Israel/Palestine discussion

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elasto
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby elasto » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:43 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Are you sure that X militants for every militant killed is greater than 1?


Fairly sure given how Israel has been at war for more than half a century and the problem is worse than ever. Another plan is surely worth a try anyhow.

As for bribing the Palestinians, wouldn't work. High fertility rates and all.


How does that affect the equation? If I give you a million dollars today to sign me over the title deeds to your house, what difference does it make if in ten years time you've have two children or twenty?

It does however affect the estimate for X above: If an infant has 20 close relatives rather than just 5, the numbers radicalized by any unjust death multiplies accordingly.

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Paul in Saudi: Couldn't agree with you more.

Rich countries go to war far more cautiously than poor ones; Poor people have nothing to lose whereas the wealthy find their comforts far too luxuriant to risk - if not for them then for their children.

Materialism, for all its many flaws, does have powerful social upsides also.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:50 am UTC

elasto wrote:
As for bribing the Palestinians, wouldn't work. High fertility rates and all.


How does that affect the equation? If I give you a million dollars today to sign me over the title deeds to your house, what difference does it make if in ten years time you've have two children or twenty?


You aren't going to get that section of land; the neighbors will squat on it and fight it out. All you are doing is bribing people to leave Gaza. But you can't bribe the Gazans to leave faster than they have more kids, so Gaza will still have Gazans in it.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:59 am UTC

Nothing decreases the birth rate as effectively as educating women. This is why the birthrate for Israeli Arabs is down compared to Palestinians. It is also now below the rate for very-religious Israeli Jews.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby elasto » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:11 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You aren't going to get that section of land; the neighbors will squat on it and fight it out.

Who cares? The goal isn't to have Israel occupy the land, it's to depopulate it. Once it is totally barren in a few generations time then Israel could occupy it if they so wish.

If neighbors are on it squatting illegally, let them. Israel has its walls and ditches and anti-missile systems and can sit snug and cosy within its borders, and the illegal squatters can rot for all anyone cares. Why would you fight them? Just abandon them.

As for the Palestinians with legitimate grievances, well, the reparations are on offer for anyone who wishes (a home, a job, a good school for your children and so on), and so long as its not skimped on the vast majority will accept the deal. It wont be cheap, no, but the current situation is hardly cheap either.

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Crissa
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Crissa » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:45 am UTC

I was told to stay out of the argument, but this was a good (if short) read:

http://prospect.org/article/moral-respo ... n-conflict

-Crissa

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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:59 am UTC

An Israeli citizen was killed, and some number more wounded by a rocket an hour ago.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:54 pm UTC

The whole idea that because Israel has this sophisticated defense against rockets it should just ignore the attacks confuses me.
It's as if I had to build a garage to protect my car from sprays of acid, and because I keep my car in the garage, I have no right to complain about the acid spray coming from next door.
I'm also confounded by the fact there are whole crowds of folks who see the *amazing progress* made over the years by using this tactic and still think it's a functional way to get anywhere.
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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:33 am UTC

Iron Dome is technically interesting but not a serious weapon. It counters the enemy's $1,000 missile with your $100,000 missile. This is a foolish game on the face of it.

Equally odd are the Palestinian rockets. No Israeli was killed by a rocket attack in 2013. I think I am right in saying that one Israeli was directly killed by a rocket attack this year. This despite thousands of the things being fired. Not a serious weapon. There are several more deadly things the Palestinians could have been doing. Rockets seem to be within their capabilities, but that is about it.

If lots of people were being killed or injured, the Israelis would have agents on the ground break up the cells that fire the things. They would monitor firing sites better. They would do all things my dear old American Army, or any army, does to suppress enemy indirect fire.

Besides, this fight is not about rockets. It is about kidnappers. Or maybe it is about the demilitarization of Gaza. Or perhaps it is about tunnels. Frankly, does anyone know what the Israelis are trying to do?

This is a critical point. Confused war-aims leads to a confused war. By definition, if you do not know what you are trying to do, you have no idea how to do it or when to stop.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Hawknc » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:48 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:The whole idea that because Israel has this sophisticated defense against rockets it should just ignore the attacks confuses me.
It's as if I had to build a garage to protect my car from sprays of acid, and because I keep my car in the garage, I have no right to complain about the acid spray coming from next door.
I'm also confounded by the fact there are whole crowds of folks who see the *amazing progress* made over the years by using this tactic and still think it's a functional way to get anywhere.

I hate analogies, but that's not how I'm reading most of the criticism of Israel. If Hamas is the guy spraying acid at your car, Israel's response has been to build a garage AND bulldoze the house next door. There are options between "do nothing" and "level Gaza with air strikes".

Paul in Saudi wrote:This is a critical point. Confused war-aims leads to a confused war. By definition, if you do not know what you are trying to do, you have no idea how to do it or when to stop.

Agreed. Several people have suggested that Israel is more effective at war, but effectiveness is meaningless without an actual goal. So far the air strikes have killed several hundred Palestinians, but not stopped rocket attacks. Either the goal is to stop rockets - in which case they're proving ineffective - or the goal is to kill Palestinians, in which case they're doing a pretty good job.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:24 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:The whole idea that because Israel has this sophisticated defense against rockets it should just ignore the attacks confuses me.
It's as if I had to build a garage to protect my car from sprays of acid, and because I keep my car in the garage, I have no right to complain about the acid spray coming from next door.
I'm also confounded by the fact there are whole crowds of folks who see the *amazing progress* made over the years by using this tactic and still think it's a functional way to get anywhere.

I hate analogies, but that's not how I'm reading most of the criticism of Israel. If Hamas is the guy spraying acid at your car, Israel's response has been to build a garage AND bulldoze the house next door. There are options between "do nothing" and "level Gaza with air strikes".


It's more like the neighbor is spraying acid and Israel is build a garage and shoot randomly at the house, killing the neighbor's cat. Bulldozing the neighbor's house would be every Palestinian being homeless, if not maimed or worse.

Hawknc wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:This is a critical point. Confused war-aims leads to a confused war. By definition, if you do not know what you are trying to do, you have no idea how to do it or when to stop.

Agreed. Several people have suggested that Israel is more effective at war, but effectiveness is meaningless without an actual goal. So far the air strikes have killed several hundred Palestinians, but not stopped rocket attacks. Either the goal is to stop rockets - in which case they're proving ineffective - or the goal is to kill Palestinians, in which case they're doing a pretty good job.


Not really, considering that more Palestinians were born than were killed. Making all of the Palestinians miserable, yeah, the counterattacks are doing that.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:53 am UTC

The statistics are clear that Israel has been doing everything to minimise civilian casualties. According to UN figures, there have been up to now 318 Palestinian casualties, of those 44 children and 29 women. Seeing as how both children under 15 and women make up 50% of the Gaza population, it is extremely clear that the casualties are massively over representing males of fighting age. This, together with the well documented warnings Israel gave, and the equally well documented Hamas use of human shields, clearly shows that it is not just random bombing.

Meanwhile, UNRWA (The UN refugee agency for Palestinians) says they are horrified that they found 20 rockets being stored in one of their schools. They then called Hamas and asked them to remove them, essentially arming a terrorist group.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:10 am UTC

Minor nitpick, but don't women usually make up 50% of any population anyway?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Hawknc » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:34 am UTC

I never said it was random, I just said it wasn't particularly effective. Also you wouldn't happen to have a source for that count, would you? (Not snarky, honestly interested in getting data from the closest thing to an official source.)

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Crissa
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Crissa » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:14 am UTC

Here's another good read, although I'd assume some won't like the take on it:
http://m.forward.com/articles/201764/ho ... ended-war/

-Crissa

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:22 am UTC

The source I used was wiki, which quoted the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Since then some of their statistics have been updated:

268
Palestinians killed, including
at least 193 civilians, of
whom 59 are children and
33 women


I flat out don't believe the 193 civilians, especially given the statistics that show males of military age being such a high proportion. Remember, Hamas is the government there, and has put out a memo telling their people to report Hamas casualties as civilians. Several of the actual civilian casualties were also in cases where they were deliberately present after a warning trying to shield the site from attack.

Here's another good read, although I'd assume some won't like the take on it:
http://m.forward.com/articles/201764/ho ... ended-war/


That article is almost funny in how it tries to misrepresent quotes. I've been watching the news here for a long time, and the army commanders are doing what they always do, and saying what they always say - that the army is ready to do what it is ordered. Israel is a democracy, where the army follows orders from the political echelon. When the order is given, they follow, and say so. An army spokesman as saying they are doing what the politicians tell them is not a complaint, or an excuse, its a fact. When the army goes on an exceptional operation, the quotes are always saying that the orders came from the politicians.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby elasto » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:30 am UTC

yedidyak wrote:The statistics are clear that Israel has been doing everything to minimise civilian casualties. According to UN figures, there have been up to now 318 Palestinian casualties, of those 44 children and 29 women. Seeing as how both children under 15 and women make up 50% of the Gaza population, it is extremely clear that the casualties are massively over representing males of fighting age. This, together with the well documented warnings Israel gave, and the equally well documented Hamas use of human shields, clearly shows that it is not just random bombing.


Personally I have absolutely no doubt of this. I think Israel are doing everything humanly possible to minimize casualties from their warfare*. However this just proves that this is not the right way to go since there is little room for improvement in this regard.

Let's assume best case scenario for Israel - that all 245 adult males killed were militants.

What are the chances that less than 245 militants will be created from:
(a) the up to 73 families suffering deaths
(b) the hundreds (thousands?) of families suffering injuries
(c) the thousands of homes destroyed
(d) the tens of thousands of civilians displaced

Only a very small percentage of all of those would have to become newly radicalized to swell the militant ranks.

And even if there is less than one militant created for every militant killed, unless it is much less than one the conflict will still last generations more.


(*besides just simply taking the moral high ground and accepting that they will lose half-a-dozen civilians a year to rocket fire and spending their resources saving more than half-a-dozen Israeli lives through improving traffic flow, healthcare etc.)

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:05 am UTC

A graphic to illustrate better the point I was making before, statistics taken from Al Jazeera, put together by a blogger.

Image

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Paul in Saudi
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:00 am UTC

The discussion of the gender ratio of those killed is very interesting, and a discussion I have never before considered. Thank you all.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby natraj » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

that still doesn't actually prove anything except that israel is doing a better job of targeting males of a certain age? which only matters if you assume by definition that males of a certain age are combatants. so yeah if you define "being a gazan young adult male" as "being a combatant" then they're doing a better job of not targeting civilians.

which is a thing that happens; it's the same way obama tried to claim drone strikes in pakistan weren't killing many civilians: by redefining all males of a certain age who died as militants inherently. so yes if we use that same logic on this conflict then there are minimal civilian casualties. but i'm not really comfortable with making the inherent assumption that obviously all young gazan males are militant by definition.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

natraj wrote:that still doesn't actually prove anything except that israel is doing a better job of targeting males of a certain age? which only matters if you assume by definition that males of a certain age are combatants. so yeah if you define "being a gazan young adult male" as "being a combatant" then they're doing a better job of not targeting civilians.

which is a thing that happens; it's the same way obama tried to claim drone strikes in pakistan weren't killing many civilians: by redefining all males of a certain age who died as militants inherently. so yes if we use that same logic on this conflict then there are minimal civilian casualties. but i'm not really comfortable with making the inherent assumption that obviously all young gazan males are militant by definition.


It's the other way round. The hypothesis is that they are targeting militants. If that were the case, you would then expect the statistics to show that males of a certain age are over represented. That's the case.

You could extend it to say that you would expect a certain amount of that demographic to also be civilians, in the same percentage as the other demographics are represented. That would still be a terrorist rate of over 50% of casualties, in a situation where there is very clear evidence of a systematic use of human shields.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:57 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:This is a critical point. Confused war-aims leads to a confused war. By definition, if you do not know what you are trying to do, you have no idea how to do it or when to stop.

Agreed. Several people have suggested that Israel is more effective at war, but effectiveness is meaningless without an actual goal. So far the air strikes have killed several hundred Palestinians, but not stopped rocket attacks. Either the goal is to stop rockets - in which case they're proving ineffective - or the goal is to kill Palestinians, in which case they're doing a pretty good job.


Why cannot the war goal be to reduce rocket attacks?

Being able to stop rocket attacks seems to be extremely unrealistic considering the context.

The Israeli strategy may appear to be ineffective, but is it possible that it is however the most effective strategy? In my thinking this is a problem where there just isn't an effective solution. And an ineffective strategy (with some effect) would be better than one with no effect.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:26 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Hawknc wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:This is a critical point. Confused war-aims leads to a confused war. By definition, if you do not know what you are trying to do, you have no idea how to do it or when to stop.

Agreed. Several people have suggested that Israel is more effective at war, but effectiveness is meaningless without an actual goal. So far the air strikes have killed several hundred Palestinians, but not stopped rocket attacks. Either the goal is to stop rockets - in which case they're proving ineffective - or the goal is to kill Palestinians, in which case they're doing a pretty good job.


Why cannot the war goal be to reduce rocket attacks?

Being able to stop rocket attacks seems to be extremely unrealistic considering the context.

The Israeli strategy may appear to be ineffective, but is it possible that it is however the most effective strategy? In my thinking this is a problem where there just isn't an effective solution. And an ineffective strategy (with some effect) would be better than one with no effect.


How much of a reduction would count as a success? How many Palestinian deaths is each rocket worth?

I doubt it is the most effective strategy because... it's been tried before, several times, and hasn't seemed to accomplish anything.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:42 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I doubt it is the most effective strategy because... it's been tried before, several times, and hasn't seemed to accomplish anything.


So let me get this right. Because a certain strategy wasn't very effective, there then exists an effective strategy. I wasn't aware of that universal truth.

What did really diminish the rocket fire in 2008 was an Israeli ground invasion. Which is what we are seeing again now.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I doubt it is the most effective strategy because... it's been tried before, several times, and hasn't seemed to accomplish anything.


So let me get this right. Because a certain strategy wasn't very effective, there then exists an effective strategy. I wasn't aware of that universal truth.

What did really diminish the rocket fire in 2008 was an Israeli ground invasion. Which is what we are seeing again now.


Operation Cast Lead had 1100-1400 Palestinian deaths, and reduced the number of rocket strikes from about 2000 to about 600 the following year. So about 1 rocket attack reduced per year per Palestinian death is considered "effective" as far as you are concerned?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

Half of those were militants. Which Hamas has an effectively unlimited supply of; they promote polygamy, which requires that a large chunk of their boys are killed off to reduce competition.

I mean, there is a reason that the children used in this video are all boys.

Let's keep this focused on the conflict, shall we? -Hawk
Last edited by CorruptUser on Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I doubt it is the most effective strategy because... it's been tried before, several times, and hasn't seemed to accomplish anything.


So let me get this right. Because a certain strategy wasn't very effective, there then exists an effective strategy. I wasn't aware of that universal truth.

What did really diminish the rocket fire in 2008 was an Israeli ground invasion. Which is what we are seeing again now.


Operation Cast Lead had 1100-1400 Palestinian deaths, and reduced the number of rocket strikes from about 2000 to about 600 the following year. So about 1 rocket attack reduced per year per Palestinian death is considered "effective" as far as you are concerned?


It was effective at reducing the rocket attacks, because it reduced the number of rocket attacks. And Israel is now invading again to reduce the rocket attacks. Israel really really really doesn't like rocket attacks and has on many occasions accepted civilian casualties for her actions in order to reduce rocket attacks. This isn't going to change.

I am not defending Israeli actions. I am not saying they are moral or right or good or whatever or condoning anything that she is doing.

I am however pointing out that Cast Lead was effective at reducing rocket attacks. By the cold numbers that the rocket attacks were reduced.

And challenging your thinking that there are more effective ways of reducing rocket attacks.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:34 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Operation Cast Lead had 1100-1400 Palestinian deaths, and reduced the number of rocket strikes from about 2000 to about 600 the following year. So about 1 rocket attack reduced per year per Palestinian death is considered "effective" as far as you are concerned?


It was effective at reducing the rocket attacks, because it reduced the number of rocket attacks. And Israel is now invading again to reduce the rocket attacks. Israel really really really doesn't like rocket attacks and has on many occasions accepted civilian casualties for her actions in order to reduce rocket attacks. This isn't going to change.

I am not defending Israeli actions. I am not saying they are moral or right or good or whatever or condoning anything that she is doing.

I am however pointing out that Cast Lead was effective at reducing rocket attacks. By the cold numbers that the rocket attacks were reduced.

And challenging your thinking that there are more effective ways of reducing rocket attacks.


Dropping a nuclear weapon on Gaza would probably be more effective. I'm sure there are other creative methods you could employ if the only thing you care about is reducing the number of rockets.

CorruptUser wrote:Half of those were militants. Which Hamas has an effectively unlimited supply of; they promote polygamy, which requires that a large chunk of their boys are killed off to reduce competition.


Are you saying that militants aren't Palestinians, or militants aren't people? I can't tell from the context.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:45 am UTC

No, I'm of the opinion that we should only be concerned with the Palestinian civilians killed in this conflict. No tears shed for anyone in Hamas.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby WibblyWobbly » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:14 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:No, I'm of the opinion that we should only be concerned with the Palestinian civilians killed in this conflict. No tears shed for anyone in Hamas.

Out of curiosity, how about those who voted for Hamas?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:25 am UTC

The problem the Palestinians had was they had to choose between the bastards who had been robbing them blind (Fatah) and the bastards who had at least been tossing them some schools and hospitals (Hamas), so it's understandable why they chose Hamas over Fatah. Not to mention that anyone not voting for Hamas was subject to, well, for all the rhetoric about unlawful arrests Hamas kidnaps more Palestinians than the Israelis do. So yes, tears for the civilians that voted for Hamas.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:47 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Operation Cast Lead had 1100-1400 Palestinian deaths, and reduced the number of rocket strikes from about 2000 to about 600 the following year. So about 1 rocket attack reduced per year per Palestinian death is considered "effective" as far as you are concerned?


It was effective at reducing the rocket attacks, because it reduced the number of rocket attacks. And Israel is now invading again to reduce the rocket attacks. Israel really really really doesn't like rocket attacks and has on many occasions accepted civilian casualties for her actions in order to reduce rocket attacks. This isn't going to change.

I am not defending Israeli actions. I am not saying they are moral or right or good or whatever or condoning anything that she is doing.

I am however pointing out that Cast Lead was effective at reducing rocket attacks. By the cold numbers that the rocket attacks were reduced.

And challenging your thinking that there are more effective ways of reducing rocket attacks.


Dropping a nuclear weapon on Gaza would probably be more effective. I'm sure there are other creative methods you could employ if the only thing you care about is reducing the number of rockets.


Even if Israel thought dropping a nuclear weapon on Gaza would be a good idea (I don't think that they do!), the repercussions for doing so from the International community might be very much worse than the rocket attacks the nuclear weapons was supposed to effect. Not at all a realistic option.

I stand by that the air strikes might not be very effective but are probably the most effective and realistic action that Israel could take. If you have any other suggestions of what Israel should be doing that would be grand.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:00 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Operation Cast Lead had 1100-1400 Palestinian deaths, and reduced the number of rocket strikes from about 2000 to about 600 the following year. So about 1 rocket attack reduced per year per Palestinian death is considered "effective" as far as you are concerned?


It was effective at reducing the rocket attacks, because it reduced the number of rocket attacks. And Israel is now invading again to reduce the rocket attacks. Israel really really really doesn't like rocket attacks and has on many occasions accepted civilian casualties for her actions in order to reduce rocket attacks. This isn't going to change.


Hard to figure. I would have to see your numbers.

The rockets are smuggled in and stored at great danger and cost. Others are hand-made at great danger and cost. Now the Palestinians are in a "use it or lose it" situation and are popping them off like mad. Eventually the number fired goes down. Is that because they ran out of rockets or, as you maintain, because of Israeli actions?

As I said, you might be right, but I would have to see the numbers.

Besides, in 2013 no Israelis were killed by rocket attacks. No Israelis were killed by rockets until this month in 2014. Few were fired and fewer hit anything. This war is not about rockets. It is about murderous Palestinians. Or maybe tunnels or maybe the demilitarization of Gaza. Or something.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:44 am UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:Hard to figure. I would have to see your numbers.


They aren't my numbers and they are readily available all over the Internet, everywhere. If you want to partake in a discussion about rocket attacks and put your opinions out there, I would have expected that you knew the details of the rocket attacks. Or am I missing something?

The rockets are smuggled in and stored at great danger and cost. Others are hand-made at great danger and cost. Now the Palestinians are in a "use it or lose it" situation and are popping them off like mad. Eventually the number fired goes down. Is that because they ran out of rockets or, as you maintain, because of Israeli actions?


You have got the order of events mixed up. The rockets were fired, Israel retaliates and verily they are in a use it or lose it situation now. The idea that exploding people who are firing rockets at you, doesn't somehow limit rockets fired at you, I find absolutely baffling.

As I said, you might be right, but I would have to see the numbers.


Cannot you google, rocket attacks into Israel?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinia ... _on_Israel


This war is not about rockets.


How is this not about rockets?

Israel, like every other country in this world really really really doesn't like rocket attacks and takes strong measure to limit them. Because, it doesn't like rockets exploding in its cities. People in the cities don't like rockets exploding. The people in Israel have a very strong vested interest in there not being rockets. So they develop a very strong reaction system of sirens and bunkers and Iron Dome which costs them a lot of money to limit the damage that rockets can inflict. This apparently really needs to be stressed, no one likes rockets exploding in their cities, Israel is no exception.

It is about murderous Palestinians.


This doesn't make sense at all. What is the motive? Vengeance? Anger? Hate? If that's the premise Israeli actions are completely inconsistent with that motive. You don't phone the place you are about to bomb to tell people to get out before you bomb it if you want to kill the people you just warned to get out before you bombed it?! No country in any conflict has ever followed stricter rules of engagement than Israel has followed in this conflict, ever. Those are not the actions of a country that wants to kill people.

That and the number killed is far far far far far far too few to effect the situation in any meaningful way. If anything civilians killed are damaging to International pressure on Israel. It is very much in Israel's best interest to not or at least limit civilian casualties.

Everyone has always painted their enemy as a blood thirsty evil people. Don't believe it. Very very few people are truly evil.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yedidyak » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:40 am UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:Besides, in 2013 no Israelis were killed by rocket attacks. No Israelis were killed by rockets until this month in 2014. Few were fired and fewer hit anything. This war is not about rockets. It is about murderous Palestinians. Or maybe tunnels or maybe the demilitarization of Gaza. Or something.


Casualties are not the way to measure rocket attacks. Israel has invested tens of millions in bomb shelters, making Sderot the 'bomb shelter capital of the world'. Since 1991 (When Iraq bombed Israel with Scuds) every new building has had to have a bomb shelter in each apartment by law. Before that, it was one in each building. Israel has a siren system that alerts every town in the maximum time before it is hit, giving the residents between 15 seconds and 90 seconds to run for shelter, and repeatedly reminds all Israelis of what to do in any situation when the siren sounds. That's before Iron Dome - which at huge cost (partly funded by the US - in return for the technology) intercepts 90% of the long range rockets, meaning only pieces of metal, not bombs, are landing in cities.

All of that means that the numbers killed by rockets is very low. But that doesn't mean Israel can live with it. The vast majority of Israelis have had to run for shelter many times in the last two weeks. For the million or so in the Southern half of Israel, it was many times a day. For the 2 million in the center, once or twice a day. For the million in the North, it was 'only' several times over the week. For the hundreds of thousands within 10km of Gaza, it has been constant for the last 9 years.

No country can let that happen.

Then there are the tunnels. In the last few days since the ground operation started tens of them have been found. Several have been used, with many Hamas terrorists making it into Israel. Some of those were detected early, and eliminated. In one case they managed to destroy an army patrol. Some of the tunnels that would have been used if the IDF hadn't found them by going into Gaza have openings that lead right into Israeli towns. Imagine if Al-Qaeda had a tunnel that opened into a town in the US, what lengths would the US go to to stop that?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:22 am UTC

yedidyak wrote:Imagine if Al-Qaeda had a tunnel that opened into a town in the US, what lengths would the US go to to stop that?


A single attack that was essentially unrepeatable was enough for them to spend billions of dollars invading and occupying two countries on the opposite side of the world; I can't imagine they'd be any more tolerant than Israel has been were they under constant fire.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:42 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Cannot you google, rocket attacks into Israel?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinia ... _on_Israel


Check out the page history. I am helping write that page. And by the way, look at the bottom of my user page. I am trying to construct a table. I would appreciate your thoughts.


BattleMoose wrote:How is this not about rockets?


The PM said this war is about the permanent demilitarization of Gaza. That is the standard he has set. Let us now see if he is clever enough to do it.


Everyone has always painted their enemy as a blood thirsty evil people. Don't believe it. Very very few people are truly evil.


I am not sure I agree. I think most people are sinners, evil, and that this can only be held in check by great effort. Going to war is the easy, popular thing to do. Making peace is the work of generations. The comments made by the "belligerent noncombatants" on both sides are horrible. This brings to mind the wisdom of 1 John 3:15, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer." Or if you prefer Yoda, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Grishnakh » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:50 am UTC

Since the Israelis are issuing warnings before launching air strikes on Gaza, what is the actual target of these strikes? One would assume they are targeting the rocketeers, but I guess they will also get the warnings and just leave before the bombs drop? Are they targeting weapon stockpiles or are they just destroying buildings or what?

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Paul in Saudi » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:05 pm UTC

If the App that warns Israelis of incoming rockets is so cool, surely the Israeli ought to put the information of their own upcoming attacks into it so the Palestinians would have an evden better chance of not being hit.

==eta==
The butcher's bill now seems to be up to 508 Palestinians and about 20 Israelis killed. This gives us an exchange ratio of about 1:25.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:40 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:The whole idea that because Israel has this sophisticated defense against rockets it should just ignore the attacks confuses me.
It's as if I had to build a garage to protect my car from sprays of acid, and because I keep my car in the garage, I have no right to complain about the acid spray coming from next door.
I'm also confounded by the fact there are whole crowds of folks who see the *amazing progress* made over the years by using this tactic and still think it's a functional way to get anywhere.

I hate analogies, but that's not how I'm reading most of the criticism of Israel. If Hamas is the guy spraying acid at your car, Israel's response has been to build a garage AND bulldoze the house next door. There are options between "do nothing" and "level Gaza with air strikes".


Honestly, if the dude next door to you has sprayed acid at you endlessly, and will not stop no matter what, the cops probably would come for him. If bulldozing the house is required to get to him, that'd be what happens.

That's...sort of how society deals with someone who will not stop initiating violence. Eventually you escalate until the violence is stopped.

I agree that the analogy is somewhat tenuous, but Pastrychef's point about expectations is perfectly valid. The expectations for Israel seem unusually high compared to elsewhere.

natraj wrote:that still doesn't actually prove anything except that israel is doing a better job of targeting males of a certain age? which only matters if you assume by definition that males of a certain age are combatants. so yeah if you define "being a gazan young adult male" as "being a combatant" then they're doing a better job of not targeting civilians.

which is a thing that happens; it's the same way obama tried to claim drone strikes in pakistan weren't killing many civilians: by redefining all males of a certain age who died as militants inherently. so yes if we use that same logic on this conflict then there are minimal civilian casualties. but i'm not really comfortable with making the inherent assumption that obviously all young gazan males are militant by definition.


Not everyone in that demographic is a combatant, no. But this is consistent with Hamas reporting military combatants as civilian(which, as someone pointed out, is policy), and Israel targetting combatants.

You could probably decently spitball the number of combatants by assuming that the quantity of noncombatants in that demographic are roughly equal to an equal demographic outside of it(women of the same age, for instance). That still leaves you with a significant number of probable combatants.

As for what is effective...well, perceptions vary. What you see as a worthwhile cost may not be the same as what another party sees as a worthwhile cost. Additionally, there is the troublesome factor that if "killing attackers" is considered a cost, then a cost-averse country can be effectively controlled by a power willing to spend lives freely. Giving power to such leaders seems...unwise.

Paul in Saudi wrote:The rockets are smuggled in and stored at great danger and cost. Others are hand-made at great danger and cost. Now the Palestinians are in a "use it or lose it" situation and are popping them off like mad. Eventually the number fired goes down. Is that because they ran out of rockets or, as you maintain, because of Israeli actions?


Almost certainly both. Any rocket captured before firing, blown up, not made due to destroyed or captured supplies, etc...cannot be fired. So, from a supply perspective, the Israeli actions are almost certainly causing some reduction. I don't have any great way to measure exactly how much, though.

I do not understand how people can say "it's not about rockets", though. Even if deaths are low, injuries happen. Property damage happens. Look, if the Mexico started firing rockets across the border into the US...we'd have us an international incident. Even if nobody died. Life isn't just about deaths.

yurell wrote:
yedidyak wrote:Imagine if Al-Qaeda had a tunnel that opened into a town in the US, what lengths would the US go to to stop that?


A single attack that was essentially unrepeatable was enough for them to spend billions of dollars invading and occupying two countries on the opposite side of the world; I can't imagine they'd be any more tolerant than Israel has been were they under constant fire.


I suspect we would have responded with utterly ludicrous amounts of force, and the problem would have eventually been solved by nobody standing to shoot back.

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sardia » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:15 pm UTC

You guys do realize that a violent criminal groups can and do tunnel into the us everyday. The Ts hasn't managed to stop them. Smugglers of drugs and people into the us. They aren't as reliant on tunnels as gazans but it does happen.


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