Monday, September 1, 2014

Judaism’s hijacking by Zionists drives 70% of secular Jews to marry non-Jews– Koppman at Huffpo

US Politics Philip Weiss on August 31, 2014

Steve Koppman is a playwright and the author of a book on Jewish Folklore. At Huffington Post he has published an anti-Zionist piece that says Jews should be supporting the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement because it epitomizes the best of Jewish values in opposition to the militant Jewish state that oppresses Palestinians. A wonderful piece. My headline’s provocative, but Koppman said that part too.

He points out the ways that Jewish nationalism has entered his religious space and corrupted it:

For five years in our synagogue like many others, a special prayer was made for Gil’ad Shalit — an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas — every Shabbes. But never in my experience was there mention of the five to ten thousand Arabs held over that period in Israeli prisons, sometimes indefinitely, without trial or charge. What happens, I wondered, when our kids learn “the rest of the story”? What are we telling them? Only Jewish lives matter?

One of the Jewish Torah ‘s three commands to “love” is to love “the Other.”

A Judaism that treasures Jewish lives and devalues Arab lives is no longer Judaism.

He knows about the Jewish movement against such racism. He says that rightwing Zionists are a minority who have hijacked the community:

The U.S. Jewish community has largely had its political identity hijacked by an influential minority, including many community leaders and rabbis, who see its essential role as advocating for Israel no matter what it does, bolstering U.S. government support and billions annually in U.S. aid….

This support is largely free of moral content. It’s what sociologists have called “amoral familism.” Israel’s actions are not subject to moral examination but presumed to define morality. Past crimes against us are forever used subliminally to justify new crimes by us. Israel’s insistence on”security” and more land trumps Arab people’s demand for basic rights and self-determination as it has for decades. The “organized community” and American aid help maintain Israeli intransigence against what’s seen as an uncaring and always at least potentially anti-Semitic world.

But blockade and occupation are recognized acts of war most of us would support resistance to anywhere else in the world. The West Bank has been occupied for almost 50 years, its residents subject to arbitrary arrest, control over movement, land seizure and home destruction. Nearly two million Gazans have been blockaded for more than seven years — malnourished, economy strangled, health ruined — in collective punishment.

Election of a Palestinian government was sabotaged by Israel’s refusal to deal with it and mass arrest of the winners. Israel likes to call itself the Middle East’s “only democracy” while effectively ruling nearly five million — and growing — unrepresented Palestinians.

It is unclear what choice Palestinians have beyond active resistance and meekly accepting permanent subjugation in their own land. The recent “Kerry Round” of failed peace talks made this newly clear.

Sadat went to Jerusalem. The Arab League accepted Israel. Remember the Oslo accords? But for Israel, it’s always as if it’s 1967. If not 1944.

But what about the children we actually blow apart in 2014? An Israeli child was killed last week. What if it were 500 Jewish children? American children?

He’s worried about the Jewish brand:

Israel and its American supporters have long reversed the worldwide moral posture of the Jewish people, a disaster for American Judaism as we try to pass on an ethos radically compromised by the need to continually rationalize permanent oppression of another people by our own.

The synagogue is continually debased by regular prayers for the welfare and triumph of the occupying army, whose central mission has become subjugating Palestinians in perpetuity — policies few if any Jews would countenance practiced by any other state against any other people.

The founding event of the Jewish people was the greatest slave revolt in history. As a young Jew growing up in New York long ago, I knew every fight for freedom was mine. Jews supported human equality, the rights of all, with a reliability and enthusiasm that inspired people of other groups. What we looked down on most in our sub-culture was looking down on people.

Young Jews grow up today in a radically different world in which they are encouraged by the organized community to rationalize permanent suppression (and when they resist — “self-defense” killing) of Palestinian Arabs.

Here’s the intermarriage bit:

The “organized community” believes the explosion of intermarriage among non-Orthodox U.S. Jews from about 15 percent in 1967 — when Israel became a confirmed occupier — to over 70 percent today< is pure coincidence. But anyone who’s thought about it, or known young American Jews, knows better. We are living through an effort to re-define Judaism into, “The belief system that supports the Israeli state,” that dishonors the Jewish message of freedom, hope and resistance to tyranny that echoes through history. Here’s the BDS part: Confronting today’s Israel and demanding it change is not a rejection of Judaism but the most profound manifestation of it. Jews should not be fighting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement that struggles to hold Israel accountable. We should be leading it. It is our people that’s disgraced by Israel’s policies and the heartless, mindless cheerleading of AIPAC and its supporters. This is a logical and morally clear argument shared by a great number of young Jews who are saying No to the demand that they support massacres. You can differ about the intermarriage claim, but there’s obviously something to it. Neoconservatism alienated me from Jewish life till like Arielle Klagsbrun I could find a tabernacle of Jews that denounced neoconservatism. I wanted to have my anti-Zionism inside Jewish life. But the thing I find most dispiriting about this is that Koppman isn’t in the New York Times. I’ve seen the Sunday Times spread out on the kitchen counter for the last two weeks and a bigger collection of lifestyle news and mouthwatering real estate and web-meme trivia-spotting and US Open overkill you will not find in all the slopbuckets of the internet. And this is printed on deathless newsprint, to divert the elite, and it’s a wasteland for ideas. Koppman is writing about riveting matters that affect the greatest source of instability in the world, and meantime Emily Bazelon, an ardent Zionist who says American Jews must support Zionism, is given the New York Times Magazine to write a piece about endangered abortion rights. That’s the state of establishment Jewish culture: support liberal landmarks of freedom for Americans while destroying the wall between church and state in the Middle East, and plunging the entire region into a cauldron of religious conflict. Andrew Sullivan long ago wondered where are the anti-Zionist writers in the mainstream press. They’re still marginalized. An important synthetic argument like Koppman’s is on Huffpo, and the Times has blinders on. Oh and yesterday Jodi Rudoren was once again echoing the fears of Israeli Jews, about securing their country’s future as a “Jewish democracy.” Is such a magic trick possible if you are not coming out of the heart of the American Jewish community, as Rudoren is? Would Rudoren support such a project in the U.S. where she lives? Of course not. Do the vast numbers of Palestinians living under Israeli governance find that project obnoxious? But of course. Where is Koppman? - See more at:

Israel's two state solution: we take all the land and you can have a state floating in the air

U.S.: Israel's West Bank land grab 'counterproductive' to two-state solution
State Department urges Israel's government to reverse its decision to lay claim to land belonging to five Palestinian villages.
By Reuters and Chaim Levinson | Sep. 1, 2014 | 12:47 AM

Israel to appropriate 3,799 dunams (988 acres) of West Bank land, Aug. 31, 2014. Photo by Haaretz

The United States sees Israel's announcement on Sunday of a land appropriation for possible settlement construction in the West Bank as "counterproductive" to peace efforts and urges the Israeli government to reverse the decision, a State Department official said.

Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank announced the takeover of 988 acres (3,799 dunams) belonging to five Palestinian villages between the Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem. The move clears the way for construction of a new settlement named Gvaot.

The announcement follows the cabinet’s decision last week to take over the land in response to the June kidnapping and killing of three teenage Jewish boys by Hamas militants in the area.

"We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity," the U.S. official said. "This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians."

"We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision," the official said in Washington.

The appropriated land belongs to five Palestinian villages in the Bethlehem area: Jaba, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin.

The Peace Now anti-settlement group termed it the biggest appropriation in 30 years and a Palestinian official said would cause only more friction after the Gaza war. Representatives of the settler movement welcomed the announcement.

Israel maintains that construction at Gvaot would not constitute a new settlement because the area is officially designated a neighborhood of a long-standing settlement, Alon Shvut. However, the area of Gvaot lies several miles away from Alon Shvut.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Parallels and Comparisons:


Watch the news and read the articles about the white police force in Ferguson, MO confronting the majority black population and you can easily see how similar it is to the way the IDF and Israeli police handle the Palestinian population.

When blacks don’t crawl and obey any whim of any white cop they are arrested or shot down…with impunity.

When people protest they are gassed, shot, beaten, by cops in military gear and armored cars, just like in Hebron, or East Jerusalem, or any checkpoint. The attitude is the same: white law and order to suppress “uppity” blacks, or Palestinians, the occupiers and the occupied.

The city of Ferguson (an all white government) needs revenue generated from ticketing cars for traffic violations, so it has its police force go after black drivers; if they object they are beaten and arrested.

The difference is that the officials of Ferguson want to keep the black population down and obedient, but they need them to extract revenue. The Israeli authorities don’t want to keep Palestinians around to exploit their labor, they want to wall them off and figure out how to expel them, drive them out of their homes, get rid of them…but not too obviously. They want a slow-motion ethnic cleansing, with a lot of propaganda diverting the world’s attention from what they are doing.


There is the barbarity of a beheading by sword of an innocent individual by radical Islamists. It’s done face to face and then put on internet video.

But the radical Judiaists of the IDF behead innocents at random, at a distance, with DIME (Dense Incendiary Metal Explosives) bombs which create an explosion that slices through human bodies severing limbs, torsos and heads. But this is done by USA endorsed civilized killers who have to disembowel children in order to exercise their “right to self-defense.”

Did I say “Judaists?” talking in parallel with Islamists? Yes, that’s right. Israel is not a democratic country. Democracies are tolerant and multi-ethnic. Israel is dedicated to mono-ethnicism: the creation of a Jewish state, only for Jews. Others have no rights (check out the latest Israeli Supreme Court ruling on this re: who the state is for and who have no legal standing to make any demands for rights). Non-Jews can be tolerated, but the trend is strongly going toward ethnic purity, both among the ruling political parties and among the Jewish population of Israel. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are not Jews an over 50% of the people who live in “Greater Israel,” the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River are not Jews.

UNDP: Poverty Declines in Latin America and the Caribbean

(maybe this has something to do with countries like Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and others opposing the USA's neo-liberal policies of "free enterprise" looting and pillage of the poor on behalf of bankers and other corporate overlords?)

The United Nations Development Program releases new report on poverty reduction in Latin America

Published 27 August 2014
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The United Nations Development Program encouraged Latin America to continue efforts in the area of poverty reduction.
A press release issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) confirmed that more than 56 million people have been lifted out of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years.

The findings based on a new report from the UNDP found that poverty levels during the period from 2000-2012 fell from 41.7 percent to 25.3 percent of the population.

Despite positive progress in the area of poverty reduction, many people have been unable to enter into the middle-class, which the study claims could force as many as 200 million people into poverty.

In the event of a major crisis, the report found that 38 percent of the Latin American population faces severe economic vulnerability. This group is primarily composed of those earning between US$4 and US$10 a day, who are neither living in poverty, or on less than US$4 a day (25 percent), nor have entered into the middle class, earning between US$10 to 50 a day (34 percent).

The latest data was revealed yesterday, during the regional presentation of the UNDP’s global Human Development Report titled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience.”

During the presentation UNDP Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta stated, "In Latin America and the Caribbean, poverty has been reduced by almost half in the last decade, and the middle class rose from 22 percent of the population in 2000 to 34 percent in 2012."

However, Faieta went on to note that, "Despite these achievements, a very high share of the population is living in constant uncertainty. They are neither classified as living in poverty, nor have they gained access to a stable middle class status."

According to the report, between 2000 and 2012, Peru experienced the greatest decline of people who rose from living in poverty into a growing middle class, being the country in Latin America and the Caribbean with the highest relative increase in this group (19.1 percentage points).

Bolivia was the country with the highest reduction in relative poverty (32.2 points), but with the highest increase in the vulnerable population (16.9 points).

Anti-Israelism, not anti-Semitism, voiced in Europe

Protesters chant during a pro-Gaza demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in London, Aug. 1, 2014. (photo by REUTERS/Neil Hall)

Those who read the international press on a regular basis, especially those with an interest in what happens to the Jewish people in Israel and around the world, might have come away with a gloomy picture of the situation in Europe over the last month. Reports of mass flight and such words as “pogrom” and “Kristallnacht” kept appearing. The current situation was compared with the era of Nazi rule in Germany. Anti-Israeli sentiment has significantly increased during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip and was manifested in many protests around the continent, but apart from such sentiment, is there any evidence supporting the assumption of our being in the midst of a new and powerful wave of hatred toward Jews?

Author Akiva EldarPosted August 27, 2014
Translator(s)Aviva Arad

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University occasionally publishes reports on occurrences of anti-Semitism on the continent. During the Gaza conflict, the center published photos on its website showing demonstrations against the war under the headline “Anti-Semitic photos from demos for Gaza (July-August 2014).” Another page featured “Anti-Semitic cartoons and caricatures (July-August 2014).” Among the slides are images of demonstrators' signs combining a swastika with the Star of David, anti-Semitic slogans, cartoons and photos of a non-Semitic nature of people protesting the war and the occupation, and caricatures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bombing Gaza. Many demonstrators sport kaffiyehs, the traditional Middle Eastern headdress, and attire bearing the Palestinian flag or its colors. Most of the illustrations are taken from newspapers and websites from the Arab world.

The appearance of racist, anti-Jewish elements at protests, including despicable slogans like “Return them to the gas chambers,” has blurred the boundaries between anti-Semitism and criticism of the settlement policy of the Israeli government and its conduct of Operation Protective Edge. Demonstrations against the slaughter of some 2,000 Gazans, including more than 400 children, have been filed next to the anti-Semitic remarks of Hamas figures, such as Osama Hamdan, who claimed that Jews bake matzo, the Passover flatbread, with the blood of Christian children. More than once, Jewish leftists have participated in these demonstrations, including some who consider themselves Zionists.

The July 29 cover story in Newsweek magazine, with the sensational headline “Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again,” opens with a comparison of a July 14 attack by demonstrators on a Paris synagogue and the dark days of the 1930s in Europe. The article reports that according to a survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union from the end of 2013, 29% of European Jews have considered emigrating, while 76% of respondents believe anti-Semitism has increased in the last five years.

Has there indeed been a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in the world and in particular in Europe? The answer is no, based on data the Kantor Center and the European Jewish Congress published in April. The report records 554 anti-Semitic incidents worldwide in 2013. In the previous year, they documented 686 incidents. These episodes included physical attacks on Jews and Jewish sites (synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries and memorials) and private property.

The highest number of incidents in a single country, 116, was documented in France, where the largest European Jewish community, about 600,000 people, resides. Even if one triples the number of incidents, assuming that not all were reported or documented, it is clear that it is a wild exaggeration to compare the phenomenon of anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 21st century and the Nazism of the 1930s or the pogroms in Russia. The radical right in France, as in Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian countries, has ridden the waves of hatred and fear of growing Muslim communities more than waves of anti-Semitism toward small and non-threatening Jewish communities.

Data from the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption indeed show an increase in the number of immigrants from Western Europe in recent years: from 3,339 in 2012 to 4,694 the following year. In the first five months of this year, 2,402 Israeli Jews immigrated to Western Europe, which reflects an annual rate of 5,764. These, however, are negligible numbers compared to the population of Western European Jews, who numbered more than 1.1 million in 2013, and far from the extent of Russian immigration in the 1990s, which reached a million people. An “exodus” it surely is not.

To measure the real extent of the phenomenon of anti-Semitism in the world in general and in Western Europe in particular, one must detach it from any connection to Israel in general and the occupation in particular. The cry of “Help, anti-Semitism!” distracts from the cry of “Help, occupation!” In this context, it is interesting to note a July 24 article by Yasmeen Serhan, a Palestinian American student, published on the website +972 under the headline “Anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine advocacy.” Serhan called on supporters of the Palestinian people to fight against any kind of zealotry or violence toward Jewish communities. In her words, expressions of anti-Semitism provide ammunition to those who wish to portray all advocates of Palestine, many Jews among them, as anti-Semites.

A linkage between the Jewish people and Israel in the consciousness of world public opinion associates members of Jewish communities around the world (for good and bad) with responsibility for the actions and failures of Israelis. In the 1967 Six-Day War and immediately after it, Israel was hailed worldwide. Many young non-Jewish people from various nations volunteered to pick oranges on kibbutzim. The erasure of the Green Line with dozens of settlements and outposts, however, has turned the Jews of the Diaspora, like all Israelis, into participants in the injustices of the occupation. The signing of the Oslo Accord turned Israel into a source of pride for Jews around the globe, but the photos of Israeli soldiers chasing children in the West Bank and reports of Palestinian families killed by bombs dropped by Israeli air force pilots have turned Israel into a burden on the shoulders of every Jew.

In coming articles, I will examine who gains and who loses from the exaggerated descriptions of the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. I will look into the motives of those elements who inflate and nurture this phenomenon, and the means of achieving that.

Read more:

Standing while black

Posted on August 25, 2014 by MaxSpeak
ftpftpThe Obama Administration, aided by the civil rights establishment, has shut down the uprising in Ferguson, MO. They accomplished this craven feat through two channels.

On the ground, they permitted the local police free reign to extinguish non-violent protest. The mechanism was very simple. The police cordoned off the area and certain locations within to inhibit mobility. They prevented people from assembling on a street they had blocked off, instead compelling them to keep moving. They raided a church that had served as an operational support to the demonstrators and confiscated supplies like milk, to treat victims of tear gas. They even raided the home of somebody making T-shirts sympathetic to the action. They would periodically send lines of thuggish county police to scatter groups of innocent people. They applied liberal, indiscriminate doses of tear gas, concussion grenades, and rubber bullets.

The inability to assemble is key. That’s how the authorities busted up the Occupy sites, once again to the indifference of the White House. The legal issue is explicated here.

The other channel was political. It was Rev Al Sharpton to the not-rescue, reportedly the Administration’s man on the ground. What is the opposite of agitator? There was a movie called “The Cooler” starring Bill Macy. As a casino employee, his gift was showing up at a table where a gambler was on a hot streak; his mystical powers would cause the winning streak to blow up in failure. Al was the cooler, taking control of the Brown family’s message, telling everyone what they should and shouldn’t be concerned about, failing to defend against the blatant denial of constitutional rights.

The civil rights groups failed in similar fashion. So did local African-American politicians. How do I know this? It’s very simple. None of them at any point said, people, we have a right to assemble. I’m going to stand in the goddamn street and challenge the police to arrest me. If you can stand getting arrested, why not come along? Nobody did that. It was the key to promoting continuing mobilization. Nobody did it. We did hear them talk about voter registration, and bully for them. There are parallels in the latter respect to the dissolution of the actions in the Wisconsin state capital a few years ago (in response to which Obama was also mute).

In the same vein, aside from initial comment that the police ought not to arrest journalists — subsequently ignored by police — the president and attorney-general limited their remarks to perverse digressions about wayward black youth and promises to investigate the shooting. (The capacity of Federal prosecutors to do anything about the shooting is quite limited.)

It is of course true that the Administration cannot command local police to do this or that. They cannot micro-manage local police. But they can issue remarks on lapses that I think could have had a powerful effect. It would have meant calling out bad actors. Perhaps — I’m not a lawyer, so this is speculative — they could have supported the ACLU suit to defend the right to assemble and freedom of the press. More was called for besides showing up and hugging the folks.

Then we have the media on site. One obnoxious narrative was the twinning of “violence” (meaning looting and throwing water bottles; as far as I could tell, the use of Molotov cocktails was much more limited) with peaceful protest. Of course, most of the violence was coming from the cops, and the priority should be defending basic rights of protesters. Notwithstanding that simple principle, we had the absurd adulation of good Captain Ron, beneficiary of softball interviews punctuating his direction of police violence and the arrest of journalists. Journalists against journalism, indeed.

I did see some signs of life on the Melissa Harris-Perry show and in Michael Eric Dyson’s column. They are both sensitive to the wayward black youth dodge, but not so much to the real-time demobilization tactics of the local authorities and the parallel indifference of the Administration.

A few types of distractions have become more clear in the wake of this event. One is that the demilitarization of the police, something for which I had a good word myself, is pretty superficial. You have a disenfranchised, impoverished community being preyed on by local elites and beat on by racist, not-even-professional cops. That they have tanks is beside the point. Michael Brown did not fall victim to a tank.

The other distraction is the default objections to violence and the obligation of the police to do something about it. There will always be anti-social elements at any agitated, mass gathering. The job of the police is to let people do what is legal and arrest people who do things that are illegal. This does not imply mass punishment in the form of tear gas assaults on undifferentiated crowds of people. Not letting people assemble is illegal. Pointing guns at people is illegal. Shoving them around for non-violent assembly is assault; it’s illegal. The police ran riot. They didn’t prevent disorder, they preserved disorder.

Unfair? Inaccurate? Feel free to weigh in.

P.S. See also Brittney Cooper in Salon and Glen Ford in Black Agenda Report.

Israel-Gaza : No Victory for Israel Despite Weeks of Devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there

By Robert Fisk
’It was not a famous victory – but that’s what the Palestinians of Gaza are celebrating. There was much shaking of heads in the international media when the fireworks burst over that shattered land on Tuesday night. After more than 2,100 dead – about 1,700 of them civilians – and 100,000 wounded, what did they have to crow about? An end to the killing? Peace?

Well, no. In fact, Hamas – the vicious, horrible, terrorist Hamas with whom “we” (as in “the West”, Tony Blair, Israel, the US and all honourable men and women) cannot talk – has indeed won a victory.
Israel said it must be disarmed. It has not been disarmed. Israel said it must be smashed/destroyed/rooted out. It hasn’t been smashed/destroyed/rooted out. The tunnels must all be destroyed, Israel proclaimed. But they haven’t been. All the rockets must be seized. But they haven’t been. So 65 Israeli soldiers died – for what? And from under the ground, quite literally, clambered on Tuesday the political leadership of Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) whose brothers were participating – much against the wishes of Israel, the US and Egypt – in the Cairo “peace” talks.

In Israel, significantly, there were no celebrations. The ever-so-right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu had once more over-egged its victory demands and ended up with another ceasefire as strong and as weak as the equally febrile truce that followed the 2009 Gaza war and the 2012 Gaza war. Physically, the Israelis had won; all those broken lives and all those smashed buildings and all that destroyed infrastructure do not suggest that the Palestinians have “prevailed” (to use a “Bushite” word). But strategically, the Palestinians have won. They are still in Gaza, Hamas is still in Gaza, and the coalition government of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas appears still to be a reality.

Many times has it been said that the founders of the Israeli state faced a problem: a land called Palestine. They dealt with that problem coldly, ruthlessly and efficiently. But now their problem is the Palestinians. Their land may have been taken for Israel, their surviving land may be eaten up by Israeli colonies; but the wretched Palestinians simply won’t go away. And killing them in large numbers – especially in front of the world’s television cameras – is getting to be a bit much, even for those who still shake in their boots at the mere whisper of the calumny “anti-Semitism”. Israeli spokesmen even ended up comparing their actions to bloody Second World War RAF air raids, hardly a propaganda strike in the 21st century.

But the world will reflect unhappily on other things. The Hamas spokesmen, for example, raving about the destruction of Israel and Zionism, their exaggerations as preposterous as the Israeli excuses. The greatest victory the world has ever seen, indeed! Hamas has achieved “more than any Arab army has ever achieved against Israel”. Indeed! Hezbollah drove the entire Israeli army out of Lebanon after an 18-year guerrilla war – with far more casualties on both sides than Hamas could ever imagine.

And then how quickly we have forgotten the Hamas killer squads who dispatched at least 21 “spies”, two of them women, in cold blood against the walls of Gaza over the past seven days. I notice that they do not appear in the total list of Palestinian dead. And I wonder why not. Were they to be treated by the Palestinians as even less human than the Israelis? Of course, they were. In a week in which Isis returned to its execution pit, Hamas showed that its old killer touch is also still intact. After three of its top military leaders were liquidated by the Israelis, what did we expect? But it’s interesting that not one Palestinian protested at this no-court-no-jury-no-human-rights “justice”. Nor did they protest at the execution of 17 “spies” in 2008-9 – forgotten today – and another six “spies” (also forgotten) in 2012.

And then we have the “military” casualties. Around 500 were Hamas fighters; back in the 2008-9 Gaza war, perhaps 200 fighters were killed. But in that earlier war, only six Israeli soldiers were killed. In this operation, however, 10 times as many Israeli soldiers died. In other words, Hamas – and, I suppose, Islamic Jihad – have learned how to fight. Hezbollah, the most efficient guerrilla army in the Middle East, certainly noticed this. And the Gaza rockets stretched across thousands of square miles of Israel, notwithstanding the “Iron Dome”. Once you had to live in Sderot to be in danger. Now you can find your flight cancelled at Ben Gurion airport.

Mahmoud Abbas, needless to say, is grovelling to the Egyptians and Americans in thankfulness for the truce. But in the new “joint” Palestinian government, Hamas is going to be telling Abbas how many “concessions” he can make. Far from isolating the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and sidelining Hamas by producing his own made-in-Cairo peace agreement for the Israelis and Americans – swiftly rejected by Hamas during the conflict – President Field Marshal al-Sisi of Egypt has been forced to acknowledge Hamas as the major Arab participant in the truce agreement.

An odd thing, though. Right now, Egypt is bombing the Islamists of Libya, and the US is preparing to bomb the Islamists of Syria after bombing the Islamists of Iraq. But in Gaza, the Islamists have just won. This surely cannot last.

The ceasefire deal: Who gains what

Israel and the Palestinians agreed to an Egyptian-brokered plan to end the fighting in Gaza after 50 days of combat. The following are the broad parameters of the agreement, provided by Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Some of the immediate steps

* Hamas and other militant groups agree to halt all rocket and mortar fire into Israel.

* Israel will stop all military action including air strikes and ground operations.

* Israel agrees to open more of its border crossings with Gaza to allow the easier flow of goods, including humanitarian aid and reconstruction equipment, into the enclave.

* In a separate, bilateral agreement, Egypt will agree to open its 14km border with Gaza at Rafah.

* The Palestinian Authority to coordinate the reconstruction effort in Gaza with international donors, including the EU, Norway, Qatar and Turkey.

* Israel will extend the fishing limit off Gaza’s coast to six miles from three miles, with the possibility of widening it gradually if the truce holds. Ultimately, the Palestinians want to return to a full 12-mile international allowance.

Some longer-term issues

* Hamas wants Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners rounded up in the occupied West Bank after the abduction and killing of three Jewish students in June.

* President Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, wants freedom for long-serving Palestinian prisoners.

* Israel wants Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza to hand over all body parts and personal effects of Israeli soldiers killed during the war.

* Hamas wants a sea port built in Gaza. Israel has long rejected the plan, but it is possible that progress towards it could be made if there are security guarantees.

* Hamas wants the unfreezing of funds to allow it to pay 40,000 police, government workers and administrative staff who have largely been without salaries since late last year. The funds were frozen by the Palestinian Authority.

* The Palestinians also want the airport in Gaza to be rebuilt.