Advanced search


(153 Posts)
Lady1d Sat 26-Jul-14 20:27:48

Can someone please give me the background to everything that is going on. Sorry to sound like a complete idiot but I'm not at all up to speed on current affairs and need an idiots guide

timbucktoo Sat 26-Jul-14 20:30:54

timbucktoo Sat 26-Jul-14 20:32:23

halfdrunkcoffee Sat 26-Jul-14 20:32:55

Wikipedia is good as well - entries for example on the Gaza Strip, History of Israel.

FrontierPsychiatrist Sun 27-Jul-14 19:20:59

I disagree, Wikipedia is quite biased.

halfdrunkcoffee Sun 27-Jul-14 19:31:09

Can you give some examples of its bias? At least anyone can edit it, if they see any inaccuracies.
There are many books on the history as well though most of them tend to be very long.

FrontierPsychiatrist Mon 28-Jul-14 07:46:18

Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but some editors are given more weight than others, somewhat like long-term posters here. The more edits you make, the more respected your edits are, and more likely that your edits will be recognised in a very divisive topic such as the Palestinian conflict.

In topics such as this, it takes a very long time for an article to be reverted to it's original in the face of edits. Another point to be aware of.

It is well known that right wing Zionist groups have previously planted sleeper editors in Wikipedia to engage in POV-pushing (against the Wikipedia guidelines). Look up CAMERA.

Of course, they now complain that other groups on the both sides of the conflict are now imitating them in creating tendentious editing groups.

It's an Orwellian world.

Keep your mind open and don't believe everything you read in the Internet. And since when did Wikipedia become a respectable source for information anyway???

Check out the other active threads OP. They are enlightening, informative and present opinions from both sides, and offer many links to explanatory articles and videos.

You're not a complete idiot for wanting to inform yourself.

Isitmebut Mon 28-Jul-14 11:00:14

Trying to strip out the emotions generated on our news screens (that Hamas are relying on), may we look at a few relatively recent facts on an old conflict.

Hamas when initiating (or retaliating) rocket attacks on Israel, their objectives are to kill innocent Israeli civilians, including children.

Hamas when digging numerous tunnels they are not doing it for irrigation purposes, they are looking to both supply themselves with military equipment and attack Israel, usually with the object to kill Israeli civilians, including children.

Hamas are a militant organisation and similar to the likes of Hezbollah, often set themselves up in conflict areas and using cash from the likes of Iran/Syria then provide Welfare programmes to both ‘disarm’ and worm themselves into society in order to legitimize themselves.

Hamas (with it’s charter committed to the destruction of Israel) in 2005 became involved in Palestinian politics and in 1-year became the first Islamist organisation to win a democratically held election for control of the Palestine Legislative Council, beating Fatah - who were generally did NOT believe lobbing thousand of rockets trying to destroy Israel is both counter productive, and likely to result in a whole world of hurt back.

Hamas forcibly took Gaza, it’s stronghold, so arguably there is no political process that can REMOVE them, whether the people within still believe Hamas and their objective to spend god knows how much on missiles, rather than on infrastructure and better services for the Palestinian’s within Gaza, were again worthy of their vote.

Hamas_ will not currently hold a ceasefire_ as it’s current political (and strategic) object is to EASE the virtual blockade Israel has on the area to ensure easier methods to import their next 2,500 rockets etc to fire at Israel – and Hamas by holding out for that key concession, knowing they have placed legitimate targets for the Israelis near vulnerable civilians, IMO says more about Hamas humanitarian credentials, than Israels.

Israel therefore has every right to defend its own citizens from those that exist to do them harm -and no doubt sees Hamas and it’s rapid growth as a huge CANCER that will not go away on it’s own and will keep attacking them until eradicated – and if politically via the Gaza ballot box is no longer possible, WHAT OTHER OPTION TO THEY HAVE?

All very sad for the people in the middle, but explains why the international can do little OTHER than try to obtain a ceasefire to hold how long; one-day, a year?

"Profile: Hamas Palestinian movement"

MarmiteMania Mon 28-Jul-14 22:29:36

Isitmebut very well and clearly set out, if you look at the main thread running about the conflict you will see some incredibly biased ignorance, perhaps you could copy and paste your answer there?

dingalong Tue 29-Jul-14 20:24:25

Can I ask anyone if they'd read about Gaza's untapped gas resources being the real driver of the conflict. The reserved are very conservatively estimated at 4 billion. Israel needs cheap fuel.

While the gas is technically part at least Palestinian, they've been excluded from the talks and they would only spend their share on bombs

In the past invasion/ ceasefires by Israel have usually resulted in them retaining mineral/oil and water rights. I wonder if something similar is hoped for here

Sorry if everyone else is aware of these allegations. I'm coming late to the party

claig Tue 29-Jul-14 20:33:51

Yes dingalong, that was also mentioned on the other thread. Gas is very important. Syria also has gas off its coast and coincidentally is embroiled in a civil war, and Cyprus went bankrupt but coincidentally also has lots of gas reserves off its coast.

claig Tue 29-Jul-14 20:37:14

And gas will rocket in value as coincidentally the West puts sanctions on Russia and tries to lessen Europe's dependence on Russian gas. There are billions of dollars involved.

Backinthering Tue 29-Jul-14 20:40:14

Or, if you'd like an alternative to IsItMe's pro-Israeli viewpoint, this is good:

Backinthering Tue 29-Jul-14 20:40:58

1) The Gaza Strip isn't occupied by Israel

Boston Globe: "Israeli-imposed buffer zones.. now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza's total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three." Human Rights Watch: "Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there." B'Tselem, 2013: "Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza's airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967."

2) Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn't

Al Jazeera: "Meshaal said Hamas wants the 'aggression to stop tomorrow, today, or even this minute. But [Israel must] lift the blockade with guarantees and not as a promise for future negotiations'. He added 'we will not shut the door in the face of any humanitarian ceasefire backed by a real aid programme'." Jerusalem Post: "One day after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas, fell through, the terrorist organization proposed a 10-year end to hostilities in return for its conditions being met by Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.. Hamas's conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade." BBC: "Israel's security cabinet has rejected a week-long Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by US Secretary of State John Kerry 'as it stands'."

3) Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn't deliberately target civilians

The Guardian: "It was there that the second [Israeli] shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: 'They are only children.'" UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay: "A number of incidents, along with the high number of civilian deaths, belies the [Israeli] claim that all necessary precautions are being taken to protect civilian lives." United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009: "The tactics used by the Israeli armed forces in the Gaza offensive are consistent with previous practices, most recently during the Lebanon war in 2006. A concept known as the Dahiya doctrine emerged then, involving the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations. The Mission concludes from a review of the facts on the ground that it.. appears to have been precisely what was put into practice."

4) Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel

Human Rights Watch: "Israeli forces may also have knowingly or recklessly attacked people who were clearly civilians, such as young boys, and civilian structures, including a hospital - laws-of-war violations that are indicative of war crimes." Amnesty International: "Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war."

5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as 'human shields'

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: "I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel's accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields." The Guardian: "In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay." The Independent: "Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields." Reuters, 2013: "A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields."

6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014

Times of Israel: "Hamas operatives were behind a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel Monday morning, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.. The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.. Hamas hasn't fired rockets into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012." The Nation: "During ten days of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank [before the start of the Gaza conflict], Israel arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011."

7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel

Jewish Daily Forward: "Hamas hadn't fired a single rocket since [2012 Gaza conflict], and had largely suppressed fire by smaller jihadi groups. Rocket firings, averaging 240 per month in 2007, dropped to five per month in 2013." International Crisis Group: "Fewer rockets were fired from Gaza in 2013 than in any year since 2001, and nearly all those that were fired between the November 2012 ceasefire and the current crisis were launched by groups other than Hamas; the Israeli security establishment testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force Hamas established specifically for that purpose.. As Israel (and Egypt) rolled back the 2012 understandings - some of which were implemented spottily at best - so too did Hamas roll back its anti rocket efforts."

8) Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers

Jewish Daily Forward: "The [Israeli] government had known almost from the beginning that the boys were dead. It maintained the fiction that it hoped to find them alive as a pretext to dismantle Hamas' West Bank operations.. Nor was that the only fib. It was clear from the beginning that the kidnappers weren't acting on orders from Hamas leadership in Gaza or Damascus. Hamas' Hebron branch -- more a crime family than a clandestine organization -- had a history of acting without the leaders' knowledge, sometimes against their interests." BBC correspondent Jon Donnison: "Israeli police MickeyRosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership.. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government."

9) Hamas rule, not Israel's blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip

US State Department cable: "Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.. Israeli officials have confirmed.. on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge." The Guardian: "The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza's daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010, according to files the defence ministry released on Wednesday under a court order.. The Israeli advocacy group Gisha.. waged a long court battle to release the document. Its members say Israel calculated the calorie needs for Gaza's population so as to restrict the quantity of food it allowed in."

10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution

Times of Israel: "[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, 'I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.'"

11) All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict

Nathan Thrall, senior Mid East analyst at the International Crisis Group, writing in the New York Times: "The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement." Henry Siegman, former national director, American Jewish Congress, writing for Politico: "Israel's assault on Gaza.. was not triggered by Hamas' rockets directed at Israel but by Israel's determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy."

Isitmebut Wed 30-Jul-14 13:46:05

For the record I am NOT pro Israeli

It just so happens that in a past life for work/commercial reasons, I spent a lot of time travelling within the Middle East, so spent many an interesting hour at lunches and dinners (often with Palestinians working for other government’s public services) eating well and drinking sweet Chai, talking about the regional politics of the time – but even taking into account the obvious historical reasons why Palestinians feel so strongly about Israel, I was surprised at the depth of ‘anti’ Israeli passion that regularly came across, that I realised generation to generation, will NEVER go away.

So personally while I’m generally more sympathetic to the Arabs within the region (for several non political reasons, including I made an enjoyable living from those contacts), I have no sympathies with any militant Islamist groups, no matter who or where they are – and while Hamas is in Gaza, there will NEVER be peace with Israel – as Hamas is NOT a regime ‘they (Israel) can do business with’, ever IMO, for the following reasons;

Isitmebut Wed 30-Jul-14 13:52:42

Hamas declaration in 1988 for the formation of an Islamic State, includes the area now called Israel. Hamas has indicated that if it tried to amend that historic claim to Israel, it would cause a huge problem within, and clearly undermine all the supporter, funding, training, and political help it gets, from wherever & whenever it gets it.

Hamas shares with Iran the aim to eradicate Israel, and as Iran was strongly against ANY peace deal with Israel proposed by the Palestinian Authority, so Hamas for decades (spats aside), is an ‘agent’ of disruption by Iran to Israel’s south, as Hezbollah is to their North.

Hamas in the past could rely on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to train its fighters for up to 6-months and when Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal was in Iran in 2009, during a speech thanking all the region support they get, singled out Iran for LEADING that backing.

Hamas (Sunni) may have recently upset Iran (Shia) for getting involved elsewhere in the region against Iran’s interests, for now Hamas can enjoy economic and political support from the likes of Qatar and Turkey, until Iran comes back on board - which if Hamas continues to fight with Israel, it will do so soon, if not already.

Hamas, an offshoot from the Muslim Brotherhood, for years used the tunnels to Egypt to smuggle in goods AND ENRICH THEMSELVES with the proceeds, buying up land, businesses, power – while leaving the masses they ‘represent’ to live in the cramped conditions.

Hamas INSISTS that for any ceasefire, the Israeli blockade must end, I’d suggest has something to do with the government of Egypt peed off with the Muslim Brotherhood, CLOSING down those tunnels.*

Hamas clearly needs to re-establish its lucrative trading operations to both enrich itself and expand their influence within, and somehow facilitate the import of their ‘better quality’ missiles in from North Korea, now and in the future.

“Hamas-North Korean arms deal as terrorist weaponry runs low”

“Recently, Hamas-affiliated sources claimed that the terrorist outfit that runs Gaza had only utilised around 3 percent of their arsenal in the latest exchanges with Israel, but security experts have told Breitbart London that the figure is more likely to be around 50 percent.”

“In recent years Hamas has gone from importing weapons and using crudely made rockets to developing its own factories, sometimes underground, beneath civilian homes and local public infrastructure in Gaza.”

“A new deal with North Korea will also embolden the group, which has fallen out of favour with its Iranian sugar daddies as of late.”

Hamas needs to tunnel into Israel to attack and kidnap their citizens DUE TO THE BUFFER ZONES so why would any sane government concerned for their own security, MAKE IT EASIER for Hamas sanctioned, Hamas ‘affiliated’ member (apparently responsible for the recent kidnap/killing of three Israeli youths) or any other Islamist factions within Gaza, to attack them, by taking away those buffer zones.

Israel will remain on a war footing while on their borders, Hamas, Fatah, every other faction within, needs to via for funding/power/votes by being the more ‘hawkish’ against Israel than the other. The Palestinian internal power struggles, largely financed, trained and influenced by external (often) anti western States, ensures an unstable regime on Israel’s borders that State sponsored or not, threatens Israeli citizens on a daily basis, whether a missile is fired at Israel or not.

I reiterate from another thread, NO ONE on this board condones the casualties in Gaza, and anyone who accuses other posters for adding ‘balance’ to events are sick themselves.

The fact is, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict/solution has always been complex, arguably due to the amount of ‘players’, more so today than ever before.

But until a Palestinian regime takes the constant threat of violence to Israel off the table, and I mean really take it off - *rather than pay political lip service in order to rearm and undo the blockades and buffer zones, to make future attacks both easier and equipped with more lethal ordinance – Israel will use any excuse to take out the huge amount of Palestinian military ordinance, there for the sole purpose of attacking Israeli citizens.*

OhBuggerandArse Wed 30-Jul-14 14:06:49

Re. deliberate targeting of children, try this evidence from the recording of Israeli soldiers during the shooting of a little girl:

See also this testimony from ex-soldiers:

Or this report from the UN committee on the rights of the child:

Isitmebut Wed 30-Jul-14 14:39:46

OhBugger&Arse .... there will be individual events on both sides e.g. buses of Israeli school children blown up by suicide bombers with a big smile on their face, going back decades, MY POINT on a thread asking for a bit of history, is that this problem (and the hatred) goes back for many years.

Hamas appears to have made the prospects of an Israeli - Palastinian agreement less likely, which means for Israel this conflict will go on - especially as Hamas are willing to take the Gaza casualties for their NEED to lift the blockade (as mentioned above) and mentioned by a Hamas leader on the news this morning - so BOTH sides are playing the long game.

Which is very sad for those caught in the middle, especially the children and those who did not legitimize a Hamas by a vote, when their aims of a conflict with Israel were always clear.

wordsmithsforever Wed 30-Jul-14 15:01:14

This is the take on the situation by Jewish Voice for Peace - see

(a 6 minute video)

Isitmebut Wed 30-Jul-14 15:25:24

wordsmithsforever ... as my computer appears to be as old as this conflict (and me), I no longer have sound, which until I can upgrade is fine with me, as I do not use it for entertainment.

Anyhoo, I guess and hope that your link is about a Jewish call for peace, as few of whatever faith would not prey for a lasting peace, if possible. Inshallah.

I guess I'm an old cynic, who's been around too long and seen so many battles within this long conflict - and I doubt if the Israeli government believes allowing Hamas their own 'conditions' of a ceasefire (and rearm) at this moment, is in the interests of ALL their people.

OhBuggerandArse Wed 30-Jul-14 16:15:17

Really moving footage here of Palestine before it came under the British mandate. Jews, Christians and Muslims living together.

OhBuggerandArse Wed 30-Jul-14 16:50:55

And here, Humanise Palestine seeks 'to challenge Western media’s dehumanization and “othering” of Palestinians. The media continues to reduce Palestinians to numbers, but by attaching a photo or a story to their names, they are essentially revived and continue to live in our collective memory permanently.'

Backinthering Wed 30-Jul-14 16:53:57

IsItMe any comment on Israels bombing of another school despite 17 notifications that refugees are sheltering there? UNRA is going nuts unsurprisingly.
If you look at the Wiki entry of Hamas' charter, they no longer have the destruction of Israel as their goal (although apparently it's not been removed from the wording due to internal politics). Further, they had implemented a power sharing deal with Fatah as they were pretty much bankrupt and knew they'd be unable to continue administration of Gaza.
They had also stuck to the terms of the 2012 ceasefire. In the meantime, Israel killed 44 Palestinians.
In other words, an ideal time to negotiate, had Israel really wanted a peaceful solution.
instead, Israel cynically exploited the murder of those three teenagers to whip public hysteria to fever pitch before blowing up the homes of senior Hamas members and their families.
And that is why Hamas responded. So forgive me if I don't consider them the major threat to civilian life in the region.
Hamas is in any case the creation of Israel. You drive people off their land, blockade them in an open air prison, murder them with impunity, humiliate them at chechpoints, bulldoze their homes... this for decades.
What the FUCK reaction do you then expect?

Isitmebut Wed 30-Jul-14 17:18:25

Backinthering .... if you actually read point by point my 13.52;42 post of today, rather than look at the casualties of the conflict, it answers all of your point and then some e.g. with Hamas/Iran on your borders, there will never be peace.

So "what the fuck reaction do I expect"?

A continual war, until Hamas or any other faction gets back Israeli land within an Islamic State, or Israel feels their borders are secure.

P.S. I have not looked up which 44 Palastinians died, why they were killed or how many Israelis were thought to have been killed because of them - this is a 'big picture' thread, this conflict did not start in 2012, far from it.

Backinthering Wed 30-Jul-14 17:27:53

Yes I responded in the context of the bigger picture. Israel doesn't come out any better if you take the context back to 1948.
I've said my piece above. Fundamentally, I disagree with you and what I've said above sets out why.
I'm not going to sit and respond to your post point by point on your say so when others have already done so on the main thread.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now