Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The world according to Israel

Reflections on the Israeli raid on aid ships.

If the official explanations from Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF were to be accepted, then any of the following situations could be deemed perfectly just, reasonable and normal:

A group of heavily armed men ambushed a car down the M1, killing the driver and two passengers. A spokesperson for the gunmen said: "As we descended upon the vehicle, one passenger started pushing us out of the car, putting our lives in danger. We were left with no choice".

Further justifying the attack, one of the assailants said: "A closer inspection revealed the presence of inflammable liquid inside the car. There was also a crowbar and a torch. Clearly there was nothing else we could have done. The people in that car posed a serious threat".

Two gun-wielding men explained why they killed two chefs and three waiters as they stormed a restaurant kitchen last night:

"We broke in and a member of staff confronted us and asked us to leave. We clearly felt intimidated and we started shooting". One of the gunmen added: "We just did the right thing. Be in no doubt: look at all the pans, pots and knives we found in that kitchen. They were all potential weapons. These people were asking for it", he concluded.

A random dog was machine-gunned to death while roaming freely yesterday. Two armed men justified the killing by saying that, even though the animal was over 600 yards away, dogs may occasionally bite people. One of the attackers noted: "We did the right thing. If in doubt, just look at the sharp gnashers we found inside the creature. That was clear evidence the dog was up to no good".

A gang of ten armed youths explained why they bashed two passers-by to death yesterday. "Those two were a potential threat. Both had hands, which could have been used as fists. What else can you do? Wait until they attack you?".

Their lawyer added that the group acted in good faith: "They were defending themselves. Further evidence is in the set of keys one of the two was carrying in his pocket. Those keys were sharp. They were potential weapons. Those two were clearly thugs spoiling for a fight".


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Spot on, my alleged homeland is nothing more than a vile bully, harming the lives of innocents as it blusters to protect its own.


thepatriot said...

Let me ask you both something then:
where would you rather live: Syria or Israel?
Cant you get into that skull of yours that Israel has been under siege for 60 years, squeezed from oil-bankrolled arab powers and that if they eased off a bit they would get crushed?
The IDF are only standing up for their country.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Good grief, the patriot sounds exactly like a US hawk I am debating (I use that word loosely, it is not about exchanging ideas but shouting into the ether) elsewhere.

Your question is a pointless distraction, made redundant by changing the contrast to Israel to let's say America or Canada or whatever.

This isn't about comparing nations, although I cannot for the life of me remember when Syria attacked a civilian boat in International waters, using deadly force and killing 9 people and injuring many more.

You speak the myths of Israel as underdog, Israel as weak force in a difficult part of the world, a myth perpetuated to enable them to continue to destroy the human rights of Palestinians and to carry out backwards domestic policy.

You talk about this fictional squeeze from arab powers, forgetting that Israel's undisclosed nuclear arsenal is a key de-stabalisaing factor in the region, as is their cruel and barbaric treatment of the Arab people in the occupied territories.

This latest vulgar escapade will turn even more people against them, even the US, key allies, without whom they are in a far weaker position, is questioning the current and violent actions of Israel.

As for the myth of IDF standing up for their country, it is more than possible to board a ship but you wait until it is in your waters and then use reasonable force.

Israel must stop acting with impunity.

Charlie said...

Ah I knew a post like this would bring someone like our old friend out.

The IDF are standing up for their country huh? Yeah, because this situation wasn't like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. As for asking whether someone would rather live in Israel or Syria, er...your point is what exactly? Nobody is talking about Syria here.

Paul said...

The situation is tragic and sadly a win/win for terroristic Hamas. However the decision by Israel to board the vessel was just. Once on board they (equipped with riot control paint guns as primary weapons) faced a level of violence that was a threat to life. The videos do show their sailors being beaten with bars and one being tossed overboard. For this reason the analogies offered by Claude in this post are way off the mark. Beyond a doubt UK/US soldiers would also have opened fire. A good analysis was offered on this on Channel Four news last night by a former marine.

No shortage of sources either o the IHH an Islamist organisation that supports Hamas and was crewing the convoy. Check out Palestinian media watch for more details of them, including clips of them chanting 'Oh Jews remember the Khaybar'. Also one woman on there said she hoped they would break the blockade or face martyrdom- Some choice.

Israel between a rock and a hard place, they mounted an operation and so far it has given their Nazi opponents no end of mileage. But their operation and the 'blockade' are realities of the situation they face. Their hard choices are just. I could not say the same thing for everything done by the UK over the past years in comparison.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


The decision was not just to board the boat because it was illegal, in International waters and from there got worse. Not that International law ever bothers Israel, one of the reasons my people's homeland is becoming a further pariah state through the unthinking and violent actions of its government.

Reasonable force can be used to stop a blockade breaker (bearing in mind that the blockade itself is illegal, so we are already mired in a vast array of hypotheticals) but reasonable force was clearly not what was en-acted by the IDF.

As we type, the exact occurrences on the boat are up for debate, you seem Paul to have reached a definitive version of events based on selective reading.

Add to this the fact that the journey was heavily publicised and the contents and intent of the boat quite clear, it was not a mission to attack Israel but to help the suffering in the Gaza Strip.

But Israeli over-reaction to any slight is well noted, the trouble was this was an International boat with people from all over the world on, when their violence is turned against the Palestinians voices of discontent are more limited.

The Israeli error was that they thought they could get away with their usual violence, they could not.

You also Paul highlight your prejudice by attempting to create a hypothetical regarding what UK/US soldiers would do, pointless and mis-leading.

What concerns me more is the use of the phrase: "Nazi opponents" which for me shows the classic error of someone confusing anti-Israel (and indeed anti-Zionist) sentiment, (with regards to the awful actions of its government) and anti-Semitism, which are two very different things.

There are no Nazi opponents Paul, there are many, many people of all backgrounds that find and have found the behaviour of Israel deeply, deeply upsetting and a poor reflection on its people.

claude said...

I totally share Daniel's view.

I would also like to add this. I'm not gonna bother with patriot because he clearly is one. But Paul. You're a reasonable chap.

All I'm asking you is use a bit of logic.

Do you really think those sticks, bars, hammers and tools photographed by the IDF are proof tha the aid ships "were asking for it"?

What sort of war could they possibly wage against anybody by using that sort of weaponry, a few metal bars, a hammer and a single bottle of inflammable liquid?

Are you absolutely sure that if you ambushed a cruiseship (or any ship) at any moment you wouldn't also find a few metal bars, tools, inflammabls and even a gun or two?

Does that justify the use of force to the point of killing 10 and injuring dozens?

As for the fact that some men on the ship reacted angrily and "physically" at the ambush...What's so unusual about it? Do you really believe that out of over 600 people, nobody would react confrontationally to a sudden armed blitz in the middle of the night?

What were they supposed to say..."Oh good evening gentlemen would you like anything to drink?"

And that's without even taking into account the most important detail of all: the raid happening in international waters. That alone is enough to highlight the humongous blunder and own goal scored by this right wing Israeli government.

Paul said...

'And that's without even taking into account the most important detail of all: the raid happening in international waters. That alone is enough to highlight the humongous blunder and own goal’

I accept that so far it is a PR victory for Hamas. However it (we will be bound to disagree so I won't make the point again) is not illegal to enforce a blockade in International waters. If it was that would have made the UK's exclusion zone around the Falklands in 1982 illegal. Come to think of it, it would also render current operations of the coast of Somalia, Iraq (now conducted by the fledgling Iraqi Navy) illegal as well. A nation (or the UN) can enforce a Navy blockade under international law.

Look guys if these Israeli commandos had launched a surprise assault upon a hippie peace vessel like the Rainbow Warrior, M4 toting thugs just hosing everybody down then only a lunatic would condone it. But that did not actually happen. The Israeli authorities along with Egypt offered the use of a port to inspect the vessel and see it was free of munitions. More information on that from BICOM:


'There are no Nazi opponents Paul, there are many, many people of all backgrounds that find and have found the behaviour of Israel deeply, deeply upsetting and a poor reflection on its people.'

I wish that was true and would not use the term if say all I was doing was contrasting a few Jihadi wanabees with Hitler's Nazis. But ideologically? Hamas is not a nationalist or democratic movement. They are seeking to replace Israel with an Islamic theocracy. One in which the Jews (those that survive) will have the choice of living as dhmmi or of course becoming Muslims. That is in their charter don't take my word for it. The IHH who sponsored this convoy do support Hamas. So even if many ordinary people were on board, those in charge were hardcore Islamists committed to Israel's destruction. Before leaving Istanbul (according to Palestinian Media watch) those on board can be seen chanting 'Oh Jews remember the Khaybar'. A battle cry that revokes an early Islamic massacre of a Jewish community.


Now we could debate all of this all day long. Not all of Israel's critics are Nazis of course not. However the stated aims of groups like Hamas and others does have more in common with Nazism than not. Either way my opinion is that hostility to Israel from this sort of quarter is based not on what Israel does. But on what Israel is and who the Israelis are. A reading of the Hamas charter would also bear that out. Back on topic I agree the raid was a disaster. But Israel's motivations are just along with the reasons for it.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


All this 'PR victory for Hamas' nonsense just makes you look partizan. It's not a PR victory for Hamas, it's a terrible inditement of the state of mind of the Israel government and a much needed reminder of the brutality and violence with which they keep the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to a greater degree, in a manner of utter subjectation.

'A PR victory for Hamas' makes light of the actions here and the deaths.

The blockade is illegal, it is not Israel's water to blockade in the first place and the fact the incident occurred in International waters means that Israel have no power or rights there, at all.

With regards to the Falklands, we were at war, making an act of war, which is how many in Turkey are construing the attack on its ship by the way. Never mind the fact it was our territory, your analogies here are desperate because you miss the point that this was a government's acts against another.

All the Israeli's had to do, to get it right, was to wait until it reached it's seas (although technically, the seas belong to Palestine Occupied Territories, as recognised by the UN but not Israel) and then carry out the request to search the boat and take it from there. Not in no man's land where the boat is, for all intense and purposes, Turkey.

I still find your use of the term Nazi's undesirable and inappropriate in the context of this debate, it invokes Godwin's Law for a start and also brings the spectre of those that do not agree with the politics of Israel being under the banner of Nazi's.

As a Jew who spends some time debating Zionist Jews, I am more than used to the drawing out of Hamas' extreme position as justification for Israeli brutality.

This conveniently forgets that Hamas has been strengthened and emboldened, indeed built by Israel, either directly in the old days, as a MOSSAD off shoot to keep Palestine de-stabilised and moderate voices silenced (for moderate voices would spell the beginning of a two-state solution and many in power in Israel do not want that, along with people in the Occupied Territories, both these groups are idiots) or indirectly by the utter barbarity of Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip.

If you de-humanize people enough they will turn to de-humanised ideas and thus Hamas.

You also conveniently forget that many voices in power in Israel are equally as vehement in their language and feelings about the expunging of Palestinians from their soil, settlements being only one part of that, the other being the disgusting language used by some to refer to non-Jews.

It cuts both ways in this vile conflict.

I have long posited that the only way for peace to prosper or, in the worse case, for their to be a winner in this never-ending conflict, is moderation and a swift return to the pre-67 borders with the removal of the vast array of settlements.

But Israel is too hawkish, it fails to see that if it ceded to the pre-67 borders and then was attacked and violated by forces of terror, it would forever retain the moral high-ground and the upper hand and the dream of an Israel with no Palestinians would actually become a reality.

But the US backed violence, repression and bluster of modern Israel will only further embolden the Palestinian cause and maintain a destructive path of violence.

claude said...

The irony is that those constantly reminding the world of how ugly Hamas is (and it is) have conveniently forgotten Israel's extensive efforts to undermine Fatah which, for all its faults, was at least certainly more moderate than Hamas.

As for the Flaklands or Iraq, Paul, it's a false analogy. I can only repeat Daniel's words. In both cases, Falklands and Iraq, we are talking about an official, all-out war.

There just was no need to such brutality, at that specific moment, in that specific place.

Supporting Israel also means having the honesty to tell her when they get it wrong.

I'm no supporter of Hamas. Not one bit. And I can sympathise with a lot of what the Israeli population went through in recent and not so recent years.

But in this case (like with the vile Dubai killing/forged passport saga) Israel got it dangerously wrong.

Their current government is just crap.

thepatriot said...

Another example of loony leftist arrogance. You always look down on people.

The bottom line is the ships shouldn't of set off in the first place. If other countries were true allies of Israel they'd have prevented any of those bogus aid convoys from going. Instead Turkey, Greece, the Germans and too many Brits decided to throw a bit of a sailing party in honour of of a proscribed terrorist group.

Israel has a superior armyenvied by all Arabs exactly because of the hostility surrounding the only free country in the middle east.

Israel had every right to stop that ship. They even gave them a chance to stop. Once that chance was ignored they decided to show who's boss. They did the right thing.

Paul said...

I don't agree that the settlements should be removed at all but I accept that they are an issue. Nonetheless I agree entirely with that and interestingly that is precisely what was on offer in 2000. It was rejected by Arafat and instead led to a second intifada. I maintain that hostility to Israel is based on the fact that it is a Jewish and democratic state. That is why the Arabs refuse to accept the idea. But still a two state solution is clearly a sensible idea. For that to happen however the Arabs have to give more they have to recognise that Israel exists and has a right to do so.

I'll drop the debate about the legalities or otherwise of the events at sea. Because we will be here all night but it is an area of legal debate which is why it could get boring.

I will accept of course that there is an extreme brand of Zionism. Even that Israel itself to a large extent was formed as a nation after a terrorist campaign (albeit under a UN mandate). However both of these were and are extreme factions. However neither of these ideologies gains much traction in democratic Israel. That's also leaving aside those members of ultra-Orthodox communities that don't recognise the Israeli state for entirely different reasons. I wish I could say the same for Hamas.

Separately I debated elsewhere the killing in Dubai. A disturbing episode indeed and yes a murder. I would have to be absolutely convinced that the subject represented a clear and present danger for such action to be taken. However that method of whacking someone however disagreeable is a lot cleaner than a strike from a predator drone. The UK government certainly colludes in the latter. Either way an ill considered move.

claude said...

It was rejected by Arafat and instead led to a second intifada.

Absolutely. That was one of Arafat's worst mistakes.
To me, there were two deadly moments which derailed the peace process for god knows how long.
That (Arafat's rejection of the 2000 peace proposal), and also the assassination of Yzak Rabin, shot by a radical right-wing Orthodox Jew.

That said, I really dont know what the current Netanyahu government are trying to achieve. They're scoring an own goal after the other.

Finally, for the record: I think ongoing settlements are a disgrace. And they are illegal too. I'd like to hear how Paul can possibly justify them.

As for "patriot". Keep posting. You do your "cause" no good, so be my guest.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Daft Racist:

You seem to be suggesting that people do not have freedom of movement, you postulate some fictional world where people are refused passage.

You also seem to be suggesting that the boat's contents were bogus and there is no evidence for that at all but plenty to the contrary. And it wasn't a party you idiot, people died and it wasn't for Hamas, your failure to be able to separate the long suffering people of Palestine and a political party speaks volumes about your knowledge, intelligence and grasp of the facts at hand.

You claim that Israel's militarisation is due to its location, quite possibly but what that has to do with the matter at hand I've no idea. Unless of course all you want to do is perpetuate the unhealthy Israel as victim myth that does no favour to the country or Jews around the world.

And to be painfully clear, with regards to the law, Israel had no right at all and when you're going to get that through your thick skull I've no idea.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


I am having a similar debate on an American blog and a similar thing is happening: supporters of Israel (of which I actually am one but not blindly) begin a topic drift, away from the incident and into the complex picture of the Middle East, dragging in failed peace attempts and normally blaming Hamas for everything.

First up, an Internet comment form is not the best place for coherent debate on the matter of peace in the Middle East, it can handle a debate about a particular event but not that.

Your opening gambit is in relation to settlements, which you don;t want removed even though they are not on Israeli land and then concede that 'they are an issue.'

Excuse my language but no fucking shit are they an issue! They are a huge problem and a huge stumbling block to peace and a continued thumbing of the nose towards the Palestinian people, a desperate land grab that is violent and cruel.

You speak of the Camp David summit in 2000 and folllow the line that it was all Arafat's fault, not a line shared by people with a good understanding of that meeting. Did you read the Israeli requests that seem so reasonable? It was a document loaded in favour of Israel, they could keep and station armies on Palestinian land for Godsake and had freedom of military access and movement! And that is only one of the may terrible flaws in that peace summit.

Yes, Arafat carried himself badly but he was not offered an agreement he could sustain. Both parties were at fault, along with Clinton's misguided belief that the US is an impartial power in all this.

"I maintain that hostility to Israel is based on the fact that it is a Jewish and democratic state.

You have every right to your opinion but it has little bearing in fact. I find it odd that other rogue state's behaviour they are responsible for, no one makes excuses for Zimbabwe, or North Korea regarding how they are perceived (well, they do but they are dismissed as loons and Mugabe has long tried to Israelise his nation into an African island in sea of British interference) but their are a queue of apologists for Israel.

Also, generalisations about Arabs and their opinions are not healthy or desirable, esp. when coming from a source with little grasp of the matter at hand.

Again, your sweeping generalisations and ducking the issue of legality by deeming it 'boring' speak volumes of a lack of knowledge, understanding and crucially, a bizarre partizan sense of israel's responsibilities, action and the implications of these.

We are not talking about extreme brands of Zionism, we are talking about the fact that Zionism is in itself extreme. You speak of democratic Israel but do not seem to understand that major parties in the Knesset hold very disparaging views of Arabs and Palestinians and do not want them to have their own land in Israel, at all. This is not some faction but a large swath of the current coalition.

Two wrongs do not make a right but you and others assessment of the Israeli government reeks of holier than tho language, as if they have done nothing to provoke and stimulate the way vast swathes of the world feel about Israel.

Your answer is anti-Semitism, which is quite frankly horseshit.

A fine piece can be found here that dispels much of the tripe being typed here.

claude said...

Good stuff, Daniel.

The more I read/hear about Israel's alleged "justifications" for the ambush on an aid ship, the more I think their current government is on course for suicide.

Their footage claiming they were attcked with "metal bars" is pathetic.

At least have the guts to say you stand by what you did. Stop trying to clutch at straws. The IDF AMBUSHED an aid ship while armed to fuck! What in the holy name of crap were they expecting??????

One more thing: I see Israel maintains "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza", in spite of what both the International Red Cross and the UN are saying.

Paul said...

This has been a good debate on here and I’m pleased that it has been conducted with civility and credit to Claude for hosting it. Daniel, you and I are not worlds apart on the issues concerning Israel in general. We apportion blame differently, but both would welcome a two state solution as the fairest outcome. I won’t discuss further the issue of Arafat’s rejection of the 2000 peace accords. It is off topic and I strongly disagree with you. On the subject of settlement’s, I could be willing (by stretching optimism past reality) to believe that if Israel returned to their 1967 borders and relocated their settler population that would be reasonable. In fact if that as a settlement worked I would support it. However previously when Israel has forcibly relocated settlers such as from Gaza in 2005, nothing changed. In fact along with a complete withdrawal from the Gaza area it did not make for peace in that area. As such I tend to regard the issue of settlers as a red herring. Be that as it may if a two state solution left Jewish settlers in an Arab area, then they would I suppose have to either just relocate to Israel or get along with the Arabs.

I will deal with the legality of maintaining a blockade. Daniel has suggested I dodged this issue out of ignorance and an unwillingness to debate. He was partially right, I couldn’t be bothered to debate the issue as I debate legal issues regularly. I’m not ignorant however, I’m a law graduate and international law is involved in one of my post-graduate courses, hence why I have a bellyful of legality. In brief, a country has a right to maintain a naval blockade out of self – defence. In fact self defence is the really sole reason a nation can do so unilaterally. Other naval blockades such as the one enforced by Iraq or off the coast of Somalia are as part of a multinational agreement. It is not hard to see why Israel would blockade Gaza. The Hamas administration launches rockets from there to attack Israel, a state to whose destruction they are openly committed. I’m pretty certain most of us would agree on that. Besides the blockade does allow in aid and food, in fact in the case of this convoy both Israel and Egypt offered a port. An aid convoy therefore should not have had anything to fear. However the nub of your argument rests on is it lawful to board such a vessel in international waters? Certainly Israeli waters would have made more sense although the vessel was headed for Gaza so could have avoided those in any case.

Paul said...

I have already linked to this but with regards to the whole incident the following from BRICOM is illuminating:

• The Israeli forces that stormed the Gaza flotilla on Monday morning attacked with light forces armed with riot control weapons, and were surprised by the violent resistance of those on the boats. They resorted to use of light fire, believing their lives were in danger, resulting in nine deaths among those on board.
• Prior to the incident, Israel offered to transfer the aid carried by the protestors to the Gaza Strip via land borders under the activists' observation, after security checks. Whilst committed to facilitating the flow of aid to Gaza, Israel's concern is not to allow the Gaza coast to become a corridor for weapons transfers to Hamas. Questions are now being raised about the approach of the entire international community to Gaza and containing Hamas.
• Early on Monday 31 May, a flotilla of six activist's boats headed towards the Gaza coast. They were met by vessels from the Israeli Navy about 60km from the coast, apparently in international waters. The Israeli navy warned them that Gaza is under naval blockade. The Israeli navy invited the boats to enter the Ashdod port, north of Gaza. Israel also offered to transfer the humanitarian aid to Gaza under the observation of the activists, according to Israeli authority regulations. The flotilla continued to try and reach the Gaza coast.
• A team of Israeli commandos, from the elite naval Shayetet 13 commando unit, boarded the protest boats at around 4am from helicopters. Five of the boats were captured without violence, but on the largest, the Turkish flagged Marmara, Israel soldiers were met with planned, violent resistance.
• According to eye witness accounts and video footage, the Israeli forces initially landed on the ship with only a handful of men armed with riot control weapons that fire paintballs. The activists on the ship tied the rope from the helicopter to a mast on the ship in an attempt to bring it down. This delayed the arrival of more forces. Video footage of the incident shows the first soldiers landing on the ship being overwhelmed with men carrying sticks, bars, chairs and knives. The activists also fought with slingshots firing glass marbles. The first soldier to land on the ship was beaten before being thrown off the top deck. One soldier was stabbed and two were shot with firearms taken from the soldiers.
http://www.bicom.org.uk/context/research-and-analysis/latest-bicom-analysis/bicom-briefing--gaza-flotilla-incident Follow the link for more information. Daniel, of course some of Israel’s supporters are nutters (Christian Zionists, hawkish right wingers etc). I am not one of those, I have lived and worked alongside Arabs in the Middle East for years. However whilst I admit that this raid has been a disaster for Israel, I do not believe that all of the criticism Israel faces is fair or balanced either. I am a supporter as I believe the country offers its citizens (including Israeli Arabs) something that is lacking elsewhere in the Middle East. I do wish it were different of course.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'd like to deal with Paul's last comment first because it puts the rest of Paul's comments here into a better context and also exposes his bias towards Israel.

BICOM is a pro-Isreali lobbying group, whose aim is to create a more positive environment for Israel in the UK. So the turn of events they describe, which not only goes against the numerous eye-witness sources of what occurred, is as bias as it gets and not a source for any level of decent debate.

And that for me sums up the lens by which Paul and his ilk are looking at this whole issue and it is that which is illuminating.

Again Paul persists with the issue of settlements, as if they are not a crucial dividing point between Israel and the rest of the world, which they are. Not so much red herring as a crucial device by which Israel steals land and inflames the situation.

With regards to the blockade, the sea they are blockading isn't Israel's in the first place, a blockade is an act of war, which Israel is always keen to deny it is at war at all, the blockade is not recognised as legal by the International community and finally, the enforcement of this illegal blockade did not happen in Israeli waters.

You can justify the illegal actions of Israel all you want by pointing at the actions of Hamas but the fundamental point is that Israel behaves in an illegal manner on a regular basis because of its privileged status as ally of US and the history of the nation's founding.

The fact you think that most people agree that the blockade is fair reveals the prejudice that is behind you utilising a pro-Israeli source as if it clears the whole matter up.

The blockade is not fair, the impact on human life it is having is monstrous and Israel's behaviour, in this case, is monstrous.

And to be clear, the blockade does not allow sufficient aid through, this has been well documented, to present the blockade as a reasonable bastion of fairness is verging on the twisted.

And what the aid convey had to fear was the heavy-handed violence of the IDF, a violence meted out to Palestinians for years.

You need to accept Paul that on this issue, you can muster not one bone of objectivity and merely offer excuses for Israeli barbarity.

Paul said...

Actually Daniel I have no problem admitting to being biased in favour of Israel. However it is not an uncritical bias. I like the UK as my country as well but I am certainly not uncritical of that either. My point I mentioned earlier is that the UK and certainly the US have committed vastly more acts of military mis-adventurism than Israel. Two wrongs don't make a right I know. As to legality that issue is touched on here by Reuters:


Israel has a right to defend themselves. Whether they have been drawn into a stage managed provocation and over-reacted is moot. For the time being I don't believe they have, I regret these deaths but for now I am reserving judgement. In that regard I am quite different say from the likes of Kelvin McKenzie.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I disagree that your bias is uncritical but it is better that, at last, it is out in the open.

Israel does indeed have a right to defend itself and often it does.

But the attack on the about was not that right exercised at all well, intelligently or with any sense of perspective.

Also, they weren't under attack.