98 Comments

John, while this is a very well done and comprehensive presentation, part of how you are framing the narrative is inaccurate on a deeper level, and as such is also disempowering to the Gazan people - your misplaced and distracting refrain of "Israel vs Hamas", when the actuality is an Israeli war on the Gazan people.

Hamas is, to the people of Gaza, what Sinn Féin was in the 1980s to the people of Northern Ireland. The geographic focus is far more accurately on the people, not the party. Here is an essay expanding this more accurate frame.

It's Gaza, not Hamas: The Phrase “Israel’s War with Hamas” Denies That Israel’s War Is On Gaza & Denies The Gazans’ Right To Choose Their Own Leaders & Destiny..

LINK: https://ericbrooks.substack.com/p/its-gaza-not-hamas

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RemovedMay 24
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What the fuck is this?

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Always look forward to seeing another Mearsheimer masterpiece.

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It took John until minute 42 to mention the Abraham Accords. Let’s be clear, though, that Palestinians and Hamas leadership had been tracking the progress of those accords carefully, because the accords would have firmly buried the prospects of Palestinian freedom and self-government. Very likely that one of the goals of the Oct 7 attack was to torpedo those accords. The pursuit of those accords by the US is key context for present war.

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This was an excellent discussion 🎯 🙏🏻

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…John Mearsheimer has been exactly correct about pretty much everything he’s had to comment on….

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Following the hearings in the Hague this week, if the ICJ does not grant the additional provisional measures requested by South Africa, then three things will happen:

(i) Israel will see that as a 'green light' to do whatever they want in Rafah, i.e. to clear Gaza of all Palestinians, so that Zionist settlors can take their land.

(ii) By the time the ICJ genocide trial is heard in 2 years time, Gaza, as people knew it before October 2023, will no longer exist on the map.

(iii) Those who are alive in Gaza today will either be dead, or or have been evacuated to the Sinai desert, or elsewhere. The memory of Gaza will have been erased from history by Israel.

That, is not only genocide, it is will also mark the beginning of the end of the court, as the global south will eventually cohere, in order to bring about a new international system, by creating their own global institutions, to compete with the UN. So, this is a pivotal moment not only for the survival of the Palestinian people, but also for the survival of the international rules based system.

I have posted a link to the hearings which took place on Thursday & Friday under the heading 'International Court of Justice - Hearings & Decisions' on the 'International Court of Justice' page at www.diplomaticlawguide.com. As Professor Vaughan Lowe KC submitted on behalf of South Africa: (i) Genocide is not self-defence; (ii) the absolute prohibition against genocicde is not only universal, it is also a jus cogens norm of international law, i.e. there is and can be, no exception or justification for genocide; and (iii) self-defence is not even available to Israel as a defence, because it is an occupying power. Israel was legally represented by members of its foreign service, i.e. by employees of the state, and not by independent legal counsel. So, what if any weight can the court attach to their contested submissions? I did not hear these Israeli foreign service employees, raise a single legal argument in rebuttal of any the three fundamental legal points submitted by Professor Lowe KC. Each of these points has a irrefutable basis i.e. a solid foundation in international law, i.e. they are not capable of legal rebuttal. So, Israel has no legal defence to the application made by South Africa. That is the lens through which a judge should make a legal determination, and not on the basis of an emotive narrative which contradicts documented facts, e.g. the discovery of mass graves at multiple locations in and around hospitals in Gaza. Israel submitted that these were 'exceptional' i.e. a one-off, and that not a single member of the medical staff at these hsopitals had been harmed by Israel. So, lets see what the judges decide. Will they be swayed by: (i) appeals to emotion and/or (ii) political pressure; or will they apply rules of international law to the facts as documented on the ground in Gaza, i.e. to reality?

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I agree and share the concerns about the ICJ’s judgment. It is very likely that the pressure put on the ICC in recent weeks will also have a very negative impact on the next decisions of the ICJ. As far as the fate of Gaza is concerned, I wonder if there is not already a plan agreed between Israel and the USA to jointly carry out the ethnic cleansing of the Gazawi, perhaps in exchange for a withdrawal of the settlers from the West Bank. What is that bridge in front of Gaza actually for?

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I have noted reports that Israel has built a new road bisecting Gaza. The northern end point of this road is where the US has constructed its pier, said to be temporary for delivery of emergency aid. Makes one wonder if this is just the beginning of a future port that will service the new “thriving Israeli settler city” in one half of Gaza and service the subsistence survival of a small remnant of Palestinians crowded into camps in the other half. The other million and a half Gazian Palestinians will either be dead or scattered in diaspora. This plan, if it is the plan of Israel and a number of other colonizing powers (w/ the US chief among them), will certainly qualify as a major ethnic cleansing plan.

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Ironic that Israel is on a trajectory to delegitimize and/or destroy the institutions and nations that legitimized it and/or donated the funds which brought it into existence.

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Dr. Mearsheimer, October 7 was a pivotal day for Israel. The question still remains why did October 7 happen?

Why wasn’t Hamas shut down soundly on October 7? Why did the siege go on for so long?

Is the IDF that inept? OR did Netanyahu this as a moment to capitalize on as an impetus for genetic cleansing?

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And how many Israeli's were killed by an IDF gone crazy (attack helicopters unloading their munitions on anyone and anything, tanks blowing apart houses with Israeli's in) rather than Hamas? Quite possibly the vast majority of Israeli deaths were due to the IDF lunacy and cross-fire. All of the stories of Hamas "atrocities" have been utterly debunked.

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You should debate or discuss Israel with Edward Luttwak. He's not a mainstream guy but he basically has the opposite view of Israel from you. I read him sometimes in Unherd and perhaps other sites. He's said multiple times that things are going quite well for Israel.

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That's because Luttwak is a delusional Zionist.

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In the same vein I could call Mearsheimer a delusional anti-semite. But it'd be a lot more productive to debate rather than go with childish insults.

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You are first of all conflating anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, which is a standard Zionist tactic. The establishment of an ethno-religious supremacist nationalist state has as much to do with Judaism as Nazi Germany had to do with Christianity. Many, many Jews are not Zionists. Mearsheimer is no anti-semite.

That Luttwak is a Zionist is a given, his having fought for the Zionist state as part of the IDF and proposed that the US invade Saudi Arabia to destroy Arab power. He is your standard delusional neo-con and a Zionist. His Zionist beliefs colour his analysis.

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You're missing the point. You can't claim bias to prove an argument is wrong or right, which is what you're trying to do.

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It was you who conflated anti-semitism with Zionism, not me! I have read Edward Luttwak's work and it is very obvious that his Zionism colours his analysis, why else would he push for destroying Arab power with the US invading Saudi Arabia? In many areas he has good insights, but with respect to Israel his analysis is utterly delusional, twisting facts to match his wants and beliefs. When it comes to the US Empire he also suffers from many of the blindspots of other neocons.

Mearsheimer is in no way perfect, but his analysis is much more unbiased and fact based than Luttwak, as well as much of the US foreign policy establishment.

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You're doing it again. And the fact that you're getting emotional doesn't say much for you. Clearly too invested in Israel hatred.

All anti zionists aren't antisemitic, but all antisemites are anti zionist. To act like there isn't major overlap there is just disingenuous.

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I just watched his one and half hour lecture. As always, his analysis is different but appealing. The way he talks while keeping his emotions aside is really his strength.

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This is another excellent analysis of John Mearsheimer. I like what he said about escalation dominance. This is truly a huge loss for Israel. After the Iran missile attack, Israel no longer holds the image of escalation dominance.

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May 18·edited May 18

Thanks for an excellent talk, very insightful. But there are a couple of factual inaccuracies:

* You said that all of Israel's political leadership is aligned with Netanyahu, so removing him won't make a difference. This is directly contradicted by this week's verbal conflict – out in the open in the Israeli media – between Gallant (with Gantz and others supporting him) and Netanyahu (who is being effectively controlled by the far right). And this conflict is specifically about whether Israel should work towards some solution involving the US, PA, and moderate Arab countries – rather than creeping blindly towards a long term military occupation of Gaza.

* You said that 500,000 Israelis left in the immediate aftermath of the October 7th attacks. I cannot find any sources for this statistic apart from non-mainstream Arab-leaning sources, and I believe it is incorrect. According to the Israeli Airports Authority, in October 2023, there were 31,395 more arriving compared to departing passengers on international flights. In November 2023, 62,619 more arriving than departing. In December 2023, 25,160 more arriving than departing. For the first 3 months of 2024, 303 more departing than arriving. (April 2024 is not relevant because the Passover holidays, when many Israelis travel abroad on vacation, fell in late April.) Land and sea borders have very minimal traffic and will not affect this picture. So I suspect you've fallen foul of disinformation with this number.

Israel is certainly in a terrible situation. But I find it strange how you didn't mention (and even avoided a question about) how Gazans are in a much worse situation. The default for the next few years is attritional warfare between Israel and Hamas, as Hamas embraced in today's announcement. This is indeed terrible for Israel, in terms of its social, political and economic cost. But it's much worse for the Palestinians. Since Israel invaded, kill ratios in Gaza are about 100:1 in Israel's favor. With apologies for the macabre calculation, extrapolate forwards, and Israel loses 0.2% of its population by the time every last Gazan is dead. This is not a Vietnam or Algeria situation, since most Israelis believe they have nowhere else to go, and Gaza is right next door (with October 7th being fresh in Israelis' memory). Liberal wealthy Israelis of European origin may indeed leave, but the Israelis left behind are going to be the more nationalistic ones, who care less about human rights. If this plays out, we will look back on the October 7th attacks as a delusional and suicidal act by a death cult.

I always love reading your work and hearing you speak, and I learn a lot from it. But in this case, as I've felt before, I get the sense that you're a little too good at believing easily falsifiable things that support your viewpoint. And I'm curious as to the psychological origins of this subtle bias.

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The Gazans will remain fighting for their land, the Israeli's will then be caught in a quagmire while its pariah state is reinforced and the illusion of "security through strength" utterly trashed. The mostly highly educated and trained individuals will leave for other safer lands, and the Israeli economy will go into steep decline.

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It is to be devoutly hoped for.

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May 18·edited May 18

I agree this is a likely outcome. And yet, things can still be far worse for Gaza than for Israel if the conflict drags out endlessly. History shows that nations can carry out ethnic cleansing (or worse), attract huge international condemnation and isolation, and still be rehabilitated over time, without reversing what they did. The peoples that are ethnically cleansed tend to pay the higher price. Look at Rwanda, Bosnia, Xinjiang. Look how almost every Arab state has now forgiven Israel for the nakba, and is open to a two-state solution. It's a mistake to assume that history must eventually reach what you perceive as a just outcome. History is chock full of injustices made permanent.

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There is and was absolutely no ethnic cleansing (or genocide) in Xinjiang, the population has increased at a rate greater than the general Chinese population, standards of living have been raised, more and more Mosques constructed etc. The reason the Xinjiang story has disappeared from the Western media is that it was a propagandist construct, which was never supported by any majority Moslem state.

The sorry story of the dissolution of Yugoslavia has many cases of ethnic cleansing, including by Serbs and of Serbs (e.g. in Krajina by Croatia). The story of Rwanda is also much more complex than simplistic notions.

Israel is very different, a settler state attempting to ethnically cleanse an Arab population when it is surrounded by Arab nations. It has only survived because of the largesse of support from the US and the cover of the Shoah for its policies. US power is dwindling, and it is now being known for its own ethnically cleansing and genocidal policies. Even the strength of Zionism is dwindling in the US, in both Jewish and Christian communities.

The Zionist regime is splitting under the pressure, with Benny Gantz threatening to resign if the government does not change direction, including allowing for a UN-style governance of Gaza; a wholesale defeat for Israel.

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Still, again, none of what you said disagrees with my main point. If the fighting in Gaza continues without end, Israel will certainly pay a high price. But the Gazans will pay a much higher one. I get the feeling from your tone that it's more important to you that Israel is defeated and humiliated, than that the Palestinians of Gaza thrive and prosper.

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Thank you very much for a very clear-eyed analysis of an appalling situation that has been managed extremely badly by the US, although that's entirely to be expected given the power of the Israel lobby and the history of those heading the Biden administration.

I was disappointed that you did not push back when Switzer repeated the debunked "beheaded babies" and "mass rape" nonsense that continues to spread like a virus.

https://theintercept.com/2024/02/28/new-york-times-anat-schwartz-october-7/

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I think that there are places Mearsheimer does not want to go because they will greatly obscure his core message, and his opponents would love to attack him as a "denialist".

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This is for ALL your readers it is regarding Quora. I can pretty much confirm that even a very benign critical posting about Zionism is auto flagged for deletion by Quora. I have had many many posts they where all deleted and ALL appealed and re-posted. The Quora system even re-deletes some posts after a long time then only if appealed is re-posted again. Posters on the right say it's not them, it is the times and frequency that makes it look like something algorithmically that is doing it. The link to Your Israel Lobby book or Great Uncle Albert 1948 Letter to the New York Times seems frequently spam flagged for no apparent reason. Adam D'Angelo is a engineer that worked for FaceBook after all.

The links that are religiosity flagged are:

https://archive.org/details/the-israel-lobby-and-u.-s.-foreign-policy

https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948/page/n1/mode/1up?view=theater

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/feature/herzls-troubled-dream-origins-zionism

https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/father-hand-belgian-congo-1904/

Berlin Conference - Wikipedia > Leopold II of Belgium - Wikipedia > Atrocities in the Congo Free State - Wikipedia > Colonial Belgian Congo: A Slave Father Gazing at His Daughter’s Severed Hand and Foot, 1904

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Removal_Act

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/11/01/native-americans-right-to-vote-history/

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I have tried posting that Einstein/Hannah Arendt co signed letter to the NYT link on FakeBawk. I can see it and have not got any warnings (yet) but it does not appear in any of my friend's "feeds".

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Thank you, Dr. Mearsheimer. I learn so much from your lectures and appreciate them so much.

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John Mearsheimer is a class act. If the world had listened to his good advice over the past few decades the we’d be in much better shape.

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I’ve seen estimates of the Palestinian occupied territories as around 4.5 million, and the other Arabs who are already Israeli citizens, residing in Israel proper, as around 2 million, so where does the rough parity, 7 million to 7 million come from? The Israeli/Arabs are represented in the Knesset and some serve in the IDF, so how can they all be counted as antagonists?

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Yeah… represented in the Knesset where their fellow members screech abuse at them and tell them how they want to kill their families, their parents, their children and their grandchildren. Go to hell you Zionist piece of trash.

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I’m not sure. I’ve never been there. I was just using the numbers John gave….

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I watched the talk at CIS. I believe Israel has forfeited the right to determine the future for Palestinians. Israel should be forced by the international community to abide by a new state of Palestine. I suggest that the Negev triangle be combined with the West Bank and Gaza. All IDF to be moved out to the north. The blockade ends. The UN takes over government for now. Create a DMZ. Establish living arrangements east of Gaza. Remove the settlers from the West Bank. The Israeli and Hamas leadership to be tried for their crimes.

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