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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:14 pm

I was wrong, it appears it was Israel that broke the June ceasefire by raiding and killing Hamas members within Gaza [link]

"Globally recognized terrorist organization" is more imperialist semantic. The qualifiers necessary to make it objectively accurate would also define the Israeli state as a terrorist organization. Israel also spends more money on things that end up terrorizing civilians as well. Of the two, Hamas does less harm to less people than Israel does.

You have got to be joking about the warning before bombing. They have done it in the past when targeting Hamas leaders during cock banging contests, but right now I'm pretty sure the 3 (we're up to 3 now) schools and the plethora of random civilian buildings that were hit didn't receive much in the sense of advance warnings. And in any case, in a wide scale attack like now, where the fuck can civilians go? Gaza is tiny as hell and boxed in by concrete walls and a naval blockade, remember? They need water, sewage, electricity, not to mention food. All basic infrastructure that are not working right now thanks to the IDF's "surgical" strikes.

About 100 victims were women and children. It's a pretty vague figure because the IDF is still denying entry to journalists even when the Israeli Supreme Court ordered them to let them in Gaza 1 week ago, so we have to go by what a few foreign doctors are reporting. Speaking of doctors, at least 2 hospitals are shut down because their generators have run out of fuel. I wonder how many more will die because of that. Surely more than 15, the total amount of Israelis that have died to rockets since 2001.

The Palestinian land as delimited by the 1967 accord. Note that the entire region was almost all Palestinian except a few spots here and there until the British decided to "give" it to all Jews (imperialists love to give shit they don't own)

That if the situation were reversed does not justify anything Israel is doing. Overpowering a mugger does not give you the right to shoot him even if that's what he would have done had you lost the struggle.

Don't you see the problem with Israel "allowing" aid in? It implies they also get to deny it. What the fuck gives them the right to deny humanitarian aid to Gaza? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing that is human. Yet they regularly do it as "retaliation". The WFP is only getting anywhere between 8% and 20% of its daily food shipments through and that was before the attacks. Food that Gaza citizens need. The rest rots away in Israeli warehouses.
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Re: Israel

Postby Half + Seven » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:31 pm

I think it's clear by Israel's continued action that both sides want to continue fighting. An extended air campaign coupled with messy urban warfare are hardly signs of a country desperate for an end to this conflict. It's not just the Arab world that is preventing peace.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:36 pm

To address your last paragraph herr doktor.

You want to make Israel safer? Stop treating Palestinians like refuse. Recognize the Palestinian state. Respect the accord you signed and let them have free agency in their land. Let all foreign aid in unfettered. Stop leveling cities when rockets blow up a mailbox and a couple of shop windows. Israel is safer than the US, even with the terrorist attacks! Keep the checkpoints if you absolutely want to but make them one way only.

Land and wealth are the reason behind every human conflict. Religion is just a pretext. It and nationalism are useful to separate sides into "us" against "them" but the root cause is always, always land and wealth. Hamas will fall into obsolescence once Israel replaces every good thing it does to Palestinians with none of the bad things. It won't happen overnight but it will eventually. Then when Palestinians start seeing Israel as a neighbor rather than an occupier, you won't need the concrete walls, the blockades and the checkpoints anymore.

And please, please please please, enough with the self-pitying paranoid "the whole world wants us dead waaaaaaa" bullshit. Iran etc. are funding and funneling weapons to terrorists to strike Israel and shit, yes. But it works because Israel is a belligerent outpost of western imperialism. It's absolutely impossible for a moderate muslim living in the middle east to support them. The overwhelming majority of human beings will not support war, violence and genocide against an ethnicity when they're well fed, not living in abject poverty and the ethnicity in question is doing nothing in particular to harm them.

The reason Israel does the shit it does is because there actually are zionists who want to see every Palestinian dead, and these horrible people are propped up by Jews like you who are afraid of their own fucking shadow and think all this violence is "necessary" for "defense" because "the world is against us". And in the US, Israel is supported by imperialists, racists and culture warmongers and evangelicals who are just waiting for Israel to be reunited for Apocalypse to occur (or some such nonsense) and they are propped up by people like you who are duped into thinking it's all necessary. It's not.
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Re: Israel

Postby Gorbadoc » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:56 pm

Half + Seven wrote:It's not just the Arab world that is preventing peace.
Gorbadoc wrote:Israel is in a position to compromise if they so choose. Palestine is not.

This conflict is fueled by barrel after barrel of bullshit. It's bullshit how Israel slaughters civilians. It's bullshit that forces not responsible to any sovereignty attack Israel. It's bullshit that Arab freedom fighters/terrorists blow up civilians. It's bullshit that Israel has put Palestinians in the position of having to choose between terrorism and ignoring expansion of settlements. It's bullshit that the international community isn't calling out all this bullshit. It's bullshit that any media outlet ever covers Israel or Hamas as a good guy.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:43 pm

This is a great article and I'm posting it all:

The Gaza Bloodbath

In a rare moment of honesty, the New York Times divulged the real motive behind the bombardment and invasion of Gaza. In Ethan Bronner's article, "Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both", Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said, "We need to reach a situation in which we do not allow Hamas to govern. That is the most important thing. If the war ends in a draw, as expected, and Israel refrains from reoccupying Gaza, Hamas will gain diplomatic recognition...No matter what you call it, Hamas will obtain legitimacy.”

According to the Times: "In addition, any truce would probably include an increase in commercial traffic from Israel and Egypt into Gaza, which is Hamas’s central demand: to end the economic boycott and border closing it has been facing. To build up the Gaza economy under Hamas, Israeli leaders say, would be to build up Hamas. Yet withholding the commerce would continue to leave 1.5 million Gazans living in despair." (Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both; Ethan Bronner)

If Israel wants to prevent Hamas from "obtaining legitimacy," than the real objective of the invasion is to either severely undermine or topple the regime. All the talk about the qassam rockets and the so-called "Hamas infrastructure", (the new phrase that is supposed to indicate a threat to Israeli security) is merely a diversion. What really worries Israel is the prospect that Obama will "sit down with his enemies"--as he promised during the presidential campaign--and conduct talks with Hamas. That would put the ball in Israel's court and force them to make concessions. But Israel does not want to make concessions. They would rather start a war and change the facts on the ground so they can head-off any attempt by Obama to restart peace process.

Just days ago, Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said in a televised interview, that the last eight years proves that resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is critical to US interests in the region. He added that the recent fighting shows that the two parties cannot achieve peace without US involvement. Brzezinski's comments suggest that, at the very least, the Obama camp is considering low-level (secret?) talks with Hamas representatives. Every day that Hamas abstains from violence; its legitimacy as a political party grows and the prospect of direct negotiations becomes more likely. This is Israel's worst nightmare, not because Hamas constitutes a real threat to Israeli security, but because Israel wants to install its own puppet regime and unilaterally impose its own terms for a final settlement. Neither Ehud Olmert or any of the candidates for prime minister have any intention of getting bogged down in another 8 years of fruitless banter like Oslo where plans for settlement expansion had to be concealed behind an elaborate public relations smokescreen. No way. The Israeli leadership would rather skip the pretense altogether and pursue their territorial aims openly as they have under Bush. And the goal is the same as always; to integrate the occupied territories into Greater Israel and leave the Palestinians trapped in bantustans. Negotiations just make that harder.

Ariel Sharon's senior advisor, Dov Weisglass, clarified Israel's position three years ago when he admitted, "The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians... this whole package that is called the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely." "Formaldehyde"; that says it all. The point of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was to silence critics and to make it appear as though the Palestinians had achieved some type of statehood. It was a complete sham. Sharon believed that disengagement would stop foreign leaders from badgering him to sit down with the Palestinians and work out a mutually-acceptable agreement. He never expected that elections would throw a wrench in his plans and raise the credibility of Hamas to the extent that it has today. In the last two years, Hamas hasn't launched one suicide mission in Israel, which shows that it has abandoned the armed struggle and can be trusted to negotiate on its people's behalf. That scares Israel, which is why they initiated hostilities. Now, they need to seal the deal by either removing Hamas before Obama is sworn in or face pressure from the new administration for dialogue. Meanwhile, Israeli troop movements indicate that a plan may be in place to divide Gaza into three parts, thus making it impossible for Hamas to rule.

The UK Guardian confirms that the invasion was really about regime change not rockets or Hamas infrastructure.

According to the Guardian: "A couple of days into the assault on Gaza, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, said it would continue for 'as long as it takes to dismantle Hamas completely'. Infuriated Israeli officials in Jerusalem warned her that such statements could set back the diplomatic offensive.

Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the UN until a few months ago, was brought in by the Foreign Ministry to help lead the diplomatic and PR campaign. He said that the diplomatic and political groundwork has been under way for months.

"This was something that was planned long ahead," he said. "I was recruited by the foreign minister to coordinate Israel's efforts and I have never seen all parts of a very complex machinery - whether it is the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the prime minister's office, the police or the army - work in such co-ordination, being effective in sending out the message."

In briefings in Jerusalem and London, Brussels and New York, the same core messages were repeated: that Israel had no choice but to attack in response to the barrage of Hamas rockets; that the coming attack would be on "the infrastructure of terror" in Gaza and the targets principally Hamas fighters; that civilians would die, but it was because Hamas hides its fighters and weapons factories among ordinary people.

Hand in hand went a strategy to remove the issue of occupation from discussion." (UK Guardian, "Why Israel went to war in Gaza")

The invasion was mapped out months ago, right down to the bullet points that were passed out to friends in the media. Nothing was left to chance. That said, the public relations campaign was on full display over the weekend when Israeli ground troops and armored divisions swept into Gaza unopposed. CNN had a coterie of ardent Zionists on hand to justify the invasion in a carefully scripted analysis of developments. Retired Brigadier Gen. David Grange accompanied the blatantly pro-Israel Wolf Blitzer saying that the IDF had been "lured" into Gaza by Hamas so that Hamas could execute its plan for "urban warfare". Utter nonsense. Grange implied that the subsequent slaughter of civilians was the work of Hamas, not Israel. Even by CNN's abysmal standards, this is new low.

The media has worked in concert with the IDF throughout, spinning a rationale from whole cloth and cheerleading from every available soapbox. But recent polls show that the public has remained skeptical. Anti-Israel protests have sprung up in capitals across the world, and support for Israel is at its nadir. . Many people are simply shocked to see the most advanced, technological weaponry in the world being used in densely populated areas where collateral damage is bound to be heavy. It just makes Israel look like a bully while the media looks like an enabler. So far, the war has been a public relations catastrophe. Over 500 Palestinians have been killed and 2,400 wounded in a debacle of Biblical proportions. Every day, new photographs circulate on the internet showing the carnage produced by the steady bombardment. On Monday, the IDF killed two more Palestinian families, in two separate incidents. The mother, father and eight children were killed when their house was bombed by an American made F-16 early Monday morning. Another family in the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, was butchered when their home was struck by a shell from an Israeli ship off the coast. The civilian toll continues to balloon with no end in sight.

Here's how one Gaza resident summed up the bombing in an interview with an AP journalist: "The Israeli forces attack everywhere. They have gone crazy. The Gaza Strip is just going to die ... it's going to die. We were sleeping. Suddenly we heard a bomb. We woke up and we didn't know where to go. We couldn't see through the dust. We called to each other. We thought our house had been hit, not the street. What can I say? You saw it with your own eyes. What is our guilt? Are we terrorists? I don't carry a gun, neither does my girl. What does Israel want? There's no medicine. No drinks, no water, no gas. We are suffering from hunger. They attack us. Can it be worse than this?" All of Gaza has been traumatized.

The "invasion"--which is a word none of the Israeli-centric media dares to use--(Israel "entered" Gaza) is the equivalent of rampaging through a concentration camp. (similar to the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla) Still, newspapers, like the New York Times, provide cover for the attack by referring to Hamas "bases" within Gaza. In truth, there are no bases nor military installations of any kind. It's just more lies. They have no army, no navy, and no air force. The only threat that Gaza poses to Israel is its people's unshakable commitment to end the occupation.

On CNN, Alan Dershowitz and other prominent Zionists defend the invasion in their most polished, lawyerly prose, but the public remains unconvinced. What observers are seeing on the internet is the broken bodies of children pulled from the rubble of their homes and the terrifying explosions in a city that languishes in complete darkness. Nothing Dershowitz says can match the imagery splattered minute by minute on the screen. Israel has bombed mosques, ambulances, bridges, tunnels, even a terrorist girls dormitory. Since when is a girl's dormitory part of "Hamas infrastructure"? Five sisters and their mother were blow apart as they sat peacefully in their own living room. Does Dershowitz really believe he can elicit sympathy for the perpetrators of these crimes? American support for Israel is being tested; and that support is quickly eroding.

War is a blunt instrument for achieving one's political objectives, and the costs can be enormous for winner and loser alike. If Israel manages to incite Hamas to the point where they deploy suicide bombers to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem then, perhaps, attitudes will shift in Israel's favor. It is impossible to predict. But, clearly, retaliation with suicide missions would be the worst possible strategy for Hamas at this point. Israel has lost the moral high-ground, but one suicide bomber can change all that in a flash. Besides, the bombings alienate the people who sympathize with the Palestinian cause and make it harder for them to be openly supportive. The only people who benefit from suicide missions are the right-wing fanatics within the Israeli political establishment. Every Israeli civilian that's killed just strengthens the Likudniks and their ilk.


The media has made a big issue of the fact that Hamas ended its ceasefire with Israel just days before the bombardment of Gaza. But as Johann Hari points out in his article "The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling" Hamas offered to maintain the ceasefire if Israel agreed to lift the blockade.

According to Hari:

"The core of the situation has been starkly laid out by Ephraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad. He says that while Hamas militants – like much of the Israeli right-wing – dream of driving their opponents away, "they have recognized this ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future." Instead, "they are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967." They are aware that this means they "will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original goals" – and towards a long-term peace based on compromise.....Halevy explains: "Israel, for reasons of its own, did not want to turn the ceasefire into the start of a diplomatic process with Hamas."

Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means the Israelis can keep the slabs of the West Bank on "their" side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements and control the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today, and compromise with them. (Johann Hari, "The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling")

Hari's article further confirms our basic thesis that the aggression in Gaza has nothing to do with terrorism, security, or Hamas infrastructure. In fact, Hamas appears to be ready to settle for much less than they originally hoped for. In this particular case, all they wanted was a promise from Israel to end the blockade, but Israel refused. Collective punishment of Palestinians has become a habit, like smoking or taking drugs. Israel can do what it wants. If it decides to cut off the food and medicine to 1.5 million people or bomb them into oblivion; no one can stop them. The UN and Washington just roll over and play dead. Why should they negotiate; they can do whatever they want. The world is their apple.

ISMAIL HANIYEH: "We do not wish to throw the Jews into the sea".

"Oh...who will stop the windmills in my head?
Who will remove the knives from my heart?
Who will kill my poor children...?
In order that they do not...grow up in the red
furnished apartments..."

("Ending" by Amal Dunqul; translated by Angry Arab News Service)

On Monday, Israeli warplanes bombed the offices of a man who has helped to save the lives of more Jews than anyone in the Knesset. That man is Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh has supported the ban on suicide missions which has lasted for more than two years despite the blockade of food, medicine, fuel, and electrical power to the Gaza Strip and despite the daily bombings, incursions, arrests, assassinations and countless other humiliations associated with occupation. Hundreds of Israeli civilians are alive today because Haniyeh and his Hams colleagues abandoned the armed struggle and entered politics.

On Friday, Israeli spokeswoman, Major Avital Leibovich, announced that "Hamas leaders were also marked men. We have defined legitimate targets as any Hamas-affiliated target." That means that Haniyeh is now on Israel's hit list.

In a February 2006 interview with the Washington Post, Haniyeh dispelled many of the lies circulating in the western media about Hamas. He said that he wanted to see an end the "vicious cycle of violence" and vehemently denied the claim that "Hamas is committed to destroying Israel". He said, "We do not have any feelings of animosity toward Jews. We do not wish to throw them into the sea. All we seek is to be given our land back, not to harm anybody....We are not war seekers nor are we war initiators. We are not lovers of blood. We are oppressed people with rights."

Wa Post: "Would Hamas recognize Israel if it were to withdraw to the '67 borders?"

Haniyeh: "If Israel withdraws to the '67 borders, then we will establish peace in stages... We will establish a situation of stability and calm which will bring safety for our people.

Wa Post: "Do you recognize Israel's right to exist?"

Haniyeh: "The answer is to let Israel say it will recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, release the prisoners and recognize the rights of the refugees to return to Israel. Hamas will have a position if this occurs."

Wa Post: "Will you recognize Israel?"

Haniyeh: "If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights, then we are ready to recognize them."

Haniyeh's answers are straightforward and rational. He asked for nothing that isn't already required under existing United Nations resolutions; a return to the 1967 borders, basic human rights, and settlement of the final status issues. An agreement could be facilitated tomorrow if Israel was willing to conform to international law. Instead, Israel has chosen to invade Gaza. For 60 years it has employed the same failed strategy.

Haniyeh again:

"Israel's unilateral movements of the past year will not lead to peace. These acts -- the temporary withdrawal of forces from Gaza, the walling off of the West Bank -- are not strides toward resolution but empty, symbolic acts that fail to address the underlying conflict. Israel's nearly complete control over the lives of Palestinians is never in doubt, as confirmed by the humanitarian and economic suffering of the Palestinians since the January elections."

"We want what Americans enjoy -- democratic rights, economic sovereignty and justice. We thought our pride in conducting the fairest elections in the Arab world might resonate with the United States and its citizens. Instead, our new government was met from the very beginning by acts of explicit, declared sabotage by the White House. Now this aggression continues against 3.9 million civilians living in the world's largest prison camps. America's complacency in the face of these war crimes is, as usual, embedded in the coded rhetorical green light: "Israel has a right to defend itself."

Haniyeh's efforts for reconciliation are doomed. Israel will not bargain or compromise. The Israeli state is driven by an ideology which requires continuous expansion and subjugation. There's nothing Haniyeh can do to change that. The answer to the present crisis lies within Zionism itself, the philosophical underpinning of Jewish nationalism.

In his recent article, "Israel's Righteous Fury and its Victims in Gaza", Ilan Pappe, the chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter, explains Zionism in terms of its effect on Israeli policy vis a vis the invasion of Gaza:

"There are no boundaries to the hypocrisy that a righteous fury produces. The discourse of the generals and the politicians is moving erratically between self-compliments of the humanity the army displays in its "surgical" operations on the one hand, and the need to destroy Gaza for once and for all, in a humane way of course, on the other.

This righteous fury is a constant phenomenon in the Israeli, and before that Zionist, dispossession of Palestine. Every act whether it was ethnic cleansing, occupation, massacre or destruction was always portrayed as morally just and as a pure act of self-defense reluctantly perpetrated by Israel in its war against the worst kind of human beings. In his excellent volume The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel, Gabi Piterberg explores the ideological origins and historical progression of this righteous fury. Today in Israel, from Left to Right, from Likud to Kadima, from the academia to the media, one can hear this righteous fury of a state that is more busy than any other state in the world in destroying and dispossessing an indigenous population.

It is crucial to explore the ideological origins of this attitude and derive the necessary political conclusions form its prevalence. This righteous fury shields the society and politicians in Israel from any external rebuke or criticism. But far worse, it is translated always into destructive policies against the Palestinians. With no internal mechanism of criticism and no external pressure, every Palestinian becomes a potential target of this fury. Given the firepower of the Jewish state it can inevitably only end in more massive killings, massacres and ethnic cleansing.

The self-righteousness is a powerful act of self-denial and justification. It explains why the Israeli Jewish society would not be moved by words of wisdom, logical persuasion or diplomatic dialogue. And if one does not want to endorse violence as the means of opposing it, there is only one way forward: challenging head-on this righteousness as an evil ideology meant to cover human atrocities. Another name for this ideology is Zionism and an international rebuke for Zionism, not just for particular Israeli policies, is the only way of countering this self-righteousness." ("Israel's Righteous Fury and its Victims in Gaza", Ilan Pappe)

It wouldn't make a bit of difference if Hamas surrendered tomorrow and handed-over all its weapons to Israel, because the problem isn't Hamas; it's Zionism, the deeply-flawed ideology which leads to bombing children in their homes while clinging to victim-hood. Ideas have consequences. Gaza proves it.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:50 pm

Kaz wrote:I was wrong, it appears it was Israel that broke the June ceasefire by raiding and killing Hamas members within Gaza [link]

And I'm sure it has nothing to do with the continuous rocketing of settlements in southern Israel by Hamas for the past few years, or the constant and consistent threat Hamas poses.

Kaz wrote:"Globally recognized terrorist organization" is more imperialist semantic. The qualifiers necessary to make it objectively accurate would also define the Israeli state as a terrorist organization. Israel also spends more money on things that end up terrorizing civilians as well. Of the two, Hamas does less harm to less people than Israel does.

Wow, this is almost as unbelievable as what you wrote about the Holocaust, but I'm not there yet. Are you of Arab descent? The "imperialist semantic" line seems rather loaded. So yes, I'd be very curious as to what your definition of terrorism actually is, because if it makes Israel a terrorist organization I imagine that any nation on the face of the planet that takes military action is also a terrorist organization, and if that doesn't seem stupid to you, we really do need stop having this conversation because there is no rational middle-ground we appear to be able to meet at. Simple fact: Israel was founded to provide the Jews a safe homeland (once again, poor choice of location, you can blame the British if you need someone to blame, but I'm more interested in the facts of what is than the opinions of what should have been), another simple fact, Hamas was founded to exterminate Israel and return the Palestinian people to their ancestral and rightful home. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is a terrorist.

And once again, since 1987 I'd be curious to see how the kills of Hamas stack up against Israeli retaliation against Hamas, especially the fucking GIANT discrepancy between Hamas's targets and Israel's.

Kaz wrote:You have got to be joking about the warning before bombing. They have done it in the past when targeting Hamas leaders during cock banging contests, but right now I'm pretty sure the 3 (we're up to 3 now) schools and the plethora of random civilian buildings that were hit didn't receive much in the sense of advance warnings. And in any case, in a wide scale attack like now, where the fuck can civilians go? Gaza is tiny as hell and boxed in by concrete walls and a naval blockade, remember? They need water, sewage, electricity, not to mention food. All basic infrastructure that are not working right now thanks to the IDF's "surgical" strikes.

And right now I'm pretty sure that if Israel hadn't given those warnings, lots more would be dead. And I'm also sure that Hamas never tells a CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY to vacate before a martyr blows it up. You're ignoring the fact that Israel is trying to reduce casualties while at war because it doesn't fit your view of the Palestinians as helpless refugees. Oh, and speaking of blaming Israel, isn't it fun how Egypt closed their borders when this conflict began because they don't want to deal with dirty Palestinian refugees? Man the Arab nations really do their part to help their brethren with money, land and aid don't they?

Israel has for years broadcasted targets that are in civilian areas to limit casualties. They announce their actions before hand to limit deaths. And, lastly, Israel makes its intentions clear before they attack so keep the number of innocents killed low. HAMAS DOES NOT. This is a simple case of compare/contrast for this point.

Yes, the people have nowhere to go, and yes their infrastructure has been destroyed. It's called war, it could be a hell of a lot worse if Israel didn't take the steps it did. But then again, you think it's wrong to defend your nation against attack. It would be better to let the Palestinians calibrate or whatever the fuck they do with their Iranian/Chinese rockets so they can get those last few miles in to Tel Aviv and start trashing it. Because clearly Hamas has the same concerns about taking down civilians that Israel has.

Can you really not see this? What is blinding you?

Kaz wrote:About 100 victims were women and children. It's a pretty vague figure because the IDF is still denying entry to journalists even when the Israeli Supreme Court ordered them to let them in Gaza 1 week ago, so we have to go by what a few foreign doctors are reporting. Speaking of doctors, at least 2 hospitals are shut down because their generators have run out of fuel. I wonder how many more will die because of that. Surely more than 15, the total amount of Israelis that have died to rockets since 2001.

Because clearly rockets are the only problem in an area of the world where suicide bombing soft targets is a way to martyrdom. Oh wait, those blockades you're so angsty about have cut those bombings down to practically nothing. We should probably tell Israel to let the blockades up because Hamas will totally behave itself and not use the opportunity to enact their GOAL OF DESTROYING ISRAEL THAT IS IN THEIR FUCKING CHARTER. Oh and clearly none of the other Arab nations that would love to see Israel vaporized would take advantage of that either. Totally safe decision to make. And the better Hamas's rockets get, and they are getting better, the more people will die, since they won't stop firing them.

Kaz wrote:The Palestinian land as delimited by the 1967 accord. Note that the entire region was almost all Palestinian except a few spots here and there until the British decided to "give" it to all Jews (imperialists love to give shit they don't own)

This was offered to the Palestinians and rejected. Also, what the fuck are you talking about? Britain didn't give anyone anything in '67, so clearly you must be talking about the '48 borders, but that makes no sense because you said according to the '67 accord which was a result of an overwhelming Arab attack on Israel, just the sort of proof that yes, lots of people do want to kill us.

"Never in human history can an aggressor have made his purpose known in advance so clearly and so widely. Certain of victory, both the Arab leaders and their peoples threw off all restraint. Between the middle of May and fifth of June, world-wide newspapers, radio and, most incisively, television brought home to millions of people the threat of politicide bandied about with relish by the leaders of these modern states. Even more blatant was the exhilaration which the Arabic peoples displayed as the prospect of executing genocide on the people of Israel ... In those three weeks of mounting tension people throughout the world watched and waited in growing anxiety--or in some cases, in hopeful expectation--for the overwhelming forces of at least Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq to bear down from three sides to crush tiny Israel and slaughter her people."

Oh and if Jews should be getting over everything from the Holocaust to the Inquisition, Arabs need to get over the fact the white man came, saw, conquered, divided up their land and now they have most of it back. Stop whining about it, geez [/sar]

Kaz wrote:That if the situation were reversed does not justify anything Israel is doing. Overpowering a mugger does not give you the right to shoot him even if that's what he would have done had you lost the struggle.

Don't you see the problem with Israel "allowing" aid in? It implies they also get to deny it. What the fuck gives them the right to deny humanitarian aid to Gaza? Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing that is human. Yet they regularly do it as "retaliation". The WFP is only getting anywhere between 8% and 20% of its daily food shipments through and that was before the attacks. Food that Gaza citizens need. The rest rots away in Israeli warehouses.

So you at least admit that Hamas is a "mugger" although "murderer" is a better term since their stated goals are related to murder while Israel's are related to national security and its continued existence. And why shouldn't you shoot someone who's mugged you lots and lots of times. Sure the neighborhood is bad and some other mugger will move in, but the hope is that you kill enough muggers (starting to sound like a racial epitaph now) they get the message.

And see a problem with Israel allowing aid in? I guess I do. No aid should be allowed in, it'd be much more effective means of destabilizing the population and being able to properly subjugate and massacre them. Because that is what Israel would do if it were Hamas, with the stated goal of eradicating the Palestinian people.

I have a haircut that I need to go to. But I'm far from done here. Feel free to rip apart my points while I'm gone but I still have your second post to touch down on.

Edit: Christ you posted a lot. And I read that NYTimes article, so I'll be back soon.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:22 am

You'll be thrilled to know Hamas voluntarily stopped suicide bombing on their own accord for a while and had completely stopped shooting rockets (which, as it turns out, are even more harmless than I initially thought. They're basically giant firecrackers and can only realistically kill if they directly hit someone) when they agreed to the ceasefire until ***Israel*** broke it in November by raiding Gaza and killing 6 Hamas members.

Bah whatever. You've swallowed the victimhood bullshit hook, line and sinker. I'm done with this. I'll just keep posting articles instead. Here's a good one from an Israeli Jew:

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe

Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions

by Avi Shlaim

The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.

The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.

Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.

Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.

America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.

As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.

Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.

It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.

The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.

The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".

To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.

The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.

A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It did so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.

No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.

This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:40 am

You know how victims often become victimizers? Beaten children becoming child beaters and all that? Welp, it does appear that genocidees can and do become genociders if left unchecked or indeed, fully supported with unconditional and nearly unlimited funding.

The worst part of it all is the propaganda. The blatant and merciless aggressor pretending to be the victim. It's sickening.

FYI some doctors and medics died today or was that yesterday? Shit I don't know. I'm sure it was all the Hamas' fault and there's nothing the IDF could do and yadda yadda barf

That was a hospital or a clinic, I forgot. They also shot up a few ambulances.

Also I saw the picture of a baby, a fucking baby in the hands of his father, with a bullet hole in the head. Or maybe I was watching al-jazeera? I forgot. anyway I'm sure the IDF had no choice there either

Fuck your imperialist victim-card-playing genocide apologism, is what I'm saying Melli.
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Re: Israel

Postby StrikeRaider » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:28 am

It's sort of gotten to the point where you just gotta be like 'WHAT THE FUCK is Israel doing?'

Keep posting the articles thanks.
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Re: Israel

Postby Gorbadoc » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:43 pm

Melli wrote:So you at least admit that Hamas is a "mugger" although "murderer" is a better term since their stated goals are related to murder while Israel's are related to national security and its continued existence. And why shouldn't you shoot someone who's mugged you lots and lots of times. Sure the neighborhood is bad and some other mugger will move in, but the hope is that you kill enough muggers (starting to sound like a racial epitaph now) they get the message.

Your metaphor is wrong, and you've set a double-standard. The Palestinians feel that their existence is threatened by Israel. Israeli settlement policy suggests that this fear is warranted. How would you have them defend themselves? Or do they not have the right to fight for their own survival? Is that a luxury reserved for Israel?

To you, it's an issue of us-versus-them. If you really self-identify with Israel, then that's fine for deciding who you want to see be well off at the end of the day. But that's the extent of it. To decide how best to make Israel be well off, you can't pretend like Palestinians are all criminals; you can't downplay the significance of Palestinian civilian casualties.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 pm

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:44 pm

Israel doesn't want to negotiate because to do so would be to legitimize the demands of Palestinians. It's the same reason why they don't recognize its statehood: to do so would imply Palestinians have a claim to the land. To them, Palestinians are nothing more than human trash littering their glorious Greater Israel.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:59 pm

It's perfectly obvious when you look at Gaza. People aren't there because they choose to, they've been herded there by Israel since 1948. They used to live elsewhere, where the newcomers didn't want them. And now they walled them off completely from all sides, control (read: deny) everything coming in and out. The 2005 pullout was only so they could raid and bomb it at will without risking the lives of soldiers or settlers. It's brilliant.

It's a giant fucking concentration camp.
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Re: Israel

Postby Cassiel » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:55 pm

Kaz wrote:Bah whatever. You've swallowed the victimhood bullshit hook, line and sinker.

Or maybe you've swallowed every bullshit critique of imperialism spawned by Edward Said?

And why does the sum total of your rhetorical skill seem to be the "you only think that because you drank the Kool-Aid!" line? It's a fucking joke, and if I had the time I'd uncork Perelman's Treatise on Argumentation and break every one of your posts down by chapter and verse.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:59 pm

I realize I'm terrible at argumentation, especially in this thread. I try to be cool and collect my thoughts but it's too much. I'm overwhelmed by a profound sense of disgust when I see powerless human beings stuck in abject poverty being attacked and portrayed somehow either as aggressors of a immensely more powerful and wealthy nation or as acceptable and unfortunate "collateral damage" in the War on Terrorism™.

But even then, even as I'm trying right now to be neutral and eloquent, I really don't understand how anyone could think otherwise. Palestinians are being treated like vermin, they are not allowed their own agency, freedom of movement on their own land or self-determination in anything that isn't of extremely limited scope. They are constantly harassed and harried at every opportunity. How can one believe Israel is the victim and "defending" itself unless you drank the Kool-Aid?

Look at Gaza. It's a prison. Nothing can come in, even less can come out. There are no resources, it's tiny as hell and it's jam packed full of people. How can people be treated like this unless they're seen as subhuman? How is it any different than the Warsaw ghetto?
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:27 am

I should not be posting, but I have to say just a couple things. Kaz, what's really pissing me off about your view, as I see it, is that you are an uncompromising Palestinian apologist. You accuse me of something about imperislam and genocide but all I do is list the causes of shit, the reasons for behavior. I don't call it compeltely justified but it is completely understandable, and yet you persist in throwing it all out because it might threaten your views just a smidge. and you act like the palestinians have done nothing wrong, when in fact they are just as culpable in the history of this conflict as the israelis. you talk of the imperialist influences that cause this conflict well what about the way the Arab nations and China and Rudssia msuppor tthe fonclit?

what i say is pefectly reasonable and plausible and above all rational, the only way to end this conflict is for the world to actually desire to end it and fully spport a palestinain and israeli peace. and it will take the whole world, or at least the countries taht run the world. it seems to me that although I am open to ideas, and horried that israel has say done soemthign like: Israeli forces shelled a house in the Gaza Strip which they had moved around 110 Palestinians into 24 hours earlier, the UN quotes witnesses as saying.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called it "one of the gravest incidents" since the beginning of the offensive.

The shelling at Zeitoun, a south-east suburb of Gaza City, on 5 January killed some 30 people, the report said.

Israel said the allegations were being investigated.

"According to several testimonies, on 4 January Israeli foot soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitoun (half of whom were children) warning them to stay indoors," the OCHA report said.

"Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30."

That's undefendable. but in context it is explicable. blame and overly emotional rhetoric will do nthing but inflaemt his conflict on every concievable level, and our opinions are almost as important towards ending it as the israelis and the palestinians because of the international nature of this conflict. and its my birthday tomnorrow wooooooooooo
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Re: Israel

Postby Zeuter » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:20 am

And you're drunk already? :P

Edit: Woah, it took a whole of three pages for this thread to be derailed, plus a drunken Melli. I think that's a new record.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:59 pm

Haha you're hilarious melli. Like it's ME who has preestablished views that are being threatened hahahahahaha. I'm whitey mccracker from north america. If anything I should be pro-Israel by default. But since I oppose disenfranchisement, racism and genocide it sort of makes it hard for me to be.

Anyway more articles, not gonna paste em all, there's too much.

Here's something to make you realize how small the Gaza strip is (1.5 million people living on 139 square miles). Remember it's walled off and they cannot leave:

IDF drone targets and bombs children: ... 819819.stm

Baby with a bullet hole in the head about 2 minutes in: ... annel_page

IDF uses white phosphorus (the stuff that burns through flesh and bone like it's dry kindling): ... 447590.ece

"Israel is not going to show restraint" -Israeli foreign minister ... inionsbox1

This is old but it includes IDF destroying a zoo and snipers practicing headshots on children, with the follow up excuses:

Two good Frisk articles: ... 30046.html ... 97595.html

Israel is committing war crimes: (wall street journal! a murdoch rag!) ... lenews_wsj

The IDF said they'll be increasing the intensity of their "operation", so stay tuned for more exciting war crimes. To do so you could watch online the english channel of aljazeera since western media is so useless (their journalistic effort is to repeat word for word what an Israel or IDF spokesperson said). Here:

What's awesome about AJ is they pay well and censor absolutely nothing. Beat reporters love not having to water down everything so they don't make suburban WASPs uncomfortable. They're not just reporting on the middle east, they also made a great piece explaining the credit crisis, what caused it and what's to be expected in the future.

Some good news!

A boycott could be effective on Israel since they're so dependent on exports like south africa's apartheid was: ... ott-israel

Orthodox rabbi speaks out against zionism at a rally:

In general orthodox Jews are pretty kick ass when it comes to Israel. There's a huge community of them here in Montreal and they're very vocal critics of Israel. So there's hope.

Pictures (nothing gross):

Kassam rocket
Does it look like a giant firecracker to you? That's because it is. Hence why they basically never kill anyone. Here's Israel's totally rational, justified and appropriate retaliation:
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Re: Israel

Postby Dr.Mellifluous » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:58 am

Kaz wrote:Haha you're hilarious melli. Like it's ME who has preestablished views that are being threatened hahahahahaha. I'm whitey mccracker from north america. If anything I should be pro-Israel by default. But since I oppose disenfranchisement, racism and genocide it sort of makes it hard for me to be.

You're right. I give up. You don't respond to reason on this subject for some reason, nor do you respond to what I write. I believe that Israel is not morally justified for the total extent of its actions during this particular episode, but over all I believe that Hamas is just as culpable for the lack of peace as Israel. And I believe that the other nations of the world also hold equal shares of blame. I believe that peace will only come about when a majority truly try to effect it, and that both Israel and Palestine/Hamas must be invested in it. You disagree with all of these, so far as I can tell, and place the blame and solution solely on Israel's shoulders. This is not rational or thoughtful in my view. So, here we part ways.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:58 am

Fine, I'll try.

Hamas did bad shit, we know. Except, oops, Israel has always retaliated, disproportionately, against Palestine as a whole. Or Lebanon with Hezbollah. Or whoever. Also they don't recognize Palestinian statehood at all, which is hypocritical considering how they keep crying various factions of the middle east don't recognize their "right to exist". Even better - since the Palestinian election in 2006, Hamas has stated they were willing to negotiate long term peace with Israel if they agreed to return to the 1967 borders in which Israel holds about 60% of the land (as opposed to the 90% or whatever they have now), which is an implicit recognition of Israel's legitimacy as a state. That wasn't good enough for Israel. Indeed, NOTHING is good enough for Israel in this matter. Only the complete unconditional surrender of all Palestinians will suffice. Many Israeli government officials have publicly stated as much over the years. So again, which side isn't willing to give peace a chance, according to your O so neutral and rational point of view?

The problem here is you still give Israel the benefit of the doubt when they have done nothing to show they're willing to do anything to compromise. Their answer to any sort of threat, real or imagined, has always been overwhelmingly belligerent with no holds barred. Whenever they do something so tragic even the massively pro-Israel western media has to report it, we always have to take their word that they really didn't mean it or had a really good reason to. And for some reason that's always enough. Beat reporters and aid workers frequently report instead that the IDF tends to have a callous disregard for "collateral damage". Why aren't we believing them?

Shit, up until fairly recently I was fairly neutral/pro-Israel whenever shit started up in that region and just believed whatever I heard on the news. But then I thought about it, read about it a little more and connected the dots. What little that trickles its way back to us is heavily censored and reported with an implicit "well of COURSE Israel is doing the right thing" filled with tacit racism toward brown people. I don't believe in extremes and absolutes, but the Israel/Palestine conflict is pretty close.
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Re: Israel

Postby Herosbane » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:11 pm

Whether or not you two realize it, you've put up quite the interesting debate. I take many opportunities to talk about real shit.

Last night I brought this up at a party, had a good chat. Seemed like most of my friends were falling on the Palestinian side, except for two jewish girls who refused to talk about it.
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Re: Israel

Postby Kaz » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:56 pm

Speaking which, I don't have a link handy, but I saw a poll that showed jewish americans are less favorable toward Israel than the rest of americans.

Meanwhile, the IDF's ever so careful bombing wounds Egyptians. In Egypt. ... dUSLB23204

Bush has on several occasions denied Israel weapons and permission to strike Iran's nuclear complex (must be more self-defense) ... index.html


Who will save Israel from itself?

By Mark LeVine

The Israeli government's justifications for the war are being scrutinised

One by one the justifications given by Israel for its latest war in Gaza are unravelling.

The argument that this is a purely defensive war, launched only after Hamas broke a six-month ceasefire has been challenged, not just by observers in the know such as Jimmy Carter, the former US president who helped facilitate the truce, but by centre-right Israeli intelligence think tanks.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose December 31 report titled "Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report," confirmed that the June 19 truce was only "sporadically violated, and then not by Hamas but instead by ... "rogue terrorist organisations".

Instead, "the escalation and erosion of the lull arrangement" occurred after Israel killed six Hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire Strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.

According to a joint Tel Aviv University-European University study, this fits a larger pattern in which Israeli violence has been responsible for ending 79 per cent of all lulls in violence since the outbreak of the second intifada, compared with only 8 per cent for Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

Indeed, the Israeli foreign ministry seems to realise that this argument is losing credibility.

During a conference call with half a dozen pro-Israel professors on Thursday, Asaf Shariv, the Consul General of Israel in New York, focused more on the importance of destroying the intricate tunnel system connecting Gaza to the Sinai.

He claimed that such tunnels were "as big as the Holland and Lincoln tunnels," and offered as proof the "fact" that lions and monkeys had been smuggled through them to a zoo in Gaza. In reality, the lions were two small cubs that were drugged, thrown in sacks, and dragged through a tunnel on their way to a private zoo.

Israel's self-image

The claim that Hamas will never accept the existence of Israel has proved equally misinformed, as Hamas leaders explicitly announce their intention to do just that in the pages of the Los Angeles Times or to any international leader or journalist who will meet with them.

With each new family, 10, 20 and 30 strong, buried under the rubble of a building in Gaza, the claim that the Israeli forces have gone out of their way to diminish civilian casualties - long a centre-piece of Israel's image as an enlightened and moral democracy - is falling apart.

Anyone with an internet connection can Google "Gaza humanitarian catastrophe" and find the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories and read the thousands of pages of evidence documenting the reality of the current fighting, and the long term siege on Gaza that preceded it.

The Red Cross, normally scrupulous in its unwillingness to single out parties to a conflict for criticism, sharply criticised Israel for preventing medical personnel from reaching wounded Palestinians, some of whom remained trapped for days, slowly starving and dying in the Gazan rubble amidst their dead relatives.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has flatly denied Israeli claims that Palestinian fighters were using the UNRWA school compound bombed on January 6, in which 40 civilians were killed, to launch attacks, and has challenged Israel to prove otherwise.

War crimes admission

Additionally, numerous flippant remarks by senior Israeli politicians and generals, including Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, refusing to make a distinction between civilian people and institutions and fighters - "Hamas doesn't ... and neither should we" is how Livni puts it - are rightly being seen as admissions of war crimes.

Indeed, in reviewing statements by Israeli military planners leading up to the invasion, it is clear that there was a well thought out decision to go after Gaza's civilian infrastructure - and with it, civilians.

The following quote from an interview with Major-General Gadi Eisenkot that appeared in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth in October, is telling:

"We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective these [the villages] are military bases," he said.

"This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorised."

Causing "immense damage and destruction" and considering entire villages "military bases" is absolutely prohibited under international law.

Eisenkot's description of this planning in light of what is now unfolding in Gaza is a clear admission of conspiracy and intent to commit war crimes, and when taken with the comments above, and numerous others, renders any argument by Israel that it has tried to protect civilians and is not engaging in disproportionate force unbelievable.

International laws violated

On the ground, the evidence mounts ever higher that Israel is systematically violating a host of international laws, including but not limited to Article 56 of the IV Hague Convention of 1907, the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Convention, the Fourth Geneva Convention (more specifically known as the "Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949", the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the principles of Customary International Humanitarian Law.

None of this excuses or legitimises the firing of rockets or mortars by any Palestinian group at Israeli civilians and non-military targets.

As Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur, declared in his most recent statement on Gaza: "It should be pointed out unambiguously that there is no legal (or moral) justification for firing rockets at civilian targets, and that such behavior is a violation of IHR, associated with the right to life, as well as constitutes a war crime."

By the same logic, however, Israel does not have the right to use such attacks as an excuse to launch an all-out assault on the entire population of Gaza.

In this context, even Israel's suffering from the constant barrage of rockets is hard to pay due attention to when the numbers of dead and wounded on each side are counted. Any sense of proportion is impossible to sustain with such a calculus.

'Rogue' state

Israeli commentators and scholars, self-described "loyal" Zionists who served proudly in the army in wars past, are now publicly describing their country, in the words of Oxford University professor Avi Shlaim, as a "rogue" and gangster" state led by "completely unscrupulous leaders".

Gazans inspect the damage after an air strike hit a mosque [GALLO/GETTY]

Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, has declared that Israel's actions in Gaza are like "raising animals for slaughter on a farm" and represent a "bizarre new moral element" in warfare.

"The moral voice of restraint has been left behind ... Everything is permitted" against Palestinians, writes a disgusted Haaretz columnist, Gideon Levy.

Fellow Haaretz columnist and daughter of Holocaust survivors, Amira Haas writes of her late parents disgust at how Israeli leaders justified Israel's wars with a "language laundromat" aimed at redefining reality and Israel's moral compass. "Lucky my parents aren't alive to see this," she exclaimed.

Around the world people are beginning to compare Israel's attack on Gaza, which after the 2005 withdrawal of Israeli forces and settlers was turned literally into the world's largest prison, to the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Extremist Muslims are using internet forums to collect names and addresses of prominent European Jews with the goal, it seems clear, of assassinating them in retaliation for Israel's actions in Gaza.

Al-Qaeda is attempting to exploit this crisis to gain a foothold in Gaza and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, as well as through attacking Jewish communities globally.

Iran's defiance of both Israel and its main sponsor, the US, is winning it increasing sympathy with each passing day.

Democratic values eroded

Inside Israel, the violence will continue to erode both democratic values in the Jewish community, and any acceptance of the Jewish state's legitimacy in the eyes of its Palestinian citizens.

And yet in the US - at least in Washington and in the offices of the mainstream Jewish organisations - the chorus of support for Israel's war on Gaza continues to sing in tight harmony with official Israeli policy, seemingly deaf to the fact that they have become so out of tune with the reality exploding around them.

At my university, UCI, where last summer Jewish and Muslim students organised a trip together through the occupied territories and Israel so they could see with their own eyes the realities there, old battle lines are being redrawn.

The Anteaters for Israel, the college pro-Israel group at the University of California, Irvine, sent out an urgent email to the community explaining that, "Over the past week, increasing amounts of evidence lead us to believe that Hamas is largely responsible for any alleged humanitarian crisis in Gaza".

I have no idea who the "us" is that is referred to in the appeal, although I am sure that the membership of that group is shrinking.

Indeed, one of the sad facts of this latest tragedy is that with each claim publicly refuted by facts on the ground, more and more Americans, including Jews, are refusing to trust the assertions of Israeli and American Jewish leaders.


Even worse, in the Arab/Muslim world, the horrific images pouring out of Gaza daily are allowing preachers and politicians to deploy well-worn yet still dangerous and inciteful stereotypes against Jews as they rally the masses against Israel - and through it - their own governments.

What is most frightening is that the most important of Israel's so-called friends, the US political establishment and the mainstream Jewish leadership, seem clueless to the devastating trap that Israel has led itself into - in good measure with their indulgence and even help.

It is one that threatens the country's existence far more than any Qassam rockets, with their 0.4 per cent kill rate; even more than the disastrous 2006 invasion of southern Lebanon, which by weakening Israel's deterrence capability in some measure made this war inevitable.

First, it is clear that Israel cannot destroy Hamas, it cannot stop the rockets unless it agrees to a truce that will go far to meeting the primary demand of Hamas - an end to the siege.

Merely by surviving (and it surely will survive) Hamas, like Hezbollah in 2006, will have won.

Support for the war remains high in Israel[GALLO/GETTY]

Israel is succeeding in doing little more than creating another generation of Palestinians with hearts filled with rage and a need for revenge.

Second, Israel's main patron, the US, along with the conservative Arab autocracies and monarchies that are its only allies left in the Muslim world, are losing whatever crumbs of legitimacy they still had with their young and angry populations.

The weaker the US and its axis becomes in the Middle East, the more precarious becomes Israel's long-term security. Indeed, any chance that the US could convince the Muslim world to pressure Iran to give up its quest for nuclear weapons has been buried in Gaza.

Third, as Israel brutalises Palestinians, it brutalises its own people. You cannot occupy another people and engage in violence against them at this scale without doing even greater damage to your soul.

The high incidence of violent crimes committed by veterans returning from combat duty in Iraq is but one example of how the violence of occupation and war eat away at people's moral centre.

While in the US only a small fraction of the population participates in war; in Israel, most able-bodied men end up participating.

The effects of the latest violence perpetrated against Palestinians upon the collective Israeli soul is incalculable; the notion that it can survive as an "ethnocracy" - favouring one ethnic group, Jews, yet by and large democratic - is becoming a fiction.


Who will save Israel from herself?

Israelis are clearly incapable. Their addiction as a society to the illusion of violence-as-power has reached the level of collective mental illness.

As Haaretz reporter Yossi Melman described it on January 10, "Israel has created an image of itself of a madman that has lost it".

Not Palestinians, too many of whom have fallen prey to the same condition.

Not the Middle East Quartet, the European Union, the United Nations, or the Arab League, all of whom are utterly powerless to influence Israeli policy.

Not the organised Jewish leadership in the US and Europe, who are even more blind to what is happening than most Israelis, who at least allow internal debate about the wisdom of their government's policies.

Not the growing progressive Jewish community, which will need years to achieve enough social and political power to challenge the status quo.

And not senior American politicians and policy-makers who are either unwilling to risk alienating American Jewish voters, or have been so brainwashed by the constant barrage of propaganda put out by the "Israel Lobby" that they are incapable of reaching an independent judgment about the conflict.

During the US presidential race, Barack Obama was ridiculed for being a messiah-like figure. The idea does not sound so funny now. It is hard to imagine anyone less saving Israel, the Palestinians, and the world from another four years of mindless violence.

Mark LeVine is a professor of Middle East history at the University of California, Irvine, and is the author of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam and the soon to be published An Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989.
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Re: Israel

Postby boogieman » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:39 am

Kaz, thanks for posting those articles they are really interesting.
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Re: Israel

Postby Ryzel » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:53 am

Man, just spent an hour and a half reading this thread. I admit at first I was like "woah Kaz wtf w/ any hate on Israel", but that just goes to show how ignorant I was/still am on the situation. I feel I can see both points a little bit better now. I think I need more information on the actual beginnings of the situation, like how the land was drawn up, who did it, and most importantly, what the initial motivations were of Israel and Palestine.

Melli, you know I think you're the bee's knees. It seems that one of the biggest gripes you've had these past three pages regarding Kaz is that Hamas TARGETS civilians while IDF "goes out of its way" to protect civilians in various ways (by the way, the only reason I put that in quotes is that it is possible that there are other motivations for doing the things they do that may just end up also protecting civilians, but I agree they put less emphasis on targetting civilians (at least publicly...never know when a country is secretly plotting shit)).

What I THINK Kaz is saying (I'm by no means qualified to make arguments or any of that jazz, at least on the level I've seen here, but I think I'm capable enough to understand points, however if I'm totally wrong Kaz just do bad things to me) is that regardless of what each side says they're targetting, the fact of the matter is that waaaaaay more Palestinian civilians have been killed than Isreali civilians. There's semantics and there's fact. Melli, I'm sure you know this, but I just haven't seen you acknowledge it, so I felt I'd say it.

God damn I wish I could construct points eloquently. I probably could, but I'd spend forever, and I don't think I can say anything any better than it's been said already, so why try with the quality. I'll just be an uncouth, illiterate cad and use pop culture references and somewhat common vocabulary to say what's on my mind.

Like I said, I wish I knew more about the beginnings, but it seems Israel and Palestine NEVER had any intention on coexisting peacefully as neighbor states. Palestine lost land and wanted it back, Israel got land and wanted to keep it. Certain parts of Israel that came to power wanted even more land. Palestine still wanted back the old land. Add in shitton of religious issues. A compromise couldn't be made. War ensued. Israel got more backing and resources than Palestine. Israel won.

When two sides want the same thing, they duke it out. They duke it out in every way they know how. And they play to win.

When Israel says it's doing all this bad stuff in "self-defense", I don't believe for a second that it's from any IMMEDIATE need for self-defense. They've already won. However, Hamas hides behind civilians and the Palestinian people have shown that they will stand up for what they believe in, which is that Gaza is theirs. These two factors among others show that Israel can't diplomatically take what they want, which is why they will and have used excessive force to dominate them. It's fucking horrible and I detest it. But it's like Ender's Game; when you fight for your life you play to win. If your enemy has shown him/herself to have devoted her entire existence to destroying yours, than you have no choice but to utterly destroy your enemy. But (and this is a big but), in any other circumstance it would be an unforgivable atrocity.

The question it would be cool to know the answer to is, if Palestine was allowed to rebuild, all the checkpoints taken out, land restored to '67 accord or whatever that was (god I'm ignorant), would it be content to not attack Israel? If yes, then sweet. If not, then Palestine's annihilation would be justified for self-defense.

Problem is, Israel isn't going to give Palestine that chance. Or rather, they "have" by turning Gaza into a reservation/concentration camp for a couple years (oh yeah, that will help get the minds of the Palestinians on the right track for peace), and then (apparently) invading anyway. Israel is manipulating shit to expand instead of giving them a chance, which I think is fucked up.

Ugh. The problem all lies with motivations. I think at the beginning the motivations of Palestine were to exterminate Israel and get land back, and for Israel it was to defend itself. But that was the beginning and this is now, and it seems the roles are reversed. Basically, I guess what I'm trying to say ultimately, is that while Israel MIGHT be morally justified in doing what it's doing now, it's definitely doing so for the wrong reasons, if that makes any sense.

Bah, I'm tired and didn't finish this post the way I wanted to. Ah well, I might edit it later.
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Re: Israel

Postby reddwhite » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:00 am

In my opinion( which isnt very informed on the subject ). I would say that Israel does have the right to defend its sovernty and territorial borders. I think most of the people responding here are more worried about justifying their own beliefs then actually trying to see the situation as a whole. Lets look a it from another angle.

It should be obvious to all that both sides should have a right to have security in their borders. It should also be obvious that both sides want the other to give them what they want( or feal they need to have said security, or the sense of it) so they will be secure. Now that is not even a possibility since hamas wants to see Isreal destroyed and Isreal wants to survive. This puts them at odds from both of their core value or belief systems whatever. It is like trying to mix water and oil, it wont work they always seperate out. Since both sides have a different idea of should happen neither is right or wrong. They are both right and wrong but in different ways. Yes Isreal treats them like shit, that is just obvious. Hamas is no better, defending either side is just foolish if they both wrong as all hell.

Now having said that we will take a littl trip back in time to Pearl Harbor. We ( americans) were attacked by the Japanese at our paific fleets most important harbor and we took alot of casualties. Now compare our response to that, we rape the japanese all the way across the pacific and then drop 2 nukes on 2 cities to end the war we didnt start. Or did we, as matter of fact we made it so they had litl choice but to attack us. We were supplying their enemies with weapons and denying them resources they needed to fight a war they thought they should have been able to have. We disagreed and did our best o hurt them through economic and political means. But does that mean they were justified in attacking us? They thought so we didnt. Two opposing forces are not going to see comon ground unless there is a benefit. We lost what about 4,000 people at Pearl Harbor? And justified the horrible screaming deaths of hundreds of thousands of japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 4k vs hundreds of thousands doesnt seem like even close to a even response does it? We didnt start the war, or did we?

I guess the point im trying to make is.( hopfully i made one :) ) There will never be a justifiably measured response to violence that all sides think is fare , it is just not ever going to happen. It cant, violence and pain and suffering only beget more of the same. This has been known by the same people that have been fighting this same war for thousands of years for no reason but he did she said i dont like them stupidity that is ingrained in us all from birth. We are all( by we I mean humanity) fundamentaly flawed at so many lvls it is silly.We can only try to educate this out of our world ,short of that the strong will impose their will on the weak forever and which ever side that has the best guns will be the one doing the most killing. Violence is part of us if it werent we would have a vastly different history then the one i learned in school.
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