Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘Occupied Territories

Gaza Madness

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I want to write a post about the current situation in Gaza about as much as I want a root canal. Sigh. That means I must write one. It’s both a painful and a touchy subject personally. Worse, much much worse, globally this could easily lead to a wider war. It’s not like everything is hunky dory in the Middle East right now, this is going to inflame hatred further throughout the region. That’s never a good thing.

So, what’s going on? Well, it’s pretty simple. There’s been a lot of cross border incidents in the past year, including rocket attacks by various factions in Gaza. Israel assassinated a Hamas leader, Ahmed Jabari, on November 14th. Some rockets were fired out of Gaza in retaliation. And Israel escalated into launching large scale attacks and is threatening a ground invasion. In other words, Netanyahu chose to start and escalate this now, it’s not debatable. In fact the Hamas leader that was killed was in the process of trying to negotiate a permanent cease fire with Israel. Good thing they blew him away, eh? That’ll teach those Palestinians to try and work out a lasting peace with Israel. And of course England and the USA have fallen all over themselves supporting Israel. Western press coverage is simperingly pro-Israel. A blog dedicated to that is in the works.

Background: Israel has the military advantage by orders of magnitude. Israel wields one of the world’s greatest militaries. Gaza isn’t even on the charts. This is not a contest between equals, or anything even remotely close to it. Gaza is legally Israeli occupied territory. Israel captured it from Egypt in 1967. They pulled their troops out a few years ago, and imposed a crushing blockade on the territory. Hamas is the effective government of Gaza, though there are militants not under their control. Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas. The blockade has eased since the Egyptian revolution, Egypt has relaxed the blockade along their border with Gaza.

Why did Netanyahu attack? Damned if I know. He’s certainly a bellicose fellow. Some speculate he is doing it to get votes in an upcoming election. There’s speculation that he is trying to scuttle negotiations with Iran. There have been many rockets fired from Gaza in the past year by various factions, but no one in Israel has been killed. The timing of Netanyahu’s attack is very suspicious. If Netanyahu thinks waging war on Gaza will stop rocket attacks, why didn’t it work last time? Why launch the attack when Hamas wanted to talk permanent cease fire?

As of my writing this, Netanyahu is launching more attacks. I think it’s crazy. Weakening Hamas will just strengthen more radical Palestinian factions. And since this will likely strengthen Hamas, wtf? The attack gives hard liners in Egypt more traction, not to mention in Syria. The attack is also triggering anti-Israeli and anti-American sentiment throughout the world, I don’t see how that is in Israel’s interests. And somehow I doubt Obama appreciates another layer of added complication to the Middle East situation. Lastly, the US’s enemies around the globe will be looking at this to see if they can exploit it in any way. Yeah, the USA needed that.

In other words, Netanyahu is risking terrible regional or even global consequences in order to strengthen his hand in elections. That strikes me as criminally insane. Yet some Americans are cheering him on. That’s just ordinary insane. There are Palestinians and Israelis working for peace, the Netanyahu government isn’t among them, and in fact is doing its best to perpetuate the violence.

The bottom line, the one so many in the west refuse to understand, is that Israel has held all the cards since 1967. (Since 1948 actually.) Yet instead of annexing the occupied territories, or letting them declare independence, Israel has kept them in stateless limbo for decades while slowly stealing their land bit by bit. Not to mention constantly and routinely using military force in the occupied territories, both a  threat and an actuality that dwarfs the threat of Hamas rockets in Israel. Israel reaps what it sows, and it has been sowing war for decades.

My heart goes out to all the innocent people in the region, they as always are the victims. God help us all if this war spreads.

(The above image was taken from a Gazan web site, it claims to show some of the current violence. I’m claiming it as Fair Use, and since I am critical of Netanyahu’s current attack, hopefully the copyright holder wouldn’t object. And if it turns out the picture isn’t what it claims, well, the blarney is flowing thick and fast from almost every faction in this ugly mess. Just turn on the mainstream news or look at Wikipedia.)

Written by unitedcats

November 16, 2012 at 7:32 am

Netanyahu Makes Israel’s Position Clear: The Palestinians and Obama Can Go Fuck Themselves. Congress Applauds.

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Egyptian Troops surrender 1967

Netanyahu gave  a speech to Congress where he clarified Israel’s position on a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, and his opinion of Obama’s recent policy speech on the Middle East. The title of the post pretty much sums it up. And how did our elected leaders respond to this man? He got 22 standing ovations. Such is modern America, where right is wrong and wrong is right. I can be reasonable and debate the issue though. What, exactly,  did Netanyahu state were Israel’s preconditions for talks? IE these are the things the Palestinians must do before Israel will even consider actual negotiations:

1. Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem is inviolate and non-negotiable. Yes, the Palestinians must agree to let Israel annex the city they want for their capital.

2. There will be a permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley. That’s the valley that lies between the West Bank and Jordan. In other words, whatever Palestinian state exists on the West Bank will be completely surrounded by Israeli territory. And in fact Israel would control such a state’s airspace and borders. Yeah, that’s a viable state.

3. The Palestinian Authority must tear up their recent unification agreement with Hamas. That’s right, Israel gets to decide who represents the Palestinians, what the Palestinians want doesn’t matter. You’d think that mainstreaming Hamas into a political party would be a good thing since political parties tend to be far less prone to violence. In fact historically this has been the most successful way to get terrorist groups to stop terrorism. I guess Israel doesn’t want to risk that happening.

4. The Palestinian’s right-of-return would be permanently off the table, no Palestinian or their descendent could ever return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel proper. This has been Israel’s official (and illegal) position since 1948, but I guess Netanyahu felt like rubbing it in again. Yes, the Palestinians must agree that all the homes and property stolen from them in 1948 is now Israel’s property. And this demand is coming from a country that is still trying to recover property stolen from Jews in World War Two Europe.

5. This is the one that should have brought Congress down in gales of laughter, just before they had Netanyahu escorted from the podium. He said that the Palestinians had to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State.” What the hell does that mean? It means that whatever the Palestinians agree to, Israel is just simply going to make more demands. The Palestinians agreed decades ago that Israel had a right to exist. And all Israel did is come up with the same demand in different words. Right.

In other words, Israel has zero interest in a settlement with the Palestinians. In fact they won’t even talk to the Palestinians unless the Palestinians agree to permanent status as a subject people of Israel. And yet there are Americans still so addle-headed that they believe the endless propaganda that Israel wants peace. If Israel wanted peace, they would try to negotiate peace, not make demands that are designed to be rejected as preconditions to talk.

Netanyahu had more in his comic monologue. He also claimed that Israel’s 1967 borders are “indefensible.” Let’s look at this claim. In 1967 Israel launched a war from behind those very borders that wiped out the militaries of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, and captured the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Sinai Peninsula … in six days! And since then Israel’s conventional military advantages over its neighbours has done nothing but increase, in addition to acquiring  acquiring nuclear weapons. Again, gales of laughter should have broken out at this claim, the idea that the region’s most powerful military can’t defend itself doesn’t pass the laugh test.

It would be farcical if it wasn’t so disgusting. The USA has given Israel endless military and diplomatic support, and they’ve nothing with  but strengthen their position and make the Palestinian position even more humiliating and hopeless.  These are not the actions of a nation that wants peace with its neighbours and its occupied population, these are the actions of a nation that wants permanent war and permanent terrorism. Right, Israel has been attacking its neighbours since 1956 and its occupied territories since 1967, but they want peace. Snort.

On the plus side, maybe Obama will be so pissed off at Netanyahu spitting in his face that he will find a way to actually do something about it. A man can dream, can’t they?

(The above image is Egyptian prisoners during the Six Day War. I’m pretty sure that’s it’s public domain under US and Israeli copyright law. I chose it for obvious reasons, this is Netanyahu’s vision of peace.)

Written by unitedcats

May 25, 2011 at 11:45 am