This is an escalation without precedent in the terrorist war waged by...Hamas"

sherief

Generic Human
Israel eyes wider Gaza sweep (Reuters)

Bah! Give me a break. I noticed there wasn't a thread up for the discussion of this horrific Israeli war of pretense. All I have to say is that as Israel keeps this up, as they attempt to strip any human attribute from the palestinians, they create people whose subjectivities are built entirely around resistance. As much as it seems grimly satisfying that they're creating the tools for their own destruction, I find this to be an unacceptable assault with a similarly unacceptable response from the "international community." The only possible objections are "humanitarian," which depoliticize the situation and skirt the fact that this "crisis" has a cause. Please pardon the rant, but i find myself visibly upset here...
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I thought that collective punishment was against the Geneva Convention, or doesn't anyone care about that any more?
One thing that struck me about the abduction of the soldier was a report that said he was lucky to survive being abducted as it is normal practice for Israelis soldiers to indiscriminately fire at the kidnappers in these circumstances - with the aim being to prevent anyone being captured at any cost including their death. Apparently the idea of an Israeli soldier being kidnapped, threatened with death and used as a bargaining chip is so demoralising to Israel it is better to just kill them in the first place. Has anyone else heard that? Does anyone else think it's completely weird?
 

sherief

Generic Human
It's completely absurd and disproportionate. However, when Guantanamo detainees kill themselves, apparently this too is an act of asymmetrical warfare. Once they've created a portrait of the other in this situation as an absolute enemy or as human beings who always have within them the potential to become terrorists, then it's alltogether to easy to kill any single one of those lives which themselves have no meaning and are always potentially of the enemy. However, in the case of a captured Israeli, we note how absolutely sacred his life becomes...
 

craner

Beast of Burden
As much as it seems grimly satisfying that they're creating the tools for their own destruction

Now why would you possibly want that Sherief?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Well, there we are then. In the smouldering ruins of Tel Aviv, you can enjoy your irony.
 
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droid

Guest
Dont make me come back here Craner you troll! :D

Let's look at casualties. In the last six months, approximately 80 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza due to Israel artillery firing. Now, on the Israeli side, we hear all of these terrible things about these Kassams. Even Shlomo Ben-Ami, yesterday on your program, who I respect, he said what's Israel to do about these Kassams? What does the record show? I mentioned a moment ago, 80 Palestinians killed in six months. There have been exactly eight Israelis killed in the last five years from the Kassam missiles. Again, we have a huge disproportion, a huge discrepancy.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/29/1420258
"Ruins of Tel Aviv"?

Pathetic even by your standards. Once again you defend violations of the most basic principles of international law.

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150612006

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/ap-report.html
 

swears

preppy-kei
It's bizarre, each side just seems to be antagonising the other as much as possible.
What did the Palestinians expect to achieve from this kidnapping?
And what do the Isrealis hope to achieve by bombing the shit out of them?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"What did the Palestinians expect to achieve from this kidnapping?"
Strangely enough, apparently the Israelis are often prepared to deal when a soldier is held hostage so this is actually one of the few ways that can lead to the release of Palestinian prisoners (normally in ratios that greatly favour the Palestinians).

And what do the Isrealis hope to achieve by bombing the shit out of them?
You've got me there.
 

doll steak

damn that icepick
I suppose its important to keep 'Palestinians' and 'the kidnappers' separate in our heads, even if there seems to be support for these kind of actions.

What most palestinians would like to achieve is a way out of poverty and violence, i expect (a lot like what the poorer israelis would like too) - and these seem to be the tactics available to them at the present time, now there's not much talk about socialism and mass movements to achieve things. What the Israeli government (spot my careful disinction - clever, uh?) wants to get out of bombing Palestinians, my cynical mind believes, is the prolonging of the intifada, to pull the Israeli population around a security policy that justifies the extreme centralisation of power.

Anyone have any thoughts around Hamas as a 'terrorist' organisation now running the Palestinian state? They won in a landslide in the last elections, mostly because of the visible corruption of Arafat and his SUV-owning party comrades.
 

swears

preppy-kei
doll steak said:
I suppose its important to keep 'Palestinians' and 'the kidnappers' separate in our heads, even if there seems to be support for these kind of actions.

What most palestinians would like to achieve is a way out of poverty and violence, i expect (a lot like what the poorer israelis would like too) - and these seem to be the tactics available to them at the present time, now there's not much talk about socialism and mass movements to achieve things. What the Israeli government (spot my careful disinction - clever, uh?) wants to get out of bombing Palestinians, my cynical mind believes, is the prolonging of the intifada, to pull the Israeli population around a security policy that justifies the extreme centralisation of power.

Anyone have any thoughts around Hamas as a 'terrorist' organisation now running the Palestinian state? They won in a landslide in the last elections, mostly because of the visible corruption of Arafat and his SUV-owning party comrades.
Yeah, I didn't really word my post that well.
Although I do wonder how much support the kidnappers have from the average Palestinian.
And how much power does Hamas really have? Are they "running" Palastine, or is their influence too fragmented for that?
 
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droid

Guest
'Kidnap' is a strange choice of words given the context. According to a 40 year, virtually unanimous international consensus as expressed through multiple UN resolutions, Israels continuing occupation of the territories constitutes a serious breach of International law, and therefore any resistance or action against occupying military forces is legitimate.

'Capture' might be a more apt term.

Very good article on current events and media coverage therof:

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php
 

sherief

Generic Human
I agree with usage of the word capture. I think that the reality of a military occupation and armed resistance movement really mitigates calling this incedent against a soldier terrorism or kidnapping even. That the Israeli government can still take recourse to the rhetoric of their own victimization and terrorization without anyone thinking critically about the matter is a near incomprable injustice.
 

doll steak

damn that icepick
Interesting. I suppose this is how the representation of terrorism functions - turns the Western capitalist aggressor into a victim of the desperate, doomed-to-failure non-strategy of the isolated opressed.

Swears wrote: "And how much power does Hamas really have? Are they "running" Palastine, or is their influence too fragmented for that?"

The PA has always been a client state, mostly of Isreal (about 60% of Palestinians have jobs in Israel - that's why border checks are such an issue) and about half the PA's funding comes from "aid" from US, UN, EU and Arab League. Still, though, this is the first time that a group arguing for tactics of small armed groups attacking what they consider the enemy has obtained state power - Arafat's Fatah party was much more about mass resistance (which included violent and non-violent actions. It will be interesting to see how this develops. As Fatah got corrupted by collaboration it lost its combatative edge but kept mass support because that's what its tactics mostly were - mass action. Hamas has never had this - this is why even the poular support it has is shaky - its based on the actions of a few individuals.
 
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bruno

est malade
a kidnapping isn't a capture, it's a kidnapping. i don't see what turns this totally reprehensible act into something good or neutral. people were killed in the process, by the way, what would you call that. neutralised?

i too am disgusted at the cruelty of the israeli assault, but i don't understand how the tactics employed time and again by palestinians are supposed to graner them sympathy.
 

sherief

Generic Human
bruno said:
a kidnapping isn't a capture, it's a kidnapping. i don't see what turns this totally reprehensible act into something good or neutral. people were killed in the process, by the way, what would you call that. neutralised?

i too am disgusted at the cruelty of the israeli assault, but i don't understand how the tactics employed time and again by palestinians are supposed to graner them sympathy.
Unfortunately, sympathy is a dead letter for the Palestinian people. On the one hand, I'm sure that there's no end to it, everyone can be sympathetic with a situation as horrible as is going on; on the other hand, however, sympathy produces nothing outside of, and only sometimes, a bit of humanitarian aid. It is in fact, I think, the ability to consistently portray the plight of the palestinians as some sympathetic victimhood that has held back the ability to understand any sort of political causality or responsibility for the state of their occupation. Once they are completely sympathized, once we can all "feel their pain" we just walk with it as if it were just like how bad you felt when you broke your arm or lost your keys. Maybe you didn't mean sympathy in this sense, but I think that playing the sympathetic victim in any or all fashions has proven impossible for any sort of positive change in the region.

We don't have to side with the particular ideological aims of some of the groups involved in Palestinian resistance, nor do we have to glorify the actions they undertake. Glorification is something that exists in a vacuum, and nobody I think would say that abduction of people to achieve political ends is glory-worthy in itself. However, within the context of this situation, that this man is a soldier in the army of an occupation force, that many many other means have failed, etc. etc. allows us to see an act of resistance not targeted at civilians that forced the hand of the Israelis. This is not to say, fatalistically, that the abductors longed to have the israelis demolish Gaza over this single soldier's life (by the way, we might be able to perform some moral calculus by the end of this "temporary incursion" and compare relative value of palestinian lives/property to one Israeli life)

This was a political act targeted at the police apparatus of the Israeli government, and granted it involved violence, but I also think that in such situations of social domination resistance must carry force. Loss of life is regrettable, but I don't think we should be Kantians, sitting on our hands so as not to harm anyone while permitting violence all around us (as long as I don't directly do it, i'm not morally wrong)

//rant
 
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droid

Guest
bruno said:
a kidnapping isn't a capture, it's a kidnapping. i don't see what turns this totally reprehensible act into something good or neutral. people were killed in the process, by the way, what would you call that. neutralised?

i too am disgusted at the cruelty of the israeli assault, but i don't understand how the tactics employed time and again by palestinians are supposed to graner them sympathy.
Yes - kidnapping is kidnapping - the point Im making is that according to the international law, this action in no way constitues a kidnap, its a valid attack on a miltary target (not that I think that this necessarily makes it justifiable). This isnt something I just made up - its in the Geneva convention: Check out this quote from the article I linked to:

It (kidnap) was a revealing choice of terminology. Soldiers who are seized by an enemy are usually considered to have been captured; along with being killed, it's an occupational hazard for a soldier. But Britain's liberal media preferred to use words that misleadingly suggested Cpl Shalit was a victim, an innocent whose status as a soldier was not relevant to his fate. The Palestinians, as kidnappers and hostage-takers, were clearly not behaving in a legitimate manner.

That this was a deviation from normal usage, at least when applied to Palestinians, is suggested by the following report from the BBC in 2003, when Israel seized Hamas political leader Sheikh Mohammed Taha: "Israeli troops have captured a founder member of the Islamic militant group Hamas during an incursion into the Gaza Strip." This brief "incursion" included the deaths of eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and a child, according to the same report. ('Israel captures Hamas founder,' BBC online, 3 March 2003).

But one does not need to look back three years to spot the double standard being applied by the British media. On the Thursday following Sunday's Palestinian attack on Kerem Shalom, the Israeli army invaded Gaza and the West Bank to grab dozens of Palestinian leaders, including cabinet ministers. Were they being kidnapped or taken hostage by the Israeli army?

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php
If this is a kidnap, then Israel routinely 'kidnaps' victims from the occupied territories - and yet, it is never reported as such by the media. If Israel can 'detain', 'arrest' and 'capture' (civilians as well as armed resistance), then how come when the Palestinians do exactly the same thing its a 'kidnap'?

As to the validity of the attack:

The Palestinians could justify attacking the military post because the Israeli army has been using it and other fortified positions to fire hundreds of shells into Gaza that have contributed to some 30 civilian deaths over the preceding weeks. Israel could justify launching its mission into Gaza because it blames the two men it seized for being behind some of the hundreds of home-made Qassam rockets that have been fired out of Gaza, mostly ineffectually, but occasionally harming Israeli civilians in the border town of Sderot.
I might add that personally I dont see that Palestinian violence has any hope of ending the occupation, and I dont like to see people getting killed, regardless of which side they are on, but nonetheless, I still recognise the right of Palestinians (again according to the UN) to resist through the attack of legitimate military targets, no matter how pointless it may be, just as I recognise Israels right to defend itself against terrorist attacks on civilians.
 

bruno

est malade
right, the whole thing is a fucking mess. you won't convince israelis that palestinians have a right to land, you won't convince palestinians that israel has a right to exist. one sees human garbage on its promised land, the other sees an occupier. the tragedy is never going to end.

if it were up to me i'd raze the whole place to the ground, turn it into the world's largest golf course, or parking lot, give the north pole to the israelis, the south pole to the palestinians and that's it, end of story. let's see who they bomb then.
 

doll steak

damn that icepick
My beef with the whole thing isn't really a moral one at all - its tactical. I agree with Shereif that pacifism when faced with armed attack is useless, and I'll join him in giving Kant a good kicking, but bruno's right to wonder about "palestinian" tactics here. I think it helps if you remember that there's loads of political parties in palestine, besides hamas, and part of the reason for hamas picking some of the tactics that it does (deliberately overstretching themselves, grandstanding with armed martyrs and hopeless causes) is directed not at Israel but at the competition for palestinian support that they're trying to maintain. I think unfortunately this suits a section of the most reactionary Israeli political elite, for whom the image of the suicide bomber's pretty useful. This 'retaliation' action of Israel's just happens to accomplish lots of other strategic objectives like weakening Palestinian infrastructure.
 
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