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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 03:55 PM
Original message
Israel critics: How would you have handled things differently?
Hamas is a thorn in your side with a history of saying you shouldn't exist. Then one day they pull a smart one and abduct a soldier. You send in the troops to recapture him, but things just get all shooty instead. Then Hezbollah, a long time opponent funded by Iran, nabs two more soldiers on your north and starts lobbing missiles at your neighborhoods.

I'm in the camp that thinks Israel has played its hand badly here, what with the dead Lebanese civilians and all, and was probably acting out a pre-configured battle plan when it went after Hezbollah. But I'm curious what other critics of Israel think they should've done different. For the purpose of this discussion thread only, comments that involve taking actions before the current crisis are off topic. I'm not curious about long term solutions, but in avoiding short term violent outbreaks.

Israel supporters in the current crisis, get your rhetorical questions ready. Keep personal invective to a minimum. I'm interested in hearing (well, reading) different ideas about tactics to bring peace and ideas about what else I need to think about to understand this thing.
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The Deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. I Don't Know...
...maybe negotiate to exchange some Palestinian and Lebanonese prisoners for kidnapped soldiers like Sharon has done so many times in the past?
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Yep
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Truthiness Inspector Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. If that happened
and then Hezbollah came back into Israel and kidnapped more soldiers, and around and around. Why should Israel have to tolerate this? With your scenario, Hezbollah could just keep kidnapping and manipulating Israel for all eternity.

Good OP by the way.
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Euphen Donating Member (209 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
39. Why not just release the thousands held without charges then?
Anyway, releasing some prisoners seems better than killing hundreds of civilians.
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mediaman007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great Post! I think all of us can learn something from this!
It probably will demonstrate that none of us really know enough about the situation.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here is a real example of efforts that were quashed:
PRESS RELEASE
Drafted by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex

For immediate release 28.7.06

SHIN BET VETOED SECRET ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE AGREEMENT

Israeli and Palestinian Sources Concur: Israel Made War Inevitable

The Omega Institute (OI), which works closely with the Institute for Policy Research for Development (IPRD), has learned from Israeli and Palestinian sources that just prior to the current crisis, senior Hamas leaders were in active dialogue with Israeli religious leaders in a round of bilateral peace negotiations. Israeli negotiators included Rabbi Menachem Froman, former deputy leader and co-founder of the Israeli Settler movement Gush Khatif; Rabbi David Bigman, head of the liberal religious Kibbutz movement Yeshiva at Maale Gilboa; and Yitzhak Frankenthal, founder of the Arik Institute. Ongoing negotiations had resulted in a breakthrough peace understanding, which was to be announced at a press conference in Jerusalem to mark the launching of an extraordinary peace initiative. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had been briefed extensively about the initiative by Frankenthal. Also due to attend the conference were Khaled Abu Arafa, the Palestinian Cabinet Minister for Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhamed Abu Tir, senior Hamas Member of the Palestinian Parliament, and other senior Palestinian delegates.

The meeting was to announce a joint Israeli-Palestinian call for the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit who had been abducted by Hamas in Gaza, along with proposals for the beginning of the release of all Palestinian prisoners. These measures were to precipitate unprecedented new peace negotiations on a framework peace agreement, drawn on the 1967 borders. The presence of Palestinian Cabinet Officers and senior Israeli religious leaders in contact with the Prime Minster was to underline the seriousness of this peace proposal on both sides.

Just hours before the meeting was due to start, the Israeli Shin Bet internal Security Service arrested Abu Tir and Abu Arafa and warned them not to attend the meeting, under threats of detention. The meeting, which offered a major opportunity to obtain Shalits release and launch a new framework for peace, was thrown into disarray. The next day, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) invaded Gaza, and the day after both Abu Tir and Abu Arafa were abducted by Israeli forces, along with a third of the Palestinian Cabinet, provoking a predictable escalation of violence.

Israel simultaneously began conducting covert incursions on to Lebanese territory, provoking Hizbollahs capture of two IDF soldiers. Credible sources confirm that the soldiers were not abducted on Israeli territory, but inside Lebanon. Like the scuppered peace negotiations, Western officials have ignored this, and misinformed the media. However, some reports corroborate the sources. Israeli officials, for instance, informed Forbes (12.7.06) that Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel.

The revelations show that Palestinian and Lebanese actors were not principally responsible for the escalation of the current conflict, said OI Director Graham Ennis. Contrary to the misinformation disseminated by the Whitehouse and Whitehall, Israel vetoed unprecedented peace proposals that would have initiated a promising new framework for serious negotiations, and went on to provoke Palestinian and Lebanese groups into retaliations, that now threaten to escalate into a dangerous regional conflict.

For more information please contact
+44(0)7891 132 574 UK number, US callers; omit the zero (0)
or email: info@globalresearch.org

http://www.gnn.tv/threads/18031/Shin_Bet_Vetoed_Secret_...



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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Should be interesting thread
Edited on Sun Jul-30-06 04:13 PM by Poppyseedman
I wonder how many DU'ers will be honest enough to admit being in agreement with the Hamas (military wing) position of all the Jews walking into the Mediterranean Sea?
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. They NEVER acknowledge that.
It's been ignored from day one. They don't care what Hamas and Hezbollah have said about killing every Jew. Some DUers have called for the state of Israel to be annihilated though. :(

That's all I'll post! I don't want to hijack this thread. Sorry OP! :hi:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
41. Are we allowed to like NEITHER side?
Really, Israel is its own worst enemy here.

After the peace treaty with Egypt, Menachem Begin turns around and starts putting settlements into the West Bank, which was totally unnecessary and guaranteed to set the Palestinians (who had been fairly quiet) off.

Since then, it's just been a nasty revenge cycle.

Someone has to act like a grown-up here instead of a "he hit me first" self-righteous brat.
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Bretttido Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Jumping to conclusions that those against this war want Israel wiped off
the planet? Keep those Zionist talking-points coming folks!
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I missed your input regarding suggestions
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Bretttido Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Let's see, that's because I was responding to your ridiculous accusation
and not the root thread. You can see that by looking at the tree-based view of responses. But since you want a solution, here you go. 1) Exchange prisoners: no one dies. 2) If that doesn't work, attempt a diplomatic solution through the UN that may involve peace-keepers. 3) If that doesn't work, attempt to create a coalition of nations that can secure southern lebanon using ground forces instead of indiscriminately bombing civilians. No where in my line of thought does unilaterally shock-and-awe bombing Lebanon solve the problem of kidnapped soldiers or the root cause of these problems: that many civilians get pissed as hell at these kinds of responses and become militant themselves.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Gee, perhaps do what Israel has done up until this point perhaps,
And negotiate a prisoner exchange :shrug: Instead of doing so this time however, Israel decided for whatever reason to be heavy handed and let loose the dogs of war. Will that help out Israeli objectives in the long run? No, it is just going to impress another generation of children that Israel is evil, and thus another generation of terrorists/soldiers is born. Foolish if you ask me. If you want peace, long lasting peace, then your dealings are going to have to be peaceful, especially when you do have the capability to lay waste to your neighbors.

Oh, and to put a prelude on your post, the reason why Hamas snatched a soldier is because of Israeli bombing of a Gaza beach, and the many, many Palestinians who have been seized and held for years without a trial, charge or any real reason whatsoever. And this includes the kidnapping of Palestinian government officials.

Israel's response is immoral. They have grossly overreacted, killing innocent men, women and children(over three dozen children today). Their rationalization for these actions rings hollow, especially after they have deliberately targeted and killed a UN contingent. And what is so very sad is that this could have all been avoided by negotiation, like the many times it was avoided before using negotiation. Those captured soldiers would have been home by now, as would the prisoners that Israel would have released, and hundreds of innocents would have been alive.

Instead it seems as though Israel's plan is to lay waste to their enemies and to call that peace. Revolting.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. It's not just the prisoners though
Wasn't it eight Israeli soldiers who were killed when the two soldiers were taken?

I think this case called for more than a prisoner exchange because more than prisoners were involved.

These guys crossed the border to attack Israel and killd eight of their soldiers.

Rewarding them with a prisoner exchange doesn't seem like an adequate response to me. It seems that it would just be telling Hezbullah that they can do anything they want and get rewarded for it.

I don't know if Israel could afford that message to be sent.

So, what to do?

Seems the first step would be to offer to help Lebanon clear the Hezbullah guys out of the border area.

I'm just assuming Israel has been doing that for years though since it would be their best solution, and Lebanon has declined the offers.

I guess I would have not been in a rush. I would have gone to the UN and demanded that the Hezbullah problem be solved within a reasonable amount of time, or at least a solution under way by then. Maybe three months.

Then I would use the old proverb about discipline how it should be "fast, furious and final."

I would use the three months time period to develop a military plan to attack Hezbullah in Lebanon and Syria everywhere at once with the largest and best units of the army, navy, air force, etc.

I'd wait a week after the deadline to let the enemy relax, and then I'd hit with overwhelming force from everywhere to everywhere. It would be a much more violent attack than what the Israelis are currently doing. It shouldn't last more than 2-3 days.

Then back to the UN to see if they're willing to enforce their resolution disarming Hezbullah.

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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Very Powell Doctrine. BTW, those IDF troops were captured in Lebanon.
Hezbollah didn't have to cross into Israel to capture them. The Israeli troops were north of the border hitting Hezbollah sites when they were taken prisoner, according to GNN. Anyway, I like your thinking. I also think Israel should've gone to the UN, gone to Nato, hit the airwaves everywhere "waving the bloody shirt," as the Yankees used to say in the 19th century. They need to drum up world support before doing stuff like this. They needed to use the Powell Doctrine and instead opted for the time tested Dubya Doctrine.
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JHH Donating Member (265 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. Aggression only begets aggression
Israel is no longer the david against Goliath, they are strong enough to listen and talk with their neighbors, the Israel of the old testament no longer exists and trying to recreate it will only bring more suffering. All parties need to realize that there is no military solution, only through respect for all human life and true dialog can a solution be found
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. There is no doubt that Israel was acting out a preplanned
action.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/21...

In view of this fact, you need to rewrite your proposition: "BushCo and the Israeli government planned to go into Lebanon . . ."

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Fountain79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. Just to play devil's advocate...
Wouldn't it have made sense for Israel to begin planning out what to do in the event that they had to confront Hezbollah again? Especially considering the Hezbollah was rearming itself with apparently some very sophisticated weapons?
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Marshall plan them
seriously, if you're going to invade Lebanon, guarantee (and then follow through) on complete and total reconstruction. Go to the EU and or the US, and say, basically, let's throw tons of development money into Lebanon. Marshall plan the fuck out of Lebanon, rebuild everything, using local labor, Sign a free trade agreement with Beirut, and help them prosper. Give the Lebanese government the wherewithal to actually do law enforcement in their own country, and make every Lebanese choose between a life of prosperity and peace and one of war. With that, an international force, perhaps from Europe (since the US won't play under these clowns) can assist the Lebanese government in internal security matters, including law enforcement against Hezbollah. Win hearts and minds with jobs, clean water and hope, not at the end of a gun barrel.

or, sit back and watch as demographics overwhelm you.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. That's a good idea for long term policy. But what about the crisis?
They're getting missiled right now. How would you handle that differently?
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. in all honesty
there have been low grade missile attacks since the IDF left Labanon in the first place. this crisis was not started with missile attacks, it was started with kidnappings, much the same sort of cross border incursions that Israel engages in. So you trade for your kidnapped people, it's how it's done. And try not to lose more. you will notice that 500+ civilians on both sides, and dozens of soldiers and terrorists have been killed, and there is no sign of the three IDF soldiers. is this really worth it?
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. Israel should have dealt with Hamas like the people in charge of the
government they were. They also should have asked the US to mediate between the two camps to improve things and perhaps then Israel would have not been so quick to the trigger when Hezbollah kidnapped those other two soldiers.

Hezbollah was just pissy they were waning in influence.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Didn't Israel wait a while
before doing anything in Gaza other than building up troops on the border.

The Hamas guys said they had no control over the militants who took the soldier.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. Well they stopped giving the Palestinian government their tax money.
And I think that it may actually be true if Hamas claims that they had no control over the other militias. You belong to one and that is where your loyalty is, not to Palestine apparently.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
15. Well I wouldn't have bombed the power plant in gaza
and done all the other goosestepping crap that they did there.

Perhaps the rocket attacks and/or kidnappings wouldn't have happened then. If they did, I would have first leveraged any diplomatic/intelligence power to come up with a solution, and if there was none I'd carry out retaliatory strikes against hezbollah with tanks/infantry for a while, and then negotiate a prisoner exchange.
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PCIntern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Can't stop with the Nazi comparisons can we?
"Goosestepping"...very nice.

It's really ingrained...
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. Israel and Lebanon
The official Lebanese Government stance has long been that they do not have enough control to effectively quash Hezbollah's anti-social activities. Yet, seeing Lebanese officials on TV this weekend, I wonder if they aren't actually sympathetic to Hezbollah. I think the Israelis (through diplomatic means) should have tried to learn where the Lebanese Government really stands. If they truly cannot control Hezbollah (but don't condone their firing of rockets into Israel), then they should be amenable to a joint Israeli-Lebanese force to take out the rocket launchers. If Lebanon were to balk at such a suggestion, then Israel can only view the rockets coming from Lebanon as acts of aggression from the Lebanese Government. Then they would be justified in going to war with Lebanon.

Consider if the Hezbollah rockets were instead located south of the US-Mexico border. If we bombed northern Mexico and Mexico City without seeking the cooperation of the Mexican Government, I think the whole world would be against us.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. But what if we did seek the cooperation
of the Mexican government and they said they were powerless to stop it and wouldn't try to?

What then?

I don't know what's said in secret, but I'm thinking Israel has been asking or demanding Lebanon move Hezbullah from its southern border for years.

By the way, we pretty much did do this in 1916-17 when Pancho Villa raided a few American towns and fled back into Mexico. We sent General Pershing into Mexico chasing him around the desert for a while before World War I took our soldiers to a more important battlefield. I don't think the world much cared.

However the Germans did take note of it and when the US declared war on Germany, Germany offered Mexico an alliance against the USA in the famous Zimmerman Telegram affair.
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. Israel
Good analogy with 1916-17, but sending down a general to chase the insurgent is not the same as the bombing of Lebanon. I, too would hope that the Israelis have been talking with the Lebanese in private, but they should have made formal demands on them to force them to come out on one side of the issue or the other. As it stands, I don't know whether the Lebanese support Hezbollah or condemn their atrocities.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
18. Well...
if Israel had called a ceasefire early on and the Hezbollah continued to fire rockets, Israel would have a better claim to the moral high ground. Why should you want the "moral high ground" in a war? Because worldwide opinion is important. Israel has the superior military. There is a danger of looking like a bully when you hit them with a satelite-guided missile and all the enemy has is out-dated rockets from several decades ago...In my opinion, Israel has ignored world opinion.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. UN Resolution 242 n/t
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
31. ABSOLUTELY! BOTH sides should implement UN Res 242.
NOT just Israel.


Resolution 242 - This Security Council resolution (a binding resolution) has two main components:

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

a. Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

b. Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

2. Affirms further the necessity:

a. For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
b. For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
c. For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones.

Resolution 338 - A security council resolution, following the Yom Kippur war of 1973, calling on both sides to begin implementation of Resolution 242.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
21. From the Tanakh:
If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Soldier for soldier. Nothing more.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. In the short term,
Negotiate a prisoner exchange.

In the long term, withdraw to the Green Line, concede parts of Jerusalem, and negotiate a settlement on the right to return for refugees. Israel will never be safe for as long as it continues the occupation.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I don't think their enemies would be impressed
since they consider all of Israel to be occupied land.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
30. Please remember that the current Palestinian problem started with
Israel shelling the family on the beach and then lying about it. That pre-dated the capture of the Israeli soldier and was the event which kicked off this bout fighting. Although with the continuous slaughter of Palestinians to Israelis at 20:1, it's hard to tell when it starts and stops.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
33. they could have started with one moment of clear reflection on what to do
Israel's "new Middle East"

by Professor Tanya Reinhart of Tel Aviv University

link:

http://www.nimn.org/articles/whats_new/000547.php

snip:"The Israeli government, however, did not give a single moment for diplomacy, negotiations, or even cool reflection over the situation. In a cabinet meeting that same day, it authorized a massive offensive on Lebanon. As Ha'aretz reported, "In a sharp departure from Israel's response to previous Hezbollah attacks, the cabinet session unanimously agreed that the Lebanese government should be held responsible for yesterday's events." Olmert declared: "This morning's events are not a terror attack, but the act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel for no reason and without provocation." He added that "the Lebanese government, of which Hezbollah is a part, is trying to undermine regional stability. Lebanon is responsible, and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions." (2) "

snip:"The way it started, there was nothing in Hezbollah's military act, whatever one may think of it, to justify Israel's massive disproportionate response. Lebanon has had a long-standing border dispute with Israel: In 2000, when Israel, under Prime Minister Ehud Barak, withdrew from Southern Lebanon, Israel kept a small piece of land known as the Shaba farms (near Mount Dov), which it claims belonged historically to Syria and not to Lebanon, though both Syria and Lebanon deny that. The Lebanese government has frequently appealed to the U.S. and others for Israel's withdrawal also from this land, which has remained the center of friction in Southern Lebanon, in order to ease the tension in the area and to help the Lebanese internal negotiations over implementing UN resolutions. The most recent such appeal was in mid-April 2006, in a Washington meeting between Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and George Bush. (6) In the six years since Israel withdrew, there have been frequent border incidents between Hezbollah and the Israeli army, and cease-fire violations of the type committed now by Hezbollah, have occurred before, initiated by either side, and more frequently by Israel. None of the previous incidents resulted in Katyusha shelling of the north of Israel, which has enjoyed full calm since Israel's withdrawal. It was possible for Israel to handle this incident as all its predecessors, with at most a local retaliation, or a prisoner exchange, or even better, with an attempt to solve this border dispute once and for all. Instead, Israel opted for a global war. As Peretz put it: "The goal is for this incident to end with Hezbollah so badly beaten that not a man in it does not regret having launched this incident ." (7)

The Israeli government knew right from the start that launching its offensive would expose the north of Israel to heavy Katyusha rockets attacks. This was openly discussed at this first government's meeting on Wednesday: "Hezbollah is likely to respond to the Israeli attacks with massive rocket launches at Israel, and in that case, the IDF might move ground forces into Lebanon". (8) One cannot avoid the conclusion that for the Israeli army and government, endangering the lives of residents of northern Israel was a price worth paying in order to justify the planned ground offensive. They started preparing Israelis on that same Wednesday for what may be ahead: "'We may be facing a completely different reality, in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis will, for a short time, find themselves in danger from Hezbollah's rockets', said a senior defense official. 'These include residents of the center of the country.'" (9) For the Israeli military leadership, not only the Lebanese and the Palestinians, but also the Israelis are just pawns in some big military vision. "

read full article:

Israel's "new Middle East"

by Professor Tanya Reinhart of Tel Aviv University

link:

http://www.nimn.org/articles/whats_new/000547.php



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blurp Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
34. No matter what, innocent people will die. There is no solution.

Israel is in a no-win situation.

It reminds me of an hypothetical moral dilemma.

A runaway train is speeding toward you and your family. Somehow you're stuck and can't move. Your only option is flipping a switch that will divert the train to a side track. If you flip the switch, you and you family lives.

The only problem is that another family, like you, is stuck on the side track. Flipping the switch will surely kill them.

So what do you do? Become a murderer or martyr?

The only group that could have made the correct choice is Hezbollah. Nothing forced them to attack Israel.


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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
36. There is an offer for peace between Arab countries and Israel:

This specific offer was unanimously affirmed by the Arab League and immediately endorsed by the Palestinian leadership in March 2002. However, more or less the same plan has been offered by the Arab League and enthusiastically endorsed by the Palestinian leadership going back much, much longer:

link:

http://www.mideastweb.org/saudipeace.htm

"The Arab Peace Initiative
(translation by Reuters).

The Council of Arab States at the Summit Level at its 14th Ordinary Session, reaffirming the resolution taken in June 1996 at the Cairo Extra-Ordinary Arab Summit that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic option of the Arab countries, to be achieved in accordance with international legality, and which would require a comparable commitment on the part of the Israeli government.

Having listened to the statement made by his royal highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in which his highness presented his initiative calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference of 1991 and the land-for-peace principle, and Israel's acceptance of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel.

Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:

1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.

2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:

I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.

II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:

I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region

II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries

5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity

6. Invites the international community and all countries and organizations to support this initiative.

7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European Union."
___________

And this is the offer Israel made at Camp David in 2000:

link:

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1113

"The annexations and security arrangements would divide the West Bank into three disconnected cantons. In exchange for taking fertile West Bank lands that happen to contain most of the regions scarce water aquifers, Israel offered to give up a piece of its own territory in the Negev Desert--about one-tenth the size of the land it would annex--including a former toxic waste dump.

Because of the geographic placement of Israels proposed West Bank annexations, Palestinians living in their new independent state would be forced to cross Israeli territory every time they traveled or shipped goods from one section of the West Bank to another, and Israel could close those routes at will. Israel would also retain a network of so-called bypass roads that would crisscross the Palestinian state while remaining sovereign Israeli territory, further dividing the West Bank.

Israel was also to have kept "security control" for an indefinite period of time over the Jordan Valley, the strip of territory that forms the border between the West Bank and neighboring Jordan. Palestine would not have free access to its own international borders with Jordan and Egypt--putting Palestinian trade, and therefore its economy, at the mercy of the Israeli military.

Had Arafat agreed to these arrangements, the Palestinians would have permanently locked in place many of the worst aspects of the very occupation they were trying to bring to an end. For at Camp David, Israel also demanded that Arafat sign an "end-of-conflict" agreement stating that the decades-old war between Israel and the Palestinians was over and waiving all further claims against Israel"

snip:"In April 2002, the countries of the Arab League--from moderate Jordan to hardline Iraq--unanimously agreed on a Saudi peace plan centering around full peace, recognition and normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders as well as a "just resolution" to the refugee issue. Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath declared himself "delighted" with the plan. "The proposal constitutes the best terms of reference for our political struggle," he told the Jordan Times (3/28/02)."

read full article:

The Myth of the Generous Offer
Distorting the Camp David negotiations

By Seth Ackerman

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1113
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smacky44 Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
37. "a history of SAYING you shouldn't exist?" WTF does that justify?
Hizbollah never even exited until Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon in 1983.

How to handle what? How to handle the occupation? The recent capture of Israeli soldiers? The policy of state sponsored assassinations anywhere in the world? How to handle the recent responses of missiles from Hizbollah? How would we handle which part of this sad situation?
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Seabiscuit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-30-06 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
40. For starters, if I were Israel's chief honcho,
Edited on Sun Jul-30-06 09:46 PM by Seabiscuit
I wouldn't have done this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...

And no, I'm not talking about the 48 hour cease fire. I'm talking about the deliberate killing of women and children.

And if I were him and I was crazy enough to give the U.N. and international law the finger, I wouldn't have done it by ("apparently deliberately") bombing their representatives on the ground with over 20 bombs in over 7 hours and then call it a "tragic mistake".
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