Sunday, January 04, 2009

Unhappy New Year

Making comments about Israel and Palestine on the Internet tends to be the most surefire way imaginable of getting loads of mad crazy people from the extremes of the debate from both sides to launch insane cyberhate campaigns against one.

But I cannot just sit here and say nothing about this appalling revolting vile murderous indiscriminate killing launched on the people of Gaza by the Israeli government. Not that it's any surprise that the Israeli government (any Israeli government) would decide to start killing Palestinians (apparently as a particularly disgusting murderous electioneering tactic, or perhaps just - just - a massive collective punishment). What is really sickening is the craven mealy-mouthed non-condemnations emanating from the so-called "International Community". All Bush has done is condemn Hamas for firing rockets, and has said nothing about the bombing of women and children in Gaza - like it's OK. They are only Arabs after all. (And the US has refused to sign a call for a ceasefire in the UN. Why? Because they actually want more deaths? I guess so. The EU has done sod all too, and where is that "envoy" Tony Blair? What the fuck is he doing?

And then there is the media coverage. I've watched this unfold on various TV channels, and all of them post the whole thing as some kind of Israeli "response", and just a self-defence. Why do we have to have the media (and I'm talking about the BBC, CNN, etc here) just parroting the Israeli government line? We have that scumbag Mark Regev on our screens every couple of hours smoothly and calmly explaining that he sees the Gazans as victims too (well if you lifted the siege and stopped bombing and murdering them they might not be quite such victims, Mark, you vile apologist for mass murder). It's not even remotely balanced, and anyway, why should there be balance? We don't ask our news channels to present the murderers point of view when there's a trial. Why now, when this massively heavily armed war machine is indiscriminately killing women and children, bombing mosques, schools, shopping centres, and universities, dropping bombs on one of the most overcrowded places in the world with no mercy, no thought for people as people, why now do we have to give prominence to the view of the aggressor? And of course Israel doesn't allow any reporters into the Gaza Strip, so we just have sanitized pictures from outside, of tanks massing.

It's disgusting, and barbaric and vile and a massacre. And the mass media is saying nothing. Nothing. Bastards, vile motherfucking bastards. I cannot watch TV anymore, it disgusts me so much.

I'd normally make an apolgy here for my intemperate language and for saying nothing light-hearted, but I won't. In fact I have moderated my language somewhat.

Some better places to get news untainted by being regurgitated Israeli Government statements or my angry ranting:
The Electronic Intifada
B'Tselem
ZMag Middle East Watch
Miftah
Bitter Lemons
The Guardian - Israel and the Palestinian Territories

21 comments:

Jonas said...

Same here.

It's sickening, and it's insane, and it makes me feel incredibly helpless.

Anonymous said...

Just a few points:
1) "I cannot just sit here and say nothing about this appalling revolting vile murderous indiscriminate killing launched on the people of Gaza by the Israeli government."
Did you know that Hamas fired rockets into Israel's civilian areas like Sderot for years, despite Israel's whitdrawal from Gaza? Did you find that revolting as well?
2)"(...)the US has refused to sign a call for a ceasefire in the UN. Why? (..)The EU has done sod all too". Not only them; there seems to be a consensus which includes arab leaders in letting Israel get rid of Hamas.
3)"...no thought for people as people..." What about Hamas? Aren't they using cinically their own population? Why fire rockets into Israel? To provoke a reaction and pose as victims? Don't you find that vile and revolting??
Peter.

Andy H said...

Peter:
1) Yes, of course I know about Hamas firing rockets into Sderot etc. Yes, I find that revolting too I don't have any more positive feelings towards Hamas than I do towards the Israeli government. They are two sides of the same coin - happy to kill civilians to prolong the war and stifle any peace efforts. My problem is the way that on the news all we hear about is how Hamas are terrorists Hamas are anti-semitic scum, Hamas Hamas Hamas. None of which I disagree with, but I would like a little more context given to the discussion. Like the way Israel (by which I mean it's govt/military) are just as bad (and because they are far better equipped than Hamas they kill and wound far more people)

2) I think the Arab world has been an appalling supporter of the Palestinians for 40+ years. This is no surprise really. But I can understand the leaders of those countries wanting Hamas to be defeated, because it would have knock-on effecets in their countries if Hamas (like Hezbollah) were able to claim a victory. This doesn't excuse or condone their ineffectiveness or Israel's mass murder.

3) Yes, as mentioned above. Crucially though NONE OF THIS EXONERATES ISRAEL. Being just as bad as Hamas is not something that we should be looking for from Israel, I feel. And if we're going to get all "provocation-response" about this, I think mentioning the occupation which has been brutal and oppressive and has killed thousands upon thousands of people, followed -in Gaza- by the siege which has been imposed is also worth doing - the media rarely(in fact almost never) does that. And it should also be noted thatthe ceasefire between Israel and Hams which had lasted since June was broken not by Hamas but by Israel on November 4th. None of this justifies or excuses the morally indefensible and strategically inept tactic of firing rockets at Israeli civilians, but let;'s not pretend that this is some kind of attacks that are just out of nothing.

Chris said...

THE HAMAS CNN STRATEGY
by Alan M. Dershowitz

As Israel persists in its military efforts -- by ground, air and sea -- to protect its citizens from deadly Hamas rockets, and as protests against Israel increase around the world, the success of the abominable Hamas double war crime strategy becomes evident. The strategy is as simple as it is cynical: provoke Israel by playing Russian roulette with its children, firing rockets at kindergartens, playgrounds and hospitals; hide behind its own civilians when firing at Israeli civilians; refuse to build bunkers for its own civilians; have the TV cameras ready to transmit every image of dead Palestinians, especially children; exaggerate the number of civilians killed by including as "children" Hamas fighters who are 16 or 17 years old and as "women," female terrorists.

Hamas itself has a name for this. They call it "the CNN strategy" (this is not to criticize CNN or any other objective news source for doing its job; it is to criticize Hamas for exploiting the freedom of press which it forbids in Gaza). The CNN strategy is working because decent people all over the world are naturally sickened by images of dead and injured children. When they see such images repeatedly flashed across TV screens, they tend to react emotionally. Rather than asking why these children are dying and who is to blame for putting them in harms way, the average viewer, regardless of their political or ideological perspective, wants to see the killing stopped. They blame those whose weapons directly caused the deaths, rather than those who provoked the violence by deliberately targeting civilians. They forget the usual rules of morality and law.
For example, when a murderer takes a hostage and fires from behind his human shield, and a policeman, in an effort to stop the shooting accidentally kills the hostage, the law of every country holds the hostage taker guilty of murder even though the policeman fired the fatal shot. The same is true of the law of war. The use of human shields, in the way Hamas uses the civilian population of Gaza, is a war crime -- as is its firing of rockets at Israeli civilians. Every human shield that is killed by Israeli self defense measures is the responsibility of Hamas, but you wouldn't know that from watching the media coverage.
The CNN strategy seems to work better, at least in some parts of the world, against Israel that it would against other nations. There are many more protests -- and fury -- directed against Israel when it inadvertently kills fewer than 100 civilians in a just war of self defense, than against Arab and Muslim nations and groups that deliberately kill far more civilians for no legitimate reason. It isn't the nature of the victims, since more Arabs and Muslim civilians are killed every day in Africa and the Mid East by Arab and Muslim governments and groups with little or no protests. (For example, on the first day of Israel's ground attack, approximately 30 Palestinians, almost all Hamas combatants, were killed. On the same day an Islamic suicide bomber blew herself up in a mosque in Iraq, killing 40 innocent Muslims. No protests. Little media coverage.)
It isn't the nature of the killings, since Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid killing civilians -- if for no other reason than that it hurts their cause -- while Hamas does everything in its power to force Israel to kill Palestinian civilians by firing its missiles from densely populated civilian areas and refusing to build shelters for its civilians. It isn't the nature of the conflict, because Israel is fighting a limited war of self defense designed to protect its own civilians from rocket attacks, while most of those killed by Arabs and Muslims are killed in genocidal and tribal warfare with no legitimate aim. The world simply doesn't seem to care when Arabs and Muslims kill large numbers of other Arabs and Muslims, but a qualitatively different standard seems to apply when the Jewish state kills even a relatively small number of Muslims and Arabs in a war of self defense.
The international community doesn't even seem to care when Palestinian children are killed by rocket fire -- unless it is from Israeli rockets. The day before the recent outbreak, Hamas fired an anti-personnel rocket at Israeli civilians but the rocket fell short of its target and killed two Palestinian girls. Yet there was virtually no coverage and absolutely no protests against these "collateral" civilian deaths. Hamas refused to allow TV cameras to show these dead Palestinian children, who were killed by their own rockets. Nor have there been protests against the cold blooded murders by Hamas and its supporters of dozens of Palestinian civilians who allegedly "collaborated" withIsrael. Indeed Hamas and Fatah have killed far more Palestinian civilians over the past several years than have the Israeli, but you wouldn't know that from the media, the United Nations or protesters who focus selectively on only those deaths caused by Israeli military actions.
The protestors who fill the streets of London, Paris and San Francisco were nowhere to be seen when hundreds of Jewish children were murdered by Palestinian terrorists over the years.
Moreover, the number of civilians killed by Israel is almost always exaggerated. First, it widely assumed that if a victim is a "child" or a "woman", he or she is necessarily a civilian. Consider the following report in Thursday's NY Times: "Hospital officials in Gaza said that of the more than 390 people killed by Israeli fighter planes since Saturday, 38 were children and 25 women." Some of these children and women were certainly civilians but others were equally certainly combatants: Hamas often uses 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds as well as women as terrorists. Israel is entitled, under international law, to treat these children and women as the combatants they have become. Hamas cannot, out of one side of its mouth, boast that it recruits children and women to become terrorists, and then, out of the other side of its mouth, complain when Israel takes them at their word. The media should look closely and critically at the number of claimed civilian victims before accepting self-serving and self-contradictory exaggerations.
By any objective count, the number of genuinely innocent civilians killed by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza is lower than the collateral deaths caused by any nation in a comparable situation. Hamas does everything in its power to provoke Israel into killing as many Palestinian civilians as possible, in order to generate condemnation against the Jewish state. They have gone so far as firing rockets from Palestinian schoolyards and hiding their terrorists in Palestinian maternity wards. Lest there be any doubt about the willingness of Hamas to expose their families to martyrdom, remember that the Hamas terrorist leader recently killed in an Israeli air attack sent his own son to be a suicide bomber and then refused to allow his family to leave their house even after learning that he and his house had been placed on the list of military targets.

Nor is this double standard -- applied to Israel on the one hand, and Arab and Muslim nations and groups on the other hand -- limited to the current situation in Gaza. It has provided an excuse for the international community to remain silent in the face of massive human rights violations including genocides perpetrated by Arabs and Muslims around the world for years. Many of those who protest Israeli self-defense actions remain silent in the face of real genocides -- such as that in Darfur.

The reality is that the elected and de facto government of Gaza has declared war against Israel. Under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, they have committed an "armed attack" against the Jewish state. The Hamas charter calls for Israel's total destruction. Under international law, Israel is entitled to take whatever military action is necessary to repel that attack and stop the rockets. It must seek to minimize civilian deaths consistent with the legitimate military goal, and it is doing precisely that, despite Hamas efforts to maximize civilian deaths on both sides.
The best outcome for purposes of producing peace would be the destruction or substantial weakening of Hamas, which rejects the two-state solution. Israel and the Palestinian Authority could then agree on a peace that would end both the Israeli occupation and the rocketing of Israeli civilians.

Andy H said...

Ah, good old Alan Derschowitz. Even by his standards that's a pretty weak article.

Firstly we learn that Hamas has a media strategy. I'd be utterly surprised if they didn't, since it's obviously such an important part of modern life. Compared to Israel's Hasbora efforts in the same vein, though, it's pretty pathetic (Israel has vast amounts of money and resources devoted to ensuring that the US -and now it would seem UK- media remains "on message". They have vast organisations like CAMERA and MEMRI attacking any semblance of balance in the press. In contrast Hamas's efforts are akin to throwing stones at F-16s.

Then he goes on to conjure up this idea that nobody is innocent in Gaza. All Palestinians are ipso-facto "miltants" and terrorists, which is a really disgusting line to take (even by Dershowitz's admittedly low standards). So children and women deserve to die, and (by implication) all Palestinian men over the age of 14 are definitely fair game. Pretty appalling stuff. There are, what, 900 dead so far? The media seems to be working on the basis that perhaps 25% of these people are innocent civilians (which to me seems way low, but obviously the CNN strategy is not quite as successful as Mr D seems to think it is.) He is, I believe, a lawyer. I wonder if this kind of argument works in court. "Your honour, the victim was a man of 45 years old, and therefore shouldn't count as a victim at all. I move to strike the murder from the records and rule a mistrial"

next we have the repetition of the "Israel never kills innocent people unless Hamas makes them" lie. This week after the UN school massacre, we had loads of Isarel spokespeople appearing (unchallenged) to say that Hamas had fired rockets from that school. having spent tow days selling that lie such that those who needed to be convinced were, they finally came out and admitted that in fact they hadn't been.

Then to wind up the article he plays the age-old criticism-of-Israel-is-anti-semitic card. I mean he doesn;t come out and say it directly, but we all know that this oft-repeated line that the only protests are those against Israel means that. "Why is Israel so criticised?", they wail, the "I've run out of arguments" brigade. Of course, the conclusion is as ever, that people who hate oppression, occupation and attacks on innocent people are anti-semitic. People who protested against the war on Iraq? The crackdown in Burma? The plight of the Tibetans? Anti-semitic I presume.

I have to say that this CNN strategy is failing miserably. This morning on Euronews the reports consisted of a clip of a car burning in Gaza followed by a two minute report from Beersheva including interviews with children afraid to go to school. It was pretty goddamned one-sided as far as I could see. But then obviously I am not the kind of person that Alan Dershowitz would like to see - the kind who regards all Palestinian life as expendable and worthless.

Andrei said...

Andy,

I am again disgusted to find out how sick brits are!

After creating an empire through slavery and perfidious strategies, you now become the biggest defenders of the oppressed, and you feel the moral duty to defend the underdog!

How should I put this nicely? You are the scumbag!
Israel is a country of 6 million vs 1.4 billion Muslims whose dream and plan to destroy it! We wage were against Hamas and other islamic terrorists who will kill you with a lot of pleasure (even if you are one step away from converting to islam, thats not quick enough!)

Just weeks ago, terrorists attacked Mumbai, seized hostages, tortured them, killed them, and mutilated their bodies. The police intercepts of the phone conversations between the terrorists and their controllers make for lively reading:

"Pakistan caller 1: 'Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims. Keep your phone switched on so that we can hear the gunfire.'

"Mumbai terrorist 2: 'We have three foreigners, including women. From Singapore and China'

"Pakistan caller 1: 'Kill them.'

"(Voices of gunmen can be heard directing hostages to stand in a line, and telling two Muslims to stand aside. Sound of gunfire. Sound of cheering voices.)"

"Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims." Tough for those Singaporean women. Yet no mosques in Singapore have been attacked. The large Hindu populations in London, Toronto and Fort Lauderdale have not shouted "Muslims must die!" or firebombed Halal butchers or attacked hijab-clad schoolgirls.

This is not for you Andy Scumbag...its for those whose minds can be changed! Yours is doomed. Sleep well!

Chris said...

OK, so more people are joining this quack’s blog. In contrast, I’ll try to stay as mannerly as possible and not debase myself by using vulgar invectives addressed at the scumbag … oops, I mean despicable hypocrite host (I was wondering what that H stood for anyway). It’ll be difficult to stick to my resolution to the end, though.

Of course you found Dershowitz's article weak because beyond using “aged cards” (as if the underlying problem were obsolete and weekly fresh arguments were needed to satisfy your need of frolic), obviously it doesn't serve your agenda of airing indiscriminate anti-Israeli views from behind your laptop. Whom do you think you’re fooling with your pacifist and human rights activity disguise? What’s easier than to adopt the let’s-open-my-big-mouth-and-spread-criticism attitude from the Csik Basin every time the Israeli government decides to protect its citizens, and for instance, this time end the long-overdue restraint and attempt to do something about those frigging rockets from being deliberately fired onto the civilian population of southern Israel. I say “attempt” because whether this military campaign is effective or not in accomplishing that final and long-lasting solution, it’s a different question. According to some former general interviewed last week on the Israeli radio (R.Bet), the current campaign cannot possibly root up the firing of rockets unless every square inch of Gaza is defused, searched, turned upside down, every goddamn’ Hamas militant / activist /sympathizer arrested and questioned – which is futile even to be mulled over, let alone be realistically carried out under the current circumstances. Of course, you and the UN as well as every leftist human rights activist (real or fake like yourself) will be happier if Israel showed an indefinite restraint and did absolutely nothing, so that the Qassams would continue to be fired, in other words all back to business as usual. But then you’d probably get bored and left to discuss travel books, or even more interestingly, perhaps analyze the frost tolerance of potatoes in Alfalu.

First, doing what Britain, or the US, or France would do in a similar situation (or you know what, let’s make it like Dror Ben Yemini wrote in Ma’ariv last week - Sweden and Syria, so as to emphasize a steep contrast and also distinguish both of them from the former group, and in so doing exclude any allusion to what may be historically identifiable with imperialistic practices), so anyway, what they would do in a similar situation would involve much more casualties on the army’s side than those rockets ever took in terms of human toll; second, because of the international public opinion, which from what I see from without even standing up from behind my desk, means thousands of people like yourself, Mr. “Humanitarian”, or my student neighbor next door who upon seeing the footage of Palestinian blood and corpses on TV last weekend got up and rushed to join the anti-Israeli rally that was just unfolding a few blocks away amidst clashes with the police, in attempt to “do something to stop the massacre”. My polemic is not with all kind of crazy extremists on both sides (websites, forums, blogs, chat rooms are replete with them), but with your kind, that is, hypocrites who know a couple of things from having been around the conflict zone and subsequently decided, while being firmly convinced of being accurate, to air one-sided antagonistic criticism of Israel whenever the occasion arises. Or, with still others, like my crazy neighbor, who after getting tired of playing his stupid guitar all morning, like I said, instinctively started cursing the Israelis to hell but without knowing an iota of why this whole thing is happening, or probably even being able to point out Israel and Palestine on a map.
I used to be a young leftist just like my neighbor who got arrested and I’m not the one to be persuaded that the situation throughout the century-long history of the conflict is far from being black and white. On my left-most days I used to say that it was about 50/50, but the tips of my justice’s scales are now tipped to around the 75% marking for Israel. But let’s reverse it and for the sake of argument say that the Arabs and Israel shifted places on the grayscale of morality, decency, sanity, and righteousness, which assessment of truth is probably what you’d harangue on a day when you’d happen to be the least antagonistic (judging from what you once said - something along the lines of living the difficulty of the situation on both sides of the fence, or whatever). And you call yourself an unbiased commentator of what you’ve witnessed!? Don’t let self-righteousness get the better of you, because we have yet to see a single mild-tongued commentary, one unprompted critical observation on your part, let alone a revolted and disgusted condemnation or denigration of the century-long Arab/Palestinian terror and the violence spawned by these delightful folks who dance for joy at the deaths of Jews, Americans, Westerners, in that order, until someone points out they're being taped. I mean earn your moniker and come up already with something that you initiate spontaneously in that direction, something that comes out of your guts unchallenged in terms of disapproval of the Arab side, because the laconic fragments of yeah-the-Arabs-failed-too kind of preposterous excuse of disapproval are hardly any unbiased observer’s model of impartiality. Proceed with exposing their failure to accomplish anything in life but wrap themselves in the seductive melodrama of eternal struggle and death, of having failed both peaceful opportunities in history (that I know of, maybe more) to have their own country. But no, no, if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and the Ministry of Health carrying out audits and inspections, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to earn an education and make a living. And that's no fun. It’s a hell of a lot easier and funnier to nurture hatred, boil it, then wallow in indoctrination with seeking death for Allah, brandish AK-47s, paint your chests and head in red, burn flags, glorify suicide terrorism from the kindergarten age, undergo ritual baptism as enrollment in the school of abhorrence and vengeance, dig tunnels and smuggle explosives as your thesis project, go to the course of warehouse stocking of mortar shells in basements and the workshop of missiles launching from your back yard, set up artillery ranges in schools, master the science of bomb making at the post-graduate level, develop new technique in ballistics as doctoral pre-requisites, but then, if you seriously strive for academic and celestial recognition - publish a paper on how to improve the efficacy of sharp nails and bolts amalgamated with TNT in their impact on pediatric biological tissue before actually detonating yourself on bus #37 during rush hour after school gates have opened.
So come on, Kakukfészek - you little hypocrite, only for your own sake, integrity and alleged inclination for evenhandedness, just once denounce these sick bastards. Just once post this on your bloody blog, e.g., post this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4, or just once give your smug comments on that one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE. Where these came from there are a million more. Go ahead and deprecate for a change what you’re treasured sweethearts have been after long before, way beyond, and regardless of the IDF’s less then spotless human rights record: Israel and a big pile of dead Jews, of course, that's where the real fun is.
So denounce already the fact that preaching the destruction of the Zionist Entity (textbooks definition) came in very handy a topic for Arab rulers in their continual attempt to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the some of the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on Earth. Oh, ….actually I forgot, Israel is the reason for that too.
No of course you wouldn’t do it, you’ll go ahead and be a vitriol-spitting blabber mouth dressed in a human rights defender’s clothes.
Unbiased, my ass.
What was that? More objective view at B’Tselem? Goddamn’ right – a hundred times more objective than your malicious shit. B’Tselem,is the mere broken mirror image of a loaded dice, if you ask me, and by the way I can tell you a thing or two about them, as well as my former friends from Peace Now, but that in another post. Anyway, Israelis should be glad and proud of such organizations in a way because their very existence and fervent endeavor within their motley and ardent society sets them way above their backward enemies on the scale of civilized humankind, and secondarily they disprove and negate loathsome ridiculous bloggers by pulling the carpet from under their feet. So let’s see what B’Tselem has to say about one of the aspects of the coin’s flip side:
“The Palestinian government must do everything it can to cease the Qassam rocket fire, and the Palestinian organizations must cease attacks aimed at civilians, in particular when they are carried out from populated Palestinian areas. By failing to take sufficient action to stop the rocket fire from areas close to residential dwellings, and even worse, taking part in these attacks, the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip severely breaches international law and commits war crimes. Persons involved in the commission of war crimes bear personal criminal responsibility for their acts. Because of the gravity of these attacks, and given that they constitute an international crime, every state is empowered to prosecute the persons responsible. As long as Palestinians in Gaza fire rockets at communities in Israel are not prosecuted under proper legal standards, other states have the duty to prosecute them.”
Who in your opinion, is going to give a damn about taking Hamas and their brethren to court? How exactly will the rocket fire stop, if not by the Israeli government whose first duty is to protect its citizens?
Talking of B’Tselem, let’s stick around some more. What is it that you wrote the other day?
“This week after the UN school massacre, we had loads of Israel spokespeople appearing (unchallenged) to say that Hamas had fired rockets from that school. having spent tow days selling that lie such that those who needed to be convinced were, they finally came out and admitted that in fact they hadn't been”.
Huh? Whom are you trying to bluff, you petty bluffer?? You see people, that’s the exact kind of venom I was talking about: he takes bits of information from the news, distorts them through it his spiteful little scheme and then he feeds it to you as if he were God’s embodiment of truth and uprightness on Earth. So here’s the fact from his beloved B’Tselem about what happened in the UNRWA school last week: http://www.btselem.org/English/Gaza_Strip/20090111_bombing_unrwa_school.asp,
or better yet here’s the entire text:
“11 January 2009: Attack on UNRWA school firing of indiscriminate weapon
On 6 January, the Israeli army fired a mortar shell at an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip, which was serving as a shelter for civilians who had fled from their homes following air force bombings. According to various reports, more than thirty civilians were killed as a result of the shelling.
Today, 11 January, Ha’aretz reported that the army had conducted a preliminary inquiry into the incident. The report indicated that rocket fire from a building next to the school had been identified. For unclear reasons, firing from the air “was not possible” so the decision was made to direct fire “towards the source of the shooting.” The standard deviation of these mortar shells is a few dozen meters. Soldiers fired three shells, one of them hitting the school. Army officers told Ha’aretz that, in retrospect, “the choice of the means of response was faulty,” and that the army should have used a precise weapon. It was also reported that apparently, the school was marked on maps that had been given to paratroopers operating in the area.
B'Tselem demands that the lessons of the inquiry be implemented immediately. A standard deviation of a few dozen meters in the densely populated Gaza Strip is liable to result in dozens of civilian casualties. Under these circumstances, a weapon with this range of deviation constitutes a weapon that does not distinguish between civilian and military objects. Accordingly, it violates the principle of distinction in international humanitarian law and its use must be absolutely prohibited”.

OK, Baba Yaga, just wait, I’m not through with you yet. Not through with you at all.

Andy H said...

Blah blah blah. Give me one good reason why I should respond to any of that invective laden crap, Chris. I mean there are some points to which I could respond buried in there somewhere, (I really did struggle through to the end), but I really can't be bothered. if you want to be aggressive and filled with hate, go right ahead. Perhaps you can join Hamas. You'd fit right in, obviously.

Andrei. I have no idea what that's got to do with anything? All Muslims are terrorists? Something like that?

Andy H said...

I've just re-read my own first paragraph:
Making comments about Israel and Palestine on the Internet tends to be the most surefire way imaginable of getting loads of mad crazy people from the extremes of the debate from both sides to launch insane cyberhate campaigns against one.

This stuff gets scary when I realise that I am very easy to track down, and when one reads diatribes like that last one, there is very little sense that this could not be translated into actual violence.

Chris said...

So I’m worse than Hamas. For using metaphors and harsh words. For calling you a hypocrite. Very well, then I’m worse than Hamas.
And you’re a hypocrite. Or did I mention that?

I’m abhorred by Al-Qaida, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their like. I’m sickened to the bone that they managed to turn the better part of a generation of youth into savages instead of sending them to school for mathematics and biology.

So you’re damn right about my hatred for them - it’s racing abreast theirs for the Jews / for us / not least for their own people. But my hatred stays confined to the keyboard and it changes into words of blame. I accuse. Are you accusing the accuser of accusing?

And I accuse the IDF too, but not necessarily on your biased blog. I attack settlers and right-wing Jewish fanatics as they run many similarities with their Muslim counterparts. I don’t exculpate many of their deeds and occasional crimes. Just the other day I criticized the IDF for using illegal weapons.

They are waging a retaliatory war and killing civilians by the hundreds in the process. Some are not innocent civilians, but Hamasnikim. Others are unfortunate human shields. But some of them are innocent babies and that is bad. Which proportion of what they do is recklessness, how much of it is inaccurate fire and collateral damage, is hard to tell. Just don’t anybody give me that “should not have responded in the first place” kind of crap.

And maybe I am biased, like I said 70-30 to Israel. But then again, I didn’t start a blog calling myself impartial.
“I reserve the right to go off topic and talk about anything I damn well like”. No shit? Me too, including on your own blog. Or do you think that once you set up a blog designed to carry off as “pro-Israel and pro-Palestine” you can reserve some exclusive rights? I also reserve the right to write whatever I damn well like, such as attacking anyone on their own grounds, especially when they wretchedly fall short of their headlines and labels, by assembling some of most one-side compilations of writings ever written about the conflict and then having the nerve to repeatedly define themselves as unbiased. If you splash mud don’t complain of getting splattered, Andy H.

I’ll keep denouncing those sons of bitches with all I can, in every language life taught me, including in my elementary Arabic, and as of next year in Farsi too, I hope. But my hunger for statements and accusations of the hideous horror which they stand for and abdominal crimes they commit against a people, a country, and against the civilized Western world dwarfs the limits of vocabulary as man has not yet invented words to vilify enough those death-worshiping savage miscreations.

Chris said...

Here's somebody else who calls you a hypocrite. And I don't agree with every single word of what she says.

THE MORAL BATTLE GROUND
by Melanie Philips

And so now begins the second and most difficult stage. Inside Israel, there is both determination and dread as tens of thousands of Israel's conscript army are called to the front. Untold numbers of these soldiers will lose their lives as the result not merely of the genocidal aims of Hamas (and its Iranian puppet-master), but also the indifference and pusillanimity towards Palestinian terror displayed by world governments over the past six decades of Israel's fight for survival, along with the active encouragement of genocidal Islamists by leftists, Jew-haters, Muslims and useful idiots who were on such thuggish display yesterday in the co-ordinated demonstrations in British and other western cities.

Such people have made no protest at the bombardment of Israeli towns by more than 6000 rockets in the past six years, deliberately targeting innocent civilians. They have made no protest at the way Hamas has used Gazan civilians as human shields, situating its murderous arsenals beneath apartment blocks, in schools and hospitals and mosques in order to maximize the numbers of civilians killed (in order to manipulate all-too pliable western opinion).

No, their protest only starts when Israel finally takes the military action aimed at stopping this genocidal barrage.

The worst thing is the moral inversion, in which the murderous victimization of innocent Israelis is ignored while their murderers are described as 'civilians' when they are finally killed by the Israelis -- who are demonstrably taking care to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible.

Tragically, civilians always die in wars; and unfortunately there will undoubtedly be more civilian casualties in Gaza -- along with deaths among Israeli troops -- as the war goes on. But the frenzied misrepresentations, double standards and moral inversion fuelling a hysteria in the west which in turn can only incite more genocidal violence are simply depraved.

Particularly striking in its malice is the way in which the treatment of wounded Palestinians in Israeli hospitals is ignored -- while news of the barbaric behavior of Hamas in Gaza's hospitals is airbrushed out of the picture. At WSJ's Opinion Journal, James Taranto noted that a report of this scene in a Gaza hospital briefly appeared in the New York Times a couple of days ago:

Armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes roamed the halls. Asked their function, they said it was to provide security. But there was internal bloodletting under way. In the fourth-floor orthopaedic section, a woman in her late 20s asked a militant to let her see Saleh Hajoj, her 32-year-old husband. She was turned away and left the hospital. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Hajoj was carried out by young men pretending to transfer him to another ward. As he lay on the stretcher, he was shot in the left side of the head. Mr. Hajoj, like five others killed at the hospital this way in 24 hours, [my emphasis] was accused of collaboration with Israel. He had been in the central prison awaiting trial by Hamas judges; when Israel destroyed the prison on Sunday he and the others were transferred to the hospital. But their trials were short-circuited...

You won't find that passage now on the New York Times website because, soon after it appeared, it unaccountably vanished into the ether. Nor will many in Britain or the west be aware of this:
Dozens of Gaza Arabs are being treated in Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital at the same time terrorists are bombarding the city. The medical facility, the largest on the southern coast, is in the line of rocket fire, and medical staff often have to stop caring for patients and run for cover during air raid warnings.

The 500-bed Barzilai Hospital has close ties with Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, Barzilai deputy director Dr. Ron Lobel told the Associated Press. 'It might seem completely absurd, but we have the privilege to be doctors. Our medical ethics do not distinguish between patients. We treat whoever needs to be treated,' he said One Gaza Arab woman refused to identify herself to AP [Associated Press] because of fear of retribution by terrorists if it were known that her two-month-old granddaughter is being treated in an Israeli hospital. 'I am very sad and hurt.

We want peace, not war,' she said as Israel began retaliating after hundreds of Arab rocket and mortar attacks, some of them lethal.

The moral inversion in the west is so egregious, so monstrous, that the better Israel is shown to behave the worse the vilification that rains down upon it. What other country in the world would show such restraint in the face of more than 6000 rocket attacks upon its citizens -- 6000! -- that it took seven years before going to war to put a stop to it?

What other country would treat individuals -- including proven terrorists -- from that enemy territory in its own hospitals?
What other country would continue to provide essential foodstuffs and other supplies to those enemies who continued to fire rockets at it?
What other country, when finally forced to go to war to stop the attacks, would show such concern to avoid the loss of civilian life that it contacts the population in enemy territory -- even households containing identified terrorists -- to warn them to flee from the imminent bombardment?
And what other country would, for showing such unparalleled moral scrupulousness, be vilified and libeled as Israel is?

Israel's behavior is moral, legal and proportionate. This conflict is revealing just who is on the side of morality, decency and sanity and who is not. The President of the Czech Republic, who is also the incoming president of the EU, has emerged in the former camp, declaring stoutly that Israel's behavior is both just and necessary. France's president Sarkozy, however, has called upon both sides to stop hostilities -- a moral equivalence which effectively gives Hamas victory by requiring Israel to abandon the defense of its citizens. Similarly in Britain, Foreign Secretary David Miliband has repeated his call for an immediate cease-fire -- while Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has apparently complained to Israel's Prime Minister Olmert that "too many" people have died.

Would that be, perhaps, too many Hamas terrorists who have died? Would Brown have preferred that more of them continued to live so that they could carry on murdering more Israelis?

In startling contrast Farid Ghadry, President of the Reform Party of Syria, has written:
We Arabs must be the ones to stop Hamas and Hizbullah, rather than support their demonic and twisted logic of resisting development, enlightenment, and progress of the region. Even when development and enlightenment stare them in the face, their instinct is to destroy them pretending to safeguard their honor, the mechanics of which supersede all else including a happy life of fulfillment and accomplishments. So while we abhor violence of all kind, Israel's campaign against Hamas must continue to the bitter end not only for the sake of peace but also to help Arabs realize they have a choice: Destroy like Gaza or develop like Dubai. Will this happen soon? Maybe not, but if a wake-up call and a nudge, once in a while, to pierce through the fog of deceit perpetrated by Syria and Iran is what it takes to see the light, then we stand by the West and Israel in the only hope that an Arab Renaissance in the Levant may actually have a chance of resurrection.

Alas, many in the west don't stand with Farid Ghadry. They stand instead with Hamas. Whatever platitudes they mouth, it is clear that they really don't want Israel to survive at all. The moral dividing line in this battle is very clear. Those who stand with Israel are on the side of morality, justice, and civilization. Those in the media and public life who denounce Israel for having the temerity to defend its people are the fellow-travelers of barbarism. Having done so much to embolden and strengthen Hamas and Iran, who are playing them for suckers, they are continuing to stoke the fires of irrational hatred and genocidal hysteria. As Israeli soldiers die, along with the Palestinian victims of Hamas whether as 'collaborators' or human shields, their blood will be on these hypocritical western hands.

This article originally appeared in Spectator.co.uk

Andy H said...

1. I didn't call you worse the Hamas.

2. I didn't say i was impartial. In fact i explicitly stated I was biased.

3. You have the right to say what you like too. I could delete your rants but haven't. Go ahead, say what you like.

4. As I have said before, i have no idea how the logic works that criticising/voicing anger at Israel = support for Hamas, but I'm sure you'll tell me.

5. I won't bother r4eadng melanie Phillips, as she is completely 100% batshit crazy and about the most ludicrous excuse for a columnist that it's ever been my misforrtune to read. It's enough to know that she wrote something to know that it is 100% complete dogshit.

6. In the spirit of dialogue, can I instead recommend this article:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055574.html by (the always excellent) Gideon Levy in Haaretz (and yes, you can if you want point out that such articles critical of government policy would never be published under Hamas.

Oh, and PS 7 - how did this get into a left wing/right wing argument? You accuse me of being left wing, but of supporting Hamas. I'm happy enough to take the first accusation, but how would that possibly equate with support for a bunch of fascists?

Chris said...

I’m not one of Levy’s fans, so I almost never read him, but whenever he appears in the electronic media I know exactly what he’s discourse will be. He’s just about as predictable in his speeches as Uri Avneri. But everyone is entitled to his political views, including radical leftists.

Here’s what Irit Linur (Israeli writer and radio commentator, leftist too) had to say about Levy and Amira Hass in her letter to Amos Shocken, in which she publicly announced her intent to cancel her Ha’aretz subscription after years of faithful readership:

כשגדעון לוי מאשים את ישראל בהפיכתו של מרואן ברגותי משוחר שלום לאמרגן פיגועי התאבדות, זו פרשנות הגיונית, ממש כמו הטענה שגל הפיגועים ב-11 בספטמבר הוא מזימה של המוסד. בשיחה פרטית איתו, אמר לי פעם שהוא לא היה נוסע מאה מטר כדי להציל את חייו של מתנחל, ונראה לי שאהבותיו ושנאותיו מכתימות כבר מזמן את דיווחיו הנוגעים ללב מהשטחים הפלשתינים הכבושים. כמו כן, ואולי גם את זה לא צריך לציין, כל הקריירה שלו נגועה בחלטוריזם, מכיוון שהוא אחד הכתבים היחידים בעולם לעניינים ערביים, שלא יודע ערבית, לא מבין ערבית ולא קורא ערבית. מתרגמים לו סימולטנית, וזה מספיק. לטעמי, זו עיתונות חובבנית.

גדעון לוי ועמירה הס הם מחזיקי התיק הפלשתיני ב"הארץ". בעוד שכמוכם, אני מכירה בחשיבות העיתונאית והאנושית של דיווחים כאלה, יש לי בעיה עם ההוצאה לפועל. מבחינתם, ישראל לעולם תישא באחריות גם על הסבל הפלשתיני, וגם על הרצחנות הפלשתינית. זו פרשנות צרת מוחין ושטחית, פגומה מבחינה עיתונאית ומוסרית כאחד. כמו כן, שניהם נמנעים מלדווח על מעשי זוועה שהפלשתינים מבצעים זה בזה, ויש פלשתינים שמשום מה לא יוצא להם לפגוש: האנטישמים, השוביניסטים, המושחתים, מוחאי הכפיים לפיגועים. כשהנטיות הפרו-פלשתיניות של הרפורטרים הס ולוי הן הדבר הבולט והעקבי ביותר בדיווחיהם מהשטחים, אני מתקשה לייחס אמינות לכתבותיהם. ומכיוון שאני, תסלחו לי, ציונית, לא בא לי בזמן מלחמה לקבל כל בוקר הביתה את קול הרעם מקהיר.

Full text available: http://www.news1.co.il/archive/0019-D-1068-00.html?tag=14-23-47#PTEXT1597 , but not in English and I don’t have time to translate it. Anyway, the most important point is this: "according to them [i.e., Levy and Hass], Israel will always be responsible for the Palestinian sufferance and for the Palestinian murderousness”

(is that true or not?)

and that “one doesn’t necessarily have to pay for Kol Ha'Raam" ("The Voice of Thunder" - Egypt's anti-Israeli Hebrew language program) to be delivered daily to one’s porch”.

Chris said...

My favorite columnist is Ben Dror Yemini. He's been characterized as follows:

According to Yemini, "the modern Anti-Zionism is a politically correct Antisemitism". He argued that the same way Jews were demonized, Israel is demonized, the same way the right of Jews to exist was denied, the right for Self-determination is denied from Israel, the same way Jews were presented as a menace to the world, Israel is presented as a menace to the world. In his comparative studies, he presents the huge gape between the myths against Israel, from one hand, and the real facts, from the other hand.

He supports the Two-state solution and opposes the settlements in the West Bank. He argues that the extreme right and the extreme left lead to same goal of One-state solution. His articles concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict and his comparative studies led him to become the most translated Israeli journalist and a widely invited speaker about criticism of Israel.

http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dgpc4hc9_99qwsq9csd

Chris said...

http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/01/youssef-m-ibrahim-to-my-arab-brothers.html

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Youssef M. Ibrahim :To my Arab brothers...

The War with Israel Is Over - and they won.

Now let's finally move forward With Israel entering its fourth week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few months ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks.
The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:

Dear Palestinian Arab brethren: The war with Israel is over. You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children. We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the "eternal struggle” with Israel.

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years.

Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness. At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.

You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation.

Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins. Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.

In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day. What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world 's have-nots? We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.
Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.

Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab. Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods - more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives - while your children played in the sewers of Gaza .

The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?

Youssef M. Ibrahim, a former New York Times Middle East Correspondent and Wall Street Journal Energy Editor for 25 years, is a freelance writer based in New York City and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Andy H said...

I don't disagree with much of that article, Chris. Yes, the Palestinians have lost. They have been forced from their homes, they have been brutalised and terrorised for decades, they have nothing whatsoever to look forward to. It is a crushing defeat in any way you can imagine. Israel has overwhelming military supremacy, it has absolute economic power of them. Israel has won the battle for the media in the Western world, managing to convince that media that they (Israel) are the victims in all of this. Arab governments will clearly never lift a finger to help the Palestinians, and the so-called international community clearly has sold them down the river, and even the UN shows no interest in enforcing or pressing forward on its own resolutions.

So congratulations Israel. you have won. You have fucked over, dominated, abused, imprisoned, terrorised, brutalised, besieged, killed, tortured and oppressed an entire people to the point where they have nothing left. I hope this makes you feel good about yourselves. Good work.

Maybe the Palestinians are destined to wander the world, exiled from their homeland, persecuted and abused for the next 2000 years. Ironic really.

Chris said...

OU ETIEZ-VOUS MESSIEURS ?

Où étiez-vous messieurs les journalistes ? Où étiez-vous messieurs les biens pensants ? Où étiez-vous messieurs les représentants de l'O.N.U ?

Oui, où étiez-vous de 1948 à la fin des années 80, lorsque le boycott d'Israël était devenu si banalisé qu'aucun d'entre vous n'en parlait ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsqu'Israël était une « prison à ciel ouvert » selon vos propres définitions ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque commercer avec Israël méritait la sanction suprême c'est-à-dire l'interdiction à celui qui avait bravé ce blocus de vendre sur toute parcelle de territoire du monde arabe ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque, entre autres, Renault se pliait à cet infâme diktat ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque votre combat pour le respect des lieux saints était confronté à l'image immonde du « Mur occidental » servant de latrines ? Peut-être même, y avez-vous soulagé quelques besoins !!!

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque des hordes de réfugiés juifs quittaient le Maroc, la Tunisie, l'Algérie, l'Égypte, la Libye, l'Irak où autres pays arabes ? Avez-vous d'ailleurs gardé ces images dans vos archives ?

Oui, où étiez vous quand la « diva » du monde arabe chantait « Égorgez, égorgez les juifs » sous les acclamations de foules sanguinaires qui déferlaient dans les rues de Damas, du Caire ou d'ailleurs ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque pour sauvez des kosovars l'O.T.A.N bombardait ce territoire d'une hauteur suffisamment importante pour ne pas risquer la DCA faisant de ce fait plus de 2.000 morts civils ?

Oui, étiez-vous lorsque, battant le rappel pour dénoncer les massacres du Darfour, nous ne trouvions devant un désert médiatique ?

Oui, où étiez-vous lorsque des attentats aveugles à Paris tuaient des dizaines de citoyens « innocents » ce qui pour vous voulait dire « non juifs » ?

Oui, où étiez vous lorsque des hordes syriennes ou jordaniennes massacraient par dizaines de milliers les mêmes palestiniens ?

Oui, où étiez vous pour relater le « lynchage » d'Israéliens perdus en territoire palestinien qui ont eu pour seul péché de « fouler le territoire palestinien » sans escorte, le seul tort de croire qu'ils pouvaient vivre paisiblement à coté de palestiniens ?

Oui, où sont donc passés ces journalistes « bien pensants » ayant une addiction au « bien » et si « silencieux » pendant toutes ces décennies?

Étrange phénomène médiatique que de constater que ceux qui poussaient des cris d'orfraie lorsque Bush parlait de l'axe du « Bien et du Mal », sont ceux-là même qui excellent aujourd'hui dans l'art du manichéisme ?

Qu'espérez-vous messieurs ? Que comme le cerf aux abois, les juifs tétanisés se taisent et assument une « dhimmitude » définitivement acceptée ? Ou que pour se faire accepter par leurs bourreaux, ils prêtent « allégeance » et se « marranisent » ?

Non, désolé, ne vous en déplaise, vous n'aurez pas cette jouissance ! Définitivement, non !

Tenez le vous pour dit !

Richard C. ABITBOL

Président - Aassociation Déborah Sam Hoffenberg.
http://www.bb-dsh.org/avecqui.php
http://www.bb-dsh.org/lemotdespresidents.php

Andy H said...

Is this blaming everyone else but Israel for the mass murder in Gaza, making you feel better Chris?

Do I detect an element of attempting to make yourself feel better about what you may have a slight doubt about in your desperate scattergun flailings?

Chris said...

The only doubt that I have is whether you, Andy, are a naive leftist who donned the human rights upholder’s gown for its always easy simplicity of boo-boo detection, or rather the classic kind of deliberate obfuscator of historical truth and truthfulness.

The second thing that I’m still wavering about is whether I should flood your bubble of selected half-truths snatched from the larger-scale picture with more stuff that I consider fair dealing, so as to pour some bleacher into your coal-tar of a weblog. No, actually I'm too busy for that, but occasionally I'll post texts that I may happen to deem as better written than what I could have come up with.

Desperate? Well, you have to make up you’re mind: we (Israelis and supporters) either won and are hopefully still winning, while you (Palestinians and connivers) are the eternal losers again in every conceivable aspect; or we lost the moral battleground and turned into the misfits of decency and progress and it’s us who turned our lives into an eternal wretched and frantic scramble in the wrong sense, so that we’d eventually need to bury ourselves in desperation.

Andy H said...

"Naive" when bandied around about by apologists for the mass murder of Palestinians tends to mean "unwilling to see that the cull of human beings is necessary" as far as I can tell. In your terms, then yes I am naive.

Listen Chris, these are people. Human beings. People desperately trying to scratch out an existence under siege, oppressed and brutalised and forced to live in incredibly difficult situations through no fault of their own. That doesn't mean every single Palestinian is innocent of any crime or act of violence, but the vast majority of them are. Your logic that Palestinian = terrorist = legitimate target is, you know, no better (really NO better) than the logic of Hamas/Islamic Jihad. You can dehumanise them all you like, you can justify their slaughter all you like, but they are people. And by your rhetoric you are showing your inhumanity.

Feel free to keep posting your own picture of the story, but don't for a moment imagine that you are seeing the whole picture yourself.

For the last time - nobody should die for the crime of being Palestinian or Israeli. This is my unbalanced, terribly "conniving", position. Obviously you see things differently.

What do you see as being the end-game here, by the way? The Ethnic Cleansing of the Occupied Territories (or "Transfer" as you probably euphemistically refer to it)? Palestinians in some kind of walled in Bantustans, dependent on Israel for necessities like water? Do you see the "non-occupation" of Gaza as being the model for these open prisons you'd like to create in the West Bank too? Really, I'm interested in what you want to come out of this, because you certainly seem to view Palestinian lives as beneath your contempt. Still, Netanyahu will soon be in power and you can no doubt get what you want - further outrages and aggression, more settlements, "transfer", death and torture. Enjoy your victory, Chris. Enjoy the spoils of war. Watch people suffer like ants under a magnifying glass, knowing that they don't matter, they're not important, they deserved it.

Chris said...

No, I don't envisage any climactic show-down solution (although if it were to come to any dismaying either-Jews-or-Arabs dichotomy, then, yes, I'd prefer to have the Arabs transferred across the Jordan river, over the transfer of Jews to hell or into the sea.

But since you asked, I tend to favor the "two-state solution". For the incognizant, it is one of the potential solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A two-state solution envisions two separate states in the Western portion of the historic region of Palestine, one Jewish and another Arab to solve the conflict. The Arab inhabitants would be given citizenship by the new Palestinian state; Palestinian refugees would likely be offered such citizenship as well. Arab citizens of present-day Israel would likely have the choice of staying with Israel, or becoming citizens of the new Palestine.

The New York Review of Books reported in a 2008 review of the middle east situation that "Throughout the years, polls consistently showed respectable Israeli and Palestinian majorities in favor of a negotiated two-state settlement."

A 2007 poll reported that, when forced to choose between a two-state solution and a bi-national state, over one quarter of the Palestinian respondents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip preferred neither, 46% of respondents preferred the two-state over the bi-national solution, and 26% preferred the binational over the two-state.

This solution also enjoys majority support in Israeli polls, although there has been some erosion to its prospects over time, in particular under the circumstances of the right wing sweep in the elections last week.