McCarten on Israel

February 28th, 2010 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

writes:

It seems we can’t get over the myth we’ve created of the little plucky nation of defending itself against the Islamic hordes intent on destroying them.

The fact is Israel has the fourth largest military machine in the world and is the only nuclear power in the region.

Is Israel a little nation? Well it is around 20,000 square kilometres in size. That’s a bit smaller than Vermont – one of the smallest states in the US.

And Israel’s four neighbours have a land area of 1,290,000 square kilometres. That is around 60 to 65 times the size.

Are there Islamic hordes intent on destroying them? Yes. Not all Islamic countries and definitely not all Islamic people, but a fair few of each. It is probably the only cpuntry on Earth that

Does Israel have the 4th largest military machine in the world? No. For number of active personnel they are ranked 34th. And even if you include reserves they are still only the 20th largest.

They are the only nuclear power, but sadly not for long I suspect.

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76 Responses to “McCarten on Israel”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Israel is also a democracy. Islamist states are most often totalitarian dictatorships or monarchies.

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  2. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    All the countries in the region (Israel included) are wholly dependent upon foreign aid. They use that foreign aid to build huge defence forces and use historical arguments to justify Western and islamic countries giving them more money to spend on laregr and larger military budgets. If the world withdrew aid from the Eastern mediterranean, there would be a mass exodus of refugees asa result of the unstainable economies that have been created by foreign aid.

    Of course its never going to happen, but lets be truthful- a geographically and economicaly insignificant region wield ridiculously large amounts of political attention.

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  3. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Just by the quality of its people, Israel is bound to prevail over its despicable, at times evil, neighbours.
    Long live the Jewish state!

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  4. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    So essentially a ffffact ffffree rrrrant from Mmmmatt MmmmcCarten.

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  5. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    I simply do not blame other states being nuclear armed in the face of Israel – unless the US and others can give security guarantees against any pre-emptive strike from Israel. In our context if Indonesia became a nuclear state would Australia simply do nothing??? Would NZ??? Israel is not simply a democracy it is a military state with a thin veneer of democracy.

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  6. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Is Israel a little nation? Well it is around 20,000 square kilometres in size. That’s a bit smaller than Vermont – one of the smallest states in the US.

    And Israel’s four neighbours have a land area of 1,290,000 square kilometres. That is around 60 to 65 times the size.

    All true, but there’s little evidence that physical land area helps a country win wars. There’s little observed relationship between geographic extent and military success. History is full of physically extensive countries getting defeated by relatively compact ones – usually because the compact ones have larger economies. And Israel is a lot richer than any of its neighbours.

    And Redbaiter, I have to disagree with your pro-Islamic lies. There is not a single Muslim democracy. They are not ‘most often’ totalitarian dictatorships, they are always totalitarian dictatorships.

    [DPF: First there are many Muslim democratic countries - such as Turkey.

    Second I agree small size does not mean you will lose. But a small size means that you do not have much territory to be conquered for your country to be wiped out]

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  7. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3HoAhitiog

    Here you go Matt.

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  8. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “There is not a single Muslim democracy.”

    :)

    Indonesia?

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  9. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    yeah, why can’t those inconvenient jews just die already.

    We all know precisely what would happen if Israel disarmed, but in the minds of the McCarten’s of the world, that is a feature not a bug, we have to protect the innocent islamic hordes from israeli aggression don’t you know.

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  10. Ryan Sproull (7,060 comments) says:

    What’s your position on political assassination, DPF?

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,060 comments) says:

    Redbaiter,

    And Turkey. I think that’s it. Oh, wait – Iraq!

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  12. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    England

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  13. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    Netherlands

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  14. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    tvb (736) Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    I simply do not blame other states being nuclear armed in the face of Israel – unless the US and others can give security guarantees against any pre-emptive strike from Israel. In our context if Indonesia became a nuclear state would Australia simply do nothing??? Would NZ??? Israel is not simply a democracy it is a military state with a thin veneer of democracy.
    ******************

    Israel has had nukes since the late seventies at the latest and has not had to use them once, and there has been no serious conventional attack on them either, wonder why? and is that not a good thing?.

    The chances of Indonesia gaining nukes is remote, to say the least, but a large nation called China has them, they are a dictatorship and one that wishes to gain true power projection ability, something that Indonesia would be lucky to ever get; and yet Australia and NZ are not attempting to gain nukes, so honestly your analogy is false.

    Your crack about Israel and democracy, you can of course supply evidence to back that up? Just because they maintain relatively large armed forces does not automatically demean them as a democracy.

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  15. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    As nigel says above you have to ask the question: if the islamic countries are so ‘peace’ loving why would Israel need such a large military force………….hmm look at their past wars with the arabs. Israel has won all of them…….what happens afterwards ….the UN jumps up and down and makes Israel give back any gains in territory they have won and passes resolutions saying how bad Israel is………………If the arabs won (hasn’t happened simply because of Israel’s army) what would happen…………hmmmm the second holocaust………..every Jew is Israel lined up and shot……women raped etc…….within 20 years the land would revert back to desert and swamp like it was before the modern jewish migration to the land.

    The local arabs would either go back to subsidence farming or rely on UN handouts. There would be no UN resolutions condemning the arabs. The only resolution would be one saying that the spoils of war go to the victors.

    Because the UN is antisemitic to the core and has been almost from its inception (resolution creating Israel was the exception)

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  16. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Could you imagine the world outrage if Hamas stole the passports from other countries’ citizens to use as cover for an execution squad?

    Imagine the shrill condemnation if they tricked an Israeli military leader to travel to another country where he or she was ambushed and throttled to death.

    Imagine a death squad of up to 26 assassins infiltrating a neutral country to carry out such an atrocity.

    Not often I agree with anything McCarten says, but he’s right re: the above, isn’t he. Double-standards + blinkers seem to abound re: Israeli security discussions. I’ve always wondered why. The bald truth is quite obvious but people instead leap to defend its every action as if the fact that its under threat is some kind of justification for its OTT tactics. Its nuclear capability means its not actually under any existential threat whatsoever unless a terrorist gets hold of a WMD, and this is the really mental thing about its everyday behaviour in the region. The way it acts, makes it more not less likely for that to happen. The way it acts on a daily basis, renews daily the motivation for millions of muslims to want to send it straight to hell. It’s totally nuts. It’s not defending itself, it’s exacerbating the threat to itself on a daily basis. It could walk softly AND carry its big stick, but it chooses not to do so. And everyday, millions of westerners stand around and applaud. Crazy.

    On a similar note, remember that as part of the deal when Israel got caught stealing our passports, Clark was going to require Israel to publicly reveal what it wanted to use them for? That information was never forthcoming, was it. Wonder why.

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  17. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    The global media always backs the underdog as it does in this part of the world, and then twist and manipulate it around so as the world then feels sorry for Islamic Nations….

    it is more or less a race between China and the Islams of whom will take the world over first ;)

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  18. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “What’s your position on political assassination, DPF?”

    Ryan, I’m not DPF, but personally, I think it’s a great thing. I always remember a story from the 80′s during the Lebanon war when one of the combatants kidnapped some Russian diplomats. The Russians immediately send round some of their KGB wet squad to teach them a lesson and guess what? No more kidnappings.

    I’d like to see every single terrorist leader and brutal politician assassinated forthwith. Take out the leaders and you don’t have a problem, especially if their successors know its going to happen to them, if they follow the same path.

    What I was referring to above re: Israel, was their collective punishment tactic, I don’t actually mind the fact they assassinated a murdering arsehole.

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  19. jims_whare (399 comments) says:

    reid I think you will find that in the middle east a country that talks softly is seen as weak. Look at history the successful leaders in the middle east have been men with armies bigger than anyone elses. (Think Salladin, Sadam, Iranian mullahs, british occupation forces) The saying might is right is appropriate there.
    If Israel responded meekly to provocation then it just emboldens their enemies to strike more. Think Hamas and rocket attacks over the years or the intifada uprisings. To be honest the arabs only respect force. Always have and probably always will. Trying to see this through your liberal western sense of ‘fair play’ is a nonsense.
    The fact is Israel is the only true democracy in that part of the world and they can’t afford to make mistakes as it is costly..see my last psot.

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  20. Inky_the_Red (744 comments) says:

    Yes great, let’s murder people to create more radical so we have to “assassinate” more terrorist leaders.

    reid if you had a time machine would you assassinate that anti-British terrorist, Washington?

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  21. Michael (899 comments) says:

    Matt McCarten is right – the peaceful Palestinian Groups have never been involved in hijacking civilian airliners and cruise ships, launching indiscriminate rocket attacks, and using young men and women as suicide bombers to kill civilians. All those are just fabrications of the CIA and Mossad and swallowed whole-heartedly by the rest of us.

    The peaceful Soviet Union should act as a protector for the world. All the brothers and sisters of the world should unite under the red flag and workers of the world shall finally be free!

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  22. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    reid (3768) Says:

    February 28th, 2010 at 1:10 pm
    “What’s your position on political assassination, DPF?”

    Ryan, I’m not DPF, but personally, I think it’s a great thing. I always remember a story from the 80’s during the Lebanon war when one of the combatants kidnapped some Russian diplomats. The Russians immediately send round some of their KGB wet squad to teach them a lesson and guess what? No more kidnappings.

    I’d like to see every single terrorist leader and brutal politician assassinated forthwith. Take out the leaders and you don’t have a problem, especially if their successors know its going to happen to them, if they follow the same path.

    What a great idea Reid, why if it had been in place in the 1940′s there would be no Israel, would there?

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  23. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Turkey? The same muslim democracy which is right being revealed that Muslim members of the armed forces conspired to overthrow the government?

    As for Indonesia, just ask the people of Aceh or West Papua whether they feel that the Muslim soldiers who slaughter them when they attempt to claim their rights are democrats.

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  24. menace (407 comments) says:

    if they aloud to have nukes then so can everybody.

    we should of got rid of them years ago but the fucking YANKS again……..

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  25. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    pushshituphill, an attempted coup does not mena a country is no longer democratic. It was the strenght of Turkey’s secular democracy that led to the downfall of the coup leaders.

    As for Indonesia, well maybe you could ask the Dutch why they fucked it up so badly in the first place and left the West Papuans to Indonesia, rather than helping the West papuans set up their own nation as Australia did with PNG?

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  26. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “reid I think you will find that in the middle east a country that talks softly is seen as weak.”

    Jim I didn’t say talk softly I said walk softly and I also said keep carrying the big stick: i.s. the overwhelming firepower advantage it has courtesy of its US hardware. I don’t think anyone would ever mistake Israel for being weak, it’s just that it doesn’t need to whale on civilians the way it does, there is nothing good that comes out of that in fact its negative all the way down the line. If the Israeli military was fighting another military that would be different but it’s not, it’s fighting civilians with tanks and other heavy weapons. It doesn’t have to do that, in order to protect itself. From a regional perspective, it used to have an invincible reputation, until Omert’s disaster in Lebanon destroyed it, and who’s fault was that? Notwithstanding, as I said, its nuclear program gives it an unbreakable layer of protection – ever since that came online, it has not been under existential threat.

    “Trying to see this through your liberal western sense of ‘fair play’ is a nonsense.”

    Jim, if you knew me, you’d know I’m a hawk. I’m not a bleeding heart in any sense of the word. See my 1:10 for example. My argument about Israel is based purely on rational arguments. Everyone knows that war is fought on a number of levels, not least the psychological and the propaganda level. Behaving the way it does, Israel daily provides fodder to its enemies, and since it doesn’t have to behave that way, how fucking stupid is it to keep doing so.

    “reid if you had a time machine would you assassinate that anti-British terrorist, Washington?”

    I don’t know Inky, if I had a time machine I’d probably just win lotto about a dozen times and then retire.

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  27. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “What a great idea Reid, why if it had been in place in the 1940’s there would be no Israel, would there?”

    It’s been in place for years, LRO and it happens all the time. You don’t really think for example those occasional plane crashes with important people inside are all accidents, do you?

    The only reason Heads of State are usually excluded is because both sides know that it will happen to them, personally, if they were to order it.

    Besides, Hitler was considered a military asset by the British, after 1942.

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  28. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    This is what both Israel and Palestine need more of:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8537068.stm

    -Development in Palestine that is both sustainable and first world. Forward looking and positive. Both Israel and Palestinian Arabs will benefit from peaceful co-existence.

    If Israel had peaceful neighbours the need for a highly on-edge citizen army wouldn’t exist.
    If Palestinians didn’t blow up cafes, movie theatres and school buses in Haifa and Tel Aviv there would be no need for the wall. If Hezbollah didn’t fire shells and rockets into northern Israel, capture border patrol soldiers etc, there would be no reason to invade Labanon, likewise Hamas in Gaza.

    “Land for peace” settlements with the Palestinians has time and again failed to bring peace. Israel occupies the West Bank and formerly Gaza to try and control the conflict on Palestinian soil and not Israeli soil. The tensions are high, and both sides feel they have their backs to the wall.

    To bring any lasting peace, Israel needs to be convinced the Palestinian Arabs want peace before they will put the gun down.

    The elephant in the room is Jordan and Egypt. If Jordan took responsibility for development and management of the West Bank and Egypt of Gaza things would be 1000x better than they are now for the Palestinians, and of course for Israel (Jordan used to be called “Trans Jordan” for a reason). But in being forced by the US to make official peace with Israel they have allowed the Palestinian Arabs to become a festering sore – a sort of revenge for their losses in wars in 1948, 1956, and 1967.

    Oh, and by the way, this conflict gets WAY TOO MUCH AIRTIME. Disproportionately so – why is that?

    [typed on a laptop with an Intel Core Duo processor, designed in Haifa, Israel]

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  29. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    If you take military personnel per capita, Israel comes out 3rd. (According to http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_arm_per_percap-military-army-personnel-per-capita )

    Doesn’t surprise me, given their situation.

    What you have to admire, regardless on where you stand, is their ability to survive for all these years, despite being surrounded by enemies. However,that is also part of their weakness, as they have not seen the need for compromise, yet.

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  30. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    Gotta love this quote:

    It is surreal that our news of the killing of al-Mabhouh is focused on passport thefts rather than the cynicism of a rogue nation that feels a God-given right to assassinate its enemies as it sees fit

    As if it is not cynical that al-Mabhouh was out to buy weapons which then would have been used against Israel. And all that while their own people are suffering.

    Did he and Hamas have their priorities correct? Ease the suffering of their people and create a lasting solution or buy weapons to continue the bloodshed?

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  31. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    So you discover that a leader of a movement dedicated to your extermination is off buying munitions to further that objective, and you find out where he will be.

    What do you do?

    stiffly worded note? (…who to? )

    Or whack the prick?

    not a terribly hard call really.

    Or maybe Hamas had discovered that this al-Mabhouh chappie was a mossad agent? Or which in my mind is just as likely, that this was another KGB black op to keep the temperature up in the region, and keep the US administration grasping at shadows while Iran gets its new missile systems operational.

    Benighted part of the world, I will be heartily glad never to hear about the middle east again. Roll on domestic fusion.

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  32. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    REid- I think you are great commenter on other issues but on Israel I find your comments to be clueless.

    I think Israel has acted with restraint for years.Lets take the example of Gaza.Israel has left Gaza and does not occupy one inch of it.McCarten’s bleating about them being trapped by Israeli blockades is left wing lies (as usual). Gaza shares a border with Egypt.

    Hundreds of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.Israel retaliated sure,after a long time and used ground forces and tried to minimise civilian casualties.They lost plenty of troops because of the enemy’s deliberate target of locating themselves in populous areas amongst civilian populations.This tactic helps to protect the terrorists and also means civilian casualties will be high,which is OK as it gives them a propoganda victory.

    What leftists fail to realise is that Israel could have retaliated by bombing Gaza into oblivion and taken no casualties themselves.That they did not shows in my opinion commendable restraint.

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  33. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    McCarten should have thanked the europeans for colonizing new zealand because settlers brought in technology, law & order, knowledge and civilization in general or otherwise, the maoris here (in NZ) would still be killing each other in a normal manner as the rule of the jungle. Tonga was like this (rule of the jungle) until British missionaries arrived in the 1840s to tame the people and made them civilized by forming a constitution to protect individual rights instead of might is right (ie, killing at will). This nutter (McCarten) rails against modernity (NZ should be given back to the maoris to rule, Israel can’t defend itself the way it has always been, blah, blah, …).

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  34. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    reid: if you get a time machine, the best course of action would be to buy some Microsoft or Berkshire Hathaway shares. Less visible that way. 100 shares of Berkshire Hathaway at $20 each in 1967 would be worth some $14 million today.

    I don’t necessarily blame Israel for what they get up to, but I agree that it is irrational. It must be enormously frustrating to have neighbouring countries/territories/occupied territories firing rockets at you every day for many years. Sure, they rarely if ever hit anyone, but I’m pretty sure if someone were firing rockets into NZ, I’d be voting for the govt that promised to fire back. Problem is, those firing the rockets think it is a good idea to do it from outside schools and the like. Leaves little room to move.

    If we assume that the voters want something done, then the way Israel has gone about it isn’t too bad. Assassinating people when they’re away from the schools, targeted strikes that admittedly kill civilians, but far fewer than similar strikes by other countries, these aren’t so bad.

    I guess the real question here is what would happen if Israel stopped retaliating? Imagine if all Israeli voters started believing that any loss of Arab civilian life was a problem, and voted for a government that promised that. They’d:
    – conduct more activities within Israel’s borders – catch the suicide bombers as they come into the country. Would this be good or bad? Those in the surrounding territories regularly complain about Israel closing their borders (but not so much about Egypt closing their borders)
    – assassinations and the like would still be good tactics
    – defensive measures against the rockets – or just ignore them? They will eventually get more accurate, so presumably they cannot be ignored for ever.

    My view aligns a bit with some on this thread. The region is screwed, the injustices will never be settled. If it weren’t for the oil, we probably wouldn’t give a shit.

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  35. TimG_Oz (924 comments) says:

    Was that the NZ Herald that Matt McCarten writes for? I be sure it was Al Manar or Hezboolah TV or something…

    Seriously how do you let people print such distorted facts and blatant bias.

    Check out this editorial in the Australian (linked to by Andrew Bolt) for something closer to the truth.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/our_passports_but_also_our_cause_too/

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  36. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    What leftists fail to realise is that Israel could have retaliated by bombing Gaza into oblivion and taken no casualties themselves. That they did not shows in my opinion commendable restraint.

    Thanks Scott for your kind opening words but I guess our mileages vary on this topic. If Israel had bombed Gaza into oblivion, it would have lost the support of the entire Western world including the US. You cannot kill hundreds of thousands of people and just brush it off.

    The Gaza blockade continues to this day and does cut-off food, fuel and medicine. It was in place for years before the Christmas 08-09 invasion, which failed in its objective in that Hamas continues to govern in Gaza.

    Sometimes the UN is palpably on the wrong side but in this case, I don’t think it is. I think there is clear evidence Israel does engage in collective punishment.

    A UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity:
    “Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.”[8]
    The Goldstone report recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court it the situation has not improved in six months.

    Good. I’m looking forward to what the Judges in the Hague have to say about it.

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  37. TimG_Oz (924 comments) says:

    Hi Reid

    Is it OK to reference Wikipedia now? You didn’t used to think so:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/09/geeral_debate_26_september_2009.html#comment-611884

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  38. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Oh when it supports what I’m saying, Tim, I’m absolutely fine with it.

    I suspect many others think like that, as well.

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  39. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Reid, according to this map:http://www.theglobaleducationproject.org/mideast/info/maps/gaza-strip-2003-map.html Gaza has two borders – one with Israel, another with Egypt. Does Israel control both of them?

    I can understand the UN might argue that closing the Gaza border into Israel has a very significant economic impact – people living in Gaza used to work in Israel, and used to sell their produce / buy supplies from Israel.

    But it makes no sense to have an open border with a group of people who harbour significant numbers of terrorists who want to kill you. So I can see why Israel closed their border. What I don’t understand is why Egypt has their border closed too. Actually, I suspect I do know – if they opened the Egyptian border then they wouldn’t have as much to complain about.

    While the effect may be similar, there is a difference between collective punishment and sealing your border so as to stop terrorists entering.

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  40. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “While the effect may be similar, there is a difference between collective punishment and sealing your border so as to stop terrorists entering.”

    Yes but they’re not simply preventing people moving from Gaza into Israel, Paul, they’re blockading imports into Gaza. That’s why its collective punishment.

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  41. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    and the point about the egyptian blockade of Gaza?

    oh yes, silence.

    Just like the Jordanian blockade of the West Bank.

    I seem to recall that when Hamas blew the fence between themselves and Egypt, the reaction by egyptians was quite instructive.

    1. ordinary egyptians had no idea Gazans were so wealthy; and
    2. the egyptian government quickly walled them back in.

    But of course this spoils the anti-israel narrative doesnt it.

    Perhaps Reid would like to tell us how the 6-9 million Indians and Pakistanis are coping in their refugee camps following partition? OH there aren’t any. Whoops.

    Why do Syria, Jordan and Egypt keep “palestinians penned up agains the Israeli border, armed to the teeth and propagandised to the max. What possible purpose could it serve? let me see now…

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  42. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    I asked Luke previously if in fact he had family in Israel or in the army, never got an answer….

    It is interesting what I receive from family there, the leftist media only show what they wish to show, it is a sham really….. So once again, until the leftist media of which occupies around 98% of the media I would suggest get exposed or people pull their heads from the sand, the world will continue to back the crazies in the Middle East region….

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  43. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    reid “Good. I’m looking forward to what the Judges in the Hague have to say about it.”

    I say good on Israel and naughty muslims stop causing trouble. Thanks.

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  44. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “Why do Syria, Jordan and Egypt keep “palestinians penned up agains the Israeli border, armed to the teeth and propagandised to the max. What possible purpose could it serve? let me see now…”

    Nigel, so what? I didn’t address it because it doesn’t matter. It’s not germane to the point about whether or not Israel is compelled to treat those civilians the way it does.

    Unless you’re arguing that those neighbours force Israel’s hand. You’re not arguing that, are you?

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  45. V (694 comments) says:

    You need a NZ perspective, the country of Israel would fit comfortably inside NZ’s South Island.
    How can anyone not think a country of this size with the neighbours it has is not going to build up a significant military strength and therefore deterrence.

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  46. jaba (2,096 comments) says:

    can Mmmmmatttt confirm that it was indeed Israel that did this because if they could be bothered engaging with a leftie/commie like Mccartin, they could sue for defamation.
    Some of you may have noticed that we are having a James Bond session on telly sooooooo????

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  47. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    Ah Reid, ok so only Israel are the bad guys.

    Yup, you are back to your usual standard of analysis.

    The reason that this is germane to the point as you put it is that the “palestinians” were deliberately weaponised. Because the Arab countries couldnt defeat Israel militarily they decided to permanently foster a propaganda and occasionally hot war on Israel’s borders.

    If the Jordanians, Syrians and Egyptians took down their fences, I can guarantee you that the “palestinian problem” would quietly evaporate. But then of course we would be left with no dreadful “injustice” justifying wiping Israel out. And we would be left with lots of unhappy citizens of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria who might start wondering why their own government’s were useless dictatorships.

    But arguing with you on this topic is like winning the sprinting at the special olympics, so I’ll leave it there.

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  48. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Why do the Jordanians not allow the palestinian refugees into their country ? Especially since Jordan basically IS Palestine, i.e. the vast majority of the British Mandate that was east of the river Jordan, so why do they not help their palestinian brothers ? Well, the last time they let them in, they didn’t behave themselves very well, basically setting up a parallel government and ignoring Jordanian authority, extorted money from the local population and made several attempts to assassinate the King. They haven’t been very welcome since…

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  49. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    Shhh put it away don’t confuse people with facts.

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  50. Inky_the_Red (744 comments) says:

    Put it away

    Can you tell me where4 you live so I can take your land. I’m sure your family will take you in!!!

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  51. Ryan Sproull (7,060 comments) says:

    Inky,

    No need for family. The Australians will take him in – they speak the same language, have a similar culture, etc.

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  52. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Well Inky, I rent my property. I have this weird concept that I should pay rent to the rightful owner. And if he decided he didn’t want to rent it any more, I would leave. The Palestinians had been squatting rent-free on Israeli land for centuries. The landlord came back…

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  53. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    Statistics, damn statistics. Dunno what McCarten was smoking, but Israel might be 6th in terms of GDP% ( cia factbook ), but doesn’t register in monetary or number stat’s.
    I won’t lie I actually thought in money terms it would be up there, but not even in top 15, aussie which is 15th spends 30% more than Israel per year.

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  54. Ryan Sproull (7,060 comments) says:

    The Palestinians had been squatting rent-free on Israeli land for centuries. The landlord came back…

    Wait. What?

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  55. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Reid.

    Your 1:45 post..

    Besides, Hitler was considered a military asset by the British, after 1942.

    Elucidate please.

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  56. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Ryan: my point exactly. Time horizon, 15 years. Israelis all bad guys. Time horizon 50 years, Arabs all bad guys. Time horizon 100 years, Israelis all bad guys. Time horizon 300 years, Arabs all bad guys. And so on and so forth. The answer to the problem does not lie in the past, because the past is basically infinite. The answer to the problem lies in the future, and doesn’t involve arguments about whose father did what to whom.

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  57. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    [DPF: First there are many Muslim democratic countries - such as Turkey.

    Second I agree small size does not mean you will lose. But a small size means that you do not have much territory to be conquered for your country to be wiped out]

    First: And Indonesia.

    Second: And who has conquered who? Reclaiming one’s territory is not recognized as conquering. It’s recognised as returning the land to its rightful owner.

    Matt McCarten is right on the button with facts.

    The spin is the deviously invented justification of an immoral land grab by greedy Europeans, before the UN became democratic instead of being dominated by the then colonial powers.

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  58. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    And Deity is a fuckwit.

    The Palestinians and Israelis are a problem for Israel and the world to resolve, not the neighbouring states.

    Have you ever though of the concept that the Palestinians, the indigenous population, actually don’t want a country or land swap? They just want their rightful home and, mark my words, they will succeed.

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  59. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    PaulL

    Can you extend your ignorance to even greater heights? I’m sure you can.

    Do you understand that this is a strictly 20th century issue. Arabs, and in particular, Muslims, have historically been good to and for Jews, especially when compared to the murdering Europeans.

    Not granting human rights as we understand it today, but not progroms, and no Holocaust.

    Think about it.

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  60. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    So Luc, you state that = Matt McCarten is right on the button with facts:

    The fact is Israel has the fourth largest military machine in the world and is the only nuclear power in the region

    Matt is not correct!

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  61. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “Ah Reid, ok so only Israel are the bad guys.”

    Nigel, I never said that. I said that Israel’s aggressive posture is unnecessary and counter-productive, and it is.

    It’s unnecessary because it has total and complete protection due to its nuclear umbrella, so it doesn’t need to act the way it does.

    It’s counter-productive because if you want to calm down a nest of hornets, everyone knows that the one thing you don’t do is kick it, repeatedly. Now, maybe the hornets won’t in fact calm down even if you don’t kick it, but through clever propaganda, there’s a chance. If however you refuse to do anything except kick it, hard and repeatedly, then what do you expect to happen?

    It’s very elementary strategy. The only people who can’t see it are those who seem to view Israel as a paragon of international virtue, which status seems in their eyes, to excuse every action it takes. Personally, I view such people as idealists and therefore in the same category as leftie human rights activists, who seem to take the view that every action Israel takes is always wrong. I have no time for either view, they’re both palpably naive.

    Adam, Hitler was making appalling military decisions even before 1942 but because of who he was, his generals could not overrule him or even convince him to do anything that made military sense. If you were facing an enemy leader like that, wouldn’t you want to keep him alive as long as possible?

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  62. Inky_the_Red (744 comments) says:

    Palestinians and Israelis are the same people. The difference is that the Palestinians converted religion (to Islam and Christianity) while the Israelis left to Europe, Americas and North Africa but kept calling themselves Jews.

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  63. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    reid.

    Adam, Hitler was making appalling military decisions even before 1942 but because of who he was, his generals could not overrule him or even convince him to do anything that made military sense. If you were facing an enemy leader like that, wouldn’t you want to keep him alive as long as possible?

    So why was he only an asset to the British ??

    Took another 3 years of these appalling military decisions to finish him off.

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  64. Komata (1,142 comments) says:

    Put it away

    Utterly brilliant comment about the Landlord’s return – and so, so true – it quite made my evening really.

    Unfortunately the ‘tenants’ subscribe to the ‘Possession is nine-tenths of the law’ doctrine and the ‘Judges’ are so far, are on their side – and even egging them on. So much for the ‘impartiality of the judiciary’.

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  65. Ryan Sproull (7,060 comments) says:

    Utterly brilliant comment about the Landlord’s return – and so, so true – it quite made my evening really.

    Again I ask – what?

    Who are the landlords? And who says that people in the British mandate of Palestine weren’t paying rent?

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  66. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    I would think who ever has the might to say they are the land lords Ryan quoting law is quite irrelevant.

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  67. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    “So why was he only an asset to the British ??”

    I guess he was also an asset to the US as well, it’s just I remember reading that there was an unwillingness to launch an assassination attempt for that reason amongst the British leadership. I think it was either in Chestor Wilmot’s Struggle for Europe or Arthur Bryant’s Turn of the Tide.

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  68. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Whafe

    It seems the only argument you have with me is whether Israel is the 4th largest or 6th largest or whatever military power.

    I think Matt was referring to their nuclear options, but really, what’s the diff?

    Israel dominates the region with its own and US supplied ultra-modern weapons.

    What a way to live…

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  69. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Komata

    Idiot.

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  70. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    Luc, I believe the discussion re: tennants and landlords has to do with history prior to the creation of the Jewish state under the UN partition in 1948.

    Question: Who “owned” the Jewish state’s land prior to 1948?
    Answer: Predominantly Jews, recently immigrated before the British blockade

    Question: Who owned the land prior to the Jews?
    Answer: Absentee landlords, predominantly living in Syria, who the Palestinian Arabs (formerly nomadic peoples) tenanted the land from.

    What followed included the Jewish militia driving out some Arab villages, and the Arab militias attacking some Jewish Kibbutz and the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem = Nasty on both sides. The neighbouring Arab states declared war and swore Israel’s destruction and the rest, as they say, is history.

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  71. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    mavxp

    Your ignorance is appalling.

    Yes there were European Jew land owners (the distinction between European and indigenous Jews is important, for us westerners) and absentee landowners (like, 95%) but that was their custom.

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  72. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Israel is the ultimate rogue state.

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  73. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (858 comments) says:

    I see Luc is up to his/her/its normal standard of intelligent discourse.

    Everybody is wrong, Jews are evil, Israel must be “solved”

    she he it has also invented a new concept the “european jew” to pretend that they arent a nastly little anti-semite propagandist.

    Yup, got that Luc, now back off to your sewer there’s a good chap.

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  74. TimG_Oz (924 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen says “Israel is the ultimate rogue state.”

    What does he refer to as the “rogue state”? Presumably the democratically elected government and free press.

    Therefore who is Luc (again) vilifying? The people who elected the government … although, realistically, only the Jewish ones.

    One wonders what his solution would be for this “rogue” electorate. Given the holiday yesterday – Perhaps similar to Julius Streicher’s call of “Purim-fest 1946!” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Streicher

    Luc Hansen is just a hater. The funniest thing is that he constantly complains of personal attacks – yet we find such examples of that here today from him – calling people idiots or fwits.

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  75. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen (1109) Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 1:08 am
    Israel is the ultimate rogue state.
    ********************************

    So Luc Whats your final solution to the Israeli question, eh?.
    Your problem here is that any solution must have the buy in of Israel, because they have conventional forces that can defeat their neighbors in any given fight, moreover they have the ‘bomb’, so when you get down to it they cannot be defeated in a conflict. Your other problem is that that the Palestinian ‘government (s)’ want nothing more than an outright genocide of the people of Israel and their backers (those lovely people who stole the Palestinian sections of Palestine in 1948) are happy to support that so long as it does not happen because Israel has the bomb and can wipe them of the face of the planet. On a day to day level the Palestinian cause distracts their own people from the misrule of of their governments, which is nice, because they remember what happened to Nicolae Ceauşescu.

    Now I wont say that Israels behavior is always exemplary, but so long as their opponents continue to demand their genocide or finance or arm those that do, the situation will not change.

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  76. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    LUC
    wants Israel to not exist anymore.
    Like all apologists for the Palestinians he won’t be honest and front up though.
    he has no integrity.
    Nor common sense.
    for if Israel must go so must Jordan and others.
    If Israel must hand back so must China and others.

    Go the Mossad, find them wherever they are and give them the business.
    Maybe the west can stop their wank jobs enough to actually deal to the problem of Islamo-fascism.
    But I won’t hold my breath.

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