Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza Again

[Main Hamas security compound and prison]

As usual Hamas' response to Israeli reprisals was fury and vowing revenge. Not a word of taking responsibility for provoking the reprisal with their persistent rocket attacks on southern Israel.

New York Times today -

Palestinian officials said that most of those killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza were security officers for Hamas, and that at least 600 people had been wounded in the attacks.

To whack 280 people and have relatively few civilians among them is a considerable accomplishment. It also means that the Israeli warnings for civilians to stay away from Hamas targets were heeded.

Which is a hopeful sign. It means that it was possible to communicate, even if only in a rudimentary way, between the Jews and the Arabs. Among Arabs, making threats means only, "I am angry". For Israel, a threat to bomb is not a declaration of emotional state. It announces an intention to bomb. The Arabs of Gaza may ever-so-slowly be starting to understand the difference between how they connect speech and action and how the Israelis connect them.

Now if they can just learn to make the connection between shooting rockets at Israel and Israel bombing them, maybe, just maybe, an accommodation will become possible.


  1. Anonymous8:23 AM

    You zionist pigdog!

  2. harveyr8:29 AM

    Once again the brave Mr. Anonymous has made an intelligent and logical defense of the Palestinian position.

  3. What exactly is a schweinhund/pigdog anyway? Sheepdogs herd sheep. Presumably there are cowdogs and goatdogs as well. But I don't have any image of dogs herding pigs. There should be cameldogs and llamadogs too, just no pigdogs.

    Use the word "llamadogs" three times in a sentence and it will be part of your vocabulary for life.

  4. Anonymous8:56 AM

    This is a different Mr. Anon. I'm the one who came out with the 'big ideas... Small Minds' line.

    Seriously though, when you spend some time in a shithole like Gaza, have no money, little food and water and generally live in your own filth, then you can talk to me. Typing some self gratifying nonsense into a computer in some house in America in what is obviously a very middle class lifestyle is somewhat... Galling.

  5. With all due respect for your opinion, Anonymous, you don't know what you're talking about.

    There are many populations living in far worse poverty and degradation than Gaza - Bolivia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and many many African countries. Peoples all over the world suffer worse deprivation and long for improved lives, not the murder of their neighbors.

    Israeli farmers were forced to leave their valuable and productive greenhouses behind when Israel withdrew from Gaza. American liberals arranged to buy the greenhouses and turn them over to the Gazans. The Gazans as mobs destroyed the greenhouses entirely. Who do the Gazans have to blame for their lack of the greenhouses? How does my (former) middleclassness change that result?

    The wretchedness of the people of Gaza is of their own making. The difference between the standard of living of, say, Jordan, and Gaza, is not resources but peace. The international community, including Israel and the United States, has consistently been ready to fall over itself in its eagerness to provide cash and commodity aid to Gaza.

    In return for one and only one thing - end the pointless and futile war against their neighbors. They haven't and won't do it. What and who is the source of their problems? Who do they have to complain against?

  6. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Interesting points actually, and I appreciate your willingness to overlook my past mean comments.

    I would say the international community has very clearly not being willing to provide money to the Palestinians - compare the respective foreign aid payments to Palestine and Israel. Israel has for many years being a massive geopolitical partner for the United States and has been awared with billions of direct military aid, never mind favourably prices on military equipment from the United States. I think the weighing scales very clearly depict one side profiting from this arrangement more than the other.

    I really think you should send some time in Gaza. I spent half a year in Gaza in 2004 (Working as an aide to a BBC reporter, but thats quite irrelevant to this discussion) and that place is, quite literally, an open air prison. That expression has become something of a cliche when used in relation to Gaza but it is nevertheless true. I haven't spent much time in Africa, or some of the world's poorer spots, but it is undeniably that the Palestinians live in abject poverty. They have no ports, a laughable airoport, and little infrastructure to boast of. Its a dusty little hellhole, especially when compared to the fantastic Israeli infrastructure and public service system.

    I'm not exactly pro-Palestinian, but I always find it amusing to see people living in comfort trying to explain away abject poverty as being 'their fault'... The sins of the father creates a vicious cycle which isn't readily explainable to westerners.

  7. Anonymous5:55 PM

    For years, the US has contributed billions of dollars to Arafat, the PLO, Hamas and PA that should have gone to building infrastructure in Gaza and West Bank. What did the authorities do with the money? They bought more weapons and missiles aimed at innocent civilians and pocketed the money for themselves.

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