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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Juxtapositions

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that Israel's response to the incessant firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip, in which crossings to the area were closed, was "unacceptable."

Excuse me, you idiots, but they're BOMBING us!! We're supposed to supply anything to people trying to kill us? This rocket barrage has been going on since last week, and these aren't the little oft-derided-by-the-Left "little homemade rockets" but rather the more advanced Katyushas.(See the Hezbollah Katyusha in the picture).

The European Union also called on Israel to reopen its border crossings with the Gaza Strip. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said she was worried that "fuel and basic humanitarian assistance" is not reaching the Palestinians.

Reeaaallly? Well, guess what, Benita? Gaza has absolutely no trouble supplying itself with drugs, prostitutes, weapons, lions, perfumes, cheaper gasoline, cigarettes, milk, flour, sugar or anything else the market demands.

"Underground smuggling has become one of the most profitable and sought-after professions in Gaza. Hundreds of unemployed laborers have joined the digging business, where monthly salaries range from NIS 2,500 to NIS 5,000. Most of the laborers used to work in Israel but lost their jobs because of the closure of the border crossings." (Jerusalem Post November 14, 2008)According to sources close to Hamas, the number of underground tunnels has risen in the past two years to nearly 1,000, according to journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

These aren't little home-made tunnels dug with shovels, either: "Today, engineers and well-trained excavators supervise the digging of most of the tunnels, some of which are equipped with electricity and phone lines. " Hell, they've even run a gas pipeline down one of these tunnels.

The latest information is that Hamas is now licensing the tunnels and issuing building guidelines, and regulating the flow of trade goods.

Of course,the myopic European view is best expressed by the BBC:

"Last Tuesday, more than four months into a ceasefire, Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip."

Right, like this happened in a vacuum. The IDF just woke up one morning and said, hey, everyone, let's go stir up Gaza, since we haven't got anything better to do.....NO mention whatsoever of the reason for the IDF's entry: to shut down another kidnapping tunnel Hamas was routing under the fence into Israeli territory. Whatever was Hamas building a tunnerl for?

The IDF went into Gaza to take out this tunnel because "numerous intelligence reports have indicated that Hamas is planning to carry out a mass-casualty attack as well as hoping to abduct another Iisraeli soldier, either through a tunnel similar to the one used in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit almost two and a half years ago, or by a terrorist cell infiltrating into pre-1967 Israel."

Got that? Hamas wants a lots of Jews murdered in a 'mass casualty attack' -- a nice phrase for a suicide bombing or car bombing. Think downtown Baghdad. Or downtown Jerusalem before the Anti-Suicide-Bomber-Barrier was built. This piece of information got absolutely NO play in the MSM, including al-Beeb.

"Since then, seven Hamas militants have been killed in clashes and airstrikes," al Beeb intones.

No mention of why: Israel Air Force fighter pilots struck a terror cell of rocket launchers in northern Gaza Friday morning after they launched a barrage of rockets at the western Negev.

"Palestinian militants said they regarded it as an "Israeli aggression" and responded by firing dozens of rockets and mortar shells towards Israeli border towns."

Palestinian New-Think: we tunnel into YOUR country in order to kill YOUR people and kidnap YOUR people and when you stop us by destroying our tunnel (instead of carpet-bombing Gaza, for instance)then YOU are the aggressors.

George Orwell would love these folks.

Note also that ASHKELON is NOT a border town. It is a major port city in Israel proper, and it got thumped by Hamas Katyushas on Friday, one rocket sending shrapnel into the body of a 70 year old woman and causing a cardiac incident.

This, also, got no mention by al-Beeb or other MSM outlets.

"No Israelis have been injured, but the Ministry of Defence took the decision to close most of Gaza's crossings in response," says BBC.

Got that? The 70-year-old victim isn't really injured, and Jews have to die before al-Beeb considers it an 'injury' I guess. Typical European anti-Semites.....Jewish lives have never counted to those people.

The juxtaposition of these new items in the local papers gave me pause--the one sob-story enunciated by the UN and EU Palestine-pimps, and the other local story wherein an Arab journalist interviews the proud and boastful Hamasnikim about their many tunnels, their ability to supply themselves with nearly anything they wish, and their declarations that they do just fine without Israeli-supplied items.

Of course, the only story getting any play in the Euroleftic press was the former---until this morning! Today, al Beeb belatedly picked up on the tunnels story, nevertheless berating Israel for its "blockade"; note that when Britain or the EU engage in identical behavior, it is called an "embargo" and that the practitioners who so vociferously protest Israel's embargo of Gaza have enthusiastically practiced embargoes of their own over the last few decades to push their own political agendas.

The real juxtaposition isn't the Beeb versus local news; it is the deliberate, selective British blindness to Hamas's bloody-minded intentions versus the reality of Israel's struggle to stay alive in the face of unrelenting, genocidal extremism.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Reb Barry said...

See my post on last week's Torah portion at
www.neshamah.net

despite my leftist leanings, I'm having trouble getting worked up over the siege of Gaza.

Reb Barry

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 7:03:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger RR said...

Agreed, agreed.

Why does this stuff surprise us anymore? The ever-predictable Israel-bashing and terrorist-sympathizing would be laughable if it weren't so sad. I wonder if it'll ever change. Probably not.

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 9:16:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger Mo-ha-med said...

Aliyah06,
I understand your argument and feel for your anger.
But I think that your "but they're BOMBING us!!" line is precisely what I think is the fundamental flaw in your argument. You see it as "they shoot us, we respond, the world unjustly complains". It's not a one way street. It's more circular than that, and the argument can be easily made that the Gazans are responding to Israeli attacks. And they have the dead bodies to prove it...

The (main) problem I have with the response is the blockade. It's collective punishment, Sarah, and it's both illegal and immoral. And yes, there's a lot of smuggling going on - but fuel isn't really 'smugglabble'(:)). Unless they install a pipeline... :)
Seriously, I was speaking to a Gazan friend who told me that fuel is indeed the main problem.
Collective punishment in the type of a blockade, which ends up hurting innocent people, is on a moral par with Hamas bombing civilian areas.

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 5:49:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

reb barry, rr-- I'm simply tired of the hypocrisy of reporting half the story.

sadeek--that is exactly how I see it.....we leave Gaza--the Gazans mount massive missile attacks; there is a hudna, except that the Gazans try to tunnel into Israel to kill/kidnap Jews--we destroy the tunnel, they fire missiles at CIVILIAN targets, we then take out the shooters (legitimate military targets). There is no moral equivalence when we're using tech to target shooters, and Gazans are using Google-Earth to find kindergartens to aim at....

The blockade, or embargo as I call it, is a diplomatic tool used world wide. It's not an Israeli invention, and it's hardly 'collective punishment,' especially when tons of goods are trucked in from Israel and just about everything else is brought in through hundreds of tunnels....and seriously, they DID run a pipeline through one of them:

"the smugglers installed underground pipes that continue to pump gasoline into the Gaza Strip. As a result, motorists there pay nearly half the price they were paying several months ago to fill their cars."

I'm fairly confident that no one in Gaza is really suffering, except for PR purposes at this point (for example: Hamas turns out the lights, claiming 'no power' but 70% of the power comes from Egypt anyway, not Israel, and besides, the street lights are still on).

I'm also fairly certain that the embargo is merely a ploy by the Israeli government to make it look as if they are 'doing something' about the rain of incoming missiles--they don't want to really do much and upset things to the point where we have a reserve call-up, or actually re-take Gaza---they just want some window-dressing so they can tell the beleaguered citizens of Israel that the government is doing SOMETHING (not!!). The only thing I've noticed is that since we've stopped letting metal pipes into Gaza, the Gazans don't make as many Kassams---instead, they're smuggling in Katyushas. Now THERE'S an improvement.....

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 11:00:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

PS--are we still on for coffee?

Monday, November 17, 2008 at 11:00:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Mo-ha-med said...

We absolutely are on, yes! But I've been stuck at home, as my right foot is in a cast!! I was playing street hockey in Ramallah... Will tell you all about it soon :)
But I'll get to Jerusalem eventually, promise! :)

I was curious about your distinction between an embargo and a blockade, so I looked up the definitions (here and here). And we're not talking about a prohibition of trade. Israel is forbidding even humanitarian aid from entering the Gaza strip. Plus, when Israel 'embargoes' the Gaza strip it not only stops trading with it but it forbids it receiving or exporting anything from anywhere. It stops people from going in and out. It's a full control of air, land, and sea spaces. So it is a blockade, and a cosmetic semantic change cannot hide the ugliness of this action.
(Speaking of cosmetic semantic changes - "anti-suicide-bomber-barrier"? That was funny. :)

Israel never really left Gaza. Look, there's a Gazan guy in my office in Ramallah who hasn't seen his family since 1999. He got married here a couple of months ago (last June, to be more precise), and his mother (in Gaza) got a permit to exit the Strip to come to the wedding - but some sadistic officer revoked it the very day she was coming. So she didn't get to attend her son's wedding. This wouldn't have happened if Israel had really 'left Gaza'.

I very much doubt the pipeline thing. The fact that I can only find it referenced on websites that also write that "Palestinians do not exist" and that "Israeli lefties are anti-semites" - makes me doubt it even more. Anyways. So they, what, built up a gas station on the other side of the border and are pumping gas? Very hard to buy..

"I'm fairly confident that no one in Gaza is really suffering".
I sincerely don't know how to reply to that.

I've been talking with Gazan friends. With journalists currently there. With NGO workers who go there frequently. And they tell me that some stuff comes through the tunnels. But not everyone can afford it - smuggled stuff comes with a markup! :) - and there is no fuel. There is no fuel for NGO cars based there. UN cars who go in - who were able to go in, since it's been sealed in the past week - take an extra tank just in case. Gas is surely not available. And surely not at half-price!!

You are right: There would be no moral equivalence if Israel was indeed "using tech to target shooters, and Gazans are using Google-Earth to find kindergartens to aim at."
Only, Israel shoots civilians, too. Targeted or 'collateral damage' becomes irrelevant when you try to explain to a mother that her 12-year old is not coming home, ever.
Most Hamas rockets, which I do not defend, end up in uninhabited (is that even a word? :)) areas. I don't think they're smart enough/have the tech to know what they aim at..
And as far as I recall, Google Earth doesn't show Israel.
Nor Dick Cheney's house. Fact :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 2:04:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Mohamed--Hope your foot feels better soon--how long are you out of action?

The pipeline story was part of Khaled Abu Toameh's piece, and while I don't know where he got HIS information, it's not just on the Right Wing Fringe blogs....

Why do I have trouble believing things are as dire as painted in Gaza? Too much evidence to the contrary: Tony Blair's sister-in-law is photographed in a well-stocked makolet; Hamasnikim buzz around Gaza in gas-guzzling SUVs; the pictures of the young men in 'summer camps' training for jihad show healthy, well-muscled youngsters, not people who look like they've missed a meal; Haniyeh himself could lose a few pounds; tons of food in blog pictures from Gaza at Eid; too much precedent of fake crises-that-aren't from the Palestinian propaganda machine: the 'funeral' where the dead guy got up and ran away; the "Jenin Massacre" that wasn't; the outtakes from the Mohammed Dura incident showing Gazans painting themselves with fake blood and rerunning the ambulance scene over and over in multiple takes, as if it were a movie set; the fake "blackout" pictures with Gazans holding candles in the streets---and a block away all the street lights are on.

Okay, I'm a cynic--given this and much more, I think it's a propaganda ploy. Are there shortages? Probably--if Hamas shells the guys delivering the fuel, your gas might get held up a couple of days.....but I disagree that under such circumstances, its Israel's fault. There has been a repeated pattern of Hamas running supplies down to the nub, then telling the world "We're out of (insert product) tomorrow," and it turns out that Hamas never notified the Israelis (as per their agreement) that they have no (1) gas (2) cooking oil (3) anaethesia, etc. and Israel has usually gotten it to them within 24hours....

Besides, Israeli sanctions are a joke--even Barak backed down and sent a shipment of gasoline in yesterday, despite continued shelling from Gaza and his 'tough talk' as Defense Minister. Does Israeli intercept boats? Yep, but just to check them for weapons (smuggled from Iran via Egypt/Sinai).

The UNWRA says there isn't enough fuel or food? Well, who runs the UNWRA on the ground? Over 90% of their employees in Gaza are Palestinians--they're not going to contradict the party line. Would anyone in their right mind contradict Hamas? That's a group that throws you off the rooftop if you oppose them....


Collective punishment? The collective punishment is what the Arab world has been doling out to the Jews since 1948: if the Arab world can mount a boycott, applaud Nasser's blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba, close THEIR borders to Israel like Israel has closed its borders to Gaza, wage both conventional and unconventional war against Israel for 60 years, then it takes a bit of nerve for the Palestinians to claim "collective punishment" when we respond in kind to being attacked militarily.

And what about Sderot and Ashkelon? Why is it 'collective punishment' to 'blockade' all but non-essential materials to a war-mongering Hamas entity whose platform is the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews, but its called "resistance" when the civilians of Israeli towns are maimed and killed by Hamas rockets? (Someone did the math yesterday, and this year's missile count is something like 7 per day on average).

Well....I will take your word that people on the ground that you've talked to have a different picture than what I'm getting from reading other people's articles. Neither of us is there. But you did say one thing that struck a chord:

"Targeted or 'collateral damage' becomes irrelevant when you try to explain to a mother that her 12-year old is not coming home, ever."

Hey, I'm a mom, too. All this talk by NGOs, statesment, militants, government officials....it's all BS when its your friend, your husband, your child, or your brother who never comes home again.

And yes, Google Earth does show Israel (my kid showed me a while back), and some Gaza militant bragged about how his group used it to target schools and kindergartens.Yes, they mainly hit uninhabited (yes, that's a word) areas (and thank G-d!) but its not for want of trying....of course, Ashkelon is a bigger target and so they usually hit something when they aim there.

If you can find his address, I can find Cheney's house for you {grin}--there's another program that does that.

Get well, okay?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 5:10:00 PM GMT+2  

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