what the israelis have done is to ensure there won't be peace in the middle east for another generation
What truly baffles me about the whole situation is this: This has been tried before. Bombing campaigns, blockades, the whole megillah. Why do people think it will work this time when it never worked before?
When the next wave of rocket attacks and/or suicide bombings occurs, what then?
I don't care about who started it or who is to blame the most. By this point both sides have definitely gone beyond any form of proper behavior and are acting like immature children with access to deadly weapons.
Did you buy out the right to meddle in Palestinian politics and within their borders? How much was their political autonomy worth?
Honest question: How does State A negotiate with State B, when one of State B's stated goals is the complete destruction of State A?
2. There is never an equivalency in war. In fighting for your survival, you use what you have.
Folk Marxism looks at political economy as a struggle pitting the oppressors against the oppressed. Of course, for Marx, the oppressors were the owners of capital and the oppressed were the workers. But folk Marxism is not limited by this economic classification scheme. All sorts of other issues are viewed through the lens of oppressors and oppressed. Folk Marxists see Israelis as oppressors and Palestinians as oppressed. They see white males as oppressors and minorities and females as oppressed. They see corporations as oppressors and individuals as oppressed. They see America as on oppressor and other countries as oppressed.
1. I note the great accuracy which the intel Israel has for hitting Hamas buildings, places, and tunnels along the Egyptian border...that had to have taken time to compile.
2. There is never an equivalency in war. In fighting for your survival, you use what you have. If Hamas had better and bigger weapons they would be put to use. Do you expect Israel to wait for that so it can be an even fight?
3. The Israeli prime minister told the Palestinians in advance of the attack (a few days before) what would happen should the rockets continue to be fired on Israel...unusual and therefore dumb of Hamas not to lay off for a month or two. Call a bluff and you risk what then takes place.
4. Lefties in America had in the early days been ardent Israeli supporters. With the death of the Marxist dream, they needed something to take the place of ideology and so decided to side with "underdogs" wherever they were to be found. Thus the Left began to side with the Palestinians. Meanwhile, the Right in America and in Israel considered the Democrats and liberals anti-Israel and feared for an Obama win in the election. I suspect Obama will be no weaker or stronger in his pro-Israel stance than has been G.W. Bush, though manyh on the left believe Bush has made no useful copntribution to peace in the Middle ast.
It is my understanding that Hamas and Israel don't negotiate directly with one another, ever, (in part) because they don't recognize each other. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I believe.
Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza have been firing rockets at Israel almost every day, for the past few years. All of these groups, Islamic and secular, have carried out scores of deadly attacks against Israelis since the creation of the Jewish state.
The charter of Hamas, the leading Palestiinian terrorist group that has ruled the Gaza Strip following a bloody coup against the U.S.-backed Palestinian president's government, calls for the destruction of Israel. The group is backed by Iran.
Its charter does not call for the destruction of Israel as a mere bargaining position: it is fundamental to Hamas' beliefs that Moslems have a sacred duty to "free" all land that has been under Moslem authority.
... I'm Jewish and descendant of holocaust survivors. Moreover, I've been a Zionist all of my life. I went to a Zionist school, I was active in Zionist youth groups. I've always been a fervent supporter of Israel as a refuge for Jews around the world who seek a place to exercise their traditions and embrace their identity in peace.
I sang the Israeli anthem in the train rails of Aushwitz-Birkenau and I pledged to fight every day of my life to make sure the savage crimes that had taken place there would never happen again. Every year I pledged: Never Again. Remember and Never forget.
Well, I haven't forgotten. And so to honor that pledge, to honor the memory of my family members who died in those death camps and because "there comes a time when silence is betrayal", today I finally and publicly end my support for the state of Israel.
So it looks like Israel will continue its policies of simply exterminating the Palestinians.
At the first light of dawn, the mother of five sent her son to the bakery to buy bread. Hundreds of Palestinians had the same idea, joining a never-ending line. "There's no food in the market," Bardaweel explained in an interview with a reporter. Her son did not return until nightfall [...]
Many Palestinian residents said they received recorded messages purportedly from the Israeli Defense Forces saying that anyone with guns or weapons would be targeted without warning. When asked about the phone messages, an Israeli military spokeswoman said the military used "different means" of reaching out to Palestinians and declined to comment further.
The election results stunned U.S. and Israeli officials, who have repeatedly stated that they would not work with a Palestinian Authority that included Hamas, which both countries and the European Union have designated as a terrorist organization. In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that a party could not "have one foot in politics and the other in terror. Our position on Hamas has therefore not changed." Washington Post, 27 Jan 06
...And thus it was only in 1948 that a Jewish nation-state was established in formerly Ottoman Palestine. But the founders of the Jewish state had been influenced by the same concepts and categories as their fin-de-siècle contemporaries back in Warsaw, or Odessa, or Bucharest; not surprisingly, Israel's ethno-religious self-definition, and its discrimination against internal "foreigners," has always had more in common with, say, the practices of post-Habsburg Romania than either party might care to acknowledge.
The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European "enclave" in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a "Jewish state"—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.
. . . .
...Israel can keep control of the Occupied Territories but get rid of the overwhelming majority of the Arab population: either by forcible expulsion or else by starving them of land and livelihood, leaving them no option but to go into exile. In this way Israel could indeed remain both Jewish and at least formally democratic: but at the cost of becoming the first modern democracy to conduct full-scale ethnic cleansing as a state project, something which would condemn Israel forever to the status of an outlaw state, an international pariah.
. . . .
For many years, Israel had a special meaning for the Jewish people. After 1948 it took in hundreds of thousands of helpless survivors who had nowhere else to go; without Israel their condition would have been desperate in the extreme. Israel needed Jews, and Jews needed Israel. The circumstances of its birth have thus bound Israel's identity inextricably to the Shoah, the German project to exterminate the Jews of Europe. As a result, all criticism of Israel is drawn ineluctably back to the memory of that project, something that Israel's American apologists are shamefully quick to exploit. To find fault with the Jewish state is to think ill of Jews; even to imagine an alternative configuration in the Middle East is to indulge the moral equivalent of genocide.
In the years after World War II, those many millions of Jews who did not live in Israel were often reassured by its very existence—whether they thought of it as an insurance policy against renascent anti-Semitism or simply a reminder to the world that Jews could and would fight back. Before there was a Jewish state, Jewish minorities in Christian societies would peer anxiously over their shoulders and keep a low profile; since 1948, they could walk tall. But in recent years, the situation has tragically reversed.
Today, non-Israeli Jews feel themselves once again exposed to criticism and vulnerable to attack for things they didn't do. But this time it is a Jewish state, not a Christian one, which is holding them hostage for its own actions. Diaspora Jews cannot influence Israeli policies, but they are implicitly identified with them, not least by Israel's own insistent claims upon their allegiance. The behavior of a self-described Jewish state affects the way everyone else looks at Jews. The increased incidence of attacks on Jews in Europe and elsewhere is primarily attributable to misdirected efforts, often by young Muslims, to get back at Israel. The depressing truth is that Israel's current behavior is not just bad for America, though it surely is. It is not even just bad for Israel itself, as many Israelis silently acknowledge. The depressing truth is that Israel today is bad for the Jews.
It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law.
This isn't the time to speak of ethics, but of precise intelligence. Whoever gave the instructions to send 100 of our planes, piloted by the best of our boys, to bomb and strafe enemy targets in Gaza is familiar with the many schools adjacent to those targets - especially police stations. He also knew that at exactly 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, during the surprise assault on the enemy, all the children of the Strip would be in the streets - half just having finished the morning shift at school, the others en route to the afternoon shift.
This is not the time to speak of proportional responses, not even of the polls that promise a greater share of Knesset seats to the mission's architects. This is, however, the time to speak of the voters' belief the operation will succeed, that the strikes are precise and the targets justified.
Take, for example, Imad Aqel Mosque in Jabalya refugee camp, bombed and strafed shortly before midnight on Sunday. These are the names of the glorious military victory we achieved there - Jawaher, age 4; Dina, age 8; Sahar, age 12; Ikram, age 14; and Tahrir, age 17, all sisters of the Ba'lousha family, all killed in a "precise" strike on the mosque. Another three sisters, a 2-year-old brother and their parents were injured. Twenty-four neighbors were wounded and five homes and three stores destroyed. This part of the military victory did not open our television or radio news broadcasts yesterday morning, nor did they appear on many Israeli news Web sites.
Referring to [the] Warsaw [Ghetto], scene of the historic uprising by its Jewish inhabitants, [Labour Member of Parliament and a member of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality Oona] King said: "It is the same in nature but not extent."
She stressed the "very, very big difference" between Gaza and the infamous ghetto established by the Nazis in Poland's capital.
"Palestinians are not being rounded up and put in gas chambers," she said.
But the MP said: "What makes it similar is what happened to the Jewish people in that time which was the seizing of land, being forced from property, torture and bureaucracy - control used in a demeaning way over the smallest task.
"On top of that building a wall around them - and that is precisely what the Israeli government is doing. In doing so it is building a political ghetto. I don't think it can escape that conclusion."
Ms King also said: "As a Jewish person, I hoped I would never live to see the day I was ashamed of the actions of the Jewish state."
The situation had worsened considerably since she last visited with pressure group Labour Friends of Israel in 1998, she added.
Ms Tonge agreed: "You are almost getting a situation like the Warsaw ghetto - people can't get in or out. They can't work, they can't sell anything. There is this gradual squeeze."
However, the Richmond Park MP also offered a comparison of her own.
"I feel it was an apartheid system and it is certainly getting worse - the area where the Palestinians live is getting smaller."
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