Opinion

The Great Debate

In Gaza war, lions led by donkeys?

By Bernd Debusmann
January 15, 2009

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own -

It’s not often that a senior member of Washington’s usually staid and cautious foreign policy establishment likens Israeli political leaders to donkeys and questions their competence. But the fighting in Gaza prompted Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies to do just that.

“Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s action seriously damage the U.S. position in the region, and hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process? To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.

“To paraphrase a comment about the British government’s management of the British Army in World War I, lions seem to be led by donkeys…The question is not whether the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) learned the tactical lessons of fighting in 2006 (in Lebanon). It is whether Israel’s top political leadership has even minimal competence to lead them,” he writes in an analysis on Gaza.

In Cordesman’s view, the leadership lacks a grand strategic purpose. Are the tactical gains the IDF is making in its assault on Hamas to stop it from firing rockets into Israel worth the political and strategic costs to the Jewish state?

Strong words from a respected authority on the Middle East, a member of an influential network of scholars who migrate from senior government jobs (his included director of intelligence assessment for the Secretary of Defense) to think tanks and from there often move back to government in Washington’s revolving door scene.

With the prospect of fighting in Gaza dragging on past next week’s inauguration of Barack Obama as the next U.S. president, analyses and advice have flowed freely on how the new administration should deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a problem that has plagued a string of presidents and shaped Arab perceptions that the U.S. backs Israel, no matter what.

Will the U.S. shift course under Obama? In her confirmation hearing this week, his nominee for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, ruled out negotiating with Hamas, the group Israel is fighting in Gaza, unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel. “That is just for me an absolute,” she said. No change on that front from George W. Bush.

No word either on Israeli settlements on the West Bank. They will remain standing once the guns fall silent in Gaza. Their continued growth – in violation of international law – bodes ill for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the so-called two state solution. In the past 15 years, the number of Israelis living on the West Bank rose from 116,000 to almost 300,000. In addition, another 190,000 Israelis live in the formerly Arab part of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

END WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS

If Obama is serious about making peace between Israelis and Palestinians, says Aaron David Miller, a scholar at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Institute, he will need to tackle the settlement question. In the past, U.S. involvement has been largely rhetorical. Miller, a former adviser on Arab-Israeli negotiations to six secretaries of state, said he could not recall one strategic meeting with an Israeli Prime Minister to discuss the damage the settlements did to peace negotiations.

“But it is a fact that settlements are incompatible with creating confidence, let alone creating an atmosphere of serious negotiations.” Why didn’t the U.S. press harder? “For one, we didn’t want a confrontation.”

If future American attempts to help negotiate peace are to be successful, Miller says, the U.S. must be equally firm in dissuading actions on either side that wreck chances of an agreement – rockets fired from Gaza, or Israelis settling on the West Bank. Agreeing to every idea proposed by an Israeli Prime Minister, as happened in the past, is not the right way to go.

The cause of even-handedness would also benefit if American politicians (and pundits) took statements from Israeli leaders with a grain of salt. Such as the analogy Defense Minister Ehud Barak provided to explain why the IDF launched the war on Hamas in Gaza, opening with a bombardment reminiscent of the shock-and-awe assault with which the U.S. tried to decapitate Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

“Contemplate what would happen if Kassem rockets were fired for years from Tijuana in Mexico to San Diego.”

There is no excuse for targeting civilians but Barak’s Tijuana-San Diego analogy is severely flawed. Tijuana has not been occupied by a foreign power, its citizens do not belong to families that were dislodged by a war in 1948, and the flow of goods into and out of Tijuana has not been subject to blockades. Unlike Gaza.

You can contact the author at Debusmann@reuters.com. For previous columns, click here.

Comments
189 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

please check out this website, it is worth the time:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

Posted by Sherief | Report as abusive
 

1- to the comment saying Israel was not occupying gaza for a long period before the incursion

Israel did in fact withdrew from gaza but it maintained control over borders, air ,sea and everything that comes in or out so they basically made them living in a big prison.

2- according to Israel ministry of foreign affairs the first Palestinian break of the cease fire was recorded on the 24 June 2008 , that is 5 days after the cease fire began, according to Hamas the Israelis fired at Palestinian fishermen 5 minutes after the cease fire started, on the same day they also fired on farmers and naval civil police. More over Israel closed all borders cutting gaza off the outside world on the 25th June in direct violation of the cease fire.

3- According to the same site (Israel ministry of foreign affairs) the first incidence were one part actually killed someone on the other side was when Israeli troops killed 7 Palestinian.

4- moreover Israel remains an occupying army for the entire west bank cutting it by hundreds of check points, gaza strip and the rest of the Palestinian land so anyone who is puzzled on why Hamas is shooting these missiles please use your intelligent and apply the same argument the US is using to defend Israel ; (the Palestinians also have the right to defend themselves ).

5-the Jewish propaganda that Hamas, Muslims , Iran and the entire world wants to kill every single Jew on earth is absurd, a significant percentage of the Jews who migrated to Israel came from Arabic & Muslim land, in Jerusalem and long before they stole Palestine , Jerusalem had thousands of Jews living in peace side by side with Muslim and Christians, why didn’t they kill us then ?

6- to the argument that arab states should house the refugee, daaaaaa, where did those million refugees come from then ? is it justice in the 21 century that when an invading army kicks people out of their homes and lands and send them to live in refugee camps is it justice to tell them go live somewhere else ? if Israel says it won the war and therefore Jews have the right for this land then what message does this send to the Arabs : you have to fight back to get it back ? I thought Israel is all about peace and democracy.

Posted by Shlomo bin Yatiz | Report as abusive
 

I have been reading the same rhetoric from the Zionist community for 50 years, & have watched while the Western Alliances, not just America, have lined up to shovel hi-tech weapons in the back door of Israel as fast as they used them on their Arab neighbors. I have witnessed them label anything & anyone who didn’t totally agree with their taking what they wanted, when they wanted like a spoiled youngest child “anit-semitic,” & watched the world take that label up as the watch-word of their support campaigns. In fact, if someone, or some country is “anit-semitic” it means that they are anit-Jew & anit-Arab, as the bloodlines are exactly the same, so enough with anti-semitic crap. The Zionists feel that they were “entitled” to Jerusalem, & that they are “entitled” to settlements on the West Bank, & that they are “entitled” to world support for their cause. They are not entitled to take someone elses land, any more that someone else is entitled to take theirs; problem is they never had any land to begin with. In 1917 the land was designated on every map of the world as Palestine. Then, after 31 years of lobbying & terrorism on their own part (i.e.the Irgun Gang, the Stern Gang, Haganah, etc), the Zionists finally got the world to agree to redraw the lines on the world map of Palestine, doing away with that country completely. Every since then, the Palestinians have had no one, not even their Arab Bretheren, in their corner. Terrrorism happens when there is no alternative. Had the Palestinians been given a voice in world affairs before & after 1949, instead of being dictated to by Britain, France, & America, the world might have seen a different situation that they are seeing now, but they weren’t & now the world, & the Palestians are still paying the price. How many Israeli’s have been killed by the pop-bottle rockets that are propelled by a lighted fuse? On the other hand, how many Palestinians have been killed by Western supplied artillery & aircraft, & the most modern weapons that money could buy? (although Israel didn’t have to buy them, as the West has been lining up to give them what they want from the beginning. The Palestinians were stupid for electing Hamas, & stupid for breaking any of the cease fires, if in fact they did break them, but when one is born & has lived their entire lives in a cess-pit of a refugee camp, being told when & if they could beg work from the Israeli’s, & watching their friends & families die from weapons that have “Made in USA, or Britain, or Germany” stamped on them, they grasp at whatever revenge they can get, & that revenge shows itself in the form of support for Hamas & suicide bombings. Wake up people. Stop the slaughter & do what is right. Give the Palestinians a homeland they can live in without having to look over their shoulders every waking & sleeping moment. Gaza is no better than the reservations we relegated the Native Americans to, & fighting them with F-18′s & Abrams Tanks is no different that the American Army slaughtering the Native Americans with Gatling guns & repeating rifles of the time. Let’s try to show our children that we have evolved, & support a homeland for the Palestinian people.

Posted by hloddjr49 | Report as abusive
 

I am amazed by those who cry so LOUD when someone criticzes ISRAEL….what,noone can say the truth.
All I hear is :

Germns killed the Jews,and I as an Arab sympathize greatly.

Arabs want to kill the Jews.
Muslims want to kill the Jews.
Iranians want to kill the Jews.
Al-Qaidah wants to kill the Jews.
Palestinians want to kill the Jews.
The world want to kill the Jews.

All of these are pure hallucinations,and I truly hope that Israel would rid itself of its ” donkey brained mentality” and accept the world so the world will accept it and live in peace with the Arabs.

And I advice all fellow intellectuals to try to aprt themselves from Isreals crazy and mad mentality and talk abouit real world solutions.

Posted by Abraham | Report as abusive
 

As we witness the destruction of terrorist strongholds in Gaza – we gaze upon the turning of the soil by those who were forced to leave Ganei Tal – Gush Katif – the Gaza. I headed a mission to Israel [Sderot and the Gaza specifically] two years ago. I lived amongst the Israeli settlers who had given up everything for Peace. We were shelled by Qassams as we spoke with Mayor Eli Moyal of Sderot. They received nothing from their own government and terror from Palestinian, Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah [whatever] – the weak haters of Israel only hide behind the radicalism of the hard core Hamas. In short, there has never been any love lost between these biblical cousins except in Moorish – Sephardic Spain before the expulsion of 1492.

The enemies of the State of Israel will never win – if one seed will catch the wind and be watered by the morning dew – Israel will be reborn. Time and time again – this is the historical narrative that repeats itself for milenia for those who choose to persecute the Jewish People. Am Yisrael Chai! Israel lives on – forever!

Posted by Sir David montefiore | Report as abusive
 

Interesting to see in all the comments everyone relates to Hamas but not to Aaron David Miller’s comments: the settlements are incompatible with creating confidence, let alone creating an atmosphere of serious negotiations. Why didn’t the U.S. press harder? “For one, we didn’t want a confrontation.” If future American attempts to help negotiate peace are to be successful, Miller says, the U.S. must be equally firm in dissuading actions on either side that wreck chances of an agreement – rockets fired from Gaza, or Israelis settling on the West Bank.

In other words, the US Administration has appeased Israel, by not insisting that Israel do anything to promote peace.

And in all the talk of Hamas, if they have to recognise Israel, speaking as an Israeli peace activist I want to ask: On what borders, since we don’t have any? The PLO recognised Israel on the 67 borders, in 1988. Since then almost half a million settlers have made 67 borders history or fantasy. If peace is to stand a chance, we must go back to the 67 borders, because only then can Palestine be free, viable, contiguous and able to be at peace with us. Without water, borders, sovereignty, airspace, ability to trade, a shared Jerusalem (it equals 40% of the Palestinian economy due mostly to tourism), militant rejectionists such as Hamas will continue to grow, we will never have peace and another million (or more) Israelis will undoubtedly leave Israel – because THIS IS NOT WORKING FOR ISRAEL. The choice is ours. Olmert has shown he’s not willing or able to make peace. Frankly, shocked as I am by all the war crimes the IDF is committing (hundreds of dead children in bombing raids, not to mention those killed by Israeli snipers when emerging from buildings they were warned by IDF leaflets to leave), he’s not much good at war either. Will be very glad to see him go, probably to prison for all his corruption cases. The corruption of his policies should ALSO be addressed – the Winograd Commission severely faulted him on the 2nd Lebanon War. Maybe this time The Hague?

 

As long as Hamas continues to deny the Israeli people peace, justice and a land of their own, they will resist. The only way to peace is for Hamas to accept, permanently, the existence of Israel.

Israelis are not rats. The Middle East, due to world-wide anti-Jewish beliefs and behaviors, continues to pay for millenia of reaping what it has sown.

Posted by Put the Islamic terrorists on trial | Report as abusive
 

Every one of us is responsible for our own actions..

If you are living under occupation for 60 years and your kids and your families have no future. You will do exactly what Hamas and Palestinians are doing fighting for freedom and Survival. Israel has shown again that Israel has no value of Human life. Every one of us is responsible for our own actions.. If Hamas has killed four Israelis it does not mean Israel army go and killed over 1100 mostly women and children.

Israeli government and Army should get charged for WAR
CRIME and CRIME against humanity…… OR it should
Get labeled as Terrorist STATE OF ISRAEL…

Posted by speakamerica | Report as abusive
 

The Palastinians are Isreal’s little brothers and sisters that have been locked away in the closet. And when they kick at the door, crying to get out, the Isrealis drag them out of the closet and kick and beat their little siblings to the floor until the cries are silenced. Then the drag their younger kin back into the closet. And lock the door.
The Isreali’s use the Palistinians as test subjects to try out their newest weapons and tactics. They view them as toys and roleplayers for their latest sandtable and simulation exercises. And when the testing is over, they lock all their toys back in the toybox until someone comes up with some new systems to test.

Posted by jdeth | Report as abusive
 

reports 854 murdered by Israel in Gaza (50% of them are children & women) & 3680 injured.

You don’t know what you’re talking about! How about you look at the statistics and let that speak for itself. Isreal has been ethnically cleaning the population Gaza for 2 weeks and have been murdering woman and children without remorse. How about you put yourself in THEIR shoes and then come back to me. The IDF are the cowards for laying waste to a city while they sit in their tanks and planes far away. But at the end of the day, one mans terrorist is another man freedom fighter. Open your eyes, and don’t be bias, use your logic, i’m sure you have one!

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

Lets us put some facts straight.
For all of you that complain about Hamas and Hizbollah and other groups that you consider terrorists, go look up some history facts before crying in support of Israel.
Hezbollah was founded in 1982 after Israel invaded Lebanon to fight palestinians in the Lebanese territory, knowing that Israel was occupying south Lebanon since 1978 with a UN resolution 425 to leave that was applied only in 2000. So do not blame Hezbollah of wanting every inch of the Lebanese land back.
For Hamas it is almost the same scenario repeated. Hamas was created after Arafat and Abbas failed to get workable solutions with Israel and their settlements, direct result to which Hamas was born. What do you people expect? someone takes your land life job and everything else you had and you are going to tell me you are going to stand still and thank them. It is not about the rockets fired into Israel, it goes way beyond that. Please do not be blind with the media coverage. Go look for yourself.
Having said that i am not pro Hamas or Hezbollah or Pro Israel, It is simple i am pro peace period.
If the Israelis really wants peace in the region, this is what they have to do (I am only saying Israelis as they are supposed to be the more mature civlized in the region according to the western world):
1) Remove all settlements, blockades, bullshit sanctions and other thing that create hate and let the palestinian have a piece of land that they can call home one day.
2) Give back Golan heights to Syria (occupied since 1967)
3) Give the last peace of Lebanon back small village (since 1967) also
4) All the prisoners that are in Israeli prisons without trials for years will have to be released. Convict them or free them.
and trust me at that point Iran would not want to build a Nuke and Osama Bin Laden and followers will not have any reason to exist, and all of the terrorist organizations that are against US / Israel will have no reason to exist.

Why cant the world be a nice place to live. I think the planet is big enough to let every human being coexist even if they do not share the same opinion.

This is what is called FREEDOM by the way.

I think i will not live long enough to see it. Hopefully my grand children will be able to witness it one day.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

Both Israel and palenstine are blockades to peace in the middle east. Both territories should be annexed and the people repaitriated. History tells us that a jewish state will not live in peace with non-jewish neighbors.

Posted by M. Arthur Willsey | Report as abusive
 

This is the normal clap trap. After 60 years, there is nothing to be gained by rehashing who was responsible for the plight of the Palestinians, they were forced to leave by the Israelis, they were enticed to leave by the attacking Arab countries or they fled to avoid war – or some combination of all three. They are one of the only groups of refugees post the second word war who have not integrated either into countries of co-religionists or others. The responsibility lies with the UN and with the arab countries. The equivalent number of Jews which were expelled from Arab countries have all been resettled without UN funding! Hamas has clearly stated and the Fatah constitution also talks about the destruction of the state of Israel. So as long as well intentioned people continue to allow them to believe that this is possible there will never be peace.

Posted by Beverly Lyons | Report as abusive
 

What a anti semitic comment.
Shame!

NEVER AGAIN

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

Politicians = Donkey
Normal people = stupid for falling into the donkey trap.

Both sides are blinded by political rhetoric which is killing hundreds and guess what – their blood is on your hand – since you did not do anything to stop it.

Posted by A US Citizen | Report as abusive
 

Hello,
My name is Anna and I live in Israel. I’m 18 years old and since I was 10 I have been bombarded with missiles. Some of my friend’s houses have been hit by rockets, my school secretary has died because of a missile attack and a rocket exploded near my mother when she was coming back from the mall.
This is the reality for 1 million civilians in Israel: constant bombardment, constant fear and anxiety. Instead of learning for my final’s I am practicing now sprints to the shelter in 15 seconds.
So you are telling me that Israel should do nothing, and let the Hamas fire rockets at me and my family, just to prevent the lose of some strategic and political points?
Isn’t the first duty of a country to protect its citizens?
Israel is finally protecting me and my family, the ceasefire wasn’t working, believe me, so what are we suppose to do?
How many times can u possibly turn the other cheek?

 

“Donkey’s learn to write!”
Missles are still launching from Palestine to this day, and their leaders refuse to cease fire. I don’t understand why so many people are trying to blame Israel for everything. Hammas leaders
Somebody made a comment that Israel should just ‘Man Up’ and take the missles while talks continue, but these missles have been flying for years now. That seems to be what this author has in mind as well. They are just missles right? How much harm could they possibly do?
Hammas doesn’t believe Israel has a right to existance and has vowed to continue it’s missle strikes. “Despite all the destruction in Gaza, I assure you we will not accept Israel’s conditions for a ceasefire,” is the latest quote from Khaled Meshaal. Those do not sound like the words of a man seeking peace. Mr. Meshaal is attempting to convince surrounding countries to actually cut off all ties to Israel INSTEAD of trying to broker a peace deal.

Posted by Mr Daubeny | Report as abusive
 

The great American humorist, Samuel Clemens (known to most as Mark Twain) remarked that when one refers to humans as donkeys, they do an injustice to the donkey. Donkeys are very intelligent, sensitive animals, both noble and humble. Humans can learn a lot of good things from them.

Yakov, USA

 

MJ Akbar (Editor, Deccan Chronicle,India) writes: Times of India Jan 14, 2009
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opini on/Columnists/MJ_Akbar/Blood_does_not_sl eep_stays_awake_as_nightmare/articleshow   /3961870.cms
poor governance has created a knowledge deficit; and knowledge is the key to strength. An Arab friend sent me some startling statistics; the email was captioned ‘A time for introspection’. Here are just a few: there are only 500 odd universities in the Muslim world. The United States has 5,758 and India has nearly 8,500. Literacy in the developed world is 90% against 40% in the Muslim world. If you removed Turkey from the list, the comparison would look grimmer. High tech goods and services constitute only 0.9% of the exports from Pakistan, and 0.3% from Algeria. They add up to 68% of Singapore’s exports.Unquote.

Remebber:Nazi Germany had elected Hitler in some democratic way and so did Hamas.
Alright.’Democracy’ only spreads the blame on entire nation; its no excuse for bad behaviour instead a burden, deservedly so, to be shared by all people that put such administrations in governance.

 

A note for the Anonymous: If Hamas is coward and are hiding behind civilians, IDF is no better, they are dropping Bombs from palnes and tanks agianst which Hamas has no waepons to defend themselves. If IDF is so brave I would like to see them go in without Air and Artillary support. Level the battlefield and than make the claim that Hamas is coward.
- Posted by Harinder Sahota
______________________

Did you read my post in full? If not, let me repeat: placing a rocket launcher atop a civilian building makes that building a legitimate military target. So who puts civilians in the harm’s way?
As for military supremacy of IDF, to each his own. Hamas should’ve known better that their homemade rockets and rifles are no match to IDF. Yet they did their utmost to make the war happen – now they’re getting the beating they deserved. Besides, Hamas uses (or used in the past) extremely destructive weapons that IDF doesn’t have and never will try to acquire – suicide bombers. While Israelis are trying to minimize collateral damage as much as it’s possible when using modern weapons systems, Hamas is deliberately targeting civilians – buses, restaurants, shopping malls. So who are war criminals?
IDF stands between the terrorists and their people. Hamas hides behind theirs, and in tunnels underneath schools and hospitals. So who are rats?
And to those who accused me for hiding behind “Anonymous” screen name: that’s the nature of Internet, and anyway better hiding from mailbombs behind a nic than hiding from real bombs behind children. Besides, think how democratic elections are conducted. They are anonymous to ensure political differences don’t grow into fist fight grow into gun fight. The same applies here.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

Israel 2009 mirrors America 2003 : a “war on terror” deliberately meant to fuel hatred and secure the victory of hawks in upcoming elections1, outright propaganda with daily lines carefully edited by spin doctors, and media either kept in the dark or turned into weapons of mass disinformation.

In 2003, Americans overwhelmingly supported the invasion and in 2004, America embraced Bush’s Amerika.

Israeli moderates have a choice : making sure Israeli embraces post Nov 4th History, or remaining silent and letting their country vote for Bush-Cheney 2004.

From the beginning, the timing was set – an offensive between the 6 month truce and Obama’s inauguration, targetting the Feb. 10 elections. Barack Obama will have one shot and about 3 weeks to put his weight in the balance.

To me, the main conflict was not between the US and Saddam but between America and Amerika. As America starts restoring justice and democracy at home, Israel must deal with its worst enemy… the one from within :
http://e-blogules.blogspot.com/2009/01/b ushs-farewell-mission-accomplished-as.ht ml

 

“My name is Anna and I live in Israel. I’m 18 years old and since I was 10 I have been bombarded with missiles. ”

Dear Anna, I read your story and its seems like you are very smart girl at the ago of 10… I was lucky enough to visit Israel few years ago and I also visited Palestinians areas. Those millions of Palestinians are living in huge prison cell guarded by Israeli army. Have you every thought how it feel to live in such a big prison where kids have no future and their fathers have no jobs. How Israeli army will drop one ton BOMB on
7 story building full with women and children like your self so they can get one hamas leader. All Israel founding fathers were most wanted Terrorist in Europe.
your last Prime Minister Sharon was a war criminal. UN passed a resolution condemning his actions and calling him a WAR Criminal but USA vetoed that resolution…
Sharon ordered the bombing of Refugee camp in 80s and killed 2000 Palestinians children most of them under 10 years old… younger then you… How you feel if Israeli
Palestinians come to your house and take your home from you and your family that’s what Israelis are doing on Palestinians land that’s we call illegal Settlements…

I am sure this issue will never resolve there will be no peace there will be only one state one state only…. I am sure when you grow older you will wise up and realize reality on the ground….

Posted by speakamerica | Report as abusive
 

One commenter thinks that the present isn’t built on the past and calls reminders of the origins of the present conflict “clap trap”. That’s an excellent example of why there will be no solution to the problem of Israel and it’s neighbors. If only that meant that the rest of the world could forget them and their pains. Perhaps it’s all a delusion?

Maybe she and others should question the wisdom of creating such a religiously fundamentalist idea as a homeland for one religious/ethnic/cultural identity whatever that is? That kind of State could not be founded in either this country or any European country. And we are repeatedly reminded of the dangers of an Islam in that same image.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict was invented by the British and approved by the UN to settle refugees. Those refugees like, millions of others in Europe and Russia at the time, could have gone back to their home countries, but only the Jews chose to leave. That choice was not a wise choice. The present government of the State of Israel took advantage of the more ambivalent territorial arrangements approved by the UN and created the present country with clear borders. That was an act of aggression and of theft. Arab speaking people who until that time expected to live within their linguistic and cultural areas intermixed with Hebrew speaking peoples in similar areas (isn’t religion and language the core problem?) found that the UN process was unilaterally made pointless by the creation of the State of Israel. And many of those displaced were made distitute. Why is that very basic point so hard for people 60 years later to remember? We are never permitted to forget was is due the survivors of that ever so well worn “campassionate industry”- The Holocaus. For that cause – memory can never fade. You have to forget many other very important issues of law and human rights to accept that basic flaw in the character of the State of Israel.

It would be a cultural and political travesty to have tried to create that single religious and cultural? Ethnic? Identity in any other country. No state in the US or in Europe can legally claim it is a religious homeland for anyone who can somehow prove “affiliation” How do they manage to do that in Israel anyway? Was Hitler right? There really was an issue of genetics in the issue of being “Jewish”. And why should anyone in one of those more enlightened states find much to sympathize with in Israel founding principal?

It is becoming fashionable to blame the losers. It makes the winners feel less despicable and gut selfish. And how convenient that will become the longer the blatant disregard Israel has for the people it wants to subjugate continues without severe criticism. Any other colonial power would have made many attempts to incorporate the occupied. The Israelis seem to be only interested in displacing the occupied even further or using them as a permanent underclass that must be shipped back to quarters when they aren’t needed. An extreme and even lunatic fringe clings to Biblical ideas of ancient territorial grandeur no less fanatic that the most religiously blinded Islamic militant. Perhaps the entire region has grown sick on religion. They seem to all want to create states very similar to the Israel model.

What surprise in there in seeing the success of the Israelis versus the Palestinians? Any kind of government can get its way with superior weaponry and a lot of foreign funding. We have to hope for a better example from people who presume to dominate a region and who so frequently flatter the US as the super power who can keep their “dream alive”. It has even been mentioned that if the settlements are ever turned over to the people who rightly own the territory they were built in -the Israeli government would expect the US to pay them for their loss. Something the Israeli government evidently never does for the landowners in the territories.

Posted by paul rosa | Report as abusive
 

Well said, or writen i should say.

Posted by Ricky Mormont | Report as abusive
 

Whenever I read a Jewish state supporter complain about the coverage of there invasion of a high density city with Jewish owned tanks I know it is not the coverage they complain of but raither in truth they complain about there own shame they can not help but feel. The same shame Americans should feel when we tell the story of bombing 2 densely populated Japaness cities with the first ever nukeclear weapons. The same shame we should feel when we tell of the fire bombings of Japaness cities. Same shame we should even feel when we Americans tell of the fire bombings of German cities. Reason we bombed those cities is because the military targets in those countries were so well protected they could not be successfully hit. So we Americans did what is called terroism to win. We also did it out of utter hate. In fact the generals that carried out the bombings knew and said in fact if we had not won WWII they would have been hanged as war criminals, same as Sadam most resently was. To our government to win means to have no negociations and for the loosing side to agree to anything demanded. Our government in fact can only act like a king or queen when in the throws of war, then the leaders can take as many lives as they please and in most cases are never questioned with there motives or reasons. Our leaders in fact get more of there own people killed in wars just out stupidity then the enemy the government is charged with defending against can. Also the number of rockets fired towards Jewish populations means alot less then the number of people killed or injured. From the reports, the rockets are falling on deserted land not people unlike the smart bombs and artilery of the Jewish army. There is aways 2 sides to every war, and neither side has a thing to do with right or wrong, it has to do with money, greed, wealth, honor, history, lies, and on and on.

Posted by Joe Plumber | Report as abusive
 

Much of what goes on becomes much more comprehensible if one assumes that the leaderships of both sides are, almost by mutual consent, locked in a deadly embrace: they earnestly believe that it is in their own best interests to prevent the people either wanting peace, working towards it, or achieving it and leaving them behind.

In such a situation, constant provocation of an enemy who can’t be eradicated becomes not only acceptable, but necessary. For two decades our leaders made the same mistake over Northern Ireland.

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive
 

Humm – my sarcastic post about nuking Jerusalem & Mecca was edited out: so, talking about killing people with WMDs is a no-no while killing people with conventional weapons is OK??
Does not anyone see the idiocy of both sides plus that of the media that is feeding off of this?
Both sides have a long history of violence. Was anything solved? Has violence ever provided a permanent solution? Other than to temporarily reduce the human population?
Unfortunately, Robert Frost was probably right when he said “There will always be war.”

Posted by Jorj | Report as abusive
 

Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher once famously stated that the British Government would never talk to IRA terrorists but of course it did and a successful peace process evolved out of that dialogue.

We expect to hear claims about ‘never talking to terrorists’ from the Israelis as the US provides the State of Israel with billions of dollars in military aid every year for not solving their problems with the Palestinians as a sort of traditional kosher donkey reward scheme that’s never been or ever llkely to audited for effectiveness.

But why Hilary Clinton should be in such a rush to declare that she will not talk to Hamas is unclear as Hamas doesnt directly threaten the US whereas Israel’s disproportionate brutal miltary tactics and all round political incompetence clearly does and has.

It’s about time the US Government started to act in the interests of ordinary American taxpayers rather than Israelis as this unhealthy dependency where dollars flow one way and influence and clout the other seems to have deprived the US of the ability to think and act for itself.

 

As I read Debusmann’s piece, the point is that there is reason to question the wisdom of Israel’s current action in Gaza. No doubt, this is something that merits serious consideration. As I read the comments, Debusmann touched some very sensitive nerves by mentioning this subject at all. As far as U.S. policy towards Israel is concerned, the most overlooked fact is that Israel was an ally of the U.S. during the Cold War, while Arab nationalist states tended to ally themselves with the Soviet Union. The issue of loyalty is, it seems to me, the unacknowledged elephant in the room when U.S. policy in the region is criticized by Israel’s critics. A country such as the U.S., with interests in various parts of the world, needs allies. And the only way to get allies is to develop a track record of being loyal to allies. This takes generations, and one substantial act of disloyalty can be very costly. Further, because the so-called “Arab Street” appears to be so anti-American, there would be limited gain to the U.S. from any act of disloyalty towards its ally, Israel. One should also keep in mind the events the average U.S. voter associates with the Arab world’s support of the Palestinian cause against Israel: the Oil Embargo of the 1970s and 9/11. Add to this the Iranian hostage crisis during the Carter Administration (even though the Iranians are not Arabs, and even though the hostage takers did not specifically embrace the cause of Palestinian nationalism). Most Americans probably do not like what is happening in Gaza. At the same time, however, most Americans would be absolutely opposed to the abandoning a long-standing alliance with Israel in order to show support for people who, as it must appear to the average American, hate America and everything American (except our money). It’s hard to think of a reason for the U.S. to betray a long-standing ally in order to support a cause of those who despise us.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive
 

Bernd Debusmann is missing the obvious. He should listen to what Hamas says and read what Hamas writes. They do not want a two state solution. They want all of Israel and all the Jews out (or dead). Removing West bank settlements will not placate Hamas. In fact it could make them stronger as they would claim it was their missile attacks that forced the Israelis to withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank, just like in Gaza.

Bernd Debusmann like many journalists has an inability to see what Islamic radicalism is: absolute intolerance. Acid thrown at girls faces in Afghanistan on their way to school, the Mumbai attacks, Sunni and Shia blowing each other up in Iraq. Thats right. Radical Muslims can’t tolerate each other. When was the last time Prostestants blew up a Catholic church? Or Hasidic Jews burned down a reformed temple?

Hamas is an extreme, radical Islamic movement. There is no negotiating with them.

Perhaps there will be peace when tens of thousands of people worldwide protests against Islamic and Hamas intolerance. People chanting, “recognize Israel’s right to exist”, “stop using woman and children as human shields”, “stop your eight year missile against Israel”, “accept the camp David accords”

But as long as Bernd Debusmann and other ‘liberal” thinkers perpetuate the myth that Israel can negotiate with the likes of Hamas there never will be peace.

Posted by marc weiss | Report as abusive
 

Men, I love this piece.. its informative and its stating the truth clearly.

Thank you.

 

I have read many of the posts on this page and many other news sites. This recent attack on Gaza has created an unmatched reponse from the anti-war movement.

Many of these posters believe that the attacks are in breach of UN law, or they assume this is the case. This is a case where assumption can be wrong.

The laws of war only bind parties to avoid casualties where possible, which is difficult when the enemy operates within a civilian area.

The UN prosecutor has already determined that the death of civilians alone is not a war crime, nor is it a breach of international law.

Civilian deaths only become a breach when it is obvious that the party is targeting civilians intentionally, rather then due to tactical necessity.

While some of the more passionate posters may claim that the Israel is targeting civilians deliberately, the level of casualties does not support this. When a population as large as Gaza becomes a warzone, a thousand casualties is quite small, even though from a humanitarian view it is serious.

An even more surprising view is the concept of proportionality. Some posters state that as the casualties between Israel and Gaza are so lopsided, this automatically proves the response is disproportionate.

What these posters essentially argue is that middle east peace is worth the cost of Israel constantly being shelled by quassam rockets.

The idea that a nation would be subjected to constant artillary attack from a hostile government, yet not be able to respond due to international law, seems to be a flawed argument.

At no point has the UN ever overborn the sovereign right of a nation to defend itself.

I think the main issue here is that people are merging the humanitarian crisis with the war itself. One is the situation on the ground, the other is political.

Posted by Spooky | Report as abusive
 

To Spooky, if you have been following the UN record for the past year you would have seen that the UN has made repeated complaints against Israel that the Gaza borders should be opened for full humanitarian aid. Most of the last year they have been closed. There are many voices at the UN calling the treatment of Gaza by the Israelis a case of collective punishment of the civilian population. I read their news bulletins at night and that was the constant complain along with the demand that Hamas must stop the rockets.

Weren’t those rockets remarkably inaccurate? When outright war broke out they got longer range and more deadly. Didn’t they? Its obvious Hamas was making a nuisance of itself as a protest. And Israel obviously never felt so threatened by them that they felt they needed to evacuate people from the danger zones.

The UN apparently didn’t and still doesn’t see a legitimate right of self-defense in this situation. A citizen of a country cannot decide that violence is justified without recourse to higher civil authorities. The UN is that higher civil authority in the conflict of Gaza and Israel. It is certainly not in the hands of those with the weapons and past dirty dealings that cannot be ignored.

If you are so confident in your superior take on the issue perhaps a better moniker than “spooky” would help sell your own flawed argument.

What we are really seeing is a violent confrontation between the very smug “haves” versus the wild eyed “have nots”. There is nothing more profound about it. And what I find idiotic about it all now – after hearing and reading about the Israeli/Palestinian problem for over 40 years – is that it is based rock bottom on institutionalized bigotry. And I think that the Israelis are/ were always the greater bigots. The fact that they want a state with a “Jewish” character as opposed to another statehood model that would be more inclusive of the indigenous population says bigotry to me. If they didn’t like the neighbors why push so hard to get in? That is not the way most people anywhere generally choose to live.

Maybe it was the biggest blunder the fledging UN made to approve of the “homeland” for the Jewish people. It is not some thing I think could ever be done today for any ethnic, religious or cultural minority. It would fly in the face of the Universal declaration of Human Rights that the UN also champions.

What no one ever seems to gather the wits enough to argue about is – why does the world need a “Jewish” state. What is so important about Jewish ness that it needs a state of its own? And yet would-be “Islamic” states are generally seen as the big evil? Don’t you since a lack of perspective here? And yet the US is a firm ally of many Middle Eastern regimes that are firmly Islamic in national character.

All I see in this issue now is the fact that the Jewish state owes a great deal of money by way of compensation to the victims of its mania and will use anything – including the very spurious argument “religion” as an excuse not to pay the bill and especially not to allow the appearance of anyone to get into the position of demanding payment on that bill. .

Posted by Paul Rosa | Report as abusive
 

The simple truth of the matter is that the Tijuana-San Diego analogy is not correct. A more accurate analogy would be – imagine if Al Qaida got democratically voted to rule Mexico and then started to shell San Diego. Would its actions be lawful? would Bernd Debusmann support their “just” struggle to free Afghanistan? Probably not.
The situation Israel is facing is similar to the above mentioned. Hamas, a radical faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, has vowed to destroy Israel and is responsible for the intentional murder of hundreds of Israeli civilians. The two state solution is not acceptable to it, nor will it ever be.
Hamas was voted into power by the citizens it now represents. Only it, and the population it represents, can be held accountable for the current situation. Israel does simply want peace! If its radical neighbors were to give it its wish, they would find it a good and supporting friend, should they continue attacking it…

Posted by Gilad Talmon | Report as abusive
 

PER DEBUSMANN: “There is no excuse for targeting civilians but Barak’s Tijuana-San Diego analogy is severely flawed. Tijuana has not been occupied by a foreign power, its citizens do not belong to families that were dislodged by a war in 1948, and the flow of goods into and out of Tijuana has not been subject to blockades. Unlike Gaza.”

Clearly not a historian of the US,Debusman ignores the claims of Mexicans that Texas and the US were stolen from them, and still belong to Mexico along with Arizona and California. They have been waging war with the US vis Drugs and Illegal Immigrants, both economic, but with often violent and military overtones. There are Texan as well as Mexicans living in border cities, on opposite sides as their nationality, and there are barriers at the border restricting the free passage and flow of goods without inspection and authorization..unless illegally crossing the borders. Should Mexico or the drug lords of Mexico attack civilians in the US border states, make no bones about it, should the US Government fail to militarily protect those American citizens, the border state militias, and even civilian defenders of their home territories, would take up arms and retaliate with deadly fire. This is too much think tank mentality, and no on the scene experience on the part of a bureaucrat/academic. Hamas is attacking the Isrealis. The are not putting up with it forever. The world opinion does not matter if you are a dead Isreali. Hamas and the militants can stop anytime they with to stop disputing the territorial ownership of Isreal (taken from wars they did not start) and whose occupation is merely defensive of the main national boundaries from outside attacks.
D

Posted by RUFUS | Report as abusive
 

by paul rosa: “What no one ever seems to gather the wits enough to argue about is – why does the world need a “Jewish” state. What is so important about Jewish ness that it needs a state of its own? And yet would-be “Islamic” states are generally seen as the big evil? Don’t you since a lack of perspective here? And yet the US is a firm ally of many Middle Eastern regimes that are firmly Islamic in national character. ”

Whatever the “world” wants is irrelevant to a sovereign nation. Why should the USSR have demanded a communist nation, or the Saudi Arabians demanded a Muslim nation, or the Chinese a secular nation? What the heck is it anyone’s business other than the majority of the nation..and Isreal is a democracy that has the freedom to be as they choose, without having to bow to the United Nations or any other outside body.

Your argument is enfantile.

Posted by RUFUS | Report as abusive
 

from Joe the Plumber “The same shame Americans should feel when we tell the story of bombing 2 densely populated Japaness cities with the first ever nukeclear weapons. The same shame we should feel when we tell of the fire bombings of Japaness cities. Same shame we should even feel when we Americans tell of the fire bombings of German cities. Reason we bombed those cities is because the military targets in those countries were so well protected they could not be successfully hit. So we Americans did what is called terroism to win. We also did it out of utter hate. In fact the generals that carried out the bombings knew and said in fact if we had not won WWII they would have been hanged as war criminals, same as Sadam most resently was. To our government to win means to have no negociations and for the loosing side to agree to anything demanded. Our government in fact can only act like a king or queen when in the throws of war, then the leaders can take as many lives as they please and in most cases are never questioned with there motives or reasons. Our leaders in fact get more of there own people killed in wars just out stupidity then the enemy the government is charged with defending against can. Also the number of rockets fired towards Jewish populations means alot less then the number of people killed or injured. From the reports, the rockets are falling on deserted land not people unlike the smart bombs and artilery of the Jewish army. There is aways 2 sides to every war, and neither side has a thing to do with right or wrong, it has to do with money, greed, wealth, honor, history, lies, and on and on.”

This is just stupid. Japan and Germany declared open warfare against the United states, both sovereign nations not acting out of religious ideology, and with uniformed military. They conducted open warfare, and took the task being to defeat the enemy and to totally subjugate his population. Nazi Germany did JUST THAT throughout Europe. They totally bombed London and civilian populations, sending over unmanned or guided rockets and areal bombs to hit and kill randomly. The US had no choice but to bring the entire German and Japanese nations to total surrender, as both countries had leadership dedicated to war until death by the last surviving soldier. The US bombed with conventional bombs and carpet bombing to assure the total annihilation of arms production. The A bomb was to insure immediate capitulation, rather than lose 500,000 American soldiers in trying to bring the island of Japan into a surrender. No American should feel ANY shame for the conduct of a war that was brought against the US and to its own shores, and which freed other world nations from becoming enslaved by tyrants.

I have read your ravings, and you, sir, are an uneducated fool!

Posted by RUFUS | Report as abusive
 

Well written article. Everybody should remember that neither Palestinians nor any other Arab Nation had anything to do with the holocaust. Yet, Palestinian Land was taken to establish the state of Israel.

Wouldn’t we as Americans be equally upset and defend our land if the same thing happened to us. What if Mexico decided to expand into Southern California or Cuba decided to take over Florida?

This conflict is about land not religion. Unfortunately, there have been some propaganda over time by Israel that has attempted to sway outsiders into thinking the conflict is about religion. They prey on Christians and quote the Bible to make everybody believe it is god’s will that Israel control all of the land in the region. This is hogwash!

I remember Nitenyahu (spelling is probably wrong), mentioning the Lord when speaking to the American public. Jews do not believe the Virgnin Mary is a Virgin and do not believe that Jesus was Lord. However, Nitenyahu intentionally misled the American Public by referencing “The Lord”. For those Jesus is a prophet born to the Virgin Mary. They believe that we are all sons and daughters of God and that there is only one God. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God; don’t let anybody tell you anything different. The Koran also notes that Christians and Jews are recognized in it’s writings.

People have long looked for differences in religion, culture, nationality, etc. It is time to look for SIMILARITIES so that we may move towards peace on earth as God intended.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive
 

In response to Marc Weiss. I don’t believe in terrorism. That is why I personally object to Israel’s actions. They expand settlements in areas where they should not be. They block supplies to a population for long periods of time and wonder why the Palestinians are upset…pretty obvious to me. But I am American and I am a Muslim. You are probably a Jew and have your biases. Bottom line is that the UN made a horrible mistake years ago and Israel wanting a Jewish State speaks clearly of the faux democracy that they want in place.

Look for similarities instead of difference and you will encite less anger and may find the world living in peace someday.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive
 

so what to say. everything is clear. everything what is happening on this planet is about that secret zionist book:

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/przion1 .htm#TABLE%20OF%20CONTENTS

thats also everything we should know about the genocide in gaza. and its sad.

Posted by the truth | Report as abusive
 

Paul Rosa, when you claim a person’s argument is flawed, it is good to try and point those flaws out.

While certain members of the UN have denounced the actions of Israel as disproportionate, they are not in the position to make such a judgement. Their views are based on political agenda, rather then the rulings of the ICC.

Most members of the UN are taking a balanced stance, calling for calm and condemning both parties.

If these members choose to publicly support Israel, they risk high levels of anger among the Arab nations, as well as causing unrest in their own populations. Their neutral stance is a matter of political tact.

The president of the UN general assembly recently toned down a general resolution, after he himself had strongly condemned Israel.

He admitted that the reason was that a stronger resolution would have divided the assembly, which would be a “gift” to Israel. A possible sign that the president is using the General Assembly for political purposes.

The majority of your argument seems to focus on the idea that Israel is a nation of bigots, should not have been created by the UN, and does not have a right to exist. I find that argument flawed and quite alarming.

You are focusing on attaching lables to Israel to strengthen an emotive argument, when a legal argument would seem to fail.

Posted by Spooky | Report as abusive
 

I would say fools led by donkeys.

History teaches us to learn lessons. I humbly request to each one of you, please open Original Holy Books and read what God says.

There will never be justification to kill innocent people. Those who kill innocent will never be free from the Justice of God. God does not fail in His promise.

For those who do not believe in God and those who are on the wrong path … May God guide you to the right path.

Posted by Khaja Ahmed | Report as abusive
 

All I can think of the so-called unilateral ceasefire, especially after the MOU signed by Secretary Rice and Israel’s Foreign minister, is that Israel and the US can no longer ignore the world disgust with Israel’s atrocities in Gaza. I am sure parents in Israel are proud of their brave sons in butchering children.
To be qualified as a mediator, The US has to be impartial to both sides of the conflict. On the other hand, all the involving parties must realize that there is no military solution to the conflict. Interestingly enough, after killing more than 1200 people, more than half of them women and children, without stopping the rocket attack, it is rather face saving for the Israel’s prime minister to announce that they have accomplished all our targets for invading Gaza strip. Why he doesn’t say the invasion was for killing women and children to get even with Hamas?

Posted by john | Report as abusive
 

Get your facts right…

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israele
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications  /the-world-factbook/geos/is.html

Anyway -
In general israel is about 800 km in length and less then 40 km in width at some points (which is a very very very small place).

When speaking of Arabs in Israel you need to know that there are two different “categories”: There are Arab-citizens and there is the “Palestinian-Authority”.

Israel’s population is 7 million, about 20% of them are Arab-citizens (muslim and christian Arabs) – we get along most of the time.

On the other hand there is the Palestinian-Authority which consists of about 4 milion people – all Muslim.

The palastinian authority consists of the Gaze strip on the west (with a border of 51 km with Israel) and the eastern part of “Yehuda and Shomron”.

On the west they have a border with Egypt and on the east with Jordan.
The Palestinian-Authority does not have a continuity in geography.

At 2004 israel cleared almost all the mixed teritories and left it to the internal Palestinian leadership.

In 2007 some form of “democratic” elections took-place at the Palestinian-Authority and a terror organization called the “Hamas” movement won most of the seats in their parliament.

the hamas movement began hunting and executing the Phatach representators in gaza and actualy took the leadership over the gaza strip by force.

After these elections – the Hamas trield and executed most of the previous parliament members and took hold of Gaza by force. so – Now we are talking about 2 prime-ministers of the Palestinian-Authority. The one on the east and the one on the west.

For the past 7 years – starting as early as 2001 – from the border of Gaza strip (which holds its indipendence since 2004) there are missiles and rockets showering the cities close to the border up to 40 km from gaza.

When the Hamas rose to power they began to fire more intensively.

About one month ago – trying to take advantage of the Israeli elections that are planned on the 10th of February – the number of rockets fired into Israel rose dramatically after a ceasefire of several months.

At 2008 Israel suffered from over 890 missiles – can you imagine living in such a place?!

See the graph (and this is only one type) : http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam
2001 4
2002 35
2003 155
2004 281
2005 179
2006 946
2007 783
2008 890

and these are only one type of rocket – and does not include the amount which was is use since this war started.

in addition – these are directed at Israeli civilians – so don’t come babbling about civilians being hit by accident on the other side.

After 7 years (!) we are finally doing something.

Our mistake is that we do not show the world pictures of our injuries, there had been a lot.
The Palestinian rokets are fired upon our civilian populations but we do not release such pictures as they do on the media.

I know the photos on the television look bad when we try to hit the terrorists in Gaza but they are everywhere – using mosque and kindergartens as places to launch and store missiles.

More about human shield in the gaza strip: http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_m ultimedia/English/eng_n/html/human_s_e.h tm

Posted by Haim Shafir | Report as abusive
 

About the so called some 890 rockets, though I do not support launching them, but lets face it, they are more like toys than weapons. Since many of them have landed in the population centers, Israeli casualties, specially in the latest wave, has been only three-not to devalue the life of any. It is obvious that the rockets act as propaganda than weapon. If they were the same type of weapons like those phosphorous bombs which were used by the IDF in the Gaza, the Israeli casualties were the same as the Palestinians. That is why all of the countries, even the ones that support Israel called this level of military actions as disproportionate.
Since we are at the subject, let’s point out that twenty years ago the level of technology and weaponry was not advanced enough to build such hand made rockets and aim at Israeli targets 40 kilometers inside. The Israelis should realize that taking the war in the neighbor’s yard does not work anymore, and their population is no longer immune from any of their war ambitions.
Lastly, concerning the so called terrorist that are everywhere including mosques and kindergartens, first of all these terrorists have certainly underestimated the level of IDF brutality that have no restraints from attacking civilian “targets.” Second, in many occasions, like the UN school which was attacked two days ago by the Israelis and civilians including two children were killed, the UN and the health agencies announced no “terrorists” were in the vicinity.
Have some regards for humanity.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

John,
It’s sad you’re doing a “head count” in order to compare who’s more brutal or inhuman. The reason for “so few” Israeli casualties is the fact that the Israeli government do care about its citizens, and it makes architects to add protected rooms in each apartment so that even if houses are hit directly (as happened numerous times during the war and before) mostly the citizens are not killed. Moreover, those “Toys” have hit several times at schools and kindergartens, but thanks to the orders of the Israeli Home Front Command, kids in the dangerous regions did not go to school during the war, so Israel (happily) did not have pictures of tens of killed children to show everywhere.
I think that most Israelis (at every nation there are some fanatics) are very sorry for the death of innocents, especially kids. The Israeli military can not gain anything from killing them, so I cannot believe that this was done on purpose. The Hamas, on the other hand, seems to care much more to its own “soldiers” and keep them safe in protected shelters and bunkers (especially the leaders), while letting the rest of the population suffer.
Concerning numbers, it’s quite agreed that about 1300 Palestinians were killed during the war, of which about 1000 men and the rest women and children. As far as I saw most sources (not Israelis) talk about half of the killed (about 600) being armed Hamas people, the other being innocent. If Israel did want to kill civilians, and given that out of about a million people in Gaza, 20,000 are Hamas personnel, it would have killed about 20 armed Hamas people on average. But even the Hamas itself count more than 100 casualties for itself!

Posted by Amir | Report as abusive
 

How can you compare? Israeli citizens that for so long had to run for shelter because the rockets that were lobbed? Where was the world condemming Hammas? Why did inoncent lives have to be shed than? Do you not see what started this? If Arafat had signed the Peace agreement would any lives been spared? Israel offered all the Arabs continually reject. TERRERORISM is there way of life. To say and act like animals to want to destroy a country and publicly anounce their terrerost intentions. Where do you stand on that issue? And how come the world remains so so silent?

Posted by Evan | Report as abusive
 

Thanks for the article. No doubt Israel has no idea what its doing, just donkeys with the most advanced weaponry the US could provide them.

Posted by Jake | Report as abusive
 

It’s people like you that add to the problem that causes and encourages the never ending conflict in the middle east. Your obsessive compulsive necessity to assess blame on the Israel continue to fan the flames of hatred. Who knows your real motivations and who cares. Perhaps the longer you keep pandering to the racism and antisemitism of extremest philosophies the longer you will have something to write about.

It’s pretty basic Bernard, you have a group within the Palestinians and Islamic countries at large that have a virulent hatred toward a people, a religion and a State whose express intent is to kill them. They live it breath it, are obsessed with it, teach it to their children and instill it in them in their schools of hate so that this agenda is promoted generation after generation. It’s always interesting to me that people like you have no solutions just a bunch of rhetorical garbage that refuses to address the basic problems of life and death and the issues of trying to teach basic humanity to your children. I cannot think of a group of people, that as a whole have done so little to improve their lot in life as the the Palestinians,who prefer to be called “refugees” and instead of teaching their children things to improve their lives, now even sacrifice them on the alter of hatred by strapping bombs on them and blowing them up or did you forget about that. The Tijuana analogy is correct. You just are having a processing problem. Your reference to the necessity of Israeli leaders to have a “grand strategic purpose” must have arisen in a seriously unused region of your brain. Perhaps you are suggesting a purpose espoused endlessly by Iran and Hamas. Now that would be a grand strategic purpose for Israel to espouse the same things that the Iranian’s get away with day after day. Then we could have endless war and endless hatred so you would continue be able to write your altruistic garbaaage. Sorry Bernard,your simplistic observations do nothing are nothing and are useless.

Posted by Mark Collens | Report as abusive
 

Israel got rid of every single settlement in Gaza, and it didn’t solve a single thing. If I was Israeli, I wouldn’t give up any ground except to a responsible government, like Egypt. Where there is no responsible government (Gaza, south Lebanon) terrorists immediately take over and instead of progressing they go in reverse.

The failure to discuss such an obvious fact (the takeover of Gaza by terrorists despite getting rid of the Gaza settlements) makes this column of little analytical value.

Posted by yosemitesam | Report as abusive
 

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