1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Update : Latest, latest news at least that I’ve seen so far :

    Horrendous situation there.

    The people caught up in the middle who don’t have any say in the fight and are powerless to stop it – on both sides – are the ones I feel for most.

    The ultra-mega-uber-ultima-hyper-extreme hatred of each for the other needs to end and needs to stay ended for a generation or two.

    I really, really wish, I could say I could see that happening sometime soon. But I cannot.

  2. Crunchy Renee says

    No, Hamas needs to lay off with the constant rockets. They send a bunch of rockets, and when Israel defends against them, they are the ones that need to quit? Bullshit. Tell the aggressor to cut the shit and maybe they won’t get bombed.

    Israel does try to minimize civilian casualties, they even call and tell people to leave before bombing, and all kinds of other things no other nation has ever done- but how do you do save civilians when Hamas uses civilians as shields, hides their soldiers and weapons in peoples homes? You cannot. And Hamas does this intentionally to inflame the rest of the world.And it works.

    Over the years, Jews have given and given, made offer after offer for peace, but its never good enough for the other side. Other Muslim nations have made this worse, and kept the fire going too. No offer will ever bring peace, because its about making Jews extinct, not any of the other stuff, like land or whatever. Israel has rightly realized that Hamas, and those they control (willingly or by threat), plus the Islamic nations that fund and help them, will never compromise, they will fight until Jews are decimated. Sure, there are plenty of Muslims that do not feel this way, but they aren’t in power. It’s NOT the Jews refusing peace- unless you consider that they won’t all lay down and die refusing peace.

    Jews know they need to fight to survive; just because they are strong, and willing, doesn’t mean that they should back down now. How about the Palestians (aka Jordanians, Syrians, since much of the disputed areas belonged to those nations) STOP trying to kill Jews instead? if they cut out the rockets and terrorism, Im sure Israel would not bomb them!

    Israel made an offer of citizenship to the Muslims at the time the nation was founded, and those that accepted have MORE freedoms, more rights, and a better quality of life than they would in any of the neighboring states, and really any Islamic nation. It could be this way for everyone if they accepted Israels existence- its not as if Jews and Muslims haven’t lived together in that area for a few thousand years. Also, peace would be possible if Hamas ever accepted any of the offers. Instead, there will be a stalemate, where everyone loses, and one side loses more, which will NOT be the Jews. when they said “never again” they meant it!

    Israel is a real democracy, and does not oppress women, or minority religions, as a state function (some orthodox people DO, but they aren’t oppressing others with the power of the state behind them). Women would suffer if the Muslims took over Israel, and really, thats good enough for me to back them in any struggle. The world would be a worse place without Israel. I have no idea why any liberal would be anti Israel at all.

  3. Crunchy Renee says

    And how often do we see a sign that says “Im Palestians, and I want Hamas to quit killing Jews”?

  4. Kevin Kehres says

    I’m an atheist, and I want both parties to stop worshiping a patch of dirt. And I do mean “worship”.

    Until you free people from their religious obsession with that particular patch of desert, you’re going to get nowhere. Bloodshed all around. Forever and ever.

    • says

      I want both parties to stop worshiping a patch of dirt. And I do mean “worship”.

      Don’t fall for the religious narrative. The motivations on both sides are largely secular: one group took some land, another group wants it back. The religious narrative is a distraction — the hatred on both sides is about opportunism, opportunity denied, killing, revenge, and land. In that context, it could be any acreage, anywhere.

      • Martin Jones says

        “Don’t fall for the religious narrative. The motivations on both sides are largely secular: ”

        Gosh, that’s a nice comfortable thought isn’t it? Unfortunately this is you projecting your own ideas onto the situation. Hamas doesn’t think like that- it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and its aim is not to “liberate Palestine ” but to create a non-national Islamic State. Nationalism in Hamas’ eyes is a Western perversion that needs to be eliminated.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    Why do people have to take sides in this conflict? Surely there is blame to go around?

    The tendency of folks to assign all the blame to one side or the other seems to come from a fundamental category error — confusing the morality of a CAUSE with the morality and effectiveness of the TACTICS used to achieve it.

    (I’ll add that this category error was greatly exacerbated during the Bush era, particularly by his use of the idiotic phrase “The War on Terror.” You might as well declare war on land mines, or tanks.)

    On the one hand, the Palestinians absolutely have a valid cause — at least as valid as that of any other group of freedom fighters in history. Many, many people, including Americans, have fought to be free of governments that are overwhelming composed of people who don’t represent them and, furthermore, despise them. The initial formation of Israel, it’s true, was an arrogant last gasp of European colonialism — and many of the problems of the last half century could have been avoided by taking the Palestinian people into account and setting them up with their own state from the start. It’s also true that Israel places Gaza under restrictions that nobody else would tolerate. And the settlements are inflaming everything with naked land grabs.

    But despite having a perfectly sympathetic CAUSE, the Palestinian leaders continually undermine it with a consistently terrible selection of TACTICS. Note that I don’t think terrorism (or asymmetrical warfare, which is what we call it when we’re doing it) is inherently immoral, if it’s used intelligently. Intelligent uses could include using it as a complement to conventional warfare (the French resistance in WW2) or to raise the costs of an occupying power to unacceptable levels (North African decolonialism in the 50s) or to destabilize an unpopular ruler as a precursor to a hoped-for coup (most of the Arab Spring).

    But the Palestinians don’t have any of these irons in the fire, and thus their choice of this as a tactic is constantly setting them back. They should realize that the battlefield that counts here is the battlefield of world opinion — they can get plenty of sympathy from their dead babies, but every iota they gain is cancelled with their next rocket launch. They also don’t have a coherent or achievable list of goals to act as a starting point for negotiations — when you start off the list with “Israel will cease to exist,” that’s pretty much a guarantee that nobody will take you seriously, because that plank in your platform is insane.

    We could go into the cultural reasons that have led the Palestinian leaders to their poor choices. The bottom line, though, is that if Gandhi had managed to let his ideas infiltrate Palestine, they would have had their own state decades ago. Passive resistance doesn’t work because of magical peace vibrations — it works because it builds up an unstoppable wall of propaganda that Western governments are powerless against.

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