Israel has declared war on Palestine


by Sunny
28th December, 2008 at 6:07 am    

Reuters reports:

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza for a second successive day on Sunday, piling pressure on Hamas after 229 people were killed in one of the bloodiest 24 hours for Palestinians in 60 years of conflict with the Jewish state.

Saturday’s death toll was the highest for a single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1948, when the Jewish state was established.

Piling pressure on Hamas? These people really are stupid aren’t they? I would love to see Hamas become completely de-militarised but killing 229 people (so far) and injuring over 700 people is essentially a declaration of war.

Even Sky News points out that: “Dozens of people were killled when Israeli jets fired about 30 missiles into densely populated areas.”

As much as I hate having discussions that ensue in threads such as this, its difficult to avoid mentioning the scale of the attack and the people dead in yet another “retaliation”.

And while I’m perfectly aware of Hamas’s racist nature and its constant sniping, and that Israel tries to hold back in retaliating, the net impact is still that it kills more civilians. Regardless of how it couches that impact – whether as ‘retaliation’, an ‘unfortunate accident’, or a fight for its own survival, the impact is still the same.

Even worse, there’s actually the delusion that such deadly incursions will deter Hamas, without realising its exactly the sort of polarised environment that helps them grow and become more powerful. I don’t see how lifting a blockade while simultaneously launching a huge attack is somehow being nice. It’s like giving a breather to someone you were repeatedly punching in the face… just before you set their clothes on fire. As for those defending Hamas – I don’t see what else they were expecting given the recent upsurge of rocket attacks into Israeli areas. A fucking Blue Peter badge? This really is a crappy state of affairs.

There’s another brief point to be made (that I want to expand on later), about the legitimacy political violence. The idea that you should ‘take up the sword to defend yourself if all else fails‘ isn’t a unique philosophy – it’s prominent in Sikhism, Hinduism and all the Abrahamic religions. It’s the excuse that both Palestinians and Israelis keep using to carry on fighting, regardless of how they dress up that fight (in racist ways, legal ways, theological ways or simply as a form of self-defence). Both sides accuse the others of being morally unjust, but frankly, sitting here on the fence, my attitude really is that both are to blame. One just has bigger weapons and more international support in carrying on.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East,United States






40 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Violence in Gaza escalates

    [...] post by WP-AutoBlog Import var AdBrite_Title_Color = ’0000FF’; var AdBrite_Text_Color = ’000000′; var [...]




  1. digitalcntrl — on 28th December, 2008 at 7:17 am  

    Israel’s motives are likely a mix of a desire to beef up the current govts chances of electoral success coupled with a perception that the incoming Obama administration would be less likely to support such attacks.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7801657.stm

  2. G — on 28th December, 2008 at 8:08 am  

    FREE Streaming TV Shows, Movies, Music (over 6 million digital tracks), Unlimited Games, Money, and College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and more) http://www.InternetSurfShack.com

  3. Desi Italiana — on 28th December, 2008 at 8:08 am  

    From Haaretz:

    “Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.

    The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.

    Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas . According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army needed time to prepare, as well.

    Barak gave orders to carry out a comprehensive intelligence-gathering drive which sought to map out Hamas’ security infrastructure, along with that of other militant organizations operating in the Strip.”

    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050426.html

  4. Desi Italiana — on 28th December, 2008 at 8:16 am  

    One more article from Haaretz:

    Hundreds protest in Tel Aviv:

    “Hundreds of left-wing and human rights activists marched in the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest the massive Israel Air Force offensive in Gaza that left at least 230 dead and hundreds more wounded.

    The protesters marched from Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque toward the Defense Ministry offices. Police, some mounted on horseback, surrounded the protesters, arresting five of them.

    According to the protesters, Israel’s military action in Gaza does not protect Israeli citizens or provide them security.

    No one can tell us that slaughtering the citizens of Gaza is meant to protect the citizens of Sderot and Ashkelon,” said Matan Kaminer, a student who participated in the march

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050470.html

  5. Boyo — on 28th December, 2008 at 8:45 am  

    Shame your sensible post was topped by an insensible headline Sunny – notwithstanding who started it, if there is any war it is plainly between Israel and Hamas, not the Palestinians, many of whom do not live in Gaza.

    As to the rights and wrongs, I think Stan made some good points at the close of the previous thread. It was shocking to see some of the hate, though not of course surprising – I can’t help suspecting there are those among us who actually enjoy this kind of thing.

    Israel and Hamas are in their own ways bedfellows: both born of the crucible of oppression and their responses are consequently shaped by it. It is therefore difficult for outsiders to conceive why they respond the way they do.

    A friend working for an NGO over there was very anti-Israeli, muttering “Nazis” every time we got stopped at a check-point until I said: who do you think the Nazis were?

    - What do you mean?
    - The Nazis were US, cultural Christians: they just industrialised what we had been doing for centuries and helped make the Israelis what they are – taught them that only might was right because it was a lesson WE had been teaching them for 2000 years while of course preaching love, peace, and understanding.

    Before we (as cultural Christians) condemn the Israelis, we should condemn ourselves.

    Sadly this is a point lost on many of the posters here.

    I suspect that if the Islamic world did not have a Palestine, it would need to invent one. It has become their totem of grievance yet anyone with half a grasp of the history (has anyone who comments here actually read any further than their sophomore year I sometimes wonder) would know that the Palestinian people have continually been betrayed by other Arab nations as well as their own leadership.

    Hamas was a cry for help by a desperate people, but like an ailing person reaching for a cyanide cure. As utopian ideologues they have every interest to sustain conflict – it is the only condition under which their organisation can survive, collapsing as it would under the weight of its own contradictions if it had to fight the far harder battle of peace.

    Those truly responsible for this tragedy – the Christians and powerful Muslim states – are like the parents of a pair of disturbed infants battling it out at their feet who shake their heads and say “I don’t know where they get it from”.

  6. halima — on 28th December, 2008 at 9:34 am  

    Thanks Sunny again for posting this. I suspected yesterday this was the worse of Israeli and Palestinian crisis that I have seen – and instead of discussing language and semantics – we should be condeming these air strikes right now, because even yesterday the Israeli state was saying the attacks will continue.

    This is not about Hamas. It’s about ordinary poor people in the region being blasted into two by bombs – while they have been slowly dying to death through fuel shortages and an economic stranglehold and every thing else a modern economy needs to run on.

  7. Random Guy — on 28th December, 2008 at 9:41 am  

    Boyo, can I ask you a question?

    Was Hamas elected by the Palestinian people? And if so, was it or was it not immediately undermined (illegaly I might add) by Israel – with the aid of the U.S.?

    Leaving out the actions of Israel in terms of sanctions, financial and basic supplies among others, the fact remains – and no-one is going to be comfortable with it – that revenge will be sought for Israel’s current actions. Israel is not guaranteeing anybody’s safety, its own least of all.

  8. Squanderer — on 28th December, 2008 at 10:06 am  

    The Xmas Military Massacre -before the elctions.

    Whilst the semantics of Israel (a democratically elected state) and Hamas (a democratically elected political party (no matter how unpalatable they are to us))are discussed above, let’s not the forget the scores of innocent Gazan Palestinians who have been killed.

    Israel hasn’t differentiated between the military and the ordinary civilians in it’s Xmas military massacre, it’s created a new Pandora’s box of martyrs.

    In that time Israel has shown its military superiority and moral legitimacy by saying the efficiency of the smart bombs it possesses and create 255 potential martyrs are a match for the Qassam rockets which irritate though don’t kill that many Israelis.

  9. Golam Murtaza — on 28th December, 2008 at 10:41 am  

    Real Top Gun stuff for those Israeli F 16 pilots. Valiantly storming their way through those formidable Palestinian air defences…..

    Sorry Palestine. God is on the side of the big battalions. Always has been, always will be.

  10. platinum786 — on 28th December, 2008 at 12:23 pm  

    The attack by Israel is a cowardly act of genocide, I can’t find enough words to condemn it. However I agree in part with Fatah leader Abbas who has also blamed Hamas.

    Why is Hamas attacking Israel with rockets? I can understand and I respect their right to liberate their country from Israel, even my military means, but the rockets Hamas fires are pathetic. They aren’t lethal, they aren’t accurate, they might as well have a big slingshot and throw giant rocks at Israel.

    When you know your attacks are ineffective, why attack only to provoke an out of control and out of order reaction?

    If Hamas wants a military solution to the Israel problem, it should focus on becoming strong enough to compete with the Israeli military rather than putting it’s own population in the line of fire.

    Furthermore, Hamas should refrain from targeting civilians, even settler’s. If they want to act like a Jihadi organisation, then i suggest they take their fight first to the IDF.

  11. MaidMarian — on 28th December, 2008 at 12:29 pm  

    Squanderer – With all respect (and I do mean that) I think that you may want to be rather more careful there.

    Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Ostensibly military targets are in places where there are lots of citizens, and that is in some cases at least by design. There is one way to absolutely differentiate between civilian and military targets – a land attack – but that is far from a palatable thought.

    Further, to dismiss the rockets that attack Israel, and they are attacks, as an, ‘irritation,’ is not altogether enough.

    Boyo – ‘Before we (as cultural Christians) condemn the Israelis, we should condemn ourselves.’ Who is this, ‘we?’

    If some feel a theological calling to go to Iraq and commit terrorist acts/fire rockets at Israel/blow themselves up on public transport etc I for one am not feeling personal guilt or self-condemnation. Your comment is the worst type of hand-wringing.

  12. Sid — on 28th December, 2008 at 12:35 pm  

    Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Ostensibly military targets are in places where there are lots of citizens, and that is in some cases at least by design. There is one way to absolutely differentiate between civilian and military targets – a land attack – but that is far from a palatable thought.

    don’t leave that thought hanging mid-air like a pungent fart, go on…

  13. Sid — on 28th December, 2008 at 12:39 pm  

    Furthermore, Hamas should refrain from targeting civilians, even settler’s. If they want to act like a Jihadi organisation, then i suggest they take their fight first to the IDF.

    good idea but I suspect, like you, they’re all cowardly insects.

  14. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 12:53 pm  

    So, Hamas declaring war on the Zionist enemy, and constant attempted suicide attacks coupled with constant rocket fire to civilian towns is NOT a declaration of war???

    How bizarre.

    If the Hamas infrastructure is destroyed then the people of Gaza can receive the supplies they desperately need. There’s nearly 2 million in Gaza, held hostage by Hamas’ suicidal intentions.

    “You love life, we love death” – Hamas

    And why are all the Hamas installations are in the most highly civilian populated areas, I wonder?

  15. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 1:00 pm  

    “Hamas should refrain from targeting civilians, even settler’s”

    Refrain from massacring even settlers! Good stuff.

    Anyway, Gene at Harrys Place asks all the right
    questions here

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/12/27/the-diproportionate-israelis-strike-hamas-in-gaza/

    The attack by Israel is a cowardly act of genocide

    Get a grip. They attacked Hamas installations. Hamas is responsible

    Stop attacking and preparing to attack Israel = peace, a Palestinian state. Something Hamas does not want. Hamas wanted this WAR.

  16. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 1:10 pm  

    “Israel has declared war on Palestine”

    From the Hamas Charter

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    I disagree with your proposal that Israel is the aggressor and Hamas is the innocent and righteous.

  17. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 1:25 pm  

    Sorry, one more comment then I will leave off…

    Hamas ‘bars injured leaving Gaza’

  18. halima — on 28th December, 2008 at 2:11 pm  

    From the Guardian Foreign Affairs editor

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/27/israelandthepalestinians-terrorism

    “Something to be ranked with Deir Yassin. With the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Something, at last, that Israel’s foes can say looks like an atrocity.”

  19. Jai — on 28th December, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    The attack by Israel is a cowardly act of genocide,

    No, an all-out nuclear attack or carpet-bombing of the entire area inhabited by Palestinians until there are no survivors would be a “cowardly act of genocide”.

    I can’t find enough words to condemn it.

    Given your propensity to refer to Jewish victims of the Holocaust as “cockroaches” along with making references to “Jew infestations”, I doubt that’s actually the case, Platinum786.

    But hey, I’m sure that venting your bigotry to invisible strangers across the internet gives some meaning to your pitiful underachieving life as a 23-year-old coding monkey in deepest Derby.

    I suppose exhibiting fake machismo as a keyboard warrior and an armchair jihadi is one way to attempt to compensate for being such a nerdy little racist.

  20. comrade — on 28th December, 2008 at 2:18 pm  

    Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Ostensibly military targets are in places where there are lots of citizens, and that is in some cases at least by design. There is one way to absolutely differentiate between civilian and military targets – a land attack – but that is far from a palatable though

    Can you please suggest where the police station/governments building should be located, where do we locate ours. Arent the police a civil body. The Hamas milliterly wing is not part of the police force, they have thier own control of commend.

  21. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 2:24 pm  

    Sorry I take that last bit back Sunny, you have not implied Hamas as innocent or righteous. My haste. I do disagree with the headline, though.

  22. Munir — on 28th December, 2008 at 2:54 pm  

    Israel has declared war on itself

  23. Steve M — on 28th December, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    The Hamas Charter is a good place to start to examine Hamas raison detre and its racism. Note particularly the reference to the ‘Protocols of Zion’.

  24. marvin — on 28th December, 2008 at 3:41 pm  

    You are just the sort of zionazi that rykart is talking about… How long have you been in the pay of Mossad? :P

  25. Ravi Naik — on 28th December, 2008 at 3:51 pm  

    I think Sunny’s article is pretty good and strikes the right balance on this issue.

    The utter irony of this situation is that Hamas is directly responsible for Israel’s warmonger government, and Hamas is the result of Israel’s irresponsible and inhumane actions in Palestinian territories.

    Mind you, this is not an intractable problem: Israel could very well make Hamas irrelevant by providing the same financial and logistic support as they give to Jewish settlers. Why does Israel want to perpetuate this inequality? Is it part of a strategy to make a neighbour weak to keep Israel safe? How short-sighted.

  26. BenSix — on 28th December, 2008 at 4:20 pm  

    “Anyway, Gene at Harrys Place asks all the right questions here”

    No, Gene asks a few bewildering questions so that there can be a fight in the comment threads, a couple of dodgy “zionist” references and a quick condemnation before lunch.

    What we’re referring to as a “disproportionate” response is one that makes little or no attempt to avoid inflicting harm on civilians, as explained by the Israeli general Gadi Eisenkot…

    ““What happened in the Beirut suburb of Dahiya in 2006 will happen in every village from which shots are fired in the direction of Israel…We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction.”

  27. Steve M — on 28th December, 2008 at 4:23 pm  

    That’s not what’s happening at all though, is it BenSix?

    You’ll find that self-delusion doesn’t help.

  28. Sid — on 28th December, 2008 at 4:27 pm  

    That’s not what’s happening at all though, is it BenSix?

    not *at all*? You seem to speaking with the knowledge of certainty. Tell us what *is* happening then Steve M.

  29. DavidMWW — on 28th December, 2008 at 4:48 pm  

    I’m with Sunny on the fence with this one. It’s a horrible mess.

    Hamas didn’t expect a Blue Peter badge. But it’s pretty obvious they got exactly what they wanted – something at which they could point and triumphantly cry “holocaust”. They may be demented, but they’re not stupid.

    Israel is stupid for playing into their hands.

  30. Steve M — on 28th December, 2008 at 4:57 pm  

    As far as I can tell, Israel are targeting tunnels that they believe are used for weapons smuggling. Both Egypt and Israel have opened their borders to let in food and medical aid and then re-closed them. Egypt is reported as having fired on Palestinians trying to leave Gaza, with some injuries reported. Hamas rockets have continued to be launched and have reached the outskirts of the city of Ashdod, which is further into Israel than they have achieved before.

  31. Boyo — on 28th December, 2008 at 5:03 pm  

    “Why is Hamas attacking Israel with rockets? I can understand and I respect their right to liberate their country from Israel, even my military means, but the rockets Hamas fires are pathetic. They aren’t lethal, they aren’t accurate, they might as well have a big slingshot and throw giant rocks at Israel.”

    Doh. But seeing as how you’re apparently racist pigshit Plat I’m not surprised you don’t get it.

    MM – I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make. As for solutions, I suppose I was trying to infer that both the West and wider Muslim world take responsibility for a situation that is largely of their creation and enforce a settlement. This could be achieved by a hard line from the West on Israel, along with cast-iron guarantees of security, and an equally firm line from the Arab world committing itself to a resolution which includes peaceful coexistence with Israel. I didn’t bother to mention it, because it’s a pipe dream: neither side actually wants peace enough or is likely to face up to its responsibility.

  32. MaidMarian — on 28th December, 2008 at 5:35 pm  

    Boyo – Agreed. Pipe dream though it certainly is your comment sounds like the solution.

    But that is the route we follow because it is the route out of a political mess (well described in the article) not out of some faux, self-flagellating guilt.

  33. Boyo — on 28th December, 2008 at 5:55 pm  

    Ah, I see your point – my point was however that unless those who are off-stage acknowledge their responsibility – rather than “wringing their hands” at the hopeless Israelis and uppity Arabs – then none of this will happen.

    I don’t feel guilty, or indeed “faux”, but I suspect it is a situation not unlike psychotherapy whereby the patient has to acknowledge the source of their illness before much can be done about it. Israel/ Palestine is the symptom, not the source. The West and Arab states need to acknowledge and “own” the illness before a cure is likely. But that ain’t going to happen any time soon.

    I bet you’ll be telling me you don’t believe in therapy next ;-)

  34. MaidMarian — on 28th December, 2008 at 6:04 pm  

    Therapy is for tossers and yuppies who have more money than sense.

  35. comrade — on 28th December, 2008 at 6:47 pm  

    What methods did the Jews used to fight the British in 1948?

    Stop attacking and preparing to attack Israel = peace, a Palestinian state. Something Hamas does not want. Hamas wanted this WAR.

    War is War when fought between too equal powers, otherwise it’s slaughter.

  36. Boyo — on 28th December, 2008 at 6:49 pm  

    Heh, thought so :-)

  37. Daniel Brett — on 28th December, 2008 at 7:27 pm  

    “War is War when fought between too equal powers, otherwise it’s slaughter.”

    So, the victor in any war – the stronger power – is guilty of slaughter? How odd. If might is not right, then any solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem cannot be made on who has the largest guns or the largest number of casualties but the upholding of justice and international law. In this case, both sides have been both the victim and the aggressor and both have to make sacrifices.

  38. soru — on 28th December, 2008 at 8:57 pm  

    ‘This could be achieved by a hard line from the West on Israel, along with cast-iron guarantees of security, and an equally firm line from the Arab world committing itself to a resolution which includes peaceful coexistence with Israel’

    Yes, NATO membership for Israel, along with 1968 borders, or something close with deviations mutually negotiated, recognised by all arab nations and Iran.

    Or, an increasingly embattled and embittered Israeli populace finding itself unable to either ignore or defeat those who commit atrocities. With every holding action costing it necessary support, in Europe, amongst its neighbours, and amongst its own liberal and Arab populace. Which will only embolden those who see a future when one day a US presidential candidate, overstreched, overbudget and overseas, will find votes in abandoning US support for Israel.

    Won’t happen this year or next, but 5, 10, 20 years, who can say?

    If it does, all the idiot pseudo-leftists correspondingly re-switching sides to ‘plucky, outnumbered and outgunned Israel, victim of US imperialist treachery’, wouldn’t quite compensate.

  39. HalfEgyptian — on 28th December, 2008 at 9:06 pm  

    This whole thing was to make Israel look big, but really nearly 300 dead Palestinians to 1 dead Israeli!!!

    Israel could if they wanted put nuclear bombs in Gaza, but then that would affect Egypt and the Israeli desert towns like Sdreot.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.