rivkasmom: (Dove)
[personal profile] rivkasmom
If you've ever wanted to go to Israel, but haven't gotten there yet, these pics are really lovely.  No politics, just the land itself.  Since Hebrew is read from right to left, the arrow to go to the next page in the album is on the bottom LEFT.  Pour a cup of tea, put on some nice music, and enjoy.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/More/ActivePage.aspx/Pict

Date: Dec. 29th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stacyinthecity.livejournal.com

Definitely on my must visit list.

Date: Dec. 30th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
The thing about going to Israel is that I'd be tutting about stuff. The land grabs, the water bias, and now I've read up a bit more The Gaza Siege. I'm politically minded, so it's not easy to not be political in a place with such heavy politics.

I should shut up for this post shouldn't I? ;)

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Lets put it this way. If Gaza was on the border of England, and the rockets were falling in and around Croydon - what would you expect the British government to do about it? Send flowers?

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
I agree with Israel's right to self-defence, but the Gaza blockade is messy. In the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war the blockade was lifted as part of the ceasefire.

Apparently rockets from Gaza are down, yet the blockade is still there. It's inconsistent really.

And the land grabs are dodgy in my eyes anyway, but that is civil law stuff and does not require a gun to solve in this day and age.

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
I *might* be able to agree with you, as soon as Gilad Shalit is home safe and sound. Until then, the blockades stay.

You realize, they haven't even let the Red Cross see him, while Palestinian prisoners in Israel are able get college degrees through online access to Open University, and they have a complete law library, family visitation and all the other perks that we expect for the prisoners of civilized countries.

Bit inconsistent, eh?

Regarding "land grabs", look at all the land that Israel has given back, in hopes of finding peace? Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, the Temple Mount, East Jerusalem, chunks of the Yesha - and still the suicide bombers come and the Kassams fall. This tells me that it was never about the land. For Palestinians, the land will always be an excuse for murder, and it will never be enough for them until the last Jews has fled, or is dead. Anything less will not satisfy them.

Now, how do you negotiate with that? Do you really think that more land will make them stop hating us? How much more land? Where do you think it will end?

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
I'm no fan of Hamas. But until Netanyahu stops building you won't be able to start the peace process.

Hostages are a tough one yes. Again, Hamas being idiots. I'm not sure how blockading Gaza is justified by 1 hostage though. 'Collective Punishment' as my govt referred to it.

It's like Netanyahu's govt takes a bit, and then takes too much every time. The blockade is OTT in my eyes, starving The West Bank of water is OTT in my eyes, denying Pallie's legal access before confessions are signed is dodgy in my eyes. It does make for a tough one. Once in jail they seem to be treated well, but getting to jail does seem iffy. Once again going that little bit too far.

I'm not sure how you solve Gaza if Hamas won't stop shooting. Hamas won't see sense, like Hezbollah, until there are probably enough Hamas dead to show it is pointless I'm guessing. But the blockade just doesn't seem precise enough. Not everyone in Gaza would have voted for Hamas, and not everyone in Gaza is pro-war. Yet everyone gets it with a blockade.

See my point? Returning hostages would be a good step forward though.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ford-prefect42.livejournal.com
The part that you are missing here is that Hamas are the legitimate government of Gaza. Israel has no legal or moral right to go after specifically the civilian government. What we have there is a state of war between 2 legitimate nations, those end with a surrender. Surrenders are brought about because the continuation of the war is too costly for one side.

The blockade is legitimately enforced, and is in fact, far more light-handed than almost any blockade in history. How much easier would it be for Israel to do as they are accused of and simply keep out *everything*? Immensely, there would be no need for inspections, permeable border maintenance, shipping, etcetera. They could simply enforce a no-go-zone. It doesn't sit well with you because you have not looked at history much. You have not looked at what works and what does not.

All of your objections to "collective punishment" are based in theories that have hot historically benefited their adherents. How many times must I ask antiwar "lefties", what about the *non*nazi Germans? What about the conscientious objectors in Shinto Japan? What about the opposition to Kaiser Wilhelm? It is never the case that a civilian population is unanimous in support of a group, particularly a group as crazy as Hamas, but in conflicts between nations, it is necessary to essentially act as though they are. War is not a humanitarian exercise, I really hope that at some point, we can get past the fiction of a war that only hurts those that want it.

BTW, the rocket attacks continue as recently as new years eve. Nor was there ever a real abatement except when the blockade was fully enforced.

Nor will your suggestion of sniping be well received. Sniping officials would be met with outcries of "political assasination", Sniping coppers with outcries of "targetting necessary peacekeeping efforts", sniping militants with cries of "killing civilians" (since Hamas military does not wear a uniform). In addition, that would set them up among the populace as brave martyrs and would lead to the overall policy being decried as "revenge murders", something that really *is* dicey. Essentially, your suggestion has all the problems of the current policy without any real chance of success.

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Thinking about it I'd be more comfy with Israeli snipers nailing Hamas gunmen/ coppers at a rate of 1 kill for every rocket, than a full blockade.

At least the bad-guys would be getting it in the neck then.

Date: Dec. 31st, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
1. Do you know exactly which items are being blockaded? I'll give you a hint. It's NOT toys, food, medicine or clothing. It's anything that can be made into a weapon, and that's it. Check the UN list to see what's currently banned. Anything that is stopped at the port is inspected, and when approved it goes through overland routes. There are no shortages of goods to be had in Gaza. Everything else is media hype and bias.

2. The IDF has the lowest civilian/bad guy death ratio in the WORLD. They've let bad guys go time and time again, when they were hiding in schools, mosques and heavily populated apartment buildings. The media never reports all the times they DON'T fire.

Believe me, if they could thing of a more surgical way to strike, they'd be doing it - it's what they do best. Nobody in Israel wants to punish civilians - it's a fundamentally anti-Jewish way of thinking - and that's why Hamas exploits it.

Date: Jan. 1st, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Are the fisherman still blocked in? That's a biggy as that is Gaza's trade, which is required to rebuild.

It just doesn't sit right with me. Sorry.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/28/israel-denies-lawyers-palestinian-prisoners

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/water.html

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinians-jews-race-to-plant-olive-trees-in-west-bank-1.321233


That's all recent stuff, and it does seem a bit dodgy to me.

Date: Jan. 1st, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
The fishing this is here:

2008:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/12/israelandthepalestinians.fishing

2010:

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/applications/blogs/pressoffice/2010/09/24/fishing-without-sea-in-gaza/

So it's still a huge problem. People who could trade who now can't as the grip gets tighter. And they aren't Hamas fighters or anything like that.

I think Netanyahu is going too far. This does lack the usual Israeli precision you mention that I have also seen. They're crushing Gazan Industries.

And that will generate bad blood. And cause The Gazans to seek to shoot back. As Operation Cast Lead showed. The rockets are down now so I do feel it's time to get this ceasefire down properly. This siege has run for too long as it is.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Several of your "sources" are highly opinionated blog pieces with dubious claims and no backup.

In the second Guardian article, they give you the answer to your questions:

"He voted for Hamas in the election and said he would do so again...He argued Hamas bears little responsibility for the crisis and had no criticism of their rocket fire into Israel, even though it kills civilians and has provoked Israel into its blockade. "

You get what you vote for. If you lie down with dogs, don't complain when you wake up with fleas.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Heh! Agreeing to disagree it is then :)

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Ooh yeah. The water thing is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7483172.stm

So it looks like the water bit is real as well. The West Bank report is here:

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/10/27/israel.water/index.html

So that's why the Pallie's keep trying to nick water. Israel is starving them, in a near desert environment.

I do consider myself a friend of Israel, but it's very hard to approve of Netanyahu's govt when he is shooting himself in the foot like this. Wars have been faught for less.

I do feel Israel has a right to defend itself from armed attack, but I'm not gonna approve of collective punishment, crushing economies after a cease-fire, and starving people of basic needs in such an unfair way.

The Israeli border guard may be a bit psycho at times, but they follow orders given by a govt. A govt I feel that is dancing too close to the Far Right in too many ways. Cruelty, racism, and double standards are the warning bells for a Nazi, and I do feel Israel is too close to the fire at present.

There is a lefty peace movement in Israel thankfully, but Netanyahu was able to grow under Bush. And Bush's Republicans were very dangerous people and happily tortured and abused Arabs.

Doesn't read too good does it? Hence why I'd prefer the sniping to this blockade rubbish and the massive damage it does. People are being forced onto aid, and there is no need. Just sort out a decent ceasefire and get it done.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
I don't think we're too far apart of several of those points. While I am loyal to the end regarding the Jews' right to the Land, I have more than a few quibbles with the government itself. It was built on socialism, which breeds corruption, nepotism and greed. Unfortunately, the people in charge are all too human.

Here's something to consider though - A Jew is allowed to sell his property to anyone he likes, Arab, Bedouin, Druze, Christian, no problem. If a Palestinian sells land to a Jew, he will be beheaded by his own government. Does that sound like a policy that works towards peace?

Regarding your sources, Amnesty has been proven again and again to lie, fabricate and embellish in order to push their political agendas. Did you read the article all the way through?

"The Palestinians, on the other hand, have significantly violated their commitments under the water agreement, specifically regarding important issues such as illegal drilling (they have drilled over 250 wells without the authorization of the Joint Water Commission) and handling of sewage (The Palestinians are not constructing sewage treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so and the important foreign funding earmarked for this purpose)," the statement added....

...Regev argued that Israel has provided more water to the Palestinian Authority than it is obligated to under the Oslo accords and that more than a third of the water transferred from Israel to the West Bank was lost to theft and lack of infrastructure maintenance by Palestinians....He said the Palestinians have received "billions in aid" over the past decade and a half and invested little in their water systems, and termed "ridiculous" the notion that the mountain aquifer was only for Palestinian use."

In addition, when Gaza was handed over, they had several state of the art desaliantion plants that were used to irrigate highly productive greenhouses. They were basically handed an extremely profitable turn-key operation that would have kept them fed and independent, but instead they decided to tear everything down in a fit of spite. Synagogues were bulldozed and burned, instead of being turned into community centers or schools. Anything that the Jews had built they destroyed - and then complained that they had nothing left. That's like the guy who kills his parents, and then begs the court for mercy because he's an orphan!

Personally, I would never have handed anything over. I would have kept the infrastructures strong and well maintained, at the cost of the Israeli government. I'd tell the Palestinians that they can accept full Israeli citizenship, with all the perks, or they can go to Lebanon or Jordan. Many Palestinians have already done so, and are enjoying a life of freedom, the ability to vote, and some of them even hold office in the Knesset.

Palestinian Israelis are treated as equals in Israeli hospitals, they can attend classes and get degrees at any Israeli university, hold positions of authority, serve in the IDF, and anything else they want to do - all they have to do is renounce violence and join civilization.

BTW, getting back to your fishermen - many of them have found that it's much more profitable to bring back a big catch of guns and explosives from Egyptian smugglers than it is to catch sardines. They make the exchange when they meet up in deeper waters. THAT is why the blockade is there, not to starve people.

My bottom line, is that I'll believe that Hamas wants peace when Gilad Shalit is home, safe and sound. Until then, they're just looking for more excuses to drop bombs on kindergartens in Sderot. Unlike the IDF, they're not so careful to avoid school children.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
They wrecked that much decent kit, rather than assimilating it? Now that's stupid. But then we're talking about the crowd that started a war with a heavily armed opponent knowing they could not win. They were relying on the bodycount and martyrs. I didn't fall for Goldstone, but many did.

I was also aware of the weapon smuggling. Pretty obvious that one. But you can't close all crossings and tunnels with Egypt due to a select few weapon smuggling. Same as you can't close all the sea lanes due to a select few weapon smuggling.

There's a point where Israel is gonna have to back down a bit and hope it's over. I feel that time was about 6 months or so ago.

Let's hope the anti-rocket defence Israel is prepping comes in soon. Maybe that will calm things down? No rockets and mortars means safer Israeli's. And maybe The IDF will calm down then.

As for Gilad? P.O.W's and swaps. They'll happen when things calm down hopefully.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
They wrecked that much decent kit, rather than assimilating it? Now that's stupid. But then we're talking about the crowd that started a war with a heavily armed opponent knowing they could not win. They were relying on the bodycount and martyrs. I didn't fall for Goldstone, but many did.

Is this it?:
http://www.unep.org/PDF/dmb/UNEP_Gaza_EA.pdf

It comments on rapid deterioration of water and sewage processing efficiency on page 40-ish. Sounds like they did not look after them properly.

I was also aware of the weapon smuggling. Pretty obvious that one. But you can't close all crossings and tunnels with Egypt due to a select few weapon smuggling. Same as you can't close all the sea lanes due to a select few weapon smuggling.

There's a point where Israel is gonna have to back down a bit and hope it's over. I feel that time was about 6 months or so ago.

Let's hope the anti-rocket defence Israel is prepping comes in soon. Maybe that will calm things down? No rockets and mortars means safer Israeli's. And maybe The IDF will calm down then.

As for Gilad? P.O.W's and swaps. They'll happen when things calm down hopefully. I still think the blockade is a mistake though. It's not precise enough sadly.

Yup, time for Israel to calm down and see if it is over.

The West Bank water stuff is still iffy though. There's no fair share going on, and the wells they try to drill are illegal by Israel's definition. It's got to give somewhere. They don't want to be 100% Israeli sadly.

They might buy sharing the land though.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oronoda.livejournal.com
I just have one thing to add to take into consideration about this whole mess. Egypt in the 50s and 60s was undergoing huge political change. They wanted to be a democracy and stray away from dictatorships. However, they saw they had a huge problem with Islam Fundamentalism because of a sort of Muslim Great Awakening. Egypt was the home of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that created the concept of Islamism and the group that pretty much spawned or influenced a majority of modern day terrorist groups. Egypt knew they could not reach stability with such a group in their borders so they kicked out known members.

You know where those members went? To Gaza. Just something to think about.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
*giggle* Well, that explains a lot. Hamas are nutty as a fruitcake.

The clincher for me is that not all Gazans would have voted for Hamas. And many trust their govt and now feel the war stance was wrong from what I have read.

Well, if they insist on picking fights... Which means it's time to try winding it back. And it has been for a while. Hopefully they've taken the hint now.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
Not all Gazans voted for Hamas. That is true. Look up what happened to them by the way (note: they receive the LEAST amount of aid as distributed by the local 'government'.) The rest of them ended up on the West Bank.

You're hoping that Hamas will 'smarten up.' It isn't.

As for water, you might want to find out how much of it is used to maintain that high class hotel and olympic-sized swimming pool that they have there...

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Not to mention the lushly landscaped grounds, and the high fence to keep the "common people" out.

Any idea where those pics went? I can't find my bookmark for it.

Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
An observation about the Israeli Arabs

There are some things I've leraned only recently about some of the Arab population in Israel, including some of the Muslims. I thought nearly all of the Arabs in Israel with few exceptions hate us, hate the state, want it replaced with an Arab state and will join the enemy at the first oppurtunity, that is when the chance to destroy Israel will become more realistic. You hardly ever hear them say anything good about Israel. What you hear 99.9% of the time is hate, attacks, incitement, complaints and threats of revolts. And there was a CHRISTIAN Arab Knesset member, Azmi Bishara, who gave sensitive confidential information to HIZBALLAH. He's a radical Arab nationalist (who, BTW, denied the existence of a Palestinian People and sees Israel as southern Syria). I assume in the western media he was described as a brave leftist Arab reformer since to today's "liberals" extremist pan-Arab nationalists are "leftist". The Druze serve in the army, but you hear extremist stuff even from Druze.

What I realized recently is that pro-Israel Arabs are often scared to voice their support. I had no idea how initimidated they felt. I never thought such fear to express oneself existed here. They are certainly not scared to say the worst things about Israel, Jews, the government. I thought they felt completely free to say whatever they want. After all, there are also Arabs, even if very few Arabs, who defiantly hang the Israeli flag in their homes, so I didn't think anyone was scared.

But a series of small incidents lately made me more aware of that.

One was a TV program about some Arabs in Israel, probably tens of thousands, who claim their ancestors were Jews who were forced to convert to Islam. Including an entire Bedouin tribe of about 5-8,000 people who claim they are still Jewish. They claim the women in their tribe kept the Jewish traditions going in secret. The man interviewed had a mezuzah, a religious artifact Jews hang in the enternce of their homes, hidden under a chair, attached to the bottom of the seat. That wasn't much of a surprise to anyone who knows the genetic research in the local populations since there are genetic evidence that some of the "Palestinians" are of a Jewish origin (according to the prevalence of the Cohen haplotype). The odd thing was that the participants agreed to be interviewed only under condition of anonimity. This is strange since this is a Jewish state, it is majority Jewish, the majority in the authorities are Jews, so why should any Israeli citizen be afraid to say he believes his ancestors were Jews?

Then there was the video I posted here of an Israeli Arab, a Druze, who expressed support in Israel and said to westerners and even Arabs (in Arabic) to support Israel. He expressed twice a fear of being killed for what he said. He also said his Christian and Muslim friends lie because they're afraid that one day this country will diasappear and their brothers from the Arab countries around will come here and kill them.

Then there was an Israeli Christian Arab who wrote about it in a forum. To my surprise he said he sees himself first as a Christian, then as an Israeli and only then as an Arab. He said he doesn't understand the Christians in Israel who say they support Hamas and are against Israel. He said they suck up to the Muslims because they're scared of them. He also said there are Muslim gangs who harras them and the Israeli police does nothing.

The Israeli police effectively abandoned certain areas in Israel. It's not only Christians who suffer, but also Jews. I think Israel effectively let the radicals take over the Arab population - a combination of fear of large scale riots if they'll interfere in an already volatile situation, and of multiculturalism and staying out of Arab business which effectively let the Islamic radicals and PLO supporters/agents take over much of the education system and incite the population with false conspiracy theories. Today 40% of the Arabs in Israel believe the holocaust never happened.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
One thing I do have to add, is that the Israeli police are rarely Jewish. They are almost entirely secular Russians, out of work thugs looking to continue what they did for a living back home. They have no loyalty to anything except a paycheck.

When Gaza was evacuated, the IDF soldiers for the most part really tried to be compassionate to the settlers. The police just went in with shields up and batons raised, looking for a fight like they were at a losing football match. Those moments made me very ashamed for my country.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
65 years of being shot at by the local loonies will make a state very jumpy.

That does make a lot of sense. In Iraq Iraqi Christians are under attack now and slowly fleeing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12096078

The theme is obviously going to be something akin to when Israel was formed and all the surrounding Arab States seized Jewish lands and kicked all said Jews out onto the street. About 1948 IIRC. This is on a much smaller scale obviously, but will still follow the theme of keeping Arab Lands Muslim. As in Christians and Crusaders out. It's probably part of the insurgency Islamism.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
Yet, somehow, the world is not in an uproar about the fate of those Jews who lost their land and were displaced from places which were theirs and their ancestors for generations. Similarly, they're quiet regards Jordan's killing the Palestinian refugees in the past (something, unfortunately, I can't wholly blame Jordan for either, the refugees were being great sources of crime and unrest; see biting the hand that feeds you again.) It seems almost like, no matter where they are, all that the Palestinians can understand is crushing force and overwhelming violence.

They (the Palestinian civilians) want Hamas to stop firing? Really? When did they think that Hamas was going to listen to what the common people thought? Never mind the main reason why Hamas was elected in the first place - because they were promising resistance to the 'usurping Zionists, and will drive them to the sea', as opposed to the 'weaker' Fatah, who wanted negotiations (not by much, really.) Oh well, in fantasyland, a terrorist organization is a fair and just group of rebels, really just wanting the best for their people. Yes, indeed. That's why they grab the populace for human shields. Shows how much they LOOOOOVE them their civvies.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Gazans wanting a Hamas to stop: That's my point. They don't want war, so how can blockading them be justified? That's the innocents I was mentioning.

If the blockade stays up you're hurting a crowd already being hurt by their own govt. See the problem? It's a double whammy, it will create bad blood, and some of that bad blood may well be directed back at Hamas again.

Hamas who promised to end Israeli 'dominance' of the area as it was seen as unfair. Hence how they won the election in 2005. A huge mistake for the Gazans considering how dodgy Hamas were, and they're still suffering for it now.

As Hamas carry on nicking the best bits. A bit like Israel in The West Bank at present.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oronoda.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, you get what you vote for. There are innocence in every conflict. That is just how things will continue to be and as hannah says a lot, when you lay down with dogs, don't complain when you wake up with fleas.

They're still getting aid from Israel and other places so it isn't like they are starving (even though HAMAS confiscates aid and only gives it to supporters).

Also, HAMAS's constitutional code said that they would not stop until Israel ceases to exist. They didn't try to say they were going to make anything "more even".

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
That should read 'bad blood may well be directed back at Israel again.'

And I'm well aware Hamas are a nightmare. It's those suffering under Hamas in Gaza I am concerned about. Those people are more than likely innocent, as they're not in with Hamas.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oronoda.livejournal.com
There is a school of thought that people will see what they want to see. If you were born and raised that Israel is evil and you held onto that belief, any good Israel has ever done will be twisted and misinterpreted like, "Oh they're giving us aid to make us dependent on them!" So bad blood may be stirred at Israel is already kind of a moot point. Those who are anti-Israel will probably remain anti-Israel and anti-Jewish even if Israel gave them the moon. Those who may have a more open ended view on things could blame HAMAS.

What to you expect Israel should do about the innocence then? HAMAS uses the innocence as shields. I mean, that argument has been tossed around in every war since practically forever. It is called being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel sorry for those innocent people, I do. But there is only so much Israel can do when they're being attacked and when a government is in place calling for their own destruction. Those innocence you talk about may not like HAMAS but they don't like Israel either. So where does that leave them?

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
All the more reason to stop harming the innocents and focus work purely on Hamas. Nail rocket sites, shoot the odd Hamas copper, that kind of thing.

And develop a decent missile shield.

If they do not like Israel they may grow to like Israel if Israel cuts them a break and Hamas does not. It's got to be worth a go. I don't like 'collective punishment'. This crowd are caught in a cross-fire and will not do well out of it. They need to be able to trade again, and they can't do that all the time that blockade is there.

Re: Total denial of reality, total wtf.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oronoda.livejournal.com
Uh... That is what Israel does anyway. HAMAS actually purposely hides rockets in Hospitals in schools so they could push their propaganda. Israel is occasionally wrong which is tragic but once again, that is HAMAS's fault for using such fronts.

And it isn't "collective punishment". It is to keep Israel safe. Suicide bombing pretty much disappeared after the blockade and people are given food, their market places are booming with goods. In fact, they end up throwing food away.

If you think "cross-fire" is a problem then you need to reacquaint yourself to the nature of war.

I know you are trying to see the good and you don't want innocent people to suffer but these are people who were raised from the cradle to hate Israel and to hate the Jews. Imagine if you were taught to hate a certain group of people. If they started to be nice to you, you would think ulterior motives. If Israel "gave them a break" that would be seen as a sign of weakness and a time to bulk up. Yeah, I'm sure there are some people who wouldn't see it that way but such a frame of mind is not going to change over something like that.



Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
Also: http://www.youtube.com/danielbielak

Aslo quick google reveals this:

Brand new olympic sized swimming pool inaugurated in Gaza A blog notes the pure and utter hypocrisy involved: if there was no cement to build houses and schools with, why was there enough to build a swimming pool, which is notably not essential...

Also, if people in Gaza are starving, why is it that Lonely Planet's tour guide books have a note that you can enjoy steak au poivre in the Roots Club in Gaza, and that a UN-run youth camp as attacked for being un-Islamic (with a lack of reaction from the UN) The same club mentioned above is a favorite of foreign journalists. I suppose that's where Tom Blair's sister got her taste of Muslim lovin'.

Gourmet levels of starvation! - even has links for the restaurant's website in Arabic and English, if your friend is dubious about its' existence. He can even visit the 'Visit Palestine' tourism website... which certainly makes it NOT look like a war torn region with starving munchkins and no infrastructure but tent cities.

I've managed to rip apart the tissue of lies where 'no cement' and 'no water' is given to the Palestinians with a quick google search of 'olympic pool, gaza' and 'tour palestine'.

The priorities of Gaza, simply put, is not vested in its' people's well being.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Gourmet starvation: They're still heavily reliant on aid and trying to bring in tourism to rebuild after Cast Lead. What you have stated are, essentially, rare incidents. A club here, a pool there. It's the common man I'm concerned about, not Hamas's wealthy elite.

The fishing thing is a big one. Basically the fish stocks are near critical now as the fisherman have to fish so close to land. When they go they'll go. And at that point the shops will get a bit emptier.

From what I understand Gaza is at a tipping point in 2 places ( fishing and water quality ) and if something is not done quick it's gonna get messy. And that's on top of it's dependency on aid where the Hamas govt ( rich elite ) keep all the best stuff for themselves.

Part of that is obviously Hamas's stupid fault, but even so. I don't like the common man suffering. It doesn't rub right with me. The polls I've read show the Gazan people want Hamas to stop shooting and have done so for a while.

Hence why I think it was time to drop the blockade a while back.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
I don't understand how you can still blame Israel for the necessity of the blockade, when it's Hamas that refuses to drop hostility (and, post blockade easing, rockets have increased again. They dropped when the blockade was enforced.

Note that the Palestinians (or, should we say, both Fatah and Hamas) actively do not want Israel to have Jersusalem. This is a lie. They actively do not want Israel to exist.

I have a question for you: How much surrendering do you want Israel to do? How much land do you think they should give up, in order to win even a measure of temporary peace? You seem to not express any thing that the Palestinians should do, in order to get Israel to stop military action. You are heavily biased against Israel, merely because of it being more 'free' and such, but you seem to allow that Hamas, Fatah, and the Palestinians kill, deliberately, Israeli citizenry, aiming for schools and hospitals, and residential districts, while firing from similar places. Why? so they can raise a hue and cry, oh, those awful Israelis, firing on schools and hospitals, while ignoring that they too, just did exactly that.

Why is it Israel's obligation to feed, clothe and provide humanitarian aid to what is essentially their enemy at war?

You say below that you were educated as an engineer. Why is it you dodge that the water that goes into that pool is not used by Hamas to water their supposedly thirsty and starved populace? They are like it or not, the elected leaders of Gaza. Why is it suddenly, Israel is responsible for the actions of Hamas against the Gazan people?

It's almost as if you're insinuating the Palestinians to immature, uneducated, illiterate idiots who aren't capable of self-determination. Yet clearly, they are. They voted for Hamas, leading to a small civil war, which lead to the split of Hamas and Fatah. So somehow, this choice is Israel's fault how? They wanted by majority to have Hamas rule. So it should come as no surprise that Egypt and Israel closed it's borders.

The blockade should stand, for the safety of the Israeli people, ungrateful Arabs included - and rightly so, should that be the Israeli government's priority. And starving civilians are, obviously not Hamas' priority. Not by any long stretch. All the more fool those civilians then.
Edited Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
I'm no fan of Hamas.

I can also understand why Abbas won't back down. You can't share anything out when someone ( Netanyahu ) keeps moving the border. Pretty obvious that one, yet Netanyahu will not stop stealing other people's land ( International Law & The West Bank ). He's not allowed to but simply will not stop.

I'm not dodging the water issue. What I am saying is that Hamas hog the best stuff for themselves, and that leaves many Gazans exposed. Gaza has a populace of about 1 million people, not 1000. To blockade a small nation is going too far. If it was a castle of, say, 3000 armed men under siege I could understand it. But many Gazans are non-combatants. It's simply not precise enough.

Hamas then hog the best stuff for themselves, and lo and behold you have your swimming pool whilst the sanitation system is not looked after properly and starts to go under ( for example ). Hamas are idiots.

Israel are not responsible for feeding Gaza. They are, however, responsible for remaining within International Law on humanitarian aid to the still very badly damaged main bulk of Gaza. Especially with Hamas being morons. After WW2 the allies occupied Germany. They could not leave the Germans to starve, enemies or not. Once the ceasefire was in place the allies were the winners and then needed to help clean up the mess. Much as Israel does not occupy Gaza it has a similar responsibility to stop when the fighting is done.

As for the increased rockets over Xmas? I'll have to check my primary sources as a blog alone generally is not enough. But the ceasefire on this one was messy. And, to be honest, lacking the usual Israeli precision you'd expect. That blockade was like the reparations after WW1, and the sheer amount of bad blood that created allowed Hitler to rise to power.

Or Hamas to rise again even angrier? I'll check my primary sources.
Edited Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ford-prefect42.livejournal.com
You keep mentioning "international law". *What* international law? No such body of law exists.

Do you mean UN law? Because the body of UN law is non-binding, and exists solely as "gentlemans agreements" which, once violated by either side, cease to have effect.

Hamas violates *every* cease-fire by launching rockets indiscriminately at the civilian populace of Israel. Israel would be within their "legal" rights to respond with "daisy-cutters" if they were willing to deal with the bad PR.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Air-strikes, and mention of the recent increase in Rocket-fire. As per your blog.

Hamas sabre-rattling at Israel recently. Please note the siege is mentioned as a major factor.

I told you it would create bad blood, and that it was messy. Now add to that Hamas leaving sections of its populace to rot and that looks even worse. The blockade is a big deal.

And those left to rot are REALLY gonna suffer if Hamas kick off again. Israel needs it's new rocket-shield in place pretty quick I'd say.


Date: Jan. 4th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
What part of "Hamas is a terrorist organization voted in as a local government by the majority of the people civilians of Gaza" is TOTALLY escaping you?

Now, whether they LIKE the consequences or not, your widdle Palestinian civilians chose HAMAS to represent them. They have to live with that bad choice. They don't get the lions share of the goods, that's THEIR problem.

I really have to point this out because it hasn't escaped my notice: all your sympathies are visibly reserved for the Palestinian civilians, and I see none for the murdered Israeli civilians, who are the deliberate targets of the same government your 'innocent' Palestinian civies elected.

The impression I'm getting from you is that you're expecting that the Israelis should just suck up all their civilian deaths, continue to act against their own safety and interests and people, for the sake of some of your perceived to be 'innocent' Palestinians, because Israel is 'stronger' and you perceive it as a big bad bully.

NO military would do the risks that the Israeli military does. No nation at war would supply their enemies' civilians because they're well aware that doing so would further endanger the civilians from raids and even punitive action for accepting aid from the evil Israelis.

Israel's not a bully. Palestine is, by crying about its' dead civilians it doesn't even give two shits about except for media mileage. It's a fake underdog. It's squandered billions and billions in aid money and built NOTHING but destruction. All the way back, and worst with that warlord they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to, Arafat. Israel is the victim REFUSING TO SURRENDER and for that, you see it as a BULLY. How DARE Israel not give the bloodthirsty Arabs what they want!!! amirite?

You're a display of double-standard holding hypocrisy in this thread. You decry the 'evil' of Israel 'starving' the Palestinians but also refuse to acknowledge that the reports you hold so dear are compromised by the reporters who have been feted and taken care of, who are unwilling to write about the actual good standards of living in Palestine (they have a much higher literacy rate than Turkey, for example) because it does not fit their agenda or image of Palestine.

You completely ignore that Israel has been virtually, single handedly supporting a nation that has been firing on it and swearing it will destroy it - in medical aid, in food, in support, in business (yes, they DO allow in businessmen but only after a rigorous check, because guess what, the Israelis HAVE TO BE SAFE), and been paying for it all in blood. To you? That's subjugation.

You're pretty much arguing in favor of a group that voted in murderers and are supposedly not culpable? And you seem pretty okay with those murderers continuing their murdering and increasing it, because you're arguing in favor of putting down that blockade.

The MOMENT that the rockets were fired over the Israel border they should have gone right back and taken Gaza again. Israel had EVERY RIGHT to take back a land that the Palestinians got in return for a peace deal that the fucking Palestinians never had any intention of honoring. Hamas doesn't give the water to the people and you blame Israel for not letting the water flow free. Hamas kills Israeli power plant engineers and you would whine that the poor Palestinians in the hospitals don't get power because Israel doesn't want to send more engineers to die for Hamas' target practice. Why should you care that they're the sons of some Israeli mother, the husband of some Israeli wife, the father of some Israeli children?

All you care about are the ungrateful, parasitic, bloodthirsty Palestinians.

Giggle if you like, but you've shown you don't care about civilian death unless it comes with 'Palestinian' before 'civilian'. And you got nicely suckered in by their 'poor victim' routine too. Nothing short of you being in a rocket-damaged Israeli neighborhood is likely to change your mind, and even then I have my doubts.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 11:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
On the water thing: I was educated as an engineer pre-illness. I'm well aware of how much water goes into a large swimming pool etc etc. I'm also well aware of how much tourism Israel attracts with their pools and hotels. It's still not comparable. Israel really do take the lions share. The West Bank needs a serious irrigation project to get it back on parr.

Also not all of them were driven out when Abbas had to flee. Fatah still has a presense in Gaza from what I read. Just not much of one. It was mostly Abbas and his top dogs that had to flee from what I understand.

As for Hamas smartening up? The rockets are down, so maybe they have now taken the hint. Goldstone did not work, and they still ended up looking like loonies.

I'm not convinced. To be honest we'll just have to wait and see.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
I know it's Wikipedia but they have cited sources...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel#Palestinians

Gazans now wanting rocket fire to stop.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel#Casualties

Rocket fire being down.

I do feel times have changed enough, and after Cast Lead I would have said by Xmas 2009 the blockade should have gone.

Sadly your 'tissue of lies' remains very-much intact. Hamas reliably nick the best bits for themselves. As they're dodgy. The only way to sort that is to get more aid in, or allow the Gazan economy to start to repair itself. 1 requires Gaza being carried ( unless you're in with Hamas obviously ), and the second allows Gaza to do it itself.

I prefer the second, with a nice ceasefire in place.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
Increased aid is supposed to magically win over the Palestinians? "Oh, the Israelis are so nice, they feed us and give us things, we should not hurt them," is a nice filip and in a sane world, that's exactly what would happen.

As again, the tissue of lies is actually torn: it is Hamas that should shoulder the blame, thanks for admitting that. Similarly, their 'nicking the best bits for themselves' as you so neatly underplay it, is not restricted to Israel's aid goods, but UN goods and aid as well. They're not particularly picky about who they steal from.

Israel is treating Hamas, actually, like a hostile government, which it is, again, I must emphasize, voted in by the majority of Gaza's people. I fail to see why they should be treated any other way. A government represents its' people. To wish otherwise is unrealistic.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
I'm well aware Hamas nick the best UN stuff as well. Hence 'the best bits'.

And yes, Israel being more benevolent to Gazans whilst still dealing with Hamas in a nice precise way would help. It would show Gazans the Jews aren't all that bad, whilst at the same time showing Hamas up as being idiots. Drive a wedge between Hamas and the people so that next election Hamas takes a tumble. Regime change.

Which is a double win. But the Ceasefire was messy, the blockade happened, and now it may be too late to do this.

Israel cannot justify re-conquering Gaza really so they need to look at forcing change in other ways. Including making a better go of it on The West Bank to show Gazans that they're not that bad. Something Netanyahu will not do, as he will not stop building.

I'm no fan of Netanyahu's govt either really. They're too dodgy as well. Just not as violent with it. They're more thieves than the Hamas gunmen.

Date: Jan. 2nd, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] christhegoth.livejournal.com
Oh, if you're curious on paganism try this:

http://treehugging.gothfiles.org.uk/

My site. I'm a pagan qaballist. Philosophical, no gods or goddesses involved. The only power I recognise is nature/ creation. I put pen to paper on it a while back, and came up with this site.

I've been this way for years in my beliefs. I saw on yer lj you'd spotted Wicca so...

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oronoda.livejournal.com
Yeah, I looked at it. It is interesting.

I'm taking a somewhat different path but it is always interesting to read about people's paths.

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutelildrow.livejournal.com
I noted on my news roundups recently that since the Gaza blockade was eased there has been more rockets again. It's fairly recent as I haven't had much time to post, and this bout of illness has had me out for the count.

As you've noted, I feel little to no sympathy for the Gazans for their wanton destruction of several working farms, plenty of desalinization plants, and established infrastructure. Many of the Jews leaving wanted to destroy their orchards and hard work, but their rabbis persuaded them not to.

Your friend seems decidedly one-sided in his condemnation of Israel. To that, I will repeat the story of my father.

Dad was, for most of his life (fifty seven by the time of his death) a strong supporter of Palestine. My mother supported Israel and he had the 'support the underdog and rebels' thing going.

Then I convinced him that he'd have more fun and delightful stress being assigned to Israel as our Ambassador. Despite his dislike for Israel as a government, he loved its' Biblical history. It was also probably the only place in the whole of the Middle East where he COULD be assigned without commiting suicide out of despair.

Within six months of staying there he had completely reversed his opinion of Palestine and Israel. Completely. He denounced Palestine's movements as mere money making shills for their terrorist organizations, saw the truckloads and truckloads of goods and saw firsthand the aid constantly being extended, and how the Palestinians kept biting the hand that wants to feed and help them. He sneered at the whining of the Palestinians about having no electricity when they are the ones responsible for sabotaging the plants and killing the Israeli maintenance people who go there to keep it working. If the Israelis then decided not to continue working to keep the Palestinians supplied with power, this was only a natural consequence of the suicidal stupidity displayed by the Palestinians.

His contempt went even further, to include a vast number of Israeli Arabs. He noted that a number of neighborhoods held predominantly by Muslims (he made that distinction) tended to be run down and dirtier than neighborhoods held by the other cultural and religious groups. He came to the conclusion that Muslims just don't care about their surroundings till it gets really bad and then they bitch because its the fault of 'the others'.

He said as well that he was well taken in by the propaganda machine of the Palestinians in the past, and realized in his first months of stay there that Israel was being very restrained in it's military action (The US, he said, would have long ago driven out all Palestinians to Jordan and Egypt and taken over the West Bank and Gaza for good). He did however, always condemn Arafat for his double dealing, and felt that Gaza should never have been restored to the Palestinians. "That was a waste. The Israelis made the desert bloom. The Palestinians could have reaped the benefits of Israeli hard work with little hardship to them. Instead? They destroy it. They get what they deserve."

Just six months there was enough to change a man who had very solid opinions on Israel's 'bullying of Palestine' to "GO ISRAEL KICK THEIR ASS."

(edited for hmtl markup oops)
Edited Date: Jan. 3rd, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)

Date: Jan. 8th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] e2pii1.livejournal.com
> If Gaza was on the border of England, and the rockets were falling in and around Croydon - what would you expect the British government to do about it? Send flowers?


Actually during the arab uprising 1936-1939 in Palestine the British government there hanged hundreds of arabs, destroyed thousands of arabs' houses and used collective punishments of civilians.


> But until Netanyahu stops building you won't be able to start the peace process.

It is a truth, but not all truth. If Netanyahu eventually stops building he would not get any peace also.


> Thinking about it I'd be more comfy with Israeli snipers nailing Hamas gunmen/coppers at a rate of 1 kill for every rocket, than a full blockade.


I suppose it is reasonable to assume that israelis know better what works and what does not. Also note the israelis definitely do not have the goal to kill all Palestinians: if they had all the palestinians would be dead already, because Israel has technical ability to do it.

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