Israel’s assault on Gaza: anything but self-defence

by Jerome Roos on November 22, 2012

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Israel cares neither about Palestinian civilians, nor about its own. Bound by a logic of escalation, its main goal is simply to protect the occupation.

WARNING — shocking images below. Image above: BBC staff member Jihad Misharawi cradles his 11-month-old son, Omar, killed in an Israeli air strike.

Ask any Israeli what they think about the air strikes on Gaza, and there is — according to a Haaretz poll — an 84 percent chance that they will tell you the Palestinians had it coming; that the deadly raids were not only justified but necessary to preserve the security of Israeli citizens. That it was self-defence. Prodded on the high number of civilian deaths, in particular the dozens of children killed by relentless Israeli missile and shelling raids, the answer is almost unanimous: they, the Palestinians, use civilians as human shields. Not our fault that some kids got in the way.

As of Tuesday, November 20th, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights counted 136 dead (including 91 civilians) and 941 wounded (including 922 civilians). Wednesday the 21st, the day of the ceasefire, proved to be the bloodiest yet, with 31 killed — 21 of whom civilians. Yet in a brazen display of inhumanity, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon had the guts to claim that “most of the people that were hit in Gaza deserved it, as they were just armed terrorists.” Israel just killed 34 Palestinian children. But in the eyes of its government, these “armed terrorists” had it coming all along.

Still, somehow, many smart and informed people are firmly convinced that Israel is not an aggressor. How could it be? Israel is the only democracy in the region; an economically advanced and culturally civilized country, having built a modern state from a pile of Biblical dust in just over half a century. Israel does not target civilians; it only acts in self-defence. It is they, the Arabs, who want to drive us into the sea and erase us from the map. It is they, the terrorists, who started this by firing rockets at us (fact check here). We, the Israelis, we just want to live in peace.

The sophisticated version of this argument — propagated by IDF spokespeople, US and EU officials, and educated “friends” of mine — laments the civilian deaths; but ultimately blames them on Hamas. Poor Palestinian kids, living under the yoke of a bunch of religious zealots, getting in harm’s way because they, the terrorists, put their babies next to the rockets. The terrorists knew we would take out those launching sites, so technically it’s their fault, not ours. We don’t kill babies. We just want peace.

18/11/2012: 18-month-old Eyud Abu Khosa, killed in an Israeli airstrike, at funeral.

The problem, of course, is that there is also a slightly less sophisticated (and somewhat more truthful) account of the attacks — coming from those actually calling the shots in government. Like Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who openly boasted that the goal of Operation Defensive Pillar was to “send Gaza back into the middle ages.” This ministerial candour is nothing new, of course. Ahead of the 2008 ground invasion of Gaza, Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai poetically threatened Palestinians with “an even bigger holocaust.” Yes. You read that right.

The overall sentiment on the street was expressed fairly well by a Tel Aviv resident, who confessed to a foreign TV crew that “we know they die by the score there. It’s not that we don’t know. We just don’t care.” No surprise, then, that — after a ceasefire was announced on Wednesday evening — an instant poll by Channel 2 found that a whopping 70% of Israelis actually oppose the ceasefire and would rather have the air strikes continue. As Energy Minister Uzi Landau put it, “we have to finish what we started.” So much for the peaceful and defensive attitude.

Clearly, the ceasefire is unlikely to last long. Commenting on the agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu ominously warned that he has the “popular mandate” for “more forceful action” — i.e., a ground invasion — if the ceasefire fails. Israeli tanks are still on Gaza’s borders; its population of 1.5 million imprisoned within the narrow strip of land while drones continue to fly overhead seeking out future targets. Gaza remains under siege; its sea access blocked by Israeli battle ships and its land access severely constricted by IDF check points.

Just hours before the ceasefire went into effect, Israeli forces made sure to pound in a few last big hits. Perhaps the time pressure made the forces a bit less “surgical” in the their stated policy of avoiding civilian casalties: the Guardian reported that “the latest victims included Ibrahim Mahmoud Nasser Abu Nasser, 80, and his 14-year-old grandson, Ameera, who were cropping olive trees in Abassan village to the east of Khan Yunis refugee camp when a missile shot from the sky killed them both.” The harrowing report continues:

There were the two 16-year-olds – Mahmoud Khalil al-Arja and Ibrahim Ahmed Hamad – who died in an air strike near the southern Gaza border. Ambulance men could not reach their bodies for hours because of the continuing air assault.

Dozens of strikes on Gaza City killed nine civilians, including two children. A plane hit two cars with a missile each. Five people died. The PCHR said they were all civilians. Another missile struck a garden, killing a man and wounding his eight-year-old grandchild.

About 15 minutes later, a plane fired a missile into a busy road, Baghdad Street. Four died, including an 18-year-old woman. Again, all were believed to be civilians.

18/11/2012: A Palestinian relative of four sibling children of the al-Dalo family, who were killed in an Israeli air strike, reacts as he stands next their bodies at a hospital in Gaza City.

Clearly, then, faced with these facts and official statements, the argument of self-defence becomes increasingly shaky. While there are two aggressors to this particular episode — Israel and Hamas — only one of them is an occupying power. When that occupying power (which just happens to be the fourth most powerful military force on the planet, receiving over $3 billion in military aid from the US per year) kills 34 children living in a state of near-total destitution, can it still credibly invoke the excuse of self-defence?

According to Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama, “Israel has every right to defend itself.” But as a lawyer, Obama should know that — from a legal perspective — this is blatantly untrue. The UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the US State Department and the International Court of Justice all consider the Gaza Strip to be “occupied territory.” Under Article 51 of the UN Charter (for what it’s worth), people living under occupation have a legal right to take up arms and resist their occupiers, while the occupying power has the duty to withdraw.

But let’s go with the Israeli argument for a while, and assume that the people of Gaza somehow “started it” (whatever that may mean) by launching the initial rockets to which Israel subsequently responded “in self-defence” (another assertion that is blatantly untrue, since on November 4th, days before the rocket attacks, the IDF already killed an unarmed mentally-impaired Palestinian, and four days later, shot a 13-year-old boy in the head while he was playing football with his friends). But anyway, let’s go with the Israeli argument for a second:

Even if Hamas were the aggressor initiating the violence, does an entire population of 1.5 million people truly deserve this kind of brutal collective punishment at the hands of one of the world’s most oiled war machines? Even if Israel were merely acting in self-defence, has it not dawned on anyone that the sheer numbers (over 150 Palestinian deaths vs. 5 Israeli) are so vastly out of proportion as to render the entire concept of self-defence utterly meaningless? Clearly this kind of disproportional “self-defence” only breeds further resistance. Ultimately, it leaves Israel itself worse off.

15/11/2012: Men lower the body of Aaron Smadja, one of the three Israelis killed by a rocket fired from Gaza, during his funeral at a cemetery in the southern city of Kiryat Malachi.

Therefore, even from a narrow Israeli security point of view (which I do care a great deal about, since several close friends and my girlfriend’s family live in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv), the air strikes do not seem to make any sense: political support for Hamas, which was steadily going down ahead of the air strikes, has suddenly exploded again. Tel Aviv hasn’t experienced any bombings in years; but on Wednesday morning 21 Israelis were injured as a bomb struck a bus, indicating that Israel, bound by its own “logic of escalation,” is actually making life for its citizens more unsafe.

But the lives of Palestinians and the security of Israelis do not seem to be issues that the Netanyahu government — or the military-industrial complex behind it — are very concerned about. Instead, while Palestinians ran for their lives and Israelis ran for their shelters, Netanyahu and his ministers were busy devising strategic plans to sabotage the efforts of the moderates within the Palestinian Authority (PA) to find a lasting solution to the conflict by pushing for a two-state solution through the UN. Thus, while it waged war on Hamas, Israel simultaneously sought to marginalize Fatah.

From the perspective of the occupier, there is a very straightforward reason for this: on November 29, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is due to address the UN General Assembly to try to obtain an upgrade of Palestine’s status as a “non-member state”. The problem for Israel is that, as a non-member state, the Palestinians would obtain the right to join such organizations as the International Court of Justice, which has been a major force of opposition to Israel’s illegal occupation of Gaza, East-Jerusalem and the West Bank — and the construction of Israel’s wall in the West Bank in particular.

Abbas is therefore being put under immense pressure by the hard-line Netanyahu government — as well as the United States — not to seek a UN vote. Indeed, on November 14th, the first day of Israeli air strikes on Gaza, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to “overthrow Abbas” if he pushed ahead with his statehood bid in the UN. Similarly, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Moshe Yaalon, warned that Palestinians would pay a “heavy price” for the vote. The reason, of course, is that a successful vote would seriously jeopardize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation.

18/11/2012: A Palestinian woman lights a candle during a mass for the children of Gaza in the Church of the Annunciation in the West Bank village of Beit Jala.

Prior to the air strikes, the government already considered a number of dramatic options to deter the Palestinian push for non-member status in the UN, including the annulment of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the withholding of Palestinian tax revenues, the expansion of Israeli settlements, and the annexation of occupied West Bank territories. But Abbas resisted. He even rejected a personal appeal by President Obama to postpone the vote. Despite the opposition, the Palestinian bid is now almost certain to go through, with the PA counting on the support of at least 150 countries in the 187-member General Assembly (the resolution only needs a simple majority to pass).

It is not surprising, then, that the Israeli government wants Abbas out. “The number of ministers who say we must keep the Palestinian Authority alive is decreasing rapidly,” one senior Israeli official told the New York Times. “More and more ministers today see the Palestinian Authority as a strategic threat.” Netanyahu faces serious complications, however, since he cannot be seen publicly forcing out Obama’s preferred partner for a potential future peace process. He needed an excuse to deflect attention away from the PA’s “legitimate” road towards a two-state solution, while simultaneously dividing the Palestinian people to undermine the push for statehood. In this respect, for Netanyahu, the rain of rockets from Gaza couldn’t have come at a better time.

While the military mission behind the air strikes was to cripple Hamas’ operational capacity, its political effect was the exact opposite: to boost Hamas’ popularity, weaken Fatah, and further divide the Palestinian people. According to former senior US State Department official Robert Danin, Israel “contributed to Hamas’s rise in stature by holding it responsible for rocket fire from more radical groups in Gaza. In calling upon Egypt to rein in the Gaza leaders, Hamas’s centrality grows rather than diminishes. It is this that draws leaders from throughout the Middle East rushing to Gaza while skipping Ramallah to court the Hamas leadership. Yet by bypassing Ramallah and President Abbas, they further marginalize the moderate leaders.”

The conclusion is simple: to discredit the moderate Palestinian bid for statehood, Netanyahu needed images of Palestinian aggression. Since most Palestinians chose not to exercise their legal right to militarily resist the Israeli occupation of their homeland, and since the moderates of the PA sought to resist the occupation non-violently through the UN route, Hamas’ rockets were precisely what Netanyahu needed to strengthen his hand. With its military command being as belligerent as it is, all Netanyahu had to do for Hamas to “open the gates of hell,” was to nudge them a little. By killing their military leader, for instance. Just hours after offering him a truce deal.

20/11/2012: Parachute flares illuminate the Gaza Strip for an artillery barrage, hours before a proposed cease fire.

By now, it is clear that the bellicose Zionism at the heart of the Israeli state and the Islamic fundamentalism of Hamas go hand in hand. Neither could survive without the other. Netanyahu — and with him the entire Israeli war machine — needs the religious extremists of Hamas to legitimize a fundamentally illegitimate occupation to a fearful Israeli public and an increasingly oppositional international community; while Hamas needs Israeli aggression to win the despairing hearts and minds of the Palestinian people. That’s how the conflict is perpetuated. Neither party can live with peace.

So yes, as always, there are at least two sides to this story — and two violent aggressors. Both Israel and Hamas are rattling the war drums. Both Israel and Hamas are dead-set on revenge and destruction. But while the warmongering may come from two sides, there is only one occupying force; only one military superpower; and only one aggressor that has managed to systematically kill dozens of civilians on the other side. Whatever you may think of the fanatics in Hamas, the past week has taught us one thing: right now, they are Netanyahu’s single most important ally in undermining the push for a sustainable two-state solution to bring lasting peace to the Middle East.

Meanwhile, millions of terrorized Palestinians and brainwashed Israelis remain hopelessly stuck in the middle. And Netanyahu starts to look scarier with the day:

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Rennie November 22, 2012 at 13:05

Thank you for such a brilliantly written article. Finally a summary and explanation of the reasons and the motives behind this terrible situation. I have been looking for this kind of reporting but you are the first person to lay it all down in a thoughtful, well considered and understandable way. I would make this one suggestion – too many pictures of dead people and children. Some people will be so turned off by them that it will stop them reading the article with an open mind…People dont want another opinion piece, they need the facts in as unbiased a manner as possible. The pictures lead us to a conclusion before the text can explain it. Aside from this I think the article is the BEST i have yet found to explain the complex and distorted messages we normally have to digest. Superb work !

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Jerome Roos November 22, 2012 at 13:40

Dear Jason, thanks so much for this comment, it really means a lot — especially on such an extremely divisive subject as this.

Thanks also for the wise suggestion. I followed your advise and removed half the pictures. I just wanted to share the images that motivated me to write this article, but I think you’re right, I don’t want to push a simplistic conclusion unto people before getting a chance to explain my precise thoughts. The pictures are the reality; but I don’t want to over-do it. The ones that remain speak for themselves.

Thanks again!

Jerome

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bezerro November 22, 2012 at 21:28

I agrea white jason (exept on pic’s i have no opinion about them) briljant artical, and great axempel why i find roar a apsoluut must!!
keap up the good work!!!

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E. S. T. November 23, 2012 at 22:48

“According to Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama, “Israel has every right to defend itself.” But as a lawyer, Obama should know that — from a legal perspective — this is blatantly untrue.”

Seriously man? you say some correct stuff, but you clearly are quite selective on the facts you share with your viewers. Maybe a word or two on Hamas? Who has the destruction of Israel as their official goal. And that for them hitting a school is not collateral damage, but a legitimate and even preferable target.

I’m not saying Israel correct, and Netanyhu deserves a lot of the blame for not using diplomatic means. But showers of rockets hitting AIMED at civilians on a daily basis, is not a legitimate way to achieve your goals. If you do, then as the less sophisticated Israeli would suggest to you – “You’re welcome to go visit Gaza and live with them”.

Dragging the bodies of people you suspect as traitors on the streets tied on a rope connected to a motorcycle that parades them on the street – is a sign of a pretty perverted society.

There are no good guys in this story, this is not the righteous vs the evil empire. I’m sad that the Left has become so delusional… Everybody stuck in their own narratives believing their own lies and half truths. Nobody should die, not Israelis not Palestinians. The fault is on both sides and on the international community that except fly around the world extinguishing fires – has done nothing to change the situation.

Basically, what I’m trying to say – don’t present opinion as fact.

PEace in hte Middle East

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Jerome Roos November 23, 2012 at 23:15

Thanks for your reply.

First of all: I never presented my article as fact — I present facts to illustrate my opinion, which is that there are two aggressors to this conflict (Israel and Hamas), but that there is only one occupying force; and that nothing can ever be solved if the underlying issue of this occupation is not systematically addressed.

Secondly, it makes me so sad I have to put on this bullshit disclaimer every time I criticize Israel, but just because I criticize a state that claims to be “democratic” and to “respect human rights” for not really being democratic and for disrepecting human rights, does not mean that I somehow like Islamic fundamentalism, or enjoy the sight of rockets raining down near the houses of my family and friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Read the entire article (including the conclusion) before you bring up this vacuous cliché line of reasoning. If you had read the entire article you would have seen that my opinion on Hamas is unequivocal.

Thirdly, dragging the bodies of suspected collaborators through the streets is perverted indeed — but if Palestinian society as such is perverted, as you claim, the Israeli occupation and blockade of the Strip surely has a great deal to do with it. Besides, just because the Israeli army fights safely from the skies and seas and does not drag the bodies of dead Palestinians through its streets does not make it any less of a killer. As if arming yourself to the teeth with nuclear submarines and remote-controlled drones, and electing government ministers who call for “razing Gaza to the ground”, “bombing it back to the middle ages”, and unleashing a Palestinian “holocaust” is somehow not a sign of a “perverted society”.

Finally, you claim there are no “good guys” in this story, but I beg to differ. There are actually a lot of good guys (and especially girls) in this story, and I am proud to know some of them: Israelis and Palestinians alike. Unfortunately, however, none of these good guys and girls are in power.

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myra landau November 22, 2012 at 17:24

Bravo, Jerome! malheureusement tout est vrai!

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Jean Chicoine November 22, 2012 at 17:59

Very informative article, coming from someone who seems to know what he’s talking about. Here, in Canada, our Conservative Government, aligned with the US of A, is shamelessly pro-Israel, putting all the blame on the Palestinians. Fortunately, many Canadians are wise to the Government spin and realise that there is more to this conflict than reducing it to the good Israelis defending themselves against the bad Palestinians.
As for the commenter’s suggestion about the photos, I don’t agree. Show the damages. Show the suffering.
As far as I am concerned I am for the children against whoever bombs them. Israelis, Palestinians, Martians, name it, as soon as they kill a child they can go rot in hell.

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Saffran Ringtail November 22, 2012 at 18:10

Thank you for a very human and factual writing! Specially with such an emotional subject…
Congratulations on following the advise made by Jason, I also agreed with him.

Roarmag.org is doing an excellent job with the subjects you are covering, I follow daily.
Thanks a lot! We need you!
Peace

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Luigi November 22, 2012 at 18:45

Dear Jerome,

Interesting article, however what you say here is untrue:

“By now, it is clear that the bellicose Zionism at the heart of the Israeli state and the Islamic fundamentalism of Hamas go hand in hand. Neither could survive without the other. Netanyahu — and with him the entire Israeli war machine — needs the religious extremists of Hamas to legitimize a fundamentally illegitimate occupation to a fearful Israeli public and an increasingly oppositional international community; while Hamas needs Israeli aggression to win the despairing hearts and minds of the Palestinian people. That’s how the conflict is perpetuated. Neither party can live with peace.”

Zionism has always excercised the genocidal manifestation of its repulsive ideas without any kind of restraint, no even from the PLO. So, to assume that it’s a mutually symbiotic relationship is to give credit to the existence of the state of Israel in Palestine – a state that has no right whatsoever to exist. But, considering current geopolitics, its existence is guaranteed by its military might and nuclear power in the region, so I doubt many isrealis lose their sleep upon some toy rockets being shot from Gaza.

If there is an escalation to be feared is an escalation from Hamas, coupled with support from Hezbollah and Iran. Unfortunately, that is precisely what Israel seems to be looking for, excuses to further escalate its aggression, taking for granted its victory, believing it will have support from the US and that it will reign over the region.

If there is any religious fundamentalism is that of mad ultra-orthodox settlers, and if there is any kind of bellicosity it is that of Zionism.

“Both Israel and Hamas are dead-set on revenge and destruction”. Have you ever read the story of Hamas? Do you know where they come from? Please instruct yourself to justify such statement, because the reason why they gained support over the years was due to their relentless commitment to the Palestinians.

Also, the two state solution is a joke. What state can be created in Palestine? A divided one that will barely be able to secure the well-being of its people, threatened forever my Zionism?

A one state solution seems to be the proper one here, but I doubt the democratic and peaceful nature of Israel would agree to that – for it will mean it will cease to exist, and that is heresy.

The world is slowly opening its eyes to the israeli mass murder machine. Its days are counted.

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Snark November 22, 2012 at 19:49

Unbalanced, biased, myopic trash. Perhaps dealing with the cranial-rectal inversion would help before flapping the phalanges over the keyboard. More liberal pro-arab bilge water. Utter codswallop.

Factual? What a laugh, Roos.

Here in Canada we’re quite proud to have a conservative government who unabashedly supports the Israeli population.

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Jerome Roos November 22, 2012 at 20:05

The sheer vacuity of your critique merely reveals the extent of your stupidity. You can juggle words all you want, but no amount of empty statements is ever going to compensate for the fact that you clearly have no arguments whatsoever to back up your indefensible apologetics for child murder.

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alex ugur November 22, 2012 at 20:30

Conflict benefits the corporate and financial power brokers. Divide and rule is the game. See how the powers have played the people so far, in their toying with the two state solution. However, I think all concerned know that this two state solution, if implemented, will only cement the problems for the people. On a personal level, such a solution will always guarantee an abundance of winners and losers on both sides, desperate to hold on to the wrongs of the past in order to justify the wrongs of the future.

Overt aggression, on the other hand, will become more questionable with both states recognised. The industrial military complex and all the other big players don’t really want to go there. They will continue to filibuster and reap the profits of conflict and war in the meantime. After all, a constant supply of terrorists is needed to feed the cannons.

One mustn’t forget that the Palestinians aren’t the only pawns in the game. The Israeli people, too, are compromised by the divide and rule principle. Democracy is often high-jacked by the usurpers and their demagogues creating a heightened sense of fear in order to swing the electorate, thereby giving paid politicians carte blanche to divert huge amounts of tax monies and foreign subsidies to questionable purposes.

At the end of the day, there is only one territory, namely that of the former protectorate of Palestine.
There is also only one dominant administration holding sway over the entire area, namely that of Israel.
And there is only one citizenry in the area, consisting of, amongst others, the Jews and their brothers and sisters, the Palestinians. The citizenry includes the newcomers as it does the displaced. Therefore, what we have here is an extreme case of segregation, of apartheid.

This being the case, any solutions will be forged at the communal and personal level, such as the way in which the Good Friday Agreement came about in Northern Ireland. There is only one principle and that is that people matter. With cooperation and integration practiced by the majority, extremism can be sidelined and made irrelevant. It’s all down to making pragmatic choices that take the needs of all concerned into account, creating win/win situations. The past has already been written, though poorly documented, but the future is open and always will be open. Life doesn’t have to be a replay.

It probably wouldn’t be wise to undo the state of Israel. Such vacuums tend to end up being deadly. But the structure of the state can and should be slowly changed and morphed into something more inclusive. A single state, rather than the two state solution. In time, even the name of the territory could be changed as a mark of respect to all people there. For lasting peace, integration is the only solution. It is the more difficult option, but at the end of the day, it is the only option. It could be achieved within a lifetime, if it weren’t for the psychopathic power brokers and their deadly brand of geo-politics. And this is where the average citizen living in the west comes into play, especially those living in the US, the UK and Germany. Just as the Israeli people are being misled, so too are we. Our tax money also is being misused for these large scale colonial machinations. It’s time to pull the plug on the corporations and finance houses. It’s time to take away their power base. It’s time to liberate the commons.

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Rebecca August 18, 2014 at 04:33

Yes! Finally! Something wonderfully written.

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Ernesto Unionista November 23, 2012 at 23:54

An understanding of the problems in the Middle East is impossible in a purely modern context. We need to review the process whereby land was “allocated” for Israel post-WW2 and who were the losers in this land-grab. I’ve seen pictures of some of the agricultural areas in Israel and they’re incredibly lush. I’ve never seen such pictures of Palestinian land. Did the Palestinians get a raw deal like the Native Americans? Is the present Palestine akin to the “Indian reservations” set up in North America? Lastly, is there a source for this kind of factual information that is not based solely on the viewpoint of Israel?

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Anne November 24, 2012 at 12:18

Thanks for this great article. I have been completely and utterly horrified by the deaths of so many innocent civilians and children recently, together with the awful and completely heartless speeches of the Israeli spokesmen and women as heard on RT news. Unbelievable that people who experienced the Holocaust can have such a view and opinion of Palestinians, who they are, in effect, imprisoning in much the same way as they were during the war.

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jkelvynrichards November 26, 2012 at 09:02

We have been confronted by the realities of a two state solution being transformed into a three state solution. Is a one state solution out of the question?

I want to apply the principles of conflict prevention as developed by CRISIS WATCH http://www.crisisgroup.org to this situation.
1. The best way to stop wars is not to start them!
This is not a principle that is followed by Israel nor Gaza nor Hamas nor Palestine. There has been constant military action since 1948 and the creation of Israel, involving a multitude of different political/military groups. The withdrawal of the British from Palestine was followed by military action by the Palestine Arabs in opposition to the Palestine Jews.

2. There is no substitute for leadership.
The leaders of any country or community need to be committed to peaceful solutions by negotiations to resolve the differences between themselves and their ‘enemies’. The leaders of Palestine, Israel, Gaza seem to be committed to attack first and last. There is no room for conflict prevention. The object of each group is to get rid of all other groups, and to deny their claims. This is a recipe for constant conflict. All parties seem to believe that peace can be gained by aggression; bluff and counter-bluff, threat and counter-threat, and, of course, justification by deception: that is, any claim for peace is associated with attack. For example, Israeli Forces on November 20 used the onset of talks as a cover to attack and destroy the Hamas headquarters in Gaza City!

At the same time, the current conflict is an example of the importance of international cooperation in order to bring the combatants to the table.
3. International agencies should actively seek conflict prevention. November 20 witnessed the UN, Egypt, and the USA mediating with Israel and Gaza and Hamas and the Palestine Authority for a cease fire. But the failure to agree reveals that there must be the political will to achieve peace, to live together in peace, to recognise their inter-dependence, to cooperate. At the moment, any halt in military action is used by all parties as a means to re-group and re-organise their forces, not as a preparation for talking and negotiating.
The leaders and the peoples of Israel and Palestine should focus in the future on conflict prevention. The peoples of ‘Israel’ and ‘Palestine’ believe that they are the rightful citizens of the ‘Holy Land’. If they accepted that they both had the right to live on the lands, then they could live together in peace in the state of Palestine!

All humans are capable of resolving differences by talk, not by killing each other. We must learn that what happened in the past cannot be used as a justification for war today. The past provides history, language, culture, which is to be celebrated as part of a multicultural society: unity in diversity.
It is the ultimate tragedy of conflict that people have to die simply because the militants refuse to talk and negotiate. The present conflict led to the death of more than 150 people, including many children, in eight days because the various communities did not trust each other and would not talk. Even the cease fire was used as an excuse for further conflict. As soon as the cease fire took effect the deaths stopped. Let us keep it that way!

Go to http://www.kelvynrichards.com
go to: http// http://www.jkelvynrichards.blogspot.com

POSTS: Communities in Conflict: Crisis Watch [September 2012]
Northern Ireland [September 2012]
Bradford [September 2012]
Fiji [September 2012]

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The messenger January 27, 2013 at 08:22

The Attack on the Gaza strip was or provoked when Missiles where launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip which harmed and killed many innocent Israelis. In responceable to this senseless slaughter, Israel proposed a peaceful agreement stating that if the missile launches stopped then Israel wouldn’t attack. But instead of agreeing to the peaceful proposal that the Israeli government suggested, the violent, irrational, evil, disgusting, Palistianians desided to ingnore the offer of peace given by the peaceful Israelis, and decided to attack the innocent Israeli civilians. In self defence the Israeli government decided to launch missiles into the Gaza Strip.

As you can see, the attack on the Gaza Strip was provoked by the Palistianians when they decided to murder innocent Israeli citizens.
Palistianians are Evil, violent Hell spawn.

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The messenger January 27, 2013 at 09:12

As you can clearly see, Palestinians are savage killers, pitty them.

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Humanity July 23, 2014 at 16:28

It amazes me how you just labeled another HUMAN being as a “savage killer”. There are more than 400 civilians dead at the moment in Gaza, the majority being civilians. Are they still the “savage killers”? No, this time the excuse is they are “human shields”. I wonder what they will be labeled in the next war they have. I do know one this though, the Israelis will leave being the “heroes”.

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Jan Andersen July 14, 2014 at 00:24

Free Gaza! The world’s largest open air prison.

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