Hamas to Israelis: Taste a Delicious, Violent Death

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As could be expected, most Arab countries are making no secret of who they deem responsible for the Israel strikes against Gaza, but Haaretz notes that Egypt too has come under fire from militant groups for negotiating with the evil Zionist entity. Al-Ahram, a paper controlled by the Mubarak regime, defended the Egyptian government's position while criticizing both Hamas and Israel.

An editorial published in the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram on Monday argues that the Hamas leadership, who kept silent as Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel, is partially to blame for the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 300 Palestinians in the last three days. "If you can't kill the wolf, don't pull its tail" says the article.

Since Saturday, Egypt has been under media attack by Hamas and various Islamic organizations in the Arab world, for collaborating with Israel. The attack peaked Sunday when Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Egyptians to come out in protest against their government.

The Egyptian government rejects claims it is in collusion with Israel, indicating that it had warned against such an Israeli response if Gaza militants continued to fire rockets." Palestinian officials who do not want peace and seek empty heroism did not take Egypt's warnings seriously," says the article. "The day of the Israeli foreign minister's visit to Egypt, the militants sabotaged mediation efforts to reach a cease-fire agreement by firing 60 rockets at Israel."

At The New Republic, Marty Peretz tells Hamas not to "fuck with the Jews." Via The Daily Beast, Hamas Television, available from most quality satellite providers, tells Israel not to fuck with Gaza or they will "taste violent death."

A series of dispatches I wrote from Israel earlier this year can be read here, here, and here.

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  1. Seriously, I’m so sick of this conflict.

  2. Isn’t religion wonderful?

  3. The idea that terror bombings like the Blitz, the rocket attacks, or the IDF bombing runs are going to make the enemy more amenable, and successfully send the message “Don’t fuck with us,” has been so obviously and completely disproven for so long that making such a claim can only be a pretext for the sheer joy of killing/being a tough guy (from a safe 10,000 miles away) that comes through in Peretz’s piece.

  4. The Palestinians amaze me for their absolute inability to ever accept defest. Even when they are getting massacred 100-1.
    They would rather get bombed into oblivion than refrain from firing a couple of useless rockets that don’t even kill anyone into Israel.

    Seriously, these people are way past the point where pride is getting the better of them. They are in psychotic obsessive compulsive territory here.

  5. Joe, I think the real objective here is for Israel to present Obama with a fait accompli, and also for Kadima to look tough so Likud loses the elections. That’s the objective here, not terror, and not homemade rockets.

  6. “Associate Editor Michael C. Moynihan is traveling though Israel on a program sponsored by the American Israel Education Fund, a travel program for journalists sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

    Oh snap, well that explains why Moynihan can have a cow over Chavez planning to take over a shopping mall but is silent on Israel’s restrictions on economic, political and social freedoms in the Occupied Territories, as detailed in the link on the bottom, a source I’ve seen Moynihan use in his two-minute hates on Chavez (correctly, it’s a very reputable organization).

    Oh, and their current restrictions on the right of Gaza citizens to live without missle fragments in their bodies.

    Moynihan, you’re the biggest tool since Craftsman. That’s the answer.

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/category,COI,HRW,ANNUALREPORT,ISR,47a87c07c,0.html

  7. Zionism is a mental and emotional disorder.

  8. BDB,

    What fait are the Israelis trying to accompli?

  9. The idea that terror bombings like the Blitz, the rocket attacks, or the IDF bombing runs are going to make the enemy more amenable, and successfully send the message “Don’t fuck with us,” has been so obviously and completely disproven for so long that making such a claim can only be a pretext for the sheer joy of killing/being a tough guy (from a safe 10,000 miles away) that comes through in Peretz’s piece.

    Whereas the idea that firing rockets at Israel is going to suceed in overcoming the “Zionist entity” is so patently ludicrous that doing it can only be the manifestation of some kind of insane death wish.

    Seriously, WTF is Hamas trying to accomplish?

  10. Joe–

    To get Obama to weigh in on the side of Israel. They’re testing him to see if he will be as pro-Israeli as he promised to be during the campaign.

  11. Don’t get me wrong, the subject and angle of Moynihan’s postings make perfect sense for one trying to cultivate an audience from the very fickle and numerous right wing wing nuts. In fact, that’s increasingly becoming the only explanation that makes much sense at all.

    Taking a principled stand against the cha-cha dance Israel does on various freedoms in the Occupied Territories would certainly put a hole in that plan (how much criticism of Israel do you see on NRO?). And a man’s gotta put food on his plate, you know?

  12. Moynihan has been funded by AIPAC? Not cool, dude.

  13. Hazel,

    Whereas the idea that firing rockets at Israel is going to suceed in overcoming the “Zionist entity” is so patently ludicrous that doing it can only be the manifestation of some kind of insane death wish.

    Why are you restating what I just wrote as if it was a comeback?

    The idea that terror bombings like the Blitz, the rocket attacks, or the IDF bombing runs…

    Seriously, WTF is Hamas trying to accomplish? I haven’t the foggiest idea what makes people continue to think this tactic will work.

    How’s this for a theory: Hamas saw how Hezbollah’s success at goading Israel into an ill-conceived war two years ago led to to their (Hezbollah’s) improved political situation in Lebanese politics, and they are trying to similarly set themselves up as the “National Resistance” in Palestine, with the goal of taking the West Bank from Fatah.

  14. What’s the big deal? My postings here are funded by the Khilafat movement, which, among other things, wants to restore the Ottoman Empire.

  15. So Joe I guess the Israelis should just sit there and let Hamas kill them? You have to get past the “well it is just a few people killed what is the big deal” and think about the other effects of these attacks. I can tell you from personal experience it sucks to get shelled. Even if your individual chances of dying are slim, the odd round flying into your town every day killing a few people is one hell of a buzz kill. I lived like that in Iraq for six months on a compound that was repeatedly rocketed and mortared and one or two people, out of the 1000s that were there, would get killed every week. What were my chances of getting it? Pretty low. Probably lower than my chances of getting killed on the beltway today. But, that doesn’t really matter when it is happening to you. That is what people in Israel have been living with for months now. You can’t live like that. You can’t have a civilization under those conditions. No government can tolerate that. If Hamas doesn’t want to be on the wrong end of a cruise missile, they need to stop bombing Israel.

  16. I’ve only read “So Joe I guess…”

    Let’s see if I can fill in the rest of John’s comment:

    “…Israel should give terrorists backrubs and allow their entire population to be massacred by Hamas. Gargle bargle anti-semite Munich appeasement anti-American love terrorists.”

    How’d I do?

  17. What’s the big deal? My postings here are funded by the Khilafat movement, which, among other things, wants to restore the Ottoman Empire.

    ProL, endlessly shilling for Big Roman Empire in the East. You’ll never be censor, dude! Just give it up already!

  18. Joe, what do you want them to do if they can’t fight back when they are bombed?

  19. Any ideas as to what it would take for US policy to veer from “defend israel at all costs”?

  20. I didn’t know “carpet bomb” and “surrender” were the only two options.

  21. Not bad, not bad.

    I can tell you from personal experience it sucks to get shelled.

    You know who else can tell you that? The Palestinians. So…did it work yet?

    I lived like that in Iraq for six months on a compound that was repeatedly rocketed and mortared and one or two people, out of the 1000s that were there, would get killed every week.

    …and then you retreated, and the United States left Iraq, and the people who were shelling you got exactly what they wanted, thus demonstrating the brilliant efficacy of terror bombings at breaking the enemy’s morale and making them accede to your wishes.

    Oh, wait…

  22. Further Joe, you are so blyth about the bombings of Israel. If you were ever on the recieving end of any of that, you would be demanding blood. But as it is you sit over here safe and sound and lecture the Israelis on how it isn’t really a big deal of a few shells rain down on their cities once in a while. Bullshit. It is a very big deal.

  23. I agree with joe here, as I’m pretty sure he’s saying that what the Israelis are doing isn’t any different from what the Palestinians are. They’re both useless and produce a lot of collateral damage.

  24. Fuck Israel.

  25. Episiarch,

    I said Ottoman Empire, dude, not Byzantine. Honestly.

    I don’t have to be Censor, so long as someone else is. Obama should make the idea palatable. Bush certainly helped, as has Congress under either party. But that has nothing to do with droning on and on about the Middle East, like there’s a morally superior side or something useful to say other than “Buh-bye”.

  26. “…and then you retreated, and the United States left Iraq, and the people who were shelling you got exactly what they wanted, thus demonstrating the brilliant efficacy of terror bombings at breaking the enemy’s morale and making them accede to your wishes.”

    No Joe, we actively hunted them down and killed them. We didn’t exactly take it lying down. Further, we were soldiers and thus at least lawful targets. Yeah it sucked to get bombed but bombing us is a little bit different that bombing civilians. If we were right to hunt down the people who were shooting at us, why isn’t Israel right doing the same thing to people who are doing worse.

  27. I didn’t know “carpet bomb” and “surrender” were the only two options.

    Not only that, but the only two options for commentary are apparently unquestioning support for Israel or anti-semetism. So I’ve been told.

  28. I never understood why the Israelis don’t make a 10-mile strip along the Gaza border a DMZ and mine the shit out of it.

  29. John | December 29, 2008, 3:11pm | #

    Joe, what do you want them to do if they can’t fight back when they are bombed?

    Fight back against the people who bombed them. Not collective punishment. Not killing out as many cops as possible. Not turning the lights off for months on end on a population of a million people, most of whom are under 16 years of age.

    Tell me, John, is that what defeated Germany? Is that what got the Anbar shieks to switch sides?

    You’ll never see me denouncing Israel when they kill the guys setting up a rocket launch, or the people who ordered them to do it.

    But “sending the message ‘Don’t Fuck With Us'” by pancaking buildings is a stupid, pointless, bloody, ineffective, cruel, criminal, useless, self-defeating military strategy. You’d think that might have occured to Israel (and its war p0rn/rapture enthusiast cheerleaders in the states) by now.

  30. Pro,

    Nice idea but I am not sure the Turks are up to it. I would take the old Ottoman empire, complete with its slave grabbing pirates over what we have now, but I don’t see it happening.

  31. But as it is you sit over here safe and sound and lecture the Israelis on how it isn’t really a big deal of a few shells rain down on their cities once in a while.

    I do? Where? Could you point it out?

    Let’s file this one in the “bullshit straw man” file, along with “not killing them all is appeasement” and “longtime defender and supporter of Saddam Hussein.”

  32. “Fight back against the people who bombed them. Not collective punishment. Not killing out as many cops as possible. Not turning the lights off for months on end on a population of a million people, most of whom are under 16 years of age.”

    That seems to be what they are doing. I don’t think they are carpet bombing. Further, Hamas makes it nearly impossible to go after them because they use human shields. The real tragedy of all of this is the Hamas use of civlians in the form of suicide bombers and human shields. Hamas strategy is to make it impossible for Israel to fight back without harming civlians and thus giving Hamas a propaganda coup. When is the West going to stop falling for this and hold Hamas responsible for hiding its fighters among civilian population and using terrorists in civlian clothes to terrorize Israel?

    If Hama fought by the same rules, you would be right to fault Israel for not going after just the people responsible. Since they don’t and hide among the population, Israel has no choice but to either take it or inflict civilian casualties on the Palistinians.

  33. John,

    I guess the whole point is, everybody can be right until everybody is dead…

  34. But “sending the message ‘Don’t Fuck With Us'” by pancaking buildings is a stupid, pointless, bloody, ineffective, cruel, criminal, useless, self-defeating military strategy. You’d think that might have occured to Israel (and its war p0rn/rapture enthusiast cheerleaders in the states) by now.

    Were Israel to actually defeat the Palestinian insurgents, the Israeli state wouldn’t be able to justify the power it has over Israelis. So it shouldn’t be a surprise Israel shows no desire to eliminate Hamas in an effective manner.

  35. Joe,

    Your 2:53 pm post lectures the Israelis on how fighting back is not going to make peace.

  36. Yeah it sucked to get bombed but bombing us is a little bit different that bombing civilians. If we were right to hunt down the people who were shooting at us, why isn’t Israel right doing the same thing to people who are doing worse.

    Because they aren’t “hunting down” jack shit. They’re doing their damnedest to make Gaza even more unliveable and look like tough guys themselves and, as Peretz put is, “send a message.”

    Did you try to “send a message” to the entire Iraqi population by demonstrating how much you could make them suffer, John?

  37. Uh, ProL:

    Istanbul was Constantinople
    Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

    Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
    Why they changed it I can’t say
    People just liked it better that way

  38. No Joe, we actively hunted them down and killed them. We didn’t exactly take it lying down.

    But when Israel does it to Gaza or Lebanon, their enemies WILL “take it lying down,” realize the errors of their ways, and cease their attacks?

  39. “Because they aren’t “hunting down” jack shit. They’re doing their damnedest to make Gaza even more unliveable and look like tough guys themselves and, as Peretz put is, “send a message.”

    Because Hamas uses human shields and disguises terrorists within the civilian population, it is very hard for Israel to go after them without going after the civilian population. Whose fault is that? Why are not offended by hamas’ use of terrorism, indescriminate shelling, and human shields? All of those are war crimes and worse still crimes that put Israel in the position of not being able to fight back without harming civlians.

    In the long run, the more people defend Hamas on this, the more incentive there will be for governments in the future to use human shields. That is a very bad thing. Hamas is showing the way to future warfare whereby the media and the death of human shields are used in a propaganda war to undercut the opposing side’s will to fight.

  40. John, they’re not using human shields when Israel launches a surprise attack. Don’t be retarded.

  41. Your 2:53 pm post lectures the Israelis on how fighting back is not going to make peace.

    That’s nice. Let’s go to the tape: But as it is you sit over here safe and sound and lecture the Israelis on how it isn’t really a big deal of a few shells rain down on their cities once in a while.

    You can apologize now.

  42. joe,

    It depends how many gazans are left. Assuming Israel doesn’t decide to massacre millions, then probably they’ll respond with yet another intifada. After all, they’re all unemployed and starving. Lots of time on their hands and very little to lose.

  43. “John, they’re not using human shields when Israel launches a surprise attack. Don’t be retarded.”

    Yes they are. They mix their military installations in with the civilian population so you can’t tell one from the other. It is a pretty simple concept. You don’t hang out and wait for the attack to hide amond civilians, you always hide among civilians.

  44. Joe,

    Why would I apologize, that is exactly what you said at 2:53. You said they souldn’t fight back because it doesn’t help, thus it must not be that big of a deal to be shelled once in a while. That is exactly what you implied. You just don’t like it that I called you on it so now you are going to throw a temper fit and demand an apology. Pound sand.

  45. John: There’s a pretty significant difference between hiding your installations in residential areas and using human shields, but whatever. Were Israel actually interested in eliminating Hamas, they would undertake a campaign of assassination and open up free trade with the Palestinian territories so young men will have something else to do, namely, get a job. Unfortunately, the threat of Hamas makes for an excellent excuse for power for the Israeli government.

  46. Episiarch,

    Well, truth be told, I’d like to give it all back to Byzantium. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister. . .you were right.

  47. John,

    I won’t argue that Hamas doesn’t play dirty. They do, because its the only strategy they have. Whether or not they can be turned to peace I have no idea. So far, they’ve got nothing else to do than be terrorists or starve, so its not like they’ve got options.

  48. John – he’s saying “fight back the way the United States in Iraq did”, which was expressly NOT to indiscriminately level buildings every time some yokel with a 60-mm lobs one at American trailers.

  49. Because Hamas uses human shields and disguises terrorists within the civilian population, it is very hard for Israel to go after them without going after the civilian population. Yes, it makes it very hard. So hard, that airstrikes like this end up harming, rather than advancing, Israel’s security interests – but boy do they make people more concerned with macho posturing and feeling righteous than with the actual well-being of Israelis feel good!

    Whose fault is that? Oh, look, someone more concerned with feeling righteous changing the subject from the well-being of Israelis to moral justification for Israeli military action. Knock me over with a feather.

    Why are not offended by hamas’ use of terrorism, indescriminate shelling, and human shields? And here we see the delusion of the fanatic: I used exactly the same language to denounce the rocket attacks launched by Hamas that I used to denounce the bombing runs used by Israel (despite the dramatic difference in casualties, which amounts to bending over backwards to be even handed), but John reads it as concern for only one side. Here, you get the feather, and I’ll stand up again.

    All of those are war crimes and worse still crimes that put Israel in the position of not being able to fight back without harming civlians. It certainly reduces their freedom of military action, but as the Lebanon War (and the British response to the Blitz, and the German response to Dresden, and the Vietnamese response to Operation Linebacker 2, and on and on and on…) pretty plainly demonstrate, going ahead and bombing them anway, and giving the enemy propaganda victories, is not just cruel and criminal, but counterproductive.

    If Hezbollah was a shell of its former self militarily and in Lebanese politics as a result of Israel’s remarkably similar attacks two years ago, we could have a discussion about whether the deaths of those civilians was worth it to Israel, but Hezbollah is stronger, and Israel weaker, as a result of that episode.

  50. Why would I apologize, that is exactly what you said at 2:53.

    Uh, yes, “It’s not a big deal when missiles rain down on their cities” and “collective punishment has been proven not to work” are identical statements.

    You can’t see the difference between those two statements? Seriously, you’re sticking with that story?

    Fine, you want to play dumb, I’ll treat you as such.

    Are you really this stupid all the time, or is it the site of Arab blood that makes your brain shut off?

    You said they souldn’t fight back because it doesn’t help, I never wrote a single word that they shouldn’t fight back. I’ve explained this over and over, but you have your idiotic story you want to beleive.

    …thus it must not be that big of a deal to be shelled once in a while.

    Even if I had, that wouldn’t make any logical sense.

    IF joe says that a disproportionate response is counterproductive, THEN he is saying that it’s no big deal to be shelled once in a while.

    That doesn’t even make logical sense. Those two statements have nothing to do with each other.

  51. John is too busy having a Wargasm to be logical.

  52. QUICK! Link to a MEMRI translated video!

  53. Joe-2:53

    Exactly.

  54. Were Israel actually interested in eliminating Hamas, they would undertake a campaign of assassination and open up free trade with the Palestinian territories so young men will have something else to do, namely, get a job. Unfortunately, the threat of Hamas makes for an excellent excuse for power for the Israeli government.

    Quoted for truth.
    In actuality, Israel continues to goad Hamas, Fatah and the Palestinian people by restricting all facets of life (see Egypt-Gaza border). Their goal, if I had to guess, is to make life so unbearable for the Palestinians that they will leave land that Israel claims for itself.

  55. Free Tibet, return the American southwest to Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and most of France to the Moors, Greece, Hungary, Georgia, Iraq, Western Iran, Southern Ukraine, and the Balkans to the Turks, the Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, Australia and New Zealand to the Aborigines and Maoris, and get those damn Russians out of East Prussia!

    Palestinians are the most pathetic excuse for a nation since the invention of civilization – they exist only to divert attention from depredations of “Islamic” governments against their people and to give French, Italian, and Greek students something other than Communism to rally around and riot.

  56. Also, agreeing with joe so completely makes me feel dirty.

  57. I see Eric’s reality has lapped my parody sock puppet. Wow.

  58. Nigel Watt,

    Were Israel actually interested in eliminating Hamas, they would undertake a campaign of assassination and open up free trade with the Palestinian territories so young men will have something else to do, namely, get a job. Unfortunately, the threat of Hamas makes for an excellent excuse for power for the Israeli government.

    Similarly, if John were genuinely interested in advancing Israel’s security, he would oppose efforts proven and guaranteed to be counterproductive, but would instead take a less worshipful, uncritical stance towards their ever military assault. Unfortunately, polarizing debate into “pro-Israel vs pro-Hamas” makes an excellent excuse for power for the neoconservatives

    And if Hamas was interested in freeing the Palestinian population from Israeli persecution, they’d negotiate in good faith, pursue a sane policy towards the Israeli government, and accept Israel’s existence. Unfortunately, the threat of Israeli military strikes makes a good excuse for Hamas’ government power.

    It’s the way militant fanatics think.

  59. John-

    Do you like the fact that the property of american taxpayers is forcibly confiscated from them in order to subsidize a socialist cess pool like Israel? Do you favor such warfare/welfare policies?

  60. There’s a pretty significant difference between hiding your installations in residential areas and using human shields, but whatever.

    Could you please elaborate on how the two are differentiated exactly? I’m quite intrigued by this.

  61. Do you like the fact that the property of american taxpayers is forcibly confiscated from them in order to subsidize a socialist cess pool like Israel?

    What an irrelevant argument. A libertarian can oppose anything by using the magic words “do you like the fact that the property of American taxpayers is forcibly confiscated”. Full stop.

  62. What an irrelevant argument.

    Just to drive home precisely how irrelevant it is:

    I, joe, answer that question with a hearty “YES!”

    Yes, it is good that we give our democratic ally Israel military support. Yes, it is good that we agreed to do so as a condition of the Camp David Accords.

    But that has nothing to do with whether it’s right, or smart, for Israel to bomb the strip like this.

  63. Joe-3:49

    I agree-however, it is a mistake to view the problem as if “its everbody’s fault” and that all the players have the exact same amount of culpability. That kind of mentality is at odds with reality. Its kind of like one employing the expression “there is a rotten apple in every bunch” to justify the disproportionate number of cops who lie, steal, rape and kill as compared to say, librarians.

  64. I never understood why the Israelis don’t make a 10-mile strip along the Gaza border a DMZ and mine the shit out of it.

    This is more or less the implemented strategy of the golan heights. The geography and population patterns on both sides of the Gaza border make this impractical. (Also, the original Gaza occupation was to provide such a 7×25 mi buffer zone between Israel proper and Egypt)

  65. joe, agreed with everything, except:

    It’s the way militant fanatics governments think.

  66. What’s best about Middle Eastern irrationalism is how readily it spreads into other cultures. Both sides have sane people who want peace. Either they’ll become preeminent, or one side will win a final (enough) victory over the other. Again, why are we meddling? How can anyone fully defend either side or even pretend to understand them? Shouldn’t this have come to some sort of peaceful resolution decades ago?

    If Obama says, “Screw it, I’ve got better things to do” and abandons an interventionist policy in the Middle East, he’ll have improved on the last few administrations’ approaches. Bah.

  67. Obama is going to say the exact same thing Bush is saying now.

  68. TAO-

    I asked John a question. How is asking John a material question making an irrelevent argument?

    I noticed that you did not answetr the question. The question is material because we are poorer because of our welfare payments to Israel. The question is relevant because americans have lost their lives becuase of our subsidizing of Israel’s military industrial complex. The question is material because of the horrific hit to our national prestige and to our moral authority.

    The question is also material because Israel might not have been so willing to inflict terror without our succour.

  69. BDB,

    Yes, I was being facetious. Obama and Mrs. Clinton will arrogantly believe that they can solve the problem.

  70. TAO-

    There is nothing irrelevant about my money being taken from me in order for the good ship of interventionist, socialist US and A to foment terror in the middle east.

  71. libertymike – I am saying that your argument is irrelevant because talking about “forcible support of Israel” can be used with any government program by anyone. Watch:

    “Do you support the forcible taking of American wealth to fund a police force that enforces drug laws?”

    Well, I do actually support compulsory payment of police forces, but I do not support drug laws.

    Your argument isn’t relevant because your argument can be used for anything.

    There is nothing irrelevant about my money being taken from me in order for the good ship of interventionist, socialist US and A to foment terror in the middle east.

    Are you stating that you believe the fomentation is deliberate?

  72. Antidisfomentarianism.

  73. Obama and Mrs. Clinton will arrogantly believe that they can solve the problem.

    Hey, c’mon. Carter really did get a peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Clinton really did get one between Israel and Jordan.

    Honest-broker mediation doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does. It’s worth a shot.

  74. FREE Streaming TV Shows, Movies, Music (over 6 million digital tracks), Unlimited Games, Money, Books, and College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and more) http://www.InternetSurfShack.com

  75. When Obama leaves office, whether in 2013 or 2017, I predict Israelis will still be fighting Palestinians.

  76. joe,

    I’m not saying it’s impossible or that we couldn’t offer our good offices during negotiations, but I think our taking sides or being directly involved is lunacy. I also think working on peace between actual nation-states is easier than with whatever the Palestinians are.

    Carter, I think, deserves real credit for helping give Egypt sufficient cover to risk a peace deal. Clinton’s peace initiatives were more stepping in after the deal was mostly done and claiming credit. Jordan had moved quite a bit in the direction of a general peace in the Middle East long before Clinton was in office, and most particularly after the Gulf War. N. Ireland is another example of Clinton “bringing peace” after the real work had been done by others.

    I hate politicians.

  77. I mean, this conflict has outlasted:

    *12 U.S. Presidents

    *The Cold War

    *Vietnam

    *Korea

    *Apartheid

    *Northern Ireland

    *The Yugoslav Wars

    *Both Gulf Wars

    *Fidel Castro

    It will really never end.

  78. FREE Streaming TV Shows, Movies, Music (over 6 million digital tracks), Unlimited Games, Money, Books, and College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and more) http://www.InternetSurfShack.com

  79. G – Your man might be gay. How often do you have sex with him?

  80. G’s made the most cogent comments thus far. Tell me more!

  81. Seriously, I’m so sick of this conflict.

    Word. But really, how much longer can it possibly go on?

  82. Hey, c’mon. Carter really did get a peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Clinton really did get one between Israel and Jordan.

    And now that that fuckwad Arafat is dead, even I have hope for the region.

  83. G’s made the most cogent comments thus far. Tell me more!

    You know how he can tell if his man is gay?

    His dick tastes like shit.

  84. I feel honored to be mentioned in the same breath as your parody sock puppet!

    The only ones seeking peace in the Middle East have no influence with the folks doing the shooting. Hamas and Hezbollah are little more than Iranian stooges, OPEC members are secretly overjoyed that this tragedy has driven up oil futures a couple of bucks, the PA is trying to figure out how to leverage this into increased welfare from the EU, and George Bush is just happy that evildoers are getting to meet their virgins tonight.

    I imagine that Hamas could declare and enforce a truce, stop smuggling and demand that their “border crossings” be opened to unrestricted trade of nonmilitary goods immediately. Israel would be forced to watch Gaza become the next Dubai and the Hamastinians would live happily ever after in their Islamic paradise on Earth. I also imagine that pigs will learn to fly and that I’m going to make a fortune selling umbrellas.

    Read a little Bernard Lewis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Lewis#Books) and get a clue. This conflict is nothing more than another proxy for the same old 1,300 year fight between East and West. By the way, the whole idea of Syria Palaestina was an attempt by the Romans after the Bar Kokhba revolt of 135 CE to wipe away the Hebrew’s thousand year plus claim on the Southern Levant. The actual Philistines (who lent their name to the Romans) were amoung the Sea People who were lost to the mists of time around 500 BCE.

    There is nothing wrong with being a puppet as long as you don’t mind someone sticking their hand up your butt and putting words in your mouth….

  85. Word. But really, how much longer can it possibly go on?

    Oof. It’s the light touches that really knock you on your ass sometimes.

  86. Were I in Israel’s shoes my response would be to initiate a policy that whenever a rocket was fired I would bomb the shit out of the location from which it was fired. Only there, and only then. It would be only mildly disproportionate and entirely justifiable. Eventually the Gazans might figure out that, in essence, they were firing the rockets on themselves.

  87. I am so unqualified to comment on this that I won’t, except to say: don’t let that stop the rest of you from doing so.

  88. But really, how much longer can it possibly go on?

    Gaza has one of the highest population growth rates in the world, so my bet is: quite some time.

  89. G – Your man might be gay. How often do you have sex with him?

    Every once in a while I regret having installed AdBlocker. It’s rare, but it happens.

  90. Don’t see how the choice is between carpet bombing or surrender. Israel isn’t carpet bombing. They’re going after the authors of the rocket attacks and happening to kill civilians in the process. They’ve done targeted missile strikes before and got exactly the same kind of condemnation, just as if they WERE carpet bombing. It doesn’t seem as if Israel can make any military response to Hamas at all and not get condemned for it. Whether it is targeted assassination (“extrajudicial killing”), limited missile strikes, or full scale attacks.

    Hamas, on the other hand, is going to keep attacking Israel no matter what Israel does, cause they are pledge to keep attacking it until it doesn’t exist anymore. There’s no peaceful non-military solution for Israel that’s going to make Hamas stop attacking them short of them ceasing to exist.

    So they basically have to choose between varying degrees of military response, all of which are going to provoke outraged screams of opposition, and sitting there and taking it.

  91. Were Israel actually interested in eliminating Hamas, they would undertake a campaign of assassination

    Been in effect for years.

    and open up free trade with the Palestinian territories so young men will have something else to do, namely, get a job.

    Sadly, free trade requires free movement of people and stuff, which, in this conflict, would mean an open door to suicide bombers and other miscreants. Not really an option, I’m afraid.

  92. Epi –
    it’s just about the only ad that’s been running on Reason for days.

    It’s obviously mistargeted because, well, this is a libertarian blog. How many women gonna see that ad?

  93. A quick reminder that MNG’s first post in this thread (2:55) was related to continuing human rights violations by Israel, a fact which is being ignored repeatedly by Israel’s apologists. How any libertarian can express support for a brutally repressive government like that found for the past 60+ years in Israel is beyond me. “Collective punishment” is globally illegal and is practiced every month by the government in Israel with U.S. support … and apparently the support of many contributors to these comments sections.

    With regard to the rest of these comments … I can only imagine that what is good for Gaza is good for the ghettos of D.C. … let’s carpet bomb (or at least dump some of the 100 tons of ordnance Israel has dumped on Gaza over the past 3 days) those nasty gang members. As long as we don’t give a crap about the area we’re bombing, we might as well sweep it clean, right? Collateral damage and all that? Just like Israel is doing right this very minute in Gaza.

  94. It’s obviously mistargeted because, well, this is a libertarian blog. How many women gonna see that ad?

    I was wondering this as well. Not that it hasn’t been amusing.

  95. …whenever a rocket was fired I would bomb the shit out of the location from which it was fired.

    That’s pretty much what the policy used to be.

    Trouble is, by the time the Israelis have pinpointed the location and dispatched the planes the guys who fired the rockets are long gone leaving the residents to take the punishment.

    As long as Hamas has promised to exterminate Israel (something that anyone with a lick of sense would know they are incapable of) and there are elements within Israel determined to expand the borders of Israel, there will continue to be a lack of trust to an extent that any meaningful negotiations.

    And as long as both sides insist that all of Jerusalem is a holy site that must be under the exclusive control of their respective side, things are pretty much at an impasse.

  96. Oops!

    …that any meaningful negotiations are impossible.

  97. Sadly, free trade requires free movement of people and stuff, which, in this conflict, would mean an open door to suicide bombers and other miscreants. Not really an option, I’m afraid.

    True. What is also true is that the conditions the lockdown and occupation produce guarantee that people like Hamas will come to power, and that the conflict will never end.

    It’s an ugly mismatch between long-term and short-term needs that Israel is facing, the type of downward spiral that requires some kind of outside intervention to arrest.

  98. And as long as both sides insist that all of Jerusalem is a holy site that must be under the exclusive control of their respective side, things are pretty much at an impasse.

    It must be really exciting, being a violent religious extremist. There are all these super important things that you can fight for and bombs and shit go off all over the place, all for some intangible benefit. You think you’re saving the holiness of world by murdering hundreds and thousands of people.

    That’s a lot more exciting than my life. Sounds like people who get to play an online RPG all day, but in real life and stuff.

  99. I do not see how the two sides here can be considered even remotely morally equivalent. Hamas really did not give Israel any choice whether to respond or not. Even during cease fire rockets had been fired into Israeli towns continuously. After the end of cease fire the number of daily rockets increased from about 5 to several dozens. They make no secret and repeat often that they do not recognize Israel’s right to exist and will never do so, and vow to attack Israel and the Jews until they cease to exist. The restraint that Israel showed until now is preternatural.

    The response is in no way carpet bombing. If it were, the casualties would be tens of thousands and the slums would have turned into dust. But it is not going to happen because Israel is trying to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible.

    Let’s remember that the responsibility of Israel is to its citizens not to Palestinians. Hamas was elected democratically, so the responsibility for who rules them is Palestinians – unless you consider them less then adult human and capable of making rational decisions.

    What they could have done? No body is even asking them to formally recognize Israel’s right to exist at this point – just stop daily rocket barrages.

    Of course no facts will ever make any difference to many of you – that is the nature of hatred. You will not even consider them.

    As far as effectiveness – fighting back is always more effective than not. Had Israel not resisted – it would not exist. The choice that it has is not weather to have peace or not but how to respond to aggression. The results will not be quick and easy – but the alternative is death. Just look at the week states around the world for examples – Bosnia, Rwanda, etc.

    When the United States gets attacked with rockets by a neighboring state that declares its goal the eradication of United States – I would certainly hope and expect strong and decisive response.

  100. You know, the Romans kept the peace. What methods did they use?

  101. Epi –
    it’s just about the only ad that’s been running on Reason for days.

    It’s obviously mistargeted because, well, this is a libertarian blog. How many women gonna see that ad?

    Otoh, it could be looking for an affirmative repsonse.

  102. As far as effectiveness – fighting back is always more effective than not.

    It must be nice to have to think, but merely to know and feel.

    How do we know that launching strikes like this is smart? Because fighting is always effective, by definition.

    It’s like I said – the IDF killing Palestinians doesn’t have to accomplish anything, when the IDF killing Palestinians is, itself, the desired accomplishment.

    The choice that it has is not weather to have peace or not but how to respond to aggression. That’s funny, I thought the choice was about how to respond.

  103. When the United States gets attacked with rockets by a neighboring state that declares its goal the eradication of United States – I would certainly hope and expect strong and decisive response.

    We got attacked by a lot worse than a few rockets on September 11, 2001, and the “strong and decisive response” was to invade Iraq, killing far more of our citizens than the attacks themselves, and making the problem we intended to strongly, decisively solve a great deal worse.

    “Decisive” HA! What, exactly, is this series of bombing runs supposed to decide? Did the strong, decisive response to Hezbollah’s attacks not kill enough Israelis, and do enough to help Hezbollah?

    There are more important things for the military to do than pander to revenge fantasies.

  104. On the bright side: this should spur investment into Gaza’s infrastructure.

    Think of the jobs that will be created!

  105. WHEN this fails to make Israel safer – not if, WHEN Hamas continues to launch attacks on Israel, and gains in political popularity, and maybe takes control of the West Bank as well, is a single one of the pro-bombing commenters here going to write that they were wrong, and actions of this type don’t accomplish anything, and should be avoided?

    Of course not. This isn’t about making Israel safer. Hell, half the people cheering this on are probably hoping for the great massacre that brings on the rapture.

  106. The Palestinian leadership is committing political malpractice by enraging Israel constantly. If their objective was to make a pleasant place for their people to live, then they would police their own citizens. Israel, on the other hand, takes its duty to protect the lives and property of its citizens seriously. How many Palestinian civilians must suffer for the ulterior motives of the Palestinian leaders?

  107. making the problem we intended to strongly, decisively solve a great deal worse

    That assertion is both (a) premature and (b) dependent on a counterfactual.

    Just sayin’, is all.

  108. If you find anyone who says that destroying infrastructure – whether by bombing or by delaying maintenance – is a good thing, Johnny Nowhere, you tell ’em I’d like to have a word with them.

  109. Joe says:

    WHEN this fails to make Israel safer – not if, WHEN Hamas continues to launch attacks on Israel, and gains in political popularity, and maybe takes control of the West Bank as well, is a single one of the pro-bombing commenters here going to write that they were wrong, and actions of this type don’t accomplish anything, and should be avoided?

    Israel will fail because they take the liberal western route and don’t go far enough. If Palestine refuses to police its own people, then Israel should take over Palestine and police it for them. That would make for long-term peace. Tit for tat will not produce a lasting solution.

    Sadly, international political pressure from other regimes infested with liberal western doctrine will not allow Israel to do what is needed.

  110. I opposed our invasion of Iraq and oppose our long-term occupation. However, I do suspect that our invasion and conquest of two Muslim nations had some effect on limiting terror attacks on U.S. soil. It’s kind of in the Nuke the Moon vein–don’t mess with the U.S. on its soil, because they’re loco, man–but I think it’s possibly true, as well. So, in the short-term, the heavy-handed response may have had a positive effect on limiting domestic terrorism.

    On the other hand, getting ourselves this deep into Middle Eastern affairs may have some really bad long-term consequences. I don’t advocate these sorts of responses (or what we’d been doing before 9/11) for that reason and for others, but it’s not a black-and-white matter of what works and what doesn’t work. It’s clearer to me that it’s wrong for us to continue fanning the flames there, but that’s more of a moral comment than one on the practicality of our response.

    Incidentally, the loss of life, money, and resources all around is a major problem with any prolonged military solution. That’s true for us, and it’s also true for the people living in the region. Israel and the PA are wasting a lot of time, energy, and resources in continuing to beat the tar our of one another, especially when total victory is likely impossible.

  111. Joe says:

    If you find anyone who says that destroying infrastructure – whether by bombing or by delaying maintenance – is a good thing, Johnny Nowhere, you tell ’em I’d like to have a word with them.

    I simply don’t understand this pacifism in the face of an act of war. It is the rightful job of the government to protect its people from material harm. One that cannot do so does not deserve to be called a government. Palestine ought to be considered lawless territory and conquered. We are not talking about traveling around the world to attack a random nation because your dad invaded it 15 years ago. We are talking about defending yourself from attack.

    I don’t understand this pacifism. The attacks will not stop until the populace turns on the Palestinian attackers. They will only do this when they understand that the cost of supporting the rocketers is greater than the cost of opposing them. I don’t understand any philosophy that says Israel should simply eat rockets and like it.

  112. for the final time, anonymous, joe and others (such as myself) are not supporting anything approaching pacifism. There are three options available to Israel in the face of rockets:

    1. Level things
    2. Do nothing
    3. Do the hard right rather than the easy wrong and engage in COIN-type operations in the territories, making allies of some enemies and getting rid of others. This is how the United States is making a peaceful place out of Iraq. It’s hard work, and that’s why most people don’t want to do it.

  113. Israel will fail because they take the liberal western route and don’t go far enough. If Palestine refuses to police its own people, then Israel should take over Palestine and police it for them. That would make for long-term peace.

    Israel policed and occupied the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights for decades. It sure did make for some long-term peace, didn’t it?

    anonymous,

    Read the comment I was responding to, by Johnny Nowhere. I wasn’t making a statement about nations having a right to respond to force, but mocking his mischaracterization of the argument for economic stimulus.

  114. “It must be really exciting, being a violent religious extremist.”

    This is more about nationalism than religion. The Palestinians want their own nation and they want some of it to be where these goofy Europeans whose ancestors had not been n the rea for twenty centuries decided to plop down and make a nation.

    People are funny in that they like to have some say in how they are governed. People will do crazy and stupid things to get that.

  115. This is more about nationalism than religion.

    Correct. The first group to launch a suicide bomb at the Israelis was the PFLP – a Marxist group.

    Fatah/PLO itself was a secular group.

    The introduction of religious fundamentalism into the cause came decades after the Zionist/Palestinian conflict first arose.

  116. TAO
    I see your point to libertymike, but I see his main point: it’s hard to imagine a defensible libertarian argument for government aid we send to Israel.

    Your point is that its hard to imagine a libertarian argument that authorizes the government to tax people to do most things they do.

  117. People are funny in that they like to have some say in how they are governed.

    Perhaps they could run for office in Israel, then? The Knesset is not “Jew-only”, you know.

  118. Maybe the U.S. should offer its occupation services. The Palestinians and the Israelis could invite us in, and we’ll fix things over the next decade. All for a low, low price! Naturally, they’ll have to cede to us total hegemony for the period of occupation, but that’s just a detail.

  119. “Terrorism” has been involved on both sides (see Irgun), but when you get F-16’s you certainly don’t have to do that whole suicide bomber thing.

    But whenever one side engages in operations that will certainly kill many civilians for little gain I find that immoral.

    We should also not pretend that Israel has been “doing nothing” about these immoral rocket/mortar attacks. They’ve killed hundreds of Gazans since 2005 and most of what they did was imo kosher (pun intended) because it was not so extreme and deadly to so many civilians.

    You can’t let groups like Hamas do whatever and not respond, but you can’t become worse than Hamas in responding.

  120. The people in the Occupied Territories can run for the Knesset TAO and vote for Knesset members?

  121. MNG writes:

    The people in the Occupied Territories can run for the Knesset TAO and vote for Knesset members?

    Since they haven’t had a good record of electing a government to pacify their own territory, I don’t think this is a good idea. Israel should occupy the territory with the purposes of pacification and development under Israeli rule. After a decade or so, then they can elect their own leader.

    I don’t see why a population that has shown an inability to elect good leaders should be given the franchise because of some western democratic fetish.

  122. Hey TAO, I’m waiting for my answer you Middle East scholar you!

    Palestinians in the Occupied Territories can vote for Knesset members?

  123. Heil Hitler back to you anonymous!

  124. Oh Lordy, I can’t wait!

    “Unlike Arab citizens of Israel, the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip do not have citizenship, and are not afforded the same political rights and freedoms or protections under Israeli law as Israeli citizens who live in the same areas. This includes restraints on freedom of movement and no right to vote in Israel.”

  125. Do the hard right rather than the easy wrong and engage in COIN-type operations in the territories, making allies of some enemies and getting rid of others. This is how the United States is making a peaceful place out of Iraq. It’s hard work, and that’s why most people don’t want to do it.

    Yeah, and our hard work in Iraq is earning us so much good will. I’m glad to know you agree that we’re winning the War on Terror.

    These an angle here you’re missing. The US in Iraq is (largely) a third party to the conflict, which is actually between Shiites and Sunnis. We are an external agent that does no have a long history of hostility with the people there. In Gaza, Israel is the historical enemy. Israel took the Palestinians land and is living on it. The Palestinians built a mosque on top of their temple. The underlying conflict is between Jews and Muslims, not different Palestinian factions.

    Besides, they tried playing factions against eachother in the 80s – Fatah vs. Hamas. Which is the same kind of thing we’ve done lots of places, with mixed results. I don’t believe that standard cointer-insurgency methods are likely to work, even if they do in the long run in Iraq and Afghanistan for us. They have been tried, and havn’t worked all that well. Which probably has soemthing to do with the nature of the conflict. The religious basis and the religiously-based claims to territory.

    When you’ve got a conflict rooted in claims that are inaccessible to rational thought, I’m not sure they can be resolved through non-violent means.

  126. I find there are a great many parallels in the execution and proximate causes of this current Israeli offensive and the Russian one into Georgia a few months ago. I find it funny (not really in a ha-ha way, but sort of) that so many, left and right, have essentially reversed their positions between that engagement and this one.

    But looking through the archives, I came across this comment which I did find genuinely amusing (in a dark way) in light of present events. Specifically this variation:

    “If Russia Israel loses some international prestige and engagement in exchange for greater control over their “near abroad,” the Russians Israelis themselves are likely to call that a win. That’s just how they roll.”

    (Let me add that a pick perusual through the archives indicates that joe was most certainly not a ‘it’s georgia’s fault’ russian apologist like many others on the left. And I admit, I thought I would find an eay ‘gotcha’, that’s why I was looking)

  127. The people in the Occupied Territories can run for the Knesset TAO and vote for Knesset members?

    People in Puerto Rico and Guam can’t run for Congress and don’t vote for Congressional members*

    *in a way that matters.

  128. Kolhoe
    I’m for statehood (or independence) for Puerto Rico and Guam. And DC for that matter.

  129. Point taken, MNG.

  130. I’ll return the favor a bit.

    “Yeah, and our hard work in Iraq is earning us so much good will. I’m glad to know you agree that we’re winning the War on Terror.”

    TAO probably just meant Iraq specifically, and he’s right there. We are really doing better since we switched to the tactics he mentions. And there really are a lot of Palestinians who know Israel is not going anywhere and that all this fighting is stupid and hurtful to their people and want to start trading with Israel, marrying Israelis, etc. But there are some legit gripes Palestinians in general have and at times Israel’s U.S. supported stubborness to take care of that has really undercut these moderates. We can do better and less people will die and more people will be free to trade and do business and me and TAO can get to arguing about whether Israeli poor people should be protected from adhesion contracts offered by Palestinian landlords…That would be a better world (cue Lennon’s Imagine).

  131. Maybe the U.S. should offer its occupation services. The Palestinians and the Israelis could invite us in, and we’ll fix things over the next decade.

    Oh, I bet we could bring them together.

    Israel should occupy the territory with the purposes of pacification and development under Israeli rule. After a decade or so, then they can elect their own leader.

    And this would be different from the early-70s through the mid-00s, how, exactly?

  132. Maybe the U.S. should offer its occupation services. The Palestinians and the Israelis could invite us in, and we’ll fix things over the next decade.

    The plot of sum of all fears was to hire the Swiss to do the nuts and bolt work.

  133. From The Nation: Richard Falk’s take on whether this week’s actions constitute war crimes on the part of Israel. How is this being (relatively) ignored, here?

  134. Here is what I believe:

    1. It was stupid to put Israel where it is.
    2. #1 is irrelevant and people have to stop clinging on to it.
    3. “shock and awe” didn’t work; one wishes Israel would have learned from that.
    4. Palestinians either need to accept that Israel is in control of their areas or leave. I do wonder why Palestinians don’t just offer to join Israel.

  135. Good God, Eric, you mentioned Bernard fucking Lewis? Then talked about the “gates of Vienna?”

    You really ARE a flesh-and-blood LGF Fan. Can you mention “Eurabia” next? Please? Throw in something about an “Arab-Nazi connection” too please. I need a good laugh.

  136. Really, Eric, tell us how “brilliant” Richard Pipes is nextM

  137. My legitimate expression of self-defense is your war crime.

    The various international conventions that define obligations in conflicts ASSUME reciprocity; in asymmetrical conflicts this assumption is the first casualty of war. Of course Hamas is going to build rocket engines in the Chemistry laboratories of its Islamic University – if the Israelis avoid attacking these workshops, then they have a safe haven, if not, then they level “war crime” charges for destroying a civilian educational institution. The funny thing is that journalists and bloggers do not read international agreements, they read excerpts which they then take out of context, and use these fabrications to indict the party which they disfavor.

    No international agreement defines the term proportionality; I imagine that if you dropped a colbalt-salted 15 megaton Hydrogen bomb on the nine million souls in a capital city of a country whose agents blew up your military headquarters or a couple of civilian buildings in your largest city, you could have a hard time defending your response as proportional. Likewise, many of the other protections of civilians presume that both sides dress their combatants in recognizable uniforms, refrain from militarizing otherwise protected facilities such as schools, mosques, and hospitals, and take reasonable and prudent actions to avoid putting their own civilians in the line of fire. They also prohibit their “police” forces from engaging in combat to allow these forces to maintain their protected status.

    Subsequent to WWII, a theory arose, after the bombing of Kent and Coventry and the subsequent retaliatory bombing of Dresden, that purely civilian targets – ones without direct or significant collateral military function (such as arms factories) – should be spared bombardment and the violation of these protections was arguably criminal. Cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon meet this description as they do not house military installations nor arms industries. Cities such as Beit Hanun, from which rockets are launched, may not claim “free” status regardless of the density of otherwise protected civilians. Hamas does not accept international agreements, they do not accept the existence of Israel, they claim to seek reward in heaven and not on earth, and they do not represent the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of many, if not most, of the people which they rule. They are a proxy for a regional power, Iran, which seeks a greater geopolitical status more in line with their historic imperial past and could really care less how many babies get their 72 virgins this evening when the command and control complex in the basement of the five-story building in which they are unfortunate enough to live is hit with two laser-guided 2000 lb bombs.

    I urge all to try to stop seeing the world as you would like it to appear and try to see the facts on the ground from the eyes of each of the adversaries. Israelis desire freedom from rockets and suicide bombers and a small piece of real estate in which to call home. Many Palestinians want self-determination, economic opportunities, and the chance to live their lives without “helpful” interference from their Iranian, Syrian, and Libyan “friends” whose goals, objectives, and desires they do not share.

  138. How is this being (relatively) ignored, here?

    Because The Nation is a joke. And reading the three “charges” Falk levels, all of them are debatable:

    1. Collective punishment – Falk says that all “1.5 million” persons in the Gaza Strip are being “punished”. Not so. Punishment is a deliberate act; collateral damage is something else entirely. This is akin to saying that the United States invasion of Afghanistan was “collective punishment” on the people of Afghanistan because they are affected by the invasion.

    2. Targeting civilians – Falk levels this charge and then says “The airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas”. That is something different from the deliberate targeting of civilians.

    3. Disproportionate Military Response – The only one I’m inclined to agree with, but Falk states it’s disproportionate to destroy Hamas. Short of the COIN-style tactic I support, I don’t know what he thinks Israel’s response should be.

  139. TAO,

    Shock and awe doesn’t work, but setting up an Orwellian police state in Palestine probably would. People say “Orwellian” like it is a bad thing.

  140. I actually agree with TAO’s points with one qualification: Israel will not let the Palestinians join Israel as full citizens since they may at some time outnumber Israeli Jews and hence would be contrary to Israel as a “Jewish state.”

    The Palestinians need a real autonomous land of their own.

  141. I’ve long since stopped giving a shit what Israel and the Palestinians do to each other. I’m just mildly annoyed that American tax dollars help this never ending conflict continue.

  142. TAO
    How do you know that the civilian casualties were meant as collateral damage only and not as punishment? Because the IDF says so?

    Israel has engaged in plenty of collective punishment (bulldozing the houses of family members of suicide bombers, cutting off food/medical supplies to all of Gaza to “punish” them for voting for Hamas, etc).

  143. Eric, Professor Falk is professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University and is the United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories. Not exactly your typical blogger.

    And it’s painfully obvious that Israel has been committing war crimes in the name of self-defense for nearly its entire existence, with the help of many nations including the USA.

    I urge you to try to stop seeing the world as you would like it to appear and try to see the facts on the ground from the eyes of each of the adversaries. You are ignoring the true perspective of those who live in the Occupied Territories in favor of what you think is a reasonable view that they should have, if they were to think like you and many Israelis are thinking.

  144. Hell, half the people cheering this on are probably hoping for the great massacre that brings on the rapture.

    Not me. I prepared well for our current deflationary collapse but I have no contingency plan for the Tribulations.

  145. Eric
    So people in Gaza, many of whom have nothing to do with Hamas and voted against them, do not deserve such protections because Hamas is really, really bad.

    You know doesn’t every nation use this kind of thinking to justify all kinds of immoral acts against their enemies? They’re just child killing huns with no honor.

  146. Because the IDF says so?

    Because Hamas has admitted that of the 300 killed, approximately 70-80 percent were Hamas?

    cutting off food/medical supplies to all of Gaza to “punish” them for voting for Hamas, etc).

    Whatever you and I think of the effectiveness of that tactic, embargoes are not war crimes.

  147. TAO, it doesn’t matter that The Nation published it. It IS collective punishment because Israel is not specifically targeting military installations but rather are forcing everyone in Gaza to bear the brunt of their attack regardless of their military affiliations. An “embargo” is different from sealing the borders. And they ARE targeting civilians, although some would claim that the “civilian shields” are forcing Israel’s hand, here, myself not among them.

    When you have forced a tiger to live in a chicken coop, you cannot claim ignorance of the plight of the chickens. You cannot also claim that the tiger has any choice but to operate from where it lives.

  148. TAO
    That’s not what I said. Are they collective punishments?

  149. It IS collective punishment because Israel is not specifically targeting military installations but rather are forcing everyone in Gaza to bear the brunt of their attack regardless of their military affiliations.

    That sentence makes zero sense. Like I said, this is like arguing that Afghanis are being collectively punished for OBL and 9/11.

    Either Israel is deliberately targeting civilians (not civilian centers where enemies might be), or they are not.

  150. Are they collective punishments?

    Yes. However, when I was saying they were not war crimes, that is in response to Mr. Butler’s linked professor who claims that embargoes are war crimes.

  151. “Because Hamas has admitted that of the 300 killed, approximately 70-80 percent were Hamas?”

    Do you have a link for that?

  152. Are they collective punishments?

    Yes.

    Ergo … war crimes. You’re making less sense as time goes on, TAO. Collective punishment is a war crime. Professor Falk included that rather obvious Israeli tactic in his The Nation piece. You’re arguing that because it was printed in The Nation, that dismisses it from the war crime panoply?

  153. It’s an interesting question whether if, having many options to “deal with” an aggressor, a nation chooses one that will ostensibly have as its target a “legit” target but which also knowingly carries a certaintity of many civilian deaths (because everyone knows the target is in a crowded civilian area and the option you’ve chosen is not very targeted), that nation has therefore “targeted civilians.”

  154. According to the BBC, Hamas has reported 312 Gazan deaths, and UN hospitals count 57 of those as civilian, which is 18%, representing an 82% “non-civilian” death toll.

    Source.

    Ergo … war crimes.

    Embargoes are not war crimes. You cannot go “ok, embargoes collectively punish, and all collective punishments are war crimes, ergo, embargoes are war crimes!” That is fallacious, unless you want to put the embargoes the United States has against certain nations (Cuba, Iran, N. Korea) as “war crimes”.

    Words mean things.

  155. PS: An “embargo” has to do with restricting trade, not with sealing the borders, preventing even emergency medical equipment and personnel from entering an area.

  156. Woah, that’s not the same as “Hamas has admitted that of the 300 killed, approximately 70-80 percent were Hamas.”

    Words mean things.

  157. PPS: At what point does sealing a border go from “legitimate tactic to prevent individuals from planting explosives under the road” to “collective punishment”?

    Here’s the really dumb part about all this: I don’t even support what Israel’s doing here, but manufacturing outrage and screaming “war crimes” pisses me off even more, because you’re just reinforcing the victim narrative of the Palestinians, who need to take control of their own region.

  158. TAO, I do agree with you on one thing: What has been visited on the Afghan people in vengeful response to the 9/11 attacks could easily be construed as a war crime. God knows it isn’t the first nor the last from the outgoing administration. So, “yes”, the attack on Afghanistan IS “collective punishment” and should be treated as a war crime. This does not excuse Israel.

  159. BDB, may I assume you meant to type Daniel Pipes rather then his father Richard (who headed the so-called Team B which specialized in the analysis of Soviet military and political affairs during the cold war). I find Daniel Pipes’ scholarship a bit on the light side and I feel he fails to present a balanced view; although his primary stated goal is to pick apart biased and false media representations, not to acclaim himself as an Orientalist.

    Noam Chomsky’s and Edward W. Said’s views taken into consideration, I must assume you neither attended Lewis’ lectures at SOAS or IAS nor have you read many of his numerous works. Perhaps I am harsh in this assessment; but since Mr. Lewis does not claim a middle name – and certainly not “fucking,” I presume your knowledge of his views are cursory. It may surprise you that I do not agree with his views on the Armenian genocide, the war in Iraq, and the likelihood of Iran committing collective suicide to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. I do however find his views to be instructive in understanding the historical context of events from the perspective of a British Orientalist.

  160. Besides, the link didn’t work…

    If we skip what is actually, technically, according to the various treaties, conventions and such that exist, a “war crime” I have to say TAO that I cannot in any way see how, given some of the shit you’ve said in the past (which is readily retrievable, God bless technology) how you could find an embargo not to be morally wrong.

    The embargoes are morally wrong, apart from their “actual” legality and effectiveness, right TAO?

  161. Sorry … I thought you claimed that Israel was engaged in an “embargo”.

  162. Woah, that’s not the same as “Hamas has admitted that of the 300 killed, approximately 70-80 percent were Hamas.”

    I was just giving you the numbers. There are more than one news sources I have read wherein Hamas is the one giving the numbers.

  163. I’m a Palestinian businessperson who has voted against Hamas and actually risked his life working with organizations to undermine it and bring a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. I have hired two Israeli citizens who have voluntarily agreed to come work for me, and my business involves the making of widgets which are shipped to customers worldwide.

    Israeli troops, at gunpoint, stop my exports at the border and do not let my workers come in to work for me.

    If you can tell me that’s morally OK, a man who argued that anti-discrimination laws are wrong because it might restrict the rights of those who have not benefited from past discrimination, I have to say I would MARVEL at the fucking mental gymnastics involved. It would be like Bejing Olympics gymnastics.

  164. Besides, the link didn’t work…

    I have an extra one of these: ” at the end of the link.

    The embargoes are morally wrong, apart from their “actual” legality and effectiveness, right TAO?

    I couldn’t make such a blanket pronouncement without knowing how effective they are. Honestly, if people bombs were coming across our Southern or Northern borders every day, I’m not sure what would be the right response.

    I don’t like embargoes or border-sealing or any of that, but I’m hard-pressed to get all riled about it, given that Israel did disengage Gaza, did build a wall as a border (and I hate walls) and they still cannot catch a break from Hamas.

  165. You’re nothing if not predictable, Eric. I typed Daniel on purpose to see how much of an IDF propaganda spewing piece of shit you are and you “passed”. I think Said et. Al are Palestinian propaganda spewing pieces of shit. There’s not much difference.

  166. TAO-

    Victim narrative? I thimk the zionists and their apologists have pretty much cornered that market.

  167. Really what website did you come iver from?

    LGF? NRO? Spare me your cartoonish Popeye vs. Bluto “theory” of “Islam vs. TheWest.”

  168. I have nothing to add other than I sit in the “pox on both houses” camp.

  169. Oh Lordy this is going to be fun.

    So it’s OK to use force to deprive my right to travel, my right to do business, my right to employ people, my right to go visit my wife (in Israel Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens are barred living in Israel with their spouses), even though I have never supported violence, even have a history of fighting those in my “group” who did and do, and I work for peaceful resolution of problems.

    But to tell an employer that he cannot discriminate in hiring based on race to help protect a group whose ancestors were forcibly enslaved and then deprived of most basic economic, educational, and social rights for decades is horribly, HORRIBLY, foot stomping wrong by God because we can’t possibly identify which employers benefited and which workers suffered.

    Wow TAO. Wow. Do you really want to maintain this?

  170. I wonder how the zionists and their supporters would feel about prosecutions of folks for either denying or minimizing the Israeli mass murder of Arabic civilians. Never Again!

  171. AND you’re the one lecturing us all on rights and pooh=pooh on utilitarians and their utility arguments.

    But hey, the “right” to do business, to live with your spouse, to travel, all that has to go if something really scary is going on!

    Something scary as in, people’s utility being compromised?

    Oh my God I’m salivating…

  172. To respond to Falk’s bizarre claims:

    1. Collective punishment in international law has a specific meaning, not just a nebulous “many people suffer because of the acts of a few” situation. It refers to deliberate, organized cases where an army inflicts cold punishment on numbers of civilians because of the acts of a few. The fundamental example was the practice of executing 10-100 civilians in an occupied territory for each act of sabotage committed–that’s a war crime, and Israel has never practiced it. An embargo is not collective punishment under international law, and it’s not a war crime. That’s even more true in cases where the occupied people frequently smuggle in arms to continue the fight.

    2. Targeting civilians – again, causing collateral damage isn’t a war crime, and targeting civilian areas isn’t a war crime. Only deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime. Furthermore, applicable international law is very clear that when a nation hides military resources in civilian areas, that nation bears the responsibility for the resulting dead civilians when the enemy attacks the civilian area. Using civilians as human shields is a war crime, and an enemy is under no obligation to let the military targets go because of human shields.

    3. Disproportionate military response – As noted above, this refers to undertaking military actions beyond those necessary to achieve legitimate military objectives. In fact, the obligation of a nation in a just war is to achieve as favorable kill ratios as possible; Israel’s obligation is not to make sure enough of its own soldiers die to satisfy Falk’s bizarre moral calculus. Since the Gazan government is at war with Israel, Israel is within its rights to attack government and military targets. If the universities are used for military research, they’re fair game–just like it would have been fair game for the Japanese to have targeted the University of Chicago or Oak Ridge in World War 2, if they could have gotten their bombers that far.

    Falk knows damn well that the terms of international law he’s using have specific meanings, so I must conclude that he’s deliberately obscuring the terms to satisfy his political preferences. It’s quite shameful.

  173. “I thimk the zionists and their apologists have pretty much cornered that market.”

    I heard a guy from a Likudian think tank on NPR one day who was decrying the fact that other groups, like the Armenians and Cambodians, used the word “genocide.” Because, hey, that is a deliberate attempt to undercut the special nature of the the attempted genocide on Jews, which we must remember was the one-and-only. He also mentioned that this was probably tied to attacks on Israeli policy. I shit you not.

  174. JW your comment is both correct and goes right to the point.

  175. MNG – you can go on and on about discrimination laws, but you’re just trying at a “gotcha” moment.

    I did in fact say and admit that embargoes as such are collective punishment, and I am not a fan of collective punishment. All that being said, if collective punishment is, in fact, necessary for a nation to survive, and I mean literally “survive”, not whatever stretchy definition you want to give it, I am hard-pressed to feel outraged about it.

    Given that, that is why I wanted to know the effectiveness and the level of threat legitimately faced by Israel. If bombers are only coming over once a year, I think something other than sealing the borders is in order; if it’s three times a day, what else would have them do?

  176. Brian
    I’m unclear. Is an embrago the same as surrounding a country militarily and preventing with force any things from coming in and out of that country?

    And do you think that is morally correct, regardless of the law?

  177. I have nothing to add other than I sit in the “pox on both houses” camp.

    A cheap-and-easy way out of parsing through difficult issues.

  178. “if it’s three times a day, what else would have them do?”

    So rights are subject to this utility calculus?

    Welcome to the fold, brother? I’m gonna hold you to this on other threads!

    Again, let’s have an answer weasel, the Palestinian businessman in my example: morally correct to do what I describe?

  179. “but you’re just trying at a “gotcha” moment.”

    Oh, I gotcha already. You don’t know the half of it. But it’s early, you’ll see.

    After this spanking if you want to know why it happens to you so regularly, I would suggest you branch out from reading right wing bullshit so much. Read a lot of perspectives and always challenge whether the “fundamental” things you find true are really so.

  180. Brian-

    There is substantial evidence to support the proposition that the Zionists systematically violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. Specifically, Articles 27, 31 and 32 of said convention.

  181. “All that being said, if collective punishment is, in fact, necessary for a nation to survive, and I mean literally “survive”, not whatever stretchy definition you want to give it, I am hard-pressed to feel outraged about it.”

    Let’s start the spanking around the outer buttocks and move inward so to speak…

    The embargoes were at many points much less than they are now and Israel “survived” in anay crazy way you want to define the word. So they are, even in this slight sense, immoral, right?

    This is only going to get worse.

  182. Moving to the middle buttock area…

    I also delightfully remember your responses to my hypo about the three people on the island, one has plenty of food, one has barely enough and one is starving. Can the latter two take food from the former.

    You stamped your feet and gnashed your teeth. NO! NO! Property rights or something and such. No slavery, let the guy starve!

    But hey, property rights are not as important as SURVIVAL you now say. Hmmmm…

  183. It will be a great day when that Zionist beast is eviscerated! Indeed, it will be a great day!

  184. And now the inner buttock area (near the spine, OUCH).

    The reason (according to philosopher TAO) for why a general law combating the odious effects of past government racism by simply prohibiting racial discrimination in hiring is wrong is that it might fall on those who had no hand in such odious practices.

    But of course, embargoes and such inevitably fall on such persons. And I should like to hope that the freedom to trade, employ, labor, socially visit, and such is at least as important to you, TAO, as the right to discriminate in hiring? TAO? TAO?

    Well, we all know some folks for whom the right to discriminate excites a great deal of passions, far more than other rights…And come to think of it TAO was in the forefront of those defending the South…

    Hmmm..

  185. Ok guys. We all seem tired of the arab-israeli conflict. Is there a solution? This is an open call for ideas for a permament solution to the problem. And by permamnent solution, I don’t mean one that works for 10 years or a generation but a solution in the same sense that WWII seems to have been a solution to German militarism. (No points for calling it a Final Solution.)

  186. Mr Butler, I am well aware of Professor Falk’s position and views which is why I feel that he speaks from bias rather than ignorance. There is plenty to criticize in the actions of each side in this, and every other conflict. Professor Falk however chooses to pull his punches with regard to Israel’s adversaries in such a way as to destroy his alleged credibility. As far as the UN as a protector and guarantor of human rights, the League of Nations did a better job in Nanking then the UN did in Rwanda, Cambodia, and Bosnia. If Durban is any indication, the UN is largely a morally bankrupt collection of highly educated kleptocrats whose function is to represent the interests of their own countries. I am only surprised that Myramar doesn’t chair the UN Commission on Human Rights. The UN occasionally pulls a rabbit out of the hat, such as in East Timor, but only due to the efforts of a strong regional player such as Australia.

    The Gosse Luge, as defined in Mein Kampf as lie so huge that no one would imagine that anyone, “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. Hitler was of course referring to “the Jews” in this fashion (Mein Kampf, Volume I, Chapter 10). This device, so well employed by despots, conspiracy theorists, scoundrels, and, propagandists would have us believe that the Israelis (the filthy Jews who killed Jesus and defied Mohammed) are the only bad actors in the history of mankind and the world would be at peace if they would simply go away; Uganda, outer space, and ovens have been suggested or tried.

    I don’t know how much time you spent in Gaza before 1967 or if you spent a lot of time in the “Refugee Camps” that the Arab nations setup to segregate and subjugate the Palestinians. Perhaps you were in Jordan during that Black September of 1970, or in Beirut in 1975. To allow yourself to see only one side of an issue is to be blind to the truth. Israel has made mistakes, letting Phalangist militias into the Sabra and Shatila camps in 1982 comes to mind, but this does not excuse the deliberate attacks on civilians perpetrated on Israelis, both in “Palestine” and throughout the world since 1947 by Arab states and their Palestinian proxies. Agreements, even international agreements, require reciprocity if they are to be effective in the “real world.” Perhaps at a conference table in Vienna, we can discuss normative categorical values and the requirements of signatories to behave themselves regardless of their opponents’ tactics. Note that these agreements did not foresee the use of non-state actors being used as non-signatory proxies of signatory states.

    Professor Falk may even believe himself unbiased, just as Georg Cantor believed the works of Shakespeare were written by Sir Francis Bacon. The difference is that Cantor was institutionalized and Falk is lionized. Perhaps 2009 is the year that Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong-il will win the Nobel Peace Prize.

  187. MNG, please re-read my comments. I am sorry that you regard me a “IDF propaganda spewing piece of shit” but this view does little to bolster your position. I am not Israeli, nor do I endorse each and every position, tactic, and view of the vast soup that is the Israeli body politic. It is admirable that you have chosen to try to build where others seek only to destroy.

    The fact that you “risk your life” to oppose those who would oppress you (not the Israelis in this particular case) shows that you have a better understanding of the situation than many who blog here. However you also must know that the policy of restricting Israeli citizens from working in the PA areas is that many of these commuting arrangements end rather badly. Please tell me who destroyed the greenhouses in Gaza after the removal of the 5,000 Israeli settlers? Please tell me where all the foreign aid money for the development of the PA areas went? Please tell me how many Israelis have blown up buses, shops, night clubs and wedding halls? I do not deny that there have been Jewish terrorist attacks against Palestinians. I do not deny that some IDF soldiers have violated rules of engagement and escaped serious punishment for having done so. I do not deny that Israel has restricted freedom of movement although I wonder what would happen if an Israeli wanted to visit Mecca or Medina (the City of the Jews – no citation needed).

    It was Sun Tzu who said, “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.” There can be no peace until and unless all parties agree that it is more desirable than conflict.

  188. MNG-

    It would seem more accurate to call Israel’s economic treatment of Gaza a blockade rather than an embargo, since they block other nations from importing aid. But it would be incorrect to call it a complete blockade or siege; Israel does allow food, medicine, and other basic and wholly peaceful goods cross the border. And yes, I consider that morally right, when the Gazans continue to make war on Israel.

    libertymike: You’re ignoring articles 4 and 5, which undercut claims that Israel has violated articles 27, 31, and 32 (which weren’t articles Falk claimed to be violated by the present action, anyways!)

    The first question is whether captured Palestinian terrorists are “protected persons” under the treaty, the definition of which is given by Article 4. Article 4 excludes as protected persons “nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention.” The Palestinian Authority is not a signatory to the Geneva Convention, but the question is trickier because it’s unclear whether the PA counts as a state. Jordan and Egypt are both signatories, but how many captured Palestinian terrorists consider themselves citizens of Jordan or Egypt? Let’s be generous and say that they are, though the question is unclear. There’s still a problem with:

    Article 5: Where, in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.

    Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

    The follow-up paragraph in Article 5 still requires that such unlawful combatants still be treated humanely, but it’s a much lesser restriction than the prohibitions on coercion and required respect for religious convictions given to protected persons by Articles 27, 31, and 32.

    So, keeping that in mind, what case are you referring to where, as a matter of Israeli policy rather than overexuberant soldiers going too far, Israel has violated Articles 27, 31, and 32 with respect to a person actually protected by the treaty? The 4th Geneva Convention only applies to true civilians, remember; uniformed soldiers are covered by the other Geneva Conventions, while unlawful combatants such as spies, saboteurs, and terrorists are only given the most basic protection by Article 5.

  189. cbclean-We make our extraordinary (and it is, look it up) diplomatic and economic support for Israel conditioned on them doing moral things. We demand a two state solution. We threaten the Palestinians with the same thing.

    “There is plenty to criticize in the actions of each side in this, and every other conflict.”

    OK, Eric, list the Israeli side. I’ve played this game enough on the internet. Go ahead, list it. Start with current events…

    Also, I never called you an IDf spewing piece of shit. I’m not BDB.

  190. “when the Gazans”

    All Gazans? Even the ones who voted against Hamas and fought them in gun battles in the street?

    No, the Israeli actions hurt those guys as much as the thuggish Hamas member.

  191. There is such a thing as a truly conservative philosophy, it’s intellectually rigorous if ultimately wrong.

    The same for right wing libertarianism.

    But folks like SIV and TAO don’t approach it. Victims to the stupid media pictures of politics that are presented to folks these days…I pity them…As TAO gets older he will learn more, but Georgian SIV will never learn I’m afraid. His kind will just die out, unable to influence the young around him…

  192. MNG-

    Are you saying Hamas isn’t the democratically elected government of Gaza? Even though I didn’t vote for Obama, I’m still going to be bound by his policies; such is the way of state actors. I don’t rejoice in their suffering, but their status is still that of civilians in a country at war. You can’t target them, but they are going to get hurt if they stay–and that’s not a war crime.

    I’d love it if war only affected combatants, it would make for a much more pleasant world. But the world isn’t like that, and the laws of war are meant to minimize harm to noncombatants without unnecessarily hindering the ability of states to defend themselves. One tactic that’s very unpleasant for civilians is a blockade, but it’s a legitimate tactic and has been for millennia.

  193. A cheap-and-easy way out of parsing through difficult issues.

    Nope. Neither side has clean hands and neither is particularly interested in finding a true and lasting solution. 60 years of this shit is enough for me to not care about any of the participants until they want to let the grownups be in charge.

    I don’t blame the Palestinians for being pissed about losing their homes and lands and I don’t blame Isreal for *defending* itself against outside aggressors. That’s about as far as I go.

  194. “as defined in Mein Kampf”

    God, you’re hilarious Eric. Phalkor, is that you?

  195. “Also, I never called you an IDf spewing piece of shit.”

    SHHH! Don’t destroy Eric’s precious little cartoon world, MNG!

  196. TAO

    So confused…(flips through the right wing magazines which are supposed to have answers for him)…wait, wait, it’s in here somewhere, answers which favor my tribe and me, wait! I’ll find it, just wait…

    Jesus, please wait…I’m special… I have to have some of your, well, attention…

  197. Throw in something about an “Arab-Nazi connection” too please.

    Sorry, but the “Arab-Nazi connection” is a little too real to be made light of that readily.

    Now, to be sure, it was not so much pro-Nazi, or even pro-German as it was anti-British and anti-western.

    In the same way, the later “Arab-Soviet Union connection” was certainly less about any Marxist-Leninist leanings in the Arab world as it was about the same anti-British/American and anti-western sentiments that are rampant in the region. Though it is probably true that the secular nationalist leaders like Nasser, Saddam Hussein and Assad admired the way that Stalin operated. And it is documented that Nasser and Sadat worked in pro German cells trying to undermine the Allied effort in Cairo during WWII.

    Now I am of the opinion that the European Jewish interlopers and their 1920s and 30s terrorist creations (Irgun, the Stern Gang etc) are largely responsible for this morass, but, come on, it’s been sixty years. The State of Israel is an established fact and it strikes me that folks need to adjust themselves to facts currently on the ground, as it were.

    But given that, the nasty anti-Jewish doctrine that had been on the rise with the rise of the
    Wahabist and other fundamentalist movements since the 1700s didn’t bode all that well for the indigenous Jews of the region from Tehran to Casablanca. Those cities which once boasted thriving Jewish populations are now essentially Jew-free for reasons that are only partly related to the “curse” of Zionism.

  198. The embargoes are morally wrong, apart from their “actual” legality and effectiveness, right TAO?

    Haven’t read the later comments yet, but an ’embargo’ properly defined, is not necessarily identical to a blockade. A ‘blockade’, nothing comes in or out (that you can help). A ‘quarantine’ – which is normally how embargos are done these days (e.g. Iraq pre-’03, Cuban missle crisis) – lots of stuff, if not everything, is stopped and searched, but only contraband is seized. Both are definitely acts of war in classical construction. There is a wiki throwaway line that the ICC wants to call a blockade a war crime starting in ’09, so I don’t know it’s accuracy, but if true, this would be a mistake.

  199. libertymike | December 29, 2008, 7:58pm | #

    Brian-

    There is substantial evidence to support the proposition that the Zionists systematically violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. Specifically, Articles 27, 31 and 32 of said convention.

    mike, aren’t you the rational anarchist who doesn’t believe their should be US laws, much less international law?

    Not saying you’re not right (i have no idea) but it’s an odd tack for you.

  200. Ok guys. We all seem tired of the arab-israeli conflict. Is there a solution? This is an open call for ideas for a permament solution to the problem

    Partial solution-
    Separate Gaza from the West Bank politically, make the former it’s own independent country, make Jerusalem it’s own country like the Vatican, give most of the West Bank back to Jordan.
    Spend 1 billion dollars building a modern seaport on the Gaza strip
    Spend another billion building some connecting infrastructure (roads and rail) to that seaport.
    Declare Gaza a corporate tax haven (or do whatever it is China does with its tax structure to encourage foreign direct investment), and declare that imports from gaza into the EU and the US (and whomever else wants to play) will be tax free

  201. You know what happens if an Israeli civilian fires rockets into the Palestinian territories? Neither do I, because it doesn’t happen. But if it did happen, I would imagine that Israel would investigate the incident and try to bring the culprit to justice. This is because Israel is a real state that is really concerned with protecting the life and property of its citizens, and not a failed pseudo-state kept in existence to please western liberals and Muslim extremists.

  202. Gaza, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany.

  203. Ok guys. We all seem tired of the arab-israeli conflict. Is there a solution? This is an open call for ideas for a permament solution to the problem

    Invade Palestine. Abolish political parties. Control the media. Outlaw criticism of the occupation. Arrest all members of Hamas. Respond to all violent incidents with disproportionate violence. Create an all-Israeli colonial government. Seal the borders. Register the population. Having no ID card will be grounds for 180 day detention without Habeas Corpus, a forged ID card will be grounds for indefinite detention and questioning.

    As violence subsides, mix more Palestinians into the administration, at low levels at first, but later as top officials in major bureaus. After the area is peaceful, invite international investment. Foster economic growth. When economic growth is strong and relations are stable, hold elections for some of the Palestinian MP positions, with a clear plan to transfer to full democracy in a number of years. Hamas will remain illegal, just as the Nazi Party is illegal in Germany. Israeli troops will be ready to repeat the process at a moment’s notice. As a condition of withdrawal, force the new Palestinian government to sign a treaty that allows resumption of Israeli control if there are attacks against Israel from Palestinian citizens without government response.

    Hopefully the carrot of peace and prosperity and the stick of military occupation will let the populace know that they should not support any new radical anti-Israel regime.

    Or tinker around with minor raids for the next three centuries, with the occasional summit at camp David and Nobel Peace Prize for a Palestinian murderer. Maybe even pass a few UN resolutions condemning both sides! That seems to be going well.

  204. …make Jerusalem its own country like the Vatican…

    I’ve always wanted to see a Bizarro-Vatican with multiple personality disorder.

    But, it’s far better than the next best solution, which is to glass the place (Jerusalem, that is). You know, if it really were all that special to God, he wouldn’t let that happen anyway, so nothing to worry about. Right? …right?

  205. I enjoy the juxtaposition of Kolohe’s solution with Right Wing Realist’s. I particularly like the part where RWR leaps directly into the conservative stereotype where it’s dandy to treat people in other places like they aren’t people.

  206. Elemenope,

    I love how lefty libertarians act like western rights apply in a situation where there is no rule of law. Peace first. Then you can have freedom and democracy. No speech restriction violates your “rights” like a bomb.

    Southeast Asian states that managed to avoid the fate of Vietnam all relentlessly persecuted communist parties. You lefty libertarians would whine and cry about how the commies’ freedom of speech was violated. Well, guess what? That’s better than violent, bloody revolution.

  207. Also, I like Kolohe’s solution as well. It just needs to be mixed with strong security measures.


  208. Invade Palestine. Abolish political parties. Control the media. Outlaw criticism of the occupation. Arrest all members of Hamas. Respond to all violent incidents with disproportionate violence. Create an all-Israeli colonial government. Seal the borders. Register the population. Having no ID card will be grounds for 180 day detention without Habeas Corpus, a forged ID card will be grounds for indefinite detention and questioning.

    Why should I, as a libertarian, support the imposition of a totalitarian regime on an occupied people?

    As violence subsides, mix more Palestinians into the administration, at low levels at first, but later as top officials in major bureaus. After the area is peaceful, invite international investment. Foster economic growth. When economic growth is strong and relations are stable, hold elections for some of the Palestinian MP positions, with a clear plan to transfer to full democracy in a number of years. Hamas will remain illegal, just as the Nazi Party is illegal in Germany. Israeli troops will be ready to repeat the process at a moment’s notice. As a condition of withdrawal, force the new Palestinian government to sign a treaty that allows resumption of Israeli control if there are attacks against Israel from Palestinian citizens without government response.

    Why would any self-respecting people accept the right of a foreign power to have a veto over them for all time?

    Hopefully the carrot of peace and prosperity and the stick of military occupation will let the populace know that they should not support any new radical anti-Israel regime.

    It will force lip-service submission until the Palestinians feel they can strike back. Unless you intend to have an occupying force there forever, this is not a solution.

    Or tinker around with minor raids for the next three centuries, with the occasional summit at camp David and Nobel Peace Prize for a Palestinian murderer. Maybe even pass a few UN resolutions condemning both sides! That seems to be going well.

    Here, you have a point. The present policies are not producing a solution. Nor can I see any set of policies that will produce a solution, and I am coming to believe that none is possible. Not when any step towards peace can be derailed by bands of fanatics on both sides. Hamas and the Likud extremists who want the Palestinians expelled from all of Biblical Israel – including the West Bank and Gaza – are twin monsters that will prevent any compromise.

    The only end of all this will be genocide. While the Israelis currently have the upper hand militarily, they cannot count on doing so forever. Few regimes succeed in holding power for more than a few centuries. Someday the Palestinians will be on top.

    It is possible that Israel will decide to pursue “ethnic cleansing” (to use the current euphemism) first. I doubt they will.

    It is also possible that the Palestinians will find a Nelson Mandela. That is also unlikely.

    THAT is reality. And I don’t like it one bit.

  209. What kind of society is it where men with rocket launchers walk down the street, fire rockets into a neighboring sovereign territory, and no one calls the police. What’s more, the authorities that exist don’t even seem interested in attacking this problem. That is not a state, it is a failed state, a zone of anarchy on Israel’s border. It is not in the Israelis’ interest and it is not in the Palestinians’ interest to let this sorry situation continue.

    Why should I, as a libertarian, support the imposition of a totalitarian regime on an occupied people?

    In a land where people are storing bombs and mortar shells in their homes, you would have to be a fool to support liberty. You should support a totalitarian occupying regime in this case to build a peace where liberty is possible without people getting blowed up.

  210. Aresen,

    Let’s suppose that a temporary totalitarian occupation could produce a lasting peace and eventually a modern, first-world Palestine with strong personal security, property rights and rule of law for every citizen.

    Let’s call that the “RWR solution”.

    Further, let’s suppose that treating the Palestinians with a soft hand and stern words results in poverty, violence, and misery for the Palestinians for decades to come.

    Let’s call that the “libertarian solution”.

    Would you still prefer the libertarian solution?

  211. Elemenope, bit off topic, but I doubt you saw my reply about work comp…..

    So, they are not getting caught…hence they are not getting detected.

    So…from what orifice did that 50% number come from?

    Well, my sister is a work comp administrator for a major carrier and her direct quote is that “half of all comp claims are fraudulent”.

    The problem is that the fraud is easily detected but the rules of evidence in comp cases are extremely lax in Ca. Anything and everything is admissible. For instance, I know a girl who broke her ankle on the steps of her office building on her way to lunch. That’s a comp claim. It may not be a fraudulent claim, but it certainly bears only the most tenuous connection to being work-related.

    Second issue is cost. It is far simpler to pay off a fraudulent claim for a few thousand dollars than it is to fight it through the bureaucracy.

  212. While Israel continues to extend its borders through land theft and demonstrate its indifference to human suffering with such acts of wholesale terrorism as we see today in Gaza, it will never have peace. Why Hamas? Because Israel refused to deal with Fatah. Why Fatah? Because Israel refused to acknowledge the rights of indigenous Palestinians.

  213. My solution would be to make both Israel and Palestine a constitutional republic.

    They all get the right to vote, but no one can violate the rights of others.

    If you can’t do that because it would make Israel maybe not a Jewish state. Then what we have is a racist apartheid state that doesn’t deserve to exist. Sort of like Saudi Arabia.

    I suppose it is a little more complicated than that. Can the rest of the jews immigrate to Israel? Can Palestinians who have fled return?

    Hard to say.

  214. You can’t really blame folks like TAO and Right Wing Realist on this too much. Israel makes conservatives and right leaning libertarians a little insane. For many of them they just are being played by the writers that make their opinions.

    Look at Ayn Rand on this issue, her essay on why aid to Israel is a hilarious thing. It’s a fucking hoot. It’s immediately obvious that Rand is for Israel because, well, she’s Jewish and it’s a Jewish state. But she can’t say that because she has all these over the top attacks on “tribalism” so she goes off on this tortured argument on how its really selfish for us to give our money to Israel and of course selfishness is its own justification so viola. It’s a real hoot!

    Likewise “conservatives” like you find at NRO have to, in order to establish their conservative bona fides, engage in the crude nationalism that makes them who they are. So it’s all America first, etc, etc. But many of these writers are Jewish or Christian Zionists so when it comes to Israel suddenly they have to argue for things like foriegn aid and an un-realistic foriegn policy and they get all crazy. Things they never could say about domestic policy (welfare) they argue with a semi-straight face about Israel (foriegn aid). It’s a hoot.

    If it weren’t for the fact that kids are dying I’d say sit back and just enjoy it, really.

    Oh well, up early to engage in some holiday family travel, but to all: enjoy the mental gymnastics on the part of our right leaning friends here on this topic. It’s great fun really.

  215. Kolohe
    Forget any technical definitions of “war crime” or not. It’s a bigger mess some of these right leaning guys are in. You’d have to tell me how a libertarian would justify the restrictions placed on the Palestinian businessman I speak of upthread.

    Because I’ll be honest, you’ll have to chuck the idea of individual rights that trump policy based on utility out the window. That individual has done nothing wrong and wants to engage in his rights of trade, business (embargo), association (the family unification laws), movement, participation in government etc. Justifying the Israeli restrictions on that guy and coming out a rights believing libertarian is going to be hard to do. Folks like TAO who get their philosophy from right wing think tanks and magazines, which are pro-Israel because of the influence of interest groups and certainly not because of consistency with any principles they expouse, get trapped in this philosophical mess rather easily (because it’s simply not consistent with libertarian or conservative values otherwise).

  216. MNG – I am sorry to bust your bubble but I don’t represent the Israeli side; actually Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East and South Asia in which I have not lived and worked; I have never even visited Israel nor do I plan to do so at this time. I am somewhat familiar with the perspective of the “Arab street,” although I empathize with the fact that the information the average newspaper-reading Egyptian or Syrian is a bit limited; however, the internet is closing this gap. As I mentioned earlier, this conflict has produced little but pain for all parties for the past ninety years.

    If there is a hope for peace, or even a d?tente, there must be first an understanding by all parties that they each have rights and obligations. The PA has taken steps in this direction, as have some Israeli political parties. Other extremists, on both sides, prefer to spill blood, kill babies, torture suspects, and kill “collaborators.” Corruption exists on both sides, although Israel seems to be trying to address it in fits and starts. Both populations, forgive me for lumping Palestinian Christians with “Palestinians” for the sake of brevity, seem to desire a form of self-determination and personal and economic security; bombs, rockets, missiles, blockades, and landmines do not further the achievement of these mutual desires.

    In reading these comments, it appears that many people are looking for a magic solution – there isn’t one. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis are going to go away any time soon and quite frankly, no one wants to host either population anywhere else. Non-Arab Israelis view a one state solution or a two state solution with a “right of return” to be a form of demographic suicide. A majority of Israelis also express an interest in maintaining the “Jewish” character of their state – just as the people of many countries seek an Islamic character in theirs. Palestinians also desire a land of their own – they have not been particularly well treated by their Arab brothers over the past sixty years and no one other than the Israelis or the Jordanians have seriously considered providing them with territory (although Jordan didn’t cede claim to any territory while they actually occupied it). It should also be noted that the Egyptians seem willing to forego their historic claim to Gaza in favor of a Palestinian state. Palestinians seem divided over the religious character of their state although the consensus seems to be moving in direction of a more Islamic character rather than the more secular pan-Arab nationalism that was espoused in the past. One geographic issue that remains is the physical separation of Gaza and the West Bank – few states have managed to overcome such a situation and many, Pakistan and East Pakistan (Bangladesh) come to mind, have done particularly poorly. If Israel is to continue to exist in its present form, then a three state solution is probably more likely.

    Rather than throwing rocks, I suggest throwing ideas. Pretend that other arguments may contain some value and look for common ground. Clearly accusations and recriminations haven’t worked and are less likely to in the future since they carry the burden of failure. If you can’t accept the possible validity of another’s position, then you have already lost the debate.

  217. The Self-proclaimed Chosen People of god will NEVER GIVE in. The JEWS of Israel are equally crazy as the Arabs. The best thing would be if they simply blew each other up…But i don’t think that’ll happen.

    This is the BEST we can do for Peace in Israel:

    1. Neighboring arab countries absorb the remaining arab refugees and any Palestinians and integrate. That is, Egypt should take Gaza and Jordon/Syria should take the West Bank refugees. The LAND itself should remain with ISRAEL.

    2. Israel and United States should financially compensate the refugees for their land.

  218. My solution:

    Israel recognizes Palestine as a state, draws up some defensible boundaries (give back some of what they have now, give Jerusalem to the UN with the proviso that the UN can’t give it to the Palis without Israeli consent), builds a wall with no gates, and lets the Palestinians get on with it.

    If the Palestinians attack Israel, then Israel responds as they would to any other nation that attacks them.

    Once the Palis have nationhood status, then they have no excuse for not running the place as a proper state – anyone taking up arms against a neighbor is either a criminal or a member of the Palestinian armed forces acting under orders.

  219. “A cheap-and-easy way out of parsing through difficult issues.”

    is it not a disease of our modern age that everyone must have a stance and opinion on everything, no matter how removed from our lives they may be?

  220. R C Dean … I respect your solution…However, it’s a simple-simon solution.

    The Current Palestinians are refugees. Their ancestors were routed out of their homes by the United States and the New Jewish settlers.

    Imagine if the Chinese came to New Jersey and made the current residents live in either Camdem or Newark (two of Jersey’s GEMs). The New Jersians would be pissed…and would also fight to the death.

    A Holicaust of the palestinans would be the ONLY solution suitable for Israel and the Jews…ask any of them…and I don’t mean the liberal ones that LIVE here.

    If i were to go to your home at take it from you, how pratical would it be for me to leave you and your family alive. You people would constently be bothering me.

  221. …to continue…

    The removal of All Israelis would be the ONLY solution suitable for the Palestinians.

    And since Israel is nothing more than the United States, the Palestinians should either SUCK it UP and accept being ripped off…or prepare to DIE.

  222. The Palestinians amaze me for their absolute inability to ever accept defest. Even when they are getting massacred 100-1.

    Consider the motives of their leaders, and the choices offered to them.

    Keeping the palestinian/israeli war going is beneficial not only to the homegrown palestinian kleptocrats, it’s also highly useful to the corrupt arab regimes in the area, since it distracts their people from their own governments’ venality.

    -jcr

  223. Their ancestors were routed out of their homes by the United States and the New Jewish settlers.

    It’s not quite that simple. You’re leaving out the detail that when the Arabs first attacked Israel, they told all the Arabs living there to flee or be considered traitors. Lots of them fled, and every Arab country since then has refused to let them become citizens.

    All the Jews who were pushed of the Arab countries to Israel were take in, given citizenship, and integrated into Israeli society. The Arabs kept the palestinians in refugee camps.

    -jcr

  224. A Holicaust of the palestinans would be the ONLY solution suitable for Israel and the Jews.

    That’s what’s know in rhetoric as a baldfaced lie. Israel has always had the capacity to wipe out the palestinians, and they don’t do it because they’re not the kind of monsters that you want to believe that they are.

    -jcr

  225. John C. Randolph,

    In response to your ‘it’s not quite simple’ comment, You left out the part that the US pushed out the residents via FORCE. They didn’t simply leave the homes, farms, and businesses on the empty promise of some Arab in IRAQ…The history written by US and Jews would like us to believe that so that they (US/JEWS) don’t seem like a bunch of scumbags…but the story is completely unbelievable.

  226. To JCR,

    as for

    A Holicaust of the palestinans would be the ONLY solution suitable for Israel and the Jews.

    That’s what’s know in rhetoric as a baldfaced lie.

    The ONLY thing that’s STOPPED ISRAEL and AMERICA a full-service Holicaust against Palestinians is Not JEWISH MERCY…It’s the TELEVISION…and world opininon.

    Don’t forget, Team America is not only WORLD POLICE…Its the WORLD PROSTITUTE. We sleep with Arabs for oil, Support Israel’s right to exist, all for a palestinian state, are at war with islamo-terrorists….

    It’s hard to say who’s side we really are on. But, believe me, if US didn’t need Islamo Oil…The Palestinians territory would be NO DIFFERENT than Dachau.

  227. Embargoes are not war crimes. You cannot go “ok, embargoes collectively punish, and all collective punishments are war crimes, ergo, embargoes are war crimes!” That is fallacious, unless you want to put the embargoes the United States has against certain nations (Cuba, Iran, N. Korea) as “war crimes”.

    Words mean things.

    Right, words mean things. And “embargo” does not mean “blockade”.

    This is why the standard nonsense line put out about this conflict – that Israel is bombing Gaza because Hamas “broke the ceasefire” – is such a pathetic and disgusting lie.

    Israel became the aggressor here as soon as they imposed a blockade on Gaza in response to Hamas’ victory in elections there. Period. A blockade is an act of war. Gaza is ostensibly autonomous and not independent, so acts of war strictly speaking do not apply to it; but imposing a blockade certainly eliminates the pretense of autonomy.

    As soon as Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza – effectively sealing 1.5 million people into an open air prison and leaving them there – those people had the moral right to retaliate. If all they can do is launch some pathetic rockets that don’t accomplish anything, so what? The other choice is to sit there in a prison and do nothing.

    Israel has no right to expect anyone to honor a ceasefire with them until they actually, you know, cease fire. Maintaining a blockade is not ceasing fire.

  228. In 1973, we should have let the Arabs destroy Israel. They had the Zionists on the ropes and it was only our massive airlifting of supplies, ammo and weapons that saved Israel. The world would have been a whole lot better off if we had not played the imperial interventionist.

  229. Libertymike … You are Silly.

    America, as I mentioned before, supports israel, needs islamo-oil, supports a palestinian state, believes in jesus, and batman too.

    Israel IS the US…That silly white flag with a star of david is in fact a STATE FLAG.

  230. Fluffy,

    Gazans launched 6,300 missles into Israel since Israel pulled out in 2005. Israelis showed restraint by imposing a blockage instead of reinvading long ago. The people of Gaza got self-rule in 2005. At that point, they also got the obligation to stop fellow citizens from launching rockets at Israelis.

  231. The people of Gaza got self-rule in 2005.

    No they didn’t.

    Israel continues to control Gaza’s air space, blockades all sea traffic [even periods of less control are properly understood as a limited blockade], and has total control over the entry or exit of any person from Gaza.

    If someone put a fence around Massachusetts, banned all air traffic, stopped all goods entering or leaving, blocked the port of Boston, prevented anyone from entering or leaving, and then said, “Congratulations, you have home rule,” I’d shoot rockets at them, too, if I was stuck in Massachusetts.

    “We gave you home rule, you have the obligation to stop people from shooting rockets into Connecticut!” Blow me.

  232. Alice,

    Are you a child or an idiot? I can’t quite tell which it is.

    -jcr

  233. I’m along the lines of a Childish idiot.

    And why would u say something like that? Is it that you don’t agree with my opinion that America is World Police/Prostitute ?

  234. –continued…

    Given US policy with the middle east…it’s hard to say what side we are on.

    BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT we are on Israel’s side. And we should JUST COME OUT OF THE CLOSET and Admit it.

    We are NOT an EQUAL BROKER for PEACE. We are a STRONG ALLEY of ISRAEL…Let’s just admit it.

    We deal with the Islamos JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE To.

  235. And No…I don’t believe the Jewish People are Monsters.

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