Friday, 25 July 2014

How do you spell genocide?

quote [ United Nations says Israel's military actions could amount to war crimes, as it continued pounding the besieged Palestine enclave. ]

And some people wants to hang me because I am against the Israel? actions. I am just two milimeters away from being called a nazi in some places (wouldn't be the first time). This is a UN report, so, well, lets see how you guys feel about it.
[SFW] [politics] [+5 Underrated]
[by Onix@9:54pmGMT]

Comments

sanepride said @ 10:23pm GMT on 25th Jul [Score:3 Insightful]
OK, now we're getting into a very touchy issue over semantics. The Israeli actions in Gaza can easily be described as abhorrent, disproportionate, perhaps even war crimes. But it is NOT 'genocide'. This is a term that is reserved for the specific intent to completely destroy a particular group.
I can agree with with your objections to Israel's actions, but elevating it to such an extreme, inaccurate rhetorical level simply diminishes actual cases of genocide.
foobar said @ 11:16pm GMT on 25th Jul [Score:2]
It is unquestionably ethnic cleansing. While that may not technically be a genocide, it's a mighty fine hair to split.
sanepride said @ 11:27pm GMT on 25th Jul
I think 'ethnic cleansing' is a fair term for the original displacement of the Palestinians, and even the ongoing Israeli settlement of the West Bank. But it really isn't a fine hair at all. Civilian deaths in war, no matter how brazen, is not the same thing as systematic extermination. If genocide was truly Israel's intention, the Palestinians would be dealt with much more efficiently. A cursory look at actual historical genocide gives plenty of insight.
foobar said @ 11:38pm GMT on 25th Jul
Not when civilian deaths are the intention. Israel is killing as many as it thinks the international community will allow it to get away with. Furthermore, there's no legitimate military action to take; Israel already occupies the area, ergo it cannot have a military and thus there are no legitimate military targets.
sanepride said @ 12:17am GMT on 26th Jul
That's all a matter of interpretation. First of all, Israel doesn't technically occupy Gaza, thought they do impose a blockade- 'siege' is probably a more accurate term. As for whether civilian deaths are intentional, I would challenge you to provide some evidence to that effect. Civilian deaths in Gaza provide no benefit whatsoever to Israel, they draw condemnation and isolation from the rest of the world and ultimately strengthen the hand of Hamas. As for legitimate military targets, I would remind you that Hamas is firing rockets into Israel- creating a military presence and military targets. The problem is that those targets are often indistinguishable from civilian targets, and Israel's biggest crime is failing to differentiate. As the greater power Israel does have the greater responsibility to minimize civilian casualties (which the seem to be failing miserably at), but Hamas does also bear responsibility for the conflict and the civilian losses.
foobar said @ 3:47am GMT on 26th Jul
Those targets are indistinguishable from civilian targets because they are civilian targets.

Israel does occupy Gaza. It exerts sovereignty over it, controls it's borders and enforces laws upon it. If they want to go in and arrest people (and give free, fair, and open trials with a presumption of innocence) they believe are firing rockets, so be it, but they have an obligation to do it without any harm to uninvolved bystanders.

Yes, that would result in a lot of Israeli officers going home in body bags. Ruling a population that does not consent to your governance is supposed to cost you dearly.
LL said @ 2:41pm GMT on 26th Jul
You sound naive. Failure to differentiate between civilian and military targets in a densely populated area? I'll remind you that the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv is smack in the middle of a residential area, so blaming Hamas for using what little territory they have to operate is a double standard.

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/does-the-presence-of-the-idf-s-hq-in-tel-aviv-endanger-the-city-s-population.premium-1.435042

Franco and Hitler, as well as Mao and Stalin (and many after them) used the military tactic of murdering and terrorizing civilians in order to break the will of the people. Israel doesn't give a shit about bottle rockets that really don't have an effect other than give them the excuse to kill and destroy their enemy. It is also used to justify a moral equivalency in the public opinion. You bomb me, I bomb you. Too bad if my bombs are bigger.

They are targeting a specific group - Palestinians - to murder in order to appeal to the more moderate groups and populace so that they scream Enough!! and overtake Hamas and the other more extremist groups fighting for Palestine. 'Succumb and be safe or rebel and die' seems to be what Israel's offering. Or at least until the global community makes them stop. That isn't happening anytime soon while Obama says they have a right to defend themselves and should. Oh yeah, and can you please not kill civilian children?
sanepride said @ 5:49pm GMT on 26th Jul
Except for the little detail that killing Palestinian civilians has the opposite effect- potentially further radicalizing the Gazan population and spurring the rest of the world to scream 'enough'. If it's a deliberate strategy it's a stupid, counterproductive one, but of course I wouldn't rule out such idiotic short-sightedness from the likes of Netanyahu and his cronies.
Dumbledorito said @ 8:19pm GMT on 26th Jul
If screaming is all the rest of the world does, why should Israel care?
If radicalizing a group you hate into making a token attempt at offensive action so you can stomp them into a bloody smear lets you stomp them into a bloody smear, where's the down side?
sanepride said @ 8:42pm GMT on 26th Jul
Because Israel is not North Korea. They do actually care what the rest of the world thinks of them. Otherwise, why bother trying to explain themselves or show any restraint whatsoever?
HoZay said @ 12:14am GMT on 27th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
The Israeli people may care, but they consistently elect people who don't care.
Kind of like Kansans.
Adam said @ 6:30am GMT on 28th Jul
Yeah, that's wrong. By ensuring that the Gazans cannot conduct any foreign affairs or international trade the Israelis continue to act as an occupying power, with all of the responsibilities and restrictions an occupier has. One of which is that you can't wage warfare against occupied territory, you cannot conduct mass reprisals against occupied territories, and you have a positive obligation to ensure that basic needs, such as water and sanitation, are met. There's no way to even begin accounting for the myriad ways that Israel has failed in this.
Resurrected Morris said @ 3:50pm GMT on 28th Jul
There were very few restrictions before the second intifada, and as well, before Hamas came to power.

I hear there are trade restrictions on Russia, and they haven't even fired one rocket at us.
Dumbledorito said @ 4:23pm GMT on 28th Jul
I hear we're not surrounding all of Russia, controlling their basic utilities, etc., either.

Same exact setup, right?
Resurrected Morris said @ 3:05pm GMT on 29th Jul
Yes, Israel has far more justification.
Dumbledorito said @ 11:59pm GMT on 25th Jul
It'd help if we knew what color that hair was.
ComposerNate said @ 11:24pm GMT on 25th Jul [Score:1 Informative]
They're doing an awful job of not destroying a particular group.

sanepride said @ 11:32pm GMT on 25th Jul
Land is not people. See my response to foobar re. the difference between 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide'.
Just to be clear- I am in no way defending Israeli policy or actions. I can accept terms like 'apartheid' and even 'ethnic cleansing'. But tossing around accusations of 'genocide' is a type of hyperbole that I have a particular distaste for.
_brody_ said @ 1:13am GMT on 26th Jul
Maybe it's just really slow genocide? The intention seems clear, it's just the rate that seems to be different here.
sanepride said @ 1:26am GMT on 26th Jul
Is the intention really clear? What is Israel gaining out of this ongoing process? If anything the big problem is a total lack of intention or long-term strategy.
foobar said @ 3:50am GMT on 26th Jul
The land they claim god gave them.

Hitler would have been quite happy to merely expel the Jews, had anyone been willing to accept them.
sanepride said @ 4:32am GMT on 26th Jul
First, Israel is not interested in claiming Gaza. There isn't even a biblical basis for it.
They actually forcibly removed their own settlers from there in 2005.

Second, WTF? I think a little more elaboration is required on what seems to be a fairly outrageous statement.
foobar said @ 6:07am GMT on 26th Jul
It seems rather obvious that Israel has no intention of allowing a functioning Palestinian state to form, in Gaza or anywhere near it.
Adam said @ 6:24am GMT on 28th Jul
Israel withdrew from Gaza and the people there shortly thereafter elected a government whose stated aim is to destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews. If the people of Gaza wanted to be serious about forming a state electing a bunch of homicidal, suicidal religious lunatics to be their government wasn't a very good plan. The Israelis are stronger than Hamas. They have more and better weapons, and a bigger economic base with which to fund them. The people of Gaza were perfectly free to send Israel a big ole' "fuck you" in their elections if they wanted to, but expecting the Israelis to draw anything but grim conclusions from those elections is not reasonable.
ComposerNate said @ 8:29am GMT on 28th Jul
whose stated aim is to destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews.

In March 2006, Hamas released its official legislative program. The document clearly signaled that Hamas could refer the issue of recognizing Israel to a national referendum. Under the heading "Recognition of Israel," it stated simply (AFP, 3/11/06): "The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people." This was a major shift away from their 1988 charter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas#Goals
Resurrected Morris said @ 3:44pm GMT on 28th Jul
Well that is a load of double talk bullshit. They certainly didn't need a referendum when the wrote the mandate for genocide. They certainly don't need a national referendum to change a party charter.
ComposerNate said @ 7:44am GMT on 9th Aug
Consider 18 years had passed, those involved changing drastically, old members evolving but mostly new members coming in. The overall organization restructured from one of resistance fighters to one of political party.

Surely you are able to recognize this, and humanize these people?
Resurrected Morris said @ 2:45pm GMT on 11th Aug
Totally irrelevant. Why does a political party need a national referendum? They don't, if anything all that would be required is a referendum of its membership.

This is simply a dodge to avoid removing a cherished policy plank from their platform.

By the way, Hamas started as a political party, they morphed into a terrorist organization, not the other way round.
ComposerNate said @ 8:45am GMT on 12th Aug
Adam: Israel withdrew from Gaza and the people there shortly thereafter elected a government whose stated aim is to destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews who recently released its official legislative program clearly stating that the recognition of "Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people" which was a major shift away from their 1988 charter.

I was referring to the people of Gaza and Adam's framing them as having elected a bunch of homicidal, suicidal religious lunatics. Hamas did not run an election promoting a homicidal, suicidal religious lunatic government. The people of Gaza did not have much as for options, and never do, and still don't.
Resurrected Morris said @ 5:20pm GMT on 12th Aug
Yet, having said that, their charter still has the stated aim of destroying israel. Like I said, it is a dodge. They have o intention of removing it, and if it did come to a national referendum, they would promote the charter.
sanepride said @ 5:07am GMT on 26th Jul
Alright the Hitler comment is a pretty good indication that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.
foobar said @ 6:07am GMT on 26th Jul
sanepride said @ 1:55pm GMT on 26th Jul
So what? How does this have any relevancy to the current situation?

'Had anyone been willing to accept them'

- implying... What?
GordonGuano said @ 2:44pm GMT on 26th Jul
Bubonic plague, poisoned wells, and the blood of your children being used to make bread are poor tradeoffs for a small bag of gold and a smaller, decoy bag of gold. Not to mention pissing off the seven bankers that control all the world's money.

I probably missed a few, but you get the idea.
foobar said @ 4:17pm GMT on 26th Jul
Jewish refugees were turned back by most (all?) of the Allies.

Nazi policy to the Jews up to 1941 was more restrained than the current Israeli policy towards Palestinians. A kristallnacht in Gaza would be a welcome toning down of the violence.
sanepride said @ 6:00pm GMT on 26th Jul [Score:1 Underrated]
Sorry pal but you are straying down a very wrong path.
You really want to compare Israel to the Nazis?
I assume you are aware of their policy toward the Jews from 1941 onward, That policy didn't just spring up out of thin air because the Allies often turned away refugees.
foobar said @ 3:09am GMT on 27th Jul [Score:2 Underrated]
How do you think those Japanese internment camps would have turned out if the war went badly for the US?
sanepride said @ 10:20am GMT on 27th Jul
You're suggesting another Holocaust-like scenario? I seriously doubt it.
foobar said @ 3:30am GMT on 28th Jul [Score:2 Underrated]
I don't. Mid-twentieth century Germans were not some special evil. It very well could happen elsewhere.
steele said @ 12:14pm GMT on 28th Jul [Score:1 Funny]
Oh, come on, it's not like we didn't immediately learn the error of our ways after the japanese internment camps. what are you some kind of commie or something? Is that it? Are you a dirty commie? HEY EVERYBODY, THIS GUYS A FUCKING COMMIE! GET HIM!
steele said @ 12:18pm GMT on 28th Jul
On a more serious note, some would say it happens pretty regularly, often with help from the CIA.
sanepride said @ 2:51pm GMT on 28th Jul
Some would also say the CIA invented AIDS and Ebola. I don't know how serious a note that would be though.
damnit said @ 4:06pm GMT on 28th Jul
To target a gay and mr. black man, right?
steele said @ 5:04pm GMT on 28th Jul
Yeah, I havent seen proof of that in any history books yet. Though to be fair, I wouldnt put it past them. But we know the cia has a history weapon smuggling, drug smuggling, overthrowing socialist governments, and I heard one time, at band camp, an agent stuck a flute up his pussy. Don't ask me how that works. By the way in the fbi targets peaceful organizations and the nsa is just fucking spying on everyone. I just saved you at least 10 hours of reading history books.
HoZay said @ 6:01pm GMT on 28th Jul
You were at band camp, or the agent was at band camp?
steele said @ 6:09pm GMT on 28th Jul
The agent was at band camp, but personally, I think the flute was inside of him all along. He just needed to believe in himself.

Also, apologies for typos. On my phone.
arrowhen said @ 6:16pm GMT on 28th Jul
And it wasn't a real flute, just a midget in a flute costume.
arrowhen said @ 6:13pm GMT on 28th Jul
I think the CIA encourages conspiracy theories because they make them look more competent than they really are. If the CIA did create AIDS and Ebola, it was probably the result of a botched plot to turn Castro's beard pink.
steele said @ 7:21pm GMT on 28th Jul
Well we wouldn't want the public to come under the mistaken impression that the CIA is basically just a government run terrorist organization. That would be embarrassing. ;)
monday said @ 12:14am GMT on 26th Jul [Score:1 Funny]
You're saying if we call this a genocide we're being anti semantic?
sanepride said @ 4:04am GMT on 26th Jul
No, just inaccurate and hyperbolic.
zarathustra said @ 3:22am GMT on 31st Jul
Dude, the very article you link to points out that genocide is A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole OR IN PART, blah blah blah.

Where do you get the "completely" thing?

Bob Denver said @ 2:50am GMT on 26th Jul [Score:2]
This guy makes some rational points

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With a newly recommenced Middle Eastern conflict, and with Ariel Sharon's death, I thought I'd post my thoughts.

Israelis and Palestinians are blowing each other up again. This is hardly earth-shattering news on the surprise scale (although it’s completely earth-shattering news on the actual-shattered-earth scale). Just as predictably, the two camps as far as public opinion goes are coalescing. There is remarkably little give-and-take between these two groups. There is also an amazing lack of the ability to view this incredibly complex sociopolitical and religious and military and ethnic and ethical and historical issue in any sense other than in one of the two following ways, which I’ve handily distilled into a simulation of every conversation you’re going to hear at Easter this year that isn’t about where Miley Cyrus did or didn't smoke a joint:

CAMP 1 – “Israel has a right to defend itself, you liberal pussy faggot. Why don’t you fuck off and go suck that Muslim commie terrorist Obama’s dick for some food stamps.”

CAMP 2 – “But the Palestinians are an oppressed people and have every right to blow the shit out of some random dude as he’s taking his morning dump. Israel shouldn’t even be there, you right-wing fascist douchebag. 1948! 1948!”

If you believe these are caricatures or exaggerations, I suggest you google any news story anywhere about the current conflict and read the comment section.

Those of us with a quarter of a brain or more can obviously pick apart aspects of both of these arguments, while acknowledging that there is also some truth to each side. That there are nearly infinite shades of grey to the greater Israeli-Palestinian situation is evident to all but the most trollish of flamers or the most stubborn of halfwits. But I’m not here to weigh in on which side is more right or less wrong or whatever. What I would like to do is try to explain my own internal strife over how to react to the current flare-up and the conflict as a whole.

First, a little about myself. I’m a 34-year-old writer and musician, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I’m an atheist, quite liberal in my political leanings (I’m a member of the quasi-socialist New Democratic Party) albeit with some libertarian inclinations on certain social issues, and intensely passionate about problems with free speech in Canada (freedom of expression isn’t as explicitly guaranteed in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it is in the US Bill of Rights).

I’m also a Jew.

This is a difficult contradiction for a lot of gentiles to understand (although every non-practicing, non-believing Jew reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about). We try to explain it as being cultural, rather than religious, but that doesn’t really adequately cover what it actually means. To a lot of non-Jews, they see Judaism as simply a religion. If you don’t believe in God, and you don’t believe in the Torah, you can’t possibly be Jewish. A lot of Orthodox and Conservative Jews feel the same way. Maybe that’s technically true, I don’t know. I’m no religious scholar or philosopher. What I do know is that after 5000 years of everybody trying to wipe us out, it’s hard not to feel a connection with the generations that went before me who faced intense persecution for being Jewish regardless of how strictly they adhered to the tenets of Judaism. I would guess that this in-but-not-in view might be more prevalent among the non-practicing children and grandchildren of eastern European Holocaust survivors, but I don’t have, like, studies or anything to back that up. Couple that with the fact that many of us grew up in Jewish neighbourhoods, went to Hebrew schools a few nights a week, socialized with other Jewish kids while our Jewish parents socialized with their Jewish parents, still celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas and Passover instead of Easter when we get together for family gatherings, had Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, et cetera, et cetera, and you can see how it becomes an ingrained part of our cultural identity even if the religious beliefs and the silly dietary rules seem ridiculous to us.

Which brings us to Israel. I don’t want to presume to speak for all lapsed Jews, but I know that for me several conflicting emotions surface when the situation in the so-called Holy Land takes a violent turn.

I like to think I’m a rational, logical, open-minded person, able to judge a situation strictly on its merits as I’m able to perceive them based on the information available to me (that I bother to look up or pay attention to). By that objective measure, it’s hard not to feel a vanload of sympathy for the Palestinians in the West Bank and particularly in Gaza. They’re dirt poor, unemployed, underfed, underhoused prisoners, almost two million of whom are crammed into a 140-square-mile strip of dirt. The few that do work have to wait for hours to go through demeaning checkpoints just so they can get to their jobs. The Palestinian people were basically forced there a little over 60 years ago when the land they considered their home was given to their bitterest enemy by foreign powers. They have no citizenship, no freedom of movement, no options. And every now and then a bunch of them are obliterated because they happened to be walking down the wrong street or live within a block of the wrong house. Their lives suck really, really hard.

“So get out the rockets, destroy the Jewish oppressors, free the Palestinian masses! Right?”

“Well, now, hold on a second,” my Jewish side pipes up. There were a hell of a lot of Jews living in Palestine in 1948 as well. And it was a British territory at the time. It was also a couple of generations ago. Even if Israel's creation was a terrible injustice to a large group of people (and you can certainly see how the Palestinian Arabs who were forced to leave their own homes so their Jewish neighbours could take them over might see it that way, even if you disagree), it’s no longer relevant. Generations of Jews who had nothing to do with what happened in the 1940s have now been born in Israel. It’s just as much their home as anyone else’s. Any non-Native North Americans who disagree with that statement should go find the nearest Indian and hand him or her the keys to their house.

So, if we now agree that Israel is the valid home of Israeli Jews by virtue of them having been born and raised there, regardless of the circumstances under which their forebears acquired that land, can we also agree that if someone shoots a rocket at them, they should probably do something about that? If you lived next to a reservation and some of the local tribe started launching RPGs at you and your family during your Fourth of July cookout, wouldn’t you expect your government to do something about it, even if a long time ago your backyard was a burial ground?

“Game, set, match, Heebs. No?”

“You’re forgetting something,” my rational brain chimes in. “What about those furshlugginer settlements in the West Bank?”

The settlements in the West Bank are very hard to defend if you’re not a really hardcore Zionist. Basically, with the Israeli government’s blessing and encouragement (sometimes passive, sometimes extremely active, depending on the makeup of the governing coalition of the day), really nice, comfortable, irrigated, suburban neighbourhoods are built in the heart of the territory, surrounded by walls and soldiers. It’s like taking Scarsdale, NY and dropping it right into the middle of Mogadishu. These settlements are then populated, somewhat by Orthodox Israeli Jews, but often by some Hasidic family from Brooklyn that just up and decided one day that it was their sacred religious duty to build a swimming pool smack dab in the centre of a horrendous humanitarian crisis. If you’ve ever seen these morons on television (and before you call me an anti-Semitic or self-hating Jew for describing them that way, understand that I believe anyone who moves his or her family into the middle of a war-torn, refugee-strewn nightmare and then relaxes on their back deck tossing the ball around with the kiddies is the very definition of an idiot, regardless of whether they’re Jewish or not) you can understand the awful true-believerism that just pours off their skin. If I spent the last thirty years eating dirt sandwiches while some assholes exploded one of my buddies’ falafel shops every six months or so, and then those assholes’ cousins built a tennis court 14 feet from the front door of my hovel, I’d want to buttfuck the shit out of them with a rocket or 20 as well.

“So there it is. Yeah the Israelis have some legitimate beefs maybe, but can you really blame the Palestinians for attacking them after what they’ve been through?”

“Well, yeah, you can,” opines my inner Jew. “The settlers may suck entire oceans worth of dicks, but Israel pulled all of its settlers out of Gaza. The rockets aren’t coming from the West Bank. Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinians and they upped and elected Hamas as their government. I get solidarity with their Palestinian brethren in the other territory, but they’re firing rockets at Israeli civilians.”

Here’s where things get a little confusing for people without a religious, cultural, political or historical interest in the conflict. Israelis and Jews are not the same thing. Israelis and Zionists are not the same thing. Orthodox Jews and Conservative Jews and Reform Jews are not the same thing. Religious Jews and Secular Jews are not the same thing. But there are people who don’t know any better who have a hard time sometimes making those distinctions. Some people assume that all Israelis want to kill Palestinians. This is akin to saying all white Americans want to lynch black people because the Ku Klux Klan is a thing that exists. Some people believe that the Israeli government speaks for all Jews worldwide. This is like believing that the Taliban speaks for all Muslims everywhere. Some people do believe that as well, and they’re dead wrong of course. Not to say that the Israeli government is equivalent to the Taliban other than that the Taliban was also the governing power of a country predominantly made up of a specific religious group, and they tend to be associated with all members of that religion by a certain segment of the population that likes to over-simplify its prejudices. As a result, some people, even really well-meaning ones who want to see the oppression of a put-upon people ended, start to think it’s justified to end that oppression by killing a member of those perceived oppressors' religion. The catch is that the majority of Israeli Jews would welcome a peaceful, two-state solution with open arms. Lots of them abhor the settlements and are disgusted by the treatment of the Palestinians. To many Israeli Jews, Israel is their country because it’s their country, not because it’s the Jewish State. If you’re a peace-loving American in Omaha, Nebraska or Boise, Idaho, or New York City, and you strongly opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, would you feel your Iraqi neighbour was justified in setting off a carbomb by your local Starbucks because a drone strike killed his family in Baghdad? Of course you wouldn’t. No American in his or her right mind would. Arguing that a Palestinian in Gaza is justified in firing a rocket at an apartment building in some random Israeli town just because it’s in Israel and the Israeli government treats him like shit is just as insane.

These internal debates can go on for hours:

“What about the civilians killed in the Israeli counter-attacks?”

“Well if you’re firing rockets from the middle of a residential neighbourhood, what do you expect to happen?”

“But the Israeli weapons are so much more powerful, the response is disproportionate!”

“Yeah but it’s not like the civilians in those neighbourhoods are just going to hand over the militants, Israeli has to do something to stop the attacks!”

“Well why can’t they just leave and let the Palestinian people peacefully live their lives and work toward an eventual sovereign Palestinian state?”

“Because the last time they pulled out of Gaza the Palestinian people elected a Hamas government that declared Israel should be wiped off the map!”

And on and on and on and on. And I’m left just as confused as I was before I tried to work the issue out for myself. I honestly have a very difficult time trying to figure out which side I’m on. I tend to take a fairly strong pro-Palestinian view, at least as far as recognizing and detesting their treatment by the Israeli government, when I’m debating the issue with other Jews. But as soon as a non-Jew brings it up, I find myself passionately defending Israel’s right to exist and protect its citizens. It’s not that I’m arguing opposing or contradictory points, it’s just that I find myself emphasizing certain aspects of the argument and glossing over others depending on whom I’m arguing with. Either way it feels disingenuous and I hate to be unsure of my beliefs on any subject, but on this topic I find it nearly impossible to be otherwise. However, I have come up with a few hard-set opinions that don’t fluctuate depending on my audience:

The obvious: there needs to be a peace. There needs to be a two-state solution. This won’t come about without some significant compromises from both sides (over Jerusalem, over borders, over right-of-return for some Palestinians to Israel, etc.)
The process for attaining that goal is forever going to be stymied by hard-line fanatics on both sides who absolutely refuse to give an inch.
The Israeli government treats the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza like shit. Like absolute garbage. It’s undeniably horrifying and disgusting and I’m ashamed to be associated with that treatment even if it’s only tangentially by uninformed people who don’t know any better than that I, by virtue of being Jewish, don't equal a Zionist zealot.
Palestinians who shoot rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians are total scum, as bad as any member of al-Qaeda, and deserve to be blown to pieces.
The settlements need to go, immediately. They’re an affront to any idea of human decency. You’d be less of a dick to go to some famine-stricken African village and start chowing down on a big, juicy steak while giving the finger to the hungry villagers than to build a lush residential settlement in the West Bank.
While democracy is important, electing Hamas as your government is a goddamn stupid way to go about improving your situation.
No matter what, this shit’s going to go on for a long ass time.
Anyway, I suppose I’m destined to be conflicted. There are some Jews who will think me a coward or a fence-sitter for my views. A lot of Jews are adamantly opposed to Israeli policy and military action and any sort of response to Palestinian rocket attacks. A lot of other Jews think the Palestinians deserve everything they get and then some. But I know there are plenty of those out there like me, who don’t have the religious investment in or the historical connection to Israel or any skin in the conflict at all other than that we’re Jews and they’re Jews and so it’s hard sometimes to be objective or dispassionate about the fate of those we think of as our people, sometimes in spite of ourselves. To those people like me, to drop a super-obvious cliché: you’re not alone.

ARF
LL said @ 3:05pm GMT on 26th Jul
There are probably 3 million or more refugees in Jordan that wouldn't agree with the sentiment that what happened a generation ago is no longer relevant. People are still alive that had their land and homes stolen.
HoZay said @ 4:52pm GMT on 26th Jul
Makes a big difference whether shit happened generations ago to us or them. Plenty of Scots and Irish are still majorly pissed at the English. People nourish their grievances and pass them down like a legacy.
Dumbledorito said @ 5:09pm GMT on 26th Jul [Score:2]
If anyone out there wants to support the IDF's campaign by putting sexy photos of themselves with relevant graffiti on themselves, here's a Facebook page for you to do so.
HoZay said @ 7:38pm GMT on 26th Jul
They're having fun with this - that's pretty fucking callous.
LL said @ 8:46pm GMT on 26th Jul
Callous would be an understatement. It's something else entirely that permeates a culture that fosters this kind of behavior.
bobolink said @ 12:38am GMT on 26th Jul [Score:1 Interesting]
There's a tit for every tat in this mess:

More generally, all types of Palestinian rockets fired into southern Israel, for example the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Al Quds rockets, are called Qassams by the Israeli media, and often by foreign media.[4] The Qassam gained notoriety as the best-known type of rocket deployed by Palestinian militants mainly against Israeli civilians, but also some military targets during the Second Intifada of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[5][6] Since 2000, Palestinian rockets, which include the Qassam, alongside others such as the Grad rocket, have been used to kill 22 Israeli citizens and one Thai national (as of January 9, 2009).[7][8] These rockets cannot be fired precisely to target specific military objectives in or near civilian areas. Human Rights Watch issued an analysis, stating, that "such weapons are therefore indiscriminate when used against targets in population centers. The absence of Israeli military forces in the areas where rockets hit, as well as statements by leaders of Palestinian armed groups that population centers were being targeted, indicate that the armed groups deliberately attacked Israeli civilians and civilian objects."[9] The international community considers indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian structures that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets as illegal under international law.[9][10

Hamas has the short end of the stick in a military engagement but it is far from an innocent organization; and, UN or not, it too is a violator of international law, for what that's worth.

I used to support the cause of independence for Northern Ireland. Having gotten to know a number of individuals involved in those efforts I came to the conclusion that there is a lot of money and power involved in maintaining the conflict. Indeed, raising money for Palestinians is a favored activity among republicans in Northern Ireland. My point is that all Hamas has to gain with their position is perpetuation of the current conflict, and that that is the end in itself.

Nobody's innocent, it's just business.
sanepride said @ 1:31am GMT on 26th Jul
Funny that Northern Ireland should be such a big revenue stream for the Palestinians. You'd think their well-monied brethren the Saudis or the UAE would be willing to chip in.
foobar said @ 3:52am GMT on 26th Jul
Whatever crimes Hamas may or may not be guilty of is wholly irrelevant. If Israel wants to arrest them, let them go in with a police force and do it.
sanepride said @ 1:59pm GMT on 26th Jul
Really? Takes two tango. Hamas, like Israel, is also accused of possible war crimes by the same international authorities.
LL said @ 2:46pm GMT on 26th Jul
When the Haganah, or Jewish freedom fighters filled ambulances full of explosives and sent it into Palestinian territory killing both civilians and soldiers in 1948 to gain a foothold in the middle east, it was considered a war of independence. When Hamas sends whatever rockets they have into their former land and occupiers it's considered terrorism.

Its a matter of interpretation.
sanepride said @ 6:05pm GMT on 26th Jul
All I'm saying is that indiscriminately targeting civilians is considered a war crime by organizations like Human Rights Watch, whether it's done by the IDF or Hamas. If they had been around when the Haganah was active they probably would have agreed. I don't think they'd be interested in the justification.
foobar said @ 3:10am GMT on 27th Jul
That does not justify Israel bombing uninvolved Palestinians.
sanepride said @ 10:29am GMT on 27th Jul
I never said it did. Quite the contrary. Neither side is justified in targeting civilians.
foobar said @ 3:29am GMT on 28th Jul
It seemed you were implying that Hamas' actions justified Israel bombing Gaza.
sanepride said @ 9:06am GMT on 29th Jul
Nope. Just that the crimes of Hamas are not irrelevant.
rhesusmonkey said @ 12:16am GMT on 27th Jul
"Go in with a police force" - like, say an Army, and then you need to set up continuous presence to prevent additional crime... sounds like an occupation to me.
foobar said @ 3:08am GMT on 27th Jul
Which is what they're doing anyway, but police forces are generally discouraged from shooting random citizens, let alone bombing hospitals.
Bob Denver said @ 2:46am GMT on 26th Jul [Score:1 Interesting]
An interesting article if the claim is true.

Reveal
By Dell Cameron (Google+) on July 25, 2014 Email
The recent explosion of violence in Gaza may have been initially sparked by false or inaccurate claims, according to Israeli police.

The ongoing conflict began last month when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped from a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. Their bodies were later discovered in a field outside the city of Hebron. Before police were able to determine who was responsible, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed blame for the tragic deaths squarely on Hamas, Gaza’s elected political leadership—an accusation that may prove to be false.

On Friday, Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israel Police, reportedly told BBC journalist Jon Donnisonhe that the men responsible for murders were not acting on orders of Hamas leadership. Instead, he said, they are part of a “lone cell.” Further, Inspector Rosenfeld told Donnison that if Hamas’ leadership had ordered the kidnapping, “they'd have known about it in advance.”

Israeli police MickeyRosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership1/2

— Jon Donnison (@JonDonnison) July 25, 2014
Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government. 2/2

— Jon Donnison (@JonDonnison) July 25, 2014
Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gilad Shaer, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were kidnapped on June 12 from Gush Etzion, an Israeli settlement south of Jerusalem. After an exhaustive search that lasted over two weeks, security forces discovered the boys’ bodies in a field just north of Hebron, close to where they were abducted. The night of their disappearance, one of the boys called a police hotline and whispered, “They kidnapped me.” Police speculate that he may have been caught, leading the perpetrators to kill the teenage boys.

Husam Dofsh, a former member of Hamas, was arrested on suspicion of his involvement on July 5. After learning that he was a suspect, Dofsh called the Times of Israel and insisted he’d taken no part in the kidnapping. “I saw online, and people also told me, that I was tied to the mess, but I did not kidnap and didn’t do anything. I just want to continue my life,” Dofsh told reporters.

During the course of Israel’s investigation, some 400 Palestinians were arrested and up to 10 others were killed. Among those detained were Aziz Duwaik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and West Bank-based member of Hamas; and Mahmoud al-Khatib, a Hamas legislator was also reportedly abducted by the IDF during a dawn raid in the city of Bethlehem.

Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld also said if kidnapping had been ordered by Hamas leadership, they'd have known about it in advance.

— Jon Donnison (@JonDonnison) July 25, 2014
Mickey Rosenfeld said lone cells much harder to track. Said they would find whoever was now protecting the two suspects.

— Jon Donnison (@JonDonnison) July 25, 2014
Israel's crackdown in the West Bank instigated Hamas to begin firing rockets into Israel—a move that quickly escalated the conflict.

In early July, several members or activists connected to Hamas were killed, including a 14-year-old boy, which led the group to intensified their rocket attacks. Although there were no resulting deaths, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) began successive airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” Netanyahu said in reference to the kidnapping. However, Inspector Rosenfeld’s statements, along with a number of reports concerning the identities of known police suspects, seem to indicate that Hamas leadership was not involvement in the vicious crime.

The two more-likely suspects are Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme, who have been missing from their homes since the night of the kidnapping. Police found cellphones and prepared food caches in their homes. Both had recently opened bank accounts in their wive's names. Palestinian security forces reported that Abu Aysha and Kawasme were missing to the Israelis the day after the kidnapping occurred, according to Al Monitor.

“That was the first clue in the investigation and the reason why Israel pointed an accusatory finger at the Hamas infrastructure in Hebron,” wrote Shlomi Eldar, a veteran journalist who has covered the Palestinian Authority for the past two decades.

Abu Aysha and Kawasme are known members of the Qawasameh tribe, according to Palestinian security forces. While members of Hebron-based Qawasameh clan identify with Hamas, they have a history of undermining its efforts to end violent conflicts with Israel. In 2003, for instance, the family sent two suicide bombers to blow up a bus in Jerusalem after a tahadiyeh (ceasefire) had been successfully negotiated between Israeli and Palestinian fighters, which was endorsed by Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin.

At the time of writing, a reported 848 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed, including 208 children in Gaza, since July 8 when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge.

A number of Middle East journalists have written articles accusing the Israeli government of politicide—launching Israel into renewed conflict with Hamas in order to sabotage the formation of the unified Palestinian government that it so adamantly opposed. Vanetia Rainey, a Lebanon-based correspondent for The Week, wrote: “Israel must have known that [the] Palestinian Authority would not want to be seen to condone violence and would have to cooperate with the campaign of raids, something Hamas has been sharply critical of, calling it ‘harmful to Palestinian reconciliation’.”

This week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas backed Hamas’ conditions for a ceasefire.

"The Gaza demands of stopping the aggression and lifting the blockade in all its forms are the demands of the entire Palestinian people and they represent the goal that the Palestinian leadership has dedicated all its power to achieve," he said.

The killing of 15 women and children by the Israel Defense Force at a UN elementary school in Beit Hanoun appears to be unifying Palestinians, but not through a shared interest in diplomacy. Roughly 10,000 protesters in the West Bank marched on Jerusalem Thursday after the school bombing. Two were killed and hundreds injured when the march clashed with Israeli police near the Qalandiya refugee camp.

On Friday, Hamas called for a third intifada and Abbas called for a “Day of Rage” marked with increased protests. “This is your opportunity,” a Hamas spokesperson said in response to the protests.



If the reported findings of the Israeli Police hold up and Hamas is officially cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of the three kidnapped Israeli teens, Netanyahu and the Israeli government may have to explain why a massive military operation, with an 80 percent rate of civilian casualties, was instigated under a false premise. And if violence in the West Bank continues to spread, the IDF may find itself divided on two fronts.
sanepride said @ 3:29am GMT on 26th Jul
I never thought it made sense for Hamas to be behind the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens.
But even if Hamas is cleared of the crime (somehow I doubt they will be) I doubt it would have much effect on Netanyahu's policies or standing.
rhesusmonkey said @ 12:31am GMT on 27th Jul
I also was not paying much attention until someone else highlighted this to me, but of course, all the media seems to state as defacto that "this latest calamity in Gaza started with the kidnapping and death of three Israelis"

And yet, one could also argue that those deaths were also retaliation for deaths of some teens in the West Bank.

In reality, the efforts in Gaza have nothing to do with the deaths of some teens in the West Bank, and everything to do with Hamas firing rockets out of Gaza. If there were rockets coming from West Bank, then maybe they might be related.
Bob Denver said @ 1:13am GMT on 27th Jul
Of course, it may not have anything to do with Hamas. It's not as though all of the Islamic factions are aligned. And it might not be to Israel's advantage to acknowledge that schism when it comes to the Palestinians. One of the most moderate of the Hamas leadership and chief peace negotiator (al Jabari) was killed by an Israeli missile attack on his car hours after he had received a draught agreement for a permanent ceasefire.

Before Hamas, it was PLO. The PLO officially recognised Israel. Arafat and Rabin were both given the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts towards a lasting peace. It was suspected that Arafat had been assassinated on Israeli orders. The Swiss lab that conducted a forensic necropsy on Arafat's body claimed that he may have been poisoned with polonium. In spite of numerous calls for a thorough investigation, Israel claimed that they hadn't done it and the whole matter was dropped and nothing more was said.

Nobody's hands are clean in this but Israel is playing the victim card a bit too often and far too forcefully.
kylemcbitch said @ 7:15am GMT on 31st Jul [Score:1 Informative]
Man, I did not enjoy downmodding this, but Onix man, that headlines a bit much.

I find what Israel is doing appalling. "Roof knocking" (shooting a low impact round on a house/building 6 minutes before you blow it up as a warning) to be a horrible violation of the Geneva Conventions, and most certainly a warcrime. I think that Israel supporting illegal settlers in Palestinian land is criminal, it makes a two state solution impossible, and crowds Palestinians into smaller and smaller areas... and that I would call ethnic cleansing, on slow but depressing timescale.

But it's not genocide. Israel isn't launching wars to kill every Palestinian they can find. The difference isn't academic, and it's important to make. Hitler committed genocide because he launched attacks into parts of Poland and Russia with the clear orders to eliminate every Jew, or Communist they could find.

Israel isn't doing that, they are however supporting a program of ethnic cleansing by making the two state option impossible and settling land with the intention to drive out Arabs (and if you think that is hyperbole, I welcome you to talk to the whack-jobs that make up the settlers.)

Genocide is a far more active and frightening thing, and ethnic cleansing does bleed into genocide very often, until you have news of Israel giving orders to the IDF to shoot and kill every Palestinian they find.... ratchet down the hyperbole a bit.
Onix said @ 3:42pm GMT on 1st Aug
Okay, I am willing to settle for Ethnic cleasing. Still, killing a bunch of people in a process of sustemating eliminating a group of people seems pretty awful.
kylemcbitch said @ 7:09pm GMT on 1st Aug
Yes it is.

That said, if you want to talk about genocide, let's discuss Hamas. They lack the power to back up their rhetoric, but unlike Israel they officially have a stance of genocide enshrined in their charter. While Israel can be accused of warcrimes, due to policies like roof knocking, Hamas is FAR MORE GUILTY of such. They blindly fire rockets at civilian targets.

I understand the unequal nature of this war, Palestinians can't really afford modern guided weapons... but the truth is there. We can't pick on Israel because they are more modern, and thus somehow more responsible for their own actions. Neither party is innocent, and when it comes to genocidal intent, Hamas takes the cake.

When it comes to actually being effective in your intents, Israel does. Though they are not intent on genocide, what they appear to be intent on is hardly much better.
Bruceski said @ 10:31pm GMT on 25th Jul
Have you actually had people want to hang you or call you a nazi, or do you just assume that's what would happen to you?
Onix said @ 8:47pm GMT on 1st Aug
It was a parabole. I have been acussed of being antisemitic on other places, both on the internet and a couple of times in my face.
mechavolt said @ 11:17pm GMT on 25th Jul
One problem is the schizophrenic nature of US policy. One one hand, you have Kerry pushing for a ceasefire. On the other, you have the US ambassador to Israel calling this report a "travesty" and demanding that the Palestinians surrender all of their weapons "just like Syria and the chemical weapons" in exchange for "loosening some travel restrictions."
LL said @ 8:44pm GMT on 27th Jul
Welcome to the wonderful world of international diplomacy. What you hear is most definitely not what you get.
rabiddawg said @ 11:43pm GMT on 25th Jul
Israel has a right to defend itself!
the Palestinians keep starting these problems.
Israel has had enough.

Dumbledorito said @ 11:58pm GMT on 25th Jul
Can I have your house? God says it's my land, because I'm chosen. You really can't argue with that, so if you'll just leave the key and deed under the mat, that'd be cool.
damnit said @ 12:37am GMT on 26th Jul
Technically, nobody owns this land as this has been fought over for many years and switched "owners" numerous times. Then Europeans negotiated with the Arabs in the area and took control of it (British Mandate of Palestine).

Usually taking control of land or a country was done through wars like in the past. The European Jews/Zionists used their "buy the homeland" fund and BOUGHT Israel from the then British Mandated Palestine. Of course, the locals never wanted that. They were being evicted.

Then the British Mandate of Palestine dissolved and it was back to fighting over this tiny peace of land that everyone calls home. This was the only time they had to use force and drive away all the attackers from the land they bought from the British, who negotiated from the Arabs in the area.

It's a big cluster fuck of pointing fingers where you can't find straight facts without bias written into it.
Dumbledorito said @ 1:01am GMT on 26th Jul
Tell you what: How about we refer to land being "owned" in the individual sense rather than the country sense? Canada could take over the United States tomorrow and I could still "own" my property, assuming us conquered folks became Canadian citizens under the new regime.

People who own land are being pushed off of it in Israel and the occupied territories, and Israelis are taking it under the aegis that they're chosen by God, their ancestors held the land over a thousand years ago, so they get it back now. I can't think of any Western country that would see that as being in any way just, fair, or correct unless their religion tells them otherwise and they let that override how they view law.

Someone can buy the ruins of Detroit, but that doesn't let them take away someone's deed to their land within the confines of that city, at least without compensation, and even that is contestable.
damnit said @ 4:28am GMT on 26th Jul
Unless you're one of the Native American leaders in the reservations throughout the US, you wouldn't be paying taxes for your "own" land. Nobody "owns" land here in the US. We're all renting it.

That's basically what happened. It was a business transaction. Yes it's fucked up.
Dumbledorito said @ 12:59am GMT on 27th Jul [Score:1 Hot Pr0n]
If you want to get that pedantic, you're technically renting everything, since you're going to die someday.
sanepride said @ 12:01am GMT on 26th Jul
Of only these issues were as simple as you are.
damnit said @ 12:31am GMT on 26th Jul
With 3 million Jews.

... too soon?
sanepride said @ 1:32am GMT on 26th Jul
6 million.
_brody_ said @ 2:20am GMT on 27th Jul
Don't forget the 10.5 million Slavs.
_brody_ said @ 1:23am GMT on 26th Jul
I think the important issue here is: how does this affect my choice of dips and spreads?



Ankylosaur said @ 3:13am GMT on 26th Jul [Score:1 Interesting]
FYI... Tribe was originally called "Tribe of Two Sheiks" and their labels had duplicate images of an Arab guy riding a camel, as seen here in their 1995 trademark application. That was until 9/11 2001. After that they started a weird evolution of the packaging, updating it like every couple of weeks: they slapped a banner screaming "AMERICA'S FAVORITE HUMMUS" over the heads of the Arabs (or maybe that was on the side, but they put something over the heads), made the "of Two Sheiks" smaller and smaller relative to the "Tribe", put a big American flag on the side, and at one point erased the Arabs so there was just two camels. Eventually they rebranded as just "Tribe" and redesigned everything from scratch. It was a bit depressing to watch.
arrowhen said @ 4:37am GMT on 26th Jul
Homemade is better anyway.
midden said @ 5:43pm GMT on 26th Jul
It's a heck of a lot cheaper, too. It's one of my family's staples. Even starting with canned garbanzos, it's less than half the cost, And if you start with dry beans, it's getting close to one quarter.

Same goes for guacamole.
yunnaf said @ 2:24am GMT on 26th Jul
Self-correcting post to "I know nothing"

The major financial supporters of Hamas are sympathetic Sunnis from Qatar and Turkey.
el-Sisi closed tunnels from Egypt to Gaza (The map I checked didn’t show that Gaza touched Egypt).

Gaza’s economy is poor with 40% unemployment.
This could explain dissatisfaction with the Hamas government but it is only Hamas who stands up to Israel, and its attempts sustain support.

Up to this conflict Hamas was lucky to capture one Israeli soldier but killing 36 soldiers this time, is like Luxemburg winning a medal in the Olympics.

The reporter who said Israel’s aim in invading Gaza is to destroy the rocket arsenals is not credible. Israel’s dominating force affects far too many civilians and is cutting off water and impeding food supplies, hardly destroying rocket arsenals.

Hamas has few allies. They’ve launched 2,000 rockets with no target control. In the 1940’s the German’s built better rockets. If Hamas had internet access they would be able to find those German plans or even better Russian designs. The Russian equipment in eastern Ukraine has performed well. If Hamas had friends, they wouldn’t waste 2,000 rockets. You only need one good shot to level the playing field.
Resurrected Morris said @ 2:11pm GMT on 27th Jul
If Hamas gave a shit about babies, they wouldn't pull the tiger's tail. They would violate their own ceasefires.

Anyway, I think the Israelis have decided to eliminate Hamas, which would be the joy of all concerned.
ComposerNate said @ 3:46pm GMT on 27th Jul
Israel uses ceasefires to more safely hunt for tunnels, scout in preparation. When Israeli soldiers get too close and are fired on, Israel can then retaliate more effectively knowing where to strike fully and immediately, while claiming the moral high ground of Hamas breaking the ceasefire.
Resurrected Morris said @ 3:37pm GMT on 28th Jul
Your point?

A ceasefire is a ceasefire. There are only two parameters, no firing (d'oh) Positions must be maintained.

I have read nothing about the IDF making advances while the ceasefires were in effect.
LL said @ 10:01pm GMT on 28th Jul [Score:1 Funsightful]
Happy birthday, because you must have been born yesterday.
Resurrected Morris said @ 2:37pm GMT on 27th Jul
How do I spell genocide?

'Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will

obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.'

'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and

kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the

rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind

me, come and kill him.'

-Hamas Charter
Resurrected Morris said @ 3:35pm GMT on 27th Jul
I wonder how many of the total palestinians killed were killed by friendly fire?

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/16/idf-says-at-least-100-hamas-rockets-hit-within-gaza/

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