Friday, January 2, 2009

Israel: In A No Win Situation In The Court Of Public Opinion

A Timeline of the Current Crisis-War (Reuters)

June 19 - A truce begins between Hamas and Israel. It calls for Hamas to stop cross-border rocket fire and for Israel to gradually ease its embargo on Gaza.

Aug 2 - Factional fighting kills three Hamas policemen and six pro-Fatah gunmen in the Gaza Strip in the worst fighting since June 2007.

Nov. 5 - Hamas fires dozens of rockets at Israel after Israeli forces kill six Palestinian militants in an eruption of violence that has disrupted the four-month-old truce.

Dec. 14 - Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is quoted as saying the group will not renew the six-month-old truce with Israel.

Dec. 18 - Hamas Islamists declare the end of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel which expires the next day with a surge of cross-border fighting.

Dec. 24 - Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip ratchet up rocket fire towards Israel.

Dec. 27 - Israel launches air strikes on Gaza in response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire that intensified after Hamas ended the six-month ceasefire.

Dec. 28/29 - Israel steps up air strikes and at least 307 Palestinians are killed, including about 180 Hamas security officers. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency says at least 51 of the Gaza dead are civilians.

-- Israel declares areas around the Gaza Strip a "closed military zone".

-- Palestinian militants fire rockets deeper into southern Israel. Two Israelis have been killed since Dec. 27

Mexico Fires On The United States - A Dramatization

Imagine if you will that along the Texas border of the United States and Mexico a group that was bent on the destruction of this country began to lob missiles 5, 10, 15 or even 25 miles deep into Texas, with no consideration or thought of who these missiles might hit or kill. This after small cross-border skirmishes had taken place.

In fact, this indiscriminate firing was most likely intended to kill innocent civilians because they just don't think that we have the right or authority to be living there.

What would our response be? What Should Our Response Be?

Should we turn the other cheek, or protect our civilians and sovereignty by targeting the group with the goal of our destruction? Replace the United States and Mexico with any pair of countries around the world that share a common border and you will come to the same conclusion.

Israel Does Not Get This Same Prerogative?

Due to the fact that a worldwide bias against Israel exists, one that tends to be overt at times and disguised at others, other countries do not believe that it should be afforded the same right of self defense and protection for its' citizens.

Because there is a large disparity in the ability of these two to wage war, Israel is portrayed as the big bully using an inappropriate level of force against a vastly inferior foe. This is how it is reported and is therefore the way that it is perceived. Little coverage goes to the 10 or 15 missiles or more a day fired at Israel, only the response.

This is the goal of an organization like Hamas, that uses the citizens of Gaza as human shields and is inviting collateral damage on its' people. Provoking a war that they cannot win generates the protests in the streets around the world that condemn Israel and the United States. This is the goal and so far Hamas has been successful.

The governments around the world are more than ready to condemn Israel as they always have been, ignoring the fact that Israel does not invite or provoke these conflicts, but is well prepared to end them. Take a step back world leaders, and imagine your response to the same situation.

Put your bias aside and deal with the facts as they stand. Hamas as the provocateur and Israel as the defender of its people and sovereignty.

Israel targets military targets (although there is unfortunately some collateral damage), while Hamas targets civilians specifically.

We All Have The Right And The Need To Protect Ourselves. The World Needs To Stop Looking At The Situation Through Bias Tainted Goggles!!!

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  1. As the main target of the terrorists are the civilian population our response to this kind of war should also be without compromising. First of all, the medias should be kept away from the battlefield until the army has finished its job. The civilians collaborating with the terrorists, the ?human shields?, should be treated as soldiers without uniforms. We should not have humanistic considerations unless they will respect human rights and civilized behavior.

  2. I wrote this on another site in response to comments that leaned against Israel:

    I think that if we took the term Israel and Jewish out of the equation, and instead used the terms ABC and DEF and did a panel review of the current situation, all of the details as well as the history of it, those who condemn Israel might actually say that this country, ABC, is being pushed against a wall and really needs to, and has a right to defend itself.

    For those that talk about and over reaction, once again, take the words Israel and Jewish out and put your own country in, and honestly think about what is a proper reaction to protect your family, country, children etc from an enemy that indiscriminantly attacks you. I think that it might be those two words that cloud peoples opinions.

    For those that invoke Iraq and the United States, it is irrelevant to the current situation

  3. I have observed the Palestian conflict all my life and I have often thought that the core of the problem is a matter of intolerance on the part of both parties. There is no longer a question as to Israels right to protect itself. Neither is there question (any longer) as to the sanctity of human rights of the people of Gaza and the Golan Heights. The question is how do you moderate each sides' demands?

    At present, no one wants to touch either of these parties (including the USA). In the minds of non-involved observers, that should means that the neighbors of Israel are the logical subjects for consideration of mediation of the problem. Let's see . . . Lebanon is presently out of control of it own affairs. Syria seems to have undisclosed ulterior but impossible to secure motives. Jordan appears to be a door mat with seemingly no intent to ever commit to anything that might seem reasonable or practical. Egypt is apparently making too much money from the status quo to give much more that passing attention to creating or participating in viable peace solutions that may end the clandestine trade.

    For the outsider, the most viable solution is one where Palestinians become citizens of Israel. Since I am neither Jewish nor Muslim, I can safely assume that this statement makes me a heretic to those who are staunchly orthodox either. If simply looking from the outside in, one doesn't give into the hermit ideology that states that "this is impossible," then a otherwise biased person could readily see that this is the only solution, especially given the consideration of Israel's neighbors' peculiar predicament in regards to the numbers of Palestinians in temporary residence in their lands.

    If this were the nation of Mexico (or Canada) and the United States, that nation would have been annexed many years ago, but it isn't and one must contemplate why such is the truth. Could it be that the greater community of the Middle East would be more threatened by a Palestine without refugees that they could hold hostage, work like slaves and barter like living pawns?

    Palestinians are not just Israel's unwelcome residents of Gaza & Golan Heights. They are the guest of the regional kingdoms from Iran to the UAE to Egypt. Why is the Israeli mistreatment of these nationless people any worse than that of the rest of the governments in the region? Americans are not inexcusably ignorant of the real underlying issues to the Palestinian question. But we are somewhat ambivalent because the bottom line is Israel has the power but lacks the will to truly occupy and annex these people into the state. Again, I ask why?

    As an American of African decent, I know well what I am suggesting. However, in the forty years of my observation it seems that there are no other courses for that nation to take. Every other option has been pursued to the same end. I have no pride in America's historic racial prejudice except the fact that we (and so can Israel) eventually overcame the most virulent forms of discrimination and hatred to achieve the level to which we aspire today. The work is not complete, but it is well on the way. What's stopping you from getting started?

    To those Israelis and Palestinians for whom my words are anathema, I can only offer you my sympathies. Such thinking and opinion dooms you to the recurring violence that you now experience. The only real solution is to win the hearts and minds of the people to be subjected to your laws and customs. Yes, that is a tall order, but not impossible.

    I do not think that the world will come to an end simply because Israelis and Palestinians learn to co-exist on the same geographic turf. Given the size of the problem, it would take another fifty years to get the job done so why don't the Israelis try that instead of rehashing the known shortsighted separate but equal that has garbage never worked anywhere on the planet it was attempted?

    A solid Israel with states where Palestinian's have Israeli citizenship may more threatening to its neighbors. It would certainly be more economically competitive. Would Palestinians dominate some local municipalities? Over time, the answer is yes, but that doesn't mean that they could not be fair or impartial, does it?

    If after three of four decades of transition, that Palestinian municipal rule does mean that Israelis would be subject to discrimination that would most likely be a result of persistent inequitable practices by Israelis over the same time line.

    It is time that Israel learned from some other nations. The true sign of intelligence is the ability to adapt and learn by observation, not experience.