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Guest post – Gaza

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 2nd, 2014 - 124 comments
Categories: war - Tags:

gaza mourning

This [showering a neighbour with rockets is an act of war, perpetrated by Palestine on Israel and Israel is quite entitled to take out the Hamas military apparatus] is a general argument I’ve often heard in the media, blogs, etc. over the past few weeks.

It assumes – for the present conflict – that the conflict was started by Hamas rockets. It wasn’t.

For better or worse, we have the official Israeli position that it was started by a kidnapping. Whatever Hamas rockets were entering Israel prior to that were obviously not sufficient to provoke the current offensive from Israel.

So, the first point is that the claim that this has something to do with Hamas rockets is factually incorrect – unless you want to argue that Israel used the kidnapping as a disingenuous cover for an assault they had already planned to make?

The second point concerns the implicit moral claim that Hamas rockets (and their ineffectual strike rate) are a greater provocation to mass violence than is the blockading of Gaza, the routine supersonic flyovers of Gaza over the last few years, the game-playing by Israel over the funds Gaza needs to survive, the predictable increases in illnesses and general deprivation and, most obviously, the frequent bombing of Gaza all of which have been clear causes of many, many Palestinian deaths (over a thousand dead just a couple of years ago in yet another short, sharp assault).

In that context, it is very hard to see how this ‘greater provocation’ argument can hold any water at all. Surely, provocations are in part to be judged by their effectiveness at killing, intimidating and oppressing? Israeli actions have achieved these goals to a much greater extent than have Hamas actions. So which side has been most ‘provocative’? (Remember,provocation relates to each action – it is not about ultimate ‘blame’.)

Third – and relatedly – it is often claimed that the terror induced by the Hamas rockets should help to explain the Israeli government’s reaction. That is, the question has been posed to critics of Israel ‘How would you like to have rockets raining down on you? Wouldn’t you want to retaliate?’

This unreflective plea misses entirely the obvious response in defence of Hamas launching their rockets. That is, ‘How would you feel if your children were dying through lack of sanitation, good nutrition, Israeli bombs, etc. on a regular basis? Wouldn’t you want to retaliate?’

In the current conflict, of course, the Israeli bombs (that, it should be remembered,preceded the current increase in Hamas rocket firing as they – the bombs – were a response to a kidnapping) are orders of magnitude more violent and more ‘effective’ than are the Hamas rockets.

Given that, Israelis who are suffering under the terror of Hamas rockets should understand entirely how Palestinians suffering under the terror of Israel bombs feel and, therefore, why they wish to fire their rockets. Shouldn’t they? Yet, in fact, they don’t appear to understand.

Aren’t both deliberate forms of terror? And isn’t one form of terror clearly far more ‘effective’ at terrorising?

Finally, Golda Meir once said “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.

In the context of the disproportionate casualties that have always characterised the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians- and the extremely limited number of Israeli children killed by Hamas rockets – it would be hard to conjure up a more immoral justification for the current mass and indiscriminate killing of children.

It’s as if one is somehow ‘forced’ to kill hundreds of children should one child be killed. This can’t be true.

Such an overwhelming onslaught also seems like an extraordinarily ineffective way to encourage the Palestinians to love their (dead) children more than they hate Israelis.

Killing someone’s child is not usually the best way to make them hate you less.

But it is, of course, quite a good example of an act of terrorism.

Puddleglum

124 comments on “Guest post – Gaza”

  1. Grumpy 1

    Puds is my favorite commentator here and I am loathe to comment….but….surely she values the benefits of a Western civilization, tolerance, rights for women, gays, children etc? The rule of law, the concept of equity?
    All these are anathema to the Islamic movement. Does she really want a Taliban type patriarchal world.
    Hamas and ISIS, Boko Harum etc are a threat to our values, they need to be stopped. So far only Israel has the courage to attempt to do that, purely for them, as a matter of survival. We will all finish up on their side, sooner or later. With Europe set to fall under the Islamic Sharia veil within 20 years, is the left prepared for the consequences?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Weird Grumpy. The only reason extremists are taking over in Palestine is because the Israelis are killing too many children. Here is a thought. How about no fighting, open the boarders and instead of spending money on armaments spent it on hospitals and schools in Gaza. Then the extremists will lose their power.

      • Grumpy 1.1.1

        And Syria, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, etc. oh, that’s right, not related – eh?

      • Grumpy 1.1.2

        Just a thought, maybe the extremists should take over in Iraq because ISIS are killing too many women and children…….oh, wait……

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1

          The governments of Iraq and Syria were deliberately destabilised by the west, giving room for ISIS to grow into the power vacuum.

          Israel is now trying to destroy the Palestinian unity government which will open up the same kind of space for ISIS type organisations to grow amongst Palestinians.

      • Bazar 1.1.3

        That or you know, hamas will have a field day with unrestrained acts of terrorism.

        You must live under a reality dome, that destroys any attempts at realism.
        They have been at war for decades now, muslims have been attacking them since just after the israelis returned.

        The palestinians have repeatedly attempted genocide against the jews, and the jews have repeatedly crushed them.

        And now there is a racial hatred so divisive that it’d take generations of peace before its forgotten. And given islamic history i doubt thats easy to coexist even without the conflict.
        So to casually suggest that the reason for conflict is because of the hostilities is begging the question.

        Palestinians would love all the jews in israel dead, and will kill to make that happen.
        Its like having a repeated convicted mass murderer as a neighbour, and suggesting that he wouldn’t be so murderous if you allowed him to get close to you.

        Its stupidity that can only be believed when you’re imposing your belief on someone else.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.3.1

          Of course, your hate filled lies must be countered.

          Israel has completed 80% of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Only Gaza and the West Bank remain. And as you can see, the Israelis are well on the way to getting those two remaining areas as well, and completing the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

          The palestinians have repeatedly attempted genocide against the jews, and the jews have repeatedly crushed them.

          You are making ignorant comments that you should be ashamed of. For starters Jews =! Israel.

          And given islamic history i doubt thats easy to coexist even without the conflict.

          You don’t know jack shit about Islamic history of course. But keep pretending you prick. Just try and remember its Israel which has poured ~50,000 advanced warheads and bombs on to Gaza.

          • Bazar 1.1.3.1.1

            As always, your inability for critical thought fills me with amusement viper.

            I’m aware of the difference between Judaism and the nation of Israel. They are closely linked.
            Its also not death to the israelis that terrorists chant, but jews.

            I’d also be interested in knowing how large a proportion jews make up the IDF.
            Since 75% of the israeli population are jews, 20% arabian. I would not be surprised to find that the IDF consists of about 85%+ jewish personnel as a result.

            So i’d say its a pretty fair statement to say that its been jews that have been doing the fighting, and its jews that the palestinians want dead. Israel is just the place the jews live, defend. and fight under.

            I’d also like to know why you think i should be ashamed for calling a jew a jew. Or is that politically incorrect to call a duck a duck

            “just try and remember its Israel which has poured ~50,000 advanced warheads and bombs on to Gaza.”

            Provide citation for these 50,000 warheads launched into Gaza or you’re full of shit.
            I also enjoy the fact that you make no mention of the 11,000 missiles launched into israel

    • miravox 1.2

      So we’ll turn a blind eye to Israel killing women and children so women and children can have rights?

      You have noticed in all the photos of Palestinian women that they’re not dressed as if Gaza shares the values of ISIS? It’s quite possible that Iran will have more to do with Palestinian values than fundamentalist, muderous revolutionaries, including those jihadists from the West.

      • Grumpy 1.2.1

        Hamas shares the values of ISIS. Talk to some of the Palestinians living in NZ, they did not leave because of Israel – I have one working for me.
        Are you saying the opposite of what you accuse me? That we should just sit back and let Islamists take over the world now? Better stock up on razor blades and burkas now, and get ready to behead those apostates and hang the gays from cranes as the charming Iranian government is so fond of.

        • locus 1.2.1.1

          Israelis carry a very large degree of responsibility for the horrors of the wars in palestine over the past 60 years. Your attempt to brand hamas as evil by an assumed belief that they are linked in some way with isis shows a lack of understanding of who hamas represent and why they are standing up for the palestinians in gaza.

          • jryan 1.2.1.1.1

            So you are saying that Hamas is not evil? This is a group that will not accept Israel. They lower themselves to store weapons in un safe areas, they fire from residential areas, they tunnel and attack and continually harrass. It shows they regard the Palestine people nothing less than convienant human fodder to manipulate an image to their advantage. Hamas, ISIS and the rest are all twisted by extreme religion. They hate the freedom the west offers and unless we thump them back into the middle ages from where their brains have never left, they will be a menace to all the free world.
            Imagine if they were not full of hate and worked along side each other. With all that wealth they should be one of the most wealthy areas on the planet. But no, year after year they plan and carry out the hate against western countries or whoever. They are one pack of sick asses.

            • locus 1.2.1.1.1.1

              jryan,

              did you notice that your prejudiced invective and suggested treatment of Hamas reveal you as very much like the portrait you have in your mind of islamic people?

              The issue here is not whether Hamas is evil or not. Nobody on this thread has attempted to defend Hamas for storing and firing rockets from a civilian area. Indeed this may well be proven to be a war crime. The focus here is on the slaughter and ongoing killing of children and civilians by Israel, and the need to get the ‘civilised’ western world leaders to make Israel stop… now.

              As for your assertion that Hamas does not recognise Israel. You are wrong. The unity government of Hamas and Fatah has accepted Israel’s right to exist. Hamas may not like it but have to accept it as they are part of a government which has made this clear.

              By shelling, bombing and killing civilains sheltering in a refuge which IDF commanders were well informed of, Israel has gone beyond merely immoral and evil acts. It has committed serious war crimes and Israel’s leaders must and eventually will be held accountable.

              What you should also ask yourself jryan, is why Israel has destroyed Palestinian hospitals, schools and homes, gaza’s only power station, public services and administrative buildings and is continuing to occupy and operate out of ordinary Palestinians’ homes

              Your proposal to ‘thump people back to the middle ages’ isn’t so far from what is tragically happening right now to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza

              jryan, you suggest Hamas (who are Palestinians) “regard the Palestine people as nothing less than convienant human fodder to manipulate”. This is completely wrong, is more a reflection of your state of mind than anything else, and reflects a complete lack of understanding of people and the suffering of Palestinians.

              As for stopping hating each other, I can hardly imagine what it must be like for Palestinians who feel utterly powerless to stop what is happening and who see their families and their lives being destroyed.

              Do you see the how Israel has dehumanised the Palestinians? Will you continue to condone Israel as they use these methods to control and destroy the Palestinian people?

              • Colonial Viper

                Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai said:

                “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads & water.”

                Or as Haaretz puts it:

                Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel’s operation in Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages ….”

                And without putting too fine a point on it, this is exactly what Israel is doing. To the extent that cholera, dysentery, scabies, etc are now all active threats to surviving Gazans, 1/1000 of whom have now been killed by Israel.

                http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-bombs-gaza-back-to-the-stone-age-as-collective-punishment/5394384

        • miravox 1.2.1.2

          Of course i’m not saying we should sit back and let Islamists take over. I’m suggesting you’re aiming you arrows in the wrong direction.

          A couple points
          1. Israel destroyed Fatah and got Hamas, if they destroy Hamas who do you think they’ll get? Your fears may be realised.
          2. You have no evidence Hamas intends to be an Isis. You only have the opinion of fundamentalist organisations. Even Forbes magazine reckons there will be a realignment of Hamas with Iran. (i would link but am using a tablet and it drives me nuts… Can google hamas +isis and it will come up).
          3. I can’t talk to Palestinians in NZ, I’m in Europe, but our local kebap man is pretty unhappy with Israel’s demolition of Gaza and plenty of Palestinian protestors along the
          Graben are too.
          4. An analogy, as much as i may respect the opinion of your Palestinian worker, I tell people here I’m upset NZ has lost it’s moral and democratic compass, does that make my opinion the only one they should take at face value?
          5. As above, is killing women and children an acceptable way to ensure women and children have rights?

          Sorry that was more than a couple…

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.1

            The “Islamists take over” when western armed and supported forces fuck over local power structures, overthrow secular Baathist governments, and cripple day to day civil administration.

            We see it over and over and over again.

            The US fucked Iran, installed the Shah, whose brutal rule was thrown out by a theocracy. The US helped Islamist fighters screw over the Soviets in Afghanistan (so very clever), then those same fighters became the Taliban and took over the entire country. Libya and Iraq were both secular states with advanced civil administrations (run by dictators) who got fucked over by the west, and now Al Qaeda, ISIS etc are running the table. The US has supported the brutal and illegal military occupation of Palestine by Israel for decades and the suppression of the local indigenous people by the Israeli government, including a military adventure invading Lebanon, Hamas formed as a response and Hizb’allah grew every stronger.

            Jordan and Egypt, both client states of the USA, have been very quiet while the Israelis screw over their supposed Sunni muslim brethren in Palestine.

            Western demand for oil feeds the Saudis billions and billions of dollars with which they have funded extremist Wahabi militancy throughout the world.

            I mean for fucks sake it’s like we’re amnesiacs who can’t remember a single thing about the Middle East.

            • Grumpy 1.2.1.2.1.1

              I certainly don’t support the stupidity of US policy in the Middle East. However, I find this, written 2 years ago interesting and goes some way towards explaining the situation.
              http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3472/hamas-sunni-shiite

            • miravox 1.2.1.2.1.2

              Of course I haven’t forgotten the west’s responsibiliity for the mess that is the Middle East, cv. I just wasn’t going to go there.

              But that’s about as off-topic as Grumpy’s assertion that Israel is saving the west from Islamist fundamentalists by killing civilans. in Gaza.

              Btw did you get to the second sentence before answering? If so, I guess i should have been clearer.

              • Colonial Viper

                Uh, sorry, my bad miravox, I was actually replying to Grumpy’s “take over” comment in 1.2.1

                I believe it is relevant because Grumpy is using the “falling dominoes” framing from anti-commie days in his arguments for anti Islamist action.

                btw every western army knows that the way you undercut extremists is to win over the hearts and minds of the citizens and hence remove support and recruitment for the extremists from the larger civil society.

                What Israel has been doing for decades is the exact opposite of that.

            • Chooky 1.2.1.2.1.3

              +100 CV ( at 1.2.1.2.1)

              ‘Gazan Human Rights Lawyer Pleads to U.S.: We Deserve to be Protected, Not Bombed with Your Weapons’

              http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/1/gazan_human_rights_lawyer_pleads_to

          • Foreign Waka 1.2.1.2.2

            To Miravox – So are you in Vienna? Vienna is one of the major hubs of negotiations between Hamas and the Israelis since the 70’s if not earlier.

            • miravox 1.2.1.2.2.1

              Hi Foreign Waka, yes we’re still in Vienna. I’ve started discovering a little of Vienna’s intriguing post ww2 role in internatioal diplomacy. In part because there are a lot of meetings going on now with Iran nuclear talks. I think there’s a meeting here this weekend. The big players in this seem to have side meetings about Palestine at the same time.

              Similar for the Russia -Ukraine crisis. Interesting times here.

              • Foreign waka

                Yes, indeed. It is the hub of many international forums and negotiations. On a different issue; enjoy the food. Try the supermarket deli with their ready to go bread rolls and other delicatessen. Yum… I know it does not fit and some will say its inappropriate but food and Vienna are linked in my mind…

        • Tom Jackson 1.2.1.3

          Political Islam is a fairly diverse phenomenon ranging from Iran’s weird attempt to establish a modern Islamic Republic to Turkish political Islamism to the Taliban. Hamas, as a Palestinian resistance movement, differs from all of these. It’s unlikely that a successful Hamas could implement a wholly radical programme, simply because the people they would be trying to force it on would not stand for it. Hamas is popular in Palestine primarily because they are a lot less corrupt than the alternatives.

          Israel isn’t exactly a democratic utopia. 30 years ago Meir Kahane was banned from standing for election in Israel because his views were deemed racist and insane. Nowadays the ruling coalition is ⅓ comprised of openly racist parties who support Kahanist views, and the Likud party more or less supports them, but less openly.

          We’re no longer dealing with the Israeli politicians of yore, who for all their faults were at least rational. Israel has become a far right, authoritarian, and openly racist country. Were a politician like Bennett or Lieberman to stand for election in New Zealand or even the United States, they would correctly be denounced as racists and fascists.

          In the end I don’t care much about Hamas, because they have little real power and even if a Palestinian state comes into being, they will not be a threat. An increasingly fascist, racially intolerant, paranoid, nuclear-armed state is a whole different matter.

        • Murray Olsen 1.2.1.4

          Your Islamophobia and Zionophilia are so bad that I suggest you see a therapist.

    • Grumpy, at the time of me writing this comment there are 13 comments on this post and seven of them are from you, demanding that we ignore the plight of Palestinian civilians because of crude stereotypes about Islamic attitudes to women.

      I just have to say that I think it’s really grotesque to derail this conversation – when over 1,400 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of them civilians and over 200 of them children – and especially grotesque to pretend that you’re doing something noble (speaking up for human rights) in the process.

      I don’t honestly think you give a damn about the rights of “women, gays, children etc”, and your Daily Mail “Europe is falling to Sharia” talking points prove it.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        AFAIK 315 children killed was the death toll 24 hours ago. Horrific. And the US is currently helping the Israelis to re-arm and restock.

        • miravox 1.3.1.1

          315 kids killed and yet the US saved the word “barbaric” for the disappearance of an IDF soldier. Go figure.

          • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1.1

            I am under the impression that the IDF shelled the last known location of that Israeli soldier thought to have been kidnapped and, unfortunately, he was killed. (“Hannibal Directive”)

      • Grumpy 1.3.2

        Got our early. Just going to watch grandson’s rugby now, it’s all yours.

      • swordfish 1.3.3

        “I don’t honestly think you give a damn about the rights of “women, gays, children etc””

        Just yesterday (Open Mike 1/8/14), dear Old Grumpers attempted to back up his on-going bullshit on Gaza by linking to a number of extreme, aggressively Neo-Conservative websites.

        Amongst which, was Breitbart, known (as more than one commentator has put it) for its “Muslim-bashing, conspiracy-mongering and Israel-boosting.”

        Breitbart’s uber-neo-conservative, pro-gun, liberal-hating Orthodox Jewish editor-at-large, Ben Shapiro, is also known for his conservative views on women and his antipathy to the LGBT community. He’s written about the “homosexual assault on traditional marriage”, that it’s “clear that in order to deny homosexual marriage, we must uphold …. the natural distinction between men and women”, writes for a site that has articles approving of “Women Against Feminism:Gaining Steam”, has argued that “If you pay your taxes, you’re sponsoring the militant homosexual agenda”, believes that the social views of liberal US University professors are “evil”…and so on and so forth….

        Grumper’s Breitbart source is an organisation in which one of its recent “contributing journalists” wondered aloud (in a tweet that was later deleted) if it wasn’t time for “Americans to start slaughtering Muslims in the streets, all of them.”

        So, yeah, Grumpers, reading and regurgitating far-right, socially-conservative uber-zionist nutters and cheerfully cheerleading the IDF’s mass murder of more than 1200 men, women and children (whilst safely sitting on his arse a few thousand miles away), clearly doesn’t give too much of a fuck when he sheds his crocodile tears for women, children, gays, human rights and “the Taliban type patriarchal world”

        • Colonial Viper 1.3.3.1

          I think it’s over 1600 killed now. 90 alone today since the ceasefire fell apart.

    • Foreign Waka 1.4

      You have obviously taken all the “right” propaganda to heart. Israel wants the Gaza strip and more land further out – part of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. This has been pursued for a long time and it is interesting to see where the instability in the last 5 years have been greatest. Yes, indeed.
      The Islamic religion as all religions for that matter is once more used to wage a war of large proportions. This is necessary for the weapons industry in the US to have continued growth in that industry. And they will do what ever it takes (please note that I mean this with emphasis) to have more growth in this industry as all other avenues of generating money is wilting away.

    • Hi Grumpy,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      I suppose all I would say in response to your other comment is that I don’t support oppressive environments of any sort but I don’t see how that is relevant to this issue.

      Are you suggesting that killing large numbers of innocent Palestinians – including children – is a justified or, even, effective way to liberalise the Muslim world?

      Moderation and liberalisation does not tend to emerge from unjust and disproportionately violent actions.

      [i’m having a family day today so may not be able to respond to comments as much as I would like.]

      • Harriet 1.5.1

        “……Moderation and liberalisation does not tend to emerge from unjust and disproportionately violent actions…..”

        LOL Paddlepop.

        We burnt Horishima to the ground to get the message across!

        Are you really saying Japan is not moderate or liberal? Last time I looked Japan were best mates with the US!

        Anyway, what don’t you understand about the need for an Israeli PM to draw all of Helen Clark’s workmates a picture of a bomb?

        The last I read Israel’s new friends at the UN are all the countries of Africa.
        Y’know, the ones being invaded by muslim hoards – and killing the likes of school girls.

        The UN is derelict in it’s duty and kids have died because of it.

        13 yrs chanting a slogan ‘show restraint’? Unfucken believable!!!!

        • tricledrown 1.5.1.1

          The Reason why Muslims like bin laden radicalized was because of Israel’s treatment of Arab Israeli’s .
          harriet you have been on national TV before for fermenting racism.
          there is no answer to the Israeli problem fundamentalists are only aggravating the problem.
          the not so funny thing is at the heart of both religions peace love and humbleness its all BS the lunatic fanatics have taken over.harriet you are one of the lunatic fanatics!
          New Zealand needs to keep out of this.

        • Colonial Viper 1.5.1.2

          We burnt Horishima to the ground to get the message across!

          Are you really saying Japan is not moderate or liberal? Last time I looked Japan were best mates with the US!

          Burning Hiroshima to the ground huh. Nice. Japan is re-arming, with the encouragement of the USA. And as a culture it remains as xenophobic and insensitive as ever.

        • Psycho Milt 1.5.1.3

          The UN is derelict in it’s duty and kids have died because of it.

          Harriet managed a true statement in one of her comments! Sorry, it’s such a rarity I felt obliged to point it out.

        • Murray Olsen 1.5.1.4

          Harriet, if you see nuclear devastation as a worthwhile pedagogical tool, you are also very sick. Maybe you and grumpy could ask a therapist for a bulk discount?

        • Puddleglum 1.5.1.5

          Hi Harriet,

          That’s an interesting analogy with post-WWII Japan and the American occupation of it.

          The first difference between the two situations is that Japan was occupied for only seven years – both before and immediately after the occupation Japanese people had full sovereignty.

          The occupation also involved active efforts by the occupying allied force (essentially American) to restructure the society along democratic lines. (see this American university summary of the occupation).

          This restructuring included land reform so that farmers ceased to be tenants, making the emperor a ceremonial position, making the Diet the central political institution, reform of the education system, over-ruling the power of the male head of the household to determine children’s ability to marry and, importantly, ensuring a rapid economic recovery. Some reforms were revoked once sovereignty was regained.

          [As an aside, Dr Suess was impressed by the post-WWII reconstruction and restructuring of Japan with it in part inspiring ‘Horton Hears a Who’ – a paean to the power of individuals’ to be heard.]

          Compare this situation to the strategy that the Israeli governments have pursued during their occupation: still happening after almost fifty years; making the Palestinian economy dependent, controlled by Israel and heavily constrained; working against the development of democratic institutions; ensuring radicalisation by continued employment of force; rapid and extensive development of Israeli settlements in the occupied areas; privileging the security of those same settlers over that of the occupied people, etc..

          I don’t think the Israeli governments since 1967 have been modelling their actions on those of the Allies (U.S.) in Japan after WWII.

          The second difference of relevance is that the use of nuclear weapons – as horrific as it was – was part of a formal inter-state war. Israeli violent military offensives have been against an already occupied people.

          Imagine if the U.S. continued to drop Atomic bombs on Japan during the occupation when an occupying soldier might have been killed – to teach the local population a lesson. That would be close to an equivalent comparison. If the U.S. had acted in that way I’d suggest the occupation would not have turned out the way it did.

      • Weepus beard 1.5.2

        Well now, Grumpy has been shelling out compliments a lot today. First to vto on his mildly shocking but ultimately useless sound bite on slaves and the minimum wage, and now the wily old codger has buttered you up before attempting to coldly dismantle your heartfelt argument. Both of you swallowed it!

        Yes, it’s been a day of shelling and compliments from Grumpy. A bit like in Gaza…

        …without the compliments.

  2. karol 2

    Well stated, Puddleglum.

    Sometime in the last week on Al Jazeera, I saw Ron Prosor, Israel Ambassador to the UN, give an incredible (not credible) speech.

    It’s here on youtube: Published on Jul 27, 2014: UN Security Council Media Stakeout Mr Ron Prosor Israel After UN Decision – UN LIVE WEB TV

    Early on in the speech, he said not to listen to the Hamas propaganda, while delivering a speech that was blatant Israel government propaganda – emotive – trying to put listeners in the position of being victimised by Hamas’s “terror” campaign: a campaign that uses “terror tunnels”, kidnapping, and rockets to deliver terror to kindergartens and homes in Israel.

    As the speech progresses, Prosor kept repeating, “If it’s quiet in Israel, it’ll be quiet in Gaza”. He meant that if Hamas’s campaign of terror, with its terror tunnels and rockets was stopped, Israel would stop attacking Gaza. However, the catch cry could be taken in another way. If it’s “quiet in Israel”, it would mean Gaza had no way of giving voice against against the enslavement and oppression of people in Gaza.

    • Grumpy 2.1

      Any views on FGM as practiced in Gaza? Forced child marriage? Or would you sooner comment on their allies ISIS rapes, murders of women and children. We are heading to the point where the left will need to chose, submit to Islam or side with the West.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Are you saying Israel is fighting for the freedom of women in Gaza? Citations needed.

        • Grumpy 2.1.1.1

          Israel is a secular society with Western values, it is fighting for survival. They are the forefront of the fight between western civilization and a medieval theocracy. The left have to chose what they believe in, those values are shared by Israel, ruthlessly crushed by Islamists such as Hamas.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Israel is NOT a “secular society” fighting for “western values”. Are you nuts?

            Israel is a apartheid security state where if you happen to be of the correct race and religion then yes, you get to live in a reasonably liberal democracy. However, if you are not, you’re screwed on a daily basis. Further more, the 10% of the extreme religious right wing dictate government policy on the destruction of Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of the country.

            How is that fighting for “western values” (unless of course you mean western colonial values).

          • Foreign Waka 2.1.1.1.2

            Grumpy, you are very wrong. Israel is run by Zionists and is very much a religious/military run state. Whether the left or the man on the moon, we all have to decide what IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG from a human point of view. If we can’t, we are as guilty as the ones bombing children. Its actually quite clear, but the political will is not there and the economic benefit of a war is just too sexy. 2 WW did not teach any lessons. Only this time it really would affect all of the globe.
            wikipedia.org/wiki/Eretz_Israel will give you some insight on the claim to land that Israel is claiming. Do you really belief that all other country leaders will sit on their hands while this is going on?

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2.1

              FW, sitting on their hands while their Palestinian brethren are getting smashed appears to be exactly what nominally Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan are doing.

              • Foreign Waka

                This seem to be the case, indeed. But I wonder whether this will last.

                Saudi Arabia is “friends” with Britain who also gave the Zionists the land that is today Israel. Jordan’s principality is under pressure and threat to find the same faith as Irak or shall I say the formally known Persian kingdom. Egypt is in turmoil as was instigated and the northern most profitable land strip is being eyed by Israel. Lebanon is in constant was for decades and is also only a ‘short while” away for the pickings by Israel – whole and fully.
                Saudi Arabia is the homeland of the Wahhabi faith that is in effect the very faith that embodies radical Islam. This faith in turn is being implemented in a number of countries around the middle east and responsible for so much suffering.
                Any land loss to Israel also means a loss of the religious expansion of the radical Islamic movement. Naturally this concept is being sold as the war on terror and hence the killing of Palestinians is being condoned by so many. The question is for how long will this go on until the people who inhabit the middle east will say enough is enough. One needs to understand that they are a lot more anchored in their religious faith then the west will ever be.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The other dynamic is the politically deadlocked and gradually deteriorating physical and economic situation in the USA. The change there will affect the entire ME.

          • Tom Jackson 2.1.1.1.3

            Israel gradually stopped being a secular society with Western values sometime in the last decade and a half. The Knesset now contains a significant faction of openly racist and fascist parties. This isn’t your old Labor Zionism.

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Obviously genocide is an appropriate response to forced child marriage.

        • Grumpy 2.1.2.1

          When the Islamics hide amongst the civilian population, what other answer is there?

          • Stephanie Rodgers 2.1.2.1.1

            Lies.
            http://www.thenation.com/article/180783/five-israeli-talking-points-gaza-debunked

            In fact, only Israeli soldiers have systematically used Palestinians as human shields. Since Israel’s incursion into the West Bank in 2002, it has used Palestinians as human shields by tying young Palestinians onto the hoods of their cars or forcing them to go into a home where a potential militant may be hiding.

            Like Puddleglum says, if you think using civilians as human shields justifies aggression when Hamas (mythically) does it, you must agree it justifies aggression when Israel does it.

            • Grumpy 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Bigger picture Steph. Are you on the side of liberal egalitarian democratic society or a patriarchal theocracy which as a matter of faith abuses women, children and all those of the “wrong favour”.
              I note, as probably you do too, that a large numbers of leftie commentators here, many of them known for their impeccable left wing credentials and insight, refrain from commenting on this issue. It seems that the left is split on this one.

              • Colonial Viper

                As I said, Israel is an apartheid security state. If you are of the right race and religion, then yes, institutional and social privilege ensures that life is pretty good.

          • locus 2.1.2.1.2

            Hamas are not hiding in gaza. It is their country and the people they are amongst are their families. They are not extreme in any way that you suggest. The real extremists are the israelis who believe its ok to murder children and families in their homes schools and hospitals

        • mickysavage 2.1.2.2

          Wow you actually agreed with my proposition. And you think that genocide is appropriate.

          • Grumpy 2.1.2.2.1

            Once upon a time the left stood up for their core beliefs against fascism – Franco’s Spain. They knew the tide of Fascism needed to be stopped but were ahead of their time. Switch now to the tide of Islamism and Israel.

            • mickysavage 2.1.2.2.1.1

              What about fundamentalist christians who also have barbaric views on women. Should we kill them too?

              • greywarbler

                @ mickeysavage 10.02
                Can I ask that you leading commenters spend the extra seconds to give the pseudo and time/number (whichever is the shortest or available) of the person sparking your comment.

                I think that the blog has been going long enough to step up the practices for an even better value to regular members of the community. As there are more informative serious discussions there is need to indicate each source of their argument steps as I have above.

                This would not be used by those indulging themselves in simple slanging interchanges but they aren’t important anyway.

                • mickysavage

                  Sorry GW. Part of the problem with nested comments is you reply to the comment immediately above you and then a hundred comments suddenly appear in the discussion.

            • locus 2.1.2.2.1.2

              If israel really were a participating nation in the civilised world they would have complied with international laws, would comply with UN resolutions would not be controlling palestinians as a prisoners in a cage, and would value every palestinian child’s life as dearly as they do one of their own children. Grumpy, if your twisted world view were only 1% right which thank goodness it isnt, i would choose to be on the side that would never ever justify the slaughter of children whatever the supposed provocation.

            • Shona 2.1.2.2.1.3

              Zionism IS Fascism you moron. There are none so blind as those who will not see. After much research these last 10 years and having had a Christian upbringing , I do not accept or support Israel’s right to exist.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’d say there is an argument for Israel to exist within the borders set in 1947 and as agreed by the UN. Even then however, the Palestinians got an entirely raw deal, and Israeli propaganda at the time “A land without a people and a people without a land (referring to the Jews themselves)” was an utter lie making the indigenous Palestinians a non-people.

                • Murray Olsen

                  There is no argument acceptable to me that Zionist Israel should exist anywhere on the planet. That’s analogous to saying Nazi Germany had a right to exist after WW2. Germany did, but the Nazi bit had to be cleansed. It’s the same with Israel – whatever state ends up there needs to be secular and democratic, with equal rights for all citizens, whatever their ethnic origin. This will happen when Palestinians and reasonable Israelis realise that Zionism is their common enemy. The new state would probably need a new name, and would be socialist. I can’t see a two state solution working in any sense other than basically what we see at the moment – a jailer state and some prison camps, constantly shrinking in size.

          • Pascals bookie 2.1.2.2.2

            Yeah he does. Read his comments.

            I can’t see how, if he isn’t just trolling, he could disagree with Breivik’s actions.

            Breivik believed the West was facing an existential threat from Islamists, that western civilisation could not win against Islamist values in pluralist society and that sharia was coming to Europe. Laughable ideas, but he believed them, and that the ‘left’ were going to allow it to happen, so he did something about it.

            Because “what other answer is there?”

            • Grumpy 2.1.2.2.2.1

              Oh, save us. Is Breivic the new “Godwin”. There are lunatics everywhere, he would have found a great home in ISIS.
              Interestingly, the Scandanavian Nazis all seem to be fighting for the Ukraine Government now.

              • Pascals bookie

                Come on Grumpy. Which side are you on. Breivik believed all the stuff you’ve been saying here. Do you actually believe it, or are you just using the deaths in Gaza to troll lefties on a blog?

              • felix

                New Godwin? Oh, you mean a new excuse to run away from a discussion by demanding that no-one compare your horrible ideas to anyone else’s similar horrible ideas?

                Weird objection from the guy who advocates genocide, starting with the children.

      • Daveosaurus 2.1.3

        So, Grumpy at 2.1, what are your views on genital mutilation in general, and in particular that variation practiced in Israel?

    • swordfish 2.2

      @ karol (at 2)

      “If it’s “quiet in Israel”, it would mean Gaza had no way of giving voice against the enslavement and oppression of people in Gaza.”

      I read a careful, methodical, academic study a few years ago that showed conclusively that whenever there are extended periods of quiet for Israel / lulls in violence, Israel actually extends its occupation at a more rapid pace. Not, of course, surprising to many of us who know about Israel’s long-standing aims and objectives. But important to remember for those in danger of being taken in by the “If only they stopped raining rockets down on Israeli kids they’d have all the peace they could want” nonsense emanating from people like Grumpers.

      Another scholarly study came out shortly after Israel’s previous mass murder in Gaza (early 09) that found Israel was responsible for the overwhelming majority of breakdowns of both formal and informal ceasfires and lulls in violence. More than 80% if I remember rightly.

      Israel prefers, of course, to look for any old pretext it can find in order to launch attacks it’s been pre-planning for months, if not years.

  3. Glenn 3

    Over 1,200 deaths, with injuries to 2,000 children, 1,170 women, and 257 elderly. This is bloody butchery by the Israeli military.

    • Tautoko Viper 3.1

      Shame on the murderous Zionist government. Shame on the US for supporting and supplying weapons to Israel. Shame on our PM for not closing down the Israeli embassy.

  4. After living with Muslims for many years and never having been forced into marriage, wearing veils or stopped from drinking alcohol I have the greatest trouble with Grumpie’s assertion that just because in some Muslim countries different rules apply some of whom we don’t like it is OK to bomb them, their children or steal their properties.

    I remember the stories my mother told me when she made an epic journey through Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan with her knitting in one hand and her suitcase in another with just public transport to get around with, on how she was invited into peoples homes for the night, fed wonderful meals and helped to her next destination by people she never had never met before and whom she would never meet again. She was never stoned, kidnapped, spat upon or otherwise abused because she was a lone woman, without a veil, smoking and possibly drinking knowing my mum and basically being an uncouth Western woman traveling all by her lonesome.

    That was of course before we started to bomb their countries and telling porkies about all their bad habits to justify the slaughter, destruction and DU pollution of their countries for oil and other treasure.

    Here are some links you might check up on:

    Who killed the three teens in the WEST BANK (not Gaza)?

    Russia (Oh oops the same one now accused of downing a plane) signs deal with Gaza to start drilling for Gas

    Hamas of course was a Israeli creation. Here is the global research article and here is a Wall street Journal article stating the same albeit in somewhat more careful wording.

    ISIS with all its incredible weaponry is a USA, Kuwait, Saudi creation to be used to split up Iraq into three separate entities and possibly to help split up Iran and Syria too. A nice follow up on the Balkanization of former Yugoslavia.

    Big united countries are after all hard to conquer or manipulate but small tribal areas? Hey, no problem. You just bribe the leaders or bomb the shit out of them.

  5. vto 5

    Well posted puddleglum.

    I fear for the jews when their nation state acts like this – murdering children. It gives excuse for those who wish to act on their bigotries towards jews.

    The jewish nation needs a Nelson Mandela, not a Netanyahu / H1tler.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Yes. Everyone should study this Puddleglum post as an exercise in reasoning.

      Personally I feel awful for all the ordinary people caught up in this endless, maddening cycle of horror and grief on both sides. And most especially the people in Gaza who have suffered (in the most visceral sense of that word) for generations.

      If thought that by typing out how I felt about this it would make the tiniest difference I would.

      For a long time I have had some sympathy for the difficult situation Israel was born into, and has struggled with ever since. It’s neighbours have never been friends, it’s population and politics fractious and problematic.

      Yet now I see this desperately troubled nation, one that has absorbed a massively disproportionate share of attention (for all the wrong reasons) – bent on a course that cannot have a good outcome. Indeed it can only make a very bad situation worse.

      And morally bankrupt itself beyond all redemption for exactly the reasons Puddleglum has so clearly stated.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        I think you are being a tad too romantic. The founding of Israel and the ethnic cleansing required to set up the initial Israeli state in 1947-1948 (including civilian massacres by the Haganah etc., the forced displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, and the confiscation of all their lands, homes, factories and businesses) means that sympathy to Israel on moral grounds should be sparse indeed.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          True enough CV.

          Yet none of that happened in isolation. It has to be seen in the context of two catastrophic World Wars that had been the cause of at least 80 million deaths and monstrous destruction globally.

          It’s too easy for us to judge from our more comfortable perspective half a century later.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            The context of WWII and the mass displacement, dispossession and massacre of civilian Jews during that time, and the world knowing the horrors which resulted from all that, makes what subsequently happened in Palestine morally worse, not morally better.

          • Chooky 5.1.1.1.2

            @RedLogix

            Jews for Justice would NOT argue that what happened to Jews in WWII..(and please , please lets not forget the others! eg Gypsies, Communists, those Germans and Poles and others who opposed Hitler , the disabled and handicapped , women who had abortions, Gays…who were exterminated as well as the Jews) …is justification for what the Israelis have done and are doing are doing to the Palestinians…in other words more ‘war crimes’.!

            Jews for Justice gives the History of Palestine and Israel

            http://www.wrmea.org/special-topics/366-special-topics/jews-for-justice/5695-the-complete-text-of-the-origin-of-the-palestine-israel-conflict.html

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      The jewish nation needs a Nelson Mandela, not a Netanyahu / H1tler.

      Not quite. Israel needs an F.W. de Klerk.

      • Daveosaurus 5.2.1

        Israel had one, once. They murdered him.

        • swordfish 5.2.1.1

          If you’re talking about Rabin, Dave, that’s pure myth.

          The supposedly “dovish” Israeli Labour Party is no better than the Likudnik Right. Rabin has much to answer for (and I’m not only talking about his central involvement in the violent oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1947-48 and through the 50s, 60s and 70s) . The Israeli Labour-led Governments of the 90s (Rabin, Peres, Barak) were actually worse than the Likudnik Right in massively extending and consolidating the occupation of the West Bank, building that whole network of Israeli-Settler-only highways throughout Occupied Palestinian territory. All, of course, happened during the so-called “Peace Process”, which Rabin had always conceived of as a fundamental Arafat surrender to Israeli terms.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Hamas is itself a product of Israeli terror. The Palestinians are not allowed to effectively organise a civilian government in peace. Every time they try, Israel assassinates it’s leaders and attacks the Palestinians. Hamas is part of the problem insofar as it is the deliberate creation of an Israeli policy designed to keep the Palestinian peoples fractured, leaderless, and radicalised. Israel knows “the Palestinians” can’t control Hamas. Hamas itself is kept in a constant state of disorder and factionalisation. The policy of Israel towards controlling the Palestinians is exactly the same as any racist slave holding state like the Confederacy or Apartheid South Africa has always been – keep the subjugated people ignorant, hopeless, leaderless, and supine and when the despair wells up in disorganised anger crush any revolt against their masters with ruthless and massively disproportionate force.

    People often compare Israel’s attitude to the Palestinians to a slower version of the Nazi genocide against the Jews, but I think a closer comparison is the fearful siege mentality and violent racism of the Confederacy or apartheid South Africa.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Spot on. One of the key goals of this Israeli military campaign is to leave the Palestinians with no political voice or effectiveness. Hence the levelling of major Palestinian government buildings, including the Finance Ministry.

      And it was the prospect of having to negotiate with the new Palestinian unity government (Fatah + Hamas) whose Cabinet was sworn in on Jun 2 which IMO prompted Israel to launch this horrendous campaign against Gaza.

      Israel is not interested in a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians: other one where Palestinians are completely supine and the last 15%-20% of remaining Palestinian lands are handed over to Israel.

  7. greywarbler 7

    The radio has just given the news that President Obama has blamed Hamas for the latest breakdown of whatever was being slapped together as a pause in the blood-letting by the Israelis. How despicable from the United States of America. Are they united in this, all the States? Is there some decency left in pockets in that country.
    Not in the deep monetary pockets though, I am not referring to those.

  8. I guess we should actually be grateful to grumpy for helping illustrate the sheer irrationality of the defences people come up with for these reprisals against civilians by the occupying power in Gaza.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    The Palestinians are living under armed occupation by a massively well funded and armed colonial state. In the formation of this state, multiple terrorist militia groups numbering in the tens of thousands of armed men took away from Palestinians their land and raze to the ground the towns and villages that they were born in. Multiple massacres of Palestinian civilians by terrorist groups occurred in the time 1947-1948 in order to facilitate ethnic cleansing of the land.

    Palestinian homes and farms were confiscated and given to Jewish settlers from Europe. The colonists are now militarily suppressing the indigenous Palestinians (calling it “self defence”), treating them as second class citizens subject to different laws and segregation, as well as forcing ritual and institutional humiliations upon them.

    However, this all makes more sense if you see that the founders of Israel started with the idea that Palestine should not exist in any form, and that the entire land mass from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean should be 100% Israeli controlled and dominated.

    In other words, what we are seeing play out now in Gaza is entirely consistent with the true history and attitudes of Israel.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    Grumpy is correct in his reading of the issues. The Islamists do not demonstrate an interest in Peace. Rather, they are interested in assorted climates of terror. Terror is what they stand for. Bolstered by a Theocratic Fascism. Wherever they are, the war mongering Islamists are corrosive, untrustworthy, disruptive and murderous.

    It is therefore silly of Pud (or anyone else) to deny the Jewish people the right to effective self defence.

    If you have trouble with this, write down on a piece of paper the Arab countries run by Arabs, and list the brutal wars they rage.

    One further point. The big killer of children in the modern world is United States of America; Britain and her residual colonies under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth; Canada and Australia with verbal support from New Zealand. The English speaking nations are the big killers. Their pilots are fed happy drugs while they fly high in the sky bombing women and children without any hesitation whatsoever. Thousands and thousands and thousands of dead little bodies.

    They are the nations too, which set landmines that kill endless numbers of kids. Absolutely no problem to the English Speakers. They don’t even clean up their ballistic mess.

    By contrast, Israel defends itself without the incredible carnage fostered by the USA and Britain.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The Israelis are not engaged in self defence. They are engaged in a brutal colonial suppression of local peoples whose land and homes they have forcibly and militarily taken.

    • Puddleglum 10.2

      Hi Observer (Tokoroa),

      It is therefore silly of Pud (or anyone else) to deny the Jewish people the right to effective self defence.

      Let’s consider, for now, the idea that this current assault is about self-defence.

      The present approach to ‘self-defence’ has been tried repeatedly by Israel and yet we are still at the point where Israel needs to defend itself. This means that this approach to self-defence hasn’t (yet) worked in achieving a long-term, secure situation for Israel. Israel has blockaded Gaza, patrolled its coast, regularly overflown its territory and periodically attacked it from the air and the ground. Yet, still, the will and the capacity to fire rockets remains.

      In other words, the current approach is not “effective self defence” since the threat has continued under that approach.

      And how could it be effective? After all, the degree of threat Israel faces from the rockets is minimal. By that I mean that it is the classic ‘asymmetric’ threat that is extremely difficult – because of its low-tech, low level scale – to completely eliminate. (If the threat came, for example, from a Palestinian air force Israel could just bomb the planes on the ground and destroy the air force.)

      The level of force being used by Israel to eliminate this low level of threat has, if you like, a diminishing rate of return, as it escalates, and that return will never get to the point of entirely eliminating this kind of threat.

      All the current offensive will achieve is the certainty that, at the least, just this level of threat and, hence, ‘insecurity’ for Israel will continue into the future.

      For this reason, I’ve come to the conclusion that this continual use of the same extremely brutal and indiscriminate strategy by successive Israeli governments cannot possibly be aimed at self defence or long-term security. To suggest it is would be to insult the intelligence of Israeli leaders.

      Such a complete level of security – one in which no rockets are ever fired – can only come through good relations with the countries and people of the region. It simply cannot be achieved through military might especially when that might seems designed systematically to destroy good relations with the populations in the areas closest to Israel and effectively under its control.

      Consider Europe. Until the last fifty to sixty years it was one of the most war torn of continents. Yet, today, at least West of the Balkans, formal war no longer occurs. Why? I think the answer is obvious. The degree of integration ensures that few interests are served by war anymore.

      Similarly, Israeli security ultimately depends upon that country’s integration into the region in which it exists. An integration that is economic, social, cultural and political (through formal agreements between sovereign entities). An integration that is comprehensive. Such integration would – as in Europe – ensure that few interests are served by conflict.

      The current strategy does not advance that integration.

    • greywarbler 10.3

      @Observer Tokoroa 11.46
      Just because you live in the country doesn’t mean that you can’t inform yourself of the reality of what is going on. Your rambling discussion taking pot shots at your favoured targets isn’t backed up with definite facts. They may be right but how do you prove that you know what you are talking about.

      And this statement smells to high heaven. (Do Jews believe in heaven?)
      By contrast, Israel defends itself without the incredible carnage fostered by the USA and Britain.

  11. The existence of Israel is both a provocation and a war crime in itself.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/for-socialist-palestine.html

  12. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Nothing justifies this

  13. Red Rosa 13

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-soueif-gaza-israel-20140801-story.html

    When opinion pieces like this run in the LAT, it is possible that a seismic shift in world attitudes is under way. This latest Gaza Massacre is getting real attention.

  14. blue leopard 14

    Thanks for the post, Puddleglum – I enjoy your thoughtfulness on a lot of subjects.

    What is going on is a complete war crime. It is unbelievable that it has been allowed to continue this long without seriously firm interjection by many countries.

    I just really don’t think this would be happening if America and Israel didn’t have the symbiotic relationship that they do.

  15. blue leopard 15

    I wonder how the heck we can stop this from occurring?

    There is an Avaaz petition on this for anyone who hasn’t already signed it. It is to apply pressure on companies that involve themselves in the illegal settlement process.

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow

    So far 1, 590, 530 people have signed it.

  16. joe90 16

    The mask slips.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/1-samuel-1518/

    (Both the deleted post and the second are part of user generated content much like Stuff’s awful your views.)

  17. Ad 17

    I don’t see anything wrong with blowing up tunnels that funnel rockets. It’s also morally very helpful to have the cruelty of war scrutinised in detail by television reporters – few are as embedded as the tv reporters in Iraq or Afghanistan. Most wars are morally indefensible. Israel has lost the propaganda war.

    So now put yourself in the shoes of the Israeli Prime Minister or his advisors, even now.

    The region from Libya to Iraq to Sudan is in flames. All around Israel every country has decades ahead in which governments and societies are accelerating into entropic chaos, extremism, minimal and tyrannical states, economic collapse and the dissolution of most civil society. This is the Shell Scenario in which the centre does not hold, etc.

    The religious proxy war in Syria between Saudi and Iranian-backed militants may still collapse into permanent and even broader civil war. Saudi Arabia could weaken enough for the royal family to fracture. The UN will not intervene and will only provide humanitarian aid. The US is conflicted right across the region and cannot decide who on any side is the more extreme, and so fails to propose the same strong intervention it managed to find for Iraq and Afghanistan (objectionable as they both were).

    Would you in that context advise the Israeli PM an otherwise clearly disproportionate military response to ensure the whole of the Hamas military capacity is eradicated? How long do you keep going with the military operation when the whole of the muslim world and its media, and many of the western media, are going to burn your global reputation for years and years? Is this like the Six Day War where they kept pressing into Syria close to Damascus until the final text of the UN resolution had passed? How long do you keep going?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Until the campaign of ethnic cleansing which begun in 1947 is finally completed, and the Hebrew land of Israel spans without interruption in it’s rightful place from the Jordan River right through to the Mediterranean, as the Kingdom of David once stood.

      • Murray Olsen 17.1.1

        Eretz Israel has expanded now, CV. They claim from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and well into Egypt. Stopping at the Jordan was that weak liberal Menachim Begin’s idea. God has promised Bibi more. They are mad, aggressive, and think they are untouchable. I hate to think how extreme they’ll be in another 10 years.

        • miravox 17.1.1.1

          “I hate to think how extreme they’ll be in another 10 years.”

          It would make complaining about an islamic caliphate a bit redundant (note to some – to spell it out, this sentence does not in any way shape or form express approval of the idea of an islamic caliphate).

          I guess if the the left wants to support liberal egalitarian democratic values it needs to support liberal egalitarian democratic States, not Israel.

  18. Glenn 18

    “IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis
    Israel’s defence minister has confirmed that military plans to ‘uproot Hamas’ are about dominating Gaza’s gas reserves.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jul/09/israel-war-gaza-palestine-natural-gas-energy-crisis

    1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion and the Palestinians aren’t able to exploit it.

  19. locus 19

    “I don’t see anything wrong with blowing up tunnels that funnel rockets”

    The tunnels in gaza were dug to break the inhumane blockade of food medicine concrete etc into what is to most peoples minds a large prison camp. The tunnels allow people to have access to the basic staples of life that we in free countries take for granted.

    Yes the tunnels will also be used by fighters as well as civilian palestinians. But the best solution available to israel is not to bombard everywhere and then claim that all the civilian killing is a necessary collateral).

    Israel could open up the borders, help repair the schools and hospitals and homes they have destroyed, then use their massive technical resources to search find and justifiably seal the tunnels

  20. joe90 22

    Another example of the outright lies perpetrated by dishonest RWNJ’s and racists – this image posted on FB late last year of a man abusing two kids is purported to show children as human shields.

    (H/T to the bloke who found the photo on FB dated December 2013).

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  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
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  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
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  • Subsequent children legislation to change
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  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
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  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
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  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
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