Posted tagged ‘Palestine’

The Case for Israel

January 4, 2009

Ever since the recent air assaults and ground invasion of Gaza by the Israeli Army, there has been an international backlash against Israel. These criticisms come from people all across the world, most of whom do not see the battle lines and do not know anyone in the line of fire. However, it does not appear that Israel has acted inappropriately.

Recent protests, like this one in London, have broken out worldwide in opposition to the actions of Israel

Recent protests, like this one in London, have broken out worldwide in opposition to the actions of Israel

Many people like to go back and forth as to who “started” it. Unlike the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole, it is not necessary to take this discussion back to biblical times to under stand the recent attacks. Since the dawn of the second millenium, Hamas has been firing rockets at Israelis. It began with Hamas firing rockets at Israeli settlers who were living within Gaza, but once these settlers were forcibly removed by the Israel government, Hamas proceeded to begin shooting rockets into Israel itself. Israel initially put up with it. Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have been calling for Hamas to put the rockets down and try to work out a peace accord with Israel; Hamas never listened. For just about a decade now, Israel has been subjected to random rocket fire from inside Gaza.  The attacks culminated on the Christmas Day when 80 rockets slammed into southern Israel. Think of the

The recent barage of these Qassam rockets into Israel is reason Israel says it must fight to take these sites down

The recent barage of these Qassam rockets into Israel is reason Israel says it must fight to take these sites down

situation this way: if the Canadians were firing rockets into New York and the Canadian government had no attempts to crack down, would the United States not attack? If the Germans started shelling Paris, would the Parisians not have the right to respond? The Israeli government, as all governments, has a responsibility to protect its people; in fact it’s one of the few solid defined tasks that a government has.

People point to the uneven death counts as, at this moment, 480 Palestinanians have been killed and only a handful of Israeli’s have been killed by the rocket attacks. This paints a skewed picture. The news media does not report how many, out of those 480, were Hamas militants. The United Nations has reported that 25% of the victims are civilians. To do the math for you that would be 125 innocent civilians; assuming the U.N. figures are accurate. There also seems to be a lack of coverage on the strategy of Hamas. Hamas knows how the

Here, the Israeli government has loaded a bus full of Palestinian civilians and brought them into Israel for protection

Here, the Israeli government has loaded a bus full of Palestinian civilians and brought them into Israel for protection

game is played. Therefore, they set up bases in big population centers. In order for Israel to attack them, this ensures civilian casualities and an international outcry. Further, this discredits Israeli efforts to prevent innocent victims, by dropping leaflets in the streets of a desired bombing area, warning residents to leave immedately and are signed by the Israeli military commander. The Israeli government has also provided busing for the citizens of Palestine to leave the area until it is safe to return. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has stated “The people of Gaza are not our enemy”

This graph, provided by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows the numbers of Israelis killed by acts of agression. One can see that peace was just a heartbeat away, as each year since 2001 the body counts have gone down. The recent rocket attacks by Hamas may prove to make 2008 the first increase in violence in  7 years

This graph, provided by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows the numbers of Israelis killed by acts of agression. One can see that peace was just a heartbeat away, as each year since 2001 the body counts have gone down. The recent rocket attacks by Hamas may prove to make 2008 the first increase in violence in 7 years

In a recent interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Mark Regev, the Israeli government spokesperson was asked what the goal of the incursion was. His response was:

We want to create a situation where the civilian population in S. Israel is no longer on the recieving end of those deadly Hamas rockets. When quiet can be achieved this operation can finish.

When questioned what the difference was between the 2006 war with Hezbollah and now, Mr. Regev replied

I think we’ve learned some important lessons since 2006. I think those lessons you can already see in the way the Israeli military has acted in the last week. We are confident we can achieve a situation where the Hamas leadership understands clearly that it is not in their interest to continue shooting rockets at Israeli civilians….I’d remind you that the siutation in the North has been quiet for 2 and a half years and looking to the south we want a situation where the Sothern border will be quiet as well.

The United States has openly supported Israel. President Bush decleared:

“Since Hamas’ violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza, by spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.”

President Bush has stated that he is in favor of an end to the violence, but not a cease-fire that just leaves Israel under attack one day later. The White House has called for a long term solution that allows Israelis and Palestinans to live in peace.

Israel is acting in a manner to defend their civilians, as any responsible government should.

For the entire CNN interview with Israeli spokesman Mark Regev please visit http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/01/03/amanpour.gaza.intv.regev.cnn?iref=videosearch

For details of the attacks on Israel since 2001 please visit http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian+terror+since+2000/Victims+of+Palestinian+Violence+and+Terrorism+sinc.htm

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Israeli PM Ehud Olmert: “currently at the first of several stages” of the operation

December 30, 2008

Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a meeting with top officials that the latest military actions were to continue. Mr Olmert’s statement that the bombardment was “the first of several stages approved by the security cabinet” was quoted from a briefing he gave to President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.

Israel is determined to defeat Hamas and end rocket fire into its southern cities. So far there are reports of close to 400 casualities however there is no known number of how many of those are civilian. Hamas has responded with rockets which have killed at least 1 Israeli.

One would expect large civilian causalities in such a densely populated area however so far Israel has managed to keep its bombs on target as there have been no reports of schools or other civilian buildings being hit. Israel has explicitly said it is only targeting Hamas and its operatives in the strikes.

Most of the strikes into Gaza have been predominately in Gaza city which is at the northern part of the Gaza strip.

The Israeli military “has made preparations for long weeks of action”, deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai said in an interview with the BBC.

US BACKS ISRAELI ACTIONS.
“The United States understands that Israel needs to take actions to defend itself, In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire.”

The United States has not called for restraint as many had hoped it would. President Bush has not announced his position on it, leaving the spokesperson to do so. Secretary of State Rice is pushing for a ceasefire.

– White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

CNN has more coverage:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12/30/gaza.israel.airstrikes/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Israeli Embassy In London Faces Mass Demonstrations

December 29, 2008

(New York) Today protesters have gathered near the Israeli embassy to protest the recent military incursions into Gaza. We have clips from YouTube filmed by protesters outside of the embassy. The protesters were not allowed close to the embassy as they were held back by the London Metropolitan Police.

These protests follow reports stating that the embassy had received a white powder filled envelope which turned out to be a false alarm. Stay tuned for more updates.

Israel Launches Air Offensive on Gaza Strip

December 27, 2008
Gaza Strip map.

Gaza Strip map.

(New York) – Reports have been coming in about the recent Israeli military operations launched into the Gaza strip. The Israeli air force launched wave after wave of air strikes into Gaza as a response to the rocket attacks on civilian populations by Hamas. Casualty reports vary but estimates say close to 200 Palestinians have been killed in the air strikes. The BBC’s London Bureau is reporting injuries close to 700 people as of now. The air strikes continued on into the night and showed not sign of ending soon.

This does not seem to be a quick retaliation from the Israelis as indicated by announcements from top leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military operation “may take some time.”

Surrounded by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni he went on to say “It’s not going to last a few days.”

Khaled Meshaal a Hamas leader, called for a new intifada against Israel as a response to the recent violent escalation. An attack such as this against the palestinians has not been seen in decades. Hamas’ Gaza leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said “Palestine has never witnessed an uglier massacre.”

Israel has claimed to have hit close to 40 targets in the strip and Hamas confirmed that all of its security compounds in the Gaza strip have been destroyed as a result of the air strikes. Hamas has stated they would renew their rocket attacks against southern Israeli cities immediately as a response to this latest turn of events.

Rumors abound of an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza strip amid televesion reports stating that Israeli ground forces had begun amassing near the border. (more…)