22 January 2009

What I've been reading in Links: Anti-Semitism, Israel, Gaza

New York Times:
A One State Solution
What a wonderful world it would be if we could all live in peace. Otherwise, since Hamas is obdurate, it feels like this commentary is just another exercise of pretty bullcrap pretending that an answer lies in Israel's hands, while not mentioning that the answer given here would amount to suicide. In addition, while Qaddafi discusses the "right of return" for Palestinians, I note that he makes no mention of a similar right for the thousands of Jews forced from their homes in the Arab countries, their property stolen, as they were actually being threatened and murdered. And I note that even if he had mentioned such it could have included no concept of personal or religious freedom for such returnees, because those concepts do not exist in the Arab states (as Christians living in them can now attest).

It is a fact that Palestinians inhabited the land and owned farms and homes there until recently, fleeing in fear of violence at the hands of Jews after 1948 — violence that did not occur, but rumors of which led to a mass exodus. It is important to note that the Jews did not forcibly expel Palestinians. They were never “un-welcomed.” Yet only the full territories of Isratine can accommodate all the refugees and bring about the justice that is key to peace.

Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel. There are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel; they possess Israeli nationality and take part in political life with the Jews, forming political parties. On the other side, there are Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor, and goods and services are exchanged. This successful assimilation can be a model for Isratine.

It all sounds so pretty when he says it.

Hamas' Internal Divisions (and links on he right to other translated Middle East Reporting)
Tunnel diggers are already back in operation

Wind Rose Hotel (blog)
Hamas Infiltration into UK State Agencies
Who is to blame for Gaza
Why should Hamas want a Truce?
a specular purpose can be traced back to Hamas charter itself:

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”

Crotchety Old Fan:
The War on Gaza, with some statistics
the scope of what they’ve been dealing with begins to become apparent:

Tunnels: by my count 302+ smuggling tunnels were destroyed - many of them serving as weapons caches as well

Rocket and Mortar Launchers: 159 destroyed. That’s LAUNCHERS not rockets. Most launchers (depending on design) can be used to fire multiple rockets

Facilities: 104. These include everything from outposts to weapons manufacturing facilities, storage facilities and schools, mosques and homes used for the same

Gunmen: Unclear, as the IDF usually refers to ’squads’, ‘cells’ or ‘groups’. If you add those up - 201 ‘groups’ of indeterminate size, plus a few “commanders” here and there.

Israel claims that many of the civilian casualties claimed by Hamas are, in fact, Hamas fighters. Hamas itself claims only 35 fighters killed. If we make a swag that a group/cell/squad is, on average 5 fighters, we end up with 1005. Take out the 35 dead claimed by Hamas, you end up with 965 Hamas fighters. If you subtract that from the civilian casualty count of more than 1300, you end up with about 350 - far too many to be sure, but not anywhere’s near as horrifying as 1300.

Two Stage Solution
Does Israel have any moral obligation to negotiate with Hamas, with an organization that envisages, whether sooner or later, the destruction of the country? The answer to that seems to me entirely straightforward. Israel has no such obligation. No nation is obliged to deal, as between dialogic equals, with an organization that denies its fundamental right to national existence and announces the intention of terminating it. It would be good if more of Israel's critics recognized this, but that may be expecting too much in the present toxic climate.
Pointing out revisionist falsehoods parroted by the British

What I'm interested in is 'no "charter" for the destruction of Israel in its political programme'. So how to deal with the fact that the Hamas Charter, with its reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, not only talks about killing Jews 'until [they] hide behind rocks and trees', but goes so far as to say:

Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.

In addition, 'pointless' wouldn't be the word I'd choose for the rockets from Gaza 'aimed at Israeli towns', but that's by the way.

Subject to later addition

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