Israel/Gaza

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All this is making me so sad I want to just shut the news off, but that just feels to ignorant.
What the heck will it take!?
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I try not to give up hope, but it this case, i have lost all hope.
i always thought it would be Iran starting the 3rd world war in that part of the world...

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i always thought it would be Iran starting the 3rd world war in that part of the world...
Originally Posted by rouquinne
In a real sense, that's exactly what is happening - Hamas has long been an Iranian proxy. In the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, there are two militias, trained and armed by Iran, on Israel's borders ready to retaliate (Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon).

It's also possible that Hamas stepped up their rocket attacks to distract the world's attention from the conflict in Syria, another Iranian/Hamas ally.

That's not to excuse Israel's blockade of Gaza, or its continued expansion of settlements and repression of Palestinians in the West Bank.

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Last edited by yossarian; 11-16-2012 at 11:35 AM.
i always thought it would be Iran starting the 3rd world war in that part of the world...
Originally Posted by rouquinne
In a real sense, that's exactly what is happening - Hamas has long been an Iranian proxy. In the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, there are two militias, trained and armed by Iran, on Israel's borders ready to retaliate (Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon).

It's also possible that Hamas.stepped up their rocket attacks to distract the the world's attention from the conflict in Syria, another Iranian/Hamas ally.




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Originally Posted by yossarian
I was gonna say that first part. Iran couldn't ever keep their nose clean in this one, and they are definitely a backbone for Gaza.
It's so sad, really. I'm just disappointed with the world.

I haven't heard anything about Russia's stance, has anyone else?
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thank you, yossarian, i'm no longer up-to-date on my Middle Eastern history and politics.
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So incredibly sad, and Hamas in particular is one of the most awful stories of the middle east. They truly don't care about their people, they care about their own power.

I've been keeping updated to make sure family and friends over there are okay. A lot of people I know have moved north for the time being, but it doesn't seem like that'll be safe anymore either with rockets going so far north. Hoping that none of my family in reserves will be drafted and that none of my friends in the IDF will be going down there. I just want a ceasefire. It doesn't seem like this is a war that will lead to any conclusion; it's just getting worse and worse.



I posted this photo of myself in Jerusalem yesterday. I just feel so passive and helpless. When I was there during the summer they blocked travel in and out of the south due to bombings but nobody thought this would escalate so quickly.
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i always thought it would be Iran starting the 3rd world war in that part of the world...

Originally Posted by rouquinne
Guess where Hamas gets its weapons?
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Top Ten Myths about Israeli Attack on Gaza | Informed Comment

I'm no fan of Hamas, but Israel is no innocent victim.

5. Israeli hawks and their American clones depict Gaza as a foreign, hostile state with which Israel is at war. In fact, the Gaza strip is a small territory of 1.7 million people militarily occupied by Israel (something in which the UN and other international bodies concur). Israelis do not allow it to have a port or airport, nor to export most of what it produces. Palestinians cannot work about a third of its land, which is reserved by Israel as a security buffer. As an occupied territory, it is covered by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of occupied populations by their military occupier. Indiscriminate bombing of occupied territories by the occupier is clearly illegal in international law.


6. Israeli hawks see themselves as innocent victims of bewildering Palestinian rage from Gaza. But Israel not only has kept Palestinians of Gaza in the world’s largest outdoor penitentiary, they have them under an illegal blockade that for some years aimed at limiting their nutrition without altogether starving them to death. I wrote earlier:
“The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. A recent report [pdf] by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers. “
If any foreign power surrounded Israel, destroyed Haifa port and Tel Aviv airport, and prevented Israeli exports from being exported, what do you think Israelis would do? Oh, that’s right, it is rude to see both Palestinians and Israelis as equal human beings.
8. Israeli hawks justify their aggression on the Palestinians on grounds of self-defense. But Israel is a country of 7.5 million people with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, helicopter gunships and F-16s and F-18s, plus 400 nuclear warheads. Gaza is a small occupied territory of 1.7 million which has no heavy weaponry, just some old guns and some largely ineffectual rockets. (Israelis cite hundreds of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza in 2012; but until Israel’s recent attack they had killed not a single Israeli, though they did wound a few last March when fighting between Palestinians and Israelis escalated.) Gaza is a threat to Israel the way the Transkei Bantustan was a threat to Apartheid South Africa. As for genuine asymmetrical threats from Gaza to Israel, they could be dealt with by giving the Palestinians a state and ceasing the blockade imposed on them, or in the worst case scenario counter-terrorism targeted at terrorists rather than indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
Eres o te haces?
http://www.jewishjournal.com/israeli...couple_of_days

This "informed" writer of that Juan Cole blog is uninformed about quite a lot. He's promoting the same old myth that's been circulating for years.

He is opinionated, one-sided, and clearly in favor of mixing radical religious extremism into the multiple causes of the ongoing struggles in the area. While religion is definitely a factor for Hamas, it is not for Israel. In fact, the extremists in Israel tend to be Haredim, or Ultra-Orthodox, who are opposed to Zionism.

I cannot believe you could think someone who says this is a credible source!: Oh, that’s right, it is rude to see both Palestinians and Israelis as equal human beings.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Daily bombings from Gaza are routine. How long can this be tolerated?

Annual number of attacks and casualties
Year Dead Injured Rocket attacks Mortar attacks Total attacks Total attacks
% change
2001 1 4 4+
2002 1 35 35+ 775%
2003 1 155 155+ 343%
2004 5 281 281+  81%
2005 6 401 854 1,255 346%
2006 9 371 1,722 55 1,777  42%
2007 10 578 1,276 1,531 2,807  58%
2008 15 611 2,048 1,668 3,716  32%
Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza after Operation Cast Lead to stop missile fire into Israel and arms import into Gaza.
2009 2 11 569 289 858  77%
2010 5 35 150 215 365  57%
2011 3 81 419 261 680 [119]  86%
2012 * 3 [120] 32 822 [121] 17 858+[122]  

Total * 61 1719 7882 4890 12791
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Last edited by gardencurls; 11-17-2012 at 11:40 AM.
legends, I am deeply against the occupation and am part of several organizations that work toward ending the occupation, and I think that the siege of Gaza has harmed civilians so much that it's inexcusable, but to understand the siege it has to be understood how bad Hamas really is.

One of the questions nobody asks is "Where does Hamas get the material for rockets?" Some have been smuggled in through Egypt and others were made from water pipes and lampposts Israelis put down in the region while they were occupying it and were hoping Gaza residents could now use. They terrorize the south, a sparsely populated and generally very poor area simply because it's there. The majority of the population in the south live with PTSD because of rocket attacks.

Like I said, I am deeply against the occupation and have worked with different lobbying groups that are trying to put international pressure on Israel (who I believe has the power here) to end it. I think the food blockade is inexcusable and there is no way it can be justified. But I also truly believe that there's no possibility for peace until Hamas is out of power. This does not excuse the civilian deaths happening in Gaza, however. Fatah, I believe in; despite the many, many problems with them I do think that they've done many things right, including their bid to be a nonmember observer at the UN.

I understand that this is a pretty leftist view. However, I believe that the best governments in Israel and Palestine are ones that truly care about the well-being and human rights of the people living there. It feels like none of them do right now.
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I fail to see how targeting civilians will defeat Hamas.

Does no one see the connection between some Palestinians' support of Hamas and Israel's actions over the past decades? What, Palestinians are supposed to just accept loss of land and food blockades? The power imbalance it huge, how they can be seen as equal aggressors is beyond me.
Eres o te haces?
They're not equal aggressors; I said that pretty specifically, Israel has more power in this situation.

Also Israel isn't targeting civilians. They're targeting militant leaders, but Gaza is so densely populated and Hamas specifically puts militant leaders amongst civilians because they know the IDF isn't allowed to target civilians. (An explanation but NOT a justification for the deaths.)

Also Israeli actions were a direct result of a lot of the fear and uncertainty that came from the second intifada (again, an explanation but not a justification). Just because Hamas is being supported by Palestinians does not mean they're good. Honestly, it's a Catch-22- they have a terrorist organization in power so Israel commits what I see as human rights violations against them, which gets them justifiably more angry and more willing to commit violent and extremist acts and then Israel puts more restrictions and takes away more human rights... I don't foresee an end unless there's a mediated peace process. I just want a ceasefire in Gaza and for this to be done with.
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-Ibi Kaslik
I fail to see how targeting civilians will defeat Hamas.

Does no one see the connection between some Palestinians' support of Hamas and Israel's actions over the past decades? What, Palestinians are supposed to just accept loss of land and food blockades? The power imbalance it huge, how they can be seen as equal aggressors is beyond me.
Originally Posted by legends
Israel does not target citizens. Hamas put their weapons manufacturers in populated neighborhoods. Hamas offers Palestinian children for sacrifices to make Israel look worse. Certainly these deaths are unjustified, as is illegal occupation. However, Hamas does not try to help the Palestinians.

If you recall, Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Gaza reverted to its 1948 boundaries. Hamas became the de facto government. Hamas immediately closed down newspapers, and any citizens rebellions were suppressed. After Hamas gained political power, 697 rockets and 822 mortar bombs have been fired directly at Israel.

Palestinians don't necessarily support Hamas! All the "blockades" result directly from Hamas' continual rocket and scud attacks. Hamas uses the Palestinians in the Gaza strip as political pawns in their illogical craze for international imposition of Sharia law, and their obsessions with destruction of Israel, and any other democracy.

After the Gaza war in 2008, Hamas deliberately published lies about casualties and losses. Independent inspectors analyzed the supposed sites of devastation, and found nothing to support the alleged crimes against civilians. Warfare destroyed much agriculture, causing a food shortage.

Hamas isn't just anti-Israeli, it's anti-women. Hamas has been compared to the Taliban by the people of Palestine themselves, and many Palestinians have expressed that they understand why Israel is bombing Hamas' weapons manufacturers (weapons parts are purchased from Iran).
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Last edited by gardencurls; 11-17-2012 at 01:06 PM.
Israel keeps the Palestinians living in appallingly inhumane conditions and carries out assassinations as it pleases. And Israel has to know exactly what this will lead to, so they're essentially trying to incite Palestinian violence. Some Palestinians resort to firing their shoddy rockets at Israel, and Israel uses it as an excuse to rain down bombs on civilians with its infinitely superior firepower. Once Israel gets tired of that, they impose even worse restrictions on the Palestinians, again trying to provoke violence.

And it's not like I'm saying anything profound or particularly astute here. It's a cycle perpetuated by Israel and only Israel is in a position to end it. And we Americans could facilitate that if we stopped endorsing Israel's every action. Although, some people who work closely with the president confided to the NY Times that to a significant extent, the US government is working with Israel to appease its leadership and keep the country from bombing Iran.

By the way, feminism is not a justification for ethnic cleansing and imperialism.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 11-17-2012 at 09:55 PM.
By the way, feminism is not a justification for ethnic cleansing and imperialism.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
I assume that comment was directed to me. "Feminism" has nothing to do with what I meant, and I don't want to appear to be worried about Western women's rights in light of human decimation. Being anti-women is devaluing half of humanity. This half (women) happens to be expendable to Hamas, as shown in their lack of protection of civilians, including women and children, and the ridiculous laws they impose upon women to keep them incapable of escaping their captive lifestyles. The situation between Israel and Palestine is one of the most painful, perplexing conflicts that affects many of us in these times. The reality is that both sides are wrong about some things, and both sides are also right about some things, but neither side will compromise. This indecision is like a bacterial breeding ground for the ilk of Hamas.

The reason those "shoddy" rockets don't injure and kill Israelis is the Iron Dome. And the Iron Dome cannot intercept every rocket. Hamas knows that sooner or later one or more will hit Tel Aviv, or even Jerusalem, and no matter how many Palestinians die because of Israeli retaliation, Hamas won't stop the bombings.

What should Israel do? Should the entire state up and move to Canada? Even if that happened, Hamas and its radical friends wouldn't stop their terrorism! They would get their 8000 miles of land and continue to try to decimate democracy and impose Sharia until somebody finally stops them.

How can Israel improve the "living conditions" in Gaza while Israel is subjected to continual attacks? I am not condoning illegal settlements, or occupation, and, of course, not ethnic cleansing! I am aware that there are racist factions in Israel, and definitely in Israel's current government, and I think it's completely unacceptable. I absolutely do not have any answers...the whole situation leaves me (and the rest of the world) at a loss.

Hamas rejects Israel's existence. They use the Gaza strip as a means to get closer to Israel to terrorize and weaken the state. Palestinian citizens mean nothing to them except human targets to make Israel look bad in the international community. If Hamas cared about Palestinians maybe it would stop buying arms from Iran and improve the living conditions in Gaza.

I simply cannot find any proof that Israel carelessly or intentionally fires at civilians. (I don't read Arabic so I have no idea what Al Jazeera is saying. Not that its a paradigm of journalistic integrity). Hamas uses human targets at the same time they attack. I just don't see how Israel "perpetuates" this cycle. Israel moved out of Gaza, Hamas moved in, and Hamas has been attacking Israel ever since.

Hamas, today, claimed it is committed to continued confrontation with Israel. I wish somebody could intervene and stop this mess! But what other government is willing to endanger its people and subject them to the terrors of Hamas?
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No doubt Hamas is anti-women but until Israel decides to stop giving their Ultra-Orthodox community so much leeway it's absurd to to bring that up us some kind of justification for anything. Forcing women to move to the back of the bus? Throwing stones at women AND children for not dressing how the orthodox think they should? Oh, but it's only Hamas that are the women-hating barbarians in the region. Right.
Eres o te haces?
Legends brings up a good point.

The main reason this concerns me is because people across the Atlantic will get ducked in, and here we go again as world police. Selfish, I know. Blame it on war fatigue and just plain ol' selfishness.
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Agree with Eilonwy, and I would point out the violence by Jewish settlers in the West Bank against Palestinian men, women and children ("price tag" attacks - I.e., the price for eliminating the illegal settlements, and the theft of West Bank water by the Israeli govt in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Rupert Murdoch did his best to stoke the fire yesterday (tweets since deleted):

"Why is Jewish-owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?"

"Can't Obama stop his friends in Egypt shelling Israel?"

Schmuck.

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No doubt Hamas is anti-women but until Israel decides to stop giving their Ultra-Orthodox community so much leeway it's absurd to to bring that up us some kind of justification for anything. Forcing women to move to the back of the bus? Throwing stones at women AND children for not dressing how the orthodox think they should? Oh, but it's only Hamas that are the women-hating barbarians in the region. Right.
Originally Posted by legends
My point was that Israel purposely does not build weapons manufacturers and house militants in non-military places.

Believe me, I'm not saying Israel government is perfect or faultless. Israel is an incredibly complicated place, politically and culturally. Please don't forget that Israelis are often at the "mercy" of their government's actions, (just like us). The kind of religious zealotry you mention regarding Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox), is the same type of fundamentalism practiced by Hamas, who are able to shoot missiles, not just throw rocks.

The Ultra-Orthodox communities in NYC, Kiryas Joel, etc. have the same practices as the communities in Jerusalem, and they too, often clash with government. In the US, separate communities are tolerated, because there's room for them, as shown also with Orthodox Islam communities, Christian communities (priests-nuns,etc.), Amish, Mennonite, Jehovah's Witness, Native American practices, Ramakrishna monasteries, etc. etc. The difference in how the overall population reacts to them is that the US is more careful not to let the "laws" of these sects trump the Constitution. Israel doesn't have a written constitution.

The violence of the Jewish settlers boggles the mind. I can't help but think of Oklahoma City, Waco, Warren Jeffs...I think there are cases where it is exaggerated by the media, but the overall attitude of the settlers value of themselves vs. others is impossible for me to grasp. Israel's current government manipulates these people to the point of being pathetic.

However, back to the original conversation: Taking away the military capabilities of Hamas, and making the borders less murderous, could be a step in the right direction toward compromise. I think it's becoming more and more apparent that win/lose isn't an option.
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