TVNZ reporting from Gaza

January 12th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Karl du Fresne raises an issue of ethics:

There was ’s Europe correspondent Mark Crysell reporting on the 6 o’clock news from the Israeli town of Sderot, near the border with Gaza. Journalists congregate in this town because Israel won’t allow them into Gaza and I presume it’s the closest they can get to the Israeli bombardment.

Crysell, looking every inch the foreign correspondent in his flak jacket, talked about hearing Israeli bombs exploding. He may have mentioned taking shelter from Hamas rockets, which are occasionally fired at Sderot. Then he said something like: “Here’s my report”.

What followed was a report from inside Gaza, showing the usual scenes: wrecked buildings, grieving Palestinians, bloody hospital wards. Sure enough, it was Crysell’s voice we were hearing over the news footage; but “my” report? How could it be Crysell’s report when he was on the Israeli side of the border, well away from the carnage?

Surely even TVNZ wouldn’t stoop to anything so blatantly dishonest as dubbing its own correspondent’s voice over footage compiled by someone else (I suspect the BBC, which has people inside Gaza) and then claiming it as Crysell’s own?

I think it is all part of the trend to make TV news seem immediate and unqiue.

The TV bulletins are full of “live crosses” now, even though they are reporting on issues that finished hours earier and don’t need a live cross.

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166 Responses to “TVNZ reporting from Gaza”

  1. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    I dunno about the TV reporting but I can assure you that Newstalk ZB has lost one loyal breakfast listener.

    I cannot abide Mike Hosking, it only took five minutes for his pinko anti Israel viewpoint to become clear.

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  2. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Surely even TVNZ wouldn’t stoop to anything so blatantly dishonest as dubbing its own correspondent’s voice over footage compiled by someone else (I suspect the BBC, which has people inside Gaza)

    Okay, but since Israel isn’t letting foreign journalists into Gaza any more, I doubt that’ll be much of a problem in the near future.

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  3. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    Israel doesn’t want any reporters in Gaza to witness the war crime horrors that Israel are responsible for.

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  4. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I cannot abide Mike Hosking, it only took five minutes for his pinko anti Israel viewpoint to become clear.

    Is being resolutely pro-Israel the new political correctness now?

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  5. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    I often wonder if the News Media are more pissed off with being relegated to the sidelines and being denied the latest breaking story than the “Plight” of the Palestinians and to be quite frank i am rather convinced that this is the case as it has happened on frequent occasions even with News Media going so far as to report falsely when there is ample evidence to the contrary.

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  6. medusa (37 comments) says:

    Pro-Israeli demos staged.

    Two pro-Israel demonstrations in the UK have passed off peacefully after violence marred a protest yesterday against military action in Gaza.

    Speakers at both rallies defended Israel’s right to protect itself, to the approval of thousands of people.

    Organisers of an event in London’s Trafalgar Square said there were 15,000 people, while 2,000 supporters attended an event outside Manchester Town Hall.

    This is copied from teletext.co.uk, the question I ask is WHERE is there any mention of this in our MSM?
    I called newstalkzb and asked them the same question, was told “its so yesterdays news” and then hung up on.
    I’m with you BBruv, they have lost another long time listener for their rudeness and Hosking’s viewpoint.

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  7. anonymouse (716 comments) says:

    David, I have heard that TVNZ now requires that the three lead items on the 6pm bulletin must all include a live cross.

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  8. david (2,557 comments) says:

    The immediacy of the absurd. A week ago they crossed to a reporter standing outside Fonterra HQ on a wet Sunday evening when there was some Sanlu news out of China. The idiot reporter blabbed on and finished with a lame “there is no-one here at Fonterra at the moment!

    FFS – of course there was no-one there and it didn’t really give the impression that “us TVNZ newshounds are on the job while the mighty Corporate sleeps” – it just looked plain silly.

    Same goes for the solemn intonation of “I’m standing outside the Auckland District Court where earlier today ……” Farking big deal!

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  9. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    My favourites are live crosses to the Auckland newsroom.

    YOU’RE IN THE AUCKLAND NEWSROOM.

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  10. Colonel Masters (409 comments) says:

    The most ridiculous cross must have been when Sir Peter Blake was killed by pirates in the Amazon and the studio crossed live to their reporter at the Viaduct Basin!

    I have noticed that mostly the reporters blunder and stumble through some smalltalk with the studio-bound newsreader, and then deliver their pre-recorded report. So there is nothing added by having the cross – it just serves to annoy. Particularly when there are kids standing in the background giving gangster waves, and hoons driving past tooting their car horns.

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  11. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Crysell, looking every inch the foreign correspondent in his flak jacket, talked about hearing Israeli bombs exploding. He may have mentioned taking shelter from Hamas rockets, which are occasionally fired at Sderot”

    If one of those ‘harmless’ Hamas rockets were to hit the journalists hotel in Sderot and kill some of them the media would probably blame israel for not letting them into Gaza

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  12. chfr (126 comments) says:

    I have given up on the MSM and any pretext of lack of bias. The classic for me this week was the Dominion who printed the Daniel Finkelstein column in the world section. FFS it is a comment piece from the Times and the opinion section was where belonged.

    What has happened to the reporters who reported the news and left us to make up our own opinion?

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  13. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Fran O’Sullivan’s still crying she can’t get into Gaza. She tried parachuting in but Israel phoned her the day she was to leave and told her to stay in NZ on her fat ass instead. What could she do? Bullies. :sad:

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  14. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    If one of those ‘harmless’ Hamas rockets were to hit the journalists hotel in Sderot and kill some of them the media would probably blame israel for not letting them into Gaza

    If Israel let them into Gaza they’d blame Israel for Hamas shooting them in the legs and leaving them to die in the street.

    The RSPCA correspondent in Gaza sent a message out this morning by carrier pigeon:

    “…dogs now forced to eat scraps in burned out butchery…no bowls in sight…very unhygienic…animals often displaying very dull coats…damn those Jews!”

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  15. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    If Fran O’Sullivan cannot get in then perhaps we could send Fran Mould.

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  16. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Live crosses annoy me. Basically you get some reporter stammering through a few lines of prepared “ad lib” whilst you wait for someone to push the right button so you can see the actual news report. Live crosses are relevant for “breaking news”. A live cross to a reporter under fire is always good news for example but a live cross to a shopping mall to build anticipation about a story on Christmas present shopping? That I can do without.

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  17. kino flo (83 comments) says:

    Has this idiot du Fresne ever worked in a tv newsroom? Cos if he had, he would know that putting a reporter’s voice over pictures someone else shot happens every day, in every tv news channel in the world. In a place like southern Israel, looking into Gaza, there would be a number of independent satellite news services (APTN, Reuters etc) positioned providing various services to hundreds of different Tv channels from all around the world. At each feed point there will be a compilation tape showing the best and most relevant pictures shot by all the different freelance organisations. There would only be raw sound on each tape, so then the various reporters can pick and choose whatever vision the want, place their voice over it, and send the package back to there home country. This is how TV gets made. You cannot physically be in multiple places at once. You can’t even get into Gaza!

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  18. MT_Tinman (3,188 comments) says:

    Why would anyone, ever, watch TV news?

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  19. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Crysell, looking every inch the foreign correspondent in his flak jacket

    So a flak jacket is a minimum health and safety requirement for, presumably, everyone in southern Israel these days. Flak jackets are certainly illegal in Australia, and probably illegal in NZ. So TVNZ is telling us that Sderot is so dangerous, due to Hamas terrorism, that people are required to protect themselves in ways that are illegal in NZ. And therefore that the Israeli military are justified in trying to suppress the Hamas rockets.

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  20. kino flo (83 comments) says:

    “If Fran O’Sullivan cannot get in then perhaps we could send Fran Mould.”

    At least we would get a better, more balanced coverage with Fran Mold. How would O’Sullivan report from Gaza when she can’t get her Nat Party talking points from Key? Fran Mold have the guts to travel into some seriously bad bandit country in East Timor with just a hairy cameraman for company, Fran O’sullivan manages to lose her Parliamentary press pass in the Nat’s old caucus room. I know which one I’d rather have reporting from a war-zone.

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  21. DanielM (38 comments) says:

    From what I can tell, the footage that Crysell uses is from Al Jazeera English (as I recognise it from the Newshour that Stratos is showing every morning) and ABC News. But it’s not only TVNZ that do it, TV3 do it as well.

    International news also do it (as kino flo says), but most of the time they give credit to the source somewhere on screen. I’ve noticed this is something that rarely ever happens with our local networks.

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  22. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Mark Crysell reminds me of those nodding birds that you put in front of a glass of water. Why does he keep nodding his head like that? Is it to make him seem thoughtful?

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  23. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    I wonder how much of the bullshit TVNZ footage is actually Hamas propaganda.

    Israel is absolutely right to prohibit the entry of western journalists after theri appalling performance in Lbanon and iraq. And as for the lame excuses that Israel won’t let them into Gaza, have TVNZ not heard of the border with Egypt? The one where all the rockets came into Gaza through tunnels? If these wimps were the intrepid characters they imitate, they would be in there by now.

    Needless to say I don’t watch TVNZ or TV3 news.

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  24. Exclamation Mark (85 comments) says:

    I found the Hoskings business on 1ZB disturbing for a different reason.

    First he interviewed Mark Crysell, who gave what I thought was a fairly standard and (by MSM standards) unbiased view of the situation.

    Then Mike said something like “And now from the other side…” and proceeded to interview some bloke who is allegedly living in Gaza with his nine-months pregnant wife, has had all the windows house blown out, bombs go off within a 100m of his home, is scared to leave the house even during the daily 3 hour cease fire, doesn’t know what he is going to do when his wife goes into labour because the Israeli’s “shoot anything that moves after dark”……. you get the picture.

    What fucking idiot’s idea of balance is this? They were passing off their European correspondent as giving Israel’s side of the story (which is laughable), and then have some highly emotive stories from some random character in the war zone. Would they interview an Israeli who had been effected the rocket attacks or suicide bombings? Hell no.

    Some one at 1ZB is having a huge laugh.

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  25. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    You cannot physically be in multiple places at once. You can’t even get into Gaza!

    I think that is a very interesting point you have made here for a number of reasons.

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  26. Lawrence Hakiwai (119 comments) says:

    I had the misfortune this morning to see a BBC World bulletin. Three casuatlies were shown, all were Palestinian children. I’m guessing the hundreds of Hamas soldiers being shot and bombed are taken to other hospitals or maybe the media look the other way when wounded grown ups still carrying their Kalashnikovs are brought in. I know everyone loves an underdog but this is just lazy journalism.

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  27. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    “with just a hairy cameraman for company”

    I think you might be getting the moustaches mixed up.

    Fran Mould is a joke, she is far from “balanced” and takes he directions straight from the office of the leader of the Labour party.

    Whatever you think of O’Sullivan she is at least unbiased, she fearlessly pursues the truth and is not controlled by any political party.

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  28. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Ever since Vietnam the media have done all they can to fuck up a good war. Does anyone really think that civilians being killed in a war is a recent thing? Imagine how WW2 would have gone if there were graphic pictures of dead & maimed civilians in London or Berlin shown everywhere. People want to imagine that “their side” are the good guys and only the enemy does nasty things to civilians. People can delude themsleves into thinking anything if it suits their purpose.

    The media role is to sell advertising, which means they have to get viewers/readers. What better way than the broken bodies of children to do that. Human beings are voyeristic creatures after all. All these scum do is pander to our most basic instincts. Fairness is not an issue and neither is right or wrong as far as the media are concerned. It is just business.

    Wars always kill civilians. From ancient history to modern Africa and the middle east. Bullets and bombs don’t care who they kill. There is no such thing as a fair war.

    If the Palestinians want to stop dying, perhaps they should have elected a government that doesn’t have a policy of wiping out the next door neighbours, who just happen to pretty damn good at defending themselves.

    Bleat all we want, the Israelies and the Arabs couldn’t give a shit.

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  29. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Why are flak jackets illegal in the Antipodes?

    Are anti-stab jackets as well?

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  30. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    “TV News” is an oxymoron.

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  31. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    I wonder how many wars would be waged if the rules of engagement were that only the politicians from each side were to be locked in a room filled with sharp knives and left to “go at it” for as long as it took for a winner to emerge?

    Me thinks wars would be few and far between if that were the requirement.

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  32. Ruth (178 comments) says:

    On a related ‘citizen journalism’ note — what on earth has happened to Tumeke! blog?

    I previously enjoyed Selwyn and Bomber’s posts – they usually did a pretty good job of documenting the corruptions in our justice system…now re Israel they are just like evangelical megapastors…and are consistently ridiculous by any objective pro or anti Israel yardstick.

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  33. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    “The civilian deaths aren’t our fault – all we did was drop the bombs…”

    The stuck record that is the Israeli PR machine. Forever painting themselves as the victims, even when the respective body counts make this a bad joke.

    “Those Palestinians don’t even love their children – that’s why they’re always USING THEM AS HUMAN SHIELDS!”

    And smearing their enemies with the sort of propaganda that even their buddy good old Adolph H. would have been proud of, not to mention plenty of the more extreme name-callers here ;-)

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  34. GK (97 comments) says:

    I endorse CraigM. I see our own forsaken Labour party spokeshole bumping her gums in support of the right of a nation to antagonise, kill, and terrorize the civilian population of a neighbour country and then cry ‘foul’ when they are dealt to.

    Just.Shut.Up.Helen. You are like the UN–utterly irrelevant–and will be treated as such with your jew hating.

    Do yourselves a favour folks, throw the TV out altogether. I did so 10 years back and do not regret it for a minute.

    Why subject yourselves to the outlook of self-important cretins? There is a whole life out there waiting to be enjoyed with out parking your bum and your brain within range of these morons

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  35. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    G Max>Why are flak jackets illegal in the Antipodes?

    No idea. But my Sydney based sister employs staff in Iraq, amongst other places, and would like to have a few jackets sitting around so that the guys can get kitted out properly before they head off overseas. But importing the things is more trouble than it is worth. Instead, staff leave their jackets behind whenever they head home for their replacement to use.

    I can’t imagine NZ would be any different.

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  36. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Ratbiter – perhaps if your race had been on the wrong end of a holocaust you might have a different view on the matter. Last time the Jews were told they would be wiped of the earth they didn’t fight back and nearly were. Now they shoot first talk later. Fool me once……

    “Those Palestinians don’t even love their children – that’s why they’re always USING THEM AS HUMAN SHIELDS!”

    Sadly, sometimes they do. Or do you prefer to think that Hamas are all angels? Did you choose to ignore the pictures from Lebanon last year that showed rockets being fired from civilians backyards? Of course it is the more militant that use the weak as shields/pawns/cannon fodder. As has always been the case throughout human history.

    You are as one-eyed as the pro Israelies you damn. As I said earlier, there is no such thing as a fair war. Why pretend otherwise.

    Anyway ratty, put it in perspective. Last year about 40,000 Americans were killed on their own roads. That should make you smile.

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  37. Lawrence Hakiwai (119 comments) says:

    If only the Israelis could develop weapons that shoot around children to hit the hate-crazed idiots with the guns and missiles standing behind them. Hamas wouldn’t dare pick a fight with Israel then, knowing western camera crews wouldn’t get any footage of innocent children wounded and killed by the evil Israeli war machine.

    Until they do however Israel only has one option, to kill as many Hamas as possible in the hope the survivors realise they’re dealing with a nation that will do what ever it has to to protect its people. Fat chance in my opinion, but very courageous of them to try.

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  38. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    CraigM – thank you, but I don’t believe wrongs done in the past, to other Jews, by a third party, give any moral justification whatsoever to any present-day killings of innocent people!

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  39. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Ratbaiter

    “but I don’t believe wrongs done in the past, to other Jews, by a third party, give any moral justification whatsoever to any present-day…”

    Can we substitute the word Jews for Maori?, or are you going to be hypocritical about this as well.

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  40. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    And as for the lame excuses that Israel won’t let them into Gaza, have TVNZ not heard of the border with Egypt? The one where all the rockets came into Gaza through tunnels? If these wimps were the intrepid characters they imitate, they would be in there by now.

    You’ll find that Egypt routinely bars reporters from entering through their border too. As for using tunnels, I think that would raise big questions about the nature of the relationship between the reporters and those who control the tunnels.

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  41. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Ratb – one could argue that there is no moral justification for war at all. That’d be nice.

    I believe that recent history is in fact very real for the Jews and they have been fighting both politically and sometimes physically since 1948 to ensure that it does not repeat itself. I’m sure if they were left alone, they would leave their neighbours alone. It would be fantastic if there was a chance to prove my theory.

    Both sides are killing innocent people, you seem to be upset that one side is more proficeint than the other!

    Perhaps if you commented that both sides should stop the killing, you may come across as less anti-semetic.

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  42. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    CraigM – I don’t believe that criticising Israel’s actions is equivalent to anti-Semitism, but you make it clear that they are the same thing in your eyes!

    Big Bruv – I can’t really respond to that, as I don’t know what parallel you are trying to draw between Maori and Jews…?

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  43. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    “Those Palestinians don’t even love their children – that’s why they’re always USING THEM AS HUMAN SHIELDS!”

    Why is it, some people think if you say something that is true with a sneer that makes it untrue?

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  44. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    This (the situation in Gaza) isn’t as clear-cut or black and white as many people try to paint it.

    On the one hand we have a bunch of evil sods who every day try to unleash death on the people of Israel by firing rockets into populated areas (albeit with little accuracy and minimal effect).

    On the other hand we have Israel saying “we’ve had enough and are going to retaliate”

    Now, if *all* Palestinians were firing off rockets or actively supporting and providing sanctuary/cover for those who do then it would be easy to justify Israel bombing the snot out of them.

    However, it’s a pretty safe bet that a lot of those people are just the meat in the sandwich. They don’t want militants firing rockets from behind their house any more than Israelis want those rockets landing in their gardens.

    But… when you’re dealing with a bunch of heavily armed militants hell-bent on dealing death to Israel, are you going to put up a fight or even argue when they decide to start using your lawn as a rocket-launching or manufacturing base? Hell you’re not!

    So who are the villains here?

    Should Israel simply sit back and allow its people to be killed by rockets launched out of Gaza?

    Should those launching those rockets be using their fellow countrymen as human shields?

    As I said — it’s far from black and white and there is fault on both sides.

    The solution?

    Put the heads of the militants and the heads of the Israeli military in a room with a couple of knives and let them go to it.

    Whoever’s God is the right one will surely protect them and smite the other a deathly blow.

    Then the innocent people of both countries can get on with living a peaceful and productive life.

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  45. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    Going back to the media side of things, live crosses are becoming more and more popular, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that some journos can’t handle them.

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  46. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I’m standing here in front of the site where something newsworthy happened only half a day ago; so that this still, lifeless, after-the-fact scene can provide a faintly interesting but totally uninformative and ultimately pointless scenic backdrop for me to stand in front of in my suit telling you what happened.

    I guess I could have spent the 3.5 hours it took me to get here doing some more research into the story, so that I could have given you more actual INFORMATION about the newsworthy event that happened here. But then I thought, “nah…”

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  47. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Yawn Yawn the usual anti Jew anti Yank cranks and wankers Its all about the green eyed monster Fact is Israel has done very well over the past 60 years developing a country for its citizens Contrast this with the crazed and demented regimes that seek to wipe them out Ruled by nutters that are incapable of governing for the welfare of their people Despots all.

    Good grief are your eyes and ears painted on. Stop apologising for the nutters who run these regimes and who treat their people so appallingly.

    The Arabs need to stop living in the past and get to grips with the 21st century. Iran Iraqi Syria Palestine all failed states run by nutters and inhabited by OTT citizens

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  48. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    ratbaiter
    What is your view concerning the 1.5 million German civilians killed by the RAF night bombing raids over Germany for the loss of 50,000 aircrew? Was Churchill right to order these attacks when, unlike Hamas who clearly hides its military infrastructure in civilian areas, there was little or no evidence that German cities housed substantive German military infrastructure? Did the Allies ever drop leaflets on German or Japanese cities warning their inhabitants of impeding bomb strikes that night as Israel has done in Gaza?

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  49. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Good grief are your eyes and ears painted on. Stop apologising for the nutters who run these regimes and who treat their people so appallingly.

    Exactly gd. Can’t the useful idiots who sycophantically support its every move with almost evangelical fervor, as if it could never do anything wrong, see that almost every move the Israeli govt has made in the last 8 years makes their situation worse for its own people? Crikey these useful idiots must be either really stupid, or so emotional about it they can’t see reality.

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  50. Lawrence Hakiwai (119 comments) says:

    The main problem with live crosses is their over use. Remember when Bangkok airport was closed by protests and all those travellers were “trapped”(or too lazy or stupid to use a bus or train). What did they do, send a reporter to Auckland Airport – why?….it’s an airport and Bangkok has an airport like Auckland but thousands of kilometres away and there are no protests of course but what the hell, we’ll still cross live to someone there.

    Live crosses are great when something is happening or has just happened. Crossing to somewhere where something happened 12 hours earlier is stupid and cheapens one of the most dramatic ways to present the news.

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  51. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    kiwi in america:

    You quite rightly point out that even if the atom bomb is ignored, allied bombing in WW2 killed enormous numbers of civilians in places like Berlin, Dresden and Tokyo – a lot of them with fire-bombing, which must have been a hell of a way to go out. And all of that, too, was horrific.

    The reasons my comments here concern the Israeli military attacks and their civilian casualties, and not the events of WW2, are twofold :
    (1) I wasn’t around in the 1940s to see that happen, or to endorse it or object to it.
    (2) This is a thread about the current events in Gaza.

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  52. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    ratbaiter
    The point is that civilians die in war sadly – usually to ensure victory, the losses can be disproportionate. Israel is criticised for trying to win a war even as it has to attack the mainstream of its opponents military hiding in civilian populations something the Germans were never so gutless to attempt. To claim ignorance about WW2 because you weren’t around is the weakest and most pathetic dodge I’ve read on this blog. What you have also failed to comment on is the matter of Israel forewarning its opponents regarding impeding strikes and if there is any precedent in military history.

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  53. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    kiwi in america –
    I didn’t “claim ignorance about WW2″ – please actually read what I said. And then try not to hurl abuse and call me pathetic if you want to have any sort of discussion about this.

    (I believe the advancing Allied armies in Italy famously warned the Monks in the Monte Cassino monastery to vacate the premises immediately, because they were going to destroy it because they suspected the fascist army was using parts of it. But again – the topic here is Israel in Gaza. Not other European wars. Which race are we running here?)

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  54. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    The point is that civilians die in war sadly – usually to ensure victory

    Yes but Gaza 09 is about one of those less-usual reasons KIA. That’s the point. If you think it’s about ensuring victory, then how come the rockets keep coming, and just wait till the IDF withdraws – you think it’s going to get any better? An entirely predictable outcome of course, what else would you expect? Now, every man women girl and boy in Gaza just want to grab something and throw it. Who woulda thunk. You think the IDF didn’t know this? Either they’re totally incompetent or it was about something else. Pick one or the other.

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  55. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    Ratbiter
    Then comment on the IDF warning its opponents (military and civilian and not just monks) of impending raids. You shun discussion of previous wars because they provide excellent context to current wars that you seek to avoid.

    reid
    How many rockets have Hezbollah fired into Israel after the end of the 2006 war? thats right …none. The 4 recent rockets fired, Hezbollah were quick to deny any responsibility. Israel didn’t seek to eliminate every Hezbollah soldier or weapon – merely to degrade their capacity and ensure a lasting ceasefire…despite the many flaws of their campaign in 2006, that part of the Israeli’s mission has been accomplished.

    How many rockets are Hamas managing to fire today vs before the campaign? Hezbollah and Iran have noticed the downward trend. Stopping the rockets is but part of the strategy – severely damaging Hamas’ military infrastructure seems to be a goal that Israel is close to achieving. If Hamas is doing so well, why is the one of their few surviving leaders actually manning the rocket launchers? Why are so many Hamas regulars deserting? Give Israel 2 more weeks and they will have dealt to the majority of the rocket launching sites and weapons caches. Watch this space reid …once this campaign is over, watch disgusted and fed up ordinary Gazans turn on the people who are really to blame – Hamas. With Israel humiliating their oppressor, it will be easier to speak out and oppose whereas before opposition was met with brutal torture and political killings.

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  56. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Oh – I see. So Israel are actually doing the ordinary man in the street in Gaza a FAVOUR, by blowing him off the face of the Earth along with the Hamas terrorists? The Israeli government spokeswoman has indeed taught you well.

    And you wonder why there are so many anti-Israel protests around the world… but then you give up wondering, and simply write it off as “Anti-Semitism gone mad”…

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  57. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Reid I see an Egyptian official has reported that Iran has threatened to withdraw all funding and weapons for Hamas if they agree to any ceasefire with Israel.

    How would you suggest negotiating with Hamas when they are a puppet?

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  58. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Unlike the rest of the international media, The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF has denied firing on a UN aid truck on Thursday, in an incident that made international headlines:

    On Friday, the Post reported that contrary to foreign press reports, it was not certain that an IDF tank shell hit the aid truck, and that in all probability, the aid workers were hit by Hamas gunfire.

    The foreign press reports were based on UN sources, who later admitted to the Post that they were not sure in which direction the truck was headed when it was hit, and could also not say with certainty that tank shells were responsible.

    Foreign press reports said the dead Palestinian and two others were hit by tank shells. A MDA medic at the scene told the Post that soldiers in the field said Hamas snipers targeted the aid workers. A Post probe revealed that the two wounded Palestinians were being treated at Barzilai for gunshot wounds.

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  59. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    ratbiter
    Its what you get when your soldiers cower behind woman and children, store their weapons in mosques and hospitals and launch their rockets from schools. Name a western 1st world democracy who’se commanders have ever ordered such gutless tactics in complete contravention of the Geneva Convention. Oh thats right … according to your rules we cant make reference to any other war. Wars involving Israel have special rules attached like: having to warn in advance of attacks, using precision weapons to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties, like never being able to attempt to win a war by using the same tactics used in war since wars began, by being attacked for disproportionate civilian casualties when your opponents deliberately are seeking to enhance them and so on and so forth.

    Oh hang on… the Palestinian cause is such that normal rules of war must be suspended. is that what you’re asking us to accept rat?

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  60. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    So Ratbaiter pulling a child by the ear out into the street to cower behind is acceptable?

    The deaths in Gaza are your’s and the UN’s fault because you have put such a spotlight on Israel that Hamas are now using this as a strategy.

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  61. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    KIA: “according to your rules we cant make reference to any other war.”

    Wrong. I simply said I wasn’t going to.

    KIA: “Wars involving Israel have special rules attached like:…”

    Wrong. All I have said is that I find the ‘all-care-but-no-responsibility’ Israeli attitude towards Palestinian civilian deaths to be quite disgusting. I have not attempted to make any moral comparisons to other wars past and present – you’re the one who keeps trying to do that.

    KIA: “the Palestinian cause is such that normal rules of war must be suspended. is that what you’re asking us to accept rat?”

    No. Not even slightly.
    All I have said is that I find the Israeli attitude towards Palestinian civilian deaths to be quite disgusting. it might seem that I lay the blame for the deaths 100% on Israel, and I don’t, so I apologise if that is the impression you have got. But I do lay most of the blame with Israel, because of their overwhelming military and economic power in this context. I guess I could have made that more explicit…

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  62. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Southern Raider: “So Ratbaiter pulling a child by the ear out into the street to cower behind is acceptable?”

    No, and I am not trying to claim that it is.

    Can you please try and understand that my objections to Israel’s behaviour in all of this do not mean that I am a died-in-the-wool Palestinian supporter? I am neither a Jew nore a Palestinian.

    The war is no skin off my nose, but I know my own sense of right and wrong, and I think it behooves the dominant military power to show restraint and regard for innocent human life in situations like this.

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  63. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Fact 1: Israel is at war with Gaza
    Fact 2: Unfortunately civilians dies in wars
    Fact 3: Israel has gone out of its way to minimise civilians deaths

    Examples
    – dropping leaflets in Arabic
    – leaving messages on cellphones in Arabic
    – precision bombing of specific targets
    – etc etc

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  64. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    All very admirable if so.

    But the impression the Israeli PR people give is that in their minds, such steps allow them to wash their hands of all moral responsibility, and I’m sorry but in my book if you drop a bomb, then YOU drop the bomb.

    They could at least ACT like they regret the civilian casualties, instead of just saying they do and extolling that “it’s not our fault! We just dropped the bombs…”

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  65. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Southern Raider @6:56 – Try reasoning with Hamas rather than reid. You’ll get more sense.

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  66. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Watch this space reid …once this campaign is over, watch disgusted and fed up ordinary Gazans turn on the people who are really to blame – Hamas.

    Oh don’t worry, KIA, I never take my eyes off it. Unlike some who seem to understand it exists only when in the headlines. And that’s what it all about, KIA. Once the headlines disappear, the rockets return. Oh, how surprising.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see some immediate reduction, most people head inside when it rains, don’t they. And imagine how pissed off those Israeli politicians would be if NOTHING happened and they couldn’t look tough for their Feb elections. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a temporary reduction KIA. That doesn’t mean its permanent or even long term, and for all the money, time and blood, I think Israeli citizens will find it’s been a pretty poor deal, overall. Again. But you just keep supporting them, KIA. Apparently, they’re the good guys.

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  67. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Reid I see an Egyptian official has reported that Iran has threatened to withdraw all funding and weapons for Hamas if they agree to any ceasefire with Israel. How would you suggest negotiating with Hamas when they are a puppet?

    Interesting question SR. See my posts yesterday on “Todays Israel post” re the Iran strategic position. Let’s start from there. Tell me where you think what I said there, is wrong.

    I won’t comment on Egypt however since I don’t know anything about her other than that currently she is a close US ally and is heavily desirous of keeping favour there. If anyone knows Egypt, I’d appreciate some insight.

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  68. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    PS – I must quote the following (just read on an entirely different site):

    BOMBING FOR PEACE IS LIKE F*CKING FOR VIRGINITY

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  69. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Couple of points.

    The telephone services in Gaza are very dodgy. Gaza has had two hours electricity per day for months and Gazans are in the habit of turning their phones on only once or twice a day to read messages due to the difficulty of charging them.

    The leaflets are of the “we’re coming to bomb your sorry arses” genre.

    These tactics are simply an addition to the terror.

    watch disgusted and fed up ordinary Gazans turn on the people who are really to blame – Hamas.

    I doubt it. Not by what I saw of a bunch of Gazans swarm to the roof of a house after the word had passed that it was to be a target. They stood there and faced down an Israeli Jet saying “we dare you!”

    No military force will ever beat people like that unless it kills every last one and World opinion will not let that happen. Ask any Vietnam Vet.

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  70. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Watch this space reid …once this campaign is over, watch disgusted and fed up ordinary Gazans turn on the people who are really to blame – Hamas.

    A second point I’d like to make on reflection about this comment, is that it reflects a total misunderstanding of the relationship between the Gazan people and Hamas. The comment would be valid if applied to Fatah, since that organisation is seen as corrupt, ineffective, and passe. Hamas however, has operated aid distribution, health clinics, schools for a long long time. Ever since I can remember. This is possibly why the Gazan’s elected Hamas: i.e. they’re a grassroots organisation.

    Now the IDF and Mossad would have to pretty stupid wouldn’t they if they didn’t understand that when you bomb the fuck out of an organisation with grassroots support, you get the kind of reaction Spoff has detailed. Of course they knew it. The expected consequence is playing out.

    Now these days you usually only get this particular type of stupidity when the neo-cons get involved, so was it really the case that Mossad said, when the WH told them what the plan was:

    “This moronic plan is likely to produce the opposite of what’s intended?”

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  71. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    All this talk of rockets is nonsense. More people get run over here in NZ by bicycle riding protesters on their way to a rally than get killed in Israel by these fizzbangs.

    Anybody here tell me how many deaths from rockets last year before this stoush got going?

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  72. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Anybody here tell me how many deaths from rockets last year before this stoush got going?

    Eight. Four were in the last few days of the year.

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  73. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Before or after the Israeli attack and I need an authoritative link – I’ve been trying to find this out for days

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  74. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Spoff,

    I’m working from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rocket_and_mortar_attacks_in_Israel_in_2008

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  75. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Spoff you complete wanker.

    6500 plus rockets in 3 years and you try and make this out as some kind of minor traffic infringement.

    The only reason more weren’t killed is because of the early warning systems and most families having a bomb shelter.

    So you would be quite happy for your grandkids to be rushing in and out of a bomb shelter for 3 years? and wondering whether or not their kindergarten/school would get hit?

    Bullshit your a fucking hypercrite with your head shoved so far up your own arse your struggling to get enough oxygen to think clearly.

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  76. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Yes quite right SR, the point is not the number of rockets at all, it’s the casualty figures.

    Isn’t that the point. Proportionality – it doesn’t matter because it’s a just fight for survival against implacable enemies.

    Somehow, Israel fanatics overlook the historical precedent whereby proportionality DID matter. For some reason, history has adjudged that the bigger the killer you are, the worse you are. Otherwise, you have to argue that Stalin was no worse than say, your average Mark Burton. Of course, he was.

    I really love this quote:

    Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times’ resident philosopher-in-chief: “When does the mandate of victimhood expire? At what point does the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews cease to excuse the state of Israel from the demands of international law and of common humanity?”

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  77. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Its hard to get to the bottom of it Ryan. That link seems to indicate that Hamas held up their end of the bargain despite the 30 deaths in Gaza caused by Israeli raids and the 50 dead in the West Bank during the truce. As far as I have been able to ascertain, 15 Israelis had died in the period 2001 until the truce ended. I shall read the Wikipedia link in full tomorrow when I am sober.

    Many would doubt it but I am searching for the truth here. To me, many comments have been made here by posters who have not been as assiduous as you in finding out exactly what it is that Hamas are supposed to have done to bring on this attack. One would have thought it necessary to do so

    SR.

    So you would be quite happy for your grandkids to be rushing in and out of a bomb shelter for 3 years? and wondering whether or not their kindergarten/school would get hit?

    I would not knowingly allow my grandkids to move into disputed territory when the U.N. advised me that the owners of that territory were penned up just 14 kilometres away and pretty pissed off.

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  78. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Spoff,

    The quote near the top of that article of how many were killed is a fairly recent addition (obviously, with the comment about four deaths after December 27). When I last got numbers from that article, I went through every event listed on the timeline and made a tally of rocket and mortar deaths.

    You can read these, too: http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.672631/apps/s/content.asp?ct=3887857

    And the Israeli government list: 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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  79. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Yeah they would never do anything as lame as taking an item from an overseas channel, blurring out that channel’s logo in the corner of the screen and cutting off the reporter in the middle of the last sentence “This is Joe Schmoe for…”
    Oh wait.

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  80. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Thanks for that Ryan. There is a mountain of data there and it will take an age to sort it out. I notice that there are a lot of military deaths included. I think these need to be sorted out. I am relaxing with a bottle of wine tonight so will have to ask for a raincheck. I had rather hoped that someone could have pointed us to the data, already analysed i.e. the number of deaths that this cassus belli depends upon for its legitimacy.

    The point that I raise remains valid however. None of the supporters of this massive attack on Hamas have bothered to ask themselves what, in real terms, do the rockets represent to Israel. Is it a serious threat to its existence or a protest that has got out of hand and could be dealt with through negotiation.

    This seems to be at variance with the tradition of fair play that I grew up with in this country and I have the weird notion that if there is a conflict and the State is killing at least ten times the number of protesters that the protesters are killing, we got a situation where we have to start questioning the state..

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  81. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    John Minto getting a head butt is a protest getting out of hand.

    6,500 rockets is a call to war.

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  82. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Don’t worry spoff its only Jews.

    You, Chamberlain and Pope Pious enjoy your wine.

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  83. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    None of the supporters of this massive attack on Hamas have bothered to ask themselves what, in real terms, do the rockets represent to Israel.

    What utter bollocks. The rockets represent years of endless psychological torment for Israeli civilian men, women and children who are indiscriminately targeted.

    And by suggesting, however loosly, that Hamas are really ‘protestors’, your own words condemn you as a filthy apologist for these terrorists. Next you’ll be telling us the 11 boxcutter-wielding 9/11 goons were simply misunderstood rascals. You make me sick.

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  84. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Southern Raider
    Do you know how many Israelis were killed by rockets during the ceasefire?
    Is your opinion an informed one or is it sufficient for you to sit on the sidelines and compose smartarse responses?

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  85. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Spoff,

    Please examine your logic on two issues. On the rocket attacks you are saying that the execution matters but the actions do not. If this is the case then you would have to agree that it is ok for people to drink drive at four times the limit so long as they don’t kill anyone, even if it is their intention to run down people of races they disapprove of. Most civilizations have determined that punitive measures are needed to prevent this kind of activity. 3278 rockets have been fired by Hamas on Israel through 2008, they are not targeted at military targets and are landing in kindergartens and retirement homes in the middle of the day. The Israelis have been taking evasive measures and this is keeping casualties down, if they left their children in school the deaths would help generate sympathetic media reports around the world but they value the lives of their civilians more than that. If Hamas had more effective and deadly weapons they would be using them as the rockets are not a mere protest but an act of war.

    In saying that Israelis retributive measures are responsible for violent acts perpetrated by Hamas, the equivalent logic would mean removing prisons from our country because punishing somebody for their actions would then be responsible for future criminal acts. Hamas and the Palestinian people are primarily responsible for their wellbeing. Agressive actions against your neighbours ultimately leads to suffering for your people. Palestinians are the people who should be stopping Hamas from firing the rockets, but they are in majority support of Hamas and they are oppressing the minorities amongst their people (Hundreds of Fatah supporters have been killed by Hamas since they came to power, including a recent case of a Palestinian being murdered for selling flowers to a Jew).

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  86. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    The rockets represent years of endless psychological torment for Israeli civilian men, women and children who are indiscriminately targeted.

    And sixty years of being penned up in a ghetto just 14 kilometers from the land that you own , a title that is sanctioned by the International community – while the occupiers of that land bomb you and strafe you, prevent food, medical supplies from reaching and consider it their right to assasssinate your elected Government represents what?

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  87. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Raider>6,500 rockets is a call to war.

    France paid Greenpeace around $10million to compensate it for blowing up the Rainbow Warrior. By these rules of explosive compensation proportionality, Gaza owes Israel around $65billion. Plus inflation… maybe a round $100billion would do.

    So why aren’t the “disproportionate response” brigade pressing Hamas to pay up?

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  88. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount

    For the settlers in Sderot etc., the answer is simple. Check the title to the land on which they are dwelling. If it is found to be in dispute, move out of harm’s way until the matter can be settled by negotiation or an independent authority. This is the message Hamas is delivering.

    Settlement on occupied territory is a war crime under the Geneva convention.

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  89. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Spoff>And sixty years of being penned up in a ghetto just 14 kilometers from the land that you own

    Errr… what do the residents of Gaza own that is 14km from Gaza? I can’t think of anything that far away that isn’t an established and recognised bit of Egypt or Israel. If some particular residents of Gaza own some land in Israel or Egypt, then it doesn’t give them any rights to live in either of those countries. Just as owning land in NZ doesn’t give a person rights to permanent residence or NZ citizenship. They’d need to continue on as absentee land owners, or sell it and use the proceeds to improve their own shit hole country. If Hamas or Fatah don’t steal the proceeds.

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  90. GK (97 comments) says:

    Reality.

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  91. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    davidp

    Sderot was founded in 1951 on the ruins of the Arab village called Najd. The inhabitants of Najd were expelled from that land by Zionist militia in April of 1948, before the State of Israel was declared and before the Arab League moved to stabilise the area. That is to say, before the 1948 war began. At that time, the land ownership was divided thusly: 12,000 dunums Palestinian, 400 dunums Jewish. They have neither the right to return to their land nor have they been compensated for its loss.

    I leave you to decide how you would react if such a circumstance had befallen you.

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  92. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Spoff>For the settlers in Sderot etc., the answer is simple. Check the title to the land on which they are dwelling. If it is found to be in dispute, move out of harm’s way until the matter can be settled by negotiation or an independent authority. This is the message Hamas is delivering.

    Similarly, the residents of Sarajevo should just have moved out of their city for most of the 1990s. It was in dispute. The Serbs were obviously trying to deliver some sort of message. How silly of us not to have noticed and, as a country, tried to stop the Serbs from murdering Bosnians.

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  93. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    davidp

    The death toll in Palestine was running about 10 Pals to 1 Israeli until this latest stoush. I imagine it is now around 20 to 1.

    Who is murdering who?

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  94. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Spoff>Sderot was founded in 1951 on the ruins of the Arab village called Najd. The inhabitants of Najd were expelled from that land by Zionist militia in April of 1948, before the State of Israel was declared and before the Arab League moved to stabilise the area.

    Sderot is just a kilometer of so from Gaza, rather than the 14km you were talking about. And I’ll ignore the idea that the “Arab League moved to stabilise the area”, since the Arabs at the time were trying to ethnically cleanse the area of Jews. But…

    Borders shift all the time. At about the same time, bits of Japan became bits of the Soviet Union. Bits of Poland became bits of the Soviet Union. Bits of Germany became bits of the Soviet Union. Bits of Germany became bits of Poland. In the 1990s, bits of the Soviet Union became Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia among about a dozen other countries. A bit of Indonesia became East Timor, and NZ helped bring that about. None of the countries losing territory were compensated for their loss. None of the coutries gaining territory allowed citizens of their neighbours to immigrate. So why the double standard when it comes to Israel?

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  95. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Borders may indeed shift but the title to individual property does not. The history of land claims in this country is surely testament to that.
    Are you seriously telling us that you adhere to some kind of morality that sanctions property rights by way of conquest? That the strongest military power assumes ownership of the land and distributes it to its vassals as spoils of war? I thought we got over that a few centuries ago.

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  96. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Interesting thing about borders. Can anyone tell me where Israel’s borders are?

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  97. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    since the Arabs at the time were trying to ethnically cleanse the area of Jews

    Suggest you do some research and challenge me on this point at a later date for there is very little evidence for it and it is late now. Goodnight.

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  98. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Spoff,

    After Arab’s attacked Jew’s in Palestine during the post WW II negotiating period, Israel was formed by UN declaration in 1948. One day after declaration of the state of Israel, Syria, Jordan, Eqypt, and Iraq invaded. Against great odds, Israel won this conflict and a million Jews fled to Israel from Europe and wereexpelled from the Arab states. Israel was legitimately entilted to take territory as the spoils of war, as has been taken by the Romans, Ottomans, Egyptians, and British in the area before. Wars initiated by 1967 by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and in 1973 by Egypt and Syria were won by Israel again.

    Using child soldiers is a war crime. Using human shields is a war crime.

    Footage coming out of Palestine is being extensively doctored, including photoshopped pictures of bomb sites, actors (including children) parading as casualties and staged hospital scenes. This is also a crime to most people.

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  99. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Spoff>Borders may indeed shift but the title to individual property does not.

    The management of private property ownership is an internal matter for countries to decide. Russia probably wouldn’t recognise a German citizen claiming to own a property in Kaliningrad. And it almost certainly wouldn’t recognise the ownership by the German government of pre-1945 military facilities in Kaliningrad. That is their right. And it wouldn’t be a good idea for Germans to start shooting rockets in to Russia.

    Similarly, I’d trust the East Timorese government to set up and administer land ownership rules. If a person abandoned their property and moved to Indonesia after the Indonesian army had finished trashing East Timor, I’d be quite happy if the East Timorese government redistributed the property. It makes sense economically and reduces the possibility that outsiders will try and ruin East Timor in a fit of pique again.

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  100. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Spoof,

    If you look at a map of Europe or anywhere else in the world, practically all borders were established by a process of conflict and conquest. It is foolish to forget this reality of human civilization. The various Arab kingdoms took Palestine by conquest from the Romans and Jews previously.

    Israel accepts Arab citizens (currently 20%). Ethnic cleansing is the clearly and openly stated primary goal of Hamas and their benefactors Iran. Unless Palestinians remove Hamas or they change their purpose their will be no meaningful negotiation.

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  101. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    “. . . Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.

    We should demand his blood not from the [Palestinian] Arabs of Gaza but from ourselves. . . . Let us make our reckoning today. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”
    Moshe Dayan (Iron Wall, p. 101)

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  102. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    If you look at a map of Europe or anywhere else in the world, practically all borders were established by a process of conflict and conquest.

    So you admit that this affair is about the conquest of territory.
    At least you are honest.

    I, however, had thought that this process of land theft by conquest had gone the way of other barbaric processes like slavery for instance.

    Perhaps I was mistaken. I find it disturbing that you might be a countryman of mine.

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  103. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Spoff,

    There was a civil war amongst Jews and Arabs following WW II, both of whose peoples had lived there for centuries. The borders set out by the UN declaration (which was opposed by the Arab league) were an attempt to define borders for the Jewish and Palestinian states, this plan was initially developed after WW I when Britain took control of Palestine from the collapsed Ottoman Empire. At this time the UN was 3 years old and existed because the League of Nations had failed to protect the Jewish peoples from mass extermination. The Arab nations in the area obviously disagreed with the UN declaration and rather than allow a people the right to self-determination in their ancestral lands attacked Israel and expelled the Jews living in their lands. This then changed the circumstances that the UN declaration was made under. Why did the Arab nations attack? To conquer territory and destroy the Jews. The same reason Germany attacked the rest of Europe. At the time they were the superior power and Israel was not a threat to them. We can’t know if Israel would have peacefully observed the borders laid out by the UN as they were immediately invaded, the Arabs wanted no part of those borders so how do we then determine them?

    Why do you believe that history has somehow come to a conclusion since WWII? Almost none of our nations or peoples came about from a UN declaration, it has never been that simple. It is only recently that the almost never-ending wars in Europe have cooled down. Have we been able to stop the gangs within our own country from warring?

    I think that western sympathies for the Palestinians are aroused because of their perceived underdog status compared to Israel. It is the Hamas strategy to exploit this perception for international support and I believe it has had an impact moderating Israeli military action (warning phone calls and leaflet drops are unheard of). But it must be acknowledged that the conditions of Palestinians are their own responsibility. Since 1948 Israel has created a strong economy and military. The Palestinians have not (They have wealthy allies as well) . Firing rockets into Israel (paid for with $1 billion of UN aid provided by you and me and supplied by Iran and other sympathetic nations) is again contributing to the poverty and suffering of the Palestinian people.

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  104. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Just wonder if it is legitimate for NZ servicemen/women to engage in any theatre of War outside of NZ territorial waters?

    So all the Afghanistanis killed in action by NZ’ers authorised by Klark. Good or Bad?

    WTF was our obligation here?

    Of course Klark suddenly owed the Yanks a big favour!

    So that legitimises indiscriminate murder of Afghanistanis etc etc.

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  105. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Conquest has for centuries been a valid and legally recognised method of land transfer. It is still debated today, even in NZ, where some treaty negotiations have been affected by pre european tribal warfare among the Maori. Of course that does not make it right.

    It must be remembered that HAMAS intends to use conquest as the only mechanism to regain its land.

    The media does tend to show more than a little bias. In this instance it is hard not to as the reporting from Gaza showing the civilian casualties is newsworthy. In that moment it is hard not to see Israel as the aggressor in this case. Much reporting is being made of the Israeli reluctance to participate in a ceasefire. But what of HAMAS?

    The HAMAS charter contains the following content….

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    Would you consent to a ceasefire when your opponent has this as a founding document?

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  106. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Israel is conducting a just another punitive expedition. The aim is to knock Hammas down half a dozen pegs, put its terror campaign back close to square one for a year or so and thus to create a short-to-medium term time window for other longer term political and military divide-and-rule opportunities.

    It’s a very effective and flexible strategy since it’s not keyed to any quick fix time frame.

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  107. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    “Why do you believe that history?”

    Because no Historian in the World believes it to be false.

    Here is one: Benny Morris PHD (Camb) professor of history at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva, Israel.

    “(My) book … is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.
    http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm

    And another: Ilan Pappe, professor of history at the British University of Exeter. Born in Israel, he was a senior lecturer in political science at Haifa University from 1984 to 2007.

    Pappe writes about the “Red House” in Tel-Aviv that became headquarters for the Hagana, the dominant Zionist underground paramilitary militia during the British Mandate period in Palestine between 1920 and 1948 when the Jewish state came into being. He details how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, met with leading Zionists and young Jewish military officers on March 10, 1948 to finalize plans to ethnically cleanse Palestine that unfolded in the months that followed including “large-scale (deadly serious)intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”
    http://www.countercurrents.org/pa-lendman090207.htm

    The first myth is that Israel was fighting the whole of the Arab world in a kind of David and Goliath war. Although there was a lot of war rhetoric from the Arab side, very few Arab soldiers were sent into the battlefield, and actually for most of the war there was superiority on the side of the Israeli army. In fact one of the most important Arab armies, the Jordanian army, had colluded with the Israelis before the war to divide Palestine. So the first myth we undermine is the “few against many” – which is very important in the Israeli psyche, the Israeli mentality.

    The second and most important myth is that the Palestinians left voluntarily. We found out that there was a systematic expulsion of Palestinians and an ethnic cleansing operation taking place.

    We also found there had been willingness on the Arab side in general and on the Palestinian side in particular, to conclude some sort of an agreement with the Jewish State after the war, and it was the Israeli intransigence and inflexible position that failed the peace efforts after the 1948 war.
    http://www.labournet.net/world/0209/pappe1.html

    You might also like to sample the works of Avi Shlaim Ph.D. (Reading), Tom Segev P.H.D. (Boston), Hillel Cohen and Simha Flapan, – all scholars, all Israelis and all in agreement.

    In 1948 the “Arab Armies” consisted of a rag-tag bunch of uncoordinated militia which, at its peak consisted of 68,000 troops facing 90,000 well armed and trained Zionists. Almost no battles were fought on territory planned for Israel under the partition plan which, by the way, was never implemented because both sides rejected it.

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  108. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    spoff
    ” from the land that you own , a title that is sanctioned by the International community”. I’ve asked for a copy of a single land title that proves a Palestinian Arab still legally owns land inside the 1948 borders to prove your core contention. Having the international community decide someone owns a piece of land just because a group of people SAY they own some land differs markedly from who is the real LEGAL owner of the land.

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  109. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    There was a HUGE Pro-Israel Rally in New York City report on the 6th of January – so big that that you couldn’t even get in there. Did the MSM report on it? No…I sure didn’t see anything.

    The last minute, thrown together pro-Israel rally in NYC today was so packed, so overwhelming, they were turning Jews away. You could not get to the rally. The support parade was across from the Israel consulate between 42nd and 43rd. The police could not contain the throngs of happy, peaceful supporters and forced folks off 2nd Avenue. It was unbelievable.

    I have been to all those Jew hating rallies, and they take over whole swaths of New York (this past weekend, for example) – they are given huge amounts of space, but the cops would not let us into the barricades. The Israel supporters were pouring into the streets. The young and the old – what a stark contrast from the haters’ demonstrations. Dark vs. light.

    See the pictures at the link, too..

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  110. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Would you consent to a ceasefire when your opponent has this as a founding document?

    I have dealt with the Hamas Charter before. It is the founding document of an armed resistance group formed subsequent to the the massacre of 29 praying Muslims and the wounding of 150 more at the Ibrahim Mosque by one Baruch Goldstein.

    It contains inflammatory language just as the founding documents of Zionist groups do.

    Take the Stern Gang for example, the outfit from whose ranks at least two Israeli Prime Ministers arose:

    “Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: “Ye shall blot them out to the last man.”

    Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it

    This is a reference to religion. Christians also have a belief that their Kingdom will come.

    Hamas has evolved into a strong Political Movement that has honoured its treaties and truces. Suggest you read what their political leaders say rather than a document written twenty years ago during the outrage inspired by the Goldstein massacre:

    Our message to the Israelis is this: we do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for 13 centuries in peace and harmony; they are in our religion “the people of the book” who have a covenant from God and His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be respected and protected. Our conflict with you is not religious but political. We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us – our problem is with those who came to our land, imposed themselves on us by force, destroyed our society and banished our people.

    We shall never recognise the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognise the legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil in order to atone for somebody else’s sins or solve somebody else’s problem. But if you are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to negotiate the terms. Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are truly interested in a peace based on justice.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/31/comment.israelandthepalestinians

    If you want to talk History you’ve come to the right place. It is what I do. Please do me the courtesy of reading a book or two on the subject, something written after 1998 when the documents concerning the 1948 War became available.

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  111. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount – excellent comments. Thank you.

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  112. cha (4,022 comments) says:

    Fatalities, 29.9.2000 – 30.11.2008

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  113. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    Ratbiter, in his limitless ignorance stated:
    “BOMBING FOR PEACE IS LIKE F*CKING FOR VIRGINITY”

    This is a logical fallacy: Virginity cannot be regained once someone (as ratbiter so elequently puts it) “FUCKS”. However a state of peace can be regained through a sucessful military operation by destroying the enemy’s means to ‘make war’. Indeed if we were to follow Ratbiter’s “peace in our time’ attitude, we would have all rolled over to the Nazis as the human cost would be to much to justify fighting (and ironically the world wouldn’t have this problem as the Nazis would have wiped out both the jews and eventually the arabs as well).

    I would like to also bring up another point to this whole situation, which seems to be lost on some people. As well as the human cost to the battle, there is also an economic cost. Iran, through only very small expenditure (fairly cheap missiles, explosive vests) is able to engage Israel in a war by proxy using Palestine and Lebanon. Because Israel is under threat of missile and terror attack, it is very difficult to conduct business: In spite of the very small chance of actually being caught in a suicide bombing/missile hit, no one wants to go to Israel to work/do business. Tourism similarly suffers. Iran can thus inflict a severe economic penalty on israel with only minimal expenditure. Israel is forced to spend even more of its already reduced resources fighting these proxy agents by way of very expensive smart weaponry to minimise civilian casulties. Obviously this situation is untenable for Israel in the long term, and it is thus forced to strike to protect its economy. Wars (including WW2) have been won or lost through economic capacity. Israel must to protect its economic, or become prey to the surrounding arab nations.

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  114. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    “Ratbiter, in his limitless ignorance…”
    What a reactionary little chap you are. Perhaps “LIKE F*CKING FOR CHASTITY” would have been better?

    But you’ve convinced me – throwing shitty abuse always convinces me, it’s the Kiwiblog way after all. The Muslims deserve it. God Bless Israel. Etc.

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  115. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Cha, thanks for the statistics. To use your lefty argument of ‘proportionality’ here’s one that is totally disproportionate

    Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians = 92

    Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians = 964

    Can we expect to see Minto, Locke and co protesting on behalf of the innocent Israeli civilians murdered by Palestinians – for no reason other than they were Jews? FFS the MSM are sensationalising the current Palestinian death toll, that has not even reached the Israeli civilian figures cha has generously provided

    Did you hear a comparitive peep about 964 innocent Israeli civilians deaths?

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  116. cha (4,022 comments) says:

    For 60 fucking years millions of Palestinian refugees have been living in internment camps all over the Arab world. 8 in Gaza alone, and 19 in the West Bank that together have almost a million refugees. No one in this country or any other country gives a rats ass about the Palestinians, nobody is coming to save them.The Arabic governments and the rest of the world have turned their backs on the Palestinians, the poor cousins of the Arab world and they’re treated as such. They get held up as symbols to rally the protesters but nobody actually does anything to help them. And any one who dares to voice any support for the poor fuckers gets bagged as an anti Semite leftist supporter of terror. So go fuck yourself Patrick Starr.

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  117. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Agree with Getstaffed at 8.21. Sonny Blount, I hope we see a lot more of you at Kiwiblog from now on. Do “save” your arguments somewhere where you can copy and paste them again, because the Israel-haters will invite them over and over again, they just never learn. Don’t give up, because a lot of people visit Kiwiblog to find out about the arguments they are not seeing in the “mainstream” media.

    And DavidP is another commenter above who I hope we see more of.

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  118. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    And the David Irving Award for historical revisionism on this thread, goes to:

    SPOFF; for THIS comment:

    “…..In 1948 the “Arab Armies” consisted of a rag-tag bunch of uncoordinated militia which, at its peak consisted of 68,000 troops facing 90,000 well armed and trained Zionists. Almost no battles were fought on territory planned for Israel under the partition plan which, by the way, was never implemented because both sides rejected it……”

    Come on, Spoff, expose yourself further, tell us that you also believe David Irving is correct about Auschwitz.

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  119. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Philbest – take a leaf from your own book. TRY to understand that someone might criticise Israel’s ACTIONS and yet not be what you so unequivocally call an “Israel-Hater”.

    Is this an incredibly hard distinction to understand? You are certainly not the only one here who equates

    Criticises Israeli offensive = “obviously an Anti-semite, or
    Criticises Israeli offensive = “obviously an Israel-hater”

    You are right, I am sure many others like myself tune into Kiwiblog for a different view than the one on the TV news.
    Unfortunately, so much of what we tune into is mindless name-calling and abuse, and that seriously, seriously undermines all of this as something worth tuning into!

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  120. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    And THIS comment deserved more notice being taken of it:

    Adolf Fiinkensein (743) 14 3 Says:

    January 12th, 2009 at 12:10 pm
    “I wonder how much of the bullshit TVNZ footage is actually Hamas propaganda.

    Israel is absolutely right to prohibit the entry of western journalists after theri appalling performance in Lbanon and iraq. And as for the lame excuses that Israel won’t let them into Gaza, have TVNZ not heard of the border with Egypt? The one where all the rockets came into Gaza through tunnels? If these wimps were the intrepid characters they imitate, they would be in there by now…..”

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  121. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    cha
    “They get held up as symbols to rally the protesters but nobody actually does anything to help them”

    They may get better help if they hadn’t voted in a terrorist government who spend all their aid on more terrorism. They seem architects of their own misfortune
    why don’t you direct your protest at all the Islamic Arab nations, who call them ‘brothers’ but do nothing to help them you fuckwit. The other Arab countries should open their doors and let them in

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  122. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    “In the Event of invading [Arab] forces were limited to approximately 30,000 men. The strongest [consider this fact while reading the next quote] single contingent was the Jordanian one, already described. Next came Egyptians with 5,500 men, then the Iraqis with 4,500 who ….. were joined by perhaps 3,000 local irregulars. The total was thus around eight rather under strength brigades, some of them definitely of second-and even third-rate quality. To these must be added approximately 2,000 Lebanese (one brigade) and 6,000 Syrians (three brigades). Thus, even though the Arab countries [population] outnumbered the Yishuv by better then forty-to-one, in terms of military manpower available for combat in Palestine the two sides were fairly evenly matched. As time went on and both sides sent reinforcements the balance changed in the Jews’ favor; by October they had almost 90,000 men and women under arms, the Arabs only 68,000.” (Martin Van Creveld The Sword And The Olive, p. 77-78)

    Martin van Creveld, an Israeli soldier and Hebrew university historian, is a renowned military strategist who is the author of twelve books and is the only non-American on the U.S. Army’s required reading list for officers.

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  123. cha (4,022 comments) says:

    So Patrick Starr, the Palestinians should democratically elect a government, but only the party that “you” want them to elect, the Palestinians should cease their resistance to the Israeli invaders because “you” want them to, I should direct my protests toward the Arab states because…. “you” want me to and the Arab states should open their borders to the Palestinians because “you” want them to.

    err… righto then, best ‘you’ get on with it ……

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  124. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Speaking of democracy, isn’t it good that Arab Israelis get a vote in Israel?

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  125. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Haaretz.
    Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

    Knesset spokesman Giora Pordes said the election committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, accusing the country’s Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Arab lawmakers have traveled to countries listed among Israel’s staunchest enemies, including Lebanon and Syria.

    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054867.html

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  126. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    (edit)

    Spoff:

    WHAAAAAA??!

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  127. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    The other Arab countries should open their doors and let them in

    Which is exactly why Israel are trying to bomb the Palestinians out.

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  128. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    cha – I’m not the one doing the complaining -they are (together with dorks like you)

    They can elect any government they wish to (-Its not my choice.) But if they happen to elect one that engages in terrorism then they should stop fucken complaining when their neighbour gets pissed off with rockets and suicide bombers and knocks the fucken crap out of them.

    They are the architects of their own misfortune

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  129. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Patrick Starr

    When was the last suicide bombing in Israel? Please remind me.

    Interesting BBC interview with Blair and Sir Jeremy Greenstock:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7823000/7823746.stm

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  130. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Spoff

    When was the last Israeli suicide bomber? Please remind me.

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  131. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Heck, let me think now……………., was it when Mahmud az-Zahar said, “I’d rather live in peace and we shouldn’t be blowing up innocent civilians with suicide bombs” – or was it when Israel managed to stop them?

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  132. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Do you not know?

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  133. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    After sixty years of occupation and oppression, I think the Palestinian response to that has been totally underwhelming. BTW the news on one has profiled a single house in Israel that took damage from a rocket. Big deal.

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  134. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    well as Zahar would still send brainwashed Islamic women and children with bombs strapped to themselves to blow up innocent Israelis if the Israelis hadn’t stopped his ability to do so by imposing the very measures you also complain about – it must be the latter of the two.
    Instead now he hides behind these Islamic women and children and fires rockets and mortars over the border at innocent Israelis.

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  135. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    Actually, with the conditions that the Palestinians are forced to endure from Israeli opression, it is the Israelis who force the Palestinians to take such radical measures. Why does Israel continue to steal Palestinian land?

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  136. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    He-Man etc have you ever been to Israel?

    Or are these conditions you speak of just from what you read in the left wing MSM?

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  137. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    I have been hearing a lot of whinging about how ‘bad’ it is in Israel. However, I cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of the badness of the conditions in Gaza.

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  138. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Fuckin typical.

    Left wing wanker has no first hand experience, but tries to make out they are the source of all knowledge.

    Next you’ll be saying I’ve heard Aushwitz wasn’t that bad.

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  139. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    BTW, the US media machine keeps mentioning about 16 Israelis killed by Hamas rocket fire over the last few years. The Israeli shelling of the school in Gaza the other day has long been swept under the carpet. Propaganda in action.

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  140. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    Seeing whole neighbourhoods in Gaza blown to smithereens by Israeli shelling on recent news reports confirms that you don’t have to actually be there to witness the horrors.

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  141. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    I can understand that a man might go a little radical after two of his sons were killed by targeted assassinations not only committed but boasted about by an occupying foreign Government and his house was bombed killing two of his friends and seriously injuring 30 people including his daughter.
    Yet he has held the line.
    He has not sent brainwashed Islamic women and children with bombs strapped to themselves to blow up innocent Israelis because Hamas has imposed a moratorium on such activity since 2002.

    It is unfortunate for Hamas. They have staked their future on the West recognising them as an incorruptible and moral force that keeps it’s promises made.

    I say unfortunate because of what I call the George Carlin principle. “Imagine how dumb the average American (Westerner) is and remind yourself that half of them are dumber than that.”

    Hamas didn’t take into account on the likes of you Patrick Starr.

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  142. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    More evidence that the useful idiots who argue this is about stopping the rockets, are quite wrong.

    No matter who is to blame for the recent escalation of violence in Gaza – no matter which side is morally righteous – it should be obvious that Hamas is now even less likely to abandon violent resistance any time soon.

    Even if Israel’s Operation Cast Lead will make Hamas think twice about attacking Israel in the future (doubtful), Hamas will still do whatever it takes to prepare for the day when it is ready. And the 18-month blockade of Gaza – put in place by Egypt and Israel after Hamas’ localized coup – has only made Hamas more protective of its arsenal.

    As a result, Jerusalem believes that the only way to protect

    Israelis is to secure the Philadelphi Corridor, the 14-kilometer border between Gaza and Egypt, beneath which lie an estimated 300 makeshift tunnels used by Hamas and entrepreneurial Palestinians to smuggle (among other things) foodstuffs, cigarettes, livestock, gasoline and (in the case of Hamas) enormous amounts of explosives, firearms, ammunition and well-trained teachers and students of militant resistance.

    Without these tunnels, Israel insists, Hamas would not be able to stockpile and fire rockets and mortars against Israel with impunity. And with talk of a ceasefire in the air, Jerusalem has made the permanent monitoring and destruction of these tunnels a key sticking point to ending its assault.

    But what would that effort require, and would it actually make Israelis safer?

    The ideas are neither new nor particularly promising, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explored and discarded most of them throughout the years it occupied Gaza….[If you're a useful idiot seeking to improve yourself, you really should read the whole article...]

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  143. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Spoff, you talk about these terrorists suicide bombings as if it is some legitimate accepted practice, “Hamas has imposed a moratorium on such activity since 2002”
    Shit that was a bloody big move, what do you want for them, a fucken Nobel peace prize?
    Not only that you defend the inhuman disgusting terrorist organisation that perpetrate it.

    I take your of western origin? – I hope for your sake you are never on a plane, a bus, or at a train station when your ‘middle eastern Islamic fundamentalist friends’ decide to lift their moratorium and think thats a suitably western target, because you will be just another white face to them

    “It is unfortunate for Hamas. They have staked their future on the West recognising them as an incorruptible and moral force that keeps it’s promises made”

    Yeah, really. Try telling how trustworthy they are to President of the European Parliament

    “Hans-Gert Poettering, President of the European Parliament, strongly criticised Hamas for ending the ceasefire last December by firing rockets on Israel”

    http://www.ejpress.org/article/33630

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  144. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    They have staked their future on the West recognising them as an incorruptible and moral force that keeps it’s promises made.

    You, Spoff are deluded beyond measure. The only promise Hamas have made that’s being kept is the [attempted] sacking of Israel and the annihilation of all Jews. Perhaps the West (and, apparently, a few Arab states) aren’t too happy with that. That you support Hamas’s crazed, murderous program is quite sickening.

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  145. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    “Hans-Gert Poettering, President of the European Parliament, strongly criticised Hamas for ending the ceasefire last December by firing rockets on Israel”

    A condition of the ceasefire was the opening of the crossings.
    This Israel never did. They were in breach of the conditions of the ceasefire from the off.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7823000/7823746.stm

    As the dominant power in this conflict they have a responsibility to observe the very letter of every agreement.

    They have acted in bad faith. They did not want the ceasefire to hold. No less an authority than the former British Ambassador to the U.N. confirms this.

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  146. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “More evidence that the useful idiots who argue this is about stopping the rockets, are quite wrong.”

    Umm reid, I’m not with you – actually stopping the rockets is exactly what the article is about

    “But whoever or whatever patrols the border, indulging Israel’s tunnel vision will not keep weapons out of Gaza, no matter the success of any anti-tunneling campaign. Because an end to the blockade will be integral to any ceasefire, Hamas will merely return to the days when it smuggled weapons from Egypt and even Israel itself through legitimate border crossings into Gaza. Both then and now, nearly all of Hamas’ rocket propellants and explosives are homemade from vast quantities of sugar and potassium nitrate, which can be disguised as just about anything. Likewise, with the right instruction, even the military-grade rockets (donated by Iran) that Hamas smuggles into Gaza can be broken down into smaller pieces, packaged as “humanitarian equipment,” and then reassembled on the other side”

    “useful idiot” isnt that a term for the extreme lefties, or communist sympathisers within western democracies?

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  147. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Thanks for the link Spoff;
    “Former senior British diplomat Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who has made direct contact with Hamas as part of his work with the charity Forward Thinking, discusses what can be gained from talking to the militant Islamic organisation.”

    I would imagine the only benefits gained “from talking to the militant Islamic organisation” is to establish their position to allow the west to bomb the snot out of them. Apart from that….nothing

    Israel “They have acted in bad faith.” You have to be joking. Hamas planned this from day 1, when they broke every agreement made between Fatah and Israel. You obviously didn’t listen to the Hardtalk interview I gave you with one of Hamas leaders Osama Hamdan.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/7820073.stm

    Its disclosed hamas planned to provoke Israel into this conflict when they recommenced firing rockets and mortars in early December

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  148. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Umm reid, I’m not with you – actually stopping the rockets is exactly what the article is about

    Didn’t you see the end bit then Patrick, the article concludes they’ll find a way through anyway even if you close down the tunnels.

    Now if it was your job as an IDF or Mossad intelligence analyst to do nothing all day except think about how to prevent rocket attacks, I’d imagine that thought’s probably already occurred to you and no doubt you would have told your superiors about it.

    See, this is what I don’t get about you people who (to me, blindly) follow the official line. It’s obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense that this was never going to work, ever. Therefore it can’t be about that, it must be about something else.

    The fact you and others don’t see that, astounds me.

    Useful idiot was coined by Stalin, I just apply it wherever I see it. Anyone who thinks propaganda only happens one way is naive.

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  149. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Yes I did read the end bit. That is David Youngs opinion. He’s saying they still wont stop arms getting in so as to prevent the rocket attacks– which is contrary to what Israel believe

    nice try – but no cigar

    (it’s still about preventing the rocket attacks)

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  150. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Its disclosed hamas planned to provoke Israel into this conflict when they recommenced firing rockets and mortars in early December

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they had, Patrick. See bear in mind that by December Hamas had had several years of strong messages of all kinds that Israel would not deal with it under any circumstances and would indeed take active counter-measures against it. By December, Israel had proved for years by its various sanctions across the whole of Gaza that it was using the Gazan people as a method to get to Hamas. In the hope the people would rise up. They didn’t, because to the people, Hamas was not the enemy, Israel was. Can you understand why that might be?

    Anyhoo, then Israel proceeds to give the Gazan very clear evidence as to just exactly whom the enemy actually is, in no uncertain terms.

    Now wasn’t that clever of Israel. If it wanted to shoot itself in the foot, metaphorically and figuratively, I can’t imagine a more effective strategy. And what people like you can’t seem to get, is that the people who make Israeli strategy aren’t stupid, or naive, as you’d have to be, if you expected that strategy to work. So why did they do it?

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  151. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    (it’s still about preventing the rocket attacks)

    That’s why you’re a useful idiot, Patrick. Logic just doesn’t get through. What’s the matter? All the emotion? Is it just that everytime you think about it you’re overwhelmed by the sheer injustice of it all?

    Seriously, I’d really like to understand, because the logic is really very elementary and you’re a bright person, obviously.

    Edit: If you think Hamas need the tunnels to get them in, how come they always have been able to before? What’s new that’s going to stop the other routes?

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  152. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    I would ask any reader with an IQ above room temperature (you are excused Patrick) to ask themselves where the weapons that supposedly have been smuggled through the tunnels are?
    Where are the ground to air missiles?
    Where are the RPGs.
    Have you seen the “interview” conducted by Turniphead “Joe the Plumber” where he is standing in front of a display of rockets and the Israeli guy says: “these are made in Gaza”?

    Give me breath.

    This is a desperate people struggling for their very existence but determined never to give up.

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  153. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    No reid, you’ve linked an article claiming it was evidence that the IDF’s advance into Gaza was not just about stopping the rocket attacks.

    The article did no such thing, in fact it reinforced it was about preventing rocket attacks. What your arguing about now is whether it could possibly have achieved that objective. David Young – and you think not

    therefore you proved fuck all

    its really very elementary and you’re a bright person, obviously.?? (but spoff is another question)

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  154. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Where are the ground to air missiles? Where are the RPGs.”

    well if you’re doubting they exist you shouldn’t be appealing to readers with an IQ above room temperature, because you’re punching well above your weight

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  155. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Patrick says:

    No reid, you’ve linked an article claiming it was evidence that the IDF’s advance into Gaza was not just about stopping the rocket attacks. The article did no such thing, in fact it reinforced it was about preventing rocket attacks.

    The article says:

    But whoever or whatever patrols the border, indulging Israel’s tunnel vision will not keep weapons out of Gaza, no matter the success of any anti-tunneling campaign. Because an end to the blockade will be integral to any ceasefire, Hamas will merely return to the days when it smuggled weapons from Egypt and even Israel itself through legitimate border crossings into Gaza. Both then and now, nearly all of Hamas’ rocket propellants and explosives are homemade from vast quantities of sugar and potassium nitrate, which can be disguised as just about anything.
    Likewise, with the right instruction, even the military-grade rockets (donated by Iran) that Hamas smuggles into Gaza can be broken down into smaller pieces, packaged as “humanitarian equipment”, and then reassembled on the other side.

    In the end, if Hamas wants to acquire weapons, it will acquire them. And if Israel wants to stop the attacks on its country, it has to concede that in the long term, only a re-occupation of all of Gaza or a negotiated final settlement could ever make it stop. Everything else is politics.

    Now, what about that, didn’t you understand?

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  156. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “you’ve linked an article claiming it was evidence that the IDF’s advance into Gaza was not just about stopping the rocket attacks. The article did no such thing, in fact it reinforced it was about preventing rocket attacks. What your arguing about now is whether it could possibly have achieved that objective. David Young – and you think not. therefore you proved fuck all”

    and what about that didn’t you understand. you proved fuck all

    reid -you’d be quite suited in the middle east – with your ‘shifting sands’ style of debate

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  157. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    The rocket firing was just a convenient excuse to invade Gaza. What we will find out soon is that Israel has been planning this invasion for months in cahoots with the USA. Just like Lebanon. All for an election coming up on Feb 10.

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  158. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Really, who gives a fat rats about Israel or Palestine.

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  159. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    He-man – find a convenient excuse to engage your brain. Of course the Israel would have been planning their response to re-initiated Hamas aggression. My guess is the planning started the day the Gaza people foolishly elected a government that is accorded the title of ‘terrorist’ by the UN, and one that has the annihilation of Israel as the centre-piece of its election manifesto.

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  160. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Who will save Israel from itself?
    By Mark LeVine

    One by one the justifications given by Israel for its latest war in Gaza are unravelling.

    The argument that this is a purely defensive war, launched only after Hamas broke a six-month ceasefire has been challenged, not just by observers in the know such as Jimmy Carter, the former US president who helped facilitate the truce, but by centre-right Israeli intelligence think tanks.

    The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose December 31 report titled “Six Months of the Lull Arrangement Intelligence Report,” confirmed that the June 19 truce was only “sporadically violated, and then not by Hamas but instead by … “rogue terrorist organisations”.

    Instead, “the escalation and erosion of the lull arrangement” occurred after Israel killed six Hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire Strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.

    According to a joint Tel Aviv University-European University study, this fits a larger pattern in which Israeli violence has been responsible for ending 79 per cent of all lulls in violence since the outbreak of the second intifada, compared with only 8 per cent for Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/war_on_gaza/2009/01/2009110112723260741.html

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  161. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    1. MYTH: Israel broke the cease-fire with Hamas.

    FACT

    On June 17, 2008, after several months of indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas through Egyptian mediators, Hamas agreed to a cease-fire (tahadiya). Almost immediately afterward, terrorists fired rockets into southern Israel. Despite what it called a “gross violation” of the truce, Israel refrained from military action. In fact, during the six months the arrangement was supposed to be observed, 329 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel.

    While there were considerably fewer Palestinian assaults after the agreement than before, terror continued. Nevertheless, the IDF did not respond to the provocations. On the contrary, Israel significantly increased the amount of goods delivered to the Gaza Strip.

    During this period, Israel also expected to negotiate the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier taken hostage by Hamas in June 2006. The group repeatedly increased its demands for the number of prisoners it wanted released in exchange for the lone Israeli captive, but never agreed to grant his freedom.

    Violence escalated in early November after the IDF carried out a military operation close to the border security fence on the Gazan side that killed seven Hamas terrorists. Israel acted after discovering that Hamas had dug a tunnel under the fence and planned to abduct more Israeli soldiers. Hamas responded by shelling Israeli towns and has continued the rocket barrage ever since.

    When the Hamas-imposed six-month deadline expired in December, Israel hoped an agreement could be reached to extend the cease-fire. Instead, Hamas began firing what would be hundreds of rockets into Israel.

    Hamas rockets came from Iran, smuggled into Gaza in pieces and assembled.

    When the bombardment began, it became apparent Hamas had used the lull to upgrade its arsenal with weapons that were too sophisticated to have been designed or built in Gaza. These advanced Qassam and Grad rockets, which have placed 1-in-every-8 Israelis in mortal danger, originated in Iran. They were smuggled into Gaza in pieces, assembled, and fired from launch pads well-hidden and shielded in Palestinian population centers.

    Once launched, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have as little as 15 seconds to reach a bunker before a rocket detonates. Hamas has turned all of southern Israel into a place that more resembles a post-apocalyptic world, rather than a modern, civilized society. Imagine never being able to step outside without remaining in sprinting distance of a concrete bunker. Imagine having to dive into the safety of a bunker 30 times a day, every day. Try to imagine the terror of the rocket whistling down, not knowing whether it will land a mile a way, or directly above your head.

    Can you imagine the sudden shock when you feel the impact, the relief that overcomes you that you are still alive, and the immediate sorrow and concern that follows when you realize that others like — your family and friends — may not have been so lucky this time?

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  162. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Whatever the useful idiots say, the facts will out. Let’s see, prediction time:

    Hamas won’t be destroyed.

    Rocket attacks will resume.

    Those Israeli politicians who postured most over the deaths will be re-elected.

    The US – Obama, his hands tied now by the departing neo-cons’ last gasp (apparently, pretty willingly) will leave most of it up to (zionist) VP Biden. Publicly Obama will put his face to Biden’s policies, of course – don’t be fooled. Result = no change. US will continue refuse to negotiate with anyone except the ‘good guys’ who these days apparently are Fatah. Divide and rule anyone?

    Human cost and casualties blah blah. Minor details, AREN’T THEY.

    IDF’s battered reputation, suffering from Lebanon, improved or not? Not.

    Winner = Hamas and Iran

    Losers = Israeli people, Gazan people, US people, Fatah.

    Now, lets see how much becomes true.

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  163. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Southern Raider.

    This is from Israel’s own Terrorism Information Center:

    http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e017.pdf

    “The cessation of the fighting was supposed to lead to the opening of the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel”

    Israel never did open the crossings and was therefore in breach of this provision from the off.

    It also states:

    “Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire.”

    And admits that the ceasefire was initially broken by Israel:

    <i.”On November 4 the IDF carried out a military action close to the border security fence on the Gazan side to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas,”

    “to prevent an abduction planned by Hamas,” cannot be taken seriously. These guys were tunneling into Israel. If the Israelis knew so much why not arrest them on Israel’s side and charge them? Instead, they entered Gaza and killed them.

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  164. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza dismissed a warning from another soldier that she was a child by saying he would have killed her even if she was three years old.

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  165. kenwestmoreland (4 comments) says:

    “A bit of Indonesia became East Timor” – excuse me? What is this, the Osama Bin Laden version of history? Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year. Did “a bit of Iraq become Kuwait” in 1991? Did “a bit of Ethiopia become Eritrea” in 1993? And did “a bit of the UK become Ireland in 1922″?

    Last month I was in both Indonesian West Timor and independent East Timor, and they are quite different from each other, maybe not as much as Israelis and Palestinians, but more so than Kiwis and Aussies.

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