Proportionate response?

Haaretz 29/12/08


As the Israel Defense Forces pound Gaza, senior officials have launched an aggressive public relations campaign, in an attempt to gain international sympathy for Operation Cast Lead.  

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Saturday instructed the Foreign Ministry to take emergency measures to adapt Israel’s international public relations to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip. 

Sunday, Livni and other officials gave interviews in English and Arabic to various international news stations. 

The Foreign Ministry is also looking to recruit speakers of other foreign languages, in particular, Italian, Spanish, and German, in order to expand Israel’s public relations campaign.

This is when the PR people will earn their pay.

The problem is that when googling the search terms Qassam rockets and deaths you find about 30 people have lost their lives in four years, as a result of various forces launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel. In other words about seven people per year were killed. The Israeli Air Force has managed to kill 310 people and wound over a thousand in 2 days.

To give some perspective about 400 people per year die on Israel’s roads.

It seems to me that the biggest effect that the Qassam rockets were having, was discouraging Aliyah and encouraging people to move to America exacebating the demographic problem.

Israels attack on Gaza of course makes certain former Army General politicians look tough. Tomorrow Gaza will still be there with another 500 martyrs to stir the populace. Meantime the tame Palestinian leaders look more and m0re like lackey running dogs. 

Currently the losers are the Palestinians and the Israelis.


15 Responses

  1. You can’t appease the schoolyard bully by giving him your lunch money, the only way to stop his bullying is to bloody his nose. Likewise, the only way for Israel to put a stop to Hamas and the Palestinians constant barrage of rocket firings is to hit them back hard and make it hurt. You can’t do that by fighting back and killing only what they have killed, if the Palestinians kill 30 Israelis, the Israelis should kill 30,000 Palestinians. That is the only way to put a stop to the Palestinian attacks on Israel, and yes I do mean the Palestinian attacks since they are the ones that voted for Hamas knowing Hamas’s stand on Israel.

  2. The difference is that the Israelis don’t send suicide bombers to target restaurants full of women and children, buses full of children on their way home from school, or into homes to murder Palestinian children in their beds. The Palestinians do just that and have since Israel was founded.The Israelis aren’t the ones that started shooting rockets into Palestine as soon as the Palestinians pulled out in 2006, the was the Palestinians shooting at the Israelis as soon as the Israelis agreed to pullout “in exchange for a cease-fire”. It isn’t the Israelis that insist there can be no peace with the Palestinians and that there can be no Palestinian state, the Palestinians do say that about Israel and Hamas has it in its own charter.
    The Palestinians can say whatever they want, the historical record shows the truth if one cares enough to look. The Palestinians cause these problems for themselves.

    • I thank you for your response again.

      Somebody asked a Palestinian why they used suicide bombers, and they replied “because we don’t have F16’s.”

      In the spirit of true enquiry I ask you, how desperate would you have be, to do something as terrible to turn yourself in a human bomb? Could you ever imagine yourself to be an awful situation that you would think this is one of your options?

      Do you know that the Israelis were horrified to discover that it was some of the brightest of Palestinian society, both men and women, who were becoming suicide bombers?

      If you are a Christian,
      Remember some Palestinians are Christians. Are these people worth less than an Israeli Jew?

      If you are an American taxpayer

      Remember you are footing the bill for Israel. You paid for the F16 aircraft, you paid for the bomb it dropped, you paid for the Apache helicoptor and you paid for the 30mm cannon shells that it fired. You paid for the $500 million bribe that is paid to King Abdullah of Jordan and the $3000 million paid to President Hosni Mubarak on an annual basis to keep their mouths shut. When your gas tax goes up remember this. When April comes remember this.

      I will allow responses that are reasoned and would especially welcome any support of Israel that is supported by evidence from the NEW TESTAMENT.

  3. billibaldi,
    ask yourself why the Israelis need the f16’s. If the Palestinians were willing to live in peace, there would be peace, Israel would have no need to use f16’s against them. If the Palestinians didn’t continually shoot rockets and mortars into Israel, if they didn’t continually send suicide bombers into Israel, there would be peace.
    You should remember that some Israelis are muslims, some are christians, some are Arabs, all are the victims of Palestinian violence.
    The bribes you talk about aren’t bribes, they are international aid, and guess what, we give international aid to almost everyone. The Indoneasian government is an islamic government, not exactly an ally of the US, and yet, we gave how much international aid to them in the recovery from the tsunami? China has received international aid from us, Russia has received it, Palestinians have received it.
    Just to inform the uninformed, gas taxes in the US don’t go to paying the bill for Israel, the gas and road tax here is used to build and repair roads.

    • Please understand, I am well aware how generous the United States of America is. There is probably no country in the world that has not been offered or received aid from USA when that country has had a crisis.

      However the single largest recipient of aid both direct and indirect from USA is Israel.

      Without this aid, Israel would cease to exist.

  4. “without this aid Israel would cease to exist.” Isn’t that sort of the point? The Palestinians in general, and Hamas in particular want just that, for Israel to cease existing. That is the point of this conflict.

    • Portuguese East Africa
      Apartheid South Africa
      Soviet Union

      All of the above reached their use-by-dates. Why is Israel a special case?

  5. The same case could be made for Palestine. The difference between Israel and the countries you mention that have reached their “use-by-dates” is that those countries all, with the exception of South Africa which was actually a clash of cultures rather than aparthied, made efforts to intentionally suppress others. Israel is more than willing to allow the Palestinians to live their lives their way, Israel only wants to be allowed to do the same. It is the Palestinians that seek to destroy Israel, not the other way around.
    Why shouldn’t we say that Palestine has reached its “use-by-date”?

    • “there are about 340 Israeli civilian sites – including 100 small outpost communities in the West Bank – as well as 42 sites in the Golan Heights, 0 in the Gaza Strip, and 29 in East Jerusalem (July 2008 est.)” CIA World Book

      You seem to be a rational person and are able to distinguish between a persons actions and their words. What would think of your neighbour started digging up your garden and extentions on his/her house into your yard while saying that they are really good neighbours? If Israel truly wanted to live in peace then they would stop stealing their neighbours lands and dismantle all the above settlements.

      If Israel is such a good country, why does it run spy operations on the USA? Do the names Jonathon Pollard and Ben-Ami Kadish ring any bells? Even worse the Israelis have the hide to keep asking for Jonathon Pollard.

      I agree Palestine as it is now is non-viable but the single state solution is .

  6. “0 in the Gaza Strip”, since this war is with Gaza, it would seem that this particular argument doesn’t hold water.
    As far as Israel running spy operations against the US, I’m not surprised, nor am I necessarily concerned. It might come as a surprise to you, but the US also runs spy operations against Israel, Britain, Canada and Australia(some of our closest allies). It would be foolish not to, likewise it would be foolish for any of these countries not to do the same to us and to each other. By the same token, each of these countries also have military plans for attacking each other and to repel attacks from each other. We call that “national defense.” Any country that does not do these things won’t be a sovereign nation for long, one never knows when an “ally” might turn against us.
    The actual intention isn’t supposed to be a single state solution, it is supposed to be a “two-state” solution. The problem with a two-state solution is that it requires Israel and Palestine to live as neighbors, with each country recognizing the rights of the other; since Hamas was elected by the Palestinians, in spite of its charter with mandates that Israel be destroyed and has no right to exist, a two-state solution becomes impossible. In other words, the reason Palestinians can’t have self-rule is that it is the Palestinians that won’t be good neighbors. The only other option for Israel is to lay down and die. What other nation is asked to just cease to exist? Even Iran and North Korea are allowed to exist, we only ask that they change the way they do things.
    You might be interested in this link, then again, maybe not, we wouldn’t want to make the Palestinians look like the bad guys:,0,1953549.story

    • I would not normally do this – but look at this editorial in Haaretz
      Editorial in Haaretz – 11 Jan 2009

      A big shudder on the wing

      By Haaretz Editorial

      Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel News

      Around two weeks after the start of fighting in Gaza, there are only vague reports on Israel’s success in damaging Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure. On the other hand, statistics on the harm done to civilians accumulate. More than 800 Palestinians have been killed and around 3,000 have been wounded, an overwhelming majority of them from air strikes. According to UN figures, half of those killed are civilians, and half of the civilians killed are women and children.

      Alongside reports on the number of dead and injured are reports of doctors being denied entry, the inability of aid groups to reach refugees and give them food, and a serious shortage of medicine and supplies. Blame does not rest with the Israel Defense Forces for all these issues. Hamas and other Palestinian organizations deliberately fired at a food convoy heading to Gaza because it sought to enter the Strip through a different crossing than what Hamas had desired. Hamas also liquidates its adversaries at home and is not ready to adopt the Egyptian cease-fire initiative. But these cannot serve as a pretext for a cruel, all-out war against 1.5 million Palestinian civilians.

      Yesterday Israel announced, by dropping leaflets into densely populated areas in Gaza, that it plans to escalate its military operation. This stirs concerns that, similar to what occurred during the Second Lebanon War, the reason for going to war has been forgotten and replaced by an unrealistic desire to topple the Hamas regime in the Strip. If a few years ago the public cried out in protest over the bombing of a home in Gaza and the statement by former pilot and chief of staff Dan Halutz, who said he felt a “slight shudder on the wing” when he bombed a house, today it responds indifferently, even satisfactorily, to the harming of Palestinians.
      The lessons of previous wars, during which the IDF destroyed infrastructure targets and the homes of civilians but did not gain the quiet it had sought, have not been internalized. Israel’s justified rationale in acting against rocket launchers has been increasingly damaged over two weeks. The legitimacy and understanding extended to Israel melt away amid the pictures of killing and ruin. Accusations of war crimes are already being bandied about in Israel. This war needs to move immediately to the diplomatic track and agreements that will end the fantasies and delusions of both sides.

      That link that you sent was an editorial written by Alan Dershowitz. This is a man who has argued for collective punishment and torture. Wait till you see his attitude on gun control and the second amendment of the US constitution.

      In response to spying, there is difference between spying and monitoring. Australia monitors the USA and we expect reciprocal action. However certain degree of good neighbourliness is expected because of the Pine Gap facility. The Pollard case was one of flat out spying . The bastard got the same sentence as Aldrich Ames.

  7. Fair point, an editorial for an editorial. Diplomacy is always a better idea than war, if both sides are willing to engage in diplomacy. But it hard to engage in diplomacy with an organization that has as one of its primary intentions in its charter a resloution that Israel be destroyed and all Israelis killed.
    Regarding Dershowitz’s opinion on gun control, it is irellevent to this discussion. I don’t agree with President Bush on border control issues and government spending, but I do support him in the war on terror fully. I can seperate issues.

    • A better response on my part should have been – I see your Dershowitz and I raise you a Norman Finkelstein.

      The war on Terror thanks to the ANZUS treaties happens to be our war of Terror even if there seems to be a lack critical thinking.

      As for border control, every country must secure its borders. Off-topic I know, but if we were back in the middle of the cold war, the Soviet Union would be sending boatloads of AK’s and RPG’s to the Mexican drug lords.

  8. Billibaldi,
    Unfortunately, the war on terror is your war also, not because of ANZUS but, because of necessity. I’m sure you have noticed where in the world the Islamists are attacking, there isn’t a country in the world not affected or targeted by these extremists. Even Australia has had problems, I seem to remember remarks made by your own Prime Minister regarding the Islamists and their attempt to bring sha’ria law to Australia.

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