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War in Gaza: Another Take

01/14/2009

With over 900 killed and 3,700 wounded since the Israeli offensive on Gaza it might make sense for the international community to appeal for an immediate ceasefire. This focus on the worsening humanitarian situation also results in Israel being seen as the villain in the popular media.

However the situation is far more complicated than the images on our television screens would suggest. It was after all, Hamas which unilaterally broke the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with the firing of rockets into Israel. It was Hamas who resisted further Egyptian mediation to secure a lasting peace in the region. It was Hamas who upon forcibly ejecting rival Fatah from the Gaza Strip started rearming in a massive way. Its Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades numbers 15,000 members. Moreover, it was Hamas who made use of the ceasefire to smuggle in anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons as well as to increase the range of their rockets. It was Hamas who revamped their organizational systems and raised the standards of the training and discipline of their forces. It was Hamas who sent their cadres to receive additional training from Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards. It is Hamas' long-term aim to establish an Islamic state on all of historic Palestine and consequently reject the two-state solution accepted by most Israelis and Palestinians as well as the international community as the basis for a durable peace in the Middle East. It is Hamas which uses innocent Palestinian women and children as human shields whilst they fire their rockets into Sderot and Ashkelon. Moreover, whilst the international community condemns Israel for its offensive on Gaza and pleads for a ceasefire, what is Hamas' leadership saying? Mahmoud Zahar said that Hamas is heading for victory against Israel whilst at the same time promises to target more Israeli civilians. Khaled Meshal, meanwhile, safely residing in Damascus promises: "Soldiers of the enemy ...you must know that a black destiny is waiting for you, and you will either be killed, injured or imprisoned".

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that Israel refuses to accept a ceasefire. Indeed respected Israeli President Shimon Peres who is himself a peace activist succinctly noted: : "We shall not accept the idea that Hamas will continue to fire and we share declare a ceasefire. It does not make sense".. After all what purpose will a ceasefire serve with Hamas? Will it not once more use the lull in hostilities to rearm and focus on its military prowess as opposed to getting on with the job of governing the Gaza Strip, which Israel unilaterally left, and thereby providing jobs, clinics, schools and houses to its long-suffering people?

So if a ceasefire is not the answer, what is? Perhaps the solution lies with Amre Moussa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League who unlike the EU did not merely call for a ceasefire but a ceasefire to end all aggression now and in the future based on the reconciliation between Palestinians and a common Arab position, as we have in the Beirut Peace Plan.

Seen in a larger context, the current conflict is not just the failure of Hamas, it is also the failure of Israel and the international community. It is a failure for Israel since Israel was confronted with two Palestinian visions -- the Hamas vision representing more violence and conflict and the Fatah vision of a peaceful negotiated settlement and a two-state solution. Israel refused to distinguish between these two visions and continued to treat all Palestinians the same. Thus far from assisting Palestinian President Abbas to sell his vision of peace to the rank-and file they made it harder. Israeli checkpoints continue to strangle the West Bank economy whilst illegal settlements in Har Homa and elsewhere continue apace in violation of the Road Map which Israel agreed to. It was also a failure of the international community and especially the United States. Despite President Bush's much vaunted promised of an independent Palestinian state before he left office, Washington did not put enough pressure on Israel to make the necessary concessions to realize a two-state solution. As Palestinian disillusion grew with the faltering peace process, as they watched ever more Israeli encroachment on Palestinian land, more were attracted to Hamas' militant agenda which emboldened Hamas further.

Hussein Solomon


Professor Hussein Solomon lectures in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria.


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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000744.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 36 comments

The sequence of events that happened in the last 7 or 8 years suggests that Israel intended for Hamas to take control of Gaza when it withdrew. Consider the fact that Israel did nothing to strengthen the position of Fatah prior to it's withdrawal. This should have been something that would be done if Israel intended Fatah to retain control. The fact that it did not happen suggests Israel desired either a destabilizing civil war between Hamas and Fatah or an outright takeover by Hamas. Either one would serve to delay the peace process.

I should add that not only was Fatah not strengthened prior to the withdrawal, but Israel had previously implemented a long term policy of destruction of the infrastructure, equipment, offices, personnel, and funding of Fatah. This was a strategic plan to weaken Fatah prior to the withdrawal.

Israel got exactly what it wanted.

Cheers.

Posted by Kiev500 @ 01/14/2009 10:26 PM CST

the brutal Jewish always did so in the past. Finally, they will pay the price for doing in the world. They should have tolerate the future actions against them.

Posted by Rafi @ 01/15/2009 07:18 AM CST

we can attack tel aviv from sinai

Posted by Mafrec @ 01/15/2009 02:47 PM CST

Whoever said that an observation is so stupid, that it could only have been made by an intellectual, certainly was thinking of analyses such as Hussein Solomon's.

Typical of Mohammedans, the "professor" lays the blame for the current situation in Gaza at the feet of everyone except that of his co-religionists. It seems that to be a Mohammedan means never having to say you are sorry.

The simple facts are that Hamas is a fanatical terrorist gang upholding Islam's "sixth pillar": jihad. Jihad had been curtailed while Mohammedans were under the West's tutalage. Freed from that, Islamic societies have reverted to time honoured traditions where they turn inwards to the primitive religion of seventh century Arabia and each gang of thugs compete to be more extreme than his neighbor, and pity any who dare to be moderate.

There is no difference between Abbas and Haniya. One wants Israel's demise in stages and the other wants it immediately by violence it has attempted to orchestrate among its Arab brothers, who in turn let the Hamas jihadis down because they loathe Iran. Abbas is not a moderate simply because the EU and the USA have designated him as such.

Peace in the Middle East will not come until Mohammedans learn to love life as the Jews do, until they reform their religion, until they acquire leaders who are modernisers and not corrupt tyrants and until they abandon jihad.

Posted by Paul Winter @ 01/15/2009 03:32 PM CST

Who ever said Hamas is using women and children as sheilds is not only stupid but racist. It is the israelies who use US ARABS as sheilds to protect themseleves. They do not care about any one but themselves. They discriminate against us, hate us, and kill us. Hamas is the only ARAB group that are fighting for Palestine. They have a right to not want to recognize israel, just like I dont. so please, do not say something u have no fucking clue about, because all of you only look at your side, not ours. How does it feel to lose all your family huh? how does it feel to not live in a home? where will you sleep at night, eat, drink? where is the humanity? have you lost your mind?? why discriminate us???? WHY

Posted by Cathren @ 01/16/2009 10:30 AM CST

And you paul whoever you are. we will never love the jews. how can we love them after what they did to us? and what they will still do? how can we learn to love people who hate us and kill us. Know your facts before you start to bark, Hamas is not a terrorist group, jews are. Hamas is trying to get our country back. Hamas is fighting for our right to live in the country we desire.

Posted by Cathren @ 01/16/2009 10:35 AM CST

I am nauseated by the hypocrisy of supporters of the Israeli actions, the slaughter and wilful endangerment of civilians, women and children both.

Justified by claims of a war on terror, from a country founded on terrorism that votes known terrorists to the highest offices in the land (Shamir, Begin, blood on their hands from the bombing of the King David Hotel among other events).

Hypocrites, scum, terrorists (both sides). As a moderate Brit I am radicalised by this into a hatred of what Israel seems to stand for. God knows how many new Hamas martyrs are bred from this, but then perhaps that is the point.

Fools. You reap what you sow.

Posted by amentothat @ 01/17/2009 06:58 PM CST

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-H_z3WSwieKnkZlGv6FKWr8Jc

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/18/2009 06:42 AM CST

it wasn,t the Jews who caused the Mumbai atrocities .the London tube massacre
9/11,the blowing up of the thousand year old Bhuddist statues at Baniyar in Afghanistan ,the daily slaughter of Muslims by Muslims in Iraq,Afghanistan
Pakistan,Darfur in Sudan the pirates operating off the lawless Gulf of Aden
the madness happening in Somalia ,the hi-jacking of ships off the East Coast in order to resupply Hamas.Simple facts not propaganda

Posted by Samuel @ 01/19/2009 02:41 PM CST

Samuel,

just what the hell does that have to do with anything? Blanket hatred of one group is not helpful at all, even a bigoted moron like you must see that.

Bear in mind also that the London bombers, amongst others, cited Israel/Palestine as a motivating factor in their martyr videos. This war on Palestinian civilians will enrage another generation and yield more of the same.

Get a grip on the argument: man killing other men is the problem, not Jew/Muslim divisions.

Posted by amentothat @ 01/19/2009 05:56 PM CST

Sorry to say that this analysis is so shallow that it makes me assume either the writer knows very little about the nature of the conflict or he intended to to show it as it is shown now. Just NEVER forget that the residents of Gaza, including members of Hamas are refugees. They were thrown out of their cities and villages in 1948.I am not a supporter of Hamas but it should be born in mind that Israel when signed the truce with hamas has not shown any commitment in it.

Posted by Jamal Ibrahim @ 01/20/2009 02:35 AM CST

It saddens me, to see such anger in the posts.
I would have thought this site would be more civilized as that will only be the answers we need.

I understand, that the Palestinians feel they were robbed. As many that have watched from afar, but...we will have to say that things are, as they are.
And...
Try to find some solution to have peace.

Obviously, the solution arises from a two state solution after all this time of inaction from ALL.

That will be only from peace and respect of sovereigns. Meaning both sides will have borders, their own government and YES...weapons.
It will take a showing of good will, of trying to actknowledge of others negatives but, also a coming together of positives to get over harsh realities of the past.

Jamal Ibrahim, I agree with you! The bully of the area, needs to realize...military is no solution and I could only wish that...religion was an option in your sovereign states and that your governments, keep rights for all that are not reliant on which religion you are.

That is where you will meld into one. Israel will only be a big worshiping place with their views, and will feel as if they excluded their fellow man in time. I only hope that Palestine, thinks about this when they build their nation...as it would still allow you to worship as you want if your government does not force religion into it. Please do not do as the Israelis, but, allow the majority to decide who will govern a religious free government... that allows any religion worship. You will be more than respected for that.

Posted by truth seeker @ 01/20/2009 05:54 AM CST

It saddens me, to see such anger in the posts.
I would have thought this site would be more civilized as that will only be the answers we need.

I understand, that the Palestinians feel they were robbed. As many that have watched from afar, but...we will have to say that things are, as they are.
And...
Try to find some solution to have peace.

Obviously, the solution arises from a two state solution after all this time of inaction from ALL.

That will be only from peace and respect of sovereigns. Meaning both sides will have borders, their own government and YES...weapons.
It will take a showing of good will, of trying to actknowledge of others negatives but, also a coming together of positives to get over harsh realities of the past.

Jamal Ibrahim, I agree with you! The bully of the area, needs to realize...military is no solution and I could only wish that...religion was an option in your sovereign states and that your governments, keep rights for all that are not reliant on which religion you are.

That is where you will meld into one. Israel will only be a big worshiping place with their views, and will feel as if they excluded their fellow man in time. I only hope that Palestine, thinks about this when they build their nation...as it would still allow you to worship as you want if your government does not force religion into it. Please do not do as the Israelis, but, allow the majority to decide who will govern a religious free government... that allows any religion worship. You will be more than respected for that.

Posted by truth seeker @ 01/20/2009 05:54 AM CST

hmmm? things are as they are? israel did not say that after the holocaust. israel took reparations from germany and an apology.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:48 PM CST

so it's not the muslims who caused the usa to kill 600,000 people in iraq over a lie. it's not the muslims who formed jewish terrorist groups like the stern gang and irgun and then committed acts of terrorism. it's not the muslims who caused israel to protect the murderer of rachel corrie. it's the fault of the muslims that christians are the number one killers on the planet and israelis are the number one killers per capita.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:53 PM CST

and those are facts, not propaganda too.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:54 PM CST

it's NOT the fault of the muslims that christians are the number one killers on the planet and israelis are the number one killers per capita.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:57 PM CST

well, actually, i don't know if israel is the number one killer per capita. but they sure must close to number one.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:58 PM CST

well, actually, i don't know if israel is the number one killer per capita. but they sure must close to number one.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 10:58 PM CST

and i think it's pretty safe to say that christians are the number one killers on the planet: ww1, ww2, korea, vietnam, helping israel to kill people, helping saddam to kill people, two iraq wars, helping others to kill chileans and iranians. the list is pretty endless. native americans. blacks. poor whites. the war in afghanistan. all the wars by the british empire. all the wars by the european empires.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 11:03 PM CST

and i think it's pretty safe to say that christians are the number one killers on the planet: ww1, ww2, korea, vietnam, helping israel to kill people, helping saddam to kill people, two iraq wars, helping others to kill chileans and iranians. the list is pretty endless. native americans. blacks. poor whites. the war in afghanistan. all the wars by the british empire. all the wars by the european empires.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 11:03 PM CST

well, actually, i don't know if israel is the number one killer per capita. but they sure must be close to number one.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 11:05 PM CST

"because all of you only look at your side, not ours. "

are you sure this is accurate? it may be how you feel, but is it accurate? read the posts here again and see.

Posted by scottsoperson @ 01/22/2009 11:08 PM CST

u arabs need to learn to love life like the jews do.

seriously.

then we can talk.

Posted by madHatter @ 01/26/2009 11:32 AM CST

Well, I got two lines into that "analysis" of the invasion and switched off. Hamas unilaterally broke the ceasefire? Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza on November the 4th 2008. Up until that point Hamas HAD policed the ceasefire and stopped Islamic Jihad and others firing rockets. After Israel bombed Gaza on November 4th. along with not keeping up her own end of the bargain by opening the Rafah and Erez crossings to allow Gaza to breathe, are you surprised Hamas gave up on it?

Hamas' armed wing, Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, is a terrorist faction when it fires rockets into Israeli towns but equally are Fatah's armed wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who were jointly responsible for the last suicide bombing inside Israel if I remember correctly. However, when Israeli soldiers invade the Gaza strip; Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the military wing of the PFLP are resisting. Not terrorising.

What many people will conveniently ignore is that the PLO did not recognise Israel's right to exist under Arafat and Fatah until Israel engaged in dialogue with them. Who's to say Hamas will change if Israel speaks to them and actually acknowledges them as the democratically elected choice of the Palestinian people rather than sticking to this fallacy that they "seized power in Gaza".

Posted by TimeConsumer @ 01/27/2009 02:16 PM CST

Why Egypt support Israel in Gaza war?
Why people of Saudi were silent in this crime ?
Are you don't think that presidents of Saudi and Egypt are criminal and terrorist?
Yes They are

Posted by hamed @ 02/01/2009 06:47 PM CST

it was not hamas that started an agression against Israel. It was Israel that started a blockade to Gaza after hamas took power in june 2007.
A blockade is actually an act of war. Egyptian blockade of the strait of Tyran was considered an act of war by Israel, back in 1967.
An Israel act accordingly.
It is incredible academitians that repeat that the egyptian blockade of Israel was, would be an act of war.., forget Israel is blockading Gaza since 2007.
Israel is the agressor.
Hamas was ready for a cease fire provided Israel lift the blockade.
Livni and Olmert refused.
They are the ones who do not want to talk. They prefer to shoot in a cowardly way since they know they have larger, bigger guns than Hamas.
I was an Israeli backer - No more.
Turkey outrage is understandable.
Any human being should be outraged with the cruel behaviour of Israel.
Israel fell to a new low..., and joined the group of Russia.., and Saddam Iraq.., countries that had no problems about killing thousands of innocent people.
Those countries can be classified in the groups : " Killing children are us ".
Israel does not deserve to be supported, anymore.
Hamas deserves the Nobel Peace Prize compared with Israel.
Hamas stop blowing suicide bombings years ago while Israel does keep blowing innocent children

Posted by Peter42y @ 02/02/2009 05:11 AM CST

-- A comparison of philosophy behind justifications for violence --

Israel considers Hamas to be a terror organization. Perhaps this is so, because some of the attacks Hamas claims to be responsible for appear to constitute terrorism. Launching missiles into Sovereign Israeli territory is one example. The perpetration of suicide bombings against civilian targets like busses, markets, and cafes is another. These attacks are a violation of international law.

But not everything Hamas has done should constitute terror. My opinion is that attacks made directly against Israeli military targets fall short of the terror definition.

Israel insists that it is entitled to attack Hamas wherever it believes there is a target, including densely populated civilian areas. Their rationale is that Palestinian civilians allow Hamas to exist and to hide amongst them, therefore they are at least partly responsible for collateral damage and civilian deaths. In addition, Israel claims that Palestinian civilians elected Hamas to power, therefore they support the terror organization.

This is the Israeli rationale to justify violence perpetrated against targets and civilians in Gaza, and previously in Lebanon.

Now lets consider the same philosophical justification from the other perspective. How does Israel look under the same harsh light?

The Settlements in the West Bank are a violation of international law. The unilateral attempts by the government of Israel to annex and appropriate land in the West Bank are a violation of international law. The practice of collective punishment and torture is a violation of international law. This makes the Settlers criminals. Further, it makes those who support them complicit.

Many would argue that some of these things also constitute a form of terror. That would make the Israeli government that allows criminal Settlers political representation and military protection a complicit supporter of terror.

Following the Israeli government's rationale for violence against Palestinians suggests that the Settlers and the government of Israel are equally complicit and therefore partly responsible for collateral damage from any attacks made against Settlers or Government targets.

Further, it infers that those otherwise un-involved Israeli citizens whose silence and lack of action allows their government to assist and support the Settlers are also complicit in a reduced degree.

To recap:
Palestinians tolerate criminal terrorists and Hamas operatives who exist and travel freely amongst them. Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, an organization responsible for terror.

Israeli citizens tolerate criminal Settlers who exist and travel freely amongst them. The government of Israel allows criminal Settlers to have representation within it's body politic. The government of Israel offers financial, logistical, and military support for Criminal Settlers. The policies of the GOI related to collective punishment, Settlements, and torture may arguably consititute a form of terror.

Using the same consistent logic, both sides are guilty. All of you guys need to look in the mirror. Think of a future built on peace, and lay down your arms.

Cheers.

Posted by Kiev500 @ 02/02/2009 07:41 AM CST

I’ll be blunt and propose one possible mirror to look at. Attempting to EQUALLY distribute guilt is misguided and unproductive, reflecting ignorance and/or malice. The tiny Israel has taken in masses of refugees and transformed them into a vibrant society which contributes to world culture, science and technology. We have BUILT something, contributed to humanity BEYOND our means and numbers. What have the Arab nations and the Palestinians done for humanity lately? Supporting Hamas and it’s message of violence and terror? Glorifying death over life? And don’t give me the “oppressed”/”occupied”/etc arguments; the Palestinians had PLENTY opportunities to shape their destiny and work to better their future. Look in the mirror please but without resorting to self pity! I like what Obama said, something to the effect of: “…be judged by what you build not destroy…”

Posted by Zvi @ 02/02/2009 08:26 PM CST

Zvi:
"Attempting to EQUALLY distribute guilt is misguided and unproductive, reflecting ignorance and/or malice."

You are mistaken. I am not attempting to equally distribute guilt. I am EQUALLY applying the Israeli rationale for justifying violence and widespread collateral damage. If the rationale is sound, then this is absolutely appropriate. One standard fits all.

By the way, please don't use that tired old "tiny Israel" bit. Israel is the only serious nuclear power in the area. The "tiny Israel" routine is one of the top ten items on the talking points memo. I see you got your copy.

Yes, Israel has built something. Some of this I will hold up as a positive example. This would be the part which has been built on Israel's side of the Green Line. But we should also agree that some of what has been built is illegal under international law because it violates the Geneva Convention. These parts are the Settlements built illegally in the occupied territory of the West Bank.

Finally, using Israel's own justification rationale, supporting Hamas is almost exactly the same as supporting the Settlers and the government that protects them and their criminal acts.

Guilt does not have to be equal, but the rationale for determining guilt should at least be fairly and consistently applied to BOTH sides.

Don't you agree?

Cheers.

Posted by Kiev500 @ 02/03/2009 03:08 AM CST

Zvi,
please explain to me the honour in supporting a state that pledges "a DISPROPORTIONATE response" to missiles which land in empty ground.

The most baldly-stated recent example of Israeli values in these matters lies between this, and the poll showing that 3 times more Israelis are upset with their government for not bringing Shalit home than are upset with their leaders for showering families and children with white phosphorus. I'm a moderate and I now feel like helping to fight Israel.

Posted by Amentothat @ 02/04/2009 02:01 AM CST

So glad for the provoked responses!

To Kiev500:

Yes, tiny is correct – in size, population and natural resources. You are mixing up demographics with outcome – we have not been ‘granted’ technology skills and nuclear power; we have developed/earned this to survive. The fact that we have impacted the world science and culture like a ‘bigger’ country doesn’t change our demographics.

I don’t appreciate the heavy investment in some settlements, but not so much for ‘legality’ reasons. Pragmatically, we can’t afford it. But, why did you choose to focus only on this aspect of Israeli ‘building’? The other stuff is just ‘something’ as you say?! In the best case, you take the obvious for granted; otherwise, you are consciously biased.

Your rationale is missing the context; has Hamas recognized Israel and its right to exist? Not that I need that to fall asleep at nights, but I think that this fact alone deserves to differentiate our cases here.

In a catharsis processes it is beneficial for both sides to assume guilt and responsibility in order to establish a new beginning. Are we there yet? If not, weakness, and worse, showing it will not expedite the process of reconciliation. Sorry.

To Amentothat:

I would not discuss ‘honor’ in the context of our fight with Hamas. It’s irrelevant because what they do is not ‘honorable’ by any of our Western standards.

Disproportionate response is one that clearly could have been replaced by a ‘smaller’ response and yet achieving the same outcome. I assume that we agree on the need to stop Hamas’ rockets (?) Judging from the current outcome – Israeli towns are still shelled – I don’t buy this ‘disproportionate’ argument. It’s very easy and convenient to come after the fact (once succeeding) and ponder whether any other response would have been more appropriated/effective.

I feel sorry for the Palestinians trapped with Hamas. But, once the dust is settled and few months are past, we may find that the ‘disproportionate’ response has worked to deter further/repeated escalation. On the other hand, I may be found completely wrong; time will tell.

Posted by Zvi @ 02/04/2009 07:55 PM CST

Zvi,
disproportionate = 100 palestinian deaths for each israeli death. Taking the old testament approach to new lows, IMHO. And women and children indiscriminately - the lowest behaviour of all, as low as Hamas but on a scale they cannot achieve. Very classy. What a proud person you must be!

Good that you have pity for them, it's been done in your name. Your question as to whether it has achieved its objectives is specious, you've already stated in the para above it that it has not, the missiles still fall. So all for nothing then? Or just another part of Israel's wish to drive further Palestinian militancy to justify their victimhood and the need for more violence... the original vicious cycle.

For the record, I would by choice see all humans in the area live safe and secure from harm - but if Israel keeps up this brutality, this wanton killing and infliction of suffering beyond what is inevitable , then I will begin to re-examine my equal application of that wish. You reap what you sow, as I said before.

Posted by amentothat @ 02/04/2009 10:06 PM CST

Zvi:

Taking your comments in order.

"we have not been ‘granted’ technology skills and nuclear power; we have developed/earned this to survive."

Actually, you have been granted much, whether you acknowledge it or not. Granted is an appropriate word, because most militry equipment and technology Israel uses comes from the USA. Whether Israel has earned the right to this technology is debatable. The technology came with covenants regarding appropriate use. Those covenants specify the equipment shall be used only for defense of Israel (internationally recognized border). Many feel that Israel has broken these covenants by using the equipment to defend illegal settlements in occupied territory and to attack other countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

"But, why did you choose to focus only on this aspect of Israeli ‘building’? The other stuff is just ‘something’ as you say?! In the best case, you take the obvious for granted; otherwise, you are consciously biased."

Is Zvi blind? From a previous post, I said:
*
"Some of this I will hold up as a positive example. This would be the part which has been built on Israel's side of the Green Line.
*

I did acknowledge what is legal and I held it up as a positive example. That is not bias. However, we are not here to discuss legal things. We are here to discuss criminal acts committed by both sides.

I should say I don't think you are blind at all; I think you are disingenuous.

"Your rationale is missing the context; has Hamas recognized Israel and its right to exist? Not that I need that to fall asleep at nights, but I think that this fact alone deserves to differentiate our cases here."

I leave it to the UN to determine appropriate context. I would not allow Hamas to set context for me, nor will I agree to allow you to set the context. To address that point further, I believe a Hamas spoksman recently indicated Hamas would respect any diplomatic agreements or accords passed by Palestinian voter referendum. This suggests Hamas should be bound to respect the prior accords which were implemented by the PA. Perhaps a final Palestinian referendum on support of each of those issues would settle that.

By the way, I wonder if Israel would put the Settlements to a referendum?

"In a catharsis processes it is beneficial for both sides to assume guilt and responsibility in order to establish a new beginning. Are we there yet? If not, weakness, and worse, showing it will not expedite the process of reconciliation. Sorry."

Are we there yet? Clearly we are as close as the involved parties choose to be. Regarding weakness, I understand the argument that criminal acts of Hamas may be intended to portray strength, but do you suggest the illegal Settlements Israel has placed in the occupied territories to house criminals are also intended to portray strength?

This brings the question: Which side will stop it's criminal acts first? Which side will respect the other's civil rights and humanity first? That is the position of honor; and it is the only way forward.

Cheers.

Posted by Kiev500 @ 02/04/2009 11:29 PM CST

ok, hold on there guys.
I have very few statistics in my arsenal, and I do not have the passion which you seem to attach to this topic. Which could be good, depending on how you look at things.

All of you are being far too personal about this. Effective political analysis must be OBJECTIVE, addressing all of the facts, not just the ones which support your opinions. And equally important is not calling your personal opinions "facts."

What is happening in that area is wrong. All loss of human life is wrong. And yet, just because more Palistinian deaths occurred does not mean that there were none on the other side.

Israel has been allowed to get away with far too much in terms of colonization, and other areas. But so has Hamas. All of you have to realize that neither side is acting with "honor" (if such a concept even exists in modern warfare) and that both sides deserve some of the blame.

That said, the process of assigning and getting both of them to admit the blame is taking far too long. It is a useless process serving only to anger people (such as you all) and to slow the peace process, if one even exists. And if it is a waste of time for them to argue about it, it certainly is for you to do that, if you refuse to think about it clearly.

Detach yourselves from your passion. It clouds your thinking.

Posted by the arbitrator @ 02/27/2009 03:58 AM CST

@ Arbitrator,

I think you have missed (by my error or yours) my equal dislike of any group utilising such terror tactics. This does not negate our points regarding the obscene scale of the recent action in Gaza, the use of WP in inappropriate settings and then denial of what is there in plain sight, the use of non-conventional munitions from the US export toolbox...

When Hamas kill 1000 people, mostly civilians including huge numbers of women and children, in one intense pre-election three week period, and then claim the majority were IDF, then I will be back here posting my condemnation. Both groups - Hamas and the state of Israel - were founded by terrorists: how's that for objectivity? Explains a lot, but almost never gets quoted that way...

Your objective political analysis offers no insight or path forwards whatsoever, surprisingly. I have my suspicions as to the reasons for this.

My passionate feelings regarding this conflict are undimmed, and will be until resolution. Until then rest easy: I will be equally boycotting and campaigning against both Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood violence, and Israeli violence. I reserve my cold eye for the view forward in dealing with these murderous bastards, not the view of the child in shreds.

Do please let me know when Hamas export goods to the UK, and I will boycott their products also. Until then Israeli foodstuffs etc. are off the menu (supermarkets here lose money on goods which are dumped on the floor and cannot be resold for hygiene reasons).

Posted by Amentothat @ 02/27/2009 02:29 PM CST


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