Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"A Crime that cannot succeed"


Consider what sort of western response there would have been to an attack on Israel, or the US or Britain for that matter, which left more than 300 dead in a couple of days.

You can be certain it would be met with the most sweeping condemnation, that the US president-elect would do a great deal more than "monitor" the situation and the British prime minister go much further than simply call for "restraint" on both sides.


You can read the rest of Seumas Milne’s brilliant piece on Israel’s brutal assault on the people of Gaza- and the western double standards towards it- here.

But while most normal moral people around the world have been appalled at Israel’s actions- there are some who think differently.

Israel’s best selling newpaper Yediot Aharonot says that the devastating attacks have been "a stroke of brilliance" - and crowed "the element of surprise increased the number of people killed". Defenders of Israel like to portray the country as a kind of Belgium/Austria/Switzerland of the Middle East. It isn't. 14 people have been killed by rocket atacks in Israel in the last seven years-, yes that's right, 14- and Israel has responded by killing 5,000 Palestinians. Is that the way Belgium, Austria or Switzerland would react? And can you imagine a leading Belgian, Austrian or Swiss newspaper crowing about the number of people killed?

p.s. there’s a great comment after Seumas’ piece from ‘ luna 17', which I'm pleased to say has had 78 Guardian readers recommending it.

It is sickening - if tragically unsurprising - to read of the inhumane gloating by the Israeli press. Dehumanisation of the 'enemy' is part and parcel of any military assult, especially when civilians are deliberately and indiscriminately targeted on a large scale.

Israel's actions are unjustifiable by any criteria. How can it be acceptable, for example, to attack a university? It's ironic really: if people here argue for a boycott of Israeli universities they are vilified, but Israel using American weaponry to assult a university? Apparently that's OK. I'd have thought bombing somewhere was more controversial than boycotting it.


I would have thought so too. But somehow I don't think that those people who created such a fuss over the planned boycott of Isreali universities by the university lecturers' union will be quite so concerned by Israel's bombing of a university in Gaza.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neil, I couldn't agree more.

This whole situation makes me physically sick. You get scum like Oliver Kamm putting the boot into the late Harold Pinter (even before the poor man's family and friends have had a chance to pay their last respects!) because of his alleged support for Serbian acts of aggression in the 90s.

Yet when when 1000s of innocent civilians in Gaza are being bombed and blasted Nazi-style by Israel, the response from these same "nice" and "leftwing" people is...da-da..complete silence!!

Funny how there is one country in the world - just ONE country - which has a special license to commit war crimes and acts of genocide, isn't it?

Neil Clark said...

The west backed the Kosovan Liberation Army, listed as a terrorist organisation by the US State Dept, who carried out a campaign of violence against both Albanian and Serbian civilians in Kosovo- and also servants of the Yugoslav state. When the Yugoslav authorities took targeted, counter-terrorist action against the KLA, NATO powers condemned their response as 'disproportionate' and launched a 78 day bombing campaign in which hundreds of civilians were killed.

It's ironic that among those who most loudly supported the NATO action, and who vociferiously condemned the Yugoslav government's response to KLA violence as 'disproportionate', are those who now defend Israel's brutal assault on Gaza. They seem to think that the death of 14 Israelis in rocket attacks in the past seven years, justifies the murder of 5000 Palestinians in response.

If I were a Serb, the question I would be asking now is: how come when my govt took measured anti-terrorist action in 1999, it received a bombing campaign from NATO, while Israel's wholly disproportionate response has led to no threat of action from 'the international community'?

Deucaon said...

1,600 rocket/mortar attacks in the past year and 3,200 rocket/mortar attacks in the past two.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/54/Number_of_Morter_and_Rocket_Attacks_2001_to_early_2008V2.jpg

Israel is -effectively- under constant siege.

As for as the dehumanization of HAMAS is concerned: The soldiers in HAMAS are animals who target Israeli schools and use their own families as human shields when the Israeli military reacts. I really don't understand how NC can defend HAMAS and then condemn their Balkan counterparts, the KLA/NLA.

KNaylor said...

I think Mark Almond's piece for the Daily Mail was far better than Milne's.

After all, Almond isn't trying to suck up to the Islamists and the idea of a global uprising by the ummah as a substitute for the old revolutionary proletarian myth.

Here'a section

'The Israelis pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Ideally Israel would have handed back these occupied territories to a Palestinian government prepared to make peace.

But in the only democratic elections ever held among Palestinians, in 2006, Hamas swept the board in the Gaza Strip and then swept its local rivals out of the territory.

Its fighters resumed a cat-and-mouse border war with Israel.

Ironically, the targets of Palestinian mortars have been the kibbutzim nearest Gaza, which are home to Israelis who tend to vote for the more dove-ish Labour Party.

By riling them, Hamas is heading off the chance of a moderate Labour-led Israeli government.

There is more irony: both Israel and Gaza are among the few democratic parts of the Middle East. But democracy makes peace more difficult to come by.


In the run-up to a general election, few Israeli would-be prime ministers want to appear ‘soft’ on terrorism. And Hamas won the election in Gaza by voicing its bitter resentment of Israel.

Politics in Israel is now becoming a competition to be the most hawkish. Hamas welcomes that process because an Israeli leader willing to compromise just might undercut its support.

The tragedy of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that the hardliners on each side distrust the other’s real intentions and see violence as the only way to achieve their goals.

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 proved the Hamas hardliners right: guerrilla warfare could wear down the Israelis.

Israeli hardliners rightly pointed out that despite its leaving Gaza, Palestinians continued to fire rockets into Israel. Hamas says that Israel is clinging to Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

Israelis can reply that if Gaza is anything to go by, pulling out of the West Bank will just bring Palestinian mortars to the 1967 borders of Israel.

Now, Hamas is testing Israel as it goes through the trauma of a change of leaders after the disgrace of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges.

The Olmert scandal has frayed Israeli nerves, but it is the change of presidents in America that dominates minds.

Barack Obama faces an acute challenge in the Middle East. Iraq and Palestine cannot be separated if only because radical Arabs see them as the same struggle.

Americans and Israelis have merged in many Arab minds – and, to be fair, many Americans see Israel as their frontline in a war against Muslim terrorism'....

vladimir gagic said...

While I agree with sentiment, Anonymous is wrong. Israel is not the only country on Earth that can get away with this sort of behavior. American and British behavior is much, much worse. For all their wrongs, at least the Israelis are not going on the other side of the world for their bombing campaigns. The Isrealis generally bomb only in their own neighborhood. The Iraq reactor bombing was the exception. But the Anglo-Americans bombers are a lot like Al-Quida; they will bomb anywhere, anytime.

If the Isrealis behaved as poorly as the Americans or British, all the Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, etc.... would be dead and burried by now. Hands down the Anglo-Americans are the maddest bombers in the world today. Israel is not even close.

It makes me sick to think my tax dollars pay for the American war machine and subsidize the Isreali one, while 40 million Americans don't have health care. I had hoped Obama would change things, but that seems to be hopeless considering Biden and Hillary are both adament hawks.

courat said...

It's massively revealing that Neil doesn't mention Hamas once in this piece - for him, the assault is on "the people of Gaza" and "the Palestinians", not the lunatic Islamist death cult that deliberately provoked Israel's reaction despite being given ample warning of what might happen.

And do Neil and the people who agree with him at least accept that if Hamas was given the chance to slaughter 300 Israelis, they'd jump at it - and do it entirely indiscriminately? Indeed, if the roles were reversed - if Hamas had the hi-tech weaponry and the means of delivery, does anyone doubt what they'd try to do with it?

What's so obscene about your anonymous correspondent's claim that Israel is a "Nazi" state bent on "genocide" is that this is based on a complete 180-degree inversion of the truth - it's Hamas which seeks the complete destruction of Israel and the genocidal murder of its people. As you damn well know, but rarely admit, because it doesn't fit your black-and-white interpretation.

And you also know perfectly well that the only reason the Israeli body count has been relatively low in the last few years is precisely because of those factors - the so-called "apartheid wall", massively increased security, heavy restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, an effective early warning system - that have attracted widespread condemnation from so-called human rights campaigners. Why are they happy to turn a blind eye to human rights when the humans in question happen to be Israelis?

This is not a defence of Israel tout court - I have strong misgivings about a great many of their government's policies, and regard the very real prospect of Binyamin Netanyahu returning to power in a matter of weeks with something pretty close to unbridled horror. But in this particular instance I think they're entirely right to crack down hard on Hamas, who are clearly the aggressors and the provocateurs (the idea that they're "victims" is laughable) - and I find it almost impossible to imagine another government not doing the same in similar circumstances. And that certainly includes Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.

(Obviously, none of this is to trivialise the deaths of ordinary, genuinely innocent Palestinian civilians, which are clearly regrettable in the extreme, not least because they provide a massive propaganda coup for those bent on Israel's destruction. But how exactly is Israel supposed to deal effectively with Hamas and put a stop to its rocket assaults when Hamas deliberately and cynically puts innocent Gazans in the firing line?)

courat said...

Incidentally, Neil, what do you make of rumours that Fatah, Yasser Arafat's old muckers, are actively (if not publicly, for obvious reasons) rooting for Israel to succeed in its current campaign to extirpate Hamas?

Could it be because they have a much more clear-eyed view of the situation than armchair theorists thousands of miles away and realise that Hamas's genocidal lunacy has done (and is doing) incalculable damage to the Palestinian cause?

Which Palestinian line is closest to your own? Fatah or Hamas? And why?

jock mctrousers said...

The comments by deucaon and the dependably slimy knaylor are too pathetic to merit discussion, but I'd just like to register my disgust at them.

douglasbass said...

Why would Israel bomb a university? Here's why

Anonymous said...

"Israel is not the only country on Earth that can get away with this sort of behavior. American and British behavior is much, much worse. For all their wrongs, at least the Israelis are not going on the other side of the world for their bombing campaigns. The Isrealis generally bomb only in their own neighborhood."

I guess it's a fair point about Anglo-US war crimes. (In which connection we should, however, not forget the great influence of the Jewish lobby in the USA...)
However, where I would have to disagree is this: I don't think there is any real element of racial hatred and/or genocide to US bombing, is there?

The Israelis, on the other hand, certainly want to kill as many people in Gaza as they possibly can - just simply because they are Palestinians.

So I would have to maintain that there is only ONE bunch of folks out there who have a special ticket to commit genocide - the Israelis!

Dan, portsmouth said...

This war crime against Palestinian people in Gaza, has just exposed the so-called peace loving Israelis.
The sub-humans who celebrate the murder of palestinian children deserve no sympathy when it comes to their own cause.

Remember this next time you see a Haulaucaust memoir.

Roland Hulme said...

I hate to point out the obvious, but if Hamas and Hezbollah stopped LAUNCHING ROCKETS than Israel wouldn't have an excuse to go after them.

Time and time and time again, the fundamentalists START THE ASSAULT and disjointed lefties moan because Israel acts in it's typically brutal fashion - in RESPONSE.

The fact is, Hamas and Hezbollah have no respect for human life. They just want to stir up the hornet's nest. Hence why Iranians are lining up to do suicide bombings in Israel.

I'm not saying the Israelis are the 'good guys' - there's no such thing in this conflict. But it is an incontrovertible fact that it's Hamas and Hezbollah who are singley responsible for bringing death and destruction to innocent Palestinians and the Lebanese.

And I hate to be vulgar about it, since I've come to grudgingly like and respect you over the last year or so, but anybody who doesn't recognize that needs to pull their head from their arse.

Robin Carmody said...

Jock, why do you find Karl "dependably slimy"? I find his posts very well-thought-out and balanced - unlike a lot of other commenters here, he isn't fanatically slanted to any particular extreme. He can see both sides. Is that such a crime?

Dan, portsmouth said...

@KNaylor;
I have to aplogize for myself, because I thought once your comments worth reading.

Do you realize you are a zionist more than zionists themselves?

You are disgusting. read this and try to realize how small you are

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051317.html

neil craig said...

Actually of the countries you compare Israel with I strongly suspect Switzerland would indeed respond to an attack on it in very much tyhe way Israel is. The history of Switzerland is not of maintaining independence by pacifism but by being very clearly able to defend itself.

The fact is that it is Hamas which attacked Israel & they who are refusing a cease-fire. The fact that their attack could not defeat Israel & could only kill civilians does not stop them being the aggressors, it merely makes them aggressors who care nothing for their own people's lives.

As regards the comparison with Kosovo it shows not that Israel is the only country allowed to bomb enemies but that it is one of the few that isn't. Even with countries we don't approve of the comparison with our reaction to anything Israel does & the Syrian's total destruction of the city of Hama, which earned not even a mention by our media, is instructive.

British & American politicians who bombed Yugoslav hospitals for the deliberate purpose of participating in genocide, ethnic cleansing, the sexual enslavement of children & dissecting people to steal their organs now lecture the Jews on not defending themselves. Such scum, whom you have rightly opposed elsewhere Neil, are not only Nazis but hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

All comparisons are invidious, but it is scurrilous nonsense to compare the violence of Hamas with the violence that Israel has been perpetrating in the region since 1948. Israel is the violent occupier of land formerly occupied by another people, and it is currently attempting to expand further to make living space for more of its settlers.

The strategy of ‘settlement’, which is what the Israelis are up to, takes the whole thing a stage further than ‘occupation’ because the former is total and permanent. This is what the Palestinians face; not merely occupation but displacement and annihiliation as a land-owning people.

That’s all there is to it, really, but it is a crucial point obscured by a load of flapdoodle about biblical rights and the ‘non-existence’ of Palestine and the Palestinians. Underneath all that sophistry is yet another fascist state implementing the tranparently modernist policy of Lebensraum, forcible expansion into a territory considered necessary for the state and its people’s ‘natural development’, and once again, with tedious predictability, a region of the world - and who knows, perhaps the world itself - is on the Road to Hell.

- questionnaire

Robin Carmody said...

Dan:

why do you mis-spell "Holocaust"?

I don't think Karl is a Zionist, I think he merely tries to see both sides and condemns violence and extremism wherever it comes from. He expresses his distrust for all hardliners and comments that a less hawkish Israeli stance might weaken the Palestinian hardliners. How is that "more Zionist than Zionists themselves"?

tommyschmitz said...

Gaza and Israel? How about a high altitude view, both sides of the picture, courtesy of google earth.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i7/tommyschmitz/GazaandIsrael-GoogleMaps.jpg

Dan, portsmouth said...

Robin;
You can compare what a real zionist has written in Haaretz, with what Karl has adobted, and make your own mind.

The word ( Rightly) was used to describe a hardliners view, this was in his comment not mine.

I don't mind if he is a Zionist as long as I know. and it's ok for me if you believe he is not.

Dan, portsmouth said...

Tommy;
You can't get a google satellite view of Israeil sites. it's been removed from google along with US basis.

tommyschmitz said...

Oh... re the photo link I posted, above:

I captured this screen shot about a year ago from Google Earth and saved it to photobucket. An interesting contract, huh? I think the caption I wrote at the time was insensitive but perhaps still relevant: "Which cornfield are they aiming for, again?"

Robin Carmody said...

OK, Dan. Personally I am not a Zionist, just someone who distrusts *all* extremism, which reminds me - why *did* you mis-spell "Holocaust"?

neil craig said...

An instructive remark from anon 11.37

"The Israelis, on the other hand, certainly want to kill as many people in Gaza as they possibly can - just simply because they are Palestinians."

This is simply the exact opposite of the truth & yet another race libel.

Israel is quite clearly going to considerable lengths, using smart bombs, to focus on genuine military targets whereas it is their enemies who are deliberately placing themselves among civilians, as Hezbollah also did.

Compare & contrast the casualty ratio here with NATO's where 80% of the Yugoslavs they killed in their war were civilians.

If Israel were not thousands of times more civilised than the pro-Nazis running America, Britain & other NATO states she would have ethnicly cleansed Gaza & the west bank years ago as we did Krajina, half of Bosnia & Kosovo to help our openly genocidal (ex-)Nazi friends.

I have no doubt that the same media that so heavily reported the faked marketplace attacks in Sarajevo & the equally faked Srebrenica massacre (while ignoring the genuine massacre of Serbs there & the 8 years of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians & censored any mention that the Americans had put them up to it) will also regale us with new Nazi-serving propaganda stories.

The basic starting point in any discussion of this war is to acknowledge that Israel is, under intense provocation, behaving with thousands of times more respect for civilisation than any member of our major parties. They are at least complicit in Nazi genocide & worse.

Anyone not acknowledging this is clearly failing to maintain a balanced position between Jews & Nazis. I can well understand why Anon wishes not to identify himself.

Dan, Portsmouth said...

Robin;
I print without looking at the keyboard. I do mis-prints in addition to spelling mistakes.

Dan, portsmouth said...

By the way, Anonymous remark about the so-calledI Israel desire to kill as many Palestinians as possible is correct and became old news now.
Israeli papers has reported about the planning of the offensive in length, also Amira Hass has written about it, on the 31st of Dec in Haaretz, and criticized the timing of the offensive, 11:30. which is the time school children change shifts at schools.

Again, Israeli papers has written about that in length.......... and I believe them.

Neil Craig said...

Our Croatian Nazi allies, with NATO's help, were able to exterminate or "cleanse" over half a million people from Krajina. At the time & even now Croatia's military capacity was very much smaller than Israel's. Israel could certainly have done the same decades ago had that been their intent.

It is perfectly legitimatye to criticise Israel if the critic has at least come close to similarly criticisng those who have done far worse.

However the claim that Israel are "trying to kill as many Palestinains as possible" is so over the top & wholly contrary to the observable truth that it could never be said by anybody motivated by a respect for truth, integrity or human decency. There is nothing, short of walking into gas chambers, which could ever placate such people & Israel is unlikely to do so. Anybody on the anti-Israeli side from a conviction that they can thus serve gernuine humanitarian interests should be the very first to dissociate thermselves from such racism.

Incidentally Dan I do not intend to remove the comment you put on my blog since it accurately displays the depth of intellectual & moral vacuousness with which so many on your side approach this serious problem.

Robin Carmody said...

Dan - I see. I may not be as dogmatic on this matter as you, but I also consider Israel's actions to be disproportionate.

Do you suspect, as I do, that they're doing it *now* because some of the more hawkish Israelis are worried (justifiably or otherwise) about Obama?

Dan, portsmouth said...

Robin;
I know Israeli occupation has planned this attack more than six months ago, before Obama come to the picture.
Despite all the reports and analysis, we need time, alot of time to learn what is really going on. wait and see what will happen in the next six months... this is what they are planning for now.

Craig; do what you want. and belive what you wish. you obviously live on a different planet.

Dan, portsmouth said...

Neil.
I meant Neil craig and Robin in my last reply, sorry if I didn't clarified this.

Anonymous said...

Neil Craig said:

"The claim that Israel is 'trying to kill as many Palestinians as possible' is so over the top and wholly contrary to the observable truth that it could never be said by anybody motivated by a respect for truth, integrity or human decency. There is nothing, short of walking into gas chambers, which could ever placate such people."

Aha! The HOLOCAUST card!

I was wondering just how long it would be before we'd be hearing that one from the Zionist side!

Mustn't dare to criticise Israel, must we? Oh no, these people can do just what the hell they like - and anyone who doesn't like it is..(dramatic burst of Wagnerian music)..an ANTI-SEMITE.

Pathetic!

The European Jews suffred dreadfully in the past - nobody here is denying that.

So now that gives the modern Israelis a right to do the same to the the Arabs, right??

Er, sorry, but NO it doesn't.

Go figure.

neil craig said...

Well Dan how grateful we should all be to hear that you aren't denying the Holocaust. Gosh.

Now perhaps you would like to retract your claim;

"So now that gives the modern Israelis a right to do the same to the the Arabs, right??"

Something which you know perfectly well nobody here claimed.

And while you are doing it may I again point out that it is impossible for anybody not themselves a supporter of Nazism not to dissociate themselves from those, like your allies Short & Livingston, who have personally supported the bombing of civilians in the cause of helping Nazi genocide, child sex slavery & dissecting people. If you were in any way honestly concerned about human suffering you would have already done so.

On the other hand since you are maintaining the obvious lie that the Israelis do not possess a shred of the military capability of your Croatian Nazi allies & are thus prevented from replicating any trace of their action in Krajina, by inability rather than by the Israelis being thousands of times more civilised than your friends, it is clear that honesty is not a consideration.

Anonymous said...

For the record: I am not "Dan".

And I am certainly not retracting anything that I have said.

I deeply resent the cheap smear that anyone who dares to say negative things about Israel (and/or the Jewish political lobby) is a neo-nazi/holocaust revisionist/racist/blah-blah-blah.

If you would just get your head out of your ass for one second, you would see that it is Israel which is behaving like a brutal Nazi-state right now!

You might not like it - but unfortunately it is there for all of us to see, and no amout of Zionist chicanery and propaganda can hide the facts.

Poor defenceless people are being butchered by the hundred - and if you are defending the vile scum who are doing the killing, then you are just as bad yourself.

Dan, portsmouth said...

craig;
Could you prove to me first that I'm replying to a human being not a dog? you didn't convince me so far that you are properly developed human being.

Did you leave your computer open and the dog took charge of your computer?

If not, please bring the dog to write,, he must be more rational than yourself.

All my comments have my name on it, if you lie I don't. Neil knew anon comments didn't come from my ip address.

Dan, portsmouth said...

Anonymous 6:24 PM:
Good argument.
you should throw a bone with your comment since it's for Craig.

neil craig said...

Darely worth replying to a mous who won't stand behind their rudeness but "I deeply resent the cheap smear that anyone who dares to say negative things about Israel (and/or the Jewish political lobby) is a neo-nazi/holocaust revisionist/racist/blah-blah-blah" is, of course, a poece of straw man slander.

I never said any such thing.

I said that those who attack Israel defending themselves by bombing which inevitiably hits some civilians but did not, far more strongly condemn our own leaders for deliberate, mass, civilian bombing not for defencive reasons but to bring about racial genocide, child sex slavery & the deliberate dissection of living human beings are Nazis, racists & etc.

That that description clearly includes Livingston, Short, the entire BBC, ITN & most of our media as well, on a lesser level, as Dan & his mous, does not affect the obvious factual accuracy of it.

Dan, portsmouth said...

Craig;
For the third time, no evidence you are a real human,
your parking proved my theory about your being a dog.

neil craig said...

And for the umpteenth time Dan - where is your evidence that Israel's military capacity is so much lowwer than that of the Croatian Nazi militia that it would have been impossible for them to match the genocide & ethnic cleansing they managed in Krajina (or that NATO "polixe" managed in Kosovo?

And where is your disapproval of those people who engage in genocide against peoples your mentor Mr Schikelgruber was so intent on murdering?