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Gaza: The Bitter End and Some Words on Obama

December 29, 2008

Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described Monday as a “war to the bitter end,” striking next to the Hamas premier’s home, and devastating a security compound and a university building. The three-day death toll rose to 364 on Monday, with some 1,400 reported wounded. (TPM: Source)

I wasn’t going to blog about this because it is all the same bullshit all over again. Hamas’s gross disregard for life both Israeli and Palestinian; resulting in suffering and pain to thousands. Israel launching attacks that out-war Hamas both in terms of fire-power and the civilian causalities. Political pundits warning Israel. Warning Palestine. Protests.

There are the ones who believe that Israel has no choice, and then there are the ones who believe they do. There are the folks who understand and those who do not.

I happened to be one who doesn’t get it. I don’t understand why we keep treating Hamas as if they speak for the Palestinian people (I don’t care if they are the government, that only happened fairly recently.) I don’t understand why Israel has not been held accountable for violation of any number of human rights laws and international laws. And I agree with Coates, I do not understand how and why the US is considered a honest broker in a peace agreement.

Somebody wiser than me once said that a sign of insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Hamas and the Israeli government need some hard-core therapy.

On Obama. There is the very predictable criticism from the left on his silence and punting to Bush on the Gaza assault. And to be honest, my initial reaction when I read “there is only one president at a time” was to flinch a little. But I kind of understand. I don’t think it is wise to speak a markedly different policy line from Bush while he is still the president. I am not sure. I think it is important to not offer bland platitudes (like the reaction to Mumbai) without any policy bite. Ugh. Whatever. Maybe I am just an Obama apologist.

I leave you with this image from Israelity Bites.

israelpalestine

5 Comments leave one →
  1. samuelprime permalink
    December 29, 2008 10:54 pm

    “I don’t understand why Israel has not been held accountable for violation of any number of human rights laws and international laws.”

    Because you don’t hold a country accountable when it is in a state of war and all round threat of annihilation. Or else, you would have to ask why any of our allies were not held accountable for their “violations” during World War II (and leaving the Nazis safe from worst atrocities). With that kind of liberal standard the Nazis would’ve won long ago and we would have been at their mercy.

  2. December 29, 2008 11:20 pm

    The Palestinians are not Nazis. The Israelis are not allied forces against Germany. And comparing Palestine to Nazi Germany is being deliberately obtuse.

    Drawing these parallels are not useful since it neither gives any insights and furthermore confuses issues.

    Israel has no rights to attack Palestine. If you use your logic, then Hamas has every right to launch its rockets. Clearly it does not.

  3. samuelprime permalink
    December 30, 2008 1:13 am

    No, Sonia, it is in fact quite accurate. Evidently you did not read Hamas’ genocidal charter to kill off the Jews. Article 7 of Hamas’ Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement says:

    “The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: Y´The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.¡ (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

    Israel has every right to defend itself against such a heinous enemy—whether Nazis or Hamas or anything else that smells of genocide. Whether Hamas has the ‘right’ to fire rockets is immaterial since they already are, and to which Israel is responding. Just India too has the right to respond to the terrorist militants who attacked Mumbai, or else you would have to say India has no right to
    defend itself.

    By the way, ‘Palestine’ was never a state that previously existed; it was occupied by various powers thru 1000’s of years. The Romans called it ‘palestine’ to spite the Jews (naming it after their enemies the Philistines).

  4. December 30, 2008 8:05 am

    I am only going to say this one more time because I have no desire to get into a never-ending argument over this.

    *Whether or not Hamas “has the right to fire rockets” is not “immaterial”. It is the one of the core reasons for the ongoing war.

    *No, we do not all the have “right” to attack innocent people simply because we want to.

    *Why you bringing up India? (And assuming I would agree with you.) For the record, I do not support India attacking Pakistan due to domestic terrorism.

    *Israel was never a state occupied by the Jewish people (as it is presently.) For thousands of years, it was “occupied” by the Palestinians, before their land was brutally colonized (and continue to be brutally colonized.)

    *Under Bush, the right to defend oneself has immediately meant attacking and killing thousands for the right. Times are changing.

    No more on this from me.

  5. samuelprime permalink
    December 31, 2008 1:32 am

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