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More Trouble In The Middle East

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A few comments on some of those points- no problems about the ones I've left out.
    An open letter to Hamas to get an independent Palestine

    1) stop firing rockets and attacking your stronger neighbour. If some renegades want to continue kill them or if you can't ask Israel to do it for you (you may have noticwed they're good at it).
    It's a lot more complex than that. It could be that Hamas sees the rocket attacks as a response to Israeli aggression. Far too often we take Israel's word that Hamas attacks or breaks a truce first. Often that is not the case, as it seems it wasn't this time.

    As for not attacking your stronger neighbour, what are they supposed to do? Resistance movements do not care (nor should they) about the superior strenght of the enemy. They're fighting for what they believe is right, against poor odds. In most cases that is regarded as bravery or even heroism.

    4) Support Israel in any trade negotiations (that'll be good for you as many boycotts of Israeli goods often manage to boycott Palestinian goods as well)
    Very well, but can they count on Israel promising to agree to end Gaza's blockade and control of its territorial waters and airspace in return? Quid pro quo.
    6) Remember the left aren't your friends, they just see you as pawns in the battle against the Great Satan
    Nice generalisation there. Just out of curiosity, who do you include in this 'left' movement? People who speak out against Israeli disproportionate use of force? People who attend protest marches? Guardian readers?
    8) Recognise Israel without preconditions - that way they might believe you are starting to accept there right to exist
    Seeing as Israel is doing the brunt of the wrongdoing in the conflict and that not once in 41 years has even offered the possibility of returning the stolen land, that is not a reasonable demand. How about Israel recognises it has no right to the land it has stolen and it will one day return to pre-1967 borders without preconditions instead?
    10) Have I mentioned not attacking Israel?
    Eternal vicious circle there. While attacking civilians is completely unacceptable, it should not come a surprise attacks do happen. Half the time they're a direct response to a previous attack by the other side, and the rest of the time it is boiled over frustration. At the end of the day, the only thing that it ever gets offered in exchange for an end to the violence is an end of hostilities from the other side. So no more killings, but stil concentration camp conditions, no country and no land. Where is the carrot? Unless the suggestion is that the right not to be murdered should be carrot enough for the Palestinians...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Seeing as Israel is doing the brunt of the wrongdoing in the conflict and that not once in 41 years has even offered the possibility of returning the stolen land, that is not a reasonable demand. How about Israel recognises it has no right to the land it has stolen and it will one day return to pre-1967 borders without preconditions instead?

    Wasn't there a peace treaty drawn up recently where about 90% of the annexed land would be returned? Hamas apparently rejected it though. Have to say, the only reason I know of it is from pro-Israel advocates, so I don't know of it's veracity. There are strong arguments on both sides. Settlements that were set up in the illegally occupied lands have had generations of Israelis living there now, whereas before nobody lived there. Whilst it's not fair that the Palestinians are deprived of their land, I don't believe it is fair they are deprived of their homes either.

    As for being realistic, I think that is the only way. If Hamas wants to win the moral battle, now would be the perfect time to roll over and offer many gracious symbollic acts of defference to show they are more sincere about peace than Israel, like handing over any captured Israeli soldiers, stopping the shelling, and so on.

    Also, Hamas did formally recognise Israel. Everyone reverts back to their charter but real political goals on the ground especially in a region as wartorn as Israel/Palestine are often very different from the mantras and hyperbole in the books. It's about trying to find the moderate way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    A few comments on some of those points- no problems about the ones I've left out.

    Your missing my point in all those - Hamas has lost. It's only chance of getting what it wants is to cozy up to Israel. Israel is winning - it doesn't have to do a thing
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/20091218281740670.html

    ISRAEL HAS PULLED OUT

    :')

    Today is a good day. I woke up having had a few hours sleep and thought barack obama was coming after me to steal my essays, so I got up put my clothes on and hid under my duvet. I seriously don't know what was going through my mind lol :p I think lack of sleep made me delirious.

    Either way:
    a) my essays are finished
    b) barack obama looks like he's good
    c) good news from Israstine / Palesrail
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your missing my point in all those - Hamas has lost. It's only chance of getting what it wants is to cozy up to Israel. Israel is winning - it doesn't have to do a thing
    Hamas has lost? That'll be news to them, as it is to me.

    They have taken a pounding, for sure- then again every man, woman and child in Gaza has.

    But do you think the onslaught is going to stop Hamas from rearming themselves and launching rockets at Israel in the future? Not in a million years.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Hamas has lost? That'll be news to them, as it is to me.

    They have taken a pounding, for sure- then again every man, woman and child in Gaza has.

    But do you think the onslaught is going to stop Hamas from rearming themselves and launching rockets at Israel in the future? Not in a million years.

    Yeah they've lost in that they have no way to win, oh they'll keep on fighting and kill the odd Israeli, but at the cost of more and more of their people dead. They won't achieve any of their objectives by force though...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah they've lost in that they have no way to win, oh they'll keep on fighting and kill the odd Israeli, but at the cost of more and more of their people dead. They won't achieve any of their objectives by force though...
    And neither will the Israelis unless their plan is the total extermination or forced removal of the entire Palestinian people... which I doubt it is.

    In any case, I'm surprised you would fail to agree that such military campaigns are actually God-sent to Hamas. The best recruiting drive they could possibly hope for. There are 1.5 million people in Gaza. Plenty of new recruit material, specially when every man, woman and child has just been bombed to fuck and oppressed to unspeakable levels by the Israelis.

    In fact many ordinary Palestinians will have been driven to wanting to join Hamas. I know I would if my children had been decapitated by sharpnel, my wife disfigured by illegal-as-fuck white phosphorus, my house destroyed, my water and electricity supply cut off and my livelihood ruined. Wouldn't you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    And neither will the Israelis unless their plan is the total extermination or forced removal of the entire Palestinian people... which I doubt it is.

    Israel's objectives seem much more limited, which is basically a level of violence they can live with. They know they'll never defeat Hamas, so their tactics are basically to keep disrupting it whenever it reaches a certain level.
    In any case, I'm surprised you would fail to agree that such military campaigns are actually God-sent to Hamas. The best recruiting drive they could possibly hope for. There are 1.5 million people in Gaza. Plenty of new recruit material, specially when every man, woman and child has just been bombed to fuck and oppressed to unspeakable levels by the Israelis.

    Why are you suprised? They're not a god send to Hamas as they critical degrade its military capability. Oh the world may shout, but it doesn't move their cause forward
    In fact many ordinary Palestinians will have been driven to wanting to join Hamas. I know I would if my children had been decapitated by sharpnel, my wife disfigured by illegal-as-fuck white phosphorus, my house destroyed, my water and electricity supply cut off and my livelihood ruined. Wouldn't you?

    nah, I'm not a romantic, so frankly if there's a war we can't win I'd be trying to persaude everyone to get us into an imperfect peace (assuming it wasn't when I was still in the army when my professional obligations would have overuled it). Better to have a poor peace than have the rest of my family killed

    And of course the flipside if you lost your grandparents in a death camp and your neighbours keep lobbing over rockets whilst chanting death to jews - would you be keen on taking your foot of their throat?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest I think that now it's a conflation of two issues - Hamas cannot win by military means alone, but that's not a consideration for a group within which large numbers genuinely believe that any who die are better off than they were alive - losses, not martyrs.

    Israel's conduct has been deplorable, there is no excuse for the level of violence that they have used against civillians, nor for the use of banned weapons BUT also it needs to be recognised that Hamas frequently flout international guidelines by running around in Ambulances packed with arms - this allows the extremists in the IDF (of which there are a quite a number) to run rough shod over humanitarian conditions. Any future process of reconciliation will need to bring IDF criminals to account, just as it will those on the other side (including those that have shot British and other journalists, I might add).

    Don't get me wrong - I think that the blockade, the detentions, the forced separations, the years of targeted killings, land grabs and water consumption has created the Hamas we see now. But the fact is that we cannot change the past; Hamas will have to be bought to the table but they've got to stop these rocket attacks - if they start firing again at Israeli civillians they will be showing contempt not only for Israeli lives but also those of Gazans.

    It would also begin to convince me that the people in Gaza are not Nasrallah's primary concern, but that provoking a wider conflict with Israel is and other Arab states is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hamas said they would declare a truce for a week to give Israel time to withdraw. And Israel has withdrawn. These are positive steps!

    Maybe Obama did some phonecalls to Israel, basically "start behaving or daddy's gonna cut you off".

    Doesn't matter either way, this is progress towards peace which with the way things were going last week I thought was nigh on impossible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The rhetoric is still coming out from Hamas though, all the 'god willing our rockets will hit more targets' stuff.

    I think it might have been too soon for Obama to get involved but I am sure there will be some below the radar diplomacy going on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And of course the flipside if you lost your grandparents in a death camp and your neighbours keep lobbing over rockets whilst chanting death to jews - would you be keen on taking your foot of their throat?
    I wouldn't, as indeed many Israelis don't, because they recognise they are the ones doing most of the wrongdoing, and most of the time doing it first as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The rhetoric is still coming out from Hamas though, all the 'god willing our rockets will hit more targets' stuff.

    I think it might have been too soon for Obama to get involved but I am sure there will be some below the radar diplomacy going on.
    It doesn't lood good what with Obama's Chief of Staff being a rabid zionist though...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    More likely israel thinks its achieved all it can do at the moment (in a risk vs reward anaylsis) and Hamas is making the best of a bad job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    I wouldn't, as indeed many Israelis don't, because they recognise they are the ones doing most of the wrongdoing, and most of the time doing it first as well.

    Some do and I think some of the more thoughtful Palestinians recognise that there own actions aren't helping. You won't be able to understand (never mind stop) the conflict until you realise that Israel isn't doing what it's doing for shit and giggles
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some do and I think some of the more thoughtful Palestinians recognise that there own actions aren't helping. You won't be able to understand (never mind stop) the conflict until you realise that Israel isn't doing what it's doing for shit and giggles
    Israel is doing what it is doing because it is not interested in a two State solution- certainly not the model demanded by the UN and the international community.

    Israel simply sees the ceaseless low-scale conflict it has been having with the Palestinians as an acceptable price to pay, because said conflict allows it to justify continuing to hang on on to all the land it stole more than 40 years ago. Not to mention continuing to receive the exorbitant amounts of military and financial aid from the US it has got over the years.

    Unfortunately it seems that the entire economic and social engine of Israel appears to be linked with and dependant on the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Were it to disappear, the pressure to retreat back to the Green Line would be intolerable; and once peace was achieved, those billions upon billions in financial aid and military state-of-the-art hardware gifted by the US would be very difficult to justify by the cash-strapped US government.

    No. If Israel really wanted peace, it would have achieved it a long time ago. The model of peace it proposes (we keep all the land, make fuck all concessions and we simply stop attacking each other) is an insulting joke.

    Funny how such escalations of violence always happen to occur after periods of calm, peace talks and when everyone has high hopes for a solution to the conflict, don't you think?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Israel simply sees the ceaseless low-scale conflict it has been having with the Palestinians as an acceptable price to pay, because said conflict allows it to justify continuing to hang on on to all the land it stole more than 40 years ago. Not to mention continuing to receive the exorbitant amounts of military and financial aid from the US it has got over the years.

    Unfortunately it seems that the entire economic and social engine of Israel appears to be linked with and dependant on the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Were it to disappear, the pressure to retreat back to the Green Line would be intolerable; and once peace was achieved, those billions upon billions in financial aid and military state-of-the-art hardware gifted by the US would be very difficult to justify by the cash-strapped US government.

    Agreed. Dependence on American Military aid is definately something that will need to be addressed, and hopefully Obama will see this as a key point in any peace settlement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Israel is doing what it is doing because it is not interested in a two State solution- certainly not the model demanded by the UN and the international community.

    is Hamas?
    Israel simply sees the ceaseless low-scale conflict it has been having with the Palestinians as an acceptable price to pay, because said conflict allows it to justify continuing to hang on on to all the land it stole more than 40 years ago. Not to mention continuing to receive the exorbitant amounts of military and financial aid from the US it has got over the years.

    Unfortunately it seems that the entire economic and social engine of Israel appears to be linked with and dependant on the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Were it to disappear, the pressure to retreat back to the Green Line would be intolerable; and once peace was achieved, those billions upon billions in financial aid and military state-of-the-art hardware gifted by the US would be very difficult to justify by the cash-strapped US government.

    Or it does see an organisation which doesn't recognise its right to exist and has schoolbooks which places an emphasis on Jews being akin to pigs as a threat
    No. If Israel really wanted peace, it would have achieved it a long time ago. The model of peace it proposes (we keep all the land, make fuck all concessions and we simply stop attacking each other) is an insulting joke.

    And vice versa
    Funny how such escalations of violence always happen to occur after periods of calm, peace talks and when everyone has high hopes for a solution to the conflict, don't you think?

    Not really. It's no more strange than after a period of violence you have a period of peace. After all it depends whether you call this peace

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rocket_and_mortar_attacks_in_Israel_in_2008

    I hate to say I agree with Martin (though probably not as much as he hates me agreeing with him), but its not as simple as Israeli baddies and Palestinians baddies, but a complex, never-ending round of tit for tat, in which both sides are to blame.

    However, to get away from the blame game for a moment, given who's winning and who's loosing its Hamas who have the most to gain from cosying up to Israel.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hate to say I agree with Martin (though probably not as much as he hates me agreeing with him), but its not as simple as Israeli baddies and Palestinians baddies, but a complex, never-ending round of tit for tat, in which both sides are to blame.

    Actually seriously got no idea why you would think that...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually seriously got no idea why you would think that...

    Tongue in cheek comment, given we seldom agree - I probably should have put a smilie after it
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    See, I don't really see it that way - I find that you often offer a different perspective on things from what I may have, and its more a case of synthesis rather than anything else; point, counter point, consideration, new idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    is Hamas?
    Not 'officially' yet, though they became pragmatic actually quite a while ago and have said on many ocassions, both on the record and on it, that they would be prepared to accept Israel's right to exist and to agree to full peace in exchange for the return of the land. Israel's answer? No thanks.


    And vice versa
    See above.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    really? Why don't they do it then? It would be easy for them to stop rocket attacks at the same time...

    both sides are locked into the conflict with neither and both to blame. blaming one side is not only useless, its actually counter-productive
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    However they're both not equally to blame. If it could be quantified, it would not be unfair to determine that 80% of the blame lies with Israel, and as such it must make the first move, and be a sincere and genuine one as well.

    The bottom line remains that not once in 40 years has Israel said it would even consider returning the stolen land. Not even in exchange for full peace & recognition from not only Hamas but just about every country in the ME bar perhaps Iran. What are the Palestinians expected to do?

    In addition to that this is not an equal fight. This is one of the mightiest armies in human history, their immense power allowing them to squash and oppress an entire people to conditions that resemble those of WWII concentration camps. This is state-of-the-art missiles and hundreds of tonnes of high explosive versus stone-throwing youths and home made to rockets that are 95% inaccurate. This is 1,300 people (mostly civilians) killed, tens of thousands injured, many more made homeless and half a million left without water supply vs. some 8 soldiers and 3 civilians killed.

    This is a set of people illegally occupying another people's land and restricting their movements, territorial waters, airspace and trading, not a simple land dispute between equal partners like, say, India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

    Of course Israel is far, far, far more to blame than Hamas. Of course it should make the first move, and by far the most concessions. It's high time people had the decency to admit that while Hamas' actions are completely unacceptable and senseless murder, the Israeli government?s actions are hideous atrocities and crimes against humanity of a far, far more grave nature. It's high time that instead of rolling the red carpet for the Israeli governmentment we treat them like the barbarian terrorists they are- just the kind of treatment Hamas gets, incidentally.

    It would indeed be lovely if both sides were actually treated the same way. As things stand, the international community actually treats the biggest culprits as the victims, and the victims as the main culprits. To add insult to injury, literally.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with you Aladdin, historically the case is pretty uncontroversial. But at the moment, the only realistic way for a negotiated settlement is going to be if Hamas STOPS rocket attacks - then the shoe is on the other foot, there's very little the Israelis will be able to use for excuses.

    The historical crimes of Israel will need to be accounted for - people WILL have to pay for what they have done (oh and that goes for elements of Hamas as well); but much as I don't like it, the absolute priority MUST be ensuring that the huge unwieldy (and, from what I can see, undisciplined) War Machine that Israel has built up is not set loose again.

    If Hamas come to the table, particularly with the US involved, then any heel-dragging by the Israelis in terms of lifting blockades, releasing prisoners, or clamping down on rogue elements in the IDF & Zionist movement will carry a damn site more international weight.

    Should that happen I will be 100% behind a boycott of Israeli goods (in fact, the time to do this would have been before the Second Interfada even got started). Israel is guilty of a great many things, Palestinians are guilty of some, and we (the rest of the world and particularly the Allied powers) are guilty of only getting involved when it suits when we could have sorted this years ago.

    Lay the blame later; stop the bombs now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fair enough Martin, but we should remember one thing: there have been fairly lenghty periods of time in which there have been virtually no attacks from Hamas, and negotiations have taken place over the last few years.

    The progress made? Zero. Israel always torpedoes such processes by demanding 'more time', wasting time and generally not being interested.

    So Hamas stopping all attacks is all very well. But since Israel isn't interested in doing anything, the international community should have the decenty of putting pressure on the Israelis. They could have done that plenty of times before during various periods of truce between the two sides.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree, but again I think the time for such questions will be in the future.

    Meantime;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7843633.stm

    The quote at the end is particularly telling.
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    Anybody been follwing the story of the Palestinian Dr Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish?

    Israeli TV broucast live a telephone call from him moments after his house was taregted killing his daughters. The reporter at the TV station then goes on to arrange emergency teams to go to his house which is then caught on TV.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8UxJWdCwOpc&feature=related

    Then after a press conferance he gets an angry reception from Israeli's who accuse him of being a terrorist.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mh_F0p8Jcrc

    Unbelievable.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree. That's the kind of ideology you have to overcome though. Blind devotion and faith.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So why has Hamas allowed this to happen?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7852745.stm

    Once again, Hamas have no concern of the consequences to their civilians.
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