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We may have a brand new war in the Middle East

I don’t know where you come down in the Israeli Palestinian issue. To me it seems like one of those intractable problems that has existed since the day I was born and will outlive me and everyone else in my generation. The Camp David Peace Accords demonstrate incremental and significant progress is possible, but the glowing coals of the fundamental conflict were never extinguished. From time to time they rekindle a flame that threatens the entire delicate region, with potentially dire consequences for the entire world. Today that flame burns again:

CBS News– Israel seemed to be preparing to step up its military operation against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Friday, as air raid sirens wailed in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and media reported another rocket had fallen near the Tel Aviv.

CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey and his team were forced by the Israeli military — along with other news crews — to move away from the border with the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, another signal pointing to a possible ground incursion into the tiny Palestinian territory.

The probem as I see it isn’t religion or wealth or greed or list for power, those urges are not helping anything to be sure, but they exist everywhere and in every time. The fundamental problem – in my inexpert opinion – is that two groups of people who didn’t like each other to start with and have since had every reason to hate each other’s guts are forced to live in insanely close proximity to one another for their entire lives. Maybe this is simplistic, but between the history and the proximity I just don’t see how they’re ever going to get along.

Comments

  1. Lord Elmo Bringer Of Death says

    that two groups of people who didn’t like each other to start with and have since had every reason to hate each other’s guts are forced to live in insanely close proximity to one another for their entire lives.

    That is no doubt one of the multitude of apsects to why this conflict is so volitile and endless. What haunts me most though is that at the heart it is essentially religously justified hatred. Palestinians are being raised to believe that what was once thier soveriegn holy land has been taken and is being taken by murderous zionist jews and that they should aspire to be martyrs in the fight to reclaim all of palestine and to never accept the existence of a Jewish state. Watch the documentary making of a marytr. If you think religous indoctrination in the west is child abuse, you have no idea. On the other side you have Isrealis whom the majority would presumably welcome a two state solution assuming the other side would be willing to accept them as a Jewish state. But then there is the faction of settlers in the west bank who reinforce the palestinian narrative. Add in past atrocities on both sides and all the complication that 60+ years of conflict create… Don’t forget the possibility of a nuclear Iran on the horizon which is the armour and financier of Hamas… Its a fucked up situation, to say the least…

  2. busterggi says

    Israel is the greatest mistake the UN ever made – recreating countries based on mythology makes no sense.

  3. dustinarand says

    Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza are clearly illegal under international law, as are the settlements it is building in the West Bank. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say what we have here is a slow genocide, a gradual squeezing of Palestine out of existence. The US is the only country in the world that consistently supports Israel against the Palestinians at the UN. That includes in Palestine’s recent push for recognition by the UN as a state. It is amazing to me how such a small interest group as AIPAC can wield such outsize influence in American politics. The only close analogue I can think of, in terms of a small interest group determining policy that actually goes against our national interest, is the Cuban-American community’s lock on our foreign policy attitude toward Cuba. We really have to break the grip of special interests like these and start dictating to the Israelis instead of letting them dictate to us.

  4. sumdum says

    Elections are the most dangerous to peace in Israel. Every time one is on the horizon, the guy in charge gets an irresistible urge to wave his dick around to show how manly he is and win more votes.

  5. Who Cares says

    Actually it is religion that is causing the problem.
    The government in Israel only functions by the grace of the fundamentalist orthodox parties. If to many don’t like what you are doing they’ll force re-elections until they get what they want. And what they want everything that advances the goal of getting old Israel back, moving the capital to Jerusalem, institution of an even more primitive form of Sharia law, etc.

    The exception to this were:
    Rabin who was assassinated (Yigal Amir being considered a hero by those aforementioned fundamentalists for this) because he was on fairly good terms with the Palestinians to the point that Arafat trusted him enough to sign the Oslo accords; He had a majority for this based on a combination of moderates in the two largest parties plus the Arab members not affiliated with those parties.
    And Sharon who managed to get enough moderates behind his newly formed party that it would have been possible to execute his plan of withdrawing completely from the west bank only to get an incapacitating stroke preventing the plan from being executed.

    At the moment there is no one like that capable of becoming prime minister. And that means that something like suggesting a moratorium on taking over the Gaza strip by colonizing parts results in people apologizing & groveling to those religious parties that it wasn’t mean that way.
    And it is getting worse instead of better. The religious section of the population grows, more and more moderates who can are emigrating from Israel to get away from either the attacks by the Palestinians, the religious section or both.

    That was it for the Israel side.

    The Palestinians feel they have been betrayed and/or ignored once to often by the rest of the world. And they miss a sufficiently charismatic leader who can coax them to accept one more round of negotiations. Which currently means that something fairly significant has to be given to them before they’ll even get back to negotiations. Israel isn’t in a giving mood seeing that even withholding aid is being used as a stick to punish the population of the Palestinian Territories for attacks by terrorists in/on Israel. Note that collective punishment is a war crime and one more of the reasons that the Palestinians think they are on their own since Israel isn’t being held accountable for this. It doesn’t help that the groups in control of the Territories deliberately cause this kind of retaliation since it helps to keep a firm grasp on the population

  6. StevoR says

    Yay, another Middle Eastern war, just what the world needs. (sarcasm.)

    What a surprise (not) that Hamas still doesn’t seem to get that you cannot keep firing rockets into Israel and threatening the lives of its citizens and not expect a deadly response.

    Israel gets a lot of unfair criticism on FTB I think. Sure the tiny sole Jewish state in the world is imperfect and could perhaps do some things better.

    But imagine if Mexico decided for some reason that it – and Canada and Greenland – wanted to destroy the USA and started firing rockets and sending homicide suicide bombers into the United States. How long do you think Amercians would put up with that?

    Or if Turkey started doing the same thing to Europeans or Indonesia to Australia? before anyone criticises Israel they need I think to put themselves in the Israeli leaders places and come up with a better, realistic solution.

    Nations coming under attack by extremists terrorists have to defend themselves and their innocent civilians.

    Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups have been violating human rights and international law and behaving appallingly ethically ever since their creation. Firing rockets at innocent Israeli civilians then hiding behind their own overpopulated civilian cities and blaming Israel for the inevitable casualties that result when it responds. They shouldn’t indeed cannot be allowed toconstantly get away with that.

    Israel was declared independent in 1948 and immediately attacked by all surrounding Arab nations. It fought hard for its life and won. It has been repeatedly attacked with openly genocidal intent on the part of its Islamic extremist and Arab dictator enemies including Bashar Al Assad of Syria and terrorist turned dictator Yasser Arafat ever since. It has won many wars and then handed back terrirory and made painful concessions of land its soldiers died for – the Sinai peninusula, parts of Judea and Samaria ((the so called West Bank) and even Gaza where it forced Jewish settlers out of their homes.

    In return for these gestures of peace and willingness to co-exist Israel got rocketfire and terrorism and Arafat smuggling Iranian weaponry into his territory and starting a new war. Which he lost badly as usual -and the world intervened to pressure Israel into a ceasefire as usual.

    About five years or so ago Hamas started another war by firing rockets into Israel. The Israeli Defence Forces invaded and despite hammering gaza were unable todestroy hams and prevent its threat although they streduced it for awhile. This was in part because the world once again blame dand pressured Israel into stopping before they’d done enough to destroy Hamas, a brutal terrorist group that still has its main goal of destroying all of Israel and “wiping the Jews into the sea.”

    Now its deja vu time and the same thing appears to be happening all over again. With Hamas having better more advanced rockets this time and Iran on the brink of developing The Bomb.

    If the Palestinians / Arabs (& Iranians) were serious about just wanting peace and a state of their own, they’d have had that by now. They wouldn’t have blown the many, many chances they’ve been given such as the Oslo peace accords that Arafat violated, the Taba talks in 2000 where Israeli PM Ehud Barak offered them about 90% of what they wanted and they rejected it (any Palestinian leader offering peace would probably be assassinated) and before the 1948 War of Independence the Arabs were offered half the land which the Jewish side accepted and the Arab side vehemently rejected.

    (BTW. The term “Palestinian” only started appearing in about the 1970s or thereabouts, before they’d just be termed as Arabs and when the Arabs did control Judea and Samaria (West Bank) they did not allow the “Palestinians” to govern themselves but were ruled by Jordan and Egypt.)

    Everytime the Palestinians and Arabs go to war they lose – but every time they seem to rebuild, re-arm , not face sufficent deterrent or consequences to make them reconsider doing the same thing all over again and not learn form their past mistakes in starting wars they cannot win.

    Its a hopeless, depressing horrible, no-win situation for pretty much everyone.

  7. StevoR says

    @3.busterggi says:

    Israel is the greatest mistake the UN ever made – recreating countries based on mythology makes no sense.

    Your complete and utter ignorance and lack of understanding about Jewish and regional history is showing.

    I strongly urge you to do some remedial reading starting, say, here :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

    The hopes and yearnings of Jews living in exile were articulated in the Hebrew Bible,[50] and are an important theme of the Jewish belief system.[48] After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some communities settled in Palestine.[51] During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the Four Holy Cities — Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed—and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem.[52] In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European opponents of Hasidism, known as the Perushim, settled in Palestine.[53][54][55]
    The first wave of modern Jewish migration to Ottoman-ruled Palestine, known as the First Aliyah, began in 1881, as Jews fled pogroms in Eastern Europe.[56] Although the Zionist movement already existed in practice, Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl is credited with founding political Zionism,[57] a movement which sought to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, by elevating the Jewish Question to the international plane.[58] In 1896, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The State of the Jews), offering his vision of a future Jewish state; the following year he presided over the first World Zionist Congress.[59]

    FYI. The Jewish people have an extremely long and rich history and presence in the region which is their traditional historical homeland and has been for millennia going beyond the very first Davidic Kingdom of Israel. The Jews are the indigenous people of that area.

    (Most of the Palestinians are relative latecomers who mostly emigrated from Syria and Egypt, Arafat himself being born in Cairo, and the term itself seems to have been invented around the 1970s.)

    Israel was NOT the invention of the United nations.

    The Jewish claim to their land is based on three thousand years of history and civilised existence there not just mythology.

  8. StevoR says

    Continued @3.busterggi :

    See also :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Yishuv_(Eretz_Yisrael)

    Plus :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_history

    You might want to scroll down to section 4 “Islamic period in the land of Israel (638–1099)” there where its noted that :

    In 1099, Jews helped to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders. When the city fell, the Crusaders gathered them in a synagogue and set it alight. In Haifa, the Jews almost single-handedly defended the town against the Crusaders, holding out for a whole month, (June–July 1099).[15] At this time there were Jewish communities scattered all over the country, including Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza.

    Plus if that’s too ancient in history for you how about considering the implications of Mark Twain’s observation when he visited what is now Israel then part of the Ottoman empire back in 1867, describing it as :

    “ …[a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse….A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action….We never saw a human being on the whole route….There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

    Source : Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad. London: 1881 (New American Library, 1997).

    In addition, of course, there’s plenty, plenty more. If you really want to go into the myths and facts of the situation, well guess what, there’s a whole free book of excellent online reading that goes into that available here :

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MythsEnglish2012.pdf

    which very thoroughly and completely debunks your conspiracy theory with the facts in its first two chapters.

    So maybe next time you should think and fact check before you make ridiculous, ignorant statements like your “UN invented Israel” nonsense?

  9. busterggi says

    StevoR – I don’t care how long people of Hebrew genetic background have lived in the area because for all that time people of non-Hegrew genetic background also lived there and some were ancestors of the modern Palestinians.

    The bottom line is that the mythical bible-god supposedly gave the land to the Hebrews – note that the same book says they had to conquer it first even after the supposed gift – and this myth was the basis for the creation of the modern version of Israel.

    Heck, there were Neandertal in the same area thousands of years earlier and I don’t see you saying their descendents, admittedly mixed with more modern humans, should be given the land back.

  10. StevoR says

    @ ^ busterggi :

    So, I take it then you haven’t / won’t bother to do the minimum of research and even read the sources I’ve provided for you then? How churlish of you.

    Oh well, you wilful ignoramus. Three questions for you then :

    1) Are you going to admit you were wrong about your silly claim that the United nations created Israel?

    2) Do you think the Israelis have the right to live in peace and security in their own land or not? If not, where do you think Israelis belong if not in their own land – what would you do with the six million or so Jews living in Israel, many of them born there, if they weren’t living there?

    3) If someone was firing rockets aimed at you, your home, your family and friends, what would you do? How would you feel and wouldn’t you want your government to do everything inits power to protect you and those you love from the douchecanoes firing rockets trying to kill you and destroy your country?

  11. comfychair says

    Yes, I’m sure Israel’s wikipedia entry hasn’t been influenced by propagandists or anything, totally safe unbiased source to cite. /rolleyes

    One group really is at risk of being ‘driven into the sea’, and are being punished for resisting. No amount of history spinning can change that that’s the situation today.

    What would you do? Would you fight back with whatever was at hand, pathetic and ineffectual as it may be? Or would you lie down and die? Why is it OK for only one side (your side, conveniently) to defend themselves?

  12. Who Cares says

    This might be a TL;DR response to StevoR.

    What a surprise (not) that Hamas still doesn’t seem to get that you cannot keep firing rockets into Israel and threatening the lives of its citizens and not expect a deadly response.

    It is not just Hamas. And all parties firing those rockets do get it. It is a combination of symbolic defiance and deliberately inviting those responses.
    Both are good was to drum up support of the normal man on the street who only sees the Israeli army attacking and those parties responding to that.

    Israel gets a lot of unfair criticism on FTB I think. Sure the tiny sole Jewish state in the world is imperfect and could perhaps do some things better.

    Well it could start doing what it demands Iran should do. Respect U.N. resolutions. That would end the current conflict between the Palestinians and Israel fairly quick.

    But imagine if Mexico decided for some reason that it – and Canada and Greenland – wanted to destroy the USA and started firing rockets and sending homicide suicide bombers into the United States. How long do you think Amercians would put up with that?

    Imagine that the USA would enforce policies in Mexico, Canada and Greenland that would get the people in those countries so desperate that the only way they can think to defend themselves is send suicide bombers into the USA.
    Suicide bombing of this type is an act of desperation, symbolic but otherwise has no real effect.

    Or if Turkey started doing the same thing to Europeans or Indonesia to Australia? before anyone criticises Israel they need I think to put themselves in the Israeli leaders places and come up with a better, realistic solution.

    What about my suggestion of actually following the U.N. resolutions or even the treaties that created Israel

    Nations coming under attack by extremists terrorists have to defend themselves and their innocent civilians.

    Which is what the Palestinians are doing. A bunch of idiot terrorists on their side fire missiles and the reaction of Israel to that is harming/killing people who have nothing to do with it.
    Note: Above is the viewpoint of the average Palestinian.

    Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups have been violating human rights and international law and behaving appallingly ethically ever since their creation. Firing rockets at innocent Israeli civilians then hiding behind their own overpopulated civilian cities and blaming Israel for the inevitable casualties that result when it responds. They shouldn’t indeed cannot be allowed toconstantly get away with that.

    Israel has been violating human rights from BEFORE it’s creation with the terrorist cells that were setup to cleanse areas of Arabs/Palestinians so that it was possible to claim more land for the nation that was to be formed.
    Israel has been violating U.N. resolutions since 1967.
    Israel has been violating the Geneva conventions.
    Israel doesn’t need to blow up several apartments to take out one terrorist.
    Israel doesn’t need to punish the ENTIRE Gaza-strip for the firing of a few rockets.
    They shouldn’t (but unfortunately do) constantly get away with that.

    Israel was declared independent in 1948 and immediately attacked by all surrounding Arab nations. It fought hard for its life and won. It has been repeatedly attacked with openly genocidal intent on the part of its Islamic extremist and Arab dictator enemies including Bashar Al Assad of Syria and terrorist turned dictator Yasser Arafat ever since. It has won many wars and then handed back terrirory and made painful concessions of land its soldiers died for – the Sinai peninusula, parts of Judea and Samaria ((the so called West Bank) and even Gaza where it forced Jewish settlers out of their homes.

    You forget something about the first war. It wasn’t about newly formed Israel, it was an attempted land-grab. With two excuses to justify it. One to protect the Arabs in the area from Israeli aggression (the terrorism to drive out Arabs was a pretty nice casus belli right there) and two to protect the Arabs in the area from themselves (all those refugees from that terrorism were causing quite a bit of unrest). And due to that, this being a land-grab, I consider it a good thing that Israel won that one.
    1956 – Casus belli: Nationalization of the Suez canal (as a response for the USA not giving what Nasser wanted), blocking of Israeli transport through canal and Strait of Tiran. Aggressor(s): Israel, France, Great Britain. Note: Peres informed France before the nationalization of the canal that Israel planned to attack Egypt.
    1967 – Casus belli: Build up of Arab armies on the Israel-Syria border (as a result of the belief that Israel was going to attack Syria), second closing of the Suez canal and the Strait of Tiran. Aggressor: Israel
    Note: part of the reason that the states around Israel thought it was going to attack was manipulation by the USSR who hoped to get rid of Israel and by extension significantly diminish USA influence in the area.
    1969 – Casus belli: Get Israel to give up the Sinai. Aggressor: Egypt.
    1973 – Casus belli: Get the Sinai and Golan heights back, for Egypt garner enough popularity by winning to get reforms done without risking a civil war. Aggressor(s): Egypt, Syria with support from the usual suspects (significantly Lebanon was not involved). Note: The only reason the Israeli victory wasn’t bigger is that they started attacking USSR material, the USA did not want a conflict with them so both the USSR and the USA clubbed all parties involved until they acceded to a cease fire & negotiations
    Not a lot of genocidal intent in the major conflicts, in at least one case deliberate aggression by Israel which just happened to coincide with a nice casus belli. And the possibility that several wars would have been unnecessary if Israel wouldn’t have decided to start a war preemptively.

    Israel had no use for the Sinai and they got a major political coup in the form of Egypt recognizing Israel when they handed it back.
    You are right on the west bank. If they handed back Jordanian occupied territory to the rightful government. This is marred by the fact that Israel did not want the west bank in the first place. It only went after the area due to a few strategic locations once the war of 1967 started and it became clear that Jordan was going to use it to try and take Jerusalem. And the fact that 80% of the area is still under either Israeli military or civilian control.
    Also that should be; Some settlers out of their homes while allowing other settlements to grow.

    In return for these gestures of peace and willingness to co-exist Israel got rocketfire and terrorism and Arafat smuggling Iranian weaponry into his territory and starting a new war. Which he lost badly as usual -and the world intervened to pressure Israel into a ceasefire as usual.

    Oh yes they were so willing to co-exist that it took Rabin to get Arafat to the negotiating table which led to the assassination of Rabin for the idea that Israel can/has to co-exist with the Palestinians. After which the new prime minister promptly started making excuses to not follow up on those Oslo accords.

    About five years or so ago Hamas started another war by firing rockets into Israel. The Israeli Defence Forces invaded and despite hammering gaza were unable todestroy hams and prevent its threat although they streduced it for awhile. This was in part because the world once again blame dand pressured Israel into stopping before they’d done enough to destroy Hamas, a brutal terrorist group that still has its main goal of destroying all of Israel and “wiping the Jews into the sea.”

    Ah yes, operation “Cast Lead”. Rocket fire in response to ‘targeted’ assassinations (you know the type of dump explosives near the target and don’t care about collateral damage). The response by Israel being so excessive that it amounted to war-crimes and violation of human rights to the point that even the USA didn’t use it’s clout in the UN to stop the UNHRC from ordering Israel to fix what they did.
    Note: Hamas was also committing a bunch of war-crimes, the deliberate use of densely populated areas (as you pointed out) being one of them. And I’d like to add one more to the report: firing missiles at civilian targets.

    Now its deja vu time and the same thing appears to be happening all over again. With Hamas having better more advanced rockets this time and Iran on the brink of developing The Bomb.

    Except that there is a fatwa against nuclear weapons in Iran, the IAEA says that Iran isn’t working on a bomb and even the collective of the US intelligence services has said that Iran isn’t working on one.
    For the deja vu time, not strange since the only thing that has changed since that time is the technology.

    If the Palestinians / Arabs (& Iranians) were serious about just wanting peace and a state of their own, they’d have had that by now. They wouldn’t have blown the many, many chances they’ve been given such as the Oslo peace accords that Arafat violated, the Taba talks in 2000 where Israeli PM Ehud Barak offered them about 90% of what they wanted and they rejected it (any Palestinian leader offering peace would probably be assassinated) and before the 1948 War of Independence the Arabs were offered half the land which the Jewish side accepted and the Arab side vehemently rejected.

    The Oslo peace accords which Israel claims that Arafat violated. He didn’t since he only controlled Fatah and not the organizations in the Territories which rejected the accords. So when one of those other organizations struck with missiles/suicide bombers Israel effectively annulled the accords by claiming that Arafat was not living up to his part. It didn’t help that Rabin was assassinated and his replacement was less then enthusiastic about having to honor those accords.
    Taba was worse since it was never completed due running out of time on the Israeli/US side of the negotiations. Arafat was wary of the current crop of Israeli politicians, especially since he expected that the only reason that Barak was even trying to negotiate was to save his job as prime minister, so he had his negotiators demand hard promises. And that is what happened. Barak lost his job to Sharon, who wasn’t willing to continue. Clinton lost his job to Bush (who until 9/11 couldn’t care less about international diplomacy) so the USA wasn’t standing behind both parties with a club anymore. In the end it was only the Palestinians left at the table being vindicated in their belief that Israel wasn’t serious about it.
    1948 isn’t so strange because those people would have had to move from what would have been their ancestral homes to make space for the state that was to be formed.

  13. Who Cares says

    One more:

    What a surprise (not) that Hamas still doesn’t seem to get that you cannot keep firing rockets into Israel and threatening the lives of its citizens and not expect a deadly response.

    What a surprise (not) that Israel still doesn’t seem to get that you can not assassinate military leaders, breaking a ceasefire while doing so and not expect a deadly response.

  14. Forbidden Snowflake says

    destroy Hamas

    I do wish the “destroy Hamas”-yellers were more specific on how, in their opinion, that could be done. With bonus points for plans that don’t require genocide nor leave a high likelihood of something worse cropping up to replace Hamas.

  15. anat says

    To Who Cares: moving the capital to Jerusalem

    The capital of Israel has been Jerusalem since its founding, or at least since the War of Independence got to the point that it was clear the borders of the state will not follow the ones in the UN partition plan. The UN partition plan was the only reason other locations were considered. (Golda Meir supported Haifa, because it looked a bit like Jerusalem, David Ben-Gurion supported a location in the central Negev because it fit with his dreams of making the desert bloom and also because that was the spot most distant from any border according to the plan, others supported Herzlia because it was named for Herzl.)

  16. left0ver1under says

    busterggi (#3) says:

    Israel is the greatest mistake the UN ever made – recreating countries based on mythology makes no sense.

    I heard this said once about Israel and jews after World War II:

    “They should have been given exit counseling. Instead, they were given a country.”

    Israel’s intent toward the Palestinians is their total elimination or exile. It’s not so much “ethnic cleansing” as it is petty revenge. They want Palestinians to wander the world without a homeland for 2000 years, just as jews were forced to do.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but right wingers often see committing a second wrong as the right thing to do.

  17. left0ver1under says

    StevoR (#7) says:

    What a surprise (not) that Hamas still doesn’t seem to get that you cannot keep firing rockets into Israel

    They’re not firing into Israel. They’re firing at illegal occupants – the squatters – on Palestinian land, the illegal “settlements”. Israel, on the other hand, engages in collective punishment and fires on refugees and civilians.

    There are no Israeli “settlers”, only squatters. “Settler” falsely infers that no one was living there before the squatters came. Squatters are people who live illegally on others’ land.

  18. Forbidden Snowflake says

    They’re not firing into Israel. They’re firing at illegal occupants – the squatters – on Palestinian land, the illegal “settlements”.

    Um, no, that’s bullshit. Currently there aren’t Israeli settlements in the Gaza strip. The cities/towns that are being fired on are within Israeli borders – seriously, find Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon and Tel-Aviv in Google maps and stop being so unforgivably wrong.

  19. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Also, illegal occupants, if any such were involved, would still fall under ‘civilians’.

  20. julian says

    They’re not firing into Israel. They’re firing at illegal occupants – the squatters – on Palestinian land, the illegal “settlements”.

    Those would be civilians…

  21. anat says

    And the possibility that several wars would have been unnecessary if Israel wouldn’t have decided to start a war preemptively.

    Seriously? What do you make of Nasser’s build-up? All for show? And should Israel have gambled on that?

    Israel had no use for the Sinai

    The oil fields. Abu-Rodeis, Almah. Israel might have been energy self-sufficient for a while if development of those had continued. The rest was less important, though having the Sinai peninsula as a buffer zone of sorts was good for national morale.

    You are right on the west bank. If they handed back Jordanian occupied territory to the rightful government.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say here. Jordan had no legal status in the West Bank (and neither does Israel). A formally recognized Palestinian state would be the most logical rightful government for some version of the West Bank (with some border amendments here and there, both ways), but at this point there isn’t one.

    The continued settlement movement is self-destructive. Taken to its logical conclusion, it leads to a one-state situation where Jews are outnumbered. Now, the settlers are the sector of Israeli society with one of the highest birth-rates so maybe they are not entirely unaware of the implications. In turn, this means that Israel as a modern, western, mostly secular society is on its way out.

  22. Who Cares says

    @Anat(#18):
    You are right. I should have written get the rest of the world to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (instead of Tel Aviv).

    @Anat(#24):
    The Nasser build up wasn’t for show. It was motivated by a combination of Israel provoking Syria and deliberately falsified information (courtesy of the USSR) that Israel was planning to attack Syria. The resulting war caused the ones in 1969 and 1973 which were both fought to reclaim territory lost to Israel in the 1967 conflict.

    You are right with your criticism of me discarding the Sinai as worthless. I hadn’t considered the long term possibility of becoming energy self sufficiency. Or the safety factor of having it as a buffer. I mainly considered the costs of having to fortify the east side of the Suez canal.

    I didn’t mean Jordan as being the rightful government but the Palestinians.

  23. slc1 says

    Folks, this discussion is quite spirited and entertaining but it has no relevance to what’s really going on between the Hamas Government in the Gaza Strip and the Government of Israel.

    This particular escalation of the ongoing conflict has nothing to do with Palestinian grievances or alleged Israeli atrocities. It’s being orchestrated by the mullahs in Iran for the purpose of diverting attention from the ongoing slaughter in Syria, Iran’s main ally in the area. The Hamas folks are just the sacrificial lambs doing the bidding of their paymasters in Tehran. And it’s working. On the day when the newspaper headlines were bleating about a family of 4 being killed in the Gaza Strip, nearly 100 people were killed in Syria. Every day there is an article in the lamestream media about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and nothing about the civil war in Syria. Compared to the ongoing slaughter in Syria, this pipsqueak tit for tat is small potatoes. When it finally ends the number of causalities will not equal a couple of days of the fighting in Syria.

  24. Who Cares says

    @Slc1(#26): Can the conspiracy theories please. The current batch of violence was started by Israel. They broke the ceasefire not Hamas. Even better when Hamas approached Israel (through Egypt) about stopping this round of violence Israel said no deal.
    Also there is a tiny difference between Syria and Gaza. In Syria the people caving each others head in get killed and not random civilians (though it seems that most of the times if civilians die it is due to the rebels intentionally killing them, as they did earlier when they tried to frame the Syrian government for those atrocities) as is the result when Israel kicks the door in of a random house and shoots everyone (this to the point that it became so obvious that that was happening that the Israeli chief of staff had to say something about it, see the following link).

    Oh and then there are gems like the Israeli Minister of Interior declaring that the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the middle ages (link at the 7:55 P.M. mark).

    Even better. The assassination that caused Hamas to go nuts and launch all those missiles? The guy who was killed was working with the Israelis on a permanent truce including protocols on how to handle violations of said truce (link).

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