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After investigating weapons debris remaining from Israel’s recent assault on Gaza, Amnesty International has found that both Israel and Hamas used foreign-supplied arms against civilians, and is calling for an international arms embargo against all parties involved in the conflict. In a report picked up by HuffPo this morning, AI did make a clear distinction between the destructive capability of Israel and Hamas, and singled out the United States as the biggest culprit in the supply of weapons used against civilian populations.

When the fighting was over, Amnesty researchers discovered:

Fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli Army–including many that are US-made–littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. They included artillery and tank shells, mortar fins and remnants from Hellfire and other airborne missiles and large F-16 delivered bombs, as well as still smouldering highly incendiary white phosphorus remains.

They also found remnants of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which explodes large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2mm and 4mm square in size. These lethal purpose-made shrapnel had penetrated thick metal doors and were embedded deep in concrete walls, and are clearly designed to maximize injury.

On the Hamas side, Amnesty searched debris in southern Israel and found:

Remains of "Qassam", Grad and other indiscriminate rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups against civilian areas. These unsophisticated weapons cannot be aimed accurately and stand no comparison with the weaponry deployed by Israel but they have caused several deaths of Israeli civilians, injuries to others and damage to civilian property.

Amnesty calls for "an immediate and comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups", and singles out the United States for having a "particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights". Most importantly, they urge President Obama to immediately suspend all military aid to Israel.

Obama is unlikely to take the advice of Amnesty without a considerable amount of attention being directed to the U.S. role in the deaths and dismemberment of thousands of Palestinians. There are many organizations that oppose the Occupation and Israel’s use of white phosphorus, cluster munitions and bunker busters (made in the U.S.A.), but it is time for Americans to step up and put pressure on their President and Congressional representatives to stop using our tax dollars to facilitate the slaughter of Palestinians and the destruction of the infrastructure that supports their survival.

The very least we can do is inundate the White House and our reps’ offices with emails citing Amnesty’s findings and expressing our opposition to continued military aid to Israel. If we don’t do whatever we can, we are complicit in the war crimes committed in our names.

Originally posted to Ray Blake on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:47 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  First you should support a comprehensive arms (3+ / 0-)

    embargo on the United States.

    "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

    by DemocraticLuntz on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:58:57 AM PST

    •  Cause those guys make Hamas and Israel look like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Colorado is the Shiznit

      pikers.

      "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

      by DemocraticLuntz on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:01:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As, for that matter, do the other major (0+ / 0-)

        suppliers of arms to Israel (and, for that matter, Hamas)

        Bosnia, Serbia, France, Romania (if maybe not post-Communist; though they have their own strong Avigdor Liebermanesque party)

        vs. Russia, Iran (and if defensive war doesn't exclude civilian deaths)

        "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

        by DemocraticLuntz on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:09:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Come on, what's your point? (7+ / 0-)

          This isn't about sides.

          Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

          by borkitekt on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:11:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That he should be calling for an arms embargo to (2+ / 2-)
            Recommended by:
            Red Sox, Futuristic Dreamer
            Hidden by:
            borkitekt, haruki

            all those countries?

            "I gotta rec that sh*t, even though it is completely tasteless and rude." ... "luntz and his cretinous kabal are paid bloggers from AIPAC."

            by DemocraticLuntz on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:13:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am all for (12+ / 0-)

              embargoing the US after what it did in Iraq. The world should have done that or threatened it. It might have prevented a needless, criminal war.

            •  Sure, why not? (5+ / 0-)

              It'd be nice to know how the global arms market actually works.

              Perhaps you have some insight on this?

              As I've posted before, IBM created the technology that made the Holocaust possible- obviously there are many other countries and companies, I'm guessing many of whom are never sanctioned by their own country, or maybe international law- I wonder why that is?

              Have you ever looked at who supplied Iraq with their WMDs? And, you'ev noticed who was supplying Iran with their F-14s pre 79?

              Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

              by borkitekt on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:26:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  He's all about trolling, not about insight. (9+ / 0-)

                Hence the three consecutive posts urging embargos against the US, as if anyone not already cognizant of the US's role in the conflict would disagree.

                "All wars end with talking." - CKendall.

                by haruki on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:31:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, if he going to jack the threads (6+ / 0-)

                  then he needs to be HR'd.

                  Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                  by borkitekt on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:44:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, actually he's making a valid about point (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Karmafish, alizarin, volleyboy1

                  about holding Israel to a double standard compared to the one we hold ourselves to.

                  We've done everything Israel ever did, and some, why should they face the consequences and not us?

                  "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                  by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:52:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who said we shouldn't? (5+ / 0-)

                    On the other hand, what's the point of an arms embargo against the U.S., which makes all of its own weapons?

                    •  Pass. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Karmafish, alizarin

                      That's the right answer.  Two wrongs don't make a right.

                      Ignoring our government's wrongs while throwing a fit about Israel's is at best hypocrisy, at worst racism.  I believe that was DL's point, and it's a valid one.

                      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                      by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:09:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How does not mentioning the US's wrongs (5+ / 0-)

                        in this diary constitute ignoring them?

                        Didn't we as liberals raise a stink about the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah? Haven't we opposed the use of "shock and awe"?

                        Nobody's ignoring what the US does wrong. It just doesn't need to be mentioned in every diary.

                        So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                        by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:12:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't think it's wrong to bring it up (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          volleyboy1

                          here, when we're talking about how we should react to someone else who did something similar.

                          "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                          by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:34:40 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Seeing as how the diary's about an AI report, (3+ / 0-)

                            I don't see how it's relevant.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:42:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What's the precedent for international response (0+ / 0-)

                            to similar actions by other states?

                            "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                            by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 02:38:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I'm sure AI has condemned US use of (4+ / 0-)

                            white phosphorus in Fallujah, and I'm sure they were on everybody's case during the Russia-Georgia War. So I think they're well within their rights to oppose the actions of Hamas and Israel in the last war.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 04:37:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right. They did. (4+ / 0-)

                            One problem is that some folks only seem to see what AI has to say about Israel, and then they perceive this "anti-Israel" bias that isn't there.

                            AI condemned the use of white phorsphorus in Fallujah, they condemend the targeting of Iraqi power plants both times, they've condemned terrorists from Hamas to the Tamils, condemned the UK treatment of IRA prisoners, condemned the Saudi habit of murdering homosexuals and adulterers, so on and so on.

                            The thing is, people only argue with them when the party being condemned is Israel, which raises the profile of those criticisms.

                            Here's their top three stories todays

                            Call for accountability for abuses of human rights and international law in Gaza and southern Israel

                            No excuse, no delay: protect civilians in DRC

                            Call for the protection of freedom of expression in Moldova

                            It almost makes me wish there were people screaming "Those terrorists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are forcing the Government to murder those women and children" so we could get a discussion going.

                          •  I'm not accusing AI of antisemitism (0+ / 0-)

                            or anything like it.  I think such accusations are a little paranoid, but understandably so.

                            Answering DL like you answered me would have nipped this thing in the bud, and given the diary more credibility.

                            "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                            by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 12:04:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  But Israels right and wrongs do????? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Karmafish, Futuristic Dreamer

                          There was a diary about Hamas and Eygpt. The "Israel Sux" caucus was the first to rush and blame it all on Israel.

                          How do you say: "Nobody's ignoring what the US does wrong. It just doesn't need to be mentioned in every diary."

                          When the "Israel Sux" crew turns around and disparages Israel in every diary. Right there is a double standard. You know something about bricks and glass houses....

                          •  You use the misbehavior of others (7+ / 0-)

                            as an excuse to avoid dealing responsibility with this issue.

                            I'm not part of the "Israel Sux" caucus - I fucking fought in the IDF uniform for four years, and lost friends and loved ones to terrorist assaults.

                            And yet, I don't lose sight of my humanity in an orgy of distraction meant to excuse the inexcusable.

                            Nor am I part of the "America right or wrong" crowd - and I don't imagine anyone on Daily Kos is - so the "why not embargo the US" is rather irrelevant here, and presented solely in order to distract from the actual matter raised by the diary.

                            As the diary points out, AI urges an arms embargo on Israel AND Hamas, because BOTH of them are employing inhumane means illegal under international law.

                            Which of those inhumane means, precisely, specifically and directly, do you wish to defend?

                            Let's stop the evasion and get specific. Which of the weapons and their uses deplored by the AI report do you wish to defend?

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 02:54:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  See here is where you are off the mark... (0+ / 0-)

                            I am not defending use or misuse as it was of Israels weaponry. AND I am not attacking the diarist to distract that the diary does indeed call for both sides to be embargo'd.

                            For being part of Tzahal "toda raba" - the point I and others are making is that overwhelmingly rips are made on the IDF and Israel where none are made on the other side. Actions taken by Israel are routinely and minutely dissected where anything happening anywhere else is simply ignored.

                            Look up my diaries and you will see that while I am pro-Israel - I also favor a humane two state solution, water rights for the Palestinians and find the death of Palestinian citizens abhorrent as much as I find the death of Israeli citizens abhorrent.

                            I object to equating Hamas with Israel but, I am not trying to distract. I want those who support Hamas to stop just seeing Israel as the cause of all evil and look to themselves for answers. Am I asking too much?

                          •  This diary was about an AI report (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Futuristic Dreamer, gerbilmark

                            that condemned both parties, held the US and other arms merchants accountable for misuse of the military aid they provide, and called for an embargo on both sides to the conflict.

                            What does any of that have to do with your self-announted war on perceived anti-Israel bias on Daily Kos?

                            You say you object to equating Hamas with Israel, but that is precisely what you are trying to do - equate a democratic, recognized ally of the US, a signatory to a slew of international conventions apparently violated in this latest set of battles, more specifically its high tech, heavily armed and highly capable organized military force - comparing that with a quasi-organized paramilitary group not recognized by us, denied its voter mandate by force, and reduced to asymmetric guerrilla tactics and mostly ineffective shooting of imprecise rockets in the general direction of Israelis - and then holding both to the same standards - but not in order to contribute to peace and stability and saving of lives, but rather in order to excuse one set of wrongs with the other.

                            It is the same logic that causes so many members of the 95% theistic majority in the US to spend all their time bemoaning "atheistic hatred" and "oppression" on the part of the other 5%, instead of directing their attention to theistic excesses and misconduct within their own ranks.

                            You say you support Israel? Then hold Israel accountable for action that violate international law and human rights standards.

                            Don't try to excuse them with "but the other guys are worse" logic.

                            That's the (il)logic the Bush administration used to justify torture - "the terrorists are worse, we have to defend ourselves by any means necessary".

                            No. Israel's actions are wrong, regardless of what anyone else does in the world. The measure of civilization is not reducing society to the lowest common denominator, it is maintaining civilization in the face of man's inhumanity to man.

                            Israel used to hold itself to higher standards. And American supporters of Israel should hold it to at least the same standards we hold the US government.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 04:59:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope you missed again. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Futuristic Dreamer

                            Where did I excuse Israel? Where did I say I don't hold Israel to the same standard that I hold my own country too? You fought for the IDF, well so did my family. My relatives were Palmach in 1948, my friends / teammates that I went to school with and played Rugby with in Jerusalem were mostly Tsieret Tsanchanim. I worry for them every day.

                            No one is excusing what Israel did in Gaza. Show me where I said that. I said I think Israel was justified in attacking Hamas - I did not say wholesale bombing of civilian areas was right.

                            What I am saying is that fine go ahead and criticize Israel, but, while you are doing it acknowledge that your side (not you personally) also deserves criticism.

                            What I am saying is understand that there are two sides and by just hammering one side, you minimize the importance of the conflict.  

                          •  What you are really saying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerbilmark

                            is any diary that includes criticism of Israel - even one like this that is all about a study that criticized Hamas as well in no uncertain terms - will be dismissed as "one sided".

                            That is the way Israel's defenders avoid accountability and morality. It's either "Anti-semitism" or "only one side".

                            Bullshit.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 09:43:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry but you didn't get good.. (0+ / 0-)

                            grades in school did you.... I mean reading and comprehension must not be your strong suit. right?

                            Don't tell me what I am "really saying" you have no f'in clue as to what I am saying. Either that or you are just dumb as a sack of hammers.

                            I am not avoiding anything regarding accountability or morality of the conflict. READ THIS NEXT SENTENCE: In no way do I absolve Israel of the wholesale attack on the civilian population. I blame them for taking Hamas' bait and when the "brave" mujahideen hid behind men, women and childrenp; vshooting into that crowd. I do not think they should lower themselves to the moraliy of Hamas.

                            That being said (and again read my f'in comments) I am criticizing those who only criticize one side. Not the diarist, you dipwad, more the people who say "Well it is ok if you fire rockets into the middle of Sderot - that is legitimate resistance, but, the Israeli action was not." I am saying BOTH are wrong but if you don't acknowledge that than - yeah you are an f'in moron.

                            Sorry but, it is not ok to be ignorant.

                          •  Please point us to dairies that defend (0+ / 0-)

                            firing rockets into the middle of Sderot.

                            Straw man, much?

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 11:30:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

                            Want to tell me what is Strawman about that one. It didn't happen? Or perhaps Israel should open it's borders wide to a group of people who want to kill it.

                            Great comeback. And I would be happy to show you posts about Rockets being called "legitimate resistance". You telling me there are none????

                            See I knew reading was an issue. Well that or you really are dumb as a sack of hammers. Apparently it is not your strong point. I am sorry. There are Sylvan learning centers around the U.S. perhaps a class there would help. Just trying to be helpful.

                          •  Please point us to posts about "Rockets being (0+ / 0-)

                            called 'legitimate resistance'"

                            And to ones that propose that "Israel should open it's borders wide to a group of people who want to kill it." (specifically which group would that be, BTW? It is important to move from your general outrage and ad hominem attacks to specifics - otherwise, your just repeating bullshit over and over in the hopes that, if you scream it loud enough, it will be taken as truth. That's a favorite tactic of ultra-Right-wing talk radio, BTW, not usually associated with reasonable liberals.)

                            Straw man, more?

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 12:43:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are the one (0+ / 0-)

                            just repeating bullshit.

                            Open your borders to groups that want to kill it: Specifically I mean Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa. But really focused on Hamas.

                            Second, are you really going to argue that no one on Daily Kos in I/P diaries supports rocket attacks framed as "legitimate resistance". I am happy to supply examples but, if you spend anytime on here do you really not see them???!!!

                            So go on - what is strawman about my arguments? As you say be specific.

                          •  Please provide examples. (0+ / 0-)

                            Without them, your claims that you are responding to a pattern of anti-Israel posts which simultaneously defend Hamas' use of violence against civilians are the very essence of straw men. Perhaps you need to look up the term.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 01:02:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok here's one from ... (0+ / 0-)

                            callmecassandra on a recent diary:

                            "People under an occupation will not stop resisting. If Israel wants Hamas to stop attacking, if it wants Palestinians to stop resisting, then Israel will have to resolve these legitimate grievances."

                          •  And yet another example: (0+ / 0-)

                            The Israeli's drive the Palestinians from their homes and make them permanent refugees. Then make them live in an apartheid political system for generations.
                             Then, when the Palestinians fight back by launching a few ineffective rockets, the Israelis pound them with one of the most potent militaries
                            on earth.

                            It's not even a fight. It's a gang rape, and the Palestinians are considered to be the "aggressors" when they try to scratch the face of one of the rapists.

                            Well now, shall I go on and find many more posts or will you open your eyes to the fact that some here, (not all) legitimize these attacks?

                          •  Yep and another (0+ / 0-)

                            Here is yet another:

                            "How many of those rockets landed in territory that Israel illegally annexed? The only "right to exist" is that granted by the UN. The only land that can be argued to belong to Israel is that granted by the UN.
                            One last thing, how many people died from these rockets? A dozen in a few years.
                            You have to ask yourself, what would you do if you were a Palestinian. If your family had been killed, you house destroyed, your means of subsistance stolen, and so on and so forth. Wouldn't you fight back? Or would you roll over like a little doggie?"

                            Shall I get more or have I proven my point.

                          •  Thanks for the quotations (0+ / 0-)

                            but it would be more helpful if you just provided links, so that I can view the context and the history of the commenter, and compare that with the overall tenor and quantity of discussions about the issue.

                            Otherwise, it is natural for me to suspect you may be cherrypicking. For all I know, all those comments might have come from the same person, or even the same comment or diary, since you only attribute the first quote to a single kossite out of tens of thousands of commenters.

                            Again, since your argument is that there is some kind of overwhelming tide of one-sided support for Hamas' attacks that is so dominant that you feel compelled to inject it into this diary - which even you admit was not supportive of Hamas.

                            Provide me with the links, and I will provide a comparative analysis of overall comments or diaries on the I-P issue on Daily Kos, and then we can review whether your assertion reflects reality, or is just a straw man.

                            Remember, I did not claim that there are no idiots on any side of any of this conflict; I merely challenged your assertion that it was the dominant discourse here, that there was some kind of tidalwave of support for rocketing civilians, that where was an overarching tendency to blame Israel only for everything.

                            So, let's review the facts. I'm giving you first shot to present evidence. I can't do much with cherrypicked quotes. Give me links, please.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 01:45:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok.. but (0+ / 0-)

                            I am going to to have do this later. They did not come from the same person and they came from three different diaries.

                            And I do not say there is overwhelming support for Hamas' civilian attacks. In fact I believe most Kossacks are NOT supporters of Hamas.

                            What I am saying is that there are overwhelming attacks / scrutiny on Israel but, not equal scrutiny on Hamas or the Arab side in general.

                            The last quote I gave you was from:

                            nicta
                            "Israel's Anschluß (6+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by: mattman, CTPatriot, Overseas, notquitedelilah, babygotback1, farbuska
                            How many of those rockets landed in territory that Israel illegally annexed? The only "right to exist" is that granted by the UN. The only land that can be argued to belong to Israel is that granted One last thing, how many people died from these rockets? A dozen in a few years.
                            You have to ask yourself, what would you do if you were a Palestinian. If your family had been killed, you house destroyed, your means of subsistance stolen, and so on and so forth. Wouldn't you fight back? Or would you roll over like a little doggie?"

                            I will grab the others as I can and as I have time

                          •  This is the heart of our disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                            What I am saying is that there are overwhelming attacks / scrutiny on Israel but, not equal scrutiny on Hamas or the Arab side in general.

                            I think your own bias colors your perceptions.

                            a) scrutiny is not an equivalency contest. It is, and should be, possible to scrutinize the actions of a democracy to which we give aid, particularly with regard to their use of the weapons they receive from us, without any reference to other entities that we do not fund or supply weaponry to. Israel should be held to its own standards, and our aid to any country should be held to our own standards.

                            Otherwise, it is just like defending those who "just followed orders".

                            b) there is, in fact, a dramatic asymmetry in the military aspects of the struggle between Israel and the Palestinians, and in particular between Israel and Hamas ("Hamas" NOT being synonymous with "Palestinian"). In any dramatically asymmetric conflict, the side without the high tech weapons, money and power tends to fight in ways that seek to increase its impact. Usually, those involve attacks on civilians. Fighters for Israel's liberation engaged in those tactics, as did fighters for US liberation and nearly every other conflict of this type.

                            That does not excuse shooting imprecise rockets at civilians, any more than it excuses dropping thousand-pound bombs on apartment buildings from high-flying jet planes.

                            It does explain why Hamas resorts to the tactics it does. They don't have tanks to bulldoze Israeli houses, they don't have jets to bombs Israeli homes, they don't have white phosphorus artillery rounds to shell Israeli populations. They also have not succeeded in killing thousands of Jews civilian or otherwise, as Israel's forces have succeeded in killing thousands of Palestinians, including large numbers of civilians.

                            Nonetheless, the overwhelming sentiment expressed on Daily Kos is not unconditional support for ends justifying the means in defense of Palestinian objectives; rather, the overwhelming sentiment tends to be, a pox on both your hateful houses! Can't you learn to resolve your differences without bayoneting each other to shreds in an orgy of never-ending destruction?

                            When a mother loses a child to war, it really doesn't matter if the bomb was "justified" or not in the viewpoint of some remote philosophical debate halfway around the world.

                            The bottom line is our taxpayer money funds Israeli violence; it doesn't fund Palestinian violence - so it is utterly reasonable to have discussions about the appropriateness and wisdom of sending Israel more money to commit violence. Even so, diaries like this bend over backwards to make sure they note condemnation of all acts of violence by all sides.

                            And yet, you spend so much effort here claiming that you are only fighting attitudes and comments that aren't even here.

                            Don't spend any more time grabbing other comments. I think you got my point. You've backed off considerably from shouting about how everyone is blaming Israel for everything.

                            Israel needs to be judged as Israel, not be patted on the back for not being as bad as the terrorists. Just as America needs to be judged as America, not be patted on the back for torturing far fewer people than the enemy.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:37:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok, I do get your point (0+ / 0-)

                            I think we both reacted to buzz words in our posts I will concede that. As I think you presupposed some of my comments as well.

                            I also agree that Israel needs to be judged as Israel but, I also realize that Israel exists in a hostile environment. It is very frustrating when  in my opinion that is overlooked. It is hard for me to see "Israel does this..." when more heinous attitudes are exhibited by the other side.

                            What particularly gets me is the argument about intentions. If the shoe were on the other foot I have no doubt that Israelis would be in concentration camps by now. That does not excuse any of the attack on Gaza, nor killings of civilians but then again I am happy there is not equivalence in the M.E.

                            I think you know where I am coming from. Think Ma'arach. You say you served in the IDF. So you know that part of things. I am not Shalom Achshav, but, I do favor peace and a two-state solution.

                          •  I believe the ends do not justify the means (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            volleyboy1

                            In my experience, that is a minority opinion in Israeli culture, and among those who defend Israel against perceived bias in the US.

                            That is a fundamental difference. I do not believe my actions in the Israeli military were justified by the circumstances. I do not believe in "collateral damage" - I do not believe the slaughter of civilians is every justified, no matter what the circumstances. I oppose the firebombing of Dresden and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                            I do not believe we should "support the troops no matter what" in the US, where we have no draft. I hold individual American soldiers responsible for choosing, out of all that life offers in America, to be trained to kill as instruments of foreign policy. I do not believe that, even in nation's like Israel where there is a draft, that people like me, who volunteered to be a tough guy and serve in special forces, are justified in seeking a role that makes them - that made me - a more perfect instrument of war, death and destruction.

                            I apply the same standards to Hamas and the Palestinians. I do not justify a single act of terror. Murder is murder, no matter what the pretext. The fact that I understand, logically, why combatants under certain circumstances, pursue certain tactics, does not mean I morally justify those tactics. It just means I am not surprised by them. I am not surprised that Palestinians engage in terrorist attacks, or that Israelis prefer state terror; that is a natural phenomenon of asymmetric warfare.

                            I am also not surprised that those fighting against the US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan resort to mining roads and using car bombs and suicide bombers. That is a natural tactic to employ in asymmetric warfare. That does not mean I justify it, condone it, or excuse it.

                            I do hold Israel to a higher standard, however, because it acts as a democracy, and its leaders carry out only those policies its electorate sanctions. Just as I hold us in the US accountable for the actions of the Bush Administration.

                            I don't expect high moral standards from thugs, dictators or terrorists. I do expect them from titular democracies - and, most of all, I expect them from nations that we provide weapons to as our closest of "allies".

                            Those are minority positions even on the Left in America.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 04:57:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I appreciate.. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RandomActsOfReason

                            your note and I cannot begin to imagine what you went through - so I do respect what you have to say. I was there when the Kach guys rolled a grenade into a Peace Now rally - It was horrible.

                            What you just posted was fair enough and I can say that now reading other posts in the future I can appreciate your point of view. Not having been there I am not sure that I can see it fully - and cannot say that i completely agree, however, I don't have your experience so I will shut up on that.

                            My friends from the Tsanchanim had similar ideals - maybe a bit less pacifistic but their experience in Lebannon affected them greatly. Anyhow, I look forward to more dialogue and as this turned into a civil discussion from some very harsh rhetoric which I regret.

                          •  How am I part of the "Israel Sux" caucus? (2+ / 0-)

                            If you were a regular participant in these diaries, instead of someone who randomly jumps in to accuse me of things I didn't say, you would know I do not blame Israel alone and my view of Israel is not one of complete derision.

                            So I'm not standing in glass house and I'm not throwing any bricks.

                            What I find is that in a diary dealing specifically with AI's call for a stop to weapon shipments to both Israel and Hamas, a lot of the pro-I people have come in and started talking about Egypt. Why aren't you calling them out?

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 04:41:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ummm I have been (0+ / 0-)

                            a pretty regular participant in I/P since I joined a few months ago and I only got on DKos a couple .

                            We are not calling them out because they are actually talking about the issue from both sides not just the "Well it's all Israel's fault" side.
                            Read my comments. I don't say that Israel's response was over the top. And I don't criticize the diarist. I criticize those who only see one side of the conflict.

                            What I see from folks is "Israel bombed all these poor civilians - the rat bastards". "Hamas fired an ineffective rocket at a Kindegarten in legitimate defense against oppression - the heroes".

                  •  No, it is not a valid point, per se, (0+ / 0-)

                    it is a smokescreen, and it's typical here: don't look at what Israel is doing wrong for whatever reason.

                    Many posters play the same game, and it's neither productive or honest.

                    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                    by borkitekt on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:26:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nobody is saying "don't look", well maybe Moon is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      volleyboy1

                      but not holding Israel to a double standard is a valid point.  That's the difference between objecting to Israel's polices and being an "Israel basher" who will use any reason to talk shit on Israel.  DL's comment is a perfect way to see who is who.

                      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                      by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:41:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                Putting any blame on IBM for the Holocaust is absolutely ludicrous.

                •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattman

                  Only after Jews were identified -- a massive and complex task that Hitler wanted done immediately -- could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved labor, and, ultimately, annihilation. It was a cross-tabulation and organizational challenge so monumental, it called for a computer. Of course, in the 1930s no computer existed.

                  But IBM's Hollerith punch card technology did exist. Aided by the company's custom-designed and constantly updated Hollerith systems, Hitler was able to automate his persecution of the Jews. Historians have always been amazed at the speed and accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify and locate European Jewry. Until now, the pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor.

                  IBM and its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions, one by one, anticipating the Reich's needs. They did not merely sell the machines and walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees and became the sole source of the billions of  punch cards Hitler needed.

                  Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                  by borkitekt on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:02:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    borkitekt, Futuristic Dreamer

                    I've seen the Hollerith machine at the Holocaust museum. The Nazis did not "need" an IBM machine. Industry from I.G. Farben to Krupp had their tentacles throughout the German Holocaust machinery, and no doubt a German subsidiary of IBM was one of them, but it's not as if without IBM, the Holocaust never would have happened or the Germans wouldn't have still successfully deported and killed millions of Jews if they wanted to.

                    The Turks didn't have computers in 1915, nor did the Serbs use them in 1992. If you control all food sources and weapons in an area, and people's neighbors know who is Jewish/Armenian/Muslim and who is not, you will not have any trouble tracking them down, separating them, and killing them. A punch-card machine is just one tool along with access to existing records and the creation of new ones. Co-opting the existing Jewish community was perhaps the most powerful tool.

                    Think of it this way: German bureaucrats who did not want to be sent to the Soviet Union had every reason to invest their energies in a thorough and bureaucratic "solution" to the Jewish problem.

            •  CONCERN! CONCERN! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fire bad tree pretty

              Nothing to see here people. (he mentioned israel! panic!)

    •  do you mean importing weapons to the US or (2+ / 0-)

      exporting weapons to the US or does that mean no more US supplied weapons, regardless of provenance. Don't forget the 100,000 AKs that went missing in Iraq (though some turned up when used to rob Turkish banks) were purchased from Bulgaria.

    •  An arms embargo of the U.S would... (4+ / 0-)

      cut off our supply of what, exactly?

  •  Last sentence is the key: (19+ / 0-)

    If we don’t do whatever we can, we are complicit in the war crimes committed in our names.

    Hard to imagine anyone disputing that sentence, who has not utterly lost their moral compass.

    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:00:47 AM PST

  •  Isn't Hamas already under embargo? (6+ / 0-)

    Who's legally selling guns to Hamas? I think everything they are getting is black market already, they don't need too much anyway, you can get AKs, explosives, and Katyushas anywhere. Israel was already embargoed before and after 1948, didn't stop the cycle of wars, only made the weapons used less precise. I think the international system needs to follow football rules, for each penalty called you lose 15 years of ground.  

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:01:01 AM PST

  •  Oh 3 anti-Israel diaries today!! (4+ / 6-)

    Yeah - let's cut off support of Israel. That will make her safter!

  •  I'm with A.I. on this one (8+ / 0-)

    but I don't think it's going to happen without a lot of MSM press in the U.S. This is something for Rachel and Keith to focus on, for sure.

    Also, how absolutely terrifying is that new missile? So nice that it was created to inflict maximum damange.

    •  Someone else will need to factcheck me and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karmafish

      supply a link, but I recall reading that the missle was designed to limit damage to a limited area to try and minimize or avoid nearby civilian damages.

      •  Getting rid of those sharp edged metal cubes... (9+ / 0-)

        ...might help to minimize civilian casualties. Nix the explosion, too.

        The Neutron Bomb was advertized as being designed to limit damage. And the MX Missle is now called the "Peacekeeper Missle".

        We are fools if we fall for it.

        illegal, n. A term used by descendents of European immigrants to refer to descendants of Indigenous Americans

        by ricardomath on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:22:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great. (6+ / 0-)

        Hopefully if someone decides to take out a "terrorist" near your home,
        they'll use that one.

        Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

        by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:23:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  how does a missile distinguish (4+ / 0-)

        between combatant and noncombatant? Even in Afghanistan it appears our dead Taliban to oops its a civvie ratio is 1:1 by some reports and 2:1 even by our own military reports.

        •  fine, it limits nearby combatant damages also (0+ / 0-)
          •  so now we have missiles designed to kill fewer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fire bad tree pretty

            combatants and this is an improvement on the weaponry? Maybe instead it is a reflection of how weapons technology is insufficient to solve diplomatic problems.

            •  Diplomacy is good, but (0+ / 0-)

              cannot always solve the problem.  diplomacy was tried; oslo failed to produce a resolution.  (You may blame Israel for that, but see: http://www.mideastweb.org/...

              When diplomacy fails in these kind of circumstances war follows.  Condemning israel for using its arms because it has more and better arms is nonsensical.

              •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Terra Mystica, JesseCW

                I take issue with this assertion.

                diplomacy was tried

                I have yet to see evidence that either side was ever truly committed to diplomacy. In retrospect, it all looks like grandstanding to me.

                So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:50:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  did you read the link? n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  I looked at it. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JesseCW, Fire bad tree pretty

                    That's the proposal that Arafat rejected. Israel later rejected the Taba proposal.

                    Hence, why I said that both sides were grandstanding.

                    So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                    by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:58:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's not what the link says n/t (0+ / 0-)
                      •  It specifically says that Barak (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Terra Mystica, JesseCW

                        was the one who broke off talks at Taba because of the election.

                        So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                        by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:03:50 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                          the relevant part of the link says:

                          The Palestinians supposedly "accepted" this map "as the basis for further negotiations" but they did not agree to the borders, and  apparently insurmountable problems remained regarding Right of Return of refugees Jerusalem and other issues.

                          My understanding was that the offer was a "take it or leave it."  Arafat (rightly or wrongly) did not take it.  So Barak ended the talks, because at that time at least there was nothing to talk about.

                          Given that real offer, as well as Israel's acceptance in principle of the Clinton plan (which was 98% similar to the taba plan), I don't see how Israel can be accused of not negotiating in good faith.

                          •  As pointed out below, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JesseCW

                            there is no sourcing on the allegations made.

                            And it seems that a lot of it is based on what Dennis Ross wrote. He's most certainly not an impartial observer. So the link isn't the most credible of sources.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:20:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I object to the rejection of Ross (0+ / 0-)

                            as a legitimate source.  He was the guy that was there.  Show me a contradiction on the points I'm focusing on by someone else who was there.  There's no point in having a conversation if every source that provides information that supports an Israeli position is discredited for supporting an Israeli position, and everyone who provides information that supports a Palestinian position is embraces as credible.  

                          •  Sure he was there. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Terra Mystica, JesseCW

                            So was Arafat and Barak. I would not rely on only them to provide an accurate account of what happened. Dennis Ross has proven himself to be biased towards one side. I view everything he says with suspicion until it can be corroborated by an actual impartial source.

                            everyone who provides information that supports a Palestinian position is embraces as credible.  

                            I don't know why you attribute that to me, as I never said anything close to that. Nor would I ever suggest such a thing.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:29:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that wasn't aimed specifically at you personally (0+ / 0-)

                            but unless there is a source with first hand knowledge who contradicts Ross on the two specific points for which I rely on him, what is your basis for rejecting it.  And how has Ross proven to be biased in a way that makes his sourcing of historical events invalid per se.  (Also, the link does not cite ross for the Taba info.  Indeed, ross wasn't there and can't be a source for that info.

                          •  Well, he currently works at a think tank (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Terra Mystica, JesseCW

                            called the Washington Institute, which is basically a central location for neo-cons and has no pro-Palestinian voices. He's was involved in a paper that basically advocated for war with Iran. That he's biased is really uncontroversial.

                            As to where the info comes from on Taba, I'd love it if you could tell me. Because there are no sources.

                            If the allegation that Palestinians weren't serious about negotiations while Israelis were always serious about them is going to be made, there'd better be some meticulous sourcing to back that up. There is none in that link that you provided.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:41:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  didn't say palestinians weren't seious. (0+ / 0-)

                            Ross' current position doesn't justify a rejection of his info as unreliable.

                          •  the link identies a source for the Taba info n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Does it have an author? (0+ / 0-)

                    Popping around on the site, I can find the copyright warning and such but cannot find an attribution as to the author.

                •  I would add this as a source as to the overall (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW

                  lack of commitment on both sides of the table:
                  http://books.google.com/...

              •  Barak was trying to avoid interim agreements (0+ / 0-)

                at Camp David that concerned Jerusalem settlements and prisoners and was trying to force a final status on the Palestinians that would avoid their keys issues, or so says Rob Malley, Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, who was there.

                Moreover, the steps Barak undertook to husband his resources while negotiating a historical final deal were interpreted by the Palestinians as efforts to weaken them while imposing an unfair one. Particularly troubling from this perspective was Barak's attitude toward the interim commitments, based on the Oslo, Wye, and later agreements. Those who claim that Arafat lacked interest in a permanent deal miss the point. Like Barak, the Palestinian leader felt that permanent status negotiations were long overdue; unlike Barak, he did not think that this justified doing away with the interim obligations.

                For Arafat, interim and permanent issues are inextricably linked—"part and parcel of each other," he told the President—precisely because they must be kept scrupulously separate. Unfulfilled interim obligations did more than cast doubt on Israel's intent to deliver; in Arafat's eyes, they directly affected the balance of power that was to prevail once permanent status negotiations commenced.

                To take the simplest example: if Israel still held on to land that was supposed to be turned over during the interim phase, then the Palestinians would have to negotiate over that land as well during permanent status negotiations. And while Barak claimed that unfulfilled interim obligations would be quickly forgotten in the event that the summit succeeded, Arafat feared that they might just as quickly be ignored in the event that it failed. In other words, Barak's seemed a take-it-or-leave-it proposition in which leaving it meant forsaking not only the permanent status proposal, but also a further withdrawal of Israeli forces, the Jerusalem villages, the prisoner releases, and other interim commitments. Worse, it meant being confronted with the new settlement units in areas that Barak self-confidently assumed would be annexed to Israel under a permanent status deal.

                In many ways, Barak's actions led to a classic case of misaddressed messages: the intended recipients of his tough statements—the domestic constituency he was seeking to carry with him—barely listened, while their unintended recipients—the Palestinians he would sway with his final offer—listened only too well. Never convinced that Barak was ready to go far at all, the Palestinians were not about to believe that he was holding on to his assets in order to go far enough. For them, his goals were to pressure the Palestinians, lower their expectations, and worsen their alternatives. In short, everything Barak saw as evidence that he was serious, the Palestinians considered to be evidence that he was not.

                For these reasons, Camp David seemed to Arafat to encapsulate his worst nightmares. It was high-wire summitry, designed to increase the pressure on the Palestinians to reach a quick agreement while heightening the political and symbolic costs if they did not. And it clearly was a Clinton/ Barak idea both in concept and timing, and for that reason alone highly suspect. That the US issued the invitations despite Israel's refusal to carry out its earlier commitments and despite Arafat's plea for additional time to prepare only reinforced in his mind the sense of a US-Israeli conspiracy.

                On June 15, during his final meeting with Clinton before Camp David, Arafat set forth his case: Barak had not implemented prior agreements, there had been no progress in the negotiations, and the prime minister was holding all the cards. The only conceivable outcome of going to a summit, he told Secretary Albright, was to have everything explode in the President's face. If there is no summit, at least there will still be hope. The summit is our last card, Arafat said—do you really want to burn it? In the end, Arafat went to Camp David, for not to do so would have been to incur America's anger; but he went intent more on surviving than on benefiting from it.

                ...don't delay or hesitate in standing up to be counted with the oppressed.

                by soysauce on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 12:26:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Give me a fucking break (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terra Mystica

        I know the danger of assuming things about pseudonymous people on the Internet, but I'm willing to go out on a limb here, based on your consistent comments defending the horrific weapons of modern war, and assume you have never ever been in one, either as a soldier or victim,  nor seen the aftermath first-hand.

        Weapons of war are not designed nor used in the way you seem to think they are.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 03:02:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This'll be used to justify starving Gaza. (8+ / 0-)

    Israel will claim this as justification for their continued blockade of Gaza, apparently intended to starve the Palestinians into complete submission.

    Too bad U.S. political leaders, Obama included, are so beholden to the Israeli lobby that an arms embargo on the "Middle Eastern superpower" will never happen. So as usual it'll be a one-sided embargo, hurting only the Palestinians.

  •  The diary isn't anti-Israel (11+ / 0-)

    it's anti war.

    The A.I. report makes uncontroversial observation that the struggle is asymmetrical, but doesn't exonerate Hamas or other Palestinian "armed factions."

    "In addition all states should suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups until there is no longer a substantial risk of human rights violations. There must be no return to business as usual, with the predictably devastating consequences for civilians in Gaza and Israel."

    Enough white phosphorous and quassam rockets, how's that wrong?

    Enough war, more music. The world would be better off if there were Daniel Barenboims around: he holds uniquely in the world it is thought, Palestinian and Israeli passports.

    More music and cultural integration, less violence from land theft to rockets.

    Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please: Marx

    by TNThorpe on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:34:11 AM PST

  •  No more equivalance between Israel and Hamas... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish, desiderata, BuckM, gerbilmark

    It's a ridiculous comparison. Comparing what Hamas does and stands for against what Israel does and stands for?  You have to be nuts. The two are NOT equal. To make them equal is a tactic of enemies of Israel. Clever, but not clever enough.

    •  Us "enemies of Israel" say ..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, JesseCW, Johnny Q, ffrf

      ... bring war criminals on BOTH sides before international courts.

      "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

      by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  easy to say, but Hamas would not (0+ / 0-)

        even allow investigation.  And who do you think would be safe in Gaza investigation Hamas war crimes?

        Every Rocket (still being fired even after the supposed cease fire) is a war crime.  

        Under the Geneva Conventions, which are the statutory implementation of the customary laws of war, it is forbidden to deliberately attack civilians or bona-fide civilian structures, dwellings, and places used for civilian purposes, such as hospitals, religious structures, and schools. It therefore follows that the use of any form of weapon to deliberately attack civilians or deliberately attack unquestionably civilian targets unoccupied by military forces is a war crime, and in violation of the laws of war.

        The rockets are a war crime.  6000 plus times, and no international court.  No charges.  6000 plus times over multiple years.  Not a word about it from the UN, or any international court.

        Hamas' charter demands genocide and ethnic cleansing.  A war crime?  No investigation, no charges, no international court.

        Holding a prisoner of war without letting him be seen by the red cross.  A war crime.  No investigation, no charges, no international court.

        Somehow you say both, but even the most obvious crimes are excused...

        •  Are you not aware .... (0+ / 0-)

          .... that the ceasefire is unilateral and conditional? Stop obfuscating!

          "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

          by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:20:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  find the equivilence. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      borkitekt

      win a cookie.

    •  why did Israel then arm and fund Hamas ? (6+ / 0-)

      Check your history and you will find Israel at one time saw Hamas as a counterweight to Fatah. The fact that Israel is now in bed with Fatah illustrates how their strategy of fracturing the Palestinian leadership is historical and ongoing

    •  The issue isn't what Israel/Hamas stand for (9+ / 0-)

      It's who is suppying them with weapons used against civilians and how we can bring pressure to bear to end that transfer of arms. Given that our government is the biggest provider of these weapons, it's incumbent upon us to express our opposition to our tax money being used to kill non-combatants.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:17:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  infinite moral superiority (0+ / 0-)

      of one side.  But which one?

      Is there any hypothetical action that one side would take to descend to the level of the other side?  

    •  I agree (11+ / 0-)

      it's an absurd comparison. Israel has illegally occupied and systematically dismantled Palestinian territory for decades, kidnapped and tortured tens of thousands of people and launched multiple wars of aggression. This year alone it has killed over 1,300 people, overwhelmingly civilians more than a third of them children, while destroying 15% of all buildings in Gaza.

      Hamas is guilty of nothing even approaching this.

      Moreover Hamas, whatever one thinks of its methods or ideology, is resisting an illegitimate occupation. Israel, by contrast, is fighting to maintain and expand that occupation. As you say, there's just no comparison.

    •  Not equal at all. (7+ / 0-)

      Israel has killed several times as many Palestinians as ALL the Palestinnian factions combined have killed Israelis.

      Israel has embargoed and masively destroyed the infrastructure of a captive population resulting in massive civilian suffering.

      Israel has built nuclear weapons capable of exterminating people in the millions.

      and so on...
      No they aren't equivalent at all. One is the colonizer and the other the colonized.

      •  you determine guilt by numbers alone. (0+ / 0-)

        The misconception is that in the current war between Hamas and Israel, culpability is to be determined by simply comparing the amount of deaths and casualties on each side, and then reaching a verdict.
        Israel must be the guilty party, goes the logic, because the numbers are so much higher on the Hamas side.

        Yet where does one find in international law, in state practice, or in common sense, a rule, precedent or rationale to support this proposition?

        The answer: Nowhere.

    •  Who gives a damn what anyone "Stands For"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      haruki

      What matters who and how many they kill.

      A nation or group slaughters women and children, I don't want to pay to arm it.  I don't want to facilitate it getting more arms, either.

      That goes for the U.S., too, but of course an arms embargo against the U.S. would be about as effective as blocking the import of Opium into Afghanistan.

  •  Who watches the NGOs for their bias? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gren

    As this article from Sri Lanka points out, just because an NGO advocates that it speaks for "truth" and "justice" and "universal human rights" does that make it so?

    While calling for greater democracy of nation governments, the standards of some NGOs too come into question – the selection of their leaders, the processes by which their policies are determined, the financial contributors & how NGOs are answerable to the spending requirements stipulated by these contributors & what agendas do these contributors really espouse globally. Now we come to where doubts emerge as to the modus operandi of NGOs globally – many of these global "players" succeed by the financial & insightful expertise of a few influencers focused on realizing global goals irrespective of their outcomes long term or short term.

    . . .

    While Governments whatever their faults derived their legitimacy from their voters, corporations accountable to their shareholders to whom were NGOs accountable? Is it to the donors who support the work of NGOs, or to official aid agencies & Governments that channel aid through NGOs or should it be to the recipients of NGO assistance? Thus the accountability factor remains unanswered. How credible were their reports that they expressed the "real" voice of the people? From this stems the argument of NGO bias & questions the credibility of mission statements purely because they say they are working towards promoting "universal human rights" against "genocide" & "ethnic cleansing". The themes of humanitarian law & issues deriving therein have created very powerful groups like Amnesty International (membership of over one & a half million & an annual operating budget of $30million with projects in 140 countries), Human Rights Watch, the Ford Foundation, International Commission of Jurists, Christian Aid etc.

    These groups have their own agendas, a good example being the Durban NGO Forum in 2001, where the fighters of racism became racist.

    Yes, the Middle East is very screwed up.  Wrongs should be investigated.  But when a 40 page report spends 37 or so pages on one side in a subject that is clearly slanted from the start, I get suspicious.  

    Why not just write the damn report castigating arm sales to Israel, rather the feign impartiality?  It's like writing about the Law of the Sea and comparing an island nation to a landlocked one.

    I no more want slant from a biased NGO than I want it from a state run or corporate owned media.  Yet I see it swallowed whole here.

    Who appointed the NGOs, and AI in particular, as the arbiters of what is truth?

      •  not a very good article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        This particular news source appears to be strongly pro-Sri Lankan government as opposed to the Tamils. It mostly is a list of aspersions against largely unnamed NGOs and also manages to ding Norway for its supposed interference in Sri Lankan affairs.

        Is this really proof of malfeasance by NGOs or simply a plaint against generalities?

        •  The Tamils use children as soldiers... (0+ / 0-)

          and other tactics that violate humanitarian and human rights laws.  I hate to use Wikipedia, but pressed for time and basically done here.

          Due to the tactics employed by the Tamil Tigers, including the extensive use of suicide bombing and their recruitment of child soldiers, they are currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries (see list). The Tamil Tigers are headed by their founder, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

          The Tamil Tigers are notorious for their well-developed militia cadre, atrocities against Muslim and Sinhalese civilians, and high profile attacks, such as the assassination of several high ranking Sri Lankan politicians, and the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. They also have the distinction of introducing suicide bombings as a tactic, and have carried out more suicide bombings than Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al-Qaeda combined.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          •  Demonizing one side ...... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord1, JesseCW

            .... in a civil war is always simplistic. People are driven to desperate measures.

            "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

            by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:11:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, I guess I'll start to support... (0+ / 0-)

              the recruitment of child soldiers and suicide bombings because I don't want to be oversimplistic or not support the right of people to engage in desperate measures.

              Give me a break.

              I offered the editorial as an example to show that NGOs are not always innocents.

          •  Is that the Tamils or the Tamil Tigers? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            Not all Tamils are Tigers
            Not all Palestinians are Hamas

            Now that was not so hard was it? Also trying to credit one side of a civil war by discrediting the other side really does not credit the side you are promoting. It is the "yah, my side is really bad but you should see the other side" (it also works in sports competitions.)

            •  No need to be glib... (0+ / 0-)

              even if I typed too fast.  I guess that is just the way it must be around here.

              I am not promoting either side.  That is just your orientation.  I was pointing out what one side did because someone, perhaps you, implied that the example I gave was taking sides, when I offered the editorial to make a point about NGOs.

              •  but the article made no point about NGOs (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                If I were still teaching English and Writing and such, I would say the article failed to make a point because a point consists of a concrete specific example in  a concrete specific situation or location that acts in a concrete specific way towards another concrete specific party.

                All I got from the article was a lot of whining about Norway and Amnesty International with no specificity as to what they had done to undermine the Sri Lankan government except maybe trying to bring out news about the Tamils that the Sri Lankans were suppressing.

                Again, a very poorly written screed that does little to document that NGOs need further oversight.

    •  Presumably this is a resonse .... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      ... to accusations of ethnic cleansing in Tamil areas.

      "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

      by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:21:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep and other articles by the author (0+ / 0-)

        include her complaints about Indian interference into Sri Lankan domestic affairs, which would include the Tamils.

      •  Yes, it is... (0+ / 0-)

        but it is also an example of NGOs and their responsibilities as they assume a greater role on the international stage.

        World politics has undergone a radical and often-overlooked transformation in the last fifteen years, resulting neither from the collapse of the Soviet Union nor the rising tide of fundamentalism, but from the unprecedented growth of non-governmental organizations around the globe. NGOs or Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have moved from backstage to center stage in world politics, and are exerting their power and influence in every aspect of international relations and policymaking. NGOs have been a positive force in domestic and international affairs, working to alleviate poverty, protect human rights, preserve the environment, and provide relief worldwide. Few, therefore, have felt the need to take a critical look at the effectiveness and accountability of these organizations.

        After 9/11, however, the specter of terrorists using NGOs as a front for their operations and some highly publicized cases of abuse have made this a critical issue that needs to be addressed by the NGO community.2 In addition, the increasing power of NGOs has prompted scholars, governments, and the media to raise questions about the roles and responsibilities of these new global, non-state actors. Fundamental questions include: how many NGOs actually exist, and what are their agendas? Who runs these groups? Who funds them? And, perhaps most significantly, to whom are NGOs accountable, and how and what influence do they actually have on world politics?

        http://www.globalpolicy.org/...

    •  "Who watches the NGOs for their bias?" (7+ / 0-)

      Absolutely.
      New, improved shit list:

      1. Jimmy Carter
      2. Noam Chomsky
      3. Naomi Klein
      4. Amy Goodman
      5. Avi Shlaim
      6. Rabbi Lerner
      7. f'n NGOs

      Coming up later today:

      1. Mr. Rogers

      Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

      by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:24:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just because an NGO says so... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Red Sox

        it must be so.

        I did not say that NGOs are all bad, just that they, too, must be scrutinized for bias.

        That is the problem here.  Rather than discuss an issue, it's more important to disagree with ridicule.

        If you want to keep swallowing, fine by me.

        •  Then let us move it down to specific NGOs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          Exactly which NGOs arouse your anxiety?

        •  A.I.'s report ..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattman, adios, JesseCW

          ... is remarkably even handed.  Since US and Israel have emasculated International justice the N.G.O.s are all we've got apart from teh media.

          "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

          by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:35:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I though it was one sided... (0+ / 0-)

            because it could not be even handed to equate the two sides.

            Like I said, it was like a discussion on the Law of the Sea comparing island and landlocked nations.

            Anyway, I said what I wanted.  No need to go in circles here.

        •  Sorry, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattman

          you show up at the usual I/P slugfest to deliver the breaking news that NGOs "must be scrutinized for bias" - and, somehow, it appears as if you're more interested in trashing the messenger than in dealing with the evidence. I think I made my point. When it comes to Israeli conduct, for some it's yesterday's hero = today's zero.

          That is the problem here.

          Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

          by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:43:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can show up and say anything I like (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adios, gren

            I am not trying to trash the messenger.  I am entitled to my own view, am I not?

            It is to put the matter in context.  Sorry if that troubles you.

            The issue of NGO bias on certain issues is a real one.

            •  But don't you ever get bored ....... (0+ / 0-)

              ..... always supporting whatever Israel does,  right or wrong? It must get a bit like a job retreading the same tired arguments day after day.

              "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself." - Bakunin

              by gerbilmark on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:07:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cool down. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terra Mystica, JesseCW, gren

              The issue of NGO bias on certain issues is a real one.

              Agreed. And you're right, context is important. Often, it's critical. Had you specified any distortions or inaccuracies, and then made your comments on 'bias' there would have been something to discuss. Instead you simply demeaned the credibility of the report, after creating a straw man (some think NGOs have no agenda of their own). Granted: they do. And AI may "feign impartiality" for the same reason that HRW does - they're under unceasing attack from the Israeli government for bias, an attack designed to pressure them into attempting "balance" where there is nothing to be balanced about. Ironic to call them on that.

              Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

              by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:21:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then why feign impartiality? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                adios, gren

                Perhaps Israel has a point, particularly because of the halo effect.  

                In my opinion, I provided an analogy to show why the report was imbalanced from the start.

                Finally, the issue of NGO bias and what to do about is a growing one, dealt with in international studies and public international law.

                •  Again, I have no argument with (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gren

                  the general thrust of your critique. My question is: what does this have to do with what happened recently in Gaza? If Amnesty's credibility had been previously shattered by some imbroglio elsewhere, would that mean that the substance of the Gaza report was necessarily false? Guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. Apologies for the sarcasm, if it offended.

                  Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

                  by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:35:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We don't know that the AI report... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Karmafish

                    tells the whole story, and I am reserving judgment, rather than rushing to it, as I believe too many here do.

                    The call for an arms embargo does not address the overall context and the underlying presumptions evident to me raise the question of bias by AI in this matter.

                    •  Oh for chrissake ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      weasel

                      Fragments and components from munitions used by the Israeli Army–including many that are US-made–littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes. They included artillery and tank shells, mortar fins and remnants from Hellfire and other airborne missiles and large F-16 delivered bombs, as well as still smouldering highly incendiary white phosphorus remains.

                      They also found remnants of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which explodes large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2mm and 4mm square in size. These lethal purpose-made shrapnel had penetrated thick metal doors and were embedded deep in concrete walls, and are clearly designed to maximize injury.

                      What part of that is untrue? (and how do you know?) Does Amnesty have a history of making such accusations falsely? Are there "fragments and components" - or are they lying?

                      Why does this report confirm most of the worst we saw during the action, and refute much of the story peddled by the IDF? And why does it sound so much like Lebanon?

                      I am reserving judgment, rather than rushing to it.

                      Maybe. Sounds more like a permanent reservation. Would you care to see some more of those awful photos?

                      Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

                      by adios on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:59:14 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They are photos and words AI chose to include... (0+ / 0-)

                        are they not?  After AI's role in 2001 at Durban, which I suggest you check out, I see it with a more jaundiced eye.

                        So far as I saw of the report, it does not include any information from the IDF, much less a "peddled" one.

                        They spend virtually the whole report castigating Israel, stating there is indisputable proof that weapons were used.  No one denies that they were.

                        They imply that there was no justification whatsoever, and that the use must therefore be illegal, yet never go into the matters set forth in the AP1 regarding means and methods.

                        And as for Hamas, just to be "balanced," they include one sentence, a throwaway lines like this:

                        Amnesty International is also concerned that Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups have been firing indiscriminate rockets, supplied or constructed of materials supplied from outside Gaza, at civilian population centres in southern Israel.

                        Based on the history mentioned above, I am not convinced at this time.

                        •  In one case, the killer is on video (0+ / 0-)

                          proudly taking credit for killing innocents - Hamas.

                          In the other case, there is obfuscation and denial.

                          AI doesn't need an extensive well-cited and impeccably sourced argument to convince people that Hamas uses imported armements to kill civilians.

                          We all know they do.  If you argue Keith Richards shoots heroin, you don't need reams of detailed proof - everyone agrees with you.

  •  I think the threat of an embargo (0+ / 0-)

    is something the administration should use to motivate Israel to reverse its settlement policies and move toward ratification of a two state system with a negotiated border.

    Problem is, this strategy won't work until Hamas similarly comes under the same pressure, a much harder feat.  Hamas is likely receiving arms funded by Syria, Iran and militant groups throughout moderate Arab countries.

    Government for the people, by the people

    by axel000 on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:55:50 PM PST

  •  As long as... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish

    ...Israel is in a region where the majority of its neighbors are in a state of war against it, many of whom are much better armed than the Palestinians, I will not support any arms embargo.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:14:14 PM PST

  •  Weapons are last thing Israel needs or the Middle (4+ / 0-)

    East needs. Honestly, let's have a weapons embargo against everyone. Weapons do nothing but kill and hurt people.  Have a weapons embargo against the Israelis and Palestinians, they'll still throw rocks, but rocks aren't as harmful as bombs.

    "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 01:22:10 PM PST

  •  Freakin' horrifying . . . (4+ / 0-)

    They also found remnants of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which explodes large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2mm and 4mm square in size. These lethal purpose-made shrapnel had penetrated thick metal doors and were embedded deep in concrete walls, and are clearly designed to maximize injury.

    Wow. This is the first I've heard of that, but I did hear it said that Israel was using Gaza as a testing ground for new Israeli and American weaponry.

    •  Lessons learned from the successes of nail bombs (4+ / 0-)

      Respond to terrorism by emulating, "improving" and mass-producing their weapons of terror.

      Paid for by our tax-dollars.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 03:04:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, it's designed to vaporize everything within (0+ / 0-)

      a 10m or somesuch area, with a limited concussion.  The intended application was total obliteration of specific targets within congested areas.

      As you say fiendish, and as RandomActsofReason says, there is no telling how it's actually used.  Weapons are just tools.  War-as-resolution is the problem.

      "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

      by Terra Mystica on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 06:15:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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