Bombardment of Gaza Continues;So Do the Rockets (Updated)

The Israeli bombardment of Hamas sites in Gaza continued today:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel bombed a mosque it claimed was used to store weapons and destroyed homes of more than a dozen Hamas operatives Friday, but under international pressure, the government allowed hundreds of Palestinians with foreign passports to leave besieged Gaza.

Israel has been building up artillery, armor and infantry on Gaza’s border in an indication the week-old air assault against Gaza’s Hamas rulers could imminently expand with a ground incursion. At the same time, however, international pressure is building for a cease-fire that would block more fighting.

as didthe rocket attacks on Israeli cities from the Palestinian side:

A rocket barrage hit the Israeli city of Ashkelon early Friday. Two rockets hit apartment buildings, lightly wounding two Israelis, police said. Sirens warning Israelis to take cover when military radar picks up an incoming rocket have helped reduce casualties in recent days.

The military said aircraft destroyed the three rocket launchers used to fire at Ashkelon.

I don’t have a solution to the problems between the Israelis and Palestinians; I wish I did. I don’t think that the resolution is as simple as Hamas stopping the firing of rockets and mortars into Israeli territory; for one thing, I don’t think that Hamas has that much control over the situation. When as many munitions pour into anywhere as they’ve poured into Gaza for as long as they have, asserting control over every rocket and every mortar is a daunting task.

I don’t think, as some apparently do that the mere ineffectiveness of the rocket attacks is any sort of excuse for them. For one thing, they provide practice and if the guys firing the rockets get ahold of more potent weapons the Israeli body count is sure to go up. The Israelis must respond in proportion to their risk rather than in proportion to their losses.

I honestly don’t think there’s a solution to the larger picture at all in the sense of an engineered solution that everybody is happy with. But let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s say that the Palestinians stopped firing rockets and mortars into Israeli territory and Israelis no longer had anything to fear from Palestinian suicide bombers. What would happen next?

Contrariwise let’s imagine that the Israelis pulled back to the 1967 boundaries. What would happen next?

UPDATE

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Alan Dershowitz makes the same point I did above:

The claim that Israel has violated the principle of proportionality — by killing more Hamas terrorists than the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets — is absurd. First, there is no legal equivalence between the deliberate killing of innocent civilians and the deliberate killings of Hamas combatants. Under the laws of war, any number of combatants can be killed to prevent the killing of even one innocent civilian.

Second, proportionality is not measured by the number of civilians actually killed, but rather by the risk posed. This is illustrated by what happened on Tuesday, when a Hamas rocket hit a kindergarten in Beer Sheva, though no students were there at the time. Under international law, Israel is not required to allow Hamas to play Russian roulette with its children’s lives.

The emphasis is mine.

That’s basic “just war theory”.

FILED UNDER: General, , ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. MrToad says:

    Well, stranger things have happened, I suppose, but I don’t think I’d be willing to bet on either one of those possibilities, even with other people’s money. Too many people have too much invested in keeping the killing going for either side to give it up without very powerful outside intervention (read incentives). Either of your proposed points strikes me as tantamount to the US legalizing all drugs or Europe deciding to have leadership of the EU ceded to Germany in perpetuity. Not very likely to happen. Still, if you want to play with fantasy plotlines, more power to you – you might get a good novel out of it, if nothing else.

  2. tom p says:

    Let’s say that the Palestinians stopped firing rockets and mortars into Israeli territory and Israelis no longer had anything to fear from Palestinian suicide bombers. What would happen next?

    Well… The more radical of the many Israeli political parties would be marginalized to an extent not imaginable now… But of course, this would probably be political suicide for Hamas because the whole justification for their continued existence seems based on the “end of Israel” and that they are the last “fighters for Palestine”.

    Contrariwise let’s imagine that the Israelis pulled back to the 1967 boundaries. What would happen next?

    Likewise this would marginalize Hamas and the other extremists on the Palestinian side… But would also be political suicide for any Israeli party that proposed and then tried to push through such a thing. How many times has an Israeli government been brought to the brink of collapse because some minor member of a coalition didn’t get a “school” they wanted? And those issues are hardly as divisive as the competing visions of Zionism.

    In other words, the politics on both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli equation are so fractured, that I see no hope in the near term that they will be able to even begin to have substantive talks about what seem to be the 2 major sticking points in any negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians: the Settlements and the Right of Return (not to mention Jerusalem).

  3. Bithead says:

    I don’t have a solution to the problems between the Israelis and Palestinians

    Well, I do, and my solution is based on the salient point that everybody over the last 40 years appears to have missed; This thing is not going to be solved by negotiation. All negotiation does is give them a chance to regroup to wage more war against the Israelis.

    The real answer to this dilemma is to let Israel pave Gaza as a parking lot. After 40 years of watching this nonsense I can tell you point blank the action or be far more than justified.

    Here’s the thing; About the time the Israeli army is putting the parking stripes on the place, somebody’s bound and notice that it’s gotten awfully peaceful. That’s because the real path to peace in this situation is going to be defeating the those who would disturb the peace by actually winning the war being waged against Israel and the west…

    And yes, that’s an inclusive statement.

    Because think about going the other direction…Once Israel gets uprooted, do you really think they’re going to stop there?

  4. Franklin says:

    The real answer to this dilemma is to let Israel pave Gaza as a parking lot.

    So you honestly believe that your grossly inappropriate proposal will invite no response from the rest of the Muslim world? And it also no doubt decrease Islamic radicalism, despite all evidence to the contrary?

    Sorry, but the key is to drive a wedge between the moderate Arabs and the crazy ones. What you are proposing will unite them. There is simply no easy or fast solution.

  5. Bithead says:

    What is grossly inappropriate is what we’ve been doing so far… giving these people legitimacy and negotiating with them. Do you really think continuing on that same path is going to produce anything but the bloodshed it’s produced since Israel was established?

    Even Biden has said:

    “Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a party that calls for its destruction, engages in terrorism and maintains an armed militia. Hamas must choose: bullets or ballots.”

    and

    “Hamas has to decide between bullets and ballots – either it lays down its arms and acts democratically, or it continues as a terrorist organization and is treated as such. It cannot have it both ways.”

    As for driving a wedge between the moderate Muslims and the crazy ones, I would suggest you that’s exactly what Israel’s response is creating just now. One of the untold stories about what’s going on over there, is that these attacks by Israel are causing the De not crazy elliston Ian’s to turn Hamas out. To tell Israel where the weapons caches are. To aid them in their efforts to eliminate hamas’s terrorism. That wasn’t happening before Israel attacked.

    I say again, it’s time to let Israel finish the job.

  6. DMan says:

    The real answer to this dilemma is to let Israel pave Gaza as a parking lot.

    Let me get this straight, you support the systematic extermination of over a million Palestinians?

    I say again, it’s time to let Israel finish the job.

    Perhaps you could call this action the “Final Solution.” If only Israel and the United States could have more decisive leaders like Bithead!

  7. The Israelis must respond in proportion to their risk rather than in proportion to their losses.

    I believe it is a serious mistake to discuss this in terms of proportionality. Doing so concedes a major point to Israel’s enemies by letting them control the narrative and draw a sense of moral equivalency between the actions of Hamas and Israel which is deeply flawed and insulting. Under every scenario, a war of attrition results in the eventual demise of Israel. Tit for tat does not work in this instance.

    When faced with an existential threat, I would expect anyone to fight in distinctly non-proportional ways. It is possible to interpret your statement so as to imply that if Israel believes the risk is existential they can act accordingly, but I don’t think that is what you meant. Given the relative size of Israel and tat of its encompassing hostile neighbors, maybe this is a proportional response in relative terms if not absolute terms.

    Just slightly OT, but remember when unconditional surrender was how America fought its wars? Reform and recovery remain difficult if not impossible until the enemy is so thoroughly beaten that they acknowledge it and the need to change. All talk of proportionality just delays this from happening as it implicitly permits everyone to claim legitimacy for their goals, no matter how obscene or other-worldly they may be.

  8. Anderson says:

    The real answer to this dilemma is to let Israel pave Gaza as a parking lot.

    Genocide — the “Real Answer.” I wonder what that term is in the original German?

  9. Bithead says:

    I wonder what that term is in the original German?

    and

    Perhaps you could call this action the “Final Solution.” If only Israel and the United States could have more decisive leaders like Bithead!

    Leaving the invocation of Godwin aside, there’s a major difference, that you’ve apparently forgotten; The Jews weren’t sending Rockets into Germany, nor were they chanting ‘Death to all Germans’.

  10. Bithead says:

    Let me get this straight, you support the systematic extermination of over a million Palestinians?

    Nope, and I’d say Israel is doing it correctly, about now.

  11. Bithead says:

    Just slightly OT, but remember when unconditional surrender was how America fought its wars? Reform and recovery remain difficult if not impossible until the enemy is so thoroughly beaten that they acknowledge it and the need to change. All talk of proportionality just delays this from happening as it implicitly permits everyone to claim legitimacy for their goals, no matter how obscene or other-worldly they may be.

    Exactly so, Charles, and I’ll tell you this; the last 40 years shows us that, if nothing else.

  12. Bithead says:

    Weird; Just as I hit the ‘save” button on the last post, the cable showed pictures of a protest against Israel in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Signs:
    “Nuke Israel”
    “Get back in the ovens”

    Yep. Negotiation will solve THAT problem, all right.

  13. DMan says:

    Leaving the invocation of Godwin aside, there’s a major difference, that you’ve apparently forgotten; The Jews weren’t sending Rockets into Germany, nor were they chanting ‘Death to all Germans’.

    You can cry Godwin all you want, but when you advocate the annihilation of an entire group of people, including millions of innocent lives, expect comparisons to Hitler. Hell we can nuke the entire planet and there will be world peace, but I wouldn’t advocate it.

  14. DMan says:

    Nope, and I’d say Israel is doing it correctly, about now.

    It seems you’ve backtracked a little from your first comment, which was that Israel should turn Gaza into a parking lot. So you no longer advocate total war against the Palestinians? So tell me, what was the point of your first comment in this thread?

  15. Bithead says:

    It seems you’ve backtracked a little from your first comment, which was that Israel should turn Gaza into a parking lot.

    Not at all. This is not an either or situation.

    You are seemingly caught in between what Israel would be justified in doing, and what they should be doing for the interest of peace in the region. There’s a difference between them. It’s amusing to watch the usual suspects claim that Israel has no justification for the response that they’re giving this situation just now. The fact is they’ve had more than enough justification to do what they’re doing and far more for some time now. On that basis, I find the comments about how their response lacks the proportionality the to be humorous at the least … well, I would if they were not tragic.

    Were Israel to listen to the Un-American left, they’d be pulling back and going for the negotiation route one more time. And we’d be right here discussing this in another six months time, with yet more lives lost.

    Yes, I advocate all-out warfare on those that would make war against Israel. Save who you can that isn’t making war on you, but understand that because of the type of enemy that you fight currently has they are you’re going to end up killing civilians in the process. That cannot be helped. When you put rocket launchers inside hospitals some of the patients are going to die when your enemy response. They know that going in and they wouldn’t do it the first place.

    Let’s put a frame around this. Would you call our war against Germany in the forties to be an all out warfare effort? Well what do you know, so would I. Does that mean we intentionally slaughter millions just for the sake of it? No, but Civilian casualties are a consequence of war. Germany paid the consequences for having made War on its neighbors and the remainder of the world for that matter. I’m suggesting that should also happen in this case.

    If we’re smart we will let it happen. Because ultimately, it’s the only way we’re gonna get peace out of this thing. Understand me clearly; peace is not a product of negotiation. Rather peace is a product of and a benefit of having won the war.

  16. mike says:

    I vote for taking more land – call it a bigger buffer zone – the consequences of every rocket is more land taken – if all land is taken and people are forcibly deported, well then so be it – all of those countries supporting the Palestinians can get their fair share of refugees. Israel has no other real choice – how can they negotiate with a gov’t that wants them all dead?

  17. charles johnson says:

    Perhaps you could call this action the “Final Solution.” If only Israel and the United States could have more decisive leaders like Bithead!
    Posted by DMan | January 2, 2009 | 02:22 pm | Permalink

    The problem is from 2000 to 2006 we did have leaders like Bithead. And Dave Schuler. And it’s going to take us the next decade to fix things.

  18. DMan says:

    Bithead, nowhere in that rant of yours did you address my concerns.

    You said, “The real answer to this dilemma is to let Israel pave Gaza as a parking lot.”

    At face value, this would imply Israel should just wipe out the millions of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Is that your position? I’d like to give you the benefit of doubt, but you seem intent on believing military means alone will easily solve the Middle East crisis. If thats the case, how are you any different than those who chant “Death to Israel.” You’re simply substituting Israel for Palestinians. Perhaps you’re as morally reprehensible as they? Or perhaps you meant something entirely different from what you said?

  19. Bithead says:

    The problem is from 2000 to 2006 we did have leaders like Bithead.

    No, that we certainly did not, else we’d have peace right now.

    At face value, this would imply Israel should just wipe out the millions of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

    That’s your reading of it. Then again, that’s what the left thinks is going on right now, hmmm? Sit back and think about it for a while.

  20. Our Paul says:

    Let’s not obscure the central fallacy in this post, to wit:

    ”The Israelis must respond in proportion to their risk rather than in proportion to their losses.”

    Who defines risk? And what does a “proportional response” mean?

    The answer to the first question is the Israeli political establishment, hard wire to the concept that destruction of civilian infrastructure and life will deter retaliation, without the need to examine grievances or seek compromise.

    The answer to the second question can in part be found here. Hard to believe, the Israeli Defense Force has a YouTube Channel where it posts its claims of “pint point” or “surgical” air born strikes. My own view, this YouTube site has nothing to do with attempts to explain target choice or care in avoiding civilian casualties. It has everything to do with pointing out to other parties that the same may happen to them.

    Lost in the babble, which neither Alan Dershowitz (up date) or Dave Schuler addressed, is the obvious. This attack, as the Lebanon disaster, must have received the green light from the Bush Administration. It had to be done before Obama came to office, for it is doubtful that his Administration would have presented the prattle that Condi Rice has used to cloak, once again, U.S. involvement.

    Ah yes, the language changes, but the principle remains the same. What today is advanced as “just war theory”, seventy to seventy five years ago was called “lebensraum”.

  21. Michael says:

    The thing is, Bithead, Israelis by and large don’t want to kill Palestinians. Israel wants a peace that doesn’t require turning Gaza into a parking lot and killing millions, as you propose as a proper outcome.

    And no, you’re no Hitler, your proposal is much more in line with Stalin’s proposal for making Germany peaceful.

  22. Michael says:

    But let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s say that the Palestinians stopped firing rockets and mortars into Israeli territory and Israelis no longer had anything to fear from Palestinian suicide bombers. What would happen next?

    They would negotiate over a final border for a Palestinian state, argue over settlements, Jerusalem, and the right to return, and end up firing rockets and missiles at each other again. I firmly believe that no two state solution is viable.

    Contrariwise let’s imagine that the Israelis pulled back to the 1967 boundaries. What would happen next?

    Besides causing an Israeli civil war, probably an influx of dispersed Palestinians, immigration of some Jordanians, Syrians and Egyptians, possibly a Palestinian civil war (between those that came back and those that never left) and maybe an outright land grab by one of it’s Arab neighbors. Oh, and Hamas would move it’s rocket launchers to the 1967 border, and keep on firing. Again, no two state solution is viable.

  23. tom p says:

    Second, proportionality is not measured by the number of civilians actually killed, but rather by the risk posed.

    Dershowitz makes the same mistake that Israel has been making for years: He decides how proportionality is to be measured and to hell with how the other side feels it should be measured. His definition might very well equate with international law and hold sway before the Hague, but it certainly won’t end the violence, because

    This is illustrated by what happened on Tuesday, when a Hamas rocket hit a kindergarten in Beer Sheva, though no students were there at the time.

    and so no children were killed… unlike the 40+ children killed in Israeli airstrikes. And like it or not, international law be damned, THAT is how the Palestinians (and the rest of the Muslim/Arab world) WILL measure proportionality. And it is upon those ashes that the “continuing struggle” will arise from.

    [also, the “risk” to civilian populations from an Israeli air strike in Gaza, is considerably greater than it is from unaimed Hamas rockets at this point in time… something that is quite adequately measured by the above #’s. You can argue all you want about how Hamas might kill children, but Israel IS killing children]

    Under international law, Israel is not required to allow Hamas to play Russian roulette with its children’s lives.

    Quite true, but I wonder… Why is Israel so willing to play Russain roulette with the lives of Palestinian children? Why are they so willing to pull the trigger? Especially when the backlash is so predictable, and the benefits so short lived? Why is Israel so willing to let Hamas dictate it’s foreign/defense policy?

    What is happening now, only strengthens Hamas (just like Hezbollah in Lebanon last year). Dave, is that what Israel wants?

    ps; as previously stated here, I am sympathetic to the dangers Israel faces, and realistic of the political constraints within it’s system. But it strikes me as nothing less than absolute absurdity to keep on doing what they have always done, and expect different results this time.

  24. Michael says:

    the “risk” to civilian populations from an Israeli air strike in Gaza, is considerably greater than it is from unaimed Hamas rockets at this point in time… something that is quite adequately measured by the above #’s.

    Would you prefer that Israel instead fired indiscriminately into Palestine? Because your argument here is pretty much that it’s better to aim at civilians and miss, than to aim at combatants and hit.

  25. dutchmarbel says:

    Our Paul: you should mention that bagnews posted a youtube video posted as proof that they performed surgical strikes on Hamas fighters, but that the post was updated:

    Research from a number of sources, including the Israeli-Palestinian B’Tselem group in Gaza, indicates that the owner of the truck in the Israeli Defense Force bombing was not a Hamas member transporting rockets, but instead a civilian transporting gas welding canisters from his metalworking shop.

    According to B’Tselem, eight people were killed in the bombing, including the son of the shop owner, Ahmad Sanur. My apologies for the horrible event and my flippant comment. As best as I can tell at this point, the video I linked to yesterday from the Israeli military’s YouTube Channel (posted above, for as long as it remains on-line) documents the same attack on Mr. Sanur’s shop. The second image of the gas canister was taken by B’Tselem field workers after the fact.

    For those with a strong stomach: this graphic video documents 8 minutes in Gaza after an IDF attack.

    Steve Clemons posted a piece by Mustafa Barghouti: a former secular candidate for President of Palestine and a strong advocate of non-violent responses to Israeli occupation. He addresses some of the arguments used in this thread.

  26. Bithead says:

    Who defines risk? And what does a “proportional response” mean?

    Why, the Palastinians, and the Iranians define risk. We can’t let Israel do that, after all. (sound of tounge popping in cheek)

    The thing is, Bithead, Israelis by and large don’t want to kill Palestinians.

    … any more than we wanted to kill Iraqis. Which is why I’ve suggested saving who can be saved, as they appear to be doing. In neither case, however, did the solution involve not waging war. Are you getting the idea, yet?

    They would negotiate over a final border for a Palestinian state, argue over settlements, Jerusalem, and the right to return, and end up firing rockets and missiles at each other again. I firmly believe that no two state solution is viable.

    And so, your solution then is what?

    But it strikes me as nothing less than absolute absurdity to keep on doing what they have always done, and expect different results this time.

    I am reminded of Chamberlain talking about never going to war with one another again.( I caution you; My angle on his saying that, here, is a little different than its general usage.)

    That is the great wet dream, is it not? Being able to say peace for all time. Once we’ve won the war, we don’t ever have to go back to fighting wars again?

    The fact of the matter is there’s always another war to fight. Because there’s always somebody willing to fight against you. Which is exactly why the “peace dividend” was such a fallacy; once the Soviet union was out of the way every ten pot dictator from here to there wanted a piece of the action. It never changes. That’s what eternal vigilance is all about. The United States, no less than Israel.

    The reality of the situation is that all one can do is essentially a holding action. Because of varied ideologies some holding actions require more maintenance than others, And Israel, certainly has the heart a row to hoe.

    Make no mistake…Even in this scenario I’ve proposed , I’m certainly not foolish enough to think that it’s going to be peace for all time. Eventually, their religious and culturally driven fervor will have them at it again. And if that doesn’t do it, Iran will doubtless find some other way of some other means of spurring them to war.

    But the more soundly they’re trounced, the longer the period of peace following the war will be. Sorry, I’m not happy about it either, but that’s the reality.

  27. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I wonder just how many rockets fired from a neighboring nation it would take for the (fill in the blank)__________ would respond in a way that would eliminate the problem. If you want to lose a fight just keep in mind that measured response. Read “The Prince”. It will give you an idea of how to deal with ones enemies. If you give the Muslims back Israel, they will want Spain. Fact is, you liberal are stupid. Dennis Prager calls all generations after 1960, the stupid generations. Tom P. Proportionally what would you do if the people who live across the street from you started heaving Malatov cocktails at your house. Say you had a gun. Proportionally you might think it right to toss some back. I say shoot the SOB and be done with it.

  28. Michael says:

    … any more than we wanted to kill Iraqis. Which is why I’ve suggested saving who can be saved, as they appear to be doing. In neither case, however, did the solution involve not waging war. Are you getting the idea, yet?

    Iraqis weren’t firing rockets at the US, so the situation isn’t comparable. Israel is much more justified in their military action than we were. I know that war was necessary, I was saying that Israel didn’t feel that genocide was necessary, while you evidently do.

    And so, your solution then is what?

    A constitutional federation between Israel and Palestine.

  29. […] Bombardment of Gaza Continues;So Do the Rockets […]

  30. tom p says:

    the “risk” to civilian populations from an Israeli air strike in Gaza, is considerably greater than it is from unaimed Hamas rockets at this point in time… something that is quite adequately measured by the above #’s.

    Would you prefer that Israel instead fired indiscriminately into Palestine? Because your argument here is pretty much that it’s better to aim at civilians and miss, than to aim at combatants and hit.

    Go back and re-read my post Michael, and try to apply a little comprehension in the process, all the way thru my assertions to my actual conclusion:

    What is happening now, only strengthens Hamas (just like Hezbollah in Lebanon last year).

    You may disagree with me, and I am quite sure you can cite facts and postulate reasonable arguments to support your position, but do not try to put an argument in my post that is quite clearly not there.

  31. tom p says:

    Tom P. Proportionally what would you do if the people who live across the street from you started heaving Malatov cocktails at your house. Say you had a gun. Proportionally you might think it right to toss some back. I say shoot the SOB and be done with it.

    Let us try a slightly more accurate analogy Z:
    Your neighbor get’s into a fued with another neighbor of yours. You may or may not care, but it is between them and you really just want to live your life in piece. The 1st neighbor throws a bunch of molotov cocktails at the 2nd’s house, doing little damage other than to singe the eaves. The 2nd answers with a barrage of artillery, blows up the firsts house (killing a few but not all) but also ends up causing your house to collapse killing 2 of your 5 children.

    Proportionally Z… What would you do?

  32. Our Paul says:

    Back to the central fallacy of this post and thread, to wit:

    The Israelis must respond in proportion to their risk rather than in proportion to their losses.”

    The assumption here is that the function “risk” is out of their hands, and controlled by Hamas inflexibility. Yet, it is no secrete that during the six month “truce” sea lanes into Gaza were blockaded, the common land boarder was walled off and tightly controlled by Israel, and the only safety valve for daily necessities (food, fuel, etc) was the breached Gaza/Egyptian boarder.

    The good folks at southjerusalem.com examine the problem and have this to say:

    Israel claimed that Hamas wasn’t keeping the agreement. That was true. It was also true that the Israeli government continued hoping, against all evidence, that the siege would provoke popular uprising against Hamas rule. Hamas regarded the calm as a failure in relieving siege conditions.

    When the six months ended, Hamas decided that those Israelis would only understand force. To a man with a hammer, as the saying goes, everything looks like a nail – especially to an angry man. With a little careful thinking, anyone on the Hamas side could have figured out that no Israeli politician wanted to agree to reduce the siege in response to rocket fire. That would be giving in.

    So brinkmanship led to both sides rushing over the brink into the abyss. Olmert, Livni, Barak and the collected generals apparently think that Hamas will agree to reduce violence as a result of the onslaught. A ten-second exercise in trying to imagine how Hamas leaders – or Gaza residents – see the situation leads to the opposite conclusion.

    Hat Tip to John Sineteur for leading me to this link. It deserves a full and careful read.

    My thanks to dutchmarble for making the point better than I can..

  33. Bithead says:

    A constitutional federation between Israel and Palestine.

    BWAAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Dream on.

  34. Michael says:

    Go back and re-read my post Michael, and try to apply a little comprehension in the process, all the way thru my assertions to my actual conclusion

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your post, but you certainly seemed to be implying that the actions of the Palestinians was less bad than the actions of the Israelis. If that was not your position, then I retract my previous statements.

  35. Michael says:

    BWAAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Dream on.

    It’s what should have happened in 1948, and may once again be a solution both sides can agree upon if conditions change in the future. It’s the only solution I can imagine lasting any significant length of time.

    Oh, and since Juice won’t be a member of my proposed federation, I don’t think we have a problem with that guy.

  36. tom p says:

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your post, but you certainly seemed to be implying that the actions of the Palestinians was less bad than the actions of the Israelis. If that was not your position, then I retract my previous statements.

    Michael, apology accepted (tho it was not neccessary) just an honest assesment of my actual points of view was all I was asking for…

    My point was not that the actions of the Israeli’s was worse, but that the actual consequences were worse, and that is how the rest of the Arab/Muslim world measures this conflict.

    I admit, there is a certain logic to Bit’s position(which is why I have not engaged him on these pts. yet)… I just don’t think it is feasable in this world. (1948 was a long time ago)(and Bit, as an agnostic/atheist I have a harder and harder time distinguishing between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, all 3 are Abrahamic religions, why can’t they just agree to worship the same God in different ways?)

    If we are going to get beyond the present stalemate, we have to look beyond our present stale points of veiw. I have no answers to what is going on, I only say that if we are going to get beyond it, we have to move beyond it.

  37. Michael says:

    My point was not that the actions of the Israeli’s was worse, but that the actual consequences were worse, and that is how the rest of the Arab/Muslim world measures this conflict.

    Well yes, but not because they think the consequences are more important than the intent, but rather because using that criteria supports their pre-existing positions. I have no doubt that, were the consequences and intent reversed, they would feel otherwise. For that matter, I might have taken the opposite position as well, given my pre-existing bias towards Israel.

  38. […] Bombardment of Gaza Continues;So Do the Rockets […]