Protest for Palestine (Sydney)

This afternoon, the boyf and myself went to the rally in support of the population in Gaza who are now in the 8th day of airborne attacks from the IDF, which has now turned into a ground assault.

The rally went past the Egyptian Consulate where chants against Mubarak were heard. So everyone realises that it is not just the Israelis that need to act – the Egyptians also need to act.

Of course, there was the (somewhat) militant fringe to the protest, but overall it was a peaceful protest – where the chants stayed polite, if passionate. The organisers tried to keep the protest to being one of respect and to be in support of the people of Gaza. I estimated that there was a couple of thousand people in attendance.

One poignant moment was when a mobile phone call was taken from someone in Gaza – the whole crowd just went silent as they tried to hear the voice as it was broadcast through the PA system.

Here is a quick youtube clip that I made of the rally.

joni

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105 Responses

  1. Been to many, many protests. And while I continue to attend, I wonder if there is a better way in this technological age.

    For example, I would send an Email to all and sundry in the government, opposition, embassies, MSM, etc which might be just as effective. Care to provide a list?

    After all a march is probably only worth 30 seconds on the news. Sure it makes the participants feel good but that’s not the main purpose.

    BTW, Egypt is coping heaps in the Arabic media about being in bed with Israel.

  2. I’m glad you took part in the rally joni. That’s what democracy is all about. Can you put up your youtube clip of the protest by the same same who were concerned about rockets being fired into Israel? I’m sure that rally was just as peaceful and full of respect. I sure would like to see it.

  3. So tempted to bite at your trolling Stephan, but my Ice Cream is melting.

  4. It ain’t trolling joni. I thought you were even-handed in all situations.

  5. I don’t think Stephan is trolling, he’s just marching down the other side of the street.

  6. Stephan,

    You organise the protest against the rockets and I will come and film it, and put the clip up.

  7. BBC just reported that journalists are still being prevented from entering Gaza in violation of an Israeli court.

  8. “You organise the protest against the rockets and I will come and film it, and put the clip up.”

    Well that is kind of the point Joni. I can’t say I even recall a post over the last 6 months along the lines of “stop the rocket attacks?” Says much my friend when you say nothing………….I have no problem accepting your sympathies but why don’t we get past it’s just for the people or kids routine. Last time I checked Jews were just as entitled to life as the next?

  9. This has got to be the most balanced article I have read thus far on this situation. Of course some won’t even bother reading it as it is from a “far-right” paper I am told.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24872283-16741,00.html

    “Israel’s many enemies argue that none of these reasons justify attacking Gaza, that the existence of the Jewish state, certainly outside its pre-1967 borders, is the catalyst for Hamas’s attacks. They say that the attacks come ahead of an election in Israel where ministers are playing politics with Palestinian lives. But arguing about the rights and wrongs of Israel’s origins is a waste of time. Islamist ideologues can dream of Israel disappearing, but short of a second holocaust this will not happen. And to argue that Israel’s Government is motivated by politics is to criticise ministers for doing what democratically elected leaders always do – protect their people. The challenge for Hamas is to make the best deal it can right now. Instead of fighting for the end of Israel, it should agree to stop the rockets. In return, the Israelis should undertake to improve the rate at which food and fuel, medicines and consumer goods flow into Gaza. Certainly such an arrangement would be grossly inferior to a permanent peace. But for the people of Gaza and the Israeli towns in the range of Hamas rockets, anything that stops the shooting is an improvement on what they are enduring today.”

  10. Rally pictures from the Jan 3/09 Rally in Toronto, Canada viewable over here http://www.flickr.com/photos/91521874@N00/sets/72157612075844961/ or in slide show mode over here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91521874@N00/sets/72157612075844961/show/

  11. What a load of crap that is a balanced article. Very telling that there is no author to that piece either for obviously if the author is revealed their ideology and bias will be exposed.

    Hamas take the best deal. That was a lot of the problem as toward the end of the cease fire Hamas was basically offered to totally disband and a puppet regime controlled by Israel put in its place, along with the crushing blockade not being removed or reduced at all, to “remaining indefinitely”/

    As with all these so called negotiations it is Israel’s way and under Israel’s terms, which usually means more land under their control.

    And nothing to do with the upcoming election where all parties are claiming they are tougher on the Palestinians than the other parties. Please pull the other one.

    ———————–
    And yes the Australian is right wing, but I suspect you know that, and its common nickname during the term of the previous government. Today it’s called the OO.

  12. Adrian,

    “What a load of crap that is a balanced article.”

    I guess just not enough condemnation of Israel for you Adrian or perhaps not enough mention of the Palestinian “children”? I really don’t quite understand your animosity for Israel or your denial of Hamas’s culpability in all this? Perhaps if Hamas was as successful at smuggling in needed aid as they are rockets you would get more of my sympathy but this whole thing would be farcical if it wasn’t so deadly. Really, where do you think negotiations should begin with Hamas given its stated beliefs and rhetoric?

  13. I notice from the news footage this morning the Israelis are dropping cluster bombs into heavily populated areas. Precision and targeted my arse.

  14. Adrian

    Is that the ones that look like fireworks?

  15. Here is this accounting by you yet again Sparta. Whilst you can be as biased and one sided as you like, you expect others are balanced and keep a check list so when they criticise your side they must also criticise one or preferably two or more others.

    You do know the tunnels were being used to smuggle in aid Sparta, luxury things like food and medicine that the Israelis have been blocking for 18 months now. Oh that’s right you think its perfectly OK to oppress and entire people for “self defence”.

    Talk about balance, where are all your condemnations of Israel’s blockade and the innocent deaths they have caused, or them forming Hamas, or bringing down a fairly elected government, or their illegal taking of land that continues to this day? You have no hesitation at pointing out deaths caused by the Palestinians or any Muslim group for that matter, so can we expect a check list of balance from you as well?

    And that you believe that Australian article, which deliberately doesn’t show the author, is “balanced” says a lot about where your balance lies.

  16. You source the one anonymous article from the Australian but what about the two or three authored articles that are far more balanced, one suggesting that Gaza actually be absorbed by Egypt.

    Here is one Australian article giving another side: Middle East bullies on road to nowhere

    Also far more balanced articles, along the lines of Israel’s attacks being self defeating and just what is it trying to achieve as its stated goals cannot be attained there are good pieces in;

    AFR – Geoffry Barker
    SMH – Paul McGeough

  17. Adrian,

    “Here is this accounting by you yet again Sparta. Whilst you can be as biased and one sided as you like, you expect others are balanced and keep a check list so when they criticise your side they must also criticise one or preferably two or more others.”

    Um…know I would probably have more to say about the Palestinian plight if I could just get someone to admit that Hamas might bear some responsibility in bringing suffering to its own people for a change? You seem incapable of doing that? Getting you to do anything other than attack another’s post is like trying to explain to a Hamas member why Israel has a right to exist or how about a basis for your beliefs for once Adrian? That would certainly be refreshing. I must be old fashioned thinking that if you’re going to “open your mouth/comment” on a post you explain yourself but I suppose that is much like asking a bully to explain why he enjoys picking on folks.

    You again begin by discounting my post and the article via a tactic you’re sure I use all the time and you are innocent of. The “Australian” is biased and the article is biased according to Adrian so it must be so. You almost get the impression your unwilling to address the article because there is no Author for you to try to discredit instead. Again, so you won’t have to address the heart of the article. Yes, thanks to your never ending reports of use of “certain tactics” I will be sure to point out every time you use the very same, since you seem blind to the fact. Oh wait, my personal favorite, why did I spend this much time when I could have just claimed “Straw-man!” and moved on, silly me.

    “You do know the tunnels were being used to smuggle in aid Sparta, luxury things like food and medicine that the Israelis have been blocking for 18 months now. Oh that’s right you think its perfectly OK to oppress and entire people for “self defence”.

    Well as you always go on about, if this was simply that “black & white” this would hardly be an issue. Yep, 18 months and still managed to smuggle in how many rockets Mr. Denial? Gee I don’t know maybe if it was just aid instead of rockets the Palestinian’s would get my sympathy. How much do you think a rocket costs these days? Bread vs. Rocket, hmm……..

    “Talk about balance, where are all your condemnations of Israel’s blockade and the innocent deaths they have caused, or them forming Hamas, or bringing down a fairly elected government, or their illegal taking of land that continues to this day? You have no hesitation at pointing out deaths caused by the Palestinians or any Muslim group for that matter, so can we expect a check list of balance from you as well?”

    I can’t even get you to say “Rockets on Israel bad” and you want me to discuss the plight of those that elected a government whose election platform you refuse to even acknowledge includes seeing Israel wiped out?

    One more time, it is usually good to start with a basic premise before engaging someone on the details. It is rather moronic to have a discussion about the “Hamas” cause or the plight of the populous that elected them when it is their expressed goal to see the extermination of Israel and then act as if there is a “rational” argument to make for them when Israel responds? Surely you see the conundrum in taking that position? Well of course you do but you will never admit it. Whoops, did I do it again and assume since you have yet to acknowledge that little bit of reality in all the posts on this subject thus far or ever for that matter that you might not see it as a fallacy in your argument? Well then what is it then if not? Let me guess, no response?

    “And that you believe that Australian article, which deliberately doesn’t show the author, is “balanced” says a lot about where your balance lies.”

    Yep how dare I presume that both sides bear some responsibility and neither action is beneficial to any populous, Jew or Palestinian? Nope, it is only the position of about half of the Palestinians themselves according to the poll Tony posted. Again, I feel honored that your insight blesses this site…..I have much to learn from you master……..I can hardly await your next flattering comment. Janet must be right in that this forum is simply just therapy for some….

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/index.php/theaustralian/comments/blog_therapy_will_return/

  18. “You source the one anonymous article from the Australian but what about the two or three authored articles that are far more balanced, one suggesting that Gaza actually be absorbed by Egypt.”

    My bad Adrian, I promise tnot to express an “opinion” again until I have cleared it with you first. Are you kidding me……….But on that note how does Egypt “absorb” Gaza given its location exactly?

  19. For deities sake sparta, we have said that Hamas should not be firing rockets into Israel. It is wrong and is condemned (see my comment @64 on the “Stories from Gaza” thread)

    How many times do I (for one) need to say it?

  20. joni, according to Sparta you must put a disclaimer on every post criticising America, Israel, the Right etc.

    Disclaimer: I am about to criticise Israel but hold the Palestinians, Muslims and all Arabs equally if not more to blame for Israel stealing land and oppressing the Palestinians, for daring to elect a government of a group the Israelis themselves formed to put down another government from a group they were previously instrumental in forming.

    ————————–
    For stuff sakes Sparta, you even agreed with me once when I put culpability onto Hamas and the Palestinians but you just want to completely blame them and are disingenuous in the extreme. You are not happy unless there is an accounting in every post, and nobody can criticise those you support and say are right and justified.

    Whilst you accuse others of being biased and unfair in their commentary, even a whole blog, you don’t balance that by criticising the right wing blogs and those articles that are blatantly biased in sympathy with your view. If you are going to continue this line of attack based on balance then the onus is on you to ensure that you are being fair and balanced, which you are not.

    Make you point, fair enough, but then don’t keep bringing it back to those who disagree with you or who put forward a contravening view as not supporting your view enough, so they must be terrorist loving, Jew hating evil moonbats who want to see the world controlled by radical Muslims and overrun by illegal immigrants. For that is what you are actually attempting to bring the debate down to.

    Disclaimer 2: As I abhor the innocent deaths being caused by Israel, which exponentially are far in excess of all deaths ever caused by the Palestinians on Israelis, I equally abhor Palestinians of any group firing rockets into Israel, even if the land they fire into once used to be their land and that was taken illegally by Israel. I also abhor these rockets being fired and causing less deaths and injuries than car accidents in Israel, but for some reason I can’t fathom, Israel has not deemed it has a right to defend itself against cars and bad drivers (and Israelis are terrible drivers, which I found out first hand).

    And finally for now. Yet again you engage in the tactic of posing the question and answering it for the poster before they have any chance to retort.

    PS. You do know who Janet Albrechtsen is, and how she is even ridiculed by many on the right for her right wing radicalism and ridiculous articles?

  21. A copy of The Australian just landed on my desk. The “anonymous” article to which Adrian refers is the editorial (p7).

  22. Adrian,

    PS. You do know who Janet Albrechtsen is, and how she is even ridiculed by many on the right for her right wing radicalism and ridiculous articles?

    This is an example of the Motive Fallacy. By changing the subject, and casting doubt on Ms Albrechtsen’s motives or credibility, you avoid addressing whether what she says is right or wrong.

    Every day, lawyers are being paid to argue their clients’ cases in court, but no-one ever says: You’re just saying that because you’re being paid to say it. No, in court, they address the arguments – not the motives.

  23. The truth about those Hamas rockets:
    By Dennis Rahkonen

    At any point during the past six decades, Israel could have had peace, simply by assenting to the great moral imperative of our time, namely the Palestinians’ right to their own, unitary, sovereign homeland.

    Something which Israel continues to resist tooth and nail.

    Two years ago, in Southern Lebanon, Israel engaged in similar bombings in civilian areas. Then, too, it maintained that only “terrorist” targets were being hit. As impartial observers finally ascertained the truth, clear evidence of enormous civilian carnage surfaced.

    The Israeli leadership lied then, and it’s lying now…

    …In fact, the almost certain, counterproductive outcome of Israel’s action makes us necessarily suspect that secret motives mistakenly judged by Tel Aviv to be worth the risk are actually at play.

    Three possibilities spring immediately to mind:

    1) Obscenely using de facto genocide to give the present Israeli government a “tough” image before upcoming national elections.

    2) Roping Barack Obama into a harder pro-Israeli stance than Tel Aviv fears he’d otherwise take.

    3) Creating a manipulated, intensely propagandized situation that would enable a desired Israeli attack on Iran.

    Whatever the most deeply hidden reality, Israel’s gargantuan crime must be universally condemned in the strongest possible terms . . . and halted at once!…

  24. Joni,

    Thank you sir, it is much appreciated. Now if I can just get one Post on this site devoted to the reality of living under the constant threat of “rocket” attack I will feel as if some are at least trying to understand the Israeli perspective. However, point taken….

  25. But we do understand the Israeli perspective (they feel under attack and have responded), just that if they wanted to solve the problem, the escalation of violence is not the answer.

    If you want to write a post on the Israeli POV – feel free. Email it to us (addrees above) and we will tidy it up and will post it.

    And why have you not been raising the rocket attacks on Gaza every week in our open threads?

    The Israeli state propoganda machine is far more effective in getting the suffering of the Israelis into the press, whereas the suffering in Gaza is restricted because Israel will not even allow journalists into Gaza to report.

    I still think that this attack on Gaza is all planned around two events: the upcoming Israeli elections and the end of the Bush presidency.

    And one of the reasons that I hold that opinion is because there is no clear military objective for this campaign, which can be seen by the changing reasons being given.

    Meanwhile the IDF is targetting schools, markets and shopping centres, and innocent lives are lost. Children, women and even IDF conscripts. I weep.

    If you treat people badly you should not be surprised when they act badly.

  26. Incidentally, page six of today’s The Australian carries an article by Joseph Wakim, Founder of Australian Arabic Council, in which he is highly critical of Israel. The article is headed “Middle East bullies on road to nowhere”.

  27. 😳 Adrian at 16 was onto that already.

  28. Sparta@8

    There are more questions than answers I think Sparta, and yes, consideration should be given to Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizen against constant rocket attacks..

    Can there be any turning back now that Israel has made its move? I’m not sure there can be until the job is done. But exactly what is the job and how can it be achieved? I’m sure in the minds of many Palestinians, they too have had enough. And around it goes. It’s the same old trap ‘a fog has descended that makes it hard to distinguish right from wrong’. Perhaps Israel want to liberate the Palestinian people from Hamas, but how will that work? What will be the long-term consequences?

    Another point of concern: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Palestine all predominantly (overwhelmingly)Islamic countries and all embroiled in conflict with the West – you can almost guarantee that the divide between Islam and the West will continue to grow and intensify.

    I think increasingly, Muslims are starting to feel they are under attack from Western powers.

  29. “For stuff sakes Sparta, you even agreed with me once when I put culpability onto Hamas and the Palestinians but you just want to completely blame them.”

    Geez Adrian, your right. There really was no cease fire violated over the last 6 months of unabated rocket attacks and doing so is perfectly justifiable anyway as a response to a blockade that is not really bringing in munitions but aid. You’re losing your grip man unless you know of large scale rocket manufacturing taking place on the Strip? Otherwise your argument as usual is no argument at all just another figment of your imagination.

    Along your same criticisms of me once again, “please don’t tell me what I think”, it is very annoying. So along that line: “Not true and you know it!”…..LOL

    “Disclaimer 2: As I abhor the innocent deaths being caused by Israel, which exponentially are far in excess of all deaths ever caused by the Palestinians on Israelis, I equally abhor Palestinians of any group firing rockets into Israel, even if the land they fire into once used to be their land and that was taken illegally by Israel.”

    You simply cannot resist…Let’s condemn it but rationalize why it shouldn’t be condemned; your version of an open mind. You are a contradiction sir. Classic Adrian……….

    “I also abhor these rockets being fired and causing less deaths and injuries than car accidents in Israel, but for some reason I can’t fathom, Israel has not deemed it has a right to defend itself against cars and bad drivers (and Israelis are terrible drivers, which I found out first hand).”

    That has to be the most asinine comment from you thus far or sarcasm of the poorest taste; nothing like mocking the death of a few Jews there Adrian. Since I need to explain everything to you, marginalizing any death, Jew or Palestinian is truly pathetic. Even by your standards but yet the “moderators” will remain silent. Tim, where are you?

    “And finally for now. Yet again you engage in the tactic of posing the question and answering it for the poster before they have any chance to retort.”

    This has to be another bad joke….I think I might have to go through the collection here and compile a list entitled “Adrian’s Hypocriticals”. For the love of Pete though, if you are unable to make a point and defend it logically why come to this forum? It would simply make more sense to converse with yourself and spare me the torture of trying to wade through multiple personalities.

  30. Reb and joni will decide what will be moderated and the circumstances in which the moderation will be performed.

    But there is nothing in anything that Adrian or Sparta has posted that I think requires moderation. Yes I thought Adrian went a bit far in his driving comment, but he will be brought up on it (quite rightly) and has to defend his comment.

    We only step in where personal attacks take place.

  31. Fight!… Fight!…. Fight!….So joni and reb are the peacekeepers..

  32. Now we’re getting down to the real aim of the invasion.

    Mission revealed: destroy Hamas
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/bpaul-mcgeoughb/2009/01/04/1231003847088.html
    THE revelation of the daring objective at the heart of Operation Cast Lead calls for Israel’s air-and-ground assault on Gaza to be given a new name. As the rhetorical layers are peeled back, what we are hearing makes Mission Impossible a more worthy contender.

    Tel Aviv’s early insistence that this massive military exercise was about putting a halt to Palestinian rockets being fired into or near communities in the south of Israel never rang true.

    Measure it by the number of rockets – 8000-plus over eight years – and indeed it sounds like a genuine existential threat. Consider the toll – 20 Israeli deaths spread over eight years, which is about half the number of deaths in just a month of Israeli traffic accidents – and it all loses its oomph as a casus belli.

    Israel does not want to deal with Hamas – it wants to annihilate the Islamist movement.”

  33. John

    And we are sooooo Bless-ed! Oh wait – that is the cheesemakers.

  34. 9. Sparta Phoenix, AZ USA

    Oh, I don’t know that the article is all that balanced or nuanced, Sparta. For instance, what is a ‘Jewish state’ as contrasted with the ‘State of Israel’? And why must a ‘second holocaust’ be necessary to eliminate a ‘Jewish state’ when simple democracy, sans apartheid, in a one-state solution might well eliminate a ‘Jewish state’ just as deftly? And where did Israel’s post-1967 ‘disputed territories’ (Israel’s term…the rest of the world knows them as ‘occupied territories’) disappear to in the nameless author’s op-ed account? What are the borders of the State of Israel, again, as opposed to a putative Jewish state’s borders, which are both unquestioned and not to be questioned in the piece? Is it really such a waste of time discussing those sorts of things, when the ‘Jewish state’ is so clearly imperilled by democracy in a one-state solution, as a democratic State of Israel, and yet elements of the underlying ideologies of a ‘Jewish state’, its borders and its behaviours, remain predicate upon the practical prevention of a viable two-state solution through otherwise illegal settlements, fences, blockades, and persistent military incursions on even undisputed territories. Tis all a mystery to me this balance and benign diplomacy by other warlike means stuff.

    Nevertheless, it would seem to this mind that the thing is lurching towards a ‘final solution’ to the ‘Palestinian question’ by default. While the ‘Jewish state’, and the nameless author, cannot or will not confront those cognitive dissonances which exist in conceptualising the State of Israel AS a ‘Jewish state’, when the two are not necessarily congruent, the fact remains that there are 5 – 7 million Palestinians who are a living proof of the State of Israel’s dispossession of them, of their homes, and of their homeland, beloved as much by them physically, as the Jewish State loves theirs metaphysically; and all the rest is a schizophrenic pantomime re-visiting the deepest hurts contained in the collective memory of the Ashkenazi nationalist movement upon the Other.

    Precisely what does the author of the piece envisage co-existence with those Palestinian persons will involve? Not surpisingly, any attempt at answering that question was jettisoned into the too hard basket: “Certainly such an arrangement would be grossly inferior to a permanent peace”. And,of course, contemplating permanent peace would once again involve asking and answering questions which went into the too hard basket right at the beginning of the piece.

    Interestingly, I, too, have been cast as one of Israel’s enemies: “Israel’s many enemies argue that none of these reasons justify attacking Gaza”. Apparently, it doesn’t take much to become Israel’s enemy, merely for raising certain practical questions, in your ‘balanced’ author’s piece. Or,perhaps, the author means some unexplained ‘Jewish state’ which won’t be thrust into the light for reflective and reflexive questioning of its relational behaviours, not even by friends of the State of Israel who disagree with it.

  35. John McPhilbin,

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of the situation. I can only scratch my head and sigh in the face of those lacking your grasp of logic.

    Joni,

    I hear where you’re coming from and I have no doubt that you are sincere in your beliefs and ultimately have noble intentions.

    “ Meanwhile the IDF is targetting schools, markets and shopping centres, and innocent lives are lost. Children, women and even IDF conscripts. I weep.”

    In regards to this comment, one can at least make the debate as to whether or not Israeli’s are “targeting civilians” in such a conflict but as a human being I too struggle to grasp the mindset of those who would. However, I think you would be at pains to say Hamas isn’t targeting civilians. A double standard the world seems to miss or doesn’t care to address. Your right though, what else can we do but weep for such a scenario. Hard to believe we are still killing each other over this crap!

  36. 32. John McPhilbin

    Noooooo…that cannot be, John. Sparta’s balanced op-ed clearly said…

    There is no talk of destroying Hamas, or even of removing it as the government of Gaza

    Anyone for a game of dreidel? It’s involves a four-sided die: you take all, you take nothing, you take half, or you have to put your former winnings back into the pot. The round ends, and a new game begins, when there’s one player left who has taken all of the pot.

  37. Grasp of logic? Is there any real logic in what is happening Sparta? Get a grip of reality my friend.

  38. Legion:

    “nameless author’s op-ed account”
    “the nameless author”

    In case you missed it at 21, that was an Editorial.

  39. Apologies Sparta, I misread and thought you were having a crack at my logic …. I thought you had completely gone bananas.

  40. Joni@ 30,

    I do apologize for putting you on the spot I just felt it was in poor taste even for Adrian. However, I do think you guys do a great job. I cannot even imagine the amount of work put in to keep this thing humming and relevant. My hat is off to you guys……..

  41. 38. Tony of South Yarra

    No, Tony, I didn’t miss it…if you can cite who wrote it, I’ll give you a wooden shekel.

  42. JM,

    No problem at all; hard to differentiate on here sometimes.

  43. Sparta,

    “one can at least make the debate as to whether or not Israeli’s are “targeting civilians” in such a conflict but as a human being I too struggle to grasp the mindset of those who would”.

    I have been reluctant to bring this point up, but I feel that I have to now. The rockets that Hamas fires are absolutely a deliberate attempt to “terrorise” the Israeli’s who are living in the area where the rockets are aimed. I do not dispute that. Which is why they are correctly called terrorists – because they wish to terrorise for political objectives.

    But there should be an onus on a true army (the IDF) to not target schools and places where innocent people live and work. And the accusations that Hamas is hiding in those places is just an easy cop out which I believe will be proven to be false – just like how that comment was made about Lebanon in 2006 which proved to be false.

    I guess one of the reasons that I am critical of the IDF is that they do not seem to be taking that care.

    “Hard to believe we are still killing each other over this crap”.

    Exactly my sentiments. We may disagree on individual points here, sparta, but I think we both agree that there really needs to be a proper settlement, and it is the responsibility of ALL sides in the conflict to reach that settlement.

  44. Legion,

    Geez…..Last time I ever post something without disclaimers of my own!

  45. Legion at 41,

    From my link (Wiki):

    In much of the English-speaking world, editorials are typically not written by the regular reporters of the news organization, but are instead collectively authored by a group of individuals and published without bylines.

  46. No, Sparta, credit where credit is due; you did flag your disclaimer: “This has got to be the most balanced article I have read thus far on this situation.”. I am just waxing rhetorical off the stimulus piece provided, and somewhat at your expense. We’ll still break bread in the morrow, you and I, I’m sure, because I, like all others, also value your contribution to discussions here, even if the over-heated bakery and the flour fights make it seem otherwise, sometimes. 😉

  47. 45. Tony of South Yarra

    Thanks for that, Tony. Shall I link to Wiki for the meanings of anonymous and author? Would that advance our understanding of whether or not an editorial proceeds without a byline, and is effectively a piece authored in anonymity? Or is it all kinda circular and irrelevant, except as a distraction? Should we move on to how the whole piece represents a logical fallacy, being the ‘argument to moderation’, or just skip it?

  48. Joni,

    “But there should be an onus on a true army (the IDF) to not target schools and places where innocent people live and work. And the accusations that Hamas is hiding in those places is just an easy cop out which I believe will be proven to be false – just like how that comment was made about Lebanon in 2006 which proved to be false.”

    Thank the heavens…..With that said I agree with your sentiments above completely. I also agree that such accusations made by the Israeli’s can easily be abused and undoubtedly have been. I too cringe at the thought of “shoot first” and ask later. Guerilla warfare especially is anything if not mankind at his worse! We have a hard enough time proving guilt in our societies without the burden of war but trying to do so during is another matter all together; especially from afar.
    Stop the madness somebody!!!!!!!!

  49. Sparta

    I tips me hat to you sir.

  50. May I double that. Thank you Sparta.

  51. Arguably, gorilla warfare on the Planet of the Apes is no better or worse than any other kind of warfare. Arguably, it’s the powerful who wrote the rules of war to entrench their power as against the powerless in the first place. Arguably, America would never have defeated the British, who demanded that everyone line up in little rows in uniform and not fire until the fifer and drummer had finished their Prelude to War Overture, without guerilla and irregular warfare. I’m sure whole movies fighting would-be alien overlords are constructed around precisely such suicidal scenarios for release on pivotal public holidays. 😉

  52. Legion,

    Now why did you have to go and get cordial on me? I am now feeling a bit guilty about some past transgressions that were clearly out of line! Thanks a lot pal….You “checked” me again!

  53. I am probably way behind the times, but the difference between Guerilla warfare and the French Resistance movement WW2 (aka heroes) was what? Depends upon which side of the fence that you are sitting me thinks.

  54. Min,

    No, you are right. The French resistance did indeed use such tactics but without the advantage of a sympathetic media or a world that cared. The Nazi’s simply killed the whole town when sympathizers were thought to be suspected. Although warfare in general is a messy affair it becomes more so when the civilian populous themselves become the combatants as in the example you mention. Undoubtedly as in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle or “War on Terrorism” for that matter, who exactly is a civilian becomes the dilemma? This distinction becomes lost and leads to the chaos we see. Hamas will claim all those killed were simply civilians and the Jews will use the ambiguity to justify pulling the trigger first. It is why applying the conventional rules of warfare as Legion suggested becomes highly subjective in my opinion and why such legislature requires updating if we are going to apply it. With conventional warfare at least one knows a) who the enemy is most of the time and b) where the line is supposed to be drawn.

  55. Apparently the Israelis have prevented journalists from entering Gaza to cover the invasion…have they something to hide???

  56. 51. Legion

    And the American revolutionaries hid amongst the civilian population and didn’t wear uniforms.

    This sound familiar:

    At the outset of the war, the Americans lacked a professional army and navy. Each state provided for its own defenses through the use of local militia. Militiamen were lightly armed, slightly trained, and usually did not have uniforms.

  57. #43. joni

    “Hard to believe we are still killing each other over this crap”.

    Exactly my sentiments. We may disagree on individual points here, sparta, but I think we both agree that there really needs to be a proper settlement, and it is the responsibility of ALL sides in the conflict to reach that settlement.

    And my sentiments to. There is only one solution I can see and it is the Palestinians that have been calling for it. A substantial neutral force between the Israels and the Palestinians, with the addition of Israel giving back the land it has taken.

    The Palestinians once stated they would even wear an all American military force policing them, but it is always Israel that refuses to entertain this. Why is that?

    So as long as the current situation continues and Israel continues to take land, let alone give any back, then there is no end to this many decades old conflict.

  58. Sorry huge article I lifted from another discussion that didn’t have a link, so I’m posting it in toto. Take note of the formation of a new Ministry of Information. It is information from this ministry many use as “facts” regarding Gaza, and why Israel won’t allow independent scrutiny of their actions in Gaza. The call by reporters to be allowed to report on Cast Lead is growing louder and more frequent.


    01.04.2009 | The Observer
    By Chris McGreal

    ‘Are you a target if you voted for Hamas?’ Last night Israel sent its ground forces across the border into Gaza as it escalated its brutal assault on Hamas. As a large-scale invasion of the Palestinian territory appears to be getting under way, Chris McGreal reports from Jerusalem on Israel’s hidden strategy to persuade the world of the justice of its cause in its battle with a bitter ideological foe

    It is a war on two fronts. Months ago, as Israel prepared to unleash its latest wave of desolation against Gaza, it recognised that blasting Hamas and “the infrastructure of terror”, which includes police stations, homes and mosques, was a straightforward task.

    Israel also understood that a parallel operation would be required to persuade the rest of the world of the justice of its cause, even as the bodies of Palestinian women and children filled the mortuaries, and to ensure that its war was seen not in terms of occupation but of the west’s struggle against terror and confrontation with Iran.

    After the debacle of its 2006 invasion of Lebanon – not only a military disaster for Israel, but also a political and diplomatic one – the government in Tel Aviv spent months laying the groundwork at home and abroad for the assault on Gaza with quiet but energetic lobbying of foreign administrations and diplomats, particularly in Europe and parts of the Arab world.

    A new information directorate was established to influence the media, with some success. And when the attack began just over a week ago, a tide of diplomats, lobby groups, bloggers and other supporters of Israel were unleashed to hammer home a handful of carefully crafted core messages intended to ensure that Israel was seen as the victim, even as its bombardment killed more than 430 Palestinians over the past week, at least a third of them civilians or policemen.

    The unrelenting attack on Gaza, with an air strike every 20 minutes on average, has not stopped Hamas firing rockets that have killed four Israelis since the assault began, reaching deeper into the Jewish state than ever before and sending tens of thousands of people fleeing. Last night Israel escalated its action further, as its troops poured across Gaza’s border, part of what appeared to be a significant ground invasion. And a diplomatic operation is already in full swing to justify the further cost in innocent lives that would almost certainly result.

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

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

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

    Hand in hand went a strategy to remove the issue of occupation from discussion. Gaza was freed in 2005 when the Jewish settlers and army were pulled out, the Israelis said. It could have flourished as the basis of a Palestinian state, but its inhabitants chose conflict.

    Israel portrayed Hamas as part of an axis of Islamist fundamentalist evil with Iran and Hezbollah. Its actions, the Israelis said, are nothing to do with continued occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza or the Israeli military’s continued killing of large numbers of Palestinians since the pullout. “Israel is part of the free world and fights extremism and terrorism. Hamas is not,” the foreign minister and Kadima party leader, Tzipi Livni, said on arriving in France as part of the diplomatic offensive last week.

    And when the killing started, Israel claimed that the overwhelming majority of the 400-plus killed were Hamas fighters and the buildings destroyed part of the infrastructure of terror. But about a third of the dead were policemen. Although the police force in Gaza is run by Hamas, Buttu said Israel is misrepresenting it as a terrorist organisation.

    “The police force is largely used for internal law and order, traffic, the drug trade. They weren’t fighters. They hit them at a graduation ceremony. Israel wants to kill anyone associated with Hamas, but where does it stop? Are you a legitimate target if you work in the civil service? Are you a legitimate target if you voted for Hamas?” she said.

    Similarly, while Israel accuses Hamas of risking civilian lives by hiding the infrastructure of terror in ordinary neighbourhoods, many of the Israeli missile targets are police stations and other public buildings that are unlikely to be built anywhere else.

    Israel argues that Hamas abandoned the June ceasefire that Tel Aviv was prepared to continue. “Israel is the first one who wants the violence to end. We were not looking for this. There was no other option. The truce was violated by Hamas,” said Livni.

    However, others say that the truce was thrown into jeopardy in November when the Israeli military killed six Hamas gunmen in a raid on Gaza. The Palestinians noted that it was election day in the US, so most of the rest of the world did not notice what happened. Hamas responded by firing a wave of rockets into Israel. Six more Palestinians died in two other Israeli attacks in the following week.

    “They were assaulting Gaza militarily, by sea and by air, all through the ceasefire,” said Buttu. Neither did the killing of Palestinians stop. In the nearly three years since Hamas came to power, and before the latest assault on Gaza, Israel forces had killed about 1,300 people in Gaza and the West Bank. While a significant number of them were Hamas activists – and while hundreds of Palestinians have been killed by other Palestinians in fighting between Hamas and Fatah – there has been a disturbing number of civilian deaths.

    The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights says that one in four of the victims is aged under 18. Between June 2007 and June 2008, Israeli attacks killed 68 Palestinian children and young people in Gaza. Another dozen were killed in the West Bank.

    In February, an Israeli missile killed four boys, aged eight to 14, playing football in the street in Jabalia. In April, Meyasar Abu-Me’tiq and her four children, aged one to five years old, were killed when an Israeli missile hit their house as they were having breakfast. Even during the ceasefire, Israel killed 22 people in Gaza, including two children and a woman.

    Perhaps crucial to the ceasefire’s collapse were the differing views of what it was supposed to achieve. Israel regarded the truce as calm in return for calm. Hamas expected Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza that the latter said was a security response to the firing of Qassam rockets.

    But Israel did not end the siege that was wrecking the economy and causing desperate shortages of food, fuel and medicine. Gazans concluded that the blockade was not so much about rocket attacks as punishment for voting for Hamas.

    Central to the Israeli message has been that, when it pulled out its military and Jewish settlers three years ago, Gaza was offered the opportunity to prosper. “In order to create a vision of hope, we took out our forces and settlements, but instead of Gaza being the beginning of a Palestinian state, Hamas established an extreme Islamic rule,” said Livni. Israeli officials argue that Hamas, and by extension the people who elected it, was more interested in hating and killing Jews than building a country.

    Palestinians see it differently. Buttu says that from the day the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, they set about ensuring that it would fail economically. “When the Israelis pulled out, we expected that the Palestinians in Gaza would at least be able to lead some sort of free life. We expected that the crossing points would be open. We didn’t expect that we would have to beg to allow food in,” she said.

    Buttu notes that even before Hamas was elected three years ago, the Israelis were already blockading Gaza. The Palestinians had to appeal to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and James Wolfensohn, the president of the World Bank, to pressure Israel to allow even a few score of trucks into Gaza each day. Israel agreed, then reneged. “This was before Hamas won the election. The whole Israeli claim is one big myth. If there wasn’t already a closure policy, why did we need Rice and Wolfensohn to try to broker an agreement?” asked Buttu.

    Yossi Alpher, a former official in the Mossad intelligence service and an ex-adviser on peace negotiations to the then prime minister, Ehud Barak, said the blockade of Gaza is a failed strategy that might have strengthened Hamas. “I don’t think anyone can produce clear evidence that the blockade has been counterproductive, but it certainly hasn’t been productive. It’s very possible it’s been counterproductive. It’s collective punishment, humanitarian suffering. It has not caused Palestinians in Gaza to behave the way we want them to, so why do it?” he said. “I think people really believed that, if you starved Gazans, they will get Hamas to stop the attacks. It’s repeating a failed policy, mindlessly.”

  59. 56. Adrian of Nowra

    We might even be able to draw closer parallels than that…Hamas is to Irgun, as Fatah is to Haganah, and as the Palestinian Authority is to the Jewish Agency for Israel. Apparently, Hamas ,like Irgun before it, has rejected the policy of havlagah restraint. If we were particularly studious, we could even identify today’s Likud Charter, which grew out of Begin’s Irgun, as exactly matching Hamas’ Charter in its zealot-extremist tone. I think it’s not so much that the centre and right of Israeli politics is unaware of the close parallels between its own recent past and Palestinian political dynamics, including the emergence of militarism as a tactic in Palestinian proto-nationalism; it’s that they are aware that such proto-nationalist consolidation dynamics often prove successful in stimulating hard and soft power projections of that nationalist sentiment. Hence Hamas must go, because an independent Palestinian State offends the Zionist version of the The Land of Israel, which subrogates the territories of Judea and Samaria in every good Ashkenazi revisionist’s mapbook, as gleaned from the Torah and its lost Golden Age gloss.

  60. Also there are essays against the Israeli attacks appearing in Israeli newspapers like Ha’aretz.

  61. Sparta, we in Australia have learnt that nothing balanced comes out of the Australian newspaper. It’s a bit like saying that Murdochs Sky news lives up to its mantra of “Fair and Balanced” reproting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The upshot of this is that we need to come to gripps with, not get past the civilians being killed here. Israel are absolutely pummelling the Gaza strip and they don’t care much about the civilians or as you yankies call it Collateral damage. I don’t think anyone really knows who fired the first rocket, but the first news report was that Israel conducted an air strike on the Gaza Strip and attacked Palestine. Regardless, there are peaceful people living on both sides of the divide here and the collateral damage happens to be other peoples children, husbands, wives. I wonder how you would feel if it happened to you.
    The real test of character came when Israel refused to let humanitarian aid and medical supplies into the war torn country, they failed that one miserably. Maybe, its because the world would learn the real truth, or at very least they are just ignorant, arrogant, cruel, inhumane bullies. They seem to have taken a page out of the Bush hymnsheet. In fgact, if the Empire didn’t block any and all proposals put before the UN no matter what, the UN would probably have some power to do something to bring an end to this conflict. The US are complicit in the ongoing suffering of the Palestine people.
    Anyone government that doesn’t let humanitarian aid into a country to assist woulded and starving people can’t be trusted.

    This type of conflict can only bring more terrorists and surges in the wars the US is engaged in, particualarly in the middle East, and boy its not hard to understand why.

  62. 59. Legion

    And you have hit on another intransigence that will never be resolved without a powerful third party interference. Much is made of Hamas refusing to recognise Israel’s right to exist but nothing is said of Israel refusing to recognise the right of the Palestinians to have their own country, which is why the Israelis feel perfectly justified in taking prime Palestinian land whenever the whim takes them, forcing Palestinians into every smaller marginalised areas. And even when the Palestinians make a go of those marginalised areas, Israel destroys the infrastructure and development.

  63. Legion @ 34

    Thanks for your responses. In my mind, we become the ‘enemy of israel’ if we criticise any of Israel’s behaviour. It always provokes the standard response of anti-semetism. To remain a friend of Israel you must support unconditionally and always, no matter what.

    The other reason that people like me have become critical of israel is, Israel’s own behaviour toward the Palestinians – a racial persecution that the nazi’s meted out to the jews. I am against ethnic cleansing, oppression, repression, persecution and inhumane treatment – no matter which side is the perpetrator. I would have thought the Israeli policies of persecution would be abhorrent to the Jews who still to this day, seek out former nazi’s to bring to justice.

    Nazi Israel … Indeed

    On the question of occupation and dispossession of palestinian lands. There are hundreds and thousands of palestinians who still possess and cherish the keys to their former homes.

    Robert Fisk – The Keys of Palestine:

    …For decades after their War of Independence, the Israelis claimed that most of the Arab Palestinians had left of their own free will after-being urged by Arab radio stations to leave their homes and take sanctuary in neighbouring states until the Arab armies had conquered the upstart new Israeli nation. Israeli scholars now agree that these radio appeals were never broadcast and that the allegations were fraudulent. The Palestinian Arabs left their homes because they were frightened, often because they had heard stories — accounts which were perfectly true — of the massacre of Arab civilians by Jewish gangs…

    …With luck, their homes would not be burgled and any disputes that might subsequently arise over their property would be swiftly resolved on production of those impressive-looking deeds, some of them so old that they bore the colophon of the Sublime Porte.

    By one of the more subtle cruelties of Middle East history, the papers and the keys were to prove the most symbolic and most worthless of possessions to the Palestinians. They acquired a significance that grew ever more painful as weeks and then months away from home turned into years…

  64. I’ve cross-posted on my blog Australia: Locals divided over Gaza. It’s awaiting review for Global Voices.

    If you haven’t visited GV yet, it is highly recommended.

  65. Adrian, those maps you posted at LP say so much about the long-term developments. You should post them at every opportunity. Do you have a link?

  66. N5

    I’ll see if I can find it again. I think I stated somewhere else I spent a lot of time debating the M.E. on a forum that no longer exists. I kept a few downloads of graphs and pics from that debate and found the one of the maps when this debate came up.

    I think if you do a search on “Maps of Israel” or “Historic maps of Israel” this comes up in the first ten sites.

  67. None of what anyone says will make an iota of difference. to places like Palestine and Iraq.

    Debate, argue, whatever. At the end of the day the World Police with their lap dog (or vice versa) and goons, will do exactly what they want to do.

    You know it, I know it, and more importantly, the United Nations know it.

    There is no point in a debate.

  68. PS Sorry, still no glasses. Coming next week.

  69. Isn’t that the sad case Angel.

    In five to ten years, in Blogocracy or another blog or whatever, everyone will be having the same arguments divided down the same lines and there will have been a lot more dead between now and then and Palestine will be a lot smaller and Israel bigger.

    As the US leaves Iraq, it will start to regress and the government will go on a pogrom against the people with torture and oppression again growing. Iran will become more powerful as a consequence of the interference by America but Afghanistan might progress especially if they get rid of one of the most corrupt governments in the M.E.

    And it all goes around again.

  70. Adrian, the reason I ask, I copied the URL and it didn’t work. And in my view it’s one hell of a series of maps.

  71. Adrian,

    Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I get so emotional and upset over it, I honestly don’t know why I bother. (Sometimes). Today is a good day, so I bothered. 🙂

  72. ” I honestly don’t know why I bother. ”

    Tis the problem of Blogs and blogging. While one may think one’s arguments are spot one, the truth is that the generalised ‘other’ rarely converts instantaneously and probably never at all. Indeed, instantaneous conversions are neither likely nor desirable.

    Nevertheless, like water on a stone, erosion of dogmatic views do occur even if it takes lots and lots of time.

    I, for one, like your contributions which in its own way is a problem because I tend to value contributions that agree with me. Lol. But contributors never agree with me totally, and therefore I am more likely to modify my position.

    I think your ‘maps’ today will resonate with the wider community and maybe they will appear on the MSM. I hope so.

    Rest easy.

  73. I also value opinions that are like minded, but rarely alter my opinion after an “ear bashing”.. I have had some extremely heated debates with certain someone’s here (on Blogocracy), so bad that Tim pulled the thread, thank goodness.

    Although it’s funny, I do value others opinions, it’s just the way they come accross, especially when occasionally being personally insulting.

    Never mind, all water under the bridge and mostly forgotten now, a valuable learning curve for me. However, I did promise myself that I would NEVER get that involved again, and I haven’t.

    Night all.

  74. I think the same questions and observations have been repeated often enough and that both sides really need to engage the possibility of a long term solution

    “The key strategic question is: what exactly does Israel want to achieve from this? and In the cycle of violence that defines the Middle East, each side can find something for which they want retribution.”

    John Lyons certainly provides interesting analysis

    Close combat: conflict enters danger zone
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24872980-5017272,00.html

    THE Israeli military and Hamas have been engaged in hostilities from a distance for months. Yesterday they came face to face.

    Israeli tanks, soldiers and special forces troops crossed four points into Gaza in the early hours of yesterday, entering the most dangerous phase of any military operation – a ground invasion.

    No one doubts the Israeli Defence Force is a formidable operation – the most powerful military in the Middle East.

    But nor is Hamas a rag-tag operation. In recent years, it has become a far more professional outfit. It operates with many of the structures of an army, dividing Gaza into five regions, each with its own commander. Hamas leaders were believed to have taken refuge in Gaza City, meaning the Israelis would almost certainly end up in unpredictable combat in its streets and neighbourhoods.

    In military terms, this immediately gives Hamas an advantage.

    Gaza’s people are crowded into winding streets, large apartment buildings and shanties on the edge of refugee camps. Hamas fighters have plenty of places to hide among Gaza’s 1.5 million people.

    The key strategic question is: what exactly does Israel want to achieve from this?

    Israel’s claim that Hamas was using a vast system of underground tunnels to access serious weaponry for use against them appears accurate. Inside Israel, political pressure for action was strong. About 800,000 Israelis are within the 40km range of Hamas rockets, which Israelis find unacceptable.

    The fact that Hamas could still fire rockets into Israel – after eight days of air raids targeting tunnels and weapons storage facilities – adds weight to the claim of stockpiling of weapons.

    From Israel’s point of view, nothing seems to work with Gaza. They tried occupying it. They tried leaving it three years ago under international pressure.

    Gaza’s people were poor and desperate even before the bombing began.

    In the cycle of violence that defines the Middle East, each side can find something for which they want retribution.

    The ground invasion will almost certainly lead to an even higher death toll on both sides. What is happening in Gaza right now is a humanitarian tragedy.

    At best, the Israeli ground invasion will provide short-term relief from Hamas rockets.

    But a long-term solution is desperately needed. Perhaps the only answer is for the international community to convince neighbouring Egypt to take control of Gaza.

    The UN is not the solution. Yesterday’s emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was unable to even agree on a Gaza statement: the body meant to take leadership in such conflicts is crippled in its divisions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Gaza being forced to become part of Egypt – to abandon its weapons and link with the Egyptian economy – is perhaps the only sustainable hope for this tiny, tragic strip of land.”

  75. 74. John McPhilbin

    The UN is not the solution. Yesterday’s emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was unable to even agree on a Gaza statement: the body meant to take leadership in such conflicts is crippled in its divisions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    And that, in itself, is an indictment on the(dys)function of the UN’s Security Council. You’ve heard me say it many times before: the UN needs a radical overhaul, because it’s been crippled not merely by its latest ‘divisions’, but by its very constitution at, and ever since, formation. It is engineered to fail precisely when it’s needed most to provide over-arching leadership and definitive guidance on conflict(s) resolution. No supreme administrative-arbitrative body could function as the UN SC is presently designed; and, to the extent that the UN SC is not that body, and is only engineered as a retarded tool of convenience in the hands of the then-extant Cold War nuclear powers, there needs to be one.

    Gaza being forced to become part of Egypt – to abandon its weapons and link with the Egyptian economy – is perhaps the only sustainable hope for this tiny, tragic strip of land.”

    I’d be happier if John Lyons’ analysis presented some examination and rational elimination of any other alternatives that might have occurred to him, before declaring annexation of Gaza by Egypt as ‘perhaps the only sustainable hope’ per some unexplained short-hand pseudo-resolution to his analysis. As things stand, however, that occurrence is doubtful, given Gaza has no more affinity with Egypt than it does with Israel. That is true even of the instant conflict, where there are Gazan bodies with Egyptian bullets in them along the Egyptian border; Egyptian whack-a-mole of the sundry Sons of Jihad and average Gazans breaching the rabbit-proof fence, in fleeing the lead seal being emplaced on the coffin, is just one of the little talked about aspects of the latest conflict . Egypt, moreover, is unlikely to want a manpower augmentation to the militant wing(s) of the Muslim Brotherhood with which it once grappled, given that Egypt’s homegrown Muslim Brotherhood is already pressing heavily at the political-representative level, only being suppressed presently in its mainstream political aspirations through a repressive, anti-democratic dictatorship.

    But it was a nice throwaway line of Lyons’ at the end of a partial ‘analysis’…perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

  76. Let’s understand where the 1.5 million Palestinians herded into Gaza came from.

    Gaza exists because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

  77. 67. Angel

    Waging Peace is a Sisyphean labour of Love, maybe, but I choose to intuit that it isn’t pointless. Give me a long enough lever, and I shall move the whole world. That kind of thing. But, yes, in the immediate term, there is no stopping the Juggernaut. Maybe it takes everyone, and only the shortest of levers, to effect the kind of shift required…and that’s why it’s never pointless in the attempt to have many hands make Light work.

  78. Happy New Year to all . I am now back on deck, well actually was back on deck yesterday but too busy to chat on blogocrats. I hope all of you are well and happy.

    Joni.

    I acknowledge you say hamas should not fire rockets into Israel, but how about you balance the site with an ACTUAL article on this or inculde your denunciation of Hamas rockets within your article instead of burying your comment in responses to bloggers at @ 64.

    I have been slowly seeing this site degenrate into what I consider bias reporting. This is what we accuse Akerman and Bolt of doing, only reporting one side of an event with their own opinion.

    I am becoming disillusioned.

  79. 64. renniek

    Many thanks, Kevin. It was very interesting to catch up with what other Islands of Thought in the Blogosphere have been thinking and saying on the matter (and noting the similarities of points raised and positions adopted, with leads and lags depending on the site, as part of the co-created narratives). It reminded me, somewhat, that the ‘net is intended to maintain 90% content integrity, no matter the absence or presence of any particular node.

  80. Shane

    Now I am too.

  81. Here we go again, all criticisms must be balanced by a proviso or disclaimer otherwise you get accused of bias and now apparently disillusionment.

    And to even remotely compare this site’s prejudices and biases to the likes of Ackerman and Bolt is really drawing a long bow.

    Since when has there been a rule that you must have a check list in a fora so as to ensure if you say one thing or raise a topic you must balance that against something else? Isn’t that the role of opposing bloggers and commentators?

  82. Adrian

    My simple point is that if you think rockets should not be used than say so about both sides in your artciel not just one unless youre opinion is that the one side does have the right to launch rockets against a population.

    What is your problem with having a balanced article. You can have a balanced article and still prove your point.

  83. 63. kittylitter

    Both very interesting links. I can’t say that (pro-militant) rightwing Zionists are like the Nazis in thought or deed, but I would contend, somewhat like Avraham Burg, that elements within the State of Israel, and perhaps wider afield, aren’t all that clear, within themselves,about what distinguishes the warp and weft of a ‘Jewish State’ from the ideas of a ‘Reich’ or a ‘Master Race’, and to that extent, the memory of Hitler and Nazism remains actively to be defeated within the collective Jewish psyche, and should not be left to the auto-pilot of externally projecting arch-enemy status onto anyone who holds up a mirror to the actions of the ”Jewish State’. It’s another layer to the perceived existential threat(s) perennially raised on behalf of the State of Israel: the identification of a personal self (as both an a priori and ex ante state of beingness) with a territorial State; and what that State and state of beingnesses (and territory, and territoriality) means, not in terms of the territory, but in terms of those lived State and state of beingnesses.

    In some ways, on considered reflection, I should actually be far more peeved with the anonymous author(s) who penned that editorial piece in The Australian, for the sheer gall of their earmarking a subset of their Australian readership as ‘enemies’ of the State of Israel through their uncritical elisions of concepts and identification with a ‘Jewish state’. How dare an editor declare me an enemy of a foreign power for disagreeing with their opinion and/or conclusions about the actions of that foreign power from within my, and presumably their, own country (which is neither the ‘Jewish state’, nor the State of Israel, as it happens, not that it should matter either way: it’s point-blank unacceptable regardless of their implicit motivations)!

    Moving on…Adrian pointed me in the direction of Ha’aretz, a left-ish publication out of Israel, and I came across these two articles, which seem to touch on similar reflective themes in relation to the instant and larger internal and external conflicts:

    And there lie the bodies

    Obama, and the first Arab prime minister of Israel

  84. I agree, here we go again.

    Just because something is not stated, does not mean it is condoned or supported.

    To some the issue of the rockets is a furphy, it is the lie that israel puts forward to excuse the oppression and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians.

    a href=”http://www.populistamerica.com/unwavering_commitment_to_inequality”>’Unwavering Commitment’ to Inequality

    …For Israel the rockets are important as a pretext to maintain a state of siege against Hamas, and a low-intensity warfare that creates permanent distraction from the confiscation of Palestinian land and the expansion of illegal settlements – and also as justification for the slow moving ‘peace process’…

    Where’s the balance in the deaths? How many Israli’s killed by rocket fire vs Palestinians killed by the IDF.

    …Meanwhile, the uneven numbers of casualties speak volumes.

    While Yechiah’s death is tragic, he was the “first person killed by rocket attacks from Gaza since May 2007, and the fourteenth overall since the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian armed clashes in September 2000,” according to a Human Rights Watch Press release on February 29, citing Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.

    B’Tselem reported that “1,259 of the 2,679 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip (since September 2000) were not participating in hostilities when they were killed, and 567 were minors.”..

    Sometimes there is simply right and wrong and the truth. To provide balance can actually become a bias because you legitimise a viewpoint that does not deserve it (e.g. global warming issue and giving the sceptics a voice).

    I think that Israel has no shortage of media commenters who are biased in her favour already.

    Where is the balance when Hamas is called a terrorist organisation and not the democratically elected government of Palestine? Where is the balance in the US unconditional support of Israel and automatic condemnation of Hamas?

    I’m sure that if I wandered into Andy Bolt or Tim Blair’s blogs, I would not see many calls for a ‘balance’ of opinion.

  85. Sorry for the inactive link

    ‘Unwavering Commitment’ to Inequality

  86. Hi legion
    Agree with Adrian that Ha’aretz is a respected and influential publication.

    The editorials of The Australian seem to me to be a lot like The Washington Post where the authors write a deliberately inflammatory (always anonymous) article that is quite at odds with it’s own readership.

    Chris Mitchell the Oz editor is known to be a vindictive, rabid right winger.

    Sick profile of a typical ego-driven News Limited editor, Chris Mitchell

  87. kittylitter

    The OO does not realise that the blogosphere has:

    1. a long memory (the blog-war which led to Tim’s original post being pulled)
    2. the ability of the blogosphere to go back through archived papers and to do their own research

    As they say – many hands make light work.

  88. Exactly joni

    I always thought that when Tim’s post got pulled, it was the beginning of the end of his relationship with news Ltd.

    Remember the poll wars stoush between possum and the OO political editor Denis Shanahan?

  89. I wasn’t aware of Uncle Rupe’s censorship of Tim until it was alluded to in this thread.

    I found this…

    http://www.creative.org.au/webboard/results.chtml?filename_num=170330

    …& thought it an interesting read.

  90. Lol, You’ve got to laugh – Tim certainly was a rebel (I suspect he will always be as well). In fact, it’s my opinion, that he is head and shoulders above many who think of themselves as major opinion makers in the mainstream.

    http://www.creative.org.au/webboard/results.chtml?filename_num=170330
    To make matters worse, News Limited then appeared to censor one of its own bloggers, Tim Dunlop. Dunlop had written this post commenting on the editorial. He wrote:

    “If bias is in the eye of the beholder, then there are a lot of “beholders” out there who think The Australian is biased, particularly in its coverage of polling data. The evidence for this is not just to found in the blogosphere but on their own pages where their columns and articles often fill up with criticism from their own readers accusing them of spinning information in favour of the Howard Government. In attacking the “online commentariat” they are also attacking a sizeable sampling of their own readership.”

    But Dunlop’s post was pulled within the hour by News Limited management, against Dunlop’s will. Fortunately, other bloggers had already cached it, and it was soon posted on half a dozen independent blogs – proof, if any were needed, that editing newspapers doesn’t work like it used to. It’s a fair bet that Dunlop’s pulled post has now been read by many more people than would otherwise have encountered it.

    The censoring of Dunlop is significant, because he was the first Australian blogger hired by the mainstream media “from the wild”, and at the time there was a lot of speculation about whether or not it could work. Dunlop, an Adelaide based academic and former small business owner whose doctoral thesis was about public debate, came to prominence as author of the cheekily named Road to Surfdom, which was one of the first political blogs in Australia and remains among the most popular. When he signed with News Limited last year he assured his readers that he would remain an independent voice. He has indeed had a free hand, regularly criticising his colleagues on News Limited newspapers and offering a decidedly more liberal view than his hard copy journalistic colleagues – but it seems he has now discovered the limits of News Limited’s tolerance.

    Dunlop told me the week after his post was pulled that he was having “talks” with management about editorial independence and expected to be able to blog on the result of his talks soon. He still hasn’t done so, but is continuing to blog feistily on other matters. My understanding is that Dunlop has, after much soul-searching, decided to give News Limited one more chance.”

  91. Joni,

    Further to our brief conversation about the Huffington Post the other day. What has happened over there? These two posts, plus the climate change one, lead me to think they may have sold out to Murdoch 😉 :

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hannah-fisher/bbc—-subtle-indoctrinat_b_153754.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/martin-lewis/stop-this-vicious-slaught_b_155039.html

  92. Here we go

    War: Jewish children ‘will be murdered’
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24880510-12377,00.html
    Article from: Agence France-Presse

    * Israel “has legitimised the murder of children”
    * Jewish children will be killed – Hamas
    * Israeli tanks move into southern Gaza Strip

    The ‘fog of war’ descends well and truly on Gaza and the entire M/E. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, it’s the widespread belief that many will probably now adopt that ‘Israel are killing children of Islam – and that the West seem to support the aggression. Iran will no doubt be preparing for war in anticipation of US or Israeli aggression as well, and the US and Israel will be also be keeping an eye on Iran to ascertain their possible involvement (and around it goes).

  93. This statement came from Shimon Peres in a press conference overnight in answer to the 40+ Palestinians killed, most who were children, when the IDF hit the wrong target and destroyed a UN sponsored school being used as a shelter for children.

    “Do you know why so many Palestinian children are killed and no Israeli children are killed? We take care of our children.”

  94. I’ve just heard that the IDF has also attacked a second UN sponsored school in Gaza being used as a shelter for children. The UN spokesperson was livid on these attacks against their schools that were clearly being used as shelters for children.

    There has also been another call for Israel to allow independent reporters into Gaza as there is a huge gap between what Israel is saying what is happening and what the trickle of third party reports from inside Gaza are showing.

  95. It is tragic that any children or other innocent civilians have been killed.

    It is equally disgusting, if, as seems to be the case, Hamas operatives are sheltering in, and firing rockets and motrars from, schools where children are likely to be present.

    An initial inquiry by forces on operating in the area of the incident indicates that a number of mortar shells were fired at IDF forces from within the Jabalya school. In response to the incoming enemy fire, the forces returned mortar fire to the source.

    This is not the first time that Hamas has fired mortars and rockets from schools, in such a way deliberately using civilians as human shields in their acts of terror against Israel. This was already proven several months ago by footage from an unmanned plane depicting rockets and mortars being fired from the yard of an UNRWA school. This footage is available on our YouTube channel and on this blog.

    Again, we emphasize that this announcement is based on an initial inquiry.

    http://idfspokesperson.com/2009/01/06/unrwa-school-in-jabalya-6-jan-2009/

    http://idfspokesperson.com/2009/01/06/hamas-operatives-killed-in-unrwa-school-6-jan-2009/

    http://idfspokesperson.com/2009/01/06/missiles-found-in-gaza-school-6-jan-2009/

  96. LTC Ralph Peters in The New York Post on the IDF:


    Despite the frankly anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish reporting of this conflict in the global media, Israel’s military performance not only has been technically superb, but has been as humane as possible under such difficult circumstances.

    From earlier briefings in Israel, I know the IDF takes an almost absurd degree of care in its targeting. The questioning doesn’t stop with “Is that the right building?” it then asks, “What should be our angle of attack to ensure any rubble falls into the street, not atop the primary school next door?” (Hamas consistently embeds terror facilities among innocent civilians.)

    Hitting a terrorist hideout in an apartment building, for example, an F-16 would be armed with the smallest warhead that could do the job. If the terrorists are tucked into rooms on the fourth floor, targeting officers evaluate which window the guided missile should go through to kill the terrorists, while minimizing harm to civilians living below.

    Any military veteran can tell that the Israelis are taking enormous care to spare civilians. Given the number of airstrikes thus far and the hundreds of tons of bombs dropped, it remains remarkable that so few innocents have been injured in such a dense urban environment.

  97. Oh good I was worried. All these children being killed and the hospitals being overwhelmed by civilians, along with the targeting of medics (a standard IDF tactic) means they must all be legitimate military targets hit with precision.

    I’ll tell you how he died

    Simle ToSY, do exactly as the UN is now demanding and media are from around the world, allow independent investigation and third party reporting of what is going on in Gaza.

    LTC Ralph Peters wouldn’t know, no matter how much of an expert he is, because he’s sitting in the US in a heated office watching IDF propaganda reports and the very small amount of third party information that gets past the Israeli censorship.

  98. Adrian,

    Firsly, there is an earlier comment from me awaiting moderation, in which I comment on the tragedy of children and innocent civilians being killed.

    Secondly,

    LTC Ralph Peters wouldn’t know, no matter how much of an expert he is, because he’s sitting in the US in a heated office watching IDF propaganda reports and the very small amount of third party information that gets past the Israeli censorship.

    Neither would you or I because we are sitting in front of our computers – in our pajamas? – trying to work out what is actually going on. Still, the truth will be revealed in due course. It always is.

  99. But I don’t write articles for a major newspaper that gets widespread distribution and is used as a source in blogs that says that I know what’s going on.

    Israel is showing old footage of a mortar being fired from a school yard as justification, but that footage is being used out context by the Israelis which has the UN very mad. The UN are calling for an investigation and prosecution of anyone involved. If Hamas had used the school whilst people were sheltering there then they should be made to face justice, but equally if the Israelis had fired the two tank shells into the school when there were no militants there then they should be bought to justice.

    All that is being asked ToSY is that independent reporting and investigation is allowed on what is going on in Gaza. It is always very telling that not only does Israel always refuse independent third party oversight, investigation or reporting, it at times attacks reporting of its actions.

  100. As for allowing in more reporters, It’s only a guess, but perhaps Israel learnt a lesson in Lebanon. That is, if you lose the propoganda battle, you lose the war – no matter how just your cause.

    They have taken away arguably their opponent’s strongest weapon: their ability to disseminate (mis?)information.

  101. So Israel is allowed to say and do anything it wants with complete impunity, no matter how false or misleading is their misinformation.

    What is being asked for is independent third party reporting and UN investigation. That Israel refuses this says they have a lot to hide.

  102. *propaganda*

  103. Personally, I wouldn’t let the UN anywhere near the place until the mission – whatever that is – is accomplished. Then they can interfere all they like. It is war after all, isn’t it?

    But that’s just me.

  104. Adrian and Tony

    This thread will now close for comments. New thread is up now.

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