Senate Israel/Palestine

Discussion in 'Community' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    As far as your final sentence goes, I'm sorry, but you've got to be kidding me. Neither side is truly acting in accord with what it wants, but only one side is being honest in it's statements, and it ain't Hamas.

    I think the problem is that Israel claims that it wants peace but does nothing to work toward that goal. A little magnanimity on Israel's part might do some good. I'm not saying to forgive Hamas for what it does. But at least extend an olive branch. From everything I've read they've done nothing short of rape the Palestinian people with their obscene limits on travel and their repressive approach to tackling terrorism.

    I'm not saying that they should just roll over and die, but the Israeli government should be a little more self-conscious about how it acts. Just because one side acts like a monster doesn't mean that they need to act like one as well.
  2. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5

    Hey friend, what do you think about the fact that the level of violence caused by each side is also disproportionate? Or the fact that Israel is a developed nation vs. an oppressed impoverished people? I don't think anyone is excusing Hamas or terrorism against Israel, I think the issue is whether Israel response is proportional and appropriate.

    I mean, here in the U.S. many of us loudly condemned the Iraq invasion as an inappropriate overreaction to the 9/11 attacks. The problem is, as Jon Stewert pointed out, in America, it is completely unacceptable for a politician or public figure to ever question Israel in public, which I think stifles the dialogue.
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    The cause seems to me to be this bunch of genocidal maniacs in Hamas. You don't really have many options when it comes to dealing with such maniacs: You either kill them or they kill you and yours.

    Be fair: they're more than likely overall no more genocidal than the Israelis themselves. Neither one would likely act any better... or any worse... if they got what they wanted, which was ownership over the land.

    This is precisely the situation I went over with Eps in the Homosexuality thread, but in a different context when we were talking about when it's legitimate to take up arms against a government. And one of the things I said was that immediately gives the "haves" the oppertunity to stand back, put up thier arms and say "Look, THEY'RE the violent ones! We weren't doing anything, and look what they did!"

    Yeah, right. You're just as violent as they are: you just happen to have the land you're fighting for at the moment. If you didn't, it would be the other way around. And in fact, prior to 1948, it WAS.

    Whoever gets that land and forms a government will then be the next ones to rest on thier laurels, step back, and say "well, it's done now and whoever resorts to violence STARTING NOW... they're the bad ones."

    Starting now being the operative term, becuase you've resolved things in your favor through violence itself.
  4. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I can't believe you can write what you just wrote an not instinctively see why the BBC did no coverage of the Kindergarten. There was nobody in it, last time I had a television and I watched the BBC, it showed the effects of the first bombings Israel did, and after that it showed the effects of the Hamas rockets, so don't claim that they hide them. The school bombing killed 30 civilians. Don't expect me to believe you are dumb, because you aren't, so you can figure this out just as well as I can.

    If you are going to throw terms like intellectual honesty around you should apply it to yourself. Hamas is not a recognised government and thus is not a member of the U.N. this means they can hardly pass a resolution against it. The U.N. has in fact condemned Hamas and half a minute of google searching will turn up numerous examples of this. They are described by everybody as a 'terrorist organisation', this in itself is a constant condamnation. Nobody refers to Israel consistently as a 'terrorist State' do they now? Everybody has condemned the actions of Hamas. In every bulletin you will read condemnations of the Hamas attacks. I can turn your critizsm right around actually and state that you always see the terrorist attacks on television, but never the reasons why this happens. The systematic abuse of Palestinians does not come on television. I only know through the internet that settlers shot and killed Palestinians and weren't even arrested. Etc.

    Of course this isn't really correct, but that would be selective bias, wouldn't it? Cognitive dissonance as such.

    Hamas is constantly being , rightly so, condemned, claiming this isn't so is just false. You seem to forget that Fatah controls the West Bank, that there are numerous organistions in Palestine. Oh, and only a very select group recognises Hamas as the legitimate government of Gaza. Israel, by the way, does not.

    As for your last line, please read my sentence again please. You obviously mised the point, and claiming that anybody in this conflict is 'honest' is laughable. I said being open about its goals.

    Where did I imply that one was better than the other? Same for you, go back and read what I wrote again.

  5. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    How does bombing a school full of refugees stop Hamas from firing rockets, Smuggler?

    They're doing the exact same thing they did in Lebanon, and what did it accomplish then? Nothing. They're still getting rocketed. They didn't even get back the two soldiers they used as an excuse to go to war. All they managed to do was kill a bunch of people who had nothing to do with the conflict, and cripple a fledgling democracy in the process. What the hell do they expect to accomplish this time?

    Even John Ashcroft said, quoting Einstein, "The definition of foolishness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Where did I imply that one was better than the other? Same for you, go back and read what I wrote again.

    Well then I don't understand why you made the statement the way you did. The way you wrote it, it read like you were saying one was just THAT more worse than the other because one was doing what they said, and the other doing the opposite:

    Hamas is an extremist organisation that vocally claims it wants Israel gone, Israel claims that it wants peace. One of the two isn't acting in accordance with what they claim they are doing, which one do you think it is?

    Direct comparison you're making there, no?

    One can make the argument that one is worse than the other, but if one is saying that on the grounds of one saying they're going to kill you and then doing it, and the other saying they're NOT going to kill you and then doing it... well, you're still dead, so I don't see how it would be very morally different.
  7. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Vaderize03 - I think it is important to place the current position of Hamas as the representative 'government' of the Palestinians in Gaza in historical perspective. You cannot look at the current conflict cycle in isolation to the events which have transpired in Gaza over the last 40 odd years of Israeli military occupation. In other words, you have to consider why the Palestinian people voted Hamas in the first place. It is easy to dismiss Hamas as a 'terrorist' organisation and the people who voted for them as supporters of 'terrorism' but what are the underlying causes behind that move? Why do you think the Gazans are so much more extreme than the Palestinians in the West Bank or the tens of thousands of Palestinians living peacefully in Israel?

    Whenever Hamas hold a public rally you will inevitably see some form of pageantry. Inevitably that pageantry involves a play or a skit which displays the Israeli military, the IDF, in some weak, submissive position, like an Israeli soldier on his knees begging for his life or begging to be freed. They actually dress people up as Israeli soldiers and put on this 'play'. If you believe the Palestinian people in Gaza are just naturally or religiously inclined to extremism, violence and 'terrorism' then you would expect to see a history of this behaviour prior to the introduction of political moves to partition Palestine. You won't find it. You also won't find a history of Islamic fundamentalism in Gaza or the West Bank because for the most part the Palestinians living in Gaza are not and have never been religious fundamentalists. Hamas wouldn't even exist but for the conditions that created the first Intifada. Hamas are as opportunistic as any religious fundamentalist group and the day Hamas cease to exist as a political entity is the day I will rejoice. But, you seem to be looking at these events by opening the book half way, without looking at the earlier chapters.
  8. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I thought one of the claims made back when Hamas won was that it was dissatisfaction with Fatah rather than just support for Hamas.
  9. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    That's too simplistic, 'the land'. What land are we talking about here? Gaza? Israel doesn't want to own Gaza. Nothing to be gained there. West Bank? That's Palestinian territory. The fact that Israel is settling it doesn't mean that internationally, it's not been recognized as Palestinian territory for over a century now. If you just want a piece of land really badly doesn't automatically mean you have as much right to have it as the people living there, does it? Not outside of Duckville.

    No, this is not really a case of two tribes fighting over one bit of ground. This is a case of one side not sticking to mutually agreed borders and making it impossible for the other side to form a country.

    In Israel, it has been proved impossible to form a government unless you form a coalition with orthodox Jewish parties. Currently Shas, 'generally supporting a Greater Israel movement'. This means nothing less than total annexation of all of the Palestinian Territories. These people are in the government of Israel.

    So I'm reading up on that, and I realize that all this Hamas charter crap flung here is just that. Crap. Crap arguments.

    Gonk, Smuggler, Esp; two sides, both got loose cannons, both do things that are outta line and yes, given the chance the Palestinians would do more harm. But is it that hard to see that one side is getting more leeway than the other? That one side is getting economic breaks from Europe and a third of all the U.S. foreign aid?

    And why? To settle more stolen land?
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    One having better benefits doesn't make either side more right. They're both wrong because they both kill people. Why does one side need to be more right (or less wrong) than the other? Both governments/organizations (Hamas and the Israeli government) need a good knocking over the head. And, since the last poll I read put Likud ahead of Kadima and far ahead of Labor, it looks like Netanyahu is going to be the next prime minister, and he won't change anything. (I'd comment on the Palestinians as well, but I'm not up on their politics.)

    And someone asked a while back, what borders? The Golan Heights belonged to Syria long before Israel took them. But give the West Bank to the Palestinians, let up on restrictions and completely move out (obviously it's Israel's business whether they would want to let the citizens on Palestine into Israel after that, but they shouldn't be kept from leaving their own land). Make Jerusalem an international city. Give control over to the UN, along with enough international forces to make each side behave until they've proven (over the course of 5-10 years) that they can.
  11. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    OBM, you're missing my point....as are most of the individuals who have critiqued my posts.

    Iraq was not "disproportionate", it was "sideways"; Bush and company used 9/11 as an excuse to topple Saddam. Comparing the two situations is meaningless, as one thing has absolutely nothing to do with, and no connection to, the other.

    The fact that Israel is a developed nation is not very relevant to the underlying discussion, which is basically how does one stop the violence. I asked before, and I will ask again, should Israel respond to rocket attacks with Qassam rockets of it's own? In even asking the question, you see the dead-end nature of this aspect of the debate.

    Trying to assign blame and fault either side exclusively only breeds resentment and accomplishes nothing. I cannot comment here in an unbiased fashion, as an American Jew with Holocaust survivor grandparents who lived in Israel in the 1950s; I cannot comment unbiased after hearing stories from my late grandfather about the war, or living in Israel in it's early days, with constant attacks and threats, lacking the footing (and American alliance) that it has now. All I'm saying is that through my glasses, it looks like Israel takes the hit no matter what it does.

    I abhor what they are doing in Gaza. It plays right into Hamas's hands. But ask yourself this:

    If Israel had sat back and not responded to the rocket attacks at all, would there have been any international pressure on Hamas to stop? What would it take to get a response from a country other than the United States condemning the terrorist attacks? I'm not talking about an offhand comment buried underneath a mountain of anti-Israeli criticism; I'm talking about condemnation in the strongest possible diplomatic terms, not only of Hamas but of it's terrorist proxies.

    Anyway, I feel like I'm going in circles here. What is really needed, in the short term, is a strong international presence to keep these two bullies apart. One is big and lumbering, and throws hard punches that just cause blunt-force trauma. The other is small, fast, and can't be stopped because they keep cropping up everywhere. The first step to stopping this, IMHO, is a large, well-armed, multinational force in the area to keep them apart. Once heads cool, maybe some kind of negotiations can begin.

    Both sides said that they are willing to talk, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm hoping it happens soon.

    Because of my frank biases, this is a discussion I am going to try and stay out of from now on, but I will probably be unsuccessful :D.

    Peace,

    V-03
  12. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Because you used ignored me and persist in this delusion:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/849041.html

    http://www.euractiv.com/en/security/eu-hamas-renounce-violence-recognise-israel/article-151982

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3100518.stm

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/462083/eu_freezes_aid_to_palestinian_government/index.html

    This is just from five seconds on google. I know the EU has for example frequently condemned the rocket attacks. Besides, I think freezing aid payements and refusing their leaders entry is about the 'strongest possible diplomatic term' of condemning Hamas.

    I suggest you diversify your news sources, read a couple of foreign papers or something.


    The point is made in the first part of the sentence. Hamas does not claim that it's anything other than an extremist organisation that wants Israel gone, which is why they are already being condemned for what they are and what peopel recognise them for. Israel claims it's a peaceful country and only wants what's best for everybody. They should at least try to act the way they try to portray themselves. I loath Hamas, but when they launch a missile, it's not something that I am surprised about. Now, true, when I see Israel doing it, I'm not surprised anymore either, but that's sad, because they are the party that claims to be teh rational one, they hold the cards, I want to see them play them. They say they want peace, then ACT LIKE IT.

    In short, I expect something from Israel because I know they can actually do something for the situation in a way that might solve some of it, Hamas is a lost cause to begin with. They're a terrorist organisation, srsly.
  13. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Israel should respond by 1) taking a good, hard look at why a militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation came into power in the first place, and 2) why that militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation are firing Qassam rockets into Israel in the first place.

    It's really not a dead-end debate, nor is it necessarily a blame game. It's just history. History helps put the actions of people today in some context. Take the founding of Israel and the violence that was perpretated against the British by Jewish exremist groups in order to ensure the creation of a Jewish state as promised by the British. If you consider those actions in isolation to say, World War II and the Holocaust, then you miss the important causative events that shaped such behaviour. It doesn't excuse it but it puts it in some perspective.

  14. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Guys, does anyone here thing we're really debating nothing here?

    I think everyone actually agrees on the entire matter except JediSmuggler, who bothers to make a significant moral distinction. Even Eps is less than impressed with the Israelis.

    And hey: Hamas is supposedly in control of Gaza right now. MAybe it's tie we started upping those expectations of it just as we do Israel.
  15. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Well, I definitely do not agree that both sides are equally at fault - you know, because on of them has a country and the other does not. I actually think a case could be made that the Gazans were within their right, firing the Qassam rockets; it's just rebellion against occupation. We've been doing more or less the same here in Holland in '40-'45 (actually, trauma indicated we hadn't been doing it enough), and you guys have done something similar in America one and a half century ago.

    Also, I don't agree that just sending a UN force is going to be the solution. It would be naive to think so. Because where are you going to put them? As long as support is unilateral. Just this morning I read about how the Dutch Minister Of Foreign Affairs (an Israel excuser if ever I saw one) just wants to send UN troops to the Gaza-Egypt border, to keep the Gazans from fleeing. How does that help the situation? Sending UN troops now, without having made a choice who to protect, we'd be heading for a Srebrenica repeat.

    Here's what to do:
    2. Cease all hostilities
    1. Open up Gaza for humanitarian aid
    3. Boycott Israel completely - really isolate it as if it were eighties South Africa - as long as they're building settlements, wrecking homes, and controlling borders to and roadblocks in land that isn't theirs.
    4. Tear down that wall
    5. Maybe then we can send peace troops.

    We do it any sooner, some Arab will kill some Danish U.N. soldier and we'll be back to square one.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    You mention rebellion against occupation, so I'll pose this question... how is the Gaza Strip occupied, prior to the past few days?
    According to the Hague convention of 1907, section IV, article 42 regarding occupation:
    Given that the Gaza Strip has been run by the Palestinian National Authority since 1994, how does that equate to currently occupied? It doesn't address things like the Israel keeping the borders fairly locked down, but then there's a very big difference, imo, between saying a country has closed down borders and saying that one is occupying the other.
  17. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Gaza is not currently 'occupied'. Israel pulled everyone out in 2005. Since then, Israel has conducted a 'blockade'. The end result is little different though.

    Here's the Hamas version of events (issued via an article in the UK Guardian) from the leader of Hamas Khalid Mish'al:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/06/gaza-israel-hamas/print

    Here's some other material:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel's_unilateral_disengagement_plan *I can't get this link to work but just cut & paste into browser

    http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/19671/

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0122/p06s02-wome.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/deborah-orr/deborah-orr-there-wouldnt-have-been-gaza-rockets-without-the-blockade-1229944.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/02/israelandthepalestinians.usa

    http://www.counterpunch.org/cook11172008.html


  18. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Gaza is part of the Palestinian Territories, according to the '67 borders; at least a third of the Palestinian Territories are occupied by Israel and the rest is under heavy embargo and in the process of being cut up. Gaza is not and has never been a separate state; it's a province.

    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/West_Bank_%26_Gaza_Map_2007_%28Settlements%29.gif]

    Also, Gaza has been called 'the world's largest concentration camp'; that may be hyperbole but I don't see how that's any better than an occupation.
  19. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I want to make something clear:


    I stand with everyone here, including you, GAP, who wants peace. I would like to see Hamas out. They have done nothing but harm the Palestinian people. It saddens me that the palestinians don't see things that way, but this is a fact of life and Israel's actions towards the Palestinians over the last 40 years have bred a great deal of resentment, and this makes turning to terrorism much easier for a repressed and hopeless people. If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.

    Like I said in my last post, it's hard for me not to be biased for family and historical reasons. What I'm trying to convey is how deeply-rooted the pride and sense of "rightness" is present on both sides. My previous post also mentioned a strong set of international peacekeepers maintaining the borders as the first step to halting the violence.

    I don't think that there is "nothing" to debate, as another poster mentioned above, I simply think that debating "who started it", "who is worse", and the question of blame overall is counter-productive in terms of producing solutions. Assigning blame feels good and leads to a sense of moral superiority, but, like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do while getting you nowhere.


    There is no one easy solution, other than Israel agreeing to move to another country somewhere, that is going to materialize. However, I do put the impetus on Israel to work to improve the conditions on the ground in Gaza that breed terrorism. That means stopping the blockade, amongst other things, and helping with investment and infrastructure. The impetus on the Palestinians is to step up and be willing to take aid and work for a better future which is not based on the idea that Israel is going to disappear and they will be able to move next door.


    Can we all at least agree on that? I don't think anything that I've said in this post is unreasonable. I welcome further debate, but I would like to try and avoid the question of blame.

    Thank you.

    Peace,

    V-03
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Well, of course I don't agree.
    I think the question of responsibility and putting it where it belongs is essential to a lasting peace. I don't see any reason not to face up to the truth.

    I don't just want peace, either. I don't want to see the current status maintained. I want Israel to give back the land it stole after the Six-Day war. If any peace is signed that doesn't guarantee this, that peace will be short-lived.
  21. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    And did you expect anything less from him?
  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Please keep this to the topics and the views, not personal comments
  23. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Well, I definitely do not agree that both sides are equally at fault - you know, because on of them has a country and the other does not.

    Well look, let's be straight about something here: countries are not gifts. Not every community in the world is entitled to it's own country, becuase they can't be in order to make things work.

    It would be a fairer world if that were the case. It would be a fair world if the Gypsies had a country in the middle of India. It would be a fairer world if the Native peoples had thier own country where the state of Michigan is now.

    But those things can't happen, and you know why: because a lot of people would end up fighting and dying over it.

    This doesn't mean it's impossible for the Palestinian people to have thier own state. In fact, they should. But this can't be a basis for claim to inequality just as it wasn't a valid one when so many of the Jewish people and/or Zionists foolishly and selfishly tried to found the state of Israel to begin with. You can't turn geopolitical realpolitik into questions of what's "fair" and what's "equal". You have to go with what will WORK, with the least amount of people dying.

    If that means there should be no Palestinian state, so be it: more Palestinians will live because of it. If that means Israel has to be dissolved, so be it as well: more Israelis would live because of it. If that means both states must exist, with a wall between them or without, so be it.

    But let's not give the conflict more fuel to the fire by saying one side isn't "equal" enough because it doesn't have a state. That may be. But we also have to, if necessary, countenance the fact that life is tough, and sometimes we all have to live with unfair decisions becuase we can't turn back the clock.

    I'd love to go back to 1948 and vote against the UN mandate. It would have been better for everyone. But we can't do that. And I won't vote for a Palestinian state either unless it can be made to work peacefully, no matter how justified the Palestinians are or have been in the past: they have to LET IT GO.
  24. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    At the same time, if the Palestinians insist in supporting Hamas, an entity that has expressed intentions of eliminating Israel off the map, then quite frankly, I cannot see any other rational course of action. The Palestinians, to paraphrase Winston Churchill's quote on the Germans, will be either at Israel's throat or at Israel's feet. Given Hamas's support among that population, I think the world is better off if they're at Israel's feet.

    The problem, as I have outlined earlier, is Hamas's agenda - they openly have declared genocide (Holocaust 2.0) as their eventual goal.

    They got voted into power in Gaza back in 2006.

    As much as I hate to say it, at this point, the Israelis should not be forced to make any sort of accommodations with people who seek their extermination - or who seem unwilling to stop those who do. Instead, they need to be allowed to do what they have to do in order to ensure their survival.
  25. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    You know, JS, I think you'd be better off prefacing your remarks on where the Palestinians are coming from beforehand rather than starting at the jumping-off point that Hamas = Heinrich Himmler.

    I don't agree with what the Palestinians have done with the oppertunities that they've been given. But we have to pay attention to where the entire situation is coming from: which is one that if it happened to you... if Native Americans with even MORE justification than the ISraelis had in Palestine, went up to Michigan and unilaterally declared themselves independant from America.

    If that happened, you'd be as off your nut as the Arabs were. And if the UN said the Native Americans should get only SOME of Michigan but not all of it, you'd tell them to go to hell too because all of Michagan is American territory, just as the Arabs did with Palestine. And more than likely you'd want to invade to unite the region and restore American control.

    And if the Natives beat you back, you'd probably try again. And again. And if after 50 years you STILL couldn't take it back, and Americans caught still living in Michgan would be firing rockets against thier "Native oppressors" and wanting and whining on and on about the glory days when there were 50 states instead of 49. And the Natives would be sitting back as smug as can be trying to internally colonize the place to thier own advantage all the while clinging to thier claim of self-defense when they were the ones who endangered everyone's lives with this struggle to begin with.

    And this is even with a background were AMERICA was the one that made the "holocaust"-ish transgression themselves, and not a third party like the Germans.

    So please: some context. It's useful.