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THE WAR IN GAZA

 
 
georgeob1
 
  3  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 05:38 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

Regarding Ireland, etc., we are really going off on a tangent.


Not really - there is a very interesting analogy to be made here: Unionists to Israel; Catholics of Northern Ireland to the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank; the Republic of Ireland to the Arab neighbors; and Britain to the United States.

The conflict in Northern Ireland lasted for a very long time (centuries) , taking its current form only with the partition of 1920. It ended only when the people of the North (all of them) became weary of the conflict and let go of their sectarian aims; the political leverage of the Unionists in the British government became insignificant; Britain wearied of the endless conflict; and the Republic let go of its ambitions for unity & stopped condoning the IRA within its borders.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 06:10 pm
@georgeob1,
The head of MI5 warned today that the IRA is not gone to sleep.

He has issued a statement relating to realignments in world economic dominance and the effects on our dearest sentimentalities. Notwithstanding assertions to the contrary. Assertions are worthless in this situation. Those who live by them have a rude awakening coming.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:01 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

As are all such comparisons. If the Welsh took up sending fireworks into the border region in England I don't think we would unleash our military on them.

There must be other reasons. Being short-tempered for example.


Would the English take down all the Welsh road signs with very long words?
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:02 pm
@Fountofwisdom,
Fountofwisdom wrote:

Only an American or a fool would claim there were any right or wrong answers in Eire. Your arrogance is as breathtaking as your ignorance.


Well, back in WWII few Brits would put Americans in the same sentence as "fool." I guess you are too young to sense the historical ingratitude.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:11 pm
@Fountofwisdom,
Fountofwisdom wrote:

What I fail to understand is why America backs Israel unconditionally. I mean there is no strategic reason for them to do so. Without the backing of our transatlantic gun huggers, Israel would be forced to compromise, maybe even negotiate with their neighbours.
Our esteemed allies apparently give more "aid" to Israel that to every country in Africa combined. American Aid to Israel is spent entirely on guns.



Again with the odd compliments to the U.S. ("transatlantic gun huggers")?

Can you just accept the fact that the United States of America is not a cheap knock-off of Britain/Europe? Americans are not like the Brits in so many respects; you should stop the ad-hominems cloaked in colloquial phrases, and just try to understand what the U.S. posters are saying.

I do know why America has "backed Israel unconditionally." It is not one pat answer. Israel serves several voting constituencies, none of which I care to reveal to you. You have acted less than proper, so I will not tell you. Harumph!
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:17 pm
@Foofie,
Quote:
Would the English take down all the Welsh road signs with very long words?


The Welsh were in favour actually Foof. It used to take them ages to address an envelope. The noisy traditionalists have turned your head.

Have you seen some of them. The kids couldn't spell them, the road sign makers couldn't get them in and the internet disqualified them. And asking directions was a nightmare but not as bad as being given directions.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:37 pm
@spendius,
I think I saw a sign or two on one of the tv travelogue shows. I did read though that Welsh children go to Welsh school (after regular school?) to learn Welsh. It makes me think that having Charles crowned the Prince of Wales was only a delaying tactic. The Welsh apparently have an ethnic identity that has not disappeared.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 01:58 am
Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions:
How Israel brought Gaza to the the brick of humatarian catastrophe

Quote:
The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.
... ... ...
Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.
... ... ...
As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.
... ... ...
As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".
... ... ...
The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.
... ... ...



Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 04:26 am
@old europe,
There was a lot of posturing,symbolism and grandstanding. I was making a relatively simple point: and that is negotiations have to take place. Ireland did not recognise the border, that does not imply it wanted to destroy England. The Israelis are trying to claim it does.
Again part of the peace process was that everyone had to claim they won. If that is the price of piece it is a small one.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 06:22 am
All bullshit aside...the bottom line is that so long as there is a state of Israel in the Middle East...and there are Arabs living in the area also...

...there is no reason to suppose there will ever be anything remotely resembling real peace in that area.

All the examples of other long warfares that eventually ended notwithstanding.

There is absolutely no reason to suppose there will ever be peace in that area under the circumstances I mentioned.

Sad! But better to finally grasp than have false hope.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 07:50 am
@Frank Apisa,
No question about it.

But there are only about 5 million Jews in Israel.

Why are we putting up with this situation, and risking catastrophe when the technology gets more advanced. when moving them to Europe and America is not that big of a problem.

The population of the USA has risen by nearly 20 million since 2000. So even if the USA took 3 million over a five year long period, which would appease the surrounding countries, it's not that big a deal and they are a talented people who would contribute to economic growth.

I've seen a projection for the USA of nearly 600 million by 2100.

It seems to me that there must be some other reason. Any suggestions?

Tens of millions fly on holiday every year.


Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 08:01 am
@spendius,
I think people can live together in harmony provided to things are in place: basic tolerance and Justice, and a level of prosperity.
England and Scotland are not exactly friendly neighbours: but there isn't going to be a war.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 08:08 am
@Fountofwisdom,
Come on Fountie. Scotland is not independent and making bi-lateral defence agreements, with all that entails, with Russia, say.

And a lot of Scots live in England. The "unfriendliness" is faked to give sport some bite.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 09:27 am
@Fountofwisdom,
Fountofwisdom wrote:

I think people can live together in harmony provided to things are in place: basic tolerance and Justice, and a level of prosperity.


This takes first prize in the A2K competition for meaningless, vapid tautologies.

I believe the real question is; how are widespread tolerance, justice and prosperity created, and how can they be made to endure? Human history strongly suggests that individually and collectively they are the exception, not the rule.

Even here the question remains complex - there are numerous examples of "advanced" societies that provided justice and prosperity for one group of people, founded on the sweat and exploitation of others. A lot depends on where one draws the boundaries.

These questions, of course, are beyond the complacent superficiality that so characterizes FOWs posts.

The parents and grandparents of the Jews of Israel left Europe, generally for good reasons. I believe their children and grandchildren should have a vote on just where they might be transported for the greater convenience of others.


0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 10:25 am
While I understand what Spendius is saying…I also get what GeorgeOB is countering.

Here is something to consider:

Up until the late 1940’s, when the state of Israel was created, the Jews and Arabs of the area got along just fine"certainly no more squabbling among them than among any diverse group anywhere in the world.

It was the creation of the state of Israel that started the incredible hatred and “attack/retaliate"blame the other guy for starting it” mentality that rules that part of the world right now.

I don’t know if the relative calm that prevailed before the creation of Israel can ever be re-invented"but the thought certainly should be considered.

Why not a state of Israel somewhere else…but with nobody moving? No reason for any Jews or Arabs to move out of that area. Let everybody who is there stay if they choose…but with an Internationally imposed government that is neither Israeli nor Palestinian.

Something along those lines.

Seems to me its not the fact that Jews and Arabs live there...but that there is a state of Israel there...that causes the trouble.

Any thoughts?

georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 10:43 am
@Frank Apisa,
Thoughtful comments, Frank.

I think that, given the physical and economic mobility of people in the contemporary world - even in relatively undeveloped areas, it is no longer possible to achieve justice and tolerance with nation states defined by tribal or sectarian distinctions. Cultural pluralism has become a necessary component of just societies. Negative examples abound, from Sudan to Nigeria, and even the history of race relations in the USA.

Vari0us forms of political tribalism or sectarianism may be temporarily necessary, but they are neither stable nor desirable. We can only hope that pluralistic societies can be both just and stable. With that in mind, I believe that the only desirable endpoint in the middle east is for a pluralistic state that would be neither Jewish nor Moslem.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 11:01 am
@Walter Hinteler,
What the hell are you talking about?

"How Israel brought Gaza to the the brick [sic] of humatarian [sic] catastrophe [sic]"

Yes, there is free speech in Israel. Were someone in Gaza complain that Hamas has fired about 8,000 rockets at civilians in Gaza, he or she would be promptly executed.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 11:04 am
@spendius,
Spendius, I have to admit that you make some valid points. Considering that the Arabs have the bomb, and that there will be further proliferation, the long-term prognosis for Israel is poor. The Jewish population should probably be moved.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 11:17 am
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

What the hell are you talking about?

"How Israel brought Gaza to the the brick [sic] of humatarian [sic] catastrophe [sic]"


What the hell are YOU talking about?

That's a linked quote, by "Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy".

(You can contact and ask HIM via Oxford University website)
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 11:41 am
i believe that the people of gaza are not only being held hostage by israel but also by the rich middle-eastern nations - such as saudi arabia .
i'm sure there is enough wealth in the middle-east to find accomodation for the people of gaza and provide them with a good life .
i'm also reasonably sure that the wealthy of the middle-east prefer the problems of gaza to stay in gaza . they wouldn't want to part with any of their riches to help the poor .

when i see the display of wealth in the middle-east : several palaces , gold ... you name it , it's pretty clear to me that there is no will to help the people of gaza .
it's probably not much diffferent than trying to keep people from moving out from the slums and move into better parts of the city .
what's the old saying : there goes the neighbourhood !
hbg

 

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