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Author Topic: "The Cult of the Occupation" or The International Media Coverage of Israel  (Read 1699 times)

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Offline RoenTopic starter

Disclaimer(s):
A. Long read ahead. It is, but at the very least I can assure you it is a very well written read.
B. According to the spirit of annonymity here in the E community, I've kept my personal information private for the last five years I've been a part of this community. I respect everyone's right to selective ignorance regarding my life. However, I'd feel negligent posting this without noting that I am indeed from Israel, of the left wing persuasion. I feel that no information or opinion should be taken without careful consideration of its source (or, at least, its courier).
C. I have my own reservations regarding the article below, but I agree with enough of it to feel like it should be said, or at least considered.

I happened upon this piece on FB, been shared by some of my more politically savvy friends. I found it really enlightening on some aspects, and wanted to share it with you lovely bunch.
 

The Ideological Roots of Media Bias Against Israel / Matti Fridman
[Winter- 2015]

Matti Friedman speaking at the BICOM annual dinner, 26 January 2015.
On 26 January 2015 the former AP reporter Matti Friedman delivered the keynote speech at BICOM’s annual dinner in London. Expanding on a widely-noted argument first set out in Tablet and The Atlantic, Friedman spoke about how the media dissect and magnify Israel’s flaws while purposely erasing those of its enemies. He spoke about a fashionable and extravagant disgust for Israel among many in the West, and the rise of a ‘cult of the Occupation’ which positions Jewish arrogance and perfidy at the heart of all the problems of the Middle East.


One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbour, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their 30s – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – ‘Remove your belt!’ ‘Lift up your shirt!’ The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognise this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 per cent of the world’s surface become the focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylised symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers. Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press (AP), between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the 50-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This is representative of the industry as a whole.

*

In early 2009, to give one fairly routine example of an editorial decision of the kind I mean, I was instructed by my superiors to report a second-hand story taken from an Israeli newspaper about offensive t-shirts supposedly worn by Israeli soldiers. We had no confirmation of our own of the story’s veracity, and one doesn’t see much coverage of things US Marines or British infantrymen have tattooed on their chests or arms. And yet t-shirts worn by Israeli soldiers were newsworthy in the eyes of one of the world’s most powerful news organisations. This was because we sought to hint or say outright that Israeli soldiers were war criminals, and every detail supporting that portrayal was to be seized upon. Much of the international press corps covered the t-shirt story. At around the same time, several Israeli soldiers were quoted anonymously in a school newsletter speaking of abuses they had supposedly witnessed while fighting in Gaza; we wrote no fewer than three separate stories about this, although the use of sources whose identity isn’t known to reporters is banned for good reason by the AP’s own in-house rules. This story, too, was very much one that we wanted to tell. By the time the soldiers came forward to say they hadn’t actually witnessed the events they supposedly described, and were trying to make a point to young students about the horrors and moral challenges of warfare, it was, of course, too late.

Also in those same months, in early 2009, two reporters in our bureau obtained details of a peace offer made by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinians several months before, and deemed by the Palestinians to be insufficient. The offer proposed a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in a shared Jerusalem. This should have been one of the year’s biggest stories. But an Israeli peace offer and its rejection by the Palestinians didn’t suit our story. The bureau chief ordered both reporters to ignore the Olmert offer, and they did, despite a furious protest from one of them, who later termed this decision ‘the biggest fiasco I’ve seen in 50 years of journalism.’ But it was very much in keeping not only with the practice at the AP, but in the press corps in general. Soldiers’s vile t-shirts were worth a story. Anonymous and unverifiable testimonies of abuses were worth three. A peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister to the Palestinian president was not to be reported at all.

Vandalism of Palestinian property is a story. Neo-Nazi rallies at Palestinian universities or in Palestinian cities are not – I saw images of such rallies suppressed on more than one occasion. Jewish hatred of Arabs is a story. Arab hatred of Jews is not. Our policy, for example, was not to mention the assertion in the Hamas founding charter that Jews were responsible for engineering both world wars and the Russian and French revolutions, despite the obvious insight this provides into the thinking of one of the most influential actors in the conflict.

100 houses in a West Bank settlement are a story. 100 rockets smuggled into Gaza are not. The Hamas military build-up amid and under the civilian population of Gaza is not a story. But Israeli military action responding to that threat – that is a story, as we all saw this summer. Israel’s responsibility for the deaths of civilians as a result – that’s a story. Hamas’s responsibility for those deaths is not. Any reporter from the international press corps in Israel, whether he or she works for the AP, Reuters, CNN, the BBC, or elsewhere, will recognise the examples I’ve cited here of what is newsworthy and what is not as standard operating procedure.

In my time in the press corps I saw, from the inside, how Israel’s flaws were dissected and magnified, while the flaws of its enemies were purposely erased. I saw how the threats facing Israel were disregarded or even mocked as figments of the Israeli imagination, even as these threats repeatedly materialised. I saw how a fictional image of Israel and of its enemies was manufactured, polished, and propagated to devastating effect by inflating certain details, ignoring others, and presenting the result as an accurate picture of reality. Lest we think this is something that has never happened before, we might remember Orwell’s observation about journalism from the Spanish Civil War: ‘Early in life,’ he wrote, ‘I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. (…) I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what had happened but of what ought to have happened according to various “party lines.”’ That was in 1942.

Over time, I came to understand that the malfunctions I was witnessing, and in which I was playing a part, were not limited to the AP. I saw that they were rather part of a broader problem in the way the press functioned, and in how it saw its job. The international press in Israel had become less an observer of the conflict than a player in it. It had moved away from careful explanation and toward a kind of political character assassination on behalf of the side it identified as being right. It valued a kind of ideological uniformity from which you were not allowed to stray. So having begun with limited criticism of certain editorial decisions, I now found myself with a broad critique of the press.

Eventually, however, I realised that even the press wasn’t the whole story. The press was playing a key role in an intellectual phenomenon taking root in the West, but it wasn’t the cause, or not the only cause – it was both blown on a certain course by the prevailing ideological winds, and causing those winds to blow with greater force. Many journalists would like you to believe that the news is created by a kind of algorithm – that it’s a mechanical, even scientific process in which events are inserted, processed, and presented. But of course the news is an imperfect and entirely human affair, the result of interactions between sources, reporters, and editors, all of whom bear the baggage of their background and who reflect, as we all do to some extent, the prejudices of their peers.

In the aftermath of last summer’s Gaza war, and in light of events in Europe in recent months, it should be clear that something deep and toxic is going on. Understanding what that is, it seems to me, will help us understand something important not only about journalism but about the Western mind and the way it sees the world.

What presents itself as political criticism, as analysis, or as journalism, is coming to sound more and more like a new version of a much older complaint – that Jews are troublemakers, a negative force in world events, and that if these people, as a collective, could somehow be made to vanish, we would all be better off. This is, or should be, a cause for alarm, and not only among people sympathetic to Israel or concerned with Jewish affairs. What is in play right now has less to do with the world of politics than with the worlds of psychology and religion, and less to do with Israel than with those condemning Israel.

The occupation of the West Bank, with which I opened, would seem to be at the heart of the story, the root cause, as it were, of the conflict portrayed as the most important on earth. A few words, then, about this occupation.

The occupation was created in the 1967 Mideast War. The occupation is not the conflict, which of course predates the occupation. It is a symptom of the conflict, a conflict that would remain even if the symptom were somehow solved. If we look at the West Bank, the only Palestinian area currently occupied by Israel, and if we include Jerusalem, we see that the conflict in these areas claimed 60 lives last year – Palestinian and Israeli.

An end to this occupation would free Palestinians from Israeli rule, and free Israelis from ruling people who do not wish to be ruled. Observers of the Middle East in 2015 understand, too, that an end to the occupation will create a power vacuum that will be filled, as all power vacuums in the region have been, not by the forces of democracy and modernity, which in our region range from weak to negligible, but by the powerful and ruthless, by the extremists. This is what we’ve learned from the unravelling of the Middle East in recent years. This is what happened in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt, and before that in Gaza and southern Lebanon. My home in Jerusalem is within an easy day’s drive of both Aleppo and Baghdad. Creating a new playground for these forces will bring the black-masked soldiers of radical Islam within yards of Israeli homes with mortars, rockets, and tunnelling implements. Many thousands will die.

Beyond the obvious threat to Palestinian Christians, women, gays, and liberals, who will be the first to suffer, this threatens to render much or all of Israel unliveable, ending the only safe progressive space in the Middle East, the only secure minority refuge in the Middle East, and the only Jewish country on earth. No international investment or guarantees, no Western-backed government or Western-trained military will be able to keep that from happening, as we have just seen in Iraq. The world will greet this outcome with sincere expressions of sympathy. Only several years ago I, like many on the left, might have dismissed this as an apocalyptic scenario. It isn’t. It is the most likely scenario.

People observing this conflict from afar have been led to believe that Israel faces a simple choice between occupation and peace. That choice is fiction. The Palestinian choice, it is said, is between Israeli occupation and an independent democracy. That choice, too, is fiction. Neither side faces a clear choice, or clear outcomes. Here we have a conflict in a region of conflict, with no clear villain, no clear victim, and no clear solution, one of many hundreds or thousands of ethnic, national, and religious disputes on earth.

*

The only group of people subject to a systematic boycott at present in the Western world are Jews, appearing now under the convenient euphemism ‘Israelis.’ The only country that has its own ‘apartheid week’ on campuses is the Jewish country. Protesters have interfered with the unloading of Israeli shipping on the West Coast of the United States, and there are regular calls for a boycott of anything produced in the Jewish state. No similar tactics are currently employed against any other ethnic group or nationality, no matter how egregious the human rights violations attributed to that group’s country of origin.

Anyone who questions why this is so will be greeted with shouts of ‘the occupation!’, as if this were explanation enough. It is not. Many who would like to question these phenomena don’t dare, for fear that they will somehow be expressing support for this occupation, which has been inflated from a geopolitical dilemma of modest scope by global standards into the world’s premier violation of human rights.

The human costs of the Middle Eastern adventures of America and Britain in this century have been far higher, and far harder to explain, than anything Israel has ever done. They have involved occupations, and the violence they unleashed continues as I speak here this evening. No one boycotts American or British professors. Turkey is a democracy, and a NATO member, and yet its occupation of northern Cyprus and long conflict with the stateless Kurds – many of whom see themselves as occupied – are viewed with a yawn; there is no ‘Turkish Apartheid Week.’ The world is full of injustice. Billions of people are oppressed. In Congo, five million people are dead. The time has come for everyone to admit that the fashionable disgust for Israel among many in the West is not liberal but is selective, disproportionate, and discriminatory.

There are simply too many voices coming from too many places, expressing themselves in too poisonous a way, for us to conclude that this is a narrow criticism of the occupation. It’s time for the people making these charges to look closely at themselves, and for us to look closely at them.

Naming and understanding this sentiment is important, as it is becoming one of the key intellectual trends of our time. We might think of it as the ‘Cult of the Occupation.’ This belief system, for that it what it is, uses the occupation as a way of talking about other things.

As usual with Western religions, the centre of this one is in the Holy Land. The dogma posits that the occupation is not a conflict like any other, but that it is the very symbol of conflict: that the minute state inhabited by a persecuted minority in the Middle East is in fact a symbol of the ills of the West – colonialism, nationalism, militarism, and racism. In the recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, for example, a sign hoisted by marchers linked the unrest between African Americans and the police to Israeli rule over Palestinians.

The cult’s priesthood can be found among the activists, NGO experts, and ideological journalists who have turned coverage of this conflict into a catalogue of Jewish moral failings, as if Israeli society were different from any other group of people on earth, as if Jews deserve to be mocked for having suffered and failed to be perfect as a result.

Most of my former colleagues in the press corps aren’t full-fledged members of this group. They aren’t true believers. But boycotts of Israel, and only of Israel, which are one of the cult’s most important practices, have significant support in the press, including among editors who were my superiors. Sympathy for Israel’s predicament is highly unpopular in the relevant social circles, and is something to be avoided by anyone wishing to be invited to the right dinner parties, or to be promoted. The cult and its belief system are in control of the narrative, just as the popular kids in a school are those who decide what clothes or music are acceptable. In the social milieu of the reporters, NGO workers, and activists, which is the same social world, these are the correct opinions. This guides the coverage. This explains why the events in Gaza this summer were portrayed not as a complicated war like many others fought in this century, but as a massacre of innocents. And it explains much else.

So prevalent has this kind of thinking become that participating in liberal intellectual life in the West increasingly requires you to subscribe at least outwardly to this dogma, particularly if you’re a Jew and thus suspected of the wrong sympathies. If you’re a Jew from Israel, your participation is increasingly conditional on an abject and public display of self-flagellation. Your participation, indeed, is increasingly unwelcome.

What, exactly, is going on?

Observers of Western history understand that at times of confusion and unhappiness, and of great ideological ferment, negative sentiment tends to coagulate around Jews. Discussions of the great topics of the time often end up as discussions about Jews.

In the late 1800s, for example, French society was riven by the clash between the old France of the church and army, and the new France of liberalism and the rule of law. The French were preoccupied with the question of who is French, and who is not. They were smarting from their military humiliation by the Prussians. All of this sentiment erupted around the figure of a Jew, Alfred Dreyfus, accused of betraying France as a spy for Germany. His accusers knew he was innocent, but that didn’t matter; he was a symbol of everything they wanted to condemn.

To give another example: Germans in the 1920s and 1930s were preoccupied with their humiliation in the Great War. This became a discussion of Jewish traitors who had stabbed Germany in the back. Germans were preoccupied as well with the woes of their economy – this became a discussion of Jewish wealth, and Jewish bankers.

In the years of the rise of communism and the Cold War, communists concerned with their ideological opponents talked about Jewish capitalists and cosmopolitans, or Jewish doctors plotting against the state. At the very same time, in capitalist societies threatened by communism, people condemned Jewish Bolsheviks.

This is the face of this recurring obsession. As the journalist Charles Maurras wrote, approvingly, in 1911: ‘Everything seems impossible, or frighteningly difficult, without the providential arrival of anti-Semitism, through which all things fall into place and are simplified.’

The West today is preoccupied with a feeling of guilt about the use of power. That’s why the Jews, in their state, are now held up in the press and elsewhere as the prime example of the abuse of power. That’s why for so many the global villain, as portrayed in newspapers and on TV, is none other than the Jewish soldier, or the Jewish settler. This is not because the Jewish settler or soldier is responsible for more harm than anyone else on earth – no sane person would make that claim. It is rather because these are the heirs to the Jewish banker or Jewish commissar of the past. It is because when moral failure raises its head in the Western imagination, the head tends to wear a skullcap.

One would expect the growing scale and complexity of the conflict in the Middle East over the past decade to have eclipsed the fixation on Israel in the eyes of the press and other observers. Israel is, after all, a sideshow: The death toll in Syria in less than four years far exceeds the toll in the Israel-Arab conflict in a century. The annual death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is a morning in Iraq.

And yet it is precisely in these years that the obsession has grown worse.

This makes little sense, unless we understand that people aren’t fixated on Israel despite everything else going on – but rather because of everything else going on. As Maurras wrote, when you use the Jew as the symbol of what is wrong, ‘all things fall into place and are simplified.’

The last few decades have brought the West into conflict with the Islamic world. Terrorists have attacked New York, Washington, London, Madrid, and now Paris. America and Britain caused the unravelling of Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of people are dead there. Afghanistan was occupied and thousands of Western soldiers killed, along with countless civilians – but the Taliban are alive and well, undeterred. Gaddafi was removed, and Libya is no better off. All of this is confusing and discouraging. It causes people to search for answers and explanations, and these are hard to come by. It is in this context that the ‘Cult of the Occupation’ has caught on. The idea is that the problems in the Middle East have something to do with Jewish arrogance and perfidy, that the sins of one’s own country can be projected upon the Western world’s old blank screen. This is the idea increasingly reflected on campuses, in labour unions, and in the media fixation on Israel. It’s a projection, one whose chief instrument is the press.

As one BBC reporter informed a Jewish interviewee on camera several weeks ago, after a Muslim terrorist murdered four Jewish shoppers at a Paris supermarket, ‘Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.’ Everything, that is, can be linked to the occupation, and Jews can be blamed even for the attacks against them. This isn’t the voice of the perpetrators, but of the enablers. The voice of the enablers is less honest than that of the perpetrators, and more dangerous for being disguised in respectable English. This voice is confident and growing in volume. This is why the year 2015 finds many Jews in Western Europe eyeing their suitcases again.

The Jews of the Middle East are outnumbered by the Arabs of the Middle East 60 to one, and by the world’s Muslims 200 to one. Half of the Jews in Israel are there because their families were forced from their homes in the 20th century not by Christians in Europe, but by Muslims in the Middle East. Israel currently has Hezbollah on its northern border, Al-Qaeda on its north-eastern and southern borders, and Hamas in Gaza. None of these groups seek an end to the occupation, but rather openly wish to destroy Israel. But it is naïve to point out these facts. The facts don’t matter: We are in the world of symbols. In this world, Israel has become a symbol of what is wrong – not Hamas, not Hezbollah, not Great Britain, not America, not Russia.

I believe it’s important to recognise the pathologies at play in order to make sense of things. In this context it’s worth pointing out that I’m hardly the first to identify a problem – Jewish communities like this one, and particularly organisations like BICOM, identified a problem long ago, and have been expending immense efforts to correct it. I wish this wasn’t necessary, and it shouldn’t be necessary, but it undoubtedly is necessary, and becoming more so, and I have great respect for these efforts. Many people, particularly young people, are having trouble maintaining their balance amid this ideological onslaught, which is successfully disguised as journalism or analysis, and is phrased in the language of progressive politics. I would like to help them keep their bearings.

I don’t believe, however, that anyone should make a feeling of persecution the centre of their identity, of their Judaism, or of their relationship with Israel. The obsession is a fact, but it isn’t a new fact, and it shouldn’t immobilise us in anger, or force us into a defensive crouch. It shouldn’t make us less willing to seek to improve our situation, to behave with compassion to our neighbours, or to continue building the model society that Israel’s founders had in mind.

I was in Tel Aviv not long ago, on Rothschild Boulevard. The city was humming with life. Signs of prosperity were everywhere, in the renovated Bauhaus buildings, in the clothes, the stores. I watched the people go by: kids with old bikes and tattoos, businesspeople, men with women, women with women, men with men, all speaking the language of the Bible and Jewish prayer. The summer’s Hamas rockets were already a memory, just a few months old but subsumed in the frantic, irrepressible life of the country. There were cranes everywhere, raising new buildings. There were schoolchildren with oversized knapsacks, and parents with strollers. I heard Arabic, Russian, and French, and the country went about its business with a potent cheer and determination that you miss if all you see are threats and hatred. There have always been threats and hatred, and it has never stopped us. We have enemies, and we have friends. The dogs bark, as the saying goes, and the convoy rolls by.

One of the questions presented to us by the wars of the modern age is what now constitutes victory. In the 21st century, when a battlefield is no longer conquered or lost, when land isn’t changing hands and no one ever surrenders, what does it mean to win?

The answer is that victory is no longer determined on the battlefield. It’s determined in the centre, in the society itself. Who has built a better society? Who has provided better lives for people? Where is there the most optimism? Where can the most happy people be found? One report on world happiness ranked Israel as the 11th happiest country on earth. The UK was 22nd.

Israel’s intellectual opponents can rant about the moral failings of the Jews, obscuring their obsession in whatever sophisticated way they choose. The gunmen of Hamas and their allies can stand on heaps of rubble and declare victory. They can fire rockets, and shoot up supermarkets. But if you look at Tel Aviv, or at any thriving neighbourhood in Jerusalem, Netanya, Rishon LeZion, or Haifa, you understand that this is victory. This is where we’ve won, and where we win every day.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 03:51:15 AM by Roen »

Offline elone

To begin with, BICOM is nothing but a group of hasbarists who are bent on putting Israel and Zionism in the most favorable light as possible.

Perhaps a look at some of the writings of people like Ilan Pappé or Noam Chomsky would shed some light on what is going on here. There is so much misinformation and political pandering in Fridman's speech that one would think he was employed by Netanyahu or AIPAC.

This is nothing but a repeat of Israeli's saying "Yes, we are bad but look at who is worse." The trouble is, Israel claims to be a democracy and a nation built on laws with a high moral compass. The "most moral army in the world"; an army who murders women and children in Gaza with complete impunity. Israel is a  nation whose soldiers murder Palestinians and are rarely held accountable. A country who has put settlers on occupied land in defiance of international law and US law as well.

The list can go on and on, starting even before the 1948 war in which over 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their lands and never allowed to return. Palestinians were murdered, villages razed, and  land colonized by foreign invaders. This is still going on today.

So the question is not the media bias against Israel, it is more the media bias for Israel. Israel commits acts everyday that would make headlines elsewhere, but in the US in particular, they are given a pass. Every day, in actions reminiscent of the East German STASI, Israeli soldiers break into Palestinian homes in the middle of the night, terrorize the occupants, photograph them, destroy their belongings and not a word is in the news. They spray skunk water everywhere indiscriminately. The IDF shoots protestors, Kent State anyone? Let a Palestinian stab and israeli and "terrorist" is all we hear. Let an Israeli policeman or soldier shoot a Palestinian in cold blood and nothing is in the news. It is only because of videos do we get a glimpse of the horrors of being a Palestinian in the occupied territories.

If Matti Fridman thinks all is unfair, then maybe he should be speaking of how Israel needs to go back to their borders. Oh, right, Israel in the only country in the world with no declared borders. Maybe they should let Palestinian refugees come home. Oh, right, only Jews can come to Israel. Palestinians who lived there for generations are exiled forever. Maybe he should complain about the over 50 discriminatory laws on the books in Israel. Maybe he should complain about the house demolitions, the lack of building permits for Palestinians, the theft of land and water resources, the checkpoints, the open air prison that is Gaza, the thousands of prisoners held without charge, the burning of olive trees, the separate laws for Israeli's and Palestinians in the West Bank, the Jewish only settlements built on Palestinian lands, roads built for Israeli licensed vehicles only; the list goes on and on.

The problem is not media bias, the problem is that people are not seeing the truth of the barbarity of the occupation. The problem is governments like the US who look the other way.

Israeli leaders have shown they have no intention for a just peace, the status quo is just fine for them. History is written by the victors, but now some people are writing about the victims, the people of Palestine.

BDS. Stop all aid to Israel until they observe basic human rights for all people, and in particular, give all Palestinians equal rights.

Offline RoenTopic starter

What are your sources for these accusations? And can you actually trust them?

Speaking as someone that has lived here for almost three decades, some of these accusations are plain wrong, others are simply not accurate. Your misinformation seems to be the product of selective journalism, just as stated in the article above.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 01:16:46 AM by Roen »

Offline RoenTopic starter

To begin with, BICOM is nothing but a group of hasbarists who are bent on putting Israel and Zionism in the most favorable light as possible.
Perhaps a look at some of the writings of people like Ilan Pappé or Noam Chomsky would shed some light on what is going on here. There is so much misinformation and political pandering in Fridman's speech that one would think he was employed by Netanyahu or AIPAC.
Can say the same thing about BDS, man, you have no proof, at all, that the organization you're favoring is the one telling the truth as opposed to, say, being run by people driven by irrational hatred. Misinformation in the anti-Israeli press is a fact, they have been caught on doctoring videos, using outdated war photos from war zones and simply lying on numerous times. Been proven time and time again, so let's not talk about organizations. 

This is nothing but a repeat of Israeli's saying "Yes, we are bad but look at who is worse." The trouble is, Israel claims to be a democracy and a nation built on laws with a high moral compass. The "most moral army in the world"; an army who murders women and children in Gaza with complete impunity. Israel is a  nation whose soldiers murder Palestinians and are rarely held accountable. A country who has put settlers on occupied land in defiance of international law and US law as well.
What law is that? When was it legislated and how does it apply?

The list can go on and on, starting even before the 1948 war in which over 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their lands and never allowed to return. Palestinians were murdered, villages razed, and  land colonized by foreign invaders. This is still going on today.
Again, sources on the murders, please.
There are no 700,000 Palestinian refugees, it's practically laughable because Palestinians are the only people in the world that their so called 'refugee' status seems to be hereditary. Also, what about all of the dozen other Arab countries in the area? Did you know that over 900,000 jews have been forcibly evicted from all of these countries, with no other place to go other than Israel? Or were they supposed to just scatter around the world and continue to live like a nomadic people?

Also, Israel is hardly the only country that employs such immigration laws. Germany has such laws, for instance, how is that a crime to give sanctuary to those of a religion that have been systematically persecuted, murdered and discriminated in literally EVERY land they have tried to settle in?   

So the question is not the media bias against Israel, it is more the media bias for Israel. Israel commits acts everyday that would make headlines elsewhere, but in the US in particular, they are given a pass. Every day, in actions reminiscent of the East German STASI, Israeli soldiers break into Palestinian homes in the middle of the night, terrorize the occupants, photograph them, destroy their belongings and not a word is in the news. They spray skunk water everywhere indiscriminately. The IDF shoots protestors, Kent State anyone? Let a Palestinian stab and israeli and "terrorist" is all we hear. Let an Israeli policeman or soldier shoot a Palestinian in cold blood and nothing is in the news. It is only because of videos do we get a glimpse of the horrors of being a Palestinian in the occupied territories.
The videos? You mean videos that have been documented to be staged again and again? Videos of Palestinian mothers holding their phones in their hands while egging their children to go and throw rocks at Israeli soldiers? That kind of videos? If you want actual proofs, I'll gladly supply them.
I'm not saying there isn't violence, of course there is, but what I find outrageous is how you seem to be ignoring the fact that the Israeli soldiers don't just go around at night because they enjoy harassing law abiding citizens, they are looking for terrorists, they have FOUND terrorists during those raids. The way you describe it, you simply ignore the fact that the Hamas employed terrorists are there, hiding among the civilians, using women and children and human shields, hiding their ammo in hospitals, using ambulances to ship explosive belts, hiding rockets under schools and digging their tunnels under civilian homes.
They do that, they have been documented and proven to do that, but you choose to ignore that and just condemn the necessary counter-measures that has been proven effective in preventing such attacks. That's reckless editing of the truth. 

If Matti Fridman thinks all is unfair, then maybe he should be speaking of how Israel needs to go back to their borders. Oh, right, Israel in the only country in the world with no declared borders. Maybe they should let Palestinian refugees come home. Oh, right, only Jews can come to Israel. Palestinians who lived there for generations are exiled forever. Maybe he should complain about the over 50 discriminatory laws on the books in Israel. Maybe he should complain about the house demolitions, the lack of building permits for Palestinians, the theft of land and water resources, the checkpoints, the open air prison that is Gaza, the thousands of prisoners held without charge, the burning of olive trees, the separate laws for Israeli's and Palestinians in the West Bank, the Jewish only settlements built on Palestinian lands, roads built for Israeli licensed vehicles only; the list goes on and on.

Checkpoints are crucial to prevent terrorists from entering Israeli territory, there are numerous accounts of weapons and explosives caught on these checkpoints, so we probably keep them. If you can think of a more effective way to make sure none of these things get through, please do. Oh, and don't use the "if you don't oppress them, they won't terrorize you", because we've tried that already. You try living as a child when riding a bus can get you blown to pieces, then tell me how these checkpoints are unnecessary.
Israel is also hardly the only country in the world with vague borders, and it was hardly the soul fault of the Israeli government, borders take peace agreements, and it takes two for that tango.
The roads build for the Israeli licensed vehicles were an actual thing, until they were ruled out by the ISRAELI supreme court of justice, thank you very much.

The problem is not media bias, the problem is that people are not seeing the truth of the barbarity of the occupation. The problem is governments like the US who look the other way.
Israeli leaders have shown they have no intention for a just peace, the status quo is just fine for them. History is written by the victors, but now some people are writing about the victims, the people of Palestine.
BDS. Stop all aid to Israel until they observe basic human rights for all people, and in particular, give all Palestinians equal rights.
Yes, war is rough, especially when you're fighting terrorist organizations that keep on enlisting civilians from its population, the same population that have "democratically" elected. Yes, they have, they voted to get a terrorist organization as their "government", the same one that is now taking responsibility for one terror attack after another, bombing Israeli cities day and night, actively digging tunnels under Israeli cities so their terrorist could sneak in and murder civilians, but I guess that's not barbaric or against human rights as a whole, is it?

You seem to be requiring equal civil rights for Palestinians, and that's kinda ridiculous to me, because they don't live in Israel. Are you suggesting that we conquer Gaza and the west bank to make it, and them, a part of Israel? Also, bear in mind that out of the 700,000 so called Palestinian refugees, no Arab country in the world has ever agreed to take them in, not because they didn't have the resources or the lands, simply to spite Israel and further develop the conflict. They have been actively massacring Palestinians that tried to immigrate into their borders.
Israel is proven to have more Palestinian and Muslim citizens (and the Arab-Israeli citizens DO enjoy equal rights), doctors, parliament members and ministers than jews in ANY arab country in the world, but we're still considered to be the barbaric ones.

You know what? It's a tough situation, there have been made some mistakes, I'm not claiming to innocence and I'm certainly not satisfied with the current political atmosphere in Israel at the moment. I think Netanyahu needs to go home (or to prison, to be honest) and I agree that the current measures being taken aren't leading us towards any sort of resolution. But to put all the blame on the Israeli government and to put all of the defensive moves it is doing in the light of murder and genocide is just hypocrisy. The relative security you see Israel enjoying now is the product of some of these doctrines that you so hastily condemn, and that deems them necessary, but I guess it's easier to judge from afar, especially from a place that never had to deal with the same complex, bloody, grief stricken and harsh reality.

You should come to Israel, you really should, instead of reading about it online and watching videos, just come here and talk to the people, see how we live, talk to our Muslim citizens, our jewish ones, our christian ones, see what's happening here with your own eyes. Go to Tel Aviv, go to Jaffa, go to Jerusalem, Haifa, Gaza even, visit the checkpoints, see the good and the bad. This isn't North Korea, nobody will hide anything from you if you look hard enough. See it for yourself and THEN pass judgement, I'd happily take it.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 02:18:07 AM by Roen »

Offline Kythia

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And why would Israel give a toss whether it's actions are in defiance of US law? Little confused why you made that point.

Offline consortium11

The trouble is, Israel claims to be a democracy and a nation built on laws with a high moral compass.

I've never quite got this point.

So if one day Israel went "you know what, screw it. We're no longer a democracy, we're a dictatorship with all elections suspended, we're going to change our rules of engagement to 'shoot anyone you like with no consequences at all', we're going to remove all rights from non-Jewish citizens and you know what, screw it, let's just cluster bomb the Gaza Strip and West Bank without warning because we can" it would lessen the amount of criticism they get or make it more morally acceptable? That actually the issue with Israel isn't the stuff that it does but the fact it does it while having elections and taking at least some precautionary measure to try to reduce civilian casualties?

Offline elone

What are your sources for these accusations? And can you actually trust them?

Speaking as someone that has lived here for almost three decades, some of these accusations are plain wrong, others are simply not accurate. Your misinformation seems to be the product of selective journalism, just as stated in the article above.

I really do not have time to list the many sources out there. I do not usually post here but could not help it in this case.  Please note that the speech you posted here contains exactly zero sources and is simply a matter of opinion as are your own replies.

Try these:

https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org
http://www.yesh-din.org/en/
http://peacenow.org
http://www.maannews.com
http://www.btselem.org
http://mondoweiss.net
http://www.ifamericansknew.org   (this one is a bit biased but has statistics)
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il

Please note: the vast majority of these sites are Jewish, I throw that in for those who will raise the issue of anti semitism. I am sure it will be raised anyway.




Offline elone

And why would Israel give a toss whether it's actions are in defiance of US law? Little confused why you made that point.

Good point, Israel does not care who's laws they break. I am not speaking of US law, although the US breaks it's own laws when giving aid to Israel. There is the Leahy law. (not sure of its exact name) There is currently a lawsuit about US giving aid to countries that do not sign the Nuclear non-proliferation agreement. We will see where that goes.

I am talking about international laws. The Geneva convention, the United Nations, and the decree in 1948 that allowed the creation of the Stat of Israel.

Israel denies officially that any of these pertain to them, so be it.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 10:38:42 AM by elone »

Offline Kythia

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Well, no. I mean, you are speaking of US law. You went out of your way to point out that the actions of Israel are illegal under US law. Which, obviously, doesn't apply to Israel. I just couldn't work out why.

Offline elone

I've never quite got this point.

So if one day Israel went "you know what, screw it. We're no longer a democracy, we're a dictatorship with all elections suspended, we're going to change our rules of engagement to 'shoot anyone you like with no consequences at all', we're going to remove all rights from non-Jewish citizens and you know what, screw it, let's just cluster bomb the Gaza Strip and West Bank without warning because we can" it would lessen the amount of criticism they get or make it more morally acceptable? That actually the issue with Israel isn't the stuff that it does but the fact it does it while having elections and taking at least some precautionary measure to try to reduce civilian casualties?

No, the issue is exactly the stuff that Israel does.

The US invaded Iraq because of the stuff the they did, or were thought to be doing. They were a dictatorship. If Israel were the same, we would be bombing Tel Aviv. (slight exaggeration). But that is the point.

Operations Protective Edge 2014.

2104 killed, 1462 civilians, 495 children, 253 women (UN sttistics)

Of the 247 airstrikes that hit residential compounds, out of the some 5,000 Israeli bombing raids, determined that of the 844 killed, 60% or 508 were presumed civilian children (280, of whom 19 were babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5), women and older men. 98 or 11% were confirmed or suspected Hamas militants.

According to the army’s figures, 39,000 tank shells, 34,000 artillery shells, and 4.8 million bullets were supplied during the fighting. This doesn't count the missiles and bombs and morters.



Hardly precautionary measures. Wholesale destruction and death.

Offline elone

Well, no. I mean, you are speaking of US law. You went out of your way to point out that the actions of Israel are illegal under US law. Which, obviously, doesn't apply to Israel. I just couldn't work out why.

I should have said that official US policy is that settlements are illegal under international law. My mistake.

Offline RoenTopic starter

I really do not have time to list the many sources out there. I do not usually post here but could not help it in this case.  Please note that the speech you posted here contains exactly zero sources and is simply a matter of opinion as are your own replies.

Try these:

https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org
http://www.yesh-din.org/en/
http://peacenow.org
http://www.maannews.com
http://www.btselem.org
http://mondoweiss.net
http://www.ifamericansknew.org   (this one is a bit biased but has statistics)
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il

Please note: the vast majority of these sites are Jewish, I throw that in for those who will raise the issue of anti semitism. I am sure it will be raised anyway.
Are you claiming that it is impossible for jewish people to be antisemite? Because self hatred and self denomination for global validation is not a thing? I'd rather discuss the merits of the man, not his religion. Today we know of gay people that can be the worst of the homophobes and gay bashers, we know of muslims that can be the greatest criticizers of Islam.
A jewish person that does not live in Israel and that has never visited in Israel or at least tried to educate themselves about the Israeli condition while getting support and funding from proven Anti-Israeli organizations such as BDS is no less capable of Antisemism than your common Neo-Nazism enthusiast. On the contrary, those of the Jewish faith that try to get into that club will protest against Israel the loudest.

So please, religion is NOT alibi. I myself am an Atheist, though I'm still technically considered Jewish because of my herritage, so it's not a great feat or a great consequence to be considered jewish. Probably none of these people chose the Judaism, they were born into it, and it is very possible to hate a religion and a people that was "forced" upon you by birthright.

Let's stick to actual facts instead of cheap theatricals, please.

Offline RoenTopic starter

Edit: Irrelevant sarcasm is irrelevant.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 10:57:06 AM by Roen »

Offline RoenTopic starter

Ok, so you asked for some candies (sources).
Well, my first and foremost source is the fact that I actually live in Israel and lived through most of the more volatile parts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that doesn't help our readers much, so here are a couple of links.

First, a quick crash course into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this seems passably balanced.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wo2TLlMhiw

Edit: Here is the long version, for those that don't need crush courses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2jnvsdF38k&list=PLPvkBEWSL5pKelZ5rXDwFTerxuq9rlUKk

Here are a couple of examples regarding news reports doctored, staged and misinformed by anti-israeli media:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umhy9LnorKQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNZniRFSeug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQNbZyoJXBo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc9v5gLXP4w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkfKAz8l37U


Here are a couple articles about the biased, and yes, these might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, obviously they were written with some bias, but how can you avoid emotional responses when witnessing such cynical and sometimes malevolent hypocrisy?

Let's start with this one, common DBS policy of spreading lies to further promote hate:
http://legalinsurrection.com/2015/10/msnbc-middle-east-expert-martin-fletcher-uses-anti-israel-propaganda-map/

Here are a couple more:

http://honestreporting.com/cnn-and-the-dubious-journalism-of-assertion/
http://honestreporting.com/no-palestinian-elections-so-delegitimize-israeli-democracy/
http://honestreporting.com/the-economist-lumps-terror-victims-and-terrorists-together/
http://honestreporting.com/bbcs-donnison-tweets-another-falsehood/

Now, since I feel like I've been monopolizing this debate, I'll retire from it for a while and allow others to participate.


« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:36:52 AM by Roen »

Offline Kythia

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Before you disappear, out of curiosity: What do YOU think should happen. If you could click your fingers and resolve the situation, what would that resolution look like?

Offline RoenTopic starter

Before you disappear, out of curiosity: What do YOU think should happen. If you could click your fingers and resolve the situation, what would that resolution look like?
To be perfectly honest, I don't know.
I'd love the idea of one land for two countries, but not if one of them is under the reign of a terrorist organization such as Hamas. Just like Fridman said, we've seen what happens around this region with vacant political spaces, they get filled with radical Islam, like it is now. I feel like even if the Palestinian people do eventually frees itself of Hamas (as they should) a worse organization will take its place and basically make Israel unlivable.

I would love it if it could be one country for all religions, I'd personally LOVE it if Israel would stop being "a jewish state" and just return to being a "state for the jewish people" while still finding a way to accommodate people of all faiths as equal right citizens in a way that would ensure the safety of its Jewish citizens. Do I think it's possible? Unfortunately, I don't, the hatred is too deeply seeded, and there are too many of those that would like to see it continue, on both sides.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always been the source of a lot of stress, anxieties and despair for the common Israeli person, I find it hard describing the magnitude of the emotional distress it instills in us. Feeling like there are those that have been wronged and now would like nothing more than to see you and everyone you know die or left homeless, without a land or a country of your own, and knowing that it'll never stop, that it will probably never be resolved, is petrifying.

Dealing with a people that gets so easily taken over by corrupted and radical leaderships isn't easy. What's easy is to sit on the sideline and judge the actions a nation takes to insure its safety, without stopping for a moment to ask yourself what you wouldn't do.

So I'll ask you in return:
What you wouldn't do to make sure that your own women, men and children wouldn't get butchered and bombed in a home that is the only home that you can confidently call your own?

Edit: Apologies, I didn't mean to insinuate that you pass such judgements or assume anything about your life or nationality. It's a more broader referral to those that do unrightfully pass that judgement. I'd like to take back my question, actually, the only reason I haven't deleted it is that in a political debate, it feels like cheating :P
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:48:44 AM by Roen »

Offline Oniya

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Ok, so you asked for some candies (sources).

Just a note - unlike other politics boards around the internet, requests for sources are commonplace here.  In particularly controversial and volatile topics, it is useful to be able to judge the bias and reliability of the individual source.  It also provides a launch-point for personal research.  There have been incidents where a particularly inflammatory article has been traced back to someplace like 'The Daily Mail' (a source noted for its lack of reliability.)

Rather than 'candies', sources are instead the 'meat/protein' of discussions here.

Offline RoenTopic starter

Just a note - unlike other politics boards around the internet, requests for sources are commonplace here.  In particularly controversial and volatile topics, it is useful to be able to judge the bias and reliability of the individual source.  It also provides a launch-point for personal research.  There have been incidents where a particularly inflammatory article has been traced back to someplace like 'The Daily Mail' (a source noted for its lack of reliability.)

Rather than 'candies', sources are instead the 'meat/protein' of discussions here.
Absolutely, didn't mean to insinuate otherwise, just a juvenile coin of phrase for me. Thank you for clarifying that.

Offline consortium11

No, the issue is exactly the stuff that Israel does.

Then why the talk about Israel saying it's a democracy and a nation being built on laws?

Would things be any better if Israel did exactly what it does now but wasn't a democracy and wasn't built on laws? Would they be more morally justifiable if they were a dictatorship? Would it be an improvement if they made no pretence or attempt towards reducing civilian casualties? Would things be more positive if they came out and went "we're the bad guys and we'll do what we want"? The whole "Israel is meant to be a democracy" argument seems to me simply to be a way to focus criticism of Israel while not doing so for other states (or state actors)... and at best that's the bigotry of low expectations.

Hardly precautionary measures. Wholesale destruction and death.

I'm not going to particularly defend Operation Protective Edge or Israel's offensive security operations in general. But I will point out the hyperbole here.

Operation Protective Edge wasn't wholesale destruction and death if we want the terms to mean anything and if the intention was for it to be so then the Israeli armed forces are pretty much literally the most incompetent in the world. As well as the figures you cite with regards to ground based munitions it's estimated that over the first month of Protective Edge Israel dropped between 18,000 and 20,000 tons of explosives on Gaza. The results tragically were the loss of, depending on your source, between 2,100 and 2,300 lives in Gaza. When the allies bombed Dresden towards the end of WW2 they dropped around 4,000-4,500 tons of explosives but had no ground attack. That resulted in between 23,000 and 25,000 dead. In terms of property damage Protective Edge destroyed around 7,000 homes with roughly 90,000 damaged. During the bombing of Dresden about 80,000 homes were completely destroyed and around and another roughly 90,000 damaged, a third of which were uninhabitable.

So Israel dropped around four times as many bombs on Gaza than the Allies did on Dresden but while doing so caused less than 10% of the casualties and did around half the property damage... despite also having ground forces engaging as opposed to the purely aerial Dresden bombings.

Dresden was wholescale destruction. What happened in Gaza, tragic though it was, doesn't compare. And we're left with the conclusion that either the Israeli military are hopeless incompetent considering the amount of munitions they used during the conflict compared to the damage they inflicted or that measures were taken to reduce civilian casualties; the fact that the property damage was around half of Dresden while the killed were about 10% suggests that while still clearly awful and not entirely effective Palestinians were given warning to get our of their homes before the bombing began and it worked to a certain extent.

Offline elone

Oh, honest mistake, really, because for a moment it sounded like you were saying that the whole founding of Israel is illegal by US law,
which is, you know, not the same statement? Perhaps you'd like to amend that in your original post, so to not misinform any casual reader.

I really think you need to stop reading your interpretation into my posts. Here is what I wrote:

"A country who has put settlers on occupied land in defiance of international law and US law as well."

I corrected as per Kythia referencing US policy, not law.

How could one possibly interpret my statement as to mean the founding of Israel is illegal by US law???


Offline RoenTopic starter

I really think you need to stop reading your interpretation into my posts. Here is what I wrote:

"A country who has put settlers on occupied land in defiance of international law and US law as well."

I corrected as per Kythia referencing US policy, not law.

How could one possibly interpret my statement as to mean the founding of Israel is illegal by US law???
Mhm, I misread your post, I do apologize.
Post duely edited.

Offline Kythia

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So I'll ask you in return:
What you wouldn't do to make sure that your own women, men and children wouldn't get butchered and bombed in a home that is the only home that you can confidently call your own?

To me, the problem is that you can't count attacks that don't happen.  Sure, there are x attacks per year.  There are y attacks that are definitely foiled - the weapons are found at a checkpoint, say, or military intelligence has phones bugged and catches it being organised.  But there are also z attacks per year that don't happen BECAUSE of the security.  A group want to plan an attack but they can't work how to make it work - how to be one of the x not one of the y - so it never progresses beyond an idea.  That number, z, is somewhere between 0 and a googol inclusive.

Israel is, presumably, claiming that the things it does are justified because of z being high.  Criticism of Israel often takes the form of accusing them of overreaction and implicitly claiming z is low.  *Shrug*. 

I realise that's not an answer, but its the closest I have to one.  What I wouldn't do is proportionate to the actual danger which is proportionate to z.

Offline elone

Then why the talk about Israel saying it's a democracy and a nation being built on laws?

Would things be any better if Israel did exactly what it does now but wasn't a democracy and wasn't built on laws? Would they be more morally justifiable if they were a dictatorship? Would it be an improvement if they made no pretence or attempt towards reducing civilian casualties? Would things be more positive if they came out and went "we're the bad guys and we'll do what we want"? The whole "Israel is meant to be a democracy" argument seems to me simply to be a way to focus criticism of Israel while not doing so for other states (or state actors)... and at best that's the bigotry of low expectations.

I'm not going to particularly defend Operation Protective Edge or Israel's offensive security operations in general. But I will point out the hyperbole here.

Operation Protective Edge wasn't wholesale destruction and death if we want the terms to mean anything and if the intention was for it to be so then the Israeli armed forces are pretty much literally the most incompetent in the world. As well as the figures you cite with regards to ground based munitions it's estimated that over the first month of Protective Edge Israel dropped between 18,000 and 20,000 tons of explosives on Gaza. The results tragically were the loss of, depending on your source, between 2,100 and 2,300 lives in Gaza. When the allies bombed Dresden towards the end of WW2 they dropped around 4,000-4,500 tons of explosives but had no ground attack. That resulted in between 23,000 and 25,000 dead. In terms of property damage Protective Edge destroyed around 7,000 homes with roughly 90,000 damaged. During the bombing of Dresden about 80,000 homes were completely destroyed and around and another roughly 90,000 damaged, a third of which were uninhabitable.

So Israel dropped around four times as many bombs on Gaza than the Allies did on Dresden but while doing so caused less than 10% of the casualties and did around half the property damage... despite also having ground forces engaging as opposed to the purely aerial Dresden bombings.

Dresden was wholescale destruction. What happened in Gaza, tragic though it was, doesn't compare. And we're left with the conclusion that either the Israeli military are hopeless incompetent considering the amount of munitions they used during the conflict compared to the damage they inflicted or that measures were taken to reduce civilian casualties; the fact that the property damage was around half of Dresden while the killed were about 10% suggests that while still clearly awful and not entirely effective Palestinians were given warning to get our of their homes before the bombing began and it worked to a certain extent.

Very hard to compare Dresden and Gaza. One thing about Dresden was the use of incendiaries that burned the center of the city. The other thing noted was that it took place in February, 1945. The war ended in May, so it's destruction was probably unnecessary. That is another discussion.

Offline Kythia

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Very hard to compare Dresden and Gaza. One thing about Dresden was the use of incendiaries that burned the center of the city. The other thing noted was that it took place in February, 1945. The war ended in May, so it's destruction was probably unnecessary. That is another discussion.

Not sure either of those affect consortium's point though - that if the Israeli army were indeed trying for a massacre they did a terrible job of it (the fact they didn't use weapons that, as you say, were available in 1945 in fact just strengthens consortium's point)

ETA:  Also claiming that there are differences between the two and one of those differences was the Dresden's destruction was unnecessary kinda carries implications that I'm sure you didn't mean!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 12:37:51 PM by Kythia »

Offline elone

My final thought.

What we have in Palestine/Israel are two forces (not necessarily the people) who each believe the other is out to destroy them. The Israeli's defend their tactics by saying it is necessary for their security and the Palestinians are intent on killing them and driving them into the sea. This includes all methods of policing, land theft, etc, etc.

The Palestinians see the Israeli's as colonial occupiers who are gradually taking all their resources and leaving them with nothing in hopes they will disappear or be exiled to other Arab nations, leaving Israel to the Jewish people. The right to resist occupation by any means is lawful and necessary.

The Israeli's have the power, the Palestinians have nothing. Therefore, Israel has no incentive to give up anything, the status quo is fine.

edit:

To the point of Israel being a democracy. It is Israel who constantly points to their being the "only democracy in the Middle East" as if that absolves them of any consequence for the damage they do. By claiming to be the good guys they avoid the repercussions that would occur to a dictator or other bad actors who did the same. It is just the way the world seems to work. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the way I see it.

Sure they could have destroyed Gaza, but what would that have bought them. They still, for the third time bombed the hell out of Gaza. Currently, there is supposed to be a cease fire of sorts, but Israel still fires on fishing boats, still fires across the border at demonstrators, still drives bulldozers and equipment to destroy farmland and crops, still imposes their will on the people of Gaza through what is basically a quarantine of goods and shipping. They put the Gazan's on a diet so they will not thrive, but will not starve to death either. Instead of a bullet to the head, it is a slow strangulation.

As each side becomes more entrenched and right wing leaning it all becomes more difficult.

Only when the US and the world put enough pressure on Israel to work for peace will there be a solution. That can be either a two state solution or a one state solution where all have equal rights and citizenry. A boycott is the first step.

Personally, I do not believe a negotiated peace is possible. I think it must be imposed by the rest of the world through sanctions and boycotts. Force both sides to end the struggles.

We will see what elections in Palestine bring. The last time, Hamas won the democratically monitored elections. Of course, the US and Israel immediately did not recognize that fact. Getting rid of Netanyahu would be a good start as well.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 12:59:28 PM by elone »