The cost of leaving no one behind

October 26th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Probably because of the Holocaust. Israelis have a culture where they hate leaving any Israeli behind.  They will move mountain and earth to recover a solider.

hence there was much rejoicing in last week when they negotiated the return of Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped from by Hamas in 2006.

For his return, Hamas got 1,027 convicted prisoners released whom between them had killed 569 Israeli civilians.

Already one woman released has vowed to become a suicide bomber again. She says it has been her ambition since childhood, and has encouraged dozens of cheering schoolchildren to follow her lead. She almost blew up a hospital last time. She may succeed this time.

I admire Israel’s willingness to leave no one behind. But I wonder if the price they have paid is too high, and if it will result in more deaths. Releasing prisoners is good if part of a peace treaty. Releasing them so they can go out again and try to blow up more hospitals and civilians is not so good.

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169 Responses to “The cost of leaving no one behind”

  1. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    I thought you could only become a suicide bomber once……

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  2. 3-coil (1,200 comments) says:

    So if 1 Israeli prisoner = 1027 Palestinian prisoners (by their own agreement), does the killing of 1 Israeli = the killing of 1027 Palestinians?

    Maybe now all those who were bleating about Israel’s “disproportionate retaliation” can keep their necks shut in the future.

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  3. Rosa19 (22 comments) says:

    you also have to think about the positive ex ante incentives this creates on behaviour before and during combat …

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  4. Longknives (4,454 comments) says:

    What a lowlife piece of excrement that Palestinian Woman is- beaming with pride as she tells of her plans to blow up a fucking Hospital…. I await Luc and co staunchly defending her rights as some form of ‘Heroic Freedom Fighter’…

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  5. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    I don’t see another reasonable way out here.

    I don’t think a government can send soldiers into battle, and then decide to leave them to stew when captured. It’s just not tenable to have someone in captivity and not be doing something to get him back. And explaining to his family that you’ve decided the price is too high would be incredibly difficult.

    Conversely, I don’t see any way that this deal is a good one. Even worse, now presumably any future action will also include an attempt to capture as many Israelis as possible, because each one is worth 1000 prisoners returned. That’s a spectacularly bad incentive. Overall, this result actually puts more Israeli soldiers at risk.

    The only possible solution here is to no longer be at war. Israel doesn’t seem to be serious about ending the war – the ongoing settlement building is just the most obvious example of their inability to reconcile the behaviour of some of the hardliners with any reasonable actions. These areas where Israel is just refusing to be reasonable give ammunition to the propoganda war, and enable the Palestinians and friends to create media cover for their far more outrageous actions (killing people, firing rockets etc etc).

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  6. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    As PaulL points out, this just creates an incentive. And Hamas has indeed vowed to kidnap more Israeli soldiers – since they got such a good price for this one.

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  7. Leverett (6 comments) says:

    It’s a bit of a Nixon-to-China type event isn’t it? As in, I don’t think anyone other than Bibi Netanyahu. Hamas are portraying it as a victory on the trial of their campaign for a Jew-free zone from the river to the sea. I suppose the hope is that it will buy Israel a little breathing space on the international scene. It seems a bit a bit sanguine for me. I can’t see lefty Westerners – such as those NZers who even call our own PM ‘Shylock’ – will have their anti-Zionism significantly blunted by any concession.

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  8. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Farrar says:- “Releasing them so they can go out again and try to blow up more hospitals and civilians is not so good.”

    Perhaps not pissing them off to the extent that they become so desperate that they’ll even blow themselves up in order to strike back at the enemy might be a good place to start.

    And before some of us become too self-righteous about the immorality of murder suicides, remember the story of a blinded and chained Israelite Sampson praying to God for the strength to pull down the temple on the Philistines’ (Palestinian) heads.

    “Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ He pulled the two pillars together, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived.” (Judges 16:30)

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  9. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris

    Perhaps not pissing them off to the extent that they become so desperate that they’ll even blow themselves up in order to strike back at the enemy might be a good place to start.

    Nobody pissed them off. Their just Muslims. The first Muslim terrorist was a guy called Mohammed.

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  10. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    Very generous on the part of Israel – 1 Israeli for 1,027 Hamas terrorists. But based on their net worth, probably about right.

    The only way for this to end will be for Hamas to stop their acts of terrorism. Israel has every right to defend its land and people against acts of terrorism and if Hamas keeps provoking the Israelis then they shouldn’t moan when the inevitable happens and they get beaten by the big stick.

    Hamas is simply a bunch of terrorists hell bent on trying to destroy the sovereign state of Israel. And, just like others before them, they will never succeed.

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  11. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Lee says:- “They’re just Muslims”

    So I take it that you do not advocate religious tolerance?

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  12. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    Imagine you’re Shalit’s parents (who camped outside the Israeli Knesset and campaigned for his release for months on end) and ask yourselves whether this was worth it. Israel will just have to build some more walls to keep out the suicide bombers. They have been extraordinarily effective so far, resulting in a huge decrease in terrorist attacks (and a huge wave of criticism from the anti-Israel crowd who will seize on any excuse to criticise Israel.)

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  13. DeepScience (74 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris

    Lee says:- “They’re just Muslims”

    “So I take it that you do not advocate religious tolerance?”

    So I take it that you do not advocate Lee expressing his religious view? How intolerant!

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  14. KH (687 comments) says:

    Scott Chris @ 12.08
    ” ……. Perhaps not pissing them off to the extent that they become so desperate that they’ll even blow themselves up in order to strike back at the enemy might be a good place to start…… ”
    That’s exactly correct.
    The endless promotion of the settlements for example, is insane in Israeli’s own interest. Israel needs to work out it’s likely future, which is limited. Crushing the Palestinian’s under the boot will only work for so long.

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  15. gump (1,487 comments) says:

    This is a perfect illustration of why governments shouldn’t negotiate with terrorists.

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  16. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > Hamas got 1,027 convicted prisoners released whom between them had killed 569 Israeli civilians.

    I’m not sure where you plucked that figure from but it’s curious that you haven’t mentioned how many Palestinians Israel has killed.

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  17. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris

    So I take it that you do not advocate religious tolerance?

    No, I’m not a Liberal. I’m not tolerant of Communism, Fascism, serial killers, or French pop music either.

    The idea that I have to “tolerate” everything is Liberal nonsense.

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  18. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    It was a calculated move by Netanyahu and his Likud Party to exchange the approx. 1027 for Gilad Shalit, a move that attracts analysis because as reported Hamas are celebrating this event as a victory for them and a humiliating defeat for the Israelis’.
    Hamas are now in the ascendence in Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO have also suffered a humiliating defeat that may in turn inspire a civil war between the two factions struggling for control.
    Can Hamas interpret the Isrealis’ move as an act of good faith, a genuine desire to move closer to peace, or does Hamas see this as an opportunity to bolster their cause which is the military overthrow of the Isrealis’?
    However you interpret this , Hamas have little argument with Isreal, the exchange has happened, Hamas have their people back and must now assure Isreal that no ill will come of this if they wish to continue negotiating into the future for similar outcomes.

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  19. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    Lee01 (1,526) Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    very good point Lee

    can I add lefty anti Israel twerps to that list?

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  20. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    DeepScience says:- “So I take it that you do not advocate Lee expressing his religious view? How intolerant!”

    What have I said that would indicate that I advocate Lee not being able to express an opinion, albeit an intolerant one?

    Lee responded by saying he doesn’t believe in religious tolerance, which he is perfectly free to do, just as I am free to challenge his position.

    Can’t see your point.

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

    1027 for one? Didnt realise the palestinians had such clarity about their worth.

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  22. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Lee says:- “I’m not tolerant of …….. serial killers,”

    So I take it that you condemn God for returning Sampson’s strength to him so that he could smite the Philistines as well as kill himself?

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  23. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Samson wasn’t a serial killer, he was fighting a war.

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  24. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Why Netanyahu Made the Prisoner Swap Deal with Hamas.

    Despite these facts, the deal for Shalit passed a cabinet vote by an overwhelming margin (26 in favor and only three opposed), and the vast majority of Israeli citizens support it. In agreeing to this prisoner swap, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli public chose to return to their roots, to revive a central tenet of old-time Israeli ideology: we do not leave our sons in the field.

    And an op-ed by Miki Goldwasser, mother of IDF reserve soldier Ehud Goldwasser who was abducted and killed by Hezbollah in 2006.

    The released prisoners are mostly hooligans who took the liberty to rob and kill even their own people. Do you recall the images of the Gaza wedding where the celebrating family was murdered by a Hamas gang only because it dared to rejoice? I’m certain that Gaza residents are starting to fear what’s to come.

    Tough questions answered

    Today is our victory day. The day where we decided that our values and our confidence in the righteousness of our way shall guide us. As long as there is no peace, and let us hope it arrives, our sons shall be serving the State with confidence. Mothers will again be able to entrust their children in the hands of worthy commanders.

    Teenagers will no longer be asking the defense minister, chief of staff and even themselves: “What will happen if I’m kidnapped or taken captive? Will the State care for me?” The answer is yes. The State is committed and it will care for you.

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  25. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    There will be no peace until either Israel is destroyed or Islam vanquished.

    Israel is an affront to Islam and Muslims as it’s existance proves Allah isn’t God or Muhhumad is a liar (false prophet).

    There is NO moderate Islam as long as Sharia Law represents the very best of Islam.
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/sharia-law-declaration-raises-concerns-libya-164347382.html
    http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=242922

    But of course you lefties don’t give a fig as (deep down in your hearts) you hate the Jewish people because they represent God by their existence, which reminds you of who you are in relationship to Him.
    So you are happy to blather on about Human rights rah rah rah, but ignore the very deepest wickedness of Sharia from the safety of your utopia.

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  26. dime (9,424 comments) says:

    “Nobody pissed them off. Their just Muslims. The first Muslim terrorist was a guy called Mohammed.”

    heh lots of hate for a religious dude. i like it!

    Scott Chris – can you please get a job? whats your daily post count up to? 40?

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  27. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    A useful article giving some context for the release, and also commenting on Israeli war crimes.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/17/tzipi-livni-arrest-warrant-israel-gaza?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

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  28. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “So I take it that you condemn God for returning Sampson’s strength to him so that he could smite the Philistines as well as kill himself?”

    Oh please, how is a story from the Old Testament remotely relevant to an exchange of prisoners today…. this thread is going to get offtopic enough without you shoving your oar in..

    As for the whole tolerance thing, it really gets on my nerves. It is born out of the concept that no objective truth exists and therefore one person’s opinion is as valid as another’s and therefore we should ~show tolerance~ to people who have the most screwed up opinions. That’s a load of bollocks. I believe in objective truth and if someone has a retarded opinion I’ll tell them that. Terrorism is wrong and if extreme Islam inspires people to blow themselves up I’ll call them out on it.

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  29. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Quoting from Richard Goldstone (2009):

    The Mission decided that in order to understand the effect of the Israeli military operations on the infrastructure and economy of Gaza, and especially its food supplies, it was necessary to have regard to the effects of the blockade that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip for some years and has been tightened since Hamas became the controlling authority of Gaza.

    The Mission found that the attack on the only remaining flour producing factory, the destruction of a large part of the Gaza egg production, the bulldozing of huge tracts of agricultural land, and the bombing of some two hundred industrial facilities, could not on any basis be justified on military grounds. Those attacks had nothing whatever to do with the firing of rockets and mortars at Israel.

    The Mission looked closely and sets out in the Report statements made by Israeli political and military leaders in which they stated in clear terms that they would hit at the “Hamas infrastructure”.

    If “infrastructure” were to be understood in that way and become a justifiable military objective, it would completely subvert the whole purpose of IHL built up over the last 100 years and more. It would make civilians and civilian buildings justifiable targets.

    These attacks amounted to reprisals and collective punishment and constitute war crimes.

    The Government of Israel has a duty to protect its citizens. That in no way justifies a policy of collective punishment of a people under effective occupation, destroying their means to live a dignified life and the trauma caused by the kind of military intervention the Israeli Government called Operation Cast Lead. This contributes to a situation where young people grow up in a culture of hatred and violence, with little hope for change in the future.

    Finally, the teaching of hate and dehumanization by each side against the other contributes to the destabilization of the whole region.

    The Mission debated long and hard on whether this was a case, like Darfur, where the Security Council should consider referring the situation both in Israel and Gaza to the International Criminal Court.

    The Mission is highly critical of the pusillanimous efforts by Israel to investigate alleged violations of international law and the complete failure by the Gaza authorities to do so in respect of the armed groups. That notwithstanding the Mission came to the conclusion that both Israel and the Gaza Authorities have the ability to conduct open and transparent investigations and launch appropriate prosecutions if they decide to do so.

    We therefore recommended that the Security Council should require Israel to report to it within six months, on the investigations and prosecutions it is carrying out with regard to the violations referred to in this Report and any others that may come to its attention.

    The Mission recommends further that the Security Council should set up a body of independent experts to report to it on the progress of the Israeli investigations and prosecutions. The committee of experts should similarly report on investigations and prosecutions undertaken by the relevant authorities in Gaza with regard to crimes committed by the Palestinian armed groups.

    In both cases, if within the six month period there are no good faith investigations conforming to international standards, the Security Council should refer the situation or situations to the ICC Prosecutor.

    The Mission was concerned at the use made by the Israeli army of certain munitions and especially white phosphorous, flechettes and certain heavy metals such as tungsten. Their use is not presently banned by international law.

    The Mission has recommended that the General Assembly should promote an urgent discussion on the future legality of the use of these munitions.

    As appears from the Report the manner in which those munitions were used in Gaza caused unacceptable and unnecessary human suffering as well as environmental damage – not only in Gaza but probably also in southern Israel. The situations arising from the latter should be monitored by the United Nations.

    Since the issue of the advance copy of the Report it has been rejected in vehement terms by the Government of Israel. The call for transparent investigations has been rejected. The Government of Israel wishes to restrict its investigations to secret inquiries by the Military investigating itself. That would clearly not satisfy the legitimate expectations of the many victims of the Israeli military operations.

    A word about accountability. It has been my experience in many regions of the world, including my own country, South Africa, that peace and reconciliation depend, to a great extent, upon public acknowledgement of what victims suffer. That applies no less in the Middle East. It is a pre-requisite to the beginning of the healing and meaningful peace process.

    The truth and accountability are also essential to prevent ascribing collective guilt to a people. Many people in Gaza deplore the firing of thousands of rockets at civilians in Southern Israel and the terror that it has caused to innocent children, women and men. And many in Israel, Jews and Palestinians, deplore the actions by the Israel Defense Force that caused unjustifiable civilian deaths and injuries on a very large scale. They do not approve of the damage to the food and commercial infrastructure of Gaza that will take many years to repair.

    Support for many of the recommendations contained in the Report has come from Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.

    People of the region should not be demonized. Rather their common humanity should be emphasized.

    It is for this reason that the Mission came to the conclusion that it is accountability above all that is called for in the aftermath of the regrettable violence that has caused so much misery for so many.

    A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long.

    The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence. Time and again, experience has taught us that overlooking justice only leads to increased conflict and violence.

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  30. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > Terrorism is wrong and if extreme Islam inspires people to blow themselves up I’ll call them out on it.

    What about war crimes – are they wrong too, and how should we hold war criminals accountable?

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  31. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Gee Mic Mac, you’ve missed evangelicals like Mike ‘Hitler was a hunter’ Bickle and his predictions of prison camps for Jews and a second Holocaust.

    “Let me tell you, these 20 million – less than 20 million Jews worldwide, there’s about 5 million in Israel, about another 15 million worldwide, a little bit less than that–those 15 million, God is going to bring them all back.
    They will, the 2/3 will die in the rage of Satan and in the judgments of God and the 1/3, every one of the 1/3 will be in the land before it’s over and they’ll be worshipers of Jesus.

    Now the Lord’s bringing back multitudes now to give them a chance, to give them every opportunity to say yes to salvation and the land. He’s bringing them back from everywhere, all over the lands.

    Now, listen to what the Lord said in verse 16. Now, he says this to the Jewish people, these 20 million, I mean the 20 million total – 15 million around the Earth, 5 million in Israel now – ballpark numbers, of course – verse 16, he says, “I am going to send many fisherman, says the Lord, and they shall fish for them. And afterwards, I will send hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill, out of all the holes of the rocks, and I am going to bring them back to my land.”

    The Lord says, “I’m going to offer two strategies to Israel, to these 20 million.” He says, “first, I am going to offer them grace, I am going to send the fisherman.” Do you know how a fisherman lures? I mean, do you know how a fisherman does their thing? – They have the bait in front, luring the fish. It’s a picture of grace.

    The hunters are opposite. Instead of luring them in front, hunters drive with fear, from behind.

    The Lord says, “I’m going to give all 20 million of them the chance. To respond to the fisherman. And I give them grace. And I give them grace.”And he says, “And if they don’t respond to grace, I’m going to raise up the hunters.”

    And the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler. He drove them from the, from the hiding places–he drove them out of the land. Beloved, our prayer ministry is part of the fisherman ministry.”

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  32. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “What about war crimes – are they wrong too, and how should we hold war criminals accountable?”

    Certainly, if they aren’t invented by people with an anti-Israel agenda who refuse to see reason and hypocritically ignore the human rights abuses of evil countries like Saudi Arabia.

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  33. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Philistines’ (Palestinian)

    Scott Chris, 

    it makes it very difficult to debate things with you when you are happy to ignore facts and add made up ones into the discussion.  It means one never knows whether what you are representing as fact is indeed fact, or whether it simply sprung from your fertile imagination.

    The Philistines were not Palestinians.  They were a completely separate people, ethnically different, and they no longer exist.  The Palestinians of the modern day name (the Jews are, of course, the original Palestinians, being the main ethnic occupants of Palestine when it was named thus by the Romans, first in literature and then officially).

    The Philistines were the Sea Peoples, and did not give the land their name and were never known as Palestinians.  From the Israeli conquest/re-occupation (in the Torah this was led by Joshua) until the Roman takeover that land was known as Canaan, then Israel, then Israel and Judah, then Israel, Judah and Samaria, with other nations around the borders and some times as provinces of other empires.

    The term Palestinian is used today to refer to an ethnic Arab who lives in or originates from Palestine.  It is no different from calling a resident of Saudi Arabia a Saudi, notwithstanding the fact that they are also Arab.

    Ross,

    I don’t know if quite what you were intending with the Goldstone quote, but Goldstone has now essentially recanted on his report.

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  34. KH (687 comments) says:

    …..Ross at 1.22 and 1.30.
    Posts are well worth the read.

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  35. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    F E Smith,

    What exactly has Goldstone recanted and do you have any links?

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  36. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Oh come on Smith, the Philistines are as much Palestinians as Modern Israeli’s are Canaanites and Ancient Israelites.

    But that is beside the point. The Old Testament advocates murder suicide. It’s there in black and white.

    God returned Sampson’s strength so that he could kill leaders and civilians as well as himself.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    What’s the difference between Sampson and a Muslim suicide bomber? About 4000 years.

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  37. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Follow up on Goldstone showing his new viewpoint here

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  38. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Actually, Scott, your comparison is both fatuous and offensive.

    Samson, from what I understand, was a prisoner of the Philistines who had been captured and put to slave labour for them. He had previously been a freedom fighter of sorts, or at least one who did not accept the complete Philistine domination of his people. He was brought out by the Philistines for them to mock and scorn. It appears that he took advantage of poor building practices to continue his fight, an opportunity that he did not seek but that he seems to have been presented with by the Philistines.

    A modern day Palestinian suicide bomber generally lives in a self-governing land, purposely straps on a bomb vest and covertly seeks out civilians to murder.

    There is a huge difference, if the story of Samson is in any way accurate. Your comparison of the two is very much like those who accuse modern Israelis of being Nazis perpetrating a holocaust on the Palestinians, which is another offensive assertion.

    EDIT: Alternatively, your modern day Palestinian Samson might slit the throat of a baby and its family http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/03/israel-muslim-murders-family-of-five-including-children-aged-11-3-and-a-baby-girl.html

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  39. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Thanks, F E Smith.

    It should be noted that Israel was highly critical of Goldstone from the outset and didn’t allow him to travel to Israel to do any fact-finding. I also understand that Israel applied some pressure subsequently to get his conclusions altered. I also note that after his report was produced, Israel seemed to be quite proactive in prosecuting some alleged offenders. One wonders why there were not so proactive up to that point.

    I assume that you would like to see war criminals held accountable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/world/middleeast/07mideast.html

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  40. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Ross,

    Israel took that attitude because Goldstone’s negative attitude to Israel was already well known. His appointment was in no way equivalent to that of an independent. By appointing him it was already obvious what the outcome of the report would be.

    Of course war criminals should be held accountable. I just don’t subscribe to the hysteria that accuses Israel and its soldiers of war crimes like so many of the left wing newspapers, such as the Guardian and the New York Times, do.

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  41. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    “Hamas are now in the ascendence in Palestine,”

    ..”In Palestine?”..

    Where would that be? Is it somewhere near Atlantis?

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  42. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    One has to say that it does appear that in the world today, the best way to obtain popular support for a war of secession/independence/whatever, is to murder and maim. As DPF notes, it is wonderful that Gilad Shalit is free, but that this innocent soldier (unless you go on guilt by association) was held captive by armed forces run by the government of a free territory for 5 years! Yet this government wants UN recognition that they are a State!!!

    And then that same proto-State organises huge rallies to celebrate the return home of murderers responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths. When Libya did it for one man, there was an outcry, when it is in Gaza for 1000 terrorists, nobody says anything.

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  43. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    It is worth noting that the UN apparently stands behind the Goldstone report. And there is evidence that war crimes were committed, whether you like to believe that or not.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2011/apr/05/judge-goldstone-israel-visit?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

    F E Smith, surely it would be up to the courts to decide on the matter of war crimes. I imagine you wouldn’t want to see Israel investigating itself, which it has done hundreds of times?

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  44. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > Yet this government wants UN recognition that they are a State!!!

    Yet you ignore war crimes have been committed by a State! Does the committing of such crimes means they Israel should no longer be recognised as a State? No, I think you’ll find the two issues are separate. You conveniently ignore Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

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  45. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    F E Smith, it doesn’t appear that Goldstone has recanted at all.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/goldstone-to-ap-i-have-no-reason-to-believe-any-part-of-the-report-needs-to-be-reconsidered-at-this-time.html

    But if he had recanted, it would be understandable given the tremendous pressure that seems to have been applied to him. I guess that’s what happens when you say something negative, however accurate, about Israel.

    http://forward.com/articles/136818/#ixzz1IrRq7Iyq
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/04/07/3086766/american-jewish-lawyers-set-to-sue-goldstone

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  46. dime (9,424 comments) says:

    “It is worth noting that the UN apparently stands behind the Goldstone report.”

    well if the UN stands behind something it must be right BAHAHAHAHA

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  47. KH (687 comments) says:

    So F E Smith got his evidence wrong.
    And of course we will see him say this.
    As his high professionalism and knowledge of legal proceedure (self proclaimed) require.
    Waiting. Waiting.

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  48. Bob (479 comments) says:

    Back around 1970 Israel was annoyed when other countries did the same thing to free hijacked aeroplane passengers. I remember West Germany gave in to demands to free Palestinian prisoners held by them in return for the release of a plane load oif West German. The Israelis were annoyed saying no one should give in to terrorist demands as it only encourages them.

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  49. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris

    As F.E Smith as rightly pointed out your comparison of the story of Samson with Islamic suicide bombers is fatuous nonsense at its best. Suicide bombers target civlilions with the purpose of killing as many civillions as posswble. To claim, using your standard theologically illiterare reading of Scripture, that because of the story of Samson, God therefore advocates suicide bombing is not only stupid and childish, it is deeply offensive to the memory of all those who have been the victims of Islamic terror around the world. To try and claim some kind of moral equivalence by claiming that Jews have no right to oppose Islamic suicide bombers because of a story from the Bible, which you clearly do not understand in the first place, is just sick.

    For goodness sake, grow up.

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  50. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    No, I think you’ll find the two issues are separate. You conveniently ignore Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

    It is neither an occupation nor illegal. There is no such place as “Palestine”. Its an Islamic fiction.

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  51. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Ross & KH,

    The Guardian article that I linked to was based not on AP reports, but on a couple of opinion pieces by Goldstone himself in the Washington Post. In those posts, he explains that "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document." 

    Goldstone was known to be anti-Israel even before his appointment.  That is one of the reasons why Israel did not co-operate with his investigation.  Compare that to the co-operation that Israel gave Sir Geoffrey Palmer with his investigation. 

    Goldstone was criticised by his fellow report writers, who, unlike yourselves, do seem to think that he was expressing doubts about his report.

    And if the UN thinks something is still valid, then that is usually a good reason to think the opposite,   After all, this is the body that thinks that in the last 60 years the biggest offender and the most important topic for resolutions is Israel.  Indeed, apparently of over 700 General Assembly resolutions passed since the UN’s establishment, nearly 450 condemn Israel.    This is the same body that has Libya heading its Human Rights Committee!

    EDIT “knowledge of legal proceedure (self proclaimed)”

    What does that have to do with anything? And are you saying that I do not have a knowledge of legal procedure?

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  52. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    It is neither an occupation nor illegal

    Lee is correct.  Gaza and the West Bank were originally held by Egypt and Jordan respectively.  Indeed, Jordan annexed the West Bank after the 1948 war, a situation that was recognised by Britain, at least.  Jordan had no intention, it seems, of turning the West Bank over to the Palestinians. 

    Funnily enough, it is only when Israel won the West Bank in the 1967 war that this really became much of an issue. 

    The status of the West Bank is currently indeterminate.  In 1948 the Palestinian Arabs refused to accept the West Bank as part of a Palestinian Arab State. It is therefore wrong to describe it as being illegally occupied, unless you accept that Jordan has a right to demand the return of the West Bank from Israel.

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  53. KH (687 comments) says:

    ……… to F E Smith.
    You have often enough proclaimed your knowledge of legal proceedure. Evidence etc.
    So it’s time for you to withdraw some of your most dodgy statementss.
    The one’s that are inference rather than evidence.
    “Goldstome was known…..” etc etc and etc.
    Just seeking some consistency here
    Waiting waiting.

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  54. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    Aredhel777 (112) Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    As for the whole tolerance thing, it really gets on my nerves. It is born out of the concept that no objective truth exists and therefore one person’s opinion is as valid as another’s and therefore we should ~show tolerance~ to people who have the most screwed up opinions. That’s a load of bollocks. I believe in objective truth and if someone has a retarded opinion I’ll tell them that. Terrorism is wrong and if extreme Islam inspires people to blow themselves up I’ll call them out on it.

    I completely agree. The whole tolerance thing really gets on my nerves. It is born out of the concept that no objective truth exists and therefore one person’s opinion is as valid as another’s and therefore we should show tolerance to people who have the most screwed up opinions. That’s a load of bollocks. I believe in objective truth and if someone has a retarded opinion I’ll tell them that. Terrorism is wrong and if extreme Christianity inspires people to blow themselves up I’ll call them out on it.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/AdviceAnimals/search?q=christian+terrorist&sort=top

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  55. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ KH

    So it’s time for you to withdraw some of your most dodgy statementss.

    Just because you disagree with them does not make them dodgy.

    Prove to me your not a Jew hater…

    waiting waiting waiting

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  56. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    KH,

    nothing you have said disproves anything I have said. Try harder.

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  57. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    The worst terrorist ever was the person flying the enola gray. Perhaps the palestinians have learned from the americans after all this time.

    Hypocrites and fools.

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  58. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    vto,

    that is complete rubbish.

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  59. KH (687 comments) says:

    F E Smith
    One of the things i like about lawyers is the ‘first cab on the rank’ process.
    Where a lawyer is engaged and will argue a point of view which may be contrary to their own beliefs, to the best of their ability. But within the limits of legal principles.
    You are an uncompromising in your arguements for Israel.
    Which raises the question.
    Are you retained for this ?
    Who pays you ?
    Happy to accept your statement that it is nobody

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  60. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    For once I have to agree with you FESter, that was complete rubbish. Colonel Tibbets was a bloody good bloke.

    Good news though while you were away The Dept of Courts has widened all the doorways by 600mm so your ego can fit through. :)

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  61. RightNow (6,658 comments) says:

    vto, your assertion is tantamount to saying Willie Apiata is a terrorist.

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  62. KiwiGreg (3,171 comments) says:

    “Scott Chris,

    it makes it very difficult to debate things with you when you are happy to ignore facts and add made up ones into the discussion. It means one never knows whether what you are representing as fact is indeed fact, or whether it simply sprung from your fertile imagination.”

    @ FE Smith all the more reason to add him to the “just ignore” list.

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  63. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    @ KH

    You are an uncompromising in your arguements for Israel. Which raises the question. Are you retained for this ?
    Who pays you ?

    Quite right KH. Must be those money Jews paying him to say this stuff eh?

    Read Mein Kampf lately?

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  64. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    How so FE Smith? Both in a state of war and resorting to killing innocent civilians to try to win.

    And yes rightnow, if Apiata killed innocents to advance his cause then he is a terrorist, as per the definition implied in this post.

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  65. RightNow (6,658 comments) says:

    vto, you say ‘as per the definition implied in this post’ – but this post doesn’t mention the word terrorist and doesn’t seem to imply any definition for such. It is more likely that you’ve realised you have been wildly inaccurate and are trying to cover your ass.

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  66. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    KH,

    you are attacking me ad hom, rather than debating the issue. Why? Come up with facts.

    vto,

    got to go out, I will come back with more a bit later.

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  67. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    rightnow, the definition generally accepted by the posts in this thread which run along the lines of innocent civilians being killed to advance a warring party’s cause.

    So how would you distinuish between the enola gray pilot and palestinians?

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  68. RightNow (6,658 comments) says:

    vto, I guess I’m being pedantic – ‘post’ refers to DPF’s original post. Everything subsequent is ‘comments’.

    My understanding is that Palestine and Israel are not currently at war. The Enola Gray was piloted by military personnel in active duty during a war.

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  69. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    rightnow, military personnel killing innocent civilians is even worse. Yet somehow people think it is ok for the US government to kill innocent people but not other organisations in a state of war to kill innocent people. The US govt killed innocent people to win a war. Now the plestinians are following in their footsteps. Surprise surprise …

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  70. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Word to all Israeli soldiers from Government…if captured you are on your own. Take as many of the bastards with you as you can…

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  71. RightNow (6,658 comments) says:

    vto, I’m not disagreeing that killing civilians is atrocious. I’m disagreeing with your usage of ‘terrorist’.

    I believe any killing of innocents is atrocious, whether it’s committed by Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Kiwis, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Jew, whoever.
    However my understanding is that the distinction is ‘war criminal’ if perpetrated during a war, vs ‘terrorist’ when not. Not to mention the murkiness about whether the executor of a direct order should be held responsible (for ‘war crimes’), or the issuer of the order.

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  72. KH (687 comments) says:

    …..to F E Smith.
    You think this is Ad Hom. No such approach was made.
    However indeed there was a question. And it was indeed challenging.
    ……….”You are an uncompromising in your arguments for Israel.
    Which raises the question.
    Are you retained for this ?
    Who pays you ?
    Happy to accept your statement that it is nobody”………..
    So it’s was a question. And an offer to accept the response you make.
    So still waiting the facts from you. Which only you can provide.
    Your fine legal mind has often reminded us of the importance of facts and evidence.
    Waiting Waiting.

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  73. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Its worth repeating over and over to get it thur the thickhead terrorist supporters.

    Whilst not all Muslims are terrorist almost ALL terrorists are Muslim

    Get it!!!!!

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  74. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    How daft to try and compare terrorism being perpetuated by a political group (Hamas) against a sovereign state (Israel), to that of the truncation of the Second World War (in the Pacific against Japan) by the Allies?

    Oil / water. Anyone who can’t see the differences is either being deliberately obtuse, or they are moon bat ignorant.

    Hamas is just a Middle East version of Al Qaeda. With tactics to match.

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  75. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    rightnow “However my understanding is that the distinction is ‘war criminal’ if perpetrated during a war, vs ‘terrorist’ when not.”

    Semantics. Hear that hollow ringing sound …. It is bullshit.

    Making such a distinction based on the world powers order of things like who gets to be a nation state, who can be in the UN and make these rules and distinctions, who is subjected to the War Crimes Tribunal (did you know the US cannot be? fancy that) is just pure hogwash and predicated on who has the biggest bombs, nothing more. It is hollow. No wonder people like the palestinians, kurds, etc etc get so pissed off with the current world order.

    I say it again – There is absolutely no difference between palestinian suicide bombers and the enola gray pilot. Both were part of organisations who slaughtered innocent civilians to try to win a war. You can spin current politics and UN semantics around it all you like but that is the truth of it.

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  76. Other_Andy (2,286 comments) says:

    Interesting to read that some dipsticks still quote the UN or a UN report as a a reliable and authorative source.
    The UN.
    Democracies have been a minority within the UN since 1958.
    The UN is controlled by a bunch of corrupt, anti-semetic mysogonistic, dictatorial countries.
    Last year……
    Libya had a chair on the Human Rights Council.
    China, Russia, Cuba,Saudi Arabia and Cameroon all had seats on the Human Rights Council.
    North Korea hadthe presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament
    Iran had a seat on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women.
    Pakistan served as acting head of a U.N. body called the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
    Hardly an organisation that can be taken seriously on anthing.

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  77. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding and elaycee, did you say something there? Or was it just a brainless one-liner or two with no substance?

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  78. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Secret Israeli payments! Enola Gay!

    Diversions, diversions.

    The fact is that the Israelis have released from jail 1027 people, many of whom had committed multiple acts of murder, killing people unable to fight back. Almost not worth mentioning the Geneva Convention, since Hamas and co. deliberately flout those protocols to enable them to fight, making them all war criminals from the start.

    Will this move forward the possibility of peace with Hamas, Hezbollah, or the PLO? No! No more than it will gain kudos from the likes of KH, Ross and the rest of the Western Left.

    Rather like handing back the Gaza Strip in 2005 because it had long been argued that trading land for peace would make things better – it didn’t.

    In short, all this stuff about settlements and the rest are simply the next set of demands from an endless list designed not to enable compromise – let alone peace – but as a negotiating tactic and propaganda weapon to put the Jews on the back foot – until they are driven into the sea. At least Hamas is honest about that.

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  79. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    Hey Farrar, when you said “Releasing them so they can go out again and try to blow up more hospitals and civilians is not so good.” did it cross your mind that perhaps the released Israeli terrorist may get back into some US-supplied fighter jet again to slaughter masses of Palestinians with a single bomb? Or does your brain only go one way? Hypocrite.

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  80. RightNow (6,658 comments) says:

    so vto, can I take it you think the UN is also a big pile of useless shit?

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  81. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    vto – “There is absolutely no difference between palestinian suicide bombers and the enola gray pilot. Both were part of organisations who slaughtered innocent civilians to try to win a war”

    Stop being a moron. If Israel was at war with a sovereign state instead of a bunch of terrorists of no fixed abode, they would be totally within their rights to deal to them once and for all. Israel doesn’t want a War, but others who have tried to start one with Israel have found themselves with a bloody nose. Israel will never be beaten by terrorism and thinking otherwise, is daft.

    The Allies faced massive loss of [Allied] life when they prepared to invade Japan and the decision to drop the bombs was to drastically reduce the number of Allied casualties and bring about unconditional Japanese surrender. Japan started the War in the Pacific on the 7th December, 1941 and the Allies ended it. Best read about the Manhatten Project some time – the personnel who worked on it came from most Allied countries – including a handful of scientists from New Zealand.

    And please gets your facts straight – the US plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima was called the Enola Gay [not the enola gray]. The US plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki was called Bockscar. It may pay to read history some time – clearly you’re short on fact on many quarters. Including the terrorism against Israel perpetuated by Hamas.

    Are you actually Luc Hansen in drag? Your ‘argument’ contains the same crap that he usually spouts.

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  82. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    Elaycee, try looking at the world from afar instead of through glasses made from propaganda and lies and subjective outlooks.

    So it is ok to kill innocent civilians if you are “a nation state in a declared state of war” a-la Hiroshima. But not ok if you and your people fall outside those definitions imposed by nation states.

    And not only that but you specifically agree that “the decision to drop the bombs was to drastically reduce the number of Allied casualties” i.e. reduce Allied military casualities in exchange for increased innocent Japanese civilian deaths.

    The hypocrisy in all of this is white hot and astonishing. I have nothing but contempt.

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  83. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Israelis supported making a great sacrifice to save the life of one man.

    Their enemies value the life of one man so little that they gleefully use their own as pointless and useless human bombs.

    To a rational person the two different attitudes would normally be a clear pointer to which group is likely to be the ones with whom one can live in peace, with whom compromise and honest, good-faith negotiations can be fulfilled.

    But not to Western leftists, especially the far left.

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  84. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “I completely agree. The whole tolerance thing really gets on my nerves. It is born out of the concept that no objective truth exists and therefore one person’s opinion is as valid as another’s and therefore we should show tolerance to people who have the most screwed up opinions. That’s a load of bollocks. I believe in objective truth and if someone has a retarded opinion I’ll tell them that. Terrorism is wrong and if extreme Christianity inspires people to blow themselves up I’ll call them out on it.”

    Funnily enough, when I wrote that post, I suspected you personally would agree with me. I have spent a lot of time learning about your sort of mindset on the Richard Dawkins forums. Rest assured that I don’t expect you to be ‘tolerant’ of my beliefs and I fully support your right to criticise what I think. I’m sick of tolerance. Politeness of course is a different matter, but hey I’m not even polite 100% of the time.

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  85. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    tom hunter, are you serious? Why don’t you people take off your blinkers and try looking at things from a perspective that is not “western”?

    You lot are suckered in by the lies of the victors.

    pathetic

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  86. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    actually, vto, the reasons given by elaycee and lastmanstanding are totally correct.  What you are alleging is the commission of a war crime, not a terrorist act.

    It isn’t semantics, the difference is very important.  Like the difference between murder and manslaughter- the result of the incident is the same (someone is dead), but the reasons behind it and our attitudes towards it are very different.

    However, your comment that

    perhaps the released Israeli terrorist may get back into some US-supplied fighter jet again to slaughter masses of Palestinians with a single bomb

    perhaps shows your true colours?  That is a very misleading and incorrect assertion.  Of course, we know that Sgt Shalit was not a terrorist, was not a fighter pilot (he is in the Armour Corp) and that the IDF do not slaughter masses of Palestinians with bombs.  
     

    I have nothing but contempt.

    For your interlocuters?  

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  87. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    I have nothing but contempt.

    Muhahahahaha.

    Good grief. In your tiny mind you actually imagine that your contempt carries any weight in terms of “shaming”. What an extraordinarily high level of self-regard you have for your sense of ethics and morality.

    Here’s a hint for your the next time you want to try that silly, little rhetorical ploy: you’re opponents actually have to have some respect for you in the first place.

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  88. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    AHHHHSHSH I –

    “your” – not “you’re”

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  89. Elaycee (4,301 comments) says:

    vto says: “The hypocrisy in all of this is white hot and astonishing. I have nothing but contempt.”

    You cannot be serious. You support terrorism perpetuated on Israel by Hamas and yet you somehow try to paint a poor picture of the Allied success in bringing the Pacific theatre of World War Two, to an end?

    What a sick puppy. Can you not differentiate between acts of terrorism against Israel by a stateless bunch of terrorists from no fixed abode and the efforts of the Allies to repel the advances of the Japanese Imperial Army?

    What the hell did you do at school? Read comics?

    Next thing you’ll be telling us that the Gweens have a sound economic policy and that Phool Goof is a credible option for the electorate next month.

    Oh, oh…

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  90. KH (687 comments) says:

    …… to F E Smith.
    Still waiting for your answer.
    Waiting

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  91. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    He is just testing the new doorways at the Supreme Court KH.

    Shouldn’t be long.

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  92. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    He’s got to get the measurements off to the White House by tomorrow! :)

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  93. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Still waiting for your answer.

    Answer to what?  A completely absurd question as to whether I am paid by Israel to support it on an NZ blog site?

    What is the point of such a question?  And why would an answer of any sort matter?

    EDIT: Or whether I am paid by anyone else, for that matter.

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  94. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Surely as you are a bludger under the WWL scheme we, the taxpayers, deserve an answer FESter regarding just how deep your hands are in our pockets?

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  95. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    I wonder whether the PLO really understood how successful their asymmetric warfare against Israel would be when they launched it in the late 1960′s and early 70′s? At the time it was seen as a pathetic act of futility in the face of the failure of conventional efforts by Arb nations to wipe out Israel.

    I doubt they could have foreseen how neatly it would tie into the rise of the Western Left argument that there was no moral or ethical difference between war and terrorism. However, there’s no doubt that this intellectual support for doing anything you want in war and the moral equating of Israel as not really different from its enemies, has been as valuable to the enemies of Israel as Heidegger’s support of their previous worst set of enemies (including his echo of equating their actions with industrialisation).

    Given that there are people nowadays finding themselves in the same intellectual territory it surely is no surprise to find them travelling down the same moral road towards the same end.

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  96. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Whew $401,951.81 :)

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  97. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Sheesh Johnboy, give it a rest, especially when he’s arguing on the same side as you (much as you may hate that).

    You’ve always managed to stand above the visceral hatred that some posters have for one another, meeting even the usual screams that you’re a racist (or some other equally low specimen of humanity) with good grace and raucous, dismissive humour.

    Yet with FES you unhinge. What gives? Particularly bad lawyer experience?

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  98. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    I have a built in egometer Tom it bends the needle against the upper stop each time I read his stuff.

    I might have to put in a couple of extra shunts I guess :)

    I particularly like the bit they all use to justify their excessive legal aid payments “I could earn a lot more practicing in other areas of the Law”.

    Yes I don’t like lawyers I particularly don’t like how over the centuries they have manipulated a position for themselves far out of proportion to their value to society.

    He is just a passing amusement to me really eventually I will move on. :)

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  99. Other_Andy (2,286 comments) says:

    Gerald M. Steinberg, president of human rights watchdog NGO Monitor:

    “Througout the five years of Shalit’s captivity in Gaza, during which every human rights obligation was blatantly violated, organisations such as the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Gisha and the International Red Cross demonstrated very little interest.”
    In addition, NGO Monitor noted that the agreement to release hundreds of terrorists, responsible for heinous crimes and tried and convicted according to due process of law, highlights the continued erosion of international legal principles . . . Organisations dedicated to human rights have an obligation to condemn such immoral extortion.

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  100. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “Actually, Scott, your comparison is both fatuous and offensive.”

    Right. Let’s try to bring a little objectivity into this argument.

    There are no effective differences between the actions of Sampson or that of a suicide bomber. Same result. So let’s examine their *motives and self justifications*.

    Freedom fighters? Yup.
    Oppressed by their enemy? Yup
    Humiliated by their enemy? Yup
    Motivated by ideas of divine justice? Yup
    Full of self righteous zeal? Yup.
    Dispossessed? Yup.
    Dislocated? Yup.

    And yet you describe Sampson as a Freedom Fighter and a Muslim suicide bomber as a Terrorist.

    The difference between me and you Smith, is that I am interested in relative subjective truth, whereas you are interested in defending and justifying your entrenched moral and political position, seemingly oblivious to the fact that such a position is completely untenable.

    Don’t ever become a Judge Smith.

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  101. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Aredhel says:- “oh please, how is a story from the Old Testament remotely relevant to an exchange of prisoners today’

    Just go with the flow, cause if you resist, you’ll be eternally frustrated.

    My bringing up of Sampson’s story was in response to this remark:

    Farrar:- “Releasing them so they can go out again and try to blow up more hospitals and civilians”

    Ironically, your remark about my remark was even more off topic. Then you start talking Dawkins…..

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  102. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Dime says:- “Get a job”

    I’ve got one. Was quite busy today, but only cause I fucked something up, or I coulda racked up another 40. Glad you can count though.

    Kiwigreg says something equally inane.

    Why not take your own advice and stop whining. Better still, identify exactly what it is that I’m saying that you disagree with and critique it. Might force you to think for once.

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  103. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Lee says:- “For goodness sake, grow up.”

    Irrelevant. Always makes me laugh when people say, “don’t be childish” because it is in itself such an infantile remark. (as was my last one, but ironically, I’m man enough to admit it)

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  104. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Shit that’s four in a row.

    Talking to yourself Scotty?

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  105. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Jus catchin up Johnboy.

    tom hunter says:- “Israelis supported making a great sacrifice to save the life of one man.”

    Yea, they’re into big gestures like that. Traditionally works the other way round though.

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  106. Tommo (11 comments) says:

    Gotta wonder though, does anyone think the Israelis are just going to just let all those nutters go, really? Maybe a fair whack of them, but some of those bastards are just bad bad bad.. I have a feeling a lot of them are going to get to meet their couple of dozen virgins sooner rather than later.

    This is MOSSAD after all, they do not f*ck around, period.

    Hamas had to hide that kid in a cellar for five years to keep him out of reach and sight.

    Be interesting to do a head-count in a year or so… After all they got Eichman from a gazillion miles away, in a foreign country, with way less resources etc etc.

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  107. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    I like the Jews Scotty. Not many gentile names in the Manhattan Engineer District apart from good old Les of course.

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  108. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- ” Your comparison of the two is very much like those who accuse modern Israelis of being Nazis perpetrating a holocaust on the Palestinians, which is another offensive assertion.”

    No way. Sampson and Muslim suicide bombers are moral equivalents.

    Israelis and Nazis are not.

    And you accused me of making fatuous remarks.

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  109. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Ohhh, Scott, getting a bit het up, are we?

    You missed one important point, as far as I am concerned. From what I read of the story, Sampson was a prisoner. The suicide bomber is not.

    But let us look at what you say:

    Freedom fighters? Yup.

    You see, I disagree.  The suicide bomber from Gaza, the West Bank, or Nigeria, or Egypt, Lebanon the UAE and Saudi Arabia, or the UK are not freedom fighters.  None of them were in positions of servitude to a foreign country, as, it seems, the Israelites were to the Philistines.  The comparison is just plain wrong.  People of your ilk, trying to make your positions sound intellectual and impartial, are simply left wing zealots justifying they murder of jews and westerners by a group that you support for the moment.   

    The differnce between a freedom fighter and the current crop of terrorists in Gaza is a cruel disservice to true freedom fighters.  You calling them the same thing is just as bad.  They are most definitely not the same thing.

    Oppressed by their enemy? Yup

    Neither the occupants of Gaza nor the West Bank are actually oppressed by Israel.  For the most part, those Palestinians who live in those territories have self-government (such as it is, given the corruption and oppression committed by both Fatah and Hamas), they are not interfered with by Israel unless they either engage in terrorist acts against Israel or want to cross into Israel.  Given the habit that people from those two territories have for murdering Israelis, having strong safeguards between PA territories and Israel makes perfect sense.  But you would like to have Israel lie down and say to the terrorists ‘have at me’. 

     Humiliated by their enemy? Yup

    Well, how?  They have their own territory.  They are self-governing.  They have the support of the myriad groups of left wingers and nations. 

    Motivated by ideas of divine justice? Yup

    I don’t read Sampson as being motivated by divine justice.  My reading of him was that he was after revenge.  So, no, I don’t think you are correct on this one either.

    Full of self righteous zeal? Yup.

    I don’t see that in Sampson either.  Again, it doesn’t appear in the story that you quoted.  he actually appears to be a bit of a selfish brat. 

    Dispossessed? Yup.

    Dispossessed?  Well, considering that the Palestinians rejected the 1947 Partition plan, and then considering that Gaza was Egyptian and the West Bank was Jordanian until 1967, and then considering that in 1994 the Israelis gave Gaza and parts of the West Bank to the PA, and has offered more if Hamas and the PA would agree to Israel being a Jewish State, and, oh, how about recognising Israel’s right to exist at the same time, so, no, I don’t agree their.  Anyway, from what I read in the story of Sampson, his people were not dispossessed, they had been conquered. So, again, you are wrong.

    Dislocated? Yup.

    Again, no.  The people who were released by the Israelis, and the murderers who strapped bombs to themselves and blew up innocent civilians, were for the most part not dislocated.  They actually lived in the land that they wanted to live in (Gaza or the West Bank), the just didn’t have the amount of territory they wanted, plus they hate the fact that the jews have the temerity to remain alive, of course.

    And yet you describe Sampson as a Freedom Fighter and a Muslim suicide bomber as a Terrorist.

    And I still do.

    The difference between me and you Smith, is that I am interested in relative subjective truth, whereas you are interested in defending and justifying your entrenched moral and political position,

    Your relative subjective truth means you can hold whatever position you want while feeling entirely justified by the fact that you hold that position.  It means you are an empty vessel, going whichever way you feel like. 

    seemingly oblivious to the fact that such a position is completely untenable.

    Only to you, and only then because I don’t agree with you.   You have yet to actually come up with any facts or evidence, but that is normal for you.  You seem to think that because you couch your diatribes in pseudo-intellectual or pseudo-philosophical terms that you are better than us and that we are morons for not seeing the relative subjective superiority of your non-arguments, which are comprised of assertions and made up or speculative points.  I do not accept your self-righteous tone.  You are no better, and in fact a lot worse, than the Christians that you continually bait in these forums.

     Don’t ever become a Judge Smith.

    Why do you say that?  As a judge I would be bound by a set of objective laws, which is just how I like them.  In saying that, you just show yourself to be petty and spiteful.

    My bringing up of Sampson’s story was in response to this remark:

    Farrar:- “Releasing them so they can go out again and try to blow up more hospitals and civilians”

    No, it wasn’t, I am sure that it was made simply to bait the Christians who read KB.   Your comparison was wrong, but then your position is one that supports the cutting of 5 month old babies’ throats by ‘freedom fighters’, so what else should we expect?

    Your position, like most on the left, appears to be ‘either agree with me or shut-up, and if you dare to disagree withe me then I will revile you’.  Couch it how you want, but you are still wrong.

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  110. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    Johnboy says:- “I like the Jews Scotty”

    Hell me too Johnboy. My top 6 heros are comprised of 3 Jews, a Pom, a Scot and a Kraut.

    Einstein
    Feynman
    Woody Allen
    John Lennon
    Iain M Banks
    Bach

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  111. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    You miss my point Scotty. I like the Jews because when the chips are down they are prepared to nuke the shit. Once upon a time they needed the Yanks to assist them. :)

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  112. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Truce FESter? Tom has succinctly pointed out the error of my ways.

    I still think guys like you are glorified bludgers on the welfare state and your kind has carefully manipulated the situation to advantage yourselves.

    I can see some redeeming characteristics in your posts and am prepared to almost bury the hatchet if you wish to. :)

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  113. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “You are no better, and in fact a lot worse, than the Christians that you continually bait in these forums.”

    Actually, he’s a lot more respectful towards us than loads of people on here. Seems like a pretty decent guy to me, although I admit I haven’t frequented Kiwiblog for that long.

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  114. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    FESter does imagine himself to be Godlike Aredhel777 though obviously a tad lacking in the forgiveness bit. :)

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  115. Johnboy (14,973 comments) says:

    Anyway I have wasted enough time waiting for the arsehole to reply.

    So much for your good works Tom. :)

    Once a Lawyer always a cunt!

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  116. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    F E Smith,

    You are an apologist for war crimes. What has brought you to that position? Richard Goldstone has not recanted his report. He said:”As appears from the Washington Post article, information subsequent to publication of the report did meet with the view that one correction should be made with regard to intentionality on the part of Israel…Further information as a result of domestic investigations could lead to further reconsideration, but as presently advised I have no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time.”

    And your complaining about Goldstone’s bias (why? he is a Jew) ignores that the fact that he was one of four officials who investigated Israeli (and Hamas) war crimes. All four were unanimous in their assessment. So even if you ignore Goldstone, it doesn’t affect the assessment of Israel’s conduct because the criticism of Israel (and Hamas) was unanimous.

    Have you always been an apologist for war crimes, and how do you reconcile your position with being a lawyer? Could you prosecute a Jewish war criminal if asked to, or would you have to stand aside?

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  117. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    “FESter does imagine himself to be Godlike Aredhel777 though obviously a tad lacking in the forgiveness bit.”

    I meant Scott Chris actually :P

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  118. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “Ohhh, Scott, getting a bit het up, are we?”

    Not really. Just matching the temperature of your rhetoric. If you accuse me of being fatuous and offensive, then I’ll feel less inclined to be diplomatic.

    >>”Sampson was a prisoner. The suicide bomber is not.”

    A minor difference. I would argue that Palestinians are prisoners of sorts, though not enslaved. But that is beside the point.

    I am looking primarily at his *actions*, not his supposed righteousness. I don’t believe Muslim suicide bombers are justified in their actions either, only that their actions are explainable in human terms as an effect of a cause, as were Sampson’s actions. And yet, for some, Sampson’s actions are lionized, whereas the bombers are demonized. I’m merely pointing out that inconsistency.

    >>”The suicide bomber from Gaza, the West Bank, or Nigeria, or Egypt, Lebanon the UAE and Saudi Arabia, or the UK are not freedom fighters.”

    You may not see them as such, but they obviously don’t see themselves as terrorists. A radical muslim is a muslim first. That is what he believes, just as the communist foreign nationals did in the Spanish civil war against fascism. I regard them as fanatics, but fanaticism generally arises as a reaction to a stimulus from the opposite extreme.

    You choose to categorize him geographically, which is simply your cultural mode of classification. He chooses to identify with those who share his faith. I’m sure you’re familiar with the exploits and ideologies of the Crusaders. Same deal. Had the Catholic Church had its way, Christendom would have been far more than a just loose association of nations.

    >>”Neither the occupants of Gaza nor the West Bank are actually oppressed by Israel.”

    So troop incursions and wall building and air strikes and trade blockades don’t amount to oppression in your mind? They do in mine. The Israelis say they are retaliating to Palestinian rocket attacks. Has it occurred to you that the rocket “attacks” may in fact be retaliatory?

    >>”They actually lived in the land that they wanted to live”

    Nothing will change the fact that prior to the Zionist movement in the late 19th century, over 90% of the population of what is now Israel was Arabic. The subsequent *rapid* demographic shift amounts to dispossession by any objective measure.

    >>”Well, considering that the Palestinians rejected the 1947 Partition plan”

    So where does it say that if you reject a deal, you loose all right to reclaim it? This isn’t like some land auction where the failing bidders forfeit the opportunity to gain possession of a title.

    “I would be bound by a set of objective laws”

    So there is no room for interpretation in the law? Is a judge not supposed to use his discretion at all? Why are some Judges reputedly ‘Liberal’ whereas others are known as ‘Conservative’?

    You may well make a fine Judge if you possess the ability to exclude your ‘self’ from the judgments the law prescribes.

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  119. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    ross,

    I read what he said in the opinion pieces that Goldstone himself wrote in the Washington Post. Whilst he can say that he hasn’t recanted, it is clear that the report would be very different today than what was actually written.  Go back and read what was written and you will understand my point more clearly. Simply repeating yourself will not convince me when I have already disagreed with you.

     And your complaining about Goldstone’s bias (why? he is a Jew)

    And a Jew can still be biased against Israel.  One’s ethnicity does not prevent one from holding views against others of your ethnicity.

    You are an apologist for war crimes.

    But that is an offensive statement.  I am not an apologist for war crimes.  Can you please show me where I have in fact apologised for war crimes?  I will condemn war crimes whenever I believe one to have been committed.  Just because you think a war crime has been committed and I do not, does not make me an apologist for war crimes.

    how do you reconcile your position with being a lawyer

    I don’t see how this has any relevance to the subject at all.  For some reason everyone else does.  Just to be clear- I am a criminal defence lawyer.  I have defended murderes, paedophiles, rapists and arsonists.  I have no problem defending those people, regardless of whether they are guilty or not.  

    Could you prosecute a Jewish war criminal if asked to, or would you have to stand aside

    Again, that has exactly no bearing on anything under discussion.  You appear to want to engage in ad hominem attacks upon me for disagreeing with you.  Interestingly, I was just reading Andrew Bolt’s blog, which had this quote from Jane Albrechtson:

    Showing their illiberal tendencies, many on the Left view their ideological opponents in different terms. Opponents are not just wrong but evil. And evil views have no place in a civil society. Seeing conspiracies around every corner, they prefer silencing dissent to answering it. Whether it’s about supporting strong borders or challenging the victimhood focus of indigenous policies, opponents are assumed to have bad motives: read racism and xenophobia. And those with bad motives don’t deserve an airing.

    I disagree with you.  That does not make me an apologist for war crimes.  I am an unabashed supporter of Israel and its right to exist.  That does not make me a supporter of war crimes.

    It is really surprising (well, maybe not) that on this thread you have questioned my being able to ‘reconcile my position as a lawyer’, while Scott Chris tells me I should never become a judge!  Apparently one’s political views disqualify oneself from any sort of position of responsibiltiy if they differ from the prevailing view of the self-righteous left. 

    How my political views affect my ability to carry out my job, is beyond me, but there you go.

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  120. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    but they obviously don’t see themselves as terrorists

    Oh yes, personal perception is the only way we can judge these people- they are obviously benefactors to humanity!

    Yeah, right.

    Had the Catholic Church had its way, Christendom would have been far more than a just loose association of nation

    Absolutely true, hence the Holy Roman Empire.  And your point is exactly what?  

    troop incursions and wall building and air strikes and trade blockades don’t amount to oppression

    Not in the circumstances, no.  If you lived next door to someone who wanted to kill you then you might want a fence too. Why should Israel be forced to deal in any way with the people who want to slaughter them mercilessly?    Anyway, the troop incursions and air strikes are in no way random (unlike the missiles coming from Gaza, which, by the way, would constitute an act of war if the PA gains nationhood), and the trade blockades are completely legal, as well as being understandable. So, no, I don’t see them as being ‘oppression’.

    Nothing will change the fact that prior to the Zionist movement in the late 19th century, over 90% of the population of what is now Israel was Arabic. The subsequent *rapid* demographic shift amounts to dispossession by any objective measure.

    I don’t care.  If you go back far enough, the Jews were there before the Arabs.  Perhaps you can track down some Philistines, apparently they want Gaza back…  Either way, I am not concerned with who owns what, but more with whether their should be a State of Israel and whether it should be allowed to defend its citizens against homocidal residents of the PA.

     Has it occurred to you that the rocket “attacks” may in fact be retaliatory?

    No, because they are not.  They are murderous in their aim.  They are in no way retaliatory, and I make that as a postive assertion.  I suppose you will next say that slitting that baby’s throat was also retaliatory, the act being done by a person the PA lauded afterwards as a hero?  Remember, the PA pays the family of suicide bombers a stipend.  It rewards the families of murderers.  What you call ‘freedom fighting’ is in fact PA sanctioned murder.

    So where does it say that if you reject a deal, you loose all right to reclaim it

    In this case, yes.  They not only rejected the deal, they then went to war to wipe the new state of Israel off the map.  They just didn’t count on losing.  The Jordanians and the Egyptians had 19 years in which to establish a Palestinian state, with more land than it would have today, but they didn’t either.  The Palestinians objection to Israel is not based on land,  it is based on the ethnicity of the current majority occupants of Israel.

    So there is no room for interpretation in the law? Is a judge not supposed to use his discretion at all

    Don’t get cute.  A judge is supposed to be impartial. Their ability to interpret the law is only to interpret what Parliament intended based upon what has been written. There is no latitude to re-write the law as they see fit. In NZ, we don’t really have the politicised judicary that the USA has, but any person’s natural leanings will influence their decision to some extent.  That is why we have appellate courts if they go to far from the law.  So, discretion is one thing, but that does not allow a re-write of the law

    Scott, I accept none of your points.  You are drawing comparisons that are wrong. 

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  121. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > it is clear that the report would be very different today than what was actually written.

    That’s your opinion but you don’t support it with any facts. As I explained earlier, Goldstone was put under tremendous pressure to change his position. He subsequently did so in regards to one matter only. The fact remains that he was one of only four officials and all reached the same conclusion. None have asked that their report be altered.

    I suggest you watch John Pilger’s film about Palestine. There is one particularly interesting scene about an Israeli father whose young daughter was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. The father, who is a former soldier, has empathy for the female suicide bomber. He says that she was as much a victim as was his daughter. I find it interesting that an Israeli who has suffered at the hands of a suicide bomber has more empathy for the plight of Palestinians than you do.

    > Simply repeating yourself will not convince me when I have already disagreed with you.

    I suspect nothing will convince you – how could it when your ears and eyes are closed?

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/palestine-is-still-the-issue

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  122. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    by the way, Scott, the Greeks want Constantinople back. After all, it was theirs (well, sort of) until 1453. Then the Turks captured it.

    While we are at it, why aren’t you calling for Turkey to hand back Northern Cyprus? I do!

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  123. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    How my political views affect my ability to carry out my job, is beyond me,

    Ah. But you’re forgetting the cardinal rule of the modern left: everything is political.

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  124. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    That’s your opinion

    yes, that is why I said it.  I based it upon what Richard Goldstone wrote in his articles in the Washington Post.  Those articles are facts.

    Goldstone was put under tremendous pressure to change his position

    That is normal when it comes to UN reports. That is why all parties are shown the draft reports before hand.  Interestingly, Israel co-operated with the Palmer investigation; you wonder what the reason might be?  I will give you a clue, it wasn’t because they were embarrased over the way they treated Goldstone.

    I suggest you watch John Pilger’s film

    :D yeah, sure, John Pilger, eh?  Sure, as unbiased and balanced as they come, yeah, of course…  (still laughing!)

    I suspect nothing will convince you – how could it when your ears and eyes are closed?

    Oh, you martyr for the cause, labouring along trying to convince those evil rightie…  Of course I can be convinced, ross, but in this case nothing you say has done so.  Therefore I am declining to accept the position you argue for and I decline to agree with you. You can wring your hands all you want over that, but I won’t lose a moment’s sleep for it.

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  125. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    But you’re forgetting the cardinal rule of the modern left: everything is political.

    Fair point, Tom, I had forgotten that!  I suppose they also think that me defending the crims means I support what the crims do…

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  126. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    I suggest you watch John Pilger’s film about Palestine.

    Bing!

    Given your writings on numerous issues I’m not surprised to find John Pilger being referenced, that paragon of honesty and virtue.

    As an oldstyle, hardline wobbly I would not put him past him to simply lie through his teeth. Has anybody ever followed up this video and tracked down “the Israeli soldier” that was used to make the usual emotive point?

    I suspect nothing will convince you – how could it when your ears and eyes are closed?

    The always funny aspect of that line of argument is how it can also apply to people like you.

    Oh but of course – you watch John Pilger documentaries so you know that truth is out there, just like the X-Files.

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  127. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “I will condemn war crimes whenever I believe one to have been committed. Just because you think a war crime has been committed and I do not, does not make me an apologist for war crimes.”

    Hollow words. It is not me who thinks war crimes have been committed, it is Israelis, it is Richard Goldstone and various other officials within the UN, it is other sovereign nations that have accused Israel of war crimes and that have documented such crimes. It is a little cute of you to say that I am the only one accusing Israel of war crimes. But you have your eyes and ears firmly shut on this matter.

    > You appear to want to engage in ad hominem attacks upon me for disagreeing with you.

    I have done no such thing. I asked you a simple question (could you prosecute a Jewish war criminal?) but you avoided the question and became defensive. In your eyes, could there ever be such a thing as a Jewish war criminal? No, it’s not a rhetorical question.

    > I don’t see how this has any relevance to the subject at all.

    Well, many defence lawyers have become prosecution lawyers and vice-versa. Maybe one day you will join the prosecution ranks. Based on your comments here, I am not sure you could leave your personal feelings aside if you were asked to prosecute a Jewish war criminal.

    > I am an unabashed supporter of Israel and its right to exist.

    Well, certainly it has a right to exist – few would argue otherwise. I am not sure of the relevance of your comment. The issue here is not Israel’s right to exist but its treatment of Palestinians and its disregard for international law.

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  128. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > The always funny aspect of that line of argument is how it can also apply to people like you.

    People “like me”? What a strange comment given that you’ve never met me. Besides, I’ve watched the Pilger doco. You choose not to. I suggest you take a look in the mirror before commenting.

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  129. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Well, certainly it has a right to exist – few would argue otherwise.

    In the context of the Middle East I suppose four million people in the West Bank and Gaza count as “few”. Unfortunately they’re the ones whose opinions matter the most.

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  130. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Hollow words. It is not me who thinks war crimes have been committed, it is Israelis, it is Richard Goldstone and various other officials within the UN, it is other sovereign nations that have accused Israel of war crimes and that have documented such crimes

    Why are they hollow words?  Do you think I don’t believe what I am saying?  I know what Goldstone and others have said, I just disagree with them.  That doesn’t make my words hollow at all.  It just means that they don’t concur with what you think.  That seems to cause you some trouble, for some reason.  

    It is a little cute of you to say that I am the only one accusing Israel of war crimes.

    I didn’t use the words ‘only one’.  You are putting words in my mouth.  

    I asked you a simple question (could you prosecute a Jewish war criminal?) but you avoided the question and became defensive.

    In no way did I become defensive. I just don’t see the point of the question.  I still don’t, but the answer is yes, I could quite happily prosecute a jewish person who was accused of war crimes, if I thought that he/she had indeed committed such crimes.  Now, please tell me the point of the question?

    Well, many defence lawyers have become prosecution lawyers and vice-versa

    Done both already, but apparently you know better. 

    I am not sure you could leave your personal feelings aside

    Oh, I am so wrong, obviously you just know me so, so well. What was I thinking!!!! 

    If you suspect I might be mocking you, it is because, now, after those sorts of comments, I am….

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  131. Scott Chris (5,878 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “Scott, I accept none of your points.

    Well that’s to be expected. Your ideas are beliefs. Mine are theories.

    >>”You are drawing comparisons that are wrong.”

    This statement is logically flawed. There are no right or wrong comparisons, though they can be classified according to relevance. My comparisons are all relevant in that they all relate to the thrust of my argument.

    >>”the Greeks want Constantinople back”

    Well presumably they’d want to call it Byzantium and not the eponymous Constantinople. Might affect the credibility of their claim. Many Maori want a lot of New Zealand back.

    Still, us honkies have been here longer than modern Israelis have been in Israel. But, now that Israel is there, I support her right to exist for practical reasons, not moral ones.

    Just comply with UN resolution 242 and then we can go poke our noses somewhere else where we’re not welcome.

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  132. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    “People like you” refers to people making the usual equivalence arguments between the actions of Israel and Hamas/Fatah and scream your guts out about Israeli breeches of “International Law”, while merely shrugging about those of Hamas/Fatah and mumbling something about how all sides need to abide by the law in a vain attempt to look like your not taking sides – as you have done on this thread and as I’m sure you well knew when you read that line.

    Besides, I’ve watched the Pilger doco. You choose not to.

    I certainly choose not to because I’ve watched so many of his other documentaries over the last 30 years and so steadily gathered an appreciation for the sheer viciousness of his bullshit. I’m ashamed to think how much of his far-left crap I believed 30 years ago. Leni Riefenstahl was an amateur by comparison.

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  133. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > I know what Goldstone and others have said, I just disagree with them.

    Who is in a better position to know the truth, you or them? And who is better qualified? After all, they have carried out research into the issue, and I am not aware that you have. I have attached below a document that discusses Israel’s war crimes and violations of international law.

    http://www.lphr.org.uk/publications/Prosecuting_Israeli_War_Criminals.pdf

    > That seems to cause you some trouble, for some reason.

    It doesn’t cause me any trouble at all. I just expect that someone who stands in court each day talking about the facts would also talk about the facts outside of court. I also expect that your job requires you to have an open mind.

    > obviously you just know me so, so well.

    Out of interest, does sarcasm go down well with trial judges? Or at that point is it apparent that you’ve lost the plot?

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  134. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > “People like you” refers to people making the usual equivalence arguments…

    What equivalence arguments? I cited the Goldstone report which criticised BOTH Israel and Hamas. Like F E Smith, you need to get that chip off your shoulder.

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  135. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    I cited the Goldstone report which criticised BOTH Israel and Hamas

    Sure – as Goldstone says:

    Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

    Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks.

    Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

    In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise.

    Well duh! Goldstone sounds like a rather naive old man, which is surprising considering the things he must have heard in his years on the bench. But he surely has no excuse now for believing anything other than that all these calls on both parties amount to nothing more than a one-sided attack on a democratic nation-state with a civil, law-abiding society that is at war with groups who are precisely the opposite.

    Neither do you. But in your case – given the far-left pap you believe in – I doubt you ever did, instead seeing such calls less as an attempt at striving for justice than as simply another propaganda weapon to deploy against Israel.

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  136. rosscalverley (111 comments) says:

    More suicide bombings mean more public sympathy for Israel. It’s a win/win.

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  137. KH (687 comments) says:

    …. to F E Smith @ 7.03pm
    Still waiting F E. Waiting Waiting for you to answer a simple factual query.
    You demand evidence of others all the time. So it’s time to front up.

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  138. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Tom

    I don’t know what your problem is. Goldstone criticised Hamas and Israel. You quote Goldstone:”In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise.” Yes, and asking Israel to investigate itself was also mistaken. I think the only conviction resulting from the Gaza War was an Israeli soldier convicted for stealing a Palestinian’s credit card!

    Like F E Smith, you are an apologist for war crimes. In your eyes Israel can never do any wrong.

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  139. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > You demand evidence of others all the time. So it’s time to front up.

    I doubt that Mr Smith will front up because he has no evidence. He has his beliefs but they are no substitute for the facts. Despite overwhelming evidence that Israel has committed and commits war crimes, he doesn’t want to be informed because it means challenging his beliefs. Ignorance is bliss.

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  140. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Ross’s statement:

    ”In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise.” Yes, and asking Israel to investigate itself was also mistaken.

    Goldstone’s statement in his article:

    McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

    Would you like me to highlight it? It’s why Goldstone now thinks asking Hamas to investigate was a mistake.

    And I see that you’re so confused that you’ve jumped to a July GD thread to make the same points as here?

    In any case I’ll finally bite on vto’s assertions, as old and moth-eaten as it is (all the left have nowadays apparently):

    There is absolutely no difference between palestinian suicide bombers and the enola gray pilot. Both were part of organisations who slaughtered innocent civilians to try to win a war.

    Why stop and start with the Enola Gay? vto could have selected several other famous examples of “war crimes” from the same side and even the same Air Force – Dresden and the March 1945 firebombing of Tokyo. The latter actually killed more people than in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. But of course the reason vto fixates on the Enola Gay is that it’s the first atomic bomb and therefore carries it’s own set of moral arguments that vto wants to haul on to his emotive bandwagon in a single soundbite. Cute.

    However, I cannot condemn them for the choices they made in their times and circumstances. I would condemn them now were the same tactics to be advocated in this day and age. More importantly I do not think it is acceptable to provide moral cover for today’s Jihadi tactics by comparing it to what the Allies did sixty years ago.

    And that really is the point that we’ve been dancing around here. Today’s Jihadis have demonstrated the know how, tactics and technology to be able to hit Israeli military bases accurately, with the same expectation that they will die in the process. If they did that and some Israeli civilians died in the attacks because they were nearby I would apply the same rationale to them that I did to WWII aerial bombing. I would acknowledge that the Jihadis were at least trying to fight with some shred of decency and honour. Hell, I’d be willing to apply the same arguments even if they attacked Israeli factories producing weapons where there were no soldiers.

    They could adopt the same approach the Polish Resistance did in Warsaw where they had no uniforms but wore armbands to identify themselves as soldiers fighting for a cause. They could do what Maori did when faced with superior military technology – establish temporary strongpoints that would be defended to the death and that might even be able to take out a significant proportion of the attackers. They could shut down and condemn bastards like Dr Bahar rather than celebrating him as a leader and an inspiration, and condemn any person who advocated attacking purely civilians. I think that any of those things, let alone all of them, would bring to those groups – from people from the world, probably even from Israel – the degree of respect and the demand for justice that they claim they need.

    But they don’t do any of these things. They deliberately target marketplaces, cafes, shops and buses full of people who have no warning and no means to defend themselves. In this day and age there is no ethical or moral or tactical or technological rationale at all for what they do and I am sick of this constant Post-Modernist, post-Colonialiast, left-wing bullshit in the West that tells them that they’re no worse than their enemies and gives them as cover the intellectual rationale that they are weak victims, all while lamely saying that “I don’t agree with it, I don’t approve of it, but…there’s terrorism wherever there is oppression”.

    Bullshit! We call this terrorism but the simple truth is that the tactics, the reasoning and the morality come straight out the old world of the Mafia: Palestine as a world of familial and tribal warfare and blood feuds (there’s a real subject for sociopolitical analysis), with a corruption that amounts to more than just the billions salted away by the ruling elites – a complete corruption of every aspect of society and its institutions that eventually enters the soul of every member of that world, even the children.

    Moreover, for all your projection about myself, FES and others being apologists for war crimes, it is people like you in the West who have contributed to the Hamas tactics of deliberately aiming weapons at civilians. Whether it was as a part of opposing war by demonstrating that all war is criminal, or whether you were simply making the usual excuses for people who are “oppressed” and “powerless” (and therefore unaccountable) It is actually people like you who have enabled this ongoing shit by making endless excuses for it.

    People like you and vto – who hold themselves sufficiently ethical and moral to casually throw around accusations of supporting war criminals – have provided the clearest possible invitation to the people of Gaza and the West bank to fall all the way through whatever moral and ethical safety net their society may have constructed for them, and worse yet, an invitation to that society to abandon such things altogether in favour of a pure will to power. That is what has happened to Palestinian society and it appears to be accelerating.

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  141. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

     KH,

    Still waiting F E. Waiting Waiting for you to answer a simple factual query.

    You demand evidence of others all the time. So it’s time to front up.

    You are seriously asking whether I am being paid to support Israel?  Can you just confirm that is the question that you want answered?

    ross,

    You just don’t get it, do you?  While Tom Hunter has made a very good job of addressing the allegations you made, I will join in on a couple.

    Firstly, you accuse us of being apologists for war criminals.  Nowhere on this thread have we done that.   Nowhere have we said that Israel is enititled to do whatever it wants to defend its borders.  You have made an extremely offensive allegation with no evidence to support it other than, it appears, our support of Israel.  That is not evidence that we are apologists for war crimes.  Your allegations are false, and I accuse you of making them in bad faith.  You know that we have made no such apology. 

    What Tom and I, and others, have done is assert that, for example, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not war crimes offences.  Even if you think that they are war crimes offneces, it does not make us apologists for war criminals, it means we have a difference of opinion. 

    Secondly, my support for Israel in defending its borders is well known i these forums.  I make no apology for supporting a nation from people who wants to randomly slaughter its inhabitants simply because of the ethnicity and religion of those inhabitants. I have nowhere said that this is an unquestioning or carte blanche support of Israel; notwithstanding your incredibly weird allegations about me not being able to prosecute a Jew accused of war crimes (what was it with that, by the way?  There seems to be nothing in that allegation, falsely made as it was, that has any bearing on this debate).  If I think that a member of the IDF has commited a war crime then I will say so.  I do not hold the opinion that a member of the IDF has committed a war crime.  That does not make me an ‘apologist for war crimes’, which you so wrongly allege, but rather it means that you and I have a difference of opinion on it.  Now, if a member of the IDF had or has been convicted of a war crime, and I said that he/she was justified in committing that act, then perhaps you would have a point.  But that is not the situation, so you don’t.

    Finally there is your touching belief in the impartiality, balance and goodwill of the UN and its organisations, such as the UN Human Rights Committee.  You know, the one that the UN General Assembley elected a murderous dictatorship (Libya) as its chair a year or two ago!   You also cite John Pilger, one of the most rabid anti-Israel leftie so-called ‘journalists’ there is.  Pilger on Israel makes Michael Moore seem balanced.  The UN, as we know, is supremely anti-Israel.  For such a small country, it gets a lot of attention from the UN General Assembley.  Of course, being the only democracy in the Middle East, it would, wouldn’t it?  After all, the one unifying aspect in the Middle East, and the UN, is a hatred of Israel.   The UN is content to deal with murderous dictatorships, to live side by side with countries like Iran, North Korea, which routinely execute people in public for non-offences,  the former which has state sanctioned rape within its prisons, as well as other incredibly repressive and murderous nations around the world in the last 60 years.  The UN is no arbiter of what is right.  Anybody who thinks it is such an arbiter is naive.

    You see, you probably think you are taking a reasonable path.  You are not.  For some reason, leftists like you think that you are actually centrist, and that people like me are vile, evil supporters of war criminals.  ross, you are hard left and that fact means that you will always believe that you have the moral high ground and that I just won’t listen.  Of course, you are wrong on both counts, especially the latter- I do listen, but I am able to reject what you say if I disagree with it.  But please don’t then resort to falsehoods like ‘you won’t listen’, just because I haven’t magically seen the light of your argument.  That is childish of you.

    This thread was originally about Gilad Shalit and the price Israel paid to see him released.  The people released have been responsible for hundreds of murders.  People who murder children.  People who try to blow up hospitals.  People who kill because of the ethnicity of their opponents.  I am sorry that you support those sort of people, that you are, obviously, an apologist for those actions.  I condemn those actions, and will continue to do so.

    But no more in this thread.  Your mindless repeating of the same thing each time is annoying me, so I am moving on.  Bye now.

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  142. KH (687 comments) says:

    …..to F E Smith.
    You decline to answer my question and wish me to ask another one of your choosing. Sorry it’s your question. Answer it yourself.
    My questions were careful, were questions not statements, and are repeated. I am waiting for a reply.
    The questions were.
    …..”Are you retained for this ?”
    ……”Who pays you ?”
    I also said I would accept your reply.
    Waiting Waiting.

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  143. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    KH

    It may come as a shock you, but large numbers of people support Israel and defend Israel because they belive its the right thing to do, not because they are paid.

    Your question is by definition anti-Semitic.

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  144. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    KH,

    Not until you confirm that you are asking me whether I am paid a retainer to defend Israel on Kiwiblog.

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  145. KH (687 comments) says:

    ……to FE Smith
    I confirm I Did Not ask you “Whether I (FE) Smith am paid a retainer to defiend Israel on Kiwiblog.”
    Now …. answer the two questions I did ask you.
    Which were quite concise.
    Just seeking a factual response and happy to accept your answer.
    I don’t think you will.
    But Waiting Waiting.

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  146. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Can you please repeat the questions, KH?

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  147. KH (687 comments) says:

    …… F E Smith
    Questions were two
    Are you retained for this ?
    Who pays you ?

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  148. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    KH,

    Thanks for that. Could I ask for some clarification on those points, please?

    1. What do you mean by ‘retained’?
    2. What is ‘this’?
    3. When you ask who pays me, do you mean in conjunction with the ‘retained’ item above, or do you mean generally, as in where does my income flow from?

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  149. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    It’s hardly edifying reading the lawyers apologetic for Israel when he begins his understanding of the topic with a misunderstanding. Describing Jews as natives and portraying Palestinians as of an Arab people of the wider region who just happened to have settled in this area in more recent times is nonsense.

    All modern DNA research on the patrilinear (Y chromosome) lines show that Jews and Palestinians (in common with Lebanese and Syrians – unsurprising as Phoenicians were also Canaanites and Arameans lived in Syria/northern Iraq) have common ancestry back to 2000BCE. The DNA is called northern semite.

    Whereas the Arabs of the southern peninsular (southern semite) have common ancestry DNA back to 5000BCE.

    That northern semites speak Arabic makes them part of Arab culture, but it does not change their DNA or the fact their ancestors have lived in these areas Canaan/Palestine/Israel for thousands of years – simlilarly Egyptians and Berbers and those of Mesopotamia speak Arabic – but this does not change their DNA or where their ancestors lived.

    And the kicker is, amongst the “Arab” Palestinians are Jews and Idumeans and Samaritans who converted to Christianity (some later to Islam).

    By the line of argument dismissing the native claim of Palestinian Arabs, Jews returning to Palestine unable to speak Hebrew or any other Semite language were not locals.

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  150. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    spc,

    I never said the Jews were natives.  Go back and look.  I understand that the Jewish tradition has them originating from Ur of the Chaldees, which would make them Chaldean. 

    But every religion has converts.  In its formative years, Islam had many forced converts.  Hell, some of its adherents still practice forced conversion.  Conversion will always bring outside genetics into a bloodline.

    Interesting that the Palestinians still see themselves as being of Arab origin, as to many other parts of the middle east.  Just because they are not genetically the same as the Arabs from the southern part of Arabia does not in any way change how they view themselves. 

    But nice to see that you are saying that the Jews have an historical tie to the region ?  That was basically my point.  

    And I still support Israel, regardless of whether you think I have the genetics right or not.  You, on the other hand, will support the murderers that happily cut the throat of 5 month old babies, that murder innocent families driving in their car near the Egyptian border, that fire rockets randomly into populated areas. 

    I can happily live with my position, no matter how much it offends you.

     

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  151. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Oh ultimate origins based on what the bible says without supporting evidence – such as DNA is meaningless. It says they had ancestors who lived at Ur at one time – Ur was only the homeland of Chaldeans at a later time in history. The Chaldeans were an Aramean tribe that conquered an area to the south of where they lived at a later date. The link between Haran and Ur as a trade route was stressed – the name Noah itself is linked to the two place names (the rivers that flooded in the south came from the north).

    Arabs see themselves as Arab the same way Europeans see themselves as European, each part of a larger group of Christians and Moslems. It’s part of their earlier pre-nationalist caliphate mindset. Much like pre nationalism in Europe it is being subverted by the Arab spring – but has a continuance in Islamist parties, much as Christian identity politics is played in the west against secular liberal leftists.

    Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs have historic ties to this land. It’s interesting that you portray anyone who recognises this fact as someone who “will support the murderers that happily cut the throat of 5 month old babies, that murder innocent families driving in their car near the Egyptian border, that fire rockets randomly into populated areas.”

    You slander those who seek a just solution for both parties as in bed with terrorists, something about lawyers and arseholes reawakens from some pit.

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  152. KH (687 comments) says:

    ……. to F E
    ha ha
    That’s yet more quibble and you were never going to answer any such question. Never will.
    Lets just note all that and move on. Just know your dodging and weaving undermines your points.

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  153. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    KH,

    That’s yet more quibble and you were never going to answer any such question. Never will.

    Lets just note all that and move on. Just know your dodging and weaving undermines your points.

    That is just pure, unadulterated rubbish.  You asked me questions that were not related to the post by DPF, that were in no way pertinent to the subject, nor to anything other than to apparently slander me by implying that I am ‘retained’ by some person or group to comment on Kiwiblog. 

    Foolishly, I engaged with you, asking for clarification (which was necessary, because what I understood you to be asking was apparently not what you were asking).  You are not entitled to any answers as to how I earn money, or as to why I comment on Kiwiblog.  But when I engage with you, you refuse to clarify, then do, then, when I continue to engage, you pull out and then cast aspersions upon me and my credibility. 

    You are a troll, pure and simple.  You are a prime example of the self-righteous hypocrisy of the left, a brain-dead and self-convinced troll.

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  154. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    You are a troll, pure and simple

    In the case of KH that’s not entirely true. What you’re seeing here from KH and Ross is the standard “debate” tactic of the far-left: say the most outrageous thing possible that will put the debate opponent on the defensive. The soundbites that have been thrown at you here are merely more sophisticated versions of the old raaaaaccccciiiiiiissssssttttt tagline.

    If they can get you arguing that you’re not a racist (or a supporter of war criminals, yada, yada) it means they’ve framed the debate and the argument has now shifted away from questions they would rather not debate – like whether this gesture will gain even an ounce of compromise and good faith proposals for peace from the likes of Fatah and Hamas (clearly it has not earned any kudos from Ross and KH). Given what the history of the handover of the Gaza Strip has produced that’s not ground they want to argue upon.

    This is not a court and it’s a waste of time treating such questions as being in good faith. They’re debating tactics.

    On the other hand you might just be better off “admitting” that you’re in the pay of the Israeli embassy and then watch and laugh as KH trumpets that across the next Kiwiblog thread. Watching him think he’s scored a victory as he wallows in the traditional sewer of Jewish conspiracy theorists could be worth it.

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  155. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “The people released have been responsible for hundreds of murders. People who murder children. People who try to blow up hospitals. People who kill because of the ethnicity of their opponents. I am sorry that you support those sort of people, that you are, obviously, an apologist for those actions. I condemn those actions, and will continue to do so.”

    During the Gaza War, approximately 1400 Palestianians were killed, many of them women and children. You seem to support such crimes. I think the only conviction that resulted was for an Israeli soldier who stole a Palestinian’s credit card. How pathetic. You would not be able to prosecute such individuals, but no doubt would be happy to defend them. What a courageous person you are, happy to defend war criminals!

    > You are a prime example of the self-righteous hypocrisy of the left…

    But KH is not an apologist for war crimes that I can see.

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  156. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    tom,

    true, but I got annoyed with him/her. Perhaps I should have said that KH’s behaviour on this thread ended up being trolling.

    By the way, KH, I am paid by the CIA to patrol Kiwiblog and support both Israel and the USA, although because the CIA is mostly right wing I am allowed to criticise Obama. I wasn’t going to reveal this, but your cutting and incisive questioning has forced them to agree that I can come out into the open…

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  157. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > traditional sewer of Jewish conspiracy theorists could be worth it…

    Quite ironic considering you and F E Smith come across as promoting a giant conspiracy that the whole world is against Israel. Look at Smith’s rantings:

    “The UN, as we know, is supremely anti-Israel. For such a small country, it gets a lot of attention from the UN General Assembley”.

    Many countries have criticised Israel, including New Zealand. That’s what happens when a nation repeatedly commits war crimes and repeatedly disregards international law. But according to you, it is just one giant conspiracy theory. lol

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  158. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    During the Gaza War, approximately 1400 Palestianians were killed, many of them women and children

    Sure, maybe.  But if the cowardly Hamas militants hadn’t used their citizenry as human shields, storing military supplies in schools and so on, it would have been a lot lower.  Israel made every effort to try to minimise the death toll, including ringing civilians in areas that were to be attacked telling them to remove themselves from the area.  Therefore, I blame Hamas for the deaths of most of the civilians, regardless of which side actually launched the munitions.

     And your figuresare probably wrong, anyway, inflated by the usually unscrupulous PA and its left wing media stooges.  This article from the IDF asserts that most of the casualties were in fact militants.   An interesting quote from the article, that supports what I said above, is that

    It must be stressed that the fighting took place in a complex battlefield, defined by the Hamas terror organization itself. The Hamas terror organization strategically placed the primary fighting scene at the heart of civilian neighborhoods, as it booby-trapped homes, fired from schools, and used civilians as human shields.

    Then you go on to say

    You would not be able to prosecute such individuals, but no doubt would be happy to defend them. What a courageous person you are, happy to defend war criminals!

    Now you are telling lies about me.  I have already said that I would be fine with prosecuting a Jewish person who was accused of a war crime if I thought they had in fact committed a war crime.  You have made something up about me and continue to peddle it as if it were true, even though I have specifically refuted it.  Of course, I would also happily defend the accused person, because that is what I do.  I am a criminal lawyer.  I take no insult in that second sentence, because it is often used against me (here on Kiwiblog) for defending ordinary criminals.  I have no problem with defending accused persons.  After all, it is not their crimes that I am defending, but them, and by defending them I am holding the system to account.   But you may not actually understand that.

    But KH is not an apologist for war crimes that I can see.

    I think that he/she comes close in supporting the terrorist groups that run the PA.  The capture and solitary confinement of Gilad Shalit was a war crime. No group was allowed access to him for 5 years.  That goes against all the laws of war.  And you and he/she are definitely supporting murderers, including those who murder babies by cutting the baby’s throat. Then there is the fact that between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched into Israel from Gaza, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, a situation that continues to this day.

    So in no way do I accept what you say as being in any way accurate, or truly representative of the situation, and I reject your assertions of both me being an apologist for war crimes and that I would not prosecute a person in the circumstances you suggest.

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  159. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    ross,

    it is not a conspiracy. Anti-semitism is an historical fact that is expressed in numerous ways on an ongoing basis around the world. The hatred expressed regularly agains the Jews (see one of DPFs posts today, even) is an example not of a conspiracy, but of a mindset. An abhorrent, evil, pernicious mindset that is supported and advanced by person’s such as yourself and KH. No matter that you are both steadfastly against the only real democracy in the Middle East, the only Middle Eastern country that allows and supports the rights of homosexuals and women, a place where Israeli Arabs live, vote, and participate in political life on an equal footing with Israeli Jews.

    You are not debating. You are making up false statements about me and then presenting them as if they were fact. I do not believe in a conspiracy. Never said that I did. But it is not difficult to see the anti-Israel bias at the UN, and especially at the HRC and similar organisations. Your own anti-Israel bias is apparent for all to see, but I do not think you part of a conspiracy, just misguided and misled.

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  160. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    The following appears in http://www.lphr.org.uk/publications/Prosecuting_Israeli_War_Criminals.pdf which discusses Israel’s war crimes and its breaches of international law:

    “…after the assassination of the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Yassin, by the Government of Israel, Jack Straw confirmed that the British Government considered the policy of ‘so-called assassinations – straightforward killings’ as

    ‘unlawful, unjustified and self-defeating, and they damage the case that Israel makes in the world. The fact that the killings led to the deaths of not only those whom Israel holds responsible for terrorism, but entirely innocent bystanders, including children, simply emphasises the unlawful nature of that approach, and its counter-productive effect.’

    Despite the international view taken towards the criminal nature of the acts described above, it is clear that a climate of impunity has taken hold in Israel and its occupying army, that is unchecked by its own criminal or civil justice system.”

    So Britain is part of the wider conspiracy agains Israel? It appears so.

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  161. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > An abhorrent, evil, pernicious mindset that is supported and advanced by person’s such as yourself

    What a strange comment, and from someone whose job it is to tell the truth in court. I sincerely hope you don’t resort to mistruths and falsehoods when you are presenting evidence. But after reading your comments here, I wouldn’t be so confident of that.

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  162. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    ross,

    why do you feel the need to denigrate my professional reputation simply because I disagree with you? I said what I consider to be the truth. Therefore, I am presenting the truth. Anyway, you show your ignorance of court processes. I am a lawyer, I don’t give evidence, the witnesses do. I act on instructions, basing what is presented on what my clients tell me.

    So far I have been told that I am a bad lawyer, that I shouldn’t be a judge, that I probably don’t tell the truth in court, and that I am an apologist for war crimes. Do you want to accuse me of drug dealing and child molestation while you are at it?

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  163. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    ross,

    whatever. Believe what you want.

    EDIT: “so-called assassinations”

    Like the killing of Osama bin Laden???

    Meh.

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  164. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “But if the cowardly Hamas militants hadn’t used their citizenry as human shields, storing military supplies in schools and so on, it would have been a lot lower. Israel made every effort to try to minimise the death toll…”

    If minimising the death toll results in 1400 deaths, Palestinians should be dancing in the streets that there weren’t more deaths. Those bloody ungrateful Arabs don’t know how lucky they are.

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  165. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    whatever.

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  166. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > why do you feel the need to denigrate my professional reputation

    You’ve achived that all by yourself. And I am entitled to my view based on your comments here where you’ve made it clear that you have no interest in learning about Israel’s violations of international law. Indeed, you’re quite happy blaiming Hamas for the killings of women and children. I think we’ve established you think Israel is blameless and can never do any wrong.

    > I am a lawyer, I don’t give evidence, the witnesses do.

    You sum up that evidence for jurors. You decide what witnesses (and evidence) to use. Why do you feel the need for semantics?

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  167. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    During the Gaza War, approximately 1400 Palestianians were killed, many of them women and children.

    As an example of how a real debate could be had about this aspect (and others) of “international law” we could start with this as an example – although it would mean me accepting the claim merely for the sake of argument, even as FES has demonstrated what I suspected the moment I saw it – that it’s crap based on the claims of Hamas themselves. They have every reason to make such claims of course, knowing that such will be used by the likes of Ross. In any other circumstance Ross would be willing to express great skepticism about such obvious motivations to lie. The fact that he so willingly accepts it is merely more evidence that he is not actually interested in war crimes or international law at all, but merely in their use as propaganda weapons against a democratic state of civil laws.

    As I recall there have been cases in war history where groups of soldiers who decided to hide amidst civilians – and who were then shot up by enemy troops, killing the civilians in the process – were held to be the war criminals, while the troops who’d targeted them were not. Of course today this is held to be an example of victors justice, but it’s actually the only way the Geneva Conventions could ever actually work in practice. It should be noted that it was not just the Allied bomber pilots of WWII that were not charged with car crimes at Nuremburg but also the bomber pilots of the Luftwaffe.

    Put simply, if the people who hide amidst civilians can use that fact to prevent being attacked then they win both the war and the argument – even as they commit one of the most basic of war crimes. But instead we now have this nonsense from Goldstone:

    Simply put, the laws of armed conflict apply no less to non-state actors such as Hamas than they do to national armies. Ensuring that non-state actors respect these principles, and are investigated when they fail to do so, is one of the most significant challenges facing the law of armed conflict. Only if all parties to armed conflicts are held to these standards will we be able to protect civilians who, through no choice of their own, are caught up in war.

    You can’t actually ensure that “non-state actors respect these principles” when the basic definition of a “non-state” actor precludes the very mechanisms that might enable self-enforcement. That’s why the Geneva Conventions and other rules of war were written with nation-states in mind in the first place: the mere fact that a group might try to fight as a non-state actor was taken to be a war crime from the get go – for entirely practical reasons that Goldstone seems to have ignored. Hence the hopelessness of his quest and his mystification at it’s failure as changes to the laws of war have attempted to bring non-state actors into the fold. You can see those attempts in successive changes and/or additions to the Geneva Conventions: that they are not working seems to be a mystery to the likes of Goldstone. Moreover, as I pointed out earlier, even non-state actors like the Polish resistance in Warsaw attempted to abide by the rules of war, something Hamas does not as a deliberate tactic.

    Goldstone may be naive but I doubt the likes of Ross are. He knows exactly what’s he doing in making his demands of Israel. From the perspective of the far-left the idea of engaging in a war from within a civilian population is the whole point. The idea being to force the state to target you, knowing that in the process it will kill civilians – perhaps many civilians – and thereby stoke revolutionary fires among the people. In the past that was an accepted tactic of revolutionaries wanting to overthrow a state from within.

    In the last few decades of course it’s been modified for use as part of destroying a state from outside. Hamas attacks from within it’s Gaza population, Israel strikes back, Gaza civilians die, Ross and co. scream about Israeli war crimes – in the hope that eventually Israel will not be able to strike back at all. Hamas will therefore never move away from what is now cutely called “assymetric warfare”, since it’s a successful tactic that enables to them to kill at will while their opponents simply sit still and take the hits.

    Indeed, you’re quite happy blaiming Hamas for the killings of women and children.

    This is exactly the point – Hamas is responsible for the killings of woman and children by choosing to commit a war crime right from the start in making war from within a civilian population. The only way to stop that is by making war back – the very action Ross wants to prevent: Hamas wins, Jews lose.

    That statement underlines the mendaciousness of Ross’s approach when you realise that the outcome would effectively destroy the whole idea of “laws of war” and “war crimes”. What incentive would anybody have to obey such “laws” when the end result is one’s death and destruction at the hands of enemies who don’t care about the “rules” in the first place.

    Using a system of law to destroy itself – very much a far-left tactic. It may be that Ross is too obtuse to accept this simple fact, but given his far-left predilections I think it’s not that. Like Hamas he’s got a war to win – by any means necessary.

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  168. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    ross,

    You’ve achived that all by yourself.

    Absolute crap.  I did not bring my occupation into it.  I notice that you have not brought anybody else’s occupation into it.  Apparently you think my political beliefs disqualify me from being honest and upright in my professional life.

     I am entitled to my view based on your comments here where you’ve made it clear that you have no interest in learning about Israel’s violations of international law,

    You just don’t get it, do you?  I have told you that I do not think that they are violations of international law.  I have told you why.  I have no problem with you disagreeing with me.  But that still in no way requires you to slander my professional ethics.

    Indeed, you’re quite happy blaiming Hamas for the killings of women and children.

    I do.

    I think we’ve established you think Israel is blameless and can never do any wrong.

    You have established nothing other than you are unable to accurately portray what I have said previously. You are telling lies about me.  I said that “I will condemn war crimes whenever I believe one to have been committed.”

    ross, you are constructing false and slanderous straw men and then pretending that I am saying things that I am not. You and KH started that when you accused me of being an apologist for war criminals.  I refuted that, and I still refute that.  But you don’t listen and you don’t appear to be able to represent what I say accurately.  And you continue to slander my professional ethics time and time again, when they have absolutely no correlation to my political view on Israel.  You even told me that “Maybe one day you will join the prosecution ranks”, which was pure ignorance seeing as how I have previously prosecuted.  But that is what you have been doing- exposing your ignorance while abusing me on an adhominem basis.  Your accusations are low, demeaning and false.  And even when you try to defend your cowardly allegations, you get things wrong:

    You sum up that evidence for jurors.

    Evidence that is recorded both on dvd and in writing.  Impossible to misrepresent successfully, and if you do get it wrong the judge will pull you up on it. Anyway, lawyers don’t sum up anything.  Judges do. Lawyers make a closing address.

    You decide what witnesses (and evidence) to use.

    Actually, that is the client’s call, based on my advice.  And as a defence lawyer I am mostly reactionary, it is for the prosecutoin to call witnesses for the most part.

    Why do you feel the need for semantics?

    It is not semantics.  It is you slandering me by comparing my political views to my professional practice.  You don’t understand the procedure, so you have even that wrong.

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  169. tom hunter (4,399 comments) says:

    Well, well, well.

    Looks like Goldstone’s trying to undo another ongoing lie, that his supposed justice-seeking allies have long pushed.

    So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.

    Too little, too late.

    While I’ve no doubt you worked on that report and its conclusions in good faith, for your mates it was only ever another propaganda weapon. I have to wonder when he’ll realise he’s been had by the global left, or that the law he’s pushing for cannot be obtained via his methods. A third op-ed perhaps?

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