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112 responses to “Eyeless in Gaza VII”

  1. Nickws

    I think Israel has succeeded–SBS news tells me Hamas is saying ‘uncle’.

    Barak, the next Isreali PM, better hope that the use of massive (conventional) retaliation has secured his country’s southern flank. Inflicting several hundred % more casualties on the Gazan’s than the terrorists inflicted on the Jews isn’t something you can pull-off more than once, not if you want to keep the support of more people in the West than just the ‘kill’em-all-let-Coulter-sort’em-out’ crowd.

    Tehran is already planning its own programme to support reconstruction

    How much influence did the Persian’s gain in Lebanon after 2006?

  2. Peter Kemp

    Thanks for that Paul Rogers link Mark:

    A coordinated deployment of strike-aircraft, helicopter-gunships, reconnaissance-drones, twenty-four-hour surveillance, and all the other systems available to the Israeli Defence Forces – yet much of Hamas’s military wing has survived (albeit underground), the rockets keep coming (albeit fewer), and the movement’s political leaders calmly maintain a negotiating presence in Cairo and Damascus. It is an extraordinary outcome….

    The success of this ambitious plan, however, depends on the military destruction of Hamas. Israel’s intense war has not and cannot accomplish this. If and when a ceasefire is agreed – and the signals on 16-17 January are that the Israeli cabinet is ready to take this step – Hamas will still exist, and just by surviving such a ferocious assault it will claim to have won.

    Exactly. Like Goering and other bigwigs in the Battle of Britain, they end up believing their own propaganda of damage inflicted militarily and psychologically. But the German pilots eventually became somewhat cynical, as some bomber pilots were reported to have said:

    Here they come again, the last 60 British fighters.

  3. Mark

    No probs, Peter – generally I find Open Democracy to be a good source of commentary.

  4. derrida derider

    What I find reallystupid on Israel’s part is that they are using their security forces and intelligence assets in the West Bank to help Fatah suppress demonstrations of support for Hamas. I can think of nothing more calculated to make Fatah detested by their populace, so it won’t be too long before Hamas controls the West Bank too.

    The biggest irony, of course, is that for years Israel funded Hamas to undermine the threat of Fatah. They’ve got worse blowback from it than the Yanks did from the Afghan mujahideen.

    There must be something in the air of that part of the world that destroys foresight and commonsense.

  5. patrickm

    Katz has apparently grasped no lessons from 2006 Lebanon, or even Nixon’s bombing of Nth Vietnam 1 month prior to the Paris accords. Who cares what ‘their official rhetoric is’ just as who cares what Nixon was saying! Israel is never going to garrison Gaza ever again anymore than they are going to go back into Lebanon or Egyptian territory! Neither is the US going back to trying to prevent democracy in Vietnam!

    A 42 year old failed war is being brought to an end! After the Palestinian state comes into existence, in the short term future, (that is in the next couple of years), Hamas will form part of the political furniture for many years to come.

    Hezbollah remains quiet because the Zionists have finalized a comprehensive agreement with the Lebanese that has (being comprehensive) naturally dealt with all outstanding issues on that border and thus ended the war that the Zionists started on that front in 1982 and kept going all those years.

    Hamas are not fixated on Israel. Hamas are and will remain part of the Palestinian political structure way into the peaceful future. They will abide by the Palestinian referendum that approves the negotiated end to the war for greater Israel. After that the struggle against Zionism and for full democracy etc in Israel will then unfold in the purely political sphere.

  6. Katz

    Only an idiot would argue with a prophet.

    Here are Patrickm’s predictions:

    1. Israel “will never” garrison Gaza.

    2. Israel “will never” invade Lebanon.

    3. Palestine will gain statehood “in the next couple of years”.

    4. Hamas “will be part of the furniture”.

    5. Palestine’s future will be “peaceful”.

    6. The will be a plebiscite.

    7. Hamas will “abide” by it.

    8. The War for Greater Israel “will end”.

    9. Democracy will replace zionism in Israel.

    All this in four short paragraphs.

    Remarkable.

  7. patrickm

    Katz; you missed some, so presumably you agree with me that;

    10. The US is not going back to try to prevent free and fair elections in Vietnam (and a slave owning south will not rise again!).
    11. The Zionists are not going to make war to capture any land from Egypt.

    And here are some extras I failed to let you in on;

    12. The Zionists will return the Golan height’s to Syria without the demonstration of destruction and death that they are currently inflicting on the Palestinian people.
    13. The British are never going back to rule over India!
    14. South Africa will not see white minority rule again!
    15. The ME will undergo a bourgeois democratic revolution with Islamic parties defeating Jihadist Fascists.
    16. When eras have gone with the wind they are not coming back!

    Because we are living in the era when…

    ‘Countries want independence Nations want liberation and the people want revolution.’ Coming ready or not in the 21stC!

  8. ron1

    MarkL

    #302

    Do you ever see anything but the surface events, Ron?

    MarkL , what i see is you (and Israel) still trapped in a time zone of rhetaric & aggression from th 1967 to approx year 1998 period This involved unquestioning US legitimacy of world FA policy suport for Israel , and Issrael saying Palestiniens were reely all terrorists & Israeli reprisals were OK

    But World opinion has gradualy changed against both US FA perfectness (blame Bush) and against Israelis’ right to sympathy and suport (blame israeli non proportionate actons in infada of palestiniens rocks VS Israeli reprisals of live bullets , ….then blame 6 israelis kidnaped VS Israel reprisels bombing Lebenon back centuries & killing so many innocent civilians….then blame one israeli killed VS Israeli reprials of bombing Gaza buildings & killing over 1000 civilians incl 275 kids

    What you don’t “get” because of your one eyed tome freeze , is these “events”
    hav destroyed Isral’s sympathy suport in wider world (excepyt US perhaps we’ll see there) And you’ll never see it as you’re too partisen to be objective

    However for record , this loss of ‘sypathetic suport’ for Israel has meant that whilst its right to exist with securitys is still suported ….blogers here demonstrate as does World opinion now is there is NO longer unquestoning acceptanse of any of israel’s other “arguments trotted out over 42 years…….
    1/ where ar th detailed Israeli peace terms (refer my #183 peace issues needing a decision ), that you and rob deliborately avoided answering , didn’t you
    2/ why is Israel still occupying th West Bank , it should not there at all , UN unaminous resulution 242 also says so
    3/ Why do Palestiniens fight th alleged innocent Israel has been replaced by why don’t Israel as th invader NOT realize th occupied Palestiniens of course will legitmately resist , by rockets or whatever means…so did th French resistanse
    4/ why does Israel use grosly non proportionate reprisals on innocent civilians in Gaza at a rate of 1000 dead Palestiniens to just 13 israeli dead
    5/ why does th UN itself condemn Israeli atacks on UN buildings holding inocent Palestiniens when th UN itself verifys such Israeli actons
    6/ Why ar th Medai excluded from Gaza , what has Israel to fear from Palestiniens’s side of story being told …seeing israel claims it is “right”
    7/ crucialy , why does Israel pretend th Palestiniens living in th unoccupied area (Gaza) will not continue obviously to keep resisting th Israeli ocupation of Palestimens in th West Bank , rather than as Israli spins that Gazzan palestiniens should not worry about th West Bank area inhabited by palestinens but under Israeli occupation still after 42 years

    You MarkL ar part of th problam not recognizing th above , you can never ever with your partisen views be part of th solution , and what I amazing is that you still believe such outdated spin that worked for 30 years , but Israwli’s OWN recent over agressions has actualy forsed objective people to look at my 7 points nad others , and conclude Iserael is just not deserving of unquestoned sympathy any more, its also not deserving of our acceptanse any more of its charade of actualy wanting fair dinkum peace As for clueless MarkL , well you ar clueless not to realize your & Israeli spin past its use by date and is seen through by incresing World opinion , time is against Israel and you don’t even know it

  9. Katz

    And one more:

    17. Maoists will never learn.

    (However, I note that you have not attempted to defend your absurd assertion on another thread that the al Maliki regime in Iraq is “democratic bourgeois”. I suppose that can be seen as a promising sign.)

  10. Gusface

    katz

    I feel your longing for zion and the yellow brick road

    supercillious git

  11. smokey

    Rob at 305:
    “I’d add that the IDF has won this encounter. It’s lost only around 10 dead, some from friendly fire, while hundreds of Hamas operatives have been killed. In the calculus of the Middle East, still largely a medieval warrior culture, that counts for a lot.”

    Ever heard of “soft” power? I’m sure you have.

    It’s quite correct that Israels forces have clobbered it’s foe, in a physical sense. Psychologically though, resentment at Israel worldwide must surely now be at an all time high.

    It didn’t work for America in Iraq, and it won’t work for Israel in Gaza.

  12. John Ryan

    No matter which way the spinners cut it and dice it Israel won the battle,but has lost the war very badly, its just Israel and spinners don,t know that yet

  13. myriad

    Further to Rob and the biz of Hamas leaders allegedly hiding out in a hospital bunker –

    – the articles I’ve read suggest that Hamas has a network of tunnels connecting bunkers under Gaza, including to the hospital, and they shifted their positon regularly.

    – I’m not sure how this makes them cowards, as this is not only standard practice for any government under attack – ie to protect & bunker the leadership in the safest place available – it was the only practical strategy available in a place with 1.5 million people in a 10km x 40km strip. There’s literally no where else to go.

    – which would be why Hamas adopted the standard practice of irregular armies of dispersing amongst civilians. Just like the Jewish resistance did in the Warsaw ghetto. While Hamas leaders are obviously not of the same morality or ilk as such resistance fighters, their tactics of hiding and engaging in guerilla tactics against a massively superior force aren’t morally any different in this instance, particularly as the practical facts of the situation dictated that other than mass suicide, there was no other tactic strategy available.

    – It’s clear that hiding in a hospital is not a deterrent for the IDF, given they shelled and hit several during the attack, bombed 4 UN schools, the UN compound, and destroyed 4,000 civilian buildings, leaving over 100,000 people homeless, with a civilian death toll of over 50% by the most cautious estimates, and have now left civilian infrastructure so damaged that the WHO fears a disease outbreak due to the lack of clean water, electricity and sanitation.

    – Something that seems to be missing from any grandiose suggestion that any analysis needs to be carried out is that the IDF is the fourth biggest army in the world, and in this instance attacked a densely populated civilian ghetto defended by a force that probably wouldn’t even rate as an army by most definitions. The only lessons on offer are that it’s easy to commit war crimes when you deploy white phosphorous and mortars in situations – like densely populated civilian cities – that they are not designed or meant to be used in.

    They also destroyed key civilian infrastructure leaving the WHO

  14. myriad

    sorry, ignore last sentence.

  15. Desipis

    their tactics of hiding and engaging in guerilla tactics against a massively superior force

    a) There’s a big difference between guerrilla tactics and using human shields.

    b) They’re not just attacking the superior force, they’re using terror tactics against the Israeli civilian population who are not directly involved in the IDF actions.

    These two points alone are a massive difference in morality.

  16. Paul Burns

    Wonder if the Un will proceed with war crimes charges against Israel, as they threatened, ans whether under Obama, the US will support such charges?

  17. myriad

    Just as others aren’t convinced that the IDF did wrong in shelling civilian structures because they believe that Hamas fighters were present Desipis, I’m not convinced that proof has been provided that Hamas has used human shields during the current conflict. I think it would probably be possible for someone with a better understanding of military tactics than I to suggest that some Hamas militants located in civilian buildings were trying to defend them, given that the IDF bombed police building for eg, which are designated civilian strucures under international law.

    The obvious exception to this would be if it is shown that Hamas were present in the UN schools.

    The very crowded nature of the Gaza strip too I think largely makes a nonsense of the ‘human shields’ bit- aside from gathering in the open or in large obvious concentrations, all the better to be killed, where exactly were they meant to be? I’m sure a similar case could be made that the Jewish resistance, hiding out in houses in the ghetto were also using ‘human shields’.

    And on the subject of human shields, the IDF has been equally decried for its use of human shields as part of its ongoing operations to locate ‘people of interest’ during more covert operations in Palestinian territory.

    as to your (b) yes, that’s why they are a designated terrorist organisation. But the rocket attacks are also a separate activity to their on-ground tactics in defence of Gaza, where they bear the dual identity of also being the legitimately elected government and are therefore responsible one presumes for defence in the face of an invasion.

  18. Chris

    Paul Burns @ 16 – I very much doubt there will be any war crimes charges against Israel or Hamas in the short term – it would just put another roadblock in the way of a long term peace deal.

  19. ron1

    CHRIS #18 “I very much doubt there will be any war crimes charges against Israel or Hamas in the short term – it would just put another roadblock in the way of a long term peace deal.”

    peace deal ?
    What makes you think after 42 years ocupation , that Israel has th slightest interest in a peace deal ??

    What detailed peace plan has israel itself ever put on th table ?….zero

    And if you wish evidense of non interest in peace , why ar there isreali settlements in West Bank and Israeli suburb-ising of Arab East Jurulesm ?

    and if that doesn’t satisfy you , explain why th following actions indicate Israel reely wants peace with its neighbours th Palestiniens ? :

    Israel in Gaza has “bombed 4 UN schools, the UN compound, and destroyed 4,000 civilian buildings, leaving over 100,000 people homeless, with a civilian death toll of over 50% by the most cautious estimates “, and 1000 Palestiniens ar dead including 275 kids vs 13 Israeli’s dead

    ?

  20. patrickm

    THIS thread after 2000 odd comments is essentially worthless. It’s been largely a waste of everyone’s time because it mostly deals with the surface appearance of the Gaza mass murder; and despite all the justifications that’s what it has been!

    Apologists for the Zionist aggressors have convinced nobody that this is not criminal conduct. There is no doubt that Obama will block the identification of any criminal conduct preventing the laying of the appropriate charges. Meanwhile the bulk of the African American community just like the rest of the international community is not buying this blatant form of racism and nor do the Zionists and their apologists like Obama imagine that they would. They don’t care anymore than Nixon cared.

    We ought not be disconnecting the latest crimes of the Zionist mainstream leadership (And not just the crazier Zealots in the settler movement) from the war launched in 1967, because it is that failed war, effectively financed all along by what is now the world’s largest debtor the USA, that is the problem. This is the war that both alternate Israeli governments are now moving towards ending in defeat.

    This phase is launched for purely internal reasons. It is violence to show the Israeli voting public that the current government is as tough as they can be in any ‘reasonable way’ and that Netanyahu brings nothing more to the table. This violence shows everybody in Israel that matters, the swinging voters etc., that the limits have been absolutely reached; any more and the leaders will undoubtedly end their days in international jails for war crimes. The envelope is being pushed as it is.

    Let’s try to make this thread useful, and something to build unity around rather than shake our heads at the pointless comfort posting, and dishonest ‘debate’, that supporters of Zionism engage in, and that the pseudo-left are eternally trapped within when it comes to Middle East issues. Let’s dig deeper than the surface outrages and justifications.

    Zionists are occupying Palestinian territory after a criminal war launched to acquire new territory in 1967. The criminal aggression is the war for Greater Israel. It has failed and must be ended in defeat. The right to resist is as fundamental a right as any recognisably left politics ever held to be a human right. The wisdom of the methods of resisting and the options available are legitimate areas of debate, but the reason that we are still seeing the Zionist leaders of Israel sending in scared young soldiers to kill Palestinians has nothing to do with defending plucky little Israel from minor attacks, wise or unwise, terrorist or not.

    The reason they are attacking the Palestinians is not the same as it used to be when they were serious about trying to acquire new borders. Now they are trying to end a war and are distracting people by shouting about Iran and Hamas etc..

  21. Chris (a different one)

    ron1 @ 19 – I do think that the majority of the people on both sides do want a long term peace deal – of course coming to common terms and building enough trust for an agreement is the hard bit. You can make a long list of atrocities that both sides have done over the last few decades, but I think at this point legally chasing leaders on either side is just going to reinforce support for them, rather than erode it.

  22. myriad

    The question of whether the Israeli government should be pursued for war crimes by the UN is a difficult one.

    On the one hand, the UN may rightly and accurately feel that if it does not pursue the Israeli government for the breaches it alleges, it may set a very dangerous precedent that even ‘western democracies’ like Israel don’t have to respect the UN. This may trump all other considerations for the UN, and justifiably so. What the ramifications may be would depend on the new Obama administration I think.

    It’s possible to imagine the new Obama administration blocking such moves in the interests of trying to lay a path for a lasting peace solution. It would be hard to see, as Chris said above, how charging either side with war crimes would help with peace efforts.

    If the Obama administration was to block the pursuit of Israel for alleged war crimes, but at the same time harden its stance on the apartheid-like regime Israel is currently pursuing against the Palestinians, towards laying the groundwork for a workable 2 state solution I could stomach it, and it may justify also vetoing UN attempts to pursue Israel for war crimes.

    However US rhetoric, including H. Clinton at her confirmation hearing as Secretary of State, has continued along the path of decrying Hamas’ rocket attacks, but staying silent on equal breaches of both international law and bilateral/regional agreements by Israel.

    So until the US narrative on the crisis develops a dimension of truth when it comes to Israel’s actions, and thus holds them to account, it may be arguable that the UN pursuing war crime allegations against Israel may help force that point, and help pressure the US to change its unqualified support for Israel.

    I say this from the perspective that Israel’s increasing reliance on military force and collective punishment, and clear reluctance to negotiate even short-term peace agreements, is probably the most pressing block to a lasting peace settlement.

    The most obvious evidence of this I think within the current Gazan crisis context is the graph removed by the Israeli Foreign Affairs Dept. from its own website just before the conflict started, which clearly showed that the negotiated truce had worked.

  23. Marlon

    patrickm great comments as usual, and of course you are right.The more Israel attacks the Palestinians or any of their supporters, the quicker they will lose what they thought they were going to keep forever.I am at a lost to why other people can’t see it.Callous and uncaring comments from the pro Israel lobby on this thread, is typical of the mythology that has sprung up around this debate since for most of us 1967.

  24. patrickm

    Chris (a different one; the deal is really already done (just like it was already done when Nixon bombed the North). The thing that is the holdup is Israeli politics. Holding a government together while beginning the process of extracting the settlers and so forth. We have to wait now for the elections to get that required government in place. But either party will have to end the war and retreat to the agreed border etc Naturally there will be an ‘decent’ interval so look to the release of Marwan Barghouti and the other prisoners as the type of big signs along the way.

    The important point to zero in on is that this very old war has met with defeat and all the mainstream Zionist politicians know it, and so do the US ruling elite!

  25. ron1

    Chris
    #21

    “ron1 @ 19 – I do think that the majority of the people on both sides do want a long term peace deal”

    Chris , yes however criticaly 1/ what constatutes a “peace deal” is reely th underlying problam , and 2/ which “group” you ar refferring to

    If you were talking about an overwhelming majority of israeli’s , probably 80% plus wuld say they want a peace deal….however different groups within that want RADICALY diferent terms in a peace deal

    BUT until israel ITSELF puts a detailed package on th table , its not posible to say level of suport for that , becaue its never after 42 years even got to that stage !!! (because Israeli Govts do not wish to detail)

    So i took initiative in my #183 16/1/09 listing peace deal issues requiring decision/agreement……..NOT one israeli suporter here answered those issue questons I posed……simply because there answers they’d hav to make to them wuld expose them & Israel this whole israel wants peace thingy as a charade

    However unless Isral publicly does so , thats declare peace deal specifics how in hell can there be any thoughts they want peace or that peace can be achieved ?

    So Chris whether most Israeli and Palestinien citizens want peace (is not relevant …because what Israel Govt is and alsways has said is it wants th World’s sympathy for its security , BUT also for its right to occupy th West Bank until th very people it is occupying (th Palestiniens) cease rresisting Israel’s occupation ! …AND then refuse to table peace term sspecifics to withdraw from that vey land it occupies !!

    How anyone can accept this Israeli charade is rediculous …this Israeli charade has only continued due to US World military & econamic dominanse
    .

    Chris , hav you ever heard an Israeli public peace plan that includes full withdrawal from West Bank and if not how much , OR that new Palestinien State has th ‘normative’rights of any other sovereign country ie free control of its air spaca and sea lanes into its country OR that it can hav its own military national security forses , OR that Arab east Jurilesm will be fully returned to th sovereign control of th new paelstienin State and if not how much , OR that th existing Israeli settlements will be withdrawn and if not which OR if ilegal settlers can reamin in West Bank , why not right of return for dispossed Palestiniens back to Israel …..you won’t get any peace till these issues ar publy declared by Israel , EVEN IF Israel’s answers ar all negative (seeing that wuld forse US via public opinion to forse Israel to be reasonable

  26. adrian

    The ‘argument’ that you don’t prosecute the Israeli government for war crimes because it might prevent a peace deal is a fallacious one because:

    1. The possibilty of a peace deal that means anything is remote at best, while the US supports Israel. I doubt if this will change with Obama in power.

    2. If you extend this argument to other juristictions you’d be giving up on prosecuting half the criminal acts committed on the basis that prosecution may have negative consequences. Why should international criminal law be any different?

    BTW, did anyone see the ABC screening of a drama imagining Tony Blair’s prosecution for war crimes? Not the best production, but can you imagine any network in Australia screening a similar program about John Howard? No, they are all too piss weak over here.

  27. Chris (a different one)

    If you were talking about an overwhelming majority of israeli’s , probably 80% plus wuld say they want a peace deal….however different groups within that want RADICALY diferent terms in a peace deal

    That too is true of the Palestinians too though – some would settle for 1967 borders, others want 1948 and others don’t want an Israel to exist at all. In the end a peace deal will be whatever they can get the Palestinians and Israelis to agree to in sufficient majority on both sides that you don’t have Israel occupying or controlling any of the agreed Palestinian areas and you don’t have any rockets/missiles flying in either direction.

    1. The possibilty of a peace deal that means anything is remote at best, while the US supports Israel. I doubt if this will change with Obama in power.

    I agree – I’m very skeptical we’re going to see any change. But I think the international players will want to give a peace deal the best chance, and issuing arrest warrants for Hamas and Israeli leaders for war crimes is going to distract from any negotiations which might occur.

    2. If you extend this argument to other juristictions you’d be giving up on prosecuting half the criminal acts committed on the basis that prosecution may have negative consequences. Why should international criminal law be any different?

    I think politically it would look pretty bad for the UN to only go after Israeli leaders for war crimes when its pretty clear that Hamas also has been committing war crimes. It’d be like the police turning up to fight between two gangs and only arresting people from one side even though its clear that both sides have committed criminal acts.

    On the other hand if it was possible to actually arrest and remove leaders from Israel and Hamas who have committed war crimes it would send a powerful message to both sides. I just don’t think that is possible.

  28. MarkL

    No.8 Ron

    MarkL , what i see is you (and Israel) still trapped in a time zone of rhetaric & aggression from th 1967 to approx year 1998 period This involved unquestioning US legitimacy of world FA policy suport for Israel , and Issrael saying Palestiniens were reely all terrorists & Israeli reprisals were OK

    Comment: It did? Then all the anti-US and anti Israeli media tales, the protest marches by the ‘peace’ movement from 1967 to 2009, these never happened? Who knew that this was the golden era of the vast right wing conspiracy?

    Seriously, you missed all of that? What planet do you live on?

    But World opinion has gradualy changed against both US FA perfectness (blame Bush) and against Israelis’ right to sympathy and suport (blame israeli non proportionate actons in infada of palestiniens rocks VS Israeli reprisals of live bullets , ….then blame 6 israelis kidnaped VS Israel reprisels bombing Lebenon back centuries & killing so many innocent civilians….then blame one israeli killed VS Israeli reprials of bombing Gaza buildings & killing over 1000 civilians incl 275 kids

    Comment: The whole world thought the US was perfect during the Clinton, Bush and Reagan presidencies did it? Oh, my Lord…
    My dear illiterate ranter. There is a thing called ‘history’ of which you are utterly, completely and hopelessly ignorant. May I suggest some research?

    What you don’t “get” because of your one eyed tome freeze , is these “events”
    hav destroyed Isral’s sympathy suport in wider world (excepyt US perhaps we’ll see there) And you’ll never see it as you’re too partisen to be objective

    Comment: Fascinating! Given that history shows very little support for Israel since the early 1960s in Europe, none from the Unaligned Nations movement during the Cold War, and Soviet enmity, where do you get this astonishing farrago of twaddle?

    [frenzied, unintelligible and incoherent rant based on hamas talking points deleted]

    You MarkL ar part of th problam not recognizing th above ,

    Comment: I really cannot be bothered fisking much more of this childish drivel. “th above” was merely the bog-standard list of hamas talking points and propaganda swallowed whole by a credulous illiterate and emplaced here. Nothing of interest, nothing to indicate the slightest ability to conduct any form of analysis. No value at all.

    You have committed the cardinal sin of being boring.

    you can never ever with your partisen views be part of th solution , and what I amazing is that you still believe such outdated spin that worked for 30 years , but Israwli’s OWN recent over agressions has actualy forsed objective people to look at my 7 points nad others , and conclude Iserael is just not deserving of unquestoned sympathy any more, its also not deserving of our acceptanse any more of its charade of actualy wanting fair dinkum peace As for clueless MarkL , well you ar clueless not to realize your & Israeli spin past its use by date and is seen through by incresing World opinion , time is against Israel and you don’t even know it

    Comment: That this unutterably ignorant, grammatically senseless, completely clueless, inchoate, almost porcine squeal of illiterate fury apparently makes sense to you is a sad indictment of whatever education you received.

    May I suggest that you visit this site?
    http://www.rhlschool.com/english.htm
    It contains very simple, basic lessons in English grammar, by which you would profit.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  29. MarkL

    For the serious minds here:

    On the new US Executive Administration, the major challenges for them do not lie in Gaza. They know that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is not one a U.S. president intervenes in unless he wants to experience all pain, no gain. It has long been known in high policy circles that this is an intractable conflict with no solution. The reasons for this are well understood, and have relatively little to do with Israel.

    So the new administration will deliberately avoid being drawn into mediating the conflict. What they will do during the first hundred days in office is to do what every other new administration has done. They’ll send the obligatory Middle East envoy. He/She will spend time with all the parties. He/she will make the suitable speeches. He/she will and extract the usual meaningless concessions from all sides. He/she will establish a the usual meaningless process to which everyone will cynically agree, knowing it is worthless. This is not involvement, but the alternative to involvement. It fools the pro-pallies and the anti-semites every time.

    This is the very reason presidents appoint Middle East envoys.

    The new administration can and will avoid the Gaza crisis while mollifying the unthinking but noisy shriekers who understand nothing.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  30. Gusface

    markl
    you call them pallies,then the use of kike yid etc is acceptable

    you agree?

  31. Marlon

    Drum roll wait for it, wait for it!!!

    “. It has long been known in high policy circles that this is an intractable conflict with no solution. The reasons for this are well understood, and have relatively little to do with Israel.”

    I’m glad you cleared that up for us all.Being a “pro_pallie” I was a little confused.

  32. Peter Kemp

    May I suggest some research?

    Start here Ron and see how he does it. 🙂
    (Essentially he confuses data, especially serial numbers of military ordinance; with knowledge.)
    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2005/08/08/the-question-on-everyones-lips/#comment-19213

    Gusface re:

    you call them pallies

    Earlier on it was “Paleosimian”. There’s been a temporary improvement.

    Anyway, I’m flying off to a wine and cheese foreign affairs party with Gareth meeting Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski in Washington. Gulfstream G550 with two metres of leg room. Gareth likes a good white wine so we’ve put in some crates of that.(Nudge nudge wink wink say no more, my lips are sealed.)

  33. FDB

    “The reasons for this are well understood, and have relatively little to do with Israel.”

    Relative to what?

    “So the new administration will deliberately avoid being drawn into mediating the conflict. What they will do during the first hundred days in office is to do what every other new administration has done. They’ll send the obligatory Middle East envoy. He/She will spend time with all the parties. He/she will make the suitable speeches. He/she will and extract the usual meaningless concessions from all sides. He/she will establish a the usual meaningless process to which everyone will cynically agree, knowing it is worthless. This is not involvement, but the alternative to involvement. It fools the pro-pallies and the anti-semites every time.”

    I’m sure you’ll concede that while the US is funding and arming one side in the conflict, any claims of impartiality (and particularly of “non-involvement”) are very unlikely to fool any but the most credulous of observers, whatever you want to call them. These credulous observers would fall into neither “pro-pallie” nor “anti-semite” categories [and it’s curious that you don’t mention the other extreme camps – “pallie-bashers” and “Zionists” – but whatevs], but rather would be the vast mass of people who “wish everybody could just get along”.

    They’re an important voting bloc throughout the West, granted, but if fooling them is your yardstick for foreign policy success, you’re setting the bar pretty low.

    /metaphor mixing

    “The new administration can and will avoid the Gaza crisis while mollifying the unthinking but noisy shriekers who understand nothing.”

    As I’ve said, no they won’t. They will mollify the just-barely-interested TV eyeballs, and maybe a few potential bumper-sticker-sporters, but the partisans* will remain so. Surely by now that’s obvious, and the crux of the problem in US foreign policy terms. Making the right noises isn’t working any more.

    *and the group I’ve neglected – people who know a fair bit, understand a fair bit, have no dog in the hunt, yet still have a strong opinion (either way). I might call such people ‘we’, but I don’t get the impression you are one of us.

  34. Mark

    Can people please cut out both the personal snark and the use of snarky derivatives for those involved in all this? On the whole, there’s been a reasonable standard of debate on these threads, but I’m not prepared to keep them going if that deteriorates.

  35. AC

    @32, Peter Kemp; that’s the way, Peter. Taking my advice I see. If you can’t address the argument, use ridicule and play the man. Nice one, mate!

  36. AC

    Oops. Apologies, Mark. Didn’t see your last until I had responded snarkily to Peter’s snark.

    Right, enough from me on that.

  37. MarkL

    This is deeply offensive, ethically and morally repugnant. This is what it really looks like when you replace the neo-nazi code-words for “Jew”.

    How Like a “Die Sturmer article”, but in 2009.
    Mark, you may want to intervene.

    THIS thread after 2000 odd comments is essentially worthless. It’s been largely a waste of everyone’s time because it mostly deals with the surface appearance of the Gaza mass murder [by Jews]; and despite all the justifications that’s what it has been!

    Apologists for the [Jewish] aggressors have convinced nobody that this is not criminal conduct. There is no doubt that Obama will block the identification of any criminal conduct preventing the laying of the appropriate charges [against the Jews]. Meanwhile the bulk of the African American community just like the rest of the international community is not buying this blatant form of racism [by the Jews] and nor do the Jews and their apologists like Obama imagine that they would. They don’t care anymore about [Jewish evils] than Nixon cared.

    We ought not be disconnecting the latest crimes of the Jewish mainstream leadership (And not just the crazier Jews in the settler movement) from the war launched in 1967, because it is that failed war, effectively financed all along by what is now the world’s largest debtor the USA, that is the problem. This is the war that both alternate Jew governments are now moving towards ending in defeat.

    This phase is launched for purely internal reasons. It is violence to show the Jew voting public that the current Jew government is as tough as they can be in any ‘reasonable way’ and that the Jew Netanyahu brings nothing more to the table. This violence shows every Jew in Jewland that matters, the swinging voters etc., that the limits have been absolutely reached; any more and the leaders will undoubtedly end their days in international jails for war crimes. The envelope is being pushed as it is.

    Let’s try to make this thread useful, and something to build unity around rather than shake our heads at the pointless comfort posting, and dishonest ‘debate’, that supporters of Jews engage in, and that the pseudo-left are eternally trapped within when it comes to Middle East issues. Let’s dig deeper than the surface outrages and justifications.

    Jews are occupying Palestinian territory after a criminal war launched to acquire new territory in 1967. The criminal aggression is the war for Greater Jewland. It has failed and must be ended in defeat. The right to resist is as fundamental a right as any recognisably left politics ever held to be a human right. The wisdom of the methods of resisting and the options available are legitimate areas of debate, but the reason that we are still seeing the Jew leaders of Jewland sending in scared young soldiers to kill Palestinians has nothing to do with defending plucky little Jewland from minor attacks, wise or unwise, terrorist or not.

    The reason they are attacking the Palestinians is not the same as it used to be when they were serious about trying to acquire new borders. Now they are trying to end a war and are distracting people by shouting about Iran and Hamas etc..

    Deeply, deeply offensive, incredibly vile, beyond disgusting. All it needs is a seig heil or two to be right out of the pages of Die Sturmer. This is one long, filthy diatribe blaming the Jews for every perceived ill. We have seen this before. With such blatant neo-nazis as this creature and others crawling out from under their rocks, I really do not want to comment again on this subject here. The stench of such company is too befouling.

    Katz, Mark and the other intelligent, reasoning men and women here. Thank you for your civility, courtesy, and insight. It has been a genuine pleasure discussing this with mature adult minds such as yours, for you have provided me with something very valuable, alternative insights.

    MarkL
    Canberra

  38. Mark

    Well, actually, I think we’ll call it quits on this one for a few hours at least. On a number of occasions, people have apologised for making snarky comments then quickly reverted to doing that later on. That’s not acceptable. I’m not interested in who was responding to whom, or who started it, and I don’t want to spend my evening moderating the thread, so it can take a breather. When I reopen it, I give people fair notice that anyone who transgresses the comments policy gets a spell in the moderation filter.

  39. ron1

    Mark (editor)

    I think you’d been quite tolerant to th minority on both sides who’ve over stepped

    However I’m sorry to say this Mark , however th last post by MarkL #37 so fully ethnicaly critisising patrick’s post was either a/ a post far below even th worst of any of ther blogers previous ones AND/OR b/ a not too subtle attempt to encouragee you to close down th Site discussion totaly…..a method i’ve seen used elsewhere to stifle discussion outside of MSN , and simply mention it

    Peter Kemp

    #32
    Jan 20th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    MarkL : “May I suggest some research?”

    Peter Kemp “Start here Ron and see how he does it. 🙂 (Essentially he confuses data, especially serial numbers of military ordinance; with knowledge.)….”

    Thanks peter , I see what you mean …appreciate that

    My concern Peter was my #8 post addresed obvious peace plan issues requiring resulution & agreement by th Partys as a pre-requisite to a peace deel And believed it encumbanyt on israel to publicly declare its position on these issues , seeing its th military M/E super power , it is th occupier and therefore if it intends to withdraw th palestiniens need to know what specific conditions Israel requies as a condition of its withdrawal (thereafter negotiatons can logicaly commence) But th reply I received did NOT addrss any of those essential peace deel issues

  40. Mark

    Just for the record, meta-commentary about moderation or how it’s applied really isn’t helpful, either.

  41. myriad

    it looks like Amnesty are seriously contemplating some form of action over the (alleged) inappropriate use of white phosphorous by the IDF.

    Bank Ki-moon is also about to visit. His reaction will be interesting.

  42. terangeree

    (meta-meta-meta-commentary — my apologies)

    Isn’t it fascinating how so many experts can appear on a thread, yet manage to reveal a complete lack of knowledge…

  43. ron1

    terangeree

    #42
    “Isn’t it fascinating how so many experts can appear on a thread, yet manage to reveal a complete lack of knowledge…”

    If you ar having a go at me but not naming me , then share your “wisdom”

    In my opinion talking about 1948 Israeli histary or earlier , or indeed present Gaza atrocities by Israel has value , there is a far far biger picture that pro Israeli supporters always avoid being forsed to discuss….ie UN resolution 242 means Israel ar ilegaly occupying th West Bank since 1967 and for anyone to claim this fact would and will not continue to result in Palestinien resistanse including firing rockets avoids accepting who is to blame (Israel) for this continued conflict & violense It does not matter how this reality is dressed up by “experts” thats th cause , and until th caue is removed (withdrawal)
    th conflict will forever continue

    My starting point for adressing cause of this conflict and how it may be resolved is 1967 war land occupation outcomes and UN resoltion 242

    That is not to say at all , there has NOT been terrible violence actions taken by Palestiniens over past 42 years either , but they ar a CONSEQUENSE of Israel’s ilegal occupation not th cause of th conflict (notwithstanding actions like suicide bombers ar indecent

    That is not to say at all , there has NOT been unacceptable fear caused to israeli civilians by Palestinien’s rockets fired into Israeli civilian towns over past 42 years either , but they ar a CONSEQUENSE of Israel’s ilegal occupation not th cause of th conflict

    That is not to say at all , that Iran , hezzbolah etc may hav been a ‘player’ in these conflicts over time , but there involvement is irrlevent because without th ’cause” still happening (namely continued Israeli ilegal occuation of West Bank) , then neither Iran nor any other ‘group’ could hav or can hav in future a role whatsoever re THIS unresolved conflict…again these ‘players’ involvement ar a consequence of Israeli ocupation

    That is not to say at all that there ar not obsene extremist in both th Palestinien and Israli ranks both in words and in there violence actons , who wish th other peoples to ‘disappear’ whether or not there was a peace deel or not AND This is where i could see either an end game or no end game out of this continued conflict ie Israel says it won’t talk to Hamas because it wants to liquodate all of israel (and some Hamas do share that view) but ALSO Israel concurently will not withdraw….meaning Israel is guaranteeing a peace deel can never occur on other hand from Hamas view Israel does a ‘Gaza’ atrcoity proving to Hamas that Israel is just as much a barbarien on innocent civiliansds and proving self fulfiling to Hamas that Israel regards Palestinien civilianns as no humans

    So we actualy hav th self fulfiling guarantees necessary to keep th hatred and th conflict violense going another 42 years don’t we

    Circut breaker seems to me acceptance of th ’cause’ of this , Israel must at moin say it will withdraw AND Israel must say what terms/issues re West bank, East Jurulesm , and New Palestinien State’s “powers & rights” she requires as a condition of withdrawal (apart from its rightful but reasonable future ‘security’ needs)

  44. AC

    Don’t sweat it ron1, Terangeree is referring to anyone who disagrees with his stance.

  45. terangeree

    Actually, I was referring to those from both sides of the argument, no matter what their stance is, who are letting their emotions and personal biases carry them away.

    In the words of my late father, ron1, “the fish are biting well today.” 🙂

  46. AC

    Your father’s name is also Ron1? Then you and our Ron1 have something in common!

  47. terangeree

    Umm, no it wasn’t. The first paragraph replied to you, the second to ron-one’s rather long response. Hook, line and sinker, as it were…

  48. ron1

    AC and terangeree

    terangeree “the second to ron-one’s rather long response. Hook, line and sinker, as it were…”

    Sometimes th shark eats not only th bait , but if th bait isn’t any good he then eats th baiter as well ….so if a baiter claims quote others hav a complete lack of knowledge” one can see if th baiter in fact has no confidense in there own knowledge if they then don’t articulate a response So terangeree you should hav listened to th whole of what your family said

    AC
    Most non partisen (for either side) people desire 2 independent States living in peace , but may disagree with th precise details of ultimate final peace terms
    themselves that achieve that I’ve put my scenario up as a circuit breaker

    Do you believe alternativly th Palestiniens should first desist from any resistanse , and if so for how long before Israel takes any positive move , and then what move should Israel then make , and what West Bank land should Israel be able to keep & who should hav soveignty & working control of Arab East Jureslsm

  49. terangeree

    Two words:

    Spell Checker.

  50. ron1

    terangeree , i just knew you would prove th accuaracy of my 348 2nd paragragh remarks , just didn’t expect you’d do it so transparently for all posters to see you regard how someone is dressed , rather than intelectual substance

    AC
    If you get a chanse , i’d be interested in your views even if we differ

  51. AC

    Terangeree: I know. I was just teasing.

    Ron1: I think in an ideal world the Palestinians would desist from resistance for a period that satisfies everyone that it’s not merely a ruse. Israel forcibly removed its people from Gaza and I think might have been encouraged to remove the settlements from the West Bank if Hamas had shown some good will and good grace. Maybe too late now, since Israel has perhaps discovered it cannot trust its neighbours under any circumstances – no matter how many concessions it makes.

    Most non partisen (for either side) people desire 2 independent States living in peace , but may disagree with th precise details of ultimate final peace terms
    themselves that achieve that

    That expresses my view, even if I’ve been accused here of being a spokesman of the IDF for asking for balance. But as to how…? I don’t have any answers beyond the obvious ones that get aired.

  52. AC

    I don’t mean desist from resistance, of course, I mean “desist from violent provocation” – in other words “terrorism”.

  53. informally yours

    terangeree,
    This is not a problem for a spell check. This is deliberate policy to drop the ‘e’. There ar more exampls of this as you try and read through his posts. I once had a friend with manic depression (bipolar) who thought she had a brilliant idea to change to gender neutral usage terms – she developed something like hem (replacing his and her) and hey (for they) etc., and she tried to publicise the idea and to speak and write using these terms.

    This action may be linked to the Seekers message of her youth that “we’ll build a world of our own that no-one else can share and all our sorrows will be far behind us there etcetcetc. Well i know i found there was no piece of mind for the ppl trying to communicate with hem and the same goes for ron1.

    Maybe in the case of ron1 it could be more to do with texting short hand methods that is tolerable in short bursts, but it is frustrating to use in this kind of forum. Even though i am politically sympathetic to ron1, i skip his posts because of the frustration it engenders in me trying to make sense of his attempt to ‘modernise’ the language. This is not a good approach if you want your ideas taken seriously. (Comrades, on this question of linguistics we are almost all Stalinists now)

  54. AC

    I think you overcomplicate what appears simply to be a bunch of typos.

  55. informally yours

    Yes, i ought to have mentioned that this deliberate policy is intermingled with real spelling errors and typos as well.

  56. Michael

    Interesting that Obama’s first call to a overseas leader was to Mahmoud Abbas.

    At least we have one question answered – Obama is going to be doing ‘something’ about the I/P conflict from Day 1, and may even be prioitising the issue.

    Interesting also that Israel has got its army completely out of Gaza at this time.

  57. ron1

    AC

    Thanks your opinion in #51 , yes we do seem to difer on who should take th first tangible step , but perhaps this which comes first chicken or egg has also been th problem , and itself creating mistrust I hav however always thought US actual presence there to guarantee symbolicaly security was essential despite US’s obvious reservations of consequences But then they were prepared to for Iraq , why not for Israel so that Israel does rely solely on words trust

    Informally yours
    your preparadness without soliciting to “offer” a ‘diagmosis’ without any facts whatsoever and with asumptions could be defined posted by me as many things reflecting on you , but do not know you so can not reely know to say

    Michael

    $54
    “Interesting that Obama’s first call to a overseas leader was to Mahmoud Abbas.”

    Feel its good and bad Michael….very good as its hope of genuine needed
    involvment & so symbolic itss his first call , bad rather potentialy bad because thee was already huge “expectations” very notable from Palistinien side , and his first call emphasises that further , meaning serious progress will be expectd although greater than whats short term achievable

    Hope Obama talks tough to both sides to negotiate & not over too long a time as thats needed

  58. zorronsky

    What a huge difference the speech emphasizing “soft power” elements to aid the US’s changing and inclusive foreign policy direction by Obama {ABC2} makes to the sensibilities.

  59. Michael

    ron1,

    I’ve got mixed feelings on the situation. My first thought on Obama’s call was that it was good, quickly followed by ‘not so good’ on the basis that Abbas represents the failed ‘peace process’ track, and the call might represent a committment to the same old US policy.

    On further thought, I’m leaning back towards the positive. In significant part because Mahmoud Abbas has just made a call for a national unity government, ie with Hamas. Perhaps the signals from the US has been that they have no objection to a n.u.g. containing Hamas, as long as the US can be seen to be only talking to Abbas, and not Hamas. One problem is that Abbas’ term expired on Jan 9. Everyone seems to be politely looking the other way on this one. The reent Israeli actions could also be seen through the prism of expected Pal. presidential elections – diminishing Hamas and bolstering the re-election chances of Abbas.

    If the US does accept a n.u.g containing Hamas, it will just further highlight the absolute stupidity of the latest attack on Gaza. In 2007 Hamas negotiated a national unity govt with Fatah, that was then undone by US pressure. Fatah members later reported getting not-so-subtle phone calls from US contacts warning them off co-operating with Hamas.

  60. Peterc

    The tunnels to beat Israel’s blockade are now being rapidly repaired – many have apparently survived Israel’s recent onslaught.

    Hamas has not been “defeated” in any meaningful sense.

    Israel has pulled out in time for Obama’s inauguration – no coincidence there.

    Israel is also investigating the allegations about their use of phosphorous.

    Remind me again – what was the point of these atrocities which resulted in 1300 deaths, many of the civilians and children?

    Israel’s stated goals have not been realised, as early posters on this topic observed would be the case. Military action for political purposes is unacceptable. When do the war crimes get prosecuted?

  61. Michael

    In this case, expect never PeterC.

  62. Michael

    George Mitchell has been announced as the US Special Envoy to the M/E.

    Mitchell has some form in the area, being the man behind the “Mitchell Report” from 2001 that famously failed to achieve anything at all.
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/Mitchellrep.html

    On the plus side, Mitchell was seen as being fair, proabably to a fault. The report was seen as being too careful to avoid offending anyone and too focussed on simply repeating ‘perspectives’. It will be very interesting to see if Mitchell can have a different impact in a much more influential role.

    Another plus for Obama – he’s said that the blockade on Gaza needs to be eased.

    He’s going OK so far, but we’ll know more when Israeli diplomacy starts to push back, and that won’t be till after Feb 10.

  63. ron1

    Michael

    #59

    “ron1 I’ve got mixed feelings on the situation.”

    Subsequent to my post #57 I also gone through same process as you , changing my mind since & thinking Obama’s call to Abbas th ‘deemed sole’ US/israeli group to talk to (and a ‘deemed soft colaborator’) may be again a wrong signal to Palestinien people who’ve just seen Gaza read elected Govt Hamas so brutaly attacked

    Your later more optimistic view , well I’m not there at moment and your comments in your very last sentence ar my current reason , ie indications of US meddling pro Fatah and anti Hamas to sabatage a unity Palestinien Govt…AND a histary of such counter producive meddling that assists spliting there Leadership 7 allowing Israel an ‘excuse’ (being we hav no one to negotiate with) Hope your later view is correct as that may force israel (if US chooses) to start producing some ‘terms’

    PeterC

    #60
    “When do the war crimes get prosecuted? ”
    ONLY when you ar not on USA’s side , so Israeli’s hav nothing to fear , ever

  64. FF

    AC (at 52)

    Textual analysis is a philosophy of resignation. That said, your comment is worth scrutiny. Invoking an extremist word like ‘terrorism’, which immediately conjures emotion rather than facts, and with its Orwellian overlay, is to resort to imagery which rounds up people into good and bad corrals like so many cattle.

    This cannot be a good approach.

  65. GregM

    AC (at 52)

    Textual analysis is a philosophy of resignation. That said, your comment is worth scrutiny. Invoking an extremist word like ‘terrorism’, which immediately conjures emotion rather than facts, and with its Orwellian overlay, is to resort to imagery which rounds up people into good and bad corrals like so many cattle.

    This cannot be a good approach.

    Have those those misguided, emotional souls at the United Nations come under your scrutiny? http://www.un.org/terrorism/strategy-counter-terrorism.shtml#resolution

    They see fit to resort to the Orwellian imagery which you deplore. Who’d have thought they were a hotbed of extremists?

  66. FF

    GregM

    Curiously absent in your UN statement is any definition of terrorism, thus rather proving my point. Language can be horribly effective in promoting action, especially bad action. As Hitler wrote, “All effective propaganda has to limit itself to only a few points and to use them like slogans”. By failing to define terrorism, and using it as an empty slogan and contextless category, the UN is effectively promoting its growth and continuation throughout the world.

    Groups that engage in terror are thus encouraged to follow Clausewitz. Like Clausewitz, modern day terrorists (among the most powerful being the US military and the IDF) think it is the proper method to shorten war. But this shows a contempt for common sense because all of history shows that terrorism stimulates resistance and thus ends by lengthening war.

    Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Afghanistan come immediately to mind.

  67. Nick

    FF,

    “Curiously absent in your UN statement is any definition of terrorism”

    Actually there is:

    “Reaffirming that acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations are activities aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening territorial integrity, security of States and destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments”

    I would have settled for there being an enormous difference between the UN setting out a counter terrorism resolution and plan of action in detail – and someone on a blog thread labelling one group of people “terrorists”.

  68. GregM

    Textual analysis is indeed a philosophy of resignation, especially when the text is marked by false premises, illogical statements and vulgar appeals to spurious authority.

    First of all it is not my UN statement. It is theirs. They passed it for their own purposes, not mine.

    Second, the UN has provided a definition of terrorism, in UNSC Resolution 1566, referred to in the text of what you describe as my UN statement, as follows:

    “criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.”

    Third, the premise of your argument being false, all that follows in your argument (and only a over-indulgence in generosity of spirit brings me to describe the rest of what you have written as an argument) is false, including your risible proposition that in failing to define terrorism the UN is effectively promoting its growth and continuation throughout the world.

    Finally in invoking a quote from Hitler, in a vulgar appeal to spurious authority in trying to construct what passes as your argument, you have breached Godwin’s law. In the same chapter of Mein Kampf as your quote, Hitler must have had you in mind:

    “All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to.” http://fcit.usf.edu/Holocaust/people/DocPropa.htm

  69. FF

    Nick and Greg M

    The quotes you cite are imprecise and vague to be useless. This was surely the intention.

    Secondly, the completely inadequate definition is designed to fool distracted minds that something significant is being said or identified here. Which of course it is not.

    Thirdly, GregM: Godwin’s law is a faux, illogical rhetorical ploy developed by an intellectual property, copyright, IT lawyer. Sorry, but guffaw and invoking it proves nothing about the substance of an argument. You gotta do better than that/

    And finally, stepping into the mind of Hitler as you do in your final remark and comparing me just like he would to someone of low intelligence and therefore only fitting for the glue factory, again proves my initial point.

  70. Mark

    I haven’t been reading this thread for a while, but I’d again emphasise that it’s not just desirable but necessary according to the comments policy to avoid personalising the issues under debate. Thanks.

  71. Posey

    GregM, I would suggest that your UN definition of terrorism is little more than a tautology. The definition says nothing about why individuals or groups would resort to such behaviour.

    And therefore in the absence of such preceding exposition and explanation, an indispensable starting point to solving any problem, by default the UN in fact encourages such counterproductive and destructive activity to continue.

  72. GregM

    The definition says nothing about why individuals or groups would resort to such behaviour.

    Posey, the definition of murder under our legal system says nothing about why individuals or groups would resort to such behaviour. Does this mean that in the absence of a preceding exposition and explanation, (which you say is an indispensable starting point to solving any problem), the various Parliaments of Australia, all which have passed laws against murder, encourage murder?

    Also its not my UN definition of terrorism. It is the UN’s. They came up with it all by themselves. They didn’t ask me for my opinion.

  73. The Amnestigator

    GregM

    I think what Posey is emphasising is that UN Declarations, Conventions, Charters etc. are not at all legal documents.

  74. GregM

    I think what Posey is emphasising is that UN Declarations, Conventions, Charters etc. are not at all legal documents./blockquote>

    If that is indeed what Posey is emphasising then Posey would be completely wrong.

  75. Michael

    Here’s some excerpts from an interview with Khalid Mishal from early 2008 (not available online).

    While he’s mostly talking about the consequences of participating in elections and the subsequent blockade of Gaza, it seems fair to assume they would apply to the most recent devastation.

    No. Despite all that has happened, we do not regret participating in the elections, nor in the government. Of course, we have assessed and evaluated the entire experience, and we do so in an honest and transparent way. The movements institutions examine where we succeeded and where we were in error. I am not going to claim that the experience has been all positive, but it also cannot be claimed to have been all negative, and at the end of the day we do not regret the experience.
    When you have assessed the political circumstances and chosen to respond to national requirements and the demands of your people, you don’t regret it even if you experince difficulties and pain as a result. You don’t regret jumping in to a river to save a drowning person……Also the decision was the product of intensive discussion and study by the movement and its institutions, which took more than four months to conclude. It was a calculated decision taken by a clear majority within the movements institutions rather than an impulsive or individualistic decision.
    The circumstances in which we operate today are not the product of our participation in the elections. Our present circumstances result from the fact that we have an enemy that wants to eliminate us, that wants to organise the Palestinian arena according to its designs and will………Despite all that has happened, Hamas remains a reality that neither the US administration nor its regional allies, nor its allies in the Palestinian arena, can get rid of.

    Some have suggested that Hamas did not expect an Israeli invasion, but this interview shows that Hamas were considering the possibility at the beginning of last year.

    Q. Do you expect a full-scale invasion of Gaza?

    A. Not necessarily. The Gaza strip involves different calculations. Israel is confronted by two primary questions: the costs of such an invasion, and what to do after it. Israel may therefore opt for a gadual escalation, proceeding according to the achievements of each step. They are trying this now in the northern Gaza strip. They might seek to divide Gaza into three sectors, or engage in a prolonged war of attrition and perhaps then proceed with a general invasion.

    Q. Do you think that there is a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts?

    A. There is an opportunity to deal with this conflict in a manner different from the way Isreal and, behind it, the US are dealing with it today. There is an opportunity to achieve a Palestinian national concensus on a political program based on the 1967 borders, and this is an exceptional circumstance, in which most Palestinian forces, including Hamas, accept a state. This was specified in the National Conciliation Document. A state on, and not within, the 1967 borders. On the borders of June 4, 1967, including Jerusalem, the right of return, with full sovereignty, and without settlements……If anyone thinks that the conflict can be ended, and that calm, stability and security can be achieved in the region at the expense of Palestinian rights, they are deluded.

  76. The Amnestigator

    Well if Posey thinks there is UN law, then you are correct her “root causes” argument would be irrelevant. The legal euqivalebt of gossip, hearsay, and speculation.

  77. Mani

    The Isrealis failed to kill enough of the Hamas top leadership. Hence the children that they inadvertently killed, died somewhat in vain. The verdict must be that the intervention was therefore mistaken. And that they ought to have waited until their preparations were more fully developed, and their anger was sufficient, to murder those small number of culpable individuals, whose public slaughter could actually help solve the problem, at least for a time.

    I have to therefore consider the latest intervention as a failure, and a crying shame, and it hurts a little bit. It will not stack up to high marks against Catholic ideology of just war theory.

    THREE OUT OF TEN.

  78. AC

    FF @ 64: Textual analysis is a philosophy of resignation. That said, your comment is worth scrutiny. Invoking an extremist word like ‘terrorism’, which immediately conjures emotion rather than facts, and with its Orwellian overlay, is to resort to imagery which rounds up people into good and bad corrals like so many cattle.

    It is, nonetheless, an accurate descriptor based on fact. Anyone who denies Hamas is both an extremist and terrorist organisation is in, well… denial.

    This cannot be a good approach.

    Why? Is it only terrorism if Palestinian children die?

  79. Katz

    Reaffirming that acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations are activities aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening territorial integrity, security of States and destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments

    But this isn’t a definition of terrorism. This is a description of the purported objectives of terrorism.

    Other collectivities, that could not sensibly be called “terrorist”, also share some or all of these objectives.

    As such, it is an unreliable guide to terrorism because it neither defines what is unique to terrorism, nor does it distinguish what terrorists, and terrorists alone, attempt to achieve.

  80. AC

    In Australia, it’s defined as politically motivated violence under the ASIO’s legislation:

    politically motivated violence means:
    (a) acts or threats of violence or unlawful harm that are intended
    or likely to achieve a political objective, whether in Australia
    or elsewhere, including acts or threats carried on for the
    purpose of influencing the policy or acts of a government,
    whether in Australia or elsewhere; or
    (b) acts that:
    (i) involve violence or are intended or are likely to involve
    or lead to violence (whether by the persons who carry
    on those acts or by other persons); and
    (ii) are directed to overthrowing or destroying, or assisting
    in the overthrow or destruction of, the government or
    the constitutional system of government of the
    Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or
    (ba) acts that are terrorism offences; or

    blah, blah, blah ad nauseum

    It’s at;

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/comlaw.nsf/BrowseLinks?OpenForm

  81. FF

    AC @ 78: Israel exaggerates the terrorist threat posed by Hamas and Hamas’s military power is infinitesimal compared to the IDF. Polls have shown that around two-thirds of Palestinians agree that attacks on Israeli targets are a legitimate strategic response to the political situation. If HAMAS is terrorist, then so are all these Palestinians, including the people of Gaza who voted them into office. Israel has killed many more Palestinians than the other way around.

    Even the US army is suggesting that Israel’s demonising and dismissal of Hamas as a legitimate elected government which yes sometimes uses (not very successful) resistance tactics has been one of the major obstacles to peace, or even any progress towards peace.

  82. Nick

    Katz @ 79

    True.

  83. Nick
  84. AC

    @81

    FF,

    So what? So what if Israel is bigger and better equipped than Hamas? Terrorism is asymmetrical warfare. That’s the point. Terrorism punches above its weight and garners both press, policy and military reactions that do not reflect the actual economies of scale. That’s the point.

    The real issue is that Israel reacted militarily because it felt that other options were a waste of time. No one has yet tabled any other solution for Israel that would be acceptable. Until there is another policy solution that can guarantee Hamas will stop sticking its finger in Israel’s eye, then Israel will occasionally react with might. If Hamas didn’t want the IDF to smash it, it shouldn’t have provoked them. If Hamas didn’t want children to die they shouldn’t have launched attacks using civilians as cover, or cached their weapons in mosques. Hamas only has itself to blame.

    Quibbling over who is and isn’t a terrorist is just noise.

    AC

  85. Katz

    If Hamas didn’t want the IDF to smash it, it shouldn’t have provoked them. If Hamas didn’t want children to die they shouldn’t have launched attacks using civilians as cover, or cached their weapons in mosques. Hamas only has itself to blame.

    And

    Q. Do you [Khaled Mashal] expect a full-scale invasion of Gaza?

    A. Not necessarily. The Gaza strip involves different calculations. Israel is confronted by two primary questions: the costs of such an invasion, and what to do after it. Israel may therefore opt for a gadual escalation, proceeding according to the achievements of each step. They are trying this now in the northern Gaza strip. They might seek to divide Gaza into three sectors, or engage in a prolonged war of attrition and perhaps then proceed with a general invasion.

    It seems that Mashal, at least, thought that invasion was a possible option and saw some advantages in it for Hamas and his version of the Palestinian cause.

  86. John Ryan

    Well i suppose if Israel had not sat on there hands and watched the settlers on the West Bank murder, steal or whatever you care to call it Palestinian land and,water.farms ect built a wall to try to starve both the West Bank and Gaza in submission and in the process had a land grab as well.
    As far as I know Hamas is the legal govt of Gaza,all this last war has done is I would think stiffened the resolve of the people to resist,and damaged the Fatah movement as collaborators,won the battle lost the war.

  87. AC

    Gaza was the test case for Israel to have a go at the harder work of extracting the looney-tunes ultra-orthodox Jews from the West Bank, John.

    Too bad the precedent’s now tarnished by the grateful looney-tunes ultra-fascist muslims lobbing rockets over the fence, huh? That went real well.

  88. FF

    Weird discussion. Enough already with the rockets and bombs obsession!

    Fact is, there are hundreds of different definitions of terrorism even within the UN, there is still no globally accepted definition of terrorism and I doubt there ever will be. The lack of consensus on what constitutes terrorism points to its inescapably political nature. Duh.

    That said, state terrorism is vastly more destructive than anti-state, individual or small group terrorism. Always has been, always will be. As so it follows, and simple maths and cameras do their thang to confirm my easily verifiable assertion: the terrorism of modern state power of a regime like Israel – courtesy of its bottomless supply of US high technology weaponry, exceeds qualitatively by many orders of magnitude the political violence relied upon by (pre-modern, was it?) groups like Hamas.

    Some free advice for all you cyber warriors. If you gonna have any hope of understanding what is going on, forget the legal machinations and contortions and spend some time with people of the calibre, depth and insight of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson:

    “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less’. ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things’. ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all’.” Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass, c.vi

  89. AC

    “It seems that Mashal, at least, thought that invasion was a possible option and saw some advantages in it for Hamas and his version of the Palestinian cause.”

    That’s great, Katz.

    My post, however, was aimed at all the whiners who were surprised that the sleeping dog bit them after they pulled its tail.

  90. Katz

    What is the more interesting topic of conversation, the opinions of whiners who wield no power and who don’t even live in Gaza, or the quality of the statecraft and warcraft of the most powerful nation in the region?

  91. AC

    “That said, state terrorism is vastly more destructive than anti-state, individual or small group terrorism. Always has been, always will be. As so it follows, and simple maths and cameras do their thang to confirm my easily verifiable assertion: the terrorism of modern state power of a regime like Israel – courtesy of its bottomless supply of US high technology weaponry, exceeds qualitatively by many orders of magnitude the political violence relied upon by (pre-modern, was it?) groups like Hamas.”

    How is Israel being backed into a corner and responding with military might against terrorist provocation, “state terrorism” or, indeed, any kind of terrorism?

    You might not like the accepted definitions, but let’s not allow that to lead you to engage in flights of fantasy!

    “Some free advice for all you cyber warriors.”

    No thanks.

  92. FF

    Fascinating that you should compare Israel to a dog, AC. In my experience dogs are among the least predictable of other animals and for very good reason given how we have so cruelly subjugated them.

    Yitzhak Laor, who lives in Tel Aviv and is the editor of Hebrew journal Mita’am, wrote last week:

    “Israel doesn’t want a Palestinian state alongside it. It is willing to prove this with hundreds (sic) of dead and thousands of disabled, in a single ‘operation’. The message is always the same: leave or remain in subjugation, under our military dictatorship. We are a democracy. We have decided democratically that you will live like dogs.”

  93. AC

    Laor sounds like quite an asshole. He has a lot in common with Hamas’ membership in that regard. Maybe they can reach detente based on common ground!

    By the way, I used the dog reference as an analogy. Sleeping dog, sleeping giant, soporific tiger, slumbering leviathan. Whatever. Don’t take it literally.

  94. Posey

    No, you have used the dog analogy before. I think it is significant.

  95. AC

    “Laor sounds like quite an asshole.”

    Let me just caveat that by saying, “if he actually supports such a view”.

    On the other hand, if he was imagining (as a left-wing author) and projecting that view as the perspective of the evil regime with its hands on the levers in Jerusalem, then he merely sounds like the majority of posters on Larvatus Prodeo. In which case, asshole is too strong a pejorative. Certainly you could replace it with “biased” or lacking impartiality”, or “not interested in the culpability (or lack of it) of both sides in this tragic affair.”

  96. FF

    “Laor sounds like quite an asshole. He has a lot in common with Hamas’ membership in that regard. Maybe they can reach detente based on common ground!”

    Now you are being childish. I presume you are have long ago achieved adulthood. Why then would you want to so crudely objectify and dehumanise this widely respected humane man and, by extension, the population of Gaza?

  97. AC

    See my follow-up post.

    Not having read the article myself, I surmise from your comments at 95 that he falls into the latter category.

  98. AC

    “No, you have used the dog analogy before. I think it is significant.”

    Do you, indeed. Well, spit it out, Posey. What’s its significance, apart from (as I suspect) misdirection?

  99. FF

    You are being disingenuous in comparing Israel to a sleeping giant. Jeez, if I employed you, I would sack you! It is a tragedy foretold that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine would never assure security for either its citizens or the huge Jewish diaspora.

    Today, anti-semitism is on the rise, and why?

  100. AC

    “Today, anti-semitism is on the rise, and why?”

    Ill-chosen metaphors?

    You tell us, before you sack us, oh wise one. I await your pontification with bated breath.

  101. AC

    “It is a tragedy foretold that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine would never assure security for either its citizens or the huge Jewish diaspora.”

    By the way, I agree with you on the above.

  102. FF

    Why ill-chosen? All progress, political, ethical, artistic, comes through counterpoint. Ask your fave composer – from the dead, so to speak.

  103. AC

    Composer? This is descending into meta-commentary, but are you confusing me with Rob?

  104. FF

    To the extent that anti-Semitism, as opposed to anti-Israel government actions is on the rise, the answer is obvious.

    Many are thus concluding that Israel needs anti-Semitism to provide the only fig-leaf cover and justification for its actions that is left to it.

  105. AC

    “Many are thus concluding that Israel needs anti-Semitism to provide the only fig-leaf cover and justification for its actions that is left to it.”

    That mental leap would explain your request that people forget about or not focus on the issue of rockets!

    I’ll leave you to your agenda, as anything I could possibly contribute is clearly not part of the programme.

  106. FF

    Your usual tactic, wearing more than a little thin now, AC.

  107. Michael

    Nice try, but I don’t know if it will work.

  108. John Ryan

    And as the sun sinks slowly in the West we bit a fond farewell to The Men From the Ministry,catch you next time round

  109. AC

    “And as the sun sinks slowly in the West we bit a fond farewell to The Men From the Ministry,catch you next time round”

    Sure thing, my Islamo-fascist-death-cult-apologist friend.

  110. FF

    Thanks to relentless US-Israel propaganda and its massive dissemination, it has been quite a switch for Hamas to be successfully portrayed, at least in the West, in the lurid terms AC lays out above.

    Yet the not so distant historical record would indicate Hamas is far more accurately understood as the product of and embodiment of contemporary Arab nationalist and identity politics which also incorporates elements of religion.

  111. AC

    How the hell did the Left lose its way so comprehensively? It used to be that the Left stood for intellectual freedom, self-determination, gender equality… how did it end up barracking for a bunch of fascist scumbags who, if given the chance, would enslave, imprison or kill every single naive Leftist supporter?

    Idiocy.

  112. Mark

    Having left this thread alone for a while, and come back to have a look at what’s now being posted on it, I have to conclude that it’s outlived its usefulness.