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  #281  
Old 6 January 2009, 03:15
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I noticed that the IDF surrounded Gaza City and instructed the Palestinians to move into the city away from the rural/suburb areas.

I'm thinking the IDF is going to level the outlying areas; especially the launch areas. I think Hamas is going to find it harder to launch rocket attacks from a billiard table.

The beauty of this possible plan is that Palestinians will now know EXACTLY who got them into this mess with the IDF. The implication would be simple: When the next rocket attacks come from the cities, the IDF will flatten those places also.

I find it curious, that the rest of the Arab world is silent on this issue. Relatively speaking...
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  #282  
Old 6 January 2009, 12:20
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The Three-State Option


The Three-State Option

Israel isn't a happy place, either. It endures opprobrium from the world's High-Minded for defending itself from terrorism yet still finds itself subjected to terrorist attacks from Hamas and terrorists based in Syria and Lebanon. Israel's domestic politics are increasingly muddled, and its way forward obscure.

Neighboring countries also suffer. Egypt has walled off its boundary with Gaza; Lebanon remains under threat of a Hezbollah coup enabled by Iran; Syria slides further under Iranian hegemony; and Jordan is trapped in the general gridlock. Other Arab countries search for solutions, but their attention is increasingly diverted by the growing threat from Iran and the downturn in global oil prices.
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Given this landscape, we should ask why we still advocate the "two-state solution," with Israel and "Palestine" living side by side in peace, as the mantra goes. We are obviously not progressing, and are probably going backward. We continue poring over the Middle East "road map" because that is all we have, faute de mieux, as they say in Foggy Bottom.

The logic to this position is long past its expiration date. Unfortunately, it is hard to imagine a new approach that the key players would receive enthusiastically. If the way out were obvious, after all, it would already have been suggested. So consider the following, unpopular and difficult to implement though it may be:

Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today's conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries. "International observers" or the like cannot come close to what is necessary; we need real states with real security forces.

This idea would be decidedly unpopular in Egypt and Jordan, which have long sought to wash their hands of the Palestinian problem. Accordingly, they should not have to reassume this responsibility alone. They should receive financial and political support from the Arab League and the West, as they both have for years from the United States. Israel should accept political and administrative roles by Jordan and Egypt, unless it intends to perform such roles itself (which it manifestly does not).

Egypt no more wants responsibility for dealing with Hamas than Israel does. Cairo fears that Hamas extremism, and its affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood, will increase the risk of extremism in Egypt. Strong ties exist between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and extremism in Egypt is growing, so already the real issue is finding the best way to control the threat simultaneously in Egypt and Gaza. Keeping Gaza politically separate from Egypt may be optically satisfying to some, but doing so simply increases threats to Egyptian stability, the loss of which would be catastrophic for the broader region. Just ask the mullahs in Tehran.

Without a larger Egyptian role, Gaza will not, and perhaps cannot, achieve the minimal stability necessary for economic development. Moreover, connecting Gaza to a real economy, rather than a fictional "Palestinian economy," is the quickest concrete way to improve the lives of Gaza's ordinary citizens. The West Bank link to Jordan, for now at least, is less urgent; the matter cannot be put aside indefinitely, partly because, ironically, long-term Israeli security concerns there are more complex than in Gaza.

For Palestinians, admitting the obvious failure of the PA, and the consequences of their selection of Hamas, means accepting reality, however unpleasant. But it is precisely Palestinians who would most benefit from stability. The PA -- weakened, corrupt and discredited -- is not a state by any realistic assessment, nor will it become one accepted by Israel as long as Hamas or terrorism generally remains a major political force among Palestinians.

Objections to this idea will be manifold, and implementation difficult. One place to avoid problems is dispensing with intricate discussions over the exact legal status of Gaza and the West Bank. These territories contain more legal theories than land. "Retrocession" to Egypt and Jordan may or may not become permanent, but one need not advocate that to get started in the interim.

The Palestinian and Israeli peoples deserve a little glasnost and perestroika from the outside world. Either we do better, conceptually and operationally, or Iran will be happy to fill the vacuum.

The writer, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006.
Count me in. Further ammo; yes, it's debka, take it for what it's worth.

Quote:
US, Egypt, Jordan, Germany and Israel are working together on Gaza ceasefire package

DEBKAfile Exclusive Reprot

January 6, 2009, 2:46 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli mobile artillery in Gaza

Israeli mobile artillery in Gaza

DEBKAfile's Washington sources disclose that Washington, Cairo, Amman and Jerusalem are hammering out the lines of a ceasefire deal that will be contingent on the state of combat in the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem accepts the proposition that the ceasefire lines will follow the lines of combat reached in the Gaza Strip in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Egyptian and Jordanian forces will then enter the Gaza Strip.

Prime minister Ehud Olmert told visiting European Union ministers Monday, Jan. 5, that diplomacy is in progress to find an "international blanket for damping down the blaze in Gaza." He did not elaborate, but, according to our sources in Washington, he was referring to Egypt as the prime mover in a ceasefire solution – not the US.

Alongside the overt diplomatic drive for a ceasefire, Washington is quietly moving ahead on a package in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt – which is managing the Hamas track – and German chancellor Angela Merkel. Israel will hold the lines established on the day the ceasefire went into effect for a two-three month trial period. Egyptian and Jordanian units will remain in the enclave until a pre-set date. An international mechanism will prevent Hamas from rearming.

Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman outlined this deal for the Hamas delegation, headed by operations chief, Imad Al Alami, which arrived in Cairo Monday night, after finally agreeing to discuss a truce. It was clear to both sides that he was dictating honorable terms for a Hamas capitulation, as Israeli forces entered the third and most dangerous phase of their Gaza offensive, the entry into Gaza's densely built-up areas.

Tuesday saw heavy Israeli-Hamas street battles in Gaza City after a night of heavy Israeli aerial and naval bombardment. Israel forces engaged Hamas in Khan Younis in the south and hit the southern arms smuggling tunnels of the Philadelphi route and Rafah by air and land.

Hamas attacked the Israeli troops holding the Netzarim belt cutting Gaza City off from the south at Deir al Balakh.

This phase of Israel's Operation Cast Lead follows Phase 1, the heavy aerial bombardment of Hamas military and government infrastructure, and Phase 2, the ground, tank and artillery incursion on Jan. 1, which split the 360-sq km Gaza Strip into three segments.

The outcome of the toughest challenge of the ongoing Phase 3 for flushing out Hamas operatives mingling with urban populations and reducing their rocket-firing capabilities will determine the ceasefire lines for ending the conflict. Meanwhile Hamas was still able to keep up its constant rocket and missile fire by Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 6.

Our diplomatic sources report that the German chancellor's involvement in the US initiative has left French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire proposal more or less standing. In any case, it was rejected by Israel except for his proposal to open a corridor for wounded Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment.

The next UN Security Council meeting on the Gaza crisis is also likely to break up for a second time without accord on a ceasefire resolution.

Sarkozy continues his whirlwind Middle East tour in Damascus and Beirut Tuesday.
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  #283  
Old 6 January 2009, 12:57
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Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
I find it curious, that the rest of the Arab world is silent on this issue. Relatively speaking...
Maybe they are silent because it is driving the price of oil up and money means more than blood to them.
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  #284  
Old 6 January 2009, 13:27
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The Arab world isn't silent; there have been many major demonstrations around the world. The Arab gov'ts are silent, because they're scared shitless of Islamist expansion, and they won't say shit to anyone taking that bull by the horns, even if it's Israel (on paper, they may say it, like Jordan "we must re-evaluate our relationship with Israel"). Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, they don't want any part of it.
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  #285  
Old 6 January 2009, 13:39
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The Arab gov'ts are silent.
Not in Qatar.

Just a few days ago in Qatar there was a state-sponsored demonstration. Many from the Royal family were in attendance. In addition to this there have been many other demonstrations in Qatar. And of course in the course of this lots of money has been gathered which is headed to support Hamas.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/mi...359896370.html

The Qatari Emir himself also issued a very stern speech on the situation in Gaza yesterday. Speaking to the "Arab nation."

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...7&parent_id=56
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  #286  
Old 6 January 2009, 13:44
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Lol @ Qatar.
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  #287  
Old 6 January 2009, 14:04
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...And of course in the course of this lots of money has been gathered which is headed to support Hamas.
Money spent on anything other than hardened bomb shelters will be wasted; and there isn't enough to protect all of Gaza.

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Originally Posted by agx View Post
The Qatari Emir himself also issued a very stern speech on the situation in Gaza yesterday. Speaking to the "Arab nation."
When speaking to a collective of any sort, speeches like that unfortunately are what I call 'Body' Speeches: Somebody should do something, Anybody can do something, and Nobody did anything.

Palestinians throughly alienated themselves with every single Arab Nation. When they're not trying to kill Israelis, they try to overthrow legitimate governments. Remember, Black September terrorist group formed after King Hussein of Jordan crushed an attempted overthrow of the Hashimite Kingdom. It was Palestinians who went into occupied Kuwait to maintain security for the Iraqi invaders; in an attempt to make it their own country. It was Palestinians who went into the streets and cheered after 9/11. There is hardly any spot around the Mediterranean Sea the Palestinians did not try to mount terrorist operations or control local governments.

For the 100th+ time: I firmly believe that the best ally the Palestinians have are the Israelis. No other Arab nation wants nor desires to truly recognize their self-imposed plight. They are a tool, to be used for manipulating the western world's actions regarding resources and posturing.

Consider: After 50 years, the Palestinians are worse off now than before.
Consider: Far fewer countries are taking an active interest.
Consider: Given the Five Pillars, why are the Palestinians so destitute and their Arabic neighbors are rich?
Consider: The cost of killing Israelis continues to climb. Not too far in the future the Palestinians will have a true Pyhrric Victory.
Consider: The Palestinians deliberately chose a known terrorist organization to replace a 'corrupt' terrorist organization. Is it any wonder no one wants to engage the Palestinians and help?

Dear Palestine: You're almost too incompetent to govern yourselves. So someone else will have to do it until you grow up; or you run out of people to govern. You're not helping the cause of a "Peaceful Islam" either.
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  #288  
Old 6 January 2009, 14:22
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Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
Money spent on anything other than hardened bomb shelters will be wasted; and there isn't enough to protect all of Gaza.



When speaking to a collective of any sort, speeches like that unfortunately are what I call 'Body' Speeches: Somebody should do something, Anybody can do something, and Nobody did anything.

Palestinians throughly alienated themselves with every single Arab Nation. When they're not trying to kill Israelis, they try to overthrow legitimate governments. Remember, Black September terrorist group formed after King Hussein of Jordan crushed an attempted overthrow of the Hashimite Kingdom. It was Palestinians who went into occupied Kuwait to maintain security for the Iraqi invaders; in an attempt to make it their own country. It was Palestinians who went into the streets and cheered after 9/11. There is hardly any spot around the Mediterranean Sea the Palestinians did not try to mount terrorist operations or control local governments.

For the 100th+ time: I firmly believe that the best ally the Palestinians have are the Israelis. No other Arab nation wants nor desires to truly recognize their self-imposed plight. They are a tool, to be used for manipulating the western world's actions regarding resources and posturing.

Consider: After 50 years, the Palestinians are worse off now than before.
Consider: Far fewer countries are taking an active interest.
Consider: Given the Five Pillars, why are the Palestinians so destitute and their Arabic neighbors are rich?
Consider: The cost of killing Israelis continues to climb. Not too far in the future the Palestinians will have a true Pyhrric Victory.
Consider: The Palestinians deliberately chose a known terrorist organization to replace a 'corrupt' terrorist organization. Is it any wonder no one wants to engage the Palestinians and help?

Dear Palestine: You're almost too incompetent to govern yourselves. So someone else will have to do it until you grow up; or you run out of people to govern. You're not helping the cause of a "Peaceful Islam" either.
'Almost' too incompetent? Feeling generous this morning, Tracy?
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  #289  
Old 6 January 2009, 14:43
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For IDF videos of the current action:

http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk

And an interesting opinion on Gaza. I haven't seen anyone put it quite this bluntly in public:

Quote:
The price of disengagement

Gaza war shows that fortunately for Tel Aviv, there was no West Bank pullout

Elyakim Haetzni
Published: 01.05.09, 23:30 / Israel Opinion

We are seeing a rare consensus: The slogan “land for peace” has disappeared. The Gaza disengagement, which created a new equation - “land for rockets” - left the “peace camp” with a minimalistic objective, bordering on the primitive: “Changing security realities” – a euphemistic expression of a notion that people used to disparage: We’ll hit them so hard that they won’t dare do it again.


Along the way, the mystical belief in negotiations and agreements was also abandoned. And here’s yet another consensus: We did not embark on an operation meant to destroy Hamas. The Left says it because it views terror groups as unbeatable. The Right says it because it realizes that a defeated Hamas will be necessarily replaced by Fatah, which would enable the establishment of a Palestinian state and prompt an existential national disaster.


It isn’t worth it to pay the price of seeing Tel Aviv bombed, Jerusalem divided, and a small-scale civil war in Judea and Samaria just in order to teach the Left, the hard way, that there is no difference between Fatah and Hamas, and that what happened in Gaza will happen in Judea and Samaria. Should the pulverized Hamas survive, we’ll be spared all of this, and our Palestinian enemies shall continue to fight each other.


There’s also consensus against taking over the Strip. The Left says it because the mere mention of “occupation” causes anxiety among its ranks, while the Right says it because it knows Israel would hand over Gaza to Fatah, and this is no reason to send our soldiers into battle.


Therefore, why did we embark on the ground incursion? To take over launching sites? And how long will we hold on to them? The truth is that the objective is to kill so many of them so that they “learn the lesson.” In the failed Vietnam War they referred to it as “body count.” However, the other side can also kill, and how many of our own victims compared to their victims will count as “victory?” The answer is that not even one Israeli soldier is worth it.


One does not conquer land in order to kill, but rather, for a substantive and defined purpose. For example, to take over the northern section of the Strip, or to hold on to areas that would enable us to monitor developments in Gaza refugee camps, or to take over the Philadelphi Route and the adjacent areas.


When the northern section of the Strip was home to the Israeli communities of Nissanit, Elei Sinai, and Dugit, and when Netzarim separated Gaza from the refugee camps, and when Gush Katif was the home front of the Philadelphi Route, there were no rockets being fired at Ashdod and there were not Hizbullah-style “nature reserves” in the Strip.


Retrospectively, it’s already clear: The settlements in Gaza safeguarded Beersheba and Gedera, and by defending them the IDF defended the entire south (using much fewer forces.)


Now look at Judea and Samaria. There has been no second front there, and the IDF operates there as if it is a man in his own home; fortunately for Tel Aviv, there was no disengagement here. Meanwhile, the conclusion regarding the return of the Jews to their communities in Gaza is also clear, yet it cannot be stated in official media outlets as it is politically incorrect. Yet nonetheless, the time for it shall come.

Last edited by poison; 6 January 2009 at 14:50.
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  #290  
Old 6 January 2009, 14:54
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'Almost' too incompetent? Feeling generous this morning, Tracy?
I'm typing after two cups of coffee...

Like it not, the Palestinians have to accept collective responsibility for the actions of the few anarchists mixed in with them. They try to kill Israelis. They deliberately hide amongst innocents at ranges less than the kill radius of the IDF's weapons. They refuse to police their own people.

If you want to identify with criminals and their actions, why is it a surprise when you're treated as one?

How's this for a treaty to start with: Hamas quits trying to kill Israelis.

We can add some other details later, but that's a good start. I bet there'd be a cascade effect with that one item...
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  #291  
Old 6 January 2009, 15:03
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How about this: grow a pair, set the guns down, march on Jerusalem en masse with much fanfare, tabla beating, and incense burning, and request a state, while offering permanent peace?

They'd have the 67 borders in a month flat. Oh, wait, they'd have to live next to Jews, scratch that.
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  #292  
Old 6 January 2009, 15:39
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"Israel's Unspoken Goal in Gaza" By Richard Miller

Here's a different perspective:

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/20..._hamas_israel/
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Last edited by sarc88; 6 January 2009 at 15:43. Reason: brevity
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  #293  
Old 6 January 2009, 16:17
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i think thats about right. ^
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  #294  
Old 6 January 2009, 18:48
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Not me. I'm not feeling genocidal today.
Not even feeling "less than fresh"?
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  #295  
Old 6 January 2009, 19:21
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Hamas is showing its skill as a gov't body:

Quote:
Report: Hamas stealing aid supplies to sell to residents

Grim picture of Gazans' lives painted by reports emerging from Strip, claiming gunmen hiding in civilian homes, using residents as human shields, and hijacking trucks of humanitarian aid

Roee Nahmias
Published: 01.06.09, 22:32 / Israel News

A government or a gang? As the Israeli operation in Gaza wears on it appears Hamas has relinquished any visage of a socio-political party, abandoning its claim to govern the residents of Gaza in favor of engaging in open war at their expense.



A number of reports from the Strip paint a picture of very difficult humanitarian conditions, not least because of Hamas itself. The suspicion is that the group's operatives have seized control of any supplies passing through the crossings – including those sent by Israel and international organizations.


Reports say Hamas takes a cut out of all aid that arrives, including flour and medicine. Supplies intended to be distributed without gain among the population is seized by the group and sold to the residents, at a profit to the Hamas government.


One such incident was recorded Monday, when a convoy of trucks carrying supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened fire upon and seized by Hamas gunmen. Similar incidents occurred with trucks carrying fuel.


In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.


The organization is presumably interested in increasing civilian casualties in order to give rise to international pressure against Israel. Arab media reported that in an IDF strike on a UN school 30 civilians were killed, but there is no legitimate way to prove gunmen were among those killed as Hamas tends to bury these bodies quickly, thus eliminating evidence in Israel's favor.


Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.


In other reported cases Hamas gunmen hold civilians hostage in alleyways in order to provide themselves with a living barricade to ward off IDF forces. Reports somewhat more difficult to verify say the group's men shot Fatah operatives in the feet to make sure the latter would not attempt a coup.


No one to turn to

These reports lead to the assumption that Hamas is attempting to exacerbate the atmosphere of a humanitarian crisis in the Strip, as this may promote an international ceasefire initiative. In any case the reports clearly show that the residents of Gaza have fallen prey to Hamas as well as the IDF.


Reports of alarming shortages are also forthcoming, as residents appear to lack water, flour, electricity, and any sign of a capable government. Chaos reigns as no one appears to know when electricity will be available, how to obtain water or food, or whom to address in order to evacuate the injured.


The "emergency numbers" given to residents have ceased to function, and citizens in need of assistance have only international organizations, the Red Crescent, and the hospitals themselves to turn to.


Advertisement

The Hamas leaders, aside from two addresses, have not been heard from. Their speeches were broadcast a number of times, but in any case many in the Strip can no longer access televisions, radios, or internet without electricity.


Despite this, no authoritative anti-Hamas sentiments have been heard from the Gazans. However Palestinian sources claim that grievances against the group are voiced in secret. The animosity towards Israel has not disappeared, say the sources, but it is now accompanied by bitterness towards the organization many are dubbing Iranian in its extremism.
It must be a real source of pride to wear that green Hamas gear.
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  #296  
Old 7 January 2009, 09:46
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I admit, I got started on this thread late and stopped reading when people started comparing Christianity to Judaism to Islam. With that said, someone said earlier that Israel should never have given up Gaza and the West Bank. Here's my question: Since the people elected Hamas into government in Gaza, we can effectively stop calling them Hamas and start calling them the government of Gaza. So the government of Gaza conducted indirect fire attacks against the state of Israel, an act of war. Does the current state of things actually help the legitimacy of the Israeli government's actions? I'm not talking about moral legitimacy but political.
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  #297  
Old 7 January 2009, 10:08
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Even the French aren't questioning the legitimacy of Israels action, virtually no one is. Some question the proportionality, whatever; when attacked by a neighboring country, you don't attack 'in proportion', you attack as necessary to stop the attack, and prevent a reoccurance. For Israel, a proportionate response would be lobbing shells into GAza city every time missles hit Sderot, or taking out 3 palestinian civilians every time 3 sraelis die. I'm sure the 'proportionate' people would change their tune then.
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  #298  
Old 7 January 2009, 11:06
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Maybe someone should explain to Hamas that attacking Israel is a lot like hitting yourself in the head with a baseball bat. It feels sooooo good when you stop.
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  #299  
Old 7 January 2009, 11:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy
Maybe someone should explain to Hamas that attacking Israel is a lot like hitting yourself in the head with a baseball bat. It feels sooooo good when you stop.
I believe that Hamas is achieving exactly the goals it sought. Those goals had nothing to do with the Palestinian people....
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  #300  
Old 7 January 2009, 11:21
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I believe that Hamas is achieving exactly the goals it sought. Those goals had nothing to do with the Palestinian people....
This is true. We don't have a facetious emoticon. I don't think they were counting on world opinion going the way is right now. Visual documentation and verbal reports from Gaza aren't helping Hamas one bit.

It's going to be interesting how they spin their atrocities against fellow Muslims to the rest of Islam. Based on that response, maybe the Palestinians will finally realize they're a bunch of martyred tools.

Probably not...
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