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  1. #21
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Quote Originally Posted by broncofan View Post
    Netanyahu has proved many of my worst fears correct and he risks an enormous catastrophe by fucking with Gaza's electrical supply and water supply to try to get leverage for hostage release. He is basically holding the entire Gaza strip hostage, turning it into an inferno for civilians, and killing at least as many civilians as militants.
    Many more civilians, most likely. It's not likely Israel has accurate intelligence in Gaza to target their attacks, given they missed the preparations for the Hamas attack.

    Those who want to level Gaza to destroy Hamas clearly don't see Palestinians as people whose lives matter. It's disingenuous to say they chose this and must accept the consequences. The majority did vote for Hamas in 2006, but there's been no election since. No doubt there are many who instinctively support whoever is fighting the government that oppresses them, but many would also be tired of Hamas bringing retaliation on them. But what can they do against a heavily-armed movement? They can't escape either because it's a small area and both borders are closed.


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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    It is as if we are going backwards in history. I never thought that I would hear the kind of anti-Semitic garbage on the streets of the UK that is more reminiscent of the 1930s. Fla waving morons are not in short supply. My generation learned from our parents what actually happened in the two World Wars of the 20th century, a new generation either does not know, or does not care, and when you add to that the ignorance and lies that gave us Brexit, Trump and Putin, it is hard not be scared for the future.

    One historian argues that the ' HAMAS apocalypse' is creating a New World Order -also an article riddled with ignorance, as if the Prof had never heard of that phrase New World Order before, even though when George HW Bush used it he could at least argue that with the fall of the Berlin Wall and with it the USSR, the old bi-Polar, Cold War structure to 'super-power relations' had gone.

    At that time, American Hegemony was the favoured term; then we were told we are in a 'Multi-Polar world' which soon became characterized as an age of 'Globalization' which has had its most vicious critics in Trump, Le Pen and Farage as if their favoured offering was different from the economic Nationalism that formed part of the wave of Falangist, Fascist and National Socialist failures of the 1930s and 1940s.

    There is no New World Order -what we have is the same Nationalist Violence that claims legitimacy as 'the armed struggle', whether it was the failure of the IRA to use it to create a 'United Ireland', or the modus vivendi which was used in the Mandate period by Jewish Terrorists who murdered British soldiers and statesmen, and in Count Folke Bernadotte, the first senior official of the United Nations to be a victim of anti-UN hate. What was the victory for this armed struggle? More violence, not less, from Qibya to today, as if the identity of the assassins makes any difference.

    And this Armed Struggle is the same mode of political violence being used by HAMAS that was called off by the PLO for the simple reason it wasn't working, and in its lifetime failed to achieve anything other than killing people and in some cases at some times, killing hope too, as people all over the world reeled in shock and not much awe at the scope of such violence.

    Thus today, the Armed Struggle remains the primary mode of politics where it has consistently failed. Every year Netanyahu goes to a celebration -yes, a Celebration- of the terrorist attack on the King David Hotel, because he thinks it is something to be proud of, and it underlines his personal commitment to war over peace.

    And consider this argument, in riposte to the UK sending the Royal Navy to the Eastern Mediterranean- Israel has been for most of its existence an enemy of the UK; it is not our friend, and never has been. From the Mandate period when future Israelis murdered British soldiers wherever they could find then, to 1982 when Israel's Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who had personally taken part in attacks on the British, and hated the UK, supported Argentina's war for the 'Malvinas'/Falkland Islands with rhetoric and military ordnance.

    We await a paradigm shift -another one, similar to that of 1993- without bated breath. It is as if we - or they- do not learn the lessons of history, or read their history and insist -'we can do it differently this time', and this applies to HAMAS, Israel, Hizballah, as well in retrospect to that nauseating pair of hypocrites and war criminals, George W. Bush and Tony Blair. It was Blair who said this in a documentary about the war in Iraq for which he remains responsible:

    "I took the view we needed to remake the Middle East". (There must be more than 1,000 books and articles that document this concept of power, and its application to a region that is fed up with being 'remade' by people who don't live there, but don't ask Jared Kushner for a list as he has only read 20, he said so himself).

    Hence Auden

    "History opposes its grief to our buoyant song. To our hope its warning'.

    The Hamas Apocalypse has crafted a New World Order (yahoo.com)

    Why Rishi Sunak is deploying British armed forces to Israel (yahoo.com)



  3. #23
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    The article in The Daily Beast linked below is a moving account of what happened to the network of Kibbutz in the Gaza area. It resonates with that dream many Zionists had in the 19th and early 20th century based on the fiction that Palestine was empty and under-developed, that Zionism would 'make the desert bloom'. Nevertheless, agricultural and communal living, often but not exclusively Socialist in belief, was a major part of the Labour Government's strategy for developing Israel after 1948, and though it was relatively successful, it did not survive the Nationalist decline that set in when Begin became Prime Minister in 1977. It means today the Kibbutz movement represents less than 5% of the country, perhaps a measure of how Israel has changed since 1948, or 1967.

    It is also the case that many, perhaps most of Israel's agricultural workers are from South-East Asia, Thailand in particular as the other link explains. I used to know a Trans woman from the Philippines who worked in care homes in Israel, indeed i think most care workers in Israel are from the Philippines, and believe domestic servants are also from the PI or from Sri Lanka -not sure about this. As far as i know none of the immigrant workers have legal equality with citizens of Israel, but are not top of the list when it comes to expulsion from the country -we know who they are.

    I think it is important to recognize the changes that have taken place since Israel was created in 1948, yet the final irony might be that the original proposal in Theodor Herzl's book The Jewish State suggested from the start that if Israel was not exclusively Jewish, it would not make sense- Herzl was not a Socialist, though many Zionists were; he was not a Democrat either, and when asked by a prominent Palestinian intellectual what would happen to non-Jews in this 'Jewish State' Herzl, who I think visited Palestine once or twice, had no answer. In that either/or mentality which forms the basis of most of the cursed nonsense called Nationalism, who belongs in the land between the river and the sea?

    Worst Failure in Israeli History: Netanyahu Abandoned the Very Heart of Israel (yahoo.com)

    Thai death toll spotlights poor agricultural workers from Asia who toil in Israel's fields | CNN



  4. #24
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss




  5. #25
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    I guess it is just a matter of time before he goes, but what damage can be done before he resigns or is sacked?

    How Benjamin Netanyahu empowered Hamas ... and broke Israel (yahoo.com)



  6. #26
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    This article is one of the more interesting on the background to the current crisis. But as usual, it does not address the most obvious question, which asks what a just and equal peace would look like for Israel and the Palestinians. And until some flesh is put on this writhing skeleton, death is all we have.

    The danger of leaving things be: how the world ‘failed miserably’ in the Middle East (yahoo.com)



  7. #27
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    A few points-

    1) Biden's mission was not a failure, even though the Arabs ducked out, for domestic reasons. The pre-meeting negotiations conducted by Blinken did result in what the US-Arab meetings would have confirmed: a key agreement by Egypt to open the Rafah Border crossing for 20 trucks of food, clothing, medicine, something that Israel would have agreed to. That said, it is a small step for a major problem, but a step in the right direction -and far from the US position being weakened, it at least maintains a significant presence for Israel and the Arabs, at a cost of $100m which, should the GOP in the House focus on something other than their own incompetence, they might oppose.

    2) Other than Biden, there is no leadership in the region. Sisi is a military dictator unchallenged in Egypt, but with little clout in the region -consider how Egypt's prominence has fallen since 1967, The Jordanians with their links to the West Bank and the administration of the Al-Aqsa/Dome of the Rock compound, have channels that link the US to Israel and the Palestine Authority, such as it is, and as usual, Jordan remains a key player few people acknowledge.

    The leadership of Hamas is in Qatar, while it's military commanders are either dead, or in hiding -as such, and though Hamas is a social movement as well as a military-political force, it is not clear how shaken the organization is by the incursion into Israel which, grim though it is, was more successful than they expected -normally a rapid response would have meant a few days of firefighting, a roster of martyrs and the wounded going home to lick their wounds. Thus has a chicken run turned into a crisis I doubt Hamas intended it to be.

    3) The informers in Gaza that Israel uses, and Jordan too, may have tipped off Israel as to where the hostages are, though I assume those still alive are not concentrated in one place. The delay in the ground invasion Biden has secured, is also part of the IDF plan to locate and free the hostages, given that as far as we know, no negotiations are taking place. Could the leadership in Qatar be involved? It could be, but it could be that militants on the ground who expect to be killed, ignore their political masters and take the hostages with them, and grim as this sounds, grim is order of the day.

    4) the future. The link to the Telegraph article suggests the US and others, presumably Israel, and contacts in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, envisage the 'end' to this phase, as the creation of a buffer zones along the border with Israel to distance the Arab population from Israel, but with the long term intention of pouring money -presumably Arab -American?- money into what sounds to me like a fantasy, as described here- "Gaza on the Med".

    I kid you not, you can read it here-

    Western leaders have a vision for a future Palestinian state (yahoo.com)

    Who is going to represent the Palestinians in all this? The PA is in crisis, HAMAS is in crisis, Islamic Jihad has even less support in Gaza than HAMAS, and what is going to happen to the leadership in Israel, if, as many think, Netanyahu's days are numbered, but as yet, we don't know how the fanatics and the settlers will act, given that right now they appear to be 'holding fire'.

    In 1993, Yitzhak Rabin had the authority no other current Israeli politician has, and though he paid for it with his life, his endorsement of the Oslo Accords was what made the Treaty possible. Right now, and in the absence of Biden, I see little traction for either Putin or Xi in the region, and little confidence in Israel, where I suspect the mood is still stoked for vengeance.

    But at least Biden has made an effort, and achieved something, though I doubt he will get much credit for it back home.

    I just hope somewhere in those shadows, there is some serious negotiations going on for the hostages, and for more humanitarian aid, for water and electricity to be turned back on. Is it too much to ask?


    Last edited by Stavros; 10-19-2023 at 04:21 AM.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Re Hamas, I think I should have argued that, from what I have read, their strategic aims were a) to puncture the Israeli 'iron wall' and expose their security failings; and b) to send a warning message to Saudi Arabia with regard to any moves to diplomatic recognition. Their event was related to the problems of order in the Haram as-Sharif in Jerusalem, which resonated with the Saudis who, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, took the view that the Middle East should be integrated into a single Saudi kingdom.

    On both counts though ends in themselves, they do not advance the cause of Palestinian statehood at any level, and in terms of the actual impact, have damaged themselves and the Palestinians in global terms, a setback which is why I am sceptical of the 'Gaza on the Med' concept.

    I said Putin and Xi are not effective in the region, though Xi has been trying to broker a peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but then that has been going on for a couple of years now, and right now I don't know if it will happen, or, even if it does, it will deal with the unresolved war in the Yemen and that country's future political structure. One problem just leads to another in this region.


    Last edited by Stavros; 10-19-2023 at 06:22 AM.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Two more hostages have been released by HAMAS, and though welcome, it is or appears to be a mirror to the pathetic 20 trucks a day now passing through the border with Egypt.

    I read somewhere HAMAS thought the hostages would give it some leverage with the Israeli Govt, in which case it just proves what has been known about war since ancient times -how once begun, the aims are diverted by facts and faults on the ground, how assumptions made are quickly demolished. HAMAS of all the organizations in the region, knows that without a doubt any action against Israel will be met with ten times the volume, so I return to an idea I had that HAMAS never expected their action to take them so far into Israel without being challenged, and that they have in effect, over-reached themselves.

    The irony is that even with the might of Israel, so far a relentless aerial bombardment which, being Israel, has absolutely no respect for human life or the international law that Israel has ridiculed since the formation of the UN, there is some nervousness in both Israel and the US about ground forces entering Gaza. Smart thinking argues that it will be focused on the intelligence Israel has about the location of the hostages, and whatever cells HAMAS has, though one assumes they have dispersed across Gaza along with the hostages, increasing the risks.

    Again and again, one comes back to the staggering fact that in order to smash the Peace Treaty to pieces and deny the Palestinians the smallest of territorial and political gains the Treaty seemed to promise, first Sharon, then Netanyahu made love to HAMAS to breed the monster we now have, because for years now

    "Israeli policy was to treat the Palestinian Authority as a burden and Hamas as an asset. Far-right MK Bezalel Smotrich, now the finance minister in the hardline government and leader of the Religious Zionism party, said so himself in 2015.
    According to various reports, Netanyahu made a similar point at a Likud faction meeting in early 2019, when he was quoted as saying that those who oppose a Palestinian state should support the transfer of funds to Gaza, because maintaining the separation between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state."
    For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it's blown up in our faces | The Times of Israel

    To see world leaders beating a path to Netanyahu's door is sickening, if predictable when there is no-one else to talk to, when a filthy anti-semitism is poisoning any debate in Europe and North America, where there has rarely been any sensible debate about the Middle East anyway.

    This grim episode is going to continue for some time, and I doubt Netanyahu or Gallant care one way or the other what the US wants or thinks, though I do think Blinken, though biased, is doing what he can through various channels in the region to warn Israel of the risks it is taking. But then, what was HAMAS thinking when it launched this mad operation, and what is it thinking now? I suspect the political leaders in Qatar have lost control of the militants on the ground, and unless one of the two parties gives up this misery will continue.



  10. #30
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    One hopes the claim that hostage negotiations have stalled is not true, but right now it is looking grim for all in Gaza.

    In the last few days, it has been reported that Qatar, after talks with Blinken, has agreed to review the status of Hamas in Qatar. The suggestion is that if and when Qatar successfully mediates with Hamas to release the hostages -the former leader of Hamas has said if Israel stops its bombing this will make the release more likely- Hamas will re-locate. The link below suggests Algeria, or Syria, but I doubt Hamas would go to Iran. They might enjoy the money and probably ordnance they get from Iran, but Hamas has its roots in the militant Sunni groups that emerged in Egypt around the Muslim Brotherhood, so I don't see much affinity there once the convenient relationship is done with. I would have thought the aim is to move to a country Israel is reluctant to bomb, which suggests Turkey, though Algeria is a possibility.

    But history records that after being expelled from Jordan in 1971, the PLO moved to Beirut, and after being expelled from Beirut in 1982 they went to Tunis, and then ended up in Ramallah having signed a Peace Treaty with Israel. Arafat for some was if not an obvious scion of the Muslim Brotherhood, a sympathiser with that strain of militant Islam, so the parallels remain in place, just as the decades long refusal to talk and choose war instead led both Israel and the Palestinians nowhere.

    Qatar agrees to review Hamas ties after Gaza hostage situation resolved - report - The Times of Israel



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