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Truth in War

Shimon Peres:

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


A missile launcher and a number of anti tank missiles were discovered hidden in a Palestinian school yard in Sajalya, northern Gaza Strip, during an IDF operation against terror threats. The IDF force returned fire at an armed Palestinian gunman who opened fire at the soldiers and identified hitting him.

In Gaza (blog):

A good, brave, and very funny man was killed yesterday as he loaded the body of a civilian twice-killed into an ambulance. Emergency medical workers, Arafa Hani Abd al Dayem, 35, and Alaa Ossama Sarhan, 21, had answered the call to retrieve Thaer Abed Hammad, 19, and his dead friend Ali, 19, who had been fleeing the shelling, when they were themselves hit by an Israeli tank’s shell.


Israel continued to bar foreign journalists from entering the Gaza Strip on Friday, despite a Supreme Court decision to allow a limited number of reporters to enter the territory.

And contrary to what was posted on here the other day, the IDF is not using cluster bombs in Gaza:

An Israeli official in Washington said Monday that his country is not seeking additional equipment or other U.S. military help. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the country’s discussions with the Bush administration, also said there are no plans to use cluster bombs in Gaza.

Who knows what the truth is?


(I will now close the previous threads on the conflict)

196 Responses

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

    Another “Straw-man” from the “do as I say not as I do crowd”, so you don’t have to answer that Tony; according to the guy that likes to avoid answering any questions by making such accusations of others. If I were you I would just let him seek “blog-therapy” elsewhere……

    “Who knows what the truth is?”

    Apparently only “Grizzly Adam’s”.


  2. 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).

    It’s also hard to tell just how far Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be willing to go if the request is indeed real. It could just push him into a position where his bluff will be called.

    Iran says 70000 volunteer for Israel fight
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — More than 70,000 Iranian students have volunteered to carry out suicide bombings against Israel, Iran’s state news agency reported Monday, but President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not responded to their request for permission.
    Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded, giving the campaigns more of the feel of propaganda.
    According to the official IRNA news agency, hardline student leader Esmaeil Ahmadi said the students want to fight Israel in support of Hamas, Gaza’s Islamic militant rulers.
    Iran is Hamas’ main backer, though the country denies sending weapons to the Islamic militant movement that took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Iran considers Israel its archenemy, and Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of the Jewish state.
    Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched the registration drive for suicide bombers last week and asked the government to allow them to stage the attacks.
    In an open letter to Ahmadinejad, the students said “volunteer student suicide groups … are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities to pave the way for such action.” A copy of the letter was made available to The Associated Press last week.”

  3. Once again it shows that no one really knows the truth. Religion has a lot to answer for and as for claiming the moral ground for either side, John @2 shows that doing so is frought with danger. We have one side blaming Israel for killing children. We then have Iran recruiting Suicide bombers to blow up people.

    While horrified that Human Beings can still act this way toward each other in this century I will remain on the fence on this issue.

  4. shaneinqld,

    There is no “on the fence” with some issues mate. Sometimes you need to take a stand!

  5. Sparta…

    Who qas it that said “You’re either with us, or you’re against us?”

    Look where that attitude landed us all….!!.

  6. Sparta. I do not believe in violence, therefore I will not take a stand as I do not know who to blame. Who do you blame ?

  7. It’s also hard to tell just how far Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be willing to go if the request is indeed real. It could just push him into a position where his bluff will be called.

    Exactly what the Israel lobby wants (whilst hiding behind the skirts of the US).

    Media Monitors Network

    …According to DAWN’s press release, the focus of the event was the new “Harvard Study on the negative influence of the Israel Lobby and what activists can do about it.” [3] The report was authored by Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. [4] It generated hostile reactions from Israeli sympathizers, like Alan Dershowitz, David Gergen and the Washington Post. [5] Essentially, the document revealed what most objective observers of the Middle East already knew: The Israeli Lobby, which includes the Neocons, has exercised “unmatched power” over U.S.’s policies to the extent that its role is harmful and not in the national interest. In fact, pundit Charley Reese, was even more blunt. He called Israel, “The dead roach in America’s salad.” He also accused the Lobby of “beating the drums for war with Iran.” [6] Recently, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed, that the Bush-Cheney Gang was planning a nuclear strike against Iran. [7] …

    …Finally, in his over fifteen-minute-talk, Zeese underscored the importance of the Harvard Study and how it can open up a discussion on matters that have long been a “taboo topic among elected U.S. politicians.” He had high praise for its two authors. Zeese spotlighted for the audience some of the significant items, and findings, contained in the report, including one of their conclusions that Iran is Israel’s next target for “regime change.” He emphasized that the “lopsided U.S. policy in favor of Israel” needs to be changed…

  8. ShaneinQld,

    hear hear!

  9. “Sparta. I do not believe in violence, therefore I will not take a stand as I do not know who to blame. Who do you blame ?”

    Then you have just taken a stand my friend………

  10. Saw that John…apparently, no clean moral position even in that startling outburst of anti-humanism…

    Mahmud az-Zahar: az-Zahar has had four children with his wife Summaya, including their first son, Khaled, born in 1974, a daughter Rima born in 1983 and the youngest, Hussam, who was killed in a raid in January 2008. His son Khaled was also killed by Israeli forces, in a failed 2003 assassination attempt.

    I went checking for Uncle Rupert over at Ariana’s, earlier; didn’t find him (word on the web has it that he eschews computers altogether, and has his minions do battle with the Qwerties for him, anyway), but did find these.

    The first touches on the perils of extended conflict for Israel and Hamas, and the inevitable shining of torches into the closets of past and recent histories, where all the skeletons have been ‘hidden’ from those far and wide who would now construct their own impressionistic narratives for the entirety, not just the present conflict, sans the official, polarized/ing talking points: Eyeless in Gaza (an original title for Marty to pick, I know, but at least he did bother to track it past Huxley to Milton).

    The second enlarges the stakes in the game of dreidel: Israel’s Risk:

    ….In basic terms this consensus is accurate, but two further points ought to be noted. The first is the deliberation with which Iran, Hamas, and Israel all began planning for this when the six month cease-fire was signed last summer. The tell here isn’t just the timing of rocket fire by Hamas or the precise maneuvers of the Israeli incursion, but the highly coordinated messaging by senior Israeli and Palestinian officials….

    ….Meanwhile, the second point is much broader. In short, the fighting in Gaza is not merely a struggle for Palestinian autonomy or regional power. Even more, the violence there is the latest episode in a longstanding drama over the legitimacy of the Israeli state — and by extension, over the legitimacy of the international order that recognizes Israeli sovereignty.

    And where is that international (dis)order, presently, and what is that international order doing to stop the violence per its Charter for Peace?

  11. Sparta

    Who do you blame ?

  12. Meanwhile, in other places…

    Glen Greenwald makes some observations about more oddities in the U.S. “debate” over Israel/Gaza.

    It’s oddities like those, perhaps, which inspire further oddities among our perennially opportunistic terrrorist friends…Al-Qaeda deputy urges Muslims to attack Israeli, Western targets.

  13. “It’s oddities like those, perhaps, which inspire further oddities among our perennially opportunistic terrrorist friends…Al-Qaeda deputy urges Muslims to attack Israeli, Western targets.”

    Isn’t it interesting that, for those convinced that the demon hordes of Islam are a grave threat to Teh West, there are no scruples about galvanising the resolve of the radicals by destroying their homes & families from above (& now also from the ground apparently).
    A self fulfilling vicious circle where the warlike fundamentalist loudmouths on both sides use the blood & carnage to urge more blood & carnage ad infinitum.

    For a supposedly “enlightened” society we sure know how to play into the hands of our (prescribed) enemies.

  14. And, for me, this piece spoke a true truth, one man’s all too human truth, as lived on the ground in Gaza, as he attempts to grapple with ‘policies’ and political forces beyond his control…A Debate on Israel’s Invasion of Gaza: UNRWA’s Christopher Gunness v. Israel Project’s Meagan Buren. Meanwhile, peace lies in (short-term) pieces.

  15. Shaneinqld,

    Who do you blame?

    When this conflict is broken down into its simplest terms, those of the average civilian, neither party is to blame as both are the products of the hatred which has been bread into them and on display. However, instigators abound in both camps, to include a global media. Both parties deeply feel each is justified and so the killing will continue regardless of the inevitable cease fire to follow. The rest of the bickering, to include ours here, is simply all of our feeble attempts to understand what can’t be understood. I simply don’t support the media taking sides in this or some who blindly echo its opinion without question. Frankly, it only adds to the bitterness and propagation of this struggle that unless you’re living through, is simply beyond the critiques of “arm chair diplomats” like me or others.

  16. Whoops, “bred”……….

  17. Sparta @15

    Your comments are exactly why I have not taken sides or a stand. You state I have taken a stand by not taking sides.

    I don’t see that as a stand I see that as a choice.

    To be blaming one or the other side is when I consider a person to have taken a stand in attempting to justify their side of the argument.

  18. Shane your stand is you care for both sides.
    or for the civilians on both sides. (thats how it sounds to me so were is the crime in that)

  19. Very excellent summary Sparta.

    Sparta, do you think that there could be a solution? I mean this sincerely.

    I was thinking bring in the UN. Can this happen? If not, why not.

    To me both sides need overseers. If it saves just another child it will be worth it.

  20. Oh, I’ll take a side and a stand, Shane, for precisely the reasons that others vacate the field as being all too incomprehensible…I’ll call that stand a species of humanism. I’ll quite unequivocally blame both militant sides, and a few more ‘sides’ not even present in today’s conflict for their roles in tomorrow’s conflicts, in taking that side and that stand global.

    My reasoning, which hasn’t changed since 2007, when I last addressed the issue, on blogocracy, runs thusly…

    I do not condone the destructive ideology of militarism in any of its guises. It’s that which sets our worldviews apart.

    You seem to like to choose vicarious sides without ever addressing the underlying hypocrisies of the ideology which oppositionally binds your notional ‘You’/’Us’ to their ‘Them’.

    That you continue to attempt a calculus according to some arbitrary ‘Us v Them’ paradigm, based in the assumption that one aspect of militarism is right and another wrong, marks you as one of ‘Them’ as much as anything else.

    I’m quite happy condemning Israeli and Palestinian aggression alike. Just the same as I am happy condemning US and Al Qaeda aggression alike. Just as I am happy condemning yesteryear’s Australian and North Vietnamese aggression alike.

    The ideology to be confronted is organised aggression, which is militarism, as I have said many times. Apparently you still think that “killing in the name of” is an acceptable part of the (un)civilised world; I beg to differ.

  21. MIn

    Bringing in the UN would be fantastic if the UN was truly a UN.

    The problem is countries representing the UN vote along, Religious, Political, Ethnic, Tribal, Geographic and Monetary lines rather than voting according to resolving the actual crisis at hand.

    The UN has been a disaster is so many respects because of this. Rawanda being 1 example of many.

    Like you I sincerely hope for a solution, just not sure the UN can achieve it.

  22. What about being Anti-War?
    That’s a worthy stance/side to take.

  23. So Shane, minus a UN, what is the solution? I am speaking in practical terms. One can speak at length regarding the idealogy of anti-war but this doesn’t put bums on seats nor does it stop the guns nor the bombs.

    I am not being facetious (previously have pleaded guilty to being way off scratch re the Israeli/Palestine situation).

    Am just wondering if there might be a practical solution to this problem.

  24. Min

    I honestly don’t know and am waiting for Sparta to get back to you because Sparta may just have an answer or something I haven’t thought of. I am truly genuine as well. I certainly hope peace can be found, the death of one human at the hands of another is one too many for what is supposed to be the most intelligent life of the planet.

  25. Min,

    “Sparta, do you think that there could be a solution?”

    Well pardon the pessimism but this is the Middle East we are talking about here; way too many ancient grievances to be worked out (religious, ethnic, tribal etcetera) through any ceasefire. Predictably, we have large populations of Israeli’s and Palestinian in the West and oddly they don’t set upon each other with the same zeal when in this environment or it is simply much too difficult for them to do so. I believe in my heart that when given the opportunity to discover the worth of their own lives here in the West, they begin to value the lives of others. However, we cannot cure the entire world by importing it to our shores although some believe this to be true.

    Some have said the only possible solution would be a third party to “supervise” the two factions but this would only be a short term solution at best. When religion is involved, all “logic & reasoning” take a back seat leaving diplomacy with very little worth. Despite what some would claim is a battle for land, this is a religious conflict, and have no illusions about it. As Ayaan Hirsi says, “People are equal, cultures are not” and it is why I find the idea and promotion of “multiculturalism” to be a farce but that is for another discussion. Given the right “culture” or environment humans can live peacefully with each other to a large extent but how do we in the West “change” a culture without changing it? We have put such a stigma on this idea it is now deemed inconceivable to do so but yet it is exactly what is needed here. Sadly, like the painful changes of the West (two world wars in the last century alone etcetera…) such change can only come from within or from the ashes and lessons of what was. Until enough Palestinian’s and Jews come to “choose” or “elect” such change thereby rejecting more of the same, we will continue to see this carnage play out once again and that is the bloody, sad truth of it……….Of course, this is just my humble opinion……

  26. Shane of Queensland, great posts here and I fully sympathise with your (non)stance.

  27. Ok, I’m going to take a stand.

    While I agree with all the obvious platitudes like ‘war is never the answer’, I am prepared to apportion blame for the current troubles. I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the jihadists who would “obliterate Israel”. And, sadly, for as long as they cling to this abhorrent ideology, there can never be peace in the Middle East.

  28. So ToSY the Israelis stealing Palestinian lands, poisoning their crops, destroying their infrastructure and stopping them getting ahead, whilst oppressing and marginalising them has nothing to do with it? Nor has the hard line Israelis who say they want the Palestinians driven out of Israel and won’t rest until all of Israel is theirs?

    So I guess you are just as scathing of the terrorist group that formed Israel and who attacked and killed Westerners?

  29. Kitty,

    “What about being Anti-War? That’s a worthy stance/side to take.”

    I wouldn’t disagree with that position?

  30. Tony,

    “And, sadly, for as long as they cling to this abhorrent ideology, there can never be peace in the Middle East.”

    It does seem ludicrous that some would suggest “compromise” is even possible or worse yet try to defend the actions of those that hold such views to begin with?

  31. No Adrian.

    My aim is not to convince you, or anyone else, just to call it as I see it. My conscience would not allow me to remain silent among all this talk of taking a stand.

  32. A blog linked by Sublime Cowgirl over at LP:

    This blog is written by 2 friends. One lives in Sajaia refugee camp in Gaza and the other lives in Sderot, a small town near Gaza on the Israeli side. There is ongoing violence between Israel and Gaza which has intensified greatly since October 2000. Many have been killed and many have been injured. The media coverage on both sides has been extremely biased. Our Blog is written by 2 real people living and communicating on both sides of the border.
    [Your comments are welcome]

    Hopeman and Peaceman

    Very moving, maybe it is these people who hold the answer.

  33. Thank you Sparta.

    Might I pose a question..and that is from someone with minimal knowledge about the Middle East (well, at least post WW2).

    Quote (because I don’t know how to do the bold thingy)…Until enough Palestinian’s and Jews come to “choose” or “elect” such change thereby rejecting more of the same, we will continue to see this carnage play out once again and that is the bloody, sad truth of it……….

    Unfortunately it would seem to me that some sort of embargo against Israel might be necessary, which doesn’t seem likely given the historical American/Jewish connection.

    Now to me this doesn’t seem likely re choosing/electing to get along together, and so the situation requires some sort of impartial (as best as we able) intervention. The first thing that came to mind was Send in the Dutch as peace keepers.

    It seems to me that America is the force that can obtain at least a few years of peace, that is if the US have to stomach for it.

  34. It does seem ludicrous that some would suggest “compromise” is even possible or worse yet try to defend the actions of those that hold such views to begin with?

    To be fair, Sparta, it is sometimes quite difficult to see the forest mujahideen for the trees Palestinians.

  35. Adrian

    Forgetting any opinions you hold now what about the following.

    If there was an immediate ceasefire right now with neither side permitted to launch any further attacks, with any further attacks allowing the other side to declare war would you be in agreeance.?

    And if Israel attacked first would you support Gaza ?

    And if Gaza attacked first would you support Israel ?

  36. Question. Would the US treat Israel (should they break a truce) the same as they treated Saddam’s Iraq?

    As above, I think that the US holds the key but are too frightened to use it.

    Just a note, I am on neither side of the fence and so there is no point in personal attacks against myself. I just wish for peace.

  37. Min

    Like you I am on neither side of the the fence.

  38. No Shane, because you don’t take the account of Israel continuing to suppress the Palestinians and taking their land.

    If Israel gave back the land it has taken and allowed the Palestinians to get ahead instead of always destroying their development, and then the Palestinians still attacked I would say that the world community should step in against the Palestinians. Also Israel should recognise the government the Palestinians elect in fair and open elections instead of only allowing puppet governments that do Israel’s bidding in suppressing the Palestinians.

    On top of that I would only side with Israel’s limited reprisals if they allowed a neutral peacekeeping and overseeing force as the Palestinians have been asking for for decades now, and even with that neutral force in place and the Palestinians still attacked then the force would have the full right to seek out the attackers.

    Remember Shane anyone can now build a home made rocket and use a fertiliser warhead. So are you going to punish an entire people because just a handful attempts to provoke a war?

  39. Adrian

    I agree anyone can build a warhead. I was just seeking your answers to my questions.

  40. Min

    Just on a different tack, I am re-reading Antony Lowensteins book and he mentions that the Jewish lobby in the US is what props up Israel, but when the Muslim lobby starts to get money to the politcians this could all change.

    And that is another reason that is given for why Israel wants to keep the Palestinians under control, because in a few years time they will have the voting majority in Israeln (if they were allowed the vote).

    (and please do not shoot the messenger – just stating what I have read).

  41. 13. Toiletboss

    Indeed, and that’s where short-termism, and vendettas, get people. Some ‘grown-up’ as a circuit-breaker to the tit-for-tat might be nice. Apparently, the best the West can muster is creating tits and tats of its own, while claiming to be above the fray.

  42. 21. shaneinqld

    If I were a crystal ball-gazer, Shane, I’d intuit that we’ll shortly see a non-binding General Assembly resolution, voting mostly along non-aligned lines, emerge to embarrass the defaulting Security Council which is presently driving the vehicle of international (dis)order by removing its hands from the steering wheel to sit on them.

  43. Joni..of course the Jewish lobby props up Israel. You are too young to remember, but this used to be the thing to do (US, Australian etc)..you send the kids to Israel for the kibbutz experience for their gap year.

  44. 23. Min

    Oh, the extended platform, which isn’t anti-war per se but is actively pro-humanist, is about creating a culture of collective security which condemns war itself as an existential threat to all of us, given that war could still be visited upon any of us at any time for any reason, apparently; and working towards de-militarisation; and marginalising the state-based and other, sub-state-based military solutions as being any kind of solution of any moral standing in the international community whatsoever.

    The bums on seats would be shaming any political culture which presents militarism as part of its diplomacy-by-other-means arsenal, and the practicalities would involve an over-arching administrative institution which condemns any and all instances of militarism as a threat to world peace, and is imbued with the authority to step in immediately when anyone breaks that peace. It’s pretty much the same argument that victors in wars throughout history like to impose: ‘you can have a police force but not an army’ applied universally.

    Practically, that would involve: a) denying Israel’s right to defend its people as any such independent right; and b) sending in independent peacekeepers to defend Israel’s right not to be attacked by rocket-fire as part of that larger anti-militarism. Additionally, it would involve: a) not recognizing Israel’s right to wage economic warfare as if it weren’t a species of aggression in itself; and b) instituting a parallel retortionary response on Israel to that collective punishment if Israel persisted, including an embargo on the transfer of military hardware and know-how, same as would apply to anyone procuring rockets.

  45. I’ve seen Israel from the Jordan side of the Dead Sea and from Aquaba – does that count?

  46. “I’ve seen Israel from the Jordan side of the Dead Sea and from Aquaba – does that count?”

    That would qualify you for inclusion in the Palin School of Experts on International and Cultural Opinions or PSIECO for short.

  47. Another reason I don’t watch CNN anymore:



  48. Oops. Mistyped my email address, now I’m being moderated. Rescue me please.

  49. Polly – saved…. and so true. I can be VPeez!

  50. 34. Tony of South Yarra

    I’m not sure, Tony. I must have missed the bits where the rabid zealots not based in any mundane reality forewent the manifold opportunities provided by their 15 minutes in the limelight to get their ‘message’ out…”lift the blockade (and death to Zion?)”, “you come into Gaza in force and it’s your coffin (and death to Israel?); “we deem as legitimate the killing of Jewish kids because you’re killing Palestinian kids (and the Jewish abomination will be obliterated from the map?)”. Then there’s the fact that the 1988 Charter has been superceded, at least within the political ranks of Hamas, with adoption of the peace process outlined in the Arab Plan as its formal political platform. But then, again, assassinating all the current crop of political leadership of Hamas, as is presently occurring, undoubtedly will leave only the best Charter members of the military wing as arbiters of Hamas’ best course for action in future.

    Perhaps an apt analogy might be the cutting down of all the tall trees otherwise growing towards the light, to seed an under-canopy with fresh growth of those things least wanted.

  51. Legion..can you do a precis? Anti-war/pro-humans. And we don’t want war.

    One two, skip a few.

    Yep..defend Israel but also defend the democratically elected nation of Palestine.

    Sounds reasonable to me. Unfortunately, a couple of flies in the ointment being Israel brooking no interference..maybe likewise the Muslim bloc.

    The situation is understandable (mostly) but how to resolve it? A blockade against both nations. But who has the resolve to insitute this unless the US comes on board?

  52. Legion,

    Then there’s the fact that the 1988 Charter has been superceded, at least within the political ranks of Hamas, with adoption of the peace process outlined in the Arab Plan as its formal political platform.

    Really? I would like to think that’s the case. In fact I would love to read how Hamas has dropped all references to wiping Israel off the face of the earth, and how they will now devote all their recources to the welfare of the Palestinian people.

    So do you have a link to this document of which you speak – this superceded Hamas Charter? (I certainly can’t find it):


    Or did you mean only that you believe it to be superceded, because you trust what the Hamas leadership says when it talks of peace processes?

  53. *resources*

  54. Global Voices is bringing the latest from the blogosphere about the situation in Gaza.
    Palestine: UN School Hit By Israeli Shells; More than 40 KilledFor ongoing reports click Palestine

  55. 50. Legion

    …and not just killing the current crop of leaders, in the past Israel continued to kill Palestinian leaders and Palestinians even during cease fires and even if the leader had never said they wanted Israel driven into the sea.

    Israel is the judge, jury and executioner and you become accused of a being a Jew hater if you pick them up on that. And it seems very disingenuous that for a Palestinian leader to say they want the end of Israel means a death sentence by missile that not only kills them but their entire family and anyone else around, yet Zionist can say with impunity they want the end of Palestine and get praised and regarded as heroes for it.

    Also Israelis can capture and kidnap with impunity, holding thousands indefinitely with no charges or telling anyone if they are alive or dead. Yet let one Israeli soldier be capture and the entire Palestinian people have to be destroyed, whole blocks razed, families crushed and all aid stopped.

    Just some more of this two faced conflict.

  56. renniek, the Israelis have now hit three UN schools in what appears to be a deliberate targeting. The UN have stated in no uncertain terms that the Israelis were given the exact coordinates of every single UN facility and the fact there were civilians including many children sheltering there.

    As is usual when the Israelis attack children they say they were fired upon from the schools, even though not a single witness has said they saw firing from the schools, just Israeli tanks firing at them.

    Also it is very telling that every hospital is overflowing with civilians, with lots of children, but no Hamas fighters. So where is all this precision Israel keeps talking about. I suppose they are going to say they are that good they kill all the Hamas fighers and only severely injure children because Palestinians can’t look after their children. The next one will be that Hamas shoots and maims the children using Israeli weapons to lay the blame on Israel.

  57. You all know there is one solution to this or at least one power than can stop this right now, America.

    As I have stated even the Palestinians have pleaded for the US to come in but firstly Israel has always refused any third neutral party to oversee their actions or be peacekeepers, and of course the Jewish lobby in the US keeps the administration a slave to it.

  58. Adrian,

    As is usual when the Israelis attack children they say they were fired upon from the schools, even though not a single witness has said they saw firing from the schools, just Israeli tanks firing at them.

    Give me a break. If Israel’s intention is to kill Palestinian children while they’re at school, then they certainly aren’t very good at it.

    With all the hundreds of tonnes of bombs deployed, the civilian death toll is astonishingly low. Amateurs.

  59. With all the hundreds of tonnes of bombs deployed, the civilian death toll is astonishingly low. Amateurs. (T of SY).

    Do you realise how disgusting you sound?

  60. Unbelievable Tony, and bloody low.

  61. Maybe I need to spell out when I’m being sarcastic. I do understand that sarcasm doesn’t always translate well in writing.

    I’ll use this in future so there can be no doubt:


  62. 60. Don’t you try and jump on the bandwagon, Adrian.

    You know I deplore the deaths of children and innocent civilians. I said so on the Gaza protest this morning before Joni shut it down.

  63. Gaza protest thread

  64. By the way Adrian, I’m yet to see you condemn the Hamas operatives who are endangering the lives of Palestinians by firing rockets and mortars from schools, and hiding munitions in mosques.

  65. The following was posted by Legion in March last year.

    In some respects, the thing is a very transparent dialectic: war for peace; killing to protect life; destruction of freedoms to safeguard freedom; glorying in killing as a means to prevent killing; turning those who are killed into the enemy; naming the enemy as apt for killing; naming an innominate enemy as a threat while threatening and killing to create more enemies to manifest the sense of threat. And so it goes.

    That statement holds true. How ANY member of society can back the killing of innocents is beyond me.

    For a change there are bloggers who DISGUST ME.

  66. Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask

    …What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties…

    …And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we’ll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We’ll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn’t. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.

    Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale.

  67. It’s a perty simple apperception, “whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong”. In my extended version, just as it is in the civilian world (bar some jurisdictions which still like to execute people), that apperception becomes ‘no matter the numbers, killing is wrong’. Till we collectively reach that point of understanding, it’s all just organised (mass) murder under a banner-blindfold of (self-)delusions. Be under no illusions. Both sides claim a right to kill each other, and anyone who gets in the way, and anyone who gets in the way of their killing each other.

  68. Exactly Legion, but ToSY wants to continue this checklist of condemnation. I could just as easily throw at it back at him an ask him where is his condemnation of Israel, its terrorism in forming the state, massacres, oppression and most of all taking of land that continues to this day?

    Also I’d like to know just exactly what the Palestinians are supposed to do, especially in Gaza where they were herded by the Israelis to form the most densely populated place on earth, then oppressed and finally blockaded having aid (which they rely on to survive), water and electricity regularly cut off as well as all development and investment curtailed?

    There maybe a possibility of a ceasefire brokered by France and Egypt. The usual no attacks by either side is involved though Israel wanted the ceasefire to be indefinite Hamas won’t entertain anything longer than six months.

    What is different about this brokered ceasefire is that for the first time the blockade has to be removed as part of it, and unfettered aid and development be allowed in Gaza.

    So far I haven’t heard Israel’s official response to this side of the deal, but if they do agree to it then all kudos to Israel.

    Also mentioned was a UN peacekeeping force, especially on the Egypt/Gaza border, but no surprise here, Israel has refused to entertain the idea.

  69. Kittylitter,

    Fisks article (as usual) is spot on.

    Meanwhile – innocents die.

  70. Adrian

    You know I am on the fence on this however I would like to point out the following.

    Israel and Hamas agreed to a three hour ceasefire to permit humanitarian aid to get through to Gaza. After the three hour ceasefire the first rockets launched from one territory into the other was from Hamas into Israel and then Israel responded.

    This is where I find it extremely hard to believe that either side wants true peace. I will not accept any rhetoric or excuses based on historical or religious ideology as to why Hamas has the right to launch the first rocket of death after a ceasefire. What it shows to me is that Hamas could not wait to restart hostilities. The fact is atrocities have occured for hundreds of years and both sides need to wake up and stop this rot.

  71. Joni,

    Fisks article (as usual) is spot on.

    Robert Fisk doesn’t know the truth of the UN School incident – no one does yet except those who were there, and yet he is prepared to denounce as “scandalous fabrications” any suggestion that Hamas could have been sheltering there, or worse, firing rockets or mortars from there: “and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie.”

    I for one am prepared to wait for the facts to be revealed before calling anyone a liar; Fisk, however, is not.

  72. Facts are hard to come by when Israel ignores their own Supreme Court and will not allow any journalists into Gaza.

    I accept that Fisk has condemned the IDF without evidence, but that is one of the points of the article. Of course, if the facts show that the IDF was misleading – the defenders of the IDF will just shrug and move on – without any charges being laid for the crime.

  73. For those with a statistical bent.


    In summary:

    “The lessons from these data are clear:

    First, Hamas can indeed control the rockets, when it is in their interest. The data shows that ceasefires can work, reducing the violence to nearly zero for months at a time.

    Second, if Israel wants to reduce rocket fire from Gaza, it should cherish and preserve the peace when it starts to break out, not be the first to kill.”

  74. 71.

    Robert Fisk doesn’t know the truth of the UN School incident – no one does

    But that’s the whole point ToSY and what has the UN and others so mad. All the UN is asking for is a proper investigation of this incident and the coordinated attacks on the other UN schools along with many other UN aid and humanitarian facilities in Gaza.

    They are not proportioning blame and go to great lengths to say either or both sides could be at fault, but it’s only Israel that continuously refuses any third party scrutiny or investigation of its actions, yet asks the world to believe unreservedly what its new Ministry of Information continually pumps out.

    Israel’s complete control of the information and not allowing any third party reporting, scrutiny or investigation is failing as a method of suppressing bad media and other side propaganda, for it makes any or all of its actions look suspect or that it’s hiding something thus must be guilty of impropriety.

  75. 70. shaneinqld

    What of all the times Israel has provoked actions and/or continued to kill Palestinian leaders during a ceasefire? Why is it that only Hamas’s or indeed any Palestinian malfeasance is highlighted, but Israel’s is forgiven, excused or overlooked?

    Don’t forget the second intifada was deliberately provoked by Israel, and that was nowhere near the first time Israel had deliberately provoked violent reactions, one of the most infamous being the dropping of a 1000lb bomb on a seven story building after five months of there being no suicide bombings during a ceasefire. During that entire ceasefire period Israel continued to kill Palestinians ending with the massive bomb to destroy an entire seven story building to get one man.

    Also has Israel stopped the expansion of its settlements, which is also a provocation, or has it stopped its blockades?

  76. “What of all the times Israel has provoked actions and/or continued to kill Palestinian leaders during a ceasefire?”

    Adrian if you look at the graphical data on my link you will have some hard data.

    “Indeed, of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally interrupted 24, or 96%, and it unilaterally interrupted 100% of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days. ”


    “Thus, a systematic pattern does exist: it is overwhelmingly Israel, not Palestine, that kills first following a lull. Indeed, it is virtually always Israel that kills first after a lull lasting more than a week.

  77. They are not proportioning blame and go to great lengths to say either or both sides could be at fault

    That’s not true either. Chris Guinness, a UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman – who wasn’t there, and who could not possibly have carried out a thorough investigation in such a short time-frame – said this morning “We are 99.9 per cent certain that there were no militants, no militant activity in the school building or in the compound.”


    He also said:

    “If anyone has any information that contradicts that, could they please come forward? Can their information please be part of an impartial investigation?”

    Just a thought: has he bothered to ask the IDF for the results of their own investigation (you know, being impartial and all, and wanting to find out the truth of the matter)?

  78. 73. N5

    Exactly. Most ceasefires end by Israelis continuing to kill Palestinians they deem legitimate targets at all times, no matter what negotiated peace conditions are in place. And it appears they don’t mind how many innocents die to get their target.

    Then one of the other provocations Israel engages in is to marginalise, attack and destroy Palestinian police forces, as was the first target in the latest conflict and is always their first target in conflicts, because this is the force which upholds the peace, law and order, and to a great extent subdues the militant extremists.

  79. he (Guiness) being impartial (not the IDF)

  80. ToSY it is Gunnes that has been calling the loudest for an impartial investigation but all he got from the IDF is a scripted message from a uniformed IDF spokesperson (robotic like) stating they have intelligence that one Hamas militant was amongst the dead at the school. This contradicts eye witness accounts, which is what Chris Gunnes is going on and the footage of the dead at the scene.

    It also doesn’t explain the attacks on the other schools or UN facilities where the IDF has not attempted to make a case for.

  81. ToSY it is Gunnes that has been calling the loudest for an impartial investigation

    Then why doesn’t he tell the truth and say: We are not sure what happened, but are doing our best to get to the bottom of the matter?

    Instead, he said he was 99.9 percent certain, even after he dismissed the evidence of the IDF, who were there, for no apparent reason.

  82. I think the comments section, here, was what Fisk was driving at…all of Fisk’s nominated sweet lil lies which people like to tell themselves and others to avoid acknowledging the intrinsic obscenity of the act itself make an appearance. Nevertheless, 30 or 40 of tomorrow’s butchers, bakers, and candlestick-makers, none of whom had anything to do with firing anything and everything to do with being real and now really dead people, were blown into hamburger mince. Poof, gone, no debate on that.

  83. Oh, Fisk skipped the one where the UN is in cahoots with Hamas and might rightfully be ignored and/or targetted as an agitprop and active accomplice of the enemy. That one is becoming very common among the intelligentsia of ‘Zion’, when all else fails to hold water.

  84. Adrian

    I am trying to get my head around a lot of things regarding these conflicts are you able to answer a few questions for me,

    Is it correct that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are run by Palestinians or supposed to be run by Palestinians as one legitimate area under Palestinian control ?

    How many people live in the Gaza Strip and How many live in the West Bank ?

  85. Tony

    Were the IDF actually there in Gaza – or where they detailing events from the “bravery of being out of range”?

  86. 85. Fair question Joni. The IDF were obviously within mortar range to begin with – that fact seems indisputable – and they claim to have been at the school after the incident:

    After an investigation that took place over the past hour it has been found that amongst the dead at the Jabalya school were Hamas terror operatives and a mortar battery cell who were firing on IDF forces in the area. Hamas operatives Imad Abu Askhar and Hassan Abu Askhar were amongst terrorists that were identified to be killed.


  87. The IDF do not actually say that they were at the school. I (mistakenly) thought the school was in Gaza City (where the IDF is not), but if they actually visited the location then they shoudl really state that. Which does make me suspcious – because I do not think that the IDF is currently involved in close-city combat.

    And the reports states that mortar fire was coming from the school – not that the IDF used mortars to bomb the school. So were they actually that close?

  88. 87.

    And the reports states that mortar fire was coming from the school – not that the IDF used mortars to bomb the school. So were they actually that close?

    The IDF does claim they returned mortar fire, here:

    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.

  89. Fair enough Tony – it was mortar fire.

  90. Human Rights Watch: Israeli Attack on School Needs Full UN Investigation

    According to Mouin Gasser, a 45-year-old teacher, about four strikes hit around the school, and he could not distinguish the type of shell. He said:…The tanks were about two kilometers away to the west in Beit Lahiya.

  91. 120mm mortar shells have an effective range of 200 – 7200 metres..

  92. Some great detail in the posts above. This (here) is one of the only sites giving consideration to the ongoing madness in Gaza that I’ve come across where you don’t find rabid commenters accusing eachother of being anti-semitic or terrorist backers; bravo.

    Excellent link N5, good to have some concrete numbers which solidify what is well known & widely suspected. Also of some relevance to explaining the constant hobbling of the “peace process” may be stats on exactly how many times the US has willfuly blocked progress in the UN Sec. Council (no matter how defunct that particular institution is ascribed to be, the interference is clearly indicative of a strategic derivative). Similarly, there is a gross imbalance on how the general assembly votes almost unanimously one way with only 2 or 3 (always the same) opposing countries when it comes to addressing the issues.

    I’m sure that if these suppositions are incorrect, or if there is polar opposite data supporting the Israeli stance, Tony will let me know.

    “…violence is not an abberation, it’s a rule…” LOG

  93. 91. Human Rights Watch gives a fair summary of the situation.

  94. 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.

    This is misleading and false in the context it is being used, and the UN has told the IDF about this misinformation on the rocket firing from the UNRWA school being depicted.

    Of course Tony believes this wholeheartedly, which is why he continues to quote IDF sources as though they are fact.

    The context of that video is the Israelis ordered the UN to evacuate all its schools at the time (something they often did to disrupt Palestinian education), so the UN had to evacuate 14,000 student and staff from all their schools, which they did.

    With the schools closed, empty and unguarded Hamas militants moved in and set up rocket launchers, and it was this the Israelis filmed from their drone and are using out of context in their propaganda, but preface the video as though it was setup in a open running school.

    As I stated the UN are livid over this out of context use of that footage and have made a formal complaint the IDF, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the IDF to give the correct context anytime soon if ever.

  95. Adrian

    Are you able to give me some answers to my questiona @ 84.


  96. ” may be stats on exactly how many times the US has willfuly blocked progress in the UN Sec. Council”

    On March 17, 1970, the United States cast its first veto in the United Nations Security Council. It was a gesture of support for Britain, which was under Security Council pressure to end the white minority government in southern Rhodesia.

    In Sept. 10, 1972, the United States employed its veto for the second time — to shield Israel. Washington used its veto 32 times to shield Israel from critical draft resolutions between 1972 and 1997.

    Here is a full list (up to July 2008) of how the votes went and the issue under discussion:


    There has to be a better way.

  97. N5,

    Is that Frankie says: “there has to be a better way”?

  98. That is all information that is readily available by a quick search Shane. Even use Wikiipedia, though not always reliable it will give you a ballpark.

    And I don’t know why you are asking me these general questions in the first place?

  99. 94.

    You are absolutely right Tony. That is the best and fairest summation I have read, but as they state neither side will allow investigations of their actions and both sides have been and will be guilty of war crimes.

  100. Adrian

    I am asking because it seems that Gaza is run by Hamas and the West Bank by the Palestinian authority. If they are one country then which is the democratically elected represnetative of the palestinian people.

    I am asking because you want Israel to recognise a democratically elected government and I agree, but which one is the democratically elected government of the MAJORITY of palestinians if both areas are under Palestinian authority.

  101. “How many people live in the Gaza Strip and How many live in the West Bank ?”

    Gaza Strip – approximately 1.5 million. West Bank – approximately 2.4 million,

    Re the ‘Government’ situaion – try the following link as a starter.


  102. Adrian

    Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have stated that the legitimate government of palestinian authority is the PNA under Abbas in the West Bank and Hamas is not the government of the palestinians.

    These are fellow muslim countries, so who do you want Israel to recognise ?

    Yet it appears the majority of the palestinian population is in the Gaza and voted for Hamas so now I am totally confused.

  103. Thanks Nature 5 for the population figures as I was having trouble finding correct or even approximate numbers.

  104. That is not the way it is at all.

    Hamas was democratically and fairly elected by a majority of all Palestinian people. The elections were one of the most supervised ever and nothing untoward was found.

    The election was monitored by a 185-strong European Union election observation mission from 23 EU member states. They were “deployed throughout the West Bank and Gaza to assess the whole electoral process in the light of international principles for genuine democratic elections”. The mission was headed by Ms Veronique De Keyser, a Socialist MEP from Belgium.

    The official mission was joined by a 27-member delegation from the European Parliament led by a British Conservative MEP, Edward McMillan-Scott.

    The mission concluded:

    These elections (in Gaza and the West Bank) saw impressive voter participation in an open and fairly contested electoral process that was efficiently administered by a professional and independent Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC).

    As with the 2005 presidential election, the Palestinian people have demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to determine their political future via democratic means, in spite of the uncertain conditions in which the elections took place.

    Voting proceeded smoothly and peacefully with an impressive turnout of 77 per cent of the total number of registered voters. (It was 81 per cent in Gaza – AM).

    Over 22 per cent of the candidates on national lists were women, a positive reflection of the new legal requirement to include a proportion of women candidates.

    McMillan-Scott, leader of Conservative MEPs between 1997 and 2001, endorsed the final report which said the elections “marked another important milestone in the building of democratic institutions”. He added: “The conduct of these elections has provided a model for the wider Arab region and has clearly demonstrated the commitment of the Palestinian people to democracy.”

    Many Western countries, but mostly the US, were not happy with the majority of Palestinians electing Hamas (who had originally been formed by Israel as a counter to the Arafat) so they put heavy sanctions on that government and refused to give it aid, which in the end forced Hamas out of government in the West Bank and the corrupt Fatah back into power, except in Gaza where Hamas seized power from the unelected Fatah…

    …hang on why am I doing this. All the history and ins and outs of this is freely available, all you have to do is search. It is a waste of time me writing whole tomes on something you can easily find out for yourself.

  105. Methinks you are attempting to ask loaded questions shane.

    All the stuff you are asking is openly available and easily found, but this is more about wedging me isn’t it?

  106. “so now I am totally confused.”

    This may add to the confusion.


    Try also:


    While Hamas may be an ‘unattractive’ organisation, this provides no justification for the ‘Gaza Slaughter’; the name by which History will record and remember!

  107. 103. shaneinqld

    It’s quite complex, Shane. Suffice it to say that the vote for President of the Palestinian Authority was meant to occur on 9th of January this year, but obviously that won’t be happening now, or at least I don’t think it will. Abbas, of course, had already unilaterally given himself an extra year without having to go to a vote, with no real de jure authority to do that; just one of many issues which Hamas had with Fatah/PLO until present hostilities broke out, and Abbas was saved by the air raid sirens from having to re-grapple with the Constitutional and democratic issues involved in expelling Hamas from a joint or Hamas-led government/PA.

  108. Adrian

    I was not loading questions at all, trying to find out the truth.

    If the majority of palestinians elected Hamas then Hamas to me is the democratically elected representative of the people and I completely agree with you it should be recognised as such.

    Why does Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan not recognise Hamas.

    You state that information is freely available, problem is there are so many conflicting pieces of information it is difficult to get the real picture.

  109. Thanks for the sites Nature 5. Reading them it appears that hamas is trying to introduce Sharia Law in the Gaza Strip. Yet the posts say this was played down at the election.

    Does this mean Hamas will introduce Sharia Law on its citizens just like John Howard Introduced Workchoices to us.

    While I acknowledge Hamas was elected, it appears they were not elected on a Sharia Law platform and that should be put to a referendum.

  110. 108. Legion

    The election in the US, the imminent inauguration of Obama, and forthcoming elections in Israel and the PA are all crucial to understanding why war is happening at this time.

    For Israel it is very, very politically convenient and given some of Obama’s statements (about protecting daughters from rockets), it would seem Israel is winning that battle as well.

  111. shaneinqld
    These are fellow muslim countries, so who do you want Israel to recognise ?

    Others may correct me here, but from my readings, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signed or made a peace pact with israel and are aligned with the US and israel in wanting Fatah to be the govt. of Palestine (hamas being more hardline on Sharia law).

    The election was said to be one of the most democratic elections ever held in the ME (consider the other ME nations are hardly known for their democracy) and Hamas won it fair and square.

    Only trouble is Israel and her protector and financier, the US, don’t want to deal with Hamas, so have refused to recognise it as the rightful govt.

    The blockade and siege on gaza has upset the arab nations, but their hands are tied because of their peace pact with Israel, which is why they seem to sit on the sidelines and do nothing. Both Syria and Palestine have refused to commit to peace with Israel until they have their different issues sorted out.

    I wonder how long the other Arab states will tolerate the inhumane treatment of innocent Palestinians though. Apparently there is already some civilian protesting and the volunteering of hundreds of suicide bombers.

    Does that sound fairly right legion/joni?

  112. Bloody hell Shane, most of our laws weren’t put to us at elections either and WorkChoices (what a strange analogy) didn’t go to a referendum either. Are you now saying all laws must go to a referendum before being introduced.

    Are you also saying that for a government to be legitimate other countries must recognise it, regardless of what the citizens want?

    It appears to me that you really are attempting to draw a long bow to pin illegitimacy on Hamas, a bow you are not drawing on others. The Jewish Zionists also have a strict and harsh religious tenet they want enforced on all Jewish people, so the way you are coming at this means you believe they have no legitimacy either. Since when has Sharia law been outlawed, or are you trying to lump some groups strict and authoritarian implementation of it onto all Islamic groups?

    As to finding out the truth. As I stated the stuff you asked was readily available and ridiculously easy to find, so I found it very strange that you would ask me unless you were attempting a wedge. There is no conflict on the history of events, they happened unambiguously and that is what you asked me about. So I’m still having trouble what you are attempting to ascertain from me?

  113. kitty

    I know that Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia do recognise Israel but that does not prevent them from recognising a democratically elected Hamas.

    Regarding being hard on Sharia Law I would not deem Saudi Arabia to be lax on Sharia Law.

    I don’t agree that arab nations hands are tied because of their pact with Israel, they may not want to fight Israel but they can certainly be more vocal. Having a peace pact with Israel does not prevent them having a voice and raising it loudly when they feel an injustice is being committed.

  114. Adrian

    I bloody well used Workchoices as an example of laws being foisted upon a population, why are you getting so hot and agitated.

    Just forget it.

  115. Sounds like you know more than you are admitting to SIQ!

    You seem to say that on one hand, you don’t know enough about it – yet on the other, you have formed a lot of opinions based on that lack of knowledge!

    Sounds like someone else we used to hear from on blogocracy – who was it?

  116. I might be wrong but it really appears to me Shane is fishing and attempting to wedge.

    He says he is attempting to find the truth to form an opinion but obviously has already formed it.

    So I think you are right kitty.

  117. kitty

    I know nothing until today

    I have only been researching from the sites that bloggers have given me on this post and wikipedia as advised by Adrian otherwise I knew only what is reported on TV and I refuse to believe everything I hear or see or read as a lot of it is poeples opinions and I am trying to make an informed decision from everyones comments.

    Many of the reports contradict others.

    Asking questions and questioning what is reported is a way of furthering my knowledge, it does not mean I disgaree with anyone.

    Anyway it seems to some I am intentionally stirring a pot so I will stop blogging on this post and apologise if I have offended anyone.

  118. Moderator mode: come on everyone, let’s play nicely. SiQ is entitled to ask questions without having an agenda.

  119. 110. shaneinqld

    As I understand the Basic Law presently in the Palestinian territories, their Constitution provides that Sharia Law is a persuasive source for interpretation of laws, effectively a lens, but not necessarily the primary source of interpretion wrt laws, and especially instances of conflicting rights and duties between one and another law (without naming what other sources of law there are or might be). Hamas appears to be proposing that Sharia Law be named as the primary interpretive lens, with any other lenses being made secondary to that, when interpreting laws and those instances of conflict between laws.

    Basically, when asking the question, “what does that law mean?”, the present situation suggests looking at Sharia Law/precedent and other, unspecified kinds of law/precedent, with no indication of which will prevail or in which order they will be looked at; the Hamas version has Sharia Law being looked at first, and other kinds of law/precedent second, and the Sharia Law/precedent prevailing where the range of possible meanings to a particular law exceed Sharia Law.

    The fear is that Hamas will introduce Sharia Law by stealth, simply by saying all more expansive rights and rights-conferring laws are subject to that interpretive lens, and thence read down until those more expansive laws conform with the outlines of Sharia Law. The other issue, of course, is the possibility of stacking the judiciary to achieve or amplify that same end; it is commonly held that the Palestinian judiciary is not independent.

    Is Hamas introducing Sharia Law per se? No. Is it possible that Hamas could introduce Sharia Law by stealth? Yes. Is that what Hamas is doing or would do? Their platform is unclear, given their rehearsal of a whole range of rights and protections of freedoms which contain the distinct possibility of conflicting with strict Sharia Law, unless those proposed rights/laws are read down strictly.

  120. 112. kittylitter

    That seems a reasonable account, kittylitter, without getting into all the back corridor shenanigans of ‘realpolitik’ that are influencing various actors.

  121. “You seem to say that on one hand, you don’t know enough about it – yet on the other, you have formed a lot of opinions based on that lack of knowledge!”

    Are you sure that isn’t Neil? That’s seems to be his SOP. 🙂

    “I don’t agree that arab nations hands are tied because of their pact with Israel”

    Then I would suggest that you are incredibly naive when it comes to international relations. It is not much different from governments that refused to recognise the Taiwanese government because of their pacts with China.

  122. “SiQ is entitled to ask questions without having an agenda.”

    Joni, you are correct SiQ is entitled to ask questions and he quite possibly has no other agenda than trying to become better informed..

    However, I would also argue that others have the right to question another poster’s agenda when that poster claims ignorance while demonstrating a definite opinion on a matter they claim to know nothing about.

    It is not unknown for similar tactics to be used to derail discussion of a topic.

  123. I know that Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia do recognise Israel but that does not prevent them from recognising a democratically elected Hamas…

    They are pro US. It is Cairo’s collaberation with israel in the closure of the Rafah crossing that has left the Gaza Strip suffering a severe siege.

    Back to constructive chaos

    …In January 2008, thousands of Palestinians toppled the border wall that separates Gaza from Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of Gaza Strip inhabitants crossed the border to Egypt in search of basic supplies. Egypt was alarmed, fearing that the flood of people, among them members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and armed gangs, could reach Cairo. Egypt could no longer afford to stick to its routine call for restraint or merely to reprimand Israel for its policies. Egypt found itself at war with the Palestinians and with its own public (and the Arab media) that criticized the Egyptian president for cooperating with Israel in implementing its sanctions policy.

  124. 119.

    Fair enough joni, but if he asked me questions on my opinion on one thing or another, as he has previously, then that’s normal. Now he’s asking me questions on fully documented history, which isn’t opinion and which is easily researched. In fact questions that in reality require pages of posts to answer, so why not just look it up, and I pointed him to Wikipedia as a background.

    Anyway being paranoiac and still being suspicious as to his aims, if I have read the situation wrongly and have incorrectly branded Shane of Queensland, I sincerely apologise and will take his word as to his intentions.

  125. From Global Voices:

    Egypt: Bloggers on the Fence

    The blog poll is interesting.

  126. Our governments are being run by people w/ delusional disorders…many pray to non-existent beings…and utter complete claptrap:


    Bush, Hadley & their ilk should be put in psychiatric homes.
    It’s not surprising the planet is in such a freakin’ mess.

  127. …so I will stop blogging on this post and apologise if I have offended anyone Shane@118. Don’t you dare disappear Shane.

    If it’s any consolation I remember when Lekhni copped heaps on Tim Dunlop’s blog. And likewise I’ve been in tears a couple of times due to the ruthlessness, callousness of some..but mostly they don’t mean it, it’s just that they don’t understand that indeed some people are real people (for want of a better description).

  128. 126.
    The best question from that link renniek is this one:

    What’s the point of choosing sides when both sides are losing?

    My god is that crud for real. Read that and you would believe GWB is the greatest intellectual US president the world has ever seen, and there are so many contradictions to what Hadley states Bush did and is on about to what happened in reality.

  129. I’m off to cook hubby his beer battered bara..just calling things ‘crud’ isn’t helpful. If a person thinks that something is ‘crud’ why not provide some reasons.


    This is crud because:


  130. ps..I know that a lot of it is self-evident crud, but it helps to add to the debate.

  131. 128. Min

    I don’t think it’s personal…just a usual function of group dynamics and establishing trust. I can also see how ‘yes, buts’ might feel like being led up the garden path and into a wedge/ambush to anyone familiar with the Socratic method.

  132. “Read that and you would believe GWB is the greatest intellectual US president the world has ever seen, and there are so many contradictions to what Hadley states Bush did and is on about to what happened in reality.”

    Sorry, but that reads to me as at least 2 reasons he considers it crud. Or is it the lack of numbering that is the problem?

  133. “SiQ is entitled to ask questions without having an agenda.”

    My aologies SiQ. No offence taken or meant by me. Just that sometimes as polly says, the ‘I know nuffink’ ruse is deliberately used to derail the thread.
    Just a challenge to be sure! Stick around, we’ll learn together.

  134. Oh dear..have spent upteen decades listening to blah and double blah about group dynamics and twee comments about ‘lack of numbering’. This isn’t about debating the issue, this is about attacking the person.

  135. “This isn’t about debating the issue, this is about attacking the person.”

    No min, that was not about attacking the poster but trying to clarify what your problem was with a comment that gave reasons for an opinion. If Adrien had written “it was crud” and left it at that then I wouldn’t be wondering why you were criticising Adrien for his comment.

  136. Just for starters:

    “Over the past eight years, President Bush’s foreign policy has been guided by three firm convictions. The President believes that liberty is God’s gift to every man, woman, and child; that effective democratic states are the critical building blocks of a peaceful and prosperous international order; and that America is called to lead this community of democracies.”

    And I take it GOD (cough, splutter…sure he didn’t mean Santa?) told him & his glorious mates to sell plenty of children-seekin’ missiles to to the Israelis so they could play out their angst by liberating Gaza families by putting them six feet under.

    Lead on oh great EMPIRE OF THE MAD, INSATIABLY SPOLIT & GREEDY…march us towards PEACE HOUSE where the broken bodies are hidden under the carpet of your corrupt dreams.

  137. make that SPOILT…gotta keep the pedantic happy.

  138. Kittyl..I do hope that Shane comes back as he is one of the genuine people.

    I have said this myself re knowing nuffin’ especially regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation. I have asked numerous (no doubt) dumb questions, but I thought that’s what the Blogcrats were all about, learning from each other…lot’s of fields of expertise..no one is God, knows it all, we all have to learn. My own field is Asperger’s which means that I don’t have a lot to offer re the current situation, but I do hope that this doesn’t exclude me from asking questions.

  139. I haven’t posted for some time, for many reasons…

    However, I read some of the posts at the beginning of this thread and realised that no-one has even mentioned Great (DUH!) Britain and France or the League of Nations in all this mess and I realised that many people don’t have an understanding of the “history” (written by the victor, according to Sir Winston Churchill – a person that all Australians should despise! Another time…).

    Anyway, I then realised that if people don’t understand what happened in 1922 – they certainly don’t recognise the 4000 year history of what we now call Palestine/Isreal…

    So here is a JMc (just diggin’ yer, mate!) version of the history of Palestine/Isreal…

    …and for the record – I was trained to fight (against my will – by our government) in a real war – I didn’t go – but the threat to me and my family was real at the time – I know of no soldier who really wants to shoot people (certainly not in anger) – only to save themselves and/or their mates…

    …I have been priveleged (over my 61 years) to travel and live in a number of location on our planet (first, second and third world) – and the one thing that has always struck me is that ordinary folk just like you and me want to survive, enjoy children, grandchildren and life…and achieve…

    …we are RULED by too many cold hearted, greedy arseholes…money, power, religion – you name it…

    …you can blog till your fingers bleed but in the end – my family will protect and nurture itself…no-one else is interested…

    …this is one version of history of one area of land…on OUR planet…

    …BTW the Christian Cross/Star of David at the top of the website indicates the source of this info – but as a child in England I was tought pretty much the same…

    Disclaimer – I am an agnostic…do with that as you will…I have heard all the arguments…

    History is a myth agreed upon.” Napoleon Bonaparte.

    “The past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past.” William Faulkner.

    “No two historians ever agree on what happened, and the damn thing is they both think they’re telling the truth.” Harry S. Truman.

    Introductory Note
    This page is Part I of the MidEastWeb history of the Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab conflict. For Part II click here: History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict since the Oslo Accords.

    History, and different perceptions of history, are perhaps the most important factors in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Accounts of history, interpreting history in different ways, are used to justify claims and to negate claims, to vilify the enemy and to glorify “our own” side. Dozens of accounts have been written. Most of the accounts on the Web are intended to convince rather than to inform.

    This very brief account is intended as a balanced overview and introduction to Palestinian and Israeli history, and the history of the conflict. It is unlikely that anyone has written or will write an “objective” and definitive summary that would be accepted by everyone, but it is hoped that this document will provide a fair introduction.

    It would be wrong to try to use this history to determine “who is right,” though many “histories” have certainly been written by partisans of either side, with precisely that purpose in mind. Those who are interested in advocacy, in collecting “points” for their side, cannot find the truth except by accident. If they find it, and it is inconvenient, they will bury it again. This account intends to inform, and nothing more. Two separate documents explain how I think we should gather facts and learn about the conflict, and the importance of words in making Middle East history, as well as in understanding it. A timeline provides details of many events not discussed in this history, and source documents provide additional background. Serious students will also refer to the bibliography for more information and different viewpoints, and will always seek out primary source documents to verify whatever claims are made about those documents or about quotes from those documents.

    Click here for a brief overview of issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Click here for a perspective on the changing nature of the Israeli – Palestinian/Zionist – Arab/ Jewish-Muslim conflict.

    Geography and Early History of Israel and Palestine
    The land variously called Israel and Palestine is a small, (10,000 square miles at present) land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. During its long history, its area, population and ownership varied greatly. The present state of Israel occupies all the land from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean ocean, bounded by Egypt in the south, Lebanon in the north, and Jordan in the East. The recognized borders of Israel constitute about 78% of the land. The remainder is divided between land occupied by Israel since the 1967 6-day war and the autonomous regions under the control of the Palestinian autonomy. The Gaza strip occupies an additional 141 square miles south of Israel, and is under the control of the Palestinian authority.

    Palestine has been settled continuously for tens of thousands of years. Fossil remains have been found of Homo Erectus, Neanderthal and transitional types between Neanderthal and modern man. Archeologists have found hybrid Emmer wheat at Jericho dating from before 8,000 B.C., making it one of the oldest sites of agricultural activity in the world. Amorites, Canaanites, and other Semitic peoples related to the Phoenicians of Tyre entered the area about 2000 B.C. The area became known as the Land of Canaan. (Click here for historical maps and some details of early history)

    (Click here for books about Israel & Palestine before 1918 )

    The Jewish Kingdoms of Ancient Judah and Israel
    The archeological record indicates that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana’anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan. Canaan was settled by different tribes including Semitic peoples, Hittites, and later Philistines, peoples of the sea who are thought to have arrived from Mycenae, or to be part of the ancient Greek peoples that also settled Mycenae.

    According to the Bible, Moses led the Israelites, or a portion of them, out of Egypt. Under Joshua, they conquered the tribes and city states of Canaan. Based on biblical traditions, it is estimated that king David conquered Jerusalem about 1000 B.C. and established an Israelite kingdom over much of Canaan including parts of Transjordan. The kingdom was divided into Judea in the south and Israel in the north following the death of David’s son, Solomon. Jerusalem remained the center of Jewish sovereignty and of Jewish worship whenever the Jews exercised sovereignty over the country in the subsequent period, up to the Jewish revolt in 133 AD.

    The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C. The Babylonians conquered Judah around 586 B.C. They destroyed Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and exiled a large number of Jews. About 50 years later, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia. Cyrus allowed a group of Jews from Babylonia to rebuild Jerusalem and settle in it. However, a large number of Jews remained in Babylonia, forming the first Jewish Diaspora. After the reestablishment of a Jewish state or protectorate, the Babylonian exiles maintained contact with authorities there. The Persians ruled the land from about 530 to 331 B.C. Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., his generals divided the empire. One of these generals, Seleucus, founded a dynasty that gained control of much of Palestine about 200 B.C. At first, the new rulers, called Seleucids, allowed the practice of Judaism. But later, one of the kings, Antiochus IV, tried to prohibit it. In 167 B.C., the Jews revolted under the leadership of the Maccabeans and either drove the Seleucids out of Palestine or at least established a large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom received Roman “protection” when Judah Maccabee was made a “friend of the Roman senate and people” in 164 B.C. according to the records of Roman historians.

    Palestine From Roman to Ottoman Rule
    About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked Jerusalem in support of King Herod. Judea had become a client state of Rome. Initially it was ruled by the client Herodian dynasty. The land was divided into districts of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and a small trans-Jordanian section, each of which eventually came under direct Roman control. The Romans called the large central area of the land, which included Jerusalem, Judea. According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Judea, in the early years of Roman rule. Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem, following the failed Bar Kochba revolt. The Romans named the area Palaestina, at about this time. The name Palaestina, which became Palestine in English, is derived from Herodotus, who used the term Palaistine Syria to refer to the entire southern part of Syria, meaning “Philistine Syria.” Most of the Jews who continued to practice their religion fled or were forcibly exiled from Palestine, eventually forming a second Jewish Diaspora. However, Jewish communities continued to exist, primarily in the Galilee, the northernmost part of Palestine. Palestine was governed by the Roman Empire until the fourth century A.D. (300’s) and then by the Byzantine Empire. In time, Christianity spread to most of Palestine. The population consisted of Jewish converts to Christianity and paganism, peoples imported by the Romans, and others who had probably inhabited Palestine continuously.

    During the seventh century (A.D. 600’s), Muslim Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine. Jerusalem was conquered about 638 by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900’s. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their religions. However, most of the local population gradually accepted Islam and the Arab-Islamic culture of their rulers. Jerusalem (Al-Quds) became holy to Muslims as the site where, according to tradition, Muhammad ascended to heaven after a miraculous overnight ride from Mecca on his horse Al-Buraq. The al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site generally regarded as the area of the Jewish temples.

    The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule in Palestine lasted less than 30 years. Initially they were replaced by the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Fatimids took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian crusaders. They made an alliance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of Palestine.

    The Crusaders, however, broke the alliance and invaded Palestine about a year later. They captured Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1099, slaughtered many Jewish and Muslim defenders and forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem. They held the city until 1187. In that year, the Muslim ruler Saladin conquered Jerusalem. The Crusaders then held a smaller and smaller area along the coast of Palestine, under treaty with Saladin. However, they broke the treaty with Saladin and later treaties. Crusade after crusade tried to recapture Jerusalem, but they were unable to do so for more than a brief period.

    The Crusaders left Palestine for good when the Muslims captured Acre in 1291. During the post-crusade period, crusaders often raided the coast of Palestine. To deny the Crusaders gains from these raids, the Muslims pulled their people back from the coasts and destroyed coastal towns and farms. This depopulated and impoverished the coast of Palestine for hundreds of years.

    In the mid-1200’s, Mamelukes, originally soldier-slaves of the Arabs based in Egypt, established an empire that in time included the area of Palestine. Arab-speaking Muslims made up most of the population of the area once called Palestine. Beginning in the late 1300’s, Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean lands settled in Jerusalem and other parts of the land. The Ottoman Empire defeated the Mamelukes in 1517, and Palestine became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic inquisition to settle in the Turkish empire, including several cities in Palestine.

    In 1798, Napoleon entered the land. The war with Napoleon and subsequent misadministration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers, reduced the population of Palestine. Arabs and Jews fled to safer and more prosperous lands. Revolts by Palestinian Arabs against Egyptian and Ottoman rule at this time may have helped to catalyze Palestinian national feeling. Subsequent reorganization and opening of the Turkish Empire to foreigners restored some order. They also allowed the beginnings of Jewish settlement under various Zionist and proto-Zionist movements. Both Arab and Jewish population increased. By 1880, about 24,000 Jews were living in Palestine, out of a population of about 400,000. At about that time, the Ottoman government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase, and also began actively soliciting inviting Muslims from other parts of the Ottoman empire to settle in Palestine, including Circassians and Bosnians. The restrictions were evaded in various ways by Jews seeking to colonize Palestine, chiefly by bribery.

    The Rise of Zionism – Jews had never stopped coming to “the Holy land” or Palestine in small numbers throughout the exile. Palestine also remained the center of Jewish worship and a part of Jewish culture. However, the Jewish connection with the land was mostly abstract and connected with dreams of messianic redemption.

    In the nineteenth century new social currents animated Jewish life. The emancipation of European Jews, signaled by the French revolution, brought Jews out of the Ghetto and into the modern world, exposing them to modern ideas. The liberal concepts introduced by emancipation and modern nationalist ideas were blended with traditional Jewish ideas about Israel and Zion. The marriage of “love of Zion” with modern nationalism took place first among the Sephardic (Spanish and Eastern) Jewish community of Europe. There, the tradition of living in the land of the Jews and return to Zion had remained practical goals rather than messianic aspirations, and Hebrew was a living language. Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay, who lived in what is now Yugoslavia, published the first Zionist writings in the 1840s. Though practically forgotten, these ideas took root among a few European Jews. Emancipation of Jews triggered a new type of virulent anti-Jewish political and social movement in Europe, particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe. Beginning in the late 1800’s, oppression of Jews in Eastern Europe stimulated emigration of Jews to Palestine.

    The Zionist movement became a formal organization in 1897 with the first Zionist congress in Basle, organized by Theodor Herzl. Herzl’s grandfather was acquainted with the writings of Alcalay, and it is very probable that Herzl was influenced by them. The Zionists wished to establish a “Jewish Homeland” in Palestine under Turkish or German rule. Initially, most Zionists were not concerned about the Arab population, which they ignored, or thought would agree to voluntary transfer to other Arab countries. In any case, they envisioned the population of Palestine by millions of European Jews who would soon form a decisive majority in the land. The Zionists established farm communities in Palestine at Petah Tikva, Zichron Jacob, Rishon Letzion and elsewhere. Later they established the new city of Tel Aviv, north of Jaffa. At the same time, Palestine’s Arab population grew rapidly. By 1914, the total population of Palestine stood at about 700,000. About 615,000 were Arabs, and 85,000 to 100,000 were Jews. (See population figures). Additional information about Zionism and the creation of Israel , British Zionism and (off site) Christian Zionism Click here for books about Zionism. Photo history of Zionism Zionism

    World War I – During World War I (1914-1918), the Ottoman Empire joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies. An Ottoman military government ruled Palestine. The war was hard on both Jewish and Arab populations, owing to outbreaks of cholera and typhus; however, it was more difficult for the Jews. For a time, the Turkish military governor ordered internment and deportation of all foreign nationals. A large number of Jews were Russian nationals. They had been able to enter Palestine as Russian nationals because of the concessions Turkey had granted to Russian citizens, and they had used this method to overcome restrictions on immigration. They had also maintained Russian citizenship to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army. Therefore, a large number of Jews were forced to flee Palestine during the war. A small group founded the NILI underground that fed intelligence information to the British, in order to free the land of Turkish rule. The Turks eventually caught members of the NILI group, but the information they provided is said to have helped the British invasion effort.

    Britain and France planned to divide the Ottoman holdings in the Middle East among themselves after the war. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 called for part of Palestine to be under British rule, part to be placed under a joint Allied government, and for Syria and Lebanon to be given to the France. However, Britain also offered to back Arab demands for postwar independence from the Ottomans in return for Arab support for the Allies and seems to have promised the same territories to the Arabs. In 1916, Arabs led by T.E. Lawrence and backed by Sharif Husayn revolted against the Ottomans in the belief that Britain would help establish Arab independence in the Middle East. Lawrence’s exploits and their importance in the war against Turkey were somewhat exaggerated by himself and by the enterprising publicist Lowell Thomas. The United States and other countries pressed for Arab self-determination. The Arabs, and many in the British government including Lawrence, believed that the Arabs had been short-changed by the British promise to give Syria to the French, and likewise by the promise of Palestine as a Jewish homeland. The Arabs claimed that Palestine was included in the area promised to them, but the British denied this.

    The British Mandate for Palestine
    The Balfour Declaration – In November 1917, before Britain had conquered Jerusalem and the area to be known as Palestine, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. The declaration was a letter addressed to Lord Rothschild, based on a request of the Zionist organization in Great Britain. The declaration stated Britain’s support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine, without violating the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities. The declaration was the result of lobbying by the small British Zionist movement, especially by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who had emigrated from Russia to Britain, but it was motivated by British strategic considerations. Paradoxically, perhaps, a major motivation for the declaration may have been the belief, inspired by anti-Semitism, that international Jewry would come to the aid of the British if they declared themselves in favor of a Jewish homeland, and the fear that the Germans were about to issue such a declaration.

    After the war, the League of Nations divided much of the Ottoman Empire into mandated territories. The British and French saw the Mandates as instruments of imperial ambitions. US President Wilson insisted that the mandates must foster eventual independence. The British were anxious to keep Palestine away from the French, and decided to ask for a mandate that would implement the Jewish national home of the Balfour declaration, a project that would be supported by the Americans. The Arabs opposed the idea of a Jewish national home, considering that the areas now called Palestine were their land. The Arabs felt they were in danger of dispossession by the Zionists, and did not relish living under Jewish rule.

    Arabs lobbied the American King-Crane commission, in favor of annexation of the Palestine mandate area to Syria, and later formed a national movement to combat the terms of the Mandate. At the instigation of US President Wilson, the King Crane commission had been sent to hear the views of the inhabitants. At the commission hearings, Aref Pasha Dajani expressed this opinion about the Jews, “Their history and their past proves that it is impossible to live with them. In all the countries where they are at present, they are not wanted…because they always arrive to suck the blood of everybody…”

    By this time, Zionists had recognized the inevitability of conflict with the Palestinian and other Arabs. David Ben Gurion, who would lead the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) and go on to be the first Prime Minister of Israel, told a meeting of the governing body of the Jewish Yishuv in 1919 “But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question…We as a nation, want this country to be ours, the Arabs as a nation, want this country to be theirs.”

    more here…

    I am a child of the sixties, PAX! and a fan of John Lennon – What if we had a war and nobody came? – WAR HAS ENDED! If you want it to…and the poor bastard was shot in the back – the world is full of cowards…


  140. I think he will min.

    My challenge was to clarify SiQ’s position, as earlier in the thread he said he was sitting on the fence and could not form any opinions because he didn’t know enough about it.

    No probs anyway, but I know what you mean and I have already offered an apology if shane is feeling under personal attack, it was not intended.

    After the pinky business, I would be the last person here to want to attack someone and have them leave. Quite happy for shane to have and hold his own his opinions – and they don’t even have to agree with mine!

  141. Good to see you back TB.

    Remember what our hero said: “Life is what happens while you make other plans”.

  142. tb,

    as you have the keys to the joint I would like to suggest that posts such as your last would be better placed as a new thread giving the historical background for those that are interested. For those of us who already know that historical background, who wants to scroll past 18 screens of historical background that is only tangentially relevant to this thread.

  143. Shane – don’t let a couple of paranoids stop your comments – some of us here know you don’t have “hidden agendas”…people always judge others by their own values…

    … and for the record – it always amuses me that those who “accuse” hide the most…

    …and for joni and reb – the site is losing its “discussion” theme and becoming an “attacking” playground for a minority…read through the posts – as I just did – and Adrian? – yer values (or alliances) are slipping, cobber …

    …and for those who like the ‘innuendo post”, there are three posters on OUR site who like attacking the person rather than discussing issues from an alternative view and recognising that some of us really ARE interested in other people’s expertise, experience and thoughts…

    …BTW Legion – some refreshing (if difficult to comprehend) posts…

  144. PS it would also give Shane a forum to ask his questions without having his intentions questioned. 🙂

  145. Welcome back TB.

    My values and alliances are there TB, nothing more or less.

    Pity after I apologised to Shane and going on about personal attacks you felt you had to attack me.

  146. “it always amuses me that those who “accuse” hide the most…”

    Oh look, tb is having another pot, kettle moment, yet seems unable to recognise it.

    “the site is losing its “discussion” theme and becoming an “attacking” playground for a minority…read through the posts – as I just did – and Adrian? – yer values (or alliances) are slipping, cobber …”

    And, oh look, another one.

    “three posters on OUR site who like attacking the person rather than discussing issues ”

    Well, what do you know. Third time lucky.

  147. As “some call him” Tim would say… let’s move on and debate the topic.

    I will probably put up a new thread tomorrow on Gaza when I get some internet access (still out at home).

  148. “This isn’t about debating the issue, this is about attacking the person.”

    Beg to disagree. Adrian is ‘attacking’ or ‘questioning’ the ‘ideas’ and or ‘strategies’ employed. Perfectly legitimate! And to be encouraged.

    In debates, we need to separate (conceptually) ‘arguments’ from those who advance same. All people, at times, advance ‘stupid’ arguments in much the same way as we all made ‘stupid’ comments. In no way does that make the espouser ‘stupid’.

    Does a bad golf shot or a bad hat make a bad person. That is laughable.

    Having one’s ideas subject to ongoing scrutiny should be a part of any healthy society and from my POV, it’s the essence of blogs. ‘Conflict’ keeps a society dynamic and blogs are just microcosms

    There ain’t any ‘truth’ in any absolute sense. Just a temporary consensus. A new ‘truth’ will emerge tomorrow in any healthy society.

  149. 143. Pollytickedoff …as you have the keys to the joint…

    Bitterness becomes you…PT

    …is only tangentially relevant to this thread. ?

    TANGENT: Of, relating to, or moving along or in the direction of a tangent.
    Merely touching or slightly connected.
    Only superficially relevant; divergent: a tangential remark.

    Says, you! Still trying to control…the thread…any thread…

    The history of this region is critical to understanding the current quagmire…

    Very relevant! If you “think” you know the history then you would have “scrolled” past it anyway…

    I learnt it many years ago and read it again – and posted it in full deliberately…to make a point…

    How many threads do you want to continue repeating the same mantra…

    …love to see you embrace Sharia law…or have you already?

  150. LOL! Look at ’em all come out!

    Oh! Dear…just proved my point…pounce…

    For a few months we did discuss issues – look at it now…

    …three posters (and a couple who’ve moved on) and the house of cards has fallen…

    …and you guys think you’ve got a “handle” on the ME! GMAB!

    You couldn’t discuss, reasonably, the price of milk…

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Some of you more discerning readers/posters will undeerstand what I’m doing…

  151. Nature 5 @149

    Well said.

    Let’s not confuse criticising someone’s opinion or argument with a personal criticism of the individual.

    TB @ 144

    You mention that “the site is losing its “discussion” theme and becoming an “attacking” playground for a minority”

    …and then subsequently accuse Pollytickedoff of “bitterness” @150

    Come on everyone, let’s try to play nicely.


    Ocassionally things are bound to get heated from time to time, it’s just part n parcel of blogging…

  152. Exactly N5. I was not attacking Shane personally if he or anyone took it that way I apologised for it and will apologise unreservedly again.

    As you state I was attacking the tact Shane appeared to be taking, well to me anyway. In one statement he says he’s sitting on the fence and wants to be enlightened on the subject as he knows naught of it. Then he asks me about providing a history (not an opinion) that is readily available (as TB illustrated in providing one easily found source), and then comes out with some fairly insightful knowledge on what he previously stated he knew nothing about.

    Sorry, and I am deeply sorry, my paranoiac instincts said I was being led into a wedge (Socratic method) and I legitimately voiced this. Shane had but to deny it, explain where he was coming from and I will not hesitate to give him the benefit of the doubt, which I have.

  153. Bitterness becomes you…PT

    Now that was deliberately nasty and offensive (and an example of a personal attack).

  154. Paranoid???? Who said that???

  155. Reports are now coming through the rockets are being fired from Lebanon and that the IDF has bombed Egypt.

  156. N5 well said, covered a lot.
    when your the third party looking in on two or more people having serious arguments it bloody hurts and takes the joy away and keeps an uptight feel to ithe room.
    I hate to see pride as a weapon of choice. Tomorrow we will still be here blogging but i want the BBQ atmosphere back in this room.

  157. Back on track.

    A new dimension has been added to the fray with Hezbollah firing rockets into Israel from Lebanon. Israel fired artillery back.

    This is absolutely wrong on the part of Hezbollah and does not help the situation one bit. Israel would have every right to leash its full resources on stopping these attacks from Lebanon, as they attempted to before but since then they have become tactically more astute.

  158. wonder what happen to the Kateb in lebanon, they use to be very powerful force to deal with. Hezbollah are only looking for any chance to hit at israel and keep making all the wrong choices.
    I know little of them these days but was told a lot from my father about the early conflict.

  159. “Bitterness becomes you…PT

    …is only tangentially relevant to this thread. ? ”

    tb, saying you have the keys to the joint is not bitterness it is a statement of fact or have I been misled by the sidebar indicating you are an author?

    Yes, only tangentially as in the definition you were clever enough to be able to cut and paste but not clever anough it appears to comprehend. As in the thread is about the conflicting stories emanating from Gaza the full blown history, while helpful in understanding what led to recent events is not particularly useful in regards to trying to work out the truth of what is happening on the ground today.

    “How many threads do you want to continue repeating the same mantra…”

    Well, considering I was suggesting a “Background/History” thread I doubt that it would necessarily end up repeating the same ‘mantra’. BTW maybe it has failed to register, but there have already been multiple threads on Gaza recently.

    “…love to see you embrace Sharia law…or have you already?”

    What on earth are you on about? What a stupid comment to make simply because someone offers a suggestion.

    Sorry, but you really need to seek treatment for that chip on your shoulder that makes you think every comment is a personal attack

  160. Probably a mistake in the politics of everyday life, but here goes,

    “there are three posters on OUR site”

    Is that the ‘view’ of the other ‘owners’. If so, then someone’s ielling porkies. Lol. Time for some conceptual clarity ‘owners’. Or is it just an individual view?

    “The history of this region is critical to understanding the current quagmire”

    Totally agree. But ypurs is ‘A’ History rather than ‘The’ History. (Regardlees of what you think the words selected are important.) In this case the history you presented isn’t too outrageous. But understand, ‘History’ is a contested struggle. Yes! it tends to be written by the victors but even then it is a contest.

    As for:

    “Ocassionally things are bound to get heated from time to time, it’s just part n parcel of blogging”


  161. What happen to Scaper?

    Hope all is ok.

    Gaza is also so tightly packed with dwellings its hard to know where rockets were fired from accurately(hence the school).

  162. OK this is now really pissing me off TB.

    If I’m one of your three just say so, and just name the three.

    Then if I have bought this board down then sorry and I won’t do so again as I’ll leave it immediately, then you only have two.

  163. Adrian if you go i wont learn half as much. your one of the three informative regarless if people like it or not and sometimes you seem very hard to talk too.

  164. 163. Adrian of Nowra

    Calm down, I suspect I am in TB’s sights. But tough! Running away from an intellectual fight? Never!

    Yes the new offensive from Lebanon certainly add a new dimension.

    “It is is not clear if the rockets were fired by Hezbollah or by one of the armed Palestinian groups that operate in Lebanon.

    If Hezbollah mounted the attack there is a grave risk of a very strong Israeli reaction, our correspondent says.

    The Palestinians in Lebanon do not have the capacity to fight a war with Israel, but Hezbollah does.”

    From the BBC


  165. TB @ 151

    “Some of you more discerning readers/posters will undeerstand what I’m doing…”

    Sorry TB, like Adrian, I have absolutely no f**kin idea what you’re talking about….

  166. You are right Hexx, I do get tied up in my own thoughts and think many things at once predicting replies and formulating which way I’m going to go, then just launch without really thinking it through.

    This makes me hard to talk to, even to myself.

    Thanks for the link N5. I’m starting to track this (RSS) so will keep an eye on how it unfolds and Israel’s response, remember they called up just about their entire reserves to fight in Gaza.

    This might also bode well for the peace talks Israel are currently going to in Egypt.

  167. Move on boys and girls… you really do not want a fight with the two butch gay boys involved. We fight dirty.

    Oh wait – who are the two butch gay boys???

    (yes – reb and I are trying to keep it light and amusing – trying being the operative word).

  168. joni’s right.

    and I kick n scratch too.

    So look out!

    Now let’s all get back on topic shall we………

  169. And if your are not careful, reb and I may get enjoyment from the fighting !

  170. And look at the midweek thread… I am posting about DSOM and Pet Sounds…. two of the greatest albums ever!

  171. especially if it involves jelly wrestling.

  172. Off topic, but I’m prepared to be the scapegoat.

    I like the posters here. We are a good group of friends. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything offensive to anybody. I’ve had the occasional joust, and on each occasion we’ve kissed and made up.

    Sometimes I might stir Min for supporting the wrong football team, and also Toiletboss for definitely supporting the wrong team, but they know it’s in fun (until the season starts).

    So in order for everyone to clear their frustrations please feel free to blame everything on me. Get it out of your system. Instead of taking it out on each other, give me a blast and get everything off your collective chests. Instead of kicking the dog – kick me. Instead of screaming into the dark night – scream at me.

    Then see how much better you feel.

  173. mmmm…. jelly shots….. mmmmmm

    And I second Miglo’s thoughts. I reckon we get passionate and personal at times is because we do know each other. And like a family we push buttons to get a reaction – maybe not intentionally but it happens.

    reb and I need to keep a distance, but sometimes we do need to step in and make us move on.

    And to give a heads up to everyone – start thinking of the countries that you have been to. All will become clear on the Friday (cannot spell Frolyks without looking it up).

  174. “especially if it involves jelly wrestling.”

    Did you know you can get home jelly wrestling kits? Nephew had one for his birthday complete with little wading pool and stuff to turn the jelly back into liquid.

  175. Miglo,

    Let me guess, you are sitting comfortably in your leather chesterfield armchair, on to your third glass of port, after a nice meal accompanied by one or two bottles of red, and politely inhaling the first one or two puffs of a half, nay full corona.

    I admire your offer to be the sacrificial lamb, but can only imagine that someone of your calibre to carry it off with a certain “panache”

  176. Conflicts can be manufactured anywhere. Feed a public enuff propaganda, tell them they HATE each other & will never be able to HEAL or make PEACE w/ one another and they begin to believe it.

    Profit by selling them weapons to feed their HATE & you’ve got a nice, self-replicating deal on your hands. Choose a few loopy zealots, control freaks & blowhards to tell THE HISTORY (no matter how distorted, biased, inaccurate it is) and blow the horns of discontent…and you get yourself a mighty profitable conflict for THE FEW.

    HATE is FED. Look to THE FEEDERS. In this case many are in the corporate media, armaments companies & political sphere…they GAIN from the FEEDING. Perhaps they should be FED to the WELL OF OBSCURITY.

    THE MESSAGE should be:

    “The problems that drive this conflict can be solved”.

    But it seems the FEEDERS are generally not interested in promoting that message. They lack the courage to exist without obscene power &/or wealth…and admit they are fckheads.


  177. Actually reb, I’m sitting in my leather office chair, procrastinating whether I should have a cup of Liptons after my dinner of scraps. Had the half corona with a cappuccino down at the golf club earlier in the evening.

    Today I have been contemplating my station in life, which is currently filled with dramas.

    A good time to kick a bloke is while he is down.

  178. “This might also bode well for the peace talks Israel are currently going to in Egypt.”

    That’s how I’d read it at this stage. Israel wouldn’t want to fight on more fronts surely. But then again, who knows?

    As for:

    “like a family we push buttons to get a reaction – maybe not intentionally but it happens.”

    Let’s be clear. I push buttons intentionally. Tis what education is all about. Not shadows on the wall, but defining a ‘reality of sorts’. Lol. I’ll say it again, I bear no malice against anyone on this or any other blog. I am only interested in ‘arguments’ and debating same, not those who present same. FGS, I don’t even know them.

    Read Legion’s link above re Socratic Method.

  179. 163. Adrian of Nowra

    No adrian, you are a fine contributor.

    173. Miglo

    And miglo, please let your spirits be lifted,
    you are a priceless gem.

    thanks reb and joni.

  180. Speaking of Israel, America & weapons, how about a trip down memory lane?:


    I wonder who was laughing all the way to the bank back then?…& who was doing so during the last bombing of Lebanon?. And now?

    Ideology & nationalism my arse. Someone reports on the damage inflicted. Someone lets the company know how effective their weapons are. Someone buys a Porsche. And a politician…or their advisor.

    And as THE LIGHT in the childrens eyes goes out, GW Bush’s hair turns greyer, his smile kookier, his self-esteem gets hit by one more “decider” defibrillator and he tries to forget what a useless turd he really is…just like all those other war-mongers who ride the pony w/ him…Cheney, Murdoch & every other fool who allowed themselves to fall prey to having to live up to their pop &/or grandpops dreams.


  181. Guys and Gals

    I wasn’t going anywhere. I just said I would not comment on this post and I will hold to that.

    The thing I find amazing is for 99% of my time on Blogocrats I have agreed with Adrian. On one post I seek questions because I don’t know the answer and there is conflicting reports. I question his responses and he deems I have an ulterior motive. Yet I see him demand people substantiate and quantify any response with proof, which he does to myself as well. Problem is the proof in this argument is clouded by religion, politics, history and emotion so i saw no problem in asking questions to ensure a person is not biased or clouded by those same areas.

    As I said I am not going anywhere Min. I will, however not comment on this topic again on this or any other post regarding the middle east.

    Moving on.

  182. Yikes!!!

    I thought the fruitless & illegitimate conflict was happening in Gaza…

  183. I suggested that if someone thought that something was crud then it would be useful to provide reasons. This is most definitely not attacking the person.

  184. “I suggested that if someone thought that something was crud then it would be useful to provide reasons. This is most definitely not attacking the person.”

    I’d agree with that.

    I still don’t get why you criticised Adrien’s comment though when he did provide reasons. So, as Polly has departed, and I want to know I’ll ask again – what was it about his comment that prompted your response?

  185. Min, I don’t think I’ve ever interpretted your posts as being the least bit confrontational or offensive; in fact I’d say that you go to great lengths to be as pleasant as is humanly possible, I salute you.

    I also think that shane is genuine, based on other threads in which he perceives a bias against the US etc.
    I’d say it’s not an area he is well versed in & he is trying to learn here. Let’s face it, until you start looking all you have to go on are the well sanitised versions of WE=Good vs THEM=BAD from the MSM & all of the nuance & actual pertinent historical facts are missing. Please don’t read this as condescending as it’s not meant to be.
    Shane speaks with authority on matters economic, an area of expertise of his in which I am devoid of good comprehension, but if in doubt I will ask…I think that on this thread he is doing a similar thing….ie, trying to sort out the fact from the opinion.
    It is difficult to unlearn what we are contemporarily programmed with IMHO.

    I consider that I’m fairly well read & have a decent understanding of the issue at hand but I’m still learning stuff on this thread that fills in gaps; for that reason I think it’s a great thread. Not sure why it partially degenerated into spleen-venting.

  186. As I mentioned previously my field of expertise is in the field of Asperger’s and as for Shane need to ask questions. I thought that this blog is a great place to learn. I always apologise if I ask dumb questions as it’s easy to be misinterpreted as being facetious.

    By the way, I love the name Toiletboss. This always brings a smile as hubby won’t have a bar of anything pertaining to the loo (except for using it ;-)) however my late father was always in charge of loo duties.

  187. “By the way, I love the name Toiletboss”

    It’s a long story, needless to say it was hung on me by my immediate family.

  188. Seems Min has missed my question so I’ll post it again

    “I still don’t get why you criticised Adrien’s comment though when he did provide reasons. So what was it about his comment that prompted your response?”

  189. Well, well, well…I found Kevin Rennie’s link interesting (at 126)…the premise there is that selling out for peace, by going against the grain of automatic polarisation, is a worthy end in pursuit of a higher peace, somewhere above the pre-programmed oppositional affray. I couldn’t disagree with the sentiment, although I’d choose to dismantle the fence, splinter by splinter and plank-by-plank from the pre-cast foundations up, rather than merely sitting on it, at the level of characterisation.

    More importantly, for continued learning, drilling down into the survey of solutions was a link to the concept of ‘dhimmi‘ under Sharia Law. In some respects, this concept, seems fruitful as a way of ensuring parallel rights, as opposed to “equal” rights (which equality I would contend is a blind path within Western legal tradition, on Aristotelean grounds and for the absolute impossibility of ‘equality’ of any particular things except in the abstract).

    Perhaps that is what Hamas has/had in mind when referencing extra rights and protections, which seem to operate beyond an inertial bias towards Sharia Law.

    As a concept it is intriguing, imo: when pushed to absolute limits as a perfect source of parallel rights, dhimmi could accord a full range of freedoms coincident with modernist notions of them. I’m not sure that Sharia Law could accept those broadened no-limits as anything other than a direct challenge to Sharia Law itself; but then again, that’s exactly the same staging ground that the West, and its Judeo-Christian sourced juridprudence, finds itself in, too.

  190. Sorry Huh, can you post me the link? I am a disabled person with the use of my hands only sometimes.

  191. Some horrid (& I would think indefensible) acts in these links…



    No doubt it was all instigated by Hamas, Iran & PalliWood to make the IDF look less than discriminant in their bloodletting.

  192. Mmmmm…see comment 83, HD.

    Otherwise, on the SC Resolution, one of the pieces says…

    Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of the compromise resolution worked out in three days of intense bargaining involving several Arab foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

    The US abstention vote cast by Dr Rice came as a surprise as diplomats indicated earlier that they expected the text to get unanimous support.

    Strangely, there is little mention in the press of the planned Emergency Session of the General Assembly for later that same day; maybe the SC’s hands, well one hand, was forced and and near unanimity and an abstention was the best they could bring themselves to do. Quite a slap in the face for the ‘Bush Doctrine‘, though, unless the thing can be isolated…with an abstention.

  193. In other places, I came across this apologia…Israel just wants to live in peace. The irony, to my mind, was that I could quite easily substitute Hamas for Israel and Palestinian for Jew throughout a reading of it and still have it make sense; but, apparently, such a thought didn’t occur to its author.

  194. And Australians are in the thick of things – but why are we so good at the business of spin or ‘bulls*ittery’?.

    Aussie mafia of spin doctors in Israel

    …Captain Rutland is part of what he calls “an Australian mafia” who are prominent in selling the war, along with friend Guy Spigelman, an Israeli reservist also in the public affairs unit of the army.

    Then there’s Mark Regev, Israel’s face to the world who moved to Israel from Melbourne. Mr Regev has been spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert since December 2007.

  195. I have now closed this thread to comments… please use the new Gaza thread.

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