Israel seizes democratically elected leaders

dun dun dun

What exactly did you expect them to do? An Israeli soldier was kidnapped and held for ransom, and the people doing the ransoming were a part of Hamas’s armed wing. The “political wing” of Hamas (which, to date, considers every Israeli as a potential target and refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist) was making no attempt to get anyone to return the soldier (nor would it make sense that they should, seeing as how they kidnapped him in the first place). I think this is a better method than, say, blowing the hell out of a few cities just to show them, which is probably what a lot of other countries would do if a foreign power kidnapped one of their citizens.

Just a few days ago Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel. Only Islamic Jihad opposed this potential breakthrough. According to Walid Awad, a spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas: “In our view, this is an important step toward a lasting peace. The Hamas government has recognized the state of Israel.”

Unfortunately, the political leadership of Hamas does not have the strength to control the military wing.
It seems like the attack on Israel’s army post and the capture of Gilad Shalit was carried out with the purpose to derail the plans for the latest move toward peace.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other Group of Eight foreign ministers said in a joint statement that the army raids in the occupied West Bank raised “particular concerns”. They called on Israeli forces in Gaza to show restraint.

Every time Israel doesn’t turn the greater part of the Middle East into glass landscape, it’s showing remarkable restraint. I had been hoping the Egypt would intervene far enough to secure to the return of the soldier, but alas, this seems like the next best thing.

Just a few days ago Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel.

The plan, which was drafted by people doing time in Israeli jails for attacks on civilians, also reaffirmed Hamas’s right to kill any Jew who has the audacity to be found outside the so-called “Green Line”. And it also reaffirmed its demand for all Palestinians to return to their homes inside Israel, which is politicalspeak for the demographic destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Anyone who possibly thinks that Hamas is even considering dealing fairly with Israel in good faith is living on a cloud.

Palestinians aren’t allowed to return to their homes because it would dillute the Jewish blood of Israel? Bollocks!

We can all agree that kidnapping is wrong and that he should be released immidiately, and perhaps seizing a few political leaders to have something to bargain with or at least as a decent revenge is the ideal solution, but raiding Gaza and destroying a power station and three key bridges?

Israel and Palestine are quite clearly itching to declare war on each other- how long have they had to co-exist and haven’t done? Frankly, I’d rather they just get on with it.

I doubt Palestine is itching to declare war on Israel, given that it would be overpowered in the merest instant.

Palestinians aren’t allowed to return to their homes because it would dillute the Jewish blood of Israel? Bollocks!

The number of Jews who were forced to leave Arab countries is roughly equal to the number of Palestinians who left their homes in 1948 (and many of the Arabs left voluntarily based on their leaders’ bombastic assurances that Israel would never beat them and they’d be able to come back shortly). But you don’t see Jews attacking foreign countries in an attempt to get back to their homes. Instead, Israel absorbed millions of Jewish refugees into an area roughly the size of Rhode Island. Arab countries, which comprise a huge chunk of the world, can easily do the same - but almost every Arab country refuses to allow Palestinians to be citizens, preferring to make them rot in refugee camps. This way they can heap all their rhetoric on Israel and avoid any introspection into their own bullying ways.

The point is that if all Palestinians returned to Israel proper, Jews would suddenly be a minority in their own country, and since Israel is a democracy, within a few years the entire identity of Israel as a Jewish homeland would be completely obliterated, which isn’t much different than Israel just ceding the whole bloody country to the Palestinians. THAT’s what’s meant by “right of return”.

Israel and Palestine are quite clearly itching to declare war on each other- how long have they had to co-exist and haven’t done? Frankly, I’d rather they just get on with it.

Israel is most definitely NOT itching to declare war on the Palestinians. If they wanted to, they could barge into Gaza and kill or expel every single Arab; they have the power and the infrastructure. If Israel had a partner with whom they could bargain in good faith, they would do so, and they have done so even with partners whom they couldn’t bargain with. But every single agreement they ever signed, in which they kept giving away more and more land in exchange for promises to stop violence, was never upheld by the Palestinian side. Prisoners released by Israel went back to blowing up Israeli buses, and guns given by Israel to Palestinian security forces ended up being pointed right back at Israeli soldiers.

but raiding Gaza and destroying a power station and three key bridges?

The raid was largely called off (missiles were shot into empty buildings - big whoop), and in any case Israelis have been doing small raids into Gaza ever since the withdrawal from it in an effort to stop all those rockets from raining onto Israeli villages. And again - Israel hasn’t attacked anyone in retaliation for an act (a foreign government kidnapping a soldier) which in any other country would be an outright act of war. I dare you to find one other country which would let one of its soldiers be kidnapped and not mount an assault on the country which did it.

One of these empty buildings, presumably, was the only power plant in Gaza:

Which will affect hundreds of thousands of innocent people that have no access to electricity and other essentials. My guess is they have no access to clean water now either.

I’ll agree that that was probably a mistake, either due to rushed judgment or the fact that the current Minister of Defense has little actual strategic experience. I doubt they thought through the consequences of that action.

The Israelis have a serious enough problem considering the Arabs living within Israel proper are even outbreeding the Jews.

There’s actually a fierce debate about that. There are various numbers being thrown around, and there’s quite some evidence that projecting the numbers of Arabs and Jews twenty years in the future shows that the percentages will remain pretty much the same. Of course we can all juggle numbers from here to eternity; there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Well, regardless, I think the Israelis strategy is simply to get the hell out of Palestine and not have to deal with any sort of Palestinian nation.

Except that Hamas, in its charter, is dedicated to eradicating Israel. Not just the bits that Israel captured in 1967, but the entire bloody thing. The only way we’ll “not have to deal with them” is if they somehow disappear. And this is no longer just a little two-bit operation: this is the government of Palestine. We can’t exactly “not deal with them” when they’re still shooting rockets at us from behind their border, which is exactly what happened when we “got out” of Gaza.

It’s really sad how estranged two people, who live in the same country can be. I forgot, who gives a damn about the opposite nation anyway…

Just because leaders are elected democratically doesn’t mean they can’t be undesirable. War is messy, this is nothing new. When will western progressives get over the fact that the palestinian government (and people?) are barbarians compared to the Jews?

It is sad, that’s true. And Israel isn’t completely innocent (but then again, I doubt that’d be possible in this situation). It’s more sad that their fellow Arabs are doing nothing to help the situation, preferring to use the Palestinians as distractions and tools. Palestinian media continually tries to brainwash its viewers into believing the extremist drivel of idiots like Hamas who claim that killing Jews is a laudable goal. I think that left to their own devices, most of the Palestinians probably wouldn’t care any more if Israel took bits and pieces of the West Bank (hell, most Arabs have it better under Israeli rule than under Arab rule), and most Israelis wouldn’t care if the Palestinians did. The problem is that the Palestinian leadership has always been full of bluster (in Arabic, at least) about winning everything and being completely unwilling to compromise. Hamas at least is open about it; Fatah has exactly the same goals, but they dress in suits and give nice sound bytes (in English, at least) which they have no intention of following up on.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that Palestinians are “barbarians”, which opens up a whole can of worms about class, religion, and culture and what influences what, but it can’t obscure the fact that, given their first election, they voted overwhelmingly to elect a terrorist organization. Hopefully the unceasing international cold shoulder will wake them up a bit from the idea that terrorism is somehow a good thing.

Israel doesn’t want to have to deal with any kind of Palestinian government, IMO. Dealing with the Palestinians as an enemy military force is a different matter. Israel prefers the latter option.