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Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:30 PM

In Gaza, there is no such thing as 'innocent civilians'

Op-ed: Fighting an enemy state with one hand while supplying food and energy to its residents with the other hand is absurd.

Giora Eiland (born in 1952, in moshav Kfar Hess) is Major General (ret.) Israel Defense Forces. Eiland is former Israel's National Security Advisor. He is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies and holds an M.B.A. and B.A. in economics from Bar Ilan University.[3][4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giora_Eiland

Giora Eiland
Published: 08.05.14, / Israel Opinion

Regardless of how Protective Edge ends, this operation appears to have one clear lesson, which doesn't have to do with the tunnel issue but with a more strategic question. Israel is repeatedly falling into the asymmetry trap.

The story we are telling in this conflict is similar to the one we told in Lebanon in 2006. In this story we are fighting a terror organization, and only a terror organization, while the population the organization is operating from is not the enemy. Moreover, during the fighting we even feel obligated to supply Gaza's residents with food, fuel and electricity.

Why is that wrong? Because a state cannot defeat an efficient guerilla organization if the following three conditions exist: We and they are on two sides of a border; the organization enjoys the full protection of a state; their state or its citizens are not an accountable side. Whoever fails to understand that is entering a war without an ability to win.


We are seeing now that despite the IDF's impressive fighting, despite the absolute military supremacy, we are in a sort of "strategic tie."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4554583,00.html

36 replies, 4478 views

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Reply In Gaza, there is no such thing as 'innocent civilians' (Original post)
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 OP
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #1
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #2
R. Daneel Olivaw Aug 2014 #5
oberliner Aug 2014 #6
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #10
King_David Aug 2014 #13
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #14
King_David Aug 2014 #15
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #16
King_David Aug 2014 #17
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #18
kayecy Aug 2014 #19
King_David Aug 2014 #21
kayecy Aug 2014 #24
King_David Aug 2014 #25
kayecy Aug 2014 #28
King_David Aug 2014 #30
kayecy Aug 2014 #33
King_David Aug 2014 #34
kayecy Aug 2014 #35
King_David Aug 2014 #36
FBaggins Aug 2014 #26
kayecy Aug 2014 #29
840high Aug 2014 #31
upaloopa Aug 2014 #3
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #4
FBaggins Aug 2014 #7
upaloopa Aug 2014 #8
FBaggins Aug 2014 #9
upaloopa Aug 2014 #11
Shaktimaan Aug 2014 #12
kayecy Aug 2014 #20
King_David Aug 2014 #22
kayecy Aug 2014 #27
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #23
Jefferson23 Aug 2014 #32

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:38 PM

1. Netanyahu: Gaza operation 'justified, proportionate'

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday launched a vigorous defence of Israel's month-long conflict in Gaza as "justified" and "proportionate," blaming Hamas for the heavy Palestinian civilian death toll.

"I think it was justified. I think it was proportionate and that doesn't in any way take away the deep regret we have for the loss of a single civilian casualty," he told a news conference in Jerusalem in response to a question from the US news channel CNN.

He said it would have been disproportionate to not "defend your people and giving the terrorists a license to kill."

In his first public remarks since a 72-hour ceasefire came into effect on Tuesday, Netanyahu told local and foreign journalists that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas was to blame for the heavy destruction and civilian casualties.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=718738

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:40 PM

2. Palestinians finally bury their dead in Gaza sands

RAFAH (AFP) -- For days bodies filled the morgues. Only since guns fell silent have volunteers come to dig graves in the sand in Rafah, Gaza's "town of martyrs," devastated by Israeli bombardment.

For three days the strategic southern town went through hell.

"The tanks came," says Mohammed Abu Luli, 50, who fled his home after the bombardment started.

"There were strikes from air, land and sea. The bombs rained down everywhere. I have never seen anything like it in all my life," he added.

In neighborhoods, houses lie flattened or ripped open by shelling. Asphalt on the road has been ripped up by the weight of Israeli tanks.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=718737

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:10 PM

5. Netanyahu is a baby killer.

 

Hundreds of Palestinian children are dead by his hand.

BTW, has baby killer ever offer up any proof that Hamas was responsible for the three dead settlers? That was the pretext for starting this whole mess. Remember?

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:17 PM

6. So is Obama, right?

 

After Afghan Massacre, Word Games by US Media

The people of Afghanistan know who was flying the two helicopter gunships that brutally hunted down and slaughtered, one by one, nine boys apparently as young as seven years old, as they gathered firewood on a hillside March 1. In angry demonstrations after the incident, they were shouting “Death to America.”

Americans are still blissfully unaware that their “heroes” in uniform are guilty of this obscene massacre. The ovine US corporate media has been reporting on this story based upon a gutless press release from the Pentagon which attributes the “mistake” to “NATO” helicopters.

http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/94879-after-afghan-massacre-word-games-by-us-media

As to your other question, there is this:

Hamas in Gaza funded June kidnap and murder of three teens, Israel says

The state said Wednesday that Hamas operatives in Gaza funded the June kidnapping and murder of three teens in the West Bank, the event that led up to Israel’s four-week Gaza offensive.

The funding aspect was revealed in a reply to a petition against the demolition of the homes of the three men suspected of the kidnapping and murder.

The state named Hussam Qawasmeh as the leader of the cell; the Shin Bet security service had previously suspected that Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh were the leaders. Last month, the police’s counterterrorism unit arrested Hussam Qawasmeh at the home of relatives in the Shoafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

The state says Hussam Qawasmeh confessed during his Shin Bet interrogation that he had received funding for the abduction and murder from Hamas operatives in Gaza. It says one of the security prisoners released in the 2011 exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit may have helped Qawasmeh with the transfer of funds.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.609167


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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:43 PM

10. Confession by interrogation... with no legal representation that I am aware of.

Still gives no meaning to the pretext since Bibi refused to shown his evidence
before he arrested nearly 600 Palestinians and destroyed homes and other
buildings. Make of that what you will.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:37 AM

13. The reason for Gaza was the 3000 rockets ,

As an Haaretz editorial explained the tunnels they found and the need to destroy them gave the attack legitimacy .

"The tunnel threat gives Israel’s Gaza offensive its legitimacy"

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.607903

As for Hamas being responsible for the murdered teens , Oberliners post covers that .

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Response to King_David (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:39 AM

14. Nonsense. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:44 AM

15. Great rebuttal

I just translate your answer to :
"well I can't really argue against that"

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Response to King_David (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:46 AM

16. Your argument does not require more than what you received. Enjoy your reliance on Bibi talk

as the pretext for their governments massacre on Gaza.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #16)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:53 AM

17. I posted Haaretz editorial explained the legitimacy

Not Bibi .

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Response to King_David (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 07:55 AM

18. alright...enjoy the legitimacy of the massacre. n/t

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Response to King_David (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 08:52 AM

19. Had Hamas been a Jewish terror organisation.....

Had Hamas been a Jewish terror organisation and the Gazan residents Jewish, would you still have thought it reasonable for any army to kill 1,800, mainly civilians just to stop a few thousand rockets?

Isn't the simply Israeli racism?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #19)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:45 AM

21. I never said that was reasonable

In my posts anywhere.

Where'd you get that from?

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Response to King_David (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:08 PM

24. You wrote.........

"The reason for Gaza was the 3000 rockets ...."


An odd headline to write if you didn't think Isael's actions were reasonable, but more important, what do you actually think?

Do you, or do you not think it was reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive that resulted in the deaths of 1,800, mainly civilians?

Of course Israel would not know exactly how many civilians they would kill but they certainly knew that an extensive bombing and shelling campaign on such a crowded area, would kill and maim many, many children and non-combatants.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:13 PM

25. Well the Rockets were the reason as opposed to

What the other poster had suggested being the murder of 3 Jewish teens.

The rockets had to be stopped and the tunnels had to be destroyed.

"Reason" and "reasonable" have different meanings and nothing odd in that headline at all .

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Response to King_David (Reply #25)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:21 PM

28. You haven't answered my question........

Do you, or do you not think it was reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive that resulted in the deaths of 1,800, mainly civilians?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #28)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:06 PM

30. Where did I say it was ?

But I do say the Rockets had to stop and the tunnels absolutely had to be stopped.

Here's a good article to help answer your question written by a peace activist.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/113475768

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Response to King_David (Reply #30)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 04:38 AM

33. And I say the blockade of Gaza's seaport has to be withdrawn if......

And I say the blockade of Gaza's seaport has to be withdrawn if Israel is ever to move to a normal existence........How do you expect any people to stop doing nasty things like firing rockets if they are given no chance to carry on normal commercial activity and prosper?

Israel promised to wind down the blockade and didn't....Result Hamas renewed its rocket fire....With the result that Israel began its latest bout of killing and maiming.


Israel had a choice...It could move to normalisation gradually in exchange for similar gradual reduction in rocket fire or it could escalate the conflict resulting in thousands been killed and injured.......You obviously think the latter was better.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #33)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 07:31 AM

34. There was no blockade before the rockets

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Response to King_David (Reply #34)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 11:08 AM

35. For a year or so yes but.......

For a year or so yes, but there was occupation, settlement building, military courts, land ceasures.

Israel had plenty of opportunities to make peace with the Palestinians after 1967 but its vision of 'Greater Israel' got in the way.........

Is there any wonder they are now firing rockets?




.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #35)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 11:11 AM

36. All that in Gaza.?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:17 PM

26. You're clearly missing the point.

He didn't say that it's reasonable to kill 1800 people (+/-) in exchange for 3000 rockets. But Israel didn't receive rockets and say "let's go kill a couple thousand people". That would be unreasonable.

What isn't unreasonable is to say "we're going to attack the sites that attack us" and that tunnels will be destroys... and that searched buildings with explosive booby-traps will be triggered... and that attacks in-country will meet retaliation. (etc etc etc). Civilian deaths may very well occur (not that Hamas has ever cared about that)... but isn't the intent.

If they do what they can to reduce civilian casualties where possible (without sacrificing legitimate military targets) and Hamas doesn't do that (indeed... goes out of their way to endanger those civilians)... then lots of civilian deaths will naturally result.

Do you, or do you not think it was reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive that resulted in the deaths of 1,800, mainly civilians?

It was very reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive. It wasn't reasonable for Hamas to endanger so many of the people they were obligated to protect.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #26)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:27 PM

29. Thank you for telling us where you stand on human life.......

"It was very reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive. It wasn't reasonable for Hamas to endanger so many of the people they were obligated to protect."


Which actually means it was very reasonable for Israel to carry out an offensive which was likely to kill and maim over 5-10,000 Arab children and non-combatants.


Of course, if Hamas had been a Jewish terrorist organisation and the Gaza population Jewish, Israel would never have dreamed of causing such civilian suffering. Quite racist when you think about it.

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Response to King_David (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:52 PM

31. Yep.

 

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:56 PM

3. How are you supposed to react to a statement like that?

There are innocent people on both sides. There are haters and fighters on both sides.
Innocent people on both sides were killed by haters on both sides during the past few weeks. I support those working for peace. I do not support Israel or Hamas. I tend to feel more support for the Palestinians since it is they who were pushed off their land. I don't know of another people on earth who put in that situation would not want to fight back. Europeans have repeated the same crime in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In each case we have supported the native people.
So it should be with Palestine.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:05 PM

4. +1. You reacted to his statement quite well, I feel. People who continue to support a government

who are invested in making sure the Palestinians end up with a bantustan and not
a viable state, will have blood on their hands..as far as I'm concerned.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:21 PM

7. Titles are not always drawn from the author's words

In this case, the penultimate paragraph provides the context.

In order to guarantee our interests versus the other side's demands, we must avoid the artificial, wrong and dangerous distinction between the Hamas people, who are "the bad guys," and Gaza's residents, which are allegedly "the good guys." We are dealing with an enemy state, not with a terror organization which is seemingly operating from within an innocent civilian population.


That's not saying that there are no innocent civilians. It's saying that Gaza is a de-facto enemy nation. That the people there elected Hamas and the Hamas attacks are not cells of terrorists operating in someone else's country... they are the military arm of the local government.

There can still be innocent civilians in an enemy nation. Nazi Germany civilians were still not legitimate military targets - despite being responsible for the government they elected (ignoring argument re: how Hitler rose to power - etc).

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:34 PM

8. Not buying it. Gaza is a place created by Israel.

The people of Gaza are in a prison created by Israel. Israel has no honor here and does not deserve respect for it's actions.
For the people and the world to accept Israel's definition of the situation is criminal. We must support the freedom of the people of Gaza and their survival and self determination.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:39 PM

9. I'm not saying that I agree with him

I'm saying that the title does not reflect what he wrote.

This often occurs when editors title a piece.

However... to some extent it's true. Hamas isn't a terrorist organization operating outside of the society... they're also the elected leadership of Gaza.

Where he's wrong is that Gaza was still to some extent under occupation - and resistance efforts are not the same thing as the military actions of a sovereign enemy.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 6, 2014, 04:44 PM

11. You help make it clear thanks

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:37 AM

12. Was it?

In what way was Gaza still occupied when the rocket attacks resumed post-withdrawal in 2005?

and resistance efforts are not the same thing as the military actions of a sovereign enemy.


Resistance efforts? In what regard would you consider these rocket attacks/tunnels different from a military action by a sovereign enemy?

For that matter, how is Hamas not a sovereign enemy?

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Response to Shaktimaan (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:04 AM

20. The US State Dept and the UN consider Gaza occupied......

The US State Dept and the UN consider Gaza occupied......Why do you think differently?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #20)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:48 AM

22. In 2005 when Gaza was evacuated of every last Jewish settler

And soldier, there was no seige or blockade.

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Response to King_David (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:19 PM

27. An irrelevant historical fact.......

"In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election, triggering the 2006–07 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority by Israel"


Israel from then on controlled the sea access and part of the land access to Gaza and hence they were deemed to be the occupation force by the US and the UN.

Instead of referring to some irrelevant historical fact, why don't you try supplying international documents which support your apparent belief that Israel is not occupying Gaza?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #20)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:52 AM

23. ‘A Dubai on the Mediterranean’ Sara Roy on Gaza’s future ( 2005 )

* lots of bullshit is what has been spread about Gaza, just an FYI, if you have not read it before:


Last April President Bush said that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza would allow the establishment of ‘a democratic state in the Gaza’ and open the door for democracy in the Middle East. The columnist Thomas Friedman was more explicit, arguing that ‘the issue for Palestinians is no longer about how they resist the Israeli occupation in Gaza, but whether they build a decent mini-state there – a Dubai on the Mediterranean. Because if they do, it will fundamentally reshape the Israeli debate about whether the Palestinians can be handed most of the West Bank.’

Embedded in these statements is the assumption that Palestinians will be free to build their own democracy, that Israel will eventually cede the West Bank (or at least consider the possibility), that Israel’s ‘withdrawal’ will strengthen the Palestinian position in negotiations over the West Bank, that the occupation will end or become increasingly irrelevant, that the gross asymmetries between the two sides will be redressed. Hence, the Gaza Disengagement Plan – if implemented ‘properly’ – provides a real (perhaps the only) opportunity for resolving the conflict and creating a Palestinian state. It follows that Palestinians will be responsible for the success or failure of the Plan: if they fail to build a ‘democratic’ or ‘decent mini-state’ in Gaza, the fault will be theirs alone.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n21/sara-roy/a-dubai-on-the-mediterranean

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:06 PM

32. Mounting evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army

August 7, 2014

An immediate investigation is needed into mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza, which have left six medics dead, said Amnesty International as it released disturbing testimonies from doctors, nurses, and ambulance personnel working in the area.

“The harrowing descriptions by ambulance drivers and other medics of the utterly impossible situation in which they have to work, with bombs and bullets killing or injuring their colleagues as they try to save lives, paint a grim reality of life in Gaza,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“Even more alarming is the mounting evidence that the Israeli army has targeted health facilities or professionals. Such attacks are absolutely prohibited by international law and would amount to war crimes. They only add to the already compelling argument that the situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court.”

Hospitals, doctors and ambulance staff, including those trying to evacuate people injured in Israeli attacks, have come under increased fire since 17 July.

in full: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/mounting-evidence-deliberate-attacks-gaza-health-workers-israeli-army-2014-08-07

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