Jul 3, 2006

Clock Winding Down for Captured Israeli Soldier, Hopes for Peace

IDF armored vehicles approach the Gaza Strip from southern Israel early Monday; photo courtesy of AP

(Gaza) Three Palestinian militant groups holding Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit gave Israel a one-day deadline to meet their demands to free Palestinian prisoners, or they will "consider the matter closed."

The factions, among them the armed wing of the governing Hamas Islamist group, have given Israel until 6 am Tuesday (11 pm EDT US) to meet their demands.

The statement, which was signed by the Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Islamic Army said the state of Israel would "bear full responsibility for future consequences" if it failed to meet the deadline.

Israel rejected the ultimatum, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his government would not bow to what he called "extortion."

Meanwhile, the European Union today urged Israel to free arrested Hamas officials - including eight Cabinet ministers and 26 politicians - and to show restraint in its Gaza military campaign.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry spoke out against the military operations conducted by the IDF.

"A number of actions by the Israeli defense forces in their offensive against the Gaza Strip have violated the principle of proportionality and are to be seen as forms of collective punishment, which is forbidden," the ministry noted in a statement. "There is no doubt that Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure."

Electrical power has been severed to hundreds of thousands of residents in Gaza, and humanitarian organizations fear that there will soon be no tap water for many of the Strip's 1.4 million residents.


Anonymous said...

1. Shalit's a goner.
2. Israel will then go nuts in Gaza.
3. Then the whole Middle East will go up in flames.

--Steve S. in Terre Haute

Anonymous said...

Wow, think how much easier the situation for Palis would be if Hamas and the militants would simply:

1.) Recognize Israel's right to exist.

2.) Stop firing rockets inot Israel.

3.) Stop kidnapping and killing Israeli soldiers and citizens.

4.) Stop self-detonating in shopping malls and on public busses.

Then, maybe, their wouldn't be a need for ANY agression against them. But, no that wouldn't allow their leaders to turn around and declare "special victim" status even AFTER Israel gives into their demands.

In the eyes of the pro-Pali Left, Israel is damned if they do, and damned if they don't. They might as well do.

Once again, one standard for everyone else, and an impossible one for the Israelis.

historymike said...

Anonymous #1:

While your forecast is somewhat oversimplified for brevity, I fear that you might have succinctly predicted the outcome.

historymike said...

Anonymous #2:

You give only one side of the picture in your condemnation of the Palestinians.

You correctly note the Palestinian kidnappings, but say nothing of the wholesale detention of most of the Hamas government.

While I support Israel's right to defend itself, can you honestly say that taking out power plants, bridges, and other necessary civil infrastructure in Gaza is "defense?"

Does the likelihood that most of Gaza's civilian population will soon be without power and water not even faze you? We are talking 1.4 million human beings in the Gaza Strip.

I, for one, condemn the violence perpetrated by both sides.

I am far less angry about the predictable Israeli response than I am at the UN and the US, who sit idly by and do little to mediate this mess.

Anonymous said...

the Hamas government.


You mean the Hamas murderers, of course. Did the Palis not know what sort of government they were supporting?

These militants seem perfectly willing, on the other hand, to use their own women and children as human shields, sell them as "suicide bombers" for thousands of dollars, and exploit even the deaths they themselves are responsible for in anti-Israel propaganda attacks.

You know, you can't ignore something that's stabbing you, and the only way Israel has managed to survive this long is by, literally, fighting tooth and nail for its survival against those that would "push them into the sea" ; hence the 1948 , 1967, 1972 wars.

But you tell me: if the Israelis decide to put down their arms tommorow, and capitulate once again to Pali demands--what do you think will happen?

It's quite simple, really: The Palis will continue to foment war and terrorism, kidnappings, rocket attacks, ect. , because capitulation will have proved to them that "terror works".

To give into their (terrorist) demands, gradually, is obviously to commit slow suicide.

Better to strike back hard and fast, and maybe, eventually, they will realise that murder and suicide bombings aren't in their collective interest.

It took two A-bombs to make Imperial Japan STOP FIGHTING. Now, the Japanese threaten no one. Ditto fascist Germany and Italy.

Anonymous said...

You give only one side of the picture in your condemnation of the Palestinians.


That's funny. The pro-Pali Left gives only ONE side in their condemnation of the Israelis, and "Zionism".

Their usually the guys at the rallies with signs that read "Smash the Jewish State".

Well, sometimes, they also wear Khaffiyas, and dress like suicide bombers.

Lemme tell ya, these fashion trends are something else.

Kate said...

Just one question - if everybody winds up dead - does it really matter who was right?

Another - when everybody is behaving wrongly - is there a classification of 'least' wrong?

I don't see any outcome to this other than everyone loses.

Kate said...

This is contrary to God's rule that we should love one another. Those responsible will surely answer to Him.

marduk22 said...

"Once again, one standard for everyone else, and an impossible one for the Israelis."

Talk about an inversion of the truth -- namely, one standard for mere humans, another one for "Israelis".

"These militants seem perfectly willing, on the other hand, to use their own women and children as human shields, sell them as 'suicide bombers' for thousands of dollars"

Ah, yes. One tends to forget just how much Zionists, and their cheerleaders and enablers, "care" for the "abused" children of Palestine:

It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker.

"Come on, dogs," the voice booms in Arabic. "Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!"

I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: "Son of a bitch!" "Son of a Whore!" "Your mother's cunt!"

The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come.

A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children's slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.

Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered – death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo – but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.

--Chris Hedges, "A Gaza Diary", Harper's Magazine, October 2001

Dariush said...

Above post was from me, by the way.

Excerpts from "A Letter from Palestine":

Israel has over 10,000 Palestinian hostages, hundreds of them children, and slaughters Palestinians of any age on a daily basis. When Palestinians take 2 Israeli hostages and kill two soldiers, Israeli bombs Gaza. Bombs out the power stations, the water reticulation; no electricity, no water, bridges blasted severing cities from each other. Gaza Strip, the most densely populated area on earth on account of Israel using it as a specially designed human garbage can where refugees are disposed of and hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world.. Brilliant, but unsuccessful. If you treat humans as garbage and they know that they are humans and not garbage, they will not quietly disappear. You will never sleep safe at night. You will never have the right to sleep safe at night. May you never sleep safe at night.


...Israel's war is first of all against our dignity which Israel attacks from every angle and with every means possible, because if it can succeed in destroying our dignity, we will not be able to resist anymore. There is tremendous dignity in Palestine; perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, because the occupation with all its mechanisms for humiliation makes us aware of our dignity; the more they try to destroy our dignity the stronger our dignity becomes; they are getting the opposite results that they want. There are two kinds of dignity: one that you get from others, when you are treated with dignity, the other comes from inside of you, from what you know about who you really are before God, and no one has the power to take this away from you unless you let them. Even if as women we are captured by Israel, stripped naked and raped in the prisons, if we resist every attack upon our dignity it will not be lost.

Arab people have a great source of dignity from the rich and deep history of our culture. But now all Arab lands are captive and only in Iraq and Palestine are we free within ourselves, because we do not accept the enslavement that is forced upon us; our resistance gives us great dignity.

We get our dignity from our land. It is our life. As long as we are in our land, no matter how much we suffer, we will have our dignity. If they succeed in expelling us to Jordan, our dignity will be lost forever. I have my family's olive trees. Every year I used to have precious olive oil from my own trees that I could give generously to my friends and neighbors. Now Israel has killed half of my trees and imprisoned the rest. These trees are like my own children. It is a terrible, terrible sorrow and shame for me each day to know that I am powerless to help them. Now, when we need olive oil for ourselves, we have to go to the store and buy it. But I was one who could generously give olive oil to my friends and relatives.


The Americans, Europeans and Israelis place more value on the blood of their dogs and cats than they do on the blood of Palestinians. None of us can ever forget the sight of little Huda screaming for her father on the beach of Gaza, throwing herself on the sand next to his dead body over and over. No one in the world has expressed their outrage, or even sorrow, to us about these atrocities against us. They care deeply about the Mundial, and Huda's agony is an interruption, a distraction, from the soccer score. Our blood is so, so cheap to the world, and Israeli blood is so valuable. They do not see our humanity at all.

How do you find your sense of your own humanity, when all the world is telling you your life, your death, your blood is worthless?

When it comes down to that, we know that God sees us, even if we are suffering in an Israeli torture chamber and no one in our family knows if where we are or if we are alive or dead, we know that God sees us and knows our value, our humanity. We belong to him, and in that is our worth, and our hope, our fates are in his hands and our lives are very precious to him, no matter how worthless they are to our brothers and sisters in the human race, and in the end, that is what matters. We know who we are. Our lives, our deaths, our suffering, our hopes, our disappointment, are not insignificant.


And what is that dazzling offer that Europe will extend, if Palestinians promise to sit on their hands and open their mouths? In exchange for your dignity, what? Maybe long life, lifelong food rations? Maybe the chance to clean toilets in Israel, and the dream that your grandchildren could do the same?

I have not been here too long, but it is long enough to be sure of one thing: It is the Europeans, the Israelis, and the American who fail to grasp the central truth, after all these decades of trying to finetune the catastrophe they have engineered in Palestine: these women and men and children, who carry their heads so high, know who they are. They are prepared to sacrifice their lives, but they are not prepared to sacrifice their dignity. While the world discusses the moral or strategic aspects of armed resistance, there is no confusion about these issues here. Undefended, dignity, and the land, would be lost, and death would be better. With or without your permission, they will continue to fight.

Anonymous said...

One of the most sinister of these clips was broadcast twice last week, according to our research after a three-year absence. The clip features a child actor playing the most famous Palestinian child martyr, Muhammad al-Dura - whose death in a crossfire was broadcast to the entire world - calling to other Palestinian children to literally follow him to Child Martyrs’ Heaven.

“I am waving not to part but to say, ‘Follow me,’” is Dura’s invitation on the TV screen.

The children watching this video are then shown what awaits them if they join Dura in death. The video follows the child actor - “Dura” - joyously frolicking in heaven. He romps on the beach, plays with a kite and runs toward a Ferris wheel. The children are being told that death in conflict with Israel will bring them into a child’s paradise. Muhammad al-Dura is already in this paradise, tranquil and fun-filled. This call to children to seek death, coming from the child who has turned into a Palestinian hero, and broadcast to their children by PA TV, is one of the most odious examples of exploitation of children by the Palestinian Authority. The words sung by the popular singer Aida are as insidious as the pictures. The earth is described as yearning for the children’s death - “its thirst quenched by the gush of blood flowing from the youthful body.”

The main lyrics of the clip are as follows:

“How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs,
how sweet is the fragrance of the earth,
its thirst quenched by the gush of blood
flowing from the youthful body.”
Caption: “And so he went...”
Choir: “Goodbye to the boy Muhammad” (2x)
Aida (popular woman soloist):
“Goodbye, goodbye.”...
Aida: How sweet is the fragrance of the earth,
Its thirst quenched by the gush of blood
flowing from the youthful body.
Choir: Goodbye, goodbye.
Aida: Goodbye, goodbye...
Choir: O father, ‘til we meet (2x)
Aida (woman soloist):
‘til we meet, my father, ‘til we meet!
I shall go with no fear, no tears,
How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!
I shall go to my place in heaven,
How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!
Choir: How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs!
Aida: O my father, ‘til we meet (2x)
Choir: O my father, ‘til we meet ...
Goodbye to the child, Muhammad
Aida: O the children of the world say
Choir: Goodbye to the child, Muhammad!
Aida: ‘til we meet, O Muhammad
Choir: ‘til we meet, O Muhammad

-- Pro-suicide bomber music video broadcast on Palistinian TV, documented by Palestinian Media Watch.

Anonymous said...

Link for above: Palistinian Media Watch

Nice propaganda pieces, Darius.

Too bad that is really all they are.

Try a legitimate argument next time.

Anonymous said...

The following is the transcript of selections from the Hamas video:

"We will rule the nations, by Allah's will, the USA will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered…
The Jihad for Allah... is the way of Truth and the way for Salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews and expel them from our country Palestine. Just as the Jews ran from Gaza, the Americans will run from Iraq and Afghanistan and the Russians will run from Chechnya, and the Indian will run from Kashmir, and our children will be released from Guantanamo. The prisoners will be released by Allah's will, not by peaceful means and not by agreements, but they will be released by the sword, they will be released by the gun".

The video identifies itself as from the "Al-Qassam Brigades Media Office." "Al-Qassam Brigades" is the name the Hamas calls its military wing.
(www.palestine-info.net) June 22 2006:


Yeah, all they want is "equal rights", isn't it?

No, all they want is ALL of US DEAD.

Dariush said...

From an Amazon review of this "Palestinian Media Watch" site:

PMW (Palestinian Media Watch) is a pro-Israeli propaganda website that takes events in the arab or Palestinian world and transforms them into materials suitable for consumption by anti-peace/pro-war groups on the extreme of Israeli society.

The phony aspect of the site is that it creates an image for all arabs and palestinians based often on material gathered from extremists. The same hate material can be found among Israelis. You can hear these people talk about "greater Israel" and how Southern Lebannon and Jordan are really Jewish land. You can hear them talk about peace plans that involve "transfer". The more common word outside Israel for the concept is ethnic cleansing. And mainstream Israelis cannot refer to the west bank as the west bank. Its proper name we are told is the Israeli provences of Judea and Samaria. Israelis regularly claim that there is no palestine and no palestinian people. On the extreme, every sort of hate propaganda is generated.

But PMW isn't dedicated to truth, its dedicated to providing a one-sided propoganda image of Palestinians as evil irresonsible savages while turning a blind eye to similar statements within Israel. They don't talk about how Israeli settlers attempted to make the grave of mass murderer Baruch Goldstein into a place of honor. They also don't talk about whats taught to children in the religious settlements in the occupied territories.

This site has no value unless your mind is closed and you need crude reinforcing propaganda.

Dariush said...

More detailed criticism of MEMRI's lesser known cousin here.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Sadly, I have to also agree with Anon #1 and with Kate, ”This is contrary to God's rule that we should love one another. Those responsible will surely answer to Him.”

May God (a.k.a. Allah) have mercy on all of theri souls.

Anonymous said...

Man, you moonbats are always such an optimistic bunch!