I’ve been pretty much completely without Internet access for about 12 days and checked the Guardian today to see that Harold Pinter had died and Israel has killed hundreds more civilians in Gaza. The Guardian reports that they may be about to invade the Palestinian territory.
I can’t write much now but I will note that Israel seems to have learned from the US invasion of Iraq: starve your enemy to death for months or years, all the while attacking them with air strikes and then you get the ground troops in. So much easier that way.
Let’s hope that the hundreds of Palestinians killed in the last 48 hours will go some way to repaying the FIFTEEN dead EVER from the Qassam rocket attacks they are supposed to be preventing.
Oh and don’t forget that the political wing of Hamas is not a proscribed terrorist group in the UK… just a political party.
12 thoughts on “Israel ‘considering’ Gaza invasion?”
It is interesting to note that while you worry about the life of one Kenyan girl, 15 Israeli deaths mean nothing to you.
Since there are 1.5 billion Muslims and less than 19 million Jews, 400 Palestinians dead to 15 Israelis is not enough. If Israel is to survive they must stop this nonsense of only killing 26 to 1 when the ration needs to be more like 80 to one. So far as I see it, Israel is under-responding.
@ bernie – yeah, Israel should be killing way more people cos this is nothing more than a war between religions and a numbers game. How the hell do you get through life with such a shallow view of the world?
@ looby – it’s sad but not really surprising. Thanks for the info re: UK demos.
There are going to be demonstrations all over the UK this Saturday. It is mind-boggling how supine the so-called “international community” is when push comes to shove.
I too find the number game (exchange rate) quite revolting. I have no sympathy whatsover for Hamas,(let’s not forget they encourage suicide children missions) but Israel is making another mistake by trying to achieve a pre-defined outcome with an all-out war against a guerrilla-like enemy.
Action-reaction-action… and so on ad infinitum. Sad as it is to admit it, I gave up a few years ago and I care less and less every time it flares up.
As far as keeping track of the deaths of innocents, body counts are important. There is no question that the IDF has killed far, far more civilians than Hamas ever has, even if that’s not enough for the nutcase who calls himself Bernie.
As to sympathy for Hamas, well I do have some. I don’t view suicide bombings as something I could ever support but I do view them as an incredibly sad and destructive expression of desperation.
Anyway, the Israeli government promotes policy that involves the murder of Palestinian children so I don’t really see how they’re any better. As far as I’m concerned, there’s absolutely no question as to who deserves the support of the left in this conflict.
Two Israeli author/academics are asking what the academic community is going to do in response to the bombing of Gaza University
Anyway, the Israeli government promotes policy that involves the murder of Palestinian children
That is patently false. Are you aware that Hamas intentionally sets up their rockets in the midst of civilian populated areas and that they store their rockets in hospitals and mosques.
They fire rockets off with the hope that they will create death and mayhem. Israel operates with surgical strikes that sometimes kill civilians.
Israel is providing medical care to some of the victims. Hamas provides death.
@Jack – sorry, you’re wrong.
For some information regarding the aims of the IDF see: http://www.thebadrash.com/2006/08/04/the-language-of-terror-revisited/
I have a few problems with your line of argument but I don’t know how to put it in writing properly, so here it goes a clumsy and brief attempt:
1) By accepting the body counts as a scoreboard, we incentivise those who are happy to kill other people. I’d rather place more importance in what set of principles drive the conflict and what are the ethos of the different players, and their intended outcomes.
2) I am not sure I fully accept that Israel deliberatively targets Palestinian children in their military operations. However, there seems to be a lot of evidence, supplied by Hamas TV station, that Hamas and others do train children to grow up as suicide bombers.
3) I view the grooming of suicide children as the deliberate attempt to kill children in order to perpetuate the grievances, the resentment and thus the conflict. Until this practice stops, I cannot bear myself to have any sympathy, however minor, with Hamas. To kill one’s children in the name of a cause is to deny any future for that cause.
4) For a few years now, I have grown tired with the labelling of left/right and what it means at all. Why the left (whatever that means) should support one cause at all with so much certainty? Hamas record of governance, human rights and treatment of opponents or women rights does not inspire much confidence.
Probably we will agree to disagree on all points, but I will post about 4) (what meaning is left to being a supporter of the Left or the Right nowadays) in my own blog one of these days…
1) The scoreboard may not be constructive, but it’s worth bearing in mind. The current ratio for deaths during the latest invasion runs at roughly 100:1. Now, as someone who works with numbers, I’m sure you’ll agree that whatever the principle, the Israelis have done rather well and the Palestinians have done rather badly.
2) The death of large numbers of civilians is a key aim of strategic warfare. Hence, 1/6 of the deaths inflicted during this invasion happened in the first afternoon, a shock tactic designed to terrify the Palestinians into turning against their government. I’ve seen absolutely no evidence that al-Aqsa TV promotes child suicide bombings.
3) See above.
4) The Left/right dichotomy is simply shorthand and, naturally, doesn’t really explain anyone’s political position. In this case, though, it is right that those who subscribe to socialist or otherwise left-wing ideologies should oppose the oppressor which is undeniably Israel. Israel’s starvation tactics, use of illegal weapons, blocking of medical supplies and willful destruction of civilian and UN buildings, not just during this most recent invasion but for decades, makes it an oppressive, imperialist-backed aggressor attacking a practically defenceless civilian population. The Right back Israel. Morally, I find that position utterly repugnant.
As to Hamas’s record of governance, this is difficult to assess. Hamas, since winning the election in Gaza, has been attacked both internally and externally as part of a concerted effort to prevent them from governing the territory in any practical way. Upon their victory, the EU immediately cut off food and aid supplies to Gaza, and Israel commenced a new round of bombings and border closures. Israel have had Gaza in a stranglehold for years, so really the record of governance within that territory will always be pretty terrible. and that’s Israel’s intention.
Well, I don’t want to be argumentative, but I am not convinced that things are so “black and white” in this conflict.
Even a media as unlikely of being a supporter of Isreal as C4 has uncovered evidence that does not show Hamas in a good light.
1) I reject the use of a “death scoreboard” as a means to analyse the rights and wrongs of players in this conflict. Sure, the deaths in the Palestinian civilian population are regrettable and abhorrent, and a shame on Israel, but one of the key drivers of this conflict is that Hamas will not accept the existence of Israel, and will not stop firing rockets deliberately targeting civilian areas in Israel.
2) The nurturing of suicide children takes place in their children station, Al-Fateh. It is well documented that the children that used to turn up at the Israel control points with explosive belts and sport bags were all attending Hamas schools. That was one of the reasons for building the wall, according to Israel.
3) What I find odd is that “the Left” has chosen to position itself so strongly against the only credible democracy in the region, and the only state with a free press and civil rule of law, and the only state where women are treated equally, where Arab/Muslim citizens can vote for their own parties (there are a couple of Arab parties in the Israeli parliament, ministers, judges, etc). This is unthinkable in Syria or anywhere else, including Lebanon. I don’t think we are going to see a top-rank female Muslim politician in the Middle East any time soon. You mention that Hamas has been targeted by the international community since they won the elections but it is more accurate to say that Hamas was already in the “bad books” of the international community, precisely because of their policy of supporting suicide missions, continuous firing of rockets, and refusal to accept the existence of Israel. Winning the elections resulted in that “blacklisting” having a bigger impact in the population as Hamas took office, but to be fair the position of the international community on Hamas has been as consistent as the position of Hamas on Israel.
What I find puzzling about this conflict, and perhaps did not come across clearly in my previous post, is the polarisation of views and the strange “associations” that are formed: left-wingers and feminists backing an Islamist party, Spanish nationalists backing Palestine as an independent state, right-wingers backing Zionism, etc. I personally don’t have strong views anymore, I am trying not to care because I am tired of this conflict, but as much as I try, as much as I see the suffering of the Palestinian population on TV, I cannot bring myself to sympathise with a group of people that are happy to participate in suicide missions, and promulgate a vision of Islam that treats women as second class citizens, and calls for the destruction of Israel and all Jews. Until the position of Hamas and a lot of the Palestinian population on Israel changes, I seen no end to this conflict in my lifetime. Arafat had a chance and rejected it and until that chance is given again, and taken, we will see this conflict continuing ad infinitum…and both communities tearing each other apart.
It is a pity because the Lebanon/Israel is a beautiful part of the Mediterranean and could be a great place to live and work and holiday if only peace was achievable.
I’ve been looking into this for some time and I still haven’t found any evidence for Hamas TV “train[ing] children to grow up as suicide bombers”.
There’s talk of them carrying swords and guns; there’s talk of suicide bombers’ mothers being included on the party list; there’s celebration of martyrdom (which does not equal suicide bombing); so I guess you could say that there exists a culture in which a child might consider suicide bombing to be a possible path in his or her future. But that’s not the same as ‘training children to become suicide bombers’.
My problem with much of your argument is that it’s based almost entirely on a USA-Israel line which paints Hamas as an exclusively black and evil organisation, something which is patently untrue. Indeed, the UK doesn’t even consider Hamas to be a ‘terrorist’ group, unlike the US and EU which suggests that there is some disagreement among western powers as to quite how evil Hamas is.
And let us not forget: Hamas aren’t the soldiers walking around in ‘Two Shots, One Kill’ t-shirts: http://www.solomonsmindfield.net/2009/03/t-shirt-too-far-israeli-soldiers-order.html
I too don’t want this to sound argumentative but…