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rachelg
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« Reply #300 on: December 27, 2008, 12:20:50 PM »

'All police HQs in Gaza destroyed'
Dec. 26, 2008
Jpost.com staff and ap , THE JERUSALEM POST
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111714969&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Just days after the cabinet gave the military final approval to counter ongoing Palestinian rocket fire against communities in the western Negev, the IDF launched a massive operation, striking Hamas installations throughout the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

The wide-scale offensive on Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip was codenamed 'Operation Cast Lead,' after a Hanukkah poem by H.N. Bialik referring to a "dreidel cast from solid lead."

At least 200 people were reported killed - the majority of them Hamas operatives - and nearly 400 wounded in the attacks. It was not clear if the aerial offensive would be coupled with a ground offensive. Asked if Hamas political leaders might be targeted next, military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said, "Any Hamas target is a target."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a press conference that the IAF had succeeded in eliminating senior Hamas commanders during the offensive. According to witnesses, among the dead was Hamas police chief Maj.-Gen. Tawfik Jaber.

Despite the massive casualties, Hamas remained defiant, vowing revenge and calling on all other Palestinian factions to join in the fight.

"Today we are stronger then we've ever been," one spokesperson for the group said at a press conference. "We won't raise the white flag, we won't give anything up, we won't retreat."

"We call on the Arab states in the region to take a stance against this massacre and not to be satisfied with just condemnations," he continued.

Minutes after the first wave of air strikes hit areas in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinians reported a second wave which targeted installations in the center and the north of the Strip. Channel 2 reported that 60 planes were involved in the attack, and nearly 100 targets were hit. Military officials said more than 100 tons of bombs were dropped on Gaza by mid-afternoon.

Hamas's Interior Ministry said that all security compounds in Gaza were destroyed.


Analysis: The policy of restraint is over
Dec. 27, 2008
David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111718275&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The Israeli air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza on Saturday, hugely dramatic in their scope, nonetheless mark only the beginning of an ongoing, potentially lengthy operation aimed at restoring calm to the South, rather than a one-off response to the escalated Kassam rocket fire. The policy of restraint, officials say, is over.

For months, Israel has been refining its intelligence information on the key physical locations that are crucial to the rule of Hamas in the terror state that the Gaza Strip has become since the Islamist group seized power there in June 2007.

And rather than seeking to target the fast-moving offshoots of that terrorist rule - the Kassam crews that set themselves up in residential Gaza neighborhoods, fire into Israeli residential areas and then quickly melt away - Israel has elected to fire into the heart of the terror beast.

Defense Ministry officials, from Ehud Barak on down, were Saturday preparing the Israeli public for what they said was likely to be a difficult period ahead.

Hamas is threatening a further escalation in rocket fire - with missiles reaching to Beersheba - and the mobilization of a new wave of suicide bombers.

The international fallout, even amid the relative inattention of the Christmas-New Year period, began remarkably quickly, with a chorus of calls for Israeli restraint, including predictable fury in the Arab world and a vehement protest from France at Israel's ostensibly disproportionate response.

Amid the military preparations, it will quickly become clear whether Israel has made parallel diplomatic preparations, with articulate officials prepped and ready to highlight to the watching world how untenable has been the situation of Hamastan firing into Israel for eight years, with interim lulls to rearm, and no cessation even after Israel pulled all its civilians and all military infrastructure out of Gaza in 2005.

The word from the defense establishment on Saturday afternoon was that some 60 planes had participated in the strikes at dozens of Hamas military and logistical targets. Preparations were in place for an intensification of military action, with the potential use of ground forces, officials said. No call up of reserves was under way but, again, the preparations were in place should it be deemed necessary.

Naturally, the effort launched Saturday to defang a rocket-firing, Iranian-backed terror army across a hostile border invites immediate comparison with the bid to destroy Hizbullah's terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon two and a half years ago.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert relentlessly insisted that he was the man best placed to learn the lessons of that indecisive and ultimately unsuccessful resort to force - a war mis-stewarded by an inexperienced prime minister, a defense minister, Amir Peretz, who was entirely unqualified for the job, and a chief of staff, Dan Halutz, who placed exaggerated confidence in the air force's capacity for destroying carefully protected underground infrastructure and a highly mobile Hizbullah fighting force.

We are now going to find out whether those lessons from 2006 - on military preparation, on the need for effective military-political coordination, on operating in an immensely complex regional and global context, and on setting realistic goals for the use of military force - were indeed well learned.

'

 Links to video and slideshow
Israeli Air Forces launches major assault against Hamas in Gaza

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/Page/VideoPlayer&cid=1194419829128&videoId=1230111719583

Slideshow

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111719289&pagename=JPost%2FPage%2FSlideShow&photoId=10




Here is the Bialik poem the name was taken from
http://festivals.iloveindia.com/hanukkah/poems/for-hanukkah.html

'For Hanukkah' by H. N. Bialik is a short cute poem for Hanukka holiday.

For Hanukkah

Father lighted candles for me;
Like a torch the Shamash shone.
In whose honor, for whose glory?
For Hanukkah alone.

Teacher bought a big top for me,
Solid lead, the finest known.
In whose honor, for whose glory?
For Hanukkah alone.

Mother made a pancake for me,
Hot and sweet and sugar-strewn.
In whose honor, for whose glory?
For Hanukkah alone.

Uncle had a present for me,
An old penny for my own.
In whose honor, for whose glory?
For Hanukkah alone.
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rachelg
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« Reply #301 on: December 28, 2008, 09:40:14 AM »

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111721985&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
A time to fight
Dec. 28, 2008
, THE JERUSALEM POST

On Friday, a Hamas spokesman made Israel the following proposal: You keep the stream of humanitarian aid and supplies flowing into Gaza and we will keep launching rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians.

It was an offer Israel had little choice but to refuse.

For weeks Israel has been imploring Hamas to stop shooting across the border, to stop tunneling in preparation for the next round of violence, and to allow our farmers to tend their fields. The Islamists responded that they were not afraid of the IDF and that they reserved the right to resist "the occupation" - meaning the existence of a Jewish state. They brazenly told Israel to get used to the idea that no amount of humanitarian gestures would stem their behavior.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Israel finally told Hamas that it would not be bled, slowly, to death. Thanks to excellent intelligence and superb training, a haughty enemy was caught off-guard. Targets up and down the Strip were hit and large numbers of Hamas personnel including senior military figures were killed. Key facilities were turned into rubble; well-camouflaged equipment was destroyed.

In launching "Operation Cast Lead," Defense Minister Ehud Barak, declared, "There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting." And Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, flanked by Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, said that Israel had done everything possible to avoid this escalation, but that its entreaties for quiet had been met with disdain.

The IDF's mission is not to bring down the Hamas regime, but to bring quiet to the South. In a sense we are asking Hamas to stop being Hamas. The Islamists need to decide whether they want to go down in flames or are prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with control over the Strip. They may give Israel no choice but to topple their administration.

To their credit, Israeli decision makers are avoiding the kind of bombastic rhetoric all of us came to regret in the course of the Second Lebanon War and its aftermath. Now, what ordinary Israelis demand is that their government deliver, as promised, quiet to the South. We do not expect this operation to be fast or easy. We do expect it to succeed.

Israelis must unite and be vigilant. Regrettably, we've already seen rioting among some east Jerusalem Palestinians. The possibility of disturbances among our Arab citizens cannot be discounted. Hamas rockets may reach targets heretofore thought to be beyond enemy range; their threats to launch suicide attacks must be taken with utmost seriousness. And Diaspora Jews also need be on alert.

ON A quiet post-Christmas weekend, the events in Gaza have captured world attention. From an unsympathetic foreign media, we are already hearing complaints that Israel's retaliation is "disproportionate" and a form of "collective punishment." That over 200 Palestinians have been killed compared to only one Israeli leads some journalists to conclude that Israel is inherently in the wrong. One British news anchor wondered why her government had not already demanded that Israel halt its operation. There was a grudging understanding that Hamas uses Palestinian non-combatants as human shields, along with an unreasonable demand that Israel magically find a way not to harm any of them.

The formula for purchasing the affection of those who suffer from moral relativism is sickeningly clear: if one Jew is killed, we get very little piety. If, heaven forbid, an Israeli kindergarten was to take a direct hit - Israel might, temporarily, gain the sympathy of news anchors from Paris to London to Madrid.

At that price we would rather forgo their sympathy.

Nevertheless, we expect our diplomats to work 24/7 to make Israel's case to the international community. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has begun that process. In an English-language address she said, "Enough is enough" - Israel would not continue to absorb rockets, mortars and bullets without retaliating.

At this newspaper, we wonder how an international community that can't bring itself to explicitly support Israel's operation against the most intransigent of Muslim fanatics expects to play a positive role in facilitating peace in this region.

Hamas must be stopped. And the civilized world must help stop it.


The Warped Mirror: The cycle of stupidity
Posted by Petra Marquardt-Bigman
http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/Bigman/entry/the_cycle_of_stupidity_posted

It was just a few days ago that Hamas mocked Israel for its failure to respond to the barrage of rockets that rained down on communities near the border with Gaza. A leaflet distributed by the armed wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam, boasted that Israel was "hopeless and desperate" in the face of the relentless attacks: "The enemy is in a state of confusion and doesn't know what to do ... Their fragile cabinet has met in a desperate attempt to stop the rockets while thousands of settlers have found refuge in shelters which, by God's will, will become their permanent homes."

That was the openly stated goal of Hamas: to force all Israelis in the expanding range of the rockets in Hamas's arsenal to live in permanent fear for their lives.

Unsurprisingly, the notion that Israel has the right to defend itself and protect its citizens from such a threat is not accepted everywhere. One place where it is not accepted is in the topsy-turvy world of some members of the British commentariat: just a few hours after Israel had launched its attack against Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip, Sean Rayment, a defense and security correspondent, announced in his Telegraph blog that "Israel is addicted to violence":

To be sure, Rayment paid lip service to Israel's right to defend itself "against terrorism and wanton aggression", but while reputable newspapers carried a Reuters report stating that "Hamas estimated that at least 100 members of its security forces were killed", Rayment asserted that the 155 casualties that were reported at the time of his writing were civilians, including many women and children. Needless to say, he condemned the Israeli strikes on Hamas as "disproportionate".

Over at the Guardian's website, readers were given to understand that Israel's military move against Hamas could only increase the group's popularity in the Gaza Strip  - that was unsurprisingly also what the Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi had suggested in an interview with the BBC. It was emphasized that Ashrawi was "no friend of the Islamists"; yet, speaking from her Ramallah home, she had decried the Israeli strikes as "nothing short of a massacre, an outrage", and she left little doubt that whatever had happened and would happen was to blame on Israel: "The cycle of violence is generated by the occupation and by the ongoing state of siege that is attempting to collectively punish a whole people. This will enhance the standing of Hamas. People are sympathising with Hamas as the people who are being ruthlessly targeted by Israel. They are seen as victims of ongoing Israeli aggression."

Of course, blaming Israel for whatever choices the Palestinians make has become Ashrawi's trade mark in the course of her long and distinguished career as successful spokesperson for the Palestinian cause. She actually used to be widely admired among Israel's left until she couldn't get herself to condemn the lynching of two Israeli soldiers by a Ramallah mob in October 2000. As this horrific murder illustrated all too well, no matter what happens, Ashrawi will always decry the "cycle of violence" for which in her view only Israel bears ultimate responsibility.

But it is really time to start talking about a cycle of stupidity: if Hamas can proudly announce that they are not interested in a cease-fire and boast that it is their ambition to force hundreds of thousands of Israelis to live in permanent fear for their lives, it is quite obvious that Israel will have to move against the group. The resulting military operations will inevitably affect all people in Gaza, no matter how hard Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage. If Palestinians and the wider Arab world then conclude that they should react by cheering Hamas on, they will only get more of the same from Hamas - and if people like Hanan Ashrawi keep justifying this self-destructive conduct by invoking the tired slogan of a "cycle of violence" in which the Palestinians unfailingly appear as the "victims of ongoing Israeli aggression", one can only conclude that the Palestinians would like to be seen as unable to take any responsibility whatsoever for their conduct.

Unfortunately, this is not just a Palestinian problem: as a survey earlier this year revealed, it doesn't matter much in the Arab world how well a political leader governs and what he achieves for the welfare of his people - the only thing that is important is that he is perceived as "standing up" to the West or Israel: that's why the three most popular political figures in the Arab world are Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No doubt that this popular trio will not miss the opportunity now to cheer on Hamas and echo Hanan Ashrawi's assessment - and of course, these three would have no quarrel with the verdict of the Telegraph's Sean Rayment that it is Israel that is "addicted to violence".

Slideshow Cast Lead Day Two

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230456496905&pagename=JPost%2FPage%2FSlideShow
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G M
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« Reply #302 on: December 28, 2008, 09:43:02 AM »

Israel needs to hammer the savages until they cry "uncle".
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captainccs
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« Reply #303 on: December 28, 2008, 01:36:30 PM »

It's really bothersome to have rockets rain down on you day and night. If it were only during the day you could get some sleep at night or if only at night, you might get some work done during the day. But day and night is inadmissible. No wonder the IDF struck back.

One always fears a repeat of past mistakes and in this case the Second Lebanon War is still fresh in most people's minds. That war was a disaster. What's to prevent this one from following the same course? I think the main difference is that the Israeli action in the previous war was a reaction, not something where they planned ahead and got all the logistics just right before starting the action. In this case, Operation Cast Lead has been in preparation for six months. This time it was Hamas that was taken by surprise, not the IDF. In a sense the same difference there was between the Six Day War started by Israel vs. the Yom Kippur War started by the Arabs.

The 1967 war was decided in the first few hours when the various Arab air forces were wiped out still on the ground. After that it was mostly mopping up. In the first few minutes of this war all the Hamas police stations, about 40 of them were wiped out. Supposedly 50% of the Hamas rockets have been destroyed. Many tunnels are no more cutting off the Hamas supply lines. Unfortunately, without troops on the ground it is very difficult if not impossible to win decisively. I'm afraid that ground troops will soon enter Gaza. There was no call-up of the reserves prior to the bombing to make sure that the surprise was complete. But now some 6,500 reservists have been called up. I don't look forward to a ground war but it might be considered indispensable for achieving the war aims.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could have peace?
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Denny Schlesinger
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #304 on: December 28, 2008, 02:18:07 PM »

Peace through victory is the only option left to Israel.
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rachelg
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« Reply #305 on: December 28, 2008, 03:56:18 PM »

Israel needs to hammer the savages until they cry "uncle".


It is not that part of me does not agree with you.  We all have dark thoughts.   However the Palestinians are not savages they are human beings created in the images of G-d that have forgotten it . Their society is savage, nihilististic, and a death cult  and that needs to fought on multiple levels including strong use of military force.

There will continue to be  the the death of children and more or less innocent bystanders  but I  blame that on Hamas   (deliberately  placing military elements so they are surrounded by schools and apartment buildings) not the Israelis.

However because the Palestinians are nihilists and a death cut a military victory ( at least a  military victory that an ethical democracy could carry out) will not solve all of Israelis problems.    As Golda Meir said "Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us"   I am not a nihilist and I believe in miracles but-... cry

I want Israel (and America for that matter) to be the strongest and toughest  kid on the block because that  will keep it safer.  However, This " situation" is not only about a piece of land or the safety and security of citizens.  The  fighting is for something much greater than that. 

Chanukah remembers a time when there was miraculous  battle victories but what the holiday is known for is  light.
Israel and America needs to be known for its light.
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G M
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« Reply #306 on: December 28, 2008, 06:46:35 PM »

Ok, are we in agreement or not? I can't tell....   grin
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JAK
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« Reply #307 on: December 29, 2008, 07:35:19 AM »

Tzipi Livni: I will “Topple” Hamas
 Monday December 22, 2008 08:55 by Justin Theriault - 1 of International Middle East Media Center - IMEMC Editorial Group

On the horizon of upcoming prime minister elections in Israel, the leading candidates vow to “remove” Hamas leadership from the Gaza Strip.

Tzipi Livni, currently Israel’s foreign minister, said in a statement on Sunday that her primary goal if she is elected to the office of prime minister will be to overthrow the Hamas government in Gaza.  “The Hamas government in Gaza must be toppled, the means to do this must be military, economic and diplomatic,” Livni said in her statement.

Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party, Livni’s main rival in the up-coming elections, said that, "in the long-term, we will have to topple the Hamas regime." He continued his statements with "in the short-term...there are a wide range of possibilities, from doing nothing to doing everything, meaning to conquer Gaza."

Israel has began a public relations campaign, targeting key members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as EU countries, in order to gain support for a full-scale military invasion into Gaza, which would have devastating effects on the local populations already suffering from Israel’s year and a half long siege.

Throughout the course of the last year and a half, ever since the Hamas government was democratically elected into office, the Israeli government has imposed a brutal economic strangulation of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, denying citizens of their human rights by imposing a blockade on needed resources; including humanitarian aid, money transfers to banks, and desperately needed medical supplies.  Israel has also bombed Gaza’s only power plant.

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Train like a madman, fight like a demon
captainccs
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« Reply #308 on: December 29, 2008, 07:56:55 AM »

Throughout the course of the last year and a half, ever since the Hamas government was democratically elected into office, the Israeli government has imposed a brutal economic strangulation of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, denying citizens of their human rights by imposing a blockade on needed resources; including humanitarian aid, money transfers to banks, and desperately needed medical supplies.  Israel has also bombed Gaza’s only power plant.


Do you have a link to this opinion piece? I'm curious who "International Middle East Media Center - IMEMC Editorial Group" might be.

You see, we in Venezuela, democratically elected Hugo Chavez Frias and now we want to get rid of him. People make mistakes. But there are some international interests such as Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua (ABCN) who are being paid off by Chavez to get support in international forums. Just because ABCN support Chavez for their own selfish purposes that does not mean they are right or that they represent the will of the people who elected Chavez. In a similar vein, Germany democratically elected Hitler and Chile elected Allende. But they have since put things to right. In other words, a democratic election is not the end of history.

Maybe the Gazans love Hamas and that is their right. But when Gazans rain missiles on Israel, they can expect retribution.
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Denny Schlesinger
G M
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« Reply #309 on: December 29, 2008, 09:00:35 AM »

http://www.imemc.org/about_us

About the International Middle East Media Center

IMEMC is a media center developed in collaboration between Palestinian and International journalists to provide independent media coverage of Israel-Palestine.
IMEMC was founded by the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People in 2003. (www.pcr.ps)

Being a joint Palestinian-International effort, IMEMC combines Palestinian journalists' deep understanding of the context, history, and the socio-political environment with International journalists' skills in non-partisan reporting.

IMEMC provides fair and comprehensive coverage of events and developments in Israel-Palestine.

Recently, IMEMC Started to provide Spanish Language coverage as an attempt to outreach a wider readership. The Spanish edition of IMEMC is completly run by volunteers, from Barcelona, Palestine and other places.

IMEMC started to provide News in Arabic through the Palestine News Network (PNN) website, Click arabic.pnn.ps.

The cooperation between IMEMC & PNN, provides a more comprehensive coverage of the Palestine-Israel conflict..
IMEMC is a founding member of the network of United Radio and TV Stations (NUR Media) english.nurmedia.org

IMEMC provides coverage of news, political developments and daily incidents combined with feature stories, political analysis, interviews and selected opinion pieces.

IMEMC provides a daily news cast in English and Italian languages, which provides nearly five minutes featuring main incidents of the day.

In addition IMEMC produces a weekly audio summary of socio-political developments in Israel-Palestine to keep you updated.

IMEMC also provides field reports on main issues of interest to its targeted audience.

What you need to know to make the most of the IMEMC news website:

In the center of the IMEMC site, the most recent news articles, covering the main socio-political developments, are shown.

The 'latest news' section provides an up to the hour coverage of developments. The list is meant to update readers on incidents taking place in all West Bank and Gaza Strip areas. Information is mainly provided by IMEMC affiliates and collaborators in the field.

The human interest section presents stories which give a more personal side to the conflict.

Opinion/Analysis articles can be contributed to the site by any number of contributing writers, from both inside and outside Palestine. Including you!

As you open any article, a list of articles related to the topic presented is available in a sidebox. These are meant to provide readers of specific interests with a convenient and easy way to look at other developments related to a specific issue. You can also use the filters to view all articles of a certain type, area, or topic that particularly interests you.
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G M
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« Reply #310 on: December 29, 2008, 09:11:51 AM »

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/190943.php

Here is some more "reporting" from IMEMC.  rolleyes
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ccp
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« Reply #311 on: December 29, 2008, 10:39:09 AM »

Home News World News Middle East IsraelAnalysis: Israeli politics lies behind Gaza attacks
The people of Sderot, a small town in southern Israel a few miles from the Gaza Strip, have 15 seconds to take cover whenever the wail of sirens gives warning of another rocket attack.
 
By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor
Last Updated: 12:40AM GMT 29 Dec 2008

Israeli Maya Iber inspects damage at her destroyed house after a rocket attack on Sderot by Palestinian militants on Dec 21 Photo: GETTY IMAGES
For almost five years, this has been their daily ordeal and Sderot's bus stops have been specially reinforced to serve as armoured shelters from the regular salvoes fired out of Gaza.

With a general election due on Feb 10, no Israeli government could afford to appear indifferent to this threat, especially as Palestinian fighters are deploying rockets with longer ranges and heavier warheads, with some weapons capable of hitting the port of Ashdod 20 miles from Gaza. In all, some 500,000 Israelis live within range of Gaza's rockets.

The political imperative to act undoubtedly lay behind Israel's decision to launch the attack. It will have weighed most heavily on the minds of Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and leader of the centrist Kadima party, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister and leader of the Labour party.

Both will be fighting the election against Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister from the right-wing Likud party. As they enter this contest, neither can afford to appear anything but hawkish.

Yet the scale of the response exposes Israel to international criticism. Almost 300 Palestinians have been killed in the last two days alone. By contrast, rockets fired from Gaza have killed 17 Israeli civilians in the last seven years.

Since Israel completed its withdrawal from Gaza in September 2005, about 150 Palestinians have been killed by its security forces in the territory for every dead Israeli civilian. Faced with this astonishing ratio, Israel's government will find it extremely hard to argue that its response has been proportionate.

Moreover, the subtext to the operation in Gaza is a failure of policy on both sides. Since Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007, its only tactic has been to fire rockets at southern Israel, thereby provoking a draconian – and predictable – response.

Meanwhile, Israel has blockaded Gaza of all but essential humanitarian supplies and launched regular military raids. On the rare occasions when the territory's border posts have been open, Palestinian fighters have occasionally attacked them, forcing their closure and maximising Gaza's isolation and the ordeal of its people.

Its 1.5 million inhabitants are effectively prisoners. This cycle of attack, retaliation and more attack has achieved nothing save inflict suffering on both sides.

Last year, a truce arranged by neighbouring Egypt brought a measure of calm. That has now collapsed amid recriminations over who was to blame.

Israeli forces killed three Palestinian fighters and destroyed a tunnel linking Gaza with Egypt during an operation in November. A barrage of rockets fired at Israeli towns was the response, with 70 being launched last Wednesday alone.

The only hope lies in restoring the ceasefire. But any political progress will have to await the outcome of Israel's election. In the meantime, the military campaign goes on.
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #312 on: December 29, 2008, 12:08:48 PM »

Forgive me CCP, but I am baffled why you would post such twaddle.

Hamas, in contravention to "Palestine's" international legal obligations, is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.  Exactly why is Israel supposed to faciliate it and its actions towards that end? 
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ccp
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« Reply #313 on: December 29, 2008, 12:39:46 PM »

"I am baffled why you would post such twaddle"

I did a search as to possible reasons why Israel is attacking Gaza now, and this came up so I thought I would post it.

Actually I wondered if actions were now because of impending change in *American* political power not because of Israeli politics.

Are they doing it before BO gets in as part of a calculation?

BO clearly has ties to the anti semitic Black camp.  Though he does have/had a lot of Jews working for his interests and hopefully they will keep him from selling out Israel - but we will see.


 
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sgtmac_46
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« Reply #314 on: December 29, 2008, 02:19:21 PM »

"I am baffled why you would post such twaddle"

I did a search as to possible reasons why Israel is attacking Gaza now, and this came up so I thought I would post it.

Actually I wondered if actions were now because of impending change in *American* political power not because of Israeli politics.

Are they doing it before BO gets in as part of a calculation?

BO clearly has ties to the anti semitic Black camp.  Though he does have/had a lot of Jews working for his interests and hopefully they will keep him from selling out Israel - but we will see.

 
Clearly a change in the American situation must be a concern, and is likely calculated in to the response.  But the REASON for the attack is quite clear....Hamas' continued threat to Israel and the continuing launch of rockets in to Israel's civilian areas.

I imagine that if the US had a (more) unfriendly neighbor across the border in Mexico, and they allowed the launching of rockets in to US southern cities....I DOUBT our response would be anything so measured.  Mexico would likely cease to exist as a separate entity.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 02:21:52 PM by sgtmac_46 » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #315 on: December 29, 2008, 03:09:26 PM »

It's really bothersome to have rockets rain down on you day and night. If it were only during the day you could get some sleep at night or if only at night, you might get some work done during the day. But day and night is inadmissible. No wonder the IDF struck back.

I think that is why the world is objecting; no one questions the right of Israel to exact retribution, but it seems to be a disproportionate reaction.  If I read correctly, less than
5 Israeli's have been killed and/or injured, yet there are over 400 dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them innocent women and children.
Not to mention supplies, first aid, etc. not getting through; is there any wonder why Israel is being condemned?




World rallies around Palestinians amid Gaza offensive
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Protests reported in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Britain and Venezuela
In Iraq, demonstrators set fire to Israeli flag, photo of President Bush
Hezbollah leader speaks via satellite to protesters in Beirut, Lebanon
Greek protesters hurl stones outside Israeli Embassy; police fire tear gas

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Israeli attacks on suspected Hamas strongholds in Gaza have triggered protests in more than a dozen countries.

A girl in Caracas, Venezuela, holds a sign reading, "No more massacre in Gaza" at Israel's embassy Monday.

The attacks entered their third day Monday, with more than 300 people in Gaza reported killed and hundreds more wounded. Israel says the military assault is in response to ongoing rocket strikes on Israel, which have killed two Israelis.

In London, England, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy, waving flags and trying to push their way closer to the building, as police tried to hold them back and erect a barricade.  Watch protesters push toward embassy
Police in Germany said about 2,000 protesters marched peacefully down Berlin's Kurfuerstendamm Boulevard and dispersed after about three hours.
Protesters also have taken to the streets in Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, according to news reports. There also were reports of demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela.

Iranian media reported that thousands took part in anti-Israel demonstrations in Tehran on Monday, which the government declared a day of mourning for the Palestinians in Gaza.
Photographs of the rallies posted by Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency showed black-shrouded women and men holding shoes in the air -- widely considered an insult in the Middle East -- while others held Palestinian flags and signs that said "Down with U.S.A." in English and Farsi.

Greek riot police clashed with protesters in Athens during a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy, according to police and images broadcast on state television.

Barak: Israel at 'war' with Hamas
U.N. chief calls for end to Gaza violence
Aid reaching Gaza, but U.N. says it's not enough
TIME.com: Strategic price of Israel's Gaza assault
Protesters hurled stones in an attempt to break through the police cordon around the heavily secured embassy. Police responded with tear gas.

In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in al-Mustansiriya Square in eastern Baghdad. The demonstrators carried Iraqi and Palestinian flags, banners and pictures of al-Sadr and his father.
The demonstrators threw an Israeli flag on the ground, put President Bush's picture on top of it and set both on fire.
In the Muslim world, demonstrations also were held in Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya and Bahrain, the BBC and other news outlets reported.  See world leaders' reactions to offensive »

Also, thousands of Lebanese demonstrators packed the streets of Beirut as part of a rally called by the militant group Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed the crowd via satellite from an undisclosed location.

Protests were also held in Israel, where students at universities in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem demonstrated against the Israeli military operation, ynetnews.com reported.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #316 on: December 29, 2008, 03:40:44 PM »

JDN: "no one questions the right of Israel to exact retribution, but it seems to be a disproportionate reaction."

I'm no expert but I think the disproportionality you correctly notice is an intentional part of Israel's goal of deterrence.  Often we see - a) attack and no consequence.  You suggest  - b) receive attack then kill back the same number(?)  Israel it seems is saying - c) attack and you will consistently receive a disproportionate response until as one insightful analyst put it - they say uncle.

Also, if your enemy is committed to destroy you and you have provocation, justification and opportunity, taking out their ability to wage war against you - while you can - seems prudent. 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 03:43:50 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #317 on: December 29, 2008, 04:01:06 PM »

Add to Doug's comments the fact that Hamas intentionally embeds its infrastructure in civilian areas so that retaliation ensures non-combatant casualties, and then they makes sure there are plenty of cameras around to document those casualties. Further, it's been pretty convincingly documented that "Paliwood" propagandists in fact fake some of the riveting footage and body counts, stage some of the scenes of carnage, change combatant clothing to civilian clothing and so on. Bottom line is that this is asymmetric warfare and Hamas is using what it has plenty of--civies in squalid conditions--to get better bang for their propaganda buck.

Think the most asinine statement ever made by a Secretary of State occurred when Warren Christopher asked, during the planning for the rescue of the American hostages being held by Iran, if the Delta Force soldiers could shoot any Irani military members in the leg rather than killing them. Expecting Israel to only hit Hamas but not the civies they embed themselves among involves a similarly flawed understanding of force projection.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #318 on: December 29, 2008, 04:03:55 PM »

Israel's air assault on Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks is inspiring familiar international denunciations. But the best commentary we've heard might be this one: "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing."

 
AP
Northern Gaza Strip as seen from Netiv Hasara, Israel, Dec. 27, 2008.
Barack Obama said those words in July while visiting Israel as a Presidential candidate.

Now as President-elect, Mr. Obama is maintaining an appropriate silence while deferring to the Bush Administration before his Inauguration. But his July remarks capture the essence of Israel's right to self-defense. Moreover, the more successful Israel is this week in damaging Hamas as a terrorist force, the better chance Mr. Obama will have to make progress in facilitating a genuine Mideast peace.

Naturally, the conventional diplomatic and journalistic wisdom is that the longer the fight goes on the more difficult the "peace process" becomes. The usual suspects at the United Nations are condemning Israel and blaming it for "excessive" force. Even Nicolas Sarkozy -- who holds the rotating European Union presidency and is considered Israel-friendly for a French president -- criticized Jerusalem's "disproportionate" response.

The Opinion Journal Widget
Download Opinion Journal's widget and link to the most important editorials and op-eds of the day from your blog or Web page.
But as Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi explain, the Israeli public isn't about to make territorial concessions on the West Bank or the Golan Heights if Gaza is allowed to become a neighboring terrorist state that can launch attacks with impunity. Israel has already had a bad enough experience letting that happen with Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. Meanwhile, the stronger Hamas becomes, the more resistance Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will face to making any concessions to Israel.

The chronology of this latest violence is important to understand. Israel withdrew both its soldiers and all of its settlers from Gaza in August 2005. Hamas won its internal power struggle with Mr. Abbas's Fatah organization to control Gaza in 2007. Since 2005 Hamas has fired some 6,300 rockets at Israeli civilians from Gaza, killing 10 and wounding more than 780.

Hamas did agree to a six-month cease-fire earlier this year, during which the rocket attacks declined in number but never completely stopped. But Hamas refused to extend the truce past December 19, and the group has since resumed attacks, firing nearly 300 missiles, rockets and mortars. The 250,000 Israelis in the southern part of the country live under constant threat, often in bomb shelters, and the economy has suffered. Yet the world's media seem to pay attention only when Israel responds to that Hamas barrage.

Israel's air assault has resulted in more Palestinian casualties, but that is in part because Hamas deliberately locates its security forces in residential neighborhoods. This is intended both to deter Israel from attacking in the first place as well as to turn world opinion against the Jewish state when it does attack. By all accounts, however, the Israeli strikes have hit their targets precisely enough to do significant damage to Hamas forces -- both to its leadership and, on Sunday, to the tunnels from Gaza to Egypt that Hamas uses to smuggle in weapons and build its growing army.

In Today's Opinion Journal
 

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Israel's Gaza DefenseOrszag's Health WarningSudan's Slaves

TODAY'S COLUMNIST

The Americas: Hollywood Celebrates Che Guevara
– Mary Anastasia O'Grady

COMMENTARY

Palestinians Need Israel to Win
– Michael B. Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi'Stimulus' Doesn't Have to Mean Pork
– Clifford WinstonThe War on Terror Has Not Gone Away
– Thane RosenbaumCarbon Limits, Yes; Energy Subsidies, No
– William Tucker
Hamas claims the goal of its rocket attacks is merely to force Israel to ease its strict travel restrictions into and out of Gaza. But those restrictions are intended to prevent suicide bombers from blowing up Israeli citizens in cafes as they did during the intifadah earlier this decade. If Hamas wants its people to have freer movement, it can stop sponsoring terror killings.

Even as Arab leaders have formally condemned Israel's attacks, they have also noted Hamas's escalation. Mr. Abbas yesterday said "We talked to them [Hamas] and we told them 'please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop' so that we could have avoided what happened." Egypt's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit, assailed Israel's air strikes but also held Hamas responsible. They understand that Hamas, like Hezbollah, is increasingly allied with Iran and its goals for fomenting regional instability.

Israel itself faces a difficult decision of whether to escalate with a ground attack on Gaza. That would help further diminish Hamas, though at the cost of more casualties and greater international disapproval. The worst outcome would be a ground assault, a la the one in Lebanon in 2006, that stirred anti-Israel sentiment but stopped short of achieving its military goals.

The Bush Administration's support for Israel is welcome, though we should note the violence comes at the end of a four-year Bush effort to midwife a Palestinian peace. There's a lesson here for Mr. Obama, who is about to discover that the terrorists of the Middle East aren't about to change their radical ambitions merely because America has a new President.
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captainccs
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« Reply #319 on: December 29, 2008, 05:02:55 PM »

Instead of focusing on street protests I think it is much more interesting to focus on weaponry in the issue of civilian and collateral damage.

During WWII, the response by the Allies was massive. The fire-bombings were terrific and terrifying. The estimate of death in Dresden was between 35 and 100 thousand. The fire was so intense that people were sucked in and roasted. The death toll from the Tokyo fire-bombing is also estimated at 100,000. And this was done with conventional weapons, incendiaries and high explosives. The intent was to demoralize the enemy into surrender and it worked.

With modern communications and battlefield TV, war has entered into people's living rooms and such a high level of violence is no longer permissible for civilized warriors. Terrorist are permitted everything.  angry

Civilized warriors have responded with innovative smart weapons that concentrate the damage on the objective to be destroyed and minimize collateral damage. Without these smart weapons the civilian dead in Gaza would not be less than 100 but maybe in the thousands. The GBU-39 seems to be the latest smart weapon being used by the IAF for pin-point destruction of targets.

Quote
Small Diameter Bomb / Small Smart Bomb

The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) transition program (formerly known as Miniaturized Munitions Capability) provides the warfighter with increased kills per sortie on current and future manned and unmanned aircraft. The Small Diameter Bomb system includes two variants of the Small Diameter Bomb, a bomb carriage system, a mission planning system and logistics support. The GBU-39 variant of the 250-pound class bomb is equipped with an INS/GPS guidance system suitable for fixed and stationary targets. The GBU-40 second variant adds a terminal seeker with automatic target recognition capabilities more suitable for mobile and relocatable targets.

At just 5.9 feet long and 285 pounds, the bomb’s small size increases the number of weapons an aircraft can carry, therefore raising the amount of targets it can kill in one sortie. Because of its size and precision accuracy, it also reduces collateral, or unintended, damage in the target vicinity. In the urban conflict in Iraq, the warfighter struggles at times to find a weapon that gives them a desired effect on a target without an excessive effect, so the small diameter bomb will be a nice addition. Complementing the weapon is a smart miniature munitions carriage system. This system can carry four small diameter bombs, enabling an aircraft to quadruple its load out. The carriage system functions similar to an aircraft stores management system by communicating with and controlling up to four weapons.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/sdb.htm

The GBU-39 can be dropped 40 miles from the target which means that the IAF fighter bombers don't have to overfly the target. It seems that this capability neutralizes the Russian Tor-M1 Air Defense systems that have been delivered to Iran. The IAF planes never get close enough to be in danger of them.

Quote
More benefits include brains, accuracy

The SDB is an all weather standoff weapon, meaning it can be dropped and will fly itself to the target using satellite guidance and or laser targeting up to 40 full miles away & hit within 6 feet of the mark, 40 miles is a heck of a lot of distance from a target for such accuracy. It puts Israeli fighters over Iran some distance away from the hot zone of the Iranian facilities which are now setup with brand new Russian TOR-M1 air defense systems. The Tor is pretty lethal, but it has very short range. It can only engage targets very close in… At 40 miles with 8 small bunker busters pre-programmed from the airbase before the mission to hit multiple points of an underground facility (spreading out the lethality better than a single 1000 pound buster,) Israeli fighters never even come close to the Tor-M1s girding the Iranian facility. Making the Tor defenses expensive paperweights.

http://hashmonean.com/2008/09/15/israels-game-changer-gbu-39-buster-may-prove-highly-lethal-to-iran-video/


The video

« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 05:14:25 PM by captainccs » Logged

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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #320 on: December 29, 2008, 05:56:23 PM »

It's really bothersome to have rockets rain down on you day and night. If it were only during the day you could get some sleep at night or if only at night, you might get some work done during the day. But day and night is inadmissible. No wonder the IDF struck back.

I think that is why the world is objecting; no one questions the right of Israel to exact retribution, but it seems to be a disproportionate reaction.  If I read correctly, less than
5 Israeli's have been killed and/or injured, yet there are over 400 dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them innocent women and children.
Not to mention supplies, first aid, etc. not getting through; is there any wonder why Israel is being condemned?



Do me a favor and find the protests from when Saddam was using WMD on the Kurds and Shiites, or when Syria destroyed Hama.

**Cricket sounds**
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G M
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« Reply #321 on: December 29, 2008, 06:02:08 PM »

September 21, 2001

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Hama Rules

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

 

   

In February 1982 the secular Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad faced a mortal threat from Islamic extremists, who sought to topple the Assad regime. How did it respond? President Assad identified the rebellion as emanating from Syria's fourth-largest city — Hama — and he literally leveled it, pounding the fundamentalist neighborhoods with artillery for days. Once the guns fell silent, he plowed up the rubble and bulldozed it flat, into vast parking lots. Amnesty International estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in the merciless crackdown. Syria has not had a Muslim extremist problem since.

I visited Hama a few months after it was leveled. The regime actually wanted Syrians to go see it, to contemplate Hama's silence and to reflect on its meaning. I wrote afterward, "The whole town looked as though a tornado had swept back and forth over it for a week — but this was not the work of mother nature."

This was "Hama Rules" — the real rules of Middle East politics — and Hama Rules are no rules at all. I tell this story not to suggest this should be America's approach. We can't go around leveling cities. We need to be much more focused, selective and smart in uprooting the terrorists.

No, I tell this story because it's important that we understand that Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all faced Islamist threats and crushed them without mercy or Miranda rights. Part of the problem America now faces is actually the fallout from these crackdowns. Three things happened:

First, once the fundamentalists were crushed by the Arab states they fled to the last wild, uncontrolled places in the region — Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and Afghanistan — or to the freedom of America and Europe.

Second, some Arab regimes, most of which are corrupt dictatorships afraid of their own people, made a devil's pact with the fundamentalists. They allowed the Islamists' domestic supporters to continue raising money, ostensibly for Muslim welfare groups, and to funnel it to the Osama bin Ladens — on the condition that the Islamic extremists not attack these regimes. The Saudis in particular struck that bargain.

Third, these Arab regimes, feeling defensive about their Islamic crackdowns, allowed their own press and intellectuals total freedom to attack America and Israel, as a way of deflecting criticism from themselves.

As a result, a generation of Muslims and Arabs have been raised on such distorted views of America that despite the fact that America gives Egypt $2 billion a year, despite the fact that America fought for the freedom of Muslims in Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo, and despite the fact that Bill Clinton met with Yasir Arafat more than with any other foreign leader, America has been vilified as the biggest enemy of Islam. And that is one reason that many people in the Arab-Muslim world today have either applauded the attack on America or will tell you — with a straight face — that it was all a C.I.A.-Mossad plot to embarrass the Muslim world.

We need the moderate Arab states as our partners — but we don't need only their intelligence. We need them to be intelligent. I don't expect them to order their press to say nice things about America or Israel. They are entitled to their views on both, and both at times deserve criticism. But what they have never encouraged at all is for anyone to consistently present an alternative, positive view of America — even though they were sending their kids here to be educated. Anyone who did would be immediately branded a C.I.A. agent.

And while the Arab states have crushed their Islamic terrorists, they have never confronted them ideologically and delegitimized their behavior as un-Islamic. Arab and Muslim Americans are not part of this problem. But they could be an important part of the solution by engaging in the debate back in the Arab world, and presenting another vision of America.

So America's standing in the Arab-Muslim world is now very low — partly because we have not told our story well, partly because of policies we have adopted and partly because inept, barely legitimate Arab leaders have deliberately deflected domestic criticism of themselves onto us. The result: We must now fight a war against terrorists who are crazy and evil but who, it grieves me to say, reflect the mood in their home countries more than we might think.
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sgtmac_46
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« Reply #322 on: December 29, 2008, 07:53:58 PM »

It's really bothersome to have rockets rain down on you day and night. If it were only during the day you could get some sleep at night or if only at night, you might get some work done during the day. But day and night is inadmissible. No wonder the IDF struck back.

I think that is why the world is objecting; no one questions the right of Israel to exact retribution, but it seems to be a disproportionate reaction.  If I read correctly, less than
5 Israeli's have been killed and/or injured, yet there are over 400 dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them innocent women and children.
Not to mention supplies, first aid, etc. not getting through; is there any wonder why Israel is being condemned?
When you are attacked in such a manner, a 'proportionate' response isn't what is called for.....a PUNITIVE response that is overwhelming is what is called for.  The goal is to make the price of attacking you so terrible as to be beyond the desire of your enemy to want to pay.  5/500 seems reasonable in that context.  You kill 5 of my people, i'll slaughter 500 Hamas security personnel. 

More to the point, if Hamas terrorists didn't want civilians getting killed, they wouldn't hide amongst them.  The IDF doesn't hide amongst it's civilians to do it's fighting, they meet their enemy where he lives to PROTECT Israeli civilians.  Innocent civilians are dying SOLELY because of the desire of terrorists to hide themselves amongst them.


The terrorists WANT Palestinian civilian casualties for propaganda purposes....but those in the media who aren't smart enough to put the blame squarely on their shoulders do nothing but aid the terrorists.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 07:55:55 PM by sgtmac_46 » Logged
Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #323 on: December 29, 2008, 08:05:29 PM »

I guess it'd be proportional for Hamas to phone Israelis to let them know where the rockets are due to land? Note that these calls warn Hamas of impending attacks.

Israel phones in warning to flee Gaza Strip strikes
By Abraham Rabinovich in JerusalemThe AustralianDecember 30, 2008 12:01am+-PrintEmailShare
 
RESIDENTS at certain addresses in the Gaza Strip have been receiving unusual phone calls since the Israeli air assault began on Saturday - a request that they and their families leave their homes as soon as possible for their own safety.

More unusual than the recorded message is the Arabic-speaking caller, who identifies himself as being from the Israeli defence forces, The Australian reports.

Dipping into their bag of tricks for the updated Gaza telephone numbers, Israel's intelligence services are warning Palestinian civilians in Gaza living close to Hamas facilities that they may be hurt unless they distance themselves from those targets.

In some cases, the warning comes not by telephone but from leaflets dropped from aircraft on selected districts.

Such warnings clearly eliminate the element of surprise, but for Israel it is of cardinal importance to minimise civilian casualties, and not just for humanitarian reasons.

The principal calculation is fear that a stray bomb hitting a school or any collection of innocent civilians could bring down the wrath of the international community on Israel, as has happened more than once in the past, and force it to halt its campaign before it has achieved its objectives.

Israel Radio reported that leaflets had been dropped at the beginning of the operation in the Rafah area near the border with Egypt, warning residents that the tunnels to Egypt through which weapons and civilian products were smuggled would be bombed.

Many of the residents, mostly youths, are employed in the tunnels. Initial reports said two people were killed when the tunnels were bombed.

Gaza is one of the most densely built-up areas in the world, making it extremely difficult to pinpoint targets without collateral damage.

Israeli officials say that the small percentage of civilians killed so far is due to precise intelligence regarding the location of Hamas targets and accurate bombing and rocketing.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24855309-2,00.html
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rachelg
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« Reply #324 on: December 29, 2008, 09:49:46 PM »



http://www.israellycool.com/  http://muqata.blogspot.com  are both liveblogging the current situation in Israel

Well there have been so many great posts I  don't really need to bother but I thought these two  post by Treppenwitz were good.
 

Sunday, December 28, 2008
300 Dead? 300 Dead what???!

Last night as I watched the various international news outlets, I was dismayed to see them relating to the rising death toll in Gaza as if Israel had indiscriminately mowed down a huge swath of unsuspecting innocents.

As the death toll went from 225 to nearly 275, Zahava and I watched with our mouths agape as a BBC interviewer (or maybe it was Sky News... I forget) asked an Israeli Government spokesperson "How do you respond to this enormous number of casualties... many of whom might be women and children?"

Did you get that?  "Enormous"... "Might be".  They might be women and children.  They might also be, oh I don't know, terrorists...or angels or flying pigs!  You don't have a friggin clue, do you?  But that doesn't stop you from speculating, does it???!!!  GAH!!!

Even Hamas itself, didn't say that "many" of the dead were women and children.  In fact, Hamas had been reporting that most of the dead were, in fact, Hamas officials and security forces!

But let's leave the bias aside for a moment and talk about the 'enormous' numbers that really count:

Two waves of 60 aircraft each flew bombing sorties from approximately noon on Saturday through to the early hours of Sunday... and then resumed bombing runs throughout Sunday.

Considering that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have deliberately placed their entire command and control structure, as well as their munitions factories and training facilities, in the midst of densely populated civilian areas, it is nothing short of miraculous that after a day and a half of nearly non-stop bombing the result is only 300 deaths!

Think for a moment about how many people live in a typical apartment building.  Now double that since our Gaza neighbors aren't particularly careful about zoning and fire regulations...and it isn't hard to imagine that even one poorly aimed bomb could result in a higher death toll than 300!

Unlike Hamas, which has been perpetrating ongoing war crimes against Israel by deliberately targeting civilian population centers with kassams, ketyushas and mortars (even as recently as ten minutes ago!), Israel has made an Herculean effort to make sure that only military targets are hit.  Heck, we're even taking their wounded over the border and treating them in Israeli hospitals!  Try that in the other direction and see if anyone comes back alive!

And another talking point that the international press never seems to miss is that the Kassams and Ketyushas are 'primitive weapons that rarely injure or kill anyone'.  WTF?!  That's like having a mean drunk for a neighbor who comes home from the pub every night and takes a few wild shots at your house with his old service revolver before passing out amongst the shrubs.  What's the big deal?  He almost never hits anyone, right?  Why all the fuss??!

It's enough to make me want to grab them by their Balliol College ties and throttle them until their arrogant public school accents begin to sound suspiciously like East End cockney!

Will there be 'collateral damage' in the form of civilians injured and killed (including women and children) as a result of Israel's current military campaign?  Without a doubt. But what I can't help but ask these affected idiots on my TV screen is 'where was your concern for civilian casualties when it was Jewish civilians being targeted?!'

[Update:  On a similar note here on the home-front, Labor MK, Science, Culture, and Sport Minister Raleb Majadele (who is an Israeli Arab) boycotted Sunday's Cabinet meeting over Israel's military attacks on Gaza.  Several MKs have asked aloud why he never bothered to use his cabinet post to raise so much as a public objection during all the time that Gazans have been bombarding Israel.  I think the term we're looking for here is 'Fifth Column'. ]

Posted by David Bogner on December 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack (0)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
An open letter to...
... the Vatican which is now calling for an end to middle east violence...

... the U.N. Secretary General who is suddenly "deeply alarmed by the bloodshed..."

... the U.S. Secretary of State who is demanding an immediate cease fire...

... the European Union that is calling for "an immediate end to hostilities..."

... the Russians who are asking for all sides to return to the negotiating table.

I have just one question for all of you:


Where was your concern for human life when it was Israeli civilians being targeted all these years?!

Oh, and to the French who are condemning Israel's response to more than 10,000 rockets fired at her civilians as "disproportionate"... please just kiss my a- -.  The only possible contribution you can offer to this conflict is to give the Arabs the benefit of your one expertise in warfare; Please teach them how to surrender. 

Revenge of the nerds

This morning I started counting all the on-line headlines that were along the lines of:

    "[fill in country / organization name] ... calls on Israel to immediately halt attacks on Gaza"

I stopped counting after 17.  Disgusting!

You'd think millions of Sudanese refugees were being butchered in the streets of Darfur.  Oh wait, what am I thinking?  That's not newsworthy!

No, it's just little Israel - the nerds of the global schoolyard - being taken to task for daring to step out of character and defend ourselves.  For all our patents, scientific breakthroughs, high-tech start-ups and Nobel prizes, the world still finds it amusing when we're forced to take a break from running the world media and banks, to run for the bomb shelters.

There is a comforting familiarity to the international amnesia over cause & effect here in the middle east.  It's an almost willful desire to transform a straight-forward Casus Belli and measured (not to mention legal) military response, into a murky chicken and egg scenario (i.e. the well-worn 'cycle of violence').

The worst part is that the world's tired excuse for the years of silence and neglect that has led to a good portion of Israel's population living in bomb shelters, is that they insist they can't impose the rule of international law on Gaza.  Gaza is chaos, they say... a failed proto-state.  The world wants order, of course... but they throw up their hands at the futility of asking Gaza to adhere to the rules of civilization.

I forget... while the Red Cross has been busy screaming for Israel to spare the poor Gazans, has anyone asked if they ever got around to demanding access to kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, even once?  Oh right, no can do... that's Gaza.  That's out of our jurisdiction!

In reality it's a simple case of the nerdy kid getting beaten up on the way to school for his lunch money - or for the sheer hell of it - isn't it?  He's asked his friends for help.  He's asked his teachers for protection.  He's even gone to the principal's office a few times to see if there is something - anything! - that can be done to stop the beatings.  But nobody wants to confront the bullies.   Off school grounds there isn't much anyone can do!

So finally, on the last day of school, the nerdy kid - who has done nothing to the thugs to arouse their endless violence except continue to come to school and exist -- realizes that if he doesn't take a baseball bat to the thugs who've been torturing him all year long, next year they might actually kill him.

It's really that simple.

Yet as I've predicted in the past (before the 2nd Lebanon war), this one will almost certainly go according to a predictable trajectory.  For new readers, it goes something exactly like this:

Ever since Nasser accidentally discovered the trick in 1956, every subsequent Arab leader has stuck to this tried and true formula for military success:

   1. Instigate a war with whatever you have at hand; terror attacks, rocket fire or an actual invasion.
   2. Once the war is well underway and you are in the process of having your ass handed to you... get a few world powers or the UN to force your opponent into a cease fire.
   3. Whatever you do, don't surrender or submit to any terms dictated by your enemy.  That would ruin everything!  All you have to do is wait it out and eventually the world will become sickened at what is being done to your soldiers and civilian population... and will force a truce.
   4. Once a truce has been called, you can resume your intransigence (which probably caused the conflict in the first place), and even declare victory as your opponent leaves the field of battle.

This tactic has never failed.  Not once!

In fact it worked so will for the Egyptians in 1973, that to this day they celebrate the Yom Kippur War - a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel's army -  as a military victory!  No kidding... it's a national holiday over there!

So why does anyone think this time will be different?  Within hours of Israel beginning its surgical strikes against purely military targets in Gaza, all of Israel's detractors, and most of it's 'friends', began calling for 'calm', 'a cease fire', 'a return to the negotiating table', 'restraint'... 

Not one of those things is in Israel's interest right now!  The only thing that is in Israel's interest at this point is for the world to STFU (hint: that doesn't stand for Slice The Fudge, Ursula), and finally let an Arab government reap what it has been sowing for years.

You say that it's Israel's fault because we've been embargoing a democratically elected government in Gaza?  You ask what choice did the poor Gazans have but to lash out?

I have news for you... democracy is about more than just elections.  Democracy is what that an elected government says and does while it is campaigning, as well as what it says and does once it assumes power.

Without mentioning names (and thereby invoking Godwin's Law), suffice it to say that we don't have to look very far back to identify certified monsters who were swept into power on the crest of overwhelming democratically expressed popular support.

Hamas has stated publicly before, and since, their election (and it is written quite clearly in their charter) that their entire raison d'ętre is to destroy Israel.  You take them at their word on absolutely everything else... except that.  Why do you suppose that is?

Mark my words... the only way this ends well for Israel (and by 'well' I mean that it buys us more than a few weeks of relative calm), is if Hamas is forced to actually say the words "We surrender" in front of the whole world.  Anyone want to give odds on that happening?

I honestly don't know how badly Israel has to demolish Gaza's infrastructure before someone over there waves a white flag.  My guess is that so long as there is a single Hamas leader left breathing, nobody will dare step up and do the responsible thing for the people of Gaza.

That's okey-dokey with me.  We know where pretty much all of their bunkers are at this point, and so long as we are able to resist calls to "immediately halt attacks on Gaza", I have no ethical problem with introducing every last democratically elected Hamas official to Allah.

Do you think for one moment that Hamas would hesitate to do the same to us if the tables were turned?  No?  So why are you demanding a higher standard of conduct from us?

We may indeed be the nerdy kid.  But if our friends won't stand by us;  if the teachers, and even the principal, refuse to protect us when we tried to play by the rules;  well, as you've pointed out so many times before... your rules don't apply once we're off school grounds.
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« Reply #325 on: December 29, 2008, 10:21:04 PM »

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/12/woe-is-me-pity.html

"Death to all juice"!  cheesy
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« Reply #326 on: December 29, 2008, 10:34:49 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23053_MSNBC_Footage_of_Palestinian_9-11_Celebrations&only

A quick reminder of the savages' regard for us.

If they are looking for sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #327 on: December 29, 2008, 10:53:15 PM »

I was living in married student housing at the University of Wisconsin when the first Scud hit Israel; the Palestinian family across the hall proceeded to whoop it up as though the Packers had just won the Super Bowl. Couldn't believe people were celebrating the fact that a weapon with a very poor targeting system, possibly topped with chemical munitions, got lobbed at a population center.

Have some Semite in me, with coloration and a nose that broadcasts it. Suddenly understood why the people across the hall were so standoffish.
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« Reply #328 on: December 30, 2008, 03:05:00 AM »

Groundhog Day for the Fifth Column of Malice   
By Melanie Phillips
Spectator.co.uk | Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So there is indeed now a war. In Gaza. Actually, there are two wars going on: one involving rockets and warplanes, and the other involving the media, as Barry Rubin notes:
Nothing is clearer than Hamas’s strategy. It gives Israel the choice between rockets and media, and Hamas thinks it is a situation of, ‘We win or you lose.’...The smug smiles are wiped off the faces of Hamas leaders. Yet they have one more weapon, their reserves, they call up the media. Those arrogant, heroic, macho victors of yesterday--literally yesterday as the process takes only a few hours--are transformed into pitiful victims. Casualty figures are announced by Hamas, and accepted by reporters who are not on the spot. Everyone hit is, of course, a civilian. No soldiers here. And the casualties are disproportionate: Hamas has arranged it that way. If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.

All too predictable – and going to plan, with assistance from the
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who condemned ‘excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians’, and Navi Pillay, the ludicrous UN High Commissioner for ‘Human Rights’, who ‘strongly condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force.’ Of course, the UN has been silent about the actual violations of international law by the Palestinians, as pointed out here by Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell:

The Palestinian attacks violate one of the most basic rules of international humanitarian law: the rule of distinction, which requires combatants to aim all their attacks at legitimate targets - enemy combatants or objects that contribute to enemy military actions. Violations of the rule of distinction - attacks deliberately aimed at civilians or protected objects as such - are war crimes.

Furthermore, say Weiner and Bell, Israel actually has a legal duty to take action against Hamas under the Genocide Convention:

In carrying out their attacks on Israeli Jews as part of a larger aim to kill Jews, as demonstrated by the Hamas Covenant, many of the Palestinian terrorists are also violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention, Israel and other signatories are required to ‘prevent and punish’ not only persons who carry out such genocidal acts, but those who conspire with them, incite them to kill and are complicit with their actions. The Convention thus requires Israel to prevent and punish the terrorists themselves, as well as leading figures that have publicly supported the Palestinian attacks. Article 2 of the Convention defines any killing with intent ‘to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such’ as an act of genocide.

But for exercising its legal duty in accordance with international law, Israel is condemned and told to stop by politicians such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The moral inversion is staggering. Miliband has called for an immediate ceasefire by Israel. The implication is that Israel should suffer the Palestinian rockets attacks indefinitely.

If anything has been ‘disproportionate’, it’s been Israel’s refusal to take such action during the years when its southern citizens have been terrorised by rockets and other missiles raining down on them from Gaza. No other country in the world would have sat on its hands for so long in such circumstances. But whenever Israel defends itself militarily, its response is said to be ‘disproportionate’. The malice, ignorance and sheer idiocy of this claim is refuted here comprehensively by Dore Gold, who points out that Israel’s actions in Gaza are wholly in accordance with international law. This permits Israel to launch such an operation to prevent itself from being further attacked. Moreover, it defines ‘disproportionate’ force as when

force becomes excessive if it is employed for another purpose, like causing unnecessary harm to civilians.

But Israel has demonstrably not been targeting civilians but Hamas terrorists. Despite the wicked impression given by the media, most of the casualties in this operation have been Hamas operatives. Even Hamas itself has admitted that the vast majority of sites Israel has hit were part of their military infrastructure. UNRWA officials in the Gaza Strip have put the number of deaths at 310, of whom 51 were civilians. The rest were Hamas terrorists.

Certainly, some civilian casualties are regrettably inevitable in any such situation – but particularly so in Gaza, since Hamas has deliberately sited its terrorist infrastructure amongst the civilian population.

Those who scream ‘disproportionate’ think – grotesquely -- that not enough Israelis have been killed. But that’s in part because Israel cares enough about human life to construct air raid shelters where its beleaguered civilians take cover; Hamas deliberately stores its rockets and other apparatus of mass murder below apartment blocks and in centres of population in order to get as many of its own people killed as possible as a propaganda weapon. Hamas is thus guilty of war crimes not just against Israelis but against the Palestinian people. Yet on this there is – fantastically, surreally – almost total silence in the west, which blames Israel instead. Historical resonances, anyone?

In any event, if by ‘disproportionate’ is meant merely an imbalance in the numbers who are killed on either side, this is actually inescapable if the infrastructure of aggression is to be defeated. Many more died in Afghanistan than in the 9/11 attacks; yet that war was necessary to destroy the Taleban. Many more died in Nazi Germany or Japan than in Britain or America during World War Two. Yet the scale of the Allied offensive was necessary to defeat Nazism and prevent yet more carnage amongst its designated victims.

The disgusting fifth column in the Gaza conflict, however, is – as ever – the western media. It was telling to witness the sight of British TV camera crews heading out to Israel on Saturday night. The point was that they weren’t already there – because their editors had not thought it necessary to send them to cover the resumed rocket attacks on southern Israel. Indeed, hardly anyone in Britain is aware that Israel is only now finally responding to some 6000 rocket attacks since 2001, with a fifty per cent increase after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. British journalists were only dispatched to the battle zone when Israel finally retaliated – because, appallingly, it is only Jewish violence that is ever the story.

As a result, Israel is painted – wholly unjustly and untruthfully -- as the aggressor. The ineffable BBC reported in radio bulletins on Saturday that Israel’s attack had ‘put back the chance of peace in the region’. Most sane people would think that the reason peace in the region had been put back was that Hamas was continuing to wage aggressive war. And indeed, even now it is still firing rockets at Israel, including Katyushas and Iranian Grads which are reaching as far as Ashkelon and Ashdod. Today they killed another Israeli in Ashkelon and injured many more -- including several Israeli Arabs.

If the media have mentioned the attacks on Israel at all, they have done so as an afterthought. The main story is ‘disproportionate’ Israeli violence. As far as I can see, there has been no mention of the extraordinary fact that on the day prior to the start of the Israeli operation, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was admitted to hospital in Israel for medical treatment for a severe wound -- inflicted upon him by a stray Hamas rocket which had been fired at Israel.

What other country would treat its enemies in own hospitals – which Israel does routinely with Palestinians from Gaza -- even when they are wounded as a direct consequence of their own side trying to murder yet more Israelis? What other country would provide or enable the supply of electricity, gas and other essentials to people who use such facilities to continue trying to murder as many Israelis as possible? On Sunday, for instance, as Ha’aretz reported, the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened to let through 26 trucks carrying food and medical equipment. Today it was opened again and about 40 trucks had entered with food and medical supplies by midday. Yet organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Israel's imposition of all ‘blockades’ on the Gaza Strip as ‘collective punishment’, and Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International, has called on Israel ‘immediately [to] lift its inhumane and illegal siege’.

Yet it is Hamas that is refusing wounded Gazans access into Egypt for treatment -- and indeed the Egyptians even opened fire on them. So where are the screams about Egyptian and Hamas brutality? Where are Amnesty and Oxfam’s condemnation of Hamas and Egypt? And might all those from the Foreign Secretary down screaming about a ‘humanitarian disaster’ in Gaza pause for one second and look at the well-fed, healthy Gazans parading across their TV screens? If that’s a ‘humanitarian disaster’ – with supplies constantly pouring through the illegal tunnels from Egypt, along with billions of dollars-worth of missiles with which to commit mass murder -- what do they call what’s happening in Zimbabwe, which for some unaccountable reason inspires among the high-minded merely indifference?

Such bigotry and malice are not confined to British media and NGOs. On Salon, Glenn Greenwald whines about

America’s one-sided support for whatever Israel does from our political class, and one-sided condemnation of Israel's enemies (who are, ipso facto, American enemies) -- all of it, as usual, sharply divergent from the consensus in much of the rest of the world.

Oh really? Well, Hamas has been blamed for this war by Mahmoud Abbas, who said Hamas could have avoided this attack if it had prolonged its ‘cease-fire’. It has been blamed for this war by Egypt; and Arab states which are terrified of Islamism in general and Iran in particular are privately rooting for Israel to wipe Hamas out. Even the Israeli left is supporting this operation. The only people taking the side of the genocidal terrorists of Hamas are the western media, parroting their propaganda and thus inciting yet more to join the murderous rampage against Israel as well as ratcheting up the pressure on world leaders to force Israel to stop before Hamas is destroyed.

Isn’t there a case for legal action against these media outlets on account of their blood libels, for indirectly aiding the perpetrators of attempted genocide?

Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, www.melaniephillips.com.
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« Reply #329 on: December 30, 2008, 03:18:21 AM »

Does anyone else find it strange that a little over a month after Obama won the Presidential election that Hamas let the cease fire between themselves and Israel lapse(19DEC2008)?  Will Obama appease the Arab world and condemn Israel for it's act of self defense or will he stand behind what he said that if attacked Israel has a right to self defense.

JAK
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Train like a madman, fight like a demon
G M
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« Reply #330 on: December 30, 2008, 03:57:49 AM »

I think this open question is part of why Israel has made it's move now.
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« Reply #331 on: December 30, 2008, 04:01:40 AM »

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=1&id=15194

Iran Hardliners Register Volunteers to Fight Israel

29/12/2008

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A group of Iranian hard-line clerics is signing up volunteers to fight in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel's air strikes that have killed at least 300 Palestinians, a news agency reported on Monday.

"From Monday the Combatant Clergy Society has activated its website www.rohaniatmobarez.com for a week to register volunteers to fight against the Zionist regime (Israel) in either the military, financial or propaganda fields," the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Israel patrols the coastal waters around Gaza and has declared areas around the enclave a "closed military zone."

The hard-line Iranian group, which is headed by some leading clergy, says it has no affiliation with the government and was formed shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on Sunday, ordering them to defend Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks "in any way possible."

A religious decree is an official statement by a high-ranking religious leader that commands Muslims to carry out its message. While there is no religious and legal force behind it, Khamenei is respected by many Iranian and non-Iranian Shi'ites.

Iran refuses to recognize Israel, which accuses Tehran of supplying Hamas Islamists with weapons. Iran denies the claim, saying it only provides moral support to the group.

Israel said the strikes, that have killed 307 Palestinians, were launched in response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after the Islamist Hamas group ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.

Fars said the hard-line group provided volunteers with a registration document called "Registration form for dispatching volunteers to Gaza." It said more than 1,100 people so far had registered for military service against Israel.

Khamenei said on Sunday that whoever was killed in the fight to defend Palestinians was "considered a martyr."

Iran will send its first ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said.

"Iran has dispatched its first plane load of aid, including medicine, to Gaza on Sunday. The second cargo is on the verge of being dispatched," Qashqavi told reporters on Monday. "The first aircraft arrived in Egypt last night."

Israel, which patrols the coastal waters around Gaza, tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip two years ago after Hamas won a parliamentary election.

The Jewish state turned back a Libyan ship from delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza earlier this month.

Tens of thousands of Iranians protested on Monday to condemn the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which began with air strikes on Saturday.

Protesters burned Israeli and U.S. flags and demanded a stronger response from international organizations to stop Israel's raids, a Reuters witness said.

They also called on Islamic countries to boycott "Zionist companies."
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« Reply #332 on: December 30, 2008, 06:26:18 AM »

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/12/30/bon-voyage-jihad-cindy-mckinney/

At least Obama wasn't on the boat. Not yet, anyway....
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« Reply #333 on: December 30, 2008, 06:31:18 AM »

- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Israel Targets Terror Labs Funded by U.S. Islamic Group
Posted By Patrick Poole On December 30, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 02, . Positioning, Homeland Security, Israel, Middle East, US News, World News | 3 Comments

The Jerusalem Post [1] reported on Monday that Israeli Defense Forces aircraft bombed suspected Hamas terror laboratories located at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).

According to the article, IUG professors were using the labs to build explosives for the terrorist organization. A BBC [2] report confirmed that the IUG science building was the target of the Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Thus far unreported is that the IUG science and technology lab was financed and constructed with the assistance of the Dublin, Ohio-based [3] Arab Student Aid International (ASAI). In fact, the IUG website has a [4] page dedicated to ASAI’s ongoing contributions to the Hamas institution and specifically mentions the labs financed by the Ohio Islamic group. Additionally, the ASAI website [5] promotes its assistance in creating the IUG science and technology center, which was completed in 2002.

In a previously published [6] article I revealed ASAI’s extensive financial ties to the IUG, including direct cash payments to the Hamas school in addition to the facilities construction projects supported by ASAI. The Washington Post also [7] revealed in April 2006 that ASAI had financed the Western education of a number of top Hamas leaders.

The organization’s primary benefactor is Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz, a former high-ranking Saudi government official and half-brother to King Abdullah. Prince Turki has lived in exile in Egypt since the 1970s following a highly-publicized marriage scandal, his 100+ entourage occupying the top three floors of the Cairo Ramses Hilton. The prince serves as ASAI’s chairman of the board, and the labs built by ASAI at the IUG bear his name.

The ties between Hamas and the IUG have been long established. The university was founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, and many Hamas leaders hold faculty and administrative positions at the school.

In an August 2007 policy report for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy entitled “[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands,” Matthew Levitt, former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Treasury Department and author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale Univ. Press), detailed the integral role that IUG plays as part of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure:

Indeed, Israeli and Palestinian scholars alike characterize the IUG as a Hamas institution. Meir Hatina described it as one of the key institutions that “coordinated [Muslim] Brotherhood activities in the Gaza Strip and later constituted a springboard for Hamas.” Similarly, in his book Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, Ziad Abu Amr depicted the IUG as “the principal Muslim Brotherhood stronghold,” referring to the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, which became Hamas in December 1987. “The University’s administration, most of the employees who work there, and the majority of students are Brotherhood supporters,” he concluded.

Hamas itself has corroborated these ties. In a 2003 interview in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. And according to FBI surveillance of a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, Muin Kamel Muhammad Shabib, a member of the organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, briefed attendees on “the situation in Palestine” and the status of “Islamic works” tied to Hamas, naming the IUG as one of “our institutions.” In fact, even a cursory search of articles on LexisNexis through March 2007 produces 149 articles mentioning the IUG and Hamas together. Yet, only after congressional and media scrutiny exposed the taxpayer-funded awards to the Hamas-linked institution was USAID funding for the university terminated.

Other reports have detailed how the IUG has also been used for weapons storage, launching rockets, and holding hostages. In February 2007, Palestinian security forces [9] captured seven Iranian military trainers and confiscated 1,000 Qassam rockets located at the IUG. Another [10] article reported that 2,000 AK-47s were also confiscated, as well as evidence that captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in June 2006, had previously been held at the university.

A May 2007 International Herald Tribune [11] article described IUG’s centrality in the Fatah-Hamas factional fighting in Gaza, with the university used to launch attacks against their rivals and for military training:

Hamas fighters have been inside Islamic University for days, trying to protect it from another Fatah attack like one last year that badly damaged the school, one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause. Hamas guards at the university have been killed by snipers in previous days, and on Friday, Fatah fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at the school, setting a building on fire, and exchanged gunshots with Hamas men inside.

Fatah said that Hamas fighters were using the university as a base for attacks on nearby police stations.

After the IUG strikes on Monday, IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich gave an [12] interview to investigative reporter Aaron Klein, characterizing the militant nature of the IUG and the use of its facilities for the manufacture of Hamas explosives. “This is the first university in world that gives out bachelor’s degrees in rocket manufacture,” she said.

IUG figured prominently in the recent Holy Land Foundation [13] terrorism finance trial, with federal prosecutors entering documents into evidence showing that Holy Land officials used the IUG to [14] funnel funds to Hamas.

With Israel declaring “all-out war” against Hamas, the present conflict will hopefully provide incentive for law enforcement officials to further roll back the extensive Hamas support network in the U.S. Considering the success that prosecutors had in securing convictions on all 108 counts against the Holy Land Foundation defendants, investigating the degree of involvement of Arab Student Aid International in the financing and construction of the IUG Hamas terror labs might be a good place to start.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-targets-terror-labs-funded-by-us-islamic-group/

URLs in this post:
[1] reported: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111723191&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer
[2] report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7802515.stm
[3] Arab Student Aid International: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/index.htm
[4] page: http://www.iugaza.edu.ps/external/eng/stab.asp
[5] promotes: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/achievements.htm
[6] article: http://www.fsmarchives.org/article.php?id=1344813
[7] revealed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/29/AR2006042900125_pf.html
[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2653
[9] captured: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54062
[10] article: http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3361595,00.html
[11] article: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=5773548
[12] interview: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=84806
[13] terrorism finance trial: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/the-us-terror-support-network-exposed
[14] funnel funds: http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/IUG_hlf_trial2.pdf
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G M
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« Reply #334 on: December 30, 2008, 06:32:33 AM »

- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Israel Targets Terror Labs Funded by U.S. Islamic Group
Posted By Patrick Poole On December 30, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 02, . Positioning, Homeland Security, Israel, Middle East, US News, World News | 3 Comments

The Jerusalem Post [1] reported on Monday that Israeli Defense Forces aircraft bombed suspected Hamas terror laboratories located at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).

According to the article, IUG professors were using the labs to build explosives for the terrorist organization. A BBC [2] report confirmed that the IUG science building was the target of the Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Thus far unreported is that the IUG science and technology lab was financed and constructed with the assistance of the Dublin, Ohio-based [3] Arab Student Aid International (ASAI). In fact, the IUG website has a [4] page dedicated to ASAI’s ongoing contributions to the Hamas institution and specifically mentions the labs financed by the Ohio Islamic group. Additionally, the ASAI website [5] promotes its assistance in creating the IUG science and technology center, which was completed in 2002.

In a previously published [6] article I revealed ASAI’s extensive financial ties to the IUG, including direct cash payments to the Hamas school in addition to the facilities construction projects supported by ASAI. The Washington Post also [7] revealed in April 2006 that ASAI had financed the Western education of a number of top Hamas leaders.

The organization’s primary benefactor is Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz, a former high-ranking Saudi government official and half-brother to King Abdullah. Prince Turki has lived in exile in Egypt since the 1970s following a highly-publicized marriage scandal, his 100+ entourage occupying the top three floors of the Cairo Ramses Hilton. The prince serves as ASAI’s chairman of the board, and the labs built by ASAI at the IUG bear his name.

The ties between Hamas and the IUG have been long established. The university was founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, and many Hamas leaders hold faculty and administrative positions at the school.

In an August 2007 policy report for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy entitled “[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands,” Matthew Levitt, former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Treasury Department and author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale Univ. Press), detailed the integral role that IUG plays as part of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure:

Indeed, Israeli and Palestinian scholars alike characterize the IUG as a Hamas institution. Meir Hatina described it as one of the key institutions that “coordinated [Muslim] Brotherhood activities in the Gaza Strip and later constituted a springboard for Hamas.” Similarly, in his book Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, Ziad Abu Amr depicted the IUG as “the principal Muslim Brotherhood stronghold,” referring to the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, which became Hamas in December 1987. “The University’s administration, most of the employees who work there, and the majority of students are Brotherhood supporters,” he concluded.

Hamas itself has corroborated these ties. In a 2003 interview in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. And according to FBI surveillance of a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, Muin Kamel Muhammad Shabib, a member of the organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, briefed attendees on “the situation in Palestine” and the status of “Islamic works” tied to Hamas, naming the IUG as one of “our institutions.” In fact, even a cursory search of articles on LexisNexis through March 2007 produces 149 articles mentioning the IUG and Hamas together. Yet, only after congressional and media scrutiny exposed the taxpayer-funded awards to the Hamas-linked institution was USAID funding for the university terminated.

Other reports have detailed how the IUG has also been used for weapons storage, launching rockets, and holding hostages. In February 2007, Palestinian security forces [9] captured seven Iranian military trainers and confiscated 1,000 Qassam rockets located at the IUG. Another [10] article reported that 2,000 AK-47s were also confiscated, as well as evidence that captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in June 2006, had previously been held at the university.

A May 2007 International Herald Tribune [11] article described IUG’s centrality in the Fatah-Hamas factional fighting in Gaza, with the university used to launch attacks against their rivals and for military training:

Hamas fighters have been inside Islamic University for days, trying to protect it from another Fatah attack like one last year that badly damaged the school, one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause. Hamas guards at the university have been killed by snipers in previous days, and on Friday, Fatah fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at the school, setting a building on fire, and exchanged gunshots with Hamas men inside.

Fatah said that Hamas fighters were using the university as a base for attacks on nearby police stations.

After the IUG strikes on Monday, IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich gave an [12] interview to investigative reporter Aaron Klein, characterizing the militant nature of the IUG and the use of its facilities for the manufacture of Hamas explosives. “This is the first university in world that gives out bachelor’s degrees in rocket manufacture,” she said.

IUG figured prominently in the recent Holy Land Foundation [13] terrorism finance trial, with federal prosecutors entering documents into evidence showing that Holy Land officials used the IUG to [14] funnel funds to Hamas.

With Israel declaring “all-out war” against Hamas, the present conflict will hopefully provide incentive for law enforcement officials to further roll back the extensive Hamas support network in the U.S. Considering the success that prosecutors had in securing convictions on all 108 counts against the Holy Land Foundation defendants, investigating the degree of involvement of Arab Student Aid International in the financing and construction of the IUG Hamas terror labs might be a good place to start.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-targets-terror-labs-funded-by-us-islamic-group/

URLs in this post:
[1] reported: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111723191&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer
[2] report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7802515.stm
[3] Arab Student Aid International: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/index.htm
[4] page: http://www.iugaza.edu.ps/external/eng/stab.asp
[5] promotes: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/achievements.htm
[6] article: http://www.fsmarchives.org/article.php?id=1344813
[7] revealed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/29/AR2006042900125_pf.html
[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2653
[9] captured: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54062
[10] article: http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3361595,00.html
[11] article: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=5773548
[12] interview: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=84806
[13] terrorism finance trial: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/the-us-terror-support-network-exposed
[14] funnel funds: http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/IUG_hlf_trial2.pdf
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« Reply #335 on: December 30, 2008, 07:57:04 AM »

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3647103,00.html

Report: Egypt to warn Israel of Hizbullah attack

Al-Hayat newspaper reports Turkey, Egypt plan to warn Israel ground operation in Gaza could lead to opening of northern front. Two countries discuss plan to reach truce
Roee Nahmias

Turkey and Egypt plan to warn Israel that if a ground operation is launched in the Gaza Strip, Hizbullah might open another front in south Lebanon, Turkish sources told al-Hayat newspaper.
 
The report, published on Tuesday, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit visited Ankara on Monday and presented his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan with a document detailing a four-point plan aimed at restoring order and ending the Israeli operation in Gaza.
War on South
Northerners prepare for possible attacks / Hagai Einav
Gaza operation and deteriorating situation in southern Israel prompt northern communities to prepare for possible attacks. Kiryat Shmona, other towns inspect bomb shelters, Ziv Medical Centers instructs staff to stay nearby
Full Story
 
The plan includes a ceasefire, the opening of Gaza crossings the removal of the blockade on the Strip, and the creation of regional and international guarantees that will keep the crossings open and the agreement honored.
 
According to the plan, if Turkey and Egypt work together, they can pressure and convince Israel and influence world opinion.
 
A source from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told al-Hayat there was a general understanding between the two nations on the Egyptian proposal.
 
Aboul Gheit said that Turkey had a proposition of its own, and there were still some points to be clarified regarding a truce and whether the Rafah crossing was included in the crossings the Egyptian document refers to.
 
Commentary: Will Nasrallah attack?
Despite reports of a possible attack from the north, recent speeches by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah indicate he is not headed for war with Israel.
 
Since Israel launched its Operation Cast Lead in Gaza on Saturday, Nasrallah spoke out mainly against Egypt and almost completely avoided mentioning Israel.
 
It seems the Hizbullah leader will settle for mass rallies in support of Gaza and against Israel and the US, and a PR campaign against Egypt.
 
Lebanese sources said Hizbullah would not respond to Israel from Lebanese soil, and that the organization "has no interest in doing so".
 
Nonetheless, Lebanese security forces have increased their alert level ahead of any possible scenarios, including the possibility that Palestinian organizations in Lebanon may try to fire rockets at Israel.
 
The sources also stressed that "rebellious" bodies that may endanger Lebanon in this context were already "under tight supervision".
 
In his speech on Sunday, Nasrallah denied any knowledge of the eight rockets that were discovered last week in southern Lebanon and aimed at Israel. The Hizbullah head accused Israel of planting the rockets in order to frame Lebanon.
 
Stating that his organization was ready for any confrontation if Israel decided to act in Lebanon, Nasrallah's ton of voice indicated he was conveying more of a warning to Israel than an actual threat.
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ccp
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« Reply #336 on: December 30, 2008, 09:17:33 AM »

***I was living in married student housing at the University of Wisconsin when the first Scud hit Israel; the Palestinian family across the hall proceeded to whoop it up as though the Packers had just won the Super Bowl. Couldn't believe people were celebrating the fact that a weapon with a very poor targeting system, possibly topped with chemical munitions, got lobbed at a population center***

I have a long time Muslim Egyptian patient and her husband.  She is going for elective surgery and I asked her which hospital and she couldn't think of the name off the top of her head.  I named a few places and she said not those.  Then suddenly she said it is a hospital where "all the Jews live".  I said oh Short Hills - St Barnabas.  She said yes that's it.
It is true that area has a huge Jewish population and I realized right away where she meant when she offered this clue.  But don't you think it odd that is what she thought of to try to help me understand which hospital?  I am sure she has no idea I am a Jew.  I made nothing of it.

Otherwise they are wonderful people and I feel a bond with them, but I don't think I would explain where a hospital is by the local population for example JFK hospital is "where a lot of Indians live". 

What would you make of this?  I am not sure what to make of it.
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G M
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« Reply #337 on: December 30, 2008, 09:49:54 AM »

It came from her pre-attack surveillance of Jewish populations.


Kidding!


Mostly....
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JDN
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« Reply #338 on: December 30, 2008, 09:51:11 AM »

At least Obama wasn't on the boat. Not yet, anyway....

Then again, given the disparity of the number of Israeli's killed (5)  versus the terrible number of innocent women and children being killed,
Obama might listen to world and UN opinion and perhaps support more boats/trucks bringing medical supplies, food, and humanitarian
care.  And while of course always leaning toward and favoring Israel, I think he might be a bit more impartial than the Bush
administration has been in this matter.


Asked Sunday if the Obama administration would be as supportive of Israel as the Bush administration has been,
Obama's senior adviser said the president-elect would "honor" what he sees as "the special relationship between the United States and Israel."

"But he will do so in a way that will promote the cause of peace, and work closely with the Israelis and the Palestinians on that -- toward that objective," David Axelrod said.




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G M
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« Reply #339 on: December 30, 2008, 09:56:09 AM »

At least Obama wasn't on the boat. Not yet, anyway....

Then again, given the disparity of the number of Israeli's killed (5)  versus the terrible number of innocent women and children being killed,




And what is the terrible number of innocent women and children killed? Please cite your sources.

You never showed me the protests of Saddam's use of WMD on the Kurds and Shiites or Syria's destruction of Hama. Your selective outrage is noted.
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captainccs
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« Reply #340 on: December 30, 2008, 10:09:09 AM »

What would you make of this?  I am not sure what to make of it.


In my part of the world it would not seem strange at all. While we don't usually have hyphenated citizens (Afro-Venezuelan), we don't have a problem recognizing people's ancestry and origin. Until Chavez none of it was cause for comment or discrimination. My business partner was a black man and everyone refers to him as "The Black Gamboa" to which he proudly announces that he is the descendant of African kings and Amerind princesses. My dad used to call him "My black son." This is true integration, where you are no longer afraid of the differences. Instead, you celebrate them. As the French like to say: "Vive la difference."
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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #341 on: December 30, 2008, 10:21:35 AM »

Quote
Then again, given the disparity of the number of Israeli's killed (5)  versus the terrible number of innocent women and children being killed,
Obama might listen to world and UN opinion and perhaps support more boats/trucks bringing medical supplies, food, and humanitarian
care.  And while of course always leaning toward and favoring Israel, I think he might be a bit more impartial than the Bush
administration has been in this matter.

And again, you fail to address the inanity of citing a disparity which Hamas is striving mightily to achieve. Your circular foolishness fails to provide much in the way of illumination and instead serves to underline your gross ignorance of asymmetric warfare as practiced by terrorists.

Time to get huffy and spout platitudes, I guess. . . .
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JDN
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« Reply #342 on: December 30, 2008, 10:25:50 AM »

Wow; did you learn that at Wisconsin?  (My mom graduated from there and I was born and raised
as a child in Milwaukee - I had to laugh at your earlier comment about the Packers)   smiley
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captainccs
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« Reply #343 on: December 30, 2008, 10:36:01 AM »

In Venezuela we have a large number of Arabs. I have no idea what the proportion of Catholics to Muslims might be. The important fact is that they are as assimilated as any other group might be. I have done business with Arabs as both buyer and seller and the experience has been most satisfactory in all cases.

There is a commercial section in downtown Caracas (El Silencio) where you have Arab and Jewish stores side by side. Back during the Six Day War we used to comment that had Golda Meir and Gamal Abdel Nasser sat down for a coffee in El Silencio, there would never have been a war.

I went to high school in Canada with some other Venezuelans. Most were very friendly while in school but once back in Venezuela, they chose to ignore me, I suppose because I did not fit their social profile back home. While at MIT I saw many interesting friendships, for example, Indians and Pakistanis hitting it off. But once people go back home, away from the freedom of academic life,  they are forced to conform to the local convention. Think of Romeo and Juliet, same issue!

But probably the worst part of the Middle East conflict is that the Muslim nations use the Palestinians as cannon fodder. No one wants them, they have been kicked out of Jordan and Lebanon and currently are not allowed into Egypt. Saddam Hussein used to pay them to act as suicide bombers. Iran backs Hizzbolah and Hamas which is part of the reason Egypt does not like Hamas. The Palestinians are nothing but a geo-political football to be kicked around at will. Arafat  was not even Palestinian! He just used them to line his pockets. Add to the mix an obsolete religion that wants the world to go back to the 7th century and the hopes for any kind of peaceful solution are non-existent unless it comes from the Palestinians themselves. I would not hold my breath.
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« Reply #344 on: December 30, 2008, 12:15:29 PM »

Stratfor
---------------------------

 

GEOPOLITICAL DIARY: THE LATEST PHASE OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN FIGHTING

The Israeli military attacked Hamas-controlled Gaza this weekend. On Friday, Hamas had terminated its unilateral truce with the Israelis. The decision was accompanied by rockets fired into Israel and claims by Hamas that it had longer-range rockets capable of striking even deeper into the country. The Israelis responded with a massive attack that was designed to smash Hamas' infrastructure, impose heavy penalties on Gaza for Hamas' decision, and attempt to preempt not only rocket attacks but also a new campaign of suicide bombers. Whether the campaign will achieve Israel’s goals or trigger an escalation from the Hamas side is now the issue. What is not at issue is that a new round of fighting in Gaza had been expected for weeks. Hamas had made it clear that it was going to end the truce, and Israel had made it clear that it would consider the war resumed and respond accordingly.

The first question is why Hamas chose to end the truce, opening the door to an Israeli attack. The answer might lie in the fact that Palestinian elections are coming up. While Hamas was a pure opposition party, it was an effective critic of Fatah's governance. But having been responsible for Gaza for a while, Hamas now bears criticism for the conditions there, and thus the party's popularity had slipped. Having failed to make significant inroads into the West Bank -- where Fatah dominated -- and having drawn criticism for its administration in Gaza, Hamas saw its momentum blunted.

Hamas was much more effective as a combat party, fighting the Israelis, than as an administrative party dealing with the intractable problem of Gaza. The longer it remained passive toward the Israelis and the longer it remained responsible for Gaza, the less it was likely to appeal to Palestinian voters. Hamas made a strategic decision to re-establish its credentials as the only Palestinian force effectively fighting Israel. In doing so, it also reinforced the perception of Fatah as collaborating with the Israelis (and an Israeli attack is also a mechanism to prompt Palestinians to rally behind Hamas). From Hamas' point of view -- facing a hopeless situation governing Gaza and a showdown with Fatah -- ending the truce made sense in the long term, on the premise that a conventional attack by Israel would not decisively break Hamas' capability.

The Israeli response was also, on one level, driven by public opinion. Hamas' ability to attack Israeli positions with rockets, or potentially to launch another round of suicide bombings in Israeli population centers, was quite real. If it happened, Israeli public opinion not only would create a crisis for any Israeli government, but also would strengthen those forces that felt that any peace process with the Palestinians was impossible.

Ehud Olmert, still prime minister pending a new government, saw the Hamas move as an opportunity. Hamas created a situation that had to be dealt with. Waiting for his successor to deal with the problem would bog that successor down in an issue with the international community that would cripple any ongoing diplomacy. Launching a security campaign as a lame-duck prime minister takes the issue off his successor's plate. In an odd way, this increases the chance of some sort of settlement with the Palestinians, by allowing Olmert to be cast as a villain.

If this seems more complicated than it should be, that is not an incorrect impression. Underneath all of this is a core reality: A Palestinian state on the 1948 borders is an impossibility for both Palestinians and Israelis. For the Palestinians, it would mean a state divided physically between Gaza and the West Bank, without an independent economic foundation. It would be a fiasco. For the Israelis, the 1948 borders would allow the Palestinians to rocket Tel Aviv easily, with no guarantee that a Palestinian state would or could put a stop to it. The Palestinians need more than the 1948 borders, and the Israelis can't even give that.

Therefore, the current cycle of violence is simply one of many such cycles that are hardwired into the geography of Israel and Palestine and from which there is no escape. It is almost unnecessary to go through the political reasoning that has led each side to this point, except to explain why it is happening now instead of earlier or later. The politics simply determine the time and shape of conflict. Geography determines that the conflict is intractable.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #345 on: December 30, 2008, 12:22:08 PM »

Quote
Wow; did you learn that at Wisconsin?  (My mom graduated from there and I was born and raised
as a child in Milwaukee - I had to laugh at your earlier comment about the Packers)

No, alas, I've learned it in numerous venues where folks of a hard left bent ignore cogent comments and instead restate the inane thesis ever more loudly each time they are challenged. Indeed, I'm trying to determine if you are of the useful idiot far left flavor, or if you are a True Believer who actually understands the real ends of groups like Hamas and obfuscates them as they are your ends too.

You no longer strike me as much of a sparring partner, and are instead starting to look like a hanging tire upon which one demonstrates why bad technique is best avoided.
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JDN
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« Reply #346 on: December 30, 2008, 01:27:01 PM »

No, I am not a true believer.  I only, as has much of the world including the UN question Israel's disproportionate reaction,
not their right to react.  Five dead/injured Israeli's versus hundreds of dead/injured?  And mounting...

Israel can kill all the militant Hamas for all I care, but when women and children are being bombed unmercifully,
and sufficient medical care and food is being blocked and/or not getting through to these innocent victims, I would like to think
there is a better way.  Or at least an attempt should be made to find one.

And one person's "cogent comment" is another person's biased viewpoint.  On this matter, the "cogent comments" of much of the world
disagree with Israel.  We each can decide with whom we agree and to what degree.

Hanging tires are rarely used to demonstrate precision and "technique"; rather they are primarily used to improve strength and raw power. 
Strength and power definitely has merit and that is what Israel is displaying now.  But that is not always the answer.  Alternatives exist.

As for my "Wow, did you learn that at Wisconsin" comment, it was said tongue in cheek; obviously my attempt at levity failed.
I truly am from Wisconsin; Madison is a wonderful school, and I still cheer for the Packers.
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G M
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« Reply #347 on: December 30, 2008, 01:38:01 PM »

Alternatives exist.



Such as?

Where was the international outrage when Saddam was using WMD on the Kurds and Shiites? Where were the protests when Syria hammered Hama into rubble?

What is the death toll of innocents in Gaza? You know this how?
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captainccs
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« Reply #348 on: December 30, 2008, 01:43:44 PM »

Israel can kill all the militant Hamas for all I care, but when women and children are being bombed unmercifully,
and sufficient medical care and food is being blocked and/or not getting through to these innocent victims, I would like to think
there is a better way.  Or at least an attempt should be made to find one.


You could start by getting the Brave Hamas not to hide behind their womenfolk. How about getting them to establish military bases away from the civilian population. That would go a long toward preventing unnecessary and lamentable civilian deaths.

BTW, since it should apply both ways, also get them to use suicide bombers only on military targets, not on the civilian World Trade Center, civilian busses and other places where civilians gather. That too would go a long way toward unnecessary and lamentable civilian deaths.

What you seem to be missing is that this is asymmetric war. The Palestinian make war on civilians while the Israelis make war on terrorists. The Palestinians kill civilians on PURPOSE! That is their target, that is their purpose. Israelis only kill civilians as collateral damage. Israelis even call up the civilians to please evacuate the areas to be destroyed. Does Hamas do that? No, they want to kill civilians.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 01:45:54 PM by captainccs » Logged

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Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #349 on: December 30, 2008, 03:10:18 PM »

Wow, citing the UN to settle this debate. Perhaps you can next cite Bernie Madoff on market failures.

So let's make sure I have this straight: Hamas embeds itself in civilian infrastructure from which it launches attacks on Israel, knowing full well Israel will respond against Hamas command and control in a manner that will also cause civilian death and injuries. Israel has likely spent tens of millions developing munitions meant to limit and focus that response, but Hamas counts on collateral damage, and has been known to stage scenes of carnage when needed. Broadcasting images and claims that can't be confirmed by unbiased news sources, Hamas seeks to mobilize world opinion against the Israeli attacks they solicited, and you want to reward this behavior by giving Hamas exactly what it seeks. Make perfect freaking sense to me.

You are correct, however, that my choice of a tire for a metaphor was a poor one. You are much more like a noob who wanders onto the training floor certain he is in possession of singular martial truth. One tries to gently demonstrate there are other truths to be found, but no, it always turns into a tail chase where the UN sanctioned right thinking people technique is cited as the one true skill set. The circular dance grows so inane that all that's left is to demonstrate to the rest of the class that the noob's skills don't stand up to a true clash of sticks. Sad part is the noob then complains about how the demonstration was unfair, rather than reflecting on what is says about his singular truth.
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