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Israel must stop Gaza offensive and discuss peace

by The3rdColumn Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 04:14:12 PM EST

This political commentary by Peter Brookes of The Times may be in cartoon form but it seriously depicts the Gaza situation: Israeli forces re-enter Gaza one day after pulling out and leaving a Palestinian baby girl dead. There will be scores and scores of deaths again.

Condi Rice who is back in the Middle East Rice to try to save the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may find it difficult to persuade an Israel that's clearly on a war momentum to stop their offensive. Seems the White House has lost a great deal of influence on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who, even as we speak, is boasting that Israel has power to defend itself against Iran.

I don't doubt Israel's capacity to defend itself against Iran -- a lot of the yearly US$ 2 billion in US aid it receives is spent (or roughly 75% of that aid) in buying the most sophisticated hardware to beef up Israel's military capability, but this is not the point. Let's take things one day at a time...

Israel must stop its Gaza offensive and go back to the negotiating table! Why is that so difficult to do? What do they actually want to happen? Stop only when the Palestinians have been driven and drowned in the Red Sea?

The current Israeli politicians would lose all power if there was peace.

Therefore no peace.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 04:49:04 PM EST
by The3rdColumn on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 05:40:02 PM EST
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What I don't understand is CNN headlining Israeli forces entering Gaza anew while Washington Post (above) announced that Israel troops withdrew from Gaza...

Background news:

The latest surge in hostilities between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip left 116 Palestinians dead, according to Dr. Moawiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, making it the deadliest fighting in Gaza in a year. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting in northern Gaza on Saturday, and one Israeli civilian was killed last Wednesday by rocket fire in the border town of Sderot.
by The3rdColumn on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 05:44:54 PM EST
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What do they actually want to happen?

Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai has already given that answer.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 06:14:55 PM EST

Incredible that he could even utter the term.

by The3rdColumn on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 06:18:53 PM EST
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It is just not interested in any "peace process" as long as Hamas is in power.

The Gaza Bombshell: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com

After failing to anticipate Hamas's victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
by generic on Tue Mar 4th, 2008 at 06:55:28 PM EST
Thanks for the link. Never trusted Republican Party stalwarts of astuteness when it comes to international affairs. They tipify the so-called Ugly American.
by The3rdColumn on Wed Mar 5th, 2008 at 01:03:36 PM EST
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I Agree Israel's overreaction to the missle assault is also politically motivated but has Hamas offered a ceasefire in order to start negotiations? Are missle attacks indiscriminately into the country of Israel any less onerous than Israel's reaction?

Please tell me how you would like Israel to negotiate with Hamas when Hamas is launching rockets into the country and has vowed to never recognize Israel. Where is the solution?

It certainly isnt through the third party of the US considering the debacle in Iraq and the attempted coup of Hamas, apparently. But in your perfect world; what should Israel do and Hamas do in order to get to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith?

by An American in London on Thu Mar 6th, 2008 at 06:26:52 AM EST
don't be silly. there have been ceasefires, withdrawals since whenever, it doesn't make any difference. Not whilst a militarist society is determined to steal all the land from its victims. How about the Israelis conceding the Palestinians right to exist ? To have homes and farms and water and borders and not be subject to occupation forces who take land whenver it suits them and considers the untermenschen expendable if they look upset at such theft.

The month that Israel withdrew from Gaza it sequestered more land in the West Bank than it gave up in Gaza. There is no good faith on either side, but one side is armed to the teeth and unafraid to demonstrate its eliminationist intent and one side has firecrackers to announce its dismay.

Why should Hamas give up its only bargaining position to achieve nothing except yet one more promise from Israel that they won't be nasty for a couple of days ? I have no idea how this works, any more than you do, but I'd imagine that when Israel seriously considers dismantling the occupation of the West Bank, maybe Hamas may seriously consider accepting Israel. But till then, fuggedabout it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 6th, 2008 at 07:12:16 AM EST
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Hamas tells Egypt it is ready to discuss truce with Israel, Shalit deal | Ha'aretz | Feb 15, 2008:One example of many. Israel's argument against a ceasefire is always the same - Hamas would use it as an excuse to rearm, and Israel is close to defeating them anyway. As for the first argument, they seem to have no problem rearming anyway, and Israel could use the ceasefire to build up defenses. As for the second argument, I don't think any comment is needed.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 6th, 2008 at 07:43:10 AM EST
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Please tell me how you would like Israel to negotiate with Hamas when Hamas is launching rockets into the country and has vowed to never recognize Israel. Where is the solution? - An American in London

I can see no complete solution, and as some of the greatest minds in the world have considered this problem and not found a solution I am not surprised at my own failure.

That said the stronger party is Israel and it is Israel that is therefore perceived as the bully. This makes Israel doubly wrong:

  • As the stronger party they should show magnanimity and statesmanship by offering to take the first step - however often they have to do it.

  • Secondly by oppressing a people who are clearly not going to accept oppression they are making the solution more and more difficult to find.

No war can be won unless you, ultimately, overcome the will of the people to resist. Gerald Templar put it well in the confrontation in Malaya in the 1950s when he said that the only way to bring the communist/terrorists out of the jungle was to win the hearts and minds of the people. In Malaysia today there is still an very weak undercurrent of ethnic Chinese based communist feeling. However it is too weak to do anything significant and those most violently opposed to any reversion to revolt are those ethnic Chinese who are now educated people with a secure job and a future for themselves and their children.

As I say I am not sure what the solution is but I do not believe we will bomb Hamas into submission.

by The3rdColumn on Mon Mar 10th, 2008 at 06:07:58 PM EST
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