Gaza — Israel Firebombs Civilians

The word Phosphorus is the Greek version of Lucifer: Bringer of Light.

To the people of Gaza, just as the people of Lebanon discovered before them, and the people of Falluja after that, Phosphorus is the bringer of agony.  White phosphorus bursts into flames on contact with the air, and burns with extreme heat.  It is extremely toxic and while it burns it can destroy the liver, heart and kidneys.  It also produces a severe pulmonary irritant that can destroy the lungs.  Even the most minimal burns on the skin can kill.

In addition to being highly toxic, white phosphorus is the extremely aggressive incendiary substance used to start the Hamburg firestorms.  Phosphorus doesn’t stop burning until it’s all gone, and that means that if you get a particle of it on your skin, it can easily burn all the way through to the bone.

This is what Israeli aircraft are dropping on the civilians trapped in Gaza, and what Israeli gunners are firing at the city with their artillery.  They’ll tell you that these shells and bombs are only intended to create a smokescreen and that they aren’t weapons.  I’m sure that will come as a great comfort to the children whose lungs are burnt inside-out.

According to the London Times article (below), The Geneva Treaty of 1980 stipulates that white phosphorus should not be used as a weapon of war in civilian areas, but there is no blanket ban under international law on its use as a smokescreen or for illumination.

However, Charles Heyman, a military expert and former major in the British Army, said: “If white phosphorus was deliberately fired at a crowd of people someone would end up in The Hague. White phosphorus is also a terror weapon. The descending blobs of phosphorus will burn when in contact with skin.”

Terror weapon, eh?

How much worse then if you happen to be a jailer, as the Israelis are, and you fire this murderous stuff at your own prison, which is exactly what Gaza is: a prison for the people kicked out of their homes by Zionist militias in 1948.

As if it isn’t bad enough that the streets of Gaza run with shit because all the sewers have been destroyed, and as if it isn’t bad enough that the people are starving, and as if it isn’t inhuman enough that the Israelis have cut off the electricity, and as if it isn’t bad enough that they have bombed and shelled these terrified people for a week or more, killing 500 of them, and as if it isn’t bad enough that the wounded lie on the streets until they die because the ambulances can’t reach them.

As if it isn’t bad enough that Israel has engineered a humanitarian catastrophe before our eyes.

As if all this isn’t bad enough, now they’re burning them to death.

What have we heard from Barack Obama?  Nothing, though his people will tell you he doesn’t want to usurp the power of the incumbent President.  Isn’t it strange that such considerations didn’t stop him from condemning the Mumbai attack?

What have we heard from the special envoy to the Middle-East, Tony Blair?  Nothing.

Perhaps massacres are only wrong when they happen to our friends.  Perhaps it doesn’t matter how many Arabs are murdered.

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Listen to this courageous Norwegian doctor, who went into the ghetto to look after the civilian prisoners being bombed by the Israeli military.  Share his anger and his disgust at what Israel is now doing to the people it has oppressed for 60 years.

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Also on Bock:

Gaza Today
Gaza — The Ghetto Slaughter Begins
Gazastan, Israeli Ghettos and the New Apartheid
Israel Murders 200 People in Gaza

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Elsewhere:

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus shells

56 thoughts on “Gaza — Israel Firebombs Civilians

  1. ah now it’s Hamas that caused that reaction – don’t you know any better? haven’t you been told? It’s perfectly ok to bomb those uneducated people…. isn’t it??? Is it? ….. I hope Barack Obama will have the courage to say something soon. Let us hope he is as they say reviewing the situation – asap.

  2. I think the real problem was the 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes by the Zionist militias in 1948.

    If those Palestinians could only have been reasonable, and maybe killed themselves or jumped into the sea instead of going to refugee camps, we wouldn’t be having all these problems in Gaza now.

  3. Are phosphorous bombs not banned by the Geneva or some such convention?I suppose some powers deem themselves to be above such trifling treaties.

  4. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052331.html

    The Israeli press is reporting that cluster-bombs are now being used in Gaza.

    How can the Israelis continue to claim that they are not targeting civilians? Such weapons do not discriminate but are banned in every civilised country in the world. How many children will these brutal bomblets maim? Think of the young people who will lose their limbs before the Israelis stop and the generations that this injudicious action will embitter and alienate.

    The present savagery will leave a mark on all who participate in it including the young people of Israel, it will wound them as well and make their “sabra”-hearts a little harder.

    This barbaric onslaught is meant to punish and terrorise the citizens of Gaza and intimidate the surrounding countries and many young men will take the shilling as a result of these imprudent acts. Just a few days ago, they were lining up in their thousands in Tehran to fight another holy war.

    Cause and effect! Every action has an equal…etc. etc.

    Is it wise to further divide the world into opposing, armed camps, I wonder, and how will this enhance Israel’s security?

    Here is a question for the brave Israeli boyos who are now engaged in slaughter with their Phantom Jets and Apache Helicopters and the toys they got from the Uncle Sam, the Mavericks and Sparrows and Sidewinders against the cruel stones and atrocious slingshots of the Arabs. I hope Israeli mothers are proud of their asymmetrical sons and daughters.

    Here’s the question:

    Supposing regime change comes to Syria or Egypt or Saudi Arabia, what then? Such change will not bring stability, only further misery and suffering. How will you deal with the angry population that surround you if they are further incensed by, say, the Arab equivalent of GWB?

    Sooner or later all of this will rebound on you, even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked, you know, and you can’t always depend on the lapdogs in the Pentagon to fight your major wars for you.

    And G-d help you if you use your nuclear arsenal, don’t even go there.

    Face it, Israel is a failed state and the best you can hope for is a new Moses who will lead you out of the hole that you’ve dug for yourselves.

    In the meantime here’s a bhéarse of an auld Irish song

    Come tell us how you slew
    Those brave Arabs two by two
    Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows,
    How you bravely slew each one
    With your sixteen pounder gun
    And you frightened them poor natives to their marrow.

    Yes we know:
    Israel wants peace, a piece of Syria, a piece of Jordan and a whole lot of Egypt.
    Welcome to Israel with her pyramids and sphinx.

    Shame on you Israel!

    Barr na bróige ort!

  5. Jailers bombing their own prison. A prison full of people whose only crime in 1948 was to live on the land the Israelis wanted.

    Isn’t that lovely?

  6. -An Stail Aduaidh
    Very well said. Israel is forming the next generation of Jihadists. But it wont be the Israeli ministers with their body guards who’ll pay for it. It’ll be the poor bollox who doesn’t give a shit about expansionism or zionism on his way to work who’ll have his bus blown up, or his wife doing a bit of shopping in the market place.
    And the ex-military and ex-mossad ‘politicians’ will again use it to generate fear and hate to get themselves elected and keep the American military industrial complex in business.
    What’s the song by the way?

  7. Bock-Just read your update.Bombing the central food market makes sense.Bomb them,burn them,starve them.That’ll do the job.Sounds familiar.Listening to the radio here and George fucking Bush seems to be quite happy to let this attrocity carry on.Listen to the Norwegian doctor George.In 4 minutes he said more than you have in your vocabulary.Very disappointed with Obama’s response.
    AN STAIL-Well said.

  8. The song is a rabble-rouser of the same mindset that sends out young suicide bombers to die and kill.

    It’s not that old. Dominic Behan wrote it in the Fifties.

  9. Ah, a Wolfetones standard… I know the sort, though I’ve never owned a Celtic jersey.
    I don’t know why everybody is waiting for Obama the Messiah come to the rescue (that should piss a few people off so sorry) Nobody, black, white, brown or green gets to be president of the US without the backing of the ‘right’ people. The people who make the bombs, the people who sell the bombs and the people who drop them.
    I can only imagine what type of (non)coverage Fox News is spewing out to the American people.

  10. Yes indeed. A song sung by people who died for their country every Saturday night.

    I don’t watch Fox, but Sky News is fairly pathetic, breathlessly reporting from the hospital bed of an Israeli woman who was uninjured but frightened by the noise.

  11. -Bock
    Me either, Rupert can suck my balls. But by perverse interest I might try and see if I can find something from Bill O’Reilly, just to see how far into the land of make believe they’ve gone.

  12. http://who.town9.com/obama-silence-on-gaza

    “It’s no small wonder that President Elect Barack Obama is keeping silent on the current round of wanton slaughter and destruction in Palestine. After all He had already made his position crystal clear when he addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, otherwise known as “The Israeli Lobby”, on June 4th of last year. There had been doubts amongst a portion of Jewish voters as to his fealty to Israel but in his opening statement he put those fears to rest.

    Interesting and revealing Freudian slip in the above article. Fealty! Methinks the tail doth wag the dog.

  13. I don’t know. Anyone who’d say “no small wonder” isn’t much of a writer anyway. He probably doesn’t know what fealty means.

  14. I came across a webpage this evening, which exhibits the most confounding manipulation, written/interpreted by an Israeli law professor regarding the current assault in Gaza.

    Haerratz have also repoted the use of cluster bombs.

    There is also another website that you might look at with a lot of interesting links.
    I will post them seperately, hopefully to save Bock some hassel ?

    For some accurate news reporting, try aljazeera.com
    http://www.israpundit.com/2008?p=347

  15. It looks like any links at all are going to put your comment into moderation. I don’t know why that is, and my technical support department finishes at six.

  16. Staunch, unswerving, military, financial, moral and political support from the US such as Israel has enjoyed since 1948 is probably what he really meant.

    For a mere vassal state Israel seems to be able to pull a lot of strings in Washington. I suppose Mossad have been busy digging up the dirt and providing ‘leverage.’ The rest of the time they’re just twisting America’s balls. The attack on the USS Liberty during the Six Day War resulted in 34 American deaths and almost provoked a nuclear assault on Cairo and yet the Israelis got away with it. Can you imagine what would happen if Syria did something similar?

    If Israel is such a great friend of the US why does it need to know the minutiae of its defence system including all the details of the US nuclear ‘deterrent?’

    I’m sure the writer doesn’t know what ‘fealty’ really means but maybe it’s an appropriate expression nevertheless.

  17. Indeed. I think we’ll have to have a special post on the reasons for Israel’s influence over US foreign policy.

  18. The assault on Gaza is so barbarbic and vicious, The timing has been so precise, but so planned, according to Al Jazeera news to-day, the Israelis built a “replica” type Gaza in the Negev desert to train their soldiers in this urban warfare.

    Yes, the upcoming Israeli elections, yes, a “clean slate” for Obama, yes sqeeze the last drop of “green light” from Bush…..but
    Isn’t war ultimately about money ?
    The 123 agreement, after sec 123 of the atomic energy act, enables the U.S. to sell nuclear technology and equipment to the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) to be strictly used for a civilian nulcear programme.
    The U.A.E have agreed not to seek uranium enrichment etc etc.
    The signing of this agreement is planned for mid jan 2009.
    It is hoped that other Arab nations will see the U.A.E. as a “role model” for this programme…but guess who the “bad boys” are who won’t sign the agreement ?
    yes Iran, they will deprive the U.S. of hundreds of billion $$
    Well I don’t know, what the hell, but they sure are making a lot of noises about Iran….Is Gaza and Hamas their legitimacy to now target Iran ?
    meanwhile, whatever their myriad reasons for the slaughter in Gaza, it sure as hell isn’t the rockets.

  19. I think the Iran saga is nothing more than ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ It was always a red herring meant to distract us from the real story, namely: Iraq and Afghanistan.

  20. Using Phosphorous shells on civilians is terrible and, everyone agrees, illegal.

    Naturally this is not objective journalism, it’s your blog and you can write what you want. You write in such aboslute conviction that this is what happened, that Israel intentionally targeted civilians in illegal weapons, so much that I’m not sure I understand why you need to show any evidence.

    But you do try to show evidence that this is what’s happening, in form of photos. Read about the effects of WP, then see that the photos either show explosions high in the air, where what reaches the ground is smoke only, or nearer to the ground but over open spaces. Both cases serve as legal smoke screens and do not cause the terrible effects you describe.

    Don’t just take my word, take The Guardian, surely not a beacon of Israel love, who quotes in this article Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, see his profile there to see he’s also no Israel lover.

    And I’m sure that Norwegian doctor is doing very important medical work, I’m not being cynical. But to take his “objective” opinion on the situation beyond strict medical work? since his name was mentioned, I found his bio in Wikipedia, and he’s indeed an objective commentator:
    Often portrayed by Norwegian media with controversial statements, Gilbert is on record criticizing Médecins Sans Frontières for its failure to take positions in conflicts. He supported the 9/11 attacks.

    Yet even according to his numbers, civilian deaths are 20% of ~400 deaths, meaning around 80 innocent victims. I’m sure you’ll portray me as trading in blood, but that’s no “massacre” as you keep saying, particularly in the context of a massive military operation and unintented.
    A massacre is a single intentional event, like, for example, a single event that happened in my own home town (Netanya) by a peace loving Hamas gentleman, who killed 30 elderly people in a Passover dinner, and you have the total 542 similar victims (that’s excluding 2008) listed here. That, of course, is beside the rockets, which are now Hamas’s preferred method of targeting civilians.

  21. Ofer — In that case, maybe you should also write to the Times and tell them they’re wrong about the phosphorus.

    They’e not all airbursts. The first picture is a 155 shell striking and as you know, a howitzer is not a precision weapon. It’s criminal to use artillery to fire phosphorus at a city and it doesn’t matter if they targeted civilians. You can’t fire this stuff into a densely-populated area, especially when your soldiers are preventing civilians from escaping.

    I know about the effects of white phosphorus, and I’ve already explained some of them in the text, but thank you for the link.

    Gilbert didn’t say that civilans are 20% of deaths. You got that wrong. He said that women and children are 20% of deaths. Why did you change that? It makes you look dishonest which is a pity as I have reason to believe you’re sincere.

    Also, I never accept ad hominem slurs against people. It doesn’t matter what Mads Gilbert is personally. If you have facts to contradict what he said about conditions in Gaza, bring them forward but please don’t try to discredit him personally. That’s a cheap trick.

    By the way, I do not support Islamic extremists either, as you’ll know if you become familiar with this site. I dislike Hamas intensely, and the statements they’ve made recently are insane. In fact I think all religious extremists are insane, but remember, you once had the secular Fatah to deal with and you blew it.

    This problem was created by Israel and you won’t solve it by killing.

  22. Ofer, – Is Charles Krauthammer correct in describing below – have you ever seen evidence of such on mideast TV?

    Krauthammer was writing on Monday’s Irish Times, syndicated from the Washington Post.

    He gives a macabre account of a Hamas programme for young kids.

    In said “cartoon”, Mickey Mouse is beaten to death by an Israeli and replaced by his more militant cousin, Nahoul the Bee, who vows to continue on Mickey’s path to martyrdom?

    And is there any record of what Leonard Cohen was actually up to during the Yom Kippur war.

    Some say he volunteered for the air force, others that he was entertaining the troops?

  23. Abdul — Hamas are lunatics, but bombing civilians is still criminal, whether Hamas or Israel does it. Also, Leonard Cohen isn’t relevant to this discussion.

    Stay on track.

  24. Abdul,
    That video is here. PMW has a website with endless lists of such hatred and incitements, also in schoolbooks and cartoons.

    LGF has photos of even more serious and cynical use of youth in fighting by Hamas (these are not from this specific event). Keep this in mind when reading numbers of young innocent victims.

    Bock,

    I’m not a professional propagandist, just an ordinary Israeli trying to have a rational discussion with some real people in and between the events. Writing to the times seems futile, but if I find the article there I’d comment in it too.
    And you’re right – firing such munitions into densely populated areas is a war crime. But I was trying to point out that you can see in the photos that it’s always open areas or high in the air, and the first photo still seems like an open area, the outskirts. It’s difficult to be certain though.

    I may have not heard Gilbert well, no twisting of his words intended. In any case, I was trying to show he is far from an objective source in saying that Israel is targeting civilians directly, and his previous positions seem quite relevant. And I said sincerely that he’s doing important medical work, but also that that doesn’t make him a political or military analyst.

    I never thought you supported Hamas, I realize you mainly look at the human suffering there, past and present, which is just and noble. Why do you say we blew it, though? I consider Wikipedia a neutral source I can cite on the web, so its accounting of the Camp David 2000 talks, which were the last proper peace talks we had with them should be quite neutral, read it, it details the negotiations and proposed plan. I quote: “The failure to come to an agreement was widely attributed to Yasser Arafat, as he walked away from the table without making a concrete counter-offer and because Arafat did little to quell the series of Palestinian riots that began shortly after the summit.[10][12][13] Arafat was also accused of scuttling the talks by Nabil Amr, a former minister in the Palestinian Authority.[5]”.

    You say the problem was created by Israel, are you referring to the rise of Hamas? the rise of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab world is a global phenomena (see Muslim Brotherhood) that came to exist well before Israel was created. The same goes to Hizbulla, which is part of the effort by Iran to “export the Islamic revolution” (Shi’ite, where muslim brotherhood are sunni) and turn Lebanon into another Shi’ite Islamic state, similar to efforts in southern Iraq. Not everything in the Arab world has to do with Israel.

    [BTW Bock, sorry for my lengthy comments, and I appreciate the high level of debate you’re holding, despite your clear disagreement, almost loathing, to the other side I’m trying to portray. With the very few pro-Israel comments I see here, I’ll try to balance the picture until you’ll expel me…]

  25. To everybody — Please be aware that if you include links in your comments the anti-spamming system will automatically put such comments in the moderation queue and I have to release them manually. This can sometimes take a while if I happen to be busy doing something else, like earning a living.

    Ofer — I will never expel you for disagreeing with me. The only people I have ever blocked were those trying to disrupt this site, a few obvious propagandists and the occasional Jew-hating Nazi, believe it or not. Oh, and a few people who bored me.

    I say the problem was caused by Israel because Gaza is a prison which exists to facilitate the settlement of southern Israel. Do you believe that all those people moved to Gaza in 1948 because it was such a nice place they wanted to live there?

    If you were penned inside a gigantic wall, in a huge slum like Gaza, would you not throw stones or rockets at the man who took your house? I don’t believe you would lie down and tolerate such an injustice.

    As regards Islam, you must be aware that I consider all religious belief to be something like a mental illness, and that includes Christianity and Judaism as well. However, this radical form of extreme Islam has been helped by Western and Israeli policy. Furthermore, I will now make a prediction: if you somehow manage to destroy Hamas, it will be replaced by something even worse. Perhaps a Palestinian al Qaeda. Is that really what you want?

    Hizbullah was greatly assisted by Ariel Sharon’s decision in 1982 to ignore Begin’s orders and take his army past the Litani and on to Beirut. This led directly to the massacres at the camps of Sabra, Chatila and Bourj-al-Barajneh, which were carried out by Israel’s proxies, the SLA, much as Lithuanian proxies slaughtered civilians on behalf of the Germans earlier in the century. There’s no escape from the reality of this: the IDF controlled the camps. Even the Israeli Kahan Commission was unable to avoid the fact that Israel was responsible for the massacres, though it did apply the word indirectly to describe Israel’s responsibility. In other words, they found the bullet more guilty than the trigger finger. Sharon was found to be personally responsible for the massacres.

    Events like this created a climate where religious crazies like Hizbullah had an opportunity to flourish.

    Don’t you see that oppression can’t work, but only produces worse monsters?

    Mads Gilbert is a brave man, working to save lives in awful conditions. He might not be objective, but who would be objective in the face of slaughter?

    Are you objective?

  26. bock
    I agree with you on your point that if israel destroys hamas it will not solve the problem, anyway I cant see that happening, I believe their 15 000 in strength, its unlikely they will kill everyone of them and the problem will still be their but festered by much more hatred and anger. particularly because so many innocent women and children are being killed

  27. I don’t think Hamas – assuming they fall – will be replaced by something worse, they will be replaced by something more benign in the shape of Fatah.

    Their leader (Abbas) is making all the right noises in his condemnation of Israel. But he has to be seen to do this least he be observed as someone regaining power courtesy of the clout of the IDF.

    Fatah have been collaborating with the IDF in pin pointing Hamas strongholds in Gaza. Subsequently, up to 40 Fatah members have been put under house arrest by Hamas who fear they will take advantage of the situation to stage a counter coup.

    Obama will negotiate with Fatah for a two state solution, while Hamas, ostensibly at least, will be isolated.

    But I am sceptical of Obama in this situation. Two years ago he was a freshman Senator and now he’s being touted as Flash Gordon, the saviour of the universe.

    And if he was going to pursue a radical shift in US policy in the Middle East then appointing Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff raised quite a few eyebrows

    Emanuel is the son of a Jerusalem born doctor who was active in the Zionist underground movement fighting Britain in Palestine before Israel was founded.

    However, he (Emanuel junior) did help broker the 1993 peace accord under the Clinton administration.

    Nevertheless, the Arabs will be giving him a long look.

    If all of the above comes to pass Hamas will be sitting out in the cold. Their jihadist charter obliges them to pursue a course of perpetual conflict with Israel and prevents them from negotiating on Palestine.

    And, as we know on this island, all attempts to isolate militant nationalism from peace talks resulted in the talks breaking down until Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness persuaded Sinn Fein/PIRA to drop their irredentist claim and acknowledge the principle of consent.

    Is there an Adams and/or McGuinness coming up through the ranks with Hamas or Hizbullah? Maybe. But with Tehran pulling the strings in the background and encouraging their proxies to pursue a policy of the Kalashnikov in one hand and the Koran in the other it could take decades before there is any meaningful peace.

  28. The best outcome would be an accord with secular Fatah but I don’t see that happening.

    Israel believes it can act with impunity, and has good reason to think that way. The Obama administration is strongly supportive of Israel, and not just in the appointment of Rahm Emmanuel, but also through Hillary Clinton.

    Consequently, I don’t believe Israel will concede enough to permit the creation of a viable Palestinian state and astonishingly that’s all the Palestinians are looking for, except for the religious crazies, which most Palestinians are not.

    Do you think the Irish would have settled for 22% of their original territory? Do you think the Irish would have lived in a ghetto after being driven from their homes? Do you think we Irish would not have maintained a constant, murderous campaign until we were listened to?

    And yet, the Arabs are characterised as bloodthirsty killers.

    I can’t believe how patient the Palestinians have been in the face of such oppression.

    Unless Israel recognises the right of the Palestinians to self-determination in a coherent, viable country, instead of a slum behind a wall, there will never be peace. The problem is that Israel will continue to be intransigent, concede nothing, go on believing it can crush all dissent, and in the long run that will not be sustainable.

    It’s ironic that this policy could ultimately lead to the decline of Israel.

  29. Bock-This discussion is a bit above my head but incredibly revealing and educational for me.Thanks.I tend to think and see things in a humanitarian way as opposed to political/religious way,so I will understand if my comments don’t make it here.
    Ofer-Thanks for the link to Hamas’ Mickey Mouse etc.It’s nothing short of disgusting.I understand and respect your position as an Israeli,and while I realise that Hamas are abusing the innocence of children with their incredible propaganda I still cannot condone the actions of your state.These actions can only breed generations of children oblivious to innocence.

  30. Abdul
    I’ll agree with you about Flash Gordon. He knows which side his bread is buttered. He is still a politician after all.

    But all political manouvering aside, the people of Palestine will not not forget. Nor have they forgotten anything that came before, that is how Hamas got elected. By desperate, angry people in a corner.
    I think Bock is right. A new generation of hate was born in Gaza these last days that will not be motivated by a free Palestine but by revenge.
    Then there is the rest of the Arab/Muslim world.
    You’ve seen how strongly people on this site feel about what Israel is doing, imagine if you were an Arab Muslim in the middle east. How would you feel? Pretty fucking pissed off I’d bet.
    And the worst is that it will provide yet another convienant excuse, for those who want one, to hate and target all Jews, be they Israeli, Zionist or anything else. Israel has done a huge disservice to Judaism.

  31. But equally the Arabs have to recognize the Jews right to exist in Israel and reject extreme pan Arab nationalism. Sinn Fein/PIRA had to eventually accept that one million Protestants were going nowhere. Likewise, the Arabs will have to accept that Israel is there to stay. They will reserve the right to hate each other. But hey, we can all live with that. Since 1948 Israel have had to defend their country against constant aggression and the constant threat of aggression. Egypt, Jordan, Syria (all at once) the PLO, Hizbullah, Hamas, Iran in the background, have all had a shot them. This will obviously have an enormous effect on the psyche of a nation. Consequently, they react with extreme violence as they believe their very existence is under threat. Elsewhere on this site you write that if you were in Gaza you would fight back. But if you were in Sederot under a constant barrage of rockets would you and C’est join the IDF (leaving aside the mandatory two year service)?

  32. Right, I’m having to rewrite this again as it dissapeared for no apparent reason. Either someone’s is fucking with you Bock, or your army of techies are asleep on the job.

    -Abdul
    It’s just as well you said ‘country’ and not ‘land’ as southern Israel was the Palestinian’s land before they were expelled from it. And yes, they will have to learn to live with their religious differences and, one day, learn to get along. That or one wipes the other out of existance. It’s worth rememberingg also that part of Israel’s claim to legitimacy is based on their ‘chosen people’ religous belief. But I do think Israel has a right to exist. No one on this site, to my knowledge has suggested Hamas or any other group are right to call for the destruction of Israel. The actions of Hamas were not condoned, but understood. But does Israel have the right to exist at the expense of others? To continualy expand as long as any one of the jewish faith wishs to go and live there?
    And what of Palestines right to exist?
    This situation is, in large part, of Israel’s own making. And to cry victim while they kill innocent civilians, women and children, in an open air prison for the dispossesed is extremely hypocritical. Even if they are killing some active Hamas militants at the same time.
    You raise a good point in relation to the under seige mentality that Israeli’s come to live with. Other’s have commented on Hamas indoctrination but Israeli’s are taught that they are under constant threat by all the muslim states. That they are all their enemies. Then they go and do their military service (granted, at an appropriate age, if there is ever an appropriate age to learn how to kill). Could one have an effect on the other. And if they decide to have a political career after that. Will it have an effect on the Israel policy towards Arabs? Israeli’s are prone to exactly the same extremes as every other human being.
    In answer to your question, no I would not join the Isaeli Army (Defence Force is a misnomer, especially given the circumstances) under those circumstances. But if Syria or Egypt or Iran or anybody else did manage to destroy Israel and did to the Israeli people what they and have done to the Palestinians, then yes, I problably would.
    Remembere, as should Israel, the brave souls of 1943 in Warsaw who refused to be exterminated.

  33. Abdul — The Palestinians have already accepted the reality of Israel, apart from the lunatic fringe of Hamas, which would never have won the elections if Israel hadn’t been so intransigent.

    This is about much more than ideology. It’s about illegal settlements, and land-grabbing, and Biblical justification for dispossessing the natives, and security walls and damming rivers, and humiliation and military intimidation and downright swaggering arrogance.

    As I have said so many times, we Irish would never have accepted the de facto situation imposed on the Palestinians. Never. They are a patient and forgiving people, apart from their maniacs, which we all have among us.

    Tell me this: what is the Gaza strip?

  34. Yet again we hear the whine of being surrounded on all sides by enemies that is trotted out to justify any and all actions by Israel that in any way go “against the grain” of right thinking people.

    To get back on point, Nothing, and I mean nothing justifies shooting fish in a barrel and that’s what this is, One big barrel except that Israel is lobbing shells and phosphorus into it instead of shooting, with bullets at least the fish would have a fighting chance when the numbers die down.

  35. Bock, – “The what is the Gaza strip” question is one of those existential posers the reply to which can be engineered to suit any point of view.

    A ghetto – inviting comparisons with the Warsaw ghetto? David Aaronovitch pointed out in yesterdays Times that “4,000 people a month were dying in the Warsaw ghetto – the equivalent of 12,000 in the Gazan ghetto.”

    And the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto were not firing rockets at Berlin and were not represented by an organization that was vowing to wipe out Germany.

    Is Gaza something created by Egypt? Yes the Egyptians, who ostensibly controlled the region up until Sharon decided to pull out – a land for peace withdrawal, that, far from securing any degree of normalcy, eventually exposed Israel to rocket fire courtesy of Hamas.

    Never once did the Egyptians entertain the idea of an independent state for Palestine under their jurisdiction. Instead they built a wall to keep them out, or in, just like the Jews. The Egyptians always looked on Gaza as a highly unstable area infested by warlords from the corrupt Arafat up to Hamas.

    Likewise, they were always content to just sit back and allow the Jews “sort out” the extremists.
    The hieroglyphics were always on the wall for the Pharaohs, so to speak

    I don’t believe that Israel intentionally created Gaza. What nation in its right mind would create a vast cesspool of malcontent on its doorstep.

    But I do believe that Israel (and the Arabs and the US) has contributed greatly to the present situation in Gaza in that they allowed the area to descend into such a state of desperation that the unfortunate inhabitants were left with little choice but to turn to the depraved ideology of Hamas for a bit of pay back.

    .C’est, – The problem facing all governments engaging in military action against terrorism is how do they kill more terrorists than they create.
    In this instance Israel is creating the terrorists of the future without a doubt. But they believe – as they go about their business of trying to facilitate Hamas’s demand for instant martyrdom – that they can live with that. Like yourself, meantime, I don’t know what the hell Israel thinks it is doing by building settlements right, left and centre. It is illegal, even Sharon recognized that.

    Meanwhile, Hamas’ vow to wipe Israel off the face of the map is being treated in much the same way as a claim by Irish light flyweight Paddy Barnes that he was going to KO Wladimir Klitschko (world heavyweight champ) – with all due respect to Barnes, who won bronze at the 29th Olympiad in Beijing.

    But Hamas is trained and armed by Iran who are now in the process of building a nuclear arsenal. Iran has also vowed to wipe Israel off the map. This is one reason why it is absolutely vital that Hamas are neutered.

    The scenes from the UN school shelled by Israel are absolutely devastating, enough to make a person weep especially the pictures of the young innocents. I can’t, I don’t even want to think about the terror they must have felt before shrapnel ripped them from our midst.

    Elsewhere on Tuesday however, – and there is always an however in that region – a Grad missile (45Kg warhead), supplied by Iran, smuggled through a tunnel from Egypt to Gaza, and launched from Gaza, scored a direct hit on a nursery school in southern Israel. Fortunately, there were no toddlers in the building at the time.

    I’m not one for using the ghoulish count of innocents killed as a macabre aggregate for my moral indignation. But, and God help me for saying it, if that nursery had been packed, would Israel now be winning the “PR” war?

    Pity the Nations indeed.

  36. Abdul _– I haven’t mentioned Warsaw, though one of my contributors did in an earlier piece. As far as I understand it, there’s no requirement for mass murder in the definition of a ghetto.

    Wikipedia seems to be the currency here, so I’ll quote from it as follows:

    A ghetto is described as a “portion of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure.”

    A ghetto is formed in three ways:

    * As ports of entry for racial minorities, and immigrant racial minorities.
    * When the majority uses compulsion (typically violence, hostility, or legal barriers) to force minorities into particular areas.
    * When economic conditions make it difficult for minority members to live in non-minority areas.

    Gaza seems to fit that description, would you agree?

  37. Bock, – I would agree with your description as outlined above.

    My problem with the use of the term “ghetto” in the context of Gaza is that some people are inviting subliminal comparisions with the Warsaw ghetto where up to half a million people were starved to death, executed and eventually transported to their deaths.

  38. Abdul — Well, sauce for the goose. For years the Israelis have invoked the Shoah, subliminally and sometimes explicitly. They can’t have it both ways.

  39. Abdul
    The Nazis where able to conquer Poland and create the ghettos because long before european leaders followed a politic of appeasement. Of turning a blind eye.
    They let the apartheid slide thinking it would not turn to genocide.
    I do not believe that Israel would go that far, but how far is far enough.

  40. Bock, how does one subliminally evoke the Shoah? I suppose those nasty influential Zionists have started using mass hypnosis over the airwaves, which they of course control. I know this because Chomsky said it.

  41. It’s easy enough to invoke something subliminally by touching on parallel, related matters. This is especially true of the Holocaust, which was such an abomination that it carries hundreds of trigger-points for all of us.

    Thank you for alerting me to this. I’ll write a post on it when the Israelis finally grow tired of murdering people in Gaza.

  42. -thesytemworks
    If you can be subliminaly manipulated into buying something you don’t want or need, then you can be manipulated into thinking something. In fact passive manipulation, such as PR where the raget is your opinion, is much easier to achieve than than proactive manipulation, where you are required to do something after (such as go to the shop and pay for something).
    If you look at the work of Edward Bernays, the father of modern advertising and PR (originaly Press Relations, which he chose because of the negative conotations associated with the word ‘propoganda’) you will see that it is almost entirely based on the work of his uncle, Sigmund Freud.
    If you can be manipulated into associating a certain product, a car say, with a thought or emotion, masculinity or virility in the case of the car, than you can be manipulate into associating Israel and the Shoah. It’s just marketing. And it is evil.
    To quote the excellent Terry Pratchett;
    You sell the sizzle, not the sausage

  43. C’est La Craic, thanks for the anti-capitalist diatribe I could have heard in any Student’s Union bar of a liberal arts college. But it doesn’t explain how Israel can ‘subliminally evoke’, as Bock puts it, the Shoah.

  44. c’est thank you for your excellent response to
    “subliminally evoking the shoah”
    isn’t it amazing though that sometimes people choose to focus on the “play of words” rather than the content.

    the systemworks; its a very tired ploy, to fall back on the old “students” and “liberal arts” comparison just to be cynical and avoid genuine debate.

    The fear amongst Israelis commited to the path of suppression is that if they are not strong in the way they are told to be, they will weaken the collectivity and find themselves with nothing.
    There is nothing like “evoking the shoah” to flick that switch and obtain mass approval for mass murder.
    When anybody relinquishes the effort of “free thinking” they become vulnerable to “living in fear”
    We could in Ireland fall victim to “subliminal evoking of the famine” were we to become victims of what is being touted regarding our economic environment, because fear gathers momentum when voiced by the collective.

  45. -thesystemworks
    It’s not anti-capitalist diatribe, simply the way publicity, marketing and PR works. I’ve never been to the Student’s Union bar in a liberal arts college like you so I wouldn’t know what they talk about there. If you don’t believe me, go and read up on Edward Bernays and form your own opinion.

    How about these quotations from Ehud Olmert
    “The Jewish people, on whom the scars of the Holocaust are deeply etched, cannot allow itself to again face a threat against its very existence,”
    “In the past, the world remained silent and the results are known. Our role is to prevent the world from repeating this mistake.”
    “we are paying close attention and are more sensitive than any other people to threats of extermination”

  46. – anti-capitalist

    – diatribe

    – Student’s Union

    – bar

    – liberal arts

    – college

    Many weasel words there my friend.

    Are you just a learner or do you have a full apologist’s licence? You’re still a bit transparent if you don’t mind me saying so.

  47. Not really sure where is the right place to post this, but i’m choosing here, don’t want to go off topic.
    The Israeli government are now trying to ban Arab parliamentarians from the upcoming elections, because surprise surprise they are opposing the war crimes in Gaza.
    The tide of world opinion is turning very rapidly against the actions of Israel, they seem to be clinging to the death throes of the Bush regime.
    Ehud Olmert himself called Bush before the U.N. Sec council voted on the ceasefire resoulution, to tell him the U.S. had to abstain, apparantly Condeleeza Rice was even taken aback.

  48. Look wht I found on Yahoo News:

    ICRC: Israel’s use of white phosphorus not illegal

    By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press Writer Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jan 13, 10:10 pm ET

    GENEVA – 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 the incendiary agent is being used improperly or illegally.

    The comments came after a human rights organization accused the Jewish state of using white phosphorus, hich ignites when it strikes the skin and burns straight through or until it is cut off from oxygen. It can cause horrific injuries.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross urged Israel to exercise “extreme caution” in using the incendiary agent, which is used to illuminate targets at night or create a smoke screen for day attacks, said Peter Herby, the head of the organization’s mines-arms unit.

    “In some of the strikes in Gaza it’s pretty clear that phosphorus was used,” Herby told The Associated Press. “But it’s not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way.”

    In response, the Israeli military said Tuesday that it “wishes to reiterate that it uses weapons in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used in accordance with the type of combat and its characteristics.”

    Herby said that using phosphorus to illuminate a target or create smoke is legitimate under international law, and that there was no evidence the Jewish state was intentionally using phosphorus in a questionable way, such as burning down buildings or consciously putting civilians at risk

    However, Herby said evidence is still limited because of the difficulties of gaining access to Gaza, where Palestinian health officials say more than 900 people have been killed and 4,250 wounded since Israel launched its offensive late last month. Israel says the operation aims to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks over the border.

    Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of firing phosphorous shells and warned of the possibilities of extreme fire and civilian injuries. The chemical is suspected in the cases of 10 burn victims who had skin peeling off their faces and bodies.

    White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon.

  49. Bock; agreed, but he who pays the piper….?
    Does’nt call for admiration, Condi not making a stand, hardly surprising.

    Thesystemworks; Well thats all righty then…..from your perspective only.

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