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Old 01-08-2009, 07:16 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Maybe they should look to themselves and their own governments to solve economic problems. If Eno is correct that it has to do with economics then there are plenty of solutions available. If they stop bombing Israel then peace will start, and then they have to look to trade, private property rights, and the typical institutions we take for granted to allieviate the poverty there.
First of all, you seem to be a little confused about international law; specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that the welfare of occupied populations is the responsibility of the occupying force. Israel is in clear breach of international law here as they continue to occupy both Gaza (de facto) and the West Bank (outright).

Second, what you've stated is plainly false, since even when Hamas was not shelling, Israel continued the oppressive, cruel blockade in the same manner as before. Therefore, nothing in the way Israel behaves suggests that the cessation of lobbing Katyushas is going to result in any meaningful "trade."
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:16 PM   #272
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Vanity Fair had a good article about the Bush clusterfuck in Gaza, and judging the democratic mandate Hamas had:
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Dahlan says he warned his friends in the Bush administration that Fatah still wasn’t ready for elections in January. Decades of self-preservationist rule by Arafat had turned the party into a symbol of corruption and inefficiency—a perception Hamas found it easy to exploit. Splits within Fatah weakened its position further: in many places, a single Hamas candidate ran against several from Fatah.

“Everyone was against the elections,” Dahlan says. Everyone except Bush. “Bush decided, ‘I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority.’ Everyone is following him in the American administration, and everyone is nagging Abbas, telling him, ‘The president wants elections.’ Fine. For what purpose?”

The elections went forward as scheduled. On January 25, Hamas won 56 percent of the seats in the Legislative Council.

Few inside the U.S. administration had predicted the result, and there was no contingency plan to deal with it. “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

“Everyone blamed everyone else,” says an official with the Department of Defense. “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the fuck recommended this?’ ”
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:40 PM   #273
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A UN-enforced ceasefire, backed by international sanctions for violations from either side, calling for an end to all violent attacks (including targeted assassinations by Israel and missile fire from Gaza); the reopening of Gaza's border with Israel and resumption of normal trade, subject to inspections; a prisoner exchange; and rapid dismantling of the illegal Israeli settlements wouldn't make a bad preamble for a return to negotiations on an independent Palestinian state. And an initial good-faith gesture from Israel in the direction of eventual, inevitable compromises on right of return (a limited annual refugee return quota, and/or establishment of an international fund to help with the costs of resettling refugees) would certainly help to facilitate that process.
Realistically, though, what's in it for Israel here?

1) A ceasefire will likely just allow Hamas to recoup, rebuild, and declare victory by just staying alive (like Hezbollah in Lebanon). In addition, they will likely take advantage of the ceasefire to increase their weaponry capabilities, much as they did last time.

2) Considering Hamas is a declared terrorist organization that took over Gaza by force, again, what does a resumption of trade accomplish besides allowing them to regroup and probably resume suicide bombings? Even the best of inspections aren't perfect, unless we have every piece of cargo and every individual completely searched, which is very time consuming, expensive, and likely unrealistic.

3) A prisoner exchange....you mean hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for a handful of Israeli prisoners? Not to trivialize the plights of any innocent individuals in this, but, considering the logical percentages who are probably guilty, does this not again bring up concerns regarding suicide bombings and other terrorist acts, which, I presume, is the reason a good number of these Palestinians were arrested in the first place?

4) The dismantlement of illegal Israeli settlements is a step in the right direction, but I find the latter demand regarding a "right of return" to be quite curious. Reading this statement in its entirety, and it reads like a manifesto to undo the existence of Israel completely.

I haven't commented in this thread much, admittedly, probably because I'm not generally interested in a partisan flame war--which a topic like this inevitably brings--but a lot of this reads like wide-eyed idealism with little regard for pragmatism nor balance.

The interesting thing about most of these points is that they generally do not stand up to merit. Most of these things have already been done before. Ceasefires? We've had numerous--none of which have been productive one bit. We've had embargoes and trade resumptions, many lopsided prisoner exchanges (i.e., hundreds of Palestinians for a small handful of Israelis--usually their corpses), and hell, we even had Israel leave the Gaza Strip and dismantle all their settlements. Did that bring peace? No, considering Hamas decided to use the occasion to take over and instigate trouble.

I would also look at Israel's track record of making peace with its neighbours, in contrast with Hamas. Egypt and Jordan, both of whom were enemies that fought wars with Israel, are now at peace. What is Hamas' record? Refusing to acknowledge Israel's right to exist in the first place and using ceasefires to beef up its weaponry and lobbing missiles at Israel. Sounds like a stand-up group of people to negotiate with to me!

Considering the progress Israel has made in dealing with the Fatah-controlled government of the West Bank, I ultimately do believe that the obstacle to peace here is not Israel--again, look at their track record for negotiating lasting peace with its former enemies--but, instead, Hamas, Hezbollah and its Middle Eastern backers, whom not only fund Hamas and Hezbollah, but also refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Why, logically speaking, should Israel feel compelled to bend over backwards for hostile entities like these? Nothing in this situation, either presently or historically, is ideal, but the usual response here has not worked and is not working today.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:54 PM   #274
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Right now Israel voted for A

and with U S backing that has been the situation since 1948.
Yes, but is it relevant the Palestinians opted to side with the Arab states in a war of annihilation in 1948, with a repeat in 1967.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:31 PM   #275
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Realistically, though, what's in it for Israel here?
Long term security for Israel through greater autonomy for Palestine vs current security policy of oppression and aggression. Hammering out the details is the complicated part. Why is that idealistic and not pragmatic or somehow out of balance?

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Most of these things have already been done before. Ceasefires? We've had numerous--none of which have been productive one bit. We've had embargoes and trade resumptions, many lopsided prisoner exchanges (i.e., hundreds of Palestinians for a small handful of Israelis--usually their corpses), and hell, we even had Israel leave the Gaza Strip and dismantle all their settlements. Did that bring peace?

...

I would also look at Israel's track record of making peace with its neighbours, in contrast with Hamas. Egypt and Jordan, both of whom were enemies that fought wars with Israel, are now at peace.
It's been said a number of times through the thread by a number of people so I'll rephrase - ceasefires, embargoes, negotiations, withdrawls etc have all failed for many reasons but the underlying issue of immense importance that is often overlooked is that Israel solely controls the borders, airspace, sea access, supply of water, energy, food & medical supplies. That was never the case with Jordan or Egypt.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #276
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First of all, you seem to be a little confused about international law; specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that the welfare of occupied populations is the responsibility of the occupying force. Israel is in clear breach of international law here as they continue to occupy both Gaza (de facto) and the West Bank (outright).
I think Israel should be able to retaliate from attacks including blowing up armaments. If the general public live near armaments then we know who's at fault here.

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Second, what you've stated is plainly false, since even when Hamas was not shelling, Israel continued the oppressive, cruel blockade in the same manner as before. Therefore, nothing in the way Israel behaves suggests that the cessation of lobbing Katyushas is going to result in any meaningful "trade."
Why are the blockades there? I'm talking about stopping the bombing permanently. A Hudna is not a lasting peace. It's just a cease fire to provide time to build up armaments.

The world is about self-interest and people only hate war when they are on the losing side. They love war when they are on the winning side. Palestinians want to see the West's resolve diminish in defending Israel.

I believe the Jews need a home for themselves and the Palestinians won't leave them alone. If we think Israel is an illegal country then the natural argument would be to kick them out. If we think that Jews originated there and were expelled in ancient times by Muslims then having a country for themselves makes sense. Therefore we shouldn't flake out on Israel and put them in a moral equivalency.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:52 PM   #277
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Realistically, though, what's in it for Israel here?

1) A ceasefire will likely just allow Hamas to recoup, rebuild, and declare victory by just staying alive (like Hezbollah in Lebanon). In addition, they will likely take advantage of the ceasefire to increase their weaponry capabilities, much as they did last time.
You beat me to the Hudnas
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:57 PM   #278
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I think Israel should be able to retaliate from attacks including blowing up armaments. If the general public live near armaments then we know who's at fault here.
Under international law, whose responsibility is it to provide welfare for the population that they are occupying?

What you wrote above has nothing whatsoever to do with what I wrote regarding this point.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:59 PM   #279
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I think Israel should be able to retaliate from attacks including blowing up armaments. If the general public live near armaments then we know who's at fault here.
Thats terrible and counterproductive, if there is a high risk of civilian casualties then the laws of war say any army should hold back, you can't declare 10 civilians dead for one bomb maker a justifiable use of force at all times.

Nor should you caricature Palestinians as bloodthirsty savages, that all want to wipe Israel off the map and are incapable of coexistence. That is racism, it is bigoted, and it only plays into the hands of the most extreme elements on both sides.

I don't think there is a moral equivalency between suicide bombing and targeted assassination, I think that deliberate attacks against civilians are different than a killing a person who is a persistent threat (although the question of due process, and alternatives does arise), but I think if you want to justify unrestricted force against a civilian population a good start is to say that they are responsible for their groups violent factions.

As far as the Jewish diaspora perhaps you need to read more history, it began well before Islam arrived on the scene, and when our religiously moral Christian forebears kicked off pogroms, forced conversion and expulsion against Jews they were able to live in the Caliphate.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:19 PM   #280
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Under international law, whose responsibility is it to provide welfare for the population that they are occupying?

What you wrote above has nothing whatsoever to do with what I wrote regarding this point.
So are you saying that destroying Hamas armaments is occupation or are you saying occupation is Israel's existence?
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:47 PM   #281
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Long term security for Israel through greater autonomy for Palestine vs current security policy of oppression and aggression. Hammering out the details is the complicated part. Why is that idealistic and not pragmatic or somehow out of balance?
Because the "blame" oft partitioned out is entirely listed somehow as Israel's fault, with its opponents (most notably, Hamas, Hezbollah, and its anti-Semitic Middle Eastern backers, who are basically fighting a proxy war that's an extension of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War) completely downplayed or ignored. Yes, the way I'd read it, I'd think that Israel was the fault of everything.

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It's been said a number of times through the thread by a number of people so I'll rephrase - ceasefires, embargoes, negotiations, withdrawls etc have all failed for many reasons but the underlying issue of immense importance that is often overlooked is that Israel solely controls the borders, airspace, sea access, supply of water, energy, food & medical supplies. That was never the case with Jordan or Egypt.
If we look at this as an ongoing, unresolved conflict extending from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, then one really shouldn't wonder why this is still a mess, and, as always, its the civilian population stuck in the middle. If we are to compare the Palestinian Territories to a separatist movement like in Chechnya, then of course, it is expected that living conditions are going to break down during these periods of unrest. Obviously, this unrest has now been going on for over 60 years with no end in sight, and Israel cannot be entirely blamed for this ongoing conflict. Syria and Iran's interference and material/financial support for Hamas and Hezbollah keeps this conflict going ultimately, as entities who thrive on war and unrest--hence, why they can declare "victory" merely by surviving to attack again.

Eventually, for lasting peace, compromises are going to have to be made on both sides, but it is basically impossible to compromise with entities that refuse to recognize your right to exist and are dedicated to your destruction. Until this very basic point is agreed upon, Israel and the Palestinian Territories are not going to be able to decide on final borders and all those other sticking points that have kept this going for 60 years, if not an entire millennium.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:58 PM   #282
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Under international law, whose responsibility is it to provide welfare for the population that they are occupying?
Are we entirely sure that Hamas, the de facto occupier of the Gaza Strip, is all that interested in its population's welfare either?

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On February 2007, members of the Palestinian Red Crescent, speaking on conditions on anonymity, said that Hamas had confiscated their humanitarian supply convoys that were destined for Palestinian civilians. Hamas claims the supplies were heading to former members of Fatah.

Human Rights Watch has cited a number of summary executions as particular examples of violations of the rules of warfare, including the case of Muhammad Swairki, 28, a cook for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard, who was thrown to his death, with his hands and legs tied, from a 15-story apartment building in Gaza City.

...

In a 2002 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Hamas' leaders "should be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity" that have been committed by its members.
Couple this with the known tactics of putting weapons caches in civilian population centres, hoping that Israel would attack it and get headlines about massive civilian casualties. How the hell can Israel ensure the welfare of the people of the Gaza Strip under conditions like this?
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:19 AM   #283
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Thats terrible and counterproductive, if there is a high risk of civilian casualties then the laws of war say any army should hold back, you can't declare 10 civilians dead for one bomb maker a justifiable use of force at all times.
We already talked about how civilians are put in situations where military targets are near civilians. It was the same tactics used against the U.S. during Bosnia. If you allow their tactics to pull sympathy they will handcuff Israel in it's ability to defend itself.

I remember people wanting the Middle East to be nuked after September 11th. Considering that knee-jerk reaction I think Israelis are being very patient with the terrorism they experience on an ongoing basis.

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Nor should you caricature Palestinians as bloodthirsty savages, that all want to wipe Israel off the map and are incapable of coexistence. That is racism, it is bigoted, and it only plays into the hands of the most extreme elements on both sides.
That's it I've had enough political correctness. Hamas is intolerant and extreme. The majority of the population elected them.

Is it intolerant to fight against intolerance? They can't have it both ways.

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I don't think there is a moral equivalency between suicide bombing and targeted assassination, I think that deliberate attacks against civilians are different than a killing a person who is a persistent threat (although the question of due process, and alternatives does arise), but I think if you want to justify unrestricted force against a civilian population a good start is to say that they are responsible for their groups violent factions.
Hamas Charter

This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

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. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with. As in said in the honourable Hadith:

"The people of Syria are Allah's lash in His land. He wreaks His vengeance through them against whomsoever He wishes among His slaves It is unthinkable that those who are double-faced among them should prosper over the faithful. They will certainly die out of grief and desperation."


The question of the liberation of Palestine is bound to three circles: the Palestinian circle, the Arab circle and the Islamic circle. Each of these circles has its role in the struggle against Zionism. Each has its duties, and it is a horrible mistake and a sign of deep ignorance to overlook any of these circles. Palestine is an Islamic land which has the first of the two kiblahs (direction to which Moslems turn in praying), the third of the holy (Islamic) sanctuaries, and the point of departure for Mohamed's midnight journey to the seven heavens (i.e. Jerusalem).

"Praise be unto him who transported his servant by night, from the sacred temple of Mecca to the farther temple of Jerusalem, the circuit of which we have blessed, that we might show him some of our signs; for Allah is he who heareth, and seeth." (The Night-Journey - verse 1).

Since this is the case, liberation of Palestine is then an individual duty for very Moslem wherever he may be. On this basis, the problem should be viewed. This should be realised by every Moslem.

The day the problem is dealt with on this basis, when the three circles mobilize their capabilities, the present state of affairs will change and the day of liberation will come nearer.

"Verily ye are stronger than they, by reason of the terror cast into their breasts from Allah. This, because they are not people of prudence." (The Emigration - verse 13).




The Moslem woman has a role no less important than that of the moslem man in the battle of liberation. She is the maker of men. Her role in guiding and educating the new generations is great. The enemies have realised the importance of her role. They consider that if they are able to direct and bring her up they way they wish, far from Islam, they would have won the battle. That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs. These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy. These organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. The Islamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. "May the cowards never sleep."

The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts.

Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are the best witness to that.


The Islamic Resistance Movement calls on Arab and Islamic nations to take up the line of serious and persevering action to prevent the success of this horrendous plan, to warn the people of the danger eminating from leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism. Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.


This is just a sample of this garbage called a "Charter". If Israel does everything that you say it won't amount to any progress. It is a moral equivalency to put both countries on the same moral level. One side wants a 2 state solution, and the other wants to hunt for Jews even if they are hiding behind trees.

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As far as the Jewish diaspora perhaps you need to read more history, it began well before Islam arrived on the scene, and when our religiously moral Christian forebears kicked off pogroms, forced conversion and expulsion against Jews they were able to live in the Caliphate.
I'm not a Christian and Christians have since gone through Magna Carta, Protestant reformations, constitutions and secularism. If Islam went through that then we wouldn't have a problem. And admitting the obvious, which is that Islam came after Judaism doesn't help the Palestinian argument.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:39 AM   #284
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I am at least as hostile to Islamism, and other forms of religious lunacy, as you are; and I made no apologies for Hamas (which I feel is a terrorist group, against both Israelis and Palestinians).

The fact that it is a major group is a reflection of Palestinian society, and the reinforced attitudes, ignorance and rejectionism which has been fostered over the decades.

The project of any nation demands a civil society, for so many reasons that doesn't exist in Palestine (the concessions which the international community gave terrorist groups over the last 40 years haven't helped).

But that doesn't justify ethnic cleansing.

You can support the right of Israel to exist as an pluralistic, but majority Jewish nation (right of return would be demographic suicide in that context) without championing the most extreme elements.

It's not a simple problem, and nothing will change until there is a viable Palestinian leadership with which to negotiate with (which is difficult to envisage). I don't know what should be done, but I don't think wiping out a bunch of Arabs is the way to do it.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:11 AM   #285
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Maybe they should look to themselves and their own governments to solve economic problems. If Eno is correct that it has to do with economics then there are plenty of solutions available. If they stop bombing Israel then peace will start, and then they have to look to trade, private property rights, and the typical institutions we take for granted to allieviate the poverty there.

Everything else involving terrorism is war. If in the end we get cynical and judge everything by war then whoever militarily has power has power and that's the end of the conversation. They can't want peace and hunger for victory over Israel at the same time.
They can hardly do that with Israel putting them under a blockade can they? It's worth noting the rocket attacks everyone is blaming for Israels invasion had mostly stopped until November when following one of Israel's "targetted" assassinations (which killed 6 people) they started up again in force.

Israel is an occupying force in Gaza, in controls every facet of entry and exit from the country, except the border with Eygpt which the US and Israel demanded closed. It also completely disgards (and always has done) it's legal responsibility for the care of civilians during it's occupation...any other country in the world would be undergoing sanctions at this point, but the US has always vetoed any attempts to force the Israelis to act like human beings.
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