It’s tough determining what’s more revolting [Update]

Maybe I view it this way because I spend too much time in an over-opinionated blogosphere, but the first inclination one has concerning news of Israelis and Palestinians is to pick a side; and criticize others for the side they choose.  The wingnuts have certainly picked Israel, as they always will — unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi (and, surely, the rest of the establishment Democrats) agrees with the wingnuts.  Others leaning more to the left will side with the Palestinians, pointing out the acute brutality of the Israeli attacks.

And let’s face it, not only has Israel killed over 300 and injured over 600 at this point, but the economic sanctions Israel placed on Gaza caused such shortages that it made dumpster diving a necessity to living.  And now that starving Gazans are being bombed, Israel refuses to let the world see it — as the Guardian points out today, “Israel yesterday banned foreign journalists from entering Gaza. Israeli journalists have been banned for more than two years.”  So much for democracy in the Middle East.

Of course, Israel and her defenders will justify these actions by pointing out that hundreds of Palestinian Qassam missiles from Gaza have been fired into Israel.  Hell, as today’s Guardian article also points out, even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blames the Gazans for these attacks:

But the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, a bitter rival of Hamas, accused the Islamist group of provoking the Israeli raids by not extending the ceasefire. “We have warned of this grave danger and said that we should remove all the pretexts used by Israel,” said Abbas in Cairo. “We all hope to end the aggression and return to the calm. We want to protect Gaza.” Egyptian officials have spent months trying to bring Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas back into a united government.

Meanwhile, thousands across Arab nations have protested Israel’s recent attacks in Gaza.

So who’s right and who’s wrong?  That’s the question which has been posed to us.  I’d like to pose a different question: Is anybody right?

The violence and oppression coming from both sides is condemnable, and despicable.  Until we try convincing both sides that oppression — whether it’s through economic sanctions, military actions, or suicide bombings — is unacceptable, then we all share a little guilt in the deaths that result from both side’s actions.  And until then, the fingerpointing will continue, as useless as it is.  One wonders if proponents and supporters of this conflict get off on violence, because they sure aren’t interrupting the vicious cycle of it.

[Update] CNN International (broadcast, no link) reported that Israel has bombed Islamic University in Gaza — an accredited institution not connected to terrorism.  Additionally, Fisherman Port in Gaza is being shelled by Israeli gunboats.  This is important because, as a Gazan notes, “Fisherman port in Gaza is the only sea port and the only port for aid ships”.

The Israeli government claims that they are only targetting terrorists and Gazans connected to Hamas; not civilians.  They appear to be lying.

12 Responses to “It’s tough determining what’s more revolting [Update]”

  1. Kathy says:

    So who’s right and who’s wrong? That’s the question which has been posed to us. I’d like to pose a different question: Is anybody right?

    I think that’s the wrong question. A better question would be, Why is Israel doing this? What is Israel achieving toward the goal of national security?

    Obviously, firing rockets from Gaza into Israel is wrong, but there is no way to compare the effect on Gazans of being pounded by laser-guided airstrikes to the effect on Israelis of dumb rockets being fired across the border, landing wherever they land.

    Even more to the point are the effects of the economic embargo, which has been in effect for well over a year now. Because of the embargo, Gazans cannot produce or sell crops, they are unemployed in massive numbers, they can’t prepare food or get medical help — it’s just almost impossible to convey in words the horror that is being visited on them. And people (not you) compare THAT to rockets being fired at Israeli border towns? And how does Israel expect the figurative temperature to be in Gaza after more than a year of these lethal sanctions — which, needless to say, are an unequivocal violation of international law.

    The fact that I’m Jewish and that my parents are Holocaust survivors only deepens how depressed I feel about what Israel is doing. It’s so wrong, and it’s SO counterproductive, and self-destructive.

  2. tas says:

    I can’t argue against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians being more brutal then what Palestinians in Gaza are able to do to Israelis. And there’s so much of this story — the whole occupation, not just these recent bombings — that’s so under-reported that it’s sickening. Israel’s kicking Palestinians out of their homes, restricting access to water and land so they can’t even farm or develop their own economies… Then shutting Palestinians out of government in the region in general. If we go by the conventions put in place after WWI just for Zionists to get a home in Palestine, then what Israel has done is completely illegal by the standards of international law.

    But we all know how Israel will react when provoked. This is brutal but, unfortunately, not surprising given the history of decades of Israeli reaction. They even had the gall to bomb an American ship, ferchristssake. But Palestinian strategy (well Hamas, at least) has been to provoke Israel, despite (or maybe because of) knowing how Israel will react. They need to cut the shit and stop it.

  3. T Ravis says:

    I think most are missing the point completely. It’s as if nobody is seeing that Israel is trying to give up the Gaza area and give it to the Palestinians just as they desired. Unfortunately this is not what the Palestinians and for that matter Arabs and Hezbollah want. They wan’t the destruction of Israel. Well I for one have no problem with them pounding the hell out of them. They have consistently lobbed mortars and missiles into innocent civilians without care or remorse. If the USA is attacked we react appropiately and will continue to do so. Why is it so different if Israel does it?

  4. Kathy says:

    Because it’s totally out of proportion to the provocation, because it’s collective punishment which is forbidden under international law, and because it only makes everything worse. It makes Israel less secure, not more.

    And btw, the USA did not react appropriately to the 9/11 attacks, if that’s the attack you’re referring to. So it’s not all that different in terms of it being wrong to invade and occupy Iraq.

  5. tas says:

    I think most are missing the point completely.

    Oi.. Here we go.

    It’s as if nobody is seeing that Israel is trying to give up the Gaza area and give it to the Palestinians just as they desired.

    This is completely false. If Israel intended to give up Gaza, then they would have given Gazans control of their own destinies by lifting economic sanctions against them. But the fact is that Israel controls how much power, water, and goods Gazans receive — that’s total control. That’s not giving up Gaza.

    Unfortunately this is not what the Palestinians and for that matter Arabs and Hezbollah want. They wan’t the destruction of Israel.

    More stereotyping of all Palestinians, blah blah blah… Not even worth commenting on.

    Well I for one have no problem with them pounding the hell out of them.

    And this is what makes you a small part of the problem. How do you feel being just a tiny bit guilty of people’s deaths?

    They have consistently lobbed mortars and missiles into innocent civilians without care or remorse.

    After, of course, Israel took away their homes and livelihoods. All things being equal.

    If the USA is attacked we react appropiately and will continue to do so.

    If you truly believe this, then you’re delusional.

    For anyone not part of this conversation reading my comments, I might be construed as a dick. But you know… I’ve heard this man’s opinions a zillion times before. And I knew some jackass like him would find his way onto the comment thread. Regardless, it gets tiresome and I don’t consider people like T Ravis — people who are prejudiced against Arabs — ready or mature enough to discuss the matter. Until they see past their myopic visions of the Middle East, they are part of the problem.

  6. B says:

    you’re not being “a dick” , tas – that stupid narrative T Ravis repeated for the umpteenth time needs to be countered frequently and in as many spaces as possible. it’s ridiculous that that’s currently a “common sense”, mainstream view.

  7. tas says:

    Exactly, B — I’m also sick of conversation about the topic being lowered to that level.

  8. Kathy says:

    Maybe that’s the most radical thing we can do right now: Just keep repeating the truth over and over and over again whenever the lies and the distortions come up.

  9. Lisa Samsoni says:

    I’m not sure if I can stand much more of this leftist crap. Is there one mention in your article and support comments here about the Hamas charter and it’s goal of destroying Israel, or at least not accepting their existence? No, surprise surprise. This rejectionist bs is conveniently forgotten by your ‘champion the little guy’ philosophy.

    There is no doubt in any sane person’s mind that if the Palestineans would use constructively what they are given to build a peaceful society adjacent to Israel, they will achieve great things. But they don’t – they democratically elect a rejectionist party that champions terror – and you twits seem to look over that fact. You say Israel takes their homes and gives them nothing – bullshit – they give them opportunities and the Palestineans squander it on perverted dreams of grandeur – thinking they have a divine right to the Middle East. They don’t. No one does. Not the least of which is because there is no God. But that’s the subject of a future rant.

    Wake up already.

  10. tas says:

    If you can’t stand it then don’t fucking read it. See if I give a shit.

    I’m beyond trying to converse with you assholes.

  11. Lisa Samsoni says:

    Touchy, touchy. If you can’t take it, then don’t dish it and invite comments, douchebag.

  12. tas says:

    Can’t take what? The ten zillionith “I MASTURBATE TO ARAB DEATHS BECAUSE I’M A PREJUDICED ASSHOLE!@#” argument from another proud Israel defender? Do you expect me to respect you? Go crawl back into the sewer you came out of, you fucking freak.

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