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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

so much wasted blood « Previous | |Next »
May 23, 2004

An Arab representation of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the latest episode of which has been called Operation Rainbow by the Israeli military. Even some in the Israeli Government are saying the military operation targets civilians and homes.


The deal struck between Bush and Sharon was for a unilateral withdrawal from the whole Gaza Strip and the evacuation of the settlements there.

An account by someone who was in Rafah. And another. Some photos.

Some Israeli's are saying that the nature of the war has changed:

"There are increasing indications that the war and its strategic conduct have been changed, despite the fact that the usual clichés about the war on terrorism and about the need to accept compromises and withdrawals are still being heard throughout. While we cannot deny that a justified war against terrorism is still going on, the main focus of the war is now upon the Palestinian population, which causes the destruction of the little infrastructure that still exists, and the prevention of the availability of basic necessities for the population to exist upon. As such, the war has ceased to be a legitimate one."

Ariel Sharon is backtracking on his deal with Bush to please the Israeli right. Sharon is in trouble. He may have a government, but he doesn't have a party.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:20 PM | | Comments (12) | TrackBacks (1)

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Even anIsreali cabinet minister is likening what he sees with the Holocaust.

[Justice Minister Yosef] Lapid was quoted by the officials as saying a picture of an old Palestinian woman on the rubble of her home reminded him "of my grandmother in the Holocaust".

Mr Lapid said he was not comparing Israel to the Nazis, but said there "is no forgiveness for people who treat an old woman in this way".

But of course, as will be argued, the ugly old crone must deserve it because she hides terrorists under her apron.

Yeah, Rex... I agree that there is no forgiveness for Palestinian armed thugs who forcibly take over civilian homes and turn them to military purposes. But, then, what do you expect from people whose expertise lies in blowing up cafes and restaurants. I suppose expecting them to respect their own civilian population would be just too much to ask.

If the Israelis didn't shut down the trafficking in arms through those tunnels, then there'd be hell to pay. The shipment that the IDF intercepted contained scores of long-range katyusha rockets that would have brought the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod (combined population 300,000+ into range.

This is yet more proof that the occupation of the WB and Gaza isn't the source of the Palestinians' discontent. But, it is the existance of Israel within any borders at all that the Palestinians hate.

Once again, there'll only be peace when the Palestinians reqlinquish their self-destructive dedication to the goal of Israel's annihilation. Israel isn't going anywhere. Israel's economy is coming out of recession and its high tech industrial sector is begining to boom.

So Israel will be forging ahead economically and socially, while the Palestinians, through their own mulish obduracy, remained mired in shit of their own making. Isn't it about time they understood that they'll never get everything they want and that compromise is what's needed?

If they are willing to live in peace with Israel, then the Israelis will gladly withdraw from Gaza and most of the WB, and will allow them to have their state.

But the problem is that the Palestinians desire the destruction of the Israeli state much more than they yearn for the construction of their own.

On your account Israel is fighting a war against terrorists. The enemy is not a single political regime or person or religion or ideology. The enemy is terrorism. For you this is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against innocents.

It appears that your focus is on the means, on terrorism, rather than on the agents who use the weapon of terror. It is on the bomb and the suicide bomber, which are the effective tool in the terrorist arsenal.

So every belligerent act by the Palestinians has been "terrorism" and every strike on military forces, including tanks or APCs on the battlefield - is a "terrorist attack."

When the agents are introduced it is the Palestinian people who are the enemy, not the military organizations.The Palestinians are full of hate for the existence of Israel not for the way the Israeli military kills civilians and destroys their homes.

You construct the Palestinians (kids with bombs) as wanting to destroy the Israelis state, rather than resisting an occupation.

Nor is it clear that 'Israeli's will live in peace with Palestinians. Israel is divided. The Israeli right does not want peace as it wants the settlements in the occupied territories to continue and expand. The right wing Likud is even willing to block and undermine Sharon's attempts to disengage.

C'mon Vos drop the polemics and the cliches.

Once again, Gary, the facts belie your portrayal of events. Arab/Palestinian terrorism against Jews/Israel predates the capture of the WB&G in 1967. There was no "occupation" when Palestinian fedayun were slaughtering innocent Israeli civilians in the 1950s and 60s. Unless, of course, you want to extend the term occupation to Israel's pre-67 territories, which means that you desire Israel's eradication from the map.

The Israeli body politic is divided, true, but not along 50/50 lines. Not even close, in fact. Polling consistently shows that a solid majority of 3/4 to 80% supports a withdrawal from all of Gaza and 90% of the WB if the Palestinian entity that would arise as a result wouldn't become a forward base for terrorism against Tel Aviv.

By contrast (and we have been over this before) public opinion polling done by independent Palestinian polling outfits shows the obverse on the Palestinian side. Roughly 3/4 of Palestinians insist on the so called "right of return," which is a euphemism for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state and the ultimate expulsion of Israel's Jews.

My issue is with the perpetrators of terrorism, and the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians sees suicide bombers as cult heroes. My problem is with the pernicious dysfunctionality of Arab culture in general, and Palestinian society in particular.

I know that it is convenient for you to allocate unrealistic influence to the Israeli right, but the fact is that the Likud members who voted down the withdrawal plan are out of step with majority Israeli public opinion. Sharon will implement a withdrawal anyway, and then the proof will be in the Palestinian pudding.

We'll see what they will do with the territory after Israel's pull out.

'So Israel will be forging ahead economically and socially'

oh you hopeless shill. Give the Palestinians the 3 bill annual, oppress the fuck out of the Israelis for 40 years and let's see who's forging ahead, shall we?

There are a lot of black clouds to soil our sun these days; you mate, are one of them.


Israel's technological expertise in high tech has nothing to do with US military aid, which provides the IDF with American-made equipment. US foreign aid doesn't fund domestic Israeli R&D.

The reason why so many high tech and computer software firms find Israel to be a worthwhile place to invest is because the country has a first rate education system that produces highly competent scientists and engineers.

That's why the Pentium chip your PC probably uses was developed at the Intell facility in Israel.

When was the last time you saw a computer component that was stamped "made in Syria?" The social and economic backwardness of the Arab world was well documented in last year's UN human development report. Written by Arab social scientists, this report related the sad story of how political repression and the oppression of women contibute to economic stagnation and widespread illiteracy throughout the Arab world. And this, despite trillions in oil revenue earned throughout the years by a goodly number of Arab states.

Glenn, you can call me what you will. But the facts are still the facts. Israel is a modern, progressive high tech democracy, while the Arab world continues the process of social and economic stagnation that has plagued it for decades, if not centuries.

No amount of lefty bitching and moaning on your part will alter that fundamental fact. Only the Arabs themselves can take a long, hard look in the mirror and take the necessary measures that will facilitate progress, rather than regress. But, there's little sign of that.

It's like trying to 'argue' with Goebbels or Heydrich.

Ah, so the Jews are Nazis now, are they?

That one's over the top obscene, even for the likes of you, Glenn. The only thing you are displaying is a pernicious combination of Judeophobia and historical ignorance.

You are a text book example of why the primary locus of anti-semitism today is on the Left. Thanks for proving my point. QED

'Ah, so the Jews are Nazis now, are they?'

Some of them are, yes. There are fascists in every gathering of humans, every community, every family has people capable of being Nazis. Jews are no exception, but you'd think they'd be a bit more keenly aware of the dangers. And there are plenty that are, but they do sem outnumbered by fantasists of retributive violence amd ethnic priority like yourself.

There are two components to Palestinian militarism:

-resisting a military and settler occupation

-resisting the presence of Jews in the Levant

The first will be resolved within a couple of years. The second will be plain yet again, as it was before 1967, and very difficult to hide.


Israel has a problem. On its own account it has been combating terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip by patroling the security fence surrounding the Strip, occasional forays into the Gaza Strip, patroling the Philadelphi route, and surgical strikes from the air.

However, the recent major operation by IDF ground forces in the Gaza Strip was quite different.It was military operation in a densely populated Gaza Strip that lead to extensive civilian casualties, including women and children.

You can justify that destruction on the ground of the workshops producing Qassam rockets, and the tunnels to Egypt through which weapons are being imported into the Gaza Strip, the dirty guerilla tactics employed by the Palestinian military forces or the operational requirements of the IDF.

Yet the aim of the IDF's military operation was to demolish a large number of Palestinian homes in Rafiah. It was not just to destroy tunnels and kill terrorists. Why the extensive destruction of civilian homes?

Given that destruction the Palestinians have the right to resist that destruction. They also have the right to resist Israeli occupation of Gaza.


Those Palestinan homes were destroyed because they were being put to military usage. They served either as termini for arms smuggling tunnels, or firing positions for Palestinian gunmen who were fighting against the Israelis.

The law of war outlaws the use of civilians or civilian edifices as shields to protect military activity or facilities. The moment the first round was fired by a Palestinian gunman from the upper story window, or the moment the first AK-47 was smuggled through the hole in the living room that was the terminus of a tunnel, then that home lost its civilian immunity in international law and became a legitimate target of war. It was no longer a civilian abode, but a lawful military objective.

The Hague and Geneva Conventions/Protocols clearly lay this all out. Moreover, they establish the the legal and moral onus for the destruction of such buildings does not lie on the force that is responding to such military usage, but to the people who violated the laws of war in the first place by using a civilian home to shield military activity.

It's really quite simple. The destruction of homes by the IDF was highly focused and discriminating. Don't want your home to be bulldozed? Don't let Hamas build a tunnel from the childrens' bedroom.