Israel vs Hamas escalates

iBrian

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It's tragic to see the situation between Israel & Hamas gets further and further out of control, with yet more children killed in Israeli airstrikes - plus two more Israeli soldiers captured:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13165159/

Sharply escalating its military campaign, Israel dropped a quarter-ton bomb on a Gaza home Wednesday in a failed attempt to assassinate top Hamas fugitives. Nine members of the same family were killed, including seven children.

Further heightening tensions, the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah fired rockets at northern Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers during cross-border fighting.

The nighttime aerial attack in Gaza was bound to intensify international criticism of Israel. The United Nations has already complained about what it said was disproportionate use of Israeli force in the Gaza operation.
 
Am I the only one to see the Israeli actions as self-deating?

A while back there was a big ruckus due to assassinations and killings of anti-Syrian political figures in Lebannon - it looked like Lebannon was being given outside help to free itself of Syrian interference.

But surely the reported killings of Lebannese civilians by Israeli strikes, along with bombings on the country's infrastructure, can hardly do anything but push support away from reformist movements and back towards a Syrian hardline?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5179862.stm

If Lebannon were shelling fuel depots, power plants, and bridges in Israel, would the Israeli peace movement really be able to gain any momentum?
 
I heard an interesting twist this morning during a radio discussion on this topic. They were indicating that Isreal has violated Judaic law. As the scripture that refers to an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth was actually a limit, a method for determining if one overstepped their bounds.

ie. If you poked my eye out, and in anger I retaliated and poked your eye out or did any lesser offence...that was acceptable, but if I went beyond that, I was now liable for exceeding...

ie. If rocks are thrown you don't shoot. If a rocket is launched you don't level neighborhoods. If a couple of soldiers are taken you don't bomb airports, cut of electricity and water...

Has anyone else had that understanding of scripture? Makes it a lot less barbaric then I had in my head.

Now one thing I am fully aware of is that I don't live there, and am not completely privy to the politics and social climate...I can't claim to understand, support or condemn any of what goes on, it is all way to complicated for me.
 
wil,

the state of israel is not run according to jewish law. it is run according to israeli law which is an entirely different, western type of law, based on british, ottoman and french law with a supreme court and so on. so the idea of an "eye for an eye" (besides being utterly mistaken as to how it is applied in practice in jewish law) is not applicable here.

what is operating is the idea that is pretty current in international power politics that if you "turn the other cheek" and "show restraint", as israel is constantly urged to do by countries who are not being rocketed and having their people taken hostage, you are considered to be showing weakness if you don't hit back - and hard. hence the disengagement from gaza was claimed by hamas to be a victory - "we made the zionists leave" as if it was to their credit alone as opposed to israel actually caring about doing the right thing for a change. and, obviously, leaving gaza wasn't enough, so they decided to start launching rockets over the border. ONE THOUSAND qassam rockets have fallen in israel SINCE THE DISENGAGEMENT. in a situation like that, one is bound to ask what the hell that does to help the palestinian people get their civil society up and running - to which the answer must obviously be that hamas are more interested in playing guerrilla hero than in actually fixing the problems they were elected to fix. and you can't do both. needless to say, why take responsibility for yourself when you can blame everything on the zionists. as for the kidnapping - why was that necessary? if they wanted to negotiate a prisoner release, why not try, say, uh, RECOGNISING ISRAEL and conducting negotiations like normal people? no, no, no - that would have involved compromise. far easier to raid a border post and kidnap a "bargaining chip".

remember what this is really about - the leadership, funding and support of hamas. khaled meshaal is sitting in damascus (naturally) trying to run hamas, whereas ismail haniyeh is in gaza doing who knows what. this is a power struggle. the syrians are putting the bite on the israelis using hamas and hizbollah as their proxies as usual. they are trying to re-exert their grip on lebanon and take the pressure off themselves. you think it's coincidence that the lebanon raid and rocket attacks happened now? of course not! who pays for hamas? the syrians. who pays for hizbollah? the iranians. but of course the israelis can't go into syria or iran, can they? because the syrians and iranians "haven't done anything". HAH. no matter what the israelis do they are screwed. do nothing and get rocketed and kidnapped. do something and it's immediately disproportionate. i personally don't see how taking out the gazan power station helped actually, but as far as the lebanon action - it is aimed squarely at hizbollah, who knew very well what they were about. and, of course, let's not forget that the lebanese government allows hizbollah to operate without disarming it. we can thank the syrians and iranians for that. clearly the "cedar revolution" hasn't changed a lot.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Namaste BB,

As I indicated I don't have enough knowledge to hardly comment about what is going on over there. And I don't ascribe to the notion the fellow on the radio had in this case, but...

and I should have probably started another thread...

does that interpretation make sense, have you heard it before?
 
wil,

as bb said, Israeli law has nothing to do with Jewish law or halachah as it is called. But in Jewish law, the idea of ayin tachat ayin, eye for an eye, has to do with the monetary value of an eye in place of an eye, as exercised by a Jewish religious court with the authority to make such a ruling, not by people taking the matter into their own hands. A court with such authority does not exist today. That is the way eye for an eye is understood by halachah; monetary value. The only time such a court could potentially exercise a different punishment is life for a life.

Dauer
 
I certainly agree the Israeli's are in a difficult position - it's hard not to sympathise. But the shelling and missile strikes do come across as disproportionate. We've seen repeatedly in the past, and all it seems to achieve is continued civilian deaths, general "collateral damage", and even increased support for the very people the Palestinians, Lebannese, and others, should be turning against.

This is especially during this sensitive period, when as before we have the reformists trying to take back Lebannon from Syria, and Fatah are fighting Hamas (literally) to represent the real interests of the Palestinians.

At present, it wouldn't be surprisingly if the popularity of Hamas in Palestine was increasing for seen to be "resisting Israeli aggression". This as opposed to a few weeks back when Hamas could only have been losing support for running an effectively disfunctional and bankrupted government.

I was really hoping international withholding of funds would help force Hamas into some form of concilliation, but Israel has delivered to them the very thing they gain most popularity for. It's like Arafat before - war kept him popular, but once the peace deals started moving, it seemed Palestinian opinion changed. I fear the same for Hamas in the current climate.
 
Namaste all,

i often hear the accusation that "Israel isn't a real nation" since it was created by the U.N.

of course, i do not hear the same accusation leveled against Libya or Pakistan or Sudan or any of the other nations that the U.N. fixed boundaries for.

to be perfectly frank, i've never understood the viseral hatred that some members of the Abrahamic faiths have towards each other. i suspect that i never will.

the loss of life is always something to be lamented, in my view, so i would also encourage dialog and politics rather than armed conflict. that said, if there is nobody to engage in diplomacy then dialog has no ground to build upon.

it's a bloody poor situtation there, to be sure.

metta,

~v
 
Interesting observations all, but IMHO the most cogent metaphor for what has been going on in Palestine for millenia is a novel written by James Michener a few decades ago titled, The Haj.

He takes the historical roots of the conflict back into the WWI/WWII era, which IMO, is the time frame where most of the problems we're seeing now were created. By the way, Germany was a player back then in determining colonial policies which gave birth to the alternating periods of order and chaos that the region has experienced ever since. I'm not blaming Germany's influence, but their role is seldom mentioned in historical analyses of the situation.

This is not a simple thing to decode, and the most dismaying part of it all is that there is little of a concrete nature to point to and build upon to help solve the chaos, or so it seems. Much of it all likely stems from ancient tribal conflicts.

Peace process ? Road map to peace? Only political slogans invented by power brokers as far as I'm concerned. Really, the only bright spots in it all were the Camp David agreements between Begin and Sadat that the Carter Administration engineered. Clinton made a stab at it again with Arafat and Peres.

But we all know what happened to the participants, right ? Carter was submarined by the Iranian hostage crisis, and Reagan became president.
Sadat was assassinated, and Begin died soon afterwards of ill health. And political failures and ill health, not to mention presidential scandal took care of the second incarnation of hope at Camp David. It almost seems that some malevolent presence out there never wants this to be solved.

Say your prayers that this all quiets down soon. I am.

flow....:(
 
Re: Israel vs Hamas and Hezbolah escalates

If I may, from a military perspective?

There are four entities involved here, against one. Iran, Syria, Hezbolah, Hamas. The lone one is Israel. Though geographically lacking in depth, Israel does have the advantage of moving forces from one front to another rather quickly. Demographically, Israel is at a distinct disadvantage. It can be superior in localised areas (when it chooses the time and place for battle), but that is a luxury Israel can not always depend on. It does have technology on its side (for now), and is much more skilled in the art of war (again, for now), than its neighbors.

That "cultural" superiority can change, meaning Israel would have three strikes against it.

Israel has no ally but the United States (it appears), and the United States is currently hamstrung to do anything (as nothing has occured but skirmishes, relatively speaking). Syria is not quite ready to take on the role of aggressor, (as Hezbolah desperately wishes), and Hamas is in no position to all out war with Israel. Iran, however is gearing up for the big one.

There is a situation in Lebanon that could go either way for Hezbolah (and Syria), which would either cut the US out of the issue, or bring the US full force into the issue...25,000 plus potential non Lebanese/non Arab/non Muslim hostages...and Hezbolah has a history (in fact invented) hostage taking (for modern purposes). Syria knows this, and has offered safe passage out of Lebanon for all persons who would otherwise be "bait" in a Middle east war. I wouldn't bet that the US is waiting around...

Israel has nothing to lose at this point, and the whole of the theater really depends on what Israel decides to do.

The US is watching, Iran is watching, Syria is watching. If Israel feels there is nothing left to wait for and no way out, she will act...

I really don't care about the politics or the religion or the past injuries...this is a very unstable powderkeg.

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 
These comments from the Israeli military are pretty disgusting:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5219360.stm

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

...in order to prevent casualties amongst Israeli soldiers battling Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, villages should be flattened by the Israeli air force before ground troops move in.

He added that Israel had given the civilians of southern Lebanon ample time to quit the area and therefore anyone still remaining there can be considered Hezbollah supporters.

"All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah," Mr Ramon said.

With these sorts of views, I'm impressed Israel feels so hard done by when world opinion turns against it.

On another note, great reporter John Simpson answers questions fielded to him on the situation here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/5216708.stm

His conclusion - all the Israeli action is going to achieve is increased standing of Iran in the region, and an increased sympathy for Islamist militancy in the Muslim population of the world.
 
Yes Brian. Really disgusting.

Isn't it interesting how genocide begets genocide over the flows of history ? Someday it may be our turn to be on the receiving end. 9/11 and the train bombings in Spain, London, and Mumbai may be only the beginnings of it.

flow....:(
 
The fault is not the Israeli's or the Palestinians or Iran or Hamas...but those that chose to go and draw lines in the sand...

If the western world did not butt its nose into others affairs....

Such problem solvers we are...
 
I said:
These comments from the Israeli military are pretty disgusting:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5219360.stm



With these sorts of views, I'm impressed Israel feels so hard done by when world opinion turns against it.

On another note, great reporter John Simpson answers questions fielded to him on the situation here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/5216708.stm

His conclusion - all the Israeli action is going to achieve is increased standing of Iran in the region, and an increased sympathy for Islamist militancy in the Muslim population of the world.

The "Game" is afoot...


Saudis Publicly
Warn US & Israel
7-26-6
Saudi Press Agency, 07/25/06
FOLLOWING IS THE STATEMENT ISSUED
TODAY BY THE ROYAL COURT:
It was just two days ago on Sunday that the Saudis all but demanded an emergency meeting with the American President. They came to the White House in force -- the Foreign Minister, the Ambassador to the U.S. (formerly in charge of National Security in The Kingdom), and the old American Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan (now in charge of National Security in The Kingdom). They left unhappy. They are even more unhappy after Condolezza Rice's failed visit to Beirut and stealth visit to Ramallah as Palestinian protestors demanded a 'Day of Rage' against the Americans and boycotting of Rice. The following extraordinarily unusual statement and warning has just come from Riyadh in the name of the Saudi 'Royal Court', the highest authority in The Kingdom:
====================
JEDDAH, JULY 25, SPA -- FOLLOWING IS THE STATEMENT ISSUED TODAY BY THE ROYAL COURT:
" THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA HAS UNDERSTAKEN THE ROLE REQUIRED OF IT BY ITS RELIGIOUS AND NATIONAL DUTY WITH REGARD TO THE SITUATION IN THE REGION AND REPERCUSSIONS OF EVENTS IN LEBANON AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES. IN THIS REGARD, IT HAS CAUTIONED, WARNED AND EXTENDED ADVICE. FURTHERMORE, IT HAS STRIVEN FROM THE FIRST MOMENT TO STOP THE AGRRESSION, MOVING ON MORE THAN ONE FRONT AND BY MORE THAN ONE MEANS, TO PERSUADE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO FORCE ISRAEL TO AGREE TO A CEASEFIRE.
MEANWHILE, THE KINGDOM HAS DISPATCHED HRH THE FOREIGN MINISTER AND HRH THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEET H.E. THE U.S. PRESIDENT IN WASHINGTON AND INFORM HIM OF ITS VIEWS ON THE GRAVE AND UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE UNREMITTING ISRAELI AGGRESSION IF MATTERS WENT BEYOND CONTROL. THE KINGDOM HAS ALSO ASKED PERSONAL ENVOYS TO VISIT THE CAPITALS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL'S PERMANENT MEMBER STATES TO CONVEY THE SAME MESSAGE.
THE ARABS HAVE PROCLAIMED PEACE AS A STRATEGIC OPTION FOR THE ARAB NATION. THEY PRESENTED A JUST AND DISTINCT PLAN FOR REGAINING THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PEACE. THEY REFUSED TO RESPOND TO PROVOCATIONS AND IGNORED ANTI-PEACE EXTREMIST CALLS. IT SHOULD BE STATED THAT PATIENCE COULD NOT LAST FOREVER. IF THE ISRAELI MILITARY BRUTALITY PERSISTED WITH KILLINGS AND DESTRUCTION NO ONE COULD PREDICT THE CONSEQUENCES AND THEN REGRETS WILL BE IN VAIN.
THEREFORE, THE KINGDOM ADDRESSES AN APPEAL AND A WARNING TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN ITS ENTIRETY, AS REPRESENTED BY THE U.N. AND IN PARTICULAR THE U.S.
THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA CALLS ON ALL TO ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH HONEST, CONSCIOUS AND INTERNATIONAL MORAL AND HUMANITARIAN LAWS. IT ALSO WARNS ALL THAT IF THE PEACE OPTION IS REJECTED DUE TO THE ISRAELI ARROGANCE THEN ONLY THE WAR OPTION REMAINS AND NO ONE KNOWS THE REPERCUSSIONS BEFALLING THE REGION, INCLUDING WARS AND CONFLICT THAT WILL SPARE NO ONE INCLUDING THOSE WHOSE MILITARY POWER IS NOW TEMPTING THEM TO PLAY WITH FIRE.
--MORE 1625 Local Time 1325 GMT

 
As I stated before, when Israel believes there is no way out, they will choose a options no one dared think they would do in today's world. Their intent is to survive at all costs...

I believe people around the world better consider Israel's perception of the situation at hand, quite seriously. It doesn't matter if it is socially acceptable or not. Life to these folk is not a morality question or exercise in diplomacy. It is an instinct (we all have).

And I can tell you with the utmost assuredness, the US will not abandon Israel, if push comes to shove, right, wrong or indifferent.

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 
I think you a right Q. The US may try to act the diplomat but I can't imagine it ever abandoning Israel, esp now that we've pushed the first domino over in Iraq.

luna
 
lunamoth said:
I think you a right Q. The US may try to act the diplomat but I can't imagine it ever abandoning Israel, esp now that we've pushed the first domino over in Iraq.

luna

No, I submit that the first "domino" in recent history that Uncle Sam knocked over was in Afghanistan...

The US has no love loss for Syria or Iran. That should be a clear ALARM bell going off in everyone's ears. Hamas and Hezbolah are "dogs" of "Masters" with grander ideals, one of which is the elimination of the State of Israel. The US is not going to "allow" that to happen. For those that think America is militarily stretched too thin...guess again...

Look historically at the relationship between Israel and the United States of America. Since 1947/8 that bond has not been broken, despite disputes, anger flares, difference of opinions. And (lol), Israel has no oil, nor anything else of significant material value to the United States...but that doesn't matter...

Consequently Hamas and Hezbolah are really, cannon fodder...but now Saudi Arabia has officially stepped into the game.

Israel has no intention of listening to anyone at this point. In fact, that mindset is "with or without help" we will not be intimidated nor destroyed, nor will we give in to anyone...

"The li'l engine that could" (Israel), is not yet bringing boilers to full steam pressure.

I strongly suggest diplomacy believers get a grip on reality and deal with Israel and the hostiles around that nation as equals and in earnest, post haste...or there is going to be one hell of a private little war, that will soon enough become very public, to the world at large.

Politics have little influence in the area right now.

my "thoughts"

v/r

Q
 
Someone should seriously educate themselves on the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah.

bananabrain said:
wil,
the state of israel is not run according to jewish law. it is run according to israeli law which is an entirely different, western type of law, based on british, ottoman and french law with a supreme court and so on. so the idea of an "eye for an eye" (besides being utterly mistaken as to how it is applied in practice in jewish law) is not applicable here.
So Judaism, Christianity, and Islam don't apply? Are you sure? Was there no wisdom behind the eye for eye? Do people here seriously think that Israel has written a law that enables them to justly attack Lebanon? Tell me, did Lebanon democratically agree to this law that allows them to be attacked? Because if they didn't, then the law is void. I expect others will now write their own laws to attack Israel full scale in undue proportion. Since that is what Israel does, that will now be justice.

Best course of action: Withdraw, cease-fire, swallow the pride, apologize, PAY for damages, and learn new ways of struggling with the threats.
 
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