Israel and Hamas
Glad to know that someone else sees things in Israel more or less the way I do. If someone shoots rockets at civilians, then the answer is to attack those people until you force them do your will-namely, stop shooting rockets at a bare minimum.
Israel's Defense Minister calls this a "war to the bitter end" although you can take that a few different ways. Certainly Israel will be at war with Islamic nitwits until the end of time unless they nuke all their neighbors, but one wonders if this sort of thing is grandstanding for the press, or if Israel seriously intends to go in and clean out the rat's nest that is the Gaza Strip.
Among other things, Hamas's ability to take control of the Gaza Strip and use it as a base for strikes against Israel bodes poorly for a real forward movement in terms of the creation of the eventual state of Palestine. As the Wall Street Journal observes, Israel cannot afford to allow the West Bank to be used in this manner, and cannot trust the Palestinians to NOT permit loons like Hamas to use an truly sovereign Palestine as a base for terrorist operations against Israel. Hence it is truly in the interests of the Palestinian people to repudiate Hamas and to allow Israel to crush it and permit a more representative and rational organization to assume control.
After all, what is Hamas's purpose? To "raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned."
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?
"This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.""Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. "Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know."
"Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed."
"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."Who would want a neighbor like that? Is it any surprise that Israel is done playing games? There's a summarized timeline of the current spate of fighting here, and another here. What's amusing is the number of stories that have figures for Palestinian casualties, freely provided by Hamas (without independant verification) but you have to scrounge to find numbers of rockets fired into Israel or number of casualties inflicted. This story gives some numbers, but I can't find the answer to some of the basic questions of this conflict. After all, if some idiots in the press and world leaders are criticizing Israel for "disproportionate" response, then what are the numbers? Or are we supposed to just take their word that it's "disproprtionate"? At least some outlets are recognizing that Hamas is shooting at Israel, but carefully limit reports of Israeli casualties to "since December 24th" or "since the truce expired". How many rockets and mortars were fired during the "truce" and to what effect? How many before the "truce"? After some Goggle-fu, I found a partial answer in a Canadian news story, all the way down at the bottom where there is an acknowledgement that "according to Israel's Foreign Ministry, 17 people have been killed in attacks from Gaza in 2008, including nine civilians and eight soldiers. Six of the dead were killed by rockets." Yet another instance of media bias, which is so unsuprising it hardly bears remarking on.
The Israelis are of the opinion that this hubbub is sponsored by Iran for Iran's purposes. While everyone operating in reality is keenly away that Hizbollah is Iamnutjob's sock puppet, the case is less clear-cut with Hamas. Hamas is a Sunni organization intending to set up a Sunni Muslim Brotherhood-inspired shari-governed state to replace Israel after they kill all the Israelis. (Don't believe me, I linked to their founding and governing document above). Iran wants to see Shia Islamic revolution engulf the Middle East. But don't be fooled by a simplistic analysis of sectarian loyalties in this game. Enemy of my enemy is a time-honored principle in the Middle East (for precisely as long as is convenient). It would be hard to pin down proof short of the Israelis capturing intact rockets with shipping documents pointing to Iran, as has been done by US forces in Iraq. However, it's plausible and in line with Iran's usual methods.
Oh, and the quote at the top of this entry?
Barrack Hussein Obama, Prez-Elect. It's a funny world, isn't it, when we are agreeing on something.