Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gaza in Ten Points

Here is a compact list of ten points that tells you everything you need to know about the current conflict. Please share it with those who would benefit from it.

1. Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005, forcibly removing its citizens, and leaving a multimillion dollar greenhouse agriculture industry for Palestinian economic development. The Gazans destroyed the greenhouses and voted Hamas into power, which promptly murdered its political rivals.

2. Hamas, sworn to the annihilation of Israel, has fired thousands of rockets into Israel, which are aimed at causing the maximum number of civilian deaths.

3. Hundreds of thousands of tons of cement and concrete were sent into Gaza as foreign aid for humanitarian purposes, such as for building homes and bomb shelters. Hamas used this to build terror tunnels for infiltrating into Israel and launching terrorist attacks.

4. Hamas' rockets aimed and fired at Israel's civilian airport have now caused all airlines (except El Al) to cease flying to Israel.

5. What does the world expect Israel to do? Sit back while rockets paralyze the country and shut down the airport, and wait for terrorists to enter through tunnels in order to target and massacre civilians?

6. As any country would do, Israel has attempted to destroy the rocket launchers and terrorists and terror tunnels.

7. In every war, there are civilian casualties. The US, Britain, and other NATO forces have caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

8. Israel has gone far beyond the US and UK in its attempts to minimize the number of collateral civilian deaths in this conflict, even to the extent of telling people in advance to evacuate areas that include military targets.

9. It is extremely difficult, however, to minimize civilian deaths, since Hamas deliberately fires rockets from civilian areas, including alongside schools and hospitals, and forces civilians to remain in these areas rather than to listen to Israel's warnings. Hamas is clearly and undeniably trying to maximize the number of civilian casualties amongst Palestinians, while Israel is trying to minimize them.

10. Thousands of Palestinians are dying under appalling cruelty inflicted upon them - in SyriaYet nobody seems to care. This shows that what fuels the global support for Palestinians is not sympathy for Palestinians, but hatred of Jews.

34 comments:

  1. "Thousands of Palestinians are dying under appalling cruelty inflicted upon them - in Syria. Yet nobody seems to care. This shows that what fuels the global support for Palestinians is not sympathy for Palestinians, but hatred of Jews."

    Have to disagree with the first part of #10. People do care about what is happening in Syria but there is little that can be done against the Assad regime short of actually sending in troops. Israel, on the other hand, has a very close economic & military relationship with the US, so folks think that more leverage can be brought to bear on the miserable conditions in Gaza via divestment, boycotts, etc.

    I don't disagree with the second part of #10.

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    1. The UN Human Rights Council unanimously condemned Israel for 'genocide' in Gaza. It said nothing of the crimes against humanity in syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, afghanistan, Turkey etc....

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  2. I think the second part of #10 drives the point home. The world would not remain happy while State of Israel continues to exist, no matter in what shape or form. Once it stops existing, most would turn a blind eye to anything befalling on the Jews, just as they do now (see Paris as latest example). The world like dead or powerless Jews, the world hates the Jews who fight back.

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    1. Hollande is turning anything but a blind eye to the antisemitism in France. Too little too late perhaps, but what you claim is not true.

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  3. you don't make sense. if you do not agree with the first part of the statement, then you are in effect saying that the lack of world response to syria DOES NOT SHOW a lack of sympathy to the palestinians (and hate for jews) rather that there is no way to influence syria because we have no leverage on them (as apposed to israel where is a lot of leverage).
    shimmy miller

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  4. No evidence for your point #8 as the Afghan and Iraq campaigns average daily civilian fatality rate across a far wider theatre is lower than that in Gaza.

    Neither the UK nor the US would have authorised an intense ten hour artillery barrage on a suburb of a major city. It's the kind of lunacy that almost led to missile strikes on Syria. The fact that obama despatched war ships to carry out the missile strike showa that your #10 inter alia is rubbish - it's not anti Semitism, it's the dead children - stop crying wolf.

    #6 is only partially true because non military targets such as commander's homes are being hit to nugatory military effect for ostensibly purposes of vengeance.

    Elements of this piece smack of smug indifference to dead children. I look at my own daughter sleeping peacefully and I think how different things would be in Gaza.

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    1. Of course the situation is different depending on the density of population and willingness of terrorists to embed themselves amongst civilians. If vast numbers of Al-Qaeda embedded itself in a suburb, you can be sure that the US would have done an intense artillery barrage.

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    2. Moshe Dick writes:
      Moniker- Allow me to disagree from your cozy view of American and British armies being so merciful. Let us not even go as far back as WWII, with its Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo (firebombed), Hiroshima,etc and let s look at very recent history- Vietnam- bombed by millions of tons and napalm, Iraq 1991- tens of thousands of civilans killed and again in 2002. Yes, those civilians included women and little children. And those self-righteous french-check what they did in Algeria...How about the Falkland war? British clemency in the guise of torpedoing a boat full of hundreds of people...and don't tell me about Syria, Bosnia, etc....
      Your imaginary war that does not kill non-combatants is a chimera..

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    3. @Moniker: Civilians were ordered to evacuate, and the residential neighborhoods contain command posts, spare ammunition, weapons, rocket launchers and heavy artillery. Due to Hamas's own actions, such residential areas are considered to be legitimate military target in international law.

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    4. @Natan. I hate arguing hypotheticals but in this case I don't have to. Google "Operation Phantom Fury"

      @Reb Moishe Dick. I don't doubt that the British and Americans committed war crimes during WW2. Little good it did them - the German population bore the firebombing with stoicism, and in fact it may have galvanised support for Hitler. Industrial production in Germany actually increased, and in general the whole campaign was a strategic failure - a waste of aircrew, bombers, and bombs - as was the German Blitz on Britain. The self righteous French likewise committed war crimes in Algeria and still lost - as did the British in Palestine. Your comment about the sinking of the cruiser General Belgrano a few hundred miles from heavily laden troopships headed for the Falklands is frankly bizarre - it was clearly a military target. I'm not sure what events in Bosnia you refer to but NATO did not indiscriminately fire prophylactically at any event in that campaign to the best of my knowledge, I'm glad you brought up all these historical references because they are very instructive.

      @Yehuda_H - Hamas also ordered civilians to evacuate Tel Aviv. It's not sufficient to issue a warning, and then claim immunity when the orders aren't followed. I would have intimidated the population out of the area by advancing bulldozers in force and firing star shells and similar into the area. In fact all indications show that the Shujei'ah operation was intended as a single battalion pinprick until it all went so very wrong - the orders for the evacuation were hopeful and not intended to be obeyed. The reaction to the tragic losses of our soldiers was indiscriminate, sustained, unaimed area fire. Judging by the casualties we continue to take in this sector, this fire achieved precious little of military value, and left tens of families dead.

      Don't get me wrong. I agree with dropping a bomb on a hospital ward above a command bunker full of high value targets and killing 20 civilians in the process. I do have a problem with dropping thousands of shells over a wide area on the basis that at least a few of those killed will be combatants.

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    5. Moshe Dick writes:
      Moniker: thank you for responding constructively to my points. Just a quick point about the Belgrano. it was indeed a warship but I remember distinctly how outraged the Argentinians were about this (700 deaths, etc!). Yet, the British did not hesitate to sink the ship with hundreds of deaths as a result.
      As far as the other points. You are writing seventy years after the fact and you have no real facts about the mood of the Germans during the bombings, Contrary to your inference, the Germans did not just bear it stoically. Why do you think there was the well known attempt to murder Hitler YM"S on July 20,1944? the officers involved knew the war was lost and tried to save something from the wreckage. And.last time I looked, the Japanese did surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The point of the french in Algeria is not whether they lost or not , The general point I made was that all nations at war do not wring their hands and hesitate to bomb the enemy, even if many civilians are killed. I hate to mention it, but the germans did the same in WWII and were actually were succesful in intimidating the occupied nations with their brutal repression and retribution.
      We are very far from this in the present gaza campaign but, contrary to your point, war is waged in a very brutal way and ultimately the victor uses every means at his disposal,even it leads to many civilian deaths.
      Lastly, about the blitz- the British indeed survived- although I wonder what would have happened if Hitler YM"S did not turn his attention to Soviet Russia. And do remember that a very special person-Churchill- led the resistance and who knows what would have happened under different leadership (Lord Halifax, for example)

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    6. Um, Moniker, are you that stupid or that evil? You do know that during Phantom Fury almost the entire city was cleared (not an option with Hamas, you know?), and then they heavily shelled it and still killed 800 civilians?

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    7. It is remarkable that despite Germany's obviously hopeless position in 1944 that Hitler remained in control of his forces. The shock value of deploying a destructive force the world has never been witness to before worked in Rotterdam and Japan, but this was the exception not the rule - look at the Wikipedia article on terror bombing. I already mentioned I hate arguing hypotheticals, but the reason the Germans stopped their aerial preparations for invasion was because they lost the battle of britain. The decision to invade Russia arose from that defeat, not the other way around.

      I am not for hand wringing. I am simply pointing out the clear religious, ethical and diplomatic imperative of avoiding civilian deaths.

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    8. HeadOn - why isn't city clearance am option? We have a moral obligation to help civilians escape to a place of safety, there is plenty of space in s. Israel or the west bank to set up a refugee camp. Why is heavy artillery being used prophylactically? The Americans fired only on identified targets. And do you think that if - when - we clear Gaza city proper that casualties of over 600 civilians incured to date on the outskirts won't be quadrupled many times over if we carry on this way? There is nothing evil about upholding the value of human life.

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  5. "It is extremely difficult, however, to minimize civilian deaths, since Hamas deliberately fires rockets from civilian areas, including alongside schools and hospitals, and forces civilians to remain in these areas rather than to listen to Israel's warnings. Hamas is clearly and undeniably trying to maximize the number of civilian casualties amongst Palestinians, while Israel is trying to minimize them."

    Going to have to disagree here. Hamas isn't forcing civilians to do anything. The "civilians" willfully run to protect the rocket launch sites and other terror targets with their bodies. The IDF has repeadely warned them to flee areas targetted for air strikes and they refuse to do so. As you yourself stated already, the people of Gaza "voted Hamas into power". They democratically elected Hamas to represent them and all recent polls have clearly demonstarted that they fully support Hamas's actions. Hamas didn't force those schools, mosques, and hospitals to house their weapons caches. The people of Gaza, WHO ARE UNITIED WITH HAMAS, willfully allow them to do so because they support the cause. It is wrong to try to present the people of Gaza as separate from Hamas and as innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. The real problem here is THE PEOPLE who care more about killing Jews than their own lives. These are sick, twisted minds that have been indoctrinated since birth to hate Jews and Israel and are doing all that they can to hurt us (which includes committing suicide under our bombs and blaming Israel for it). Let's stop disseminating the lie of the innocent civilians in Gaza.

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    1. While there's certainly truth to what you write, I just saw a video of Hamas beating people with clubs, described as those who were trying to evacuate. But I'm not 100% sure that the video was described accurately - can someone confirm?

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    2. Yehuda. Your own mind has persuaded you that every Gazan is fair game. Is it therefore OK to kill you?

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    3. Ariel: The civilians of Gaza are not to blame for voting in Hamas (who won 44% of Palestinian votes, Fatah got 41%) . We don't know how clearly the people of Gaza understand what Hamas stands for (how educated do you think they actually are?) Most importantly, Hamas is the religious group as opposed to Fatah which is secular. It must be a tough decision for religious Muslims to make when voting in leaders. How can we judge the majority? Palestinians are very confused about life. They are not all evil just because many hate Israel. If anything, they have good reasons to do so, because in 1948, Israel drove many of them out of their homes and land. My friend, your view is extreme, and narrow minded. You should try to make peace with the PEOPLE and show them love and create good relationships with them if possible. That is the rational approach for Shalom.

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    4. We all talk as if all the people of Gaza are to blame, but we don't know how educated they are and how much they truly understand what Hamas is about. Further, we don't know just how coerced they were into voting for Hamas. Most importantly, since many residents are religious Muslims, I'd imagine they would vote for Hamas over the other secular groups, because Hamas is devoutly religious.

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  6. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-hamas-fires-those-rockets-2014-7

    Why Hamas Fires Those Rockets

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    1. So from this article, we're supposed to believe that if Israel would have kept the terms of the last "cease fire" in 2012 and lifted the blockade, that Hamas would have diverted all the resources that they dedicate for building tunnels and rockets to peaceful purposes?

      It's clear that they use cease-fires only to rearm and get longer range missles. (They can reach Nahariya now.) We really never should have tolerated Hamas rule in Gaza even for one day after their forceful takeover in 2007 (even though Abbas is not really that much more moderate--at least we have a signed agreement with the PA).

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  7. There are no "civilians" in Gaza. There is no army, no uniforms, no nothing. Every terrorist is a civilian. Thus, although there is plenty of lies in everything they say, they are not lying when they speak of how many civilians have been killed. In their eyes, all their fighters are civilians.

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    1. That's what they say about us. Are you suggesting we apply their genocidal response to this argument - or are you prepared to consider leveraging our overwhelming superiority in the air and with armoured forces to fight a measured, considered campaign in which fire is only directed at identified targets, although this will undoubtedly present severe difficulties to our soldiers?

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    2. Hamas argues that since there is a compulsory draft in Israel, all Israelis are soldiers, and they're all rightful targets.

      They of course ignore the fact that every party in the Knesset, even the furthest right-wing one at present, Bayit Yehudi, recognizes (on paper, at least) that there should be a Palestinian state, or autonomy. I am sure noone in Gaza recognizes that there should be any Jewish state. They look at the entire section as Islam--once it was under Islamic rule, it must remain that way forever.

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    3. Actually they don't say that about us, and why should I care what they say, anyway? Would that make any sense ? Israel has a clearly defined army, with proper uniforms and a chain of command. Civilians are clearly distinct. There is no comparison - whatsoever - to the Arab terrorist method, in which every soldier is a civilian.

      "Do not be over-righteous, and do not think yourself so wise." (Proverbs 7:16) Everyone understands the problem of 1.8 millions Arabs, don't think you're so special. But we are more concerned with our more than 8 million brothers and sisters in Israel.

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    4. Yehuda. I don't believe your pro-violence political opinions are sufficient reason to justify targeting you however dangerously misguided they may be. I would extend the same principle to Hama's supporters. I have no intention in engaging in a debate as to how many people in Gaza support Hamas or not because killing people for their beliefs rather than for their actions is a slippery slope leading to tyranny.

      Df. Your point about uniform seems weak. Are you suggesting that Hamas are justified in bombing us because some of our sayeret matkal soldiers are in Gaza out of uniform? And are you seriously suggesting that our 8 million would be better served by not being concerned with the 1.8 million Palestinians? What exactly are you advocating? Genocide?

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    5. Moniker: The only way this operation will be a success is if Hamas is removed from power. If Hamas would step down tomorrow, I assume we would stop bombing and pull out our forces. But, ultimately, setting up a government more to Israel's liking is also tyrannical--this, after all, is the government that the people of Gaza elected.

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    6. Yehudah. You bring out an important philosophical point. I'm not an absolutist for democracy whatever the price. Regime change is a less destructive way of changing the slide of the people of Gaza into nihilism than genocide.

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    7. Still, the best we can hope for (without Moshiach coming, that is) is that we get Abbas back in control in Gaza. But, this is not like removing Noriega from Colombia, or Saddam Hussein from Iraq--they were unpopular dictators, and the populace was willing to elect someone more to the US's liking. Even if Abbas gets control, he'll probably lose it again to Islamic Jihad. That's just Hamas under a different name.

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  8. The answer to the question in #5: Yes

    As my father used to say, the world loves Jewish funerals. Israel deprives them of that so they hate Israel.

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  9. The UN just found rockets in a school, for the second time in a week. It returned them to Hamas.

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  10. Moniker's history of World War II is WAY off. The strategic bombing of the Allies did IMMENSE damage to Germany. It is true that early studies right after the war tended to minimize its effect, but numerous recent studies have completely changed the picture and show that it played a critical role in the Allied victory. No, it could not win the war on its own as some of its proponents claimed at the time, and no, it did not lead to the overthrow of the Nazi regime, but studies show that it created massive demoralization and defeatism.
    Another myth is that it supposedly failed became arms production increased as the bombing went on. However, this is because Albert Speer took a very inefficient arms production system and rationalized it from 1942 on. He intended to increase production several times over yet it only increased 70% over the time of his tenure. It would have increased, FAR, FAR more had there been no strategic bombing.

    Also Moniker is wrong about the French being defeated in Algeria. Actually, they succeeded in suppressing the uprising. They pulled out for political reasons, just like the US in Vietnam after severely weakening the Viet Cong.

    Regarding Ariel's claim that the people of Gaza stand shoulder-to-shoulder with HAMAS. I disagree, the reality is far more complex. Sure, they all hate us, but HAMAS" reign of terror brings a lot of the "cooperation" of the civilian population. The regime comes up to a householder and says "we are storing rockets in your basement" or "we are building a tunnel under your kitchen". What choice does he have? Arabs go for the "strong horse". If they think HAMAS is winning, they will support them. However, if they see they are losing, they will turn on them. This is what happened to the popular Nasser after his disastrous defeat in the Six-Day War. That is why it is important for our leaders to understand that it must be seen that HAMAS is defeated. That will change the political climate.

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    1. Mr Ben David. I am going to leave the debate about the effectiveness of the strategic bombing campaign to the historians. You obviously know a lot about it, bring interested as I am in the history of warfare, and so you will be able to affirm that there are a range of respected opinions on the matter.

      It says a lot about you that you believe that the US won in Vietnam because they fielded more powerful forces, and that somehow, the fall of Vietnam into communism wasn't a real defeat as it was political. By the same token, the Soviets triumphed in Afghanistan. It is a fundamemtal misunderstanding of the nature of warfare as a means to a political goal rather than the goal itself. If it looks like a defeat, walks like a defeat and talks like a defeat - it was a defeat. Your failure to accept the stunningly obvious appears to be born from an fetishisation of military might. Sometimes the answer to political problems isn't the application of more force.

      I agree with you that this time there must be no victory for Hamas be snatched from their steady defeat. That means no mass casualty events; no hysteria when our own soldiers are killed or even captured - just steady, precise progress to recapture the strip and hand it or large blocs of if it over to the Europeans or to Abu Mazen, together with an economic package of peace dividends for the shattered locals.. If we lose our nerve we will be right back where we started in 2016.

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  11. Number 10 is perfectly valid. 2,000 civilians were killed by US and NATO in Serbia without the coalition forces suffering a single casualty. The world media doesn't care too much about justice or true victims, it cares to use civilian casualties to demonize the Jews.

    The day after the Malaysian plane was shot down there were over 40 civilians killed in Luhansk by Ukrainian Army bombardment. I'll bet that not a single person on this board has heard of it.

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