Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The situation in Gaza

Israel is pounding a lot of terrorists like the one on the left. I would discuss this further, but any discussion of genocide or ethnic cleansing when a Jew is doing it means you're anti-Semitic. It is only allowable to talk about genocide or ethnic cleansing when non-Jews are doing it.

-- Badtux the "Rules are rules" Penguin


  1. I'd like to call a cease fire for a moment because this is an important issue and we're on the same side.

    You're absolutely right, and there aren't enough people willing to criticize Israel, so I'd like to give you some ammunition.

    Non-Jews can criticize Israel and avoid the "anti-Semitic" label by quoting prominent Jews who criticize Israel.

    My favorite is Uri Avneri

    He is a repentant Zionist.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. Jews who criticize genocide and/or ethnic cleansing done by other Jews are self-hating Jews and thus should not be listened to. Any repeating of their words is anti-semitism. That's another one of those rules along the lines of "any discussion of genocide and/or ethnic cleansing done by Jews is anti-semitism".

    -- Badtux the "Rules are rules!" Penguin

  3. There's no such rule.

    Whatever, dude!

  4. Hey, I've been accused of anti-Semitism multiple times for violating these rules. Sad to say, this is the rules of public discourse in the USA today. Jimmy Carter, the guy who arranged peace between Egypt and Israel (a peace which has thus far lasted over thirty years) and thus ended the last existential threat to Israel (there is currently no existential threat to Israel -- none of its neighbors have a military capable of threatening the existence of Israel, and only Egypt is capable of developing such a military) has been accused of anti-semitism. Imagine that. The man who secured the existence of the state of Israel for basically perpetuity by taking the only real existential threat to Israel out of the picture, is accused of anti-semitism. Sad. Just sad.

    - Badtux the Sarcastic Penguin

  5. Those "rules" frustrate me, especially having had the opportunity to speak with people who have seen the living conditions in the occupied territories and Gaza. The fact that we provide more assistance on a per capita basis to Israel than to citizens of the U.S.? Well, that's a soapbox for another day...and one that would clearly result in me being labeled.

    The rules
    They are, unfortunately, the same rules that are keeping the press from being vocal about Israel's refusal to participate in a 48 hour cease fire in Gaza. I want to believe that Hamas is wise enough to abide by it (were it to happen) since the idea is to provide humanitarian aid to those like the terrorist in your photo.

    I probably just broke a rule, didn't I? (((SIGH)))

  6. So... When you have a valid point to make, you allow people to shut you up by calling you names?

    To each his own, I guess, but that's just not my style.

    When people start name-calling, it's usually because they don't have a valid argument. Maybe you'll never convince them of what you're saying, but in a public forum, any open-minded bystanders can see who is making an intelligent point and who isn't.

    The name-callers have already made up their minds. They want you to shut-up because they don't want others to hear you.

  7. When the rules promote injustice and human suffering, BREAK THEM!

  8. Jews who criticize genocide and/or ethnic cleansing done by other Jews are self-hating Jews

    So a Jew's self must be associated with the crimes of his brethren? What an ignorant and offensive thing to say!

    I was born in Israel, and like America, there is a large portion of the population the does not buy into the fear-mongering, and strives for justice and peace.

    The media does report on this, just not the mainstream media. The mainstream media is not adhering to any of your so-called "rules" about Jews; the mainstream media is owned by corporations, and they report what their CEOs want them to report.

  9. Hmm, I don´t care much about that kind of rules, call a spade a spade.

    But quite frankly, and I am not being polemic: Hammas were quite deliberately asking for it, and they knew exactly what would happen. Kids like on that photo got hit because rockets are fired out of and weapons are stored in neighbourhoods. And their leaders beieve thats the way to do it.

    Remember: Hammas canceled the cease-fire, and started firing volley of rockets right away. And they are not taking ANY trouble to hit an army installation (they would be easy to hit, so close to the Gaza strip), instead they are exclusively targetting civilians.

    There is still one rule that counts: look at all the facts. Don´t let us drop to the level of Fox, please.

    And, quite honestly, consider whose side you´re taking here: these "freedom fighters" killed off their own countrymen to create that powerbase in Gaza. Your kind of people? Not mine. These people have as an official and often affirmed rule to kill all Jews in Israel. Don´t have to take it from me, look them up.

    BTW: What if some Mexican Estremos started launching attacks on El Paso. What do you think would happen?

    Ducki, who wants a cease-fire of both sides now, and a reinstituted armistice with international backing. WTF´s the UN for?

    Happy new year, Salaam and Shalom.

  10. If Zionists were vegan, there would be more blood in the world.

  11. Actually, even according to Hamas, over 80% of the people hit were Hamas activists. I'd say that's a pretty high accuracy rate, especially seeing as Hamas likes to position its headquarters near kindergartens and stuff.

  12. Hammas were quite deliberately asking for it

    I know what you're saying, but this tit-for-tat has to stop, and only Israel truly has the power to stop it. Those rockets rarely kill anyone. If you look at the actual death-toll on both sides, the Palestinians pose no real threat to the Israelis.

    I liked the ending of Adam Sandler's, "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." (Sandler is a Jew, you know.) Zohan wanted to stop fighting, so he STOPPED. He let his Palestinian foe slap him a while, and he kept saying, "I'm not going to fight you." In the end, everyone realized that we're all the same.

    What would happen if Israel sent medical supplies and building material into Gaza instead of bombs? You'll never completely get rid of the crazies, but if the population is not desperate and starving and fighting to survive, the crazies have no audience and thus no power.

    Our own Declaration of Independence points out the people will put up with A LOT before they are moved to fight. Give the average Palestinian a roof over his family's head, a job to go to, and the reasonable assumption that his children will live and prosper, and he won't be firing rockets, or harboring those who do.

  13. Those rockets rarely kill anyone. If you look at the actual death-toll on both sides, the Palestinians pose no real threat to the Israelis. This is pretty damn condescending, Heather. Some nine Israelis have been murdered by those rockets in the last year, and the main reason the number is relatively low is the Palestinians can't bloody well aim. And while the number is low, it doesn't take into account the toil in fear and disorders, such as that of a four-year-old whose first instinct when hearing a siren is to lift her arms and look for someone who'd pick her up,

    It's constant tension, living while knowing that you have to be ready to drop everything and run into a shelter within 15 seconds.

    As for medicine and building materials, they were pouring into Gaza pretty much regularly until last week. We even, God only know why, supply the bastards with our own electricity. Tell me this: if some ragtag band of Mexican nutjobs would start lobbing good-for-nothing, itty-bitty rockets into Texas, bleating about past injuries, how much time do you think would pass before the American air force would hit them with daisy cutters, and how long would it be before another US invasion of Mexico? Because we've been eating this shit for three years now.

    We had a quasi-cease fire - they only fired six rockets a week instead of twenty a day - which lasted for six months. The other side officially broke it 10 days ago and started using their peashooters in earnest. So now the fuckers learn what it means to mess with a military vastly superior to yours, who has taken off the kid gloves. On Saturday they lost more fighting men than on any other day of this 80+ years conflict.

    And I, who marched and was hit and spat at during the 1980s and the 1990s, calling for a Palestinian state and giving them their rights when those who thought so were still largely considered loons. who published article after article denouncing the Lebanon war as it took place, live, and had to take my share of the death threats - I have no problem with these air attacks. Enough is fucking enough.

    Been to Sderot in January. Business. Interviewed a factory manager. Could do it by phone but decided to go down there. And as soon as it was over, I get the hell out of that place. I've been to Gaza in 1989-1991. Been shot at. Had a grenade lobbed at me once. Thought I was doing good - the leftist on the squad could prevent the atrocities. Some of them, at least. I got my commanding officer removed for slapping a boy. And I was never scared in those two years as I was scared in those two hours in Sderot.

    So please, spare me the "itty bitty rockets" bit and the "Palestinians are no danger to Israelis" spiel. It is condescending in the extreme.

    Think the IDF response is too much? Fine. How about I'd let every man in the South build his own rocket launcher and fire it, whenever he wants to, at Gaza? That would be proportionate, no? But I think you'd oppose it, as well.

    OK, how about we re-occupy the place? It'll certainly be more humanistic, in both the short and long term, and they'll get their supplies. What do you say? No? Then, basically, you're asking Israel to either accept the daily shelling of its towns or demand apply a higher form of war morality than any country uses.


  14. Ok, got heated up there. Please accept my apology. This vitriol should not be directed at you.

  15. I'm reasonably certain at this point that Heather Anastasia doesn't understand the concept of sarcasm.

  16. Here's some information:

    Over 500 rockets were launched at Israeli cities (not illegal settlements, but cities like Sderot or Ashkelon) during the cease-fire over the past year.

    During that time, up through yesterday, 11 Israelis had died due to rocket fire from Gaza.

    The total number of Israelis killed by Qassam rockets since 2000 is just under 20.

    Total number of Palestinians killed during the latest reprisal exceeds 300, with at least 60 of these being non-combatants. This is 6 times the number of Israelis killed by the acts that allegedly provoked the IDF response.

    Most of the Israelis in Ashkelon and Sderot are Israeli Arabs, as are most of the casualties.

    During this same period, Hezbollah has been launching regular rocket attacks at northern Israel from mobile sites in southern Lebanon.

    No military reprisal has been undertaken or indicated, despite the lack of a comparable cease-fire agreement with Hezbollah. This is perhaps due to the monumental clusterfuck that was the 2006 IDF invasion of Lebanon.

    Israeli elections are in a couple of weeks.

    Palestinian elections are in a couple of weeks.

    Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah begged Israel to attack Hamas because Abbas's term as PLA president ends January 9.

    This situation is a monumental fuck up for the Israelis. It is STAGGERING that the same leaders who gave Hezbollah a huge legitimacy in Lebanon by undertaking a nearly identical action would do this again.

  17. Umm, James? To the best of my knowledge there have been no attscks by Hizbullah against Israel since August 2006. A number of rockets in firing positions were exposed by the Lebanese army last week, but that is basically all.

    Furthermore, Ascalon's Arabs have mostly been expelled in the early 1950s, and if there is a single Arab family in Sderot, I would be very much surprised.

  18. Hmm. I read that a number of victims of the latest attacks were Israeli Arabs working on construction sites.

  19. Indeed, but they came from nearby Arab towns.

  20. Tell me this: if some ragtag band of Mexican nutjobs would start lobbing good-for-nothing, itty-bitty rockets into Texas, bleating about past injuries...

    See, that's just it. No one alive in Mexico today has been personally injured by American aggression. Whatever happened in the past between our countries is over and we get along now (we're not killing each other, anyway).

    So, do you think those NINE Israelis who were killed this year might be a result of the 234 Palestinians who had been killed by March of this year?

    So, if the death of NINE people can terrorize and enrage a population and push them toward violence, what do you suppose killing 234 people does? That's not even counting the hundreds of Palestinians that are killed every year.

    As for medicine and building materials, they were pouring into Gaza pretty much regularly until last week.

    Israel has had a blockade up since June of 2007!

    You think that might cause a few rockets to fly?

    When my boys are fighting, and blaming each other for this or that, I say, "You can't control others. You can only control what YOU do. Look at what YOU did to contribute to this fight and change THAT." It goes for BOTH sides.

    Still, when one side is killing tens of people and the other side is killing hundreds, the side that is killing hundreds can't cry victim.

  21. We have had far more than 20 people killed by drive-by shootings by inner-city thugs here in our country. We don't bomb inner-city neighborhoods in retaliation though. We get intelligence, we send in a team, and we either bring back for trial or take out the asshole who did that shit and/or ordered that shit. We don't bomb the house they're in, which will kill everything within a 50 yard blast radius. We take out the asshole. And if we don't have the intelligence to know what asshole did the drive-by... well. We don't put a fucking fence around our inner-city areas to cut them off from good Christian white people (or good Jewish white people) and start bombing shit that we think is controlled by the gangs. We just suck it up and take it until such time as we *do* have the intelligence to take out the assholes who are doing this shit, then we send out a team to bring them back for trial or take them out with bullets if they won't come back. That's just what a civilized nation does. Even one that's only half-civilized like the United States.

    Turning a police problem into a military problem never works. The moment you do that, the criminals have won. See: Iraq. And I guarantee you that if we put a "separation wall" around our ghettos here in the United States to keep thugs from coming out and doing drive-bys and robbing our good white Christian (or Jewish) citizens, it wouldn't take a helluva long time before they started lobbing rockets at the tight-ass whities around them either. That's just how human beings work.

    Of course, right now it isn't safe to take police actions in Gaza. Which is why a re-occupation of Gaza is inevitable, though hopefully for only enough time to take out the people who've been doing this shit. But a re-occupation of Gaza will end up with some dead Israeli soldiers, which is the last thing that any of Israel's parties want before an election. Thus this "bomb them" bullshit (and it *is* bullshit, air power never defeated any enemy, that takes boots on the ground). And BTW, that "80% Hamas" shit? Hamas is the entire government of Gaza -- firemen, postmen, tax collectors, garbage collectors, social workers, school teachers, the works. I'm sure dead math teachers make Israel much safer. You never know about those math teachers, they might suddenly go crazy and start using their protractors as deadly weapons. Not to mention that if your own son or daughter was one of the 20% you sure as hell wouldn't be saying "only" 20% non-Hamas.

    Then there's the stupidity of ramming a boat that has a CNN reporter and a former U.S. Congresswoman on it while said boat is still in international waters. Yeah, that's such a great way to win friends and influence people. Insanity. Utter insanity. The fucking lunatics are running the asylum.

    - Badtux the Law and Order Penguin

  22. James F. Elliot,

    Hey! I understand sarcasm. I was raised on sarcasm. It's just easy to miss when you're reading something because you can't hear someone's tone of voice.

    Sheesh, a little, "Hey, he was being sarcastic," would have done quite nicely.

  23. I like the US gang parallel. I'll have to remember that one.

  24. Shorter me: My problem is not with the objectives of the Israeli action. My problem is with the methods being used, which are a) counterproductive, and b) cause needless civilian casualties amongst people who had nothing to do with the rocket attacks against Israel.

  25. Heather wrote

    I know what you're saying, but this tit-for-tat has to stop, and only Israel truly has the power to stop it. Those rockets rarely kill anyone. If you look at the actual death-toll on both sides, the Palestinians pose no real threat to the Israelis.

    Sorry, that´s rubbish. The other side would not stop, but celebrate it as a victory and increase their efforts "to drive the zionists into the Sea".

    The Tsahal left the Gaza strip, and exactly that happened.

    It is simply an error to assume that groups like Hamas are rational about it. They do not accept the concept of peace with Israel, all they will give is another hudna, a limited truce that will allow them to regroup, and then get back to business. And their business is, also very simply, the destruction of the state of Israel.

    Try to shed your illusions on that one. Doesn´t mean your a bad person, but that kind of people will not abide with our morals.

    I say again: Hammas knew and wanted this development. They thrive on it.

    Oh, and on a practical note: the "itty-bitty rockets" have disrupted most civil life in the area, affecting 120.000 Israeli citizens, Jewish and Arabs alike. What should Israel do: vacate the whole area to deescalate?

    And quite honestly, I am beyond believing that any concession by Israel will have the slightest effect. It´s happened before, and look what happened.

    Sorry, but this requires a bit more than kindergarten arguments.

  26. "Oh, and on a practical note: the "itty-bitty rockets" have disrupted most civil life in the area"

    Like I said, when one side is killing tens of people and the other side is killing hundreds, the side that is killing hundreds can't cry victim.

    And you're right, you can't get rid of the crazies. But most human beings, whether they be white, black, christian, Jew, Israeli or PALESTINIAN, are not crazy. When you leave people with nothing to lose, they follow the crazies. Eliminate the hardships and give the majority of Palestinians a chance at a decent life, and they won't put their life on the line to follow the nutjobs. But first, you have to view them as human beings and stop lumping them together with crazies who, as you said, will never be appeased.

  27. @Heather:
    Israel has had a blockade up since June of 2007!

    And yet, Israel just delivered about a hundred truckloads of food and medicine into the Gaza just today, even under the current conditions.

    When Hammas started murdering the Fatah, where do you think these guys were patched up? Give you a hint: not in an Arab hospital.

    @Badtux: I agree completely, the bombing really is not the ideal instrument. But what others are there left? Israel will think long and hard before investing the Gaza, the Palestinians will only kill themselves, what is left to do?

  28. So let me get this straight: Bombing Gaza invariably kills women and children (because bombs just do, sorry) and won't stop the attacks, but it must be done because, well, nobody knows what to do? Crap, I hesitate to think what you do when you have a cold. You probably shoot your goddamned nose off with a .44 Magnum.

    I proposed a solution above -- a re-occupation of the Gaza and the use of intelligence and police action to take out the people who are building, firing, and ordering the missile attacks. I also mentioned why this is not being done -- because Israel's parties don't want to see dead Israeli soldiers on the evening news when they're trying to get elected (that'd be a real bummer, y'know?). This whole bullshit of dropping bombs on "enemies" is just that, bullshit. Nobody ever won a war by dropping bonbs on the enemy. Just ask the free and democratic government of South Vietnam, who clearly won their war after we dropped more bombs onto North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos than were dropped on Germany and Japan combined during WWII. Oh wait, you can't do that, because (duh) they LOST. Because bombs don't win wars, boots on the ground do (duh!).

    - Badtux the War Penguin

  29. And just one tiny bit:

    Badtux, I noticed you put this under the "War on brown people" category.

    With the majority of Jews in Israel being sephardic, what do you think the average skin colour of a sabre would be?

    Well, I admit, after the immigration if Russian jews, you will also find six-foot blue-eyed pale skinned Israelis. But by and large, most people I know from the Medinot Ysroel have a tone darker than say, Beyoncé.

    Not forgetting the Arab and Druze parts of the population, of course.

  30. Ducki, you and I both know that the sephardim do not have any real power in Israel. They are in roughly the same position as black people in the state of Mississippi -- yeah, the majority, but they don't run the state by any means, for many of the same reasons.

    -Badtux the Socioeconomic Penguin

  31. lol. lmao. 30 comments so far. Just proves my point. Everybody gotta get in there and play the game.

  32. BadTux,

    *sigh* My husband also says occupation is the only answer at this point. I'm not so sure.

    You're right about the leaders not wanting to have dead Israeli soldiers on an election year, but I think Israel's general lack of motivation to make peace with Palestine (since the Palestinians pose no real and immediate threat to Israel) is the war on brown people.

  33. The Jews were a people without a home for far too long.

    They should remember, however, that they owe their survival through the Dark Ages to the Muslims, who also kept knowledge and civilization alive after the fall of Rome.

    I know the world has changed since then, but we should look for reasons to get along rather than reasons to fight.

  34. @Tux:

    I hear you. It´s been done. That was the policy of "surgical" attacks. You will remember, like the cellphone of "The Engineer"(of bombs, that was) that blew up. ("isn´t it ironic?" as a ringtone should have given him a clue :D ), the "kill exactly the guys we tied to that crime" kind of operation. Hit the guys and only the guys whodunnit.

    I totally agree, these police operations (although often implemented with military means) made a lot more sense than the air ops we see today.

    Why was that stopped?

    Well, the Israelis got a hell of a train load of flak for it. From anybody.

    And that´s exactly the shitty situation both you and I describe, isn´t it? All options exausted, all but the military one that is so asymmetrical it can´t make sense. (I´m actually amazed the IDF Air force was able to get the results they got so far.) But , as you correctly say, only ground presence (and more than that of a military incursion) will stabilize this mess.

    But who should do it?
    If Tsahal does it, the "ruddy Jews" will be warmongers. The Palestinians themselves? Not going to happen.
    Egypt? Their government has a objective and constructive attitude to either side, and they are labelled traitors for it (by interested Arab parties).

    Hey, we can ask the Swiss. Or the Maltese.

    And, be honest, even if enough of the USMC were available (which has more soldiers than all of IDF, Tsahal, heyl ha avir and Sea corps altogether), would the US commit it, with a view to casualties to be incurred?

    Well, what now? Beats me. Seems we´re through with all the easy answers and none of them work.

    Still, have a good New Year, all.

  35. There is a word to describe people who take action for purposes of popularity rather than because it's the right thing to do. Hint: The word starts with a "c", ends with a "d", has six letters, and describes Israel's current leadership perfectly. They'd rather lose a war than lose an election.

    The only way to win a war with air power is genocide -- mass fire bombing / carpet bombing / nuking of entire civilian populations until there's nobody left to shoot back at you, whether civilian or military. There's no such thing as winning a war with "surgical" airstrikes. That takes boots on the ground, boots that the Israeli government is too cowardly to send in because they don't want to see body bags coming back while they're trying to win an election. But hey, that bomb camera footage looks so friggin' cool on election television ads and campaign posters claiming "we're tough on terrorists!". Bah. Theatre. Useless theatre. Except innocent people are getting killed by the blast radius of these bombs. But hey, they're just Palestinians, untermenschen, unseemly mud people, not *real* people, so they don't count, right?

    - Badtux the Cynical Penguin

  36. "Cowards" is correct for all the points you've noted, but you're missing one important point: the fetishization of the IDF.

    I don't know when it started, how, or why, but for the past decade or so the public has become extremely sensitive to the death of soldiers (often described as "children") while at the same time becoming insensitive to the death of civilians.

    For instance, Operation Defensive Shield, in April 2002, was the result of a terrorist attack on a Passover dinner which left over 20 people dead. But the operation, which was a military success precisely because grounds troops were finally used, cost the lives of 13 soldiers, and the public howl of anguish brought it to a halt.

    Same with the last Lebanon war: the public could live with deadly rocket attacks, but not with daily reports of soldiers' deaths, Olmert and Livni know that if soldiers die, *even if the goal is reached*, the're toast. You can't win wars this way.

  37. One thing which ended that "Vietnam Syndrome" on the part of the U.S. military was to dump the draftee military and go to an all-mercenary military. The public is fairly disinterested in the deaths of mercenaries, figuring they signed up to get shot at and if a few of them die, well, that was their job, so what's the beef? There has been very little public outcry about the death of thousands of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on the part of the average American, despite considerable efforts on the part of peace activists to publicize these deaths at every possible opportunity.

    On the other hand, maybe it's for the best that Israel doesn't have a professional mercenary military the way the U.S. does. God only knows what the Likkudniks would get up to if they felt free to send the tanks rolling any direction they wanted without fear of political repercussions. That's one reason why Charles Rangel has suggested the U.S. bring back the draft... when it's their own sons and daughters dying rather than paid mercenaries, folks tend to be a little more cautious about sending soldiers into harm's way.

    - Badtux the Mercenary Penguin

  38. I've always thought that when a government decides to go to war, their kids should be the first to go. Doesn't matter if they're in school, if they're of age, there's no getting out of it. If your parent is in Congress, and Congress just passed a resolution to go to war, strap on some boots cuz your ass is going to boot camp.

    That should be the case in every country. Then we'd only fight when we have to.

    Of course, it would take Congress to pass such a law, so it would never happen.

    One problem with a mercenary army is that you get a lot of poor and uneducated folks with few other job prospects. Our country has gone even further by lowering the bar and accepting non-high school graduates and criminals.

  39. Sheesh, a little, "Hey, he was being sarcastic," would have done quite nicely.

    I'm sorry, I rather thought that the whole "BadTux the Sarcastic Penguin" in the fourth comment took care of that. And yet you persisted... So you got snark.

  40. J. F. Elliott,

    Oh, that was all a misunderstanding.

    I originally thought you were referring to my response to Duckiputz, when he said the Palestinians were asking for it. I thought maybe I had misread his comment, but his later comments confirmed my original reading.

    Then I realized you were talking about BadTux. I knew BadTux was being sarcastic & I was harassing him anyway because that's what I do. I was making a point about the "anti-Semite" label, but I was also digging him about about a conversation on another blog.

    I didn't bother to clear it up earlier because it's a long-winded explanation for a minor point... but you persisted. ;)

  41. Yup, that's my personal favorite, being labeled a "self-hating Jew". Then I drop the bomb on 'em and tell them I'm actually an Atheist now, at which point the fur really flies.:)

    Wow, looks like you really stirred it up BadTux. Good for you.


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