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Israel/Lebanon Conflict (Split from 'Cyprus, Refugees...'

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  • #16
    I have a friend who lives 12 miles from Haifa. He was okay as of 2 days ago...
    Though he and I disagree on many of these issues, we remain friends, and respectfully so.

    I believe most of the people in both places want peace and freedom above all else.
    L'Etranger boiled it down nice and directly.
    Last edited by Madrigal Rose; 07-17-2006, 05:31 AM.
    Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
    -Yousuf Karsh

    Comment


    • #17
      Apartheid? In Israel, where Arabs (calling themselves Palestinians) are citizens with full rights leading several parties in the parliament? Nah, try elsewhere.
      I don' t speak about Israeli arabs but about people from occupied territories. To park them in reserves, to expropriate them to create colonies and new ones are created daily, to prevent them a decent life on many pretexts is similar to apartheid.

      Palestinians territories are a big jail, no more no less.

      As most Israelis see it, the peace process ended months earlier when Arafat spurned Ehud Barak's generous offer at Camp David and Taba.
      The offer was not so generous.

      An interesting article by an assistant of Clinton :

      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14380

      The final and largely unnoticed consequence of Barak's approach is that, strictly speaking, there never was an Israeli offer. Determined to preserve Israel's position in the event of failure, and resolved not to let the Palestinians take advantage of one-sided compromises, the Israelis always stopped one, if not several, steps short of a proposal.

      It adds that ideas were expressed more by the Us negociators than by Barak or his team.

      I think all parties and especially those behind them (USA, Iran) are lying, persistently, thoroughly and passionately. Otherwise the individual Israeli and Palestinian would wake up and see they are just pawns in the games or profit deals.
      I know of so many cases in history and presence where a peaceful co-existence (didn't say "easy") was and is possible, but that doesn't make certain thugs rich.
      If it could be true ... But i am afraid that ideological and personnal considerations are so entrenched.

      Comment


      • #18
        I have friends in Israel...
        Free the West Memphis Three

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Oren Douek
          1. As David said, to apply pressure on the Lebanese government to exercise its sovereignty in the south of Lebanon, as per UN resolution 1559 (from 2004).
          Is this actually feasible? My understanding is that Hezbollah are so entrenched down there with lots of support from outside Lebanon that if the Lebanese government attempted to 'exercise its sovereignty' they would be faced with a civil war.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by johneffay
            Is this actually feasible? My understanding is that Hezbollah are so entrenched down there with lots of support from outside Lebanon that if the Lebanese government attempted to 'exercise its sovereignty' they would be faced with a civil war.
            That's correct. And that's why the Lebanese government will need the help of international forces (whether UNIFIL, NATO or some European ones) to help them gradually deploy their army along the border with Israel. This is what is being discussed now, and will probably be the solution for the current crisis.

            From CNN:

            He [Nambier - head of the UN delegation to Beirut] said the United Nations supports the Lebanese government: "We support the call for a cease-fire and their aim of exercising full authority over the entire country." He also mentioned "the release of the captives as part of a solution to this conflict."
            So Israel's action has, after all, pushed Lebanon in that direction (which is the interest of Lebanon itself, by the way).
            Last edited by Oren; 07-17-2006, 01:20 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by johneffay
              Is this actually feasible?
              Well, I'm doubtful myself. My personal opinion is that Israel chooses to hold the Lebanese govt responsible for the kidnappings precisely because it knows it is powerless to do anything about the situation. If Hezbollah is supported and financed by Syria why doesn't Israel attack them instead? Could it be because the Syrian military numbers 200,000 and Lebanon only 40,000, compared to Israel's 150,000 (not counting 500,000 reservists)? Cynical, moi?

              From an article in todays Times:

              Originally posted by Tim Hames
              The notion of a Middle East peace process still rests on the premise that states can negotiate with one another. But recent events indicate that the authority of several states surrounding Israel has slipped to the point of incredibility. Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad count for more than the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and Syria. And while some of these groups have been sponsored by states (particularly Syria), they are now strong enough to exercise independence from their old masters.

              Even if Syria and Iran wanted to close Hezbollah, they could no longer do so.
              (Emphasis mine.)

              Is this guy right? Is he impartial? Or biased? I have no idea.

              Here's the full article:
              The Middle East isn't on the brink of war. It's on the brink of catastrophe
              Tim Hames

              That such a standoff can take place reflects a profound change in Middle East politics

              MOSHE DAYAN, one of Israel’s earliest soldier-politicians, instantly recognisable because of his bald head and vast black eyepatch, was once pulled over by the traffic police for driving at close to 100mph. Indignantly, he demanded: “I only have one eye. Do you want me to look at the speedometer or the road?”

              That sentiment could be applied to the violence that has occurred in the Middle East since Wednesday. The outside world is largely looking at it through one eye, assuming that Israel, although provoked, has needlessly escalated the situation to the point where it is said to be “out of control”, the region is “on the brink of war” and as a result, in the words of the Arab League on Saturday, “the Middle East peace process is dead”.

              The rest of the world is also, understandably, so appalled at the “speedometer” — the exchange of rockets and bombs between Hezbollah and the Israeli Air Force, the deliberate targeting of civilians by the former and the unavoidable but invariably unintended taking of some innocent lives by the latter — that is cannot focus on the “road”, the broader political context that has created this conflict and that threatens more for years to come.

              Employing a second eye — that is, seeing things as does Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister — is instructive. The international community allows that his country has “a right to exist”, of course, but believes that Israel would be advised not to shout too loudly about it to its neighbours. It has a duty to defend itself, of course, but must do so in a “proportionate” and “balanced” fashion, although what this might be is ambiguous.

              It should not inflict “collective punishment” on the Palestinians or Lebanese. Yet, when it decides on what might be called “individual punishment” — that is, taking out people who have, and who don’t deny holding, significant positions in organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah — then this is condemned too.

              In the dreadful circumstances, Mr Olmert has been “proportionate” and “balanced”, as is acknowledged by the United States and Britain and, privately, officials in Egypt, Jordan and Saudia Arabia. Awful as the television pictures of the past few days have been, events are not “out of control”, the region is not “on the brink of war” in anything like the manner of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, or even 1982, nor is the peace process any more alive or dead than it was three weeks ago when Hamas raised the stakes by launching its raid into Israel and kidnapping a corporal.

              The “speedometer” is mostly misleading. Israel is, explicitly, attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon, not Lebanon. It is doing so principally through air power and trying its best to avoid being drawn into the heavy presence on the ground in southern Lebanon from which it extricated itself in 2000. In military terms, most of what Israel today wants to achieve can probably be accomplished comparatively swiftly. The exchange of fire is unlikely to last for weeks or months, despite appearances to the contrary.

              The real and disturbing developments, though, concern the road on which the region is heading. And the human symbols of this are the three captured Israeli soldiers. In a harsh and dispassionate sense, Mr Olmert would be in an easier place if they had died along with their comrades. As matters stand, they may present the Prime Minister with an enduring hostage crisis. Hamas would probably be willing to agree to an exchange for Palestinian prisoners, an outcome that would boost its domestic popularity. Israel has conducted such bargains before and Mr Olmert could tolerate doing so again, while pledging to deal with those responsible for this outrage later.

              Hezbollah, on the other hand, is more likely to play for time, to move its captives hundreds of miles from where they were abducted and to release harrowing videos at sensitive moments to taunt ministers in Jerusalem. This would ignite turmoil in Lebanon.

              That such a standoff can take place reflects a profound change in Middle East politics. War and peace there used to occur between states — Israel and its neighbours. Whatever might be declared publicly, there were private contacts and an informal code of conduct between national actors.

              The notion of a Middle East peace process still rests on the premise that states can negotiate with one another. But recent events indicate that the authority of several states surrounding Israel has slipped to the point of incredibility. Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad count for more than the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and Syria. And while some of these groups have been sponsored by states (particularly Syria), they are now strong enough to exercise independence from their old masters.

              Even if Syria and Iran wanted to close Hezbollah, they could no longer do so.

              The final element is that the Middle East has ceased to be an argument of its own; it has become enmeshed in and sometimes a theatre for other conflicts and controversies. A whole series of rivalries — Arab-Israeli, Shia militia and Sunni fanatics in Iraq, Iran and its nuclear ambitions, the activities of al-Qaeda and a revitalised Taleban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the contest over Kashmir — have become entangled with one another.

              During the Cold War era, the superpower struggle was a blessing in disguise for the Middle East — it put a limit on how much humiliation Israel or its Arab rivals could be allowed to inflict on each other. In the area today, the reverse is the case. Even if the preconditions for the fabled “two-state” solution between Israel and the Palestinians could be brought about, outside players would be able to sabotage it.

              Dayan was right. What matters is the road. That road has rarely looked more perilous.


              http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...273199,00.html
              Shia crescent pierces heart of Arab world


              Last edited by David Mosley; 07-17-2006, 01:26 PM.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #22
                My son's best friend is currently stationed in Afghanistan. I worry about him daily.

                As far as this newest Israel/Lebanon conflict is concerned, I think Israel is being insanely heavy-handed. They are immensely powerful by comparison to all their neighbors and they throw their weight around at the slightest provocation. Don't call them on it, though, or you're an anti-Semite.

                I cannot condone terrorism, but when your people feel helplessly oppressed and their country is bombed back into the stone-age, what options are left to them? Two Israelis kidnapped justifies the complete obliteration of an international airport? Really? That sort of damage will devastate the entire country of Lebanon, not just Hezbollah. This will only birth more terrorists. And we'll get stuck with the clean up.

                Is it wise to burn down an entire tree just to get rid of a small nest of beetles inside its trunk?

                Now, I wouldn't go so far as this guy does, but the question does enter my mind: Who stands to gain the most from this "action"?

                Originally posted by Oren Douek
                As a Lebanese politician said a few days ago: Syria gives the orders, Iran supplies the weapons, Hezbollah executes, Israel retaliates and Lebanon pays the price.
                Quite right. Well put.
                "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                  As far as this newest Israel/Lebanon conflict is concerned, I think Israel is being insanely heavy-handed. They are immensely powerful by comparison to all their neighbors and they throw their weight around at the slightest provocation. Don't call them on it, though, or you're an anti-Semite.
                  The problem is not when people criticise Israel, it's when they use double standards when doing so. That's when the a legitimate criticism turns into something prohibited. The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia acknowledged last year that double standards when dealing with Israel is a form of anti-Semitism.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The evacuation of Brits from the Lebanon is supposed to be the biggest operation of its kind since Dunkirk.

                    For the sake of controversy, here's an interesting post:

                    The Left should be supporting Israel in this war

                    No socialist group in Britain is saying what needs to be said today about the crisis in the Middle East. All the groups on the organised Left are busy denouncing Israel for its "aggression" against Gaza and Lebanon. Many are expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. None are saying that Israel needs and deserves the support of the Left.
                    But that is exactly what they should be saying.

                    One doesn't have to go back decades, as is the tradition in articles of this sort, to explain. Let's just go back to the dawn of the twenty-first century. In Israel, the far Right has been defeated in elections. A coalition government including the Left is in power, and is committed to ending the conflict with the Arab world. In 2000, as a first step, it completely withdraws all Israeli forces from every last inch of Lebanese soil. Even the United Nations admits that the Israeli withdrawal is complete, and conforms with all UN resolutions. The Lebanese government is obligated to move its army up to the international border. It does not do so.
                    Now fast-forward five years. It's 2005 and the Israeli government decides to withdraw from Gaza after 38 years of occupation. Every single Israeli settlement is closed, despite a massive campaign of civil disobedience by settlers and their supporters. The country is torn apart by angry debate, the Right implodes, but in the end, every last Israeli soldier is withdrawn from every inch of the Gaza strip.
                    Israel still occupies the Golan Heights and West Bank, and those of us on the Left legitimately call for the Israeli government to negotiate the return of those territories. And let's not forget that those territories were seized in a war of self-defence in June 1967.
                    If there had been a violent uprising among Palestinians in the West Bank, or among the Druze living in the Golan, one might have understood. After all, their Arab brethren in Lebanon and Gaza were now free of Israeli soldiers and their hated roadblocks and searches and arrests.
                    But while the West Bank remained relatively calm, and the Golan completely quiet, Israel suddenly found itself under attack from precisely those territories which it had evacuated. Let's be absolutely clear about the nature of the attack. It was not the case that some Palestinian "militants" (as the BBC calls them) seized one Israeli soldier near Gaza. Those same terrorists (let us call things by their right names), having interpreted the 2005 withdrawal as a sign of Israeli weakness, have been bombarding the western Negev desert for months with their Qassam missiles. And at the first opportunity, the Palestinians voted out the regime which had recognised the right of the Jewish state to exist and replaced it with the Islamo-fascist Hamas, which aims to create an Islamist state from the Jordan river to the sea.
                    The Islamo-fascists of Hizbollah joined in the fun shortly thereafter with a massive rocket barrage attacking Israeli towns, cities and kibbutzim from the shores of the Mediterranean to the foothills of the Golan, destroying homes and killing and wounding innocent civilians. Under cover of that barrage, they launched a raid to kill and capture Israeli soldiers on Israeli soil.
                    Israel is under attack -- unprovoked, brutal attack. Attack by forces such as Hamas and Hizbollah with which socialists have nothing in common.
                    And Israel is responding in the way that any state, even a state with a workers' government, even an ideal socialist state, would respond. It is hitting back with all the firepower at its disposal, but doing so in a way to minimize civilian casualties. That is why it decided to flatten Hamas' foreign ministry building at 2:00 in the morning, when it was unoccupied. Or used targetted aerial bombardment to create craters in the runways of Beirut airport, rather than bombing terminals crammed with people. (Either way, they would have shut down the airport -- but they chose a way that saved innocent lives.)
                    At the present time, Israel has more powerful and more effective weapons than their opponents. Their situation today is a bit like that facing the Allies near the end of the second world war. By that time, Germany and Japan were severely weakened. Did that lead the Soviet Union, which was doing the bulk of the fighting, and its western allies to let up? To give the Nazi regime a break? Not at all. They took advantage of their superiority and hit harder -- to bring the war to and end as quickly as possible.
                    Israel's military should use all its power to defend the country and decisively defeat its enemies -- while taking every precaution to reduce the number of innocent civilian casualties on both sides to an absolute minimum.
                    The real question for socialists when a war like this breaks out is to look at what will happen if either side wins. Let us imagine that Israel wins -- meaning that the captured soldiers are returned and the rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon end. The result will not only be good for Israel, but good for the Palestinians and Lebanese as well. The Islamo-fascists will be weakened. Democratic and secular forces will be strengthened. Socialists should cheer this on.
                    Now image what happens if Hamas and Hizbollah win. They over-run the Jewish state, slaughtering and expelling its several million Jewish inhabitants. They create a reactionary theocratic dictatorship along the lines of their benefactor, Iran. No one benefits -- not the Jews, not the Arabs. This a result that only fascists could applaud.
                    Some socialists are pacifists and oppose all wars. But most of us understand that sometimes a country has to fight. And sometimes two peoples go to war against each other, and we have to take sides. We look at the reasons behind the fighting and more important -- we look at the consequences of victory for one side or the other.
                    Looking at the war taking place today in the Middle East, it is clear to me that the position taken by the Left in Britain and elsewhere is wrong. We should be giving our full support to Israel, while of course insisting that the Israeli military behave according to international law and keep civilian casualties to a minimum. We should insist that at the end of the fighting, Israeli forces be pulled back to the international border with Lebanon, and withdrawn from Gaza. And we should support a renewal of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians leading to a withdrawal from the West Bank.
                    Our view as socialists of Hamas and Hizbollah should be absolutely clear: these are the enemy. We have nothing in common with Islamo-fascism and look forward to it suffering a crushing defeat in battle.
                    As I write these words, I realize that many friends and comrades will disagree with me. I invite them to respond, to engage in debate, and above all to listen and try to understand. In the end, the important thing is not to say what is popular, what wins friends and gets applause. Our job as socialists is above all to tell the truth. And that is what I have done here.

                    Personally, although I agree with Eric on "Islamo-fascism"*, I find the idea of "supporting" either side, as though this is a football match, a little too disturbing. Once again, it seems like innocent civilians on all sides are those who suffer. For once I agree with Tony Blair: a serious international force needs to go in to keep the peace.

                    Clearly it is unacceptable for states such as Lebanon to support terrorists, but I share the feelings that Israel's response is disproportionate. But, then again, I don't know how it is to live surrounded by people who would drive you into the sea if they could get away with it. Given the history of the 20th C, I'm not sure how Europe can have moral authority when dealing with Israel. I am also disturbed by the resurgence of "left-wing" anti-semitism that believes itself to be legitimized by Israel's actions. Have we learnt nothing?

                    *Do Hezbollah's stiff-armed salutes look familiar?

                    Last edited by Mikey_C; 07-17-2006, 02:55 PM.
                    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Oren Douek
                      The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia acknowledged last year that double standards when dealing with Israel is a form of anti-Semitism.
                      Ah. Thanks, Oren. Good to know.

                      I should change "anti-Semite" to "terrorist lover" then. I basically don't want to hear that I support terrorism or that I'm anti-Jew just because I think Israel went a bit over the top in Lebanon these past few days.

                      Fascinating link, Mikey_C.
                      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I think that while of course Israel can be criticised, if only the Palestinians would clearly acknowledge Israel's right of existance a path to peace for all could be found. But remember, the Jews were denied the right to exist before once and suffered dearly for it. It is still within living memory and one of the consequences was never to make their near-termination possible again.
                        Google ergo sum

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hamas are fascists but they have the support of a big part of the population .........

                          This support is born of

                          - the incompetency and corruption of palestitnian authority

                          - of the attitude of israelian governement

                          just an exemple : you are the happy owner of a field. Israelians think they need your field to protect create or extend a colony. they come with bulls an destroy all before expropriating it .....

                          What would you think in this situation !

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                            Hamas are fascists but they have the support of a big part of the population .........

                            This support is born of

                            - the incompetency and corruption of palestitnian authority

                            - of the attitude of israelian governement
                            Exactly. There's also a third reason, which is the strengthening of radical Islam all over the world. The success of the Hamas in the elections should also be attributed to this trend, which has its roots outside the scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                              Hamas are fascists but they have the support of a big part of the population .........

                              This support is born of

                              - the incompetency and corruption of palestitnian authority

                              - of the attitude of israelian governement

                              just an exemple : you are the happy owner of a field. Israelians think they need your field to protect create or extend a colony. they come with bulls an destroy all before expropriating it .....

                              What would you think in this situation !
                              Colonies have been evacuated lately. Hard to judge the situation from here. Especially when informations are filtered by medias like CNN or national channels.

                              I'm mostly sad for killed civilians, but I don't see any other way for Israel to survive. There was one president in Egypt who finally recognized its existence. He was shot. This war is mostly an economic process: Israel wants to show that any attempt to attack it will cost hell to its opponents.
                              Free the West Memphis Three

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                It is good to see the evacuation of civillians starting to become more organized today.But this could be a sign of anticipated escalation in fighting.
                                Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently issued three provocative statements concerning Israel which received international attention. He stated that: 1) Israel ought to be "wiped off the map"; 2) The Holocaust is a fabrication; and 3) Israel should be moved elsewhere, perhaps to Europe or Alaska. European and American officials criticized those statements but no further action was taken, not even an official condemnation by the U.N. It is notable that America and western governments took issue this time although they ignored similar statements in the past.
                                Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implies genocide more than military action.
                                TEHRAN, Iran- Speaking to a crowd of thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators in Palestine Square, Tehran, Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel told Israelis: "The towns you have built in northern Palestine (Israel) are within the range of the brave Lebanese children. No part of Israel will be safe."
                                This statement has a threatening ring of terrorism to it.
                                Hossein Shariatmadari, the conservative daily Kayhan's editor who is affiliated with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, stated on July 13, 2006: "The Hizbullah attack... is the beginning of a new chapter in the struggle against Israel, which will change the regional balance of power in favor of the Islamic world... Though the regime that occupies Jerusalem has modern weapons, it is a small regime with a small population. Further attacks will very soon [lead to] the annihilation of this small regime."
                                Another threat of the total destruction of Israel with no indication of compromise.

                                At G8 Summit July 17 2006 "unplugged"
                                "Yo, Blair. How are you doing?" was the US presidents opening line to Tony Blair. In further conversation, Bush replied: "See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over".Blair eventually noticed the microphone and hastily switched it off but not before the conversation had reached news media.
                                A smear for George Bush and in turn the US. I consider this a religious war more than a territorial dispute.It could probably be boiled down to Muslimism versus Christianity/Buddhism/Hinduism/Atheism etc......
                                Last edited by voilodian ghagnasdiak; 07-18-2006, 12:04 PM.

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