Gaza and Goliath


by Ala
29th December, 2008 at 3:58 pm    

There’s a harrowing asymmetry in this conflict that is made all the worse when it is ignored. As reprehensible as the ideology and actions of Hamas are, none of the same criticism is given to Israel for committing acts that are illegal under international law, such as imposing sanctions and collective punishment on 1.5 million people.

Hamas may have broken then truce, but Israel didn’t hold to the conditions of the truce when it didn’t lift the debilitating blockade which has threatened a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. What’s more, it seems that Israel, too, wanted to break the truce.

We’d all like to see Hamas gone and Palestinians benefit from a government which is not hell bent on the annihilation of a whole country. But if we put long term ideology aside for a second, Hamas is doing for its people what any government would in its situation. It doesn’t see why it has to restrain itself in the same way Israel doesn’t.

Then we have the fact that the casualties on both sides don’t even begin to compare, as with the technological advancement, civil infrastructure and international standing of the two sides. I believe all of this is contributing to a deep sense of injustice amongst Gazans, Arabs and, yes, Muslims the world over. The real danger does not lie in some ineffective rocket attacks from an overpopulated, under-fed and beleaguered enclave on Israel’s border, but in more young people falling prey to Hamas’s rhetoric of religiously-inspired resistance, not just to feel more empowered but because they have become convinced that they are being treated this way because of their religion and race. And so will emerge a continual cycle of terror and civillian carnage.


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  1. Ravi Naik — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:13 pm  

    But if we put long term ideology aside for a second, Hamas is doing for its people what any government would in its situation.

    What exactly is Hamas doing for its people that you find so understanding?

  2. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    But if we put long term ideology aside for a second

    Hahahahahahaa! If Israel just “puts aside” the fact that Hamas is dedicated to its destruction in the long term, everything will be fine! HalleLUJAH! Thank you, Ala, for showing us all the way through!

  3. zionazi — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:33 pm  

    Katy Newton

    “Hahahahahahaa! If Israel just “puts aside” the fact that Hamas is dedicated to its destruction in the long term, everything will be fine! HalleLUJAH! Thank you, Ala, for showing us all the way through!”

    Apparently the Palestinians are supposed to negotiate with a people who have spent the last 60 years trying to expel them from their land,starve, bombed and expelled them, with popular parties in Israel calling for the ethnic cleansing of even its own Arabs, which subscribe to a doctrine of its racial superiority over Arabs and which while demanding the Palestinians accept the eternal theft of its land (while its OK for the Jews for 2000 years to dream of creating Israel!!) wont even give back 22% of historic Palestine by returning to pre-1967 borders.

    The fact you consider it OK to kill Hamas simply because they reject Israels right to exist is fascinating – that would of course mean that you likewise consider it perfectly acceptable for Palestinians to kill armed Jewish settlers illegally invading their land who dont believe Arabs should exist there and do their best to terrorise them into leaving.

    Do you? Whats the difference?

  4. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:39 pm  

    I hate to break this to you, “zionazi” (great handle) but I have never said that it is “ok to kill” anyone, on this site or anywhere else.

    And that’s why I do think that the Palestinians and Israelis are supposed to negotiate with each other. Yes. You got that bit right.

  5. Steve M — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:41 pm  

    The real danger does not lie in some ineffective rocket attacks from an overpopulated, under-fed and beleaguered enclave on Israel’s border, but…”

    …that left alone, the rockets would become more numerous, longer range, more powerful and more effective in killing Israeli civilians, Arab and Jew.

    No government in the world, democratic or dictatorship, would tolerate missile attacks. They would all, I believe, respond with sufficient force to stop the attacks. Their responses would cause the deaths of many innocents and in some cases many orders of magnitude higher than the tragic civilian deaths caused by Israel.

  6. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:41 pm  

    What exactly is Hamas doing for its people that you find so understanding?

    Her point is (correct me if I’m wrong Ala) that Hamas sees itself as the protector of its people from the oppressors who want to wipe it out in the same way as the govt of Israel does.

    I think Hamas is making things worse, but then I’m not living in a land-locked hellhole where people have been forced to look through rubbish bins for scraps and there’s medical shortages because of a blockade.

  7. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 4:47 pm  

    zionazi – get rid of that handle. I am going to delete it where I see it. choose a different one.

  8. Boyo — on 29th December, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    “Hamas is doing for its people what any government would in its situation.”

    What? Unilaterally end the ceasefire and launch a hopeless attack against “Goliath”, knowing full well it would result in further conflict? I can think of few other governments that would take such action.

    “We told them to stop firing, but they refused to listen. The responsibility is with them,” said the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

    Hamas did not do this for their people. They did it for Hamas and in a sense got exactly what they wanted – a “disproportionate” response that further demonises the Israelis in the eyes of the “so-called left” and Muslim world (which hardly needs encouragement). I’m sure it’ll keep their paymasters happy.

  9. soru — on 29th December, 2008 at 5:08 pm  

    Just get things straight: you think the current hamas rockets are not all that good, don’t kill enough people. So you think Israel should be forced, by some external agent acting under cover of international law, to let the Gazans import and build bigger and better rockets so they can score a more equal death total?

    If this was a matter of some restriction on Chelsea & co buying players to make the football league a more interesting and unpredictable place, I could see your point. In football the kind of unpredictability brought by closer goal-totals is good, and only a die-hard big three fan would argue against it.

    In military matters, not so much. Western governments and activists should be acting to reduce, not increase, uncertainty. Only that will bring down to overall total, not just redistribute it from one side to the other.

  10. Indrak — on 29th December, 2008 at 5:10 pm  

    #2: You are the joke, if there is any humour here. Your intransigent allegiance requires your sort to be wedded to this ‘ideological’ point;
    the Labour Party had Clause 4 for about a century for what it was worth – including when it formed the government.
    In South Africa there used to be the slogan “one settler, one bullet”; in actuality, the world saw the inception of the Truth and R.n Comission

    Hamas’ support came about from reacting against the corruption of Fateh yet defiantly failing to do the equivalent of compliantly walking into the gas-chambers: that’s something bullies cannot abide, for ultimately they require the victim’s acquiescence -unless anhililated.

    Before Hamas the line was it was all Arafat’s fault: his ego precluded peace.

    2-state was never an option, for the water under the WestBank, but it’s now politically depasse too;
    How long will Israel last – 1000yrs? 500? ..quite less I imagine, though with it and its supporters’ mindset, it would rather deploy some of its nuclear weaponry before seeking to travail the ever-increasing distance between itself and any semblance of justice..

  11. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 5:13 pm  

    Boyo:
    What? Unilaterally end the ceasefire and launch a hopeless attack against “Goliath”, knowing full well it would result in further conflict?

    Is your problem that it broke the ceasefire, or that it picked a fight with a bigger enemy?

  12. Boyo — on 29th December, 2008 at 5:21 pm  

    Sunny – both were provocations which would result in inevitable responses. The question is – why? How could either improve the well-being of the Gazans?

  13. Ala — on 29th December, 2008 at 6:13 pm  

    Ravi,

    What exactly is Hamas doing for its people that you find so understanding?

    Why don’t you ask its people? They’re the ones who elected them.

    Katy,

    Hahahahahahaa! If Israel just “puts aside” the fact that Hamas is dedicated to its destruction in the long term, everything will be fine! HalleLUJAH! Thank you, Ala, for showing us all the way through!

    So let’s aerially bombard Iran and southeren Lebanon while we’re at it, if we are to eradicate all of Israel’s ideological enemies. I’ve separated ideology from action here because there’s a difference between what a group writes down in its constitution when its high on self-importance and testosterone,and there’s a difference between what the group is capable of doing. Hamas’s rocket attacks are not an attempt to eradicate Israel, but a response to the blockade, or so they say. An ineffective action such as this has to be either bear baiting or blind vengeance.

    No government in the world, democratic or dictatorship, would tolerate missile attacks. They would all, I believe, respond with sufficient force to stop the attacks. Their responses would cause the deaths of many innocents and in some cases many orders of magnitude higher than the tragic civilian deaths caused by Israel.

    Doesn’t change the fact that they will not succeed in eradicating Hamas but make them stronger while killing civillians and losing international credibility.

    Soru, at 9: are you justifying the blockade?

    Boyo: they felt the terms of the ceasefire were violated anyway, and they were.

  14. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 6:18 pm  

    Sunny – both were provocations which would result in inevitable responses. The question is – why? How could either improve the well-being of the Gazans?

    How about the fact that Israel had blockades Gaza before all this started. If you want to see the well being of Gaza, then maybe you should ask why Israel makes the life of Gazans so difficult, creating an atmosphere where terrorists flourish?

    As for your second point – I’m afraid holding the Gazans responsible for trying to stand up to a much more powerful power isn’t a stick to beat them with. That is what pansies say. As I recall, this country has always worn that plucky attitude with pride in that despite being outgunned by the Nazis, they took them on. Basically, you’re arguing that since the Nazis were so powerful in 1939, Britain was stupid to pick a fight with them.

    As for your first point about the broken ceasefire, Israel did that too, remember?

  15. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2008 at 6:29 pm  

    So let’s aerially bombard Iran and southeren Lebanon while we’re at it, if we are to eradicate all of Israel’s ideological enemies.

    Man, I am tired of people on this site putting words into my mouth. Knock it off. That is not what I said or what I have ever said and yet people keep claiming that I am in favour of killing these people and eradicating those. It’s not me who’s saying that anyone’s entitled to kill anyone else. How dare you brush Hamas’s charter under the carpet, as if Israel just shouldn’t be concerned about it, and then accuse ME of wanting to “eradicate Israel’s ideological enemies” when I call you on it? Double standard much?

    All I have ever said is that people on both sides need to stop fucking apologising for their “team” and push both of them into doing something that will stop civilians being killed, and can I get anyone on any of these threads to actually talk about a reasonable solution? No. You’re all too busy wallowing in your own bile. And you can do it without me, because I’ve really had enough of taking abuse for trying to be reasonable.

  16. Katy Newton — on 29th December, 2008 at 6:31 pm  

    You want to know why there’ll never be peace in the Middle East? Because everyone thinks it’s more important for them to be right than for their people to be alive. That’s why.

  17. Jai — on 29th December, 2008 at 6:48 pm  

    can I get anyone on any of these threads to actually talk about a reasonable solution?

    I don’t usually get involved in debates about the I/P situation, but as a one-off…..

    1. The Palestinians accept Israeli “ownership” of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian territory and cut their losses, in the interests of self-preservation and permanently drawing a line under the problem.

    2. Jerusalem is divided into Israeli and Palestinian halves, like Cold War-era Berlin.

    3. Palestine and Israel have joint ownership of Jerusalem as a whole, like modern-day Chandigarh re: Punjab & Haryana.

    4. Gaza/Palestinian territory is formally turned into an independent country, with the corresponding formalisation of its borders with Israel etc.

    5. The Palestinians evacuate the territory they currently reside in and migrate en masse to one of the neighbouring Arab countries.

    6. Palestinian territory is formally added (“annexed” would probably be the wrong term) to one of the neighbouring Arab countries, thereby enabling the Palestinians to gain the benefits of citizenship of the country concerned and the associated military/political protection.

    Right, I’m outta here.

  18. Ravi Naik — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

    Her point is (correct me if I’m wrong Ala) that Hamas sees itself as the protector of its people from the oppressors who want to wipe it out in the same way as the govt of Israel does.

    I think Hamas is making things worse, but then I’m not living.

    You think??? I guess you also do not live in cities where rockets can hit you at any time, or not knowing if the next bus will be the last ride. After 7/7, I symphatise with Israeli’s citizens, and how a single terrorist attack can affect thousands of people, even if they are not killed. Now imagine having to go through this daily. Furthermore, terrorism and suicide bombings are not products of poverty or education, but of a well financed organisation that coordinates the operations. That’s Hamas, Al Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    As far as I understand, the Gaza blockade was the result of those rockets – Hamas could have stopped the blockade if it stopped attacking Israeli cities. They provoked Israel, and they got targeted. Israel is incredibly short-sighted, and morally wrong to show such brute-force and showing no regards to human life.

    I feel sorry for the people who get stuck in the middle – the Palestians and the Israelis. But Hamas and the Israeli government bear equal responsibility in this. I see little point in minimising the responsibility of either – which I believe is the tone of Ala’s article (Gaza vs Goliath).

  19. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:20 pm  

    After 7/7, I symphatise with Israeli’s citizens, and how a single terrorist attack can affect thousands of people, even if they are not killed. Now imagine having to go through this daily.

    But you’re not imagining how it is to live in Gaza though, are you?

  20. Steve M — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:20 pm  

    Jai,

    6. Palestinian territory is formally added (”annexed” would probably be the wrong term) to one of the neighbouring Arab countries, thereby enabling the Palestinians to gain the benefits of citizenship of the country concerned and the associated military/political protection.

    I doubt the Palestinians would be in favour of this and it seems even more unlikely that Egypt or Jordan would want it.

    Perhaps the West Bank could be augmented with some land from Jordan and/or Gaza with land from Egypt. It was all ‘Palestine’ under the Brits and Turks.

  21. Sunny — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:21 pm  

    How do you think its like to live in Gaza now, with 300 people dead, most innocent, and over a 1000 injured in 2 days. And do you think they have adequate hospital facilities to take care of people who have their legs blown off or been hit hard from falling rubble?

  22. Ravi Naik — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:52 pm  

    But you’re not imagining how it is to live in Gaza though, are you?

    I think I was clear that I empathise with the Palestinians, and I am against the Israeli government show of brute-force. What I take issue with Ala’s article is the idea that Hamas’ operations (terrorism, suicide bombings, rocket attacks against Isareli citizens) are somehow peanuts compared with Israeli operations because they not kill enough people – terrorism is psychological warfare that affects millions, and one that brought up a warmonger government in Israel. The same can be said about Bush, who was given carte-blanche to do great damage in the Middle-East after 9/11, complements of Al Qaeda. Terrorism brings the worst in a democracy – it is not peanuts because it does not kill enough people.

    Ironically, David (the little guy) did kill Goliath at the end by throwing a single rock on his forehead.

  23. marvin — on 29th December, 2008 at 7:56 pm  

    with 300 people dead, most innocent

    Sources?. The UN says “at least 51″ out of 315

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD95CEI2O0

    That’s around 16%. It’s tragic whatever the number, but wild over speculations will only fuel the fire. You don’t need to exaggerate to make your point. Hamas are already guilty of cynically exploiting the media by placing random babies next to injured parties, by heroically emptying hospitals because they ‘may’ be hit by the Zionist entity, and of preventing the wounded from travelling to Egypt. They have also said no to truce with Israel. How courageous. I’m sure the people of Gaza are forever in their gratitude.

  24. ziodegradable — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:08 pm  

    Ravi Naik
    “You think??? I guess you also do not live in cities where rockets can hit you at any time, or not knowing if the next bus will be the last ride. After 7/7, I symphatise with Israeli’s citizens, and how a single terrorist attack can affect thousands of people, even if they are not killed. Now imagine having to go through this daily.”

    Exactly what the people of Gaza, the Iraqis and the Kashmiris go through every day from Israeli,US and Indian troops. But they are of course “non people”

    ——————
    marvin

    “with 300 people dead, most innocent

    Sources?. The UN says “at least 51″ out of 315″

    On what basis are Hamas members not innocent . Is just being a member of Hamas not actively engaged in fighting legitamate groups for being killed? How can you condemn Israelis as innocent then since all have to join the army?

  25. ziodegradable — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:11 pm  

    Ravi Naik

    “terrorism is psychological warfare that affects millions, and one that brought up a warmonger government in Israel. The same can be said about Bush, who was given carte-blanche to do great damage in the Middle-East after 9/11, complements of Al Qaeda. Terrorism brings the worst in a democracy – it is not peanuts because it does not kill enough people.”

    Again Im not sure what you mean by terrorism- what Israel is doing now is terrorism. If you say terrorism cant be done by governments only non-state actors (why?) then how can Hamas the governemnt of Gaza be terrorists? And Israel of course was founded by terrorism from the Stern Gang and Irgun -and later elected terrorists Yithak Shamir and Menachem Begin as leaders

  26. Boyo — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:27 pm  

    Ala, Sunny.

    It’s a bit of a schoolyard argument – who started it – but the BBC story here seems reasonably balanced:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7791100.stm

    So as to

    Boyo: they felt the terms of the ceasefire were violated anyway, and they were.

    The opening pars state -

    The Egyptian-brokered deal began on 19 June but has been tested regularly by Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli operations in Gaza.

    It continues -

    “Hamas blamed Israel for the end of the ceasefire on Friday, saying it had not respected its terms, including the lifting of the blockade under which little more than humanitarian aid has been allowed into Gaza.

    Israel said it initially began a staged easing of the blockade, but this was halted when Hamas failed to fulfil what Israel says were agreed conditions, including ending all rocket fire and halting weapons smuggling.

    Israel says the blockade – in place since Hamas took control of Gaza in June 2007 – is needed to isolate Hamas and stop it and other militants from firing rockets across the border at Israeli towns.”

    Sunny, I don’t disagree that the blockage of Gaza has not helped, but that is another argument – whether one sovereign state feels it is obliged to deal with another, sworn to its destruction. You will recall Gaza also borders Egypt, for example, so we are not talking about an “island in a sea of israel”. This crossing has been controlled by Gaza/Egypt since February and has been closed at the behest of Egypt.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7626675.stm

    I can’t believe, given this, that there is much logic in Hamas’ actions. Neither is the WW2 analogy correct – Israel withdrew in 2005 and nobody believes it hungers after the territory anymore. Your “plucky Hamas” dig is just absurd and belittles the victims of the conflict.

    My “problem” is really a humanist one – blindly taking sides as many do just perpetuates the conflict for real people suffering real hardship. I don’t particularly support Israel or am partial to Israelis. When I visit I stay in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, not least because I simply find the people and place more convivial. Yet I also refuse to follow the herd and ignore the reality and what created it. The Palestinians have certainly been treated badly, but Hamas do not help.

    But let’s face it – balance is boring.

  27. comrade — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:41 pm  

    but in more young people falling prey to Hamas’s rhetoric of religiously-inspired resistance

    I have just attened anti-war protest in Birmingham. there were lots of young muslims. The slongans were free Palestine, Allah Hu Akbar, and calling for Jidah.It’s just pushing them further towards Islamic extreamism. The Mulla’s are exploiting the situation. I remember during the eighties, when resistant was led by the PLO,these Mulla’s were never seen. As I said on the previous page that Hamas was set up by Mossad to weaken the progressive PLO, correct me if I am wrong.

  28. marvin — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:48 pm  

    Good read If we want an enduring peace in the Middle East, then Israel must be allowed to defeat Hamas in Gaza

    Ziowhatever – Hamas are a terrorist organisation with openly stated genocidal intentions towards Jews. They threw Fatah members off tall buildings, they annihilated the moderate political opposition, they regularly summarily execute people on whims. They are pushing for the strictest Islamic penal code possible which is reported to include amputations and crucifixions.

    In short they are not innocent civilians who just want to live in peace. They are the opposite.

  29. marvin — on 29th December, 2008 at 8:50 pm  

    As I said on the previous page that Hamas was set up by Mossad to weaken the progressive PLO, correct me if I am wrong.

    Fuck me, I’m off. Bye for now.

  30. ziodegradable — on 29th December, 2008 at 9:10 pm  

    “Ziowhatever – Hamas are a terrorist organisation with openly stated genocidal intentions towards Jews. They threw Fatah members off tall buildings, they annihilated the moderate political opposition, they regularly summarily execute people on whims. They are pushing for the strictest Islamic penal code possible which is reported to include amputations and crucifixions.”

    Shocking – the only people who should be executing, killing and amputating Palestinians with their bombs is their Israeli masters.

  31. Indrak — on 29th December, 2008 at 9:27 pm  

    #29:
    from the quickest of searches:
    http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html

    -irrespective of its credibility, there’s nothing here that fails to accord with states’ policies in recent decades, esp. USA and India, in sponsoring religious groups to undermine a secular opposition.

    Many people glaze over wrt this issue at the obvious polarization and strive for some asinine position of balance from which to hold themselves as wiser than the froth-ers on ‘both sides’, and over-extend this claim to assume superiority over all.

  32. comrade — on 29th December, 2008 at 9:30 pm  

    Mervin before you fuck yourself read the following, I have just found. http://www.globalresearch.ca
    Centre for Research on Globalisation
    Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

    Hamas is a Creation of Mossad
    by Hassane Zerouky

    Global Outlook, No 2, Summer 2002
    http://www.globalresearch.ca 23 March 2004

    The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html

    Thanks to the Mossad, Israel’s “Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks”, the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat’s Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation

    Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.

    Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association. Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. .According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), “The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority” in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. “They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad.”

    The Islamists set up orphanages and health clinics, as well as a network of schools, workshops which created employment for women as well as system of financial aid to the poor. And in 1978, they created an “Islamic University” in Gaza. “The military authority was convinced that these activities would weaken both the PLO and the leftist organizations in Gaza.” At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. Thanks to Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad (Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks) , the Islamists were allowed to reinforce their presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, the members of Fatah (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression.

    In 1984, Ahmed Yassin was arrested and condemned to twelve years in prison, after the discovery of a hidden arms cache. But one year later, he was set free and resumed his activities. And when the Intifada (‘uprising’) began, in October 1987, which took the Islamists by surprise, Sheik Yassin responded by creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement): “God is our beginning, the prophet our model, the Koran our constitution”, proclaims article 7 of the charter of the organization.

    Ahmed Yassin was in prison when, the Oslo accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government) were signed in September 1993. The Hamas had rejected Oslo outright. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians had condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians. Yassin did everything in his power to undermine the Oslo accords. Even prior to Prime Minister Rabin’s death, he had the support of the Israeli government. The latter was very reluctant to implement the peace agreement.

    The Hamas then launched a carefully timed campaign of attacks against civilians, one day before the meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, regarding the formal recognition of Israel by the National Palestinian Council. These events were largely instrumental in the formation of a Right wing Israeli government following the May 1996 elections.

    Quite unexpectedly, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered Sheik Ahmed Yassin to be released from prison (“on humanitarian grounds”) where he was serving a life sentence. Meanwhile, Netanyahu, together with President Bill Clinton, was putting pressure on Arafat to control the Hamas. In fact, Netanyahu knew that he could rely, once more, on the Islamists to sabotage the Oslo accords. Worse still: after having expelled Yassin to Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu allowed him to return to Gaza, where he was welcomed triumphantly as a hero in October 1997.

    Arafat was helpless in the face of these events. Moreover, because he had supported Saddam Hussein during the1991 Gulf war, (while the Hamas had cautiously abstained from taking sides), the Gulf states decided to cut off their financing of the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, between February and April 1998, Sheik Ahmad Yassin was able to raise several hundred million dollars, from those same countries. The the budget of The Hamas was said to be greater than that of the Palestinian Authority. These new sources of funding enabled the Islamists to effectively pursue their various charitable activities. It is estimated that one Palestinian out of three is the recipient of financial aid from the Hamas. And in this regard, Israel has done nothing to curb the inflow of money into the occupied territories.

    The Hamas had built its strength through its various acts of sabotage of the peace process, in a way which was compatible with the interests of the Israeli government. In turn, the latter sought in a number of ways, to prevent the application of the Oslo accords. In other words, Hamas was fulfilling the functions for which it was originally created: to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State. And in this regard, Hamas and Ariel Sharon, see eye to eye; they are exactly on the same wave length.

    Email this article to a friend

    To express your opinion on this article, join the discussion at Global Research’s News and Discussion Forum , at http://globalresearch.ca.myforums.net/index.php

    The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at http://www.globalresearch.ca grants permission to cross-post original Global Research (Canada) articles in their entirety, or any portions thereof, on community internet sites, as long as the text & title of the article are not modified. The source must be acknowledged as follows: Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at http://www.globalresearch.ca . For cross-postings, kindly use the active URL hyperlink address of the original CRG article. The author’s copyright note must be displayed. (For articles from other news sources, check with the original copyright holder, where applicable.). For publication of Global Research (Canada) articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: editor@globalresearch.ca .

    © Copyright H ZEROUKY 2004. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement. This article originally appeared in French in L’Humanité. Translation by Global Outlook, 2002.

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  33. reader — on 29th December, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

    globalresearch.ca is a weird conspiracy site with the hots for Milosevic, who was murdered, dontcha know:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2542

    And stupid Mumbai poison stories:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11217

    All in all, very British “progressive” 2008. No surprise to see it cited favourably here, in support of Hamas.

    __

    I have just attened anti-war protest in Birmingham. there were lots of young muslims. The slongans were free Palestine, Allah Hu Akbar, and calling for Jidah

    Oh, good for you, comrade. “Jidah” is really, really progressive, isn’t it.

  34. Refresh — on 29th December, 2008 at 10:15 pm  

    Marvin, Israeli support for Hamas as a counter to the PLO is well documented. Its switched again now with Fatah playing the useful idiot.

    You should read Dilip Hiro on the subject.

  35. reader — on 29th December, 2008 at 10:27 pm  

    He (Blair) also pointed to the Bali bomb, as if he wasn’t aware that the big target were visitors from a pro-war nation.

    - Dilip Hiro, 10 July, 2005

    Ooh, visitors from a “pro-war nation”, dancing! Don’t do anything jihadis might not like, because they could blow up all sorts of people in Bali!

    -wise “progressive” advice

  36. comrade — on 29th December, 2008 at 10:42 pm  

    I have just attened anti-war protest in Birmingham. there were lots of young muslims. The slongans were free Palestine, Allah Hu Akbar, and calling for Jidah

    Oh, good for you, comrade. “Jidah” is really, really progressive, isn’t it.

    Reader, read the comments again please. This protest was called to condemn the brutal Iraeli action. What slogans people shout, I cannot stop, even though I strongly disagree with them. I think you missed the point,in what I was tring to say. If you beleive people should’t have the right to protest, then you should they so.

  37. Refresh — on 29th December, 2008 at 10:43 pm  

    Reader

    ‘Israeli support for Hamas as a counter to the PLO is well documented. Its switched again now with Fatah playing the useful idiot.’

    I presume you’ve not disagreed with the above, despite your feigned amusement at the mention of Dilip Hiro.

  38. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:16 am  

    Rabbi Yaacov Perrin seems to be some religious extremist, while Rabbis Yitzhak Batzri and David Batzri were indicted for racist incitement by the Israeli court.

    They do not, of course, have the support of the vast majority of Israelis, or Jews. They’re generally regarded as total wankers and racists… like some posters.

  39. douglas clark — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:16 am  

    Frankly this is becoming a sewer.

    Ala was right, and what she had to say has been degraded into shite by cocksure arseholes.

    Ala and I have never seen eye to eye, but what she said here was completely reasonable.

    So, how come we have idiots fighting on here, as if their lives depended on it, when they live in London or Bradford or Glasgow and have absolutely nothing but evil in their hearts? And no real iron in the fire?

    How do you even name yourself ‘nionazi’ without being a complete utter plonker? Or ‘ziodegradeable’?

    Fucks sake.

    This is mental.

    Of course both sides have an arguement. It is a fact that you can continue an arguement beyond reason.Which is what is happening here.

    And, rather obviously, there. To the extent that human beings have become bargaining chips on both sides.

    Between folks that I thought had something in common – by sharing what this site is – or sadly was, or what it was supposed to be.

    I am very sad about that.

    Awe, fuck. I said I’d never enter this fray again, but the mutual stupidity makes that impossible.

  40. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:30 am  

    Douglas, you shouldn’t be despondent.

    With an issue as big and as grave as this, there are always passionate and angry voices. Once those voices have expressed themselves the debate proper will begin. It will be far-reaching.

  41. douglas clark — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:47 am  

    Refresh,

    Thanks, you have always been a sensible voice on here.

    I do know what you mean. There is always a phase in any dispute when the idiots hold the ring. I just hope the ‘passion and the anger’ interlude can be kept as short as possible.

    Doesn’t seem too likely here, does it? And if we see that as a proxy for the real fight on the ground?

    Still, thanks for your support.

    I expect to get attacked from both sides but I’m up for that. It’s what always happens.

  42. Sunny — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:07 am  

    I’ve deleted the ‘zionazi’ crap as well as responding comments.

    Some people are coming here only to throw insults… I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that around here.

    Marvin: Good read If we want an enduring peace in the Middle East, then Israel must be allowed to defeat Hamas in Gaza

    If we want peace in the ME, then Israel must also unilaterally give back territories it has illegally siezed and go back to the ’67 borders.

  43. Sunny — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:10 am  

    Oh, and stop starving Palestinians would also be nice.

  44. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:27 am  

    If we want peace in the ME, then Israel must also unilaterally give back territories it has illegally siezed and go back to the ‘67 borders.

    Israel was not accepted on those borders pre-’67 and wouldn’t be accepted now.

  45. Ms_Xtreme — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:43 am  

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve seen Katy being icky.

    Thank you Ala for this post. Thought-provoking and informative.

    Sometimes I fail to see people’s point clearly. The 2005 pullout of Israel out of Gaza was not to give Palestine a free state – it was to entrap them behind that fence we’ve seen so many times in different documentaries. How does that enclave and the conditions within differ from a concentration camp? It doesn’t.

    I’m not advocating for anything – not for the Palestinians, nor for Israel. But my skin isn’t thick enough to handle the 1 to 350 dead body count that’s been counted thus far in that region.

  46. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:03 am  

    ‘Israel was not accepted on those borders pre-’67 and wouldn’t be accepted now.’

    If you believe that then it leaves two possibilities.

    Ethnic cleansing a la 1948 or the end of an experimental state.

    And it is clear from historical records, that the arabs were feared into leaving their homes in 1948 – when they should have stood their ground. Which they will surely do now.

    Possession is 99% of the law and 1% is politics, in this conflict.

  47. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:08 am  

    If you believe that then it leaves two possibilities.

    Ethnic cleansing a la 1948 or end of an experimental state.

    Not at all. Unilateral withdrawal would certainly not lead to settlement but negotiations could.

    I would also suggest that you get your 1948 history from less biased sources. Israel is no more ‘experimental’ than Pakistan.

  48. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:29 am  

    Not so biassed. really. But I am open minded, so if you have a version where the arabs just left, mindful of some impending UN resolution then I will study it.

    Problem is no one believes that Israel wants to negotiate. I believe it wants a process, a roadmap. And it wants to build settlements. And it wants to demoralise the Palestinians, so they are grateful for the rare nights the drones aren’t flying overhead. It wants their water, the shirts they walk and sleep in. And of course it wants the dirt their children play in.

    It was only today it hit me, where we might have failed, rogue or client states Israel is an experimental one. It pushes boundaries, hypotheses and outcomes that are beyond imagination of mere mortals.

  49. Kulvinder — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:58 am  

    …whether one sovereign state feels it is obliged to deal with another, sworn to its destruction

    Gaza isn’t a sovereign state; neither can Hamas be said to represent all Palestinians.

  50. Boyo — on 30th December, 2008 at 6:12 am  

    “If we want peace in the ME, then Israel must also unilaterally give back territories it has illegally siezed and go back to the ‘67 borders.”

    Something we agree upon!

  51. Cold Beer — on 30th December, 2008 at 6:27 am  

    The problem with Hamas is that they refuse to even attempt to negotiate a permanent peace deal. The most they’ve offered Israel is a 10 year truce. That might not sound too bad, since 10 years is a long time, and without an enemy to point at Hamas might get voted out during that time. But their preconditions for the truce are full withdrawal behind the 1967 borders, including removal of all Israelis from Palestinian territory, and throwing open Israel’s borders to anyone of Palestinian descent. In other words, they’re asking more than the Arab peace initiative (which leaves open the possibility of monetary compensation for refugees instead of open borders) in exchange for less (the Arab initiative gives complete normalization).

    So the only realistic options for Israel are to wait and hope that Hamas will either change their mind or be voted out, or to use force to try get them to reconsider their stance, or to attempt to dismantle them altogether. It looks like they’re considering one of the latter two, which will unfortunately cause civilian suffering (as does any military attack on guerilla forces based in a civilian population – I don’t think the US and British armies are any better in this regard).

  52. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:02 pm  

    Not so biassed. really. But I am open minded, so if you have a version where the arabs just left, mindful of some impending UN resolution then I will study it.

    Refresh, Many Arabs left because they were instructed to by their own leaders in the Arab League so they could deal with the Jews more easily in the 1948 war.

    You will not read this nowadays in any pro-Palestinian sources but here is a reprint from an article in the Palestine Post, July 29, 1948.

    I don’t show this to claim that all Palestinian Arabs left voluntarily in 1948, but it is beyond dispute that many did.

    This particular article was unearthed by ‘the Elder of Ziyon’ blog which is very pro-Israel. Nevertheless, if you really are interested in discovering the truth, there is original source material (newspaper articles, etc. from the time) available on the Internet.

  53. Flying Rodent — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:19 pm  

    This really is an issue with endless capacity for turning ordinary people into horrible wingnuts, so can I just note that announcing that Terrorists Are Bad, Ergo Israel Can Blow Up Whoever It Likes With Total Impunity is not a tenable or terribly moral position?

    The problem with these strikes isn’t that they’re disproportionate, or an over-reaction, or Zio-Con fascizzle or any of that crap – it’s that they’re totally pointless and being undertaken with one eye on the upcoming elections. If there was some small likelihood that these attacks would ameliorate the situation the people defending them would have a point, but we all know that there is no likelihood of that happening. The civilians who are dying in the attacks are dying for no purpose whatsoever, and it’s that that makes them so objectionable.

    The Israelis are facing Hamas because they’ve spent the last half-century responding to Palestinian terror with punitive bombing campaigns while shouting We have no negotiating partner. After all that time following this policy, and with the total disaster that was the 2006 bombing and invasion of Lebanon in mind, all of this But the Israelis must defend themselves against aggression waffle amounts to Let them eat cruise missiles.

    This is why so many people are pissed off. It’s not that the Israelis are defending themselves from potential genocide – clearly, they aren’t – but that electoral politics demand punitive action, and Israeli politicians obviously don’t care whether they’re effective-but-murderous or utterly counterproductive-and-murderous, so long as they’re vote-winners. It’s depressing beyond belief, and the fact that so many Britons are treating it like a disputed penalty in a football match isn’t helping.

  54. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    Here are some archives for the Palestine Post from 1932-1950. They provide much interesting information from the time but of course it must be born in mind that the Post was a pro-Zionist newspaper, ie. it was in favour of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people.

  55. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:29 pm  

    SteveM, I shall read it. And of course there are many others that talk of catastrophes such as Deir Yassin. Yet others talk about the pioneering work of Shamir and Begin.

    The truth is they left and to this day are stuck in refugee camps with the one remaining hope that they will return to their homeland. Present day Israel is built on the expectation that they will, through persistence, extinguish that hope. And that is the substance of what is going on in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Today, in conversation with ordinarily disinterested people its becoming clear that decades of Israeli statecraft is being sandblasted away by the facts it enjoys creating on the ground.

  56. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

    Flying Rodent, a good post.

    David Grossman writes in today’s Haaretz with proposals for what Israel should do next:

    After its severe strike on Gaza, Israel would do well to stop, turn to Hamas’ leaders and say: Until Saturday Israel held its fire in the face of thousands of Qassams from the Gaza Strip. Now you know how harsh its response can be. So as not to add to the death and destruction we will now hold our fire unilaterally and completely for the next 48 hours. Even if you fire at Israel, we will not respond with renewed fighting. We will grit our teeth, as we did all through the recent period, and we will not be dragged into replying with force.

    Moreover, we invite interested countries, neighbors near and far, to mediate between us and you to bring back the cease-fire. If you hold your fire, we will not renew ours. If you continue firing while we are practicing restraint, we will respond at the end of this 48 hours, but even then we will keep the door open to negotiations to renew the cease-fire, and even on a general and expanded agreement.

    That is what Israel should do now. Is it possible, or are we too imprisoned in the familiar ceremony of war?

  57. Sid — on 30th December, 2008 at 12:43 pm  

    I concur with Steve M, great post F Rodent.

  58. david — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:44 pm  

    If Israelis tolerantly use blockades to apply pressure on Hamas to stop the rocket attacks, you call it a crime against humanity; if they counter strike with military power, you label them as ‘bullies’. Regardless what Israel does people are critical, yet no one seems to offer any alternative solutions. The peace talks, as history has repeatedly shown, are utter farce. How can Israel talk peace with an enemy that has one agenda – to anihilate it? All past negotions with palestinians have therefore only backfired. If we do not remember the mistakes of the past, we will foolishly repeat them over again. Any civilized country who’s civilians were under constant terrorist rocket attacks would defend its people by attempting to immobilize the terrorists. If they didn’t, they would be condemned for not protecting their people. This applies regardless how dysfunctional and impoverished the enemey would be. Let all the people decrying Israel’s neccessary and responsible behaviour on account of their ‘bullying’ an underdeveloped struggling people ask themselves: how would I react if the palestinians were targeting my own neighberhood with rockets? Would I have such mercy upon them then?

  59. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

    Jai #17

    Tariq Ali:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/30/gaza-hamas-palestinians-israel1

    ‘From the ashes of Gaza

    In the face of Israel’s latest onslaught, the only option for Palestinian nationalism is to embrace a one-state solution’

    ‘The test for Hamas is not whether it can be house-trained to the satisfaction of western opinion, but whether it can break with this crippling tradition. Soon after the Hamas election victory in Gaza, I was asked in public by a Palestinian what I would do in their place. “Dissolve the Palestinian Authority” was my response and end the make-believe. To do so would situate the Palestinian national cause on its proper basis, with the demand that the country and its resources be divided equitably, in proportion to two populations that are equal in size – not 80% to one and 20% to the other, a dispossession of such iniquity that no self-respecting people will ever submit to it in the long run. The only acceptable alternative is a single state for Jews and Palestinians alike, in which the exactions of Zionism are repaired. There is no other way.

    And Israeli citizens might ponder the following words from Shakespeare (in The Merchant of Venice), which I have slightly altered:

    “I am a Palestinian. Hath not a Palestinian eyes? Hath not a Palestinian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Jew is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that … the villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.” ‘

  60. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 1:55 pm  

    David, you show a lack of imagination which necessarily comes from defending the indefensible.

  61. Flying Rodent — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:20 pm  

    David, thank you for immediately demonstrating what I meant by treating (the bombing) like a disputed penalty in a football match.

    It wouldn’t be at all difficult to paint a similar picture of endless Palestinian victimisation and suffering at the hands of an implacable Israeli foe. That’s especially so since the current campaign is not going to seriously weaken Hamas and is quite obviously being conducted in bad faith to impress Israel’s sizeable belligerent loony voting bloc.

    Making such a one-eyed and highly partisan case wouldn’t make Hamas’s rockets acceptable, any more than yours justifies the pointless bombing of Gaza. Shouting Hoy, Ref, that was obviously a penalty! and bemoaning the FA’s intrinsic bias isn’t really any more helpful than placing all the blame on the Israelis and failing to offer a solution, is it?

  62. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:30 pm  

    The bombing is only pointless if you’re right that the current campaign is not going to seriously weaken Hamas.

    Could you be wrong?

  63. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:37 pm  

    SteveM #20

    Interesting interview on World At One (BBC4) today, with the Egyptian foreign ministry. Their response to the accusation that they should open their side of the border to help the suffering Palestinians in Gaza was that if they did this each time Israel started an operation, Gaza would soon be emptied. Something only Israel would welcome.

  64. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 2:39 pm  

    SteveM #62

    And so what if they were weakened? Apart from buying Israel another decade – what then?

  65. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:03 pm  

    I don’t know what then. I suspect Fatah will try to usurp Hamas’ role in running Gaza. I don’t know where this would lead but they couldn’t be further from a desire for peace than Hamas.

  66. Sofia — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:21 pm  

    “Let all the people decrying Israel’s neccessary and responsible behaviour on account of their ‘bullying’ an underdeveloped struggling people ask themselves: how would I react if the palestinians were targeting my own neighberhood with rockets?”

    This is ‘funny’ on so many levels..first of all..i live in London and the last time i looked, my neighbourhood was exactly that…mine…it has not been occupied, nor have i been kicked out of my house and forced to live in a shack with no access to running water …what exactly has Gaza been left with? what do you want these ppl to fight with? words? how very civilised that would be…

  67. Refresh — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:26 pm  

    SteveM,

    More land appropriation. More ‘security’ walls, between each strip of land and more drones that is the future Israel is investing in.

    As for Fatah usurping Hamas, I believe that had already been attempted and perhaps this latest Israeli Adventure is in frustration of that little sideshow:

    ‘The Gaza Bombshell
    After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.’

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804

  68. Peter H — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:34 pm  

    Daniel Levy, an Israeli-American analyast (and Lord Levy’s son), has a very interesting post on what the next steps in Gaza/Israel should be. Certainly very worthwhile reading for anyone who thinks Israel has no alternatives to pummeling Gaza:

    http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/2008/12/what_next_on_gazaisrael_and_wh.html

  69. Sunny — on 30th December, 2008 at 3:44 pm  

    Flying Rodent – that argument in #53 is bloody spot on.

  70. bewildered — on 30th December, 2008 at 4:24 pm  

    General Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli army’s “research and assessment division” announced that “no country in the world would allow its citizens to be made the target of rocket attacks without taking vigorous steps to defend them”. Quite so. But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic?
    Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour.

  71. Steve M — on 30th December, 2008 at 4:33 pm  

    No, because the IRA wasn’t governing Ireland. Nor did the IRA deny Britain’s right to exist. Silly comparison.

  72. Flying Rodent — on 30th December, 2008 at 7:28 pm  

    The bombing is only pointless if you’re right that the current campaign is not going to seriously weaken Hamas… Could you be wrong?

    I could very well be – it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s just that there’s a wealth of practical historical experience of this kind of thing to inform debate, not least 2006′s We will crush Hezbollah debacle.

    I’d just say that the best possible outcome I can see from this is Hamas agreeing a ceasefire for the next few months. Who knows, perhaps they will throw down their guns and let Fatah take over, which seems to be the outcome the Israelis want, but I have my doubts. I think it’s much more likely that we’ll hear much more bellicose woofing from Israel and Hamas, followed by frantic face-saving exercises on each side and a period of relative calm.

    Were I a general, I wouldn’t gamble lives on a happy outcome.

  73. Andrew Adams — on 30th December, 2008 at 10:11 pm  

    I’d just say that the best possible outcome I can see from this is Hamas agreeing a ceasefire for the next few months. Who knows, perhaps they will throw down their guns and let Fatah take over, which seems to be the outcome the Israelis want, but I have my doubts. I think it’s much more likely that we’ll hear much more bellicose woofing from Israel and Hamas, followed by frantic face-saving exercises on each side and a period of relative calm.

    …before it all starts over again. That’s the crazy thing – what do Israel plan to happen next? Do they have any long term plan? Cos if they are carrying out military action without one we all know how well that tends to turn out.

  74. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:16 am  

    #70
    The Israelis have not killed 300 civilians. Even the palestinian medics claim that only 60 civilians have been killed and that the IAF have clearly been only targeting Hamas compounds. It happens to be that the Hamas government places army bases and rocket supplies amidst the civilian population. If they didn’t, there would be no civilians killed at all. Thus Hamas are responsible for any civilian casualties. The fact that only 60 civilians have been killed reflects the precision of the Isaeli strikes. This is in stark contrast to the truly criminal and evil manner in which Hamas fire rockets purposely at civilian targets including kindergartens. Furthermore, the palestinian ‘civilians’ elected a criminal terrorist organization as their government. Thus, it is arguable that the majority of palestinians are not civilians but terrorists. This is made obvious in their education system where they explicitly and formally educate their children to hate Jews and Israel. Please, be honest, when discussing such a serious issue.

  75. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:42 am  

    http://www.redcross.org.uk/news.asp?id=89793

    David…even the red cross is saying 275 and that was on the 29th.

  76. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:24 am  

    I was addressing #70′s statement that 300 civilians have been killed. Only 60 civilians have been killed, the rest of the casualties, approx. 315, are Hamas terrorists.

  77. Susana — on 2nd January, 2009 at 3:20 pm  

    In response to David at No. 76

    I thought the confirmed “civilian” casualties referred only to women and children. The rest are men, many of whom were innocent bystanders.
    In any case, what does it matter? People are dying because of the Israeli assault and will continue to die because their infrastracture is being destroyed, not that they had much to begin with.
    I have always admired the Jewish people, their zest for life, their intelligence, the way they love their children and their elders, their creativity. I never thought that they could be so destructive and unfair.
    Do they really think that the only solution is the extermination of the whole population of Gaza? Where is the Jewish humanity? Where has the wonderful child centred society gone?
    And before you blame it all on Hamas, let me remind you that we are responsible for our own actions. AS Bewildered says, the British never expected their Government to punish the whole of Ireland during the terrible years of constant terrorist attacks. What gives Israel the right to punish the whole population of Gaza?

  78. Steve M — on 2nd January, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

    Do they really think that the only solution is the extermination of the whole population of Gaza?

    This is ridiculous.

  79. Tim H — on 4th January, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

    Hamas may have broken then truce, but Israel didn’t hold to the conditions of the truce when it didn’t lift the debilitating blockade which has threatened a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. What’s more, it seems that Israel, too, wanted to break the truce.

    It’s worse than you make out, actually. Israel did break the truce. Twice. And is preventing the establishment of another.

  80. Fred — on 19th January, 2009 at 11:54 pm  

    “Furthermore, the palestinian ‘civilians’ elected a criminal terrorist organization as their government. Thus, it is arguable that the majority of palestinians are not civilians but terrorists.”

    David, what’s scary is that this is the same logic that Bin Laden used to attack the U.S. :-/

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