Now”…..
    http://peacenow.org.il/eng/
    So, the FACTS…..
    Israel is using these murders as an excuse for further expansion.
    Israel is using these murders to incite public opinion against Israeli organizations and groups that advocate for peace.
    There have been NO suspects captured or named, yet the official narrative automatically ASSUMES that it is a Palestinian Muslim wackjob that murdered this family, rather than a Orthodox Jew settler wackjob.
    So the “pluses” of this attack to the Israeli agenda are well known, and being strongly utilized. What ISN’T known, is who, exactly, performed these murders. But the hasbarists, and the racist Israeli leadership, have a tale to tell, no matter WHAT the truth is.
    Question; Whose agenda, and propaganda, benefits from these murders?

    Reply

  16. Kathleen says:

    And of course the radical illegal settlers use this brutal and senseless murders to expand their illegal settlements. It seems these settlers really do not give a rats ass about Israel’s security and certainly not U.S. security. And our money helps support their illegal activities.
    Cut aid to Israel call your Reps

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hmmmm. It seems “orthodox” can easily translate to “extremist”, doesn’t it?
    Or are fanatical and archaic religious beliefs only “radical” if you’re a Muslim?
    (John H, you “predicted”??? Huh??? Reread Steve’s piece.)

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    Exactly as I predicted yesterday: the Israelis have used the attack to justify yet more theft of Palestinian land and ever more settlement building.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/03/13/israels-new-revenge-settlement-expansions-spark-anger/
    But when Palestinian civilians get picked off by the IDF on an almost daily basis, the US government and its media turn a blind eye.

    Reply

  19. jdledell says:

    Carroll – Your questions get to the core of the conflict. As to the Fogels, they moved to Itamar as a young married couple. As I understand it, based on my nephew’s information, their Orthodox upbringing was imbued with the concept that it was their religious duty to settle Eretz Israel.
    Itamar offered cheap housing and an opportunity for Udi Fogel to continue his religious studies. When I say Udi and Ruth were not political I mean that they had no time or energy aside from raising their kids to participate in the daily political discussions or be part of the “price tag” events.
    The Fogels were like a lot of Israelis – trapped by the religious ideology of their rabbi and/or by friends, family and peers. Simply put, they don’t know anything else and are taught to ignore conflicting opinions. Many of the settlers are not bad people.
    All, now 37, of my relatives live in settlements from Har Homa to Kiryat Arba, Ariel, Shiloh, Itamar etc. They are also not bad people, with exception of 5 of them who are former IDF and hot headed extremists. All of them consider living in Judea and Samaria to be a religious duty. That land is the biblical core of Jewish history. Hebron is almost as sacred as Jerusalem. For them Tel Aviv is for all practical purposes, another country.
    Primarily because they are family I continue to visit my relatives even though I strongly disagree with them on most religious and political issues. My secondary purpose is to continue to, at least, expose them to alternative viewpoints something that is missing in their lives. I have not made much headway but I continue trying.

    Reply

  20. Mashup Guy says:

    We’ve seen so many tragedies unfold over the past five decades, but for some reason, this was particularly chilling. Perhaps it was due to the nature of the crime. We’re so used to faceless victims and collateral damage on either side of border. But this is so much more tangible. A family brutally killed. For what? Does anyone even remember anymore?

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    Happy Pi Day again, and here’s an interesting kickback scheme, and it’s the investors who pay for it, and so maybe there will be some legal heft brought to bear….
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/03/wikileaks-whistleblower-charges-bofa-of-engaging-in-large-scale-force-placed-insurance-scheme-with-cooperation-of-servicers.html
    There’s an inset paragraph pasted, with link, that explains how the services gets kickbacks and screws the investors on mortgage insurance plans….
    Money loves nothing more than more money.

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    OT…..
    First happy Pi Day.
    Second, watch for the BoA e-mail releases. There’s stuff all over the place, esp. nakedcapitalism, I think, but haven’t read yet.
    Third, NYT on the Japan nukes:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-reactor.html?hp
    There’s more information here that is clear and useful.
    The “not plugging in” issue is much better explained here — the electronic/electric hook ups for the diesel generators was in a basement level space — in a tsunami. Not good. They really did think the sea walls would work, and apparently the diesel backups were located on a low lying point in tsunami territory.
    Perhaps we need wiki-engineering when we’re doing high risk shit.
    Also, Japan is further to the east and lower than it used to be. The subsidence of the land is I guess what made the tsunami waves travel in 6 miles inland according to a couple of sources I found. Who’d a thunk that if you put generators for nuke plants in the basement that there’d be an earthquake that would lower the land and a tsunami that would flood the basement and stay flooded such that you actually couldn’t plug in back up generators….
    Apparently, according to the NYT piece, the gauges in the reactors aren’t working which means that they don’t know how much water is getting into the core, how much the fuel is exposed to air, and so how significant the melting of the fuel might or might not be.
    According to Oehmen, the core should stay fairly well sealed, with no release of the entire puddle of melted fuel.
    According to the NYT there will be months, possibly, of steam releases as the core is cooled with water going in, boiling into steam, and the steam’s being released to make room for more water. If there has been more melting of the zirconium coating, there will be more nasty stuff in the steam releases, and, putting things together, if they keep using sea water, the nasty stuff will have a better chance of getting out than if they use distilled water.
    So, steam is the issue for now. And the wind direction. And just how much the core coatings have melted. And I guess, whether or not the contractor who put in the steel and concrete encapsulation was cheating.
    It’s never a good idea to depend on the honesty of profit-seeking enterprises.
    See BoA releases for more on this theme.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by jdledell, Mar 13 2011, 7:40PM – Link
    I have met the Fogels and been in their home. It’s truly tragic and inexcusable what happened to them. No one, Jew or Arab, should be slaughtered in bed. This is especially true of the Fogel family who were not political at all but totally consumed and dedicated to their faith and their children.>>>>>>
    Yes it is terribly tragic, but I am confused.
    Why were they settling in the West Bank?
    If not political in the usual sense, did their religion tell them it was their obligation to help expand Israel by living in a settlement? That religious fanaticism is the reason most settlers, or their leaders at least, give as a reason for living in the settlements.
    Why were they or your nephew for that matter living in a colony known for extreme zionism?
    Couldn’t they have chosen to live in legal parts of Israel which would have been much safer if their only interest was Judaism and their children?

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Posted by Chris, Mar 13 2011, 4:11PM
    Oh yes I am familiar with that story.
    So happens however, it isn’t true.
    Let me suggest the same book that Sand did..
    The Truth About Camp David by Clayton E. Swisher
    Excellent book, interviews of 40 people who took part in the discussion on both sides. The US-Isr story is that the US and Israel offered the Palestinians 90% of what they wanted, and were rejected.
    The reality of the offer was:
    1) Palestine could have a state in name only with a flag, an anthem, etc..
    2) But the Palestinian state would be economically and politically subservient to Israel in terms of import and export, taxes and tariffs and etc..have to go to Israel for permissions.
    3) They would not have control of their borders, their their country would be divided by Israeli-only roads, and they would have a capital in a suburb of Jerusalem.
    4) They could have no national defense forces.
    5) Israel would maintain control over the West Bank and other wells and water sources.
    Basically Israel offered Palestine a sort of “colony-hood’ like the old timey colonies of the British Empire in the ME…think similar to India. Hysterically funny to think that a client state of the US and one dependent on so much foreign aid welfare has pretensions to be a colony holder like past world empires.
    Anyway it’s wasn’t an offer of an independent state. Who would have accept those conditions,..seriously …it’s laughable.

    Reply

  25. Carroll says:

    Posted by Chris, Mar 13 2011, 4:11PM
    Oh yes I am familiar with that story.
    So happens however, it isn’t true.
    Let me suggest the same book that Sand did..
    The Truth About Camp David by Clayton E. Swisher
    Excellent book, interviews of 40 people who took part in the discussion on both sides. The US-Isr story is that the US and Israel offered the Palestinians 90% of what they wanted, and were rejected.
    The reality of the offer was:
    1) Palestine could have a state in name only with a flag, an anthem, etc..
    2) But the Palestinian state would be economically and politically subservient to Israel in terms of import and export, taxes and tariffs and etc..have to go to Israel for permissions.
    3) They would not have control of their borders, their their country would be divided by Israeli-only roads, and they would have a capital in a suburb of Jerusalem.
    4) They could have no national defense forces.
    5) Israel would maintain control over the West Bank and other wells and water sources.
    Basically Israel offered Palestine a sort of “colony-hood’ like the old timey colonies of the British Empire in the ME…think similar to India. Hysterically funny to think that a client state of the US and one dependent on so much foreign aid welfare has pretensions to be a colony holder like past world empires.
    That’s not an offer of an independent state. Who would accept that,..seriously …it’s laughable.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hmmmm. I guess calling me a “prick” was Haim’s sole contribution to the discussion. Must be busy elsewhere, trying to find an audience less informed and hungering for tripe.
    And ya gotta love “Atlanta Roofing’s” advertising tactics, doncha? Calling people “savages” will suck them clients in every time, won’t it? Perhaps Haim needs a roof, eh?
    Then there’s “Chris’s” contribution. I am always struck by the pro-zionist’s need to distort facts in order to advance their arguments. It seems to be a rule of thumb, inevitably applied in virtually EVERY discussion that arises about this issue.
    Too bad about this family. Perhaps when the Israelis stop treating the Palestinians like junkyard dogs we will see an end to these kinds of tragic events.
    But don’t hold your breath. It seems the Israeli leadership is hell bent on instituting state mandated racism. Who can believe such policies and legislations can come to a good end?

    Reply

  27. Neo Controll says:

    Dear Atlanta roofing. Trolls have a certain odor familiar to readers.

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    East coast time is GMT -4 according to a conversion site.
    Here’s a link to a site on the Japan nukes that updates regularly (with GMT time markings) and seems fairly clear.
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/03/massive-explosion-rips-through.html
    “It’s not clear how much progress has been made, although nuclear power experts canvassed by Reuters were cautiously optimistic that the situation was being brought under control. The Japanese government has acknowledged that fuel rods at one or both reactors may not have been fully submerged for a time, and may have melted or become deformed as a result, but that would fall short of a complete meltdown and does not necessarily constitute a risk to the public unless the situation worsens.”
    And the Reuter’s link to a canvass of nuclear power experts:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/13/us-japan-quake-nuclear-expert-idUSTRE72C35920110313
    “They said any meltdown of nuclear fuel — which contains most of the radioactivity — would not lead to a major escape of potentially dangerous clouds into the air as long as thick walls shielding the reactor cores were not breached.
    Japanese authorities “appear to be having enough success to have forestalled a definite core melt accident that’s difficult to control,” said Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “After three days that is very good news.”
    But he said it was “still a touch and go situation.””

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    There is the unfortunate trope circulated that life is cheap to Arabs, and dear to Israelis in a way unique in the world. It’s a racist lie, and an affront to all humanity.
    Generally, in my experience, Israelis are not gentle people. That’s ok, it may even be essential. But it’s deceptive for the West to accept the image of Israel as the underdog — in the context of the current conditions in the ME, at this stage of post-holocaust history.
    That this myth and it’s consequences are inexorably linked to a captive and unthinking American foreign policy make the US unconscionably complicit in forestalling the road to a read peace.

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    Killing others is contemptible, whomever the perpetrator. However, it only serves the interests of Israel to publicize killings by Palestinians while ignoring those perpetrated by Israel (the standard media frame).
    So let’s put this in perspective:
    Since September 2000, 124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,452 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis. 1,084 Israelis and at least 6,430 Palestinians have been killed. 9,226 Israelis and 45,041 Palestinians have been injured.
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/
    We all know that Likud and the crazies will use these highly publicized killings as justification to steal more land, assassinate more Palestinians, and perhaps eventually drive all Palestinians into the desert.

    Reply

  31. Sand says:

    I was reading over at Richard Silverstein’s website that ‘Itamar’ is known for his “extremist” and violent actions against Palestinians. Interesting — coz we never get to hear about Israeli atrocities in the US.
    If the Fogels were mild and gentle folk can you say your nephew and wife are also mild and gentle folk, if so, do they blindly accept this thuggery that goes along living in this community? What a place to bring us your children.
    “…0n 17th October 2000, a group of Itamar settlers murdered Farid Nasasreh as he was working in his olive groves with his family and other villagers from Beit Furiq. Five relatives who were working in the field with Farid were injured in the attack…”
    and
    “…I can attest to the fact that I was severely beaten and robbed at gunpoint by a gang of settler thugs from Itamar while I was helping half a dozen elderly women harvest their olives in Yanoun village, Palestine…”
    …and you wring your hands, but continue to visit.
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/03/12/death-in-itamar/#comments

    Reply

  32. jdledell says:

    My nephew and his wife live in Itamar and I have been there numerous times. It is deep in the West Bank, just south and a little east of Nablus. It’s a small Orthodox community and everyone knows everyone there.I have met the Fogels and been in their home. It’s truly tragic and inexcusable what happened to them. No one, Jew or Arab, should be slaughtered in bed. This is especially true of the Fogel family who were not political at all but totally consumed and dedicated to their faith and their children.
    Aside from this grusome murder what is going on in Itamar is also tragic. As I’m sure you are all aware, this community’s residents are extremist Zionists. Rabbi Cohen’s yeshiva is fully behind the “price tag” policy and espouses violence against the arabs to drive them out of Samaria. The yeshiva students regularly brag about the specific price tag episodes they commit, especially against the Palestinian village of Avrata.
    I want to condemn in the strongest terms possible the murder of the Fogels. However, it does remind us of the necessity of finally finishing a permanent and just peace agreement. The violence on both sides will continue, to the sorrow of both peoples, until a peace agreement is signed.

    Reply

  33. questions says:

    Near as I can tell, the author of the Japan link above, Josef Oehmen, works in risk analysis, not in nuclear engineering. He is indeed at MIT, but not in nuclear engineering.
    But my guess is that he’s got the basic risk analysis and nuclear issues down. Some of the commenters on the site have a range of CT-like theories. There’s some panic that this guy is a shill for the nuclear industry. And some suspicion that “what’s a PhD scientist” means that the author is a shill for the nuclear industry. Actually, he’s German, and the proprietor of the blog may also not be native English-speaking, but is certainly fluent enough. The post originated as a letter from Oehmen to his family (which includes the proprietor of the blog.)
    The whole paper is written much like a risk analysis. He discusses the ways that engineers design for failure, the way that risk analysis is done, and he covers the main back up systems and how they are supposed to function, including the multiple containment systems and what “meltdown” means in this context.
    If there are nuclear engineers who disagree, I’m guessing this will come out soon. This paper has something like 13 pages in my google search already. It is everywhere.

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    A few important paragraphs from the Japan link:
    This one, on the plugs didn’t fit!!
    “Within the 8 hours, another power source had to be found and connected to the power plant. The power grid was down due to the earthquake. The diesel generators were destroyed by the tsunami. So mobile diesel generators were trucked in.
    This is where things started to go seriously wrong. The external power generators could not be connected to the power plant (the plugs did not fit). So after the batteries ran out, the residual heat could not be carried away any more.”
    **********
    This one is interesting regarding using sea water as a coolant:
    “The water used in the cooling system is very clean, demineralized (like distilled) water. The reason to use pure water is the above mentioned activation by the neutrons from the Uranium: Pure water does not get activated much, so stays practically radioactive-free. Dirt or salt in the water will absorb the neutrons quicker, becoming more radioactive. This has no effect whatsoever on the core

    Reply

  35. Cee says:

    Lambs to the slaughter for a lousy 260.00 bucks. I say again that I blame the government of this failed state. Go to this article and read about the fate of the neighbors.
    On December 14, 2009, the Israeli cabinet approved adding Itamar to a list of

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    OT, but perhaps worth the interruption at the top of the site —
    h/t Brad DeLong, regarding Japan and nukes:
    http://morgsatlarge.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors/
    written by an MIT prof, looking at the press, links to a couple of other sites, details, worth reading and adding to the other sources….
    Really clear, really concise explanation of the design of the reactors, the use of the control rods, the kinds of radiation, the headaches, and not any panic.
    Note that it was written yesterday. Possibly there will be updates.
    Note that nuclear engineering is a specialty that not a lot of people are versed in, and the panic mode is different from the engineering mode.
    It’s worth reading and adding to the list of things read.

    Reply

  37. Cee says:

    Uh huh.
    A preliminary probe undertaken by the army on Saturday shows that the fence around Itamar functioned properly and that when the terrorists infiltrated, an alarm sounded in the settlement’s security room, indicating the exact location where they entered.
    But the settlement’s civilian security team apparently did not inform soldiers patrolling the area of the fence when the alarm went off.

    Reply

  38. Kathleen says:

    “The Quartet calls on those responsible to be brought to justice and welcomes the strong condemnation of this attack by President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.”
    If they only demanded justice in all of these horrific situations say for instance the executions of human rights activist on the Mavi Marmara by the Israeli soldiers.
    The whole world sees these serious contradictions.

    Reply

  39. Cee says:

    According to an Israeli settlement security official who did not want to be named, one or two Palestinians scaled the security fence surrounding Itamar, and entered the family’s home through a window.
    OH? They SAW this? No arrests yet?

    Reply

  40. Cee says:

    Israel’s use of this murder to continue to inflame the expansionist clamor, does disrespect and dishonor to those murdered. Pretty cheap and cynical really.
    Amen. And nothing new. Remember the Jewish border community that was used as cannon fodder during the war on Lebanon? This failed state is responsible for those deaths and this current crime against civilians.
    Also, did I miss the State Department condemnations every single time a Palestinian was killed?
    Any word on this??
    During Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002
    Human Rights Watch reports that of the ?twenty-two civilian killings? during the Israeli siege of Jenin, ?Many of them were killed willfully
    or unlawfully, and in some cases constituted war crimes.
    Fifty-seven-year-old Kamal Zghair, a wheelchair-bound man, was shot and then run over by IDF tanks on April 10 as he was moving his
    wheelchair?equipped with a white flag?down a major road in Jenin.
    Thirty-seven-year-old Jamal Fayid, a quadriplegic, was crushed to death in the rubble of his home on April 7 after IDF soldiers refused to allow his family to remove him from their home before a bulldozer destroyed
    it.

    Reply

  41. Kathleen says:

    Carroll “For every one instance of a Palestine attacking settlers you could post 100’s of examples of settlers attacking or trying to kill Palestines.”
    The truth and yet no excuse for these brutal murders.
    Our MSM will cover this but seldom cover Palestinian being killed by Israeli’s.

    Reply

  42. Kathleen says:

    “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” The killings were brutal and senseless.
    The decades long expansion of Israeli ILLEGAL settlements , killings, bulldozing of homes, imprisonment, persistent humiliation brutal and senseless
    One of the best places to go for up to date issues on the I/P conflict…MONDOWEISS If Americans Knew

    Reply

  43. Chris says:

    re:Carroll
    “It’s pretty simple….as long as Israel is willing to kill Palestines to take their land and resources ,Palestines will be willing to kill Jews to keep their land and resources.”
    Some forget that the peace settlement (Canp David II, 2000) fulfilled the majority of the Palestinians’ desires but was rejected by their leadership. Makes one believe that they like to cause problems to gain the world’s attention and the money provided by many countries. Just saying… Chris

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    The obvious motivation for the Israeli settler killings is revenge –for the frequent settler and IDF attacks on Palestines and of course the settlements themselves…horrible but understandable human reaction.
    For every one instance of a Palestine attacking settlers you could post 100’s of examples of settlers attacking or trying to kill Palestines.
    Could be the person who killed them was the former inhabitant or owner of the land these settlers took over or someone who lost his family or child to the settlers or IDF.
    It’s pretty simple….as long as Israel is willing to kill Palestines to take their land and resources ,Palestines will be willing to kill Jews to keep their land and resources.
    And on it goes….

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, notice how Haim did not address one single parrallel that I presented in my original post? To read Haim’s response, one could believe that I presented settlement expansion as being equally as horrendous as butchering an Israeli family. But that WAS NOT the thrust of my comment at all, was it? I compared violence to violence, which Haim not so artfully avoids comment about, choosing instead to obsfucate my comment, and offer a basketful of straw in response.
    Arguing with these Jewish fanatics like Haim is IMPOSSIBLE, because they are so consumed with bigotry and hate that they are incapable of drawing parallels to their own fanaticism and that of a fanatic Muslim. To them a Palestinian child incinerated in Jewish deployed white phosphorous has far less value than a Jewish child slain by a Muslim zealot. Yet the proportions are waaaay out of scale when one looks at the actual statistics describing the death and mayhem inflicted on the children of both sides.
    It is impossible to take Haim seriously, to give his indignation credence. He is but one hateful zealot amongst many, both sides having more than their fair share. His respect for the sanctity of life has little value when considering the bias with which it is applied.

    Reply

  46. DonS says:

    “It may be impossible to rule and be moral simultaneously” , or to extrapolate from Questions reference to our own lives: “it may be impossible to be human and moral simultaneously”.
    I’ll go through the horns of this apparent dilemma (and leave it up to the likes of a philosopher to clean up my dodge): yeah, but it’s the striving that separates the more aware, positively disposed humanoids from the more asleep, neutral or negatively disposed ones.
    Final comment: being in the ‘role’ of president, or in the ‘role’ of politician’, or in any ‘role’ in life . . . what sort of humanoid, on the scale of more asleep —> more awake occupies the role? My take, we all sleep. The experiment is not going very well.

    Reply

  47. questions says:

    DonS,
    I suppose the thing to think about is whether or not some of the following:
    Does every nation commit atrocities?
    Does every nation that doesn’t commit atrocities rest on the coattails of a nation that does?
    Is it better to be a coattail rester, or a “strong leader among nations”?
    What is the national interest?
    If the national interest is to look after the material well-being of the people, or of a segment of the people, of a nation, then what does that entail?
    Are there limits to how much a nation should do to ensure its continued existence?
    What happens if the US pres oversees more terror attacks?
    What happens if the US pres oversees huge increases in energy costs?
    What happens if the US pres pushes back against the oligarchy when there’s an entire opposition party devoted to that oligarchy?
    ********
    These are big issues. We can fulminate all we want about Obama, buses, under, throwing, ill-treatment…. But what happens when something goes wrong regarding the economy, terror, real security leaks, energy costs?
    It may be impossible to rule and be moral simultaneously. It may be impossible to thrive as a nation without doing so on the backs of others, or on the coattails of the exploiters at the very least.
    What did anyone have for dinner last night? Something that was once alive, most likely.
    We eat life. We thrive from death. Sometimes it gets obvious, and we get grossed out a bit, or we set up some kind of psychic hierarchy of worth — cows are stupid, so it’s ok to eat them. Or, hey, I gotta live. Or those people are too dumb, too dark, too evil, too stupid, too without IQ, too weird, too loud, too smelly, too one thing or another, so it’s ok to exploit them.
    Look at Mahar and the Huckmeister and Palin on the issue of other people’s beliefs. Look at the fundamental lack of respect for humanity they display. Look at how little we cherish life, save during pregnancy, for a brief time, when we ban abortions regardless…and wonder what it’s all about.
    So what would Obama say to all of this? Well, if he cherishes ALL life, then he’s not only not going to be president anymore, but he’s also perhaps going to court some major disaster that comes from caring to the point of carelessness.
    It’s fine for any one person to care less about self, but the pres is really tasked with keeping gas prices down, terrorists out, and national security, ummm, secure.
    I would imagine that, since every pres is bloody through and through in a way that no one else is, that there’s a kind of bubble one puts over one’s soul and one lives with impossible cognitive dissonance.
    In a much smaller and less direct way, every one of us who makes use of electricity has digested some coal miners, some nuke plant workers, some uranium miners, some people who breathe in shit and die from it.
    And every one of us who has driven has benefited from all the people killed in Nigeria for oil, killed in Saudi Arabia for oil, killed wherever and whenever for oil.
    And those of us who drive plug in electric vehicles, well, we’ve done both.
    Cognitive dissonance is called for as life depends on death, and life is cherished even in its dependence.
    A conference of presidential therapists would be a thing to listen to. But it’s pretty clear what they’d all say. They did the best job they could, they were sworn to keep the US going, and within the limitations of the office and the Constitution and the electoral system, they did what they could. And to keep the US system going, they broke some shit along the way. Had the country fallen, it would have been worse.
    It’s truly sad.
    Especially when we see the system from our side and we cannot figure out why Bradley Manning has been tossed. He seems like a nice guy with the right ideas regarding transparency.
    For the nth time, I’m so glad I’m not the pres.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/terror-begats-terror/
    EXCERPT…….
    So I suppose it should come as no surprise that the Washington Post

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Besides, Israel’s leaders have so proven themselves to be unworthy of trust, that it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they will commit to false flag attrocities to justify policies.
    I don’t trust one damned thing that comes out of the mouth of Netanyahu and his racist minions. The Israelis have become masters of deception.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    OT – Questions, thanks for the heads up on Obama answering the question “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”, PJ Crowley. Answer, no problemo; he’s gone.
    one take, http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/03/13/days-after-criticizing-manning-treatment-crowley-out-as-state-department-spokesman/
    I cross posted this yesterday in FDL comments:
    Here

    Reply

  51. DonS says:

    Haim, you miss at least one of the points. What does a criminal act committed against civilians have to do with political act by a government? If anything, Israel’s use of this murder to continue to inflame the expansionist clamor, does disrespect and dishonor to those murdered. Pretty cheap and cynical really.
    By the way, your shocking, blood drenched rendition, which we have all read a facemile of by now, may heat your own blood, and may be understandable in the moment, but does little to ally itself with an aim greater than carnage and retribution. We’ve all (mostly) seen blood and understand tragedy. I thought Jews, too, had an understanding of the need to move beyond hatred and reaction.
    The Israeli government, while explicitly linking this murder to retributive government policy, shows itself going in exactly the opposite direction. Ask yourself, who benefits by this tightening of “the iron fist” as Ehud Barak threatened, or who benefits from the individual crime/state response conflation by the seriously flawed Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, “After such horrific pictures, with whom do we have to sit and talk peace?”
    Tragedy aside, what a cynical direction, either for a politician or a “holy” man.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “G-d, what a prick”
    How many innocents were killed in Lebanon???? In Gaza during Operation Cast Lead?
    Yeah, I might be a prick, but the fact of the matter is that Palestinians lives seen to have NO value to people like you.
    So if I’m a “prick”, tell me, whats that make YOU????
    And if theres one thing I can be sure of, its that “Baby, gutted out next to her father” will be used, by you and your ilk, to paint THE ENTIRE PALESTINIAN POPULATION as heathen ghouls, while dumping white phosphorous on women and children will go unmentioned by you.
    Sorry if I can’t get all teary eyed over the fate of this settler family at the hands of a religious fanatic. Its tragic, counterproductive, and unfortunate. But make no mistake, your side is just as replete with violent religious wack-jobs, and they have killed waaaaaaay more Palestinians than the Palestinians have killed Israelis. When you and your ilk arrive at the conclusion that ALL human life is of equal value, then perhaps you and I can have a conversation that isn’t tainted by the SHEER LOATHING I have for your callous dismissal of Palestinian suffering, and your opinion that because you are a Jew God has bequeathed you with the RIGHT to treat Palestinians like dogs and camels. So until then, I guess you’ll just hafta call me a “prick”, and live with the consequences of your OWN radical religious fanaticism. And unfortunately, the death of this settler family is one such consequence. Violence begets violence. One would think you people coulda figured that out by now.

    Reply

  53. questions says:

    Of course the settlements have been a tool of war and conflict!
    But they are also a tool of domestic politics, faction control, position-taking and reelection campaigning and probably a bunch of other structures as well.
    The goal likely was to make the Palestinians pay a heavy price for non-capitulation, for acts of war and sabotage and for suicide bombings. It’s probably generally a standard operating procedure to make sure that suicide bombing isn’t particularly profitable.
    Once you start moving people, and campaigning on the moving, and subsidizing the moving, and proselytizing the moving, and religion-izing the moving, and once the moved people become a community of self-certain, self-righteous fools, or just people trying to cope, suddenly the whole thing is harder to undo.
    So where they are now is that the moving of people is both a war strategy and a domestic strategy. Further, it is a survival strategy for the regular people caught up in the subsidy system, and it is an economic strategy and a religious strategy.
    Gosh, it sounds like the US defense production mess.
    *********
    By the way, PJ Crowley was tossed under a bus. My Obamabotness takes a pause when it comes to Bradley Manning and when it comes to education.
    I can understand the logic of not tolerating mixed messages, but, FUCK, Crowley is right and the admin is wrong. The treatment of Manning is not particularly a thing to be proud of, nor is it necessary. It’s probably not the worst of the worst — no electroshock “therapy” or dogs or the like. But still, the US should be able to say something other than,
    Well, at least we didn’t hook up electrodes and all I got was no t-shirt at all.
    Maybe we could have a naked solidarity with Manning day in Wisconsin — in the summer, perhaps.
    Could people be motivated for this?

    Reply

  54. Haim says:

    Yeah. Right. On the one hand, gruesome slaughter of
    innocents. Baby, gutted out next to her father. A
    child, swimming in the pool of his blood. On the
    other hand, two hundred new apartments in settlement
    blocs which even the Palestinians had conceded.
    Absolutely the same. No, scratch that – the Israeli
    apartments are worse, much worse.
    G-d, what a prick.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Only a callous fool would condone the murder of this family.
    But it is a hell of a note that the DAILY outrages committed by the settlers against the Palestinians does not garner the same attention from our State Department, the Quartet, and “insiders” such as Steve Clemons. And where was Steve’s outrage when Israel was EXECUTING an American citizen in international waters, or targeting and maiming American citizens engaged in peaceful protest at B’iln???
    Are we to believe that flooding Palestinian farmland with raw sewage, or razing orchards does not impact Palestinian families and children?
    Were Americans subjected to such constant and internationally unrecognized abuses, is it not reasonable to expect some of us to “snap” and resort to violence?
    Steve laments the radicalization of moderate Palestinians. One must ask, what returns have the “moderate” Palestinians recieved for their patience and willingness to negotiate? This kind of tragedy is INEVITABLE considering the nature of the conflict. And as regrettable as it is, the silence regarding the settler’s constant stream of crimes and abuses against the Palestinians, and the lopsided manner in which “justice” is meted out to one side or the other, makes it hard to be sympathetic to the settlers.
    I suspect we will be subjected to a media barrage of outrage about the incident, while the instances of settler abuses against Palestinians will continue to be ignored. Its somewhat disheartening seeing Steve so faithfully adhering to the script. Observe carefully as the media, and regrettably, Steve, attempt to paint an entire people using this incident as the canvas…….
    “We are watching the fast declne of moderates in Palestine…………….”
    Yes, and whose fault is that????

    Reply

  56. Sand says:

    And will the Quartet condemn Israel’s response to the terrible killings by instinctually clamping down on the *whole* occupied Palestinian population around the illegal settlers community, and the announcement that Israel will be building yet more illegal settlements on Palestinian land?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/13/israel-netanyahu-settlers-murder-response
    Nah, I didn’t think so.

    Reply

  57. DonS says:

    “The decision made by the Israeli government today in response to the killings to further expand settlement building in the West Bank is irresponsible and reckless.” )Steve) . . . and reinforces the impression that the Israeli government is incapable of learning and changing their mode of operation despite current political and natural upheavals around the globe, including right in the ME.
    We can expect the American wing of the Likudist clan to cheer right on. Huckabee has staked out the zero sum insane right fringe. Biden and the rest have muscled all the way up to “settlements are unhelpful” (I don’t think they’ve gone as far a “counterproductive”, but maybe I’m wrong.
    Nonetheless, despite the US enthusiasm for liberal/democratic reform in the region currently, it would be naive to expect the American conventional wisdom to get over the disconnect when it comes to Israel behavior.
    So to this horrific murder, committed by individual(s) the Israeli government, and it’s cheering section, respond by finding reinvented excuse to justify state appropriation of Palestinian land. What’s an analogy? Because Gabby Giffords was shot in Arizona by a white man, the government will continue to crack down on illegal Mexican immigration even harder. Or something as inane.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *