Sunday, January 4. 2009
Posted by Nanne Zwagerman in on Sunday, January 4. 2009
The Washington Post's Grif White reports that Israeli troops have moved into the Gaza strip. Some notes:
Two weeks after the start of Israeli operations in Gaza in 2006, Hezbollah launched a strike into Israel that killed three soldiers, and two were taken hostage, purportedly to swap for Lebanese hostages still held by Israel. This set off the 2006 Lebanon War. Israeli ground forces did not have their best day in that war, but Hamas is no Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the AFP has a report in which various analysts predict that Hezbollah will not get itself involved in the current conflict.
Israel is signalling that this will be a longer operation. From the Post piece: One spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich, said on CNN that it would be a "lengthy operation" because "we have many, many targets."
These targets could include others than Hamas. In a Terrorism Focus series on the fall-out of the Iraq war, earlier in December, Michael Scheuer wrote about the growing foothold of Salafists in the Gaza Strip:
In Palestine, there seems to be a minor Salafi presence in the West Bank but a steadily growing military and proselytizing presence in Gaza. The above noted “Army of Islam” and several other Salafi organizations have created training facilities in Gaza and have displayed them to the international media, defiantly proclaiming, “We are coming Jews!” (Reuters, September 2; see also Terrorism Focus, September 24; for other Salafi groups active in Gaza, see Terrorism Monitor, April 17). They have, to date, conducted some attacks on the Israeli army when its units were engaged in raids in Gaza, and have attacked Christian and American targets in Gaza (Reuters, September 1; Jerusalem Post, October 21). The Salafi groups in Gaza claim they receive funding locally and “are linked to the brothers of the al-Qaeda organization only from an ideological point of view” (adnkronos.com, September 2). That said, their members have been reported chanting slogans supporting bin Laden and al-Qaeda while they are undergoing training activities (al-Arabiyah TV, September 3).For the times when the road to Jerusalem went through Baghdad...
What are your thoughts?
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Pamela - #1 - 2009-01-04 15:07 -
John in Michigan, USA - #1.1 - 2009-01-05 04:19 -
"But the kindest thing that could be done for the Palestinians is to defeat them utterly. It was done to the Germans and the Japanese and their master-race, exterminationist ideologies. We are all better for it." I agree that mainstream Palestinian ideology is exterminationist, while mainstream Israeli ideology is not. And broad analogiess to WW II of course are natural. However, it is easy to take the analogy too far. For example, the "home" of Nazism was in Germany/Austria; the "home" of Japanese imperialism was in Japan. However, the "home" of the Hamas/Hezbolla movement is not Palestine/Jerusalem. It is their cause, but not their ideological "home". It is mostly a proxy, symbol, or stalking horse for a much larger movement which some call Islamism, a movement whose ideology could portray an Israeli rout of Hamas or even Hezbolla as merely a temporary setback. An appropriate analogy might be if the allies in WW II had only focused on liberating France and the Phillipenes, instead of demanding unconditional surrender. Unconditional surrender served to utterly discredit Nazism and Japanese imperialism. I don't think the Israeli goal is to re-conquer Gaza. They just want to "pacify" it and then leave. Indeed, I don't think any conceivable Israeli victory in the region West of the river Jordan would be enough to utterly discredit Islamism in the way suggested by your analogy. I believe there [i]are[/i] ways to discredit Islamism, but that is a big topic. For now let's just say that the road to Jerusalem could go through many places; Baghdad had the advantage of being unexpected, and also a front that Islamists couldn't afford to ignore, or to loose...unlike Gaza. The best Israel can hope for from a victory in Gaza is a few years, perhaps even a decade, of (relative) calm on that frontier. Which is worthwhile for its own sake, although the cost will be high for both sides. In any case, that victory would be of a completely different character than was the victory in WW II. As to Ilka Schroeder's view about Palestinian cannon fodder, well she certainly doesn't mince words! It is refreshing to know that there are (a few) voices in Europe that can occasionally speak about Europe with the same extreme cynicism as they use when speaking about the US almost every day.
Zyme - #1.2 - 2009-01-05 12:25 -
What I can fully understand is the Israli procedure now - which country would tolerate having a rocket launching opposition in the neighbourhood? What I cannot understand is why we have become involved in the conflict of another stony place of desert country. What was the use of delievering weaponry and other support for Israel during the last few decades? Did it help to defuse the conflict? Obviously not. But what if we cease this support and continue our thriving business with the Arabs of the region? Including resuming weapons export to these countries I am willing to bet that in this case over time the conflict would come to an end and a higher grade of stability would become established in the region. Btw - If the EU uses the Palestinians as a proxy (quite an interesting theory), then most certainly Israel is America's proxy in the region as well. Now I would consider the EU role quite beneficial towards re-establishing stability by supporting the other side now. But this does not apply to various intra-European governments (most notably the German government), which have supplied Israel far too long and thus prolonged the conflict.
Pamela - #1.2.1 - 2009-01-05 13:55 -
" I am willing to bet that in this case over time the conflict would come to an end and a higher grade of stability would become established in the region." Oh, you're quite right Zyme. The conflict as currently structured would indeed come to an end. Because Israel would no longer exist. "Btw - If the EU uses the Palestinians as a proxy (quite an interesting theory), then most certainly Israel is America's proxy in the region as well." I think you may be missing her point. She is very explicit that the Palestinians are the EU's proxy AGAINST THE U.S. There is an argument to be made that Israel is a proxy of the U.S., but certainly not against the EU.
Zyme - #22.214.171.124 - 2009-01-05 18:31 -
"There is an argument to be made that Israel is a proxy of the U.S., but certainly not against the EU." Surely not intended againt the EU. Although the EU directing its proxy against American influence would be only natural: With the Americans traditionally entrenched there via Israel you would have to pick its opponont as your own proxy if you wanted to compete. "Because Israel would no longer exist." Well countries appear and disappear over time. My point is that I don't see a point in upkeeping a nation against great odds just to perpetuate a conflict forever. And since Europeans arguably have better relations with the Arabian world than with Israel, the preference would be only logical.
Pamela - #126.96.36.199.1 - 2009-01-05 22:14 -
"Well countries appear and disappear over time. My point is that I don't see a point in upkeeping a nation against great odds just to perpetuate a conflict forever. And since Europeans arguably have better relations with the Arabian world than with Israel, the preference would be only logical." Am I to understand that your position is that it is in Europe's interest to have Israel destroyed?
Zyme - #188.8.131.52.1.1 - 2009-01-06 07:39 -
"Am I to understand that your position is that it is in Europe's interest to have Israel destroyed?" My position is that we have no interest in upkeeping it and that a higher grade of regional stability can be achieved by treating all sides as equals - which also means exporting weapons to both sides (meaning Israel and its neighboring countries), while both sides have to actually pay for the fun at the same time. What they see then believe is best in their interest would be up to them. No reason for us to interfere.
John in Michigan, USA - #184.108.40.206.1.1.1 - 2009-01-06 09:41 -
"What they see then believe is best in their interest would be up to them. No reason for us to interfere" So naturally, when Israel decided it was in its interest to put up a fence, you immediately realized how this would promote stability, and spoke out against those in Europe who would condemn the fence?
Zyme - #220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 - 2009-01-06 22:28 -
"So naturally, when Israel decided it was in its interest to put up a fence, you immediately realized how this would promote stability, and spoke out against those in Europe who would condemn the fence?" Well actually I didn't speak out - this was an interior affair in a small country far away, nothing to speak out about. But I could understand the motivation behind building the wall. I simply found it interesting and worth a try.
Kevin Sampson - #22.214.171.124.2 - 2009-01-06 00:37 -
The Final Solution by proxie, with Germany playing the role of Albert Speer. History does repeat itself.
influx - #126.96.36.199.2.1 - 2009-01-06 01:31 -
Hate to burst your Nazi bubble, Kevin, but chancellor Merkel stood out in Europe by giving her full support to Israel. Germany has been extremely supportive of Israel for the last 60 years, for obvious reasons. Call me crazy, but I still think she's somewhat more representative of that country than "zyme".
Pat Patterson - #188.8.131.52.2.1.1 - 2009-01-06 02:24 -
What Chancellor Merkel did say was that Hamas started it but essentially Israel has no right to finish the fight. Along with the thundering herd of Palestinian apologists Merkel said that Israel's response was "...disportionate." http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,598724,00.html A clay head to go along with the clay feet.
Pat Patterson - #184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 - 2009-01-06 02:27 -
Disproportionate, lost a syllable there!
Pat Patterson - #18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 - 2009-01-06 11:15 -
Correct, Merkel didn't say disproportionate, sloppy reading on my part. The thundering herd of apologists comment still stands.
nanne - #126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 - 2009-01-06 08:48 -
The SPIEGEL writes that 'others' have said the attacks are disproportionate, not Merkel.
influx - #184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 - 2009-01-06 10:19 -
Thanks for linking to the article I was looking for, Pat. It would be helpful if you actually read the things you link to, though. Here's another quote from the article: "(Merkel) was very clear about where the blame should lie for the renewed Palestinian-Israeli violence in the Middle East. Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by phone, she said responsibility for the three-day-old Israeli air offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip lies "clearly and exclusively" with Hamas, according to government spokesman Thomas Steg. A statement on the Chancellery Web site referred to Israel's "legitimate right" to defend its people and territory." Clay head, indeed.
John in Michigan, USA - #18.104.22.168.3 - 2009-01-06 02:07 -
"I don't see a point in upkeeping a nation against great odds just to perpetuate a conflict forever" But are you willing to be consistent? Why not stop supporting Palestine? If both sides disarmed, Israel would be self-sufficient as long as it were permitted to trade with the rest of the world. Palestine would self-destruct without daily infusions of aid. In fact, even with the aid it seems determined to self-destruct. So what is the point of upkeeping Palestine?
Zyme - #22.214.171.124.3.1 - 2009-01-06 07:35 -
"But are you willing to be consistent? Why not stop supporting Palestine?" Maybe they are really considered to be the foothold for EU influence there and respectively supported. Also it surely serves us a deal of reputation in the Arabian world. Last but not least the electorate at home might play a role. Supporting poor Palestine is considered to be a humanist duty or something here.
John in Michigan, USA - #126.96.36.199.3.1.1 - 2009-01-06 09:27 -
In other words, no, you are not willing to be consistent. It also seems you end up suggesting that prolonging the conflict by preventing a decisive Palestinian defeat some how serves humanitarian goals? I'm not trying to twist your words, it just seems like that's were your train of thought leads?
Zyme - #188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 - 2009-01-06 22:40 -
"It also seems you end up suggesting that prolonging the conflict by preventing a decisive Palestinian defeat some how serves humanitarian goals? I'm not trying to twist your words, it just seems like that's were your train of thought leads?" Well preventing a decisive Palestinian defeat is certainly serving more than helping the Israelis. Look no matter how many battles the Isrealies "win" against their adversaries, the reason for war of the surrounding neighbours does not go away - thus the conflict is prolonged. How many reasons for war would remain though should the other side gain an equal or even the upper hand?
quo vadis - #2 - 2009-01-05 18:24 -
Israel really has few options at this point. Something dramatic would be needed to defuse the situation to an extent that the hardliners would be marginalized among the Palestinians in Palestine and the neighboring countries. I would be advocating something like the right of return for Palestinians, but at this point I think that would simply turn Israel into something worse than Lebanon at the height of the civil war. In a sense, the countries that Israel defeated in 1967 and 1973 have won the larger war. They have turned the most modern, democratic, and arguably most secular country in the region into an international pariah denounced the world over and damaged the US in the bargain and nobody has any practical idea how to turn the situation around.
Pam - #2.1 - 2009-01-05 23:24 -
Marie Claude - #2.1.1 - 2009-01-06 22:37 -
Pamela - #220.127.116.11 - 2009-01-06 23:16 -
"the french anti-americanism is a response to the french bashing," No. It is not. It has roots hundreds of years old. Please read the article on A Genealogy of Anti-Americanism that I linked to.
Marie Claude - #18.104.22.168.1 - 2009-01-06 23:32 -
um, Pamela, I'll read it tomorrow, for my argument defense, I'll quote your beloved Burke, (that put all the evilness on the french revolution), idea that has been endorsed by your conservatives, saying that this revolution is at the origin of the socialism, of the marxism, (even of the national socialism) the black fantaisy that fills the American spirit for crusades
Joe Noory - #22.214.171.124.1.1 - 2009-01-06 23:57 -
You're insane. Functionally, Hitler was a Bolshevik. Burke's critique was that the revolution ceased to be real when it degenerated into a power struggle between different strongmen who offered little or no democracy at all. These failed revolutionaries were "the right" in the prism you've put this in, even though the frame of reference is off by a mile. The notion of the "totalitarian (illusory) equality" expressed in mass movements, communism, trade-union action, etc., was a by-product of Europe in the 19th century. Burke was long-dead by then, and the mob that fell for red flags and strikes didn't develop a personal conception of freedom to any scale until the 1950s.
Marie Claude - #126.96.36.199.1.1.1 - 2009-01-07 00:45 -
my dear anti-enlighted fellow, your dead wrong, read a little more the enlightened conservative sites such as NR, AT, PJM, Townhall... they all say the same, the Frenchs are to blame for the 20th centuries deseases, but, I volontary acknoledge that you don't consider the Frenchs as enough important for being the motive of their Burke reference, you have lots of other frustration griefs against us, and I f...in don't care
Joe Noory - #188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 - 2009-01-07 14:27 -
NR, PJM, and Townhall have said that the French are responsible for the 20th century's worst problems? Isn't this just about your lack of clarity when it comes to your nationalism? If that isn't just your vanity, then prove to me that NR, PJM, and Townhall have said that. If it's out there, prove it.
Marie Claude - #220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 - 2009-01-07 14:43 -
yeah, must be my vanity LMAO, that person like J. Golberg advocated it and his alikes, um "the surrender-monkey" formule was of his' and your a bad A...
John in Michigan, USA - #22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.1 - 2009-01-08 02:34 -
Jonah Goldberg will be shocked and flattered to learn that the French think he is continuing the tradition of Edmund Burke. Goldberg is a decent writer, but no towering intellect. It is a bit like saying the writing staff of Les Guignols are the heirs to the tradition of Voltaire. Heirs to Rousseau, certainly, in fact the puppets are an improvement; but heirs to Voltaire? Impossible.
Marie Claude - #188.8.131.52.2 - 2009-01-07 12:03 -
um, can ou repost the link ?
Pamela - #184.108.40.206.2.1 - 2009-01-07 15:06 -
of course. http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=A6C56CF6-4E0D-4CEA-B9A1-F7B0ED2BECF1 (and what are you talking about reL my 'beloved Burke'? I don't recall ever referring to him.
Marie Claude - #220.127.116.11.2.1.1 - 2009-01-07 16:59 -
Pamela - #18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 - 2009-01-08 15:46 -
Marie Claude, we should start a book club! Re: Himmelfarb: I have not read her - ever. I understand she is widely respected in some conservative circles, but I have no opinion either way. Did you know she is William Kristol's mother? Thank's for the Burke quote - and book reference. I shall use both. As for your comment: "well about your link, interesting, though it quoted Jefferson and Franklin, both french philosophers admirers, especially voltaire for Jefferson the anti-americanism that is described correspond more to german philosophers reference". I did not mean to imply that anti-Americanism is a solely French phenomnon. The article (and the book) cover all of European thought. But French thought has contributed to it greatly (see the theory of degeneracy as outlined at the link for starters). A little irony here, thanks to your Himmelfarb link: How much does the intellectual actually contribute - to anything?
Pamela - #2.2 - 2009-01-06 16:08 -
Here's more info for you qv. -------------- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stunned visiting foreign ministers Monday when he said he wanted Israel to emerge as the winner in the current conflict in Gaza. The European foreign ministers, headed by Karel Schwarzenberg of the Czech Republic, whose country currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, met with Mubarak in Cairo before travelling on to Jerusalem. The ministers met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni after arriving in Jerusalem and briefed her on their discussions with the Egyptian president. It was at that meeting that ministers confided that Mubarak had told them 'Hamas must not be allowed to emerge from the fighting with the upper hand.' http://story.irishsun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/2411cd3571b4f088/id/450062/cs/1/
iskender kebab - #3 - 2009-01-12 04:03 -
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