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February 21, 2003

Starving in Gaza

Matthew Yglesias objects to my post on the Bethlehem Wall as analogous to Nazi deprivations of Jews. Now, I was being deliberately inflammatory and I'd expect strong reactions trying to outline differences.

But folks like Matt just want to dismiss the comparison by saying Israel has not launched mass murder of the Palestinian population. But aside from themore than 2300 Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli soldiers -- and note that this is three times more than Jews who have died due to suicide bombers-- there is this:

Over 700,000 people in Gaza alone, more than half the population, are dependent on Unrwa for food (up from a mere 11,000 two years ago). Average income has fallen by almost 80% in the same period and three-quarters of Palestinians now live on less than $2 a day. Unicef reports child malnutrition rates similar to those in the Congo and Zimbabwe.
Israel has locked 1.3 million Palestinians into essentially an open-air prison in the Gaza strip and left children to starve.

At what point will defenders of Israeli's government declare this regime an unacceptable horror?

Posted by Nathan at February 21, 2003 10:43 PM

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Comments

Being an honorable man, I'm sure you only forgot, not purposefully left out, two facts:
1. Prior to the beginning of the September 2000 war between Israel and the PA, Israel was the main source of income to the strip.
2. The PA initiated the war, thus cutting off its own source of income.

Clearly you are blaming Israel for actually closing border crossings with the entity it is in war with. How dare they. The utter thought. You also forget to mention Israel still lets some tens of thousands of Palestinians work in it, during lulls in the violence (that is, when the GSS is more successful than usual in stopping the attacks - the attempts never cease).
Well, you may have a point there. It has been too long since the occasional Israeli employer was murdered by his Palestinian employee, for the crime of hiring him. Also, successful suicide bombing is at an unacceptable low, isn't it?
Actually, neither of these is the point you have. The point in which you are correct is that the Palestinians are indeed subject to a "regime an unacceptable horror".

Yup, a regime that robs its own citizens. A regime in which any local commander can kidnap a girl, rape her, give her to his men to rape, and get away scot free. A regime which twists the minds of kindergarteners, inciting them to murder on a racial and religious basis. A regime in which no private enterprise is possible, because the governing cadre insists of having the monopoly on anything. A regime so uninterested in the welfare of its people, that it plunges them into war exactly when reconciliation, prosperity and freedom are about to break out. A regime in which homosexuals are hounded and may be killed out of hand, with impunity. A regime in which any who anger a member of the ruilng class may be charged as a collaborator with Israel and executed after 15 minutes (yes, minutes) of so-called trial. That is, of course, if they are not lynched first. In spite of the PA's death threats to journalists, there are numerous pictures documenting this.

Take all this horror away, and the Gaza strip will indeed be the Riviera of the Middle East.
Poor Palestinians. Instead of freedom and prosperity, they got Arafat and the Tunis gang. And their apologizers, who rub the salt in.

As to your calling the wall in Bethlehem the equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the apparent higher number of Palestinian casualties (remember the source, though - a dictatorship proven to be a liar many times over, one which deters journalists from reporting any negative fact about it on the pain of death), here's my response. Also, please do more justice to Matthew Yglesias' objection. It seems you are twisting his words. He objects not only on the count of the mass murder which Israel has not perpetrated, but also brings some NYT quoted examples about the life of the Palestinians. It does *not* resemble the life in a Ghetto. Worth a second read, people.

Posted by: Amos at February 23, 2003 03:16 AM

Thank you Amos.

I could not have illustrated the anti-Arab racism of Israel's defenders better than your post. The Palestinians are too barbaric to deserve basic rights so anything done to them is justified.

And the war is all one-sided, Sharon did nothing in provoking it. The Israeli government did nothing in shooting at crowds at the beginning of the uprising. And so on. Palestinians did in mass numbers but Israelis are all innocent victims:
From an article early in the intifada:

This week, the Arab political leadership accused the police in northern Israel of provoking the extreme violence that engulfed their community by resorting far too readily to the use of rubber-coated bullets instead of the nonlethal riot equipment usually deployed by police forces in democratic countries...The fact that nine Israeli Arabs are lying in fresh graves will not quickly or easily be forgotten by a community that numbers almost 20 percent of the country's total population.
There is so much talk about suicide bombers and so little about the civilians murdered by Israeli forces. And the refusal to recognize a connection, as if Palestinian deaths don't matter, as if they are not human, is exactly the Israeli racism driving the conflict.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 23, 2003 07:59 AM

Sorry to disappoint, Nathan. Seems you posted your prepared response without first taking heed of what I've written. Then again, maybe anyone who dislikes dictators and terrorists and has pity to those they tread on is a racist, in your book. Or you just like to fling the word around.

At no time did I call Palestinians inherently barbaric. I did mention murders, rapes, killing of Israelis and other such horrors. I also did say they could turn Gaza into the Riviera of the Middle East, were the horrors (Arafat & Co. and the miasma they brought with them) taken away, and did lament their haplessness at having Arafat (AKA you should know). The Israeli government who signed Oslo is actually guilty in inflicting Arafat on the Palestinians. I feel that my country owes them his removal at the least.
I, for one, would like nothing better than a Palestinian democracy, with all the liberties and freedoms of the United States, as my neighbor. Is that clear enough for you? Every Palestinian babe is not one iota lesser than you or I. However, the situation being what it is, these babes have been damaged by the dictatorship they're under, which makes this transition into the US of the Mid-East a bit more difficult. Nope, that's not racism. That's a crime. Perpetrator - dear uncle Yasser. Victims - Palestinian babes who could have been so much more had they been raised under a non-hateful/brainwashing/murdering regime.

Now, I'll do you the courtesy you did not do me, and actually show that I read what you wrote.

"And the war is all one-sided, Sharon did nothing in provoking it." Sharon visited Judaism holiest place, given to Arab custody by Israel. He did so with armed escort, for self evident reasons - even with more than a thousand police with him (an estimate not mine), he was attacked. Had he come alone... we saw what happened to the two unarmed soldiers in Ramallah, also what happened to Kobi Ishran and Yossrf Mandel. Maybe you're not familiar with the case. They were 13 and 14 years old kids. They went for a walk. They were captured by a mob, taken into a nearby cave, and slowly killed with stones. They were unrecognizable when found. But I digress.

"And the war is all one-sided, Sharon did nothing in provoking it."
How did you get it down so pat? Some months into the war, Palestinian minister Imad Falouji admitted that the war was planned since the Camp David talks, and that they waited for anything that might be seen as an excuse. Being aware to world news, you probably knew this already. Why you choose to ignore something which is so common knowledge is beyond me.

"The Israeli government did nothing in shooting at crowds at the beginning of the uprising."
Israeli police did shoot at Arab rioters at the beginning of the war. 13 were killed. A comission of inquiry studied the matter at length. It's hearings were televised and broadcast. All Israeli functionaries who had anything to do with it, from PM Barak down, were grilled on the stand. However, Arab riot leaders were not (I think this lack wasn't because of patronizing racism, but in order to heal the wounds, though). I don't recall the Israeli police ever shooting citizens to death before. Then again, they were never in such danger from Israeli citizens before. The rioters (useful site, that) did manage to kill one person (not for lack of trying - I know of at least one another who was left for dead), severely wound several others, burn buildings (government symbolic building mostly, which shows what they had in mind). Nothing much, you'll surely agree, especially if you're one of a pair of policemen facing a mob running towards them with clubs and rocks in their hand, murder in their eyes, yelling hate slogans, with burning buildings as background. Who wouldn't stop when ordered to with loudspeakers. And you just received the report that such mobs did griveous bodily harm to others already. Run of the mill to you, I'm sure. O wait, I misspoke earlier. Just remebered that the police indeed shot and killed citizens before, twice. Some 10 years ago the Israeli police were in situations of mortal danger, both from armed Jews. In both cases, the armed Jews were shot and killed. Now, that is something you probably didn't know before. Hope it enlightened you some.
I also talked with a person who was in the security forces sent to stop the mobs, a relative. He told me in no uncertain term that the mob was out to kill, which it did.

"There is so much talk about suicide bombers and so little about the civilians murdered by Israeli forces." Well, as I just showed, there was much talk, on the highest level. However, the comission found that there was an element of self defense here, what with the raging mobs, killing, attacks and all that.

"And the refusal to recognize a connection, as if Palestinian deaths don't matter, as if they are not human"
Hey, they were Palestinians? I just said they were Israeli citizens. That's as human as me. And the deaths did matter. Heck, if I were killed by the police, would they call the PM to testify? No way, Jose. But in this case, he was called and put in an extremely uncomfortable position, for all that the shooting was found to be justified. Oops, another correction: One policman was found guilty. He went to prison. If you had any other deaths in mind, such as non combatants used by terrorists as shields, for example, please let me know. Also to the "human" point, the death of a would be killer does indeed matter less. See my prior references to Jewish would be killers. Nationality does not make a difference in cases such as these, nor religion.

"exactly the Israeli racism driving the conflict."
Say what? I thought is was the often expressed notion in Arafat's speeches (in Arabic only, lest any non-Arab know about this), beginning in 1993 in South Africa (having just signed the Oslo accords), that he would free Palestine from the Zionists (us Jews here), from the sea to the river (all of Israel, that is). Again you show surprising lack of knowledge there. It has been in the papers the world over for some years. Read the speeches. Read the papers. Come on, you can surely do better then spout the occasional "racism", right?

Posted by: Amos at February 23, 2003 10:48 AM

To point out again, you managed to throw out the names of two Jews killed, yet all the Palestinians killed don't have names.

I of course never said that the Palestinian leadership was non-violent, but then I don't rule out violence against oppressors. Oh, and to add one more point that will make blind defenders of Israel crazy, those oppressors are not Sharon individually but the whole Israeli population that votes to keep them starving and oppressed. In a democracy, every voter is a ruler, which is why I've never found it so much more henious some "civilian" who may vote for the worst anti-Palestinian measures versus some supposedly justified killing of a teenage draftee who may be a Peace Now supporter.

And to repeat-- three times as many Palestinians have been killed as Israelis.

As for Sharon on the Temple Mount, the idea that he needed an army of a 1000 soldiers for protection is ridiculous. It was a deliberate provocation and was seen as such by everyone.

To deny it in some fantasy of self-defense just makes everything else you've said lack credibility.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 23, 2003 11:59 AM

Nathan, thanks for the patience. However, I see that for all the sources I quoted and the evidence I brought, you don't refute or bring countering evidence, only nitpick and repeat your mantras. Out of some 3000 dead I name two names, and because they're both the names of Jewish boys, you claim this somehow represents callousness towards Palestinian lives.
Well, here's the deal. I'll give you one Palestinian name, and you still won't like it. The name is also of a child. Momhammad al-Dura. Yes, it is the poor kid who on the first days of the war was killed by automatic rifle fire, the whole thing shot on camera. While at first it was not certain who killed the poor boy, later investigations by Israelis and Germans ascertained he could not have been shot by Israeli soldiers, who at the time of the battle were far away, under fire, lacked the motive for firing at the poor kid, and most important of all, didn't have the angle to take a shot at him, even if they wanted to.
On the other hand, the kid and his father were completely surrounded by armed Palestinians. The cameraman was a Palestinian. The shots were fired from a point very close to him, maybe even over his shoulder, from the way the camera jumps at the moment the lethal shots were fired. Also, from the pattern of automatic fire on the wall, it is clear that the shooter was very close to al-Dura and his father - automatic fire from a distance would have spread all over the place. Here is a site which documents the incident very thoroughly.

Conclusion? Mohammed al-Dura was murdered by Palestinians. Those who murdered him exploited the death in order to cause much more bloodshed, and bring suffering to both Israeli and Palestinian people.
Since the PA released these photos, the guilt for Mohammad al-Dura's death must be laid at Arafat's feet. Whoever killed the poor boy did it either on his behest, or felt empowered and free to do so because of the culture of hate and death Arafat have been nurturing in the PA for almost 10 years now.

And you still don't see the problem, Nathan? O well, from the lack of fact in your postings, it seems that there are some of these you would just as soon not see.

"As for Sharon on the Temple Mount, the idea that he needed an army of a 1000 soldiers for protection is ridiculous. It was a deliberate provocation".
Nathan, what will become of you? Twisting quotes? Just cut and paste, that's the surest method. Sharon didn't take soldiers to the Temple Mount. He took police. Now, because there were so many you call this provocation. But the fact is they were attacked. Their number did not deter the mob. Had Sharon gone up to Judaism holiest spot alone, wouldn't he have been attacked? Many in that mob yelled their hate at him. He needed protection to visit that most holy place to the Jews. How many to protect him? One? too few. Ten? Twenty? Fifty? Clearly a thousand (if the number is correct - maybe you'd like to check a fact for once, Nathan) was a show of strength - and why shouldn't it be? As I repeated before, it's Judaism's holiest spot, in the heart of the capital of Israel; also, it was such a large number as to deter all potential attackers. Yet reality shows they were not deterred. They would have eaten 10, 20, 50 or a 100 police alive. The thousand had to evacuate Sharon in a hurry.
As to the provocation factor, Sharon took care not to enter any of the mosques built on the Temple Mount. Had he wanted provocation, this would have been the one sure method to achieve it. Well, if official Israeli presence in the one place in the world most holy to Jews is provocation to attack and murder by Palestinian Arabs, something is rotten here. This never happened before Arafat took over the PA, and with it the de-facto running of the Temple Mount. Again I must remind that the PA admitted publicly that it planned the war, wanted the war, was ready for the war and was gunning for an excuse to start the war. Care to comment on this, Nathan?

"To deny it in some fantasy of self-defense just makes everything else you've said lack credibility"
O, so you're claiming Sharon does not need protection from an Arab crowd, which is incited to a mob on a regular basis by calls from the mosques? I see you mentioned LGF on your site. That site brings a nice weekly summary of the common cries for genocide by Muslim clerics in mosques. Jews, Christians, infidels, sons of pigs and monkeys, what have you. Worth a look.
Many Arabs have voiced in the media a desire to slaughter "that pig Sharon". At the time, Sharon was a government minister (I forget which). Should he have gone unprotected? I already established that an effective protection would have necessitated police by the hundreds. Let's assume he took a thousand. A minister of Israel enters Judaism holiest site, in the capital of Israel, with a guard of a thousand police. He needs guard, there in the heart of Israel, because that spot is occupied by Muslim Arabs in the tens of thousands, who hate his guts. He should have needed no protection. Yet he did, as events showed.

"To deny it in some fantasy of self-defense just makes everything else you've said lack credibility"
Hey, because I don't agree 100% with you on this point, all the facts I raised and you failed to refute are nothing? How more lame can you get, Nathan? What next? You'll point your finger at me and yell "I win, you lose"? I expected more from a person with your credentials. Guess I was wrong. You didn't have the patience to debate points and present facts after all.

What I don't understand is your reluctance to find a viable solution, you know. You insist that Israel open its borders to all attackers, because these attackers hold the entire Palestinian populace hostage as a giant live shield. The Palestinians suffer horribly under Arafat and his thugs. Why do you prefer the deaths of Israelis as a method of partial reprieve to the suffering for the Palestinians to the removal of the dictator Arafat, his thugs and his culture of hate from the scene, thus bringing full reprieve to the Palestinians, and with it a real chance for peace and democracy in this little corner of the Middle East?
Must the Palestinians forever remain under dictatorship? Do you claim that a dictator is a true representive of the people (a contradiction in terms, actually), or that the Palestinians are simply somehow not deseriving to live in the comfort of a US type democracy? Would you deny others what you enjoy? Are you guilty of the patronization towards Palestinians which you earlier hinted I was guilty of?

Posted by: Amos at February 23, 2003 04:24 PM

Amos, I was in Israel and the West Bank in 1999. It was clear that peace was working. But the Israelis continued to build their settlements and refused at Camp David to pull back to pre-1967 borders, or even create a contiguous state even on the West Bank.

Frankly, Sharon should need bodyguards. He's a butcher and a war criminal from the 1982 Lebanon War. He was asked in the name of peace not to go up on the Temple Mount and he did so anyways. Nothing is clearer that, at a time of maximum tension and a peace deal being negotiated, he pushed against peace and the intifada was launched in protest.

As for "staged killings", who knows -- I'm not arguing there aren't cynical butchers among the Palestinians also -- but 2000+ Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israelis are plenty.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 23, 2003 07:40 PM

Nathan, you still don't explain why you want the Palestininas to remain under a dictator, one which you still have to disapprove of.

As to the rest:
"But the Israelis continued to build their settlements".
According to the Oslo accords, which Arafat signed, they were entitled to do so. Indeed, during that time, the Palestininas built a hundred settlements more in those same areas.

"refused at Camp David to pull back to pre-1967 borders, or even create a contiguous state even on the West Bank".
Barak's offer was one which the Palestinians never got before, and astounded the Israelis with its generosity. Offiring to give up half the capital city of the nation? Also, while not pulling back to pre-1967 borders, the deal was pulling back from more than 90% of the area, and giving the remaining percents of land in pre-1967 Israel. Any leader willing to deal in good faith would have taken that offer. Maps I have seen were of a contiguous state on the West Bank. Ex-president Clinton and his aides who were at the talks confirmed all this. The Palestinian dictatorship denies. Who would you belive?

"Sharon should need bodyguards. He's a butcher and a war criminal from the 1982 Lebanon War"
I recall the Time magazine saying much the same thing, then losing to Sharon in a libel suit in an American court. Also, it is conspicuous that you never refer to other, proven butchers from that time in Lebanon, namely Yasser Arafat, and Elias Hobeika, who actually carried out the massacre you are accusing Sharon of. Maybe you don't hold them up to the same standard, what with being Arabs and all. Surely you are not biased.

"He was asked in the name of peace not to go up on the Temple Mount and he did so anyways"
You are repeating the motif here. An Israeli member of government must not go to Judasism's holiest spot, in the middle of the state's capital, lest the wogs make noise? Give the Arabs more credit, will you? Had Arafat been going for peace, nothing would have happened. As later confessed, he was itching for war. If not this, his minister admitted, he would have found another excuse.

"the intifada was launched in protest."
Already proven to be false, out of the mouths of the Palestinians themselves. Are you calling them liars?

"As for "staged killings", who knows -- I'm not arguing there aren't cynical butchers among the Palestinians also -- but 2000+ Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israelis are plenty."
Sure they're plenty. Once a democratic Palestinian state is in order, they'll be able to bring Arafat to justice for what he did to their youths. Sending them to clash with the Israeli army along - and as live shields of - armed terrorists was tantamount to signing their death warrants. Arafat never hidden the fact that he wanted a well televised war, and he freely spilled the blood of Palestinian brainwashed youths to do this. The man obviously deserves a special place in Hell, all for himself.
Yet you have not criticized him, nor called him dictator or terrorist, nor called for his replacement in favor of a semblance of democracy. Are you *for* dictators who rule by the power of the gun, Nathan?

Posted by: Amos at February 24, 2003 12:57 AM

http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=440

Israel is responsible for some 733 Palestinian noncombatant deaths, while Palestinians have killed 546 Israeli noncombatants. Over 54 percent of the Palestinians killed were actively involved in fighting – and this does not include stone-throwers or “unknowns”. And Palestinians are directly responsible for the deaths of at least 253 of their own number – more than one out of every eight Palestinians killed.

On the Israeli side, 80 percent of those killed have been noncombatants. While Israelis account for about 27 percent of the total “Intifada” fatalities, they represent over 43 percent of the noncombatant victims.

Breakdown by Gender
Women and girls account for 31 percent of all Israelis killed in the conflict, and almost 40 percent of the Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians.

Palestinian fatalities, in contrast, have been consistently and overwhelmingly (over 95 percent) male; even when combatants (almost all of whom have been male) are removed from consideration, just 8 percent of Palestinians killed by Israel have been female.

.........Nathan...you are either deliberately ignorant or biased...or unfortunately dumb.....

check out the statistics...Arabs TARGET civillians..Israel doesnt.

Posted by: ploome at February 24, 2003 12:26 PM

http://www.insomnomaniac.com/archives/000051.html

Of the total Palestinian casualties, a full 12% are the suicide bombers themselves, accused "collaborators" executed by their own people, and people killed in intra-Palestinian fighting. That's 200 people killed with no assistance whatsoever from the Israelis.

- Israel has been responsible for killing 52 Palestinian noncombatant females, while Palestinians have killed 187 Israeli noncombatant females – more than three times as many.

- Over 95% of Palestinian fatalities have been male.

- While Israeli fatalities in the al-Aqsa conflict have consisted of 80 percent noncombatants, Palestinian fatalities have consisted of more combatants than noncombatants.

- Over 30% of Israeli noncombatants killed have been 45 or older, compared with only 10% of Palestinian noncombatants.

- Correcting for distortions, we can arrive at a figure of 617 Palestinian noncombatants killed by Israel, compared to 471 Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians.

- Palestinian fatalities, including those of noncombatants, have shown extremely regular age distributions. In combination with the fact that almost all Palestinians killed in this conflict have been male – and absent any other reasonable explanation for such a non-random pattern of fatalities – this suggests that large numbers of Palestinian men and teenaged boys made a choice to confront Israeli forces, even after many of their compatriots had been killed in such confrontations. The overall pattern of Palestinian deaths is completely inconsistent with accusations that most of these fatalities resulted from random Israeli attacks on residential areas, mixed-sex crowds at roadblocks, or other ordinary civilian gatherings.


Yes folks, that means that statistically, Palestinians are killing women, children and older people, randomly and purposefully, while meeting their own deaths largely as a result of choices they make, not random butchery by the Israelis.

Posted by: ploome at February 24, 2003 12:31 PM

...........BUT....I am sure no will facts influence you Nathan....

and Nathan, this ability....to totally and completely ignore any FACTS which disturb your bias, is characteristic of the ANTISEMITE...

:o)...

Posted by: ploome at February 24, 2003 12:38 PM

When people get huffy that others are ignoring "facts", you sort of know that you are dealing with ideologues, since "facts" are what are usually being debated.

You folks can't even pay attention to what I say. First you say I don't acknowlege that like Sharon, "it is conspicuous that you never refer to other, proven butchers" among the Palestinians, when I clearly noted "I'm not arguing there aren't cynical butchers among the Palestinians also."

Yes, those being occupied and resisting are usually more likely to be deliberate in putting themselves in danger of death-- that's the nature of being penned up. But every Palestinian death is based on an illegal Occupation, so every Palestinian death happening in the West Bank or Gaza is as unjustified as Israeli civilian deaths. Those Palestinians shouldn't have to be fighting for their lives-- refusing to live on their knees rather than fight on their feet does not turn them into rightful targets for Israeli killing.

So the numbers comparisons you use just aren't valid for me-- which is my point about the lack of usefulness of ranting about "facts" when you need to justify them, not bang the table and insult people to make them more real when they are not.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 24, 2003 01:58 PM

you say...

" But every Palestinian death is based on an illegal Occupation, so every Palestinian death happening in the West Bank or Gaza is as unjustified as Israeli civilian deaths. "

but the 'occupation' is NOT illegal.

if it were illegal...like Iraq occupation of Kuwait...the UN would issue a resolution under CHAPTER 7...whiich is ENFORCEABLE....

instead of CHAPTER 6, which is a RECCOMENDATION

even resolution 242 recognizes, permanent borders are to be the result of NEGOTIATIONS...and not the pre 1967 cease fire lines...

buy a clue..

Posted by: ploome at February 24, 2003 02:48 PM

- Israel has been responsible for killing 52 Palestinian noncombatant females,

while Palestinians have killed 187 Israeli noncombatant females – more than three times as many.

........and somehow you managed to TOTALLY IGNORE the obvious....

Posted by: ploome at February 24, 2003 02:51 PM

In all the talk of Iraq refusing to abide by the will of the international community, this resolution telling Israel to end the Occupation and withdraw from Palestinian cities seems to have been forgotten.

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 6: The UN General Assembly in a resolution on Monday expressed concern over Israel's occupation of Palestinian cities and called for an immediate end to the occupation.

Following a daylong debate on Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recent report on events in Jenin and other Palestinian cities, the UN General Assembly also decried all acts of violence, terror, provocation, incitement and destruction in Israel.

The Assembly passed the resolution 114-4 against. The four countries which opposed the resolution were the US, Israel, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. There were 11 abstentions.

The resolution also called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from densely populated Palestinian areas to positions held before Sept 2000. Support was expressed for the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, the reform of Palestinian institutions and the holding of democratic and free elections.

The United Nations Assembly also stressed that all concerned must ensure the safety of civilians and respect the universally accepted norms of international humanitarian law.

Mr Annan produced his report in response to a General Assembly resolution adopted in May requesting that he base the document on "available resources and information".

The resolution also blasted Israel's refusal to cooperate with a fact-finding mission. The mission was proposed by the secretary-general and backed by the Security Council.

Doesn't sound like a recommendation to me. Of course, it doesn't come out of the Security Council where the US would have vetoed it, but this resolution says far more about where the overwhelming global view of the illegality of the Occupation stands.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 24, 2003 07:42 PM

For people interested in the casualty statistics, I'd suggest going to the B'Tselem website, which breaks them down month by month and in various other ways. They do it for both Israelis and Palestinians. Human Rights Watch also has interesting material--they are applauded when they condemn Saddam and others, but attacked or ignored when they criticize Israel.

The problem we have here is that everyone agrees that Palestinian terror groups target civilians. They openly admit it. Israel, like other modern Western countries, pretends it would never do anything so barbaric, so it becomes a matter of debate. There is something to be said for hypocrisy as the tribute that vice pays to virtue, but it does automatically stack the deck in favor of the hypocritical side of the war in an argument like this.

As for Sharon, his first major war crime was in 1953, at Kibya or Qibya, or however one spells it. Israeli forces also dropped cluster bombs and white phosphorus on Beirut, as I recall. And anyone who would cite the Time magazine case as a serious defence of Sharon can't be taken too seriously. Time lied about claiming to have evidence about Sharon when they didn't. But no one in his right mind thinks that you could send Phalangist troops into a Palestinian refugee camp and not have atrocities occur. It'd be like arming the KKK with machine guns and sending them in to control the LA riots several years ago.

Sharon doesn't openly proclaim that he is a murderer, but that doesn't make him innocent.

As for the occupation, even if there were legal justification for it there would be no justification for the settlements. If Israeli settlers are going to live in occupied lands, then what we have is apartheid.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 26, 2003 09:36 AM

Nathan you say..

"Doesn't sound like a recommendation to me."

well thats a function of your defective comprehension...nothing I can do about it.

SC resolution 242 also calls for....

http://www.un.org/documents/sc/res/1967/scres67.htm

1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

dont see you whining the arabs havent lived up to their responsibilities.

....by the way, the arab response to 242 were was the Khartoum conference....

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/khartoum.htm

the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely

no peace with Israel,

no recognition of Israel,

no negotiations with it

Posted by: ploome at February 26, 2003 09:54 AM

the 'legal' status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza is

DISPUTED

"occupted" is propaganda, which many people have bought.

http://www.cjnews.com/pastissues/02/apr18-02/editorial/editorial.htm

Last month, Annan denounced Israel's occupation of the lands it seized in the Six Day War as "illegal." The use of the term by the secretary general was not only infelicitous and inaccurate, it was dangerous.

[]

In a subsequent letter to the editor of the Times, Annan's spokesperson, Frederic Eckhard clarified that the use of the term "illegal" referred to "Israel's failure," according to the secretary general, "in the five years that have since elapsed, to accept the legal obligations that the status of an occupying power carries with it" and not to the occupation itself.

......read carefully, we can see you have difficulty with comprehension....

"the use of the therm "illegal" referred....NOT to the occuption itself"

so not even an institution as biased as the UN will consider the "occupation" illegal

Posted by: ploome at February 26, 2003 10:08 AM

the hallmark of an intellectually dishonest lightweight, is how you now manage to totally ignore my refutation of your lies and obfuscation.

your just a biased antisemite...pontificating on this pathetic, mostly ignored weblog, to people who, on the whole, seem more uninformed than you.

feh

Posted by: ploome at February 27, 2003 11:39 AM

Jeez-- some people just don't enjoy having the last word :) If the proof is strong, you don't need a refutation. If not, readers are smart enough to judge themselves after a while.

I didn't see a real response to the UN General Assembly resolution posted. Israel still occupies Palestinian cities so they are ignoring the resolution.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at February 27, 2003 11:48 AM

Ploome, if your argument is true and the West Bank and Gaza are not occupied territories, then Israel is one of the worst racist dictatorships in modern times, where millions of inhabitants are held without nationality and without any political rights for generations. Imagine a state in the U.S. where residents have no American citizenship and no voting rights.

Posted by: Peter at February 27, 2003 06:41 PM

Until 1967, there were no 'palestinian people'.....

Yesha was illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt. The claims of Jordan and Egypt to Judea and Samaria and GAza was recognized ONLY by Pakistan and Great Britian.....no other country.

Following the 1967 war, Jordan and Egypt REFUSED to take back this territory, or negotiate peace with Israel..see Khartoum Conference.

To this day, the arabs and the now "palestinians" refuse to accept a real peace and defined borders and to terminate all claims towards Israel.

Unilateral withdrawl by the Israelis is not an option. Besides there are not any PREVIOUS BORDERS to withdraw to. The so called 1948 and 1967 "borders" are cease fire lines....NOT borders.

Have you seen the PLO/PA Charter..?

http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm

The agenda of the PLO/PA is not a second 'arab state' in the Mandate Palestine...rather the eleimination of Israel.

THats why these 'palestinian arabs' have been deliberately kept as a bargaining tool, by the arabs.

And really....you as so over the top....

"worst racist dictatorships in modern times"

Is that why no arab country wil give citizenship to 'palestinian' arabs?

http://www.arts.mcgill.ca/MEPP/PRRN/papers/sayigh2.htlm

http://www.nahrelbared.org/english/demographics/economics/ownership.htm

http://www.iht.com/articles/71078.html

and more about this created 'refugee' problem

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/62c13fb98d54fe240525672700581383/ec8de7912121fce5052565b1006b5152!OpenDocument

Chapter III
REFUGEES

REFUGEES IN ARAB COUNTRIES

13. An accurate statement of the number of genuine refugees resulting from the war in Palestine is unlikely to be provided now or in the future.

NUMBERS OF REFUGEES

18. The former Trans-Jordan and the portion of Palestine remaining in Arab hands and now annexed to the Hashimite Kingdom of the Jordan received the greatest influx of refugees of any of the countries adjacent to Israel -- probably more than half of all the refugees. For various reasons, the largest number of fictitious names on the ration lists pertain to refugees in this area. All earlier attempts at a close census of those entitled to relief have been frustrated, but a comprehensive survey, now under way, is achieving worthwhile results in casting up names of dead people for which rations are still drawn, fraudulent claims regarding numbers of dependents (it is alleged that it is a common practice for refugees to hire children from other families at census time), and in eliminating duplications where families have two or more ration cards. The census, though stubbornly resisted, will eliminate many thousands from the lists of refugees now in receipt of rations. The number on lists in Jordan at 31 August was 485,000 with 430,000 rations distributed.

http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/p1.htm

"WHO IS A PALESTINE REFUGEE?
"Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. "

no other 'refugee' in the world is defined by a 2 year residence requirement, as a NATIONAL. These people were migrants, and this definition proves it. This whole 'refugee' issue is bogus.

Posted by: ploome at February 28, 2003 09:55 AM

why are people "starving in Gaza"?

http://forbes.com/forbes/2003/0317/134.html

according to Forbes Magazine, Yasir Arafat is worth over 300 million dollars..

Posted by: ploome at February 28, 2003 07:17 PM

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