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BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II

Steve Shaw 07 Nov 23 - 07:29 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Nov 23 - 12:15 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Nov 23 - 04:50 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Nov 23 - 04:52 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Nov 23 - 01:25 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Nov 23 - 05:17 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 23 - 06:39 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 23 - 06:26 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 23 - 10:21 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 23 - 09:54 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 23 - 01:29 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Nov 23 - 09:40 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 23 - 10:31 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 23 - 04:16 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 23 - 07:10 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 23 - 07:32 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 23 - 08:41 PM
MaJoC the Filk 13 Nov 23 - 12:08 PM
Mrrzy 21 Nov 23 - 05:37 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Nov 23 - 07:52 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Nov 23 - 07:55 PM
Donuel 22 Nov 23 - 07:27 AM
Thompson 22 Nov 23 - 04:33 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 23 - 04:43 PM
Backwoodsman 23 Nov 23 - 02:16 AM
Thompson 23 Nov 23 - 10:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Nov 23 - 11:33 AM
Jack Campin 23 Nov 23 - 11:45 AM
Donuel 23 Nov 23 - 04:10 PM
Donuel 24 Nov 23 - 09:50 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Nov 23 - 11:17 AM
Donuel 24 Nov 23 - 11:28 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Nov 23 - 12:04 PM
Donuel 24 Nov 23 - 01:19 PM
Nigel Parsons 24 Nov 23 - 02:33 PM
robomatic 24 Nov 23 - 03:52 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Nov 23 - 05:23 PM
Nigel Parsons 25 Nov 23 - 07:00 AM
Donuel 25 Nov 23 - 08:01 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Nov 23 - 12:25 PM
Donuel 25 Nov 23 - 03:26 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Nov 23 - 06:04 PM
Thompson 26 Nov 23 - 04:49 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 23 - 06:02 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 23 - 07:43 AM
Donuel 26 Nov 23 - 07:57 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 23 - 09:17 AM
Donuel 26 Nov 23 - 09:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 23 - 06:42 AM
Donuel 27 Nov 23 - 07:45 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Nov 23 - 07:29 AM

I've said it enough now, that Hamas did a terrible thing. I'm not going to say it any more just to level up with what the Israeli regime is doing and certainly not to justify the slaughter in Gaza. People in Gaza are starving, drinking dirty water, living in constant terror and pulling dead or maimed little children out of rubble in their thousands. That is every bit as bad as or worse than what Hamas did and "self-defence" is just a disgusting lie. One of the most hardened, seasoned Guardian journalists, Simon Jenkins, said that although we can't turn away from suffering, he can no longer watch the news coverage from Gaza. He calls it tabloid TV. He says that every vox pop from Gaza must be preceded or followed by one from Israel. It's a ghoulish gloss on what news should be about. That horror fuels the dangerous instinct of blame. We get more time from tearful victims than we do from the decision-makers or experts and there is no coverage of history or background, and all we can get out of it is a feeling of impotence. None of what we see night after night is increasing public understanding and it simply adds to anger, discord and distress.

It's a good read and it's in today's Guardian. As for me, for four weeks I've been forcing myself to watch the horror, but I can't be choked by the dust or smell the blood or rotting flesh or help to drag the kids out of the rubble. Mrs Steve averts her eyes from the horror. I think she's right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Nov 23 - 12:15 PM

No-one is denying that and no-one is defending that. Perhaps you're not watching the telly either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 04:50 AM

It's not about numbers. It's not about trying to compare horrors with horrors. But there surely comes a point at which you have to say that Israel are behaving just as badly as, though differently to, Hamas. At which point we may say that Israel has forfeited any moral high ground. How can we say that a regime that can can visit such unlimited misery on millions of people who have done nothing wrong (as a little boy wailed from the rubble of his home, surrounded by his siblings), murder or maim thousands of their children and condemn them to a potential lifetime of squalor, homelessness, poverty and misery, any better than the evil force that killed 1400 civilians on October 7? And how can a world which has stood back and watched passively as those millions suffered a blockade for 16 years, during which they were deprived of essential medical care, building materials to replace what Israel had destroyed and reliable supplies of power and drinking water, side with those aggressors who live right next door in one of the richest countries in the world, now take sides unconditionally with their aggressor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 04:52 AM

Sorry, thst post should have ended with a full stop after the word "world."


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 01:25 PM

Gaza diary part 18: ‘How many people are we going to lose before we get out of this nightmare?’ (from today's Guardian:

A poignant story told by a woman in Gaza who had formed a wonderful friendship with a work colleague, then found out that he'd been wiped out by an Israeli strike, along with his young family. It's a hard read.

Netanyahu doesn't value human life, Sunak doesn't value human life, Starmer doesn't value human life. Their politics and their own arses are far more valuable to them. What comes out of this piece is that ordinary people can and do value human life, see it as precious and see the potential in people that's so easily wasted by war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 05:17 PM

150 Palestinian civilians, including over 40 children, killed in the occupied West Bank either by the IDF or by Jewish settlers (illegal) since October 7. This with the connivance, even encouragement, of the Netanyahu regime. Bejaysus, what goes under the radar...


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 23 - 06:39 PM

"Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Special Envoy David Satterfield said on Saturday that U.S. officials had not been told that Hamas is blocking or diverting humanitarian aid flowing into the Gaza Strip amid shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

Speaking to reporters in the Jordanian capital Amman, he said that those distributing aid in Gaza had not reported aid being diverted since trucks resumed crossing the Egypt-controlled Rafah gate on Oct. 21 after diplomatic wrangling to resume the flow."

I have no wish to side with Hamas, but I can't find any reports about Hamas withholding aid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 23 - 06:26 AM

Not saying you're wrong, Nigel, but a couple of small points anyway: that piece is almost two weeks old and things move rapidly, and, possibly more relevant: Col Elad Goren, head of the civil department at Cogat, the wing of the Israeli defence ministry responsible for civilian operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories... Hardly a neutral then, and you know what they say about the first casualty of war...

Still, there could be something in it and I wouldn't put it past Hamas, but there's nothing like good, solid, neutral evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 23 - 10:21 AM

Well those "officials" declined to say who they were, and I'm not sure that the NYT is necessarily a neutral source. Nigel, forgive me for failing to root out a two-week-old piece in a foreign newspaper. In other words, sheesh. I'm confident that there's some substance in the reports but nothing I've seen adds up to proof. And I'm pretty sure that any military outfit worth its salt would build up its reserves of all sorts of things if they were planning a conflict. You might also reflect on the things that Israel has deprived blockaded Gaza of during the last 16 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 09:54 AM

When you're constantly hearing comments from one side (in this case, very little from Hamas) and from major supporters of both sides (western leaders, Hezbollah, Arab nations, etc.), and seeing highly-selective footage of the carnage on both sides (selected for its tellyworthiness more than anything), but very little about the historical context (unless you dig deep for yourself), and bearing in mind that most news outlets in the west that are not bound by strict neutrality rules are on Israel's side, the truth is incredibly elusive.

It's pretty certain that Hamas has most of its military installations in highly-populated areas (they'd be pretty stupid to have them is easily-spotted open areas, eh?). But do we really know that they are deliberately putting civilians in harm's way? Do we really know whether they're obstructing Gazans from moving south? Whose word have we got for these assertions? But we don't half make a Big Thing out of them...

One thing I'm sick to the back teeth of hearing is that it's Hamas causing the deaths and maimings of the civilians in Gaza. Netanyahu was at it again yesterday. Here's a very simple fact, Bibi: if you drop thousands of bombs on non-combatant civilians and kill them, YOU killed them. YOU chose to drop the bombs. They were YOUR bombs. If you suspect that Hamas militants are hiding in hospitals and schools, then it's very simple: you don't bomb the hospitals and schools in the hope that you'll bag a terrorist or two. And you had no moral right to try to force civilians in their hundreds of thousands out of their towns and villages so that you could bomb those places, in the full knowledge that tens of thousands were unable to move, willing or not. And you even bombed the escape roads and you bombed the convoys of the refugees moving south and you bombed the "safe places" in the south you told them to go to.

Next time you hear about how unavoidably tragic all those deaths are, or hear the obscene euphemism "collateral damage", just imagine that your little son or daughter or grandchild had been caught up in it and wiped out. I have just one grandchild and I do that every time I see the carnage on the telly. If you don't try to see what's happening on that human scale you're not seeing it at all, I reckon. We need a ceasefire, and sod the "tactical considerations."


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 23 - 01:29 PM

"You're all incorrect."

We are not all incorrect. I can't be incorrect when I haven't mentioned the word genocide, nor have I discussed the concept.

"Sounds like we're back-tracking to blame Israel for the Hamas Oct7 invasion. The latest 'reports' are that Israelis are in battle with Hamas gunmen and where is this happening? Near the hospitals which Israel claims are the Hamas bases."

Yeah. "Claim."

No we are not backtracking, but let's not go simplistic on this. The blame for the specific action on Oct 7 lies squarely at the door of Hamas. I haven't heard anyone of sound mind saying anything different. However, for the God-knows-how-many-times I've said it, we have to see all acts of aggression between Israel and their adversaries in the Middle East in the context of history.

"Time to ask: 'WHAT WOULD YOU DO?'"

Well I can tell you several things that you don't do. You don't make an impossible promise to eliminate Hamas forever. The current actions in Gaza are certain to spawn more bitterness and resentment which will certainly revive anti-Israel enmity ten times over. The other thing, glaringly obvious, is that you do not kill thousands of people who have done nothing wrong, including five thousand children, you don't starve hospitals of power so that babies die in incubators and you don't shell the place where you told civilians to go to in order to be safe. Then pretend it's all because "you have the right to defend yourself."


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 09:40 AM

Well I'm not Thompson, but the fact is that, in the hours after the Hamas atrocity on October 7 most of the world was on Israel's side, despite the history. Since then, "how would you respond?" is at the heart of the matter. Israel did react to defend itself, but that rapidly morphed into vengeful and indiscriminate attacks on people who did no wrong in their thousands. Homes and families destroyed in their tens of thousands. Their schools, hospitals, places of worship and the places of safety ordained by Israel have all come under devastating attack. They have been starved of fuel, food, water and medicines. The right to defend yourself is written into international law, so, as you're into asking questions, let me ask you a really simple one. When do you think that the "self-defence" part of this should have ended? Is Israel still defending itself now? We hear this morning that IDF soldiers are in that benighted hospital, aggressively questioning doctors and patients at gunpoint. People on the upper floor who try to film with their phones what's happening are being shot at. It seems to me that IDF soldiers are now running feral in Gaza. So what do you think about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 23 - 10:31 AM

That particular photo/video was done for the benefit of the press who were, exceptionally, allowed access. The BBC confirmed that the IDF later edited the original to show twice as many guns. We all know that it's a simple matter to plant "evidence." As I keep saying, the first casualty of war... I'm not denying that there is, or has been, a considerable Hamas presence in the hospital. That would be a war crime. So is the deliberate targeting of a hospital by the IDF. There are no good guys in this but there are plenty of victims who did nothing wrong.

By the way, accusing me of giving Hamas a free pass is patently untrue, as my many posts to this thread attest, and I think it's fair that it shouldn't go unchallenged. By the way again, it looks like the blinkers are finally coming off in the US as the groundswell of opinion there, even among politicians, is increasingly sympathy for the people of Gaza and revulsion aimed at Netanyahu's regime via what we are seeing on our screens every day. It's a trend that's good to see in my opinion. One day we'll have to talk. The sooner that day comes, the sooner the massacre will stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 23 - 04:16 PM

Your last sentence being operative, Nigel. Thanks for including it.

This is a war, and in war the truth is elusive. But we are not kangaroo courts or lynch mobs. Before we condemn, then attack, we have to know the truth. In the words of judge Webster Thayer in Andy Irvine's song, Facing The Chair, "they're reds and what more do you need," well we do need more. I've never denied that Hamas are thoroughly bad people. But if you want to accuse Hamas of specific bad actions, such as hiding bags of weapons in hospitals, etc., you need much better evidence than likely put-up-job IDF staged photos. Hamas's thoroughly bad reputation isn't enough to pin things like that on them for certain, even if you think there's a high probability that they're true. I think that Hamas are probably guilty of everything we think they are, so I won't need to eat my words when the proof arrives. But, as I said, we are not kangaroo courts or lynch mobs. And there are two sides to all this, lest we forget.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 23 - 07:10 PM

"Hey Sandy on the album 'Writer of Songs' (1972) is another description of the senseless loss of a young life in conflict. It is based on the death of a female student, Sandra Scheuer, who was shot by the Ohio National Guard at the Kent State University in the U.S. anti-Vietnam War demonstration of 1970". [Steve's note: Sandy was not involved in the demonstration, being merely a bystander].


"Hey Sandy, hey Sandy, why were you the one?
All the years of growing up are wasted now and gone
Did you see them turn, did you feel the burn of the bullets as they flew?
Hey Sandy, hey Sandy, just what did you do?
Did you see them turn, did you feel the burn of the bullets as they flew?
Hey Sandy, hey Sandy, just what did you do?
Hey Sandy, hey Sandy, just what did you do?"

All the years of growing up, wasted. Times six thousand kids in Gaza, and rising. And what did they do? Why, they got in the way of Israel defending itself, that's what they did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 23 - 07:32 PM

By the way, you can listen to Christy singing Hey Sandy on Youtube. Just google "Hey Sandy Christy".


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 23 - 08:41 PM

No it doesn't. You have to be sure. We have Israel's word that they're sure. If that's good enough for you, well it's not good enough for me. They've already cheated on that weapons photo. And bombing a hospital that you're sure houses Hamas terrorists, whilst ignoring the fact that you are going to kill patients or refugees who have no means of getting out, is a war crime, never mind whose side you're on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 13 Nov 23 - 12:08 PM

"Self defence" hits the same hash bucket for me as Lebensraum and "final solution". Don't get me wrong: what Hamas did was unforgivable. But what Israel is doing now is unforgivable on an industrial scale .... and provoking that allergic reaction may or may not have been Hamas's intention.

Whatever the outcome, the only winner will be Vlad the Invader.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Nov 23 - 05:37 PM

If you start the fight, you ought not claim self-defense when they hit back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 23 - 07:52 PM

There's hitting back and hitting back. If you push me and steal my sweets I don't have the right to smash your head with a hammer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 23 - 07:55 PM

Half my post went begging there, my fault. The rest of it said that there is a thing called proportionality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Nov 23 - 07:27 AM

For the initial attacker, proportionality does not exist.
If you see Putin as the initial attacker of Ukraine there is no proportionality.
IF you see Catherine the Great as the first attacker then you see how going back to 1948 for the Palestinians confounds the issue.
Arbitrarily drawing lines in history just justifies war forever.
Perhaps some want to bring up the Crusades.

To speak of war as fair and has rules is a delusion.
Perhaps you have heard the folk saying "all is fair in love and war".


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Thompson
Date: 22 Nov 23 - 04:33 PM

Backwoodsman, I've bookmarked your "simple linkifier" link and have been using it ever since. I don't know why my links aren't working, if they're not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 23 - 04:43 PM

"If you see Putin as the initial attacker of Ukraine there is no proportionality."

Yes there is. If Putin invades Ukraine, and you respond by nuking Moscow and Leningrad, you are not exhibiting proportionality. There are international laws applying to all this. You should look them up. Of course, as with wine nomenclatures and UN resolutions, the US thinks that it's an exception and that rules don't apply to it. The great thing about Mudcat is that there are plenty of humanitarians here who, whilst favouring one side or the other, or neither, in this horrid conflict, can see plainly that what is going on in Gaza can't be justified in a million years. You don't have to be political to see this and you certainly don't need to be adopting some kind of quasi-principled high ground. All you have to do is imagine that it's your little son or granddaughter that's just been pulled from the rubble of their family home, their life changed forever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 Nov 23 - 02:16 AM

”I've bookmarked your "simple linkifier" link and have been using it ever since. I don't know why my links aren't working, if they're not.”

Just checked back (easy - a ‘benefit’ of the now-screwed-up listing order on the thread!) and the links look to work correctly.

BTW, it’s not ‘my’ Linkifier, it was provided by DaveRo, IIRC. (Perhaps someone will correct me if I got that wrong).


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Nov 23 - 10:29 AM

Crossing my fingers so hard for all the hostages, on both sides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Nov 23 - 11:33 AM

I noticed the language of the reporters this morning as we await this truce by any name - perhaps it reflects the terms used by the countries? Israel refers to Israelis in Gaza as "hostages," while Palestinians detained in Israeli jails with no charges and no term of imprisonment are "detainees." One could argue that they are all hostages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Nov 23 - 11:45 AM

Getting banned by a German venue for opposing the genocide:

Lankum in Leipzig

Okay, Leipzig is a stronghold of the neo-Nazi right so maybe that's the level of tolerance you might expect there.   Lankum have got sold-out bookings across the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Nov 23 - 04:10 PM

I am aware of the rules regulations and conventions of war but of the multitude of individual war crimes committed, there are only a handful that are actually prosecuted. It is pretty much shoot first and ask questions later.
War begins by fighting the last war with leftover equipment and weapons. Innovations soon appear. The advantages of killing and destruction are not made to make war 'even steven' or proportional.
WMDs or a sewn-shut mouthful of detesticularization are designed to be terrorizing, not proportional. To think otherwise is for those who don't really know the horror of war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Donuel attacks War - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 09:50 AM

Children are the prized poker chips in war today and not just adult civilians. Hamas kidnapped kids for later trades. Putin has taken upwards to 100K Ukrainian kids to be raised in Russia. Trump separated kids from families without records for reuniting families. Sure these examples are a crime but no one is going to jail. Maybe someday Putin will be imprisoned. Maybe Steve Bannon will end up behind bars. Trump?
The odds are slim.
War is a willingness to forgo laws and civilized behavior up to and including nuclear and bioweapons. Proportionality is not a deterrent.
The deterrent is whether a country decides if it can withstand the blowback from global retribution.
Proportionality is heartwarming like a cup of hot cocoa but it will not curb the crime of war. The easiest way to sidestep proportionality historically has been to claim an attack upon a ship or ships. Even a bald faced lie is all it takes. The Hamas attack was not a lie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 11:17 AM

So we despise Hamas, quite rightly, for abducting "kids." Putin, the same. We could perhaps also mention the many Palestinian "kids" who are held in Israeli jails for throwing stones at armed soldiers. The trouble with truth is that it isn't the truth at all unless it's the whole truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 11:28 AM

Let me know when you find or write the million-volume edition of the Whole Truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 12:04 PM

When I was a mere schoolboy at my Catholic school in the sixties we were told about different ways of telling lies. One way was lying by omission. The trouble with wars is that, amidst all the demonising that goes on, inconvenient facts about "your side" can be omitted in order to retain the purity of your demonisation of the enemy, even when those facts are sort of equivalent to what your adversaries have done. It's not so much about whataboutery, more about avoiding the potential for hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 01:19 PM

I sense that ending war permanently is an impossibility for most people.
The same is probably true of hypocrisy, whataboutism, and lying.
We will have those who tilt at windmills and call out the injustices even if they are a minority of one. To varying degrees, we are both 'Donuel Quixote' characters at least to the extent of wanting to right wrongs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 02:33 PM

Donuel: I sense that ending war permanently is an impossibility for most people.
The same is probably true of hypocrisy, whataboutism, and lying.


Very true.

We cannot even discuss it here without some people assuming that their 'truth' is the only valid understanding of the situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: robomatic
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 03:52 PM

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Santayana





"When peace comes, it will perhaps in time be possible to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for forcing us to kill their sons." - Golda Meir


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Nov 23 - 05:23 PM

Golda Meir's comment was racist, whether "of its time" or not. We've been there before with that one.

There are doughty supporters of Israel here. That much is clear and that's fine. There are no supporters of Hamas here. That's absolutely as it should be. If I even began to remotely suspect that anyone here fell into that bracket, I'd be out of here like a shot.

My sympathies, as I've said so many times, are with the civilians of both Gaza and Israel. Hamas are thoroughly bad. Netanyahu is thoroughly bad. I'd like to see those Hamas leaders, cosily holed up in Qatar, in court being confronted with their war crimes. I'd like to see Netanyahu and his hard-right lackeys in court, same reason.

I've said a number of times is that the truth in any war is incredibly elusive. But what is not elusive is that Hamas fighters committed brutal crimes on 7 October. It's also not elusive that, by order of the Israeli regime, thousands of people who have done nothing wrong have been mercilessly slaughtered in Gaza. That's the truth. Israel says that it's the fault of Hamas that all those innocents have been slaughtered. That's not the truth. That's opinion, it's also propaganda. Israeli orders, Israeli military, Israeli bombs. Israel said it had no choice. No choice but to unfortunately slaughter thousands of children. That's not truth either. That's another opinion, another batch of propaganda.

It's not a numbers game. Hamas slaughtered hundreds of people in a few hours. Fact. Israel has slaughtered thousands of people over six weeks. Fact. Not a game. Israel is acting in self-defence. Opinion. Israel is going to destroy Hamas. That's not a fact, that's an aspiration.

There's a long history of conflict. That's a fact. The history should be taken into account, though in no way should it be used to justify what happened on October 7. That's my opinion. It's also my opinion that's you can't understand this, or any other conflict in the region, unless you know the history. Sharon oversaw the slaughter of civilians in two refugee camps in 1982. Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2006 and wrecked its economy. An Israeli murderer killed Rabin and prevented what was looking a lot like a good peace settlement in process. None of these facts, and lots of others, justify October 7. They might help to explain it without, even in the slightest way, justifying it. But if your inclination is to support Israel despite everything, you have some facts which you need to honestly confront, and you need to be able to separate facts from opinion and propaganda, whichever side you're on. There's a suspicion of a whiff around here that if you don't support Israel you support Hamas. That's just scurrilous and it's thoroughly schoolyard. And it's not honest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Nov 23 - 07:00 AM

Steve: There's a suspicion of a whiff around here that if you don't support Israel you support Hamas. That's just scurrilous and it's thoroughly schoolyard. And it's not honest.
I think you're making the same mistake you accuse others of.
It is not 'support Israel or support Hamas'. The choice should be noted as between 'Israel and Palestine', or between 'Netanyahu (or his government) and Hamas'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Nov 23 - 08:01 AM

I am impressed by robo's quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Nov 23 - 12:25 PM

You misread the last part of my post, Nigel. You are complaining about the same thing I'm complaining of. Incidentally, it's not especially wise to characterise the conflict as Israel vs Palestine either. There are plenty of Jews in Israel who hate Bibi because of what he's doing to Gaza, and there are are plenty of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who hate what Hamas does in both Israel and Gaza. I try to remember (and sometimes forget) to say "Israeli regime", not "Israel" - and never "Jews." Pointing the finger happens a lot in wars, and it's important to point accurately.

In connection with that, that's what I find abysmal about the Golda Meir remark. "The Arabs..." in its context in that quote manages to lump a whole ethnic group together as a homogenous mass. That's at the root of all racism, and, as I said before, try turning that round and saying "the Jews..." I find that quote ill-judged and less than impressive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Nov 23 - 03:26 PM

I believe we can read. Most of those protestations are ridiculous rants except in your own screwy skewed opinion.
Are you more succinct and eloquent than Golda?
I think not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Nov 23 - 06:04 PM

That is a personal attack that is beneath contempt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 04:49 AM

"Forcing us to kill their sons"? The devil made me do it, eh?

If this is the documentary on the history of modern Israel I recently watched on PBS America, it's very good: A Twice-Promised Land.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 06:02 AM

It's something of a shame that Golda Meir didn't see fit to consider how "the Arabs" might one day come to forgive Israel too. And she was far closer to 1948 than we are today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 07:43 AM

Interesting parallels between Golda Meir and Netanyahu. The Yom Kippur War in 1973, during which she was prime minister, effectively ended her political career, mainly because Israel was taken by surprise and was badly damaged by the attacks. That sort of echoes the severe intelligence failures that allowed the recent dreadful Hamas attack to take place. Many in Israel are hoping that Bibi's career will also end sooner rather than later, for that reason and, in his case, plenty of other reasons. She was just as dismissive of Palestinians as Netanyahu (she once said that there were no Palestinians, so her remark about "the Arabs..." was not an isolated one). Oddly, she was moved to tears by the sight of Palestinians being turned into fleeing refugees when Israel was formed, though her strong Zionism and nationalistic feelings managed to overcome that sympathy. Unlike Netanyahu, she did at least have peace in mind. Like most western countries, Israel always seems to manage to pick the wrong leaders at the wrong time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 07:57 AM

Biden has been very patient and guarded while honoring Israel as an ally. He is in fact older than Israel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 09:17 AM

There comes a time when even the most patient and supportive critical friend needs to say, stop doing that right now, because if you don't we'll stop helping you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 09:55 AM

Israeli espionage against the US is rampant for an ally.
Being an ally is not the paramount point.
It is the costs and benefits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 06:42 AM

Golda Meir didn't actually deny the existence of Palestinians. She saw that as referring to all those living in Palestine before Partition, Jewish Palestinians and Muslim or Christian Arab Palestinians, pointing out that until 1948 she'd been Palestinian herself, with a Palestinian passport.

There was a Zionist song with the line "Fight, fight, fight for Palestine" someone posted on the Cat years ago.

There'd be a lot to be said in favour of thinking in terms of Partition and Anti-Partition in the context of this conflict. If a two-state solution is the best that could be hoped for (very barely at that) in the present nightmare, that is very much a second best. In the long run an end to Partition must be the goal. It'd be far better if the term Palestine could be reserved for the whole region, with another word for the West Bank and Gaza entity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hamas attacks Israel - part II
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 07:45 AM

Very good perspective and history MOH.

Today over 70% of Israelis want Netanyahu gone.
Over 70% of Palestinians want peace and Hamas gone.

Once again those with little empathy and probable social psychopathy are the nefarious 20% causing most of the tragedy. This is my perspective and is not a provable historical fact.


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