to not understand how you can fire missiles targeting civilians and it not be a war crime

(540 Posts)
Itsaboatjack Thu 15-Nov-12 23:46:53

now I'm not especially knowledgable about the problems in the middle east but surely firing missiles into a city intentionally killing civilians is some kind of war crime?

winnybella Thu 15-Nov-12 23:49:28

The intended targets are Hamas members. Hamas fires rockets into Israel with the intention of killing civilians, though.

winnybella Thu 15-Nov-12 23:53:19

Well, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
BBC

Itsaboatjack Fri 16-Nov-12 00:19:08

No I get who's involved and I've read the bbc article on it, but I just don't understand how it's not a war crime?

A lot of people would say it IS a war crime.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 00:38:16

Because Israel have licence to behave in a way no other country does. America will back them up to the bitter end.

The Palestine issue is disgusting and it should never have been allowed to deteriorate to this point. I feel so sorry for Palestinians.

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 00:40:04

Yanbu

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 00:41:44

Oh...YANBU and I think it is a war crime,but I'm nobody important in the great scheme of things.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 02:02:09

Are you talking about Hamas firing rockets into Israel with the express aim of killing civilians?

Israel is targeting Hamas terrorists. Not that I agree with it, the civilian damage is too high, but the intention is not to kill civilians.

And it's not true that Israel is allowed to do what it wants unlike other counties. Look at what Russia did in Chechnya! Yet Russia is a member of the security council. It's not an excuse but it pisses me off when people make out that Israel is somehow exceptionally evil. Lots of shit goes on, but the Palestinians are just as responsible for their own plight.

I feel sorry for the innocent civilians on both sides.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 16-Nov-12 02:12:32

Are you referring to one or both sides? Both sides are firing missiles that are killing civilians, whether they are ^ targeting ^ them is up for debate.

In the case of Hamas, the rockets are a crime against humanity. Even with the mainly structural damage, the practically constant bombing of the people of Sderot and the surrounding areas (mainly populated by Mizrahi which many note as the Israeli government only seem interested in "fighting back" when the rocket target turned towards the richer whiter northern area) who are mainly poor farmers, trapped where they are with no resources, no recourse, and aren't enough bomb shelters in that area, is a tragedy whose scars will be for generations. Also the placing of rocket launchers in civilian zones.

Similarly, in the case of Likkud, the current operations in Gaza are killing many many innocent people, especially considering that Gaza is extremely densely populated. They themselves admit that they strike down most Hamas rockets while dealing the same number of far stronger missiles to Gaza. Even if one were to believe that the IDF were going after only going after very specific targets as they claim (highly debateable) the people who suffer and mainly die are the average, civilian, Palestinian people. Their treatment of Palestinians, and even their own people particularly on the wrong side of popular opinion (there have been riots recently, particularly around race) is criminal.

As far as I am concerned, the civilians on both sides are chess pieces that are being cynically manipulated and sacrificed by their leaders, basically being used as human shields for governments that should be facing charges of war crimes.

But then, so should many parts of the American government who are drone bombing (and 'double tapping' angry ) civilians across the world with barely a flicker against them. And North Korea's concentration camps. They are war crimes, but some seem able to get away with it because the institutions put in place to deal with them have failed.

moreyear Fri 16-Nov-12 02:13:00

I agree with Elaine - are you referring to the repeated Hamas firing of rockets into Israel with the express intention of murdering Israeli civilians? Israel is entitled to use force to protect its citizens against such attacks.

GothAnneGeddes Fri 16-Nov-12 02:22:58

YANBU O.P

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 02:43:55

I keep making myself promise I won't participate in this discussion but the casual Anti-semitism/Israel vilification really makes me angry.

I feel sorry for a nightclub full of six formers celebrating their graduation who got blown up in Tel Aviv. I feel sorry for their parents too.

I feel sorry for the little toddler who got her throat ripped open while sleeping in her bed.

War is a terrible thing but the Palestinians aren't innocent victims.

LulaBear Fri 16-Nov-12 03:13:03

It's a war-zone, and both sides throw bombs.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 04:06:17

I agree with your sentiments poppy, i also think the obsession with Israel and its vilification is politically correct and socially acceptable anti semitism.

I do wonder how people would respond if missiles were falling on London. Oh yeah, that happened once - the response was to carpet bomb Dresden. Only 60 years later are people even questioning if it is such a good idea to have a statue to bomber Harris in the centre of London.

dolcelatte Fri 16-Nov-12 04:35:48

YANBU.

I don't think it is anti semitic to say that what has happened is a war crime. If anything, I think that the enduring guilt of the Holocaust sometimes allows Israel to escape international criticism and condemnation in circumstances where it has clearly acted unreasonably, this being one of those occasions.

I do find it depressing that some people on this thread are apparently seeking to justify Israel's behaviour on the basis that there are other evil regimes or by reference to actions which occurred more than half a century ago (Dresden - for which the UK has rightly expressed remorse); that is not the point at all.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 04:49:24

I find it depressing that people in this thread criticise a country for defending themselves against systematic terrorist attacks to their civilian population.

I'm so willing to bet that these posters haven't lived in similar circumstances and if your schools, your children, your cities were attacked you would be crying for military protection and retaliation.

I agree that is now socially acceptable and politically correct to attack Israel.

tryingtoleave Fri 16-Nov-12 05:11:32

It's not a war crime if you target a military objective and civilians are killed as a result. It is a war crime to target civilian objectives.

LunaLunatic Fri 16-Nov-12 05:43:05

Yes but why are Hamas firing rockets? Their country has disappeared, the food they are allowed to eat, the medication they receive is controlled by the Israeli govt, their trees used for business are ripped down to build more buildings and extend Israel's geographical presence etc. Their right to self governance has been ripped away. 1300 civilians dead in 2008 in Gaza. That included the use of yellow phosphorus which is illegal on an international scale. Oh and Israel is a country. Not a religion. Why can't people enter into a civilised discussion without crying anti semitism? It's nothing to do with anti semitism for the most part (of course there will always be some morons who will use it), it's to do with a government being held accountable for their (sometimes illegal) actions.

I know this will be heated so apologies in advance if people are offended by my view, but it's just the way I see things.

tryingtoleave Fri 16-Nov-12 05:58:03

It doesn't matter how just you think a cause may be, the rules of international law are the same. It is illegal to target civilians.

LadyMetroland Fri 16-Nov-12 06:28:21

If anything, the Palestinians are the ones deliberately targeting rockets at Israeli civilians and thus committing a war crime.

But the Israelis know that huge numbers of civilians will die when they target militants in Gaza, so they too are committing a crime - whether it's a war crime is debatable.

Don't lose sight of the fact there is an election in Israel in the New Year. Polls show the Israeli public like their government to act tough, so this latest violence is really all about Netanyahu getting re-elected.

Cozy9 Fri 16-Nov-12 06:38:09

It will never end.

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 06:47:40

Both sides have their reasosn for wanting escalate thsi particulat round of violence and both sides are firing rockets.

Incidentally, Isreal is home to many muslim people who live peacefully and happily there. Not many people realise that. This is not a religious or ethnic conflict.

MammaTJ Fri 16-Nov-12 06:50:17

Now Israel are firing back it is suddenly in the news. I have been seeing news for the past few days about Israel being attacked. They are only fighting back, how can that be a war crime?

sashh Fri 16-Nov-12 07:31:09

Lots of shit goes on, but the Palestinians are just as responsible for their own plight.

Yes they should all go back to Palestine.....................er, hang on.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 08:05:11

so speaking out against how Israel have treatd the Palestinians have kicked them out of their homes robbed them of their land and livelihoods crushed their communitis forced them to live as refudgees is anti Semitic no it is about not criticising a governments horrendous treatment of people

There are plent of Jewish people who speak out against Israel's actions

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 08:34:34

Denying/ignoring the fact that Palestine's very public agenda is to "destroy the state of Israel" and justifying why Israel "deserve" to be the target of terrorism is shocking.

Ignoring the fact that Hezbollah destroys their own community by closing schools so children can be susceptible to fall prey to brainwashing martyr propaganda is reductive.

The Israel is a country, not a religion argument is naive at best, but even ignoring that, they have the right to defend themselves. YOU would too and as someone posted up thread, you HAVE in the past.

Latara Fri 16-Nov-12 08:37:11

I agree with all that Poppy says.

Latara Fri 16-Nov-12 08:41:21

Plus people forget why & how Israel came into existence - as a result of the Holocaust.
The U.S. refused to take in many persecuted Jews in 1933 - 1950; so they are hardly trustworthy friends of Israel anyway.
The surrounding Arabic states rarely help the Palestinians.
Many Jews & Israelis hate the treatment of the Palestinians; but are still vilified.

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 08:51:55

But why should the Palestinians have to pay for what the Europeans did to the Jews latara? Why didn't they give them a chunk of Germany to build their state seeing as how It was they who committed the holocaust?wouldnt that have been more just? they kill 6million Jews and the US gave them aid and money to rebuild after world war 2 but the Palestinians lost their homeland and turfed out to be perpetual refugees.

It'd be nice if people could be critical of Israel without automatically being accused of being anti-Semitic. Personally I feel sorry for the innocent civilians being killed on both sides of the conflict, those leading Israel and Hamas are as bad as each other.

maddening Fri 16-Nov-12 09:04:44

I don't think Israel should have been created - I don't know what the allies thought would happen when they did it. I am not anti-Semitic but I can see that taking a portion of another country is not going to create a good neighborly atmosphere.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 16-Nov-12 09:05:26

I think the whole situation is tragic. I have close family members who are Israeli and they are disgusted at their government's actions. They dud a leaflet drop before the campaign started hmm So where are the civilians supposed to flee to then, the sea? Bombing Gaza is like shooting fish in a barrel.

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 09:05:53

Isreal has an enormous and extremely well equipped military. If it wished it could invade and crush any Gaza uprising in a day and run it under military rule. It doesnt though - because it is not in its interest to do so. In that sense it does show restraint.

Remember also that the leadership in Gaza have a strong interest in keeping the conflict going as their source of power. Remember also that there is a similar group of people in Israel who also want to keep the conflict going as it provides a pretext for taking land for settlements from the Palestinians. There are extremists and parties who are seeking money and power on both sides who are at fault and drag the rest of their respecxtive populations on both sides into an unecessary conflict.

One of the main sources of conflict is the right to use water from The River Jordan. It is well known that if that could be resolved equitably under an international UN controlled water rights treaty it would be a big step to resolving a constant grievance.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 09:14:09

Isreal however it came about is there now but the continued growth of the country with high immigration and the palistinians removed by force out of their own homes to is what has caused this problem that is out of control now. There would have been hostility anyway as this goes back before WW2 but how can you expect people to be kicked out of their home, have their rights taken away for them, have no control over their lives and an enforced state have power over them how can we really expect people not to retaliate

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 09:32:35

I think a peaceful one state solution is better- let all te Palestinians b citizens of Israel and in 2 generations demographics will make tem the majority anyway. Better than being herded under the biggest open prison on earth

Absy Fri 16-Nov-12 09:41:41

Hamas has fired around 840 (I think it's more now) rockets into the south of Israel since the beginning of the year, at civilians. They've been firing them at cities/towns like Sderot, Ashdod, Beersheva. Then, on Sunday it escalated (for no apparent reason) to around 120 rockets over three days, at the same time, there were rockets fired over the border from Syria into the Golan heights. This has been going on for ten years now.

At the moment, the Palestinian Authority (under Fatah) is under a lot of pressure, and is looking very weak. There are lot of elements at play here:
- Hamas could be (and that's what some of the press sources are thinking) trying to usurp power/legitimacy from the PA. The PA is the recognised "representative" of the Palestinians in bodies like the UN, and Hamas hates this - they're still considered to be a terrorist body by many authorities (including the UN) which is why they can't represent the Palestinians. What they're trying to do is show that they're strong, Fatah is weak and THEY should be in control and be the representative.
- they're also testing relations with Egypt. Egypt is signed to a Peace Treaty with Israel, but the current government is trying to prove to its people and the Arab world that it is not a "patsy" of the west and Israel like Mubarak's government was. The PM is visiting Gaza today to show solidarity, but the test is whether or not they break the peace Treaty with Israel
- Syria's obviously subject to a lot of criticism at the moment, and Assad's government is also trying to prove their legitimacy as well. Sabre rattling at Israel is always a popular move (with their own population and with other middle eastern countries). Likewise Iran.

The IDF has said that their might be a ground offensive as well. On the one hand, this is better because it's more "targeted" and their is less danger that civilians get caught in the cross fire. BUT, it is much much more dangerous for IDF soldiers. After the Gilad Shalit incident, Hamas knows that if they kidnap Israeli soldiers it puts them in a very strong bargaining position - they managed to exchange over a thousand of their soldiers for him. So, they booby trap houses and if Israeli soldiers are killed or injured, they try to get and keep the bodies so that they can trade them later. They have been known to fire at a soldier to as to injure him enough so he can't walk, knowing that his team members will come back to try and get him, which means more soldiers=more bargaining chips.

I see a lot of people think that as long as you target military targets, it's not a war crime. This is not true.

Attacking a military target and killing civilians is also a war crime if the attack is indiscriminate or disproportionate -- i.e., if you do not take enough care to distinguish between militants and civilians, or if the harm to civilians outweighs the military benefits.

International law also doesn't let you violate the laws of war just because the other guy does -- for example, if militants hide in civilian neighbourhoods and use civilians as human shields, which is against the laws of war, it doesn't mean that their adversary can still bomb those civilians.

I don't quite understand arguing that Israel isn't committing war crimes, by arguing that the Palestinians are. It seems to me both sides are, which is usually what happens in war anyway.

MoreBeta, you do realise that until 2005 Israel did militarily occupy Gaza? And in 2009, invaded it, killing hundreds of civilians? And continues to subject its citizens to a virtual siege?

There is plenty of blame on both sides, but to say that Israel operates restraint against Gaza is really stretching it.

Absy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:15:26

What do you recommend the Israeli government does, given that these hundreds of rockets have been fired into their country?

Sallyingforth Fri 16-Nov-12 10:16:41

The Jewish people have always been persecuted, and suffered appalling crimes under Germany.
And yet, in spite of knowing what it's like to be victimised in this way they have turned Gaza into a concentration camp.
They were given their own Israeli state, but that apparently wasn't enough for them and they have pushed the Palestinians off their land and into a city with inadequate resources to feed or water them. Not content with this they have blocked the port from the sea to prevent supplies getting in - another illegal act.

I have great sympathy for the historical sufferings of the Jewish people, but that does not excuse their almost genocidal treatment of the Palestinians. That is the real war crime.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 10:19:57

I have no words.

weegiemum Fri 16-Nov-12 10:20:22

My husbands aunt (his fathers sister) was born in an air raid shelter during the allied forces (led by britain) Firebombing of Dresden.

So what's a warcrime?

anything like this (and slightly demented omi, aunt Barbara and dfil agree).

What's different here?

Anonymumous Fri 16-Nov-12 10:23:39

Didn't Israel occupy Gaza after being attacked by the Arabs in 1967? They were attacked, defended themselves and won the Six Day War. In my book that's a conquest, not merely "occupying" another country's territory. I never understood why anyone thought they should relinquish that land. They didn't start the war, and if the Arabs didn't like the consequences of losing it then tough!

It seems to me that everyone is quite happy for Israel to be attacked by the Palestinians time and time again, but a fuss is only made when they decide to retaliate - then Israel are painted as the aggressors and everyone says, "Oooh, how awful, the poor Palestinians." It's what happened in 2009, it's what's happened now. Israel could raze Gaza to the ground if they felt so inclined. They haven't. Do you suppose that if Hamas would be so restrained if they had anything like the military capabilities of Israel?

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 10:28:32

More than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip in a sustained attack for the past 10 days. THE TARGETS WERE CIVILIAN.

South Israel has been under fire since then, a MN'etter had a bomb fall behind her house yesterday but it's really only news when Israel retaliates.

I too would like to see Absy's question answered:
What do you recommend the Israeli government does, given that these hundreds of rockets have been fired into their country?

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 16-Nov-12 10:30:11

Both sides are wrong and the whole situation is desperately sad.

It would help if the authorities on both sides stopped brainwashing children to hate the other side and glorify their own. The propaganda pushed out by both Israel and Hamas is disgusting.

Whoever mentioned Dresden, I agree. Some things in war are just so horrifying that they can never be right. That doesn't mean that I don't respect the bravery of the aircrews in Bomber Command but the politicians calling that shot must have lost all perspective of reasonable force by then.

Those hundreds of rockets kill very, very few people, as they are very primitive. Of course every death is a tragedy, and a war crime, but for example in the last Gaza war those rockets killed I think 5 Israelis, whereas the Israeli counter-response killed over 1,000 Palestinians.

If Israel wants to stop the rocket attacks, they need to think strategically and long-term, not just tactically and short-term. That means making a serious effort to resolve the conflict politically. There are reports that a long-term truce with Hamas had been in the works when this all started up.

Israel's response here has nothing to do with military necessity and everything to do with the upcoming Israeli elections, the ongoing confrontation with Iran, and Israeli insecurity thanks to all the Arab Spring instability. All my Israeli friends say "Of course Bibi has started a new conflict, there's elections coming up."

Anyway, the OP was about war crimes. Israel may well find its offensive neutralises the rocket attacks, but that doesn't mean it doesn't violate international law.

Madmum24 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:40:49

It is an absolute disgrace what is happening. The Palestinians have had their land and homes illegaly confiscated; can you imagine sitting in your home (which may have been in the family for many years) and a bulldozer suddenly bashing through the wall??? Those who refuse to leave (and why the hell should they!) are seiged in, usually with a wall built around so that no food or supplies can be brought in, and either eventually surrender their properties or die from starvation. And the worst thing is, THEY HAVE THE BACKING FROM USA AND UK. If I were them, I'd have no qualms about firing 2000 missiles a day, fgs what choice do they have? Leave and come to UK and seek asylum and be treated like a beggar???

There is no such thing as a civilian in what is known as Israel, from the age of 7 children are trained as soldiers, and all people from the jewish diaspora who apply to live there are aware of what they are going into.

I have first hand experience of this myself and have no sympathy whatsoever with those who feel they can steel peoples land, livelihood, homes and land and claim it is their God given right.

Sallyingforth Fri 16-Nov-12 10:45:43

What should happen is that Israel returns to its former borders. The recognition of the Israeli and Palestinian nations, and the security of the border between them, would then be enforced and guaranteed by the UN.

This won't happen of course because the UN is fundamentally flawed, and any significant plan is blocked by one or the other of the major powers that use it for their own interests.

So the Palestian issue will continue indefinitely, at least until the inevitable war between Iran and Israel. Then anything could happen.

Anonymumous Fri 16-Nov-12 10:51:22

For Dresden, read Coventry or London. What exactly constitutes "reasonable force" in an all-out, desperate, apocalyptic World War scenario anyway? Neville Chamberlain popping over the Channel to rap Mr. Hitler on the knuckles perhaps? Maybe a short spell on the Naughty Step? Or maybe we should have got really tough and confiscated his moustache.

I don't think the World War compares with a bunch of crackpots firing indiscriminate rockets over the border into Israel as if they were fireworks, and then occasionally getting a taste of their own medicine. It's nothing more than posturing on both sides - it doesn't even begin to compare with WW2.

Absy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:56:36

"There is no such thing as a civilian in what is known as Israel, from the age of 7 children are trained as soldiers, and all people from the jewish diaspora who apply to live there are aware of what they are going into."

On what are you basing this? I have never EVER heard, or seen, Israeli or Jewish children being conscripted. Men are conscripted at the age of 18 for three years, subject to some exclusions, and women at 18 for 18 months. Conscription could be for military service, or for civilian service (e.g. teaching in schools, working in old age homes)

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 10:58:59

"History is written by the victors"

Is kind of a sentiment I apply to this. Throughout modern history both sides in virtually every conflict have been guilty of war crimes. The biggest difference is that people on the 'winning' side or (more powerful side in stalemates) have a tendency not to take action against their own side for unlawful actions. I can think of a couple of British examples; some which have never been pursued and others that we have been taken to court over (Kenya springs to mind http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/23/british-empire-crimes-ignore-atrocities).

Then you have people like Peace Envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair... much accused of war crimes himself.

Again and again its been proven that "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" and ideas about defence of the people and protecting lives are never whiter than white as there is almost always 'collateral damage' to the opposite side. I think as a general rule the biggest concern we should have is about 'disproportionate' use of force rather than necessarily who ends up being targeted.

War is never pretty. Civilians always die. And tbh, war crimes are often unfortunately, more to do with the eye of the beholder, their underlying beliefs/political affiliation and how fully aware they are of the actions of both sides in the conflict. And many, many are frankly ignored, covered up or excused in one way or another. There are exceptions to this where war crimes are very clear cut - acts of genocide for example. But for the most part, it tends to be about the ability of one party to report what happens and to be believed and taken seriously that is the bigger factor. If our media is biased in one way or another, stories of one side tend not to reach our ears.

They say the first casualty of war is the truth and its just so true. (The second is probably law).

My heart breaks over Palestine and Israel. I believe both sides can justify what they are doing to a greater or lesser extent atm even though I am a peacemaker at heart. Both have had civilians die. But ultimately more violence will never resolve the deeply entrenched beliefs and actually solve the problem.

Agree with every word of that Red.

Also, just to point out that the argument that there are no civilians in Israel is the argument used by Hamas and IJ to justify suicide attacks and terrorism (based on universal conscription). It is not an argument recognized in international law.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 11:40:08

Sallyingforth

I think you need to learn what genocide means.

Personally, I don't agree with the actions of the Israeli government. But the reason I think that there is an element of anti-semitism is the hyperbole which surrounds the conflict.

It is not genocide, gaza is not a concentration camp nor is it the Warsaw ghetto. If you think it is you're either ignorant or prejudiced.

ForkInTheForeheid Fri 16-Nov-12 11:47:30

chomsky.info/articles/20121104.htm

^ This ^
I'm not for a second suggesting that Noam Chomsky is an unbiased or disinterested source of information but if anyone can read that and continue to defend Israel's policies I'll be impressed.
(Disclaimer, I'm not an expert on the situation but I think it takes a huge amount of doublethink in society to NOT see the Palestine issue as a massive abuse of human rights).

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 11:51:55

And the allies didn't create Israel, there was always a Jewish community in Israel since the Romans expelled the Jews in the second century.

The Palestinians could have accepted the peel plan, the UN partitioning plan - they said no. In both cases, Israel would have been a tiny sliver and no Palestinian would have lost their home. Then there were the 3 no's of Khartoum where Israel offered the Palestinians all of the west bank and gaza in exchange for peace (before the settler movement began). Then in the Oslo accords, Palestinian fat cats were more interested in gaining privileges for themselves and ensuring their authority than in negotiating a fair settlement and then yasser Arafat started the second intifada because of his own delusions of grandeur. Its sad for the Palestinians , they've been let down time and time again by their leaders and when Israel has a bad leader as well like benyamin Netanyahu, things are even bleaker.

I mentioned dresden above not as an excuse for Israeli actions but just to demonstrate that when your civilian population is under attack the pressure to respond is immense and would be exactly the same if London came under attack. I don't agree with it but I understand it.

I don't think hyperbole is necessarily due to anti-Semitism (although sometimes it can be). I think more often it is simply shock and horror at the conditions under which Gazans have to live, their extreme lack of freedom and impoverishment. It's not that far off to call it an open-air concentration camp (closer to the Dachau model than Auschwitz, obviously). The Gazans are not allowed to leave their tiny strip of territory, which is horribly overcrowded; they are refused normal access to food, medicine, construction materials, all the normal things needed for life -- they have no control over their borders, everything that goes in or out can be controlled by Israel. They are not a state, they have no real political rights. They are trapped and starving and I think it is that element that conjures up images of a camp.

I don't think references to the Holocaust are helpful but they're not necessarily born of prejudice. If England was doing the same thing to, say, Wales, you'd be hearing similar comparisons.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:02:11

Oh FFs, it's not dachau! I'm not saying its ok what heppens in gaza but, seriously, read a bit about dachau before you make these comments. The constant holocaust comparisons are distasteful, offensive and antisemitic.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 12:08:15

(Reuters) - Apple's new iPhone 5 is selling well in the Gaza Strip despite inflated prices, reaching the Palestinian enclave via smuggling tunnels even before high-tech hub Israel next door.
The cutting edge smart phone is being snapped up for almost double what it costs in the United States, its price jacked up by middlemen on its circuitous delivery route from Dubai via tunnels linking the blockaded territory with Egypt.

The iPhone 5 will not be available until December from mobile operators in tech-mad Israel, which along with Egypt maintains a partial blockade of Gaza to prevent the entry of anything that could be used for military purposes.

But the phones have been available for a couple of weeks in Gaza and they were on display on Monday in three independent mobile stores in a one-block radius in downtown Gaza City.

Prices ranged from 4,500 Israeli shekels ($1,170) for the 16 gigabyte model to 5,700 ($1,480) for 64 gb.

"I ordered 30 and I've sold 20 so far," said one dealer. "We can order as many as we want. But most people are waiting for the price to go down. They're pretty expensive."

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:09:23

And dreaming bohemian, you know that Egypt guards a border with the gaza strip? Why don't they open their border to Palestinians? Aren't they friends?

Palestinians used to have the right to travel freely to Israel. It only stopped BECAUSE of the terrorist incidents. Israel removed all its settlements in the gaza strip and they still fire rockets!

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 12:10:28

dreaming - I should have said relative restraint.

What you said about "Of course Bibi has started a new conflict, there's elections coming up." is no doubt correct. What is also true is what ElaineBenes said about "Palestinian fat cats" is also true.

The leaders of both sides have an interest in stirring up the conflict from time to time but only up to a point.

Israel has the military capacity to launch a total blitzkrieg war on Gaza that would literally raise the place to the ground. They will not. The Palestinians could cause enough death and destruction in Israel to provoke an extreme Israeli reaction. They won't.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 12:13:27

"It's not that far off to call it an open-air concentration camp (closer to the Dachau model than Auschwitz, obviously)."

Yes, "obviously". hmm

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:13:39

Unfortunately the skeptic in me agrees with you regarding Bibi and the elections, more beta. Just glad Obama is president and not Romney as he'd have given Bibi carte Blanche.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 12:18:04

I know poppy! The level of ignorance about the holocaust is astonishing.

But what the hell, it doesn't matter since there is no such thing as a civilian in Israel above the age of 7 (and those under are just soldiers in waiting anyhow) hmm

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 12:18:48

There was an interesting article on the BBC website the other day that highlighted the cycle of violence going on, between the too and just how politically motived it was.

The last Israeli clamp down was in 2008. It reduced the number of rocket attacks significantly. But the number has grown steadily every year until this year - when it has reached the same level as 2008. So the calls for another clamp down have come from Israel hence the action.

But on the flip side, Hamas can not afford to look weak in Palestine and just back down, so although there are threats by the Israelis that any further attack will lead to airstrikes if they don't fight back, they face loosing political support from their own and this risks an even more militant group seizing power from them.

So much of it is postering and political. And I think if there hadn't been other changes elsewhere in the middle east, perhaps it could be controlled.

However the call up of 30000 reservists is more worrying and this is where I have more concerns about disproportionate force.

The change of government in Egypt is a worry for Israel and you've got the ongoing Iran saga. I struggle to see how its not going to be a lot more serious at this moment in time. I think Britain and France have an enormous role to play in this as a result (especially since we both one of the 5 key members of the UN security council). We are each others closest allies and have the same problem; we have military pacts with US and Israel but also have a significant percentage of the population with Palestinian sympathies. Expect to see lots of diplomatic action from us both...

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 12:19:10

PoppyAmex - the trade through the tunnels is one very good reason why the powerful in Gaza like it to stay just the way it is. If they lose power or if Israel opened up its borders after a peace treaty then guess who would lose out? Yes the people curently in power in Gaza who control the tunnels and everything else.

Ok first off, I didn't say it was Dachau. I said it's not that far off to call it an open-air concentration camp. I specified Dachau as obviously there is a huge difference between concentration and extermination camps, and I do not think it's plausible to compare Gaza to an extermination camp (eg Auschwitz), at all.

I used to work at a Holocaust research center so I do know a little bit about this thanks.

As I'm sure you know, concentration camps are not unique to the Holocaust. The Brits used them in the Boer war, the US in the Philippines, the Serbs in Bosnia, Sri Lanka has used something like it more recently with the Tamils. There are not that many words available to invoke the phenomenon of collecting a huge number of people in an enclosed space and depriving them of freedom and basic needs (though I would personally compare it more to a siege situation).

I don't think the Holocaust should be invoked lightly, but it is the touchstone for modern discussions of human rights and atrocities. That is not going to stop just because it's Israel violating human rights in this case.

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 12:19:34

I would have linked to the BBC article, but I can't find it for the life of me.

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 12:22:26

Concentration camp might not be the right description. Internment camp might perhaps be a better one.

Subtule but significant difference.

That's true, Red.

Like I said, I don't personally think of it that way at all. You can draw many more parallels with the siege of Sarajevo, for instance. But I think others can make that argument without it being driven by prejudice.

More Beta you are absolutely right about the tunnels. (another parallel with Sarajevo btw)

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 12:41:43

I didnt know about Sarajevo but I believe Northern Ireland was latterly often more about gangs on the two sides fighting over drugs and smuggling rights.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 12:45:09

It is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israels behaviour regarding Palestine. It is hysterical to say it is. It is not the "politically correct" way if being anti-Semitic because one cannot criticise Israel without being accused of being anti-Semitic.

I'm not saying Israeli civilians are to blame. I am not saying Jewish people as a whole are to blame. The Israeli government is to blame,as an entity.

Yes every country should be allowed to defend itself. No every country should not shell school children as they sit in a lesson. The Palestinians have had their land eroded massively since Israel was founded.

The fact that a terrorist group is now running Palestine is demonstrative of how desperate it's people are. Firing missiles with the intention of harming Israeli civilians is abhorrent. It is also nothing that Israel has not done itself.

pinkbraces Fri 16-Nov-12 12:46:18

I really try very hard not to get involved in this type of thread but when I see statements like this:

"There is no such thing as a civilian in what is known as Israel, from the age of 7 children are trained as soldiers, and all people from the jewish diaspora who apply to live there are aware of what they are going into"

I have to get involved.

As has been said many times on this thread, Rockets have been fired into Israle continuously for many years. If this happened in anyother country the right of that Country to defened itself would not be in question. In fact, its such a common occurence for military rockets to be fired at towns in Israel it barely makes the news.

My DD was in Tel-Aviv last weekend visiting friends who are on a gap year, every morning these friends get a security email telling them where they cannot go that day as the security risk is to great. This is so normal for Israeli's they barely notice it either.

But when the rockets escalate to over 100 in a few days what else do you think that Israel should do? Continue to ignore?

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 12:51:11

"No every country should not shell school children as they sit in a lesson. "

Oh yes I agree completely, the fact that the Palestinians systematically and almost exclusively target civilians is horrifying.

Reuters

Dolphinarium

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 12:55:18

Palestine shouldn't do it and nor should Israel. Which they have in the past. Israel have killed far more Palestinians than vice versa. Israel has expanded past it's original borders and eroded Palestine to the point where it barely exists.

I feel desperately sorry for the civilians on both sides. Civilians are never the victors in war. None of them deserve what is happening.

More Beta -- yes, you are totally right about Northern Ireland as well

pinkbraces -- the thing is, the right to self-defence does not give you a blank check. You still need to respond in a proportionate and discriminating manner.

There is no short-term tactical solution to this problem (although Israel's rocket defence systems seem to be working pretty well). The only solution is to do something to politically resolve the conflict, which for various reasons, as pointed out, is not likely to happen.

But the fact that those political responses are not likely, does not mean the military solution is the only solution. It is simply the only solution the current Israeli government is willing to take.

MrsMicawber Fri 16-Nov-12 13:13:58

However similar the conditions in in Dachau were to the conditions in Gaza, Gaza is not a concentration camp in that sense because the end result of Jews being herded into Dachau was for them all to be killed. The end result of Gazans being kept in Gaza is to stop Jews FROM being killed BY THEM.

If a Gazan is killed by an Israeli, it will be in a military attack by a serving soldier. Not in a nightclub by a teenage suicide bomber. Their babies may, sadly, be hit by shrapnel because Hamas operatives insist on using residential properties, schools and hospitals to store and launch weapons, but Israeli babies have their throats slit in their cots. A Palestinian captured by Israelis has a right to a university education whilst in jail. Israelis captured by Palestians are disembowelled, with their gutted bodies dragged through the streets.

Israeli children cower behind the Israeli military.

Hamas gunmen cower behind Palestianian children.

MrsMicawber Fri 16-Nov-12 13:19:19

It is also very important to realise that Hamas have a tendancy to over-report the amount of casualties they have suffered.

This clip is a typical example.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:23:32
Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:24:06

Think everybody should read the above link.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 13:24:49

MrsMicawber, I suspect your post will go unanswered by most people posting in this thread, as they have ignored every single other argument, including the fact that Palestine has had multiple opportunities to reach an agreement and nothing will be acceptable bar total annihilation of the Israel State.

I was there that night, 100 metres down the pier from that nightclub bomb and saw the devastation it caused and how it ripped families apart.

I also watched the families of "martyrs" on Al Jazeera the next day being celebrated and offered lifetime pecuniary support, as well as social status.

None of this matters because people on this thread are prepared to legitimise terrorism because "Israel deserves it".

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 13:27:31

Alis I also think people should read the first comment following that article:

The article above is a typical piece of propaganda full of half truths and distortions designed to demonise Israel.

These articles sometimes work because the writer's know that many won't question their content and they know they'll reinforce prejudices and biased opinions.

11) Hamas puts its rocket launchers in urban areas deliberately, knowing that they will score propaganda points in any civilians are killed.

12) Hamas has been shown (there are videos on YouTube) to put civilians into buildings that have recently been used as launch sites. They then cry foul if the building is hit by the IAF

13) Hamas is not interested in compromise or deals or concessions. When they released on Israeli prisoner in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, those that returned to Gaza vowed to continue the cycle of violence. Convicted terrorists went home to plan more attacks.

You can't negotiate with an organisation that doesn't even think you have right to exist.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:30:41

Nobody is saying "Israel deserves it" PoppyAmex.

You say it is Israel's right to defend itself. Of course it is.

Is it not also Palestine's right to defend themselves against the erosion of their land? Against an onslaught of violence that has been going on for years? Israel far outweighs Palestine in terms of military power, technology and sheer numbers.

MrsMicawber Fri 16-Nov-12 13:32:04

Poppy - I grew up with Yoni Jesner - who had his head blown off by a suicide bomber as he sat on a bus. His organs were donated and a Palestinian girl got his kidney.

Gazans celebrated in the streets on 9/11. Did America deserve it, too?

Hamas won the elections in Gaza by throwing Fatah supporters off rooftops. Did they deserve it, too?

Sorry, but collective punishment is not lawful, or moral. Do you seriously think every single Gazan is out to kill Israelis? That all those women and children deserve to suffer because of the illegal acts of others?

There's more than 1.5 million Gazans. You're basically saying they all deserve what they're getting.

And as for this:

"If a Gazan is killed by an Israeli, it will be in a military attack by a serving soldier. Not in a nightclub by a teenage suicide bomber."

If that Israeli soldier is violating the laws of war, then this distinction really doesn't matter. And in any event, the Palestinians do not have a military or soldiers so by default all of their attacks will involve militants/terrorists.

And as I said earlier, the use of human shields does not give the other side the right to disregard those civilian lives.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:01

The comment is merely made by a reader. There is no proof that the article is propaganda.

I am absolutely not defending the course of action Hamas are taking. It is abhorrent on so many levels.

It is not hard to understand why a country that has been almost completely eradicated does not look favourably on Israel's existence,however wrong that is.

I can't see how Israel and Palestine will ever be able to compromise. One can only hope that they can.

x-post

I am sorry for the losses you have suffered and the things you have had to witness.

Terrorism is a terrible thing. I have my own experiences which I would rather not get into.

But for me personally, it does not justify a disproportionate response, which is what I think Israel has done (and the US, with the war in Iraq and about 90% of the war on terror).

MrsMicawber Fri 16-Nov-12 13:40:20

Alisvolatpropiis If they were defending themselves, yes. But they are not. How is the nonstop shelling of residential districts a defense? How is blowing up a hotel full of pensioners celebrating the Passover seder defence? a nightclub full of teenagers? a bus full of holidaymekers on their way to the seaside? a pizzashop?

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 13:43:58

please do not make out that what the israeli soldiers are doing is not as cruel because it is shooting at children throwing stones the shooting of Muhammad al-Durrah brought the worlds attention to how the palestinians live

the problem now is the so many on both sides are full of hatred and this hatred is being used by both in power young men and women wanting to inflict harm on their enemy

I do not deny the cruelty the Israeli soldiers have suffered but the conditions these people have been forced to live is the real problem here you treat people like that this is what happens

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 13:44:39

And in any event, the Palestinians do not have a military or soldiers so by default all of their attacks will involve militants/terrorists."

This is utterly ridiculous! East Timor never had a military or soliders either and their resistance forces fought without ever committing terrorist attacks.

I'm disgusted with the fact that you refuse to acknowledge the fact that the Palestinians have a horrendous history of violating Human Rights when it comes to Israeli soliders and civilians. Even when people that lived it are typing their experiences here and telling you about it.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:47:00

I did say I wasn't defending the course of action Hamas are taking.

Civilians never deserve to lose their lives. Terrorism is a disgusting act,born out of cowardice.

Neither Palestine nor Israel is behaving well.

But...governments and military actions aside...the Palestinian people have suffered greatly since 1948. It is disingenuous to say otherwise.

Both sides need to consider what will happen if this current conflict overspills into Egypt. This is a grave situation for both nations to be in,some compromise must be found before all out war is declared.

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 13:48:23

Speaking as someone with family ties in both countries , I have to be blunt and if I get flamed so be it. Israel are very clever in their propaganda against Palestine, they are and will continue to be thieves of land that is not theirs, and they will continue doing as they like whilst America back them up and keep spouting the same 'jihadist' 'war on terror' bullshit. Hamas do what they do to protect their own people, people that the Israelis slaughter daily and keep playing the anti semitism card. Israel is a disgrace, the US is equally as bad, and the Palestinians will continue to be labelled as terrorists and jihadists so long as the anti islam propaganda stands. Thats all I have to say.

ButHeNeverDid Fri 16-Nov-12 13:48:35

"does not justify the disproportionate response"

What would be proportionate?

Perhaps Israel should fire a rocket into Gaza for every rocket fired into Israel?

Would that be proportionate?

From a Palestinian perspective terrorism is a defence -- the only one they have. They don't have an army or proper weapons, they can't physically protect themselves from Israeli invasion, airstrikes, blockade, etc. The only thing they can do to hurt Israel is strike its most vulnerable targets.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying this to justify what they are doing, obviously terrroism is a war crime and it's appalling the things they have done. I'm just pointing out that it's really the only military response they have. But as they have found out, terrorism is usually a pretty bad strategy.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 13:52:20

"Hamas do what they do to protect their own people"

Including using them as human shields and setting up bases in schools.

Anyway, I can say the same thing: Israel do what they do to protect their own people.

x-post

Poppy, where have I not acknowledged that Palestinians have committed war crimes too?

I think it was one of my first posts, I said both sides have committed war crimes, as is typical in war.

What I'm arguing against is the idea that it's okay for Israel to commit war crimes, because the Palestinians do it too. I think it's wrong for everyone to do these things.

LittleBairn Fri 16-Nov-12 13:57:34

YANBU I won't say any more because the way I feel about Israil is considered very unPC.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 13:57:56

I don't believe seizing land from the Palestinians could ever seriously be argued as being done by Israel to protect it's own people.

And we should keep in mind that is at the root of Palestine's anger towards Israel.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 14:00:11

WHat Isreal are also doing oppressing the Palestinians. people can not live like this they fight back in whatever way they can

we call that form of fighting back terrorism because it does not play by our rules the rules of those who have superior force or can afford to set these standards when it push come to shove rules go out of the window we have seen this time and time again here, in Iraq and Vietnam. It's war it is cruel whatever name you want to call it

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 14:00:18

I was in Warrington when it was bombed, and its kind of lead me on a strange journey through life. I understand, and to a point, sympathise with why we were bombed. But I can not condone it. I have a strange interest in conflict (and more to the point, peace as a result)

Last year, me and DH went backpacking through both Serbia and Bosnia (and have a few stories to tell from it!).

The lasting impression I had from the trip, was an enormous sense of sadness and waste in both countries. It was clear just how much propaganda and the leaders recked both countries - and how much our own media shaped our perceptions. There is still so much lingering pain and indeed hostility just below the surface.

Before we went we had heard an incredible amount of bad stuff about Serbia. In truth, we didn't really want to go there, but we couldn't avoid it, with where else we wanted to go. And on our first day there one of their biggest 'cities' Nis we had something of a shock finding dictators we find unpalatable being lauded as figures of respect in a cafe. At the time it was the midst of the Libya conflict and seeing a cardboard cut out of Gadaffi was actually quite frightening. But this little city had a story to tell.

In 1999 it was bombed by NATO several times and a lot of civilians were killed including attacks which Serbians and a number of people outside the country, believe should be regarded as a war crimes. An awful lot of resentment and hostility built up as a result and the hero worship of these dictators in the cafe was less to do with their actual policies but more about standing up to The West and sharing the same sense of being an unfairly targeted victim. A strange sense of comradeship, based only on a common 'enemy'. I found it impossible not to have sympathy with their point of view and feel guilt about how our country played a part, no matter what the justification about Kosovo was. Its a pretty complex idea to truly get your head round because its so at odds with your own 'reality'. These were families like mine who didn't really care about politics. I think until you actually can put yourself in a place its impossible to really think freely about what people REALLY think and what is REALLY important to them. You do get seduced by the idea that X is bad or Y is the good guy even if you are a very intelligent person.

You have to also remember how the Serbian press, did spin (and continue to spin) the story to their people and how it created nationalistic pride and a sense that they were under attack after acting in defence of their nation rather than having aggressive policy. VERY few people see their own nation as the bad guy in conflict; the state defends its own against those who try and kill you. Our own media is guilty of similar things.

Instead of coming across people who would be resentful and hate us, we found THE nicest friendliest people I've ever met anywhere in the world, despite the language barrier. It quickly became apparent they were fairly used to German backpackers but Brits in that part of Serbia were very rare still. When they found out that we were British and wanted to see their country, they were so happy and pleased. It was almost like they felt happy to be 'accepted'. It was a very strange experience. And when you went around shops you saw the consumerism and the desire to be like the rest of Europe. It true it wasn't all good though. There is clearly a very big divide in the country and much racism remaining. Seeing copies of Mein Kampf in pride of place in bookshops in Belgrade was alarming.

But it did teach me a few things, and to be very mindful of saying that we are without fault and that the average person on the ground really, truly actually believes in bad things freely. You just see things from the point of view you are given and its people in power that are truly to blame. Everyone one of us is brainwashed to a point, and I have to say that dreamingbohemian is completely right when she talks about the perils of forming an opinion, and how prejudice you can be (without realising it). People tend to do bad things because they feel they have no other choice and that is the only way they can get a certain message across. Of course its not, but thats how they feel, and you have to look at how you get to that point instead of passing comment on the pure horror of certain atrocities.

I can not comprehend how I would be able to make rational decisions and be able to not be full of the desire to retaliate if I was attacked over and over again in my own home. The politics and history behind it, would largely cease to be relevant. It would be just about the fact that my house and family were being attacked and wanting to defend myself. It becomes that basic. I believe that most people on both sides want peace and the right to live freely, and thats it. The politics are for people in power and have egos and loose all sight of what people really want and create demons and feed the fear of the people for their own ends. Precisely, because it helps to keep them in power. In the case of Israel and Palestine, there is actually little incentive for peace on the part of the leadership. Its a way of life, and they have the respect of their own from the effects of conflict.

I still go back to the idea of freedom fighters and terrorists and being in the eye of the beholder. And I do have to ask anyone who is Pro-Palestinian how they would feel if they saw a suicide bomber kill an Israeli child in front of you whilst out shopping, and anyone who is Pro-Israel how they would feel if they saw a targeted rocket attack kill a Palestinian child in their own home in front of you. If you can honestly say it wouldn't affect you and you don't think it would change your perceptions, I think you are pretty cold, heartless and ruthless individual who lacks any humanity at all. I think even hardened soliders used to war still struggle with it.

People are fighting in Israel and Palestine because they are doing it out of fear and sometimes hopelessness against a nameless faceless mass which has been demonised in one way or another and they think rightly or wrongly, will do the same to them, if they don't do it first.

Frankly, I think the vast majority of us, lack the capacity to understand and comprehend this because it is just so far removed from our own realities. You act most on what you see, hear and feel with your own eyes not from stepping back and looking at the whole picture. Simply because we are human.

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 14:06:47

Doesn't change the fact that Israel are using their own military power and support from the US to get their own way so to speak. Hamas nor the Palestinians are perfect in any way, but at the end of the day what everyone conveniently forgets is that Israel stole land. You steal from someone, be ready to deal with the consequences. Why on earth would Palestine come to a peace agreement when firstly they know their religion is slandered and made out to be on of terror,and secondly if they know Israel with all their backing has no intention in hell if giving them their land back? How is that acceptable or even moral?

Pinkpeacock Fri 16-Nov-12 14:10:36

I think it is very difficult to be knowledgeable about this from reading UK press which is always biased. If you have come from there, it is very different to a commentator in the Guardian's version (the usual mn source of knowledge). I think the UK should leave things alone and concentrate on their own shit.

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 14:11:00

I definitely agree that so much of the needless killing on both sides is out of hopelessness and anger. Civilians are paying the price while leaders sit in their golden cages. Facts are, Palestine are volatile in their reaction because they have no support anywhere else and no military, both things that Israel have in abundance and yet abuse them knowingly.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 14:13:59

"Facts are, Palestine are volatile in their reaction because they have no support anywhere else and no military"

FFS this is ridiculous! Apart from financial and military support from Iran, Syria and Lebanon to name a few.

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 14:14:38

Pinkeacock, easy to say but what if you are a British citizen such as myself with family ties in both countries. You cannot just forget about these things. One thing the majority of countries are guilty of is standing back and watching the slaughter of innocent people. Syria is a good example. Iraq and Afghanistan is irrelevant because anyone with an ounce of knowledge knows this was an excuse to get oil. The worlds leaders are inhumane and things will never change as long as they are in power.

Wow, thanks for writing that Red -- very evocative, and I completely agree with everything you say. (I have also spent some time in the Balkans and was similarly affected.)

For me personally, I can't look at Israel and Palestine and see one side as 'good' and the other as 'bad'. Instead I see the leaders of both sides as truly horrible and immoral people, and the civilians on both sides as the poor victims who have to suffer. It is the only way I can look at it.

forehead Fri 16-Nov-12 14:15:45

I find the behaviour of the Israelis shocking, to say the least.

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 14:18:43

Poppyamex. Use your head. Compared to Israel they have peanuts, and now Syria is going down the pot they will not benefit financially I assure you. You need to see the bigger picture and avoid the daily fail if you want some real information.try watching aljazeera tv or any relevant stations and listen to the kids screaming in the hilltops of Palestine as the bombs go off. Israel are thieves and that prime minister of theirs is no less than a coward.

Pinkpeacock Fri 16-Nov-12 14:18:44

I AM the family tie.

It wasn't Palestinian land- it had been under British rule and Jewish people have always lived there. There has been peace plan after peace plan but the PLO and then Hamas refused them - I pity the Palestinian people for that. Most people would like to get on.

I find it interesting that the Syrians are massacring their civilians daily and many English people are like, meh, but if Israel tries to defend itself from attack, and try and take out a military org they are condemned.

Pinkpeacock Fri 16-Nov-12 14:20:01

well, not yours obviously but you know what I mean. It makes me sick when smug left wing brits commentate on a culture they couldn't even begin to understand.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 14:20:52

It is nearly impossible to target anything with the missiles being used as they are very crude and unguided, the missiles will simply fall when they run out of fuel and a lot depends on the strength of the wind and wind direction, these missiles are very much a hit or miss weapon so accurate targetting is not an option.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 14:21:01

any press here showing any sympathy for the Palestinian people are accused of being bias or worse anti semitic. You can feel sympathy for both sides I do but you can place the majority of blame on one side and feel horrified at how people are treated that does not mean you have no sympathy for all involved

Watch the news in the states and it is very much pro israel fight against terrorists Palestinians

Princesstwat Fri 16-Nov-12 14:21:17

Anyway I'm out of here. Majority of the world believes the anti islam lies and jihadist crap, and that won't change.

edam Fri 16-Nov-12 14:22:37

A history of persecution doesn't give anyone the right to turn round and start persecuting others. Civilians are being slaughtered - and the excuse that it is on both sides is very thin given the disproportionate access to and use of force. It is ordinary Palestinian civilians, including children, who are bearing the brunt.

Israel does have a history of getting way with criminal behaviour, however, Remember the Turkish ship they stormed, in international waters, killing nine people? Even Israeli protestors have been treated harshly although not killed.

I have sympathy for Israel being surrounded by hostile nations. But there is absolutely NO excuse for slaughtering innocent civilians.

Pinkpeacock Fri 16-Nov-12 14:22:56

I don't have sympathy for both sides. One side I support and the other I hate. End of story.

RedToothbrush Fri 16-Nov-12 14:26:22

I just see a bunch of pretty desperate people on both sides.

What I will say is I do tend to think that 'terrorism' comes out of people who feel like they are a rat in a corner and its a last resort against the odds.

Thing is, Israel also feels like its cornered too...

There are no winners. Taking sides actually just ends up perpetuating the conflict and spreading it beyond its borders somewhat ironically.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 16-Nov-12 14:29:37

I do not expect anyone who is caught up in the middle to feel differently

greensmoothiegoddess Fri 16-Nov-12 14:30:03

Having just returned, 2 weeks ago, from Israel, all I can say is that the Palestinians are a broken people from what I saw. They have NOTHING. I spent a day in Hebron. A once thriving town is now boarded and shuttered. Did you know that they have to put bloody nets above their streets to stop the Israeli occupiers throwing stuff at them. I saw urine being thrown through the netting at the Palestinian residents. I spoke to people. There is un undercurrent of hopelessness. It was hard to look at the Israeli soldiers (and it seemed to my untrained eye that they were strutting as they hoiked up their ever present rifles and patrolled) and not feel sorry for the Palestinians.

I crossed the border from Bethlehem into Jerusalem on the night of Eid. All well and good. Then on passing into the Israeli side, there were dozens of young and respectable Jewish men blasting loud music and dancing and jeering and shouting insults in the direction of the border. I was pretty shocked at this. These were nice young men but they were riling the Palestinians.

On the Palestinian side, I saw nothing but peaceful smiles and welcomes and EVEN gratitude that we were there as tourists pumping money into the system. I got no sense of that on the Israeli side. They didn't give a flying 4x that we were there. And neither should they be that bothered. But my goodness - what a difference between the two sides.

I have come away knowing exactly which side I sympathise with.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 14:31:35

Israel will not be cornered as long as they remain the 51st state they have always been, the country is little more than an American missile base looking after American interests in the region all funded by America. If Israel had to stand on its own it would last a matter of days against its many enemies.

MoreBeta Fri 16-Nov-12 14:37:56

bureni - that is true and also true of the current regimes in some other Gulf states that are supported by the USA.

achillea Fri 16-Nov-12 14:42:45

I do wish the whole 'Middle East Problem' discussions would focus on the real issue - that is, should the Jewish people have a Territory of their own?

This theoretical debate is what this war, and the slaughter involved, is based on. My personal view is that after the horrendous treatment the Jewish people have had in the past, the human race, collectively (ha!) should offer them a haven where they can be safe and secure. I think that's a fair call.

And if people move into that territory and start causing trouble, they are the trouble makers, not the Israelis who are trying to get on and live a peaceful life. They've been through enough, they really don't need this crap. Give the jews a break, that's what I say. I mean, if suddenly, Israelis thought 'OK, this isn't working, let's move out', where will they go? Poland? Germany? Russia? And would the Palestinians and their supporters be able to sleep more comfortably knowing they had destroyed the one hope that the Jews had?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 14:48:36

Achillea - yes they probably would be able sleep knowing that. Given the way their land has been seized from them by Israel since 1948 I doubt very much they would care. Given the level of oppression the Palestinians have suffered,I doubt they would care very much at all at thig point.

Past suffering does not give licence to behaving any way one damn well wants to.

The great tragedy is of course,the average is Israeli and Palestinian civilians do just want to live peacefully and go about their lives,safe to walk down the street.

greensmoothiegoddess Fri 16-Nov-12 14:49:02

But why should the Palestinians be the ones to cede their land?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 14:50:43

Quite Green.

The Middle East problem is no longer "should Israel exist"...it's "should Israel give back some of the land it has now stolen from Palestine". In my personal opinion.

achillea Fri 16-Nov-12 15:02:32

America and the UN have got plenty of missile bases, they don't need Israel.

The official Palestinian position is now that Israel has the right to exist within the 1967 borders. Yes, there are some who deny this, but then there are also Israelis who believe in a Greater Israel. But the conventional wisdom is now that there will be an Israel and a Palestine.

The question really is over the territories seized in 1967, Gaza and the West Bank, which are supposed to be the future state of Palestine. That looks increasingly unlikely every year, not only because Israel keeps expanding its settlements, but because of intra-Palestinian feuds.

So I think most people have moved beyond the question of, does Israel get to exist. The question now is, how can Israel and Palestine co-exist. And really, time is on the side of the Palestinians, both because of the demographics and because in 15-20 years I don't think the US will still be supporting Israel as they are now. It's very worrisome.

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 15:06:16

i know how islamophobia manifests itself so i get how the pro israelis feel unfairly singled out when the actions of other big military powers get ignored.

i stopped watching the BBC because i felt they used to spend hours over irrelevancies when there were big massacres in Afghanistan.

i hated CNN because they would spend hours interviewing soldiers polishing their shoes whilst the iraqis were being slaughtered in their beds.

i have long felt western media trivialise the suffering of the palestinians, whilst someone pro Israel might feel they focus too much on the palestinians to divert attention away from the west's own war crimes. i kind of get that point.

the only time i see war victims humanised to a little degree are palestinian children, not afghan or iraqi. is that because their killers are Israelis rather than Americans? is it to deflect attention or is it to go as far as focus all the feelings at the shitness of the world on the state of Israel and Jews generally?

i feel everyone is being manipulated. the american public, the palestinian public, the israeli public, the arab wider public.

but still achillea, i wish that the state of israel had been founded in the heart of europe rather than the heart of the middle east.

it was extremely unjust to turn over Palestine to the zionists to make reparation for the Holocaust when the GERMANS should have paid for that themselves by losing their own land.

an injustice was paid back with an even greater injustice, and not just the palestinians but the people of a whole region were kept under dictatorships and autocrats to suppress any threat to Israel's security from the wider Arab world. they wanted the arabs to take the palestinians in quietly not fight for them or support them to get their land back.

everyones fatalistic about this but they dont need to be. i used to think this was going to be the cause of world war 3. Israel is going to stay i dont doubt that. i say let them all be free and equal citizens in one state.

BegoniaBampot Fri 16-Nov-12 15:19:29

I get frustrated by both sides and can understand why both sides act as they do even if it means that there is no peace and possible solution. It does bug me when people sitting all safe in the UK with no real experience of living there and what that really entails can easily condemn one side or the other. Both sides have and are making mistakes. People just brush off the constant rocket attacks that have been going on in southern Israel for years, there might be little casualties but you think this has no impact on everyday life? You let your kids out to play, you send them off to school with this constant threat? Everyday life, schooling etc constantly under threat of disruption.

By that logic, the UK should just have sucked up the IRA bombings and threats, should just shrug off the 7/7 bombings and attempts since then.

There is a lot of routing for the underdog here when if you had to live your life there on one side or the other - I wonder truthfully what side you would choose to live with.

I really don't know what would have to be done to secure any kind of peace however grudging, it was much better for Palestinians in the past before Israel closed the Borders. I'd like to see Bibi go and the settlements bulldozed to start with but I wonder what the Palestinians are willing to bring to the table.

BegoniaBampot Fri 16-Nov-12 15:30:45

And the 1967 Borders does seem a fair place to start. Israel should never allowed the expansion of settlements and I'd have no problem seeing these people forcibly removed.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 16-Nov-12 16:34:52

Seized by Israel? They didn't just roll up there - before 1948 that land was owned by BRITAIN (who won it from the French after the fall of the Ottomans who won it from the Crusaders after the fall of Rome, who were the ones to name it Palestine after they kicked out the Jews from Jerusalem). Britain planned to create a Jewish state well before WW2 [as did the French if they had won], They carved up the borders for various countries back in the 1920s (with semi-borders agreed in the 1900s as the Ottoman went into decline). The Brits wanted to divide the Muslims into then Transjordan and the Jews/others into Israel, did a piss poor job of managing and dividing communities that had lived together for generations (WTF is up with Britain and dividing communities rather than getting people to talk?) ran off with the job undone in the hand off to Israel which led to the 1948 war between Israel and its' neighbours which changed the original borders which have been in flux ever since. The 1967 border standard to me basically says that the land gained/lossed by nations in the first war is fine but the changes in the Six Day War and later conflicts aren't. Why not the original borders? Why not just make new borders? Why not right to return for Palestinians to Jordan as was the original plan? All options should be considered. Egypt is trying to get them to consider all options and being ignored. The UN is all but useless there now (but then, it's also useless in dealing America and it's conflicts with drone bombs and the double tap war crime as well as dealing with the US and giving land for its indigenous populations back).

And the innocent people who just want to get on with life suffer, regardless of the side they were born on. sad.

dolcelatte Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:36

Grrr - thank you for putting this into historical context, which I find really helpful. I agree all options should be considered and an independent mediator would be helpful; positions are so entrenched (even on MN) that it seems inevitable that the conflict will just go on indefinitely unless there are some kind of talks/discussions/attempt to move things forward. And yes, it wasn't a great idea to place Israel in its current position, surrounded by its enemies - not sure where else it could have been put though.

It wasn't just placed or plopped there - Jewish people have always lived there- it is their promised land. The idea that it should have been founded in the heart of Europe, crescent moons suggestion, is bizarre not least because of what happened in the heart of Europe to the Jewish people.
I feel desperately sorry for the Palestinian people - they have been let down massively - especially by those who suggested they fought, first in 1947 when land sharing was a real possibility and from then on and now by Hamas.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 17:15:56

I'm sorry but I don't believe in the "it's the promised land" rhetoric. I am an atheist but believe everybody has the right to believe in the sky pixie of their choosing. Or not,if that is what they choose. Palestine was divided up on the say so of an old book. Written by man,not God/Yahweh.

If the French found an old book stating all of Wales except the North is "theirs" and made Welsh people move to the North...would people react well? No,no they would not.

achillea Fri 16-Nov-12 17:23:08

Thank 8nights for the potted history! And thanks Dreaming for the clarity.

Crescentmoon, if you had seen your family and all your friends' families destroyed in the holocaust it is highly unlikely you would want to return to your homeland. There are no jews in Germany because they were all murdered, by the million. It is inconceivable to think that anyone would want to call it their home again.

And regarding media manipulation - we are as manipulated as we choose to be.
I think the UK demonstrates a lot of guilt by the endless media coverage of what is really, none of their business any more.

I was going to say in my previous post that this is a matter that cannot be solved with violence, only with debate and conversation - both sides are fighting about different things. I do wish they'd stop behaving like little boys and be a bit more grown up about this.

PoppyAmex Fri 16-Nov-12 17:29:03

"I'm sorry but I don't believe in the "it's the promised land" rhetoric."

OK, do you believe in "they were there first"?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 17:32:28

Achillea - I see your point completely about Jewish people not wanting to remain in Europe and especially not Germany,following WW2. An entire culture was wiped out.

My OH is a historian,specilising in WW2. The true level of destruction caused by the Nazis is utterly breathtaking,in the most terrible way.

But this isn't an argument about where Jewish people should live. They have Israel,which is in my opinion safe in it's existence,no Western nation would stand by and do nothing to help in the face of all out war. And of course other than Israel,Jewish people can and do,live wherever they choose to. As is right.

The big question now is how Israel and Palestine can co-exist in peace. Which is all the normal civilians in both countries want.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 17:41:18

PoppyAmex - yes I believe Jewish people have live in that area for thousands of years.

History clearly states it.

What I meant was it is irrelevant whether a book says it was the promised land or not. Because for me "where should the Jews live and why" style questions are utterly outdated and irrelevant to current the current issues.

Jewish people "should" live wherever they choose to. For me it is as strange that people argue that Israel shouldn't exist (not on this thread) is as odd to me as saying Spain shouldn't. It is a country,it exists,people live there.

But some kind of agreement needs to be reached between Israel and Palestine. A return to the 1967 borders? I really don't know. But wrongs have been and are being committed on both sides and this has been on going since 1948.

achillea Fri 16-Nov-12 17:44:20

Yes indeed that is the big question Alis.

They don't seem to want to get on, a bit like the catholics and the protestants.

And like the women of Northern Ireland, the women of Israel and Palestine are fairly downtrodden, ignored, and relegated to the background. But it was women that got the men to stop fighting in Northern Ireland (and Dame Shirley Williams) - remember when they marched? It may be that the women of the middle east hold the key to peace there.

You can't reasonably use 'they were there first' as a decider of land claims in the modern world.

The last Jewish kingdom in Palestine was destroyed by the Roman Empire -- that's how long ago it was. The Arabs first took control of Palestine in the 600s. Regardless of who was there first, it's all ancient history at this point. We need to focus on the entities that exist today and accept they both have a right to live there. That's pretty much the foundation of the current international order.

stillorsparkling Fri 16-Nov-12 18:10:37

I just cannot see a long term future for Israel if its relations with its neighbours continue to be so hostile; I agree entirely with the earlier poster who made the point that Israel will become less and less of an issue in US politics with the passage of time ; it's a simple matter of changing demographics.

Ultimately the choice for Israel in the long term will be compromise as to its boarders , prob to pre 1967 , or face a long them future with implacably hostile neighbours and increasingly uninterested western Allies . It's a fact that support for Israel in the west will continue to wane as long as the perceived injustice of the treatment of the palestinains continues.

Israel will simply find itself with fewer and fewer options. If Israel is to last as an entity ( and by last I mean make it beyond 2050)
it will have to compromise like it or not.

EllaEllaElla Fri 16-Nov-12 18:29:55

This thread only serves as a reminder of the hopelessness of this situation.

The Israelis didn't just rock up after the war, but similarly, just because the land was British, it doesn't mean there weren't Palestinian people living there (don't lets start on the legitimacy of the British rule).

Assigning blame is not the way that things will move forward. We could go round and round in this thread and never get anywhere.

I agree they have to compromise and Israel should pull back. Whether they will do so while still being attacked is up to them.

Peace came to n. Ireland tho - so why not?

I mentioned the history to counter the 'thieved land' and why it's there not Europe earlier in the thread. Most of Europe, Africa and middle east are artificial states formed after war or colonisation, but still people question Israels existence. That is clearly something Israel can't compromise on.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 18:58:16

It was always just a British mandate. To be fair to the British, they never had any intention of staying in Palestine and just wanted to get out.

Cresecentmoon - I do actually have sympathy for the one state idea. Despite being part Israeli, I'm not sure I really like the idea of a state which identifies itself around religion. But we're nowhere near a point where that idea would be accepted by eithter the Palestinians or the Israelis. This isn't East and West Germany reunifying!

The two state solution is the most viable and even that seems to be getting further beyond reach. Many of my Israeli friends who would like to see a Palestinian state in principle are now terrified of the idea of the Palestinians ruling the West Bank the way they do Gaza with all the most densely populated regions of Israel within easy range of any missiles. And I completely understand them. I would love there to be a Palestinian state living peacefully with Israel and while Israel has often not helped, I've no signs of the kinds of institutions which would lead to a democratic and peaceful state emerging among the Palestinians - there would be complete anarchy.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 19:01:02

Just for historical clarity - the Palestinians were offered ALL of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

They said no.

In fact they said no three times: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.

These are the 3 no's of Khartoum.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khartoum_Resolution

Just for further clarity -- after the 1967 war Israel offered to return Sinai, the Golan and parts of the West Bank, but not Gaza or East Jerusalem.

And it was not the Palestinians who said 'no' at Khartoum, it was the Arab heads of state (Egypt, Jordan, etc.)

Sorry to be pedantic but the thread is turning into a history lesson a bit...

Israel will never agree to a one-state solution. The combination of demographics and democracy mean that it would cease to be a Jewish state in the not too distant future.

It's a shame because it's probably the most fair solution really.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 19:41:26

It was the Arab League which included the Arab heads of state who represented the Palestinians living within their borders who did not have a state then either (the Egyptians and Jordanians could have given them one, although arguably, Jordan IS a Palestinian state) but was also a body in which the Palestinians participated, albeit they didn't yet have any real political organization as Palestinians at that point. I never heard of any Palestianians OPPOSING the decision of the Arab League in 1967!

And then there was the Peel partition plan AND the UN partition plan, both of which the Palestinians turned down.

They are just as much responsible for their plight as Israel is. It didn't have to be like this.

crashdoll Fri 16-Nov-12 19:48:56

On the Palestinian side, I saw nothing but peaceful smiles and welcomes and EVEN gratitude that we were there as tourists pumping money into the system. I got no sense of that on the Israeli side. They didn't give a flying 4x that we were there. And neither should they be that bothered. But my goodness - what a difference between the two sides.

I have come away knowing exactly which side I sympathise with.

I've watched footage of Palestinians abusing Israelis. I've even been abused myself, albeit not badly, thankfully. There are arsehole civilians on both sides. They don't need your sympathy anyway. It's easy to wear rose tinted glasses when it's not your home country. I lived in Israel and consider it my home.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 19:54:41

The official Palestinian position is now that Israel has the right to exist within the 1967 borders.

That's the moderate position. Very kind of the Palestinians to recognize that Israel has a right to exist and to realize that try as they might, that Israel is here to stay. But I do see that it does leave a way forward (and indeed there are many extremists in Israel).

However, Hamas doesn't think like that. Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of Israel. And the Gazans voted for them.

I know that's a common argument, but it's one I have a hard time accepting. Why should the Palestinians have accepted partition? It was a wholly foreign imposition, driven by colonial interests. Most of the Palestinians who were displaced had lived on land in their families for centuries -- why should they give up any claim to it because the UN and the Brits wanted them to?

I know it would have made everything so much easier, but I don't think it's too hard to understand why they rejected it.

I don't think it's fair to say they are just as responsible for their plight. Mostly I blame the internationals really.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 19:58:52

But surely crashdoll you can understand why Palestinians feel anger towards Israelis,objectively speaking?

Without a doubt civilians can be arseholes in any and every country worldwide.

But no civilian,arsehole or not,deserves to live in the on going atmosphere in Israel or Palestine.

crashdoll Fri 16-Nov-12 20:03:43

Oh I do understand. I don't condone either side at all.However, the media, the BBC, in particular is biased (anti-Israel) and this bothers me.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 20:07:57

No it wasn't. My family have lived in Israel for over 10 generations (religious not zionist at the time obviously). My grandparents lived in Hebron and had to flee because of the Arab riots of 1929. We are not a wholly foreign imposition, with all due respect!

The first settlers came to Israel/Palestine in the late 19th century and BOUGHT the land as did subsequent settlers. No Palestinians were thrown off the land. The British Peel Commission recognised that the lands settled were swamps, deserts etc. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

There was no reason why the Palestinians couldn't have lived peacefully with the Jews.

And if they would have accepted the Peel partition, the UN partition, the Israeli offer of peace after 1967 or implemented the Oslo accords properly, then they would have their own state.

As Abba Eban once said 'The Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity'.

With respect to Hamas and the elections -- they drew up a new manifesto before the elections, which did not call for the destruction of the state of Israel. Their campaign was mainly about wanting to end the corruption and abuses of Fatah and observers think this was the main source of their support. They have not changed their charter, but they generally use the newer manifesto in its place.

It is true that rhetorically they have not distanced themselves enough from calling for the destruction of Israel, but practically speaking it is not a real goal for them. How could it be? They are no position to achieve it. Especially since coming into power, whatever they say to their followers, they are working within the assumptions of the road map, including that Israel will continue to exist.

They are however playing the long game -- if Israel should ever be much weaker, perhaps without US support, then probably any moderation gets thrown out again. Which is why Israel should compromise now, from a position of strength. If it becomes weak, it will be too late.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 20:17:19

You're right, Hamas did drop it. But they don't recognize Israel's right to exist and believe terrorism is legitimate.

I don't think the Israelis have anyone that they can actually negotiate with. And I partly blame Israel for this for destroying Palestinian civil society and state institutions over the last few years instead of building them up.

I'm very pessimistic about the possibility for peace. I don't think the Palestinians are in a situation where they can actually build a democratic and peaceful state, especially with Lebanon, Syria and Egypt so unstable.

babbas Fri 16-Nov-12 20:17:39

YANBU op.

x-post

Oh I definitely didn't mean the Jews were a foreign imposition!! Thank you for clarifying that. I meant all the partition plans and mandates and all of that.

I am also completely pessimistic on the chances for peace. It all depends on having a state for the Palestinians and there is just no way in hell that can emerge any time soon. And the conflict in Syria is already spilling over into Lebanon... and there are worries Jordan is the next state to go into turmoil... and Libyan weapons are crossing the Sinai in bigger and bigger numbers...

I am very fearful for Israel to be honest. I don't approve of how the leadership is handling things, but obviously I don't want any more harm to come to its people, and things look bad for them on every single front.

Although their special ops/intel are kicking ass right now. I don't really have a problem with that whole strategy, not that it's all that legal either wink

edam Fri 16-Nov-12 20:30:28

It's a tragic and depressing situation for us to discuss, I can't even begin to imagine the horror of living through it.

I do wish someone had a solution. Some way of bringing ordinary Israelis and Palestinians together, the people who just want to get on with their lives. Especially women - all the 'representatives' always seem to be men, esp. on the Palestinian side. Some leaders who actually want peace would be nice as well.

As for claims of media bias, both sides attack neutral broadcasters because each side wants bias - in their own favour.

pinkoyster Fri 16-Nov-12 20:31:49

I think the actions of the Israeli Government are indefensible, inexcusable and unjust... DB is part os a charity organisation that used to visit Gaza to deliver food and medicines, but they have been banned since 2009. The people are suffering, herded into a limited space and treated worse than cattle. DB says when he spoke to most young boys, they'd had enough of the severe harshness of life, and were happy to be recruited by fundamentalists (such as Hamas and Hezbollah) because they literally had NOTHING to live for. So it's the environment they live in that breeds extremism. If the Gazans had happy, free, prosperous lives, why on earth would they blow themselves up?? This is not to excuse the loss of Israeli civilians due to crude missiles, but given the extensive arsenal of weapons that Israel has (including nuclear), Hamas can hardly carry out the same destruction that Israel can (and does).

Unfortunately I don't think an amicable solution can be reached yet, whilst the US unconditionally supports the State of Israel. The American congress is largely run by Israeli sympathisers who would see any kind of peace as giving leverage to Hamas and Iran. Similarly, I also doubt the Arab states, like Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia would want to see peace as they have a divide and rule policy in place (if Iran and Israel are in conflict, indirectly, it would mean a more stable SA and the other Gulf States).

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 20:34:39

crashdoll no British media outlet is overtly or subtly anti Israel. Especially not the BBC! I am utterly amazed you would think it was.

Of late there has been more reporting from Palestine's angle. That' not a bias towards one or the other,that's offering two sides of the situation.

ElaineBenes Fri 16-Nov-12 20:37:40

Edam

There is a strong (although weakened lately) civil society in Israel which is very active. It's more limited on the Palestinian side but it's also there.

I think that's the way forward for now because both sides have pretty crappy political leaders at the moment. It's important for Palestinians to see Israelis other than settlers and soldiers and for Israelis to see Palestinians other than as terrorists.

it's important to remember that prior to the 2nd intifada, Palestinians freely moved about, studied and worked in Israel. The restrictions on Palestinian movement have been an unfortunate response to the terrorism and have added to the growing extremism on both sides.

edam Fri 16-Nov-12 20:42:26

Elaine, I hope against hope civil society flourishes and people build connections with people across the divide. Faint hope, perhaps, but it looks like nothing else will help.

There are thankfully a lot of civil society groups working to bring Palestinians and Israelis together -- it's one bright spot. Thanks to one of my freelance jobs I read a lot of case studies of these groups. It's something that the EU in particular has tried to fund a lot.

It's getting harder and harder now though, as more violence makes it harder to bridge the divide, and also creates physical obstacles.

But for example you have a lot of Israeli professional groups (doctors, lawyers, architects, professors) who try to help their Palestinian counterparts and their communities. You have groups trying to bring children together. Micro-loans for women, small enterprise funds, it's really fascinating.

Violence threatens all of this though. There's only so much civil society can do.

edam Fri 16-Nov-12 21:36:48

Indeed, it's very difficult to make friends with someone when all you can see is 'their lot' bombing your children, and all they can see is 'your lot' firing rockets at yours.

MORCAPS Fri 16-Nov-12 22:02:32

Killing children over a scrap of desert.

Humans really are fucking stupid.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 22:05:04

My biggest concern is Israels nuclear capacity, those headers have never stopped fighting since the beginning of time and I am still amazed that the UN has not jumped on Israel from a great height like they have done to other countries who were at the stage of being near nuclear ready. Iraq was invaded and devastated due to alleged weapons of mass destruction but there were none, yet Israel who have shown themselves to be a hateful waring nation are allowed nukes, whats that all about?

pinkoyster Fri 16-Nov-12 22:13:18

bureni, double standards. There's threat of war on Iran due to potential nuclear capacity and an an insane leader, yet Israel has BOTH a nuclear arsenal AND an insane leader but the world turns a blind eye. Why?

babbas Fri 16-Nov-12 22:18:58

Pinkoyster I agree with you completely. There are victims on both sides but the despair and appalling treatment of the Palestinians far far far outweighs that of the Israelis. There is no sense of equality. At all. Or proportionality. Which makes it hard to retain or garner sympathy for Israel in this david v Goliath war. Ask any charity worker of any race culture country or religion who was worked in that area and most will tell you that their sympathies lie with the Palestinians. My friend went out there to help but was unable to do anything due to Israeli restrictions and sanctions ( not even providing clean water to a prem baby unit).

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 22:19:21

The reason in simple, Israel is nothing more than an American missile site just like the one they had in Turkey during the Cuban missile crisis. Everything in Israel is funded from america from running water to their massive nuclear arsenal, this is a country with little to no natural resources that imports practically everything but there seems to be no shortage of the American dollar to pay for it.

nailak Fri 16-Nov-12 22:20:43

"I find it depressing that people in this thread criticise a country for defending themselves against systematic terrorist attacks to their civilian population.

I'm so willing to bet that these posters haven't lived in similar circumstances and if your schools, your children, your cities were attacked you would be crying for military protection and retaliation."

Exactly, Israel destroys homes and schools, kills children, stops them getting medical treatment and going to hospital, restricts the building materials, food and aid going in to Palestine, of course they have the right to defend themselves against systematic attacks from Israel.

If you were living in similar circumstances as the Palestinians, what would you be saying?

GothAnneGeddes Fri 16-Nov-12 22:21:12

Elaine - you are glossing over huge amounts of history.

If someone stole your house and then offered you "half" back, would you say yes?

It's called An Nakba for a reason, people were driven from their homes at gunpoint, their villages and homes destroyed, and you expect them to want to make peace with thieves and murderers.

As for terrorism, I see no mention of the Stern Gang and their ilk, whose terrorist activities lead to the creation of the Israeli state.

As for illegal activities, why are settlements continuing to be built on stolen land?

The sad things is, that the two things the Israeli state wants most are security and acceptance. They have neither and they only have themselves to blame.

Well, I don't really agree with that characterisation of Israel, but just to say -- they are not 'allowed' nukes, virtually everyone agrees that Israel is in violation of the norms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (although it is not a signatory of it). Officially Israel does not even admit it has nuclear weapons, although obviously they do.

Israel developed its nukes many years ago in secret (with some help from France).

If it were doing the same thing today, a lot more people would be freaking out about it.

Nobody really expects Israel to ever use its nukes. They are pretty much a deterrent against existential threats, i.e. if Arab armies are on the verge of overrunning Israel and destroying it, they would be used to nuke some Arab capitals. It's a pretty effective deterrent in that sense.

The concern with countries like Iran having nuclear capability is that there is less certainty they would not actually use nuclear weapons, and unlike Israel they sponsor a variety of terrorist groups in different countries who might benefit from that capability.

I don't actually agree with those concerns -- I think they're overstated. But that's the argument.

nailak Fri 16-Nov-12 22:30:36

"indeed, it's very difficult to make friends with someone when all you can see is 'their lot' bombing your children, and all they can see is 'your lot' firing rockets at yours."

It is very difficult to make friends with someone who but restircts your food, water, medical supplies, access to basic human rights like a home by stopping construction materials, stops your access to medical help, blows up your fishing boats, burns your olive trees so you do not have a livelihood and then when you fight back use it as justification for bombing your civilians.

I can't believe anyone actually believes that if they were in that situation they wouldn't fight back against Israel.

nailak Fri 16-Nov-12 22:32:35

"The concern with countries like Iran having nuclear capability is that there is less certainty they would not actually use nuclear weapons, and unlike Israel they sponsor a variety of terrorist groups in different countries who might benefit from that capability."

Iran hasn't bombed a country to the brink of destruction. Israel has. So why would Israel be less likely to use them?

Terrorist groups? Well ones person terrorist is another persons freedom fighter. Hamas is a democratically elected government.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 22:34:00

The only people who ever used nuclear weapons in anger are the Americans yet these are the same people who fund Israel, that tells me something. No-one stopped America and the U.K from dropping tens of thousands of cluster bombs on civilian villages in Afghanistan and the use of napalm on civilians, I often wonder if the same rule makers have taken a look at their own war crimes before pointing the finger at a load of totally obsolete and inaccurate rockets launched from a third world country.

Babbas, I agree that the worst part of what Israel is doing is not only causing so much humanitarian catastrophe but interfering with attempts to alleviate it.

Imagine watching your loved ones die of treatable conditions because you were not allowed to take them to a hospital that could treat them, just because you are Palestinian.

There is no military necessity to deny humanitarian aid to Gaza -- or rather, to the extent there is, it's hugely disproportionate.

It's collective punishment and it's abhorrent. Imagine if the UK had done that to Northern Ireland in response to the IRA terrorist attacks.

Nailak, I actually agree with you -- I don't think Iran is any more likely than Israel to use a nuke, and the idea they would send one over to Hamas is laughable. I was just putting forward the arguments that people tend to use.

Bureni, of course they don't think about it. Look at who gets dragged in for war crimes trials -- Charles Taylor, a Congolese warlord, Serbian paramilitaries. Where's George Bush? Henry Kissinger? Well-paid retirement.

One of my biggest disappointments in Obama is that he did not authorise a thorough review of US war crimes under Bush, after he was elected. I know he would never send Bush to the Hague but I think we really need to know about all the horrible things that the US did during that era. (I'm American btw.)

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 22:43:59

dreamingbohemian, the Ira terrorist threat came from ROI not Northern Irealnd, any response should have been carried out in ROI not N.I and taken against the aggressors not the victims.

Sorry, typing too fast... I think you take my point though? It's possible for a country to deal with terrorism and not resort to collective punishment on the scale of Gaza.

GothAnneGeddes Fri 16-Nov-12 23:06:27

Bureni - not true. There was some cross-border movement and secret training camps, but by and large, the IRA were based in N.I and the vast majority in ROI did not support them in any way.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 23:15:11

Goth , almost all Irish REPUBLICAIN terrrorists came from the republic and still do, mainly funded by a fake charity based in Boston US called Noraid who also directed the terrorists to their gun suppliers in Lybia. I am aware that the vast majority of people in ROI did not support their activities but the recent increase in the Sinn Fein/IRA vote now shows otherwise in ROI.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 16-Nov-12 23:20:28

Nailak - in your first post you have articulated what I have been trying to say throughout this thread.

NameGotLostInCyberspace Fri 16-Nov-12 23:26:13

"Yes but why are Hamas firing rockets? Their country has disappeared, the food they are allowed to eat, the medication they receive is controlled by the Israeli govt, their trees used for business are ripped down to build more buildings and extend Israel's geographical presence etc. Their right to self governance has been ripped away. 1300 civilians dead in 2008 in Gaza. That included the use of yellow phosphorus which is illegal on an international scale. Oh and Israel is a country. Not a religion. Why can't people enter into a civilised discussion without crying anti semitism? It's nothing to do with anti semitism for the most part (of course there will always be some morons who will use it), it's to do with a government being held accountable for their (sometimes illegal) actions.

I know this will be heated so apologies in advance if people are offended by my view, but it's just the way I see things".

# THIS #

babbas Fri 16-Nov-12 23:33:06

Dreamingbohemian I agree with you. The collective punishment, the restrictions on the basics of life reaching those that need it (food water medicines dignity) are so terrible for me to comprehend. And almost as bad as the civilian bombings. I would feel the exact same if Israel was the weaker party here being denied aid and basic human right so I do not feel this is an anti-Semitic sentiment. If an army of 10,000 armed with weapons and air power quashes an army of 5 with no weapons then for me there is only one aggressor. Israel demands security and acceptance. But until it finds it within itself to allow Palestine these qualities it will never be secure or accepted. I feel for all those innocent people caught up in this. on both sides.

BegoniaBampot Fri 16-Nov-12 23:33:42

So how would you fix it? What is your solution?

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 23:41:35

Begonia, perhaps the UN and the Yanks could make as much money from disarming their 51st state as they did arming them in the first place, what do you think?

BegoniaBampot Fri 16-Nov-12 23:49:44

Think that answers nothing, is that the best you can do when you have such strong views and opinions.

bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 23:56:08

Disarming would certainly help, what would you suggest be done to stop these nutters killing each other?

The solution is the road map, two states, 1967 borders with land swaps, etc. That is the framework everyone has been working with for 20 years now and which has the only credibility across a broad range of actors.

The problem is getting those involved to have the political will to actually implement it. I don't see that happening anytime soon and so I think the conflict will go on and on.

I blame both sides for the breakdown in the peace process btw.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 00:07:35

Like crescentmoon, said above, I'd like a one state solution. A state that is neither Jewish or Muslim. But demographics mean that it would not be Israeli dominated and I think that wouldn't do for some, as they don't want peace, they just want power.

As for a two state solution.

I think:

Israel to return to 1967 borders.

Demolish the illegal settlements. Give the Golan back to Syria (when Syria get a new govt).

If they are not willing to accept Palestinian right of return, they must pay reparations.

Equal access to water.

Demilitarisation of checkpoints. No more blockades. Ever.

As part of the reparations, new connections between West Bank and Gaza to be built.

Palestinian state to have an offical army. All other militias to be disarmed. No more rocket attacks.

bureni Sat 17-Nov-12 00:12:26

There are 3 players here not 2, the Yanks have a vested interest in their lovely little missile base called Israel, there is not a chance that Israel would last more then a few hours on its own without American money and equipment. This is not a two sided story as Israel makes out, the Yanks are calling the shots on this one as they have always done which was clearly demonstrated when Israel showed its surgical strikes on targets yesterday on the BBC and world news using American satellite guided missiles, who is actually fighting who here?

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:01:57

Gothanngeddes

Will the Arab states which expelled their Jewish populations after 1948 and appropriated all their property and businesses also have to pay them reparations as part of this comprehensive peace deal which somehow also includes Syria?

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:15:26

Bureni

The UN hasn't armed anyone, what are you talking about?

Nalaik

Umm, actually Iran bombed the shit out of Iraq during the Iran Iraq war. The idea of a nuclear Iran terrifies me. Their stated desire is the annihilation of Israel. Considering that for many Israelis, attempted annihilation is not an empty threat, it's no wonder people are concerned.

Hamas is indeed democratically elected, so were the nazis. The fact that the gazans elected a vicious bunch of thugs to lead them says a lot about the state of Palestinian society.

I think perhaps it's time for the Palestinians to stop figuring out how to 'fight back' and instead how to achieve peace. It's the fighting back which has got them into their current plight. They fought back many times and each time they lost and made their situation worse. I think it's time they came to terms with reality.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:33:36

Hahahaha!

Israel elected Sharon the Butcher and you want to lecture the Palestinians on the state of their society. A senior Israeli politician is on record as wanting to "put the Gazans on a diet" and you see fit to lecture others.

In answer to your question, since the Jews were expelled as a result of the State of Israel being formed, then Israel can compensate them too. And you can give back any money you've made from the Golan over the years.

bureni Sat 17-Nov-12 02:37:32

LOL, the UN (USA) has armed them all and gave them the excuse to exercise the well worn out "war on terror" excuse or as we know it it cheap route to oil and minerals excuse, welcome to the real world without A4 paper and biased pens and cheap american hotdogs.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 02:40:38

Elaine Iran has nothing to so with the current issue.

And also,the only reason you are "terrified" of Iran having nuclear weapons is because of US funded propaganda. "Brown people" having the same technology as the West is clearly terrifying. What utter bollocks

Iran has as much right to that nuclear technology as other nation.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 02:43:32

Also,why is Palestine's "realify" accepting their land being stolen and their homes destroyed Elaine ?

C'mon now,pro Israel or not,in terms of stealing land Israel has behaved terribly badly. They are the epitome of the bullied becoming the bully.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 02:44:57

*reality

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 02:50:48

Just as much to blame are the Arab countries surrounding Israeli and the occupied territories, fomenting a refugee problem and anti-Israeli hostility. They could have done so much more.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 02:54:00

A refugee problem?

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:56:45

Brycie - If Israel hadn't forced them off their land, there wouldn't be any refugee situation. The Palestinians uphold that they have a right to return to their land. If they were given citizenship en masse to another country, this would greatly undermine this claim.

It is not the fault of the Arab countries that the injustice faced by Palestinians is yet to be resolved.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:59:27

Iran has stated many times that it wishes to annihilate Israel. Israel has made no such claims on iran. Israel is a democracy, Iran is a murderous theocracy. Spot the differences. Israel will only use nuclear weapons as a form mutually assured self destruction. I'm glad Israel has nuclear weapons.

I was no fan of Ariel Sharon but he wasn't a 'butcher'. That's the kind of anti Israeli/anti Semitic hyperbole one gets used to hearing.

And I'm not sure I get the Logic regarding compensating Jews who were EXPELLED from Arab lands. So, because anti Semitic Arab countries decided that they were going to expel all Jews because the state of Israel had been created and steal all their property and businesses, Israel owes those people reparations because it dared to exist? Not enough that Israel had to absorb all those jewish refugees, they need to pay them the reparations they are owed by arab countries because the Arab counties are anti Semitic and used the existence of the state of israel as excuse to expel its jeiwsh citizens. Wow!!!

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:02:12

I suppose there will always be people who think the Jewish diaspora should have stayed just that and never have had their own state, despite what happened to the diaspora in the thirties and forties. Most people have sympathy with both sides, I do, but one does need to think about things a little harder sometimes.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:07:08

Gothanngeddes

The Palestinians caused their own tragedy. They could have accepted the peel partition, the UN partition. But no, they chose not to. Many of them left of their own free will, the ones who stayed became the Arab citizens of Israel.

The Arab counties could have assimilated the Palestinians, just like Israel assimilated the Jewish refugees from Arab countries. But, no, better to cling to a rather pathetic hope of annihilating Israel.

My father remembers when the Arabs left his town which was mixed. They all got into trucks and told them that when the syrian army comes, they'll come back and slit all their throats. And the Syrian army was only stopped 10 km from his town.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:16:30

"dared to exist" = stole a country and expelled it's people triggering a massive humanitarian crises in the region.

Sharon is definitely a butcher. You can read about him murdering civilians here: m.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/feb/04/israel?cat=world&type=article

As for Israel being a democracy, well I suppose South Africa under apartheid was also a democracy too. There are certainly many parallels that can be drawn between the two countries, although even Desmond Tutu feels that Palestinians have it worse then black people in townships.

As for Iran wanting to "wipe Israel off the map", that was misquoted, see here: m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/02/comment.usa?cat=commentisfree&type=article and google will provide plenty of back up to support that.

I note no one's yet mentioned MEMRI and the misinformation they spread, or GIYUS or Hasbara.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:18:48

Oh the Guardian. Bit of an anti-semitic rag you're relying on there. It's a style of thinking that's been pretty popular at times over the decades.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:19:50

Is this the one debate where Godwin's law doesn't apply?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:21:02

Elaine - "the Palestinians cause their own tragedy" ?!!!

Fuck me that is dense and offensive. Well done. Two birds one stone.

Israel never existed (for thousands of years) prior to the allies deciding it did in 1948...It's not the Israeli civilians fault. But I really can't blame Palestinians for being really fucking angry that their land,home and country has been all but eradicated.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:23:23

Brycie - no British media outlet is overtly or subverted anti-Semitic. Reporting from both sides of the situation does not make a newspaper anti-Semitic.

Though your statements on here quite clearly explain your comments on other threads perfectly well.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:23:59

Elaine - tell me exactly why the Palestinians should accept having their land and homes stolen?

I asked you upthread but you didn't answer:

If someone stole your house (which you'd bought and paid for) and said you could have half of it back, would you be happy with that?

Again. The Palestinians want to live in Palestine. They feel they have a right to return to Palestine. They do not want to be Jordanian, Syrian, etc. They are Palestinian and want to remain so and want to return to Palestine.

Again Israel caused the problem, they are the thieves, why should other countries pay for their theft?

How sloppy of the Syrians, the Israeli army is much better at killing civilians then that, they are so superior hmm

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:24:34

What did you mean by your question "a refugee problem"? Did you not know about Palestinian refugees?

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:27:24

The palestinians did steal my grandparents house.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:27:25

Goths I tried that one with my "France finds a book that says all but North Wales is theirs and makes everyone in Wales move there" analogy and got no response to that re Palestinians being really angry at their land and homes being stolen.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:30:05

Elaine you have in no way addressed what I said.

Brycie your comment implied that Palestinians are not being treated as refugees in their own land. Which they are .

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:33:00

Alis: did you not know about Palestinian refugees? Are you aware that Jordon has actually revoked citizenship cards it awarded to thousands of refugees, specifically in order for them not to lose their "Palestinian refugee" status, specifically to prevent people leaving the territories and thus awarding what it would see as a "peaceful" victory to Israel?

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:34:49

It didn't do anything of the sort. It said "fomenting a refugee problem". I suppose people read want they want according to their prejudice. It happens to us all.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:37:02

"Again Israel caused the problem, they are the thieves"

Do be careful. I mean - really careful. You aren't looking good here.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:38:19

"Brycie - no British media outlet is overtly or subverted anti-Semitic. "

The Guardian couldn't possibly be overtly anti-semitic, that would undermine its principles. Being overtly anti-semitic.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:38:32

The allies did not decide that Israel existed in 1948. What a silly thing to say. Israel declared independence in 1948 with no help from the allies who were sure it was about to be annihilated being invaded by 5 countries.

Firstly, there has always been a Jewish community in Israel, always.

Secondly, Jews began immigrating to Israel in the late 19th century. They BOUGHT the land and often settled swamps and other previously uninhabited areas. No one threw anyone off their land.

A Palestinian country has never existed, ever. So I'm not sure what country has been wiped out. Despite the challenges, Israel has flourished over the years.

The Palestinians turned down the peel partition plan. They tuned down the UN partition plan. They turned down any peace deal in Khartoum in 1967. they started the second intifada.

Sure, they may wish that Israel was not the Jewish homeland. But they are just as responsible for their current situation. firing rockets into Israel will not move them along the path to statehood.

It's quite shocking that you are so supportive of Iran! Iran most certainly has threatened many times to annihilate Israel and denies the existence of the holocaust. I guess you sympathize because Israel has stolen Iranian land, oh wait, no it hasn't!

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:40:22

. As I have said multiple times throughout this thread I don't blame either set of civilians.

Israel as a state? Israel has stolen land for years and nothing has been done about it. Nothing. That is fundamentally wrong..

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:41:17

As an aside (slight aside) Elaine do you think it's possible that this was ratcheted at this particular time in order to make it impossible to give observer state status to the Palestinians at the UN in a couple of weeks?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:42:01

Brycie give links to an example of the Guardian being anti Semitic. Reporting news from the the perspective of the other side does not make it anti Semitic.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:42:32

Elaine - answer my question please.
The one about if someone stole your house. Until you answer that, I won't engage with you further.

missingmumxox Sat 17-Nov-12 03:43:55

anybody in this thread who said it is anti semitic to disagree with Israel, lose a life, I can say this in the full knowledge of being Jewish but not, Gran was Jewish, unfortunatly she had 3 sons who all married out,
oh..is there an election soon? I wonder?

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:44:24

As another aside, the settler issues are deeply provocative. However it would much more interesting to talk to you Elaine about it, but I doubt that would be possible without the intervention of Dave Spart central.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 03:45:41

"Lose a life"? I am no longer a teenager and don't understand this phrase.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:47:36

You see, Alis, I have no problem criticizing Israeli actions with regards to the Palestinians. I believe that the settler movement is harmful to Israel and has held Israelis hostage and led to very unjust behavior in the west bank and gaza strip. Occupation is ruining Israel from within.

What I can't stand are some of the one sided bigoted opinions where Israel is portrayed as evil incarnate and the Palestinians are just innocent victims. There's a real whiff of anti semitism.

brycie
No idea, I was thinking more of the upcoming elections. I can't stand Bibi Netanyahu and I wouldn't put it past him to escalate things in order to win votes. And Hamas play straight into his hands.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the palestinian request. I don't completely get why Israel is so dead set against it!

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:49:42

Elaine not for one second did I suggest that Jewish people had not lived in the area now known as Israel for thousands of years. Nor will I deny the fact that Israel did not exist as a state/country for over a thousand years minimum. Nor will I deny the role Britain,along with the other allies, played in drawing up meaningless borders. As they did,in their colonial way,with Africa and indeed Europe (following WWI) and Israel.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 03:54:26

It's not anti semitic to criticize Israel, of course not? Many Jewish Israelis do so and quite rightly in my opinion. I'm part Israeli and have no sympathy for the current government and its actions.

What is anti Semitic is the constant reference to the holocaust (someone likened gaza to dachau!) and the demonization of Israel as the devil incarnate who use any excuse to even question israels right to even exist a la Gothanngeddes.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:54:56

*also I do not deny Israels right to exist.

As I said earlier on in this thread,Israel was 40 years strong as a nation when I was born. Arguing it shouldn't exist is as bizarre to me as arguing Spain shouldn't exist. It exists,it has a history,a culture,people live there and feel passionately patriotic.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 03:58:12

I disagree with people likening it to the Holocaust.

Concentration camps were not invented in the WW2 era. They pre date that by at least 50 years. Shamefully at the hands of the British during the Boer Wars.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 04:00:15

"What I can't stand are some of the one sided bigoted opinions where Israel is portrayed as evil incarnate and the Palestinians are just innocent victims. There's a real whiff of anti semitism."

I agree with this totally.

You can see where the problem starts and is embedded when you read that sort of opinion. Absolute refusal to see beyond and around one point of view. The same events viewed through a different lens - the mature point of view is to at least recognise that there is another lens.

Netanyahu has got something up his sleeve, blaming the previous rocket attacks seems red-herringy. The timing can't be a coincidence. Although I would not say elections, I would say UN. (but you know, what do I know)

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 04:02:45

Well, it's true that the british did give trans jordan to the Palestinians. That's also a Palestinian state

But the British didn't want Israel to declare independence, it wasn't an ally invention as compensation for the slaughter of 6 million, they abstained on the UN vote for partition.

The Zionist movement built the state in waiting which was declared in 1948 on the basis of 1947 partition plan - which the Arabs rejected and invaded Israel in order to 'push the Jews into the sea'. Luckily they didn't manage to do so, although Gothanngeddes wouldn't agree.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 04:07:34

alis
I don't see how you can disagree about people likening it to the holocaust, it's a fact.
I was walking home past a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate this evening and there were plenty of signs saying that gaza is like the Warsaw ghetto. And on this very thread someone likened it to dachau. No concentration camp comparison is fitting in this case but certainly not holocaust ones.

brycie
I dont know much about why this is all kicking off either. I'll try and read what the pundits are saying this weekend.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 04:10:29

I don't believe Goths thinks it's a shame thousands more Jewish people didn't die.

That isn't what she has been saying throughout this thread at all.

I don't think Britain abstaining from voting for partition was anything other than foresight. Look at the situation now.

Is it prudent to add Einstein flat out refused to be the first head of state re Israel also?

Also this thread has undoubtedly been an interesting one,the past is not relevant to the current situation. Discussing how Israel came into existence changes nothing regarding the land that was stolen from the Palestinians after 1967.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 04:17:21

Elaine I'm not sure if you understood me in my last post or I've misunderstood you in your last post but...what I meant is : I do not agree with people who liken the current situation in Gaza to Dachau and other WW2 concentration camps.

That isn't to say that the situation is unlike all other concentration camps. As I said previously, concentration camps pre dated WW2.

The concentration camps in WW2 were designed and used in a very different way however and that is not comparable to the situation in Gaza. It quite simple is not and analogies that draw on them are at the very best lazy at worst wilfully ignorant.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 04:17:54

alis
Einstein was asked to be the 2nd president when chaim Weizmann died in 1952. He refused because he didn't feel he had the diplomatic skills and abilities but he was a very strong supporter of Israel. I'm not sure what point you were trying to make?

I agree that the 'who was here first argument' doesn't help. The Palestinians need to move forward with the two state solution based on the pre 1967 borders. It's the only possible viable solution.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 04:22:07

Elaine absolutely. From an outsiders perspective, which I am given I have no vested interest in either country,it certainly seems to be the only way. I hope that that very solution is reached before more lives are lost and more suffering is caused.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 05:25:42

Alis, excuse me I did not see your post earlier and have just read back.

The Guardian

Ok once again, I did not liken Gaza to Dachau. I said it's not implausible to compare Gaza to an open-air concentration camp, but one that was closer to the model of Dachau, not Auschwitz.

To me this is an important point because Dachau and Auschwitz were very different places. Auschwitz was one of six 'extermination camps', where people were sent solely for the purpose of being killed. As I said, I do not think you can compare Gaza to Auschwitz.

Dachau was not an extermination camp, but a concentration camp; the majority of its prisoners over the years were political prisoners. There was no gas chamber or huge massacres, people tended to die of disease and malnutrition. Obviously it was still a very horrible place, but it was not Auschwitz. I think over the years 10 percent of the people sent there died.

I personally would not compare Gaza to Dachau, I only meant to point out that if people were to do so it can only fall in the realm of plausibility if they are comparing it to a place like Dachau -- which was closer to the usual model of concentration camps as have existed elsewhere -- and not Auschwitz.

But I do apologise if I have offended anyone with this point. I am used to doing academic research in this area, which is much less emotive.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 11:34:37

Thanks Brycie that was a really interesting read. I'm not a Guardian reader myself, but I am aware of it's reputation as the "right on" newspaper of choice. Very interesting article.

Sorry Dreaming my comment wasn't aimed at you personally! It is definitely different talking about subjects like this in a non academic setting. I know what you mean.

I actually came back to suggest people read this very interesting piece in the New York Times by an Israeli peace negotiator:

www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/israels-shortsighted-assassination.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

He explains how he has been negotiating a long-term ceasefire agreement with a Hamas official who represented the Hamas military commander who Israel just assassinated. He feels the ceasefire was on the brink of being agreed upon, but obviously now that's not going to happen.

He argues that the Hamas military commander was basically a pragmatic guy who saw the current situation as futile. The people who fire rockets into Israel are often not Hamas but Islamic Jihad and other Salafi groups, yet it is Hamas and Palestinian civilians who suffer the consequences when Israel retaliates. Yet, these primitive rockets don't really do much damage to Israel. So it's a bad strategy on their part.

It very much leads to the implication that quite simply there are political powers who do not want peace.

I also think it's helpful for breaking down our tendency to refer to Palestinians and Israelis as monolithic blocs of people. There are so many different groups and factions in Gaza, Hamas does not control them all, so to speak of "the Palestinians" or Hamas doing this or that can be misleading.

Alis, yes you are right, it's very different, I should be more careful really!

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 11:43:17

"I personally would not compare Gaza to Dachau, I only meant to point out that if people were to do so it can only fall in the realm of plausibility"

Yes, "People" didn't compare it, you did.
No one else spoke of this in the thread, you did.

And no, in my world it doesn't fall in the "realm of plausibility" at all.

The cautious wording and the use of the conditional "if" is a poor disguise of the fact.

"I am used to doing academic research in this area"
"I used to work at a Holocaust research center so I do know a little bit about this thanks."

Is this supposed to confer your statements some type of neutral/factual authority? BNP members seem very well versed in subjects like Immigration too for example; doesn't mean they're impartial in the subject.

Anyway, my point is I'm tired of the way Israel is constantly demonised and vilified and how people don't seem to acknowledge that the current situation is categorically not the product of unilateral action.

I'm sick of how people seem to dismiss the loss of Israeli lives. The lack of "efficiency" of the primitive rockets has been mentioned more than once in the context of "only 5 israelis died in last 10 days". It's offensive.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 11:47:41

Poppy.

Disagreeing with Israel's actions over the course of years does not equate to demonising it. It simply does not.

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:37

Alis, yes you're right.

But attributing all responsibility to the State of Israel does.

No, another poster first compared Gaza to a concentration camp, and Elaine said she was ignorant or prejudiced to do so.

My comments were addressing that exchange. A lot of people compare Gaza to an open-air concentration camp. It's not something I made up! And I offered my thoughts on it.

You see my language as cautious -- no, I'm just trying to be precise.

I only mentioned my working in Holocaust research because you and Elaine then went on to say that people like me were just ignorant and ill-informed. Well, no, I'm not ignorant, I just don't agree with you.

I'm not BNP or anti-Semitic or anything malicious. I have never worked for anyone but mainstream, centrist and well-known institutes.

The entire Polish wing of my family was slaughtered by the Nazis. I myself have experience with terrorism. I'm not in any way anti-Israeli but I very much disagree with everything they are doing right now.

I don't expect you to agree with me, but please at least address my actual comments and don't assume the worst about me.

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 12:03:55

You clearly didn't read my post.

I didn't assume anything about you and didn't label you anti-semitic or BNP.

I pointed out that your "academic research" background doesn't mean your opinions are neutral or even factual.

maleview70 Sat 17-Nov-12 12:21:54

Wait til Israel start bombing Iran which is almost inevitable.

Then the shit will really hit the fan.

Poppy, you assumed I was bringing up my research background to claim impartiality (oh you know like how the BNP does hmm) when I think it was pretty obvious that I was directly responding to comments (including by you) that I should 'learn something about it'.

I have never claimed to be impartial or neutral. I am only saying that I'm not ignorant.

You also assumed I was the one who started the comparisons you object to, and earlier you said you were disgusted that I did not acknowledge Palestinian war crimes, when in fact I did.

As I said, I know we will disagree, but I think you are reading the worst into my posts tbh.

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:44

dreaming, that NYT article is fascinating and scary. So Israel has taken out someone who could have delivered a long-lasting ceasefire...

babbas Sat 17-Nov-12 12:48:07

I attribute all the responsibility for its air strikes restrictions and political actions with the state of Israel. This does not make me anti Semitic. Just as blaming Hamas for the attacks against innocent Israeli civilians does not make me anti Islamic. This is not a race issue for me. It's an issue of deplorable and disproportionate use of force, and over looked war crimes which the OP touched upon.

edam -- yes it's really interesting to think about how a permanent ceasefire might have changed the whole equation. Really a potential game-changer.

But this is the problem with having political leaders whose support depends on the politics of fear. They aren't acting in the best interests of the country but of themselves. (And yes I think this is true of both sides.)

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 17-Nov-12 13:02:37

dreaming that article is really good,thanks for sharing.

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 14:00:56

There have always been Jews in Arabia. Funnily enough it was not the Muslims or Arabs who persecuted them, and committed atrocities against them. When the Christians reconqueres Spain the Jews left with the Muslims. The Arabs did not have an issue with Jewish people living in their lands. Why do you think Jewish people started immigrating there? Because they felt it was safer?

And I thought Arabs were Semites too?

I don't think being against the actions of a state makes you racist? I don't understand why racism against Jewish people has a special word either?

So even if we get over that, because Israel has a right to exist, does it have a right to the blockade, prevention of aid, right to prevent medical treatment, right to burn olive trees and sink fishing boats, right to prevent construction materials for rebuilding, right to use white phosphorus in built up areas?

Let's stop and consider the last one. We are defending the use of WHITE PHOSPHORUS in built up areas and CLUSTER BOMBS in the middle of a city, but when Palestinians fire a few rockets back that is not ok?

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 14:01:39

"when I think it was pretty obvious that I was directly responding to comments (including by you) that I should 'learn something about it'. "

I have never said this, I think you're confusing me with someone else.

You're right, we will disagree.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 14:34:23

Dreaming
I said you should learning something about it. If you worked at a holocaust research centre you would know that in no way is what happens in gaza any way reminiscent of the holocaust and certainly not within the realm of plausibility.

nalaik
You're quite right that the Arabs lived peacefully with Jews for much of history, even though the Koran is quite inciteful against Jews. At the end of the day, neither Arabs nor Muslims persecuted Jews the way Europeans did whether through crusades, pogroms or the holocaust. But it still doesn't excuse Arab counties then expelling all their Jewish populations after Israel was created and the anti Jewish hatred and sentiments since then.

No one has said that Israel has carte Blanche to do as it wishes. Many Israelis don't support the actions of their government and there are plenty of demonstrations in Israel against what is happening in gaza (unfortunately, you don't see similar demonstrations in gaza, any israeli is fair game, they are only constrained in how many they murder by their own technical abilities!).

But as poppy has pointed out, there is a demonization and villification of Israel, lack of recognition of the Palestinian role in all of this and a pretty basic questioning of Israel's right to exist. I see this as being based in anti semitism and not legitimate criticism of Israel.

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 14:40:01

why is questioning a states right to exist mean you are racist against the people of a certain religion?

I mean if i questioned Somalias right to exist I wouldnt be racist against Muslims would I?

How many Israelis have rockets from Gaza killed? How many Palestinians has Israels actions killed, directly and indirectly?

What is the Palestinian role in all of this?

Why are you blaming Palestine for the actions of other Arab countries? the countries which up until now have kept borders closed, blocked the tunnels which get food through to israel, not supported Palestine miltarily etc?

Well I don't know how many times I can say that I'm not comparing Gaza to the Holocaust. If my original post did not make that clear enough, I think the several explanations I've given since then have. But I appreciate that perhaps my distinctions are still too narrow and I do apologise for any offence, will leave it at that.

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 14:52:38

Nailak - do you have any criticism for Palestinians and their leaders or are they totally blameless and innocent.

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 14:57:08

I don't see Palestinians doing anything except retaliate in the face of oppression and severe hardship that makes normal day to day living hard.

This is a country without an army, without an airforce, without a navy, a country which is not even recognised as a nation state, it has no tanks so defends itself with rockets and stones.

i mean if palestine was a state then wouldnt the military branch of hamas just be the military?

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 15:13:47

I recommend everyone reads the New York Times article dreaming linked to that explains that Israel just assassinated the Palestinian leader who was negotiating a ceasefire. Written by an Israeli negotiator.

Clearly the Israeli government does not want peace. Or someone within the government who has the power to start another war does not want peace.

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 15:26:43

I will read it, it's a very interesting development if true. Wonder what the Israeli people think about it, especially with elections coming up. If so, hope it backfires on Netanyahu.

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 15:30:13

Nailak - so you do see the Palestinians as being totally innocent. Can understand this viewpoint if you are personally involved, say Palestinian or have family or connections there. Can't understand it you are in a neutral position with no connections.

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 15:51:29

why not? plenty of people hold this position.

Can you explain to me what of that which I said in my last post is incorrect? and why you feel that retaliation is not allowed by Palestine?

I think Crescent would agree with me. I don't think she has any family connections there either.

What I would add is my mum and dad are South African, my dad was imprisoned and tortured for passing messages for the banned ANC, and deemed a terrorist. My mum was a teacher who saw her students killed while on protest march by an oppressive regime. While 9 months pregnant with me my mum marched in the demo at Trafalgar square in 1984. Apartheid is apartheid, Oppression is oppression. Desmond Tutu agrees.

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 16:12:42

I understand why they retaliate, I just think their idea of retaliation is getting them nowhere in the long run and just making things worse for the ordinary people as the Israelis then become more entrenched and feel justified with their own 'retaliation'. So you don't see that much of the Israeli's actions can also be classed as 'retaliation' but it happens that they are able to retaliate in a bigger way?

No I can't understand how someone who hasn't got personal involvement can't see that both sides have been at fault. I can't just point the finger at one country and that's what makes it so complicated.

What does innocent mean anyway? and which Palestinians are you talking about?

There is only a minority of Palestinians who have actually committed armed violence, yet the entire Palestinian nation is being punished.

Even if you do think the Palestinian leadership and militant groups are in the wrong, there is a much larger civilian population that is innocent. Even if some of them do hate Israel or wish it wouldn't exist -- that is not actually a crime, and unless they actually do something to act upon it, they shouldn't be targeted.

That is the whole point of distinction in international law -- you are only supposed to target people who are actual military threats.

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 16:13:36

"I recommend everyone reads the New York Times article dreaming linked to that explains that Israel just assassinated the Palestinian leader who was negotiating a ceasefire. Written by an Israeli negotiator."

He's a Peace Activist working for a think tank. He's also Israeli and he is involved in alleged unofficial negotiations, so I suppose you could call him an Israeli negotiator.

He wasn't even in direct contact with Ahmed Jabari and there's absolutely no proof that he was interested/open to the agreement or that indeed he would sign it.

Plenty of "alleged" and "claimed" there.

sigh

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 16:14:35

is Desmond Tutu God or something. What does he have to do with this?

PoppyAmex Sat 17-Nov-12 16:15:37

"If so, hope it backfires on Netanyahu."

I agree Begonia

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 16:16:59

I was demonstrating that other people who have no direct involvement believe that the Palestinian people are innocent.

What would you do if you were a Palestinian, say stop me getting to a hospital, burn my livelihood, restrict my food, don't let me rebuild, dont let aid in, but I won't fight back?

nailak Sat 17-Nov-12 16:18:58

But nailak, no one questions Somalias right to exist, or belgiums, or Kuwait or Nigeria, or South Africa yet they are all artificial states.

What would you like to see happen next?

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 16:27:58

The Palestinians are certainly not innocent in all of this. While the Israeli government does have much to answer for, and I would unfortunately agree that the current administration does not genuinely want compromise (although previous ones have and the Palestinians managed to undermine it all), this does not absolve the Palestinians of responsibility.

The Palestinians are also not pushing for peace. Most Palestinians in Gaza do support Hamas. There are no demosntrations AGAINST firing the missiles while in Israel there are plenty of demonstrations against what is happening in Gaza (although increasingly unpopular as it is seen as unpatriotic when the country is under fire). In fact, one demonstration in Tel Aviv had to disperse due to an air raid alert (rather ironic).

I don't believe for a second that Ahmed Jabari was some kind of secret peace negotiator. That's BS. He was a child murdering bastard. I agree it probably wasn't prudent of Israel to kill him at this moment and wonder about the reasons for it but I have no rose tinted glasses about who he was and what he did.

Sorry Nalaik, the Palestinians are not some innocent party in all of this but have equally created the conditions for all that has happened. The south african ANC was lucky to have Nelson Mandela to lead them to peace, the Indians had Gandhi, the Israelis had Ben Gurion - all of these leaders were visionaries and contributed to the success of the national campaigns for freedom....the Palestinians got stuck with Yasser Arafat who instead of genuinely negotiating a peace deal when the time was right and Israel was in a position where there was support for compromise, fucked it all up and dragged the Palestinians back down into the abyss.

THe first intifada was completely justified, the second intifada was simply futile and unecessary

He's a Track 2 negotiator (unofficial but operating with the knowledge of the Israeli government). He helped negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit as well.

He didn't meet with Jabari because Jabari would not ever meet with Israelis. He met with his representative.

Negotiations such as these are always short on proof. You can only rely on what people say happened. To this day the main participants at Camp David disagree over what happened.

Would Jabari have agreed to it? Would Netanyahu have agreed to it? Who knows. But clearly some kind of negotiation was in the works, and the Israelis didn't bother to wait to see how it turned out.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 16:31:34

If I were a Palestinian, Nalaik, I think I would ask myself if 60 years of fighting or retaliating against Israel has really done me any good and maybe if I'd have had a bit of foresight and accepted the UN partition plan of 1947 or the ISraeli offer of peace (all the WB and Gaza prior to the settler movement starting up) in 1967 or the Olso accords of 1992 - or maybe if I'd have pushed for more democratic institutions and civil society - maybe my life would be a lot better than it is right now.

But Elaine, again, which Palestinians are you talking about, when you say they're not innocent?

Supporting Hamas does not make you a legitimate target of war, not unless you are actively involved in military activities.

In the same way that UK civilians don't deserve to be blown up because their government commits violence against others.

Unless you want to argue that all 1.5 million Gazans are actively involved in the military struggle against Israel, then what Israel is doing there is illegal.

I find it disturbing because I sense sometimes -- and I hope you are not arguing this, I'm not saying you are -- but sometimes it seems as if some Israelis feel that if you are Palestinian and don't agree that Israel has the right to exist, then you deserve to be harmed or killed.

But merely thinking Israel should not exist does not make you a target under international law. Unless you directly contribute to armed violence, you are a civilian and should not be harmed.

BegoniaBampot Sat 17-Nov-12 16:49:21

Nailak - if I were Palestinian I might very well strap on a suicide vest and throw rocks at the soldiers, rejoice if our rockets hit civilian targets - but feeling 'right' and justified and put upon with no control over my destiny is not going to improve things for Palestainans stuck in Gaza. They will continue to be stuck in this terrible situation but at least they will have the comfort of feeling that they are the only victims and are morally right while the Israelis are the evil aggressors. And nothing will change.

squoosh Sat 17-Nov-12 17:31:12

'The Palestinians caused their own tragedy.'

Anyone who comes out with a statement like that can have absolutely no credibility.

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 18:06:01

Does everyone in Britain deserve to be blown up because we were led by a war criminal, Tony Blair? (I voted for him, had no idea he'd start an illegal war and help the Americans conduct a campaign of kidnapping and torturing people.) Blaming the Palestinians when the Israelis have far superior power - three Israeli dead, 20 Palestinians - is deliberate blindness to the facts.

If you can accept that you can be Israeli and not agree with Netanyahu, even though he's been voted into office, why not extend the same idea to the Palestinians? And acknowledge that whatever terrible things are done by their leaders and terrorist groups, not all Palestinians are responsible for them.

crescentmoon Sat 17-Nov-12 19:55:04

the unfortunate thing for the Israelis is that the Palestinians are both Muslims and Arabs.

they had hoped that they would go the way of the native indians of america, the aborigines of australia, the diego garcians turfed out of their island to make way for american bases. that they could just do what america, britain, australia had done with the 'natives' of the lands they had conquered, that it would be an internal matter - that it was part of their national sovereignty to do to the palestinians whatever they wished.

the palestinians were either supposed to disappear off into the sunset or be grateful for any scraps from the table and grateful that they were only massacred instead of decimated.

but the palestinians are muslims, and they are arabs, and they are the semitic cousins of the Israelis.

and whatever it is in the jewish heart that kept them going through all the years of persecution, is what is in their semitic cousins heart.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 20:05:48

Dreaming - I'm not sure who you are referring your question to. I don't think anyone here has said that all Palestinians back Hamas. I'm sure there are quite a few who don't (Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish is an inspirational example) but it would be nice if those voices were heard a bit more. Certainly no one said that because Palestinians think Israel shouldn't exist, Israel has the right to bomb them, you're making things up!

What I do say is that Palestinians as an entity, just as Israel is spoken of as an entity, are just as responsible for the situation they are in as Israel is. This doesn't give Israel the right to violate the Palestinians' human rights or engage in war crimes, and where these things happen censure is correct, ideally from within Israel as does happen.

But please don't paint the Palestinians as innocents as they are no more innocent than Israel is. They had opportunity, time and time again, to reach a peaceful solution with Israel. They didn't want to. They've never missed an oppotunity to miss an opportunity. Now things are shit on both sides so peace is even further than it ever was and the Palestinians are just as responsible for this situation as Israel is.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 20:19:52

That's total rubbish Crescentmoon. The Zionist movement never intended to displace Palestinians. The land was bought and land was settled usually where no one else wanted to live.

Following the rejection of the UN partition plan, Israel (or what was to become Israel) was involved in a battle of survival with the Arabs although many Palestinians did stay put and did not become involved in the conflict - and they became citizens of the new State of Israel. There was no masterplan to expel all the Palestinians, indeed the mayor of Haifa went out into the streets begging Palestinians to stay. That's not so say there weren't massacres (on both sides - ever heard of the massacre of the Hadassah medical convoy???) and expulsions but it wasn't because that was some kind of Zionist plan. It was in the middle of what was, for Israelis, a battle for survival (imagine what would have happened to them if the Arabs had won).

I do hope you're equally concerned about the equal or even higher number of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries in retaliation. If you don't hear much about them, I think it's because they just got on with their lives.

I was asking based partly on some posts on this thread, and also just the wider discourse on this, where people are putting equal or more blame on the Palestinians and noting that they support Hamas and elected Hamas and don't think Israel should exist, and that they are 'not innocent' in all this.

It's a key point because in many conflicts, people justify attacks on civilians by finding ways in which they are not 'innocent' and somehow brought their suffering on themselves.

I see now that your interpretation of 'not innocent' is based on Palestinian rejection of partition plans, and not their feelings toward Israel. As I said, I didn't think you were making the argument I noted, I just wanted to ask.

I came back as I've just read some speculation that Israel may have kicked off this latest round as a means of reducing the stockpile of rockets and weapons in Gaza, so that it poses less of a threat should they attack Iran.

Now that is pretty terrifying.

I'm not sure I buy it, but it's worth thinking about.

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:18

It reminds me of the battles over Yugoslavia. The Serbs had held on to some long-ago feelings of injustice dating back to the middle ages IIRC and saw themselves as persecuted. This, they felt, justified slaughtering Muslims in Bosnia - horrific war crimes against civilians including children, women and the elderly. The Serbs had an image of themselves as the oppressed and used this to justify not just oppressing but torturing and murdering others.

Some people justify Israeli aggression in the same terms - millions of Jews were killed in WW2 so everything Israel does is right, including exterminating Palestinian civilians, women and children. It must be scary in their heads.

crescentmoon Sat 17-Nov-12 21:10:35

i will assume that you honestly do not know elaine, the zionists sought to ethnically cleanse palestine of the arabs as early as the late 19th century. the population of palestine was 86per cent muslim, 10 per cent christian and 4 per cent jewish at the turn of that century. but the zionists with the aid of wealthy backers and a mass migration programme sought to takeover palestine by fair means or foul, long before the events of the 2nd world war...

Theodor Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism wrote:

“We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back.” Herzl, entry for 6-12-1895, Complete Diaries, vol. 1, p. 88.

Berry-Philo, p. 5: “Israel Zangwill, who had coined the Zionist slogan ‘a land without people for a people without land’, informed a meeting of Zionists in Manchester in 1905 that ‘[We] must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population.”

Tom Segev, 1949, The First Israelis, p. 80: “More than half a million acres were thus expropriated from their owners. A few thousand of these owners were actually living in Israel, yet the law defined them as absentees, even if they had only left their homes for a few days and stayed with relatives in a nearby village or town, waiting for the fighting to end. Later they came to be referred to as “present absentees."

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:11:26

Edam - both sides use the same type of justification - it's an endless cycle of "you started it". Talk of "response" and "retaliation" is so loaded. Also I think pointless. It's a good thing most of the people on this thread aren't anything to do with any possible resolution.

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:13:24

Dreamingbohemian: the militants have been getting new deadlier weapons from Iran that can reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, obviously you know this. I don't think Israel would need an end objective to want to remove them. Removing them would be an objective in itself.

crescentmoon Sat 17-Nov-12 21:13:39

"I do hope you're equally concerned about the equal or even higher number of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries in retaliation. If you don't hear much about them, I think it's because they just got on with their lives."

nearly a million arabs were expelled from palestine so israel needed manpower to fill the labour market - were the jews from the arab countries pushed or were they pulled into israel as jews from all over the world: eastern europe, russia, south america, were called on to emigrate and settle the land?

Brycie Sat 17-Nov-12 21:15:23

I think the answer would be no, then Crescent. Just say no if you want to.

What would you like to see happen then, crescent moon?

crescentmoon Sat 17-Nov-12 22:02:45

one state solution.

Brycie -- yes, they have, in which case escalating the conflict (as Israel did with the assassination) is more likely to see those rockets put into use (as they have been) than going for some kind of ceasefire, which would hopefully lock them down for now, and leave disarmament to be negotiated later.

On the other hand, if you are planning to attack Iran within the next six months, then you actually do want those rockets launched (and shot down luckily) now.

I don't really buy it though, Hezbollah is a much closer proxy of Iran and has thousands and thousands of rockets.

At any rate there are now reports in the news that a ceasefire may be imminent, which would be terrific.

Haaretz (Israeli paper) now reporting that the Israeli interior minister has said:

"The goal of the operation is to send #Gaza back to the Middle Ages"

https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/269870815401611267

Now to be clear, I am sure Palestinian officials are saying equally nasty things

But if he did really say this, then it sort of knocks a hole in the whole narrative of 'it's only self-defence'.

spotsdots Sat 17-Nov-12 22:31:43

IMO governments of both sides are war criminals Its bullshit to say the civilians are not the target, unless you are 2metres away from your so called intented target.

I don't support either side, but I'm less sympathetic with Israel because they remind me of playground big bullies.

I lost in total 20 family members in the Nairobi and Kampala Al-Shabab bombings but I will never support any government that will fire missiles in Somalia. Why? Because I know there will be an innocent person who will be killed just like my innocent beloved ones.

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 22:32:14

Dreaming
Unfortunately I believe it from avigdor Lieberman, hes a racist bully. The whole situation depresses me beyond belief. I'm just glad Obama and not romney is president and he will keep Bibi and his gang of thugs in check.

Crescent moon
Personally, I'd like to see the western wall, al aqsa mosque and church of the holy sepulchre bulldozed and Disneyland middle east built in its place but that's as likely to happen as a one state solution. The question should have been realistic solution.

Lottie13 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:33:02

Dear Crescentmoon,

The answer is unambiguous: jews were expelled from muslim countries in their hundreds of thousands. There was no choice. Pushed not pulled.

The current situation is tragic. Theocrats increasingly in charge on both sides. Moderates sidelined.

spotsdots I'm so sorry for your loss, that's horrific.

I think it's a mistaken idea that everybody affected by terrorism will want revenge or support military action -- as you say, it just kills more innocent people.

Elaine -- oh gosh, it is Lieberman isn't it? What a nutjob.

I just had to listen to a speech by an American neo-con talking about how much he wants to attack Iran, NOW.

What is with these people?? It's like all they care about is their own power, never mind they end up kings of a scorched earth.

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 23:18:44

spotsdots, I'm also sorry to hear about your family's tragedy.

The UK's chief rabbi said this was about Iran - although he didn't realise he was live on air when he said it (had just done Thought for the Day on Radio 4 and the presenter asked him why it was happening, without explaining he was still live on air - the other presenter chipped in to tell him and the rabbi quickly said 'all we can do is pray for peace'. But the comment about Iran was revealing.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 00:02:39

No, I made a mistake. It's Eli yishai from shas who is minister of interior. Lieberman is minister of foreign affairs. But yishai is no better to be honest.

Just read on bbc about Israeli demonstrations against attacks in gaza, it's the only thing abiut this situations that makes me a little hopeful.

I know there are many many Israelis who support peace and hate Netanyahu. It must be so awful, like when we reelected George Bush in the US after his stupid war, you just feel despair.

Elaine, who would you like to see as prime minister? Is there anyone you think could make some progress in improving things and could they win?

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 00:21:10

Ideally Zehava galon but she has no chance. Shell yehimovich would be pretty good and better than either Bibi or Olmert, both in terms of security but also her social agenda. Another delightful trait of Bibi is that he is very right wing economically as well.

Hmm, thanks! I'll keep an eye on them smile

Mimishimi Sun 18-Nov-12 03:54:34

Lottie, have you read the accounts of Naeim Giladi? He and many other Sephardim argue that there was a concerted effort by Israel , including and not limited to false flag attacks, which was intended to get the Sephardim kicked out of their countries (Iraq, Iran, Egypt etc) so that the population of Israel would be boosted and they would have cheap labour...

Mimishimi Sun 18-Nov-12 03:57:45

Also wanted to add that I believe the increased intensity of late is a bid to get Western countries into full scale war with Iran. The more advanced type of missiles being used by Hamas have to have been supplied by someone outside. This will be blamed on Iran regardless if it was others who want to give Hamas (bunch of thick thugs that they are) enough rope to hang themselves with.

MrsMicawber Sun 18-Nov-12 13:26:40

Hello all,

I can't go back over the whole thread and debate each point as I've missed too much since Friday. However I would ask that anyone with a real interest in a long term solution for peace, and with a real desire to understand the situation on the ground, watch this video and then comment on it.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 13:31:02

A good blog post here about the problems with the BBC reporting strategy.

The final image is unbearable.

www.andywightman.com/?p=1762

MrsMicawber Sun 18-Nov-12 13:35:32

I wouldn't commend the editorial board at the BBC for anything other than perhaps the suitability to decide on which toilet paper to stock the office with.

Really wouldn't use them as a yardstick for good reporting.

For what it is worth, that was one type of rocket. There are other rockets are used that cause much more damage. Three people were killed last week.

Please, please watch the video I linked before comparing death tolls.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 13:48:47

I have watched it; it is the kind of dreadful, desperate thing that happens under occupation when all ordinary forms of negotiation become impossible because of the disparity in power between two sides. Nothing could make what is happening justifiable. Or legal. Or proportionate.

A friend who's in touch with many civilians in Gaza posted this:

'The simple fact is the occupation forces started this latest round of aggression by killing first one baby, then two children playing football, in order to get Gazan resistance groups to retaliate since the Israelis had yet again broken the ceasefire. It is wrong to equate home-made tin-pot missles form an imprisoned resistance to depleted uranium tipped high tech weaponry from an occupation aggressor. You will see from the death tolls that, as usual, there are mainly children and women being killed by Israel, because they deliberately target civilian homes. I know, I am talking to those civilians who are in their homes and they are getting targetted even tho they have nothing at all to do with Hamas. Israel terms every single Palestinian as a terrorist, babies, and preferably pregnant women, are seen as preferable targets for Israel, as their t-shirts from 2009 reminded us - "one shot, two kills", and an attempt to undermine the next generation of people that might grow up less than happy with being occupied. Most of the weaponry Israel uses is illegal in civilian areas, and it is particularly illegal of an occupier to use weapons against a population it occupies. The problem for you, and most news audiences, is that you will only get the Israeli side, because they have an extremely well-oiled, very slick military propaganda machine.'

I saw a report from one of the people involved in undercover negotiations the other day saying that the Hamas commander that Israel assassinated the other day had been working towards a negotiated settlement and was in a position to sway policy within the group as a whole. Fat chance of that now he's been killed.

I am ashamed of Blair and Hague and their weak mutterings about de-escalation, and of Obama yet again failing to insist on the rule of law and on human rights. What a tragic, bitter, bloody waste of life and hope.

thanks bugger. tragic, bitter, shameful.
There is no way to spin this. Its just plain electoral posturing.
Totally predictable and despicable.

Madmum24 "There is no such thing as a civilian in what is known as Israel, from the age of 7 children are trained as soldiers, and all people from the jewish diaspora who apply to live there are aware of what they are going into."

Um, my Israeli DH is a little puzzled by this. He doesn't remember being trained from age 7. Perhaps it's the brainwashing.

I'm married to an Israeli. I lived there for 6 years, through the peak if the Intifada. I narrowly escaped being blown up by suicide bombers twice. So I think I have a little more insight than most of you who have just been fed emotive media bullshit.

BOTH sides are wrong. Both sides are killing civilians. Both sides are heavily influenced by religious nutjobs who think it their divine mission to kill off the other side. Serious international intervention is needed, and somehow, the religious influence has got to be stopped dead. Your average secular Israeli doesn't think the country is their god-given right. The average Israeli has no issue with the average Palestinian. The average Israeli doesn't want Jewish settlements going up in Palestinian land. In fact, the average secular hates the religious far right and the insanely strong influence they have over a supposedly secular government. The Israeli government DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THE AVERAGE ISRAELI.

I would bet you that a shared state would be an absolutely viable option if all the religious nuts on both sides got chucked into the sea. Innocent people are dying because these wankers think their superstitions give them some divine right to kill over land. And my family and friends are having rockets lobbed at them because of arguments over a god they don't even believe in. It makes me so angry. The leaders of both sides need their heads banging together.

"supposedly secular government"
WHY DOES THE AVERAGE ISRAELI LET THEM HIJACK THEIR VOTE THEN?

The religious right have far too much influence. I'm still baffled as to how it happens. Money, mostly, I believe.

money for sure but who pours it abundantly and why?

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 14:17:59

And support from Christian fundamentalist millenarian hard liners in the States (& increasingly here, too).

I had a row by letter with a Church of Scotland minister with seriously evangelical influences who insisted that the conflict was a signal of the coming of the Last Days and the Second Coming, and the just punishment of the Muslims for not believing in Christ, and was therefore to be welcomed. I'm still astounded that people with such extreme views are allowed to be in charge of a parish.

Thanks for that Annie, I totally agree with you.

I don't know how the religious right have so much influence in America either. But there's limits to what the average person can do about it. You can vote, go on demos, try to do some activism, but what else can you do? Except condemn things you don't agree with.

laptop - that I don't know. I'm not that clued up about politics. I only know the opinions of my Israeli family and friends on the subject. The don't hate the Palestinians, they don't want war and for the most part, they don't support how the government is handling the situation.

Jews and Muslims lived happily together in the region for hundreds of years. I really don't know how all this hate came about.

GothAnneGeddes Sun 18-Nov-12 14:35:10

Considering Zionism originated as an avowedly secular movement, opposed by the Heredi (orthodox Jews to this day are excused service from the IDF), so I'm not sure where this idea that if everyone was a bit less religious, everything would be hunky-dory. Likewise, when pan-Arabism was at it's peak, the Palestinian resistance was also secular and there was no great out break of peace.

This is an ethnic conflict, not a religious one, though religion can be/is used as a tool by both sides.

Me neither Annie.
i come from a country where the rabbi and ulama's wives nursed each others babies when the times were hard during colonial rule.
Its just a generation away.
I just don't get it

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 14:49:55
OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 14:53:40

Chomsky tweeted (on Obama 'understanding Israel's need for self-defense'):

Noam Chomsky ‏@daily_chomsky

You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's not defense.

Ohbugger! Bless you for having the fortitude to link those images but you should really put a disclaimer.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 15:00:03

Sorry, I should have done, yes.

But it's right that we're shocked - that's what gets lost in the tit for tat arguments about who did what when and who started what and who is more justified in their position. If we lose that shock we lose our own humanity as well.

My MP has just retweeted a message from an observer seeing a Palestinian baby pulled out of a residential building destroyed by an airstrike.

yes its right that we are shocked and yes its right to occupy whatever media space that's left to express it.

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 15:12:08

Its so terribly sad. I cant bear to look at the news.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 15:15:34

#GazaUnderAttack is one place.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 15:27:09

Oh lord, that hash tag needed its own disclaimer. People are posting photographs from the bombardment. Children killed in the last hour while we've been posting on here. Tiny little bodies, I can't bear it. This is so wrong.

I'm following them too Oh. It's so awful.

I can't imagine what I would do if that happened to my son. I have so much admiration for all the people there who lose their loved ones and yet still promote peace, not hatred, because I'm not sure I could do it.

Elaine mentioned earlier Dr. Abuelaish. He's a Palestinian doctor who lost his three daughters in an Israeli strike in Gaza. Yet he works tirelessly to promote peace. Here's his story:

www.daughtersforlife.com/foundation/the-founder/

I have heard him speak, it's heartbreaking.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 17:15:01

Those looking at photos should be aware that Hamas is posting photos from Syria
Hamas recycling photos

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 17:16:42

Gothanngeddes

As usual a font of misinformation. Orthodox Jews are most certainly not exempt from the draft! Zionism always had a religious element to it.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 17:18:02

Dreaming - have you read his book? I was in tears.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 19:11:49

Oh for fuck's sake. This guy is from Oxford, he is not Hamas on a propaganda campaign. This is from Agence France Presse. (That's a picture of dead kids killed in an air raid today, by the way, in case anyone doesn't want to be surprised by it)

All you're doing by raising suspicions like that, without the context of the hundreds and hundreds of other observers and reputable journalists posting reports and photographs from the last couple of days, is minimising the significance of what is going on tonight, what is happening to real people, what has happened to children and women and elderly people who have been killed and wounded and bereaved over the last few days.

If it really is the case that some desperate people are misusing images (and I'd hardly think that Business insider is a prime source for clear, informed information on Palestine) don't let that insulate you from the fact that dreadful dreadful violence is taking place and that innocent victims are bearing the brunt of it.

What any one individual, with or without the knowledge of Hamas, may do in a social media campaign has no bearing on the suffering and slaughter that is taking place, with the collusion of our government and with very little recognition and acknowledgement from the mainstream media.

Elaine -- no I haven't, just listening to him speak was heartbreaking enough.

I do think people should be aware that everyone in all these conflicts misuses photos and videos and stages things, etc. This has been a big issue in Syria as well.

But there's a limit to how much you can fake things, especially in a conflict where there actually are quite a lot of reporters. And certainly the horrible deaths today of that family were well documented and witnessed by reporters firsthand.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 20:45:12

There are children dying and in pain tonight; the hospitals are desperately in need of supplies. Please make a donation if you can.

www.islamic-relief.org.uk/Gaza_appeal.aspx

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 22:35:51

I never said all photos from gaza were fake, just that Hamas felt the need to fake some of them.

I think there have certainly been cases where the Israeli response has been disproportionate, I'm not sure this has happened in this case yet.

And if civilians are hurt in gaza, Hamas (and islamic jihad et al) bears equal responsibility for INTENTIONALLY hiding in heavily populated areas. If I were Palestinian I think my first question to Hamas would be 'what the fuck are you doing?'

There's no problem of money in Palestinians territories. They've had hundred of millions of dollars in aid from all over, so much of it ends up in Swiss bank accounts of Palestinian fat cats. There are far more children dying in conflicts and of preventable disease due to conflict the world over

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 22:35:57

This article from Ariel Sharon's son is utterly terrifying. Chilling.

edam Sun 18-Nov-12 22:37:08

Caught the headlines on Radio 4. Israel has bombed the home of a Hamas leader, killing all ten occupants - including children. And probably a few neighbours as well.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 22:46:25

Not disproportionate? You must either be joking, in poor taste, or very very callous.

And your comment about the financial status of the Palestinian territories is frankly in the realms of fantasy.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 22:58:32

God, those photos are pretty harrowing.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:05:51

I hope Hamas see those photos and stop firing missiles from within populated areas. They have a lot to answer for.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:07:50

No, ohbugger, I just have family and friends under bombardment day and night in the south of Israel and something needs to be done to stop it. There are no more settlements in gaza btw.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:09:31

It was not Hamas who killed those people, it was the IDF. It is the government of Israel who needs to answer for the deaths. And no, the responsibility is not equal, whatever the faults on the Hamas side. One of the tweets going around today was along the lines that what Israel is doing is the equivalent of the UK bombing Belfast because there were terrorists operating there; that's not a bad model. There was an interesting discussion re. the Jimmy Savile case about the mechanisms the press use to blame the victims rather than the perpetrators - victim blaming is exactly what you're doing here.

As I said upthread, under international law, even if militants hide in populated areas, it is still illegal for states to bomb those areas and kill civilians.

It's usually considered disproportionate, as seen in this case, where to kill one militant they killed nine civilians, including children.

Earlier Israel also bombed a building that they knew housed media (by that I mean they admitted publicly they knew reporters were there). The apparent intent was to take out Hamas communication equipment on the roof. They blame Hamas for putting it there but clearly it's illegal to put civilians in harm's way to take out communications equipment.

When judging whether something is disproportionate, you are looking at very limited factors. You are not basing it on the wide sweep of history, who started the conflict, who's been most reluctant to negotiate, etc. It is really based on the military factors at play. I don't really see how you can argue that what Israel is doing is proportionate, or that they're showing enough discrimination. They're conducting airstrikes in one of the most heavily densely populated areas in the world.

I got this off twitter earlier and I fully agree:

"#Gaza is just 40km long &10km wide & home to nearly 2M people. It's not the best place to fight a war if you want to avoid killing civilians "

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Gaza, said: "We have seen an intensification of firing from both sides.

"If the Israeli army is seeking to kill those firing rockets, the fighters are not in those locations. We are seeing the fighters have far more sophisticated weapons now, especially in the actual launching systems.

"They are able to operate them via remote control. They have been buried in the ground either days or weeks ago, so trying to target these locations is rather futile."

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:21:51

If London came under constant missile attack being fired from within Dublin by militants with the full support of the government, you can bet your bottom dollar they would respond! The Ira used to phone in warnings, Hamas targeted schools.

Hamas is FULLY responsible for the consequences of its actions, especially because it's MEANT to be protecting its own people and operating in their best interests. The only reason there are air strikes in gaza is to stop the missiles. The missiles stop, the air strikes will stop. Simple.

Interestingly I was just reading that the reason Israel assissanted Jabari was because Hamas started firing missiles whereas previously it has been Islamic jihad and others. Clearly Hamas was just as keen to see an escalation.

Proportionate responses are allowed and, unfortunately, civilian deaths are too. I don't support the current Israeli govt but, to be honest, listening to my family and friends in Israel, it has to stop - how else can the missiles be stopped? Israel withdrew from every last centimeter of the gaza strip!

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:28:27

Ohbugger

Money isn't the problem in the Palestinian territories. For example, the pa got $1.5 billion in 2009 which was typical of recent years. Where's all that money gone? That's what I'd be asking if I were Palestinian.

Strange that you recommend islamic aid rather than a secular charity like, say, oxfam or UNICEF. I guess that might hint at your agenda.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:19

'how else can the missiles be stopped?'

Not like this. This is a recipe for conflict, hurt and revenge lasting for generations.

And 'the missiles stop, the air strikes will stop' - it was Israel who broke the ceasefire in the current round.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:45

Dreaming

Maybe that's why they are targeting the leadership

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:31:12

I don't think shelling Palestinians into oblivion is going to encourage a ceasefire.

And whilst it's terribly good of Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip,it being land that doesn't belong to them and all, perhaps giving back some more land might pacify the Palestinians? Land that belonged to them before Israel completely disregarded the agreed borders?

The missiles can only be stopped by resolving the conflict.

People have this mistaken idea that there's a military solution to everything. There isn't. Insurgencies are almost never defeated by military means (and when they are, it's only with an accompanying tremendous loss of civilian lives, as in Chechnya).

Didn't Israel engage in strikes before to stop the missiles? And yet here we are. And no doubt, if nothing is done to resolve the conflict, we will be here again.

Israel will never be truly safe until it reaches a political settlement. THAT is where all the effort should be directed, not futile military tactics that only prolong the agony.

You can't possibly think that just because Israel withdrew from Gaza, that the Gazans have no grievances. They are stateless, they have no rights, they are trapped in a tiny and impoverished territory, they are suffering hugely.

I know you will say, That's Hamas' fault! But it takes two to tango. Hamas cannot unilaterally declare peace. This has to be a joint process and Israel is not doing anything in that regard either.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:32:51

It wasn't Israel which broke the ceasefire. Hamas had started firing rockets towards gush Dan, I have a friend who lives on a kibbutz near beer Sheba, the were plenty of rockets and missiles before jabari was killed. This is why Israel has international support in this case.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:33:23

Neither Oxfam or Unicef has an emergency campaign running to get supplies into Gaza. Islamic Aid happens to have one under way already. People need help fast, delivered by organisations which can get in and get organised quickly, and have the contacts to operate in the region. Or would you rather more people died while we wait for the secular organisations to get their act together?

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:33:54

I agree dreaming that long term peace is the only solution.

But, now, Hamas has to stop.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:35:38

Hamas started firing rockets after two Palestinian children playing football and a baby were killed. Presumably with the intention of provoking exactly the response that occurred.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:35:38

There are plenty of organizations active in the gaza strip and organized to deliver aid. Its not the jungles of congo.

Again, it's not a problem of resources. The resources are there

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 23:36:55

pretty jaw dropping article in the Jerusalem Post

THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:38:00

Fine, why don't you post a link to secular organisations running current fundraising campaigns for Gaza so that people can donate to them if they'd prefer?

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:39:55

The longer this goes on,the more likely it is international public opinion will turn against Israel. Israel's military and it's technology by far outstrip Hamas. Israel are firing missiles,superior missiles,at residential areas. That is illegal under international law. Israel is lucky that international law is not binding.

Of course,America and the UK will continue to support Israel's actions and the situation will continue to deteriorate.

I would imagine Hamas may well agree to a ceasefire if Israel agreed to give stolen land back.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:40:27

That's total rubbish about the reason for the current violence ohbuggered

Hamas don't need an excuse to kill Israeli citizens, it's part of their raisin d'être.

The blame for this current round of violence has been placed firmly in the Hamas camp.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:41:00

squoosh that headline really is jaw dropping. And disgusting.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 23:41:37

'There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.'

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:42:18

You'd probably think differently if you were under fire, Alis. Very easy to sit here in judgement

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:47:51

Yeah,I'm pretty sure the people living in the Gaza Strip are feeling pretty terrified and wronged at the moment.

Forgive me for not liking the utterly disgusting tone of that headline and forgive me for not understanding why Israel ever thought it could steal land from the rightful occupants by continually overstepping the agreed borders. Forcing said occupants into a piece of land 40km long. Home to 2 million people.

No,it is not the fault of the average Israeli civilian,no they don't deserve to live in fear either. But surely they can see why this is happening?

OhBuggerandArse Sun 18-Nov-12 23:48:44

' Meanwhile, largely unreported by Western media, the death of Ahmad Abu Daqqa was mourned in Gaza.[2] -- If one can identify the fillip that set of the latest cycle of violence, it was the fatal shooting on Nov. 8 of this 13-year-old boy as he played football in the vicinity of an Israeli raid into 'Abassan village, east of Kahn Yunis,'

Convenient to think it's rubbish, but not true. Try following some links here.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 23:51:46

Oh and that article I linked to was written by Ariel Sharon's son Gilad.

squoosh Sun 18-Nov-12 23:52:22

Sounds like a call for genocide to me.

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:56:02

Actually' alis, there have never been any agreed borders since the Palestinians continued to cling to the idea of destroying Israel and no agreement has ever been reached.

Israel withdrew from every inch of gaza, it's not under siege - it has a border with Egypt, why doesn't egypt open its border and welcome its Palestinian brothers with open arms?

I don't agree with that article but understand where it's coming from. I'm sure you'll find even more vitriol from Palestinians towards Israelis if you search on the Internet,

ElaineBenes Sun 18-Nov-12 23:59:23

If that's a call for genocide swoosh, presumably also Hamas saying they will open the gates of hell on the Jews is also a call to genocide?

You are rather one sided methinks

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:00:34

No doubt, but seeing as Israel is supported by both the USA and the UK their position is significantly more powerful and influential.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:01:13

And you're unbiased?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:01:54

Ohbuggered, a creditable link would be nice. Funny that no one else is talking about this, seems rather convenient for Hamas hmm

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:02:38

No, I'm biased. I've been very open about why I'm biased!

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 00:02:38

Why should the Palestinians have to leave their land? Why can't Israel give some of the land back? Weren't borders agreed in 1967?

I am fairly sure if France decided part of Wales was actually theirs and made all Welsh people move to Wrexham, all of them,then they would be pretty angry and disagreeable about the whole thing too.

Israel have behaved unreasonably with regard to Palestine for years and "Palestinians don't think Israel should exist" really isn't a good enough reason to treat them like sub humans.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:09:59

I don't think anyone should be treated as sub humans, one has nothing to with the other, i comoletely agree pa,estinians have been denied their civil rights and this js wrong but also they are equally to blame. The first intifada was completely justified and Israel was simply wrong. The second intifada was one of the biggest mistakes the Palestinians ever made.

No borders weren't 'agreed' in 1967. There was a ceasefire because the Arabs tried to destroy Israel (again) and failed. Israel won back the west bank and gaza which had always been part of mandatory Palestine. Moshe Dayan famously said 'we are waiting for a phone call from the Arabs'. At that point, there was no intention to keep the west bank and gaza. But the Arabs turned down any peace deal with the three nos of Khartoum.

Israel gave back all of the Sinai in return for peace with Egypt. It's not like it won't give up land for peace. The trouble is that the Palestinians haven't shown much enthusiasm for the peace process! If they have stuck to the Oslo accords, rather than starting the second intifada, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:14:27

Yes, but Alis, gilad Sharon is just a former prime ministers son writing in a right wing paper. You could easily look at, say, gilad levy who writes in haaretz or amira Hess (I think that's her name), very left wing Israeli journalists who will openly express an alternative view - and it's that alternative view which seems to be sadly missing in gaza.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:16:27

I have nothing but the hugest respect for medical staff working in Gaza today.

First, while there has been no final agreement on Gaza's borders, the various rounds of the peace process have established what the de facto borders are. There's no real mystery there.

Second, to say that Gaza is not under siege because Israel withdrew is really disingenuous. Gaza has no control over its own borders and Israel and Egypt keep very tight control over everything that comes in and out, in the name of preventing military shipments. This is why there is so much deprivation.

Interestingly, Hamas is now saying it will agree a ceasefire based on this very issue -- they want open borders. From the AP:

"The Islamists view the current round of fighting as an opportunity to pry open the borders of Gaza, which slammed shut in 2007, after Hamas wrested control of the territory from its political rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In response to the takeover, Israel and Egypt — then under Morsi's pro-Western predecessor Hosni Mubarak — sealed off Gaza to disrupt Hamas rule...

Both Israel and Egypt's new leader have eased access to the territory since 2007, but many restrictions remain. But even Morsi — who is sympathetic to Hamas as a fellow member of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood — has resisted Hamas calls for open trade between Gaza and Egypt. Morsi fears such ties could undercut attempts to set up a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, the territory on the other side of Israel, where Abbas has partial control..."

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 00:22:26

Oh I am aware that there are "right on" people as you called them upthread,in Israel.

I have no personal bias with regard to this conflict.

I simply cannot understand why everyone expects or ever expected Palestine to be happy with how Israel was founded never mind how it continued to expand. It was arrogant imperialism,dividing a country and gifting it to others like it was a cake. It is very easy for people to say the Palestinians were unreasonable then and are being unreasonable now. I don't think they are,from their own perspective.

Israelis aren't unreasonable for wanting a peaceful life. Palestinians aren't unreasonable for wanting their civil rights and land back.

The Israeli government and Hamas are being very unreadable however. Israel may have to accept that,being the mightier power with greater positive international influence,they may have to make the first move towards a ceasefire.

I mean, the level of control over Gaza is really quite astounding. They have no economic freedom whatsoever.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:24:40

I'm sorry but open borders? You know there did used to be open borders before the second intifada? Do you know why gazans are no longer allowed free access to Israel? Israel, quite rightly, does not want Hamas members wandering the streets of tel aviv blowing themselves up in schools, buses, cafes, nightclubs. Let them go to egypt if they want them.

Mizza76 Mon 19-Nov-12 00:24:59

Alis - sorry but you clearly understand nothing about this region. No, borders were not decided in 1967. Israel has already ceded control of gaza which rules itself as do the palestinians in the west bank. Survey after survey shows that an Israeli majority would agree to a comprehensive peace deal if only the Palestinians genuinely were willing to live in peace. Unfortunately the sentiment is not reciprocated on the other side. Hamas still openly declares that its main aim is the destruction of the state of Israel.
Not a better life for its citizens; not peace and quiet; not economic progress; but the destruction of another country. 'a pox on both their houses' - a sentiment that has been expressed in the parts of this thread I've read - just doesn't apply in these circumstances. Israelis want to live in peace but how are they to do that when their neighbours bombard a million civilians with rockets day in, day out?
As for the ridiculous idea also expressed so often by people who want to appear knowledgable, that Netanyahu is doing this to secure his reelection - that's laughable. His reelection was guaranteed anyway with a far bigger vote than he had before. This path contains many risks for him if he messes up. He is acting because it is beyond intolerable for a million people to have to live under the threat of rockets day in day out. I hope this operation succeeds and that quiet can be restored to Israel's south.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 00:27:06

Mizza I understand a great deal about the region,so please,be a love and try not to be so incredibly condescending.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:27:41

The attack on Gaza is clearly intended to provoke Iran. That's the real aim.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:28:23

That's accepted isn't it??

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:30:47

I never said 'right on' and I find that incredibly rude and dismissive of the great work they do. You're certainly not the one getting on a bus to demonstrate together with palestinians, they are.

What exactly was arrogant imperialism? Nothing to do with arrogance or imperialism. I think post 1967 things changed but before then it was a battle for survival.

You might not like how things turn out but at some point you need to accept that you have lost and despite all your best efforts, that the 'crusader state' is here to stay.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:33:49

you need to accept that you have lost and despite all your best efforts, that the 'crusader state' is here to stay.

And equally, Palestine is here to stay, yes?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:35:11

Mizza - I was really skeptical about the motives being so close to elections and because I detest Bibi (and wouldn't it past him to orchestrate such a thing) but after having read a bit more at the weekend I realize it really is Hamas who have ratcheted the whole thing up.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:36:43

Oh those pesky Palestinians, railing against imperialism.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:37:05

There is no Palestinian state. I would very much like there to be one and I would like to see it prosper and live in peace with Israel. Given the current situation and lack of governance, I'm not sure full statehood will be achievable in the near future.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 00:38:00

You're probably right, if things continue as they have this weekend.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 00:38:56

Elaine

You have totally misunderstood that entire comment.

You,I thought, referred to people sympathising with Palestine,or having a less hard line view as being "right on". I am typing on my phone so it is a bit of nightmare scrolling back through multiple long posts. I apologise if you didn't say that. Liberal thinkers do an important job,I wouldn't argue otherwise. I am aware that Israel has liberal thinkers.

I meant the actions of the allies were arrogant and imperialistic,not the actions of Jewish people,in setting up Israel as they did. Not enough consideration was given to the long term consequences for the Arabs or the Israeli people.

I don't want to see Israel destroyed. Nor do I want to see Gazans suffer. They are all people who deserve peace. .

You're right, Mizza, it is beyond intolerable for a million people to have to live under the threat of rockets day in day out.

I'm sure people in Gaza would agree with you.

The operation is not going to succeed and Israel is not going to have quiet. Not until the peace process is reengaged. Both sides have to commit to the negotiations -- whatever Israel thinks about who's right and who's wrong, they can't unilaterally impose peace.

You often hear this talk -- Israelis want peace and Palestinians don't... Israel would make peace but the Palestinians keep up the violence....

Well the thing is, we don't make peace with our friends, we make peace with our enemies. If the Palestinians weren't doing anything that Israel disagreed with, there would be no need to make peace.

It's not possible for either side to win this conflict militarily. The sooner people realize that, maybe they will finally sit down and agree to something.

Dippy001 Mon 19-Nov-12 00:50:22

YANBU. Feel very sad for the Palestinians. I cannot believe how Israel was created, and think it is wrong and quite frankly evil.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:51:38

But alis, Israel was never 'gifted' by the allies! Which allies are you talking about? The UN agreed a partition plan in 1947. Most of the land would have gone to the Palestinians. They said no and a civil war began (or rather escalated) The British got sick and tired of the whole mess (it was always a mandate, never a colony) and said 'we're out of here' and Israel declared independence in 1948 and was promptly invaded by armies from 5 different Arab states (who everyone thought would win). Not sure on what silver platter you believe Israel was handed?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 00:52:43

Oh puleez dippy. You obviously know nothing about the creation of the state of Israel.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 00:58:47

The UN - the partition plan lacked foresight. Which is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight of course.

Diopy The Israeli government are acting wrongfully or Israel existing is wrong? If you mean the latter you will find yourself to have a minority opinion.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 01:16:22

Since then UN partition plan was never implemented, I don't see how it lacked foresight. Id say the Palestinians lacked foresight since if they'd have accepted the plan and tried to work peacefully with the Jewish presence then things would have worked out much better for them and the whole nakba could have been avoided

Mizza76 Mon 19-Nov-12 07:24:26

Dreaming bohemian - but gazans don't live under missile fire day in day our. Israelis do. Were it not for the constant bombardment of Israel from Gaza over the past few months Israel would not be attacking.
I truly sorry for innocent people within Gaza who are caught up in this

OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 08:19:31

Mizza, the daily living conditions in Gaza, imposed by Israel, are without question one of the causes and provocations of conflict and armed response.

www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/israel039s-gaza-blockade-continues-suffocate-daily-life-20100118

Daily obstructions and humiliations, abuses of power and interference, lack of freedom to move so that people can end up spending hours stuck in blockades simply trying to get to work, planning abuses that let Israeli developments siphon off all the water leaving none for Palestinian settlements in the area, or which dump israeli sewage on Palestinian lands, add to that losses of life and property, the IDF shooting kids and journalists and other non combatants, and its pretty easy to see why the situation is volatile. There is an incessant provocation built into that situation which you'd have to be practically super human to resist.

Rollmops Mon 19-Nov-12 08:31:40

Problems in Middle East boil down to two simple facts:
1) Too much religion.
2) Not enough real-estate.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 08:34:45

I didn't say the partition plan was implemented.

Elaine: why should Palestine have agreed to any plan whatsoever?

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 09:25:38

"Elaine: why should Palestine have agreed to any plan whatsoever?"

Alis, so is your argument that Israel shouldn't exist and/or that it shouldn't exist in the region where their people have dwelled since the 8th century BC?

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 09:30:39

I think the "Israel broke the ceasefire" diatribe is ironic, considering the "fire" never "ceased" is the first place.

Ask people in South Israel about the "ceasefire" - they were bombed constantly over the Summer.

ICBINEG Mon 19-Nov-12 09:33:06

Dear Religionists,

Please please stop killing each other.

Best wishes,

Atheists.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 09:46:40

Elaine. That was a fairly reductive response.

Of course I don't think Israel shouldn't exist. No right thinking person thinks that. Arguing it shouldn't exist is as odd to me as arguing Spain shouldn't exist.

I wasn't walking about my views. I was asking about Palestinians and their view point. "They were there first" must seem a bad argument from their point of view.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 09:47:50

*talking.

Sadly I know some people in RL who are using an anit-Israeli sentiment as a guise for anti-Semitic rabble rousing.

I would bet it's more widespread than just the couple of people I know.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 09:51:25

Alis that wasn't Elaine, it was me.

"They were there first" must seem a bad argument from their point of view."

But that's their argument too, isn't it? Along with people in this thread that have mentioned many times that the Israeli "stole Palestinian land" and shouldn't be in the region because Palestinians were already there.

You can't have it both ways.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 09:54:11

Fry apparently that's sheer paranoia and you aren't even allowed to mention it, because it simply doesn't happen... ever. hmm

OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 09:59:04

Sadly I know some people in RL who resopnd to any questioning if the actions of the state of Israel with cries of anti-Semitism. The two need to be kept separate.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 10:01:06

So it was Poppy. Apologies Elaine.

That isn't my argument,more reasoning out the logic of both sides arguments. I suppose the Palestinian argument could be "we were here in more numbers,most recently".

It's a futile argument on both sides in many ways. Primarily because Israel is here to stay and the Israelis aren't just going to shrug and leave the region,nor should they,I hasten to add.

I just can't see how there will ever be peace in the region,though I truly hope it does happen,and soon.

RedToothbrush Mon 19-Nov-12 11:05:26

So where is the line between proportionate and disproportionate?

Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai is reported by The Yeshiva World News to have said, "We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water." Haaretz also reports that Yishai stated, "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages."

Hmm. The Romans had water infrastructures. Plus there is already a water shortage in Gaza which has been reported by organisations like amnesty, to the point that it was common to have barrels on roofs to collect rainwater.

So what is he actually saying with that comment?

And Gilad Sharon (son of Ariel) has said
There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip. followed by We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza.

he justifies this by saying
The desire to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

Well apart from the fact that in any democratic election, 100% of the people do not elect a political party and by that token sizeable percentages of the population have to put up with leaders they don't like and don't agree with (often a majority of the population), the abdication of any level of responsibility and the tones of wanting to 'wipe out' others is appalling.

I don't think either side is right. Far from it. But it is alarming when those with the power and ability to actually carry out such threats are saying things like this in the manner in which they are.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 11:09:09

"But it is alarming when those with the power and ability to actually carry out such threats are saying things like this in the manner in which they are."

Gilad Sharon is a reservist and a farmer. He has no power to carry out anything, so no need to be alarm on that account.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 11:09:27

*alarmed

RedToothbrush Mon 19-Nov-12 11:12:22

Gilad is still in a position of power, simply by nature of the fact of who his father is. It makes him influential.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 11:15:01

why does a jew born in europe, whose parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, ancestors who were born in europe. whose ancestors migrated to europe a 1000 years ago,

turkel.org.il/History.htm

why do they have the right to return to Israel when a muslim palestinian whose ancestors were palestinians, had farmed and worked the land for generations and generations cannot go to that land?

where were the atheists when the zionists were making a claim based on their chosen people status? using the torah/ bible as a legal document of ownership - that God gave them that land? whose God?

what does it mean that any jew simply because he/ she was born a jew, whether secular or religious can go and choose to settle in the Holy land anytime they like but the palestinian muslims and christians are herded into ghettos and watch as the land of their forefathers is occupied?

what happened to the palestinians is every bodies nightmare.

mass immigration,
buying up land to usurp the native population
taking up arms against the host population - remember the jewish population of palestine was only 4% towards the end of the 19th century
- and then carry out a hostile takeover of the country and then killing and harrassing the native population.

the palestinians were forced and are STILL FORCED to pay for the white mans antisemitism. before israel were jews and muslims enemies? were they hostile to each other to even 10% of the persecution the Jews received in Europe?

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 11:46:54

There is indisputable Archeological and Historical evidence that the Jewish people have an unbroken link with the region for the past 3,000 years, which predates any other people in the region.

Under Turkish rule, the area was mainly left undeveloped and the Gaza region was described in numerous reports as an arid region with no crops, orchards or vineyards until the Jewish people started farming it again.

As I pointed up thread, you can't have it both ways:

If you argue that Jews shouldn't return to the area because "muslim palestinian whose ancestors were palestinians, had farmed and worked the land for generations and generations", it can be argued that the Jewish people had claim to the land before that.

Inversely, if you argue that the Jewish claim is worthless because the "we were here first" is not a fair argument, you can't say that Israel shouldn't be in the region because Palestinians were already living there first

Anyway, I have no interest in discussing the "merits" or "worthiness" of Israel's existence when it seems to be general consensus that they hold that right already.

OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 11:55:28

There's a difference between acknowledging a right and agreeing that they hold that right to the exclusion and detriment of the rights of others, though.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 12:11:02

there are jews who do not believe in god yet they use their holy book to say that land is theirs. can a black jew from ethiopia or a south american jew or a russian, german, ukrainian jew claim all of palestine because 3000 years ago they say it was theirs? there are many palestinians whose ancestors converted from paganism to judaism to islam, they are also the original semitic people of that land. it is only the book of the Jews that gave the zionists that audacity to say that God meant this land for us jews only. israel was born by violence by a supremacist people.

squoosh Mon 19-Nov-12 12:13:57
OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 12:21:31

Very interesting, especially the letter from the group of Jewish commentators which includes the reminder

' Israeli casualties came only after Israel, having started the slaughter by killing a 13-year-old boy in Gaza on 8 November, shattered a truce by assassinating the military leader who had negotiated it'

This is what Elaine was denying last night.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 12:21:53

i support the 1 state solution because it benefits the palestinians - herzog never wanted any non jews to remain in Israel because of the problem of demographics and a large 'alien' as he called it population. as i see it within a very short time the palestinians would be in the majority and it would be called a jewish state with majority muslim citizens.

the 2 state solution far benefits the israelis because they have the greater bargaining power with america behind them. any permanent agreement would always have israel claim supremacy over the air space, sea, etc of gaza, the land and water of the west bank. FATAH are corpulent and corrupt because of all the bribes they take from the israelis - like many arab leaders they downgrade their own peoples interests for personal gain and power. but still there are many gazans who support FATAH - the bombs do not ask the children which party their parents support.

the israeli is individualised but not the palestinian.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 12:35:48

' Israeli casualties came only after Israel, having started the slaughter by killing a 13-year-old boy in Gaza on 8 November, shattered a truce by assassinating the military leader who had negotiated it'

As I said:
I think the "Israel broke the ceasefire" diatribe is ironic, considering the "fire" never "ceased" is the first place.

Ask people in South Israel about the "ceasefire" - they were bombed constantly over the Summer (that's before the 8th November).

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 12:37:26

"Israel was born by violence by a supremacist people."

Can you clarify who the "people" are, please?

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 12:57:18

the 'zionists' were supremacists.

not because of their semitism - the palestinian muslims are semitic also - but because of their religion. they believed the land didnt belong to the semitic peoples of the holy land but the 'jewish' people.
not even jewish people of the holy land but any jewish people of the entire world no matter how many thousands of years removed they were.

"they" immigrated en masse, "they" bought land and refused to sell or employ non jews, "they" terrorised the british out of palestine,

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing

then they killed and terrorised - i used the word terrorised again - the palestinians until they left their cities and towns.

the zionists - the irgun terrorists and their ilk - set the rules that the palestinians were supposed to play by.

if your occupier rules you by violence then what language will they understand except violence?

I would just like to point out that as much as people would like to distance themselves from Gilad Sharon's remarks, some of his logic and reasoning has appeared on this very thread.

I'm referring specifically to:

"The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas."

and

"The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences."

Do you see what dangerous logic this is now? It enables attitudes like his.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 13:08:20

why should the palestinian or even the entire middle east have been made to carry the white mans burden of guilt for the holocaust?

while the germans were greeted with open arms

thats what pains me when i see the palestinians suffering.

why should the nations that committed the holocaust have got off scot free and europe left to rebuild and repair in peace but offer up peace in the middle east serve as the 'pound of flesh'?

OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 14:04:47
ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:15:37

Gilad Sharon has as much influence as Mark Thatcher.
Eli Yishai's comments are indefensible but I'm sure, in the interest of fairness, you've also looked at the comments coming out of Hamas. If there were a contest of indefensible comments, I think they'd win.

I think you're very one sided crescent moon but personally I do think there would have been a historic justice to Israel being established in, say, Austria. However, the Zionist movement in Palestine predated by about 70 years the holocaust so it was already well-established. Sure, they bought land and didn't sell it back and didn't employ arabs because there was Jewish unemployment and a well established fear of arab violence
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Palestine_riots

The Palestinians were certainly victims of their own short-sightedness and blood-thirstiness (as they continue to be) but also forces beyond their control.

To be honest, I really wouldn't want to be a Jewish minority in a Palestinian majority state. They don't have a very good track record with things like democracy and protecting the rights of minorities - look at what has happened to the Christian Palestinian population!
persecution of christians

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:23:14

Alis
The reason the Palestinians should have agreed to a compromise plan in 1947 was because there were 650,000 Jews living there who also had nationalist aspirations. But more than that, they should have agreed to a compromise to avoid war and avoid catastrophe. They didn't, they lost. You can't shoot your parents and then ask the court for clemency because you're an orphan.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 14:27:32

"The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas."

"The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences."

are the gazans who do not wish to be involved in the fighting allowed to leave gaza? during the last military attack against gaza in 2008 old people women and children were kept in the city to die under the bombings.

the borders and crossings are held closed and they beat against the doors crying let us out and die under the bombardment. what choice do they have?

it would be soooo sooooo sooooooo easy to blame the israeli ordinary citizen for the actions of the government - a government they democratically elect themselves. a government that now as in 2008 takes a military hard line to impress its citizens. a country where politicians compete to show how hardline they can be for the benefit of votes and where a hawk is more respected than a dove.

what does that say about the electorate of Israel themselves? yet we give them the benefit of the doubt but we cannot give the palestinian citizen the benefit of the doubt.

before i had children i was very very anti Israel. i went to a school that was so pro israeli we had it rammed down our throats - i took the opposite stance and went to every pro palestinian demo and rally i could.

now im a mother with children i prefer pragmatism and peace. world war 3 is not inevitable - but is it a better choice for israel than losing its jewish majority?

a one state solution would cut out all the argument about sovereignty over water, land, airspace, borders - a one state solution means israel could work for all its citizens - the jews and the muslims and the christians of Gaza and the West Bank just as there are arab israelis currently. for the latter it would also take away the guilt of being moses in the house of pharoah

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:27:55

ohbugger

Everyone knows Hamas started this current round of violence, no one else seems to be mentioning this excuse apart from you and some 'group of Jewish commentators' (whatever that means! i didn't know that Jewish commentators grouped together). That's why the Obama administration, UK etc are backing Israel.

I quote from the BBC

"Israel was effectively given a window within which to act by its key allies in the US and Europe, who largely held Hamas responsible for this upsurge in fighting."

Hamas is responsible.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:28:56

Why doesn't Egypt open its borders Crescentmoon?

Isn't marsi part of the Muslim brotherhood, doesn't seem very brotherly to Hamas to me!

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:29:57

Would a Jewish minority in your one state solution be treated like the Christian palestinians are currently being treated Crescentmoon?

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 14:45:43

There's no solution to the current situation, because the reality is that, as an entity, Palestine wants Israel annihilated and absolutely no alternative scenario is palatable to them.

As proven by their words and actions, over and over again.

I said it before - Israel could withdraw to a single street in Tel Aviv and they would continue to be the target of terrorist attacks.

The fact that no one in this thread is willing to admit this frustrates the hell out of me.

Continuous quotes by people like Galid Sharon are pointless because, as Elaine mentioned, we quote Hamas back all day long.

For example:
"The Holocaust is a Zionist lie"

The head of Hamas' education committee in Gaza, Abdul Rahman el-Jamal, said that the Holocaust was a "big lie".

The interior ministry of the Hamas de facto government in Gaza expressed astonishment over the UNRWA curriculum's acknowledgement of the Holocaust." "We reject teaching our pupils such thoughts that contradicts with our Palestinian beliefs."

Hamas spiritual leader Yunis al-Astal said teaching children about the Nazi genocide of Jews would be "marketing a lie", and characterized the possible introduction of the subject into Gaza schools as a "war crime"

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 14:49:34

there are a few segments who support the palestinians because its all about the enemy of my enemy, not for any love of the palestinians themselves.

the guardian newspaper website is as islamophobic as it is anti semitic. and it drums up ridicule against christians in its spare time.

in looking for evidence of its islamophobic instances i found this website

cifwatch.com

which interested me because its very analytical in discussing bias and propaganda in reporting. i do not agree with the pro israel stance of the writer - to put it mildly! - but i understood how if the media is against one, that can get disseminated outwards and downwards. the media is as frustrating for someone pro israel in Europe as it is to a pro palestinian in the USA.

the only way i as a muslim can express my anger against the injustices of the world is on israel - that is designated the safe and acceptable outlet. the media concentrates all the ire on israel and leaves out many other countries. of course when a pro israeli complains about that what they mean is why the big deal when we kill palestinians when americans can kill afghans everyday?

obviously its an argument aimed at the wider public not to me or any other muslim, nothing pisses us off than trying to claim the west's priviledge to kill muslims

OhBuggerandArse Mon 19-Nov-12 14:50:27

Elaine, they are a group because they collectively wrote and signed a letter printed in the Guardian, which you can read if you click on the link above. Have a look at who's represented there.

There are also a number of other commentators and pressure groups, in the UK, Canada and the States as well as in the region, trying to raise awareness of what happened and deploring the lack of media coverage it was given at the time.

And as for calling it an excuse, do you have children? If one of them was randomly shot in the stomach and killed as they were playing in the street, how pacific would you be feeling?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:52:13

I'm not sure that's completely true Poppy. I think there are many moderate and pragmatic Palestinians who accept that Israel is here to stay and the way forward is comrpromise and cooperation, like Hanan Ashrawi or Sari Nusseibeh and even Mahmoud Abbas. Admittedly their voices seem very weak but they're certainly there.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:54:35

Actually, ohbugger, a good friend of mine was blown up by Al Qaeda in Sinai.

When I worked in Israel, two colleagues of mine, in two separate incidents lost teenage children in terrorist bombings (one in a cafe and one in a bus bombing).

Of course I don't how they feel personally, but I do know the sense of loss due to random violence.

Yet, I am not advocating for killing all Muslims, am I?

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 14:54:54

Elaine, granted.

Again, to qualify my statement, when I say "Palestinians" I'm referring to the entity in general and in particular to Hamas - not to individuals.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:57:06

And if Hamas TRULY cared about the welfare of the Palestinian people, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing. That's why it's an excuse.

And I had a google of this incident of the 13 year old boy. There's no evidence that it was Israel. There was a skirmish going on nearby. Israelis AND Palestinians were shooting. It could equally have been a Plaestinian bullet.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:58:11

Crescentmoon

You still haven't answered me why shouldn't Muslim-brotherhood led Egypt open their border at Rafah to their Muslim brothers?

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 15:14:47

the rafah crossings began to be opened within weeks of mubarak losing power. in 2008 mubarak, abbas et all all worried for their millions from the USA and walked small and kept all the borders closed.

compare and contrast morsi's reaction to this latest round of bombing with mubarak. he's also helping the syrians.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 15:17:35

Morsi has CLOSED the Rafah crossing. Why don't they allow the Palestinians to cross into Egypt if they want to leave the Gaza strip?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 15:39:17

And I also wonder if there is a one state solution if this what the Jewish minority would have to look forward to...
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/23/gaza-christians-hamas-cancelled-christmas

I actually do have sympathy with the one state solution. In an ideal world, maybe it'd work, I'm not keen on states revolving around relgiion to begin with. But, as I said above, I'd also like to see the Western wall, El Aqsa mosque and Church of the Holy Sepulcher bulldozed and Disneyland Middle East built in its place. But it's got as much chance of happening as a one state solution, especially a genuinely democratic and secular one.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 15:47:54

iv looked for any story like that elaine - can you link please.

as for the arabs, a large reason democracy was suppressed in the middle east was to maintain the security of israel. the aim was to suppress any fellow feeling for the palestinians. that is the powder keg that can blow if israel keeps this up, it cannot rely on evil dictators a la mubarak to hold the fort down.

i am also perturned by the inaction of the arab leaders who if they really wanted to help the palestinians they would refuse to sell oil just as they did during the oil embargo of the 70s.

a non violent peaceful way to force cessation and change. no shots fired. if america had such a commodity it would never hesitate to use it, yet the gulf arabs fear to why? corrupt corpulent leaders just like abbas and his ilk at fatah

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 15:54:20

"But it's got as much chance of happening as a one state solution, especially a genuinely democratic and secular one."

i even went further and said a jewish state with muslim majority - not hamas leading israel.

muslims and jews before the formation of israel lived peacefully for hundreds of years, from spain to afghanistan. though it would seem like an impossibility to pundits now. they warred less than the muslim warred with another muslim.

In Ishmael's House

would living in isaac's house be better?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 15:54:43

Stories like what? Morsi closing the borders?

I think you can reasonably blame Israel for a lot but it's not responsible for the lack of democracy in Arab countries! I think you might need to ask what features there are in Arab society which prevent the development of democratic institutions (which goes beyond just elections).

Maybe the arab leaders aren't acting because the Palestinians have contributed to their own situation by starting the second intifada?

(Although I don't doubt that Fatah are corrupt, BILLIONS of dollars in aid has poured into the territories but you don't see too much evidence of it other than in swiss bank accounts but at least Abbas is a moderate)

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 16:00:34

I do agree with you regarding the historical relations crescentmoon. The Arabs certainly didn't massacre six million Jews! And I do take your point about the Palestinians paying the price for European anti-semitism. I think there is an element of truth in that. But I think the Palestinians were also the authors of their own tragedy.

If there were a one state, I'd want it to be secular and fully democratic. It's not going to happen.

The only pragmatic solution which has support among moderates is the two state solution. It's the only way forward. The Israeli settler movement needs to be dismantled, for sure. And I say this for Israel's sake more than anything else because I think the settler movement and the occupation is destroying israel from within.

But Israel needs a partner on the other side. And Hamas is not that partner, at least not yet. Then again, it was Ariel Sharon who withdrew Israel from Gaza, and because of his reputation as a hardliner, he was able to do so. Certainly Morsi is behaving more pragmatically that I would have expected given his earlier rhetoric.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 16:01:19

under crescent and cross

it is not the generation of hamas or likud that can take charge- both are of the eye for an eye generation.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 16:12:18

Really? It was likud which gave back the Sinai and it was likud which evacuated Gaza. In Israel, it's often the right wing which managed to acheive peace because they know they'll have the support of the left wing so they can get things through parliament.

RedToothbrush Mon 19-Nov-12 16:30:58

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:15:37
Gilad Sharon has as much influence as Mark Thatcher.

You mean SIR Mark Thatcher who was set up for life and had a privileged lifestyle because of this parents and was able to set up businesses and have access to certain industries, undeniably because his mother and father helped to open doors or enabled him to have the right contacts. This would be the same Mark Thatcher who had a significant role in an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea, for which he was fined and received a four-year suspended jail sentence. This is the same Mark Thatcher who is supposed to be worth £60million pounds from his businesses which included arms dealing. The same Mark Thatcher in this article here

Gilad wrote the article in The Jerusalem Post, which says it is Israel's best selling English language daily newspaper and most read English website. Do you think if he was just an ordinary 'reservist and farmer' do you think he would be given the column inches in the same way?

So a) your comparison to try and suggest Gilad has no influence is astonishingly ignorant and b) actually proves that the sons of former PMs tend to have significance regardless of whether they hold office or not and have influence that reaches far beyond that of anyone else in exactly the same position. In fact being able to claim 'ordinary' ness actually adds to his influence somewhat ironically.

REALLY REALLY bad defence of your point, I'm afraid.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 16:41:32

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make? I specifically chose Mark Thatcher as an example because he has been in the public eye rather than, say, James Major or Nicky Blair. Mark Thatcher could write an article in the Daily Mail. It doesn't mean he is influential in British society or in British public opinion.

Since I've lived in Israel for many years, am part Israeli and have many family and friends in Israel, I can tell you that Gilad Sharon is not influential. I'm not sure why this would constitute 'astonishing ignorance'. How many Israelis do you know? Do you speak Hebrew? I would suggest that I do know a little more about Israeli society than you do!

And I do wonder if you've been looking at Hamas statements and commentary in Palestinian papers and have equal censure for them? I suspect not unfortunately.

BegoniaBampot Mon 19-Nov-12 16:44:46

mark Thatcher is held in contempt - he has no influence with the public who think he is a joke.

RedToothbrush Mon 19-Nov-12 16:45:05

You know more than me. Ok. I know my place then.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 16:47:53

Well, I didn't accuse you of 'astonishing ignorance'.

Just asked you how many Israelis you actually know and if you speak Hebrew.

Judging by your answer here, I'd say that the answer to my questions is ZERO and NADA.

In which case, perhaps your knowledge of Israeli society is rather limited and accusing someone who has been part of Israeli society for many years of astonishing ignorance is hubris in the extreme. But I see you've acknowledged that so we can move on.

Dededum Mon 19-Nov-12 16:51:32

Couple of ideas:

1. The public face of governments and 'terrorist organisations' do not express the behind the scenes negotiations. One of the fall outs of the Manning Wikipedia leaks were the dissonance between the Palestinian leadership public face and the current negotiations. It was so embarrassing that they had to publicly restate hard line positions.

2. The construction of victim hood by the Israeli government and also the Palestinian people. These are positions that they take to gain support within their relative diasporas. American Jews are strong supporters of Israel as were the American Irish community of the IRA. Palestinians have to garner support within the Middle East, they become a proxy for regional relations.

3. Since the 'Arab Spring' the Middle East has become more volatile, too early to say how this will affect Israel.

4. It is naive to think of all Muslims as being the same, different communities are nuanced both culturally and through religiousity.

mumsfretter Mon 19-Nov-12 17:01:01

Not read the whole thread but Britain were totally guilty of this during the second world war where civilian deaths rose to 50% of all deaths before that I think it was around 10%.

Britain purposely targeted German's to try and make the civilians lose faith and turn against their government.

Dededum Mon 19-Nov-12 17:04:39

During the second war killing civilians was not perceived as a war crime, this phrase is a relatively new phenomenon (treaty of Rome - setting up International criminal court in 2001)

RedToothbrush Mon 19-Nov-12 18:06:32

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 16:47:53
Well, I didn't accuse you of 'astonishing ignorance'.

But you are displaying it by saying that Galid has no influence... but there you go. We wouldn't be talking about him, if he didn't have a famous daddy. His power goes beyond the borders of Israel. It doesn't actually matter what languages you speak then.

But yeah, be dismissive of him. And if you read what I said about the influence Mark Thatcher has, it doesn't have to be to the general public. You can be considered a joke but still have considerable influence. Power and influence is multi faceted. But as a rule being the offspring of someone in particular awards you with power that others have to earn and learn to understand (stupidity and making stupid remarks therefore tends to come a lot more naturally).

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 18:16:52

You're really determined to attribute power to Gilad Sharon, aren't you? Why? He has none. He's a writer, he writes his opinion. He's not influential.

You've admitted you know nothing about Israeli society so I suggest you let it go now.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 18:30:34

Likud evacuated gaza and dismantled all the settlements because of the armed resistance of hamas- it was very clear to the palestinians which approach worked between fatah and hamas.

What good has Fatah done for the Palestinians? As you admit they are corrupt and millions of dollars for the Palestinian authority has disappeared. Israel wants them as partners because they are corruptible. What good has being a moderate done for mahmoud abbas in trying to achieve the cessation of building settlements in the west bank? Let alone dismantling settlements. Let alone tackling the encroation of Palestinian land by the barrier wall Israel has built.

Israelis support Likud because they want hard liners not liberals. Still not an excuse to bomb pizza parlours in tel aviv. But when it comes to Palestinians the ordinary civilian must be punished for choosing Hamas. But the ordinary Israeli shouldn't be punished for voting Likud. See the hypocrisy?

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 18:44:46

unfortunately it is true that violence often works, crescentmoon, on both sides. I would prefer otherwise.

I also agree that Israel has a collective responsibility for having voted in Likud (as well as Shas and Yisrael Beteinu who are even worse) as much as the Palestinians have for voting in Hamas. It would indeed be hypocritical to say otherwise and I don't believe I have done so. Israelis have moved to the right as Palestinians have turned to religious extremism. It depresses me beyond belief.

I don't think israel wants Fatah as partners because they are corruptible although I would agree that they have exploited their corruptibility which is actually rampant throughout Palestinian society. But, still, better a corrupt moderate than a corrupt hard liner!

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 18:48:20

Actually, crescentmoon, when I think of it, many Israelis support the separation wall because it works. And it does. The number of suicide attacks decreased enormously after the Palestinians were simply kept out of Israel. So the Israelis also say 'Well, peace talks never stopped the suicide bombs, a wall did'. See the similarity?

Hardly a long term solution for either side.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 19:27:37

Much of the border was built on west bank Palestinian land- ostensibly to stop suicide bombbgs but alot of extra land was grabbed. Crossing farms, homes, villages. Then the Israeli illegal settlements actually sit within the west bank itself actually on Palestinian territory. Meanwhile Fatah stands back and wrings its hands completely ineffectual. And Israel bases future negotiations on where this wall sits rather than where the border actually is. Before anyone can even sit down to talk about a long term solution the Palestinians would first have to argue how far back that wall should be- and Netanyahu wins again in stalling the peace process.

crescentmoon Mon 19-Nov-12 19:37:25

There might be Israelis who vote for Likud for the economy or school vouchers or something might be nothing to do with politics. You would know what else that party stand for. Support for Hamas has as much to do with people's hatred of fatah's bribe taking and money laundering as a protest vote against Israel. But I don't think Hamas could rule over the Israelis fairly and I don't think Likud could rule over the gazans and the west bank fairly

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 20:26:55

Yep, I agree with what you're saying for the most part regarding the path of the wall and many Israelis do as well. I have Israeli friends who demonstrated with the Palestinians in Bil'in against the appropriation of lands for the wall. It should have been built on Israeli land if it was going to be built.

ElaineBenes Mon 19-Nov-12 20:36:51

Fatah, by the way, are not some doveish organization. Abbas is pretty moderate and pragmatic (especially regarding his own bank account!). But Arafat, who started the second intifada and derailed the peace process, was also Fatah (and also corrupt). He was no moderate really and, in my opinion, did not want to compromise genuinely.

The Palestinians certainly had the moral imperative before the second intifada and they would have achieved their aims eventually if they would have stuck to the path of negotiations. The settlements are illegal and immoral in my opinion and many Israelis agree. If the Palestinians wouldn't have started the second intifada, they'd have achieved even more support for their cause from Israelis and in the wider world. The second intifada undermined and derailed the whole thing, led by Yasser Arafat representing Fatah.

MrsDucklips Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:01

My beautiful Israeli family have had rockets fired into their country by Hamas for years now and are not the aggressors here. Before the IDF fires into Gaza they drop leaflets warning the civilians what is going to happen, they are treating Palestinians in Israeli hospitals and taking food and medication in. But the world's press report what it wants to report and as Israel has the bigger, better and stronger military capability it is portrayed as the bully when all it is doing is defending it's people after many, many months of provocation. Please remember that the Hamas Charter of 1987 states that it is 'determined to wipe Israel off the face of the map'.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 21:32:16

Elaine I can understand Israeli civilians being in favour of it,in all honesty.

I remember watching the news as a child and suicide bombings were an almost weekly occurrence.

nailak Wed 21-Nov-12 00:28:28

reports of white phosphorous being used today sad

really, who wants to defend that?

chemical warfare in a built up area......

:'(

nailak Wed 21-Nov-12 00:32:38

ducklips they drop leaflets, and tell them to get out of the area? so then if the Palestinians go to the checkpoints, will they let them out of Gaza?

and the white phosphorous and cluster bombs? that is defence?

so you going to drop leaflets saying we are going to bomb get out of the area and then drop white phosphorous, which the wind will blow around, and will melt the skin flesh and bones of all it comes into contact with?

but that's ok coz all the borders are open, for people to get out of the area? and there is no big wall caging them in.

Will they let medical supplies in? concrete to rebuild schools and hospitals.

Tell me when David threw a stone at Goliath was he in the wrong?

nailak Wed 21-Nov-12 00:53:23

news from those in Gaza

"Just to say a thing! The IDF has asked civilians to evacuate and go to a place named Baghdad street. Minutes after this, they have done a massacre against them in Baghdad. Now, 8 has been murdered and 3 are critically injured. No place in Gaza is safe! No way, we will never evacuate. We will never give up. We will be here forever."

ElaineBenes Wed 21-Nov-12 01:58:54

Is there a link from a credible source regarding the alleged use of white posphorus nalaik?

Hope you're equally outraged at the public execution and mutilation by the lovely Hamas of 6 Palestinians today in gaza.

Why doesn't mosri of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt open the rajah border to allow civilians to leave? I thought he was a Hamas supporter since hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim brotherhood.

ElaineBenes Wed 21-Nov-12 02:03:43

And a credible link to the story that the Idf asked civilians to evacuate to a certain street and then massacred them there?

The Israelis may behave with callousness towards innocent Palestinian casualties (which is not right) but there is no way that they would target them - a subtle but important distinction with Hamas.

If Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel, the Israeli attacks will stop. Clearly they don't care all too much about innocent civilians either, even their own.

ElaineBenes Wed 21-Nov-12 02:15:10

Btw nalaik there used to be an open border between gaza and Israel until the second intifada and suicide bombings which killed hundreds upon hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians without even the pretext of a military target.

winnybella Wed 21-Nov-12 10:31:09

10 people wounded in a bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv.

That's gonna help with the ceasefire hmm

Bloodyscissors Wed 21-Nov-12 10:59:22

Yes, Hamas are committing war crimes (against their own people and the Israelis) and should stand before the Hague.