Stories from Gaza.

Code- named ‘Operation Cast Lead’, news station, Al Jazeera predicted that approximately 1000 Gazans have been killed or injured at time of blogging. BBC reported at least 227 casualties with at least 700 wounded while AP figures are at 230 dead with more than 400 wounded. In the last report, 100 tons of bombs are utilised in the first nine hours of bombing while at least 20 airstrikes are recorded in the first hours of Sunday.

The horror stories of the bombing have also been streaming in from alternative media in ground zero.

Writes Dr Eyad Al Serraj, a practising psychologist, writing for Counterpunch:

‘ The bombing went on for about 10 minutes. It was like an earthquake on top of your head. The windows were shaking and squeaking. My 10-year-old was terrified, he was jumping from one place to another trying to hide. I held him tight to my chest and tried to give him some security and reassure him. My 12-year-old was panicking and began laughing hysterically, it’s not normal. I held her hand and calmed her and told her she would be safe. My wife was panicking. She was running around the apartment looking for somewhere to hide…’

Safa Joudeh, a freelance journalist in Gaza gives a more alarming account of the carnage:

‘… What followed seems pretty much surreal at this point. Never had we imagined anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I’m in the middle of it and a few hours have passed already passed.

Six locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza City. The images are probably not broadcasted on US news channels. There were piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you looked at them you could see that a few of the young men were still alive, someone lifts a hand, and another raises his head. They probably died within moments because their bodies were burned, most had lost limbs, some of their guts were hanging out and they were all lying in pools of blood. Outside my home which is close to the two largest universities in Gaza, a missile fell on a large group of young men, university students. They’d been warned not to stand in groups as it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. Seven were killed, four students and three of our neighbors’ kids, young men who were from the Rayes family and were best friends. As I’m writing this I can hear a funeral procession go by outside; I looked out the window a moment ago and it was the three Rayes boys. They spent all their time together when they were alive, they died together and now they are sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14-year-old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn’t spoken a word since…’

And my personal favourite blogger, El-Haddad who attributes the latest attack to, ‘the rains of death in Gaza’:

‘… My mother was in the Red Crescent Society clinic near the universities at the time of the initial wave of attacks, where she works part-time as a pediatrician. Behind the clinic was one of the police centers that was leveled. She said she broke down at first, the sheer proximity of the attacks having shaken her from the inside out. After she got a hold of herself, they took to treating injured victims of the attack, before they transferred them to al-Shifa hospital. There, she said, medical necessities were in short supply: face masks, surgical gloves, gowns, etc…’

(Originally posted at Political Duo)

joni

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259 Responses

  1. Joni
    Just how long do you think that Israel should have endured the constant provocations of Hamas’s missiles and mortars without responding?
    When you poke a bear with a sharp stick often enough it is going to bite you, very hard. Now Israel wants to make it clear that continuing to fire rockets and Mortars will cost the Palestinians so much that they will not think it worth while to do so. In fact they should at least get recognition for the use of accurate targeting that has seen civilian causalities kept to a minimum
    Hamas clearly wanted war when it walked away from the truce a couple of weeks ago and Now they have it.and all of their police, their infrastructure and their leadership are legitimate targets.

  2. On occasions like this those proud Hamas soldiers, images from the past captured on TV file footage marching down any Gazan street calling for the destruction of Israel and death to jews, become Palestinian civilians. They are counted in the dead so as to swell the casualty numbers. Up until now Israel has forborne from striking back but that couldn’t possibly continue. The lessons from Lebanon have been lost on the Palestinians.

    Why kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

  3. The Israelis warned them there would be repercussions from continued attacks in the wake of the breaking of the truce. I’m not surprised they hit back.

  4. Iain

    The attacks on Gaza were planned BEFORE the end of the cease fire.

  5. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050426.html

    This is from Haaeetz – an Israeli newspaper:

    Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.

    The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.

  6. Israel said the campaign that began on Saturday was a response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire that intensified after Hamas, an Islamist group in charge of the coastal enclave (that) Israel quit in 2005, ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.

    Hamas, which won a parliamentary election in 2006 but was shunned by the West over its refusal to renounce violence and recognise Israel turned Saturday into one of the bloodiest days for Palestinians in 60 years of conflict

    Story Link: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24851791-38201,00.html

    Now, are we supporting Hamas for firing rockets into Isreal?
    and…Condemning Isreal for retaliating?
    or…
    Condemning Hamas for firing rockets into Isreal?
    and…Supporting Isreal for retaliating?

    I’m old enough to remember the Six Day War (started by Egypt BTW) – I’m pretty well convinced that if Isreal wanted to take over the Gaza Strip AND Sinai Peninsula, again – it could…

    …how would you feel if your neighbour was throwing rocks over your fence every day and occasionally hitting your friends and family…and the police couldn’t help…and you couldn’t just sell up and move…and your mates wouldn’t help ’cause they didn’t want to start a gang war…just sit in your house and take it? Eventually…after say, sixty years…you might be getting a bit peeved!

  7. And do not get me wrong, I am not saying that Israel does not have a right to defend themselves, but is continuing violence, the blockade of aid and the vilification of all Palestinians really the answer?

  8. 4. joni

    Its called military intelligence and strategic planning…joni

    Hamas must be fairly predictable (particularly to the Isreali Defence Force – its sworn to eliminate Isreal from the planet – bit like Adolph’s plan, if memory serves…

  9. 7. joni

    No

    Suggestions :

    stopping the rockets might have beeen a good start
    renewing the ceasefire might have been a good start
    recognising that Isrealis exist might be a good start…

  10. And what of the allegations that the attacks are useful for the contenders for the leadership of Israel?

    Coincidence?

    This from a letter to todays SMH:

    The Israeli killings in Gaza are being carried out in the run-up to the Israeli elections. One of three political leaders is likely to lead the inevitable coalition that forms the next government.

    Ehud Barak leads the Labor Party, is a former defence force commander and is currently Defence Minister. He is strident in his support for the raids, knowing from bitter experience that there are no votes in seeking peace with the Palestinians. It cost him the prime ministership previously.

    Tzipi Livni is the leader of Kadima, following the overthrow of the caretaker prime minister Ehud Olmert. She is a former Mossad member , the Foreign Minister and an even more determined supporter of the raids.

    The third leader is Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Likud, champion of the settler movement and the expansion of the settlements. His voice has not been heard on the news coverage here, but it is his big lead in the polls that underlies the strident tones of Barak and Livni. He is supported by the ultra religious and extreme right parties who see no place for any Palestinians west of the Jordan.

    Given this set of circumstances, we can expect the Israeli election campaign to continue to be fought with Palestinian blood.

    Don Brown McLeods Shoot

    And this from Paul McGeough:

    The timing of the expiration of a six-month truce that had held shakily between Israel and the elected Hamas government in Gaza has proved doubly opportune for the Israeli political establishment.

  11. 10. joni

    So how dumb of the Hamas leadership to fall into this (supposed) political quagmire…brought about by…Hamas breaking the ceasefire, by firing rockets at Israel, rather than re-negotiating a new ceasefire or simply recognising a state of Israel exists…

    refer to my “suggestions” @ 9 above…

    As I stated on ‘tother thread – Hamas has its own, Middle East War, agenda/strategy, to eliminate Israel with the assistance of other Arab states…

  12. Joni
    #4
    All nations create contingency plans in a time of war and hope that they never have to be brought into play, sadly on this occasion they could not be left on the back burner.
    That is how the real world works my dear

  13. “my dear”?

  14. Sorry JonI your apparent naivety inspired me to be be rather more patronising than necessary.

  15. “This is from Haaeetz – an Israeli newspaper:
    Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.

    The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.”

    Joni, if the above is true, and I don’t doubt if for one minute, we should expect to see the Palestinian Defence Minister, the Palestinian Secret Service Minister, the Palestinian Minister of State and, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal all tender their resignations without delay. They are all guilty of being asleep at the wheel.

  16. Both sides are guilty of no ceasefire
    Both sides lack the ability to negotiate.
    Both side are little boys with mens weapons.
    When these two sides try to make a point innocent lives are lost.
    When two sides that lack brains get together you end up with war.

    These leaders are hurting there own people.

  17. Iain,

    I am not naive – I read a lot from both sides and I am not blinkered in thinking that only one side is to blame.

    But I am absolutely sure that there is one group of people is suffering: both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

  18. No Arab nation will accept Israel in the region and eventually that state will not exist!

    http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20081112_9326.php

    Iran will nuke them in the next five years but Israel will attempt to take out their nuclear facilities but will that prevent them from procuring weapons grade material from North Korea or the vast amount that has disappeared after the break up of the Soviet Union???

  19. Well it seems that the “Israel at all costs” brigade are out in force.

    It seems that to them, the slaughter of Palestinians is OK – and somehow “justified” by the use of the (largely ineffectual) firing of rockets from Gaza, allegedly by Hamas militants.

    It seems to me that such people have lost sight of the concept of “proportional response” as a justification for action by the Israelis –

    “Israel blames Hamas for primitive homemade rocket attacks on the nearby Israeli city of Sederot. In 2001-2008, these rockets killed about 15 Israelis and injured 433, and they have damaged property. In the same period, Gazan mortar attacks on Israel have killed 8 Israelis.

    Since the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Israelis have killed nearly 5000 Palestinians, nearly a thousand of them minors. Since fall of 2007, Israel has kept the 1.5 million Gazans under a blockade, interdicting food, fuel and medical supplies to one degree or another. Wreaking collective punishment on civilian populations such as hospital patients denied needed electricity is a crime of war.”

    Link : http://hellotxt.com/l/6bDv.

    One of the above posters used the analogy of “poking a bear with a stick” to describe the actions of Hamas – it seems that their actions were of about the same seriousness, in terms of their danger to Israel, as the stick would be to the bear.

    Further, there seems to be a startling ignorance as to the nature of the Israeli state of occupation, blockades and land annexation and theft which have been ongoing since (at least) the 6-day war, and their effects upon the Palestinians.

    Faced with such actions by a hostile occupier, what are the Palestinians supposed to do ? Grin and bear it, or resist with whatever means they have at hand ?

    Further, it seems to be conveniently forgotten that Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine, and yet is still ignored by Israel and (particularly) the US, as these two governments apparently don’t really approve of the democratic process when it provides results not to their liking.

    Another “forgotten” fact seems to be that the current Israeli slaughter is but a repetition of many previous episodes of “collective punishment” of the Palestinians by the Israeli war machine.

    This policy has been demonstrated as an abject failure in accomplishing anything but more deaths, and further radicalisation among the occupied peoples, and how any civilised person can countenance, let alone approve of such actions escapes me.

    Another poster made the startling accusation that Joni was “naive” in deploring the slaughter.

    As I see it the belief that Israel is justified in its occupation, blockades and collective punishments is more typical of naivety, or even foolishness, than anything Joni has expressed here.

  20. TB

    ” if Israel wanted to take over the Gaza Strip … it could”

    True! But it is estimated that it would require a standing, occupying force of 10 000 just to keep the peace. It doesn’t want to do that and that’s perfectly understandable.

    I think that thinking people on both sides realise that the future cannot be guaranteed through armed conflict.

    Scaper

    “No Arab nation will accept Israel in the region and eventually that state will not exist!”

    That’s one hell of a prediction, Need I remind you that the PLO under Yasser Arafat asserted:

    “The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security”

    It was in a Sep. 9, 1993 letter to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin prior to the signing of the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles: The written document went on to say:

    “In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.”

    Negotiations are always the preferred option.

  21. Having made this post, I felt I should clarify some of the comments being made.

    With regards to comments that Israel is being provoked to act, please refer to my latest post where mainstream media (Al Jazeera/ AP etc) have reported that Hamas has offered truce/ peace talks. It is Israel that has constantly refused to negotiate with Hamas, whom I might add, won the elections freely and fairly. It was monitored by the Carter institution. The Palestinians were punished for electing a government that the West disliked. How would you like if the Western world were to not recognise the Labor government just because the former disagrees with its ideology? Hamas, by the way, was voted into power because the Palestinians were tired of the corruption in PA/ Fatah and the endless sacrifices they had to make for the so called ‘peace process’. Are we are talking about the West’s hypocrisy? One set of rules for the West and another for Palestinians?

    But let us just stick to the facts for the moment. It is the Israeli blockade that is causing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and unemployment in Gaza. It is the occasional Israeli airstrikes that are killing innocent civilians (even during the 6 month truce). It is Israeli’s continuing building of the settlements in West Bank that has derailed opportunities for negotiations. It is Israeli air strikes that are destroying homes, tunnels, and an Islamic university (which shows a complete disregard for Muslim culture), UNRWA schools, killing innocent civilians and the local security police, who by the way, are not involved in the current hostilities.

    By the way, the UNRWA schools have been teaching human rights curriculum in their syllabus. How can that be reconciled with the glaring fact that their human rights are repeatedly violated by Israel? aided by US weapons/ support? complicity from the Arab governments and the West?

    It is no wonder that people are taking it to the streets world-wide to condemn against this latest attack.

    Charles

  22. #All nations create contingency plans in a time of war and hope that they never have to be brought into play, sadly on this occasion they could not be left on the back burner.

    You have a point but a small one at best on this occasion

    If they hope they never have too, But…but its called Shock an awe.

  23. Iain Hall:

    “Sorry JonI your apparent naivety inspired me to be be rather more patronising than necessary”

    To paraphrase Ken Henry,

    “Excuse me, but was there meant to be an apology in there somewhere?”

  24. From Haaretz

    “Six months ago Israel asked and received a cease-fire from Hamas. It unilaterally violated it when it blew up a tunnel, while still asking Egypt to get the Islamic group to hold its fire.” Yet the U.S. media refers that only Hamas violated the ceasefire.

    Anyone care to offer a different account of who broke the cease fire?

    “Tom Segev: “[T]he assault on Gaza does not first and foremost demand moral condemnation – it demands a few historical reminders. Both the justification given for it and the chosen targets are a replay of the same basic assumptions that have proven wrong time after time. Yet Israel still pulls them out of its hat again and again, in one war after another.”

    More here. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-mitchell/attack-on-gaza-as-usual-u_b_153757.html

  25. Me being me, I’m getting a good sense of schadenfreude out of the hypocrites slaughtering in the name of, covering themselves in vainglory, breaking the most basic articles of the Covenant, and wreaking the destruction of the new Temple from within the very heartland, even as they pretend to defend it. Onya Tribe of Levi still running your scam on the rest after all these thousands of years. Don’t ever let on that Y’Israel is meaningless to you, even as you chant its righteousness in the High Offices as your clarion call to all those who would ignore all that is Y’Israel; and, indeed, ignore the very promises and mutual obligations that were made, as somethings that don’t apply to you; and acknowledge that your actions, the blood on your hands, means you can never touch or be touched by the Word even as you defile it daily and make yourselves unclean. Continue down this path and Y’Israel is lost, I say to ye, even as you continue to sow the seeds of destruction of your own temple and people once again: there is nothing that the Palestinians can do to you that you aren’t doing to yourselves, and worse, in your hearts and in the very heart of Y’Israel. The thing that you point to presently as the State of Israel is less than a calf of cast lead, and the lifeless heads of the innocents you have slain as your enemies, and which you pile before it as a tribute to yourselves and your idol, shall curse you with your own words and the telling of your misdeeds, which are plain for all to see.

  26. My knowledge of Arab/Israeli politics shames me and so please excuse if I ask dumb questions. But why if Israelis are killing innocent civilians aren’t sanctions being imposed? I should imagine that Israel is very dependant on aid from other nations and so sanctions should carry the message that although Hammas is not acceptable, neither is the murder of civilians.

    The only thing that I can think of is that the Jewish lobby is very strong in America.

    I am reading and learning.

  27. BTW – the Charles at 21 is the BF – his first post on the blogocrats I think. Woohoo.

    And I am off to the “rent a crowd” protest at Town Hall this afternoon.

  28. 26. Min

    The only thing that I can think of is that the Jewish lobby is very strong in America.

    Chalk and cheese.

  29. Min

    “Israel is considered America’s closest non-NATO ally in the Middle East, a region that is geopolitically crucial to the US.”

    Thus

    “Since 1972, the US has used its veto power to prevent the adoption of 42 UN resolutions that condemned or severely criticized actions by the State of Israel. In 2006, for example, the US prevented the adoption of UN resolution S/878, which demanded a mutual ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

    While the Jewish Lobby is powerful, there is also a Christain Zionist Movement.

    “Briefly stated, Christian Zionism is a movement within Protestant fundamentalism that sees the modern state of Israel as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and thus deserving of political, financial and religious support.

    Hope this helps.

  30. Nature 5, are you saying that Israel has declared war on tunnels?

  31. And what is the military objective of the Israeli attacks?

    Will they stop the mortars? WIll they stop the violence emanating from Gaza and the West Bank?

  32. With lead, we seal the vessel. With lead we cast our dreidel, in a game of winner takes all or nothing, for the eight days of Channukah, and celebrate a mighty victory over the Syrians, and a miracle happening here, in the return of our lands. But we do not ponder that we ride the back of the eagle that climbs the ladder even unto the stars, and must surely be brought to earth. Where are those who play for gelt then, if not at the centre of the fall, having forgotten that all lead seals are to be marked LMLK, or not at all?

    No, Joni, imho there is no military objective beyond taking advantage of a small, political window to socially engineer the voters into a right-wing, annihilate-the-enemy-and-vote-for-Likud frenzy before February 10’s election there; and before the waning umbrella of the Bushista Doctrine is replaced by something else come January 20 somewhere else. It’s ‘tough on terror’ in the same way as beating up on the foreign-looking kid in the playground is cool: take that external enemy, now give us all your lunch money so we can protect you from the Other, fellow classmates, before you catch cooties.

    Alternatively, it’s a way of turning a failure into a virtue in the mythic land of epic dichotomies of good v. evil, us. v. them…why haven’t we stopped the rockets after all this time and resources? Oh, that’s because we have failed our mission (what was our mission, again? I forget…securing peace or perpetuating semi-war?), but we’ll pretend that years of rockets can be forgotten, ta da, with a blitzkrieg and more rockets over the fence, to prove we’re ‘winners’ in the peace we’re not really negotiating, and the peace process we’re not really engaging in.

  33. . Stephan |

    “war on tunnels”

    Nothing of the sort. Have you a comprehension problem or is it just a case of ‘tunnel vision’?

    You may recall there was an negotiated cease-fire initiated by Israel. As part of that negotiation, as I understand it, there was an agreement about what either side could or could not do. That’s par for the course.

    Apparently Israel broke that agreement by bombing one of the tunnels which it was not permitted to do under the negotiated agreement, I take it you read the link.

  34. I can’t say that I’m surprised to find people defending Israel’s “righteous” slaughter of a demonised, cornered population of what we are presumably supposed to regard as untermensch; but it is disappointing.
    How the @#$% anyone in possession of a little objective historical context can make excuses for the way that Israel conducts its’ “business” is beyond me.

    Very well put pterosaur.
    Also Charles, Legion, N5, joni & others.
    I concur that this premeditated attrocity is likely a rather more blood-drenched version of our own orchestrated nationalistic fever mongers when faced with imminent “democratic reckoning”.

    To condemn the overheavy hand of Israel’s “vengeance” is in no way an endorsement of Hamas’ own violence; it is simply recognition of a gross imbalance & gory injustice.

  35. #Joni

    I am not naive – I read a lot from both sides and I am not blinkered in thinking that only one side is to blame.

    I would say that the evidence of your argument severely undermines your claim here.

    But I am absolutely sure that there is one group of people is suffering: both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

    Maybe but it is the intransegence of the religious zealots in hamas and their Iranian masters who have caused this situation,

    #19 Pterosaur

    One of the above posters used the analogy of “poking a bear with a stick” to describe the actions of Hamas – it seems that their actions were of about the same seriousness, in terms of their danger to Israel, as the stick would be to the bear.

    Of course you miss the point of my analogy it is not that the” stick” poses a substantial threat but that using it continually will anger the bear and only the terminally stupid rouse a snoozing bear.

    Further, there seems to be a startling ignorance as to the nature of the Israeli state of occupation, blockades and land annexation and theft which have been ongoing since (at least) the 6-day war, and their effects upon the Palestinians.

    Now I’m going to pose a very simple question that goes right to the heart of the conflict and it is this: How long after a piece of land has been squeezed by force of arms does it take for that possession (by the victor)to become legitimate in your eyes?

    Faced with such actions by a hostile occupier, what are the Palestinians supposed to do ? Grin and bear it, or resist with whatever means they have at hand ?

    Sounds to me like you support suicide bombing if you are willing to make this sort of claim, or do you see any limits upon the sort or “resistance ” that is morally justified.

    Further, it seems to be conveniently forgotten that Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine, and yet is still ignored by Israel and (particularly) the US, as these two governments apparently don’t really approve of the democratic process when it provides results not to their liking.

    Hamas may have been “elected” but when the alternative was a cronilly corrupt Fatah that is hardly any indication of any moral legitimacy

    Another “forgotten” fact seems to be that the current Israeli slaughter is but a repetition of many previous episodes of “collective punishment” of the Palestinians by the Israeli war machine.

    Well that is actually a gross misrepresentation of the events the IDF has been specifically choosing targets that are acceptable under any rules of war.

    This policy has been demonstrated as an abject failure in accomplishing anything but more deaths, and further radicalisation among the occupied peoples, and how any civilised person can countenance, let alone approve of such actions escapes me.

    I can’t see how you can seemingly approve (ref your “whatever means they have at hand” claim I quote above) the suicide bombing of buses and coffee shops but then denounce the killing of Hamas police and paramilitary combatants as if they were inoce3nt women and children.

    Another poster made the startling accusation that Joni was “naive” in deploring the slaughter.

    As I see it the belief that Israel is justified in its occupation, blockades and collective punishments is more typical of naivety, or even foolishness, than anything Joni has expressed here.

    That was me too but I go back to that question that I asked earlier.

    Just remember that the Arabs are there and base their claims to the land upon their conquest of the area in the time of Mohammed. As I see it if their claim to the land is by right of conquest is legitimate then they do not have a legitimate reason to complain when the original inhabitants of the area (or at least their descendants) take it back by force of arms.

  36. Hmmmm?

    Could it be…Iainbobshe Halltasqld?

    I don’t think so, too articulate. However, the deconstruction of argument (& flavoursome powerpoint briefing) displayed very much reminds me of the same old rebuttals & presumptious exclusivity.

  37. Ian can you explain this claim?

    ” but it is the intransegence of the religious zealots in hamas and their Iranian masters who have caused this situation,”

    As I understand it, Iran is ‘shia’ territory while Hamas is ‘sunni’? Can you provide a link that backs up your argument? Thanks.

  38. “Sounds to me like you support suicide bombing if you are willing to make this sort of claim”
    “Maybe but it is the intransegence of the religious zealots in hamas and their Iranian masters who have caused this situation,”
    “Hamas may have been “elected” but when the alternative was a cronilly corrupt Fatah that is hardly any indication of any moral legitimacy”IH

    Not exactly objective statements. Your bias is well defined Iain.

    It is not naive to disagree with you & your advocacy of irritated bears smiting caged stick wielders.

  39. Could it be…Iainbobshe Halltasqld?

    No idea

    Just figured he was being a prick

  40. “As I understand it, Iran is ’shia’ territory while Hamas is ’sunni’? Can you provide a link that backs up your argument? Thanks.”N5

    The inferred Iranian interference shows me all I need to know about Iain’s particular brand of “moral legitimacy”.
    I’m fairly sure that he isn’t “terminally stupid” but contemporary wisdom suggests that, be they sunni or shia, they are all muslims & hence capable of little but mischief; Iran of course being the monster over the fence we love to taunt but never get close enough to for a bloody nose.

  41. Intellectually dishonest I believe is the phrase, although ‘prick’ suffices…black and white thinking, false dichotomies, loaded questions, misrepresentations of others statements, strawmen arguments, non sequiturs, and all the usual fallacies of reasoning we come to expect from someone who thinks they’re ‘winning’ in a discussion and that nobody can deconstruct a ‘grenade’.

  42. Just remember that the Arabs are there and base their claims to the land upon their conquest of the area in the time of Mohammed. As I see it if their claim to the land is by right of conquest is legitimate then they do not have a legitimate reason to complain when the original inhabitants of the area (or at least their descendants) take it back by force of arms.

    By that stupid logic any conquered peoples have the full right to attempt to take back their native land by violence. So you would fully sympathise with Aboriginals or American Indians perpetrating terrorists attacks on their conquerors to take back their land?

    Then there is the problem that Israelis are not really retaking back by force what is rightfully theirs, as apart from some hill tribes they were never really the original inhabitants of the land.

  43. 42. Adrian of Nowra

    Australia could make an offer to either Palestinians or Israelis to settle our (Australian) desert centre (what d’yer reckon, scaper?)…and there’s plenty of camels…

    Part of the deal would be to develop the land and create a productive environment and society that would support its community without Australian taxpayer assistance.

    This would only be after we have consulted Aboriginal leaders of course…

    Now, the questions I have for you, Adrian…and the rest of the armchair generals…and political purists/perfectionists…

    1. Who would you prefer to settle in Australia?

    2. Who would have a better chance at restoring our desert to productive land?

    3. Who would you feel safer with, living in the middle of your home? (Hamas/Fatah Palestinians or Israelis)

  44. This statement confuses me, as an Australian, Iain…

    Well that is actually a gross misrepresentation of the events the IDF has been specifically choosing targets that are acceptable under any rules of war.

    Under Australian law, only the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades might be considered a legitimate target, if any, and certainly not ‘Hamas’, the political and social wing that was the duly elected government before the US funneled in arms and uniforms to Fatah via Egypt, precipitating a coup. How do you account for the fact that Israel is specifically targetting civilian infrastructure per Australia’s, and not Israel’s, take on international law? Isn’t the targetting of civilians and civilian infrastructure the signal article of a war crime?

  45. I reckon someone bonged Legion (a long, long time ago…Miss American Pie…)

  46. I guess the point I’m making, Iain, is this, and let’s use Australia and Indonesia as our fictional examples. Per your argument, because Indonesia says it’s ok, Indonesia could bomb Australian police academies, homes in rural Queensland where annoying political leadership is being demonstrated, and that spiffy new transit tunnel being built under the Brisbane River, instead of engaging the Australian army, navy or airforce; and those civilians and civilian infrastructures would ipso facto be legitimate because Indonesia says so. Contrariwise, an Australia under such attack might have a few qualms about such a logic. I think you get my drift, unless you’re the sort that considers the rules of law pertaining to war to be so malleable that they can stretch to anything their proferend says they mean.

  47. Neither the Palestinians or the Israelis are ever going to relocate on mass to Australia – it simply will not happen.

    Why would anybody bother discussing this? it’s not even a remote possibility

  48. 45. TB Queensland

    What’s that supposed to mean, TB? (Not that I’m not a fan of Don McLean)

    43. TB Queensland

    It’s a moot question, TB, given the Kimberley Plan failed and along with it the kind of “group settlement of the exclusive type” (emphasis mine) proposed.

  49. TB

    “and there’s plenty of camels…”

    True! And there’s also plenty of ‘donkeys’ … which play a much more important economic role.

    But as another girl – another planet says:

    “Why would anybody bother discussing this? it’s not even a remote possibility”

    I don’t think TB was trying to be serious. He was simply saying that the people from Israel are to be preferred to those of Arab background. You know people like Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO and Premier Steve Bracks can’t be good Australians.

    I didn’t think that this was the ‘racist’ thread BTW.

  50. There’s no need to get all testy Nature 5. The article you referenced failed to mention the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Both parties to that document agree to:

    Each Party undertakes to ensure that acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, or violence do not originate from and are not committed from within its territory, or by any forces subject to its control or by any other forces stationed on its territory , against the population, citizens or property of the other Party. Each Party also undertakes to refrain from organizing, instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, subversion or violence against the other Party, anywhere, and undertakes to ensure that perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice.

    And further to the above:

    The Parties undertake not to enter into any obligation in conflict with this Treaty.

    Philadelphi Road, which separates Gaza and Egypt in the South is controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces in accordance with the Treaty of 1978. It would appear that it is incumbent on Israel to ensure…”that acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, or violence do not originate from and are not committed from within its territory, or by any forces subject to its control or by any other forces stationed on its territory , against the population, citizens or property of the other Party”.

    No one knows the exact location of the tunnel you say destroyed the cease-fire but if it passed under the Philadelphi Road Israel was bound by the terms of the Peace Treaty to destroy that tunnel.

    Do you comprehend?

  51. “Do you comprehend?”

    Not sure. But let’s see.

    It seems to me that you are asserting that Israel signed a Treaty with Egypt (no link provided) which made certain promises and then signed an agreement with Hamas without revealing these prior commitments which were in contradiction to those original promises made to Egypt.

    In other words, you are saying that Israel was being less than honest. Simply, they were double-dealing.

    Do I comprehend?

    Now there is no need to get testy. Just provide a ‘logical’ response, free from ‘tunnel provision’ and a few links to support your argument.

    Do you comprehend?

  52. Why the snark Stephan?… It’s realy not necessary (unless it matters to you)

    I would like to read more of your thoughts, you appear to have a great deal of knowledge concerning this subject and I for one would like to hear it

    But If your going to go about it in this high-school way…. then meh

  53. AG-AP, no one is an expert here. We get little snippets of information and confected ‘opinion pieces’ by journos who seem to think we need guidance on certain matters. Those journos also double as military experts, intelligence analysts of the highest order, and have the 10 most important world leaders on their speed dial.

    AG-AP, the current action by Israel which is considered an overreaction is nothing new. Former Israel leader, Golda Meir, developed the policy which was known back then (the Six-Day War) as ‘asymmetrical response’ which basically meant that any act of retaliation far exceeded any attack. The hope was to inflict a high price and cause your enemy to think twice before attacking.

    Nature 5, perhaps you found The Huffington Post via Google so see what happens when you ask Google to dredge up info on the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. If it’s on Google it ain’t a secret. The Peace Treaty isn’t woven in Byzantine language and as such is quite explicit. Failing that, could you give us an update on the war between Israel and Egypt which, according to you, may still be ongoing.

    If I said that WWII was over would you need a link?

  54. Maybe, if you could describe why your two most recent and undoubtedly very clear and not all Byzantine comments are relevant to an alleged truce-breaking incursion by the Israelis inside Gaza, to bomb a tunnel on the Gaza-Israel border sometime in early November, and not the Egypt-Israel border, or indeed anywhere near the no-man’s land of Philadelphi Road, that would be helpful, Stephan.

    Also, please try to remember that your readership don’t share your unique outlook on events and will need some revelation of your elliptical thoughts, perhaps minus the dyspepsia, if you are trying to present an argument which otherwise, at first glance, seems irrelevant.

    Did you want to highlight that a messianic Begin single-handedly set out to destroy the late-70s peace process, by instituting an aggressive campaign of state-subsidised settlements in occupied territories; or that Egypt today is a semi-dictatorship that locks up its opposition, even as it remains a pariah among Arab states, for the concessions made by Sadat in 79 to save face and reclaim the Sinai, and the taking of foreign aide and vassalage that went with it, which continues to this day, to the point where Egypt might be best described as a puppet state in the same glowing terms once reserved for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 80s?

    Or maybe you are just trying to highlight that the Palestinians were promised ‘autonomy’ within five years in 1979, the Orwellian irony being that 1984 was some time ago, just like Begin’s duplicitous doublespeak interpretation of autonomy, after putting pen to paper, amounted to a complete subjugation of Palestinians, the annexation of all infrastructures and political posts in the occupied territories, and attempts to derail and ultimately destroy Palestinian nationalistic sentiments, very much as we see rehearsed to this today.

    Inquiring minds remain very much perplexed, and await your explication(s).

  55. Oh yes, the poor innocent Palestinian’s, just trying to cast off the yolk of the invader. This writer has it right, just finish this thing much like we had to with the Nazi’s and Imperial Japan. These PC wars solve nothing and only prolong the suffering. End this thing once and for all! The Palestinian’s always want to take little bites out of Israel and when she smacks they cry “oh woes is me” with all of the lemmings falling in line to parrot their propaganda war for them, CNN included. Give me a break already! Middle East peace is a flipping pipe dream when one side refuses to even accept the right of the other to exist. Along Adrian’s point, is it productive for the Aboriginal or Native American to go to war with our respective governments demanding all those of European descent to leave? Diplomacy does have its limits folks, reality check please.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24853482-7583,00.html

  56. Memo to AGAP:

    There are no ‘pricks’ on this blogsite, there is no ‘nark’, there are varying ‘points of view’, two umpires, of which I am aware, no need for a third umpire.

    Your self-centred banal comments serve only to lessen the quality of debate on what is a very well moderated and educational blog.
    Your recent attack on Scaper shows definitively that you would not know a forthright and honest man if he pinched you on the arse.
    Distracting prospective protagonists with your banal commentary forces those protagonists to shift gaze from the point being discussed. Hence, I would advocate you moderate your comments away from personal attacks, or that blogocrats totally ignore your unwarranted and counterproductive quips.

    That’s it for me. Carry on boys, and girls, on what is fast becoming unquestionably a well organised, dignified, credible blog. Well done Joni, Reb, and other topic contributors.

  57. What was the point being discussed?

    You are naive? Disproportionate use of force is contrary to the Geneva Conventions? You support suicide bombing? Some ambit, unreferenced statement about a perception of the ‘rules of war’? Some vital question that ignores actual international law, again. Some vague assumption about Arabs being a monobloc and not running the gamut of religious and social outlooks and lived existences and some reference to a vague point in history at variance with the applicable international laws on occupation, human rights, etc.? Some personal sense of just unilateral apportionment at variance with well-established customary and statutory international law, and a whole raft of multilateral-institutional resolutions on the matters at hand? That about cover it, beyond a gratuitous acknowledgement of an extensive backround of ad hominems and illogics, amply demonstrated and commented upon by others elsewhere on the net, for our maligned protagonist?

  58. The Palestinian’s always want to take little bites out of Israel

    Can you tell us where all these illegal Palestinian settlements in Israel are, along with their wall that has taken in some cases up to a kilometre of prime Israeli land, dividing towns and villages?

    Methinks you have this backwards Sparta and methinks it is you who falls for the Israeli propaganda war, after all they have the second largest propaganda organisation in the world.

    Both are at fault here and Israel is as shamed as the Palestinians. Remember that Israel was formed by terrorists and terrorists actions with the difference being the terrorists were Israelis. Also remember Hamas was an Israeli construct, and was duly and overwhelmingly elected in open and fair democratic elections.

    Then as always Sparta calls for a reality check, yet again averring that his position is the superior and correct one, the real one, and everyone should just fall in line behind him. This is nowhere near as black and white as you make out and Israel aren’t the good guys nor are the Palestinians. Therein lies the problem, we have two bad guys slogging it out, both with legitimate claims doing illegitimate and amoral things to make those claims.

  59. sparta

    As I read somewhere until both sides of the conflict are ready to compromise and to take back a workable solution to their people and to get agreement on the plan we will continue to see violence from both sides.

    And when you say that “one side refuses to even accept the right of the other to exist”, surely yuou realise that this is a sweeping statement. People on both sides have that point of view – but that is not all people, is it?

  60. I analyse market and business economics pretty much in the same way I analyse conflicts – sounds crazy? Maybe, but human and systems behaviour within certain structured environments do react in remarkably similar ways – mainly in their unpredictability.

    Psychology plays a much more important role than many people think in armed conflict just as it does in the behaviour of markets. Simple and widely held beliefs and attitudes (biases and misconceptions) can send markets sky high one moment and send them plunging the next. Yet there is always an reality that is not always readily identifiable whilst emotions run high in either direction. Same principle applies in war. Emotions often trump reason and sometimes there’s no scope for reasoning especially if fanatics are involved (investment banks were the fanatics responsible for the global fincancial crisis just as group like Hamas play a fundamental role in this crisis)

    The psychology of war is also much like positional bargaining – each side takes a position that is in direct conflict with that of the opposing party and when it reaches a point where each party has locked in to a position where backing down is not an option ‘warlike behaviour intensifies’

    DO Israel have a right to go on the offensive in order to stop Hamas’s offensive? Of course they do. And now that so many civilians have been killed by Israel’s offensive do Hamas have the right to retaliate? In their minds they do, and let’s face it Hamas are Islamic militants who bitterly resent Israel’s existence. And around it goes.

  61. John

    Good post, which is why I asked @31 what the military objective is for Israel? Because it does not seem that it will stem the violence from the Palestinians.

  62. Hamas are Islamic militants who bitterly resent Israel’s existence

    Are they? Or are there four or more groups in Gaza all presently being badged ‘Hamas’?

  63. Or making myself more plain, has Israel established a nexus between rockets over the fence and ‘Hamas’ or is it like ‘Al Qaeda’ and a convenient fiction that the world, apparently, just swallows?

  64. Legion,

    Just like how when the allegations of torture are made against the US, we hear that it is only rogue elements within the military and should not be construed to be all of the military, but when the rockets (which I condemn) are fired it is all of the Palestinians that are at fault.

    IMHO – we need to win the hearts and minds of both sides to try and gain a peaceful resolution, as well as politicians who are brave on both sides. Otherwise more innocent lives will be lost.

    And it is possible – look at Northern Ireland – which after the Good Friday agreement has enjoyed a more peaceful existence (not perfect but better).

  65. I guess, like Joni, I wonder what the military objective is when all it seems to achieve is bolstering militants, not all of whom were Hamas, many of whom were not, and now who can neither be ‘defeated’ as Hamas, which they weren’t as members of other militant factions not engaged in any particular governance, nor be separated from a Hamas given legitimacy as an epic foe, which they weren’t necessarily previously. It’s where collective punishment breaks down, if attacking the civilian infrastructure of Hamas, in its governance role, is considered illegitimate by the Palestininans, regardless of the legitimacy attributed to it as a military foe by the Israelis.

  66. How close you are Legion.

    And this is a pattern by Israel and occurs every time the Palestinians start to build infrastructure, higher education facilities, workable law and order and begin to garner investment as was happening in Gaza.

    The targets Israel has singled out. Infrastructure, higher education facilities, law and order and those buildings constructed or under construction by foreign investment.

    Remember Gaza has been under blockade by Israel for 18 months and in that time Israel had completely oppressed the Palestinians there. They have blocked aid, blocked investment, randomly cut off electricity and water and generally made life as miserable as possible for the inhabitants. Despite that the Palestinians there were slowly getting ahead, new buildings were going up, as were new education facilities, investment was increasing and law and order was working. Then during the six months of the cease fire the Israelis tightened down the screws even harder, stopping aid and investment whilst regularly cutting off electricity and water.

    Same old pattern Israel has always used against the Palestinians.

  67. 66. Adrian of Nowra

    One might think that the parallels should be abundantly clear, even down to the ‘uprising’. I also tend to think that there is wisdom in many of Wolfensohn’s observations, when it comes to winning hearts and minds, and the role of hope; as opposed to a siege which has left Gaza utterly bereft for weeks of essentials, even as the UN described the situation as one, not merely of a blockade on Gaza, but on the UN and its mandated relief workers, some nine of whom have been killed, once again, in Israel’s latest pinpoint-accurate incursion.

  68. “This is nowhere near as black and white as you make out and Israel aren’t the good guys nor are the Palestinians.”

    Of course this isn’t “black and white” Adrian but I grow tired of listening to both sides pull events from history to justify violence in present day. Unfortunately, some tend to want to overcomplicate this discussion when what we have at hand is two groups of people that will never get along, plain and simple. You don’t have to be a scholar to acknowledge we have been here in this exact situation countless of times before.
    Palestinians want Israel/the Jews gone from the region, this is undeniable. The Jews are not going anywhere, undeniable. Every time the Jews do give some, it inevitably leads to the Palestinians wanting more and when they don’t get it, it leads to more rocket attacks. Israel responds after dealing with the annoyance for a bit and the world cries about the disproportionate use of force. After kicking the hell out of the Palestinians the Jews will give in to “global condemnation” and within about 12-14 months time we will be having this same discussion.
    I have never said the Jews were the good guys but they usually don’t start these scuffs either unless you mean their very presence is to blame? Using your own analogy, would you think the Aboriginal justified in lobbing rockets on Darwin and demanding that all Europeans leave? I am not sure I understand your rationale for always coming to the defense of Palestinian violence?

  69. “Remember Gaza has been under blockade by Israel for 18 months and in that time Israel had completely oppressed the Palestinians there.”

    Yet again, here you go. “The Palestinians are just responding”. No mention from you as usual that perhaps more violence is probably not going to end the blockade either. Why are they under a blockade again there Adrian? How far back should we take this latest dispute? One thing is certain; the Palestinians can always count on some to echo the same old “talking points”. Thanks for clearing this one up for me. Here I took the “simplistic” view in my earlier post.

  70. 68. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    You don’t have to be a scholar to acknowledge we have been here in this exact situation countless of times before.

    The question, though, Sparta, is why does the thing keep going around in circles, when everyone generally acknowledges that the two-state solution is the only viable recourse? Who keeps ‘helping’ by advocating for the avoidance of sanctions that will bring everyone to the table to negotiate just terms, even as the simplistic view presented earlier seemed equally avoidant of basic articles like the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and a raft of UN resolutions laying down a rather obvious pathway to peace stretching back to resolution 242?

  71. “The question, though, Sparta, is why does the thing keep going around in circles, when everyone generally acknowledges that the two-state solution is the only viable recourse?”

    Your right, everybody does push the “two-state solution” as the only viable solution but in all honesty, do you? I certainly don’t have all the answers but I feel this is a futile goal. Seems this hatred runs to deep to be solved by any artificial boundary, convention, or another UN tap dance. Joni alluded to the “troubles” in Ireland but it’s resolution only came as a result of the Irish populous themselves saying enough is enough and for no other reason. The average Palestinian citizen is hardly advocating such an end.

  72. Seems this hatred runs to deep to be solved by any artificial boundary, convention, or another UN tap dance.

    Are you describing the formation of Israel in 1948? Artificial boundary, convention, UN tapdance…perhaps that’s exactly what the situation calls for and for more tap-dancing, only on faces and maps. Me? I’d offer for Israel’s membership of the UN to be withdrawn for it, since it seemingly can’t keep to the Charter which lends it legitimacy, for starters. Do we normally allow drivers who repeatedly flout the law for 40 years to keep their drivers’ licences AND give the finger to their patrons on the world stage? In the alternative, there has been a declared Palestinian State since 1988, as recognised by over a hundred nations; and with recognised statehood by the UN, the UN can at last ensure that Palestinian State has access to all the rights and obligations that go with being a State, which would put an end to most of the nonsense, particularly the occupation and torment by the radical right within Israel insistent on a one-state solution with no thought to a future for Palestinians beyond subjugation or annihilation…their choice of course.

  73. “The average Palestinian citizen is hardly advocating such an end”

    How do you know that?

    And the troubles in Northern Ireland were solved (?) because the elected officials on both sides were brave, compromised and took a plan back to their people and sold that solution.

    I just do not see leaders from either side in the middle east who are brave enough to try and move forward. We just seem to be stuck in a sort of groundhog day.

  74. Here we go again. New president, same old story.

  75. Legion

    Badged as Hamas? Yes. All militants taking cover behind the main population.

    Joni pointed out the Irish conflict which lasted centuries – similar psychology applies. Problem here is that it likely to spread beyond Israel and Palestine.

  76. 71. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    Sparta, to my mind, this seems a fair overview of the possibilities

    Public opinion polls show that Israelis and Palestinians have lost their trust in a peace resolution based on the “two states” formula. Moreover, this formula in its various interpretations is at the core of the current stalemate. Thus, the conference summoned by the United States will not be able to break this stalemate, because this conference will attempt to dictate a specific interpretation of the meaning of two states.

    The time for bilateral negotiations is over and vanishing along with the idea of a “two states solution.” It may only be possible to renew negotiations based on this formula through multilateral agreements.

    Today, the only multilateral framework proposed is by the Arab League, which would include multilateral negotiations between Israel and members of the League, where, after completion, Israel would sign peace agreements with and be recognized by all of the League states, in exchange for a full retreat to its 4 June 1967 borders and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee question. Alternatively multilateral talks can be hosted in the framework of the United Nations according to the stipulations of international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

    However, we must also consider the possibility that the concept of two states has faded away in the reality created by more than 40 years of Israeli occupation. If this is the case, the only democratic outcome is the making of one shared state. Any other alternative will merely be establishing an apartheid state.

    I have taken the liberty of embolding my preferred course; underlined where I think hawks on both sides of the fence cannot go, for reasons you give; and struk through where the thing is now and is heading further by default, even though that particular outcome is and should be repugnant to the world community.

  77. However, we must also consider the possibility that the concept of two states has faded away in the reality created by more than 40 years of Israeli occupation. If this is the case, the only democratic outcome is the making of one shared state. Any other alternative will merely be establishing an apartheid state.

  78. 49. Nature 5
    But as another girl – another planet says:
    “Why would anybody bother discussing this? it’s not even a remote possibility”

    Because it creates an analogy in your own backyard – not someone elses half way round the world…

    I don’t think TB was trying to be serious. He was simply saying that the people from Israel are to be preferred to those of Arab background. You know people like Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO and Premier Steve Bracks can’t be good Australians. I didn’t think that this was the ‘racist’ thread BTW.

    Presumption again. Read my post – I asked you what you would do – as usual no answer, just rhetoric. Arabs already live peacefully within Israel with the Jews…my question refers to two poltical parties Hamas and Fatah…

    Which political party are you a member of – (me, none…)

    and I do object to the racism slur

    …its as insulting as me saying you hate Jews because they bomb Palestinians…and just as immature…

    61. joni
    Did you read my post @ 6?

    The analogy of Northern Ireland is very close, religion blurring into politics for a small area of land with innocents suffering for belligerent leadership, being supported by external politics. While the rest of the world watches and the bloggers rant about something none of us (hopefully) will ever understand…

  79. Legion, I’ll gladly point out the relevance of my earlier comments if you care to explain the relevance of…’With lead, we seal the vessel. With lead we cast our dreidel, in a game of winner takes all or nothing, for the eight days of Channukah, and celebrate a mighty victory over the Syrians, and a miracle happening here, in the return of our lands. But we do not ponder that we ride the back of the eagle that climbs the ladder even unto the stars… .’ Have you stumbled upon the diary of a fallen Israeli or Palestinian soldier?

    As you have already pointed out Legion, rules are not malleable. That statement would extend to the Peace Treaty signed by Israel and Egypt committing both parties to meet their obligations. Destroying tunnels would be covered by the Peace Treaty. Given all that, both Israel and Palestine seem intent on converting the Holy Land into a charnel house so rules don’t matter to both parties at the moment.

    Please remember that your views don’t enjoy universal approval. It might be best if you set aside your suffocating asteism.

  80. “While the rest of the world watches and the bloggers rant about something none of us (hopefully) will ever understand…”

    Well said TB.

    I’ve been absent from the whole Gaza strip – Israeli versus Palestine discussion, due to my complete ignorance on the issue.

    This entire situation has been going on for more than 40 years now. I can remember it being on the news when I was a boy of around ten years old.

    I think the issues are far more complexed and entrenched than the sanctioned reports we are fed through the media, and I am suspcious of the US declaring which “side” of the argument they support, as let’s face it, the US only supports arguments which support their own interests.

    Otherwise Mugabe would’ve been gone long ago.

    Oh and meanshile the UN is calling for an end to the carnage.

    Such a mighty force the UN is. Maybe if the wiggles throw in their disdain for the fighting that might bring an end to it too.

  81. TB @ 78

    Understand nor experience (for completeness)

  82. 80. reb

    Did you mean The Wiggles can do it?

    Can just imagine a Wiggles concert bringing Palestinians and Israelis together in the middle of Jerusalem, singing, clapping, jumping, laughing (its tempting to be satirical here but I shall refrain!) – sort of thing JC and MA would have approved of, methinks (from what I’ve read) …

  83. Legion,

    “However, we must also consider the possibility that the concept of two states has faded away in the reality created by more than 40 years of Israeli occupation.”

    I don’t think we disagree in principle just in regards to the rhetoric. I think using language like above does nothing but assist in prolonging conflicts such as this. When does it cease being an occupation then? Is there a statute of limitations? Can the Aboriginal or Native American get in on this claim as well? I mean this is the sort of statement/mindset that is helping nurture the hate on both sides. Wouldn’t you agree?

  84. TB

    As Tim Dunlop, once said “when that Big Red Car appears, the crowd goes off!”

    It might just do the trick.

  85. 85. reb | December 30, 2008 at 11:18 am
    A concise history of Gaza:

    A WHAT!

  86. Reb,

    Kind of my point, how far back in history does one want to go? Some are obsessed with the last 50 years even though nobody really has more claim to the land then the next.

  87. Sparta,

    Gasp! We agree on something! It must’ve been those Christmas good wishes we exchanged.

    🙂

    Yeah, the situation is a mess, and I don’t know who to believe.

  88. Legion, I’ll gladly point out the relevance of my earlier comments if you care to explain the relevance of…

    Sure…it’s a double-banger. Part one refers to the sealing of tunnels. Part two rehearses the story of Jacob and the ladder, and how an haredi might perceive that story’s relevance to a State of Israel busily breaking as many of the 613 commandments as it possibly can, and at variance with the Covenant which said that Y’Israel would be restored when God restored them and not before, and that Y’Israel wasn’t any piece of dirt on Earth. As you might gather, the hasedi, who were happily living where the State of Israel now stands, aren’t all that well regarded by the influx of emigre, and vice versa. Otherwise, it’s just a musing on timings, with Channukah seemingly a propitious time to remind Israelites of former military glories, thereby stoking deep cultural and political fires; and the signal game of the season being one where the winner takes all to end a round, and therefore the most likely tactic, which has been confirmed.

  89. Is there a statute of limitations? I mean this is the sort of statement/mindset that is helping nurture the hate on both sides. Wouldn’t you agree?

    No, there is no statute of limitations under international law, for reason that the taking of lands received a response at international law at the time, and that it is Israel who has remained in default ever since. It’s a bit like someone who took something illegally, was told to give it back in real time, but has said it’s theirs anyway and refused to give it back. No court of law, and certainly no court of equity, would say that those lands, to which the UN makes reference every time it passes another resolution over Israel for its continued defaults, are Israel’s, even if enforcement of that determination remains vexed. Sure, Israel has passed laws unilaterally saying that those lands are now annexed and part of Israel (and friends of Israel occasionally make foreign policy slip of the tongues where they seem to be giving those lands away, like Obama, who was rightly caned in the media for being a greenhorn), but those laws passed by Israel have themselves been condemned under international law and are considered, at international law, to be of no legal effect. You propose that there are realpolitik limits to diplomacy; I am suggesting that there are realpolitik and de jure limits to sovereignty, and that Israel exceeds its sovereignty, which extends to its lands and thence no further, except as an occupier with a range of rights and obligations attaching to lands it must return.

  90. “You propose that there are realpolitik limits to diplomacy; I am suggesting that there are realpolitik and de jure limits to sovereignty, and that Israel exceeds its sovereignty, which extends to its lands and thence no further, except as an occupier with a range of rights and obligations attaching to lands it must return.”

    Well by the same logic Legion, you and I both live in occupied lands. When will you begin packing then………….

  91. Hey look on the bright side, despite the death and mayhem – the war in Gaza could be good for our economy:

    http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,24855824-31037,00.html

    We should brace ourselves for a press release from Talcum Turnbull claiming responsibility for this cleverly calculated strategy to save the Australian economy from roon, despite the odd bit of “collateral damage”.

    They’re only aiming at military targets after all, so all Australians should sleep easy.

  92. Woof

    “There are no ‘pricks’ on this blogsite, there is no ‘nark’, there are varying ‘points of view’, two umpires, of which I am aware, no need for a third umpire”

    Lets see, do I agree? Hmmm.

  93. All I can say is: DEATH TO ALL (Zionist) JUICE!

  94. Legion @ 63

    It’s a convenient fiction, and the world swallows it, while the innocents are murdered.

  95. Angel! How nice of you pop in.

  96. Angel, been a while.
    Glad you found your way back 🙂

  97. #95. Angel | December 30, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Legion @ 63

    It’s a convenient fiction, and the world swallows it, while the innocents are murdered.

    I don’t think the entire world has swallowed it. Some Western governments under the thumbs of powerful Jewish lobbies perpetuate the propaganda, but as many non-Arab anti-Israeli protests around the world showed, the propaganda is not entirely working.

  98. And further evidence to my last post is the newspaper headlines and horrific pictures not of an evil Hamas, but of the death of five daughters, the youngest four the oldest 17, to an Israeli precision bomb.

  99. Adrian @99,

    Tragic, no doubt about it. You would think there would be just as much comdemnation of those who choose to hide amongst women and children yet claim to be “Holy Warriors”. I guess the Jews should just randomly launch rockets into Palestinian controlled areas and then perhaps they would get your blessing?

  100. I guess the Jews should just randomly launch rockets into Palestinian controlled areas and then perhaps they would get your blessing?

    Umm, that’s exactly what they have just done for four days, in case you missed it.

    See this

    However, the report quoted Hamas officials as saying that while the truce is in the Palestinians’ interests, the militant group has “no intentions of giving Israel an eternal ceasefire free of charge unless the siege is lifted from Gaza.”

    On the other hand, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnaiwas cited as saying that Israel must also prepare for an altogether different scenario. “The big fear is a major terror attack as a result of Hamas turning a blind eye (towards other armed groups in Gaza), and we would be forced to retaliate,” he said.

    …and this

    [i]For the time being all of Gaza’s – often disparate – armed groups have agreed to the ceasefire and the arguments of Israeli “doves” are prevailing over those of the circling “hawks”.

    There are many obstacles to overcome and both sides have warned that the fragile truce will collapse if it is violated. [/i]

    ..and this

    “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 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. “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?” [cough, cough, mount a military incursion within a truce and kill a few Palestinians, and try asking that question with a straight face]

    …and this

    Israel says its aim is to end the rocket attacks by Hamas-linked militants – of which there were more than 40 on Monday, the Associated Press news agency said.

    Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was not fighting the residents of Gaza, but wanted to deal Hamas a “severe blow”. The Israeli operation would be “widened and deepened as needed”, he said.

    The army’s deputy chief, meanwhile, said that there would “not be a single Hamas building left standing in Gaza” after the operation.

    Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon went further. “The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas,” he said.

    ..or this

    The choice of targets suggests that Israel intends to weaken all the various facets of Hamas rather than just its armed wing.

    “There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel,” said a senior Israeli military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    “Hamas’s civilian infrastructure is a very, very sensitive target. If you want to put pressure on them, this is how,” said Matti Steinberg, a former top adviser to Israel’s domestic security service and an expert on Islamist organizations.

    Everything, apparently, is connected to Al Qaeda, err Hamas….precisely where ‘everything’ ends in an Israeli mind in the heat of war is anyone’s guess. But have the Israelis learnt that the recycled GWOT rhetoric and violating the Geneva Convention IV, article 33, doesn’t play to an external audience anymore; and actually calling the thing a ‘war to the bitter end on Hamas’ is just silly given their actual strategic aims before they rushed headlong into delivering a series of electoral one-upmanship statements about smashing civilian infrastructures of a monolithic Hamas that they know doesn’t exist? Who will be left to police future truces over many ‘disparate militant groups’, now that all the buildings from which the civil-political wing of ‘Hamas’ formerly coordinated fragile truces, among other things, have been smashed?

  101. Legion,

    Sorry mate, until you can at least acknowledge the right of Israel to exist and stop referring to Israel as an “occupation” I am afraid we can’t have a rationale discussion on the “legalities” of anything. I suppose like Adrian, Jews dying sits well with you then? Is it a numbers thing perhaps? Again, please explain to me how your logic works if it is simply applied to the scenario of Aboriginal ‘s launching rockets into Darwin?

  102. LOL… sparta and rational.

  103. I’ll try to put this in some proportional perspective for you Sparta…Israel has killed close to 400 and wounded circa 1,700 in the last four days. During the period of the 6 month truce, around 200 rockets went over the fence, so that’s 10 people killed or wounded per rocket, none of whom necessarily had anything to do with a single rocket. Said rockets killed one Israeli during that 6 month truce time-frame. Let’s put that in proportional perspective, again, by referencing that as if it were a proportion of the American population, because we all know how Americans like to measure the world in terms of American lives. Palestinian rockets killed 54 Americans. In that same time-frame Israeli forces killed the equivalent of 4,400 Americans, if we’re rendering Palestinian losses on a similar proportional basis.

    And now we come to losses in the present ‘Cast Lead’ encounter. Palestinians have killed 216 Americans and wounded 486 Americans lobbing rockets over the fence since Israel commenced bombardment, none or not all of them necessarily launched by the military wing of Hamas per se, since the truce had multiple parties, and quite obviously that truce has been broken with all of them. Meanwhile, Israel has killed 78,000 Americans, and wounded 340,000 Americans in those four days. Hope that helps with the ‘numbers’.

    Meanwhile, on other matters, I think you’ll find that I do accept the State of Israel’s existence (it’s a bit hard to accord a nation-State “lands of its own” and “sovereignty” in the absence of acknowledgement of its existence, I’m sure even you will agree), just as I have given reasons elsewhere on other threads for why I think that a ‘Jewish State’ so-defined and the ‘Zionist agenda’ is anathema to both Enlightened thinking and Western liberal tradition; and I won’t be changing my normative suggestion that Israel should return to its pre-1967 borders, that lands seized and occupied, yes occupied, since then should be disgorged, and that the ‘land for peace’ premise be leveraged in multinational institutions as a species of arbitration, since mediation/negotiation obviously isn’t working, with the incidences of that leverage falling where it will on both recalcitrant parties, without any special friends with vetoes blocking the will of the collective international community being brought to bear.

  104. You can now watch the action on Youtube!

    Shame there is no clips from the Palestinians showing the carnage…

    http://au.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk

  105. Legion,

    “none or not all of them necessarily launched by the military wing of Hamas per se, since the truce had multiple parties, and quite obviously that truce has been broken with all of them.”

    I find that statement completely disingenuous Legion and we certainly have no proof or way of proving such a statement but can clearly point to who decided to use violence first. Please tell me then; if Hamas is not the culprit in this particular “escapade” why do you think they did nothing to either stop the rocket attacks over the last 6 months and have kept up their usual rhetoric throughout? Please, let’s stop with the naivety ploy. You can’t have it both ways my friend. Even some Palestinian Newspapers are saying as much.

    “It’s a bit hard to accord a nation-State “lands of its own” and “sovereignty” in the absence of acknowledgement of its existence, I’m sure even you will agree”

    Great, then you would also agree that they have a right to defend themselves, even if in doing so they happen to be more effective. I find the “body-count” argument not only offensive but highly suggestive of your justification for more violence at the hands of one party as opposed to the other. It is a false argument indeed for some to keep beating the “disproportionate drum” over and over. In time of war, there is no such thing and it displays either a stroke of imbecility or just another false argument. If Israel was indiscriminately launching rockets into Palestinian controlled areas you would be crying about the lack of precision guided weapons. You cannot argue for the use of violence on one hand and condemn it on the other just because one party is better at it. When in the history of war has a combatant taken the liberty to phone/warn civilians? Simply stated war does not usually follow any “politically correct” agenda, never has and never will but this conflict seems to warrant “special tactics” . Please, stop trying to apply the Geneva conventions or human rights blather. Neither is prepared to handle dynamic conflict or scenarios.

    “without any special friends with vetoes blocking the will of the collective international community being brought to bear.”

    “Collective International Community”, that is funny. Even more so that it is always trotted out when it fits one’s agenda but disregarded otherwise. I am sorry, but the “international village” hardly has a leg of legitimacy to stand on these days given the messes it refuses to do anything about or even acknowledge. I am sure you would trot out a more favorable opinion of such tactics when applied to France, or Russia or China, in the context of the Iraq War, right?

    Anyhow, good job in ignoring the analogy I presented as we wouldn’t want you to think “outside the box” a bit. Arguments such as yours and others only work in the context of snap shops in history apparently. Oddly, the inapplicability of your sentiments in the greater context of history hardly gives weight to your arguments. Ignoring “the context of history” is your prerogative however but doing so does not say much for the “enlightened tone” your posts have at times. If anything, it highlights the same kind of mindset that has locked the ME in the same struggles since the 7th century. Your comments would certainly support such a supposition.

  106. I think you should take a deep breath, Sparta, and go back over what you have chosen to type as your best effort at a rational discussion. There isn’t a bit of it that doesn’t contradict itself.

  107. Legion – I agree.

  108. Oh my god, the deaths of Israelis now sits well with me. That’s a new one on me, my partner, family and friends, especially since I worked in Tel Aviv and Ashdod for a short while with the Jews. Also the fact that any death does not “sit well” with me, especially that of innocent children no matter who causes it.

    And where the hell did I say anybody was a “Holy Warrior”? That is your statement, not mine.

    The extra sensory perception across the innertubes is alive and well yet again.

    As Legion says, you should take a deep breath and reassess your rationale.

  109. “I suppose like Adrian, Jews dying sits well with you then?”

    I thought that this was a fair way beyond the pale myself.

    It reminds me of the whole “if you criticise the American institution then you must hate Americans” mantra, along with “you’re either with us or against us”, “you must be on the side of Al Qaeda/Teh Terrorists”, “you hate our freedom”, “Mission Accomplished” etc., etc..

    Now Adrian may have a deadly beard but I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard him revel in the death of anyone.

    As I stated previously…

    “To condemn the overheavy hand of Israel’s “vengeance” is in no way an endorsement of Hamas’ own violence; it is simply recognition of a gross imbalance & gory injustice.”

    This concept is not particularly difficult to comprehend unless it must penetrate well established mental barriers.

    I WILL NOT endorse the law of the jungle in international machinations. To do so is to capitulate to he who has the biggest stick & anybody who thinks that Teh West is destined to hold the throne in perpetuity is devoid of historical context.

  110. Sparta, does that mean any Arabs death sits well with you?
    I find that hard to believe sparta.

    I dont think anyone’s death sits well in this blog. Thats why the debate is on.

    Both sides are in the wrong, who holds the most weapons and greater power over the other needs more blame put on them if they are flexing there muscle.

  111. AQUANUT?? You are in disguise! My sixth sense isn’t working today. Who are you? I mean your other pretend name 🙂

    Adrian of Nowra

    I agree, the whole world hasn’t swallowed it, unfortunately the protests do nothing to stop the slaughter.

    No-one seems to have learned a lesson with Iraq, where the killing is still going on. If fact the West is pretty much ignoring it, just as if OIL hadn’t happened at all.

  112. Legion,

    Typical……

  113. Adrian,

    Not looking for another taste of your resume dude just a bit of introspective thought. Perhaps you and others might pay close attention next time and follow the meaning of a statement that is premised with a question mark? Asking a question is much different than making a blanket statement, wouldn’t you agree? Apparently, others should take their own advice and “breathe deeply”.

  114. Legion & Joni,

    I would love to hear your critique gentlemen. Perhaps either one of you could explain it to me? How does one become enlightened if those who tend to project themselves as “all knowing” are unable to articulate their own views? I get the impression that many individuals here have never really thought a position through to the end before trouncing on others who have. Snide remarks and condescension don’t really prove your case although they may get a clap from the lemmings. “Knee-jerk ego” abounds……..

  115. Aquanut,

    “Sparta, does that mean any Arabs death sits well with you?”

    Of course not, but I grow disillusioned with this “struggle” where one party usually starts these things only to use “Arab deaths” as propaganda and then find many here “parroting” the same lines. The Palestinians are firing these rockets, the Palestinian loons are hiding amongst the women and children and many here still can’t seem to muster enough fortitude to condemn them for putting their people in such a position. Thank god their own press is beginning too even though many here can’t. No, the all “enlightened” few who “see through the Zionist lies” are just giving us the “real story”. I guess we need about 6 million dead Jews for the world to “bellow” on about their plight because obviously the loss of one here, two there is just seen as “disproportionate”!

  116. That’s rubbish Sparta,
    The reason for this is because you cant agree on things?
    Nobody wants death here or you’d notice it way before this subject came up.
    The common ground here is nobody wants the death of people on both sides, stop spreading shit on that ground.
    The problem lies in not knowing what to do, But you cannot advocate peace through death no matter how smart one thinks they are.

    # “Arab deaths” as propaganda

    Then don’t use Jewish deaths in the same light (6 millions deaths )

    They are both performing for the world theatre.The leaders should be condemed on both sides for leting it get this far.
    History/Pride is why peace cannot be achived by either side. It will be up to future generations from those countries to get fed up with the lies the current leaders find to push the treaty aside.

  117. If i wasnt drunk and my hypnosis was working my post would read more like this:

    With all due respect Sparta Thats wrong what you think of some in this room. Take it back.(Scratch)
    I became so lame after Hypnosis but i guess the people around me think im better. A#*eholes why did they stop me

  118. sparta

    And how about the deliberate blockade of Gaza? is that not a possible factor in all of this?

    And now you bring up the 6 million death line… and I thought it was you who kept saying that we cannot bring up the past to defend the present.

    And when I am more awake I will respond using respected sources (like Robert Fisk) of the reality in Gaza and the West Bank, but I am sure that you will dismiss them as “propaganda”.

    And how dare you say that we do not “articulate” our POV.

    Your first post on this thread was a sarcastic reply which offered no new information.

    So please tell me: How will this action by the IDF change anything?

  119. And I actually not sorry if I come across angry with you sparta, because I am!

    But (in mitigation) we do like and want you here to challenge and push us.

  120. One minute you want to kick the face off someone,… three deep breathes and all off a sudden you want to buy them flowers and talk.

    If i stopped breathing( theres an idea)..

  121. Aquanut & Joni,

    WTF??????

    “So please tell me: How will this action by the IDF change anything?”

    It won’t, but perhaps if Hamas really had it’s people in mind they would stop provoking the type of action we now see. Alas, we all know they won’t and as I said before, we will be having this debate again. I suppose the Jews should just learn to live with rocket attacks and not respond what so ever as doing so always brings you guys out of the wood work! I mentioned the 6 million because it seems to be the only number that draws the Jews sympathy these days. You and others provide what alternative to them? I thought removing themselves from the West Bank was all that was needed? Seems Hamas can keep changing the “goal posts” at their leisure? Now go sleep it off you two!!!!!

  122. Nice sparta – you get to decide when the discussion is over?

    Can you not see that we are not defending Hamas, just like when we where against the war in Iraq we were not defending Saddam, or when we criticise the US admin we are not against ALL US citizens. That is a convenient accusation that you continually make.

    It is just lazy on your part.

    I will respond in due course.

    And tell me – are you one of those who accuse those of the Jewish faith who condemn the action of Israel “self haters”?

  123. # WTF?
    Whats up confused man.
    Ive had my opinion and i don’t stutter, please refer to comment 117

  124. “Nice sparta – you get to decide when the discussion is over?”

    Well being this is a blog, hardly.

    “Can you not see that we are not defending Hamas, just like when we where against the war in Iraq we were not defending Saddam, or when we criticise the US admin we are not against ALL US citizens. That is a convenient accusation that you continually make.”

    I would sure like you to produce anything that I have posted to that effect? I am sorry Joni but in your mind you may not be defending Hamas but can you please tell what position Hamas would side with then; yours or mine? Simply question really, but hardly one I am sure anybody here with “innocent” motivations is willing to answer.

    Perhaps if you guys that purport to be “anti-violence” actually posted something to that affect, which clearly condemned all violence, not just that at the hands of the Israeli’s I would be more persuaded that your cries were actually all for the “children”. If the harping on here was being used in the context of condemning the actions of Hamas as well, then I am sure there would be no confusion but really, what do you expect? Having followed you guys for about 2 years now, I can say with all sincerity, I have seen most blindly towing the same old agendas, most of the time. If your against violence than say so, Palestinian and Jewish violence alike. If your concern is really about the death of the innocent than try condemning all those who put their children at risk; including those launching rockets indiscriminately for the “distinct purpose” of killing the innocent. Do you actually read the posts of some of those you’re in agreement with? You do see the difference between indiscriminately launching rockets into neighborhoods which kill “kids” and those that are sadly killed when Hamas and company set up a bomb making facility next door to a local day care or in a Mosque? If Israel wanted to target civilians they would hardly need to go to the pains that they do, common sense really. I know, that is just Zionist propaganda, right? Especially with every media outlet ignoring the rocket attacks but strangely always present when a Palestinian is killed. Hmm………

  125. You just don’t stop with drawing tenuous and false allegories do you, all from one side as though yours is the only correct view and your side is justified and all others are to be condemned? You just keep coming back to framing things in black and white, us and them, with us or against us, but so ingrained is your belief in the white and us views are the only right ones you just dismiss any others out of hand falling back to the same old “you must love my enemy if you condemn me”.

    Take this utterly stupid and meaningless question you pose, which is anything but simple as you claim:

    I am sorry Joni but in your mind you may not be defending Hamas but can you please tell what position Hamas would side with then; yours or mine? Simply question really, but hardly one I am sure anybody here with “innocent” motivations is willing to answer.

    I’ll answer that by posing a not so simple question back at you, and unlike you I won’t end it with the condescending statement of “innocent motivations”.

    If the duly and fairly elected Arizona state government was overthrown by Mexico with the aid of America, only to be replaced by a formerly ousted corrupt but subservient government, and then a two year blockade was imposed on Arizona for daring to hold onto the previously fairly elected government, all the while Mexico randomly cut off water and electricity to Arizona, not allowing in any aid and deliberately suppressing any development or investment, what would you do.

    I guess from the way you go on you would just sit there, do nothing and say that Mexico has all the right in the world to oppress you.

    Finally I notice you yet again spew out verbatim the Israeli propaganda of events as though their statements are the absolute irrefutable truth of the situation, and ending with yet another stupid and false statement in “Especially with every media outlet ignoring the rocket attacks but strangely always present when a Palestinian is killed”. I don’t know which news you listen to or read but I suggest it is a very narrow and limited source if that is what you believe is the case.

  126. Oh and by the way you do know that as they always do, Israel has banned all media from going into Gaza and strictly controls what is reported. If Israel is so right and justified in this why not let journalists fully and openly cover it. But Israel has always fully suppressed any reporting of its actions and has even gone as far as killing journalists. They have done the same to foreign and Israeli activists.

    They don’t seem like the actions of an authority that ascertains it is fully justified in its violent actions.

  127. Good Morning and happy new Year to all.

    Just trying to catch up on what’s being said here. Haven’t read the whole thread and am working backwards, but will catch up.

    Just to clarify somethig, Adrian, could you supply a reference to your last remarks about Israel killing journalists? I hadn’t heard about this and would like to read up on it.

  128. But Israel has always fully suppressed any reporting of its actions and has even gone as far as killing journalists. ..

    The pro-Israel lobby is also extremely aggressive and fanatical in accusing the media of biased reporting. Even if a story is truthfully reported but is favourable to the Palestinians, someone will scream bias and prejudice of the media.

    Media Watch under fire over ‘Jewish pressure’ claim:
    http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=5518

    …MELBOURNE Ports MP Michael Danby has joined senior Jewish community figures in condemning a segment on the ABC’s Media Watch program last week, which claimed Jewish “pressure” had forced a feature by Fairfax Middle East correspondent Ed O’Loughlin to be dropped.

    O’Loughlin’s final article from his Middle East round, in which he summed up five-and-a-half years of reporting the region, appeared in The Age on May 10, but has not been published by The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

    In the feature, O’Loughlin gave a detailed account of the alleged killing of Reuters’ cameraman Fadel Shana by Israel Defence Forces tank fire.

    He also recalled a helicopter flight organised by Israeli advocacy group The Israel Project, during which he had argued with a guide who, he said, claimed news reports from Gaza were unreliable.

    In the Media Watch segment, the program’s host, Jonathan Holmes, said SMH editor Alan Oakley had refused to comment to the ABC on his decision to pull the article…

  129. There appear to be enough inconsitencies surrounding the report of Shana’s death to cast some doubt on its veracity:

  130. Just some of many if you look. Also do a search on how foreign and Israeli activists happen to be “accidentally” killed by Israeli soldiers who in any investigation are inevitably found to be innocent by the Israeli military tribunal.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE6D7123AF933A15757C0A9659C8B63
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/256211
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/mar/14/israel2
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israeli-troops-kill-british-cameraman-in-gaza-strip-537953.html

    …and so many more if you care to look Tony. Like the journalist who was cleanly shot in the head whilst trying to help and protect Palestinian children with the bullet coming from an Israeli position.

    As I state if Israel is the victim and is not hiding anything why do they continually bar open investigations and reporting of their actions? Also why is it only Israel that continually refuses to allow any neutral observers or the UN peacekeepers to set up in the demilitarised zones, yet the Palestinians have been asking for this for decades now?

  131. and british

    From Reporters Without Borders.

    Media involved in several incidents since start of Israeli offensive against Gaza Strip

    and

    Israel – Annual report 2008

    Israel army soldiers unpunished:

    …Britain asked in June for the reopening of the investigation into the 2003 death in the Gaza Strip of freelance journalist James Miller. An Israeli autopsy showed he had been killed by a bullet from an M-16 assault rifle fired by an Israeli soldier. The army closed the enquiry in 2005 after 18 months for “lack of evidence.” British investigators went to Jerusalem in September 2007 to present their conclusions to the prosecutor-general.

    Lawyers for French reporter Jacques-Marie Bourget, seriously wounded by Israeli gunfire in Ramallah in October 2000, are trying to get the authorities to help them hold hearings. A complaint has been filed in a French court for attempted murder. Disciplinary proceedings have reportedly been held in the army but the results have not been disclosed. Bourget is 42% incapacitated….

  132. Letter to Israeli general about decision not to prosecute soldiers who killed Palestinian cameraman

    …“The behaviour of Mr. Shanaa and his assistant, Wafa Abu Mizyed, should not have caused any confusion. Their car was clearly marked as a press vehicle. Their flak jackets also had the word ‘Press’ written on them. As Reuters Middle East managing editor Mark Thompson points out, the tripod they were using was much higher than the kind of tripod used to fire mortars.

    …Five journalists have been killed by IDF personnel in the Palestinian Territories in the past 10 years. ..

  133. Oh my god Tony quotes a blogger who is an Israeli immigrant that goes under the name of Aussie Dave and who calls his blog Israellycool, and expects us to believe this blog is unbiased.

    Aussie Dave does not quote one credible source, just links to other bloggers who agree with him and claims (now this is a surprise, not) the media is biased.

  134. Sara Roy (a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University) writes in the Christian Science Monitor:

    One Palestinian friend asked me, “Why did Israel attack when the children were leaving school and the women were in the markets?”

    Jewish intellectuals oppose racism, repression, and injustice almost everywhere in the world and yet it is still unacceptable – indeed, for some, it’s an act of heresy – to oppose it when Israel is the oppressor. This double standard must end.

  135. 113. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    How does one become enlightened if those who tend to project themselves as “all knowing” are unable to articulate their own views? I get the impression that many individuals here have never really thought a position through to the end before trouncing on others who have.

    Take another deep breath and re-read these words, Sparta. For the ‘critique’ cometh next.

  136. Part A

    I find that statement completely disingenuous Legion and we certainly have no proof or way of proving such a statement but can clearly point to who decided to use violence first.

    So you don’t actually know either way, but simply don’t like the logical implications, with no actual proofs to mount a counter-claim, beyond the ‘everyone knows’ fallacy? Ironically, if you flip the thing on its head, it means that you do not necessarily have a way of assessing Israel’s claims that a monolithic Hamas, which consists of a loose alliance of factions internally, is responsible for every last rocket; and Israel’s demand is for every last, single rocket to be prevented, after all. Where, in any area of law enforcement, let alone a 60-year semi-battlezone, has 100% eradication of any particular kind of anti-social behaviour been achieved?
    Please tell me then; if Hamas is not the culprit in this particular “escapade” why do you think they did nothing to either stop the rocket attacks over the last 6 months and have kept up their usual rhetoric throughout?
    I don’t know definitively whether Hamas was or wasn’t the ‘culprit’ as you put it, and as, we’ve established, nor do you. There certainly is suggestive evidence, from who has been claiming responsibility for successful rocket and mortar attacks over the period, that other militant groups apart from Hamas haven’t been shy in taking credit where damage has been inflicted. Overall, were the reported incidents of attacks up, down, or about the same during the ‘lull’, though, as a consequence of Hamas’ policing of the ‘lull’? (I think you’ll find that they were significantly down, when you go looking, up until early November, when Israel mounted its military incursion.) What was Hamas ‘usual’ rhetoric’ before, during, and at the cessation of the ‘lull’? (I think you’ll find that they were quite optimistic about the ‘lull’, and were selling it to their members, other militant groups, and all of Gaza as a good opportunity for improving conditions, and were strongly advocating for cessation of rocket attacks to achieve and maintain a lifting of the blockade.) You’d probably want to have a fix on those kinds of things before reaching any tentative conclusions, and I commend you for asking the question, if not seeking out those answers for yourself, before making clear statements about what is clear and what isn’t about Hamas, or by ‘begging the question’ to me with a ‘loaded question’, and implicitly supplying your own answer for me, with no evidence proferred to back those assertions.

    Please, let’s stop with the naivety ploy. You can’t have it both ways my friend.

    Apparently, I can’t even have it one way or an actual as-argued-by-me way, when you are busy attributing answers to me before I’ve even seen your question, when yours is the only way, and that way provides me ‘both ways’ and none. You are too sophisticated for me, by half, so I apologise for my ‘ploy’ and my naivete.

  137. “It’s a bit hard to accord a nation-State “lands of its own” and “sovereignty” in the absence of acknowledgement of its existence, I’m sure even you will agree”

    Great, then you would also agree that they have a right to defend themselves, even if in doing so they happen to be more effective.

    No, not really: I’ll agree that they have a right to defend themselves, but the occasion for enlivening that right, its content, and its execution are still subject to critical examination by me, regardless of ‘effects’.

    I find the “body-count” argument not only offensive but highly suggestive of your justification for more violence at the hands of one party as opposed to the other.

    A strawman, if ever there was one. Others have covered this illegitimate intellectual tactic amply; but I’d also like you to provide evidence for this claim advocacy for violence, on any occasion, or indeed, supply any occasion where I’ve ever done anything but deplore violence in all its guises. Apparently, we will discover someone, however, who does attempt such a calculus immediately above and immediately below.

    It is a false argument indeed for some to keep beating the “disproportionate drum” over and over. In time of war, there is no such thing and it displays either a stroke of imbecility or just another false argument.

    Except, I didn’t touch on the ‘disproportionality’ argument, flowing from the Hague Convention; I performed some simple maths concerning the magnitudes of impacts on societies and the relativities of those impacts in numerical terms, which is a function of the maths, and that other argument of mine operates in the public sphere as a crude counter to the preferred legalese of those who like to refer to one limb of three of the Conventional and customary international laws relating to justification for direct military killing and indirect collateral civilian killing, usually by those who are engaged in the act of ‘justifying violence’ Which must present a quandary to the easily offended who didn’t attempt that other calculus implicitly, and thence attribute that mental state to another. Apparently, and paradoxically, that mental state both seems to imply ‘even one life lost is one too many’ and ‘any number, up to infinity can be killed’, but I’ll leave you to work out that conundrum, Sparta. I’m happy leaving it at ‘even one life lost, and every life lost, are all too many’.

  138. Part C

    In time of war, there is no such thing and it displays either a stroke of imbecility or just another false argument. If Israel was indiscriminately launching rockets into Palestinian controlled areas you would be crying about the lack of precision guided weapons. You cannot argue for the use of violence on one hand and condemn it on the other just because one party is better at it.

    I think we’ve amply covered that the ‘you’ in this statement is a strawman figment of your imagination, although I did like the evocative imagery of me crying. Very touching.

    When in the history of war has a combatant taken the liberty to phone/warn civilians?

    Yes, indeed. Because I feel like playing devil’s advocate, let’s consider that one for the merest of moments from a non-supplied non-Israeli perspective. Let’s suppose that I obtain your phone number, phone you while you’re in your home, and tell you to leave your home, because I’m about to bomb your home. Am I being very nice to you, or calling in a bomb scare in other contexts? How about the context of a warzone, where shelter is possibly more important than other, more civil occasions? Where do persons normally go during an emergency where public buildings are demonstrably unsafe, and now their military target homes are said to be unsafe, too, according to their friendly, intrusive, and not at all terrifying to a civilian, phone friend offering to bomb their home?

    Simply stated war does not usually follow any “politically correct” agenda, never has and never will but this conflict seems to warrant “special tactics” . Please, stop trying to apply the Geneva conventions or human rights blather. Neither is prepared to handle dynamic conflict or scenarios.

    Intriguing, given that humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, which are some products of it, were developed precisely for those occasions, and present guidelines and pathways for acceptable wartime behaviours in their broadest application, and represent the bare minimums of conduct for armed conflicts, for all parties, at their thinnest, universal level of applicability. One might even think that some parties who might be objecting to rockets might be heavily relying on that blather, both in their objections to the rockets and in the prosecution of their response. But myeh, Sparta, thinks that war does not usually follow any politically correct agenda and seems to think that this conflict warrants special tactics, and who am I to disagree with his simple statements and complete abandonment of the relevant legal parameters for wartime conduct? Me being me, though, I’d suggest that if some parties cannot or will not paint within the lines, and there’s a cogent reason for updating the relevant rules of conflict conduct, then the appropriate forum to address perceived deficiencies is at the level at which those rules are drawn up, and not on the battlefield. Nevertheless, I am prepared to defer to the greater wisdom of those who would abandon the rule of law for wartime as built up over the last century or so of terrible and bloody conflicts, even as those more wise have followed their ideas through to their inevitable conclusions.

  139. Part D

    “without any special friends with vetoes blocking the will of the collective international community being brought to bear.”

    “Collective International Community”, that is funny. Even more so that it is always trotted out when it fits one’s agenda but disregarded otherwise. I am sorry, but the “international village” hardly has a leg of legitimacy to stand on these days given the messes it refuses to do anything about or even acknowledge.

    How very ironic of you to notice that, given that a central plank of my argument here is for more acknowledgement and involvement, but not necessarily in the ways in which you might conceive of those things, to solve one very messy situation in particular.

    I am sure you would trot out a more favorable opinion of such tactics when applied to France, or Russia or China, in the context of the Iraq War, right?

    I’m not sure what I’d trot out, especially given the paucity of perceived relevance or detail to your red herring, but I’m sure you’ll let my strawman know in exquisite detail, and have it render some text-speech act for me.

    Anyhow, good job in ignoring the analogy I presented as we wouldn’t want you to think “outside the box” a bit.

    What I took to be your analogy, which isn’t really an analogy btw because you haven’t actually constructed an analogy where you flesh out why X is like Y, was given a reply and distinguished at comment 90.

    Arguments such as yours and others only work in the context of snap shops in history apparently. Oddly, the inapplicability of your sentiments in the greater context of history hardly gives weight to your arguments. Ignoring “the context of history” is your prerogative however but doing so does not say much for the “enlightened tone” your posts have at times. If anything, it highlights the same kind of mindset that has locked the ME in the same struggles since the 7th century. Your comments would certainly support such a supposition.

    I suggest that you focus on the specific history and the precise context at hand, which is peculiar to the Israel-Palestinian relationship as it has evolved in situ and against a broad backdrop of political and legal developments, before wandering off into a ‘winning’ analogy to fish for red herrings. And just fyi, I don’t necessarily appreciate being projectively locked in a frame, along with unspecified others, to another time and place in support of your assumption-laden ‘suppositions’ which seem to involve yet another selective snapshot from history, complete with an implicit ad hominem subtext as captioned by you, if one buys into your subtext, which I happen not to do (but that’s another story entirely).

  140. Here…

    Please, let’s stop with the naivety ploy. You can’t have it both ways my friend.

    Apparently, I can’t even have it one way or an actual as-argued-by-me way, when you are busy attributing answers to me before I’ve even seen your question, when yours is the only way, and that way provides me ‘both ways’ and none. You are too sophisticated for me, by half, so I apologise for my ‘ploy’ and my naivete.

    …and here:

    I don’t necessarily appreciate being projectively locked in a frame, along with unspecified others, to another time and place in support of your assumption-laden ‘suppositions’ which seem to involve yet another selective snapshot from history, complete with an implicit ad hominem subtext as captioned by you, if one buys into your subtext, which I happen not to do (but that’s another story entirely).

    you have hit upon Sparta’s tactic.

    He asks very loaded questions, under the guise of them being “simple”, thus not answering them to his preconceived (and usually already stated) response deeming you stupid or naive whilst deeming him the holder of the “correct” answer.

    Throw in lots of strawmen and a red herring here and there in an attempt to support his very selective assumption laden suppositions and there you have it, he’s right, we’re all wrong but worse we’re also naive, PC, duplicitous and of course supporting the wrong side (even though we constantly state we support neither side).

  141. Robert Fisk (as usual) writes about how the bombing of Gaza is futile:

    Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it. Not since 1948 have air raids protected Israel. Israel has bombed Lebanon thousands of times since 1975 and not one has eliminated “terrorism”. So what was the reaction last night? The Israelis threaten ground attacks. Hamas waits for another battle. Our Western politicians crouch in their funk holes. And somewhere to the east – in a cave? a basement? on a mountainside? – a well-known man in a turban smiles.

    Yes, let’s remember Hamas’s cynicism, the cynicism of all armed Islamist groups. Their need for Muslim martyrs is as crucial to them as Israel’s need to create them. The lesson Israel thinks it is teaching – come to heel or we will crush you – is not the lesson Hamas is learning. Hamas needs violence to emphasise the oppression of the Palestinians – and relies on Israel to provide it. A few rockets into Israel and Israel obliges.

  142. And in another article Fisk exposes a commonly held myth about the IDF:

    Israel, however – always swift to announce its imminent destruction of “terrorism” – has never won a war in a built-up city, be it Beirut or Gaza, since its capture of Jerusalem in 1967. And it’s important to remember that the Israeli army, famous in song and legend for its supposed “purity of arms” and “elite” units, has proved itself to be a pretty third-rate army over recent years. Not since the 1973 Middle East conflict – 35 years ago – has it won a war.

  143. Fisk is a stalwart!

    Have you read Fisk’s “The War For Civilisation” joni?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-great-war-for-civilisation-by-robert-fisk-511357.html

  144. Absolutely…. the guy (IMHO) is the best journalist in the world today.

    He writes with so much local knowledge from living in Lebanon, and when it is deserved, he drops objectivity and gets angry.

    And did you note, TB, who the editor was at The Times which led to him resign…. our favourite (h)Akerman.

  145. I recently finished “The Age of The Warrior” & found it a great read.

    The story about the life (in Beirut) of his cat was intriguing & ultimately touching. How many metres of guided missile wire did it eat? I can’t remember.
    Full of great essays, a rare perspective from someone who lives in the maelstrom & can articulate its’ nuances with clarity.

  146. Legion,

    “So you don’t actually know either way, but simply don’t like the logical implications, with no actual proofs to mount a counter-claim, beyond the ‘everyone knows’ fallacy?”

    Well considering it was your statement? Was it not? The onus is on you to prove not me, try to follow. However, who started this latest round, once again?

    “Ironically, if you flip the thing on its head, it means that you do not necessarily have a way of assessing Israel’s claims that a monolithic Hamas, which consists of a loose alliance of factions internally, is responsible for every last rocket; and Israel’s demand is for every last, single rocket to be prevented, after all.”

    Can you imagine, the nerve of a country asking another to prevent aggressive action being taken from its soil. By your description there really is no Hamas then? There really is no elected government then in Palestine? Just a collection of radical Muslim groups running around that happen to have rockets manufactured in China or Iran, just coincidence. Not bad for poor street thugs with no means of funding their populous.

    “Where, in any area of law enforcement, let alone a 60-year semi-battlezone, has 100% eradication of any particular kind of anti-social behaviour been achieved?”

    Umm….anti-social behavior, that is rich. Listen up folks anti-social behavior is now lumped together with military operations, suicide bombings etcetera; just anti-social behavior, very rich indeed.

    “I don’t know definitively whether Hamas was or wasn’t the ‘culprit’ as you put it, and as, we’ve established, nor do you.”

    No, just the rhetoric of Hamas to go on throughout this latest incident, which carries more weight than your “word” or “opinion”. You know, the destruction of Israel, it’s refusal to acknowledge it existence. Yes, all the makings of a rational group who’s word is now one we can trust according to Legion. I’ll make sure we get word to the Israeli’s, I am sure they will be glad to get this piece of “intelligence”.

    “Apparently, I can’t even have it one way or an actual as-argued-by-me way, when you are busy attributing answers to me before I’ve even seen your question, when yours is the only way, and that way provides me ‘both ways’ and none. You are too sophisticated for me, by half, so I apologise for my ‘ploy’ and my naivete.”

    I just love the “Too sophisticated for me, by half”; now that is hilarious. No, as always, I will be the first and only one on this blog to admit I am far from being “sophisticated” as you say, just opinionated. I also don’t see the point in rambling on all the time in convoluted, incoherent and redundant fashion, in an attempt to pass myself off as anything but. It’s a blog dude, not a thesis.

    “No, not really: I’ll agree that they have a right to defend themselves, but the occasion for enlivening that right, its content, and its execution are still subject to critical examination by me, regardless of ‘effects’.”

    Critical examination by me, thank god you’re out there Legion. The world needs to know the truth of it and they got you as an asset. Please, if this is critical examination by you then you and every other major news outlet must be getting your Intel from the same source.

    “A strawman, if ever there was one. Others have covered this illegitimate intellectual tactic amply; but I’d also like you to provide evidence for this claim advocacy for violence, on any occasion, or indeed, supply any occasion where I’ve ever done anything but deplore violence in all its guises. Apparently, we will discover someone, however, who does attempt such a calculus immediately above and immediately below.”

    I just love when you guys bring out the old faithful. “Straw-man” aka I have no response. Let me help you out a bit and refocus you on the discussion at hand. You have done nothing but go over the purposive illegalities of Israel’s claim to land lost in conflict, lambasted their use of tactics by fanning the “woes is me” loss of Palestinian life etcetera while discounting Israeli loss of life by not mentioning it at all, tactfully I might add. You yourself refer to Israel’s territorial boundaries as an “occupation” all the while having not once, being as long winded as you are, mentioned the acts of violence committed at the hands of Palestinians? Ok Sherlock, perhaps you are not advocating violence but you sure as hell are not condemning it. Say for the use of force at the hands of Israel. I guess you can’t see where somebody might draw such a conclusion? How blind of me. I should have utilized my “mind-reading” abilities. Had I, I would have known your criticisms of only Israel were actually two fold. My bad…….

    Except, I didn’t touch on the ‘disproportionality’ argument, flowing from the Hague Convention; I performed some simple maths concerning the magnitudes of impacts on societies ……….military killing and indirect collateral civilian killing, usually by those who are engaged in the act of ‘justifying violence’ Apparently, and paradoxically, that mental state both seems to imply ‘even one life lost is one too many’ and ‘any number, up to infinity can be killed’, but I’ll leave you to work out that conundrum, Sparta. I’m happy leaving it at ‘even one life lost, and every life lost, are all too many’.

    “I think we’ve amply covered that the ‘you’ in this statement is a strawman figment of your imagination, although I did like the evocative imagery of me crying. Very touching.”

    Ok, again, not being able to go on anything other than your posts, you really mean to say that all violence is deplorable and that the Palestinians are just as guilty as the Israeli’s then? So your tirades about “occupation”, Israel’s illegal claims etcetera are just your way of conveying your condemnation of all violence? Whatever champ…….

    “Yes, indeed. Because I feel like playing devil’s advocate, let’s consider that one for the merest of moments from a non-supplied non-Israeli perspective. Let’s suppose that I obtain your phone number, phone you while you’re in your home, and tell you to leave your home, because I’m about to bomb your home. Am I being very nice to you, or calling in a bomb scare in other contexts?

    Yea, well I think we can both agree the West Bank is hardly comparable to what is happening in Phoenix AZ and such a phone call would certainly be acted upon differently, wouldn’t you agree?

    “How about the context of a warzone, where shelter is possibly more important than other, more civil occasions? Where do persons normally go during an emergency where public buildings are demonstrably unsafe, and now their military target homes are said to be unsafe, too, according to their friendly, intrusive, and not at all terrifying to a civilian, phone friend offering to bomb their home?”

    Ok, now were getting somewhere. So now we’re talking about a war-zone Legion not a law enforcement scenario? Perhaps you can tell me what the objective is in a “war-zone” between two combatants? How does the Geneva Conventions etcetera apply to such a “war-zone” where only one side is attempting to follow the “rules of war” and the other doesn’t? Still, hardly suggests Israeli’s are targeting civilians as some in the media have suggested.

    “Intriguing, given that humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, which are some products of it, were developed precisely for those occasions, and present guidelines and pathways for acceptable wartime behaviours in their broadest application, and represent the bare minimums of conduct for armed conflicts, for all parties, at their thinnest, universal level of applicability.”

    Even more so that you like to apply such conduct to the Israeli’s only but absolve the other combatant, Hamas of such? Perhaps you could point me in the direction of the applicability of such governance when one party routinely violates most standards used in applying them. Plainly put, how are “terrorist” to be treated then? So you would suggest then that given how much you like to mention said governance that Hamas is in direct violation of just about all? From what I have been able to tell, this is still a question for debate. Excuse me for not putting such decisions in the hands of the “all-knowing” Legion to decide, let alone cite as component of his/her rationale.

    “One might even think that some parties who might be objecting to rockets might be heavily relying on that blather, both in their objections to the rockets and in the prosecution of their response.”

    Um.. NO not exactly. One side is attempting to follow such conduct but the other is not. You however seem to think it only applies to Israel, odd.

    “But myeh, Sparta, thinks that war does not usually follow any politically correct agenda and seems to think that this conflict warrants special tactics, and who am I to disagree with his simple statements and complete abandonment of the relevant legal parameters for wartime conduct?’

    Let me again try to make this as understandable as possible for you. One does not “politely kill” the enemy. War does not historically take the liberty to phone civilians of danger but one side is. Historically, one combatant doesn’t usually bring in “aid” during combat missions where it can fall in to enemy hands but does so in an effort to help the families of those trying to kill their populous. One side is. One side doesn’t usually have to post its operations on “YouTube” to show it is not purposively targeting civilians etcetera….If anything, only one side is even trying to walk the “rules of war” fine-line while fighting an enemy that is seemingly free to act as they will and without a word of criticism for doing so from the likes of you and the world community. You are quite confused I think, even with the “simplest” of statements from a simple guy.

    “Me being me, though, I’d suggest that if some parties cannot or will not paint within the lines, and there’s a cogent reason for updating the relevant rules of conflict conduct, then the appropriate forum to address perceived deficiencies is at the level at which those rules are drawn up, and not on the battlefield.”

    Finally we can agree. So then stop trying to apply what you admit doesn’t apply!!!!!!!!!!However, whatever does come from an “appropriate forum” you can bet no terrorist is going to follow! Otherwise “terrorist” will need a new definition. Sort of an oxymoron, wouldn’t you agree?

    “Nevertheless, I am prepared to defer to the greater wisdom of those who would abandon the rule of law for wartime as built up over the last century or so of terrible and bloody conflicts, even as those more wise have followed their ideas through to their inevitable conclusions.”

    Is not wartime just the culmination of this abandonment; piece by piece? Again, only one of the combatants here is even attempting to follow the “rules of war” going above and beyond what is called for. Strangely, they are on the receiving end of most of the condemnation stemming from this latest disgrace?

    “How very ironic of you to notice that, given that a central plank of my argument here is for more acknowledgement and involvement, but not necessarily in the ways in which you might conceive of those things, to solve one very messy situation in particular.”

    What is ironic is your professed grasp of the discussion to the exclusion of all others even in the face of your own contradictions. Something else we agree on, messy indeed. I just don’t have any faith in the process you speak of that only bears the prospects of fruit if basic tenants are in place to begin with. You know, acceptance of the right of Israel to exist for starters. Otherwise, this is just a pipe dream. More talk on a subject that has been exhausted to no end. Hate, cannot be reasoned with as history has shown over and over again. What is an aspect of lunacy, “repeating the same routine over and over again expecting a different result”? The only real chance of progress lies with the Palestinian’s to a) let go of said hate & b) electing a government who’s platform isn’t one of hate and actually looks to better them. Perhaps if they stopped blaming Israel for their own incompetence progress would be made. Like electing a terrorist organization into government perhaps?

    “I’m not sure what I’d trot out, especially given the paucity of perceived relevance or detail to your red herring, but I’m sure you’ll let my strawman know in exquisite detail, and have it render some text-speech act for me.”

    Here we go again, I guess using the reply of Strawman or Red herring does have a better ring to it than say, “I don’t know”?

    “What I took to be your analogy, which isn’t really an analogy btw because you haven’t actually constructed an analogy where you flesh out why X is like Y, was given a reply and distinguished at comment 90.”

    Again, let me try this again. The Aboriginal is the Palestinian here and the Australian Government and all of its populous (YOU) are the Israeli’s. If the Aboriginal took up arms again and was lobbing rockets into Darwin or your back yard, how should you respond? Wait 6 months at the bequest of an impotent “World Community” as your populous is killed? Oh wait; they did do that in accordance with what “humanitarian law”? Ok so then you say enough and respond by targeting those responsible. Is the Australian Government not the occupier in this analogy? Does that not make you an occupant? What would be the reaction of the Australian government if the Aboriginal decided to start using suicide bombers? The hypocrisy of your argument is rather obvious but if avoiding acknowledgement of it is any consultation, fine. Still, most “get it” even if you don’t.

    “I suggest that you focus on the specific history and the precise context at hand, which is peculiar to the Israel-Palestinian relationship as it has evolved in situ and against a broad backdrop of political and legal developments, before wandering off into a ‘winning’ analogy to fish for red herrings.”

    My apologies, I forgot I was in the presence of a scholar here; unable to work out his own hypocrisy or finer details of his own arguments. I am not trying to “win anything” dude, just trying my best to follow your logic, or lack thereof. Perhaps if you weren’t looking for a win you might wonder outside of your comfort zone a bit and try to see where I am coming from. Not saying it is the “right” view, just different. Is that enough there Adrian?

    “And just fyi, I don’t necessarily appreciate being projectively locked in a frame, along with unspecified others, to another time and place in support of your assumption-laden ‘suppositions’ which seem to involve yet another selective snapshot from history, complete with an implicit ad hominem subtext as captioned by you, if one buys into your subtext, which I happen not to do (but that’s another story entirely).”

    My subtext well let me give you the quick summation. Israel has a right to defend itself without the critique of individuals thousands of miles away, who seek to cite “rules of engagement” that clearly and by your own admission are not clearly defined in this setting. In, by your own admission is a war-zone, with and enemy in name only, “Hamas” of which you share a guiding principle, “like the idea of an illegal Occupation” there but not apparently on your own patch of earth which by your logic is an occupation, which they use to justify violence that you have yet to condemn as well although attesting to do so on the other hand in theory while not holding them to any rules whatsoever. Israel is locked in a struggle with those who do not recognize it to begin with though you feel “talk” is needed, wishes to kill its civilians DIRECTLY through whatever means necessary (suicide bombings, rockets) and seemingly all in the name of what? ISLAM aka the Palestinian cause; we can go over the history if you like but since its beginning the use of violence has always been the main tactic of one group here. Apparently, on this patch of earth it is something else, oh yes, “all for the children”, the ones these same “freedom fighters” hide behind and strap bombs too. I am sorry, but could you explain to me your “beef” with Israel again?

  147. Samuel Huntington you mean TB? RIP

  148. Mr Haniya, who has been in hiding with the rest of the Hamas leadership in Gaza since the Israeli air attack began on Saturday, said in a taped television address that Hamas was prepared “to talk about all issues and seriously” if Israel halted its attacks and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    His sober tone was a sharp departure from the taunts voiced by previous Hamas spokesmen, who warned Israeli troops that “the children of Gaza will be collecting their body parts” if they entered the Strip.

    “What is happening in Gaza is not normal aggression,” said Mr Haniya. “It is a real war, a war without morals, with neither principles nor laws. It is a war of elimination against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. We tell the Palestinian people that you will win, inevitably.”

    Yes Mr. Haniya, you reap what you sow! Oh the old faithful Hamas tactic, now that Mr. Haniya realizes he and his government face real defeat, he seeks a cease fire. You got to just love these loons! 3 months from now he will be calling for the destruction of Israel. Funny he is also citing “laws” which his own movement doesn’t even follow. Sound like somebody else?

  149. Sparta

    In future, please ensure that you indicate that you lifted the first three paragraphs of your comment at 150 directly from The Australian.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24864396-2703,00.html

    Otherwise – with non-crediting your posts you might get considered for the position of Liberal party deputy-leader. 😛

  150. Joni,

    No problem.

  151. sparta

    You say “You got to just love these loons! 3 months from now he will be calling for the destruction of Israel.”.

    And this is exactly the point – what is the objective of the IDF and what will the current offensive achieve?

    How will this change anything?

    And what about the fact that Israel has not won a ground war in over 30 years? Do they think they will win this time?

  152. sparta

    you say “Israel has a right to defend itself without the critique of individuals thousands of miles away, who seek to cite “rules of engagement” that clearly and by your own admission are not clearly defined in this setting”.

    What about those in Israel who critique? Do you deny them the right of criticism?

  153. That last point is a very good one joni. In my time living in Tel Aviv and working in Ashdod I found the biggest critics of Israel’s actions and policies were the Israelis.

  154. Adrian

    I am re-reading Antony Lowenstiens book “My Israel Question” and it is quite remarkable how many of the same “arguments” that are being put up here to avoid any criticism of Israel are the same that were used against Antony. Last night I was ticking them off, such as:

    – we are naive
    – how dare we criticise Israel from the outside
    – they did it first
    – by criticising Israel you are supporting terrorism
    etc

    And after Iain was outed as a possible contender for Bobshe – poof, gone in the night.

  155. Sparta you said you would take someone a little more serious if they said both sides are wrong.

    I did in an early post up the page. Just in case you missed it.
    By the way i apologize if i offended you, after all it is your opinion, i may disagree but lets be thankful that nobody dies because of our blogging. By the way happy new year

  156. Israel has been making a lot of propaganda out of the footage of it supposedly blowing up a truck loading rockets. Well it now turns out it was a truck being loaded with oxygen cylinders from a legitimate business.

    Israel is standing by its version even going so far as to state the Palestinians deliberately blew up the business to falsify the report.

    So herein in lies the problem as the reporter stated. Israel is refusing to allow any independent investigation or reporting of its bombings and is firing on any reporters who go into Gaza (I’m just repeating what was said), and Israel’s claims would be easy to substantiate if they allowed Western reporters into Gaza. That they refuse to entertain this is very damning on Israel, and sorry unlike Sparta who it seems unreservedly believes everything Israel puts out, I don’t.

    Also it seems Sparta believes that people should just sit there and do nothing whilst being oppressed, having their water and electricity randomly disrupted, all investment in their society cut off and their infrastructure regularly destroyed all because they voted for the “wrong government”. The reward for sitting there and doing nothing is not to be bombed, but to still have your land taken at a whim and your services and investment curtailed indefinitely.

    Good to hear that Sparta is such a pacifist and would do utterly nothing if he and his family were being oppressed.

  157. Joni,

    “How will this change anything?”

    This is a good question. I my humble opinion, short term action without defined objectives is probably futile in the long term scheme of things. This conflict, rhetoric aside is a damn mess and I don’t see an end to it, in the seeable future. Until the Palestinian populous demands as much from their own leadership as they do Israel, this is bound to continue. Not much else the world can do, sadly. However, lamenting on and on about the plight of the Palestinian that puts a party into power on a platform of hate seems counter intuitive to me.
    I don’t think we will see real progress until Palestinian officials take the ground breaking measure of asking for the help of outside nations like Israel to stamp out the radicalism in their mists if it is indeed just radical elements and not a populous sentiment. Only then can we say they are really serious about change, in my humble opinion. Yes, I realize it sounds if I am putting much of the onus on the Palestinian’s, well I suppose I am. Hamas’s tactics and hate have brought nothing but pain and misery to their people. The Jews will continue to defend themselves which is their right, against a cunning enemy that uses its own people as a weapon. Once the violence has stopped or been reduced considerably then perhaps older grievances can be addressed. This piece by the Times is along your sentiments.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1869152,00.html

  158. USA Weapons sales check list
    1. tax deductible
    2.stock take sale
    3.damaged goods (a scratch)
    4.wrong colour

    How on earth did Israel end up with that much arsenal and to think if they used 100 tons what is in storage must be 5 times that or more.

  159. Wait a minute sparta, isn’t it Israel defending itself and not the Jews?

  160. Hexx, here is some interesting reading.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/usaid.html

    The US is funding this and has as much Palestinian blood on its hands as Israel!

    Terrorism is the direct result of their actions!

  161. And sparta, what about the Israelis that want the death of all Palestinians? Have we heard your condemnation of them? You know – the “radicalism in their mists [sic]”.

    How about the deliberate shootings of journalists by the IDF where the IDF refuses to acknowledge the evidence?

    Or the targetting of students waiting at a bus stop?

    Of course, you will say that it is only a small rogue group within the IDF that does this and these actions should not reflect on all of the Israelis.

  162. Thanks Scaper, i will look that over tonight as i lost the speed on my internet (on dial up speed). I will have to read israels take on this as well. This may take a while as i prefer big pictures.

  163. “And sparta, what about the Israelis that want the death of all Palestinians? Have we heard your condemnation of them? You know – the “radicalism in their mists [sic]”

    A radical is a radical in my humble opinion, Jewish or Muslim. However, I only know of one radical group that is in charge of anything at the moment. This can get tedious however because your definition of a radical is probably not the same as mine; in fact I am almost certain of it. You get my disdain for the JDL for example but such groups are miniscule/ marginalized in comparison and hardly pose the same kind of threat we are talking about it here with Hamas. I certainly see no moral equivocation at this time; with anything the radical Palestinian/Muslim groups pose nowadays. Especially in the context of this latest episode, which is what I thought was being discussed?

    “Of course, you will say that it is only a small rogue group within the IDF that does this and these actions should not reflect on all of the Israelis.”

    Unless you can provide something to the contrary of course that this is wide spread and condoned what is your point? Do you paint all those in the US military with the same brush as those at Abu Grab? I would hope not? I don’t quite understand the incessant comparison many like to make between other religious groups and Muslims these days? Seems to be this utter denial that there is anything amidst at all when across the globe the evidence abounds to the contrary?

  164. Aquanut,

    “Dial-up”, WTF is going on “Down Under”?

  165. I wasted my 20gig a month limit so it takes me back to dial up till the month ends.

  166. The one thing i wish we copied from the USA is the internet speed on offer to the citizens

  167. The Jews will continue to defend themselves which is their right, against a cunning enemy that uses its own people as a weapon…

    Defence?
    Didn’t israel break the ceasefire 4 mths into a 6 mth agreement?

    From another blog (link below to The Science Forum) where one commenter (who is arguing with an Israeli who put forward the usual “Israel defending itself against rockets” smokescreen). Apparently the Warsaw Jews themselves used their own system of tunnels in order to survive the Nazi occupation (I hesitate here for the risk of invoking godwin’s law, not intended).

    The Science Forum

    Simple enough to say it. Hamas’ objective for the ceasefire was to lift the blockade [which is going on since June 2006]. They honored it only as far as the Israelis did. The Israelis did not FOR ONE SINGLE MINUTE, stop building new settlements, imposing restrictions on humanitarian aid. In fact, they destroyed all but one electric tower, cut off fuel, food and medical assistance. And raided the Palestinians when they built tunnels to get the above. So what were they expecting? That the Palestinians would just sit at home and starve to death? Or die trying? Even pregnant women were not spared in this period. This woman, for instance, who had to pass hours of innumerable checkpoints to get to a Palestinian hospital and instead went into labour at one of the checkpoints, was forced by the soldiers to sign a statement that she would not return home, before she was taken for emergency surgery. She has been separated from her husband and she is not permitted to go home, while he is not permitted to meet her.

    What kind of response does Israel expect from people like her and her husband?

    Why would Hamas continue a “ceasefire” which required Palestinians to sit and starve behind a blockade? To be separated from family members or deliver and die at checkpoints?
    _________________

  168. “Dial-up”, WTF is going on “Down Under”?

    Nothing, that is the problem…my aunt lives 30K’s from the Sydney GPO and has to use dial-up.

    You see Sparta, we are the clever country, the problem being that we do not support innovation so the clever ones take their talent OS for development and you guys benefit by your support of such.

    Yep…real clever!

  169. 159. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA | January 2, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Once the violence has stopped or been reduced considerably then perhaps older grievances can be addressed.

    What a delusional world you live in.

  170. You get my disdain for the JDL for example but such groups are miniscule/ marginalized in comparison and hardly pose the same kind of threat we are talking about it here with Hamas…

    I don’t think that argument is quite correct sparta. Those hardline religious zealots, the Zionists, control Israel policy. There has even been talk of an eventual Israeli civil war because of the ideological differences between the Zionists and progressive Israeli’s.

    A survey of israel: The next Zionist revolution

    The religious zionist presence in the IDF is several times larger than in the general population.

    Half of IDF’s New Combat Officers are Religious:

    …Half of the IDF’s young combat officers are religious Jews, according to statistics published as the lead story Sunday in Maariv, Israel’s second largest daily newspaper. The report also says that about 40% of the cadets of the most recent Officer Course in Bahad-1, the IDF’s officer training school, were religious; this number refers to all officers, as opposed to just combat officers.

    …”They give their entire soul”
    “Any way we look at it,” he says, “it’s about education.” It is clear, Caspit states, that “the religious Zionist movement’s educational institutions continue to disseminate values, Zionism, Judaism and mission orientation. The religious youth is mission-oriented. [It sets out to] conquer the hilltops, and then to conquer the military service and the officership.”…

  171. Those hardline religious zealots, the Zionists, control Israel policy.

    Kittylitter:

    Zionists can be secular or religious; of the political left or right. Of the religious ones, some are even Christians.

  172. Adrian,

    “What a delusional world you live in.”

    Again what insight you offer Adrian. You really need to get away from taking things so personal. You almost get the impression your trying to pick a fight? Have another drink already……..

  173. And then we get another comment implying that a commenter is drinking… such laziness.

  174. Summary of rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008 (PDF)

  175. Joni,

    Really man, if you’re going to rush to the aid of Adrian please take into account his comment that preceded mine. I realize your sanctimony is especially reserved for those you don’t agree with but you could at least attempt to come across as impartial. I might also remind you that he has on more than one occasion alluded to the drinking. Geez………

  176. Tony,

    Interesting……..

  177. Sparta,

    I’m glad you’ve showed up.

    I need to offer you an apology. Some of my comments, if not all, in response to yours, have been directed towards you, and mostly been based on some mis-guided assumption that all “americans think the same” and follow some “blind allegiance” to whoever the President is that happens to be in power.

    I just wanted to say that I regret these “assumptions” and “blind criticisms” rather than considering your points of view and arguments with a bit more respect.

    I mean this sincerely, which is why I’m saying so here on the public forum.

    This may not (mostly “no doubt”) mean that I’ll still disagree with you on many issues, but I will make a better effort to understand your viewpoint/rationale than I have in the past.

    Sincerely
    reb

    BTW, I’ve dedicated a song to you and the rest of the US citizens over at the Weekend Thread. We all belong to the same planet after all…

  178. sparta

    Please show me where Adrian has accused you of drinking to explain your comments.

    I do not mind people having a go at each other, but when anyone comes out with a comment like “have another drink” then I will jump in.

  179. I’ll drink to that!

  180. *hic*

  181. Tony and scaper – LOL!

    In all the seriousness and everything on here, you guys still crack me up. And sparta, I still stress that we love having you here to challenge and push our thoughts. It can only make us all better – just that sometimes, reb and myself need to step in as moderators and not just blogocrats.

  182. One last thing id like to say, This is why religion and politics should never be mixed.

  183. 177. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    Where have I accused you of being drunk Sparta, yet this is the second time you have alluded to me being drunk here when I have taken great pains to point out I rarely drink.

    Getting personal, and I don’t care in this case, as this type of attack from Sparta shows a great weakness of character.

    What I have done is to attack the way you frame your debate, which was so aptly pointed out by Mac. And this attack by alluding to me being drunk also illustrates your method for diversion (red herrings) and strawmen.

    If you are going to attack then it should have been on the basis of my retort “What a delusional world you live in“, because your statement of;

    Once the violence has stopped or been reduced considerably then perhaps older grievances can be addressed.

    is delusional as both sides (and Israel is just as culpable as the Palestinians in being the instigator of violence) will never allow the violence to abate to any great degree until either there is a true and fair two state system (which Israel doesn’t want) or a subservient to Israel Palestinian government is instilled, which the Palestinian people won’t wear for any length of time.

    There is no impasse here, no middle ground and the solution lies with a very substantial US led UN peacekeeping and overseer force, which firstly Israel won’t allow now matter how much the Palestinians for decades have pleaded for exactly this, and secondly the US won’t entertain because of the control of the large Jewish lobby in America.

    Israel economically exists because of the massive amount of aid the US gives it, about US$3 billion per year or one fifth of Americas total foreign aid budget. Yet the Palestinians get the merest fraction of this, but worse Israel has always destroyed or curtails any viable industry, investment or foreign development in Palestinian territories, just as it is doing now. As long as this oppression and suppression continues then there can never be a reckoning of old grievances no matter what the level of violence and it would be a cold day in hell before Israel gives up any meaningful amount of territory it has stolen or dismantles one of its large illegal settlements which is the greatest grievance.

  184. 176. Tony of South Yarra | January 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Summary of rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008 (PDF)

    Tony, I’ve tried to load the page you refer to but I keep getting an error message, all i can get up is-

    Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
    at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)

    which then links to your site as an updated version, but it won’t load (in firefox anyway) could I have the link again please? What does your link refer to? Is it a record of rockets fired?

  185. Joni,

    “I do not mind people having a go at each other, but when anyone comes out with a comment like “have another drink” then I will jump in.”

    Let me get this right Joni, calling somebody “delusional” in your eyes, which is what it was despite the follow up by Adrian, is less insulting then telling somebody to go “have a drink”? No wonder we rarely agree on the issues!

  186. Adrian,
    I have tried on more than one occasion to extend the “olive branch” but you are simply not interested. Making statements such as the “delusional” comment is a prime example. Respond on the basis of my retort? What would that be exactly? You have chimed in on my comments to give your two cents about “me” of which none has been pleasant. Now, you try to wiggle your way out of an obvious jab. Look, I personally don’t care if you want to make such comments; I am a big boy but let’s lose the lame excuses. We clearly share different views of the world but why don’t we save the rest of the “Blogo’s” the annoyance of our exchanges for a change?

  187. Adrian,

    “Israel is just as culpable as the Palestinians in being the instigator of violence”

    Ok, finally a somewhat balanced statement, in my humble opinion. It is true that Israeli’s have engaged in questionable tactics at times. I am not trying to paint them as the defenders of “truth and justice” but what is at the root of this conflict? I know you insist I see things in “black in white” but all discussions should be broken down into their simplest parts first before diving into the minutia. You say:

    “As long as this oppression and suppression continues then there can never be a reckoning of old grievances no matter what the level of violence and it would be a cold day in hell before Israel gives up any meaningful amount of territory it has stolen or dismantles one of its large illegal settlements which is the greatest grievance.”

    I won’t disagree with the basis of your statement just take issue with suppositions. When you say “oppression and suppression” you give the impression that at the root of it is the Israeli regime. Now that seems pretty “black and white” to me? We are back to the old crux of the matter as I feel the Palestinian’s are just as if not more responsible for their ongoing misery. You have a group of people that lay claim to a patch of earth that no more belongs to them than it does the Israeli’s, plain and simple. Not to take a stab but going back far enough there were Jews in the region long before the Muslims or Christians came to be? We can trudge through the history of this land if you like but we both know this too be true.

    So a concerted effort of hatred was launched against Israel in defiance of a world community that you feel should mediate now and lost. Sure it would be a noble gesture for Israel to give back said land but they are certainly under no obligation, legally or morally. Both of our countries were established in much the same way but in both our cases we were the aggressors. Having made such gestures recently, Gaza for example, got them nowhere, so on what basis do you foresee a “different result” if Israel did remove the “illegal settlements”? May I remind you that it is the policy of “Hamas” to see Israel removed, destroyed etcetera? Everybody new Hamas would continue with the violence despite the gesture in Gaza and yet people are still calling for Israel’s to do more or nothing in the face of aggression. Where are they to go, into the sea next? Some act as if the Palestinians did get their requests satisfied you would suddenly see a changed Palestine, based on what? You would still have hatred, poverty and the old struggle between the Jews and Muslims. I would assume you are familiar with the tenants of Islam and Hamas, so what on gods earth leads you to believe anything would change if the Palestinian demands were met? Hamas is a hate group Adrian, with a deep rooted pathology not unlike the Nazi ideology; you cannot reason with such people. Why do you not see this? How many examples from history shall I provide?

    “There is no impasse here, no middle ground and the solution lies with a very substantial US led UN peacekeeping and overseer force, which firstly Israel won’t allow now matter how much the Palestinians for decades have pleaded for exactly this, and secondly the US won’t entertain because of the control of the large Jewish lobby in America.”

    I think it far more than just a Jewish lobby that has kept the US out of this mess directly, wouldn’t you agree? But yes, I wide scale multi-national incursion “might” have an effect. However, perhaps most administrations don’t see the benefit of playing “babysitter” between two historical enemies and given the region, the “Crusader” accusation would likely be leveled at us by the wider Muslim community as usual as in Iraq and Afghanistan. You and others proclaim on one hand that we have made terrorism worse by just being in the Middle East but then on the other think we should send them into Gaza? I simply don’t follow your line of reasoning here? It would be a long term operation that would undoubtedly lead to the loss of American lives and treasure, almost exclusively no doubt. No administration, even GW has been dumb enough to take that plunge. Even the “hick” from Crawford understands the cost now when getting involved in this region.

    “Israel economically exists because of the massive amount of aid the US gives it, about US$3 billion per year or one fifth of Americas total foreign aid budget. Yet the Palestinians get the merest fraction of this?

    Not tooting the American horn here Adrian but many countries throughout the world exists only because of US aid and why you always hear me going on about it despite comments from Tracie to the contrary. It is not “flag waving” it is fact and let me tell you something; most Americans grow tired of such fruitless gestures when we have serious problems of our own at home to deal with. Our respective government’s obligations lie with their citizens first or at least they’re supposed too! You ever looked at what we give to other African nations? GW, for all of his imbecility, has given more to the continent of Africa than any other president or world leader to date. Still we have Zimbabwe, the Congo, the Sudan, Somalia and a South Africa that seems to be regressing into a Black Nationalist state. Much of the world exists on “global welfare” as I have said, so I am not quite sure I understand your point? We simply have nobody to give aid to that can be trusted in Palestine. You feel that if we gave more to Palestinian causes somehow everything would be on par? What makes you think it wouldn’t be funneled into terrorist operations? Every other gesture has been used to this end so what would make this any different?

    “Worse Israel has always destroyed or curtails any viable industry, investment or foreign development in Palestinian territories, just as it is doing now.”

    Adrian, Hamas uses said “industry & investment” to further its terrorist operations. They hide weapons in day-cares, Mosques etcetera. Hamas knows that doing so makes the decision to destroy said infrastructure much harder to do. It will bring foreign condemnation and loss of civilian life which fills TV screens across the globe compliments of a complicit media. Why do you refuse to acknowledge that? It is the same tactics used in Iraq, Afghanistan etcetera. Hamas is a cunning and inventive enemy funded by nation states like Iran who share their ideology, the destruction of Israel. How the hell do you negotiate with that? It is also a basic tenant of warfare that when you seek to disable an enemy you do just that, disable them. What is the point in bombing fields? Look, I know you’re going to go and accuse me of being a “know it all” as you always do but in all honesty I am anything but. I am probably one of the most humbled men you would ever meet in person but I am simply trying to understand your thought process here so help my “slow brain out here”. No snide comments, retorts etcetera. Explain to me what you base your views on?

  188. 186. kittylitter

    An alternative location for the 2008 Gaza Rocket Fire and Mortar Shelling Report, here. (beware…it’s rightwing and the link is at the bottom, and I’m not sure they read past the summary or worked through the more general implications of the summary if those conclusions, particularly point 5, were likewise applied to Palestinians under similar conditions.

    188. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    If you could do me the same courtesy as Adrian, I’d be much obliged, because there’s very little point in my continuing a discussion with someone who is only interested in strawmen arguments with himself. To wit, (at comment 148) “the “hypocrisy of my argument” is only eclipsed by the inopportunity, once again, of my presenting an actual argument in response to your latest screed, before you declare your analogy a ‘winner’. (Incidentally, I said “No” at one or more points in your analogy, as re-presented; and, overall, disagree with your analogy as a best, or even relevant fit, for reasons previously given in comment 90, mostly because occupation is a specific thing, not just some word I use to make Israel look bad). So “my argument” might well have been vastly different to your strawman’s; but now we’ll never know, and my logic needs-must remain a mystery to Sparta the consistent quester. Anyhoo, thanks for sharing a little more of your pervasive anti-Islamic ‘tude, but I’ll have to pass on the beef, halal or not, because I’m vegan.

    176. Tony of South Yarra

    Pages 6 – 8 look interesting. I wonder what happened on November 4th to bring statistically highly significant improvements unstuck. The report didn’t say.

  189. Adrian,

    An article in the Australian this morning, along the same lines I have tried to echo a million times before with “Western aid/ Global Welfare”; seems fitting given the root of our exchange here. Seems to support each of our positions to an extent.

    “while Western aid groups inadvertently prop up a pernicious regime by providing the rudimentary services – food, water, healthcare – the failed state can no longer deliver.”

    “More than half the population would starve were it not for Western food aid. Life expectancy has plunged to 39 years – the lowest in the world.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24866271-5015664,00.html

  190. Legion,

    “If you could do me the same courtesy as Adrian, I’d be much obliged, because there’s very little point in my continuing a discussion with someone who is only interested in strawmen arguments with himself. ”

    I would love to oblige you Legion but you must first do away with the condescension and your ego. The comment above is case in point. For future “straw-men”, try explaining to me how it is such before simply using it to avoid answering. When one doesn’t explain “why” then it leads me to believe the latter. I have no doubt I am guilty of it at times but I can assure you it isn’t a “tactic” as Adrian has claimed. I see the claim of “red herring” and “straw-man” used quite often on these forums but in many instances it is simply the old “I don’t want to play anymore” that we all encountered in childhood as we were on the verge of getting the upper hand in a playground match of “footy”.

    “my presenting an actual argument in response to your latest screed”

    Another…..Which is an ironic claim coming from you especially……..

    “Incidentally, I said “No” at one or more points in your analogy, as re-presented; and, overall, disagree with your analogy as a best, or even relevant fit, for reasons previously given in comment 90, mostly because occupation is a specific thing, not just some word I use to make Israel look bad).”

    You also implied my analogy lacked basic structure (X vs Y) and that was why you didn’t acknowledge it. I also never said it was the best but one I was trying to make that is closer to home.

    Well now that we are discussing “miliary occupation” in which you now refer I would agree that used in such a way carries different meaning, don’t you agree? Words do have meaning and can vary when used in a particular context. However, even using “military occupation” the conventions in which you are applying do not account for this particular kind of conflict. I would ask you to go through said stipulations in such legislature. Some countries are not signees and a debate could be made that Israel is even the original aggressor. In either case this conflict like many involving terrorist organizations require better/ more modern definitions to guide us. Especially if we are going to be citing them as justification for violent action when they can only be applied to one party? Wouldn’t you agree? Sort of puts all the responsibility in Israel’s hands and purges the Palestinians of any; even as they lob rockets into Israeli neighborhoods?

    So “my argument” might well have been vastly different to your strawman’s; but now we’ll never know, and my logic needs-must remain a mystery to Sparta the consistent quester.

    Again, I realize it is difficult for you but do away with the condescension and I will do my best to do the same. I can just as easily claim your reference to “international law” is a straw-man given the reasoning I stated above but instead choose to engage.

    “Anyhoo, thanks for sharing a little more of your pervasive anti-Islamic ‘tude, but I’ll have to pass on the beef, halal or not, because I’m vegan.”

    Now how should I respond to this? Should I respond with a zinger of my own only to have Joni scaled me for being “out of line” or simply bend over? No pun intended Joni!!!!!

    I think this is probably at the crux of your beef with me; I simply acknowledge that in this day and age we do have a problem with elements of Islam. Yes, there are other religions with loons and torrid pasts but at present day the majority of issues are coming from Islam! We really won’t make any progress on this front (and many others) until the “apologizers and moral equivocators” at least begin to accept that much. No, I am not casting a wide net as you will undoubtedly accuse me of doing but for the love of Pete, can you at least acknowledge there is a problem?

    Anyhow, barring my response to your latest jab, let’s get past the personal? I’ll make this very easy on everybody. There are a lot of intelligent posters on this blog to include you and Adrian and many more….I simply grow tired of getting bogged down in comparing “prick size” with some. I don’t consider my opinions superior for the last time, nor do I see the world in black in white. I do however have a “different” view of the world then many here and seek what leads other to such different views. That is all………

  191. 192. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    More of the same drivel where you negotiate and bargain with some fictional strawman and hold a little discussion with yourself where you rehearse what you think I think about whatever it occurs to you to raise as a topic of your solipsism and thence to pop into into my mouth as my words. Like I said, if all you want to do is pretend to have a discourse where you get to exercise your ever so ‘umble ventriloquism, do it without me.

    You also implied my analogy lacked basic structure (X vs Y) and that was why you didn’t acknowledge it. I also never said it was the best but one I was trying to make that is closer to home.

    No, that’s not what you did. Up to here is barely passable…

    Again, let me try this again. The Aboriginal is the Palestinian here and the Australian Government and all of its populous (YOU) are the Israeli’s. If the Aboriginal took up arms again and was lobbing rockets into Darwin or your back yard, how should you respond? Wait 6 months at the bequest of an impotent “World Community” as your populous is killed? Oh wait; they did do that in accordance with what “humanitarian law”? Ok so then you say enough and respond by targeting those responsible. Is the Australian Government not the occupier in this analogy? Does that not make you an occupant? What would be the reaction of the Australian government if the Aboriginal decided to start using suicide bombers?

    Below is the strawman…

    The hypocrisy of your argument is rather obvious but if avoiding acknowledgement of it is any consultation, fine. Still, most “get it” even if you don’t.

    Hooray, Sparta scores against an argument I’m yet to make and/or which doesn’t make reference to any argument I might have made in dialogue hitherto. Sparta just declares my argument ‘hypocritical’. In other places one might even expect a…because your argument is W, or your argument is X, and that relates to my analogy in Y way(s), demonstrating Z about your argument. But no, Sparta is such a coward, he can avoid that kind of honesty of reasoning, and even needs a fictional ‘most’ army to defeat a strawman.

    And everything you type is just like it. So, “no”, just, “no”.

  192. Kittylitter @ 186

    Try going here first:

    http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/site/home/default.asp

  193. Legion,

    Yikes, well I did make an attempt? Try looking at the discussion from start to finish champ. I think you are confusing the order of things here. Alas, your ego/ disdain are apparently getting in the way of your judgment. Whoops, was that another Straw-man? How in the world did I ever come to that conclusion? Just setting it up to knock it down there, right Limbic, I mean Legion?

    I unfortunately am not a mind reader so only have your posts to go from; so much for “extending the olive branch”? Ok dude, you’re not intelligent, just a moronic blow-heart that suffers from serious “short-man’s syndrome” and a clear case of “penis-envy”. Get past the phallic stage and grow up or stop commenting on my posts if they are not to your “level of expertise”. Your ego is already thinking of a zinger to come back with right? You just can’t play nice or let go of it…………….Go ahead and insult me again and I promise to give you the last word so we can end this with some of your “stones” still attached on a blog where your view is the majority opinion anyway. Very novel, very profound indeed?You are the man; no mortal is privy to your genius. I am just another simple pawn that cannot grasp your brilliance oh great one….There, sufficient? Give me a break……..

  194. Oh my god, Sparta resorts to personal insults and attack, even the base name twist, and then in a lame attempt at reversing the argument accuses Legion of doing what Sparta always does.

    You accuse Legion of a massive ego but honestly Sparta you should take a good hard look at your posts to see where the egotistical lies.

    Back on topic.

    You bring up the Australian (you do know this paper is very right wing) but it does not detail how Israel uses the delivery of aid as a tool of oppression. In the last 18 months of the blockade Israel has often and regularly stopped aid going into Gaza and has stopped all efforts of development or investment. Hamas, just as it did in the West Bank when in government was improving the situation in Gaza, bringing improved health and education as well as building infrastructure (which were among the first things the Israelis bombed). This has been the pattern for decades now in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

  195. 195. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    We can break bread, but we must break bread as equals. You must agree that I have a right to daily bread just as you do. You must agree that I have a home and a homeland in which to bake bread to share, just as you do, for home is where the heart is. You must agree that our families shall break bread with us, for that brings us joy, and that my children and your children, and our neighbors’ children, shall be here to bake bread for us and for our neighbors in old age and infirmity. Understand what motivated Israel, understand what motivates Palestinians, and people the whole world over. It is love, not hate; hate is frustrated love, and not enough bread, and too many broken promises.

  196. 189. Sparta

    Not to take a stab but going back far enough there were Jews in the region long before the Muslims or Christians came to be? We can trudge through the history of this land if you like but we both know this too be true.

    Here you go again declaring something to be true and even stating I know it to be true when I believe that maybe not true or as cut and dried as you state, as do a group of Jewish archaeologists who investigated this very thing. There was a multi-part doco on SBS here a little while ago on just this subject. The Jewish historic claim to the area is very tenuous at best and according to the archaeological records it seems the best they can lay claim to is a small handful of hill tribes in the fringes of the area.

    Please Sparta, you do yourself no favours in these debates by declaring a statement to be true or fact and then declaring this is what the person you are debating also knows to be truth or fact, then basically announcing the debate is done in your advantage on that basis. Speak for yourself by all means but stop speaking for the others in the debate before they have spoken. It is annoying having you pose the question or statement (usually as an absolute from the outset), then conducting the debate within that question or statement, often bringing in red herrings or raising a strawman, then declaring it to be the right view and that of others in the debate or the one you are arguing with all before anybody else has answered.

  197. By the way Sparta you do know that the Exodus is a myth?

  198. I see Israel has been given free rein to commence a ground offensive.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24867975-12377,00.html

    “It is obvious that that ceasefire should take place as soon as possible, but we need a ceasefire that is durable and sustainable.”

    Good luck on that one.

  199. THE US gave Israel free rein today on whether to send troops into the Gaza Strip, insisting that the key to a ceasefire was an Israeli demand for Hamas to permanently halt rocket fire.

    But the White House said it has asked Israel to try hard to avoid civilian casualties as reserves were called up for an expected ground incursion on top of a week of air strikes that has killed more than 400 Palestinians.

    Well there goes someone’s claim to innocent targets of rocket attacks…if all adult Israelis are reserved to the IDF by dint of conscription, then all Israelis are apt as military targets, in the same way that all Hamas operatives, no matter how incidental or tenuous their relationship to Hamas’ military infrastucture, are acclaimed to be. Which leaves Gaza with a sizeable civilian population, and Israel with none under 18 years of age. Well done Israel for establishing that precedent, and affording militant resistance groups the right to claim that their rockets were in pursuit of those military targets, and that any collateral civilian damage was not a primary intention. 😉

  200. Legion at 201

    if all adult Israelis are reserved to the IDF by dint of conscription, then all Israelis are apt as military targets

    Shirley Surely you’re can’t be serious?

  201. I’m with on that one Tony, that’s a very long bow to draw.

    The rockets are for terror, pure and simple. This is something that is black and white, whilst the reasons that led to rockets being used for terror are a different more complex matter all together.

  202. I don’t know. Maybe, yes, maybe, no. Has Israel thought through the implications of transforming its war to prevent WMDs, err rockets, into an all-out hunt-to-kill anything Hamas or which assists Hamas regime change and general clusterf*ck?

  203. 203. Adrian of Nowra

    I was thinking more in terms of the United States’ redefinition of ‘enemy combatant’ to stuff peeps into Gitmo; it’s not that cut and dry since 2001.

  204. Adrian,

    “Oh my god, Sparta resorts to personal insults and attack, even the base name twist, and then in a lame attempt at reversing the argument accuses Legion of doing what Sparta always does.”

    I am trying very hard here Adrian but you’re not making it any easier. I hardly “resorted” to personal insults. Why some seem to think “condescension” is somehow anything but an insult? I am the one who made the “attempt” to come back to some sense of civility and Legion chose to slap it back at me, originally anyway. You then, after I have done the same, take up where you left off. Now is that an egotistical attribute? We can still be adversarial but I would prefer it be with less emphasis on the personal and more about the issues.

    “You accuse Legion of a massive ego but honestly Sparta you should take a good hard look at your posts to see where the egotistical lies.”

    If you only new me Adrian you would know how funny that statement is. However, for the last time, and I mean it this time, my apologies if I come across as such? Now can we move on already as I have never seen you apologize to anybody on this blog?

    “You bring up the Australian (you do know this paper is very right wing) but it does not detail how Israel uses……”

    Ok, this is kind of where I was going with the “minutia” before we have established a status quo. I am ok with going down this road but I think are differences stem from a more “root” cause, what say you?

    “Here you go again declaring something to be true and even stating I know it to be true when I believe that maybe not true or as cut and dried as you state, as do a group of Jewish archaeologists who investigated this very thing. There was a multi-part doco on SBS here a little while ago on just this subject. The Jewish historic claim to the area is very tenuous at best and according to the archaeological records it seems the best they can lay claim to is a small handful of hill tribes in the fringes of the area.”

    Fair enough but I didn’t think this was really a debate these days? Let me ask you then instead of assuming, when did the Jew’s inhabit the lands which include those of the modern State of Israel and when did the Muslims become a presence on the scene?

    “according to the archaeological records it seems the best they can lay claim to is a small handful of hill tribes in the fringes of the area.”

    Even if I accepted their interpretation, when did the Muslims arrive on the scene?

    “Please Sparta, you do yourself no favours in these debates by declaring a statement to be true or fact and then declaring this is what the person you are debating also knows to be truth or fact, then basically announcing the debate is done in your advantage on that basis.”

    I will do my best to be more “cautious” but I would also ask that you do your best to avoid insulting those you disagree with from the onset. A tactic you use all the time. I mean is it your intention to drive all those in which you disagree with from the site? Who the hell wants another “Left-leaning” echo chamber or right for that matter?

    “Speak for yourself by all means but stop speaking for the others in the debate before they have spoken. It is annoying having you pose the question or statement (usually as an absolute from the outset), then conducting the debate within that question or statement, often bringing in red herrings or raising a strawman, then declaring it to be the right view and that of others in the debate or the one you are arguing with all before anybody else has answered.”

    I have no doubt I am guilty of this at times but no more than you are of “never” answering the questions raised. Besides you are just as guilty of this same complaint. Pinning you down on anything is next to impossible at times so one simply assumes the silence is a confirmation or version of it. I simply see nothing gained from answering questions with questions; or worse yet with an insult. Also, along the same lines I mentioned to Legion, if you’re going to make the claim that I have raised a “Red Herring” or “Straw-man” then please explain yourself. Again, just making the accusation and walking away from it is an oxymoron.

    “By the way Sparta you do know that the Exodus is a myth?”

    Which Exodus do you refer to, the “Biblical” or the “20th century” one? Just to let you know, I am not a religious man to begin with. I haven’t been to church in 25 years and tend to consider myself an agnostic. Just for the record.

  205. True Legion, but if we go down that line as all civilians can be resistance or freedom fighters, even children, as happened with the French in WWII, then every civilian on the planet becomes a legitimate target in a time or war.

    But then even the declaration of war and what is and isn’t a war is very broad now, to such an extent that any dispute between two opposing parties or by one group oppressing another can be declared a war, even in perpetuity.

  206. Adrian,

    “The rockets are for terror, pure and simple. This is something that is black and white,

    Holy XXXX, please take note, I agree………………………

    “whilst the reasons that led to rockets being used for terror are a different more complex matter all together.”

    Damn you….We were so close! There is no reasoning in which one can find the use of terror as a “reasonable” or “justified” tactic in my opinion. This is where we simply disagree I am afraid.

  207. 207. Adrian of Nowra

    Well, I’m left wondering exactly where Israel is drawing that line presently. Is it the secretary at the Chemistry Department of the University? Is it the muezzin at the mosque? Is it the banker at the money exchange? Is it the recipient of one of the tens of thousands of automated phonecalls and hundreds of thousands of leaflets telling persons they’re ‘on the list’? Israel isn’t being very forthcoming about what it’s targetting, or why, and is asking for a large measure of trust as it vows ‘death to Hamas’. Has it earned that trust?

  208. OK fair enough Sparta so lets get back on track.

    A blog is nowhere near a good enough fora to detail the debate on Semitic Middle Eastern ancient history. I actually had this debate over two years on a forum quite a while ago, all based on that SBS doco. That forum no longer exists so I can’t refer back to it as it contained all the links and data.

    The best I can do is attempt to point you to the doco (and it is more feasible because there are leading Jewish archaeologists espousing this). I’ve just done a quick search on SBS but haven’t found anything yet. I will give you the link when I find it.

    Basically though the premise is based on the lack of any distinctive ancient Jewish pottery and architecture in the area claimed to be Jewish by the Israelis, but there is a preponderance of Arab based (and that of some seafaring nation I can’t remember now) pottery and architecture. Also the fact inscriptions from the supposed time of King David are Canaanite dialects, not ancient Hebrew as should be the case if Israel was a major kingdom as claimed. Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University has written several books suggesting that King David and King Solomon were at most minor tribal chieftains and Jerusalem was at most a small fort on a hill. The archaeologists in the doco seem to confirm this by only finding distinctly Jewish artefacts in the hills whilst the main area of what is called Israel contained little or no Jewish artefacts. I think from memory they found a few shallow serving bowls that were distinctly Jewish amongst large amounts of other ethnic group pottery, and this led them to believe some Jews came down from the hills to seasonally work and live in the cities and towns of the area and they took some pottery with them.

    There is a fairly intense campaign going on to discredit this, with even accusations being raised by some Jewish lobbies that ancient Hebrew and Jewish antiquities have been deliberately destroyed to hide their claim to Israel.

    But it does confirm my statement that this is not as cut and dried as you averred as there has been heated debate going on in this area for quite a while now, even amongst Jewish scientists and experts. It seems that nothing is black and white when it comes to the Israelis, even their claimed history.

  209. Adrian,

    “But it does confirm my statement that this is not as cut and dried as you averred as there has been heated debate going on in this area for quite a while now, even amongst Jewish scientists and experts. It seems that nothing is black and white when it comes to the Israelis, even their claimed history.”

    I never claimed this issue was cut and dry nor do I doubt the claim you sight as I too recall this subject arising on another blog as well. I simply advocated starting from a basic dialogue. However, I pose the question once again, when did the Muslim presence find itself on the scene? I think it gets mighty muddy trying to distinguish Arab from Jew. We are comparing an ethnicity to a religion after all as I do not subscribe to the Jews as being simply an ethnic group as many Jews themselves do. It is entirely feasible that the ancient Jew looked or was very similar in appearance and cultural structure to the modern day Arab. The problems in this region are not distinctly ones between Arab and Jew when one scratches the surface, they are between Muslim and Jew, are they not?

    I picked this summation from a “right-wing” blog and wonder what your thoughts are on it?

    1. Israel became a state in 1312 b.c., two millennia before Islam;
    2. Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves “Palestinians” in 1967, two decades after (modern) Israeli statehood;
    3. After conquering the land in 1272 b.c., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;
    4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 a.d. lasted just 22 years;
    5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it;
    7. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it;
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. if they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem

  210. But now you are confusing religion for ethnicity.

    And as I have stated there is dispute as to King David founding Jerusalem and it appears that city was an Arab centre for several ethnic peoples before it was ever a Jewish centre.

    In fact there is a dispute, even amongst the Jews, as to the whole King David story as historic fact, with there being evidence he was never anything more than a tribal leader. It appears King David like a lot of Jewish history is based on myth and history as portrayed in the Bible as opposed to archaeological and recorded history.

    As I started you are mixing religion and ethnicity here and that is not right. If non-Muslim/Islamic Arabs (or other ethnicities) had established the area and set up towns and a city or two, and hill tribes of Hebrews worked and visited those towns and cities and only much later on did those Arabs or ancient ethnicities become predominately Muslim that doesn’t mean they can’t say they inhabited the area.

    The Hebrew tribes did establish two major centres, one north and the other south, but that was much later on. I t was from there they expanded out into the whole area but that doesn’t give them an “ancient right” as to being the first to establish the area, at most it gives them the right to some hills.

  211. Adrian,

    Well no offense but I would say your view of history is in conflict with the “majority” of leading scholars of past and present; which is your prerogative of course. Not to mention most literature out there. I am content to view this as a struggle between Muslim and Jews, not Arabs as you say who were historically nomadic to begin with which makes a claim to any land rather problematic. Seeing how a large number of Arabs are not only Israeli citizens but Arab Jews who also serve prominently in the IDF it is even stranger to think it is “Arabs” as a group and not Arab Muslims who are making claims to the land. Especially as their religion would not be a presence on the scene for some time? Using Arab (no religious affiliation) claims to land, as a mainly nomadic people historically, would give them rights to all of the Middle East to some extent. Strangely no such claims are made elsewhere as they are in Israel? I am sure in this particular scenario it has nothing to do with Muslim holy spots having been constructed over that of the Jews etcetera that is driving this claim, probably nothing to it at all.

    Regardless, as I have stated previously, I don’t think either has more right to the land than the other but both have a right to exist!

  212. “Understand what motivated Israel, understand what motivates Palestinians, and people the whole world over. It is love, not hate; hate is frustrated love, and not enough bread, and too many broken promises”Legion

    Beautifully put Legion.

    Great thread everyone, I’m gonna have to read back over the last 24 hrs to catch up before checking out the new Gaza thread.
    Kudos to Sparta for his perseverance.
    It can’t be easy to maintain a steady course when you’re being rhetorically assaulted from all angles. Having said that I must declare that I agree with the assaulters for the most part.

    BTW I enjoyed A,B,C & D.

  213. Sorry Sparta you are doing it again. With the majority view and the literature out there? You mean the majority view of a specific group but still that may not be the majority view of world academia.

    As I have stated there is much dispute on this even amongst Israeli and Jewish academics, and the majority literature takes a biblical view, which has been proven to be mostly myth. It is now acknowledged that Israeli archaeologists wasted too much time in attempting to prove the accuracy of the bible (it was zealous in its undertaking) and must now change tact to unearth Jewish ancient history even if that doesn’t accord with the bible or as has happened disproves long held tenets of the bible. A good example is the real way Jericho fell over a protracted bloody campaign as compared to the biblical account in which many historical scholars, though not taking it literally, have Jericho basically falling in a single swift attack.

    Plus the archaeological records don’t back up the view of many of the leading scholars you are probably thinking of. After many decades of searching to prove the case for the first temple of David one partial scroll was found and heralded as the absolute proof, only it isn’t and there is much debate going on within Jewish academic circles if it really is the proof. And the proof they use is one word on the scroll which may or may not be a bridging word to Hebrew.

    If the Jewish history was so vast and King David’s kingdom so extent and rich where are all the archaeological records for them and his reign?

    Your last paragraph has hit it perfectly and is exactly my view, but in the end I see Israel taking just about all of the land and either gradually forcing the Palestinians into neighbouring lands (with all the problems that curtails) or they will overlord them in enclaves.

    Hamas will eventually be destroyed, and as Israel has done several times in its history now it will form and support another Palestinian group to keep them divided (just as they formed Hamas), and that group sick of towing the Israeli line and having to give up autonomy will turn and rise up against Israel just as all Israel’s previous constructs have. Israel’s problem is that more sophisticated weapons are finding their way into the hands of those who hate them for their oppression, and there’s little Israel can do to stop this short of using WMD, which I honestly believe Israel just might one day use.

    The irony of this is that much of the more advanced weapons’ technologies are of America’s making with in many cases Israel being complicit in the design and production. One of Israel’s leading industries is the Defence industry and it sells advanced weapons and weapons technology world wide as a way of being at least partially economically independent. Many of those weapons (like the Uzis as one small example) find their way into the hands of those who fight Israel.

  214. Foreign ministers from around the world have issued statements about the ‘troubles’ in Gaza. Stephen Smith, however, has made himself conspicuous by his silence.

  215. Canada and Central Europe, yet both Obama and Bush along with most Caucasus countries, and the UK foreign minister plus so many others have also been conspicuous by their silence.

    Oh stupid me it’s just another one of your attempts at bad mouthing a (Labor) government minister. Sorry a bit slow this evening, continue on.

  216. 215. Adrian of Nowra

    Goodbye that argument, which is about the weakest argument there is for a land claim beng made in the ‘modern’ world in which all parties happen to presently live, as opposed to some mythical lost Golden Age, thusly…

    1. Israel became a state in 1312 b.c., two millennia before Islam; 1948
    2. Arab refugees from Israel the Palestine Protectorate began calling themselves “Palestinians” in 1967, two decades after (modern) Israeli statehood;
    3. After conquering the land in 1272 b.c., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;
    4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 a.d. lasted just 22 years;
    5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it;
    7. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it;
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. if they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem

  217. 3. After conquering the land in 1272 b.c., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;
    4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 a.d. lasted just 22 years;
    5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it;
    7. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it;
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. if they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem

  218. Hmmm…strikethrough code doesn’t work for chunks…strikethrough 3 – 8.

  219. Adrian,

    “Sorry Sparta you are doing it again. With the majority view and the literature out there? You mean the majority view of a specific group but still that may not be the majority view of world academia.”

    Had a feeling you would say that. I suppose citing a documentary about some pottery and basically turning around and saying:

    “As I have stated there is much dispute on this even amongst Israeli and Jewish academics, and the majority literature takes a biblical view, which has been proven to be mostly myth.”

    Is a bit like calling the kettle black there Adrian? If this is truly your major complaint with my posts then you had better take a hard look at the majority of yours. This one is a prime example. Why don’t we just both agree that it becomes tedious as hell trying to link every bit of info we have come across in the past to bolster our cases? Certainly you see that. I too have sifted through mountains of material and dare say, cannot recall exactly where I have picked everything up from and apparently either can you.

    Suffice to say and minutia aside; Jews and Arabs existed long before there was a Muslim. That I hope we can both agree on. I also dare say, Jews, whether in the hills or not where there long before “Muslims” where. Your version of history and mine should both at least come to that conclusion? I would also ask you to refer to my last post concerning the movements of Arabs and their claim to any land let alone “Muslim Arabs”? Again, this seems to me a struggle between Muslim and Jew, not the Arab and Jew. That being said, it is the Muslims making the claim of ownership not the Arabs because if they were, why would a mostly nomadic people lay claim to this patch of desert or any for that matter? The Arab is an ethnicity as diverse as the European in political ideology etcetera, but not those of the Muslim faith. Again, and I am not speaking for you, this is a struggle over religious ideology, not ethnic claims to land. In those terms, Muslims especially, have no more justification then the Jews. I find it rather ironic that a religion that found its way into the region via the sword is now on the receiving end and whining to the world about the injustice of it all.

    “The irony of this is that much of the more advanced weapons’ technologies are of America’s making with in many cases Israel being complicit in the design and production. One of Israel’s leading industries is the Defense industry and it sells advanced weapons and weapons technology world wide as a way of being at least partially economically independent. Many of those weapons (like the Uzis as one small example) find their way into the hands of those who fight Israel.”

    I am not sure I see the irony in America’s involvement as most of your advanced weapons systems stem from us as well? But yes, that is the dirty secret about the arms sale business which involves most countries to include your own. Yes, by far the US is a much bigger producer than Australia but the majority of the weapons we see in the hands of those we now face are of Russian and Chinese origin. I think the arms trade is a scourge and a black spot on the US indeed but it is one that is hardly unique to the US-Israel relationship that bares any discussion. I sometimes get the impression some would like to see Hamas better armed?

  220. “Hmmm…strikethrough code doesn’t work for chunks…strikethrough 3 – 8.”

    It has been protected from defilers!!!! LOL…….

  221. Adrian @ 217

    Labor or not, he happens to be our foreign minister, so deserves criticism where it’s due.

    Bush has not been silent and Obama is not the President.

  222. The UK foreign minister has not been silent. Ours has.

  223. I have not heard much in the way of the foreign minister either. Bloody good point if its true Tony.

    I heard there was a protest in brisbane yesterday. I hope it went well in the sense of no violence.

  224. Bloody hell. Can’t anyone else sleep either?

  225. I just got back from a dive.. head is full of water, i have to wait till it drains out before i sleep maybe about 7am.

  226. I think Adrian and Sparta have given us an insight of how talks happen in the negotiation room and why a lot is talked about but they achieve very little in terms of a settlement.

  227. 222. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    Could be, Sparta, but I suspect us g-d botherers can find a way round the impasse in relinquishing a right of return…

    3. After conquering the land in 1272 b.c., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;
    4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 a.d. lasted just 22 years;
    5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it;
    7. King David founded Jerusalem; Mohammed never set foot in it;
    8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. if they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem

  228. nope…i give up…defilement isn’t possible

  229. Aquanut

    This is the closest he’s come:

    The Australian Government condemned the Hamas rocket attacks, but avoided direct criticism of the Israeli airstrikes.

    Foreign Minister Stephen Smith left it to a Foreign Affairs and Trade Department spokesman to say that Australia was ”gravely concerned” by the violence and ”greatly saddened by the tragic loss of life”.

    ”Australia strongly condemns the firing of rockets and mortars into southern Israel by Hamas and other militant groups,” the spokesman said.

    ”While recognising Israel’s right to defend itself from such indiscriminate attacks, we urge both Israel and Hamas to make every effort to avoid causing suffering to innocent civilians.”</blockquote?

  230. lol legion

  231. Oops. Close quote:

    Fixed.

  232. Tony ,the minister sounds like someone who really dosnt give a …..

  233. “I think Adrian and Sparta have given us an insight of how talks happen in the negotiation room and why a lot is talked about but they achieve very little in terms of a settlement.”

    If two people without the ethnic or family involvement to go along are so divided, how in the hell can we ever hope for the Jews and Muslims to come to an agreement. Toss in a bit of mutual hatred between the two (Jews and Muslims I mean) and you simply want to wash your hands of the whole thing. Alas, hopefully the two factions can someday get beyond killing each other if anything at all!

  234. Australia strongly condemns the firing of rockets and mortars into southern Israel by Hamas and other militant groups,” the spokesman said.

    I keep seeing this phrase…and ‘other militant groups’. Does anyone but me ponder its significance in relation to a Hamas which is being deemed uniquely responsible for rockets, or what the elimination of Hamas bodes for the activities of those ‘other militant groups’? For instance, if I were a group that hated Hamas, there’d be incentive for me to fire a few off to break the ceasefire, and have Israel come down hard on my rival. Or if I didn’t agree with any dealings between an Hamas said not to recognise Israel but capable of brokering a ceasefire and an Israel I really, really didn’t recognise, I’d just ignore a cease fire. And if I were a particularly militant group, I’d use the example being made of Hamas as a centrepiece of my new recruitment program, and a reason for freshly radicalised members to become much more militant. All of which seems to bode for more rockets and etcetera, not fewer, no matter what new ceasefire is cooked up by the powers that be.

  235. I’ve thought of that Legion but i dodnt have any information if hamas has ever taken responsbility for any attacks if so all attacks can be linked by default.

  236. also Hamas has a responsibility if its not them to catch the people responsible to keep up with terms but due to this not happening i can only assume they dont mind.

  237. In the unlikely event that Hamas doesn’t have a hand in all the rocket and mortar fire into Israel, then they certainly condone, if not encourage, it. Why else would they permit firing from schools, and munitions stored in mosques?

    It might also be worth reminding ourselves of what the Hamas Charter says. Here are some relevant “highlights”:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

  238. It sounds to me like peace is the last thing on their minds.

  239. 239. aquanut

    From Tony’s Report (pages 6 -8), it seems evident that Hamas’ military wing either a) is directly responsible for most rockets; or b) has the ability to exert strong indirect influence over those responsible for them…the rocket attacks did go significantly down during the term of the ceasefire, where it held up until November 4…but not complete control…Hamas, theoretically, wanted a complete cessation of rocketfire, so that it got what it wanted, which was a lifting of the blockade, but could only achieve a 90 – 95% reduction…I’m not sure that a 100% reduction was within Hamas’ capacity to achieve, given even the Israelis have instances on their books of rockets being sent back over the fence from their side against their wishes, let alone an Hamas trying to keep its more radical membership in check, and other militants besides, without something to show and sell for the changed behaviour, which would have been some improvement in the blockade, which didn’t happen, and in fact became worse as the incidence of rocketfire became better. Just the realpolitik of the thing. And now…”send rockets over the fence, get nothing; don’t send rockets over the fence, get nothing; don’t send rockets over the fence, be promised the world, and get…?” would be the reasonable militant’s thinking (nutter militants would just keep firing rockets).

  240. In breaking news, it looks like things have escalated:

    For the first time since the start of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF sent a large number of ground troops into the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

    According to reports, the artillery units were attacking targets in northern Gaza from where Palestinian terrorists had been firing rockets at southern Israel.

    Warplanes, gunboats and artillery units blasted more than 40 Hamas targets throughout Saturday, including Hamas’s central intelligence headquarters in Sha’ati, weapons storage facilities, training centers and Hamas leaders’ homes.

    Fox news is covering it live.

  241. The IDF stated that the objective of its ground incursion into the Gaza Strip is to strike Hamas’ foundations and to take control of the areas from which rockets are being fired.

    “The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, confirming that incursions were under way. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.” (Hanan Greenberg and AP)

  242. 241. Tony of South Yarra

    Mmmm. But that’s not the platform they sold at the 2006 elections, which was consonant with the 2002 Arab Plan for peace. There have been musings, mostly with pessimistic conclusions, about whether Hamas’ military wing could have been co-opted into the mainstream via its political wing. Obviously, that is not possible now, and some of the recent rhetoric flowing from Israel suggests that is what Israel (and other players) have in mind in eliminating Hamas: rejecting a rejectionist political group on behalf of Palestinians which Israel (and other players) have concluded there is insufficient time to co-opt, even if co-option were possible. On the other hand, I get the impression that Hamas is popular with a voting Palestinian public mostly for its practical social-welfare activities and for its rejection of delays on the Roadmap for Peace and the Oslo Accords, given 75% of those who voted for Hamas also choose for peace with a recognised State of Israel; and that part of the sense of corruption attributed to Fatah, and its consequential electoral losses, stems from a simple failure to achieve a Palestinian State, with all parties to those frustrated agreements being ‘the enemy’ .

  243. Interesting read there Legion.

    Tony my interest is in the talk. Before the weapons from both sides are fired. Thats where the failure is, they have let down there country and citizens with the way they think.
    Israel is more powerful so i say its up to them to set the example rather then make demands like someone said ” whip in hand “which made sense.

  244. Oh hell, I wasnt suppose to say any more on this. I need to back off.

  245. How can you set an example when Hamas’s whole mission statement is to “obliterate” Israel? They just don’t want peace.

  246. Following on from my comment at 242, which mat or may not be in appearance as an item to pass moderation…

    Arab Peace Initiative

    Hamas spokesman Ismail Abu Shanab said on the same day that his organization would accept the initiative:

    “That would be satisfactory for all Palestinian military groups to stop and build our state, to be busy in our own affairs, and have good neighborhood with Israelis.”

    So, we have a Hamas realpolitik notion of a) peace; and b) Israelis (and presumably an Israeli State to make them Israelis) in evidence by the political wing of Hamas.

  247. You have to feel for (6 out of 10) Palestinian citizens:

    Ramallah – Ma’an – Most Palestinians in the war-torn Gaza Strip think Hamas should have never ended the ceasefire with Israel, according to a recent survey.

    Near East Consulting surveyed Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip in late December, where results found that a full 60 percent of Palestinians there believe Hamas made a mistake by not seeking to renew the ceasefire with Israel.

  248. Just a slim majority of Palestinians in Gaza support rocket fire against Israeli targets, with about 54 percent in favor of the continuing bombardment. A nearly identical percentage of Israelis support the ongoing airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, incidentally.

    About 92 percent of Hamas supporters agree with projectile fire, however, which is opposed by 72 percent of Fatah affiliates.

  249. Which presents a conundrum, given the political support stats…

    As for the population’s political support, the poll revealed that 28 percent of the Palestinian population supports Fatah and that 14 percent support Hamas; 8 percent support other factions. Half of all Palestinian surveyed said they support neither faction.

    More than half of the population supports rocketfire, most of Fatah doesn’t, most of Hamas does, but half of Palestinians are members of neither, leaving a shortfall between paid up subscribers to either major faction pro or contra militancy and overall militant sentiment. One might conclude that eliminating Hamas will not necessarily reduce organised militancy, nor militant sentiment, given there is more militant sentiment than membership of militants among the two major factions, or even the presumptive preferred and less militant faction.

    Which again begs the question: what has Israel achieved?

  250. One might conclude that eliminating Hamas will not necessarily reduce organised militancy

    Probably true.

    Which again begs the question: what has Israel achieved?

    Probably nothing, in the long run. Groundhog day will just keep happening. Unfortunately.

  251. ToSY @ 253.

    Sadly – that seems to be the case.

  252. Ms Gillard speaks out.

    Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard has refused to criticise Israel’s bombing campaign on Gaza, as fears mount that a land invasion of the enclave may be imminent.

    Australian Greens leader Bob Brown on Saturday demanded Ms Gillard add weight to global calls for Israel to halt its attacks.

    But the acting prime minister was only willing to express concern about civilian casualties, while again condemning Hamas’s rocket attacks over the border.

    “I’ve made clear on behalf of the Australian government our very deep concern about the resumption of violence,” Ms Gillard said.

    “Our condemnation of the actions of Hamas in shelling into southern Israel .

    “Our concern about civilian casualties. Our concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

    Senator Brown said Ms Gillard should speak out against the “violent and disproportionate action by Israeli leaders”, which had led to the death of more than 400 Palestinians.

    “Australia’s voice should also be raised against the threat of an imminent invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army and instead push for internationally-brokered peace talks,” he said in a statement.

    […]

    Australia’s response to the crisis has angered the local Palestinian community, which is calling on the Rudd government to speak out against what it says is a disproportionate response from Israel.

  253. Ms Gillard speaks out.

    I’m very disappointed in Gillard’s (labor’s) response over this issue, but then, Labor has been disappointing me for years.

  254. “I’m very disappointed in Gillard’s (labor’s) response over this issue”

    That makes 2 of us. Disappointed but not surprised personally.

  255. “Ms Gillard speaks out.”

    Wouldn’t want to upset the donors & MATES:

    The Political Donors of 2006-07

    Westfield Group: Labor $339,560
    Liberal $242,440

    The Westfield Group is an Australian company and the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation and the ninth largest entity listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

    The multinational company owns and operates shopping centres in Australia, United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Westfield shopping centres are typically branded with the name Westfield or Westfield Shoppingtown in their name.

    Current operations
    Main article: List of Westfield Group shopping malls
    Westfield currently has interests in total assets worth A$41 billion, representing 121 shopping centres in four countries – Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom – with over 10 million square metres of retail space. It is the world’s largest retail property group by equity market capitalisation, yet it is still chaired by Frank Lowy, one of its founders.

    Lowy is Jewish and although born in Czechoslovakia, he lived in Budapest, Hungary during World War II. He made his way to France in 1946, where he left on the ship Yagur, but was caught en route to British Mandate of Palestine by the British and deported to the detention camp in Cyprus. After a few months, Lowy was allowed into Palestine and was brought to the Atlit detainee camp. Eventually he joined the Haganah and then the Golani Brigade, fighting during the Israeli War of Independence in the Galilee and in Gaza. In 1952 Lowy left Israel and joined his family, who had left Europe for Australia and started a business delivering small goods.
    (Wikipedia)

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