Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gaza's True 'Disproportion' Carlos Alberto Montaner! Myself I do not understand what a disproprtionate response is when someone is trying to kill you?



Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties in their confrontation with the Hamas terrorists. Those who reason thus usually speak the words "disproportion" or "asymmetry" in an indignant tone. While at this writing close to a thousand Arab Palestinians have died or been wounded as a result of the bombings, the Israeli losses amount to just over a dozen.

Tel Aviv's critics -- from whom an anti-Semitic stench often rises -- do not say whether Israel should increase its quota of cadavers or if it must reduce the Arabs' quota to achieve the reasonable proportion of blood that will soothe the peculiar itch for parity that afflicts them. Nor do they specify the morally permissible number of casualties to end the rain of rockets that for years has been constantly falling on the heads of Israeli civilians.

This demand for "proportionality" can only be called surprising. Until this conflict began, history books everywhere always expressed great satisfaction and a certain chauvinistic pride when a nation's army inflicted on the enemy a large number of casualties, vis-à-vis a trifling price paid by "our boys." Israel is the only country expected to behave differently and, in fact, it does; I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory. Of course, in this it behaves asymmetrically, because the Hamas terrorists, forever eager to cause the greatest damage possible, never announce when or where they will launch their rockets against Israel's civilian population.

In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties. All it wants is to stop Hamas' attacks the only way it can: by eliminating the terrorists and destroying their arsenals. There's no other way to deal with them. Hamas is not a political organization with which agreements can be reached, but a fanatical gang intent on wiping Israel off the map. To achieve this objective, its members are even willing to turn their own children into human bombs, just to kill the hated Jews.

Here's another very important asymmetry. The Jews build underground shelters in all houses near the border; they close the schools and hide the children at the least sign of danger; they treat the death of a single soldier as a national tragedy; they do everything possible to rescue their prisoners, and protect the civilian population from the consequences of war. In contrast, the authorities in Gaza, drunk with violence, fire their machine guns irresponsibly into the air to express joy or grief (causing numerous injuries), do not hesitate to install their headquarters or hide their guns in schools, mosques or hospitals, use human shields to protect themselves, turn to suicidal terrorists and reward the families of such "martyrs" with money.

One week before Hamas broke the truce and stepped up its rocket attacks against the Jewish state (the spark that set off this conflict), I was in Israel, where I had been invited to deliver a lecture at the University of Tel Aviv. As part of the contacts organized by my hosts, I visited the Wolfson Medical Center to learn about the program "Save a Child's Heart." I was very moved. It is a foundation devoted to providing heart surgery for very poor children, most of them from the Arab world. As it happened, I witnessed the hurried arrival of a tiny 5-day-old girl, who had to be operated on at once to keep her from dying. She was brought in by her mother, a woman in a black head covering that allowed me to see only her tear-filled eyes, and her husband, a small, bearded man who watched with amazement the indescribable kindness with which a group of doctors and nurses treated the baby. The family came from Gaza.

Since the war erupted, I have asked myself constantly what became of them all.

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Posted by Carlos Alberto Montaner on January 12, 2009 2:00 PM

Meanwhile despite the "disproportinate Response"Hamas remains defiant despite pounding asking for more useless death to its citizens

13 comments:

HILLBLOGGER said...

I totally disagree with the author that "Hamas is not a political organization with which agreements can be reached."

The author seems to have forgotten the historical context of this debacle; he has also conveniently waylaid the fact that Hamas was democratically elected and despite this, Israel refused to recognize the legitimacy of Hamas punishing instead the people of Palestine, particularly of Gaza, for the effrontery; lastly, the author has fallen for the Israeli propaganda that they this invasion was in defence of Israel when we all know full well that it was not Hamas that broke the cease fire but the IDF when they launched a raid into Gaza killing a number of Hamas. Hamas retaliated, and the bloody disproportionate war began.

There is an understanding that Israel is not complying with agreements to vacate the illegal settlements in Palestine and that the wealthy, technically advanced country of Israel is being overly aggressive against one of the poorest and least advanced countries in the world.

The Israel/Palestine question is the big issue in the Middle East and raises questions of Arabs versus the West and of the persecution of Islam. If we want to find a resolution to the Middle East question then one of the very first priorities is to find a resolution to the Israel/Palestine question.

Israel's actions over the last few weeks have set-back any resolution by years. In this sense the world community should be far more persuasive with Israel and should openly condemn her actions. Although they may make Israel feel a little more secure for a few months, and even bolster the leadership aspirations of Israel's leading politicians, these actions cannot be in the best interests of world peace. Israel cannot be allowed to derail every effort to find a solution to peace in the Middle East.

Naj said...

this may disambiguate some of your notions Jim

Monique said...

Jim, I know that Hillblogger has been here but I strongly advice you to read his last post. Not his latest post but the one before. It is very interesting.

Weaseldog said...

Jim, I can't respond to something like this.

People who see word games in the slaughter of human beings, sicken me to the core.

"It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry." - Don Henley

an average patriot said...

HILLBLOGGER
That article was sent to me by a Jewish friend! To me I understand the context of the problem and the fact that it will never be resolved peacefully but is ready to come to a head that Bush started when he attacked Iraq.
Helping Israel establish a safety zone and a new middle east order was the original goal and all out war is the only possible outcome! The timing, the timing of all this is very desconcerting and no coincidence!

an average patriot said...

Hi Naj
I just commented on your site. You are always enlightening! At this point I believe we caused all this in 1948 and it will end only one way unless someone wakes up real quick and I do not see it happening.
You know my thought on what is a given and going to happen and I have a very bad feeling as I watch it come closer by the day! In America the timing of all this in the middle east and our financial mess is no coincidence at what is supposed to be the end of Bush and the beginning of Obama. I am very concerned for January 20th!

an average patriot said...

Hi Monique
HillBlogger is always interesting to converse with. I was just on her site Anna De brux very interesting and you might want to check that out! I have not been on her HillBlogger site but now I will! I have just been so involved on the civilian media site I have been neglecting others.

an average patriot said...

Hi Monique
HillBlogger is always interesting to converse with. I was just on her site Anna De brux very interesting and you might want to check that out! I have not been on her HillBlogger site but now I will! I have just been so involved on the civilian media site I have been neglecting others.

an average patriot said...

Hi Wease
Good to see you! It is sickening and not just in Gaza that the lies and games continue and the innocents are simply sacrificed. It won't stop it gets worse. Sick!

Naj said...

Jim

I am very concerned about what the neocons have in their sleeves for Obama as well.

And having Hillary as Secretary of state is just a bad things as well.

I am finding myself depressed with all this ... it really looks BAD!

an average patriot said...

Naj
Give me a hug! You know I am very concerned and we have too good a reason. The Neocons are not done! They have yet to do their worst!
They have hamstrung Obama and set him up for failure. As I keep saying the timing of all this is no coincidence! Do not be depressed just relax we can not do anything but be prepared and deal with it and you will! I will shut up before I get carried away!

HILLBLOGGER said...

James,

Re "The timing, the timing of all this is very desconcerting and no coincidence!"

Spot on! It had something to do with presenting Obama with a fait accompli/railroading Obama (whom the Isralis believe will be "conciliatory" to the Palestinians).

I wouldn't be surprised if the Israelis look at this as nothing but a small increase in feelings against Israel but the offset is they now have virtually railroaded President Obama railroaded into a possible hardline position against Hamas. The balance must make Israel feel more secure. (Something they need.)

Hence, as you say and to my mind too, "the timing, the timing, it's all about the timing."

an average patriot said...

HillBlogger
Yes it is very disconcerting! The timing of not just this but the manufactured financial collapse is no coincidence.
This perfect manufactured storm is coming to a head and our chief scum has the nerve to say how great a job he has done.
I am very concerned what can happen before Obama is sworn in or what he is going to be forced to do as a result of the nightmare Bush has set in place here and around the world.
He has been set up for failure so the right can get back in and finish us off along with their mis adenda!