BYE BYE Hezbollah ???

Discussion in 'Politics and Religion' started by seeker6591, Jul 13, 2006.

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  1. Duckman

    Duckman Moderator

    Hamas agrees to recognize we go ...,2933,2Z0Z1Z1Z09,00.html (remove the Z's from the URL).

    Then, today, Hamas says no ...

    Found this today. This is about as far away from Fox as I can get from quoting a source...

    I believe you would also check so here is what I found on it ...

    According to the Quran, long term truces are permitted as long as the ultimate goal is the destruction of the enemy. I believe 10 years is the maximum allotted. I am also assuming you know this too and can readily find it in the Quran.
  2. seeker6591

    seeker6591 banned


    neither did I, but probably not !
  3. bill1415


    another motivation

  4. bill1415


    i get the point, but

    debate and discussion: fine--i just tuned into this thread a few days ago, and in my opinion, read such a paucity of historical antecedents, chronology, etc. that i thought it would be useful to post some longer, and "partisan" articles from people who i believe really want peace and see the outlines of a solution--which they think have existed for a long time.

    it terms of military sites, my knowledge of hezbollah in southern lebanon, is that they had judiciously built well fortified military areas not in civilian areas.

    when the israeli military bombed many parts of suburban beirut, there rationale was, hezbollah sympathizers live here. no missles came from these areas: look at the final death counts on both sides: the somewhat normal range of 10 to 1 or 30 to 1, with israel winning: not surprising given it is probably the 4th or 5th most advanced/powerful military in the world.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
  5. bill1415


    there is a tad of pre history to this current violence

    read the other posts about the assaults by israel on the west bank [dead civilians--little electricity capacity] after the "democratic" elections--hezboolah leaders stated that these murders of civilians and arrests and imprisonment of elected paletinian cabinet members were more than enough provocation.

    and as in 2004, hezbollah asked for another "exchange" of some of the 10,000 prisoners held by the israelis--especially the women and children: quid pro quo
  6. bill1415


    only 20,000 lebanese were "murdered: mostly civilians

    i do not support any of this violence but understand the context. i really believe that israel had a good chance, for decades, to short circuit/end 90% or more of the atrocities by giving back the stolen land and removing the illegal settlers. my view
  7. Duckman

    Duckman Moderator

    No...I just skimmed over the articles. If I want to read an article, I will pickup a mag, surf to a media site, etc. But good catch. I also didn't read to see if they included Hizbollah blowing up the Jewish center in Argentina.
  8. bill1415


    any thoughts on why u.s. marines where there in the first place?

    Going back to your first post today, this part I found a bit disengenuous "As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its borders without retaliation."

    my hunch is that the reference was to mainly u.s. corporate media. you are correct that other parts of the world get more diversity, often quite "partisan"

    of course, al jezeera started when bbc reporters in the mid east where told that funding no longer existed for this location/coverage. it is my understanding that they were well-trained professionals who had a norion that we will report "everything" and let viewers decide.

    i willl look for more evidence about hamas will to negotiate.
  9. seeker6591

    seeker6591 banned


    did you happen to notice that all this garbage left out HB's murder of 200 plus US Marines in 1982???

    interesting huh?
  10. Duckman

    Duckman Moderator

    Bill 1415,

    I read part of what you posted, but honestly, I am here to debate/discuss, not really read articles and respond to them. I am interested in what you have to say in your own words. I am not against reading all your articles, perhaps it's just not my thing. If you have an argument to put forth, and wish to cite references, of course I understand that.

    (I supposed I could post WSJ online articles, or Honest Reporting articles, or C.A.M.E.R.A. articles....and you could respond with the BBC...etc. But then we are just throwing other people's words at each other. Kool Aid comes in lots of flavors. Not fun. And if it's not fun, I ain't doing it on a whoreboard.)

    However, in skimming through the articles, I didn't see anything about Hizbollah fighting out of civilian areas. From what I can tell, the author(s) give Hizbollah a free pass on this. A shame since so many in Lebanon don't appreciate being made a target as they don't really do anything to merit such other than being a victim of Hizbollah's tactics.

    The first article you posted, although you didn't indicate this, was by Alexander Cockburn. Someone not friendly to Israel at all. So, I am not going to rebut his issues point by point. I would be here all night...and I really don't want to debate Alexander. He isn't here to defend himself.

    And from what I have read about shellling the Palestinians, its always been the similar situation to Hizbollah. The Palestinians won't launch their attacks from military sites -- they burrow in with civilians. So, when Israel retaliates, it's a media win for the Palestinians. If Israel doesn't retaliate, well, that's a military win for the Palestinians.

    I found the statement about Hamas willing to recognize Israel's right to exist very interesting!! I was not aware of that. Something I will look into. If you run across anything substantive on it, please post.

    Going back to your first post today, this part I found a bit disengenuous "As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its borders without retaliation."

    Hizbollah has it's own TV station, Al Manar ( which has a budget I have read of something to US$ 15MM-20MM. I think that is ton more money than Israel itself spends on its own promotions. Here is a case of an article being biased by what it does _not_ say. My opinion.
  11. bill1415


    is there a solution?

    Windows of opportunity to bring about peaceful settlements

    A careful examination of the sequence of events over the past six months reveals that Israel is threatened only for reasons that are traceable back to its own disproportionate actions. The traditional Hamas position of refusing to recognize Israel must be re-evaluated in the light of that organization assuming the reins of political power in a democratically-elected government. As events have now proven, on June 27 Hamas signed a document that effectively recognizes the state of Israel, accepting a two-state solution for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel. Both Israel and the U.S. lost an unprecedented opportunity to politically engage the Hamas government, a government that, unlike the Fatah government, is effectively in a position to implement a lasting peace from the Palestinian side. Former President Yasser Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, have been trapped in space and time – in Ramallah and unable to move forward to statehood and a lasting peace with Israel – because of their lack of influence over the militias, including Hamas and the Palestinian guerrilla groups based in Lebanon. Hamas, on the other hand, in a potential peace settlement with Israel is in a position to ask Palestinian militias to lay down their arms and make it happen.

    It is time that the U.S. government see that unconditional support for Israel’s current reckless course will neither lead to peace nor stability in the Middle East. As the world’s sole superpower, as Israel’s primary backer, and as an aid provider to Palestine, the U.S. is in a unique political position to broker a ceasefire and diffuse the current crisis. In fact, with Hamas in power in Ramallah, it has an historical opportunity to bring about a two-state solution and a practical final peace in the region. It also has a unique historical opportunity to diffuse the broader risks of mass destruction in the Middle East by offering to broker the mutual denuclearization of Iran and Israel. Whereas Iran may find it difficult for domestic political reasons to halt its nuclear program under unilateral external pressure, it may well be willing to step down from dual-use nuclear technology if Israel does the same and gives up the operational nuclear weapons already in its arsenal. Actually, Israel will be the harder party to convince. But the entire Middle East will become a safer place without nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons programs. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ “doomsday clock” will be able to be set back a few more minutes. The choices are clear: reduce the combustibles on all sides while there is a window of opportunity, or let the wildfires burn.
  12. bill1415


    now what?

    Sixth, the U.S. government’s unconditional support for Israel, and unwavering rejection of ceasefire proposals, does not even pretend to advocate a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The U.S. government’s prior role as peacemaker, however partial, in the Camp David Accords in 1978 and the Oslo Accords in 1993, has apparently been abandoned. This extreme position will only further galvanize Arab and Muslim public opinion against the U.S. government and exacerbate declining U.S. credibility in the region.

    Seventh, the cut-off of Palestinian tax revenues by Israel and the severance of direct aid by the U.S. and European Union in response to the lawful installation of a democratically-elected government in Palestine belie the U.S. and Israeli commitment to democracy. They also reflect an utter disregard for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people who had already been cut off from their jobs and only means of livelihood in Israel since the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000. The potential collapse of the Palestinian Authority would bring complete anarchy to an already chaotic situation, and unleash heretofore unseen forces from inside the Palestinian resistance.

    Eighth, the iron-handed control that Israel continues to exercise over the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza belies the political and economic reality of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in September 2005. Ten months after that withdrawal, Gaza residents are as much at the mercy of Israeli restrictions as ever. Even the movement of people and goods between Gaza and Egypt, which share a common land border, remains under strict Israeli military control.

    Ninth, Israel’s repeated suggestions that it might assassinate Palestinian leaders, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, demonstrate complete disregard for the rule of law and Palestinian national sovereignty. Its arbitrary arrests of Palestinian cabinet ministers and legislators prove that it may act with impunity against any duly-elected Palestinian government not to its liking.

    Tenth, the slanted language of war belies the objectivity of U.S. policy as well as the impartiality of news coverage. Israeli soldiers are “kidnapped” or “abducted”, but Palestinian leaders are “arrested” or “apprehended”. Palestinian militants are “terrorists”, but the massive Israeli air strike that left a vast gaping Ground-Zero-like hole in the midst of high-rise residential buildings in southern Beirut is “Israel’s right to defend itself”.
  13. bill1415


    read 'em and weep: but for who?

    July 16

    Fighting continues to escalate over the weekend. Israel strikes throughout Lebanon, including Sour, Nabatiyeh, Ba’albek, and as far north as the port city of Tripoli, killing scores of civilians. Seven Canadians are killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese border town of Aitaroun. In southern Beirut, Israel introduces for the first time the use of U.S.-made GBU-28 guided bunker buster bombs in an attempt to destroy Hezbollah underground bunkers within the city. Several 12 to 15-story buildings completely collapse into mountains of rubble (eerily reminiscent of Ground Zero after September 11th). Large areas of the city are levelled. South of Beirut, Israeli forces bomb the Jiyeh power plant. The cumulative death toll in Lebanon reaches 160, overwhelmingly civilian, since the fighting began four days ago.

    A Hezbollah rocket attack in Haifa kills 8 people. Others hit Tiberias, Nazareth, Afula, Givat E’la, and the Sheba’a Farms settlement in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The cumulative death toll in Israel reaches 24, 12 civilian and 12 military.

    Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz signals an escalation in military strategy from trying to secure the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah to the aim of permanently removing Hezbollah from southern Lebanon – essentially the area south of the Litani River.

    Media commentary widely adopts the notion that Israel is exacting “collective punishment” on Lebanese and Palestinian residents, in effect holding them responsible for the respective actions of Hezbollah and Hamas. The Israeli calculation appears to be that collective punishment through widespread bombing and destruction will intimidate public opinion into opposing Hezbollah and Hamas.

    July 17

    Israel aircraft bomb the Palestinian Foreign Ministry offices in Gaza. Sustained Israeli bombardments continue in Lebanon.

    July 20

    U.S. Marines begin evacuating American citizens via amphibious landing craft from a beach north of Beirut before ferrying them to Cyprus.

    Diplomatic efforts accelerate to deploy a U.N. or NATO peacekeeping force to introduce a buffer between the Israeli and Hezbollah forces along the Israel-Lebanon border.

    July 22

    An advanced force of 2,000 Israeli troops with tanks and armored bulldozers move across the Lebanese border under the cover of a fierce barrage of air strikes. This is in anticipation of a massive ground offensive to sweep Hezbollah forces out of the area south of the Litani River.

    July 24

    Fierce bombardments by both sides continue throughout the week, but there is always an immense military asymmetry between Israel and Hezbollah. The official cumulative death tolls reach 380 in Lebanon, over 100 in Palestine, versus 37 in Israel. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 600,000 people have been displaced by Israeli bombing in Lebanon.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice begins a trip to the Middle East, but without any specific proposals for a ceasefire or diffusing the crisis. Her main preoccupation appears to be limited to finding a way to curb Hezbollah and putting the Lebanese government in control of the area south of the Litani River.

    Ten observations

    Several significant points emerge from the unfolding events in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon.

    First, the capture of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit on June 25 was not an unprovoked aggression. It was immediately preceded by a series of Israeli shellings, rocket attacks, and commando raids on Gaza that killed over three dozen people, mostly civilians. Even the earlier Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel beginning on June 9th were in response to a series of Israeli assaults on the Palestinian Authority in particular and Palestinian sovereignty in general.

    Second, the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on July 12 was in support of Palestinians trapped and under almost continuous siege in Gaza. It was also a reaction to the virtual dismemberment of the Palestinian government through Israel’s widespread arrests of its elected political leaders. No people would be able to tolerate such a physical assault on their democratic political institutions and society.

    Third, all meaningful proposals for ceasefires came from the Palestinian side and the Lebanese government. All Palestinian and Lebanese ceasefire proposals were summarily rejected by the Israeli government, which placed decidedly asymmetric conditions on the acceptance of any ceasefire.

    Fourth, both in Gaza and in Lebanon, Israeli attacks deliberately targeted essential infrastructure – roads, bridges, airports, seaports, and power stations. These targets have little military significance to militias like those of Hamas and Hezbollah. Yet they are crucial for the civilian population, for the movement of food and medicines, and for escape routes. The systematic destruction of Lebanon’s transport infrastructure had no more immediate effect than to deny all Lebanese citizens and foreigners routes of escape from the heavy Israeli bombardments.

    Fifth, both in Gaza and in Lebanon, Israel’s deliberate policy was to exact collective punishment on all residents in the hopes of putting pressure on the militias from within. The plan is more likely to have the opposite effect of galvanizing a broad range of popular support behind the militias in much the same way that the Israeli assault on the Palestinian government and Gaza brought Hamas and Fatah much closer together.
  14. bill1415


    still going: general electric is really pissed

    June 30

    Israeli warplanes strike the Palestinian Interior Ministry building, setting it on fire. Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft and artillery continue to shower southern Gaza.

    July 2

    Under mounting pressure from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and international aid agencies concerned about the looming humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israel temporarily opened the border crossings at Karni and Kerem Shalom to allow trucks carrying food, fuel, and medical supplies to enter Gaza after being sealed for a week.

    July 3

    After Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he intended to make the lives of Gaza residents ever more miserable until Corporal Shalit is returned, Israeli forces intensified their attacks on Gaza. Israeli aircraft bomb Gaza City, hitting the local Fatah party office and the offices of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

    July 6

    With Israel escalating its rocket attacks and advancing into densely-populated areas of Gaza, 16 Palestinians are killed. One Israeli soldier also dies.

    July 7

    The European Union, issuing its strongest criticism yet, states; “The EU condemns the loss of lives caused by disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces and the humanitarian crisis it has aggravated.”

    Facing mounting international criticism for its invasion of Gaza, Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter indicates for the first time that Israel might be willing to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Corporal Shalit.

    July 8

    Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh calls for a ceasefire to halt the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Israel rejects the Palestinian offer, demanding that Palestinians first return the captured Israeli soldier and halt rocket attacks into southern Israel.

    July 9

    The Palestinian death toll due to Israel’s Gaza offensive surpasses 50.

    July 12

    Responding to the mounting carnage in Gaza, and the Israeli seizure of much of the Palestinian government leadership, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia engages in border skirmishes with Israeli troops. In the ensuing battle, Hezbollah forces kill 3 Israeli soldiers and capture two. With Israeli forces in hot pursuit into Lebanon, another 5 Israeli soldiers die. Hezbollah casualties were not immediately announced.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responds by saying, “Lebanon is responsible and Lebanon will bear the consequences of its actions.”

    Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora calls for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council, appealing for help in preventing the impending Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

    July 13

    Israel responds with military assaults from the air, land, and sea into southern Lebanon. Its combat operations in southern Lebanon are the first since withdrawing in 2000. Israel launches a aerial bombardment of Beirut International Airport, the surrounding southern suburbs where Hezbollah operates, and the main highway connecting Beirut with Damascus.

    Residents of Beirut stream out of the city desperately seeking refuge in the mountains or towards Syria. With the Israeli naval blockade and the country’s only international airport inoperable, nearly all normal means out of the country are blocked.

    Hezbollah fires scores of Katyusha rockets into Israel, most falling around the beach town of Nahariya. A single larger missile hits Haifa, some 20 miles south of the Lebanese border, much farther than any previous Hezbollah rocket attacks. Hezbollah rockets also strike Raifa.

    President George W. Bush unconditionally defends the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, and goes on to assert that Syria be “held to account” for fostering “terrorism”. He refuses to join international calls for a prompt ceasefire. Meanwhile, at the U.N. Security Council, the United States casts the sole vote (veto) against a resolution that would have demanded that Israel halt its military offensive in Gaza.

    July 14

    Israel continues pounding southern Lebanon, southern Beirut, and sets fuel tanks ablaze at the Beirut International Airport.

    Hezbollah launches a missile attack on an Israeli warship off the coast of Beirut, killing four sailors.

    An emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by Lebanon convenes to discuss the possibility of a U.N.-mandated comprehensive ceasefire and lifting of the Israeli air and sea blockades of Lebanon. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton stands alone in refusing to even urge restraint from Israel, and instead blames Syria and Iran for the current crisis. In the shadow of yesterday’s U.S. veto, the session ends without taking any action.

    July 15

    Israel bombs bridges and roads across Lebanon, dividing the country and stranding civilians desperately fleeing its attacks.
  15. bill1415


    a bit more non-corporate history

    June 8

    A midnight Israeli missile attack in southern Gaza kills four Palestinian members of the Popular Resistance Committees, including Jamal Abu Samhadana, who had recently been appointed to be inspector general in the Interior Ministry. Israel has blamed Samhadana for attacking a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Gaza in 2003, although his group has denied involvement.

    June 9

    In response to Israeli missile attacks, Palestinian militants fire small crude Qassam rockets into Israel towards Ashkelon, but no Israelis are hurt.

    Israeli artillery shelling, ostensibly aimed at Qassam rocket launch sites, kills 7 civilians on a northern Gaza beach, including a Palestinian family having a picnic with their 3 small children. Israel claims it was an accident. Other Israeli rocket attacks kill another 9 Palestinians, and injure at least 30 in Gaza.

    In response, the Hamas government vows to end its official 16-month ceasefire with Israel.

    June 10

    Hamas forces fire at least 15 Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel.

    June 11

    An Israeli air strike kills two Hamas commandos in Gaza. Palestinians respond with more Qassam rockets.

    June 12

    Palestinian security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas open fire with small arms on the parliament building and cabinet offices in Ramallah before setting the buildings on fire. The action is a retaliation for an attack by Hamas commandos in Gaza.

    June 14

    Angry Palestinian government employees, who have not been paid for months, storm their parliament in Ramallah, demanding back pay.

    A bit of temporary relief comes when the Palestinian foreign minister, Mahmoud Zahar, returns to Gaza carrying $20 million in cash euros after a trip seeking emergency funds from foreign governments.

    Fatah and Hamas reach an agreement to integrate a 3,000-man militia formed by the Hamas-controlled interior ministry into the Fatah-dominated national police.

    June 15

    Palestinians fire Qassam rockets into the Israeli town of Sederot.

    Hamas announces its willingness to reinstate the 16-month ceasefire if Israel will stop all attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. Israel refuses, demanding that the Palestinian rocket attacks stop first.

    June 21

    At least a dozen more Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza over an 8-day period.

    June 25

    Palestinian commandos kill two Israeli soldiers and capture Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit after tunnelling 300 yards into Israel from Gaza. Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees, and the Army of Islam participate in the raid south of kibbutz Kerem Shalom, just north of the Egyptian border.

    Shalit is the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since 1994. Hamas government spokesman, Ghazi Hamad, publicly urges the captors to “protect his life and treat him well.”

    Israel closes all border crossings into Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert holds the PA fully responsible.

    June 26

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warns of military action.

    Palestinian captors demand that Israel release all 95 Palestinian women and 313 youths under age 18 held in Israeli prisons in exchange for the release of Corporal Shalit. A total of over 9,500 Palestinians (excluding those who are Israeli citizens) are known to be held in Israeli prisons.

    June 27

    Fatah and Hamas are compelled into unity in the face of looming full-scale war. They adopt a common political platform that includes an implicit recognition of the state of Israel by Hamas. The so-called Prisoners Document calls for the creation of a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders, alongside Israel, and asserts the right of Palestinian refugees to return to lands within Israel proper.

    Israeli troops and armor move in force into southern Gaza.

    June 28

    The Popular Resistance Committees kill one Israeli settler near Ramallah.

    June 29

    Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers roll into northern Gaza. Israeli aircraft bomb three bridges at Deir al-Balah and the former settlement of Netzarim. They also destroy Gaza’s sole power station that supplies half of Gaza’s electricity. Israel begins shelling Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya in Gaza. Israeli missiles target the Islamic University in Gaza City.

    Israel arrests Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Shaer, one-third of the Palestinian cabinet, including Labor Minister Mohammed Barghouti and Finance Minister Omar Abdel Razak, and 20 Palestinian legislators in Ramallah, Jenin, East Jerusalem, and other parts of the West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas appeals to the United Nations for help in obtaining their release. In all, 87 Palestinians are detained in the West Bank.

    PA government leaders join in the demand that Israel release all women and children prisoners in exchange for Corporal Shalit.

    Israeli Justice Minister, Haim Ramon, suggests that the Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, exiled in Syria, is a target for assassination. Other Israeli officials suggest that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh could also be seized in Gaza, or even assassinated if Corporal Shalit is not returned.

    June 30
  16. bill1415


    continued non-corporate history

    February 13

    Israeli officials and Western diplomats reveal that Israel and the United States are discussing ways to destabilize the newly-elected Palestinian government. The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority (PA) of money and international connections until President Mahmoud Abbas is compelled to call a new election.

    February 18

    The new Palestinian parliament is sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. With many Palestinian legislators in Gaza banned by Israel from travelling to the West Bank, they have to settle for participating via a video link.

    February 19

    Israel cuts off approximately $50 million in monthly customs and tax revenues that it collects for the Palestinian Authority. The money is essential to pay the salaries of 160,000 Palestinian government employees, including 58,000 police and security personnel.

    The U.S. government backs Israel by announcing that it too is likely to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority until the new Hamas government recognizes Israel and disarms its commandos.

    March 5

    Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, is sworn in as prime minister to head the next government. Branding it a “terrorist authority”, both the U.S. and Israeli governments refuse to constructively engage a new Palestinian government jointly led by a Fatah president and a Hamas-led cabinet.

    March 10

    U.S. officials pressure independent “moderate” politicians not to serve in a Hamas-led government. The Bush administration’s strategy is to force Hamas to govern alone, hoping to isolate it politically when its government eventually fails under the cut-off of tax revenues and western aid.

    March 14

    When British prison monitors were suddenly ordered to leave their posts supervising six high-profile Palestinian detainees in Jericho, Israel besieged the prison compound with tanks, taking the six detainees into their custody. One of those seized was Ahmed Sa’adat of the secular left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who had won a seat in the Palestinian election in January. It is widely believed that the sudden withdrawal of the British prison monitors was calculated to give Israeli forces a pretext to seize the detainees by force from PA custody. The coordinated British and Israeli actions sparked widespread outrage throughout Palestine.

    March 19

    Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh proposes a 24-member cabinet made of Hamas members, Fatah members and independents having been deterred from joining by U.S. pressure.

    With the nearly 1.4 million Gaza residents facing severe shortages of bread, milk, and other essential commodities, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators reach a tentative agreement to open one border crossing into Gaza near kibbutz Kerem Shalom to allow humanitarian aid to enter the densely-populated Palestinian enclave from Egypt.

    April 7

    The U.S. and EU formally cut off all direct aid to the Hamas-led government, demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, honor previous PA agreements, and disarm its commandos. They say that they will redirect some aid to humanitarian projects that bypass the PA. The U.S. decision affects $411 million previously earmarked for the PA to maintain services in the impoverished Palestinian territories, and about $100 million to be redirected to food and medicines delivered through international agencies.

    May 7

    The PA defaults on two months of salary payments for its 160,000 government employees.

    As the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank continues to deteriorate, the U.S. and EU search for ways to resume international aid while bypassing Hamas. They consider channelling aid through the office of President Mahmoud Abbas in cooperation with the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations.

    May 18

    Starved of income, facing daily food shortages, and virtually imprisoned within the boundaries of Gaza, residents are becoming desperate for a resolution of the impasse. Amid rising unrest, competing Hamas and Fatah forces attempt to assert their presences by parading around with arms. In the following weeks, Hamas and Fatah militias engage in intermittent shootouts, some bloody.

    May 29

    Israeli ground troops enter Gaza for the first time since withdrawing eight months ago. They kill four Palestinians, including a policeman.

    June 5

    President Mahmoud Abbas announces a referendum scheduled for July 26th on a plan that would implicitly recognize Israel. Hamas opposes the referendum.

    June 7

    After negotiations between Hamas and Fatah aimed at halting weeks of bloody infighting, the Hamas-led government agrees to withdraw controversial private militias from public spaces in Gaza.
  17. bill1415


    a different snese of recent history

    July 25, 2006

    Who Started It?

    Chronology of the Latest Crisis in the Middle East


    The Bush administration, Congress, and the press repeatedly echo the Israeli government’s position that the current warfare between Israel versus Palestinians and Lebanese is a consequence of the “kidnapping” of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit by Hamas-led militants on June 25, 2006 and the “abduction” of two more Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on July 12, 2006. Yet every hostile action in this part of the Middle East is seen by someone as a response to a prior action by the other side. The only logical starting point for objectively examining the sequence of causes and effects is to begin with a watershed event that was clearly independent of any preceding military or political provocation. In 2006 that event was the Palestinian elections of January 25.

    A careful examination of the sequence of events reveals that every significant military action by a Palestinian or Lebanese militia was clearly in response to desperate conditions imposed on Palestinians by Israel. While one may not condone many of these actions because they result in the loss of life, they must be understood in the context of the entire crisis in this part of the Middle East and the living conditions of Palestinians, many of whom have been exiled from their ancestral homes since the U.N. partition of Palestine in 1948.

    Chronology of Crisis

    The following chronology of major events was compiled from Associated Press, New York Times, Financial Times, The Observer, and other established news agencies.

    January 20, 2005

    Facing mounting criticism of his conduct of the war in Iraq and “the war on terror”, President George W. Bush at his second inaugural address tries to give a positive face to his administration by adding “promotion of democracy” as new cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. He says, “So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” An outcome of this policy was the encouragement given to Hamas to participate in future Palestinian elections.

    mid-January 2006

    Public-opinion polls in Palestine continue to suggest that Fatah will win the most seats in the elections for the Palestinian parliament. The polls indicate that Hamas could win more than one-third of the seats.

    January 25, 2006

    Israel seals off Gaza by closing the Erez border crossing into Gaza in anticipation of security concerns leading up to Palestinian elections. Karni crossing was closed on January 15, 2006, and three other commercial crossings have been opened only intermittently. The impoverished Gaza Strip is critically dependent on imports of food, fuel, medicines, and other essential commodities brought in through Israeli-controlled border crossings. Gaza residents were equally dependent on the border crossings to get to their jobs in Israel before that avenue of employment was cut off by Israeli authorities.

    (The entire Gaza Strip is surrounded by concrete walls and high fencing. Israel controls all access into and out of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Palestinian access to the sea is strictly controlled by the Israeli navy. Palestinian air traffic is banned.)

    Palestinians go to the polls to elect a new parliament – the Palestinian Legislative Council.

    January 26

    The preliminary election results are announced. Hamas wins 76 of the 132 seats, an absolute majority. Fatah wins only 43. International observers declare the elections to be free and fair. The later final tally will be 74 seats for Hamas.

    February 12

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC, says that democracy should no longer be an immediate goal of U.S. foreign policy. Other think tanks, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, follow suit later in the month by attacking the administration’s commitment to promoting elections.
  18. bill1415


    how simple: what do you read for news? general electric/nbc?

    July 21

    Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know

    As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its borders without retaliation.

    The guiding rule in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should be denied the slightest access to any historical context, or indeed to anything that happened prior to June 28, which was when the capture of an Israeli soldier and the killing of two others by Hamas hit the headlines.

    Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.

    Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32.

    That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.

    It says, “We reserve the right to slaughter Palestinians whenever we want. We reserve the right to assassinate their leaders, crush their homes, steal their water, tear out their olive groves, and when they try to resist we call them terrorists intent on wrecking the ‘peace process’”.

    Now Israel says it wants to wipe out Hezbollah. It wishes no harm to the people of Lebanon, just so long as they’re not supporters of Hezbollah, or standing anywhere in the neighborhood of a person or a house or a car or a truck or a road or a bus or a field, or a power station or a port that might, in the mind of an Israeli commander or pilot, have something to do with Hezbollah.

    Israel regrets… But no! As noted above, it doesn’t regret in the least. Neither does George Bush, nor Condoleezza Rice nor John Bolton who is the moral savage who brings shame on his country each day that he sits as America’s ambassador (unconfirmed) at the UN and who has just told the world that a dead Israel civilian is worth a whole more in terms of moral outrage than a Lebanese one.

    None of them regrets. They say Hezbollah is a cancer in the body of Lebanon. Sometimes, to kill the cancer, you end up killing the body. Or bodies. Bodies of babies.

    In 1982 Israel had a problem. Yasir Arafat, headquartered in Beirut, was making ready to announce that the PLO was prepared to sit down with Israel and embark on peaceful, good faith negotiations towards a two-state solution.

    Israel didn’t want a two-state solution, which meant -- if UN resolutions were to be taken seriously -- a Palestinian state right next door, with water, and contiguous territory. So Israel decided chase the PLO right out of Lebanon. It announced that the Palestinian fighters had broken the year-long cease-fire by lobbing some shells into northern Israel.

    Palestinians had done nothing of the sort. For over a year there’d been no shelling from north of the border. Israel was lying. It shelled Lebanese towns and villages and bombed them from the air. Sharon’s forces killed maybe 20,000 people, and let Lebanese Christians slaughter hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Chatilla.

    The killing got so bad that even Ronald Reagan awoke from his slumbers and called Tel Aviv to tell Israel to stop. Sharon gave the White House the finger by bombing Beirut at the precise times -- 2.42 and 3.38 -- of two UN resolutions calling for a peaceful settlement on the matter of Palestine.

    When the dust settled over the rubble, Israel bunkered down several miles inside Lebanese sovereign territory, which it illegally occupied, in defiance of all UN resolutions, for years, supervising a brutal local militia and running its own version of Abu Graibh, the torture center at the prison of Al-Khiam.

    Occupy a country, torture its citizens and in the end you face resistance. In Israel’s case it was Hezbollah, and in the end Hezbollah ran Israel out of Lebanon, which is why a lot of Lebanese regard Hezbollah not as terrorists but as courageous liberators.

    The years roll by and Israel does its successful best to destroy all possibility of a viable two-state solution. It builds illegal settlements. It chops up Palestine with Jews-only roads. It collars all the water. It cordons off Jerusalem. It steals even more land by bisecting Palestinian territory with its “fence”. Anyone trying to organize resistance gets jailed, tortured, or blown up.

    Sick of their terrible trials, Palestinians elect Hamas, whose leaders make it perfectly clear that they are ready to deal on the basis of the old two-state solution, which of course is the one thing Israel cannot endure.

    So here we are, 24 years after Sharon did his best to destroy Lebanon in 1982, and his heirs are doing it all over again. Since they can’t endure the idea of any just settlement for Palestinians, it’s the only thing they know how to do. Call Lebanon a terror-haven and bomb it back to the stone age. Call Gaza a terror-haven and bomb its power plant, first stop on the ****ney back to the stone age. Bomb Damascus. Bomb Teheran.

    Of course they won’t destroy Hezbollah. Every time they kill another Lebanese family, they multiply hatred of Israel and support for Hezbollah. They’ve even unified the parliament in Baghdad, which just voted unanimously -- Sunnis and Shi’ites and Kurds alike -- to deplore Israel’s conduct and to call for a ceasefire.

    Dislike is one thing, but at least in the short term it doesn’t help much. Israel’s 1982 attack on Lebanon grew unpopular in the US, after the first few days. But forcing the US to pressure Israel to settle the basic problem takes political courage, and virtually no US politician is prepared to buck the Israel lobby, however many families in Lebanon and Gaza may be sacrificed on the altar of such cowardice.
  19. Duckman

    Duckman Moderator

    According to my interpretation (yes, this is my post and hence my understanding of the situation) of Hizbollah strategy, the thinking here is backwards. No one is supposed to speak for Zainab Faqi-Sleem, rather, her death is to speak for Hizbollah. And not for all of Lebanon either -- ask the Christians and the Druze how much they care for Hizbollah.

    Hizbollah fights from civilian centers. In pushing back the agressor, Israel had no choice but to target these civilian areas, but Israel tried to limit the damage. For example, Israel did indeed hit public infrastructure by bombing an airport's runways, but the traffic control tower was left alone.

    For Israel's security, other countries must not rain down missiles on Israel or send in suicide bombers. Being a member of the civilized world is not a suicide pact; Israel will do what it can to protect itself. Those who cannot stand Israel or hold it to a different standard (Where is the thread on this board about the genocide in Darfur? Where is the thread on this board about the 1MM Muslims killed by fellow Muslims in the Iran/Iraq war?) will not be quiet until Israel lies down and dies. Sorry -- not going to happen. Israel will do what it must to defend itself.
  20. Duckman

    Duckman Moderator

    Hizbollah rains down missiles on Israel and performs a cross-border raid and kidnaps three of its soldiers and the ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN conflict is the cause?