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Lord Snow wrote:


And, by the way, as the recent tunnel threat has shown, that was a legitimate concern. In some of the major tunnels the IDF dug up during the last few days there were hundreds of tons of concrete and construction material.

If you're going to deprive people of everything right down to concrete for fear of it being weaponized, then you're taking the entirety of their responsibility into your hands.

The Exchange

Doug's Workshop wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:


Note in this case that 'neighbouring countries' = Egypt... that's it. They are the only other country with a shared border with any Palestinian controlled territory. You'd think that Jordan would border Palestine... but Israel have claimed a strip of land that prevents that.

And Jordan could still announce a policy of accepting refugees . . . but doesn't.

Actually, historically Jordan is the country that accepted the most Palestinian refugees after 1948 and 1967, the two times when huge amounts of Palestinians were become fresh refugees. Remember, the western strip used to actually BE a part of Jordan. Syria took a handful of refugees, too. It is noteworthy that in both cases, the Palestinians remained with refugee status, and were never granted citizenship.

Also, part of the reason many Palestinians did not choose to become refugees is their foolish obsession with the lands they used to own - I find that obsession to be equally stupid to that of the religious Jews who want to conquer the entirety of the lands promised by the bible.

I agree that in general most Arabic countries do not appear to be very honest with their concern for Palestinians, and have been focusing more on hating Israel than aiding Palestinians throughout the last 100 years or so (before 1948, it was about hating the Zionists).

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


And, by the way, as the recent tunnel threat has shown, that was a legitimate concern. In some of the major tunnels the IDF dug up during the last few days there were hundreds of tons of concrete and construction material.

If you're going to deprive people of everything right down to concrete for fear of it being weaponized, then you're taking the entirety of their responsibility into your hands.

It's a chicken and egg problem that you are over simplifying, of course.


Lord Snow wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:


Note in this case that 'neighbouring countries' = Egypt... that's it. They are the only other country with a shared border with any Palestinian controlled territory. You'd think that Jordan would border Palestine... but Israel have claimed a strip of land that prevents that.

And Jordan could still announce a policy of accepting refugees . . . but doesn't.

Actually, historically Jordan is the country that accepted the most Palestinian refugees after 1948 and 1967, the two times when huge amounts of Palestinians were become fresh refugees. Remember, the western strip used to actually BE a part of Jordan. Syria took a handful of refugees, too. It is noteworthy that in both cases, the Palestinians remained with refugee status, and were never granted citizenship.

Also, part of the reason many Palestinians did not choose to become refugees is their foolish obsession with the lands they used to own - I find that obsession to be equally stupid to that of the religious Jews who want to conquer the entirety of the lands promised by the bible.

I agree that in general most Arabic countries do not appear to be very honest with their concern for Palestinians, and have been focusing more on hating Israel than aiding Palestinians throughout the last 100 years or so (before 1948, it was about hating the Zionists).

And would those refugees be allowed to move to the Occupied Territories? Would any refugees who fled now be allowed to return? Israel controls the borders to the West Bank and most of Gaza and has agreements with Egypt about that border.


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Lord Snow wrote:


It's a chicken and egg problem that you are over simplifying, of course.

Complexity is an excuse for depravity. There are excuses for not letting them have concrete, there are none for depriving them to that level and then not cutting them a sufficient check to have a life when those restrictions ruin peoples lives.

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


It's a chicken and egg problem that you are over simplifying, of course.

Complexity is an excuse for depravity. There are excuses for not letting them have concrete, there are none for depriving them to that level and then not cutting them a sufficient check to have a life when those restrictions ruin peoples lives.

They didn't use to lack so much for basic supplies before the second Intifida. Honestly, I don't want to go into this because, as I said before, it's a really complex scenario that is a result of mutual aggression that is more than a century old, and where at each point each side was feeling that the other side was forcing it's hand. Suffice it to say that I find your view of things to be too one dimensional to ever be accurate. It is simply impossible that Israel is responsible for everything and the Palestinians are the only one who never have a choice.

Quote:
And would those refugees be allowed to move to the Occupied Territories? Would any refugees who fled now be allowed to return? Israel controls the borders to the West Bank and most of Gaza and has agreements with Egypt about that border.

They would not be allowed to return until a peaceful solution is found, of course, but their lives would be considerably better meanwhile. In general, during the 20th century uncounted millions of people across the world were uprooted from their homes and forced to flee somewhere else. Of them, I never heard of any that are quite as tenacious about reclaiming those lands as the Palestinians are. Honestly by this point it's not even their lands, it's the lands where their father's fathers used to live for the first half of their lives.


Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:
And would those refugees be allowed to move to the Occupied Territories? Would any refugees who fled now be allowed to return? Israel controls the borders to the West Bank and most of Gaza and has agreements with Egypt about that border.
They would not be allowed to return until a peaceful solution is found, of course, but their lives would be considerably better meanwhile. In general, during the 20th century uncounted millions of people across the world were uprooted from their homes and forced to flee somewhere else. Of them, I never heard of any that are quite as tenacious about reclaiming those lands as the Palestinians are. Honestly by this point it's not even their lands, it's the lands where their father's fathers used to live for the first half of their lives.

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.


Lord Snow wrote:
. Suffice it to say that I find your view of things to be too one dimensional to ever be accurate.

I find that your inability to articulate a problem with my position speaks volumes.

There is a power disparity. Those with power take from those without. Thats the story of humanity. You don't read for the story after you've seen it enough, you read for the details.

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:
And would those refugees be allowed to move to the Occupied Territories? Would any refugees who fled now be allowed to return? Israel controls the borders to the West Bank and most of Gaza and has agreements with Egypt about that border.
They would not be allowed to return until a peaceful solution is found, of course, but their lives would be considerably better meanwhile. In general, during the 20th century uncounted millions of people across the world were uprooted from their homes and forced to flee somewhere else. Of them, I never heard of any that are quite as tenacious about reclaiming those lands as the Palestinians are. Honestly by this point it's not even their lands, it's the lands where their father's fathers used to live for the first half of their lives.

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

See, a more cynical man (an actual cynical Arab told me this) would say that Palestinians are more useful for the Arabs as refugees, fighting the century old Zionist enemy, then they are alive and well and integrated into their neighboring countries. You see the Arab world is VERY fractured, as recent events in Syria prove well, and one of the best ways to keep the Sunni and the Shia from each other's throat is to present a more tempting throat to the both - namely, Israel.

I'm not saying that's true, I'm just suggesting that each and every Arab country has it's own reasons for not taking in Palestinian refugees, and most of them are probably more about inner politics and power struggles than they are about some noble higher notion of stopping an ethnic cleansing. You can't really build an argument where Israel (and the west in general) is this cynical, manipulative force that does things like making sure to kill just enough Palestinian citizens to not be considered genocidal yet still terrify the population - yet somehow the entire Arab world is composed of idealists.You must see that's unrealistic.

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
. Suffice it to say that I find your view of things to be too one dimensional to ever be accurate.

I find that your inability to articulate a problem with my position speaks volumes.

I have articulated several problems with your position throughout this thread. You, however, spent the last couple of forum pages in rather weak attempts to take my words out of context, or pick an argument with me, or something. Honestly, I think I just about tired of bothering.


thejeff wrote:

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

Yeah, so much better to continue to let those people be used by Hamas as human shields. Makes perfect sense. Can't believe I didn't think of that before.


Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:
And would those refugees be allowed to move to the Occupied Territories? Would any refugees who fled now be allowed to return? Israel controls the borders to the West Bank and most of Gaza and has agreements with Egypt about that border.
They would not be allowed to return until a peaceful solution is found, of course, but their lives would be considerably better meanwhile. In general, during the 20th century uncounted millions of people across the world were uprooted from their homes and forced to flee somewhere else. Of them, I never heard of any that are quite as tenacious about reclaiming those lands as the Palestinians are. Honestly by this point it's not even their lands, it's the lands where their father's fathers used to live for the first half of their lives.

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

See, a more cynical man (an actual cynical Arab told me this) would say that Palestinians are more useful for the Arabs as refugees, fighting the century old Zionist enemy, then they are alive and well and integrated into their neighboring countries. You see the Arab world is VERY fractured, as recent events in Syria prove well, and one of the best ways to keep the Sunni and the Shia from each other's throat is to present a more tempting throat to the both - namely, Israel.

I'm not saying that's true, I'm just suggesting that each and every Arab country has it's own reasons for not taking in Palestinian refugees, and most of them are probably more about inner politics and power struggles than they are about some noble higher notion of stopping an ethnic...

I don't think they're idealists. I suspect you're right about then focusing anger on Israel. I also think that encouraging an exodus from the territories rather than trying to help the Palestinians in place is abetting ethnic cleansing.

Of course, given the amount of actual help they get and the effect it's had, it might still be a better option.
I also suspect most of them don't dare try to absorb the Palestinian population at this point. Too much instability. Too much radicalism to take in.


Lord Snow wrote:


I have articulated several problems with your position throughout this thread.

you've repeatedly insulted my position. Not the same thing.

The Exchange

TheJeff, thank you :)

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


I have articulated several problems with your position throughout this thread.

you've repeatedly insulted my position. Not the same thing.

*shrug*. Any who reads this thread could make up their own mind about that. I know I made up mine.


Doug's Workshop wrote:
thejeff wrote:

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

Yeah, so much better to continue to let those people be used by Hamas as human shields. Makes perfect sense. Can't believe I didn't think of that before.

Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

The Exchange

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I've done some cursory research on the subject of Palestinians immigrants in Jordan and apparently there are nearly 2 millions of them, with thousands joining them every years in search of a better place to live in. It has actually gotten to the point where the racial demographics of the country are seriously shifted by the Palestinian presence.

I have to tip my hat to Jordan here. They appear to be the closest thing one can find to a pacifistic country in the middle east, taking in and helping others from all over the place (o.5 million Syrian refugees and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees being the most recent), having a reasonable approximation of a democratic rule, and even avoiding hostilities with just about everyone when they can.

I've briefly drove through Jordan once in the way to their airport. The people are very, very poor and it does not at all seem like the kind of place I'd want to live (the airport itself, of course, was a marvel of modern architecture and must have cost a fortune). Things are probably better in the larger urban centers there, I suppose. Anyway, if everyone around here (Israel included of course) would have behaved like the Jordans do, this thread would very probably not have existed.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

It would certainly deprive them of a weapon, because once the Palestinian issue is resolved, people might realize that the only liberally-minded nation in the region was Israel. Way easier to get the world distracted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than let the world focus on the moral, economic, educational, and cultural failings of the rest of the Middle East (quick: which nation in the region is rated highest by the Human Development Index? Here's a hint: it's the only functional democracy in the region).

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

The Exchange

Doug's Workshop wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

Believe you me, they know this. They are acutely aware of the fact that nobody has the magical combination of both wanting to help them and being able to. Most of them are sick of Israel, of Hamas, of Egypt, of everyone.

Sadly, it only takes some of them to continue the violence and condemn them all to a pretty miserable existence.


Doug's Workshop wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
So then, where are they supposed to go, doug?

I don't know, freehold. Maybe out of a war zone. I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure not being used as a human shield is preferable option to studying next to a missile.

There'd be no point in Israel denying civilians the chance to leave.

But there's a better chance that the sun would start rising in the west than Muslim countries provide refugee charity to the Palestinians.

letting them leave would essentially move hamas out of Palestine and into wherever they ended up, resulting in a war on two fronts. It would not be in their interests to let them leave. Lord Snow can correct me on this though, I may simply be too jaded here.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
thejeff wrote:

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

Yeah, so much better to continue to let those people be used by Hamas as human shields. Makes perfect sense. Can't believe I didn't think of that before.

Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

also, this.

Quote:
Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

something that is really forgotten by all on the other side save perhaps for the Israelis.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


I have articulated several problems with your position throughout this thread.

you've repeatedly insulted my position. Not the same thing.

if it helps, I think you're both right. Which may be the problem.


Lord Snow wrote:


Believe you me, they know this. They are acutely aware of the fact that nobody has the magical combination of both wanting to help them and being able to. Most of them are sick of Israel, of Hamas, of Egypt, of everyone.

Sadly, it only takes some of them to continue the violence and condemn them all to a pretty miserable existence.

Out of curiousity, is there a Palestinian organzation that recognizes that working with Israel is a better option?


Lord Snow wrote:


*shrug*. Any who reads this thread could make up their own mind about that. I know I made up mine.

What you have is an unrealistic expectation of your own safety that's the starting point for your view on the matter. Its very human and very understandable, but its definitely in the way of seeing things from another perspective.

Israel is the primary architect for the political landscape in which it dwells. There was a fight, they won (and continue to win), to the victor go the spoils. As part of that victory Israel has set conditions to ensure her own safety and identity as a Jewish state that perpetuate the problem. In most cases this is what history is: a series of problems you created by solving your previous problem.

No arms to the palastinian law enforcement means they cannot fight their own militants. Probably beats the alternative of the palastinian law enforcement fighting against you with heavy weapons, but expecting them to police their own under those conditions is impractical. This is making the best of a bad situation.

An embargo so restrictive as to exclude home depot prevents tunnels, but at the staggering cost of stiffing economic development and standards of living. The cost/risk/benefit ratio behind that line of thinking seems simply inhuman. How many Palestinians have to die or live in squalor because of it? How many Israeli lives does it save?


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Doug's Workshop wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


Believe you me, they know this. They are acutely aware of the fact that nobody has the magical combination of both wanting to help them and being able to. Most of them are sick of Israel, of Hamas, of Egypt, of everyone.

Sadly, it only takes some of them to continue the violence and condemn them all to a pretty miserable existence.

Out of curiousity, is there a Palestinian organzation that recognizes that working with Israel is a better option?

Is working with Israel a better option?


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Doug's Workshop wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

It would certainly deprive them of a weapon, because once the Palestinian issue is resolved, people might realize that the only liberally-minded nation in the region was Israel. Way easier to get the world distracted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than let the world focus on the moral, economic, educational, and cultural failings of the rest of the Middle East (quick: which nation in the region is rated highest by the Human Development Index? Here's a hint: it's the only functional democracy in the region).

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

Once the Palestinian issue is resolved? How does taking in refugees do that? Other than by eventually emptying Palestine of Palestinians and giving it all to Israel?


BigNorseWolf wrote:


An embargo so restrictive as to exclude home depot prevents tunnels, but at the staggering cost of stiffing economic development and standards of living. The cost/risk/benefit ratio behind that line of thinking seems simply inhuman. How many Palestinians have to die or live in squalor because of it? How many Israeli lives does it save?

Forget "stiffing economic development and standards of living", think "rebuilding bombed homes".


thejeff wrote:
Once the Palestinian issue is resolved? How does taking in refugees do that? Other than by eventually emptying Palestine of Palestinians and giving it all to Israel?

Infinity in this case. They're multiplying faster than they're leaving. (a dam that IS going to burst eventually)

The Exchange

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Doug's Workshop wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

It would certainly deprive them of a weapon, because once the Palestinian issue is resolved, people might realize that the only liberally-minded nation in the region was Israel. Way easier to get the world distracted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than let the world focus on the moral, economic, educational, and cultural failings of the rest of the Middle East (quick: which nation in the region is rated highest by the Human Development Index? Here's a hint: it's the only functional democracy in the region).

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

Isreal brought resources and education in from europe that the rest lack and are bankrolled by america. Cannot call that a fair competition.

how can second class "citizens" locked in what amounts to concentration camps find peace with people that mistreat them daily?


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On the topic of inequitable warfare... there was a time back during the second world war where a minority group carried out an armed insurgency against the occupying force. Hotels were bombed, ambassadors were assassinated and blatantly terrorist tactics were used. A tidbit of that: In 1948 the Lehi assassinated the UN mediator Count Bernadotte in Jerusalem. Yitzak Shamir, future prime minister of Israel was one of the conspirators.

The occupying force in that case was Britain... and it was jewish extremists carrying out the terrorism.

I'm not posting that to demonize the resistance fighters / terrorists of that time, but more to show that in desperate times people tend to take desperate actions.


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Mark Sweetman wrote:

On the topic of inequitable warfare... there was a time back during the second world war where a minority group carried out an armed insurgency against the occupying force. Hotels were bombed, ambassadors were assassinated and blatantly terrorist tactics were used. A tidbit of that: In 1948 the Lehi assassinated the UN mediator Count Bernadotte in Jerusalem. Yitzak Shamir, future prime minister of Israel was one of the conspirators.

The occupying force in that case was Britain... and it was jewish extremists carrying out the terrorism.

I'm not posting that to demonize the resistance fighters / terrorists of that time, but more to show that in desperate times people tend to take desperate actions.

Exactly. When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right, but it is what happens.

We should be very careful about demonizing those who do so and excusing their opponents, not working under the same restrictions, who do not.

I hold Israel to a higher standard militarily, not because Jews should be better than Arabs or because Israel is closer to a Western democracy or any of the other nonsense, but because Israel is the dominant military power in the conflict. They have more options.


TheJeff wrote:
When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If you were in say, a polish ghetto during world war II I don't see any reason to keep ANY of the gloves on.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
TheJeff wrote:
When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If you were in say, a polish ghetto during world war II I don't see any reason to keep ANY of the gloves on.

Blow up random German civilians, if you find the military (or even war effort related civilian infrastructure) to hard to target?

Of course that assumes you can get into Germany to do so.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If you were in say, a polish ghetto during world war II I don't see any reason to keep ANY of the gloves on.

What is the Gaza blockade and embargo if not effectively turning it into a ghetto?

But at least you admit that we're no longer in black and white and into grey or gray.


I'd prefer if we were going into red, myself.

A bit old, but the best summation of my views on Israel, Palestine, Hamas, Gazan rockets, etc. that I haven't already posted. I cut and paste it for easy access.

Spoiler:
Israel Out of the Occupied Territories!

Defend Palestinians Against Zionist Onslaught on Gaza!

JULY 8—As we go to press, at least 27 Palestinians have been killed and many more wounded in Israel’s latest terror bombing of its Gaza concentration camp. To those at the helm of Zionist Israel, their repeated attacks on Gaza are just “mowing the grass,” a “sort of maintenance,” as a former military commander put it. Indeed, the current assault, a projected long-term offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” is standard procedure for the rulers of capitalist Israel, a Zionist garrison state founded on the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

The pretext for the current wave of Zionist terror was the June 12 abduction of three teenage yeshiva students hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank and the discovery of their bodies 18 days later. Although no evidence has been revealed about who committed the killings, Israel’s rulers effectively delivered a verdict of collective guilt on the Palestinian population. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out more than 2,400 raids on homes, medical offices and schools and arrested some 600 Palestinians, killing at least seven, while also bombing dozens of sites in Gaza prior to the current attack. Now, the mobilization of 1,500 infantry and police reservists and plans to call up an additional 40,000 IDF reservists threaten a major bloodbath of Palestinians. Meanwhile, most of impoverished Gaza’s ambulances will not be running due to lack of fuel and its hospitals have declared a state of emergency. The working class internationally must stand in defense of the besieged Palestinians against the Zionist terror machine!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly declared the Islamic fundamentalists of Hamas guilty of the killings of the three Israelis, even though Hamas, which runs Gaza, never claimed responsibility. As calculated, his pronouncement touched off a round of terror by fascistic West Bank settlers and other reactionary Jewish mobs directed against Israeli Arabs as well as Palestinians. The chauvinist frenzy culminated in the abduction and hideous murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir of East Jerusalem. Seized by ultra-Zionists on July 2, the youth was later found burned to death, touching off angry protests by Palestinians in the West Bank and in some Israeli cities that continue to rage. Anger was further stoked by a brutal police attack on Muhammad’s American cousin, 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, at a protest in East Jerusalem.

The ever-expanding Zionist settlements in the West Bank have increasingly ghettoized the native Palestinian population, from the walls surrounding the territory to the “bypass roads” and military zones that are off-limits to them. The very existence of these settlements is a constant reminder to the Palestinians of their dispossession. All Israeli troops and settlers out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem!

Gaza is all but defenseless against the Zionist military juggernaut, sealed off by the sea and by its borders with Israel as well as Egypt, whose military regime is hostile to Hamas. While Hamas forces can at most launch crude rocket attacks, the Zionists are armed to the teeth, including with the Near East’s only nuclear arsenal. As Israeli forces bombed the Gaza ghetto from the air and sea, today’s Haaretz printed a statement by President Obama lauding the $3 billion annual U.S. military aid to the Zionist regime for “making Israel safer” and serving to “save lives.” With breathtaking cynicism, he went on to declare his support for the Palestinians’ “right to self-determination” while intoning that any Palestinian government must be pledged to “nonviolence” and recognition of Israel! In opposing its “own” capitalist rulers and their military alliances, the U.S. working class must oppose all U.S. aid to Israel. As supporters of just causes, we Marxists do not equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressors.

We take a side militarily with Hamas against the Zionist terror campaign, while giving not the least political support to these Islamic reactionaries or to Palestinian bourgeois nationalism. We fight to bring the class axis to the fore. National emancipation for the Palestinians requires the proletarian overthrow of the Israeli capitalist rulers and also those of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, which are home to millions of Palestinians. The Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab populations are interpenetrated peoples, laying rival claims to the same territory. Under capitalism, the exercise of the national rights of one necessarily comes at the expense of the right of self-determination of the other. Only in a socialist federation of the Near East can conflicting claims over land and resources be equitably resolved, and all discrimination on the basis of language, religion and nationality be done away with.

Israel is a class-divided society, with workers exploited by the capitalist ruling class. The hard but necessary task of breaking through the chauvinism that poisons the consciousness of Jewish working people is not made any easier by the criminal, indiscriminate bombings carried out by Hamas and other Palestinian forces against Israeli civilians, which drive the Jewish population further into the arms of their rulers. What must be done is to forge revolutionary Marxist parties in Israel/Palestine and throughout the Near East, in opposition to all forms of nationalism and religious fundamentalism and committed to the struggle for socialist revolution on a world scale.

F%#* Hamas! F*!% Israel! F@&+ Fatah! F$#$ UN! F#%% UNRWA! F+~& US!
Down with the Mullahs, Shieks, Colonels and Zionists!
For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
Vive le Galt!


Situation for civilians in Gaza at present


thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
TheJeff wrote:
When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If you were in say, a polish ghetto during world war II I don't see any reason to keep ANY of the gloves on.

Blow up random German civilians, if you find the military (or even war effort related civilian infrastructure) to hard to target?

Of course that assumes you can get into Germany to do so.

I don't know if I'd break that one, but throwing on a german uniform and going inglorious personsofuncertainheritage on them or slipping rat poison into the officers mess certainly seems like a good idea.

Liberty's Edge

Andrew R wrote:


how can second class "citizens" locked in what amounts to concentration camps find peace with people that mistreat them daily?

:/

Hard to argue with. The converse of course is that people shouldn't have to live under threat of rocket fire every day. There don't seem to be any simple solutions.

(Edit to fix quote formatting)


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the converse converse *chases own tail* is that the Palestinians have to deal with much deadlier rocket fire AND live in a blighted hellhole that makes Detroit look swanky by comparison.

Liberty's Edge

Mark Sweetman wrote:
Situation for civilians in Gaza at present

So if rockets, launched from Pakistan damage the ability of Pakistan to receive electricity, it is Israel's obligation to fix it immediately. Yup, that's totally fair.

I wonder how many people in this thread would hold the same ideals if the government raised their taxes by 50 or so percent to pay for things for in Mexico.

Liberty's Edge

ShadowcatX wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:
Situation for civilians in Gaza at present

So if rockets, launched from Pakistan damage the ability of Pakistan to receive electricity, it is Israel's obligation to fix it immediately. Yup, that's totally fair.

I wonder how many people in this thread would hold the same ideals if the government raised their taxes by 50 or so percent to pay for things for in Mexico.

Pretty sure that the Pakistanis have not started launching on Israel.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

the converse converse *chases own tail* is that the Palestinians have to deal with much deadlier rocket fire AND live in a blighted hellhole that makes Detroit look swanky by comparison.

I'm not disagreeing with you. See "no simple solutions".

Besides, I wanted to seize the opportunity to agree with the previous poster, it happens less than a blue moon.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:
Situation for civilians in Gaza at present

So if rockets, launched from Pakistan damage the ability of Pakistan to receive electricity, it is Israel's obligation to fix it immediately. Yup, that's totally fair.

I wonder how many people in this thread would hold the same ideals if the government raised their taxes by 50 or so percent to pay for things for in Mexico.

Huh - you lost me at strawman? Palestinian rockets haven't been causing the massive infrastructure damage - that's been Israeli strikes.

Besides - the Israeli government has a vested interest in ensuring electricity and water supply continues. Because they own the companies that make money off supplying it.

And lastly - the issue of water and power politics is more pervasive than just related to Protective Edge.
Relevant Reference Information

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


Believe you me, they know this. They are acutely aware of the fact that nobody has the magical combination of both wanting to help them and being able to. Most of them are sick of Israel, of Hamas, of Egypt, of everyone.

Sadly, it only takes some of them to continue the violence and condemn them all to a pretty miserable existence.

Out of curiousity, is there a Palestinian organzation that recognizes that working with Israel is a better option?

Is working with Israel a better option?

The western bank is pretty much working with Israel*, and I'd say at least for now they are better off than Gaza. The murky reality is, of course, that their position is still terrible. And the settlements keep gnawing at their territory. I still believe they have a better chance than Gaza, in the long run as well as the short.

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

On the topic of inequitable warfare... there was a time back during the second world war where a minority group carried out an armed insurgency against the occupying force. Hotels were bombed, ambassadors were assassinated and blatantly terrorist tactics were used. A tidbit of that: In 1948 the Lehi assassinated the UN mediator Count Bernadotte in Jerusalem. Yitzak Shamir, future prime minister of Israel was one of the conspirators.

The occupying force in that case was Britain... and it was jewish extremists carrying out the terrorism.

I'm not posting that to demonize the resistance fighters / terrorists of that time, but more to show that in desperate times people tend to take desperate actions.

Exactly. When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right, but it is what happens.

We should be very careful about demonizing those who do so and excusing their opponents, not working under the same restrictions, who do not.

I hold Israel to a higher standard militarily, not because Jews should be better than Arabs or because Israel is closer to a Western democracy or any of the other nonsense, but because Israel is the dominant military power in the conflict. They have more options.

I agree to some extent, but want to point out a couple of things that seem important:

1) Part of the problem is that Hamas and the other military organization working in Gaza are not purely reactive and defensive. That is, their goal is not only to free Gaza - they are part of a larger global net of similar forces in the Islamic world that operate out of religious zeal. Larger forces working behind the scenes are using Palestinians into more violence than they might have naturally chosen to use. Viewing Hamas as nothing more than freedom fighters is a mistake.

2) Holding Israel to a larger piece of the responsibility pie is reasonable, but one should note that Israel IS, at least in it's military operations, being much more responsible and careful than Hamas. One can argue (and be correct, in my opinion) that as a country Israel is doing wrong by not finding a peaceful solution, but when it actually comes to a war, like now, the military does do whatever one could ask for to avoid casualties while still obtaining it's objectives. Civilians are often warned ahead of time when an attack is coming - during the ground invasion the IDF gave up the element of surprise by warning three days ahead of time that they are going to attack a certain area - that ended up costing Israel the lives of 13 soldiers. What more can one ask of a military to do, while still doing their job at fighting Hamas?

Yesterday I did a little research on the history and current situation of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt (It's shameful that it took me so long in my life to do that). I even posted here that I was seriously impressed with Jordan and it's peacekeeping ways. The one serious civil conflict they had lately was "Black September". There Jordan had to handle some Palestinians rebels of it's own, and during ten days, at least 3400 Palestinians were killed. In the Lebanese Civil War, at least 5000 Palestinian civilian were killed. Later in that same war, in an incident know as "war of the camps", an unknown number of thousands of Palestinian civilians died.

The thing is, if you sum up the Palestinian casualties of war after 1948 (where an insane number of Palestinians were killed by Israelis, but I'd argue that one cannot really say Israel was holding all the power during that war, not at all), Israel killed far fewer Palestinians in over 70 years of constant conflict and an occupation, than other Arabs killed in a few short bursts of violence. I'd call that restraint.

Some number crunching (current was not yet figured into the numbers):

1) Total number of Palestinians killed by Israel, including the 1948 war: ~38,000
2) Total number of Palestinians killed by Israel, not including 1948 war: ~15,000
3) Total number of civilian Palestinians killed by Israel, not including 1948: ~8000 (this one I used a rule of thumb that seemed high enough to be accurate in cases where number of civilian casualties is unknown - I assumed 70% of the number of combatant deaths as civilian deaths)

4) Total number of Palestinian deaths caused by Arabs (including other Palestinians in civil wars) since 1948: ~21,000

Those numbers were summed from this Wikipedia page. My rules of thumb in cases of estimation: In cases where Israel was involved, I assumed that if number of civilian casualties is not exactly known, about 70% of the number of combatant death is civilian deaths, which seems high enough to be fair. In cases where number of deaths were unknown I took the most conservative estimations (for example, in Black September the number cited is 3,400-20,000, I calculated with 3,400). In cases where Israel wasn't involved I took much mower estimation of civilians deaths, so for example in the War of the Camps where 5000 combatants were killed, I estimated 1000 civilians death, much lower than the 70% standard to which I held Israel.

So, I think the number speak for themselves. Israel has higher military responsibility... and it stands up to it. I want to stress that I am only talking about military considerations, not civil ones where Israel is every bit as bad and probably worse than the Palestinians in taking the blame for continuation of the conflict.

The Exchange

This one is going to be another long post. It's a translation by me of an article that appeared in the news this morning, which I think sums up my opinion in a far more intelligent and concise manner than I could. It's very interesting, I think:

article:

So what would you purpose?

The terrible pictures and the horrifying stories from Gaza are unbearable. A decent man cannot remain indifferent to so much pain and suffering - in many of the cases the pain and suffering of innocents, children for example. Yet still, decent people dull their sensitivities, and when confronted with arguments against this horrible suffering they would often say, "so what would you purpose?".
The argument hidden within that question is simple: Israeli citizens have the right to not be attacked. They have the right to demand that their government protect them, and the government has the duty to comply. Because of manipulations enacted by Hamas (for example, using their civilians as human shields), Israel has no way to withhold this responsibility to it's own people while causing less civilian casualties. In short, if you have another way, purpose it. If not, shut up.

It's important to think about this argument, and it's possible to counter it - one way of showing how it's problematic is as follows: nationalities have the right to define themselves as such. Humans have the right to live freely, not under occupation and siege and conditions of personal and national humiliation. Palestinians have the right for hope and for a reasonable lifestyle. Their leadership is responsible to ensure that. Because of Israeli manipulations (for example, the settlements policy and an unwillingness for any honest peace negotiations) and because of other reasons (such as a disparity in military, economic and technological capabilities) the Palestinians leadership has no other way to fight for those rights than the use of terror - including use of human shields. In short, if you have another way, purpose it. If not, shut up.

Most of us will not be persuaded by this argument, and rightfully so. But why? how is it different than the one about the brutal attacks in Gaza?
The failing in the argument for terror is, that just because a cause seems just and a course of action seems the best way to achieve it, does not necessarily mean that taking that course of action is worthy. From this failing one could learn a broader lesson: that some means of acquiring an objective - despite being the best ways of doing so - are so bad themselves that it is worthy to give up the objective in order to avoid doing them. If the only way to achieve freedom is through terror, it might be that there is moral justification to give up freedom.
But - if that is our response to the matter of terrorism, it must also apply to the prior argument - if the only way to defend Israel against missile fire or even the tunnel threat is by inflicting death, injury and destruction upon Gaza in the scale that Israeli is currently using, it might be needed to give up the worthy objective of neutralizing such threats.

But in both cases, there might not be a need to hastily give up the entirety of the cause. There's almost always another way, even if it involves other costs: for example, maintaining a non violent protests on the Palestinian side; For example, engaging in real negotiations with the intention of solving the problem in Gaza in peaceful ways. Once we become willing to broaden our gaze and examine more than the most pressing matters, an entire new field of possibilities opens up.

One of the most important duty of any leader is to try and avoid getting into such tragic circumstances, where the only way to advance worthwhile causes is through horrible means. The Palestinian leadership has obviously probably failed occasionally at doing so. The Israeli government most certainly failed at it several times. It's policy in the last few years - the rapid growth of settlements, the siege of Gaza, the effort to delegitimize the Palestinian government, and mostly the intentional escalation of the last few weeks in an effort to snuff out the union of Fatah and Hamas - they all brought us, as expected, to the current state of events.
The answer to the question of what to do now would be affected, among other things, by these chilling facts. I am not naive. Nations and nationalities do not tend to give up strategic objectives just because the unforgivable moral price that the way to achieve them entails, moreover so when the price to pay is in the lives of the people in the other side, that considerable efforts are invested in denying it's humanity and ignoring it's suffering. Israel will continue to cause indescribable suffering, that in no way could be viewed as proportional to it's legitimate causes, and Hamas would continue to attack civilians (as well as soldiers) intentionally and use terror as a part of it's struggle - like any other nationality would, in it's place. It would appear not enough blood has been spilled yet.

But, at least, it would be decent of us to avoid the feeling of moral superiority, as if we are so different from them, as if there is no base of comparison. Anyone who understands the horrors of Gaza and asks, "but what would you purpose" as if that is enough to cover for any practical consequence of these horrors, is using exactly the same argument as any terrorist ever did.

written by professor Anoch, who teaches philosophy and law in the Hebrew university of Jerusalem


Lord Snow - on the whole I agree with you from the military perspective. The Israeli military does show a higher military responsibility... especially when you boil specifically down to explicitly military / militant actions.

However what I lament and question is whether what it does do is enough.

I'd state for an absolute speculative fact that in some cases Israel follows through on military action when there would be an expectation of multiple civilian casualties.

Actions like the Al-Dalu family strike in 2012, and the Abu Jame strike in 2014. Both struck families at home, and were aimed at a single combatant but killed over thirty civilians between the two.

A skerrick of honesty or ownership rather than the constant and relentless blame shifting at Hamas would make them more palatable and believable.

Quotes like:
“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Source
and
Israel did not choose to enter this campaign but from the moment it was forced on us...We regret every injury to innocents but insofar as they are harmed, Hamas – and Hamas alone – is to blame. Source
Don't help.

Edit - thanks for the work translating that Lord Snow, it's a decent read.


Lord Snow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

On the topic of inequitable warfare... there was a time back during the second world war where a minority group carried out an armed insurgency against the occupying force. Hotels were bombed, ambassadors were assassinated and blatantly terrorist tactics were used. A tidbit of that: In 1948 the Lehi assassinated the UN mediator Count Bernadotte in Jerusalem. Yitzak Shamir, future prime minister of Israel was one of the conspirators.

The occupying force in that case was Britain... and it was jewish extremists carrying out the terrorism.

I'm not posting that to demonize the resistance fighters / terrorists of that time, but more to show that in desperate times people tend to take desperate actions.

Exactly. When people cannot resist openly following the laws of war, they find other ways. It's not just. It's not moral and it's not right, but it is what happens.

We should be very careful about demonizing those who do so and excusing their opponents, not working under the same restrictions, who do not.

I hold Israel to a higher standard militarily, not because Jews should be better than Arabs or because Israel is closer to a Western democracy or any of the other nonsense, but because Israel is the dominant military power in the conflict. They have more options.

I agree to some extent, but want to point out a couple of things that seem important:

1) Part of the problem is that Hamas and the other military organization working in Gaza are not purely reactive and defensive. That is, their goal is not only to free Gaza - they are part of a larger global net of similar forces in the Islamic world that operate out of religious zeal. Larger forces working behind the scenes are using Palestinians into more violence than they might have naturally chosen to use. Viewing Hamas as nothing more than freedom fighters is a mistake.

2) Holding Israel to a larger piece of the responsibility pie is reasonable, but one should note that Israel IS,...

Yeah, we're bad, but the other guy is worse? It's stuff like this that makes it obvious Israel is losing it's soul, as you mentioned above. They are making more fanatics on all sides than they are killing with these tactics. Another way has to be found before they fully turn into the monsters they resisted so nobly.

The Exchange

Quote:
Yeah, we're bad, but the other guy is worse? It's stuff like this that makes it obvious Israel is losing it's soul, as you mentioned above. They are making more fanatics on all sides than they are killing with these tactics. Another way has to be found before they fully turn into the monsters they resisted so nobly.

Agreed.


Lord Snow wrote:


2) Holding Israel to a larger piece of the responsibility pie is reasonable, but one should note that Israel IS, at least in it's military operations, being much more responsible and careful than Hamas. One can argue (and be correct, in my opinion) that as a country Israel is doing wrong by not finding a peaceful solution, but when it actually comes to a war, like now, the military does do whatever one could ask for to avoid casualties while still obtaining it's objectives.

But that's my point. The IDF cando far more than Hamas to avoid casualties while still obtaining its objectives.

Obvious example: Hamas can't set up military bases outside of civilian areas. Any attempt to do so would just be destroyed. It has to hide among the civilian population. But that means they're using "human shields".

Hamas has far less options than Israel does.

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