June 30, 2006

Topsy Turvy World

Let me see if I have the facts straight. An unnamed Palestinian group, may be connected to Hamas, maybe not, enters Israel and kidnaps a young Israeli corporal, at which point the Israeli Defense Force, begins constant shelling of Northern Gaza, including aerial bombings of a power plant, ironically insured by an American company, and other parts of the Gazan infrastructure, like bridges and roads. They then “arrest/kidnap” members of the Hamas led Palestinian parliament. (Is this legal? If so can someone please come and arrest some members of the US Senate?) They then send in a small force of tanks to “show what Israel can do,” and flew fighter planes, paid for by US tax dollars by the way, over Syria. (Is this not an overt act of war?)

What the fuck is going? If this were happening by any other nation, the “international community” would be up in arms. Why does Israel get a blank check to do anything it wants? Why must the entire civilian population of Gaza suffer for the acts of a few militant groups? Who is looking out for the interests of the innocent men, women, and children being blown up at will in Gaza? First they are punished for the way they vote, by an international blockade, now an overt act of war is ignored by the entire world.

Global events like this are enough to make even a pacifist like me boil with rage. Israel and its donor state, the US, must be made to face consequence for these war crimes and acts against humanity. The Palestine people deserve more. Where is the rule of law, we hear so much about?

14 comments:

  1. You are asking the same questions I ask and hopefully others ponder. I have no clue as to the answers. I agree with you, so much of this makes no logical sense

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  2. Israel is a small nation surrounded by others whose stated goal is to drive it into the sea. Israel, on a daily basis, is attacked by suicide bombers. Most of this does not make it into the papers; it is a daily action.

    I lived in Israel for a year on a Kibbutz in the north. To the West was Lebanon; to the East, the Golan Heights. In my first month, we went on a day tour into the Golan; we were told to not venture off the path. Three young men (two Americans and a French lad) wandered off to smoke some hash and got blown to bits by a land mine.

    Every day, every day, rockets were fired toward us from Lebanon. Every day of the week, bombs went off in the neighboring town of Kiryat Shmona. One went through a wall into the home of someone I knew, and didn't explode. It somehow lodged in the cinderblock wall of his bedroom, inches from his and his wife's bed. His friends were lined up to see the bomb that didn't explode - til the bomb squad came and chased everyone away.

    Very few people ever comment about the way the British divided up the region; nor do they comment that the HISTORICAL location of the Palestinian people is actually in JORDAN, rather than where Israel tries to carve out its almost indefensible borders. Most people would rather point their fingers at the Jews, and say how wrong Israel is.

    Jordan doesn't want the Palestinians. It is much easier to let the Jews in Israel catch the blame.

    So I ask you this: why must the entire State of Israel be taken to task because of the actions of militant groups in Gaza, or the West Bank? Israel is trying to survive in an extremely hostile world, made more so by the fact that most non-Jews would just as soon blame the Jews simply by virtue of the fact that history ALWAYS blames the Jews.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank attempted to escalate tensions with the kidnapping and brutal murder of an 18-year-old Israeli teenager, Eliahu Asheri. Israeli authorities said Asheri, who was kidnapped near Ofra by a cell of terrorists belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, was shot in the head at close range. His body was found on June 28 in Ramallah.

    The attack on the Israeli military installation, which is within Israel's pre-1967 borders, is only the latest in a series of attacks by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. The unrelenting attacks, including the shelling of southern Israeli towns, have continued despite Israel's complete withdrawal from settlements and Army posts within Gaza in August 2005.

    IS THIS LEGAL? It's murder. The Palestinians murder Jews, Christians, and their own with impugnity, knowing that the "Liberals" and "Left" will blame Israel. Talk about manipulation.

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  3. I'm gonna have to agree and disagree with Diva here. It's all like she said: Israel faces complete and utter destruction on a daily basis from nations all around it and military action to defend itself is not unjust in my mind.

    However, BZ brings up some good points in his post, about how Israel does it's fair share to call out Palestinian attacks. I read just recently that Israel allows their citizens in the West Bank/Gaza Strip the right to bear unlicensed guns and encourage them to shoot any Palestinian they may believe is involved in terrorist activity. The problem? When such a shooting occurs Israeli police rarely look into the validity of the killing.

    There's terrorism on both sides, but I get back to the fact that when we look at the very beginning Israel was not the one to draw first blood. They're one of, if not the only voice for democracy in the Middle East.

    I think we need to really push this two-state solution. Bush has ruined any kind of front helping problems like these and in Africa end by wasting time in Iraq. Our army is being whittled down and for what? While N. Korea gains nuclear weapons? While Iran pursues a nuclear program? While thousands die in Israel/Palestine?

    -Comrade Dave
    http://theredmantis.blogspot.com/

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  4. Maybe it is just a coincecence that the Israeli military bombed the electric power plant, but Israel used to supply the electric to gaza (and made a fortune from it) until they handed back the land that they stole a few months backs. With the power plant out of action i wonder if Israel will step in and offer to supply the electricity again to gaza (and remaking a fortune).
    Does anyone who is not Jewish or religious or believe all that bible stuff, actually think Israel is in the right here?

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  5. I think the region is suffering from two parties in the wrong. I don't think either side is doing the all-out right thing. Israel's militaristic policies are partly justified because of the constant threat of attack they face and yet stories like these make me question whose the real threat here.

    On the same key, the Palestinians have been beaten up, for lack of a better word, for some time by overbearing neighbors. Still, they want nothing more than the destruction of Israel and have attempted this through unacceptable methods of attack (killing civilians via suicide bombers).

    No one can/should say that either side is right. What needs to be done is a third party needs to get in the mix and put both of them on separate sides of the room, i.e. the two-state solution. Is the U.S. the best candidate? Doubtful under the current administration. Still, someone needs to step up to the plate and fast.

    -Comrade Dave
    http://theredmantis.blogspot.com/

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  6. Look, Dave, historically since the creation of the state of Israel, every time Israel was attacked, and retaliated, they gave back the land they claimed. Every time -- until 1967 and the Six Day War. At that time, the State of Israel said "We have the right to defensible borders."

    Many times Israel has been willing to go to the negotiating table; the Palestinians have answered with bus bombings; bombings in coffee houses; bombings of schools. Always public, civilian targets. Yet people in general continue to blame Jews and the State of Israel.

    I am not saying that Israel is without fault; and I am a believer in a spiritual principal called "you go first." SOMEBODY has to lay down their weapons first, and I really don't care who it is -- the Palestinians, or the Israelis. But somebody has to go first.

    The Palesitians are far from innocent victims, and the Israelis are not Colonialist occupiers of stolen land. But prior to the Balfour Declaration which divided Israel out of an indefensible sliver, the Jews and Palestinians lived quite harmoniously.

    Someone has to go first. But the liberals and left in this country needs to stop blaming Jews, and Israel, for a desire to defend themselves.

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  7. I definitely wasn't blaming Israel. There's fault on both sides but I agree and I think I said that Israel wasn't the one to draw first blood. It's always been the Palestinians.

    Which is another reason why I'm so baffled that liberals are supporting Hamas because they've really never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity as far as making peace. The Oslo Accords? I mean, Hamas was one of the opposition groups that prevented a strong treaty from being signed and observed by both parties.

    -Comrade Dave
    http://theredmantis.blogspot.com/

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  8. The Israeli and Palestinian “cycle of violence” always gets both sides of the debate very excited, so I don’t want to spend too much time going over the history of the situation, nor do I want to take a side, at this time, but I would like to point pout a few things:

    One thing I thing I think that defenders of Israel often forget, when they play the part of victim ad that these are two equal parties simply at each other’s throats. Israel is the biggest military force in the Middle East backed by the world Largest military. Palestine is a series of walled off ghettos, crippled by years of occupation. So whole I agree that the repeated suicide attacks that terrorize civilian Israeli life are inexcusable, I think it is important to look at the where these attacks originate. Towns like Rafah, Jenin and Rammallah, have been under the boot of Israel for over a generation. So whole the Israeli youth have the chance to travel freely, go to school, enjoy their MTV, the Palestinian youth are living amongst rubble, without jobs or any hope of the future. I didn’t want to turn this into a back and forth, I think anyone reading this is familiar with which ever side of the argument they want to hear, but to say that Israel who has a stockpile of nuclear weapons, sanctioned by the US (although they have never signed the NPT), a huge military force, and the support of the US unconditionally (take a look at how many UN resolutions regarding Israel’s behavior have been vetoed by the US), is the victim compared to a group of desperate, unemployed, fractured Palestinians, is simply not fair.

    I will keep things like the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and other atrocities for another time. I wrote to this post to simply say that I think no other nation would be allowed to get away with bombing civilians on a beach, or taking out crucial power plants causing a humanitarian crisis. The key difference to keep in mind is that Israel is a state, and its actions are the actions of an organized government; where as the shelling of remote Israeli cities with ineffective Kasam rockets, or even suicide bombings are the acts of various groups who are not always acting on behalf of the innocent Palestinian people being butchered on a yearly basis.

    I wish the Palestinians could organize a non-violent resistance to the occupation and Israeli violence ala Gandhi, but I guess that can be difficult when you have every part of infrastructures that makes a society run, has been destroyed.

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  9. Your point is definitely noted. In some ways I do tend to agree with you. One reason I really like your blog, BZ, is that you tend to really analyze this stuff and give both sides of the story. That's rare in the blogosphere anymore.

    -Comrade Dave
    http://theredmantis.blogspot.com/

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  10. Lets not forget who started this infatida in 2000. Ariel Sharon, despite being warned by everyone including the US, visited the Temple Mount knowing what would follow. As for 'the Israelis are not Colonialist occupiers of stolen land', i guess the words 'Occupied territories' that have always prefixed Palestinian land inthe media since 1967 are a lefty ploy as well.

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  11. Lucyp, Ariel Sharon's trip to the Temple Mount was wrong. Nobody argues that fact. He was wrong, he was arrogant, and he was incredibly thoughtless.

    I also don't recall ever implying that the comments made by the left, and liberals in the US, were making a "lefty ploy." My own particular leanings are heavily socialist. However, the left in the USA is very quick to blame Israel for trying to defend borders that were carved out by the British with the Balfour Declaration.

    The British took an area that was actually Palestinian and gave it to Jordan. Jordan doesn't want the Palestinians; and the entire tone in the Middle East has been, since 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel, to drive the Jews into the sea.

    And so I say again, someone has to go first, and I really don't give a rats ass who it is; Israel, or the Palestinians, but someone has to step up to the table in the name of peace. And it behooves the Liberals and Left of America to support that rather than blame Israel. This fight, this blood fight, has been going on since before you were born; it has been going on since before I was born. It has to end.

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  12. My question is which makes more sense? For the side that has the biggest arsenal in the Middle East to reduce its attacks, or the side that has a splintered resistance with crude homemade weapons. If the Palestinians put down what little arms they have, what will stop them from being exterminated?

    So for the question as to who should stop first, I would say that maybe it would behoove Israel to stop sending tanks into Gaza and shelling beaches, but may be send some aid to help re-build what they have destroyed. The Palestinian people would respond quite well to that. Hamas would have not leg to stand on, if Israel changed its policy toward the Palestinian people.

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  13. i could be wrong- but wasn't the palestinian government eager to talk to israel after the kidnapping. i am not clear on the events- so i am asking. yes, israel was given the sliver of land- it is what they have done with it that has gained them the animosity of their neighbors. if they had not forced thousands of folks out of their homes to start jewish settlements in the first place- there may not have been as much hostility. i don't know. it may be as simple as these folks have fought each other for thousands of years and don't know any better- again i don't know. i agree with diva- it needs to stop.

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  14. Oh, bugger. I'm going to have to put up a post on this on my blog, outlining the history. Every time Israel has been attacked, and responded with force, Israel has used this as a key to negotiate.

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