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Old 01-09-2009, 04:21 AM   #286
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Realistically, though, what's in it for Israel here?
Well, what's their better alternative? Toppling Hamas altogether would mean a power vacuum in Gaza (can you see Abbas riding back in on an IDF tank?); Hamas is most unlikely to stop firing missiles without a formal ceasefire; Mubarak is most unlikely to support the enhanced border security arrangements Israel demands without a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel; so all that really leaves is the same old clinging to the hope that suffocating Hamas economically and periodically pummeling it militarily (with inevitably high costs for civilians in both cases) will somehow "bring the Palestinians to their senses" and get them to "overthrow" Hamas. That too seems most unlikely, and Israel's moral capital erodes further with every day they continue this approach. I don't consider this an idealistic assessment; I'm thinking in terms of what seems most conducive (from a limited range of decidely non-ideal options) to working back towards a reasonably stable climate in which to resume land-for-peace negotiations.

The only reason I mentioned a prisoner exchange is because the Israeli government has said repeatedly that it would seek Gilad Shalit's return as part of any ceasefire agreement, which has been widely taken in both the Israeli and Arab press to mean they're prepared to do a prisoner exchange, since that's probably the only conceivable way that could happen. Yes, in view of the history of these prisoner exchanges it wouldn't be surprising if he weren't returned alive, but the Israelis hardly need to be reminded of that possibility. I didn't mean to otherwise suggest that a prisoner exchange is intrinsically necessary for a ceasefire agreement.

When I referred--not in the context of a ceasefire agreement; this is something wholly separate, and yes, more 'idealistic'--to "an initial good-faith gesture from Israel in the direction of eventual, inevitable compromises on right of return" I meant mutual compromises (I realized the first time someone quoted it that I'd probably regret not having specified that), but, being the stronger party vis-à-vis the Palestinians where money and territorial control is concerned, I think ideally Israel should take the first step here. In principle, recognition of the practical necessity of substantively addressing these claims as part of any final settlement is nothing new; at the 2000 Camp David summit for instance, Israel offered both the establishment of an international fund for refugee reparations, and a limited program of refugee returns to Israel proper for purposes of family reunification. An unqualified right of return would obviously not be accepted by Israel and would defeat the purpose of a two-state solution.
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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.
There's no question that Fatah is a more reasonable party than Hamas, though Palestinians could be forgiven for acidly remarking that if decades worth of illegal settlements and stealth annexation via barrier walls is what being 'reasonable' gets you, that's not much to take pride in. (Not to mention that there are increasing numbers of religious extremist expansionists among the Israeli settlers as well, which is a highly problematic development in its own right.) While I'm always inclined to be wary of prematurely writing off the potential of fundamentalist-affiliated political actors to behave rationally if the circumstances they're capitalizing on experience significant enough improvement to threaten their popular support, I can certainly grant that there are no guarantees that will happen. Most of the Arab regimes are deeply distrustful of Hamas, Hezbollah and their ties to Iran, though their need to save face with their publics, who sympathize with the Palestinians' humiliatingly subordinate position, generally restrains them from saying this out loud; this could be somewhat of a negotiations asset for Israel, if shock-and-awe military responses which kill large numbers of civilians don't stretch it past breaking point.

At any rate, at this point I'm speaking only of a ceasefire to put an end to the current crisis, which personally I can see no other morally acceptable way out of. I would expect there will be further ceasefires needed later, and I have no Plan B for what happens if, at some hypothetical future point, Hamas' continuing influence results in e.g. a blanket Palestinian refusal to permanently recognize Israel in exchange for land. But I cannot condone wagering that civilian deaths at this rate are a worthwhile price for Maybe, Possibly, We Hope making that hypothetical impossible.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:01 AM   #287
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Another day, another IDF war crime

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/7819492.stm

Israeli forces shelled a house in the Gaza Strip which they had moved around 110 Palestinians into 24 hours earlier, the UN quotes witnesses as saying.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called it "one of the gravest incidents" since the beginning of the offensive.

The shelling at Zeitoun, a south-east suburb of Gaza City, on 5 January killed some 30 people, the report said.

Israel said the allegations were being investigated.

"According to several testimonies, on 4 January Israeli foot soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitoun (half of whom were children) warning them to stay indoors," the OCHA report said.

"Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30."

The UN said those who survived and were able walked 2km to the main north-south road to be transported to hospital in civilian vehicles.

"Three children, the youngest of whom was five months old, died upon arrival at the hospital," the report said.

An estimated 770 Palestinians and 14 Israelies have died in nearly two weeks of Israel's air and ground offensive against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:10 AM   #288
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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.



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.
And how many ex-zionist terrorists have been prime minister of Israel? You can't have it both ways. If you call Israels actions restrained then you have no meaning of the word. You act like Israel has been a model of restraint an You can't imprison a people in a ghetto, deny them basic freedom and safety and then act all appalled if someone of them decide to take up a futile attempt to strike back.

Israel has the 3rd biggest nuclear arsenal in the world, and the 5th biggest standing army, Hamas doesn't even have one tank, there is NO threat to Israels continuing existance.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:12 AM   #289
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You beat me to the Hudnas
I'm not talking about a hudna (armistice, longterm truce); I'm talking about a tadiyeh (ceasefire, short-term truce) aimed primarily at resolving the present conflict. (Since we're apparently using the Arabic terms here.) Hudna is generally used specifically to refer to the stated Hamas policy of refusing on principle to offer permanent recognition to Israel as part of any two-state settlement, rather only the longterm (but nonetheless pointedly impermanent) hudna. While I consider this position foolishly self-destructive, and for obvious reasons can't see negotiations on a two-state solution succeeding until it's dropped, it need not be addressed as part of the presently hoped-for ceasefire, and no party to the conflict expects that it would be.
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If we think that Jews originated there and were expelled in ancient times by Muslims then having a country for themselves makes sense.
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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.
Erm, what? The Jewish diaspora came about through two major waves of expulsions: first, the 6th century BC mass deportations to Mesopotamia (i.e., 'Babylonian captivity'; in fact, already by Jesus' time most Jews lived outside Israel as a result); second, the several large-scale 2nd century AD expulsions at the hands of the Romans following various ill-fated uprisings, most notably the Bar-Kokhba revolt. There were certainly several Jewish diaspora communities in Arabia in Muhammad's day, but Israel as a land of the Jews was long since a thing of the past by that point. There were, of course, always other ethnoreligious groups in the area as well. I don't really understand what your second quote there is getting at (and how do you reconcile Nazism with this "wouldn't have a problem" thesis?), but Hamas' interpretation of Islam concerning Israel--as well as some fundamentalist Israeli settlers' interpretation of Judaism as justifying permanent Jewish occupation of all of Palestine--are not historically broadly characteristic of either national sovereignty movement; rather, those movements stemmed from the 19th century European ideology of ethnic nationalism: that the modern nation-state, in its capacity to embody a people's self-determination, is the only legitimate basis for sovereignty.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:25 AM   #290
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All the historical backgrounds only show even more that this situation cannot be put to an end so easily. Both groups seem too stubborn to even begin to seek out a compromise. Everyone here is now trying to find a way to put some rational thinking into this whole 'war'. I say that there is none, even if there was any before. Who is to blame, who isn't to blame? The fact is, that there's people being killed out there. It's a vicious circle, a battle which can't be won by anyone. Israel trying to stop Hamas this way is not going to solve anything, as Hamas can only be stopped if the last person clinging to Hamas has been killed. Which, obviously, is not going to happen as the group is gaining popularity each day and they have a totally different mentality than most people in Israel. It's like water and fire. As much as I sincerely hope there will be a truce followed by at least some sort of negotiations, I truly doubt if this will solve things immediately. It's a deeply-rooted conflict, which is going to take a change of mentality from both sides, so that means it will take generations. Don't get me wrong, we can start trying to improve the current situation right now. The only thing I'm afraid of, is that you can't change people's hearts and minds overnight...
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:49 AM   #291
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Are we entirely sure that Hamas, the de facto occupier of the Gaza Strip, is all that interested in its population's welfare either?
Hamas is not the occupier of Gaza under any kind of international law. I don't know if you're trying to be cute here, or what, but it really has no bearing at all to Israel's obligations. Not that Israel ever follows them anyway.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:12 AM   #292
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Hamas is not the occupier of Gaza under any kind of international law. I don't know if you're trying to be cute here, or what, but it really has no bearing at all to Israel's obligations. Not that Israel ever follows them anyway.
I'm not trying to be cute, and nor am I looking to offend anyone here. I'm just trying to seek, pragmatically, a lasting solution here. As far as I'm concerned, considering all the actors involved in this nearly century-old theatre of war (and, really, that's precisely what it is--an ongoing conflict related to the aftermath of the dissolution of the centuries-old Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI), we can cite textbook international law obligations ad infinitum, and it still doesn't change the fact that the conditions required for Israel to provide all those basic needs to Gaza just aren't there. Israel, I ultimately do not believe, locked up Gaza just because they're a bunch of sadists; it's locked up, because opening the doors up again will mean that Hamas will exploit it to start more violence against Israel.

As far as I'm concerned, again, the path toward peace and security for the Palestinians does not rest on what Israel needs to do; it rests on what Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, and their Middle Eastern backers need to do. I believe that, in spite of it all, Israel can achieve lasting peace with its former neighbours (again, see Egypt, Jordan, and their tentative, but imperfect calm with the West Bank). I do not see the same, currently, with Hamas, Hezbollah, and the anti-Israeli nations of the Middle East. Pragmatically, the immediate need for Israel's state security will always trump textbook international law, and we should, instead, ask ourselves why Israel cannot execute that law. The finger quite clearly points toward the terrorism Israel will inevitably receive as a "reward" for any humanitarian efforts; no good deed will go unpunished.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:26 AM   #293
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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.



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.



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.



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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Hamas is not the occupier of Gaza under any kind of international law. I don't know if you're trying to be cute here, or what, but it really has no bearing at all to Israel's obligations. Not that Israel ever follows them anyway.
They are occupying Gaza now, and have extremely clear obligations under international law which they aren't upholding. Doesn't really matter, as Israel has never up held it's obligations, not even when Gaza was under its explicit control from 1967-2005. International law cannot be enforced when the US gives Israel at do what you want and we'll veto any attempts to stop you, so it's no surprise the IDF act with impunity.

Any other country, would have crippling economic sanctions upheld against it. Iraq did, Serbia did. If it was not for the US and the UK Israel would be in the same position South Africa found itself in in the late 80's (and South Africa's crimes while abhorrent, were no where near as bad as Israels)
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:29 AM   #294
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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.
I guess I have to mention again - critisizing Israel does not absolve Hamas. Both are victim and victimizer using illegal, unconscionable tactics.

This circular, epic battle has always been between terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Either side perceived as 'winning' any concessions legitimzes one or the other of these unacceptable extremes. So we end up deadlocked until someone 'surrenders' - oh wait, that also legitimizes one or the other of...

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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 both sides are guilty of this.

Hamas isn't interested in living in a concentration camp called Palestine - even it were generously and fully serviced by Israel. That's aparteid.

Israel isn't interested in any degree of meaningful sovereignty for Palestinians because it would likely end territory expansion.

It's hard to see how it isn't Israel that has to make the bigger concessions here, and that is very, very hard to accept if it lends even a shred of legitimacy to terrorism.

So we say, ok Hamas, we won't deal with terrorists lay down your weapons. They do. Then under the pretense of being willing to negotiate, Israel can turn the dial on the water tap. Who is wrong in this situation?
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:30 AM   #295
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I'm not talking about a hudna (armistice, longterm truce); I'm talking about a tadiyeh (ceasefire, short-term truce) aimed primarily at resolving the present conflict. (Since we're apparently using the Arabic terms here.) Hudna is generally used specifically to refer to the stated Hamas policy of refusing on principle to offer permanent recognition to Israel as part of any two-state settlement, rather only the longterm (but nonetheless pointedly impermanent) hudna. While I consider this position foolishly self-destructive, and for obvious reasons can't see negotiations on a two-state solution succeeding until it's dropped, it need not be addressed as part of the presently hoped-for ceasefire, and no party to the conflict expects that it would be.
Until it's dropped what should Israel do? From the charter I posted above it appears that Hamas has no intention in treating international peace talks with any seriousness. It's just a way to get time to build weapons which fits in with a hudna quite well.

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Erm, what? The Jewish diaspora came about through two major waves of expulsions: first, the 6th century BC mass deportations to Mesopotamia (i.e., 'Babylonian captivity'; in fact, already by Jesus' time most Jews lived outside Israel as a result); second, the several large-scale 2nd century AD expulsions at the hands of the Romans following various ill-fated uprisings, most notably the Bar-Kokhba revolt. There were certainly several Jewish diaspora communities in Arabia in Muhammad's day, but Israel as a land of the Jews was long since a thing of the past by that point. There were, of course, always other ethnoreligious groups in the area as well. I don't really understand what your second quote there is getting at (and how do you reconcile Nazism with this "wouldn't have a problem" thesis?), but Hamas' interpretation of Islam concerning Israel--as well as some fundamentalist Israeli settlers' interpretation of Judaism as justifying permanent Jewish occupation of all of Palestine--are not historically broadly characteristic of either national sovereignty movement; rather, those movements stemmed from the 19th century European ideology of ethnic nationalism: that the modern nation-state, in its capacity to embody a people's self-determination, is the only legitimate basis for sovereignty.
I wouldn't have a problem with a two state solution but the public in general will have to abandon jihad for that to happen. Until then there will be no peace.

The point is that they were expelled and their culture comes from that region. What I want people to decide is whether Israel should exist or not. I've already seen arguments talking about "occupations" without being specific enough to say whether Israel is really an occupation purely by its existence or not.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:34 AM   #296
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They are occupying Gaza now, and have extremely clear obligations under international law which they aren't upholding. Doesn't really matter, as Israel has never up held it's obligations, not even when Gaza was under its explicit control from 1967-2005. International law cannot be enforced when the US gives Israel at do what you want and we'll veto any attempts to stop you, so it's no surprise the IDF act with impunity.

Any other country, would have crippling economic sanctions upheld against it. Iraq did, Serbia did. If it was not for the US and the UK Israel would be in the same position South Africa found itself in in the late 80's (and South Africa's crimes while abhorrent, were no where near as bad as Israels)
What should Israel do when they are attacked? BTW what is your opinion on the Hamas Charter that I posted? It shows that Hamas have no intention of peace.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:36 AM   #297
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I'm not trying to be cute, and nor am I looking to offend anyone here. I'm just trying to seek, pragmatically, a lasting solution here. As far as I'm concerned, considering all the actors involved in this nearly century-old theatre of war (and, really, that's precisely what it is--an ongoing conflict related to the aftermath of the dissolution of the centuries-old Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI), we can cite textbook international law obligations ad infinitum, and it still doesn't change the fact that the conditions required for Israel to provide all those basic needs to Gaza just aren't there. Israel, I ultimately do not believe, locked up Gaza just because they're a bunch of sadists; it's locked up, because opening the doors up again will mean that Hamas will exploit it to start more violence against Israel.

As far as I'm concerned, again, the path toward peace and security for the Palestinians does not rest on what Israel needs to do; it rests on what Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, and their Middle Eastern backers need to do. I believe that, in spite of it all, Israel can achieve lasting peace with its former neighbours (again, see Egypt, Jordan, and their tentative, but imperfect calm with the West Bank). I do not see the same, currently, with Hamas, Hezbollah, and the anti-Israeli nations of the Middle East. Pragmatically, the immediate need for Israel's state security will always trump textbook international law, and we should, instead, ask ourselves why Israel cannot execute that law. The finger quite clearly points toward the terrorism Israel will inevitably receive as a "reward" for any humanitarian efforts; no good deed will go unpunished.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:52 AM   #298
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I wouldn't have a problem with a two state solution but the public in general will have to abandon jihad for that to happen. Until then there will be no peace.
As it stands, Israel's actions clearly are to expand its territory against international law and has zero incentive to move to a meaningful two state solution AND can incite any level of jihad it needs to continue this pattern. It has absolute power.

So without justifying it, saying complete abandonment of jihad gets us back to the circular argument.

The only way to get away from absolutes and to a two state solution is to move away from absolute power.

There is only one party in a position to influence that.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:12 PM   #299
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As it stands, Israel's actions clearly are to expand its territory against international law and has zero incentive to move to a meaningful two state solution AND can incite any level of jihad it needs to continue this pattern. It has absolute power.

So without justifying it, saying complete abandonment of jihad gets us back to the circular argument.

The only way to get away from absolutes and to a two state solution is to move away from absolute power.

There is only one party in a position to influence that.
So you ignore the Hamas charter I posted? It's no better than Mein Kampf. Israel is not doing a Jihad. They are showing there is a consequence for firing rockets at them. I'm tired of this conversation because the people who instigated this problem (Hamas) have succeed with their propaganda to make it look like Israel attacked them unprovoked. This is no different than the propaganda techniques of the communists. Israel is put into a position of a "damned if you do and damned if you don't". These double binding techniques are no different than what most bullies do. They attack a victim but pretend to be one when the victim retaliates. If I was living in Israel I would be sick and tired of this game too.

Whether people believe it or not Islamic Fundamentalism is a threat to the world let alone Israel, and as Anitram pointed out they are out birthing Israelis. Islamic Fundamentalists are looking at this situation in a long term context of Israel being so weak and outnumbered that their state ends. It's a war.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #300
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A day with our troops in Gaza - Israel News, Ynetnews

Quote:
Meeting the locals
One of the company commanders runs over and excitingly tells us that the "Caterpillars" – D9 bulldozers used by the IDF – have uncovered a tunnel full of containers; but someone tells him that this tunnel is a familiar find. We head out to inspect the tunnel, which is located in fairly dangerous territory, in order to decide what to do with it. We get a short security briefing, individual "combat numbers" and off we go, moving through the alleys, the soldiers pointing their weapons at the top floors or the holes in the walls, as need be. Hamas is nowhere to be found, but it could reappear at any moment. We arrive at an open area and the troops deploy quickly. We are treading through the Gaza quagmire – and there is a lot of it around.

We run across a local family in one of the buildings. Grandparents, a few young parents, some children and a few toddlers. Sitting on a rug, their legs are covered in blankets and two soldiers are standing guard nearby. "What about them?" I ask. "They're free to go if they want to, but they don't want to," said Eilon Perry, Givati's operations officer. "They informed us they would be staying in the house and we have no choice but to accept that."



The family suddenly notices the cameras, and immediately, the expression on their faces changes. "We have no food," they say in Arabic, as one of the youngsters suggests we interview him in English about their plight. Givati troops are extremely concerned about being portrayed as abusing innocent civilians. Perry points to a stack of canned goods, water bottles and other provisions. "We provided some of that and they cook and eat quite well," said Perry. The Palestinians seem to understand him and one of them smiles. It's a war – they had to try.
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