Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gaza - I/P conflict

Nick Palmer - member of Labour Friends of Israel:
I've been a member of Labour Friends of Israel for a long time, for a reason unconnected with any religious, ethnic or constituency factors. My mother worked for UNRRA, the wartime organisation which helped the victims of Nazism find homes. Appalled by the horrors, she was convinced that Jews needed a safe haven, and when I went into politics I promised to do my best to see that Britain didn't do anything that harmed Israelis. I'm now a member of the LFI executive.

Nonetheless, sometimes friends need to tell you when you've gone too far. This is one of those times. Israeli policy towards Gaza is wrong in principle, erratic in practice and now damaging to longer-term peace prospects.

Amjad Atallah and Daniel Levy
It will get worse – whenever it wasn't getting better it has always gotten worse.

For anyone to believe that this time everything will be different, they would have to be incredibly optimistic or foolish. The most likely script will be a variation on previous wars. Israel will "punish" the Arabs in Gaza as they have never been hurt before. Hamas will find ways to attack Israelis, either through rockets or through attacks inside Israel. If there is a ground war, many more civilians will die.

Once some days have passed and each side takes stock, they will begin looking for an exit strategy. If the Bush administration follows past protocol, it will encourage Israel to prolong the war in the hopes of achieving a "knock-out" blow.

At the end, a shaky return to the status quo will take place, each side will declare victory, and everyone will have lost. Israel will still have a Hamas-run Gaza Strip as its neighbour, and a more angry one to boot, Palestinians will have hundreds - if not thousands - of new graves, and hatred of the US throughout the Arab and Muslims worlds will have received a fresh boost.

So why not change the script?

The US should step in now and help negotiate a ceasefire that can achieve those goals that are consistent with American, Israeli, and Palestinian security interests, ending the violence and lifting the siege on Gaza. A third-party monitoring mechanism should be established that can work with Israel and Hamas to ensure compliance with the agreement. There is a precedent for this - in 1996, following the disastrous Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" operation in Lebanon, a monitoring group consisting of the US, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and France was instituted. Read on...


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Gert said...

"AHMADINEJAD": I'll allow this in the name of freedom of speech. Prior experience with commenters like you is that they tend to repost the same message over and over again. This will not be tolerated here.

Re-posting of the same material on any of the blog posts of this blog will lead to these copies to be deleted and may lead to you being permanently banned from this blog. No exceptions.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

I don't see the US stepping in, and negotiating a cease fire.

I'm not in any way saying both sides are equally guilty. Israel's response is not against Hamas, but the civilian population. Both sides fire on civilians. That shows similarity between Zionism and Islamism.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Gert said...


Many Gazans aren't "Islamists", hell, quite a few of them are secular.

In this context, "Islamism" is just another demonising term: what do Hamas have to do with the Global Jihadists? Nothing...


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