Thursday, August 18, 2011

Israel attacked by Palestinian terrorists - but the BBC focusus on Gaza

As another Israeli bus packed with civilians is attacked by gunmen near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, the impartial, unbiased, fair and neutral BBC carries the headline 'Israel pounds Gaza'.

And instead of leading with news of Israel's seven dead (which chronologically precipitated the 'pounding'), the BBC opens with:
At least six people, including a senior militant, were killed in the air strikes, Palestinian sources said.
And then we get a list of Gaza's wounded and dead, quoting numerous 'Palestinian sources and residents'. The BBC also quotes Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television, but not a peep of a reference to (say) Haaretz or The Jerusalem Post. And for some reason Auntie omits to mention that some of the terrorists were wearing Egyptian uniforms.

His Grace just thought you might like to know.

No charge for the service.

Here's what they do to Israeli buses, by the way:

But the BBC probably won't be showing that, either.


Blogger LAFREUD said...

your grace the difference is that israel claims to be a democracy. therefore retributive justice has no place in their response, however 'pounding civilians' is always their goto. terrorists bomb people. govts shouldn't do so as a response to terrorism. collective punishment is a warcrime.

18 August 2011 at 21:51  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Effing muslims. That's what they do. If they defeat the Jews in Israel, they'll do the same to us here in England. For goodness' sake, people,wake up and confront the enemy. Wherever you find him. If he's behind a tree, then the tree will cry out, here, Christian, here Jew, is a muslim. Do to him the same that allah entreats his muslims to do to you. No more, no less.

18 August 2011 at 22:12  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

john in cheshire

Yep, a very "white, Christian and civilised" response.

May God have mercy on the souls of the dead and bring just and lasting peace to the Middle East.

18 August 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

The Guardian was (believe it or not!) exactly the same when it first published the report. It has now, however, modified it so that it starts with the attack on Israelis.

Which was, apparently, "audacious".

18 August 2011 at 22:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

Israel has no future. They need to talk, seriously talk, with the Palestinians who are never going to go away...

18 August 2011 at 22:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

LAFREUD said...

your grace the difference is that israel claims to be a democracy. therefore retributive justice has no place in their response, however 'pounding civilians' is always their goto. terrorists bomb people. govts shouldn't do so as a response to terrorism. collective punishment is a warcrime.

Which translated means "The Palestinians can kill Israeli civilians with impunity, and there is nothing the Israelis can do about it." Let me take a wild guess here, and suggest that Lafreud doesn't live in Israel. In fact, I bet he doesn't live anywhere near anyplace where Palestinains blow up busses.

So give me some civilized suggestions, Lafreud. Do you have any useful ideas that aren't either:

1) So laughably stupid they don't deserve consideration (e.g. issuing arrest warrants for the perpetrators.)

2) An effective surrender to terrorist tactics (e.g. giving the Palestinians what they want as a reward for blowing up busses.)

3) An acknowledgement that letting Palestinian terrorists blow up some number of civilians in busses is a necessary price that must be paid by a civilized country.

I am sure the Israelis are very concerned over your disapproval so please do help them out.


18 August 2011 at 23:20  
Blogger Kieran E said...

My general opinion is that the BBC does occasionally fall short of total neutrality, and far too often on certain subjects, while remaining on the whole a trustworthy and balanced provider of news.

My problem is that so often opponents of the organization fly into hyperbolic rage at the supposed slants (in this case I feel His Grace is right to point out the evident bias being displayed and that it is too much, even though I will admit to generally being more inclined to be critical of Israel myself, for the most part as reasoned by Lafreud - solutions may indeed be very limited and the situation is horrendously convoluted, but one can feel sympathy that the Palestinians are often treated unfairly and believe Israel can act very inappropriately while still thinking Israel are themselves under immense pressures and dangers from some very immoral people) for the tiniest of perceived or actual slips in balance or neutrality, causing me to doubt their own sincerity and balance in their attacks as being concerned at the lack of balance and rather merely an attempt to undermine those with a differing opinion - though I stress I do not feel that is the case here, as I said. A difficult conundrum, as the background vitriol often displayed at a usually excellent service on the slightest pretext makes me wary of accusations in that direction, which can certainly prove to be valid.

In that sense, as in many others, I thank Your Grace for encouraging me to think about the sometimes unreasonable biases of even those I agree with, as well as intelligently, coherently and politely positing opinions that challenge me even when I am not swayed by the argument.

18 August 2011 at 23:24  
Blogger Henry_Tree said...

To Lafreud, Israel does not 'pound civilians'. She used as accurate targeting as possible and succeeded in killing the brain behind this latest terrorist atrocity. If the day ever comes when Israel responds to a barrage of rockets by returning a similar barrage back at Gaza then she would be pounding civilians. Meantime she aims at legitimate targets and you repeating Palestinian propaganda will not change the true facts.

18 August 2011 at 23:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Kieran E said...

[O]ne can feel sympathy that the Palestinians are often treated unfairly and believe Israel can act very inappropriately

The Palestinians and their Arab allies started a war of annihilation and lost it, and then started several more wars of annihilation and lost those as well. They aren't very happy with their defeat so they have decided to continue their war of annihilation by non-conventional means. The Palestinians are weak relative to the Israelis so they fight with the tools available to them. These bus attacks are not just terrorist attacks. They are the deliberate policy of a leadership executing non-conventional warfare in order to achieve Palestinian political objectives.

So, no, I do not have sympathy for the Palestinians. In fact, I cannot imagine a cause for which I have less sympathy. Nor do I think they have been treated unfairly. In fact, I believe the Israelis have responded with unbelievable restraint to the level of provocation imposed upon them. It is only the civilized nature of the Israeli state that protects the Palestinians and allows them to conduct these terrorist attacks. Most other countries in the world wouldn't have a 'Palestinian problem' because what remains of the Palestinians would line the burning streets impaled on sticks.


19 August 2011 at 00:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Lafreud, a reality check, if I may, although I may be repeating what other said.

Israel actually is a democracy, by all definitions and evidence. "Retributive justice," which I'm guessing you confuse with revenge, is a legal and morally sound doctrine when the response is proportional or when it serves a preventative purpose, which the IDF strike accomplished by targetting and eliminating terrorist leaders. You seem to know little about what constitutes collective punishment or a war crime apart from what you might have absorbed from insipid slogans. Your supposedly general advice on what governments should or shouldn't do in response to terrorism is merely an old and fairly transparent attempt to question, critique and attempt to deligitimize any defensive action by Israel, and Israel only.

So, why don't we cut through this silliness? You are not a lofty democracy advocate, nor a a kindly humanitarian, nor someone knowledgable or interested in international or any other kind of justice; you simply want Jews and Jews only, to be murdered with impunity and without any recourse. You should be able to figure out what that makes you.

19 August 2011 at 00:11  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

19 August 2011 at 00:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi Barzel
" ... you simply want Jews and Jews only, to be murdered with impunity and without any recourse. You should be able to figure out what that makes you."

Why does criticism of Isreali defence policies equate with being anti-semitic?

Advocatating restraint and a search for a non-aggressive solution may be foolhardy. It doesn't mean wanting Jews to be murdered with impunity.

19 August 2011 at 00:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hello Dodo,

First of all, I didn't call Lafreud an antisemite, if that's what you're getting at. On the basis of her post here and a quick glance at her blog, I judge her to be a self-enamoured ditz...a "glamourpuss," as per her self-description. She'll move onto other things, but her arguments, such as they are, still need to be addressed.

Secondly, how do you turn a vapid blurb of one-sided cliches and libels into a "criticism of Israeli defense policies"? As I told you before, I believe and will continue to opine that singling out Israel, the Jewish nation state, and holding it up to higher or impossible standards, while ignoring the actions of other nations, including its enemies is plain and simple antisemitism. Unless the person in question lacks the sense to realize that, as in this case.

Thirdly, "advocating restraint," as you generously call this, by all parties everywhere is a legitimate activity. Advocating and directing restraint only against one party is a tactic designed to lead that party to defeat and in the case of Israel, destruction. This is no longer political thought or philosophy; it is a policy and a propaganda war against a nation and its people.

I don't expect the fate of Israel and Jews everywhere to be on top of your lists of concerns, Dodo, or even anywhere on a long catalogue of concerns. You know next to diddle about the topic, no skin off your back either, which is fine, but if you wish to lecture me on issues which don't really interest you, bring something that's more than the same old pap to the table, eh?

19 August 2011 at 01:57  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

On seeing the words Israel pounds, I thought for a moment you had done a post about Ezra Pound.

We cannot compete with Sovereign States that define themselves as Jewish or Muslim, when we are ourselves a State run by Jews and Muslims.

19 August 2011 at 06:22  
Blogger Kieran E said...

@ Carl Jacobs

That is one view. Personally I retain sympathy for both sides, which I tried to make clear (because one of the pitfalls of any discussion on Israel and Palestine seems to be one must be wary of being accused of hating Jews/Arabs if you express any hint of support or even just sympathy for the other side - and I would point out one can have sympathy for the suffering of evil people even, or perhaps just the countless innocents on any side who get caught up by the intranisgent hostility of others), because the facts as they appear to me seem to be about two sides who seem determined to continually provoke the other by their unwillingness to compromise or their inability to accept any hint of the position of the other.

I think very few people would deny Israel finds itself in a very difficult position, and of course often their responses are informed by inappropriate actions by Palestinians, but as a fence sitting waffler by nature I find myself generally very uncomfortable when one side or the other is cast wholly in the 'bad' side, though I would like to think on a case by case basis I would be able to determine who had acted more in appropriately - one of the more impactful statements I recall from a couple of historians I read at university, in response to criticism of the focus of their work, was a decrying of the general assumption that when you have two extremes the answer lies somewhere in the middle; it might, but it also might be more one way that the other.

I certainly would not be able to offer a solution to the quagmire that Israel/Palestine, and I will freely admit to chickening out by not attaching myself solely in defence of one side - it is too complicated for that for me, there is too much I do not know - all I felt was that I agreed with His Grace about the bias of the BBC article, even though I am inclined in these situations to be concerned with Israel's actions, even though this does not mean I am supportive of them being attacked either.

19 August 2011 at 07:55  
Blogger len said...

The BBC is a useful tool for the Palestinian Terrorists.
It can be relied upon to give an unbalanced lopsided view of whatever is going on with regards to Israel (always in favour of those who oppose Israel.)

In fact if you want the real news the BBC is the last place to go.

19 August 2011 at 07:55  
Blogger Gnostic said...

High time the Al Jabeeba scolex was ripped from the public teat, don'tcha think? The way these parasites take the hubristic and severely biased piss at our expense sickens me. All it will take is for people to just not pay their TV licence. What are they going to do? Lock us all up?

19 August 2011 at 07:56  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

I STRONGLY SUGGEST people actually LOOK AT WHAT THE BBC web-site says.
It is VERY CLEAR that the Israeli action is a RESPONSE to an initial terrorist attack.

I suggest that your unthinking gut-hatred of the BBC (Which I cannot understand) has blinded you.
Please note, however, that I can ONLY speak for my experience of the BBC, which does NOT include TV.
I don't HAVE a TV.

19 August 2011 at 08:27  
Blogger Henry_Tree said...

G. Tingey, The BBC headline said Israel pounds Gaza. Israel actually fired some six guided missiles into Gaza aimed at terrorist targets. When NATO attacks Gaddafi forces the BBC does not say "NATO pounds Libya". When the US fires drones and missiles into Pakistan aimed at Al Quieda the BBC does not say "America pounds Pakistan".

Why the squalid difference in biased headlines and reporting when Israel is involved.

19 August 2011 at 09:23  
Blogger I am Stan said...

Your Grace,

Will it be mankind,the Jews and the Muslims or Gods wrath the tectonic plates that finally tear the region asunder?, it will be one or the other.

Either way beware the aftershocks.....

19 August 2011 at 09:45  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi Barzel

Same old, same old from you in exile in Canada where the 'Natives' (i.e the indiginous peoples of Canada) appear to cause you so much anxiety.

Actually I am troubled by the middle east, as any thinking person must be. I just don't see it in the simplistic terms you appear to as "good Jews" verus "bad Muslims".

To present criticism of Iraeli policies as anti-sementic, as you clearly did, is unlikely to lead to a lasting solution. This conflict can only be settled by negotiation and compromise, not appeasement, in case you throw this at me. Alternatively, one side can seek to blow the other off the planet whilst the other wages terror and tries to win the propaganda war and enrage other Arab states. Meantime innocent people on both sides die.

That politics - the art of the possible.

19 August 2011 at 10:09  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Kieran E said...
My general opinion is that the BBC does occasionally fall short of total neutrality, and far too often on certain subjects, while remaining on the whole a trustworthy and balanced provider of news.

Really? I would have said that 20 years ago. Now it is a sorry shadow of then. On the USA, on the Middle East, on the EU and on AGW you simply CANNOT trust the BBC.

19 August 2011 at 10:59  
Blogger pounce_uk said...

On that bBC coverage of who was killed in Gaza:

"At least six people, including a senior militant, were killed in the air strikes, Palestinian sources said."

I think you will find that 5 of those killed were terrorists with the only civilian being a 13 year old boy.

19 August 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger peedeel said...

All you need is love...

This link may be of interest:

"They [Israelis] know for certain that our [Palestinian] roots are deeper than their false history. We, from the balcony of our home, look out over [Islamic] holiness and on sin and filth (Jews' praying at Western Wall) in an area that used to have [Arab] people and homes. We are drawing our new maps. When they [Israelis] disappear from the picture, like a forgotten chapter in the pages of our city's history, we will build it anew (residential area). The Mughrabi Quarter will be built here (on the Western Wall Plaza)."

It shows the terrible depths of the problem, if nothing more.Both sides think themselves God’s chosen and without fault; historically, a fatal combination.

As to the BBC they are generally less biased than many other media suppliers of information (so called "NEWS"), both here and abroad. But let's be honest, no one is perfect in the media - I know, I've worked in and alongside it for forty-odd years.

19 August 2011 at 11:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

And what dark and hairy orifice did you pull the Canadian-natives-causing-me-anxiety notion from, Dodo? Where did I "clearly" say that criticism of Israeli policies is antisemitic? What is your evidence that conflicts can be settled only by negotiations and compromise? And what is the justification for your libel that Israel is trying to blow the Palestinians "off the planet," as you subtly (as subtly as a fart in a bathysphere) imply?

Please, Dodo, before you dismiss "simplistic terms" and go on to offer pre-chewed pabulum as alternatives, learn to accurately assess simple sentences by others and perhaps even more importanly, your own. Try an EMT language program. That would be, English as a Mother Tongue.

19 August 2011 at 12:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"...we are ourselves a State run by Jews and Muslims. (Bred in the Bone, 06:22)

And don't forget the Normans, Bred in the Bone. Going by names alone, your government and civil service corps seem to be crawling with them. And they immigrated after the Jews did.

19 August 2011 at 12:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo said ...

This conflict can only be settled by negotiation and compromise

If it is true that the conflict can only be settled by negotiation and compromise, then it naturally follows that the inability to reach a settlement has been caused by intransigence. Even if you grant that both sides have been intransigent, this logic does not make equal demands on both sides. Compromise and negotiation can only be achieved between equals, and the Israelis are by far the stronger party. In reality then, "compromise" means "Israeli concession to Palestinian aspirations" on the assumption that Israeli strength can afford to concede while Palestinian weakness cannot. Anything else becomes the dictation of power to weakness which by definition cannot be a true negotiation, and without true negotiation there cannot be true settlement.

And so is set in place an interesting dynamic that repeats over and over and over again. The Israelis make some concession to the Palestinians. The Palestinians take the concession and continue the non-conventional war of terror. Whereupon the Israelis are pressured to make more concessions and stop being so intransigent. When are the Palestinians held accountable for their behavior? Well, they aren't. They are the weaker party, and we began with an assumption that this conflict can only be solved by negotiation and compromise. To hold the Palestinians accountable is to reject that assumption. It means an admission that force must be applied to resolve the conflict. Many are they who simply will not face that fact. They prefer to look for the missing coin in the living room knowing full well it was lost outside. Why? Because a coin lost outside will never be found. Better the comfortable illusion than the cold hard fact.


19 August 2011 at 13:44  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

What a lot of biased twoddle from Cranmer. If he got up earlier he would have seen that headline had been Israelis injured by Gaza rockets. We now have 24 hour rolling news so as stories develop so the emphasis changes. But Zionist obsessed Cranmer would prefer not to notice that because it doesn't fit with his prejudice!

19 August 2011 at 13:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, I like the lost coin analogy very much.

Btw, the "weak Palestinians" meme is a concoction by the USSR and Arafat from the late 60s. Faced with the humiliation of Arab states losing to tiny Israel again and again, and giving up on the notion of a pan-Arab superstate, the KGB decided to "downsize" the scale by flipping self-identifying Arabs into "Palestinians." The conflict is not between Israel and "Palestinians," but between Israel and the Arab world, or more accurately between Israel and most Muslim nations.

Perhaps the next time Hamas sends rockets at the town of Sderot, the municipality should declare independence and peoplehood and answer with a nasty barrage of artillery and rocketry along the rocket's general trajectory. Regardless of the carnage and mayhem, our glorious "world community" will no doubt sympathise with a small, impoverished nationality defending itself against a heavily armed and internationally assisted entity such as Gaza. Or maybe not, since the Sderotese, be they mostly poor immigrants or not, are still Jews.

19 August 2011 at 14:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Something else should also be recognized. Israeli strength serves as the basis for minimizing the terror attacks. The claim is made that the Israelis have killed more Palestinians than Palestinians have killed Israelis. The implication is that the Israelis have more casualties to 'give' in order to equalize the books. This 'surplus' of unclaimed death is used to assert that the Israelis shouldn't complain when a bus is blown up.

And, although this won't be said out loud, it is also true that many realize the terror attacks are the only leverage the Palestinians maintain. If it weren't for those terror attacks, the Palestinian cause would have long since faded away. There would only be Israeli power, and power has no need to negotiate with weakness. So to avoid the conclusion that force could settle this issue, they tacitly accept that the terror attacks must occur so that there is some reason to negotiate. Here is where the Israelis get blamed for their own bus bombings. "If you would only compromise and agree to Palestinian aspirations, then there wouldn't be bus bombings. They wouldn't strike out at you from their rage and oppression."

Yep, that bus attack - it was all the Jew's fault. If only they would negotiate, the Palestinians wouldn't have to kill them.


19 August 2011 at 14:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Interesting points, Carl, and I need to think about them more. Offhand, I'd say, though, that terrorism by itself won't guarantee sympathy or assistance. Neither the Chechens, who have been pounded into submission, nor the Kurds who have a far better claim to nationhood than "Palestinians"...or most Arab nations for that matter...seem to benefit much from terrorism. Russia's past levelling of Grozny and the current Turkish bombardments and cross-border incursions generated very little commentary, much less outrage by the "humanitarians."

I would say that without the power of the petrodollar and the soon-to-end stranglehold Muslim oil producing countries have over the world, the "Palestinians," like the Sudeten Germans would have resettled and would have been forgotten. What would remain, of course, are the imperialistic claims of militant and political Islam over the entire Middle East, North Africa and let's not forget, large bits of southern Europe.

19 August 2011 at 15:06  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"And don't forget the Normans, Bred in the Bone"

I purposely left the Normans out of it Avi, because I am sick of hearing about that self obsessed tribe.

Yet another group who bled us dry in order to conquer the Holy Land.

19 August 2011 at 16:30  
Blogger Oswin said...

Man with NO Name : 22:28

Well, to be fair, that's rather the point John was making: the 'brown muslims' do work on that basis, don't they?

As for your other sentiments, I agree with you.

Carl Jacobs @ various, says it all, and eloquently so.

19 August 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi Barzel

On 17th August you wrote:
"The provincial one, (police) let the Natives take over private property, allowed them to carry arms and harass non-native neighbours. At the same time, non-natives in the area were barred from couter-demonstrating and were not allowed to fly the Canadian flag so as not to "enrage" the hoodlums.”

To whom were you referring when you used the terms 'Natives'?

You accuse me of a lack of subtlety?
You wrote:
" … you simply want Jews and Jews only, to be murdered with impunity and without any recourse. You should be able to figure out what that makes you."

Well, go on then tell me, what does it make her?

My evidence that conflicts can be settled either by negotiation and compromise or the final defeat of one side or another? History, dear chap.

Israel will not be able to settle this by retaliatory force or by imposing a settlement. That's reality. And the region is far too unstable at present to ignore wider Muslim and Arab sentiments.

19 August 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I saw a BBC TV report that barely mentioned Gaza, and very much stressed the details of the Palestinian attack. Should I be concluding that the BBC is biased in favour of Israel?

19 August 2011 at 19:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

carl jacobs

You do raise serious points. It seems to me however, that the way you have present the situation allows for only one of three possible outcomes.

If the Palestinians are fundamentally intransigent and as manipulative as you say, Israel will have to remove them or simply impose a settlement and enforce it.

Alternatively, the terror and Israel's morally defensible, some would say questionable, responses will unite the Muslim world against her and they will put their internal divisions aside. Eventually a military confrontation in the region will take place.

Or the situation could just fester without a resolution.

A bleak outlook. I'm more optimistic there can be a just settlement and that the extremists can be marginalised through discussion and compromise.

19 August 2011 at 23:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

No time to even read replies, not ignoring anyone; back on "duty" after my Sabbath ends and must go now. Have a great and safe weekend everyone.

20 August 2011 at 00:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


There is another possibility. If a significant percentage of Palestinians are willing to co-exist with Israel, then they could fight to destroy Hamas. That means a bloody, awful civil war. If there is ever to be a hope of a legitimate settlement, then the Palestinians must remove the intransigent element themselves. Your optimistic outlook therefore depends upon a civil war that will almost certainly never happen. It assumes that there exists a significant Palestinian faction willing to co-exist with Israel. It assumes there exists a significant faction willing to fight Hamas. It assumes there exists a significant faction that could defeat Hamas. None of these are even remotely likely. There will never be a legitimate settlement until Hamas is destroyed.

In the absence of an internal Palestinian solution, the only option the Israelis have is to impose a solution. I for one would not allow my population to be held hostage to these kinds of terror tactics. I would apply sufficient force to stop them. And I wouldn't be overly concerned about the level of pain required to achieve that objective.


20 August 2011 at 01:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


You may be right but then extremism will be fuelled and other Arab states will react.

If they're going to do this, and I hope they don't, it will need to soon. At the moment the surrouding states have internal difficulties. If radical Islam dominates then Israel's behaviour will unite them. Military conflict with a coordinated and strong coalition of Arab states is then a distict possibility.

You are right about Hamass needing to go but I don't think they represent the real will of the Palestinian people.

20 August 2011 at 01:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


What nations would comprise this 'coordinated and strong coalition of Arab states.' There is only one Muslim state that has a military that is worth a damn, and that is Turkey. They aren't Arabic. Iraq was functionally destroyed as a credible military in 2003. There does not exist a potential coalition of Arab states that could threaten Israel, even if they could overcome the internal strife, and form an actual coalition.

The Arab strategy is demographics and demoralization. It's a long-term strategy, and it has the potential to be lethal. It's also why the Palestinian terror attacks must be stopped. Those attacks are intended to demoralize the Israeli population - lower birth rates even further, discourage immigration, encourage emigration. That's why they will never ever stop.


20 August 2011 at 02:04  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


If you're right about the lack of military capacity on the part of the Arabs, why is Israel so fixated on a potential invasion from those countries surrounding them and so dettoermined to retain strategic sites?

I'm no expert on Arab military capacity but it seems to me if the Saudis aligned themselves with the likes of Iran, Egypt, Syria and others things could get serious. These states have the wealth to arm and to acquire nuclear weapons. Who is to say something like a united hatred against Israel would not cause this to happen?

20 August 2011 at 10:37  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Why is Israel so fixated on a potential invasion from those countries surrounding them and so determined to retain strategic sites?

They aren't fixated on invasion at the moment. They are fixated on non-conventional warfare. A secure border makes it hard for a bad guy to infiltrate. But they also haven't forgotten October 1973, and how close Israel came to disaster. Do you really not understand how close the Syrians came to breaking through the Golan in the first days of that war before the Israelis could mobilize? If the Israelis had not possessed the Golan, there might not have been an Israel in 1974. The only thing that saved Israel was the selfless courage of a few Tank battalions and the incompetence of the Syrian military. Even so, the Syrians almost won a spectacular victory.

Plus, there is water. Israel cannot leave its water supply in the hands of an hostile power.

The Saudis aligned themselves with the likes of Iran, Egypt, Syria...

Just think about that for a moment. The Royal House of Saud aligning itself with Baathist Syria and revolutionary Egypt and The Islamic Republic of Iran. It simply boggles the mind. Yes, they all hate Israel. But the also have more pressing regional interests. I guarantee you that Saudi Arabia is more concerned about Iranian power than Israeli attitudes toward Palestine.

These states have the wealth to arm and to acquire nuclear weapons.

A hegemonic regional power with nuclear weapons and a history of starting wars would have been very dangerous indeed. Here is where you thank GWB for having the vision to mitigate that risk eight years ago. Iraq was the one nation with the power to do what you are suggesting - unite the Arab world. It would have been by conquest, but Hussein could have done it.

Who is to say something like a united hatred against Israel would not cause this to happen?

A united hatred of Israel (which they already share) is not the same as a united coalition conducting war against Israel. How would they even manage it logistically? Do you think the Saudis want a bunch of non-Arab Iranian soldiers running around Saudi Arabia? Americans are one thing. The Iranians are dangerous. The Syrians and the Egyptians can combine to attack Israel as they have proven twice. But some grand coalition of Muslim powers is sheer fantasy. That grand coalition couldn't defeat Iraq in its heydey let alone Israel now.


20 August 2011 at 15:10  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Okay, if I understand you correctly, it sounds like Israel is reasonably secure regionally as a military power. It's threat is that of terrorist activity.

To me the approach to this should be one of removing civilian support from the terrorists. When deciding how to contain, control and retaliate to terror a factor should be the impact on the Palestinian population as a whole. A balance is needed between the quality of lives of ordinary Palestinians and defeating terrorism.

Alternatively, they could use superior force to impose a solution and suppress resistance. However, this would just feed terrorism.

20 August 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger len said...

The next annual session of the UN General Assembly opens on September 20th. The Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas has declared he is going to request that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, ask the UN security Council to declare Palestine a state with its own land and capital in East Jerusalem.

The dividing of the Land of Israel could and probably will be a deciding factor and a possible trigger for initiating the 'end time scenario.'

20 August 2011 at 16:58  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

By then Comet Elenin/Nibiri may have rendered any UN General Assembly discussion on Israel pointless.

If we are still here there may be bigger things to worry about.

20 August 2011 at 22:50  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ok, Dodo, first item: Natives. You said that I stress over our Natives, or someting to that effect. Anyone reading my post would quickly see that I stres over our provincial and city police leadership, and that the Caledonia Band Natives issue was one of the examples I gave of our police chiefs being poltroons and going after low hanging fruit instead. YBy your "logic" you can also conclude that I stress over G 20 summits, because that was another example I gave. You're not really playing cricket here, as you folks would say, are you? For the record, I don't stress over our Natives, most of whom are pleasant and decent people; I stress over the corruption of our police which decides when and how to uphold the law on the basis of political expediency and operational convenience.

As to what I think Lafreud is, I already offered a guess in my following posting. Again, I think that she is simply a fashion-driven lightwight to whom life-and-death political issues are as important as where to hang a painting or what kind of vase to get. If she were able to familiarise herself with the issues and reason this through, she would either conclude that selective criticism of Israel...or any nation for that profoundly unfair, or that Israel should indeed be subjected to different and harsher standards. The latter would make her an antisemite.

You say: "My evidence that conflicts can be settled either by negotiation and compromise or the final defeat of one side or another? History, dear chap. To which I reply: My evidence is that some conflicts can only be settled by a clear victory of one side over the other. One example: WW II.

And, "Israel will not be able to settle this by retaliatory force or by imposing a settlement. That's reality. And the region is far too unstable at present to ignore wider Muslim and Arab sentiments." That is not reality, Dodo, that is your unsupported opinion. For the record again, I disagree.

I enjoy debates, Dodo, but debates only work when both sides play by rules. By pulling that Natives bit from an unrelated post and out of all context to obviously make me look like a biggot, you come across not as a tough and clever rhetoretician, but as someone's bitter ex.

21 August 2011 at 13:00  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi Barzel

I do hope an Israeli leader will emerge who has more foresight and sophistication than you appear to.

By the way, you did imply that Lafreud was anti-semitic. Now you appear to be accussing her of being an airheaded woman. Oh, dear, oh, dear.

21 August 2011 at 14:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


To me the approach to this should be one of removing civilian support from the terrorists.

And how do you propose to do that? In the first place, you are making the not-so-hidden assumption that Palestinians support Hamas only as a reaction to Israeli action. Where is you evidence for this? Why do you assume a default position of good faith when there is no historical evidence to support it?

Second, you have already asserted that most Palestinians want to live in peace, so presumably they already do not support the terrorists. What then are they doing to enforce their disagreement? Is Hamas simply too strong to be opposed? You have already admitted that Hamas must be removed as a precondition for a lasting settlement. Who is going to remove Hamas and how?

Third, how do the Israelis go around Hamas and connect directly with the Palestinians? Should every terrorist attack be met with a concerted effort to increase Palestinian living standards? Any concession by the Israelis is first and foremost a concession to Hamas. It can claim credit for anything the Israelis do.

Fourth, how should the Israelis respond to terrorist attacks? Vague assertions about proportionate response do not provide sufficient detail to describe your thinking - especially to those of us who already think the Israelis have been more than proportionate. You sound suspiciously like you want to say "Respond to bloodshed with an olive branch." That will simply appear as weakness and make Hamas look stronger than it is.

When deciding how to contain, control and retaliate to terror a factor should be the impact on the Palestinian population as a whole.

Fine. Here is your chance. Put flesh on this skeleton. What should the Israelis do about the bus attack described in this article? How do the Israelis punish the terrorists while minimizing the impact on the Palestinian population as a whole?


21 August 2011 at 14:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


As much as I prefer Mr Netanyahu over other recent Israeli prime ministers, I too hope for a better leader; one who would more robustly defend the interests of Israel's citizens domestically and internationally. This means rejecting the evidently useless land-for-peace formula, rejecting attempts to selectively reinterpret international law and established treaties and resisting pressure to ghettoise Jews on their lands. Whether that is possible under the awkward Israeli party system and its left-tilting, EU-enamoured judiciary is another matter.

As for Lafreud, I implied that she either parrots fashionable antisemitic views without understanding them, which would make her an airhead, or that she understand the implication of her statements and is an antisemite. I don't know her from Adam, and giving the benefit of doubt, guessed the former to be the case. But, if it pleases you, I'll arbitrarily throw my judgement behind the latter and you can claim a victory on your score card on this point.

21 August 2011 at 15:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


How should Israel respond to the latest terrorist attack? Probably as she did but maybe with more acknowledgement that innocent people on both sides have died as a result of Hammas. The speech I saw Netanyahu give was openly belligerant, threatening and exclusively concerned with Israeli retaliation.

Tell me, when the Israelis withdraw from occuppied terrorities why must they wantonly destroy buildings? I know they were built by individuale enraged at having to leave but why not gift them to an impoverished people as a sign of goodwill as oppossed to demonstrating a begrudging concession?

Is there anyway Israel can help improve education, health care, employment, housing and the infrastructure in Palestinian territories? Rather than simply coraling Palestinians and Policing them, what about helping to improve their quality of life?

Does hate from an extremist group have to be returned with hate from the Israeli State?

21 August 2011 at 19:59  

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