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Author Topic: Israeli attacks in Gaza
Armoth
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I see so much flag burning - You know, they actually have to BUY the flags to burn them.

I feel like they have a whole lot more American/Israeli flags than Americans/Israelis do.

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Saephon
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I agree with Lyrhawn. Also, the problem seems to me that the two sides aren't really fighting a war. This kind of conflict wouldn't have lasted so long a thousand years ago, because one side would actually try to win, and win. Today we have two neighbors who are engaging in just enough conflict to maintain their land and make it clear that they're not pushovers.

If I didn't care about innocent lives, I'd hope for both sides to go all out until one of them is destroyed. Of course, the reality is that nations are more than just their governments or an extreme militant faction. Still, the point stands. If people really want an END to this...you're gonna have to, I hate to say it, pull an Ender and show Bonzo you're not screwing around.

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King of Men
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quote:
I agree with Lyrhawn. Also, the problem seems to me that the two sides aren't really fighting a war. This kind of conflict wouldn't have lasted so long a thousand years ago, because one side would actually try to win, and win. Today we have two neighbors who are engaging in just enough conflict to maintain their land and make it clear that they're not pushovers.

I think you are overestimating the decisiveness of past wars. To take your specific example of 1000 years, that puts us roughly at the Crusades. Both sides were fighting to win, but the Crusader kingdoms lasted 200 years or so; you couldn't call the eventual victory quick in any meaningful sense. If Israel is still around in 150 years, you could come back and argue that the Arabs are being kind of slow. Similarly, southern Iberia was conquered by the Moslems in the early 800s, and not completely Reconquista'd until 600 years later. In any particular generation you'd take a look at the war and swear it would continue forever. The Byzantines broke two waves of Moslem attacks, retreating all the while, and stood for 500 years before they finally went down. Then the Ottomans poured into Europe and took 200 years to reach their peak at the siege of Vienna, and fought a bitter retreating action for the next 250 years, 1687 to 1920. Even in modern wars, supposedly so intense and quickly over, you could make a good case that the wars of 1866, 1870, 1914, 1939, and 1945 were all acts in one long conflict of German unification, not ended until 1989, if even that is the end. (And if you count the rise of Prussia as a Great Power, you could draw the lines back even to 1750, or - God help us - the Teutonic Order crusading in Lithuania.)

Then, if you look at the conflicts of hunter-gatherers, you will find that they are the exact opposite of decisive. Battles are prearranged, and consist of firing not-very-deadly missiles at long range; deaths are uncommon and usually end the battle right away. (Apart from the deaths, the almost ritualistic exchange of rockets is a pretty close analogy to this, now I think about it.) Eventually the weaker tribe does tend to move away from the stronger one, but not because of defeat in any given battle.

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King of Men
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Another point is that ending wars does not necessarily save lives, even over the long run. Clearly you could end the war by shooting all the non-Arab Israelis, or even just the fighting-age males, total death toll ~1 million. That would be quick. The death toll from the current methods is, say, 10000 a year. At this rate it would take 100 years to match the Numbers 31 solution. Do we really think this conflict will go on that long?
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aspectre
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Yep. European colonization attempts have gone on for over a thousand years already.
Why would one expect the latest version to stop in a mere hundred?

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
I see so much flag burning - You know, they actually have to BUY the flags to burn them.

I feel like they have a whole lot more American/Israeli flags than Americans/Israelis do.

Eh, they probably make them in China. Commerce is good. There was an interesting note in the news when one factory was caught making Tibetan flags even [Smile]
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String
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
KoM: Ya, but we've established that the Palestinians are unwilling to live in peace beside the Israelis. Thus the constant rocket attacks against Israeli civlians.

Right. And this is the concession they would have to make, to which a sufficient application of force would eventually drive them. My argument is that there exists some level of defeat which does make people renounce such goals as these.
Israel has the means to ensure such a defeat, but for whatever reason they always leave the job unfinished. It strikes me as odd that it always happens that way, with Israel snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I guess the question really is why doesn't Israel finish the job?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by String:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
KoM: Ya, but we've established that the Palestinians are unwilling to live in peace beside the Israelis. Thus the constant rocket attacks against Israeli civlians.

Right. And this is the concession they would have to make, to which a sufficient application of force would eventually drive them. My argument is that there exists some level of defeat which does make people renounce such goals as these.
Israel has the means to ensure such a defeat, but for whatever reason they always leave the job unfinished. It strikes me as odd that it always happens that way, with Israel snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I guess the question really is why doesn't Israel finish the job?
I bet that if you think for about 5 minutes you can come up with at least one reason why Israel does not just mop up all the Palestinians and exile the rest.
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rivka
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Fear of world opinion and reaction. Fear of retaliation from other neighbors (such as do-they-have-nukes-yet? Iran).
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Blayne Bradley
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I sent the video to my brother.

quote:

Yeah!!! Those /not repeating/ deliberately put their terrorists near schools and daycares! Israel has no choice but to fire on children! That's the right moral calculation to make... right...?

Israel claims that its attacks are surgical. The reality is that they've intentionally bombed schools, mosques, TV stations, in some horrible act of collective punishment, and under the ridiculous pretext of "security". This is the absolute worst /not repeating/ thing Israel could do for its own security. Anyone with a brain knows that this is just going to exacerbate tensions in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

How should I respond? Ask for proof?

It is interesting how this effects my family, my brother and I find ourselves on opposite sides of the cofnlict here, my brother supports the Palistinians (thinking the Israeli gov't close to being aparthied, never said it but I suspect he believes it) I however defend Israel, makes for interesting discussions.

Just so you know, he doesn't get into arguments about China under the idea that I'ld have the advantage being far more familiar then he is. ("No no no no, I'm not getting into this, I have no means of refuting anything you say").

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Armoth
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::shrug:: Is he saying that if someone is shooting rockets at you from the middle of a population center, you should sit and wait to get hit?

I don't quite understand. Are their hands morally tied?

Yes. Israel has bombed schools, mosques, and TV stations all intentionally - I know that mosques were meeting places for terrorists, and additionally, they stored rockets.

The TV stations are a means of destroying Hamas's infrastructure - it's like bombing Al Qaeda's tv station - anyone have a problem with that?

Now I don't have any specific information to talk about schools, but again, if someone is firing a rocket at you, what are you supposed to do? Going all Gandhi isn't going to help with a population that wants to wipe you from the map.

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King of Men
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Actually, it would, if you went fully Gandhi. Because what Gandhi would tell you is that it is better for you to be killed, than to kill yourself; and he meant it, too. So, in going fully Gandhi, you would also have to believe this. Gandhi's solution would be that the Jews lay down their arms and permit themselves to be slaughtered, or better still, commit mass suicide. (I am not extrapolating; this was his exact prescription for the Jews in Germany in the thirties.) And fair's fair, there's no denying that this would end the current conflict.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by String:
Israel has the means to ensure such a defeat, but for whatever reason they always leave the job unfinished. It strikes me as odd that it always happens that way, with Israel snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I guess the question really is why doesn't Israel finish the job?

I don't think it's only fear of world opinion/reaction. Fundamentally, the rulers of Israel are convinced that Israel will fall. They have no Jewish ideology whatsoever, and the secular Zionist dream from before 1948 just doesn't speak to this generation any more.

They're afraid that when we're all back in exile having to beg for scraps from the rest of the world, that they'll turn to us and say, "Why should we be nice to you?" They want to be able to say, "But... but... we were nice to the filthy terrorists! We were merciful! Please be merciful to us."

The Talmudic Sages said that one who is merciful to the cruel will inevitably wind up being cruel to the merciful/innocent. When you look at the difference between the absurd risks Israel takes to protect Arab lives vs the brutality they used against the Jews of Gaza, you can see what the Sages were talking about.

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David G
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Getting back to the sentiment of a pox on both your houses grounded on the position that both sides have valid claims to the land:

This current war is with Hamas, which has as it's principal objective the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in its place. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Israel, on the other hand, has withdrawn from Gaza and has officially expressed support for a "2-state solution." In other words, Israel is willing to live side-by-side with Palestinians; whereas, Hamas is unwilling to live side-by-side with with a Jewish state.

Under these circumstances, there is no basis for moral equivalency.

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Paul Goldner
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"Yep. European colonization attempts have gone on for over a thousand years already.
Why would one expect the latest version to stop in a mere hundred? "

because its not a european colonization attempt? Its something different?

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Armoth
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I just thought I'd share this with you:

This is an email I received from an Israeli woman conveying her frustrations to her friends and family. As a Jew, i hear talk like this all the time, at the dinner table, in college, in synagogue, etc. I thought it might be interesting for people who are outside that circle to get a look inside:

Just a note: I don't agree with everything in the email, I'm only sharing it so you can see something you wouldn't normally have access to:

"Enough.

I am tired of turning on the news and seeing them talk about Israel's disproportionate attacks.
Where were they when Kasam after Kasam landed on Sderot?
Where were they when we pulled out of Gaza to give the palestinians their chance to have change?
Where were they when the Israeli army went door to door seeking out terrorists and risking THEIR lives to save the lives of innocent civilians?
Where were they when Israel stood by since 2001 and let Kasams kill innocent Israelis and DID NOTHING!?
Where have they been?!

How dare anyone make this anything other than it really is: Israel defending her people, her nation, and her homeland. It is not a revelation that Israel has not lost a war since her existence. Its a necessity! When we lose a war we will lose our homeland. There is nowhere for us to surrender to! We are surrounded by countries that hate Israel and the Jewish people and would like nothing better than to push us into the sea. If we give them that chance, we will drown.
So now, Jewish world, as you sit back and watch your brothers fight for you and your family die for you, I beg you to fight back! Challenge this close minded, one sided, media bias that we see every day.

Enough is enough! I dare one of those reporters to come to Sderot, or Ashkelon, or Be'ar Sheva and survive one night. I dare them to walk through the streets, hear the sirens, fall to their knees, and hold their breaths for 15 seconds as a Kasam wails overhead. I dare them to hear the voice "Code Red, Code Red" and wonder, is this the end? Is this going to be the rocket that lands on me? Am I going to be the next statistic on CNN?
(How many times do we hear, "only one killed in Sderot" and breathe a sigh of relief. "Only one". Close your eyes and imagine your wife, your husband, daughter, son, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, father, or mother were that "only one". Its OK. It was just one. Stop whining...)

Enough.

I am intensely saddened when I see the pictures of the innocent Palestinian children who are caught up in the cross fire. I am intensely infuriated when their deaths are blamed on Israel. Israel did not ask for this war. Israel did not want this war. Israel did not choose this war. Israel was attacked. Since her very existence she has been attacked. Be it on her buses, her streets, her homes, and her cities.
Let us be very clear. Israel is not randomly attacking Gaza. Israel is responding to the HUNDREDS of rocket attacks that have landed on her soil that have SPECIFICALLY targeted civilians and civilian homes. Israel is responding by bombing SPECIFIC Hamas locations and killing 400 people 90% of whom are Hamas operatives.
Disproportionate? Hamas kills men, women, and children. Israel kills terrorists. Disproportionate?

ENOUGH!!

This war, in my opinion, is too late. Israel should have stood up years ago when the first rocket fell.
How ridiculous is it to imagine that after Sept 11th America would have done nothing in response. How dare America start a war! Its disproportionate. All that happened was three measly planes hit three measly buildings! What right do they have to go fight an entire country?! What justification do they have?
The Arabs think they can fight us? They think they are up to our level of standards? Well kol yisrael arevim zeh lazeh. We Jews are all connected. Take a lesson Arabs. Wake up. You want justice? You want peace? You want equality? Then deserve it! You alone are responsible for the actions of your people and your nation. There is a virus growing in your own people and it is spreading to your children and grandchildren. Stop it!

Enough!

How dare anyone blame this war on Israel. It is time the world practiced what they preached. It is time they live up to their own standards. The next time someone comes to attack THEIR children, I want a completely proportional response. I want them to stop and calculate. Remember, it isnt about saving the lives of your family. Its about making sure that the world approves and will not condone your actions. Be careful because apparently in their eyes, all people are not created equal... They can attack us because they are "terrorists" and that's what terrorists do. We cannot fight back because they are cowering behind the backs' of 3 year old children.

Enough.

I will not stand silently by watching my family be attacked night and day. I will not sit and wait for the bombs to fall. I will rise and defend my husband, children, and nation by whatever means, doing whatever it takes. Wouldn't you?

Disspaportionate?
How dare they.

Enough.

gila"

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by David G:
Getting back to the sentiment of a pox on both your houses grounded on the position that both sides have valid claims to the land:

This current war is with Hamas, which has as it's principal objective the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in its place. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Israel, on the other hand, has withdrawn from Gaza and has officially expressed support for a "2-state solution." In other words, Israel is willing to live side-by-side with Palestinians; whereas, Hamas is unwilling to live side-by-side with with a Jewish state.

Under these circumstances, there is no basis for moral equivalency.

Of course Israel is willing to do that, it already has the land in dispute. When a particular bit of land is being fought over, it is not morally superior for the party in possession to say "but we're willing to let you have that bit over there". Especially when the bit over there is utterly worthless.
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Paul Goldner
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Erm. can you say its morally superior when the other side didn't do the same thing when they had multiple opportunities?
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Armoth
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::shrug:: It's not like they were being pressured by the international community as Israel is...

Look, im just saying...

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David G
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by David G:
Getting back to the sentiment of a pox on both your houses grounded on the position that both sides have valid claims to the land:

This current war is with Hamas, which has as it's principal objective the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in its place. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Israel, on the other hand, has withdrawn from Gaza and has officially expressed support for a "2-state solution." In other words, Israel is willing to live side-by-side with Palestinians; whereas, Hamas is unwilling to live side-by-side with with a Jewish state.

Under these circumstances, there is no basis for moral equivalency.

Of course Israel is willing to do that, it already has the land in dispute. When a particular bit of land is being fought over, it is not morally superior for the party in possession to say "but we're willing to let you have that bit over there". Especially when the bit over there is utterly worthless.
Let's go back in history a bit and revisit some of the basics of the situation:

1. November 29, 1947: The United Nations recommended the partition of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. The borders recommended by the United Nations are largely consistent with the existing populations of Jews and Arabs as they existed at the time. This was as fair a division of the land as could be conceived at the time.

2. Jews accept the United Nations resolution. The Arabs rejected it. (The Jews are willing to share the land with the Arabs. The Arabs are unwilling to share the land with the Jews.)

3. When upon the termination of the British mandate over Palestine the Jews announce the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 (within the boundaries assigned by the UN resolution), its Arab neighbors (unwilling to co-exist with a Jewish state within the a portion of what was British controlled Palestine) attack. The Arabs try to destroy the fledgling State of Israel. The war started by the Arabs renders them, at this stage, the morally inferior party in the conflict.

4. Israel prevails and survives. In that struggle for its survival, Israel captures territory that is reasonably necessary for an adequate defense against hostile neighbors bent on Israel's destruction. If the Arabs had been willing to co-exist with the Jews, and if the Arabs hadn't tried to destroy the fledgling State of Israel, then Israel would have had no need to grab additional territory. But the Arabs started a war under circumstances in which Israel was the morally superior party and lost.

5. Israel then became morally justified in retaining the additional territory it won and which became necessary for its defense against hostile neighbors. If you start a war that you are not morally justified in starting and then lose, the other side is morally justified in retaining the territory it takes in that war if doing so is reasonably necessary for its defense against the same hostile neighbors.

6. And yet Israel remains willing to co-exist with an Arab Palestine. But Hamas is not.

Questions for you KoM: First, do you agree that the above synopsis fairly represents the relevant course of events? Second, if not, why not? Third, if so, then why isn't Israel morally superior in its conflict with Hamas under the foregoing circumstances?

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MightyCow
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David G. I have no vested interest in this conflict either way, but just from a first look, point 1 and 2 seem questionable. If the United Nations decided that the United States had to give Texas back to Mexico, and Mexico agreed while the US did not, I don't think that automatically makes Mexico morally superior in any future conflicts.

One could ask what authority the UN has in divvying up land? Why is the UN's decision a basis for morality when it is not mutually agreed upon by the parties involved.


Personally, and I know nobody gives a damn what I think, they should all leave the area, make it a neutral "Holy Land" where people all all faiths can visit, and find somewhere else to live. If I lived in a war zone, I'd move - my life and the lives of my family are more important than some dirt.

What's especially disturbing to me is that it's two People fighting over holy land, both of which claiming to be religions of peace and love. Disgraceful and foolish. Both sides are greedy and stubborn and care more about being right and hating one another than they do about giving their children and communities a good life.

It's just dirt, for all that you claim to believe in higher powers, stop killing each other over dust.

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Armoth
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Personally, I agree with MightyCow about the UN.

I was raised to believe more like you David, but in a broader context and after studying Arab history, I think that the way the British and French parceled up the Middle East after their victory in WWI was not exactly moral.

On the other hand, I do NOT agree with MightCow's perspective on religion, specifically as it pertains to Jews.

One thing people do not know about the Israeli state is that it is 25% religious. The other 75% is heavily secular. They do not claim to be a religion of peace and love, but a nation of survivors. It is the survivor mentality that fuels Israel, and it is the survivor mentality that would have these people die for the "dirt" they cling to. Because they aren't fighting for the "Holy Land", they are fighting for their homeland.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Both sides are greedy and stubborn and care more about being right and hating one another than they do about giving their children and communities a good life.
Your post as a whole reads like something I might like to agree with, and that maybe a year ago I might have automatically agreed with. But that's an easy pronouncement to make when you're removed from that specific situation. While I might agree in principle, in an academic discussion with no specifics, what do you do when A. One side might believe that being where they are is inextricably linked to giving their children and communities a good life, regardless of the price they might have to pay in order to achieve that? B. When one side largely finds themselves manipulated and indoctrinated by a selfish group that is more interested in staying in power than in actually helping the people they're in charge of?

I agree with you about the UN thing, but "dirt and dust" is an argument that will never win in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, because to them it ISN'T just dirt and dust. If it was, we wouldn't be here to begin with. And they might say that, by changing their beliefs so radically as to think of their territory as just dirt and dust, they've paid a price higher than the one currently being exacted by the conflict. It all comes down to what you believe in and what you're willing to fight for. The Constitution is just a piece of paper, but we fight wars both over it, and because of its ideals. The dirt and the dust, like the ink and parchment if that and so many other documents, represent something. You and I might not think that something is worth fighting over, but I can't think of a single war that was ended by someone persuading one of the participants that the entire foundation for their conflict wasn't worthwhile, not without a much, much, much more massive price being paid than what has been paid thus far.

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King of Men
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quote:
1. November 29, 1947: The United Nations recommended the partition of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. The borders recommended by the United Nations are largely consistent with the existing populations of Jews and Arabs as they existed at the time. This was as fair a division of the land as could be conceived at the time.
And why did the land have to be divided at all? The basis of the conflict is still that both Jews and Arabs want a particular piece of land, to which neither one has any particular claim. That the Arabs overestimated their own power, or the Jews hd more of a claim on international sympathy, is not relevant to this.
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Phanto
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Word on the street says a ground invasion is imminent.
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Armoth
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That's what my parents say - they've been watching Israeli news via satellite non-stop...
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Phanto
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I think that it's pretty clear that Israel's response is proportionate and reasonable .

If only the world didn't feel such animosity towards Israel, an intensity which doesn't make sense. Daily across Africa massacres seem to be occurring, with massive poverty and starvation, yet no one cares.

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Kwea
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Good. Although I worry about the long term consequences of this, the alternative is to do nothing.
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Danlo the Wild
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It does appear Israel has made concessions several times.

It does appear that Hamas makes no concessions.

If Israel's new strategy is to fight until all of Hamas is dead. How many more to go?

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aspectre
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http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20090104/capt.ade902af8a54488ea9763864cba9aebf.mideast_israel_palestinians_jrl801.jpg
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Lisa
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Let's Play Pretend
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the_Somalian
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quote:
Originally posted by Phanto:
I think that it's pretty clear that Israel's response is proportionate and reasonable .

If only the world didn't feel such animosity towards Israel, an intensity which doesn't make sense. Daily across Africa massacres seem to be occurring, with massive poverty and starvation, yet no one cares.

The difference is that massacres in Africa are not being carried out with American weaponry and approval.
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Lisa
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How do you know they aren't being carried out with American weaponry? The Arabs in Gaza are using a lot of American made weapons as well. In fact, they're even using weapons that Israel gave to them, because everyone said that if we don't arm them, they won't be able to keep order, and they'd collapse into a terrorist anarchy.

This isn't a massacre, Somalian. This is war. Israel has been almost inhumanly patient, but there's only so long that you can sit silently while an enemy across a border fires missiles at you on a daily basis.

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Blayne Bradley
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pretty much every african nation has american weaponry and uses them, only resorting to russian weapons sold by small indepedendant arms dealers when theres an ineffectual arms embargo in place.
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BannaOj
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Both sides are greedy and stubborn and care more about being right and hating one another than they do about giving their children and communities a good life.
Your post as a whole reads like something I might like to agree with, and that maybe a year ago I might have automatically agreed with. But that's an easy pronouncement to make when you're removed from that specific situation. While I might agree in principle, in an academic discussion with no specifics, what do you do when A. One side might believe that being where they are is inextricably linked to giving their children and communities a good life, regardless of the price they might have to pay in order to achieve that? B. When one side largely finds themselves manipulated and indoctrinated by a selfish group that is more interested in staying in power than in actually helping the people they're in charge of?

I agree with you about the UN thing, but "dirt and dust" is an argument that will never win in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, because to them it ISN'T just dirt and dust. If it was, we wouldn't be here to begin with. And they might say that, by changing their beliefs so radically as to think of their territory as just dirt and dust, they've paid a price higher than the one currently being exacted by the conflict. It all comes down to what you believe in and what you're willing to fight for. The Constitution is just a piece of paper, but we fight wars both over it, and because of its ideals. The dirt and the dust, like the ink and parchment if that and so many other documents, represent something. You and I might not think that something is worth fighting over, but I can't think of a single war that was ended by someone persuading one of the participants that the entire foundation for their conflict wasn't worthwhile, not without a much, much, much more massive price being paid than what has been paid thus far.

Worth repeating.
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TomDavidson
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Honestly, I think the reason Israel receives so much press is that the American press loves an underdog, and both sides have factions in this country who consider themselves the underdogs.
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
This isn't a massacre, Somalian. This is war. Israel has been almost inhumanly patient, but there's only so long that you can sit silently while an enemy across a border fires missiles at you on a daily basis.

In the end, whether this is a massacre or war will be shown by relative death tolls since the end of the cease fire. Anyone know the figures?
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rivka
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So Operation Desert Storm was a massacre?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Honestly, I think the reason Israel receives so much press is that the American press loves an underdog, and both sides have factions in this country who consider themselves the underdogs.

Agreed, plus the religious angle, the press would be much less interested if it were merely Buddhists clashing with Sikhs or some such.

The scale of the press does seem awfully disproportionate to the scale of events. After all, Israel has been attacking an area half the size of Toronto for more than a week now and the death toll (while obviously significant for the people involved) is still relatively modest.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
So Operation Desert Storm was a massacre?

My characterization is probably overly simplistic.

However, I think the appropriate scenario is viewing Operation Desert Storm as commencing when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and so include Kuwaiti casualties as well (I don't know the figures, so this might still be inadequate).

Had Iraq not violently annexed Kuwait, and had the allied conflict with Iraq still occurred then I think history would have taken a dimmer view (obviously).

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rivka
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Then when counting casualties for the current Gazan operation, please be sure to include all the casualties from the rockets that have been launched from the region for the past 10 years.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
Had Iraq not violently annexed Kuwait, and had the allied conflict with Iraq still occurred then I think history would have taken a dimmer view (obviously).

And had we reacted differently to that - or sent the right message to Iraq beforehand and possibly prevented it, Iran might still be too busy dealing with Saddam Hussein to be bolstering Hamas.

Not really a response to the question, just musing on US foreign policy.

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natural_mystic
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Given that had Hamas not, following the cessation of the ceasefire, launched the rockets this episode would not be occurring, I think that this is the natural line to draw. I, of course, acknowledge that Israel's response should be understood in the context of the recent past; however, to say that such-and-such events contributed to some conflict is not the same as there being part of the conflict.

As far as including the last ten years: I suspect that there have been more Palestinian deaths than Israeli deaths over the last ten years.

As I previously acknowledged, there is more to massacre than merely numbers. When I think of massacres I think of gunmen firing on unarmed crowds indiscriminately, and the like. Do you agree? Taking this a step further, if the gunmen were tanks, and the crowd had pistols, and the killing was indiscriminate, would this be a massacre?

To me, Israel can plead innocent by rejecting the 'indiscriminate' clause. However, this is precarious- a missile goes awry and hits a kindergarten, and suddenly the numbers become: 5 Israelis dead including one soldier vs. 500 Palestinians including 100 children.

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adenam
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quote:
originally posted by natural_mystic
In the end, whether this is a massacre or war will be shown by relative death tolls since the end of the cease fire. Anyone know the figures?

2 questions:

1 What about the civillian deaths during the "cease-fire" caused by daily rocket attacks into Israel?
2 If you arbitrarily do decide to call this a massacre, who will you blame? A country trying to defend itself from terror attacks or those terrorists who use human sheilds so people like you will buy the pr?

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adenam
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is anyone else having a problem where this thread is showing up really wide on thei screen?
how can i fix it?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
My characterization is probably overly simplistic.

I think we'll just stick with this.

Next you'll try to claim that since Israeli police and the IDF are very good at stopping potential suicide bombers, the average Israeli citizen should not consider them a threat, and the Israeli government should not take any further countermeasures.

Talk about blaming the victim. [Razz]

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by adenam:

1 What about the civillian deaths during the "cease-fire" caused by daily rocket attacks into Israel?
2 If you arbitrarily do decide to call this a massacre, who will you blame? A country trying to defend itself from terror attacks or those terrorists who use human sheilds so people like you will buy the pr?

1. It is my understanding that the rocket attacks occurred when the cease-fire ran out. This is, however, beside the point. I categorically think that Israel was entitled to respond. The question is, to what degree? When last I checked 4 Israelis had died due to the rockets, and a further soldier had died versus at least several hundred Palestinians, some of whom were probably guilty of nothing worse than being born Palestinian and possibly voting in Hamas. Was this commensurate?

2. There would be tons of blame to apportion. Certainly the terrorists who hide behind civilians would take their share. Israel, however, would not be given a moral blank check either.

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King of Men
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Let us suppose for a moment that Israel made the following statement:

"Hamas, listen up. Every time a rocket lands in our territory, we will retaliate in exact proportion to the damage caused. If a rocket kills a twelve-year-old male, we will find a boy of twelve in Gaza and kill him. Lands on a hospital with two pregnant women killed, we blow up one hospital and find two pregnant women. No damage caused, we just make a crater in the sand to remind you that you got lucky. And so on. Do you want to play this game?"

This, clearly, is "proportional response". In fact it is not just proportional, the constant of proportionality is one. Would you like to seriously argue that this is the way Israel should respond to rocket attacks?

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
My characterization is probably overly simplistic.

I think we'll just stick with this.

Next you'll try to claim that since Israeli police and the IDF are very good at stopping potential suicide bombers, the average Israeli citizen should not consider them a threat, and the Israeli government should not take any further countermeasures.

Talk about blaming the victim. [Razz]

I get the impression I'm being misread.

I've been to Israel, I really like Israel, and I fully recognize that it is between a rock and a hard place. I suspect that if Israel were to establish a Palestinian state and carve up Jerusalem, they would still have to worry about suicide bombers. However, I also feel great pity for the Palestinians. Hence my posts.

How many people (religious concerns aside) would have preferred to be born in Palestine over Israel?

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Let us suppose for a moment that Israel made the following statement:

"Hamas, listen up. Every time a rocket lands in our territory, we will retaliate in exact proportion to the damage caused. If a rocket kills a twelve-year-old male, we will find a boy of twelve in Gaza and kill him. Lands on a hospital with two pregnant women killed, we blow up one hospital and find two pregnant women. No damage caused, we just make a crater in the sand to remind you that you got lucky. And so on. Do you want to play this game?"

This, clearly, is "proportional response". In fact it is not just proportional, the constant of proportionality is one. Would you like to seriously argue that this is the way Israel should respond to rocket attacks?

I have not said that the constant need be 1, and I am not sure that advertising this beforehand would be advantageous. But I will ask you: how many civilian Palestinians are Israel entitled to kill after the Palestinians inflicted ~5 casualties?
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