Israel

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Re: Israel

Postby BYC » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:51 am

Both sides are fucked up.

That being said, if the USA was being fired upon by Mexico, Canada, or another nearby country, you can bet we're taking them to the woodshed.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:48 am

Ah yes, a no effort equivalency and a tired and retarded analogy.

Also when you say Israel has a right to defend its territory, which territory are you referring to?

Image
(Not pictured: 20XX, all white no green)

Another fun graph:

Image
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Re: Israel

Postby Gorbadoc » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:50 am

Jesus tapdancing christ on a stick. A couple of you seriously need to invest skill points in proofreading. Look over your post, figure out what your relevant points are, and submit only words that build toward those points.

Interesting, Bruce, though for your parallel to hold, the rocket attacks would have to be a delayed response to the US annexing the Baja California Peninsula. Oh, Mexico's economy would have to be totally impotent. Long story short, the parallel would work only if one of the things being compared were completely different.
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Re: Israel

Postby BYC » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:01 am

I also said both sides are fucked up.

At this point, it's obvious Israel is the aggressor. Previously, they've been able to hold a shred of victim due to their lack of retaliation at certain attacks. This time, they are on a full offensive.

Both sides long lost the "we're the victims" card.

What else do you want me to break down?
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Re: Israel

Postby BYC » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:04 am

Kaz, what are you really angry about? The fact this happens, or the fact that all these democratic countries (USA, France, UK, Germany, Russia, etc) practices their hypocrisy and sells weapons to Israel and/or other countries that wants it while preaching peach and negotiations? There's a reason I stopped caring about these things, and it's because the people who preaches these things, bi-partisanship, or whatever catch-phrase of the year happens to be then goes onto do the 180 for $$$, power, or something in between.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:57 am

It's the rationalization of genocide, the claim that no genocide is going on (as if it immediately has to begin with systematic mass murders), the claim that it's self-defense, the claim that Israel is the victim when it's been, overwhelmingly, the aggressor from day 1. The equivalency fallacies ("both sides are just as bad!!!!"), the dismissal of the entire situation like it's hopeless and can't be helped when it could easily be but nothing is done because of the unwillingness and hypocrisy of the powers that be.

The combination of everything is fucking infuriating.
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Re: Israel

Postby Gorbadoc » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:43 pm

The fact that Israel is justifiably afraid of what might happen if it were to show anything that could be construed as weakness.
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Re: Israel

Postby reddwhite » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:34 pm

Ok now granted my response wasnt realy that well written but im not an english major, as a matter of fact it is my worst subject.That being said I think my point was more then properly stated. Every time that somthing like this happens one side always tries to make the other look like the bad guys while claiming to be innocent.It really is repulsive to see peeps that from alot of the posts I have read I consider to be intelligent enough to have an open mind act as if hamas is the victim here and Isreal is satan. Honestly I could give two shits and a fuck if all of them kill eachother like they want. Honestly speaking i think the world would lose alot of potentialy bright peeps and potentialy great ideas, however I also believe that if they all just killed each other the rest of the world would benefit from their deaths. What does anything they do contribute to the world but misery and grief on either side? Nothing that is what. Kaz can show all of his figures and graphs about how hamas is a humanitarian group that helps the people. Cmon that isnt even close to true, they try to kill their own peeps so CNN gets to plaster them on world wide tv to make Isreal look bad. They give a fuk about their people they use them to accomplish their own greedy goals. Which i promise if you look on alot of the arab stations shows them hurding children around sites they know will be bombed. Then they accuse Isreal of killing kids. Well if you didnt post them infront of bomb making facilities they wont get killed, wow i figured that out and im not even over there.
Next have you guys reread any of your posts, listen to your retoric. The things you guys are arguing are the same things they are arguing and to the same results. Nothing thats what. How constructive.

Now about Isreal I dont blame them a bit. If mexico starts lauching rockets into texas( even crap ones that suck) how long you think b4 we go and kick their asses.Ya about 2.5 secs after the first strike. So what if Isreal is way stronger, that just shows how stupid the people in power over there are. I knew better when i was in 1st grade then to walk up and punch the captain of the football team in the nutz. Hes way bigger and stronger and I have no chance. If i was an Isreali i would hope that my government would kick some ass too. So what the rockets arent really doing anything. They are doing their job, causing terror amongst the Isreali populace. Peeps are worried about their kids going to school and about their well being every day. By kaz' logic i can shoot bottlerockets at his face all day and he shouldnt do a thing about it since 99 out of 100 will miss and the one that does hit wont do much damage. That has to be one of the stupidest things i have ever seen anyone write in my life.( not to talk you down Kaz i think your a smart person from your posts I have read but in this instance I think you are dead wrong) Hamas is a terrorist organization with the single purpose of destroying Isreal. The only diff between them and all other terrorists is the name. Isreal is a small country not even the size of most of our states and how many rockets do they send over the border every day? Ya alot. Also Isreal only has the security they have for a reason, they have to. Dont you remember b4 they had the wall and the check points? Ya suicides in public every day especially busses and crowded markets. Who was behind it? Hamas of course, that is why they have all of that stuff to make sure their peeps are safe. And that is the ultimate responsiblitly of any government is to protect and safeguard its peeps. Not mass them in front of obvious targers so CNN can get good footage of dead babies.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:52 pm

Haha holy fuck you're unbelievable. Yes, "the world would be better off without them", that line of thinking has never lead to any sort of outright acts of or complacency toward genocide.

I love how, in the face of evidence, you still hold firm to your initial baseless assumption. Yes, Hamas kills their own people! They vandalize Palestinian houses with racial epithets. They also use children as shields when fighting off our brave soldiers! They would do anything to destroy our glorious nation. They're just that crafty and hateful, those Jews. I mean Palestinians, sorry. Forgot who I was being racist against for a minute there. It's almost as if I heard it all before, but used against another ethnicity... hmmm

Your justification of war crimes with "well they put those innocents there so it's not our fault" is great. Let's apply this logic to hostage situations: SWAT teams should gun down hostages because it's really the terrorists' fault they got killed and it completely absolves law enforcement of any responsibility whatsoever.

Oh and you're reusing that completely retarded "WHAT IF MEXICO/CANADA WAS FIRING ROCKETS" analogy that completely ignores history or context. Good work. Hey, what if the US had been aggressively colonizing Mexicans for the past 60 years taking 90% of their lands, and WALLING THEM OFF in the worthless remaining scraps thereby trapping them in abject poverty with no political recourse and they started launching homemade rockets at us that kill less people each year than firework mishaps after we deliberately violated a ceasefire that even a study done by our own government established they strongly respected, would we go kick their asses in a completely disproportionate manner that guarantees high civilian casualties? Well I suppose we would if we were unapologetic genocidal warhawks.

Hamas has repeatedly stated they were willing to negotiate long term peace with Israel if they agreed to some land concessions. Land that, under UN provisions, already belongs to them. Israel refused categorically. When was the last time a thief returned what he stole by being asked nicely? You, of course, also ignore this, because it doesn't fit into your simplistic black and white folksy common sense 10 second news soundbite worldview.

CNN doesn't show dead Palestinian babies you simpering idiot. Western news channels are extremely pro-Israel and heavily censor or outright ignore everything from the Middle East. The only stuff that might cast a shadow on Israel they report is the stuff can't afford not report, like say the bombing a UN school, but even then they're extremely quick to parrot whatever pretext or excuse the IDF has given in their latest press release and then pretend the whole thing never happened and go back to the 24/7 coverage of the missing white girl of the month.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Willy » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:13 am

Kaz wrote:Another fun graph:

Image

That graph might just aswell back up Mellis 'retribution' argument.
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Re: Israel

Postby reddwhite » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:59 am

Ok fine then will make it a far easier analogy to understand. If the native americans were doing it we would pwn them and they were treated alot worse then the Palastinians.

And since when does winning land from enemies that sneak attack you from all sides at the same time for the reason of trying to destroy you equal stealing land?

And btw we did treat the Mexicans pretty badly back in the day. What do you trhink the alamo was about? Ya we decided their land was now our land. We called it manifest destiny.

And for the last time Isreal didnt always have the walls and checkpoints. They built them as a result of suicide bombers evrery day blowing up busses and public markets. There was no choice what are they supposed to do just let their peps die everyday. Of course not we wouldn't tolerate it, neither should they.

And the more you write the more it sounds like if there is anyone being rascist here it is you being rascist against Isreal. I mean did you ever see the news back in the 80's? Literaly every single day there was a public suicide bombing. The Isrealis then give them land that they own so the Palestinian peeps will have their own land, that was supposed to be one of the first steps in the peace process. The fatah was in charge of the Palestinians back then. And Yasser Arafat I believe is how you spell his name was the guy running shit. The bombings never slowed down so Isreal pulls all their peeps out of Gaza and start to build the walls and check points to stop the bombings.

I mean how do expect the Isrealis to treat the people who are attacking them daily?
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:12 am

Hahahahahaha yes the native american analogy is indeed much better seeing how they were also victims of genocide. It doesn't exactly work in favor of your argument, however. Also, unlike Gazans, they are not deliberately kept in poverty and barred from the outside world

Oh so you have no objection to using force to take what's not yours. That's great. Please inform me where you live so I can help myself to your belongings

Israel didn't "give them land they own". Nearly the entirely land belonged to Palestinians until Jewish settlers backed by powerful allies came and stole it all. Have you read anything I said? You are so goddamn dumb. Get out.


Dr.Willy wrote:That graph might just aswell back up Mellis 'retribution' argument.


Look at the dates. That graph shows Hamas respected the ceasefire brokered some time in June until Israel broke it in November.
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Re: Israel

Postby KStolen » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:18 am

I think Kaz has already said that he doesn't expect Israel not to respond at all to the rockets attacks but that his problem is with the proportionality of its response.
Personally, I wonder what he would consider to be a proportional response. I don't think that Israel's response was effective at all, except to further incite hostilities between the two. Israel act as if they are fighting a war, and they're not.

I'm reluctant to use Northern Ireland as a complete analogy of the situation here, mainly because Hamas is an elected government of the Palestinian Authority (ie both politically and militarily active) whereas the IRA were purely paramilitary, albeit strongly linked to Sinn Fein. Still, there are definite similarities between the two.
Now, true progress in Northern Ireland has only occured since the utter cessation of militancy by the IRA. However, I believe that this cessation of violence would never have occured without the years of violence beforehand which allowed the IRA to come to grips with the fact that violence was not the way to solve their problems and that they would have to seek a compromise. Note that Britain, while they may commited several minor injustices in their occupation of Belfast (Bloody Sunday, Long Kesh etc) did not resort to bombing Belfast. In short, they tried to avoid escalation.

I'm of the opinion that Israel should do the same here and be the bigger country, so to speak. Melli said on the first page that Kaz expects Israel to act like saints; I would expect them to do just that. Why? I suppose there is an element of racism here - "brown people are stupid and uneducated" , but Israel is probably the best developed and most educated country in the Middle East, at least by Western standards. This puts the onus on it, in my eyes, to be the peacemaker and the solution maker. I'm undecided on whether I'm giving them too much credit here and expecting too much or whether they really just don't want to end the conflict.

I don't disagree that Israel may need to maintain a significant military presence in Gaza and the surrounding area to discourage Hamas militants, but inciting more racial hate while achieving nothing is just irresponsible.

Now I know Melli has major problems with the Northern Ireland analogy, he never really said what they were when he complained on the second page, hopefully he'll tell us.
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Re: Israel

Postby Myth » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:39 am

To be frank, there isn't an analogy for this situation. My two cents.
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Re: Israel

Postby BYC » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:10 am

Israel needs to be pretty damn tough skinned for them to ignore their people being put in danger. All this talk of peace is great and all, but it's hard not to retaliate when the target is you. Worse, who is gonna police the militants? The Arab League? The UN? The US? Russia? China? Taking the higher road would be the ideal situation, but the problem is when people are killed, logic goes out the window. Did anybody really think the USA wasn't gonna do something after 9/11 happened? They feel there is nothing else they can do to get our attention other than martyring themselves.

I certainly don't envy people working on finding a resolution on that part of the world. It's a thankless job made impossible both by sides wanting blood.

Kaz, I know years back Arafat decided against the peace according sent by Israel, I believe it was Sharon's predecessor, at the end of Clinton's administration. Supposely, Israel was willing to give the PLO almost everything they wanted except for a few things. Since you seem to have kept an eye on this topics, what were the items that Israel did not concede? Why did Arafat reject it? Was the entire thing a sham?
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Re: Israel

Postby GraveI » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:53 am

No matter what Israel is willing to concede they will never willingly return to the borders of the 1967 Accord which is what Hamas wants and Fatah wanted before them. Without more land, anything else is just a token effort.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:41 pm

Ryzel, sweetheart, there's a lot of reading in this thread, and you have to do all of it if you wanna jump in on specific points. I have not only acknowledged that the Israelis have killed more and done more damage to the Palestinians and their infrastructure, I have provided proof of it. Kaz, on the other hand, refuses to admit that Israel is not solely at fault for the current situation and is completely unjustified in its attack on Gaza because he's so wrapped up in the rhetoric of his pro-Palestinian propaganda he has no room for a view other than his own.

Let's begin with the initial conflict that supposedly started this entire war, ignoring the numerous other causes and history of it, and the fact that until a nation-state is established for the Palestinians that is stable there will be no peace.

The New York Times wrote:Tensions between Hamas... and Israel increased markedly on Friday after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel, sending 18 Israelis to the hospital with shock and mild injuries.Hamas officials said the attack was revenge for the deaths over the past 11 days of 11 militants and the recent increased Israeli closing of Gaza crossings. They said that while they wanted to continue the five-month-old truce with Israel, it seemed to them that Israel did not and if that was the case, Israel would pay the consequences.

Israeli officials, who say they have been keeping the crossings into Gaza shut in retaliation for the rockets, thereby greatly decreasing the availability of supplies and fuel, said it was Hamas that was breaking the truce. Senior Israeli officials met in Tel Aviv on Friday and vowed not to back down from any provocation.

The confrontations, following five months of relative calm, began to spike this month when the Israeli military destroyed a tunnel being dug toward Israel. The army feared that the tunnel would be used to seize an Israeli soldier as a bargaining chip, like Cpl. Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas for more than two years.

The Israelis said it was an isolated operation, not a violation of the cease-fire agreed to in June, and asked Egypt to pass that message to Hamas in advance. But six Hamas militants were killed during the tunnel’s destruction, leading Hamas to retaliate with rockets, which led to more closings and operations and then more rockets.

There are several factors at work beyond the tit-for-tat of the past week and a half. Hamas, which took over Gaza in June 2007 by kicking out its Fatah rivals, is feeling unusual pressure because hundreds of its men have been arrested by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in the West Bank in recent weeks.

The arrests have been part of increased Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in which American-trained Palestinian troops are moving into West Bank cities, leading to some pullback by Israeli troops.

A second factor is that Egyptian efforts to broker a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have foundered, with Hamas saying that Fatah had not made good on a mutual prisoner release.

Finally, under American and Israeli pressure, Egypt has started to destroy or shut tunnels into southern Gaza that have been a major source of supplies and fuel — and weapons — that have offset the Israeli closings. [Melli's Note: Egypt had already closed their borders to the Palestinians because they didn't want to deal with refugees, like every other Arab nation. Gee, I wonder if their unwillingness to even feed their Palestinian brethren has anything to do with this conflict?]

As a result, Hamas is now feeling besieged not only by Israel, but also by Fatah and Egypt.

A campaign against Fatah started on Hamas television in Gaza two days ago, with a countdown of the days until the legal term ends for Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Abbas has said he will stay in power an extra year, but Hamas is trying to put pressure on him to step down. A large demonstration was also held on Thursday in Gaza demanding the release of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank.

Israel has come under criticism for shutting off supplies to Gaza in the past 10 days. Oxfam International issued a statement on Friday calling on the world to force Israel to end the closing.

“As a matter of humanitarian imperative, Israeli leaders must resume supplies into Gaza without further delay,” the statement, by Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs, said. “If Israelis and Palestinians alike don’t exert every effort now to maintain the truce which has held since last June, the result could be catastrophic for civilians both in Gaza and in nearby Israeli towns.”

Electricity production has plunged for lack of fuel, leaving much of the coastal strip darkened. Israeli officials suspect that there is actually enough fuel, and say that Hamas officials are trying to embarrass them by closing electricity plants.

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was scheduled to last for six months, meaning it has another month left. Both sides are saying they are examining their options as the date approaches.

“We knew when we took out the tunnel that there would be a response and then we would try to get things back to normal,” said Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. “We have no desire to see a humanitarian crisis there. Unless the rockets stop, though, how can we move the supplies in? December marks the end of the six-month truce. Are they upping the ante before a new agreement?”

In Gaza, Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior Hamas leader, said: “We are still very committed to the truce. If Israel decides not to be committed, let it declare clearly its position. We have only been responding to their actions. Now, with the renewal date approaching, we are going to evaluate it and the crossings and will decide if we are going on with the truce.”


Now that article is a damn sight better than the one you posted, it lists multiple reasons for cause and effect and demonstrates how complex the situation is, that yes Israel did technically break the ceasefire, but it was to stop an illegal tunnel running into their land. And they warned them.

NYT wrote:Israel and Hamas accuse each other of bad faith and of violations of the Egyptian-mediated accord, and each side has a point. Rockets from Gaza never stopped entirely during the truce, and Israel never allowed a major renewed flow of goods into Gaza, crippling its economy. This is at least partly because the agreement had no mutually agreed text or enforcement mechanism; neither side wanted to grant the legitimacy to the other that such a document would imply...

I think it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” remarked Robert A. Pastor, who has been traveling in the region with former President Jimmy Carter, meeting with Hamas and other officials. “It did lead to a significant reduction in the number of rockets fired at Israel until November, but the truce had less impact on the goods going in. One hopes both sides learn lessons and agree on a text and publicize it.”

There seems little likelihood of that happening soon. Hamas considers Israel an illegitimate state and is doctrinally committed to its destruction, while Israel views Hamas as a terrorist group that must be dismantled. Yet each needs the other to hold its fire. That is why negotiations over another truce have started, again through Egypt.

Hamas officials say it was their understanding at the time that two weeks after the June 19 accord took effect Israel would open the crossings and allow the transfer of goods that had been banned or restricted after June 2007, when Hamas waged a violent takeover of Gaza.

Their job, the Hamas officials said, was to stop the rocket attacks on Israel not only from its own armed groups, but also from others based in Gaza, including Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

It took some days, but they were largely successful. Hamas imposed its will and even imprisoned some of those who were firing rockets. Israeli and United Nations figures show that while more than 300 rockets were fired into Israel in May, 10 to 20 were fired in July, depending on who was counting and whether mortar rounds were included. In August, 10 to 30 were fired, and in September, 5 to 10.

But the goods shipments, while up some 25 to 30 percent and including a mix of more items, never began to approach what Hamas thought it was going to get: a return to the 500 to 600 truckloads delivered daily before the closing, including appliances, construction materials and other goods essential for life beyond mere survival. Instead, the number of trucks increased to around 90 from around 70.

Israeli officials acknowledged that transferring previously banned goods had been the plan, but said that there was no specific date for the increase and that it was to happen in steps. But the rockets never fully stopped.

“The Palestinians wanted to have one or two rockets a week to keep our people in tension and still tell people inside Gaza, ‘See, we continue to fight and we continue to bring in goods,’” said Shlomo Dror, chief spokesman for Israel’s Defense Ministry. “The moment we fail to react to one rocket we encourage them. Our only choice was to close the crossings when rockets came in.”

In addition, Israeli forces continued to attack Hamas and other militants in the West Bank, prompting Palestinian militants in Gaza to fire rockets. The Israeli military also found several dozen improvised explosive devices used against its vehicles on the Gaza border and about a dozen cases of sniper fire from Gaza directed at its forces.

While this back-and-forth did not topple the agreement, Israel’s decision in early November to destroy a tunnel Hamas had been digging near the border drove the cycle of violence to a much higher level. Israel says the tunnel could have been dug only for the purpose of trying to seize a soldier, like Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli held by Hamas for the past two and a half years. Israel’s attack on the tunnel killed six Hamas militants, and each side has stepped up attacks since.

Israel was actually hoping that the agreement would lead to progress on Corporal Shalit’s release, or at least to increased information on his condition or negotiations over an exchange for him. But Hamas said the Shalit case was entirely separate from the accord, just as Israel had rejected the request by Hamas to have the truce suspend attacks on its men in the West Bank. There, too, Hamas had hopes that the accord would create some changes that did not take place.

Israel’s focus on Corporal Shalit and Hamas’s focus on the West Bank are examples of why the agreement, without a text or enforcement mechanism, has been so problematic, with each side relying on its own desires rather than on mutually agreed steps. But given each side’s refusal to acknowledge the other’s legitimacy, another such accord of winks and nods seems the likely outcome of any coming negotiations.


Man, it's almost like both sides are unwilling to compromise. And sure, you can find plenty of evidence of individuals who say or do things differently, like that Ismail Haniyeh guy. Let's see what we find on him after googling:

Haaretz wrote:For the second time since Israel launched its offensive in the Gaza Strip, Hamas television aired a taped message delivered by group leader Ismail Haniyeh on Monday. In the message, Haniyeh declared that Hamas was determined to continue fighting despite Israel's military offensive in the Strip, but added that the group would be willing to cooperate in efforts to negotiate a cease-fire agreement with Israel.

"Gaza will not break - our victory over the Zionists is near," Haniyeh said in a fiery speech. "Our fate is in the hands of Allah, so what power could the sons of Zion against him? Allah will take his revenge on them."

Haniyeh first appeared on Hamas television some two weeks ago, saying that Israel's operation in Gaza was paramount to genocide of the Palestinian people. Haniyeh and other senior Hamas officials have gone into hiding since Israel launched its operation on December 27.

Meanwhile Monday, other Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip declared victory to be "closer than ever."

In a statement distributed to news organizations, the Hamas cabinet said it continued to function as a government and condemned Israel for its "reoccupation" of Gaza, saying the invading forces would soon be repelled.

"We confirm to our people that victory is closer than ever," the statement read. "We confirm our intention to continue to work to stop the terrorists' war against our people, end the siege completely and bring about a reopening of the crossings."

A report in Reuters on Monday quoted unnamed sources in Lebanon close to Hamas as saying the group would not accept ceasefire efforts that include a long-term truce with Israel.

Israel launched its offensive on Dec. 27 saying it intended to put a stop to Hamas' firing of rockets across the border into southern Israeli towns and cities.

Following several days of aerial bombardment, Israeli troops and tanks launched a ground offensive, moving in on the major population centres, including the city of Gaza.

Some 900 Palestinians, including some top Hamas commanders, have been killed in the assault, according to Palestinian medics and the Islamist movement.

Hamas, which came to power in Gaza after elections in 2006 and subsequently seized control of the territory of 1.5 million people, said it would remain steadfast.


Seems like some mixed messages being thrown about. I'd like to see Hamas come to the negotiating table with Israel and accept the 1967 borders, otherwise it's just empty posturing. And to do that, they'd have to cease attacks on Israel completely, not just nearly all the way. Then they have the complete moral high ground, and Israel can and will be brow-beaten into submission by Obama's administration. Completely contingent on Hamas's good behavior though, which doesn't bode well. I'll post some more stuff later.

And lastly, I'm going to go over this "victim bullshit" one last time. Saying that, calling it that, is insulting. It's stupid, and it offends me. It reminds me of when my housing director told me to "get over it" when that guy I lived with attacked me for being gay. I grew up with my great-uncles diary being a family heirloom, the tale of his time in Auschwitz. I grew up looking in the back of the siddur, the prayer book, at the poems and stories from the Holocaust. I grew up hearing the stories, learning the lessons, that time after time the world persecuted us, killed us, tortured us, and that we could do nothing to stop them. Until Israel, until we got our safe and promised land where any Jew can come. You don't understand any of this, and it seems you don't want to. That's pitiful. Knowledge grants understanding, but apparently you're fine with ignorance and the bliss attached to it. Enjoy dismissing me as nothing more than a whiner.

Oh and the charge of committing genocide against the Palestinians? Dear sweet fucking Christ, you not only drank the Kool-Aid you fucking bought stock, built your house out of the cardboard and season all your food with it. I know from genocide, I have a diary from my great-uncle detailing it, and what's going on in Gaza is not genocide. I shouldn't even bother talking to you anymore, you're opinions are so radical they'll give my ideas cancer.
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Re: Israel

Postby Herosbane » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:03 pm

Treading carefully...

Mell, do you think that the fact that you grew up being told that you were a member of a persecuted minority makes you more suspicious? Or, maybe not being told, but hearing stories around the house, and making the conclusion yourself. Not to debate that the Jews have been persecuted, I totally believe that. I'm just wondering if you think that this is something that you have experienced to personally that it imprinted on you, or something you picked up socially? Lately I've been trying to be very conscious about my choices of what to believe, and not just bending to something that I've been told, or believed for a long time. I don't think that believing something for a long period of time makes it more believable, or shouldn't anyway.

I suppose what I'm getting to, in the end, is that I don't want a truly persecuted generation to pass down the jumpyness and fearful outlook that they were forced to adopt in a dark time to a new generation. I don't want you to be fearful because of what happened generations ago on the other side of the globe.

Sorry if I'm pulling this thread too close to the personal. This is just where my thoughts ended up after this thread.
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Re: Israel

Postby reddwhite » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:29 pm

I only have one more thing to say about the subject. To my knowledge noone here is actually connected to this situation personally. We cant even come to any kind of middle ground about the problems or solutions to even achieve an actual stop to hostilities.( both military and economic ) If we can be so far apart, image living there on either side and having that be your every day life. This is somthing I hope that none of us ever have to live with. Hell I dont think any right minded person can rationalize one good reason to continue on with this kind of behavior. It is never going to benefit either side at all, and can only cause the peeps the represent to suffer more.

Kaz I live in Dover Tennessee come on over we will smoke and joke. Since we both know that beer and bud are far better then arguing on anything but a forum, about a problem that none of us has any actual personal stake in.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:47 pm

You're right, Melli. I realize it now. I have fallen prey to the endless pro-Palestinian propaganda, fueled by an immensely well-funded lobby, served by an army of pundits omnipresent on every mainstream news channel and ever ready to rationalize every little action Palestine does with rarely anyone to propose an opposing viewpoint (competently, anyway), virtually unchallenged by the public at large because it continuously and shamelessly exploits one of the most tragic events in human history in which 6 million Palestinians were massacred.

Wait... these things don't exist.

No nation-state of Palestine will ever be established as long as Israel continues to enjoy unlimited US funding and backing and suffers no meaningful political or economical consequences for their actions: that is my point and that is exactly the goal of Israel. Because to do so, and to acknowledge Palestinians as a people rather than a collection of individuals to be dealt with on a case by case basis, would legitimize their claims over the land, claims that zionism itself, the whole philosophy behind the establishment of the state of Israel, rejects completely. The whole land belongs to Jews and Jews alone. This is why Israel has consistently refused to negotiate in any meaningful far-reaching long-term fashion with Palestinians. They wouldn't do it with Fatah because they weren't elected, they won't do it now with Hamas because they're "terrorists". Watch them find another convenient excuse for the next group. And America, Canada, Europe, will swallow it up without asking questions. And Palestinians will continue to live destitute and powerless at the whims of a belligerent state hopelessly more powerful than they are, while Israelis continue to enjoy living in their wealthy western nation in the middle of the middle east, one of the safest in the whole world, 3 times safer than the US (terrorist strikes included).

"Illegal tunnels" is hilarious. How dare does an imprisoned people try to find ways around the cage unjustly imposed on them? "Hey guys we're going to break the ceasefire for something not related to the ceasefire!" "There you go, you made me break the ceasefire! It's all your fault." I gotta admit it's impressive how instinctively and effortlessly Israelis can claim to be victims with a straight face.

Israel is unwilling to compromise. Hamas has repeatedly stated to anyone who would listen (as well as bought full page ads in western newspapers!) they were willing to negotiate long term peace if Israel would concede the Israel/Palestine borders as accepted by every member nation of the UN. Well, except 2 of them. Try to guess which. Israel? Not interested. Not negotiating with terrorists and blah blah blah.

But even if you're right, even if I take the huge leap of logic and accept "both sides are more or less equally guilty" and all that, one of the sides is poor and powerless with little to no meaningful outside support. The other is rich and powerful with strong outside support. From a human point of view, which one should you empathize with more than the other? Which one should make more effort to make peace work? Which one should more carefully measure the actions they make? Assuming of course they see the other side as just as human as they are.

Ah yes, the classic "it's not as brutal as the Holocaust therefore it's not a genocide!" Do you know what a genocide is? It's the systemic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group. Rounding them up and gassing them is one way to do it, but it's not very subtle especially in the information age and you'll get terrible PR and no support that way. Much better to paint yourself as the victim to deflect criticism while you slowly but surely ensure the complete destruction of the enemy. Remember how I told you gay marriage would only be accomplished without fierce opposition if it was done in baby steps? Seems that it's the same for a genocide.

The Nazis didn't immediately start killing Jews. First they gave them a "chance": leave all your possessions behind and never return. Those that didn't want to or had nowhere to go were rounded up and ostracized, stripped of dignity, wealth, any sort of recourse to improve their situation; they were wholly dependent on the whims of a much more powerful group "defending themselves" from the "Jew menace". Eventually they started killing them because, if you're able to rationalize treating people like that, extermination is the next logical step. They're dead weight to your glorious nation and no state would want millions of poor refugees anyway.

The state of Israel realized it doesn't need to actually do any mass-killing to achieve the same effect. Just keep them in perpetual poverty by restricting imports and exports and destroying their infrastructure at a whim, keep them forever irrelevant politically, paint their feeble attempts at defiance as "terrorist acts" and nothing more, do a few inexpensive empty gestures of good will to maintain the illusion that you're the "good guy", and pretty soon they'll be dead in every sense of the word but physical and no one with the power to stop you from taking over everything will do anything meaningful about it. Hell, if you did it right, there'll be no resistance from the people you're taking it from. Mission accomplished. Greater Israel is finally whole. At what cost? At an immeasurable human cost.

The fact that you cannot draw parallels between two similar events only because the actors are different marks you as a nationalist and not the rational and neutral observer you claim to be. But you're right, I'm the despicable and mentally defective one here. By default I care about humans, not a particular subset of them. I side with the poor and the suffering over the rich. I feel compelled to defend those that can't do it themselves. Someone shoot me.
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Re: Israel

Postby BYC » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:26 am

Kaz wrote:Someone shoot me.


Go to Gaza. I'm sure there's plenty of people there willing to do the deed.
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Re: Israel

Postby GraveI » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:38 pm

I said, YEAH BABY YEAH, I am the evil Midnight Bomber what bombs things at midnight!
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:02 pm

Herosbane wrote:Treading carefully...

Mell, do you think that the fact that you grew up being told that you were a member of a persecuted minority makes you more suspicious? Or, maybe not being told, but hearing stories around the house, and making the conclusion yourself. Not to debate that the Jews have been persecuted, I totally believe that. I'm just wondering if you think that this is something that you have experienced to personally that it imprinted on you, or something you picked up socially? Lately I've been trying to be very conscious about my choices of what to believe, and not just bending to something that I've been told, or believed for a long time. I don't think that believing something for a long period of time makes it more believable, or shouldn't anyway.

I suppose what I'm getting to, in the end, is that I don't want a truly persecuted generation to pass down the jumpyness and fearful outlook that they were forced to adopt in a dark time to a new generation. I don't want you to be fearful because of what happened generations ago on the other side of the globe.

Sorry if I'm pulling this thread too close to the personal. This is just where my thoughts ended up after this thread.


I have no problem addressing this point since it seems to be completely misunderstood by everyone. Here's how this works. The Jewish people have a religion and culture based on a few basic principles, and a psychological state that derives from those things combined with our history. To start with, the greatest story of the Jewish people is the exodus from Egypt, where we spent a couple centuries as slaves. Passover is probably the second holiest holiday in our religion, or the third at the least, which is an entire week spent dedicated towards remembering that we were slaves. Combine this with a history of near-constant persecution and murder, and what you have left is a people who collectively believe that everyone is out to get them.

And the worst bit is its been proven over the last couple thousand years is that, yes, everyone is basically out to get us. Israel was founded on the idea of "Never Again," a phrase that every observant Jewish child grows up knowing. You can call this victimhood or whining, but what it is when you look at it without judgement is a sort of cultural PTSD. So yes, I grew up having nightmares and feeling heartbroken because of events that took place over half a century ago. I spent the formative years of my life not only feeling different as one of the few Jews where I live (an island outside Seattle) but also being taught that Jews have to be careful, its how we've survived. This lesson was really drive home when our house got tagged by some white supremacists who also defaced several other Jewish homes and the small house we leased as our Synagogue. For me personally this had even more effect because they killed gays and Jews during the Holocaust, and it's still pretty damn common to get killed for being gay anywhere in the world. And as you well know, I've also been assaulted for being gay.

My entire life I've been told there is one place that is safe, that I can go, that any Jew can go, and we can have sanctuary. Every member of my family has been to Israel multiple times (we have many friends and some cousins who live on a Kibbutz) and I can attest to the fact that being there, being surrounded by other Jews, makes me feel safe in a way that I don't always.

So yeah, it's something that's happened to me personally, and compounded by my sexuality and experiences thereof (the fact that most Jews are very kindly disposed towards homosexuality is yet another thing that makes me feel welcomed and safe with my people). But it's also brainwashing, or at least as brainwashing as any religion is. So yes, I am fearful, for more than just one reason, but also because I've been told from the cradle on up that "it" could happen again, and constant vigilance must be maintained.

You can denigrate that all you like, but it doesn't change the facts of the matter. This is my religion, and my culture, and it's part of me. And unfortunately I've seen hate born out towards me, so I take this seriously, and personally. It doesn't make for a good place to argue from, but I didn't expect to have to explain or defend the profound psychological trauma that extends from millennia of persecution and a concerted effort at complete annihilation that my grandparents still vividly remember. When the generation that remembers the death camps is dead and their children are as well, the effects may be lessened, but I don't know for sure. I can only tell you how and why we feel this way.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:29 pm

Kaz wrote:You're right, Melli. I realize it now. I have fallen prey to the endless pro-Palestinian propaganda, fueled by an immensely well-funded lobby, served by an army of pundits omnipresent on every mainstream news channel and ever ready to rationalize every little action Palestine does with rarely anyone to propose an opposing viewpoint (competently, anyway), virtually unchallenged by the public at large because it continuously and shamelessly exploits one of the most tragic events in human history in which 6 million Palestinians were massacred.

Wait... these things don't exist.


Wait, but those things do exist, just not prominently in the US. Or are you going to ignore the immense Muslim populations in France? Or the rest of Europe/North Africa/South-East Asia? The massive Arab news networks, the governments of Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia etc... I mean, it's not like they have a pro-Palestinian view point in those places, do they? Oh, no, I forgot, they do in fact support the Palestinians, just not with, you know, places to live and food to eat. But, you know, I'm sure that's unimportant and bears no thinking about because CLEARLY it has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on the Middle East conflict.

Christ. How often do I have to say this before someone acknowledges it?

Kaz wrote:No nation-state of Palestine will ever be established as long as Israel continues to enjoy unlimited US funding and backing and suffers no meaningful political or economical consequences for their actions: that is my point and that is exactly the goal of Israel. Because to do so, and to acknowledge Palestinians as a people rather than a collection of individuals to be dealt with on a case by case basis, would legitimize their claims over the land, claims that zionism itself, the whole philosophy behind the establishment of the state of Israel, rejects completely. The whole land belongs to Jews and Jews alone. This is why Israel has consistently refused to negotiate in any meaningful far-reaching long-term fashion with Palestinians. They wouldn't do it with Fatah because they weren't elected, they won't do it now with Hamas because they're "terrorists". Watch them find another convenient excuse for the next group. And America, Canada, Europe, will swallow it up without asking questions. And Palestinians will continue to live destitute and powerless at the whims of a belligerent state hopelessly more powerful than they are, while Israelis continue to enjoy living in their wealthy western nation in the middle of the middle east, one of the safest in the whole world, 3 times safer than the US (terrorist strikes included).


Right, so the offering up of the 67 borders and the unilateral withdrawals from Gaza and West Bank are signs that Israel is unwilling to recognize Palestine. And Fatah wasn't unelected, it was bloodily and violently ejected from Gaza until Hamas was able to gain control in elections. And I love how you persist in considering Hamas not terrorists. Clearly founding a group with the stated goal of "destroying the state of Israel and eradicating the Jewish presence in the region" isn't a terrorist group. And yes, Palestine lives completely destitute and at the whim of Israel, and not its Arab brethren. And I love how you can say that Israel is 3-times safer than the US, but how often is the US threatened by imminent destruction? Israel is so safe because it has a constant standing army, one of hte finest in the world, and has successfully repelled every invasion it has withstood, each one aimed towards the eradication of its state. Of course you'd discount all the trauma of school children who practice bomb drills in specially constructed play-grounds besides to shield them from Hamas rockets simply because Hamas cannot afford to do the equivalent with its population. Should ISrael reduce its arms and infrastructure until it matches the poverty of the Palestinians? I mean that should even the playing field, then both sides can massacre each other until they're all dead and Jordan can annex Israel.

Kaz]"Illegal tunnels" is hilarious. How dare does an imprisoned people try to find ways around the cage unjustly imposed on them? "Hey guys we're going to break the ceasefire for something not related to the ceasefire!" "There you go, you made me break the ceasefire! It's all your fault." I gotta admit it's impressive how instinctively and effortlessly Israelis can claim to be victims with a straight face.[/quote]

They tunneled into Israel towards a military base. Doesn't sound like they were just trying to grab some bread, especially since the tunnels going into Egypt are far safe (despite the fact that you continuously ignore the fact that Egypt blocks off the Palestinians so they don't have to deal with refugees). Going into Israel is a straight up violation of the cease-fire, but I guess that doesn't matter when you refuse to see your side as ever being to blame.

[quote="Kaz wrote:
Israel is unwilling to compromise. Hamas has repeatedly stated to anyone who would listen (as well as bought full page ads in western newspapers!) they were willing to negotiate long term peace if Israel would concede the Israel/Palestine borders as accepted by every member nation of the UN. Well, except 2 of them. Try to guess which. Israel? Not interested. Not negotiating with terrorists and blah blah blah.


Lying is effective for me too, but I refrain from it. Hamas stated that it would accept the boundaries Israel laid forth in the Camp David talks (remember the time Yassir Arafat rejected the 67 border deal?), but that it would continue to not recognize Israel's sovereignty and demand full ownership of Jerusalem. And yes, negotiating with terrorists isn't easy, but I guess it is for you since you don't regard them as terrorists. I still don't understand that.

Kaz wrote:But even if you're right, even if I take the huge leap of logic and accept "both sides are more or less equally guilty" and all that, one of the sides is poor and powerless with little to no meaningful outside support. The other is rich and powerful with strong outside support. From a human point of view, which one should you empathize with more than the other? Which one should make more effort to make peace work? Which one should more carefully measure the actions they make? Assuming of course they see the other side as just as human as they are.


I'd empathize with the under-dog. But then again, Israel has done all those things you mention, they've done more to effect no civilian casualties than any other war in history, they've attempted peace work and make an effort to give the Palestinian's aid. The Arab nations could back Palestine just as the US backs Israel, but they don't unless it's for rewards for martyring themselves or weapons. And Israel has never, ever set the goal of their attacks to be innocents. They go for weapons and militants hidden within innocents, but they do not attack schools or dance halls or malls for the sake of killing innocents. They may kill innocents, and taht is horrible and deplorable and ISrael should stop warring in Gaza right now and withdraw, but the fact is Hamas wants to kill innocent people. Israel does as a byproduct of trying to stop Hamas. Stopping Israel, whatever that might mean, is a byproduct of Hamas attack civilians. I cannot understand why you do not see this.

Kaz wrote:Ah yes, the classic "it's not as brutal as the Holocaust therefore it's not a genocide!" Do you know what a genocide is? It's the systemic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group. Rounding them up and gassing them is one way to do it, but it's not very subtle especially in the information age and you'll get terrible PR and no support that way. Much better to paint yourself as the victim to deflect criticism while you slowly but surely ensure the complete destruction of the enemy. Remember how I told you gay marriage would only be accomplished without fierce opposition if it was done in baby steps? Seems that it's the same for a genocide.


I never said it wasn't as brutal as the Holocaust, I never said anything approaching that. Why even twist my words like that? I know what genocide is, and Israel is not committing genocide. I can't--I seriously can't even debate you on this. It's a fact, Israel is not committing genocide. I just... I should have listened to you earlier, there is no middle ground here. There is only unyielding rhetoric from you.

Kaz wrote:The fact that you cannot draw parallels between two similar events only because the actors are different marks you as a nationalist and not the rational and neutral observer you claim to be. But you're right, I'm the despicable and mentally defective one here. By default I care about humans, not a particular subset of them. I side with the poor and the suffering over the rich. I feel compelled to defend those that can't do it themselves. Someone shoot me.


Once again, I never said you were despicable, or any of this word twisting you seem to be currently engaging in. If you care so deeply about human beings, why differentiate between rich and poor? All people deserve happiness, those that have it and those that don't. I care about all people as well, which is why I live in hope that the Middle East will soon know peace. I hope that the Palestinian people have their own sovereign nation and enjoy the support of its neighbor Israel just as Israel will enjoy Palestine's support. But it will take not only both sides willing to work together, but the rest of the world supporting the endeavor. You are only interested in blaming Israel and refusing any recognition on wrong-doing on Palestine's part, and curiously enough, also ignoring the blame of the neighboring Arab nations, instead choosing simply to blast the US and Britain. You literally have not accepted a single bit of fault for Hamas in this entire thread, and if you cannot look at that objectively and see how purely ridiculous that is, I'm going to stop responding to your posts.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:41 pm

Lastly, here's an article from the NYTimes that I found interesting, as it echoes a few of my own thoughts.

Thomas Friedman wrote:I have only one question about Israel’s military operation in Gaza: What is the goal? Is it the education of Hamas or the eradication of Hamas? I hope that it’s the education of Hamas. Let me explain why.

I was one of the few people who argued back in 2006 that Israel actually won the war in Lebanon started by Hezbollah. You need to study that war and its aftermath to understand Gaza and how it is part of a new strategic ballgame in the Arab-Israel arena, which will demand of the Obama team a new approach.

What Hezbollah did in 2006 — in launching an unprovoked war across the U.N.-recognized Israel-Lebanon border, after Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from Lebanon — was to both upend Israel’s longstanding peace strategy and to unveil a new phase in the Hezbollah-Iran war strategy against Israel.

There have always been two camps in Israel when it comes to the logic of peace, notes Gidi Grinstein, president of the Israeli think tank, the Reut Institute: One camp says that all the problems Israel faces from the Palestinians or Lebanese emanate from occupying their territories. “Therefore, the fundamental problem is staying — and the fundamental remedy is leaving,” says Grinstein.

The other camp argues that Israel’s Arab foes are implacably hostile and leaving would only invite more hostility. Therefore, at least when it comes to the Palestinians, Israel needs to control their territories indefinitely. Since the mid-1990s, the first camp has dominated Israeli thinking. This led to the negotiated and unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, Lebanon and Gaza.

Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack from Lebanon into Israel in 2006 both undermined the argument that withdrawal led to security and presented Israel with a much more vexing military strategy aimed at neutralizing Israel’s military superiority. Hezbollah created a very “flat” military network, built on small teams of guerrillas and mobile missile-batteries, deeply embedded in the local towns and villages.

And this Hezbollah force, rather than confronting Israel’s Army head-on, focused on demoralizing Israeli civilians with rockets in their homes, challenging Israel to inflict massive civilian casualties in order to hit Hezbollah fighters and, when Israel did strike Hezbollah and also killed civilians, inflaming the Arab-Muslim street, making life very difficult for Arab or European leaders aligned with Israel.

Israel’s counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.

Israel’s military was not focused on the morning after the war in Lebanon — when Hezbollah declared victory and the Israeli press declared defeat. It was focused on the morning after the morning after, when all the real business happens in the Middle East. That’s when Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: “What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?”

Here’s what Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, said the morning after the morning after about his decision to start that war by abducting two Israeli soldiers on July 12, 2006: “We did not think, even 1 percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not.”

That was the education of Hezbollah. Has Israel seen its last conflict with Hezbollah? I doubt it. But Hezbollah, which has done nothing for Hamas, will think three times next time. That is probably all Israel can achieve with a nonstate actor.

In Gaza, I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims. Now its focus, and the Obama team’s focus, should be on creating a clear choice for Hamas for the world to see: Are you about destroying Israel or building Gaza?

But that requires diplomacy. Israel de facto recognizes Hamas’s right to rule Gaza and to provide for the well-being and security of the people of Gaza — which was actually Hamas’s original campaign message, not rocketing Israel. And, in return, Hamas has to signal a willingness to assume responsibility for a lasting cease-fire and to abandon efforts to change the strategic equation with Israel by deploying longer and longer range rockets. That’s the only deal. Let’s give it a try.


Israel's actions in Gaza are aimed at giving control of the Palestinian people back to Fatah, which Israel is on record with as engaging in recently successful negotiations that were undermined and then destroyed by Hamas's coup in Gaza. This strategy is, frankly, more than a little deplorable, but like the blockades that reduced suicide bombers to zero, it's likely to be effective. It also explains the assault on governing buildings and other structures.

In effect Israel isn't simply responding to an isolated incident, but rather a history with Hamas and a need to have Fatah back in power. Hamas reduced the number of rockets fired during the ceasefire, but never completely stopped them, just as Israel correspondingly never fully released the blockade. In the long run, this will probably be unfortunately effective, as it was with Hezbollah. But it could provide an essential and vital launching point for a real peace process to start up again, especially since the likelihood of Obama's administration giving Israel the blanket support Bush granted it is very low.

Also, Grav, I just investigated the use of White Phosphorous and found this.

Human Rights Watch wrote:(Jerusalem, January 10, 2009) - Israel should stop using white phosphorus in military operations in densely populated areas of Gaza, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 9 and 10, 2009, Human Rights Watch researchers in Israel observed multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over what appeared to be the Gaza City/Jabaliya area.

Israel appeared to be using white phosphorus as an "obscurant" (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza's high population density, among the highest in the world.

"White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin," said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. "Israel should not use it in Gaza's densely populated areas."

Human Rights Watch believes that the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life. This concern is amplified given the technique evidenced in media photographs of air-bursting white phosphorus projectiles. Air bursting of white phosphorus artillery spreads 116 burning wafers over an area between 125 and 250 meters in diameter, depending on the altitude of the burst, thereby exposing more civilians and civilian infrastructure to potential harm than a localized ground burst.

Since the beginning of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza on January 3, 2009, there have been numerous media reports about the possible use of white phosphorous by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF told both Human Rights Watch and news reporters that it is not using white phosphorus in Gaza. On January 7, an IDF spokesman told CNN, "I can tell you with certainty that white phosphorus is absolutely not being used."


This is abhorrent and should be stopped immediately.
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