YNATKC (cont’d.)

"You're not allowed to kill civilians."

That sentence, deliberately, lacks specificity. The "you" is universal — it refers to everyone. No one is allowed to kill civilians.

Feel free to provide particulars, to make the statement more specific:

"Bob is not allowed to kill civilians."

Let's be clear that this sentence does not include an unspoken "only" at the beginning. It should not be read as "[Only] Bob is not allowed to kill civilians," but rather as "Bob [like everyone else] is not allowed to kill civilians."

What's true universally is also true specifically for Bob. So let's not just pick on Bob.

* Al-Qaida is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Badr Brigade is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Red Brigade is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Christian Service Brigade is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The American military is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Hamas is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Hezbollah is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The IDF is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The ATF is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The RAF is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The IRA is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The IRS is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Dick Cheney is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Blackwater is not allowed to kill civilians.

* KBR/Halliburton is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Janjaweed are not allowed to kill civilians.

* Alan Dershowitz is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Mahdi Army is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The United Nations is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Bill Clinton is not allowed to kill civilians.

* Bill Clinton's penis is not allowed to kill civilians.

* The Tribulation Force is not allowed to kill civilians.

You're not allowed to kill civilians.

More than a few of the groups listed above are, intolerably, killing civilians. This needs to stop.

Some of these groups are, of course, evil terrorist organizations. Evil terrorist organizations are unlikely to stop killing civilians because, by definition, this is what evil terrorist organizations do.

Other groups listed above are not evil terrorist organizations. Those groups ought to consider that continuing to kill civilians makes them more, not less, like the evil terrorist organizations they are rightly fighting against.

You're not allowed to kill civilians.

  • Beth

    you think it more acceptable to kill Lebanese or Palestinian civilians, and less acceptable to kill Israeli civilians.
    Jesurgislac,
    Once again, I must ask you to stop making shit up. What part of “They’re all equally civilians, and killing any of them is equally wrong,” do you not understand?

  • aunursa

    If you assert equality – that the Israelis are wrong to kill Palestinian civilians, the Palestinians are wrong to kill Israeli civilians, the Lebanese are wrong to kill Israeli civilians – then it’s odd that you’re not coming down harder on the IDF than anyone else: they have certainly been killing far, far more civilians than either Hamas or Hizbollah.
    One difference is that that Hezbollah uses the Lebanese civilians as human shields. The IDF uses numerous methods to minimize civilian casualties (e.g. dropping leaflets warning the residents that the area will be attacked); but it’s not possible for them to protect Israeli civilians from attack without the Lebanese civilians suffering some casualties — ESPECIALLY WHEN the enemy doesn’t wear a uniform to distinguish fighters from non-combatants — and ESPECIALLY WHEN the enemy hides its fighters among the civilian population and its bombs and missiles in homes, schools, and mosques.
    When Israeli civilians are killed, Hezbollah benefits, and when Lebanese civilians are killed, Hezbollah benefits. Israel’s enemies have an incentive in having as many civilian deaths as possible. As such, Hezbollah bears the moral responsibility for the dead civilians on both sides.
    The fact that Israelis have suffered far fewer casualties is due in part to the fact of Hezbollah using their civilians as human shields, as well in part due to the fact that Israeli civilians have been living in bomb shelters the past few weeks.
    If, like its enemies, Israel desired to inflict civilian casualties, there would be several thousands or tens of thousands of dead Lebanese, rather than 603 as of this writing.

  • Jesurgislac

    au: One difference is that that Hezbollah uses the Lebanese civilians as human shields.
    Certainly that’s always been the excuse the IDF have used for killing civilians – that they’re not really civilians because of their close proximity to [people who kill civilians]. Of course, by this definition, IDFers use Israeli civilians as human shields.

  • aunursa

    You are employing a straw-man argument: the IDF has never claimed that civilians aren’t really civilians because of their proximity to Hezbollah terrorists.
    The United States makes a similar argument regarding civilian deaths in Iraq: they are unavoidable and are the resposibility of the terrorists who cynically sacrifice their own populations by using them as human shields.
    The IDF, like all other civilized militaries, does not use its own civilians as human shields … since (1) all IDF soldiers wear uniforms that clearly distinguish them from the civilian population; (2) Israeli military facilities are located outside of urban centers and other civilian areas; and (3) the IDF does not conduct military operations from and does not store missiles and other bombs in civilian areas.

  • Robin Grant

    The GOP is successful in getting the citizens of the US to forget what happened just yesterday.
    Iran is in the hands of religious fundamentalists because the US killed their grandparents back in the ’50s. We overthrew their democratically elected government and installed the brutal dictator, the ‘Shah’ of Iran, and then backed his regime for decades as he slaughtered civilians. The Iranian citizens knew whose arms were being used to kill them and they have never forgotten.
    Iraq is now in the hands of religious fundamentalists because we overthrew their government and installed the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein. For decades we Americans (and others) backed his regime and supplied biological and chemical agents and urged him to use them. (Of course we did! Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld met with and shook his hand AFTER we knew he used them on Iranians and Iraqi Kurds. The Reagan Admin rewarded him for using WMDs, we even sold him bubonic plague!)
    Afghanistan is now in the hands of religious fundamentalists because we withdrew our support from our vital ally Osama bin Laden after they successfully repelled the Soviet invasion. We Americans built the very caves Clinton sent cruise missiles to back in the ’80s. (Doesn’t anyone remember Rambo3 where he single-handedly fights off the Soviets, kisses Osama bin Laden and sets up the Taliban gov’t?)
    Of course they hate us in the Middle East, we Americans have been killing their families for decades. Of course Hezbollah hates Isreal, they’ve been killing their children for decades.
    If we want peace in the Middle East the first thing we need to do is STOP KILLING THEIR FAMILIES! Duh!
    Instead, Bush capitulates to Al Qaida and turns the US into a totalitarian police state, and hands the reigns of power to the religious fundamentalists.

  • J

    Hey has anyone else noticed that Gnarls Barkeley’s “Crazy” works pretty well as a historical/philosophical/humorous narrative of the anti-Iraq-war movement? Read:
    I remember when,
    I remember,
    I remember when I lost my mind
    There was something so pleasant about that place.
    Even your emotions had an echo
    In so much space
    And when you’re out there
    Without care,
    Yeah, I was out of touch
    But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
    I just knew too much
    Does that make me crazy
    Does that make me crazy
    Does that make me crazy
    Probably
    And I hope that you are having the time of your life
    But think twice, that’s my only advice
    Come on now,
    who do you,
    who do you,
    who do you,
    who do you think you are,
    Ha ha ha!
    Bless your soul
    You really think you’re in control
    Well, I think you’re crazy
    I think you’re crazy
    I think you’re crazy
    Just like me
    My heroes had the heart
    to Lose their lives out on a limb
    And all I remember is thinking,
    I want to be like them
    Ever since I was little,
    ever since I was little it looked like fun
    And it’s no coincidence I’ve come
    And I can die when I’m done
    Maybe I’m crazy
    Maybe you’re crazy
    Maybe we’re crazy
    Probably

  • Jesurgislac

    aunursa: the IDF has never claimed that civilians aren’t really civilians because of their proximity to Hezbollah terrorists.
    No: the IDF has just claimed that it’s okay to kill (non-Israeli) civilians because of their proximity to Hezbollah terrorists. This argument amounts to: Any civilian who happens to be sharing a dwelling-place with a member of Hezbollah becomes a “Human shield” and therefore can be killed. But, a civilian who is sharing a dwelling-place with someone in the IDF – and this would include many Israeli civilians – is somehow not a “human shield”.
    Sometimes the IDF’s claim that the dwelling-place really was being used by a member of Hezbollah, or had some terrorist connection, actually is accurate. Sometimes, as when Rachel Corrie was murdered, the claim is false. Since official investigations of IDF atrocities against civilians are invariably carried out by the IDF, which then clears itself, it’s hard to know when the IDF is telling the truth, and the civilians killed were killed because they were standing next to someone who actually was a terrorist, and when it is lying. Pro-Israelis assume the IDF is always telling the truth, of course.
    This does not change the fact that if it is justifiable to kill a civilian for standing next to [someone who kills civilians*] then it’s the same justification for killing Israeli civilians for standing next to someone in the IDF, as it is for killing a Lebanese civilian for standing next to someone in Hezbollah. And if you wish to argue that someone in Hezbollah is never a civilian, then someone in the IDF is never a civilian, even if they’re offduty when killed.
    *Whether in IDF, Hezbollah, Hamas, or the US military

  • aunursa

    the IDF has just claimed that it’s okay to kill (non-Israeli) civilians because of their proximity to Hezbollah terrorists.
    I challenge you to cite such a statement by any Israeli official. The IDF has never claimed that it’s okay to kill civilians. Israel attempts to avoid or minimize such casualties but says that such casualties are unavoidable and are the responsibility of Hezbollah who uses civilians as human shields.
    But, a civilian who is sharing a dwelling-place with someone in the IDF – and this would include many Israeli civilians – is somehow not a “human shield”.
    Wrong, because uniformed IDF soldiers do not share living quarters with civilians. And EVEN IF THEY DID, it wouldn’t matter … because Hezbollah and Hamas have never shown any indication that they would distinguish between military and civilian targets.
    Sometimes, as when Rachel Corrie was murdered
    Rachel Corrie wasn’t murdered. But these women named Rachel were.
    Since official investigations of IDF atrocities against civilians are invariably carried out by the IDF, which then clears itself, it’s hard to know when the IDF is telling the truth
    That is of course not true. The IDF takes all investigations seriously.
    And if you wish to argue that someone in Hezbollah is never a civilian, then someone in the IDF is never a civilian, even if they’re offduty when killed.
    IDF personnel on duty wear uniforms and usually are armed and therefore clearly distinguisable from civilians. Since Hezbollah do not wear uniforms and are almost never without weapons, they are always “on duty.”

  • wintermute

    > Wrong, because uniformed IDF soldiers do not share living quarters with civilians. And EVEN IF THEY DID, it wouldn’t matter … because Hezbollah and Hamas have never shown any indication that they would distinguish between military and civilian targets.
    More accurately, they’ve continually denied the existence of Israeli civilians, claiming that every newborn baby or great-grandmother is a de facto soldier and a valid military target. Hence, it’s impossible for them to kill civilians.

  • Jesurgislac

    Rachel Corrie wasn’t murdered.
    Yes, that has consistently been the IDF’s claim – though I believe the basis for their claim has varied between Rachel Corrie was not murdered because she was not crushed by a bulldozer driven by two IDF soldiers, or – when medical and eyewitness evidence showed that indeed Rachel was crushed by a bulldozer that was demolishing some Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip – that the drivers could not possibly have seen her. Still, they do consistently claim that though their soldiers killed her, this wasn’t murder.
    Others also “not murdered” in March 2003 by the IDF:
    Nabil Muhammad a-Dawidar, a 40-year-old man who was killed just five days after Rachel Corrie, in an IDF “operation” in a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah distriact.
    On the same day, in Khan Yunis, Wa’el Jum’ah Hamdan Barhum, a 25-year-old man, was killed when the IDF shot at participants in the funeral of Muhammad ‘Issa ‘Abd al-Hadi, a 17 year-old who had been shot dead by the IDF on the 16th of March while going to help a person who had been wounded near his house.
    Christine George S’adeh, an 11-year-old girl who was shot in Bethlehem on 25th March that year, and ‘Alaa Iyad, a 24-year-old man, and Muafeq ‘Abd a-Razaq Shahadeh Badawneh, a 40-year-old man, – both “collateral damage” of the IDF assassination of assassination of Nader Gawarish.
    The same day, 25th March, in Jenin, the IDF shot dead Mahmoud Bassam Mahmoud Nassar, a 14-year-old boy – some children were throwing stones at tanks, and for this crime Mahmoud was “not murdered”. The day before, Ahmad ‘Emad Fa’iz ‘Abahreh, another 14-year-old boy, was also shot dead because children threw stones at Israeli tanks.
    On 30th March, Muhammad Farouq Tafesh, a 16-year-old boy, was shot dead in Netzarim, Deir al-Balah district.
    I could go on, but to tell you the truth, this catalogue just makes me too sad: and your indifference to these “not murders” by the IDF will make me sadder.
    That is of course not true. The IDF takes all investigations seriously.
    And invariably clear themselves.
    wintermute: More accurately, they’ve continually denied the existence of Israeli civilians, claiming that every newborn baby or great-grandmother is a de facto soldier and a valid military target.
    Just as the IDF, when they kill 11-year-old girls, claim that they were de facto military targets – not civilians, just collateral damage.

  • Duane

    More accurately, they’ve continually denied the existence of Israeli civilians, claiming that every newborn baby or great-grandmother is a de facto soldier and a valid military target. Hence, it’s impossible for them to kill civilians.
    If every newborn baby is required to serve in the IDF at such a time as they are eligible, then perhaps they have a point.

  • Jesurgislac

    Nasrallah, age 4; Aya, age 7; Yihya, age 9; Ayman, age 12; Huda, age 14; Sumayah, age 16; and Basma, age 17.
    All killed at about 4 a.m. on July 12 by the IDF, whose justification for killing these children was that “At the time, those present [in the house that the IDF bombed]were planning the continued military activity of Hamas.”
    So, if the IDF thinks that 4-year-old children are active in Hamas, perhaps the IDF really does recruit infants…

  • aunursa

    In March 2003:
    Armed Palestinian gunmen murdered Rabbi Eli Horowitz and his wife Dina in their home while they were celebrating the Sabbath. The gunmen wounded five others before they were killed by IDF troops. The Horowitzes left behind four children and several grandchildren.
    Later in the month, in Netanya, a Palestinian suicide bomber injured 50 Israelis at a cafe.
    In between attempts to blow up Israeli civilians the Palestinians had time to rename the main square in Jenin “Noamani Square” in honor of Ali Jaafar al-Noamani, an Iraqi suicide bomber who killed five U.S. soldiers. The Jerusalem Post quotes a senior Palestinian official as saying, “We want to honor the brave Iraqi officer who carried out the first suicide attack against the American and British occupiers. We hope there will be more suicide operations in the coming days.”
    This is in addition to Rachel Thaler, 16, blown up in a pizzeria ; Rachel Levy, 19, murdered while waiting for a bus; Rachel Levy, 17, blown up in a grocery store; Rachel Charhi, 36, blown up while sitting in a cafe; Rachel Gavish, 50, killed with her husband and son while at home; Rachel Kol, 53, murdered with her husband in a drive-by shooting; Rachel ben Abu, 16, killed with her friends at a shopping mall; and Rachel Shabo, 40, murdered with her sons ages 5, 6, and 13 while at home. Each of these Rachels was murdered in the past five years.
    That is of course not true. The IDF takes all investigations seriously.
    And invariably clear themselves.
    Obviously you ignored the links I provided to investigations in which the IDF in fact did not clear itself.
    Just as the IDF, when they kill 11-year-old girls, claim that they were de facto military targets – not civilians
    The IDF never claimed that they were military targets. To tell you the truth, your indifference to the cynical use by Hezbollah of their own civilians as human shields makes me sad. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad over the fact that the IDF places a higher value on the lives of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians than Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists that many of these same civilians support.
    If every newborn baby is required to serve in the IDF at such a time as they are eligible, then perhaps they have a point.
    Not according to international law.

  • Jesurgislac

    Armed Palestinian gunmen murdered Rabbi Eli Horowitz and his wife Dina in their home while they were celebrating the Sabbath. The gunmen wounded five others before they were killed by IDF troops. The Horowitzes left behind four children and several grandchildren.
    That is terrible. But, unlike you, I consider all the murders in the intifada terrible – whether of unarmed Palestinians by Israelis, or unarmed Israelis by Palestinians. And, unlike you, I note that far more murders of unarmed Palestinians – including small children – are committed by armed Israelis.
    Obviously you ignored the links I provided to investigations in which the IDF in fact did not clear itself.
    Actually, you linked to a series of investigations in which, systematically, the IDF declared that soldiers who killed unarmed civilians were not guilty of murder. You also linked to the systematic vandalism/looting of Palestinian property that took place early in the second intifada, but apparently forgot to note that despite evidence of systematic criminal behavior by IDF soldiers: “the IDF had yet to undertake a serious investigation into what had taken place.”
    And – with regard to what is I believe the only instance of an IDF sniper killing an unarmed civilian being convicted even of manslaughter – the unarmed civilian was Tom Hurndall, a British national, and The IDF initially refused more than a routine internal inquiry, which concluded that Hurndall was shot accidentally in the crossfire, and suggested that his group’s members were essentially functioning as human shields. However, Hurndall’s parents collected evidence that he was shot at personally, rather than having been merely hit in the crossfire, and demanded an investigation. After several months of pressure from the parents, supported in part by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Israel’s Judge Advocate General Menahem Finkelstein in October 2003 ordered the IDF to open a military police investigation into Hurndall’s death. (wikicite) Rachel Corrie’s parents believed the US government that if they were quiet the US government would put pressure on the Israelis to investigate: a decision they now regret. Tom Hurndall’s parents were wiser – and perhaps more cynical – and they got justice for their son, rather than a coverup.
    So, I’m afraid none of your links prove your claim. Rather the reverse.

  • aunursa

    That is terrible. But, unlike you, I consider all the murders in the intifada terrible – whether of unarmed Palestinians by Israelis, or unarmed Israelis by Palestinians. And, unlike you, I note that far more murders of unarmed Palestinians – including small children – are committed by armed Israelis.
    Do not attempt to put words into my mouth. Do not claim to know what I consider. The fact is that I consider all deaths of unarmed civilians in wartime terrible. Assigning blame and responsibility is another matter. Unlike you, I recognize that the culpability lies primarily with the side that benefits from civilian deaths.
    The situation is analagous to a hostage situation. If, in their attempts to disable the criminal suspect, the police inadvertantly shoot the hostage, legally the hostage taker is responsible.
    I provided links to IDF investigations in which soldiers were held responsible for their actions. Do Hezbollah fighters ever face the threat of an investigation and punishment for actions that put civilians at risk? Do Lebanese soliders? Syrian? Egyptian? Jordanian? Do you care? Apparently not, unless Israel is involved.
    And the Hurndall case actually proves my point as it shows that Israel does take such matters seriously. Ultimately a military court convicted the soldier involved, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison. I CHALLENGE YOU TO CITE ANY EXAMPLE IN WHICH AN ARMY FIGHTING ISRAEL INVESTIGATED AND PUNISHED A SOLDIER FOR ATTACKING UNARMED CIVILIANS. You can’t, because Israel’s enemies celebrate and reward the murder of Israeli civilians.

  • Jesurgislac

    aunursa: Unlike you, I recognize that the culpability lies primarily with the side that benefits from civilian deaths.
    That’s a rather wild claim, since the side apparently benefiting from the murder of Palestinian civilians by Israeli military is, well, Israel. Yet you don’t hold Israel culpable for murdering Palestinian civilians; rather the reverse.

  • Jesurgislac

    And the Hurndall case actually proves my point as it shows that Israel does take such matters seriously.
    No. It proves that when a friendly foreign power is willing to put considerable pressure on the Israeli government to force the Israeli military to hold soldiers who commit murder culpable, sometimes, justice is done. The rest of the time, not so much. Neither of the soldiers who murdered Rachel Corrie have even been reprimanded.

  • aunursa

    That’s a rather wild claim, since the side apparently benefiting from the murder of Palestinian civilians by Israeli military is, well, Israel.
    Wrong on two counts. 1. International law does not consider the accidental deaths of civilians in an attack on armed militants or terrorists to be murder. 2. Whenever Palestinian civilians are killed (a) Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups become more popular, (b) Palestinian factions considered moderate are pressured to become extreme, (c) Israel is automatically assumed to be responsible, whether or not it is in fact the case, (d) Israel is reflexively condemned by governments around the world, whether on not the circumcstances merit such, (e) Arab and Islamic regimes can use Israel as a convenient scapegoat to divert attention away from their own economic failings and human rights discraces. Israel receives no benefit from civilian deaths on either side.
    It proves that when a friendly foreign power is willing to put considerable pressure on the Israeli government to force the Israeli military to hold soldiers who commit murder culpable, sometimes, justice is done.
    So Israel listens to and follows the advice of the United States? But Israel’s enemies frequently claim that the U.S. is a Zionist pawn and always does the bidding of the Israeli government. So is Israel subservient to America or the other way around? I wish that anti-Zionists would get their stories straight.
    Neither of the soldiers who murdered Rachel Corrie have even been reprimanded.
    That’s because soldiers aren’t punished for the tragic yet predictable consequences of stupid civilians stunts.

  • aunursa

    This video is illuminating.

  • Jesurgislac

    aunursa: International law does not consider the accidental deaths of civilians in an attack on armed militants or terrorists to be murder.
    International law, however, does consider it murder when a soldier deliberately kills a civilian who presents no threat to him. To call it “accidental death” when the IDF shoot children for throwing stones at tanks is absurd.
    That’s because soldiers aren’t punished for the tragic yet predictable consequences of stupid civilians stunts.
    Oh, so now when soldiers deliberately drive a bulldozer over an unarmed civilian (who is there to protest the demolition of people’s homes) this is a “tragic yet predictable consequence”, and somehow not murder? All the eyewitnesses agree: the soldiers driving the bulldozer could not have failed to see Rachel Corrie. They murdered her, and were not even reprimanded for it.
    So Israel listens to and follows the advice of the United States?
    I was confused by this, and then I realized: you’d never bothered to follow the case of Tom Hurndall, far enough to discover that he was a citizen of the UK, not of the US: the friendly foreign power who put pressure on the Israeli government to force an investigation (after the military investigation had, as usual, rapidly cleared the Israeli soldier who murdered Tom Hurndall) was the UK government, not the US government. The US government just pretended to Rachel Corrie’s parents that they would see justice was done, and then let the IDF clear their soldiers of murder.
    Israel receives no benefit from civilian deaths on either side.
    Israel clearly feels that it benefits by allowing the military to kill Palestinians and foreign civilians at will without penalty: the announcement after Rachel Corrie’s murder that any non-Israeli nationals who went into the Occupied Territories could be killed at will by the IDF was a threat to every NGO that provides observers to defend the Palestinians. The terror tactics of killing Palestinians, especially children, demolishing houses, destroying farmland, have been explicitly and implicitly argued to serve as means of forcing the Palestinians out of land that Israel wants to claim.
    The small (by comparison) number of civilians who are killed by Palestinians in the Occupied Territories or in Israel benefit the Israeli government as an excuse to continue their terror tactics against Palestinians.

  • aunursa

    To call it “accidental death” when the IDF shoot children for throwing stones at tanks is absurd.
    Not when the terrorists with assault rifles hide behind the stone-throwing children. And not when the terrorists use children as suicide bombers and arm children with rifles and other weapons, forcing the Israeli soldiers to make split-second decisions.
    All the eyewitnesses agree: the soldiers driving the bulldozer could not have failed to see Rachel Corrie.
    Not eyewitness Joe Smith (a.k.a. Joe Carr): “Rachel had two options. When the bulldozer started to dig in the dirt pile, the pile started to move, and she could have rolled sideways quickly or fallen backwards to avoid being hit. But Rachel leaned forward to climb to the top of the dirt pile. The bulldozer’s digging drew her downward, and its driver could not see her anymore. So without lifting the scoop, he turned backward and she was already underneath the blade” According to the Wiki article, “The IDF produced a video about Corrie’s death that includes footage taken from inside the cockpit of a D9. It makes a “credible case,” Joshua Hammer wrote in Mother Jones that “the operators, peering out through narrow, double-glazed, bulletproof windows, their view obscured behind pistons and the giant scooper, might not have seen Corrie kneeling in front of them.” Because the Caterpillar D9 bulldozers have a restricted field of vision with several blind spots, Israeli army regulations normally require that other soldiers assist in directing bulldozer drivers, but the Israeli army commander of the Gaza Strip said in an interview broadcast on Israeli television that, on the day of Corrie’s death, soldiers had to stay in their armored vehicles and were not able to direct the bulldozer, or arrest the protesters, because of a potential threat from Palestinian snipers.”
    (who is there to protest the demolition of people’s homes)
    In fact the bulldozers were there to knock down the homes of known terrorists and buildings hiding tunnels through which weapons and explosives were being smuggled from Egypt into Gaza. Such weapons were used indiscriminately to kill Israeli civilians, including the other Forgotten Rachels. Your concern for Israel’s attempts to protect its citizens is noticably underwhelming.
    the friendly foreign power who put pressure on the Israeli government … was the UK government
    My mistake. The fact remains that while Israel holds its soldiers responsible for actions that needlessly endanger civilians in violation of IDF policy, you have failed to cite a single instance in which Israel’s enemies have disciplined fighters for deliberately targeting Israeli civilians. Your lack of outrage at Hezbollah and Hamas is (similarly) underwhelming.
    the announcement after Rachel Corrie’s murder that any non-Israeli nationals who went into the Occupied Territories could be killed at will by the IDF was a threat to every NGO that provides observers to defend the Palestinians.
    If you are going to make such an accusation, please quote from the statement, or provide a link to it.
    The small (by comparison) number of civilians who are killed by Palestinians in the Occupied Territories or in Israel benefit the Israeli government as an excuse to continue their terror tactics against Palestinians.
    On the contrary, Israel would greatly benefit if it were able to spend all of its resources on its growing high-tech industry as well as its medical, scientific, and agricultural fields, rather than being forced to divert billions to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks. The Palestinians, too, would benefit if they would spend the billions of dollars from the U.S. and Europe on building an economy and schools and hospitals, rather than waste it on suicide bombs and rockets and corrupt authorities who encourage them to destroy greenhouses and support a futile war that has brought them nothing but misery.

  • Jesurgislac

    Aunursa: Not when the terrorists with assault rifles hide behind the stone-throwing children.
    Of course, Aunursa. That explains why so many Palestinian children have been shot dead for throwing stones, in incidents where not a single IDF soldier was harmed. It’s pretty difficult for stonethrowing children to harm soldiers in a tank, and the soldiers can always claim that they saw a “terrorist with an assault rifle” and that was why they murdered the children.
    In short, as the eyewitness you yourself quotes, the driver could see Rachel – until he drove over her. By the testimony you yourself cite, the driver murdered Rachel. Can we stop arguing about this now? You know she was murdered: you’ve read and quoted to me the eyewitness testimony that tells you the driver could see Rachel and drove over her deliberately. That’s murder.
    In fact the bulldozers were there to knock down the homes of known terrorists and buildings hiding tunnels through which weapons and explosives were being smuggled from Egypt into Gaza.
    Or so they claimed. In fact, the IDF were unable to show that any of the buildings they destroyed the day they murdered Rachel Corrie were hiding tunnels. Only four such tunnels were ever discovered: the houses being destroyed that day were being destroyed in a routine act of collective punishment.
    The fact remains that while Israel holds its soldiers responsible for actions that needlessly endanger civilians in violation of IDF policy
    You claim this as a fact, yet the only case you have been able to show of a soldier who murdered a civilian being tried and convicted, was an instance where the UK government put pressure on the Israeli government to hold that soldier responsible for the crime he committed. All other instances you yourself have cited show the IDF clearing their soldiers of committing murder, or declining to prosecute for vandalism or looting. Since you can’t prove that the Israelis even try to hold their soldiers responsible for murder – and you swallow whole their defenses that when their soldiers kill stonethrowing children, it’s because of a terrorist with an assault rifle who somehow never got off a shot – you can hardly claim it as a “fact”.
    you have failed to cite a single instance in which Israel’s enemies have disciplined fighters for deliberately targeting Israeli civilians.
    I have seen no one here defend Hezbollah or Hamas for targetting Israeli civilians, or claim that they’re not “really” doing that. If you can cite me an example of someone doing that in this blog, in the same way as you defend Israel for targetting civilians or claim that Israel isn’t “really” targetting civilians, I’ll get exactly as outraged at that attitude as I do at yours.
    If you are going to make such an accusation, please quote from the statement, or provide a link to it.
    That’s interesting. You haven’t insisted on a link to prove that Israeli soldiers murder children throwing stones at tanks (nor provided a link to show that all incidents of children killed in the Occupied Territories were accompanied by an incident of an IDF soldier being shot at by an assault rifle – 36 children were killed in the Occupied Territories by the IDF in July alone.) But you do want evidence of Israel saying to foreign civilians that if they go into the Occupied Territories and the IDF kills them, Israel doesn’t want to be held responsible. I recall that statement after a UN worker was shot in the head by the IDF in 2002: unfortunately, Israel has since killed so many UN workers that this particular incident is hard to track down.
    On the contrary, Israel would greatly benefit if it were able to spend all of its resources on its growing high-tech industry as well as its medical, scientific, and agricultural fields, rather than being forced to divert billions to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.
    Doubtless. But Israel isn’t forced to divert billions: no one forces Israel to keep the Occupied Territories. Israel could remove all settlers, allow Palestinians to form an independent state, and save most of those billions. Israel has never chosen to do that: it preferentially spends those billions rather than give up the Occupied Territories.

  • aunursa

    In short, as the eyewitness you yourself quotes, the driver could see Rachel – until he drove over her.
    You must be reading a different quote than what I cited. Nowhere did Smith (who, by the way, was a member of the ISM) specify when the bulldozer operator COULD see Corrie — only when he COULDN’T see her. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? Any time there is a controversy involving Israel, anti-Zionists will reflexively assume whatever scenario places Israel in the worst possible light. If a Palestinian or Palestinian sympathizer is killed, then it must have been a deliberate murder on the part of Israel, eh? If an Israeli civilian is deliberately murdered, then it’s still Israel’s fault because Israel oppresses the poor innocent Palestinians. In effect, Israel is always to blame and the Palestinians/Hezbollah/Islamist Theocracies are never to blame. Is that about right?
    All other instances you yourself have cited show the IDF clearing their soldiers of committing murder, or declining to prosecute for vandalism or looting. Since you can’t prove that the Israelis even try to hold their soldiers responsible for murder
    That assumes that there are instances in which IDF soldiers have actually committed murder. But of course, if an IDF action resulted in the death of a Palestinian, you reflexively assume that it must be cold-blooded murder.
    I have seen no one here defend Hezbollah or Hamas for targetting Israeli civilians
    I have not seen you condemn Hezbollah or Hamas for using their own civilians as human shields. No, on the contrary, you single out Israel as solely responsible for the deaths of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians and you let Hezbollah and Hamas off the hook for using human shields when you write, “the IDF has killed far more civilians than either Hamas or Hezbollah.”
    I recall that statement after a UN worker was shot in the head by the IDF in 2002 … this particular incident is hard to track down.
    Then I shall decline to address an alleged statement until you can provide such information.
    But Israel isn’t forced to divert billions: no one forces Israel to keep the Occupied Territories.
    Israel was attacked in 1948 (by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon) and in 1967 (by Jordan) when the Jewish state held not one inch of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Israel offered to relinqish control of the territories back to Egypt and Jordan, but the Arab states unanimously rejected UNSC 242. Subsequently, Israel offered to relinquish control of all of Gaza and almost all of the West Bank to the PA in 1993, 2000, and 2003. Each time an agreement was reached, the Palestinians refused to end terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Had the Palestinian leadership truly been interested in peaceful coexistence with Israel — rather than holding onto their dream of the elimination of Israel — the Palestinians would have had their own state many years, or many decades ago.
    One great irony is that the recent rocket attacks on Israel and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers were conducted from the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned one year ago, and Lebanon, which the IDF vacated six years ago. By contrast, the West Bank, where Israeli settlements remain, has been relatively quiet. This fact alone should give pause to anyone who continues to harbor under the illusion that “occupation” is the cause of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

  • bulbul

    Israel was attacked … in 1967 (by Jordan)
    Well, it was Israel who attacked Egypt in a preemptive strike designed to criple its air-force. And as far as Jordan is concerned, the Samu’ incident took place in November 1966. And, again, it was Israel who attacked first.
    As for the whole Six Day War, it would appear now that the United Arab Republic did not plan to attack Israel after all. For further information, refer to Middle East Journal, Volume 60, Number 2, Spring 2006.

  • Jesurgislac

    the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned one year ago
    Israel withdrew the illegal settlements, while continuing to control the Gaza Strip’s airspace and offshore maritime access. The Gaza Strip is still regarded by the international community, including the US, as being part of the Occupied Territories, subject to the Israeli military: In July, the Israeli military killed 163 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, 78 of whom (48 percent) were not taking part in the hostilities when they were killed. Thirty-six of the fatalities were minors, and 20 were women. cite
    Israel may claim they have “abandoned” the Gaza Strip, but their claim does not stand up to any factual evidence.
    By contrast, the West Bank, where Israeli settlements remain, has been relatively quiet.
    Yes, relatively to the Gaza Strip, in July, “only” 15 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank. If this is “relatively quiet”, of course, it should be noted that Israel considered the capture of two and killing of three Israeli soldiers to be sufficient justification to start a war with Lebanon… though if only killing 15 people is “relatively quiet”, then only killing three people is “absolutely quiet”.

  • aunursa

    Well, it was Israel who attacked Egypt in a preemptive strike designed to criple its air-force. And as far as Jordan is concerned, the Samu’ incident took place in November 1966. And, again, it was Israel who attacked first.
    Huh? I wasn’t referring to the Samu’ incident, but to Jordan’s unprovoked attack on June 5, 1967. While the IDF was destroying the Egyptian Air Force, Israel sent urgent messages to King Hussein, promising no preemptive strike on Jordan, and warning him that if Jordan attacked Israel, the Jewish state would respond with all her might. Hussein ignored the warning, and Jordanian missile reigned down on Israeli cities. So yes, Israel was attacked (in 1967) by Jordan.
    As for the whole Six Day War, it would appear now that the United Arab Republic did not plan to attack Israel after all.
    I suggest you read the definitive source of information on the 1967 war: historian Michael Oren’s comprehensive work, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the making of the modern Middle East (And Egypt had already made a de facto declaration of war by closing an international waterway.)

  • aunursa

    The Gaza Strip is still regarded by the international community, including the US, as being part of the Occupied Territories, subject to the Israeli military.
    I challenge you to cite any UN or U.S. representative for this claim.
    In July, the Israeli military killed 163 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, 78 of whom (48 percent) were not taking part in the hostilities when they were killed.
    That’s a response to an attack, not occupation. And the Palestinian government has failed to disarm the terrorists and cease the inflammatory rhetoric as required. If the Palestinians won’t stop terrorism, Israel will act to protect its citizens.
    Yes, relatively to the Gaza Strip, in July, “only” 15 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank.
    My point, which you apparently missed, is that Israel was not attacked from the West Bank, which it continues to occupy. If occupation were the cause of the Israeli-Arab conflict, then Israel would have been attacked from the “occupied” West Bank, not from Gaza or Lebanon.
    Despite your reluctance to accept it, the fact remains that Israel was attacked from the areas that it abandoned.

  • Rakafkaven

    Grammatical quibble: you refer to groups, as in “More than a few of the groups…”, “Some of these groups are…” etc. Yet while many words of varying degrees of descriptiveness and/or profanity may reasonably be used to refer to individual people and Bill Clinton’s penis, none of them on their own merit qualifies as a group.
    I suggest referring each bullet point as either a “party” or “member”, as in “More than a few of the parties above…” or “Some of the members of this set…”. Both “party” and “member” can clearly refer to a group, an individual person, or Bill Clinton’s penis.


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