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January 19th, 2009, 15:36
That does happen. From time to time.
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January 19th, 2009, 21:43
Humm… perhaps I can post a bit of human-interest stuff too (also known as "propaganda," although this one has been fact-checked courtesy of the BBC and the Israeli media):



A Palestinian obstetrician who specialises in treating infertility, [Dr Izeldeen Abuelaish] lives in the Jabaliya camp in the Gaza Strip, but used to work part-time in Israel helping Jewish women to have babies.
He also had a clinic in Gaza, taught medical school students there and arranged for seriously ill Palestinian patients to be treated in Israel.

"My daughters were just sitting quietly talking in their bedroom at home," Dr Izeldeen Abuelaish told me on the phone between sobs.
"I had just left the room, carrying my youngest son on my shoulders. Then a shell came through the wall.
"I rushed back to find their dead bodies - or rather parts of their bodies - strewn all over the room. One was still sitting in a chair but she had no legs.
"Tell me why did they have to die? Who gave the order to fire on my house?"
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7838465.stm ]

The IDF responded that they came under fire from his house. By "possibly a sniper." One of the girls, I guess?
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January 19th, 2009, 22:29
PJ, you asked me not to put in IDF propaganda, you're doing the same thing now… Just from the other side… I'm sure I can find stories like that from the Israeli side as well. So, please don't…
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January 19th, 2009, 22:47
Very intersting (and relatively ballanced) article from NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/wo…ed=1&ref=world
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January 19th, 2009, 22:47
I did, but:

(1) You didn't stop posting that propaganda. Not until a good bit later.
(2) This is a news item from a highly respected news source, not IDF hasbara or Hamas propaganda.
(3) You owe me a quite a few before we're even in this department.

Here's the broadcast from Israeli TV. Unfortunately I don't speak Hebrew so I can't judge it for myself: [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLUJ4fF2HN4 ]

Oh, and — given the casualty numbers (13 Israelis, roughly 1300 Palestinians), I'm fairly certain that you'd lose a numbers war, if we started a "post the most horrible story" competition. Assuming, of course, that we restricted it to this conflict.

Since I like you, and you asked nicely, I won't do this again. Not on this thread anyway, and not regarding this conflict.

But I think you ought to watch that video.

PS. I'm afraid I have a hard time staying detached when coming across this sort of thing. It makes angry. I'm sure you understand how that happens.
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January 19th, 2009, 22:57
I know, and I understand but I expect people who ask something to respect their own rules. Thanks.

By the way Hamas said it killed 80 soldiers: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090119/…as_battlefield

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, claimed at a news conference Monday that Hamas fighters had killed 80 Israeli soldiers and shot down four helicopters. "We did not kneel down, we did not surrender, we did not raise the white flag," he said.
I'll watch the video. thanks.
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January 19th, 2009, 22:58
And the video has subs, so you can watch it… Just click on the triangle and turn on captions.
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January 19th, 2009, 23:01
EDIT: Bad taste maybe.
Last edited by Damian Mahadevan; January 19th, 2009 at 23:15.
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January 19th, 2009, 23:06
I find it bad, very bad what happened, not just this. Too many deaths which will most likely just result in more deaths.
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January 19th, 2009, 23:11
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
And the video has subs, so you can watch it… Just click on the triangle and turn on captions.
I didn't notice. I watched it, and though I didn't understand the words, I can't bear to watch it again.

Re the Hamas claim — garbage. For one thing, the IDF doesn't lie about their own casualty figures; they can't — the families of the fallen would raise hell. Hamas, OTOH, would love to invent any figures they figure *someone* in the Arab world (or Iran) will believe.

Second, that figure just doesn't match the military realities either: the IDF lost 117 (or 119, if you count the ones who fell after the ceasefire, or 122, if you count the ones killed in the provocation that started the whole mess) soldiers in the 2006 war, and there is absolutely no way the Hamas would fight well enough to cause similar casualties, nor that the IDF would barge in as stupidly as they did then.

There might be one or two more casualties coming up as they tally up the books, but I'm fairly certain the Israeli body count will stay around what it is now — 10 military, 3 civilians. The Palestinian count, OTOH, is liable to go up — even a quite a lot. It's at ca 1350 now, but with bodies being dug up all the time, 50,000 homeless and 400,000 without clean water, plus the complete lack of medicine and sanitation, it may even go up a quite a lot.

So, that's over 100:1 casualty ratio. That's pretty severe, even for asymmetrical conflict, where it's usually around 10:1.

OTOH the Gaza population growth rate is around 3.5%, which makes for a population growth of about 49,000 a year. IOW, demographically this will barely show on the graphs.

And I figure that a quite a few of the 28,000 spanking baby boys born there this year will be named Jihad.
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January 19th, 2009, 23:25
I think looking at it form the Israeli point of view. Hamas has been attacking them for so long they wanted revenge. I can see the relation to the amelakites(sp?) in the Torah. So there is precedent in their religion to commit genocide. The Palestinians voting Hamas as their leaders is probably what was the last straw.

I dont agree with it like i didnt agree with the whole Iraq thing, but i can see how it happened.
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January 19th, 2009, 23:25
I mostly agree except for the remote possibility of a real cease-fire this time.

And an interesting article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090119/…l_palestinians
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January 19th, 2009, 23:34
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I mostly agree except for the remote possibility of a real cease-fire this time.
What, where? How? Have I missed something?

(Yeah, it was an interesting article. It's also interesting how it mentioned several times that Hamas "seized power violently" in Gaza, without mentioning even once that Hamas won elections first, and seized power violently when the losers didn't want to give it up. Amusing little omission, don't you think, from the oh-so-pro-Palestinian media?)
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January 20th, 2009, 01:36
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It's not all that often you come across a photo of a war crime in progress:



That's white phosphorus being used in a populated area against human targets. This is unequivocally forbidden by the Geneva conventions.

As I said in the earlier thread, stuff like this is first to go out the window if it's militarily expedient — and it makes all the whining about Hamas's bottle rockets seem just a wee bit hypocritical.
Article 1 of Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons defines an incendiary weapon as 'any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target'.

Defensive flares are quite clearly NOT designed primarily to set fire or cause burns.

PS also israel didn't sign that treaty… so even though UN treaties are non-enforceable to begin with…. they didn't even sign it….

http://www.unog.ch/__80256ee60058594…%2C3#_Section1

Also:
The International Red Cross said Tuesday that Israel has fired white phosphorus shells in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, but has no evidence to suggest it is being used improperly or illegally.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli…=1231866575577

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Last edited by zakhal; January 20th, 2009 at 02:26.
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January 20th, 2009, 06:30
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
PS also israel didn't sign that treaty… so even though UN treaties are non-enforceable to begin with…. they didn't even sign it….

http://www.unog.ch/__80256ee60058594…%2C3#_Section1
Actually the Geneva conventions are generally considered articulations of general principles of law recognized by civilised nations. In other words states are still bound even if they haven't signed.

..and they're not UN treaties

…and they are enforceable (both the ICJ and the ICCC deal with war crimes)
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January 20th, 2009, 08:24
Zakhal, WP munitions themselves are not prohibited by the GC. However, they're only permitted as smokescreens or battlefield illumination. Their use in ways that would endanger civilians — i.e., in heavily populated areas — is expressly forbidden. The photo is from the strike on the UN-run school. This did not involve ground forces (i.e., there's no need for a smoke screen), it was not night, as you can see from the photo (i.e., there's no need for illumination; indeed the WP fires don't cast much light on the scene), and it was most definitely in a heavily populated area.

As I've said, I don't think much of the Geneva conventions — I don't believe they're given any more than lip service in the kinds of wars we're fighting now anyway, and I believe that they weren't all that idealistically created to start with. The reason I posted this picture was to point out the hypocrisy in expressing shock about Hamas's "war crimes," when the IDF does them with much greater effect. Hamas isn't even a signatory to them. By your reasoning, that grants them a free pass to do anything they want, right?
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January 20th, 2009, 09:36
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
As I've said, I don't think much of the Geneva conventions — I don't believe they're given any more than lip service in the kinds of wars we're fighting now anyway,
Depends on who you mean by 'we' you don't see European, Canadian or Australian militaries accused of contraventions.
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January 20th, 2009, 10:35
Originally Posted by V7 View Post
Depends on who you mean by 'we' you don't see European, Canadian or Australian militaries accused of contraventions.
You don't see European, Canadian, or Australian militaries engaged in the front lines of protracted colonial wars or counterinsurgencies either, these days. Back when they were, they didn't behave any differently: they did whatever was militarily expedient. Sometimes it meant playing nice (e.g. the Brits in Malaysia); other times it meant being brutal (e.g. the Brits in Kenya).
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January 20th, 2009, 13:46
Originally Posted by V7 View Post
…and they are enforceable (both the ICJ and the ICCC deal with war crimes)
Do you have any idea how many cases have gone thru those agencies that get patently ignored? Heck, the US is currently ignoring several decisions against it. You actually believe the UN can bring the big stick? Bah. A 103-year-old man can bring better wood to the party.

Count on the UN to do lots of talkie-talkie and a few decent relief/support programs (though, programs usually done better by various organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders). Beyond that, you're on seriously shaky ground.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 20th, 2009, 14:27
I came across a pretty cogent argument explaining why Palestinians should give up on violence. It was on Al Jazeera: [ http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/w…548942367.html ].

Personally, I'm not as optimistic about the prospects of non-violent resistance as Dr. LeVine here. The reason is that non-violence has been tried, and it doesn't have a very good track record. Israel tends simply to ignore the Palestinians whenever they're not lobbing explosives at them — and, of course, quietly and relentlessly expand the settlements.

Sit-ins and protests don't make the news and are therefore very easy for the Israelis simply to ignore, whereas economic actions like strikes or tax disobedience will hurt the Palestinians without even inconveniencing the Israelis. Gandhi and Tutu had the advantage of representing a majority population that the ruling minority depended upon for labor; Martin Luther King had the advantage of representing a people that was not under military occupation, and had all the tools of an advanced democracy at his disposal. The Palestinians don't have any of these advantages. They can protest peacefully 'til they're blue in the face, but I don't see any reason why that would net them anything more concrete than polite expressions of sympathy (and somewhat more lenient terms of incarceration).

Violence, OTOH, has ejected the Israelis from South Lebanon and from Gaza. These are concrete achievements the advocates thereof can point to. Until advocates of peaceful resistance have similar successes they can point to, they will be at a significant disadvantage in any debate.
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